Ale brewed with spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. 9.0% ABV.

Sam Adams Merry Maker

The Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA, Cincinnati, OH, and Breinigsville, PA

Part of the small batch series from Sam Adams, sold in 22 ounce bombers.

Now this is a serious holiday brew that combines all of the elements that I associate with the season. Big, dark, and spiced, it’s right in my wheelhouse: stout, check; gingerbread, check; 9%? check! I am ready to rock & roll with this one! Let loose the liquid baked treats!

Pours out almost like motor oil in viscosity. Impenetrable black body capped by a half inch or so of pale caramel foam that gradually recedes to a partial collar and large thin island of foam.

Aromas of spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger all come through, spicy and singing of rich holiday baked goods. There’s also some dark caramelized malt, almost molasses-like with a light burnt note.

This is a full-bodied, velvety smooth and mouth-filling brew. There’s a light, very fine carbonation that keeps it from becoming overly heavy on the palate.

Complex beer, with spices up front (again, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger are all discernible), followed by molasses and a light roastiness with some coffee character. Light bitterness leaves it on the sweeter side, which seems appropriate for a gingerbread stout. More depth of  flavor becomes evident midway through; really does taste like liquid gingerbread, with some coffee. Carries the 9% really well, not at all boozy or hot. Actually very (dangerously!) drinkable and smooth. Nice roasty finish with the spices gently fading and lingering mild sweetness. I start to notice the alcohol a little as it warms up closer to room temperature. Not much lace left behind on the glass. Overall though a playfully delicious stout.

Outstanding offering. If you like gingerbread and stout, don’t pass this one up!

Rating     Appearance: 4.5/5     Aroma: 8.5/10     Palate: 5/5     Flavor: 9/10     Overall: 18/20

Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout

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