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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

146 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 1,128
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 31.78%
Wants: 640
Gots: 368 | 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: 1,128
Photo of SteveB24
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look-color is a root beer brown, pretty opaque, pours a half finger of tan, frothy head that settles into spotted lacing.
Smell- Gingerbread! Biscuits, cinnamon, hints of nutmeg, dried ginger, and honey.
Taste-Gingerbread! Biscuity sweetness perfectly laced with cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of dried ginger, honey in the finish, then comes Malty toastiness, reminding you that this is a fine stout. slightest hint of boozy warmth in the finish.
Feel- medium bodied, mild carbonation, creamy upfront, finishes with just a bit of chalkiness in the throat. it in no way makes the beer unpleasant but it is a bit off putting.
Overall- this beer is delicious, and tastes just as advertised. gotta love that. get it.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to throw my hat into the ring as well and get on board the Hardywood train. Thanks to Gorilla Fist Brewing and Funkybottoms for hooking me up.

A- Pours nicely into my Selinsgrovebrewing snifter. Dark brown cola color with a slowly building head that is a little late to the party but sticks around after showing up fashionably late.

S- Slightly muted considering all the possibilities here. You get it but just not to the level anticipated.

T- Wow, this is wonderful. Lovely combination of ginger, vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon. Pushes the limits and could be on the verge of being too sweet but it never gets there. This beer is the perfect holiday beverage to have around the fire or with a nice piece of holiday pie. On every level, I thought this was fantastic.

M- very satisfying, a little carbed but still is acceptable.

O- I was wondering if this was going to be hype but I think this is a wonderful and perfect beer for what they were looking to do. I am immediately going out to look for more in trade, it was that good.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by radagast83. Thanks a lot Chris! This beer was not on my radar, but it sure is now.

The beer sports a black body with a half inch of beige cap. The aroma is awesome - gingerbread cookies, roast, cookie dough, brown sugar, cinnamon. The taste follows suit, with additional notes of chocolate and chocolate milk. No lactic sourness whatsoever. Super smooth and creamy, with everything coming together beautifully. A work of art. Sweet, but never cloying. An ideal beer to enjoy over the holidays. I highly recommend this!

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown and settles to a black looking body. Very frothy and foamy at head that leaves a mess of lacing and hangs around for a while.

S- Roasted malts, hints of chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, lots of grainy bread.

T- Starts off as just a imperial milk stout, but half way through, the ginger kicks in, a little honey and vanilla sweetness kicks in, towards the finish the cinnamon takes over. Really pretty remarkable all of the flavors that come through in a subtle way.

M- Big feel, creamy, medium carbonation, coating and lingering mouthfeel.

O- It's a great beer, no doubt. Not an in your face specialty beer, a well put together beer with a mix of great flavors that do not overpower.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to egrace84 for sharing this bottle! Thanks elliot!

reviewed from notes taken on 11/30/2012.

poured into boltcutter tulip glass.

Appearance: medium black bodied beer with 2 fingers of light tan head. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon, Snickerdoodle cookies, and gingersnaps. Maybe a hint of chocolate and roasty notes.

Taste: mildly spicey cinnamon, a hint of vanilla and chocolates. Big gingerbread finish! Wow is beer is crazy good. Great balance between the gingerbread and stout element of this beer!

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation. This beer feels fanatastic and the mouthfeel really compliments this beer well. Very smooth, little bit creamy, and no booze noted at all.

Overall: Hardywood nailed this beer! Its amazing! Perfect integration of gingerbread flavors into a stout! This is the best christmas beer that I have ever drank!

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Photo of upton7418
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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

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Photo of jlindros
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks again to rudzud, who seems like my beer sharing partner now, for sharing this.

Pours a big fluffy head that fades at a med pace, lots of soapy lacing, pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose brings pumpkin gourd like... weird. Then lots of gingerbread, plenty of the cookie as well, ginger spice, cinnamon and other spices, dark chewy malts, ginger snap like aromas, hint of chocolate, a light toasty. It's pretty much like a gingerbread cookie, so nice.

Taste is again pure ginger! Ginger snap and gingerbread cookie again. Light candy, bready, sweet syrupy malts, chewy, maple candy even. Fresh ginger is there even, but a lot of gingerbread cookie, sweet sugar candy, cinnamon and brown sugar as well, and just a bit of bitterness. Finish is sweet candy, gingerbread cookie, and straight sugar cookie, candy sugar, and just a bit of earthy bitter hops.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, no real booze warmth surprisingly hidden well.

Overall a great beer, so much gingerbread cookie it's ridiculous, a great amazing beer that I wish I had a couple cases in the cellar and I might try to find some, except that i don't think this will hold up. Thanks again Matt!

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Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The smell and the taste are the best qualities of this beer. Both are on point for the name. It's like being at grandma's house before Christmas.

I would like to have a little more lactose in this as the mouthfeel is more of an imperial porter than a true milk stout. Either that or a thicker, slicker, more viscous mouthfeel. Maybe add a fat to this like coconut.

Either way, I love it his beer. It is exactly what I wanted from the name. It's a true gingerbread cookie stout. It's great.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of standardcherry
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Shilt! Served into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown but not completely black. Has a nice, big tan colored head.
S: Smell is spot on! Lots of ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, honey. Reminds me of a gingerbread cookie and creme brulee for some reason. Very nice.
T: I thought it would be overly sweet but it's very nice! Subtle ginger, vanilla, chocolate all blended into a perfectly balanced sweetness. Semi-bitter dark chocolate in the aftertaste.
M: Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Alcohol is well hidden. Carbonation gives a nice, crisp finish.
O: This beer is excellent, I am now on the lookout for the barrel aged version!

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep dark brown/black color with a very nice head. Moderate carbonation. Nice head with moderate lacing.

Smell - Roasty chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, pumpkin.

Taste - Chocolate gingerbread cookies. Simple as that. There are some nice vanilla notes in there as well, but you definitely feel like you are drinking a cookie without the super sugary tastes.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. The flavors stick around but there is no stickiness in the mouth.

Overall - Absolutely delicious. Way too easy to drink. It goes down like a dessert.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Mike! Dark brown, nearly black pour with a beautiful caramel-colored two finger head with super retention and lacing. The nose is nutty and roasty with nice ginger and cinnamon notes along with hints of coffee, mocha, and some subtle nutmeg and clove. The taste is roasty, nutty, and spicy with loads of cinnamon, ginger bread and coffee along with hints of brown sugar, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, and some subtle smokiness. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with medium carbonation and a sweet, bitter finish. Overall, this really exceeded my expectations. I figured it would be sickly sweet, but it was beautifully balanced, complex and flavorful. My first Hardywood beer, but definitely not my last...

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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!
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a snifter, the beer is jet black with brown highlights around the edges, and a tall, foamy, light, creamy, tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee, sweet sugary highlights, ginger spice, and rich honey accents. The flavors are heavily roasted coffee and rich cream forward, with a solid ginger highlight, hints of raw honey, and a roasted overtone. Very balanced and rich, on a smooth, solid, creamy body. The aftertaste is more of the lactose sweetness, with some lingering ginger and coffee highlights. Smooth, creamy, layered finish. Good beer.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an overbearing head with very sticky lacing

S: Aroma of freshly baked sweet gingersnap cookies with cotton candy caramelized sugars.

T: Full flavored stout with nice spicing. Rich candied sugar flavors. Funny enough, the sugar flavors really are reminiscent of the white confectioner candy sugar coating on top of cookies. There is a biscuit flavor along with the spicy hinge at the end of the beer mixing with some anise like flavors and a charcoaly like ashiness from black patent presence.

M: Very well done body in my opinion. The carbonation seemed high judged solely on the massive head, but once it settled roughly ten minutes , I could really enjoy the carbonation levels which seemed extremely smooth.

O: Overall a very good stout, and my favorite milk stout to date. There are a lot of flavors going in here to make it more complex while at the same time helping to mask any flaws, but as a full package, I dig it.

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Photo of dtivp
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep near black brown with a creamy one finger head that fades, very light lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt, ginger and a hint of cinnamon.

Taste of ginger, dark malt, cinnamon with a slight honey sweetness. As the beer warms the gingerbread dominates the taste.

Mouth Feel is medium body with light to moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall this was a very good stout, highly recommend it, if you can find it. I look forward to drinking this one again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with an inch or so of foam; a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Chocolate and gingerbread, chocolate and gingerbread etc., honeyed tones underneath

Taste: Black bread and milk chocolate with a developing gingerbread and honey character; in the middle, the gingery-gingerbread character really dominates, though the milk chocolate tones linger underneath through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit less carbonated on tap, which is better for this brew

Overall: I heard good things about this beer from hoppedup (for those who remember him from this site) and decided to drive to Richmond for the release; glad I did as this is a great beer and is nicely differentiated from a lot of the other big stouts that get released around these parts

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Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Devil's Backbone snifter. Black in color with a thick tan foam filling the top inch of the glass. Nice head retention and very good lacing.

Aroma has a very appealing mix of spices with notes of cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar. I get some chocolate to it which really compliments well. It really comes together well, it smells pretty much like a delicious Christmas cookie.

The taste shows a little more dark chocolate and molasses presence to it. The spices come out more in the finish leaving a very nice ginger bread flavor lingering. Again, it comes together very well and the flavors are all complimenting of each other.

The mouthfeel is a little thin feeling for the style and carbonation is above average. The carbonation seems to work with the spices though.

Overall, I thought t was a great beer and I especially loved the uniqueness of it. I thought everything came together almost perfectly in it. They managed to completely capture a gingerbread cookie in a glass without overdoing it on the sweetness or spices. I'm not usually big on spiced beers but this one is easily the best holiday spiced beer I've had. Would love to drink more of this around the holidays.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and decent lacing

S-chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, spices

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, ginger, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight honey sweetness

F-medium body with mild to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-this was a delicious stout, the flavors worked well together and allowed this beer to have a nice complexity and balance

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Photo of Jimmys
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL from the fall '12 release. poured into snifter.

A: pretty close to black body. opaque. frothy brown-white head has great retention. tons of froth left behind on the glass. a good looking brew.

S: a bunch of fresh ginger combines with sweet unfermented sugars. slightly chocolate. not milky, but definitely some chocolate in there.

T: lots of cinnamon starts the drink off. even more ginger. molasses-like thick sweetness. finish has a slight bitterness to it, but otherwise predominately sweet. a little bit of grain too.

M: frothy and full. medium/full bodied.

D: this thing certainly has plenty of elements of gingerbread, however a few are missing. nutmeg for sure and cant say im getting too much clove either. that's me being picky. otherwise a very tasty, very unique stout from gingerbread. I recommend drinking it around the holiday's!

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Photo of cavedave
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to gopens44, this is probably the best of the BIF box I received, and the rest were all stunningly good.

Pours opaque black with a thin tan head that kicks back to a nice ring and island. Oily legs are left behind as I drink.

Alcohol spice, ginger, brown bread, dark caramel, with some deeper roast in there too. Medium strength but intensely delicious aroma.

Oh this is good. The sweet is complex, it is caramel and molasses and chocolate frosting, and it is the main player, but the supporting cast is ginger, herbal bitter, mild roasty bitter, and alcohol warming spice to kind of mix it all together. No flavor is over the top here, it is bright but well balanced and perfectly restrained.

Very light in the mouth despite the huge flavors, medium carb., fantastic, superclean finish, its best feature because of how hard it is to keep spice resin from building in a ginger beer. Most impressive thing about this beer.

Fantastic stout, just amazingly delicious. Balanced, full of flavor, nicely alcoholic, and even refreshing. Highest recommendation

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Photo of yamar68
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big old thanks to cw577enfield for this beaut!

Murky brown cola body... near pitch black in the center. A pale tan head swells to around three fingers before slowly residing to form a half finger cap which laces very well.

Bright ginger comes immediately... nutmeg and cinnamon, mellow honey presence, cocoa, some vanilla or toffee... I don't even like sweets but this smells like my kinda dessert.

Much smoother on the palate as well... tame, metallic cardamom, toasted grains... it honestly does taste like gingerbread. Bready, sweet caramel/cinnamon... vanilla and cream... no alcohol bite whatsoever which is interesting given the amount of legging. Tasty ass shit.

Very good - thanks Colin!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark brown / black with a toffee colored head and adheres to the sides of the glass like sticky cotton candy.

S - Ginger spice and chocolate, cinnamon, and spices.

T - Ginger, cinnamon, spices, chocolate.

M - Thicker medium body with cinnamon.

O - A very unusual and flavorful combination, highly recommended!

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Photo of Zraly
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. Bought this last night (11/15) at the pre-release sale at the brewery. Bought the glass to go along with it and am using that for tonight's drinking.

Pours black with a a two-finger head. Looks great and as a stronger stout should. Smell upfront is quite subdued but opens up a bit more as it warms. Chocolate wrappers, cinnamon and ginger come forward.

Layer upon layer of flavor. Starts off with a very apparent chocolate note. The chocolate takes a turn and morphs into vanilla bean, which then tops off with cinnamon and a sharp ginger finish. Sweet but not cloying. Well-balanced. Medium to medium-full bodied. The mouthfeel is so good it makes me mad: creamy silk that lets the ginger linger on it way too easily. I cannot emphasize enough that the snappy ginger in the finish is very nice and is reminiscent of a gingersnap cookie.

Extremely good imperial milk stout that would be criminal with any vanilla-based desserts. Interestingly, though, I paired mine with a roast pork loin that was baked with a maple-cinnamon-cayenne blend. The pan drippings were then deglazed with rum and butter. I served this up with creamy parmesan grits and braised cabbage. It was surprisingly good and I would suggest not limiting yourself to dessert only. Of course, by itself, this can carry its own weight if you just want to let it shine on its own.

As an aside, I would be interested in what Hardywood could do with the base of this beer. That is, what does their straightforward milk stout taste like? It seems like it is structured around a very solid milk stout formula and that could be interesting for a year-round offering. I really appreciate big beers or experimental beers that, underneath, remain relatively true to style. I feel as though GBS has that quality to it.

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