Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Not Rated.
Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

241 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 241
Hads: 1,235
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 31.83%
Wants: 45
Gots: 165 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 241 | Hads: 1,235
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

 492 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 2,117 characters

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 573 characters

Photo of stella77artois
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 1,083 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 423 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

 664 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
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)

 469 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 601 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.49/5  rDev +19.1%
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 +7.7%
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.

 861 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
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 -0.5%
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 +16.2%
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 -0.8%
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 +19.6%
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 -7.7%
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 +6.9%
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.

 1,405 characters

Photo of Apellonious
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
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 +5.3%
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 +6.1%
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 -12.2%
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 +3.2%
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 -18.8%
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....

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

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.