December 8, 2006

Old Fezziwig

Category: Feasting :: Permalink

There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler (an artful dog, mind! The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him!) struck up “Sir Roger de Coverley.” Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs. Fezziwig. Top couple, too; with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them; three or four and twenty pair of partners; people who were not to be trifled with; people who would dance, and had no notion of walking.

But if they had been twice as many: ah, four times: old Fezziwig would have been a match for them, and so would Mrs. Fezziwig. As to her, she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. If that’s not high praise, tell me higher, and I’ll use it. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. They shone in every part of the dance like moons. You couldn’t have predicted, at any given time, what would become of ’em next. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs. Fezziwig had gone all through the dance; advance and retire, hold hands with your partner; bow and curtsey; corkscrew’ thread-the-needle;and back again to your place; Fezziwig “cut” รขโ‚ฌโ€ cut so deftly, that he appeared to wink with his legs, and came upon his feet again without a stagger.

When the clock struck eleven, this domestic ball broke up. Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side the door, and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas. When everybody had retired but the two ‘prentices, they did the same to them; and thus the cheerful voices died away, and the lads were left to their beds; which were under a counter in the back-shop (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, pp. 77-78).

Old Fezziwig Ale label

The other day, I spotted the Samuel Adams Winter Classics 24-pack at Costco. I have little interest in their Boston Lager and no idea why it’s in a pack of “Winter Classics.” But the ales in the pack looked interesting, and so I bought it.

Last night, Moriah and I tried the Old Fezziwig Ale and loved it. It’s a fairly dark ale with a full body and touches of caramel and chocolate. The hints of ginger, cinnamon, and orange are delightful. We have only one complaint: There are only four bottles of it in the 24-pack and it isn’t available on its own.

Old Mr. Fezziwig would be honored.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:27 pm | Discuss (5)

5 Responses to “Old Fezziwig”

  1. Sean Brandt Says:

    The Holiday Porter in the “Winter Classics” pack is pretty good.

  2. John Says:

    Haven’t tried it yet. We started the Winter Classics pack with the Old Fezziwig. Holiday Porter will be next.

    I suspect it’s going to be downhill from there, till we reach the Boston Lager at the bottom, but Sam Adams might surprise me yet.

  3. Sean Brandt Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on the liturgical year. I haven’t that book–I’ll get hold of a copy. What you say makes great sense though, and explains the nagging feeling I had that it didn’t all quite fit as I was trying to put it together in my mind. We’re new at this here.

    As for the rest of the winter classics–the Black Lager is OK, the Winter Lager is so-so, and the Cranberry Lambic is nasty, in my opinion, but my wife, who loves all things cranberry, likes it. I confess that I don’t mind the Boston Lager, though I’d rather have just about anything from the New Belgium brewing company instead.

  4. Jake Says:

    I tried the Samuel Adams Light last year at New Years, and it is one of the most disgusting beers I have ever had in my life ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m sure there are some good ones out there. Americans are notorious for the low quality of their lite beers.

  5. Keith G Says:

    This past weekend I tried a new beer called Holy (Gr)Ail. Yes, it is a Monty Python thing from England complete with the fact that it was tempered over burning witches. The best before date read: Best Before End.

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