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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

3,250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,250
Reviews: 1,343
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 294 | 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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Ratings: 3,250 | Reviews: 1,343 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of BeerManDan
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color was a dark brown with reddish hue when poured. The smell of roasted malts and candy spice with a hint of caramel was evident in the aroma. The taste, although a little weak, was of semi sweet roasted malts, caramel and a hint of spice and molassas. A nice winter ale sitting around the fire, just 'BS'ing. Not really over-powering, just a mellow warmer!

Photo of blakesell
4.68/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 year old bottle poured into an Ommegang wine glass.

Appearance-Much darker than when it was fresh, looks black until held to the light, then it is a deep translucent ruby with tiny bubbles passing thru the reverse image on the other side of the glass. Head is pearl white and only about a half finger thick. Quickly dissapates into tiny bubbles ringing the glass. Lacing clings and lingers on the sides.

Smell- Honey, cinnamon, maple, cherry, sweet honey light malts and allspice. Sweet caramel malty flavors and a hint of belgian chocolate at the very end.

Taste- Whoa! This beer ages WELL!! It tastes very close to a New Glarus Belgian Cherry Red with the cherry coming out upfront, but the spices kick in and then it becomes another beast entirely. Cinnamon, clove, orange, caramel, juniper, a bit of chocolate malt, nearly no hop in the finish but a slight bitterness that may be from the orange.

Mouthfeel- Medium full bodied, well carbonated, well attenuated. Somewhat chewy like taffy, but not as disgustingly sweet. Slightly warming despite the low abv.

Drinkability- I will be honest, when I had this fresh I was less than impressed, but with a year on it, the beer is amazingly drinkable. I would love to find more year old fezziwig again, but it is likely to be a fat chance as I will have to buy more full samplers just to get them. Bottle these seperately Sam Adams!

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the Winter Classics 12 Pack.

12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Uber glass.

Pours a clear amber with about a finger width of tan head that retains well and leaves good lacing. Aroma is big time spicy with a sweet, fruity tinge behind it.

Taste is very sweet with tones of maltiness, spice, sour citrus. Finish is a little watery with splash of sweetness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied that leaves a tingling carbonation on the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden.

Hmmm. Quite the interesting Winter Warmer. I liked the spicy aroma and taste but the whole thing just lacked a certain beefiness that I like in my cold weather beers. It was nice to try once but I dont' really see any need to go back.

Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps one of the most talked about beers that Boston Beer Co. has, right after Cranberry Lambic. Another spiced winter warmer but its limited availability drives the demand up IMO. Big towering densely rocky tan head from a hard pour, glowing reddish brown color. You can smell all of the spices used; cinnamon, ginger and orange peel … mild chocolate malt tone in the back of the nose. Smooth and creamy with a slick full body. Mild burnt tone goes away quickly as the malt sweetness layers the palate and the spicing picks it right back up. Hint of woody hop gets lost with the spicing. Finishes off semi-sweet with a vague chocolate flavor.

Spicing does not go too far, maltiness is big enough to hold the beer together. A solid beer all around and a bit of a conversation beer as well which is good around this time of year.

Photo of TheDeuce
1.96/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Personally, I found this to be a little bit of a malty mess. Alcohol (thought the beer isn't that strong) manages to muddle in with the caramel malt so it doesn't have a clear character. On the sweet side, with no bitter character to balance it out. I'm all for a "winter warmer" but honestly this was a bit like bad candy sugar. More alcohol to counteract the sweetness and a stopgap on the caramel would help this beer tremendously to become a true "Winter Warmer".

Photo of number1bum
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a foamy two inches of light beige head. head retention is quite good, as it maintains a good lace and leaves lots of stick.

Smell is pretty weak. There's some caramel malt there, a touch of chocolate, and some spice, but it's hard to get much.

Taste consists of some malt sweetness, primarily caramel malt but there is some chocolate there too, along with ginger, some light citrus flavor, and spice. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and relatively creamy. There is a somewhat chalky aftertaste, though, that isn't all that pleasing.

This is a decent brew but nothing special really.

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

Old Fezziwig Ale pours a ruby-brown color that turns more red when held ot the light with a finger of off-white head.

Aroma is of toffee with a hint of orange.

The taste has a roasty character with hints of toffee, cinnamon, orange, and ginger.

Mouthfeel is good with a slightly coating quality and a lasting finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. I am very much enjoying this beer. My palate was less developed a few years ago when I last purchased the SA Winter Classics pack. At that time I gave the second Fezziwig to a friend - he isn't getting it this time. I'd buy a six or a twelve pack of this if it was available outside of the Winter Classics pack

Photo of BlindPig
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- About a 1" tan head on a crystal clear dark ruby brown body.
S- Big spice like clove and cinnamon, sweet toffee malt body, grass hops, and one other thing I just can't think of what it is. After reading the label it would be orange.
T- Light chocolate with sweet toffee malts with some spices helping it out. The ginger comes through nicley with touches of orange. Cinnamon stands out as the main spice and really turns it into a winter warmer. Light bitterness on top of tongue with orange, cinnamon, and toffee left over in the aftertaste.
M- Full body with medium carbonation.
D- Pretty tasty but I think there are a lot better winter warmers out there. This is a solid one that you can't go wrong with though.

Photo of berserker256
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown leather shoe colored appearance. Not a whole lot of head. Smells like butterscotch to me. I don't really detect the cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, ginger, or orange that the label states. I just taste a butterscotch type of flavor. Perhaps the combination of all of those things create what I think I'm tasting. It's an odd sort of sweet flavor that I don't ever remember tasting in a beer before. It's nice but I think I only want one per day. And then I would like to switch to a more traditionally flavored brew.

Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack.

A - Poured out a deep burgandy color with a bubbly, tan, three finger head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of spice and nutmeg. Also, some malt and other sweet aromas.

T - It had a nice complex mix of flavors. There was some chocolate, cinamon and other spices. Also, a good roasted maltiness.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is pretty good. I think I like it better than their Winter Lager.

Photo of shroompod
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from sampler. Pours with a smallish head, some lacing. Nice rich dark color.

Some spice , possibly nutmeg , melds nicely with a malty caramel base.

The spices are apparent on tasting , drying the finish. Hops lend some mild citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium/light , decent carbonation.

Overall a nice winter warmer , maybe a bit high in the spices to drink to many.

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

Appearance: Deep, transparent brown with a fluffy off-white head.

Smell: Very spicy, loads of ginger and cinnamon with a hint of orange. Background is rich sweet malts.

Taste: Toasted malt on the front, spices from the nose following. In the middle we have a bit of caramel, a bit of toast, a bit of raisin, a bit of coffee. Background of fruity esters and a bit of generic hop character, with mild and balanced hop bitterness. Really quite a bit of ginger. Finish is short and nondescript.

Mouthfeel: Slightly oily medium body, crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: Pleasant, drinkable winter warmer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a deep dense brown body that has a hint of deep amber glow in the base of the glass. There is a thick light tan head that turns lumpy but last a good while. There are some tiny bubbles that glide up the edge of the snifter.

S- This beer has a note of dark roasted malt with a dark nougat hint to it. There is a caramel smell that comes through more when it is warm.

T- The taste of soft lightly toasted malt has some darker roasted malt qualities to it followed by a light watery taste. The finish is a light orange peel note that lingers for a short second.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slightly watery texture and no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some nice malt flavors but it taste pretty light and just didn't satisfy my need for a winter warmer on a cold winter night.

Photo of argock
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass.

A: Ruby-brown, murky, and tall off-white head that stands up nicely and rings the glass

S: Malts, fruit smells like raisin and orange, and spices like ginger and cinnamon are all there. Smells great.

T: Very malty up front with plenty of toasted flavor. Then the spices and fruitiness come through with a fairly acrid finish with more burned malt flavor and a little hops bitterness to offset some of the fruitiness. A really nice wintry mix of citrus, raisins, ginger, cinnamon, and some coffee and molasses flavors.

M: Carbonation is prominent but the brew is pretty smooth with a winey aftertaste.

D: Spiced winter beers are not usually something I like a lot of, but this Sam Adams product was a very nice surprise.

Photo of quad07
4.68/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comes in a winter verity pack. Pry off cap in a brown 12% bottle.

I tried the Sam Adams Holiday Porter a couple nights before and as far as color there is very little difference. Poured a very dark almost black color into my large tulip shaped beer glass. There was a small off white head with very little retention or lacing that hung around. There was some carbonation that I could feel in my mouth but hard to notice when held up to the light. You can taste presents of hops and a dark chocolate malt taste. Maybe some citrus? Not sure about that. The alcohol was not over powering for me. I think I would not hesitate to purchase a six pack of this as it goes down pretty smooth.

Photo of wiseguy142
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. It was everything I wanted out of a winter warmer- dark, thick, and spicy. It had that nice bready feeling when you're drinking a beer that goes down perfectly. I'm happy it comes in the Winter variety pack but I'd easily buy this again on its own.

Photo of windigo32
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark brown with two fingers of off-white head. The head disappears after about 3 minutes and is left with a layer on the top.

S: Smell is nice and dark, chocolate and coffee hints. I couldnt pick up the spices or the orange. As it gets a bit warmer than refridgerator temperature, you can pick out the spices and the slightest hint of orange.

T: Earthy tones of chocolate and coffee. Ever the slightest hint of cinnamon.

M: Although it doesnt look like there's much going on in the glass, the carbonation tickles the tongue. It doesn't feel as heavy in your mouth as this looks like it would be. Although it doesnt seem like it mixes with "carbonated and tickley," this has a smooth feel to it.

D: I was drinking this in a pint glass while writing the review and realized it's halfway gone already. Drinkability is high on this one with very good tastes.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,250 ratings.