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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Educational use only; do not reuse.

460 Reviews

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Reviews: 460
Hads: 890
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 18.49%
Wants: 22
Gots: 57 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 460 | Hads: 890
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Winterhook doesn't seem as consistent as it used to in earlier years. A little thin appearance and malt wise. Reminiscient of some hybrid red and porter, but neither one comes across like it should. Hopping very good, tastes like Cascades?

Would be a much better beer if it were thicker, like a true winter beer should. Maybe I'm slamming it a bit much, but I think this is just fine for a summer beer, I want some heft in my winters. . .

A little bit of chocolate and roasted nuts underlie the surface. Good hopping. Serviceable.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red-copper color into an Imperial pint glass. Much carbonation, bubbles are clearly visible. Insignificant white head fades to nothing within 30 seconds, leaving a bit of a ring. No lacing.

Aroma is subtle, with hints of light toffee and walnuts.

Taste is also quite understated. Caramel, cashews, figs. Nicely balanced malt/hops. A drinkable ale.. but not what I'd consider a winter warmer. I think this is closer in style to an American Red/Amber ale.

Mouthfeel is very light and well carbonated. Very drinkable, even sessionable ale, but nothing exceptional about it.

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Photo of BurnsTau
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a little bit of head. Smell is nothing exceptional malty with a bit of hops. The tastes is a bit unique. At first its somewhat bland with a bit of sourness, after a few sips you can pin down the malts with a little bit of hops to balance, but not much. Not a strong or overpowering brew. Overall it's a good beer, it's nothing great or exceptional at all, but I will probably try it again before the season is over.

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Photo of TLove
3.17/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Great copper/amber color, though a bit light for a winter warmer. The beer has a very nice, ESB-esque bitterness and sourness and has a similar taste to the ESB. The bitterness rolls off the tongue to back of the throat quite nicely, where the fruits mellow out the taste a bit. But the mouthfeel is ultimately watery for a winter warmer, rather unfortunately so. The finish is similar and has a negative effect on the drinkability of the beer.

This isnt a great winter warmer, but swings the better-balanced RedHook ESB in a darker, hoppier direction.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with a bottled on date of Oct. 31 2011. Pours a crystal clear caramel color with a nice, dense cap of tan head. Retention is good and lacing strong.

Nose is toasted malts with some spruce hop/spice aroma. Some sweetness comes through and also shows a light nutty yeast.

Winter Hook does a good job showcasing some toasted maltiness and a light roasty/hoppy bitterness on the finish. Hops have a moderate presence all the way through and the yeast is pretty clean for the most part. Pretty straightforward beer that is more akin to a hop-leaning amber ale than a winter warmer, but decently tasty brew. There are too many great winter seasonals to buy this one very often though.

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Photo of erwin08
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a transparent red/brown with minimal head and lacing.

S: smells malty with hints of carmel and fruit

T: this is a winter? much lighter than i expected. malty/carmel taste to it with very slighty hoppiness.

M: again much thinner, smoother, and lighter than i expected from a winter.

D: very drinkable. doesn't pack the punch of most winter beers. not what i had expected, but by no means a bad beer.

OVERALL: A tasty beer from Redhook. Not your typical winter, but still a very drinkable beer with a winter twist. Worth a taste.

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Photo of portia99
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (bottled Oct 6, 2011) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a deep mahogany and amber combination color with a low and somewhat fizzy head that falls quickly to the surface leaving behind on ly a thick collar of off white bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - Aroma is on the low side in intensity...what I pick up most is some bready and biscuity malt, Ritz crackers, touches of lightly caramalized sugar, some light floral/perfumey hop aroma.

T - Malty base, bready with some spices on top..cinnamon, sugar, lightly biscuity. Hop presence is low, not much bitterness or flavor...more or less serves the purpose of balance against the malt mostly.

M - A bit on the thin side of medium bodied...well carbonated and quite prickly/tingly on the tongue. Malty, a bit sweet, somewhat candy like.

O - Just ok with me...well brewed, but tending towards the sweeter and sugary side of the balance line. Hops are not a big player here unfortunately. Perhaps just not really what I was looking for in a beer at this moment.

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Photo of mhexum
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours great with a big head that doesn't stick around long.
Smells wonderful, taste was a little disappointing compared to the smell but still good. This was my first Winter Warmer and I really appreciated the spiciness, it has quite a great full flavor.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured a clear amber with a medium white head. Nutty aroma with some herbs and tea. Flavor is smoother than one would expect, malty and earthy. The taste is almost like a low-alcohol barleywine. Its okay, but not really what I was expecting from a winter brew.

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Photo of JamesS
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has a nice copper look, although with little head and lacing. Has a very neutral scent, just a bit of an ale/hoppy aroma, but nothing strong at all. A nice crisp flavor, very clean that starts with a slight hoppy feel and ends with a hit of caramel and what tastes like a bit of spice. Goes down fine, not rough, not overly smooth. A nice ale, but not the best winter warmer.

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Photo of malty
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Front label perforated stamp of '100306'.

Pours a clear copper color with a loose 1/2" light beige head and somewhat scarce carbonation bubbles moving upwards. Very nice sheets of lace.

Fresh juicy hops aroma with a fruity undertone. I briskly swirl my glass a few times and bury my nose to uncover a faint carmel note as well.

The flavors are a tad metallic with the hops predominantly shining through, although much more attenuated from what I anticipated from the nose. An unsweetened Lipton tea flavor finishes up the round.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a wonderful airiness compliments of ultra fine carbonation at a moderate level.

Drinkability is good. Very unintrusive ('safe') flavors with not much else peeking out. Mouthfeel was the finest aspect IMHO. I'm sad this ale has digressed.

Overall a faint shell of what this ale used to be from 6-8 years ago. Not malty at all, just a nice dose of hops for it's saving grace.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark tea/coffee color with just a hint of off-white suds and lots of lacing.
Nose is caramel, a slight spice and hops and that is about it. Some alcohol comes through. Taste is bland but the hops do bitter the mouth up in the end. Mouthfeel is a little oily and ok overall

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

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a pretty typical medium brown with a slight reddish tint. The brew only had a thin cap of khaki-colored head that dissipated quickly and left bare traces of lacing.

The aroma was the typical malty/sweet/spicy that is expected from the style. The flavor was good, but not outstanding. The taste featured a nice malt foundation with a pleasant slight spice finish.

The body was good, but on the thin side for this style. It didn't really coat the tongue the way I expect. Drinkability was very good, this is one winter warmer one could drink several of without feeling heavy or suffering from palate fatigue.

Overall, a decent brew. As with a lot of Redhooks brews, it makes for a nice introduction to the style, or to help bring someone over from the light side.

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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 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 Boilermaker88
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Redhook Ales winter seasonal had a dark maroon color and a bubbly one-finger off-white head that was quite durable and left behind some thick sheet lace on the glass walls. The smell was pretty subdued; some caramel and mild herbal aromas over some modest malt notes. The taste was rather bland up front - just a moderately sweet, fruity flavor and some caramel. As the beer got to the back of the palate, a more substantial hops spiciness came out and there was an overriding long bitter finish. The bitter taste had a medicinal quality to it. The feel was medium- to full-bodied and smooth.
Winterhook is a decent beer that seemed to be a bit too off-balance to be truly enjoyable.

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Photo of GardnerAleBrewer
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
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".

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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 GreenCard
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 10/13/04...

Appearance: deep ruby-brown, thinnish layer of off-white suds, poor head retention, beautious color

Aroma: lush bready/crystally maltiness, woody hops with an edge of citrus, hint of marzipan

Flavor: toasty malt backbone with a pronounced roast edge, slight woodiness, piny/peppery hop flavor, finishes dry with an aftertaste of roast and hop greenery

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, slight warmth, a bit astringent

Other comments: A nice, hoppy dark ale. Full-flavored, but a touch too bitter for a winter warmer, IMO.

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

A: Pours a copper color with little head to it.

S: A bit of caramel malt and some piney hops, but not much to the nose with this one.

T: The taste is similar to the nose. A nice balance to the malt and hops, but neither really come to the forefront. Blends nicely, but I would like a bit more of both in this.

M: A little thinner than I would have liked. It was okay, but could be better.

D: This is a decent winter ale. There are much better ones out there though. I had it on cask at the brewery, so that was cool, but I wouldn't otherwise go out of my way for it.

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Photo of Phocion
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Winter Lager miniature-nonic type glass. Pours a semi-transparent golden/copper color with a massive rocky off-white head which sinks into about one finger before holding very nicely.

Aroma is a nice balance of caramel and toasted malts and a bit of a floral and herbal hoppiness. Nice balance and it smells fairly warm, but not terribly complex.

The aroma wasn't too bad, but when this thing hits my lips it is, in a word, bland. Mildly dry and a slightly bitter aftertaste, but there's just not a whole lot here.

Medium-bodied and fairly crisp, but when I think of a winter warmer I tend to think of something that will be...well, warm. This just doesn't do it. Not quite heavy enough to do the trick, but still thick enough and with a high enough ABV to make a poor session beer. Nothing terrible, but nothing too impressive either. This is definitely an average beer that I will probably not bother to revisit.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Pours a clear gold/amber with a sparse white head. Some malt in the aroma with a little of the trademark Redhook diacetyl. Pretty thin in the body. Crisp hop bitterness. A little butteryness and bready malt. Decent hop finish. Not that exciting, more of a bland amber than a true hearty winter beer.

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

Had a pint of Winterhook at my local pub, the Cock & Bull. My homebrew partner had one the last time we were in and raved about it. Too bad I didn't feel the same.

The best part of this beer is the smell. It has a great aroma of dry-hopping that is nice and herbal. But this hoppiness in the aroma is not matched in the taste. It is rather dull, and not very robust for a winter seasonal. I couldn't tell you what makes this beer special for winter.

Winterhook is just an average beer with a good smell.

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Photo of Gusler
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a limpid deep garnet color, the head impressive in size, the color a light tan, frothy in texture, as it self-destructs a sealing sheet of lace is formed. Nose is malt loaded and sweet, hints of caramel, crisp and fresh, the start is lightly sweet, the top skeletal in feel. Finish is striking in its acidity, the hops indifferent in their spiciness, very dry and lingering aftertaste. Drinkable beer, but is a bit thin-waisted for me to give it much credit.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.