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

very good
1,400 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: 1,400 | Ratings: 3,612
Photo of Dragginballs76
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper color with thick light tan head. You can smell orange has a sweet smell a little cinnamon coming through as well. Taste is pleasant little orange and nutmeg up front slightly bitter on the back end.light and smooth with slight bitterness. Overall a decent beer seems like a cross between a Christmas ale and maybe an IPA.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep crystal clear brown with ruby highlights producing a 3+ fingers of fluffy, chunky, variously bubbled, lasting, tan head that leaves a thick, frost-like coating of clumpy lacing. Aroma is deeply toasted dark malts, browned cornbread, roast, chocolate, molasses & brown sugar, dark fruit & faint hints of cinnamon, ginger & orange zest. Taste is deeply malty with spices: dark & roasted malts, pumpernickel, cornbread, chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, ginger, cinnamon & orange spiciness. The aftertaste is a thinner version of the taste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, lively in the mouth with prickly carbonation but smooth, creamy, thinly syrupy & mildly chewy. Absolutely delightful! I wish I could buy this in six packs. I'm tired of having to obtain it once or twice a year as a seasonal in 12 to 24 pack samplers of 6 beers. It is certainly good enough to be a seasonal on its own. Quite possibly the best Boston Beer Company brew made to date other than Utopias.

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Photo of lic217
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: reddish brown, light tan head, some lacing 4.75
Aroma: Light spice, slight malt sweetness, toffee/dark fruit 4.25
Taste: Mild, vanilla, malt, sweet, dry, roasted malt,vanilla, and chocolate 4.25
Feel: Creamy, but with prickly carbonation, moderate thickness 4.25
Overall: A nice mild beer that will pair nicely with many foods 4.25

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Photo of teromous
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The body is a dark brown color to the point where I can barely see through it. Despite the darkness it has good clarity. The head is a short eggshell white color. Decent retention and good lacing.

Aroma: Not much aroma here. It has a very faint malt aroma.

Taste: It has a nice light biscuit flavor with a bit of bitterness at the end. The neckerchief says "spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and orange." None of this comes across.

Mouthfeel: It has a good mouthfeel with medium presence and a nice bitterness at the end. That bitterness really saves the beer overall.

Overall: It's not much of a winter warmer. It's fairly low ABV and it doesn't have any spice character at all. The beer as a whole (not considering any spice) is pretty good. It's drinkable and enjoyable. What's disappointing is to buy a holiday beer that mentions spice and to get a plain beer. It's not a beer I'd recommend but if somebody picked up a mix-pack for a holiday party and this was in it, I wouldn't have a problem drinking it.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red and brown appearance, this one comes in looking hearty. Aroma was a robust spice thing.

Taste, I liked it. Had some orange peel, cinnamon, chocolate malt. Tasted like the holidays. Little bit dark bread. Somewhere between a traditional porter, brown ale and winter warmer.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass in November 2015. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: Dark Amber with light head. Beer color is deep. Head is thin, and leaves a thick film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma is sweet. There is some caramel aroma as well, and a little hops.

Taste: The taste is also dominated by the sweetness from the malt. There is a little bite from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light alcohol, which confirms the 5.9% on the bottle.

This is a smooth light-bodied Winter Ale. Good drinking, and something different for winter.

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Photo of matcris
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mahogany, ruby bulb up to the light. A finger of khaki head that lingers a while and leaves a nice lacing down the glass. It smells pretty malty. Bread crust, and the flavors they advertise, cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel, are definitely there. Just a faint bit of chocolate, too. Same deal with the flavor. Good full carbonation level, medium body, and dry. I'd love just a bit more chocolate in this one. All in all, a pretty nice brew for a winter's night.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy before April at 42 degrees into tulip
Aroma – faint orange, doesn’t last
Head average (Four cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to four mm frothy ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body mahogany, clear, effervescent
Flavor starts with some chocolate followed by weak orange and cinnamon
Palate medium, slightly creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of CNoj012
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a nice brown color with amber highlights. The head is off white with good retention and excellent lacing. The smell is orange, sweet caramel malts and winter spices. Taste is similar but kind of muddled. Medium feel and totally coats the mouth. Overall not bad I guess. This is my first winter warmer and I'm certainly not blown away. Not sure if it's just this beer or the style as a whole that doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of TLWalsh
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Part of the 2015 SA seasonal 12 pack. Looks like a root beer when poured in my glass. Very slight orange and spice aroma. Feels really silky in your mouth, tastes malty sweet with a touch of cherry and orange. Finishes a bit spicy, real nice. This is one of SAs best seasonals.

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

Look: Pours a dark brown berg undo color with a nice white tan head.

Smell: Winter spices, a little bit of cherry, some orange and a little malt.

Feel: Malty with some winter spices, don't get the orange as much I did in the nose. None of the flavors really stand out.

Feel:Medium carbonation. The beer really coats your tongue and mouth.

Overall: It's ok but nothing really stands out about this beer.

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Photo of Thebrewman
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Definitely one of SAs best seasonals. Pours brown in color, with a nice red finish on the end. Orange peel was immediately on the nose, with a hint of booze. Taste was similar to the winter lager, but a bit spicier. Always have to pick this variety pack up at least once a year.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of six brews in the 2015 Samuel Adams Holiday Classics 12 pack. Wonderful Winter Warmer with distinct yet subtle flavors. Nice carbonation with carmel and chocolate malts up front. Orange peel and just the right amount of ginger and Winter spices on the finish. Great seasonal beer from Samuel Adams. Sorry there are only two in the 12 pack. I don't think this one's offered in six packs.

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Photo of davellopmint
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Wow! I first had this beer when I was probably underage with my Dad and it blew my mind. I am still digging it with a aversion cause you can only get 2 in a 12er? WTF? at least give a 6er for the holidays. Top 40 brew amazing stuff.

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Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slight bitterness is there but not on the front end. I usually can’t detect the trace flavors brewers claim to use, but the orange in this one shines through. Bravo. Malty. Nutty. Smooth. Delicious. The only drawback of this beer is that it’s not available in sixers, but I digress. Like many, I’d drink this stuff early and often were it readily available.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - copper colored body with tan head

Smell - caramel, ginger, toffee

Taste - caramel, toffee, ginger, orange peel, molasses

Mouthfeel- medium carbonation, medium bodied, slight sweetness upfront

Overall - decent winter warmer that is enjoyable

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Photo of fscottkey
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.00] Dark brown - cola color. Very clear beer in the glass. Forms a nice tan 1 finger head. The head has uniform bubbles. The head slowly recedes a coating on the glass. The bottle lists ABV 5.9%. The bottle has a notch on March for best by (boo!). One other thing I have to say. The bottle has "ribs" on the inside. There are about 7 of them I have never seen that before!

S: [3.25] Maltiness. There are some mild spices. The malt comes across as a nice caramel smell.

T: [3.75] Brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel and malt. I get no hop presence at all. Maybe a hint of chocolate on the back end.

M: [3.50] Medium to high carbonation (tingles the tongue a bit).

O: [3.50] This has been shoved in the back of my fridge for weeks. I finally decided to give it a try. It is decent. I think the taste is better than the nose would lead you to believe. I probably wouldn't seek this out again. It is not bad - but there are definitely some in the style that are better.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, deep, dark brown color, speckled with some reddish highlights and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong notes of toasted malt, accompanied by some brown sugar and caramel. Not much else in the aroma, however.

Taste: Massive malt bomb! TONS of toasted malt imparting notes of freshly baked and toasted bread, and whole wheat crackers. There’s some slight brown sugar and/or caramel-like sweetness, all rounded out by some nicely balanced hops. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. There’s a little more carbonation than I was expecting, which make it enough to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a massive malt bomb, and I like it! Tons of toasted malt and some good, well-balanced sweetness. Malt fans will love this beer, hop heads, not so much…

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Photo of mchegash
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4/5
Deep red-brown in color, with about 1 finger of tan head. Clear. A large amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell -3.5/5
Slightly sweet, slightly watery aroma with a citrusy twist.

Taste - 3.5/5
Slightly sweet malts with a blandish citrusy taste. Some seasaonal spices.

Mouthfeel - 4.25/5
In between medium-full and full-bodied. Carbonation level is just right.

Overall - 3.5/5
This beer didn't have as much of a distringuishable flavor that I liked, but overall it was still a good, full-bodied beer.

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Photo of Gixugif
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful, deep, reddish brown. Nice and clear with a small (~1/4") head that sticks around and not much in the way of lacing. The look evokes perfectly an ale to be drunk in the winter.

This beer dose not evoke a strong smell. I detect some maltiness and maybe a hint of chocolate.

A malty, balanced, low-key taste. Perfect for a winter ale.

Light, smooth and some fizziness. Very pleasant feel that goes great with the taste.

A great winter warmer. Love to drink this to relax on a cold winter's night. I maybe wish for a bit more hint of spice and a stronger nose to provoke the taste buds more.

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

This was really nice with some homemade Mexican at a friend's house. Nice balance, not too heavy on the spices, refreshing. Wasn't expecting much, but this was just a really nice beer. One of the better holiday brews I had this year.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep amber brown color with a light one finger head that dissipates slowly.

S: The nose is a little weak. Malt with a spicy finish.

T: What it lacks on the nose, it makes up for in taste. It's malty, toasty, and spicy. There is a strong cinnamon element, and it finishes with a pleasant honey note. A fantastic winter beer.

F: With a smooth medium body and good carbonation, this one feels just right.

O: I love this beer. The aroma is weak, but in every other category this is a solid performer to say the least. SA can still brew a darn good beer, and this is proof.

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Photo of Jmc181
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer enough to buy a mixed case of Sam Adams for four Fezziwigs. Don't get me wrong, the others get drank, but I buy the case for the Fezziwigs. Wish they were more widely available as a stand alone case.

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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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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 3,612 ratings.
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