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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

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

815 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(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 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 Hopfenpeter
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber in color, not much head building and disappearing fast with good enough lacing.
Smell promises a light and thirst quenching beer, with mild sweetness in the air.
You will taste refreshing fruit in the front which is immediately balanced with mild bittersweet hops. very smooth finish and fresh mouthfeel. A very drinkable beer. I wish I could drink that one on tab, or from a fresh keg.Nice beer!

Hopfenpeter, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of TrojanWheels
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

TrojanWheels, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of philbertk
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Winterhook--1997 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV? (4.0 / 5.0) ESB Flavor.
1998 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) ESB? Deep Amber color. Rich flavorful malt body is spicy but not spiced. Tasty classic defining the Winter Ale Style. Sampled 11/4/1998.
1999 12 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Winter ESB. Clear dark cherry red color. Smoky toasted hop front. Rustic malt body with light sweetness and strong roasted flavor. Lightly spiced. Rich and balanced. Sampled 11/13/1999.

2000 12 oz. Bottle. 5.60% ABV. (3.25 / 5.0) ESB Winter Ale. Clear pretty deep amber red color. Spicy mild malt hop front. Medium body with sweet roasted flavor and cherry fruit notes. Generic flavor. Ends with a bit of malt spiciness. Overly sweet-underly flavorful. Sampled 11/9/2000.

2000 12 oz. Bottle. 5.60% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) Winter ESB. What a difference a year of aging makes! Slightly hazy rich copper amber color. Lacy head. Mild malty hop front. Creamy incredibly smooth malty roasted mild spice body. Ends with smooth hot hop mild spice. Sampled 11/2/2001.

2000 22 oz. Bottle. 5.60% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) ESB? Clear rich red amber color. Mild floral malt hop front. Malty sweet doughy body with slightly spicy ESB notes. Balanced hop spice finish. Nice spiced medium bodied ESB. Tasty Brew but weak as a Winter Ale. Sampled 12/23/2000.

2001 12 oz. Bottle. 5.50% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear rich copper bronze color. Light head. Medium lace. Mild hop malty roasted slightly spicy front. Rich sweet roasted body. Caramel cherry biscuit notes. Mild clean smooth hop nutmeg end. Winter ESB. Sampled 10/30/2001.

2002 12 oz. Bottle. 6.11% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale. Mild head. Thin lace. Clear thin copper red amber color. Toasted light cinnamon floral hop front. Sweet smooth toasted cherry caramel fruit mild spice nut body. Clean balanced mild earthy hop end. ESBish. Sampled 12/2/2002.

2003 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale. Light lacy head. Clear bright ruby red color. Toasted mild spice mild hop front. Creamy sweet thick light toasted caramel earthy fruit mild Winter spice body. Smooth light tangy mild hop end. Bland. ESB? Sampled 1/6/2004.

2004 12 oz. Bottle. 6.11% ABV--29.2 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale--Roasted. Clear thin bright dark bronze red color. Mild lacy head. Mild roasted malt spice hop front. Thin dry sweet mild roasted caramel body with light nutmeg citrus notes. Clean mild malt spice hop end. Bland. 10/23/2004.

2005--12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV--29.2 IBU's (4.25 / 5.0) Winter Ale--Dark. Tight lacy head. Clear thin bright copper amber color. Mild roasted floral malt hop front. Earthy crusty rich crisp mildly smoky rich caramel ESB body. Tangy malt spice mild bitter hop end. Wintery ESB. Nice. Sampled 10/15/2005.

2006 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV--29.2 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB. Creamy lacy head. Thin amber bronze color. Mild hop mellow malt spice front. Clean dry sweet mild toasted caramel biscuit toffee body. Clean mild hop end. Smooth clean but bland. Bad Buds? Better Last Year. Sampled 9/30/2006.

2007 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV--29.2 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB. 6-Pack $6.99. Mild head. Clear thin bright amber color. Mild hop malt spice front. Mild sweet creamy caramel malt spice body. Mild tangy cinnamon mild hop end. Clean easy malt spice mild Winter Ale. Mild Amber malt flavor. Sampled 1/20/2008.
2008 12 oz. Bottle. 5.90% ABV--29.2 IBU's. (3.85 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB. Rocky lacy rich big off white head. Clear thin bright dark amber bronze color. Mild toasted mild hop front. Dry sweet thin easy toasted mild earthy burnt malt spice hint body. Crisp hop nutmeg hint dry refreshing mild end. Easy bland somewhat tasty weak Winter. Sampled 3/2/2009. 6-Pack $6.49.

2009--12 oz. Bottle. 5.90% ABV--29.2 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB. Thin lace hint tan head. Clear pretty rich bronze red color. Toasted mild hop delicate Winter spice front. Crisp mild creamy sweet toasted toffee candy mildly earthy roasted doughy Winter spice body. Clean smooth mild hop vanilla cinnamon hint end. Well made. Sampled 10/13/2009. 6-Pack $6.99.

2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.90% ABV. 29.2 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) Winter Ale--ESB. Light tan dense medium mild lace head. Clear bright rich copper color. Toasted mild caramel mild hop malt spice front. Rich medium sweet toasted caramel biscuit slightly crusty rich malt body. Clean satisfying smooth mild hop spice end. Well made Winter Amber. Sampled 10/16/2010 from 6-Pack purchased for $6.99 at Seattle Fred Meyer--Ballard on 10/16/2010.

philbertk, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Truh
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dreamt of cherubim and seraphim with this one on 11/20/2004. 16-oz. pour at Margarita’s in downtown Concord, NH.

Was a bit leery of what the tap lines might be like, but what the hell, when in Rome. Nice ½ inch fluff of plumed head immediately, which actually remained attenuated throughout most of the emptying, and pretty good lacing as well. Dark copper to brown hue with a dulling sheen to the whole affair. Copious malt front to nose with some spices kicking about – cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg, spruce essence perhaps. To taste, welcoming deep malt with a robust, almost scotch ale like overall profile; a touch of chestnuts roasted on an open fire toastiness too. On the whole, a pretty good offering from Redhook when I am used to uninspiring stuff from them, for the most part.

Truh, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Deep, dark amber beer, very clear, topped with a dark tan head. Head reduced quickly to a sparse bubble layer.

S-Spicy hop aromas with a nutty, somewhat caramelly maltiness.

T-Spicy and earthy hops coupled with a prominent bitterness. A nutty, dry maltiness remains in the picture up to the finish, which is dry with nut and bitterness.

M-Medium-high carbonation compliments a pleasant medium bodied beer.

D-It's pretty decent. Not a spectacular brew, and I probably won't chase after this one in the future. Overall, though, still a nice beer, and with a wider availability on-tap at restaurants, a good choice when dining out.

CHSLBrew, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of Beermazter310
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Beermazter310, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of danielharper
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Dark brown body, thin "soapscum" head. Good, but nothing special.

S: Very malty aroma, hints of nutmeg? Strangely sweet, almost like chocolate-covered cherries.

T: Heavily malted, sweet, slight nuttiness, with a touch of astringency to the finish. Finishes dry.

M: Moderate, slightly chewy.

D: Overall, a good beer, but not an everyday one for me.

danielharper, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint.

Pours a dark rust, clear and with an average head.

Smell is of roasted grain, caramel and bready goodness.

Flavor is roasted grain, caramel and light chocolate malts. Hops are very well represented here. Bright and and bitter there is a nice earthy flavor between the hops and dusty grain, nice.

Very well done ale, I would look for it again.

wheatyweiss, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Chaz
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

Chaz, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of Act25
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
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?

Act25, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Stockfan42
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Stockfan42, May 24, 2012
Photo of shockrocker65
1.5/5  rDev -58.1%

shockrocker65, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of jadler16
2/5  rDev -44.1%

jadler16, May 02, 2014
Photo of spedprof
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

spedprof, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of EStreet20
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, part of a Winter mix 6 pack from Marketplace. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Hard pour yields a very dark brown, beer with a very large white head. A nice lattice work of lacing. A nice look overall.

S - A grasssy aroma with a little bit of malt. Nothing else really to speak of.

T - Some sweetness on top of a grassy hop profile. A tiny bit of spice in the finish.

M - A little bit off. Some more carbonation would do thbis well since it's not as spicy as many winter warmerns out there. Still pretty good.

D - Pretty good but nothing to chase after with all the other great winter warmers out there.

EStreet20, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

PBRstreetgang, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of hockeypuck
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

hockeypuck, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been trying the winterhook for the last couple of years and I have always been pretty impressed besides the fact that Redhook is often knocked for being a shitty craft brewery. This year (2004) is very similar to SN Celebration. They went a little more hoppy this year and steered away from the heavy malt and spices. It is a red copper color wiht a very nice head and lacing. The aroma had a small amount of vanilla and nutmeg, but was mostly full of hops. There was a nice fresh hopness to this beer and it was very satisfying. This may be one of the best overlooked and unappreciated winter brews out this year.

ALESwhatCURESya, Dec 02, 2004
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 SonOfKyuss
4/5  rDev +11.7%

SonOfKyuss, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of arguemaniac
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep copper color with a short-lived head and thin, sporadic lace. A piney hop aroma with some roasted notes. Tastes of grain, caramel, hops, and mellow toasted flavors. Unfortunately, there is also this slightly fishy, metallic taste (and aroma) and it doesn’t lend itself to the beer’s drinkability. The mouthfeel is kinda creamy, though a bit thin, with sub-par, “fizzy” carbonation.

A bit of disappointment; normally, I can always depend on Redhook to produce a beer that is, if nothing else, easygoing and drinkable. But this one, while not awful, doesn’t really make you want another. Not recommended.

arguemaniac, Dec 07, 2005
Photo of Hopswagger
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Hopswagger, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on September 23, 2011:

In a pint glass:

A: chestnut brown colored body with a fair amount of visible carbonation seen rising, there wasn't any head and it left ring-like yet spotty lacing around the glass

S: abundance of nutty malts and a bit of alcohol

T: basically the same as the smell with just some sweetness and hints of spice

M: medium, sessionable, some harshness on the tongue, no aftertaste, slight bitter finish

O: good beer for the style, and good for me

BeerKangaroo, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of BigRedN
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 version (bottled on 100305), my bottle is a little different than the one pictured, stated ABV on bottle is 6.0%.

Appearance: When poured into my pint glass this beer is a clear, dark amber. My pour produces an off white head that rises to a good half inch before settling down to a solid cover and ring around the glass. Good lacing, while not sheeting down the glass there are clinging patches that stick to the glass to the end.

Smell: A bit weak here. While I am used to robust malt and/or hops, this beer has a hint of sweet caramel malt, perhaps a touch of roasted malts (or is that what I want to smell?). Hop aromas are very weak as well, a little piney. I detect no spices. Even as it warms the aromas are weak.

Taste: Not quite as weak as the smell, but very much subdued when compared to other winter seasonals that I have had thus far. Flavor starts malty (a little toasted, yet sweet). Finish is a little bitter. I do get a few hop burps from this, so I think they are there.

Mouthfeel: A little light in body, good carbonation somewhat dry. This is almost like an amber ale to me.

Drinkability: Sure, it's highly drinkable, but not very memorable. A decent enough beer, and if I see this on sale for cheap (less than $12 for a twelve pack) I may purchase more just to have on hand a let others try.

BigRedN, Dec 22, 2005
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.