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Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 137
Hads: 1,094
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 32.01%
Wants: 625
Gots: 329 | 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: 137 | Hads: 1,094
Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%

Deep dark brown in color. Mild roast in the nose that is accompanied by some sweetness. The flavor profile is mildly roasty complimented by gingerbread and something else sweet – maybe honey. The alcohol presence on the finish is a bit surprising given that there are a number of 10%+ stouts that hide their alcohol better.

I wanted to like it much better than I actually did - oh well.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours black, little to no brown along the edges. a finger or less of a light tan head forms with lower retention and little to no lacing. opaque with darkness.

Smell: strong ginger, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and clove. hints at dark fruits and roasted to caramelized malts.

Taste: opens up with a strong kick of ginger, along with some graham cracker like malts. spices come through strong with cinnamon taking the lead but nutmeg and clove not far behind. the base beer is barely able to show its way through these additives with just some sweet notes of caramelized malts and a hint of bitter espresso.

Mouthfeel: hot but not because of alcohol. actually feels really light on alcohol despite its 9%. the body is fairly full and sticky.

Overall: This certainly is a holiday beer, lots of good strong flavors, very reminiscent of a ginger bread cookie. but not the type of beer I will go crazy for. definitely a cool experience or

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Photo of challenja
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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

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Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of clayrock81
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours basically a black body with two finger khaki head that quickly fades but leaves a smattering of lace patches here and there.
The aroma is dominated by the sweeter aspects of the beer as I mostly get ginger, cinnamon, hint of milk chocolate or maybe just milk/lactic qualities that can be found in sweeter stouts, and then I get minor bready and roasted malts.
While I have a sweet tooth and enjoy sweet stouts, thankfully this beer is more balanced in body and taste than the aroma or it may been too sweet to drink.
For a higher ABV stout and with everything going on in this beer it is actually smooth, creamy, real easy to drink. There are roasted malts in there for balance and a bread (or cookie) like dryness that adds a chewiness to the beer at times as well as also maintains balance.
The beer's sweetness is definitely there as you can detect ginger, vanilla (maybe from the booze) milk/milk chocolate (there is a very light chocolate sweetness in here), and at times it felt like I was having a liquefied ginger snap (that comparison might turn some people off but I have always enjoyed a good ginger snap).
Definitely a dessert beer in the sense that it's worth having alone or only paired with dessert, but that doesn't mean it's some sweet beer knockoff that isn't a great beer on its merits.

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Very excited to try this beer. Expectations are high. Enjoyed out of a Hardywood Singel Tulip.

GBS pours pitch black, with solid head retention. The first thing I notice is the powerful scent of ginger, complimented by chocolate and a bit of char. To me, this smells more like ginger than gingerbread.

The taste follows the nose. Chocolate, lacto sweetness, and a bit of roasted malt, and then BAM! Ginger! Again, I'm getting a lot more pure ginger than gingerbread, but from what I understand this beer was brewed with ginger, rather than gingersnaps, or something of the like. The carbonation and viscosity are just about perfect. The flavors meld together quite nicely, but it did get a little sweet for me as it warmed up over the course of an hour. I supposed I wish the ginger and sweetness were a bit more subtle?

All in all? It's a good beer that I enjoy in small doses. It's a dessert beer for me due to the aggressiveness of the ginger and the overall sweetness of the beer. I wouldn't quite describe it as cloying, but it's close. Now I need to try the BA version!

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Photo of cjgiant
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

On tap:
Looking at the bottom of my first glass, can tell the beer is lacking any haziness, and may be more dark brown than black. I get little head in the new pour (which was to the brim). Even the collection at the edges is quite thin, however. The nose is graham cracker, cinnamon, of course ginger. Ginger snap is in the impression I get.

To me, this beer needs a little warming, which isn't abnormal for a stout, but I also don't think the improvement in that difference between cold and at temp is as great as in other stouts. The front tastes are definitely roasted malt standards, bitter coffee and some cocoa to me. The ginger adds a bite early into the transition to mid-taste, which itself adds the ginger snap spices to the flavor profile. I think the ginger bite makes up for what I do believe is a flatter beer. The body is actually pretty full, and there is a balancing bitterness that keep this from being a pure dessert beer. There is also a sort of oily lingering feel.

Definitely a decent beer, and a fairly unique one to my experiences. I'm not sure it resonates with me, but I can appreciate why others like it. Won't avoid it in the future, for sure.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Pretty good, very delicious. All the flavors are there, relatively balanced and never cloying. Comparable to xocoveza with the big cinnamon/vanilla flavors. It makes me really want to try the bbl version. Definitely a great christmasy treat. Recommended.

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Photo of blbarnett3
3/5  rDev -29.9%

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

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Photo of mozif
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of rjs246
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Everyone absolutely loves this stuff, whereas I merely like it. A lot. It's nearly impossible to get your hands on because its so popular, but it is absolutely worth a try if you ever get the chance.

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Photo of marshallVa
5/5  rDev +16.8%

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

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Almost black. Minuscule khaki head that settles to swirls on the surface.

Smell - Tons of gingerbread. Cinnamon and other Christmas spices. Some chocolate.

Taste - Wow. Lots of ginger. Closer to gingersnaps than gingerbread. Strong cinnamon again. Some chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe too thin for such a big stout with big flavors. Well carbonated.

Overall - The spices elevate this beyond the what the base stout seems to deliver.

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Photo of Broanoke
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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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 chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hardywood gingerbread stout shared at RBWG-2014

Slight harshness/burn from the ginger.

Aroma is balanced, with a moderate dose of ginger.

The ginger is way more pronounced in the mouth. I did adjust as I drank but it still seemed a bit overdone even at the end.

Full body.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Rich coffee brown, with a think tan head that disappears but leaves a nice ring around the glass. Decent legs on the glass.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, almost reminds me of a pumpkin pie.

T - Very smooth! Spices aren't nearly as overwhelming as they smell. Very nice cinnamon and cloves. Very sweet malts compliment the spices. Extremely drinkable for a spiced beer.

M - Pretty light and smooth for a stout. Leaves a nice sweet finish on the tongue with very little carbonation.

O - I can really understand the hype behind this beer. Especially coming out of VA, a state that's just getting started in the craft brew world.

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Photo of TomFoolery_x
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First actual review. 2013 bottling. Poured into a snifter from 750ml bottle

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Little to no head unless poured very hard.

S: Could just be me, but the smell of this was very underwhelming. Could have been due to the pour being too cold still. Smells of malt and toffee/Carmel notes. I picked up the ginger once it warmed.

T: Wow! This is better than I could have a imagined. Being slightly disappointed by the nose(mostly due to the cold temp of the initial pour) I was very pleased to taste this bad boy! First sip was definitely reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie! Prominent ginger notes followed. Very balanced malt flavors. No discern able alcohol.

M: Mouthfeel is good, a tad but thin from what I was expecting but the carbonation does bring it all together in a silky smooth texture.

O: I definitely recommend this beer if you are a fan of sweeter stouts! Will be looking forward to this beer next year!

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Photo of Stevedore
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle from the 2013 release. Poured into a GLBC snifter today, 1/12/2014.

Pours a very dark brown, looks black but illuminates brown; with a very effervescent tan head that retains quite well. Lots of lacing. Looks like what I would expect a gingerbread stout to be!

Smells like a gingerbomb. Disappointing really. It's as if someone dropped a bunch of chopped ginger root into a glass of water and left it there for a week. There are no other notes of spices or malts in this beer, it's actually quite off-putting.

Flavour is much better than it smells, though that's not saying much. I do get some more spices- cinnamon, clove- along with faint hints of milk chocolate malt and lactose.. but not nearly enough sweetness to balance out the ginger. The flavour profile actually isn't bad, it's the intensity of the ginger on its own plus the mouthfeel that kills it.

It's quite thin bodied, watery. Carbonation is decent, but not enough to make up for the wateriness. The aftertaste of strong ginger makes this a hard one to drink.

I ended up pouring out my pour after a while. I just couldn't finish drinking my pour due to the strength of the ginger overpowering the rest of the components of the beer. Good idea, terrible execution. Not recommended on my part. Apparently I don't like strong ginger flavours.

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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 bum732
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Prominent spicy ginger, cinnamon, some roastiness, perceived sugar, vanilla and vanilla wafers.

L: Very dark brown, light tan head that dissipates to a ring of foam.

T: Coffee roasty malt with a backbone of ginger. Low bitterness with a soft honey sweetness emerging. Cappucino flavors, sweet milk into the finish with some cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Medium bodied, creamy on the palate. Medium low carbonation. Touch of alcoholic heat.

Not bad, I just wish the flavors were a little more intense. That being said, a very unique beer with great flavors overall.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Ginger, chocolate, vanilla, rather sweet.

T-Tastes like Christmas spirit. Good deal of ginger and chocolate as well as vanilla. Nutmeg. Rather sweet yet balanced.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation, tad velvety.

O-A wonderful beer, grateful that I was able to try it.

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Photo of mnphish
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Consumed on Xmas! Thanks to CincyTrigger for sending me this.

Dark brown/black appearance with a the icing of a cinnamon role as the head. The aroma is of holiday spices, vanilla, loads of ginger, cinnamon, and milk chocolate.

The taste is spot on and this is an absolute knock-out. Extremely balanced spices give away to a delicious fresh ginger taste. There is lots of cinnamon present taboot.

This is an outstanding beer fresh. I will seek to consume this on every Christmas from here on out.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a big full head that sits on top

S - Fresh ginger and spice dominate this nose against slight chocolate background. Roasted chocolate and vanilla

T - Chocolate, vanilla and gingerbread on the back end. Dark fruit presence in the middle that reminds of really dark chocolate. Slightly artificial tasting gingerbread in the back end. Roasted and astringent chocolate lingers in the finish. There is also a very slight heat from the gingerbread

M - Medium body with low carbonation. Decently astringent near the finish and a slight heat from the ginger

O - Decent gingerbread stout that had a bit too much astringency from the dark chocolate that overpowers the gingerbread aspect. Also, I found it to taste slightly artificial

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.