Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

133 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 133
Hads: 1,081
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 3.49%
Wants: 605
Gots: 332 | 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: 133 | Hads: 1,081
Photo of uvachief
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the tasting room for this highly reviewed beer. Since when did Richmond become the craft beer Mecca? Pours to a nice 2 finger head. Dark mahogany color. Nice head retention. Aroma is to die for....gingerbread, nutmeg, chocolate, vanilla and sweet caramelized sugars...drink in the aroma...hits the lips with a very smooth and clean entrance. Taste gingerbread, vanilla, nutmeg and chocolate instantly. Others have said it but it is true....Christmas in a glass/bottle. I have had both now but on tap is a upgrade if you can believe that...goes down smooth with a nice after taste of gingerbread, nutmeg and chocolate with a hint of vanilla. I've bought a case of 750ml bottles since trying this beer. I'm hooked. However, it does not age all that well so drink it while it is fresh. I cracked open a properly stored 750ml bottle that was a year old and while good, it definitely loses some of the spices. Kegs really don't age well. Had a draft from a newly tapped year old keg and it was quite bland compared to a fresh draft. I hoarded bottles to trade. However, I'll need to trade them within 4-5 months or they person acquiring them will be disappointed. Still really good even a year later but just not blow you away good. (1,242 characters)

Photo of circus_cat
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THIS. THIS. THIS.

The lactose sugars and rich chocolatey, coffee malt characteristics provide an incredibly smooth, velvety base for the vanilla, toffee, and molasses-like honey that springs forward. Then that ginger punch at the end that just lingers around after the silky finish just makes it perfect. This is the first overall 5 I've given and I did it without thinking twice. If you're lucky enough to swing through Richmond during the winter of see the opportunity to get this in a trade, don't you dare pass it up. (522 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (1,796 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
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 dtivp
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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... (742 characters)

Photo of Beechner719
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome Beer. Poured from a 750 into a pint glass. Comes out dark brown with a nice head. You can smell the gingerbread flavor right away. Goes down smooth. Get notes of chocolate, ginger on the way down. Great winter beer in the cold. Taste like a gingerbread cookie. Highly recommended (287 characters)

Photo of ufmj
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

--> 750-mL bottle split between two snifters & a taster (botte-share w/ wittyname & his wife)...

A- One finger of tan, creamy foam that dissipated quickly into an opaque, black-brown brew.

S- The first sniff immediately made me think of...Coca-Cola?! As it warmed, the nose evolved from ginger to gingerbread to oatmeal-raisin cookie.

T- Very ginger-forward with minimal roastiness and some spicy cinnamon. Sweet with notes of molasses and, at times, Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie. Seriously.

M- Chewy, yet smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation. No boozy heat at all.

O- Definitely lived up to my expectations of a gingerbread stout. Would love to snag a couple of bottles every winter to keep me warm 'til spring. Now if I could only get my hands on a bottle of Bourbon GBS...

* Thanks to Kwaide for this trade...yes, that rhymed. (849 characters)

Photo of GJ40
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Duvel glass.

A deep black with no light coming through and a moderate beige head. Aroma is not as strong as I thought it would be. Some ginger with hints of brown sugar and chocolate. Flavor is also tame with a moderate malt sweetness that dominates. Some chocolate as well but very little ginger. It's not quite as thick and creamy as I'd expect from the style.

A good beer but a little dull. I expected more. (445 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
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 (396 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a snifter.

A. Brownish-black with a large light-beige head.

S. Fresh ginger, all-spice, roasted grain, some vague malty sweetness behind.

T. Pretty roasty, with a relatively restrained spice profile, mild honey, dry cocoa.

M. Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation

O. This tastes pretty nice, and compares favorably to other gingerbread stouts I've had due to a bit of restraint in the spice department. It's over-carbonated, though, so the mouthfeel suffers. (470 characters)

Photo of BrewerB
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (1,011 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (1,973 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
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! (323 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
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! (859 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 bomb, Thanks @blackie

This bottle of Gingerbread Stout is forever memorialized in my couch cushion. Dark chocolate body, off-putting thick brown foam which typically is the first sign of an unsettling mouthfeel. Perhaps thats just the "terroir of Central Virginia". Jeez, what a joke.

I'm surprised the additions of ginger and honey didn't do it for me, but this just seemed too gimmicky and really disappointing. Worst Christmas ever :( (443 characters)

Photo of Lucho
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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 yamar68
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
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! (699 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (1,052 characters)

Photo of damngoode
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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 mltobin
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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 BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
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 corby112
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
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 BeerAdvocate
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #63 (Apr 2012):

LOOK: Full-on black; milky coffee lacing

SMELL: Cinnamon sugar, ginger, clove, cardamom, toasted raisin bread, icing, clean alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, firm, silky; gingerbread, molasses, espresso roastiness, sweetness, fig, brown malt, bread crust, honey, cinnamon, fresh vanilla bean, lactose sugars

Label says “Gingerbread Stout,” and it delivers. Aroma and flavors are spot-on. Tastes like freagin' Christmas in a bottle actually, with layer upon layer building on the palate with each sip. Hell, they even nailed the damn sugary frosting on the gingerbread man. Run, run, as fast as you can! We want more! (662 characters)

Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.