Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
77 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by MasterSki on 12-10-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
77
Ratings:
595
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
372
Gots:
232
For Trade:
27
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 595
Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed the regular Ginger Bread Stout and was looking forward to the Bourbon Barrel version. This did not let me down.

I gave the regular GBS a 5 and this is just a little better with a little more of an alcohol kick. But this is not an over the top bourbon barrel beer, still very drinkable and not "hot" at all. Ready to drink now no aging required.

 362 characters

Photo of Xenoreactive
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Preliminary: Had on draft and poured from a 750 ml bottle.

Look: Slimy and lacking any head.

Smell: Pure Christmas. Has all the elements of a chocolate gingerbread cookie. Despicably inviting. This beer has the best smell I've ever experienced.

Taste: Pure sex. Imagine a vanilla bourbon cookie mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, caramelized cookie and nutella fudge.

Feel: Not as thick as you would expect, but it is rich and dessert-like. No complaints.

Overall: Perfect. Will never have a better Christmas brew. Purchased a case just to evaluate it's integrity: even after 4 months, the flavor is incredible.

 612 characters

Photo of kspauld2
4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice dark brown pour with tan head.
Smells amazing. Cinnamon, honey, ginger.
Taste is fantastic. Didn't think they could get any better than the reg GBs but wow. Vanilla, slightl bourbon, cinnamon, clove.
Overall a top notch beer perfect for the cold winter nights

 267 characters

Photo of CLCardinal84
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Louisville Beer Store snifter. Big thanks to Taylor (mocktm) for sending this bottle!

A: Cola colored pour with a nice finger width head that becomes a soapy white ring with minimal lacing.

S: Like a freaking gingerbread man and Christmas in a glass. Haven't had a gingerbread stout and have never smelled a beer like this. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg all hits the nose. Smell opens up big time after 5-10 minutes after pour.

T: This beer tastes amazing. I would not serve it a degree under 55. This beer opens up greatly with a little warmth and it is incredibly balanced and smooth. All the smells above hit the tongue.

M: Creamy, smooth and coats the tongue nicely. All you can ask for here.

O: This beer is outstanding. One of the better barrel aged stouts I've ever had. Perfect beer for Christmas day with the family. I will seek out more Hardywood in the future.

 906 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. Bottled 12/12. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours near black with ruddy edges and a finger and a half mild tan head. No lace.

Smells exactly as the name implies- gingerbread cookies and bourbon! An excellent harmony.

Again, the taste is spot on. Really, every flavor that the name implies- a hearty gingerbread cookie served with bourbon. The booze is extremely well concealed considering the over 10% abv.

A creamy medium full feel with mild carbonation. Long smooth sweet bourbony spiced finish.

Truly outstanding. A great example of an already fantastic base stout being taken to new heights by bourbon barrel aging. If you can get this, DO!

 669 characters

Photo of CMerrill
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!! Not much from Hardywood that doesn't make you say "WoW"! A perfect winter stout! Slight hints of bourbon and a gingerbread finish.

 150 characters

Photo of uvachief
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review is very similar to the regular GBS review except that the bourbon barrel aging knocks off some of the sugar and sweetness making a much more complex and flavorful beer. I prefer this over regular GBS. You can smell and taste the bourbon. Not overpowering but just enough to calm the sugar down appropriately. Very smooth and drinkable.

 346 characters

Photo of cw577enfield
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is, without a doubt, one of most amazing stouts I've ever tasted. It will leave you feeling in a state of utopia until you've crashed and yearning to have another taste. Let's see if Hardywood will do it better next time! Oh, yeah, the first line was nearly two hours before I got my limit of two bottles. Who knows what it'll be like next season?

 352 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the release, which went very smoothly.

A: Like GBS, the beer pours out black with a small brown head. The head really doesn't stick around for long at all. This variation seems to have a darker body, with less light creeping through the edges. 3.5

S: The spices have taken a big step back on the aroma, basically all that remains is faint ginger. Otherwise the aroma is focused on sweetness. Honey, lactose, an vanilla mostly. The bourbon is the strongest aroma of them all, but I wouldn't say it takes the beer over. Typically with a milk stout I would expect bourbon barrel aging to wreck anything else that tried to make a statement, that doesn't seem to be the case here. 4

T: The taste is amazingly balanced for all that's going on. The taste starts off light, with chocolate and lactose readying the palate for the onslaught that is to come. Next up, the ginger. As bready as ever, the ginger builds on the chocolate and balances what starts as a very sweet taste. Next up the bourbon, vanilla, and honey come together to add a new level of complexity I missed from regular GBS. The finish is of booze and some cinnamon, which in this offering is more of an afterthought than a focus. This is an amazingly complex milk stout that is absolutely perfect for the holidays. It pairs well with peanut butter blossom cookies (with Hershey's Kisses in the middle, not Reese's Cups). 5

MF: The body is medium with a lower than average amount of carbonation. The ABV is higher than regular GBS and the booze is more noticeable. The spirit of the holidays and the amazing balance make this beer very drinkable, even as a deep beer that comes in a 750ml bottle. 5

O: Blown away by this beer. It is a lot better than GBS, in my opinion. While some of the spices have been lost to the barrel aging, the bourbon has added more than it has taken away. Enough of the base beer remains to be appreciated, which is a key for me with barrel aging. You've outdone yourselves Hardywood. 5

 1,996 characters

Photo of jasoncheb
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip

A - pours a very dark brown with very little transparency when held up to a light.

S - bourbon, ginger, honey, vanilla, and some oak barrel notes

T - So, with having tried this when I first grabbed my allotment at Hardywood, the bourbon barrel overpowered the ginger, vanilla, and honey. Now, with a few months on the bottle, the barrel has fallen off a bit, leaving the beer with more of the ginger, honey, and vanilla flavor that made the original GBS so popular.

M Full bodied stout that leaves a nice smooth finish. Very little heat from the BA on the bottle after sitting for a few months.

O - As this beer has aged, the overall flavor has really bumped up a notch. The complexity of the original GBS is starting to fill back in while the BA falls off, but is still present.

 815 characters

Photo of SteveB24
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a shiny black, with a surprising two and a half fingers of surprisingly light colored, off white, frothy head that retains nicely. aroma is sweet bourbon upfront,followed by the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Taste-the gingerbread comes first, thankfully not at all overpowered by the bourbon, the bourbon follows providing a smooth, sweet finish.
Feel-creamy but not heavy, quite carbonated, very smooth
Overall-an outstanding beer, the original GBS is excellent and they found a way to improve and enhance it without changing the classic tastes you except. very impressive.

 579 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into snifter glass. Pours a dark brown along with a thin lacing head that lasts slightly throughout. Aromas are cocoa, toffee, gentle roast and toast. Mellow cinnamon, ginger, and spice. Touches of oak, vanilla, more gentle barrel experience, but it still covers up the spice a bit. Initial is sweeter, darker, cocoa and vanilla, gentle spirit. Ginger, cinnamon, some vanilla life. Middle is sweeter, cinnamon and ginger presence, some creamy vanilla and nice sweetness at times. Spirit, toast, toffee. A touch sweet. Cinnamon and spice assert into finish, nice flavors, gingerbread, some spirit, vanilla, gentle spiciness lingers with mellow heat, toffee, and creamy sweetness. Overall, a fine beer and cannot go wrong this one or the regular although I do prefer the latter.

 795 characters

Photo of vicinandp
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like the bourbon version noticeably more than the standard version. The standard in my opinion is better with some age because its a little too much for me fresh, but this is a perfect blend of the spices and a nice oaky, vanilla and bourbon taste.

 250 characters

Photo of I_eat_beer
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A delicious, bubbly combination of gingerbread, bourbon, and all the things that make an imperial stout one of the things that make life worth living.

 150 characters

Photo of AMCimpi
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: a lot of carb. Light tan, dark but some light coming through around the edges. S: wow, so much cinnamon. This smells like Christmas morning. I'm in love. T: cinnamon, gingerbread, not a hint of alcohol. Just a lovely spiced stout. M: a bit thin, but barrel aging thins them out a bit, so I dig it. O: kind of wished I'd saved it for the winter, but I love this shit. One of the best extras I've ever gotten

 409 characters

Photo of dvmin98
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Did a vert with reg, BBL and RBL...this was by far the best of the three. Much more complex than the rum. The feel seemed thicker and the overall barrel was way better. Regular was next and then rum

 201 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ncaudle for the bottle hookup!

Pours deep brown with a small beige head fading quickly, but leaving some good lacing.

Smells like a gingerbread cookie dipped in bourbon. Ginger, brown sugar, vanilla and a light bourbon presence in the aroma.

This one is a great sipper. Still maintains a good dose of the spices and milk sweetness from the base beer, but is amped up with a hefty dose of vanilla and a little oak and bourbon. Bourbon is well integrated and doesn't overpower the base beer, but does provide a nice kick at the end.

Full bodied stout. Alcohol is hidden fairly well and the bourbon is well integrated. It's present, but doesn't overpower or create and overly boozy sensation. Carbonation level is spot on and much lower than the base which was my biggest complaint with the regular Gingerbread Stout.

A very delightful beer. I enjoyed the base, but felt it was overcarbonated. This one hits on all counts. I could drink plenty of this one without getting tired of it.

 996 characters

Photo of papat444
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

MY 400th DIFFERENT BREWERY REVIEWED!

Enjoyed at EBF 2014.

Sugary, gooey goodness; real gingerbread in a glass all mixed in with bourbon and there's hints of vanilla sprinkled in there. Nice and sweet but never cloying. This one delivers on its promise. Very, very good stuff.

 277 characters

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best gingerbread stout I have ever had. Lots of cinnamon and gingerbread on the nose and taste with really nice balance. Nice thick mouthfeel and jet black color. Great beer.

 187 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2014 and provided by Lou! Great nose with definite ginger and spices evident, very creamy mouthfeel and taste does not indicate a beer of 10+ % ABV.

 156 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to egrace84 for the share! Thanks elliot!

poured into snifter glass.

reviewed from notes taken 01/03/13.

Appearance: light to medium black bodied beer with a thin white cap of head.

Smell: Mellow barrel notes and huge gingerbread cookie and cinnamon. It smell just like GBS with a splash of bourbon.

Taste: This beer tastes just like GBS with a splash of bourbon! The barrel notes give this beer a touch of bourbon and vanilla. But the gingerbread flavor is fantastic and does not have an artificial flavor at all. Cinnamon and nutmeg also have a big prescence in this beer complimenting the gingerbread really well. This beer is sweet, but not even close to being cloyingly sweet, just the right amount of sweetness!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. This beer is so smooth. Its so balanced and just a little bit of creaminess! ABV is well hidden. No harsh booziness just a faint warming sensation.

Overall: Hardywood makes another crazy awesome beer. Honestly, I hope that GBS and BA GBS are going to be a Winter tradition for the brewers at Hardywood. GBS & BA GBS are the best christmas beers that I have ever had and no other beer even comes remotely close! The barrel really complements the beer; it still lets alot of the flavors of the base beer shine through and accent all of the regular GBS flavors!

 1,365 characters

Photo of mojiboo02
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bourbon version of Gingerbread Stout reminded me a lot of the 2011 version of the regular Gingerbread Stout, but with some oak and bourbon taste to it. The spices are a bit subdued after 12 weeks in a barrel. The mouthfeel, smell, and taste are all great from the bottle. I tried the draft at the release party and didn't like it as much as the bottle version.

 364 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared last night at Umberto's tasting.

Smells like ginger, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, and a light amount of bourbon.

This is really decadent. I haven't yet had the regular Gingerbread Stout, but the other people last night said that this version was a little bit sweeter than the regular. There's honey, vanilla icing, strong ginger, some light sweet bourbon, and a little bit oaky vanilla.

This is medium bodied, not quite as thick as it could/should be, with a lower level of carbonation, and a creamy, full mouthfeel.

This is a really decadent and tasty treat.

 578 characters

Photo of Mdorinsk
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Nearly black, with deep red hue in the light.

Smell - Incredibly subtle bourbon (at least in the 2015 batch) and honey

Taste - The barrel aging magnifies the amazing vanilla flavors that are already in the base beer without losing the honey and ginger. The beer is sweet and to my palate, extremely drinkable. The boost in ABV is detectable, but doesn't detract from the taste at all. Some have complained that the barrel character (Wild Turkey according to the man who poured my draft on release day) is too subtle this year (2015), but I'd say they struck the perfect balance -- accentuating existing flavors without losing anything from the base GBS.

Feel - Slightly thinner than their Mega-Stout and many other stouts of the same ABV, but not lacking in my opinion.

Overall - My shelves are drooping with the weight of all the Bourbon GBS I've squirreled away. A well balanced beer that will undoubtedly serve as a "gateway" BA stout for many. I bought bottles of this at each of Hardywood's December releases and look forward to aging a bottle or two.

 1,068 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color with a tight, tan head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of bourbon notes layered over chocolate and ginger.

Tastes of roasted malts with notes of ginger and bourbon. Roasted noes lead off with chocolate and some caramel as well. This gives way to notes of vanilla and oak. Spice notes of clove and cinnamon come next. Finishes with a lingering roasted note.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty addition to an already great beer.

 517 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.3 out of 5 based on 595 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
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!