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Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002) - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002)Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

43 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.58% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 12-17-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz fat brown twisty. Picture of Old Man Winter blowing with a clearly marked freshness date.

Appearance: Deep copper in colour with a full-bodied appearance and creamy, thin head.

Smell: Rich caramel, hints of fruit, mild dextrin sweetness and a touch of grain.

Taste: A very complex flavour begins with a somewhat sharp, chewy malt that goes tangy with a combination of hop bitterness and husk (grain). The brew ends with with notes of hop, dry grain and residual sweetness. Nice hop finish.

Notes: This is not a great Winter Ale, but, a more than decent one -- and well worth a try.

BeerAdvocate, Dec 17, 1998
Photo of Todd
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz twist-off brown bottle. 10-09-01 Bottle date. 2001 Limited Bottling.

Appearance: Rich, deep copper with brown hues. Pours a tan-ish creamy head that quickly settles to a thin lace with little retention and stick.

Smell: Clean smelling, malty, notes of grain and some spice.

Taste: Full-bodied, rich, hearty and robust. Smooth, creamy, chewy mouthfeel. A very malty brew, and very sweet with raw wort flavours. Toasted, caramel, dark fruits, sweet grape, chocolate, and roasted flavours dominate the character of this beer. A quick, twangy hop bitterness emerges from the malt, then mixes with a spicy hop character and alcohol flavours -- has a moderate warming feel to it. Finish leans towards the dry end with raw grain and residual dark malts lingering the the aftertaste.

Notes: A decent beer, but not very balanced and the aroma is a bit lacking for the size of this beer. Lovers of malt sweetness will probably enjoy this brew, others might find the malt usage a bit too much. Personally I didn't mind it all that much, however I'd probably not buy it for my own consumption on a regular basis.

Todd, Nov 11, 2001
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with a bottled on date on the side of the label. 2002 Limited Bottling is stated on the neck.

Appearance: Thin yet sticky off white lace, brilliant filtered clarity with a deep orangey amber hue.

Smell: Clean fruity and ester aroma with mild malt notes and a faint hop in the mix.

Taste: Somewhat smooth with a placid crispness. Weak medium body shows a good amount of malt but lacks in complexity as a stays in a monotone toasted sweetness throughout most of the glass. Touch of mild fruitiness, esters and hop round the brew out a bit. Some earthy hop adds a level of flavour middle to end. Finishes a tad sweet.

Notes: A decent winter warmer / strong ale, beef the malt up a bit more to add some depth and character and this would be more than just decent. Worth a try and still a good stable brew to have around the holidays to mix things up.

Jason, Nov 20, 2002
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured kind of a amber color with frothy head that left a little lace around the glass.Real malty cakey smell,with am malted background in the taste pretty weak I guess though compared to alot of winter style beers.The body was not thick enough for me either.

oberon, Mar 01, 2003
Photo of ADR
2.85/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

So, for the 2002 running...

Dark copper color, transparent. Attractive. Thin, yellow head of even fine bubbles that shows some retention...spare aroma, a little spicy, a little sweet. Slight sense of cinnamon "Red Hot" candy flavor and a lot of sweet malt. Hops are understated and just slightly prickly. Some mouthfeel, but after seeking and sampling some of the world's better big beers in the last number of months, each edition of this beer seems more sweet and lacks more character. This may be the last year I pick up a sixer.

ADR, Oct 22, 2002
Photo of cokes
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep scarlet brown. Thin, yet persistent bone-colored head.
Lightly fruity on the nose with evident citric hops.
Taste begins with ghosts of caramel sweetness, which switches quickly to some sugary fruit tones. No specific fruits particularly stand out. From here it turns lightly toasted and grainy before riding out with a subtle flourish of sweetened citric hops.
Doesn't seemed fully developed. There are several interesting things happening, but it never pulls anything together and ends up seeming half-assed.
Thinnish in the mouth, especially for a winter seasonal.
Nonetheless, this is decent in a pinch. I like it quite a bit better than last year's version (for whatever reason).

cokes, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/30/02 - less than 2 months old. Knowing that this is not a beer to cellar I promptly opened my bottle of Winterhook 2002. The neck label reads "Quality Endures", and it probably will hold for some time, but I have never found it to improve with age. Drink this one fresh. That said... It pours a clear reddish-copper with a foamy light tan head that drops quickly to a decent collar but leaves no surface covering. The aroma offers some very mild fruit and light spice over a thin caramel maltiness. The body is medium with a very fine carbonation that's lower than might be expected (@ 2.0 volumes CO2) and gives it a lightly tingly and smoothly creamy mouthfeel - particularly as it warms. I find it adds to the character of the beer. The flavor starts with some spicy & toasty maltiness, followed by a light fruitiness, and finishes drying with some lingering softly piney & mineral-like hops. If spices are added I'm guessing that nutmeg is included. Although this beer isn't a stunner on its own, it does pair really well with a variety of foods. A good beer to enjoy during a holiday dinner. Best served at cellar temperature to bring out it's malty sweetness and full range of flavors.

NeroFiddled, Nov 18, 2002
Photo of bditty187
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winterhook pours coppery-brown, see-through, with an off-white head, small, with some retention. The nose is thin, kind of like faint prunes, maybe some hot spice, and light sweetness. The palate was fair, drinkable, but not overly impressive. The maltiness is the focal point; the hops only seem to annoy the malt. There also seems to be some faint spice, sweetness, and alcohol in the taste. The 5.58% abv hides well. Overall this is a satisfactory beer.

Is it great? No. Would I drink it again? Probably. I will enjoy the rest of my 6-pack and I will go from there…

"2002 Limited Bottling"

bditty187, Oct 26, 2002
Photo of Stubbie1
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice amber color. The white head quickly fades to nothing leaving very little lace. A good malt taste with a small splash of spiceand a hint of caramel, overall the flavor was a bit week. I was expecting something a bit more flavorful. An average beer

Stubbie1, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of pbrian
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity, caramel sweetness with hints of roasted malts in the back. Not much hop character,but that's not what this beer is about. All in all, a decent winter brew that I was happy to see being served at a Christmas cocktail party last night. I might even go out and get some of my own.

pbrian, Dec 13, 2002
Photo of Murph
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber/orange color with a thick creamy off white head that retains pretty well. The smell is full of rich malty goodness. The taste is pretty much the same as the nose, some nice malty sweetness but a little thin. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth but a little thin again which takes away from the drinkablility some. This isn't a great winter beer but it isn't a bad one either. A little thin as the style goes but not a bad beer to try.

Murph, Apr 22, 2002
Photo of Brent
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Robust? Not very. On the thin side and pretty reserved. On the positive side, it was very smooth and easy to drink. Sort of the "lawnmower beer" of the winter varietal pack. A "snowthrower beer?"

Brent, Dec 01, 2001
Photo of StevieW
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper to reddish amber in color. Nice fluffy white head. Some spotty lacing. Smell was sublte sweet malt, not much else to note. Taste was mostly maltly. Toasted toffe and some nutty flavors. I guess I expected more spices. Some hop bitterness initially. Flavors seem to fall apart as it sat in the glass. A little thin and watery finish for such a good looking dark beer. I kept waiting for something spectacular to happen, but never did. Not a bad tasting beer, but there are so many great flavorful winter seasonals, I think this one gets lost in the shuffle.

StevieW, Dec 29, 2002
Photo of BGsWo22
1.5/5  rDev -55.6%

BGsWo22, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of zacharius
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drinking this beer on tap is much tastier than the bottled version, I can't quite put my finger on what is different but it seems a slight bit sweeter on tap. This beer has a nice aroma with hints of roasted barley and hops. The aroma and flavor that follows match nicely. This is a great easy drinking seasonal ale that even non-microbrew guests can enjoy.

My main problem with the brew is that it is billed as a robust winter ale which makes you expect a strong winter warmer but to this standard Winterhook comes up thin. While mild flavored beer with broad appeal is a hallmark of Redhook, this is by far their best beer. Don't expect a winter warmer but instead a nice amber ale with a touch of darker roasted malts.

zacharius, Jan 12, 2003
Photo of johnrobe
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I guess the picture on the label is that of fearsome "Old Man Winter". Too bad. Somehow it seems inappropriate marketing for a "Robust Winter Ale" that lacks punch both in flavor and ABV. Not that it is altogether bad, just somewhat of a "winter session brew" (something I consider to be an oxymoron). Caramel malt dominates what little aroma there is. A light candy-like malt flavor is most evident on the palate, with some tea-like hops making a brief appearance for balance only. Some graininess and bit of metallic taste on the finish. Mouthfeel is too thin for a winter brew.

johnrobe, Jan 09, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark copper color, pours with a moderate head that develops a bit slowly and then fades to a paper thin layer, lots of fine slow-rising carbonation, good lace. Roasted malt, and some winter spice notes dominate the aroma. The taste is rich, smooth, very malty and somewhat sweet, with hints of chocolate, citrus, and alcohol, quite warming. The hops assert themselves early, with the finish being dominated by the roasted malts, slight sweetness, and hints of fruit and spices. A very nice winter beer.

Winterhook is one of Redhook's trio of seasonal brews, along with Nut Brown Ale and Blonde Ale. It is generally available during the late fall and early winter season.

Update for 2002 bottling: Still simply excellent, a treat to be enjoyed on a cold winter's day.

Pegasus, Apr 06, 2002
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hope that this is my last winter brew of the year 2003(what a winter) with spring starting to make itself known. That being said this was a very good beer taht I wouldn't necissarily need to drink during the winter to enjoy. There was almost no head and very little lace on top of a fine copper liquid. The smell was not at all heavy or overbearing with a nice balance of sweetness. Taste was also sweet with very distinct notes of mango and mellon as well as some tart cherry flavors as well. Overall a beer that I would not mind buying more of winter or summer.

GreatPondBrewer, Mar 14, 2003
Photo of aracauna
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany brown with an eohemeral head. Cherry and lemon on the nose. The flavor is wood, caramel, fruitiness and brown sugar but a bit thin and watery. They were going for warm and malty I think, but fall short in the delivery.

aracauna, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/04/01 & 11/28/01 [2001 Limited Bottling] -- Tasted 10/02 & 11/17/02:

Bronze and amberish (auburn maybe) / very clear / light tan head (head disipated quickly in the 10/04/01 version but not the 11/28/01 version - strange). Light Hop aroma. Great balance with a spicy malt character and a nice hoppy finish (moderate bitterness)... I think I also detected a portion of light Chocolate malt (esp. in the 2000 version). Best after 6 mos and before 1 year.

NOTE: As I understand it, the Winterhook may be the original RH ESB before A-B changed the recipe a few years back ... that was around the time I quit drinking the ESB because it just didn't have the same great taste.

RBorsato, Oct 11, 2002
Photo of JahNoth
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very drinkable, but nothing special. Not malty enough for my taste, decent dose of hops though. Nice bitter finish.

JahNoth, Apr 10, 2002
Photo of mzwolinski
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, well-carbonated, with a thin prickly head which dissipates quickly. Aroma is somewhat weak, but is dominated by citric hop boquet and a decent malt sweetness. The flavor has a lot of sweet, slightly toasted malt, with a hint of caramel and some understated but pleasant spicy notes. Light fruity flavors as well, especially in the aftertaste, where it combines with a husky grain flavor. Dry finish. A fairly crisp beer, though perhaps a bit too light in the mouth for a 'robust' winter brew. Pleasant, but somehow unsatisfying.

mzwolinski, Dec 17, 2002
Photo of sinistersteve
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I needed to fill up a couple of empty holes on my SN Celebration Ale sixer and this seemed like a good choice. Well, looks like choose a good one. This carmel-colored ale had a small head to it, but went away rather quickly. No lace decorates my glass though. Nice malty flavor that doesn't overdo it with hops. A good winter ale overall

sinistersteve, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of John
2.78/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A malty sweet concoction indeed. A very forgetable brew amongst an abundance of seasonal specialties. Choose something else.

John, Jan 23, 2002
Photo of beerguy101
2.1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark red copper color, large head. Medium malts, medium hops. Roasted malts, robust/full flavor. Somewhat spicy. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty, very slight bitterness. Tastes better when slightly warmer, flavor has a smoother feel. Taste is a little thin? Need to re taste. Giving it the benefit of a doubt, but its not a very good beer.

beerguy101, Sep 17, 2003
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Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002) from Redhook Ale Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.