Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
88 Reviews
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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States
hardywood.com

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:
88
Ratings:
647
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
378
Gots:
244
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 647
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.

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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.

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Photo of Beerfiend1
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy ma moly solid stuff.

Look: That perfect stout look, thick yellow head, motor oil black. Same as regular GBS.
Smell: Delicious smelling stuff. That vanilla, dark fruit, and wood of the bourbon barrel shine on the nose, and strong ginger on the back end.
Taste: Like dipping a gingerbread cookie in bourbon, or taking a big sip of some bourbon right after a cookie. Holy crap I want this all the time.
Feel: The regular gingerbread felt thin this year, but I also questioned whether some age would do it well. I'm not sure yet how much the bottle cellaring will help, but I can tell you this bourbon barrel aging did wonderfully.
Overall: Just pure awesomeness.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

This is probably the favorite seasonal stout out of all the stouts out there as it is done just right with great hints of bourbon and an incredible superb taste!

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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.

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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?

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, tan head that builds to a medium height and lacing that fades. Aromas of Christmas, Gingerbread Cookies and Bourbon. Notes of Gingerbread cookie, oak, vanilla, burnt inside of barrel, and Christmas. Full feel, slick, coats the pallet and finishes with a fantastic thick linger. What an amazing stout. Unique Gingerbread flavor and that bourbon cloak that makes this absolutely exceptional.

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Photo of Jay_P22
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Figured I would drink this for March Madness. Poured into a snifter.

Looks like a chocolate glass of goodness. Thick foamy head with layers of settling black layers in the foam. The head was a solid 3 inches, layered, sticky, and leaves a little lacing.

Smells boozy. Smells of chocolate and bourbon. Can't go wrong.

Tastes so damn good. The bourbon isn't to strong but still prevalent. Chocolate hangs on the front of u your tongue, bourbon on the finish.

Mouthful is smooth with great body. Coats y our tongue from the chocolate and bourbon.

Overall, I get the hype. Virginia residents went wild for this beer and I see why. Glad I found one. Wish I had another to age. Will buy a few next year.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
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.

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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.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one later in the evening after consuming Hardywood Park's Gingerbread Stout.
A - similar to the original this beer pours dark with the nice carmel head
S - Gingerbread notes are evident at pour along with the aroma of the bourbon; again as this beer warms the gingerbread is more evident
T - the bourbon is very well balanced with the light Toffee, Carmel and Gingerbread
M - the bourbon is not overpowering making this one a very enjoyable beer.
O - I liked this one much better than the original GBS --

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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
4.3 out of 5 based on 647 ratings.
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