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Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
178 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:
178
Ratings:
1,342
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
11.21%
 
 
Wants:
654
Gots:
490
For Trade:
60
User Reviews
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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 1,342
Photo of cjgiant
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

On tap:
Looking at the bottom of my first glass, can tell the beer is lacking any haziness, and may be more dark brown than black. I get little head in the new pour (which was to the brim). Even the collection at the edges is quite thin, however. The nose is graham cracker, cinnamon, of course ginger. Ginger snap is in the impression I get.

To me, this beer needs a little warming, which isn't abnormal for a stout, but I also don't think the improvement in that difference between cold and at temp is as great as in other stouts. The front tastes are definitely roasted malt standards, bitter coffee and some cocoa to me. The ginger adds a bite early into the transition to mid-taste, which itself adds the ginger snap spices to the flavor profile. I think the ginger bite makes up for what I do believe is a flatter beer. The body is actually pretty full, and there is a balancing bitterness that keep this from being a pure dessert beer. There is also a sort of oily lingering feel.

Definitely a decent beer, and a fairly unique one to my experiences. I'm not sure it resonates with me, but I can appreciate why others like it. Won't avoid it in the future, for sure.

 1,184 characters

Photo of JayQue
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Stout, Not often do I choose a strong stout in the summertime, but I wanted to try this one after some yard work. Pours a dense black color with a huge dark tan head. Head retention is good and no light gets through the glass. Aroma is good but is still the least impressive part of this beer. Some malt and a little ginger are present in the aroma. Flavor is very impressive. The ginger and cinnamon taste like the actual fresh spices not the hodge-podge potpourri like so many beers that feature ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or other"holiday type spices.The spices are backed up by a slightly sweet milk stout. With so much flavor going on, whatever lactose flavor that might be present in a milk stout is not apparent. Mouthfeel is great. Smooth and rich like a milk stout should be. No hint of the alcohol. The spices play well on the tongue. This is a superior beer for all seasons.

 905 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a light brownish head.

It smells incredible. Fresh-baked gingerbread. Loads of ginger. Kind of spicy.

Smooth, unassuming. at first it's lackluster, but then on the endtaste the cinnamon kicks in and I just ride the spice.

A bit thin. The ginger is fresh and raw and I like it.

Really fun! Recommended!

 319 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to sincereNc for sharing this one at a past Random Sunday Tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, ginger, cookie, sugar, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, gingerbread, ginger, sugar, and spice. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The brewery really nailed the gingerbread cookie aspect here if I am honest. It almost tasted like you were drinking a gingerbread man in all his glory. Very well balanced and complex. This made it quite inviting and would make it a perfect candidate for a dessert beer. Very well done and I hope I get to try more of it in the future.

 873 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown as it pours, very deep black in the glass. A nice sized milk chocolate colored head floats on top of it.

S: There is a nice cocoa powder smell at first. Followed by ginger, cinnamon, and perhaps vanilla. The spices mix well with the bready grain smells, and meld together to smell a lot like frosted ginger snaps. Perhaps just a hint of yeast in the finish.

T: Ginger, and a nice caramel flavor come out first. The caramel blends into the bready flavors and really combines well to make a gingerbread flavor. There is a hint of black licorice in the finish, as well as some earthy bitterness, and dark chocolate. The alcohol is certainly present, but not overbearing.

M: Medium thick on mouthfeel. The carbonation is fairly fine in size, and adds a certain creaminess to it.

O: Overall I think this beer does a good job of treading a fine line between imperial stout and holiday beer. It's a nice enough stout that I would drink it normally, but spiced enough to celebrate the season.

 1,006 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

2014 Vintage.
750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Near-black with almost 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Gingerbread cookies, cinnamon, mint, caramel, roasted barley, and chocolate. Extremely aromatic!

Taste
The spices dominate; ginger, cinnamon, and even some mint leaves. They seem to add a substantial bitterness. Gingersnap cookies, roasted barley, earthy char, and caramel. Bitter dark chocolate and cocoa nib. Slight lactose sweetness. Some floral / pine notes stand out in the finish.

Mouthfeel
Medium-plus bodied, silky, sticky, off-dry, and well carbonated.

Overall
Drier than I expected with some heavy handed spicing. However it still remains very decadent and rich. Hides the 9.2% well.

 734 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Date: 02/25/2013
Type: 750ml. Bottle
Glass: Southampton Tulip
Vintage: 2012

Pours a black in color w/ a 1 to 11/2 finger tan head that left medium lacing. Aromas of roasted chocolate, honey, ginger, and vanilla bean. The flavor is of a gingerbread cookie folded into layers of roasted chocolate notes w/ enough hop bite on the finish to prevent cloying. Medium bodied and very creamy and lush w/ a bit too much carbonation. Drank my 16oz. glass w/ ease as the ABV is not at all noticeable. This brew presents a liquified gingerbread cookie taste while maintaining the stout components which makes it a success.

Overall, a fantastic brew that tastes like what it was intended to taste like, a gingerbread cookie stout. After drinking this brew, The Boston Beer Co. should be ashamed of their horrid tasting Gingerbread Christmas Stout! This brew would be all-world if the carbonation was turned down a bit which was too high for my liking. The high carbonation keeps the beer from getting heavy and makes it more drinkable, but makes it too pillowy in the mouth for the rich flavors to grab hold and be enjoyed to their fullest. Anyway, I am glad I have 2 more bottles of this brew in transit to me as we speak, as I would gladly drink this again.

 1,248 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 10.24.13

A - Pours a medium to dark brown with a large light tan head that never fades.

S - Ginger, sweet and lots of chocolate.

T - Gingerbread cookie, Done!

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Gingerbread in full force. Nicely done, very good!

 276 characters

Photo of bum732
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Prominent spicy ginger, cinnamon, some roastiness, perceived sugar, vanilla and vanilla wafers.

L: Very dark brown, light tan head that dissipates to a ring of foam.

T: Coffee roasty malt with a backbone of ginger. Low bitterness with a soft honey sweetness emerging. Cappucino flavors, sweet milk into the finish with some cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Medium bodied, creamy on the palate. Medium low carbonation. Touch of alcoholic heat.

Not bad, I just wish the flavors were a little more intense. That being said, a very unique beer with great flavors overall.

 565 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage 750ml cork & caged bottle poured into a teku glass

A- pours pitch black in color with a small creamy khaki colored head that reduces to a thin film on top and a ring around the edges

S- heavy fresh ginger aroma up front, quickly followed by some milky lactose sweetness. Underlying aromas of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla bean, honey, graham cracker, cocoa & burnt bread crust. None of these aromas are strong, but all discernable

T- the base milk stout is immediately noticeable with a sweetness that hits the tongue and adds a sugary aspect. The spices kick in after, with flavors of fresh ginger, cinnamon, clove & nutmeg. Notes of molasses and burnt bread mix with cocoa and chocolate. The linger leaves flavors of vanilla bean and gingerbread, with a light honey sweetness

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthful and a smooth silky finish

O- the spicy/sweet flavors seem to be in constant battle, which makes for a tasty brew. The sweetness of the milk stout make it quite drinkable for over 9% ABV

 1,065 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours brown but looks black in the glass. It dad a half finger of head trust fades fast
S: chocolate, slight cinnamon, overall sweet but lacking a big pop.
T: nice chocolate and bigger than the nose cinnamon.
F: super smooth, but a lighter feel.

 249 characters

Photo of MCain04
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a Surly Darkness tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown, with a large frothy beige head, good retention, some lacing.

Smells like cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, other spices, some sweetness and toffee.

Taste is gingerbread and nutmeg, some milk chocolate and vanilla, nice spicy notes.

Mouthfeel is moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied, nice dry finish, a little too fizzy to be called smooth though.

Overall, this is probably better fresh, but is still a very solid spiced stout which is enjoyable by the fire on a nice cold night.

 578 characters

Photo of VT08Hokie
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer was most likely over hyped before i first had it, which doesn't help the problem. When I read "gingerbread", I expected this punch of spice along with the ginger. Its missing that initial hit. Otherwise, very well executed. I've gone way out of the way to get it and will continue to do so if necessary.

 317 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 2,105 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours basically a black body with two finger khaki head that quickly fades but leaves a smattering of lace patches here and there.
The aroma is dominated by the sweeter aspects of the beer as I mostly get ginger, cinnamon, hint of milk chocolate or maybe just milk/lactic qualities that can be found in sweeter stouts, and then I get minor bready and roasted malts.
While I have a sweet tooth and enjoy sweet stouts, thankfully this beer is more balanced in body and taste than the aroma or it may been too sweet to drink.
For a higher ABV stout and with everything going on in this beer it is actually smooth, creamy, real easy to drink. There are roasted malts in there for balance and a bread (or cookie) like dryness that adds a chewiness to the beer at times as well as also maintains balance.
The beer's sweetness is definitely there as you can detect ginger, vanilla (maybe from the booze) milk/milk chocolate (there is a very light chocolate sweetness in here), and at times it felt like I was having a liquefied ginger snap (that comparison might turn some people off but I have always enjoyed a good ginger snap).
Definitely a dessert beer in the sense that it's worth having alone or only paired with dessert, but that doesn't mean it's some sweet beer knockoff that isn't a great beer on its merits.

 1,313 characters

Photo of BrewerB
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks goes to miikezombie for sending this my way. Apparently this one's quite highly rated here by both users and The Bros so I'm looking forward to it. Despite the recommendation of a pint glass, I'm pouring this 9.2% ABV stout into a snifter from Cigar City. Dark brown/black in color with a thick mousse-like light tan head. Ginger comes up quickly in the aromas with cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. There's a picture of a gingerbread cookie on the label and they certainly nailed the aroma. More of this cookie-like quality comes through in the flavor with cinnamon taking a bigger leap forward. Still lots of ginger. Milk chocolatey. Certainly hop flavor was an afterthought here though there's enough bitterness to keep things from going off-track. Silky velvety texture with sufficient carbonation. While it may be 5 months past Christmas this is still tasting fantastic. Certainly one I'd like to revisit again down the road, perhaps in the appropriate time of year and a tad closer to bottling.

 1,011 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out brown and fills the glass with blackness revealing some brown in the light. A fluffy head builds up slowly receding and leaving some stick behind.

The smell is full of ginger right off the bat. Floral honey sweetness. Cinnamon and spicy but that's probably just coming off the ginger. Chocolate.

Ginger again is prominent, sweet chocolate and vanilla, cinnamon. Gets a little sticky in the lips. Super smooth medium body with soft carbonation. Feels magnificent.

 475 characters

Photo of rjs246
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Everyone absolutely loves this stuff, whereas I merely like it. A lot. It's nearly impossible to get your hands on because its so popular, but it is absolutely worth a try if you ever get the chance.

 199 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark with Carmel head
Gingerbread notes are evident at pour; as it warms they are more evident
Toffee, Carmel and Gingerbread
Easy on the palate. A very enjoyable beer.

 174 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the growler, it pours very dark into the glass, a bit of head and lace in evidence. Gingerbread cookie in the nose, followed by the roasty gingerbread flavor. Wow!

 170 characters

Photo of mltobin
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with a few friends, poured into a snifter. The appearance is dark brown color with a short tan head. While the taste of it is brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, roasted malts, amongst some other spices/flavors that I cannot pinpoint. It seems like a lot, but is nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is towards heavy, a creamy finish. It leaves you with a sweetness on your palate. Going into this beer from Hardywood, I was a bit skeptical. But for what it is, they really did a nice job. A perfect beer to serve alongside most desserts.

 536 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Tom. Served in a snifter of some sort.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a wispy, partial cap, thick collar, and spotty lacework. Very dark brown body.

S - Smells as you'd expect - like a gingerbread cookie. Nice accents of vanilla, roast, biscuit, toasted grains, chocolate, but predominantly cinnamon, ginger, and sugar. Alcohol is quite well hidden too.

T - The taste is a bit more stout-influenced, with a bigger emphasis on roasted malts, molasses, and chocolate of a darker variety. Still some vanilla and a touch of ginger, but not as spiced as the aroma. Alcohol is still quite well-hidden - never would have guessed this was 9.2%.

M - A bit overcarbonated for my tastes, but not offensively so. Medium body, dry in the finish, with no trace of the listed 9.2%

D - Not a beer I could drink in mass quantities, but achieves exactly what it sets out to do. Enjoyable for a few ounces, albeit a tad undersized for the listed ABV. Curious how the bourbon barrel version compares, although I'd be concerned the body didn't stand up.

 1,052 characters

Photo of dogphishead
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap and in the bottle(a few times each way). Fantastic! Off the top of my head, there's no beer that absolutely nails a re-creation of dessert or any type of food the way this does. As hopbully stated, you can keep drinking this beer and will probably want to, whereas with other dessert type beers I feel like I've had all I need after 1/2 a pint. Nice job with the booming gingerbread cookie flavors without being overpowering. Well done, Hardywood!

 468 characters

Photo of Stolenface1
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage - Pours a deep black/brown with dark khaki head. Aroma of chocolate, molasses ginger, honey, cinnamon, caramel, slight coffee and vanilla. Flavor is slightly sweet, just a little more than I personally like, but fits the style, with all of the aromas in the flavor along with brown sugar, milky(lactose) sweetness, roasted & chocolate malts, and slight booze. The feel is on the medium+ side, a little lighter than one would expect but it kind of works with the sweetness. I feel like I remember last years being more ginger/spice forward, or maybe my palate has changed, but am enjoying the balance of this one. DO NOT DRINK THIS BEER COLD!

 657 characters

Photo of StoneTSR
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

 852 characters

Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,342 ratings.
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