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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

3,175 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,175
Reviews: 1,325
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 63
Gots: 234 | 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: 3,175 | Reviews: 1,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Chocolate amber with seductive highlights. The head on this beer is good but not great. Something has happened to Sam Adams flawless carbonation practices. Oh well. This rapidly fallen tan colored head has left only a film and ring around the glass. Bummer.

S: Dark cherries, milk chocolate, caramel corn, raw cinnamon rolls, nutmeg, ginger bread and apple pie. Great smelling brew.

T: Begins with a doughy chocolate character with a strong gingerbread component. Caramel red fruits nip the front tip of the tongue and blends exquisetly well with the winter spices. Some spruce like moments occur with just a touch of bitterness. Finishes sweet and chewy cafe mocha and more gingerbread.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a medium body as well. Little bit of carbo sting but its minimal.

D: I really like this beer. Honestly, one of Sam Adams best offerings. I'd like to see them make this beer into a higher alcohol version with more even more complexity than it has.

Photo of Drew966
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale pours a dark brown with red highlights and an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is malty. The added flavorings are definitely noticeable, orange and ginger are both there as is cinnamon. Raison flavors are present. Not bad, but not my favorite winter warmer.

Photo of UnionMade
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear cherry brown, coated with a modest, cream colored head. Great beading, the foam made up of tight, evenly sized small bubbles. Good lacing, too. The aroma is roasty and spiced. Not subtle, but not overpowering the beery aspects. Ginger comes through most prominently, it's spiciness bolstered by the cinnamon and the zesty aspects enhanced by orange. Really a great spicing combination. Clean otherwise, with perhaps a bit of english hops coming through. Some caramel and apple skin, as well. The flavor starts with warm, caramel brown-ness, cushioned with the holiday spices. Ginger is again most prominent, but I feel like I'm getting nutmeg with the ginger/cinnamon combo. Orange shows through with some citrus zest into the finish. A light touch of sweet, phenolic smoke. Bittersweet, chocolatey roast takes up the finish with tobacco and urbane, woody english hops. Fairly light on the palate, with softer, finely bubbled carbonation. One of my favorite holiday beers, and definitely one of my favorite spiced beers. Expertly crafted.

Photo of torchedpunk
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a bubbling head that holds for a minute or two, A dark rub, a little lighter than the porter.

Smell- The cinnamon smell is apparent instantly. noticable caramel malts with a slight smell of roast.

Taste- strong taste of malts, and a brief taste of roastedness, smooth sensation of cinnamon. After taste of the ale yeasts, very satisfying.

Mouthfeel- Very balanced, not too heavy, but with slight accents of a porter. A smooth and clean taste, doesn't taste bottle conditioned.

Drinkability- this is a christmas blessing. its beautiful with its cinnamon taste, and goes great next to a fire with a buddy. Drink it after dinner, as not to offend your food, but perfect to end the night with a great berr and a fire and a buddy.

Photo of GPHarris
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a three fingers thick, bubbly and off-white head. the body was clear mahogany with red tints. left sticky lace and nice sheeting throughout.
s - smells sweet, mostly of caramel and toffee.
t - citrusy with a hint of cinnamon with a nice hop backbone.
m - crisp bite at first but becomes very creamy and slick.
d - good stuff. my second favorite out of the winter pack behind the cream stout. very similar to BBC's winter lager.

Photo of Backer2004
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is just not as good as the Sam Adams Winter Ale. I like the spices, creamy finish, and specialty caramel malts, but in my opinion, the Boston Beer Company makes an excellent seasonal with their more famous winter warmer. Does hit the chest with a bit of warmth, though. That's not to say don't try it, but the two in the mix pack hit the spot.

Photo of BeerRun13
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber with a swiss mocha colr head that fades a bit and leaves some spots of lace.
Definately smell the spices. A little malt behind. Ginger is very noticeable.
Taste pretty much mirrors the aroma, but with some some nice bittering aspects to it.
Medium bodied and nicely carbonated. A little sticky.
Overall good Winter Warmer. Nice one to have in the Sam Adams Winter pack.

Photo of arnulfooxblood
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance--Deep brown with a faint reddish hue, nice tight 1 inch head that sticks to the glass as it diminishes.

Smell--roasted malts, faint ginger.

Taste/moutfeel--Good malty winter brew! Roasted malts are complemented by a very faint citrus flavor, neither are overpowering. A very nicely balanced beer. Robust mouthfeel, not quite chewy, but certainly not thin.

Drinkability--I could have a few of these. Unfortunatley, I haven't seen it outside of their winter sampler.

Photo of gun1now
1.8/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Tried this one at a recent Christmas party in which the host obviously purchased a few Sam Adams Seasonal Packs.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into Pilsner glass.

Appearance was nice. Decent head. Reddish-amber color.

It smelled pretty good, the spices came through.

The taste was awful though. I was expecting a spiced holiday beer but the spices were just way off. It just didn't seem very balanced at all. I couldn't finish it. I got through about a quarter of the beer complaining all the way before a friend reminded me that we were at a party and there were plenty of other, much better beers. I dumped it down the drain, rinsed my glass, and picked a better beer.

Photo of ndekke39
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12 oz bottle with a May 2007 best-by date. It's a beautiful dark ruby color with a very small white head. It appears to me to be the definition of a Winter Warmer. Smells and tastes warm and spicy. Center of toasted malts, bread, and yeast. Aromas and flavors of bread, clove, cinnamon, a bit of citrus: orange. A little fizz on the front of the tongue, but otherwise the mouthfeel is fairly creamy. Highly drinkable beer - one of my favorites for the Christmas season!

Photo of hopbar
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sal's Bar and Liquor in Wash. Twp., NJ.
12 oz. bottle from the Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack
March 2007 Expiration
Pint Glass

A: Poured a dark brown color with very little head.

S: Very sweet and sugary with definitely a touch of cinnamon.

T: It was almost too sweet and reminded me of flat Coca-Cola.

M: Lack of carbonation left it flat.

D: I was not overly impressed considering how much I enjoyed the Winter Lager. I'll probably let someone else have the second one in the pack.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 ounce standard brown glass bottle with a shoulder embossed with a brace of “Sam Adams” text sealed with a gold colored crown cap. The main label is nothing like the generic Sam Adams offerings. “Old Fezziwig Ale” is in white text set against a gold edge red sash. A traditional looking and very appropriate intensely colorful Victorian cum Dickensian Christmas scene sets the backdrop. Described as “Ale Brewed with Cinnamon, Ginger and Orange” Has a nicked “APR” Brewery Fresh Date and a listed Strength of 5.9% ABV (which differs from the 5.6% currently listed on BA).

Appearance: The collapsing head projects deep down into the high rising foam cap that formed on the initial pour. Bubbled crusty looking lacing and a ¼” thick head. Supreme conditioning is very fine and lively but restrained and not unwieldy. Rich mahogany body has a polished dark brown exterior with ruby flashes from the perfectly clear body.

Nose: Warm nutty malts, roasted horse chestnuts and a toasty backdrop. Spices are evident but hard to differentiate or identify individually. Cinnamon does bubble under the surface with an orange peel zesty tang. Baking bread texture on the nose carries a heat, like mulled Ale. Boiled raisins, caramel and a little dark chocolate too.

Taste: Trumped up roasted and toasted nutty malts are the backbone here, they carry caramel, toffee, orange peel, dark chocolate and a healthy dollop of Christmas spices but they are balanced perfectly. Cinnamon only comes through after a few mouthfuls. Brown sugar and rum sneak into the lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: The warming nature of the horse chestnuts and roasted malts help to add a comforting heat familiar to many from snow laden Victorian markets. This is balanced by spices and dried fruits which add some excitement. All this is nicely delivered through a carpet soft fluffy palate which has a healthy body.

Drinkability: I find that I can race through a bottle of this, but I never quite yearn for another one. It’s a good solid drinker, but not really a session beer. Very enjoyable nonetheless.

Overall: It is always a pleasure to return to this Winter Brew once a year. I’m not sure if I would pick this up in Six-Packs, I think there are perhaps slightly better Winter Brews out there, but this is an old favorite and one I always look forward to revisiting. Solid stuff.

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

Winter variety pack -- part III. Another winner by BBC. Richly malted and creatively spiced. Sweet malts begin to pick up on dark syrup flavors, but not viscocity. Bready and sweet with a hint of toast, nuts, chocolate, and toffee. Spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and curraco decorate the aromas and flavors, adding a punch of variety, but never becomming distracting -- always complimentary. Medium bodied allows for easy drinking. The alcohols and hops cut through those holiday foods nicely while standing on its own if needed. Finishes with a hint of spices and a follow-through of malt sweetness.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a brown/red color with a good sized lingering tan head. There's also lots of lacing on the glass. It smells like cinnamon, orange, ginger, and a bit grainy/doughy. The taste is very malty. It taste pretty much the same way it smells, except the ginger, breadiness and orange is a bit stronger in the taste. There's also a very slight bitter aftertaste, but it doesn't last long at all. The mouthfeel is light/medium, but a bit watery. The drinkability is good, but I think I would only want to drink 2 or 3 at a time. Not a bad holiday beer at all. Like a lot of people, I'd like to see it available in a 6-pack instead of just in the SA Winter Classics Holiday Sampler.

Photo of medic25
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This and Harpoon winter Warmer are my two signs that the Christmas season has begun. Pours a rich amber-chestnut color with very little head. Strong malty aroma, with a hint of spice. Flavor seems a little less complex than it has been in previous years, but still a tasty, spicy character, rich in malty sweetness. This is a great beer on a cold December night!

Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

Poured a really nice looking copper that glowed when held to the light. The body was clear and clean. The head started off 2 fingers of slightly off-white creaminess and settled to half finger solid cap. Small sticky lacing.

Mmmm...that smell. For a winter warmer this is one of the better smelling ones I've encountered yet this year. Smells very doughy and surprisingly flowery. According to the label it's brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and orange. All I can smell is some of the orange but thats from digging deep. It's also the sort of orange you would smell in a hot tea or cider.

The flavor brings out more of the orange and cinnamon. The bready malts are the backbone of the entire drink but small waves of cinnamon and orange overtake things periodically. Nice use of the spices without going overboard.

The mouthfeel seems a touch on the light side. Medium bodied with mild carbonation that lets the flavors work their way through.

Drinkability is good for this type of beer. Not too heavy and definately seems like a nice cold weather beer.

This is a fine winter warmer. It easily out drinks the other beers in the Sam Adams winter mixed packs. This would be one I'd pick up in 6'ers if they sold it that way.


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

I had one of these at a party out of a multipack, so I thought I would give SA a chance and buy that multipack and review the beers with a clear head.

This poured dark dark ruby brown with just enough head in my Duvel tulip. The smell was really spiced cinnamon and ginger; just like when you take all of your christmas decorations out of the atic or cellar and you open the box and there is the ornaments and maybe a broken Santa candle that smells like christmas spices. thats what it smells like.

The initial taste was a solid malt structure, teetering on sweet, but layered with roasted and caramel malts and grains and slight touch of hop backbone that mixed well with the citrus range of the spices.

The mouthfeel was decent, it was full of sugar at times, but the complexity and the christmas spirit of the beer makee it one of the best in the Sam Adams catalog.

Photo of treedoctor5002
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the Sam Adams Winter Pack

Poors a dark amber color with a very small head(I may have under poored it just a bit). Appearance is similar to a brown ale.

Smell is malty sweet with a touch of cinnamon to it.

Taste is good but not overly refreshing. Semi-complex with more flavors coming out as you let it warm up a bit.

Overall ok. I would drink it if offered even though I'm not the biggest Sam Adams fan.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 5.9%ABV. Enjoy before March. Mahogany in color, with a thin off-white head. The head disappeared rather quickly leaving some nice patches of lace clinging to the glass. The nose if full of cinnamon, orange, ginger, and other spices. The malt character seems to be on the line of a brown ale, and goes well with the spices. Ginger and orange seem to dominate the spicy flavors. A bit roasty and robust. This is a nice spiced beer, and worth checking out. The only problem, if you want to call it that, is that you probably have to buy the sampler pack to try it.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Initial head wasn't that thick and faded very quicly, But the retention got a lot better as it warmed and a little bit of head remained throughout.

The smell is of roasted caramel and chocolate malts. It is inticing. The taste is very nice and complex. The spices go good with this beer. The caramel and chocolate malting go well together. Bitterness is mild. Orange comes out a little bit. When I read orange on the bottle, I thought, "OH NO!" but isn't overbearing and is pretty balanced in there. The ginger and cinammon are just add another level of complexity to the beer and makes me love it.

The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. It clings fairly well too.

This beer was easy to drink and I definetly would make a session out of this beer on a cold day.

Photo of scoobybrew
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was poured into a pint glass. The head is decent and settles quickly into a lacing. It has a deep amber color. It has a malty aroma with Christmas-type spice notes. It has a ginger and cinnamon flavor, backed by a strong, sweet malt. There's very little hops perceptible as the spice and malt dominate. The body is medium with moderately high carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent Christmas/holiday time beer. It's somewhat lacking in complexity, but technically it's not flawed (I would expect as much from Sam Adams). I would like to see the orange be brought out a little more and perhaps a darker grain bill used.

Photo of BeerSox
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug.

Very deep clear red color that verges on brown. A light tan one inch head sits on top, and lasts for a good amount of time. Stacked lacing.

Dark candy malt aromas with a sharp cinnimon spiciness and hints of orange peel.

Bitter tastes among a thin body. The spritzy carbonation lends a bite on the tongue with each sip. Some leafy hop bitterness lands on the back of the tongue. A strong amount of cinnimon can be tastes on the middle of the tongue, which is a real treat. The brew finishes slightly bitter, with a lingering spice character.

I like the cinnimon flavors in this one. Seems like a good match for the winter. Recommended.

Photo of beeragent
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one in the Sam Adams holiday 12 pack. I have to say this is my favorite Sam Adams brew so far! Poured from a 12oz. bottle, with a freshness date of Apr.2007. The beer poured a dark brown, with a very small head to it. Slight lacing on the sides of the glass. The smell is a combination of spices, mainly those listed on the bottle (cinnamon, orange, and ginger). The mouthfeel is medium, but slightly less than one would expect from a winter warmer. The taste is excellent, with the spices complimenting the malt and hops extremeley well. Although I love this beer, I'm not sure that I could drink it as a session beer, but its a great beer to have, to start your evening off right. This beer fits in great with the holiday season, to get you through the cold nights (do we get those in Texas?). I'll be missing this when its gone. Get it while you can!

Photo of Byeast
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: poured a dark brown / mahogany with some red hues , with a small tan lace.

Smell: Some stuffing like bready malt with cinnamon and other seasoning like scents , hint of orange and ginger , some allsipce.

Taste: loads of interesting character! Fruitcake/ raisinbread maltiness , faint orange , hint of the ginger , slight cocoa, some cinnamon , bit of roasty character, bit more ginger in the end , and some balancing bitterness.

Drinkability: A good brew to enjoy during the holidays. Nice holiday themed flavors that would be nice with christmas and thanksgiving fare. Even though the flavors are different , i could drink quite a few.

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

Glass: Oversized weizen

Poured from the bottle the color starts a sparkling straw colored and quickly builds to a deep amber with reddish tones. Forming a thick cream colored frothy head that reduces slowly leaving a loose lace on the glass.

The nose is of spiced fruit with a hint of hop aroma. This beers taste is a mix of spiced malts with fruitish undertones and very slightly bittered. Aftertaste lingers of sweet malt and subtle spices. This was a light, slightly watery libation.

While I won't be seeking this one out, I wouldn't turn it away if offered.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,175 ratings.