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

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
3,638 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3,638 |  Reviews: 1,406
Photo of DannyDan
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. This beer when pouring it has a dark reddish brown color with a small head that has good lacing and retention. When drinking it the foam from the head clings to the side of the beer mug.
S. When smelling this beer I can smell some chocolate, and some orange which seems pretty balanced since one scent doesn't seem to be stronger than the other.
T. When tasting this beer get some hops followed by a gingery taste. After that I can taste some caramel and a strong chocolaty taste and a hint of orange. The description on the bottle says cinnamon is in this beer, but I can't taste it.
M. The mouthfeel is a medium lightly creamy feel that ends up feeling a little sticky when swallowing it.
D. This is another easily drinkable beer from Sam Adams.
This beer to me is not a bad tasting beer, and even though I am pretty new to the beer drinking world when it comes to this style I am sure I'll end up finding one that I like better than this.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

old fezz

a 3.5 clear dark colacolar w/ rub highlights, not muched dies to a partial cap, largish looking bubbles, scant lace

s 3.5 sweet root beer and ginger, a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon. surprisingly similar to weyerbacher imp pump.

t 3 the spices are not supported by enough sweetness or oomph, roast in the finish, pretty dry. upped to 3.5 due to later tastings noting decreased spice presence and increased balance.

m 3 a glance at the bottle, very full body? i'd say medium, too thin for the style and flavor profile.

d 4 not a huge fan so far, but some other SA beers have managed to grow on me, so will try again sometime. later tries, particularly after a few months, warrant a bump up to 4.

Turns out that after nearly a year in the cellar, old fezz is better than fresh. Perhaps a little root beer-esque, but well integrated, smooth, balanced.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, New Belgium glass, March (2011) notched on the label.

The cascading beer had a very copper tint but my glass ended up filled with some ruby, cranberry colored beer with a khaki head. Not a bad sized cap at first but it starts to fade, then decides to stay with its creamy texture.

Sharp cinnamon greets the nostrils, this is truly a spiced beer. On the sweet side of the spectrum with toasted malt, ginger, toffee, and caramel.

The malty body gets beaten back with a cinnamon stick and army of clove-like spice with a wave of tannic astringency in support. A little citric bite at the end, and more bitterness. I don't like the way they handled the spice additions here. The flavor extracted isn't worth the high level of bitter tannins that came with. The malt really tries to battle with caramel, toffee, and much desired toast, but fails ignominiously short of the barricades.

Thinnish and slick with much too much carbonation in my opinion. I'm using a glass that has a huge laser etched logo that knocks out bubbles like crazy and it is still too carbonated after ten or more minutes. Too much for the style I feel.

I try to be very objective in my reviews, at least in every category but drinkability. I even try to avoid the first-person most of the time. This isn't the worst beer I've ever had, and it may just be that I don't really like spiced beers. It is my opinion that Sam Adams can do much better.

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Photo of porcelli426
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another really nice winter beer

A: Deep amber color, good head- thick and dense that dissipates soon

S: strong caramel, sweet smell

T: light chocolate, dark malty with a slight fruity finish. Cinnamon and ginger background notes

M: medium mouth feel

D: Pretty high drinkability. Very refreshing, great after dinner drink.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Going through a Sam Adams Variety Pack, this one is last on the list for this evening.

Appearance: Poured from the bottle, the beer is a clear, mahogany color with a good inch worth of tan colored head. Retention isn't too shabby, and the lacing is the slow, soapy, runny variety.

Smell: Some mild winter spice smell with some sweet caramel in the background. Nothing really out of the ordinary for this style of beer.

Taste: The spice is much more noticeable here. The caramel is certainly there, but the concoction of winter spices that are used makes it difficult to pick out the individual flavors. I think the only spice I can really pick out is nutmeg. Overall, the combination is a good one. Considering I can't really pick out the unique spices, I'd say they are blended together well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good, body is good. Can't complain here.

Drinkability: Winter spiced beers really aren't my thing. Really, no matter how well I may rate one this just isn't a style I reach for. That being said, this one isn't bad. I would say that if you like this type of beer, give it a try. If not, don't worry about're not missing too much.

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Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherry-color and thin, off-white head. Aroma of caramel, citrus, and spice. Malty and a tart fruit flavor with hints of chocolate and cinnamon. The spices are well balanced. Medium body, One of Sam Adams better ones. Now on to the rest of the "Up Graded" Winter pack with Chocolate Bock....Thank you Sam Adams.

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Photo of Kooz
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into standard pint glass--clean pour produces a nice head that lasts for a while and leaves a nice, sticky lacing. Beautiful rich amber color.

Malty scent; nice notes of caramel.

Tastes pretty good. A bit of a bitter aftertaste, but pretty smooth going down. Overall, pretty good.

Bites a bit too much, but foams up nice and thick with a swish.

Too strong for much consecutive drinking, but a nice beer to have on occasion.

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Photo of jakdracula
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
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 -10.3%
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 -8.5%
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 -9.5%
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 +4.8%
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 +8%
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 +8%
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 +9.3%
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 +8.2%
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 +4.8%
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 -0.3%
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 +6.1%
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 +8%
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 +9%
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 -10.1%
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 +14.6%
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 +20.7%
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 +12.7%
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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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 3,638 ratings
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