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

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very good
1,377 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,377 | Ratings: 3,537
Photo of Beric
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 31 Dec 2014

Appearance: Pours a deep amber brown with a dirty dish-water colored head that sticks around for a while but eventually collapses into a spotty mess on top of the beer that looks almost like mold. Leaves good lacing.

Smell: Not too much in the nose- sweet caramel malts and a hint of cinnamon and clove.

Taste: Wow, definitely not expecting this. The taste is incredibly well rounded- robust without whacking you over the head. The flavor is dominated by a sweet-ish malt backbone with muted caramel notes and a hint of dark wheat bread. The spices in this beer are nearly perfect, adding just a layer of seasonal complexity without dominating the flavor- adding soft notes of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and anise.

Feel: Smooth and silky. Refreshing.

Overall: If Sam Adams made this in 6 packs or 12 packs, I'd definitely pick one up in winter time. Sad that there were only two bottles in the winter sampler. A great beer.

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Photo of DJoe
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my favorite winter/Christmas brews. It's a sweet ale with hint of cinnamon, but without the sharper, overly intense spices of some other seasonal brews (I'm talking to you Harpoon Winter Warmer!).

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The lively pour quickly overwhelms my porter glass, leaving a 3-finger head peaking over the top of the rim, with at least 2 oz. remaining in the bottle. In time, the rocky creme-colored head receded, leaving scalloped edges and moderate lacing. There is a nice clarity to the garnet-brown beer, accentuated with ruby highlights. The brew gives off a mild fruity aroma, with tame holiday spice and bready malts. There is the faintest trace of hops, and no alcohol in the nose. In total, the smell of the beer is pleasant, but muted. In contrast, the flavor is complex and bold. Sweet caramel and chocolate malts dance with a rye-like grain and fruity esters. There is a hint of black licorice, sweet vanilla bean, and distinct cinnamon and allspice in the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy with a medium-full body. There's a little warming heat on the breath from the spice and ABV, which is just south of 6%. The distinct "Sam Adams" flavor is present in the backbone of this beer, but it has enough character to stand on its own for sure. Winter warmer? This is more like a holiday amber ale. Perhaps my palate has matured, but I seem to recall this beer being bigger in seasons past. I'd really like to see them beef this up with a higher ABV, creating more warmth. A richer, fuller body and more potency in the aroma would allow it to stack up against some of the other winter craft wonders. Especially if they are going to put only 2 in each seasonal pack. For what it is, it's still a delicious brew, and one I will continue to seek out during Christmas time.

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Photo of DrewsBrews450
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark Amber with sticky lacing at first but dies halfway through.. A/T ginger and Orange with a sweet Amber chocolate malt sweetness.. Earthy and spicy.. Light medium body.. Awesome beer.

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Photo of VTR
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. It is a good seasonal beer. It has a nice amber/caramel hue to it with a light amount of carbonation. While the nose on it was kind of weak I picked up some delicate spice aromas. The taste was not a mess of overly spiced beer but it was very lightly spiced solid ale with a great malt taste. While there is nothing that stands out about this beer I think it is a very solid beer that would be a staple in my fridge during the holidays if I did not have to buy a 12 pack of Sam Adams junk to get just TWO bottles. I think that it ridiculous to put the solid beers in a case and only include two. Unfortunately because of this I have had the only one I will have this year (My GF stole the other)

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Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark caramel color with mild, but dissipating off white head
S - Hints of caramel and spice, but feint
T - Nothing overpowering here, pretty drinkable; some hints of spice and sugar but an overall weak strength
F - Thin with moderate carbonation
O - While this beer didn't knock my socks off with flavor or aroma, it is a nice seasonal beer that's just different enough to drink again and again. I'm not sure why I liked it, but I did...not outstanding, but better than just average.

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Photo of gibgink
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

I only tasted the base malts that come from most Sam Adams brews, not the ones stated on the label. Not worth buying a Winter Sampler, unless you like all of their stuff, then it might be a nice treat.

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Photo of MartiGras
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

I must admit, Winter Warmer styles are my favorite of the seasonal types. I look forward to this beer every holiday season. Maybe it's the label, maybe its the idea of Christmas being right around the corner, or maybe its the great taste of the unique malts that this brew offers. If you haven't tried it, I recommend picking it up in a seasonal sampler that Sam Adams has out during the holidays.

Pairs With: some favorite holiday tunes with friends or White Christmas on TV.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Appearance: A: Pours a dark amber brown color with a thick, large, dark body.

Overall: Has a malty and balanced taste of toasted caramel and chocolate hints. Perfect blend of malt/sweetness. This is a great winter ale. Highly Recommended!

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Photo of Caveworm
4.69/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got a 1/2 finger thick off-white head with solid lacing, and a dark brownish amber body. Quite visually appealing.

The aroma that I'm picking up here is the caramelized and chocolate malts mentioned on the label. Seems like these guys always keep the fruit spices to a very low roar (no metal puns intended).

Tastes like the aforementioned malt characteristics, but the fruit tastes are present now. Again, subtly executed. This is an easy drinking winter warmer versus some of the astringent brews I've experienced these past few months. Its certainly a "creeper" with the alcohol warmth, but it does arrive in style late to the party.

This beer's mouthfeel is smoother and very much a cleaner finish than, like I've said above, most of the beers I've had in this style recently. This area was done astonishingly well.

Overall, I've choosen a 4.75 for Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). A more tame choice amongst the other availible winter warmers. I'd liken this to an imperial style of porter, to go out on a "genre limb". This needs to come in six packs or cases where I live, so I can enjoy this more often and not have to purchase the disappointing winter seasonal sampler pack.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale brewed by Boston Beer Company, with an ABV of 5.90% This brew pours out a nice brown color with a nice off white head. Old Fezziwig Ale has the look of cola, not saying that it a bad thing. The smell is rich sweetness and grains. Now for the taste , it is sweet with some grains, and malts. You also pick up on some spices in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice ,it is also rich,and clean. There is nothing overpowering in this brew, it has a nice balance to it.I like how this brew is different from most brews on the market. Boston Beer Company did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. Overall I'm giving Old Fezziwig Ale a 4.25 out of 5.

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

A - Superb clear red-brown brew, with thin white head, lacing.

S - Spun sugar, spice in the form of cardamom and cloves, caramel, and a touch of doughiness.

T - The promise of the nose is delivered, but in a restrained manner. Flavors of bread and malt, sugar and spice mingle nicely. The close is clean.

M - Light and thin, with moderate carbonation.

O - This delivers the flavors of a winter warmer, but is not a punch to the nose. Pleasant and drinkable, and one of my favorite SA brews.

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Photo of RyanPoff
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: A deep, clear amber. Inviting.

S: Roasted, malty, caramel, and dark candy. A small hint of spice. A heavy smell, but perfect what it intends.

T: A moderately spiced beer with a honey finish. Notes of chocolate, caramel, and cinnamon are present.

M: Maybe a bit TOO heavy. I'm not a fan of heavy beers, and this is a little heavier than I like.

Overall, an excellent winter beer. Don't miss out.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a nice 1 inch head that takes time to dissipate leaving nice lacing down a 16oz pub glass.

Smell is of sweet malts of chocolate and caramel. I get some spices in the smell as well just cant make out what they are, the bottle says cinnamon, ginger and orange.

Taste is of the malts up front with their rich sweetness, the middle of the taste brings in the cinnamon, and ginger. The end of the taste has a little sourness that reminds me of a tart fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium to full with good carbonation.

Overall, a good winter beer. Just what I needed for the beginning of this Thanksgiving week upcoming.

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Photo of HuskerTornado
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass. Pours a rich dark brown, almost black with ruby undertones. A medium sized tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves a lot of thin lacing.

Smell is heavy in caramel and cocoa, a lot of citrus as well dark fruits, and a faint amount of cinnamon and ginger.

Taste is sweet chocolate, caramel, and toffee malts up front. The spices come through, especially towards the finish which all together makes for a really nice flavor profile front to back as the chocolate remains strong throughout. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, a really good, balanced winter warmer, always worth having a few each year.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into SA Perfect Pint.

A: Pours a slightly lighter than cola brown color with a thick, large, dark tan head that slowly faded into a thick fuzzy film that left sheets of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Cinnamon and toast on the nose, hint of orange and maybe sweet brown sugar and something synthetic.
T: I get notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, coco, and vanilla, leather, with caramel and slight crème brûlée in finish, and toasted malt in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is earthy with a touch of apple juice and figs.
M: Frothy creamy carbonation, medium-full body, sticky mouthfeel. Sweet but not cloying.
O: Not a bad winter warmer for what it is, but probably not something I need to drink again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark red amber with a fine half finger tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet bready and caramel malt, cinnamon, allspice, gingerbread. Flavor follows aroma, with rich caramel malt, holiday spicing leaning towards gingerbread, light chocolate, finishes with cinnamon and light hop spicy bitterness. Really quite nice creamy medium bodied adds to the holiday festiveness. A very nicely made winter beer with holiday spicing that is well done and supported by the malt, which is selected well to support and allow light spices to be the centerpiece. Uncommon in my area, or I would add this to my winter holiday rotation.

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Photo of Slagpile
4.59/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My buddy asked me what I was going to try that week, and I said I was partial to an Old Fezzy. Found out the Old Fezzy's are only sold in the variety seasonal. My first impression was of a good cordial cherry from out of the candy box, chocolate, cream, and a cherry finish. Boston had brought back memories of my childhood, minus the alcohol, on spot feeling of nostalgia. This beer definately impresses me because the goal has met with the impression, for me anyway. All the notes of a seasonal beer have been met, hazelnut, cinnamon, chocolate, coriander and cherries. This is a good beer to share with loved ones on the holidays.

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Photo of RVigz
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A very dark nearly black amber with a toasted white head.

Smell: Very malty with a roasted chocolate smell.

Taste: This beer starts with a malty base and develops into toasted caramel and chocolate hints.

Mouthfeel: Super malty with good carbonation, balanced aftertaste of malt/sweetness.

Overall: This is a great winter ale that is super malty but finishes bitter/sweet.

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Photo of bgillespie
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark copper color. Clear. About a one inch head, off white. Little lacing.

Smell: Spices, citrus, cinnamon. Tiny bit of ginger.

Taste: I get a lot of spice and ginger at first. Little chocolate at the end. Not too much orange.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, mild carbonation. Easy to drink.

Overall: A great winter beer, dark in color. Good for a cold night. Great name. Easily drinkable. I would have it again.

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Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark crimson color with little clarity. Nice frothy layering as the beer was drank.

Smell: bready, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, all spice, and candied orange peel.

Taste: Nice bready and caramel malts, spices, orange peel, and slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, chewy, and delicious.

Overall: Solid beer. So surprised to find it in draft this late in the season. I'll make sure to grab another.

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Photo of Boca-X
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased this ale in a winter sampler, 6 beers, 2 each. Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Nice nutty brown color with a hint of red on the edges. Medium head with some medium lacing.

Bready, malty, yeast and honey was the first thing I noticed on the nose. After my smell adjusted, the sweetness of the honey takes over with a hint of brandy or cognac. Very nice.

Perfect carbonation in the mouth, malty with a slight hoppy tang. Light, watery but creamy at the same time. There is a underlying hint of roasted marshmallow mixing with honey. Just enough alcohol on the finish to warm your insides.

Pretty decent "special release". Similar to SA Winter Lager minus the sour finish. This ale also has more depth and character than the SA Winter Lager. Old Fezziwig is perfect for sipping with friends or a loved one around the fireplace, cheers.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours light deep red with a one finger white head that dissipates but leaves nice lacing. Smells of spices and very slight fruit. Tastes of citrus and spices, especially a cinnamonny taste. Beer is nicely carbonated and light bodied, nice clean finish. Overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark purple brown, translucent up to the light with a short, medium mocha ring of head.

S: Cinnamon, some spicy Belgian yeast, sweet grapes, almost like ice wine, cardamom, nutmeg and sweet malt in the nose.

T: Sweet malt and grapes, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and spicy Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: One of the best beers I've had from Sam Adams, and one of my favorite festive winter ales.

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Photo of Caj1
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty nice surprise for a Sam Adams beer, especially with their winter sampler, which can often be hit-or-miss. I'd been wanting to try this beer for a while and now I relish the opportunity, since this is pretty good, especially by Sam Adams standards.

The beer pours a very nice and clear reddish copper brown with a good deal of head that takes its time to dissipate and leaves a great deal of lacing on the side of the glass and a good bit on the surface of the beer, along with a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Smell is a pretty standard winter ale fare: some malt, bread and yeast, and a little bit of gingerbread quality, and maybe some orange peel in there. Not incredibly complex, but it's pleasant.

Taste is definitely the highlight of this beer, as it should be. At the forefront there are some very nice butterscotch, chocolate and caramel flavors, also a bit of roasted hazelnut that lingers quite nicely long after the beer has been swallowed. Some bitterness and a little bit of burn follows. Cinnamon is apparent, and the ginger has a very distinct kick after swallowing that sticks around even after the nutty notes have gone away. Mouthfeel isn't incredible, but it's clear, foamy, medium-bodied and burns a little more than the average beer, which is perfectly fine for me.

If only this wasn't a seasonal release, because I could probably drink this any day of the year. When they put their minds to it, the Sam Adams crew can really come up with some interesting and delicious beers, and this one is no different. I love this beer, plain and simple, and I hope that you will, too. Grab some before the spring release comes (all too soon, I say.)

To good health and good beer.

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,537 ratings.
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