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

BA SCORE
85
very good
1,318 Ratings
THE BROS
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Merry Maker Gingerbread StoutMerry Maker Gingerbread Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,318
Reviews:
268
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
13.98%
 
 
Wants:
51
Gots:
208
For Trade:
3
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,318 |  Reviews: 268
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours like motor oil with a jet black body topped by a two finger tan head with decent retention and lacing. Aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, caramel, vanilla and brown sugar. Very seasonally appropriate. Flavor is well done and I was shocked it wasn't too sweet with breads, cinnoman, vanilla, mild roasted malt, gingerbread. Full body and light to moderate carbonation. I was actually really surprised by this one. It's flavorful but not overdone. An excellent seasonal.

 488 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

 605 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a cool winter brew, but this was a let down to me in a few ways. the pour is sensational, really dark and thick, with a delicate but excitable dark brown head. the nose is more spice than gingerbread i think, lots of nutmeg and clove, a touch of ginger, and dark roasty coffee smelling malts. the taste is also more spiced than necessary, lots and lots of nutmeg. it doesnt taste like gingerbread to me, but it tastes good nonetheless. lots of burnt malt, a bit of residual sugar, and a velvety smooth texture that really makes this beer. as a holiday stout or something id like it better, but i was hoping for fresh baked gingerbread, and the malt profile and the spice blend fail to deliver that. a good beer overall though, with an abv that is just right this time of year. worth the price per bomber, but dont come into this expecting gingerbread.

 851 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a dark black color, kinda thick looking with a cream colored head on top. The retention was minimal and very little lacing as well. The smell of the beer is loaded with spice, not much of anything else really showing through here. The taste of is also spicy with a subtle malt sweetness in there while finishing dry and spicy. The mouthfeel is sharp, not overly smooth like I think it should be. There is a decent thickness to the beer though. Overall it's a decent brew. Glad I got to try it.

 512 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a light amount of carbonation visible by way of the bubbles rising along the sides of the glass. It poured with a finger and a half high dark tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of ginger in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of ginger but this is accompanied by other flavors such as cinnamon and nutmeg along with notes of dark and roasted malts.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer has an interesting taste and does resemble gingerbread, but overall I thought it would be much better if it had a fuller mouthfeel to support its strength. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

 922 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The fine ale and lager makers of the Samuel Adams brands greet the holiday season with the common spices of the holiday, but layer them on a roastier stout structure.

Dark "bark" brown in color, the beer sure fits the stout bill in color. A strong, creamy head builds on the beer with honeycomb structure, which slowly dissipates into a broken sheet on the surface and broken rings of lace on the glass.

Dominant spice aromas leap boldly from the glass with the vibrant blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Supportive roast aromas point toward the sturdy base beer underneath with added elements of bold coffee, burnt wood, buckwheat and molasses.

But in taste, it's the malt character that leads. Burnt toffee and black strap molasses' hearty sweetness coats the palate and invites complementing coffee, cocoa burnt embers and do so in a fairly dry taste. With its slight creaminess, a stronger smoothness of heavy whipping cream or vanilla could have soothed the rougher edges of spice and roast. Though balance is achieved primarity from spice additions of Christmas desserts, any hop balance is broad, earthy, and blends easily into the burnt wood notes or dark barley taste.

Though roasty-dry in taste, the textures are medium to full. The lightly acrid roast sensation and spice-derived astringency causes a sharp bite in the throat and sides of the mouth that supplants any meaningful hop balance in finish. Spices bridge into alcohol warmth very well for a delightful session to shake off the cold.

Though personally prefering a heartier roast beer for such assertive spice addition, I think that this fine ale suffers from being a little too dry and roasty which exposes a slight ashy and burr textures that could have been rounded out by a little extra sweetness from barley malt or from more confident milk sugar taste.

 1,843 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local TX bottle shop for $6.99 USD and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; beers in this Sam Adams series tend to underwhelm. "Ale brewed with spices." Reviewed as a stout because of the beer's name. Nothing on the label indicates this beer is a sweet/milk stout as currently categorized.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temp over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a surprisingly gorgeous two finger wide head of fantastic tan colour. Amazing creaminess and great thickness. Has an awesome soft complexion and an attractive even consistency. Even consistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is quite good for the high ABV - about 5 minutes. Overall, this is a really great looking head.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, this is a good looking stout and far surpasses my meagre expectations. I can only hope it tastes as good as it looks. I'm impressed.

Sm: Ginger. Dark malts. Cream. Chocolate malts. Nutmeg. Clove. Cinnamon. Sweet bread is prominent on the back end. It certainly evokes the holidays/holiday spices.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, or hop character is detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant aroma of mild strength and delivers on the premise of the beer. It smells like you'd expect a gingerbread stout to.

Mf: Has a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. Medium-bodied. A bit more filling than I anticipated, but by no means too heavy or overbearing. Chewy. Supple. Has a nice softness to it.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Has a nice presence on the palate. While this texture is above average and suits the taste well, it doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the flavours this beer showcases. Good execution overall.

T: The holiday-evoking spices are definitely noticeable here; you'd recognize them if you drank this blind: nutmeg, ginger, and hints of cinnamon and clove. I'm not finding the wheat mentioned on the label, but I do taste a generic dark malt and chocolate malt foundation. Cream. Lactose sugar. It's certainly on the sweeter side for a stout.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Overall, it's a balanced if simple flavour profile, and has excellent cohesion - but isn't quite gestalt. There's some nuance here; I've never had a gingerbread stout before. But as far as stouts go, it's not particularly complex or intricate. It does layer its flavours nicely, and has some nice subtlety. Good amplitude. I quite like the beer, and it tastes better than anticipated. The cream/creaminess is a highlight for me specifically.

Dr: I want to point out how well this beer's soft texture works for it. I didn't anticipate that ginger and holiday/festive spices would work this well in a stout, and in that sense this beer is a success. In fairness though, it's less a gingerbread stout than a stout with ginger. Decidedly not bready. Overall though, this is largely a success and I'm going to enjoy finishing the bottle. Very drinkable for its well-concealed ABV, and likely the best beer I've had in this Sam Adams series (though in fairness, that isn't saying much). I'd actually recommend friends pick this up if they chance across it, though it's not good enough to warrant a second purchase - at least not at this price point. This is the kind of beer that would be excellent as part of a Sam Adams winter pack. Well-executed overall, and well worth picking up once.

Bottom line: I'm surprised how well this seemingly unlikely combination of ginger and stout character works. This is a pleasant surprise in a normally underwhelming bottle series from Sam Adams.

High B-

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Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of oline73
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a thick dark brown, almost black color with two fingers of thick tan head. The head sticks around well as it fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: I'm getting lots of gingerbread spice with a very slight sweetness. There is a hint of roast, but the spices are the star.

Taste: There isn't much sweetness to this beer at all. I'm getting tons of clove along with the other spices, but there needs to be more sweetness to balance out the flavor. There is a touch of hops along with some roasted malt, but the spices rule.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with a good amount of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is way too bitter for the style. It really needs some more sweetness to balance things out. I don't need any more.

 818 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A very impressive pour, with a huge head taking up much of the Perfect Pint glass; always fun to watch a stout perform, with the inky black liquid expanding as the mocha colored bubbles contract at the bottom and fade at the top; plenty of lacing is left behind

Smell: Chocolate milk and gingerbread spices waft enticingly

Taste: Sugar and spice forward, with brown sugar dominating; underneath there is ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and milk chocolate; the sweeter elements continue to dominate, after the swallow and leave residual sugar in full bloom on the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: If only the flavors lived up to the aromatics, but this beer lacks depth and body; surprising, for a 9 percenter

 757 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of zeff80
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Poured out a jet black color with ruby highlights. It had a 3-finger head of light brown foam that left sticky lacing.

S - It smelled of ginger and lots of other Christmas spices.

T - Lots of ginger, lots and lots of ginger. Too much ginger. Some roasted malt character buried underneath the ginger.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium bodied ale.

O - This would be fine if split 3 or 4 ways. An entire bottle is too much ginger for one human.

 453 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; batch 1, bottled in 10/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark khaki with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, gingerbread, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, floral, and light roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of spices and dark malt notes. Taste of dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, toast, clove, dark bread, molasses, floral, and light roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, dark bread, toast, clove, molasses, and light roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance of roasted malt flavors with spices with good complexity; with a nice malt/spice balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent spiced imperial stout! Great balance of dark malt and spice flavors with good complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,301 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of nickfl
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a massive, three finger head of dark tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles slowly and leaves decent lace.

S - Dark caramel with a touch of smoky coffee and spicy notes of cinnamon, ginger, and clove.

T - Dark bread and chocolate up front. Some cinnamon and clove in the middle with a sweet, malty finish of clove, licorice, dark chocolate, and spices.

M - A fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - The spices are prominent and they initially promise to work well with the dark, bready malt, but in the end it is just too much. The sweetness is excessive and this makes the spice character feel cloying as well. It needs some sharpness to counteract the cloying, flabby malt and spice character. Overall, this reminds me more of a bad flavored coffee drink than a stout, with too much spice, too much sweetness and nothing to balance.

 898 characters

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Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,318 ratings.
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