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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

90 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 90
Hads: 203
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 20
Gots: 23 | 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
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 203
Photo of SudburyWineBeer
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly not what I was expecting from a thanksgiving ale.

has an amazing ease of drink ability to it. Great reddish amber brown color,

nice head and well carbonated, not too much not to little.

taste was the shocker... I was expecting to be blown away in this area, but it's subtle yet distinctive flavor was mild and pleasant to enjoy.


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Photo of ppoitras
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle of the 2009 version received from konabrewer. Thanks for the opportunity!

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" beige head above the slightly cloudy "10W40" shade of brew. Head quickly morphs into a swirly layer of skim, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet and boozy, with fruitiness fighting for airtime.

Taste follows the nose, with a few peeks of harshness alcohol trying to shout down the maltiness, spicing, and barrel character. Mouthfeel is good, with nice carbonation even after the barrel-aging, and drinkability is pleasing as well. On the lookout in 2010...

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Photo of tpd975
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a small tan head. Little retention and no lace.

S: Aromas of apples, mild spice, and toffee. Subtle spice and a touch of wood.

T: Brown sugar, caramel, and toffee up front. Mild summer fruits with hints of spice. The are light fresh oak notes with a touch of dark fruit.

M: Medium in body, mild carbonation.

D: Not bad. Solid but not great.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity caramelized malts, dark fruits, spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character and sweet flavors of caramel, dark fruit and a touch of chocolate. Then a mild but complementary hops presence comes in and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer with a lot of substance and flavor that make it worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of thepeter
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

a-red brown with a thin head

s-flowers bubble gum and some bread, very interesting but not very nice IMO

T - a lot like the smell, but more fresh bread and add some mild hop flavor and some wood.

MD - thin and not much of a body to it. Could drink more but didn't really want to with other good beer available.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SMADMS provided this as another righteous extra in a great trade... Big thanks Peter... I've really been looking forward to this one. Sharing it with Brenda, but most is going into my Delirium goblet.

Shallow head with a descent cap... nice lacing... nice deep amber brew.

Nose is chock full of toasted bread with pretty heavy caramel... lite molasses.. and a trace of vanilla.

Flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit of date and lite fig... lesser caramel than the nose.. but this is still a nice malty brew... present but lite leafy/spicy hops... a mild spicy note comes out with quite a bit of warmth that reminds me slightly of Belgian phenols...

medium body with a lite carbonation that accents a bit of slickness ... maybe from rye or maybe oats... not sure..

Thanks again Peter... I was super stoked to try this one and it has been refrigerated from the moment I opened the box.. yummy for sure.


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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a modest head that dissolves to a ringlet, leaving a smattering of dots

Smell: Caramel forward, with undertones of maple, rye, cinnamon and leather

Taste: Spicy rye and caramel flavors battle it out up front, with sweet herbal and spruce elements joining the profile by mid-palate to create something not unlike the Ben Franklin recipes that brewers toyed with a few years ago; after the swallow, the leathery herbacious character continues to build

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very different flavor profile and not something I truly warmed up to; quite complex but the spruce/leather/sweet spice herbaciousness ultimately leaves me behind

Thanks, Bounty628, for the opportunity

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Photo of joepais
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Santa justn for sending this my way.
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a slight tan head that didn't last long. The body of the brew was a golden brown in color.

The aromas of sweet malts and bourbon with a touch of vanilla and spice filled my head. It was quite interesting aroma wise. The flavors mimicked the nose sweet caramel with spices throw in for good luck. There is a light to medium feel in my mouth and light carbonation. I wish the feel was a little thicker for the style.

It was easy to drink the alcohol didn't show up at all and the flavors did make fro a great sipper. I would buy one next year for the holidays, if I see it

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Photo of tzieser
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i've had this one both on-tap and off in the past, but i have yet to review it....keep in mind, the brewer said himself this is not an old ale (the label may mislead you , so i will

a: 22oz bomber poured into a Samuel Smith nonic glass. very small one finger head, even with a rough pour, that dissapates very quickly into a very thin lacing arond the glass. beautiful clear dark amber color, though. i was expecting more carbonation.

s: lots of rich malts dominate the palate. alot of rye in the nose, with hints of hops and a very subtle belgian-type aroma....strange, yet good. more complex than i expected.

t: rye malts hit the tongue first, followed by some other nice sweet caramel/molasses flavors....brown sugar? interesting. pretty decent, and surprising kick of hops in the back. however, this is definitely a maltier brew and almost reminds me more of a dark lager.

m&d: kinda slick mouthfeel, not very enjoyable. drinkability is good. i could have a few, but 8 bucks a bomber isnt exactly a bargain. also-- why won't they fill growlers of this stuff at the brewery? they'll give samples, but won't let you fill up. major bummer.

again, if you're going into this beer thinking old ale, you will be disappointed. the beer has some downsides, but the flavor is definitely there. i'd say it's worth a try at least once.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight hop note, with some spice notes. The taste is sweet, malty, some hops, bitter, slight smoke note. Medium body. Drinkable, a very tasty brew, glad to have gotten a chance to try it. I've not been dissappointed from this brewery yet.

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Photo of Bounty628
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mayflower's Thanksgiving Ale is brewed in the American strong ale style and comes in at a very nice 8.0% ABV. If you have family members like mine, sometimes a good 8.0% American strong ale is needed to get through the holidays! The nice thing about this offering though is that the strong ale "punch" is rather muted by the robust flavor that is packed into this Thanksgiving Ale.

Thanksgiving Ale is available in 22 ounce bomber bottles and was available on draft at local establishments around Mayflower's geographic distribution channels.

The ale pours a rich, deep brown with ruby hues clearly noted in the pour. Upon pour, there is a very minimal amount of head present and the small white head that does rise to the top of the glass does not stay with the pour for very long. There is not a tremendous amount of carbonation working its way along the glass with this pour and there is little to no lacing left along the inside of the glass while the ale is enjoyed.

There is a very rich and complex smell to the Thanksgiving Ale when poured into a standard pint glass. Roasted malts are paired nicely to a vibrant caramel presence. There is a biscuit nature to the nose that heightens the richness of the nose and a warm vanilla presence is highlighted off in the distance once poured.

The mouthfeel of this ale is quite pleasant as the minimal carbonation present allows the ale to coat its way across the tongue. Perhaps I was expecting something different from the strong ale varietal, but this mouthfeel has an interesting smoothness and creaminess to it that really allows the offering to be deeply enjoyed.

Just like at Thanksgiving often times the best part of the whole day is tasting the food piled onto your plate, Mayflower's Thanksgiving Ale's real selling point here is the taste, as well. The malts that were present in the nose really are exhibited nicely in the taste with a rich roasted caramel to almost cocoa nature in play with this ale. The vanilla that was present faintly in the nose really comes through nicely in the taste as it streaks its way across the roasted complexities and brings out a bit more of the hops and oak barrel uniqueness that launches this ale into a category of Thanksgiving greatness.

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Photo of darklordlager
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks goes out to tprokop7 for this in a trade.

Pours a dark ruby into a snifter. Small, very light tan head that dissipates after just a minute or two. Very nice looking beer.

Very biscuity, quite a bit of rye all the way through. Caramel and bread are in there as well. Maybe a little vanilla underlying it all (might just be because I'm looking for it though).

Rye is definitely very pronounced as in the smell. Spicy, with notes of sweet pepper. Hint of cocoa. A little caramel comes in with the finish along with a little heat. Alcohol works its way out a little more as it warms, but mixes with the rye very well. Some of the oak character comes out as it warms as well. Crispy, crunchy, biscuity. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel is great. Medium carbonation. Smooth, and a pleasant creaminess when the rye comes in near the end.

Lots more rye than I was expecting (which was a pleasant surprise). Oak chip aging isn't in your face, but helps blend in the alcohol very well. Anyone that loves rye ought to seek this one out!

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear mahogany color with a full finger loose foamy off white head that fades fairly quickly to surface, leaving spotty patterns of Belgian lacing behind. The smell has an appealing complexity. Sweet malt vanilla cinnamon oak and spices supported nicely by a grainy backbone. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is creamy smooth tangy and full bodied complimenting the taste nicely. Full flavored, the grainy sweet malts vanilla and cinnamon tastes are very seasonal. 8% ABV yet really drinkable. Thoroughly enjoyed this one...many thanks Andrew!

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Photo of brdc
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, I believe to portia99 for this one.

Golden brown, clear, very thin light tan head despite a vigorous pour, minimal retention.
The bottle itself describes it as an old ale, but it does not feel that way. Aroma shows some bourbon notes, caramel, and a bit more hops *(fruity) than expected on the nose.
Thinner than expected on the palate, the taste is also hoppier than expected, and feels a little bit higher than the described 40 IBUs. Caramel is also here, some slight bourbon and vanilla, no alcohol heat at all.
I would prefer this one slightly sweeter, or at least better balanced, and definitely heavier on the palate. Still pleasant.

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Photo of BetterDarker
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into 20 oz pint glass.

A- Nice brown/amber color. Thick tan colored head with a foamy consistency. Great retention with very nice lacing through out.

S- Strong roasted malts with caramel and molasses.

T- Great malt backbone with a subtle and very nice hops presence. Two words: friggin' delicious.

M- Medium-bodied, creamy and smooth.

D- Fantastic beer and easy to drink. I enjoyed this after Thanksgiving dinner, my only regret is that I had only one bottle and did not have this with dinner. Well done!

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour - dark auburn with some reddish hues. Head is offwhite, thick and sits atop this pour quite nicely. Its a very clean looking beer, a little viscous as its weighing in at 8%.

Aroma - brown sugar and caramel along with slight hints of vanilla and apples. Its also got just a touch of alcohol heat in the nose.

Taste - sweet, malty and flavorful. Plenty of the brown sugar and caramel comes out in the taste along with some maple syrup, candied apple, cider and a little vanilla. The oak certainly has mellowed this one out and made it super smooth, it exhibits some qualities that remind me of a Belgian-style dubbel. Nice warmth from the alcohol and a dry sweetness in the finish.

Overall - An excellent beer for the Thanksgiving table. The maltiness goes well with everything on the table and the oak has mellowed this one perfectly. Excellent flavors and just an overall great offering from Mayflower. Cheers!

Would I buy more of it? - yes, every Thanksgiving going forward I will do my best to have a bottle on the table.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage served at 50 degrees in my Old Stock snifter. Poured a translucent mahogany with a bubbly, off-white, quarter inch head the quickly disperses into a soapy skim and a cluster of bubbles around the perimeter of the bowl. No lacing on this one. Mild nose - definitely getting a little oak and some sweet malty goodness. Taste follows nose - also a little creamy and toasty, with a touch of bittering hops coming out at the finish and a lightly lingering, somewhat medicinal quality. Mouthfeel is medium-light and lively with a slightly dry finish. Tasty with a well-hidden, but flavor profile seems a little nondescript an American Strong.

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Photo of sophisticated
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Plymouth Plantation on Thanksgiving -- perfect timing.

It was a dark brown ale with reddish highlights. A small foamy light brown head. Smelled and tasted very malty. Sweet with caramel. Also dark fruits, maybe plums.

Medium to heavy, well carbonated, and tasty. A great pre-dinner drink. The 8% ABV noticeable in feel but not in taste.

Great local treat, worth a try.

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Photo of Cakanator
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Happy Thanksgiving at dinner! POurs a nice darker brown, nice lookng carbonation. I can smell the heavier sugars and can feel this one is gonna feel bigger than the ABV. Sure enough a thicker mouthfeel but not overwhelming. Molasses and honey finish this beer sweet but not cloying. A worth first beer at the table!

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Photo of jonziefle
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a clear brown color, with garnet accents when held to the light. Two finger khaki-colored head, with a thick foamy consistency. Very good retention, only diminishing to a thin layer after a few minutes, but keeping that layer all the way down. Good lacing.

Smell: Strong and molasses/brown sugar sweet dark roasted malts. Caramel and cream.

Taste: Malty, sweet character. The same caramel and dark malts as in the nose. Dark fruit mixed in with roasted malts. A slight alcohol tingle in the back of your throat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with good consistency. Creamy and smooth. Chewy. A slight alcohol tingle.

Drinkability: Excellent beer that tastes great and is incredibly easy to drink. More flavor than your typical English Ale and a little sweeter as well. Decent ABV, without being obtrusive. Incredibly easy to drink

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Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has the makings of a red ale, on high test. The beer is low carbonation, clear, mahogany, no lacing or retention. The beer is quite syrupy too. The nose has the slight chicory aroma of a red, coupled with phenols, some ABV whiffs, with some liquor soaked florals. There are some roasted, almost charred notes in the taste, lots of crystal malts, some English ale yeastiness. There are also some caramel in the taste too. As the beer settles a bit, there are definite boozy fruit flavors coming through. This is a nice beer, tasty, a bit strong, a little bit of ABV makes its way into the finish, but overall quite respectable. There is a touch of hop in the finish just to keep things a bit more balanced. If you're in the mood for a relatively flat, slightly syrupy, crystal malty ale, this is a good stop.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice rich looking slightly ruby tinged brown, with a moderate just off white head.
the aroma is actually toward the belgian end of the spectrum, with a bit of banana, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. a bit of sulfer right after the pour fades quickly.
my first impression of the taste is that it seems like a belgian scotch ale thats done a good amount of fermenting out. it's got everything going on the the aroma, and some slight, slight citrus hops. it's sweet, but quite dry and really very nicely balanced in that respect.
the mouthfeel is medium bodied, but slick with moderate carbonation.
the drinkabilty is fantastic for an 8% abv beer. this is a fairly straight forward, but finely crafted beer, and as for pairing with thanksgiving dinner, i'd say this is spot on (though i haven't tried it out yet obviously).

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. This beer pours brown with a cherry oak colored highlights when held up to the light. Pretty clear in color has a cream colored head that was about an inch and a half thick that goes away fairly quickly. When it's gone it produces a ring around the edges with minimal lacing. The smell isn't what I expected. It actually smells bready/yeasty, Belgian actually, and almost a banana aroma. Malts are present, caramelized. Has a very slight citrus hop that you really have to search for. The taste is better, but still nothing like an American Strong Ale. There's still a lot going on in the flavor department however. Heavy on the malts, maybe some type of bourbon or scotch flavor to it. Very yeasty again and it almost seems to have some type of peanut oil aftertaste. There are some hops present in the flavor as well, has a bitter smokey aftertaste that goes along with the previously mentioned peanut oil taste. With all that's going on. Mouthfeel is pretty good, a little dryer than I expected, but good, it's pretty drinkable as well. I'm generally a pretty big fan of American Strong Ale's, but this was nothing like I've ever tasted before. I'd like to try it on tap and maybe get another bottle, because Im almost not convinced this is what it was supposed to taste like. If I don't like it the second time it won't keep me away from the brewery though, that's for sure.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale - Cooper's Series
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a deep chestnut brown with some light reddish highlights on the bottom of the glass.

Dull yet effective nose. Way too many times do I find myself going overboard for whiffs of intense hops. I also appreciate a nice malty nose too. Whiffs of malts, wood chips and baked bread.

Juicy caramel malt goodness with that distinct vanilla flavor with an allspice/cinnamon quality. Some sips provide a woody oak, butterscotch and brown sugar mix. Sugary and sweet, with a nice alcohol warmth at no expense to the drinkability level.

A nicely crafted and packaged beer. Reminds me of Long Trail's Double Bag (a personal favorite) with an autumn spice twist. Close to perfect in terms of style for this part of the fall time in New England. A real nice sipper on these chilly nights. I will certainly pick up some more of the bombers at $5.99.


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Photo of Jayli
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 11/8/09

A: This beer pours a nice clear amber/chestnut color. One finger of white head that recedes to a film. Spotty, creamy lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is of nice caramel malts, touch of wood and smoke.

T: Taste is caramel malts blended with a woody nature up front. Middle is filled with and oak flavor, toffee, toasted malts and the finish is bourbon like.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, nice oily feel to the beer.

D: This is a well balanced, well blended beer. Goes down easily and another solid offering from Mayflower.

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Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale from Mayflower Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.