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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

584 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 584
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 11.16%
Wants: 496
Gots: 135 | FT: 16
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:
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 added by: TechTriumph on 12-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 584 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of portia99
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle received in a recent trade with apaisncsu. Thanks Adam! Poured into a CBS snifter.

A - Pours a somewhat thin-looking, clear mahogany that settles into a super dark brown and nearly opaque body in the glass. A finger of thick and frothy light mocha colored foam that shows strong staying power, slowly fading over the course of several minutes leaving behind thick sheets of foamy lacing on the glass. Pretty impressive for 9.2% beer.

S - A bit of booze, slight astringency, tons of fresh ginger, full milk chocolatey aroma, sweet and creamy vanilla, some nutmeg and cinnamon. Underneath, there is some touches of roasty malts, but the gingerbread character is the biggest impression left, more so than a stouty aroma. Has an enticing dessert-like character that is pushing me to take the first sip of this.

T - Big ginger flavor up front layered on top of rich chocolate and a more prominant roastiness of the base beer. Touches of honey, cinnamon and vanilla continue the dessert impression obtained initially in the aroma. The spiciness of the ginger really comes thru well here. It is strong and up front but well integrated into the overall flavor character of the beer. The other spices play off the ginger quite well too and complement each other nicely. This might be the best incorporation of wintery spices into a beer I've ever had.

M - Thick and full bodied with a low carbonation that gives only a modest tingle on the tongue, but boosts the body of the beer very well with a creamy and foamy quality to it. This is super smooth and a bit slick on the tongue. The lactose of base beer provides the expected smoothness and touches of sweetness that come thru with finesse and round out the experience of this beer.

O - Coming into this, I really didn't think this would like up to the hype surrounding this beer. Happily it lived up, and even exceeded my expectations. This beer is a winner all around - from the handsome labelling and the C&C presentation to the (most importantly) liquid inside the bottle, this is a winner. Definitely not something I'd want every day, but this is one of the best beers I've been fortunate to sample in quite a while. I can only imagine what the BA version of this must be like.

portia99, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

jaasen64, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of DonFrap
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

DonFrap, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of danwho
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

danwho, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big 22 oz. bomber sent to me by beerisheaven, simply a prince among men. Another bottle that just showed up at my doorstep without trade or ceremony, for a beer that's being dealt for the world. Definition: good trader & fine human being.

Popped open to celebrate New Year's Eve shortly after the tragic passing of 2012 (which will not be much missed). The pour is dark brown with cyanide highlights through the edges of the glass. Nose is precisely as promised, but the ginger has the upper hand by a ton, with cinnamon a distant second.

Gingerbread Stout is one of those beers that sounds like it could be a train wreck - then the ride is straight to the gates of Valhalla. Wonderful cinnamon & ginger pour out onto the taste buds, backed by a lovely sweetness from the vanilla & malts. It does, indeed, taste like a Christmas cookie - & who doesn't love those? Ridiculously drinkable. While I passed around the bottle to the curious, I looked longingly at my 10 oz. pour & wished I'd doubled it.

Had this right after an Eclipse Elijah Craig & I do say, this might have been better. If nothing else it was beautifully tasty & unique, & that's two of the best things you can say about any beer. Excellent. Thanks again Brian.

maximum12, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of RyanBeer13
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

RyanBeer13, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of Mattyb79
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Mattyb79, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of TechTriumph
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 12/28/12:
2012 Release (black cap/black cage)
Poured in a snifter.

A (4.5) - Over an inch of frothy tan head that lasts a long while; Very dark brown in color and approaching black; The lacing left behind is very impressive

S (4.5) - Pretty amazing aroma and never gets old; As close as beer can get to smelling like gingerbread; Though the ginger steals the show, other spices are present as well - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg; Deep, underlying chocolate and molasses

T (4.5) - Equally impressive compared to aroma; This is approaching liquid gingerbread territory - with a very subtle kick of alcohol; Overall flavor hits a nice harmony as the beer warms a bit; More on the sweet side up front with plenty of gingerbread cookie flavor and a touch of vanilla cookie frosting, as well as underlying milk chocolate; The addition of honey is a nice touch and noticeable; Sweetness fades towards the finish as molasses-like character steps forward with subtle roast

M (4.0) - Moderate carbonation; A bit above medium bodied; Not nearly as smooth as I remember from the previous year, but still good; Pleasant level of warmth in the semi-dry finish

O (4.5) - This is just a fantastic beer to enjoy during the holidays and is easily my first choice brew for Christmastime. I honestly think the overall package is better for the 2012 release as compared to the previous year (though the mouthfeel took a bit of a hit in my opinion). Gingerbread Stout definitely deserves the credit and recognition it's starting to receive. It even helped spark the interest of craft beer for a good friend of mine... I can't think of a better endorsement than that!
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From notes on 12/29/12:
2011 Release (gold cap/silver cage)
Poured in a snifter.

A (4.5) - Well over an inch of creamy tan head with excellent retention; Very dark brown in color with just a little light seeping through along the edges; Some scattered spots of lacing left here and there

S (4.5) - Ginger still has a presence, though it has faded big time; Quite a bit of caramelized and slightly burnt sugars; Somewhat tart dark-like fruits; Semi-sweet syrupy molasses and deep underlying chocolate; Smells similar to barleywine to me, minus any hops to speak of

T (4.0) - I actually detect less ginger in the taste than the aroma - it's just barely holding on with a light herbal-like presence; A lot of the character in the aroma is present here as well - lots of caramelized and somewhat burnt sugars; Faintly tart, but also sugary dark fruits - figs and plums, lightly dipped in rum; Quite a bit of molasses as well with hints of tobacco

M (4.5) - Carbonation held up well over a year - still moderate; Full bodied and coats the entire mouth big time - like a syrupy and somewhat sticky film all over; Finishes very similar to 2012 Bourbon GBS in that there's a very pleasant level of warmth that doesn't approach being too hot

O (4.0) - Well, I've heard both positive and negative opinions as to how GBS might age after one year, and have now finally found out for myself. As expected, the ginger spice did not win the battle against Father Time. What I didn't expect, but still rather enjoyed, was this beer's transformation into what I think most resembles a malty barleywine. The emergence of caramelized sugars, molasses, tobacco, and dark fruits is pretty fascinating. Having said all of this, I think GBS is without a doubt best consumed on the fresher side, though I'd still recommend trying it with some age if seeking out a different experience.

TechTriumph, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of davistabuff
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

davistabuff, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of badboy7113
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

badboy7113, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of laxer8811
5/5  rDev +16.3%

laxer8811, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of QCABeerTour
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

QCABeerTour, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of MDF
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

MDF, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of avgjoseph
5/5  rDev +16.3%

avgjoseph, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Austindh
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Austindh, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of dji43466
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

dji43466, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of raffy313
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

raffy313, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of imbuckeye
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

imbuckeye, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of TWStandley
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a brandy snifter - shared with some family on Xmas.

Poured a dark brown color with minimal head. Didn't appear too carbonated. A bit thinner than I expected it to look.

Smell is awesome. Often times beers that are classified as a certain "smell/taste" don't exactly hit it spot on. This one does. Ginger and cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Christmas in a bottle.

Taste follows the smell relatively closely. Delicious ginger and cinnamon upfront. Not too overpowering or spicy. Alcohol content undetectable. Well balanced. Awesome!

Hardywood hit the "Gingerbread" spot on. If I could throw gingerbread into a blender, ferment it, and bottle it...this would be the outcome (though not as easy...). Well done.

Don't go into this expecting a heavy, bold stout. It is quite a bit thinner and more subdued.

TWStandley, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Tkolar
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Tkolar, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of tjkramer95
5/5  rDev +16.3%

tjkramer95, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of mtbdonn
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

mtbdonn, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

acurtis, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of brother_kenneth
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, poured into the GBS goblet/snifter, Christmas Eve night.

A- Dark brown in color, and looks somewhat thin for a stout. Very little head, which disappears very quickly.

S- Absolutely delicious smell. Lots of ginger and cinnamon. Also, some allspice, nutmeg, etc. There may be a hint of alcohol in the nose as well.

T- Just like the aroma. It is remarkable how well the ginger comes through. This is seriously like eating a slice of gingerbread. Loads of cinnamon, honey, ginger, and other spices. This is an incredibly unique, albeit delicious milk stout. Very, very sweet, and hardly no alcohol heat at all. Lighter body than most stouts, but has a wonderful milky and creamy mouth feel; minimal carbonation.

O- This will forever be my favorite Christmas beer. I will be attending the release every single year from now on. Don't pass on this one, folks. It is a delicious and unique stout. My wife got sick on Christmas Eve night, so I drank the entire 750mL bottle by myself. Loved every minute of it!

brother_kenneth, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of ThickNStout
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle from ThatCracker (thanks Andrew!). No bottling info but I know it to be from the recent release. Served in a Hardywood GBS goblet.

Pours dark brown with milk chocolate edges. The two fingers of thick pillowy tan head leave a good bit of lace.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cream. Quite nice.

Taste is fantastic authentic gingerbread. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, sweet cream, clove, honey and a hint of booze. Outstanding.

Creamy medium full feel with tingly carbonation like cinnamon sugar on top. Long sweet finish.

This is as authentic with gingerbread as Southern Tier gets with their Blackwater flavors. Start to finish, this is an excellent holiday gingerbready treat. I'm looking forward to trying the bourbon version.

ThickNStout, Dec 24, 2012
Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.