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

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
Very Good
3,701 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: 3,701 |  Reviews: 1,417
Photo of Lauthaha
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass. Part of a Samuel Adams winter sampler pack.

Appearance: Dark mahogany, with ruby tones when held to light. Creamy taupe head which leaves heavy lacing as it recedes.

Smell: Very tasty, lots to acknowledge here. The big kickers are chocolate and malt, seamlessly woven together. Cinnamon and nutmeg and maybe just a touch of some kind of berry at the very bottom of the glass. Faint esters, a very nice mix!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Gentle carbonation eases the malt base onto the tongue. As the bubbles pop, the spices are released softly along with chocolate flavor. Definitely some hop bitterness present, which almost detracts from the taste. If they were a touch less bitter (or perhaps more floral) I would have given the taste a little better rating. As it is, still not bad at all.

Drinkability: Very high in the winter months, this is a great brew!

Sam Adams does dark beers like no other "popular" brewery can. Amazing!

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Photo of n0315
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours tan and has a fiz to the lighter tan head. Dissipates after a min or so.

Smell - Spices galore in this one. Makes you know that this will be a good brew with some mammoth flavor.

Taste - Cinnamon thats soft to the tongue with some malt.

MF - thin, I wish it were a bit thicker, honestly.

D - Very easy to drink and enjoy. Overall, this is a good brew and worth a try. Will not amaze, but something I think all would enjoy.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah, the last to be reviewed of the Sam Adams winter mixer. The legendary Old Fezziwig that is the main reason this mix pack is purchased... or is it?

A nice hiss tells me this baby is ready to take the bubble fountain down to my Duvel tulip. Deep mahogany liquid fills the glass, topped with a very full and rich light beige head. Deep amber hues in the light, quite clear. There are thick ribbons of lace where the froth adhered, leaving a decent smattering of bubbles everywhere. A swirl and a waft brings forth a beautiful aroma of deeply caramelized sugar, a warm fruity tone reminiscent of raisins and prunes, and a brighter, nutty tone that accompanies holiday spices. The first sip of Fezziwig for the season brings forth a nice biscuity flavor that transforms into a cornucopia of nutmeg, cinnamon, black currants, and maybe even a hint of pepper! The second sip enunciates these characteristics even more and gives rise to a light herbal bitterness that appears towards the end of the experience and lasts long into the finish, accompanied by a beautiful balance of Christmas potpourri spices. All of this is carried by a full bodied, velvety brown ale with exceptionally smooth carbonation. I finally see the light. This beer represents Christmas by Sam Adams. The first day that this winter mixer appears on the shelves is the first day of the holiday season. This beer, although I didn't know it at the time, was the reason I bought the pack.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chestnut body with a beige-colored head.

Smell: Some caramel, some chocolate, with cinnamon, and a bit of ginger.

Taste: Light chocolate taste with some toasted bread and a caramel sweetness. Spicy, with hints of cinnamon, and ginger. Finishes with the spices lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid beer from Sam Adams Box. Great for the winter.

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

A-dark nutty brown with a tan head

S-slightly chocolately slightly nutty. smells like a decent brown ale, some spices present

T-comes in with a taste as same as the scent..that's fairly strong. the after-taste is where the spices come in ever so gently. honestly it was sort of a let down from what i was expecting. its a spicy brown ale. very drinkable.

M-medium to heavy yet creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-a pretty good beer actually. the first few times I had it, i wasn't a fan. i'm not sure what i was expecting, but its not a bad small beer for the winter. it might do well being sold in larger quantities. definitely one of the best in the winter pack. i definitely like the winter twist on it.

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Photo of dmfrench
2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A small, mediocre Winter Warmer.


A: Deep blood/brake fluid body with a small fleeting sandy head

S: Adjunct/corn and a bit of caramel malt and spice. Not pleasant.

T: Fortunately, not much of the adjunct taste makes it to the palate. What can be found is a decent helping of buttery caramel malt, a balancing hoppiness, and spice that I can't identify.

M: Actually quite pleasant... weighty but not heavy, well carbonated and textured... a saving grace

D: Less than pleasant adjuncty aftertase brings down the score

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Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours deeps red with a large brown tinted head that boasts decent retention and lacing.

S: Smells a lot like caramel. Very malty.

T: Taste is all malts, with a caramel aftertaste. Very sweet with a small amount of booziness.

MF: Lighter than I would expect, but medium bodied. Not noticing a lot of carbonation.

D: Alright. I can't say Winter Warmers are the best for drinkability.

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Photo of crossovert
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a reddish brown with a foamy off white head.

It smells like caramel.

The flavor is pretty tame. It has some caramel malt, some roastiness, and some spices, but it also has a certain wateriness and some metallic flavor.

It certainly isn't as good as their winter lager, but that isn't saying too much.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a brown sugar body and a head to match it. Some mega-lacing from this bastard. DAMN NOW I HAVE TO CLEAN THIS GLASS LATER ON! Smells of scotch-ale fruit/dark cherry malt with some fizzy complexity behind it, but its SO hard to smell, might as well have been water. This was at near room temp, too. Tastes good! 4=Good....Good=Fezziwig...therefore, Fezziwig=4 :D.

Has a sticky and lasting malt/spice deamon. Like it!!!

Drinks well. Nothing offending about this beer, nor does it warrent anything higher than "4".

Thanks, Sam!

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

12 oz. brown bottle, best before date of 02-11. Perfect pint glass

A: Clear brown beer with reddish hues. Had about 2 fingers of off-white head; a good amount of lacing on the glass. This beer was very carbonated as far as the bubbles streaming from the bottom for the whole duration.

S: Big, sweet, malty aromas coupled with some chocolate and caramel smells. No hop aromas. Smells delicious

T: The sweet malts dominate here, with almost no bitterness. Some alcohol warmth comes through. It is sweet but certainly not overly so. I get the chocolate taste as well as caramel, toffee and some cinnamon.

M: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth feel that starts sweet and finishes dry.

D: Good and easy to drink. I enjoyed this beer and look forward to more in the future.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark red color with a regular tanned head. The aroma is sweet caramel malt and spice. Medium to full body, quite crisp. Flavors start with spices and herbal hops, continues with sweet caramel malt and some orange fruit, and finish becomes dry with coffee notes. Fairly complex, nice holiday brew.

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Photo of bboelens
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Dark red-orange color with a huge off-white head that dissipates in a moderate amount of time leaving minimal lacing

S-Incredible, cinnamon, citrus, malts, ginger, maybe hints of nutmeg

T-Like the smell but a little more subdued, malts, orange, and cinnamon take the forefront while the ginger and nutmeg take a back seat but are still present

M-Mild and perfectly carbonated

D-One of the best in the holiday pack, definitely worth picking up the whole pack for

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Photo of Misfit138
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Dark orange/brown with fizzy tan head

S- Chocolate malt and cinnamon some citrus

T- Nice balance of caramel and chocolate malt with cinnamon with a citrus finish

M- Medium bodied with fair carbonation

D- Very good beer. I wish it would be possible to get a sixer of this.

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Photo of chrisgn
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- beautiful mahogany color. Fluffy, off white head with great lacing. Awesome looking beer.

S- Not picking up much here. Light spice, orange, and malt sweetness.

T- A tasty malt offering with light spice and orange notes, no over the top flavors. Taste like a modified Winter Ale. Sweet up front with a dry finish.

M- full bodied and good carbonation. Excellent feel.

D- not too high in alcohol and flavorful without being too much. Nicely balance! A fine winter warmer that comes is a great new winter mix.

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Photo of bbkd3b
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured out of the bottle with a pretty, burgundy color. Off-white head, came out a decent size but dissipated fairly quickly. Left a decent amount of lacing all of the way down the glass... Fairly attractive to my eyes, I must say.

S - Oh, this is pretty damn good! Reminds me of Christmas for sure! Cinnamon, nutmeg, maltiness. Nice mixture of spices and a twist of orange in there. Damn... If I had to choose a single word it might be "comforting." Reminds me of baking cookies or something. Neat.

T - Spiced beer for sure! I won't complain: it's very good. A nice balance of cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg for a balance between spicy and sweet. Only complaint might be the back end, with the twist of citrus flavor that doesn't really fit with the rest of the delicious going on. Very good!

M - Medium-bodied, almost syrupy in character. Slips right down the tongue, with the carbonation never threatening to be overdone. Warming.

D - If it weren't for the fact that its only sold in the winter classic 12 packs (those punks!), I'd probably give this the top rating. Alas, I can only have 2 on me at a time. Very drinkable, but annoying to get.

Overall/notes: Second year I've tried this, and it's just as good as I remember it being. Great combination of flavors! When I get a Christmas brew, I like a degree of sweetness that reminds me of the holiday season, and this has just that. It perfectly understated. Also, the winter classics this year is VASTLY improved now that the cranberry lambic and coastal wheat have been replaced, so this is much easier for me to buy and bite the bullet for. Awesome.

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Photo of danmcg62
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a the special Sam Adams pint glass from the bottle. Was bought as part of the Sam Adams Winter Mix Pack. Pours a nice looking reddish brown with a minimal head retention.

S - I love that this beer is brewed with orange. I can definitely smell the orange peel right up front with the cinnamon and ginger right on its tail.

T - It's almost like your drinking one of those chocolate oranges in a glass. Spicy after taste.

M - This is an enjoyable beer to drink. The orange and spice balance feels nice in the mouth.

D - Very drinkable for a winter brew. This is one of my favorites from the Sam Adams Winter Mix Pack. I always enjoy a Fezziwig this time of year!

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Photo of msjacilynn
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep amber with a tan head.

S: vanilla, toffee and a hint of cinnamon.

T: begins with a smooth, sweet malty flavor and finishes with slightly bitter fruit notes. Very pleasant and great for the holiday season.

M/D: mild well carbonated and easy drinking.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the Winter Variety pack, into a SA Perfect Pint.

Pours a dark amber, reddish hues. Two finger rocky tan head forms. Leaves some lacing and has good carbonation.

Light aroma to this one, malts with just a touch of spice, too faint to describe. Some sweet fruits linger.

Complex taste, bready sweet malts, nice spices in the middle, cinnamon, etc, and complemented by notes of chocolate. Tea like hops in the background.

Slightly wet and not too prickly.

Very drinkable offering from SA, one of their better beers. I'll take this is a six pack over CranLam, hell, even over the Variety Pack itself.

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Photo of goldbot
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby or mahogany color and thin, off-white head. The head dissipates pretty quickly, leaving just a bit of haze on the surface of the beer. Neutral malt aroma, roasted and plenty of caramel. Very tight when cold, but it opens up a bit as it warms. More malt aroma, particularly chocolate and a bit of breadiness. Chocolate malt flavor mixed with caramel. Roasted malt comes through in the middle, and hints of spice linger in the aftertaste. Medium body, just the right amount of sweetness. A real shame you have buy 10 lesser beers to get two of this gem.

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Photo of marty21
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a SA perfect pint glass. It's a very deep ruby red/brown colour. Has a off white head that settles to a very light cap. Very little lacing if any.

S: I get lots of spices and malt in the aroma.

T: I get a caramel malty taste that is then overtaking by the spices.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. It's very smooth and has a nice warming feeling at the end.

D: I can now see why everyone always wants to be able to buy this one in 6 packs. It's a very tasty winter warmer. Unfortunately I can't even get this one here in Canada unless I go down to the states. But it's worth it.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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 -7.7%
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 +6.1%
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%
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 +12.7%
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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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 3,701 ratings