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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

3,013 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,013
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 50
Gots: 159 | 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: 3,013 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aracauna
2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is a dark clear copper with an ok head. The aroma is slightly malty, the spice is evident but far from overpowering. There’s also a slightly cheesey or mushroomy smell, that I think may actually be a trick of the spice/malt interaction on my nose instead of more sinister reasons. The flavor’s a bit flat, fairly dry, with no finish.

aracauna, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of arizcards
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is part of a case sampler pack picked up at Costco.

This is a ruby red brew that poured a generous head and is leaving a fine lacing down my glass. Nose is picking up hints of sweet toasted malts and spices. Taste is very good, starts with malts that are somewhat toasted followed by a wonderful combination of holiday spices and finishes with an ever slight dry hop. Mouthfeel is reasonably full and is lively on the palate. Overall drinkability is very good. This is a nicely done holiday brew that I would seek out again!

arizcards, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby body with a festive, light-tan head. Smells of rich, sugary malt, maple syrup, and lots of spices: cinnamon, vanilla, and orange potpourri. Quite spicy, eh? But good spicy.
Caramelly malt up front. Sweet, but not overly so. Spices dominate. Cinnamon, vanilla, zesty ginger (?). Not bad, especially for something so spiced. Bitterness rises just before the finish, and sticks around with some residual spicy sweetness. Medium-bodied, with an almost creamy feel. Not something I would drink often, but a good choice for when I feel like "spicing" it up. Haha.

alexgash, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of nortmand
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber red, with little head. Clear as a bell.
Spicy sweet scent. Coriander...ginger...orange peel maybe.
Must be a pinch of choclate malt in their, sweet caramel flavors blend with a spicy tone. This is quite good until the aftertaste, which is off flavor and kind of sour.
Well carbonated, a little less would be nice, otherwise uninteresting.
Pretty drinkable for a spiced ale, but nothing I would probably seek out.

nortmand, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams loves the winter beers, and this one is a great one to add to the list. Pours a cherry-wood color with oakness hues. The smell is of orange zest, nutmeg and ginger, a slight rasin tone. The taste is a great blend of spices and citrus with a nice deep dark oaked raisin taste. Medium bodied with great drinkability, curl up with these next to the fire for a perfect winter night.

beertaster13, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of JackStraw22
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks nice in the glass, clear amber with ruby accents. Decent tan head that holds pretty well, good amount of lacing. My favorite part of this beer though is the smell. Ginger and nutmeg really come through here, with some cinnamon and apples in there too. Some pleasent hops smell is drifting around, very nice. Unfortunately, I can't really taste much of that. There's a nice bitterness in the hops, but nothing else seems to be going on. The beer feels very thin too, just not much to it. It doesn't taste bad, just not a lot of complexity. On the plus side, the drinkability is great.

JackStraw22, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of sabrills70
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark ruby red amber. Not a huge head but good lace.
Smell of malt with raisin and decent hop aroma. Fruity. Taste is quite nice. Chocoate malt notes with raisin, ginger and slight orange flavors. Balanced with just enough hops to offset the sweetness. Some alcohol is evident, but not much. Finishes a bit dry with a nice bitter, roasted aftertaste. Decent drinkability. Not a bunch and not something to have in the summer, but great around this time of year.

sabrills70, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of brewQ
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'Tis the season...

Brown to purple-red tones with an irregular beige head.
Not much lacing evident.

My take on the aroma is fruit/citric plus sweet. I can not pick up the distinct cinnamon, ginger and orange promised on the label.

I do enjoy the cherry and chocolate notes I found or imagined!

This beer has an enviable balance to it. It is drinkable, while providing some hints of special holiday flavors.

brewQ, Dec 12, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep scarlet. True to the BBC it features proper head and lacing.

Nose is spicy with uge carmelized maltiness, large, spicy ginger, and orange rind. The doughiness and peppery characterisitics appear at cellar temperature.

In a weird way I found this beer to be the equivalent of eating a cinnamon cookie, a touch like some of the better pumpkin ales.

Strangely "coin-y" mouthfeel that distracts from the flavor.

A well crafted spiced beer, but not of my personal preference.

GreenWBush, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paid only $10.99 for the "Winter Classics Holiday 12 pack"

This beer starts off with a clear dark brown base with a medium white head, pretty good retnetion and some scattered lacing throughout. The aroma is a bit weak but I smelled mainly raisins with some faint smells of alcohol, malts and spice.

The taste was a nice hybrid of raisins, malt, sweetness and a bit chocolaty too. This beer hinted a little porter to it, but not completley. The mouthfeel was a low point, it felt extremely heavy in the mouth. The drinkability is good, relatively smooth and at 5.6% not too noticeable.

Final Thought: This is a very unique beer, so I like it on that basis; however, it's not that great of a beer.

mobyfann, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of allengarvin
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Reddish-mahogany color, with head of white foam, fairly small, but laces nicely.

Aroma: Sweet malt mainly, but cinnamon scent is also apparent.

Flavor: Malt sweetness dominates, slightly toasty, mostly caramel flavors. Cinnamon is present, along with medium-low hop bitterness balancing it out. Cinnamon flavor is not as strong as the aroma suggests. I can't taste the ginger or orange peel (which the label says are ingredients) at all.

Body: A bit watery for a beer of this strength. Medium carbonation.

This was one of my favorite beers in the mid 90s, but I guess my tastes have changed since then. It's not bad, but not very interesting. Bringing the spices out would help a lot.

allengarvin, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of UncleFrank
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark burnt orange colored ale with little to no head.
Aroma is nice, spices, cinamon, sweet malts, caramel, almost like a belgian ale.
The taste is mellow, a nice blend of spices but not able to tell what the underlying stule is supposed to be. Body is a bit thin and seems more so as the beer spices dry out the palate. Hop flavor none. The spices do not overwhelm amking this a holiday beer I could drink alot of. ABV is not detectable at all.

UncleFrank, Dec 06, 2004
Photo of soper2000
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Third beer of the evening. An aggressive pour into my Sam Smith pint yields a quickly disappating 1 finger slightly off white head atop a dark ruby body. Carbonation is subdued. Smells great. Strong notes of spice mingle with sweet malts. Taste is very well balanced spice and a very distinct nuttiness comes through at the end. Finish reminds me of walnuts actually. Mouthfeel is a little thin in my opinion but otherwise this is a very good beer and perhaps my second favorite Sam Adam's after their cream stout.

soper2000, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of mynie
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks purple. Decent head. Ruby hues. Nice, but nothing too great.

Smells like chocolate and ginger and malt. Very nice, very complicated, just as strong as it should be.

Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells. Spicy, malty, loads of caramel. The malt and spice are upfront and in the back there's a very soft, smooth almost candy taste. Did you ever have divinity? It's a chocolate candy made with baking soda and it fizzes--it's what kids had to eat before they came out with poprocks. This reminds me of that. Neat.

Nice mouthfeel, but it's a bit too spicy to drink too many of these.

mynie, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a little bit of a disapointment after SA's excellent Holiday Porter. Still, Fezziwig is enjoyable, and one of SA's better brews. Color is dark ruby, short head. Aroma is malty with a touch of the cinnamon and ginger touted on the bottle. Taste starts with dark, bready malts. Finish is ginger and cinnamon, which linger on the palate a little too long. A slight roasted taste is in the finish too. This is pretty good, but this isn't my favorite style. I like this as a part of a sample, but I don't think I'd buy a sixer of it.

Gagnonsux, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of KoG
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice deep red fills the glass and creates a generous amount of creamy head that soon turns chunky and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell is fruity with a bit of spice and alcohol coming through on the back. Nothing really jumps out and says "Hey, sniff me!" but it does balance what aroma it has very nicely.

Taste is a bit bland. Seems a bit hoppy and bitter for what the smell gives off. Toasted background with a decent amount of malt to finish.

Mouth is acceptable, but a bit thin and leaves a sour feeling in the throat. The active carbonation saves it from being below par.

This is not something I really enjoy. I only have one other winter warmer to compare this to, but I think I would pick Jubelale over this if both were in sixers next to each other.

KoG, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of xgrigorix
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by month notched on label.

Dull deep brown with ruby red highlights throughout. Dense tan head leaves patchy lace behind.

Ginger, cinnamon, & orange are clearly defined in the nose. Also aromas of roast malt to add some depth.

Hints of chocolate, along with roasted & toasted malt, make for a sweet start. The spices come in with plenty of ginger & orange, along with subtle hits of cinnamon. Dries out slightly for a short finish. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation.

xgrigorix, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger bubbly beige head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Clear, deep amber color. Medium bodied. Spicey nose. Light carbonation. Starts spicy, malty with a little hops, mellow finish. Comes is a mixed 12-pack so you get only two bottles. I would buy multiple 6-packs of this if it was marketed by itself but marketing includes some boring brews in the 12-pack so will only buy one. 83¢ for a 12oz bottle from Market Basket Concord, NH.

jdhilt, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of Tballz420
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep, dark, amber color, with a small khaki head topping it off. Chocolate malt scent, spice. The taste has a chocolate malt front with hints of caramel, bitter hops in the back. Spices abound, ginger, cinnimon, nuts. Full round mouth. There are better beers to drink but this one is a holiday classic.

Tballz420, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of niknar
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep brownish-crimson color with a nice 2 finger beige head. Settles to a thin foam top with little to no lacing. Aroma displays strong notes of complex malts, cinnamon, and other spices. Taste is less complex and distinguished than the smell would suggest, but still very good. Mouthfeel is slightly thin due some unexpected carbonation. Not overly thin, but enough to warrant a slightly lower score in my opinion. Not something you would want to kick back a ton of, but the style doesn't lend itself to this kind of consumption. Compared entirely against the style, its a very drinkable offering.

niknar, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear crimson/bronze color, fuzzy beige foam.
Aroma is surprisingly mild, but on close inspection, we find spicy hints, notes of nuts, and it opens up with time, revealing ginger, cinnamon, clove, the whole panoply of holiday spices. Smells a bit like a Christmas cookie baking.
Soft, lush entry on the palate, not too forceful on the tongue. big malty flavor, bright and just a bit fruity, but the yeasty/spicy character is king. Nice and sweet, with spice joining in, and getting stronger with each subsequent taste.
Ideally, I'd like it a bit bolder, bigger, fuller of flavor and body, but that's just me. As it is, I can't fault it too much. In fact, I pretty well like it. Good Old Fezziwig!
(just now perused the label, and I'm thinking "yeah, now I can taste the orange...sure...")

feloniousmonk, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a British imperial pint glass. This offering is part of the Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack collection. Freshness date clearly notched for February 2004.

Nice appearance....light brown in color with a nice fluffy head on top. The head doesn't sustain for very long, but sticky lacings cling all over.

One whiff of the aroma and there is something that reminded me of the Sam Adams Triple Bock. Is it the malts ? Not sure. Nevertheless, a hint of ginger and dried citrus fruit also add to the scent.

Roasted malt flavors with a sweetness supplied by a caramel taste. Chocolate and hop bitterness complete the finish.

This is spicy holiday brew from Sam Adams that I look foward to seeing every season. A solid piece to the Winter Classics 12 pack.

Hibernator, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of granger10
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights along the edges. Medium, slightly fizzy tan head. Smell is of maple syrup and caramel ice cream. Really nice. Taste isn't quite as good as the aroma but it's good nonetheless. There's a lot of sweet maltiness upfront, the top middling, and the finish is slightly citric and spicy. The malts have trouble distinguishing themselves. There's a chocolate aspect in there that kind of muddles the flavors. The spices are the same way. I can't really discern each spice but rather taste a generally spice flavor. There is a citric tartness at the end but the beer finishes with a hoppy spiciness and slight dryness. I think I'd be satisfied with about 2 of these but I liked it nonetheless. Also, it seemed to improve as it warmed. Very good, comparable to the Winter Lager I had the night before but I think I like the Winter Lager a bit better, the flavors are more pronounced in it.

granger10, Nov 17, 2004
Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

RushLimbmalt, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of jimdkc
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

jimdkc, Nov 14, 2004
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,013 ratings.