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

Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

875 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 875
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)
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Ratings: 875 | Reviews: 211 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of russpowell


3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 03:44:26 | More by russpowell
Photo of Bitterbill


4.48/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Liquor Shed.

Gorgeous looking brew in the glass, pitch black with a 1 finger head of tan foam, nice lacing.

The name fits as far as the smell goes. Ginger Bread! I get some nice roasted malt notes too.

Ginger bread and roasted malt in the taste and I'm starting to dance, lol. Tasty, smooth as all dickens, no sign of the alcohol, did I mention tasty? This is a great brew to drink for the holiday season, I reckon.

I already mentioned how smooth it is so that has the mouthfeel covered.

Ahh...very VERY nice!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 13:56:59 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of V3XX069


4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottled poured into a pub glass.

A – Oil black, nothing is getting through this beer! With a generous 2-3 finger milk chocolate head. Coated the glass so well. Gorgeous beer!

S – It smells like a Gingerbread cookie. Nuff said.

T – Roasted malty grains, ginger, light cinnamon, clove. Very slight, however. Not like the cloves I am used to in a seasonal beer, like Pumpkin ales.

M – Clean finish, lingering clove and nutmeg. Not a bad slightly sweet stout.

O - Overall, a great seasonal spin on a sweet stout. I am a fan, and will be buying more throughout the season, especially with friends over.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 01:58:27 | More by V3XX069
Photo of lwillitz


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-oz bottle into porter/stout glass

batch no. 1

A - 4 fingers of dark tan suds over a body of pitch black; just beautiful!

S - strong smell of sweet gingerbread; various spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg); hints of vanilla, anise, and chocolate

T - big bready malts, wood, fruity character, same spices from the nose (but more subdued than in the nose), gingerbread with icing, typical chocolate and coffee notes, lactose, anise, earthy hops; plenty of sweetness up front and plenty of bitterness (and booze) in the back end; gingerbread sweetness lingers in the finish; excellently balanced and pleasantly complex

M - smooth, oily, full body; low carbonation; alcohol warmth

O - The sweetness and spices in the nose are overpowering, but the taste is well-balanced. The gingerbread flavor is striking, but at the same time Merry Mischief manages to fit the bill for a stout. Different, but delicious.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 23:26:37 | More by lwillitz
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep chocolate brown with deep walnut brown showing thru when held to the light,a nice looking creamy near mocha colored head atop.Alot of roast in the nose along with spicy ginger and sweet alcohol lingering.Flavors are heavily roasted with a bit of char at the onset,the spiced notes come in the back end with ginger,and clove standing out mainly,alot of roast and dry earthiness to this milk stout.The alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms as well the sweetness derived from it,not overly spiced but not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 20:28:31 | More by oberon
Photo of whynot44


3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark opaque black with a thick creamy tan head that lasts well and makes some nice lacing.

The aroma is dark roasted malts, coffee, yeast and gingerbread spices, very rich and enticing.

The gingerbread spices dominate up front, followed by rich sweet roasted malts and coffee with a lingering gingerbread kick at the finish.

The mouth feel is creamy and smooth working perfectly with the high ABV to make a nice winter desert brew.

Should go well with most holiday deserts, especially gingerbread.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 03:41:19 | More by whynot44
Photo of BarryMFBurton


3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I’m glad to finally find this beer as a single; I had no desire to spend the money on the Sam Adams pack of special-release bombers for just one beer. Cheers!

A: Pours shining black with a thick brown head, slowly growing into a rich plume two inches high. Light retention and lacing.

S: Heavily spiced, but balanced to be just like gingerbread: aromas of sweet ginger and vanilla cake are most prevalent, with additional notes of cinnamon, clove, and anise. This all rests on a velvety chocolate stout scent.

T: Chocolate-heavy with a mild heat of spice and booze. The sweetness of cocoa, toasted coconut, and sugar cookie is dominant, with undertones of lactose sugar. Every sip elicits a nice cinnamon and ginger kick, as well, along with a hint of drying alcohol. The finish is light, but all gingerbread – cinnamon and sweet bread notes linger.

M: Mild, frothy carbonation and a moderate-to-heavy body. Feels a bit flat and, as such, unappetizing at times.

O: Another beer where the palate can’t quite match the nose; overall, though, it turned out alright. Still, not one I’d seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 19:43:30 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of TruePerception


3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Sam Adams Merry Mischief Gingerbread Stout: 9%, very heady, tiny bubbles, some dissolving up, some down, head is creamy, tan pancake batter-looking; Appearance: pitch black; Smell: gingerbread, hint of roasted malt; Taste/Mouthfeel: very creamy, baking spices, hop bitterness disguises other flavors, licorice; pretty good.

Poured into a pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 08:48:43 | More by TruePerception
Photo of pjkelley82

New York

3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Noted batch #1 on back. Drank 6/30/13. No bottled on/freshness date but not worried as 9% will hold up well.

I had it in the summer on a fairly nice night (65-70) and would have been way better on a cold winter night. I had it by myself just as a "drinking" beer and it would of been way better paired with food/desert and shared between a few people.

Overall this was a very unique beer for me. It was spicy and sweet. Overpowering on both but again, would of went well with food/desert. Alcohol was there but the sweetness masked it a bit. I am definitely gonna pick up another bottle and sit on it for a while. Although I would recommend drinking it with friends and food.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 09:50:14 | More by pjkelley82
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03


4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a pitch black color with a chocolate colored thick head and good lacing.

Smell – A powerful sweet gingerbread scent. The gingerbread smell is so strong, I can’t smell anything else. I really like it!

Taste – A so-so semisweet chocolate, malt, a hint of coffee, and gingerbread cookie. The gingerbread isn’t nearly as pronounced in the taste as it is in the smell, but it’s there.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, medium body, slightly creamy, and if you burp you’ll feel the ginger. ;-)

Drinkability – I found this beer very drinkable, especially for a 9%abv. I wished the sweet gingerbread was slightly more pronounced in the taste, but a good beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 04:12:08 | More by Falcon91Wolvrn03
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, part of the Sam Adams Christmas Pack, thanks for sharing M and B.

Pours very dark brown body, almost black, with a thick, tan head. Foam lasted nicely, leaving some lace ribbons down the side of the glass.
Smell has a nice opening shot of gingerbread, and other spices. Roasted, dark malts with some sweetness, nice Christmas spiciness.
Taste is one of a classic sweet stout to start. Solid, toasted malt base, the come the extra flavors of gingerbread, dark chocolate or cocoa, molasses.
Medium bodied mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation, smooth and creamy.
A unique spice blend, gingerbread definatley comes through. Might be a bit too much if one were to consume the entire bottle - but works great to share.
A nice suprise, glad to have found this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 18:30:31 | More by BigBry
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Tar black pour is thick and viscose from the bottle, the head is thick like whip cream, with a bronze-walnut coloring that sticks around for what seems like forever stubbonly refusing to budge. Moderate visible carbonation rises lazily while the lacing is strong.

S: Nose of cinnamon, nutmeg, and of course strong indications of ginger, Spicy, sweet buttered caramel toast.

T: Flavor was sweet upfront, spicy of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg turning to a rich, dark, and sweetly roasted nature with some flashes of burnt toffee. Bready, vanilla, with some lightly dry milk chocolate and cookie dough. Finishes with a light dry flaked chocolate flair. The spicy hops of EKG & fuggels compliment the spices.

M: Mouthful is silky smooth, medium bodied, lighty dry on the tongue, spicy with a good vibe of carbonation.

O: Overall this is a spicy, holiday, chocolate dessert style beer. The ginger comes on strong at times, though is managebale perhaps in servings smaller then original packaging (bomber). The malting was nice here, deep and rich, Reserved for small sampling size and perhaps as a after dinner dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 13:02:26 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; batch 1, bottled in 10/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark khaki with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, gingerbread, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, floral, and light roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of spices and dark malt notes. Taste of dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, toast, clove, dark bread, molasses, floral, and light roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, dark bread, toast, clove, molasses, and light roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance of roasted malt flavors with spices with good complexity; with a nice malt/spice balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced imperial stout! Great balance of dark malt and spice flavors with good complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 04:16:34 | More by superspak
Photo of bmwats


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Very dark brown. Pours a giant, cascading, brown-white head, foamy head. Settles very slowly. Leaves a nice uneven, fluffy blanket. Some slight lacing.

S: Toasty malt with lots of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little banana.

T: Light roasted coffee, plenty of fall spice, and a little bitter licorice and orange rind.

M: Hefty body. Bitter and coppery aftertaste. Almost synthetically bitter.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really good. Dark hue, giant head, and fair enough lacing. Nose is a great combination of fall spices with some nice lightly roasted coffee. Flavor is a bitter, roasted, malty combination with a consideration of spice, but ultimately nothing really there. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 03:40:14 | More by bmwats
Photo of chefhatt


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into a tulip glass, it has a black color body with a 2' tan head, which hung around for a bit. The smell is very spicy of ginger, nutmeg and some cinnamon. The taste has a very strong ginger flavor that follow with the nutmeg and clove. Then the roasted malt come in behind it. The mouth feel is very nice, kinda thick but not too thick. It leaves just a little bit of a after taste but not too much. Overall i think this is a good winter beer. I couldn't drink a bunch of them at a time but once in a while is good.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 01:29:22 | More by chefhatt
Photo of neophilus


3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Thick and black, generous foamy tan-colored head up top. Lots of spicing on the nose. Ginger is dominant

Dominated by the spices up front and barely saved from going too far overboard by a rush of warm malt flavor. Roasted grain leaves a subtle ash-like flavor behind. The beer needs to warm a bit before the malt flavor catches up to the spicing and the bitterness of the roasted grain. Once it does though it helps to balance it out.

Certainly not subtle on the spicing here, the Ginger was perhaps too dominant. I'm reminded more of an assertive pumpkin ale than a sweeter Gingerbread holiday flavor. That said this is very drinkable for a strong stout, aftertaste cleaned up nicely and the body was smooth.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 23:00:58 | More by neophilus
Photo of Pencible


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured an opaque espresso with lots of tan head.
S: It smelled like huge ginger with some clove and nutmeg, and a little mocha and cinnamon.
T: It tasted like coffee and gingerbread, with some clove and dark chocolate, and a little cinnamon. It had a clean and gingery bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a very nice holiday beer. It had tons of ginger scent and taste, but was still balanced by other elements. It had a big body and a fairly smooth finish, with well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Not really sure how it would age, but I like it now. Recommended to at least try.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 16:40:40 | More by Pencible
Photo of BigBarley


4.68/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This'll be short, folks...

A - The perfect stout. Creamy head, thick, black body, nice khaki foam. Head retains like crazy and looks kinda milky, but the fact that it sticks around like it does makes me happy.

S - Gingerbread men who've had coffee and beer recently. Smells like it should!

T - Gingerbread with a sweet chocolate undertone, touch of roasty smokey spice, black malt undertones. Very sweet though, only thing that could stop me from drinking several.

M - Perfect stout feel. Creamy, smooth, carbonated just enough to keep ya drinking. Wonderful feel.

O - The only beer I've had better than this is PUMPKINATOR, and they're both so similar, I can honestly say that DESERT IMPERIAL STOUT IS A FANTASTIC IDEA! So, come on with it folks, gimme some apple pie stout so I'll never waste money on desert again.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 16:05:23 | More by BigBarley
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black pour with 4 fingers of head. Christ, it took forever to dissipate! Smells of ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin pie. The flavor is heavy on the ginger as expected, roasted grains, a bi of licorice. Medium body, creamy, medium carbonation.

Not a bad experience but I wouldn't want more than the one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 23:28:38 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of CHickman

New York

2.5/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours as black as night, like a shark’s eyes, with a creamy 2 finger tan/brown head that didn’t move and dissipated very slowly leaving OK spotty lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of clove, ginger and spices up front, followed by cinnamon, allspice, grains and more spices; too many or too strong on the spices, they were so overpowering that this did not resemble a stout nor a gingerbread cookie. This was like an over-spiced holiday ale and to me way off base for a stout.

Tastes like it smells, with clove, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, allspice and the rest of the spice rack mixed in for a dash of everything; after the extreme spice assault, there are some grains, vanilla, caramel and then more spices. It resembles a gingerbread cookie/house, but has too much spice attack and not enough bready or oatmeal flavor and feel to pull this off and this experiment feels like someone accidentally spilled too much of something in the mash. I hope my bottle was bad, as I had heard good things about this beer but to me the only thing it did right was mask the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost watery with a heavy dense body, mild carbonation, and a spicy finish that has metallic yeast hints mixed in with the ginger and clove.

Unless you love ginger then you won’t really like this beer. As with all stouts, as it warmed up more flavor came out – unfortunately the flavor was ginger, which is great with sushi but not in this beer. This was very disappointing for me as I had very high expectations. Tough to finish this bomber alone, so sadly some was poured down the drain.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 03:42:46 | More by CHickman
Photo of zeff80


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Poured out a jet black color with ruby highlights. It had a 3-finger head of light brown foam that left sticky lacing.

S - It smelled of ginger and lots of other Christmas spices.

T - Lots of ginger, lots and lots of ginger. Too much ginger. Some roasted malt character buried underneath the ginger.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium bodied ale.

O - This would be fine if split 3 or 4 ways. An entire bottle is too much ginger for one human.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 20:59:07 | More by zeff80
Photo of mattkoon

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i have liked most of these sam specials. this one may be my favorite. its black with a head the color of ginger bread cookies. the smell is full of spices and brown sugar. smells like ginger bread cookies. the taste is bitter followed by sweet spices. this beer makes me think of christmas. bottle was $5.50 for a pint at 9%abv its a steal.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2013 12:40:43 | More by mattkoon
Photo of obywan59


3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black, no highlights at all. I'ts topped by a 2 1/2 finger tan head that leaves moderate lacing.

Mainly spices with a bit of syrupy malt in the aroma. Gingerbread aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and especially ginger.

Tastes a bit raw, expecially at first. Mainly sweet and approaching cloying on the first swallow. Mellowing just a bit later, and becoming more sweet/tart with an overlaying bitterness. Spices are rather toned down compared to the aroma. Occazsional whiffs of gingerbread.

Mouthfeel is milky and moderately thick. Slightly sticky on the tongue with raw alcohol burn in the throat.

Overall, this is an okay beer. It gets a bit better as it warms, but for me, it never really seems to come together. Maybe it would improve with a bit more aging.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 03:44:40 | More by obywan59
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very subtle dark brown highlights and a light amount of visible carbonation at the surface. The beer has a two finger tall creamy dark tan to mocha head that slowly reduces to thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts, lactose, and strong aromas of gingerbread (and ginger spice).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of dark and roasted malts with some lactose (milk) sweetness and some very light hints of cocoa. Beyond the malts, there are strong flavors of gingerbread which include ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices. Very light amounts of bitterness which fade almost instantly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of alcohol warming in the finish as the beer warms up.

O: Overall the alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer but it is just a little too light in the mouthfeel to be as enjoyable as I hoped - the flavors and aromas are very pleasant and remind me of gingerbread.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 01:08:49 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Knapp85


3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a dark black color, kinda thick looking with a cream colored head on top. The retention was minimal and very little lacing as well. The smell of the beer is loaded with spice, not much of anything else really showing through here. The taste of is also spicy with a subtle malt sweetness in there while finishing dry and spicy. The mouthfeel is sharp, not overly smooth like I think it should be. There is a decent thickness to the beer though. Overall it's a decent brew. Glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 16:17:59 | More by Knapp85
Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.