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Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
177 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:
177
Ratings:
1,341
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
11.21%
 
 
Wants:
654
Gots:
490
For Trade:
59
User Reviews
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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 1,341
Photo of avalon07
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of tan-colored, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not a lot of lacing, though.

S: A very large, enticing aroma of gingerbread, malt, vanilla, and spices.

T: Tasted of a good amount of malt, lots and lots of spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves), a huge shot of gingerbread, light chocolate notes, vanilla, honey, and a sugary quality. Definitely a big, powerful flavor, loaded with spices. Quite complex and incredibly enjoyable.

F A good shot of carbonation with a creamy, smooth finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: This is a big, tasty, spicy beer. It's well made, easy to drink, and certainly worth searching for.

 731 characters

Photo of teromous
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 905 characters

Photo of weareallfalafel
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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.

 968 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 tigg924
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque, black in color with one inch head. Taste is pure gingerbread cookie--Ginger, brown sugar, cardamon, cloves, and molasses. Heavy bodied, sweet and delicious. Great dessert beer. Will look for this treat again.

 226 characters

Photo of strohme2
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Part of my NBS BIF#3 package. It's been a longtime want and I'm glad to have ticked it off the list.

Pours a deep dark brown with a puffy light tan head. The fluffiness fades but leaves decent lacing around the glass as I drink it down. Smells like it's title! Gingerbread, ginger, clover honey, some vanilla, spices and maple. Liquid gingerbread in a glass. Nothing overpowers and everything plays nicely together. Nice spices and ginger, very well done. The mouthfeel is a bit lacking for me. While it is smooth and definitely drinkable, it needs a bigger body.
Overall, a unique stout that I am glad to have tried.

 630 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is ginger a touch of cinnamon and some booziness. Flavor follows the nose but ginger overpowers a little. The mouthfeel is a little thin but overall it's a pretty nice beer.

 209 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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.

 678 characters

Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from my cousin John B. What a way to cap the evening, nice full bodied stout, hints of gingerbread accent rather than overwhelm the roast grain base brew. Mildly sweet and spicy with a gentle warmth to finish things up.

 226 characters

Photo of GallowsThief
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Out of a bottle into my tulip. Family hook up through my cousin Brandt!
A – Poured black as the Grinch’s heart with a touch of milk chocolate head that settled down nicely.
S – Ginger, molasses, vanilla, cream.
T – Well now it starts with ginger as one would expect. Follows with several flavors like vanilla bean, light coffee, honey, cinnamon and just a touch of malt. Has an ever so slight bitterness that is immediately squashed by a great cream flavor. It gives it a great light sweet finishing quality. You can taste the alcohol but barely.
M – Medium carbonation. Medium bodied. Smooth and clean on the palate.
O – Dynamite. The flavors of this brew blend perfectly together and actually nail the “gingerbread stout”. Many do not though they claim to be. This is a dangerous drinker as it’s so good you don’t get the alcohol.

 860 characters

Photo of Zebulan
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark pour with thick tan head. Head stays as I drink it.
S: First smell is of course the ginger. Sweet smell
T: Taste as it smells. Nice spice in the ginger. Cookie taste as well. Full and sweet.
F: Good thickness coats the mouth. Warm taste that continues.
O: Great beer. Creatively made. Smells, tastes, reminds me of Christmas and everything that goes with it. The only way to improve on this is to try the Bourbon Barrel version which is also superb.

 472 characters

Photo of Budinetz
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage.

Poured from the cork and cage bottle into a Belgian tulip.

Smells like Christmas, tastes like Christmas, feels like Christmas. Lots of spices going on with this brew. I taste allspice dram type flavorsnfoing in here. This is basically Christmas day in a bottle. I love it!

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Photo of Myotus
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured gently at 50°F from a 750ml bottle into both a tulip and a Spiegelau stout glass and allowed to warm up to 55°F before consuming. A side by side comparison will be done between the two glasses.
LOOK: Tulip- Pours with two fingers of khaki foam that halves itself after 3 minutes. There is a subtle amount of very small rising bubbles once the head finally settles. Black in color with an orange tint. Lacing is moderate in quantity and thick. 4.75
Stout glass - Pours with two fingers of khaki foam that halves itself after 2 and a half minutes. There is a subtle amount of very small rising bubbles once the head finally settles. Black in color with an orange tint. Lacing is subtle in quantity and thick. 4.5
SMELL: Tulip- Very strong aromas of gingerbread and strong cinnamon aromas are backed by mild aromas of milk chocolate, honey, and sweet coffee along with subtle aromas of vanilla, alcohol, and hints of bitter roasted malts. 4.5
Stout glass- Strong aromas of gingerbread, cinnamon, and honey are backed by mild aromas of milk chocolate, and sweet coffee along with subtle aromas of vanilla, alcohol, and hints of bitter roasted malts. 4.75
TASTE: Tulip- Very strong flavors of gingerbread and mild flavors of honey first enter onto the palate. Mild cinnamon and vanilla flavors immediately follow as honey flavors grow stronger. Mild flavors of milk chocolate and sweet coffee continue this incredible taste symphony as now vanilla flavors grow stronger. Subtle bitter roated malt flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors now begin to maintain and blend into one of the most tastiest beers that I have ever had. 4.75
Stout glass- Strong gingerbread and cinnamon flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by mild flavors of vanilla and sweet coffee. Mild flavors of honey and milk chocolate continue this glass' experience of the brew as cinnamon and gingerbread flavors grow slightly stronger. Subtle bitter roasted malt flavors and hints of alcohol enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for vanilla, which grow stronger. 4.5
FEEL: Tulip- Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and creamy while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Ends with a mild dryness. 4.25
Stout glass- Exact same as the mouthfeel when drinking from the tulip except for hints of carbonation. 4.5
OVERALL FOR TULIP: 4.64
OVERALL FOR STOUT GLASS: 4.56

 2,404 characters

Photo of Beerfiend1
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: motor oil black. Perfect looking head when poured heavy.
Smell: hints of gingerbread, cinnamon, ginger, but lacking on strong flavors like previous years. Hopefully this develops a little more in the bottle.
Taste: ginger, cookies, again last years trumps this in the ginger and overall taste department.
Feel: This is the third time I've thought this so I guess its decided. Thin, really thin, compared to last years that coats your throat all the way down, this is very thin. That said, I found I could drink a lot more of this than last years because of this factor.
Overall: I guess I just like last years more, but I did end up coming to like the thin mouthfeel because I could drink more!

 703 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, bought at Trader Joe's in Arlington, VA. There is no bottling date, but I bought it in December 2015. I picked up 4 of these, gave 2 to my parents for Christmas, and kept 2 for myself. Poured into my favorite tulip glass at 55-65 degrees.

Look: Very dark brown with great tan-colored head.

Smell: Huge, obvious ginger smell dominates, especially at the warm temperature I poured it at. Smells sweet and sugary. I could believe I'm smelling a fresh-baked gingerbread cookie with icing.

Taste: They nailed the gingerbread cookie taste pretty well. I think I would prefer a little less bitterness and a little less of the alcohol taste.

Feel: A little thin for such a flavorful, high-ABV brew.

Overall: Really enjoyable overall. I'll definitely look for this again next year. My dad said he's saving one of his until next year, so I'll really enjoy trying it after a year of aging.

 897 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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. 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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 430 characters

Photo of driverm11
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

 1,191 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This base of a number of superb holiday spin-offs more than stands on its own. Almost black in color with just a slight head. Nose is (surprise) dark gingerbread - the soft sort out of a cake pan. Taste delivers what the nose promises, with equal parts standard stout and standard gingerbread-- balanced, hint of caramel. Slight sweetness up front and just enough bitterness in the back end. Mouth feel is super smooth. Careful, drinks more like a milk stout and hides the 9.2 ABV. There are many bolder imperial stouts out there, but if you like a hint of sweetness and flavor balance, look no further for the holiday season...then go find the spin-offs, especially Kentucky Christmas Morning and Apple Brandy Barrel GBS. The November release of GBS announces to me that the holiday beer season has begun.

 808 characters

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a ½" tan head. No lacing to speak of. Smells of ginger, cinnamon, and believe it or not, icing. Taste follows the smell, very authentic gingerbread taste, all the way down to the sweet icing taste on the finish. The body is a little thin for my liking, but compliments the style. Overall, this is probably the best milk stout I've ever had as it totally nails the concept of "gingerbread stout".

 424 characters

Photo of AdamAlway
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Standard stout look with a nice thick tan head that stuck around through the first couple of sips. Smell was unfortunately mostly malt and hops. I was expecting more of the ginger coming through. However, the taste is great with hops and malt upfront and finishes smoothly with ginger. Great combination of flavors that is the epitome of Christmas. The feel is smooth and thick. Compliments the flavor very nicely allowing the ginger to stick around. A great Christmas beer enjoyed for the holidays. I am looking forward to trying the 2014 and 2015 barrel aged versions. Great trade from Cejaev.

 595 characters

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.

 225 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 DrDemento456
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to hand it to TreBonez on this one he mailed me a bomber of this Hardywood release. Never had any of their offerings but the reviews are solid.

A - Deep dark blackness is what I enjoy in a stout with a full inch plus that pulls back to some pretty epic lacing. Dark mocha head lacing that is.
S - Very strong on the ginger in the nose very natural and root smelling in fact I never even experienced this level of ginger before its almost herbal. Honey sweetness and cinnamon are also heavy hitters the nose is so lively!
T - Pretty much what I expected the embodiment of a ginger bread cookie into a beer. Heavy sweet molasses sugar, sting of honey, vanilla beans, and cinnamon that isn't overpowering and ginger keeping it lively the base of the beer being a milk stout keeps it all in check as so creamy and smooth. AW DAMN!
M - Quite good the ABV is big but it drinks like a standard milk stout but RAMPED UP for the holidays!

Overall one of the best ginger beers I ever drank in my life. If you go in just for the ginger it will blow your mind!

 1,055 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

25.4oz bottle, illegible stamped date but it's the 2015 version. Pours nearly black with a medium sized light brown head. Smells of cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, and roasted malt; very complex with above average intensity. The taste is just as complex but much stronger; more roasted malt and honey. Some lactose sweetness which is fitting of the style. Somewhat creamy mouthfeel and average carbonation. This is a nearly perfect example of a holiday Milk Stout.

 479 characters

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,341 ratings.
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