1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

874 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 874
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.59%

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: whynot44 on 11-18-2013)
View: Beers (117) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 874 | Reviews: 211 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter


3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station on 12/21/13 as the sky spits ice. Reviewed from notes. Served in a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Body is the color of black licorice, with dark brown highlights at the edge of the glass where light has less liquid through which to refract. Atop the body sits a two-finger head the color of cocoa powder. Retention is decent, and eventually the foam dissipates to a smattering of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a thin film covering about half of the liquid. Lacing is sparse and silky, exhibiting a mottled pattern sort of like a leopard with very few spots.

Smell - Gingerbread, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg are the dominant notes, with a bit of roastiness and char coming through along with bittersweet chocolate upon subsequent sniffs. In some ways, it reminds me of a pumpkin stout due to the aggressive spice profile, but obviously it lacks that squash element, as you would expect. Either way, the smell is very promising.

Taste - Much of the same characteristics as in the aroma, with the roasted malt and char taking a bit more of a front seat here, providing a nice bitter counterpoint to the impression of sweetness imparted by the gingerbread and molasses flavors. There is a hint of the strength of this beer that comes through in the form of faint esters, but for the most part, the 9% is hidden quite well.

Mouthfeel - This is the first point at which I've been disappointed in this beer. With the robust smell and taste, you would expect this one to be a little chewy--to have some meat on it. But alas, it's a pretty thin mouthfeel with low carbonation. I don't mind the low carbonation, but it would definitely benefit from a body that's a little bit more toothsome. Something to coat your stomach on a cold winter day.

Overall, a fantastic smelling and tasting beer, but the mouthfeel really hinder those two characteristics from being the stars they would otherwise be. I will say this--I'm likely to seek this one out for at least one drink each season, especially since Sam Adams is the only brewer doing a gingerbread stout that I'm aware of.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2013 15:41:18 | More by LambicPentameter
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LOVE this one and found one of the last 22 ounce bottles last Thursday night (4/10/14) for around $6.59. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a Sam Adam's pint glass (LOVE beer on label glasses). Sampling right now on 4/14/14 actually.

Pours a pitch black in color with a tan head. Some sticky lacing is seen with each sip. The aroma is like gingerbread cookies (which I would eat all year around if available). No other aroma really. The taste is a less bit intense than the aroma with some roasted hops in there as well. You don't taste the higher alcohol content. Goes down easy and really like this one. No bitter or harsh aftertaste either.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 01:02:30 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of teromous


2.45/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Dark black with a huge active dark tan head. Very foamy head that stands for a very long time. Good lacing.

S: It smells of gingerbread cookies. The label says "Gingerbread Stout" and it looks like they've hit their mark. No other aromas.

T: Surprisingly weak flavor compared to the strength of the scent. There's a very extremely faint roast flavor. I pick up no gingerbread spice in the taste. It is extremely low on bitterness, to the point where it probably shouldn't even be considered a stout aside from the color. Very very disappointing.

M: The carbonation is just right, but the mouthfeel is very timid and watery. No hop or grain bitterness to speak of. It is a very lifeless beer.

O: It started out with all the marks of a really fantastic beer until I tasted it. I just doesn't have any flavor! Nothing when the beer first hits the palate, nothing mid-range, nothing on the back, nothing in the aftertaste. Just an extremely light roasted flavor and a hint of alcohol. I can't recommend this beer. It would work well as an aromatic candle for Christmas, but it tastes nothing like a quality stout and doesn't even touch the flavor of a cheap store bought gingerbread man. This beer leaves me kind of bummed out...

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 22:46:25 | More by teromous
Photo of waiting4lunch


4/5  rDev +8.1%

04-16-2014 18:50:57 | More by waiting4lunch
Photo of marmstrong1212


4/5  rDev +8.1%

04-15-2014 02:38:22 | More by marmstrong1212
Photo of charrel


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

04-11-2014 22:34:51 | More by charrel
Photo of Richardbeerlover


2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Surprisingly pours a thick black with a nice dark brown head. Decent smell of raisins and spices. No gingerbread. Heavy beer but the 9% ABV is very noticeable and is so prevalent that it is hard to enjoy. Cool bottle and drinking half of this gave a nice buzz.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 01:36:59 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of Jonker1


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

04-05-2014 23:50:43 | More by Jonker1
Photo of WuBByG999


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

04-05-2014 18:03:35 | More by WuBByG999
Photo of montrealbcr89

Quebec (Canada)

2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

03-31-2014 15:40:24 | More by montrealbcr89
Photo of AlaskanYoung


2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

03-28-2014 01:41:20 | More by AlaskanYoung
Photo of cmwilliq


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

03-27-2014 02:49:03 | More by cmwilliq
Photo of kojevergas


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local TX bottle shop for $6.99 USD and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; beers in this Sam Adams series tend to underwhelm. "Ale brewed with spices." Reviewed as a stout because of the beer's name. Nothing on the label indicates this beer is a sweet/milk stout as currently categorized.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temp over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a surprisingly gorgeous two finger wide head of fantastic tan colour. Amazing creaminess and great thickness. Has an awesome soft complexion and an attractive even consistency. Even consistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is quite good for the high ABV - about 5 minutes. Overall, this is a really great looking head.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, this is a good looking stout and far surpasses my meagre expectations. I can only hope it tastes as good as it looks. I'm impressed.

Sm: Ginger. Dark malts. Cream. Chocolate malts. Nutmeg. Clove. Cinnamon. Sweet bread is prominent on the back end. It certainly evokes the holidays/holiday spices.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, or hop character is detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant aroma of mild strength and delivers on the premise of the beer. It smells like you'd expect a gingerbread stout to.

Mf: Has a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. Medium-bodied. A bit more filling than I anticipated, but by no means too heavy or overbearing. Chewy. Supple. Has a nice softness to it.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Has a nice presence on the palate. While this texture is above average and suits the taste well, it doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the flavours this beer showcases. Good execution overall.

T: The holiday-evoking spices are definitely noticeable here; you'd recognize them if you drank this blind: nutmeg, ginger, and hints of cinnamon and clove. I'm not finding the wheat mentioned on the label, but I do taste a generic dark malt and chocolate malt foundation. Cream. Lactose sugar. It's certainly on the sweeter side for a stout.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Overall, it's a balanced if simple flavour profile, and has excellent cohesion - but isn't quite gestalt. There's some nuance here; I've never had a gingerbread stout before. But as far as stouts go, it's not particularly complex or intricate. It does layer its flavours nicely, and has some nice subtlety. Good amplitude. I quite like the beer, and it tastes better than anticipated. The cream/creaminess is a highlight for me specifically.

Dr: I want to point out how well this beer's soft texture works for it. I didn't anticipate that ginger and holiday/festive spices would work this well in a stout, and in that sense this beer is a success. In fairness though, it's less a gingerbread stout than a stout with ginger. Decidedly not bready. Overall though, this is largely a success and I'm going to enjoy finishing the bottle. Very drinkable for its well-concealed ABV, and likely the best beer I've had in this Sam Adams series (though in fairness, that isn't saying much). I'd actually recommend friends pick this up if they chance across it, though it's not good enough to warrant a second purchase - at least not at this price point. This is the kind of beer that would be excellent as part of a Sam Adams winter pack. Well-executed overall, and well worth picking up once.

Bottom line: I'm surprised how well this seemingly unlikely combination of ginger and stout character works. This is a pleasant surprise in a normally underwhelming bottle series from Sam Adams.

High B-

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 06:20:47 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Mikus


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

03-25-2014 22:58:46 | More by Mikus
Photo of nate_lyon


4/5  rDev +8.1%

03-25-2014 20:14:33 | More by nate_lyon
Photo of jvoss7

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

03-25-2014 16:22:06 | More by jvoss7
Photo of stortore


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

03-23-2014 03:50:33 | More by stortore
Photo of neenerzig


4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into my snifter, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color that lets in no light whatsoever, along with a nice tan, light brown, creamy, frothy looking head that is well over an inch thick when poured. Settles to a nice 1/3 inch thick. Good head retention here and good lacing to boot. Head eventually settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with little spots of foam here and there dotting the beer's surface. Aromas of roasted caramel malt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon are all nicely present. Flavorwise it has a good roasted caramel malt sweetness along with hints of black coffee and dark chocolate bitterness that gives way to the ginger, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon spices. the spice are pretty nicely balanced and no one particular spice seems to overpower the others. Has a somewhat crisp, frothy, creamy, and somewhat smooth, somewhat chewy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. This one really coats the inside of my mouth and likes to linger on my tongue for awhile. Drinkability is pretty damn good in the way it ought to be for a 9% ABV beer. Certainly worth a try.


Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 06:18:32 | More by neenerzig
Photo of bleedsblu


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

03-17-2014 17:14:09 | More by bleedsblu
Photo of csfcmitchell


4/5  rDev +8.1%

03-17-2014 17:10:25 | More by csfcmitchell
Photo of jak

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

03-17-2014 05:22:27 | More by jak
Photo of Buck_Jones


4/5  rDev +8.1%

03-10-2014 22:41:02 | More by Buck_Jones
Photo of jewellrunner


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

03-10-2014 01:25:53 | More by jewellrunner
Photo of AmishLightning


4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Super dark even during the pour. Also, a ton of head even with a gentle pour. A good lacing on the glass looked pretty nice.

Smell: This does not smell like beer. Any malty notes are overpowered by the massive ginger aroma. A little bit of nutmeg and cinnamon were present.

Taste: Pretty easy to drink, just surpirsing. It definitely lived up to what they were advertising. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and A BUNCH OF GINGER. The beers intensity comes from the spices and thats about it. The malts and alcohol were more of a backup taste compared to the overall flavor bill.

Mouthfeel: Good consistency. A thick body and moderate carbonation give a great mouthfeel.
The warming alcohol adds a fantastic finish that really put the beer up there for me.

Overall: Great beer with a great spin off the normal. I really apreciated the effort the The Boston Beer Company takes to mix up the holidays with an out-there beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 00:12:49 | More by AmishLightning
Photo of dharmabum1102

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

03-06-2014 21:30:46 | More by dharmabum1102
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.