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

3,204 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,204
Reviews: 1,330
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 64
Gots: 254 | 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: 3,204 | Reviews: 1,330 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of likethetaste
4.75/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful holiday brew. Just a perfect blend of spiciness and malt. Pours a beautiful chestnut brown color with a very good head that has great lacing. Just a good beer from pour to last taste. This just taste darn Good!!!

The Sam Adams winter variety pack is the best.

Photo of DarrellK
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I looked this brew up in my database and foud that I'd tried it when it first came out over a decade ago. I gave it kind of a B-/C+ (my system is different that BA, it's a 100 pt system). The 08 version did much better than the originaland is a compliment to a semi-mass producer like BBC.

The appearance is very clear and a dark copperish color to me (I'm color-blind) about 7.5 with 10 being stout.REgardless it's lovely.

Compared to the original the nose is very pronounced. I know the bottle says cinnamo, ginger and orange but both nose and finish come off as a raisiny of maybe dates.

The mouth is not bad but compared to the other characteristics it is , while not thin, just not up,there.

The distinguising feature of the beer is the linking of the nose to the finish as one combined experience.

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

A- Dark clear brown. It was hard to get head with this beer. The, what you would call, head was very thin and was very much not paying attention to what it should have been doing.

S- Aside from having to practically stick my nose into the beer to smell it, it didn't smell to bad. It smelled more what I would look for in a winter warmer. There is a great caramel malt smell, as well as a slight smell of herbs/spices.

T- This is loaded with malts, very nice malt taste. Loaded with caramel taste. The spices are nice, and this is a solid winter warmer. I do have to say this is very similar to their Octoberfest. The only difference I'm finding are the spices that add another level of taste to the beer.

M- Feels good in the mouth, not too thick or too thin for a beer of this style.

D- Yeah this is very drinkable.

Photo of sevopie
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Solid Ruby Brown with a voluminous dark tan head.

Smell - Smells rather light, though a couple spices do stand out, namely ginger/cinnamon.

Taste - Again the spices are the mainstay, but its very malty behind all of that. Cinnamon and nutmeg are more dominant here.

Mouthfeel - On the lighter side of solid, with a moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Not too bad, a fair shade better than the cranberry "lambic" that I decided to try first. Definitely won't mind having the other here.

Photo of ewright
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark brown beer is capped by a thin layer of fluffy foam that recedes to a few islands of large bubbles. Decent lacing is left on the side of the glass.

S: Disappointingly weak aroma to this beer. Some ginger is evident, with a bit of nondescript toasted grain aromas. Faint whiffs of cinnamon lurk about as well.

T: The cinnamon is much more evident in the mouth than the nose. I also get faint notes of nutmeg, even if there isn't any in the beer. This may be from the interplay of cinnamon with toasted caramel grains. There are enough hops late to balance the malts, but no obvious flavor components come to mind.

M: As with a lot of BBC brews, I find this one a bit thin on the tongue, but with decent carbonation levels.

D: This was my first ever winter warmer back in 1995, so it holds a special bit of nostalgia for me. I look forward to it every year, but there are better winter beers than this.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice chestnut color. Aroma is ok. Malty with a low level spiciness to it. Great, great malt taste. Just enough buttery/creaminess sort of flavor. Some spices but they are so well blended against the strong maltiness that they just seem to fade into the mix. Very solid mouthfeel. Just a great beer for the holidays or winter in general. I could make a session out of this. Put this in six packs, please Jim?

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from a mixed 12-pack from Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a clear ruby-brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head. The head sticks around as a thin pancake for the life of the beer, augmented by a stream of bubbles along the edge of the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells of caramel malt, raisins, and slight spices, namely cinnamon.

Tastes of caramel malts up front, followed shortly by subtle raisin and brown sugar flavors. There are hints of cinnamon at the end, and a very slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very smooth from the low carbonation, and the thickness is good.

Drinkability is good. I could see myself having another one of these, but not too many more after that.

Overall this is a solid beer for the style, and one of the better ones that I've had. Definitely worth a shot.

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

Pours a deep ruby hue with a slight brown tinge, raising a one-finger light tan head that fizzles away fairly quickly and produces only a light amount of cling on the glass.

Smells largely of sweet toffee and butterscotch malt aromas a some fruitiness as well, with a fair bit of toasted malt aroma as well.

Body is relatively full with a decent amount of carbonation and a rather smooth mouthfeel. Very malty in flavor, with caramel, chocolate, and bread/biscuit notes filling the front, middling with a slight bitterness and a faint hint of orange peel, finishing with a sweetness and a slight toastiness that lingers long afterward.

Fairly drinkable, but wouldn't make a very good session beer; one or two of these and the maltiness would be overwhelming. The oft-spoken "Christmas cake" comparison holds very true. This is a superb brew for the holiday season.

Photo of leif86
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewery-fresh date is March.

A: Dark, dark ruby colored brew that, when held up to light, becomes apparent that it is pretty clear. Thin off white and frothy head that doesn't linger very long and near no lacing.

S: Malty (caramel) and other sweet goodness with a hint of something coffee in the back. No hops. No spices (disappointing).

T: Sweet and fruity with no hops to be found. The back labels says it is spiced up but I'm not finding that to be true. Maybe a hint of ginger. Maybe.

M: A little over carbonated for my liking, but not too bad.

D: Drinkable but I certainly wouldn't go buy this stuff. I was hoping for some subtle spices to up the taste but keep it drinkable - too bad there are near no spices (at least in this one).

Photo of nasty15108
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Sam Adams Winter Sampler. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A - Poured a a dark reddish/brown color. The pour produced a rocky head of tan foam that quickly subsided into a bubbly film. Good carbonation and lacing throughout.

S - Malty, with hints of caramel and spice. When first poured I noticed a slightly metallic aroma that went away as the ale warmed.

T - Malty up front with a slight sweetness. Finishes crisp and slightly dry. Slightly herbal with a slight sizzle from the hoppy bitterness.

MF&D - Thin/Medium bodied ale. Went down well. A nice Holiday treat.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep amber appearance. Pours with thin white head, which fades quickly, leaving nothing. Minimal lacing.

S- Smells sort of hoppy and "spicy," but nothing of note jumping out....

T- Taste is crisp, with a hint of citrus and spiciness. Slightly sweet with minimal bittering on the finish.

M- Medium...smooth.

D- Not all that spicy.... I can imagine drinking another....but no more.

Future outlook: A solid addition to the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Mix Pack, which I will surely pick up again next season.

Photo of illidurit
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark mahogany, crystal clear. Tan head, nice stickiness. Aroma is toasty caramel and light milk chocolate with obvious notes of the added ginger, orange, and cinnamon. Flavor is sweet; ashy chocolate up front with cinnamon toast, and spicy ginger in the back. A little light on body, this could be an excellent winter warmer with some more robust maltiness. Still good, one of SA's better beers.

Photo of redmagik99
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty dark brownish red with some transluscence. ok head and lacing. smells a bit portery - sweet dark malts. some spiciness comes through, mostly cinnamon. Taste has caramel malt backbone with noticable yet subtle spices. i dont taste ginger per se but i get a certain ginger snappiness along with the cinnamon. Orange peel compliments the bitterness with a slightly sweet twinge. Medium bodied in relative terms, pretty full bodied for the style. Easy drinking. I remember having this on Christmas a few years back when I first started getting into beer. Loved it then, love it now. This really makes me look forward to Old Jubilation and Anchor Christmas. Jim Koch should scrap the 2 boston lagers in the 12 pack and add 1 or 2 more of these.

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

This beer has a lot of spices and and cinnamon. There is a sweet caramel hint to it as well. It smells quite nice. The beer is a ruby red/brown colour with a little head that fades away pretty quickly. The taste of the beer is chocolaty, sweet, and the bitterness comes through with the spices. I mainly taste cinnamon, because I don't really know what ginger tastes like. The sweetness reminds me of plums mixed with a small bit of chocolate. The beer is pretty complex, actually. Each time I take a drink I get a bit more flavour than before. The mouth feel is pretty good. The beer is decently drinkable. I don't know how many I could have because it's fairly complex.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark brownish orange in color with some slight off white head.

S. Caramel malts and spicy hops. Perhaps a bit of holiday spice in there.

T. A nice malty brew that highlights a doughy like maltyness and some citric hops in there to balance. Sweet yet bitter at the same time. Some roasted tones are apparent. A bit of muddled spices make things interesting. Cinnamon, orange peel and ginger with a lingering spicy finish.

M. Medium bodied and a bit slick overall with the lingering spiciness.

D. This is a nice holiday beer and a good change of pace. I couldn't make a night of drinking these, but always look forward to seeing fezziwig when the weather changes.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, I love getting a few mixed packs of Sam Adams right around Thanksgiving/Christmas so I can have this beer. Sucks you only get 2 in each but its delicious. Chock full of Christmas spices and is absolutely beautiful. Could use a little bit of a higher ABV being a winter warmer and all but other than that it's very good.

Photo of KI9A
2.65/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wierd beer.

A: Beautiful dark cola, with a white puffy head.

S: Christmas. Nutmeg, cinnamon, spicy.

T: Too much going on. Can't pull out distinct flavors. Seems all mashed together.

M/D: Stickey finish. Almost like molasses. Had to struggle to finish the bottle. Will pass on this again.

Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the few reviews I lost (misplaced really, since I found them) of the winter seasonal pack when I first expounded into better beer drinking. I loved this w/o even looking at my notes, and I think it sucks they don't release it as a seasonal sixer at least.
Poured a auburn/ruby tinted brown with a good-sized head that is thick and dies slowly. A sweet and spicy smell, like cinnamon, with some other sweet malts. Smooth and medium-to-full body, this beer had a spiciness that I enjoy. A drying effect from some roasted/toasted malts.
While there's some sweetness in there, like chocolate and caramel, there is a good pinch of cinnamon that is very noticeable. This spiciness dominates the backend for a good, warming pick-me-up. Great on a cold winter day (in Orlando, where it's in the 50s).

Photo of changeup45
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting. Brown-amber color, pours a relatively thick tan head but that fizzles down pretty quickly to a thin layer. Not a whole lot stood out in the aroma. Flavors: spices with ginger, some bitterness, and a roasted malt and coffee finish and aftertaste. Ginger was definitely the first thing that I tasted. Very warming. I may have it again when I can sit inside and watch the snow. Good seasonal brew.

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

This holiday specialty brew shows a clear but deep brown color with red highlights and sports a decent white foam cap along with a similar lacing. The aroma gives a fairly delicate sweetness of nutmeg and malt, nothing too heavy but you detect a hint of HO, HO HO here. The flavor comes across pretty much in the medium range as compared to most holiday beers. I get lots of malt blended with the spice highlights. I do sense citrus for sure though it is not obviously orange as advertized on the label, and the cinnamon & ginger are also not so obvious but the spice is there without overwhelming the result. I pick up some charcoal and even raisin to boot. As this sort of thing goes I would call it pretty drinkable, alcohol does not seem to be an issue here, not really evident. It is mildly carbonated with a somewhat aqueous feel, not really watery though. A decent option if you want that holiday feel for more than 1 or 2 bottles worth. Worth a try.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze with reddish tint. Nice frothy head with great lacing action. The aroma is of spices(cinnamon,coriander) and notes of citrus with a hefty tone of malt.
The taste is cinnamon,ginger,spices and caramel sweetness that blends perfectly. You feel some hops in the background with the malts all around and the alcohol's turn is when you let it sit too long and it warms up.

The feel is smooth,rich and creamy. The body is moderate carbonation with a good balance of bitterness and malt.

Notes: As winter approaches and the leaves change colors I begin to yearn for the return of this brew. They should really put this in a six pack. I have to buy a few Holiday winter packs in order to get my fill and even then. This beer even makes me nostalgic for the Holidays. It is really good brew.
Love it or leave it alone.

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

Another offering from the Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack pours a deep rich chocolate brown leaving a thin spotchy lace white head. The aroma is caramel, toffee, orange, citrus, bready, nice complex nose with a hop floural aroma.

The taste is smooth, a bit tart upfront, caramel, toffee, orange rind, lemon rind, tons of citrus. Cinnamon, spicy hops and ginger a bit watery in the finish but this is a solid beer. The finish is smooth, sweet, and earthy.

Photo of rye726
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am usually a big fan of Christmas beers, but this one did not impress me. A dark bronze color with a decent tan head. The nose has dark caramel malts and a collection of mild spices. The taste is a little more powerfull. Roasted malts, nutty bread and some mild herbs and spices. I want more spice. The crisp medium body passes well over the palate.

Photo of jayrod20
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small fizzy tan head which leaves quickly, some sticky lacy afterwards. the nose is of sweet malts, slight cinnamon, slight ginger, and caramel. The taste is malty, slight cinnamon in there, and a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice/different tasty brew. Thanks Samuel Adams.

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

Another bottle from a mixed Sam Adams 6 pack.
Pours a orange-brown color with a short tan head. Not a lot of lace or head retention.
Smell of caramel malt and of cinnamon and other spice. You can taste the orange and other spices (cinnamon and ginger). Mouthfeel is smooth, good for the style. A very good winter warmer, something to look forward to next year.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,204 ratings.