Hardywood Gingerbread Stout

I can’t wait until it’s Winter. I’m really not made for this heat. Maybe a stout will remind me of the snow.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Imperial Milk Stout Brewed with Fresh Local Ginger and Honey. 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. Best With: Hardywood Gingerbread Stout is exquisite as a dessert pairing beer. An absolute wonder with crème brûlée or fresh chocolate pudding, rich desserts with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or chocolate really bring out the flavor of Gingerbread Stout, and vice versa. By itself, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout also makes a fine digestif while enjoying a cold night by a crackling fire.”

Random: This was released in November of 2011.

The beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head. It dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was black without any visible carbonation. The nose was incredibly sweet. It had the expected ginger and brown sugar, along with lactose and chocolate. The taste was syrupy sweet up front with a lot of lactose. The gingerbread came through next with some molasses and brown sugar. There was also a significant note of burnt malts and booze. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with gingerbread. Val found this bottle for me at Trader Joe’s, so I’m not sure how much she paid for it. Either way, I thought this beer was just a little too sweet for my liking. I’m glad I got to try it, but I won’t be going back to it anytime soon.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Hardywood Savor X

This beer was one that I was excited to pop open. After Savor, some people popped them open on the street and drank them (I’m sure their hangover the next day told them this was a bad call), but I wanted to give it a bit of time. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 10%

Style: Baltic Porter

Trivia: According to Savor’s website, “Exciting news, SAVOR fans! We’d like to share some early details on the 2017 collaboration beer: SAVOR X. This year’s beer (and parting gift to all SAVOR guests) is the result of a partnership between Virginia’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company. SAVOR X is a robust Baltic porter brewed with Virginia-sourced hops and Colorado-sourced cocoa husks. Here’s what lucky tasters of this one-of-a-kind beer can expect: Aromatics: Dark fruit, caramel, light coffee and milk chocolate. Tasting notes: Rich, creamy, roasted malt; caramel; dark chocolate; rounded bitterness. Appearance: Black with red hue. ABV: 10%. ‘We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Peter Bouckaert and New Belgium Brewing on this beer for the 10th anniversary of SAVOR,’ said Patrick Murtaugh, master brewer and co-founder of Hardywood. ‘SAVOR X is a 10% ABV Baltic Porter with pleasant notes of roasted malt and caramel. The addition of cocoa husks from Nuance Chocolate in Fort Collins provides a distinct milk chocolate finish.’ Every attendee will leave with a bottle of SAVOR X to savor at home!”

Random: Savor was probably the best beer festival I’ve been to.

The beer poured with no head on top of a dark brown body. Due to how dark the beer was, I couldn’t determine the amount of carbonation. The nose was complex. It had a lot of dark malts, milk chocolate, coffee and dates. The taste was even more complex. The booze made an appearance early, but was easily overtaken by chocolate, dates, caramel, toffee and vanilla. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky sweet with caramel. This beer was free since I went to Savor, but this was a delicious sipper. I would highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Hardywood Hibiscus Tripel

I’m watching the remake of “Beaches” and it’s pretty terrible. I don’t think it helped that I watched an interview with Idina Menzel and she came off like a total diva (not in the good way). Anyways, let’s get to the beer.


ABV: 8.2%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The story of how Hardywood Park Craft Brewery came to be is quite literally as old as it’s co-founders, Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh. Their parents met first, setting the stage for a childhood friendship that would develop over decades into a shared passion for craft beer. While honing their craft as home brewers, Eric and Pat built the foundation for Hardywood Park by experiencing craft beer culture and learning every facet of the industry. Eric McKay, while working as the marketing director for one of America’s leading craft beer wholesalers, built an innovative mobile beer marketing platform, served as a speaker on beer marketing strategy innovation at several beer industry conferences around the country, earned his MBA with honors from Fordham University and was selected to serve as a Great American Beer Festival judge. He also became Richmond’s first Certified Cicerone™.”

Random: We put up a new light outside and it makes it so much easier to take the recycling out.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but instead left a small crown. The body was clear and bright orange with a lot of carbonation. The nose was floral and had a lot of golden fruit with sweetness and honey. The taste was even more floral than the nose with booze and bread. It had honey too. The body was surprisingly light for the style with a lot of carbonation. Val picked this one up from Trader Joe’s, so I had no idea the price on this one. I thought this beer was decent, but it needed more balance. It wouldn’t be one that I’d revisit.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Hardywood Peach Tripel

This review marks review #2200 (I took out all the revisits and such). This beer was also on tap at our local Mexican restaurant and given how much press Hardywood seems to be getting (specifically for their gingerbread stout), I thought I’d try this one, which is part of their “Reserve Series”.


ABV: 8.2%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The celebrated tradition of monastic brewing is perhaps best known for the dubbel, and stronger, brighter tripel styles, which are characterized by abbey yeast strains that create a delightful harmony of fruity esters and spicy phenols. Our tripel displays a voluminous head, a sunshine golden hue, notes of white pepper and honeysuckle, and is refermented on over 50 pounds per barrel of peaches, apricots and nectarines, lending a subtle but luscious stone fruit character, and a pleasantly dry finish.”

Random: This was first released on May 23, 2015.

This beer poured with a half a finger white head that dissipated quickly. It left limited lacing and a crown on top of the body. The body itself was a hazy yellow color with no visible carbonation due to cloudiness. The nose had bright, golden fruit like apricot, peach, golden raisins and a lot of pepper and coriander. What I didn’t pick up was the nectarines, although I think that scent may have blended in with the other fruit. The taste had similar notes. There was some peach and apricot first, then, light lemon, almost like a lemon curd. Then, I got a lot of yeast that was bready. The spice characteristic was lighter than the nose, but still presented with a white peppercorn and coriander. Again, I didn’t pick up the floral character, which would have made this beer outstanding. The body was thick with high carbonation, as expected. I didn’t get much of a warming in the back of the throat from the booze. The finish was long with peach, apricot and spice. I really enjoyed this beer and would be interested in trying other versions with other fruit, if they ever decide to go down that route.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Hardywood Singel

The other half and I went to Isaac Newton’s on Monday since we were both off and it’s only 15 minutes from the house now. This was the first beer that I had there.


ABV: 6.2%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and uninhibited, Hardywood Singel is a feat in balance. Sunshine golden with a fluffy head and a veil of Belgian ale yeast, Singel’s tropical fruit esters complement its spicy hop aromatics. Delicate in body, Singel’s mellow, dry finish culminates a truly ethereal experience. Hardywood Singel’s stylistic inspiration originates with the Trappist brewers of western Europe, who are often celebrated for their gloriously complex dubbels and tripels, and whose devotion to crafting heavenly libations is second to none. Unknown to many, some of the Trappist brewers also brew a milder ale for daily consumption within the walls of the monastery. Hardywood Singel is our interpretation of this style.”

Random: We’re doing more deliveries for J-Lo. Just what I needed to end the week…

The beer poured with half a finger of white head. It was slow to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, lemon yellow color with light carbonation visible. Given the style, I expected to see more. The nose was yeasty with biscuit and coriander primarily. The taste was light with bright fruit, light lemon and then spice and coriander. There was lots of yeast presence too. Despite having all of the flavors there for an excellent beer, the flavors were disjointed and transitioned raggedly. It had a medium body and was under carbonated. The finish was long with yeast and lemon. This isn’t a beer I’d rush to have again since there are so many other, better examples.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Hardywood Virginia Blackberry

I love blackberries, so when I saw this at the Craft Beer Outlet, I knew it was coming home with me. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 6.8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A Belgian wheat beer brewed with a touch of rye and a massive addition (over 1,000 lbs. per 40-barrel batch) of plump, ripe blackberries grown by Agriberry in Hanover County, Hardywood Virginia Blackberry offers an assertive fruit character while remaining extremely refreshing. Ruby hued with the bright aroma of fresh bramble berries, this beer’s pleasantly gentle body leads to a rather dry, rounded fruit finish, making it irresistible on a hot summer day.”

Random: The Eagles lost Foles, Maclin and McCoy. Despite our pickups, I don’t feel great about next season.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly. It didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, warm orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose presented with notes of blackberry and tartness. I also thought that I got some wheat. The taste was less intensely tart than I expected with light and fruity blackberry notes. Wheat was present too with a touch of spice from what I assume is the addition of rye. The booze didn’t make an appearance with any warming. It had a moderately thick body with light carbonation. It had a quick finish with blackberry. Although the beer was a bit on the simplistic side, I enjoyed the fruitiness of it. This beer was $14.99 a bomber, which broke down to $.68 per ounce, which was on the more expensive side, but since I enjoyed the beer, to me it was worth it. To my knowledge, this isn’t distributed in Jersey yet, so you’ll have to head to Philly to grab this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0