Beer Review: Hardywood Park’s Gingerbread Stout

Name: Gingerbread Stout
Brewing Company: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Location: Richmond, VA
Style: Stout – Imperial / Double Milk | Imperial Milk Stout with Ginger and Honey
ABV: 9.2%

Christmas in a Glass – it has been said about this beer by others, but it is no less true. A delicious, iconic stout that is a must have during the Yuletide season.

Hardywood_GingerbreadStout

From the Hardywood’s landing page for the beer:

Made with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer Farms, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout captures the terroir of Central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of notes from milk chocolate and vanilla, to honeycomb and cinnamon, to a snap of ginger in the finish. We hope Hardywood Gingerbread Stout contributes to your merriment this season.

I’ve been circling around this beer for a few years now, going back to 2019 when I featured the beer in that year’s Christmas Six Pack before Hardywood began sending their beers into New Jersey. Just a year later, that changed when Hardywood beers begain appearing on NJ shelves. Since then, I’ve had a few variants: Christmas Morning, Barrel-Aged/Kentucky Christmas Morning, and last year, the Barrel-Aged version of this beer. Now, at last I finally picked up a four-pack of a beer many people put on the “Mount Rushmore” of Christmas Beers.

That’s quite a bit of preamble with perhaps some unfair expectations set on the beer, I realize. Be that as it may, I’ll dive into the beer…

Pop of the can and the beer pours jet black into my Delirium Noël glass. I get strong aroma of ginger coming off the beer, along with cinnamon. In other words, the beer very much smells like gingerbread cookies and Christmas.

I take a sip and gingerbread is the most prominent element of the beer. Shocking, I know. The same is true for the beer itself, very heavy on the ginger, which is to be expected. If you have the least bit of a problem with ginger or gingerbread, don’t go near this beer. Me? I like ginger (the tea I drink has ginger in it) and gingerbread cookies so this is all fine by me. There’s also a prominent cinnamon element to the beer, which nicely compliments the ginger.

My wife leaves out Gingerbread cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve so the aroma and flavor of Gingerbread cookies is one of the elements I most associate with Christmas. As I tasted and enjoyed more of the beer, that Christmas in a Glass theme really hits home. An element of the beer that stands out as the beer warms and I get beyond that wonderful gingerbread element is the honey. Ginger is a potent spice/root that can be quite aggressive, fortunately, isn’t overly aggressive here and that may be due to the generous amount of honey in the beer. That natural sweetness that pleasantly balances out the ginger.

The milk sugar further brings the sweet balance to the beer, plus the lactose adds a silky smooth feel to the beer. The combination of flavors also evokes hints of chocolate and vanilla for a perfect Christmas dessert beer. Bottom Line: The beer lived up to be what I hoped it would be.

Highly Recommended, link to 4.25 bottle cap untappd rating check in.

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