Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

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very good

3,203 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,203
Reviews: 1,330
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 64
Gots: 250 | 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: 3,203 | Reviews: 1,330 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Rennpferd
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a clean pint glass.

The ale appears dark brown and semi-transparent with about a half inch of off white head initially that within a few seconds dissolves into barely anything.

It has a faint but inviting smell of ginger and a smell that is a mix of brown sugar, orange peel and perhaps a touch of roasted malt. A real pleasure to the sniffer.

It has a moderate roasted/nutty/ginger taste that leaves a faint aftertaste. Similar to the smell but well balanced. It has an initially light taste that leads to foam if held in the mouth. After a few sips my stomach felt a bit bloated from it.

It is a very good beer but I do not think I could drink this ale on a regular basis. I do believe that it would be perfect for sitting near a fire as the roasted flavor would enrich the experience. This is an ale that I would pair with food. I would probably pair it with a pudding desert or perhaps a toasted sandwich with mustard.

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

Looks very inviting. Retains the head quite well. Dark reddish-color.

Smells very roasty. Also, could smell the spice added to the brew.

Taste great. You could really taste the roasted chocolate and caramel with that added spices.

Coarse, a bit watery, and a bit of fizz. Very good.

Good. Would definitely have another one.

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

12oz brown bottle

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale was a clear reddish brown color with a light tan head. The head was thick and had good retention. The aroma was holiday spices and sweet malt. The taste was full of spices as well with a sweet and toasty malt base. The finish was dry. It was medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Drinkability was above average. It's a nice holiday beer.

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

Part of the Brewmaster's Collection. Bottle said best by 3/07. It was a pretty enjoyable beer. A reddish/brown color with a medium head. It had a spicy citrus aroma, with maybe a little caramel. Taste was mostly fruit (orange) with a little spice. Decent mouthfeel, and not so fruity that you couldn't drink a few.

Photo of adam42381
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a deep dark, coffee brown with a nice cream-colored, 2-3 finger head which dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing. Has a reddish hue when held to a light.

Smell: Hints of chocolate and spice with a bit of a nutty aroma.

Taste: Toasty with a hint of chocolate. Slight taste of spice and citrus. Finishes with a hint of coffee. Very complex taste that confuses the taste buds when it first hits the mouth.

Mouthfeel: A bit crisp and intense at first with a bit of a bite. Nice smooth finish. Not overwhelming. Just about the right thickness.

Drinkability: Not overly filling so it would be a pleasure to drink multiples in one sitting. Goes down smooth. Left me wanting another.

Overall: I'd give Old Fezziwig Ale high marks. I enjoyed it very much and think that it's just another fine example of Samuel Adams putting out a great product. I would highly recommend it. Would be good to see it come in it's own six-pack for the holidays.

Photo of edskirk3
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have here a 12 oz bottle good till March 2007. Old Fezziwig (props for the name) pours a cola shade, a bit on the viscous side, with an enticing beige head. Wafting towards my nostrils are notes of cinnamon, orange peel, ginger, and delicious malts. Fortunately for me it's not too much ginger; it makes me sneeze. And so I sip...

Lots going on here. It is creamy and yet crisp. Spicy and yet sweet. Caramel and chocolate malts provide a base for the above mentioned holiday spices. Everything seems to be in balance. This holiday ale is a well-knit tapestry of Christmas cheer which goes down easily and leaves me wanting more.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Mahogany red color that looks like it mated with Cherry Coke. Dense brownish white head of foam towers at about 1 inch and remains consistant.

S: Light cocoa notes and spice. Perhaps cinnamon and molasses. Mild malt character. Weak and faint, but still noticeable.

T: Mild roasted malt and burnt dark chocolate. Toasty grains and herbs are laced with a light brown sugary note.

M: Medium bodied. Little carbonation on the palate. Goes down smooth.

D: Not bad. I could have another. A well made winter warmer.

Photo of fank2788
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with an off white head. Poor head retention. The smell is malty, very malty, hints of spices and citrus as well. The taste here is nice and malty but this is balanced by the spices which aren't overpowering. Finish is dry with a slight malty aftertaste. Maybe a bit thin for my pleasure but it is still has very acceptable mouthfeel. This beer is easy to drink low to moderate abv with spices that don't overpower makes this one highly drinkable. All in all one of my favorite Sam Adams beers too bad the release is so limited.

Photo of semihobo
2.08/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz from a sampler pack, best before April.

Pours a very dark brown, modest head that pools to lace quickly. Not a single bubble to be seen.

Big malt profile, rich and syrupy smell. Spices, burnt caramel, nutmeg, and an old lady's perfume that you can smell from all the way across the bus.

Malty, the spices and holiday flavors are dominant but taste a little off, a little chemical (even if they are real quality ingredients, they don't taste quite like it). The cinnamon and ginger blend together and complement the hops. I could do without the orange.

Mouthfeel is a little bubbly for my tastes, reminiscent of champagne. Thick, especially on the finish.

Not the best from Sam Adams -- I'll stick to the winter lager. Did not enjoy this beer. "Not impressive."

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

Pours a dark, rich ruddy brown color with a monster of a head - medium tan in color. Nose is quitealty, as expected, with hints of spice and flowery hops. Palate is all-malt up front, with just a subtle amount of spices and hop balance. The spiciness is definitely not overkill here - very subtle. Finishes much drier than it starts, with a decent amount of hop acidity. Mouthfeel is okay, but maybe a slight bit too thin. I'd like to see a bit more substance here in the mouth. This would make this a very good winter warmer ... as it is, though, it's really just average. Worth a try, but not a top shelf WW.

Photo of mnj21655
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a combination of dark brown and garnet. Nice tan two finger head. Nice malty smell with caramel, ginger, cinnamon, and hints of cocoa. Very pleasant. Taste is good. Malts dominate with caramel and cocoa present. Next are spices, tastes like cinnamon, ginger, and maybe some molasses. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a nice dry finish. Body is medium-full and a low-moderate amount of carbonation. Very drinkable brew. I would love to see this in a six-pack on its own.

Photo of xav33
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
12 oz bottle
Medium pour in an English pint
Best before 04/07, humbugged 11/06

Clear dark brown with yellow highlights, large frothy somewhat lasting very light brown with good lacing.

Smelt of strong cinnamon, anise, chocolate, caramel.

Taste was moderate sweet cinnamon raisin bread followed by more of the same, with stronger cinnamon on a long finish accented by, yes, more cinnamon.
Light to medium bodied, slightly dry, lively carbonation, cloying, and strong astringency.

Overall, a wallop of flavors, so much that more than one would be palate torture.

Photo of eberkman
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from the Sam Adams Winter Classics sampler. Label depicts a weird winter scene -- a goofy looking Victorian-era dude tipping a green top hat to a young lady in cotillion dress with snowflakes coming down around them. Label indicates best by 4/07.

Pours a dark reddish-brown into a pint glass, leaving a foamy but modest eggshell-colored head that dissipates within two minutes, but leaves lacing on the glass. Caramel malts very apparent in the nose. Malty sweetness and coffee beans dominate the flavor going down as well, but balanced well with a tangy, bittersweet finish. As it warms, the caramel coffee sweetness becomes more dominant, almost syrupy.

Goes down pretty easily -- the drinkability would make this a nice session beer. And it doesn't have the cloying potpourri spices that turn me off of most winter-warmer brews. I'd certainly have it again. Easily the third-best selection in the sampler, after the excellent Holiday Porter and Black Lager. I wish there were more in the sampler or it was available on its own -- it makes for a nice pairing with cold-weather comfort foods.

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

This has a very dark brown color with a nice foamy head. The most pronounced flavor is the caramel malt, which is perfectly complimented by a slight cinnamon flavor. The spices are not overpowering (like some pumpkin ales), but add just the right amount of flavor without obscuring the malt or hop flavors (the balance of which is perfect). The mouthfeel is very smooth, but a little heavy. An excellent seasonal brew, this is the perfect beer for sitting in front of a fire while the snow falls outside. As far as drinkability, I do not even feel that I can apply the same standard to this beer as I would most others. In warmer weather, I would not consider this the most drinkable beer, due largely to the heaviness. As this is a winter brew, however, the heaviness is a welcome characteristic. This beer perfectly captures the mood of the Christmas season.

Photo of cabsandking
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Rich malt nose with aromas of chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, and faint cinnamon. The taste has bitter dark chocolate and sweet roasted malts, and some burnt malts up front and orange in the back. Ginger is apparent but is a bigger factor in the finish where it teams up with some more orange notes. Hop addition is pretty substantial and make for a terrific balance along side the spices. Descent carbonation maintained throughout makes for a nice crisp mouthfeel. Cinnamon notes pick up towards the end. I’ve always enjoyed this winter warmer and is one oldest ones that I’ve had.

Photo of DogFood11
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed 12 pack. Poured into a pils glass it forms a silky smooth tan head that is thick and has good staying power. Brown with a red outer shell.

First drink and I immediately though of syrup and mollasses. Cinnamon and some pie like bread notes come into play. The description of this beer on the neck of the bottle is perfect. Ginger comes in to play and adds some complexity while also giving it a spicey edge. For all the sweet products advertised in this beer it sure doesn't come across as overly sweet at all. Cinnamon covered apple pie, crust and everything mixed together is my take on it.

Notes: A well done winter warmer that has a nice plesent warming at the end of each pull amid a complex malty, spicey beer. Glad I had the opportunity to find this for the first time even if its only in mixed twelves, keep it coming.

Photo of wedge
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark mahogany with a fluffy off-white head that quickly drops to a textured sheet. Subdued toffee and caramel smell supported by ginger and orange. Smooth malty taste: orange and raisins with a hint of chocolate in the middle, finishing with spices. Very lightly roasted. It all blends together really well, making it hard for me to pick out individual flavors. Nice, smooth mouthfeel is a little more that medium and slick.

Not super complex, but very enjoyable. I wish there were a couple more of these in the 12 pack.

Photo of tastybeer
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark orangy brown with a taupe head that has a fine silty character to it. Almost like a nitro head in texture. (Not size). Nose and taste a smooth in malts, spice, orange and toffee. Ginger with a cinnamon touch fit nicely with the variety of malts. Blends together all very smooth and well. I'd like to try this with some ginger snaps. (This winter warmer is waaay better than the harpoon one. I couldn't even finish that one.) Mouthfeel is delicate, smooth, and tingly with spiced soft carbonation. Even hops add just enough bitterness to balance the malt and compliment the spice. This beer has a good holiday feel to it. I'd get it in a six pack if I could during the winter months.

Good winter warmer. One of SA's good ones.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep, but clear burgandy. Head is a thick white mass. Nice lacing.

Smell is a tasty mix of caramel malt, spices, and a nice woodyness. very full and satisfying.

Taste is more of a bready malt than caramel. Spices are much stronger than in the nose, and have a bit of a bite. A touch of fruity tartness. Finish is clean and adds a shade of bitterness to this complex mix.

Mouthfeel is medium-full. Quite smooth.

This is an enjoyable winter seasonal. The spices are a little overpowering for my pallet, However I would still recommend this one.

Photo of Litterbean
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber, bordering on brown. Head is large, fluffy, and white, really offsetting the dark body of the beer. It retains for a bit then dies down.

Smell is dominated by the caramel malts and cinnamon in the beer, with a hint of citrus and whatever else they've thrown in. Very sweet smelling, like a fresh pastry or a pumpkin pie.

Taste is on par with the smell. Spicy cinnamon notes, good amount of malt sweetness, and some citrus which I'm sure is more from the flavoring than the hops. Medium bodied, warm tasting and spicy, this is a good beer to sip or drink normally on a cold day.

Photo of rebel1771
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown with color with an off white head that sticks around a while.

Aromas of sweet malts combined with touches of ginger and cinnamon make this one awesome smelling brew.

The taste does not let disappoint either. Sweet toasted malts make up the main body of the brew, with hints of ginger, cinnamon and orange peel in the background. This nice thing about this brew is the accent flavors do not overpower, they hit just right.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with ruby-red highlights and a finger of off-white head. Smells malty, somewhat roasty, and spicy. Rich, creamy, and roasty. Has roasty chocolate notes like a porter, but a little lighter in flavor and body than one. Medium to full bodied. Very rich and tasty.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,203 ratings.