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Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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174 Reviews
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout

Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 1,332
Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
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 claspada
3.81/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep dark brown/black color with a very nice head. Moderate carbonation. Nice head with moderate lacing.

Smell - Roasty chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, pumpkin.

Taste - Chocolate gingerbread cookies. Simple as that. There are some nice vanilla notes in there as well, but you definitely feel like you are drinking a cookie without the super sugary tastes.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. The flavors stick around but there is no stickiness in the mouth.

Overall - Absolutely delicious. Way too easy to drink. It goes down like a dessert.

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Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big 22 oz. bomber sent to me by beerisheaven, simply a prince among men. Another bottle that just showed up at my doorstep without trade or ceremony, for a beer that's being dealt for the world. Definition: good trader & fine human being.

Popped open to celebrate New Year's Eve shortly after the tragic passing of 2012 (which will not be much missed). The pour is dark brown with cyanide highlights through the edges of the glass. Nose is precisely as promised, but the ginger has the upper hand by a ton, with cinnamon a distant second.

Gingerbread Stout is one of those beers that sounds like it could be a train wreck - then the ride is straight to the gates of Valhalla. Wonderful cinnamon & ginger pour out onto the taste buds, backed by a lovely sweetness from the vanilla & malts. It does, indeed, taste like a Christmas cookie - & who doesn't love those? Ridiculously drinkable. While I passed around the bottle to the curious, I looked longingly at my 10 oz. pour & wished I'd doubled it.

Had this right after an Eclipse Elijah Craig & I do say, this might have been better. If nothing else it was beautifully tasty & unique, & that's two of the best things you can say about any beer. Excellent. Thanks again Brian.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Ginger, chocolate, vanilla, rather sweet.

T-Tastes like Christmas spirit. Good deal of ginger and chocolate as well as vanilla. Nutmeg. Rather sweet yet balanced.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation, tad velvety.

O-A wonderful beer, grateful that I was able to try it.

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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!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
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 BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Joe. Thanks! Pours dark brown to black with a massive khaki brown head that sticks around a good bit. Flavor is light roast that bursts into a big punch of gingerbread cookie, but not overly spicy at all, nice light sweetness on the finish balances things well. Body is on the thinner side for an imperial stout, and it would be really nice to see this thickened up with some chocolate to support the nice spice. That would be delicious. As is, it is very yummy and highlights the shizz out of the gingerbread cookieness without being just ginger spice. Nicely done.

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Photo of Pencible
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque cola with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like espresso and ginger, with a little dark chocolate and molasses.
T: It tasted like ginger, with dark chocolate and espresso and sugary sweetness. It had a clean and mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Great big body.
D: This was a solid brew with the perfect blend of ginger in a big stout. Despite a bold scent and taste, the finish somehow ended up being relatively mild and sweet. The body was great too, so it was easy to drink. It could probably age, but it doesn't really need it. Recommended.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a tasting on 12/6. Big thanks to anthony for the share.

Enjoyed from a SH IRS snifter.

watery maroonish black with a thin white head. smells UNREAL. like gingerbread men. tastes the same. gingerbread happiness. VERY festive like a cookie. light bodied. WILD and DIFFERENT. extremely unique and MAD tasty. a little much to probably take on a bottle to yourself, but if you are looking for a beer to blow your family away with this holiday season, this is it.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
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 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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snifter, reviewed from notes.

Pours a flat raisin colored body with no head, no lace. Damn near flat looking. Sweet honey, ginger and spices on the nose, ginger dominates. The taste follows the nose but with more caramel sweetness than suggested. Ginger again dominates alongside chocolate, caramel, gingerbread-like spices and a bit of honey in the aftertaste. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, very low and tight carbonation. This basically tasted like gingerbread with chocolate and honey. Very delicious and unique.

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Photo of n2185
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours black with half a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with no lacing.

S: lots of sweet cocoa up front followed by ginger, cinnamon, and other spices. It smells like chocolate and gingerbread cookies--quite nice.

T: roasted malts up front with lots of sweet chocolate. Wonderful gingerbread flavors follow with lots of ginger and spices. Sweet, creamy, and a little spicy. Slight bitterness on the finish.

M: thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is nice and creamy at first with a dry, fairly clean finish. Nice.

O: I was quite impressed with this beer. It tastes and smells like chocolate-covered gingerbread cookies. Great beer from a new brewery.

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Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -19.6%
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 BeerAdvocate
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

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Photo of MDDMD
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and decent lacing

S-chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, spices

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, ginger, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight honey sweetness

F-medium body with mild to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-this was a delicious stout, the flavors worked well together and allowed this beer to have a nice complexity and balance

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Photo of Jeffo
2.67/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from Siddfinch a while back. Thanks for the trade dude!

From a cork & caged 750 into a snifter
Vintage 2014
IBU: 55
Milk stout with ginger, honey, cinnamon and vanilla

APPEARANCE: A clear, light brown pour yields a big, three finger, foamy, looser, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown body, clear, with a bit of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass, but it does eventually end up looking rather flat by the end. Too light a body as well, and the head is rather unimpressive.

SMELL: Milder nose of milk sugars, ginger, and some honey is there. Light toffee notes as well. No real roast there and doesn’t come across as ginger bread-ish.

TASTE: Ginger, some toffee and then some honey at the swallow. Bolder finish of ginger, cinnamon, honey, some milky sweetness and bitter chocolate flavors as well. Cinnamon and ginger linger on the palate. Bitter sweet with plenty of sweetness up front.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky. Maybe a bit too much carbonation for the style. Alright, otherwise.

OVERALL: Okay I guess. Can't believe this one is held so highly, actually. The look is certainly wanting and the base stout, not surprisingly, seems to be rather weak, but the adjuncts make it interesting enough. Wish they had put a little more effort into a solid stout base before they went around throwing stuff in it. We moved on to the bourbon barrel version afterwards and to be honest, that one wasn’t much more impressive either. Perhaps a touch of oak but it was much the same. A disappointing set, unfortunately. Still, these things are always fun to try, so cheers for the brews SiddFinch!

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Photo of KYGunner
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pungent ginger bread nose with a malty cookie base and a stream of lactose-sweetness.

The flavor is delicious gingerbread cookie, with a balanced spice and malt character. Christmas in a bottle, for sure!

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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.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown and settles to a black looking body. Very frothy and foamy at head that leaves a mess of lacing and hangs around for a while.

S- Roasted malts, hints of chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, lots of grainy bread.

T- Starts off as just a imperial milk stout, but half way through, the ginger kicks in, a little honey and vanilla sweetness kicks in, towards the finish the cinnamon takes over. Really pretty remarkable all of the flavors that come through in a subtle way.

M- Big feel, creamy, medium carbonation, coating and lingering mouthfeel.

O- It's a great beer, no doubt. Not an in your face specialty beer, a well put together beer with a mix of great flavors that do not overpower.

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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

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Photo of justintcoons
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

2014 Vintage.
750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

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

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

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.

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

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

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Photo of ncaudle
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from cask into snifter.

pours a very dark brown, almost black with a tiny little head. little bit of lacing as you drink. typical cask.

cinnamon and ginger dominate the nose followed by the sweetness of honey and finishing with some chocolate and coffee notes. the spices stand out even more on the taste. the milk stout base sweetness helps balance it out a bit. the 9+% alcohol hides really well.

nice, creamy feel. how a cask should be.

I've now had this in every serving form with cask my favorite. it's a very good stout but my only complaint is maybe that the cinnamon/ginger is a touch too up front, at least fresh.

will be very curious as to how this ages/mellows...

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,332 ratings.
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