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

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,798 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2798
Reviews: 1310
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%

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: 2,798 | Reviews: 1,310 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wiscokid920


4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Part of the SA Winter Sampler. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Dark reddish brown in color with a fluffy thick one finger head which sticks and lingers nicely.

S- Raisin fruity sweetness, chocolate malt, cinnamon, ginger, and faint orange zest in the background.

T- Chocolate malt and caramel sweetness, raisins, with a nice roasted character in the middle of the sip and ends with a nice cinnamon, ginger spicy pop.

M- Smooth, medium bodied brew with a nice warming effect. Lots of different flavors going on with this offering with nothing over powering the other. Pleasantly balanced.

O- A great take on a winter seasonal. Very balanced considering all the different dynamics of this brew. Definitely the best of the group within the Winter Sampler.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2013 04:39:12 | More by wiscokid920
Photo of Bills453


3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark brown color. Looks like the color of a coke. A one finger head that faded very quickly.

Smell - a sweet yeasty smell. Definitely some sweet spices.

Taste - mmm. I love old fezziwig. Such a unique Xmas taste. Tastes like CHRISTMAS!

Mouthfeel - normal

Overall - whenever a Sam Adams winter 6pack is purchased, the old fezziwig IS MINE!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 01:38:49 | More by Bills453
Photo of FlatRabbitRed


4.93/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I get these every winter in my winter colection cases, great artwork and name...very fitting.

A holiday booster, a bold beer but not heavy, easy to drink and highly recommended.

Harvest notes, with slight hints of chocolate, raison, coffee, and black malt.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 16:15:28 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of superspak


3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into perfect pint glass, best before May 2013. Pours crystal clear reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a nice amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, ginger, cinnamon, citrus peel, chocolate, nutmeg, brown sugar, dark bread, light roasted malt, and light grassy hops. Damn nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt/spice notes. Taste of toffee, caramel, toast, brown sugar, cinnamon, milk chocolate, ginger, light citrus peel, raisin, dark bread, and grassy hops. Lingering notes of toffee, caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, chocolate, dark bread, cinnamon, ginger, and light herbal on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor balance with good complexity; with great robustness and balance of malt/spice flavors; and nearly zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Christmas beer! Nice flavor balance with big robustness; and very smooth to drink. This was a very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 05:38:34 | More by superspak
Photo of thegodfather1076


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Great festive label with really nice artwork. Label gives a small amount of info on the brewery as well as the ABV info and a short description of the beer. Neck label gives a more detailed background and description of the beer.

Appearance: I poured this 12oz bottle into a 16oz English Pint. Fezziwig pours out a deep amber brownish color with a 1 ½ finger tan foam head of a light density. Retention was 2min 26sec before fading to a thin foam coating and ring. Produced a medium amount of lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of ginger and chocolate malts with slight hints of cinnamon and sweet citrus. Very inviting!

Flavor/Taste: Roast chocolate malts and hints of smoke along with hints of cinnamon and raisin can be tasted on the front end, blending into a nice hop bitterness that finally gives way to a malty roasty finish. Very nice.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied and very smooth with medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: Fezziwig is an excellent Winter Warmer and my favorite seasonal from Sam Adams. A truly excellently balanced beer. I only wish this were available in 6-packs and not just in the Winter Classics sampler. Classified as a Winter Warmer at 5.9% ABV. Consumed 1/10/2013.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 10:53:42 | More by thegodfather1076
Photo of Damian


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
For brewery-fresh taste, enjoy before month notched APR
Served in a pint glass

Thanks to my dad for saving me one of each beer from the Winter Classics Variety Pack.

A tight, frothy, two-finger, tan colored head topped the crystal clear mahogany body. The crown slowly dropped to a thick, clingy film. Large, drippy patches of lacing coated the glass.

Not much happening with the aroma. It was quite powdery and dry initally. Subtle ginger notes were detectible. Slightly spicy. An underlying biscuity and caramel malt presence lent some sweetness. Slightly fruity. Overall, rather boring.

The taste was significantly more robust. Biscuity and caramel malts appeared on the front end. Somewhat bready. Good amount of spices. Ginger was noticeable. Citrus zest came through on the back end. Pine and citrus notes rounded out the finish.

Super plush, creamy and slick on the palate. Fuller bodied for the style. Silky smooth.

Old Fezziwig Ale hit the spot tonight. This is definitely one of the better beers in the Sam Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 02:19:40 | More by Damian
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Fezziwig is a Christmas beer I’ve always heard good things about; happy to be tasting it during this cold January day. Cheers.

A: Beautiful crystalline amber color, dark with hints of red. Head is short and fizzy with hilly retention and long strands of lacing.

S: Sweet, buttery caramel and toffee erupts from the nose like a warm Christmas treat – smells like someone’s making butterscotch candy. Absolutely decadent, it’s as inviting as anything you can imagine coming out of a glass. Full notes of dark fruits, like a bock with all its raisin, baked apple, and date. A mouthwateringly-sweet nose on this one.

T: A more bitter palate than the nose would have led me to believe, but in the manner of an English ale: malt tannins, a huskiness you can taste, with a steady tartness of herbal hops and orange rind. Baguette flavor makes this a full-flavored ale, but with a focus on some of the harsher tastes of crust rather than soft breads. That, plus nutmeg, cinnamon, and a touch of pine give this a superb gingerbread character (though the bitters make it taste baked to nearly burnt). Finishes with a peaty dryness and some lingering toffee candy tones, though not an overly-sweet aftertaste overall.

M: Full and rounded on the edges with the softness of an English pub ale. Easy to drink, this is one ale I could see myself drinking a few pints of.

O: Some spiced ales get it right, and this is one of them. No doubt that Old Fezziwig’s meaty, malty character and old-world style would make it loveable for just about anybody, especially in the colder months.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 20:07:02 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of NuclearSoAndSo


3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer mug

Appearance- Pours a chestnut brown with a 3 finger cream-colored head that stuck around for a while.

Smell- I picked up on notes of hops, honey, and traces of cinnamon and orange.

Taste- Bitter at first with a bit of a sweet finish. Starts out with a hoppy/orange taste and fades into a slight chocolate and caramel aftertaste. Pretty balanced; this reminds me of an amber.

Mouthfeel- Had a medium body with light carbonation.

Overall- Overall this was a pretty good beer. This reinforces my decision to buy the Samuel Adams Winter Sampler; I could see myself buying a 6-pack of this, were it available.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 19:17:40 | More by NuclearSoAndSo
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. “MAY” is the “enjoy before” month notched on the side of the label.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is light mahogany. About two fingers of dense, buttery, lightly tanned head dissipated slowly.

Smell: It’s a battle between malts and festive spice! I think the malts win, though — which I have no problem with. Caramel, toffee, maple syrup, plum, cherry licorice, black raspberry. Underneath is a little cinnamon and ginger, and it also smells a little like dirty socks. Weird.

Taste: There is a nice balance between the malts and holiday spice. Toasted malts, caramel, toffee, a bit of burnt syrup or maybe molasses, cocoa, plum, and cherry licorice. Cinnamon is the most noticeable spice, and herbal hops help counter the malts.

Drinkability: Before opening the bottle, I expected the festive winter spices to dominate. However, it is surprisingly balanced. I would definitely consider buying this again, though in a sixer of itself. (I think it is only available in the seasonal sampler.)

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 04:30:52 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of SaucedAntiquarian


3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with a light head. Pleasant malty scent with a hint of fruit and spice. Sweet taste that does not linger and fades quickly as it heads toward the back of the palate. Decent seasonal beer, and while not spectacular, makes for a good session brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 00:05:35 | More by SaucedAntiquarian
Photo of Minkybut


2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a nice amber gold beer. The beer had no head at all after two minutes. The smell was nice and spacey. However the taste was not good. Flat, pseudo Christmas taste of rotten oranges and a gruel of bacteria from the bottom of a Christmas stocking that is 60 years old, that might even have had feet in it. I will not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 19:24:33 | More by Minkybut
Photo of 57md


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown in color with a reddish-copper hue around the edges. There is a finger of head that has modest retention, but leaves some nice lacing. The nose has hints of ginger and coriander. The taste is definitely malt forward with compliments of nutmeg and other seasonal spices. The finish has a semi-dry bitterness that completes a very fine holiday experience.

I always enjoy a few of these babies during the Christmas season, but once-a-year is certainly enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 05:16:53 | More by 57md
Photo of jimmah120


3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle best by may

dark clear amber brown, small head that fades to a film immediately. smell is sweet bready malt, with a touch of cinnamon. semi-watery feel gives way to ginger, spice, maybe a hint of orange, but mostly big sweet malts of chocolate toffee coffee etc

good for a winter warmer, not overly spiced, malty, tasty. could only hope for a better feel, maybe some hops.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 11:58:06 | More by jimmah120
Photo of KYGunner


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick creamy head that sat atop for what must have been ten minutes. Deep brown with ruby undertones the color is very nice.

The nose is weak but there are undertones of brewed tea, sweet malt, raisin, ginger and nutmeg.

The taste is kind of toasted, spiced with a touch of sweetness. I found the aroma more complex than the taste but the taste stronger than the nose. Had the two been reversed this may have been a classic but instead it's a decent winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 00:53:49 | More by KYGunner
Photo of NilocRellim


2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale poured out from a bottle and was very dark amber in colour; almost brown, and clear. There was little smell other than a slight hint of malt. I could not detect any of the spices other than a slight smell of cinnamon within the nose. The ale was sweetly malty in taste; clean cinnamon and orange peel flavour. No clear aftertaste.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably not.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 04:51:48 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of BigCheese


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz from mix pack. Cant believe it took this long to review this guy, not sams best beer, but my favorite. A yearly staple for me. One of the beers that got me into craft.

A: Clear brown with ruby hue. Small head. No real lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, molasses, perhaps some vanilla and cinnamon. Some ripe oranges too. Pleasant.

T: Taste brings ginger snaps, molasses, brown bread, toffee and caramel. Maybe some nutmeg/cinnamon. I get some orange peel towards middle and end. All the spice notes a pretty big, but not overpowering, perfect amount for me. Has an english style to it, very tasty.

M: Low carbonation, kinda syrupy, a bit oily. Seems a wee bit off. Pretty sessionable, i could probably take down 4/5 of these no problem.

O: Pairs great with desserts, my favorite winter warmer. Plenty of spices to go around, and a very smooth malt bill. One of sam adams best brews, they should sell this in 6 packs. Just 2 make the mix pack worth it.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 02:08:09 | More by BigCheese
Photo of SometimesIfart


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Extremely dark coffee color with a one finger yellowish head. No a lacing.

S - Metallic, slight vanilla. Not much of a nose on this one.

T- Roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, a bit hoppy on the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Overall, a good easy drinking winter beer. I'd definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 00:59:01 | More by SometimesIfart
Photo of d1ckvanswype


3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. From the recent Winter Wonderland pack.

A: Pours with a scant half finger of head, which quickly dissipates, leaving barely any collar and fairly absent of lacing. Looks pretty dark, but shows red-amber and crystal clear held up to light.

S: Sweet malts, you can smell the chocolate and caramel malts, but only a trace of a citrus-y hop. Very underwhelming.

T: Fairly sweet and malty with a hint of cinnamon at first, which turns into a somewhat astringent bitterness. Pleasant at first but turns aspirin-like after a few sips. After letting the aftertaste sit for awhile it comes back to chocolate malts. Did not taste the ginger or orange this was supposedly brewed with.

M: Light carbonation, a bit prickly on the tongue. A little thin-bodied for a Winter Warmer, but it does sit nicely on the tongue after swallowing.

O: Not the best Fezziwig I've had, the spice notes are very light and the aspirin bitterness gets a little heavy after awhile. Would probably be better after a few pints.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 17:52:00 | More by d1ckvanswype
Photo of Hunter


2.63/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep reddish brown ale with a thin head than dissipates into a wispy thread almost immediately.

Smell: Light notes of malt, honey, citrus

Taste: Strangely bland. It's not bad, just seems like much of the flavor that's meant to be there is muted. Malt, caramels, light hops. Some hint of orange zest and coriander in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin, easily forgettable

Overall: Despite my scores, this is not a bad ale. It's primary attribute, however, is how utterly mediocre it is. So far as seasonals go there are much more complex, rich offerings to choose from.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 23:53:21 | More by Hunter
Photo of circus_cat


4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown body with ruby red hues. Soapy off-white to khaki head that quickly dissipates to a ring. Minimal lacing. Beautiful color on it.

S: Smells like a pretty standard winter warmer. Very malty. Chocolate with caramel and toffee in the background with spicy notes. Cinnamon is most prominent. Just a hint of orange rind.

T: Very nice! Very well-balanced. I'm greeted with spices and orange peel followed by rich coffee and dark chocolate. Excellent tasting beer. I'm impressed with the sweet-spicy balance they achieve.

M: Full-bodied and a little sticky on the finish. It's a pretty big beer (not alcohol-wise necessarily--I think it's about 6%--but the body is just noticeably thick, in my opinion a good thing).

O: I really enjoy this beer--one of the best winter warmers I've had. I also really like the idea behind incorporating such a festive Dickens character :).

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 19:31:22 | More by circus_cat
Photo of ColdWaffles


3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from earlier in the day. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass from a Sam Adams seasonal pack bought for the family.

Appearance: Dark red/brown/amber color with a steady tan head.

Smell: Malts first, than a plethora of nice holiday spices and fruit accents.

Taste: Not a "true" winter warmer, but I tend to like these lighter winter ales a lot. Decent malt body with a nice range of holiday flavors. Cinnnamon is what comes to mind first, maybe some gingerbread cookie elements, and it wraps up with figginess.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy medium to light body with medium carbonation levels. As per most Sam Adams beer, there is more carbonation than the style usually sees.

This is my favorite Sam Adams seasonal, and I would buy a case of this if I could get a hold of one.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 04:06:40 | More by ColdWaffles
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale has a very thick, creamy, off-white head, lots of lacing left on the glass, and a clear, reddish-brown appearance, with essentially no streaming bubbles. The aroma is of subdued spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) and a bit of citrus. Taste is a blend of brown bread, underlying spices, and a mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale finishes wet, mellow, and highly drinkable. I liked the way they didn’t overdo it with the spices.


Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 18:37:45 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of kshizzle101


3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 8oz taster

A - A dark reddish brown ale with minimal head which dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S - roasted malts. some sweetness - orange. smells spicy. smell of plums as well

T - malts come through strongest with good blend of spiciness and sweetness from the orange.

M - Medium bodied, perhaps a little over carbonated.

Overall - Not a bad winter warmer but a little on the light side in my opinion. The flavors are there, but they aren't as assertive as I would expect.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 05:01:09 | More by kshizzle101
Photo of jjamadorphd


3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Fezziwig Ale I've been told is supposedly a great beer - well, I find it pretty good, but not at the high-level others have...

The beer smell wasn't anything I would consider any better or worse from other ales. Mostly hops and malt, and although appealing, nothing to consider outstanding. Mouthfeel was average at best - a beer with high carbonation, which I find distracts from its overall taste. The taste was good for an ale, even way above average, just not at an exceptional level, I least that's what I thought. Overall, a better than average beer, but nothing that I would consider good enough to rate any higher than some others I've tried. For a seasonal beer/ale - go and get some and enjoy - but don't set the bar high - just enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 03:11:33 | More by jjamadorphd
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Fezziwig has a deep and sleek mahogany wood tone that definitely evokes a wintery aura. It looks as though it belongs in a class of all things expensive and opulent; an appearance every bit as suitable to the armchair by the fireplace as a snifter of brandy. Even without any head it looks great.

Cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel provide a more perfumed essence to toasty caramel notes; the zestful vibrancy of these spices is an innate pairing for the nutty sweetness. This aroma leaves little to complain about except that I'd like it to be stronger - there's no confusing this with the potpourri.

Roasted nuts and toffee are permanent fixtures on the palate, but trace fruity esters are found too. Although cinnamon and ginger are certainly perceived, the spice is far from racy and there's really only a light dusting of citrus. It is enough, mind you, to make this a cozy, cold-weather warmer.

Despite the savory-spice and sweet elements, Old Fezziwig drinks with enough of a laid-back style so as to still be considered sociable; it's no sipper. The spiciness doesn't resonate as much as the toffee notes (though neither makes a terribly lasting impression). A bit of diacetyl is no harm to this mildly succulent maltiness.

In Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol', Fezziwig says: "It’s not just for money alone that one spends a lifetime building up a business… It’s to preserve a way of life that one knew and loved." Indeed, while the Samuel Adams brand has achieved enormous financial success, I have to believe they brew good beers such as this because they too enjoy drinking them. If I'm ever visited by three ghosts I hope they bring beer as good as this.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 05:38:31 | More by biegaman
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,798 ratings.