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 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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Photo of GaryT2
4.94/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It came in a Sam Adams sampler, I got this week. Now Fezziw ig is added to Oktoberfest as world beaters. I really like dark beer so I have to now put Old Fezziwig on top. I am going to get some more and will drink it with filet mignon with garlic mushrooms. Way to go Boston.

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Photo of Docer
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from the Holiday pack...

- Dark clear ruby brown brew with a quick fizzling off-white head.. leaves just a touch on top left over... small ring..

- Nice sweet candy-like aroma, brown sugar, toffee, molasses.. oats and grain..

- Nice Scottish style ale.. sweet, brown sugar, caramel, toffee flavors.. grains and oats... little bitter grassy hop..

- Rather light bodied, slightly chewy and cloying...

- Overall a very decent winter offering.. sweet, tasty.. and not thick at all... a great drinker.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

glass: Pint

Great dark mahogany color, gave off a 2-finger head and stuck around throughout consumption. Lots of sticky lacing, similar to the lacing an IPA would have.

It's got a strong sweet cherry aroma that dominates. A little herbal note from the hops, maybe a touch of caramel but that's about it. Very soft aroma.

The taste has sweet cherries upfront with a herbal notes coming in the middle. The experience is topped off with a nice chocolate malt taste and grainy, barley finish.

Reminds me of a better version of the Alaskan Amber. Very sessionable, mouthfeel is medium, light carbonation, goes down super smooth. I didn't get any spices though, i don't know why this would qualify as a winter warmer.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from Winter Variety pack bottle into tulip.

A- Deep brown with a dark ruby color when held to the light. Dirty tan head with minimal lacing.

S- Earthy chocolate tones with a hint of roasted cofee and vanilla. Orange zest and cinnomon.

T- Unsweetened chocolate with coffee undertones. A watered eown caramel and toffee hint. Some vanilla and hints of orange. Cinamon is strong in the background. Very complex and interesting.

M- Smooth and creamy. The carbonation is a little lacking. Medium bodied.

D- Very easy to drink. The spices pull the drinkability down a bit, but not too bad. Its not too heavy. Nice winter to beer to sip by the fire.

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Photo of claspada
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The aroma brings a good dose of cinnamon, nutmeg and some other wintry spices. A bit of chocolate and roasted malt in the background. Definitely smells malty.

The taste starts off malty and spicy at the same time and yet just as quickly it finishes fairly dry. The mouthfeel is medium with a really good balance of spices and roasted malts, something I find to be quite rare in this style, and thus worthy of a fairly high rating.

Overall this is a decent this offering from Sam Adams. The winter variety pack is by far the best of all the seasons with the Porter and the new Chocolate Bock addition. An average holiday ale because of it's spicy flavor.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for splurgin' on the winter pack and hooking me up.

One of my favorite craft beers of all time, I love me some good malt. This beer pours a nice mahogany with ruby twinges adorned by a dirty ecru froth. The smell is really quite pleasant. Sweet malt aroma is all-encompassing, but there is a distinct orange zest aroma that is meshed nicely with the ginger and cinnamon. It's rare that the aroma matches the description on the bottle so directly. This beer tastes just as it smells with the sugary sweetness that would be expected from a beer as malty as this and the spices match up nicely. The flavor of steeped oranges is a bit stronger than I would have liked, but I still really enjoy this beer. This mouthfeel is really nice and smooth, perhaps a bit undercarbonated making it seem slightly too viscous, but it's well above the threshold of dislike. This is a really nice drinkable beer for the cold weather, and one of my all-time favorite Sam Adams beers.

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Photo of jlenik
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: vibrant head that diminishes in a few minutes. ruby amber color

s: some spices and a minor booziness.

t: caramel and toffee are two of the first things to come to my mind, it's followed by a slight bight coffee flavor and goes down with an oaky finish.

m: smooth and creamy. for some reason this reminds me of Innis and Gunn and I don't know why.

d: very high. why this isn't put out in six packs for the winter is beyond me.

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Photo of Star80
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer pours out a deep mahogany color with tan head. Some light lacing on the sides of the glass. Smells a lot like ginger, almost reminds me of ginger ale, some faint citrus and spice from the cinnamon. The smell of this beer is unbalanced from the ginger spice. Cannot detect any deep roasted malts, or any malts for that matter. Fortunately the taste is a bit more balanced, some spritely carbonation on the tongue followed by ginger spice, and some citrus and light hop cleansing, but the hops nor the malts provide much flavor profile. Kinda disappointing. Taste is also slightly vinous characteristic of the darker Boston Beers. Overall I cannot drink much of these from all the damn ginger, and I am confused why they decided to make the Winter lager which has exactly the same spices as this one, but instead of an ale is a lager, but from memory is a bit more balanced? But hey, buy the winter variety pack you get both of them! How lucky can you be?

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Best looking brew in BBCs canon. Lustrous mahogany hue, a rich pillow of tawny froth, sheets of lace.

S - Generally malty, with a tad of cinnamon-raisin thrown in for good measure. Some vanilla and baked goodness develops after a bit.

T - Amazing, following the nose but improving upon it. This is light years ahead of the rest of BBCs normal or seasonal brews; based on deliciousness, I feel like Utopias may be a variant based on the similarly rich and delectable flavors, albeit in very different vehicles.

M - Medium-bodied, creamy, with slightly snappy carbonation.

D - I wish this was in 6-packs, year-round. I don't want all of the other crap in the winter sampler.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (best by March 2011) poured into Tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark mahogany on the table, dark ruby red when held up to the light. Does not let a lot of light through. Dense light tan ring around the edge of the glass and thin light tan foam across the rest. Walls and strands of lacing noted. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Not very strong, but some roasted/toasted malts and a hint of ginger and cinnamon. If I give it a hard swirl I can detect some boozy notes in there, although it's not that strong of a beer at 5.9%.

Taste: Toffee, caramel malt up front followed immediately by all the spices running pell-mell into each other. The ginger and cinnamon are quite notable - with the ginger finishing up the spice taste followed by a roasted/burnt malt finish. Tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit spicy on the tongue, but not really from the carbonation - I think more from the ginger. Leaves a bit of a residue on the teeth - otherwise just thick enough to be noticeable.

Drinkability: I would not mind having a bigger bottle of this, but indeed, the 12oz fits nicely into my Tulip and does remind me of the wonderful beer sipping winter season of rich winter warmers, Russian Imperial Stouts, and heavy malted beers. So very enjoyable all by itself and I think I could pair this well with a meal if I had a chance.

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Photo of Andrew644
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark reddish brown with a nice head at first but it quickly disappears.

S- Little to no smell, there is a little smell from the spices and a slight malt smell.

T- The spices seemed to overpower this beer a little. It was not hard to taste the malt but the hops could not be tasted very well. The spices that were included though were balanced and one spice did not overpower the other spices.

M- good mouthfeel, just the right carbonation.

D- the overabundance of spices make the drinkability in this beer go down.

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

A: Pours a deep rich garnet color into the glass with a 1 inch off white head that fades a bit but doesn't go away.

S:Ginger, cinnamon, orange, malt, fruity, hint of raisins and currants. Spice aromas increase as the beer warms.

T: Tastes like homemade gingerbread that has malted barley flour as an ingredient and has orange zest grated on top. Nice mixture of flavors. As with aroma, the spices come out more and more as the beer warms.

M: medium to medium-heavy mouthfeel. Not cloying, it lets you know something is there.

D: Overall, this is very drinkable. I think sipping it slowly while relaxing in front of a fire on a cold winter night would be perfect.

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Photo of thebrood1987
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It really does smell like Christmas spices used in pies and gingerbread cookies. Taste like it smells but with rich sweet chocolate malts with some cinnamon flavor and the ginger taste. The orange peel ginger and dry cinnamon taste comes together at the end. As it starts to warms the spices really come out more and it creates a warm sensation. Has a good mouthfeel its thick and rich.

This is like Winter Lager but better. Its a special one to get from Samuel Adams. A lot of taste for not that high of an alcohol content. I know its cliche but they should really release this beer as their winter seasonal beer. The winter lager is good but that is almost like the lighter safer version of this. Its easy to drink plus has a full flavor taste that you would expect out of a high end craft beer.

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

Pours a nice deep red color with an inch of tan head. Very attractive beer.

I am not good enough of scents to be able to pick out details, but this beer smells nice, and I can tell there is a lot there. Quite a bit of spices there, seems to be mainly cinnamon and ginger.

Fruity and spicy is a good way to describe this one. Starts a bit fruity, then various spices kick in, and has just a light touch of ginger at the end.

Good solid feel to this one.

Really nice beer overall. This is probably my new favorite from Boston Brewing. This is a nice complex beer. and goes down easily. A really nice beer to have on a colder winter night.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep red brown color. A nice off-white foam leaves a few rings at the top of my glass.

S- Lots of christmas spice in the nose with cinnamon, ginger, and some dark brown sugar.

T- Strong caramel malt sweetness initially. Waves of spice and dark fruits seem to make up a majority of the body throughout.

M- Medium bodied with slightly low carbonation.

D- A nice holiday brew that doesn't dissapoint.

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

12 oz bottle out of the Winter Mix Pack

A - Reddish-brown with a billowing off-white head. Decent retention and lacing

S - Sweet and fruity smelling with a bit of spice. Malty and aromatic...hints of cinnamon

T&M - Medium body; sweet and malty with bits of cinnamon and ginger. Lots of fruity esters and raisin; sweet and lasting in the finish

D - An excellent winter warmer; probably one of my favorites. I wish that SA would release this in a six pack of it's own.

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Photo of tbern007
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with red. Very beautiful color.
Good head that persists.
Sweet smell, malty.
Surprises you with the first taste. Malty, earthy. Mild cinnamon and ginger is notable. Chocolate and toasted malt aftertaste and after a few more minutes it's sweet and caramel. Sipper. Good winter beer.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ye Olde Fezziwig, an old favorite. Always nice to see it start appearing this time of year.

A - Pours a clear chestnut brown with a two finger tan head. Good retention on the head, but little in the way of lacing.

S - There isn't much going on in the aroma department. Some hints of toffee and spice, and toasted malt. Not much else.

T - Roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, and a nice dry hoppy finish. It is spicy as well but the spices are difficult to decipher. I have been all about Dark N Stormies as of late, so I can definitely detect the ginger, but everything else sort of blurs together. There seems to be a bit much going on, but it is very tasty nonetheless.

M - Seems to be overcarbonated and slightly harsh going down. Chewy mouthfeel.

D - This is definitely a sipper. It opens up as it warms, and there are only two per mix pack. I wish they'd release it in six packs, though.

Overall, this is a solid winter warmer, and one of Sam's better offerings in my opinion. I have fond memories of this beer over the years and it has stood the test of time.

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Photo of MirImage
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Poured with a nice thick head, the head dissapated quickly stayed thin, but was still present. Had some nice lacing.

Smell: Right off the nose you get corriander. Some honey notes. I also picked up some cinnamon and brown sugar. Reminded me of baked cookies.

Taste: Taste isn't as sweet as it smells. There is the bitterness of orange peel with slight caramel malts. Very strong cinnamon taste.

Mouthfeel: Fairly watery, especially for a "winter warmer". Very crisp, not really to style.

Drinkability: Although I really enjoy this beer, it isn't something I want to drink all night. I would maybe have two in a night.

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Photo of shand
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle marked best before April 2011 into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very deep brown with a fingers worth of mocha head that disappates pretty quicky. Lacing is subpar.

Smell: Delicious. A bunch of warm spices, malts, nuts, and chocolate. A hint of orange rounds this out.

Taste: Not as much of a flavor blowout as I expected from the nose, but still good. It's a constantly shifting beer that's a little more subtle than I'd like, but still impressive. First comes the orange peel, cherry and nutmeg, then comes in a snap of ginger and some cinnamon that keeps things interesting. There's some malty chocolate hanging around the whole time, and wait a second, are those hops? Yeah, those are hops for sure! This would be an easy 5 if the flavors were just amped up a bit, but as it stands it's still a great beer. Could be perfect though.

Mouthfeel: Just substantial enough for the spiced citrus style, without being cloying. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: This is hampered just a little bit by how excellent it is. This beer has a fantastic aftertaste that makes you just want to let it linger. While I'm drinking it, I take a few big gulps. But then I just sit back and let the beer work it's course.

This is really an excellent beer that could work at almost any time of the year. It's still hot outside in Florida and I'm enjoying the heck out of this. Worth seeking out a variety pack for sure for this - I'm glad I got a case!

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Photo of cooch69
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep mahogany brown with lighter highlights. It has a one and a half inch white head that falls pretty quick.
This beer has hints of cacao, a mettalic scent, an herbal hoppiness, and a dark bready maltiness that is slightly sweet. I also got some estery nuances(sour cherry and pear).
This beer shows dark roasty malt characters upon tasting. There is a bit of a cherry in the backround. And a bit of hopiness in the finish. Also the alcohol is pretty obvious in the drink. A little dry hazelnut roastiness wraps up the nice complexities to this beer.
Medium to full bodied, this beer is warm and has nice flavors and subtle complexities.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz into my new belgium tulip glass, a very dark brown colored body, tan mocha colored head which clings to the glass well as it dissipates.

The smell alludes a slight spiciness; nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and orange peel and has a solid malty scent giving off a chocolate aroma.

The flavor is exactly what I expected from the smell but much more dense, its got a malty sweetness which I get throughout the entire tasting which supplies the molasses, roasted chesnut, and slightly chocolate flavored backbone of the brew. The cherry on top is the excellent balance of spicing I get in there, cinnamon and nutmeg in the fore with a tinge of cloves along with a bite of orange peel spice. I'm a fan.

The mouthfeel is great, thick enough to be a porter but the spices supply such variety to the palate that it doesn't weigh you down at all. A great wintertime sipper which has been my favorite in the Sam Adams winter pack in the past.

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Photo of mstyne
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Winter pack, purchased at Hannaford on NY 43.

Deep red with strong carbonation, and a 1/2" of thick creamy head. Head sticks around, good lacing.

Aroma is crisp, sweet, slightly hoppy. Very light.

Taste is excellent, very complex. Chocolate, licorice(?), malty, bready goodness. Oh, how I look forward to this time of year, and how I am saddened at how there are only 2 to a 12 pack.

Boston Beer Company: Please, please, please consider a sixer of this for 2011!

N.B. The Cranberry Lambic is dead!

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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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