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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

2,970 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,970
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 46
Gots: 136 | 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: 2,970 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%

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?

BuckeyeNation, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of travolta
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

travolta, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%

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!

Dukeofearl, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

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.

ark57, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of smcolw
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%

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.

smcolw, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%

Well, I’ll be darned, looky what turned up in the basement. I guess this bottle has been cellared for about three months. Let’s see what happens.

Appearance: Looks good, anyway. Pours a clear, glowing mahogany with about an eighth-inch of tan foam that dissipates moderately quickly. Coats the glass with thick lacing. Very nice.

Smell: Hmm. First thing that hits me is a citrusy/green apple blast of hops and esters. Once that peels back, there is a cake-like base of malt, nutmeg/cinnamon, caramel and batter. Strong butterscotch diacetyl emerges later. It’s not as booming as The Tree, but it’s interesting and complex.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Ass-backwards. STARTS with a blast of alcohol—that’s a first. Begins with a malty, boozy, burnt sugar flavor; I think whatever spice was there got swallowed by this syrup. Thins out considerably, and finishes with a seriously sour hop pucker. Carbonation is fine and mild. Aftertaste lingers with a slight smokiness. Ambitious, but not entirely pleasant.

Drinkability: Pretty good, but the flavor isn’t working for me, so I don’t think I’d drink too many more.

I suppose that part of the reason you cellar a beer is to blend and mellow the flavors. In this case, though, it didn’t really work; I found this a bit syrupy and muddy, with the alcohol way out of focus. Maybe fresher would have been better, but not a favorite.

WetCoaster, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of jlervine
2.53/5  rDev -32.9%

Poured a deep brown with ruby hints. Glorious off white/nearly tan head formed, fell back, but stayed creamy throughout. Smell of oranges, ginger, toasted and caramel malts. Taste was a harsh orange and ginger at the beginning, giving way to roasted characteristics and finishing with a weird herbal astringency. Mouthfeel is very rough and unfinished. Blech. Not my bag, baby.

jlervine, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of taez555
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%

This beer poured a clear but dark reddish/brown body with a decent sized white/tan head.

The nose was interesting. Malt, sharp pepper, spice, nutmeg, harsh orange peel, white pepper, some light cinnamon, apples, pears, caramel, cherries, sweet malt. Really the best way to describe it is as malt and fruit cake.

The beer was medium to full bodied. Nice and spicy. A big cinnamon and nutmeg attack mixed with the smooth full-bodied malt. It actually had some characteristics of decent pumpkin beer almost. Even bitterness from start to finish. The cinnamon is sharp but at the same time totally subdued as it sits well in the mix. Dark malts balanced well. It ends smooth with just a touch of spice.

How did I miss this beer? Really a fantastic holiday beer, like something you’d have at a local brewpub around x-mas. Fruit cake and malt. Maybe not the most drinkable beer if you’re having one after the other but a wonderful myriad of flavors that balance well to make an enjoyable holiday experience.

taez555, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of JamesBerry
4/5  rDev +6.1%

A very consistently "good" beer, from start to finish. Came out a nice, soft brown color with a fair-sized head. Couldn't make out the ginger and cinnamon mentioned on the label, but there was definitely a light, zesty orange presence in the aroma. Has a nice, warm mouthfeel, a notch or two lighter than a stout. Taste had more pronounced orange and ginger qualities to it, without any noticeable alcohol taste.

JamesBerry, Jan 30, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%

Another one from the winter variety twelve pack.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish color, initially had about a one inch off white head, lacing on the glass is quite sticky and nice looking. Not Guinness nice, but better than most.

Smell: Citrusy, cinnamon, quite nice.

Taste: Malty sweetness with a hint of cinnamon, finish is a sort of burnt caramel taste that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Sort of a sharp bitterness initially. Carbonation and alcohol are pretty well done.

Drinkability: For this time of year, this is a really nice beer to have in the fridge. I only wish I could get a twelve pack of just these instead of having to buy a case of winter samplers. Nicely done.

JackTheRipper, Jan 30, 2004
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

A dark red-to-light-brown body, topped by three fingers of light tan tight foam with good peaks and valleys. The aroma is dominated by the three spices listed on the label, ginger, cinnamon, and orange, all three of which I easily identified. A soft malty brown ale lurks below, and the spices carry thru at the end. Well integrated, unlike some spiced beers which give me a dry, chalky finish. Mouthfeel has a slight watery aspect, but not a serious flaw.

Well worth it's place in the Winter Classics box, this is a liquid Christmas cookie.

RonfromJersey, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%

Mmmm, beer candy.

Appearance: A great ruby-red color. The head wasn't shaping up on the pour so I coaxed it out with a bit more oomf.

Smell: Sugary malt.

Taste: Malty again like some kind of gingerbread or molasses cookie. Very flavorful but a little too sickly sweet at times. I like the spice in this beer. They just need to tone down the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth, and it gets creamier as it warms.

Drinkability: I didn't enjoy the start or finish terribly much but everything in between was great. The beer got better as it warmed except that it lost most of its carbonation, which was not good. I could drink a few of these if I don't get sick of the sweetness.

BeefyMee, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%

Medium-sized, dense, foamy, light tan, doughy head leaves lots of spots of lacing. Clear, deep red/brown beer. The aroma is sweet, fruity, bready, creamy, caramely. Some spice. A sweet caramel front, deep malty caramel, creamy, fruity middle. Dry, hoppy finish. This is a good brown ale, but I didn't find it very Christmasy.

kbub6f, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of ChrisBowers
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%

Pretty good holiday offering from Jim Koch and company. I've found BBC beers to be hit or miss. I still prefer holiday brews from Anchor and Sierra Nevada (Celebration Ale) more, but this one isn't bad. Kinda a Christmas cookie in a bottle.

Presents a deep reddish brown hue with a small head that tapers off quickly with no lacing. Good carbonation. Rich mouthfeel with cinnamon, orange, a tiny bit of bitter chocolate and a nice bit of hops. Sweet at first with a nice bitter finish.

The smell is decent, but is my least favorite part of the beer. A little bit of sour cherries or fruit alcohol is present.

If there was a way this beer could improve, it'd be to have a higher alcohol content. 5.6% isn't bad, but it would send this beer to the next level if it had a warming 6.5-8%

ChrisBowers, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%

we have a ton of these 24 pack sam adams winter things that fell off a fork lift or something so we cant sell them. this means while 1 or 2 bottles are broken, the rest are fine. so baddam, i swiped me some old fezz from the busted up packs. pours a nice ruby with a medium sized head that sticks around for a bit. smells spicey, sweet, cinnamon and maybe light ginger. cookies baby. pretty malty with spices and caramel/toffee in the mix. a decent but not intense hop bite, balanced flavors and just plain yummy. medium bodied and pretty smooth. a nice change up and good treat. spices and such just go well with the holiday season. i ike it.

DESTRO, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of bewley
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

Served in a 12 oz bottle, one of two in a Sam Adams Seasonal 12 Pack. The label depicts an old lusty gent in a green suit dancing with a buxum lass who is looking down. Very suggestive me thinks.

Caramel taste up front with hints of coriander and cumin. (Actually, my fiancee doesn't get the cumin part.) She thinks this is just a leftover flavor from the chorizo sausage we just ate, but what does she know? I'm the one writing the review. Nice carbonation as well. I'm not a big fan of Sam Adams, but this is a really a nice seasonal beer.

Too bad they don't sell this one in a six-pack. I would buy it if they did.

bewley, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of cooter
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours loud, with massive globular bubbles that fizz back up to the thin but persistent head. Distinctly ruby with tan head, and a malty nose reminiscent of baking bread. Taste follows suit, steady malt with a smooth bitter and undertones of the promised cinnamon and je ne sais quoi (they tell me it's orange). Sweet on the tip of the tongue and tart near the throat, it stays thick and flavorful in my mouth without annoying me with a cloying stickiness. Flavorful and intriguing.

cooter, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of Ellbert
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%

Appearance is a nice deep ruby color with a beautiful tan/off white head. The head stayed around for about a minute and left a beautiful lace that stuck to the glass.

The smell is quite complex. I can smell the malty sweetness and a touch of hops and slight cinniamon.

The taste was good. It was very malty and a little spicy. I loved the taste but there was not as much spiciness as I would expect in this type of brew. I could not discern much of the different flavors. I guess that means it was very balanced. Very tasty and mild.

The body of this beer is very big. It is chewy and sticky... It really stays in your mouth and coats it. Very nice.

Very drinkable, a great all around beer.

Ellbert, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of Mustard
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; standard Sam Adams "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before" warning notched on the bottom label's left periphery; no ABV %; purchased as part of the twelve beer "Winter Classics" sampler pack for $9.99 from Ralph's.

Appearance: Pours a dark, ruddy brown with fairly decent clarity; sudsy, three-fingered headl sports something of a toffee-colored hue; a good c-cup's worth of lace; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Largely of toffee-like malts, ginger and orange peel with a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: For the most part like its nose; fairly sweet with something of a burnt-caramel malt profile; notes of ginger, orange peel, cinnamon and plum pervade; just a hint of grain in the finish; mildly bitter...no doubt both hop and roasted malt related; moderately full in body; lightly crisp mouthfeel.

Notes: I'm not a huge fan of spiced, winter seasonals; not as cloying as it could have been...

Mustard, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of benmiliron
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%

I got this in a 12-pack SA winter variety sampler thing. I'm glad I didn't find it as a sixer or I'd be intrigued enough to try it. It looks beautiful in the glass, kind of a smoked ruby color. The taste is pretty awful though, burnt, stale malts throughout, I couldn't really notice the ginger, orange or cinnamon. And one notable ingredient missing: hops! I didn't detect a bit of hops in this one at all.

Get the 12 pack to try the Cranberry Lambic though, very nice!

benmiliron, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of WesWes
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick light tan head. The aroma is spicey. There is a mix of malts and spices here. The smell of orange peels and ginger comes through. The taste is average. Again, ginger and orange peel are present here. Also, there is a bit of crystal malt here producing a light malty flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent seasonal, but it's one and done for me.

WesWes, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of EagleTalon
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%

Nice looking beer but merely above average beer drinking experience. Pours to a good off-white head and gobs of lace. aroma is mostly sweet malt and some fruit and spice--but not as much as I expected. Flavor is decently balanced and malty... finishes sweet and fruity. Not what I expected but not bad either.

EagleTalon, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of BigPapaLager
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%

From the 2003 Winter pack from Sam's. This is a good winter spiced brew. Poured a reddish brown with a modest head but decent lacing anyways. This is one of the better balaced spiced beers of the season, not too overpowering, though it had a strong ginger taste. Too bad I had to give away a couple lights and lambics for this baby and a couple stouts. O'well, happy holidays.

BigPapaLager, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a nice deep brown with an off white head. Smells very leathery and nice.

Tastes a lot like a porter/brown hybrid if that makes any sense. Lots of dark fruit, smoke, and malt up front. Very smooth a just a little bit of carbonation to keep the mouthfeel solid. Minimal hopping helps it go dawn nice.

yankeeheel, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a deep cherry red witha small creamy white head. Smell is very fruity and malty sweet.

Taste is dominated by sweet malt. Caramel flavors and fruity undertones. Sweet, sweet, sweet.All malt driving the flavors here. A bit of underlying spice. Mouthfeel is lightly sticky. This is a fine holiday beer and a good selection for the Winter Classics but it is not as good as I remember. Makes me wonder whether I will endure the Light and Lambic next year just to get to this one.

ViveLaChouffe, Dec 12, 2003
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,970 ratings.