Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)
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English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #16
Ranked #510
4.37 | pDev: 8.92%
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)
Notes: Hardywood Gingerbread Stout, described by BeerAdvocate as “freagin’ Christmas in a bottle,” is an imperial milk stout brewed with vanilla beans, cinnamon, fresh Casselmonte Farm baby ginger and Bearer Farms wildflower honey. Gingerbread Stout is then matured in Virginia bourbon barrels, where it adapts an incredibly mellow character with oak, caramel and bourbon undertones, and emerges 12 weeks later as Bourbon GBS. A festive blend of spice character laces this rich, chocolatey stout, which warms the palate and the soul.

55 IBU
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 777 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Anders91
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Black with a tan head

Smell: bourbon, cinnamon, chocolate

Taste: follows the nose, but way stronger. Also, some nice nuttiness

Feel: thick and heavy, really coats the tongue

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Photo of Lucular
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. This is an awesome barrel-aged spiced stout. Lots of ginger, vanilla, and bourbon to go along with dark roasted malt, chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee flavors. Well-balanced and easy to drink. The 10.2% abv is well-hidden.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Craig for this big boy.

Damn. I am sharing this beer with some family on Christmas night and all I can say is mission accomplished. This smells and tastes just like a bourbon soaked gingerbread cookie. A delicious l, spiced, rich stout that happens to be quite beautiful as the cherry on top.

Sorry for the generic review, bit it's time to spend time with family after all. Cheers.

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Photo of thebeers
3.81/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cola black with a super fizzy dark mocha head that quickly bubbles away to nothing. Ginger, gentian root, bourbon, light molasses and light vanilla in the nose. The taste follows quickly. Nice heft to the feel while maintaining a slickness first it. Tastes like Christmas.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours nearly opaque except for some deep brown thru the body when held up to the light,a half finger deep beige head atop.Bourbon tinged vanilla,toasty oak,and gingerbread in the nose,the bourbon is slightly bigger than the ginger bread.A slick almost oily feel is good but maybe would like a fuller feel to it.Caramel and brown sugar notes up front on the palate followed by bourbon and toastiness,the gingerbread notes are there but play more of a supporting role and not the assertive role.Really good close to great but would like a little more gingerbread element.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Pours jet black with lots of nice brown head. Nose is dominated by Christmas spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and maybe a touch of clove. Some roasted malts seep in, along with some dark chocolate, toffee, and dark fruit. Taste is really smooth. The spices are still there, but not quite as dominant. Definitely getting nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Nice sweetness, but not cloying. Lots of chocolate, lactose, bourbon, and marshmallow. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. The nice sweet chocolate lingers on the palate for quite a while. Overall, I really like this treat. Definitely a Christmas stout.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasty. Didn’t expect to get this here in Fl. and am pleasantly surprised. I am familiar with Hardywood and bought this because I know it to be a top brewery. NOT disappointed and it’s such a smooth brew. Congrats Hardywood.

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Photo of Griffin2
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.
L - Pours a dark brown with a slight tan head.
S - Smells of bourbon & ginger.
T - Tastes of ginger and bourbon.
F - Medium body and slightly carbonated.
O - Very tasty stout.

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Photo of Roguer
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very good head production, and surprisingly good retention for a BA imperial stout. Body is a woody, dark, ebony color. Nice lacing.

Unsurprisingly, cinnamon and dough come through on the nose, along with roasted barley, vanilla, cream, and honey. No strong impression of ginger. Malt comes through with tones of semi-sweet chocolate and rich espresso, along with toffee, caramel, red grapes, and toast.

While the nose is somewhat muted, there's no such restraint on the palate. Waves and waves of spices and sweet doughy tones. Cinnamon up front with a touch of ginger, quickly yielding to full-on cookie flavor. Vanilla and cinnamon mingle on the back third not unlike egg nog. Rich, sweet, smooth, and 100% delivering on the premise.

Full bodied, big, not hiding the alcohol, and a touch sticky.

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Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/27/2017. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, and brown bread/crust; with light notes of coconut, raisin, fig, date, licorice, smoke, oak char, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, honey, lactose, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and bourbon barrel notes; with big strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, and brown bread/crust; with light notes of coconut, raisin, fig, date, licorice, smoke, oak char, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal, grassy, peppery, roasted bitterness; and cinnamon/ginger/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, brown bread/crust, coconut, dark fruit, smoke, oak char, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, honey, lactose, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome roasted bitter/sweet, and bourbon/cinnamon/ginger spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitter/spiciness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety/bready, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Mild increasing warmth of 10.6%, with minimal lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged spiced imperial milk stout! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, honey, lactose, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV, with the mildly bitter/spicy/tannic/drying finish; amazingly soft/silky feel. Amazingly balanced between rich malts, honey, lactose, spices, and bourbon barrel presence/integration. Light residual sweetness with lingering dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and amazing style example as expected. Not overwhelming on any aspect.

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Photo of stortore
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a snifter. 2017 edition. Had 6/8/18.

Looks like cola, fairly opaque, with rumblings of a head that never happens, a few specks of cling. Aromas of ginger, cinnamon, chocolate, malt, vanilla, light caramel, a little molasses, a faint hint of bourbon. Spicy aroma overall. The taste is ginger, chocolate, malt, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, some oak, light bourbon. Smooth, a good- but thinner than expected- body, could use a touch more carbonation.

Great flavors and aromas, and consistent with the base beer, but the bourbon is hard to find and the body is lacking. Have one more bottle aging, we’ll see. Certainly worth a purchase, but not feeling the high rating.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a goblet. had this one the day after regular GBS. Packaged 11/1/18, so 14 months old.

Jet black body, small but persistent tan head leaving good lacing.

A decent hit of bourbon on the nose.

Well, this is a very good tasting beer. Vanilla notes come through early. It's a little sweet. The BBA element warms throughout. The oddest thing is that the ginger taste, dominant in regular GBS, is well night invisible here. Cinnamon notes are extremely faint. but the overall effect is quite delicious.

Mouth is close to full, finish a slightly sweet bourbon warmth.

Overall, a nice beer to sip on during the NFC championship game.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a murky black color with a light tan head.

Smell - The nose was comparably light, but had definite notes of booze and ginger.

Taste - The beer’s taste began with a heavy dose of chocolate. This was followed by coconut, ginger, and light warming booze. I was also getting a seemingly unintentional impression of mint. It was a little off-putting The rich chocolate and coconut were strong enough to last through the finish.

Mouthfeel - in terms of the body, this beer was thick and full bodied.

Overall - I really enjoyed the base beer, but also enjoyed this one. It is tough to rate one variant of a classic over another.

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Photo of onejdc
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The bourbon GBS is a solid offering from Hardywood, though I keep hoping something will top the first time I had their Raspberry Stout in 2014. This stout pours clean and looks dark and inviting. The head pours in lightly, building a bit bigger than I expected, more like a Guinness, but with a very different flavor. Aroma is round and soft. The head is creamy and rich, but I didn't get the taste of cinnamon or ginger that I expected.

Front of the pallet hits smooth and mellow, with a light almost honey accent. Back of the mouth has a slightly nuttier taste that I appreciate. The entire thing is underscored with a faint hint of vanilla that I think any milk stout enthusiast will enjoy. A very well-crafted milk stout, It comes in at 4.5 for me.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thick, brown beer with a cocoa colored bread. A few bands of lacing left on the glass. The nose is filled with bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, ginger, oak, coffee, and roasty malt. Taste is same as the nose with all the flavors listed. It is sweet but finishes with a nice bitterness and some lingering milk chocolate. Really nice beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Christ on a cracker! ...or at least Christmas in a bottle, the beer that's become Hardywood Park's most famous stout has been slathered with bourbon flavor to go along with the ginger, cookie and bready tastes that make the imperial milk stout so irresistible.

Black in its body but tan in its coffee-like creme, Bourbon Barrel GBS floods the nose with a decadent scent of chocolate and whisky coupled with ginger, toast, coffee and molasses. Flavors seamlessly carry over from the nose and splash the early palate with the sweet and savory sensations of blackstrap molasses, spice cake, chocolate and heavy whipping cream.

All that dense cakey goodness nestles comfortably on the middle palate and simmers there in a warmth of whisky and all it vanilla, caramel, campfire, toasty, nutty glory. Ginger begins to balance the sweetness and link up with the whisky spice to balance a portion of the lingering sugars. Coconut and deep roast espresso extend into an exotic gingerbread late palate.

Lavishly full on the palate, the stout's rich and marshmallowy body continues to billow on the finish allowing the simmering warmth of bourbon and chocolate liqueur to tease the after palate with holiday desserts long into the day.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.84/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz Magnify Snulip glass bottled in late 2017. Pours a very attractive dark near black, with a 2 finger dark tan head that leaves a few thin wisps of lace behind, as it slowly settles into a rather thick layer of khaki bubbles that never leave.

Smell is for me the only true weakness, faint ginger, Pepsi, nutmeg, cocoa, and cocoanut Rum, odd.

Taste is much better and more balanced, few the nose was letting me down. A huge hit of ginger bread, chocolate, toffee, vanilla, cocoanut, and a solid hit of oaky bourbon.

Mouthfeel is creamy medium, moderate live as you would expect, maybe a tad dry, and goes down fairly easy, but it leaves a mark on your palate.

Overall this is nice, the nose was a tad underwhelming but over this is a nice BA Stout that you will definitely remember. Thanks jzeilinger for this large Stout.

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Photo of Rristow
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted from bottle. Pours black with a light khaki head. Aroma of bourbon, caramel, maple syrup, cinnamon. Thick and chewy. Flavors of cinnamon, bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, caramel, maple syrup, ginger, coffee. Very well done BA stout.

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Photo of Phineasco
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark brown with virtually no head. Has low carbonation.
Smell: Ginger bread, sugar cookies, vanilla beans, and mulled spices.
Taste: Ginger bread, honey, nutmeg, mulled spices, with a touch of bourbon barrel.
Mouthfeel: Medium full with lots of complexity.
Overall: A very good barrel aged Christmas stout. Much easier to drink than the base beer, the bourbon rounds it out.

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Photo of citizencane
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours blackish-red with minimal head and rim of foam that lingers in flight glass. Smell is bourbon, gingerbread, and roasted malts. Taste is the same, but with an added dimension of vanilla and chocolate that lends a creaminess to the feel. Excellent beer and much better than the original version.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown and almost black pour, tight cream lacing, very sticky on the sides of the glass.

S - Chocolate, ginger, light bourbon.

T - Chocolate, ginger, oak, spice, and aggressive bourbon.

M - Big and full bodied, silky, light prickly carbonation.

O - Very bourbon and spice forward.

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Photo of teromous
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't see a bottle date listed. This bottle says "ALCOHOL 10.6% BY VOL" which differs from what is listed here.

Appearance: The body is black in the glass. It has a short khaki head that quickly dissipates. The lacing doesn't stick around but there are a few spots.

Aroma: It smells just like bourbon, oak, and alcohol.

Taste: It has a wonderful oatmeal cookie and cinnamon flavor that pops up almost instantly. That oatmeal cookie flavor is absolutely fantastic. There is just a light dusting of bourbon flavor across the palate but it lingers mostly towards the back of the mouth and in the aftertaste. There is a light vanilla and oak flavor towards the end which is very uplifting. The flavor is perfect.

Mouthfeel: The body floats on the lighter side of medium but it is smoother on the palate than its body would otherwise suggest. It finishes light with a touch of sweetness and just a small bite from wood tannin. The beer is very easy to drink and there is never any alcohol burn.

Overall: At first I was a bit wary because there wasn't a lot of aroma coming from the beer. This concern was quickly replaced by elated joy as the flavor burst into the foreground of this beer. It simply tastes fantastic. This is a completely different beer from the standard version of GBS. If you enjoy GBS then I would highly recommend seeking out this beer. I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, tan head that dissipates quickly. Getting a lot of vanilla on the nose. May be a touch of ginger. Lots of vanilla, chocolate, and coconut. The latter the most prominent to me. There's a touch of ginger and molasses on the finish. The body is smooth but thick enough to provide a very nice, luscious mouthfeel. I know that this has gotten less and less rare, but it was a really nice beer to easily pick up at Whole Foods.

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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tan head. Black color. 2015 release bottle.

The gingerbread spice is on point. Not overpowering. Bourbon, oak, vbaiy, and spice. This is holiday liquid barrel aged delight. Medium to full bodied. This is a treat.

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Photo of BJB13
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 release.
Poured into a snifter.

Pours a rich opaque brown that shows a little mahogany around the edges. The minimal tan head leaves some lacing and legs are visible on the glass.

The strong nose is fantastic! The gingerbread really comes through along with Nutmeg and French Toast! This smells like Christmas morning! There is a bit of alcohol aroma as well but not much. The gingerbread flavor is not as strong as the nose and the overall taste is less spicy than the nose let's on. I get sweet molasses, vanilla, some chocolate and I think a hint of orange. The bourbon flavor is barely noticeable but this may have to do with the age of the bottle. The finish is long but not cloying. The feel is silky, smooth and viscous, sitting on the light side of full bodied. It surrounds the tongue like a soft pillow.

A great sweet stout. I would love to have a bottle of this for the holidays.

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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 777 ratings