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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

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BA SCORE
81
good

877 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 877
Reviews: 464
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 20
Gots: 52 | 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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 877 | Reviews: 464
Photo of SkinniePost
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of dgherm
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of TwoTrees
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Chaz
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

Photo of MTNboy
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: It smells bitter and hoppy. Like an IPA and an ESB had a child.

Appearance: The body is a dark reddish color with a tan head. The head has small bubbles around the edge and bigger bubbles in the middle. Great lacing.

Tastes: It is not as bitter as the aroma may lead you to believe. It is a little bitter with some fruit like tones.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Average.

Photo of gabe23
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber color. Crystal clear with a nice off-white head that fades quickly to a thin layer. Plenty of nice lacing.

S - Piney hops aroma abounds and overpowers most everything else. After a few swirls I can detect a bit of brown sugar and raisins, and a slight bit of grain.

T - Slight caramel sweetness along with some sourdough bread to start. A slight metallic tinge follows, then the piney hops come into play. The finish is bitter and dry with earthy hops lingering for a long while.

M - This is a smooth drinking beer, but with a bit more carbonation than I'd like.

D - I could drink a few of these, although the carbonation tends to make it a bit filling. This is an interesting ale, but I'm not sure what it's trying to be. The malt profile is far too muted to be a winter warmer IMHO. It's closer to an English bitter or an IPA as far as I'm concerned. Definitely worth a try, though - as long as you're not expecting a malty, spicy winter ale.

Photo of steve8robin
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Christmas gift from friends. 12oz bottle, 10/05/11 date...

A: A super clear, filtered, deep dark red with a small 1/2" white head that fades to a few bubbles atop the brew. Good.

S: I get a citrus / pineapple hop upfront with a mild lemon / rye scent quickly following. A mild boozy scent makes an appearance on the back. Decent.

T: Very interesting for the style. It opens with a smoky rye flavor blended with a subtle earthy hop bite. This gives way to a mild watery mild metallic taste followed by a slight bite on the back driven by the hop and the booze. Good.

M: Medium body with a good carbonation. A dry finish. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a decent brew. Glad I got to try it as it gives an interesting take on the style. It definitely has it's flaws, but a good brew to try if you like the winter warmer style.

Photo of dnichols
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was poured a pitcher in a plastic container that we then poured into a 12 ounce frosted mug.

A: The beer poured a clear amber body with a 1 1/2 finger white head made up of sticky dense medium sized bubbles. The head had decent retention and supported a thin even curtain that marched down the side of the glass.

S: The initial aroma is dominated by lightly roasted sweet malts, floral hops and a bubblegum like odor that gives the impression of a sweet candy.

T: The taste is dominated by floral piny and grassy hops that also generate light white spice flavors. The hops are complemented by sweet malts with white bread yeasts and light brown sugars.

M: It was light bodied, thin and dry with balanced carbonation and a distinctly sour back side flavor.

D: It was a decent brew with a moderate ABV but a bit more bite and piny flavors than I typically enjoy.

Photo of Bookseeb
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark brown with slight red tint with fair head and lace. Smell of citrus, caramel and light roasted malt. Taste has a sweet roasty caramel bitterness. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium with just enough carbonation to make it so. Overall a very nice balance, making a very good winter ale.

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Metallic red-brown body, similar to dried blood, and though I realize that might not seem appetizing, it is attractive in this case. A tight foamy tan head rises, then falls back, leaving thick lacing and rings. Strong biscuit aromas vie with some earthy herbal hops. Taste begins with a caramely malt base, which gives way to a rising roof-of-the-mouth hop tingle. Clean finish. A tad thin in mouthfeel. A smooth, easy-to-drink beer. This is not a "fireplace sipper", not one of the big "top off the night" beers of the season. It is greatly suitable for the earlier parts of the winter day, from lunch thru dinner with stops in between. A pleasant find after the disappointment of this summer's Redhook Rye.

Photo of olmatty
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a tobacco amber beer with a sticky off white head with excellent retention and lacing.

Smell- Light malt aroma. Not much aroma at all.

Taste- Malt flavors up front, a spicy light malt and hop bitterness of hops appear mid way and a light, caramel, biscuit sweetness at the finish

Mouthfeel- Palate filling, smoothly carbonated

Drinkability- Not too heavy and smooth drinking.

Photo of cokes
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-leaning bronze under disintegrating beige clouds.
Mostly hop-dominated nose. Spruce and pine bark with underlings of toasty caramel.
Begins modestly malty. Black cherries on burnt toast. Throw in a little bit of caramel, a little bit of toffee, a little bit of vanilla bean, and a little bit of dry cocoa. Accents on the "little". Hops enter rather loudly. Resinous pine drippings. Damn this is hoppy for Budhook (sorry). Traces of metal too. Burps sear the nostrils a bit, but don't induce tears.
Shy of medium bodied.
Nice enough (cheap) winter sessional. Like a poor-man's SN Celebration Ale, which is probably exactly what it was meant to be.

Photo of Livendadream
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No information anywhere on the bottle as to what I am about to imbibe. Winter ale. Mahogany body with a sticky lace atop. Sweet, malty caramel apple aroma. Smells very much like some barleywines I've had. Kind of thin on flavor. Subtle fruitiness to back the substantial toasted malt character. Tingly on the tongue. Not huge on flavor, so I don't know that I'd want to drink a lot of these, but it goes down fairly smooth and I certainly could drink a few. I think I'd just go after a winter seasonal that's got some more character.

Photo of 57md
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours brownish-copper with little head that dissipates quickly. The nose is quite subtle - nothing bad, but nothing good either. There is a solid malt profile upfront with very tasty roasted bitterness on the finish. A solid offering from a solid brewery.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a 2 1/2+ finger head. Slightly bready on top of a network of loosely formed bubbles. Beautiful amber in color. Tinges of copper & orange. Lacing is great.

S: A little metallic note in the aroma. Malty. Floral. A little reminiscent of an evening by the lake.

T: Bright hop flavor into great deep unsweetened chocolate flavors. Malty & nice. Grainy.

M: Good amount of carbonation for the style. A little chewiness and oiliness.

D: Not "sessionable" IMO, but very nice for one or two. Good winter seasonal beer.

Photo of clickpush
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep clear (on the redder side of) amber color. Poured a 2 finger tan head with good retention. Decanted lightly (did use an etched glass). Sticky webs of lacing.

S: Sweet crystal malt. Mild floral hop character and spice.

T: Appealing caramel character; sweet and bready. A little resiny. Even bitter for balance without any serious dose of spice.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and rich. Good flavor and good balance.

Photo of KroMagnon
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The bottle is a little disappointing - there aren't any comments about how this is a special beer made with select hops for the holidays, etc, but thats no biggie. The color is nice, caramel reddish brown like a coke, and crystal clear, but the head disspates very rapidly. The aroma is very nice, with a full dose of a spicy, piney hop and a slight maltiness. The flavor is good but a bit thin - nice hop notes and a touch of malt in the middle, but the maltiness lacks depth and overtones (I hate to say it that way but that's the best I can do - it doesn't generate much feel for caramel, toffee, toastiness, etc. it just kind of sits there). Overall this is a good drinkable beer, probably a good choice on tap when nothing else "special" is available but not in the league with famous Christmas beers.

Photo of Byeast
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Thrasher
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Supposedly an improvement over years past but I don't remember if I ever had the old version. This one is certainly good and the best Redhook I've had, bar the late lamented Rye beer - not to be confused with that yellow, swillish Sunrye. Dark ruby with medium head and adequate lacing. Malts are sweet and fruity, some light elements of berries and lots of caramel. Buttery. Hops are faint and mostly in the piney, spicy aroma. I had a six-pack that was just days off the bottling line and it was remarkable. This is a couple weeks older and not quite as good. A fine winter warmer, maybe could do with a touch more hop bitterness.

Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Checking for differences in the 2003 release...

Clear dark amber color, nice 1/2 inch biege head that laces in vertical drips. Hoppy nose, some bits of juice and fruit. Weaker malt taste profile than I like in a Winter brew, fairly standard brown sugar and cinnamon but not holiday spicy. Hops are assertive, balsamic and slightly dry and helping the finish markedly. Body seems more viscous than previous years, I'd give it full-on medium. Comparing notes, I'd say that hops and mouthfeel are improved but that an interesting sweetness could be bumped up.

Photo of daliandragon
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Stimack
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was able to give this brew a try last evening, actually had a few back earlier in December. This brew poured to a nice deep copper color with a good sized (what I would call) light tan head that had ample retention leaving a nice amount of lace chunks down the side of the glass. The aroma had a nice malt smell to it, which really seemed to have a toasted property. I would also say that caramel shines through with a nice slight spice to it. The taste, while not being stupendous has a very good quality to it, it is very easy drinking as the malt properties lead to a nice flavor. Caramel comes to mind quickly with a slight nut flavor. Seems to be a bit dry. I will say that I am surprised that this is considered a winter warmer, to me it seems like a simple pale ale that is well balanced. This would be a fine session brew although at 6.1% could get you in trouble, but to me that is the feel of this one. Not a bad brew, just not a winter warmer, but what the hell do I know.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.