1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

3,007 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,007
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 50
Gots: 158 | 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: 3,007 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewRunner
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice reddish brown color with an off white head. It has a nice head retention.

The aroma is very nice. Pretty sweet with a fruity hint to it. I wouldn't mind smelling it more often.

Taste is very pleasant. The fruit comes through a little, but not enough to distinguish it. The mounthfeel also lacks. It's just missing some thing, it feels a little watery.

But overall I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind buying a 6 pack if I'm presented with the option.

BrewRunner, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of kmcnair
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one sampled from the 2005 Sam Adams Winter Sampler.

Pours a deep dark garnet/brunette hue and makes an offwhite head. Leaves a nice bit lacing down my glass. Aroma is a hint of cinnamon and lots of roasted barley. Flavor is lightly spiced with a hint of bitterness and some roasted chocolate malts. Crisply carbonated, light to medium palate, a solid drinker with a clean dry finish. This is a solid offering from Sam Adams, I found it quite enjoyable. A brew that I am glad there are 2 of in the Winter Sampler.

kmcnair, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. with purchase before March notched on the label. Pours reddish with a hint of red and is a deep ruby in the light. The head is about a finger thick, yellow/tan, and leaves lacing on the glass from most of the sips. Smells of cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, and orange, along with floral/green hops. Roasted malts and spices on the palate, along with some bitter chocolate, traces of alcohol, and floral hops that leave a mild to medium bitterness. The mouthfeel starts medium but thickens as it warms, becoming smooth but retaining some of the tingly carbonation. A good winter spice beer.

mmmbeer, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark amber with a very large,three finger head,It really is a nice looking beer.The smell has a little bit of spices,but there also is alittle bit of cooked veggies.It's only a little bit,but it's there.The taste has a small amount of the usual holiday spices,but I don't think it's overpowering like some reviewers.There is a sweet maltiness thats nice,but you're not bombarded with cinnamon and nutmeg.The m/f is a nice even medium feel,a good distrobution of flavor.This is an OK beer,nothing great,but not bad.I would just work on the smell.

jmz62565, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of Vancer
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Geez, I wish I could get this in a 12 pack, instead of just 2 in the winter sample pack. What a great warmer, exceptionally rich and smooth, good for 2 or for 12. Nice pour, dark caramel brown in the light, almost black in the shade. Only drawback, somewhat weak malty aroma.

The cheater label told me about the cinnamon, ginger and orange – which were in the quaff, but subtle! A medium to full bodied brew, full carbonation.

The festive label really lets you know this one is gonna be fun to drink – gotta find more!

Vancer, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of shbobdb
2.25/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Let me start by simply stating that I do not like spice-beers. But, I decided that maybe I should try and expand my palate a little, so I was kinda excited about this beer. It pours pretty much like SA's boston lager, and it smells pretty good. As my girlfriend described it, "It smells very Merry Christmas". It even poured with a nice solid head, to help me enjoy the smells.
That was where my enjoyment of this beer ended. Baaag! The cinnamon and other spices just didn't do it for me. Nononononono. I didn't want to pour it down the sink, since I figured maybe it would get better as the temperature of the beer rose. Big mistake. The spice flavours continued to dominate, and even grow in strength as the beer warmed. Man, it was like dumping a bunch of mulling spices in SA Boston Lager. Gross!
If I want a christmas drink with these spices, I'll mull some cider, or (if I want booze) make some gluehwein or some mulled mead.
Then again, I freely admit that I just don't dig spice flavours in my beer. If that's your thing, then you'd most likely love this beer. Enjoy it. I've got one that'll be sitting in my fridge for a while if you want it.

shbobdb, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of Tim460
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown. Off white head that shrinks quickly but never dissapears. Lace clings to side of glass. Smells like caramel and chocolate with a hint of malt sweetness and cinnamon. Tastes much like it smells but somewhat spicy. Medium bodied, creamy. This beer is very filling for me and probably wouldn't want to drink anymore than the two offered in the holiday pack at a time. This is the main reason I purchase the holiday pack and I look forward for its release every year.

Tim460, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of chOAKbarrell
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one seemed much like a porter to me. It poured like one, with a rich, deep hue, and attractive head that took its time dying down.

The chocolate malts are out in force in the scent. You can also detect the orange peel slightly.

Again, the taste reminded me of a better quality porter. The caramel & toffee were noticeable, but not too overpowering. This was a very thick, almost chewy beer. Big points.

Robust & full of character! Perhaps the perfect follow-up to the disappointing cranberry lambic (which also comes in the Samuel Adams winter classics 12-pack), as it will totally take your mind off that previous beer. Too bad you cant get Old Fezziwig seperately. I would imagine it would be a brisk seller.

chOAKbarrell, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
4.72/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a brownish red with a thick fluffy tan head that fades very slowly leaving lots of thick laces. It has a malty aroma. I also detect slight aromas of ginger and cinnimon. A slight hop presence is detectable. This beer has a spicy taste, but not overly spicy. It is mildly spicy. It tastes really good. I taste cinnimon, and ginger. Maybe cloves also. This beer has a slightly malty sweet taste. I do not taste any hop presence. This beer goes down very smooth leaving a spicy ginger like aftertaste. I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It has a mild, very good taste. It is not strong in alcohol, so you can drink a lot. I think this is a very good beer. It is a shame that it is only available in a variety pack. I dont particularly want to have to buy Sam Adams Boston Lager and Winter Lager, and certainly not Cranbuerry Lambic just to get two of these.

OStrungT, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Looks identical to the Winter Lager I just had.

Smell: The smell is a strong cinammon/spice mix with toasted malt, caramel, and spicy hop notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Spicy and hoppy at first, it finishes rather sweet, with a strong molasses and caramel flavor. The cinnamon and ginger are present throughout, acting as balancer. The mouthfeel really lacks, being mostly watered-down and thin.

Drinkability and Overall: Not terrible. Not great. It's worth a try, put do not go out of your way to try it. Meh...

santoslhalper, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of danielharper
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of the holiday sampler from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

The appearance is very nice on this beer, with a dark reddish-brown almost black body which let only a bit of light through topped with a thick creamy off-white head.

Very nice aroma. Malty and flavored with nice "Christmasy" spices, the beer reminded me more of a dessert than a drink. Some citrus aroma, a touch of cinnamon perhaps? Pleasant and inviting.

Taste is less good. Up front with the same spiciness I got from the aroma, but with a dry astringent finish and a bit of a rough aftertaste. Not exactly bad, but it doesn't make me yearn for more.

Mouthfeel is moderate, with mild carbonation. Enjoyable without being overwhelming.

For me taste is king in drinkability, and here I find myself not really wanting another, unfortunately. It's a decent drinker, and I think it'll go well when it starts to get colder, but not a favorite of mine.

danielharper, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of Stimack
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew pours to a reddish color with a large light tan head that breaks down quickly leaving nice lace rings around the glass. The aroma is dominated by malt scents, chocolate and caramel, along with an alcohol like smell. Can pick up some spices but seem to be over shadowed but the malt, even with this it is a fine smelling brew. It is in the taste where I am able to pick up the spices, at lease cinnamon, which goes well with the malt flavors. The malt flavors seem to lend themselves to being more caramel, than the chocolate that was also picked up with the nose. Over all this is a fine brew and a favorite for a number of years at the holiday’s. Very drinkable.

Stimack, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of Celt44
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle reviewed came from a Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack - great packaging!
Appearance is a very dark copper with a medium head - lacing lasts throughout.
Aroma is spicy - strong cinnamon. Alcohol is present
Tastes of citrus/orange but cinnamon is definitely upfront.
Mouthfeel is smooth without too much carbonation. Spicy cinnamon adds a kick.
Overall a pretty decent holiday offering from Sam Adams - It definitely warms the belly! I prefer the Winter Lager and Holiday Porter as seasonals.
Is it just me, or does the chick on the label look exactly like Madonna??

Celt44, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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 +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,007 ratings.