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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: 61 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Redhook Winterhook Alström Bros
Reviews: 461 | Hads: 892
Photo of BamaScholar
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great bottle design pours a darker amber shade with a beige or light brown head that didn't last long but had nice cling on the glass.

The aroma is primarily hoppy to me but there are also faint traces of herbs/spices like mint and juniper and a detectable pine element. The taste is sharp, with a persistent spice component down the hatch (may be alcohol-based).

Overall, the balance isn't impressive but the taste is rather unique and its easy to see how appropriate this beer serves as a seasonal offering.

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Photo of DukeofAle
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll skip the usual, boring and repetative "review" ("xxx pours a deep mahogany brown with red highlights blah, blah, blah") and say simply that this is one of the better brews I've sampled in some time - if you like your ale on the hoppy side. Not a "big" beer, just a nice, fairly low gravity ale with a bite. And and $6.99/6 pack, it's ranking increases in light of the exceptional value. It' getting tough to find a real soild brew under $10.00 - this was a very pleasant discovery and I will be buying more!

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Photo of stawn
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date of 10-20-08. Consumed 11/14/08

A - Pours a deep amber with a finger's worth of off white head. Disapates leaving some lacing.

S -Smells very piney on the nose. Great hop aroma

T - Oh my! Super smooth. Definite hop flavor but no bite. The malts blend nicely.

M - Dry bitter aftertaste, but its a good thing. Lacing is sticking like webs down the glass.

D - This really reminds me of SNPA but with a smooth start and thicker body. Great winter beer!

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Photo of biergeniesser
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 12 oz bottle of Redhook Winterhook poured clear, deep amber with a fluffy off –white head that collapsed slowly and laced itself nicely on the glass.

The aroma was primarily fruity with a significant element of floral hops.

The flavor was dominated by the hop character. Crisp, minty, herbal, tea-like and floral hop flavors were accented by moderate, lingering hop bitterness. Deep in the background, a slight undertone of caramel malt sweetness was detectable.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of maccroz
4.28/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark, rich amber brew. Not syrupy thick, but very complex. This is a great winter beverage. A lot of winter seasonal brews go crazy either trying to craft a drink that is as thick as porriage or as spiced as nutmeg. This is a happy medium: a darker than normal beer which is slightly more complex than you'd expect in a lager.

Very unique piney-new-englandish taste (which is probably hard to picture not being from new england, but it's the best way to describe it)

Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed

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Photo of pandashaver
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of mbrown26
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A nice amber, clear beer. Small head, but the lacing stays throughout the beer. A moderate amount of bubbles rise from the bottom.

S: Has a sweet smell of caramel.

T: The alcohol is a little bit forward to me. I tend to like the alcohol to be well hidden, but this beer is a little less balanced than I prefer. Some would really dig it.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with sharp notes on the front on the tongue.

D: An okay winter warmer. Will probably not buy anymore.

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Photo of brewbattles
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We did a blind taste test between this and 4 other Winter Seasonals to objectively determine which one was best. They beers were: Deschutes Jubelale, Anderson Valley Boont Winter Solstice, Big Sky Powder Hound, Alaskan Winter Ale, and Redhook Winterhook. Check it out:


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Photo of nathanho
2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Amber towards dark towards red; half a finger of head. Malt and earth smell. Taste of earth, spice, some metal - tang aftertaste with some straw and hops. Stale mouthfeel...sodapop. I don't feel inclined to have another. I think this is maybe better than this year's Wassail, which isn't saying much.

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Photo of GNWBC
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Since i live about 3 mins away from the Red Hook brewery i have come to expect all of their beers to be tasty. However i found this to be on the average side.

Pours a semi dark carmel color with a very thin head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: strong hop note right out of the gate followed by a milder spicy background.

Taste: again lots of hops upfront, being that is a native washington brew this is no surprising. some toasty malt cuts the bitterness very well and ends hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: goes down pretty easy, the carbonation is noticeable but isn't over powering.

Defiantly not the best winter warmer out there but i would gladly session with this after a day of shreding the gnar at Crystal Mtn.

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Photo of SerieDNo3
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 version, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber; light can travel through, but it definitely is not clear. Thin head that quickly became a film and left minimal lacing down the glass.

S: Mild alcohol on the nose, as well as some fruit and a slight metallic twinge.

T: Some spices and toasted malt, but it has a metallic presence that lasts throughout the beer. Not necessarily unpleasant, but also not something I would seek out.

M: For a beer with so little carbonation, it feels surprisingly thin.

D: It goes down pretty easily, given the generally thin mouthfeel. If I enjoyed the flavor more, I could put down a few of these with no trouble.

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Photo of mlm5641
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just to note, this year (winter of 2013/2014) is actually the 29th brew so some flavors noted before may sound different from what you're drinking. They tweak the recipe each year just a bit to keep things interesting. Great head with a nice dark copper/amber color below. Good balance of hops to the sweet malt so it has a bitter bite at the front followed by a smooth caramel like finish.

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Photo of hopbar
3.07/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of pgroove
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the best mass-market winter brew out there (better than the sierra celebration, IMHO). Some tasty stuff although I know some peeps who weren't wowed with the flavors. It's a nice chestnutty brown and has an intense taste bordering on a mild porter. Def worth a pickup (the dude at Von's only charged me 2.50 for a sixer today--maybe its on sale).

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Photo of deciding39
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color. Good off-white, one-finger head. Decent lace as well.

S: Smells of mild, grassy hops, with smooth toasted malt in the background.

T: Roasted caramel malts and grassy, bland hops. Some fruity esters, maybe even a little diacetyl in the very back. Overall, pretty well-balanced.

M & D: Very smooth, excellent mouthfeel. Perhaps a little under-carbonated. Drinkable...but it really lacks any distinguishable qualities that would make it worth buying more than a six-pack.

Overall, nothing to write home about. I really think some more flavorful hops would make a better brew.

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

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.


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Photo of CultureJamMN
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Local Macro watering hole had this on-tap, since it was the only thing that wasn't macro-lager, i figured i would give it a go (ESB was also on tap, had that too)

A darkish amber hue with red around the edges, virtually no head, and minimal lacing.

The smell seemed weak to me, but i did pick up caramel malts, with a note of citrus, and something approaching toast that's just a little overdone (not charred)

Good malts in the first tast, but nothing to write home about. The hops come on later, and actually leave a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste. The citrus notes are there, but the caramel stands out.

This was thin for a winter warmer... mine felt a bit over carbonated as well, though that may own to the bar where i was at.

all in all, if you're drinking warmers, there are better out there. but if you're stuck in macro-land, and this is your craft/micro option, go for it.

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Photo of cschepers
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - pours a nice clear red. Bit of cream head. Nice lacing.

S - Not a whole lot going on. Little bit of sweetness & malt. Little bits of spice.

T - A bit of the same. Some spice and caramel sweetness, some nice evergreen hops. Hopped a bit more heavily than I'd expect... it isn't really all that much, just a little bit more than I'd expect in balance to the malt. Finishes with a bit more spice and the hops.

M - Fairly thin, nice carbonation.

D - Pretty good. Wouldn't be hard to finish several of these.

Ok winter warmer, nothing terribly exciting. There are better ones out there, but this is worth a try.

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Photo of Hawthorne
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was a mild amber with a festive white head. The smell had a distictive pine scent which foreshadowed the hops to come. I'd concur with the previous reviewer who suggested this was one of the hopiest seasonal ales. Indeed, they made this beer as crisp as the season it celebrates. Happy Holidays!

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Photo of redwolf1
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-12oz. long neck bottle with a bottled date of 10/04/05. Also, the label on the bottle has changed in comparison to the one shown. Poured a nice dark auburn with about 1/4 inch head. In fact, a very nice head is still present halfway through drinking and about 10 minutes later. Good retention.
S-The smell is a little hard to pinpoint because I can't quite figure out if there is a smell at all. Not much there to speak of.
T&M-The sweetness that most winter seasonals have is not present, although it does go down smooth, probably because of the malt. Very subtle alcohol bite at the back of the throat reminiscent of good English ales (but like I said, reminiscent, not equal to).
D-Is the beer drinkable? Of course it is. Like many of us have stated before, we'd probably drink several if given the choice, but it's also not an awe-inspiring beer for the style, rather average in my opinion.

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Photo of wesl56
3.04/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a) looks great, nice reddish color with a good sized head at first that leaves pretty heavy lacing all the way down

s) i didnt really notice much smell, slightly hoppy, floral hints

t) taste is rather weak, almost watered down... does leave a nice "ale-ish" aftertaste

m) medium-light, carbonation evident

d) very easy to drink, as i said tastes a little on the watery side

overall, not disappointed, but was expecting something different from a "winter beer" probably would not buy again

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Photo of ntillemans
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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

I really think this is a way above average beer. There's nothing on the market quite like it. This brew has a wonderful winter spicyness that I havn't found in any other beer. Truely a perfect compliment for a cold winter night. Like all Redhooks, this beer pours almost too clean, with a good head. But, who really cares how about a beer looks? The important thing is how this tastes. Flavors present are nutmeg and cinammon. It's too bad I can only find it during the winter.

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Photo of BlitzShadow
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a newer label than the one pictured (as of 2/27/06) and an embossed "Bottled" date on the bottom-right of the label.

Appearance: Nice reddish-brown hue. 1/2 beige head with impressive retention and lace.

Smell: I detect a fate toasted caramel scent accompanied with some citrus.

Taste: The taste presents the caramel and a toasted malt flavor. The hops add the bitterness and aroma, but I would say to a mild to medium extent. The fruity and spice flavors add to the mix. The alcohol is detectable, but not immediately.

Mouthfeel: Thin-to-medium and smooth body. The carbonation is right on track.

Drinkability - A tasty winter treat that (at 6.0%) will warm you up nice. Also, the alcohol is balanced well with the malt and hops making it easy to drink several before noticing its "warmth".

Notes: It may not be exceptional (a little on the thinner side for a winter beer), but definitely worthy of a six-pack in the fridge for the winter months.

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Photo of VtBrew
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color-Dark Red almost garnet like. Head is frothy long lasting and nice lacing.

Aroma-Deep Malty warm aroma caramel notes light hop aroma.

Taste- Strong alcohol taste. Not sure what hop was used but it smells good taste not so much.

Drinkbability- Would be a great winter beer without the scary spice/hop

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