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

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,400 Reviews
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

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:
1,400
Ratings:
3,612
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
81
Gots:
581
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,400 | Ratings: 3,612
Photo of Pantalones
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Last bottle from the variety pack; bottled on the 324th day of 2016, best-by month listed is May 2017.

Nice dark red-orangey, bordering on brown color to this one. It's very clear too, though dark enough that I need to shine a light through it to see the swirling, rising bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Nice layer of light tan foam on top, not huge but definitely densely-packed and seems to be sticking around for a while.

Smell is malty -- some breadiness up front (maybe almost sourdough-ish at time), some sweetness hanging out in the background. Fairly mild in the area of smell, I can maybe pick up a little bit of some spices blending in there but they don't really stand out. Seems like maybe a little bit of something that I can only describe as "English-ness" present -- not sure how to put it other than that, there's a particular flavor/smell that I notice in a lot of English ales and it's present here too.

Taste is also primarily malty on the first sip, but with a much nicer richer medium/dark bready flavor to it -- I'm noticing a flavor like bread crusts on the end for sure, a little toasty. The "English-y" flavor is present here too, though secondary to the rich breadiness. I'm not really picking up much of the spices in the flavor either, but the malt is really nice so that's okay. There's maybe a bit of a cinnamony-spicy thing going on, but it's just hanging out behind the malt, adding a little something extra every now and then -- seems to mostly pop in on the end. Seems to be a little bit of noticeable bitterness on the end too (at least now that I'm over halfway through the bottle), which surprises me a bit, but I suppose with this being 25 IBUs a little bit of bitterness being present isn't unusual. Burps are coming up sweeter and more caramel-y than the beer itself is, interestingly.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice too, matching the flavor pretty well -- not too fizzy, drinkable but not too light or thin-feeling. It's got a substantial feel to it which works nicely with how much bready-toasty malt flavors are going on. Though the flavors don't seem especially sweet, there is this lingering bit of stickiness, especially after getting near the end of the glass it seems.

Overall, a very nice seasonal beer that I'm glad I finally got a chance to try. It actually reminds me a bit of Hobgoblin and other English-style ales, albeit a darker version with richer bready malt -- I suppose that shouldn't be too surprising considering that the Winter Warmer style is English in origin, though! I figure if it seems "English-ish" despite being made by an American brewery, that's a good sign that they knew what they were doing with this one. I'll join the masses (at least on this site, it seems) in saying that I'd definitely buy a six-pack if they ever finally0 decide to put this one in six-packs.

 2,869 characters

Photo of GreatHammerhead
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle freshness notched for April 2017 poured into a pint glass.

Look: Clear, dark, red brown coloration with a 3/4 finger head of thick off white foam that rapidly collapses, leaving a soapy residue across the top of most of the beer.

Smell: Mostly malts , not much of a spice profile.

Taste: Mostly malts, slight bitterness from the spices, and faint alcohol heat in the back of the throat on the swallow.

Feel: Medium body with carbonation on the high side.

Overall: An average beer, nothing special but not offensive either.

 554 characters

Photo of ThePold
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a fresh bottle at 43 degrees in a snifter for fun, doggone it! Okay head, not long lasting. Brown. Beer color is also brown, nice looking brew. I don't smell a lot of cinnamon or orange. Some ginger. Tastes like Christmas time to me, though!

 252 characters

Photo of wuthrichj15
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark brow. Small head that dissipated rather quickly. Not a bad winter warmer. Good flavors, cinnamon, orange, nice maltiness. Had one last night. Lacing was nice around the glass as well.

 202 characters

Photo of dcscientist
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was decent, but not as good as their winter lager. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there was just something missing from this to really make it a good winter warmer. Sam Adams has done better.

 206 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; deep mahogany in color; 2+ finger light brown head that receded slowly to a thin cap; nice lacing;

S: somewhat restrained; sweet malt - reminds me of a Scottish ale;

T: orange zest for a moment, then ginger gets added in; the orange and ginger go side by side to the finish; no bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O not especially interesting, but easy to drink;

 420 characters

Photo of jrsqc7
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ruby red with no head and no lacing.

Flavor is malts upfront followed by a mess of spices. The flavors are muddled and indistinct leaving a weird metallic bitterness. The malt is quite good.

Feels smooth with slight burning aftertaste. Not terrible but certainly not great.

 280 characters

Photo of ABabbidge
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark red-brown color. Thin head.

S: Malty with ginger and orange rind.

T: Roasted malty up front, quickly followed by some spicy notes, I get mostly ginger and cinnamon. There is a bitter, spicy finish that lingers for awhile.

F: Medium body and carbonation.

O: The spices are good and not over done, although I wouldn't mind if they kicked up the spices maybe a little more. Like everyone else, I wish I didn't have to buy a sampler pack just to be able to get 2 bottles of this.

 488 characters

Photo of jfeyes
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fezziwig poured a dark amber with legit lacing......caramel, orange peel, spice notes, not especially bitter on the finish and the pleasant tastes lingers. I found this to be a most enjoyable brew.

 198 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with an orange tinge. Thin tan head. Appearance is nothing special, but is appropriate for the style.

Smell is very carmel-ly. Malt forward with a nice balance of mulling spices present in the beer.

Taste robust. Tons of rich malts. Nice array of mulling spices is present with some ginger and orange peel. Touch of bitterness on the back end more reminiscent of the orange rind.

Feel is full bodied yet light and drinkable.

This is one of my favorite winter warmers - I've loved this one for a long time - and its one of Sam Adams' better beers. Just wish I could get it without needing to buy the big variety pack.

 636 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I know my rating will probably be higher than most, but this beer is an almost perfect Winter Warmer to me. Brilliantly clear deep amber-reddish hue with a nice fluffy white head. Smells like Christmas! Cinnamon, citrus, mulling spices carry perfectly into the flavor backed by a sweet caramelly breadiness. Well balanced, and light enough to chug, heavy enough to savor. One of the only Sam Adams beers I have continued to look forward to year after year. Cheers!

 470 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A moderately hazy muddy brown color with a frothy tan head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, nutmeg, and coffee. The taste was warm and malty, with a prominent toffee and caramel flavor but not sweet. All was accentuated with restrained spices - cinnamon and nutmeg. Medium-bodied and flavorful.

 315 characters

Photo of Squire123
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5.9% ABV, 25 IBU

Dark mahogany color with a reddish cast, moderate cap and good lacing.

Dark toffeeish malt aroma with hints of spice peaking out like tiny whitecaps on a relatively calm sea.

This is a full flavored brew with roasted malt, caramel, toffee, also touches, and I mean touches, of the cinnamon, ginger and orange peel mentioned on the label. Hops are enough to be noticed from the beginning to the finish with lingering roasted nuts in the aftertaste.

Texture is full, almost chewy.

Overall a good effort for what I will call a Winter Warmer style. Everything is neatly in it's place with all the gears meshing in good order. Not an alcohol or hop monster, it manages to convey bigness without the support of those two. Classy without being flashy.

 771 characters

Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, amber in color with a good foamy head and lacing. Smells of malt, grain, and some nuts. Taste is pretty decent, get a sweet malt taste with some mild grain and light bitter flavor. Overall a smooth finish. Not a bad beer, nothing extreme about it just a good mix from the norm.

 289 characters

Photo of Holderness
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L -- Dark amber with a dense and foamy off-white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass
S -- Cinnamon, malts, orange peel, squash,
T -- Pumpkin ale - like. No hoppiness but a solid malt backbone
F -- Starts off medium bodied, but finishes watery
O -- Festive and vibrant. Great name, too

 298 characters

Photo of 1angrydwarf
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L: dark brown with reddish hue darker than their winter lager.
S: Faintly sweet roast grain/malt with unidentifiable spice note. I really had to huff this to get much anything. I think my allergies killed my nose.
T: Primary tastes are heavy malt forward ale with a booze forward profile to provide the warmth. Secondary flavors are the roast with mild caramel sweetness. The only spice I detect is ginger on the finish. Unfortunately my bottle had a pronounced metallic taste. that died down a bit after it warmed.
F: pretty average mouth feel with medium carbonation.
O: Pretty good overall but the metallic taste killed it for me. I will try again though.

 660 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, notched expiration of April 2017. Pours transparent amber with a large sized off white head; some lacing. Smells of bready malt, caramel, toasted spices, orange peel, and subtle earthy hops. The taste follows closely with bready malt, caramel, orange, spices, and hops. Strong and lingering bitterness from the peel, light sweetness, and light dryness. Average body and higher carbonation. Overall, this fits the style okay and is drinkable but could use less rindy bitterness, more intensity, and less carbonation. It's currently only sold through their Winter Seasonal variety packs.

 603 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a clear ruby with an average head. The aroma is light, with cinnamon, burnt spice, and dried apricot. The flavor is mild, with toasty bitterness, burnt cinnamon, raisin, and toast. The mouthfeel is light bodied, with soft, foamy carbonation. Overall this is a bit dull, overly bitter for the style, with this odd burnt flavor running throughout.

 361 characters

Photo of mmmbeer89
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a little hesitant about this beer based on the combination of the main ingredients but i was pleasantly surprised by it, A perfect fit for the winter time.

 162 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Deep plum color. Two fingers of frothy/creamy beige head. Retention is about average and a finger of lacing is left behind. Pretty good here.

3.75 S: Just as advertised. Caramel sweetness with spiciness from cinnamon and ginger. Mild orange peel that I probably wouldn't notice if I didn't know it was in there. Toasty malts with just the right amount of sweetness.

3.5 T: Toasty malts and caramel sweetness. Light spiciness in form of cinnamon and ginger. Mild bitterness from orange peel. Pretty good, but less potent than the nose.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasant mild creaminess. Super smooth.

3.5 D: Good beer and a solid winter beer. Plenty of flavor and easy to drink.

 752 characters

Photo of gandres
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Reddish dark amber, looks clear, small foam that disappears quickly
fragrant not a lot of aroma, complex aroma comes out while drinking
medium bitterness
good carbonation, long follow through, finish, bitter/spicy follow through/ aftertaste
very good beer
repeat: yes
look for: No
drank: 11/8/2016 9:03 PM

 348 characters

Photo of jasadewi
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Dark brown color that leaves some white lacing.
S: Very faint smell of bread and brown sugar.
T: Toasted malt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a splice of coriander.
M: Light bodied, well-carbonated.
O: Pretty tasty, but honestly underwhelming. Both the tastes and smells are not as powerful as I would've liked. Definitely worth a try though.

 343 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

**
11/26/2012

Bottle to pint glass.

AROMA: Very Faint, bread, brown sugar.
LOOK: Dark Brown Pour, weak head
TASTE: Burnt Sugar, Light Cloves and Orange
FEEL: Light with medium carbonation.

I remember this beer being of stronger flavor. Still not bad.
**

 261 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass to a nice reddish brown topped by a dense two finger off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing
S: Smells of caramel, spices and toffee with some toasted malt
T: Taste is caramel, toasted malt, toffee, and a little bit of spice. Swallow is more spice, toffee, and toasted malt
M: This beer is on the fuller side of medium with decent carbonation and a slightly drying finish.
O: Overall this is a pretty solid beer. It has good flavors and some nice complexity. It definitely fits the style it just sucks you can't buy it by itself.

 581 characters

Photo of zshaft
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

looks very dark brownish red with good head and nice retention. nose is malt with slight clove and cinnamon maybe even some dark fruit. nOt bad. taste is similar to the nose with some bland malt giving way to some brown sugar. cinnamon. and some fig or plum seems to come to mind. mouthfeel is medium and seems to compliment the beer well. I remember trying this beer many years ago and wanting to puke. my palate has become more refined and I must compliment this brew. nice flavors of clove and cinnamon mix well with the malt base making this a nice winter beer. maybe not a go to. but a nice beer.

 619 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,612 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe