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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

3,177 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,177
Reviews: 1,325
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 63
Gots: 235 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,177 | Reviews: 1,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Risser09
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle enjoyed on Turkey Day 2007 - Poured into a large snifter

Appearance: Old Fezziwig pours a dark black color with some brown hues letting a little bit of light through when put up to it. The head rises to about 1.5 inches and subsides. It is a light tan color with lots of craters and lace that follows. The lace is clinging to the crystal like me grasping on to the lucky side of a wishbone (wish, please come true).

Smell: The beer smells good. It has a chocolate malt build, with some leather and tobacco making an apperance. The label claims that cinnamon, ginger and orange are utilized in this libation, but I can only discern the cinnamon and a hint or ginger in the ol' factory sense.

Taste: After a few hearty swallows I am left with a buttery, leathery malt flavor. I get a touch of licorice, and a sweetness that eludes my flavor receptors. I can only guess that cinnamon and nutmeg are the main spice flavors. What happened to the orange curacao? Ok taste.

Mouthfeel: Slick and buttery. The taste is sugary and carbonation goes easy on the mouth and throat. Alcohol is awake, but not grumpy. My belly is warm.

Drinkability: This is a pretty god winter warmer. One of the better ones I've had. I think it could use more complexity in the taste department, but otherwise gets my vote for Senator.

Photo of jeonseh
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very Dark and deep brown color with a red tinge to it and a thin head that disappeared rather quickly. The smell is rather fragrant, full of cinnamon and i would say molasses. Kinda carbonated on the tongue and can definitely taste a lot of spices in it almost a cinnamon with a taste of i would say maple syrup with a very faint hint of orange. However, the syrup taste is a little too much for me and don't care too much for the aftertaste and couldn't see having too many of them. Good thing they only come two in the 12 Winter Specials pack.

Photo of cjveitch
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass and was immediately suprised by its extremely dark color. Only a dark magenta color is seen with enough lighting.

Able to get a nice white head on it pouring directly into the glass. It acts much the same as a porter or stout...hard to get but then hangs around forever.

The beer is not as heavy as it appears. It actually has somewhat of a pleasant copper taste with a hint of cherries. The extra spice is apparent without being obnoxious.

Overall good beer. Will keep you warm in winter while your friends think it's something much darker and heavier than it really is.

Photo of aniano
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm enjoying this now with roasted chestnuts- a great snack match for this hearty winter ale. The nutmeg and wisp o' cinammon taste enhances the smooth feel. Nice dark amber color that pours nicely then settles in to a ring around the glass. A great winter brew, even if it's 73 and you are in Florida, like me.

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

Believe it or not had this at an Atlanta Falcons game the GA dome. Poured into a plastic cup but the head was nice and the aroma was pretty good, lacing was somewhat subdued and I'll chalk that up to the cup. The taste was a very balanced blend of roasted malt tastes with a nice hop pop along with some spices overall a very good beer I enjoyed it thoroughly

Photo of BDIMike
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is brownish-red ale with a sizeable head.
The smell is awesome. Great hoppy smell, as most Sam products have, but a good amount of spicy smell as well.
The taste is malty with hints of caramel and chocolate malts. You can also taste hints of cinnamon, ginger, and orange.
It has a very full body, with a nice smooth mouthfeel.
Great winter beer. I think Sam Adams excels with hearty winter beers for a cold New England night.

Photo of drpimento
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer. Not overdone. Well balanced, subtle for a winter warmer. Like the descriptions says - hints of spices and flavors. Alcohol is mild. One of the easiest of this season’s beers. Has a nice light head and plenty of lace. Good, but not overdone carbonation. Lovely dark reddish amber. The spiciness is not overdone, which is the better way. Almost a session beer.

Photo of hustlesworth
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A- deep reddish brown with 1.5in chunky puffy beige head and wisps of lace.

S- cinnamon, milk chocolate, and a hint of orange (like those break-apart chocolate oranges), whole grain bread, ginger bites the nose a lil bit

T- ginger snap holiday cookie, milk, very subdued orange peel, another hint of cinnamon, toasted malt, and dark fruit maybe date or fig.

MF- creamy, coating, and low carbonation

D- dammit, the spices get to me after a while, but a fine example of the holiday style beer.

Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue. A large head forms and hangs around for a bit leaving some nice lacing.

The aroma is caramel malt, cinnamon and other winter spices. I think I sense some alcohol there also.

When I tried this beer I expected bigger flavors. It is not as sweet as other winter warmers and not as spicey as other winter seasonals. I taste the malt with just a hint of cinnamon. The low ABV I think hurt this beer. No warming feeling. It is also a little thin for a winter release. I want a beer with some body this time of year. It does make it easy to drink on the other hand. It is a good beer but I don't know what all the fuss is about.

Photo of animal69
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i'm glad i saved this one for last ; it pours a dark reddish-brown w/ a thin off-white head which dissapates quickly leaving little lacing ; a strong, roasty caramel aroma with a slight citrusy undertone, not really sensing the exotic spiciness claimed, maybe some faint orange ; a tangy, rich caramel and choc. malt flavor, you can taste a hint of nuts and some mingled spices but nothing pronounced ; a good, med. body, slightly dry, not too much co2 feels warm on the tounge ; not a bad beer, i just don't care for flavored beers....

Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a small tan head that dissipated into a light ring around the glass. The smell is of raisins, perhaps plums. The spices don't really come out in the nose. The brew has a chocolate malt base, with dark fruit notes. The spices follow in the end; the ginger and orange peel being pronounced. The feel is fairly light and crisp, pretty balanced with a lean on the bitter side. A good dark ale with some nice fruity and spicy notes. A good change up from other malt heavy brews.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"For Brewery-Fresh Taste, Enjoy Before Month Notched: MAR"
Part of an 07/08 SA Winter Classics 12-pack I picked up from the Columbia Schnucks for $14.39.

a: Pours mahogany with a light tan head that slowly dissolves leaving some bubbles around the edge and some lacing.

s: Sweet roasted malts, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and some subtle spice notes.

t: A nice blend of malt, spices, fruit and a touch of hops. I don't detect cinnamon, ginger, or orange specifically because I think they are balanced well enough that none of them really shine thru, but the aggregate is a good spiced flavor.

m: A lighter body than most winter warmers makes for a smooth texture with an easy finish.

d: Much more drinkable than most beers stuck with Winter Warmer label. Not too filling, rich, or bitter. You can tell it has a lower abv, which helps make it sessionable. Overall a pretty good beer, I wish I could purchase more than 2 at a time so I could get a better read on it. Having only 2 bottles a year makes it difficult to remember specifics, but I guess that's half the fun (and one of the reasons why we review).

Photo of erosier
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice dark amber color with a nice copper head that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is malty, sweet, and some holiday spices - cinnamon and nutmeg hints. The taste is really good. It has a nice malty taste with undertones of nuts, cinnamon and some nutmeg flavoring. It is really smooth and goes down well. This is an excellent winter warmer. It is very drinkable and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nice winter warmer.

Photo of scottyshades
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a SA Winter Classics collection for $13 at Publix...other than this one, the collection contains Winter Lager, Cream Stout, Holiday Porter, Cranberry Lambic, and Boston Lager

Born on date indicates March of 2007

A:Pours a deep brown color with hues of red in the light, 3 finger caramel color head that leaves a nice patchy lace

S: Complex nose consisting of roasted malts, toffee, spices, and a touch of hops followed by a note of alcohol at the very very end...very sweet smelling

T: I didnt even read the label of the bottle until I took my 5th sip and then I began to notice the ginger, cinnamon, and orange...the ginger tastes more like gingerbread than anything, the cinnamon is present along with maybe some nutmeg, but I could never really sense much of the orange...also the alcohol is apparent at the finish

MF: very clean, finishes silky smooth and creamy, mediumish in body, spicy aftertaste

D: Highly drinkable...I am going to pick this guy up whenever I see it from now on...good session beer in my opinion

Overall a very interesting brew, highly recommended for its balance of spices and sweetness...it really does warm as it goes down

Photo of boblog
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Brownish red, sort of a oak color. Average head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, cinnamon, hints of vanilla.

Taste: Spice flavors are strong, malt flavors are detectable after a second or two. No evidence of hops at all.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated, light bodied, in general a disapointing mouthfeel.

Drinkablility: Fairly drinkable, I mean the flavor isnt over the top and the ABV isnt that high, but I dont want another one that much.

Photo of Realale
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep walnut with a slight burgundy cast to it. Extremely fine 1/2" beige head sits and stays, leaving nice lacing. Beautiful beer.

Nose is rich Munich roastiness, balanced against holiday candied fruit notes of Marashino cherry, lime rind and date.

Dusty, dry brown bread notes lead the palate. The malt is not as deep as the nose leads you to believe. Some fruitiness (a bit of prune and dried cherry) comes through, but it too is more subtly done. Good length, and in no danger of being ponderous.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp and lively, which contributes nicely to making this beer sessionable, rather than an evening-ender. Very drinkable for a winter warmer. From the '07/'08 Holiday mix pack.

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

12 ounce bottle from a Winter Classics pack purchased at Cooke's Family Maket in El Segundo for about ten dollars

Poured into a pint glass with a deep reddish brown color and a very small silky white head that faded away fast, left small amounts of lacing

Smell had scents of cinnamon and oranges mostly, some vanilla, gingerbread, and various sweet malts as well

Taste was not bad for this style of beer, wish it could have been a little more complex, pretty smooth though, nice sweet and dry finish, sweetness of the malts overpower the hops, so it has more of a tangy taste than bitter, can be nutty and bready at times, got different tastes almost every sip which was odd, but as it warmed the other flavors really started to come out

Could drink a few of these, alcohol content is relatively low but these can be very heavy at times, the two bottles in the twelve pack are just right

Not my favorite beer out of this Sam Adams but certainly not the worst, cannot really go wrong for the price and get to try six different beers

Photo of Gehrig
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the excellent Samuel Adams Winter Classics 12-pack, Old Fezziwig Ale is a genuine treat. Coupled with a good, durable head, its deep brown-red color delivers a very nice presentation. It is positively packed with mild fruity flavors like orange, some cinnamon and other spices, and is extremely smooth. All flavors blend harmoniously, and Old Fezziwig is all too easy to consume. This is really one of the best seasonal brews that Sam Adams offers, making the Holiday season all the sweeter. The only drawback is that Sam Adams doesn't market Old Fezziwig in six packs. Too bad. I guess I'll just need to get another 12-pack after the weekend.

Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown color with a nice frothy brown head. Aroma is subtle upfront with some spice in the nose. I detect a hint of gingerbread as well. Taste is malty upfront with only a bit of the spice. The taste at the back of the throat is more reminiscent of gingerbread and spice. Very subtle and not overbearing like a few other winter warmers I've had. The finish is clean as well. Very drinkable and works well on a cold night.

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

Ahhh. More Sam Adams holiday stuff! Very nice indeed. I started my sampling with the porter, which kind of spoiled me - it is sooo good. But this baby is no slouch. I have taken a liking to spiced stuff in recent years. Things like Great Lakes Christmas Ale are not intimidating, bring it on (but watch it, those are strong).

Fezziwig is missing that kick, and has much more subtle flavor, so in the end is more drinkable (I probably rated it lower, but I am not consistent). I would never refuse one of these, but I would prefer something more powerful when drinking a "winter warmer."

I'll have to buy another Holiday Classics 12 or two so I have some to share, but this box is for me!

Photo of Halcyondays
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, fair head, but leaves a nice circle of off-white bubbles around the glass.

S: Heavenly smell of gingerbread, cinnamon, Christmas cookies, citrus/orange, and malt, very inviting.

T: A heavy malt flavour, with a bit of bitter cinnamon starts off the flavour, melds with a nice ginger finish with a bit of orange. The closest beer to a liquid Christmas cookie I have ever found. Very tasty.

M: Not the most robust Winter Warmer ever, but fairly full-bodied and smooth.

D: A great Winter Warmer, one of the best, my favourite for sure out of the Sam Adams Winter Pack, why they don't put this in 6-packs is beyond me. Probably the best beer to pair with fragrant, spice-filled pumpkin pie right out of the oven. A truly fantastic beer.

Photo of JDK
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark red amber with a nice 1 finger head than was a nice tan color. Light lacing that clung throughout.
Smells of caramel, roasted malts and a touch of hops
Nice mouthfeel, mild carbonation with a slight roasted coffee malt aftertaste.
Tastes of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts but much more mild and smooth than the Cream Ale.
I think most everybody would like this brew, it's a surprise like SA Black Lager, definately worth a try. Just wish it came in it's own 6'er instead of the Holiday 12 Pack.

Photo of vtfan77
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- This beer has a nice copper color with a tilt towards the red end of the spectrum; unfortunately it lacks a decent head, only producing a small ring of lace even with a fairly vigorous pour.

S- Wow, this is quite malty! Almost barleywine-like with its malt. Big caramel and butterscotch flavors dominate with a hint of raisin-like fruit. Very nice.

T- Similar to the smell, but the caramel notes aren't as strong as the aroma might indicate. There's a bit of a graininess in the flavor as well. The beer starts out fairly sweet but finishes dry with a touch of bitterness and lingering grain.

M- Kind of thin in this department; the carbonation level is decent. Pretty average.

D- Pretty good. I'd certainly have another; maybe even two.

Another nice beer from Sam Adams. I really like the malt character in this one. I've found that most Sam Adams beers have a distinctive caramelly maltiness, but this one takes it farther and succeeds. I'll echo the sentiments of many folks on here in wishing that this was put out in six-packs rather than just as a part of the Holiday mix-pack. I'd still recommend picking up the mix-pack. Aside from the infamous cranberry lambic, all the beers in it are solid.

Photo of botham
4.63/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a new Sam Adams glass. pours a dark copper color with garnet highlights. a couple fingers of light tan, creamy head sit on top, making this one a great looking brew. great lacings as well.

aroma is of roasted malts, with notes of chocolate and caramel malts. a hint of spices is present as well, possibly from cinnamon or hops. not much else for the nose, but very balanced and rich.

taste is malty up front, which brings roasty, caramel and chocolate flavors. background flavors include cinnamon and a touch of citrus. there is not much more here, but the complexity and balance are exceptional. there is nothing that would make this one better on the palate. perfectly proportioned.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy texture and a very smooth character. finish is smooth and satisfying.

drinkability is great. this is not a very filling brew, though it is bold and flavorful. an excellent flavor profile on this one. cheers!

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

A- Dark brown with amber and red hues. Head is 1 finger of off-white and thick. Leaves nice, very thick layer that lasts the duration.

S- Orange, Ginger, Cranberry, Hint of cinnamon and pepper like spice. Honey is there as a subtle touch. After it warms a little and give the glass a quick swirl, the hops come out for you.

T- Tastes of toffee, caramel, pepper and cloves. Orange is in the aftertaste and is nice.

M- Creamy and malty but lacks thickness. Mid-carbonation and tongue feel. A little watery for a winter warmer.

D- Nice beer. A little bit "far out" for a session beer. It definitely does the job for a couple though. Hoppy Holidays!

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,177 ratings.