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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Educational use only; do not reuse.

461 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 461
Hads: 892
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 18.49%
Wants: 25
Gots: 61 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-08-2003

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
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 461 | Hads: 892
Photo of Bierwolf
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance / Pours darker than honey almost amber colored. Tried as I might all I could achieve was about 1 finger of frothy tan foam. Did not last long but never completely left either leaving thin lace along the way. Nice carbonation.

Smell / Toasted breads with some herbal spicy smells.

Taste / The first thing you get is a wonderful malty sweetness followed by a medium hop bitterness that is really well balanced.

Mouth Feel / Medium bodied that is creamy and slick with a long lasting finish.

Overall / When I had my first one of these I thought it was average but over the next few day I had a few more and each time I discovered something new with it. I find this to be a great example of the winter warmer style as this has become a favorite winter beer for me.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.91/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Red Hook Winter Hook No. 29 (2013) has a medium-to-thick, cream-colored head, a hazy, brown, appearance, and lots of lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, spicy, yeasty, winter or holiday gift bread, with a hop zing in the background. Taste is of all that, with a somewhat piney bitterness showing up, mid sip. Mouthfeel is medium, and Red Hook Winter Hook No. 29 (2013 version) finishes refreshing, easy drinking, and rather rich. Overall, it works, and I liked it!


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Photo of mlm5641
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just to note, this year (winter of 2013/2014) is actually the 29th brew so some flavors noted before may sound different from what you're drinking. They tweak the recipe each year just a bit to keep things interesting. Great head with a nice dark copper/amber color below. Good balance of hops to the sweet malt so it has a bitter bite at the front followed by a smooth caramel like finish.

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Photo of mempath
4.37/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

one of the better Hooks...

deep copper appearance with decent lacing that settles

a smell of malts smothering some hops that can't wait to get to the tongue...would be a 4.0 if
it came on stronger. maybe the lager glass didn't help (try the next one in a belgian tulip?)

everything is righted once it hits what counts: taste. a really nice, almost mellow, yet certainly bold (balance) blast of rich malt guising with hop-masks...though i don't get the spice i expected, there is something really warming and calming about this. the finish is a bit short, so i have to keep taking little gulps/big sips....mouthfeel is far from thin, just right, not thick or chewy. again pretty darn good.

Red Hook's 2013-14 seasonal is pretty much spot on. and after a winter break of nothing but stellar belgian and american belgian-style winter warmers, etc, this is a nice way to save some dollars and get back to reality. recommended.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on Sep 03 13.

Red-mahogany with light passing through. Head is a sliver of an inch.

Roasted chocolate malt with a bright earthy hop aroma. Malts seem almost biscuity. A charm of sweetness. Hints of pine and spice.

Fairly bitter with hints of earthy hops, cocoa, and bitter herb. Nuances of clove-y spice. Hardly warming. Hop presence doesn't come off very fresh. Has an astringency in the way that it's bitter. Sweetness barely surfaces with toasted sugar notes.

Drinks light-medium with a burly carbonation that doesn't want to quit. A little harsh, which follows the flavor.

So many other better warmers out there to even consider wasting your time with this one. Will not seek out again.

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Photo of bmwats
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint.

A: Medium brown. Pours a half finger, bubbly head. Settles pretty quickly, but not completely leaving a thick foam ring around the surface. Pretty nice beer ring lacing.

S: Light and bready. Orange, tea leaf, and honey.

T: Sourdough, toasty malt, roasted nuts, and peat.

M: Hearty and roasty. Lightly bittersweet finish lingers on the palate.

D: Sessionable, but worth savoring.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Fair head and some persistent lacing. Nose is bready with fruit, organic, and sweet tones. Sourdough bread, toasted grains, prominent character of nuts, and a bit of a peaty character. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of brewbattles
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We did a blind taste test between this and 4 other Winter Seasonals to objectively determine which one was best. They beers were: Deschutes Jubelale, Anderson Valley Boont Winter Solstice, Big Sky Powder Hound, Alaskan Winter Ale, and Redhook Winterhook. Check it out:


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Photo of BryanCarey
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pouring to a dark brown color with tinges of red, Winterhook is nice in appearance. It has a good level of foam and lacing and it offers a nose of citrus, pine, and malty toffee.

Moving to the taste, Winterhook impresses even more. This winter warmer has a flavor similar to what the nose leads you to expect, but with greater intensity. It does have flavors of citrus, pine, and toffee, but I can also detect other flavors like bread, earthy hops, and even a touch of chocolate, tea, and herbs. The complexity is greater than expected and the beer remains reasonably smooth.

Winterhook reinvented itself this year as Winterhook #29 and this seasonal brew is among the better ones I have tasted in the series. You don’t get the nutmeg/cinnamon and other spices like you commonly taste in the typical winter seasonal. This is a more straight- forward beer without the holiday additives. I like it more and more with each passing sip and I think it is safe to say that most guests at your next holiday party will feel the same. Give it sampling and enjoy the taste of the season, courtesy of Redhook.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. 2013 edition. Part of a haul of Christmas themed ales I picked up for the season. Unique bottle design, to say the least.

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut ruby in colour, with a quarter inch of light foam that recedes into a thick ring.

Nose is still fairly malt-forward, but there is a nice earthy grassy hop presence coming through as well.

Solid winter warmer that is malty enough to fall within that heavier brewing category, but has enough pale ale elements to be quite drinkable. Malty, bit of chocolate, earthy hops, light taste of pine, bit of fruit and spice, grassiness. Mild booziness to it.

Tasty enough brew - it isn't the big winter warmer I was expecting, but it is certainly a tasty ale with a good hop presence.

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Photo of Act25
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 (Sept) release served from fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Pours burnt amber color, clear for a bock look. tan thick head settles to a ring, and laces well on the way down.

S - The aroma starts off non existent, disappointing, so you must let it warm for the grassy, spicy hops to arise. A grain back bone, like an English or A P A.

T - Pale Ale flavor, very well balanced between hops and malt. Great finish. Great food beer. Hops start the parade, with flowers, grass, fruit, bright flavors, followed by a nice long malty core, not sweet, and a tingly long finish. I really liked the flavor. If you pale ale, you'll like.

M - Very crisp, good weight. Refreshing, but hearty .

D - I could enjoy more than one! Good beer, must try, there are better winter warmers: Widmer, Sierra. As one reviewer wrote - let it come to cellar temp to appreciate its spicy complexity and tease out more aroma. True of all these winter focused beers!

One of Red Hook's best?

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smell - when first poured all I got was earthy, floral hops. With a touch of citrus somewhere. As I kept sniffing I got some classic sweet malt toffee notes.

A- dark brown, burgundy up against the light. 1 finger head that gradually fades.

Taste- smooth malt, slight roastyness followed by a more robust coffee roast flavor. Some balance of earthy herbal hops.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth, not much carb, which is good, lots of carb wouldn't be very "warming"

Good for a winter warmer. I could get next to the fire with this one

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date September 16, 2013 printed on the label. Another new beer to me from Redhook. Expectations are about averaged based on the brewery and the style.

Poured into a Miller High Life pint glass.

A - Pours a ruddy mahogany-ruby colored body with about a finger and half of dense frothy off-white head. A bit of lacing when swirled, but none sticks to the glass. Looks alright for what it is.

S - Smell is pretty faint. Some amber / chocolate malt presence, a hint of oily pine hops, and virtually nothing else.

T - Taste follows the nose: amber / chocolate malt up front, some earthy tea leaf sweetness, a bit of piney hop bitterness in the middle, and some dark malt roast / coffee grounds on the finish.

M - Feel is crisp, clean, bitter, and slightly dry. Light and refreshing for being a 6.00% abv beer.

Overall, a fairly forgettable outing from Redhook, but it was about what I was expecting. Definitely not a very interesting beer, but drinkable and "safe" for those looking to expand their beer horizons. Glad to have tried it, but I wouldn't want this again.

Redhook Winter Hook ---3/5.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Raw umber body with lumpy linen head that turns to film.
Red currant cake, a whiff of paint fusels, earth and brownie mix on the nose.
Chocolate cherry fruitcake, some soil and a big bite of spicy, woodsy, piney hops.
Ginger cake finish and long stinging, oily linger.
Medium, chewy and a bit hot, oddly.

Lots of rough edges to this one which I suspect are down to cinnamon oil. The barky spice accentuates all this beer's faults, making it play like it's got too many IBUs for the style, and too many stray boozy notes. A bit more body and malt (but not sweetness; verging on syrupy as it is) would be the way to go here.

Not an easy sipper.

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Photo of rangerred
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with a one finger off-white head. Ok head retention but not much in the way of lacing.

Aroma is a big shot of piny hops along with roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. Some cinnamon and nutmeg in there too. A little on the light side but pleasant.

The flavor is big on piny hops but that is quickly followed by loads of caramel and toffee. Roasted malt is there along with quite a bit of nuttiness. Cinnamon is buried underneath but it all comes together to give this beer quite the "wintry" feel. Mouthfeel is a little chalky towards the finish and just a little on the thin side.

Overall, I am quite impressed with this offering from Redhook. There are a lot of flavors coming together and they all work really well. One to pick up if you see it.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Nice amber color. Great sweet hoppy aroma. First impression is of a winter pale ale. Spicy pine and hop notes. It becomes more bitter as you drink, but the flavor holds throughout. Flavor holds through the finish. Nice winter beer but it could improve in sweetness and depth.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Beer poured out a brownish caramel colour from the bottle, and had a creamy, low head. Had the faint aroma of floral, citrus hops with a hint of sweet malt. Taste was on par with the smell; there was a mild hop presence that was smoothly blended with a slight sweet malt flavour. Medium bodied and flavourful, with a lingering hop taste of the palate.

Would I buy this beer again? Definitely.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served from the tap at The Ginger Man in Greenwich, CT. It arrived in a flared pint glass, showing a golden amber coloring, with a one finger head of creamy eggshell bubbles. This retained decently, leaving sheets of lacing down the glass. A chill haze was noticed, with no sediment, and active-appearing carbonation. The aroma was fusel with booze and phenolic plastics off the bat, with nutmeg and cooked ginger spice to cut, along with dried grassy hops, biting metallic yeast zing, pale and caramel malts, lemon peel bitterness, and more of a soapy hop with warmth. Our first impression was that the hop character was surprising, with the spice coming robustly at the end. The flavoring opened with caramel and pale malts, toffee sweetness, fresh hop grassiness, and aromatic cherry fruitiness. Bittering phenolic plastics sitting against a sweeter caramel malt backbone peaked through the center of the swallow, with big lemon flesh bitterness, piney hops, breakfast tea tannins, and a wash of pale muddy malts coming through the finish. The aftertaste breathed of raw grassy and piney hops, roasted caramel malts, dryer pale malty toast, mineral, black pepper, and light fusel booze. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium to high. The slurp was initially cooling, but the finish was eventually very, very dry, with the tongue sticking to the back of the teeth with astringency. Otherwise, the sip was cooling, with refreshing cream and frothiness. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, our favorite thing about this beer was its complexity for the style. Here, they seemed less focused on the malt profile, allowing for a generous aromatic hop bite to permeated the sip. The aroma showed more of this as well, with bright green freshness of hops, and paler grain. This paleness does give a cheapness to the end of the swallow, and while this one isn’t as “warming” as others for the style, it will certainly keep you away on a cold winter’s afternoon.

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Photo of bashiba
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured a crystal clear clean amber color with a light sticky tan head, light lacing and nice retention.

The smell is lightly spicy, a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, and sweet malts are all apparent.

The flavor is mellow, lightly malty with a touch of bready sweetness and a hint of earthy hops make it fairly balanced. There is just a hint of wintery spices.

The mouthfeel has a nice creamy texture along with a nice dry finish.

A pretty decent winter warmer.

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Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lovely cherry-toned coppery amber in color. Nice foam in the Brewery Vivant tulip with some champagne bubbles and a pleasant spritz on the tongue. Flattens out after a while to a dull fruity ache.

Moderate body makes for a rich but thirst-quenching gulp. Slight fragrance of caramel with a little mustiness. Timid sweetness subsides into dark graininess. A touch of wintergreen and kale. Settles into a long, long hoppy taste that is rather bitter and radiates that herbal note. Just a little dry woodiness as if there was a splash of Belgian yeast and a glug out of the barrel.

This used to be one of the several winter beers I'd look forward to, and it does have some fruity charms. Increasing bitterness in the aftertaste wins back no old friends, however. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A dark goldish brown. You see little bubbles on the body with a slightly off-white head maybe half a finger's length at first. Settles even with almost no lacing.

Smell: Not a bad scent but nothing that will make me go crazy inhaling it.

Taste: This beer reminds of something that you had before. If I were to take a guess and no bs, it feels like a vienna lager. This brew is just a notch more bitter than some of the rest that I have had. It's like is was run through a course of extra wet hops.

Mouth: Smooth finish comes off a little dry.

Overall: Definitely did not disapoint. Honestly pouring this into the glass I didn't know what to expect. Winter warmer?, maybe if you want to call it that. Grab a glass and drink up. Salud!

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: Clear ruby red body with a small layer of micro bubble head that exits fast. A thin layer of bubble remain on top but most flock to the edges.

S: Earthy hops, dirt, pine resin, faint cocoa dust, roasted caramel, molasses and candy malt. Butterscotch and peppery spice.

T/M: Follows the nose with a healthy dose of earthy hops , cocoa powder and nice warming sensation. Bittersweet dark chocolate, orange oil and roasted caramel apple peels on the super dry finish. Light-medium prickly mouthfeel.

O: Gotta love a hoppy warmer. Intense earthy flavors bordering dirt in the mouth. Pine and hints of fruit compliment the roasty sweet malts. A great treat for winter that I'm eager to try the slightly altered version next year. Cheers!

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a room-temp pint glass.

A- Dark amber-red color, clean and clear. A few bubbles rising. Barely a one-finger head, tan, that fades quickly to a thin film leaving vey little lace.

S- Last of the bunch, so I let it warm a little to bring out a holiday bready smell. Cinnamon raisin toast, or babka, fresh, yeasty, spicy and fruity. Some faint hops.

T- Caramel malts dominate, some sugar and spice. Hops are well hidden.

M- A little thin and fizzy. Lingering hop bitterness to finish.

O- Winterhook comes in a cool bottle, it's a cool warmer, so to speak. The 45 ibus don't come on too strong, making it easy drinking. Nice.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear copper beer perhaps leaning towards chestnut. Gentile carbonation and a small wispy head that really doesn't get started.

Aroma is pleasent enough, with a piney hop bouquet and asweet malt follow up.

Taste is good but nothing outstanding to grab and pull you in which istypical of redhook and I don't mean that in a bad way. There is a sutle piney note with a bready malt follow up.Finish is faily clean and a tad bitter, nothing that I can't handle.
A good well made, but plain volksbier.

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Photo of emerge077
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Free bottle at a holiday party, the best kind of beer...
Odd bottle shape, like a mini-growler cylinder with a cap that had an oval country code sticker printed on it. Reddish darker amber color with a lightly off white skim of foam on top. Random spotty lacing, the skim parts on the surface after a couple of sips.

Lagery yeast aroma, some malty breadiness, and nondescript unidentifiable spice.

Flavors are similarly ill defined, some bread malt and vague dry spiciness, but utterly indistinct and nebulous. Tea and herbal notes, kind of like an old pale ale with faded hops. Sharp and highly carbonated, seems like a lager with odd adjuncts in it. Not a seasonal beer to seek out really, glad it was free.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Red with a moderate haze and a 1 finger width head. Few carbonated bubbles floating up the the surface.

Smell - Caramel, Malts, Butterscotch, Hops, and Toffee. Quite a malty character and potent enough to where I can have the glass sitting 2 feet away from me and yet I get a whiff of the aroma.

Taste - Toffee, Caramel, Grapefruit Hops, Yeasts, and Malts. Quite sweet tasting and a pretty good flavors which all blend together really nicely.

Mouthfeel - Heavy bodied and moderately carbonated. It's got a crispness to it, but not quite refreshing. Though I do get a warming sensation from drinking this; Strange because there is no spice or booziness to the flavor.

Overall - Excellent tasting beer that makes one forget about winter, or at least momentarily forget about winter. Check it out if you get a chance.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.