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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

2,940 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,940
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 44
Gots: 124 | 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: 2,940 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RushLimbmalt


4.7/5  rDev +24.3%

This is a Sam Adams beer that I have been wanting to try, but never got around to buying because it only comes in the holiday sampler. It pours a reddish brown color and has a tan and white head that did not stick around for very long, but did leave nice lacing. It smells malty and like raisins and cinnamon and a hint of ginger. The flavor is every bit complex,raisins, caramel,ginger,cinnamon and nice mix of hops at the end, but is smooth and perfectly blended. This is the best holiday spiced beer I have ever tried and is the only one I will look forward to enjoying for a second time or in this case many more.

11-15-2004 00:38:33 | More by RushLimbmalt
Photo of jimdkc


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours a medium-dark brown with ruby highlights. Small off-white head that falls to a persistent foam ring. A little bit of lacing. Malty-sweet aroma with little hint of the spices. Spice is apparent up-front in the taste, however. Spice flavors are muddled, however... not distinct (not that that is necessarily bad!) You do occasionally get a little hint of cinnamon or ginger. After the spice, you taste some coffee notes and sweet carmel malts. Minimal hop flavor. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Pretty good overall... kind of grows on you as you drink it. I probably wouldn't want more than one of these in a sitting, however.

11-14-2004 04:04:30 | More by jimdkc
Photo of hobbes2112


2.98/5  rDev -21.2%

12 oz. bottle from the holiday package.

Clear medium brown pour with very light (color and size) head. Small amount of lacing left behind. Not a very strong aroma from this one, seems that the last was stronger but I forgot to review it then. I do catch some dark-dry fruit (raisin) and some back of the mouth spice (like ginger.) Taste is pretty complex and I am having trouble defining which flavors are which. Though this is usually a good thing because they flavors alternate and complement each other...this time everything just gets jumbled. I don't think this really stands up to the winter warmer category but appreciate it as a better than average beer.

11-11-2004 04:26:36 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of oelergud


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%

Very dark ruby body, big rocky tan head, tiny to medium bubbled, great lace leaving rings after each pull and good retention. little carbonation.
Strong sweet spiced scent with a hint of alcohol.
Taste is even better than the smell. Sweet malts and caramel with alot of complexity to it. Orange peel pretty apparent, supposedly this brew also has ginger and cinnamon which could be the rest I'm tasting. Aftertaste is sweet and burnt, not lingering for long though.
Mouthfeel is decent though I wish it was fuller.
Great drinkability and a great winter brew.


11-09-2004 00:09:33 | More by oelergud
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

Samuel Adams hit the nail on the head with this one. In stores at the end of October, but, should be out all year round. Pours a dark amber brown with nice clarity. The head is ample and leaves a thin amount of lace at the top of the glass.

The aroma is coffee like and cola like at the same time, indicating a nice blend of malts. The taste is very good with a background of coffee and blended malts. There is also a hint of a strong tea. There is also a nice spiciness too. Very good.

11-05-2004 00:52:19 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of bronxlord

New York

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Merry Christmas! This is a great winter beer. Again, Sam Adams surprises me with this spicy, rich, caramel ale. Wonderful aftertaste and overall great beer. Along with the Cream Stout, this ale should liven up your winter! I wish I was able to get it year round easily.

11-03-2004 22:05:23 | More by bronxlord
Photo of DFN


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

A coppery-red beer with a nice creamy tan head. I poured one into a cut-glass tumbler and it really looked classy! Taste is on the light side, with just a hint of fruits and spices, making this an ideal beer to have with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. You probably wouldn't want to drink this every day, but as a Holiday Treat, it's a definite contender!

10-27-2004 02:48:56 | More by DFN
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Fezziwig pours a very red colour. Nice single finger head that stuck around for a while. Decent lacing. The smell to me, reminded me a toasted almonds. I do not know why. It just smelled like almonds; had a toasted/roasted smell to it. The taste was very complex, but there is definite spice in there, and a little bit more hops than I was anticipating, which it hurt its rating as I do not care for hoppy beer/ale. Nice full body. A bit heavy. Quite nice.

10-15-2004 04:10:56 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of BobLuvBeer


4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

Thick brown color. Medium head. Head has a brown/almond hue. Citrus aroma, with a hint of caramel and chocolate. Strong roasted malt flavor, however it rests softly on the palate and finishes with a tangy, slightly spicy aftertaste. Very well balanced ale.

08-21-2004 14:23:11 | More by BobLuvBeer
Photo of Guinness4me


4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

Imagine creamy turtle pralines that melt in your mouth and you've got Old Fezziwig Ale.

It pours smoothly with a creamy head and a mahogany body with ruby highlights. Its aroma is malty and sweet and very indicative of the flavor to come.

As I said above, the flavor is much like a praline with chocolate, caramel and pecans. Vanilla and warm winter spices finish the taste....quite sweet.

The mouthfeel was a bit carbonated for me at first, but mellowed nicely and was extremely easy to drink.

In the future, I hope Jim decides to sell it in six packs and not just part of a sampler.

07-25-2004 02:44:13 | More by Guinness4me
Photo of connecticutpoet


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

This one was another good one from Jim Koch. A nice deep brown in color, but with a rather short head. It has a nice, lightly roasted malt aroma with hints of citrus and spice.

The taste was reminiscent of roasted malt and caramel, with a slight cinnamon aftertaste.

I first had this one when they had it available in larger bottles individually... I wish they'd offer it by itself again. This one makes it worth buying the multipack, though.

06-27-2004 03:42:33 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

Note: 2003-2004


Crystal clear deep reddish brown with an inch thick tan head.


An orange/citrus with brown sugar/maple syrup tingle the nose.


Very malty with definite orange flavors and a bitter hoppy finish. Well balanced, and goes down smooth. I wish they sold this in six packs, rather than forcing us to purchase a sampler, and only get two of these.

06-22-2004 19:55:15 | More by cbl2
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

The Fezziwig name couldn't be more appropriate for such a rich and lively ale. Its reddish-chestnut body displays glowing ruby highlights and its creamy ivory head holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. Rich, caramel-soaked and hop-infused malt dominates the nose, beckoning you to take another whiff where subtle spicing may be found. In the mouth its fine, median carbonation gently zests on the tongue before warming to become just slightly creamy. The spicing is far from over-done, and simply lends a bit of extra character and depth to an already rich brew. Deeply caramelized malts abound, and a touch of dark chocolate helps to anchor it although that's where the hops come into play. Much like the spicing, they play a supporting role, but a full on at that. The bitterness is firm enough to balance the sweetness of the malts, but never surpasses that function; and the grassy and floral hop flavors help to thin the richness of the malt so that it doesn't appear as "sweet", all the while adding breadth of character. The cinnamon, ginger and orange perk up in the finish as the dark caramel subsides, allowing you to notice them more at the start of the next sip. Like a bright, well-orchestrated symphony, Fezziwig evolves with each new movement, adding new layers to its themes without losing focus, and ending with a brilliant crescendo once the beer has warmed. It may not be quite the beer it once was, but it's certainly worth buying the winter seasonal case to have it on hand when friends and relatives drop by. An exceptional holiday beer!

06-21-2004 12:22:08 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of CSquared

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -16.7%

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown color with a light brown head of tight bubbles. Moderate lacing.

Aroma: Pleasant nose of malt prevails, with a slight spice notes present

Taste: Malt prevails again in the taste, with suprisingly little spice flavor as advertised. This beer was donated to me though, and was rather old. It was slightly oxidized, and I'm thinking some of the spices may have mellowed.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thin, but hangs and lingers of the tongue a bit.

Drinkability: This was OK for the age of the beer, but I wouldn't seek out another one in this condition. Will definitely try to get a newer sample this winter.

06-01-2004 22:15:39 | More by CSquared
Photo of andyo


4/5  rDev +5.8%

Definately my favorite Sam Adams beers. Why don't they sell this apart from the mix packs? I'm tired of buying mixed 12-packs for this beer...and then having to give away the cranberry Lambics to unassuming friends. Anyhow, this is a nice, malty treat. Hints of spice, cinnamon, and faint chocalate notes makes this one a nice holiday warmer.

Now, will they please release this one in 6-packs next year?

05-06-2004 04:58:00 | More by andyo
Photo of yeagerbm


4/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured into a pint glass. Dark reddish brown color with a creamy light brown head. Looks very good. Very aromatic with malt and spice and a discernable chocolate malt smell. Taste is great with a complex blend of fruit,spice and chocolatey malt.
overall a very tasty, enjoyable beer. Now will they just sell this apart from the cran. lambic next year, preferably solo?!?

04-17-2004 00:54:33 | More by yeagerbm
Photo of beergeek279


3.55/5  rDev -6.1%

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a very dark amber, with an uneven white head. The smell is orange and malt. The taste is a chocolate maltiness with a strong orange taste and a slight ginger. Mouthfeel is for average. As for drinkability, it's a bit much to sustain with, so maybe another one.

I had this one with today's debate about Sam Adams in mind. All in all, not a terrible beer, but not a great one either. Still, I'd probably give this one another try next holiday season.

04-14-2004 04:34:35 | More by beergeek279
Photo of watermelonman


3.25/5  rDev -14%

This poured to a solid brown with very little head. However, it left a very nice lace behind as I drank it.

The smell is off-spice and off-lager, if that makes sense. It tasted pretty good, though. The claimed spices and oranges were very apparent.

It's not something that went down too easily, but I'd probably drink another if I had one.

04-13-2004 00:56:51 | More by watermelonman
Photo of HardTarget


4/5  rDev +5.8%

Aroma: The spices nicely compliment a malt base. The ginger really comes out nicely with a hint of cinnamon. This has a nice Christmas smell to it.
Appearance: Clear dark brown with a long lasting tan head that left a wisp of lace.
Flavor: Spiced malt. No hops noted, but the malt was nicely kept in check and didn’t become sweet. The spices are at a nice level; strong enough to get your attention, but not so much that it takes away from the overall beer taste. More of the orange came out in the taste. Without the spice, I’d call this a brown ale.
Mouthfeel: A rich creamy feel with a medium body and a pretty clean finish. A touch of oil at the end extended the aftertaste.
Overall Impression: While not a huge Sam Adams fan, this is a good Christmas beer! Well-spiced, well-balanced, nice total package. It started to fade in taste as it warmed and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think it would make a session beer. I do think I’ll pick up a sampler 12-pack next season though. Worth a try!

03-30-2004 02:08:38 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Southernbrew


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours red-brown with a medium bubbly head.

Aroma is full of spices, orange and ginger most noticably with a light cinnamon element also.

Full body, low carbonation. Very noticable ginger presence. Slight caramel sweetness noticable as well. Very slight bitterness comes in at the end as do warming qualities from the alcohol.

A very fine winter ale, one of the better ones I've had.

03-27-2004 06:05:04 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.55/5  rDev -6.1%

Dark orange-copper topped by a very large, tight-bubbled, ecru colored crown. The lid eventually falls to a thick disk and deposits shredded sheets of lace. There isn't a great deal going on with the nose. Just toasted malt and assorted spices that I'm unable to guess at due to a lack of power.

The flavor is decent, but isn't especially exciting. Like the nose, sweet caramel malt and indeterminate spices are present. According to the label, Old Fezziwig Ale is brewed with cinnamon, ginger and orange. There's no way that I could have identified any of them without knowledge of their presence.

As the beer gains a few degrees, cinnamon comes to the fore, ginger is questionable, and orange peel is essentially absent. There's also a little coffee lurking around the edges. The mouthfeel is at least medium and is enjoyable enough for the above score to be granted.

Sam Adams Old Fezziwig is a nice attempt at a winter warmer, but I've had better. I'm not sure what changes would improve it. A different combination of flavors perhaps? But then it would be a completely different beer and there's not much point in that. Or is there?

03-24-2004 01:15:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of travolta


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

12 oz bottle

Apperance: Amber in color. I cannot judge on the head as i am using a glass which does not produce a good representation.

Nose: Malt, cinnamon and caramel, it is sweet at first. A nice wintery smell to it.

Taste: I got a very wheaty taste, nice and dry. Not like crakers, but more like dry, wild wheat. if you just took the plant and stuck it in your mouth. You get a bitterness from this beer that is interesting. It is right in the middle of the taste. this beer smells sweeter than it tastes. Some cinnamon at the end. this gives it a nice finish.

Notes; What I loved about this one was it's taste and it's nose were a bit different.

03-18-2004 09:22:34 | More by travolta
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours an attractive semi-opaque brown that contains a tinge of reddish-orange. A hard pour produced a small-medium head that lasted a few minutes; a moderate amount of carbonation kept it from going away all together. The aroma was the best part of this beer to me- it was a combination of sweet fruits (apples & cherries) and spices (cinnamon) that was somewhat bready, kind of like the way you always hope fruitcake will taste (but it never does). The flavor was a bit surprising, in that the aroma did not follow through as much as I would expect. The flavor was much more sharp than sweet, with spices (cloves & others I can't identiy) coming though much sharper than the bready fruits. Not a bad thing, just surprising. It finished with a warming alcohol glow. Overall- not a bad brew, but I was surprised by the switch from aroma to taste. I could not drink a lot of this at one sitting, but would not turn one down if offered!

02-28-2004 07:02:13 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of ark57


3.63/5  rDev -4%

This holiday beer is ruby-brown in color. The aroma brings showcases the cinnamon and some citrus notes. It is full bodied with tastes of caramel and slight chocolate. It is quite smooth and has a spicy finish. I like the taste, but do not think I could have more than 2 in a sitting.

02-23-2004 13:33:51 | More by ark57
Photo of smcolw


3.18/5  rDev -15.9%

Reddish brown in color; nice light tan head which provides decent lace. Burnt oily caramel and butterscotch aromas with a slight hop note.

The caramel comes through distinctively on the first sip. Sweet crystal malt is followed by a small, but noticeable, hop bitterness. Rich, thick with a low carbonation. Similar to a Scotch Ale.

02-22-2004 22:08:00 | More by smcolw
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,940 ratings.