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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: 614
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 136 | Hads: 1,087
Photo of HattedClassic
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours a very strong head that comes in the forms of small dark tan bubbles. The beer itself is a very dark brown that almost appears black. The beer leaves quite a bit of lacing.

The beer smell has very strong spice notes and honey notes. The spices come in the form of ginger and cinnamon while the honey comes off as sweet but not artificially and adds a smoothness to the smell that isn't normally found. The smell also has milk chocolate notes that actually gets a little lost in the honey, but supplements its sweetness with a tiny hint of bitterness.

The beer has a very strong gingerbread and spicy taste to it. The beer has various spices from ginger to cinnamon to a very strong honey taste. The beer also has a milk chocolate taste but the more dominate notes seem to be the honey and spices, which is fantastic when combine with the chocolate. In this case, dominate is a relative term, the different tastes work very well together that it is hard to describe any of the notes without referencing the others. All I can say is that this beer is absolutely divine in its taste.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and velvety. The tiny carbonation adds a little bit texture but mainly adds to the velvet feel. The beer is heavy bodied but surprisingly light due to the use of honey.

Overall, this is the perfect beer. I can find very few flaws, but event those aren't worth mentioning. This beer is, without a doubt, one of the best stouts ever produced. The The way the ingredients work together to create a wonderful and complex, yet simple, taste and smell is amazing. You really have to buy this beer to understand just how good it is. (1,659 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +16%

A - Pours black with a thick head that settles pretty quickly.
S - Aroma is of spices, you know this not your typical milk stout.
T - Flavor matches the aroma. Balanced flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, ginger with a little alcohol bite on the finish.
M - The only way I can describe the mouth feel is creamy.
O - This beer is special and certainly deserves the high rating. Stouts are my favorite style and this beer really brings something new to the table. I need to get another bottle, or maybe a case. (505 characters)

Photo of Chazwik
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

I'm not going to comment on the various tastes. There are plenty of posts that already describes that. I want to share my experience...I can see why people were pushing and shoving for this beer (literally) at Trader Joe's just before Thanksgiving.

This reminds me of a smooth imperial stout that has a smooth creamy draw that leaves a satisfying stick to your lips to tease you for another drink. (400 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 57md
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%

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. (392 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%
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 (947 characters)

Photo of challenja
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Bottle purchased at Church Key DC and poured into snifters.
A: malt black almost deep purple in appearance with a quickly dissipating vanilla toffee head.
S: fresh ginger slams you right off the break followed by cinnamon and all spice. Nutmeg and cloves push through caramelized alcohol sugars ending with sweet mocha chocolate with faint medium Costa Rican/ Jamaica blue coffee roast. Seriously one of the best damn smelling beers of all time.WOW!!
T: sweet fresh gingersnaps buried in barrel charred chocolate coffee malts. Nutmeg and cardamom shot through followed by allspice and cinnamon. The medium roast Costa rican/ Jamaican blue follows at the end with trailing alcohol Esther's.
M: sweet medium frothy body. I wish it was heavier but the fresh ginger astringency really makes that impossible.
O: Outstanding... Is too loose a word. An almost perfect beer masterpiece. I would only ask for a more heavier mouth feel. (927 characters)

Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

O: Not my cup of tea -- you had better like ginger and spiced beer in general if you want to try this beer. This is a very fresh bottle, maybe sitting on this for awhile would have helped but not up my alley. (904 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)

Photo of JMUbrewz
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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 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 smakawhat
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Portsmouth tulip/globe glass. Good solid pop off the cork.

Real nice appearance. Dark walnut brown body, opaque for a milk stout which is quite surprising. Head is a cream tan coffee brown, with a whipped character. Head grows easily three fingers with nice soft retention and fluffy appearance. Settles to a big beveled collar with a thin puck and good curved angles. No lacing, but a good cling to the collar.

Just an absolutely insane aroma that delivers as advertised. Milk chocolate. Huge amounts of ripped ginger, with bready spice notes of nutmeg and sweetness. Pure gingerbread on the nose. Mild sense of classic cream lactose giving to soft sugars. Just nailed on the brew.

Palate comes nicely and to be expected, but with far more tolerable qualities. Peppery ginger like notness with a quick bursting malt chew. Light classic bodied roast even almost getting into porter charring. Drip coffee like feel, with a pipping roast that is accentuate by ginger hotness nice and controllably. Good easy drinking feel with limit hints of booze at such a high abv.

This is a real dangerous and addictive brew. I can see why people can easily get into it, it's also wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed that really hits on the food character so perfectly. No wonder it's rated it so highly. Great stuff, what more needs to be said. (1,395 characters)

Photo of Jack_Malts
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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 blbarnett3
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Look, I'm a home-towner and long time fan of Hardywood, but I just don't see what the fuss is all about on this one. It's interesting, but just too sweet and gingery. It's fine, but it just didn't keep me interested like, for example, Xocoveza. (244 characters)

Photo of mozif
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

This beer is perfect for what it is. Very balanced and the perfect winter beer. Mouthfeel is the only part lacking but this is a worldclass stout. Worth seeking (160 characters)

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. (199 characters)

Photo of marshallVa
5/5  rDev +16%

Their first year was the best. Second year it went down a little bit (probably due to increased brewing capacity). Third year it is back on top! Simply delicious, creamy, lots of ginger bread flavor. (199 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of Broanoke
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I wish this beer was more full bodied, but other than that this beer is nearly perfect. The integration of ginger and honey is incredible. This beer is good, sinfully good.

Side note: A growler of this beer was given to me around christmas and so its been about three months since then. The carbonation help up very well but I would love to try a fresh bottle of this. (369 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Dark brownish tan/black with a 1/2 inch foamy head, lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Ginger, milk lactose, vanilla, cinnamon, Cherry, caramel malts, chocolate and a little bourbon in the finish.

Taste - From the first sip, you get a nice mix of ginger and vanilla. The sweet milk lactose is mild and sweet and mixes well with the ginger. Chocolate is bold and very tasty with this beer. Malts are slightly noticeable with some caramel flavors. Cinnamon and sweet fruits make up a solid backbone to this beer.

Mouthfeel - Ginger adds a sting to the tongue along with some vanilla. Palate gets lactose and fruits along with some caramel malts. Aftertaste is ginger, chocolate and vanilla.

Overall - Really nice holiday beer. Its not overly sweet and balanced really well. Each element stands out but, mixes in with eachother well. Its not as sweet as I was expecting, and has more vanilla then I figured. This should be a staple holiday ale for anyone that can get it! (1,026 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (276 characters)

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. (636 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 Stevedore
3.75/5  rDev -13%
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. (1,325 characters)

Photo of upton7418
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter

A - Pours a dark brown with a large light tan head that tapers down as you drink it. very little light penetrates on the outside but not in the center

S - Roasty malts with lots of ginger and a touch of alcohol in the smell.

T - Just like the smell it begins with roasted malts and vanilla, as it continues you get a strong ginger taste near the end.

M - Medium carbonation with a medium body. very easy to drink without a strong alcohol taste. Very sweet finish much sweeter than expected

O - Very good beer that is very sweet like a cookie. Ginger is prominent in the smell and taste and I can see why this sold out so fast.

Serving type: bottle (684 characters)

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