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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Ratings: 3,633 |  Reviews: 1,405
Photo of StaveHooks
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep amber clear brown with a 2 finger khaki head that retains excellent. Great spiderweb lacing.

S - Spicy gingerbread, caramel malts, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins,

T - Caramel/toffee slightly toasted, some metal notes, butterscotch, citrus hides in the background, caramelized brown sugar coats the mouth, cinnamon and nutmeg are there but aren't pronounced.

M - Medium body, slick feel.

A solid easy drinking winter warmer. Very good looking brew. Nothing spectacular flavor wise but goes down easy.

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

A- A clear, dark ruby red liquid with a thin bone white head that leaves some nice lacing as it works its way down the glass.

S- Mint, cola, pine, and caramel. Not too shabby.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma with an emphasis on the mint and cola.

M- A smooth amount of carbonation. Rather clean finish.

D- Interesting flavors that don't build on the palate too much leads to easy drinking. I don't think I'd want multiple bottles of this, but it makes for a nice winter time treat.

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

It has a beautiful rusty red-orange color. The body is clear. Thick and fluffy tan head.

The nose is cinnamon, light chocolate and light ginger.

Good flavor, too. It's heavy on the malt, roasted and chocolate. The spices of cinnamon and ginger are more prevalent than the orange, but the orange peel does add a nice finishing touch.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium-bodied.

A pleasant winter warmer and, in my opinion, one of the better offerings Sam Adams puts out.

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Photo of kindestcut
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale pours a dark ruby with a lively beige head. The beer has a spicy aroma with a hint of citrus. The flavor is typical of many spiced winter ales- warming and flavorful with an initial shock of spice giving way to a smooth sweetness.

This is a smooth beer. Unlike many winter warmers, the warmth does not come from alcohol. However, it is not overly spicy.

A good beer that I hope to find next winter, preferably on a snow day.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another beer from the Sam Adam's Winter pack. I'm trying to down them all before I can move on to the Brewmaster's choice one or whatever it's called. Pours a surprisingly dark mahogany brown with a one finger fluffy head, good lacing down the glass. Smells like dark caramel malts, some faint spice, though I don't feel it is as pronounced as others have. I get caramel malt in the taste primarily, with the spices finally becoming pronounced in the aftertaste. I also get a bit of dark fruit, especially raisin. The spice is perfectly balanced, with it being just enough to make this stand out in the winter warmer market. Mouthfeel is full and rich, and the drinkability is great, especially in cold weather!

Great beer, and much better than the winter lager IMO

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my Samuel Adams favorite which is found in their holiday variety pack. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug. Poured a dark brown, not much head on it but a lively carbonation. Had a very complex aroma, with cinnamon really standing out. The flavor is complex with roasty notes, caramel, spice, fruit, a little sourness, and low on hoppiness. A fairly interesting beer and a good and different offering from Sam Adams. I found this beer to be very drinkable.

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Photo of jdflyer06
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. into a pint glass.

A: Deep amber/ruby in color with a clear body, moderate carbonation and a thick head which reduces quickly and leaves a small bit of lace.

S: Malty, bready with some sour citrus notes. Slight spice profile; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Maybe some faint dark fruit, grapes as it warms.

M: Mild carbonation with a creaminess up front that is quickly cut through by some tartness and dry finish. Fairly watery body.

T: Bready, biscuity with a sour finish. Fresh baked bread with some citrus notes and pleasant alcohol warmth. I'm not getting a whole lot from this beer, although it's still pretty tasty. Very refreshing for a winter warmer.

O: I like this, although I can't quite tell you why. It's just a satisfying winter warmer but I wish there were more spice in the flavor. It's well balanced and reminds me almost of a Moerlein OTR, toned down a bit. I feel like I could session these all night. Unfortunately you can only get them two at a time in a 24 pack.

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

Pours a clear, ruby brown color with full, tan head. Head falls to a very small one, thin lace.

Aroma is of caramel malts with mild spice. Smells a bit roasty. Smells good.

Tastes of roasted malts. Bit of bitter chocolate with a mild, bitter finish. Nice Christmas spices give it wonderful flavor.

Medium bodied yet a little chewy. Lowish carbonation.

Good stuff. I do look forward to this every year although I've missed it the past two winters. Now that I've had it again I don't think I'll go a season without getting some.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a dark brown color, and has a copper hue to it when held to the light. It has a small beige head, that has decent retention. The head also left some light lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of malty caramel sweetness and some cinnamon. There are also some other spices, as well as some citrus.

T - The taste is bready, malty, and there is also a roasty bitterness that comes into play. There are also hints of cinnamon, chocolate, and ginger.

M - This has a medium body and nice carbonation. It is smooth and creamy. There is also a crispness to it.

D - The drinkability here is pretty good. The spices are on the lower side of things . I think this is a good christmas beer. Also, I think it is one of the best beers out of the sampler pack, and I wish it were available in 6-packs.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.07/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I used to love this beer... About 4 or 5 years ago, I would drink this all up... I would buy the winter seasonal packs and this was the beer I drank first!

So let's see how things are now...
Poured into a pint.

A deep clear amber body is heavy on the red hues... So heavy that it almost hints at plum and purple. A dark tan head is about the color of light brown sugar: it rises 2 fingers before dropping down to a frothy cap of bubbles. Some seriously thick and sticky lace forms rings and chunks on the side... I'm getting excited...

Well... Now it falls apart.
The smell is sweet-- caramel malts and sugar cane. Reminds me of a flavored soda-- perhaps a vanilla coke? The spices are intense, and not in a good way. I find it difficult to differentiate the spices from eachother... Just a big mess of spices melded together. The taste is the same. A caramel sweetness gives way to a soda flavor and spices. Not liking this so much anymore... There seems to be some coffee and bitter chocolate in here too... And the orange notes really one through on the finish: you'd think it would help dry the out the aftertaste, but it doesn't help at all. In fact, it seems to really be a problem.

The body reminds me of soda. Fizzy and very carbonated.

This is not what I remember. Has the recipe changed? I doubt it. It seems I have changed though, and that is a tad bit depressing. I can't even finish this beer.

Good bye Old Fezziwig.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a Sam Adams glass

A: Light at the bottom and becoming progressively darker brown towards the top, this beer has a thick dark brown head when poured fast.

S: Ginger, orange, and sweet malt dominate the nose.

T: Starts with citrus notes and quickly moved into ginger and malt. The finish lingers on the tongue and has notes of smoke, roasted malts, and biscuit.

M: Medium body and creamy.

D: Nice kick of alcohol and relatively smooth.

Overall: What a balanced beer! This is one of the best beers Sam Adams makes, and I wish it came in six packs. It has great flavor throughout, and each flavor builds on the next.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby with no sediment, the foam is white and settles to a shape resembling that of a hip bone. It smells of malt and somewhat nutty. The taste has some nice malts but is very earthy and has few spices to speak of. It's earthy to the point you almost expect to find some dirt at the bottom of the glass. The finish leaves that earthy taste on the tongue. It's OK but if it wasn't in the winter pack I wouldn't get too many of them.

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Photo of DrewKid4
2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nut brown with fizzy brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Slight nutmeg and cinnamon, but really not much of an aroma for this brew.

T: Slight toasted malts and even slighter hops. Some lasting spice along the back of the tongue.

M: Very light for a self proclaimed Winter Warmer. Bite is merely from the heavy carbonation. Some lasting spice along the back of the tongue.

D: Due to the lightness, you can knock a few of these back in a sitting. Not a bad tasting beer I mean its more like a very introductory winter beer, but I see winter warmers as being a much thicker and creamier beer rather than a Boston Lager with nutmeg in it.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Tons of bubbly, foamy tan head. Intricate lacing. Rich mahogany. Very attractive.

S: Cinnamon, ginger, orange. Chocolate malt, toast. Musty.

T: Malty, caramel and chocolate. Ginger and orange. A little hops. Pretty good, but something about it fails to impress me.

M: Smooth and creamy, but a little watery. Few bubbles, like it's going flat.

D: Good enough, but lacking some element to make it great and exciting.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured quickly into a tulip glass, what little head it had, disappeared rapidly. Deep auburn color with tiny lacey bubbles around the sides.

S- Clove, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon with a nice malty nose.

T- A little sweet and malty. Nice spice as it warms up. Nothing amazing here, but drinks nicely and leaves a nice caramel aftertaste.

M- Kinda flat. Was wishing for more carbonation.

D- I always look forward to Sam's winter mix so that I can get a couple of these.

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

Pours a deep dark reddish brown, clear with a descent sized tan head that falls to ring and leaves some nice sheet lace behind.

Aroma is nice sweet caramel malts, nice spice cinnamon, clove hints of candied apples. Very winter warmish nose.

Taste is like aroma lots of caramel malts loaded with spice that lingers along with lightly grassy hops in the finish. nice easy drinking winter warmer here not so much warm as it is just tasty.

Mouthfeel is light medium with lightly peppy carbonation that brings the spice out.

Drinkability is good and enjoyable brew that i cant believe i have had till now, or at least reviewed.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red color with a huge, almost too huge, thick mocha colored head.

Smell is pretty weak, not much of anything going on here. Light malts and water is all I get in the aroma.

Taste is of spice, malt and light hops. Nothing great, but not bad either, very average winter warmer.

Mouthfeel is thin and carbonated.

Good drinkability for a winter warmer, but nothing amazing.

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Photo of tito42
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rich, dark amber color with a thin, tan head. The head dissipated quite quickly.

Smell: Slightly sweet and malty. Not a necessarily robust smell.

Taste: Malty with some roasted notes and definitely a flavor of caramel that stands out at times. Very roasty after a while with some spices kicking in on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-light bodied with medium carbonation. A slight creaminess that seems consistent to a degree with the SA Holiday Sampler offerings this season.

Drinkability: I really enjoy winter warmers and other beers with a spice during the winter months. Solid, but not spectacular compared to others in the style I have sampled.

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Photo of nukem5
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: r with a big rocky top of tan foam that clings lovingly to the glass.

S: Not a whole bunch here going on. I get a bit of malts and some dark fruity wiffs.

T: Sweet and malty winters finest roasts in a nice blend of flavors. A bit bready with a little bit of hop oils coating the tongue and tastebuds.

M: Slight warming sensation light esters.Slight metalic taste with a medium body.

D: Very drinkable nice with a fire and some crackers and cheese, nice 12 month aged sharp New York cheddar,.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes, part of the big sam adams tasting on xams day. we plowed through everyone we could find in the damn state! served cold and poured into a pint glass.

nice pour with a thick look to it that id manage to let some light through though not terribly much, still not a terrible look overall by any means, aroma is charged with spice, cinnamon, hints of brown sugar, ginger and touches of all spice dot the landscape among a sea of nice malty notes. flavor is interesting as it starts sweet and quickly moves over with an earthy hop note and a decent mix of spices that dry the finish and give it a kick,

overall not bad, it seemed to hold its own quite nicely, would definitely try this one again,

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

poured from a 12 oz bottle(yes,the holiday pack)into a pint glass.

A-Poured a deep ruby red into my glass with a dense two finger khaki head that slowly dissolved into a film with some lacing.

S-The beer gave off a strong,spicy,malty cinnamon aroma.

T-Nice big malty,carmelly,spicy beginning that finished semi-sweet and chocolaty. No real bitterness here and roasty grains were very subtle.

M-Very good body with restrained carbonation. Rich and silky texture.

D-This beer has excellent drinkability. The malts play the lead role in this brew and who doesn't like chocolate and caramel? My current favorite of the Sam Adams Holiday Pack.

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Photo of mellowmark
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle to Imperial Pint glass. Drink before May 2011. Part of the Sam Adams Winter Pack, 12 bottles for $15.99.

Appearance: Dark ruby color with a three finger creamy tan head that takes it's time to go away. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt and spices. Not much at all in terms of hops. Toasted bread. Cinnamon is very prominent. Orange citrus.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts with a hint of bitter grassy hops. Lots of spices. Ginger and cinnamon. Semi-bitter roasted coffee aftertaste lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Medium

I will seek this out again. The spices can get a little annoying, though, which brings down the drinkability a little, but it's still a very solid brew.

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Photo of Dodt
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

another review from the Sam Adams winter variety pack
Poured from the bottle into a pint glass
appearance a ruby colored brown with a head that will bounce when touched .
smell malty with a hint of cinamon
taste a wonderful blend of roasted coco and malt.
mouthfeel a medium body with not a hint bitterness

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Photo of geryeb624
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a pint glass.

A- A ruby-tinted brown in color, with a creamy 1-inch ran head. Solid lacing and retention.

S- Sweet and malty in aroma, with definite notes of the cinnamon and other spices. Almost reminds me of the Winter Lager on steroids.

T- Sweet, toasty malts predominate, with a nice spiciness to it as well. Also a nice hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M/D- Goes down easy and is fairly drinkable.

A nicely executed winter beer. Pretty robust in flavor and quite tasty.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice amber-brown hue with a very clear body. Head is two modest fingers of fizzy, frothy tan foam. A pretty decent looking beer.

Smell: nutty, caramelly malt aroma with a hint of something spicy -- nutmeg, perhaps? Not much in the way of hops, but it does smell like a winter warmer should.

Taste: nutty, caramelly and a touch biscuity, but in a good way. Again there's something like nutmeg in with the mix. Bitterness is well balanced, but as in the aroma there is not a lot of hop flavor here. A pretty solid example of the style.

Mouthfeel: medium body with plenty of carbonation -- it walks the line between creamy and fizzy, and I think that works well for this beer. Good stuff!

Drinkability: I could definitely have a few of these to put me in a festive holiday spirit.

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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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