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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

56 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 460
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 350
Gots: 146 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-10-2012

Hardywood Gingerbread Stout, described by BeerAdvocate as “freagin’ Christmas in a bottle,” is an imperial milk stout brewed with vanilla beans, cinnamon, fresh Casselmonte Farm baby ginger and Bearer Farms wildflower honey. Gingerbread Stout is then matured in Virginia bourbon barrels, where it adapts an incredibly mellow character with oak, caramel and bourbon undertones, and emerges 12 weeks later as Bourbon GBS. A festive blend of spice character laces this rich, chocolatey stout, which warms the palate and the soul.

55 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 460
Photo of maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to cdunk11 for this Last Bottle Standing from a long-ago trade as I continue some clean-up. 750ML corked & caged bottle split with my wife & as a side note, I like barrels on labels.

The pour is black hole dark & the copious bubbles cannot escape the gravitational well, but they try. The nose may have faded some with age as it’s light: vague spice that might clock in at cinnamon, honeyed sweetness, but I get more clove than anything else.

Gingerbread Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged: the cast of Shrek would be horrified & the little guy probably needs two new legs now. Gingerbread + gingerbread! Spicy, doughy, cinnamony, with a framework of sweetness that’s likely a combo of the malts & honey. The mid-palate brings the vanilla from the barrel & hefty tablespoons of ginger. The alleged bourbon is no more than a rumor. Slick & oh-so-drinkable; I couldn’t do quite as much of this as I could do of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, but it’d be a photo finish.

Honestly? You couldn’t fit more than a wisp of ginger’s difference between this version & the regular version. I don’t know if the bourbon has faded that fast - I’ve never experienced it going so quickly - or if it is just supremely tame, but it doesn’t add much except perhaps another layer of vanilla sweetness. But hey - the base ain’t no slouch & this is still an excellent beer.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Faint bourbon presence and loads of spicing, feel is just shy of thin. A bit thicker base and more bourbon notes would round this out and help chill out the gingerbread. Fun but not great.

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Photo of AMCimpi
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: a lot of carb. Light tan, dark but some light coming through around the edges. S: wow, so much cinnamon. This smells like Christmas morning. I'm in love. T: cinnamon, gingerbread, not a hint of alcohol. Just a lovely spiced stout. M: a bit thin, but barrel aging thins them out a bit, so I dig it. O: kind of wished I'd saved it for the winter, but I love this shit. One of the best extras I've ever gotten

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Photo of I_eat_beer
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A delicious, bubbly combination of gingerbread, bourbon, and all the things that make an imperial stout one of the things that make life worth living.

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Photo of kspauld2
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice dark brown pour with tan head.
Smells amazing. Cinnamon, honey, ginger.
Taste is fantastic. Didn't think they could get any better than the reg GBs but wow. Vanilla, slightl bourbon, cinnamon, clove.
Overall a top notch beer perfect for the cold winter nights

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a bubbly and medium brown tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is an opaque dark brown. The texture seems to be a bit oily and not as viscous as the original.

The beer smell is nothing short of divine. The smell includes all of the notes from regular GBS such as ginger, cinnamon, clove, and honey. In addition, the beer also has a strong vanilla and bourbon note. The vanilla note is fairly strong while the oak is a bit weak. The milk sugar notes are pretty much buried but sometimes make an appearance.

The beer taste is similar to the smell. It contains the spic e notes (cinnamon, clove, etc.) from the GBS and honey. The vanilla notes and bourbon mix well with the spices but are sometimes overwhelmed. Any caramel notes are fairly light. Regardless, the beer taste is still pretty good.

The beer is heavy bodied with very little carbonation, if any. The beer is a bit thinner and less viscous than the originial but is still pretty good since the feel works well with the aging.

Overall, a fantastic variant on the GBS even though the new notes are frequently buried.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.82/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one from Siddfinch a while back. Drank this one after the regular version. 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
Aged for 12 weeks in barrels

APPEARANCE: Same as the other version. 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. Perhaps a touch more vanilla from the barrels, but nothing else really. No real roast from the base stout either.

TASTE: Very similar to the base beer. 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 with a touch of vanilla and oak from the barrels. This is basically the same as the base with just a touch extra vanilla and wood. Very minimal though.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky. Not overly carbonated like the base beer. Better here.

OVERALL: Like the base beer, this is no better than okay. The adjunct character is interesting enough, but the base stout is rather weak and the barrel aging is pretty mundane. Still, these pairs are always fun to try and I’d say this one was slightly more interesting than the base beer, so that’s something at least. Cheers again for the brews SiddFinch!

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a nosing glass. Vintage 2012.

Matte black with light head and heavy lacing.

Smells like an oxidized old ale. Meh.

Wow though, it tastes great. Soft chocolate. Hints of dead yeast. Also a bit of booze.

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Photo of CMerrill
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!! Not much from Hardywood that doesn't make you say "WoW"! A perfect winter stout! Slight hints of bourbon and a gingerbread finish.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The nose is a bit lighter on the gingerbread as the barrel imparts a stronger vanilla and coconut tone.

The flavor is a mellowed gingerbread cookie with tempered spice, light vanilla sweetness and a stronger shaved coconut taste.

It drinks incredibly smooth and viscous. This seemed to lose a bit of luster from the base beer, which is unusual for anything in a barrel, but maybe I love the original too much.

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Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed the regular Ginger Bread Stout and was looking forward to the Bourbon Barrel version. This did not let me down.

I gave the regular GBS a 5 and this is just a little better with a little more of an alcohol kick. But this is not an over the top bourbon barrel beer, still very drinkable and not "hot" at all. Ready to drink now no aging required.

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Photo of Lapalou
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at CCB milkmaid release. I had the regular GBS and the got this on tap. Pour is deep brown, not quite black and gingerbread spice is still present in the nose. The main thing to point out here is that the bourbon is not overwhelming or present up front. It's just slight on the back end. For most people drinking Bourbon BA stouts I could see this being underwhelming but as person that doesn't love bourbon, I thought this was great. The BA added a nice compliment and didn't go to far. Not a 100 but something I'd ISO in the wintertime

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Photo of barczar
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More vanilla than the original in aroma, with less ginger dominance. Definitely more balanced.

Flavor is far more melded. The bourbon counters the ginger nicely.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is Christmas in a bottle. It's more mellow than it's regular cousin. I like it a lot more and the fact that the bourbon become a flavor not the dominate force is it's strongest attribute.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very impressive. Quite similar to the unbarrel aged version, but the barrel process just adds an extra layer of complexity. Rich, complex, and subtle barrel character that is not overwhelming. All the Xmas notes of the regular with maybe a touch of mint coming through. Big thanks @ AlexHW for this trade.

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Photo of Pencible
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque cola with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like spicy gingerbread with some oak and cocoa powder and toasted coconut.
T: It tasted like gingerbread and mint, with some cocoa powder and oak. It had a sweet and mild aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Light body.
D: This was a nice brew, with relatively simple but really enjoyable scent and taste. The body was weak, but the finish was super smooth with no alcohol noticeable. So it was all too easy to drink. Not sure how it would age, but it's already so mellow, it doesn't need it. Wish there was a bit more complexity, but this was a solid drink.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a shiny black, with a surprising two and a half fingers of surprisingly light colored, off white, frothy head that retains nicely. aroma is sweet bourbon upfront,followed by the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Taste-the gingerbread comes first, thankfully not at all overpowered by the bourbon, the bourbon follows providing a smooth, sweet finish.
Feel-creamy but not heavy, quite carbonated, very smooth
Overall-an outstanding beer, the original GBS is excellent and they found a way to improve and enhance it without changing the classic tastes you except. very impressive.

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Photo of uvachief
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review is very similar to the regular GBS review except that the bourbon barrel aging knocks off some of the sugar and sweetness making a much more complex and flavorful beer. I prefer this over regular GBS. You can smell and taste the bourbon. Not overpowering but just enough to calm the sugar down appropriately. Very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at Lost Dog – North Arlington.

Starts with gingerbread and ends with gingerbread. If you like gingerbread this may be quite the quaffable beer. But not for me. All of those truck chasers who beat me to this bottle over the past four weeks - thanks! I only had to try a glass and not waste an entire bottle. - 3.0

A – Pours a dark, black opaque with a short lived tan head - 3.5

S - Gingerbread maybe some faint roastiness, could not smell the bourbon. - 3.5

T - Gingerbread sweet, a nice bitter finish to somewhat balance the sweet, but not enough. Almost cloyingly sweet. No bourbon. 3

MF -A bit thin, which does not match the medium body and sweet consistency. - 3.25

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared last night at Umberto's tasting.

Smells like ginger, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, and a light amount of bourbon.

This is really decadent. I haven't yet had the regular Gingerbread Stout, but the other people last night said that this version was a little bit sweeter than the regular. There's honey, vanilla icing, strong ginger, some light sweet bourbon, and a little bit oaky vanilla.

This is medium bodied, not quite as thick as it could/should be, with a lower level of carbonation, and a creamy, full mouthfeel.

This is a really decadent and tasty treat.

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Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Everything about this beer was pleasing. It had a great nose, beautiful balanced flavors, and a really nice medium carbonation that played well with the spices in the beer. My only knock was the mouthfeel. This beer felt a little thin. Overall, I would seek it out again!

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Photo of cjgiant
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap (limited review):
Pours a black (at least very dark brown) with foamy white head, minimal lacing.
Smell is mostly gingerbread, and wonderful, but I think the bourbon plays quite well into it to produce a nice blend.
Taste is actually a little more sweet, ginger not as strong as nose, some toasted coconut, maybe a hint if the barrel
Feel is medium light, and I wish it were a tad more full.

Second chance at this beer, and enjoyed it more the second time, which is less normal these days. Glad I have one in the fridge at home.

Had the one from fridge May 2015. Tasty, upped overall a notch.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a dark brown with a solid three quarter finger of tan head that quickly dissipates. Scattered lacing cloaks the sides of the glass.

S. My most precious childhood memories lovingly dipped in a viscous Belgian chocolate concoction. Fresh ginger and cinnamon effervesce out of the glass, cocoa with marshmallow topping, honey dashed with orange zest, and fresh-from-the-oven Christmas cookies. Yum

T. Gingerbread house, glazed chocolate, honey, some coconut, and subtle char from the bourbon barrel.

M. Full bodied, higher than normal carb keeps it from becoming overly saccharine, loaded with bold, well-integrated flavors.

O. In years past, I've criticized this variant of GBS for not adding anything to the base beer. I stand corrected. The subtle complexity added by the barrels here makes this an improvement over the original, albeit a very slight one. Bourbon GBS is a remarkable beer, derived from a similarly remarkable beer from a brewery that knows it has a golden goose on its hands and is squeezing every penny they can out of it. And they should, as this is utterly unique and inspires years' worth of sentiment and fond feelings of Christmases past, present, and to come.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Very good, better, bigger, creamier and boozier than the base. The bourbon flavors only come out in the finish, but it definitely added a smoothness to the whole experience. My complaint about gbs is that it's a bit to thin, but that problem has been solved here.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

A-dark brown black color with a decent light brown head and a little lacing

S-chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, dark malt, vanilla

T-chocolate, toffee, ginger, vanilla, dark malt, light sweetness and bourbon, little oak

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth

O-tasty, but I would like just a little more bourbon barrel character

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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.