Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

53 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 446
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 337
Gots: 145 | FT: 5
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: 53 | Hads: 446
Reviews by russwbeck:
Photo of russwbeck
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the release, which went very smoothly.

A: Like GBS, the beer pours out black with a small brown head. The head really doesn't stick around for long at all. This variation seems to have a darker body, with less light creeping through the edges. 3.5

S: The spices have taken a big step back on the aroma, basically all that remains is faint ginger. Otherwise the aroma is focused on sweetness. Honey, lactose, an vanilla mostly. The bourbon is the strongest aroma of them all, but I wouldn't say it takes the beer over. Typically with a milk stout I would expect bourbon barrel aging to wreck anything else that tried to make a statement, that doesn't seem to be the case here. 4

T: The taste is amazingly balanced for all that's going on. The taste starts off light, with chocolate and lactose readying the palate for the onslaught that is to come. Next up, the ginger. As bready as ever, the ginger builds on the chocolate and balances what starts as a very sweet taste. Next up the bourbon, vanilla, and honey come together to add a new level of complexity I missed from regular GBS. The finish is of booze and some cinnamon, which in this offering is more of an afterthought than a focus. This is an amazingly complex milk stout that is absolutely perfect for the holidays. It pairs well with peanut butter blossom cookies (with Hershey's Kisses in the middle, not Reese's Cups). 5

MF: The body is medium with a lower than average amount of carbonation. The ABV is higher than regular GBS and the booze is more noticeable. The spirit of the holidays and the amazing balance make this beer very drinkable, even as a deep beer that comes in a 750ml bottle. 5

O: Blown away by this beer. It is a lot better than GBS, in my opinion. While some of the spices have been lost to the barrel aging, the bourbon has added more than it has taken away. Enough of the base beer remains to be appreciated, which is a key for me with barrel aging. You've outdone yourselves Hardywood. 5 (1,996 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of TubaManJack
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (192 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (1,208 characters)

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ben7773
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DahWag
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CMerrill
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (150 characters)

Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Pdiddy3d for sharing this! You the man Pete!

750ml bottle poured into a taster.

Pours out nearly black, some reddish brown hues are defiantly visible. A nice light tan colored head with decent retention, minimal lacing.

I maybe expected a bit more from the aroma. Gingerbread cookie is defiantly there in full force, but lacking a little on the bourbon. A bit light.

Much better taste, gingerbread cookies are at the forefront, but melds with some nice milk chocolate, a bit of caramel and bourbon and hints of vanilla. I maybe expected more bourbon to show through, but still an amazing taste. A fair amount of sweetness.

Medium to heavy in body, adequate carbonation for the style.

Overall, this was about on par with the regular version, not really better or worse. The bourbon added a nice dimension to it, but I expected a lot more to come through. Also some of the flavors from the original beer were just a tad muted. (948 characters)

Photo of catboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ehammond1
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, VaTechHopHead!

Dark brown body with a small light brown head. Leaves the glass slightly spotted and oily on the way down. Pretty enough and appropriate for the style. Doesn't look particularly thick, heavy, or viscous, however.

Very nice Christmas aroma. There is definite gingerbread house, Christmas spices, molasses, and brown sugar here. A tiny bit of alcohol emerges in the aroma, especially as the beer warms. Definite caramel and baked, crispy brownie crust as well. Everything comes together nicely. This is a great smelling beer.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. There is a wonderful combination of gingerbread cookies, molasses and slightly burnt brown sugar, bread crusts, and a little bit of chocolate. A little bit of oak, but very little, if any, bourbon character.

This would be where the beer disappoints, if it disappoint anywhere. A fairly thin mouthfeel, even for the style, with very low carbonation.

Very tasty, and a beer I never thought I'd get a chance to taste. Much appreciated, and quite tasty. (1,077 characters)

Photo of Nick3682
4.56/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of amstokesdb9
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dmk91
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of jtladner
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mocktm
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mtpHokie
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CLCardinal84
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Louisville Beer Store snifter. Big thanks to Taylor (mocktm) for sending this bottle!

A: Cola colored pour with a nice finger width head that becomes a soapy white ring with minimal lacing.

S: Like a freaking gingerbread man and Christmas in a glass. Haven't had a gingerbread stout and have never smelled a beer like this. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg all hits the nose. Smell opens up big time after 5-10 minutes after pour.

T: This beer tastes amazing. I would not serve it a degree under 55. This beer opens up greatly with a little warmth and it is incredibly balanced and smooth. All the smells above hit the tongue.

M: Creamy, smooth and coats the tongue nicely. All you can ask for here.

O: This beer is outstanding. One of the better barrel aged stouts I've ever had. Perfect beer for Christmas day with the family. I will seek out more Hardywood in the future. (906 characters)

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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.