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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
77 Reviews
THE BROS
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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:
589
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
27.44%
 
 
Wants:
370
Gots:
236
For Trade:
26
User Reviews
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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 589
Photo of Jeffo
2.82/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one from Siddfinch a while back. Drank this one after the regular version. Thanks for the trade dude!

From a cork & caged 750 into a snifter
Vintage 2014
IBU: 55
Milk stout with ginger, honey, cinnamon and vanilla
Aged for 12 weeks in barrels

APPEARANCE: Same as the other version. A clear, light brown pour yields a big, three finger, foamy, looser, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown body, clear, with a bit of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass, but it does eventually end up looking rather flat by the end. Too light a body as well, and the head is rather unimpressive.

SMELL: Milder nose of milk sugars, ginger, and some honey is there. Light toffee notes as well. Perhaps a touch more vanilla from the barrels, but nothing else really. No real roast from the base stout either.

TASTE: Very similar to the base beer. Ginger, some toffee and then some honey at the swallow. Bolder finish of ginger, cinnamon, honey, some milky sweetness and bitter chocolate flavors as well. Cinnamon and ginger linger on the palate with a touch of vanilla and oak from the barrels. This is basically the same as the base with just a touch extra vanilla and wood. Very minimal though.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky. Not overly carbonated like the base beer. Better here.

OVERALL: Like the base beer, this is no better than okay. The adjunct character is interesting enough, but the base stout is rather weak and the barrel aging is pretty mundane. Still, these pairs are always fun to try and I’d say this one was slightly more interesting than the base beer, so that’s something at least. Cheers again for the brews SiddFinch!

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at Lost Dog – North Arlington.

Starts with gingerbread and ends with gingerbread. If you like gingerbread this may be quite the quaffable beer. But not for me. All of those truck chasers who beat me to this bottle over the past four weeks - thanks! I only had to try a glass and not waste an entire bottle. - 3.0

A – Pours a dark, black opaque with a short lived tan head - 3.5

S - Gingerbread maybe some faint roastiness, could not smell the bourbon. - 3.5

T - Gingerbread sweet, a nice bitter finish to somewhat balance the sweet, but not enough. Almost cloyingly sweet. No bourbon. 3

MF -A bit thin, which does not match the medium body and sweet consistency. - 3.25
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Photo of Rifugium
3.64/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I was pretty let down by the regular version of this beer after falling for the hype, but fortunately, I enjoyed this one a bit more. I have a couple bottles of my own, but someone graciously shared a bottle at SS13, so thanks.

Mahogany brown pour, deep and slightly hazy, with a small tan head that receded to a ringlet, and left a little lacing on the glass. The bottle was open well before I got to it, and thus had a few moments to breathe. Sweet aroma, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, booze, more like flavored vodka than bourbon. As in the regular version, there was a definite cookie taste going on, like a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie, but it wasn't as pronounced as I would have hoped, and in this version it was also competing with the vanilla/bourbon/booze flavors. Regardless of that, I do think that this version tasted better, and the bourbon aging improved it, though there was still a bitter, woody unpleasant aspect to the beer. Again, like the original, my main beef with this beer was the body. It's quite thin for a stout, and leaning more towards an English stout or brown ale. It would be interesting to see if they tweak GBS and try to improve it in the future, but considering the hype over it, it's probably not going to change. I definitely wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me, but it's not worth standing in line for however many hours to get it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body that looks dark brown at the edges. Not much of a head. Thin off white collar.

Smell - Graham cracker and chocolate. Cinnamon. No real barrel. Slightest hint of bourbon among the booze.

Taste - Still no barrel, even less than the nose. Maybe some oak and vanilla. A really tasty graham cracker and cinnamon flavor. Some chocolate but it's mostly adjunct.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Kinda boozy. No real barrel.

Overall - The slighest of barrel characters. Wish there were more, but it's still very good.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Gift from Lunch, thanks Paul! Beer served in a Hardywood glass (again Thanks Paul!). Beer is dark brown and hazy with a tan head of small bubbles.

Aroma is sweet with hints of ginger and spice.

Beer is medium in body and has this odd coconut flavor to it that grows with every sip until it is all I can taste. I heard this tasted different on draft and I would be interested in trying it but ultimately the beer was not ginger enough, too much coconut or whatever that was and too thin, not a repeat for me.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.79/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a nosing glass. Vintage 2012.

Matte black with light head and heavy lacing.

Smells like an oxidized old ale. Meh.

Wow though, it tastes great. Soft chocolate. Hints of dead yeast. Also a bit of booze.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Faint bourbon presence and loads of spicing, feel is just shy of thin. A bit thicker base and more bourbon notes would round this out and help chill out the gingerbread. Fun but not great.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, VaTechHopHead!

Dark brown body with a small light brown head. Leaves the glass slightly spotted and oily on the way down. Pretty enough and appropriate for the style. Doesn't look particularly thick, heavy, or viscous, however.

Very nice Christmas aroma. There is definite gingerbread house, Christmas spices, molasses, and brown sugar here. A tiny bit of alcohol emerges in the aroma, especially as the beer warms. Definite caramel and baked, crispy brownie crust as well. Everything comes together nicely. This is a great smelling beer.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. There is a wonderful combination of gingerbread cookies, molasses and slightly burnt brown sugar, bread crusts, and a little bit of chocolate. A little bit of oak, but very little, if any, bourbon character.

This would be where the beer disappoints, if it disappoint anywhere. A fairly thin mouthfeel, even for the style, with very low carbonation.

Very tasty, and a beer I never thought I'd get a chance to taste. Much appreciated, and quite tasty.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours a clear super dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, gingerbread, Christmas spice, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with dark gingerbread and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great gingerbread and barrel aged presence that comes across much better in the smell to me.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at EBF 2016 Bourbon vanilla and oak behind some brown sugary maltiness with plenty of ginger to back it up. Almost too much ginger for my tastes, but I quite enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks, Xenoreactive! At first, the aroma reveals nice bourbon qualities, mainly oak. Letting it open up will reveal nice ginger notes. It smells damn nice, with a good coexistence between the two elements. It's flavor lives up to the awesome nose, with vanilla flavors from the barrel intensifying the finishing notes of ginger, molasses, and honey. It's a great-tasting dessert beer...but it's not a great-feeling dessert beer. Simply put, it's too thin - even compared to its non-BA cousins. Drinkability is great at least (it certainly doesn't say 10.6%), but I also sense that the flimsy texture lets the fantastic flavor down. With more bulk in the right ways, this would be off-the-charts legendary. Still, it's an excellent beer, one that's worth seeking out.

4.03/5: Excellent BA stout, shame about the slender feel...

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Pete for sharing
The beer pours a dark brown with almost no head/lacing. The nose is a pungent nutmeg with none of the other spices or notes of bourbon that I'd expected. The taste brings a lot more ginger and spice forward, but the bourbon still doesn't make an appearance. As I'd expected from the beer's appearance, the mouthfeel is rather thin and mild-medium bodied, but does have a lot more spice, specifically ginger, that lingers in the aftertaste. This beer is quite tasty with great spice and the ginger I was hoping for, but the nose didn't pop with the Christmas season or bourbon as I'd hoped.

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Photo of portia99
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into an Old Guardian glass. Having just had the regular version of this, I am excited to try the BA version.

A - pours a clear dark brown color with reddish mahogany tint around the edges and forming a short foamy tan collar

S - barrel, bourbon, heavy ginger, honey, cinnamon

T - massive ginger and honey, cinnamon. Light bourbon and vanilla come thru too but not as intense as I hoped.

M full body with a lower carbonation that only gives a little life. Mild bourbon...hardly any warmth at all. Heavily spiced and Christmasy

O - I enjoyed this, but expected more after having had the regular version recently. Barrel was very subtle and didn't add to the base the way that I hoped it would

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Photo of oldn00b
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours near black with a nice frothy khaki head that retains well but does dissipate to about nothing.

Nose is basically just like GBS - no real hint of bourbon or barrel comes forward.

Flavor is nice. I'm not in the camp of The Bros giving GBS a 100. It's nice, but it's not perfect. I think it needs something else - coffee like Christmas morning, or the barrel here. Hardywood doesn't tend to leave their beer in barrels all that long imho, but the time granted here was enough to smooth out the edges on GBS. It gives it a nicer, more rounded and full body. It doesn't bring the booze or throw on the vanilla notes, but it makes the ginger really shine. KY Christmas is better, but this is my second favorite at this point (still waiting to try the Apple Brandy GBS).

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Pdiddy3d for sharing this! You the man Pete!

750ml bottle poured into a taster.

Pours out nearly black, some reddish brown hues are defiantly visible. A nice light tan colored head with decent retention, minimal lacing.

I maybe expected a bit more from the aroma. Gingerbread cookie is defiantly there in full force, but lacking a little on the bourbon. A bit light.

Much better taste, gingerbread cookies are at the forefront, but melds with some nice milk chocolate, a bit of caramel and bourbon and hints of vanilla. I maybe expected more bourbon to show through, but still an amazing taste. A fair amount of sweetness.

Medium to heavy in body, adequate carbonation for the style.

Overall, this was about on par with the regular version, not really better or worse. The bourbon added a nice dimension to it, but I expected a lot more to come through. Also some of the flavors from the original beer were just a tad muted.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, thanks @blackie

Was quite dissapointed by the standard version - upon popping the cork, you can immediately tell that overcarbonation wont' be an issue here. Not a particularly robust aroma - hints of ginger cookie, bourbon, spice. The flavor profile opens up a bit with clear defined notes of ginger, molasses, chocolate, coconut, bourbon and the like. To me, the intended flavor profile works a lot better in this version. Not without its flaws though - a bit thin, and 12 weeks in a barrel seems a little rushed.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, some chocolate, cinnamon and oak. Almost zero barrel presence, standard southern treatment. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Good carb. This is pretty good.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The nose is a bit lighter on the gingerbread as the barrel imparts a stronger vanilla and coconut tone.

The flavor is a mellowed gingerbread cookie with tempered spice, light vanilla sweetness and a stronger shaved coconut taste.

It drinks incredibly smooth and viscous. This seemed to lose a bit of luster from the base beer, which is unusual for anything in a barrel, but maybe I love the original too much.

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Photo of barczar
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More vanilla than the original in aroma, with less ginger dominance. Definitely more balanced.

Flavor is far more melded. The bourbon counters the ginger nicely.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Sam for this one. 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Heavy pour yields a 2 finger frothy light mocha colored head with great retention. Beer is black but not particularly thick. Lacing is rich and layered with excellent stick. An awesome looking beer.

Nose is cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, cream, lactose and just the slightest hint of bourbon. Moderately aromatic. The nose belies the flavor here... which is a bit of a shame.

Opens huge gingerbread and cinnamon notes. Molasses, brown sugar, sugar cookie, chocolate, and bourbon in the middle. Some oatmeal cookie overtones. Ends sweet and syrupy with a boozy finish and a bready, sweet aftertaste. Delicious!

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Lively but smooth in the mouth and goes clean with a messy finish and a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Hugely drinkable for 10.6% and the alcohol feels barely there!

What really gets me about this beer is how hugely drinkable it is. Very sweet with nice complexity but at 10.6%, this drinks like its about half of that. Feel is rich without being overwhelming and the thinner body actually works great here. A pretty under-the-radar stout... and definitely one to seek out!

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very impressive. Quite similar to the unbarrel aged version, but the barrel process just adds an extra layer of complexity. Rich, complex, and subtle barrel character that is not overwhelming. All the Xmas notes of the regular with maybe a touch of mint coming through. Big thanks @ AlexHW for this trade.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours rich dark chocolate color. Aroma is boozy and chocolate. Flavor is bourbon and gingerbread cookie. Has a nice mouthfeel and overall is really good.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap (limited review):
Pours a black (at least very dark brown) with foamy white head, minimal lacing.
Smell is mostly gingerbread, and wonderful, but I think the bourbon plays quite well into it to produce a nice blend.
Taste is actually a little more sweet, ginger not as strong as nose, some toasted coconut, maybe a hint if the barrel
Feel is medium light, and I wish it were a tad more full.

Second chance at this beer, and enjoyed it more the second time, which is less normal these days. Glad I have one in the fridge at home.

Had the one from fridge May 2015. Tasty, upped overall a notch.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is Christmas in a bottle. It's more mellow than it's regular cousin. I like it a lot more and the fact that the bourbon become a flavor not the dominate force is it's strongest attribute.

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Photo of Lapalou
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at CCB milkmaid release. I had the regular GBS and the got this on tap. Pour is deep brown, not quite black and gingerbread spice is still present in the nose. The main thing to point out here is that the bourbon is not overwhelming or present up front. It's just slight on the back end. For most people drinking Bourbon BA stouts I could see this being underwhelming but as person that doesn't love bourbon, I thought this was great. The BA added a nice compliment and didn't go to far. Not a 100 but something I'd ISO in the wintertime

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Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.
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