Rum Barrel GBS
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Rum Barrel GBSRum Barrel GBS
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #289
Ranked #1,284
4.33 | pDev: 7.85%
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
Rum Barrel GBSRum Barrel GBS
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 138 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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stortore from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter. 2017 edition. Had 7/7/18.

Pours an opaque, dark brown, with a half inch foamy head and some spotty lacing. Aromas of rum, chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, malt, some vanilla and oak, caramel when warm. The flavor is similar- malt, rum, ginger, chocolate, vanilla, some caramel, cinnamon as it warms, light oak. A little alcohol bleeds through. Smooth, a good full body, well carbonated.

This is in the top tier of the BA GBS series. The barrels are prevalent, but allow the spices to come through clearly. Great aroma and flavor. Well worth a purchase.

Mar 07, 2019
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another 750ML corked & caged bottle from a compatriot’s cellar cleansing, which sounds like palate or colon cleansing, but is completely different. Split with my wife.

The pour is solid state black. The nose is rum, honey, booze, & that vague spicing I associate with GBS variants.

Rum Barrel GBS, if held in the mouth, is like the old Pop Rocks & Coke trick. I can feel the excessive carbonation bubbling, trying to find a way out, but there is no escape from the iron jail of my teeth. The beer itself is nicely integrated: the rum is just north of subtle, with touches of ginger, honey, fruit cake, & brown sugar. One of the few beers that is leaving my glass faster than my chugging-champ wife’s glass. Smooth.

A very good beer without any qualities that reach out to grab you by the nutsack (if you have one – no need to discriminate against our non-nutsack listeners). If there was a rum barreled beer you’d want to sip after dinner every day, it would be this one.

Oct 07, 2018
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.56/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiny black to dark brown with a paper thin but solid tan film.

Smell is total gingerbread house with a potent molasses backing--this really hits the nail on the head with that classic toasty cookie all the way.

Hot white rum undertones run along some really toasty, serious gingerbread cookie. Holy shit. You better fucking love gingerbread cookies, because that's what you're going to get here in spades. Unfortunately, I’m not really a fan of the cookie and it’s so spot on I can't fully enjoy this, but I can recognize they definitely did well to emulate what they were after.

Medium-light body with a frothy carbonation, finishing semi-dry.

Jan 22, 2018
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Lucular from Maryland

3.04/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2016 version. I guess I'm just not (usually) a fan of rum barrel aging. This has a weird, almost fruity smell and the taste is also kind of odd. There is a nice gingerbread component going on but that's about it. Disappointed because Kentucky Christmas Morning GBS was one of my favorite beers I've had in 2017.

Oct 24, 2017
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TheSixthRing from California

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging and a tan, quarter-finger width head that fizzes away nearly as fast as it's poured, leaving an almost completely barren surface and a broken, razor-thin ring of suds around the edge of the glass. Needless to say no lacing to be found.

Smell - Gingerbread spice, sweet vanilla and rum booze notes. Also some faint roast, but comes through moreso with slightly burnt gingerbread cookies. Smells good though.

Taste - Follows the nose. The gingerbread spice is prominent, but finds itself darted with notes of molasses, vanilla, roasted and toasted malt and a tiny sliver of chocolate until most of these bleed out into the finish. The aftertaste is greeted with a tame punch of rum spice, but ultimately delivers much of that rum-soaked gingerbread it promises on the label. God is it good.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low carbonation. Smooth but very velvety texture with a creamy, semi-dry finish.

Overall - Wow, this one's a keeper! Easily the best of the three variants. I can't even really be bothered about it except to say if you come across this one do yourself a favor and hoard it.

Mar 27, 2017
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Slack from Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown in color with a minimal amount of head that forms a bit of a circle.

Nose is sweet rum booze, molasses, vanilla, minor cinnamon, minor ginger, and minor clove.

Taste is similar to the nose with rum a bit more prominent. Ginger, cinnamon, vanilla are all there. A bit of oak as well.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and smooth. Carbonation is higher than average. Finish is semi sweet.

Truth be told this is probably my favorite GBS variant. The vanilla is very strong from start to finish. The rum barrel adds alot of complimentary elements to the base GBS. Very drinkable, very shareable.

Mar 05, 2017
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a modest ginger-colored head that fades to a ringlet; leggy and leaves spots of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate, spice cake, cinnamon, ginger and clove, with fruity undertones; the Rum barrel is also apparent

Taste: The Rum is much stronger on the palate than in the aroma, dominating from the beginning and building in the finish; spice cake tones of dark fruit, cinnamon and ginger build along with dark chocolate tones into the middle; the finish brings together all the elements

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: I am not a huge fan of the Rum barrel so I cannot wax ecstatic over this beer; still, it is well executed and will please those who like Rum flavors

Thanks, jonnyybp, for the opportunity

Feb 24, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for share the other day, Curran.

This one pours a nice inky looking dark black, with a small head, and basically no lacing.

Smells like fresh ginger, cinnamon, spiced black rum, dark fruit, chocolate syrup, molasses and a hint of oak.

This is one is much better than the base, and also better than the other BA version I've had- the bourbon edition. The rum works super well with the heavily spiced base. The fresh ginger flavor still comes through nicely, with molasses and cinnamon also playing a heavy role. The rum adds a nice brown sugar, dark fruit, and oak character to the beer that tremendously helps it. There's a bit of chocolate on the finish, as well.

This is medium bodied, and could be a little bit thicker, possibly. It's got a good level of carbonation.

This is a really decadent treat, and a dessert beer done right.

Feb 23, 2017
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Riff from Virginia

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, inky black color with a tan head about a finger thick. Smells of holiday spices, in particular ginger and rum. Tastes of ginger, molasses, dark rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A little hint of alcohol towards the end but not overwhelming. Pleasant aftertaste of gingerbread. Smooth and rich feeling. Pleasantly easy drinking stout that just perfectly suits the holidays, I hope they keep doing this version every year.

Jan 27, 2017
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Masonz223 from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell: Holiday spices ginger cinnamon milk chocolate brown sugar vanilla dark cherries

Taste: upfront lactose vanilla milk chocolate middle of the mouth dark cherries ginger bread cookies with vanilla brown sugar cinnamon icing in the finish you get some spicy rum expresso molasses and some more dark cherry sweetness.

Feel: medium body super creamy. Perfect carbonation. Extremely easy drinking.

Overall: This is just as good as KCM. Rum Barrel is noticeable and a big dark cherry presence adds something new to the beer. I'm a pretty big fan of the barrel aged versions of GBS and in this version I'm getting the Gingerbread cookie thing that I didn't get in the others. If you trade for this trade for the whole series because it's worth it!

Jan 05, 2017
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11-52_4hops from Virginia

4.95/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

To add a little perspective to this review, I am a huge fan of the Hardywood GBS series with Kentucky Christmas Morning, Christmas Morning, and Apple Brandy GBS probably my favorite stouts -- put this one on the list now.

One of the best of GBS variants - and that is saying something. Pours a nice deep brown/black with moderate tan head. Nose explodes with ginger, sweet dark rum, coconut creme - just screaming Christmas. Taste - this is a Christmas rum soaked desert in a glass - ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, a touch of molasses, a little sweet coconut creme. Finished with a very definite dark rum flavor and a bit of warmy booziness that really works well with this stout. Perfect balance between elements that really belong together. Creamy mouth feel, but a tad thin -- perhaps the only fault I can find.

Bottom line - In my mind, Hardywood owns Christmas. The bottle is unbelievable and was even better in draft at the brewery. Very happy I bought a bunch - in my top three stouts.

Dec 24, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage
750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown color with some light creeping through, small foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- aroma is subtle, but after dissing into it you can definitely pick out the ginger and rum barrel up front, with undertones of molasses, cinnamon & vanilla sugar cookies

T- ginger-forward up front with some maltiness that gives off that gingerbread flavor. Rum-barrel kicks in mid-palate, adding flavor of molasses and brown sugar. The finish gives more ginger, along with lingers of cinnamon, vanilla & rum barrel

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish, abv hidden well

O- the sweetness of the rum seems to intensify the ginger, but plays well with all of the other adjuncts as a whole

Dec 24, 2016
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driverm11 from Virginia

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Amazing. There is simply nothing wrong with it. It's delicious. I bought a case at Hardywood having only had regular GBS, Bourbon GBS and Christmas Morning. Can't get enough of this chewy sweet goodness of gingerbread/ginger cookie complexity with that molasses depth. (Note: For me, somehow this bottle tastes more like regular GBS on draught then a bottle of GBS does.)

Just get it.

Dec 13, 2016
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Zraly from Virginia

4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Kept in my cool beer closet until tonight. Poured into the GBS glass acquired at Hardywood a few years back.

Not quite jet black but close enough. Two finger mocha head. The nose is redolent of baker's chocolate and cinnamon. Flavor profile is rich with chocolate, vanilla, ginger, and cinnamon. Compared to the base GBS, this has a more pronounced vanilla note likely due to the rum barrel. The rum note is soft and accentuates the baking spice notes. A bit of earth and booze in the finish which is semi-dry but maintains a sweet, creamy mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and just perfect. Medium to full bodied -- seems as thought this would feel heavier in your mouth given the ABV, but it isn't; such a fact makes it all the more dangerous. Extremely drinkable for a beer > 10% ABV.

Glad a saved one of these. Based on bad memory reconstruction, I recall the rum being a bit more pronounced a year ago on the previous bottle I opened. That makes sense given the aging, although the rum still rears its head, especially as it warms a bit above 50 and the beer opens fully. Lovely.

Hardywood created such a praise-worthy beer with the standard GBS it is probably easy to make good variants. This rum barrel version is yet another testament to that fact. A fantastic night cap/dessert beer.

Jan 16, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark brown with a thin mocha head that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of rum, ginger, light cookie notes, faint chocolate.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, light gingerbread cookie notes with faint chocolate and roast notes. Good light booze.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, very smooth.

O - Overall this beer was rather weaker than the base beer. Still, solid gingerbread notes.

Serving type: bottle

Nov 12, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud.

Light creamy head fades quickly, long legs light lacing, super dark murky brown color.

Nose big gingerbread, candy, cookie, light molasses rum notes, cinnamon candy notes, candy icing, lighter rum in general but dark color rum, light barrel.

Taste brings candy, cinnamon gingerbread candy, more candy icing, mild ginger heat spice, mild dark rum flavor and little vanilla barrel. Finish little sticky sweet, mild booze warmth, candy icing vanilla, sticky cinnamon and gingerbread.

Mouth thicker, sweet sticky, nice carb, no real booze.

Nov 12, 2015
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brocktune from Virginia

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2014 release cellar aged 10 months. Beautiful dark color with light tan head. Rum smell evident but not overpowering. Cinnamon, ginger, and clove apparent in aroma.

Rum flavor compliments the taste of the base GBS molasses and cinnamon taste wonderfully. Not overly boozy for the ABV.

Oct 19, 2015
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lupercmda from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was expecting this to pour darker than it did. It was a light thin dark pour with about a 1 inch head. Nice gingerbread taste with a mild rum presence but found it much thinner that the original GBS as the Rum barrel seemed to thin the beer out. I think it was a good beer but I actually think I like regular GBS better

Aug 05, 2015
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a foamy and medium brown tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is an opaque dark brown that borders on black. 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 very strong sweet rum note. The spices and honey also seem to pop out more with the rum aging than with the bourbon and regular GBS. There also appears to be a slight figgy smell.

The beer taste is similar to the smell. It contains the spic e notes (cinnamon, clove, etc.) from the GBS and honey. In addition to the regular spices, the taste also has a sweet rum note and a molasses note to it as well. The new notes work very well with and enhance the existing notes. Caramel notes also appear but are overwhelmed.

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

Overall, a fantastic variant on the GBS. A very good rum aged variant.

Mar 29, 2015
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corked 750 mL 2014 release, 10.6% abv, similar to GBS a hint of rum booziness to it. Outstanding beer and I plan on keep trying these local Hardywood beers.

Mar 25, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With the high success of their Ginger Bread Stout, there's no doubt that variations would ensue. But why would Hardywood tinker with something so good? To make it better, of course!

As the dark, bark-brown, nearly black stout nestles into the glass, a patient rise of coffee creme froth beings to amass and swirl on top. With the scent of roasted grain and an underpinning of molasses supporting the spice and booze, its first succulent sip creeps on the tongue and takes us right back to the Christmas season.

With the breadiness of graham cracker, honey, molasses and spice cake building the bulk of flavor, the middle palate comes alive with cinnamon, nutmeg, light clove and unmistakable ginger. Its slight singe of gingerbread sing strong praises, but bring life to delicate espresso and bittersweet chocolate as the taste slowly meanders toward closure.

Its imperial status is realized in a full and lavish body, creamy and viscous but shy of chewy. With the alcohol mounting, the sweet sugars of rum introduce their own nutmeggy spice to the mix and render the beer's extended bold body to a pleasantly sipping draw. Spices, bitter chocolate and coffee continue to reward the late palate and retro-olfacory senses in its warm afterglow.

Mar 12, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of the better versions of the beer because the rum's spiciness cuts and interacts with the gingersnap cookie qualities of the base. The sweetness and spiciness offers a layer on top of the beer, but still for those with an affinity for spices.

Feb 24, 2015
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BigJdizzle from Virginia

4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice pour from the bottle. Strong head that lingers. Taste and smell are exceptional (ginger, rum, honey). Mouthfeel leaves a little to be desired.

Feb 14, 2015
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clayrock81 from Florida

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black body with minimal head and lace and has a gingerbread/cookie aroma (think sugary sweetness) and a touch of wood and booze (rum). Beer has a medium to full body that is sweet thanks to ginger and vanilla like sweetness, the vanilla seeming to come from both the barrels themselves and being from the boozy/rum sweetness. Also a little bit bready so it has a fuller mouthful and there is balanced and beer is not overly sweet. Finishes with a touch of spicy ginger and overall it's a velvety smooth beer with well hidden alcohol for a sweeter, stronger, better version of regular GBS.

Jan 08, 2015
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SteveB24 from New York

4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really delicious, the sweetness of the rum is not overpowering but gives a nice boost to the gingerbread flavors, the beer is also surprisingly light in texture, but not thin. the ABV is completely unnoticed. really delicious beer.

Jan 06, 2015
Rum Barrel GBS from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 138 ratings