Dan Martich's picture

Hardywood Gingerbread Stout

December, 2017
Judges Rating: 
92
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Gingerbread Stout by Hardywood is being evaluated as a Winter Seasonal Beer (Category 30C) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. 

The base beer is an imperial sweet stout, it pours a very dark brown, nearly black –clarity is opaque with a tall thick foamy tan head.  The head retention is excellent, and lasted throughout the tasting sample. 

Sweetness is in the air.  There is toffee, burnt caramel, a low level of milk chocolate, and licorice.  No hops detected in the aroma, but there's a moderate amount figs and dark berry jam fruity esters.

The flavor has a moderately-high sweet caramel, toffee complexity with a burnt caramel note that is pleasant and adds an interesting twist.  This beer finishes semi-dry with a short guava paste aftertaste.  The roasted malt character is only there to support these robust flavors.  Dry figs and chocolate milk rounds it all out. 

A medium-full body, and medium carbonation, balance the moderate alcoholic warmth that is felt on the back of the throat. No creaminess or astringency here that these big bold flavors may help hide.

Overall one of the most interestingly robust and complex beers I’ve had lately.  The big sweet flavor may overwhelm some palates, yet others may be smitten by it’s big holiday spirit.  This beer is dangerously delicious, yet elegantly complex.  May pair well with brownies or blondies bars, Happy Holidays!

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