ryecatcher (959) - Bridgeport, Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 3, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber. Pours a deep, stouty blackish-brown, opaque with a massive charred-espresso colored head, unparalleled retention and wicked lacing. Nose is spice forward (clove, ginger and nutmeg evident), treacle and some burnt sugar. Mouth is cocoa, caramel, dark roasted barley, coffee, spices dancing around (did I just say that?), mild sooty bitterness at finish, mildly boozy. I donít say this too often about SAís beers, but Iíll give credit where it is due: this is a tasty holiday beverage. Seasonís Greetings!
Shot (220) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - NOV 29, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours black with a huge creamy brown head. Aromas of gingerbread, chocolate, dark fruit and licorice. Flavors are chocolate, gingerbread, cola, and a hint of licorice. Light mouthfeel. Somewhat disappointing. Not a very rich, hearty brew. In fact, flavors seem to be thin and washed out. I donít think Iíd have this one again.
McGarnigle (576) - Rochester, New York, USA - NOV 28, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I normally am not crazy about "dessert beers," but this one works. Itís a thick, rich stout, on the sweet side, low on roast, but with a true gingerbread taste. Itís not too much, though. No alcohol burn, and it goes down a bit too easy for its ABV.
Bif (1639) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 28, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap. Seved a black color with a decent head and spotty lacing. Aroma of spice, roasted malt, with a bit of sweetness in the background. Taste of reoasted malt, spice and a trace of chocolate in the background. Mild bitterness and a dry finish. Medium body, nicely balanced with out being in your face. Nice beer for the style but doesnit have that wow factor expectd.
Crichton99 (3) - - NOV 28, 2014 does not count
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Spices are noted but not too prominent. Taste was weak compared to other pumkin/fall beers.
EithCubes (5206) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 25, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bomber of íMerry Makerí and from a disreputable source -- donít know if itís very fresh or one, two, or three years old. Life is full of such surprises! Tastes fresh, though. Nose is room-fillingly potent and spicy, strong malt with light alcohol and nutmeg and ginger. Pours very dark brown-black with a large and rocky brown head. Taste moderately dry with a touch of soy and a little yeast character, inky chocolate and light plum, alcohol is thin but singes in the back, very slow to warm the throat and chest; a little fuselly, but overall, well-done. Malt is slightly brothy but that may be bleed-over from the spices, which, I must admit, are not terribly overdone despite the strength. Clove really intensifies after a few ounces, and thereís a bit of anise under the oily feel. Smooth, inky body somewhere between medium and full, a clean beer but Sammyís house character is all over this one, just too much, to the point I probably wonít have again.
Pumpkin87 (102) - - NOV 22, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark as night with lovely tan head, foams and retains at one finger.
Spicy bouquet with dark fruits, but not as forceful in the glass. Itís nicely fizzy with a ginger-and-alcohol undercurrent, but I was expecting a bit more tang. At 9 percent ABV, you can spread some cheer.
Overall, a useful addition to the holiday lineup, but not a star. This might well do better with cellaring.
sudomorph (850) - Barrie, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 22, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours black with a half finger, tan head. Aroma has nice notes of holiday spice, gourd, and mild roasted malts. Taste is bitter. Roasted malts, creamy dark chocolate, and holiday spices. Ends with a bit of cocoa powder. Medium-full body with a medium carbonation. Clean in the mouth with a hint of alcohol. Overall a nice holiday brew.
tillmac62 (380) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - NOV 21, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours black as a starless night. World Class head, lacing and retention - especially for a 9% ABV. As advertised, the nose is full of ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon in roughly that order of composition. Slightly above medium in body, the texture is slick with hints of creaminess. Above average carbonation, with effervescence throughout. The outstanding flavor profile is intense, quite complex and has a good bit of balance. It begins with a burst of blended spice that flows into a mild bitterness. The bitterness has roast and hop characteristics. As the bitterness fades, the spices begin to separate against a sweet caramel background. As it warms, the caramel gains in intensity. Clove and nutmeg dominate the end, but a light dark fruit (plum/raisin) is underneath. The finish is quite complex as it fades - so many flavors become evident. The 9% alcohol is masterfully hidden. The only traces of it are that nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat. If you want to taste the alcohol, you have to sip the massive head. The only "fault" keeping this from a 4.5 World Class, is their decision to classify this as a stout. There just isnít enough roast character. Had they called it a porter, they would get a 4.5 from me. This one is a true masterpiece of the brewerís art.
goresk23 (1) - - NOV 18, 2014 does not count
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This beer is beautiful and delicious! i advise that you get it before the season is over. It is by far the best beer I have ever had by Samuel Adams, but not the best stout Iíve ever had. It is smooth with a short head and dark as night. The merry maker is extremely drinkable and for $5.50 for a bomber at 9% ABV, at that price you need to pick one up.