Gingerbread Stout - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 599
Gots: 330 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 160
Photo of clayrock81
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EBF sample. Poured black or something close to it. Small, dark brown head, I remember that. The smell does have a legit gingerbread tone to it. It also smells chocolatey. Holiday spices. Flavor has the conventional roast and chocolate. These flavors are accompanied by gingerbread, cinnamon and actual ginger. None of these are overbearing. Flavors play well together and it actually isn't as sweet as I was initially expecting. Relatively full bodied. I thought this beer was pretty interesting and I surely doesn't fall into the category of being hokey. The flavors are natural. It doesn't come off as artificial. I'm thankful for that.

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.

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.

Photo of barczar
4.01/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Huge ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla in aroma.

A bit more ginger and cinnamon than I'd like, and there's an acrid character that accompanies. I don't get much stout.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a tasting on 12/6. Big thanks to anthony for the share.

Enjoyed from a SH IRS snifter.

watery maroonish black with a thin white head. smells UNREAL. like gingerbread men. tastes the same. gingerbread happiness. VERY festive like a cookie. light bodied. WILD and DIFFERENT. extremely unique and MAD tasty. a little much to probably take on a bottle to yourself, but if you are looking for a beer to blow your family away with this holiday season, this is it.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Umberto tonight.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a small creamy looking head, and a small amount of lacing.

Smells incredibly ginger-forward, really spiced, with some vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate.

This is a lot less sweet than thought it would be. It's pretty "spicy," with nutmeg, cinnamon, lactose and vanilla, with a little bit of chocolate. The spices are done well, but a small amount seems sufficient with how intense the ginger is.

This is medium bodied- I wish it was slightly thicker, but it does have a pretty dry and creamy mouthfeel. It has a lower level of carbonation.

This wasn't quite as good as I was expecting, but it's still quite tasty.

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.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a light brownish head.

It smells incredible. Fresh-baked gingerbread. Loads of ginger. Kind of spicy.

Smooth, unassuming. at first it's lackluster, but then on the endtaste the cinnamon kicks in and I just ride the spice.

A bit thin. The ginger is fresh and raw and I like it.

Really fun! Recommended!

Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer, and its variants, depend on your enjoyment of heavy spices, as in literal spice pantry.

The beer hits up front milk chocolate, but then gets dominated heavily by cinnamon and that ginger cookie flavor, but quite intense.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Joe. Thanks! Pours dark brown to black with a massive khaki brown head that sticks around a good bit. Flavor is light roast that bursts into a big punch of gingerbread cookie, but not overly spicy at all, nice light sweetness on the finish balances things well. Body is on the thinner side for an imperial stout, and it would be really nice to see this thickened up with some chocolate to support the nice spice. That would be delicious. As is, it is very yummy and highlights the shizz out of the gingerbread cookieness without being just ginger spice. Nicely done.

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!

Photo of Stevedore
3.75/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

Photo of Jeffo
2.67/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from Siddfinch a while back. Thanks for the trade dude!

From a cork & caged 750 into a snifter
Vintage 2014
IBU: 55
Milk stout with ginger, honey, cinnamon and vanilla

APPEARANCE: A clear, light brown pour yields a big, three finger, foamy, looser, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown body, clear, with a bit of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass, but it does eventually end up looking rather flat by the end. Too light a body as well, and the head is rather unimpressive.

SMELL: Milder nose of milk sugars, ginger, and some honey is there. Light toffee notes as well. No real roast there and doesn’t come across as ginger bread-ish.

TASTE: Ginger, some toffee and then some honey at the swallow. Bolder finish of ginger, cinnamon, honey, some milky sweetness and bitter chocolate flavors as well. Cinnamon and ginger linger on the palate. Bitter sweet with plenty of sweetness up front.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky. Maybe a bit too much carbonation for the style. Alright, otherwise.

OVERALL: Okay I guess. Can't believe this one is held so highly, actually. The look is certainly wanting and the base stout, not surprisingly, seems to be rather weak, but the adjuncts make it interesting enough. Wish they had put a little more effort into a solid stout base before they went around throwing stuff in it. We moved on to the bourbon barrel version afterwards and to be honest, that one wasn’t much more impressive either. Perhaps a touch of oak but it was much the same. A disappointing set, unfortunately. Still, these things are always fun to try, so cheers for the brews SiddFinch!

Photo of ncaudle
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from cask into snifter.

pours a very dark brown, almost black with a tiny little head. little bit of lacing as you drink. typical cask.

cinnamon and ginger dominate the nose followed by the sweetness of honey and finishing with some chocolate and coffee notes. the spices stand out even more on the taste. the milk stout base sweetness helps balance it out a bit. the 9+% alcohol hides really well.

nice, creamy feel. how a cask should be.

I've now had this in every serving form with cask my favorite. it's a very good stout but my only complaint is maybe that the cinnamon/ginger is a touch too up front, at least fresh.

will be very curious as to how this ages/mellows...

Photo of KYGunner
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pungent ginger bread nose with a malty cookie base and a stream of lactose-sweetness.

The flavor is delicious gingerbread cookie, with a balanced spice and malt character. Christmas in a bottle, for sure!

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely worth getting your hands on a big bottle when you can.

Photo of MDDMD
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
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

Photo of siege06nd
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to the brewmasters, who very graciously traded me a bottle of this to try...

Poured into a Hardywood Snifter...

A. Pitch dark, tarry, oily black. The head is pillowy and aggressive, a good two and a half fingers from a careful pour. It's medium brown in color, but effervesces to dark brown with a quick swirl. Pretty good creamy, consistent head on this. Really nice. Lacing is some of the thickest and most consistent I have seen in recent memory. As perfect as it comes.

S. Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, brown sugar, bread crust, and, yes, unmistakable ginger bread. I even get some mild, ripe dark fruit in the background. What's surprising to me is that the nose is not particularly strong. I really have to get my nose down into the glass to enjoy the full bouquet, but it's exactly like its name implies...gingerbread and chocolate. Excellent.

T. Chocolate, cream, some lactic kick. It starts out like a typical sweet stout, but then the ginger and roasted malt hit and boom: ginger-bread man with chocolate frosting. Wooow is this well-made, and very interesting. It's very sweet, but also very spicy. Like chocolate cake with gingerbread sprinkles. The taste on this is more of a dark chocolate profile. It's truly excellent. Standing ovation.

M. This is the only real deficiency I can find on this one...I think it's overcarbed. And it does it a disservice, but my mouth is so fizzy that it distracts from the amazing flavor profile. It also really takes away from what could be a much more cloying, coating mouthfeel to match the flavor.

O. Too bad about the mouthfeel, otherwise this would get a 5.0. Regardless, this beer is freakin' spectacular. A real achievement and a totally unique idea that Hardywood pulls off with aplomb. By far the best beer I have had from them and I can't wait for the bourbon treatment that is rumored to be making an appearance in the fall. It's not one I can say I would want a bottle of alone, so those of you who are wondering whether they should share this delicacy, I would recommend you absolutely open this with a friend as drinking this by itself would put you into a coma. That said, it is a great achievement. Nailed what they were going for. The hype is for real on this one, folks.

Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.