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

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Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
85
very good

234 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 234
Hads: 1,215
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 41
Gots: 159 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: Tilley4 on 10-20-2012

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 234 | Hads: 1,215
Photo of fx20736
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 25 oz bottle from Beers of the World, November 2013. Poured into a mug, served at cellar temp.

Appearance: Onyx black with a creamy khaki head. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Ginger, cinnamon, rich toasted malt.

Mouthfeel: good, supple, soft.

Taste: Ginger and cinnamon, rich chocolatey malt.

Notes: The spices are powerful, the sweetness is a little cloying. In small doses this is fine. (392 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of hatred overall for Sam Adams products on BA. Whatever.

Served in a DC Brau tulip.

A: Poured very dark and with a sticky, mocha head. Good.

S: I definitely understand the whole gingerbread thing now. A dessert beer for sure.

T: Definitely gingery, and quite good. My wife thought it was too sweet, but I think otherwise. Totally gingerbread heavy, it nearly stained my teeth, but with a nice dark, roast punch. Molasses heavy, but that's okay.

M: Perfect carbonation bill, lots of lacing, and not TOO sweet to my mind.

O: For only a mere few bucks, this was a really nice Christmas entry. (601 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the 650 ml. bottle. 2013 batch. Sampled on December 18, 2013.

It pours a very dark brown to nearly black with a full, lingering soft tan head. I love heady dark beers.

The aroma is a versatile collection of gingerbread, Christmas spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, dark sweet malts, molasses, and the slightest of earthy hops. Booze? None.

Medium to full body.

I like the nutmeg, cinnamon and bakery spiciness that makes up the character of the taste. Dark sweet malts are there but more subtle. Decent earthy hop bitterness that pulls up from behind. The alcohol is well-integrated but I would still define this one as a sipper. (636 characters)

Photo of IronLover
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black in color. Poured with a huge, thick, dark beige foam that hung around for a while. Foam slowly reduced to a thick cap that left thick sheets of lacings on the glass. Undeniable sweet gingerbread aroma is immediately noticeable along with cinnamon, clove and spice. Sugar and spice aromas tend to overwhelm the roasted malt aromas, but they are there in the background. Medium bodied with a slightly thick, creamy smooth feel and light subdued carbonation at the back end. Sweet gingerbread and cinnamon flavors up front, spicy hop flavors through the middle followed by dark roasted malt flavors to the end. Finishes with a spicy hop bite followed by lingering roasted malt aftertaste. You pretty much get what the label says you’re gonna get, gingerbread and spice. Certainly not your everyday “go to” stout but a pleasant holiday brew nonetheless. (861 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the Barley Oak, Mandeville, LA

A: Inky black with a tan one finger head that took its time settling. Nice lacing.

S: Yep, there's the gingerbread. Then I get cinnamon, cookie dough and charred malts.

T: Follows nose with charred huskiness. Robust, semi-sweet. Lots of holiday seasonings, like cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves and cherries. A good sipper. Unusual taste but it works.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, frothy carbonation.

O: A nice winter beer. Stronger that I was expecting. Share with friends. Throw in a chocolate chip cookie or cheddar cheese. (574 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque onyx with a lingering, dense mocha head that leaves sheets of lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Tar, licorice, and gingerbread form the initial aroma, with a cookie-like sweetness adding intrigue. Roast malt character is overwhelmed by spice.

Flavor is liquid gingerbread, accompanied by a hint of roast malt that becomes more pronounced at the slightly dry finish. The ginger flavor is so strong, it's almost minty. Luckily, the cinnamon and nutmeg offer a cookie-like counterpoint.

Body is thick and mouth-coating, with low carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

Great Christmas brew. I'm not a ginger in my beer fan, but the malt and sweetness counter nicely, making this enjoyable. The ginger is just a touch overdone. (742 characters)

Photo of JLB025
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass from an oversized 1 pint 6 ounce bottle ($6.99 per bottle) Dark stout with a nice half inch tan head. Smells delicious. Tastes almost as good. 9% ABV but it doesn't taste "boozey." Expensive but worth a try if you're looking for a good winter beer. (273 characters)

Photo of raznug
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: This beer pours black and thick with and thick head that measures almost ¾.
Smell: The aroma of this beer is first kind of a cinnamon and nutmeg but it is quickly followed by a yeast aroma and slight amounts of roasted notes. This is a rather complex beer for Sam Adams, more complex than I was expecting.
Taste: This beer tastes like a blend of a stout and a Christmas Ale, it has spice notes similar to the aroma with cinnamon and nutmeg. The stout part of the beer comes next with the slight roasted flavor that blends with an amount of alcohol burn that adds to the complexity.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this beer is on the thin for a stout but this beer still has great flavor profile for a Sam Adams. (722 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.51/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's a gorgeous beer. Completely pitch black, not even a hint of light makes it through, even around the edges. The head is also a beauty, with a couple fingers of light brown bubbles. A nice, thin lace remains.

The smell is close to matching the appearance on the goodness scale. It's traditional holiday scents of cinnamon and nutmeg. I'm not a fan of ginger, but the ginger here is light. Fortunately, the dark roasted malts impart a chocolately, smokey note.

The taste is a nice combination of dark roasted grains, holiday cookies, and a splash of alcohol. Reminiscent of some of the pumpkin ales I've been drinking. The spices are obviously dominant and as stated, I don't care for ginger, but this all works. The ingredients all work well together, kept in check by the alcohol.

Lots of complaints about a thin mouthfeel, but it's not that bad. It's a milk stout and those are rarely the thickest of things, but this beer owes no apologies. It's got complex layers of sweet and spicy, roasty and grainy, and a pinch of alcohol that gains strength as the beer warms. There's a lot going on.

I'm really happy with this. It's easy to drink, has a well-hidden alcohol level and has great flavors. Really, nothing not to like. (1,231 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful this beer looks when poured. A dark brew, with a tan head that forms up full and pillowy, fading down to a thin coating with heavy lacing.

S - This is the promise of the label fulfilled. Big gingerbread nose, spice and sweetness, but there is a hint of the gap to come - it smells like a cookie but there's no really sense of how this ties into a beer.

T - If the smell had come into the beer more fully, it might have been an unholy mess, but we'll never know because the taste is timid and frankly, a bit bland. There are faint roast elements, a touch of spice in the fade, but one aspect remains - this doesn't taste much like a beer. You get some clove and cinnamon, and yes, ginger, and the roast malt does recall the browned bottom of a cookie, but its hints around the edges. The center really just drops out.

M - A good milk stout promises silky smoothness, but unfortunately this feels somewhat watered down.

O - And, really, the flavor feels watered down, too. I'm not quite sure what happened here. The nose is a big, fat, cheap gingerbread cookie. There is really nothing big, fat, or decadent in the taste or feel. I'd almost welcome a more cloying version that was so sweet it was hard to finish; it would be more true to the promise. As is, this beer is not really offensive, but it is somewhat disappointing. (1,372 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours like silk. The darkest brown with a flourishing head of chocolate colored foam. Completely opaque yet it suggests ruby hues until you turn to natural light and find light and dark cola instead. Sheets of lace and a head that constantly refreshes.

Nose is authentic gingerbread with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. A little clove to round it out and a hint of dark fruit. The malt is stunning and complex. Blackened grain with a deep dryness and a touch of burnt sugar that gives way to a supple and light molasses. A golden wheat crispness. A touch of smooth vanilla and a hint of peat like earth.

Taste follows the nose with flavors that continue to unfold. The malt character adds a slight chocolate smoothness, the alcohol is a little hot and peppery with a dryness of it's own. The dark fruit is waiting far in the back for you to notice it. There is a taste in the very middle of the beer that is both golden like a baked cookie from the wheat and black like a touch of burnt sugar on the bottom of a cookie. The roast continues to embolden itself in the drink as the molasses continues to smooth it out.

This beer was treat and I really liked it. Had all the dark and big roast of any well made stout plus the pleasant cookie spices. The malt was stalwart and unflinching, the earth was subtle. It leaves dry and with a slight bitter in the aftertaste to contrast the sweet and silken molasses. (1,405 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz bottle poured from FMcD's into a pint glass

A - Jet black. A sizzling pour with a two finger dark head that interestingly lightens up and settles into a one finger head. Good lace retention on side of the glass.

S - Gingerbread, nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon

T - More of the same. Some vanilla notes, a hint of black licorice. Small, but barely detectable note of the alcohol heat.

M - Surprisingly creamy, low carbonation, but enough to support it.

O - Worth a try, if you are into the pumpkin/cinnamon/mildly sweet vein. (536 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Around cellar temperature in a snifter. Looks like the name's been abbreviated to "Merry Maker." They've taken out the "Mischief," apparently.

It has a nice and creamy, light brown cookie dough-colored head, two fingers high. The body is black.

Sure does smell similar to spicy gingerbread! All the spices listed on the label are pretty much present. I also get vanilla and a good amount of molasses, which makes sense since molasses is a key ingredient in gingerbread. There's probably a bit of a raisin scent as well. Very, very nice.

Those spices figure heavily into the flavor, too, playing along-side molasses and a milky sweetness which shows up in the finish. There may also be some subtle earthiness in the aftertaste. Roastiness is low.

The feel is well-carbonated and quite full. One can chew on a sip.

Pretty good stuff. The festive spices, so commonly associated with gingerbread and pumpkin pie, are this one's main attraction. (945 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at MacGregor's Grill and Taproom (East Ave) in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark black, with a small, half inch head and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells like a lot of gingerbread, with some dark roasted malt, and a little bit of chocolate.

Similar flavor. Doesn't go overboard with the gingerbread flavors, which is good. They play nicely off of the slightly bitter roasty malt flavor. Nonetheless, still a pretty sweet. A bit of chocolate.

Medium bodied, a little thin for the style and ABV. Very drinkable, creamy mouthfeel, no alcohol presence.

One of Sam Adam's better beers for sure. (609 characters)

Photo of Drifty69
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Poured out nice and thick and very dark out of a bottle.

Smell- Smell was interesting, gave a very distinct smell. Smells like gingerbread.

Taste- The taste was not what I was expecting. It did not give me that gingerbread taste. You can really taste the different spices used in this beer. I love the after taste to this beer though, taste like gingerbread.

Mouth-feel- The thickness was not as i expected either, very thin. With a beer that pours out nice and dark I would of expected a nice thickness to it.

Overall- Overall I enjoyed the Marry Maker. From the appearance to the taste. The after taste to me is very important and I would have to say that this beer gives off a nice after taste, taste like gingerbread. (740 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On-tap 12/1/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short dense light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a strong ginger spice scent which I detected before even picking up the glass from the table. There are also roasted malts and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a huge ginger spice flavor that completely dominates. Then a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character comes in along with background flavors of chocolate and coffee. The hops presence is very mild and there isn’t much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Not very tasty, goes down ok, strong kick, slightly filling, not the best representation of style but the flavor makes sense for a Christmas beer. (947 characters)

Photo of WMEugene
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Just hung up the outdoor Christmas lights, so I figured what better time for a gingerbread stout!

A - Pours a really dark black (like one of the darkest beers I've had) with a thick and frothy khaki colored head that sticks to the side of the glass.

S - Rich blend of spices that blend together to smell just like a gingerbread cookie. Notes of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The malts present a little bit of a backbone to prevent it from being overly sweet, but it definitely smells like a cookie.

T - You can pick up the spices in the taste, but it doesn't quite taste like a gingerbread cookie. More like a sweet ginger/cinnamon stout. Which, for what it is, is quite tasty but not mind blowing. The spices aren't as well defined in the mouth as the nose, which is why I expect other reviewers talk of metallic tastes since the spices merge together.

M - A little thin in the mouth - some molasses or other thickening agent would have been nice. Pretty smooth tasting as long as you don't mind the spice. A bit of booziness to it as well.

O - Merry Maker is a solid spiced milk stout that is appropriate for the season. It's a bit boozy and a bit thin for such a heavy stout, but it has a nice blend of spices and smells/looks great. An enjoyable beer that you should check out if you're in the mood for something sweet with spice. (1,339 characters)

Photo of Hsraiders9688
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance :
I absolutely love how dark this beer is the color is beyond black... It poors a thick black... The color is more night mare before Christmas then merry Christmas....

Smell:
No surprises here it smells like a cookie sweet with a large about if ginger and cinnamon.

Taste :
And here is where we start to go down hill a bit. the gingerbread taste is there with the alcohol kinda making a warm cookie in your mouth and it's amazing but there is quickly drowned out by a metallic flavor that takes over the great gingerbread flavor away. It's thickness coats the mouth well.

Over all I guess this beer is like waking up and getting coal for Christmas you go down stairs all excited expecting greatness and are left with a dark piece of disappointment. Because at the end of the day I buy beer to drink it not smell it (835 characters)

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Looks like a typical stout of quality -- pours a deep brown bordering on black, with a light brown head standing 2-fingers tall; lacing is fair.

S: A fairly even mix of heat-singed grain, molasses, caramelized sugar, dark fruit, and booze, with fainter notes of ginger and other spices.

T: Malt is more toasted grain than sweet, with a hint of acridity, although the sweetness becomes more apparent with subsequent sips.. There's tartness reminding me of currants, but it plays second-fiddle to acrid, bitterness in the middle. That slowly transitions to into a spicy bitterness in the finish, with hints of coffee and chocolate as well; there's some diacetyl in the finish as well.. The ginger on the nose is not really present on the tongue.

M: Smooth, creamy, chewy; carbonation is medium -- typical for a stout -- and a tingle of spiciness lingers on the tongue at the finish. Alcohol is well concealed for the ABV level.

O: A decent stout on its own accord, but not impressive as a Christmas beer, certainly not reminiscent of gingerbread. That's not to say it wasn't good, just that it fell short of my expectations (especially after the rather enjoyable "Fat Jack" pumpkin ale they turned out a few months ago). (1,226 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
2.2/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The single worst beer that I have had this year. Two sips then down the drain the bottle went. Horrible metallic taste with absolutely no nutmeg, ginger, etc. I like Hardywood an decided to try this as an easy to obtain alternative. Bad move, do not waste your time with this slop. (284 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice tan head. Decent retention, and very nice lacing. Aroma is of ginger, spice, brown sugar, and chocolate. Full bodied with some carbonation. Taste is just an explosion of spices, with hints of chocolate. Very smooth, yet there is quite a nice burn. Excellent! (282 characters)

Photo of _KG_
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, with about 2 fingers of head. Just had a rival gingerbread ale from Blue Moon, and this one killed it. Nice aroma with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves up front and center. Mouth-feel is terrific, and goes down with a hint of warming alcohol at the end. Very drinkable beer, wanted another after I finished. Highly recommend. (361 characters)

Photo of miclormic
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this beer is an absolute disappointment. I waited for my local"beer guy" to get this in his store. Reserved 2 bottles so as not to be "sold out"

What a disappointment . It has no distinct flavor of ANYTHING. It tastes like a watery mix of spice. I was really looking forward to a robust ginger stout. I can't even get a HINT of ginger anywhere in this beer. PASS ON THIS ONE! (377 characters)

Photo of BeerBob
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Samuel Adam's "Merry Maker" pours a Black Hole Black, as in I could not get ANY light from my 75 Watt HID (High Intensity Discharge) flashlight through this Black Out Black liquid, none, nada, zip. Head of fine mocha coffee brown foam went to over 2 fingers, before settling down to a full cap of rocky foam landscape with generous amounts of lace along the wall of my glass.

Nose is of fragrant Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, and Cinnamon. Ginger is in the forefront of the spicy bouquet that completely cloaks the 9% ABV.

The ambrosia like palate is a smooth and silky gingerbread, with just the slightest note of alcohol.

It is the total personification of liquid Gingerbread that wins the all 5's for this brew. (710 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent ebony with 2+ fingers caramel with huge Swiss Cheese air holes. Minimal lacing & head retention

S: Faint ginger notes with cinnamon & a bit of cardboard (dry) & boozeyness

T: Orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, dryness & nutmeg, with little booze warmth mixed in up front. A bit of clove bitterness as this warms, more dryness & a bit of ginger as this warms. Finishes dry with clove & orange peel bitterness, & a whisper of gingerbread, some molasses would've really worked well here

MF: Slight carbonation, sticky, medium bodied, warming

Not in love with this, but might pick a bottle up to age; has potential, but not there yet...

Was hoping for more... (678 characters)

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.