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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,633 |  Reviews: 1,405
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear dark amber with a finger of tan head. Ginger in the aroma and a little dark malt. Medium bodied. Cinnamon and ginger in the flavor. Some malt sweetness and a little dark fruit. Good spiced holiday beer, but one at a time is plenty. Not as fragrant and spicy as Anchor OSA, which might be good for some people.

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Photo of Rootdog316
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out a nice dark reddish brown color, leaves lace on the glass, and makes a good head. It carries a malty caramel aroma that also hints of cinnamon, and spice. When tasting alot of the aroma comes through as the beginning of the beer is malty and spicy and the finish is more sweet with hints of orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon. Not a bad beer, certainly worth trying over the Holiday season.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i think my dad has finally seen a glimpse of the light. variety packs of sam adams? i don't think i can really ask much more of him. dark red hue with a slightly offwhite foam. this beer reminds me of christmas. i mean, even if it wasn't christmas. caramel, cinnamon, a bit of ginger on the nose, and a whiff of the alcohol in there, too. smooth, lovely caramel, chocolate, and cinnamon delivery, soft finish. stays sticky, almost clingy in the mouth. like a lemur to my checkbook.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My mom picked this up for me in the variety pack.

Appearance- dark red color, little head

Smell- sweet, spices, malt

Taste- sweet, spices, malt, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- prety good, I enjoyed it. It's a good winter warmer.

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Photo of berley31
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a small, off-white head that actually hung around for a good amount of time. Body is dark ruby and completely clear, very nice.

S: Sweet, caramel aroma is the most prevalent. Nice on the nose and very inoffensive.

T: Sweet caramel malt, with a light breadiness is what first comes through, followed by a finish that is a little dry and bitter. Overall, very smooth and easy to drink.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy texture, with average-to-lively carbonation.

D: Quite good, not too heavy, a nice winter warmer that is well-sipped on a cold evening.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear ruby color with a bubbly, light tan foam that fades pretty quick and does not leave much in the way of lacing.

Nose is honey drizzled toasty malts with maybe a hint of ginger and cinnamon. Not overly spiced, which is nice. There's a bit of orange in there as well as some light fruitiness - apple pie and orange marmalade.

Spices come out to play a bit more on the tastebuds, but the beer still maintains a nice toasty and caramel malt presence. Ginger and cinnamon seem to be a nice beer combination, but I can do without the orange peel in a darker beer style like this - especially without some coriander compliments. It's pretty light bodied overall and an easy drinker for a holiday beer. One of BBC's finer offerings, but not at the top of my wish list for winter releases.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber-red color. Off-white/light tan head of about 1 finger; turns into a nice film. Leaves nice lacing too.

Smell: Warm but subtly spiced malt aroma.

Taste: Lightly roasted malts and light spices (especially cinnamon) from this dark and rather warming beer. The flavor isn't too extreme, but is quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and relatively light mouthfeel despite feeling filling. Light carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable with little to no taste of alcohol, and a session-able ABV.

Rather mild for a winter warmer, but I actually prefer it this way. Still a full-bodied beer, but a bit more subdued in the spice and alcohol than other beers of this style. Wouldn't mind having this in a 6-pack. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Ezone024
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark mahogany like a coffee table, not much head room,
smells metallic and cinnamon
taste's good with hints of vanilla and cinnamon, but it's not too much, it balances well with the malt backbone .
lots of roasted flavors going on in this brew.
drinks nice and easy helped out by the fact the spices aren't too strong.

nice winter warmer

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Photo of HalfFull
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. pryoff bottle, best by March 2010. Pours a clear mahogany amber red in color with a hard fought quarter inch of off white foam which doesn't linger. Does offer some light lacing as one can pull a surface cap back with a bit of a swirl.

Caramel malt on the nose, bit of cinnamon initially. With some exposure and warming the nose improves somewhat as the notes meld, yet never getting highly robust and enticing. The beers best attribute nonetheless.

Sweet caramel flavor with a bit of an oily orange clover feel. Cinnamon and ginger on the finish linger briefly before being cloaked once again with a caramel cleanse. Mouthfeel is supported by a bright small bubble carbonation, a bit unexpected given the lack of foam on the pour. Decent drinkability but leaning a bit towards the syrupy side as there is less complexity in flavor than the nose might suggest. Bit bittersweet towards the bottom of the glass. Not bad, but seems to vary excessively from one bottle to the next.

---Revisit 12/15/2012 yields a slightly better pour as for head retention. Nose is more subtle and flavor doesn't linger. Sweetness is less evident leaving it a tad hollow. T/S dropped .5..

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Photo of imanidiot777
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pretty dark brown with made a little red tint to it. Cream color head that stays for most of the drink and some lacing on the glass.

S: Malty, that is about all my bad nose can pick up.

T: Very malty, some kind of fruit aftertaste that I am not particularly fond of.

M: Pretty heavy in the mouth, could use a little more carbonation.

D: Goes down OK but don't like the aftertaste and it is really heavy. Not a bad thing if you are having one of course.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a perfect pint. 2+fingers of beige head with tons of structure. Decent amount of lacing left behind.
Deep amber color with brown/maroon highlights.

Aroma is musty, earthy with sweet malt and a touch of orange.

Flavor is bold malt, rich caramel and some cinnamon. Truth be told I would never say that I can taste ginger. I smell a touch of the orange and there is a touch of orange peel in the flavor. Very subtle and nice. A touch of molasses.

Really full bodied, velvety and it lays thick on your tongue.

Ok, so this is a very good winter ale. I would buy this if it was sold on its own.

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

Poured into Boston lager perfect pint

A: pours reddish brown clear. light brown finger thick head that fell on the first sip oddly, but is lacing in patches
S: sweet winter spices, malt, very faint citrus
T: malty sweet, the winter spices come in lightly, cinnamon, slight clove. roasted malts linger on the aftertaste
M: mild carbonation, coating
D: going down rather quickly, good Christmas night brew.

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Photo of CMW
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a reddish brown color with noticeable carbonation and a fluffy off-white head.

S - Caramel malt, dark fruit, and some sweet spices.

T - Sweet spices upfront that beg of nutmeg and cinnamon. Definitely has those Christmas flavors nailed. Toasted caramel malt blends in nicely and makes for a perfect balance.

M - Creamy with a medium level of carbonation.

D - Very drinkable. I wait all year for the seasonal pack to have a couple of these. Great ale.

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

Poured into my Sam Adams special pint glass.

A: Nice 1 finger frothy head that fades slowly with a lacing on the glass. Very clear copper reddish brown color showing all the nice bubbles rising to the top.

N: A nice red/amber malt aroma with some toasty malts, slight aromatic hops, slight spices, a creamy fruit and sweet fig newton like aroma.

T: Starts with a dark malty sweetness and some roasted and smoked malts. Theres a nice smoked malt flavor. A slight hoppy taste, but it's semi faint. Dark rich porter like flavors, with lots of maltiness. A slight spicy warming feel as well, and hints of spices.

M: Semi thick with good carbonation.

F: Semi dry, a little bit of the smokiness still, roasted malts lingering with a little bitterness.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice bottle illustration.
I guess i gave it a bad pour, because there is no head to speak of, but I gave it an aggressive finish and it didn't gain anything. As for the color of the body. its a brown ale that is a cranberry red when held up to the light.
I smell cranberries and raspberries, along with a little ginger. can't pick out any cinnamon or orange from nose.
It tastes actually doesn't match the smell as most beers do. I do taste cinnamon, which helps knock away at the intense fruitiness that was advertised by the smell, which I like. I taste dried fruit a bit, as well as ginger. Caramel malt is there in the flavor as well.
There is a dry finish in the mouthfeel. The carbonation is good, and I get a warming sensation from the alcohol as I swallow, which I'm assuming is intended due to it being a winter warmer.
Its a good beer, that has drinkability, I'd have a few of these in front of a fire. Good seasonal brew.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pulled this one out of the ole' winter mix pack this evening for reviewing purposes. Had this for the first time last year but can't recollect the flavor very well.

Appearance- Pours a very dark translucent brown with a very nice looking two fingers of tan head on top. A good deal of carbonation bubbling up and great head retention. About a half finger of head sticks around for the entire time I'm drinking and leaves a ton of lace.

Smell- Huge amounts of dark fruit on the nose for me. Lots of figs, some spice mixed in, maybe some plum, and a lot of residual sweetness as well.

Taste- Lots of dark fruit and malt. Again, tastes like candied dates and figs primarily and comes across rather sweet. Lots of noticeable caramel as well, along with some cinnamon and other spices. Some slight warming alcohol on the finish. Flavor profile actually really reminds me of a bock.

Mouthfeel/drinkability- Mouthfeel is thick for the style and well carbonated. However, drinkability is not better than average at best for me, as I find it very very sweet in a tooth coating sort of way. Something about the way the flavors mix together for me.

Overall, a very solid Sam Adams offering. I couldn't have probably more than one or two though because I really found it to be too sweet for me to session.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice clear amber brown with thin tan head, scant lace.

S - Very light aroma, some burnt sugar and toasted malt presence.

T - Deep toasty malts with some dried fruit, burnt sugar, and sublte spiciness. Slightly sweet with a decent bitter background. Fairly muddled with no specific flavor jumping out much, but a nice rich traditional English style ale quality.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-light carbonation. Decent lasting finish with some bite.

D - A nice winter warmer, and definatly a sessionable for the style. One of my preferred Boston Beer offerings .

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful brownish ruby with a beige head that has a skim retention. No lacing. Great clarity and color.

Hunting for the aroma, and it is hard to find. Is this possible? Some very light hints of toasted malt, but that is it.

Great winter warmer. Deep toasted malt flavors , with alot of burnt sugar. Subtle spices creep in (this is not the Harpoon gingerbread man and beer combo). Light sweetness with crisp bitterness, light fruit, balanced with some hop bitterness. Brown bread and just a hint of alcohol round his out. Great beer, even if you only get 2 out of 12.

Medium bodied but fairly long in the finish.

Overall, one of my favorite winter warmers. Haven't had this in ages, and can kick myself now as to why I've gone so many years without revisiting this. This beer might just be the reason to get the otherwise mediocre seasonal 12 pack.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown, with a small off-white head that doesn't stick around too well. Smell is malts and a little spicy. Taste is winter spices, ginger, orange peel, fresh bread, a touch of caramel, Christmas sweets. A pretty nice flavor profile but the spices are a bit over the top. Mouthfeel is good, malty but a bit too much carbonation. A little alcohol shines through. Drinkability is alright, a little too heavy for me personally to session. Nothing I'd go out of my way to get, but a good winter beer.

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

This is last years vintage, which has aged nicely.

A: Deep chestnut brown, tan head, retention is thin, but it leaves a little lace.

S: Fruit bread, caramel, roasted nuts & cocoa with a light cinnamon & nutmeg spicing. Enticing.

T: Dark fruit, caramalized raisins, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, roasted nut, cocoa, bread & toffee. There's some sweetness, but some decent bitterness to back it up.

M: Moderate body has some residual sweetness.

D: A little sweet for my taste, but at this strength it's one of the few sessionable christmas ales.

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

Appearance: Fabulous deep reddish brown color with a good sized head and retention.
Smell: Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices balanced with the scent of the malt.
Taste: Very complex but very balanced as well. I felt like i was eating a nice doughy Christmas cookie. You get a really great combination of spices and the malt flavor that really makes it feel like a cookie. Great to drink with dessert.
Drinkability/mouthfeel: Great winter warmer, easy to drink but carries some weight to it. I wish Sam Adams would sell this in 6 packs. It's not that i don't enjoy the mix pack, I just don't want to buy 12 beers to get 2 that I really enjoy. Overall, in my opinion, this is the best beer the Sam Adams brewery produces.

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Photo of machostacos
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from chilled bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a rich dark amber that has lovely red hues when held up to a light. Thick cream-colored head that is slow to dissipate, leaving beautiful lacing. Delicious looking beer.

S: Orangey citrus and dried fruit notes with a light malt sweetness and some spices - cinnamon and ginger.

T: Fruits up front - some citrus, raisin, cherry mixed with spices. Slightly woody, smokey, spiciness shines through; spice is well balanced and does not overpower the fruit or molassesy-chocolatey accents. Finishes sweet with a very slight bitter tang that perfectly balances the sweetness. The beer needs to warm up a bit for the all the different flavors to really spread out and get comfortable. Very tasty.

M: It feels rather full, but it's just not as rich and creamy as a winter warmer should feel to me. Maybe I'm not being fair enough, but it just feels too slippery - a little more substance would be nice.

D: This is a very drinkable beer. Very well balanced with a lot of flavor that's a perfect companion to a chilly winter night. It's really too bad it's not available as a 6-pack, because I'd definitely be returning to it more often.

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Photo of glamphetamine
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a beautiful two and a half finger head. It would have been larger, but despite my careful pouring it rose beyond the glass and poured along one side of the glass. Leaves gorgeous and thick lacing that lingers throughout consumption. The head fades to a consistent foam that completely covers the surface of the beer at first, dissipating with each sip. The color is a dark brown with a touch of dark red and is somewhat translucent.

S - The smell is almost all malt. A pure, rich malty smell. A bit sweet and warm. There's a robust scent in the background, just shy of spice.

T - Sweet and mild malt flavor with a mild backing of hops. Remarkably mild and smooth. It takes a bit of swishing and savoring for the hop notes to come out.

M - Lingers with a sweet maltiness and the ever so slight echo of hops. Leaves a mild and slightly warm feeling in the mouth.

D - Delicious, but I'd only recommend drinking one in a row. This beer is mild starting out, but halfway through the glass the aftertaste starts to get a bit more powerful and may become a bit cloying after two glasses. This is definitely worth trying, though. This is one of the more remarkable beers from the Samuel Adams winter sampler. I plan to save the second bottle from the six pack for a rough winter day.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with April notched on label

Sam Adam's Old Fezzwig Winter Warmer poured [into a mug] dark amber [brownish-red] and produced a smaller ½" finger off-white head that left behind some lacing.

The aroma is dominated by [light] caramel and ginger. The flavor is of heavier caramel, cinnamon, ginger and little dark chocolate. Old Fezzwig finishes with light spices. The mouth feel is medium with a fine carbonation that is zesty.

Not a bad winter warmer - worth a revisit.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. This beer produces a great foamy head with decent amounts of lacing and glass retention. It's a hearty amber/orangy color with excellent clarity to it. The smell is dominated by malts in my opinion, the rest isn't very strong. The remainder of the smell consists of Christmas spices and dried fruit. The taste is a little bit better along the same lines as the smell. It's very sweet, caramelized malts. I'd actually probably like to give it a 3.75 on the taste, it's good. The mouthfeel is pretty good, lighter bodied than I'd expect out of a winter warmer, but still good. Very, very drinkable.

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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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