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: 601
Gots: 332 | FT: 38
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 BeastLU
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Currently being enjoyed in a Hardywood snifter. I have had the 2011 on tap and bottled, prefer it on draft. As far as 2012 goes the bottles seem to be better.

A - Black. Surprisingly white head which sticks around for about half the beer.

S - Smells great. take a whiff before you've tasted and you know your in for something special.

T - Tastes better than it smells which is a tall order. Top notch taste. Unique for any stout, particularly of this ABV, almost no booze taste.

M - Honestly I do wish it was a little thicker. This would be my only significant knock on this beer. I wont call it watery but it almost seems unnatural how thin it is with the great taste.

0 - Awesome beer. Maybe the best beer for beer lovers and novices to drink together. The taste is so good anyone can approach it, and any beer geek can taste the genius that goes into every glass. I have a case of the 2012 ready to be aged and 2 bottles of the BA version. Can't wait to see how they taste with a bit of father time on them. (1,016 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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 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 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 JMScowcroft
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery - Gingerbread Stout, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a medium viscosity oil brown and settles jet black with 1" off-white soapy head that dissipates quickly and leaves splotchy lacing.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts w/ginger and cinnamon. Sweet finish. The key here and with this brew in general is to let it warm up a bit, leave the bottle out for 30 minutes or so if it was in the fridge, TRUST ME.

Taste - Creamy chocolate w/cinnamon and finishes ginger. Nearly perfect blend of sweet and spice.

Mouthfeel - Heavy-medium bodied from the lactose with medium carbonation. Rests spice both ginger and cinnamon toasty but not overdone. Some roast sits on the middle of the tongue. Nice and toasty warm boozy.

Overall - Great brew, a nice mix of holiday spice (Winter Warmer types) and a tasty creamy milk stout. Spice is spice but this is NICE! (902 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The stout was black in appearance with mocha colored bubbles lining the sides of the glass.

Smell - The ginger is well noted here, with sweet burnt sugar and perhaps graham cracker.

Taste - This is literally a liquid gingerbread cookie. Big ginger is present in the front with burnt sugar, and the smooth creaminess of a milk stout laying the backbone. The milkiness is like washing the cookie down with milk. The impressions of gingerbread fall in line with a biscuity cookie notes. The ginger lingers in the smooth aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel on this one is smooth with little carbonation. The burnt sugar notes are allowed to linger.

Overall - This is among my favorite milk stouts and a great holiday beer. (738 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
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 Hopbully
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great dessert beer that you can actually drink more than one. Very black pour, great nose. Lots of cinnamon and chocolate and spices...you get that ginger like you are about to bite into a ginger snap or gingerbread cookie. The finish is like you just ate a gingerbread cookie. incredible re-creation of a snack. Unique and one of a kind. Looking forward to next bottling and some wild variations. (397 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 jeonseh
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
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 (758 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 dedrinker
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This beer had a pronounced ginger and cinnamon smell. It tasted like ginger and hot cinnamon, and alcohol. I did not taste any stout flavor. I was underwhelmed by this beer as I am underwhelmed by all these newbies who love koolaid beer. You used to have to acquire the taste for beer, but now many brewers cater to the narrow pallets of children. (347 characters)

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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. (636 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 blbarnett3
3/5  rDev -30.2%

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. (244 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look-color is a root beer brown, pretty opaque, pours a half finger of tan, frothy head that settles into spotted lacing.
Smell- Gingerbread! Biscuits, cinnamon, hints of nutmeg, dried ginger, and honey.
Taste-Gingerbread! Biscuity sweetness perfectly laced with cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of dried ginger, honey in the finish, then comes Malty toastiness, reminding you that this is a fine stout. slightest hint of boozy warmth in the finish.
Feel- medium bodied, mild carbonation, creamy upfront, finishes with just a bit of chalkiness in the throat. it in no way makes the beer unpleasant but it is a bit off putting.
Overall- this beer is delicious, and tastes just as advertised. gotta love that. get it. (706 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Black beer with some ruby red shining through around the edges. About a quarter-inch of foam covered the surface for 30 seconds or so when it was first poured, but disappeared almost entirely after that.

SMELL: Well, good start with this beer! It smells like candied ginger.

TASTE: BIG ginger taste with a little sugary sweetness and dark chocolate. A hint of roast, but not enough to make it taste coffee-like. As the beer warms some more subtle flavors come out with a little more spice, some vanilla and the chocolate intensifies too.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big body. The carbonation is very light, but enough ginger to provide a little bite.

OVERALL: The aggressive ginger sets this apart from some other beers brewed with ginger that I've had. And, I'd put this near the top of that very specialized category. Good stuff. (852 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle on Wed., 12/31/2014 (Niciu 3rd Annual NYE Party) purchased at 1 West DuPont Circle, unknown brewing/packaging dates (2014 vintage), poured into plastic cup, drank over ~30 minutes (193 characters)

Photo of Flight317
3.39/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Wasn't a big fan of this really. It's not bad but the taste to me was just not great. As far a dessert beers this one is not for me. If you love gingerbread it would likely be good. Quality beer but I wouldn't seek out if it was in my distro (241 characters)

Photo of cichief
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at Mekong in Richmond, VA. It pours a beautiful dark ruby red, almost black with a deep brown head. Smells of vanilla and gingerbread, very sweet. Although sweet, it is well balanced and has a great finish. This is a wonderful dessert beer, and just a great beer overall. Very smooth, just enough carbonation. One of the best beers I've had this year! (369 characters)

Photo of rfbenavi80
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle received in a trade. Enjoyed with a friend. 2012 release.

A- Pours the darkest brown that you can get before it's called black with 1/2 finger of light tan head that slowly dissipates to a thin film.

S- Aroma seems very muted until it warms. Smells of warm winter cooking spices mixed with a solid amount of roasty chocolatey malt.

T- Wow, what this beer lacks in aroma it makes up for it in the taste. This is where the ginger shines through. Tastes like a warm gingerbread man complete with icing and no hint of the 9.2% ABV present at all.

M- Smooth and creamy easy drinking. Hardly any carbonation at all.

O- A superb holiday beer. Would recommend to anyone. Even to non-beer drinkers. (704 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 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 TechTriumph
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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)

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