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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,263 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,263
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 68
Gots: 320 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 3,263 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quikfish13
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours copper and comes up dark ruby red. It also retains a very frothy tan head that laces and clings well to the side of the glass.

S: Up front Orange peel with some floral notes. Also ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar follow to finish off the aromas.

T: Faint hints of bakers chocolate, chocolate malt (with a hint on a more roasted flavor) and ground coffee come at the forefront. The malt sweetness hits in the middle and makes an almost bitter honey type of flavor. The "warmer" part comes at the end with a very nice alcohol warmth.

M: Smooth and frothy with high carbonation that warms as it goes down.

D: This style was never meant to be drank in excess quantities IMO. So to stay in the season this beer is perfect to enjoy a session with during the family holiday event.

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

A: poured a nice red brown with an off white/soda colored head. Crystal clear. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: this smells like christmas!nutmeg/cinnamon/cloves/honey/brown sugar and even some citrus hints.

T: a lot of the same smells follow through in the mouth. Almost a buttery taste to accompany cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves. There are a few citrus tastes that are there too. A faint hint of alcohol.

M: pretty middle of the road. Not terribly thick but balanced. Very smooth. Nice finish begs for another sip.slight alcohol warmth.

D. Very drinkable. This goes down easy and is perfect for a chilly night like tonight. I really like this and wish it was more readily available!

Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in Samuel Adams's Holiday Sampler Pack

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Amber/brown in color, a little clearer then the holiday porter, nice tannish head depleats but leave excellent lacing.

Smell: Ginger, caramel, dark chocolate, with a toasty backdrop makes this a perfect smelling holiday brew. This beer is like bottling Christmas and serving it. Refreshing to the nose!

Taste: Maltiness is awesome here, but not overpowering. Again, all the flavs in the smell pop out huge, the spiciness is paired perfectly with malts, not too much and not too little, this beer tastes excellent with some holiday cookies or even a nice piece of chocolate cake.

Mouthfeel: Not as creamy as the Holiday Porter, yet carbonation is well maintained, the body is full of richness! Not too heavy for an ale at all!

Drinkability: Is this even a question? This is SA's stand out beer that should be given to every beer lover to try. Even ol' Scrooge would enjoy this brew. It's really too bad they don't bottle these by themselves but I guess good things come in little quantitys. I could sit by the fire all night and polish these babies. An excellent offering that should be on Jim Koch's radar for more mass production.

Photo of kinger
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember enjoying Ol' Fezziwig back in college with my friends, pretty sure it was available in sixers then, now the only way I find it is by being part of the winter sampler. Nice dark amber pour, thick light tan head, and mild lacing. Aroma is faint but I can detect some sweet malt and cinnamon. Surprisingly creamy mouthfeel, smooth on the palate and well received. Flavor is a nice blend of malt and spices. A touch of citrus is detected. The cinnamon really comes through in the flavor as well. Thoughts of vanilla and ginger come to mind. Mildly spiced this is another nice winter treat by Sammy's.

Photo of beltyrion
4.59/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep reddish brown, tan head. Decent lacing

S: Orange, cinnamon, vanilla and some nutmeg

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth with some hop character.

Tasting Notes: Spicy, with hints of nutmeg, orange and cinnamon, with a sweet malty aftertaste.

For my money, Samuel Adams makes no finer brew and I dearly wish they made this in 6 packs.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown a thin mocha head that faded fast. The malt dominates the smell, with the sweet and roasty notes. Hard to pick up the spices that are advertised (cinnimon, ginger, and orange). The taste is malty with some of the cinnimon and ginger showing through, but still dominated by sweet malt, but not super sweet. Aftertaste is spicy, a nice smooth finish. The mouthfeel is light, could be somewhat thicker, but still not bad, a decent balance.Drinkable

Photo of gpogo
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear deep brown, which held up to the light reveals a brownish red tint. Small tannish head that dissipates to a small covering. Leaves sparse lacing.

A- Rather weak aroma. Slight hints of roasted malt and very faints smells of ginger.

T- Seems rather weak on the spices, though as it warms they come through slightly. Nice toasted caramel malts.

M- Slightly thin, but with very nice carbonation.

D- Nice to style beer. Rather drinkable as I could drink a few of these in a row.

Photo of dmamiano
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of course, this one obtained from a wnter sampler pack. I am told its the only way to get this beer.
Beer had a nice spicy character in the nose. Hints of candy, gum and some orange or maybe a cinnamon stick slightly defined. Caramel malts also intermixed.
Malty of the palate with once again some spices coming out. Hops are there but not in big amounts. More on the malty side that is gently spiced with spices.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with cool holiday label.

Appearance: Bright orange/red amber beer. A hard pour produces a two-finger, dense light beige cap.

Smell: The aroma is much milder than I expected from a spiced holiday beer. There are notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and hints of orange and cinnamon. If there's a criticism, it's just that I wish there was a little more power behind the aromas; they seem a tad muted.

Taste: Here the spices come through a bit more. There's definitely an orange/cinnamon presence, though I'm not getting much of the ginger. There are mild toffee/chocolate notes in the background as well, along with a mild herbally hoppiness. Again, overall the taste just seems a bit muted for a spiced Winter Warmer.

Mouthfeel: Slick and smooth feeling, with medium body.

Drinkability: Fairly high, but due to the spice probably not something I'd session.

Conclusion: I'm really a bit torn. From years past, I remember absolutely loving this beer. Now it seems pretty good, but nothing spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it's tasty and festive (esp. as it comes up to cellar temperature, the spice notes come out nicely). Do I like it? Yes. Do I love it? No.

Photo of likethetaste
4.73/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful holiday brew. Just a perfect blend of spiciness and malt. Pours a beautiful chestnut brown color with a very good head that has great lacing. Just a good beer from pour to last taste. This just taste darn Good!!!

The Sam Adams winter variety pack is the best.

Photo of DarrellK
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I looked this brew up in my database and foud that I'd tried it when it first came out over a decade ago. I gave it kind of a B-/C+ (my system is different that BA, it's a 100 pt system). The 08 version did much better than the originaland is a compliment to a semi-mass producer like BBC.

The appearance is very clear and a dark copperish color to me (I'm color-blind) about 7.5 with 10 being stout.REgardless it's lovely.

Compared to the original the nose is very pronounced. I know the bottle says cinnamo, ginger and orange but both nose and finish come off as a raisiny of maybe dates.

The mouth is not bad but compared to the other characteristics it is , while not thin, just not up,there.

The distinguising feature of the beer is the linking of the nose to the finish as one combined experience.

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

A- Dark clear brown. It was hard to get head with this beer. The, what you would call, head was very thin and was very much not paying attention to what it should have been doing.

S- Aside from having to practically stick my nose into the beer to smell it, it didn't smell to bad. It smelled more what I would look for in a winter warmer. There is a great caramel malt smell, as well as a slight smell of herbs/spices.

T- This is loaded with malts, very nice malt taste. Loaded with caramel taste. The spices are nice, and this is a solid winter warmer. I do have to say this is very similar to their Octoberfest. The only difference I'm finding are the spices that add another level of taste to the beer.

M- Feels good in the mouth, not too thick or too thin for a beer of this style.

D- Yeah this is very drinkable.

Photo of sevopie
3.34/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Solid Ruby Brown with a voluminous dark tan head.

Smell - Smells rather light, though a couple spices do stand out, namely ginger/cinnamon.

Taste - Again the spices are the mainstay, but its very malty behind all of that. Cinnamon and nutmeg are more dominant here.

Mouthfeel - On the lighter side of solid, with a moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Not too bad, a fair shade better than the cranberry "lambic" that I decided to try first. Definitely won't mind having the other here.

Photo of ewright
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark brown beer is capped by a thin layer of fluffy foam that recedes to a few islands of large bubbles. Decent lacing is left on the side of the glass.

S: Disappointingly weak aroma to this beer. Some ginger is evident, with a bit of nondescript toasted grain aromas. Faint whiffs of cinnamon lurk about as well.

T: The cinnamon is much more evident in the mouth than the nose. I also get faint notes of nutmeg, even if there isn't any in the beer. This may be from the interplay of cinnamon with toasted caramel grains. There are enough hops late to balance the malts, but no obvious flavor components come to mind.

M: As with a lot of BBC brews, I find this one a bit thin on the tongue, but with decent carbonation levels.

D: This was my first ever winter warmer back in 1995, so it holds a special bit of nostalgia for me. I look forward to it every year, but there are better winter beers than this.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice chestnut color. Aroma is ok. Malty with a low level spiciness to it. Great, great malt taste. Just enough buttery/creaminess sort of flavor. Some spices but they are so well blended against the strong maltiness that they just seem to fade into the mix. Very solid mouthfeel. Just a great beer for the holidays or winter in general. I could make a session out of this. Put this in six packs, please Jim?

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from a mixed 12-pack from Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a clear ruby-brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head. The head sticks around as a thin pancake for the life of the beer, augmented by a stream of bubbles along the edge of the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells of caramel malt, raisins, and slight spices, namely cinnamon.

Tastes of caramel malts up front, followed shortly by subtle raisin and brown sugar flavors. There are hints of cinnamon at the end, and a very slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It's very smooth from the low carbonation, and the thickness is good.

Drinkability is good. I could see myself having another one of these, but not too many more after that.

Overall this is a solid beer for the style, and one of the better ones that I've had. Definitely worth a shot.

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

Pours a deep ruby hue with a slight brown tinge, raising a one-finger light tan head that fizzles away fairly quickly and produces only a light amount of cling on the glass.

Smells largely of sweet toffee and butterscotch malt aromas a some fruitiness as well, with a fair bit of toasted malt aroma as well.

Body is relatively full with a decent amount of carbonation and a rather smooth mouthfeel. Very malty in flavor, with caramel, chocolate, and bread/biscuit notes filling the front, middling with a slight bitterness and a faint hint of orange peel, finishing with a sweetness and a slight toastiness that lingers long afterward.

Fairly drinkable, but wouldn't make a very good session beer; one or two of these and the maltiness would be overwhelming. The oft-spoken "Christmas cake" comparison holds very true. This is a superb brew for the holiday season.

Photo of leif86
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewery-fresh date is March.

A: Dark, dark ruby colored brew that, when held up to light, becomes apparent that it is pretty clear. Thin off white and frothy head that doesn't linger very long and near no lacing.

S: Malty (caramel) and other sweet goodness with a hint of something coffee in the back. No hops. No spices (disappointing).

T: Sweet and fruity with no hops to be found. The back labels says it is spiced up but I'm not finding that to be true. Maybe a hint of ginger. Maybe.

M: A little over carbonated for my liking, but not too bad.

D: Drinkable but I certainly wouldn't go buy this stuff. I was hoping for some subtle spices to up the taste but keep it drinkable - too bad there are near no spices (at least in this one).

Photo of nasty15108
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Sam Adams Winter Sampler. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A - Poured a a dark reddish/brown color. The pour produced a rocky head of tan foam that quickly subsided into a bubbly film. Good carbonation and lacing throughout.

S - Malty, with hints of caramel and spice. When first poured I noticed a slightly metallic aroma that went away as the ale warmed.

T - Malty up front with a slight sweetness. Finishes crisp and slightly dry. Slightly herbal with a slight sizzle from the hoppy bitterness.

MF&D - Thin/Medium bodied ale. Went down well. A nice Holiday treat.

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

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep amber appearance. Pours with thin white head, which fades quickly, leaving nothing. Minimal lacing.

S- Smells sort of hoppy and "spicy," but nothing of note jumping out....

T- Taste is crisp, with a hint of citrus and spiciness. Slightly sweet with minimal bittering on the finish.

M- Medium...smooth.

D- Not all that spicy.... I can imagine drinking another....but no more.

Future outlook: A solid addition to the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Mix Pack, which I will surely pick up again next season.

Photo of illidurit
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark mahogany, crystal clear. Tan head, nice stickiness. Aroma is toasty caramel and light milk chocolate with obvious notes of the added ginger, orange, and cinnamon. Flavor is sweet; ashy chocolate up front with cinnamon toast, and spicy ginger in the back. A little light on body, this could be an excellent winter warmer with some more robust maltiness. Still good, one of SA's better beers.

Photo of redmagik99
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty dark brownish red with some transluscence. ok head and lacing. smells a bit portery - sweet dark malts. some spiciness comes through, mostly cinnamon. Taste has caramel malt backbone with noticable yet subtle spices. i dont taste ginger per se but i get a certain ginger snappiness along with the cinnamon. Orange peel compliments the bitterness with a slightly sweet twinge. Medium bodied in relative terms, pretty full bodied for the style. Easy drinking. I remember having this on Christmas a few years back when I first started getting into beer. Loved it then, love it now. This really makes me look forward to Old Jubilation and Anchor Christmas. Jim Koch should scrap the 2 boston lagers in the 12 pack and add 1 or 2 more of these.

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a lot of spices and and cinnamon. There is a sweet caramel hint to it as well. It smells quite nice. The beer is a ruby red/brown colour with a little head that fades away pretty quickly. The taste of the beer is chocolaty, sweet, and the bitterness comes through with the spices. I mainly taste cinnamon, because I don't really know what ginger tastes like. The sweetness reminds me of plums mixed with a small bit of chocolate. The beer is pretty complex, actually. Each time I take a drink I get a bit more flavour than before. The mouth feel is pretty good. The beer is decently drinkable. I don't know how many I could have because it's fairly complex.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark brownish orange in color with some slight off white head.

S. Caramel malts and spicy hops. Perhaps a bit of holiday spice in there.

T. A nice malty brew that highlights a doughy like maltyness and some citric hops in there to balance. Sweet yet bitter at the same time. Some roasted tones are apparent. A bit of muddled spices make things interesting. Cinnamon, orange peel and ginger with a lingering spicy finish.

M. Medium bodied and a bit slick overall with the lingering spiciness.

D. This is a nice holiday beer and a good change of pace. I couldn't make a night of drinking these, but always look forward to seeing fezziwig when the weather changes.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, I love getting a few mixed packs of Sam Adams right around Thanksgiving/Christmas so I can have this beer. Sucks you only get 2 in each but its delicious. Chock full of Christmas spices and is absolutely beautiful. Could use a little bit of a higher ABV being a winter warmer and all but other than that it's very good.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,263 ratings.