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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

3,063 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,063
Reviews: 1,312
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 57
Gots: 183 | 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
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Ratings: 3,063 | Reviews: 1,312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PuckLSHS
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this the other night right before bed and after a pretty damn tasty meal. I was in the mood for something with a lot of flavor and when this happens, I tend to pick a winter seasonal.

I bought this about a year ago, so it had been aging a while.

The appearance was a dark red/amber. It had a nice head that went away very quickly but left a nice little lace around the top of the glass.

The beer was malty with hints of corriander, orange and vanilla. It was a nice thickness and had an overall happy mouthfeel. I am not a huge fan of Sam Adams, but I would definitely drink this one again if it was available to me. Eh, I would drink most any winter beer though...happen to like them all a lot.

PuckLSHS, May 03, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A lager with initially fizzy carbonation that fades as it warms to just significant carbonation. Clearly orange and cinammon, a spot of ginger for spice, and caramel. Weak finish. Medium mouthfeel. Rather a bold herbal tea. Nice chestnut amber colour.

Sammy, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a short and foamy off-white head and leaves a thick, even lace.

S: Cinnamon, ginger & malt with a slight bit of hops and fruitiness, but not very strong.

T: You definitely taste more hops than you smell, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a Winter Warmer and I don’t think that’s a bad thing in this case. There’s also the cinnamon, ginger & malt sweetness that you detect in the smell and remains in a faint after-taste.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, not as thick as other Winter Warmers that I’ve had.

D: Tasty and not to filling, given the style. I could definitely drink more that the two bottles that I get in one sampler 12-pack.

This was a very good beer and an excellent representation of the style. I’ve had other Winter Warmers that go overboard with the spice and sweetness. This beer gets it just right and still maintains the Sam Adams signature.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of LarryV
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark red color with a fluffy tannish head that dissipated fairly quickly. Spicy aroma of predominantly cinnamon with an underlying maltiness greets the nose. First thing I noticed upon tasting was the creamy mouthfeel followed by the definite, but not overwhelming flavor of cinnamon. Finishes with the bitterness of ginger lingering on the tongue. No cloying sweetness from this brew which is nice. I could only drink a couple of these due to the spice flavor, but for a spice beer, it's rather nice.

LarryV, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good looking beer, first a lot of head, shrinking to a nice film, with tons o' lacing down the glass. Smells of lots of cinnamon and ginger, and some orange peel on top of a slight malty base, but not much as its hard to pick up, mostly because the cinnamon is more intense. Really quite nice. Mouthfeel is carbonated up front, then melts into a smooth finish with a tinge of alcohol warming. Surprisingly, I don't get as much of the cinnamon in the taste, but get the malts and ginger, and I think a trace of orange peel in the middle, maybe some raisin, and maybe just maybe some hop in there. Overall its an interesting mix of sweet and spicy and a little bitter, and it really works quite well.When I'm taking a break from drinking it, I get a lingering malt and ginger in my mouth.

objectivemonkey, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet body with a prodigious head that provides loads of splashy lacing

Smell: Wonderful spice aromas of cinnamon, orange and a touch of ginger

Taste: Starts out with a raisiny, fruitcake flavor filled with holiday spices; mid-palate, some balancing bitterness kicks in with a touch of pithy orange and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: With enough holiday spices to make it interesting, but nothing over the top, this is quite a decent Winter Warmer

brentk56, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – light and fluffy but sizable white head. Horizontal lacing. Body is brown to dark orange.

Smell – Not much going on especially for such a highly spiced beer. You do get some spices and bready malts.

Taste – Cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel. Big bready malts. Some sweetness.

Mouthfeel – A little thin and a little sticky. A bite from the spices.

Drinkability – It is warming and tasty. Spices taste more natural than other examples. Good for the spiced end of the style. Could use a higher ABV for more “warming.” I would buy a six pack around the holidays but the two in the mix pack are just fine too.

akajimmyd, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the Sam Adams Holiday Pack. I remembered it being pretty decent in last year's, and this year's brew was also enjoyable. I'm not much of a winter warmer drinker, but I think they're solidly crafted and an appropriate name for their style!

Beer was a deep orange and poured with a nice frothy head. Lots of lacing down the glass, and very spicy to the taste. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg in it, but I don't feel the citrus notes that others have mentioned. Lots of bitterness in the back, but it doesn't seem to fully work here. Maybe I expect more warming and less of a taste/things to think about...

This beer is not as dark, thick, or simple as I thought it would be. The spices are good, but it's missing the full warming effect that I had hoped for. Still, it's pretty solid and worthy enough to have around the holidays, even if I don't get around it until February!

JerzDevl2000, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of kingjames1
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful dark amber with an attractive head, with foam islands. Good lacing throughout. Smells pretty good, with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and there is also some caramel, maple, and a hint of citrus. Great christmas brew aroma, excuse me, bouquet. Not bad, if only slightly weak in the nose. The taste adds a chocolate-mousse dimension, but again it is slightly weak. Nice, I just wish there was a little more depth in the malt 'backbone' or hops. Also, the flavors (mostly spices) are solid in themselves, but they don't seem to quite come together too well on my palate. Has a surprisingly dry finish to it, with the hops making their appearance in the after taste (bringing a bitter fruit element to the taste). Not bad, but not fantastic either. Decent mouthfeel, and fairly drinkable, I guess. Somehow I can't see myself have two or more in one sitting though.

kingjames1, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of hanco005
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Part of the Sam Adams holiday pack. Reviewed this over the holidays, just getting around to typing my notes now.

A—dark brownish red with about 1 inch head, very little lacing on the glass

S— holiday spices galore, pumpkin, cinnamon, not very strong, but well balanced

T— all the spices I smelled show up to greet my taste buds, a little sweet, very good malt flavor. This could be dessert

M—not near as thick as I expected, almost a little watery.

D—a very good holiday brew. Could have had 5-6 but only two were in the pack.

hanco005, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Appearance is a deep garnet/ruby red with brighter red coloration nearing the edges of the glass, very minimal white head diminished to light white lacing. Smells spicy and sweet, namely cinnamon and cloves, along with notes of orange,chocolate, and caramel. Tastes just as it smells once the initial rush of carbonation allows the palate to taste, finishes malty and sweet. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, but once the carbonation falls off, the beer is slick and smooth on the tongue. Overall a nice winter warmer, taste similar to SA's winter lager only less caramel and more spice. Considerably drinkable in the winter months, would likely purchase again.

danielocean03, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of Fugazme
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Dark amber and brown... excellent clarity.

Fizzy, nice head... carbonation aplenty! Good stick to the glass.

Malty, spicy, sugary, ginger, cinnamon, citrus on the whiff.

Caramel and malt. Cinnamon on the tongue.

Very smooth and easy to drink... a great beer for the time of year!

Fugazme, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of maddamish
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A short review on this one.

Maple, ginger and sugar notes blend together to make this a tasty brew. There really wasn't a strong smell coming out of this one. I was able to detect orange and a sugary/syrup kind of smell. But nothing pronounced.

Not a bad brew but just a bit on the watery end. I am more disappointed that this is only going to be available part of the year and only in the sample pack.

maddamish, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of patrick16o
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark, burnt, smokey red hue with a moderate tan head. The beer is crystal clear. The aroma is delightfully malty and spicy. The taste is malty followed by a fair amount of spice and a hint of orange at the end. The aftertaste is bitter/spicy. Its well balanced and medium bodied. The mouthfeel is very lively. A very good beer, very drinkable.

patrick16o, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour into my pint glass produces a 1" light tan head that slowly recedes. A thin layer of bubbles remains on the surface throughout, and heavy lacing is left on the side of the glass. The beer is a deep brown in color. I don't know about the rest of it, but it looks damn good.

smell: Don't know if it is the right descriptor or not, but I can't help but think of a big 'ol chunk of fresh cut Red Oak when I take a whiff...in a good way. Some hints of milk chocolate and spice are also present. Just the right amount of sweetness in the aroma, and a light, unassuming hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the light end of the medium range, and the body medium. It exhibits a pretty smooth mouthfeel.

taste: There are some nice flavors going on here. A moderate sweetness is just barely balanced by some light bittering hops. There are hints of hardwood, caramel, chocolate, and spice (though it is hard to pick out which ones).

drinkability: Damn good, I underrated if anything.

This beer needs to be available in six packs, instead of just the winter mix 12 pack I bought it in. The best Samuel Adams beer I've had, hands down. The best by date on the label is notched as March, and the code C25250557 is printed on the neck of the bottle.

blackie, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear dark mahogany color. The head is one-finger in height and creamy, but it recededs quickly. The aroma is of orange, ginger and cinnamon like the bottles states, but all of the aromas are rather faint. It is a very good aroma, but it is a lot harder to find than it needs to be for a winter warmer. The taste is of ginger with a touch of cinnamon. The flavor is more pronounced than the aroma, but still not as full as other winter warmer I have drank. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, fairly smooth, and well carbonated. Overall, this might not be the best winter warmer out there, but it is still good, and very drinkable.

KarlHungus, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours with a thick feel. Very little carbonation. A brown amber color, maybe dark copper. Small < a one finger head.

Smell: The aroma is subtle but thick and musky in character. Full of spices and sweet malt aroma. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger and orange.

Taste: Instantly I am smacked with a sweet malt taste. It is quite gentle on the palate. Through the middle the taste grows in depth including nice cranberry and caramel notes along with cinnamon and other spices. There is a subtle hint of something dark maybe roasted chocolate buried deep in the flavor. Finally, there is just a tad bit of alcohol showing through that is nice and warming. This is a very 'nice-and-easy' beer. It is so inoffensive that I believe it would agree with most people’s palate. It has a very mildly hopped dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and nicely carbonated, making it crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is an incredibly drinkable beer. It has just enough flavor to be interesting a not too much extreme characteristics that it is still totally agreeable. It is a good holiday beer, suitable for either dinner or a party beer. I could easy put down a number of these (with much pleasure).

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Deep garnet with a 1.5 finger head that dissipated in about a minute leaving big bubbles at the edge of the surface and only a few small spots of lacing.

S - Caramel malt with some vague and faint spicy and citrusy attributes. A little currant aroma is apparent. A buttery toffee like aroma joins after it has warmed.

T - Caramel and chocolate malts, faint coffee malt, a touch of fruity (almost cranberry) sweetness with it (and my tounge is a bit numb from the the carbonation). There is something unpleasant in the transition from the foretaste to the aftertaste. It is a flash of some vegetable muskyness. The aftertaste is a rather plain lingering sweetness, a bit of a coffee bitterness after it warms. Also a buttery flavor and a bit of cinnamon joins the foretaste when warmer.

M - Caustic carbonation, medium viscosity, not very refreshing.

D - Well, it sure beats the cranberry lambic! I am not too impressed by this one. It isn't an awful brew, but I will probably give the other one away. Not good with food. Mouthfeel and sweetness ruin the prospect of sessioning the beer.

mrasskicktastic, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a decently firm off-white head and persistent carbonation. Nose of cinnamon, caramel, citrus peel. Caramelly malt flavor with cinnamon and orange rind notes. Sturdy biscuit malt middle with enough hop bite to round out a nice snappy finish. Sparkling mouthfeel; quenching. Nice drinkability. I thought it to be an ale analogue to their Winter Lager.

orfeu, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of rajendra82
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Fezziwig came exclusively in the 12 pack holiday sampler that I had to hunt down by visiting three stores today. A merrily colored label reminded me of Christmases past. The clear body was deep reddish amber in color with an ample beige head. The aroma was dominated by the spices mentioned on the label, namely cinnamon, ginger, and orange. The taste was more malty than spicy, with toffee, gingerbread, and cookie dough like sweetness. The spices were lurking just in the background and made the palette dry as they were detected. Creamy mouthfeel was enhanced by the very soft carbonation. Very little hops detected, except maybe with a little floral flourish in the bouquet, and a tiny hint of bitterness towards the end of each swallow. Cheerful, easy to drink, and warming the spirit, despite the relatively low ABV.

rajendra82, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this ale in a Holiday 12 Pack, six different beers, two bottles of each.

I poured this ale in to a pilsner glass. It has a dark red/brown color and is clear. The head was beige, moderately thick, and dissipated slowly with only a little lacing.

Old Fezziwig smells great! Caramel, and chocolate malt, with some other sweet spices. The label says it contains cinnamon, ginger and orange.

The taste is a rich smokey, caramel flavor. The after taste is nice but lingers a little longer perhaps than necessary. Foods that neutralize the palate would go well with this ale.

I enjoyed Old Fezziwig. It is a nice seasonal (holiday) offering. Even the label looks like a Christmas card. I’d love to buy a six or even a twelve pack (I hear they don’t exist) of Old Fezziwig Ale. I’ll look for it early in the next holiday season. It would make a great host or hostess gift to take to a holiday gathering.

RJLarse, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of BRoberts914
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer rocks. It pisses me off that I can't get it in a sixer, but oh well. Yes, this is a legitimate winter ale, but it's a little less overpowering than some others I've had. Some purists may find that to be a problem--I don't, I love this beer! This is a fairly complex ale and is therefore best if served just slightly cool. The appearance is really lovely. It has sort of a glowing red-brown appearance that is really inticing with some nice white lacing. You can really smell the bouqet of spices; in particular, the cirtus and cinammon really show up along with LOTS of malt aroma. The taste follows suit; the caramel and chocolate malts are pretty prominent, as they should be. A twist of noble hops provides balance, and accents the sweet malts perfectly. Mouthfeel is fine, and I would drink more than one of these without thinking if I could get more than 4 at a time.

BRoberts914, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of murphysbleachers
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a mixed 12 pack, into a pint glass:
A: Pours a brownish-red with a nice white head. Dissipates in a minute before I taste it though.
S: Smell the cinnamon the most, a few other spices are secondary (ginger is in the background).
T: I'm not always a big fan of spiced beers. You taste the cinnamon and ginger on this one in a pleasant way. Kudos for not overdoing that.
M: Rich like holiday food.
D: Glad to try it, but couldn't see myself having more than two in a sitting. If they offered it in a six pack, I'd buy it for a Christmas party, otherwise the two in the mixed 12 are enough for me. A lot of Christmas beers I've had lately are real heavy on the spices and I appreciate that this one is a little more subtle and balanced.

murphysbleachers, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of kkipple
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cracked open this one on Christmas, I thought it was appropriate... Fezziwig pours a dark cherry wood color brew with little head, which eventually all but disappears.

Smells fruity, yeasty, and malty. Pretty promising, really. A hint of orange or some kind of citrus in there... also a spicyness. Ginger? Cloves? Not sure.

On first sip, Fezziwig assaults the tip of your tongue with tingly, spicy flavors, then settles for a fruity, malty taste that fills the mouth well. Nicely carbonated and fizzy. Finish is a bit dry and yeasty with a lingering malt taste. It has a rich, slightly burnt taste about it. I like it.

Mouthfeel is good but not great. Flavor disappears a bit sooner than I'd like, and I think I'd prefer this beer to be a little more robust, but then I haven't any other “Winter Warmers” to compare it to, so it loses no points here.

As tasty as this is, I'm not sure I'd have more than two in a sitting. It's not terribly filling, just doesn't seem to be the sort of thing to lend itself to quick drinking.

Bottom line: Sam Adams does it again with a wonderful, inexpensive beer that's quite different from your standard fare. Wish you could get Fezziwig year-round, I'd buy it for sure. Try if you can.

kkipple, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is Samuel Adams' "other" winter warmer and it'll be nice to compare this one directly with the winter ale, which I liked but didn't love. I see an interesting dark red color, almost maroon, with almost no head or lacing at all. The nose is sweet, with obvious caramel and malt voices. Also, I detect bits of alcohol, which is usually fine for winter beers where I come from.
A lot more well balanced in taste than I oringinally figured. Lots of malt but not too sweet and accompanied by enough hop backing to make this a pretty interesting beer. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel is too carbonated and the aftertaste is a bit gritty and cloying.
This is an original and complex beer but not one that really appeals to my personal taste. I wouldn't search it out out in six pack form but at least its an honest attempt at something different from the brewer, which is appreciated.

daliandragon, Dec 25, 2005
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,063 ratings.