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 jakdracula
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OKAY, Sam Adams continues to surprise me.

Why are we supposed to hate Sam Adams again? I know many of my beer snob, or sorry, beer advocate friends look down their collective noses at Sam Adams, but I keep trying them and I keep liking their beer.

Get this, try it, and lemme know...

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Photo of Blanco
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

color is a very dark brown, with red hue and a tan head. head is strong and fluffy but doesn't hold long. smells and taste are good, but somewhat muted and it's difficult to pickup individual flavors. Slight taste of dark fruit. gentle spice notes and caramel. medium bodied. the drink goes down smoothly. highly drinkable winter warmer, even if the tastes are a bit muted. good for those times where you want a good tasting beer you don't have to think too much about, which is perfect for the holidays with family.

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

A-Pours the color of dark stained wood, with 1/4 inch of off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing.

S-Cinnamon, nutmeg, light grassy hops.

T/M-Nutmeg, bready malts, a surprisingly hoppy finish. Slightly astringent, which works against the sweet holiday spice profile. Light bodied with moderate carbonation.

D- Too thin for the style. With a little more body, this would stand out more. It's nothing special.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 16 November 2010.

Poured aggressively into standard nonic, color is deep deep red-brown, forms a spongy 2-finger head that shrinks into a creamy film after first sip, average lacing. This is another one of the Sam Adams winter pack. Lately I've been drinking high ABV beers (this one is 5.9%) and have been trying my super very best to evaluate these lower ABV beers. The flavors in this ale are so mild. After swirling, aroma consists of slightly toasted malts, maybe a hint of smoke and caramel. I can hardly taste hops, but haven't tasted hops before in a "winter warmer" beer, sooo I just wasted a perfectly good sentence. This is a standard malty beer with a touch of sweetness. Still on the light side, but matches the season well.

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

A - Dark red color with a small one finger cream colored head that fizzles down quite quickly.

S - Very intriguing.. Caramel, Nutmeg Cinnamon, Clove, Raisins and maybe some other dark fruits.

T - Right off the bat I taste dark fruits and caramel, a long with some of the spices I got in the smell. Especially the nutmeg and cinnamon.

M - Very light mouth-feel with the perfect amount of carbonation. I could easily down a few of these no problem.

D - Very Drinkable I could drink these all day.

Notes: I got this in the SA Winter Sampler. I rate this their best in the sampler followed closely by the chocolate bock. I wish these two came in 6rs.

Serving type: bottle to mug.

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

A - Dark tawny color with an above average sized, frothy, sticky, bubbly, light, off-white colored head. Good retention

S - I'm really digging the aroma. A lot of spice with cinnamon, a orange peel, ginger, touch of clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Sweet caramel malt and a dry biscuit-like malt. Has a gingerbread cookie type aroma that is nice. Sweet and spicy and just what I want in a Winter Warmer.

T - Similar to the nose but a little toned down. Sweet raisin and caramel and biscuity malt. Spices are similar to the nose with a nice amount of Christmasy spice and reminds me a bit of gingerbread. A little lighter than what I'd like. Sweet, spicy, and a nice orangy citrus.

M - A little on the light side with a good level of carbonation. A little watery and thin, but fairly smooth.

D - Easy to drink, even with the spices and sweetness. Was very nice to sip on during a cold day.

Notes: From the 2010 Winter Pack. Very nice Winter Warmer. Good level of spice and malty sweetness. I really enjoyed this, but it could just be a bit better if it was a bit fuller. Good balance between the spice and malt. I definitely enjoyed this, but it fell just a little short for being great, as it is, it is really good.

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Photo of king75
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a extremely dark amber, brown color. No light passing through, little head retention.

S-picking up orange, heavy cinnamon, chocolate, very light ginger smell and maybe some brown sugar.

T- This one is complex in flavor and the flavor changes as it warms. Starts out with a strong citrus and cinnamon. As it gets warmer a little ginger comes through and a lot of chocolate flavor comes through.

M-almost a little too carbonated, light but not too light. crisp at the end.

D- Is very drinkable due to the low alcohol and great taste.

Notes: liked this one a lot seems to have a mind of its own and changes like a chameleon as it warms. Very solid brew.

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Photo of greengorilla
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. It is a brownish color with a nice tan head.

It has a nice malty and spicy scent.

The taste is good also, but doesn't quite live up to the scent. I really like it though.

The mouthfeel is good and it is quite drinkable.

I would definitely buy this beer again.

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

bought the Sam Adams winter classics variety pack: this is one of the incudees:

A: dark copper, nice shoe with the head and settles with a nice lacing

S: sweet in a good way: malty wort is what comes to mind. reminds me of homebrewing

T: toasty maple, sweet toffee. nice indeed. hops way in the back seat if it came along for the ride at all (I do note a bit of hoppiness way at the end

M not TOO much body. nice carbonation. no ABV bite at all.

D: this is great! (a sipper more than a guzzle- ee
sweet malty goodness.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

upon pouring, this appears to be a typical winter warmer. and let me start off by saying that i've never really been very impressed by much sam adam's. not that they are bad by any means, just not my idea of go to beers. this beer chamged my mind a little bit. the smell is only the tip of the iceberg, and gives good hint of the flavors that you are about to enjoy. it is a round, sweet combination of cinnamon and roasted malts that leaves me very satisfied. due to the nature of winter beers, i cannot drink a whole lot of this but would gladly go back and enjoy any other time, were it only for the fact that ive got to buy a whole damn 12pk variety to get them. ive got other stuff to drink. after having taken so lon to actually get around to trying it, id have to agree with the sentiment of putting it in 6pks just so i can keep a couple laying around.

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful mahogany color, with 1 finger of tan head that dwindles down fairly fast. Aroma is dominated by roasted malts and dried dark fruits (raisins, prunes, dates). A nice, sweet caramel / toffee flavor initially on the tongue, which gives way to the aforementioned dried fruits and winter spices (cinnamon and nutmeg stand out). Medium bodied, smooth with light carbonation. A nice beer for a cold evening by the fireplace.

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Photo of dcook11
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed out of a snifter. This beer has been of the fridge for about twenty five minutes.

A- The beer pours a dark reddish hue that takes on a lighter color as it is penetrated by light. Wispy cloud-like lacing adorns the side of the glass breaking off from a razor thin head. Very mild carbonation is visible through the beers amber darkness and one would assume Fezziwig is faintly carbonated due to its style.

S- A candied sweetness become apparent as the beer moves past the thirty minute mark. My initial thoughts are that this smells very similar to the Chocolate Bock (I smell chocolate). As the beer heats up, more complexity is revealed. There is an almost syrupy quality this beer possess (think maple syrup) followed by a heavy malt backbone. Caramel is also present. The more the beer warms the more one is able to pick up the subtle cinnamon hints the brew offers. I also find just a hint of all spice that was not present at the start of the drinking session due to how cold the beer was. Oddly, I detect a tropical fruitiness that I have smelled in some of the Sam Adams IPAs (Latitude 48) and I attribute this connection to the type of hops they use. A good smelling beer that becomes much better as the brew approaches room temperature.

Edit: Smells like butter scotch

T- Like the smell, taste becomes more enjoyable and complex as the beer approaches the thirty minute mark and beyond. Initial hops hit the palate followed by malt sweetness and some caramel. The termination reveals a lingering cinnamon and allspice along with a slight bitterness from the hops. The unique brand of hops also brings to mind a tropical component. A well balanced and pleasant taste. Like most winter warmers, Fezziwig has a nice warming alcohol presence that is subtle and buttery, yet consistent.

Edit: Beer hits the hour mark and a lollypop sweetness appears along with a buttery smell. (fresh waffles?)

M- Fezziwig is medium bodied with a slight bite from subtle but expressive carbonation. The beer tends to dry the mouth just a tad too much and that will lower its score slightly.

D- A good beer to be sure, but not great or on par with other beers in the Sam Adams Winter packs. It's a good novelty seasonal, but not something I could see myself having a bunch of. I could definitely drink more than a few back to back because of how well balanced the beer is, but I probably would opt out for others if they were available to me during a session.

Worth a try and the money, a must have for the holidays!

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

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a creamy off-white head that dissipates fairly fast, leaving some gnarly looking lacing.
S - Dark roasted chocolate and caramel malts give this an almost Porter-like nose. Definitely some spices in there, too. I can make out cinnamon and ginger, and there's a very pleasant citrus that smells lovely. Really a great smelling beer, very "Christmas-y".
T - Very close to the nose, the chocolate really stands out nicely, and the cinnamon does a wonderful job of filling your mouth with flavor. Lasts a long time on the palate.
M - Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Would have like it to be a touch thicker.
D - Very drinkable, perfect for a cold Winter's night.

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Photo of NODAK
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is somewhat spicy...some orange....but it seems a little muted overall.

Taste is a melding of some sweet caramel malt (the predominant taste) peel....and spices, notably a hint of cinnamon. Finishes with a buttery sweet malt and a smattering of hop bitterness that allows it to end rather cleanly. Mouthfeel is syrupy to an extent.

Very good winter warmer here. Shares some characteristics with the winter lager, except it has that bitterness on the back and is a bit sweeter as well.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice creamy head over a dark body. Holding it up to the light shows a rich red-amber body that is crystal clear. Very nice.

The smell is somewhat sweet with some citrus hops and some malt. No spices at all.

Minimal spicing shows up in the taste but nothing like I was hoping for. On the other hand it would be a very pleasant brown ale, maybe with some porter characteristics, if I wasn't looking for the Christmas spices. Bitterness is there but never pronounced and fades with the other flavors.

The mouthfeel is very pleasant - a little body and nice carbonation. A little more body would have been even nicer.

If I don't think about the spices that I was hoping for it's a very nice ale that I could enjoy pretty much any time. It really only falls down in expectations related to the style.

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Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass goblet

A - Pours a very effervescent dark ruby red body, and generates a light brown tannish soapy/marshmallowy head. Head dissipates down to a slight soapy film but leaves some extremely impressive lacing!

S - The smell of this beer is absolutely delicious!! Loads of dark malts (porter-esque), caramel and chocolate notes, cinnamon, and ginger. The aroma is also slighty fruity. Like a chocolate dipped fruit.

T - The taste is almost exactly like the smell, but the chocolate and caramel malts seem more pronounce. The chocolate and caramel hits the front and middle sections of the tonque, and it finishes like a porter. Cinnamon is noticable on the sides of the tongue, which makes this a very complex palate, for it branches off all over the place. As it warms up, the chocolate and caramel seem to fade, and it tastes more so like a porter spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and a touch of fruit. All in all very compex and tastey winter warmer!!

M - The mouthfeel of this is very soft, and the slight carbonation makes the flavors dance around on the tongue. Nice medium bodied winter warmer overall.

D - The drinkability of this beer is fairly high, but not something that I would deem purely sessionable. Definitely a nice chill beer, or after dinner/dessert beer. Would be great with a chocolate truffle!!

Final thoughts: First off, I need to give Sam Adam's a serious two thumbs up for their winter favorites mix pack. Ive been wanting to try this beer for some time, and I don't know where I would have got the chance to try it otherwise, but this beer was one of my top favorite from the mix pack overall, and easiy a two thumbs up beer!!

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Photo of tvljr
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I really like this beer. Another winner from Sam.

Dark deep red color with a beige 3/4 inch head that stays around long after the pour.

One of the few spiced beers available that doesn't overdo it. The balance of malt versus cinnamon and ginger is just about perfect.

It's too bad it only comes in sets of two with the Winter mix 12 pack. Would love to have a 6-pack on a cold winter's night.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby red with decently thick foam and great lacing as well. Falling carbonation a lot like what you find in Guinness. One of Sam Adams' prettier beers.

Smell: Gingerbread cookies and some citrus hops. Very fresh smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Excellent fruity taste. Almost a plum-like flavor with slight hints of coffee. Tastes like a fresh spiced cookie with some orange zest as well. I do find the mouthfeel kind of average and watery. You can really taste the alcohol though here and there is a nice mineral water bite.

Drinkability: The freshness and alcohol make this a good sipper, but also a good session beer. Very refreshing.

Overall: All the points here are excellent with the notable exception of the watery feel. I wish you could find this more often. Might be my favorite Sam Adams winter beer, though that is up for debate.

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Photo of AleMonger69
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a winter sampler case of Sam Adams beer and must say this one and the holiday porter are probably the best ones. The appearance is a very dark brown almost black color. If you hold it up to light it is a nice brown color. I get ginger, spices, caramel and a nice hint of cinnamon in the smell. The flavor is yummy and you really get a winter feel from it with the tastes of the various smells I mentioned and a very malty character.

Mouthfeel is just right and you get a good balance out of it. Drinkability I'd say is high as I shared some with three people that aren't big beer drinkers and they enjoyed it quite a bit. Overall, a great ale for anyone that enjoys a nice winter feel in their ale.

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Photo of Japerrault
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful Deep, clear, Ruby with a thick cream colored head.

S: Toasted bread, malt, caramel.

T: Pleasant sweetness upfront. Dark caramel/toffee flavors, followed by a lingering roasted grain at the end. The beer seems balanced, but no perceived hops.

M: Not bad. A little thinner than I expected with all the big malt flavors. The beer seems to rinse off the tongue fairly quickly.

D: Smooth, nicely carbonated. Nice sweetness makes this go down fairly easily. I keep wanting another sip.

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Photo of Tundruth
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark reddish/ copper color with a nice off white head of tightly packed tiny bubbles.

S- The nose consists mostly of nice malty scents and a caramel, also in here are hints of spices such as ginger and orange.

T- Tastes as good or better than the smell leads you to expect, tasting a lot of malt and spice.

M- very good mouthfeel, well balanced and good carbonation make this beer a pleasure on the tongue. Very flavorful and kind of thick for an ale but still a great beer.

D- This beer is pretty easy to throw back, and seems to get better as you get further down into it. This is a beer I would definitely consider sessioning given the right occasion, such as a holiday party or new years eve.

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Photo of mbusster88
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle in Winter Classics Pack.

A: Dark red brown color. Thick head which dissipates slowly. Real soapy head and some carbonation off bottom of glass.

S: Caramel, bread, chocolate, citrus bite. Nice malty character to the smell with really full nose of bread.

T: Nice complexion with this one. Definitely get the bread and malt flavors, but then get some nice caramel and chocolate. Also pick up some buttery sweet flavor in the finish.

M: Smooth and hearty. This beer is a good winter warmer style.

D: Like that smooth easy drink on this one. The bready malt characteristics make is heavy enough to stand up with some winter grub.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

VDubb has talked this one up for a good while now, simultaneously drinking up all that he can get (thus leaving me with none to try for myself). Now it's my box, so I've got some to sample. It pours a clear dark ruby-brown topped by a short half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises anise, light roasted malts, figs, raisins, rye bread, nutmeg, and a decent amount of banana. The taste runs similarly, with the rye bread taking up more space than before, and a cola-like flavor rising up as well. The body is a light-feeling medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, grainy feel. Overall, a very nice brew, not spectacular, but very tasty and highly drinkable. I can see why, to some degree, anyway, that people wait around for the SA Winter Styles pack every year.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from a holiday sampler pack poured in to a tulip imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear, reddish brown with a nice thick tan head.

Smell is a roasty, slightly fruity balance.

Taste is a really nice combination of the listed ingredients. Bready,roasty, spicy, slight citrus sweetness.

Mouthfeel is very good, but this is a drinking delight.

A real gem from BBC.

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Photo of Bonis
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A deep reddish brown, but clear. Nice inch of foamy head. Lacing is quite nice, almost like an IPA.

S - Malty and spicy with hints of cinnamon and ginger. A little bit of brown sugar is also apparent. Not too complex.

T - Less complex than the smell. The spices come out big, but I don't get much else. A hint of sweet malt is there, but I don't really get any hops. Tastes like your average Sam Adams with a lot of spice added in.

M - Thin bodied with moderate carbonation. Nothing too special, but not bad either!

D - This would be a good one to kick back and drink several in a night. Too bad they don't put more than 2 of these in the mix packs.

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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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