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

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Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Merry Mischief

Added by Tilley4 on 10-20-2012

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Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 1,317
Photo of Beerisheaven
2.2/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The single worst beer that I have had this year. Two sips then down the drain the bottle went. Horrible metallic taste with absolutely no nutmeg, ginger, etc. I like Hardywood an decided to try this as an easy to obtain alternative. Bad move, do not waste your time with this slop.

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Photo of Gingrbreadchick
2.38/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Smells and tastes like drinking a tall glass of Worcestershire sauce. Not good. Initial taste of spices however the aftertaste makes it seem like it belongs on a pork roast. May have tasted better had it not been such a heavy stout.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Was hoping for a lot more out of this beer. Black pour with a medium sized tan head. Minimal lacing. Aroma of gingerbread is there, but the flavor tasted like they emptied the spice cabinet a little too much. Overpowering on the cloves and ginger taste. Too much for me. I'll pass on this one.

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Photo of miclormic
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this beer is an absolute disappointment. I waited for my local"beer guy" to get this in his store. Reserved 2 bottles so as not to be "sold out"

What a disappointment . It has no distinct flavor of ANYTHING. It tastes like a watery mix of spice. I was really looking forward to a robust ginger stout. I can't even get a HINT of ginger anywhere in this beer. PASS ON THIS ONE!

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Photo of CHickman
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of teromous
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Dark black with a huge active dark tan head. Very foamy head that stands for a very long time. Good lacing.

S: It smells of gingerbread cookies. The label says "Gingerbread Stout" and it looks like they've hit their mark. No other aromas.

T: Surprisingly weak flavor compared to the strength of the scent. There's a very extremely faint roast flavor. I pick up no gingerbread spice in the taste. It is extremely low on bitterness, to the point where it probably shouldn't even be considered a stout aside from the color. Very very disappointing.

M: The carbonation is just right, but the mouthfeel is very timid and watery. No hop or grain bitterness to speak of. It is a very lifeless beer.

O: It started out with all the marks of a really fantastic beer until I tasted it. I just doesn't have any flavor! Nothing when the beer first hits the palate, nothing mid-range, nothing on the back, nothing in the aftertaste. Just an extremely light roasted flavor and a hint of alcohol. I can't recommend this beer. It would work well as an aromatic candle for Christmas, but it tastes nothing like a quality stout and doesn't even touch the flavor of a cheap store bought gingerbread man. This beer leaves me kind of bummed out...

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Photo of TheLostGringo
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up a few bottles of this as I thought it might be nice to have around for the Holidays for family and friends.

A: Looks fine, nice dark pour with some large bubbly Head.

S: Really on the Mark, I feel like I am smelling a Gingerbread Cookie.

T: Not for me, spice gone wild, would have preferred this to be more like a stout with some subtle ginger and spice flavor.

M: This is where I feel this beer really misses the mark, thin, overly-bubbly. This is no Stout.

O: Didn't enjoy once I got past the smell, would not drink again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a huge fluffy tan head that sticks around forever. The aroma is dominated by ginger with a hint of clove sneaking out. There might be more in there but I can't get past the ginger sauce. The flavor is a little better, but not much. Ginger again is a dominant flavor here with some nutmeg and all spice rounding out the spice palette. There's some caramel, a hint of chocolate, a touch of lactose, and a bit of wet dog in here to make an attempt at some balance. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet spice laden mouthfeel. I did not enjoy this beer, I rank it right up there with cherry wheat. The Ginger is strong enough that instead of thinking gingerbread men I'm thinking Japanese steak house ginger sauce. Great idea, lackluster results.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
2.73/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours jet black with a thin brown head. Recedes to a cream color lining around the edge of the glass. As the beer warms the head completely disappears. Hardly any lacing to speak of.

Smell: Banana bread, fruit cake, gingerbread, cloves, nutmeg, coffee, and a hint of cinnamon. Like smelling potpourri.

Taste: Initial taste of banana bread followed by a brief appearance of ginger, cloves, and cherries which disappears under a spicy, potpourri blast of flavor. Whoa! Resides to a subtle aftertaste of hops with more potpourri left in the nose. After you’re done wincing from the potpourri there’s that toasted, coffee malt aftertaste that reminds you that you’re actually drinking a stout. Slight warmness from the alcohol.

Overall: Hard to drink because of the overwhelming spice notes. Tastes like Christmas at Yankee Candles. Make sure you have some water handy. Overall it was an interesting experience but I will not be seeking it out again. At least it had a cool label.

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Photo of tkelley
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was very underwhelmed by this beer. Lots of gingerbread spices and whatnot. Cloying sweetness. Looks good. Smells spicy -- ginger and clove. Cinnamon is clearlythere. I don't usually like beers that lack any semblance of hops or malt and this one doesn't have much of either. I don't know what I expected but I wasnot impressed.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown and borderline black in color with a hazelnut one finger creamy layer on top.

S - Ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, smells like a big gingerbread cookie and spices - interesting aroma.

T - Taste is dominated by cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and a little touch of chocolate.

M - Medium heavy body and light carbonation.

O - I'll pass on this one next time, dominating spice drowns out the chocolate character.

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Photo of cnbrown313
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a 22oz bomber for $6.99

A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black with very little carbonation that leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S - Nutmeg, clove, ginger, spice... at first smell, it reminded me a lot of a Pumking.

T - The spice hits you first with the ginger and nutmeg standing out. But after that, I was a little bit disappointed. I was hoping for a little bit of complexity in the flavor and a better stout all around - but this beer kept me wishing that there was more too it. It was sweet, but otherwise kind of boring. After a while, the spices get to be too much for me as well - and I usually like heavily spiced beers.

M - The mouth feel was alright, but I thought that it was a little thin. I like milk stouts that have that thick creamy body, and this was not like that at all.

O - I am glad I gave this beer a try, and it wasn't overly expensive, but I won't be revisiting it anytime soon.

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Photo of srowl92
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A: watery molasses, used motor oil. Nice and thick chocolate milk frothy head.

S: strong smell of gingerbread and other seasonal spices and alcohol

T: Intense, bold robust flavor followed by gingerbread  and chocolately malt alcohol. Goes down slightly warm. Once it warmed tasted like soy sauce mixed with worchiester suace.

M: Full bodied, creamy, warm, heavy. Almost chewy

O: Pretty tolerable in the begging.  The more it warmed the more unpreffered flavors presented themselves.

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Photo of dadonabike
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pour a nice deep brown/black with a lovely thick dark tan head. The head diminishes but stays just enough. Nice thick lacing as well.

S: molasses and caramel mixed with clove and nutmeg.

T: First thought, yuck, molasses and cloves! Very sweet as I expected but the spice mix is not to my liking. Seems to me the clove and nutmeg really overwhelms everything else. I was hoping for more ginger and pepper and bitterness. I find this beer a bit cloying, it dries out a bit but I can’t get over the spice blend.

M: Love the mouth feel. It’s rich and thick. The carbonation seems right on.

D: Not so sure. I won’t reach for another.

O: If the ginger were kicked up (dried ginger, candied ginger, throw some root in late boil), throw in some black pepper and up the bitterness I’d call this an all-around winner. A bit of bitter orange wouldn’t hurt either. If you are on the fence about spiced beers, don’t try this one.

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Photo of ARoman
2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

*from old notes 1/17/2014*
22oz bomber poured into a snifter. There’s no doubt this is a gingerbread beer from the aroma - it’s the dominating scent. There’s some vanilla (reminiscent of a "frosting" scent) along with some jujyfruit/gumdrop aromas (mostly cherry and lemon-esque) followed briefly by faint whiffs of alcohol. A near opaque red/brown body is topped by a generous, fluffy, brown head - which recedes, although a decent layer remains throughout). The lacing is of small bubbles which mostly cascade without much remaining on the glass. An initial dry, alcohol taste is the first greeting of the liquid in the mouth, but this blends into the dry gingerbread sweetness, and shortly thereafter, a very light citrus (lemon) sour. There’s also a mellow bitter presence in there, but I can’t quite pinpoint it aside from the tongue feel. It’s a medium-full body beer that’s mostly flat - although some carbonation comes through more as it warms - with a creamy texture. The finish starts out as toasty and chocolaty with a mellow butter and nutty quality to it. After awhile longer, the gingerbread taste is what sticks as the prevalent aftertaste along with some hoppiness (really the first time the hoppiness reveals itself - there were maybe some hints earlier in the initial taste, but it’s washed out by the sweetness and malt flavors); although it’s tough to say what I think of it - syrupy sweet gingerbread plus mellow bitter hops. This might be a well constructed beer, but it’s a bit too sugary sweet for my preferences.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle to glass

A- Good thick color with a finger of creamy head. The warmer the beer you pour the thicker the head so pour slow.

S- Ginger, cloves and chocolate malts.

T- Cream followed by ginger followed by chocolate and cream and then ginger sitting on the tongue

M- Creamy feel that fills the mouth and follows nicely. The ginger, however, bites hard if the beer is too cold but if the right temperature is balanced nicely by the creamy following.

O- Very nice milk stout but the ginger adds to the bite and really isn't needed. Honestly it almost ruined the beer for me. I think that this would make a better high ABV milk stout.

Temperature makes a huge difference with this beer. Too cold you're getting too much bite and warmer stout temperatures really bring out the creamy quality of this milk stout and cut down the bite. Honestly if you plan to enjoy this beer right drink it around 42-45 degrees or else your review will change drastically.


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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.01/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Surprisingly pours a thick black with a nice dark brown head. Decent smell of raisins and spices. No gingerbread. Heavy beer but the 9% ABV is very noticeable and is so prevalent that it is hard to enjoy. Cool bottle and drinking half of this gave a nice buzz.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.02/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Karl Strauss pint
From: Costco in San Marcos, Calif., on Dec. 6, 2012
Price: $20 for Small Batch Collection variety 4-pack
BOD: None, “Batch 1” on back of label

Black with 2-3 fingers of tan head. Sporadic and bad lacing. Below average retention and was gone within 7-8 minutes.

Smelled Fire Balls, Ginger Ale, nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread and a tad bit of honey.

Tasted a lot of those smells but with a bit of a butter cheesy feel. Got nutmeg, cinnamon, butter, cheese and gingerbread. Definitely a huge artificial taste.

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft (Below average)-to-average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Really not a fan of this beer at all. The smell was the best part and then it just took a drastic turn.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an unbranded short stemmed tulip/snifter

Pours an opaque black with a two finger fluffy, light tan head. Above average retention, abundant splotchy lacing. Alot of spice on the nose, ginger being most prominent, followed by cinnamon, nutmeg, and hints of clove. The taste follows the nose with added chocolate, but the spicing is far too strong and completely dominates as the base beer is difficult to discern. Moderate to low carbonation, smooth with a hint of velvet. This beer has a lot of promise, however, the amount of spices used is excessive. With some changes in the recipe, this beer could become an excellent holiday treat.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with almost three fingers of dense light brown foam. This is really a very pretty beer.

S: Smells just like gingerbread cookies - I get lots of clove and nutmeg with ginger and cinnamon in the background. Behind that I get a bit of lactose sweetness and malted milk balls, but the base beer isn't very pronounced.

T: I get a very strong ginger flavor - way too strong to be similar to gingerbread. There is certainly clove there as well as a bit of nutmeg, but the pungent ginger flavor overwhelms. The base beer does come out a bit more here than it did in the aroma. I get some dark chocolate and a bit of roast. Lactose sweetness is moderate and pleasant.

M: Medium thickness with good, creamy carbonation.

O: The smell has a nice gingerbread note without showing the base beer enough. The flavor allows the base beer to come through more appropriately, but has a ginger flavor that overwhelms. With some tweaks, this good be good. As is, it's mediocre.

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Photo of Hsraiders9688
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
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

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Photo of gabedivision
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a bomber to a goblet glass

A- pitch black, not a speck of light getting through this, 1/4 inch mocha head that dies down to a timid ring around the top of the glass. classic Imp Stout

S- Big gingerbread smell on the nose, ginger, anise, clove, nutmeg, all spice cinnamon. Just an assult of spice that is pretty demanding and overpowering any other flavors, a touch of vanilla and brown sugar can also be found.

T- Right on the tongue there is a carbonation tingle and mix of spice that gives it almost a birch beer or cherry cola twist mixed with nyquill , followed by chocolate, hints of dark sweet fruits, lots of spice, and plum of alcohol.

M- Full bodied Imp stout, thick, boozey, a tad too carbonated.

O- This beer is fun, its experimental, its very christmasy but one thing it is not, is tasty. Weird medicinal Nyquill taste, almost made this fucker undrinkable, i really wish the taste mimicked the smell but it doesnt.

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Photo of cbutova
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pitch black pour into a pint glass. A nice and creamy dark mocha head forms with a big several finger head. Good retention and some decent lacing.

S- A weaker nose as far as strength but I get just a bit of ginger and underlying roasty stout.

T- Holy ginger bomb. Really can hardly tell it is a stout because the ginger makes me think it is a overspiced pumpkin ale. Seriously ginger. Besides that a bit of nutmeg, cloves, roast malts, spicy bitterness, cocoa powder and cinnamon.

MF- Fairly thin body for a stout with a slightly creamy feel. Carbonation is on the lower medium side. Bitter feel comes from the spices.

Ginger bomb and some other stuff on the side. Pairs well with ginger snap.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch # 1.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight cocoa, and a variety of spices like cinnamon and clove. Taste is of dark roasted malt, mild spices, and a salty soy sauce flavor. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that sounds good on paper but isn't done all that well in my opinion.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,317 ratings.
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