Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 598
Gots: 331 | FT: 40
Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TechTriumph on 12-08-2011

Brewed with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer Farms, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout captures the terroir of central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of flavors from milk chocolate and vanilla to honeycomb and cinnamon to a snap of ginger in the finish.

Deep, dark chocolate in color with a mahogany tint and a frothy, caramel colored head, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout offers aromatics of holiday spice originating from the ginger, and balanced with a generous dose of whole Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and Vietnamese cinnamon. Milk sugar (lactose) contributes to the full body of this stout and tames its roasty character, while oats lend a silky quality. Enjoy fresh, or cellar for a special occasion. We hope Hardywood Gingerbread Stout contributes to your merriment this season.

55 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 160
Reviews by portia99:
Photo of portia99
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle received in a recent trade with apaisncsu. Thanks Adam! Poured into a CBS snifter.

A - Pours a somewhat thin-looking, clear mahogany that settles into a super dark brown and nearly opaque body in the glass. A finger of thick and frothy light mocha colored foam that shows strong staying power, slowly fading over the course of several minutes leaving behind thick sheets of foamy lacing on the glass. Pretty impressive for 9.2% beer.

S - A bit of booze, slight astringency, tons of fresh ginger, full milk chocolatey aroma, sweet and creamy vanilla, some nutmeg and cinnamon. Underneath, there is some touches of roasty malts, but the gingerbread character is the biggest impression left, more so than a stouty aroma. Has an enticing dessert-like character that is pushing me to take the first sip of this.

T - Big ginger flavor up front layered on top of rich chocolate and a more prominant roastiness of the base beer. Touches of honey, cinnamon and vanilla continue the dessert impression obtained initially in the aroma. The spiciness of the ginger really comes thru well here. It is strong and up front but well integrated into the overall flavor character of the beer. The other spices play off the ginger quite well too and complement each other nicely. This might be the best incorporation of wintery spices into a beer I've ever had.

M - Thick and full bodied with a low carbonation that gives only a modest tingle on the tongue, but boosts the body of the beer very well with a creamy and foamy quality to it. This is super smooth and a bit slick on the tongue. The lactose of base beer provides the expected smoothness and touches of sweetness that come thru with finesse and round out the experience of this beer.

O - Coming into this, I really didn't think this would like up to the hype surrounding this beer. Happily it lived up, and even exceeded my expectations. This beer is a winner all around - from the handsome labelling and the C&C presentation to the (most importantly) liquid inside the bottle, this is a winner. Definitely not something I'd want every day, but this is one of the best beers I've been fortunate to sample in quite a while. I can only imagine what the BA version of this must be like.

More User Reviews:
Photo of HumanParaquat
3.2/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

2014 vintage
I don't quite get this one, but apparently I'm in the minority based on other reviews. Fresh ginger is definitely present in the nose and the taste, but it's quite lacking in gingerbread cookie and milk stout flavors (like I was hoping for). Instead it tastes and smells more like somebody mixed a light stout with Coca-Cola and a Jamaican ginger beer soda. It's also quite thin with more carbonation than it should have. I was hoping for a thicker body with more robust and cookie-like stout flavors, so this is very disappointing.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #63 (Apr 2012):

LOOK: Full-on black; milky coffee lacing

SMELL: Cinnamon sugar, ginger, clove, cardamom, toasted raisin bread, icing, clean alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, firm, silky; gingerbread, molasses, espresso roastiness, sweetness, fig, brown malt, bread crust, honey, cinnamon, fresh vanilla bean, lactose sugars

Label says “Gingerbread Stout,” and it delivers. Aroma and flavors are spot-on. Tastes like freagin' Christmas in a bottle actually, with layer upon layer building on the palate with each sip. Hell, they even nailed the damn sugary frosting on the gingerbread man. Run, run, as fast as you can! We want more!

Photo of HattedClassic
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours a very strong head that comes in the forms of small dark tan bubbles. The beer itself is a very dark brown that almost appears black. The beer leaves quite a bit of lacing.

The beer smell has very strong spice notes and honey notes. The spices come in the form of ginger and cinnamon while the honey comes off as sweet but not artificially and adds a smoothness to the smell that isn't normally found. The smell also has milk chocolate notes that actually gets a little lost in the honey, but supplements its sweetness with a tiny hint of bitterness.

The beer has a very strong gingerbread and spicy taste to it. The beer has various spices from ginger to cinnamon to a very strong honey taste. The beer also has a milk chocolate taste but the more dominate notes seem to be the honey and spices, which is fantastic when combine with the chocolate. In this case, dominate is a relative term, the different tastes work very well together that it is hard to describe any of the notes without referencing the others. All I can say is that this beer is absolutely divine in its taste.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and velvety. The tiny carbonation adds a little bit texture but mainly adds to the velvet feel. The beer is heavy bodied but surprisingly light due to the use of honey.

Overall, this is the perfect beer. I can find very few flaws, but event those aren't worth mentioning. This beer is, without a doubt, one of the best stouts ever produced. The The way the ingredients work together to create a wonderful and complex, yet simple, taste and smell is amazing. You really have to buy this beer to understand just how good it is.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Coming off of the heels of the recent holiday season where a few of these "gingerbread" stouts emerged, I found myself discrediting the combination of taste as being underwhelming at best or even messy. But Hardywood has taught me something else- maybe these varying flavors can marry up pretty well.

But like many a stout, the beer pours with a very dark black, seeming darker than I expected somehow. Its mocha froth caps the beer with a sturdy foam stance that outlasts the beer in the session and laces evenly 'til the last sip.

Though the stout flavors are certainly strong enough to qualify, it is edged out by the desert scent of gingerbread snaps. Molasses, ginger, clove, nutmeg, and graham cracker all align on the nasal cavity just the same way as baking the snaps themselves. But underneath all that are the stout-like aromas of strong roast coffee, baker's chocolate, candy shops, and burnt bread.

Flavors are more balanced than the nose let on so that the melange of taste starts sweet and ends spicy. Molasses, confectioner's sugar, and heavy whipping cream allows for a creamy sweet taste of pulled candy and marzipan to start the show. Roasted elements of French-press coffee, sweetened cocoa, roasted almonds, and burnt grain all rise closely behind and give a robust flavor to balance the initial sweetness. And then all of those Christmas spices settle in as the roast trails for a strong and seductive medley.

Firm support for all that roast and spice has got to come from more than just the caramelized grain sweetness and starch. The "milk" portion of the beer wraps around the carbonation and gives the beer its milkshake-like consistency. The beer's support holds strong until very deep in the session where coffee-like bitterness, spicy warmth, and an echo of molasses brings the beer to closure.

The beer works because it is a stout first. Knowing that the dryness will expose flaws in taste and throw off the balance, it is propped up with an enormously creamy texture and taste- proving to this skeptic that stout and gingerbread can indeed play nicely with one another.

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with an inch or so of foam; a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Chocolate and gingerbread, chocolate and gingerbread etc., honeyed tones underneath

Taste: Black bread and milk chocolate with a developing gingerbread and honey character; in the middle, the gingery-gingerbread character really dominates, though the milk chocolate tones linger underneath through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit less carbonated on tap, which is better for this brew

Overall: I heard good things about this beer from hoppedup (for those who remember him from this site) and decided to drive to Richmond for the release; glad I did as this is a great beer and is nicely differentiated from a lot of the other big stouts that get released around these parts

Photo of waltc21
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe I just dont get it.Taste was full, but I felt the gingerbread was way too overwhelming.

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to smokeypeat for this one - I love me some gingerbread. GBS pours an intensely dark brown that appears basically black once it groups up in the glass. The cap is nicely foamy and thick, khaki-colored, and has nice retention. Some chunky lacing is left near the top of the glass as well - very nice looking stout.

Hardywood certainly nailed what they were going for in the aroma - lots of warm, sprucy ginger that is met in equal parts by heaps of doughy, cookie-like malts. The combination forms a nice gingerbread cookie aroma that sends you back to making the festive treats during Christmastime. Some other spices lie a little deeper in the aroma, the most notable being cinnamon. Very lively and certainly unique.

Just like the aroma, the first sip explodes with a mirage of flavors that is so delicately reminiscent of the little men-shaped cookies. Gingerbread spice, shortbread, cinnamon, brown sugar... Very sweet and delicate, but balance quite nicely with a slight bit of warmth from the alcohol. The finish has some faint cocoa powder that's easily recognizable, but this beer is all the the gingerbread.

Some light ashiness in the middle-end that seems like it might be from the hops, though the hops themselves induce no extra flavors (no leaves, florals, or anything like that). In all honesty, I'm quite surprised by how much this beer actually resembles a gingerbread cookie. Pretty thick body, lightly creamy and just shy of chewy. Would have like to see just a bit more carbonation, but the mouth feel was still pretty nice.

The people I was with didn't love gingerbread cookies like I did, so they weren't as crazy about this beer as I was. I love gingerbread cookies and I thought this was damn good. A little more complexity or development wouldn't hurt, but they were going for a gingerbread cookie beer and that's pretty much what they got. Sweet without being cloyingly so. Very solid stout for those that love the little cookie-men.

Photo of MadScientist
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A wonderfully balanced, spice stout with a touch if honey.

Photo of pepesylvia
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer surprised me, the spices are delicate yet very noticeable. Not cloying or sweet. Surprisingly Very drinkable. Seek this out.

Photo of CandaceLai
3.36/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks pitch black, strong ginger smell and some sort of milky sweetness , no aftertaste, smooth beer!

Photo of standardcherry
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Shilt! Served into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown but not completely black. Has a nice, big tan colored head.
S: Smell is spot on! Lots of ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, honey. Reminds me of a gingerbread cookie and creme brulee for some reason. Very nice.
T: I thought it would be overly sweet but it's very nice! Subtle ginger, vanilla, chocolate all blended into a perfectly balanced sweetness. Semi-bitter dark chocolate in the aftertaste.
M: Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Alcohol is well hidden. Carbonation gives a nice, crisp finish.
O: This beer is excellent, I am now on the lookout for the barrel aged version!

Photo of ufmj
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

--> 750-mL bottle split between two snifters & a taster (botte-share w/ wittyname & his wife)...

A- One finger of tan, creamy foam that dissipated quickly into an opaque, black-brown brew.

S- The first sniff immediately made me think of...Coca-Cola?! As it warmed, the nose evolved from ginger to gingerbread to oatmeal-raisin cookie.

T- Very ginger-forward with minimal roastiness and some spicy cinnamon. Sweet with notes of molasses and, at times, Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie. Seriously.

M- Chewy, yet smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation. No boozy heat at all.

O- Definitely lived up to my expectations of a gingerbread stout. Would love to snag a couple of bottles every winter to keep me warm 'til spring. Now if I could only get my hands on a bottle of Bourbon GBS...

* Thanks to Kwaide for this trade...yes, that rhymed.

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hardywood gingerbread stout shared at RBWG-2014

Slight harshness/burn from the ginger.

Aroma is balanced, with a moderate dose of ginger.

The ginger is way more pronounced in the mouth. I did adjust as I drank but it still seemed a bit overdone even at the end.

Full body.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep dark brown/black color with a very nice head. Moderate carbonation. Nice head with moderate lacing.

Smell - Roasty chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, pumpkin.

Taste - Chocolate gingerbread cookies. Simple as that. There are some nice vanilla notes in there as well, but you definitely feel like you are drinking a cookie without the super sugary tastes.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. The flavors stick around but there is no stickiness in the mouth.

Overall - Absolutely delicious. Way too easy to drink. It goes down like a dessert.

Photo of jeonseh
3.62/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a big full head that sits on top

S - Fresh ginger and spice dominate this nose against slight chocolate background. Roasted chocolate and vanilla

T - Chocolate, vanilla and gingerbread on the back end. Dark fruit presence in the middle that reminds of really dark chocolate. Slightly artificial tasting gingerbread in the back end. Roasted and astringent chocolate lingers in the finish. There is also a very slight heat from the gingerbread

M - Medium body with low carbonation. Decently astringent near the finish and a slight heat from the ginger

O - Decent gingerbread stout that had a bit too much astringency from the dark chocolate that overpowers the gingerbread aspect. Also, I found it to taste slightly artificial

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

wow was this one a great trade item! pours beautifully with a thick dark caramel head. lots of roastiness to this one along with small hints of gingerbread. while the taste is not a HUGE gingerbread hit, I enjoyed that as I was scared it would be too strong. with a nice smooth finish this one was treat! now to find the variants.

Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +16%

A - Pours black with a thick head that settles pretty quickly.
S - Aroma is of spices, you know this not your typical milk stout.
T - Flavor matches the aroma. Balanced flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, ginger with a little alcohol bite on the finish.
M - The only way I can describe the mouth feel is creamy.
O - This beer is special and certainly deserves the high rating. Stouts are my favorite style and this beer really brings something new to the table. I need to get another bottle, or maybe a case.

Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 bomb, Thanks @blackie

This bottle of Gingerbread Stout is forever memorialized in my couch cushion. Dark chocolate body, off-putting thick brown foam which typically is the first sign of an unsettling mouthfeel. Perhaps thats just the "terroir of Central Virginia". Jeez, what a joke.

I'm surprised the additions of ginger and honey didn't do it for me, but this just seemed too gimmicky and really disappointing. Worst Christmas ever :(

Photo of Lucho
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an amazing dark brown almost black with a beautiful tan/gingerbread creamy head of two fingers with great retention.

Smell: Spices, maybe clove, not sure about the gingerbread. There is cinnamon on the nose.

Taste: There it is, Gingerbread! Well played good sir. Nice and light gingerbread with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg finish. I wish I would have saved this one for the Holidays. I was a little worried about it fading.

Mouthfeel: excellent carbonation with medium to heavy body with a nice dry finish.

Overall: well this is my first gingerbread stout but I say its spot on with what you would expect. The only thing is maybe it could use more of a presence of gingerbread and cinnamon and other seasonal spices. An awesome beer! Cheers

Photo of dailyminefield
3.57/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage - This one may be best fresh.
Reviewed after aged for 1 year.

Photo of CraigMack61
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer, It's the tittaes!- My Girlfriend

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Almost black. Minuscule khaki head that settles to swirls on the surface.

Smell - Tons of gingerbread. Cinnamon and other Christmas spices. Some chocolate.

Taste - Wow. Lots of ginger. Closer to gingersnaps than gingerbread. Strong cinnamon again. Some chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe too thin for such a big stout with big flavors. Well carbonated.

Overall - The spices elevate this beyond the what the base stout seems to deliver.

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to sincereNc for sharing this one at a past Random Sunday Tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, ginger, cookie, sugar, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, gingerbread, ginger, sugar, and spice. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The brewery really nailed the gingerbread cookie aspect here if I am honest. It almost tasted like you were drinking a gingerbread man in all his glory. Very well balanced and complex. This made it quite inviting and would make it a perfect candidate for a dessert beer. Very well done and I hope I get to try more of it in the future.

Photo of bum732
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Prominent spicy ginger, cinnamon, some roastiness, perceived sugar, vanilla and vanilla wafers.

L: Very dark brown, light tan head that dissipates to a ring of foam.

T: Coffee roasty malt with a backbone of ginger. Low bitterness with a soft honey sweetness emerging. Cappucino flavors, sweet milk into the finish with some cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Medium bodied, creamy on the palate. Medium low carbonation. Touch of alcoholic heat.

Not bad, I just wish the flavors were a little more intense. That being said, a very unique beer with great flavors overall.

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.