Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale - Mayflower Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mayflower Thanksgiving AleMayflower Thanksgiving Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

200 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 200
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 17
Gots: 21 | 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.
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 91
Photo of jamie2dope
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is great to see Mayflower release their first big beer in bombers. I was lucky enough to try this last year on tap, and now it has arrived in the bottle. I poured it in to a Duvel glass. Color is a dark rosewood color, with a big pillow like white head. Despite the color, it still maintains a lot of clarity when held up to the light next to me. The first thing that strikes me is the strong wood notes in the nose, I can tell right off the bat that this had oak involved in it. There are also some smells of peanut butter, vanilla, toffee, and a hint of whiskey. Man, that peanut butter flavor really shows up in the smell along with the oak. Chocolate and molasses are other flavors that come to mind when sipping. It comes off as moderately sized, with the malt dominating...I might like a little more weight. Drinkability is fine, but with the large flavors and complexity, it definitely is a brew to take your time with, and let open up. This is every bit as good as I remember it being last year, perhaps a notch or two better. My favorite thing about this beer is that it speaks to the history of New England. Great stuff here from Mayflower, and I cannot wait to see how that barrel aged Barleywine turns out. Pair this one with Thanksgiving dinner. Cheers

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Nice amber slightly red dark color. Not much head on this one.

Sweet aroma of honey dominates the aroma. Not much but sweet malt smell here.

Nice good hearty taste. Starts out with a nice sweet maple flavor, and finishes dry and slightly crisp. Minimal hop flavor is present.

Good mouthfeel on this one.

This one is pretty drinkable for an old ale. Glad to have it. Could be a Thanksgiving tradition.

Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of tzieser
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of Khazadum
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of fitzy84
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Moan and Dove. The appearance was really perfect: a dark, beautiful, clear red look with some thin lacing. Aromas were really, really, really good: sweet vanilla with smoky malts and alcohol. Heavy malt and vanilla flavors are maintained in the taste of the drink. Really smooth and warm structure; really helped me warm up from the cold New England night. Overall, a perfect beer for the thanksgiving season.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Poured a dark tea color in a snifter. 1/2F head.

The aroma is excellent: sweet, fruit, toffee, and fig.

Taste: fruit and fig with a nicely bitter alcohol finish-classic Old Ale.

The alcohol finish mellows with warming as fruit and raisins in the taste become more pronounced.

Better served on the warmer side to bring out the aromatics and dampen the alcoholic finish.
The style seems more of an Old Ale than a combo of Strong ale and Old Ale. A classic taste and worth checking out. I will try to find another bottle.

Photo of mountdew1
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark reddish brown with a hint of orange. Practically no head save for a small ring. Aroma was slightly sugary sweet, very small hint of alcohol, touch of caramel. Taste was a tad bitter up front, but mellowed out. Not as sweet as would be expected, a small hint of smokiness. Not quite what I would expect for this style. Felt outstanding in the mouth, coated extremely well, with just a hint of carbonation. Fairly drinkable, not overly strong, and not as syrupy as some.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of WunderLlama
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tap poured

Clear amber orange

Aroma of sweet malt

Nice malt taste

Smooth, clean finish

Repeatable

Photo of DrDogbeer
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Union Brewhouse. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear, darker reddish-brown. Very thin to no head. Almost looked non-carbonated. Good, strong aromaa. I get oak, whiskey and some vanilla. Taste is similar - lots of booze in the flavor. First off I get a lot of vanilla, then the whiskey. Someone commented "I think someone put a shot in my beer!" Very full flavor-wise. Very thin mouthfeel. I don't know if it is from the lack of carbonation, though. I cant believe this beer is only 7.7%- it's strength in flavor makes it seem much more. Pretty drinkable, though. I had 2, and will definitely have again!

Photo of mlazzaro
3.28/5  rDev -15%
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.

Photo of darklordlager
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Smell
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).

Taste
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!

Photo of thepeter
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Photo of jmerloni
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Plum brown with decent tan head that retains somewhat and has good lacing.

S - Bready malts.

T - Mm, wow, this is way more jam-packed with flavor than the nose indicates. Pretty damn delicious actually. Red Delicious apples, pine, caramel and molasses malts with a bitter, boozy aftertaste.

M - Medium-bodied, not exactly dry. The sip breaks apart a little too much as you finish each swallow and it gives way to a a bitter aftertaste that is separate from any hop profile.

D - A good beer. If they tweaked the mouthfeel, this could be a great beer. I'd like this thick and chewy, personally. A solid offering, nevertheless. Good to see a local brewery succeeding.

Photo of YouSkeete
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of jonziefle
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
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

Photo of DirtyPenny
3.63/5  rDev -6%
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)

Photo of greybeardloon
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

stamped "2012"

A: Dark reddish brown with a thick white head and nice lacing.

S: Sort of a soapy herbal hoppiness and a very faint, slightly spicy malt.

T: Crusty bread, sweet (but not sticky or cloying; no molasses or fruit) malt, rich vanilla. Prickly yeast spiciness and herbal hop bitterness on the finish. There's a lot going on here, and it's all good.

M: Full but not too full to accompany food.

O: A very tasty beer. Unfortunately, it's 8% and only comes in bombers.

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Had on Thanksgiving 2013, a few hours before the meal*

A- Dark cooper. Creamy white head. Dies to a nice 1 finger that sticks around well. Nice lacing. Very inviting.

S- Toasted malts! Oak, rye, vanilla, bourbon. Sweet. I don't remember noticing much of a hop presence.

T- Follows the nose exactly. Oak and rye are the first things that hit you. I'd say woody overall. Reminds me of an Innis and Gunn beer. Vanilla and caramel comes out. Alcohol gives this beer a layer of warmth.

*When warmed, the beer smooths out. More of the vanilla is present. Alcohol is more noticeable, but without any burn. I don't want to say this is outstanding, but it's damn close!

M- Medium to full bodied. Rich, creamy, but smooth. Velvety on the palate. The finish is quite pleasing. You get the a slight alcohol warmth as it passes the throat with the slightly earthy hop note to round out the mouthfeel. Great stuff.

*Overall this is a fantastic beer that everyone that did beer tastings during the day loved. Just the right amount of richness and flavor. Not too heavy, but certainly not light. I wouldn't want this with turkey. It's too much like bourbon in character and I think that would clash with turkey and mash potatoes. But it's really good to sip and have during the day when conversing with the relatives. GOOD JOB ON THIS ONE MAYFLOWER!

Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of BostonBrewins
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Fresh from the brewery, it poured a nice cola body, with a tan head. Head was about 2 fingers, before settling to a small film. Nice suddy lacing. Aromatics on this one are middle of the rang, but quite detectable. Notes of vanilla and oak dominate.

This guy packs a fantastic oaked flavor, with lots of sweet malts up front. However, as the brew settles, the sweetness sadly leaves. Definitely keep this one moving in your glass. Finish is a soft bitterness and sticks to your tongue.

Really a nice offering from Mayflower. Great drinkability on this guy, even with a nice warming finish.

Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale from Mayflower Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.