1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

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

788 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 788
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%


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 (45) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 788 | Reviews: 453 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2013 02:22:32 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Cavanaghty
Cavanaghty

Maine

3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish amber with a white head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, maybe some spices and hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of spicy roasted malts, some grassy notes as well.

Overall: Not a bad winter brew, I have had this one quite a bit over the years, can't really go wrong with it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2012 22:51:34 | More by Cavanaghty
Photo of devinoconnor
devinoconnor

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Such a surprising brew for me. Not a huge fan of winter warmers as I find they're generally much too spicey and lack body.

Redhook's Winter Ale is fantastic. Pours a dark brown with two fingers of foamy head. Spices are perfectly balanced with an unexpected amount of hops. Chocolate mixes with grapefruit to create a truly original winter ale. Nuts and malts create a nice backbone and a delicious finish.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2012 21:12:56 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2012 17:42:02 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I saw this sucker on-tap and decided to sample it; I'm a sucker for new stuff, what can I say? The body is surprisingly clear, and a little lighter than I would have expected also, with an amber color. The head is off-white, two fingers tall, and both retention and lacing are pretty good.

The aroma mixes hops, malt and spices, but overall, it isn't especially powerful.

I honestly expected this beer to be bad, but I have to say it won me over, as it is pretty good. The hop profile is pretty powerful, with bright citrus and a floral flavor that come through immediately. The bitterness is light, however, because the big malt base eclipses it before it can really go to work on your mouth. The malt brings lots of toasted flavors with a little bit of grain. Toffee and sweet caramel are also prominent. Pretty evenly balanced between the malt and hops here, with an ample amount of each. I don't really pick up any spice additions, so if they're in there, the traditional ingredients are obscuring them, which is fine with me.

The rich malt base in this one deserves a little bit of a longer finish, which could be accomplished by beefing up the body a little bit. The carbonation is moderate, but the body is a touch light.

Winter Hook isn't a bad beer at all, and it is probably worth a try, especially because it tends to pop up at places that might not have a stellar tap list.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2011 17:39:46 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Redhook, Woodinville, WA

Board info called this a English-style strong ale.

Poured a clear chestnut color with a frothy beige head that retains well. Toasty malts in the aroma, nutty with a bit of sweetness. Nutty taste, malty, toasty, a bit bland. Some light hops come through near the end for a slightly bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel and somewhat drinkable, but not that great. Reminded me more of an amber ale than a winter warmer or strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2011 17:08:58 | More by Rifugium
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear amber body with a nice one finger white head. Decent lacing along the glass. Looks good.

Unfortunately, looks are the best feature of this beer. Faint lager-type aroma of malt. The flavor is also lacking. Bready malt taste with maybe a hint of the expected winter spices in the background.

Perhaps freshness of the keg is in play here. But, it was recommended by the bartender as a "hoppy" beer. Wrong. Average offering at best.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2011 00:04:41 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Almost black with a redish tint; small head that does hold its body fairly well; lacing is good

S: Aromas aren't too strong but there are subtle roasted malts; array of spices, chocolate, and subtle citrus hops

T: Upfront there is a nice blend of roasted malts balanced with a touch of citrus; on back end the flavors dissipate and there is something off puting and slightly sour

F: A bit too thin and watery but okay

D: This is pretty drinkable and the spices aren't much for a winter warmer; there is something in the aftertaste that becomes a tad wearing

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2010 02:05:07 | More by dbossman
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I'd previously described the color of this ale as like "moonrise over Venus" owing to its radiant scarlet glow. That original bottled beer review dates to 2003, back in my "Jimi Hendrix" phase of beer reviewing. Far out.

Returning to this ale at the source where it's brewed reveals a beer of far more hops than I remember. Both the aroma and taste impart a bright hoppy immediacy like a handful of Cascade pellets. Hop flavor posits an herb and spice flare against an alt-like nuttiness that delivers more character than I was expecting. And the freshness of the draught is notable. If I had to venture a deconstructionist guess I'd say Winterhook is IPA hops on ESB malts with an alt-like yeast.

Very effective as a winter warmer. Almost compelling.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2009 04:27:46 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark tea/coffee color with just a hint of off-white suds and lots of lacing.
Nose is caramel, a slight spice and hops and that is about it. Some alcohol comes through. Taste is bland but the hops do bitter the mouth up in the end. Mouthfeel is a little oily and ok overall

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2009 03:01:01 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap 2/12/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, hops and some spice.

T: The taste is malty and a little smoky up front with flavors of caramel and spices. The hops presence is pretty strong for the style and there isn't as much sweetness as most Winter Warmers. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, not the best representation of style, it's not too bad but there are definitely a lot of other beers in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2009 16:06:35 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of pandashaver
pandashaver

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A dark brown body, translucent. White very foamy head that left excellent lacing down the glass and kept some head throughout.

S - Very citrusy/lime smell initially, with also some grassy notes. Can smell the malt sweetness but also the hops. Spices were hard to decipher and not overwhelming at all.

T - The hop presence was a nice surprise. Some spices, though subdued. Sweetness to balance, and a good bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, though a bit watered down as expected from this brewing company. Sticky from the sweet malts.

D - A liked it, but did not love it. Usually would have only one, unless I stayed at the same bar and didn't have any other options. I don't drink winter brews regularly this time of year, so I'm not the best judge of this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 13:44:50 | More by pandashaver
Photo of madtappers
madtappers

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has got to be one of the best winter seasonals on the market, that no one cares about.

This beer pours an amber color not to light and not to dark.

Great taste not to hoppy not to malty, which adds to the drinkablity of this beer.

Unlike many other winter beers this does not have that heavy alchol after taste.

This ale is great for the novice or the snob, and makes a great beer to take to grandma's house for Christmas dinner for all to enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2008 17:13:52 | More by madtappers
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Portsmouth Brewery Chataqua Public House on 11/1/08.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a 1/2 finger of creamy off-white head. Solid covering of retention leaves a soft cascade of lacing behind. The aroma is fresh, floral hops with a bit of spice to it and some underlying malt sweetness.

The taste is a slightly tangy mix of citrus and caramel malts with a nice floral tasting hop bitterness that wraps everything up nicely. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a crisp carbonation up front that spreads out into a more creamier feel.

This is probably one of my favorites from Redhook with some nice chewy sweetness but it's the freshness of the hops here that really did it for me with this pint. Tasty and pretty easy drinking for the size.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2008 18:02:26 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Wetpaperbag
Wetpaperbag

Washington

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice red copper color. The head was only a finger width and the head loves to cling to the side of the glass in chunky white foam.

S- This smells sweet, and a bit more on the hoppy side of a winter warmer. Must be a West Coast classic for sure. Sweet caramel and honey with some great spice mixed in. Great smelling Winter Warmer.

T- There is a nice hop taste for sure, and it is always there to play nice. But there is a real nice caramel malt profile that is the star. This is a nice well rounded and balanced American West Coast take on a winter warmer. Nice well rounded beer.

M- This feels good in the mouth, very nice feel.

D- Yes this is very drinkable, I'm glad I got this fresh as well. Its a nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2008 01:13:34 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2008 01:28:26 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of erwin08
erwin08

Minnesota

3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2008 04:07:02 | More by erwin08
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2007 23:38:56 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

2.8/5  rDev -22%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2007 16:47:31 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2007 05:36:50 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of dnichols
dnichols

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was poured a pitcher in a plastic container that we then poured into a 12 ounce frosted mug.

A: The beer poured a clear amber body with a 1 1/2 finger white head made up of sticky dense medium sized bubbles. The head had decent retention and supported a thin even curtain that marched down the side of the glass.

S: The initial aroma is dominated by lightly roasted sweet malts, floral hops and a bubblegum like odor that gives the impression of a sweet candy.

T: The taste is dominated by floral piny and grassy hops that also generate light white spice flavors. The hops are complemented by sweet malts with white bread yeasts and light brown sugars.

M: It was light bodied, thin and dry with balanced carbonation and a distinctly sour back side flavor.

D: It was a decent brew with a moderate ABV but a bit more bite and piny flavors than I typically enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2007 21:23:21 | More by dnichols
Photo of supercolter
supercolter

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad beer, i think that Redhook has kind of gotten into a rut however, and that is that alot of their beers have very similar characteristics.
This beer had a very similar smell of banana and sweet malt that their Blonde has, and furthermore the mouthfeel is very similar. Obviously they are different colors with the winter warmer being much darker, but kinda wierd.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2007 01:27:18 | More by supercolter
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Houlihan's restaurant in Maple Grove, MN. They were out of the Sam seasonal so this would have to do. Like most of the Redhook brews, this beer is unoffensive and taste watered down, even at 6.1%. There's some lightly roasted caramel and not much else. I don't know what's "winter warmer" about this, reminds me of a basic amber.

UPDATE: Bottle from Liberty St. Tavern.
The current bottled version has a nice, seemingly dry-hopped bite to it, but on the other hand there's also an unpleasant metallic taste. I'd still call this an improvement.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2007 06:11:51 | More by tempest
Photo of Jaynuze
Jaynuze

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I started drinking this at my local watering hole since the other options aren't much better (bud, miller, Mich., and other various macros), however I was really impressed with this season's Winter brew ... especially the nose.
It pours a nice rich amber with a very thin white head. Depending on the cleanliness of the glassware (which is usually 50/50 at my local dive) it usually leaves a nice Belgian lace down the side of the glass.
The nose is a wonderfully sharp citrus that really gets one's senses going. It's a bit of a tease though since the taste and mouthfeel are much less satisfying than the nose would leave one to believe.
It has a smooth taste with little or no spice, which makes me wonder how this is truly considered a winter warmer other than the fact that it comes out at ... you guessed it, wintertime. I would say the best description of its taste is a more full bodied lager.
The mouthfeel is a bit watery (though this could be due to the bar's tap system) and the carbonation is not shooting up the glass as I've seen with other brews.
Though not as complex as other winter styles, this is an "old faithful". If your bar doesn't offer anything too interesting this is always a good call. I like to pair this one up with a nice side of Rye to get me through the cold weather ... it matches nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2006 18:40:21 | More by Jaynuze
Photo of Chaz
Chaz

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliant, golden amber in color into a Libby pint. Billowy off white head subsides after a minute or so, leaving a touch of lace. A consistency of aromatic usage seems to be key here, as the same elements interact through both the aroma and taste profile: roasted malt, biscuity malt, lime-citrusy hops, and yeast. Hop use is very well-done, dynamic even, and I could smell this from a couple of yards off! I half expected a hop-harvest/fresh hop ale (Hoptoberfest with the wrong tap handle?) but sure enough it has the right name afffixed to the keg and tap handle. To be honest I wasn't expecting a yeast character from this after years of go-rounds with the brand, but sure enough there's an ale-yeast character at play here and it seems fitting. Carbonation is spot-on in a bar that must've just had its lines cleaned as well (the rest of the place -which shall remain nameless- needs a lick of paint : ) Body seems thin for the style but mouthfeel is good overall, and allows the hops to all-but dominate this brew. A little bit of tanginess here and a little bit nutty, but this is not as 'warming' as some winter warmers, which makes it quite drinkable.

Before I typed this I found several listings for a Redhook brew by this name, and sure enough there have been changes: the darker and more robust offering I remember enjoying for a handful of years (more akin to their Blackhook porter in heft and mouthfeel) seems to have been retired along with the old stubby bottles, but I enjoy this new recipe just the same. For my money Winterhook is still the best offering from Redhook: too bad it isn't a year round offering!

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2006 01:09:36 | More by Chaz
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 788 ratings.