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9.2% ABV. Milk/Sweet Stout (Winter Warmer) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, VA. This beer began getting national recognition after getting such high marks from beer aficionados all around the country. I was sure lucky to get my hands on a couple bottles of this goodness! This beer is brewed with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer Farms, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout captures the terrier of central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of flavors from milk chocolate and vanilla to honeycomb and cinnamon to a snap of ginger in the finish. Deep, dark chocolate in color with a mahogany tint and a frothy, caramel colored head, the Gingerbread Stout offers aromatics of holiday spice originating from the ginger, and balanced with a generous dose of whole Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and Vietnamese cinnamon. Milk sugar (lactose) contributes to the full body of this stout and tames its roasty character, while oats lend a silky quality. Overall, this is a fine example of a complex winter warmer and one I will want to seek out every year.
Hardywood Bourbon Barrel Gingerbread Stout
11% ABV. Gingerbread Stout (GBS) from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, VA aged in Virginia Bourbon Barrels. The base beer, 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. The 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. 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.