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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,273 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,273
Reviews: 1,347
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 69
Gots: 337 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,273 | Reviews: 1,347
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle> 16 oz SA Boston Lager glass

A very vibrant crimson amber color comes rushing out and up with a nice lively look creating a 1" thick and dense tan colored head, great retention and both foamy and sticky.

Roasty chocolate malt with cinnemon, herbal spices and red grapes later on as the brew warms toward room temprature. Nice aroma complexity overall.

The roasty malted flavor is perfect for winter, very reminisant of fall time actually, the malt is pretty deep with roasty, maple-oak'ed and spicey chocolate, pops right out. Way down deep there's a more subtle but spicey oats 'n wheat effect that I'm attributing to the hops and yeast creating a mighty fine balance. In the end your left with a grassy, herbal and sour lager yeast aftertaste.

This brew feels full bodied, really smooth and lively til the end. Highly enjoyable feel. This is a fine fall/winter brew with a great malt backbone and flavors that compliment the season very well.

Photo of Overlord
2.4/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a tough beer to review, because I realize that my subjective reaction to it is probably significantly more negative than the beer's objective qualities.

Pours an attractive, ruddy red, with a dollop of nice white foam. Smells, and tastes, of malt, orange, cinnamon, more than a little vanilla, and some coffee and chocolate notes. Sounds good, but the combination, for me, was head-ache inducing. It could be that I just hate cinnamon. Put cinnamon in any product, and I'm guaranteed to hate it.

Not nearly my favorite Sam Adams offering.

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

Reddish-brown color and very aromatic. Tastes very much like a brown ale, but a bit more complex. Not much head that dissipates quickly. Pretty good beer. I liked it very much. Flavor of Chocolate and Caramel. Decent lacing on glass. Flavor is nice blend of malt and spices. Good Stuff.

Photo of lonestar4lunch
2.07/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is almost the same as the AB winter warmer. Light head that dissipates quickly. A dark color with a red tint, can barely see fingers through glass. Light smell of spices, very minimal for a winter warmer. Not much here to enjoy. Not sure if this should be listed as a "winter warmer". I am not trying to be rude here but I am not a beliver of Sam Adams and this proves that it is basic if that. I just don't get how this gets such good reviews.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, consumed 12/06, review from memory.

A - dark brown brew, tan head.

S - spiced cinnamon coffee/malt aroma.

T - taste wasn't as nice as the smell, light spice.

M - thin, light body, no alcohol warming from this 'warmer'.

D - ok to drink, but there are 'warmer' warmers I prefer over this one.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see a loose bottle of this still around in May, so I grabbed it. On to the beer:

The beer is dark red in color, with a strong and warming scent of spices. Flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, and dextrin hit the tongue. A dry finiss from the wheat malts rounds it out, leaving bready notes on the palate. Another nice winter brew from BBC. This could be the Robin to the Winter Lager...or the other way around.

Photo of PEBKAC
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A stragler hiding away in the back of the fridge, loitering will not be tolerated.

A dead pour was not very appealing, but worse things have happened. You could easily mistake this for a glass of black tea if it were not for the condensation on the glass.

Ginger, cinnamon & orange, yes it's all there. What I did particularly enjoy though, was that it wasn't that bitter, clovey orange rind in so many beers, but an appetizing, fragrant & flush orange scent. The kind of feel whenever you rip open a fresh half gallon of oj. Aside from that, a little nutmeg, & a noticable effervescence of malty wheat.

Much of the same is found in the taste, but more pronounced. At the same time though, everything is patient & working together. There is no sting of corriander up your nose, no coying sweetness making you twinge, no alcoholic fumes to make you gasp for fresh air. With just enough carbonation to keep things moving. A lovely balance that is as pleasant in the middle of spring, as it is while opening up yet another pack of BVDs from grandma.

Twelve ounces is nothing when you're happy.


Photo of shadow1961
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adam's Old Fezziwig Ale pours a finger of fine tan foam over a
deep amber brew. Like the label says, you can pick up the cinnamon,
ginger, and orange on the nose. The flavor is sweetish malt with a suggestion
of those flavors (but mostly cinnamon). There's a bit of malty cinnamon in the
finish, but not much. That is all. Another friendly, innoffensive winter warmer.

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

A- nice clear red/brown body with tan head that fades into lacing.

S- this smells pretty good. hints of cinnamon and spice with citrus accents.

T-the cinnamon and malt are up front, sweet citrus aftertaste.

D- this is a great winter warmer to sip on and enjoy. the added flavors are more prevelant than the malt flavoring but its still pretty good.

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

Appearance is dark amber in color with an off white head that disapates leaving a thin film on top. Slight smell of sweet malts, cinnamin and nutmeg. Taste appeared to be roasted caramel malt, slight orange and spice having a medium mouthfeel. Seems full bodied enough with good carbonation, but I think there are plenty other winter warmers out there that I prefer.

Photo of EPICAC
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

They had a few beers left from a Sam Adams Holiday pack at the MIT CCR beer hour a few weeks ago. I grabbed a bottle of Old Fezziwig Ale and the Holiday Porter to try later. I served this one at around 40º F in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish brown with a thick, fluffy, beige head that thins to a patchy film.

Smell: Malty and spicy. There are notes of cinnamon, caramel and strong dark fruit.

Taste: Malty. Toasty, caramel and dark fruit upfront. Some spiciness emerges in the center with some cinnamon and orange. The finish is lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate to high carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, not overly spiced and not too sweet.

Overall: This is a very well balanced and drinkable beer. The spices are noticeable and
add a nice flavor element to the beer, but don't overpower the nice malty notes.

Photo of tempest
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice gentle beer. No big flavors, but still a pleasant and smooth taste. It pours a dark red with tan head. The head goes away, but there's still decent lacing. The aroma is sweet and candy-like with a bit of cocoa. The cocoa carries over into the flavor with mellow caramel malt. Very easy to drink, I always look forward to this one in the Sam Winter Sampler. Salud.

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

Pours a deep brown that with a thin diminishing head. The aroma is dominated by a wide array of spices; cinnamon and ginger are most predominant. The taste is a good blend of malts and spiced with a subdued hop backbone. The beer is light on the tongue and low in carbonation. This is an enjoyable winter warmer, just not Highland Cold Mountain.

Photo of Chuggnutt
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear brown with garnet tints. Tan head, smooth, collapsed relatively quickly.

Smell: Spicy and malty. Hint of cinnamon; toffee; molasses?; maple syrup.

Taste: Brown ale with a kick. Black pepper at the back of the throat; bitter orange; cinnamon bark; chocolate malt; twiggy/woody. Cloves?

Mouthfeel: A little light, with a woody feel. Kind of wassail-y with the spices and orange.

Overall: Not sure what to expect with a name like "Old Fezziwig," but I thought it turned out remarkably better than I was expecting. A good holiday ale, not overpowering in the spices.

Photo of Grundle20
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is very dark like a porter with some ruby tones when held to light. There is a good sized tan head to the brew that shows some good retention and lacing.

Ginger takes the show here with the cinnamon and coriander falling in to the background. There's an overall vanilla smoothness to the scent.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The flavors work a pretty good balance here, notes of ginger, orange, and cinnamon can be distinguished as the bottle indicates. No single flavor really overpowers another. The beer drinks rather crisp with a very mild but refreshing bitterness in the fore. As the initial flavors fade there is a cherry cordial flavor in the finish but the aftertaste is mostly clean with a little exception to a dry cinnamon.

I think the beer serves it's purpose quite well, there's something about it that does ring "Winter Warmer." A good amount of body and flavor are present without sacrificing its refreshing qualities.

Bottom Line:
I should probably look in to this but I'm really doubting whether or not there are any guidelines to a "winter warmer" because I have run the gamut with them this season. Old Fezziwig certainly stands out amongst the rest to me. I don't know if it's true to the winter warmer tradition but it's an enjoyable brew.

Photo of BradBLR
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown with a slightly orange tint. The head was lightly tan and very thin lasting less than a quarter of the beer with very little lacing. The smell of this beer was a malty aroma with a hint of orange and all spice, the aroma was not very strong.

The taste of this beer is best described as a pale ale and a porter blended together with some spices added to give it the feel of a winter beer. The mouthfeel was ok, with the CO2 being a little strong and the thickness being ok.

All in all I was a little disappointed in this beer. I was expecting a little stronger aroma and wanted the taste to be a little less of a blended taste. Not a bad beer, will give it a try if they make it next year and see how it compares.

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

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice small fizzy tan head which leaves quickly, some sticky lacy afterwards. the nose is of sweet malts, slight cinnamon, slight ginger, and caramel. The taste is malty, slight cinnamon in there, and a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice/different tasty brew. Thanks Samuel Adams.

Photo of macpapi
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Fezziwig pours a dark brown (almost purplish) color. It has a small tannish head and decent lacing.

Smell is dominated by malt. It has a good presence of orange and spices--clove, cinnamon. Also sweet fig aroma. This is a nice balanced pull.

Taste is dominated by toffee, caramel and alcohol burn. Not balanced at all, but strong and flavorful.

In the mouth O.F. is crisp but not terribly substantial.

On the whole, this beer is not as smooth or impressive as many others of the style. Still it is very drinkable, if not the best.

Photo of auxiliary
2.96/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Dark brownish color, nice head and some lacing. Goes away afer awhile.

Smell - Spicey smell, fruity, tad hoppy.

Taste - Fruity, spicey taste.

Drinkability - Interesting beer, 2nd winter season drinking this, not bad, but not on the top of my list.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Brownish black soy-sauce colored brew that appears deep rby/purple and clear in the light. A tan one finger head reduces to a thin cap over the course of several minutes, and lots of nice tan lace is left on the glass.

S - Nutty malt foundation with sugar, sweet oranges, toffee, and christmas cookies. Also, I can smell cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup.

T - This is a bit disappointing given the excellent nose, but it's still good. There is an overabundance of dry cinnamon and nutmeg flavors that I really don't like. This is sweet and molasses-like in flavor. Orange juice notes are there too. Woody, nutty. Reminds me of an English nut brown with some spices thrown in.

M - Low carbonation levels and a mild feel make this seem very English IMO. Mouthfeel is slick and full bodied and the finish is dusty....like putting powdered cinnamon in your mouth. Smooth, but dull.

D - Not very good. I couldn't drink two of these if I tried, and it's not quite complex enough to be a slow sipper.

Photo of ReDave
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sort-of a cloudy brown ale.
A fairly decent creamy tannish head, that even sticks around a little.
Some spicy aroma, malty.

Tastes kinda like it smells. some nutmeg, mostly porterish.
This is OK for holiday times and meals, but shortly there-after, it's not quite as appealing. Still, it's OK for meals.

Photo of cowislander
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Fezziwitg is a great winter warmer. Nice smooth taset with a hint of chocolate caramel, cinnamon, orange and ginger, the best flavors of Christmas. It had a great feel in the mouth and went down quite easily, too. I love the label with a scene from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", too.

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

Relatively tasty Winter Warmer. It's got a decent spiced caramel taste, with a bit of astringency. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but decent. Drinkability is good. It's enjoyable, but somewhat forgettable - a characteristic of many Sam Adams brews. This is a beer I wouldn't turn down, but wouldn't go out of my way to get.

Photo of weeare138
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-transparent dark amber with a mahogany hue. A 2 finger light tan head slowly fades into a mild cap of milky marshmellow. Scattered islands of lace are left around the glass.
Smell is of cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, roasted nuts, some citrusy hops, light toffee, and mild fruitiness.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a brown sugar base that mellows out the spices where they are tolerable.
Mouthfeel is very smooth, medium bodied with balanced sugar and bitterness.
Drinkability...not bad at all with a drinkability that fits perfectly for the holidays.

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

Pouring this ale produces one inch of tan head. The body is a glowing ruby and brown color with moderate carbonation displayed. The head drops down to an eighth inch layer on top of the beer.

The nose of this beer presents strong spices with a very nice sweetness. The spices are a great blend with plenty of cinnamon and ginger. The sweet smells are quite enjoyable combining toffee and a red licorice candy aroma.

The rich spices smelled earlier lead the flavors abruptly. Soon after, a very rich, malty quality rises with sweet flavors of caramel and candied yams. The finishes approaches with a burst of hops, a light citrus flavor and lingering sweetness.

Drinkability is quite good. Even with the dominant spice taste, this is very easy to drink with a creamy feel and spice pop in the mouth. I only wich I could buy this beer by itself.

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,273 ratings.