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

very good
3,633 Ratings
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,633 |  Reviews: 1,405
Photo of Fatehunter
2.97/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass stein. Deep copper color with a short lasting half finger of head, lacked lacing.
Malty, wet hay smell.
Malty tasting too, with a spicy, ginger note in the middle. Ends with a rich malt, though not sweet.
Chewy texture, medium body, moderate carbonation. Too much carbonation for me.
Meh. It tasted like a pinball bouncing around, not balanced. The ginger was in your face right in the middle and then abruptly ended. I did not really enjoy it.

 466 characters

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of codon2004
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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.



12/22/15: 2nd impression--


 3,110 characters

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of its65andsunny
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Chopman50
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Brown120
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mcorwin
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is dark amber with a half-finger khaki-colored head. Leaves some splotches of lace behind.

S: Fresh citrus and spices over caramel malt. Not terribly strong, but pleasant.

T: Good caramel malt/toffee backbone. Touch of spice (and ginger, I think). Finishes with a nice citrus bitterness - mainly lemon, maybe some lemon zest. Spice noted more in the aftertaste. Good balance between the malt and bitterness, though ultimately the malt prevails - which is how I like it in a Winter Warmer. Basically this seems like a slightly big brown ale with some spices thrown in. I'm good with that.

M: Slightly lighter than medium in heft. Carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff.

 720 characters

Photo of swooshjtb
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of zimm421
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a nice dark brown with hints of red and a solid, thick tan head. The head has good staying power and leaves decent lacing.

Nose is sweet, caramel toasted malts and some cinnamon. Nothing overpowering, but pure sweetness. Taste is also very sweet up front. Again, the caramel and toasted malts, but also a slight chocolate hint. The cinnamon isn't as pronounced in the taste as the nose, but other spices do come through. There is a touch of bitterness towards the end, but this is definitely on the sweet side of things.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and below average carbonation. Overall, not a bad winter beer, but not something that will blow you away. The spices add a decent balancing factor, but overall it's just a little too sweet for me.

 817 characters

Photo of IlPostino
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of josefnewsong
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +31.6%

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

Poured from bottle into tulip. I just like drinking out of a tulip.
Dark brown with little lacing. Malty cherry like aroma, slight smoky alcohol.
Taste is almost stout like. Coffee chocolate, mixed with fruity malts. Alcohol is noticeble in the aftertaste.
Overall, a very good winter brew you can find in just bout every grocery store (in the seasonal pack).

 361 characters

Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Anew
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of NCLorax
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of beerslushy
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,633 ratings.
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