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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

2,969 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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
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: 2,969 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

cubedbee, Nov 12, 2005
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.

grindcore666, Nov 12, 2005
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.

ClearDog, Nov 10, 2005
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.

Xadoor, Nov 09, 2005
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!!

Manosbeeroffate, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of aquatonex
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.

aquatonex, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of Naes
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.

Naes, Nov 05, 2005
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.

ghostwalker, Nov 04, 2005
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.

PBRstreetgang, Oct 31, 2005
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.

beersarang, Oct 27, 2005
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.

sacfly, Oct 26, 2005
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.

walleye, Apr 18, 2005
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.

arguemaniac, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of BeerNinja007
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.

BeerNinja007, Mar 25, 2005
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.

ypsifly, Mar 15, 2005
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.

kmpitz2, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
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.

ybnorml, Mar 09, 2005
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.

clvand0, Feb 14, 2005
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.

twi1609372, Feb 05, 2005
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.

babydoc, Feb 01, 2005
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.

karst, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of Billolick
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.

Billolick, Jan 23, 2005
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!!!

orbitalr0x, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of Biggness
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 :)

Biggness, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of beerluvr
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.

beerluvr, Jan 14, 2005
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,969 ratings.