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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

136 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 136
Hads: 1,087
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 3.48%
Wants: 613
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: 136 | Hads: 1,087
Photo of barczar
4.01/5  rDev -7%
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 -6.5%
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 -6.3%
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 -6%
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 -5.6%
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 -5.3%
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 -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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 Lucho
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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 -3.7%
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 jmarsh123
4.18/5  rDev -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 -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 -2.8%
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 -2.8%
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 -2.6%
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 -2.6%
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 -2.6%

2014 Vintage.
750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

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

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

Taste
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.

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

Overall
Drier than I expected with some heavy handed spicing. However it still remains very decadent and rich. Hides the 9.2% well. (734 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Date: 02/25/2013
Type: 750ml. Bottle
Glass: Southampton Tulip
Vintage: 2012

Pours a black in color w/ a 1 to 11/2 finger tan head that left medium lacing. Aromas of roasted chocolate, honey, ginger, and vanilla bean. The flavor is of a gingerbread cookie folded into layers of roasted chocolate notes w/ enough hop bite on the finish to prevent cloying. Medium bodied and very creamy and lush w/ a bit too much carbonation. Drank my 16oz. glass w/ ease as the ABV is not at all noticeable. This brew presents a liquified gingerbread cookie taste while maintaining the stout components which makes it a success.

Overall, a fantastic brew that tastes like what it was intended to taste like, a gingerbread cookie stout. After drinking this brew, The Boston Beer Co. should be ashamed of their horrid tasting Gingerbread Christmas Stout! This brew would be all-world if the carbonation was turned down a bit which was too high for my liking. The high carbonation keeps the beer from getting heavy and makes it more drinkable, but makes it too pillowy in the mouth for the rich flavors to grab hold and be enjoyed to their fullest. Anyway, I am glad I have 2 more bottles of this brew in transit to me as we speak, as I would gladly drink this again. (1,248 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 10.24.13

A - Pours a medium to dark brown with a large light tan head that never fades.

S - Ginger, sweet and lots of chocolate.

T - Gingerbread cookie, Done!

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Gingerbread in full force. Nicely done, very good! (276 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Prominent spicy ginger, cinnamon, some roastiness, perceived sugar, vanilla and vanilla wafers.

L: Very dark brown, light tan head that dissipates to a ring of foam.

T: Coffee roasty malt with a backbone of ginger. Low bitterness with a soft honey sweetness emerging. Cappucino flavors, sweet milk into the finish with some cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Medium bodied, creamy on the palate. Medium low carbonation. Touch of alcoholic heat.

Not bad, I just wish the flavors were a little more intense. That being said, a very unique beer with great flavors overall. (565 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage 750ml cork & caged bottle poured into a teku glass

A- pours pitch black in color with a small creamy khaki colored head that reduces to a thin film on top and a ring around the edges

S- heavy fresh ginger aroma up front, quickly followed by some milky lactose sweetness. Underlying aromas of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla bean, honey, graham cracker, cocoa & burnt bread crust. None of these aromas are strong, but all discernable

T- the base milk stout is immediately noticeable with a sweetness that hits the tongue and adds a sugary aspect. The spices kick in after, with flavors of fresh ginger, cinnamon, clove & nutmeg. Notes of molasses and burnt bread mix with cocoa and chocolate. The linger leaves flavors of vanilla bean and gingerbread, with a light honey sweetness

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthful and a smooth silky finish

O- the spicy/sweet flavors seem to be in constant battle, which makes for a tasty brew. The sweetness of the milk stout make it quite drinkable for over 9% ABV (1,065 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a Surly Darkness tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown, with a large frothy beige head, good retention, some lacing.

Smells like cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, other spices, some sweetness and toffee.

Taste is gingerbread and nutmeg, some milk chocolate and vanilla, nice spicy notes.

Mouthfeel is moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied, nice dry finish, a little too fizzy to be called smooth though.

Overall, this is probably better fresh, but is still a very solid spiced stout which is enjoyable by the fire on a nice cold night. (578 characters)

Photo of VT08Hokie
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer was most likely over hyped before i first had it, which doesn't help the problem. When I read "gingerbread", I expected this punch of spice along with the ginger. Its missing that initial hit. Otherwise, very well executed. I've gone way out of the way to get it and will continue to do so if necessary. (317 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Coming off of the heels of the recent holiday season where a few of these "gingerbread" stouts emerged, I found myself discrediting the combination of taste as being underwhelming at best or even messy. But Hardywood has taught me something else- maybe these varying flavors can marry up pretty well.

But like many a stout, the beer pours with a very dark black, seeming darker than I expected somehow. Its mocha froth caps the beer with a sturdy foam stance that outlasts the beer in the session and laces evenly 'til the last sip.

Though the stout flavors are certainly strong enough to qualify, it is edged out by the desert scent of gingerbread snaps. Molasses, ginger, clove, nutmeg, and graham cracker all align on the nasal cavity just the same way as baking the snaps themselves. But underneath all that are the stout-like aromas of strong roast coffee, baker's chocolate, candy shops, and burnt bread.

Flavors are more balanced than the nose let on so that the melange of taste starts sweet and ends spicy. Molasses, confectioner's sugar, and heavy whipping cream allows for a creamy sweet taste of pulled candy and marzipan to start the show. Roasted elements of French-press coffee, sweetened cocoa, roasted almonds, and burnt grain all rise closely behind and give a robust flavor to balance the initial sweetness. And then all of those Christmas spices settle in as the roast trails for a strong and seductive medley.

Firm support for all that roast and spice has got to come from more than just the caramelized grain sweetness and starch. The "milk" portion of the beer wraps around the carbonation and gives the beer its milkshake-like consistency. The beer's support holds strong until very deep in the session where coffee-like bitterness, spicy warmth, and an echo of molasses brings the beer to closure.

The beer works because it is a stout first. Knowing that the dryness will expose flaws in taste and throw off the balance, it is propped up with an enormously creamy texture and taste- proving to this skeptic that stout and gingerbread can indeed play nicely with one another. (2,105 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours basically a black body with two finger khaki head that quickly fades but leaves a smattering of lace patches here and there.
The aroma is dominated by the sweeter aspects of the beer as I mostly get ginger, cinnamon, hint of milk chocolate or maybe just milk/lactic qualities that can be found in sweeter stouts, and then I get minor bready and roasted malts.
While I have a sweet tooth and enjoy sweet stouts, thankfully this beer is more balanced in body and taste than the aroma or it may been too sweet to drink.
For a higher ABV stout and with everything going on in this beer it is actually smooth, creamy, real easy to drink. There are roasted malts in there for balance and a bread (or cookie) like dryness that adds a chewiness to the beer at times as well as also maintains balance.
The beer's sweetness is definitely there as you can detect ginger, vanilla (maybe from the booze) milk/milk chocolate (there is a very light chocolate sweetness in here), and at times it felt like I was having a liquefied ginger snap (that comparison might turn some people off but I have always enjoyed a good ginger snap).
Definitely a dessert beer in the sense that it's worth having alone or only paired with dessert, but that doesn't mean it's some sweet beer knockoff that isn't a great beer on its merits. (1,313 characters)

Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.