Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

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very good

3,197 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,197
Reviews: 1,328
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 64
Gots: 247 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001)
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Ratings: 3,197 | Reviews: 1,328 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theopholis
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Very clear, deep ruby with a small, off-white head that settles down quickly. Pretty much no lacing. No effervescing after just a minute or two.

Aroma- Strong aroma of old cinnamon. Smells like it ain't fresh either. Can detect a bready malt base with some toast notes in it. Lots of all-spice too. Not very inviting. Quite cloying actually.

Taste- Again....over-heavy on the cinnamon and all-spice. Once you get past that, there is a nice, underlying, toasty malt with a nice bittering hop background.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability- If they halved the amount of spices, this would actually be a decent beer.

Photo of ToasterChef
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served at Diversions, aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship (somewhere between Cape Canaveral and Nassau). Poured from a cold bottle into a pilsner glass. It has a pretty dark copper color and a thin head. It has a great spiced aroma, like a Christmas dinner. It has an interesting malt flavor, with hints of cinnamon and ginger. It has a body that falls somewhere between medium and light. There is a pleasing amount of carbonation. It's very drinkable. I find the flavor very inviting. It's too bad this beer is only available in the 12 bottle mix packs; I was really excited to find it being served at this cruise ship bar.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong out into nonic produces a rather sizable three finger head. Khaki is color, retention is decent leaving sporadic lacing around the glass. Body is a fiery red-brown color, clear and clean.

Old Fezziwig smells much like a spiced brown ale. Toasted and bready malt base. Orange, cinnamon, ginger a subtle clove. The aroma appropriately reminds me of holiday baked good.

Base flavor is a caramel malt, slight toffee like sweetness. The orange really stands out to me. Cinnamon and ginger come through, linger as a dry spiciness on the tongue. Darker flavor, maybe cocoa of light coffee, hit he back of the palate.

Medium bodied, smooth but less then creamy texture. Spiced graininess to the finish works well as it is not too heavy to be off putting. Carbonation is a touch under medium but adequate.

Very enjoyable holiday brew. I will join many others before me who wish to see this is a six pack format. Very pleasant flavors and goes down easy.

Photo of Josievan
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark orangish-brown color and decent head.

Smell: Mainly mild spices with malt in the background.

Taste: Just as the bottle says: cinnamon, ginger, and slight orange. The malt nicely pulls these elements together.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with carbonation on the high side.

Drinkability: Spicing is mild enough to make this easy to drink.

Notes: This is a decent winter warmer, but not exciting enough to warrant purchasing Sam Adam's winter variety pack simply for this beer, as some do. I could have done without the orange, but that's personal preference. For me, eliminating the orange flavor would elevate this beer to a slightly higher standing. The way it is, there are spiced winter warmers I'd chose over this.

Photo of WJVII
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a nice deep amber color with a light tan 2 finger head that left decent lacing and a slight cap. The aroma is full of spice, cloves, cinnamon, pine, nuts, and some roasted caramel malts. The taste is a little rough with some higher carbonation than needed, there is a strong vanilla presence throughout. As far as a winter spice brew this is actually good as not too sweet and has a decent bitter finish to balance it off.

Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki tan head. Color is a clear ruby copper Head fades to a thin ring and stays here. No lace left.

Aroma: A lot of spices here. Cinnamon, ginger, and molasses. Some fruits, oranges. Caramel malts and honey. Reminds me a little of SA Honey Porter.

Taste: If I had to guess, I'd say this is the honey porter with spices added to it. Honey, caramel, ginger, cinnamon, and a light orange flavor.

Mouthfeel: Dry, spiced, and smooth. Light to medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry.

Overall, not a bad offering from Sam Adams. It really reminded me of the honey porter. A nice cheap holiday beer. Pretty drinkable. The only bad part is that it only comes in the Seasonal 12 pks.

Photo of TommyW
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden/amber with a sticky, off-white head.

S- caramel malts with orange peel and cinnamon.

T- Lots of malty flavors (caramel, chocolate, bready and sweet). A raisiny sweetness mixes nicely with ginger and cinnamon with a slightly smokey note. The warming alcohol is quickly noticeable.

M- Medium to full body with a nice carbonation.

D- One of my favorite winter warms to enjoy.

Photo of fsimcox
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark amber, with hints of red. Off-white foamy head that dissipates quickly leaving a very thin off-white layer. Some lacing, but not much.

Smells malty, with hints of orange, but not overpowering. Some coriander spice.

Sweet, roasted malt and spice. Hint of alcohol in the after taste. Dry finish with malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich, and smooth. Not much carbonation.

A very nice holiday beer. But not something I would drink every day.

Photo of Drazzamatazz
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint, of course.

A: Solid one finger head with tons of tight packed little bubbles. Left some nice legs as it faded away. I would describe this color of this beer as a burnt cranberry, nice and clear.

S: First thing that hit me was some sort of sweet dried fruit, took me awhile to realize it was figs I was getting, also had some raisiny aromas. Sweetness is followed with some toasted malts and some winter spices. Barely got any hops in the nose.

T: Strong dried fruit sweetness. Almost port-like. Again getting figs, but also prunes this time too. The malts, while sweet, offer a nice smokey punch. The finish comes through with a little more hops then in the nose, but most of it is quickly overpowered by the same winter spices. I enjoyed the beginning a lot more than the end, the dark fruits went very nicely with the earthy smoke.

M: Fairly sticky on the palate, not quite syrup, but considerable body. Medium carbonation.

D: Like I said before, I'm loving the interplay between the sweetness and bitter smoke. Has a nice lingering, just enough to get you through to the next sip. I found after two it was getting more sweet and less smokey though. While I wouldn't have issues drinking multiple of these, I'd want something different in between to keep the flavors fresh.

Photo of wescj
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Color is clear, deep ruby red. Off white head is big and billowing at first, and dies down to a thin but well kept sheet atop the brew.

Smell of orange peel hits the nose right after oppening the bottle. Spices are well balanced. Aroma lets you know that this is going to be a sweet one.

Taste is nice and sweet, but I might like some more body.

Overall, this is a pretty nice beer. It doesn't knock your socks off, but it's good enough to warrent a purchase of the mediocre SA winter mixer.

Photo of mempath
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep red-brown with nice lacing, a tan head.

sweet malty spice nose.

ah, now it opens up after a sip. cardamon? malty-spicey holiday cheer that isn't overdone. if i lived in the tundra, this could be a year round brew...a bit of hoppiness pops in to keep the sweetness in its place. excellent. rich mouthful of thickness and carbonation. yeah, this compares with the winter brew from SA very well. i'd session both of those back and forth.

take out the coastal wheat (too summery) and the cranberry lambic (too fall/springy)....and more of the other selections in the winter sampler!

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale poured dark reddish brown with no head and no lace. The color was very nice; however the appearance was otherwise flat.

The smell and taste were extremely sweet with hints of non-descript roastiness in the flavor, followed by licorice. It was very smooth and weak, with no real mouthfeel. Partly because of the watery feel, it was very easy to drink.

The spices in Old Fezziwig Ale are subtle, which is a good thing, yet it's festive, from the label to the color to the sweet flavor. The low alcohol content and drinkability make it a great holiday party drink. I would love to see the Boston Beer Company make this more readily available during the winter and not package it with some of the far lesser beers in the Winter Sampler.

Photo of CRichardsMN
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark amber with a very dense off-white head that settles to a thick film. Lots of thick lacing is left behind on each sip.

Sweet, lightly roasted malts, a hint of hops and mild spice. I really like the balance, definitely not too overpowering.

Creamy caramel, toasted malts, nuts, light citrusy hops, very mild spice and a light follow up of alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and bittersweet. Lots of flavor but not one outshines any of the others. Very nice.

Very lively carbonation in this medium-heavy brew. Leaves a thin coating behind for a few seconds then falls away cleanly.

I wish I had more of these than came in the winter sampler. Not too heavy, lots of flavor complexity and very satisfying.

The last beer in my fridge after company this evening. This is a great nightcap. I also like it because it has much the same flavor profile that I look for in a strong ale without so much alcohol that it knocks me over.

Photo of Brenden
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was part of last night's New Year's Eve festivities...

A reddish-brown brew pours into the glass, a thick, dense head of just over a finger settling on top. It remains for a while and leaves some patchy lacing on the way down.
There are lots of different spices in the nose, but they're not overpowering. There's a strong malt to support this one, one of the varieties used perhaps being chocolate. The spices make for a heady aroma, and I detect cinnamon, orange peel perhaps (definitely citrus but with a rind-like effect), and an unmistakable ginger note as well. Surprisingly, there's little sweetness on the nose in this winter warmer.
There's little sweetness in the flavor as well. This brew is carried by a strong malt backbone and the spices aren't meant to form that backbone, which is what some brewers fail to understand with this style. The spices make a very nice compliment and form a solid profile. That said, just a bit more of an accompanying sweetness might add something to the character. There's a little bit of not so much a smoky flavor but more of a lightly burnt bitterness in the finish. Otherwise, absolutely solid and well-brewed.
The feel of this one is smooth. There's not much of a crispness, which is better for this type of beer. As it is, the feel is rich creamy, great for the season and the style. The body is medium to full and carbonation is on the light side.
This isn't one to pick up if you're looking for a dessert beer after a holiday meal, but it certainly works if you want a good winter warmer.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear dark amber with a finger of tan head. Ginger in the aroma and a little dark malt. Medium bodied. Cinnamon and ginger in the flavor. Some malt sweetness and a little dark fruit. Good spiced holiday beer, but one at a time is plenty. Not as fragrant and spicy as Anchor OSA, which might be good for some people.

Photo of Rootdog316
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out a nice dark reddish brown color, leaves lace on the glass, and makes a good head. It carries a malty caramel aroma that also hints of cinnamon, and spice. When tasting alot of the aroma comes through as the beginning of the beer is malty and spicy and the finish is more sweet with hints of orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon. Not a bad beer, certainly worth trying over the Holiday season.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i think my dad has finally seen a glimpse of the light. variety packs of sam adams? i don't think i can really ask much more of him. dark red hue with a slightly offwhite foam. this beer reminds me of christmas. i mean, even if it wasn't christmas. caramel, cinnamon, a bit of ginger on the nose, and a whiff of the alcohol in there, too. smooth, lovely caramel, chocolate, and cinnamon delivery, soft finish. stays sticky, almost clingy in the mouth. like a lemur to my checkbook.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My mom picked this up for me in the variety pack.

Appearance- dark red color, little head

Smell- sweet, spices, malt

Taste- sweet, spices, malt, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- prety good, I enjoyed it. It's a good winter warmer.

Photo of berley31
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a small, off-white head that actually hung around for a good amount of time. Body is dark ruby and completely clear, very nice.

S: Sweet, caramel aroma is the most prevalent. Nice on the nose and very inoffensive.

T: Sweet caramel malt, with a light breadiness is what first comes through, followed by a finish that is a little dry and bitter. Overall, very smooth and easy to drink.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy texture, with average-to-lively carbonation.

D: Quite good, not too heavy, a nice winter warmer that is well-sipped on a cold evening.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear ruby color with a bubbly, light tan foam that fades pretty quick and does not leave much in the way of lacing.

Nose is honey drizzled toasty malts with maybe a hint of ginger and cinnamon. Not overly spiced, which is nice. There's a bit of orange in there as well as some light fruitiness - apple pie and orange marmalade.

Spices come out to play a bit more on the tastebuds, but the beer still maintains a nice toasty and caramel malt presence. Ginger and cinnamon seem to be a nice beer combination, but I can do without the orange peel in a darker beer style like this - especially without some coriander compliments. It's pretty light bodied overall and an easy drinker for a holiday beer. One of BBC's finer offerings, but not at the top of my wish list for winter releases.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber-red color. Off-white/light tan head of about 1 finger; turns into a nice film. Leaves nice lacing too.

Smell: Warm but subtly spiced malt aroma.

Taste: Lightly roasted malts and light spices (especially cinnamon) from this dark and rather warming beer. The flavor isn't too extreme, but is quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and relatively light mouthfeel despite feeling filling. Light carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable with little to no taste of alcohol, and a session-able ABV.

Rather mild for a winter warmer, but I actually prefer it this way. Still a full-bodied beer, but a bit more subdued in the spice and alcohol than other beers of this style. Wouldn't mind having this in a 6-pack. Quite enjoyable.

Photo of Ezone024
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark mahogany like a coffee table, not much head room,
smells metallic and cinnamon
taste's good with hints of vanilla and cinnamon, but it's not too much, it balances well with the malt backbone .
lots of roasted flavors going on in this brew.
drinks nice and easy helped out by the fact the spices aren't too strong.

nice winter warmer

Photo of HalfFull
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. pryoff bottle, best by March 2010. Pours a clear mahogany amber red in color with a hard fought quarter inch of off white foam which doesn't linger. Does offer some light lacing as one can pull a surface cap back with a bit of a swirl.

Caramel malt on the nose, bit of cinnamon initially. With some exposure and warming the nose improves somewhat as the notes meld, yet never getting highly robust and enticing. The beers best attribute nonetheless.

Sweet caramel flavor with a bit of an oily orange clover feel. Cinnamon and ginger on the finish linger briefly before being cloaked once again with a caramel cleanse. Mouthfeel is supported by a bright small bubble carbonation, a bit unexpected given the lack of foam on the pour. Decent drinkability but leaning a bit towards the syrupy side as there is less complexity in flavor than the nose might suggest. Bit bittersweet towards the bottom of the glass. Not bad, but seems to vary excessively from one bottle to the next.

---Revisit 12/15/2012 yields a slightly better pour as for head retention. Nose is more subtle and flavor doesn't linger. Sweetness is less evident leaving it a tad hollow. T/S dropped .5..

Photo of imanidiot777
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pretty dark brown with made a little red tint to it. Cream color head that stays for most of the drink and some lacing on the glass.

S: Malty, that is about all my bad nose can pick up.

T: Very malty, some kind of fruit aftertaste that I am not particularly fond of.

M: Pretty heavy in the mouth, could use a little more carbonation.

D: Goes down OK but don't like the aftertaste and it is really heavy. Not a bad thing if you are having one of course.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a perfect pint. 2+fingers of beige head with tons of structure. Decent amount of lacing left behind.
Deep amber color with brown/maroon highlights.

Aroma is musty, earthy with sweet malt and a touch of orange.

Flavor is bold malt, rich caramel and some cinnamon. Truth be told I would never say that I can taste ginger. I smell a touch of the orange and there is a touch of orange peel in the flavor. Very subtle and nice. A touch of molasses.

Really full bodied, velvety and it lays thick on your tongue.

Ok, so this is a very good winter ale. I would buy this if it was sold on its own.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,197 ratings.