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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

2,987 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,987
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 48
Gots: 145 | 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: 2,987 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of winomark
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep red/mahogany color with a foamy off-white head.

Aroma: Tart citrus tones with some conveyance of the cinnamon. Fairly mild nose.

Taste: Ginger and cinnamon make an appearance with some dark malts in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Flavorful, but not much character. Coffee in the back, with nothing but carbonation everywhere else.

Drinkability: Worth trying once, but you have to buy the sampler 12-pk for the experience.

winomark, Nov 11, 2003
Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin, web-like foam. Nice lacing. This beer has a very intriguing aroma. Ginger and orange stand out in the smell, with the cinnamon in the background. The spices completely dominate the smell, and it's hard to get to the malt aroma because of their presence. Likewise, the taste is decidedly spicy...I get an awful lot of ginger...with a very pleasing maltiness underneath. Caramel and toasted qualities are very nice. Medium body, quite drinkable, and a whole lot of fun to sniff. Overall, the beer is well-made, and definitely worth picking up..

Suds, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of Quaffer
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle states "Ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and orange."

Appearance: The label had a cool, Dickens-esque scene on it. Glad to see that, considering the changes that have been made recently to the other Sam Adams labels. The beer poured a beautiful, deep red color that had some brown highlights around the edges. A dense, three-finger head exploded out of this beer even with a careful pour. The beige foam sank back down into the beer very slowly and left some nice streamers of lace around the top of the glass. As I downed the pint, thick sheets of foam were left in the beer's wake. A thin layer of bubbles persisted for duration of the drink.

Smell: Hardly any spice aromas came out in this brew, which really surprised me. A hint of ginger occasionally bit at my nose, and once and awhile I thought I could pick out some orange, but that was it. The main smells that I could discern were dark fruits, such as cherries and plums, caramel, chocolate, candy sugar, and bread.

Mouthfeel: A medium-bodied beer that was even a little chewy on the sides of the tongue. It left the mouth with a slightly coated feel to it. The ginger left a bit of a "scratch" on the back of the throat.

Taste: This beer first hit the mouth with a mild cherry tartness and some sweetness. Then the sweetnes grew and was joined by caramel and malt. There was also a light chocolate flavor that helped add some depth to the brew. On the finish, the chocolate malt gained a little strength and the cinnamon that was absent from the aroma started to emerge.

This was a nice spiced beer, but it is not something that I would want often. A good winter brew for the occasional night by the fire.

Quaffer, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of Dmann
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer looked great out of the glass as it poured a great medium brownish color with a great white head that settled into a small foam on top of the beer. The ginger really came through in the smell as did the cinnamon. The taste of this beer was a little too on the spicy side for me, and did not do much for the palate. I would have to say this is very balanced as far as the spices go but this is just not my cup of tea(or beer!). Having said that though, this is one of the better spiced beers that I have had but I do not think I could drink more than one at any given setting.

Dmann, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of TastyTaste
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown, whichis the best part of this beer. I didn't drink this on a nice day. It was about 30 some degrees with howling wind and freezing rain. Started out as a fine beer, that had a very rich flavor. By the end of the glass, however, it became a chore to drink. I don't know if it warmed up to much, or my taste buds just got defeated, but one is all i can drink of this beer. Worth a shot, if you live somewhere that has snow for 4-5 months out of the year, and you know how to use a snowblower.

TastyTaste, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of mickeymac
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What the hell I'm I doing drinking this holiday ale on a 100 degree fall day in southern California? Despite the inappropriate setting, this was an enjoyable beer. The color is a very eye-pleasing copper with a nice white head that lingers. Spices abound in the smell and taste, but they're not overwhelming. One or two during the holidays would suffice, but I'd start looking for something else after that.

mickeymac, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of JAL67
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great color. Nice dark amber and the taste is fantastic. I didn't think I would like a "spiced" beer but this one doesn't overwhelm with spices, instead it compliments and has a good kick as well. Really look forward to this beer come the Winter. Just wish it came in 6/12 packs. Very festive artwork on the bottle adds a nice touch. A beer that will warm you on cold winter nights. Here's to the Holidays.

JAL67, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, large head. Spicy and sweet aroma. An ale brewed with "orange, cinnamon and ginger". A nice malty brown ale, spicy. Good malt flavor, slightly sweet. Spices are noticeable, but add to the flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round Finish is crisp and clean. Aftertaste is malty, and slightly bitter.

beerguy101, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of aaronh
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber color with a slight reddish hue. Offers up a thin, rather paltry off white head. A slight collar is left after it's quick evaporation. Strong fruit and caramel notes, actually has a bit of a tawny port aroma. Pronounced sweetness that some could find too strong, but I like it. The taste is kind of funky, with a strong oaky character atop roasted caramel and a bit of pine resins. Husky sharpness in the finish wrapped in a slight bitterness. Decent smoke component as well. This brings to mind clenaing out the fireplace, with a bit of smoke in the throat to accompany the sooty coating on the tongue and gritty mouthfeel. Feels like wintertime on the farm once again. I hated wintertime on that farm. This beer smells great, leaves a bit to be desired on the taste. Another slightly better than average offering from Boston Beer.

aaronh, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm re-rating some of the winter beers I rated when I first got on board and have since tried several more times..

This is a fine beer...one of Sam Adams best (and that is really saying something)..minimal head, but a creamy soft head is there...carbonation appears minimal...Darker in color than I thought it would be...Spices are used perfectly...they don't overwhelm but you know they are there...real sweet aroma with some alcohol smell coming through in a minor way....nice malt base..some good chocolate flavors...like I said spices are perfect...I don't get the orange peel but definitely the ginger...This is one of my favorite Holiday Beers, but I have a hard time finding it in anything but the holiday 12-pack..

ZAP, Jun 01, 2003
Photo of rastaman
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ABIA 2003: Caramelly with cinnamon spices, and some orangy citrus flavours, interesting, but doesn't quite work. I think that this could have been a fantastic seasonal, but i i think Sam Adams underdoe themselves at times, even though, it is fairly solid and they do brew some solid brews, still a nice find at the Aussie beer awards festival.

rastaman, May 05, 2003
Photo of marburg
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had to drink this out of a frosted glass mug (ie, the glass was textured not covered in ice), so my perception of its appearance is a little off I'm sure. Definitely dark -- kind of a burgandy brown? A little more heady than I expected, but that's hardly a bad thing. Aromas cinnamon chex cereal, raisin bran, and sweet spices. It smelled a lot like the breakfast trail mix did that was sitting right next to me as I drank this. Big, smooth, malty taste that lingers through the spicy finish. A medium-bodied brew that left me with a little bit of a cottonmouth feeling. A good beer but not exceptional.

marburg, Apr 21, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Sam Adams Winter Classic 12 pack.
Pours a deep red, borderline brown, a nice ring of a head that will cling in little patches throughout. The smell of wonderful spices, ginger, cinammon, a little chocolate and caramel are also noted. The aroma couldn't be better. Taste of winter spices, ginger, roasted malts (specialty malts according to the label) and a dash of cinammon, followed by a biscuity feel and a small taste of chocolate left on the palate. Creamy, yet smooth, dark in nature, but easy to drink, in my view, the best BBC product to date.

GeoffRizzo, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely love this beer. I just wish it was available all year round and in 6 packs. It came mixed in with the Sam Adams Winter Sampler. Pours a dark amber/brownish color with a rich tan head that fades down leaving a thin lace on the glass. Nose is full of spices, malts, and coffee aromas. The taste is quite full of an array of spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and orange peel. Roasted malts mixed with a bit of fruitiness seemed to remind me of fruitcake. This is a great slightly full-bodied beer. It’s best enjoyed on a cold winter day sitting next to the fireplace.

Scooter77, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of Redrover
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown longneck bottle. Nice label.

Beer is a nice dark brown. Decent head. The beer smells like spice and roasted malt (very nice). Decent lace.

Beer is slightly sweet with no real hop bite. Roasted malt and some spice make up most of the flavor. Some chocolate comes through, I wish they would have upped the spices a little to balance the malt. Not a bad after dinner beer, goes good with deserts.

This is the best of the Sam Adams winter beers. I wish I could buy this by the six pack instead of the just in the sampler. I used to see this in the bomber bottle, but they no longer seem to offer it (at least in Chicago). This beer is good enough that you almost forget you have to also buy their cranberry beer to get it.

Redrover, Mar 01, 2003
Photo of kwill
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber with a nice 1.5 inch light brown head. The head stuck around for a while and then dissipated to a thin layer on the top of the beer. There is a definite trace of chocolate and malt in the smell that seems more like a stout than an amber.

Unfortunately the appearance and smell are probably the best parts of the beer. The flavor is a bit too roasty and has none of the chocolate or sweetness that is so evident in the smell. There is some spice in the flavor, but there is so much going on that it is tough to pick out anything specific. There is a nice lingering aftertaste and the beer finishes with a nice mouthfeel.

Overall it is a decent beer with a lot of interesting flavors. I don't know that I would go out and search for it, but it does make a good addition to the Sam Adams 12-pack winter sampler.

kwill, Feb 18, 2003
Photo of stegmakk
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark amber in color. Light tan head that dissapates quickly.
Aroma is malty, slightly sweet with a very slight hint of cinnamon.
Taste was mildly complex. Malt sweet coffee, maybe cinnamon, but hard to tell.
I was expecting more spicy flavor. I would definately not consider this a holiday blend. Nice addition to a sampler pack, but not a true holiday brew. Will not seek this one out or buy a sampler specifically for this.

stegmakk, Feb 08, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fine deep roast aroma with some mixed spiciness (ginger noted). Clear, deep amber with a nice steady beige head. Nice ale dryness and smoothness. Good roast flavor just accented by spices. Wonderful richness and smoothness without being too sweet. Good overall drink, but surprized how simple it became as warmed. Really lacked complexity. Practically better colder than warmer.

garymuchow, Feb 02, 2003
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brownish color with a small, sticky, creamy tan head. On the nose the aroma mildly spicy, cinnamon, and hints of orange peels. On the palate the flavor is slightly toasty, caramel, spices are hard to find, slight graininess, mildly hoppy, a little to much sweetness in there and not enough holiday spices. There is just to many other better xmas brews to keep drinking this one.

WilliamPhilaPa, Jan 13, 2003
Photo of chilidog
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I also much-anticipated this brew for some time. So much so I saved these holiday offerings (meaning two bottles) for Chistmas day. After I poured this much hipped brew from myself to family, I really only ended-up with lessthan half a bottle to try. It poured a rusty amber with a fair, not to large head. Nice thick sticky lace. Spice of cinnamon, ginger & orange are blended to note slightly in the aroma and taste. The taste also carries toasted malts & caramel sweetness to round-out the faint hop and grain. Leaves a slight winter warmth. Next year ill keep these myself and give them the more plenty winter lager, to me they are about the same.

chilidog, Jan 12, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,987 ratings.