Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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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:
1,331
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
30.61%
 
 
Wants:
656
Gots:
481
For Trade:
59
User Reviews
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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 1,331
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".

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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.

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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

Photo of hdf561
2.35/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap in a Hardywood glass at the halligan bar. Very dark color pretty much black, notice caramel and hop notes no ginger...very very slight ginger taste some caramel very very dry mouth feel and finish.

Not a bad beer but I was expecting more ginger and bread notes for a beer called gingerbread stout...not awful just didn't live up to the hype.

 357 characters

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...

 1,564 characters

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

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

 170 characters

Photo of obywan59
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Totally black except for a thin ruby ring around the base of the glass. 4 finger mounding tan head leaving moderate lacing.

Scent of vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Wildflower honey and alcohol combine for an almost vinous aroma. Spiced dark fruits and dark chocolate or chocolate cookie dough.

Sweet dark molasses with vanilla and hints of ginger and cinnamon. A tart vinous aspect with chocolate milk and burnt malt.

Rich and full in body. Carbonation is tempered by the milky character. Syrupy cling yields great retention.

A great beer. Warming but not overly hot, and rich in flavor and aroma. A good holiday brew.

 629 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a snifter, the beer is jet black with brown highlights around the edges, and a tall, foamy, light, creamy, tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee, sweet sugary highlights, ginger spice, and rich honey accents. The flavors are heavily roasted coffee and rich cream forward, with a solid ginger highlight, hints of raw honey, and a roasted overtone. Very balanced and rich, on a smooth, solid, creamy body. The aftertaste is more of the lactose sweetness, with some lingering ginger and coffee highlights. Smooth, creamy, layered finish. Good beer.

 565 characters

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.

 304 characters

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??

 278 characters

Photo of devo1980
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best beer I have ever had. Tasted this beer at a Christmas Beer Exchange and this was the winner of the evening. Everyone kept raving and raving. Apparently it is impossible to get if you dont live in/around Virginia. Lots and lots of flavor. Very smooth and does not taste like a high alcohol beer.

 317 characters

Photo of oldn00b
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 2 glasses of 2015 into stout glasses. First is typical imperial stout - essentially black, nice foamy tan head. However, glass 2 was murky, milky with lots of particulate matter and settlement. Glass 1 would get a 4 for appearance but the 2nd part of the bottle would get a 1. This, visually, is one of the least appealing beers I've ever seen.

Nose, flavor, feel are all solid. Exactly as expected - ginger, vanilla, and an extra boost of sweet from the honey. Nice drying effect from the ginger, creamy mouthfeel. It's fine, but I do not get the 100 score here - perhaps the recipe has changed over the years?

 626 characters

Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The smell and the taste are the best qualities of this beer. Both are on point for the name. It's like being at grandma's house before Christmas.

I would like to have a little more lactose in this as the mouthfeel is more of an imperial porter than a true milk stout. Either that or a thicker, slicker, more viscous mouthfeel. Maybe add a fat to this like coconut.

Either way, I love it his beer. It is exactly what I wanted from the name. It's a true gingerbread cookie stout. It's great.

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Photo of mctizzz
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice creamy medium body milk stout. Smells like...ginger bread, surprise! Tastes like... ginger bread, double surprise!! When I picked this up I was nervous this was going to be a cinnamon bomb, I tend to be a bitch about the cinnamon. This would be a great stout to share with the family Christmas morning, also great to drink alone in a hotel room while watching south park and bsing on beer sites.

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

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

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Photo of bgold86
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, pours a nice black. Immediate cinnamon and vanilla nose for days, wow, what a pleasure! Taste is of massive sweet cinnamon and sweet vanilla. Wish I had greater access to their brews...

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,331 ratings.
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