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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

147 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 1,144
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 31.78%
Wants: 641
Gots: 384 | 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: 147 | Hads: 1,144
Photo of Jeffo
2.67/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from Siddfinch a while back. Thanks for the trade dude!

From a cork & caged 750 into a snifter
Vintage 2014
IBU: 55
Milk stout with ginger, honey, cinnamon and vanilla

APPEARANCE: A clear, light brown pour yields a big, three finger, foamy, looser, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown body, clear, with a bit of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass, but it does eventually end up looking rather flat by the end. Too light a body as well, and the head is rather unimpressive.

SMELL: Milder nose of milk sugars, ginger, and some honey is there. Light toffee notes as well. No real roast there and doesn’t come across as ginger bread-ish.

TASTE: Ginger, some toffee and then some honey at the swallow. Bolder finish of ginger, cinnamon, honey, some milky sweetness and bitter chocolate flavors as well. Cinnamon and ginger linger on the palate. Bitter sweet with plenty of sweetness up front.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky. Maybe a bit too much carbonation for the style. Alright, otherwise.

OVERALL: Okay I guess. Can't believe this one is held so highly, actually. The look is certainly wanting and the base stout, not surprisingly, seems to be rather weak, but the adjuncts make it interesting enough. Wish they had put a little more effort into a solid stout base before they went around throwing stuff in it. We moved on to the bourbon barrel version afterwards and to be honest, that one wasn’t much more impressive either. Perhaps a touch of oak but it was much the same. A disappointing set, unfortunately. Still, these things are always fun to try, so cheers for the brews SiddFinch!

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Photo of blbarnett3
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Look, I'm a home-towner and long time fan of Hardywood, but I just don't see what the fuss is all about on this one. It's interesting, but just too sweet and gingery. It's fine, but it just didn't keep me interested like, for example, Xocoveza.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This beer had a pronounced ginger and cinnamon smell. It tasted like ginger and hot cinnamon, and alcohol. I did not taste any stout flavor. I was underwhelmed by this beer as I am underwhelmed by all these newbies who love koolaid beer. You used to have to acquire the taste for beer, but now many brewers cater to the narrow pallets of children.

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Photo of HumanParaquat
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of Rifugium
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Sam for the trade at the BBGBS release!

Refrigerated for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Poured into a Hardywood goblet, a dark brown color, lighter around the edges, with about two fingers of beige head that dwindled to a thick ringlet. This was very strange. At first, the aroma was very acrid and it seemed oxidized to me, with a bit of ginger, cinnamon, and caramel coming through. After letting it sit for a while, this changed quite dramatically, becoming more full of gingerbread cookie, vanilla icing and all, the harshness almost completely removed. The taste was extremely bitter up front. Extremely bitter. There was a definite gingerbread cookie sensation in there, but the bitterness overwhelmed it completely, and again, there seemed to be off-flavors indicative of oxidation. So I let it sit some more. The cookie-ness came out a bit more, but it was still quite bitter and stale, woody and kind of unpleasant, all the way into the aftertaste. It's almost as if a good, yummy cookie flavor wants to come to the forefront, but it just never gets there. Body was about medium, a bit thin for a stout...more like an English stout, or even a brown ale; fairly smooth, but just too harsh in flavor to be enjoyable. I can't imagine these bottles being bad already. The alternative theory is....this is just another over-hyped beer. Not impressed.

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Photo of Flight317
3.39/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Wasn't a big fan of this really. It's not bad but the taste to me was just not great. As far a dessert beers this one is not for me. If you love gingerbread it would likely be good. Quality beer but I wouldn't seek out if it was in my distro

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Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. 2014 vintage. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Black with 1/2-finger beige foamy head with decent retention but no lacing.

S: Heavy ginger and cinnamon on this one with a bit of figgy dark fruit and light booziness/rum raisin flavor.

T: The flavor is also over gingered and cinnamoned with very light roast, fig and raisin fruitiness which is faint but is totally dominated by the ginger spice addition. Too much for me. Also some molasses and light vanilla most noticeable in the finish.

M: Thinner than I imagined given that it is a milk stout but plenty drinkable, low carbonation, medium body .

O: Not my cup of tea -- you had better like ginger and spiced beer in general if you want to try this beer. This is a very fresh bottle, maybe sitting on this for awhile would have helped but not up my alley.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 bomb, Thanks @blackie

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

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

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Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle served in a Hardywood goblet. Thanks Thorpe.

Pours a ruby tinged cola brown with a light camel colored head that fades to a thin collar with no lace and minimal retention. Smells like a container of McCormick's cinnamon and light vanilla. Powdery, indeterminate spice, mild vanilla, nutmeg, mild and balanced but artificial. Medium light, soft carbonation and a powdery finish, thin throughout. Flavor is a little sweeter up front, honey and chocolate with an all spice, nutmeg and cinnamon in the finish. Balanced and not cloying, but I don't get it. If I want a stout ill drink one, this tastes nothing like one. Watery gingerbread and cinnamon in a glass. Not for me.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hardywood gingerbread stout shared at RBWG-2014

Slight harshness/burn from the ginger.

Aroma is balanced, with a moderate dose of ginger.

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

Full body.

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Photo of GJ40
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Duvel glass.

A deep black with no light coming through and a moderate beige head. Aroma is not as strong as I thought it would be. Some ginger with hints of brown sugar and chocolate. Flavor is also tame with a moderate malt sweetness that dominates. Some chocolate as well but very little ginger. It's not quite as thick and creamy as I'd expect from the style.

A good beer but a little dull. I expected more.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade at the Bourbon GBS release.

A: Black pour, that hints towards brown, that doesn't give much of a head even with a vigorous pour. What is there is brown, but it recedes really quickly and doesn't leave much lacing. You can see through it at the edges.

S: The aroma is very focused on the gingerbread, but there's a lot of sweetness from the lactose in there. Booze comes out, which sort of throws the balance out of whack. I feel like the body of the aroma is missing something holding it all together, but it's still pretty decent.

T: It really tastes like a milk stout on gingerbread steroids. The sugars, lactose, and sweetness, probably from the honey, provide a base and the gingerbread comes second, and in a big way. This beer really is completely focused on the spice, which includes cinnamon at some points. The issue is that the booze, again throws the balance off somewhat. There is a ton going on here, but they've managed to make it work together. I must say that typically I steer clear of milk stouts, but this one I found to be pretty enjoyable. The chocolate, milk, and ginger really do remind me of Christmas.

MF: The mouthfeel is where this beer really doesn't hold up. It's too thin (which really worries me for the bourbon barrel aged version), and it can't seem to hold up to the big flavors that it's trying the let out. The finish leaves a strange aftertaste.

O: This was a really great milk stout and I'm glad I got to try it. It did impress me for the style, but overall I don't think I'd go for another bottle. Kudos to you Hardywood for making a well thought out, and well execute release.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle from the 2013 release. Poured into a GLBC snifter today, 1/12/2014.

Pours a very dark brown, looks black but illuminates brown; with a very effervescent tan head that retains quite well. Lots of lacing. Looks like what I would expect a gingerbread stout to be!

Smells like a gingerbomb. Disappointing really. It's as if someone dropped a bunch of chopped ginger root into a glass of water and left it there for a week. There are no other notes of spices or malts in this beer, it's actually quite off-putting.

Flavour is much better than it smells, though that's not saying much. I do get some more spices- cinnamon, clove- along with faint hints of milk chocolate malt and lactose.. but not nearly enough sweetness to balance out the ginger. The flavour profile actually isn't bad, it's the intensity of the ginger on its own plus the mouthfeel that kills it.

It's quite thin bodied, watery. Carbonation is decent, but not enough to make up for the wateriness. The aftertaste of strong ginger makes this a hard one to drink.

I ended up pouring out my pour after a while. I just couldn't finish drinking my pour due to the strength of the ginger overpowering the rest of the components of the beer. Good idea, terrible execution. Not recommended on my part. Apparently I don't like strong ginger flavours.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gingerbread Stout pours a big black color, small head. There is a veyr nice sweet gingerbread aroma, very toasty. The flavor is big, sweet, sugary with big gingerbread flavors. Big flavors, but a little too sweet for me.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 2 glasses of 2015 into stout glasses. First is typical imperial stout - essentially black, nice foamy tan head. However, glass 2 was murky, milky with lots of particulate matter and settlement. Glass 1 would get a 4 for appearance but the 2nd part of the bottle would get a 1. This, visually, is one of the least appealing beers I've ever seen.

Nose, flavor, feel are all solid. Exactly as expected - ginger, vanilla, and an extra boost of sweet from the honey. Nice drying effect from the ginger, creamy mouthfeel. It's fine, but I do not get the 100 score here - perhaps the recipe has changed over the years?

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours black, little to no brown along the edges. a finger or less of a light tan head forms with lower retention and little to no lacing. opaque with darkness.

Smell: strong ginger, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and clove. hints at dark fruits and roasted to caramelized malts.

Taste: opens up with a strong kick of ginger, along with some graham cracker like malts. spices come through strong with cinnamon taking the lead but nutmeg and clove not far behind. the base beer is barely able to show its way through these additives with just some sweet notes of caramelized malts and a hint of bitter espresso.

Mouthfeel: hot but not because of alcohol. actually feels really light on alcohol despite its 9%. the body is fairly full and sticky.

Overall: This certainly is a holiday beer, lots of good strong flavors, very reminiscent of a ginger bread cookie. but not the type of beer I will go crazy for. definitely a cool experience or

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%

Deep dark brown in color. Mild roast in the nose that is accompanied by some sweetness. The flavor profile is mildly roasty complimented by gingerbread and something else sweet – maybe honey. The alcohol presence on the finish is a bit surprising given that there are a number of 10%+ stouts that hide their alcohol better.

I wanted to like it much better than I actually did - oh well.

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Photo of claspada
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown color with a medium size tan head slowly recedes to leave some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with bakers cocoa and ample gingerbread, toasted brown bread and some sweeter honey notes. There is some lesser vanilla and cinnamon but the ginger and a slightly sourish notes.

The tastes begin with some brown bread and milk chocolate with a solid growing gingerbread and honey/molasses sweetness. The ginger is pretty predominant here as well with lesser baker's cocoa. The vanilla and cinnamon are also there but ginger overpowers once again. There are some serious fruity esters which emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly estery and spicy from the added spice.

Overall while this was a nice beer it is not a 100. It's a solid example of a spiced stout but it lacks a little balance and this comes from someone that loves spice, pumpkin and holiday beers. I think the hype train may have gotten a little off the tracks on this one which is why I ignore those review numbers on the top of the page and so should you.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of jegross2
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery out of Richmond, Virginia.

Score: 88

2012 vintage bottle served in a Goose Island Chicago flag snifter and enjoyed on 04/02/13.

Appearance: Black in color, though it turns a slightly brownish soda color when held up to the light. Pours two fingers of fizzy tan head that settles to a thin fizzy ring around the glass. Has a surprisingly effervescent appearance even after the head settles. Poor lacing, below average retention. 3/5

Smell: Biscuity malt, grain, fizzy vanilla soda, brown sugar and faint cinnamon. There is also a gingerbread cookie dough smell present, but it is not nearly as pronounced as anticipated. 3.5/5

Taste: Has an unimpressive biscuity and fizzy stout flavor upfront, but before you can be too disappointed that flavor is immediately supplanted by a wonderful medley of spices, chocolate and gingerbread cookie flavor. Some sweet honey flavor too. This beer has a nice amount of sweetness, but is well-balanced. The spice finish is quite wonderful! If only the upfront flavor was not there. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Mouthfeel falls somewhere between silky and creamy, with some fizziness. 3.5/5

Overall: Taste is what matters most in a beer, and this one has a really good flavor save for an initial disappointing flavor that hits the palate. This beer has a lot of potential, and I would loved to see what a little refining of the recipe could accomplish.

Pairing: Creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Trust me on this one!

Cost: $12 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cocoa, and lots of gingerbread spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a gingerbread cookie flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but smells slightly better in my opinion.

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Photo of Etan
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a snifter.

A. Brownish-black with a large light-beige head.

S. Fresh ginger, all-spice, roasted grain, some vague malty sweetness behind.

T. Pretty roasty, with a relatively restrained spice profile, mild honey, dry cocoa.

M. Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation

O. This tastes pretty nice, and compares favorably to other gingerbread stouts I've had due to a bit of restraint in the spice department. It's over-carbonated, though, so the mouthfeel suffers.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Joe. Thanks! Pours dark brown to black with a massive khaki brown head that sticks around a good bit. Flavor is light roast that bursts into a big punch of gingerbread cookie, but not overly spicy at all, nice light sweetness on the finish balances things well. Body is on the thinner side for an imperial stout, and it would be really nice to see this thickened up with some chocolate to support the nice spice. That would be delicious. As is, it is very yummy and highlights the shizz out of the gingerbread cookieness without being just ginger spice. Nicely done.

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Very excited to try this beer. Expectations are high. Enjoyed out of a Hardywood Singel Tulip.

GBS pours pitch black, with solid head retention. The first thing I notice is the powerful scent of ginger, complimented by chocolate and a bit of char. To me, this smells more like ginger than gingerbread.

The taste follows the nose. Chocolate, lacto sweetness, and a bit of roasted malt, and then BAM! Ginger! Again, I'm getting a lot more pure ginger than gingerbread, but from what I understand this beer was brewed with ginger, rather than gingersnaps, or something of the like. The carbonation and viscosity are just about perfect. The flavors meld together quite nicely, but it did get a little sweet for me as it warmed up over the course of an hour. I supposed I wish the ginger and sweetness were a bit more subtle?

All in all? It's a good beer that I enjoy in small doses. It's a dessert beer for me due to the aggressiveness of the ginger and the overall sweetness of the beer. I wouldn't quite describe it as cloying, but it's close. Now I need to try the BA version!

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.