Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

146 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 1,142
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 32.01%
Wants: 641
Gots: 382 | 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: 1,142
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.

 1,581 characters

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.

 691 characters

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.

 470 characters

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.

 579 characters

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!

 1,081 characters

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.

 254 characters

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.

 164 characters

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.

 638 characters

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.

 683 characters

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.

 714 characters

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.

 889 characters

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.

 520 characters

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!

 964 characters

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.

 232 characters

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.

 1,624 characters

Photo of Lucho
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an amazing dark brown almost black with a beautiful tan/gingerbread creamy head of two fingers with great retention.

Smell: Spices, maybe clove, not sure about the gingerbread. There is cinnamon on the nose.

Taste: There it is, Gingerbread! Well played good sir. Nice and light gingerbread with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg finish. I wish I would have saved this one for the Holidays. I was a little worried about it fading.

Mouthfeel: excellent carbonation with medium to heavy body with a nice dry finish.

Overall: well this is my first gingerbread stout but I say its spot on with what you would expect. The only thing is maybe it could use more of a presence of gingerbread and cinnamon and other seasonal spices. An awesome beer! Cheers

 761 characters

Photo of damngoode
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- pours lighter than expected, a deep carmel and settles into an opaque brown with a frothy head that sticks to the glass and refuses to fade

S- the sum of many parts. It actually smells like a wet gingerbread cookie. The smell makes me imagine a Gingersnap dipped in a Christmas Ale. Beautiful.

T- beginning with some chocolatey sweetness and the majority of the spicy goodness hits at the tail-end of the swallow. There's an 'ah-ha' point in the swallow where it all marries up and you GET it.

M- good fizz.not as viscous as i was expecting.

O- a really nice beer, definitely unique and something that those who love(d) a Christmas Ale but got burnt out should try.

 673 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice dense 2-finger tan head churns up from a somewhat vigorous pour. Color is impenetrable black. Not much lacing. Smell is what you'd expect given the ingredients: ginger, vanilla, sweet floral honey, plus a roasty coffee and chocolate. There's a lot going on. I must confess that on the first half a glass, the ginger and honey flavors dominated with an almost medicinal quality, which I didn't care for. This was fleeting however as it mellowed out, and in the end I found the gingerbread flavors to be more subtle than I expected. This is contradictory I know, but that's how it is.

Feel is silky and coating, but slightly thin as well. Alcohol taste was nonexistent, but the effects weren't...Nice roasty coffee aftertaste with pleasant bitterness.

Overall this is a complex beer that I enjoyed but that left me slightly puzzled. It is clearly a high-quality brew with some elements that struggle to coalesce. I think that in a holiday/party setting with dessert this beer would shine better than it does with me sitting alone with a magnifying glass on it.

 1,067 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with a decent sized beige head. Thin layer of retention and some lacing down the glass.

Really does smell like a gingerbread cookie. Ginger, cinnamon, some brown sugar with a touch of vanilla and a bit of roasted malt.

Wow amazingly integrated. I hate most spice beers usually because they are overspiced. This one is good. Spices are in play, but in balance and not overwhelming. It's an adjunct not the main feature, as plenty of the milk stout base comes through. Similar flavors as the nose all mixed well.

Medium bodied with higher carbonation than I care for in a stout. Only downfall of this beer.

Very good beer and probably my favorite holiday spiced ale I've had, but really the mouthfeel prevents it from being world class. I like a smooth velvety mouthfeel in my stouts. The sweet spot where the carbonation had died a bit, but not warm enough for the spices to take over was too brief. Looking forward to trying the BA version of this.

 969 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

On tap:
Looking at the bottom of my first glass, can tell the beer is lacking any haziness, and may be more dark brown than black. I get little head in the new pour (which was to the brim). Even the collection at the edges is quite thin, however. The nose is graham cracker, cinnamon, of course ginger. Ginger snap is in the impression I get.

To me, this beer needs a little warming, which isn't abnormal for a stout, but I also don't think the improvement in that difference between cold and at temp is as great as in other stouts. The front tastes are definitely roasted malt standards, bitter coffee and some cocoa to me. The ginger adds a bite early into the transition to mid-taste, which itself adds the ginger snap spices to the flavor profile. I think the ginger bite makes up for what I do believe is a flatter beer. The body is actually pretty full, and there is a balancing bitterness that keep this from being a pure dessert beer. There is also a sort of oily lingering feel.

Definitely a decent beer, and a fairly unique one to my experiences. I'm not sure it resonates with me, but I can appreciate why others like it. Won't avoid it in the future, for sure.

 1,184 characters

Photo of JayQue
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Stout, Not often do I choose a strong stout in the summertime, but I wanted to try this one after some yard work. Pours a dense black color with a huge dark tan head. Head retention is good and no light gets through the glass. Aroma is good but is still the least impressive part of this beer. Some malt and a little ginger are present in the aroma. Flavor is very impressive. The ginger and cinnamon taste like the actual fresh spices not the hodge-podge potpourri like so many beers that feature ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or other"holiday type spices.The spices are backed up by a slightly sweet milk stout. With so much flavor going on, whatever lactose flavor that might be present in a milk stout is not apparent. Mouthfeel is great. Smooth and rich like a milk stout should be. No hint of the alcohol. The spices play well on the tongue. This is a superior beer for all seasons.

 905 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a light brownish head.

It smells incredible. Fresh-baked gingerbread. Loads of ginger. Kind of spicy.

Smooth, unassuming. at first it's lackluster, but then on the endtaste the cinnamon kicks in and I just ride the spice.

A bit thin. The ginger is fresh and raw and I like it.

Really fun! Recommended!

 319 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to sincereNc for sharing this one at a past Random Sunday Tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, ginger, cookie, sugar, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, gingerbread, ginger, sugar, and spice. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The brewery really nailed the gingerbread cookie aspect here if I am honest. It almost tasted like you were drinking a gingerbread man in all his glory. Very well balanced and complex. This made it quite inviting and would make it a perfect candidate for a dessert beer. Very well done and I hope I get to try more of it in the future.

 873 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown as it pours, very deep black in the glass. A nice sized milk chocolate colored head floats on top of it.

S: There is a nice cocoa powder smell at first. Followed by ginger, cinnamon, and perhaps vanilla. The spices mix well with the bready grain smells, and meld together to smell a lot like frosted ginger snaps. Perhaps just a hint of yeast in the finish.

T: Ginger, and a nice caramel flavor come out first. The caramel blends into the bready flavors and really combines well to make a gingerbread flavor. There is a hint of black licorice in the finish, as well as some earthy bitterness, and dark chocolate. The alcohol is certainly present, but not overbearing.

M: Medium thick on mouthfeel. The carbonation is fairly fine in size, and adds a certain creaminess to it.

O: Overall I think this beer does a good job of treading a fine line between imperial stout and holiday beer. It's a nice enough stout that I would drink it normally, but spiced enough to celebrate the season.

 1,006 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

2014 Vintage.
750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Near-black with almost 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Gingerbread cookies, cinnamon, mint, caramel, roasted barley, and chocolate. Extremely aromatic!

The spices dominate; ginger, cinnamon, and even some mint leaves. They seem to add a substantial bitterness. Gingersnap cookies, roasted barley, earthy char, and caramel. Bitter dark chocolate and cocoa nib. Slight lactose sweetness. Some floral / pine notes stand out in the finish.

Medium-plus bodied, silky, sticky, off-dry, and well carbonated.

Drier than I expected with some heavy handed spicing. However it still remains very decadent and rich. Hides the 9.2% well.

 734 characters

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