1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,275 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,275
Reviews: 1,347
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 68
Gots: 343 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 3,275 | Reviews: 1,347
Photo of popery
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised by how good I found this beer. Admittedly, I don't have as much experience with Boston Beer as most people on Beeradvocate. I haven't liked all their beers, but this beer is excellent, only second for me to the Imperial Pilsner for the brewery. The nose has some nice notes of orange rind and cinnamon. The flavor is sweet and malty and hits a lot of good notes as a winter warmer for me. The spice is not overpowering or artificial. The aftertaste could use a bit more bitterness, but the malt is a so nice that it's not a big complaint. The look also works well for me as a winter warmer with deep, rich brown liquid and some alright lacing. It's a very good beer and one of my favorite winter warmers.

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

Purchased as part of this year's Winter Classics mix pack.

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, Old Fezziwig pours a clear reddish-copper color with a tan colored head that settles to a thin layer, leaving a few wisps of lacing after each sip.

S- Toasty malts, dark fruits, molasses and brown sugar. The aroma is dominated by malt sweetness and mild spice.

T- Dark, fruity malts, molasses and various holiday spices. No balancing bitterness to be found. This is a malt lover's winter warmer for sure.

M- A full-bodied feel with medium carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. The 5.9% ABV makes this an easy beer to

Another decent offering from the Winter Classics mix pacK.

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

12oz to imperial pint, pours a maple golden brown with a creamy tan head that hangs around for quite a while, good carbonation

smells of orange zest, spices, hops, biscuity malt

taste is sweet, bready, spices, yeast tastes like a sam adams standard, orange peel is sharp, toffee/caramel maltiness, reminds me of christmas

mouthfeel is slightly creamy, great carbonation, spices are balanced, sweetness is a little overpowering but still good. Easy to drink, but i think i like great lakes christmas ale a little more.

Photo of scaliasux
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium amber brown. Clear. Thick and persistent off-white head.

Smell - Sweet maltiness most prominent. Hint of yeastiness and undefined spice.

Taste - Nice sweet roasted malt flavor. Nicely balanced with an unobtrusive hops finish. Kind of a dark coffee with just a little spice of some sort. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Full and creamy. Just a bit of alcohol warmth.

Drinkability - Feels just about perfect for the season. Sure to become a winter classic in my fridge.

Photo of beerman21
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- burnt orange with a white head dissipating quickly to a sticky swirl on top.

s- most prominent to me is orange peel and roasted malts a kind of candy sweetness came through with cloves and cinnamon in the background.

t- very malty with a crisp orange and holiday spice. taste lingers in the mouth a bit.

m- just about right not to watery but not thick either after taste lingers but not to long were its not enjoyable.

d- pretty drinkable only wish this stuff came in six packs.

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

A: Deep, clear red/copper color. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated steadily to a skim. Broken lacing.

S: Roasted malts, cinnamon and a hint of caramel - that's about it.

T: Roasted malts, toffee, nuts and cinnamon. Spicy clove and a lingering hop finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body. Carbonation nicely balance.

D: Very enjoyable and very drinkable without being overdone.

Photo of gearkraft
4.82/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep rich brown with progressively amber hints towards edges of light. Moderately mild lacing.
S: A bountiful burst of roasted malts. Reminds me of a Winter Ale type smell. Very smooth and soothing.
T: A simply delicious malty burst, hints of spices, maybe cinnamon or cider. The longer the beer tingles in your mouth, the more smooth complex-malted flavors you experience. Flavor fades to a slight hopped effervescence.
M: Relaxing and warming, even though served cold. Samuel Adams got this winter warmer spot on. I wish it was brewed year round.
D: Drinkability is as high as it gets. Good flavor, good looks...Spot on from the ol' Boston Boys.

Photo of cpn920
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

part of sampler pack. Pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was an amber color with a thin head. Smelled predominantly of caramel, cinammon maybe. The taste was malty and smooth. I was expecting a much heavier beer. It definitely tasted better to me as it warmed a little, I was better able to distinguish the subtle flavors. Overall a nice winter beer.

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Nice dark amber colored beer with a big fluffy tan head on top.
S: Sweet caramel, a bit of spices, and a bit of hops (on the oily side). Slight chocolatey malty notes on later sniffs.
T: Semisweet caramels at first and a little (unidentifiable) bitterness towards the middle. Finish is kinda grainy and strained. Oddly combined, a mix of all of the smells but in the wrong order almost.
M: Okay, odd harshness in the finish, tho.
D: Pretty good. Certainly fits the title of a "warmer."

Photo of yesyouam
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale is an absolutely crystal clear dark carmine beer with a foamy, coffee-ice-cream-colored head that has great retention and leaves excellent lacing. Dark wooden spice dominates the aroma. The ginger is sharp and hot in the nose. It smells roasty and boozy-sweet; earthy and dank. It's medium bodied and pretty smooth. It leaves the tongue a bit gritty, like drinking a Coke. The malt sets up a nice, deep, semi-sweet base for the spices. The cinnamon and ginger come first. Then, there is a strange hand-off to the orange peel. There isn't really anything in the mid-range of this flavor. The spices seem to overpower the hops. Not very strong or bold, but not really a session ale.
(rated Dec 1, 2007)

Photo of July2Nov
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice darker amber color, with minimal head and a light lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel hints with a slightly sweet citrus tone.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth and sweet off the bat, like honey....then the barley malts come in. Has an nice roasted flavor that leaves the mouth with a mellow and slightly critic aftertaste. Mildly spiced near the end (probably the ginger and cinnamon). The different taste levels are all throughout this brew.

Drinkability: Nice version of a winter warmer. Too bad this one is seasonal, as i could see the fridge stocked with this one constantly.

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

Pours with a little head which quickly dissipates. Beer is a coppery color with carbonation. Smell is malty and sweet like most winter warmers. Malty sweet taste with just a hint of hoppy bit on the back to let you know its beer, overall not too bad, rather unremarkable though.

Photo of Hokies
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep amber red hue with a nice off-white head with a thin slightly sticky lace on the glass.

A very nice aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg with a rich caramel malt backbone.

It starts off with a nice roasted malt with a lot of sweetness from the malt. The sweetness is not overwhelming as the malt and spices blend well together between the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. A light hop flavor takes over before the malt finishes off the taste.

A really nice winter warmer just wish they this available in six packs.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought a whole holiday sampler just for this beer. I think Sam Adams does it on purpose. Bastards.

Pours ruby red/brown with a nice dark white head. Some lace.

Smells like Luden's cherry cough drops. Blackberry, caramel malt, and xmas spice as well.

This is candy beer. Tastes like some one melted down the bowl of hard candy that every receptionist at every office has. Sweet, syrupy taste throughout. Orange rind and ginger cut through the melted hard candy taste a little. Good, but too sweet to drink a lot of this.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pristine dark amber beer, quite beautiful, really. A thick tan head formed from a hearty pour, which retained nicely with some lacing.

S-Spices, some nutmeg and cinnamon. The spiciness pretty much hijacks the aroma, with some caramelly malts barely able to come through, but enjoyed when they do.

T-I can definitely taste the ginger and cinnamon in the flavor as they kick in, but they are not as overwhelming as in the aroma. Caramel and biscuity malts appear to balace the spices. There's also some citrusy character coming through before the beer finishes mildly bitter.

M-carbonation is low enough to allow the nice spices to come through. Medium body is rather boring.

D-An enjoyable one to have a couple times each winter. I think this beer has one of the more pronounced spice flavors among the spiced winter/holiday beers.

Photo of prototypic
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This is a unique color. It's a darker shade of brown, but has a very distinct cranberry twist to it. The head is tan and about a finger deep. It left a sticky coat of lace, but it is on the lighter side of the spectrum.

Smell: The nose is spice heavy up front. Smells like cinnamon for the most part, but there's a touch of nutmeg there, too. Caramel and toasted malts smell sweet and really give it a nice holiday vibe. Works for the nose anyway. Hops aren't to be forgotten here. They're not a primary feature, but clearly have a nice presence.

Taste: I've got admit, I'm surprised. I expected to like this beer, but not nearly this much. This is one tasty holiday beer. Caramel and toasted malts are the predominant flavor. They're a little sweet, but provide an excellent base. The spices are a work of art. Cinnamon is the most pronounced flavor, but nutmeg and ginger are noted. It's an excellent mix that complements the malt flavor really well. Hops give it a little punch that's very effective. Everything works in tandem to produce a flavor that delivers...in a big way. Wow!

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The mouthfeel is spot-on. It's medium bodied, very creamy, and smooth. Carbonation is on the lighter side and really helps smooth it out a lot. Drinkability is excellent. Low abv and huge flavor yields a brew I'm proud to sip on all night long.

BBC hit a homerun with this one. It really exceeded my expectations a great deal. I was expecting good, but this is excellent. It's unfortunate that Sam Adams releases the Winter Lager in 6 and 12 packs yet confines this to the seasonal mix pack. This is far superior to the Winter Lager and deserves to be their primary winter seasonal release. At least that's my $.02. Highly recommended.

Photo of skrib09
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a dark red/brown with a tan head. ok lacing but the head faded rather quickly.

smells malty with some of the spices coming through.

decent balance in the taste. i get some roasty malts mixed in with a hint of the winter spices.

a good carbinated feel if i let it roll towards the back of my tongue. good mouthfeel... roasty.

average drinkability.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note, this beer is much more enjoyable at cellar temperature. It loses most of its attraction in the fridge.

A- A festive deep ruby red with a light tan head that settles rapidly. Very attractive, but I wish there was a bit more head retention.

S-Pungent sweet malts and a hint of cinnamon and fruit.

T-Creamy sweet caramel malt and toffee and nuts with a very light hint of cinnamon. Spicing here is very subtle and plays into the holiday theme without overpowering the brew. A mild lingering astringent hop afterbite balances out the sweetness yet still allows it to shine. Very well done.

M-Creamy, smooth, Balanced carbonation, a tad lighter than medium but well done overall.

D-Very drinkable without being cloying or tiresome like some warmers. I regret that this only seems to be available in the winter 12 pack....Everyone says the same thing...love to have this one in sixers during the holiday season but I guess there needs to be some reason to sell that Winter Classics box. Probably my favorite SA brew.

Photo of malcontent
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, clear mahogany pour with a pretty darn good, off-white head. Looks nice.

Shows the same, buttery odor that a number of SA's lesser beers do. Buried underneath are some genuinely nice roasted and nutty aromas but no real spice notes to speak of. Isn't that the point of a winter warmer?

Once again, the diacetyl comes through more than it should. Fortunately there is a strong measure of nuttiness on the palate as well complimented by a combination of burnt and hop bitterness on the finish. I get a touch of gingerbread on the finish but mostly this seems like an amped-up brown ale. Not bad.

A tad slick on the finish but good body throughout and mellow carbonation is right for the style. In fact, it might have benefited from a bit less. Overall, one of the more drinkable winter warmers and one that could easily find enjoyment outside of the season.

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

Pours dark brown with hints of red in the light passing through and a slightly off white head. It resembles pepsi quite a bit, actually. Smells raisiny, chocolatey, malty.
Tastes sort of like an alt bier. Really malty and fig-like. Aftertaste is nice, a bit dry in the mouth. Aftertaste doesn't linger much. Mouth is slightly viscous but medium balanced..
Certainly the best part of the holiday sampler. Too bad its not available on its own though.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice medium brown/reddish color. Off white/tan head which holds shape most of the way through.

S - Quite complex...a little bit sweet, a little citrus in there, and a little floral. Individual flavors are hard to pick out but I get a little orange ad cinnamon in there.

T - Sam here, it starts off sweet with the caramel malt but then turns citrusy. It finishes a little bitter with a slight sweetness in there.

M/D - Not a lot of carbonation and a medium body. Very creamy on the palate and easy to drink.

One of the more complex beers Sam Adams has ever made...I wish they would sell it on it's own and not in mix packs.

Photo of sonicdescent
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a Holiday Sampler, poured into a pint glass.

A=Decent looking knuckle sized head that dissapeared after a few minutes, left minimal lacing.

S=Just slightly above average smell, hints of the cinnamon described on the label.

T=Probably the most interesting in the sampler, but no one flavor jumped out at me.

M=Smooth but not too thin. Probably the highlight of this beer for me.

D=I probably wouldn't have more than one of these in any session.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Deep red/amber color with brown. Some carbonation. 1.5 finger head dissipates quickly, leaving a thin film on top and a ring around the glass. Lacing sticks.

S: Dark fruits, some molasses/syrupy smell, hints of orange citrus.

T: Toast, some hoppy bitterness on the first sip that brings with it pepper and cloves. Finish contains hints of citrus and revives the pepper, with a slight hint of alcohol. Later sips as the glass warms reveals that the bitterness balances well with the other flavors. A nicely mixed brew.

M: Medium body, light carbonation.

D: My first try of Fezziwig, on what passes for winter in California. Quite pleasant. I'd have more of this.

Photo of phantomwyse
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Reddish brown, the color of good red mahogany with what was a sort of disappointing head given the concentration of malts.

S: Rich caramel malts, chocolate powder, slight whiff of orange and brown sugar.

T: A nuanced brown ale, to me. Cinnamon, all-spice, and just a touch of orange liqueur come to masquerade themselves on the malty dance floor.

M: Light and dry.

D: Anglophile at best. It's like a Brooks Brothers suit, classic but just a bit boring when you get down to it.

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

A: Deep amber color with somewhat active carbonation. Rocky off white head has very nice retention. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Dark fruits with a strong dose of cinnamon. A small amount of orange citrus can be smelled in the background.

T: Tastes of toasted biscuits up front. Bitterness comes on with a pepper, clove and cinnamon bite, plus a hint of citrus. Finishes with a lingering pepper bitterness.

M: Medium body is quite dry and has the right amount of fizz.

D: I really enjoyed this on the sub-zero night I drank it. A very well done warmer.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,275 ratings.