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

Not Rated.
Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

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1,210 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,210
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 40
Gots: 160 | 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

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,210 | Reviews: 247
Photo of flagmantho
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: totally black with some brown highlights around the edges. Head is two fingers of frothy dark-tan foam with decent retention. Quite good looking indeed!

Smell: very nice ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg spicing on top of a decent milk stout base. Gingerbread may not be your thing, but this beer is definitely as-advertised. I happen to think these aromas work together very well.

Taste: the spices are far less prominent in the flavor than in the aroma. The stout base is a bit on the harsh side, with lots of burnt roastiness and a pretty hard alcohol edge. There is some good flavor in there, but the overall flavor is a bit rough.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess. I would have expected a little more body out of the style, though.

Overall: this beer is decent enough, but it could be a lot smoother. The spicing works out great in the aroma, not so much anywhere else.

Photo of rajendra82
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown pour settled into a near black liquid into the glass, and the head above that was khaki in color, and two fingers thick. The smell of the beer was very malty and had aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. The smell wasn't particularly like gingerbread, but the taste was a little closer. The ginger was heavier in the taste, and the malt was most like brown sugar. There were also flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg in the taste, making it more complex. than the cookies. The wheat in the malt was also evident in the bock like bready flavor. The label mentions cloves, but those were not easily detectable for me under the other spices. The mouthfeel was a lot thinner than most stouts, and the finish had some lingering spice. This beer was nice winter seasonal.

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one looks rather nice. I got just over a finger of light brown head over a nearly black body. The head recedes slowly. Decent lace.

Smells of malt and christmas. Really. It names cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger on the bottle, and you can clearly make them all out. Dark fruit fills out the impression.

Up front is bready malt with sweet dark fruit. This is closely followed by the spices. Nutmeg and ginger are powerful, with clove finishing it off.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It goes down rather quick and easy, leaving a little residue on the back and middle of the tongue. Carbonation is easy going.

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Absolutely one of the most impressive pours I've ever witnessed. An unfathomably creamy dark tan head almost completely filling the pint glass before the absolutely BLACK liquid begins to manifest itself. When the cascading is complete, a 1/2 inch of creamy head remains with substantial amounts of lacing all over the glass. The head retention is excellent—that 1/2 inch head remaining until nearly the last sip. I don't usually throw around perfect scores, but this brew deserves nothing less than a 5 in the aesthetics category.

S: Much of what you'd expect from something called a "gingerbread stout." Strong spice notes, namely ginger, cinnamon, and some clove. A bit of roasted coffee and burnt sugar underneath. Nothing here really grabbed my attention; it was all rather simple, laid-back, and expected.

T: Ginger, cinnamon, and an almost overwhelming amount of brown sugar, with small hints of milk chocolate and cherry tart. The roasted black coffee hint of bitterness does come in towards the end of the sugar rush, but it doesn't do enough to cut through the absolutely belly-aching sweetness of this brew.

M: Another high point of this brew is the mouthfeel. It's everything you'd want and expect from a stout weighing in at 9% ABV. Rich, full, and creamy, this one feels smooth and makes it's way down easy. A mild carbonation meshes well with the alcohol to warm and tingle the face.

O: While Merry Maker scores well in three out of four categories, it lacks in the most important department—the flavor. This brew truly lives up to its name as a gingerbread stout, and even though I have nothing against gingerbread men (they're my favorite holiday treats), Sam Adams has gone slightly overboard in the sweetness department. If they tone down the sugariness (is that a word?) of this brew, I can see it being one of my seasonal "must-haves". Until then, however, one bottle of Merry Maker has been more than enough to last me a lifetime.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Merry Maker pours a blackish color with no head. There is an aroma filled with gingerbread and cinnamon. The taste also has a strong gingerbread flavor, with cinnamon, and frosting notes. Very good flavors, but overall its a bit light. Overall its a very tasty beer, wish it was just a bit richer in taste.

Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A very impressive pour, with a huge head taking up much of the Perfect Pint glass; always fun to watch a stout perform, with the inky black liquid expanding as the mocha colored bubbles contract at the bottom and fade at the top; plenty of lacing is left behind

Smell: Chocolate milk and gingerbread spices waft enticingly

Taste: Sugar and spice forward, with brown sugar dominating; underneath there is ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and milk chocolate; the sweeter elements continue to dominate, after the swallow and leave residual sugar in full bloom on the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: If only the flavors lived up to the aromatics, but this beer lacks depth and body; surprising, for a 9 percenter

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No date bottle at 40-42 degrees into a goblet
Aroma -ginger and nutmeg
Head - large (5 cm), creamy, light brown, mostly diminishing
Lacing Fair
Body dark brown, clear
Flavor begins moderately sweet, no malt, no hops, no diactyl, just spice; the ending flavor is the same as the opening.
Medium to full oily body, soft carbonation.

This looks really good in the glass, but for me, the spices overpower the ale-iness. IMHO, this is just another sweet drink covering a modest amount of ethanol.

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.

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark black, with a thick dark tan head. The head lasts for a while and leaves a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: A pleasant sweet aroma. I can smell various spices, especially the pumpkin influences.

Taste: Very nice and a unique taste. I can definitely taste the pumpkin and other spices, which makes for a unique taste when combined with the typical malts. This is one of the best pumpkin ales I have tried.

This is an interesting seasonal beer by the Boston Beer Company. I would buy this again.

Photo of stella77artois
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a wine glass a few times.

A - Pours black with a brown head, which was good sized. Powerful looking, as a good stout should be.

S - Toasty and sweet malts, ginger (both fresh and artificial gingerbread), a fair dose of cinnamon and a slight bit of ferment. Very nice smelling beer,

T - A very refreshing tasting milk/sweet stout, as it isn't loaded w/ sugar and other sweeteners. Yes it is slightly sweet, but nowhere near overpowering as many others of the same style. Lot's of toasty malts up front, some sweet gingerbread, and a nice gingerbread-like finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Nice tasting beer.

F - Thick but not overpowering. Doesn't leave the mouth or tongue sticky. I know that's desired by some w/ their stouts, but it's not a preference of mine. Very easy to drink.

O - I give Sam Adams credit on this one. Many of their newer beers they sell in those bombers are just OK, but this is a very good beer, and at a reasonable price. Very tasty stout that's highly drinkable and not overly filling. Highly recommend this brew to any stout fans.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black in color with a thin light brown head. Nutmeg,ginger,and cinnamon in the aroma. I do think they nailed the gingerbread aroma! Mouth is silky and creamy. Lots of molasses,nutmeg,cinnamon,and ginger along with a bit of dark malt. The spices dominate,but do not overwhelm. This is a bit more of a sweet dessert type of beer. The sweetness dissipates as it warms so don't drink it ice cold and you will enjoy it more.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy/creamy tan head. Retention is good and a half inch ring of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Roasty and chocolate maltiness. The spices are there, but are lacking in strength. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove. It's not bad, but it doesn't please the way this type of beer should.

3.25 T: Like the nose, it's not bad, but it's underwhelming and no better than average. Chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and a hefty roastiness. Spices are again underwhelming.

3.75 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy and super smooth.

3.25 D: Not bad, but for a $7-8 bomber, I expect a better product.

Photo of Florida9
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color. Forms a moderate sized, creamy, dark tan colored head. Aroma is, unsurprisingly, gingerbread. Moderate sweetness. Ginger, brown bread, molasses, with a dark caramel maltiness. Taste is similar. Mildly sweet, but the flavor is a bit thin. Again ginger and molasses. Mild breadiness. Dark malts. Full bodied. Lower carbonation. Sort of Reminiscent of gingerbread, but not quite sweet enough. Ends up tasting like a spiced winter beer (which I guess it is)

Photo of fx20736
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of puboflyons
4.49/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Photo of IronLover
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of brewskifan55
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of JLB025
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

Photo of raznug
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of RickS95
4.51/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of utopiajane
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of Apellonious
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 1,210 ratings.