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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: 349
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 TechTriumph
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: December 2012; Poured in a snifter.

A - One inch or a tad less of creamy tan head with respectable retention; Very dark brown in color with traces of light seeping through; Pretty good showing of lacing around the glass

S - Good depth here with no real component stepping forward; Notes of slightly boozy bourbon, earthy oak, vanilla, caramelized sugar, molasses, ginger, tobacco, and underlying roast and chocolate; Really surprised in how 12 weeks of bourbon barrel aging tones down the ginger spice; Bourbon and semi-sweet molasses notes seem to strengthen as beer warms

T - Again, it's very apparent and fascinating in how the bourbon barrel transforms this beer and the level of ginger spice; Up front, the ginger has it's biggest presence, though it's well balanced by bourbon, semi-sweet molasses, and somewhat subtle vanilla flavors; The second half of the taste takes a big turn - ginger, bourbon, and molasses all tone down quite a bit, while a fairly strong wave of warm oak and earthy tones (with a touch of tobacco) consume the mouth - a really pleasant experience; Alcohol is very well hidden throughout the taste

M - Carbonation is moderate or a touch under; Between medium and full bodied; Very smooth, creamy, and mellow mouthfeel; Finish brings a decent wave of warmth - pleasant and nowhere near close to hot

O - My anticipation was high for this beer as I was curious as to how the gingerbread flavor would react to the introduction of bourbon barrel character. I'm actually pretty floored in how well this turned out! Sure, the ginger flavor is no longer in the spotlight, but a good bit of complexity takes its place to take this beer to a completely new level. If sticking strickly to the holiday theme, the original GBS is probably the better choice. Overall though, I think the Bourbon GBS brings the best overall package/complexity, and is no doubt a fantastic bourbon barrel offering.

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Photo of CLCardinal84
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark brown color with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring.

Smell: This one is quite sweet with bourbon and vanilla right off the bat. I'm getting some spice and a chocolate note. There is also a dark fruit component with the bourbon.

Taste: The bourbon is quite apparent, but it's not particularly hot. I'm getting sweet roasted malt along with a chocolate note. The Christmas spice is there, but it blends in rather than dominating. The finish has a slight bitterness to it along with some oaky bourbon sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The body could be thicker. There is a good amount of tingly carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: I prefer this to the regular version. The balance was spot on. The spice level was great. I'd definitely have more.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
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

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Photo of mojiboo02
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bourbon version of Gingerbread Stout reminded me a lot of the 2011 version of the regular Gingerbread Stout, but with some oak and bourbon taste to it. The spices are a bit subdued after 12 weeks in a barrel. The mouthfeel, smell, and taste are all great from the bottle. I tried the draft at the release party and didn't like it as much as the bottle version.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I couldn't make it to the release today, so Paul graciously hooked me up. Thanks man! Served in a Hardywood glass, because it was there.

The beer is opaque with a thick beige head. The head lasts for a few moments before fading to nil. The aroma offers cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, oak barrel. The flavor is a step up from the aroma. Lots of holiday spices with only a touch of bourbon. Silky smooth on the palate. Beautifully balanced. Like eating a gingerbread cookie. Sweet but never cloying. A great beer for the holidays.

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