1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

3,179 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,179
Reviews: 1,325
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 63
Gots: 236 | 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)
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,179 | Reviews: 1,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep translucent brown with garnet-red tones on the edges. Nice head leaves some lacing and retains very well.

S- Smells like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, caramel, and somewhat citric

T- Tastes sorta like it smells but some piney, semi-bitter hops become apparent and cover some of the off-flavors from the spices. Caramel malts carry the flavor from start to finish

M- Quite a nice, chewy mouthfeel fitting for a "holiday cookie" of a beer.

D- Drinks well, but nothing this rich and spicy can be "chuggable"

Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass.

Deep reddish copper with a two finger head.

Smelled of malt and spice

Taste was complex with dark fruit, lots of malt, heavy ginger, and a good cinnamon finish.

Could through a few of these back to ease the holiday madness.

Photo of ajmoody76
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

twelve ounce bottle pours dark copper with a one finger tan head. clear. looks good.

fruity nose. sweet smell. makes me think of the color red. no off odors.

sweet malt base. fruity with a nice bite. pretty clean aftertaste.

mid body beer. good carbonation. drank well. i like this beer. i will drink again.

Photo of HoustonTX
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Old Fezziwig

Pours dark clouded ruby brown, with ample carbonation, but a weak head.

Aroma of ginger, chocolate and caramel malt, and oranges.

Taste is very assertive. Tingles the palate right away with a snapping spiciness(cinnamon). Residual sugars including roasted barley and dark chocolate. Spiciness midway through with the cinnamon being crisp and melding well with the chocolate. Ginger adds a twang, and the oranges are non apparent. Finishes with a sweet ginger note, with mild notes of light florals and spices.

A nice holiday offering.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Deep, dark amber with a garnet tint. Two fingers of tan head rise with decent retention. Head falls to a thick cap with moderate lacing.

S - Great aroma. Lots of spice with ginger and clove sticking out the most. Some orange peel pulls through as well with other Christmas-like spices. Sweet butterscotch aroma from the malt holds everything together.

T - Very much in line with the nose. Butterscotch/caramel mingles with cinnamon/allspice flavor upfront with the sweetness gradually tapering off somewhat. Mid palate a sort of sourness comes into play with mild earthy tones. Afterwards the full force of the spices hit with ginger as the top note and a healthy dose of orange peel. Finish is semi-sweet and bready/nutty.

M - Near the full side of medium bodied. The brew gets a little watery in the middle but overall holds it's own. Carbonation is low to moderate, accenting the spices well.

D - A little spicy to have more than a couple of, but certainly a great way to start an evening. Very good beer.

Photo of 6stringfunk
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a Winter Classic pack.
Appearance - poured dark brown with little head. I suspect my glassware may be a problem, since I've gotten no head from the last few beers I've poured.

Smell - sweet smell of malts, toffee.

Taste - Malts, toffee and yeast. Some bitterness coming through on the end.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation with a medium feel and coating on the tongue.

Drinkability - very drinkable. I'm finding a don't care for hops too much as I'm new to beer, so this one is definitely good for me.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint the beer was a medium chestnut brown with a creamy just off white head. Very still in the glass and some decent lacing throughout.

The nose is malty with cereal grains, nutty with hints of dates, figs, gingerbread and sugar cookies.

The taste is semi-sweet malt upfront with a nutty caramel backing. Sweetness gives way to spice: touch of cinnamon, ginger, figs, raisins, prunes, and gingerbread.

Medium body with a hints of a robust finish, but diminished a bit with the spice.

A solid beer but a bit to "spicy" from my taste. Not "over the top throw everything into the kettle spicy" but just a bit more than I care for. I like with the warm from winter warmers comes from alcohol and sweet maltiness. Still, an enjoyable session winter beer.

Photo of AChamberlain
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Winter Pak.

A: Cool label, different from the basic Sam Adams packaging. Dark amber color. Thin offwhite head with delicate lacing.

S: Spices, vanilla, great malt aroma.

T: Almost a perfect aroma/flavor match. Exactly what I was expecting after smelling. vanilla and spices.

M: Smooth with a slight zest. Medium bodied.

D: Decent. Good overall. I have other winter

Photo of Soozy
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a dark ruby color, very dark almost like molasses.

S-Smells like raisins, some spices, couldn't pick up on much else

T-Tastes like caramel and chocolate, a hint of spices. Nothing overpowering, a very well balanced holiday beer.

M-Low carbonation, smooth.

D-Decent, could only have one or so of these, but it's a nice treat to compliment the season. I'd suggest it to others.

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

Everyone's favorite beer found only 2 beers per 12 pack. This winter warmer pours a deep brown liquid with a fleeting off white head. Lots of sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet cinnamon spiced desserts. Fruit and nuts are also present. Taste is the above Christmas dessert platter livened up by a nice hop addition. Mouthfeel is helped a lot by the hop aspect, otherwise it might just be too full of a brew. That said it's still very drinkable and very enjoyable!

Photo of Beerislife652854
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle surprised me (San Adams winter variety 12-pack).

A - Crystal-clear dark amber/ red with a small white head that laces the glass amazingly thoroughly.

S - Apples and pears.

T - Classic Sam Adams. Flowery hops, a bit sweet at first with a slightly bitter finish.

M - Slight carbonation, almost a silky smooth finish.

D - A lighter brew than most Sam Adams beers.

Photo of Matty1918
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an Imperial Pint Glass.

Pours a nice dark amber with a nice 2 finger faomy head. A descent amount of lacing on the glass throughout the entire beer.

Aroma is of cinnamon, citrus and sweet malts.

The first sip is spicey...cinnamon with a touch of nutmeg. There is also a touch of hops...dry bitterness....This is followed up by a hint of citrus then sweet, toasted malts. The malts really finish the beer. Very nice and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is nice....good carbonation....not too watery but not to full.

Overall this is a well brewed beer. I wish they would sell this in a 12 pack. Go buy some.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber/redish color. Gives a decent 1 finger tan foam head that did not last long.

S: The smell is of a lots of holidays spices and gingerbread cookies, with some vague hints of caramel.

T: The taste was a solid mixture of gingerbread, brown sugar, caramel, dried fruit and spice. I was surpised how they mixed together without one really dominant flavor.

M: Just a wee bit too much carbonation, but still left a sweet taste on the palate.

D: When I sit around the fire for the holidays this will be one of the beers in the fridge that I will certainly enjoy.

Photo of froghop
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear light brown with a red tint, thin off-white head, just a bit of lacing.

smell is of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other christmas type spices, malt, some caramel.

taste is a little on the watery side, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and malts, ends a little bitter.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Pours a dark amber with a towering, long lasting head that sticks all around the glass.

Aroma is fruity hops with a sugary caramel smell. Fruity yeast aromas hint at a trippel.

Flavor is nice floral hops with a smooth caramel sweetness to the grain. The yeast really stands out and gives a wonderful profile to the flavor. The roast of the grain is perfect which lends a very nice profile that is not to sweet. Candy sugars add a nice deepness to the beer. Creamy and smooth. Very good.

Might seem weird but after a few deep quaffs I seem to get nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of clove that I didn't notice earlier because I was wrapped up in the yeast profile.

Mouthfeel is creamy and a little light for the immense flavor from this one.

Good beer, I could definitely drink a few of these.

Photo of chaunur
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass a dark brown color with a hint of reddness, produced a nice 1 inch head light tan in color. Very good aroma bringing back memories of my Mom cooking for Christmas, loved the sweet spicey effect. The taste followed the smell with a strong presence of holiday spices. This went down very easy, and wish I could buy it without having to buy a sampler.

Photo of jwinship83
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- dark ruby red color with a small cream colored head.

S- lots of spices. lots of ginger and fruit. cherries mostly

T- lots of gingerbread. reminds me of christmas. some cherry but not as much as i could smell. other spices in there too, i just cant name them. possibly cinnamon.

M- light to medium body with lots of carbonation.

D- an interesting beer with alot going on. i can see why people want this one sold on its own. i could drink more than one in a sitting, but not a whole ton. check it out if you get the chance. the winter mixed pack is a winner.

Photo of marcpal
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the Sammy Winter Pack. Poured into warm pint glass.

Bottle Graphic: 7/10. Got me thinking happy holidays.

A: Shimmering red color with a fluffy white head. Deep amber with tiniest visible carbonation after searching for it. It is what it is.

S: Truly smells of gingerbread cookie, and then I read the bottle. They are spot on. Definitive dried cherries like a dried fruitcake. Cloves and spices also present.

They should make scented candles that smell this good.

T: It may be the label or the thought of orange rind, this is the closest semblance to fruitcake, good fruitcake, Ive ever tasted in a bottle.

Brown sugar, candied ginger, cookie dough. I get everything but chocolate and love every sip of it. Im a sucker and will probably buy more of this mix packs and pawn off the lesser selections of the pack to guests- the ones Ive had arent bad but Im a bit fearful of the cran lambic.

M: Creamy and a fairly thick body. Sweetness plays on the tongue, aftertaste again of a cookie.

D: Winter warmer is a broad category that usually has be expecting something with fuel like Mad Elf but this one is mild yet still warming. It was definitely comforting with some fresh baked cookies.

It has taken me too long to try this beer. Im not entire sure what a winter warmer category really is but given that I cant depict myself sipping on this in July, it fits the bill. It is terrific, why cant they just pump out six packs of this or even 22oz bottles?
Merry Christmas.

Photo of soupyman10
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really tasty addition to the tasters pack. This one is just what a winter warmer should be. A fairly deep brown color with a solid head and a touch of lacing. Nose is super malty, caramel and toffee, with a bunch of spices tossed around in there as well. A touch of hoppiness, but this very much a spicy malt brew, and not a huge alcohol presence either. A solid mix of dried fruit in there. Body is medium with appropriate carbonation. I liked this one a lot. A good, tasty, fairly straightforward good winter-drinking brew. Overall, a very tasty beer, and an excellent entry to the winter warmer style.

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

Very beautiful dark red color that looks slightly purple in the glass. Head got very thin with some lace.

Moderate nose with spices and fruits. Ginger, orange, and cinamon.

Tasted like the spices with some dark malt flavors. The chocolate malt flavors really complemented the spice flavoring.

Very smooth drink all the way through. After the sip is a nice dark fruit finish. Very good drinkability. This had a nice full body but it was like a dessert; once you have a sip you want another.

This paired really well with ginger cookies, just like the bottle said. I'll have to buy another mix pack this season, suggestions welcome for what I should do with the cranberry lambic.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Samuel Adams shaker glass. Appears a clear brown/amber color with about two fingers of ecru head that dissipates to a thin layer within a few minutes. Smells of rich dark fruits such as cherries, and plums. There are also notes of cinnamon, ginger and caramel malt. Taste is bready, cinnamon, mildly spicy ginger, and cherries with a bitter finish. Medium in both body and carbonation. I look forward to a few bottles of this each holiday season.

Photo of 1fastz28
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

haven't had this stuff in ages, and never previously reviewed it. it looks pretty much identical to soda, has the same dark caramel color to it, as well as a similar style head. taste is interesting, but i remember the first time i tasted it, it was a completely new experience. the cinnamon and ginger really come through in the smell and the flavor, also an overall nice maltiness is present, just a real nice mixture of flavors, a really nice winter brew.

Photo of matt062286
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a glass tankard. Came as part of the Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack.

Appearance - Deep golden, reddish brown with a short, tan colored head that dissipates quickly and maintains a bit around the edges. Decent lacing as well.

Smell - rustic with a subtle note of the malt.

Taste - A bit sweet with a hint of maple syrup. Some hints of citrus fruit, and a slight aftertaste of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel - A bit thick and syrupy, which causes it to stick in the mouth for a bit after drinking. Decent amount of carbonation which results in a hearty belch.

Drinkability - Even though this beer is classified as a winter warmer, it tastes to me more like a bock. In that case, I think there are better options out there. Not much of a session beer for me due to the thick aftertaste and overall heaviness. All in all, not bad; Sam Adams has yet to miss it's mark, other than the Black Lager ;)

Photo of bum732
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper red, not much head. Smell is strong with orange, cinnamon, vanilla and sweet malt. Taste has orange up front and bitter orange rind at the end. Nice sweet profile throughout, ends sweet but bitter. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich.

Very good beer, fits the classic winter warmer profile. Orange bitterness near the end drags down the drinkability a tad, but still very nice.

Photo of KeefD
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber brown color with red highlights. Head is minimal on this one and lacing is sparse. Spicy aroma, notes of cinnamon and orange peel with a light citrus aroma in the background. Flavor has a nice spicy quality, lots of caramel malt, hints of chocolate and orange. Somewhat sweet, bitter in the middle, and dry on the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, slick and semi-chewy. I liked this winter warmer, and like most BAs, I wish they made it available in sixers instead of only in the holiday mixed pack, but I must say I enjoy the Winter Lager more.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,179 ratings.