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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Reviews

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Reviews: 137
Hads: 1,094
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 32.01%
Wants: 626
Gots: 329 | 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: 137 | Hads: 1,094
Photo of mnphish
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of engagechad
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of BullDoza
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.58/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of uvachief
4.58/5  rDev +7%
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. Update: bought a bottle last December and through it into the garage fridge at 37 degrees. Opened it on August 29th and it was still pretty good but even stored that way the spices, especially the ginger, had faded. These are definitely drink fresh.

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Photo of ncaudle
4.58/5  rDev +7%
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...

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Photo of bgold86
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, pours a nice black. Immediate cinnamon and vanilla nose for days, wow, what a pleasure! Taste is of massive sweet cinnamon and sweet vanilla. Wish I had greater access to their brews...

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Photo of Beechner719
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Photo of KYGunner
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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Photo of Chazwik
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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

Decided to throw my hat into the ring as well and get on board the Hardywood train. Thanks to Gorilla Fist Brewing and Funkybottoms for hooking me up.

A- Pours nicely into my Selinsgrovebrewing snifter. Dark brown cola color with a slowly building head that is a little late to the party but sticks around after showing up fashionably late.

S- Slightly muted considering all the possibilities here. You get it but just not to the level anticipated.

T- Wow, this is wonderful. Lovely combination of ginger, vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon. Pushes the limits and could be on the verge of being too sweet but it never gets there. This beer is the perfect holiday beverage to have around the fire or with a nice piece of holiday pie. On every level, I thought this was fantastic.

M- very satisfying, a little carbed but still is acceptable.

O- I was wondering if this was going to be hype but I think this is a wonderful and perfect beer for what they were looking to do. I am immediately going out to look for more in trade, it was that good.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by radagast83. Thanks a lot Chris! This beer was not on my radar, but it sure is now.

The beer sports a black body with a half inch of beige cap. The aroma is awesome - gingerbread cookies, roast, cookie dough, brown sugar, cinnamon. The taste follows suit, with additional notes of chocolate and chocolate milk. No lactic sourness whatsoever. Super smooth and creamy, with everything coming together beautifully. A work of art. Sweet, but never cloying. An ideal beer to enjoy over the holidays. I highly recommend this!

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown and settles to a black looking body. Very frothy and foamy at head that leaves a mess of lacing and hangs around for a while.

S- Roasted malts, hints of chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, lots of grainy bread.

T- Starts off as just a imperial milk stout, but half way through, the ginger kicks in, a little honey and vanilla sweetness kicks in, towards the finish the cinnamon takes over. Really pretty remarkable all of the flavors that come through in a subtle way.

M- Big feel, creamy, medium carbonation, coating and lingering mouthfeel.

O- It's a great beer, no doubt. Not an in your face specialty beer, a well put together beer with a mix of great flavors that do not overpower.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to egrace84 for sharing this bottle! Thanks elliot!

reviewed from notes taken on 11/30/2012.

poured into boltcutter tulip glass.

Appearance: medium black bodied beer with 2 fingers of light tan head. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon, Snickerdoodle cookies, and gingersnaps. Maybe a hint of chocolate and roasty notes.

Taste: mildly spicey cinnamon, a hint of vanilla and chocolates. Big gingerbread finish! Wow is beer is crazy good. Great balance between the gingerbread and stout element of this beer!

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation. This beer feels fanatastic and the mouthfeel really compliments this beer well. Very smooth, little bit creamy, and no booze noted at all.

Overall: Hardywood nailed this beer! Its amazing! Perfect integration of gingerbread flavors into a stout! This is the best christmas beer that I have ever drank!

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Photo of upton7418
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter

A - Pours a dark brown with a large light tan head that tapers down as you drink it. very little light penetrates on the outside but not in the center

S - Roasty malts with lots of ginger and a touch of alcohol in the smell.

T - Just like the smell it begins with roasted malts and vanilla, as it continues you get a strong ginger taste near the end.

M - Medium carbonation with a medium body. very easy to drink without a strong alcohol taste. Very sweet finish much sweeter than expected

O - Very good beer that is very sweet like a cookie. Ginger is prominent in the smell and taste and I can see why this sold out so fast.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of jlindros
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks again to rudzud, who seems like my beer sharing partner now, for sharing this.

Pours a big fluffy head that fades at a med pace, lots of soapy lacing, pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose brings pumpkin gourd like... weird. Then lots of gingerbread, plenty of the cookie as well, ginger spice, cinnamon and other spices, dark chewy malts, ginger snap like aromas, hint of chocolate, a light toasty. It's pretty much like a gingerbread cookie, so nice.

Taste is again pure ginger! Ginger snap and gingerbread cookie again. Light candy, bready, sweet syrupy malts, chewy, maple candy even. Fresh ginger is there even, but a lot of gingerbread cookie, sweet sugar candy, cinnamon and brown sugar as well, and just a bit of bitterness. Finish is sweet candy, gingerbread cookie, and straight sugar cookie, candy sugar, and just a bit of earthy bitter hops.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, no real booze warmth surprisingly hidden well.

Overall a great beer, so much gingerbread cookie it's ridiculous, a great amazing beer that I wish I had a couple cases in the cellar and I might try to find some, except that i don't think this will hold up. Thanks again Matt!

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Dark brownish tan/black with a 1/2 inch foamy head, lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Ginger, milk lactose, vanilla, cinnamon, Cherry, caramel malts, chocolate and a little bourbon in the finish.

Taste - From the first sip, you get a nice mix of ginger and vanilla. The sweet milk lactose is mild and sweet and mixes well with the ginger. Chocolate is bold and very tasty with this beer. Malts are slightly noticeable with some caramel flavors. Cinnamon and sweet fruits make up a solid backbone to this beer.

Mouthfeel - Ginger adds a sting to the tongue along with some vanilla. Palate gets lactose and fruits along with some caramel malts. Aftertaste is ginger, chocolate and vanilla.

Overall - Really nice holiday beer. Its not overly sweet and balanced really well. Each element stands out but, mixes in with eachother well. Its not as sweet as I was expecting, and has more vanilla then I figured. This should be a staple holiday ale for anyone that can get it!

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.