Bourbon GBS (Gingerbread Stout) | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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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:
245
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 647
Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Visually, everything you would expect from this type of beer -- dark, thick -- inviting. Nose a bit light compared to the other 2015 GBS varieties. Caramel/bourbon dominates; some vanilla, ginger and just the right amount of bitterness to finish. I prefer the balance of flavors in the Kentucky Christmas Morning, but this is still an outstanding member of the GBS families and a real holiday treat.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL corked bottle poured in a stemmed glass. Stoked to finally get my hands on a bottle, thanks to my dad going to the Navy package store where they had quite a supply. This was one of the few times I was hoping for a bit more bourbon barrel flavors, but still an outstanding beer. I've been recognizing Hardywood as the go to brewery for perfectly balanced barrel aging. If there was a touch more bourbon whiskey barrels flavor in here, it'd be mind blowing. Some breweries are too over the top when it comes to barrel aging, making the booziness intense. I'm glad I finally got to try this, and will definitely seek out more. Get it when you see it.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a black body with one finger khaki head that is slow to die. Mostly a dry, woody, boozy aroma as the barrels overpower the gingerbread aspect (still a bit of sweet ginger and a breadiness is apparent). Silky smooth thanks to the wood aspect from beer, creamy, even lactic, medium bodied . Sweet tastes like vanilla, cinnamon and ginger sweetness are balanced with barely noticeable booze and this sticky honey-like note on backend. A really sweet beer that seems sweeter than usual GBS due to "vanilla/booze" like sweetness and more balanced/put together than the Rum GBS.

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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 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 maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to cdunk11 for this Last Bottle Standing from a long-ago trade as I continue some clean-up. 750ML corked & caged bottle split with my wife & as a side note, I like barrels on labels.

The pour is black hole dark & the copious bubbles cannot escape the gravitational well, but they try. The nose may have faded some with age as it’s light: vague spice that might clock in at cinnamon, honeyed sweetness, but I get more clove than anything else.

Gingerbread Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged: the cast of Shrek would be horrified & the little guy probably needs two new legs now. Gingerbread + gingerbread! Spicy, doughy, cinnamony, with a framework of sweetness that’s likely a combo of the malts & honey. The mid-palate brings the vanilla from the barrel & hefty tablespoons of ginger. The alleged bourbon is no more than a rumor. Slick & oh-so-drinkable; I couldn’t do quite as much of this as I could do of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, but it’d be a photo finish.

Honestly? You couldn’t fit more than a wisp of ginger’s difference between this version & the regular version. I don’t know if the bourbon has faded that fast - I’ve never experienced it going so quickly - or if it is just supremely tame, but it doesn’t add much except perhaps another layer of vanilla sweetness. But hey - the base ain’t no slouch & this is still an excellent beer.

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Photo of Stolenface1
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage 750ml - Pours a deep black/brown with dark khaki head. Aroma of chocolate, molasses ginger, honey, cinnamon, caramel, slight coffee and vanilla. Flavor is slightly sweet, with all of the aromas in the flavor along with brown sugar, milky(lactose) sweetness, roasted & chocolate malts, bigger vanilla & ginger, bourbon and slight booze. Flavor is more concentrated than the non BA, both in the ginger/spice and the malts, obviously to evaporation in the barrel. MUCH better in my opinion. Really well balanced considering everything going on. The feel is on the medium+ side, a little lighter than one would expect but it kind of works with the sweetness.

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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 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 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 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 HattedClassic
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a bubbly and medium brown tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is an opaque dark brown. The texture seems to be a bit oily and not as viscous as the original.

The beer smell is nothing short of divine. The smell includes all of the notes from regular GBS such as ginger, cinnamon, clove, and honey. In addition, the beer also has a strong vanilla and bourbon note. The vanilla note is fairly strong while the oak is a bit weak. The milk sugar notes are pretty much buried but sometimes make an appearance.

The beer taste is similar to the smell. It contains the spic e notes (cinnamon, clove, etc.) from the GBS and honey. The vanilla notes and bourbon mix well with the spices but are sometimes overwhelmed. Any caramel notes are fairly light. Regardless, the beer taste is still pretty good.

The beer is heavy bodied with very little carbonation, if any. The beer is a bit thinner and less viscous than the originial but is still pretty good since the feel works well with the aging.

Overall, a fantastic variant on the GBS even though the new notes are frequently buried.

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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 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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 Pencible
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque cola with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like spicy gingerbread with some oak and cocoa powder and toasted coconut.
T: It tasted like gingerbread and mint, with some cocoa powder and oak. It had a sweet and mild aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Light body.
D: This was a nice brew, with relatively simple but really enjoyable scent and taste. The body was weak, but the finish was super smooth with no alcohol noticeable. So it was all too easy to drink. Not sure how it would age, but it's already so mellow, it doesn't need it. Wish there was a bit more complexity, but this was a solid drink.

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