1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
81
good

817 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 817
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 16 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Redhook Winterhook Alström Bros
Ratings: 817 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pweis909
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a shade or two darker than orange, w/ white foam that recedes fast. Light caramel in the aroma. It's sweetish in a cramelly way, some malt. The barest suggestion of chocolate. Touch of chalk to the finish. Rather light-bodied for a winter warmer. Drinkable.

pweis909, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber color with 2 fingers of white head.

S: Nice smell with a lot of malt and spiciness.

T: Malt was up front followed by some hops. Nice balance to it.

M: Thin for the style. Felt good though.

D: Very drinkable for the style. Got this because everything else on tap was bleh. If in the same situation recommended.

aerozeppl, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of armock
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a nice amber color with an off white head

S - Is of sweet malt with a hint of caramel and spice

T - Is of sweet malt upfront followed by a touch of spice and hops

M - Feels a little thin compared to other winter ales

D - Overall I enjoyed this brew it is a little lighter than other winter ales but that doesn't really hurt this beer its worth a try

armock, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of ndekke39
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle with an October 31, 2007 best-by date. I hope I'm not too late! Decanted into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear reddish-copper with a thin white head. Good retention.

Smell: Warm spices, oranges, mellow maltiness.

Taste: Kind of a zingy malt center. Toasted grain. Then it disappears. No aftertaste, and not a lot of complexity to it.

Mouthfeel: Touch of carbonation on the tongue. Just below medium-bodied. Seems appropriate for the style, but I think it could be thicker.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but not a lot of complexity. I can think of plenty of other Winter Warmers I would rather drink.

ndekke39, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of bboven
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Straight-up amber body, clear with a thin bubbly head that leaves tiny bits of lacing

Thick malty aroma with lots of caramel but definitely some buttery diacetyl (sp) as well.

All the malty flavors are there, but there is also a surprisingly pleasant streak of English hops happening as well. Very interesting and very nice to cut the thick malt.

Forced C02 is not the best way to go with these beers, but it is what it is. This would be really nice from a cask. The carbonation in this one is a little too sharp and biting.

Pretty good pick, the flavor is very unique with that subtle streak of hoppy bitterness. I've heard they change the recipe with this one every year, so we'll see how it is compared to future offerings, I suppose.

bboven, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of ntillemans
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured out into a pint glass.

A - dark amber, tan-brownish...low carbonation...less than a finger of head was gone within minutes

S - Slight roastiness and maltiness and a hint of fruitiness...but the overall culmination of that balance was neither appealing nor very potent...no alcohol smell I could detect.

T - I didn't care much for the balance. Not enough malt or (seasonal) fruity charm for a winter. Strong roast overtones and very hoppy (some fruitiness) but a very dry finish that I disliked.

M - Bitter, dry finish ... a lot of tingling on my tongue that caused me to salivate for want something a little more malty. This one's missing a fuller body one expects in a winter ale.

D - I may be biased against this one because it's heavy on the bitter hops and light on the maltiness and robustness I tend to enjoy. I could drink several of these and I could think of many beers I would dislike more than this one. I just won't seek this one out.

ntillemans, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of erwin08
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a transparent red/brown with minimal head and lacing.

S: smells malty with hints of carmel and fruit

T: this is a winter? much lighter than i expected. malty/carmel taste to it with very slighty hoppiness.

M: again much thinner, smoother, and lighter than i expected from a winter.

D: very drinkable. doesn't pack the punch of most winter beers. not what i had expected, but by no means a bad beer.

OVERALL: A tasty beer from Redhook. Not your typical winter, but still a very drinkable beer with a winter twist. Worth a taste.

erwin08, Jan 18, 2008
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

Floydster, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Pours a clear gold/amber with a sparse white head. Some malt in the aroma with a little of the trademark Redhook diacetyl. Pretty thin in the body. Crisp hop bitterness. A little butteryness and bready malt. Decent hop finish. Not that exciting, more of a bland amber than a true hearty winter beer.

homebrewhawk, Jan 10, 2008
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 PhageLab
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Amber brown, yet transparent brew with a decent head. Very minimal amounts of lacing left behind.

S - Caramel malt aroma, bit of toastiness, pleasant, yet weak.

T - Almost like a nut brown light. Very faint flavor profile of malt, sweet caramel notes, and some mild spice. Pretty one sided.

M - Thin bodied. Mild carbonation. No aftertastes or residues.

D - Average across the board. Pretty forgettable overall. Not bad by any means, just not anything to seek out. Redhook can do better.

PhageLab, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Phocion
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Winter Lager miniature-nonic type glass. Pours a semi-transparent golden/copper color with a massive rocky off-white head which sinks into about one finger before holding very nicely.

Aroma is a nice balance of caramel and toasted malts and a bit of a floral and herbal hoppiness. Nice balance and it smells fairly warm, but not terribly complex.

The aroma wasn't too bad, but when this thing hits my lips it is, in a word, bland. Mildly dry and a slightly bitter aftertaste, but there's just not a whole lot here.

Medium-bodied and fairly crisp, but when I think of a winter warmer I tend to think of something that will be...well, warm. This just doesn't do it. Not quite heavy enough to do the trick, but still thick enough and with a high enough ABV to make a poor session beer. Nothing terrible, but nothing too impressive either. This is definitely an average beer that I will probably not bother to revisit.

Phocion, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of kosmoraios
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red-copper color into an Imperial pint glass. Much carbonation, bubbles are clearly visible. Insignificant white head fades to nothing within 30 seconds, leaving a bit of a ring. No lacing.

Aroma is subtle, with hints of light toffee and walnuts.

Taste is also quite understated. Caramel, cashews, figs. Nicely balanced malt/hops. A drinkable ale.. but not what I'd consider a winter warmer. I think this is closer in style to an American Red/Amber ale.

Mouthfeel is very light and well carbonated. Very drinkable, even sessionable ale, but nothing exceptional about it.

kosmoraios, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is a good winter warmer especially on these dreary winter rainy and sometimes snowy days here in the willamette valley, not one of my favorite winter beers, not as smooth as some of the others that I have tasted.

the color is a deep nutty color, not quite as dark as some of the other winter ales I have sampled this year.

hints of mocha and maybe caramel, but it is sometimes hard for me to distinguish.

There is malt I think. and the hops are not overbearing.

Hollenbeck2, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First brew from the Redhook Brewery, and I am not dissapointed... their winter warmer is a decent stab at the style... appearance was a nice caramel color with a minimal head... taste was about average for a winter warmer... a little caramel sweetness on the palate with some spices present, maybe cinnamon, but a little more bland compared to some other winter warmers I've sampled... I was pretty satisfied though, having copped a single 12oz bottle from Wine and More in West Orange for about $1.79... at 6%, there was a nice alcohol glow pervading from the drink, and the sweetness lingered on the mouth for a bit... great drinkability and the alcohol is hardly noticeable behind a sweet finish... Recommended...

dsa7783, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of wiseguy142
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't consider my palette particularly developed, but after this beer I think I understand what it is for the malt to have a great relationship with the hops. I normally wouldn't really see the winter beer characteristics in this other than some spices that I'm picking up and the high drinkability, but you can knock back a 6 pack of these and feel refreshed (and drunk) instead of overwhelmed. Nice dark copper color. I enjoyed drinking it more straight out of the bottle than in the glass and I'll be buying it again next year.

wiseguy142, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of berserker256
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice dark dark copper appearance with decent head. Gives off a semi-sweet aroma that reminds me of Sam Adams Winter Lager. I think I detect some dried-fruit-like flavors such as prunes and raisins along with the roasted malt. Decent beer. Maybe I'm just not in the mood for this beer right now or something but it doesn't really pique my interests or my taste buds all that much to make me want more and more. It's OK.

berserker256, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.47/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chocolaty opaque brown; tan head has fine bubbles and persists some. Aroma is rich and creamy and fairly malty with strong hints of spice and coffee. Flavor is mainly malty and has a roast coffee overtone and hints of spice and hops. Very smooth, perfect for the winter holidays.

Cyberkedi, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of champ103
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A deep copper/red color. It has a great head with lots of sticky lace.
S: Sweet malt with some dark fruit flavors (raisins and plumbs) and nice floral hops.
T: Similar to the nose with dark fruits and some peach, but much more hop bitterness than I was expecting. Very good overall.
M/D: I found this very watery and thin in the mouth. There is no coating of the mouth that is present in many other winter warmers. Though, it is very drinkable. The low ABV for the style helps in this department.

A nice winter warmer. Not as "big" as some other beers of this style. That is not a bad thing at all, actually that is what I like most about it. The people at Redhook did not try to over do this beer, and what you get is a very drinkable and tasty brew.

champ103, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One winter seasonal that I have probably seen the most improvement over the years is Winterhook. Its been around since 1985 in one form or another but seems to be on the stable path for several years now. Bright clarity off of the deep copper color brew, awesome looking lacing as it leaves a web like trail down the glass. Malty aroma of toasted grain and caramel, hint of floral and grassy hops as well. The smoothness is certainly there with a small crispness that drops off quick in the medium body. Spicy, herbal and bit time floral hop flavor don a balanced bitterness that lingers far into the drying finish.

High in drinkability, flavorful and a bit complex yet approachable enough to bring to a holiday party. By far its one of my favorites each year.

Jason, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of MSchae1017
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours into a typical pint glass from the 12oz bottle. The beer is golden-amber with a small off white head that leaves a small ring and laces only a bit. The smell is slightly hoppy displaying citrus notes and has a bit of a biscuity and breadyness to it. The taste is almost all pale malts with the same malt profile as the smell adn a touch of hops on teh finish. THe mouthfeel is full bodied with some lingering syrupyness. Overall seems more like an blonde or an APA, and not my favorite as it seams a bit amatuerish with the way it is all put together.

MSchae1017, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of andrewm190
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice copper colored ale. You can definitely smell the malts. The beer has a nice malty flavor combined with some sweetness. It has a nice clean finish, nice balance, and nothing, including the alcohol, is overwhelming. I give it high marks, although there is nothing exceptional in the taste, it is decent, and the clean finish leaves you wanting another swig. Its a nice little sixer to pick up.

andrewm190, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean copper/ orange-ish color, with a white head. In the aroma, a sweet, sugary fruitiness. In the taste, malty, and a very sugary corriander taste. A big body, with a small bite in the mouthfeel, and a dry sugary, orange-ish aftertaste. Kind of candy like, and a nice body.

OWSLEY069, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of dteal1
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I'm having this one at room temperature. It pours amber with not much of a head. I can smell the spice in it, but just barely. Tastes bitter and dry, slightly spicy. Mouthfeel was smooth and aptly warming. Drinkable? Not very. Too dry. Too boring. Not as good as the Anchor Christmas for sure.

dteal1, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Playwright in Hamden, Conn.

A: Poured a very clean-looking amber-brown with a fluffy head of dense off-white foam. Not too dark for what's supposed to be a winter warmer.

S: Smells of faint, musty pine needle hops and sweet caramel malts. A little spicy zest on the nose.

T: Tastes remarkably hoppy for a winter warmer; yum! The finish is nice, cinnamon spice and sweet caramel malt, with a little toasted corn husk flavor. Strange balance for a winter warmer, but I liked it.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and the rich, spicy finish will satisfy.

D: I had a couple of these, and probably could have had more. The ABV over 6% and the sweet malt/bitter hop balance with spices added is a great drinking combo.

I really hope to find a 6-pack off the Winterhook soon, or at least get three in a mixed twelve. It's a good winter warmer, though those who don't want something so hoppy may be turned off. A nice winter warmer for hopheads, though.

Gambrinus1184, Dec 06, 2007
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.