Redhook Winterhook | Redhook Ale Brewery

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BA SCORE
81
good
464 Reviews
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States
redhook.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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

Added by Todd on 10-08-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
464
Ratings:
918
Avg:
3.57
pDev:
18.77%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
77
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 918
Photo of kmpitz2
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep red to slightly brown color with a finger of head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was sweet, very sweet caramel with a light touch of hop. Not too bad. The flavor was well balanced between the sweet caramel and sweet grapefruit and piney hops. Where the beer lacked was in the mouthfeel. It was just too thin. Overall a nice easy sipping beer that was good to start a night. I'd have it again.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.63/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into dimpled mug. 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 Hojaminbag
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I saw this sucker on-tap and decided to sample it; I'm a sucker for new stuff, what can I say? The body is surprisingly clear, and a little lighter than I would have expected also, with an amber color. The head is off-white, two fingers tall, and both retention and lacing are pretty good.

The aroma mixes hops, malt and spices, but overall, it isn't especially powerful.

I honestly expected this beer to be bad, but I have to say it won me over, as it is pretty good. The hop profile is pretty powerful, with bright citrus and a floral flavor that come through immediately. The bitterness is light, however, because the big malt base eclipses it before it can really go to work on your mouth. The malt brings lots of toasted flavors with a little bit of grain. Toffee and sweet caramel are also prominent. Pretty evenly balanced between the malt and hops here, with an ample amount of each. I don't really pick up any spice additions, so if they're in there, the traditional ingredients are obscuring them, which is fine with me.

The rich malt base in this one deserves a little bit of a longer finish, which could be accomplished by beefing up the body a little bit. The carbonation is moderate, but the body is a touch light.

Winter Hook isn't a bad beer at all, and it is probably worth a try, especially because it tends to pop up at places that might not have a stellar tap list.

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Photo of ckollias
4.45/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a clear amber hue with a thick, 2-finger, white head that slowly dissipates, leaving a nice trail down the glass, and finally ending in a solid persistent lace.

S: Malty aroma with a solid hop background.

T: Sweet toasted malt up front, followed by caramel, and finishes with a hoppy background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. The hops add an awesome finish to this brew.

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Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.63/5  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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice toasted caramel color. Average sized, fluffy, rocky, fairly thick, off-white head. Pretty good retention fading into a nice delicate lace.

S - Lots of toasted, nutty aroma. Hints of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and touches of clove and coriander). Some toffee and caramel sweetness. Good example of the style without being overspiced.

T - Starts with a strong toasted, nutty flavor. Plenty of caramel and toffee. Hints of spice, but nothing that strong. Towards the finish there is a slightly bitter, earthy hop kick but this gives way to a lingering semi-sweet nuttiness.

M - Medium body with above average carbonation. Crisp and zesty finish and just a bit drying.

D - The fact that this isn't overspiced or too sweet helps this be a fairly easy drinking Winter Warmer. Not something I would necessarily want a couple of in a night, but I could but a couple down.

Notes: Solid Winter Warmer. It did have a bit of an English feel to it as well. Not heavy on the spices, but a strong roasted nut and caramel/toffee winter beer. I wasn't amazed by it but would drink it again if I were in the mood for the style.

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Photo of bditty187
4.02/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Auburn-bronze hue, clear and brilliant, the color is very appealing. Unfortunately the head developed poorly, there was little more than dishwater bubbles that covered half of the bare beer. A very small amount of disorganized specks of lace dotted the glass as I drank it. Immediately the nose tells me two things, this is hoppy and this is not the Winterhook of last year(s). I’m rather pleased with the pine aromas, undercurrents of floral, and distant hints of maltiness at the back. The bouquet has a couple layers of depth and a distinct invitation to quaff. The palate is bitter upfront, from the piney hops, a smidge of floral follows. The maltiness is a little lacking and ordinary, traces of caramel but not a lot of sweetness. A little ale fruitiness is interwoven. The finish is mildly hoppy with a pleasant piney aftertaste, some direct bitterness. Unexpectedly “more-ish” and surprisingly tasty… especially considering Redhook does not ‘wow’ me. I even got hop burps! Medium in body, a touch thin, more malt would help. The carbonation is a little low but tolerable, very drinkable and pleasant to quaff as well. The abv is “low” enough to have a few at a time. If Redhook sticks with this recipe then the new and improved Winterhook will be a staple in my refrigerator when winter rolls around. Six-packs are too damn cheap for you not to try; I got mine for $5.50 in Omaha.

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Photo of rastaman
1.9/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottled, lame is a word that springs to mind. Very dissapointing for a supposed winter ale. Light choc, caramel, little hops noticable, grainy and thin, no bitterness, cola like texture. NOt really a fan of redhook at all, very bland for a winter beer, where is all the flavour????

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Photo of HardTarget
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 11-15-03
Aroma 2: A musty hop smell heavy with pine and citric notes. I’m a little worried
Appearance 3.5: Dark red that is clear when backlit. Has a nice off white head that clings to the side and seems to last
Flavor 3.5: Very hoppy. The hops come through a little nicer than the smell lets on. While the hop flavor is in full force, the bitter is kept at bay. No malt sweetness here, but has to be backing the hops.
Mouthfeel 2.5: A bit thin, with a very slight hop pucker
Overall Impression 3.5: This is a pretty good beer all in all. Heavy-handed hops here hold, hindering holistic happiness (sorry, I hit a roll). Trying to say, a bit out of balance, but not so much to seriously detract from a tasty brew. I would like a bit more complexity, and a little more balance, but you can’t have everything.

Re-reviewed 12-13-05
Bottle Inspection: 6% abv. bottled on 101005 (sampled 121305). My label is blue with old man winter blowing up a hard wind.

Aroma 4: Malt with a nice spice level, maybe ginger, coriander, I guess it’s just the northern brewer and cascade hops blending so nicely; A very nice nose.

Appearance 3.5: Clear dark ruby brown with active carbonation levels feeding a skimpy head of grayish white that gave some good lace.

Flavor 4: Tastes like a light bodied heavily hopped stout. Very mild overall impression, but some nice sweet notes balanced by a gentle bitter and almost grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel 3.5: Firm carbonation, slightly oily texture slowly fades.

Overall Impression 4: Easy drinking winter ale. Good “pure” flavors, hops and malt doing their thing. It’s very clean and neat, but not a lot of punch for the winter season. Still, a very well crafted beer.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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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 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 TastyTaste
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a gold-amber with a mountain of small-bubbled foam into my ale glass.
Nose is caramel-biscuity, with hints of spice (clove?).
Taste is strong, very bread-like with a little hint of fruit and a slightly bitter, alcohol finish.
Definitely a solid beer.
Not terribly unique or memorable, but certainly drinkable, and well-worthy of the bargain price (got it for $4.69/6-pack at a local liquor shop).

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Photo of clvand0
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark shade of brown with a nice head and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma was malty with caramel and some spice. The flavor reminded me a lot of Anchor Steam, with just a little more strength in the flavor. Malty and hoppy, with caramel and spices. Good winter beer.

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Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color with a brown receding head. Low aroma of sweet malt belies the full flavor jumping out of this beer. Sweet malt flavor, yes, but surprisingly hoppy. Smooth floral hops, not biting, with definite hints of citrus and pine. The finish is adorned with spicey flavors including cinnamon and brown sugar. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of armock
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a nice amber color with an off white head

S - Is of sweet malt with a hint of caramel and spice

T - Is of sweet malt upfront followed by a touch of spice and hops

M - Feels a little thin compared to other winter ales

D - Overall I enjoyed this brew it is a little lighter than other winter ales but that doesn't really hurt this beer its worth a try

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Jayli
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, dark copper/chestnut color. The head is tan and creamy, nice head retention, and leaves excellent lacing throughout the beer. Initial scent is of some roasted malts, piney hops with a hint of sweetness...perhaps spices? Flavor starts a bit malty, with a hint of sweetness, caramel and spiciness. Body bordered on medium, and it felt fairly smooth on the tongue. This is the first beer that I have tried from Red Hook - I found it to be a nice winter beer!

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served from the tap at The Ginger Man in Greenwich, CT. It arrived in a flared pint glass, showing a golden amber coloring, with a one finger head of creamy eggshell bubbles. This retained decently, leaving sheets of lacing down the glass. A chill haze was noticed, with no sediment, and active-appearing carbonation. The aroma was fusel with booze and phenolic plastics off the bat, with nutmeg and cooked ginger spice to cut, along with dried grassy hops, biting metallic yeast zing, pale and caramel malts, lemon peel bitterness, and more of a soapy hop with warmth. Our first impression was that the hop character was surprising, with the spice coming robustly at the end. The flavoring opened with caramel and pale malts, toffee sweetness, fresh hop grassiness, and aromatic cherry fruitiness. Bittering phenolic plastics sitting against a sweeter caramel malt backbone peaked through the center of the swallow, with big lemon flesh bitterness, piney hops, breakfast tea tannins, and a wash of pale muddy malts coming through the finish. The aftertaste breathed of raw grassy and piney hops, roasted caramel malts, dryer pale malty toast, mineral, black pepper, and light fusel booze. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium to high. The slurp was initially cooling, but the finish was eventually very, very dry, with the tongue sticking to the back of the teeth with astringency. Otherwise, the sip was cooling, with refreshing cream and frothiness. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, our favorite thing about this beer was its complexity for the style. Here, they seemed less focused on the malt profile, allowing for a generous aromatic hop bite to permeated the sip. The aroma showed more of this as well, with bright green freshness of hops, and paler grain. This paleness does give a cheapness to the end of the swallow, and while this one isn’t as “warming” as others for the style, it will certainly keep you away on a cold winter’s afternoon.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber to copper with a small beige head. Looks thin in the glass. Smell is light, but malty and faintly spiced. Decent nose. Taste mild, lightly spiced, but not much so, malty with maybe the faintest twinge of tartness and/or alcohol and spice. Actually isn't too bad for the style.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours a clear mahogany liquid, with a thick creamy off-white head. Good head retention, and lace. Citrusy hops present in the nose, along with some toasted malt. Carmel flavored slight toasted malt, followed by a pretty good amount of hop bitterness. Citrusy, and slightly floral hop flavors. Medium body, with moderate carbonation. I do not remember this being so hoppy. This really is a pretty decent beer. One of the few from Redhook that is still worth searching out. Pretty drinkable, good beer for this time of year.

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Photo of rangerred
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with a one finger off-white head. Ok head retention but not much in the way of lacing.

Aroma is a big shot of piny hops along with roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. Some cinnamon and nutmeg in there too. A little on the light side but pleasant.

The flavor is big on piny hops but that is quickly followed by loads of caramel and toffee. Roasted malt is there along with quite a bit of nuttiness. Cinnamon is buried underneath but it all comes together to give this beer quite the "wintry" feel. Mouthfeel is a little chalky towards the finish and just a little on the thin side.

Overall, I am quite impressed with this offering from Redhook. There are a lot of flavors coming together and they all work really well. One to pick up if you see it.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.57 out of 5 based on 918 ratings.
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