Redhook Winterhook | Redhook Ale Brewery

BA SCORE
81
good
473 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:
473
Ratings:
943
Avg:
3.57
pDev:
13.45%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
86
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 473 | Ratings: 943
Photo of Jadjunk
3.37/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#106. And the 400th review of this beer, good timing. This is very likely the last "winter beer" I have left in my chiller, although I go out of my way to get the things that are going out for the season before the freshest things arrive. This will be my first review of a Redhook beer, and since I have tried a few Winter Warmers in the past, I have some general expectations and criterion when reviewing this one.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Hmm, perhaps this may have been better consumed at an earlier date. Quarter finger depth head is the most I can get from this pour. What little left there is to retain holds back for the most part, but this has a very weak premiere. The color is a copper deep gold, a pretty light shade for a winter warmer but not very original by coloration standards. Despite dismal head size, there's an enormous amount of very small, busy carbonation bubbles littering this beer. I'm determined to investigate this at an earlier date next season to affirm the head quality, but regardless, the appearance is pretty bland. 2

(Smell) Malts out on top, some caramel and dark fruit tones are easiest to pick out of this brew. It has a airy sweet aroma with a bit of (presumably holiday) spice that tingles the nose hairs. Earthy hops are hidden to nonexistent in the aroma, which I'm indifferent to in regards to the style which could go either way. The aroma sends a wariness that this beer may be too sweet; even if my fears are incorrect, the aroma needs slightly better balance or some more complimentary flavors to round it out more. Burnt sugars, toasty caramel, heavier spice emphasis would all do well here. Potency is also lacking, needs more volume. There's improvements to be made, but if the flaws have anything to do with the aging of this 4 month old brew, then my suggestions are to consume it as soon as possible. 2.5

(Taste) More robust malty flavor with a bit of a grains and some definite nutty tones. Alcohol ties with some caramel flavors and hides well for a warmer. It's almost the dominant flavor in the beer and some people aren't going to like it, but as a Winter Warmer, it belongs. Spice isn't quite as easy to find as it may have been in the nose, but a very slight alcoholic peppermint finish is just barely there- like a nod farewell to the passing season. There's some decent character to this brew, fortunately the quality of the taste has survived the new year better than the rest of the qualities. A fairly easy Winter Warmer to drink in moderate amounts and there's a better balance in here than in the nose. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The alcohol hints tingle the mouth some, and paired with a heavily carbonated airy first wash creates some boldness in the brew. I think it's well done; it matches what the taste was going for and compliments the peak moments from the alcohol and spices (or peppermint tingle, which I may be hallucinating up for the most part). Fortunately not a prickly drag through and through; there's some middle ground for settling the smooth characteristics, which match the medium maltiness that the beer has to offer. There's a medium body here and alcohol is tucked away well (for a Winter Warmer). Does it's job here exceptionally well. 4.5

(Drinkability) This is where I'm going to have to admit my flaw in getting this beer as late as I had. I think that obtaining a six pack early in the season is a much better choice. It isn't super filling but is very enjoyable and can manage alcohol tastes and amount well. In addition, there were no astringent or out-of-character tastes, but there was a great deal of flavor variety. It has me warm, like it intended. This is a three-bottle-a-day beer for me if I act wisely next year. In case you were wondering, that's a real good thing. 4

Verdict: I came down hard on this beer's appearance and aroma but I would like to think that the excessive aging may have had some sort of a negative impact on that. However, the taste and mouthfeel didn't fade nearly as much; in fact they may have flourished. This was a good introductory beer into Redhook's lineup for me. I will recommend, but also insist that the drinker gets the beer as soon as it comes out, so keep your eyes peeled and don't expect to be disappointed. B- (3.43)

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear amber body with a nice one finger white head. Decent lacing along the glass. Looks good.

Unfortunately, looks are the best feature of this beer. Faint lager-type aroma of malt. The flavor is also lacking. Bready malt taste with maybe a hint of the expected winter spices in the background.

Perhaps freshness of the keg is in play here. But, it was recommended by the bartender as a "hoppy" beer. Wrong. Average offering at best.

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Photo of maleman
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle had a born-on date. Poured dark amber with one finger head that had a short retention before receding into a tight cap. Clingy lacing.

S - hops and pine evident on first note.

T - a smooth nutty flavor with a bit of hops and some pepper. Some bread in the aftertaste.

M - maybe a little less than what I'd call medium-bodied. tasted in the back of the mouth. average carbonation.

D - not a bad quaff. i'd hit up a six to share with friends with no reservation at all.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a 2 1/2+ finger head. Slightly bready on top of a network of loosely formed bubbles. Beautiful amber in color. Tinges of copper & orange. Lacing is great.

S: A little metallic note in the aroma. Malty. Floral. A little reminiscent of an evening by the lake.

T: Bright hop flavor into great deep unsweetened chocolate flavors. Malty & nice. Grainy.

M: Good amount of carbonation for the style. A little chewiness and oiliness.

D: Not "sessionable" IMO, but very nice for one or two. Good winter seasonal beer.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overall, a nice beer to have throught the winter months (as the name would suggest) Bready, spicy aroma with somewhat of a fruited undertone. Appears a ruddy brown color, seems to glow under bar room lighting. Hints of spices are laced throughout the breadiness of this beer. Overall, for a winter "heavier" beer, its incredibly easy to drink. Could session it. Great beer to try, would be a hit even with not craft brew afficianados.

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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 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 CooperEllis
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into .3l tulip bottled on 11-22-10

Excellent overall aroma, appearance combination. It has a dark amber body, perhaps a bit of ruby coloring in the right light, nice head that leaves solid lacing across the glass and through the entire pour.

Malty, grainy flavor. It is gentle and robust, full of a subtle sweetness that plays on the palate.

Mild mouthfeel, middling body. Seems a touch undercarbonated, but really it's certainly fine just not exceptional.

Very enjoyable overall, I think this will ultimately be viewed as a less than the sum of it's parts, but an easy to enjoy winter warmer.

(90th)

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

Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle to Imperial Pint glass. Bottled on 11-17-10. $7.99 a 6-pack.

Appearance: Huge foamy beige head. Great retention. Patchy clumpy lacing. Color is burnt orange almost copper and completely transparent. Head sticks around all the way to the end.

Smell: Citrus and earthy hops. Lemon rind. Very malty.

Taste: Sweet upfront with semi bitter hops in the finish. Roasted malt aftertaste. Cinnamon and ginger. Lingering citrus.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium to full and smooth due to a low carbonation.

Drinkability: High

Why does nobody seem to talk about this beer? $7.99 a 6-pack, are you kidding me? I will definitely get this again. A highly drinkable and tasty winter ale.

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Photo of nukem5
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice clear copper color just looking at all the carb bubbling up inside...Good frothy tan cap that thins out but stays for the ride just dragging down the sides of giass.

S: Instantly the lemony zest of citrus hits the nose, very nice hop aroma and a touch of malty sweetness.

T: Poured into a pint glass and sadly the taste did not match the power of the aroma of hops, was a bit thin in the flavor dept.Not a bad thing but not as much hops as hoped from smell. Good balance of malts and hops.

M: Medium to light body slight metallic taste, Still loving the laceing on the glass, good retention indeed.

D: Very drinkable and the folks at Redhook dont often dissapoint with any beers I have tried, Great way to relax after work on a snowy winters day.

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Photo of Brent
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like the sign on a junkyard I sometimes pass: "striving to be above average." Nice brown-copper color. Lots of nutty roasted malt notes, leaning a bit toward the sweet side. Winter warmer? More of a robust brown ale. Pleasant but not memorable.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear mahogany color with a solid, white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts.

Tastes of the toasted malts mostly. Malts are characterized by toasted notes with caramel. Slight amount of hops make their way through and add a grassy, leafy taste, but it still is relatively sweet. Overall, the flavors are a little weak and I just want more.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - Red color, clear, with about a finger's worth of light beige-colored foam. Good carbonation.

Smell - light malty smell, but with the hint of hops. Maybe a hint of nuts.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Malty/Nutty taste at the beginning, sweetness in the middle, and bitterness from the hops at the finish. Texture is a little on the creamier side.

Drinkability - Not a bad brew. A little bitter, but not too much, just right for my taste buds. It seems a little light actually for a Winter Warmer, but the nutty flavor does bring out a bit more fuller quality.

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Photo of isualum12
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Today I grabbed Redhook's Winterhook. This beer is available October through December. There is a clear red clean crisp looking beer. There is a small lacy head that flows across the top of the beer like a small sheet of ice.

The first taste I could pull out a strong flavor of pilsner along with some low flavor of toffee, caramel and spice. The spice at first came across as coffee flavor but I didn't get it in any taste again after the first. Refreshing is what came to my mind during the aftertaste.

Drinkabliy is great.

give it a chance...

http://beerandboise.wordpress.com

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Photo of climax
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The nice foamy head crept up on me. The clarity was admirable through the deep amber color. The head retention rocked, and so did the lacy notches as I proceeded. Good start.

The nose had excellent balance. The hop bitterness was up front while the malt rushed in with toasty sweet tones. Toffee, caramel, cinnamon and spice added a festive nature to the pine hop aromas.

I'm starting to think that I have found Redhook's best brew by far. The flavor doesn't knock me out, but it does not disappoint. As for winter warmers go, this one isn't bursting with cozy warmth of alcohol, but it does offer good balance and ample intensity.

The body is medium at most, and has plenty of smooth feel and carbonation to keep it alive. It is by no means a sipper by the fire, but the lingering bitter finish offers excellent drinkability, and enough flavor to satisfy.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the winter sampler pack
A=Pours a great looking dark copper color, the head is about a 1 finger that fades away fairly rapidly but the lacing is out of this world, the glass is nearly completely covered in it.
S=Not very strong smelling, some sweet malt, and a bit of hop.
T=A bit of spiced hop combines with the backbone of malt to make a well balanced yet simple taste. The hops rear their heads more in the aftertaste than anywhere else.
M=Medium bodied, good aftertaste
D=surprisingly filling, I'd stick to one or two of these in a night

Another offering from Redhook thats worth a look but not worth any sort of extra effort to obtain

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Photo of tbern007
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

3.0 across the board.
Copper clear. Thin to no head. Undercarbonated.
Light hop/earthy smell, maybe some grass.
Taste is mild all around. Every Redhook beer I've had tastes like a good beer that has been watered down. This one is no exception. Light hop, mal. If this is a winter beer, where are the spices? I detect NONE. Mild sweet aftertaste. This beer is decent and drinkable but I sure had higher expectations. Average all around.

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Photo of JK4Stout
3.82/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip...because I'm fancy.
Also I let Red Hook brew breath for about ten minutes. Just tend to enjoy it more that way.

A: Very nice crystal clear mahoghany. tiny amounts of head, but not anytihng alarming. Bubbling very jovially through the glass.

S: This is new! I get kind of a minty note here. Like when my bro makes Mint tea or something. I know that isn't in it, but that is the cool smell I'm getting...at least tonight.

T: The aftertaste is very refreshing. I know that isn't the prefered phrase you want to here, but it is. I suppose it is that light mint note. Anyway very well balanced malt flavor, and that trademark Red Hook bitterness.

M: Nothing wrong with it, nothing spectacular. I just don't get excited when a beer is appropriate...sorry

D: I am all for getting another 6er of this. That really is the best way to tell if you enjoy a beer. Will I be buying this again? You betcha!

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

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A - Pours a slightly hazy orangish/light copper color. A tint above a typical pale lager. Heading was practically not there and not much lacing.

S - Sweet malt is a dominant smell with a nutty like characteristic. No hop aromas...and there's a holiday spice in the mix.

T - Bitter upfront to start. Almost getting a citrusy kick towards the middle. Perhaps a grapefruit type citrus. And towards the end, you're left with a strong bready cracker taste.

M - Light to Medium bodied. Not a bad brew in the bunch that i've tried for Christmas.

D - It's a bit on the bitter side, but it's definitely one to sip on and enjoy while watching the snow outside.

It's not an above average beer, but after sampling all the watery beers i've had today, it tastes like a champion.

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

12oz bottle pulled from my fridge poured into a standard pint. 10 12 10 notched on the label.

pours out a slightly cloudy orange amber color. small white head that faded to a super thin creamy layer with tiny spotty lace.

not a huge aroma, but it displays a nice balance. theres some citrus hops balanced by a nice toasty biscuity malt.

crisp and refreshing, nicely balanced between citrus, spicy hops and biscuity, caramely, toasted malt. decent amount of hop bitterness. simple, but still quite a tasty offering.

bright assertive carbonation, perhaps a bit too much. light to medium in body.

definatly one of the more drinkable winter warmers. its cheap, widely available, offers a sessionable ABV, decent hops, i definatly would recommend this.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle - dated 10 19 10

Poured into beer glass - Red chestnut in color, one finger head that quickly dissipated into a clinging lace that left it's mark all the way down the glass, great carbonation.

Smell -light hint's of toasty malts slight spices ,mild coco.

Taste - Toasted malts with light spicing,light chocolates.

Drinkabilty - Winter HOOK Ale is a rich, full bodied beer. caramels, chocolate and toasty malts, w/a plethora of hops.

Beautifully balanced, very drinkable.

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Photo of DJW
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the last bottle on the shelf at Redmond Trader Joe's. And the brief:
Appearance: med-dark amber or deep copper - clear, w/ a decent head, and lacing still on my empty glass. I thought the beer would pour a darker color.

Smell: light malts and some Cascade hops... more on the citrus hop side of things to my schnoz, but I'm getting over a cold. Inviting (the beer, not the cold).

Taste: nice balance between caramel malts and the hops, with a little biscuity sweetness peeking in at times only to be brought back by the firm hop presence. Finish is lightly bitter and made me salivate ("watery"), which made me want to take another sip.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions: nice and pleasant but not freaking amazing. I think this little option would fit more in a NW IPA category rather than a Winter Warmer, but who am I to advise Redhook? I'll have to try a Jubelale, Snowcap, Celebration, and Sammy Smith Winter Welcome in the near future to see if the Winterhook is more like an IPA or if my preferences/familiarities have changed.

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Photo of beerdown77
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured dark amber with notable head that stuck around for a while. It smelled and tasted malty and toasty. It had a well balanced taste that wasn't too sweet or smoky. I would classify this as moderately crisp and medium bodied, making it easy to have a few of these in a row. However, after i finished, I started to get that sour, muck taste that sometimes follows beer. I still think Winterhook is pretty solid and will come back to it next winter.

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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 echoes
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass.

A: Pours a very thick head with lots of carbonation. Head dissipates very slowly and leaves some lacing. Color of beer is dark amber with little carbonation.

S: Malt/hops, citrus, caramel smell. Smell is noticeable, not great, but not bad.

T: Hops, citrus, caramel, and slight chocolate flavor. Flavors blend well, well enough that the chocolate is barely detectable (to me). A little bitter (but not bad) for a supposed ale.

M: Slightly thick but smooth as well as slightly syrupy.

D: Nothing about it would put me off from another, but then again the flavor and everything else isn't necessarily enough to make want another, if that isn't contradictory.

Fits the winter warmer style nicely. It is certainly distinct though. I like it, but compared to the other winter warmer I've had (Alaskan Winter Ale/Warmer) I prefer the latter.
Overall decent for a winter warmer. Would drink it again but wouldn't necessarily buy it again.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.57 out of 5 based on 943 ratings.
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