Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

133 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 133
Hads: 1,081
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 3.49%
Wants: 605
Gots: 332 | FT: 39
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 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)

Photo of BullDoza
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent, coca cola brown from the bottle. Settled in to the glass a much, much deeper color. Opaque. May as well call it black. Loose, mocha head (1 1/4 finger) head. Swirling the glass leaves some decent lacing.

S: Liquid ginger snap cookies. An almost spiced (think pumpkin) cake aroma. Hint of chocolate. A subtle sweetness that I'll attribute to the honey. They absolutely nailed this. Definitely the best "spiced/holiday" stout that I have ever sniffed.

T: Gingerbread spice. Honey is more revealing in the taste. There is also a slight cinnamon like quality. Lactose is of a milk stout more prevalent on the palate. Finishes with a very subtle bitterness. Very, very tasty.

F: Ligher bodied beer for the style. A little think, but soft on the palate in a very pleasant way. I looked at the glass after 3 or so minutes and wondered where it all went - this one disappears very easily considering the ABV.

O: Awesome spiced stout. Best on the nose that I've ever smelled. Slightly less satisfied with the taste...but not disappointed in the slightest. Very much worth seeking out.

Note to self: I HAVE to try this side by side with Saint Arnold's Pumkpinator. (1,186 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to Josh (brew33) for hooking me up with this bottle

A - This is a very light-colored stout. It's transparent and red/brown enough that it looks more like a BSDA/Quad, not even a porter. It's nice-looking, but not so much stout-looking.

S - Now this is nice. Spicy ginger blends with warm caramel and toffee, hints of vanilla, dark fruit, and cinnamon. There's also a floral element, presumably related to the honeycomb.

T - This is the best tasting gingerbread I can remember having, and it is beer. The sweetness of the milk stout base is a magnificent background against which to project the flavors of ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon. An earthy bitterness on the back of the tongue highlights this gingery crispness. This is really well done.

M - It's nice and full, thick and smooth, but a bit dry on the finish. Nice here, too.

O - Obviously not a traditional milk stout, this beer is a very interesting and really well executed gingerbread beer. (967 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours black/brown with a nice tan head that had some staying power. Aroma is baked gingerbread, some chocolate, slight roast. Flavor was spot on gingerbread cookie, ginger, spice, bread crust, chocolate, roasted coffee. Thick mouthfeel with good carbonation throughout. This beer is an eptiome of what a Christmas beer should taste like! (374 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the tasting room for this highly reviewed beer. Since when did Richmond become the craft beer Mecca? Pours to a nice 2 finger head. Dark mahogany color. Nice head retention. Aroma is to die for....gingerbread, nutmeg, chocolate, vanilla and sweet caramelized sugars...drink in the aroma...hits the lips with a very smooth and clean entrance. Taste gingerbread, vanilla, nutmeg and chocolate instantly. Others have said it but it is true....Christmas in a glass/bottle. I have had both now but on tap is a upgrade if you can believe that...goes down smooth with a nice after taste of gingerbread, nutmeg and chocolate with a hint of vanilla. I've bought a case of 750ml bottles since trying this beer. I'm hooked. However, it does not age all that well so drink it while it is fresh. I cracked open a properly stored 750ml bottle that was a year old and while good, it definitely loses some of the spices. Kegs really don't age well. Had a draft from a newly tapped year old keg and it was quite bland compared to a fresh draft. I hoarded bottles to trade. However, I'll need to trade them within 4-5 months or they person acquiring them will be disappointed. Still really good even a year later but just not blow you away good. (1,242 characters)

Photo of ncaudle
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from cask into snifter.

pours a very dark brown, almost black with a tiny little head. little bit of lacing as you drink. typical cask.

cinnamon and ginger dominate the nose followed by the sweetness of honey and finishing with some chocolate and coffee notes. the spices stand out even more on the taste. the milk stout base sweetness helps balance it out a bit. the 9+% alcohol hides really well.

nice, creamy feel. how a cask should be.

I've now had this in every serving form with cask my favorite. it's a very good stout but my only complaint is maybe that the cinnamon/ginger is a touch too up front, at least fresh.

will be very curious as to how this ages/mellows... (687 characters)

Photo of Beechner719
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome Beer. Poured from a 750 into a pint glass. Comes out dark brown with a nice head. You can smell the gingerbread flavor right away. Goes down smooth. Get notes of chocolate, ginger on the way down. Great winter beer in the cold. Taste like a gingerbread cookie. Highly recommended (287 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery - Gingerbread Stout, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a medium viscosity oil brown and settles jet black with 1" off-white soapy head that dissipates quickly and leaves splotchy lacing.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts w/ginger and cinnamon. Sweet finish. The key here and with this brew in general is to let it warm up a bit, leave the bottle out for 30 minutes or so if it was in the fridge, TRUST ME.

Taste - Creamy chocolate w/cinnamon and finishes ginger. Nearly perfect blend of sweet and spice.

Mouthfeel - Heavy-medium bodied from the lactose with medium carbonation. Rests spice both ginger and cinnamon toasty but not overdone. Some roast sits on the middle of the tongue. Nice and toasty warm boozy.

Overall - Great brew, a nice mix of holiday spice (Winter Warmer types) and a tasty creamy milk stout. Spice is spice but this is NICE! (902 characters)

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

Pungent ginger bread nose with a malty cookie base and a stream of lactose-sweetness.

The flavor is delicious gingerbread cookie, with a balanced spice and malt character. Christmas in a bottle, for sure! (205 characters)

Photo of Chazwik
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

I'm not going to comment on the various tastes. There are plenty of posts that already describes that. I want to share my experience...I can see why people were pushing and shoving for this beer (literally) at Trader Joe's just before Thanksgiving.

This reminds me of a smooth imperial stout that has a smooth creamy draw that leaves a satisfying stick to your lips to tease you for another drink. (400 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look-color is a root beer brown, pretty opaque, pours a half finger of tan, frothy head that settles into spotted lacing.
Smell- Gingerbread! Biscuits, cinnamon, hints of nutmeg, dried ginger, and honey.
Taste-Gingerbread! Biscuity sweetness perfectly laced with cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of dried ginger, honey in the finish, then comes Malty toastiness, reminding you that this is a fine stout. slightest hint of boozy warmth in the finish.
Feel- medium bodied, mild carbonation, creamy upfront, finishes with just a bit of chalkiness in the throat. it in no way makes the beer unpleasant but it is a bit off putting.
Overall- this beer is delicious, and tastes just as advertised. gotta love that. get it. (706 characters)

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