Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
191 Reviews
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
hardywood.com

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by TechTriumph on 12-08-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
191
Ratings:
1,382
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
652
Gots:
493
For Trade:
56
User Reviews
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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 1,382
Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. 2014 vintage. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Black with 1/2-finger beige foamy head with decent retention but no lacing.

S: Heavy ginger and cinnamon on this one with a bit of figgy dark fruit and light booziness/rum raisin flavor.

T: The flavor is also over gingered and cinnamoned with very light roast, fig and raisin fruitiness which is faint but is totally dominated by the ginger spice addition. Too much for me. Also some molasses and light vanilla most noticeable in the finish.

M: Thinner than I imagined given that it is a milk stout but plenty drinkable, low carbonation, medium body .

O: Not my cup of tea -- you had better like ginger and spiced beer in general if you want to try this beer. This is a very fresh bottle, maybe sitting on this for awhile would have helped but not up my alley.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

At first, this smells like a ginger bomb. But letting it open up some will reveal some subtle vanilla and cinnamon. I also get a little milk sugar in the form of a cream note. It comes together very well, but it's a touch mild. And the flavor profile is even milder. It opens up with a touch of lactose sweetness, and trails off into a spicy finish. I do pick up light ginger and cinnamon, and I'm glad both notes aren't overpowering everything else. Trouble is, everything else tastes dinky - really dinky. This is a perfect example of overt subtlety, as it makes the whole beer seem far weaker than 9%. On the plus side, it seems far weaker than 9%, which means the drinkability is excellent. Granted, it's excessively thin bodied, and 5% stouts have more flavor than this, but still. This is one dangerous brew. I wonder if this isn't as good on tap as it is in the bottle, because this growler is a massive letdown. It's wimpy tasting, plain and simple. And to think this is the most hyped beer in the DMV area...

I've got a bottle on standby, maybe that will be better. Watch for a pending re-review.

EDIT: And here we go, finishing this growler off at a colder temperature, it's really improved nicely. Now, it has a genuine presence of gingerbread cookies, a much bigger flavor, and seemingly a thicker feel (though that may be due to the lowered carbonation). I still don't think it quite lives up to all the hype, but I definitely think it deserves a much higher score than what I originally gave it.

3.48/5: Hey, it'll land Heady Topper in a trade...

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 bomb, Thanks @blackie

This bottle of Gingerbread Stout is forever memorialized in my couch cushion. Dark chocolate body, off-putting thick brown foam which typically is the first sign of an unsettling mouthfeel. Perhaps thats just the "terroir of Central Virginia". Jeez, what a joke.

I'm surprised the additions of ginger and honey didn't do it for me, but this just seemed too gimmicky and really disappointing. Worst Christmas ever :(

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Photo of BltByKrmn
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2016 batch, bottle into a red wine glass.

I don't quite understand the hype on this one. As someone else mentioned here it's as if someone mixed an OK base stout with Coca-Cola and ginger beer. The ginger isn't very pronounced, I get zero cinnamon or sweetness and the mouth feel is on the thin side.

Not bad but not something I would seek out.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle served in a Hardywood goblet. Thanks Thorpe.

Pours a ruby tinged cola brown with a light camel colored head that fades to a thin collar with no lace and minimal retention. Smells like a container of McCormick's cinnamon and light vanilla. Powdery, indeterminate spice, mild vanilla, nutmeg, mild and balanced but artificial. Medium light, soft carbonation and a powdery finish, thin throughout. Flavor is a little sweeter up front, honey and chocolate with an all spice, nutmeg and cinnamon in the finish. Balanced and not cloying, but I don't get it. If I want a stout ill drink one, this tastes nothing like one. Watery gingerbread and cinnamon in a glass. Not for me.

 685 characters

Photo of jeonseh
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a big full head that sits on top

S - Fresh ginger and spice dominate this nose against slight chocolate background. Roasted chocolate and vanilla

T - Chocolate, vanilla and gingerbread on the back end. Dark fruit presence in the middle that reminds of really dark chocolate. Slightly artificial tasting gingerbread in the back end. Roasted and astringent chocolate lingers in the finish. There is also a very slight heat from the gingerbread

M - Medium body with low carbonation. Decently astringent near the finish and a slight heat from the ginger

O - Decent gingerbread stout that had a bit too much astringency from the dark chocolate that overpowers the gingerbread aspect. Also, I found it to taste slightly artificial

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hardywood gingerbread stout shared at RBWG-2014

Slight harshness/burn from the ginger.

Aroma is balanced, with a moderate dose of ginger.

The ginger is way more pronounced in the mouth. I did adjust as I drank but it still seemed a bit overdone even at the end.

Full body.

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Photo of GJ40
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Duvel glass.

A deep black with no light coming through and a moderate beige head. Aroma is not as strong as I thought it would be. Some ginger with hints of brown sugar and chocolate. Flavor is also tame with a moderate malt sweetness that dominates. Some chocolate as well but very little ginger. It's not quite as thick and creamy as I'd expect from the style.

A good beer but a little dull. I expected more.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade at the Bourbon GBS release.

A: Black pour, that hints towards brown, that doesn't give much of a head even with a vigorous pour. What is there is brown, but it recedes really quickly and doesn't leave much lacing. You can see through it at the edges.

S: The aroma is very focused on the gingerbread, but there's a lot of sweetness from the lactose in there. Booze comes out, which sort of throws the balance out of whack. I feel like the body of the aroma is missing something holding it all together, but it's still pretty decent.

T: It really tastes like a milk stout on gingerbread steroids. The sugars, lactose, and sweetness, probably from the honey, provide a base and the gingerbread comes second, and in a big way. This beer really is completely focused on the spice, which includes cinnamon at some points. The issue is that the booze, again throws the balance off somewhat. There is a ton going on here, but they've managed to make it work together. I must say that typically I steer clear of milk stouts, but this one I found to be pretty enjoyable. The chocolate, milk, and ginger really do remind me of Christmas.

MF: The mouthfeel is where this beer really doesn't hold up. It's too thin (which really worries me for the bourbon barrel aged version), and it can't seem to hold up to the big flavors that it's trying the let out. The finish leaves a strange aftertaste.

O: This was a really great milk stout and I'm glad I got to try it. It did impress me for the style, but overall I don't think I'd go for another bottle. Kudos to you Hardywood for making a well thought out, and well execute release.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle from the 2013 release. Poured into a GLBC snifter today, 1/12/2014.

Pours a very dark brown, looks black but illuminates brown; with a very effervescent tan head that retains quite well. Lots of lacing. Looks like what I would expect a gingerbread stout to be!

Smells like a gingerbomb. Disappointing really. It's as if someone dropped a bunch of chopped ginger root into a glass of water and left it there for a week. There are no other notes of spices or malts in this beer, it's actually quite off-putting.

Flavour is much better than it smells, though that's not saying much. I do get some more spices- cinnamon, clove- along with faint hints of milk chocolate malt and lactose.. but not nearly enough sweetness to balance out the ginger. The flavour profile actually isn't bad, it's the intensity of the ginger on its own plus the mouthfeel that kills it.

It's quite thin bodied, watery. Carbonation is decent, but not enough to make up for the wateriness. The aftertaste of strong ginger makes this a hard one to drink.

I ended up pouring out my pour after a while. I just couldn't finish drinking my pour due to the strength of the ginger overpowering the rest of the components of the beer. Good idea, terrible execution. Not recommended on my part. Apparently I don't like strong ginger flavours.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, corked and caged

Black, tan colored head, good retention. Ginger spice around, maybe some cinnamon too, and a touch of roast. Similar taster, thicker bodied. Overall just a bit more spice than I would like.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gingerbread Stout pours a big black color, small head. There is a veyr nice sweet gingerbread aroma, very toasty. The flavor is big, sweet, sugary with big gingerbread flavors. Big flavors, but a little too sweet for me.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 2 glasses of 2015 into stout glasses. First is typical imperial stout - essentially black, nice foamy tan head. However, glass 2 was murky, milky with lots of particulate matter and settlement. Glass 1 would get a 4 for appearance but the 2nd part of the bottle would get a 1. This, visually, is one of the least appealing beers I've ever seen.

Nose, flavor, feel are all solid. Exactly as expected - ginger, vanilla, and an extra boost of sweet from the honey. Nice drying effect from the ginger, creamy mouthfeel. It's fine, but I do not get the 100 score here - perhaps the recipe has changed over the years?

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours black, little to no brown along the edges. a finger or less of a light tan head forms with lower retention and little to no lacing. opaque with darkness.

Smell: strong ginger, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and clove. hints at dark fruits and roasted to caramelized malts.

Taste: opens up with a strong kick of ginger, along with some graham cracker like malts. spices come through strong with cinnamon taking the lead but nutmeg and clove not far behind. the base beer is barely able to show its way through these additives with just some sweet notes of caramelized malts and a hint of bitter espresso.

Mouthfeel: hot but not because of alcohol. actually feels really light on alcohol despite its 9%. the body is fairly full and sticky.

Overall: This certainly is a holiday beer, lots of good strong flavors, very reminiscent of a ginger bread cookie. but not the type of beer I will go crazy for. definitely a cool experience or

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -11%

Deep dark brown in color. Mild roast in the nose that is accompanied by some sweetness. The flavor profile is mildly roasty complimented by gingerbread and something else sweet – maybe honey. The alcohol presence on the finish is a bit surprising given that there are a number of 10%+ stouts that hide their alcohol better.

I wanted to like it much better than I actually did - oh well.

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Photo of claspada
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown color with a medium size tan head slowly recedes to leave some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with bakers cocoa and ample gingerbread, toasted brown bread and some sweeter honey notes. There is some lesser vanilla and cinnamon but the ginger and a slightly sourish notes.

The tastes begin with some brown bread and milk chocolate with a solid growing gingerbread and honey/molasses sweetness. The ginger is pretty predominant here as well with lesser baker's cocoa. The vanilla and cinnamon are also there but ginger overpowers once again. There are some serious fruity esters which emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly estery and spicy from the added spice.

Overall while this was a nice beer it is not a 100. It's a solid example of a spiced stout but it lacks a little balance and this comes from someone that loves spice, pumpkin and holiday beers. I think the hype train may have gotten a little off the tracks on this one which is why I ignore those review numbers on the top of the page and so should you.

 1,130 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Almost black. Minuscule khaki head that settles to swirls on the surface.

Smell - Tons of gingerbread. Cinnamon and other Christmas spices. Some chocolate.

Taste - Wow. Lots of ginger. Closer to gingersnaps than gingerbread. Strong cinnamon again. Some chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe too thin for such a big stout with big flavors. Well carbonated.

Overall - The spices elevate this beyond the what the base stout seems to deliver.

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Photo of jegross2
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery out of Richmond, Virginia.

Score: 88

2012 vintage bottle served in a Goose Island Chicago flag snifter and enjoyed on 04/02/13.

Appearance: Black in color, though it turns a slightly brownish soda color when held up to the light. Pours two fingers of fizzy tan head that settles to a thin fizzy ring around the glass. Has a surprisingly effervescent appearance even after the head settles. Poor lacing, below average retention. 3/5

Smell: Biscuity malt, grain, fizzy vanilla soda, brown sugar and faint cinnamon. There is also a gingerbread cookie dough smell present, but it is not nearly as pronounced as anticipated. 3.5/5

Taste: Has an unimpressive biscuity and fizzy stout flavor upfront, but before you can be too disappointed that flavor is immediately supplanted by a wonderful medley of spices, chocolate and gingerbread cookie flavor. Some sweet honey flavor too. This beer has a nice amount of sweetness, but is well-balanced. The spice finish is quite wonderful! If only the upfront flavor was not there. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Mouthfeel falls somewhere between silky and creamy, with some fizziness. 3.5/5

Overall: Taste is what matters most in a beer, and this one has a really good flavor save for an initial disappointing flavor that hits the palate. This beer has a lot of potential, and I would loved to see what a little refining of the recipe could accomplish.

Pairing: Creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Trust me on this one!



Cost: $12 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cocoa, and lots of gingerbread spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a gingerbread cookie flavor 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 that is tasty but smells slightly better in my opinion.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging. The head is tan colored and peaks at a finger's width. Fair retention before breaking down to a thin, consistent layer of suds across the surface.

Smell - Cinnamon and clove hits the nose first. Lesser aroma of baked pie crust and ginger. Faint vanilla and milk chocolate.

Taste - Certainly sweet, with gingerbread and lesser chocolate milk notes making up the bulk of the flavor. Light cinnamon gives it a touch of spice. A hint of vanilla is in there somewhere, along with faint roasted malt. That baked cookie/pie crust toastiness creeps in near the finish. Very much a 'gingerbread' finish.

Mouthfeel - Near full body with low-to-moderate carbonation. Texture exhibits both slick and creamy qualities, and makes it go down stupid easy. Slightly dry, boozy finish.

Overall - Well executed brew, and I can certainly appreciate the thought and effort that went into making it, but it's simply not my cup of tea. That said, I can see why people love it, and I wouldn't be opposed to drinking it again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of teromous
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't see any date listed on the bottle or the label.

Appearance: It's a black beer with a thick creamy light-khaki head. Great retention and lacing, especially for a 9.2% ABV beer.

Aroma: I am picking up a light but pleasant ginger aroma.

Taste: I am getting a nice combination of ginger and cinnamon but mostly cinnamon. There is a bit of a toasted bitterness at the end. It has quite a lot of spice which seems to really hide the flavor of the base beer but the overall flavor is still good.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice thick mouthfeel with a light touch of bitterness at the end.

Overall: This is a very enjoyable beer and if you are looking for something that tastes like gingerbread then you will find it here. There is a lot of spice to the beer (mostly cinnamon) so keep that in mind before jumping in. In a nutshell I would recommend it if you like spice in beers and I would drink it again.

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am glad that I got to try this one; however, it simply didn't meet that hype. Perhaps it's my disdain for gingerbread. Even so, it didn't really remind me of a gingerbread cookie at all. It definitely inundated my palate with spices, which one typically associates with the Christmas season. Don't get the wrong impression. This is definitely an above average brew, but it's not one I would waste my time trading for again.

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Photo of Etan
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a snifter.

A. Brownish-black with a large light-beige head.

S. Fresh ginger, all-spice, roasted grain, some vague malty sweetness behind.

T. Pretty roasty, with a relatively restrained spice profile, mild honey, dry cocoa.

M. Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation

O. This tastes pretty nice, and compares favorably to other gingerbread stouts I've had due to a bit of restraint in the spice department. It's over-carbonated, though, so the mouthfeel suffers.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wide snifter. Pours a deep, opaque black with a khaki head that dissipates very slowly and leaves some lacing on the side of the glass. Very pretty pour. Smell is a bit muted and dissapointing, with just a touch of burnt sugar and spices, but nothing that really jumps out. Flavor is much more pronounced. Flavors start with lactose sweetness, caramel, roasted flavors, then transition to spices, ginger mainly and maybe clove or nutmeg, lastly you get the sweetness again. Feel is full bodied, with a sweet finish. Overall, I like this but find it hard to understand it's hype. This baby is beloved here in Richmond, but for me, it's just too sweet. However, I'm (pretty much) vegan, so it's possible that maybe I'm just not used to the flavor and sweetness of lactose or that I'm just not used to this style that I've only dabbled in a few times (hence being "pretty much" vegan). I like it, but it's not something I'd go crazy for.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle into #properglassware. Shared with schen9303.

Extremely aromatic nose. Hints of ginger, sugar cookie, cinnamon, chocolate and lactose. Very sweet with a big dose of spice. Unique. Flavor starts off sweet. Gingerbread, sugar cookie, chocolate, cinnamon spice and other Christmas spices. Molasses in the back with a touch of booziness on the finish. This one's chewy on the palate. Thick, rich and dense with the slightest hint of bubbles but the spice component keeps it lively in the mouth. Finishes a bit hot but its welcome.

A great base beer for accepting additional flavors and I can see why Hardywood decides to do variations of this one.

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 1,382 ratings.
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