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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

822 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 822
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 17 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 822 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BryanCarey
3.65/5  rDev +2%
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.

BryanCarey, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of DJW
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the last bottle on the shelf at Redmond Trader Joe's. And the brief:
Appearance: med-dark amber or deep copper - clear, w/ a decent head, and lacing still on my empty glass. I thought the beer would pour a darker color.

Smell: light malts and some Cascade hops... more on the citrus hop side of things to my schnoz, but I'm getting over a cold. Inviting (the beer, not the cold).

Taste: nice balance between caramel malts and the hops, with a little biscuity sweetness peeking in at times only to be brought back by the firm hop presence. Finish is lightly bitter and made me salivate ("watery"), which made me want to take another sip.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions: nice and pleasant but not freaking amazing. I think this little option would fit more in a NW IPA category rather than a Winter Warmer, but who am I to advise Redhook? I'll have to try a Jubelale, Snowcap, Celebration, and Sammy Smith Winter Welcome in the near future to see if the Winterhook is more like an IPA or if my preferences/familiarities have changed.

DJW, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - Red color, clear, with about a finger's worth of light beige-colored foam. Good carbonation.

Smell - light malty smell, but with the hint of hops. Maybe a hint of nuts.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Malty/Nutty taste at the beginning, sweetness in the middle, and bitterness from the hops at the finish. Texture is a little on the creamier side.

Drinkability - Not a bad brew. A little bitter, but not too much, just right for my taste buds. It seems a little light actually for a Winter Warmer, but the nutty flavor does bring out a bit more fuller quality.

Nerudamann, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of TastyAdventure
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
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

TastyAdventure, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Act25
3.66/5  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?

Act25, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Byeast
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with some reddish hues , the head was large when first poured , dissipated to a quarter inch of offwhite foam. A moderate lace left.

Smell: a fair amount of hops ( kinda evergreen) in the nose , a little bit of maltiness , hint of spice and alcohol.

Taste: medium maltiness , lots of greener hop flavor and bitterness , the flavor profile does have a bit of holiday feel ... somehow. Almost reminds me of a christmas tree?

Mouthfeel: slightly slick and medium bodied.

Drinkability: This winter warmer is quite drinkable and appropriate for the holidays , and has a pleasant flavor , its just not quite up there with others that iv'e tried. I am glad i tried it though.

Byeast, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of Thrasher
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Supposedly an improvement over years past but I don't remember if I ever had the old version. This one is certainly good and the best Redhook I've had, bar the late lamented Rye beer - not to be confused with that yellow, swillish Sunrye. Dark ruby with medium head and adequate lacing. Malts are sweet and fruity, some light elements of berries and lots of caramel. Buttery. Hops are faint and mostly in the piney, spicy aroma. I had a six-pack that was just days off the bottling line and it was remarkable. This is a couple weeks older and not quite as good. A fine winter warmer, maybe could do with a touch more hop bitterness.

Thrasher, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Checking for differences in the 2003 release...

Clear dark amber color, nice 1/2 inch biege head that laces in vertical drips. Hoppy nose, some bits of juice and fruit. Weaker malt taste profile than I like in a Winter brew, fairly standard brown sugar and cinnamon but not holiday spicy. Hops are assertive, balsamic and slightly dry and helping the finish markedly. Body seems more viscous than previous years, I'd give it full-on medium. Comparing notes, I'd say that hops and mouthfeel are improved but that an interesting sweetness could be bumped up.

ADR, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of maleman
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle had a born-on date. Poured dark amber with one finger head that had a short retention before receding into a tight cap. Clingy lacing.

S - hops and pine evident on first note.

T - a smooth nutty flavor with a bit of hops and some pepper. Some bread in the aftertaste.

M - maybe a little less than what I'd call medium-bodied. tasted in the back of the mouth. average carbonation.

D - not a bad quaff. i'd hit up a six to share with friends with no reservation at all.

maleman, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of daliandragon
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had always heard good things about Red Hook but after A-B moved in I had less interest in hunting down their stuff, which used to be ubiquitous around these parts but is now harder to find. Found this on the bargain rack at a local distributor.
Dark amber body with light on the edges but a dense center. Head is minimal. Nose is somewhat faint but layered with tasty hops and sweet crystal malts. They could ratchet it up a notch, but it's good to the olifactory sensors.
Interestingly, the flavors in the taste and aftertaste are more malt affiliated than in the nose. There is some decent bitterness but the malts balance it out well. Not an awesome flavor, but drinkable. Mouthfeel could stand to be a little thicker.
Overall, this is a decent drinking beer. I would try this again.

daliandragon, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of velosuds
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled on Oct 08 09. Single purchased for $1.35.

A-Pours a medium amber hue with a two finger, light tan foamy head. Modest retention and lacing.

S-Somewhat subdued malt aroma that is biscuit like with caramel. There is also a faint floral hop presence in the nose.

T-Toasted caramel malts with some grapefruit like hop presence. Not bad. But, not as full flavored as other winter warmers.

M-Very smooth and balanced. Nice carbonation level.

D-This is a very drinkable winter warmer since it is not as heavy and filling as some others, and the ABV is only 5.9%. One of Redhook Ale's better offerings of late.

velosuds, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - reddish brown amber, light tan head, thin cover with no breaks. Thin stringy lacing.

Aroma - an initial burst of citrus gives way to a slightly metallic nose. That settles down and lets a slightly sweet and toasty malt aroma through. That fades too, but is still slightly noticeable.

Taste - hops hit first, well to the bitter side with a shallow sweetness to them. There is a malt taste in there as well, once you get accustomed to the hops. Lightly toasted in nature, while they don't completely stand up to the hoppage, they do okay. The finish is mostly a solo reprise of the hop flavor profile, just to a diminished degree.

Mouthfeel - good body, smooth, solid and filling as a winter warmer should be. Average carbonation.

Drinkability - this could be a great session beer for hopheads in winter. I'd have it again.

brewdlyhooked13, May 12, 2005
Photo of Hopswagger
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Hopswagger, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of Stimack
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was able to give this brew a try last evening, actually had a few back earlier in December. This brew poured to a nice deep copper color with a good sized (what I would call) light tan head that had ample retention leaving a nice amount of lace chunks down the side of the glass. The aroma had a nice malt smell to it, which really seemed to have a toasted property. I would also say that caramel shines through with a nice slight spice to it. The taste, while not being stupendous has a very good quality to it, it is very easy drinking as the malt properties lead to a nice flavor. Caramel comes to mind quickly with a slight nut flavor. Seems to be a bit dry. I will say that I am surprised that this is considered a winter warmer, to me it seems like a simple pale ale that is well balanced. This would be a fine session brew although at 6.1% could get you in trouble, but to me that is the feel of this one. Not a bad brew, just not a winter warmer, but what the hell do I know.

Stimack, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tawny amber body lying under a cloud of ivory foam. The head lasted and laced decenlty. The nose was mostly malty with pulpy fruit notes and a bit of spicy hop notes. Flavors are mostly of a fruity malt variety with a decent medium body and a creamy sense. Good drinkability from this nice, light old ale.

AtLagerHeads, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of Mistofminn
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from a "Redhook Greatest Hits" box at a Christmas party.

Bronze color with red-orange highlights. Great color. Head retains somewhat. I normally don't like the smell (or taste) of hops, but the hop smell in this was very appealing to me. There is also a citrusy smell here, slightly fruity. Tastes of malts and spices, with some fruity tones present. Its a great blend and a great tasting beer. Average mouthfeel, not to thin, not to watery.

For being a hoppy beer, I really enjoyed this, and I can't say that of other hoppy beers (that aren't IPA's). I was very impressed with my first exposure to Redhook brewery.

Mistofminn, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of callmescraps
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying something new for the winter season. Keep me warm on, well, warm winter evenings.

Appearance- A deep amber, almost ruby color. Quarter inch of creamy slightly tan head. Beautifully clear.

Smell- Not getting much, some rich maltiness maybe. A little spice. Definitely some rich caramel. A little nuttiness as well.

Taste- Rich caramel balanced by a nice fruitiness. Finishes a little sweet. Definitely nutty as well. There is a slight tropical fruit taste, almost mango? that is quite unexpected. The finish has a little burnt sugar bitterness that I don't love.

Mouthfeel- Nice and creamy. Good carbonation so it isn't too heavy.

Drinkability- Goes down well.

This is a pretty good winter beer. Not exactly my favorite, it's a little sweet, but finishes bitter. Still, a good beer.

callmescraps, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of JMD
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich mahogany color with small off-white that dissipates quickly. Leaves some small lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet malty aroma, some carmel and molasses. Faint spice.

T: Same as the aroma. Toasted malt, some sweet carmel, and a touch of light hops and spices.

M: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

D: This is a solid winter offering. Big malty flavors and but still balanced. Generally, I'm not a big fan of the brewer but this is my favorite beer from Redhook.

JMD, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of ajmoody76
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a six pack of this at the grocery store. bottle indicates this was made at their east coast facility. pours brown with a reddish hue. clear with a one finger tan head. some lace.

bread on the nose. get some hoppy spiciness in there also. no off odors. smells malty.

has that warm taste i cannot describe. it is a good thing. a little fruity but based in sweet malts. caramel.

mid body. adequate carbonation. i could drink another sixer this season.

ajmoody76, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of KroMagnon
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The bottle is a little disappointing - there aren't any comments about how this is a special beer made with select hops for the holidays, etc, but thats no biggie. The color is nice, caramel reddish brown like a coke, and crystal clear, but the head disspates very rapidly. The aroma is very nice, with a full dose of a spicy, piney hop and a slight maltiness. The flavor is good but a bit thin - nice hop notes and a touch of malt in the middle, but the maltiness lacks depth and overtones (I hate to say it that way but that's the best I can do - it doesn't generate much feel for caramel, toffee, toastiness, etc. it just kind of sits there). Overall this is a good drinkable beer, probably a good choice on tap when nothing else "special" is available but not in the league with famous Christmas beers.

KroMagnon, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of LarryKemp
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A deep ruby beer with a bright white head that stands a long time in contrast to the liquid below.

The cascade hops jumps into your nose as the glass approaches. A very nice touch that I was not expecting.

The hops are most definately in the taste but they wrestle with the malt sweetness. As I write this I am about to say the it is balanced toward the hops but then in the finish the sweetness comes out ahead but here again comes those hops. A complexness in balance that is really great.

The mouthfeel is medium light, The hops to tingle the roof of my mouth but this is maybe the weakest aspect of this beer.

This is a nice Winter Ale. I particularly like the hops/malt contrast. A nice hoppy middle of the road beer that I look forward trying again soon.

LarryKemp, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of cokes
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-leaning bronze under disintegrating beige clouds.
Mostly hop-dominated nose. Spruce and pine bark with underlings of toasty caramel.
Begins modestly malty. Black cherries on burnt toast. Throw in a little bit of caramel, a little bit of toffee, a little bit of vanilla bean, and a little bit of dry cocoa. Accents on the "little". Hops enter rather loudly. Resinous pine drippings. Damn this is hoppy for Budhook (sorry). Traces of metal too. Burps sear the nostrils a bit, but don't induce tears.
Shy of medium bodied.
Nice enough (cheap) winter sessional. Like a poor-man's SN Celebration Ale, which is probably exactly what it was meant to be.

cokes, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of FreshButterbeer
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%

FreshButterbeer, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of Buggies
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber color with a quickly disappearing head.

S: Sweet malty aroma with just the faintest hop aroma.

T: Nice sweet malt that finishes with a little hop bitterness which balances nicely I think.

One of the better winter warmers I have tried lately. No harsh flavors with this one. It is a nice smooth drinker.

Buggies, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of IrishRedRock
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No information anywhere on the bottle as to what I am about to imbibe. Winter ale. Mahogany body with a sticky lace atop. Sweet, malty caramel apple aroma. Smells very much like some barleywines I've had. Kind of thin on flavor. Subtle fruitiness to back the substantial toasted malt character. Tingly on the tongue. Not huge on flavor, so I don't know that I'd want to drink a lot of these, but it goes down fairly smooth and I certainly could drink a few. I think I'd just go after a winter seasonal that's got some more character.

IrishRedRock, Apr 04, 2004
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 822 ratings.