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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Educational use only; do not reuse.

461 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 461
Hads: 892
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 18.49%
Wants: 25
Gots: 60 | 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 (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 461 | Hads: 892
Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 release served right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very nice burnt amber color, good bit more orange in here then I thought there would be honestly. Very clear, almost crystal like clarity to it allowing you to really notice the ample amount of carbonation that was present in this one. Chains of bubbles streaming up toward the surface to reinforce the already nice amount of head and lace that were on the top. Upon first pour there was a good two finger high head of white across the top that only gradually faded while leaving behind copious amounts of side glass lace throughout the session. Nice dripping web like creations were strewn all over the side of the glass and really left quite a nice impression overall.

S - The aroma on this one overall was quite light to be honest, at first it was hard to pick up much of anything, however after I waited a few minutes I was able to detect some subtle hoppy notes, very nice and floral actually coming up from it and giving it a little bit of a kick. Nice light grain like back was predominant here as well, with nice rich tones of cereal and earthy grains that really let it shine a bit and honestly was starting to take on the aroma more of a nice pale ale, or perhaps even a light IPA, though I am really not sure what style this fits in.

T - The flavor overall was very nice and extremely well balanced with no one thing really dominating over anything else. The first flavor to really pop out at you was a nice amount of hops which were quite light and floral, with some semi sweet notes of orange and fresh grass coming through quite nicely, while being layered upon a good deal amber like malts and a nice touch of cereal and oats in the background. Some light notes of perhaps banana or something similar as well coming though now giving it a little more complexity and a little bit more balance. Then the finish hits with its nice bitter profile and good long drawn out dry feeling, making you come back and get another sip. Again this was more of a light IPA or very nice Pale Ale.

M - Very nice light bodied ale, with a little more to it to be honest then just a light bodied pale ale, this one had a little bit of a body to it. Very nice carbonation profile here as well, with lots of carbonation that lasted until the very end of the session. Good strong finish really rounded it out well, and gave it that quick, clean, crisp feeling that really added a lot to it.

D - An absolutely great session ale. The feel was great, the flavor profile was just light enough to be really quite down able, but at the same time had enough of a flavor to keep me interested for a while. I could have easily thrown down a few more of these with no real issue at all.

Overall I thought this was a rather nice offering from Red Hook. I have had better, sure, but this was definitely not bad at all. Would I go out and buy it, probably not, but I certainly would not turn my nose up at it either. Could have had a little more spice to it to make it have that little bit of an extra pop, but overall it was still good and would say if it was there, you could do much worse.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.54/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

But can I use of these during the summer fishing outings? Regardless, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber-topaz topped by a finger of sandy cream foam. The nose comprises mixed greens, very light menthol, and sweet, nutty toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some mild pine needles and something that sort of approaches a shadow of ginger. Gotta say, this sits very poorly on my tongue. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a muddled, unpleasant winter warmer. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lovely cherry-toned coppery amber in color. Nice foam in the Brewery Vivant tulip with some champagne bubbles and a pleasant spritz on the tongue. Flattens out after a while to a dull fruity ache.

Moderate body makes for a rich but thirst-quenching gulp. Slight fragrance of caramel with a little mustiness. Timid sweetness subsides into dark graininess. A touch of wintergreen and kale. Settles into a long, long hoppy taste that is rather bitter and radiates that herbal note. Just a little dry woodiness as if there was a splash of Belgian yeast and a glug out of the barrel.

This used to be one of the several winter beers I'd look forward to, and it does have some fruity charms. Increasing bitterness in the aftertaste wins back no old friends, however. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.09/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Winter Hook #29." 12 fl oz snub-top brown glass bottle with branded pry-off pressure cap and uninteresting label art acquired at a local H-E-B grocery some months ago and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery. 6% ABV per the label. 2013 vintage. Bottled: Sep 27 13.

Served at fridge temp and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of pale khaki colour. Decent thickness. Okay creaminess. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a dark murky amber with brownish hues. It's a bit stale looking. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a generic looking winter ale with nothing to interest the discerning drinker.

Sm: Evident spices: nutmeg, allspice, and...ginger? Has some generic amber malts, caramalt, and a candi sugar sweetness. Caramel, faint molasses, licorice, fennel. Light vinous touches. Generic floral hopping.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.\

There just isn't much here of interest. It comes off very tired and generic, with no signs of boldness or inspiration. An inoffensive aroma of average strength. I can't say I'm real excited to try it.

T/Mf: Generic unevocative spices, generic amber malts, generic floral hops, and caramel. A hint of cherry cough syrup. Slight breadiness. That's about it.

It's cloyingly sweet and feels way too syrupy, thick, and sticky. Poor balance, no cohesion, no complexity, no subtlety, no intricacy, no nuance. Not a gestalt beer. Flavour duration, intensity, and depth are all subpar.

This is an unpleasant beer with few redeeming characteristics. Luckily, it's not boozy or hot.

No yeast character comes through.

Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated, but not biting. Okay thickness. Medium body. Poor overall presence on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: Difficult to quaff on account of its low quality and cough syrup notes. I'll have trouble finishing just one bottle. It's a terrible beer and isn't worth trying. I'd caution friends from purchasing it. More garbage from Redhook. But hey, there's always next year's recipe change to look forward to...


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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer... a lot. I was pleasantly surprised, as I've had 4 or 5 styles of Redhook before and while they were good, none really wowed me. This one certainly did though. This was just a delicious hoppy amber/red ale. Great look in the glass, awesome smell and taste, a nice creamy mouthfeel and finish. Man it went down way too quickly for dinner and I'm pissed I only got a single. I'll be getting a 6'er for thanksgiving!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's see what 07's offering yields:

Pours coppery/orange with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Above average head retention

S: Breadyness & slight citric hops

T: Breadyness with orangey hops up front. Some piney hops as this warms along with a bit of brown sugar, dryness & grapefruitty hops. Finishes dry & crisp

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks good, makes me think APA vice winter warmer, but is still pretty tasty. I'd take this over their IPA or ESB any day!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Ruby tinted with a nice sized tan head, leaving lacing around my glass fine but hey it's there. Aromatics: The cascades weigh in nicely here upfront floral and piney not bad not a lot of malt sweetness but definitely not bad the hops are nice. Flavor: Is definitely tame, low pur of caramel malt tones slightly spiced not bad at all, with what I was expecting to be a roaring hop profile was nothing at all just a mild finish of hops, disappointing but I was expecting much. Mouthfeel: Thin not much texture lacks body, smooth carbonation for a winter seasonal this is a light beer. Drinkability: Is mediocre cant' picture myself buying this ever again.

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Photo of smcolw
2.45/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark, dark amber; clear. Very nice lace, although the head died quickly.

The aroma features an overheated electrical engine smell--not appealing. Plasticky. Sorry, this one is a miss.

Good mouthfeel, high carbonation, rich. Flavorwise, I really can't get over the smell that seems to be present in the taste. This is a malty beer, even though it is masked. I can give this one some points for decent balance.

Overall, I would describe this as a miss. Certainly, this is a beer I won't be seeking out again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.32/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to enjoy this now and then, once a year...it was good, ..once...years ago...
Appearance: a clear, light crimson color, with a small, flimsy head.
Aroma: Hmmm,...nutty, creamy, soft, but rather shy, hints of spice...
Taste: huh...HUH..HUUUH!...didn't used to be so, shall we say, SHALLOW. Very thinly bodied, and I can't shake it, can't get around it, over it, or through it. It's just flimsy. There's some fruity, nutty flavor, but very small, and there is tremendously little texture...I'll go so far as to say "none." Forgettable. Boring. A bit too sweet. The soul has been sucked out of it. Damn, I thought this was supposed to be an ALE, maybe even a hearty, WINTER ale...goodness me, what was I thinking...
I remember a day...sigh...

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Photo of mothman
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass. 2008 Style.

Color is a light carmel brown. Pours a decent head that leaves a medium level of lace.

Aroma is of piney hopes. Some spices are also noted. Taste is of similiar piney hops. A slight hint of carmel is also tasted.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but bitter (due to the hops). Leaves a dry taste in mouth.

Overall, a solid beer. I would recommend this winter style ot anybody.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel amber with a mountain of brownish, off white head that is dense and foamy and has great retention. The nose has a rather big hop aroma that is piny, earthy, and spicy. The flavor has a caramel sweetness to it as well as a slight spice character with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is pretty hoppy with some citrusy, piny, earthy notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

I like that there is a winter warmer that is a little hoppier and not so over spiced, this is though a little simple and I'm indifferent about it overall. Nothing really stands out for me.

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of crystal and some light chocolate malts. It's breadlike with a mild hop aroma as well. The taste is decent. It has a smooth malty flavor that is a bit grainy and breadlike in the finish. It is slightly bitter and dry; not much of a warmer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good seasonal. It has good flavor and aroma; a fine sessions ale.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/08/04- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- Poured into my Englander pint glass. 12 oz bottle with born on date of 11/02/04.

Appearance- Pours a dark amber color, 1/4-1/2 inch brownish head and above average lacing.

Smell- Mostly sweet hops and a tad of spices. Maybe a little medicinal or bubble gum scent.

Taste- Hmmm, don't taste a whole bunch of spices. Pretty much tastes like a decent IPA. Maybe a little clove or spices mixed in, but for the most part some pine and fruity hops. Towards the end I may have picked up some kind of roasted malt flavor also.

Mouthfeel- Decent carbonation, not thick at all. Goes down nicely.

Drinkability- Wouldn't choose this as a winter warmer, as it really didn't warm me up, but as an IPA with a tad bit of spices makes it interesting. Definite decent beer worth a try.

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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown and foamy, left alot of foamy lace. Crisp and refreshing, nice qualities for this syle beer. Very smooth and long malty center, Mild/mellow hop finish. nice balance and drinkability. Good session brew. A pleasant quaffer. Tried this one on tap. Didnt have the time to let it warm up abit in the glass.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 release:
This beer is a deep, deep ruby color, it is very clear and pours with a tan head. At first the aroma is of dark fruit, then the hops kick in a bit. The hops come to dominate the aroma, but they are not super strong either. The first taste is lightly fruity (hints of cherry). The finish is off dry, and is accompanied by a hoppiness that is complimentary to the fruit flavors. No real strong flavors that jump out at me. The hops are the dominant flavor here, but for some reason this beer tastes a tad on the weak side.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had already reviewed this beer and thought it was bland, but I accidently put this in my shopping basket, but now I'm glad I did. Retry! On to the beer:

This beer is copper in color, hues of orange with a solid head on top and trickles of lacing. The aroma is hoppy....a clean and crisp fruity aroma. Bit of caramel too. The taste is a winner. Pleasantly hoppy and malty. Good mix of caramel and sweet dough to go with the grapefruit and piney hop flavors. There's also a hint of orange flavor. Finishes clean. A good drinkable beer overall, and one that paired well with my spicy pork tenderloin topped with BBQ sauce.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark, caramel color beer. Not as heavy as imagined. Small, thin head, but it did stay a bit in spots.
Smelled like caramel, roasted malt and almonds. Not very powerful.
Taste had about the same. Nut, roasted malt, caramel. Thinner than a winter ale ought to be, lower alcohol content. Can drink it fairly well.

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Photo of tempest
3.43/5  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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, $1.99, I've got to take advantage of it,

A: Pours a deep clear amber to red with a frothy medium white head, great lace.

S: Has a solid hoppiness, grapefruit, citrus, crystal malt.

T: Heavy crystal/red malt flavour. Has a substantial bitterness. Good flavour, like an Old Jubilation meets Full Sail Wassail.

M: Medium-bodied, resiny, thick feeling, robust, good overall body.

O: Why can't Longhammer have this kind of hop character?. This is real good beer and at sub-$2 a bomber it's a steal. One of Redhook's best without a doubt.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.