Gingerbread Stout
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout
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Style:
Stout - Sweet / Milk
Ranked #29
ABV:
9.2%
Score:
96
Ranked #775
Avg:
4.32 | pDev: 10.65%
Reviews:
243
Ratings:
1,540
From:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
 
Virginia, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  671
Gots
  524
SCORE
96
World-Class
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout
Notes: Brewed with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer Farms, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout captures the terroir of central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of flavors from milk chocolate and vanilla to honeycomb and cinnamon to a snap of ginger in the finish.

Deep, dark chocolate in color with a mahogany tint and a frothy, caramel colored head, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout offers aromatics of holiday spice originating from the ginger, and balanced with a generous dose of whole Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and Vietnamese cinnamon. Milk sugar (lactose) contributes to the full body of this stout and tames its roasty character, while oats lend a silky quality. Enjoy fresh, or cellar for a special occasion. We hope Hardywood Gingerbread Stout contributes to your merriment this season.

55 IBU
Reviews: 243 | Ratings: 1,540 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ScruffySouthpaw:
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a goblet from the can.

Appearance: Thin body with a dark brown body and a off white head coming with a tan head maybe rising half a finger's length off the body.

Smell: Ginger and heavy molasses aroma but hits like a one night stand.

Taste: Sweet molasses and hea y Ginger coming off a lightly spicy.

Mouth: Soft body. Well sticky enough to clean your palate.

Overall: Great grab, spicy with hints of nutmeg and coffee. Salud!

Nov 25, 2021
More User Reviews:
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HumanParaquat from Indiana

3.2/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

2014 vintage
I don't quite get this one, but apparently I'm in the minority based on other reviews. Fresh ginger is definitely present in the nose and the taste, but it's quite lacking in gingerbread cookie and milk stout flavors (like I was hoping for). Instead it tastes and smells more like somebody mixed a light stout with Coca-Cola and a Jamaican ginger beer soda. It's also quite thin with more carbonation than it should have. I was hoping for a thicker body with more robust and cookie-like stout flavors, so this is very disappointing.

Dec 24, 2014
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Coming off of the heels of the recent holiday season where a few of these "gingerbread" stouts emerged, I found myself discrediting the combination of taste as being underwhelming at best or even messy. But Hardywood has taught me something else- maybe these varying flavors can marry up pretty well.

But like many a stout, the beer pours with a very dark black, seeming darker than I expected somehow. Its mocha froth caps the beer with a sturdy foam stance that outlasts the beer in the session and laces evenly 'til the last sip.

Though the stout flavors are certainly strong enough to qualify, it is edged out by the desert scent of gingerbread snaps. Molasses, ginger, clove, nutmeg, and graham cracker all align on the nasal cavity just the same way as baking the snaps themselves. But underneath all that are the stout-like aromas of strong roast coffee, baker's chocolate, candy shops, and burnt bread.

Flavors are more balanced than the nose let on so that the melange of taste starts sweet and ends spicy. Molasses, confectioner's sugar, and heavy whipping cream allows for a creamy sweet taste of pulled candy and marzipan to start the show. Roasted elements of French-press coffee, sweetened cocoa, roasted almonds, and burnt grain all rise closely behind and give a robust flavor to balance the initial sweetness. And then all of those Christmas spices settle in as the roast trails for a strong and seductive medley.

Firm support for all that roast and spice has got to come from more than just the caramelized grain sweetness and starch. The "milk" portion of the beer wraps around the carbonation and gives the beer its milkshake-like consistency. The beer's support holds strong until very deep in the session where coffee-like bitterness, spicy warmth, and an echo of molasses brings the beer to closure.

The beer works because it is a stout first. Knowing that the dryness will expose flaws in taste and throw off the balance, it is propped up with an enormously creamy texture and taste- proving to this skeptic that stout and gingerbread can indeed play nicely with one another.

Feb 22, 2013
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BeerAdvocate from California

4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #63 (Apr 2012):

LOOK: Full-on black; milky coffee lacing

SMELL: Cinnamon sugar, ginger, clove, cardamom, toasted raisin bread, icing, clean alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, firm, silky; gingerbread, molasses, espresso roastiness, sweetness, fig, brown malt, bread crust, honey, cinnamon, fresh vanilla bean, lactose sugars

Label says “Gingerbread Stout,” and it delivers. Aroma and flavors are spot-on. Tastes like freagin' Christmas in a bottle actually, with layer upon layer building on the palate with each sip. Hell, they even nailed the damn sugary frosting on the gingerbread man. Run, run, as fast as you can! We want more!

Feb 14, 2013
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tectactoe from Michigan

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to smokeypeat for this one - I love me some gingerbread. GBS pours an intensely dark brown that appears basically black once it groups up in the glass. The cap is nicely foamy and thick, khaki-colored, and has nice retention. Some chunky lacing is left near the top of the glass as well - very nice looking stout.

Hardywood certainly nailed what they were going for in the aroma - lots of warm, sprucy ginger that is met in equal parts by heaps of doughy, cookie-like malts. The combination forms a nice gingerbread cookie aroma that sends you back to making the festive treats during Christmastime. Some other spices lie a little deeper in the aroma, the most notable being cinnamon. Very lively and certainly unique.

Just like the aroma, the first sip explodes with a mirage of flavors that is so delicately reminiscent of the little men-shaped cookies. Gingerbread spice, shortbread, cinnamon, brown sugar... Very sweet and delicate, but balance quite nicely with a slight bit of warmth from the alcohol. The finish has some faint cocoa powder that's easily recognizable, but this beer is all the the gingerbread.

Some light ashiness in the middle-end that seems like it might be from the hops, though the hops themselves induce no extra flavors (no leaves, florals, or anything like that). In all honesty, I'm quite surprised by how much this beer actually resembles a gingerbread cookie. Pretty thick body, lightly creamy and just shy of chewy. Would have like to see just a bit more carbonation, but the mouth feel was still pretty nice.

The people I was with didn't love gingerbread cookies like I did, so they weren't as crazy about this beer as I was. I love gingerbread cookies and I thought this was damn good. A little more complexity or development wouldn't hurt, but they were going for a gingerbread cookie beer and that's pretty much what they got. Sweet without being cloyingly so. Very solid stout for those that love the little cookie-men.

May 13, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with an inch or so of foam; a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Chocolate and gingerbread, chocolate and gingerbread etc., honeyed tones underneath

Taste: Black bread and milk chocolate with a developing gingerbread and honey character; in the middle, the gingery-gingerbread character really dominates, though the milk chocolate tones linger underneath through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit less carbonated on tap, which is better for this brew

Overall: I heard good things about this beer from hoppedup (for those who remember him from this site) and decided to drive to Richmond for the release; glad I did as this is a great beer and is nicely differentiated from a lot of the other big stouts that get released around these parts

Nov 22, 2012
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StoneTSR from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Black beer with some ruby red shining through around the edges. About a quarter-inch of foam covered the surface for 30 seconds or so when it was first poured, but disappeared almost entirely after that.

SMELL: Well, good start with this beer! It smells like candied ginger.

TASTE: BIG ginger taste with a little sugary sweetness and dark chocolate. A hint of roast, but not enough to make it taste coffee-like. As the beer warms some more subtle flavors come out with a little more spice, some vanilla and the chocolate intensifies too.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big body. The carbonation is very light, but enough ginger to provide a little bite.

OVERALL: The aggressive ginger sets this apart from some other beers brewed with ginger that I've had. And, I'd put this near the top of that very specialized category. Good stuff.

May 09, 2015
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours a very strong head that comes in the forms of small dark tan bubbles. The beer itself is a very dark brown that almost appears black. The beer leaves quite a bit of lacing.

The beer smell has very strong spice notes and honey notes. The spices come in the form of ginger and cinnamon while the honey comes off as sweet but not artificially and adds a smoothness to the smell that isn't normally found. The smell also has milk chocolate notes that actually gets a little lost in the honey, but supplements its sweetness with a tiny hint of bitterness.

The beer has a very strong gingerbread and spicy taste to it. The beer has various spices from ginger to cinnamon to a very strong honey taste. The beer also has a milk chocolate taste but the more dominate notes seem to be the honey and spices, which is fantastic when combine with the chocolate. In this case, dominate is a relative term, the different tastes work very well together that it is hard to describe any of the notes without referencing the others. All I can say is that this beer is absolutely divine in its taste.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and velvety. The tiny carbonation adds a little bit texture but mainly adds to the velvet feel. The beer is heavy bodied but surprisingly light due to the use of honey.

Overall, this is the perfect beer. I can find very few flaws, but event those aren't worth mentioning. This beer is, without a doubt, one of the best stouts ever produced. The The way the ingredients work together to create a wonderful and complex, yet simple, taste and smell is amazing. You really have to buy this beer to understand just how good it is.

Dec 17, 2014
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obywan59 from Virginia

4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Totally black except for a thin ruby ring around the base of the glass. 4 finger mounding tan head leaving moderate lacing.

Scent of vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Wildflower honey and alcohol combine for an almost vinous aroma. Spiced dark fruits and dark chocolate or chocolate cookie dough.

Sweet dark molasses with vanilla and hints of ginger and cinnamon. A tart vinous aspect with chocolate milk and burnt malt.

Rich and full in body. Carbonation is tempered by the milky character. Syrupy cling yields great retention.

A great beer. Warming but not overly hot, and rich in flavor and aroma. A good holiday brew.

Dec 01, 2015
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours out dark brown, almost black, into Corsondonk goblet with a 1/4" layer of dark tan foam. There is little lacing. Sipping creates a few patches of foam on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is filled with gingerbread spices and dark milk chocolate. There also seems to be something a lot like a dark bread but it's hard to be sure as it's so well integrated in the the whole.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose but with the dark milk chocolate and light sweetness moving forward as the gingerbread flavors become as the supporting cast. While it's clear there's ginger in here, the other gingerbread spices are so well integrated with each other than none really stands out. The flavor profile is quite complex so that every time I think I've identified one spice I realize it's mixed in with other things.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side of medium bodied and creamy smooth with some light, persistent carbonation. The fairly long finish begins as the gingerbread spices briefly trade places with the dark milk chocolate as the sweetness starts to fade. Then everything moves towards the back of the palate as it turns dry. Towards the end all that remains is a bit of dry dark roast malt bitterness leaving what seems like a bit of chalky dryness at the end. Then all is gone.

Overall this is a really good beer which delivers the expected flavors and is a pleasure to drink. The flavors are complex and well integrated so that no indivdual component stands entirely alone and above the others. No question in my mind I'll be having this one again. If you want something to serve before or after a holiday dinner, take a close look at this one.

Dec 19, 2016
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.38/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2014 release. Guess this is 3 years old.

Dark chocolate brown body with a pinkish beige 2 finger head.

Aromas of ginger, maple sap, oatmeal, chocolate, and alcohol - I wanna say bourbon sweetness although there's no barrel to be found in the recipe. Lots of delicious spices waft up to the olfactory too.

Flavor is mostly absent honestly...and by that I mean it hides behind a watery body to start. I'm guessing this has to be consumed fresh. Behind the water, I get old crumbled gingerbread man, coffee grounds, molasses, nutmeg, and red hots. Ending on coffee and sympathetic fake sugar with breaths of ginger. As it warms it just gets awful. Awful.

Feel is pretty watery, but leaves an interesting coating on the palate, with some roasty dryness and biting carbonation. Just way too thin for a stout in any instance.

Well, Gingerbread Stout was a fail for me. Having a real hard time finishing it. I honestly think it's something that needs to be consumed fresh. Unfortunate, but I guess I can cross this off my list now :-(

Jan 10, 2017
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driverm11 from Virginia

5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on draft at Founding Farmers in Tysons, VA. Had searched for it with no success after foolishly passing it on the Trader Joe's shelf. Indebted to my wife who found it for me. Can't believe how good it is: 100% lived up to the hype. I laughed after tasting it, because I couldn't believe how perfect it tasted. Made me finally get a BA account and write a review. Not exaggerating when I tell people it's the best beer I've ever had.

Very dark brown, not quite black, nice head and a whiff of cinnamon chocolate on top. Honey comes through with subtle chocolate and coffee, inside of a very Christmas-like gingerbread, not just ginger, as advertised. Absolutely delicious.

So smooth, you have to pace yourself conservatively at 9.2%, and with the taste so great, that's tough. Left holding a growler like I'd found buried treasure.

*The review is of the draft I had. Only knock would be that when I later found bottles, as to be somewhat expected, they tasted markedly less complex than the draft, with a more pronounced gingerbread, and less of the subtle mocha richness of the draft. Could be temperature, or other variables out of Hardywood's control. These differences varied.

Jan 04, 2016
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waltc21 from Virginia

3.99/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe I just dont get it.Taste was full, but I felt the gingerbread was way too overwhelming.

Jan 13, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Mar 08, 2012
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nathanmiller from New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jun 18, 2015
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Zaphog from Michigan

3.96/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 23, 2015
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dji43466 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Dec 27, 2012
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fthegiants from California

3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nov 19, 2014
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SmoothOneTwo

5/5  rDev +15.7%

Oct 27, 2014
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Aewachiw from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nov 07, 2021
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oberon from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours more of a dark cola color with a thinner but well retained with a deep ginger bread colored head atop.Ginger and underlying cinnamon stick out most in the nose,ginger really comes thru as it warms.Nice subtle complexities on the palate,starting out with a tinge of vanilla,then bitter chocolate,the ginger is less pronounced on the palate then the nose but that's a good thing here,a shot of roast/char comes in and lingers in the finish.The creamy texture is spot on for the flavor profile,a really nice holiday stout.

Dec 20, 2018
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BeerRay from Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 18, 2017
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Schlais from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Jan 08, 2013
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hornsup from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Nov 22, 2013
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reebtaerG from Maryland

4.79/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dec 26, 2014
Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1540 ratings