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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: 613
Gots: 330 | FT: 39
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 yamar68
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
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 -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. (1,052 characters)

Photo of damngoode
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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 -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. (536 characters)

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. (1,248 characters)

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. (2,105 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.07/5  rDev -5.6%
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 +9.5%
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)

Photo of Code3Brewing
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in Snifter

A - Pours dark brown with a finger tan/khaki head, leaves a decent amount of lacing. When held to light it has nice dark ruby color to it.

S - GINGER!, but was expecting more over the top on the ginger smell, it also some slight vanilla and toffee notes.

T - On the front of the tongue I got a slap of that bitterness from the ginger itself, then a huge surge of caramel/toffee sweetness, then a very slight cinnamon and a slight roastiness and slight chocolate on the aftertaste.

M - Full and thick mouth feel and nice and smooth. A fair amount of carbonation,which makes it crisp. No alcohol taste or harshness, very nice.

O - I really enjoyed this!, I wish I would have received two bottles though, so I could have put one away to cellar. It reminded me of Christmas as a kid, when I would eat ginger bread men, instead of putting them on the tree. I would also love to see a barrel aged version of this. (931 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery out of Richmond, Virginia.

Score: 88

2012 vintage bottle served in a Goose Island Chicago flag snifter and enjoyed on 04/02/13.

Appearance: Black in color, though it turns a slightly brownish soda color when held up to the light. Pours two fingers of fizzy tan head that settles to a thin fizzy ring around the glass. Has a surprisingly effervescent appearance even after the head settles. Poor lacing, below average retention. 3/5

Smell: Biscuity malt, grain, fizzy vanilla soda, brown sugar and faint cinnamon. There is also a gingerbread cookie dough smell present, but it is not nearly as pronounced as anticipated. 3.5/5

Taste: Has an unimpressive biscuity and fizzy stout flavor upfront, but before you can be too disappointed that flavor is immediately supplanted by a wonderful medley of spices, chocolate and gingerbread cookie flavor. Some sweet honey flavor too. This beer has a nice amount of sweetness, but is well-balanced. The spice finish is quite wonderful! If only the upfront flavor was not there. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Mouthfeel falls somewhere between silky and creamy, with some fizziness. 3.5/5

Overall: Taste is what matters most in a beer, and this one has a really good flavor save for an initial disappointing flavor that hits the palate. This beer has a lot of potential, and I would loved to see what a little refining of the recipe could accomplish.

Pairing: Creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Trust me on this one!



Cost: $12 for a 750 ml bottle. (1,581 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snifter, reviewed from notes.

Pours a flat raisin colored body with no head, no lace. Damn near flat looking. Sweet honey, ginger and spices on the nose, ginger dominates. The taste follows the nose but with more caramel sweetness than suggested. Ginger again dominates alongside chocolate, caramel, gingerbread-like spices and a bit of honey in the aftertaste. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, very low and tight carbonation. This basically tasted like gingerbread with chocolate and honey. Very delicious and unique. (520 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown color with a medium size tan head slowly recedes to leave some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with bakers cocoa and ample gingerbread, toasted brown bread and some sweeter honey notes. There is some lesser vanilla and cinnamon but the ginger and a slightly sourish notes.

The tastes begin with some brown bread and milk chocolate with a solid growing gingerbread and honey/molasses sweetness. The ginger is pretty predominant here as well with lesser baker's cocoa. The vanilla and cinnamon are also there but ginger overpowers once again. There are some serious fruity esters which emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly estery and spicy from the added spice.

Overall while this was a nice beer it is not a 100. It's a solid example of a spiced stout but it lacks a little balance and this comes from someone that loves spice, pumpkin and holiday beers. I think the hype train may have gotten a little off the tracks on this one which is why I ignore those review numbers on the top of the page and so should you. (1,130 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
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! (643 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to Josh (brew33) for hooking me up with this bottle

A - This is a very light-colored stout. It's transparent and red/brown enough that it looks more like a BSDA/Quad, not even a porter. It's nice-looking, but not so much stout-looking.

S - Now this is nice. Spicy ginger blends with warm caramel and toffee, hints of vanilla, dark fruit, and cinnamon. There's also a floral element, presumably related to the honeycomb.

T - This is the best tasting gingerbread I can remember having, and it is beer. The sweetness of the milk stout base is a magnificent background against which to project the flavors of ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon. An earthy bitterness on the back of the tongue highlights this gingery crispness. This is really well done.

M - It's nice and full, thick and smooth, but a bit dry on the finish. Nice here, too.

O - Obviously not a traditional milk stout, this beer is a very interesting and really well executed gingerbread beer. (967 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Shared this at the End of the World party. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a deep, dark brownish black with a two finger mocha head that leaves thin clouds and nice lacing. Definitely has lots of potential....

S - KAPOW! Bright, fresh ginger, chocolate, light bready cookie like yeasts. Sweet candy malts, gingersnaps, cinnamon. This is crazy.

T - Taste is a punch to the face of a gingerbread cookie! Ginger, chocolate, gingersnaps, sweet malts. Fresh ginger, candied ginger, gingerbread cookie. Shut up and take my money!

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Smooth, creamy, light carbonation. The booze was hidden quite expertly.

O - Unreal Just super delicious. I have a few more bottles I will probably cellar down as, contrary to what JLindros said, allegedly the inaugural batch is drinking outstanding (even better than fresh) a year later. (858 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cocoa, and lots of gingerbread spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a gingerbread cookie flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but smells slightly better in my opinion. (691 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to sincereNc for sharing this one at a past Random Sunday Tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, ginger, cookie, sugar, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, gingerbread, ginger, sugar, and spice. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The brewery really nailed the gingerbread cookie aspect here if I am honest. It almost tasted like you were drinking a gingerbread man in all his glory. Very well balanced and complex. This made it quite inviting and would make it a perfect candidate for a dessert beer. Very well done and I hope I get to try more of it in the future. (873 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
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! (1,178 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to DaveHack for this one!!

This poured out as a deep black color with a thin cream colored head that leaves a thin ring of retention. This had a very thing lacing. The smell is spicy, with sweet vanilla and wood on the nose. The taste is excellent! The spice is perfect is subtly roasted and had a fantastic sweetness to balance out everything. The mouthfeel is creamy, nice carbonation and smooth. Overall this beer is outstanding. Very good stuff!! (458 characters)

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. (1,231 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.7/5  rDev +9%
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. (2,260 characters)

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. (1,387 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,231 characters)

Photo of TechTriumph
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (3,532 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (832 characters)

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