1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

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

817 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 817
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 16 | 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: 817 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Contagion
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured into the glass, it has a nice chestnut brown with garnet highlights. There is no cloudiness to it that can be detected. Light passes through the beer, but it is dark enough that you can't make out what is seen on the other side. When poured a thin tan head formed that turned into a film that lasted until I was finished with the beer. There was some lacing on the side of the glass.

The scent is mainly of dried dark fruits like prunes and raisins. A touch of citrus and the spicy bitterness of hops rounds off the smell. The first sip mainly consists of the taste combination of caramel malts and hops. There is a citrus hint and a touch of cloves to the finish. The flavor is kind of thin and watery.

This is a medium bodied beer that has a nice carbonation level to it.

It's pretty easy to drink. I wouldn't recommend it as a compliment to a meal. This is definitely a beer that one drinks by itself, preferably while sitting next to a warm fire in the accompaniment of friends. It's definitely one I would drink again, most likely on a special occasion.

Contagion, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of proc
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a brownish, amber in the glass with a slight head. Aroma is that of malt and bread dough. Taste is that of light caramel, slight fruit and a nice dose of hops. Is this a winter beer or a Pale Ale? Even IPA-ish.

A good offering from Redhook. I'd drink this again.

proc, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This 2011/2012 version was sampled on tap (this is important because I’ve heard they change the recipe from year-to-year). The color was clear copper with a big khaki head that retained decently and left sliding spots of lacing. The aroma was not as spicy as it had been in the past, showcasing caramel malt and piney hops instead with only hints of clove. The flavors were a bit heavy on the herbal/piney hops at first with a caramel malt backbone and hints of toasted nuts and toffee behind that. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation mid-level. Not as spiced as many winter warmers which I found welcome though nothing amazing as a stand-alone brew either.

thekevlarkid, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of schoolboy
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So what the heck am I doing reviewing this in June? I know I've had this run of the mill brown ale before, but today I found a six marked way down. So how does it taste 8 months after the date on the bottle? Similar to the way it tasted in October, I think.

It is a typical brown color with very little head. The aroma is slightly pungent, it would be great if you cranked it up by a factor of 4. The taste is typical brown ale. There doesn't seem to be anything that distinguishes it as a winter warmer - no spice. It's malty but not strong.

The aftertaste is a similar malty, boring flavor.

So I got these really cheap in June, and I got what I paid for. When will I ever learn.

schoolboy, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of sgoodship
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife picked this up at the store. Sounded interesting. This is my first Redhook.

The beer is a dark red brown. There is a decent finger, late' colored head. There is some lacing but nothing to write home about.

The smell makes you think that there is some alcohol there. It's malty with bread, caramel, coffee and molasses.

The taste is quite like the smell. It's like a cross between a red and a porter. I don't like that too much because the bitter porter gets in the way of the sweeter, breadier malt and it's too weak to feel too much like a porter. The finish is a nice bite of hop and bitterness from coffee and molasses.

It's a pleasant enough brew but it's a little to o thin and watery at times.

sgoodship, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of Bung
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Medium amber/orange pour. Just a very thin layer of white.

Aroma, big citrus, milder toffee. A little piney.

Taste, Again, citrus and herbal notes up front. Some muddling fruitcake that doesn't really integrate very well. Some roasted malt, hazelnut saves it a bit. A very lift chocolate is in there as well before the herbal finish.

Light mid and drinks well. Alcohol is non existent. The flavors were just a bit of a miss for me, did improve a bit as it warmed.

Bung, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of CooperEllis
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into .3l tulip bottled on 11-22-10

Excellent overall aroma, appearance combination. It has a dark amber body, perhaps a bit of ruby coloring in the right light, nice head that leaves solid lacing across the glass and through the entire pour.

Malty, grainy flavor. It is gentle and robust, full of a subtle sweetness that plays on the palate.

Mild mouthfeel, middling body. Seems a touch undercarbonated, but really it's certainly fine just not exceptional.

Very enjoyable overall, I think this will ultimately be viewed as a less than the sum of it's parts, but an easy to enjoy winter warmer.

(90th)

CooperEllis, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear brown color with a thick head – light lacing. The aroma is mostly of malt with a slight touch of hops. The taste is spicy and hoppy with a nice malt background. The mouthfeel is full. This is an interesting beer that I’d consider easy to drink.

barefootbrewer, May 01, 2007
Photo of wiseguy142
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't consider my palette particularly developed, but after this beer I think I understand what it is for the malt to have a great relationship with the hops. I normally wouldn't really see the winter beer characteristics in this other than some spices that I'm picking up and the high drinkability, but you can knock back a 6 pack of these and feel refreshed (and drunk) instead of overwhelmed. Nice dark copper color. I enjoyed drinking it more straight out of the bottle than in the glass and I'll be buying it again next year.

wiseguy142, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of TastyTaste
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola brown, slightly hazy, and 1" of tan head that fades fast. Smells of spicy grapefruit and raisins. Taste is very hop dominated, but there are some dark roasted malts and raisins. Mouthfeel is grainy and has relatively low levels of carbonation. Pretty robust winter beer, much better than most beers in the Redhook lineup.

TastyTaste, May 09, 2005
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I talked to a representative from the brewery and they told me that Winterhook was Red Hook's "experimental" beer, and that they do something different every year. She told me that this year's concoction was a hoppier version of years past with some different flavors thrown in. So I did what any defenseless man conversing with an attractive young woman would do, I took her advice and bought a six-pack. After I tried one she was right about the hops....they were everywhere, smell and taste. Now I'm not complaining but the supposed "other flavors" I couldn't find. I seemed to me this beer was nothing more than a fine crafted micro-brew pale ale with some roasted malt thrown in for a nice dark color. Not a bad choice but there are better Red Hook beers out there.

VaTechHopHead, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of karst
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9 29 04. Pours a deep ruby brown (28.9 SRM) with tan head that drops to a halo that unsuccessfully attempts to lace the Rastal sniffer. Aroma of nutty roasted malts with some fruity esters and Northern Brewer and Cascade hops is very inviting. Taste from combination of two different malts: Carmel 50/60 from England and a Munich malt provide a satisfying but some what surprizing balance for the hops (listed as 29.2 IBUs). Nice bitterness in aftertaste.

karst, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well for a winter warmer this one isn't bad, but isn't fantastic either.

Golden copper with nice lacing but not much head. Small rising bubbles and perfect clarity.

Honestly, it smells like a lager with just a touch of spices. If this were a lager I'd rate the smell a bit higher, but for a winter warmer, average is the correct rating here.

The taste is actually pretty darn good. Smooth, sweet caramel malts with a very good but understated blend of spices, floral and tangerine hops flavors.

A complex aftertaste follows the medium bodied, slightly slick and coating feel of this brew. Very nice. Aftertaste is bittersweet and lingering, leaving floral spices behind for a good long while.

Drinks slightly above average for the style. I'd buy again, but not all the time. Would make a nice addition to a holiday dinner.

AlCaponeJunior, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of kgotcher
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pop top 12oz longneck. Dark amber color with a foamy tan head and nice looking lacings. Smell is toasted malt and light hops. This beer has a med to heavy body a bit of noticable alchohol and goes down with a bready finish. Flavor is toasty malt with a good amount of hops, piney and a bit of citrus.

This is a good beer overall, I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to find it but I wouldn't avoid it either.

kgotcher, Sep 24, 2005
Photo of ramseye4
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the winter sampler pack
A=Pours a great looking dark copper color, the head is about a 1 finger that fades away fairly rapidly but the lacing is out of this world, the glass is nearly completely covered in it.
S=Not very strong smelling, some sweet malt, and a bit of hop.
T=A bit of spiced hop combines with the backbone of malt to make a well balanced yet simple taste. The hops rear their heads more in the aftertaste than anywhere else.
M=Medium bodied, good aftertaste
D=surprisingly filling, I'd stick to one or two of these in a night

Another offering from Redhook thats worth a look but not worth any sort of extra effort to obtain

ramseye4, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of scottum
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red amber with a big llasting acey off-white head. Sweet on the malts and light on the hops. The balance is spot on. Mouthfeel is very smooth. The strength barely shows through. Certainly amoung the better beers by Redhook. Not over the top in flavor, but very eaasy to drink.

scottum, Dec 19, 2003
Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short Version:
Unremarkable but tasty ale that is crisp, well balanced, and quite drinkable.

Details:
OK, I confess this beer is a bit past it's prime. It's April and I'm finishing off my winter stock to make room for spring ales.

Poured a deep amber-brown sorrel color with a 1-finger dingy head. On the nose I get forward malt, light spice, and a slightly sour (but not unpleasant) hop essence.

I see some micro particulate suspended within causing some cloudiness. Lace is there but weak. Head has dropped to a ring with a scalloped cirrus cloud pattern scraped across the top.

Taste is malt-forward with a metallic hop tang. Caramel. Crisp indeed. I get a little roastiness but not much. Not tasting the spice I got a hint of on the nose. I wish I could. When I think "winter warmer" I'm thinking tangible spice. Pepper, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, orange peel, etc. Not getting that here. Finish is crisp and more hop-dominant than on the palate.

I'm getting a tasty but unremarkable middle-of-the-road ale. I'd buy it again and drink it again (good drinkability) but I can't get past a B grade on this one. Nothing about it really stands out.

AshevilleSippin, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep clear crimson in color. Medium sized creamy and dense boned white head. Retention is good and lacing is nice. This beer has got a bit of that dry hopped West Coast hop aroma that I love. Piney, citrusy and grapefruity. There is also some slight maltiness noted on the nose. While there is a caramel malt presence noted, this year's edition has more of a West Coast hop presence....the flavor and bitterness. Grapefruity and piney. Not too bad. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated. Body about medium full. Yeah, this is an improvement over the last few years, but it's still not one I'm gonna run out and buy a 12 pack of every year.

Bighuge, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of BryanCarey
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pouring to a dark brown color with tinges of red, Winterhook is nice in appearance. It has a good level of foam and lacing and it offers a nose of citrus, pine, and malty toffee.

Moving to the taste, Winterhook impresses even more. This winter warmer has a flavor similar to what the nose leads you to expect, but with greater intensity. It does have flavors of citrus, pine, and toffee, but I can also detect other flavors like bread, earthy hops, and even a touch of chocolate, tea, and herbs. The complexity is greater than expected and the beer remains reasonably smooth.

Winterhook reinvented itself this year as Winterhook #29 and this seasonal brew is among the better ones I have tasted in the series. You don’t get the nutmeg/cinnamon and other spices like you commonly taste in the typical winter seasonal. This is a more straight- forward beer without the holiday additives. I like it more and more with each passing sip and I think it is safe to say that most guests at your next holiday party will feel the same. Give it sampling and enjoy the taste of the season, courtesy of Redhook.

BryanCarey, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of DJW
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the last bottle on the shelf at Redmond Trader Joe's. And the brief:
Appearance: med-dark amber or deep copper - clear, w/ a decent head, and lacing still on my empty glass. I thought the beer would pour a darker color.

Smell: light malts and some Cascade hops... more on the citrus hop side of things to my schnoz, but I'm getting over a cold. Inviting (the beer, not the cold).

Taste: nice balance between caramel malts and the hops, with a little biscuity sweetness peeking in at times only to be brought back by the firm hop presence. Finish is lightly bitter and made me salivate ("watery"), which made me want to take another sip.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions: nice and pleasant but not freaking amazing. I think this little option would fit more in a NW IPA category rather than a Winter Warmer, but who am I to advise Redhook? I'll have to try a Jubelale, Snowcap, Celebration, and Sammy Smith Winter Welcome in the near future to see if the Winterhook is more like an IPA or if my preferences/familiarities have changed.

DJW, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - Red color, clear, with about a finger's worth of light beige-colored foam. Good carbonation.

Smell - light malty smell, but with the hint of hops. Maybe a hint of nuts.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Malty/Nutty taste at the beginning, sweetness in the middle, and bitterness from the hops at the finish. Texture is a little on the creamier side.

Drinkability - Not a bad brew. A little bitter, but not too much, just right for my taste buds. It seems a little light actually for a Winter Warmer, but the nutty flavor does bring out a bit more fuller quality.

Nerudamann, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of TastyAdventure
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smell - when first poured all I got was earthy, floral hops. With a touch of citrus somewhere. As I kept sniffing I got some classic sweet malt toffee notes.

A- dark brown, burgundy up against the light. 1 finger head that gradually fades.

Taste- smooth malt, slight roastyness followed by a more robust coffee roast flavor. Some balance of earthy herbal hops.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth, not much carb, which is good, lots of carb wouldn't be very "warming"

Good for a winter warmer. I could get next to the fire with this one

TastyAdventure, Nov 16, 2013
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 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 Thrasher
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Thrasher, Dec 08, 2003
Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.