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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

146 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 1,140
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 32.01%
Wants: 641
Gots: 377 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gingerbread Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 146 | Hads: 1,140
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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Photo of Jack_Malts
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Pretty good, very delicious. All the flavors are there, relatively balanced and never cloying. Comparable to xocoveza with the big cinnamon/vanilla flavors. It makes me really want to try the bbl version. Definitely a great christmasy treat. Recommended.

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Photo of barczar
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Huge ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla in aroma.

A bit more ginger and cinnamon than I'd like, and there's an acrid character that accompanies. I don't get much stout.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EBF sample. Poured black or something close to it. Small, dark brown head, I remember that. The smell does have a legit gingerbread tone to it. It also smells chocolatey. Holiday spices. Flavor has the conventional roast and chocolate. These flavors are accompanied by gingerbread, cinnamon and actual ginger. None of these are overbearing. Flavors play well together and it actually isn't as sweet as I was initially expecting. Relatively full bodied. I thought this beer was pretty interesting and I surely doesn't fall into the category of being hokey. The flavors are natural. It doesn't come off as artificial. I'm thankful for that.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Umberto tonight.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a small creamy looking head, and a small amount of lacing.

Smells incredibly ginger-forward, really spiced, with some vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate.

This is a lot less sweet than thought it would be. It's pretty "spicy," with nutmeg, cinnamon, lactose and vanilla, with a little bit of chocolate. The spices are done well, but a small amount seems sufficient with how intense the ginger is.

This is medium bodied- I wish it was slightly thicker, but it does have a pretty dry and creamy mouthfeel. It has a lower level of carbonation.

This wasn't quite as good as I was expecting, but it's still quite tasty.

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Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours an opaque dark brown with over a finger of creamy off white head. The head sticks around pretty well.

Smell: Rather sweet with some roast. Mild spices, perhaps some clove, ginger, and nutmeg.

Taste: There isn't as much spice as I would have expected, but that's not a bad thing. It's got a creamy sweetness to it along with a nice level of roast. There is some gingerbread spice, but it more compliments the beer flavor.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thicker side and the carbonation is very smooth and creamy. The finish is on the dry side.

Overall: This is a nice desert beer. It's not as spice forward as I expected, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of corby112
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to sideshowe for sharing.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a very prominent zesty ginger presence.  Peppery and very gingery with a chocolate cookie presence.  Kind of reminds me of ginger snaps.   Some bready yeast, cocoa and coffee bean but the spice/ginger really overpowers things.

Surprising how much this tastes like a ginger bread cookie.  Sweet but not cloyingly so with strong ginger and English biscuit flavor.  Tastes just like the cookie with cinnamon, brown sugar and ginger snap followed by hints of baker's chocolate, oatmeal and subtle roast.  Nicely balanced with a well masked ABV making it easy to drink.  Sweet but not boozy or cloying.  Great gingerbread cookie flavor but still tastes like a stout.  Very good.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snifter, reviewed from notes.

Pours a flat raisin colored body with no head, no lace. Damn near flat looking. Sweet honey, ginger and spices on the nose, ginger dominates. The taste follows the nose but with more caramel sweetness than suggested. Ginger again dominates alongside chocolate, caramel, gingerbread-like spices and a bit of honey in the aftertaste. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, very low and tight carbonation. This basically tasted like gingerbread with chocolate and honey. Very delicious and unique.

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Photo of TomFoolery_x
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First actual review. 2013 bottling. Poured into a snifter from 750ml bottle

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Little to no head unless poured very hard.

S: Could just be me, but the smell of this was very underwhelming. Could have been due to the pour being too cold still. Smells of malt and toffee/Carmel notes. I picked up the ginger once it warmed.

T: Wow! This is better than I could have a imagined. Being slightly disappointed by the nose(mostly due to the cold temp of the initial pour) I was very pleased to taste this bad boy! First sip was definitely reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie! Prominent ginger notes followed. Very balanced malt flavors. No discern able alcohol.

M: Mouthfeel is good, a tad but thin from what I was expecting but the carbonation does bring it all together in a silky smooth texture.

O: I definitely recommend this beer if you are a fan of sweeter stouts! Will be looking forward to this beer next year!

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Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer, and its variants, depend on your enjoyment of heavy spices, as in literal spice pantry.

The beer hits up front milk chocolate, but then gets dominated heavily by cinnamon and that ginger cookie flavor, but quite intense.

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Photo of uvachief
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. 2015 edition update. Shadow of its former self. Thin, watery with much less sugar and spice. Sad. Use to be world class.

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.