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Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale - Mayflower Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mayflower Thanksgiving AleMayflower Thanksgiving Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

93 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 93
Hads: 211
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 17.27%
Wants: 21
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mayflower Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-20-2008

The first and only perennial offering in our Cooper’s Series of limited batch beers. Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale is an inspired blend of two brewing styles: American Strong Ale and English Old Ale. Aged on American white oak, this full-bodied brew warms the soul with hints of caramel, vanilla and spicy nuts. The perfect beverage for our favorite holiday.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 93 | Hads: 211
Photo of Khazadum
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Easy to develop head, but the froth doesn't stick too well. Its got some nice retention but its poofy. The bubbles start out miniscule and creamy possibilities... but it quickly flows into something giant, frothy, fluffy, and odd.

S- Sharp.. really sharp, like spices gone old. I smell an all spice and cinnamon characteristic. Beyond that is a sweet and spicy note.. rye and malts. Bit of roasted biscuit character... Bit of clove character, but the finish is strongly phenolic and band-aid like. That belgian yeast strain has played havoc with the nose.

T- Sweet.. very nice caramel character, toasted bread, a brilliant tannic middle, banana right before the finish... and the finish is.. Rye spice with cloves. Ooo, a delightful rye lingering nature with some malted wheat character.

M- Full bodied, creamy, low crisp nature that rises and confounds the finish. Almost ruining the delightful belgian yeast character. Its sometimes lingering too long with biting corners, oxidized malt jumps out because of it. The alcohol doesn't blend well and actually jumps out at higher than 8%.

Not a bad beer at all, but it has some problems that may be due to age... but then the flavors wouldn't be nearly as good. Conflicting on this beer, conflicting.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/28/12 notes. Thanks to jslot38 for sharing this one. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a deep amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of toasted malts, oak, sweet fruity malts, sugar, light spice, and light caramel malts. Pretty nice, a bit fruity.

t - Tastes of toasted malts, nuts, oak, sweet fruity malts, vanilla, caramel malts, sugar, and toffee. A slight step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.
Pretty smooth body.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer; kind of reminded me or a marzen. Fruity and toasted malts with some oak, and pretty easy to drink. Would have it again.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown appearance with a red tinted tan head. Pale malts, bread, grannysmith apples, brown sugar off the aroma. Fresh hops, rye and wheat bread, malted barley on the initial sip. Mild hint of pears, apple pie spices and oatmeal. Bitter, sweet body with lots of smooth malts and bready flavors.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Duvel tulip, 2011 vintage.

Translucent but dark brown. Not like a Stout, reds shoot through in the light just fine. Some medium brown head.

Juicy, it just smells juicy. Buttered toast, Maris Otter, carob, all sorts of malt cause that's what it's got in it.

For all the malt, this is not sweet. Brown malt, brown sugar, diacetyl, herbal vegetal hops. An ever so slightly soapy strong hop bitterness makes its mark in the finish where there is also creamy chocolate.

It's a lovely creamy thing. Moderate carbonation with just a full and smooth feeling.

I was excited to try this when I received it, as I'd never heard of it and it looked like a 'different' strong ale. It is a bit different. Belgian yeast isn't all that apparent, while the skillful use of different malts is. I recommend it.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mayflower's Thanksgiving Ale opens with an earthy, malty nose, smelling of toasted wheat and rye bread crusts, peat, vanilla, and spent grain husks. The brew also carries a somewhat cola-like, or even Dr. Pepper aroma, as if lightly touched with kola nut. Some light fruit esters--white grape, apricot--bring in sugars, and the hops are hardly noticeable, except as a faint background citrus tone. As a whole, the nose is very light, and the aromas difficult to distinguish one from the other, but dark in overall tone.

On the tongue, the beer carries far more flavor than the nose implied, opening with a quick shot of brown sugar, which is quickly joined by wheat and rye bread crusts, vanilla, hints of fig juice, and a continuation of the Dr. Pepper/kola nut notes, though here those take on a toasted quality. Dark fruit esters--fig, yes, but also black cherry and prune--bring delicious flavors and sugars. A strong loam-like, bitter, earthy quality penetrates the profile, likely from the oak aging, and I couldn't escape the faint impression of sawdust. At the very end, an ashy tobacco thread emerges. The beer is very warming as it's swallowed, evidencing a higher ABV, but that ABV is largely hidden in the brew, and does not get in the way of the other flavors. The aftertaste is a continuation of the more bitter notes from the main mouthful, with remnants of fading sugars, and lingers for some time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, while there was much in this beer I did like, especially the range of flavors, I found the bitter Dr. Pepper/kola nut/wood notes slightly too strong, at times reminding me of biting into dandelion stems. A slightly sweeter touch would have better served the beer, showing off the great sugary esters that lie beneath.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a recent trip to Boston. Drank it the Tuesday before thanksgiving/thingstaken as the beer warmed I contemplated history, colonization, and the nature of the holiday itself.

This pours the color of burnt sienna, a ruddy amber, with a solid layer of foam that holds up as it warms. It has a pleasing malt profile that reminds me of an English mild. It has a malty, mild flavor with a lingering mouthfeel. Some sweetness? Not chocolate-flavored but there’s an interesting, intriguing flavor that reminds me of hot cocoa in its sweetness and finish. Fennel? Fenugreek? Maple? Can’t quite place it but I like it. This is a good beer, one I’m enjoying enough to wish I had saved it long enough to share.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, rich, ruby-copper coloring with only the slightest filmy covering of a head. Aromas are earthy and richly sweet, with brown sugar and vanilla characteristics on a toffee backbone. Smells rich. The beer's flavors are strong and rich, and they are conveyed on a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Roasted and toasted, the flavors of caramel, butter, nut, and vanilla shine through, all very well blended and balanced, with a grainy flavor lacing throughout. Interesting, and surprisingly drinkable with all the strong qualities. There is a hops presence that reveals more into the aftertaste, with the roasted qualities combining to leave a slight drying effect, giving the beer a short-lived, somewhat clean finish. Very tasty brew, and would likely go well with just about any kind of rich, meaty foods...like, say, turkey.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a great big beer mug.

A: Big bountiful beige head. Dark brown with sharp reddish/orange highlights

S: Sweet, wet and musty. Malt character really comes through as this brew reaches room temp.

T: Sweet caramel malts, woody/nutty molasses and brown sugar mixed with astringent floral hop character and a punch of... maybe raisin and/or plum?. Bitter aftertaste carries with a slight lingering note of sweetness for a while after each swig.

M: Juicy and more than a bit sticky. You won't need to floss afterward, but you might feel like you want to brush your teeth.

O: Good, big beer that will conspire with turkey to put you to sleep for the afternoon. Which is good because the Cowboys always win the late afternoon game, so why bother watching? (Seriously, screw the Cowboys)

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Deep, burnished amber with a two-finger head of tan foam which left a little weak lacing.

S: Fruity and tart with a hint of acidity, tobacco leaf and boozy oak.

T: Sweet and acidic malts release a dearth of fruity esters onto the palate. Flavors range from fermented plum to tangerine and chocolate. An underlying, boozy and mellow oak flavor permeates the palate and washes down with a liquor-laced, semi-tart and sweet finish.

M: Full-bodied, a bit hot due to higher ABV and acidic malts.

O: This 8% ABV American strong "old ale" is a very interesting blend of an oak-aged, acidic English-style ale. Like mixing an English barleywine with an oak-aged American strong ale and funky yeasts. If this is what the puritans were drinking, maybe settling the states wouldn't have been so bad.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark amber with good clarity and bubbly carbonation. It almost looks like a soda. The aroma is subtle and mellow with a fine mix of barley and rye malts, sweet sugar, and a downplayed hoppy character. The body is medium. It has a nice taste that doesn't make you think too hard, which you don't want to do on Thanksgiving. It is bitter but mildly hopped. Overall I found it to be nice and drinkable. I wish I had another one available.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Had at New World Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, dark red/brown in color, clear

Smell: roasted malt and chocolate

Taste: cinnamon, roasted malt, holiday spices, dark bread and dark fruit

Mouthfeel: sweetish start with a bitter middle and a sweeter end, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: A nice and malty treat. This seems like a super spiced up dubbel with some of the flavors of a Christmas beer. I could have a pint or two. Not something I would get year round, but good for a cool night.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.7/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I hadn't this one before, so it found its way home with me.
Pours a dark copper color with a smallish off white heads that displays minimal retention and lace. Smells fruity and sugary. Lots of toffee and brown sugar mixed with some darker fruits like cherries, prunes, plums, etc. Slightly earthy aroma is able to just barely cut through all the malt. Taste is sweet and fruity like the nose suggested. I'm picking up an astringency that is a bit unpleasant. I can't figure out if it's from the wood that I otherwise can't find or something else. There seems to be a hint of Belgian yeast in here as well. Medium body, moderate level of carbonation with a sweet fruity syrupy mouthfeel. Mayflower keeps making these 22oz bottles and I keep foolishly buying them. I just didn't enjoy this one its all over the place.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown with amber hues. Fizzy head dissipates quickly. Wasn't expecting such brilliant clarity.

S - Malty nose. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon and sweet sticky buns.

T - Malt forward but not sweet like the nose implied. Toasty with a dry finish. Notes of rye, brown bread, and a slight taste of raisins. I can't believe this is 8%, can't make out the alcohol at all. Wonderful craftsmanship.

M - Moderate carbonation level and somewhat light bodied enhances the drinkability.

O - A high alcohol, flavorful, complex brew that is also ridiculously drinkable?!?!? That's something we don't see enough of. A good choice to serve to craft beer loving and non craft beer drinking Thanksgiving guests alike.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic tumbler at BBC Pembroke.
Pours an orange-hued walnut color with a firm 1" beige head, along with loads of lacing.
Smells of sour dough and rye bread blend with a deep aroma of dried malt. Citrusy and resinous hops follow, as does some spruce notes. A light warming rum alcohol fuminess pulls through.
The flavors mirror the aromas in every way. Flavors of fruit cup soaked in vodka comes to mind. A mild sour tartness inches through in the background.
This reminds me of Fuller's Vintage Ale, one of my favorite Old Ales. A side by side tasting will be interesting.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light hoppy nose and flavor is malty caramel with a light pine hop finish. $6.49 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark orange with an off-white bubbly head that turns to a skim/ring around the glass. No lace.

Toasted grain in the nose, some boiled grain maltiness. Some fruit sweetness, and even a hint of smoke.

Toasty is the word here. What I like is that this element does not go overboard. I'm getting a little bit of apple skin, a touch of fruit, but it immediately vanishes for bitter. A little spice, a little wood, some wet paper, and in the very end you get a touch of alcohol, but just as a palate-cleaner.

Medium to medium full. Ok carbonation. I want this to be a bit richer and thicker.

This is a grown-up beer. Bitter from toasty edges, and not to be consumed in gulps, a sipper for the flavor and not the booze (wow, a real change). I'm glad this is in a bomber. I'm going to grab couple to hold for the holidays. One to share with those who appreciate all styles. Marketed as Old Ale, and I can see it as such.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this today at Harringtons for $6.95. Now that some leaf-raking is in the bag, time for refreshments. I realize it's not Thanksgiving yet, but some pre-Holiday research is in order.

Ok, so what once was an empty pint glass is no longer... This ale is a clear, deep, striking garnet color. There's a little carbo here and there, slowly heading topside, where a thin, wispy layer of fine, off-white bubbles awaits.
Lacing is light and sparse. The aroma is not overly robust, but does exhibit some caramel and toffee amidst a hint of oakiness. Medium in body, the feel is pretty even and smooth on the tongue, too.

Flavor has some decent maltiness, with caramel present here as well. The oak-barrel aspect is mildly evident, and there's also a vinous quality which reminds me of Old Peculier. The finish is dry, along with some floral hopping hitting the palate. Nothing earth-shattering here, but it is solid and tasty. Prosit!!

3.8 rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


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Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Moxie, fennel seed, coffee and spice-like notes, molasses of course. Pretty active, didn't expect that at all.

Mouth and taste: Malts do the work. Medium bodied and creamy, but with a great lifting carbonation. Definitely semi-dark and toasted with hints of warming spiciness, but definitely not "spiced" tasting. Cola and rootbeer candy kick around. Tickle of "porter" dryness after the swallow, but wet and semi-sticky overall. Touch of diacetyl.

I'll give some thanks for this nice ale. The American Strong umbrella is sooo big though. Definitely not an Arrogant or Nosferatu in likeness at all.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Good clarity, pours a viscous deep reddish brown color. Head just won't hold up. Good carbonation thought. Oak is the dominant aroma, just about all I smell. Also quite apparent in the flavor as well. At first it was off-putting, but definitely growing on me a bit as I drink on. The rye and malty flavors come out much more once you get used to the robust oak. I believe that cooper means barrel aged, which would explain this is intense oakiness. Its a unique and decent beer. My 22oz bottle served 6 people comfortably (in a true thanksgiving fashion). The type of beer you don't mind trying, but maybe wouldn't drink all night long in huge quantity.

Minutes after finishing this beer I can still taste the beer writing the review. Serious lingering flavor.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle. Bottling date of 10-18-2010.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is very malty with some caramel malt and some dark fruit notes. The flavor is toffee, caramel malt, yeast and some dark fruit. Overall a decent smelling and tasting beer, but there is really nothing too exciting going on. Relatively easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle gifted to me by ljkeats & shamefully passed over for a few months till this years' Thanksgiving came up on the calender.

Poured heavy-handedly into a pint-sized crystal vase-like orifice in my grandmother's cabinet. A cascade of colorful fall leaves, maple & gold, move up the glass & settle into a thin cap of off-white head.

Caramelized malt, roasted nuts, & granola sweeten up initial whiff, while a bit of wood & hay bitter it up a bit.

Taste is a big spot of caramelized breakfast cereal, toffee, & maybe some black tea qualities. The hops are herbal, but mild to maybe moderate in strength. A half-sticky old ale is what comes to mind as I drink this. Though it contains much better carbonation & isn't as fruity. Finally noticed that it has that Sam Smith hard/minerally water thing going for it as well.

Overall, pretty nice. A bit thick & a bit seasonal(& a bit confusing), but I enjoyed it. Thank you Jeff.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really pretty color. Amber with lots of red in it. Smells hoppy and a bit boozy. Tastes fruity and malty. Very malty ... A bit boozy on the tongue as well, probably should have some more age on it. Fairly drinkable... But too boozy to be more than a sipper

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Photo of Chico1985
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sierra Grille last week, reviewed from notes.

Pours reddish brown, served with just an off-white ring on top, leaves some lacing.

Smell/taste - Chocolate, plums, toasty malts, nuts, caramel, some oak. Not very intense, pretty easy drinking, nice flavors. Reminds me mostly of a winter warmer overall.

Kind of a weird mouthfeel, just feels off somehow. A little bit of booze.

A good, interesting plethora of flavors. Definitely works as a holiday beer.

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Photo of BeerMusketeer
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has this with the turkey this year. Nice Amber/brown with minimal head and lacing. The smell was fruity with caramel malts, vanilla, and oak. The taste followed, with a fruity body balanced by delicious hints of spice. Very, very good for a holiday beer, or any cold night.

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Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear tawny amber with a hint of haze. Dark beige foam, mostly a collar of soapy bubbles with a thin skim of fine bubbles coating the beer's surface. Some sticky, spotty lacing too. The Belgian yeast character is quite up-front in the aroma, bready and spicy, slight banana and clove, but the caramel sweetness really cuts through and provides some balance. Light herbal and grassy notes, perhaps some nutmeg. Same in the flavour, but with some raisin/dried fruits and sturdy bitterness providing a base for the malt and yeast. Banana was more prominent, as was caramelized sugar. Alcohol warmth was apparent in the finish, but not strong or hot. Nice texture, medium plus body with fine carbonation. I enjoyed this beer. The flavour profile was interesting and nicely balanced.

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Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale from Mayflower Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.