1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
very good

2,975 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,975
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 48
Gots: 139 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,975 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yelterdow
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at just under cellar temperature. This year's seasonal, 2006, with a February '07 label notch. Let's drink!

Appearance- Pours a beautiful deep amber ruby, with an alarmingly loud hiss from the bubbles going crazy upon entry. After settling to a full centimeter of soapy, off-white head, the beer is deadly still, devoid of any motion whatsoever... very fresh looking and visually rich.

Smell- Big cinnamon and gingerbread leap olympically from my glass, I can virtually picture the sugar crystals on the cookies themselves. Sumptuously appetizing and wonderfully fragrant for Winter, this beer is a sheer joy to breathe in.

Taste- The combination of caramel and chocolate malts with the natural spices create a full-bodied, roasty, interesting treat. On the sip, there is a bready, cookie-like freshness that concedes to the roasted malt notes and spices, namely the ginger and orange... and the finish is very nicely drying with some quick, easy noble hops. Very nice, a happy feelgood beer indeed.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The highlight of this tasting experience, the mouthfeel is absolutely amazing. Subtle prickliness on the tongue's end quickly moves ahead and coats the inside of the mouth... it expands and foams up impossibly, perfectly... then finishes with a grace unlike anything I've seen for the style. Wow. Big flavors, moderate alcohol strength, sublime textural structure... two big thumbs up for this year's Sam Adams Old Fezziwig.

yelterdow, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of MrHolland
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark reddish-brown with ruby hues, has a thin off white head.
Smell is of cinnamon, ginger, and orange just like the label advertises, don't pick up any hint of malts or hops with this one.
Taste is very complex with the spices up front then with a very malty aftertaste which is very satisfying on a cold night.
Mouthfeel is very thin but full bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.

MrHolland, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of gunnerman
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass, look is a reddish brown with heavy fluffy thick head that leaves awesome lace to the glass. Smell is of nuts and figs and also some roasted malts as well. Taste is a very good balanced malt with hints of spice thrown in there, though the spice is not over whelming, this beer goes down to smooth and it is a very good holiday addition.

gunnerman, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of rustymoore
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Fezziwig pours a deep amber brown with a nice thick head and good lacing. Smells much like Sam's Winter Lager. Malty with spice notes and some dried fruits etc. Taste is very sweet with spices such as nutmeg cinnamon etc. Mouthfeel is very malty and carbonated. Drinkability is very high...I will frequent this one when I can.

rustymoore, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of BurnsTau
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, deep brown, amber highlights, fizzy pale tan head. The appearance is outstanding, definitely very appealing.

Smells are definitely malty, sweetish (but not overpowering) giving way to roasty, chocolately aromas. Tastes is almost strictly of malts. Very little, if any, hops to this brew. However, it works, and well. Great malty character, hints of chocolate and spice. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, great carbonation.

Overall this beer works. Reading the description on the bottle, you think they'd play it up, but you get exactly what they advertise. A great spiced malty ale that's great for the cold nights. Definitely recommended.

BurnsTau, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of treehugger02010
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First things first, this is a great ale. I poured it from a 12 oz bottle into a "playboy" pint glass, and the first thing I noticed was the magnificant color (I really enjoy looking at a redish color drink, I have no idea why). Immediatly afterward, I noticed the smell. I hesitate to say it knocked me over, because it was such a pleasant aroma, but the smell was extremely strong. I didn't need to "waft" at all, just to pouring opened up my nasal senses. The least best thing about this ale was the mouthfeel, but that is not to say that it was bad at all. In my opinion, I was hoping for a little something extra in that department considering how great everything else was. Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of n0rmann
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my favorite beers that Sam Adams produces.

It has a nice sweet, matly taste with some spices -- I can detect ginger and cinnamon -- make it a nice winter beer.

I wish they offered it in six packs, but it is something I'd definitely like to have sitting in my fridge during the winter.

It's lightly carbonated. This was sampled out of an imperial pint glass.

n0rmann, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a winter sampler 12-pack.

This ale poured a clear, deep red-brown color with creamy, fluffy, light brown foam that persisted and left lace. The smell was malty with notes of dark caramel, cocoa, and a hint of mollasses. The taste was malty and lightly tangy with hints of fruit (oranges?) and light spices in the finish. There was low hop bitterness apparent. There was a very light memory of sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and dry with medium-full body and modest carbonation. The finish and aftertaste were dry with spices lingering. This was a very easy to drink and enjoyable winter warmer. Very nice.

UncleJimbo, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of dherling
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice copper color pours into my pint glass. I immediatly get the spicyness of the holidays in my nose. Clove, ginger, cinnamon, it's all there. When I drink this, the hops come out of nowhere (didn't get it that much in the nose), but there's some new maltyness to balance it out as well. All of the spices are there from the nose, but I also get some orange now. It surprising how smooth it finishes, a little sweeter than I would normally expect also. I could actually drink 2-3 of these, not expected out of a 'spiced' beer like this.

dherling, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle from mix-pack.

Poured a nice, dark red color with a great head. Interesting malty-sweet and spicy aroma. Clean flavor with some roastiness, malt and subtle spice background. Mouthfeel is not too light. A nice beer that is spiced well for the winter and pretty tasty.

AaronHomoya, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of bort11
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at Bubbles in Gladstone, MO as part of a mix-and match sixe, so I got it for a buck. It was only today when I noticed it was marked best by April. Only off by a month, plus if it's a drain-pour I'm only out a buck.

Poured into my Honey Brown Beer God pint glass. Color is a dark ruby red. Nice frothy head, about two fingers. It took about 4-5 minutes for it to receed. Leaving a sticky lace on the glass. Smell isn't much, but I can detect a slight hint of cinnimon.

Taste up front is a mellow chocolate malt. A bit of orange peel bitterness towards the end, and finishes with a little spiciness. The cinnimon andds to the warmth. Medium body, light on the carbonation. Kind of a dirt aftertaste, I think that's from the cinnimon.

I think this would have a bit higher drinkability in the winter. Right now in May it's already almost 90 degrees. It does come off as a bit of a holiday sweet. I'll try this again in season.

bort11, May 20, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a fun beer...unfortunately the sample I am tasting is in May so it's past it's prime. Suffering most is carbonation.
Pours a deep, deep amber ...no comment on head that disappeared immediately because I think that is due to age.
Aroma is roasted sweet malts and cinamon
Taste is sweet toasted malt, mixed winter spices and a little hops.
Mouthfeel weak, but again, I think due to age.
I enjoy the flavor of this beer a lot.

IntriqKen, May 07, 2006
Photo of PuckLSHS
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this the other night right before bed and after a pretty damn tasty meal. I was in the mood for something with a lot of flavor and when this happens, I tend to pick a winter seasonal.

I bought this about a year ago, so it had been aging a while.

The appearance was a dark red/amber. It had a nice head that went away very quickly but left a nice little lace around the top of the glass.

The beer was malty with hints of corriander, orange and vanilla. It was a nice thickness and had an overall happy mouthfeel. I am not a huge fan of Sam Adams, but I would definitely drink this one again if it was available to me. Eh, I would drink most any winter beer though...happen to like them all a lot.

PuckLSHS, May 03, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A lager with initially fizzy carbonation that fades as it warms to just significant carbonation. Clearly orange and cinammon, a spot of ginger for spice, and caramel. Weak finish. Medium mouthfeel. Rather a bold herbal tea. Nice chestnut amber colour.

Sammy, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a short and foamy off-white head and leaves a thick, even lace.

S: Cinnamon, ginger & malt with a slight bit of hops and fruitiness, but not very strong.

T: You definitely taste more hops than you smell, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a Winter Warmer and I don’t think that’s a bad thing in this case. There’s also the cinnamon, ginger & malt sweetness that you detect in the smell and remains in a faint after-taste.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, not as thick as other Winter Warmers that I’ve had.

D: Tasty and not to filling, given the style. I could definitely drink more that the two bottles that I get in one sampler 12-pack.

This was a very good beer and an excellent representation of the style. I’ve had other Winter Warmers that go overboard with the spice and sweetness. This beer gets it just right and still maintains the Sam Adams signature.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of LarryV
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark red color with a fluffy tannish head that dissipated fairly quickly. Spicy aroma of predominantly cinnamon with an underlying maltiness greets the nose. First thing I noticed upon tasting was the creamy mouthfeel followed by the definite, but not overwhelming flavor of cinnamon. Finishes with the bitterness of ginger lingering on the tongue. No cloying sweetness from this brew which is nice. I could only drink a couple of these due to the spice flavor, but for a spice beer, it's rather nice.

LarryV, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good looking beer, first a lot of head, shrinking to a nice film, with tons o' lacing down the glass. Smells of lots of cinnamon and ginger, and some orange peel on top of a slight malty base, but not much as its hard to pick up, mostly because the cinnamon is more intense. Really quite nice. Mouthfeel is carbonated up front, then melts into a smooth finish with a tinge of alcohol warming. Surprisingly, I don't get as much of the cinnamon in the taste, but get the malts and ginger, and I think a trace of orange peel in the middle, maybe some raisin, and maybe just maybe some hop in there. Overall its an interesting mix of sweet and spicy and a little bitter, and it really works quite well.When I'm taking a break from drinking it, I get a lingering malt and ginger in my mouth.

objectivemonkey, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet body with a prodigious head that provides loads of splashy lacing

Smell: Wonderful spice aromas of cinnamon, orange and a touch of ginger

Taste: Starts out with a raisiny, fruitcake flavor filled with holiday spices; mid-palate, some balancing bitterness kicks in with a touch of pithy orange and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: With enough holiday spices to make it interesting, but nothing over the top, this is quite a decent Winter Warmer

brentk56, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – light and fluffy but sizable white head. Horizontal lacing. Body is brown to dark orange.

Smell – Not much going on especially for such a highly spiced beer. You do get some spices and bready malts.

Taste – Cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel. Big bready malts. Some sweetness.

Mouthfeel – A little thin and a little sticky. A bite from the spices.

Drinkability – It is warming and tasty. Spices taste more natural than other examples. Good for the spiced end of the style. Could use a higher ABV for more “warming.” I would buy a six pack around the holidays but the two in the mix pack are just fine too.

akajimmyd, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the Sam Adams Holiday Pack. I remembered it being pretty decent in last year's, and this year's brew was also enjoyable. I'm not much of a winter warmer drinker, but I think they're solidly crafted and an appropriate name for their style!

Beer was a deep orange and poured with a nice frothy head. Lots of lacing down the glass, and very spicy to the taste. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg in it, but I don't feel the citrus notes that others have mentioned. Lots of bitterness in the back, but it doesn't seem to fully work here. Maybe I expect more warming and less of a taste/things to think about...

This beer is not as dark, thick, or simple as I thought it would be. The spices are good, but it's missing the full warming effect that I had hoped for. Still, it's pretty solid and worthy enough to have around the holidays, even if I don't get around it until February!

JerzDevl2000, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of kingjames1
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful dark amber with an attractive head, with foam islands. Good lacing throughout. Smells pretty good, with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and there is also some caramel, maple, and a hint of citrus. Great christmas brew aroma, excuse me, bouquet. Not bad, if only slightly weak in the nose. The taste adds a chocolate-mousse dimension, but again it is slightly weak. Nice, I just wish there was a little more depth in the malt 'backbone' or hops. Also, the flavors (mostly spices) are solid in themselves, but they don't seem to quite come together too well on my palate. Has a surprisingly dry finish to it, with the hops making their appearance in the after taste (bringing a bitter fruit element to the taste). Not bad, but not fantastic either. Decent mouthfeel, and fairly drinkable, I guess. Somehow I can't see myself have two or more in one sitting though.

kingjames1, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of hanco005
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Part of the Sam Adams holiday pack. Reviewed this over the holidays, just getting around to typing my notes now.

A—dark brownish red with about 1 inch head, very little lacing on the glass

S— holiday spices galore, pumpkin, cinnamon, not very strong, but well balanced

T— all the spices I smelled show up to greet my taste buds, a little sweet, very good malt flavor. This could be dessert

M—not near as thick as I expected, almost a little watery.

D—a very good holiday brew. Could have had 5-6 but only two were in the pack.

hanco005, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Appearance is a deep garnet/ruby red with brighter red coloration nearing the edges of the glass, very minimal white head diminished to light white lacing. Smells spicy and sweet, namely cinnamon and cloves, along with notes of orange,chocolate, and caramel. Tastes just as it smells once the initial rush of carbonation allows the palate to taste, finishes malty and sweet. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, but once the carbonation falls off, the beer is slick and smooth on the tongue. Overall a nice winter warmer, taste similar to SA's winter lager only less caramel and more spice. Considerably drinkable in the winter months, would likely purchase again.

danielocean03, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of Fugazme
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Dark amber and brown... excellent clarity.

Fizzy, nice head... carbonation aplenty! Good stick to the glass.

Malty, spicy, sugary, ginger, cinnamon, citrus on the whiff.

Caramel and malt. Cinnamon on the tongue.

Very smooth and easy to drink... a great beer for the time of year!

Fugazme, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of maddamish
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A short review on this one.

Maple, ginger and sugar notes blend together to make this a tasty brew. There really wasn't a strong smell coming out of this one. I was able to detect orange and a sugary/syrup kind of smell. But nothing pronounced.

Not a bad brew but just a bit on the watery end. I am more disappointed that this is only going to be available part of the year and only in the sample pack.

maddamish, Jan 21, 2006
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,975 ratings.