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Gingerbread Stout | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
172 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:
172
Ratings:
1,324
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.98%
 
 
Wants:
653
Gots:
480
For Trade:
58
User Reviews
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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 1,324
Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out brown and fills the glass with blackness revealing some brown in the light. A fluffy head builds up slowly receding and leaving some stick behind.

The smell is full of ginger right off the bat. Floral honey sweetness. Cinnamon and spicy but that's probably just coming off the ginger. Chocolate.

Ginger again is prominent, sweet chocolate and vanilla, cinnamon. Gets a little sticky in the lips. Super smooth medium body with soft carbonation. Feels magnificent.

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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 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 Jimmys
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL from the fall '12 release. poured into snifter.

A: pretty close to black body. opaque. frothy brown-white head has great retention. tons of froth left behind on the glass. a good looking brew.

S: a bunch of fresh ginger combines with sweet unfermented sugars. slightly chocolate. not milky, but definitely some chocolate in there.

T: lots of cinnamon starts the drink off. even more ginger. molasses-like thick sweetness. finish has a slight bitterness to it, but otherwise predominately sweet. a little bit of grain too.

M: frothy and full. medium/full bodied.

D: this thing certainly has plenty of elements of gingerbread, however a few are missing. nutmeg for sure and cant say im getting too much clove either. that's me being picky. otherwise a very tasty, very unique stout from gingerbread. I recommend drinking it around the holiday's!

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Photo of starrdogg
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to trying this for a long time, here we go.

Beer pours a dark brown/almost black with a fluffy tan head. There are a ton of bubbles, making it actually look almost like a glass of Coke. Smell is of winter baking spices primarily with some roasted malt in the background. I don't think I would think "gingerbread" based on the smell if this beer wasn't called what it is. That said, it smells quite nice. Flavor takes it to the next level, however, as I feel like I'm drinking a chocolatey gingerbread cookie. The same winter spices from the nose combine very nicely with the stout base to create something very tasty and well-done. It's sweet, but far from being overly so, and still maintains the roasty stout aspects of the beer without letting the spices take over - very nicely balanced. I get much more "gingerbread" in the flavor, though I still wonder if I would've come to that conclusion on my own. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation and works well for the beer. Overall, this isn't a beer I'd want to drink every day, but it's pretty damn impressive for what it is - a great, well-crafted, unique beer for the holidays.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a brandy snifter - shared with some family on Xmas.

Poured a dark brown color with minimal head. Didn't appear too carbonated. A bit thinner than I expected it to look.

Smell is awesome. Often times beers that are classified as a certain "smell/taste" don't exactly hit it spot on. This one does. Ginger and cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Christmas in a bottle.

Taste follows the smell relatively closely. Delicious ginger and cinnamon upfront. Not too overpowering or spicy. Alcohol content undetectable. Well balanced. Awesome!

Hardywood hit the "Gingerbread" spot on. If I could throw gingerbread into a blender, ferment it, and bottle it...this would be the outcome (though not as easy...). Well done.

Don't go into this expecting a heavy, bold stout. It is quite a bit thinner and more subdued.

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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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours black, little to no brown along the edges. a finger or less of a light tan head forms with lower retention and little to no lacing. opaque with darkness.

Smell: strong ginger, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and clove. hints at dark fruits and roasted to caramelized malts.

Taste: opens up with a strong kick of ginger, along with some graham cracker like malts. spices come through strong with cinnamon taking the lead but nutmeg and clove not far behind. the base beer is barely able to show its way through these additives with just some sweet notes of caramelized malts and a hint of bitter espresso.

Mouthfeel: hot but not because of alcohol. actually feels really light on alcohol despite its 9%. the body is fairly full and sticky.

Overall: This certainly is a holiday beer, lots of good strong flavors, very reminiscent of a ginger bread cookie. but not the type of beer I will go crazy for. definitely a cool experience or

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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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Photo of russwbeck
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade at the Bourbon GBS release.

A: Black pour, that hints towards brown, that doesn't give much of a head even with a vigorous pour. What is there is brown, but it recedes really quickly and doesn't leave much lacing. You can see through it at the edges.

S: The aroma is very focused on the gingerbread, but there's a lot of sweetness from the lactose in there. Booze comes out, which sort of throws the balance out of whack. I feel like the body of the aroma is missing something holding it all together, but it's still pretty decent.

T: It really tastes like a milk stout on gingerbread steroids. The sugars, lactose, and sweetness, probably from the honey, provide a base and the gingerbread comes second, and in a big way. This beer really is completely focused on the spice, which includes cinnamon at some points. The issue is that the booze, again throws the balance off somewhat. There is a ton going on here, but they've managed to make it work together. I must say that typically I steer clear of milk stouts, but this one I found to be pretty enjoyable. The chocolate, milk, and ginger really do remind me of Christmas.

MF: The mouthfeel is where this beer really doesn't hold up. It's too thin (which really worries me for the bourbon barrel aged version), and it can't seem to hold up to the big flavors that it's trying the let out. The finish leaves a strange aftertaste.

O: This was a really great milk stout and I'm glad I got to try it. It did impress me for the style, but overall I don't think I'd go for another bottle. Kudos to you Hardywood for making a well thought out, and well execute release.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an overbearing head with very sticky lacing

S: Aroma of freshly baked sweet gingersnap cookies with cotton candy caramelized sugars.

T: Full flavored stout with nice spicing. Rich candied sugar flavors. Funny enough, the sugar flavors really are reminiscent of the white confectioner candy sugar coating on top of cookies. There is a biscuit flavor along with the spicy hinge at the end of the beer mixing with some anise like flavors and a charcoaly like ashiness from black patent presence.

M: Very well done body in my opinion. The carbonation seemed high judged solely on the massive head, but once it settled roughly ten minutes , I could really enjoy the carbonation levels which seemed extremely smooth.

O: Overall a very good stout, and my favorite milk stout to date. There are a lot of flavors going in here to make it more complex while at the same time helping to mask any flaws, but as a full package, I dig it.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery - Gingerbread Stout, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours a medium viscosity oil brown and settles jet black with 1" off-white soapy head that dissipates quickly and leaves splotchy lacing.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts w/ginger and cinnamon. Sweet finish. The key here and with this brew in general is to let it warm up a bit, leave the bottle out for 30 minutes or so if it was in the fridge, TRUST ME.

Taste - Creamy chocolate w/cinnamon and finishes ginger. Nearly perfect blend of sweet and spice.

Mouthfeel - Heavy-medium bodied from the lactose with medium carbonation. Rests spice both ginger and cinnamon toasty but not overdone. Some roast sits on the middle of the tongue. Nice and toasty warm boozy.

Overall - Great brew, a nice mix of holiday spice (Winter Warmer types) and a tasty creamy milk stout. Spice is spice but this is NICE!

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The stout was black in appearance with mocha colored bubbles lining the sides of the glass.

Smell - The ginger is well noted here, with sweet burnt sugar and perhaps graham cracker.

Taste - This is literally a liquid gingerbread cookie. Big ginger is present in the front with burnt sugar, and the smooth creaminess of a milk stout laying the backbone. The milkiness is like washing the cookie down with milk. The impressions of gingerbread fall in line with a biscuity cookie notes. The ginger lingers in the smooth aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel on this one is smooth with little carbonation. The burnt sugar notes are allowed to linger.

Overall - This is among my favorite milk stouts and a great holiday beer.

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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 beerdrifter
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Mike! Dark brown, nearly black pour with a beautiful caramel-colored two finger head with super retention and lacing. The nose is nutty and roasty with nice ginger and cinnamon notes along with hints of coffee, mocha, and some subtle nutmeg and clove. The taste is roasty, nutty, and spicy with loads of cinnamon, ginger bread and coffee along with hints of brown sugar, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, and some subtle smokiness. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with medium carbonation and a sweet, bitter finish. Overall, this really exceeded my expectations. I figured it would be sickly sweet, but it was beautifully balanced, complex and flavorful. My first Hardywood beer, but definitely not my last...

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Photo of standardcherry
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Shilt! Served into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown but not completely black. Has a nice, big tan colored head.
S: Smell is spot on! Lots of ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, honey. Reminds me of a gingerbread cookie and creme brulee for some reason. Very nice.
T: I thought it would be overly sweet but it's very nice! Subtle ginger, vanilla, chocolate all blended into a perfectly balanced sweetness. Semi-bitter dark chocolate in the aftertaste.
M: Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Alcohol is well hidden. Carbonation gives a nice, crisp finish.
O: This beer is excellent, I am now on the lookout for the barrel aged version!

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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!

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Photo of yamar68
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big old thanks to cw577enfield for this beaut!

Murky brown cola body... near pitch black in the center. A pale tan head swells to around three fingers before slowly residing to form a half finger cap which laces very well.

Bright ginger comes immediately... nutmeg and cinnamon, mellow honey presence, cocoa, some vanilla or toffee... I don't even like sweets but this smells like my kinda dessert.

Much smoother on the palate as well... tame, metallic cardamom, toasted grains... it honestly does taste like gingerbread. Bready, sweet caramel/cinnamon... vanilla and cream... no alcohol bite whatsoever which is interesting given the amount of legging. Tasty ass shit.

Very good - thanks Colin!

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Photo of cavedave
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to gopens44, this is probably the best of the BIF box I received, and the rest were all stunningly good.

Pours opaque black with a thin tan head that kicks back to a nice ring and island. Oily legs are left behind as I drink.

Alcohol spice, ginger, brown bread, dark caramel, with some deeper roast in there too. Medium strength but intensely delicious aroma.

Oh this is good. The sweet is complex, it is caramel and molasses and chocolate frosting, and it is the main player, but the supporting cast is ginger, herbal bitter, mild roasty bitter, and alcohol warming spice to kind of mix it all together. No flavor is over the top here, it is bright but well balanced and perfectly restrained.

Very light in the mouth despite the huge flavors, medium carb., fantastic, superclean finish, its best feature because of how hard it is to keep spice resin from building in a ginger beer. Most impressive thing about this beer.

Fantastic stout, just amazingly delicious. Balanced, full of flavor, nicely alcoholic, and even refreshing. Highest recommendation

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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

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Photo of Zraly
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. Bought this last night (11/15) at the pre-release sale at the brewery. Bought the glass to go along with it and am using that for tonight's drinking.

Pours black with a a two-finger head. Looks great and as a stronger stout should. Smell upfront is quite subdued but opens up a bit more as it warms. Chocolate wrappers, cinnamon and ginger come forward.

Layer upon layer of flavor. Starts off with a very apparent chocolate note. The chocolate takes a turn and morphs into vanilla bean, which then tops off with cinnamon and a sharp ginger finish. Sweet but not cloying. Well-balanced. Medium to medium-full bodied. The mouthfeel is so good it makes me mad: creamy silk that lets the ginger linger on it way too easily. I cannot emphasize enough that the snappy ginger in the finish is very nice and is reminiscent of a gingersnap cookie.

Extremely good imperial milk stout that would be criminal with any vanilla-based desserts. Interestingly, though, I paired mine with a roast pork loin that was baked with a maple-cinnamon-cayenne blend. The pan drippings were then deglazed with rum and butter. I served this up with creamy parmesan grits and braised cabbage. It was surprisingly good and I would suggest not limiting yourself to dessert only. Of course, by itself, this can carry its own weight if you just want to let it shine on its own.

As an aside, I would be interested in what Hardywood could do with the base of this beer. That is, what does their straightforward milk stout taste like? It seems like it is structured around a very solid milk stout formula and that could be interesting for a year-round offering. I really appreciate big beers or experimental beers that, underneath, remain relatively true to style. I feel as though GBS has that quality to it.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to Josh (brew33) for hooking me up with this bottle

A - This is a very light-colored stout. It's transparent and red/brown enough that it looks more like a BSDA/Quad, not even a porter. It's nice-looking, but not so much stout-looking.

S - Now this is nice. Spicy ginger blends with warm caramel and toffee, hints of vanilla, dark fruit, and cinnamon. There's also a floral element, presumably related to the honeycomb.

T - This is the best tasting gingerbread I can remember having, and it is beer. The sweetness of the milk stout base is a magnificent background against which to project the flavors of ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon. An earthy bitterness on the back of the tongue highlights this gingery crispness. This is really well done.

M - It's nice and full, thick and smooth, but a bit dry on the finish. Nice here, too.

O - Obviously not a traditional milk stout, this beer is a very interesting and really well executed gingerbread beer.

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Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.
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