1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,941 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Xadoor


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured a deep, dark amber colour with a minimal head that dissipated quickly. Aroma is slightly fruity and spicy. Sweet malt flavour to start with some citrus and spicy characteristics. Finishes slightly dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and the alcohol level could have been a touch higher so that it actually gives you a bit of a Winter Warmer affect when you drink it. Overall still quite drinkable, but not exactly what I was expecting.

11-09-2005 01:25:24 | More by Xadoor
Photo of Manosbeeroffate


4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

Dark orange/red pour, a bit of a head retained for a while, strong malt upfront with spices coming in afterwards. I was afraid that the spices in this beer would be too overwhelming, but they balance out perfectly. A very nice tasting holiday beer. Enjoy!!

11-06-2005 21:58:37 | More by Manosbeeroffate
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours medium red with a grayish foamy head, some retention. Unlike many winter warmers, this one actually has a spicy smell, along with chocolates and sweet malts. Taste follows well with a good balance of semisweetness, chocolate notes, and maltiness. Slight bitterness sticks around. Cinnamon is present as well. Finally, a drinkable winter warmer that actually has spice.

11-06-2005 02:27:56 | More by aquatonex
Photo of Naes

New York

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

This one pours out a dark brown with reddish hues and has a decent off white head.. The aroma is roasty and malty. Bits of chocolate surface in the nose. As for flavor, the chocolate and caramel malts are nicely balanced by the beers hop presence. There is also a bit of spice in there as well. Its medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

11-05-2005 05:40:40 | More by Naes
Photo of ghostwalker


4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours a deep, dark reddish brown. Nice 1-2 finger tan head.

Nose is malt and yeast with fruit and spice highlights.

Rich dark flavor. Malt up front, plenty of spice and fruit as the flavor spreads around the palate. Sweet finish with spices sticking around for the ride, cinnamon and nutmeg are noticeable. With all of the spices present, I'm not really getting any hops. Caramel flavors are also present in the dark malt body.

Mouthfeel is thin but zesty. The spices are definitely present with a very zippy tingle. That could be the ginger that others have mentioned.

Drinkability is pretty good overall. Like most winter warmers, I really wouldn't want to have more than 1-2, but they are great to sip sitting next to the fire.

11-04-2005 03:32:32 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of PBRstreetgang


4.6/5  rDev +21.7%

Pours a ruby garnet hue, dark but clear. Two finger head forms an off-white cream and shows excellent retention but not much lace. Wonderful chocolate and caramel malt nose, with some ginger and orange notes just coming through. Malts taste sweet and toasted, molasses and caramel flavors, with some background cinnamon and orange peel. Mild hops are present just to balance the sweetness and prevent any residual aftertaste. Medium-full body and slow carbonation. Some spice and earthy tones will linger, but mostly clean finish. This is a great seasonal with an intoxicating aroma and rich flavors that can produce some slight alcohol warmth, but it's smooth enough to polish off a few.

10-31-2005 06:13:41 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of beersarang


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a peachy orange with a whitish head.

Spicy aroma, with malts.

Malt dominated from the beginning. Sweet grain and caramel followed by a flash of bitterness. In place of a hop character lingering spices like coriander and orange hold in the back of the tongue and are perceived at the exhale. Complex. Finishes sweet.

Medium bodied, normal carbonation.

Interesting but not special nor impressive. The spices need to be more fine tuned and the malts need a more assertive character. Overall seems a bit thin in the flavor department.

10-27-2005 06:30:18 | More by beersarang
Photo of sacfly


4/5  rDev +5.8%

Part of the holiday mixed 12 pack
Pours a clear brown with orange tint. Not much head, thin layer of off with to tan bubbles. Smell is nice and light with the orange peal and ginger taking the center.

First taste brings out the cinnamon at first, even nutmeg although it is not listed as an ingredient. The flavor turns to a spicy aftertaste. No hop character of note. Medium to heavy body, nice mouth feel. A bit of lingering spiciness, but not in an overbearing way.

Makes me think of a pumpkin ale light (on the spices), which is fine by me. Easy drinking. One of the best in the pack.

10-26-2005 19:56:06 | More by sacfly
Photo of walleye


3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

from the bottle. poured brown with a tan head that left some lacing. aroma, malts, brown sugar, toffee, honey, a nice sweetness, cinnamon, hints of ginger and orange. flavor bitter, malts, sugar, chocolate not to bad of a beer. nice mouth feel.would buy this again.

04-18-2005 01:36:12 | More by walleye
Photo of arguemaniac


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Appearance: Pours a nice dark (very dark) copper/ruby color with a minimal head and light tan lace. Slightly oily. At the very least, this beer looks very enticing.

Aroma: Fruit and spice come through the most. Overall the aroma is that of moderately sweet maltiness. Not too much hop aroma though. Has some wine-like characters even

Taste and Motuhfeel: While the ginger and cinnamon are the first flavors to be noticable, the orange flavor eventually becomes the most notable, dominating in the finish as well (which is pleasantly long). There is also some nice roastiness to this beer, like toasted grain, etc. Medium thick mouthfeel with decent carbonation, quite drinkable. Very, very mild hop bitterness does balance somewhat.

A very unique and enjoyable brew, genuinely flavorful without being too rich or sugary. While not overwhelming, the orange flavor is as strong as fruit beer. In any event, this beer very drinkable and would probably go well with a holiday dinner (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc), especially with desert.

04-02-2005 05:54:12 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

One of two bottles from a 12-pack seasonal sampler.

Pours a red/orange color of medium darkness with a 1 finger head of small bubbles. Nose consists initially of weak notes of orange, licorice, spice, and medicinal alcohol that come alive with swirling of the glass/ oxygenation. Taste is light up front with spice and hops maturing to a dark heavy aftertaste. Now that the beer has woken up the orange head has dissipated but springs back to life with swirling and leaves lacing on the glass. Caramel and malt scents become apparent, and smoky malt and hops linger in the aftertaste. Becomes quite spicy. Very interesting to note the differences between the first sip and the last, this beer really comes to life. Mouthfeel is smooth and semi-creamy, carbonation is abundant yet soft feeling. Very filling.

Overall this is a good brew, but not something that'll knock your socks off. An interesting beer, though not one I'd go out of my way to find again.

03-25-2005 07:37:33 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of ypsifly


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Dark copper with a light tan head that falls rather quickly with good lacing.

Smells of ginger and oranges. Not much else is detectable as this suffers from the same problem as many SA products: weak aromas.

Starts off tasting smoothly of malts, then fades into a tingly spiceness, followed by a nice dry finish. The mouthfeel is a bit more than medium.

This one is a bit more complex than the Winter Lager. Well rounded and very drinkable. I just wish they could make their brews more aromatic.

03-15-2005 05:49:24 | More by ypsifly
Photo of kmpitz2


3.15/5  rDev -16.7%

This beer pours a deep amber color with a finger of tan head. The nose is interesting. Definately some spices going on in there, wiht what I think is some orange peel over slight coffee and caramel malt notes. The flavor is not all that good. I don't like the spiced winter warmers. The spices have almost an anise like quality to it. Its just not woking for me. The feel is on the light side of moderate. Overall, the spicenes really takes away from this beer. I think the malty base is nice, but it just is not my cup of tea.

03-13-2005 02:47:15 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

A clean brown beer with amber highlights. Has a small tight beige head. The aroma has nutmeg and cinnamon in it with a touch of dried fruit in the background. There is a malty sweetness at the start of the taste. With the spices coming in towards the end and a bit of roasted malt bitterness on the finish.

03-09-2005 23:37:23 | More by ybnorml
Photo of clvand0


3.35/5  rDev -11.4%

This one pours an amber/brown color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave lacing on the glass. The aroma is spicy with hints of cinnamon and maybe a slight citrus. The flavor is not what I expected. It has a spicy character of cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of citrus. Very low carbonation and a slick mouthfeel. Body was lighter than I'd have liked. Something about the mixture of the spices in this one just didn't appease to my taste buds.

02-14-2005 18:42:04 | More by clvand0
Photo of twi1609372


3.38/5  rDev -10.6%

I don't know why i found this beer wanting. It just didnt taste right to me. I like almost all other sam beers and i dont like to write a less than raving review on any of them, but i am guided by my concinse and taste. it was not a putred flavor, it was just a bit "off" from what i think it should have been. While not a bad beer by and definition, i would drink another sam over it.

02-05-2005 09:04:06 | More by twi1609372
Photo of babydoc


3.45/5  rDev -8.7%

This 12 ounce bottle was notched buy before Mar, and was sampled from a pint glass this January. The label describes the cinnamon, ginger, and orange used in brewing. Poured clear dark maple-syrup, with a diminuative ecru head that faded sooner than I'd hoped, leaving only bits of lacing. Nose was spices, gingerbread, almost a pumkin-pie scent there somewhere among the dark malt. It hits the mouth with a smooth moderate mouthfeel, velvety carbonation. Tastes initially of sweet malt and spices, overtaken quickly by some more astringent hops and spices while the malts persist there underneath. I like winter warmers, but am still trying to fit this one in somewhere...I enjoyed tasting, but it's not one I'd drink all night.

02-01-2005 04:30:36 | More by babydoc
Photo of karst


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Old Fezziwig Ale is the BBC's Christmas beer sold in Seasonal 12 pack of 6 styles. Clear redish brown. light tan head falling quickly. Raisin-malt and spice aroma. Features spices of the season - cinnamon, ginger and orange peel. Fun to taste with sweet, bitter and even faint hops.

A medium body of malt provides a slick mouth feel. Sweet toffee and caramel and dark, roasty chocolate malt flavors welll blended. These are its best features.

My observations re. head are quite opposite of other reviews - I found the small head left quickly with no lace on my clean (no soap or oils) pint glass. A ring persisted for a few minutes. I observed only slight beading. Near the end I gave the glass a few swirls to wake up the aroma. A brief fine bubble layer forms. I can't fault its carbonation which seems appropriate for this malty body.... hummm puzzling.

Mostly this beer is about Malts and spices (Cinnamon, ginger and orange peel). Finishes with malty notes, then warms a bit as alcohol kicks in.

Overall nice seasonal that I will try again.

01-27-2005 14:01:56 | More by karst
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

sampled a 12 ouncer, "purchase before dating" notched onto the label. Pours dark honey, auburn, clear. Low carbonation, minimal head and no lacing to speak of. Nose is smokey and sweet malt. Spiced with ginger and orange, with a decent amount of dark malts, this one seems to fit the typical Winter Warmer profile. Good to middle of the road winter sessioner. Respectable take on the style.

01-23-2005 17:53:36 | More by Billolick
Photo of orbitalr0x


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

Crystal clear brownish red pour with a nice two finger head. Deep blood red comes through when held up to the light. A bit of lacing as well...nice. Sweet chewy caramel with cinnamon and hints of citrus on the nose.

An interesting blend of cocoa and caramel upfront followed by a healthy sprinkling of cinammon and nice spicy ginger bite on the back of the palate. A smattering of citrus and a bit of piney hops are in the mix as well. Quite tasty and a nice winter brew that's not overly spiced.

Medium bodied with a smooth, slightly creamy texture. Works for me! I could see myself having a couple of these, especially during the holidays. My fave Sam Adams brew as of now....why the hell don't they put this in sixers!!!

01-18-2005 03:56:19 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Biggness

New York

3.18/5  rDev -15.9%

This slightly spiced beer was a pleasant suprise. It has a little.. Christmas flavor to it and is usually a holiday staple for me. It is an acquired taste as beers like Guinness are, but overall I enjoy it. This beer is not something you can drink all night but it has a nice flavor after a cold hard days work :)

01-17-2005 22:15:45 | More by Biggness
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

Light tan head leaves nice lacing over clear medium reddish brown liquid. Spicy nose smells of cinnamon and toasted malt/subtle orange peel. The taste is complex with roasted grains, spices and hoppiness. Nice astringent mouthfeel. Finishes slightly winey and dry. Better than I remember it being.

01-14-2005 01:18:38 | More by beerluvr
Photo of ism

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -6.1%

Pours a pleasing amber with a frothy taupe head. Sweet caramel and ginger in the nose is reflected in the flavor. Low carbonation, a slick and medium body gives a good mouthfeel. Full-on sweetness accompanied by cinnamon and ginger spices, with nary a hop, gives it a warming kind of feel. Just complex enough for a winter brew and something I'll look forward to next year. Goes great with lean and roasted meat.

01-12-2005 02:10:54 | More by ism
Photo of tweeder263


3.8/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours out a dark amber color with a one finger head.Smells sweet of malt and spices.Tastes sweet and malty with hints of spices that show up here and there during drinking. Has a nice medium bodied mouthfeel.This is a nice winter brew i wouldnt mind keeping a couple in stock.

01-12-2005 01:06:55 | More by tweeder263
Photo of hero27


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

Sampled out the Sam Adams Holiday Pack...

Appearance: Pours a very deep, dark amber color. Off-white head leaves a spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of spices..and not the clove crap that I find disgusting, but rich hints of nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Somewhat reminds me of a more subtle version of Anchor OSA.

Taste: I have to be honest, this beer really surprised me. The flavor is much more rich and complex than expected. The taste is different than anything I've had, but very good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Couldn't be much more smooth. Very well-balanced with good carbonation as well. I like the added alcohol content and it's a very well-done winter brew.

Drinkability: A great Christmas ale which I'd recommend to anyone. Wish they made it a bit more available..I've only seen it in the holiday packs, not in six-or-twelve packs by itself.

01-11-2005 22:44:56 | More by hero27
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,941 ratings.