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Redhook Winterhook | Redhook Ale Brewery

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BA SCORE
81
good
467 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:
467
Ratings:
928
Avg:
3.57
pDev:
18.77%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
81
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 467 | Ratings: 928
Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Take note of the verbiage from the "Notes / Commercial Description" portion of this entry which reads: "The recipe changes slightly every winter because nobody likes getting the exact same Holiday present year after year." This means that you should be reviewing each and every iteration on an annual basis. As of today (W, 07 Dec 2016), #'s 1 - 31 are retired. This year's is their 32nd batch. I will enter my review for that one and every other one that I can find or live to procure here, but this is a master entry, with every year being unique, ala Anchor Christmas.

2016 (#32): Another Pop! of the cap to begin this review. I would like to think that every Pop! is one-of-a-kind, but it is hard to tell. I do know that every pour and its result is different each time. An initially heavy-handed pour started a pseudo-cascade which turned into two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, light-tan head with very good retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. The nose, while malty, had a very noticeable earthiness, kind of like drying/dried hay. Mouthfeel was medium. I allowed it to lazily roll around on my tongue to bring out a base, earthy bitterness. I was put on mind of a wet-hopped AIPA in terms of its earthy bitterness. I keep mentioning bitterness, but it was not overpowering or off-putting. I was just kind of surprised by it, especially in the style. I found it to be eminently drinkable, developing a toasty breadiness as it warmed. I have to admit to expecting an overly spiced ale with a relatively high ABV, but I was not at all disappointed not to get it. I also got a light nuttiness with it as it warmed. The takeaway may be to let it live up to its style and let it warm before settling in for a drink. Finish was semi-dry to dry. I really liked the earthiness of the hops & malts & now I anticipate the next iteration with bated breath.

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

12 oz

Pours clear but very dark brown, light tan film for a head.

Smells of caramel, walnut, and biscuit malt.

Biscuit malt with pecan and walnut over a dryly bitter woody hop finish.

Medium body on the fuller side, stinging carbonation on the tongue.

Very nice drinkable dark ale, nice nutty flavors. Worth trying, better than average seasonal.

 355 characters

Photo of mrfulcher
2.84/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2016 Edition, 12oz bottle, irish imperial pint

L - Clear, red-brown body. Persistent, one finger deep, barely off-white head. Great retention, thick lacing.
S - Spring water, mildly hoppy, slight hint of spice.
T - Any spice or malt present in the aroma is overpowered by hops. One note bitterness. Aftertaste is more of the same.
F - Excessively thin.
O - Looks good, smells like hoppy water, tastes like an average american ale. Drinkable but not memorable in any way. Definitely would not peg this as a seasonal or winter warmer in a blind trial.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An earthy red and brown appearance, mostly color, not heft associated therewith. Aroma gives off some Cascade notes and winter warmer feel.

Kind of comes off thin like Samuel Smith's winter welcome ale, needs more two row. There is a nutty interior mouthfeel wise, and an almost tea like notion. A slight hop bitterness. Average stuff.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/11/2015. Pours lightly hazy reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amoutn of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, light chocolate/nuttiness, plum, apple, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, light chocolate/nuttiness, plum, apple, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, herbal, floral, pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and no astringent hop flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitterness, that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and fairly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good English strong ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampled back on 1/15/16. Comes in a 12-ounce bottle and bottled on "Sept. 28 15". Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a flute glass.

Brew pours a mahogany brown in color with a 1-2 finger creamy off-white head. A decent amount of sticky lacing was seen when sipped. Aroma is of malts, spices with a hint of floral hops. Pretty much sums up the taste as well with a very light hint of smoke and caramel also. Goes down easy with a very mild bitterness that doesn't last for the finish. Medium+ bodied with decent carbonation. A decent brew.

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Photo of pianoguy
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winterhook 31 2015

My take on this year's version...

Pours a brown not quite clear body with a beige head. Little specks of lacing. A little retention.

Smell is pine and a spicy malt

Taste is more hop forward then the smell. There is a slight bitterness. Malts and spice play catch up.

Medium thin feel

Overall : This beer sure has changed over the years. 20+ years ago this was a true winter warmer. Malt, sweetness, and hops in the background. These days it just the opposite . Hops up front with a little malt in the background. (I guess we are evolving into an IPA world) That said it is still enjoyable. If you liked last year's version 30 you will like this one. It's another step in that direction... (it's just not an old school winter warmer anymore)

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, dark amber with 1/2 inch foamy head that stays throughout. A LOT of lacing left along the glass as you finish. Sweet, malty, robust aroma -- the taste follows suit. Good amount of carbonation. For a 6.0% ABV, very easy to drink. Perfect winter warmer.

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Photo of everythingiszen
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Version #30. Tried on 12/17/14, bottled on 9/30/14. 6.0% ABV. Pours a deep dark cranberry. Lightly and finely carbonated. Heavier body, slippery mouthfeel. Smells of malt and smoke. Light subtle smokiness on the ffront of the palate, lingering smokiness. All malt, no hops, mildly bitter though. Mild winter spicing. Nice. One and done.

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Photo of gonzo000
4/5  rDev +12%

Nice brown color. Not overly spiced for a winter. Solid beer. One inch head lasts though out the beer. Would compare this to a straight brown beer.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear; medium brown; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thin collar; very nice lacing;

Smell: Piney hops are most prevalent, with toffee, caramel, and a bit of coffee in the background;

Taste: caramel malt up front, with grapefruit hops coming in at mid-palate and staying through the end; a touch of bitterness on the finish;

Mouthfeel: medium bodied; a little sticky; low to moderate carbonation:

Overall: The hoppy aroma was a nice surprise and flavor had more hop involvement than I expected as well. Very enjoyable;

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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.

 684 characters

Photo of Foyle
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: 2" cream colored head recedes rather slowly leaving significant lacing. Color is a deep copper and mostly clear with moderate carbonation bubbles visible.
Aroma: earthy, floral, and pine hops blended with a rich bread dough and caramel aroma Mouthfeel: between light and medium bodied, just slightly sticky with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: nice variety of flavors. There is a peppery spice combined with the sweet caramel and toasted bread flavor. The finish has the bitterness of the hops with just a tiny bit of alcohol warming with the swallow.
Overall: another solid and very drinkable brew from Redhook

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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...

D

 2,425 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

SAmpling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass. This was a gift from my friend Laurel.
The beer pours a clear amber hue with minimal beige head foaming up about .5 cm ad fading to an edge layer. I also see a little wispy island on the surface that seems to stick around throughout the sampling. Aroma is grainy malt and and some caramel and toffee. I dont get any real hop profile anywhere.
The first sip is average body and fine but tingly carbonation. Flavor is as the nose advertises, with a heavy malt base and caramel and toffee dominant. Again I dont get any hops or boozy bite. I do also get a little dark fruit, some red grape. This beer is pretty one dimensional but enjoyable for what it is. The beer does go down very easy and I find it a nice treat for the evening. Nothing outstanding but a nice malty treat.

 830 characters

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some herbs and spicy aromas, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and spicy flavors, that make for an interesting and complex drink. Drinks much like a Pale Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: I consider this is an interesting Pale Ale. Not what I was expecting from a Winter Ale, but good.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance / Pours darker than honey almost amber colored. Tried as I might all I could achieve was about 1 finger of frothy tan foam. Did not last long but never completely left either leaving thin lace along the way. Nice carbonation.

Smell / Toasted breads with some herbal spicy smells.

Taste / The first thing you get is a wonderful malty sweetness followed by a medium hop bitterness that is really well balanced.

Mouth Feel / Medium bodied that is creamy and slick with a long lasting finish.

Overall / When I had my first one of these I thought it was average but over the next few day I had a few more and each time I discovered something new with it. I find this to be a great example of the winter warmer style as this has become a favorite winter beer for me.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.91/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Red Hook Winter Hook No. 29 (2013) has a medium-to-thick, cream-colored head, a hazy, brown, appearance, and lots of lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, spicy, yeasty, winter or holiday gift bread, with a hop zing in the background. Taste is of all that, with a somewhat piney bitterness showing up, mid sip. Mouthfeel is medium, and Red Hook Winter Hook No. 29 (2013 version) finishes refreshing, easy drinking, and rather rich. Overall, it works, and I liked it!

RJT

 477 characters

Photo of mlm5641
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just to note, this year (winter of 2013/2014) is actually the 29th brew so some flavors noted before may sound different from what you're drinking. They tweak the recipe each year just a bit to keep things interesting. Great head with a nice dark copper/amber color below. Good balance of hops to the sweet malt so it has a bitter bite at the front followed by a smooth caramel like finish.

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Photo of mempath
4.37/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

one of the better Hooks...

deep copper appearance with decent lacing that settles

a smell of malts smothering some hops that can't wait to get to the tongue...would be a 4.0 if
it came on stronger. maybe the lager glass didn't help (try the next one in a belgian tulip?)

everything is righted once it hits what counts: taste. a really nice, almost mellow, yet certainly bold (balance) blast of rich malt guising with hop-masks...though i don't get the spice i expected, there is something really warming and calming about this. the finish is a bit short, so i have to keep taking little gulps/big sips....mouthfeel is far from thin, just right, not thick or chewy. again pretty darn good.

Red Hook's 2013-14 seasonal is pretty much spot on. and after a winter break of nothing but stellar belgian and american belgian-style winter warmers, etc, this is a nice way to save some dollars and get back to reality. recommended.

 927 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on Sep 03 13.

Red-mahogany with light passing through. Head is a sliver of an inch.

Roasted chocolate malt with a bright earthy hop aroma. Malts seem almost biscuity. A charm of sweetness. Hints of pine and spice.

Fairly bitter with hints of earthy hops, cocoa, and bitter herb. Nuances of clove-y spice. Hardly warming. Hop presence doesn't come off very fresh. Has an astringency in the way that it's bitter. Sweetness barely surfaces with toasted sugar notes.

Drinks light-medium with a burly carbonation that doesn't want to quit. A little harsh, which follows the flavor.

So many other better warmers out there to even consider wasting your time with this one. Will not seek out again.

 703 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint.

A: Medium brown. Pours a half finger, bubbly head. Settles pretty quickly, but not completely leaving a thick foam ring around the surface. Pretty nice beer ring lacing.

S: Light and bready. Orange, tea leaf, and honey.

T: Sourdough, toasty malt, roasted nuts, and peat.

M: Hearty and roasty. Lightly bittersweet finish lingers on the palate.

D: Sessionable, but worth savoring.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Fair head and some persistent lacing. Nose is bready with fruit, organic, and sweet tones. Sourdough bread, toasted grains, prominent character of nuts, and a bit of a peaty character. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

 674 characters

Photo of brewbattles
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We did a blind taste test between this and 4 other Winter Seasonals to objectively determine which one was best. They beers were: Deschutes Jubelale, Anderson Valley Boont Winter Solstice, Big Sky Powder Hound, Alaskan Winter Ale, and Redhook Winterhook. Check it out:

http://youtu.be/TJowachG1no

 297 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pouring to a dark brown color with tinges of red, Winterhook is nice in appearance. It has a good level of foam and lacing and it offers a nose of citrus, pine, and malty toffee.

Moving to the taste, Winterhook impresses even more. This winter warmer has a flavor similar to what the nose leads you to expect, but with greater intensity. It does have flavors of citrus, pine, and toffee, but I can also detect other flavors like bread, earthy hops, and even a touch of chocolate, tea, and herbs. The complexity is greater than expected and the beer remains reasonably smooth.

Winterhook reinvented itself this year as Winterhook #29 and this seasonal brew is among the better ones I have tasted in the series. You don’t get the nutmeg/cinnamon and other spices like you commonly taste in the typical winter seasonal. This is a more straight- forward beer without the holiday additives. I like it more and more with each passing sip and I think it is safe to say that most guests at your next holiday party will feel the same. Give it sampling and enjoy the taste of the season, courtesy of Redhook.

 1,103 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo. 2013 edition. Part of a haul of Christmas themed ales I picked up for the season. Unique bottle design, to say the least.

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut ruby in colour, with a quarter inch of light foam that recedes into a thick ring.

Nose is still fairly malt-forward, but there is a nice earthy grassy hop presence coming through as well.

Solid winter warmer that is malty enough to fall within that heavier brewing category, but has enough pale ale elements to be quite drinkable. Malty, bit of chocolate, earthy hops, light taste of pine, bit of fruit and spice, grassiness. Mild booziness to it.

Tasty enough brew - it isn't the big winter warmer I was expecting, but it is certainly a tasty ale with a good hop presence.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.57 out of 5 based on 928 ratings.
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