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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

71 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 71
Hads: 542
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 363
Gots: 217 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States | website

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: 71 | Hads: 542
Photo of Lapalou
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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 -3.7%
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 -1.6%
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 -3.3%
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%
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 +8.4%
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 +10.7%
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 -25.9%
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 +5.1%
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 +2.3%
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 -2.1%
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 +3.7%
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 -0.9%

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 -0.9%

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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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, some chocolate, cinnamon and oak. Almost zero barrel presence, standard southern treatment. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Good carb. This is pretty good.

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Photo of papat444
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

MY 400th DIFFERENT BREWERY REVIEWED!

Enjoyed at EBF 2014.

Sugary, gooey goodness; real gingerbread in a glass all mixed in with bourbon and there's hints of vanilla sprinkled in there. Nice and sweet but never cloying. This one delivers on its promise. Very, very good stuff.

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Photo of dar482
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer has a wonderful gingerbread and ginger spice aroma. Obviously follows with cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of vanilla, and roasted malt.

The flavor follows with that punch of ginger spice in the front, onto a combination of the Christmas spices. There is not much bourbon character, but it probably makes the beer smoother with vanilla character in there as well.

A great beer for spice lovers, though not much bourbon character comes through.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured cold from the bottle to a hunahpu's snifter cola black with a short lasting creamy tan head with nice retention and lace after each sip.

aroma of bourbon, vanilla and dark toffees

great big gingerbread up front, toothy, medium bodied, big carbonation, creamy smooth, bourbon comes through as it warms a bit.

really nice beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Sam for this one. 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Heavy pour yields a 2 finger frothy light mocha colored head with great retention. Beer is black but not particularly thick. Lacing is rich and layered with excellent stick. An awesome looking beer.

Nose is cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, cream, lactose and just the slightest hint of bourbon. Moderately aromatic. The nose belies the flavor here... which is a bit of a shame.

Opens huge gingerbread and cinnamon notes. Molasses, brown sugar, sugar cookie, chocolate, and bourbon in the middle. Some oatmeal cookie overtones. Ends sweet and syrupy with a boozy finish and a bready, sweet aftertaste. Delicious!

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Lively but smooth in the mouth and goes clean with a messy finish and a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Hugely drinkable for 10.6% and the alcohol feels barely there!

What really gets me about this beer is how hugely drinkable it is. Very sweet with nice complexity but at 10.6%, this drinks like its about half of that. Feel is rich without being overwhelming and the thinner body actually works great here. A pretty under-the-radar stout... and definitely one to seek out!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours a clear super dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, gingerbread, Christmas spice, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with dark gingerbread and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great gingerbread and barrel aged presence that comes across much better in the smell to me.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a globe/snifter type glass not unlike the one pictured on the label. Vintage 2014, nice to finally get a proper review of this thing. Solid pop off the cork when opening.

A real nice thick and creamy light tan head. Very fine bubbles in it's creation with some silky like occasional ring lacing while it very slowly settles. A very nice dark walnut brown to mahogany stain, with just a touch of red to the edges. Slight clarity to the light, and a great looking brew.

Classic aroma not unlike regular gingerbread stout but with a much more mellow controlled tone, and a surprising hint of vanilla sweetness. Hints of spicy sushi like pickeled ginger. Hints of molasses and spiced clove and pffernues like cookies. Creamy, and very dense smelling though and very bready, but even manages some sense of lighter body. Very impressive.

About as big as a barrel aged milk stout can be it seems on the palate. Still a milky and light palate but manages some vanilla cream thickness in flavor on first sip. Ginger follows but with lots of good spiced nutmeg, cloves and brown sugar. Light bodied and gets as much as a barrel aged milk stout can get in mouthfeel but doesn't get into real round coating flavors, or lots of classic thickness. Mild boozy warmth on the finish but very tolerable, and very masked on the palate. Some warmth even brings in some nice black licorice tones and flavors as well after some time.

Overall, about as big as a milk stout gets it seems, and quite tasty. Much better than I had in the past too. Very nice.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body that looks dark brown at the edges. Not much of a head. Thin off white collar.

Smell - Graham cracker and chocolate. Cinnamon. No real barrel. Slightest hint of bourbon among the booze.

Taste - Still no barrel, even less than the nose. Maybe some oak and vanilla. A really tasty graham cracker and cinnamon flavor. Some chocolate but it's mostly adjunct.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Kinda boozy. No real barrel.

Overall - The slighest of barrel characters. Wish there were more, but it's still very good.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of yamar68
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to scalzo for this one!

Great looking stout. Dark chocolate brown body with minimal clarity. A fat pillow of khaki head retains well, creating a fresh set of lace after each sip.

All types of inviting aromas coming off the glass... sweet bourbon layered with chocolate, fresh ginger, a touch of nutmeg/cinnamon spice, fudge... as was the case with regz GBS, I'm amazed by how non-Christmas-y this stuff smells... which is awesome. It's not dominated by spice of ginger root. Everything is thoughtfully integrated... brown sugar and vanilla, maple syrup... very dynamic but still approachable.

The taste delivers as well. Rich, bittersweet milk chocolate, coffee and a touch of ginger. The sweet, mellow bourbon character makes for a delicious addition. The finish is probably my favorite thing about the whole beer. It's dry with a subtle sweetness that allows each flavor to evolve and mingle with the rest of the beer.

This is absolutely fantastic. My favorite offering from Hardywood to date.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, thanks @blackie

Was quite dissapointed by the standard version - upon popping the cork, you can immediately tell that overcarbonation wont' be an issue here. Not a particularly robust aroma - hints of ginger cookie, bourbon, spice. The flavor profile opens up a bit with clear defined notes of ginger, molasses, chocolate, coconut, bourbon and the like. To me, the intended flavor profile works a lot better in this version. Not without its flaws though - a bit thin, and 12 weeks in a barrel seems a little rushed.

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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.