Review: Merry Maker, Samuel Adams

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout
Samuel Adams — Boston, MA

  • Style:  Gingerbread Stout
  • Bitterness:  25 IBU
  • ABV:  9.0%
  • Malts:  Two-Row Pale, Wheat, Special B, Roasted Barley, Flaked Oats
  • Hops:  East Kent Goldings, Fuggles
  • Special Ingredients:  Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle (provided by brewery) 

Description:  This rich dark gingerbread stout entices with the aromas of the holidays.  The flavor of gingerbread comes alive, beginning with the smooth sweetness and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat.  But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief. Samuel Adams 

Random thoughts:  Gingerbread is a classic holiday treat. Would you care for gingerbread in your beer? That’s what Samuel Adams attempts to deliver with Merry Maker, a Small Batch release. I’m tasting Merry Maker as part of my winter beer series.

The tasting:  Black in color, with a dark tan head that dissipates very slowly. From the first whiff, the spices make their presence known. Cinnamon, nutmeg and mild notes of clove are prominent. The beer delivers on its promise early—it smells just like a gingerbread cookie! Taste starts with a rush of the same spice flavors that filled the aroma. However, this time, ginger emerges through the spice. In the middle, roasted malt and light coffee flavors come through. Overall, the rich roasty malt and spice flavors meld seamlessly. There’s also a light touch of malt sweetness in the middle. It’s not overdone and works well with the roasted malt and spice. Hop bitterness is low throughout. Merry Maker is medium bodied, softly carbonated, and has a creamy smooth mouth feel. It finishes with warming alcohol, light roast, and gingerbread spice. 

4 star.  Really good! I want this again!  Merry Marker promises a gingerbread cookie in a glass, and delivers! The Samuel Adams brew crew hit the nail on the head with this beer. It has all the flavors you’d expect but doesn’t go overboard with the sweetness. Be wary, as this is a stealthy beer. It may be 9% ABV, but it doesn’t taste like it! Merry Maker is a good choice to pair with holiday desserts—or let it serve as your dessert itself.

Although this beer tastes great fresh, I wonder how a year or two in the cellar might transform it?  Maybe I’ll pick up an extra bottle next year, and find out. 

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