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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

2,941 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,941
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 44
Gots: 124 | 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: 2,941 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakester


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%

This is from the Winter sampler case. I drank it in a goblet. Expiry date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a crystal clear ruby red with a one finger head of beige foam. The head falls to islands and a ring, with decent lacing. Carbonation looks slow.

Aroma is wonderful cinnamon and orange, with notes of vanilla, and maybe even cotton candy. Gentle spicy hops are way in the back. This smells like it's going to be yummy!

Flavor is sweet cinnamon, caramel malt, a little orange, and spices like vanilla and nutmeg. The flavor is just a tad thin compared to the smell, but enjoyable, nonetheless. Aftertaste is spicy and sweet.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, just slightly thin; refreshing for a holiday beer. Carbonation is soft, finish is shortish and spicy.

The body is just a little thin, IMO, for this to be a great beer. The spices are smartly understated, the hop character rightly low, the smell is wonderful, and the taste is very good. A damn fine example of a holiday beer, and I would drink a sixer of this anytime.

11-28-2005 16:41:36 | More by jakester
Photo of LordChesterfield


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

It pours like a translucent porter and the flavor begin like one too, but it's much more smooth. It has a light mouthfeel and it ends clean; not unlike a lager. Very lightly hopped, just enough to keep the malt in check. I don't get the winter warmer name, as It didn't make me warm....just drunk. Though it's not your typical beer as you can drink it cold during cold weather without feeling like an idiot. Anyone ever get this feeling? "It's so freakin' cold out, well time to settle down with a nice COLD BEER?!"

11-28-2005 07:42:37 | More by LordChesterfield
Photo of russpowell


4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

Bright copper to red in color with a rocky tan head that held up great and left a significant lace trail down the pint glass.

Smell: Malt, cinamon, raisins & alcohol.

Taste: Some hop bitterness on the tounge with malt, orange, brown sugar & cinamon coming through.

Mouthfeel: Thick, balanced and carbonated just right.

This would go great with gingerbread or leiberkuchen (sp?). Will try to find if I can buy just sixer vice the holiday 12 pack. Better than last year's vintage IMHO

11-28-2005 04:17:30 | More by russpowell
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours out a dark orange-brown with a finger of bubbly white head. Decent lacing left behind by this one.

Smell is spicy, with a lot of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and maltiness in there. Some little hints of cloves as well, and a light fruitiness, but I'm not getting the orange peel the bottle promised.

Flavor is nice for a winter warmer. It's malty and sweet, but the spices keep it from being cloying. The aforementioned blend of spices come through pretty clearly, particularly the ginger, which tempers the sweetness nicely. The finish is very spicy, but not in an over-the-top kind of way. Mouthfeel is medium and solidly compliments the flavor.

Overall: A very nice winter warmer; I can see what all the fuss is about. Just spicy enough.

11-28-2005 01:08:17 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of fromage


3.4/5  rDev -10.1%

Not bad, nice and spicy.

Poured into a tumbler. Nice, big, foamy, tan head that left lacing for the glass. Deep mahogany color. A fair amount of bubbling.

Nice caramel, toffee, and molasses smell, with just a bit of orange and ginger. Orange is probably more from hops than the actual orange in it.

Taste is a good deal of malty, toasted caramel with a spicy finish. Not cloying at all. Not all that complex.

Good medium mouthfeel. Quite drinkable. Not strong enough to really stand up to pumpkin pie, though. Probably good with something mild like ginger snaps or other holiday cookies.

11-27-2005 20:15:18 | More by fromage


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%

Appearance - 1 1/2" antique white creamy head atop a brown liquid with some amber tint. Good retention and great lace.

Smell - Great spice mingled with orange peels and toffee.

Taste - Sweet malt. Spice. Candied orange and cinnamon nicely placed in the background. Caramel. Slightest hint of maple. Nice hop tang in finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and medium bodied with mid level carbonation.

Drinkability - Great. Very enjoyable SA brew. It has been several years since my last Old Fezzi and I won't let that happen again.

11-27-2005 04:47:57 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of SteveO1231


4.18/5  rDev +10.6%

Working away on the Sam Adam's Winter Pack over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Pours an almost opaque dark red, nice ruby higlights. Nice bubbly tan head that thins out quickly.

Very nice malt smell, Spicy and fruity (cinnamon and of fruit cocktail.)

Nice on the palate, nice caramel matls. Nice mild fruity sweetness. Light citrus taste. Leaves a tartness on the tongue like cranberry sauce.

Very crisp, fruity and spicy. Nicely balanced but I can probably only tolorate a few at a time.

11-26-2005 20:36:22 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of mattcrill


4/5  rDev +5.8%

Enjoy by March ('06 I'm assuming) notched on the label.

Appearance: A clear amber pour with golden honey edging. A small ivory head develops that retains nicely.

Smell: Honey, maple syrup, carmel malts. Almost smells like their Double Bock. Very dark and fruity. A nice inviting aroma.

Taste: More of the same...dark fruits, honey, a bit of yeastiness at the end. To me, it tastes like they poured their Winter Lager and Double Bock together to get this. That being said, those are two of my faves from SA. No bitterness or off flavors noted.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a touch creamy with some balancing carbonation.

Drinkability: With the lower ABV and the maltiness of this beer, it's easy drinking. SA makes another winner with this one! A pleasant holiday treat.

11-26-2005 19:09:32 | More by mattcrill
Photo of KroMagnon


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Decent head but it descends rapidly. Beer is a nice amber color. The aroma is slightly malty with spices, most dominant to me is orange and vanilla. The flavor is smooth, clean, with some caramel and honey notes as well as some just plain sweetness. Hops seem present only for a little bitterness at the end. This isn't bad, its interesting, but kind of mild and also not very "ale-like"; it reminds me of a less complex, less strong Belgian ale.

11-23-2005 01:58:45 | More by KroMagnon
Photo of BrewRunner


3.83/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours a nice reddish brown color with an off white head. It has a nice head retention.

The aroma is very nice. Pretty sweet with a fruity hint to it. I wouldn't mind smelling it more often.

Taste is very pleasant. The fruit comes through a little, but not enough to distinguish it. The mounthfeel also lacks. It's just missing some thing, it feels a little watery.

But overall I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind buying a 6 pack if I'm presented with the option.

11-23-2005 00:57:36 | More by BrewRunner
Photo of kmcnair


3.63/5  rDev -4%

Another one sampled from the 2005 Sam Adams Winter Sampler.

Pours a deep dark garnet/brunette hue and makes an offwhite head. Leaves a nice bit lacing down my glass. Aroma is a hint of cinnamon and lots of roasted barley. Flavor is lightly spiced with a hint of bitterness and some roasted chocolate malts. Crisply carbonated, light to medium palate, a solid drinker with a clean dry finish. This is a solid offering from Sam Adams, I found it quite enjoyable. A brew that I am glad there are 2 of in the Winter Sampler.

11-22-2005 05:47:12 | More by kmcnair
Photo of mmmbeer


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

12 oz. with purchase before March notched on the label. Pours reddish with a hint of red and is a deep ruby in the light. The head is about a finger thick, yellow/tan, and leaves lacing on the glass from most of the sips. Smells of cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, and orange, along with floral/green hops. Roasted malts and spices on the palate, along with some bitter chocolate, traces of alcohol, and floral hops that leave a mild to medium bitterness. The mouthfeel starts medium but thickens as it warms, becoming smooth but retaining some of the tingly carbonation. A good winter spice beer.

11-22-2005 01:10:24 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of jmz62565


3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

This pours a dark amber with a very large,three finger head,It really is a nice looking beer.The smell has a little bit of spices,but there also is alittle bit of cooked veggies.It's only a little bit,but it's there.The taste has a small amount of the usual holiday spices,but I don't think it's overpowering like some reviewers.There is a sweet maltiness thats nice,but you're not bombarded with cinnamon and nutmeg.The m/f is a nice even medium feel,a good distrobution of flavor.This is an OK beer,nothing great,but not bad.I would just work on the smell.

11-21-2005 22:52:26 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Vancer


4.4/5  rDev +16.4%

Geez, I wish I could get this in a 12 pack, instead of just 2 in the winter sample pack. What a great warmer, exceptionally rich and smooth, good for 2 or for 12. Nice pour, dark caramel brown in the light, almost black in the shade. Only drawback, somewhat weak malty aroma.

The cheater label told me about the cinnamon, ginger and orange – which were in the quaff, but subtle! A medium to full bodied brew, full carbonation.

The festive label really lets you know this one is gonna be fun to drink – gotta find more!

11-21-2005 16:02:19 | More by Vancer
Photo of shbobdb


2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

Let me start by simply stating that I do not like spice-beers. But, I decided that maybe I should try and expand my palate a little, so I was kinda excited about this beer. It pours pretty much like SA's boston lager, and it smells pretty good. As my girlfriend described it, "It smells very Merry Christmas". It even poured with a nice solid head, to help me enjoy the smells.
That was where my enjoyment of this beer ended. Baaag! The cinnamon and other spices just didn't do it for me. Nononononono. I didn't want to pour it down the sink, since I figured maybe it would get better as the temperature of the beer rose. Big mistake. The spice flavours continued to dominate, and even grow in strength as the beer warmed. Man, it was like dumping a bunch of mulling spices in SA Boston Lager. Gross!
If I want a christmas drink with these spices, I'll mull some cider, or (if I want booze) make some gluehwein or some mulled mead.
Then again, I freely admit that I just don't dig spice flavours in my beer. If that's your thing, then you'd most likely love this beer. Enjoy it. I've got one that'll be sitting in my fridge for a while if you want it.

11-17-2005 17:46:54 | More by shbobdb
Photo of Tim460


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours a dark reddish brown. Off white head that shrinks quickly but never dissapears. Lace clings to side of glass. Smells like caramel and chocolate with a hint of malt sweetness and cinnamon. Tastes much like it smells but somewhat spicy. Medium bodied, creamy. This beer is very filling for me and probably wouldn't want to drink anymore than the two offered in the holiday pack at a time. This is the main reason I purchase the holiday pack and I look forward for its release every year.

11-17-2005 02:28:26 | More by Tim460
Photo of chOAKbarrell


4/5  rDev +5.8%

This one seemed much like a porter to me. It poured like one, with a rich, deep hue, and attractive head that took its time dying down.

The chocolate malts are out in force in the scent. You can also detect the orange peel slightly.

Again, the taste reminded me of a better quality porter. The caramel & toffee were noticeable, but not too overpowering. This was a very thick, almost chewy beer. Big points.

Robust & full of character! Perhaps the perfect follow-up to the disappointing cranberry lambic (which also comes in the Samuel Adams winter classics 12-pack), as it will totally take your mind off that previous beer. Too bad you cant get Old Fezziwig seperately. I would imagine it would be a brisk seller.

11-16-2005 05:27:14 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of OStrungT


4.72/5  rDev +24.9%

This beer pours a brownish red with a thick fluffy tan head that fades very slowly leaving lots of thick laces. It has a malty aroma. I also detect slight aromas of ginger and cinnimon. A slight hop presence is detectable. This beer has a spicy taste, but not overly spicy. It is mildly spicy. It tastes really good. I taste cinnimon, and ginger. Maybe cloves also. This beer has a slightly malty sweet taste. I do not taste any hop presence. This beer goes down very smooth leaving a spicy ginger like aftertaste. I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It has a mild, very good taste. It is not strong in alcohol, so you can drink a lot. I think this is a very good beer. It is a shame that it is only available in a variety pack. I dont particularly want to have to buy Sam Adams Boston Lager and Winter Lager, and certainly not Cranbuerry Lambic just to get two of these.

11-16-2005 03:38:18 | More by OStrungT
Photo of santoslhalper


3.25/5  rDev -14%

Appearence: Looks identical to the Winter Lager I just had.

Smell: The smell is a strong cinammon/spice mix with toasted malt, caramel, and spicy hop notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Spicy and hoppy at first, it finishes rather sweet, with a strong molasses and caramel flavor. The cinnamon and ginger are present throughout, acting as balancer. The mouthfeel really lacks, being mostly watered-down and thin.

Drinkability and Overall: Not terrible. Not great. It's worth a try, put do not go out of your way to try it. Meh...

11-15-2005 07:56:58 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of danielharper


3.33/5  rDev -11.9%

Purchased as part of the holiday sampler from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

The appearance is very nice on this beer, with a dark reddish-brown almost black body which let only a bit of light through topped with a thick creamy off-white head.

Very nice aroma. Malty and flavored with nice "Christmasy" spices, the beer reminded me more of a dessert than a drink. Some citrus aroma, a touch of cinnamon perhaps? Pleasant and inviting.

Taste is less good. Up front with the same spiciness I got from the aroma, but with a dry astringent finish and a bit of a rough aftertaste. Not exactly bad, but it doesn't make me yearn for more.

Mouthfeel is moderate, with mild carbonation. Enjoyable without being overwhelming.

For me taste is king in drinkability, and here I find myself not really wanting another, unfortunately. It's a decent drinker, and I think it'll go well when it starts to get colder, but not a favorite of mine.

11-15-2005 00:08:43 | More by danielharper
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.93/5  rDev +4%

Brew pours to a reddish color with a large light tan head that breaks down quickly leaving nice lace rings around the glass. The aroma is dominated by malt scents, chocolate and caramel, along with an alcohol like smell. Can pick up some spices but seem to be over shadowed but the malt, even with this it is a fine smelling brew. It is in the taste where I am able to pick up the spices, at lease cinnamon, which goes well with the malt flavors. The malt flavors seem to lend themselves to being more caramel, than the chocolate that was also picked up with the nose. Over all this is a fine brew and a favorite for a number of years at the holiday’s. Very drinkable.

11-13-2005 02:53:26 | More by Stimack
Photo of Celt44

New York

3.28/5  rDev -13.2%

Bottle reviewed came from a Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack - great packaging!
Appearance is a very dark copper with a medium head - lacing lasts throughout.
Aroma is spicy - strong cinnamon. Alcohol is present
Tastes of citrus/orange but cinnamon is definitely upfront.
Mouthfeel is smooth without too much carbonation. Spicy cinnamon adds a kick.
Overall a pretty decent holiday offering from Sam Adams - It definitely warms the belly! I prefer the Winter Lager and Holiday Porter as seasonals.
Is it just me, or does the chick on the label look exactly like Madonna??

11-12-2005 23:44:59 | More by Celt44
Photo of cubedbee


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%

This is my first beer from my first winter sampler pack. Pours a dark reddish brown with a huge fluffy beige hea, good retention, nice lacing. Nose is fairly subdued, a slight cinammony malt, faint citrus, mild ginger, brown sugar. Taste is a nice slightly roasted malt, a little sweet, but blended nicely with cinammon and ginger spiciness. No real hops here, this definitely leans towards the sweetness. Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, and carbonation is fairly low, making for an almost slick feel. Overall I was a little disappointed with this, not bad, but not really that great.

11-12-2005 18:27:23 | More by cubedbee
Photo of grindcore666


4/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured dark amber with a creamy off white head. Lacing is above average.

Aroma is cinnnamon and orange citrus. Smells tame and sweet like a relaxing winter brew should.

Tastes sweet but very well-controlled. Chewy ginger, orange, holiday spices. The advertised flavors are no lie. The ginger really comes out. Medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is light bodied but holds a lot of great character.

Excellent Winter. Buy this one with Alaskan's and you don't need much else this season.

11-12-2005 01:23:40 | More by grindcore666
Photo of ClearDog


3.38/5  rDev -10.6%

Appearance -- Filtered appearance with crimson color. Nice tall, creamy, dirty-white head. Very thin lacing. Almost like water.

Smell -- Pleasant enough. Buttery scent with cinnamon, spices, and a little bit of orange.

Taste -- Spicy . . . and just a little malty sweet. It's okay but it doesn't knock my socks off.

Mouthfeel -- Medium and creamy. Has almost a buttery feel to it. Very soothing.

Drinkability -- I'd be fine with just this one. Glad I tried it, but I wasn't overly impressed. I really liked the smell and found it to be the most interesting aspect about this beer. I'd drink this again if offered, but wouldn't seek it out specifically.

11-10-2005 01:56:28 | More by ClearDog
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,941 ratings.