May 12, 2014

Hardywood Park Raspberry Stout

Dessert beers and I don’t really have a complex relationship, but I’ve got to be in the proper mood for something decadent and sweet. That mood was present when I pulled the cork on this bottle of Hardywood Park Raspberry Stout.

I’ve only had one other stout brewed with raspberries that I can recall. Widmer’s product wasn’t overly fruity or decadent, but the raspberry presence was certainly there. Hardywood’s offering brings more of a jammy fruit character to the table and more chocolate, but it too, isn’t what I would call decadent — at least not as much as say Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee or Mokah.

Hardywood Park Raspberry Stout

What Hardywood’s Raspberry Stout does offer is a well rounded stout that’s got a quality cocoa presence and residual, lingering fruitiness that comes across more like a traditional Black Forest Cake, but without the sweetness.


A dense cap of dark brown foam sits atop the opaque black brew.


Jammy raspberries, cocoa, light fruit tartness and a distant touch of coffee combine for an enticing nose.


The flavor of the brew isn’t as fruity as the aroma presented itself, but the raspberries certainly let you know they are there — especially as a latent, soft tartness in the lasting finish. I was expecting this to be sweet, but it’s not. The cocoa has an earthy, dry character as hints of coffee and a light roast linger gently.


This is a pretty tasty brew. It’s not quite as smooth or as refined as I normally like my dessert beers — it feel a little rough around the edges. That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the measured amount of raspberries and imperial stout notes throughout. The alcohol was also fairly well hidden with just a soft warmth in the finish.

Rating: 3.75/5

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