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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
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Reviews: 461 | Hads: 892
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bockish colour with some retaining head. Mild malt and spice aroma.Significant hops in there. Middling mouthfeel, syruppy malt. Not too complex, symbollically tasty, with celery. A bit better than average beer though so-so as a winter warmer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, herbal hops, and a slight spice note. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear chestnut amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that gradually died down and left thick lacing down the sides of the glass and a thin layer of bubbles consistently coating the surface.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and nutty malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and quite malty with some initial hints of sweetness and some hints of spices in the finish. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is little if any warming from the alcohol.
O: There’s not much ‘warming’ in this Winter Warmer, but it is an easy-to-drink winter beer if you are looking for something that is malty and fuller bodied.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a reddish brown color. The head was alright, kinda thin not much lacing here. The smell of the beer was a little spicy and a little roasted. The taste has a slight sweetness to it, mostly some dark mark in the flavor. There seems to be just a hint of pine or spruce in within deep the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is definitely drinkable but I just didn't feel that this Winter Warmer was really up to par.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle picked up in the singles section of Total Wine in Alexandria. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color with some ruby tint to it. Slight off white head and a bit of lacing. The nose is sweetness with some caramel and molasses and light wintry spices. The taste brings down a bit more spice, and doesn't terribly overdo it. Light caramel and malt sweetness. Medium body with good carbonation. For what it is, not too shabby.

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Photo of emerge077
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Free bottle at a holiday party, the best kind of beer...
Odd bottle shape, like a mini-growler cylinder with a cap that had an oval country code sticker printed on it. Reddish darker amber color with a lightly off white skim of foam on top. Random spotty lacing, the skim parts on the surface after a couple of sips.

Lagery yeast aroma, some malty breadiness, and nondescript unidentifiable spice.

Flavors are similarly ill defined, some bread malt and vague dry spiciness, but utterly indistinct and nebulous. Tea and herbal notes, kind of like an old pale ale with faded hops. Sharp and highly carbonated, seems like a lager with odd adjuncts in it. Not a seasonal beer to seek out really, glad it was free.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours out a dark amber color with small white head.

S - Smelled very sweet. Also notes of citrus and hops.

T - Tasted some clove, grains, hops and malt. It also had a very, very slight bitterness.

M - It was crisp and light-bodied.

D - I enjoyed this beer. It was great on a cold snowy night.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucid, erythematous bronze with orange accents. The ecru colored head is dense and sits atop the beer with a resolute purposefulness. A slow descent brings about tattered rings and sheets of lace that cover the majority of the inside surface of the glass.

Wow, the nose is a surprise in the best way possible with loads of tropical fruity, sweet citrus zest dipped in melted caramel. I sure didn't expect a winter warmer to be this fantastically hoppy. It smells more like Amarillo than Cascade, but I'll take the brewer's word for it.

The flavor isn't quite the equal of the nose, but it's a near thing. Plenty o' hops, with bitter grapefruit peel and pine sap in the forefront, anchored by a toasted caramel malt base that binds it all together in convincing fashion. I really don't appreciate much in the way of spices, just the four basic ingredients that combine to produce very good beer.

The body/mouthfeel is strictly medium and, as a consequence, the finish isn't as long and as lingering as it might be. When judged as a winter warmer, which I feel should be more full, it probably deserves the next lowest score.

Winterhook Winter Ale is a different sort of winter warmer, but a good one. It drinks like a relatively well-balanced IPA that's slanted toward 'made in the U.S.A.' tropical hoppiness. In other words, there's a lot to like in this 12 oz. bottle.

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Brixx Pizza,first time on tap.Poured a lighter brown almost amber color with athis head that left a thin sheet of lace,picked up a bigger than expected hop presence in the aroma some pine along with some roasted malt.Big and hoppy up front on the palate very piney and resiny with a enough of a roasted malt backbone to hold up to the hop attack making for a big,bold,well rounded brew.Very pleasntly suprised with the character of this brew,have had it before and dont remember such a hop profile.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 release served right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very nice burnt amber color, good bit more orange in here then I thought there would be honestly. Very clear, almost crystal like clarity to it allowing you to really notice the ample amount of carbonation that was present in this one. Chains of bubbles streaming up toward the surface to reinforce the already nice amount of head and lace that were on the top. Upon first pour there was a good two finger high head of white across the top that only gradually faded while leaving behind copious amounts of side glass lace throughout the session. Nice dripping web like creations were strewn all over the side of the glass and really left quite a nice impression overall.

S - The aroma on this one overall was quite light to be honest, at first it was hard to pick up much of anything, however after I waited a few minutes I was able to detect some subtle hoppy notes, very nice and floral actually coming up from it and giving it a little bit of a kick. Nice light grain like back was predominant here as well, with nice rich tones of cereal and earthy grains that really let it shine a bit and honestly was starting to take on the aroma more of a nice pale ale, or perhaps even a light IPA, though I am really not sure what style this fits in.

T - The flavor overall was very nice and extremely well balanced with no one thing really dominating over anything else. The first flavor to really pop out at you was a nice amount of hops which were quite light and floral, with some semi sweet notes of orange and fresh grass coming through quite nicely, while being layered upon a good deal amber like malts and a nice touch of cereal and oats in the background. Some light notes of perhaps banana or something similar as well coming though now giving it a little more complexity and a little bit more balance. Then the finish hits with its nice bitter profile and good long drawn out dry feeling, making you come back and get another sip. Again this was more of a light IPA or very nice Pale Ale.

M - Very nice light bodied ale, with a little more to it to be honest then just a light bodied pale ale, this one had a little bit of a body to it. Very nice carbonation profile here as well, with lots of carbonation that lasted until the very end of the session. Good strong finish really rounded it out well, and gave it that quick, clean, crisp feeling that really added a lot to it.

D - An absolutely great session ale. The feel was great, the flavor profile was just light enough to be really quite down able, but at the same time had enough of a flavor to keep me interested for a while. I could have easily thrown down a few more of these with no real issue at all.

Overall I thought this was a rather nice offering from Red Hook. I have had better, sure, but this was definitely not bad at all. Would I go out and buy it, probably not, but I certainly would not turn my nose up at it either. Could have had a little more spice to it to make it have that little bit of an extra pop, but overall it was still good and would say if it was there, you could do much worse.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.54/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright brown body with a moderate, off-white head.

Smell: The unfortunate aroma is formed by an offensive mixture of berries, soured citrus fruits, and dirty metal.

Taste: Bland, plain-tasting malt flavor with a slight nuttiness to it. The small amount of hops present provide a bit of grassiness. Finishes sour and with the taste of stewed greens.

Mouthfeel: Lackluster medium-thin body, with moderate carbonation and an exceedingly watery palate.

Drinkability: Something to keep in mind: there are many, far better winter beers. This one's a total washout.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Portsmouth Brewery Chataqua Public House on 11/1/08.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a 1/2 finger of creamy off-white head. Solid covering of retention leaves a soft cascade of lacing behind. The aroma is fresh, floral hops with a bit of spice to it and some underlying malt sweetness.

The taste is a slightly tangy mix of citrus and caramel malts with a nice floral tasting hop bitterness that wraps everything up nicely. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a crisp carbonation up front that spreads out into a more creamier feel.

This is probably one of my favorites from Redhook with some nice chewy sweetness but it's the freshness of the hops here that really did it for me with this pint. Tasty and pretty easy drinking for the size.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

But can I use of these during the summer fishing outings? Regardless, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber-topaz topped by a finger of sandy cream foam. The nose comprises mixed greens, very light menthol, and sweet, nutty toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some mild pine needles and something that sort of approaches a shadow of ginger. Gotta say, this sits very poorly on my tongue. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a muddled, unpleasant winter warmer. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winterhook pours a clear, light-chestnut/copper body with glowing auburn highlights beneath a massive, frothy head of tan foam. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves solid walls of lace behind.

Toasty, nutty, and caramelish malts greet you in the nose. With each swirl of the glass it seems to get richer. There's an almost buttery-cocoa, or nut-laden cookie side to it, and some light spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove) as well as a touch of piney hops (or spruce extract). Very welcoming!

In the mouth it's medium-bodied and creamy smooth with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The flavor is rich without being full, and it never becomes cloying. Initially, the toasty malts appear quite strong, even bordering on heading into roastiness as the caramel flavor is dark like burnt brown sugar. Then the spiciness and spruce-like flavors set in, helping to lead it to a dry, lingering finish. I'm not sure what spices are there, or are not there, but I picked up notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The bitterness is solid, but restrained, appearing at first only in the finish, and then more so across the middle as you progress through the glass and the spiciness builds a little on the palate. There are some beautiful subtleties going on here that would certainly be missed at draft temperature.

A really nice winter ale! Perfect with a holiday dinner or a cold night beside the fire. Enjoy it at cellar temperature to get the most out of its varied flavors.

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Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lovely cherry-toned coppery amber in color. Nice foam in the Brewery Vivant tulip with some champagne bubbles and a pleasant spritz on the tongue. Flattens out after a while to a dull fruity ache.

Moderate body makes for a rich but thirst-quenching gulp. Slight fragrance of caramel with a little mustiness. Timid sweetness subsides into dark graininess. A touch of wintergreen and kale. Settles into a long, long hoppy taste that is rather bitter and radiates that herbal note. Just a little dry woodiness as if there was a splash of Belgian yeast and a glug out of the barrel.

This used to be one of the several winter beers I'd look forward to, and it does have some fruity charms. Increasing bitterness in the aftertaste wins back no old friends, however. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.09/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Winter Hook #29." 12 fl oz snub-top brown glass bottle with branded pry-off pressure cap and uninteresting label art acquired at a local H-E-B grocery some months ago and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery. 6% ABV per the label. 2013 vintage. Bottled: Sep 27 13.

Served at fridge temp and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of pale khaki colour. Decent thickness. Okay creaminess. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a dark murky amber with brownish hues. It's a bit stale looking. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a generic looking winter ale with nothing to interest the discerning drinker.

Sm: Evident spices: nutmeg, allspice, and...ginger? Has some generic amber malts, caramalt, and a candi sugar sweetness. Caramel, faint molasses, licorice, fennel. Light vinous touches. Generic floral hopping.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.\

There just isn't much here of interest. It comes off very tired and generic, with no signs of boldness or inspiration. An inoffensive aroma of average strength. I can't say I'm real excited to try it.

T/Mf: Generic unevocative spices, generic amber malts, generic floral hops, and caramel. A hint of cherry cough syrup. Slight breadiness. That's about it.

It's cloyingly sweet and feels way too syrupy, thick, and sticky. Poor balance, no cohesion, no complexity, no subtlety, no intricacy, no nuance. Not a gestalt beer. Flavour duration, intensity, and depth are all subpar.

This is an unpleasant beer with few redeeming characteristics. Luckily, it's not boozy or hot.

No yeast character comes through.

Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated, but not biting. Okay thickness. Medium body. Poor overall presence on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: Difficult to quaff on account of its low quality and cough syrup notes. I'll have trouble finishing just one bottle. It's a terrible beer and isn't worth trying. I'd caution friends from purchasing it. More garbage from Redhook. But hey, there's always next year's recipe change to look forward to...


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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer... a lot. I was pleasantly surprised, as I've had 4 or 5 styles of Redhook before and while they were good, none really wowed me. This one certainly did though. This was just a delicious hoppy amber/red ale. Great look in the glass, awesome smell and taste, a nice creamy mouthfeel and finish. Man it went down way too quickly for dinner and I'm pissed I only got a single. I'll be getting a 6'er for thanksgiving!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap 2/12/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, hops and some spice.

T: The taste is malty and a little smoky up front with flavors of caramel and spices. The hops presence is pretty strong for the style and there isn't as much sweetness as most Winter Warmers. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, not the best representation of style, it's not too bad but there are definitely a lot of other beers in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One winter seasonal that I have probably seen the most improvement over the years is Winterhook. Its been around since 1985 in one form or another but seems to be on the stable path for several years now. Bright clarity off of the deep copper color brew, awesome looking lacing as it leaves a web like trail down the glass. Malty aroma of toasted grain and caramel, hint of floral and grassy hops as well. The smoothness is certainly there with a small crispness that drops off quick in the medium body. Spicy, herbal and bit time floral hop flavor don a balanced bitterness that lingers far into the drying finish.

High in drinkability, flavorful and a bit complex yet approachable enough to bring to a holiday party. By far its one of my favorites each year.

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

First had: on tap at Redhook, Woodinville, WA

Board info called this a English-style strong ale.

Poured a clear chestnut color with a frothy beige head that retains well. Toasty malts in the aroma, nutty with a bit of sweetness. Nutty taste, malty, toasty, a bit bland. Some light hops come through near the end for a slightly bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel and somewhat drinkable, but not that great. Reminded me more of an amber ale than a winter warmer or strong ale.

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Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Ruby tinted with a nice sized tan head, leaving lacing around my glass fine but hey it's there. Aromatics: The cascades weigh in nicely here upfront floral and piney not bad not a lot of malt sweetness but definitely not bad the hops are nice. Flavor: Is definitely tame, low pur of caramel malt tones slightly spiced not bad at all, with what I was expecting to be a roaring hop profile was nothing at all just a mild finish of hops, disappointing but I was expecting much. Mouthfeel: Thin not much texture lacks body, smooth carbonation for a winter seasonal this is a light beer. Drinkability: Is mediocre cant' picture myself buying this ever again.

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Photo of smcolw
2.45/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark, dark amber; clear. Very nice lace, although the head died quickly.

The aroma features an overheated electrical engine smell--not appealing. Plasticky. Sorry, this one is a miss.

Good mouthfeel, high carbonation, rich. Flavorwise, I really can't get over the smell that seems to be present in the taste. This is a malty beer, even though it is masked. I can give this one some points for decent balance.

Overall, I would describe this as a miss. Certainly, this is a beer I won't be seeking out again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.32/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to enjoy this now and then, once a year...it was good, ..once...years ago...
Appearance: a clear, light crimson color, with a small, flimsy head.
Aroma: Hmmm,...nutty, creamy, soft, but rather shy, hints of spice...
Taste: huh...HUH..HUUUH!...didn't used to be so, shall we say, SHALLOW. Very thinly bodied, and I can't shake it, can't get around it, over it, or through it. It's just flimsy. There's some fruity, nutty flavor, but very small, and there is tremendously little texture...I'll go so far as to say "none." Forgettable. Boring. A bit too sweet. The soul has been sucked out of it. Damn, I thought this was supposed to be an ALE, maybe even a hearty, WINTER ale...goodness me, what was I thinking...
I remember a day...sigh...

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