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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

2,967 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,967
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 46
Gots: 134 | 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: 2,967 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%

I was finally able to sample this (personally) much-anticipated offering. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the results. It poured a nearly opaque dark brown color with a transient tan-colored head. Supposedly, it is flavored "with a touch of" cinnamon, orange, and ginger. Not too much touching going on with this beer. Mouthfeel and drinkability were slightly better than average...but make sure it stays cold. It got worse as it warmed up. I'm glad I only got 2 bottles in the sampler pack.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jan 10, 2003
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

Very tasty - yet I have to agree with others - the spiciness was a bit lacking. The maltiness is stronger than other Boston Beer brews. This brewery does keep surprising me with the variations that they can make. Especially for an American brewery. The flavors are definitely Yule. but none are strong enough to distinguish. This is a good beer for relaxing in front of the fire with your special honey.

AtrumAnimus, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of Brent
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Nice walnut color. Aroma is malty, with a faint metallic note. Big, beefy malt body, with solid, but not overdone, roasted malt notes. The bottle notes that it is spiced "with a touch of" cinnamon, ginger and orange. It must have been a pretty light touch. There is a slighly spiced aspect to the beer, but none of the spices ever emerge sufficiently to be identified. This beer can run with the holiday seasonal pack, but does not distinguish itself.

Brent, Dec 31, 2002
Photo of TAMU99
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%

Dark brown ale pours with little to no head.
It has a pleasant scent of orange with some cinnamon aromas as well.
Strong but pleasant "beery" taste (sorry, but you know what I mean). Spicy, but not overpowering. Neither bitter nor cidery.

I liked it. Haven't seen it in six packs, but again, try the Winter sampler. It's a good Beer-venture.

TAMU99, Dec 25, 2002
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

i expected a lighter, hoppier ale, but am happy with what i got instead. a dark amber/brownish ale that's much smoother and thicker than i anticipated. only mild carbonation and hints on orange and other spices throughout. seemed to taste almost like a cross between the winter lager and the double bock. it'd be nice to be able to pick this up in 6 packs around the holidays, as i hate having to put the god-awful cranberry lambic in my fridge each time i want old fezziwig...

SixpointJMH, Dec 21, 2002
Photo of inebrius
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%

Old Fez smells like one of those chocolate-oranges that you only see around this time of year. Big malt spine is dominated by roasty cocoa beans and cinnamon that hint at Mexican liquid chocolate and Praline ice-cream drizzled with caramel. Hops are kept for balance only. Smooth and tasty, but a little too rich for holiday pounding.

inebrius, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%

Ruby-brown in color, with a tan, creamy head that dissipates rather quickly. It does however leave a bit of lace down the glass. The aromas detected were fruity and some spice. I could definately detect orange and ginger. The flavors were complex. I tasted hints of chocolate, an also the spices; ginger was in the forefront, but I could also taste cinnamon. I also tasted a burntness to the malt flavor. Hop flavor was minimal, pretty much masked by the spice. Hop bitterness was also unnoticable. It was relatively light in body, with minimal carbonation. Overall, I found it to be a decent seasonal/holiday brew, with many complex aromas and flavors.

BeerBuilder, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of ADR
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Dark clear brown with ruby light transmission. This one's got a good 1/4-1/2 inch head of a variety of bubble sizes and producing big laces. Spicy and malty, aromatic brew here. Full mouthfeel, dominant malt that lasts to the finish and is just slightly leavened with prickly hops and slight acid in the aftertaste. To be honest, there may be a very good beer in here, but this is a little over-the-top in added ginger, as opposed to other spices. A little unidimensional in overall impression but a not a bad beer. I would drink this again, but probably not buy it (if it was available in six packs).

ADR, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

Brown glass bottle from the Winter Classics Pack. Pours a nice reddish brown color with a light tan head. Aroma is of roasted malt. Taste shows lightly sweet roasted malts up front with sufficient hops to balance the malts. Finishes nicely with a definite, lingering coffee flavor. Very good drinkability. A solid winter ale although I'd love to see them be a little more aggressive with this beer. IMO, 3rd best beer in the pack behind the Winter Lager and the Boston Lager. Searching for a comparison, I'd call it like a toned down Pyramid Snow Cap Ale.

PhantomVodoo, Dec 01, 2002
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%

Wow this stuff is awesome. Looks very appealing, a deep amber with a bit of a reddish hue to it. The short head doesnt hang around very long. Smells delicious, with hints of roasted malts, chocolate, and a delicious sweetness. The taste and mouthfeel are both excptional. Quite smooth, somewhat bubbly on the tongue, and the taste is quite unique. An excellent blend of chocolate and caramel with the winter spices. Of all the winter seasonals I have had, I havent ever had a beer that tastes anything like this. Its delicious! Definitely a great brew that makes the Winter Classics pack a must.

IrishRedRock, Dec 01, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Ooooh, this is one lovely-colored bier!!! The ruby-chestnut hues are beauteous!!! Initially had a 2-finger thick, rocky tan head, which slowly made its way into a thin, fine layer. Belgian lace was A-1! The nose had a pleasing chocolate tinge to it, with plenty of sweetness mixed in. The feeling on the tongue was one of decent smoothness, yet there was a bit of thin-ness to the body. I was leery at first with regards to this being a spiced bier, yet that aspect of it is very nicely understated. There is caramel as well as some roasty chocolate malt flavors throughout. I definitely get some cinnamon in there, too. The label notes that orange and ginger are present, also, though my nose and palate are not yet bier-savvy enough to detect these spices (when combined with a melange of other flavors)! Though I wish Fezzi had more body, I still find it a satisfying brew. Now, can we get this in sixes as a Winter seasonal? Prosit!!

overall: 4.05
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


Bierman9, Dec 01, 2002
Photo of purplehops
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%

This ale poured a nice warm brown/red with a light tan head. The aroma was very malty with a hint of sweet spice. The taste was malt up front with ginger and nutmeg following and a hint of hop in the finish. There was a chewiness that went well with a cold winter day. The only downside was that I felt it was average. I was hoping for a little something to make it special from other winter spice ales. I didn't seem to find it.

purplehops, Nov 28, 2002
Photo of Lupe
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

Pours a brownish-red color with an off-white head that stays nicely and leaves some lace. Sweet malt aroma with hints of cinnamon and orange. Medium in body with a creamy mouthfeel. Flavor starts malty with roasted flavor and note of carmel and chocolate. Hop presence makes itself briefly known. Then coming in from the backround are the spices, cinnimon and ginger along with a hint of orange. Spices are not overpowing and balance nicely. Finishes a little dry with a nice taste of lingering ginger and cinnimon on the tounge. Overall this is nicely balanced and more meaty then the winter lager.

Such a shame it is not availible in 6-packs. Oh well, guess I will have to pick up another winter sampler.

Lupe, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of mjohn27603
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

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.

mjohn27603, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of BeerBob
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%

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.

BeerBob, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of Gusler
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

Gusler, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of mophie
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

mophie, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of Winter
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

Winter, Nov 23, 2002
Photo of marc77
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

marc77, Nov 23, 2002
Photo of Morris729
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

Morris729, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of francisweizen
3.78/5  rDev 0%

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!

francisweizen, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of jackndan
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

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.

jackndan, Nov 21, 2002
Photo of RBorsato
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%

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.

RBorsato, Nov 19, 2002
Photo of johnrobe
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

johnrobe, Nov 17, 2002
Photo of edchicma
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%

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.

edchicma, Nov 17, 2002
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,967 ratings.