Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #9
Ranked #281
4.46 | pDev: 7.17%
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
Notes: Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout.
Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 513 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThatCracker:
Photo of ThatCracker
4.76/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of BC4MFRED1
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

On draft at the Rye Barrel Pumpkin release....Nice blend of sweet and boozy...This is one of the best beers these guys have put out in a while....Hopefully they make this a yearly release. Not overly syrupy sweet...but its rich and brandy does this stout wonders...well made

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Photo of brian4beer
3.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Didnt like the integration of boozyness w the beer

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Photo of mozif
5/5  rDev +12.1%

All stouts should taste like this. When you thought GBS was as good as it gets, then you were wrong...

Phenomenal balance between sweet and strong. The apple brandy barreles make this a kick in the ass. Must try.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Deep sweetness and chocolate flavor. A hair on the thin side, but certainly a nice rich stout. I got more oak barrel character than anything specific from apple brandy. Very good.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours like 30W oil --- maybe should be described in terms of viscosity. Bigger tan head then I expected. Brandy and molasses dominate the nose with maybe a bit of coffee. Taste leads with a bit of carbonation and like the nose suggests, dominant molasses and brandy -- also some caramel and milk chocolate at the back of the tongue. Nice bitterness lingers with the booze at the end. No hiding the ABV, but there is a nice balance here between booze and stout. Once again the folks at Hardywood proving they do great things with dark beers -- fun for the whole family! After this, really looking forward to picking up some Apple Brandy Barrel Gingerbread Stout tomorrow.

Update - 28 November 2016 - since HW is getting ready to release 2016 batch tomorrow, thought I would open my one year aged bottle and make a few comments. This one has aged VERY nicely -- the booziness has mellowed. Carbonation has held up perfectly. Only complaint is that the molasses flavor has taken over a bit and no longer as balanced with the apple brandy. Still, I a very pleased with the results. For those of you grabbing multiple bottles, I recommend stowing one away for next Halloween. You won't be sorry.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tremendously good - I'm a huge fan of apple brandy barrels, and this is an exemplary representative of how much depth, complexity, and dimension those barrels grant a beer. The nose is all rich, boozy brandy. The taste and mouth feel have a nice light barrel presence, slightly thinner, but bursting with brandy flavor.

It's a killer beer. I am embarrassed to say that I chugged a good half of the bottle on video while at a share.

Oops? At least it's not golden showers in a Russian brothel.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured 2015 version from bomber into spiegleau stout glass .

Color is black. Great dark tan foamy head forms. Solid retention but wish it stuck around a bit longer. Very pronounced lacing.

Nose big on brandy. Hard to pull out much else but a bit of caramel and chocolate is there for me and knowing it's apple brandy makes the apples standout - not sure I would have gotten that otherwise. As it warmed the caramel comes through more but not much else seems to change for me.

Flavor is basically perfect. Far more balanced than the nose would indicate. Warmth from the brandy is there and apple is clear, but chocolate, caramel, raisin/prune are all huge and in incredible balance. Finish is long on the brandy and dried fruit with a nice dry chocolate too. In no way does it come off as boozy, but there is a definite warmth. Comparing to BCBS I had yesterday (13.7 vs this 13.5) this feels like it could be 1/2 the stated ABV where BCBS is every bit of that 13.7 imho.

Feel is about as perfect as can be. Carbonation level is perfect, nice slight bitter but tight enough to really lift the sweeter aspects off the palate. The things I live in fear of with these types of brews (syrupy feel, abrasive booze etc.) are nowhere to be found here. There is a great body and depth to this and the warmth really does stick around but that's all the "booziness" to speak of.

I try not to give into hype, and really didn't go crazy to seek this out or anything, but it might very well be the best Virginia beer I've had. Simply fantastic.

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Photo of Deltoro
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stevem68
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is boozy chocolate. Flavor is chocolate and roasted malts with some booze. Has a nice mouth feel and overall this tastes really nice, delicious beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, creamy flavors and texture in this one. This delivers milk chocolate, molasses, toffee, hazelnut, whipped cream, lactose-sweetness and an Apple brandy that's delicious. Tremendous beer and a triumph for Hardywood.

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Photo of bpa112
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours thick and black with a very small dark brown head
S: wow, big sweetness and Brandy barrel!
T: like the nose, sweetness for days, nice Apple Brandy barrel flavors. A great beer
F: thick and smooth, coats well.

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Photo of Zonian1
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of johnny_chimpo
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of monty79_1997
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Stolenface1
4.66/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

B2 - Oct. 2015
Pours jet black w/ no head. Aroma of roasted malt (chocolate/coffee/acrid), vanilla, brandy, booze. Flavor dark bitter chocolate, coffee, slight vanilla, brandy, slight apple, dark fruit, sweet caramel, toffee, lactose(milk sugar/sweet) and lingering boozy-ness that is way lighter than expected but very warming on a fall/winter day. Mouthfeel is that of slightly creamy crude oil with low+ carbonation. Clings to the palate and does not let go. Overall a great milk stout.

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Photo of BeerBeast
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MTKATL
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JJuva13
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Trickery from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 513 ratings