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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
1,375 Reviews
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,375
Ratings:
3,528
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
537
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,375 | Ratings: 3,528
Reviews by mophie:
Photo of mophie
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 871 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slight bitterness is there but not on the front end. I usually can’t detect the trace flavors brewers claim to use, but the orange in this one shines through. Bravo. Malty. Nutty. Smooth. Delicious. The only drawback of this beer is that it’s not available in sixers, but I digress. Like many, I’d drink this stuff early and often were it readily available.

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Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red-brown beer with an off-white creamy head, about a finger thick, that sticks and stays.

Smell: Aroma is raisiny with soft cinnamon spice. Some ginger can be detected, but it's very subtle.

Taste: Quite flavourful with a smooth and medium-bodied feel. Malty flavours are again raisiny (fruity esters) with a roasted character that provides further depth with notes of smoke and coffee. Sweetness is modest, but keeps things in check. Chocolate and caramel flavours are also present and blend nicely with cinnamon and background orange flavours. A hop bitterness begins to stand out, but is quickly overtaken by a very distinct tingly ginger spice. Finish lingers with malty notes, then the warming alcohol kicks in.

Notes: This is damn good winter seasonal IMO. Balanced to perfection, given everything that is going on. I just love this beer, and miss it dearly on its own. They should bring this back in 6-pak form. Or just bottle a few cases of bombers for me =)

 1,006 characters

Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps one of the most talked about beers that Boston Beer Co. has, right after Cranberry Lambic. Another spiced winter warmer but its limited availability drives the demand up IMO. Big towering densely rocky tan head from a hard pour, glowing reddish brown color. You can smell all of the spices used; cinnamon, ginger and orange peel … mild chocolate malt tone in the back of the nose. Smooth and creamy with a slick full body. Mild burnt tone goes away quickly as the malt sweetness layers the palate and the spicing picks it right back up. Hint of woody hop gets lost with the spicing. Finishes off semi-sweet with a vague chocolate flavor.

Spicing does not go too far, maltiness is big enough to hold the beer together. A solid beer all around and a bit of a conversation beer as well which is good around this time of year.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the Winter Classics 12 Pack.

12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Uber glass.

Pours a clear amber with about a finger width of tan head that retains well and leaves good lacing. Aroma is big time spicy with a sweet, fruity tinge behind it.

Taste is very sweet with tones of maltiness, spice, sour citrus. Finish is a little watery with splash of sweetness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied that leaves a tingling carbonation on the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden.

Hmmm. Quite the interesting Winter Warmer. I liked the spicy aroma and taste but the whole thing just lacked a certain beefiness that I like in my cold weather beers. It was nice to try once but I dont' really see any need to go back.

 708 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's been years since I was luck enough to have this on draught in the late 90's. My local store split out the singles from the winter pack apparently. Anyhow, glad to revisit - this pours mahogany with thin off-white head. Aroma is malty with mild spice, chocolate, and fresh-cracked hazelnut. Flavor is similar, but somehow different in a good way, with the nut and spice mixing to produce the dominant, but never overwhelming, flavors. This on top of malt and slight caramel sweetness is fantastic. I really enjoy this one, then and now.

 540 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into De Molen stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I usually love winter warmers.

A: Pours a three finger head of good cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark amber.

Sm: Nuts, spices, and cream. A moderately strong aroma.

T: Toasted malt as a foundation (which I love), cream, nuts, very slight spices, and light candied sugar. Boring for the style, but the balance is alright.

Mf: Smooth and wet. The thickness is off as well. Mediocre at best.

Dr: While I usually love winter warmers, this offering feels a bit like it's catering to the mainstream US market. (It probably is). As a result, it's nowhere near as good. I'd encourage Sam Adams to brew an authentic winter warmer. Where's the spice?

Low C+
---
Quick truncated notes from a 2013 bottle:

A: No bubble show.

Pours a one finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Decent consistency. Soft complexion. ~3 minute head retention.

Body colour is a translucent dark amber. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks pretty good. Standard fare for a winter warmer. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Nutty. Toasted malts. Amber malts. Heavy caramel. A touch of chocolate malt. Cinnamon. Brown sugar. Bready malts. Indistinct spices.

No yeast/alcohol/hop notes. A pleasant inviting aroma of mild strength.

T: Surprisingly aggressive toasted malt. Toffee. Heavy caramel. Syrupy malts. Bready malts. Amber malts. A bit of chocolate malt. A kiss of char. Cinnamon as well as other indistinct spices. I don't find ginger or orange per se. Use of specialty malts is evident. Not a gestalt build, but it has fair cohesion and decent balance. Could use more complexity, subtlety, and above all authenticity. It's just not an evocative, genuine winter warmer. Decent depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Sweetness/bitterness feels really off. Some off-putting char is present as well; I like well-integrated char, but this isn't cutting it. It has its flaws.

No yeast character, alcohol, or hop character comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Body is inconsistent, but good for the most part. Thickness never feels quite right. A biteen overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. It doesn't have the alcohol warmth you'd find in higher ABV winter warmers. There's just something lacking here. It's almost a bit syrupy.

Dr: Drinkable, sure. But it isn't a great winter warmer. You could call it pretty decent for an American example of the style, but it can't hold its own against the best European offerings. Above average, certainly, but not world-class. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this again, but I won't mind seeing it in future Sam Adams holiday packs. It might age decently, but I won't be the one to allot it cellar space. I want more spice, and a fuller toasted malt body. There are individual elements that work well, but as a whole it doesn't quite come together.

C+

***

12/22/15: 2nd impression--

C+

 3,110 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 4/2013.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the flavors aren't as good as the smells I am getting.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth, puts me in the mood for a fireplace and footy pajamas. Poured into a stemmed goblet, darkest brown, three finger head even with a gentle pour. Smells of malt, tastes of spice, cinnamon, not overly sweet. Velvet mouthfeel, overall quite enjoyable.

 263 characters

Photo of BillBrasky
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Nice appearance with a one inch head of creamy off-white head. It is dark brown sparkling with nice lacing.

Smell: Could detect some spiciness, maybe molasses, chocolate & cinnamon

Taste: starting with a slight sweetness, average carbonation and a slight bitterness at the end.

Feel: Light to medium mouth feel

Overall: Really enjoyable beer. I would certainly buy this again or anticipate it in another seasons pack.

 427 characters

Photo of Jmc181
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer enough to buy a mixed case of Sam Adams for four Fezziwigs. Don't get me wrong, the others get drank, but I buy the case for the Fezziwigs. Wish they were more widely available as a stand alone case.

 217 characters

Photo of hman43
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours dark amber with plum overtones. The head is tan, with a slight yellowish color in it.

Smell: it has aromas of chocolate, roasted, and a bit of toffee. There is also a slight citrus smell of oranges. It has aromas of brown sugar, nutmeg, and maybe a bit of cinnamon.

Taste: It has a sweet, fruity combination mixed with the malts. There are flavors of orange, chocoalte, roasted malts, and some spices highlighted by nutmeg. The combination also gives it a licorice type flavor with it as well.

Feel: It has moderate carbonation with a moderate fell to it. There is a slight bittering on the palate with a wee bit of tart.

Overall: This is a good holiday warmer with a good mixture of malts and spices combined with sweet fruity flavors.

 758 characters

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time trying this brew picked it up in the variety 12 pack,pours a deep brown/red with a light but lacey head,the aroma is mainly malty with some light brown sugar notes.Taste is very raisiny and bready with a syrupy taste that lingers,a definent malt accented beer wich is nice.I think one of the better BBC offerings but not the easiest beer to drink.

 358 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of cam477
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of whit_knee_41
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Turbo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ExtraStout
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams Turbinator glass.

A - Pours a ruby-tinted deep brown with a nice off-white head.

S - Smells of spice - cinnamon and a bit of raisin. Some roasted malts are present as well.

T - The taste compliments the smell with the cinnamon and raisin apparent immediately. Some dark fruit flavors and a nice toasted malt backbone. Some sweetness but not overpowering. A slight hop flavor is floating around in there too.

M - Pleasant, smooth.

D - Not bad for a couple, but the spice might wear on your palate after a bit.

 538 characters

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Tiernan
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of tohe9384
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Herze
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of J2L
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 1,375 ratings.
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