Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

133 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 133
Hads: 1,081
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 3.49%
Wants: 605
Gots: 332 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 133 | Hads: 1,081
Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +16.3%

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. (505 characters)

Photo of marshallVa
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Their first year was the best. Second year it went down a little bit (probably due to increased brewing capacity). Third year it is back on top! Simply delicious, creamy, lots of ginger bread flavor. (199 characters)

Photo of GeoJ
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ben Franklin said God created beer because He wanted people to be happy.

God was on His game when He created this beer ...

Perfection on every level. Tastes of the best gingerbread you've ever eaten.
Pour it over some great vanilla ice cream and cry tears of joy.

Yes ... it IS that good.

Seek it out. Drink. Swoon, and thank Him (And the great folks at Hardywood!) (371 characters)

Photo of evilpenguin9000
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. My only complaint is that it is so hard to get. Also if I could rate the smell above a 5 I would I literally keep smelling the empty glass after it's gone. Amazing. (186 characters)

Photo of circus_cat
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THIS. THIS. THIS.

The lactose sugars and rich chocolatey, coffee malt characteristics provide an incredibly smooth, velvety base for the vanilla, toffee, and molasses-like honey that springs forward. Then that ginger punch at the end that just lingers around after the silky finish just makes it perfect. This is the first overall 5 I've given and I did it without thinking twice. If you're lucky enough to swing through Richmond during the winter of see the opportunity to get this in a trade, don't you dare pass it up. (522 characters)

Photo of ccariano
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pitch black. Smooth pour. Minimal tan head.

S: Ginger. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Honey. Roast. Semi-sweet chocolate.

T: Much the same as smell. Sweetness. Breadiness. Alcohol. Coffee.

M: Creamy. Full-boddied. Smooth.

O: What's there not to like? It's gingerbread in a glass through and through. Brilliant. (306 characters)

Photo of out4blood
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down, the best beer I've ever had. I'm into Porters and Stouts, and whenever I go anywhere, I always try their darkest, strongest beer. I'm usually disappointed. Who would have guessed that one of the finest stouts is brewed right in my own backyard?

Subtle hints of of ginger and honey. It's sweet enough that you don't taste the kick it's got, but not too sweet to be cloying. The best part about the beer, and the reason I'm here actually writing a review is that this beer has the most pleasant aftertaste of any beer I've ever had. Very nice. Makes me feel nice and cozy even hours later.

My sense of smell is not the best, and I would have preferred a more pungent ginger aroma, but others report that it's just fine.

I've had this straight from the tap, out of a growler, and out of their massive corked bottles. I prefer it on tap or from the growler. The bottles seem to have an excess of carbonation, which makes pouring an drinking immediately less pleasant. Fortunately, I can take my growlers direct to the source. (1,036 characters)

Photo of Broanoke
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I wish this beer was more full bodied, but other than that this beer is nearly perfect. The integration of ginger and honey is incredible. This beer is good, sinfully good.

Side note: A growler of this beer was given to me around christmas and so its been about three months since then. The carbonation help up very well but I would love to try a fresh bottle of this. (369 characters)

Photo of mojiboo02
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft multiple times in Richmond. The 2012 version is a bit lighter bodied that the 2011 version, which makes it more drinkable than the 2011 counterpart. I couldn't finish a 12oz pour of the 2011, but the 2012 is a very sessionable 9.6% stout. The taste is very unique and very spicy on draft. Not a big appearance person, but the smell and taste are divine. (362 characters)

Photo of brother_kenneth
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, poured into the GBS goblet/snifter, Christmas Eve night.

A- Dark brown in color, and looks somewhat thin for a stout. Very little head, which disappears very quickly.

S- Absolutely delicious smell. Lots of ginger and cinnamon. Also, some allspice, nutmeg, etc. There may be a hint of alcohol in the nose as well.

T- Just like the aroma. It is remarkable how well the ginger comes through. This is seriously like eating a slice of gingerbread. Loads of cinnamon, honey, ginger, and other spices. This is an incredibly unique, albeit delicious milk stout. Very, very sweet, and hardly no alcohol heat at all. Lighter body than most stouts, but has a wonderful milky and creamy mouth feel; minimal carbonation.

O- This will forever be my favorite Christmas beer. I will be attending the release every single year from now on. Don't pass on this one, folks. It is a delicious and unique stout. My wife got sick on Christmas Eve night, so I drank the entire 750mL bottle by myself. Loved every minute of it! (1,020 characters)

Photo of BeastLU
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Currently being enjoyed in a Hardywood snifter. I have had the 2011 on tap and bottled, prefer it on draft. As far as 2012 goes the bottles seem to be better.

A - Black. Surprisingly white head which sticks around for about half the beer.

S - Smells great. take a whiff before you've tasted and you know your in for something special.

T - Tastes better than it smells which is a tall order. Top notch taste. Unique for any stout, particularly of this ABV, almost no booze taste.

M - Honestly I do wish it was a little thicker. This would be my only significant knock on this beer. I wont call it watery but it almost seems unnatural how thin it is with the great taste.

0 - Awesome beer. Maybe the best beer for beer lovers and novices to drink together. The taste is so good anyone can approach it, and any beer geek can taste the genius that goes into every glass. I have a case of the 2012 ready to be aged and 2 bottles of the BA version. Can't wait to see how they taste with a bit of father time on them. (1,016 characters)

Photo of challenja
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Bottle purchased at Church Key DC and poured into snifters.
A: malt black almost deep purple in appearance with a quickly dissipating vanilla toffee head.
S: fresh ginger slams you right off the break followed by cinnamon and all spice. Nutmeg and cloves push through caramelized alcohol sugars ending with sweet mocha chocolate with faint medium Costa Rican/ Jamaica blue coffee roast. Seriously one of the best damn smelling beers of all time.WOW!!
T: sweet fresh gingersnaps buried in barrel charred chocolate coffee malts. Nutmeg and cardamom shot through followed by allspice and cinnamon. The medium roast Costa rican/ Jamaican blue follows at the end with trailing alcohol Esther's.
M: sweet medium frothy body. I wish it was heavier but the fresh ginger astringency really makes that impossible.
O: Outstanding... Is too loose a word. An almost perfect beer masterpiece. I would only ask for a more heavier mouth feel. (927 characters)

Photo of maxk
4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 10oz pour at Joe's Inn in Richmond. I went to the brewery as their website said they were still tasting GBS but they had just run out. Review is from notes.

A dark mahogany color, bordering on black. Very little head which quickly settled into nothingness.

Smells of ginger, honey, molasses, tiny bit of vanilla, and cream. Imagine the aroma of gingerbread in the oven, with a hint of booze.

It lives up to the hype. Tastes more or less like it smells. Lots of honey and milk sweetness, followed by heavy ginger. I get a little cinnamon spice rounding out the ginger.

Creamy and rich. I found the beer relatively heavy and filling. Still, considering the taste, it seemed like it could have benefitted from a little bit more thickness.

Overall, I was impressed. I went to Richmond with the hopes of getting to try this and a bunch of other Hardywood beers and I was not disappointed. One of the best tasting Christmas/spiced beers I've ever had. (960 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
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! (662 characters)

Photo of cichief
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at Mekong in Richmond, VA. It pours a beautiful dark ruby red, almost black with a deep brown head. Smells of vanilla and gingerbread, very sweet. Although sweet, it is well balanced and has a great finish. This is a wonderful dessert beer, and just a great beer overall. Very smooth, just enough carbonation. One of the best beers I've had this year! (369 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to DaveHack for this one!!

This poured out as a deep black color with a thin cream colored head that leaves a thin ring of retention. This had a very thing lacing. The smell is spicy, with sweet vanilla and wood on the nose. The taste is excellent! The spice is perfect is subtly roasted and had a fantastic sweetness to balance out everything. The mouthfeel is creamy, nice carbonation and smooth. Overall this beer is outstanding. Very good stuff!! (458 characters)

Photo of rfbenavi80
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle received in a trade. Enjoyed with a friend. 2012 release.

A- Pours the darkest brown that you can get before it's called black with 1/2 finger of light tan head that slowly dissipates to a thin film.

S- Aroma seems very muted until it warms. Smells of warm winter cooking spices mixed with a solid amount of roasty chocolatey malt.

T- Wow, what this beer lacks in aroma it makes up for it in the taste. This is where the ginger shines through. Tastes like a warm gingerbread man complete with icing and no hint of the 9.2% ABV present at all.

M- Smooth and creamy easy drinking. Hardly any carbonation at all.

O- A superb holiday beer. Would recommend to anyone. Even to non-beer drinkers. (704 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle from ThatCracker (thanks Andrew!). No bottling info but I know it to be from the recent release. Served in a Hardywood GBS goblet.

Pours dark brown with milk chocolate edges. The two fingers of thick pillowy tan head leave a good bit of lace.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cream. Quite nice.

Taste is fantastic authentic gingerbread. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, sweet cream, clove, honey and a hint of booze. Outstanding.

Creamy medium full feel with tingly carbonation like cinnamon sugar on top. Long sweet finish.

This is as authentic with gingerbread as Southern Tier gets with their Blackwater flavors. Start to finish, this is an excellent holiday gingerbready treat. I'm looking forward to trying the bourbon version. (767 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (2,260 characters)

Photo of HopHeadVA
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer from this new brewery. Had it at the brewery at their Illumination party. They also had some small batch brews, all stouts, flavored with various different ingredients. As those will probably not go into production I'll just review this one. It's an imperial stout (9.5% or around that), sweet, although well balanced. You don't really taste the high alcohol level. Lots of chocolate with a hint of coffee and ginger. Never had a stout with ginger in it and I was pleasantly surprised. These guys look to be taking over the Virginia market as the best brewery. Looking forward to more from these guys. (616 characters)

Photo of QuantumPint
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Hardywood.

A: black with a minimal head and slight retention.

N: There's that stout smokiness in the smell, along with hints of gingerbread and the slightest bit of hops.

T: I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I was blown away for sure. There's no doubting the gingerbread flavor. It's up front and lingers through the background flavors of toasted malts. There's the perfect amount of hop bitterness on the finish, which really got me excited as a hophead.

M: Smooth and creamy with enough carbonation that it's not syrupy.

O: As mentioned before, a very pleasant surprise. I wish this one wasn't just a seasonal, and with the rate at which it sold, I'm sure I'm not alone on that front. (718 characters)

Photo of Hopbully
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great dessert beer that you can actually drink more than one. Very black pour, great nose. Lots of cinnamon and chocolate and spices...you get that ginger like you are about to bite into a ginger snap or gingerbread cookie. The finish is like you just ate a gingerbread cookie. incredible re-creation of a snack. Unique and one of a kind. Looking forward to next bottling and some wild variations. (397 characters)

Photo of stckhndlr
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- this is pitch black. Wet sand color head. Light carbonation bubbles rising up the side of the glass.

S- boom! Big nose. Fresh ginger is the front runner. Some candied sugar. As simple as it seems it is complex. It really bombards the senses.

T- sweet ginger taste mixed with a malty molasses flavor. Tastes like a spicy gingersnap cookie. The spice lingers on the finish. As this warms up it begins to transform into a perfect gingerbread flavor. Absolutely spot on.

M- great full body. Creamy. Just the right amount of carbonation and spice on the tongue. As it warms it gets even creamier.

O- I only recommend this one if you are truly in love with ginger. Luckily I am so this beer is amazing. This one is perfect. (726 characters)

Photo of rudolphjacksonm
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial pint glass on 12/18/11. Made with Bearer Farms Honey (local!).

A - Completely opaque black with a dark tan head. Amazing head retention and lacing clinging the whole way down the glass. Beautiful looking stout! 5.0

S - Malt, molasses, allspice and, of course, gingerbread. Possibly a hint of bread or fig. 4.5

T - Wow. Very sweet and instantly tastes of a fresh-baked gingerbread man. Polishes off with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Hint of coffee as well midway through. Finish is very subtle and not too bitter, but with enough hoppy flavor to balance the initial sweetness. Man, this is exceptional! 5.0

M - Somewhat heavy-bodied but very little carbonation to speak of. Incredibly easy to drink. I do wish it was a bit thicker. 4.0

O - Oh Hardywood, how I love you. This new Hardywood Reserve Series is absolutely amazing. I'm just sad it'll only be around for the holidays. The gingerbread and honey flavor is fantastic, and it's perfectly complimented by all of its other parts. This is an exceptional brew that everyone should try. 4.5 (1,078 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a tasting on 12/6. Big thanks to anthony for the share.

Enjoyed from a SH IRS snifter.

watery maroonish black with a thin white head. smells UNREAL. like gingerbread men. tastes the same. gingerbread happiness. VERY festive like a cookie. light bodied. WILD and DIFFERENT. extremely unique and MAD tasty. a little much to probably take on a bottle to yourself, but if you are looking for a beer to blow your family away with this holiday season, this is it. (470 characters)

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.