1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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: 322 | 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.
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,263 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KI9A
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wierd beer.

A: Beautiful dark cola, with a white puffy head.

S: Christmas. Nutmeg, cinnamon, spicy.

T: Too much going on. Can't pull out distinct flavors. Seems all mashed together.

M/D: Stickey finish. Almost like molasses. Had to struggle to finish the bottle. Will pass on this again.

Photo of clayrock81
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the few reviews I lost (misplaced really, since I found them) of the winter seasonal pack when I first expounded into better beer drinking. I loved this w/o even looking at my notes, and I think it sucks they don't release it as a seasonal sixer at least.
Poured a auburn/ruby tinted brown with a good-sized head that is thick and dies slowly. A sweet and spicy smell, like cinnamon, with some other sweet malts. Smooth and medium-to-full body, this beer had a spiciness that I enjoy. A drying effect from some roasted/toasted malts.
While there's some sweetness in there, like chocolate and caramel, there is a good pinch of cinnamon that is very noticeable. This spiciness dominates the backend for a good, warming pick-me-up. Great on a cold winter day (in Orlando, where it's in the 50s).

Photo of changeup45
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting. Brown-amber color, pours a relatively thick tan head but that fizzles down pretty quickly to a thin layer. Not a whole lot stood out in the aroma. Flavors: spices with ginger, some bitterness, and a roasted malt and coffee finish and aftertaste. Ginger was definitely the first thing that I tasted. Very warming. I may have it again when I can sit inside and watch the snow. Good seasonal brew.

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

This holiday specialty brew shows a clear but deep brown color with red highlights and sports a decent white foam cap along with a similar lacing. The aroma gives a fairly delicate sweetness of nutmeg and malt, nothing too heavy but you detect a hint of HO, HO HO here. The flavor comes across pretty much in the medium range as compared to most holiday beers. I get lots of malt blended with the spice highlights. I do sense citrus for sure though it is not obviously orange as advertized on the label, and the cinnamon & ginger are also not so obvious but the spice is there without overwhelming the result. I pick up some charcoal and even raisin to boot. As this sort of thing goes I would call it pretty drinkable, alcohol does not seem to be an issue here, not really evident. It is mildly carbonated with a somewhat aqueous feel, not really watery though. A decent option if you want that holiday feel for more than 1 or 2 bottles worth. Worth a try.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze with reddish tint. Nice frothy head with great lacing action. The aroma is of spices(cinnamon,coriander) and notes of citrus with a hefty tone of malt.
The taste is cinnamon,ginger,spices and caramel sweetness that blends perfectly. You feel some hops in the background with the malts all around and the alcohol's turn is when you let it sit too long and it warms up.

The feel is smooth,rich and creamy. The body is moderate carbonation with a good balance of bitterness and malt.

Notes: As winter approaches and the leaves change colors I begin to yearn for the return of this brew. They should really put this in a six pack. I have to buy a few Holiday winter packs in order to get my fill and even then. This beer even makes me nostalgic for the Holidays. It is really good brew.
Love it or leave it alone.

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

Another offering from the Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack pours a deep rich chocolate brown leaving a thin spotchy lace white head. The aroma is caramel, toffee, orange, citrus, bready, nice complex nose with a hop floural aroma.

The taste is smooth, a bit tart upfront, caramel, toffee, orange rind, lemon rind, tons of citrus. Cinnamon, spicy hops and ginger a bit watery in the finish but this is a solid beer. The finish is smooth, sweet, and earthy.

Photo of rye726
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am usually a big fan of Christmas beers, but this one did not impress me. A dark bronze color with a decent tan head. The nose has dark caramel malts and a collection of mild spices. The taste is a little more powerfull. Roasted malts, nutty bread and some mild herbs and spices. I want more spice. The crisp medium body passes well over the palate.

Photo of jayrod20
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small fizzy tan head which leaves quickly, some sticky lacy afterwards. the nose is of sweet malts, slight cinnamon, slight ginger, and caramel. The taste is malty, slight cinnamon in there, and a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice/different tasty brew. Thanks Samuel Adams.

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
4.64/5  rDev +23.1%
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
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
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
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
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
3.62/5  rDev -4%
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
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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