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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

3,205 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,205
Reviews: 1,331
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 65
Gots: 257 | 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: 3,205 | Reviews: 1,331 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

A: Poured a dark ruby red with a light sticky beige head that quickly faded.

S: The nose is bready, with xmas spicing of nutmeg and cinnamon and dark bakers chocolate.

T: The body is deep dark roasted caramel. The palate is bready with dark dry chocolate, nutmeg, figs, dry orange peel and dry woodiness. There is also slight underlying tones of yeast fruitiness.

M: chewy and full bodied, very rich in flavor and spicing.

D: Great drinkability, festive spicing and one of my favorite seasonal by sam adams. Nice winter warmer.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves much less than one finger of an off-white head that fades to a foam ring at the edge, and it leaves isolated spots of lacing. Body is a dark garnet with ruby highlights.

Smell - apples, butterscotch, cherries, raisins, malt bread, and some cherry cola as well.

Taste - pretty much like the smell. Cherries upfront, quickly followed by apples, butterscotch, maltbread, and some spices. There is cherry cola, and slightly, there are some herbally hops on the finish, and aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied.

Drinkability - this is a merely decent ale, and I would not find it overly sessionable, as I'd prefer to move on to something else after one or two of these.

Photo of xare
4.63/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours as a semi-opaque cinnamon-brown-orangish tinted brew with a 1/8" tan head that doesn't appear to retain but carbonation is good. Pretty good for a winter warmer.

Smells like oranges with a hint of cinnamon & some ginger. Also get some touches of caramael and chocolate malt. Very pleasing and aromatic. Definitely makes me want to start chugging away.

Tastes like orangey-malt mixed with some spices (mainly cinnamon and ginger) - flavor is great with a mild kick at the end from the bitterness. There's a mild orange aftertaste which goes away rather quickly but overall, it isn't a perfect taste score but comes rather close.

Mouthfeel is rather smooth with a small jolt from the bitterness at the end - but overall, above average, just not excellent like some other styles. However, for a winter warmer / old ale type, the mouthfeel is pretty good.

Beware of its exceptional drinkability. I have to restrain myself and pace myself when drinking these - otherwise I'd find myself face down on the floor after having several of those.

Now if only I could find these in packages other than the winter packs that Sam does every year. I hope they keep this beer in the rotation as it's a major reason, if not the main reason, why I buy those winter packs.

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours clear dark maroon with a fizzy quickly fading beige head. Smell is odd at first but opens up more nicely. Some odd slightly funky or sour maltish nose, and then cinnamon comes into the picture. Definitely a bit unusual. Nice light chocolately, toasty malt flavor with a hint of spice. Body is moderate to perhaps a bit rich and surprisingly so. Hint of spice and cinnamon present and this is growing on me as it opens up after a few minutes. Maybe a hint of the noted orange is present in the finish, but I'm not even sure actually. Maybe just a faint tartness from the malt or hops. Slightly drying in the end as well. A unique very drinkable beer. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Golden red amber hue with good clarity and a good bit of head. Pretty good lacing and retention.

Soft chewy malt character with hints of spice and dark roast. Sweetness grows, as well as floral hop and bitterness. Ginger coolness to the spiciness suggests peppermint. Medium-thin body with ample carbonation.

I like that it's not over-spiced as so many holiday beers are to my pallet. Beyond that it's only okay. The flavors balance off one another for the most part. Hop bitterness is good and the malt is acceptably subtle. I think it could benefit from some more hop flavor, less ginger, and more orange. I just never really got the orange while getting my fill of ginger.

Photo of becktone
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: This beer is a clear brown in appearance with some very nice ruby highlights. Head is just the right size and has good retention. To the eyes the head is creamy and tannish in color. Doesn't keep lacing too well.

Nose: The first thought that came to mind when I brought this beer to my nose was the thought that it smelled a bit like a 3 year aged Double Bastard. Just the idea, not the exact aroma itself, the really big malt presence and alcohol. Sweet, warm, and toasty aromas are all present, caramel aromas as well. Maybe some diacetyl, all in all it has a pretty good nose.

Tongue: I was hoping that it wouldn't be here, but there is a slight metallic taste that I've picked up in most, not all of the other SA styles that I've tried. All around a sweet tasting beer, caramel notes, some chocolate. As I continuously sip on this beer I notice that the metallic taste either goes away or I start to taste other things instead, some roasted notes and dark fruits come into play. Some diacetyl on the back of the tongue after the finish.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Finish on this one is semi-dry with some warming notes as it goes down. Body is smooth and creamy, but I feel that the prickly carbonation takes away from that. Not a bad beer, but I think that I'd rather spend my time and money on others of this style, whether I'm exploring or revisiting it really does not matter, I don't think that I'll buy this, it just does not do anything for me.

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

12 oz. bottle that a great holiday label of old man tipping his hat to everybody around him that took place during the late 19th century. According to the neck label, this beer is named after "the festive character in A Christmas Carol." So I'm guessing that this suppose to be Mr. Scrooge. They had the rights to name the book, but not the character? The sides of the label has the usual stuff found on a beer label and a notched best before date of April. It's funny that don't give a year to that month.

Appearance: When poured into a Bell's Brewery pint glass, this Sam Adams is a dark crimson red that has a lightly tan colored 1/2 inch head of foam. This head of foam quickly fizzled away and transformed into a small tan film, tan foamy rings, and a few streaks of lace. It had a sweet and toasty aroma of toasted malts, buttered popcorn, chestnuts, candy sugar, and a small dash of cinnamon and ginger. The taste was slightly toasted with candy sugar, toasted malts, chestnuts, cinnamon, orange spice, plums, and then it ended with some toasted bitter hops. It was a medium bodied beer that had a full flavored aftertaste of plums, toasted malts, sugar, and a dash of cinnamon and orange spice. Basically, this beer tasted like Christmas. It was Christmas in February for me with this beer. Too bad they don't have a 6 pack of this that's available year round.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness month of May notched:

Pours ruby brown with a thin tan lasting head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is malty (caramel/toffee) with a touch of ginger and cinnamon.

The taste is of sweet caramelish malt turning toffeeish and chocolatey with ginger and a touch of cinnamon. Some orange liqueur mixes in as it warms and progresses. Very well-balanced between malty and spicy. A nod of warmth in the finish.

It just reaches full-bodied. Sweet without being sticky or syrupy. Smooth texture.

A nicely balanced winter ale. Malty with just a touch of spices to add to the flavor. Alcohol peeks through just enough to be warming without being powerful A good one to have on a wintry day, aiding drinkability. Nice!

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

A- Poured to a nice caramel looking head that left some nice lacing with every swallow. Was reddish brown in color, with being more brown than red.
S- Smelled of chocolate, coffee, and malt with a hint of alcohol.
T- Also tasted of chocolate, coffee, and malt. Also had tastes of ginger. Had that dark beer aftertaste, yummy.
M- Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation was good.
D- I could drink a few of these all the time. The ale came in a variety pack. Samuel Adams put some winners in this variety pack.

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

Poured a dark red with finger thick head.

Smells like cinnamon raisin bread mixed with some roasted malts. Very interesting. Tastes of raisin, malts, orange, and some woody flavor towards the end. I hesistate to call it a mild hop bitterness, I think it is more of a spice that I can't figure out. Very balanced and easy to drink.

I wouldn't make this an everyday drink but it was good and brought up the value of the Winter sampler after the cranberry lambic disaster.

Photo of Redwood21
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A:not bad, there is a dark color that isnt completely black but with a decent head that though ends to a thin white

S:it has a coffee first aroma followed by slight esters also smells of watered down mulling spice

T:there is an almost peaty taste to this beer, reminds me of a an isaly scotch, but mixed with a spiced porter...weird i know but there is an eartyh coffee roasted grain taste mixed with mulling spices on an end note

M:very creamy with correct carbonation it finishes a little more watery than i would have proffered.

D:decent, and i enjoy this beer, that said i dont see myself sitting down to multiples of these, not that they are readily available. that said i really liked it and would easily have one again,

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

Pours a deep reddish brown color that actually has brilliant clarity if you hold it up to the light. Nice head that stands about an inch tall following a medium pour....good stick too!

Taste is a nice balance of hops, caramel, chocolate malts, and spices (cinnamon, ginger, and orange). A very nice winter warmer too be had.

Morey's Bottom Line: If you like Anchor Christmas Ale, or Sam Adams Holiday Porter, then you'd love Old Fezziwig. Very Nice.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This last bottle had gotten passed between my friend Adam and I since Christmas. Neither of us wanted to take it, but finally I decided to open and review it.

I guess I was a bit harsh on Old Fezz...the bottle poured beautifully into my Unibroue tulip, leaving a dark, seal brown ale that lit up to a deep plum in the light. The khaki head retained fairly well, thanks to lots of bubbles from below, and left behind some decent lacing. The aroma brought soft chocolate notes, fig, raisin, and a touch of piney hops. Again, not bad at all.

The backbone of the flavor is caramel-chocolate malts, balanced with lots of fruit and spice. Citrusy, resinous hops are in there, but not anywhere like those in my favorite IPA's. The aftertaste leaves behind powdered cocoa and a touch of coffee. The body is over-carbonated, but the thickness is spot on and the finish is almost strong enough to keep my interest. Drinkability is decently high for a Winter Warmer...I'll be having this again next year.

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

Thought I'd better review this one before it gets too too late in the season. It Pours a dark, clear, bronze color with a decent sized beige cap. The aroma is nice; light sweetness of chocolate and caramel malts with distinctive orange and ginger spices, and earthy hops. The taste is light, but still pretty nice. Light amount of malt sweetness, but mostly toasted malts with some citrus coming in around the edges. A bit of nutty earth and bitter chocolate in the finish. Light-medium body with decent carbonation keeps this one quite fresh and drinkable. A fairly light and tasty offering that doesn't really border on greatness. A pretty good offering from Sammy.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderate molasses and orange hops with ginger and cinnamon on the scent. Clear reddish brown color with a tan head. Flavor is a strong fruit and spice burst at first followed by a moderately bitter finish. Not watery at all for a 5.9%, rather explosive actually.

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

I kinda mailed it in on my last two reviews so here goes.

Pours a christmas mahogany red, like santa bled on some wood.

You can smell the cinnamon and orange like it says on the bottle, maybe the spicy smell is ginger, but smells pretty good.

Tastes ok. Some caramel, sweetness, kinda weak though.

If this beer had the body of the cream stout, it would be fantastic.

Find me the biggest christmas goose you can find.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz bottle from the Winter 12 pack, this poured a nice rich brown, with a light brown head and strong lacing. Nose of floral hops, chocolate malts, and roasted nuts. Rich and smooth mouthfeel. Flavor of roasted malts with some floral overtones. Nice clean finish. Very drinkable brew.

Photo of fitzy84
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in the fridge for awhile, thought I would finally review it. The appearance is just great; hints of amber within its dark brown colors. The head thinned out relatively fast but it was pretty frothy when poured. Nice razor-thin lacing. Thick malt and caramel aromas are very explicit, almost as if your drinking the beer through your nose. The taste is a menagerie of flavors such as spices, malt and caramel. The drink is thick and not carbonated that much at all. You will definitely feel great after sitting out in the cold with this one. Samuel Adams continues in excellence!

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

Pours dark reddish brown,with a good amount of head and no lacing,a lot of carmel,and citrus aromas with a little spice.The taste is not as complex as the smell leads on,some chocolate and carmel malts are right up front with a good amount of cinnamon,and sweet citrus aftertaste.It has a medium body good amonts of carbonation,a litle dry.I found this to be very enjoyable,as well as drinkable.

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

A - Pours a deep redish brown. Very nice color with clearness for the color. Has a thick frothy head that pours a few fingers high and slowly melts away.

S - A spiced malt smell with sweetness. I pick up citrus and a cinnamon.

T - Not as much sweetness in taste as smell. It rolls over the tounge with a little citrus malt but doesn't seem to burst with any moving flavors. There is a cinnamon, ginger finishing taste. Overall I feel that the smell is much more complex than the taste.

M - Fairly smooth. A dry finish.

D - Fairly drinkable, but nothing special. I expected a little more complexity from the smell, but it just wasn't there.

Photo of NitroGen
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 oz. Brown longneck bottle from a Winter Variety 12-pack.

A: Maple syrup brown pour with a tan head that settles with no lacing.

S: Bight roasted grain, sweet malt and feint alcohol and spice for the nose.

T: Smooth roasted grains, slight caramel sweetness with a slight spicy ginger and allspice finish,

M: Very well balanced, well within the winter warmer style that is not overpowering in alcohol or spices that really do a lot of warming.

D: Nice beer that is well balanced in taste and mouthfeel, Not trying to push any boundaries as it is a ‘mild’ winter warmer. Will have the other and then wait until next years release to see how it compares.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.68/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a good amount of head.

Smell is mostly controlled by the caramel malt, some chocolate hints along with a strong orange citrus presence.

Taste has caramel at first, this follows up with a ginger twinge and finishes with a slight aftertaste of orange. Quite an interesting beer.

Easily one of the best Sam Adam's beers available, too bad they're not offered as a sixer, it would make the holiday season so much better.

Photo of shabbtastic
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yet another in the mix holiday pack. Presented in a 12oz bottle with freshness date clearly marked. Also, the label is awesome, very festive and creative (the whole dickens thing). From notes.

A - Pours a deep ruby reddish amber with a white foamy head that slowly faded into a medium size white cap. Lacing was scarce and didn't make it all the way down the glass.

S - Yum, Orange & cinnamon spice, coffee or toffee which ever were present.

T - Just like it smells. A bit more on the sweet side with a nice finish.

M - Warm and smooth. The finish is very warm, although upfront it lacks in capturing the scents.

D - Overall a medium bodied and semi creamy textured brew. This is very true to the Sam styles in its characteristics of being well balanced and not too complex.

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

I skipped the winter variety pack last year and was regretting it ever since. Finally this year's came out with this being one of the jewels of the pack.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Sam Adams glass a clear red-hued dark brown. The head starts at one finger high and drops to a thick collar with a generous amount of residual bubbles (some aided by the glass, no doubt).

SMELL: The aroma is full of all different types of smells. The spicing seems most prominent with ginger and some vague citrus notes coming out. This is accompanied by some bready malts, caramel, and chocolate. Some fruity esters make their way through, and balancing it all out is just a hint of a noble European hop aroma.

TASTE: The flavor is much more neutral than the aroma and suffers in the complexity department because of it. Caramel malts are most prominent. Soon to follow is the light spicing, foremost of which is the ginger. It finishes with the spice dominating with some esters playing backup, but everything still stays in sync with the beer as a whole enough as though not to get out of whack.

MOUTHFEEL: It's medium bodied but feels thinner than it should. Carbonation is at average and acceptable levels.

DRINKABILITY: A fantastically easy drinking with no high ABV to get in the way. It'd be easy to drink these all night if, you know, you could get more than 2 at a time.

Definitely the best of the Sam Adams Winter 12-pack. It just tastes like winter should. Delicious.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,205 ratings.