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

When I lived in Seattle, I drank a heck of a lot of Redhook. At the time, they were operating a brewery down in Fremont, so I always considered them local to a degree. Winterhook was a pretty standard beer for me during the colder months and I remember liking it quite a bit.

That said, now that I'm living in Mass. and trying the 2006 Winterhook, I have to say that the shine seems to have come off the apple, so to speak.

Appearance is distinctly ice tea-esque. Clearer than a winter should be if you want to ask my opinion. I know they filter this stuff, but this is overly clear. Almost no head to speak of either, even though I made a point of pouring it vigorously.

Smell is ok. Hops are predominant, but there's a slightly carmel sweetness underlying.

Hops are larger in the mouth than I remember them being in this 2006 version of Winterhook. I remember a much more spicy, malty brew than what I have here. It's not bad, but it's not great either. Relatively well balanced considering the large hop nose.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but with some degree of wateryness considering the style.

While it's not my favorite beer, I could drink a few of these in a sitting with no problem. In fact, I've been known to do just that. In fact, I may very well do that right now...

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Photo of Vancer
2.76/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Welp, this one doesn’t warm the cockles of my tummy. Oh yeah, good start with nice looking DATED label (bottled 11/27/05, 6% abv). Sharp dark mahogany pour, topped by a frothy tan head, which unfortunately died rather quickly.

Pronounced leather and spices in the aroma, this should be good…. but wait! Darn! A moderately harsh leather and floral bite on the quaff. Just not enough malt to balance it out properly.

Crisp and tart, the 6% fries the little hairs off your tongue. If offered freebies, this is drinkable – if I have to buy, I’d go with several others before this one.

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3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 1/2" off-white head. Retains for about one minute. Light brown / amber color. Very nice lace.

S - Tangy hops. Citrus peel quality. Not quite grapefruit, maybe tangerine. Some malty chocolate as the beer warms.

T - Malty with a nice hop twang thrown in the mix. Caramel. Butter. Earthy. Tangy hop finish. Nice balance.

M - Thin to medium in mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

D - Good drinkability. I like it. My only complaint is a little too much sweetness that builds up in the back of the mouth. Good beer by Redhook.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby red amber color with a very thin head that dissipates to a thin crown. There is ample lacing, however, as the head sticks around. There is a good deal of carbonation in this beer, with lots of bubbles sticking to the side of the glass.

The aroma is week and hard to pinpoint. I detect a nutty prescence with some sweet caramel and citrus in the smell. The taste is dry and surprisingly hoppy. I detect a hint of cinnamon in the aftertaste mixed in with the malts. Not a bad winter beer.

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Photo of deciding39
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color. Good off-white, one-finger head. Decent lace as well.

S: Smells of mild, grassy hops, with smooth toasted malt in the background.

T: Roasted caramel malts and grassy, bland hops. Some fruity esters, maybe even a little diacetyl in the very back. Overall, pretty well-balanced.

M & D: Very smooth, excellent mouthfeel. Perhaps a little under-carbonated. Drinkable...but it really lacks any distinguishable qualities that would make it worth buying more than a six-pack.

Overall, nothing to write home about. I really think some more flavorful hops would make a better brew.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, part of a Winter mix 6 pack from Marketplace. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Hard pour yields a very dark brown, beer with a very large white head. A nice lattice work of lacing. A nice look overall.

S - A grasssy aroma with a little bit of malt. Nothing else really to speak of.

T - Some sweetness on top of a grassy hop profile. A tiny bit of spice in the finish.

M - A little bit off. Some more carbonation would do thbis well since it's not as spicy as many winter warmerns out there. Still pretty good.

D - Pretty good but nothing to chase after with all the other great winter warmers out there.

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

This is a December 2005 12 oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass. Reviewed as a "winter" brew.

Appearance: Walnut Brown with 1/2" of head, dissapating in a couple minutes. few carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Mildly sweet, nothing overpowering. Lacks Identity, especially for a "winter" brew.

Taste: A little bitter up front with a dry finish. very mild spice, but nothing distinctive. Again, weak identity.

Mouthfeel: Light for a winter brew or even for an everyday amber. Smooth.

Drinkability: I could drink lots of this because it is smooth and it doesn't kill your palate, but I have no desire too drink much of this.

Overall: This "winter" brew is all label. Color is about right, but it lacks identity in the smell and taste and the experience is ordinary.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 version (bottled on 100305), my bottle is a little different than the one pictured, stated ABV on bottle is 6.0%.

Appearance: When poured into my pint glass this beer is a clear, dark amber. My pour produces an off white head that rises to a good half inch before settling down to a solid cover and ring around the glass. Good lacing, while not sheeting down the glass there are clinging patches that stick to the glass to the end.

Smell: A bit weak here. While I am used to robust malt and/or hops, this beer has a hint of sweet caramel malt, perhaps a touch of roasted malts (or is that what I want to smell?). Hop aromas are very weak as well, a little piney. I detect no spices. Even as it warms the aromas are weak.

Taste: Not quite as weak as the smell, but very much subdued when compared to other winter seasonals that I have had thus far. Flavor starts malty (a little toasted, yet sweet). Finish is a little bitter. I do get a few hop burps from this, so I think they are there.

Mouthfeel: A little light in body, good carbonation somewhat dry. This is almost like an amber ale to me.

Drinkability: Sure, it's highly drinkable, but not very memorable. A decent enough beer, and if I see this on sale for cheap (less than $12 for a twelve pack) I may purchase more just to have on hand a let others try.

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Photo of riversider76
3.39/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Good head and lots of lace. Not much of a smell at all. Mouthfeel is medium,not much carbination. Taste is sweet and spicy, with a slight hop kick. Finish is smooth,and refreshing. Give this beer a try, I think you will find it worthy!!

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Photo of ski271
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark, reddish brown with a very small, off-white head that slowly diminishes to a tenacious film. Good lacing. The smell is strong of piney hops with some light citrus and smoke. The taste is more hops but with more of a malt presence giving it some balance. It finishes clean, has a medium body, watery texture, and very low carbonation. I think the mouthfeel is the biggest downfall of this beer, but I still found it rather enjoyable… which was a pleasant surprise coming from a brewery I haven’t been too impressed with in the recent past. This would be a good beer to take on a long ski lift.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours up a dull brown/amber color, large creamy head of off-white foam, tons of thick lace on the glass, head leaves rather quickly but a thin layer remains atop the beer.
Not much in the smell category. A hint of coffee/caramel malt aroma is about it.
Taste of grainy malt, almost nutty flavor. Seems similar to a brown ale so far. Minimal hop flavor shows up mid sip. Not bad, not outstanding.
Medium mouthfeel, slightly creamy, pretty good.
Could be a session beer, easy enough to drink, and has some flavor, but I probably wouldn't seek it out compared to rogue or anchor winter beers.


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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 bahumutx
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber/copper color with a small head.

Smell: Slight Citrus and Pine from hops. Also can pick out caramel malt. Some other smells I just can't pinpoint. Very interesting aroma.

Taste: I do not get a lot of flavor out of this beer. It starts of with a sweet malt character and then moves to bitterness from the hops and that is about it. As the beer warm there is also a slight nutty taste that is present.

Mouthfeel: Medium Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable but I wish it had more flavor.

This is my first beer from Red Hook and I am disappointed. This is not the best winter warmer that I have had. I look forward to trying their other beers.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A real dark reddish color with a smallish head with good lacing.The smell is earthy,floral,and hoppy.The taste is a spice,malt and hop filled pleasure.The m/f is well balanced between malt and hops.This is a ggod seasonal beer and I was pleasently surprised.

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Photo of arguemaniac
2.93/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep copper color with a short-lived head and thin, sporadic lace. A piney hop aroma with some roasted notes. Tastes of grain, caramel, hops, and mellow toasted flavors. Unfortunately, there is also this slightly fishy, metallic taste (and aroma) and it doesn’t lend itself to the beer’s drinkability. The mouthfeel is kinda creamy, though a bit thin, with sub-par, “fizzy” carbonation.

A bit of disappointment; normally, I can always depend on Redhook to produce a beer that is, if nothing else, easygoing and drinkable. But this one, while not awful, doesn’t really make you want another. Not recommended.

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Photo of tweeder263
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out a red brew with a one finger off white head. Smells pretty malty with a tiny bit of hop presence.Taste is just mediocre,,pretty dry with no hardly any sweetness.Slight hop bitterness shows through lack of malt.Mouthfeel basically average. A good session drinker, nothing over the top but nothing bad either.

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Photo of nathanho
2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Amber towards dark towards red; half a finger of head. Malt and earth smell. Taste of earth, spice, some metal - tang aftertaste with some straw and hops. Stale mouthfeel...sodapop. I don't feel inclined to have another. I think this is maybe better than this year's Wassail, which isn't saying much.

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Photo of Naes
2.69/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is dark brown in color with a tan head.
The aroma is of malt and spice. There is also a funky smell that I would have to describe as overheated metal. Quite odd for a beer.
The flavor has a sweet toasty malt base and a mild blend of spice followed by a mild dose of hops. The metallic smell comes to life a little in the flavor as well, but is not as strong.
Mouth feel is light in body and generously carbonated.

Overall this one gets a meh.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark amber color that could be seen through with a slight tan head. The head really stuck on the side of my glass.

Smell: I instantly smelled a hoppy aroma. It was like the smell of hot metal. Also some sweet aroma coming through like caramel. This isnt a great aroma, but i think is very interesting and unique.

Taste is fruitier than i thought and very hoppy. I can taste cantalope and peach in the afterttaste. I think that is strange, but thats what i taste.

Mouthfeel is not as full as i like, but does have a decent balance with the hops and malt. Medium carbonation.

I think overall this one is quite drinkable. I am about half way done drinking it right now while i have been writing my review. My favorite from redhook is blackhook, but this is quite nice.

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Photo of Luigi
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color and a thick sticky off-white head. Head retention is very good. The aroma is very hoppy. Floral hops and roasted malts hit the nose. The taste is rich, medium to full bodied. Floral hoppiness hit the tounge at first. The hops are mellowed out with a toastel malt. Finishes hoppy and semi-dry. A hearty brew perfect for the colder weather. One of RedHook's best beers.

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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 ypsifly
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottled on 10-03-05 poured into a pint glass.

Clear, reddish brown with a good head of light tan. Good retention with sheeted lace.

The nose has toasty caramel a touch of spice, (coriander?) and a light piney hop aromas. Not very bold or complex.

The taste is unfortunatly, restrained as well. The same malts are upfront with a touch of the spice, then there's a blank spot followed by a generic hop bitterness. Dry finish. I think the blank spot was where the body was supposed to be. Despite the light mouth its sessionable, but boring at that.

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Photo of blackie
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: A somewhat reserved pour creates a thin, off white head. The beer is copper in color.

smell: Smells pretty nutty. A considerable aroma of grassy hops is present. Dark fruits, maybe some light raisins and dates. Smells average, nothing special, but unoffensive. Definate sharp alcohol aroma, which should have been easily covered up given the fact that this beer is only 6.1%. Tastes worse the more I drink, which is confusing.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is a low medium and the body is medium.

taste: The same nuttiness from the aroma is present here. Hops are moderate, and provide only bitterness. Not much else to it, really. Kinda boring. Finish is slightly astringent with some roasted flavors lingering.

drinkability: easy to drink, but not very good

Bottled 10/18/05

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Photo of clipdat
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer review after visiting this site regularly for over a year..!!

Part of a 6 pack purchased at Beverages & More in Orinda for $5.99 on special. Bottled on 10/11/05. Gently decanted into my red hook pint glass. Color is a nice roasted brown. Very thin head due to the type of pour. Slow-moving, even carbonation throughout. Immediate aromas when pouring were of toffee and and subtle malts. This beer has a very minimal and unique smell to me. It reminds me of samuel smith's nut brown ale, except less hop presence.

After letting the beer warm for 5-7 minutes I took the first sip. The beer has a very calm mouth feel and a pretty clean aftertaste which doesn't seem linger for very long. I noticed some small flavors of bitter chocolate, toffee and subtle hops.

This is one of the easier drinking winter ales I've had, and it's taste somewhat surprised me for a winter ale. A 6.11% ABV is somewhat low for this style, in my opinion. Overall, It has a very unique, easy to enjoy flavor. I'd buy this again in the future.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz., bottled on 10/4/05 - served just above fridge temp. in a nonic. Pours a deep mahogany red with a 1 finger tan head that leaves a sheet when it recedes along with some good lacing while drinking it. Smells mostly of hops (floral, spicy, and piney) but has some caramel malt behind it. Tastes the same except for added notes of citric hops, toasted malts, and alcohol. The hops are nice but the malts need to be beefed up a bit. The mouthfeel is medium, bordering on full. A decent winter warmer for the price, I just wish the alcohol were less noticeable.

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