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

BA SCORE
86
very good
3,631 Ratings
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
Ratings:
3,631
Reviews:
1,403
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
81
Gots:
591
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 3,631 |  Reviews: 1,403
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A lager with initially fizzy carbonation that fades as it warms to just significant carbonation. Clearly orange and cinammon, a spot of ginger for spice, and caramel. Weak finish. Medium mouthfeel. Rather a bold herbal tea. Nice chestnut amber colour.

 251 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

 466 characters

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not my favorite winter warmer, but a unique one. it pours a mostly impenetrable brown color with a real small tanish head. the smell is quite spices, cinnamon, citrus peel, and brown sugar. flavor is pretty moderate on the malts, some caramel and english wintery feeling grains, but i taste all spice in the middle, and all brown sugar or molassas in the finish, its not s sweet as that, but the flavor is the same. its almost mapley too, and as such might lend itself well to some time on wood. big mouthfeel, lots of body and some really bold flavors, vanilla tinge too, and the carbonation is fine. its a good winter beer i guess, but its not a drinker, its a slow sipper and one was plenty for me. it was honestly one of my least favorite beers in this years winter pack though, and i will likely let someone else drink the other couple of them.

 849 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Fezziwig pours out as an amberish orange color, it's got a white head on it that leaves a bit of lacing at times. The aroma of the beer is spicy smelling and has a little bit of an orange peel in there as well. The taste is similar to some Belgian Ales out there, the spices really come through and mix with the citrusy notes this beer has. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation. Overall it's an interesting brew and worthy of giving it a try.

 484 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high dense beige head that slowly died down leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts and spices in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some initial malty sweetness. The flavors of spices are a little stronger compared to the smell and there are some notes of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: It doesn't seem to be as full-bodied compared to other beers in the style but that's not necessarily a bad thing because it's more sessionable.

 745 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, I love getting a few mixed packs of Sam Adams right around Thanksgiving/Christmas so I can have this beer. Sucks you only get 2 in each but its delicious. Chock full of Christmas spices and is absolutely beautiful. Could use a little bit of a higher ABV being a winter warmer and all but other than that it's very good.

 323 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Winter variety pack -- part III. Another winner by BBC. Richly malted and creatively spiced. Sweet malts begin to pick up on dark syrup flavors, but not viscocity. Bready and sweet with a hint of toast, nuts, chocolate, and toffee. Spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and curraco decorate the aromas and flavors, adding a punch of variety, but never becomming distracting -- always complimentary. Medium bodied allows for easy drinking. The alcohols and hops cut through those holiday foods nicely while standing on its own if needed. Finishes with a hint of spices and a follow-through of malt sweetness.

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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 brentk56
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet body with a prodigious head that provides loads of splashy lacing

Smell: Wonderful spice aromas of cinnamon, orange and a touch of ginger

Taste: Starts out with a raisiny, fruitcake flavor filled with holiday spices; mid-palate, some balancing bitterness kicks in with a touch of pithy orange and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: With enough holiday spices to make it interesting, but nothing over the top, this is quite a decent Winter Warmer

 521 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of emerge077
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tawny reddish copper color, filtered with bright clarity. Thin loose head of tan foam. Thin ring at the edges, no lacing. Carb visible rising around the edges.

Pleasant nose of bready gingerbread sweetness, vanilla, nutmeg.

Some light astringent bitterness, earthy toasted malt and light dry spices that mirror it's aromas. Light bodied and mellow, finishes slightly watery. Spices are light and not overdone, rather they are an accent in the aftertaste that compliments the primary toasted maltiness. Lingering dry bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall a good Winter Warmer, fairly middle of the road.

 605 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a relatively large foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt with light toffee and nutmeg notes is pretty enticing. Taste is a good mix between some solid caramel malt with light notes of nutmeg and balanced residual sugar in the aftertaste. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easily drinkable while retaining some good complexity.

 411 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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

Appearance - Pours the color of black coffee with an off-white head. Lots of sticky lace and fairly good head retention.

Smell - Cinnamon, cocoa and caramel. Subtle spiciness.

Taste & mouthfeel - Roasty and bready; moderate sweetness with notes of chocolate and spices; zesty citrus hops and burnt toast in the finish. Full-bodied for a beer of moderate alcohol.

Notes - An expertly balanced winter warmer; one of the best examples of the style coming out of the US.

 469 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack.

A - Poured out a deep burgandy color with a bubbly, tan, three finger head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of spice and nutmeg. Also, some malt and other sweet aromas.

T - It had a nice complex mix of flavors. There was some chocolate, cinamon and other spices. Also, a good roasted maltiness.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is pretty good. I think I like it better than their Winter Lager.

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,631 ratings.
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