1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

815 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 815
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 15 | 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: 815 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of supercolter
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

supercolter, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of hopbar
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%

Mo's Wines and Spirits, Fairfield, CT
12 oz. bottle; Mixed 6 Pack
Bottling Date: 10/10/06
Pint Glass

A: Poured a copper color with very little head. Didn't have many bubbles but left a nice coating on the glass.

S: Woody tasting with hints of sweet spices.

T: Very fresh, strong and piney with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Not much there; no bubbles, too thin.

D: Although I was happy with it, I do have many more to try this winter and I would not be disappointed if I didn't have it again until next year.

hopbar, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of malty
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%

Front label perforated stamp of '100306'.

Pours a clear copper color with a loose 1/2" light beige head and somewhat scarce carbonation bubbles moving upwards. Very nice sheets of lace.

Fresh juicy hops aroma with a fruity undertone. I briskly swirl my glass a few times and bury my nose to uncover a faint carmel note as well.

The flavors are a tad metallic with the hops predominantly shining through, although much more attenuated from what I anticipated from the nose. An unsweetened Lipton tea flavor finishes up the round.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a wonderful airiness compliments of ultra fine carbonation at a moderate level.

Drinkability is good. Very unintrusive ('safe') flavors with not much else peeking out. Mouthfeel was the finest aspect IMHO. I'm sad this ale has digressed.

Overall a faint shell of what this ale used to be from 6-8 years ago. Not malty at all, just a nice dose of hops for it's saving grace.

malty, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of Butch
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%

Sampled 22 December 2006

Beautiful color. Deep cherry-wood, just a bit of red. Head was nice and tight, if short. Faded to a respectable lid that graced me with a perfect lace over the entire inner wall of the glass. Bless him for that. It stuck around for the whole beer and I was taking my time drinking it; writing this, watching TV, and answering emails in the process.

Smelled like an IPA. The deeper I drew, the more hops I got: score. At the end there was a hint of something spicy. A real winter ale.

The taste was, in my opinion, a nice example of the style. Not over top in any direction, no serious flaws, just a nice solid example of a style I love. All hops on the backend, but again, I got that subtle hint of something spicy . . . especially the last two swallows.

My goodness I love Christmas brews. I’ll be sure to get it next year, and probably again this year if it’s still available the next time I restock The Cache.


Butch, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of gmfessen
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is copper colored with an off-white head that leaves trails of lacing on the glass. Smell is mostly of sugary malt and spices and only very slightly of grassy hops, maybe a slight citrus tang. Taste is initially sweet and spicy like the nose but has a fairly bitter, dry finish; bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of creamy carbonation. Overall, this is a good example of a winter warmer and a pretty drinkable beer. Not a favorite, but pretty good and worth trying.

gmfessen, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of MDekker
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

From a 12oz bottle, exactly three months after bottling...

Pours out just plain brown in color, with a small head. The aroma was light, with hints of mossy pine. Not much else. The flavor wasn't very sweet. Mostly, it tasted fresh, soapy, and hoppy. The carbonation was slightly irritating in the mouth, but not bad. It went down pretty easy, but mostly this brew was nothing special. Nothing below average, either, but it didn't thrill me. I probably won't drink it again.

MDekker, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of leedorham
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%

pours a medium reddish brown with an off-white head.

Good lacing.

Aroma is slightly malty. Slightly buttery.

Taste is well balanced with malt-sweetness and bitterness but no real richness of flavor. This is creamier that some of the other mass-produced winter offerings. Slight clove character. Respectable offering.

leedorham, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.65/5  rDev -26%

served into tall pilsner glass,from a 12oz.brown long neck bottle crimped-on cap.

Medium copper,reddish hue,off white head dissapated quickly to layer of foam.

Nice pleasing aroma,very spicey,citrusy,yeasty aromas Belgium-like spiceyness to the nose.

Spicey taste not as spicey as the aromas would suggest. A kind of bland taste midway through. A dry,tart finish a bit citrusy. Kind of a let down after the nice aromas.

Medium mouthfeel,slightly chewey,a bit harsh going down. Average beer not exciting,couldn't drink too many of these.

jcdiflorio, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of foureyedgeek
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%

12 oz bottle, dated 110706, so its nice and fresh.

I'll be damned if this isn't one nice looking beer. Tall foamy head, good retention, very clear copper-red body, decent lacing.

Smell is sweet with a good note of piney hops. No spice in the nose.

Tastes like an amber ale, meaning caramelly and malty, with the addition of that piney, floral hops. This is actually quite tasty. Redhook says this beer packs 9 malts and 4 hop varieties, but its not really that complex. Its not really a winter warmer in the traditional sense, more just a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, a tad thin, and a touch creamy, that retained head really helping the last facet.

This beer is really drinkable, I could have a few of these and be quite content. This one really took me by surprise. I was expecting a weak offering, and while its definitely not the usual winter warmer, its still a nice, good beer.

foureyedgeek, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Winterhook pours a clear, light-chestnut/copper body with glowing auburn highlights beneath a massive, frothy head of tan foam. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves solid walls of lace behind.

Toasty, nutty, and caramelish malts greet you in the nose. With each swirl of the glass it seems to get richer. There's an almost buttery-cocoa, or nut-laden cookie side to it, and some light spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove) as well as a touch of piney hops (or spruce extract). Very welcoming!

In the mouth it's medium-bodied and creamy smooth with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The flavor is rich without being full, and it never becomes cloying. Initially, the toasty malts appear quite strong, even bordering on heading into roastiness as the caramel flavor is dark like burnt brown sugar. Then the spiciness and spruce-like flavors set in, helping to lead it to a dry, lingering finish. I'm not sure what spices are there, or are not there, but I picked up notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The bitterness is solid, but restrained, appearing at first only in the finish, and then more so across the middle as you progress through the glass and the spiciness builds a little on the palate. There are some beautiful subtleties going on here that would certainly be missed at draft temperature.

A really nice winter ale! Perfect with a holiday dinner or a cold night beside the fire. Enjoy it at cellar temperature to get the most out of its varied flavors.

NeroFiddled, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of tempest
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

tempest, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of dickroop
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%

This offering poured a dark coppery color, very attractive. Not much head, but the smell was very inviting, fresh citrus hops, yummy.

The taste was good, nicely balanced. The hop flovor was citrusy and a little floral, the malt flavor was caramel with some good toasted notes. A fine smooth overall flavor with notes of grape juice. The mouthfeel was a little watery, carbonation was generous and good.

Overall, I wouldn't have minded having another, drinkability was good. Pleasant and recommended.

dickroop, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of Jaynuze
3.83/5  rDev +7%

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.

Jaynuze, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.83/5  rDev +7%

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass.

A: Awesome dark red brown color with a good aount of head upon the pour and a good amount of lacing around the glass.

S: Nose is a touch of sweetness with a mixture of fruity undertones and alcholol.

T: Very similar to the nose, as it starts off with just a faint mild caramel sweetness and then transitions to the fruity boquet of hops and finishes with a nice twang of warming alcholol.

M: This would be my only knock on this brew for the style. The mouthfeel seems a bit thin in my opinion, and it doesn't compliment the taste enough for the winter warmer feel.

D: A very good overall drinkable winter brew. Not my favorite, but certainly good.

AustinBeerLvr, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a dark copper, semi cloudy with good carbonation. The head is 1 finger, tan and left little lace.

The smell is a spicy malt.

The taste follow, Malty goodness with a bit too much spice. Spice should be just that, an accent not the meal.

The mouth feel is good, a nice medium body, with good carbonation.

The drinkability is not so great, as the spicy after taste lingers too long

MuenchenerKindl, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of JasonA
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%

Pours a dark lager with little carbonated fizzy head which is a pure white. Not exactly what I would have expected for the style.

Smells a little bitter and biting. I dont sense any depth, little hops.

Not much spice, not much flavor for the style. No depth, not much of much.

Feels ok, maybe a little over carbonated.

Rather move forward from the beer than back to it. So many other options out there, I dont see myself wanting another one of these.

JasonA, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.55/5  rDev -28.8%

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright brown body with a moderate, off-white head.

Smell: The unfortunate aroma is formed by an offensive mixture of berries, soured citrus fruits, and dirty metal.

Taste: Bland, plain-tasting malt flavor with a slight nuttiness to it. The small amount of hops present provide a bit of grassiness. Finishes sour and with the taste of stewed greens.

Mouthfeel: Lackluster medium-thin body, with moderate carbonation and an exceedingly watery palate.

Drinkability: Something to keep in mind: there are many, far better winter beers. This one's a total washout.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours transparent brown with a white head. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is citrus, lots of cascades. Citrusy hops dominate the flavor, malts are there but this seems way out of balance. The mouthfeel seems quite thin. This is ok, but it just seems to be hop water.

Dizzy, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

This beer pours a golden brown color, with a very light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a spicy aroma. It smells very festive. Some nutmeg, some ginger. It also has a nice caramel sweet aroma. Not much hop aroma, but some citrus hops are present if you look.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Spicy up front, with a sweet caramel malt flavor. It also has a slight citrus hop flavor.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a spicy aftertaste. It is carbonated just right.

This beer would probably make a decent session beer. It tastes good, and it is not too high in alcohol.

Overall: I am not usually a fan of Redhook stuff. That being said, this beer is good. I was surprized when I had it for the first time. I might even buy it again.

OStrungT, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.58/5  rDev 0%

Bottled on 11.15.06

Pours a dark brownish copper color with an off-white ring of lace that sticks to the side of the glass. Aroma is dominated by fresh hops with a faint sweet malt background and maybe even some winter spices. After the really nice aroma, I was a little let down by the lack of flavor. The taste, much like the aroma is dominated by the hops upfront with a sweet and toasted malt presence as well. Pretty good tasting brew, but it is just a little too watered down. Overall, this is an interesting enough seasonal to have again but really nothing to get exited over.

cjgator3, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%

Pours red brown with a puffy tope head. Smells of cloves, hops and some dry citrus rind odors. Quite a spicy nose and reasonably intriguing. Taste is sweet and effervescent. Tastes like cloves and sweet malt. Hops are cloying and floral. Somewhat unbalanced between malt and hops. Some menthol-like flavor in there too. Mouthfeel is quite thin for it being a winter warmer. Drinks OK, but really not anything special for the style...

aforbes10, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%

Poured from the bottle to a bright amber color, with some carbonation, medium off-white head that lingered a while and left okay lacing. I detected the aroma of floral and citrus hops, though not real strongly, similar to an IPA. However, the taste had more of the spicy wheat flavor of a Hefe-Weizen. Thle palate was somewhat spicy, and the finish a mix between dry-bitter, and stale. It was alomost like Redhook mixed two different styles. This was a very strange beer, although not too bad overall. Hardly your typical seasonal Winter Brew though.

kimcgolf, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%

A - pours out a dark amber color with small white head.

S - Smelled very sweet. Also notes of citrus and hops.

T - Tasted some clove, grains, hops and malt. It also had a very, very slight bitterness.

M - It was crisp and light-bodied.

D - I enjoyed this beer. It was great on a cold snowy night.

zeff80, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of BlackAngus
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%

A - Clear, brown color with a fluffy head that fades to about half a finger thick.

S - Malt aroma, very prominent hops aroma, but it's not overpowering.

T - Hint of what may be "winter" spices, hop flavor, some maltiness.

M - A tad thin, but clean. Light carbonation.

D - Not too bad. I'd drink it again.

BlackAngus, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of taez555
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%

This beer poured a tan/amber body with a decent sized off-white head.

Nose is a nice mix of clean biscuit and caramel malts with hints of alcohol and fruity and slighty piney hops. Very mild hints of winter spices.

Taste is clean and simple with a medium body. Caramel, biscuit and even some faint german vienna or munich malt touches. Fruity citrus hops are mellow yet give just enough bite to balance against the malt. Bitterness is also present and well balanced just peaking over the top of the malt base without overshadowing.

A very clean and simple beer. A perfect session winter ale. No fancy spices, no super hops, just well balanced and drinkable. I could drink this all night long.

taez555, Dec 03, 2006
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.