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

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,801 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2801
Reviews: 1310
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%

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: 2,801 | Reviews: 1,310 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with the label notched at best before March 2014. Another new winter seasonal to me from Samuel Adams, acquired as part of the winter variety twelve pack, and the second beer from that pack also brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel, just like the Samuel Adams Winter Lager I just drank. Expectations are somewhere in there.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a still coppery ruby colored body with about a finger of tan head that disappears quickly.

S - Smell is light and subdued, just like the Samuel Adams Winter Lager, only I think this beer's aroma is more boring. Chocolate malt, some cola-esque carbonation, some vague cherry, mineral water, and a hint of ginger spice, but the spices are mostly nonexistent.

T - Taste is of grains, chocolate malt, cola / cherry sweetness, vague cinnamon spice, some creaminess, earthy woodiness, raisins, and some leafy herbal hop bitterness on the finish. Hardly any discernably ginger and orange peel on the flavor.

M - Feel is smooth and clean, with just a hint of sweetness and ginger spice lingering on the palate. Medium bodied with brisk carbonation.

Overall, I found this to be a disappointing offering from Samuel Adams, especially after trying the bock from the variety pack, which was a far better beer brewed with the same spices. The taste is far more interesting than the rest of the beer would lead you to believe, but it is still pretty boring. Worth a try, I suppose.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 05:30:31 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of CASK1


3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from winter mixed pack poured to a tulip.

A - Beautiful deep red-brown color. Nice garnet highlights. Tan head with decent staying power.

S - complex aroma with toasty and caramel malt, light roast, and low nondescript spiciness. No hops to speak of.

T - Similar to aroma, but the spices are just a bit more prominent. A hint of astringency, possibly from the spices. Nice complex malt flavor with just enough hops to balance.

M - medium full and satisfying. Astringency detracts overall. Very low alcohol warmth.

O - Nice beer to have on occasion as the holiday season progresses.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 01:03:39 | More by CASK1
Photo of Weston19


3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark copper, finger head with a vanilla color.

S: Caramel, malts, milk chocolate, bread, pecan, some faint alcohol.

T: Vanilla, toffee, caramel, roasted barely, some hoppiness at back of the throat, some milk chocolate flavor. Has a bitter/sweet finish. Very nice set of flavors.

MF: Heavy MF and very creamy; leaves your tongue well coated.

O: Very malty and tasty beer. Has a lot of characteristics of a stout/porter but obviously lighter. Flavors are precise and standout clearly. Great beer for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 22:56:01 | More by Weston19
Photo of TheMarkE


3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with a quickly disappearing head.

Smell: Malt, brown sugar, spices.

Taste: Caramel, brown sugar, cocoa, toffee, spices, orange.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy. Slight cocoa aftertaste.

The Verdict: Pretty good. A decent winter warmer with enough flavor to keep the tongue happy. Nothing over the top, not as complex as some, but still a good solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 22:13:02 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of marv3mania


3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a thin off-white/light tan head. Aroma is toffee, caramel, molasses, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Very nice. Taste is a good, though somewhat weak, balance of the caramel malts and spices. It tastes like someone mixed holiday spices into a Boston Lager, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Thin mouth feel. Overall, this isn't too bad, but not my favorite holiday ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 00:16:30 | More by marv3mania
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Obtained in the Sam Adams holiday pack.

A: Pours a rich ruby body with an off white head. Good head retention and a ton of lacing

S: Caramel malts in the nose slight cocoa as well.

T: Spices are more pronounced as well as some bitterness, the malts smelt in the nose are apparent in the taste as well.

M: Thick mouthfeel with solid amount of carbonation.

O: Good winter warmer I look forward to drinking this holiday seasons to come.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 06:05:57 | More by watermelon
Photo of KingJason


4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was eager to try this since the BROS gave it such a good rating. Since the BROS have drank so much beer on their journey through the matrix we consider as an objective reality, and since their taste in beer is respected and quite honestly envied, any time they give a beer over a ninety rating I go buy it. I know that George Clooney has a good taste in women since he has sampled so many just like the BROS have a quality acquired taste in beer, and when I had this beer I felt as if I was Batman. I know it sounds wild, like Jennifer Lopez dating Maynard James Keenan from the progressive rock band TOOL, and even if that could only occur on Bizzaro's square planet, then good, I am fair with the hype that responds to the crowd as Shawn Kemp's massive thunderous dunks rocked Chicago Bulls stadium in the Reinman's heyday. If we are aliens and thisw world is a video game we created and our human body is a Super Mario that us Aliens created to play an inter-galactic video game, than is it possible that beer is the mushroom?

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 16:22:56 | More by KingJason
Photo of Captain_Komamura


3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark brown, with a tannish/creamy head.

Smell - it is the roasted caramel and chocolate malt smell that hits the nose first, with a hint of the spices.

Taste - a nice mix of winter spices, with the malts as a good base that give it a sweet and bitter taste to it.

Mouthfeel - a good bodied beer.

Overall - this is a pretty good Christmas beer, although the spices could have been turned down a bit, to let the malts come in more.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 01:55:06 | More by Captain_Komamura
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the winter pack this year.

Pours a clear brown. Tan colored foamy head forms, with decent lacing down the glass.

Smells include cinnamon, caramel, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and ginger.

The taste includes the same mouth-watering spice combo. Lots of cinnamon and caramel, some maple syrup like sweetness, light chocolate, gingerbread, nutmeg, and other spicing I can't distinguish.

Slightly thin bodied, but it makes it a bit more drinkable. Starts sweet, finishes dry, crisp mouthfeel.

Possibly my favorite Sam Adams beer now, tried it for the 1st time this winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 22:37:47 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of vkv822


3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip

Clear, deep mahogany with a thick, foamy toffee colored head that dissipates to leave a thin film.

Spicy, both from the hop character and a cinnamon, nutmeg spice character as well, floral notes, toffee, caramel malts.

More of the same in the taste, with a tasty blend of spices, caramel, toffee malts and lightly floral, spicy Noble hop character. The orange peel helps bridge the spices and malts to the hops.

Medium- body with fizzy carbonation.

A tasty Winter Warmer. Complex, but subtle flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 08:47:07 | More by vkv822
Photo of BB1313


3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear dark copper; fluffy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas are subtle and very malty. Lots of bread. There's hints of caramel and graham cracker. The graham cracker flavor follows up in the flavors. Subtle hints of spices. Tons of caramel. Hints of cocoa. Very grainy. Subtle hints earthy hops. The mouthfeel is wonderful and really stands out. It's on the heavier side of light-bodied. It's extremely creamy and fluffy with active carbonation. Very smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed. It becomes even more enjoyable as it warms up.

This is a solid beer. It's been awhile since I've had it. The aromas and flavors are very subtle and plain, but not bad. The mouthfeel alone makes this very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 03:40:26 | More by BB1313
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on 11/9/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter.

Pours a very dark cherry red/brown in color with a 1-finger tan head that leaves some lacing with each sip. The aroma is of some malts, hops with some spices. Perfect carbonation. The taste was excellent with a perfect balance of spices and roasted malts. Very easy and smooth to drink. A great brew for the colder months.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 02:37:42 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

P: Pours an opaque brown with ruby highlights and a dollop of dark beige head. No real retention and minimal micro bubble lacing.

S: Roasty caramel malt, cheeries, brown sugar, fruit cake, holiday spices

T/M: Malt heavy and robust. Chocolate oranges, burnt brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark breads, cinnamon, amaretto, rye and orange oil in the background. Bready and nutty profile. Subtle warming but not overly boozy which is nice. Finishes dry with lingering bitter cocoa and and smoldered wood. Prickly carbonation in a medium sticky body.

O: One of the best winter warmers I have had. Most focus too much on heavy handed booze. This really has a well married flavor profile that anyone could enjoy. I would love to drink this around a nice fire during the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 23:15:41 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Stella glass
2013 Vintage

A: Pours a dark caramel with red hues when held to light. 1.5 fingers width of tan colored head has great retention. Carbonation bubbles can be seem rising to the top of the glass. Leaves lots of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Caramel malts, biscuity, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark fruits. Aroma smells quite sweet.

T: Lighter than the aroma implies. Yeasty, doughy, candied sugar, some roasted flavors, a bit of bitterness, faint cinnamon/nutmeg.

M/D: On the lighter side of medium bodied, carbonation on the heavier side, no ABV but has a somewhat generalized warming effect on the body.

O: Overall, this was quite good. I generally prefer my winter warmers heavy, bold and with a high ABV. This doesnt hit any of those, but its very good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 00:22:28 | More by zac16125
Photo of Talbott92

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a dark cherry color with a coffee colored head that fades quickly.

S- Mainly just malt and slight bitterness. I'm not really catching anything else.

T- Malty and slightly bitter with a warm creamy finish on the back of the tounge.

MF- Drinkable, slightly thick with medium carbonation.

OV- Great beer! It's perfect for any cold day.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 20:06:43 | More by Talbott92
Photo of Hergestridge


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Ale is very very very near perfect!!! The Appearance, Smell, Taste, Feel, and overall experience is friggin' awesome..
Sam Adams... pleasing of the masses.. A brewer seeking the Nectar of Deity?? QA of a n Anal, 1st time, Want to please Everyone Inspector...
But rest assured, rookie... This is a DAMN fine beer.. and an EXCELLENT cuzzin' to the Sam Adams way of brewing...
Unhurried, Unpretentious, UnBS'd perfection.. God Bless Mr. Koch and your Beer Minions!!! Kicking Ass Again and taking no swill Beer Prisoners.. Brings a Tear to one's Eye!!!!
Carry On, Citizens!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 04:42:16 | More by Hergestridge
Photo of Fergyx825


3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a very dark colored beer with some head on the pour, this went away quickly as i walked away to do my laundry. No bubbling, but you can see a dark amber hue in the light.

Smell: malt and hops are obvious when smelling this beer, you can also take in hints of spices that would be part of your holidays. This smells pretty good.

Taste: very malty, with some spice at the end. Its not so bitter, just a good soft malt/spice and hoppy taste. I enjoy it.

Mouthfeel: A high carbonation, and a very smooth beer. This goes very well together with the taste.

Overall: It looks the way its supposed to, it smells the way its described, yet its tastes very malty and the mouth feel works well. This is what they were aiming for, and they hit it on the head.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 01:53:20 | More by Fergyx825
Photo of dbossman


3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a reddish tint and a steady, sudsy one-inch head and decent lacing

S: Toasty and roasty malts and burnt brown sugar; some subtle fruits and definitely ginger on the finish

T: A lot of roasted semi-sweet bready malts up front with a balanced finish of fruit and spice--this beer is so much more balanced than I remember it; with toffee and brown sugar and toast followed by just a touch of ginger, orange rind, and cinnamon--though as it warms the flavors do become a bit cloying

F: Medium body--actually a touch chewy on the finish

O: A really nice holiday beer that I hadn't had in years; glad to come back to Old Fezziwig; unfortunately, as I said I find it to get a bit sweet and taxing to drink as it warms

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 18:17:07 | More by dbossman
Photo of bubseymour


4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a very nice dark brown ale with beautiful 2 finger frothy head and decent retention.

Smell of nice malts and caramel.

Tastes like the nose. Very malty and sweet with excellent flavor and balance.

Mouthfeel - very full bodied and creamy

Overall - An exceptional winter warmer. Definetily a good creation by Sam Adams and highly recommend and will revisit next winter.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 23:42:46 | More by bubseymour
Photo of ElCommodoro


3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice frothy beer that has interesting flavours of not-very-sweet dried fruit. Malt and dextrose on the finish. It's not very warming, but it's definitely a good all-around beer. Nothing impressive, though. I don't taste much of the spice, which is great because I hate ginger, which it supposedly has in it.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 04:35:17 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Reddish brown.
Smell: Chocolaty.
Taste: Cinnamon and chocolate malt. Hints of other spices. Egg.
Mouthfeel: Creamy carbonation.

This really is a good tasting holiday treat from Sam. The smell is mostly chocolate in my opinion, and then the taste of the cinnamon and chocolate compliment it nicely. It's almost like a lightly spiced maple syrup with carbonation. I will get this again next Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 02:13:27 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of Segelstrom


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance - poured into a tumbler w/ a nice head of about 3/4". retained reasonably well. dark pour similar to a porter.

Smell - malts overtook the hops for a rich malty smell

Taste - mirrored the smell with a richness

Mouthfeel - not too harsh or bitter

overall - worth the try but not a goto beer

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 23:23:40 | More by Segelstrom
Photo of karait95


4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark reddish color with a medium sized head formed by light brown bubbles with low dissipation, some traces are left behind on the glass, a thin layer is formed on top of the beer, carbonation is medium.

S: Not as intense as expected, of course malty and some spicies can be detected like the hops and the orange peels.

T: Very rich flavor, many things can be detected such as the malty backbone and the hops, in line with aroma, also some species even not easy to know but flavor is complex, caramel malts and high alcohol.

M: Balanced and with a good lasting ending, start with some sweetness and then neutral for a sweet with some bitter ending.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 04:20:00 | More by karait95
Photo of emyers


3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber brown color with a half-inch beige head.

Smell: Caramel up front with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Toasted biscuit, then more caramel. Smells pretty sweet. Quite nice.

Taste: Similar to the smell, although the caramel malt is not as deep as I thought it would be. Instead, toasted bready malt character takes over. Spices are still present. Pleasant, balanced beer. Definitely not everwhelming with the spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth. Could use a touch more body, but it's a fairly minor complaint.

Overall: I'll be honest, there aren't many Sam Adams beers that I get excited about, but this is definitely one of the few. A very solid winter warmer, and the only reason I buy the Sam Adams winter pack every year.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 02:09:14 | More by emyers
Photo of Jadjunk


3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"Old Fezziwig Ale is in the tradition of special seasoned beers for the winter Holidays, and takes its name from the festive character in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." This is a hearty, rich, brownish-red ale that gets its character from large amounts of specialty malts. These roasted caramel and chocolate malts give it a very full body and a smooth taste that's then spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and orange. Happy Holidays!" Brewed in the style of a Winter Warmer, available almost exclusively as part of Samuel Adams' Winter Classics variety pack and one of their most popular offerings.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick, creamy tannish white head with a decent retention and frothy surface cover. Body color is a filtered mahogany brown with ample carbonation, light enough to see through when held to light. Lacing and head quality are shorter than expected, but overall it's a decent-looking beer. 3.5

(Smell) Thoroughly roasted caramel malts and a snap of chocolate for a toasty but sweet malty front. Bready malts are complimented with subtle hints of ginger snaps, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel in decreasing order, perhaps a bit too shallow for compliment to the aroma. Aroma is chock full with warm flavor- for a winter warmer it is clean and well rounded. Despite being short a few notches of my expectations for spice presence, the aroma is potent at the right temperature and lack of any notable imperfections makes for a highly anticipated winter brew. 4.25

(Taste) Smooth, bready roasted caramel malt syrup provides a toasty sweetness. Cinnamon is preserved best in the flavor, and raisin is also a notable compliment for a fruitcake sweetness. Ginger and orange are notable and contribute to the mild drying finish and some faint holiday spice notes to the flavor. Despite balance being slightly malty over spice-led, the malt profile is very quaffable and the holiday spices give a decent show of balance to the beer. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Smooth, slick and mildly creamy texture- carbonation doesn't come out as too spritely or intrusive, merely giving just the texture the beer needs. Mildly dry orange rind and ginger candy finish. There is a medium+ body for the style and medium body amongst all beers. Alcohol presence is low, quite well concealed by the spice profile. 4.25

(Drinkability) When compared to the world of Winter Warmers, Old Fezziwig is less adventurous than its brethren, making simple choices in balancing flavor and drinkability. The malt profile is beautifully roasted and just sweet enough, flavorful and clean drinking. The spice choices were all great compliments and didn't overpower the flavor profile that the malt was pulling off. There are very enjoyable flavors and textures in this winter ale. It is one of my choice holiday brews and I recommend seeking this brew out next winter season. 4

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Vertical Notes:

2011 (1 Year, 4 months aged)

Head quality is similar in consistency and color, although it settles slightly faster than the fresh age. Body color is very similar, although a slightly more fuller crimson red tone prevails. The aroma is notably different from the fresh vintage from a huskier malted aroma with a souring note- most of the character of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel has vanished to time, but the remaining aroma still manages to carry its own, despite some booziness and rough edges. The flavor is equally impacted with a smooth and creamy grain bill with a mild boozy finish, again with no orange, ginger or spice. A bit of alcohol heat has been gained during the wait time for this beer, and the body, while even smoother than in the fresh is prickly and uneven. A lot of the viability of this beer has been lost with aging and I certainly preferred the fresh batch. It did not age particularly well.

Recommended Vintage: Fresh

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 04:16:06 | More by Jadjunk
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,801 ratings.