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Mayflower Imperial Stout | Mayflower Brewing Company

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Mayflower Imperial StoutMayflower Imperial Stout
Very Good
80 Ratings
Mayflower Imperial StoutMayflower Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Mayflower Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
We aged the beer in used bourbon barrels for 8 months. Those barrels have also had Sam Adams Utopias and our Barley Wine aged in them, so they have a nice pedigree! ABV is about 10%

Added by nas5755 on 01-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of axeman9182
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Mayflower Imperial Stout pours a complete black, with about two fingers of abnormally dark foam, closer to milk chocolate than caramel, serving as a crown. Retention is decent, but there's no real lacing to be found. The nose is a little bit muted, but I can pick up on a pretty nice blend of milk chocolate and bourbon. Initially the beer is a bit too heavy on bourbon, with it overpowering the chocolate, vanilla, and oak notes. As it warms though, the beer falls into a better balance. The body is a bit thin for a 10%+ stout, I was expecting a little bit more heft to it. Given the low body, the carbonation is textbook understated for a stout, but had the beer been as rich as it should be I'm not sure it would have been carbonated enough. Mayflower's barrel aged Imperial Stout isn't a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd say it does fail to live up to the high standards set by both last year's barrel aged Barleywine and the other top notch -bal stouts out there.

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Photo of DrJay
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black with very fine caramel coloured bubbles covering the beer. The lingering collar left a bit of spotty lacing on the glass. Roasty aroma, lots of caramel, toffee, coffee, booze, vanilla. The flavour was lighter than I expected, perhaps a little thin up front. Notes of caramel and vanilla played well with the roasty character, but there was less bitterness/sweetness than I usually find with a RIS. Booze was present, particularly in the finish, but well controlled. Dried fruits towards the end with malty finish. The texture was alright, full bodied with low carbonation, some astringency coupled with some residual sugar -- sort of hurt the mouthfeel a bit. Overall, a notch above average. If the beer were a little more thick and rich, it probably would have taken the barrel aging better.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Mayflower stout has a body that is the darkest shade of brown and opaque at its core. The light brown head is thick and rocky. Retention is good and lacing is spotty.

Chocolate and roasted malts join wood, bourbon and vanilla in the nice. A good bit of alcohol is in there also.

I'm a Mayflower fan, so I was looking forward to trying this one, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Chocolate and roasted malts lead things off, and then the flavor moves into the barrel characteristics. Dark fruits macerated in bourbon, spicy oak and vanilla are all present. The finish is the real problem: it brings more bourbon, but also a ton of heat and harsh alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good, big, full and creamy. Mayflower is one of those breweries that seems to do a good job with the mouthfeel of their beers.

Too harsh and boozy for me. May benefit from spending a little more time in the bottle.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lexington Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

*Insert obligatory pilgrim joke (that I don't feel like coming up with) here.* This stuff pours a rich obsidian topped by a finger of light sienna foam. The nose comprises oak, molasses, vanilla, buttercream, roasted malts, and chocolate. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, both milk and dark chocolate, and a light kiss of oak. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta chewy feel. Overall, a very nice impy stout. I think I'd prefer to get more of the barrels' character in there, but even as is it's pretty damn tasty.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Spleeb for this interesting beer.

The beer pours an abyssal darkness with a initial dark sandy brown that fades to an oil slick sheen on the surface. The aroma is rather pleasant. There are complex notes of cocoa, whiskey, brown sugar, maple syrup, figs, and raisins. The taste has many of the same flavors found in the nose. The strong fig and mexican chocolate taste are rather nice. There is a boozy flavor there and it melds with the fig tastes. The mouthfeel is rather viscous and pleasant but with the bourbon flavor there is much left to be desired. This is a tasty tasty beverage and I'm glad that I decided to request this beer. A wonderful surprise.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

220z bomber poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours motor-oil black with a two-inch brown head. The head settles shortly.

S: Roasted coffee, creamy vanilla, wood. Cocoa, dark chocolate. Faint plums. Spicy tobacco leaf. Bourbon comes out more as it warms.

T: Creamy vanilla puts the drinker at ease before tastes of wood and cigar-like herbal hops excite the palate. Bourbon-like flavors (I guess this is the Utopias) come out more and more as the beer warms. A bit of plum and currant darkfruit. Finishes with roasted coffee, milk chocolate, wood, and smoke.

M: Thick, rich, and full. Syrupy and mouth coating. Low carbonation. Very nicely done. Warming alcohol presence soothes all the way down the throat.

D: Drinks like a good RIS should.

Notes: I was not expecting this to be a barrel-aged beer, as nothing on the label suggested it. Upon taking my first sip, the barrel-aging was immediately apparent. Underneath the barrel flavors this seems to be a nearly perfect example of the style. I happen to enjoy barrel-aged beers with more assertive bourbon and barrel tastes, but I think this one is going to be too much for a lot of people.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.85/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opaque black color. Large, dark tan head that sputters to a collar. Despite such a shameful show of retention the collar leaves lace aplenty.

Aroma is roast malt, vanilla, molasses and burn simple sugar sweetness - like when I start my priming sugar then forget about it until it's congealed, gooey brown. Maybe a little bourbon. Maybe I'm trying too hard.

The thin mouthfeel is painfully evident upon first sip. The Winter Oatmeal Stout seems bigger at 6%. Taste is roasted sweet and sour mix. Like stout mixed with duck sauce. Monotone.

Whereas I look forward to the limited and big beer offerings from most breweries I've found that with Mayflower it's their everyday portfolio I love the most. Their big beers (I'm looking at you barleywine and RIS) tend to a letdown. Save money and grab a sixer of their Winter Oatmeal.

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Photo of Lunch
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a great and straightforward trade with Shaggy9356, thanks! This sounded really interested and I do love BA Imperial Stouts.

Pours black and thick into my Great Lakes snifter with a finger or so of a tan head.

Smell is very boozy and usually I like that sort of thing, but this almost has a grain alcohol thing going on. Some chocolate, but this is hot.

Taste is similar with a lot booze, but not in a good way. picking up chocolate and quite of of the BW that was previously in the barrel. Interesting, but not my favorite.

Very thick and full, but the booze really limited my enjoyment of this.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Huhzenbendah I believe at a recent tasting, poured into a Darkness snifter.

Beer is black with a tan head, thin, breaks quickly, low carbonation some lacing. Looks like beer.

Aroma is complex, chocolate and coffee with some booze and oak. I like the aroma.

This beer was aged in Utopia barrels I believe, it's a very nice beer with a medium body and some creaminess in the mouthfeel. Sweetness and booze but no heat, I don't find it hot at all really. The finish is a little dry, giving the perception of heat but it's not bad again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in my DR snifter. Jan 2011 vintage. Pours an inky black with a quarter inch, mocha-colored head that quickly disperses into a sudsy band around the shoulders. Only a residual slick remains across the surface. Some lacing but no legs. Nose expresses whiskey notes, a roasted quality and some form of artificial sweetener. Taste consistent with nose - unfortunately, this beer is lacking the classic rich malty backbone characteristic of the style; however, some interesting buttery notes and a slightly tart quality also comes out in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light (a bit on the thin side) with an oily consistency and an even, easy carbonation that culminates in a touch of acidity detectable towards the finish. I liked this beer, but didn't love it. There are definitely some interesting qualities, but it just didn't come together for me. Not recommended for extended cellaring in my opinion.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black with a respectable tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top. Smells of whiskey and wood, chocolate and coffee heavy on the booze and wood. Taste is a bit hot with alcohol up front. Lots of creamy chocolate and roasted malts mid way through. Kind of a dry finish with a vodka/rubbing alcohol taste lingering long after each sip. Syrupy mouthfeel, medium body, light level of carbonation. Young hot and unbalanced, the flavors need time to meld and soften. Some time might fix this one, but as is this one is only ok.

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Photo of brentk56
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Almost pitch black with a rocky tan head; the lacing; streaks of lace polka dot the chalice

Smell: Fusel alcohol and wood dominates the aroma; while there is some chocolate underneath, it is hard to discern

Taste: Black bread opening, with the yeast becoming prominent early on; by mid-palate, some dark fruit, bourbon and vanilla arrive, with the barrel adding a somewhat sour dimension that persists after the swallow; the finish was boozy and harsh, though there was some chocolate, vanilla and oak in there as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; somewhat creamy, with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I am not sure where this beer is headed but I am glad I did not cellar it further; perhaps I had a mis-handled bottle but I was concerned that the sour element was just going to get worse over time; rather a disappointment from a brewer whose other beers I have really enjoyed

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Photo of Gushue3
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours black and velvety, with mocha head that stays around.

S- roasty, boozy and malty. light cocoa and earthy bitterness too

T- wow. big taste. nice alcohol/boozy taste upfront followed by malt sweetness. finishes smooth with a small bitterness/booze linger. picking up some small chocolate notes too.

M- feels really nice. lots of tiny tiny carbonation bubbles that drinks smooth after the initial sip

D- excellent beer. mayflower makes great beer to begin with but i picked this up on a whim. did not expect it to be this good. pleasant surprise. buy it, drink it.

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Photo of bum732
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Rum raisin bread and bourbon notes, some vanilla from the oak, alcohol, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, some earthiness with caramel sweetness.

L: Thick lucious black, dark tan head that dissipates slightly, amazing.

T: Bitter roasty malt with chocolate acidity and some bourbon sweetness. Alcohol present in the initial taste, but not off-putting. Medium-low bitterness leads to some chocolate, alcohol and a bold charred roastiness. Finishes semi-sweet with some coffee roastiness and chocolate sweetness.

M: Medium low carbonation, full creamy body.

Just amazing. Bourbon strength was perfect, some alcohol took away from giving a 5. But altogether holds together masterfully. Exactly what i want in a RIS.

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Photo of Liverpool08
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark black with a thin mocha colored head. First whiff is booze. A bourbony mocha smell. Very enticing and quick to wake up your nose. The first sip is the same, bourbon, mocha, and a little hint of vanilla. This is definately an Imperial stout. Its very booze heavy, yet still mellows out at the end so you can have another sip. This is a very well crafted beer. The booze is slowly mellowed out by some bitterness at the end that evens everything out. But you really won't need more than one unless you are sharing a bottle.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A= The Appearance is really great nice dark black a little mocha head that disappears quick.

S= I really smell the Bourbon in the nose, I also get some vanilla, maybe some dark fruits in this one. I also get some dark roasted coffee in this beer.

T= Dark roasted malts, Bourbon come through in the taste get some vanilla in the taste coffee comes through in more in the taste more in the taste.

M= Pretty thick beer, not that much carbonation full bodied.

D= Pretty drikable if in the right mood and I probably wouldn't want more than one of these bottles in one sitting.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz thanks to Ray TBG. Poured into bells tulip. Jan 2011 release.

A- FANTASTIC pour. Deep, squid ink black, brown sugar head that is 3 fingers tall and laces nicely. Wow. I wish all my stouts poured like this.

S- Bourbon is dominant.. caramel and dark roast coffee too.

T- Big roasty malts hit me first. The boozy barrels come through too. Sweet fruity brandy/cognac... never had utopias but I swear I can taste the BW that was in these barrels. Interesting take. Never had a -bal aged beer like this.

M- Thick, viscous, ample carbonation, sublime flavors. Booze is a bit hot, although this is fresh. Time will be kind to this, methinks.

D- Moderate. Very tasty but rich and heavy. One you gotta take your time with. Wish I had more of this :/ .... although glad Mayflower is coming to RI!!

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this beer at a recent tasting.

This beer pours a dark dark brown to almost black color, with a small light tan colored head. The smell is bourbon up front with hints of vanilla and a light roasted smell. the bourbon flavor is not as strong as the smell would make you think, this is probably because the barrel was originally sam utopias barrel, then used for the barley wine they made last year. the alcohol is apprent in the taste, but not to much so. the mouthfeel is a little thin for the style, but its a good beer, very drinkable

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black into a snifter with the faintest garnett highlights. Fading grasps of lacing last on the glass. In the aroma a fleeting amount of oak and vanilla pop up, then all roast and chocolate followed by the presence of booze. The taste is only the reverse, big roast and cocoa nibs up front followed by hints of oak, barrel, vanilla, and than bitterness like 70% + cacao. Some real hop bitterness makes itself apparent. Thick mouth coating capabilities, but a hotness makes this beer less than quafable. I can't imagine much improvment with age. Drink it now make room in the cellar.

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Photo of 603BeerMe
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared into two Portsmouth Brewery tulips

A - Dark! Thin, maybe one finger head, stays for most of the glass. Great legs! Looks a bit thin but not watery.

S - Bourbon(duh!) but not as much in the taste, sweet, vanilla, raisins(?), slight molasses. Great aroma!

T - Bourbon up front, vanilla, roasted coffee, little bit of chocolate, oak, hops, a bit bitter. VERY tasty! Liking this one!

M - Again, thin but I'm enjoying it. Carbonation is under control. Smooth.

D - A great Russian Imp Stout! I have another bottle that will get a year, or so of age. Shared the bottle with a Stout loving friend & we both agreed, VERY good, solid Stout we will definitely seek out again - too bad the store near his house is sold out until next year!

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Photo of albern
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice Imperial Stout, but don't let the nose deceive. This pours very thick from the bottle and the nose is very boozy, almost medicinal. I was expecting an ultra boozy RIS with an ABV hyped beyond warrant. Not so. The beer is inky black, thick, smallish brown head that gives way quickly to an oily filmed top with no head or lace.

The taste is quite nice. There is a slight bourbon barrel quality to the beer, but I really appreciated the oaky, slightly cherry, molasses taste to the beer. It was quite smokey and also fairly sweet. There is some charred notes lurking about and some burnt woodiness to the beer too. It's a complex beer but quite nice. I'm not sure of the ABV but it really is reined in as far as I can tell. The beer is warming, but not boozy. I'm not a huge fan of the RIS style but I did like this. The mouthfeel is quite oily, but cream and smooth on the tongue. No real lingering charred flavors follow you into the finish. I'd go back for another.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts with the darkest head (deep tan) I have ever seen. Leaves generous lace on the glass. The liquid is dark brown, where no light can get through.

Far more sweet than most Imperial Stouts to the nose. Strong brandy smell from an apparently high alcohol content. If I didn't know better, I would think that this is a barley wine.

Less sweet and oily (from alcohol) than the smell suggests. Still, it is a potent brew. Not as harsh as a dry stout and, frankly, it is not as rich as I would expect from this style. The flavor, though, is rich with darker stone-fruit notes. There's some black patent bitterness without any coffee overtones--very different. The finish is an interesting combination of alcohol, bitter hop and deeply roasted malts.

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Photo of BeerMusketeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, dark black with a pretty decent sized tan head. Smells of wood, chocolate, and bourbon. I also smells some dark fruits. The taste is pretty well balanced and will likely improve with age. Very soft mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. Very solid Imperial Stout.

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Photo of jayt206
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black with a one finger mocha head.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, sweet cherries, oak, and chocolate.

T: Bourbon up front, with a nice smooth vanilla and chocolate middle. A little earthy bitterness at the end. No notice of the sweet cherries in the nose.

M: Medium body. Definitely a lighter body for the style.

D: Very smooth and drinkable brew. Nice mix of flavors. Would definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark frothy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace over pitch black semi thick beer, a slight bit of lacing.

Nose brings lots of nice bourbon to start but then the bourbon almost disappears, lots of oak and woody ethers, the bourbon is really nice on the nose, with that is some dark malts, a bit of chocolate and hints of roast, some earthy hops, light coffee, caramel and bit of molasses, touch of vanilla.

Taste is loaded with dark malts, some roast, bit of black patent, bit of coffee, little syrupy molasses like aroma, smooth creamy malts, some vanilla, very slight fluffy nougat, little bit of nutty malts, bitter dark malts almost baltic porter like, some earthy bittering hops, and of course lots of woody esthers and oak, as well as some bourbon but not as much as I expected. It gets a bit juicy on the finish, with a slight dryness and slight sticky feel, lots of lingering woody esthers, bit of sweet malt flavors, molasses, and roast.

Mouth is a slightly heavier bodied with a fluffy and little bit creamy demeanor, and decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, I imagine it has a pretty high abv, but doesnt feel like it, some sweetness and syrups but not a lot, a bit of a dry finish, and slight sticky.

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Mayflower Imperial Stout from Mayflower Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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