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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
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Ratings: 815 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLiterati
2.53/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Love the ESB and IPA from this brewery, and expected a full-bodied winter warmer from them as well.

Poured nicely enough, copper-amber in color, with a decent off white head. Smells of winter spice, malt, not much more.

Mouthfeel was thinner than what I’d expected or hoped for. And though the malt and spice was evident in the taste, it seemed like this recipe needed more time to blend and mature. There were a lot of flavors, but not really one predominant taste.

A little disappointing, but not entirely bad. Just not what I'd expect from Redhook or from a winter warmer.

TheLiterati, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Mahogoney brown with cherry highlights. Mildly creamy light beige head fell quick but a good froth remains.

S: Piney hops, malty redwood bark and some seasonal spices.

T: Begins malty with red fruit kicks; cherry, raspberry and blackberry. Odd counterbalance between chocolate and caramel malts. Straight forward pine hops cut thru the malt then drop a hefty amount of bitterness. Finishes with a load of dirty, earthy hops.

M: Medium body with a prickly mouthfeel

D: Not one of my favorite seasonal beers. Flavors are sort of herky jerky and don't meld well.

Westsidethreat, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of Byeast
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with some reddish hues , the head was large when first poured , dissipated to a quarter inch of offwhite foam. A moderate lace left.

Smell: a fair amount of hops ( kinda evergreen) in the nose , a little bit of maltiness , hint of spice and alcohol.

Taste: medium maltiness , lots of greener hop flavor and bitterness , the flavor profile does have a bit of holiday feel ... somehow. Almost reminds me of a christmas tree?

Mouthfeel: slightly slick and medium bodied.

Drinkability: This winter warmer is quite drinkable and appropriate for the holidays , and has a pleasant flavor , its just not quite up there with others that iv'e tried. I am glad i tried it though.

Byeast, Nov 25, 2006
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 Rudgers73
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- golden amber color, lots of carbonation, decent head that settles to a ring after a few minutes.

S- Very peculiar. It smells like a regular light bodied ale except for a strange underlaying smell. It's a musty, malty, almost earthy smell.

T- A little bit thin but a lot going on. Starts out with an earthy, tone with a little bit of spice. Maybe pumpkin spice, cloves, cinnamon. Then comes in the little bit of piny hops that finish dry and completely different than the start. Not bad, but again: a little thin.

M- Great mouthfeel. Starts out creamy and smooth than thins down to a dry hoppy feel. Interesting.

D- Not too strong. Good for whenever I'd say. It isn't wonderful but I'd say it is one of the best winter beers I've had this season. Much, much better than that samual adams winter lager crap I had last week.

Rudgers73, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of claytri
2.13/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer poured copper with an off white head. The aroma was sweet malt hops and a bit of spice. The taste was a lightly spiced malt with a hint of hops in the finish. The feel was basically dry. This was a pretty average beer, and not at all up to the basic expectations of a winter warmer.

claytri, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is a murky mahogany color with some reddish tinge to it. Slightly vigorous pour leaves a thin finger of fizzy off-white head that quickly fades away to a light ring of white lacing. Aroma is hoppy and of sweet caramel malts, very light on the nose, slightly grainy as well. Taste starts out hoppy and slightly bitter, similar to an IPA, then transforms into a sweet and malty finish with a light bittering dry aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation levels, goes down smooth. Easy to drink, decent brew although a far cry from the style's normal characteristics. The hoppiness is far from overbearing or anything, the bottle reads "assertively hopped", and it is, although this brew doesn't taste much like a winter warmer. Not enough carmel sweetness and maltiness to warm with. All around a solid beer with an overall bland character but worth a shot, but not if you're in the mood for a winter warmer.

danielocean03, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AP: Clear and Deep rusty amber color, little activity, thin but sticky white head. Leaves some nice lacing all around the edge of the glass.

Nose: Roasted barle malt>spicey> nutty> wheaty.

Taste: A hearty , roasty malt, rye and wheat, mildly sweet flavor with a leafy hop fin.

MF: Crispy with a decent bite, feels lively and yet rather substantial. Medium body overall.

DA: Really not bad at all.

GratefulBeerGuy, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of GardnerAleBrewer
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has been going downhill every year I've tasted it. Three years ago it was wonderful: a nice, rich, dark IPA is the only way I could describe it. It had a very cascady nose, and a nice, rich, malty body. Every year since then, it has gotten thinner, less hoppy, and less complex. It is still a good beer, but what are they doing to the recipe? Or is it something else? Redhook produces some great beer for the mass market. This is one that they shouldn't be "watering down".

GardnerAleBrewer, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
2.15/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm not really sure where this beer is coming from calling itself a winter warmer.
Pours a medium copper with a moderate white head that melts to slightly sticky lacing.
Aroma is slightly stale toasted malt.
Taste is toasted malt with a grapefruit hop back, but little else.
Aftertaste is clean but, like, who cares...there was little to start with.

IntriqKen, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of xoqx
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Medium amber with ruby hue and a rather yellow head on this Winter warmer from the Woodinville, WA brewery. There is medium-significant lacing, less than in previous years (this is the 2006 Winterhook). Any smell that comes across seemed predominantly yeast-oriented. The taste has a lot of anise and licorice notes, yet is not spicy in the way one would expect a winter warmer to be (spiced or true additive free warmer). It does have a warming feel, but not significantly – not a lot of alcohol coming through in this. Moderately drinkable, but not a very compelling beer – weak for the style.

The beer is listed on BA as 6.11% at the time of reviewing this beer, but it is listed at the forecasters pub as 5.52% abv as of October of 2006. This might account for the many reviews that indicate it's not getting better with each annual brewing.

xoqx, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of clickpush
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip. Comes out a ruby syrup color with a finger of tan head and discreet bubbles within the glass. The beer's slightly cloudy and the head has good retention, eventually subsiding to excellent lacings.

Nose: Apples and caramel jump out of the bottle before it's even been poured into the glass. Lots of sweet malt characters but the alcohol is a little too present and the over all aroma, after the pour, while inviting, is a bit too weak.

Mouth: First thing that's noticeable is the creamy yet tingling mouthfeel. The malts are gentle up front, but the finish has a strange bitterness in the back that's a lot like the flavor of apple skins mixed with carrots. An odd combination between the fore flavors and the back that don't quite work together.

clickpush, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of bigman147
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with a slight reddish hue. Good carbonation with a solid head and slight lacing.

Aroma: Slight caramel, slight malt. Almost picked up a slight oxidized note. I assume that it is due to the age of this beer so I will not take this into account in rating. Not much aroma, however.

Taste: Tastes of slight malt with good green hop notes. Sharp bitterness notes with a little linger.

Mouthfeel: Very light crisp without much body. Carbonation is clean and crisp. I excepted alot more body in a winter warmer. I also expected alot more winter spice (cinnamon, allspice, etc)

Drinkablity: Not very close to the style guidlines but it is good and drinkable.

bigman147, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had always heard good things about Red Hook but after A-B moved in I had less interest in hunting down their stuff, which used to be ubiquitous around these parts but is now harder to find. Found this on the bargain rack at a local distributor.
Dark amber body with light on the edges but a dense center. Head is minimal. Nose is somewhat faint but layered with tasty hops and sweet crystal malts. They could ratchet it up a notch, but it's good to the olifactory sensors.
Interestingly, the flavors in the taste and aftertaste are more malt affiliated than in the nose. There is some decent bitterness but the malts balance it out well. Not an awesome flavor, but drinkable. Mouthfeel could stand to be a little thicker.
Overall, this is a decent drinking beer. I would try this again.

daliandragon, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of BlitzShadow
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

BlitzShadow, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear ice tea brown color with a nice head that provides good retention and lacing

Smell: Burnt caramel, piney hops and a touch of spice; slightly medicinal

Taste: Starts out with a good caramel base; a little vanilla appears, mid-palate; after the swallow, the brew turns surprisingly bitter, woody and pithy on the finish

Mouthfeel: Just a touch thin for a Winter Warmer (but still acceptable), but is a bit overcarbonated

Drinkability: Very drinkable and unexpectedly hoppy; some flaws but still OK

brentk56, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of masikon
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one was offered to me by a friend, I usually don't drink much redhook these days but I gave her a try during a heated table-tennis match. lighter than expected with a minimal head and mildly active carbonation. Taste is of malts, perhaps some toast and a bit of peppery alcohol. Taste is very malty despite the somewhat thin mouthfeel, sort of threw me off a bit. I can see what Redhook is going for here with the roast malt flavor but I can't say I thought it was well done, the mouthfeel is too thin and undercarbonated to support the malt profile....comes off as too grainy for me. Overall try it if it's offered but don't pay for it.

masikon, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Mebuzzard, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six-pack of Winterhook for Super Bowl XL, and to review. I poured this beer into a pint tumbler.

Pours a rich dark brown color, translucent and clear. There are a few streams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass, but the beer does not appear particularly effervescent. One finger of head on an aggressive pour, is light tan in color and dissipates rapidly to a thin film across the surface of the beer. The foam laces the side of the glass fairly well for being so thin.

The aroma is pungent and smells a little like bitter yeast. The scent of hops is also present.

The taste is also slightly bitter, more than what one would expect from a winter warmer. There is not much sweetness to the taste, but the smoky taste of dark roasted grain is present. Aftertaste is mildly bitter, and short-lived.

Mouth feel is light and crisp for a dark ale. Overall the beer lacks body, but the flavors are well balanced, and mouth feel is brisk and not think or syrupy.

This is a very drinkable beer, but in terms of a winter seasonal it’s a bit disappointing. I think it tastes more like a dark lager than an ale, and I also think this beer would be good year round. It’s a lot like a dark version of the Redhook ESB, but not quite as bitter. Personally I’d take the seasonal label off of this one. It’s not just for winter.

NOTE: The 2005 bottle and label are different from the picture on the BA website.

RJLarse, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of GreenWBush
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown-twinged ruby. Not much of a head to speak of, but decent specks of lace.

The label says "toasty" and that's about the best way to describe many aspects of this beer. The nose is almost akin to soured milk in its malt consistency. Funkily abrasive metallic nuttiness. Mildest citric twinges above the burnt toast trainwreck.

The intense toasted nuttiness of this beer continues on the palate, but isn't as off-putting as in the nose. Reminds me a little of rye-malt too. Off-kilter hop-profile seems to clash with the bone-dry chalky soured milk malt tones. Fruity candied cherry hop flavor kicks in just at the last moment almost salvages everything, but the rough lack of sweetness and almost putrid bitterness make for a not particularly enjoyable beverage.

Very bland and thin on the palate. Leaves a funky dried walnut afterimage. I really had to work to get through this six-pack.

GreenWBush, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of CultureJamMN
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

CultureJamMN, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of swid
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Redhook Winterhook pours a dark amber to light brown color. Atop the clear liquid sits a 1/4", tan head that almost immediately settles into a soapy ring. Low carbonation, very little lacing. The aroma is strongly reminiscent of a generic American Pale Ale, except that there's a bit more maltiness here than in a typical APA. Small amounts of caramel are present, too.

Like the smell, the taste of this beer can be summed up as "a maltier version of a typical APA". There's really nothing else that distinguishes this beer. The mouthfeel is fairly light, slightly thin, and wet; finishes with a mix of sweetness and citric hop bitterness.

The beer's drinkable enough, but very average otherwise. There's nothing to distinguish Winterhook from the wider range of winter seasonals.

swid, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of MattBrooks
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter 2005/06 release. This has long been one of my favorites from Red Hook, and this years' is probably their best ever. Pours dark brown with a lighter brown cascade flowing nicely. Smells of roated coffee and burnt toast (two things I love). The taste really put it over the top for me, though. The heavy, malty taste combined with the rich, but not too strong mouthfeel, makes this seasonal brew a winner, and certainly one to buy by the case, as putting down more than a few is really easy.

MattBrooks, Jan 20, 2006
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 lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised this beer hasn't been reviewed. Redhook East is a good brewery, and the pub serves great food. Anyway, this winter seasonal is a nice dark amber color with a fairly thick creamy head. Good lacing. It has a sweet molasses smell to it, and a fruity, cinnamon taste. Good mouthfeel, not too carbonated. A very drinkable beer.

lordofthewiens, Jan 17, 2006
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.