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

Not Rated.
Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

257 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 257
Hads: 1,287
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 31.22%
Wants: 46
Gots: 190 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout | 9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Tilley4 on 10-20-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (121) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 257 | Hads: 1,287
Photo of ARoman
2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

*from old notes 1/17/2014*
22oz bomber poured into a snifter. There’s no doubt this is a gingerbread beer from the aroma - it’s the dominating scent. There’s some vanilla (reminiscent of a "frosting" scent) along with some jujyfruit/gumdrop aromas (mostly cherry and lemon-esque) followed briefly by faint whiffs of alcohol. A near opaque red/brown body is topped by a generous, fluffy, brown head - which recedes, although a decent layer remains throughout). The lacing is of small bubbles which mostly cascade without much remaining on the glass. An initial dry, alcohol taste is the first greeting of the liquid in the mouth, but this blends into the dry gingerbread sweetness, and shortly thereafter, a very light citrus (lemon) sour. There’s also a mellow bitter presence in there, but I can’t quite pinpoint it aside from the tongue feel. It’s a medium-full body beer that’s mostly flat - although some carbonation comes through more as it warms - with a creamy texture. The finish starts out as toasty and chocolaty with a mellow butter and nutty quality to it. After awhile longer, the gingerbread taste is what sticks as the prevalent aftertaste along with some hoppiness (really the first time the hoppiness reveals itself - there were maybe some hints earlier in the initial taste, but it’s washed out by the sweetness and malt flavors); although it’s tough to say what I think of it - syrupy sweet gingerbread plus mellow bitter hops. This might be a well constructed beer, but it’s a bit too sugary sweet for my preferences.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with an off white head. Aroma of spices and roasted malt. The flavor is a mix of roasted malt with a coffee like essence and a bit of ginger and cinnamon. Clove and spices round out the aroma. The taste is roasted with a yam like vegetable flavor but ample roast as it warms. Vanilla and cinnamon, roasted malt, slight bitterness. Full bodied and smooth. Pretty decent.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a tan head.

Smells of gingerbread and sweet dark fruit - grape, fig.

Taste is gingerbread, fig, grape, with a spicy hop flavor. If is an interesting beer, but falls a little too much on the sweet side and a little heavy on the spice - cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Photo of Suds
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is a black liquid with a foamy, sudsy light brown head. The smell is just like gingerbread cookies...spicy ginger and sugar, backed with a little malt and alcohol. The taste is sweet, but not cloying...a firm malt structure and lots of spice and ginger. I a usually dubious of spicy gimmick holiday brews. This one, however, is well made and a real treat. Enjoyable and flavorful.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer literally tastes exactly as described, its got all the traits of a stout, malts, coffee and dark chocolate, with a lovely cakey, cookie breadyness, gingersnaps, cinnamon and nutmeg. Definitely the perfect Christmas brew.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this on tap at Peachtree in Harrisburg, served chilled in a sensory glass.

The color is black and opaque wtih thick pale tan foam with very fine bead and good retention/lace.The aroma has a good amount of ginger and dark malt wiht light dark toffee and slight yeast ester which gives a bready(cookie)type aspect to the aroma with light stone fruit ester. The feel is spiced on entry with medium high carbonation and mild roasted and sweetness with mild yeast and mostly dry finish.

The flavor is a mix of ginger up front with some gently roasted malt and slight caramel quality but the flavor of ginger stays steady while the malt seems to thin or dry out mid palate with some caramel sweetness in the residual and mild yeast in the flavor with some dry spicy flavor and alcohol in the finish with medium full body. Overall this is pretty solid for those who like ginger -relatively clean but somewhat thin in the realms of stouts. I like the way the ginger and dark malt are utilized -a pretty decent base stout that has a medium sweet quality. I would be open to having this again. I consider this a good winter warmer type ale

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Photo of predikit
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

My first stout from Sam Adams, was interesting. Was a fairly aged bottle, but was very smooth.

Minty ginger snap spice to it, oat backbone, was interesting to try but wasn't very wowed.

Medium-full body, maybe a bit over carbonated.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.9/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This for me was a great offering from Samuel Adams. Often I find their special or seasonal brews impressive, this did not disappoint! It pours softly with a chocolate brown head. Then the aromas fill the glass. You smell all the Christmas spices and gingerbread. The taste is bold and spicy. You really taste the expected flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and chocolate. What I like is the hop bite and alcohol feel. It is a strong brew at 9% alc/vol.
This to me is a great take on a seasonal beer. I could drink these all winter long. This would be a perfect desert beer. After a meal this is like a liquid desert! I highly suggest trying this. I know I will be stocking up!

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Photo of thegodfather1076
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: Very cool label with eye-catching graphics, ABV info, a small description of the beer, and a bit of brewery info. Back label gives a very nice description of the beer. Neck label has Sam Adams logo. Bottle has “Samuel Adams” embossed around the bottom of the bottle and a nice design embossed on the top of the neck of the bottle.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 22oz brown bomber into a 16oz English pint led to a 4 finger deep brown head of a thick creamy consistency atop a completely opaque black beer. Head retention was 6 min with a nice thick coating and very thick ring left behind leading to excellent lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of strong gingerbread with cinnamon, clove, and ginger very prevalent along with a nice roasted coffee malt aroma and a bit of cooked down brown sugar.

Flavor/Taste: Taste is of ginger and cinnamon with a nice roast coffee malt flavor on the front end. Mid point has hints of ginger, deep roasted brown sugar and roast chocolate malts. Back end has a deep roast coffee flavor with a very robust coffee and ginger on the aftertaste.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Full bodied, rich, thick, and creamy with a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability was on the low end because of the ABV and surprisingly sweet flavor of the beer.

Overall/Comments: Overall this was a good beer that is worth a try. I thought this had a great nose, appearance, and mouthfeel but was lacking a bit in the flavor department. Interesting beer that was fun to drink and review! Classified as a milk/sweet stout @ 9% ABV. Consumed on 1-2-14.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a pint glass to a black beer topped by a three finger dense light tan head that slowly fades and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of ginger, roasted malt and some molasses. pretty much smells like a gingerbread cookie
T: taste is molasses, roasted malt, gingerbread spices, and chocolate. swallow is more gingerbread spices with chocolate, roasted malt and molasses. underlying sweetness is found throughout this one
M: fairly full in the mouth with soft carbonation and a finish that's a little drying
O: Overall this is a pretty solid beer. The gingerbread flavor is kind of subltle and overall the flavors aren't quite as bright as I would have liked. A nice change of pace from other holiday beers though.

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Photo of Lard_City
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Beautiful gingerbread and current nose. Thick, boozy fruitcake and molasses taste throughout. Sweetness and richness may be a bit much in a pint. Might be better sipping in small glass. Still, no bad.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

A: Pours an inky black with off white/tan soapy head
S: pungent, cinnamon, ginger and dark roasted malts, dark fruit, carob
T: cinnamon and nutmeg up front followed by toasted malty, an allspice like twang, brown sugar/molasses. A little syrupy and coats the tongue and mouth
Mouthfeel: medium bodied almost milky and smooth with just enough carbonation
Overall: not bad for a winter warmer, a good blend of spices (like a great pumpkin ale + a good stout). I’m not usually a fan of these spicy winter beers, but this one makes for a good sipper.

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Photo of Redrover
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

I split this one with the wife. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a very dark brown with a tan head.

It has an aroma of dark fruits and heavily roasted malts. There is a hint of spice.

Taste is of roasted malts, plums, raisins, and ripe apple. Unfortunately for me, I was looking for more of the spice elements and they were for the most part MIA. There is a touch of heat from the alcohol, but the beer is not hot.

The mouth is thick and chewy, no problem there.

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Photo of punxsybob
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Well Sam, you finally put out a decent beer. I heard this was drinkable and decided to give it a try. Stout is what its all about so when I went in search of a BA Pumking I saw this on the shelves, grabbed one and had it for Thanksgiving Breakfast. Not bad Sam, Not bad. Probably the best yet I've had from you.

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Photo of hreb
3.19/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Stylized 22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours extremely dark and thick, like dirty motor oil. Or molasses, I guess. Holds a huge brown head, too. Aroma is solidly gingerbread man molasses cookie. Heavy on the molasses that is, light on ginger. Flavor, however, is a spicy mess. Not just ginger, maybe clove too? And I get a weird dryness, maybe even tannic.

There's a fundamental issue with this beer, which is that it's not very beery, let alone stouty. Which is a problem with a 9% ABV stout. I didn't order malt liquor here; you can't just throw some spices on a malt beverage and call it a day. But even setting aside the lack of barley malt flavor -- maybe what we're dealing with here is a fermented molasses-based beverage -- my bigger problem with this beer is that the tannic spice mouthfeel is just awful. I guess I'm glad I'm not drinking a sugary Snickerdoodle cookie here, but wow, what a way to balance that out.

I enjoyed Harpoon's UFO Gingerland a few times on my last visit to Boston, and I was hoping that the Boston Beer Company could pull off a related style with similar affect. But this isn't to my taste.

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Photo of Pukstopper
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Nice spiced beer from Sam Adams you can't tell it is 9%. Pours a dark black color in a pint glass. No lacing and very little head that fades quick. Spice notes come out up front and a little alcohol on the back end but nothing to define the 9%. Goes good in a cold winter day

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Photo of tillmac62
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as a starless night. World Class head, lacing and retention - especially for a 9% ABV. As advertised, the nose is full of ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon in roughly that order of composition. Slightly above medium in body, the texture is slick with hints of creaminess. Above average carbonation, with effervescence throughout. The outstanding flavor profile is intense, quite complex and has a good bit of balance. It begins with a burst of blended spice that flows into a mild bitterness. The bitterness has roast and hop characteristics. As the bitterness fades, the spices begin to separate against a sweet caramel background. As it warms, the caramel gains in intensity. Clove and nutmeg dominate the end, but a light dark fruit (plum/raisin) is underneath. The finish is quite complex as it fades - so many flavors become evident. The 9% alcohol is masterfully hidden. The only traces of it are that nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat. If you want to taste the alcohol, you have to sip the massive head. The only "fault" keeping this from a 4.5 World Class, is their decision to classify this as a stout. There just isn't enough roast character. Had they called it a porter, they would get a 4.5 from me. This one is a true masterpiece of the brewer's art.

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Photo of Bier_Maximus
4/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Dark stout with some nice tan head ;)
S: Slight hint of gingerbread, not much though.
T: Like a basic stout, disappointed the flavor was not as profound as i was expecting. Aftertaste has me wondering if I ate ginger snaps some time ago, but unfortunately thats it. Otherwise tasty as regular stout.
M: Bit tingly, I didnt feel this had as much bitter/acidic bite on top of my tongue as most similar beers.
O: Not bad, I in wouldn't go out of way to buy, but if in a variety pack I would enjoy it.

I bought the 1pint 6oz bottle and poured into a pint glass, and i let sit for a few minutes before trying, in case anyone cares.

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Photo of NSXAG
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Samuel Adams - Merry Maker [Gingerbread Stout] (22oz ---> Stemless wine glass : 9% ABV)

Always on the lookout for the most recent niche style brew, Samuel Adams rarely gets the nod… (Not to discredit any of their many enjoyable brews, they just never seem to be quite appealing as another…) But seein' lil' gingerbread homie with his broken leg had me sold… One of my first "Winter Warmer's" of this season and it poured quite thick, already a great sign, especially with it's beautiful 2 inch dark tan head… It seemed to have minimal carbonation, but it's hard to tell due to the opacity of the brew, also, the retention of the head and the lacing were both above average… Immediately on the nose was a nice heap of gingersnap, with a pleasant cinnamon spiciness amongst hints of cloves and wheat… As it first graced my tongue, the spice was the most prominent feature followed by a hefty gingerbread flavor… The stout "fullness" wasn't as pronounced as expected, with the finish definitely containing some roasty malts with a brown sugar sweetness to round everything out… The mouthfeel complimented the beer nicely, as the gingerbread wasn't overpowered by any other aspect, and the carbonation level made for a nice enjoyable drink every time… The spices reminded me of many Marzen/Oktoberfest style beers, but the sweetness balanced out this nice stout… I found this beer to be more of a dessert style brew, which was surprising for a stout, but none the less I feel like this would be a great way to end a holiday evening… Another good brew - Cheers!!

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Photo of Samp01
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark rusty brown with a large slowly fading creamy brown head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, ginger bread and sugar cookie, molasses, nutmeg. Taste the same as aroma with mild toasted malt and bitterness. Palate is a medium to full body, good carbonation, mildly creamy. Finish the same as taste with a full flavored and mildly burnt toasted bitterness and dry ending. Overall would probably go well with some sugar or ginger bread cookies, a nice holiday brew.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.5/5  rDev +19%
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.

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Photo of teromous
2.54/5  rDev -32.8%
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...

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.01/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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-

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Photo of neenerzig
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Eric

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Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.