1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

802 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 802
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Regardless of whether you spend your winter months on the slopes, shoveling your driveway or just hiding out, Redhook Winterhook is a great way to chase off the winter chill. This year will be our 27th consecutive release of Winterhook. The recipe changes slightly every winter because nobody likes getting the exact same Holiday present year after year. Redhook’s 27th brew of Winterhook has roasted chocolate notes that smooth out the quick, spicy hop finish. The rich body and nutty, malty backbone make this winter ale slighty naughty and very nice.

38 IBU

(Beer added by: Todd on 10-08-2003)
View: Beers (47) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Redhook Winterhook Alström Bros
Ratings: 802 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of danielharper


3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Dark brown body, thin "soapscum" head. Good, but nothing special.

S: Very malty aroma, hints of nutmeg? Strangely sweet, almost like chocolate-covered cherries.

T: Heavily malted, sweet, slight nuttiness, with a touch of astringency to the finish. Finishes dry.

M: Moderate, slightly chewy.

D: Overall, a good beer, but not an everyday one for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 00:31:36 | More by danielharper
Photo of JJKBeerLvr


3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some herbs and spicy aromas, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and spicy flavors, that make for an interesting and complex drink. Drinks much like a Pale Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: I consider this is an interesting Pale Ale. Not what I was expecting from a Winter Ale, but good.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 01:34:23 | More by JJKBeerLvr
Photo of GRPunk


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Reddish amber color with a thin hed that quickly turned to a fine lace and left some nice sticking on the glass. It had medium carbonation. A bit "cleaner" than I would expect for the style.

S- Pretty evenly balanced between some caramel-like malts and pine scented hops.

T- More balance as the aroma would suggest. Caramel and pine/citrus hops.

M- A little thin for my liking. I was hoping for something a bit more solid when I see the term winter warmer for style.

D- Good drinkability.

Overall- A tasty beer. Just a bit of a letdown when I think of a winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 01:39:31 | More by GRPunk
Photo of zeff80


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours out a dark amber color with small white head.

S - Smelled very sweet. Also notes of citrus and hops.

T - Tasted some clove, grains, hops and malt. It also had a very, very slight bitterness.

M - It was crisp and light-bodied.

D - I enjoyed this beer. It was great on a cold snowy night.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 15:42:17 | More by zeff80
Photo of BigRedN


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 version (bottled on 100305), my bottle is a little different than the one pictured, stated ABV on bottle is 6.0%.

Appearance: When poured into my pint glass this beer is a clear, dark amber. My pour produces an off white head that rises to a good half inch before settling down to a solid cover and ring around the glass. Good lacing, while not sheeting down the glass there are clinging patches that stick to the glass to the end.

Smell: A bit weak here. While I am used to robust malt and/or hops, this beer has a hint of sweet caramel malt, perhaps a touch of roasted malts (or is that what I want to smell?). Hop aromas are very weak as well, a little piney. I detect no spices. Even as it warms the aromas are weak.

Taste: Not quite as weak as the smell, but very much subdued when compared to other winter seasonals that I have had thus far. Flavor starts malty (a little toasted, yet sweet). Finish is a little bitter. I do get a few hop burps from this, so I think they are there.

Mouthfeel: A little light in body, good carbonation somewhat dry. This is almost like an amber ale to me.

Drinkability: Sure, it's highly drinkable, but not very memorable. A decent enough beer, and if I see this on sale for cheap (less than $12 for a twelve pack) I may purchase more just to have on hand a let others try.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2005 04:43:01 | More by BigRedN
Photo of riversider76

New York

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Good head and lots of lace. Not much of a smell at all. Mouthfeel is medium,not much carbination. Taste is sweet and spicy, with a slight hop kick. Finish is smooth,and refreshing. Give this beer a try, I think you will find it worthy!!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2005 02:50:04 | More by riversider76
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, part of a Winter mix 6 pack from Marketplace. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Hard pour yields a very dark brown, beer with a very large white head. A nice lattice work of lacing. A nice look overall.

S - A grasssy aroma with a little bit of malt. Nothing else really to speak of.

T - Some sweetness on top of a grassy hop profile. A tiny bit of spice in the finish.

M - A little bit off. Some more carbonation would do thbis well since it's not as spicy as many winter warmerns out there. Still pretty good.

D - Pretty good but nothing to chase after with all the other great winter warmers out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 01:49:06 | More by EStreet20
Photo of RJLarse


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six-pack of Winterhook for Super Bowl XL, and to review. I poured this beer into a pint tumbler.

Pours a rich dark brown color, translucent and clear. There are a few streams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass, but the beer does not appear particularly effervescent. One finger of head on an aggressive pour, is light tan in color and dissipates rapidly to a thin film across the surface of the beer. The foam laces the side of the glass fairly well for being so thin.

The aroma is pungent and smells a little like bitter yeast. The scent of hops is also present.

The taste is also slightly bitter, more than what one would expect from a winter warmer. There is not much sweetness to the taste, but the smoky taste of dark roasted grain is present. Aftertaste is mildly bitter, and short-lived.

Mouth feel is light and crisp for a dark ale. Overall the beer lacks body, but the flavors are well balanced, and mouth feel is brisk and not think or syrupy.

This is a very drinkable beer, but in terms of a winter seasonal it’s a bit disappointing. I think it tastes more like a dark lager than an ale, and I also think this beer would be good year round. It’s a lot like a dark version of the Redhook ESB, but not quite as bitter. Personally I’d take the seasonal label off of this one. It’s not just for winter.

NOTE: The 2005 bottle and label are different from the picture on the BA website.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2006 00:58:43 | More by RJLarse
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Mahogoney brown with cherry highlights. Mildly creamy light beige head fell quick but a good froth remains.

S: Piney hops, malty redwood bark and some seasonal spices.

T: Begins malty with red fruit kicks; cherry, raspberry and blackberry. Odd counterbalance between chocolate and caramel malts. Straight forward pine hops cut thru the malt then drop a hefty amount of bitterness. Finishes with a load of dirty, earthy hops.

M: Medium body with a prickly mouthfeel

D: Not one of my favorite seasonal beers. Flavors are sort of herky jerky and don't meld well.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 05:30:29 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Jadjunk


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#106. And the 400th review of this beer, good timing. This is very likely the last "winter beer" I have left in my chiller, although I go out of my way to get the things that are going out for the season before the freshest things arrive. This will be my first review of a Redhook beer, and since I have tried a few Winter Warmers in the past, I have some general expectations and criterion when reviewing this one.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Hmm, perhaps this may have been better consumed at an earlier date. Quarter finger depth head is the most I can get from this pour. What little left there is to retain holds back for the most part, but this has a very weak premiere. The color is a copper deep gold, a pretty light shade for a winter warmer but not very original by coloration standards. Despite dismal head size, there's an enormous amount of very small, busy carbonation bubbles littering this beer. I'm determined to investigate this at an earlier date next season to affirm the head quality, but regardless, the appearance is pretty bland. 2

(Smell) Malts out on top, some caramel and dark fruit tones are easiest to pick out of this brew. It has a airy sweet aroma with a bit of (presumably holiday) spice that tingles the nose hairs. Earthy hops are hidden to nonexistent in the aroma, which I'm indifferent to in regards to the style which could go either way. The aroma sends a wariness that this beer may be too sweet; even if my fears are incorrect, the aroma needs slightly better balance or some more complimentary flavors to round it out more. Burnt sugars, toasty caramel, heavier spice emphasis would all do well here. Potency is also lacking, needs more volume. There's improvements to be made, but if the flaws have anything to do with the aging of this 4 month old brew, then my suggestions are to consume it as soon as possible. 2.5

(Taste) More robust malty flavor with a bit of a grains and some definite nutty tones. Alcohol ties with some caramel flavors and hides well for a warmer. It's almost the dominant flavor in the beer and some people aren't going to like it, but as a Winter Warmer, it belongs. Spice isn't quite as easy to find as it may have been in the nose, but a very slight alcoholic peppermint finish is just barely there- like a nod farewell to the passing season. There's some decent character to this brew, fortunately the quality of the taste has survived the new year better than the rest of the qualities. A fairly easy Winter Warmer to drink in moderate amounts and there's a better balance in here than in the nose. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The alcohol hints tingle the mouth some, and paired with a heavily carbonated airy first wash creates some boldness in the brew. I think it's well done; it matches what the taste was going for and compliments the peak moments from the alcohol and spices (or peppermint tingle, which I may be hallucinating up for the most part). Fortunately not a prickly drag through and through; there's some middle ground for settling the smooth characteristics, which match the medium maltiness that the beer has to offer. There's a medium body here and alcohol is tucked away well (for a Winter Warmer). Does it's job here exceptionally well. 4.5

(Drinkability) This is where I'm going to have to admit my flaw in getting this beer as late as I had. I think that obtaining a six pack early in the season is a much better choice. It isn't super filling but is very enjoyable and can manage alcohol tastes and amount well. In addition, there were no astringent or out-of-character tastes, but there was a great deal of flavor variety. It has me warm, like it intended. This is a three-bottle-a-day beer for me if I act wisely next year. In case you were wondering, that's a real good thing. 4

Verdict: I came down hard on this beer's appearance and aroma but I would like to think that the excessive aging may have had some sort of a negative impact on that. However, the taste and mouthfeel didn't fade nearly as much; in fact they may have flourished. This was a good introductory beer into Redhook's lineup for me. I will recommend, but also insist that the drinker gets the beer as soon as it comes out, so keep your eyes peeled and don't expect to be disappointed. B- (3.43)

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 04:08:38 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of yesyouam

New York

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red Hook Winterhook is a super clear, dark amber beer with a soft, waxy, light khaki head that has outstanding retention. There is some lightly sweet malt in the nose, with a hint of medicine and wood resin. It's medium-light bodied with a slightly gritty finish. It doesn't taste too sweet, but there is plenty of malt and a little medicinal bitterness. It's very warming. It tastes stronger than it is.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 21:17:24 | More by yesyouam
Photo of Thorpe429


3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle picked up in the singles section of Total Wine in Alexandria. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color with some ruby tint to it. Slight off white head and a bit of lacing. The nose is sweetness with some caramel and molasses and light wintry spices. The taste brings down a bit more spice, and doesn't terribly overdo it. Light caramel and malt sweetness. Medium body with good carbonation. For what it is, not too shabby.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 16:09:59 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of chickenflea


3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The last of a sixer. I wanted to get familiar with the beer first. The color is a clear chestnut. A small off-white head recedes quickly with islands of lacing, The aroma holds bread and sugar with a touch of apricot. The flavor is malty and earthy. No real noticeable alcohol. Body is medium. Texture is very soft. Low carbonation. This is an easy beer to drink and makes a nice nightcap. I truly enjoy this beer. It is a little on the light side for a winter warmer. And this can be good in the right circumstances. But it misses the center band of the style just a bit.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 02:18:34 | More by chickenflea
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 release:
This beer is a deep, deep ruby color, it is very clear and pours with a tan head. At first the aroma is of dark fruit, then the hops kick in a bit. The hops come to dominate the aroma, but they are not super strong either. The first taste is lightly fruity (hints of cherry). The finish is off dry, and is accompanied by a hoppiness that is complimentary to the fruit flavors. No real strong flavors that jump out at me. The hops are the dominant flavor here, but for some reason this beer tastes a tad on the weak side.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 18:33:22 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of avylover


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out deep clear mahogany color with a bumpy white head. Aroma is filled with cascade like hops, along with a slight caramel maltiness. Taste is a bit bland for a winter ale. Starts off with some decent floral hoppy notes. There is some malt in there somewhere too, but it never really pokes out too much - more in the mouthfeel than the taste. Finishes with some spicyness that turns into a slightly bitter yet bland cardboardy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good & full, it's too bad the taste does not really match it. Pretty drinkable stuff. Decent beer. Just decent.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 22:42:42 | More by avylover
Photo of kimcgolf


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle to a bright amber color, with some carbonation, medium off-white head that lingered a while and left okay lacing. I detected the aroma of floral and citrus hops, though not real strongly, similar to an IPA. However, the taste had more of the spicy wheat flavor of a Hefe-Weizen. Thle palate was somewhat spicy, and the finish a mix between dry-bitter, and stale. It was alomost like Redhook mixed two different styles. This was a very strange beer, although not too bad overall. Hardly your typical seasonal Winter Brew though.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 02:30:49 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of FirstMan


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I lived in Seattle, I drank a heck of a lot of Redhook. At the time, they were operating a brewery down in Fremont, so I always considered them local to a degree. Winterhook was a pretty standard beer for me during the colder months and I remember liking it quite a bit.

That said, now that I'm living in Mass. and trying the 2006 Winterhook, I have to say that the shine seems to have come off the apple, so to speak.

Appearance is distinctly ice tea-esque. Clearer than a winter should be if you want to ask my opinion. I know they filter this stuff, but this is overly clear. Almost no head to speak of either, even though I made a point of pouring it vigorously.

Smell is ok. Hops are predominant, but there's a slightly carmel sweetness underlying.

Hops are larger in the mouth than I remember them being in this 2006 version of Winterhook. I remember a much more spicy, malty brew than what I have here. It's not bad, but it's not great either. Relatively well balanced considering the large hop nose.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but with some degree of wateryness considering the style.

While it's not my favorite beer, I could drink a few of these in a sitting with no problem. In fact, I've been known to do just that. In fact, I may very well do that right now...

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2006 02:00:19 | More by FirstMan
Photo of ypsifly


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottled on 10-03-05 poured into a pint glass.

Clear, reddish brown with a good head of light tan. Good retention with sheeted lace.

The nose has toasty caramel a touch of spice, (coriander?) and a light piney hop aromas. Not very bold or complex.

The taste is unfortunatly, restrained as well. The same malts are upfront with a touch of the spice, then there's a blank spot followed by a generic hop bitterness. Dry finish. I think the blank spot was where the body was supposed to be. Despite the light mouth its sessionable, but boring at that.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 04:02:49 | More by ypsifly
Photo of Floydster


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle that was purchased as a part of a six pack at Ralphs for around seven dollars

Poured into my Ommegang glass with a reddish brown color and a slighly off white head that was about a half inch, not much retention and very little lacing

Smell was bready malt aromas, some mild hoppiness, caramel, some fig, other dark fruits, and some scents

Taste was chewy from the beginning with some nice hoppy accents to balance it out, some berry flavors throughout, the finish was pretty dry and only got a little sweeter once the beer warmed, caramel flavor that was identified in the aroma was a nice part of its taste, definitely had an amber-like malt character, subtle and a taste that kept me coming back for more

Body was really thin for a winter warmer, I prefer them much thicker personally, good level of carbonation, but the taste did not last long

Could drink three or four of these before I got really full from its heaviness, alcohol percentage is not very high but this beer would get old after a while

One of the better beers I have had from Red Hook, certainly not the best winter beer I tasted this year but not too bad, recommended mainly because it is so inexpensive

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 16:47:11 | More by Floydster
Photo of Knapp85


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a reddish brown color. The head was alright, kinda thin not much lacing here. The smell of the beer was a little spicy and a little roasted. The taste has a slight sweetness to it, mostly some dark mark in the flavor. There seems to be just a hint of pine or spruce in within deep the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is definitely drinkable but I just didn't feel that this Winter Warmer was really up to par.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 02:21:12 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Dizzy


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours transparent brown with a white head. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is citrus, lots of cascades. Citrusy hops dominate the flavor, malts are there but this seems way out of balance. The mouthfeel seems quite thin. This is ok, but it just seems to be hop water.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 04:53:50 | More by Dizzy
Photo of CultureJamMN


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Local Macro watering hole had this on-tap, since it was the only thing that wasn't macro-lager, i figured i would give it a go (ESB was also on tap, had that too)

A darkish amber hue with red around the edges, virtually no head, and minimal lacing.

The smell seemed weak to me, but i did pick up caramel malts, with a note of citrus, and something approaching toast that's just a little overdone (not charred)

Good malts in the first tast, but nothing to write home about. The hops come on later, and actually leave a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste. The citrus notes are there, but the caramel stands out.

This was thin for a winter warmer... mine felt a bit over carbonated as well, though that may own to the bar where i was at.

all in all, if you're drinking warmers, there are better out there. but if you're stuck in macro-land, and this is your craft/micro option, go for it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2006 17:39:07 | More by CultureJamMN
Photo of sulldaddy


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

SAmpling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass. This was a gift from my friend Laurel.
The beer pours a clear amber hue with minimal beige head foaming up about .5 cm ad fading to an edge layer. I also see a little wispy island on the surface that seems to stick around throughout the sampling. Aroma is grainy malt and and some caramel and toffee. I dont get any real hop profile anywhere.
The first sip is average body and fine but tingly carbonation. Flavor is as the nose advertises, with a heavy malt base and caramel and toffee dominant. Again I dont get any hops or boozy bite. I do also get a little dark fruit, some red grape. This beer is pretty one dimensional but enjoyable for what it is. The beer does go down very easy and I find it a nice treat for the evening. Nothing outstanding but a nice malty treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 01:04:15 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of moulefrite


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut in color with very little head and sparce lace. Hoppy on the nose with some sweet chocolate malt in the background. In the mouth the sweet, toasty malt attack is followed quickly by hop bitter. the texture is creamy. The beer finishes with some fruity notes, pronounced alcohol, and another blast of chocolate malt. a decent winter quaff.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2004 00:14:51 | More by moulefrite
Photo of terrabyte


3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, tannish copper color with a small off-white head.

Aroma has a slight wiff of hops and grain. Very little of each.

Taste has a nice, mild, hop flavor. As a person who isn't a huge hop fan, this sits well with me. There is a very small amount of grain flavor (I can't pin it down, due to the hops) but it is consistent and lasts a long time.

Mouthfeel is ok. Slightly over-carbonated, starts to get bubbly on the tongue. Only slightly sticky, not bad compared to other hoppy beers.

Drinkability is very high. A pleasing, mild hoppy beer that is really enjoyable with each sip. I'd order this again if I was faced without stouts on tap. As other shave mentioned, I'm not sure why this is called a winter seasonal. No spices, no heaviness, nothing wintery about it. No matter when it comes out though, this isn't bad from Redhook, a brewer I usually skip over.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 20:57:16 | More by terrabyte
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.