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Redhook Winterhook | Redhook Ale Brewery

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464 Reviews
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

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

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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 920
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 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 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 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 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 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 tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel amber with a mountain of brownish, off white head that is dense and foamy and has great retention. The nose has a rather big hop aroma that is piny, earthy, and spicy. The flavor has a caramel sweetness to it as well as a slight spice character with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is pretty hoppy with some citrusy, piny, earthy notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

I like that there is a winter warmer that is a little hoppier and not so over spiced, this is though a little simple and I'm indifferent about it overall. Nothing really stands out for me.

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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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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown and foamy, left alot of foamy lace. Crisp and refreshing, nice qualities for this syle beer. Very smooth and long malty center, Mild/mellow hop finish. nice balance and drinkability. Good session brew. A pleasant quaffer. Tried this one on tap. Didnt have the time to let it warm up abit in the glass.

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

12/08/04- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- Poured into my Englander pint glass. 12 oz bottle with born on date of 11/02/04.

Appearance- Pours a dark amber color, 1/4-1/2 inch brownish head and above average lacing.

Smell- Mostly sweet hops and a tad of spices. Maybe a little medicinal or bubble gum scent.

Taste- Hmmm, don't taste a whole bunch of spices. Pretty much tastes like a decent IPA. Maybe a little clove or spices mixed in, but for the most part some pine and fruity hops. Towards the end I may have picked up some kind of roasted malt flavor also.

Mouthfeel- Decent carbonation, not thick at all. Goes down nicely.

Drinkability- Wouldn't choose this as a winter warmer, as it really didn't warm me up, but as an IPA with a tad bit of spices makes it interesting. Definite decent beer worth a try.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a very deep amber colour with a small amount of foamy white head on top that disappeared almost instantly. No visible carbonation.

S - Smells like sweet malts with hints of spice. The nose didn't impress me at all (for what I was expecting).

T - A very typical ale flavour. Nice malt profile with some caramel. Nothing really jumps out at me for a winter beer (expected more spiced).

M - Medium body. Lightly carbonated. A nice mouthfeel for an ale.

D - A very drinkable ale, but also not memorable enough to seek out again.

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Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Houlihan's restaurant in Maple Grove, MN. They were out of the Sam seasonal so this would have to do. Like most of the Redhook brews, this beer is unoffensive and taste watered down, even at 6.1%. There's some lightly roasted caramel and not much else. I don't know what's "winter warmer" about this, reminds me of a basic amber.

UPDATE: Bottle from Liberty St. Tavern.
The current bottled version has a nice, seemingly dry-hopped bite to it, but on the other hand there's also an unpleasant metallic taste. I'd still call this an improvement.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark, caramel color beer. Not as heavy as imagined. Small, thin head, but it did stay a bit in spots.
Smelled like caramel, roasted malt and almonds. Not very powerful.
Taste had about the same. Nut, roasted malt, caramel. Thinner than a winter ale ought to be, lower alcohol content. Can drink it fairly well.

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Photo of Tone
4.39/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of strongly of hops, slight spice aroma, and some sweet malt. Fits the style of a Winter Warmer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Hops bitterness is present up front, slight spice comes through second (all spice), then there's a sweet malt background, with a very smooth finish of hops and a slight alcohol flavor. Wow, this is a well blended beer, heavy on the hops (my favorite). Easy to drink, and low enough in abv to allow me to drink a few. I wish I had more of this, great beer - worth a try.

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of crystal and some light chocolate malts. It's breadlike with a mild hop aroma as well. The taste is decent. It has a smooth malty flavor that is a bit grainy and breadlike in the finish. It is slightly bitter and dry; not much of a warmer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good seasonal. It has good flavor and aroma; a fine sessions ale.

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

I had already reviewed this beer and thought it was bland, but I accidently put this in my shopping basket, but now I'm glad I did. Retry! On to the beer:

This beer is copper in color, hues of orange with a solid head on top and trickles of lacing. The aroma is hoppy....a clean and crisp fruity aroma. Bit of caramel too. The taste is a winner. Pleasantly hoppy and malty. Good mix of caramel and sweet dough to go with the grapefruit and piney hop flavors. There's also a hint of orange flavor. Finishes clean. A good drinkable beer overall, and one that paired well with my spicy pork tenderloin topped with BBQ sauce.

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

Pours a nice reddish color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight hops, with some spices. The taste is malty, slight hop, spicy. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice brew.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep copper color with amber highlights and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and spices. Taste is malty, bready, some nutmeg and cinnamon, good flavor but not great for this style. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 release:
This beer is a deep, deep ruby color, it is very clear and pours with a tan head. At first the aroma is of dark fruit, then the hops kick in a bit. The hops come to dominate the aroma, but they are not super strong either. The first taste is lightly fruity (hints of cherry). The finish is off dry, and is accompanied by a hoppiness that is complimentary to the fruit flavors. No real strong flavors that jump out at me. The hops are the dominant flavor here, but for some reason this beer tastes a tad on the weak side.

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

Redhook Ale Brewery

LOOK: Dark amber colored brew bordering on brown. Off white head forms and leaves a considerable amount of lace.

SMELL: Herbal, tea like aromas with a sweet toffee like maltyness.

TASTE: Toffee/caramel flavors from the malts and a strong hop bitterness. Hop character here is very coarse, leafy, resinous and full of pine. Caramel malt sweetness paired with a herbal bitterness that makes for a well balanced brew.

FEEL: On the light side of medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth. Drinks effortlessly.

OVERALL: Though the vintage changes every year , this winter warmer drinks almost like a dark pale ale. Surprising amount of hop character for a winter warmer, and is a refreshing option in the holiday rotation.

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

22 oz. bomber, $1.99, I've got to take advantage of it,

A: Pours a deep clear amber to red with a frothy medium white head, great lace.

S: Has a solid hoppiness, grapefruit, citrus, crystal malt.

T: Heavy crystal/red malt flavour. Has a substantial bitterness. Good flavour, like an Old Jubilation meets Full Sail Wassail.

M: Medium-bodied, resiny, thick feeling, robust, good overall body.

O: Why can't Longhammer have this kind of hop character?. This is real good beer and at sub-$2 a bomber it's a steal. One of Redhook's best without a doubt.

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

A clear red colored beer with an OK short tan head.

The smell is sweet and malty with a woody tea like aroma and faint hints of spice. Spice is mainly vanilla and spruce with maybe a hint of citrus.

The taste begins malty and a little woody in the finish. Vanilla and a bitter hop finish are the first things to emerge here with a spruce or pine flavor.

The mouthfeel is OK.

An OK winter warmer and nothing more. If I want a good version of the style I would get 2 below or an Alaskan Winter Ale.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a five finger off-white head leaving a good lace. Nice crystal clear amber color. The nose is hoppy with some spices. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is a mellow blend of spices with a nice hop backbone. Decent winter ale. $1.50 for 12oz from Capitol Convenience, Concord, NH.

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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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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.57 out of 5 based on 920 ratings.
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