Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale | Mayflower Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
95 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Mayflower Thanksgiving AleMayflower Thanksgiving Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mayflower Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Todd on 10-20-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
95
Ratings:
219
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
11.34%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
26
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 219
Photo of Gosox8787
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bomber bottle bought for $6 at a local store. 2012 vintage I'm pretty sure. Served chilled and poured into my Cigar City tulip glass. Allowed to warm up over half an hour or so.

Appearance: Amber to medium brown in color. Nice and clear throughout. Not much in terms of a head upon first pour and recedes pretty quickly into nothing.

Aroma: Toasted bread and caramel notes really stand out. The alcohol is really well hidden.

Taste: Toasted malt and caramel malt notes really create a nice base flavor. Some bitter coffee notes and a slight bittering hop character. Really nicely balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full bodied and creamy throughout. The carbonation level is pretty low.

Overall, a really nice english style old ale. The balance and toasted character of the malt really seperate this from other beers. Works perfectly for the season too and priced nicely.

 896 characters

Photo of fitzy84
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Moan and Dove. The appearance was really perfect: a dark, beautiful, clear red look with some thin lacing. Aromas were really, really, really good: sweet vanilla with smoky malts and alcohol. Heavy malt and vanilla flavors are maintained in the taste of the drink. Really smooth and warm structure; really helped me warm up from the cold New England night. Overall, a perfect beer for the thanksgiving season.

 423 characters

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

 523 characters

Photo of tzieser
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i've had this one both on-tap and off in the past, but i have yet to review it....keep in mind, the brewer said himself this is not an old ale (the label may mislead you , so i will

a: 22oz bomber poured into a Samuel Smith nonic glass. very small one finger head, even with a rough pour, that dissapates very quickly into a very thin lacing arond the glass. beautiful clear dark amber color, though. i was expecting more carbonation.

s: lots of rich malts dominate the palate. alot of rye in the nose, with hints of hops and a very subtle belgian-type aroma....strange, yet good. more complex than i expected.

t: rye malts hit the tongue first, followed by some other nice sweet caramel/molasses flavors....brown sugar? interesting. pretty decent, and surprising kick of hops in the back. however, this is definitely a maltier brew and almost reminds me more of a dark lager.

m&d: kinda slick mouthfeel, not very enjoyable. drinkability is good. i could have a few, but 8 bucks a bomber isnt exactly a bargain. also-- why won't they fill growlers of this stuff at the brewery? they'll give samples, but won't let you fill up. major bummer.

again, if you're going into this beer thinking old ale, you will be disappointed. the beer has some downsides, but the flavor is definitely there. i'd say it's worth a try at least once.

 1,332 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice rich looking slightly ruby tinged brown, with a moderate just off white head.
the aroma is actually toward the belgian end of the spectrum, with a bit of banana, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. a bit of sulfer right after the pour fades quickly.
my first impression of the taste is that it seems like a belgian scotch ale thats done a good amount of fermenting out. it's got everything going on the the aroma, and some slight, slight citrus hops. it's sweet, but quite dry and really very nicely balanced in that respect.
the mouthfeel is medium bodied, but slick with moderate carbonation.
the drinkabilty is fantastic for an 8% abv beer. this is a fairly straight forward, but finely crafted beer, and as for pairing with thanksgiving dinner, i'd say this is spot on (though i haven't tried it out yet obviously).

 831 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe this is my 100th beer review so it's fitting we're talking about something pretty good and local. I've never had a bad beer from Mayflower, and considering their low pricing they're really good deals.

This sample poured a 1" head which dissipated to 1/4". Clear burnt umber in color with very active effervescence in tiny bubbles. Pleasant mild and sweet wih malt and rye. Lot's of mouth presence and a long finish.

Although not my favorite of theirs this Thanksgiving Ale is exactly what you need with your Turkey - it's mild enough to taste everything else but looks and feels like a treat.

 604 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. This beer pours brown with a cherry oak colored highlights when held up to the light. Pretty clear in color has a cream colored head that was about an inch and a half thick that goes away fairly quickly. When it's gone it produces a ring around the edges with minimal lacing. The smell isn't what I expected. It actually smells bready/yeasty, Belgian actually, and almost a banana aroma. Malts are present, caramelized. Has a very slight citrus hop that you really have to search for. The taste is better, but still nothing like an American Strong Ale. There's still a lot going on in the flavor department however. Heavy on the malts, maybe some type of bourbon or scotch flavor to it. Very yeasty again and it almost seems to have some type of peanut oil aftertaste. There are some hops present in the flavor as well, has a bitter smokey aftertaste that goes along with the previously mentioned peanut oil taste. With all that's going on. Mouthfeel is pretty good, a little dryer than I expected, but good, it's pretty drinkable as well. I'm generally a pretty big fan of American Strong Ale's, but this was nothing like I've ever tasted before. I'd like to try it on tap and maybe get another bottle, because Im almost not convinced this is what it was supposed to taste like. If I don't like it the second time it won't keep me away from the brewery though, that's for sure.

 1,422 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is great to see Mayflower release their first big beer in bombers. I was lucky enough to try this last year on tap, and now it has arrived in the bottle. I poured it in to a Duvel glass. Color is a dark rosewood color, with a big pillow like white head. Despite the color, it still maintains a lot of clarity when held up to the light next to me. The first thing that strikes me is the strong wood notes in the nose, I can tell right off the bat that this had oak involved in it. There are also some smells of peanut butter, vanilla, toffee, and a hint of whiskey. Man, that peanut butter flavor really shows up in the smell along with the oak. Chocolate and molasses are other flavors that come to mind when sipping. It comes off as moderately sized, with the malt dominating...I might like a little more weight. Drinkability is fine, but with the large flavors and complexity, it definitely is a brew to take your time with, and let open up. This is every bit as good as I remember it being last year, perhaps a notch or two better. My favorite thing about this beer is that it speaks to the history of New England. Great stuff here from Mayflower, and I cannot wait to see how that barrel aged Barleywine turns out. Pair this one with Thanksgiving dinner. Cheers

 1,268 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
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

 186 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Nice amber slightly red dark color. Not much head on this one.

Sweet aroma of honey dominates the aroma. Not much but sweet malt smell here.

Nice good hearty taste. Starts out with a nice sweet maple flavor, and finishes dry and slightly crisp. Minimal hop flavor is present.

Good mouthfeel on this one.

This one is pretty drinkable for an old ale. Glad to have it. Could be a Thanksgiving tradition.

 425 characters

Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mayflower's Thanksgiving Ale opens with an earthy, malty nose, smelling of toasted wheat and rye bread crusts, peat, vanilla, and spent grain husks. The brew also carries a somewhat cola-like, or even Dr. Pepper aroma, as if lightly touched with kola nut. Some light fruit esters--white grape, apricot--bring in sugars, and the hops are hardly noticeable, except as a faint background citrus tone. As a whole, the nose is very light, and the aromas difficult to distinguish one from the other, but dark in overall tone.

On the tongue, the beer carries far more flavor than the nose implied, opening with a quick shot of brown sugar, which is quickly joined by wheat and rye bread crusts, vanilla, hints of fig juice, and a continuation of the Dr. Pepper/kola nut notes, though here those take on a toasted quality. Dark fruit esters--fig, yes, but also black cherry and prune--bring delicious flavors and sugars. A strong loam-like, bitter, earthy quality penetrates the profile, likely from the oak aging, and I couldn't escape the faint impression of sawdust. At the very end, an ashy tobacco thread emerges. The beer is very warming as it's swallowed, evidencing a higher ABV, but that ABV is largely hidden in the brew, and does not get in the way of the other flavors. The aftertaste is a continuation of the more bitter notes from the main mouthful, with remnants of fading sugars, and lingers for some time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, while there was much in this beer I did like, especially the range of flavors, I found the bitter Dr. Pepper/kola nut/wood notes slightly too strong, at times reminding me of biting into dandelion stems. A slightly sweeter touch would have better served the beer, showing off the great sugary esters that lie beneath.

 1,806 characters

Photo of Khazadum
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Easy to develop head, but the froth doesn't stick too well. Its got some nice retention but its poofy. The bubbles start out miniscule and creamy possibilities... but it quickly flows into something giant, frothy, fluffy, and odd.

S- Sharp.. really sharp, like spices gone old. I smell an all spice and cinnamon characteristic. Beyond that is a sweet and spicy note.. rye and malts. Bit of roasted biscuit character... Bit of clove character, but the finish is strongly phenolic and band-aid like. That belgian yeast strain has played havoc with the nose.

T- Sweet.. very nice caramel character, toasted bread, a brilliant tannic middle, banana right before the finish... and the finish is.. Rye spice with cloves. Ooo, a delightful rye lingering nature with some malted wheat character.

M- Full bodied, creamy, low crisp nature that rises and confounds the finish. Almost ruining the delightful belgian yeast character. Its sometimes lingering too long with biting corners, oxidized malt jumps out because of it. The alcohol doesn't blend well and actually jumps out at higher than 8%.

Not a bad beer at all, but it has some problems that may be due to age... but then the flavors wouldn't be nearly as good. Conflicting on this beer, conflicting.

 1,258 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle gifted to me by ljkeats & shamefully passed over for a few months till this years' Thanksgiving came up on the calender.

Poured heavy-handedly into a pint-sized crystal vase-like orifice in my grandmother's cabinet. A cascade of colorful fall leaves, maple & gold, move up the glass & settle into a thin cap of off-white head.

Caramelized malt, roasted nuts, & granola sweeten up initial whiff, while a bit of wood & hay bitter it up a bit.

Taste is a big spot of caramelized breakfast cereal, toffee, & maybe some black tea qualities. The hops are herbal, but mild to maybe moderate in strength. A half-sticky old ale is what comes to mind as I drink this. Though it contains much better carbonation & isn't as fruity. Finally noticed that it has that Sam Smith hard/minerally water thing going for it as well.

Overall, pretty nice. A bit thick & a bit seasonal(& a bit confusing), but I enjoyed it. Thank you Jeff.

 928 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark reddish brown with a hint of orange. Practically no head save for a small ring. Aroma was slightly sugary sweet, very small hint of alcohol, touch of caramel. Taste was a tad bitter up front, but mellowed out. Not as sweet as would be expected, a small hint of smokiness. Not quite what I would expect for this style. Felt outstanding in the mouth, coated extremely well, with just a hint of carbonation. Fairly drinkable, not overly strong, and not as syrupy as some.

 533 characters

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Duvel tulip, 2011 vintage.

Translucent but dark brown. Not like a Stout, reds shoot through in the light just fine. Some medium brown head.

Juicy, it just smells juicy. Buttered toast, Maris Otter, carob, all sorts of malt cause that's what it's got in it.

For all the malt, this is not sweet. Brown malt, brown sugar, diacetyl, herbal vegetal hops. An ever so slightly soapy strong hop bitterness makes its mark in the finish where there is also creamy chocolate.

It's a lovely creamy thing. Moderate carbonation with just a full and smooth feeling.

I was excited to try this when I received it, as I'd never heard of it and it looked like a 'different' strong ale. It is a bit different. Belgian yeast isn't all that apparent, while the skillful use of different malts is. I recommend it.

 812 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 272 characters

Photo of DrDogbeer
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Union Brewhouse. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear, darker reddish-brown. Very thin to no head. Almost looked non-carbonated. Good, strong aromaa. I get oak, whiskey and some vanilla. Taste is similar - lots of booze in the flavor. First off I get a lot of vanilla, then the whiskey. Someone commented "I think someone put a shot in my beer!" Very full flavor-wise. Very thin mouthfeel. I don't know if it is from the lack of carbonation, though. I cant believe this beer is only 7.7%- it's strength in flavor makes it seem much more. Pretty drinkable, though. I had 2, and will definitely have again!

 621 characters

Photo of mlazzaro
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Good clarity, pours a viscous deep reddish brown color. Head just won't hold up. Good carbonation thought. Oak is the dominant aroma, just about all I smell. Also quite apparent in the flavor as well. At first it was off-putting, but definitely growing on me a bit as I drink on. The rye and malty flavors come out much more once you get used to the robust oak. I believe that cooper means barrel aged, which would explain this is intense oakiness. Its a unique and decent beer. My 22oz bottle served 6 people comfortably (in a true thanksgiving fashion). The type of beer you don't mind trying, but maybe wouldn't drink all night long in huge quantity.

Minutes after finishing this beer I can still taste the beer writing the review. Serious lingering flavor.

 776 characters

Photo of darklordlager
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks goes out to tprokop7 for this in a trade.

Pours a dark ruby into a snifter. Small, very light tan head that dissipates after just a minute or two. Very nice looking beer.

Smell
Very biscuity, quite a bit of rye all the way through. Caramel and bread are in there as well. Maybe a little vanilla underlying it all (might just be because I'm looking for it though).

Taste
Rye is definitely very pronounced as in the smell. Spicy, with notes of sweet pepper. Hint of cocoa. A little caramel comes in with the finish along with a little heat. Alcohol works its way out a little more as it warms, but mixes with the rye very well. Some of the oak character comes out as it warms as well. Crispy, crunchy, biscuity. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel is great. Medium carbonation. Smooth, and a pleasant creaminess when the rye comes in near the end.

Lots more rye than I was expecting (which was a pleasant surprise). Oak chip aging isn't in your face, but helps blend in the alcohol very well. Anyone that loves rye ought to seek this one out!

 1,044 characters

Photo of thepeter
2.9/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

a-red brown with a thin head

s-flowers bubble gum and some bread, very interesting but not very nice IMO

T - a lot like the smell, but more fresh bread and add some mild hop flavor and some wood.

MD - thin and not much of a body to it. Could drink more but didn't really want to with other good beer available.

 313 characters

Photo of jmerloni
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Plum brown with decent tan head that retains somewhat and has good lacing.

S - Bready malts.

T - Mm, wow, this is way more jam-packed with flavor than the nose indicates. Pretty damn delicious actually. Red Delicious apples, pine, caramel and molasses malts with a bitter, boozy aftertaste.

M - Medium-bodied, not exactly dry. The sip breaks apart a little too much as you finish each swallow and it gives way to a a bitter aftertaste that is separate from any hop profile.

D - A good beer. If they tweaked the mouthfeel, this could be a great beer. I'd like this thick and chewy, personally. A solid offering, nevertheless. Good to see a local brewery succeeding.

 675 characters

Photo of YouSkeete
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown appearance with a red tinted tan head. Pale malts, bread, grannysmith apples, brown sugar off the aroma. Fresh hops, rye and wheat bread, malted barley on the initial sip. Mild hint of pears, apple pie spices and oatmeal. Bitter, sweet body with lots of smooth malts and bready flavors.

 300 characters

Photo of jonziefle
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a clear brown color, with garnet accents when held to the light. Two finger khaki-colored head, with a thick foamy consistency. Very good retention, only diminishing to a thin layer after a few minutes, but keeping that layer all the way down. Good lacing.

Smell: Strong and molasses/brown sugar sweet dark roasted malts. Caramel and cream.

Taste: Malty, sweet character. The same caramel and dark malts as in the nose. Dark fruit mixed in with roasted malts. A slight alcohol tingle in the back of your throat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with good consistency. Creamy and smooth. Chewy. A slight alcohol tingle.

Drinkability: Excellent beer that tastes great and is incredibly easy to drink. More flavor than your typical English Ale and a little sweeter as well. Decent ABV, without being obtrusive. Incredibly easy to drink

 848 characters

Photo of DirtyPenny
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a great big beer mug.

A: Big bountiful beige head. Dark brown with sharp reddish/orange highlights

S: Sweet, wet and musty. Malt character really comes through as this brew reaches room temp.

T: Sweet caramel malts, woody/nutty molasses and brown sugar mixed with astringent floral hop character and a punch of... maybe raisin and/or plum?. Bitter aftertaste carries with a slight lingering note of sweetness for a while after each swig.

M: Juicy and more than a bit sticky. You won't need to floss afterward, but you might feel like you want to brush your teeth.

O: Good, big beer that will conspire with turkey to put you to sleep for the afternoon. Which is good because the Cowboys always win the late afternoon game, so why bother watching? (Seriously, screw the Cowboys)

 793 characters

Photo of greybeardloon
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

stamped "2012"

A: Dark reddish brown with a thick white head and nice lacing.

S: Sort of a soapy herbal hoppiness and a very faint, slightly spicy malt.

T: Crusty bread, sweet (but not sticky or cloying; no molasses or fruit) malt, rich vanilla. Prickly yeast spiciness and herbal hop bitterness on the finish. There's a lot going on here, and it's all good.

M: Full but not too full to accompany food.

O: A very tasty beer. Unfortunately, it's 8% and only comes in bombers.

 480 characters

Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale from Mayflower Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 219 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!