Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

134 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 134
Hads: 1,083
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 606
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: 134 | Hads: 1,083
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)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (1,659 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle on Wed., 12/31/2014 (Niciu 3rd Annual NYE Party) purchased at 1 West DuPont Circle, unknown brewing/packaging dates (2014 vintage), poured into plastic cup, drank over ~30 minutes (193 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Shared this at the End of the World party. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a deep, dark brownish black with a two finger mocha head that leaves thin clouds and nice lacing. Definitely has lots of potential....

S - KAPOW! Bright, fresh ginger, chocolate, light bready cookie like yeasts. Sweet candy malts, gingersnaps, cinnamon. This is crazy.

T - Taste is a punch to the face of a gingerbread cookie! Ginger, chocolate, gingersnaps, sweet malts. Fresh ginger, candied ginger, gingerbread cookie. Shut up and take my money!

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Smooth, creamy, light carbonation. The booze was hidden quite expertly.

O - Unreal Just super delicious. I have a few more bottles I will probably cellar down as, contrary to what JLindros said, allegedly the inaugural batch is drinking outstanding (even better than fresh) a year later. (858 characters)

Photo of mnphish
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Consumed on Xmas! Thanks to CincyTrigger for sending me this.

Dark brown/black appearance with a the icing of a cinnamon role as the head. The aroma is of holiday spices, vanilla, loads of ginger, cinnamon, and milk chocolate.

The taste is spot on and this is an absolute knock-out. Extremely balanced spices give away to a delicious fresh ginger taste. There is lots of cinnamon present taboot.

This is an outstanding beer fresh. I will seek to consume this on every Christmas from here on out. (498 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to the brewmasters, who very graciously traded me a bottle of this to try...

Poured into a Hardywood Snifter...

A. Pitch dark, tarry, oily black. The head is pillowy and aggressive, a good two and a half fingers from a careful pour. It's medium brown in color, but effervesces to dark brown with a quick swirl. Pretty good creamy, consistent head on this. Really nice. Lacing is some of the thickest and most consistent I have seen in recent memory. As perfect as it comes.

S. Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, brown sugar, bread crust, and, yes, unmistakable ginger bread. I even get some mild, ripe dark fruit in the background. What's surprising to me is that the nose is not particularly strong. I really have to get my nose down into the glass to enjoy the full bouquet, but it's exactly like its name implies...gingerbread and chocolate. Excellent.

T. Chocolate, cream, some lactic kick. It starts out like a typical sweet stout, but then the ginger and roasted malt hit and boom: ginger-bread man with chocolate frosting. Wooow is this well-made, and very interesting. It's very sweet, but also very spicy. Like chocolate cake with gingerbread sprinkles. The taste on this is more of a dark chocolate profile. It's truly excellent. Standing ovation.

M. This is the only real deficiency I can find on this one...I think it's overcarbed. And it does it a disservice, but my mouth is so fizzy that it distracts from the amazing flavor profile. It also really takes away from what could be a much more cloying, coating mouthfeel to match the flavor.

O. Too bad about the mouthfeel, otherwise this would get a 5.0. Regardless, this beer is freakin' spectacular. A real achievement and a totally unique idea that Hardywood pulls off with aplomb. By far the best beer I have had from them and I can't wait for the bourbon treatment that is rumored to be making an appearance in the fall. It's not one I can say I would want a bottle of alone, so those of you who are wondering whether they should share this delicacy, I would recommend you absolutely open this with a friend as drinking this by itself would put you into a coma. That said, it is a great achievement. Nailed what they were going for. The hype is for real on this one, folks. (2,254 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a brandy snifter - shared with some family on Xmas.

Poured a dark brown color with minimal head. Didn't appear too carbonated. A bit thinner than I expected it to look.

Smell is awesome. Often times beers that are classified as a certain "smell/taste" don't exactly hit it spot on. This one does. Ginger and cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Christmas in a bottle.

Taste follows the smell relatively closely. Delicious ginger and cinnamon upfront. Not too overpowering or spicy. Alcohol content undetectable. Well balanced. Awesome!

Hardywood hit the "Gingerbread" spot on. If I could throw gingerbread into a blender, ferment it, and bottle it...this would be the outcome (though not as easy...). Well done.

Don't go into this expecting a heavy, bold stout. It is quite a bit thinner and more subdued. (832 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Portsmouth tulip/globe glass. Good solid pop off the cork.

Real nice appearance. Dark walnut brown body, opaque for a milk stout which is quite surprising. Head is a cream tan coffee brown, with a whipped character. Head grows easily three fingers with nice soft retention and fluffy appearance. Settles to a big beveled collar with a thin puck and good curved angles. No lacing, but a good cling to the collar.

Just an absolutely insane aroma that delivers as advertised. Milk chocolate. Huge amounts of ripped ginger, with bready spice notes of nutmeg and sweetness. Pure gingerbread on the nose. Mild sense of classic cream lactose giving to soft sugars. Just nailed on the brew.

Palate comes nicely and to be expected, but with far more tolerable qualities. Peppery ginger like notness with a quick bursting malt chew. Light classic bodied roast even almost getting into porter charring. Drip coffee like feel, with a pipping roast that is accentuate by ginger hotness nice and controllably. Good easy drinking feel with limit hints of booze at such a high abv.

This is a real dangerous and addictive brew. I can see why people can easily get into it, it's also wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed that really hits on the food character so perfectly. No wonder it's rated it so highly. Great stuff, what more needs to be said. (1,395 characters)

Photo of engagechad
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at the Illumination event at the Brewery

Pours a very very dark brown with a nice tan head that sticks and drags. Very pretty brew. I had a tasting and a full pour.

Smells soooo good. I find it amazing that they were able to get the gingerbread smell while using actual ginger.. man.. incredible nose..

Taste follows, smooth and sillky while having the right prickles and tickles from some faint hop.

Feels great, ginger is there and it is awesome.

Overall this is a money stout guys. seek it out and get it. (530 characters)

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The stout was black in appearance with mocha colored bubbles lining the sides of the glass.

Smell - The ginger is well noted here, with sweet burnt sugar and perhaps graham cracker.

Taste - This is literally a liquid gingerbread cookie. Big ginger is present in the front with burnt sugar, and the smooth creaminess of a milk stout laying the backbone. The milkiness is like washing the cookie down with milk. The impressions of gingerbread fall in line with a biscuity cookie notes. The ginger lingers in the smooth aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel on this one is smooth with little carbonation. The burnt sugar notes are allowed to linger.

Overall - This is among my favorite milk stouts and a great holiday beer. (738 characters)

Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.