Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 1,341
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 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 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 Etan
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a snifter.

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

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

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

M. Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation

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

 470 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 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 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.

 579 characters

Photo of JMUbrewz
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Very excited to try this beer. Expectations are high. Enjoyed out of a Hardywood Singel Tulip.

GBS pours pitch black, with solid head retention. The first thing I notice is the powerful scent of ginger, complimented by chocolate and a bit of char. To me, this smells more like ginger than gingerbread.

The taste follows the nose. Chocolate, lacto sweetness, and a bit of roasted malt, and then BAM! Ginger! Again, I'm getting a lot more pure ginger than gingerbread, but from what I understand this beer was brewed with ginger, rather than gingersnaps, or something of the like. The carbonation and viscosity are just about perfect. The flavors meld together quite nicely, but it did get a little sweet for me as it warmed up over the course of an hour. I supposed I wish the ginger and sweetness were a bit more subtle?

All in all? It's a good beer that I enjoy in small doses. It's a dessert beer for me due to the aggressiveness of the ginger and the overall sweetness of the beer. I wouldn't quite describe it as cloying, but it's close. Now I need to try the BA version!

 1,081 characters

Photo of Jack_Malts
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Pretty good, very delicious. All the flavors are there, relatively balanced and never cloying. Comparable to xocoveza with the big cinnamon/vanilla flavors. It makes me really want to try the bbl version. Definitely a great christmasy treat. Recommended.

 254 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 barczar
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Huge ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla in aroma.

A bit more ginger and cinnamon than I'd like, and there's an acrid character that accompanies. I don't get much stout.

 164 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EBF sample. Poured black or something close to it. Small, dark brown head, I remember that. The smell does have a legit gingerbread tone to it. It also smells chocolatey. Holiday spices. Flavor has the conventional roast and chocolate. These flavors are accompanied by gingerbread, cinnamon and actual ginger. None of these are overbearing. Flavors play well together and it actually isn't as sweet as I was initially expecting. Relatively full bodied. I thought this beer was pretty interesting and I surely doesn't fall into the category of being hokey. The flavors are natural. It doesn't come off as artificial. I'm thankful for that.

 638 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Umberto tonight.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a small creamy looking head, and a small amount of lacing.

Smells incredibly ginger-forward, really spiced, with some vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate.

This is a lot less sweet than thought it would be. It's pretty "spicy," with nutmeg, cinnamon, lactose and vanilla, with a little bit of chocolate. The spices are done well, but a small amount seems sufficient with how intense the ginger is.

This is medium bodied- I wish it was slightly thicker, but it does have a pretty dry and creamy mouthfeel. It has a lower level of carbonation.

This wasn't quite as good as I was expecting, but it's still quite tasty.

 683 characters

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours an opaque dark brown with over a finger of creamy off white head. The head sticks around pretty well.

Smell: Rather sweet with some roast. Mild spices, perhaps some clove, ginger, and nutmeg.

Taste: There isn't as much spice as I would have expected, but that's not a bad thing. It's got a creamy sweetness to it along with a nice level of roast. There is some gingerbread spice, but it more compliments the beer flavor.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thicker side and the carbonation is very smooth and creamy. The finish is on the dry side.

Overall: This is a nice desert beer. It's not as spice forward as I expected, but I enjoyed it.

 714 characters

Photo of corby112
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to sideshowe for sharing.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a very prominent zesty ginger presence.  Peppery and very gingery with a chocolate cookie presence.  Kind of reminds me of ginger snaps.   Some bready yeast, cocoa and coffee bean but the spice/ginger really overpowers things.

Surprising how much this tastes like a ginger bread cookie.  Sweet but not cloyingly so with strong ginger and English biscuit flavor.  Tastes just like the cookie with cinnamon, brown sugar and ginger snap followed by hints of baker's chocolate, oatmeal and subtle roast.  Nicely balanced with a well masked ABV making it easy to drink.  Sweet but not boozy or cloying.  Great gingerbread cookie flavor but still tastes like a stout.  Very good.

 889 characters

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.

 520 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 TomFoolery_x
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First actual review. 2013 bottling. Poured into a snifter from 750ml bottle

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Little to no head unless poured very hard.

S: Could just be me, but the smell of this was very underwhelming. Could have been due to the pour being too cold still. Smells of malt and toffee/Carmel notes. I picked up the ginger once it warmed.

T: Wow! This is better than I could have a imagined. Being slightly disappointed by the nose(mostly due to the cold temp of the initial pour) I was very pleased to taste this bad boy! First sip was definitely reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie! Prominent ginger notes followed. Very balanced malt flavors. No discern able alcohol.

M: Mouthfeel is good, a tad but thin from what I was expecting but the carbonation does bring it all together in a silky smooth texture.

O: I definitely recommend this beer if you are a fan of sweeter stouts! Will be looking forward to this beer next year!

 964 characters

Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer, and its variants, depend on your enjoyment of heavy spices, as in literal spice pantry.

The beer hits up front milk chocolate, but then gets dominated heavily by cinnamon and that ginger cookie flavor, but quite intense.

 232 characters

Photo of uvachief
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to the tasting room for this highly reviewed beer. Since when did Richmond become the craft beer Mecca? Pours to a nice 2 finger head. Dark mahogany color. Nice head retention. Aroma is to die for....gingerbread, nutmeg, chocolate, vanilla and sweet caramelized sugars...drink in the aroma...hits the lips with a very smooth and clean entrance. Taste gingerbread, vanilla, nutmeg and chocolate instantly. Others have said it but it is true....Christmas in a glass/bottle. I have had both now but on tap is a upgrade if you can believe that...goes down smooth with a nice after taste of gingerbread, nutmeg and chocolate with a hint of vanilla. I've bought a case of 750ml bottles since trying this beer. I'm hooked. However, it does not age all that well so drink it while it is fresh. I cracked open a properly stored 750ml bottle that was a year old and while good, it definitely loses some of the spices. Kegs really don't age well. Had a draft from a newly tapped year old keg and it was quite bland compared to a fresh draft. I hoarded bottles to trade. However, I'll need to trade them within 4-5 months or they person acquiring them will be disappointed. Still really good even a year later but just not blow you away good. Update: bought a bottle last December and through it into the garage fridge at 37 degrees. Opened it on August 29th and it was still pretty good but even stored that way the spices, especially the ginger, had faded. These are definitely drink fresh. 2015 edition update. Shadow of its former self. Thin, watery with much less sugar and spice. Sad. Use to be world class.

 1,624 characters

Photo of Griffin2
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours a dark brown with minimal white head.
S- I smell ginger and alcohol.
T - I taste gingerbread with some alcohol burn at the end.
F - Very minimal carbonation. It definitely warms your mouth.
O - Nice gingerbread flavor. A really nice sipper.

 249 characters

Photo of Lucho
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an amazing dark brown almost black with a beautiful tan/gingerbread creamy head of two fingers with great retention.

Smell: Spices, maybe clove, not sure about the gingerbread. There is cinnamon on the nose.

Taste: There it is, Gingerbread! Well played good sir. Nice and light gingerbread with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg finish. I wish I would have saved this one for the Holidays. I was a little worried about it fading.

Mouthfeel: excellent carbonation with medium to heavy body with a nice dry finish.

Overall: well this is my first gingerbread stout but I say its spot on with what you would expect. The only thing is maybe it could use more of a presence of gingerbread and cinnamon and other seasonal spices. An awesome beer! Cheers

 761 characters

Photo of damngoode
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- pours lighter than expected, a deep carmel and settles into an opaque brown with a frothy head that sticks to the glass and refuses to fade

S- the sum of many parts. It actually smells like a wet gingerbread cookie. The smell makes me imagine a Gingersnap dipped in a Christmas Ale. Beautiful.

T- beginning with some chocolatey sweetness and the majority of the spicy goodness hits at the tail-end of the swallow. There's an 'ah-ha' point in the swallow where it all marries up and you GET it.

M- good fizz.not as viscous as i was expecting.

O- a really nice beer, definitely unique and something that those who love(d) a Christmas Ale but got burnt out should try.

 673 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice dense 2-finger tan head churns up from a somewhat vigorous pour. Color is impenetrable black. Not much lacing. Smell is what you'd expect given the ingredients: ginger, vanilla, sweet floral honey, plus a roasty coffee and chocolate. There's a lot going on. I must confess that on the first half a glass, the ginger and honey flavors dominated with an almost medicinal quality, which I didn't care for. This was fleeting however as it mellowed out, and in the end I found the gingerbread flavors to be more subtle than I expected. This is contradictory I know, but that's how it is.

Feel is silky and coating, but slightly thin as well. Alcohol taste was nonexistent, but the effects weren't...Nice roasty coffee aftertaste with pleasant bitterness.

Overall this is a complex beer that I enjoyed but that left me slightly puzzled. It is clearly a high-quality brew with some elements that struggle to coalesce. I think that in a holiday/party setting with dessert this beer would shine better than it does with me sitting alone with a magnifying glass on it.

 1,067 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with a decent sized beige head. Thin layer of retention and some lacing down the glass.

Really does smell like a gingerbread cookie. Ginger, cinnamon, some brown sugar with a touch of vanilla and a bit of roasted malt.

Wow amazingly integrated. I hate most spice beers usually because they are overspiced. This one is good. Spices are in play, but in balance and not overwhelming. It's an adjunct not the main feature, as plenty of the milk stout base comes through. Similar flavors as the nose all mixed well.

Medium bodied with higher carbonation than I care for in a stout. Only downfall of this beer.

Very good beer and probably my favorite holiday spiced ale I've had, but really the mouthfeel prevents it from being world class. I like a smooth velvety mouthfeel in my stouts. The sweet spot where the carbonation had died a bit, but not warm enough for the spices to take over was too brief. Looking forward to trying the BA version of this.

 969 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe