Thanksgiving Ale
Mayflower Brewing Company

Thanksgiving AleThanksgiving Ale
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Old Ale
Ranked #73
Ranked #18,195
3.89 | pDev: 11.05%
Mayflower Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Thanksgiving AleThanksgiving Ale
Notes: The first and only perennial offering in our Cooper’s Series of limited batch beers. Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale is an inspired blend of two brewing styles: American Strong Ale and English Old Ale. Aged on American white oak, this full-bodied brew warms the soul with hints of caramel, vanilla and spicy nuts. The perfect beverage for our favorite holiday.
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 255 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-clear mahogany can pour with a thin foam ring and a sweet, malty nose.
The flavor includes malty, toffee-sweetness and a hint of candi-sugar. There is a boozy-whiskey tasting aspect but the ABV is relatively low (6.7%)
The finish is pleasantly dry. The flavors persist.
This is quite good.

Dec 30, 2020
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FBarber from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown color, Clear when held up to the light. Thin off-white head dissipates pretty quickly leaving no residual head. No lacing.

Aroma is very malty - with notes of barley, grain, and a slight spicy rye note. A hint of dark fruit and molasses is there as the beer warms.

Taste follows the nose with rich malts - barley, rye bread, grain and rustic fresh bread. There is a slight earthy, nutty bitterness to it especially on the back end. Hints of dark fruit, molasses, and maple syrup. Overarching all of that is this sharp oak character - reminiscent in presence of an oaked chardonnay. Definitely a warming beer and the spiciness from the rye combined with that sharp oakiness reinforces that.

Feel is light to medium bodied. Smooth even carbonation. Drier on the finish.

Overall a lovely old ale and a really enjoyable autumnal sipper.

Nov 26, 2020
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Greywulfken from New York

4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Far better than expected - I was set on a decent but meh beer, and instead really pleased with the quality and character of this beer... I never know what to expect with an old ale - Founders (Old Curmudgeon) and many Bruery anniversary releases - all of which I loved - defined the style for me (throw in some Thomas Hardy's as well (and Old Stock from North Coast)) - but they aren't necessarily representative of what the style has to offer, if that makes sense... They are the "big boy high abv" incarnations - beers like Fuller's Vintage ale are more aligned with this brew, and this is actually the lowest-abv beer of this style I've ever had (6.7%) - this drinks like an "English doppelbock" - which is not a thing, but it's what this is like - has the chewy sweet fruits, like dates - and a shellacky, stickiness... Bitterness is of sweet resin and caramel, and leaves a fruit leathery pine coat on the tongue and palate... Feel is medium-weight, fairly dense, low carbonation despite a respectable starting head... Finishes with a little bit of oaky dryness... This is a "strong" pub beer for a cold night or a holiday sipper by the fireside - incredibly manageable abv - the richness will make you think you're drinking something stronger...

Nov 15, 2020
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tradershmulie from Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful rich brown color.

Lots of bubbles.

Good head, but disappears pretty quickly. No real lace either.

Soft smell, nothing really jumps out.

Smooth and easy to drink.

A bit overpriced for a "good" beer.

May 26, 2020
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metter98 from New York

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is dark brown when viewed from afar but when held up to a bright light it is clear red in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving a narrow collar around the edge of the glass and some lacing on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has moderate to strong flavors of nutty malts and toasted oak along with notes of spices towards the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the combination of nutty malts and toasted oak along with a dry mouthfeel. This beer is complex enough to savor as a standalone sipper after your Thanksgiving dinner.

Note: 2019 vintage

Serving type: can

Nov 28, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Somehow don't have a review of this, probably lost in a server crash
Draft at Stoughton house of brews
Big creamy rich thick nitro head, great sticky lacing and clear auburn slight chestnut colour

Nose toasted biscuity malt, caramel, reddish Abbas toasted brown malts, sweet candy, touch nutty and faint oak and spices

Taste brings more of the same, sweet candy malts, toasted nutty brown malts, biscuity, caramel and candy, mild spices and touch of buttery oak, soft creamy nitro too, some bitterness kicking in with spicy hops on three back end, mild sticky finish

Mouth is med bod, a bit soft creamy, decent nitro bubbles

Overall not bad, one of the few times nitro doesn't overpower or destroy the beer, enjoyable beer in general, would be better as a big 9% old ale or something, but nice

Dec 11, 2018
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to housepants for this 16 oz. can. I’m not sure what a Thanksgiving Ale is, but I know it is one, because there’s a turkey on the can.

The pour is new copper piping, sans visible carbonation. Nose is big on caramel & sugar.

Thanksgiving Ale is pretty tame, & I don’t mean that in a negative way, more in a domesticated way. There’s a nice caramel hit, a bit of spicing from the rye, moderate bitterness, grain. Light, drinkable. Yeah, this could work as a beer over the stuffing.

Decent enough beer, but I suspect that’s exactly what it was meant to be.

Dec 23, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can dated 10/23/17

Pours clear amber red with a creamy frothy khaki colored foam head. Smells like rich caramel, molasses, dark toffee, vanilla, some chocolate, toasted oak, rye spice, cereal grain, some dark dried fruit, red apple, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like rich dark caramel, molasses, dark toffee, vanilla, light chocolate, toasted oak, rye spice, cereal grain, dark dried fruit, red apple, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, slick with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a really nice and unique English Old Ale.

Nov 23, 2017
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pint can. PKG: 10/19/17. Opened on 11/15/17
6.7 % alc. By vol.

This ale is a very lively, bubbly and clear but radiant shade of amber with ruby highlights. A Thick and robust looking off-white, creamy foam cap has excellent retention. Foamy coverage remains scattered but constant, decent lace.

The aroma is pretty intense, dense and full of sweet chocoalte toffee, brown sugar over roasty wheat and barley. Big roasty, but maple syrupy sweet malts, tangy and earthy grains.....light coffee roast, vanilla and cream with a burnt....leafy bonfire thing. Very complex barley malt aroma for sure. The hops seem to give off a dark berries, fruity tinge and leafy, dry earth balance.

The taste...the flavor profile: Barley malt aspects: roasty and toasty wheat grain, maple syrup/brown sugar malt, dark, wild fruity tasting hops, dry and leafy forrest floor effect, slightly bitter and tangy after taste from the hops and after effect of huge malty charecters. At 6.7 % abv. There is never a real heat presence, which brings the overall flavor sonewhere closer to a big brown ale.

The mouhfeel is certainly full, long and slick malty effects the palate with big saturation. The hops almost give off enough tangy, earthy tones to off-set a rather cloying finish from the big malt profile. Some age might help, as the malt may mature to a more complex entity. The alcohol should probably be closer to 8 or 9 % for thst to become a reality. As is, it should be consumed fresh.

This seriously malty brew will, in fact, be perfect with classic fall and winter meals of hearty beef soups and Crocpot creations with beef and pork.

I will admit to being on a very extended ride of nothing but big and juicy New England style ipa's and Dipa' a rather malty brew seems a bit martian and out of style right now to my palate. However, I'm seriously enjoying this Ale....complexity and balance could certainly be enhanced....but dang ic its not just about perfect for colder weather and holidaaaze season. Cheers 2017.

Nov 15, 2017
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'll say this much - this isn't a style of beer that I drink often but this beer really is something special. Thick and hearty like a bowl of stew. Pours a deep brown with a frothy cap of a head. Aroma of roasted nuts, caramel, spice and toasted malt. Taste is roasted malt, burnt bread crust, caramel, burnt sugar, roasted barley and some hop-bitterness. Strong ale and English barleywine register with me. Goes well with the cold and drinks like a meal. Damn fine brew if you're in the mood.

Dec 25, 2016
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear dark copper pour with minimal head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, and bread. Flavors are sweeter, with some dark fruit and raisin mixing with caramel. Just enough hop to balance, and finish really cleanly. Alcohol is undetectable. Could drink this all night. Very nice.

Jan 25, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Built for Thanksgiving, what would the Mayflower brewers do for a seasonal beer otherwise? Their British-inspired strong ale is balanced and friendly enough to accompany any feast but is characterful and complex to challenge the tastebuds of the most staunch beer critic.

Thanksgiving Ale pours a deep and glowing amber. Its mild haze teases the eye while a billowing column of snowy froth builds. Toffee and biscuit malt fill the nose while its succulent toasted character provides a full and rich grain profile on the front of the mouth. Nearly buttery and laced with candied peanuts and sun-kissed sweetness the beer trends malty early and often.

As the middle palate smoothens, the rebuttal from hops begin to mount- broadly bittered and with hints of fresh oak, grass and stem, the hops offer just enough reprieve to keep the beer from malt fatigue. Lightly fruity with apple and apricot notions of honey create a modest jammy taste as the beer warms.

Spicy alcohols play like allspice on the finish as its oak and vanilla nuances outlast the fruit and the retreating sweetness. Creamy and more medium-full than robust, the ale trends bitter-balanced and drying with a toasy-sweet undertow.

Dec 21, 2015
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ColdOneKev from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark brown hazy body with a very small off white head. Leaves little lacing.
S - Malt, molasses, light spices.
T - Malt forward for sure with a nice highlight. I was happily surprised that the spices didn't overshadow the malt character. Well done.
M - Thick body, low carb. Coats the palate.
O - An excellent ale to enjoy and share on Thanksgiving. Relatively easy to drink too.

Nov 26, 2015
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a snifter the beer was a dark amber color with a small tan head.
Aroma of dark fruit and molasses.
Taste of raisins and molasses.
Medium-bodied, very drinkable.

Nov 18, 2015
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Oldejoe from New Hampshire

3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look. Medium brown, fairly clear, no head.
Smell. Immediate sugars, molasses......that's it for me.
Taste. Mild malty start, bit of spice then a mild dry finish.
Feel. Slightly spritely, a bit thin, especially for a big bottle beer.
Overall. Very middle of the road, no punch anywhere.

Nov 17, 2015
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured a dark tea color in a snifter. 1/2F head.

The aroma is excellent: sweet, fruit, toffee, and fig.

Taste: fruit and fig with a nicely bitter alcohol finish-classic Old Ale.

The alcohol finish mellows with warming as fruit and raisins in the taste become more pronounced.

Better served on the warmer side to bring out the aromatics and dampen the alcoholic finish.
The style seems more of an Old Ale than a combo of Strong ale and Old Ale. A classic taste and worth checking out. I will try to find another bottle.

Nov 23, 2014
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tap poured into pub glass

Clear amber orange

Aroma of sweet malt

Nice malt taste

Smooth, clean finish

Repeatable, seasonable favorite that is worth seeking out for the holidays

Nov 21, 2014
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark reddish nut-brown ale, very clear when held up to the light, and topped by a thin cream head with decent retention.

Very mild aroma, focusing on toffee and caramel, and spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. A bit of vanilla. Most of the aroma is driven by strong malts.

Flavor matches my expectations, coming somewhere between an English Old Ale and an American Barleywine. The malt profile is certainly of the former: caramel and toffee; dark fruit - plums, cherries, grapes, and prunes; vanilla; walnuts and pecans; cinnamon and nutmeg. Not overly sweet. It reflects the latter with a bitter, hoppy finish, cleansing the palate with mostly earthy, neutrally bitter hops, but also a faint kiss of citrus.

Medium length wet finish; medium bodied. A little sting; quite lively. Slightly syrupy. A sipper due to the complex and thick malt base.

This is a very, very tasty brew, and I can definitely see it serving the advertised purpose: a Fall evening sipper, perfect for the holidays. It could easily fill the role of your evening Belgian nightcap (if you have one).

*2020 Revisit* Darker than I remember. Pours a dark amber, but once it settles into a big glass, it's very dark brown. Nose is much stronger than described in my review, but hits many of the same notes. The flavor profile strikes me as much the same, and the body is again much thicker than the modest ABV implies. No score adjustment, although if I were reviewing this for the first time, I'd probably bump up the appearance and aroma to 3.5.

Oct 29, 2014
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WyethBednar from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredibly smooth, very well balanced. A little malty and a little sweet with a really great head. This was the first legal beer I ever got and I've been trying to find it again ever since but it's tricky to find. Still remains my favorite beer I've ever had

Jan 17, 2014
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cbutova from Massachusetts

3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Emma and Dan for sharing the bottle. Another review left over from the holiday season.

A- Dark ruby red body with a small off-white, foamy head that builds up to about one finger. Decent head retention as the foam drops to a mm ring at the edges. A few spots of lace and some legs but not much.

S- Malty all the way here. Some dark raisiny fruits, caramel, toasted malts and some English-esque fruity yeast hints.

T- Follows the nose with a yeasty and malty ale. Fairly spicy feel overall with a spiced raisin presence. Some sweetness, caramel, toasted nutty malts and even a hint of roast. Nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice come to mind (from yeast?).

MF- Creamy and somewhat foamy texture to a light-moderate body. Carbonation at a higher level and accentuates the yeast spice flavors. Finishes with a slight warmth and bitterness.

Yeast and malty brew with a spiced flavor reminding me of the pumpkin brews in a way.

Dec 26, 2013
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ThomasMetal75 from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Had on Thanksgiving 2013, a few hours before the meal*

A- Dark cooper. Creamy white head. Dies to a nice 1 finger that sticks around well. Nice lacing. Very inviting.

S- Toasted malts! Oak, rye, vanilla, bourbon. Sweet. I don't remember noticing much of a hop presence.

T- Follows the nose exactly. Oak and rye are the first things that hit you. I'd say woody overall. Reminds me of an Innis and Gunn beer. Vanilla and caramel comes out. Alcohol gives this beer a layer of warmth.

*When warmed, the beer smooths out. More of the vanilla is present. Alcohol is more noticeable, but without any burn. I don't want to say this is outstanding, but it's damn close!

M- Medium to full bodied. Rich, creamy, but smooth. Velvety on the palate. The finish is quite pleasing. You get the a slight alcohol warmth as it passes the throat with the slightly earthy hop note to round out the mouthfeel. Great stuff.

*Overall this is a fantastic beer that everyone that did beer tastings during the day loved. Just the right amount of richness and flavor. Not too heavy, but certainly not light. I wouldn't want this with turkey. It's too much like bourbon in character and I think that would clash with turkey and mash potatoes. But it's really good to sip and have during the day when conversing with the relatives. GOOD JOB ON THIS ONE MAYFLOWER!

Nov 30, 2013
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a rich chestnut hue with minimal beige head foaming up and receding to a sturdy and slightly frothy edge layer.
Aroma is caramel and toffee with a little brown sugar and mild herbal hop notes. Maybe a little peppery alcohol, but not a lot to make a note of here.
First sip reveals an average body with slightly sticky texture and very fine tingly carbonation.

Flavor is what the nose advertised with malt driven hits of toffee and caramel, brown sugar and a little red grape and general sweetness. I get some black pepper on the finish that hints at booze, but no real warmth anywhere.

The beer is amazingly easy to drink with each sip going down the gullet very smooth and no hits of booze. It does give a little pepper and dryness on the swallow but certainly not a boozehound beer.

I think I will go back to the store and buy a few more bombers of this one. Very tasty winter brew. Easy to drink and good to share.
WEll done.

Nov 30, 2013
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Tilley4 from Tennessee

3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to jeff mc for sending a couple of bottles my way...

Had this with the Thanksgiving meal today and thoroughly enjoyed it... lots of rye and malts give this a unique sweetness with a kick on the finish... definitely tasting the oak as well... its boozy for 8% but I really don't mind as it gives it an authenticity that I am enjoying... the rye makes this different than others like it...

Enjoyed this bottle and will share the next with a friend around Christmas

Nov 29, 2013
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DrinkNewport from Rhode Island

3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking copper pour with little head

Mild, slightly boozy aroma.

It's an odd flavor. Not at all hoppy. The malts are all there. It's not bad, but it's not quite my bag. Maybe it's the bitter, slightly metallic, aftertaste. Something here doesn't quite work.

Nov 16, 2013
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage I believe - took me a year to get to this. I think this was from Reagan1984, but I can't completely remember. Served in a taster pint glass.

A - Off-white foam settles to a thin collar, a few wisps, and a few specks of lace. Transparent ruby-brown body.

S - Oaky, with sharp and slightly spicy and phenolic yeast notes, as well as a bit of fruitiness and tart berry. Even though this is supposedly brewed with Belgian yeast, there's more of an English vibe going on. Seems more like an English Strong with oak.

T - The taste has more toffee and biscuit sweetness, with some oak and vanilla flavors mixed in. There's some fruity yeast, and not much alcohol presence. Better than the aroma, although the finish is a bit flaccid and heavy on the oak.

M - Medium body, moderate and soft carbonation, oaky texture, and dry in the finish. Not much alcohol, considering the 8% ABV.

D - There's a bit too much oak character, even after a year, but there's nothing really 'wrong' with this beer; it's just not all that special. If there were limited options I certainly wouldn't turn it down, but I can think of numerous beers I'd rather drink first.

Dec 03, 2012
Thanksgiving Ale from Mayflower Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 255 ratings