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

very good
1,400 Reviews
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

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

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,400 | Ratings: 3,613
Photo of twi1609372
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know why i found this beer wanting. It just didnt taste right to me. I like almost all other sam beers and i dont like to write a less than raving review on any of them, but i am guided by my concinse and taste. it was not a putred flavor, it was just a bit "off" from what i think it should have been. While not a bad beer by and definition, i would drink another sam over it.

 385 characters

Photo of babydoc
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This 12 ounce bottle was notched buy before Mar, and was sampled from a pint glass this January. The label describes the cinnamon, ginger, and orange used in brewing. Poured clear dark maple-syrup, with a diminuative ecru head that faded sooner than I'd hoped, leaving only bits of lacing. Nose was spices, gingerbread, almost a pumkin-pie scent there somewhere among the dark malt. It hits the mouth with a smooth moderate mouthfeel, velvety carbonation. Tastes initially of sweet malt and spices, overtaken quickly by some more astringent hops and spices while the malts persist there underneath. I like winter warmers, but am still trying to fit this one in somewhere...I enjoyed tasting, but it's not one I'd drink all night.

 729 characters

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

Old Fezziwig Ale is the BBC's Christmas beer sold in Seasonal 12 pack of 6 styles. Clear redish brown. light tan head falling quickly. Raisin-malt and spice aroma. Features spices of the season - cinnamon, ginger and orange peel. Fun to taste with sweet, bitter and even faint hops.

A medium body of malt provides a slick mouth feel. Sweet toffee and caramel and dark, roasty chocolate malt flavors welll blended. These are its best features.

My observations re. head are quite opposite of other reviews - I found the small head left quickly with no lace on my clean (no soap or oils) pint glass. A ring persisted for a few minutes. I observed only slight beading. Near the end I gave the glass a few swirls to wake up the aroma. A brief fine bubble layer forms. I can't fault its carbonation which seems appropriate for this malty body.... hummm puzzling.

Mostly this beer is about Malts and spices (Cinnamon, ginger and orange peel). Finishes with malty notes, then warms a bit as alcohol kicks in.

Overall nice seasonal that I will try again.

 1,062 characters

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

sampled a 12 ouncer, "purchase before dating" notched onto the label. Pours dark honey, auburn, clear. Low carbonation, minimal head and no lacing to speak of. Nose is smokey and sweet malt. Spiced with ginger and orange, with a decent amount of dark malts, this one seems to fit the typical Winter Warmer profile. Good to middle of the road winter sessioner. Respectable take on the style.

 390 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear brownish red pour with a nice two finger head. Deep blood red comes through when held up to the light. A bit of lacing as well...nice. Sweet chewy caramel with cinnamon and hints of citrus on the nose.

An interesting blend of cocoa and caramel upfront followed by a healthy sprinkling of cinammon and nice spicy ginger bite on the back of the palate. A smattering of citrus and a bit of piney hops are in the mix as well. Quite tasty and a nice winter brew that's not overly spiced.

Medium bodied with a smooth, slightly creamy texture. Works for me! I could see myself having a couple of these, especially during the holidays. My fave Sam Adams brew as of now....why the hell don't they put this in sixers!!!

 729 characters

Photo of Biggness
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This slightly spiced beer was a pleasant suprise. It has a little.. Christmas flavor to it and is usually a holiday staple for me. It is an acquired taste as beers like Guinness are, but overall I enjoy it. This beer is not something you can drink all night but it has a nice flavor after a cold hard days work :)

 313 characters

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

Light tan head leaves nice lacing over clear medium reddish brown liquid. Spicy nose smells of cinnamon and toasted malt/subtle orange peel. The taste is complex with roasted grains, spices and hoppiness. Nice astringent mouthfeel. Finishes slightly winey and dry. Better than I remember it being.

 297 characters

Photo of ism
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pleasing amber with a frothy taupe head. Sweet caramel and ginger in the nose is reflected in the flavor. Low carbonation, a slick and medium body gives a good mouthfeel. Full-on sweetness accompanied by cinnamon and ginger spices, with nary a hop, gives it a warming kind of feel. Just complex enough for a winter brew and something I'll look forward to next year. Goes great with lean and roasted meat.

 412 characters

Photo of tweeder263
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark amber color with a one finger head.Smells sweet of malt and spices.Tastes sweet and malty with hints of spices that show up here and there during drinking. Has a nice medium bodied mouthfeel.This is a nice winter brew i wouldnt mind keeping a couple in stock.

 276 characters

Photo of hero27
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled out the Sam Adams Holiday Pack...

Appearance: Pours a very deep, dark amber color. Off-white head leaves a spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of spices..and not the clove crap that I find disgusting, but rich hints of nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Somewhat reminds me of a more subtle version of Anchor OSA.

Taste: I have to be honest, this beer really surprised me. The flavor is much more rich and complex than expected. The taste is different than anything I've had, but very good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Couldn't be much more smooth. Very well-balanced with good carbonation as well. I like the added alcohol content and it's a very well-done winter brew.

Drinkability: A great Christmas ale which I'd recommend to anyone. Wish they made it a bit more available..I've only seen it in the holiday packs, not in six-or-twelve packs by itself.

 872 characters

Photo of ken3c
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish Brown in color with half inch of foam. Lacing is evident from the ring and island of foam that remain to the end of the beer.

The aroma is all malt. No sense of hops but a little sense of roastiness and some spices.

Sweet and roasted flavors blend nicely on my toungue. There is a sense of spices but not much. There's a little sense of hops in the finish that lingers a while. Aftertaste is a little strange maybe sulfer. Not bad, just not what I expected.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonated and full bodied.

Interesting beer.

 543 characters

Photo of Ave
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark scarlet amber, generous tight head that retains well. Very sweet malt caramel nose. Comes on a bit surgery, but has a decent body of spice in the back. Very slick on the tongue, creamy lavender with a tart sour finish. Medium hop body. Very decent over all. Lingers a bit stale on the sides of the tongue afterwards, but that could have been the two pots of coffee I drank this morning. All in all a very nice offering from the BBC, certainly one of the better. Wouldn’t be something to spend all night with, but very enjoyable brew.

 547 characters

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

12 ounce bottle. Pours out a dark brownish red. The one inch tan head doesn't last very long. Earthy aroma and noticable ginger. Rich malty flavor. Heavily spiced with cinnamon and ginger. Finishes bitter. Medium mouthfeel and an above average drinkability. This beer is interesting, and I like the use of ginger, but I wouldn't want to drink this more than once in a while.

 374 characters

Photo of aracauna
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is a dark clear copper with an ok head. The aroma is slightly malty, the spice is evident but far from overpowering. There’s also a slightly cheesey or mushroomy smell, that I think may actually be a trick of the spice/malt interaction on my nose instead of more sinister reasons. The flavor’s a bit flat, fairly dry, with no finish.

 344 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is part of a case sampler pack picked up at Costco.

This is a ruby red brew that poured a generous head and is leaving a fine lacing down my glass. Nose is picking up hints of sweet toasted malts and spices. Taste is very good, starts with malts that are somewhat toasted followed by a wonderful combination of holiday spices and finishes with an ever slight dry hop. Mouthfeel is reasonably full and is lively on the palate. Overall drinkability is very good. This is a nicely done holiday brew that I would seek out again!

 532 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby body with a festive, light-tan head. Smells of rich, sugary malt, maple syrup, and lots of spices: cinnamon, vanilla, and orange potpourri. Quite spicy, eh? But good spicy.
Caramelly malt up front. Sweet, but not overly so. Spices dominate. Cinnamon, vanilla, zesty ginger (?). Not bad, especially for something so spiced. Bitterness rises just before the finish, and sticks around with some residual spicy sweetness. Medium-bodied, with an almost creamy feel. Not something I would drink often, but a good choice for when I feel like "spicing" it up. Haha.

 568 characters

Photo of nortmand
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber red, with little head. Clear as a bell.
Spicy sweet scent. peel maybe.
Must be a pinch of choclate malt in their, sweet caramel flavors blend with a spicy tone. This is quite good until the aftertaste, which is off flavor and kind of sour.
Well carbonated, a little less would be nice, otherwise uninteresting.
Pretty drinkable for a spiced ale, but nothing I would probably seek out.

 434 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams loves the winter beers, and this one is a great one to add to the list. Pours a cherry-wood color with oakness hues. The smell is of orange zest, nutmeg and ginger, a slight rasin tone. The taste is a great blend of spices and citrus with a nice deep dark oaked raisin taste. Medium bodied with great drinkability, curl up with these next to the fire for a perfect winter night.

 388 characters

Photo of JackStraw22
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks nice in the glass, clear amber with ruby accents. Decent tan head that holds pretty well, good amount of lacing. My favorite part of this beer though is the smell. Ginger and nutmeg really come through here, with some cinnamon and apples in there too. Some pleasent hops smell is drifting around, very nice. Unfortunately, I can't really taste much of that. There's a nice bitterness in the hops, but nothing else seems to be going on. The beer feels very thin too, just not much to it. It doesn't taste bad, just not a lot of complexity. On the plus side, the drinkability is great.

 599 characters

Photo of sabrills70
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark ruby red amber. Not a huge head but good lace.
Smell of malt with raisin and decent hop aroma. Fruity. Taste is quite nice. Chocoate malt notes with raisin, ginger and slight orange flavors. Balanced with just enough hops to offset the sweetness. Some alcohol is evident, but not much. Finishes a bit dry with a nice bitter, roasted aftertaste. Decent drinkability. Not a bunch and not something to have in the summer, but great around this time of year.

 474 characters

Photo of brewQ
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'Tis the season...

Brown to purple-red tones with an irregular beige head.
Not much lacing evident.

My take on the aroma is fruit/citric plus sweet. I can not pick up the distinct cinnamon, ginger and orange promised on the label.

I do enjoy the cherry and chocolate notes I found or imagined!

This beer has an enviable balance to it. It is drinkable, while providing some hints of special holiday flavors.

 419 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep scarlet. True to the BBC it features proper head and lacing.

Nose is spicy with uge carmelized maltiness, large, spicy ginger, and orange rind. The doughiness and peppery characterisitics appear at cellar temperature.

In a weird way I found this beer to be the equivalent of eating a cinnamon cookie, a touch like some of the better pumpkin ales.

Strangely "coin-y" mouthfeel that distracts from the flavor.

A well crafted spiced beer, but not of my personal preference.

 488 characters

Photo of mobyfann
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paid only $10.99 for the "Winter Classics Holiday 12 pack"

This beer starts off with a clear dark brown base with a medium white head, pretty good retnetion and some scattered lacing throughout. The aroma is a bit weak but I smelled mainly raisins with some faint smells of alcohol, malts and spice.

The taste was a nice hybrid of raisins, malt, sweetness and a bit chocolaty too. This beer hinted a little porter to it, but not completley. The mouthfeel was a low point, it felt extremely heavy in the mouth. The drinkability is good, relatively smooth and at 5.6% not too noticeable.

Final Thought: This is a very unique beer, so I like it on that basis; however, it's not that great of a beer.

 705 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Reddish-mahogany color, with head of white foam, fairly small, but laces nicely.

Aroma: Sweet malt mainly, but cinnamon scent is also apparent.

Flavor: Malt sweetness dominates, slightly toasty, mostly caramel flavors. Cinnamon is present, along with medium-low hop bitterness balancing it out. Cinnamon flavor is not as strong as the aroma suggests. I can't taste the ginger or orange peel (which the label says are ingredients) at all.

Body: A bit watery for a beer of this strength. Medium carbonation.

This was one of my favorite beers in the mid 90s, but I guess my tastes have changed since then. It's not bad, but not very interesting. Bringing the spices out would help a lot.

 709 characters

Photo of UncleFrank
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark burnt orange colored ale with little to no head.
Aroma is nice, spices, cinamon, sweet malts, caramel, almost like a belgian ale.
The taste is mellow, a nice blend of spices but not able to tell what the underlying stule is supposed to be. Body is a bit thin and seems more so as the beer spices dry out the palate. Hop flavor none. The spices do not overwhelm amking this a holiday beer I could drink alot of. ABV is not detectable at all.

 449 characters

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,613 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.