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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

871 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 871
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 20
Gots: 48 | 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 (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 871 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I talked to a representative from the brewery and they told me that Winterhook was Red Hook's "experimental" beer, and that they do something different every year. She told me that this year's concoction was a hoppier version of years past with some different flavors thrown in. So I did what any defenseless man conversing with an attractive young woman would do, I took her advice and bought a six-pack. After I tried one she was right about the hops....they were everywhere, smell and taste. Now I'm not complaining but the supposed "other flavors" I couldn't find. I seemed to me this beer was nothing more than a fine crafted micro-brew pale ale with some roasted malt thrown in for a nice dark color. Not a bad choice but there are better Red Hook beers out there.

Photo of cschepers
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - pours a nice clear red. Bit of cream head. Nice lacing.

S - Not a whole lot going on. Little bit of sweetness & malt. Little bits of spice.

T - A bit of the same. Some spice and caramel sweetness, some nice evergreen hops. Hopped a bit more heavily than I'd expect... it isn't really all that much, just a little bit more than I'd expect in balance to the malt. Finishes with a bit more spice and the hops.

M - Fairly thin, nice carbonation.

D - Pretty good. Wouldn't be hard to finish several of these.

Ok winter warmer, nothing terribly exciting. There are better ones out there, but this is worth a try.

Photo of schoolboy
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So what the heck am I doing reviewing this in June? I know I've had this run of the mill brown ale before, but today I found a six marked way down. So how does it taste 8 months after the date on the bottle? Similar to the way it tasted in October, I think.

It is a typical brown color with very little head. The aroma is slightly pungent, it would be great if you cranked it up by a factor of 4. The taste is typical brown ale. There doesn't seem to be anything that distinguishes it as a winter warmer - no spice. It's malty but not strong.

The aftertaste is a similar malty, boring flavor.

So I got these really cheap in June, and I got what I paid for. When will I ever learn.

Photo of PvtSnowball
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of clvand0
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark shade of brown with a nice head and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma was malty with caramel and some spice. The flavor reminded me a lot of Anchor Steam, with just a little more strength in the flavor. Malty and hoppy, with caramel and spices. Good winter beer.

Photo of Contagion
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured into the glass, it has a nice chestnut brown with garnet highlights. There is no cloudiness to it that can be detected. Light passes through the beer, but it is dark enough that you can't make out what is seen on the other side. When poured a thin tan head formed that turned into a film that lasted until I was finished with the beer. There was some lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent is mainly of dried dark fruits like prunes and raisins. A touch of citrus and the spicy bitterness of hops rounds off the smell. The first sip mainly consists of the taste combination of caramel malts and hops. There is a citrus hint and a touch of cloves to the finish. The flavor is kind of thin and watery.

This is a medium bodied beer that has a nice carbonation level to it.

It's pretty easy to drink. I wouldn't recommend it as a compliment to a meal. This is definitely a beer that one drinks by itself, preferably while sitting next to a warm fire in the accompaniment of friends. It's definitely one I would drink again, most likely on a special occasion.

Photo of BryanCarey
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This 2011/2012 version was sampled on tap (this is important because I’ve heard they change the recipe from year-to-year). The color was clear copper with a big khaki head that retained decently and left sliding spots of lacing. The aroma was not as spicy as it had been in the past, showcasing caramel malt and piney hops instead with only hints of clove. The flavors were a bit heavy on the herbal/piney hops at first with a caramel malt backbone and hints of toasted nuts and toffee behind that. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation mid-level. Not as spiced as many winter warmers which I found welcome though nothing amazing as a stand-alone brew either.

Photo of scottum
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red amber with a big llasting acey off-white head. Sweet on the malts and light on the hops. The balance is spot on. Mouthfeel is very smooth. The strength barely shows through. Certainly amoung the better beers by Redhook. Not over the top in flavor, but very eaasy to drink.

Photo of katan
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a dark brown bordering on amber. Very clear, filtered. Almost appears lagered. Little head formation, light carbonation.

S - Very lightly scented - at best I can detect just a hair of ale yeast.

T - Starts with a smooth caramel malt, has a bit of nutty notes to it as well. Builds some bitterness, but a malt forward beer. Appropriate for a warmer. No hopping detected. Finishes with a light malty sweet note. No aftertaste.

M - Moderate to strong beer body - lots of good sugar thickness to the beer. Some mouth coating. Carbonation bite is light.

D - Solid drinkability for a warmer. Certainly a bit filling and a bit too sweet for summer months, but certainly does the trick for the winter. ABV will surely warm you, but probably not bite.

Photo of Dirk_Chappelle
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of sgoodship
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife picked this up at the store. Sounded interesting. This is my first Redhook.

The beer is a dark red brown. There is a decent finger, late' colored head. There is some lacing but nothing to write home about.

The smell makes you think that there is some alcohol there. It's malty with bread, caramel, coffee and molasses.

The taste is quite like the smell. It's like a cross between a red and a porter. I don't like that too much because the bitter porter gets in the way of the sweeter, breadier malt and it's too weak to feel too much like a porter. The finish is a nice bite of hop and bitterness from coffee and molasses.

It's a pleasant enough brew but it's a little to o thin and watery at times.

Photo of edchicma
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew, but not ghreat either. Appearance was nice with decent head and lacing. Nice dark cramel color. Smell was mainly grape-like, but nor unpleasant. Taste was unspectacular, grape flavor came through. No major sweetness or bitterness. Light hop presence on the finish. Easy enough on the mouth and palate, but nothing special.

Photo of BeerSox
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic

Dark copper hue with a two finger light tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving behind a wall of webby lacing.

Lots of citrusy hops that makes up most of the aroma. A little bit of caramel is in the background.

Once again, plenty of hops in the flavor with a little bit of green tea along with the standard grapefruit. The malts add only a slight caramel toastines to the flavor. Full bodied. The hops linger on for a while after each sip.

Pretty hoppy for a Winter Warmer, more of a dark Amber Ale in my opinion. Still, pretty tasty.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear brown color with a thick head – light lacing. The aroma is mostly of malt with a slight touch of hops. The taste is spicy and hoppy with a nice malt background. The mouthfeel is full. This is an interesting beer that I’d consider easy to drink.

Photo of marc77
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy chestnut hue with a light mirk. Stiff, pitted, steadfast vanilla white head leaves lace. Juicy tangerine laced with mint sprigs upfront in aroma. Burnt, buttery, brown sugar sprinkled biscuit and dark toffee are secondary. Sweet cocoa undertone. Quite appetizing aromawise. Simple medium lovibond caramel initially in flavor, is superceded by assertive, pithy hop bitterness and sharp suggestion of grated cinnamon. Mellows quickly, with stately butterscotch and bittersweet marmalade notes contrasting the barbed hop character. Understated hints of tart plum surface late along with breezy, disparate dry cocoa, lending dessert like qualities. Soft on the palate, and perhaps a touch lean in body to complement the malt backbone. Finishes both buttery and burnt, with lingering diacetyl and singed biscuit tones. A flavorful, albeit raw brew with a surprising amount of character. Quite tasty, and overall a well above average winter seasonal. Has aging potential.

Photo of Buggies
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Hopswagger
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

Photo of SteveO1231
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown syrup color. Almost opaque with red highlights.
thick foamy, tan head that holds well.
Light carbonation.
Rich, aroma, smells of roasted malts.
Smooth, roasted malt flavor, light hop finish with hints of citrus and spice.
Smooth on the palate, drinkable.
Fans of Sam Adam's Boston Lager will enjoy this one.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter of '05 realse. Pours a clear, dark amber. Off-white creamy head one finger tall, with excellent retention. Beautiful patterns of lace cling stubbornly to the glass. The nose is not strong, but shows some dark malt and holdiay spice aromas. An odd, but not foul smell hides behind the malt, could be from wood chips or stale hops used in dry hopping...I don't know. Toasted barley and cinnamon flavor, followed by a well balanced dose of english hop bitterness. Aftertaste is hebal and tea-like, but fades gracefully. Medium body and nearly flat carbonation with scarce and tiny bubbles slowly rising north. Extra-smooth mouthfeel, easy on the eyes, and a pleasent hoppy finish; a nice winter seasonal.

Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short Version:
Unremarkable but tasty ale that is crisp, well balanced, and quite drinkable.

Details:
OK, I confess this beer is a bit past it's prime. It's April and I'm finishing off my winter stock to make room for spring ales.

Poured a deep amber-brown sorrel color with a 1-finger dingy head. On the nose I get forward malt, light spice, and a slightly sour (but not unpleasant) hop essence.

I see some micro particulate suspended within causing some cloudiness. Lace is there but weak. Head has dropped to a ring with a scalloped cirrus cloud pattern scraped across the top.

Taste is malt-forward with a metallic hop tang. Caramel. Crisp indeed. I get a little roastiness but not much. Not tasting the spice I got a hint of on the nose. I wish I could. When I think "winter warmer" I'm thinking tangible spice. Pepper, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, orange peel, etc. Not getting that here. Finish is crisp and more hop-dominant than on the palate.

I'm getting a tasty but unremarkable middle-of-the-road ale. I'd buy it again and drink it again (good drinkability) but I can't get past a B grade on this one. Nothing about it really stands out.

Photo of tavernjef
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a clearish coppery brown, medium sized head of light tan hue, fades slow to a thin puff and lace sticks in moth holed-sheets. Smell is roasted malts, somewhat hefty and heavy, sweet with solid caramel and toffee thats reminiscent of burnt cookies. Hop notes of deep pine. Mostly coming through as it warms. Taste has a good portion of sweet malts, caramel, lightly burnt, lightly earthy, hops come across late with a fairly nice bite and bitterness that lends some dried pineyness. Some spiced grab shows through in the finish along with a smidgon of alcohol thats a bit warming. Feel is medium bodied and has a light grainy texture with a hop kick in alot of the finish with a spicy note. Not bad for Redhook, I was expecting something lack luster, but the late kick this has kept me intrigued.

Photo of DJW
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Act25
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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?

Photo of LarryKemp
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 871 ratings.