Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 599
Gots: 330 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 160
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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of NoPinhead
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Smooth mouth feel. Hints of chocolate and spicy ginger. DRINK WARM for full flavor

Photo of BrewerB
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks goes to miikezombie for sending this my way. Apparently this one's quite highly rated here by both users and The Bros so I'm looking forward to it. Despite the recommendation of a pint glass, I'm pouring this 9.2% ABV stout into a snifter from Cigar City. Dark brown/black in color with a thick mousse-like light tan head. Ginger comes up quickly in the aromas with cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. There's a picture of a gingerbread cookie on the label and they certainly nailed the aroma. More of this cookie-like quality comes through in the flavor with cinnamon taking a bigger leap forward. Still lots of ginger. Milk chocolatey. Certainly hop flavor was an afterthought here though there's enough bitterness to keep things from going off-track. Silky velvety texture with sufficient carbonation. While it may be 5 months past Christmas this is still tasting fantastic. Certainly one I'd like to revisit again down the road, perhaps in the appropriate time of year and a tad closer to bottling.

Photo of xcdarrel17
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Delicious seasonal beer. Cinnamon and ginger spices with amazing creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out brown and fills the glass with blackness revealing some brown in the light. A fluffy head builds up slowly receding and leaving some stick behind.

The smell is full of ginger right off the bat. Floral honey sweetness. Cinnamon and spicy but that's probably just coming off the ginger. Chocolate.

Ginger again is prominent, sweet chocolate and vanilla, cinnamon. Gets a little sticky in the lips. Super smooth medium body with soft carbonation. Feels magnificent.

Photo of rjs246
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Everyone absolutely loves this stuff, whereas I merely like it. A lot. It's nearly impossible to get your hands on because its so popular, but it is absolutely worth a try if you ever get the chance.

Photo of mltobin
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with a few friends, poured into a snifter. The appearance is dark brown color with a short tan head. While the taste of it is brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, roasted malts, amongst some other spices/flavors that I cannot pinpoint. It seems like a lot, but is nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is towards heavy, a creamy finish. It leaves you with a sweetness on your palate. Going into this beer from Hardywood, I was a bit skeptical. But for what it is, they really did a nice job. A perfect beer to serve alongside most desserts.

Photo of MasterSki
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Tom. Served in a snifter of some sort.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a wispy, partial cap, thick collar, and spotty lacework. Very dark brown body.

S - Smells as you'd expect - like a gingerbread cookie. Nice accents of vanilla, roast, biscuit, toasted grains, chocolate, but predominantly cinnamon, ginger, and sugar. Alcohol is quite well hidden too.

T - The taste is a bit more stout-influenced, with a bigger emphasis on roasted malts, molasses, and chocolate of a darker variety. Still some vanilla and a touch of ginger, but not as spiced as the aroma. Alcohol is still quite well-hidden - never would have guessed this was 9.2%.

M - A bit overcarbonated for my tastes, but not offensively so. Medium body, dry in the finish, with no trace of the listed 9.2%

D - Not a beer I could drink in mass quantities, but achieves exactly what it sets out to do. Enjoyable for a few ounces, albeit a tad undersized for the listed ABV. Curious how the bourbon barrel version compares, although I'd be concerned the body didn't stand up.

Photo of dogphishead
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap and in the bottle(a few times each way). Fantastic! Off the top of my head, there's no beer that absolutely nails a re-creation of dessert or any type of food the way this does. As hopbully stated, you can keep drinking this beer and will probably want to, whereas with other dessert type beers I feel like I've had all I need after 1/2 a pint. Nice job with the booming gingerbread cookie flavors without being overpowering. Well done, Hardywood!

Photo of StoneTSR
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Black beer with some ruby red shining through around the edges. About a quarter-inch of foam covered the surface for 30 seconds or so when it was first poured, but disappeared almost entirely after that.

SMELL: Well, good start with this beer! It smells like candied ginger.

TASTE: BIG ginger taste with a little sugary sweetness and dark chocolate. A hint of roast, but not enough to make it taste coffee-like. As the beer warms some more subtle flavors come out with a little more spice, some vanilla and the chocolate intensifies too.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big body. The carbonation is very light, but enough ginger to provide a little bite.

OVERALL: The aggressive ginger sets this apart from some other beers brewed with ginger that I've had. And, I'd put this near the top of that very specialized category. Good stuff.

Photo of n2185
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours black with half a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with no lacing.

S: lots of sweet cocoa up front followed by ginger, cinnamon, and other spices. It smells like chocolate and gingerbread cookies--quite nice.

T: roasted malts up front with lots of sweet chocolate. Wonderful gingerbread flavors follow with lots of ginger and spices. Sweet, creamy, and a little spicy. Slight bitterness on the finish.

M: thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is nice and creamy at first with a dry, fairly clean finish. Nice.

O: I was quite impressed with this beer. It tastes and smells like chocolate-covered gingerbread cookies. Great beer from a new brewery.

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Ginger, chocolate, vanilla, rather sweet.

T-Tastes like Christmas spirit. Good deal of ginger and chocolate as well as vanilla. Nutmeg. Rather sweet yet balanced.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation, tad velvety.

O-A wonderful beer, grateful that I was able to try it.

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Rich coffee brown, with a think tan head that disappears but leaves a nice ring around the glass. Decent legs on the glass.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, almost reminds me of a pumpkin pie.

T - Very smooth! Spices aren't nearly as overwhelming as they smell. Very nice cinnamon and cloves. Very sweet malts compliment the spices. Extremely drinkable for a spiced beer.

M - Pretty light and smooth for a stout. Leaves a nice sweet finish on the tongue with very little carbonation.

O - I can really understand the hype behind this beer. Especially coming out of VA, a state that's just getting started in the craft brew world.

Photo of starrdogg
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to trying this for a long time, here we go.

Beer pours a dark brown/almost black with a fluffy tan head. There are a ton of bubbles, making it actually look almost like a glass of Coke. Smell is of winter baking spices primarily with some roasted malt in the background. I don't think I would think "gingerbread" based on the smell if this beer wasn't called what it is. That said, it smells quite nice. Flavor takes it to the next level, however, as I feel like I'm drinking a chocolatey gingerbread cookie. The same winter spices from the nose combine very nicely with the stout base to create something very tasty and well-done. It's sweet, but far from being overly so, and still maintains the roasty stout aspects of the beer without letting the spices take over - very nicely balanced. I get much more "gingerbread" in the flavor, though I still wonder if I would've come to that conclusion on my own. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation and works well for the beer. Overall, this isn't a beer I'd want to drink every day, but it's pretty damn impressive for what it is - a great, well-crafted, unique beer for the holidays.

Photo of jaasen64
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split two ways and poured into the Hardywood GBS glass that came in the gift packs. Have to admit the fact they put that this beer has a 100 rating on BA is kind of pretentious- better live up to the hype! Thanks Don for sharing this with me.

A- Pours a dark brownish that appears pitch black in the glass with roughly a finger of creamy foamy light mocha head with nice retention that slowly fades to a thin layer. Nice consistent carbonation.

S- Honey, ginger, some cinnamon, a bit of cocoa and lactose sugars. Decently aromatic, interesting smell although a little bit weird. Honey definitely comes out the most with a decent amount of ginger and cinnamon. Not bad smelling, fairly appealing, but definitely not the best beer I've smelled.

T- Ginger, honey, cocoa, cinnamon. Nicely balanced sweet ginger and cinnamon finish that lingers for awhile. Definitely tastes like gingerbread and comes together a lot better then in the aroma. Very flavorful and very well balanced.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, very easy drinking, no alcohol burn, fairly smooth.

O- This was a very good gingerbread Christmas themed sweet stout that I definitely hope to have again. It is very well executed with an almost perfect balance of ginger, honey, and cocoa. The only aspect that could definitely be improved a little bit is the aroma. I definitely recommend trying this out.

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to smokeypeat for this one - I love me some gingerbread. GBS pours an intensely dark brown that appears basically black once it groups up in the glass. The cap is nicely foamy and thick, khaki-colored, and has nice retention. Some chunky lacing is left near the top of the glass as well - very nice looking stout.

Hardywood certainly nailed what they were going for in the aroma - lots of warm, sprucy ginger that is met in equal parts by heaps of doughy, cookie-like malts. The combination forms a nice gingerbread cookie aroma that sends you back to making the festive treats during Christmastime. Some other spices lie a little deeper in the aroma, the most notable being cinnamon. Very lively and certainly unique.

Just like the aroma, the first sip explodes with a mirage of flavors that is so delicately reminiscent of the little men-shaped cookies. Gingerbread spice, shortbread, cinnamon, brown sugar... Very sweet and delicate, but balance quite nicely with a slight bit of warmth from the alcohol. The finish has some faint cocoa powder that's easily recognizable, but this beer is all the the gingerbread.

Some light ashiness in the middle-end that seems like it might be from the hops, though the hops themselves induce no extra flavors (no leaves, florals, or anything like that). In all honesty, I'm quite surprised by how much this beer actually resembles a gingerbread cookie. Pretty thick body, lightly creamy and just shy of chewy. Would have like to see just a bit more carbonation, but the mouth feel was still pretty nice.

The people I was with didn't love gingerbread cookies like I did, so they weren't as crazy about this beer as I was. I love gingerbread cookies and I thought this was damn good. A little more complexity or development wouldn't hurt, but they were going for a gingerbread cookie beer and that's pretty much what they got. Sweet without being cloyingly so. Very solid stout for those that love the little cookie-men.

Photo of OGShotzy
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Where was this in December?? Great smell and taste. Would be a perfect Christmas stout beside the fire.

Photo of Onenote81
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another shout out to YumYumGumGum for trading me a bottle at the ORF release this year! Cracked this open with fellow BA, ClarkPinnock. Poured into a chalice.

I probably didn't let this one "warm" up enough as there isn't the slightest bit of head on this pour. It is thick though, and it is black. Really heavy-looking. Might be the glass I chose though, because CP's pour had a nice half-finger of mocha-colored froth on top. This is a really thick and luscious beer. Heavy, slightly oily feel. Good carbonation. A sipper.

The first whiff of this smells exactly like freshly-baked gingerbread cookies. Spot on. They nailed it. Sweet bready aroma, vanilla, creme brulee, faint chocolate. Smells great. This beer starts out sweet for sure, with just a smidge of ginger on the finish. Sometimes when a sweet stout is "imperialized," it can get too sweet and cloying. Not this one. Great balance of sweetness and semi-bitter dark chocolate. Vanilla, sugar cookies, ginger, roasted cocoa. I'm glad I split this bottle, as I wouldn't think I'd enjoy a full bottle to myself, but as my glass empties, I find myself wishing there was more.

Fantastic beer. I'd like more, and am definitely interested in the Barrel-Aged version now.

Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.