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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.
very good

3,086 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,086
Reviews: 1,314
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 58
Gots: 190 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,086 | Reviews: 1,314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Floydster
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from a Winter Classics pack purchased at Cooke's Family Maket in El Segundo for about ten dollars

Poured into a pint glass with a deep reddish brown color and a very small silky white head that faded away fast, left small amounts of lacing

Smell had scents of cinnamon and oranges mostly, some vanilla, gingerbread, and various sweet malts as well

Taste was not bad for this style of beer, wish it could have been a little more complex, pretty smooth though, nice sweet and dry finish, sweetness of the malts overpower the hops, so it has more of a tangy taste than bitter, can be nutty and bready at times, got different tastes almost every sip which was odd, but as it warmed the other flavors really started to come out

Could drink a few of these, alcohol content is relatively low but these can be very heavy at times, the two bottles in the twelve pack are just right

Not my favorite beer out of this Sam Adams but certainly not the worst, cannot really go wrong for the price and get to try six different beers

Floydster, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Gehrig
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the excellent Samuel Adams Winter Classics 12-pack, Old Fezziwig Ale is a genuine treat. Coupled with a good, durable head, its deep brown-red color delivers a very nice presentation. It is positively packed with mild fruity flavors like orange, some cinnamon and other spices, and is extremely smooth. All flavors blend harmoniously, and Old Fezziwig is all too easy to consume. This is really one of the best seasonal brews that Sam Adams offers, making the Holiday season all the sweeter. The only drawback is that Sam Adams doesn't market Old Fezziwig in six packs. Too bad. I guess I'll just need to get another 12-pack after the weekend.

Gehrig, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown color with a nice frothy brown head. Aroma is subtle upfront with some spice in the nose. I detect a hint of gingerbread as well. Taste is malty upfront with only a bit of the spice. The taste at the back of the throat is more reminiscent of gingerbread and spice. Very subtle and not overbearing like a few other winter warmers I've had. The finish is clean as well. Very drinkable and works well on a cold night.

Brad007, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of schoolboy
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh. More Sam Adams holiday stuff! Very nice indeed. I started my sampling with the porter, which kind of spoiled me - it is sooo good. But this baby is no slouch. I have taken a liking to spiced stuff in recent years. Things like Great Lakes Christmas Ale are not intimidating, bring it on (but watch it, those are strong).

Fezziwig is missing that kick, and has much more subtle flavor, so in the end is more drinkable (I probably rated it lower, but I am not consistent). I would never refuse one of these, but I would prefer something more powerful when drinking a "winter warmer."

I'll have to buy another Holiday Classics 12 or two so I have some to share, but this box is for me!

schoolboy, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, fair head, but leaves a nice circle of off-white bubbles around the glass.

S: Heavenly smell of gingerbread, cinnamon, Christmas cookies, citrus/orange, and malt, very inviting.

T: A heavy malt flavour, with a bit of bitter cinnamon starts off the flavour, melds with a nice ginger finish with a bit of orange. The closest beer to a liquid Christmas cookie I have ever found. Very tasty.

M: Not the most robust Winter Warmer ever, but fairly full-bodied and smooth.

D: A great Winter Warmer, one of the best, my favourite for sure out of the Sam Adams Winter Pack, why they don't put this in 6-packs is beyond me. Probably the best beer to pair with fragrant, spice-filled pumpkin pie right out of the oven. A truly fantastic beer.

Halcyondays, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of JDK
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark red amber with a nice 1 finger head than was a nice tan color. Light lacing that clung throughout.
Smells of caramel, roasted malts and a touch of hops
Nice mouthfeel, mild carbonation with a slight roasted coffee malt aftertaste.
Tastes of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts but much more mild and smooth than the Cream Ale.
I think most everybody would like this brew, it's a surprise like SA Black Lager, definately worth a try. Just wish it came in it's own 6'er instead of the Holiday 12 Pack.

JDK, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- This beer has a nice copper color with a tilt towards the red end of the spectrum; unfortunately it lacks a decent head, only producing a small ring of lace even with a fairly vigorous pour.

S- Wow, this is quite malty! Almost barleywine-like with its malt. Big caramel and butterscotch flavors dominate with a hint of raisin-like fruit. Very nice.

T- Similar to the smell, but the caramel notes aren't as strong as the aroma might indicate. There's a bit of a graininess in the flavor as well. The beer starts out fairly sweet but finishes dry with a touch of bitterness and lingering grain.

M- Kind of thin in this department; the carbonation level is decent. Pretty average.

D- Pretty good. I'd certainly have another; maybe even two.

Another nice beer from Sam Adams. I really like the malt character in this one. I've found that most Sam Adams beers have a distinctive caramelly maltiness, but this one takes it farther and succeeds. I'll echo the sentiments of many folks on here in wishing that this was put out in six-packs rather than just as a part of the Holiday mix-pack. I'd still recommend picking up the mix-pack. Aside from the infamous cranberry lambic, all the beers in it are solid.

vtfan77, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of botham
4.63/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a new Sam Adams glass. pours a dark copper color with garnet highlights. a couple fingers of light tan, creamy head sit on top, making this one a great looking brew. great lacings as well.

aroma is of roasted malts, with notes of chocolate and caramel malts. a hint of spices is present as well, possibly from cinnamon or hops. not much else for the nose, but very balanced and rich.

taste is malty up front, which brings roasty, caramel and chocolate flavors. background flavors include cinnamon and a touch of citrus. there is not much more here, but the complexity and balance are exceptional. there is nothing that would make this one better on the palate. perfectly proportioned.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy texture and a very smooth character. finish is smooth and satisfying.

drinkability is great. this is not a very filling brew, though it is bold and flavorful. an excellent flavor profile on this one. cheers!

botham, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of MMAJYK
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown with amber and red hues. Head is 1 finger of off-white and thick. Leaves nice, very thick layer that lasts the duration.

S- Orange, Ginger, Cranberry, Hint of cinnamon and pepper like spice. Honey is there as a subtle touch. After it warms a little and give the glass a quick swirl, the hops come out for you.

T- Tastes of toffee, caramel, pepper and cloves. Orange is in the aftertaste and is nice.

M- Creamy and malty but lacks thickness. Mid-carbonation and tongue feel. A little watery for a winter warmer.

D- Nice beer. A little bit "far out" for a session beer. It definitely does the job for a couple though. Hoppy Holidays!

MMAJYK, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of nickfl
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of soft, light-brown foam on top of a dark brown body with enough transparency to tell that it has good clarity.

S - Toffee, raisins and a weak coffee note. Somewhat spicy: cinnamon and cloves with a caramel backbone.

T - Lots of sweet malt and spice upfront, followed by roastiness and some subtle hop flavor. Raisins and toffee are big players here, as they are in the nose. The finish is clean and round, consisting mostly of roast malt notes and a mild alcohol warmth.

M - Medium body that doesn't linger on the palate and moderate to high carbonation.

D - A very rich and flavorful beer but not too difficult to drink. This beer has an excellent wintry character to it and it is one of the primary reasons that I buy the Sam Adams holiday sampler every year.

nickfl, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of bigchiefbc
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got two bottles out of a Sam winter pack. Initial pour shows a beautiful deep amber/red, with at least two fingers of head, then it setles down to just a touch of foam. The smell is just as described on the label, cinnamon and orange most of all, maybe a touch of nutmeg. The taste hits you with the cinnamon and nutmeg first, then the orange at the end in a nice aftertaste. I find this to be very drinkable, not as strong as some other warmers, but that's sometimes a good thing. Definitely recommended

bigchiefbc, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Ommegang chalice. Nice deep cola brown. Frothy head that sits 1/4 inch tall before turning into a thin tan layer. Leaves nice lacing as the head creeps down the glass. Lots of aroma in this beer. Foamy, chocolaty malt, roasted and nutty with brown sugar and cinnamon in the back. Full in flavor that starts like a brown ale and finishes dry and tart. The orange is what I believe pokes out right at the end that gives the tart flavor to an overall malty and porter-like beer. The roasted flavor is characteristic of a porter, but the lighter body makes it almost like a spiced schwartzbier. The body is clean and smooth with rich and mellow roasted malt. This is a great winter warmer as the fall sets in in Rochester, NY. Great value for the taste, and one of the best winter warmers I've had to date.

Rudgers73, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of JamesS
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite in the holiday pack, it has a very nice dark copper color with good head, although it has little lacing. Considering its wonderful taste, I’m always a bit disappointed in its scent, which is just average, with barely a hint of orange. Still, it has a wonderful taste, a nice crisp ale with an excellent maltiness, along with very nice spice flavors, most notably orange and nutmeg. Goes down very smoothly and is a wonderful winter warmer.

JamesS, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle> 16 oz SA Boston Lager glass

A very vibrant crimson amber color comes rushing out and up with a nice lively look creating a 1" thick and dense tan colored head, great retention and both foamy and sticky.

Roasty chocolate malt with cinnemon, herbal spices and red grapes later on as the brew warms toward room temprature. Nice aroma complexity overall.

The roasty malted flavor is perfect for winter, very reminisant of fall time actually, the malt is pretty deep with roasty, maple-oak'ed and spicey chocolate, pops right out. Way down deep there's a more subtle but spicey oats 'n wheat effect that I'm attributing to the hops and yeast creating a mighty fine balance. In the end your left with a grassy, herbal and sour lager yeast aftertaste.

This brew feels full bodied, really smooth and lively til the end. Highly enjoyable feel. This is a fine fall/winter brew with a great malt backbone and flavors that compliment the season very well.

GratefulBeerGuy, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of Overlord
2.35/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a tough beer to review, because I realize that my subjective reaction to it is probably significantly more negative than the beer's objective qualities.

Pours an attractive, ruddy red, with a dollop of nice white foam. Smells, and tastes, of malt, orange, cinnamon, more than a little vanilla, and some coffee and chocolate notes. Sounds good, but the combination, for me, was head-ache inducing. It could be that I just hate cinnamon. Put cinnamon in any product, and I'm guaranteed to hate it.

Not nearly my favorite Sam Adams offering.

Overlord, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of biggmike
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish-brown color and very aromatic. Tastes very much like a brown ale, but a bit more complex. Not much head that dissipates quickly. Pretty good beer. I liked it very much. Flavor of Chocolate and Caramel. Decent lacing on glass. Flavor is nice blend of malt and spices. Good Stuff.

biggmike, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of lonestar4lunch
2.08/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is almost the same as the AB winter warmer. Light head that dissipates quickly. A dark color with a red tint, can barely see fingers through glass. Light smell of spices, very minimal for a winter warmer. Not much here to enjoy. Not sure if this should be listed as a "winter warmer". I am not trying to be rude here but I am not a beliver of Sam Adams and this proves that it is basic if that. I just don't get how this gets such good reviews.

lonestar4lunch, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, consumed 12/06, review from memory.

A - dark brown brew, tan head.

S - spiced cinnamon coffee/malt aroma.

T - taste wasn't as nice as the smell, light spice.

M - thin, light body, no alcohol warming from this 'warmer'.

D - ok to drink, but there are 'warmer' warmers I prefer over this one.

JoeyBeerBelly, May 24, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see a loose bottle of this still around in May, so I grabbed it. On to the beer:

The beer is dark red in color, with a strong and warming scent of spices. Flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, and dextrin hit the tongue. A dry finiss from the wheat malts rounds it out, leaving bready notes on the palate. Another nice winter brew from BBC. This could be the Robin to the Winter Lager...or the other way around.

DoubleJ, May 15, 2007
Photo of PEBKAC
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A stragler hiding away in the back of the fridge, loitering will not be tolerated.

A dead pour was not very appealing, but worse things have happened. You could easily mistake this for a glass of black tea if it were not for the condensation on the glass.

Ginger, cinnamon & orange, yes it's all there. What I did particularly enjoy though, was that it wasn't that bitter, clovey orange rind in so many beers, but an appetizing, fragrant & flush orange scent. The kind of feel whenever you rip open a fresh half gallon of oj. Aside from that, a little nutmeg, & a noticable effervescence of malty wheat.

Much of the same is found in the taste, but more pronounced. At the same time though, everything is patient & working together. There is no sting of corriander up your nose, no coying sweetness making you twinge, no alcoholic fumes to make you gasp for fresh air. With just enough carbonation to keep things moving. A lovely balance that is as pleasant in the middle of spring, as it is while opening up yet another pack of BVDs from grandma.

Twelve ounces is nothing when you're happy.


PEBKAC, May 04, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adam's Old Fezziwig Ale pours a finger of fine tan foam over a
deep amber brew. Like the label says, you can pick up the cinnamon,
ginger, and orange on the nose. The flavor is sweetish malt with a suggestion
of those flavors (but mostly cinnamon). There's a bit of malty cinnamon in the
finish, but not much. That is all. Another friendly, innoffensive winter warmer.

shadow1961, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- nice clear red/brown body with tan head that fades into lacing.

S- this smells pretty good. hints of cinnamon and spice with citrus accents.

T-the cinnamon and malt are up front, sweet citrus aftertaste.

D- this is a great winter warmer to sip on and enjoy. the added flavors are more prevelant than the malt flavoring but its still pretty good.

PittBeerGirl, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of Bookseeb
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark amber in color with an off white head that disapates leaving a thin film on top. Slight smell of sweet malts, cinnamin and nutmeg. Taste appeared to be roasted caramel malt, slight orange and spice having a medium mouthfeel. Seems full bodied enough with good carbonation, but I think there are plenty other winter warmers out there that I prefer.

Bookseeb, Apr 02, 2007
Photo of EPICAC
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

They had a few beers left from a Sam Adams Holiday pack at the MIT CCR beer hour a few weeks ago. I grabbed a bottle of Old Fezziwig Ale and the Holiday Porter to try later. I served this one at around 40º F in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish brown with a thick, fluffy, beige head that thins to a patchy film.

Smell: Malty and spicy. There are notes of cinnamon, caramel and strong dark fruit.

Taste: Malty. Toasty, caramel and dark fruit upfront. Some spiciness emerges in the center with some cinnamon and orange. The finish is lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate to high carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, not overly spiced and not too sweet.

Overall: This is a very well balanced and drinkable beer. The spices are noticeable and
add a nice flavor element to the beer, but don't overpower the nice malty notes.

EPICAC, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice gentle beer. No big flavors, but still a pleasant and smooth taste. It pours a dark red with tan head. The head goes away, but there's still decent lacing. The aroma is sweet and candy-like with a bit of cocoa. The cocoa carries over into the flavor with mellow caramel malt. Very easy to drink, I always look forward to this one in the Sam Winter Sampler. Salud.

tempest, Mar 20, 2007
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,086 ratings.