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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

2,904 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,904
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 44
Gots: 102 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,904 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjohn27603


4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown in the glass. Smell reminds me of Spaten Optimator and kind of looks like a dopplebock too. I'm not picking up much of the orange or ginger smell. The tase is sweet and not sure on this but maybe a bit of brown sugar or molasses. The bitterness/chocolate/espresso tatse is very mild. It still reminds me more of a Spaten Optimiator. There was a slight cardboard taste. I'm suspicious this Winter Variety Pack is old. Even if it is it still has retained an interesting taste. I'm just not getting much of the spices. This one was better than the Winter Lager included in the box. I'd rather see this sold separately than the Winter Lager.

Re-review with fresh bottle: Don't quite get the cardboard flavor but still impressions are same as above review. The spices add up to some flavor that is more than a combination of the above. Difficult to separate out the orange, cinnamon, and ginger. I still get a brown sugar molasses type taste. Maybe I'm decieved by the color but that's what I perceive.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 19:36:47 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of BeerBob


4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams Old Fezziwig pours a dusky copper from a 12oz brown glass bottle. The tan head made up of fine foam bubbles goes to two fingers then back down to a broken ring with foam islands here and there on top of the ale.

Nose is a delightful cluster of malt, cinnamon, ginger and orange notes. Palate is sublime mixture of sweet malt and spice, done in a manner that will not disappoint.

A festive holiday ale offering from the Boston Beer Company, that will put you in good holiday cheer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 17:35:48 | More by BeerBob
Photo of Gusler


3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An opalescent deep sanguineous color on the pour, the head preposterous in size, the consistency is creamy, the lace in sticky thick sheets that cling permanently to the glass. Nose is malt, hints of cinnamon and caramel, quite sweet and quite pleasant to sniff. Front is malt, lightly sweet, the top middling, the finish is a bit sour, potently acidic, sparingly hopped, with a dry as a bone aftertaste. Drinkable beer, that is pleasant enough, but there are many better “Winter Brews” on the market, if I could only get my hands on some “Deschutes Jubel Ale”, now there’s a winter beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 16:28:50 | More by Gusler
Photo of mophie


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh what fun! I love Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," so looking at the label puts me in a festive mood right off the bat. Thankfully, the beer is also quite festive. I only wish it were available on its own, rather than as part of the Winter sampler. Oh well. Anyway, it's nice to look at -- deep ruby-brown with a persistent off-white head. I love the smells: orange with hints of caramelized orange peel, candied ginger, just a hint of cinnamon, and just the whisper of hops. Taste is sweet without being cloying, with just a touch of ginger and cinnamon on top of an orange fruitiness. There's a slight roasted, almost espresso aspect, with hints of chocolate. For as much as there is going on in this beer, it's all blended and balanced exceptionally well. Moderate to low carbonation makes for a fairly easy drinking beer. I think this beer would do Old Fezziwig proud.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 14:54:51 | More by mophie
Photo of Winter


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark mahogany color with a light tan head. The aroma consisted of fruit, malt, ginger and orange peel. Good carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Taste consisted of roasted caramel malt, slight citrus and cinnamon. Finish is of sweet malt with hints of chocolate layered in there too. Reminded me a bit of the Winter Lager from Sam Adams. A nice winter seasonal brew. I wish this offering was available in more than just the Winter Classics pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2002 21:34:50 | More by Winter
Photo of marc77


3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear deep garnet hue, covered by a tan, uniform, one fingered persistent head. Belgian lace is left. Festive aroma of spicy cinnamon and freshly grated ginger layered over dark caramel and dry cocoa. Trace earthy hop nose. Flavorwise, dark caramel malt sweetness upfront yields to combination of pronounced spicy melange of cinnamon and light spruce. Spiciness couples with underlying biscuit malt, lending an impression of frankincense and baked sugary biscuits mid palate. Chocolate malt undertone adds some complexity. The light hop bitterness leaves malt sweetness unhindered overall. A touch shy in body to support the rich spice and bready malt profile, but pleasantly smooth in mouthfeel. Subdued earthy and lightly woody hop flavor. Finishes w/ hints of burnt caramel and bread crust quickly fading. Old Fezziwig is a very enjoyable and certainly well spiced brew. With a greater malt presence this would be more balanced and thus more drinkable. Quite tasty, nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2002 18:03:30 | More by marc77
Photo of Morris729


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a thick creamy and sticky off-white colored head. Aroma is of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, and light citrus. Very malty flavor with lots of spice. There are also notes of dark chocolate and caramel. Not a bad seasonal beer, but spiced beers are not a favorite of mine.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2002 13:57:01 | More by Morris729
Photo of francisweizen


3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another quite good SA winter seasonal brew. This bottle of 'Old Fezziwig Ale' poured a dark red, almost brown colour. The head retenetion was very short lived though. This beer smelled very nice, kind of like a Brooklyn - Brown Ale, but a little spicier. In fact this beer kind of tasted like a Brooklyn brown ale as well. Not that that is a bad thing...it's just that I expected some complex spicy flavours in this one...oh well.
Still a very good seasonal ale from the BBC.
nice job, guys.

2003 version: even spicier and tastier this year with a much better malt profile. Good one SA!

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2002 07:47:55 | More by francisweizen
Photo of jackndan


4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adam’s Old Fezziwig: A wonderful Holiday beer, its too bad I can’t find it after thanksgiving. Clear, deeply colored red/brown, with a nice looking off white head that is thick, creamy and very long lasting. Wonderful thick Belgian lace.

This beer has a very nice, and understated, spicy aroma, with hints of ginger and cinnamon (duh, just as I finished typing that, I read the label, which clearly states that it has ginger and cinnamon in it). Very creamy mouthfeel, very smooth, with malty/molasses tastes, very well balanced by the aforementioned spices and some very nice hops. This is a truly wonderful beer, with plenty of flavor, supplemented with holiday spices.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2002 19:21:42 | More by jackndan
Photo of RBorsato


4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Auburn (ruby red to the light) with a tannish/light-brown head that lasts and leaves good lace. Spicy aroma with raisins and ginger being prominent. I don't care for ginger but this is not overpowering. Spicy flavor with raisins, ginger, and subtle licorice tones throughout. Full bodied, creamy and smooth !

2002 version: Purchase by Feb '03 Tasted: 11/19/02. Available only in Sam Adam's Winter Classics 12 packs (2 bottles).

Also tasted the 2001 version (Purchase by April '02) on the same day: Similar but a bit more ginger and alcohol character due to aging.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2002 18:37:34 | More by RBorsato
Photo of johnrobe


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany color in the glass with a tan head that shrinks rapidly. Nice sweet (like molasses) aroma with faint spices....very much like gingerbread cookies. Sweet malt has the edge here but mild to moderately bitter hops provide nice balance. A pretty good brew but I expected more. The '02 Fezziwig reminds me exactly of past versions of SA Winter Lager, a brew I've always enjoyed but I expected this to be heartier, more substantial. A more viscous mouthfeel would have raised this brew's score.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2002 19:39:59 | More by johnrobe
Photo of edchicma


4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow...for the alcohol content this is very smooth......Nice aroma..rich appearance,,,mellow taste...Mouthfeel ok..with a slight tang on the palate. As before...very smooth to drink....Warning though...it packs a little kick.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2002 17:36:44 | More by edchicma
Photo of bditty187


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby-brown hue, great color depth, the beige head was very small and disorganized, very bubbly around the edges but skimpy in the middle. The lacing was sparse as only specks of foam remained. The nose is very pleasant, surprisingly good potency; the maltiness is very sturdy with hints of chocolate and whiffs of orange peel. The palate is a touch thinner in taste than the nose indicates, the maltiness up front is bland, in the middle a light dusting of spices mingles with an orange peel, a kiss of warmth, a smidge of hops, in the finish the malt is again noticeable, chocolate influences. As a whole the flavor profile is solid, far from spectacular, a modest spice beer/winter warmer. The aftertaste is a little muddled, a little blunt. Medium in body with carbonation that is modest in its effervescence, the mouthfeel is neutral and uninspiring. There is a mild belly warming sensation. Is Fezziwig worth buying the Winter Classic Set for two bottles? That is very debatable, I’d say no… yet I buy it every year! It is plenty enjoyable to quaff, a maltier backbone would really elevate this beer. A solid offering geared for a less adventurous beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2002 12:58:55 | More by bditty187
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

smells malty and spicy. it pours to a reddish brown with some decent foam that sticks all over the glass.

goes down wonderfully smooth with spices of ginger and orange peels at the start. as it goes down you get some maltiness sweet and dry. very mild carbonation makes it a good drinker.

this works great for the winter. the spices warm you up and the crispness keeps you wanting more

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2002 19:34:39 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of allboutbierge


4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoy this a little more than their winter lager. The taste is a little more complex and the brew is a little heavier. Ginger flavors are predominate with less strong flavors of chocolate, orange, and roasted malts in the back ground. A flavor packed beer. Im still a fan of Sam Adams even if they are heading too mainstream for other drinkers. Their beer still tastes just as good to me and unless they get ruthless in their business practices like AB I'll never say anything bad about Jim Koch.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2002 10:46:27 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of jtw5877


4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown hue with a fair white head. Smells malty with caramel molasses notes. Tastes excellent complex spiciness yet maintains solid malt flavor. No flavor overwhelmes any other, blended well on my pallate. A first class brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2002 14:11:43 | More by jtw5877
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition. Dark mahogany colored liquid with a thick off-white head that stays well, and is a bit sticky. Sam Adams beers almost always do great in the appearance and head retention department. What an aroma! Ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel are all present, along with sweet malt. Caramel mostly, some chocolate, and a bit of toasted character. More intense spice aroma than Winter Lager, but a bit similar because of the spices used. The three spices are the mainstay of the palate as well. Cinnamon and orange peel mostly, but ginger isn't far behind. More toasted and chocolate malt backing them up, with a little less caramel than I expected having noted the aroma, but still a generous amount. Coats the tongue in spicy caramel sweetness. A bit of a warming alcohol presence. Rich, yet medium body. A great festive beer that's perfect for the holidays. I really wish these were available in six packs, however, I'm just happy that they keep putting this beer out at all, there being so many Sam Adams beers that are no longer produced. I'd recommend drinking one on Christmas Eve, as the name implies in a way. Superb!

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2002 21:21:35 | More by hyuga
Photo of Pegasus


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep reddish brown in color with a small caramel-colored head, tidemarks on the glass walls, slight carbonation.

Aroma: Consists of sweet caramel malt, winter spices, and alcohol.

Taste: Begins with assertive toasted malts that carry the taste throughout, lesser caramel notes, followed by nutmeg and orange flavors, and rather subdued hops, finishes quite dry with bitter chocolate and slight coffee flavors.

Mouth feel: Smooth and quite full, with just a bit of carbonation sting.

Drinkability/notes: A superb winter beer that is quite a bit like another favorite, Winterhook. Hopefully this beer will reappear for the winter of 2002-2003. It is a pity that Old Fezziwig is apparently only offered in the holiday twelve packs, there being only two bottles of it in each of those twelve packs.

Sample was purchased in December of 2001 and has been refrigerated since, still excellent.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce custom brown glass long neck with a pry-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2002 11:14:45 | More by Pegasus
Photo of StevieW


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with bright ruby reddish hue, head was slight and biege but full of aromas. Lots of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon spicy smells. Crisp taste, not overwhelming flavors. (see the Harpoon '01-02 version.) Touches of carmel, chocolate roasted flavors, then a crisp orange snap to the finish. I really like this beer, I had it in the Sam Adams sampler pack. Cool name, cool label, perfect for Christmas time. I think Boston Beer Co. should sell this in six packs at Christmas or even kegs for the pubs. Jim Koch bring this beer to the people, you'll make millions.......more, as if he needs anymore.
Ed's Note: From my Christmas '01 Boston trip.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2002 12:15:52 | More by StevieW
Photo of Dogbrick


4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really wish this one was available year round, as it is Sammy's best offering, edging out the Winter Lager. I really had trouble placing the aroma, it was kind of like toasted wheat bread with a hint of orange. The color was rich and so was the taste. Refreshingly complex.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2002 15:36:07 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Bighuge


4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice thick brown head. Burgandy color. Spice in the aroma. A nicely spiced brew. The obvious are orange and ginger. Also cinamon. A great X-mas/winter brew. I wish they sold these in 6 packs. There are many great winter brews, but this is near the top of the list in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2002 16:30:14 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Jordan


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brown, creamy pale brown head. Very distiguished flavor. Lots of roasted burnt notes, malty sweetness. Mild hoppy finish. Fruit and spice aromas.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2002 18:45:03 | More by Jordan
Photo of Todd


4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red-brown beer with an off-white creamy head, about a finger thick, that sticks and stays.

Smell: Aroma is raisiny with soft cinnamon spice. Some ginger can be detected, but it's very subtle.

Taste: Quite flavourful with a smooth and medium-bodied feel. Malty flavours are again raisiny (fruity esters) with a roasted character that provides further depth with notes of smoke and coffee. Sweetness is modest, but keeps things in check. Chocolate and caramel flavours are also present and blend nicely with cinnamon and background orange flavours. A hop bitterness begins to stand out, but is quickly overtaken by a very distinct tingly ginger spice. Finish lingers with malty notes, then the warming alcohol kicks in.

Notes: This is damn good winter seasonal IMO. Balanced to perfection, given everything that is going on. I just love this beer, and miss it dearly on its own. They should bring this back in 6-pak form. Or just bottle a few cases of bombers for me =)

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2002 18:00:59 | More by Todd
Photo of proc


3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The first time I had this, I was not a fan, but it grew on me. Of course, the last time I had it I had the Christmas carols jamming, a Santa hat on my head and my 3 year old kid and I were decking the tree, so you could say the mood enhanced my liking of this beer. Some cinnamon hints come through. A nice holiday offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2001 15:06:42 | More by proc
Photo of xXTequila


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tasty and nice to look at.
A dark garnet color with a fluffy head. Almost a cinnomon(sp?) roll flavour. I had it with a piece of pumkin pie and the two went perfect together.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2001 10:31:36 | More by xXTequila
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,904 ratings.