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Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
173 Reviews
Gingerbread StoutGingerbread Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States | website

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:
173
Ratings:
1,325
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
30.61%
 
 
Wants:
653
Gots:
480
For Trade:
58
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 1,325
Photo of RVACowboy
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was definitely one of the first spiced beers I truly appreciated. The clot is a deep black with a lovely pillow of light brown head that sits nicely atop a 12 oz. snifter glass. The aroma is a sweet caramel with that ginger popping into it to let yo know it's going to have a great finish. It's a smooth feel but it does have a little bit of bite towards the end that is my only reason for not going a folk 5 on the rating. The bourbon barrel version is like candy at that same point so I'm a little skewed.

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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 mojiboo02
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft multiple times in Richmond. The 2012 version is a bit lighter bodied that the 2011 version, which makes it more drinkable than the 2011 counterpart. I couldn't finish a 12oz pour of the 2011, but the 2012 is a very sessionable 9.6% stout. The taste is very unique and very spicy on draft. Not a big appearance person, but the smell and taste are divine.

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Photo of brother_kenneth
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, poured into the GBS goblet/snifter, Christmas Eve night.

A- Dark brown in color, and looks somewhat thin for a stout. Very little head, which disappears very quickly.

S- Absolutely delicious smell. Lots of ginger and cinnamon. Also, some allspice, nutmeg, etc. There may be a hint of alcohol in the nose as well.

T- Just like the aroma. It is remarkable how well the ginger comes through. This is seriously like eating a slice of gingerbread. Loads of cinnamon, honey, ginger, and other spices. This is an incredibly unique, albeit delicious milk stout. Very, very sweet, and hardly no alcohol heat at all. Lighter body than most stouts, but has a wonderful milky and creamy mouth feel; minimal carbonation.

O- This will forever be my favorite Christmas beer. I will be attending the release every single year from now on. Don't pass on this one, folks. It is a delicious and unique stout. My wife got sick on Christmas Eve night, so I drank the entire 750mL bottle by myself. Loved every minute of it!

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Photo of BeastLU
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Currently being enjoyed in a Hardywood snifter. I have had the 2011 on tap and bottled, prefer it on draft. As far as 2012 goes the bottles seem to be better.

A - Black. Surprisingly white head which sticks around for about half the beer.

S - Smells great. take a whiff before you've tasted and you know your in for something special.

T - Tastes better than it smells which is a tall order. Top notch taste. Unique for any stout, particularly of this ABV, almost no booze taste.

M - Honestly I do wish it was a little thicker. This would be my only significant knock on this beer. I wont call it watery but it almost seems unnatural how thin it is with the great taste.

0 - Awesome beer. Maybe the best beer for beer lovers and novices to drink together. The taste is so good anyone can approach it, and any beer geek can taste the genius that goes into every glass. I have a case of the 2012 ready to be aged and 2 bottles of the BA version. Can't wait to see how they taste with a bit of father time on them.

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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.

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Photo of challenja
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Bottle purchased at Church Key DC and poured into snifters.
A: malt black almost deep purple in appearance with a quickly dissipating vanilla toffee head.
S: fresh ginger slams you right off the break followed by cinnamon and all spice. Nutmeg and cloves push through caramelized alcohol sugars ending with sweet mocha chocolate with faint medium Costa Rican/ Jamaica blue coffee roast. Seriously one of the best damn smelling beers of all time.WOW!!
T: sweet fresh gingersnaps buried in barrel charred chocolate coffee malts. Nutmeg and cardamom shot through followed by allspice and cinnamon. The medium roast Costa rican/ Jamaican blue follows at the end with trailing alcohol Esther's.
M: sweet medium frothy body. I wish it was heavier but the fresh ginger astringency really makes that impossible.
O: Outstanding... Is too loose a word. An almost perfect beer masterpiece. I would only ask for a more heavier mouth feel.

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Photo of maxk
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 10oz pour at Joe's Inn in Richmond. I went to the brewery as their website said they were still tasting GBS but they had just run out. Review is from notes.

A dark mahogany color, bordering on black. Very little head which quickly settled into nothingness.

Smells of ginger, honey, molasses, tiny bit of vanilla, and cream. Imagine the aroma of gingerbread in the oven, with a hint of booze.

It lives up to the hype. Tastes more or less like it smells. Lots of honey and milk sweetness, followed by heavy ginger. I get a little cinnamon spice rounding out the ginger.

Creamy and rich. I found the beer relatively heavy and filling. Still, considering the taste, it seemed like it could have benefitted from a little bit more thickness.

Overall, I was impressed. I went to Richmond with the hopes of getting to try this and a bunch of other Hardywood beers and I was not disappointed. One of the best tasting Christmas/spiced beers I've ever had.

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Photo of JamesBondGA
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

my wife picked this up for me on a recent business trip to VA. Damn she did great. the cinnamon and vanilla are present on the nose and taste. not overpowering, very smooth taste. The alcohol content is overpowering when drinking, but then all of a sudden BAMM it hits you. One of my favorite brews ever.

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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 cichief
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at Mekong in Richmond, VA. It pours a beautiful dark ruby red, almost black with a deep brown head. Smells of vanilla and gingerbread, very sweet. Although sweet, it is well balanced and has a great finish. This is a wonderful dessert beer, and just a great beer overall. Very smooth, just enough carbonation. One of the best beers I've had this year!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to DaveHack for this one!!

This poured out as a deep black color with a thin cream colored head that leaves a thin ring of retention. This had a very thing lacing. The smell is spicy, with sweet vanilla and wood on the nose. The taste is excellent! The spice is perfect is subtly roasted and had a fantastic sweetness to balance out everything. The mouthfeel is creamy, nice carbonation and smooth. Overall this beer is outstanding. Very good stuff!!

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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.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle received in a trade. Enjoyed with a friend. 2012 release.

A- Pours the darkest brown that you can get before it's called black with 1/2 finger of light tan head that slowly dissipates to a thin film.

S- Aroma seems very muted until it warms. Smells of warm winter cooking spices mixed with a solid amount of roasty chocolatey malt.

T- Wow, what this beer lacks in aroma it makes up for it in the taste. This is where the ginger shines through. Tastes like a warm gingerbread man complete with icing and no hint of the 9.2% ABV present at all.

M- Smooth and creamy easy drinking. Hardly any carbonation at all.

O- A superb holiday beer. Would recommend to anyone. Even to non-beer drinkers.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle from ThatCracker (thanks Andrew!). No bottling info but I know it to be from the recent release. Served in a Hardywood GBS goblet.

Pours dark brown with milk chocolate edges. The two fingers of thick pillowy tan head leave a good bit of lace.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cream. Quite nice.

Taste is fantastic authentic gingerbread. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, brown sugar, sweet cream, clove, honey and a hint of booze. Outstanding.

Creamy medium full feel with tingly carbonation like cinnamon sugar on top. Long sweet finish.

This is as authentic with gingerbread as Southern Tier gets with their Blackwater flavors. Start to finish, this is an excellent holiday gingerbready treat. I'm looking forward to trying the bourbon version.

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Photo of portia99
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle received in a recent trade with apaisncsu. Thanks Adam! Poured into a CBS snifter.

A - Pours a somewhat thin-looking, clear mahogany that settles into a super dark brown and nearly opaque body in the glass. A finger of thick and frothy light mocha colored foam that shows strong staying power, slowly fading over the course of several minutes leaving behind thick sheets of foamy lacing on the glass. Pretty impressive for 9.2% beer.

S - A bit of booze, slight astringency, tons of fresh ginger, full milk chocolatey aroma, sweet and creamy vanilla, some nutmeg and cinnamon. Underneath, there is some touches of roasty malts, but the gingerbread character is the biggest impression left, more so than a stouty aroma. Has an enticing dessert-like character that is pushing me to take the first sip of this.

T - Big ginger flavor up front layered on top of rich chocolate and a more prominant roastiness of the base beer. Touches of honey, cinnamon and vanilla continue the dessert impression obtained initially in the aroma. The spiciness of the ginger really comes thru well here. It is strong and up front but well integrated into the overall flavor character of the beer. The other spices play off the ginger quite well too and complement each other nicely. This might be the best incorporation of wintery spices into a beer I've ever had.

M - Thick and full bodied with a low carbonation that gives only a modest tingle on the tongue, but boosts the body of the beer very well with a creamy and foamy quality to it. This is super smooth and a bit slick on the tongue. The lactose of base beer provides the expected smoothness and touches of sweetness that come thru with finesse and round out the experience of this beer.

O - Coming into this, I really didn't think this would like up to the hype surrounding this beer. Happily it lived up, and even exceeded my expectations. This beer is a winner all around - from the handsome labelling and the C&C presentation to the (most importantly) liquid inside the bottle, this is a winner. Definitely not something I'd want every day, but this is one of the best beers I've been fortunate to sample in quite a while. I can only imagine what the BA version of this must be like.

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Photo of trx680
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a case today. Its a different beer. A big bottle. A meal within itself.
Just got done with the first bottle. Slightly chilled. Not bad at all. Nothing overpowering. A very mildly bitter finish, barely noticeable.
Seems to be more abundant this year.
Got yours yet??

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Photo of HopHeadVA
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer from this new brewery. Had it at the brewery at their Illumination party. They also had some small batch brews, all stouts, flavored with various different ingredients. As those will probably not go into production I'll just review this one. It's an imperial stout (9.5% or around that), sweet, although well balanced. You don't really taste the high alcohol level. Lots of chocolate with a hint of coffee and ginger. Never had a stout with ginger in it and I was pleasantly surprised. These guys look to be taking over the Virginia market as the best brewery. Looking forward to more from these guys.

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Photo of QuantumPint
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Hardywood.

A: black with a minimal head and slight retention.

N: There's that stout smokiness in the smell, along with hints of gingerbread and the slightest bit of hops.

T: I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I was blown away for sure. There's no doubting the gingerbread flavor. It's up front and lingers through the background flavors of toasted malts. There's the perfect amount of hop bitterness on the finish, which really got me excited as a hophead.

M: Smooth and creamy with enough carbonation that it's not syrupy.

O: As mentioned before, a very pleasant surprise. I wish this one wasn't just a seasonal, and with the rate at which it sold, I'm sure I'm not alone on that front.

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Photo of Hopbully
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great dessert beer that you can actually drink more than one. Very black pour, great nose. Lots of cinnamon and chocolate and spices...you get that ginger like you are about to bite into a ginger snap or gingerbread cookie. The finish is like you just ate a gingerbread cookie. incredible re-creation of a snack. Unique and one of a kind. Looking forward to next bottling and some wild variations.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- this is pitch black. Wet sand color head. Light carbonation bubbles rising up the side of the glass.

S- boom! Big nose. Fresh ginger is the front runner. Some candied sugar. As simple as it seems it is complex. It really bombards the senses.

T- sweet ginger taste mixed with a malty molasses flavor. Tastes like a spicy gingersnap cookie. The spice lingers on the finish. As this warms up it begins to transform into a perfect gingerbread flavor. Absolutely spot on.

M- great full body. Creamy. Just the right amount of carbonation and spice on the tongue. As it warms it gets even creamier.

O- I only recommend this one if you are truly in love with ginger. Luckily I am so this beer is amazing. This one is perfect.

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Photo of rudolphjacksonm
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial pint glass on 12/18/11. Made with Bearer Farms Honey (local!).

A - Completely opaque black with a dark tan head. Amazing head retention and lacing clinging the whole way down the glass. Beautiful looking stout! 5.0

S - Malt, molasses, allspice and, of course, gingerbread. Possibly a hint of bread or fig. 4.5

T - Wow. Very sweet and instantly tastes of a fresh-baked gingerbread man. Polishes off with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Hint of coffee as well midway through. Finish is very subtle and not too bitter, but with enough hoppy flavor to balance the initial sweetness. Man, this is exceptional! 5.0

M - Somewhat heavy-bodied but very little carbonation to speak of. Incredibly easy to drink. I do wish it was a bit thicker. 4.0

O - Oh Hardywood, how I love you. This new Hardywood Reserve Series is absolutely amazing. I'm just sad it'll only be around for the holidays. The gingerbread and honey flavor is fantastic, and it's perfectly complimented by all of its other parts. This is an exceptional brew that everyone should try. 4.5

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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.

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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 HattedClassic
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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

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

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

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.
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