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RATINGS: 1469   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.34/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 177   ABV: 5.9%
Spicy and bold, a big Christmas cookie of a beer. Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale is bursting with spices of the season. With a remarkably full body and flavor it helps those long winter nights pass more quickly. The rich taste hits the palate with a depth of malt character ranging from sweet toffee and caramel notes to dark, roasty chocolate notes. Then the spices come in full force. Cinnamon, ginger and orange peel dance on the tongue bringing with them the celebratory spirit of the season.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Perdue46 (68) - USA - DEC 5, 2002
wow the flavor on this beer is quite delicious. I usually rate expensive beers low but this is very tasty

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 28, 2006
Old Fezziwig of course, is the kind and cheerful merchant under which a young Ebenezer Scrooge served his apprenticeship in Dickens’ classic tale. The BBC pays tribute to Old Fezziwig’s joyful spirit with the release of this spicy and hearty winter brew. Old Fezziwig is a rich winter ale spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel. This a wonderful beer to sip and savor, and I can not think of a better beer to drink while flipping through the staves of A Christmas Carol. Old Fezziwig Ale pours to a deep garnet/brown opaque color with a slight tan head, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is very comforting and inviting. Aromas of orange peel, spicy ginger and cinnamon, pair with sweet and caramel malt aromas. The body is full and soft on the tongue with lots of good malt flavors. Sweet malt, caramel, a touch of chocolate, some light touches of fruity estery flavors of plum, and a hint of spicy ginger coat the tongue. Old Fezziwig finishes with more sweet and chocolate flavors up front, then ends with a very nice, spicy ginger, and orange peel finish. There is some nice lemony hop bitterness in the finish as well. This is a wonderful winter ale, perfect for this time of year. The only real flaw is its lack of alcohol warmth. This beer only comes in at about 5.6% abv, and the beer suffers from this in my opinion. The body is full though, making a rich and comforting brew. Start your own tradition of reading A Christmas Carol, and match a bottle of Old Fezziwig with your read by a roaring fire. Remember, this beer is only available in the Sam Adams holiday pack, and you will only get two bottles of Old Fezziwig in that pack. It is well worth seeking out, and the bonus will be 10 more great beers from Samuel Adams.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2006
Good looking -- nice dark chestnut with a big fluffy beige head that left great lace as it fell. Very pleasant aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange chutney, and apple pie. Flavor followed with a spicy sweet and pungent melange reminiscent of holiday pie, mulled wine, apple cider and egg nog. Nice full body with pleasant fizz. Nice Christmas present to yourself.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
LagerLove (65) - Clinton, Missouri, USA - DEC 9, 2006
tasty and unique, love the name it makes me laugh and the brew tastes good to boot, good head and body.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bendz1 (87) - Ankeny, Iowa, USA - JAN 1, 2007
Dark brown, somewhat translucent with a tan head. Malty and fruity in flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
NeoHippie2 (1074) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JAN 5, 2009
This was awesome. Pours a deep roasted dark amber with an off white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Lots of malt in the flavor with the spices shining through wonderfully in the finish. Awesome Christmas brew. I wish they sold this in six packs instead of just in the sampler packs. I would definitely buy a six pack of this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Fulmonte21 (42) - USA - JUN 10, 2009
Found in the holiday seasonal pack which comes out around November each year. You can only find this in the holiday pack in the bottle. I’ve never found it on draft and don’t believe they do this anywhere. They say it’s like a cookie in a glass. It really is like an oatmeal cookie with the spice and sugar. YUM!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
rampmaster (642) - Alden, New York, USA - JUL 20, 2009
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A best before date was printed on the label. Appearance: The body has a deep amber color with a slight reddish hew. There is some visible carbonation that makes its way up to the head which has a light tan color and decent retention. Lacing is slick and quickly slides down the glass. Smell: The aroma has soft sweet orange peel notes with some cinnamon and roasted malt. Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a bready malt presence up front that slowly adds in notes of cinnamon, ginger, sweet orange peel and finally some mild hops. It has a good medium to full body and the mouth feel is soft, well rounded with soft carbonation. Notes: Overall a very solid holiday beer from Sam Adams and one of my favorites in there holiday mixed pack.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
moose85uofa (26) - Alabama, USA - NOV 2, 2009
I really, really enjoyed this beer. Rich hints, of cinnamon and nutmeg. Has a nice "holiday" bite on the palate, but very smooth going down. I would very much like to find this on tap during the holiday season!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ChadPolenz (1678) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - APR 4, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 Perhaps the only thing more satisfying than a great beer is when said beer succeeds where others have not. In my quest to find the best winter seasonal beer I’ve only been satisfied. But with Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale I’ve finally found a beer that truly impressed me on all accounts: a great, rich, complex but balanced palate that finishes smooth and doesn’t overwhelm.


Old Fezziwig is named after a “festive” character in the classic novel “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Surprisingly, this beer does not have a festive physical appearance. It pours very smoothly without the slightest kickback and forms a small, off-white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and does leave some lacing on the glass.

The beer has a dark ruby red color and is clear with a little bit of carbonation apparent. The aroma is strong and spicy, but also conveys a sweeter side.


To truly appreciate the flavor of Old Fezziwig I recommend allowing the beer to warm a little to unlock its complex palate of flavors. This is one of the few beers to have such a variety of flavors and a true balance of sweetness and spice.

The label describes cinnamon, ginger and orange as the dominant ingredients, but I found the chocolate and caramel malts to have the most noticeable taste. This is the flavor most “chocolate beers” should have – rich, sweet, and almost creamy without coming across as out-and-out sugary. Every ingredient mentioned on the bottle is distinguishable and yet they all add up to a very delicious taste.

Clearly, the beer’s sweetness wins out over its spiciness, and while this could seem to flatten out the taste, I found the balance to be a work of art. This is a beer to appease the lightweight and the connoisseur equally.


A smooth finish is always an attribute to any beer as far as I’m concerned. The only problem with an easy finish is you might drink the beer too quickly and not really savor it. However, in the case of Old Fezziwig, this is a “problem” I can live with.


As tasty and easy as Old Fezziwig is to drink, I have a feeling some might find it a bit too heavy at 5.9% ABV and 210 calories per serving. I could definitely feel my first serving before I was finished with it, but after two within an hour I did not feel overwhelmed. In fact, I wanted more because the taste was so good. A full body is a price the average drinker will likely be willing to pay to drink this beer.


I’m a huge fan of the Samuel Adams line of beers, but until now I’ve never found a beer in their lineup I could truly consider outstanding. It’s a little ironic that an obscure, seasonal with a funny name like “Old Fezziwig Ale” would earn my highest acclaim. But that just goes to show how good this beer really is.

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