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

very good
3,631 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: 3,631 |  Reviews: 1,403
Photo of BatDaddy
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Sam Adams Turbinator glass.

A - Pours a ruby-tinted deep brown with a nice off-white head.

S - Smells of spice - cinnamon and a bit of raisin. Some roasted malts are present as well.

T - The taste compliments the smell with the cinnamon and raisin apparent immediately. Some dark fruit flavors and a nice toasted malt backbone. Some sweetness but not overpowering. A slight hop flavor is floating around in there too.

M - Pleasant, smooth.

D - Not bad for a couple, but the spice might wear on your palate after a bit.

Overall I'm digging this SA Winter pack I bought. I'd love to leave this one out for Santa with the cookies.

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Photo of nick76
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is dark and toasted with malt, coffee, toffee, and hops. The appearance is brown with a foamy head. The taste is like the aroma with a toasted malt finish. The palate is smooth but not as thick as it should be. Overall this is a good beer and I would drink it again but has some flaws in the aroma.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A darker shade of amber with some ruby hues shining around the glass...a white, 1.5 finger head formed and showed some retention...decent lacing

S - Mainly buttery and caramel malts come forward with an underlying dose of holiday spice

T - The malts are more pronounced in the flavor...they come across first as sweet and buttery but later develop into a roasted, dark chocolate flavor...there is an underlying roasted coffee presence as well...the spice are also present in the middle...cinnamon and nutmeg lead the way...there is a nice addition of bright, orange citrus at the end of the beer

M - Medium bodied...smooth, nice spice level, good citrus finish

D - This has been one of the better winter beers I've had so far this year...I wish this was more readily available instead of the holiday sampler pack...good stuff from Sam Adams to try

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap today at Fireworks in Arlington, VA. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident. Some light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, toffee, dark fruits, spices, and cinnamon.

t - Tastes roasted malts, toffee, caramel malts, faint bitter hops, spices, and cinnamon.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good winter warmer. Some nice spices and cinnamon in the smell and taste and pretty easy going down. Would have again.

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Photo of aepb1
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Big fluffy off white head sits atop a dark red-brown body

S- Sweet fruitiness with cinnamon spices and I get some ginger in there too

T- Roasty and chocolatey up front moving into the ginger and warming for some nice complexity

M- Medium body and smooth and some warming

D- Very balanced and wish it were here more often!

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Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark ruby red with a one finger off-white head that fizzes out fairly quickly. A tiny ring around the edge leaves only a few spots of lace.

S- A good dose of buttery, nutty caramel malt with dark fruit mixed in. A general spice note that I can't quite put my mind to.

T- Starts out with a decent amount of spice on top of dark fruit notes. The finish is pretty damn malty and bready with nutty, caramel and slight roast notes. Buttery at the end as well. Fairly sweet. Definite citrus zest and cinnamon spread throughout.

MF- Light body that is nice and cream. Carbonation is very smooth and silky but matches the flavor well. Slightly bitter.

DB- A multi-dimensional beer without a big hop profile. Spice used tastefully and malt used to round this out. Interesting to the last sip.

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

From notes (11/25)
Poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep red/amber color, a nice one finger head with good retention. Leaves lacing down the sides.

S: A nice spice aroma hits immediately. Lots of cinnamon and some nutmeg. Also some citrus from the orange peel used in the brewing process.

T: Starts off with the spices, mostly cinnamon and then a citrus kick from the rind. This gives way to some caramel form the malts and a little bit of chocolate.

M/D: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Just about right here. Overall, much easier drinking than expected. Like this one a lot. Just wish it came in six packs.

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

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped A305013483E. Sampled on December 1, 2010. The pour is a handsome looking brown with ruby red hues and regular carbonation. The aroma has a good supply of caramel malts with a bit of cinnamon and ginger or All Spice. The body is full. The taste also brings out a bit of cinnamon and spices with a fine bitter hop ending. Very nice all told.

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Photo of ztaylor1
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- a dark, cola-like color with a fizzy light tan head that leaves poor lacing but dies to a nice film.

Smell- an assorment of spices, nutmeg being fairly prominent. Hops are in the distant background.

Taste- very spiced, an eggnog taste upfront with a light malt balance. A little too sweet for my taste and a bit too heavy on the spices.

Mouthfeel- very well carbonated.

Drinkability- the strong spices hinder this ale's drinkability.

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

Appearance: Clear brown, good head.

Smell: Sweet, caramel, hint of spice.

Taste: Bready, spicy taste yet hard to pick out the individual spices, mild tea-like bitterness at the finish.

Drinkability: Nice change of pace, spices are apparent but not overwhelming, low ABV means could have a few.

Beer #3 from the sampler. Didn't remember this as being all that great from years ago, but pleasantly surprised. A pretty decent winter beer--malty and spicy and drinkable.

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Photo of SamN
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark clear amber color with a nice lasting head. Smells of rum, flowers, spices. Taste is fruity/malty with noticeable ginger spice. Spicy, I like that. A little too fizzy, the carbonation burn lasts a bit, but a nice overall winter beer from Boston.

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Photo of Lukecook
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in SA perfect pint glass

A- brown with red hue, finger of white head, minimal lacing.

S- Carmel malts, cinnamon, ginger, and a little citrus.

T- Same as the nose with more citrus flavour.

M- Creamy and full bodied.

D- Easy to drink with a nice flavour.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good one finger head of thick light brown bubbles. Heavy lace with mild clinging power. Color is a 28 on the SRM chart. Smells of chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, caramel and coffee. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, grapefruit, caramel, toffee, malt, and ginger. Bodyfull feel in my mouth. Good beer to drink when the weather gets a bit chilly. Share with others in season.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 3rd selection from the winter pack... poured into SA Perfect Pint Glass

A - Beer pours a nice dark brown/mahogany color. A nice fingers worth of creamy head. Very nice lacing along the glass.

S - Nothing to exciting here, mostly malt and caramel. A faint smell of spices (cinnamon?) also present.

T - Here is where the beer shines. Tons of flavor ranging from caramel to ginger and orange. This beer is just very well balanced. There is some hop bitterness but the caramel malts come through and even everything out.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth. Decent carbonation.

D - Very high to say the least. Easily my favorite from the whole pack

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Photo of Erish
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: clear mahogany color, abundant and long-lasting cream-colored head falls into a thick cap with lovely lacing.

S: lots of caramel malt, gingerbread, a hint of orange, some yeast funk, and the cinnamon is buried in there like a tiny treasure.

T: the sweet malt core explodes up front, the gingerbread cookie flavor and cinnamon dominate the middle, the finish is a tad disappointing, as it seems to weaken quickly compared to the strong start of this beer, but there is a flash of hop oil that does bring it all together. The relatively weaker finish is the only thing keeping this from rating a 4.5 or even a 5. But hey, perfect scores are rare for a reason, right?

M: medium-bodied, creamy, nice carbonation.

D: an excellent holiday beer. This is a top-notch reminder of why we should still love Sam Adams.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a dark red/brown. Some light comes through the edges showing some nice bubbles rush to the top.

S: Smells of caramel malt with some spices.

T: Lots of caramel up front. The caramel goes into some spices. Cinnamon is the big one. Finishes with a bit of coffee/chocolate bitterness.

M: Very smooth. Great amount of carbonation.

D: High. Very good mouth feel, not overly carbonated, not too strong to drink a lot of them.

This is a great winter beer. My only complaint is that they don't sell it in 6 packs.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a perfect pint.

Pours a nice deep dark ruby red to mahogany brown with a small slightly off white head that's quite thin. Aroma is very nice, it's pretty subtle for all the spices that it says are in this beer, however it's quite unique and smells like, well christmas? Just a nice balance of spices.

First thing that comes to my mind is "Pumpkin beer on steroids". There's that nutmeg/spice character that almost every pumpkin beer has that's quite welcome for the style. But then as you get further into it more comes out. I do notice some light orange that's fresh and sweet. The body is really quite perfect, it's thick and smooth with light carbonation that makes the whole experience very mellow. It's quite an easy drinker for the style and the alcohol is well hidden. However, it's a bit sweet and spicy for me to want to drink a whole lot. It's a welcome addition to the winter 12-pack.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Copper with a thin tan head. Decent enough looking WW.
S- smell is toasted malt and what I could only describe as my mother's spice cabinet. Not picking out individual spices so well in this one so much as just broad "spice" aromas.
T- Caramel and more discernable spice here, in the form of cinnamon and ginger. pleasant, yet simple.
M- Spot on here. Slightly above average body, with medium carbonation and a certain crispness many w.w.'s seem to lack.
D- A good beer and one of the highlights of the Samuel Adams winter pack.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Old Fezziwig pours a dark brown, close to black with nice mahogany and ruby highlights. There is about a finger of light tan head that reduces down fairly quickly, leaving little lacing.

Smell: Very malty as is expected from this winter warmer. The roasted malts provide most of the scent, but there is also some dark fruits and caramel as well. Maybe a hint of floral hops at the end.

Taste: Roasted malts up front provide the bulk of the taste. Dark fruits and smooth caramel are there as well, and there is maybe a bit of hop bitterness at the end. A very nice flavor to warm up with on a cold night.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied with light carbonation, very smooth. I find it very easy to put down, especially for its style. A nice offering from Boston Beer Co., this is one of my favorites from them.

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Photo of u2carew
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Settles just slightly. Tight and sticky lacing. Clear, mahogany body, almost ruby in color.
S) Caramel. Toasted grain aroma.
T) Toasted bread. Caramel notes. Almond.
M) Fizzy. Medium body, but a heavy medium. Dry in the finish.
D) A decent brew. I'd have another.

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

Poured from bottle into trusty old shaker glass on 26 Nov 10. Poured a dark reddish brown color with a decent head that disapated pretty fast. Aroma of cinnamin and bready malt. Taste was malt goodness, cinnamin, and some caramel with a very smooth finish. This is a very good winter seasonal that I wish they'd bottle into sixers. Will look for more of this this winter.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a veryy dark amber color amot black with a small head that didnt last without. Smelled sweet with alot cimmimon. Has a smooth sweet complx flavor with alot of cimmon. Easy to drink but a nice sipping beer. Overall a really nice winter beer.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Dark ruby red in color. A finger and a half of tan head that retained well and laced the glass nicely.

Smell: Rich malty aroma. A deeper inhale revealed the underlying cinnamon and ginger notes, and the faint hint of orange.

Taste: Rich and complex. A little bit of caramel, some chocolate, and dark fruits. Spicy, and you can definitely pick out the ginger and cinnamon, though the orange is very faint and only comes through after warming. Finishes off with just a hint of coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with very low carbonation. About the smoothest beer I've ever drank in my life.

Drinkability: Very good for a winter warmer. At 210 calories, it sticks to your ribs though!

Final Notes: Not much else to say about this beer other than it's delicious. Beautifully complex sweet and spicy flavor would pair well with any hearty meal or dessert, and has enough alcohol warmth to keep you warm.

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

12 oz. bottle from 2010 Winter Variety Pack, notched with freshness date of Mar. 2011. Poured into a pint glass. Review taken from notes during and after consumption.

Appearance: Pours out a very Newcastle type of brown but with some hints of crimson red in the light. A two-finger rocky white head tops off the beer and leaves some spotty lacing down the glass.

Smell: As good as this smells, I can't say that it necessarily smells original. Honestly, it smells like an amped-up version of some of Sam Adams other winter seasonal beers. Aside from the ample caramel malts, there are also hints of cinnamon and ginger spices, as well as some citrus/orange hints? Malts and spices are the order of the day here; low hop presence.

Taste: BIG caramel malts hit the tongue at first. Very sweet and pleasing, but not overly sweet or artificial. There are plenty of spices to follow as well, including the aforementioned cinnamon and ginger; the cinnamon takes the biggest part here and the other spices fade in with it. There's a tiny bit of citrus zest in the finish as well some hints of brown sugar. There's a very mild earthy hop bitterness to finish out the taste, but it's hardly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy, no mistaking it. This beer's aim is to warm your innards on a chilly winter night, and the thickness of this beer certainly does it. It has a thick body, but the carbonation helps to prickle the tongue with some of the spices and finer flavors.

Drinkability: Despite the big body of this beer, its malty and sweet body would make it easy to drink several pints. Just be sure to handle it carefully.

Out of the Winter Variety pack, I think this is probably one of the best selections, but at the same time, it only takes the Sam Adams seasonal recipe - lots of caramel, big spices, low bitterness - and tweaks it some while boosting other characteristics. Maybe I'm just burnt out on the Winter pack at this point, but I still found this to be a delicious and wonderful beer.

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

Another beer I tried while at a family gathering for thanks giving. Was sitting in the cooler and bottle had some wear and tear so I don't know how long it might have been in there for. In general I was impressed with this beer. The hopiness and overall flavor did catch me by surprise, although it felt light at the same time. Definetly something I would give another try.

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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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