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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,267 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,267
Reviews: 1,346
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 68
Gots: 323 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,267 | Reviews: 1,346 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hwwty4
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer of the Sam Adams Winter Sampler, and the best I must say. I buy Sampler every year and always anticipate it just for this beer. Pours a reddish amber with a 2 inch off white head that lingers and leaves slight lacing down the glass. Aroma is of toffee and the typical winter brew spices. Taste is toffee and caramel with just a bit of bitterness at the tail. Mouthfeel is full and leaves an oily coating in your mouth that helps the taste stay with you. Probably the most drinkable beer in the Winter Sampler.

Photo of aquaderek
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this beer into a tasting glass. It was very dark coppersih orange in color and nice creamy head that dissapates to a 1/4 inch and lasts. The nose is interesting, First impression, it smells like a ginger bread house, sweet cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is unique as well malt sweetness, you get the spice, and some very slight hops to round it out, very nicely balanced. The mouthfeel is slippery a little more carbonation than I would have liked. This beer could be very drinkable, but it is unique enough that I would probably return to a favorite before having a session of this beer.

Photo of FireEmt37
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very dark brown, clear with a nice head

S- roasted, malty smell

T- roasted malts hit first followed by the spices. The ginger and cinnamon leave a nice taste in the mouth

M- Heavy with a nice amount of acrbonation

D- I can see this as an after dinner type of beer, but Im not sure I would put this as an all nighter beer

Photo of slagle9480
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this winter beer. This actually may be one of my favorite winter warmers.

Sam Adams was clever in brewing this one. I love the taste (orange, ginger, etc.) and couldn't resist drinking it quickly.

I would love to see this released in a 6-pack rather than just 2 of 12 in the Winter Classics. I justify buying the 12-packs just to get Old Fezziwig despite my disliking of the Cranberry Lambic.

Photo of dacrza1
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark black body with a nice, somewhat even trailing of off-white head in a shaker... smoke, bourbon (?), cask scents--caramel and coffee too, inviting...a bit oily and thin to the back of the mouth--not as full-bodied weight worthy of the Fezziwig name! A bourbon-tinged taste, a bit complex and smokey--yet not substantial in its flavor... as an homage to Dickens, this beer falls a bitshort, but as a winter wassail, suitable and pleasant enough...

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

A: Pours a deep brown / amber. Off white, one finger thick head that lasts for quite awhile.

S: Strong aroma of caramel and toffee. Hints of typical holiday spices, like nutmeg are also present. Definitely smells sweet.

T: Sweet up front with flavors of caramel and toffee, just like the smell. A pleasant spiciness balances quite nicely. It could have a little more alcohol warmth, though.

M: Smooth and medium bodied. Slick on the tongue. Maybe a little too slick.

D: A good winter warmer for sure. However, one or two is definitely enough. I just wish it were more "warming".

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

Appearance - Pours the color of black coffee with an off-white head. Lots of sticky lace and fairly good head retention.

Smell - Cinnamon, cocoa and caramel. Subtle spiciness.

Taste & mouthfeel - Roasty and bready; moderate sweetness with notes of chocolate and spices; zesty citrus hops and burnt toast in the finish. Full-bodied for a beer of moderate alcohol.

Notes - An expertly balanced winter warmer; one of the best examples of the style coming out of the US.

Photo of wingman14
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown a decent mocha head that faded fast. The malt dominates the smell, with the sweet and roasty notes. Hard to pick up the spices that are advertised in the notes on the neck of the bottle (cinnimon, ginger, and orange). The taste is malty with some of the cinnimon and ginger showing through, but still dominated by sweet malt, but not super sweet. Aftertaste is spicy, a nice smooth finish. The mouthfeel is light, could be somewhat thicker, but still not bad, a decent balance. This one is a good winter beer, nothing amazing, but still good.

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

12oz. bottle: This one pours a darker brown color with an off-white head. I get caramel; malt, cinnamon, and some chocolate to the nose. The flavor is pretty good. Some roastiness, hints of orange, spices. Hops balance out any real sweetness. A decent beer.

Photo of sjohansen
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As a present this year, I was given a 6 pack of the Sam Adams’ Christmas Ales. I’ve been very lucky to have an opportunity to experiment with many 2007 holiday offerings, and although the Fezziwig was good, there are some stronger offerings available for the season. It is a very solid ale reminding me of other olde ale seasonal styles, and it is definitely drinkable, but there’s nothing that makes this one standout.

The Fezziwig (sorry I can’t stop typing that word,) pours a medium to dark amber with little carbonation. There was a light head that stuck around for the first couple of sips, but then dissipated with very little lacing.

The smell is not as strong as other spiced ales, and it tasted just as it smelled. As it warmed I could get a little more of the spice, mostly the orange peel. It has a pretty solid malt base.

In summary, the Fezziwig is a very drinkable olde style ale, and balances well. This isn’t a holiday offering that I would run after, but it does hold its own.

Fezziwig, Fezziwig, Fezziwig. I think I have it out of my system now. Thanks.

Photo of MiScusi
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pretty dark brown, but the liquid was clear. Big frothy head develops but kinda falls pretty fast. Thought I could pick up a little cinnamon in the smell even before I read the bottle and noticed it was brewed w/ ginger, cinnamon, and orange. Other than that it seems mostly like toasted malt, like it was brewed with a lot of Munich and/or victory malt. The taste was heavily toasted malt and spices were apparent though not overwhelming. You really had to look for the spices, which were hard to taste individually, except maybe the cinnamon. The mouthfeel is really good, especially for a festive winter type ale because it has a good body on it but not too hard to drink. This is the type of beer that feels like you could sit around with it during the holidays and drink pretty easily while it gives you a good satisfying taste.

Photo of burnstar
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown with a medium long lasting tan head which leaves nice lacing. Aroma is sweet and fruity. Apples and pears. Cinnamon. Light sweetness with a distinct chocolate note at first. Some fruit notes and spice. But not particularly bitey or spicy. Caramelly in the finish and aftertaste. Smooth. Full bodied and lightly carbonated which I think suits this beer well. Pretty drinkable for a winter warmer.

Photo of wheelinshirt
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the SA Winter variety case, poured into a pint glass. Deep copper colored beer with a decent sized off white head with decent retention but little lacing.

Smell was mostly sweet malts, spices listed on the label (cinnamon, ginger, orange peel) all seem to be there, but mostly in the background. Taste is much more spice forward. Kind of reminded me of Weyerbachers Imperial pumpking. Not bad, but a bit odd. Medium light seemed a bit too thin, especially with the moderate carbonation. Should have been a bit fuller.

Overall, a decent beer that goes down easily enough, but not good enough to make up for the seriously flawed cranberry lambic that comes bundled with this one in the holiday sampler.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. Emerges dark maroon with a slightly tanned head of decent size, about one and one half fingers tall. Falls to a thick ring around the edges and a slight film on the top layer of beer.

Aroma is malty and sweet. Slightly fruity. Toasty and bready and somewhat grainy. Smells like most brown ales. Some caramel and the slightest bit of chocolate. Not really getting any spices typical of some winter warmers. I like the absence. Not much hop aroma besides some fruity English hops.

Flavor is quite nice. Somewhat spicy with a nice dark fruit flavor and some chocolate. Nice toasted malt flavors. Raisins and plums. Slightly sweet. Not cloying at all. Some vanilla even.

A nice beer. I have had some winter warmers that just werent very good, but this one has to be one of my favorite in the style. Light to medium bodied, low carbonation. Somewhat oily and sticky on the palate. Could be a nice session beer, but it is available only in mixed 12's. I got what I expected with this one; and thats almost always a good thing.

Photo of KodyBrannon
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. This beer poured a dark brown color with a tan head, that left a fair amount of laceing down the glass. The smell of this beer is of roasted malts, with just a hint of chocolate. All of which come through in the taste of this beer also. There is also a little bit of a cinnamon aftertaste. The mouthfeel of this beer is very light and easily drinkable. Recomended for anyone who is looking for a quality seasonal.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Fezziwig pours a brilliant, clear dark copper color with a frothy off white head on top. When the foam fades a fair amount of netted lace clings to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is rather faint, but has notes of nutmeg and ginger with a touch of sweet malt mixed in. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is crisp with a firm carbonated tingle on the tongue. The flavor is full of spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and orange peel are all present. In the background a sweet caramel malt and a fruity grape flavor balances out the spices. Once gone some of the nutmeg and ginger flavor linger on the palate.

This is a great holiday ale that I look forward to every year. Once upon a time in the mid 90's this beer was available in six packs. I wish Sam Adams would once again sell it outside of the winter 12 pack case.

Photo of Tilley4
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed these two and the Holiday Porters out of my Holiday Mix Pack to take to my old man's house for the Christmas get together.

Reddish-brown look with a pretty good head on this.

Aroma is that of bananas. Yep, I know it's crazy but it smells like bananas to me. Just like the Paulaner Hefe-Weizen I had a couple of weeks ago. Maybe a little spice, but lots of banana.

Kind of a weird medley of spiciness, malt, a little hops, and caramel on the taste here. Not sure that I'm crazy about it, but I'm glad I got to give it a try.

I will definitely be buying the Holiday Pack next year and will drink this again then.

EDIT: giving this another go in 08...

Pours out a beautiful reddish color, almost looks like a red ale.. Beautiful...

Aroma of.... Yep, still banana esters with some malts and spices thrown in for good measure..

The taste is just off somewhat to me. I love their Holiday Portwr but this one just doesn't do it for me... As much as I want to like this with its name and limited availability and all, I'm just not crazy about it...

Oh, well...on to the Holiday Porter..

Photo of Doomcifer
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'07 edition - 5.9%

Pours a burgundy/amber color with a great frothy head that sticks around. Good lacing. Smells of holiday cheer! For some reason the aroma reminds me of my childhood around xmas. Taste is malty, some alcohol presence, cinnamon, ginger, hop spice finish. Dry finish. Decently drinkable.

Photo of Mitchster
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of a 12 pack winter sampler. 12oz bottle. Brewed with two row pale, munich 10, chocolate malt, caramel 60, ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel. Hopped with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittlefruh. OG=16 P, 5.9% ABV, 210 Kcal per bottle. First brewed in 1995, this is the Winter 2007 edition.

Pours out to a clear dark chestnut, forming a modest light beige head with good retention and mild lacing. Carbonation is moderate, always consistent with Sam Adams products. The aroma is nice and malty with the emphasis on amber grain toast and biscuits. Spice is there, but not domineering. I also get vanilla and walnuts. The mouthfeel is nice, easy to drink, with a medium body. The rich flavor gives the illusion of a denser body. The taste starts out with the toasty malts, but is quickly replaced by the spices, but they have this kinda sour, acidic bent to it. The ginger is deinfintely apparent in the middle, then there is some brief metals, plenty of ale fruity esters, and then some lingering metals. The finish is dark, earthy and musty and leaves an aftertaste of leather and metal. Bitterness is mild to moderate. Slight chalk in the finish as well.

An average winter seasonal. It's not bad, but doesn't do much for me either. Something is lacking and off-kilter. I'd much rather drink Sam Smiths Winter Welcome.

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into chalice. Pours a deep, dark, ruby with slightly off-white head. Some retention and some lacing. Smell is a blend of malt, cinnamon, orange (almost a creamy orange) and something else I cant distinguish (biscuit perhaps?). Little heavy on the malt for my taste. Speaking of taste, something just isnt right here. Not that its terrible, but of the winter beers I've tried thus far this is my least favorite. Very heavy again on the malt. Some spices, cinnamon sticks out the most. Medium to almost heavy mouthfeel leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Overall another mediocre offering from Sam Adams. To me this tasted like their Octoberfest with some different spices added, not too great.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful rusted brownish red with a very small head that settles to a thin skim quickly. Lace is minor, but it desperately tries to get its cling on.

Aromas are spicy but not necessarily sweet...more earthy and leafy, with nutmeg, cinnamon and tobacco coming through...still, it's got a dessert-like character, like the smell of a freshly baked mincemeat pie or something.

Ginger and orange finally show themselves in the flavor, which still also reminds of cinnamon and nutmeg. A toasted element works its way into the finish, where an obvious but conservative hops bitterness twists in with the spices. Almost better for its aftertaste than its actual-taste. All in all, a pretty tasty thing.

The flavors here are very balanced. A highly drinkable example of the style. Might lean toward the spicier end of the spectrum, but consider the style. And also consider how many winter warmers are undrinkable due to reckless overspicing. Good stuff.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown with reddish highlights and a tan single-finger head. The smell is very malty with a touch of orange and cinnamon smells. The front taste is all malts that gives way to the ginger and cinnamon tastes and finished by a little bit of a piney hops bite. I wasn't able to detect any orange even though there seemed to be some in the smell. This beer has a nice full mouthfeel but might be a little to heavy to drink more than one or two of at a time. If spiced beer is your thing, this beer's definitely worth a try.

Photo of Kallessin
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a deep red/brown color. Very clear when held up to a light. The head has a very silky look and texture to it. One look and you just have to drink it.

The first sip has very smooth malty flavor. After few more, the ginger and orange flavors really start coming through. Very well balanced, not too malty and not too spicy. The cinnamon is very subtle and not too overpowering.

Like I said before, it has a pretty smooth mouthfeel at first, then finishes a little dry, but not too bitter. It has a fair amount of carbonation giving it a little bite towards the end.

Overall a very drinkable beer. Everyone should try this beer. I look forward to it every year in the holiday 12-pack. My only complaint is they only put two in the package.

Photo of malty
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

March ('08) is notched. My bottle's label reads'5.9%' ABV.

Pours a brilliantly clear brownish red, but when held against a 75W traditional light bulb it beams gorgeous 'jello' red. The head is fine and creamy with a very light beige 2" head. Small blips and swatches of lace.

The nose of this ale emanates an ultra fresh display of toasted and roasted malts melded with very discernable notes of cinnamon, bitter dark chocolate, malted milk powder, vanilla cake batter and ginger. I believe I can make out the faint floral hops, but maybe its just their 'brightness' and not the actual flower or oil?

The flavors described above translate very well in the taste. I also get a good amount of Concord grape flavor, some orange and a smidge of woodiness. The ginger and cinnamon greet the tongue straight away, and then the layered malts roll out the welcome mat, pull up a chair and ask you to stay a while.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of moderate and fine carbonation that slowly builds a second or two after the liquid is ushered into your mouth. Nice spicy and somewhat dry and flavorful finish.

Drinkability is very high. I commend SA for keeping this cult classic in their holiday 12 pack, but I DO WISH they'd release it in 6 packs all to itself. I could really have a few or more of these in one sitting.

Overall a splendid holiday ale that I sometimes go without when I don't feel like buying the entire 12 pack just to obtain 2 of these bottles. This year I did and am very glad. One of the best smelling beers I've encountered. It's a playful yet regal ale that meets you on many different levels, given your mood and disposition. A fantastic holiday ale for sure!

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, best before March 08 etched into the side of the bottle.

A: Pours a dark but clear ruby brown woth a rocky inch and a half head, not much carbonation, but I love the color on this beer, very pretty, and a decent amount of lacing clings tightly to the glass.

S: Mmmm certainly smells good has a wonderful blend of spices mixed together the stongest I want to say are orange peel and cinimon, I know I know orange peel is not a spice but it is still there in the beer, the spices are dumbed down a bit by a residual sweetness that makes this beer very inviting.

T/MF: There is a nice and herbal ginger and cinimon with a little bit less orange peel than the inital smell would have indicated but is balanced by an underlying sweetness, do not be fooled though, the spices dominate this beer as it and closes again with cinnimon with a bit more pepper in the finish.

D: This is a damn fine beer from sam adams one of the best I've tasted from them and would be the first I'd reach for out of their mixed sixes or twelves. Great in winter but I'm not sure how it would hold up in summer.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,267 ratings.