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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

2,969 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,969
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 46
Gots: 136 | 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: 2,969 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rajendra82
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

Old Fezziwig came exclusively in the 12 pack holiday sampler that I had to hunt down by visiting three stores today. A merrily colored label reminded me of Christmases past. The clear body was deep reddish amber in color with an ample beige head. The aroma was dominated by the spices mentioned on the label, namely cinnamon, ginger, and orange. The taste was more malty than spicy, with toffee, gingerbread, and cookie dough like sweetness. The spices were lurking just in the background and made the palette dry as they were detected. Creamy mouthfeel was enhanced by the very soft carbonation. Very little hops detected, except maybe with a little floral flourish in the bouquet, and a tiny hint of bitterness towards the end of each swallow. Cheerful, easy to drink, and warming the spirit, despite the relatively low ABV.

rajendra82, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

I found this ale in a Holiday 12 Pack, six different beers, two bottles of each.

I poured this ale in to a pilsner glass. It has a dark red/brown color and is clear. The head was beige, moderately thick, and dissipated slowly with only a little lacing.

Old Fezziwig smells great! Caramel, and chocolate malt, with some other sweet spices. The label says it contains cinnamon, ginger and orange.

The taste is a rich smokey, caramel flavor. The after taste is nice but lingers a little longer perhaps than necessary. Foods that neutralize the palate would go well with this ale.

I enjoyed Old Fezziwig. It is a nice seasonal (holiday) offering. Even the label looks like a Christmas card. I’d love to buy a six or even a twelve pack (I hear they don’t exist) of Old Fezziwig Ale. I’ll look for it early in the next holiday season. It would make a great host or hostess gift to take to a holiday gathering.

RJLarse, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of BRoberts914
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%

This beer rocks. It pisses me off that I can't get it in a sixer, but oh well. Yes, this is a legitimate winter ale, but it's a little less overpowering than some others I've had. Some purists may find that to be a problem--I don't, I love this beer! This is a fairly complex ale and is therefore best if served just slightly cool. The appearance is really lovely. It has sort of a glowing red-brown appearance that is really inticing with some nice white lacing. You can really smell the bouqet of spices; in particular, the cirtus and cinammon really show up along with LOTS of malt aroma. The taste follows suit; the caramel and chocolate malts are pretty prominent, as they should be. A twist of noble hops provides balance, and accents the sweet malts perfectly. Mouthfeel is fine, and I would drink more than one of these without thinking if I could get more than 4 at a time.

BRoberts914, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of murphysbleachers
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%

12oz bottle from a mixed 12 pack, into a pint glass:
A: Pours a brownish-red with a nice white head. Dissipates in a minute before I taste it though.
S: Smell the cinnamon the most, a few other spices are secondary (ginger is in the background).
T: I'm not always a big fan of spiced beers. You taste the cinnamon and ginger on this one in a pleasant way. Kudos for not overdoing that.
M: Rich like holiday food.
D: Glad to try it, but couldn't see myself having more than two in a sitting. If they offered it in a six pack, I'd buy it for a Christmas party, otherwise the two in the mixed 12 are enough for me. A lot of Christmas beers I've had lately are real heavy on the spices and I appreciate that this one is a little more subtle and balanced.

murphysbleachers, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of kkipple
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%

Cracked open this one on Christmas, I thought it was appropriate... Fezziwig pours a dark cherry wood color brew with little head, which eventually all but disappears.

Smells fruity, yeasty, and malty. Pretty promising, really. A hint of orange or some kind of citrus in there... also a spicyness. Ginger? Cloves? Not sure.

On first sip, Fezziwig assaults the tip of your tongue with tingly, spicy flavors, then settles for a fruity, malty taste that fills the mouth well. Nicely carbonated and fizzy. Finish is a bit dry and yeasty with a lingering malt taste. It has a rich, slightly burnt taste about it. I like it.

Mouthfeel is good but not great. Flavor disappears a bit sooner than I'd like, and I think I'd prefer this beer to be a little more robust, but then I haven't any other “Winter Warmers” to compare it to, so it loses no points here.

As tasty as this is, I'm not sure I'd have more than two in a sitting. It's not terribly filling, just doesn't seem to be the sort of thing to lend itself to quick drinking.

Bottom line: Sam Adams does it again with a wonderful, inexpensive beer that's quite different from your standard fare. Wish you could get Fezziwig year-round, I'd buy it for sure. Try if you can.

kkipple, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%

This is Samuel Adams' "other" winter warmer and it'll be nice to compare this one directly with the winter ale, which I liked but didn't love. I see an interesting dark red color, almost maroon, with almost no head or lacing at all. The nose is sweet, with obvious caramel and malt voices. Also, I detect bits of alcohol, which is usually fine for winter beers where I come from.
A lot more well balanced in taste than I oringinally figured. Lots of malt but not too sweet and accompanied by enough hop backing to make this a pretty interesting beer. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel is too carbonated and the aftertaste is a bit gritty and cloying.
This is an original and complex beer but not one that really appeals to my personal taste. I wouldn't search it out out in six pack form but at least its an honest attempt at something different from the brewer, which is appreciated.

daliandragon, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.68/5  rDev +23.8%

Excellent winter warmer from Sam Adams -- drank it from a brown 12 oz. poured into a pint glass.

Appearance was a subtle red with a very slight head. The smell was amazing -- a nice ginger/cinnamon aroma. Taste was nice and malty -- extrmely drinkable. Would love to pick this up in a six-pack or 12-pack.

Highly recommended!

oldirtycaffrey, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%

Sam Adams' Old Fezziwig Ale poured from a brown 12 oz. with a drink by date of March '06 and into a standard pint glass.

The beer poured a nice christmas red with no real head. The beer smelled of a nice, warm spicey maltiness. Fezziwig's flavor is of a nice malty character - an almost brown sugar hint - along with a similar but understated spiciness and caramel. This is a medium bodied brew that's pretty drinkable and refrains from being overly spiced but lacks much of a hop presence. A very solid christmas/winter seasonal. One I would be even willing to purchase in a 6 pack if available.

edmundfitzoil, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of wcudwight
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%

Sweet tea colored. Thin fizzy head that has better things to do than stick around in my glass. Smell is more citrusy and orange than spicey. Taste is of thick sweet malt, mild bitterness, some cinnamon and spice at the end. Mouthfeel is thin. Could be sessioned if you really like this style. Overall it's ok, but there are better beers of the style. Reminds me of Harpoon's Winter Warmer.

wcudwight, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of Enola
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%

This beer poured out with a nice sized head. The color is a deep reddish brown. The smell is of caramel. The taste is of caramel as well. The mouthfeel is pretty good. I could drink these but not an everday drinker. As far as winter warmers and Sam Adams go, the Winter Lager would be a better choice in my opinion. I may drink these again. An average beer.

Enola, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%

Dark chestnut brown pour with dark orange highlights and a thick beige head that lasts a while before depositing layers of crusty lace on my glass.

Aroma is sweet and malty with hints of caramel, chocolate, gingerbread cookie dough, and sweet citrus.

Flavor has those chewy malts with great spice notes and hints of candied orange peel. Warming and quite tastey with a nip of bittering hops in the finish, but can't touch OSA.

Body is barely medium, yet smooth and creamy textured with soft, micro carbonation.

AlexJ, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of nlmartin
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%

Poured into a pub style glass.

Appearance: This beer pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. The head was almost a inch high creamy white. Loads of staying power on the head. The beer laced in concentric circles around the glass.

Smell: The aroma was full of roasted caramel and chocolates. There was a large amount of fruityness raisins and orange citrus. Gingerbread maltyness plays with cinnamon goodness.

Taste: The taste is equal to the smell. Lots of roasted caramel and chocolate make a sweet entarance. There is a moderate amount of hoppyness that keeps the sweetness in check. Dam this is good.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a sweet meduim body. Very clean finish almost bone dry. This is a very drinkable beer. I wish it was sold in six packs or bombers.

nlmartin, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of WeymouthMike
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%

Got this out of the Sam Adams Winter Sampler. Visually this beer was gourgeous, a dark mahogany color with an inch or so off white head in a standard pint glass. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg are very profound and the taste is what I expected from the aroma. Mouthfeel is smooth with no carbonation. I think this a very good beer but the sweetness would limit me to one or two, overall I loved the Sam Sampler and would like to see something new replaced the Cranberry Lambic next year.

WeymouthMike, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Pleasantly surprised to see the Sam Adams Winter Sampler at a family Christmas party.

Pours a warm tangerine/amber tone with a finger of bubbly off-white head and some decent lacing. Smells and tastes like Christmas cookies - cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, with hints of corriander and a dash of orange peel. Has a caramel sweet malt base that gives it some heft. Mouthfeel is lager slick, matching the spice and caramel well. The spice and sweetness mean I could probably only drink one or two of these, not quite sessionable, but it's still a tasty winter warmer and welcome this time of year.

Golden2wenty1, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of stof0048
4/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Very deep, dark red, moderate lacing, little head that forms a ring around the glass.

S: Smells a bit like chocolate, hint of ginger and the orange added... I don't pick up on any of the cinnamon that it's supposedly brewed with.

T: Orange and citrus are perhaps the easiest flavors to pick out, dark malts, hint of chocolate.

M: Moderately carbonated, smooth, has a nice warm finish.

D: Pretty easy to drink, a nice beer for hanging out and sippin' on.

stof0048, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of jslot38
3.78/5  rDev 0%

12 Oz from 05-06 Winter.

Appearance: Red amber hues penetrate a deep wooden body with an off white head of a few centimeters. Lacing is lovely.

Smell: Notes of cinnamon, a few dried fruits linger through. Classic winter warmer smell. Orange and pear rinds. A few hints of alcohol.

Taste: Spices first penetrate the tongue. Cinnamon, ginger, and other spices linger into a malty backbone of dried fruit. Lingering of hop oils, but only a slight mix at first sip. Malts are a mixture of orange, raisin, and dark nuts. If just only one of these flavors had held the tongue a bit more, it would have taken 4's across the board.

Mouthfeel: Lovely level of carbonation up front, malts in the end even off the brew to allow for a smooth going down. Flavours only linger for a few moments past the downing.

Drinkability and Notes: May have to write Sam Adams a letter asking for a release of this beer in 6 packs during the winter. Could easily sit around and drink a few of these in the winter months, a winter warmer with a beautiful use of cinnamon and orange peel. At almost 6% this does great to warm you up, but won't hold you back. Something I will look forward to at the first drop of temperature.

jslot38, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of UberWasser
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a deep, dark mahogany with little light penetration. When held up to a light source, though, it isn't cloudy at all. The head develops nicely as the beer is poured, and self-settles in a bit of a Guiness Draught-like fashion. It's of a slightly dirty-white color and is made up of very fine bubbles. It dissipates quickly, but leaves some lacing on the surface and the glass.

The smell is mainly a dark fruity scent with some hints of bread dough and subtle spices. A clean hop and alcohol mix lies in the background. Not quite as rich as their Winter Lager.

The taste centers on the rich fruitiness, reminiscent of chocolate covered berries, perhaps. Rather sweet most of the way through, but ends with a subtle bitterness and a definite tinge of alcohol. Warms your throat and stomach. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but has a nice tingly carbonation that goes well with the warming sensations.

Overall, another nice winter warmer from Samuel Adams.

UberWasser, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours a dark burnished copper with an off-white head that is rather short-lived but left much lacing in its wake. Aroma is spice (cinnamon) and malts and vinous hops. Flavor is hoppy up front wth a cinnamon middle and a malty finish. Tasty. This brew is a nice treat on a december evening.

Citadel82, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Appearance: Dark cola ruby brown hue forms a nice tan head with two finger measure tan head leaves thick even lacing, not bad. Aroma: Definite citrus tones along with holiday spices and a bready biscuit malt with caramel notes as well. Taste: Darker roasted malts bring a roasty sweetness, somewhat tart and bitter with orange peel and ginger additions coating the palate a bit mixes well with slightly burnt roasts. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied solid carbonation flows nicely for some holiday cheer. Drinkability: Very festive Sam Adams offering I've tried many times just 2 bottles per 12 pack, shame no sixers are available.

WVbeergeek, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Bottle into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Medium red-brown with thick, cream-colored head that sticks to the glass and stays to the end.

Smell: Malty at first; as it warms the spices start to become more apparent.

Taste: Bready, toasty, and caramel malts; light spicy flavour from the ginger and cinnamon, just a hint of the orange peel.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick and creamy.

Drinkability: I could deal with another, but, as I find with many Sam Adams brews, it's too sweet to really drink a lot of it.

MurphyMacManus, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of rowew
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%

Presentation: Festive looking 12 oz bottle with bestby notched on the side.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown with a great off-white head. Good retention.

Smell: Lots of years, mixed with some nice spice aroma and bready malty.

Taste: Starts off with a slightly sweet malt flavor, and then the spices come in. Not at all overpowering - they mix nicely with the sweet malt.

Overall impression: Decent winter warmer - the spices are complimentary and it is pretty drinkable.

rowew, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of Bitterbill
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured from the bottle(room temp) with a good sized head that dissipated to a fine ring around the edge of the glass. The colour is a very attractive deep gold.

The smell was sweetish and there was defintely some spiciness there though I couldn't pick out which they were.

The taste was a mix of malt sweetness and nutmeg and even a bit of chocolate...nice brew! Oh yes....now there's some cinnamon notes also hitting my taste buds. Ok, like I was saying, nice brew!

I got this in the holiday pack(well duh) and it's the main reason I bought it because I haven't had it in many years. Good to see that it's *still* made to be a quality product.

Bitterbill, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of skynxnex
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

Notched to drink by March, 2006. Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip with a small white head with moderate lacing. Color is Brown transparent red.

Smell is sweet; some spice and a hint of ginger. Taste is sweet, toasty, and a bit of alcohol. There are also notes of that spice and citrus rind that balance the sweetness. Mild hops. Perfectly normal mouth feel and although one bottle is very drinkable, it's a bit sweet for more than one. Very nice beer.

skynxnex, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of evanackerman
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

this is a very interesting beer! the nose is oranges and ginger, the taste is very complex, the first thing i noticed was cinnamon followed by dark malt followed by hop bitterness with an orange aftertaste - this beer has an exeptionally long finish that rivals any wine i've ever tasted.

mouthfeel is superb. drinkability scores a bit lower simply because one is probably enough (this is in now way a bad thing).

great beer, i'll look forward to it on the holidays.

evanackerman, Dec 03, 2005
Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours a clear chestnut brown beer with a tall light brown head.

Smell is clean and a little sweet with lots of fresh spice scents. Vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove and ginger are the individual spices I can pick out.

Taste is brown sugar with a trace of bitterness, vanilla and ginger in the first taste. Fair flavor of chocolate in this and a good amount of Christmas spices. Mostly the flavor is dominated by chocolate; vanilla, pumpkin pie spices and a woody dry bitter finish. A tasty pleasant winter beer here. There is a bit of a tongue prickle here I can't tell if it is the ginger or the carbonation.

Mouthfeel is quite good, very fine carbonation gives this a creamy mouthfeel.

Very nice drinking beer here. Nice and tasty yet no overload on spice, alcohol or hops. Recommended for everyone.

Zorro, Dec 03, 2005
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,969 ratings.