Friday, December 24, 2010

Beer of the week (Vol. LXXXIII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the festive folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you celebrate the season in style.

The name Fezziwig has a rich assocation with Christmas:

Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig are characters featured in the Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol. Mr. Fezziwig is the owner of a warehouse business for whom Ebenezer Scrooge worked as an apprentice with Dick Wilkins; and in Stave 2 of A Christmas Carol, has a Christmas ball. Mr. Fezziwig is a happy man with a large Welsh wig. Old Fezziwig liked to dance to "Sir Roger de Coverley", a lively tune popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Scrooge revisits Fezziwig with the Ghost of Christmas Past, during the Fezziwigs' lively Christmas party. Fezziwig is one of the few people to whom Scrooge is thankful, for he says, “He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil...The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.” Scrooge is reminded how much he once appreciated Fezziwig. Since Fezziwig is the elder Scrooge's opposite in many ways — in kindness, generosity, affection for his employees, relationship with family, and apparent happiness — Scrooge is thus confronted with the fact that his own choices have diverged greatly from those of someone he admires.

As does our beer of the week, Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale:

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.

Brown bottle. Lable has a blue background, beer name is in red ribbon fronting a Christmas scene that we can be sure is straight out of Dickens.


Alcohol by Volume: 5.8%

COLOR (0-2): Deep reddish-brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Sweet malt with spices and nuts. 2

HEAD (0-2): Tan with good volume. 2

TASTE (0-5): Malt with flavors of nutmeg, cinamon, ginger, chocolate, and a hint of citrus. Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Not overly heavy for a winter offering and fairly drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Dry finish, with a decent follow through. 2

OVERALL (0-6): I'm not usually much enamored with spicy winter beers, but Old Fezziwig Ale does a nice job of capturing some of the favorite flavors of the season in moderation. Call it a "big Christmas cookie of beer" grossly oversells the sweetness. Instead, it's tastiness and drinkability definitely make it a beer well-suited for the holidays. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 15