Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
2.98/5 rDev -19.2%
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
3.5/5 rDev -5.1%
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.
Serving type: bottle
03-26-2014 06:20:47 | More by kojevergas
4.04/5 rDev +9.5%
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
4.01/5 rDev +8.7%
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
3.99/5 rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a finger of light brown head that dissipates to a thick cap and lacing. Aroma of sweet dark malt, slightly toasty and gingerbread, as advertised. Flavor is sweet dark malt, hints of lactose, gingerbread, cinnamon and a light hop finish, which actually gives the impression of the spicier types of gingerbread with bite. Medium bodied with light creaminess. I waited to drink this because it seemed a little gimmicky, but I have to say they pulled it off. Nice sweet malt body supports the gingerbread spicing which is well done. The alcohol is well covered. Much better than I expected and a very nice winter stout. I'd buy this again.
Serving type: bottle
02-26-2014 04:18:47 | More by LiquidAmber
Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.