Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002) | Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002)Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002)
Liked This Beer
3.38 w/ 43 ratings
Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002)Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002)

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.58%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-17-1998

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of Brewzzle
4.06/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After a trip to the Redhook Brewery and sampling all their current offerings their Robust Winter Ale was the only one to really make an impression.

It pours to a rich redish/brown color with a delicate and fleeting head. The aroma is well rounded, nice smooth malt with a hint of hops, leaves a warm and inviting sensation in the nose.

To taste, it is all it promises to be. A medium body, eases itself into the mouth and warms you up. A light hop bitterness balances the sweetness of the malt. There is very little aftertaste, perhaps a touch of sweetness but that is about all.

All in all, a simple, well balanced slightly strong ale, very easy to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of BeerBob
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winterhook Robust Winter Ale pours a very dark amber from a 12oz brown twist off cap glass bottle. Light cream head just made it to two fingers with firm dense foam that laces well.

Nose is a sweet malt with floral hops and palate is good sweet malt. The tettnang hops provide a nice mild bitter along with a pleasant floral aroma.

Winterhook is a nice arrangement of malted barley and hops for a tasty winter treat with the alcohol by volume at 6.11%.

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Photo of sinistersteve
4.01/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I needed to fill up a couple of empty holes on my SN Celebration Ale sixer and this seemed like a good choice. Well, looks like choose a good one. This carmel-colored ale had a small head to it, but went away rather quickly. No lace decorates my glass though. Nice malty flavor that doesn't overdo it with hops. A good winter ale overall

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Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/04/01 & 11/28/01 [2001 Limited Bottling] -- Tasted 10/02 & 11/17/02:

Bronze and amberish (auburn maybe) / very clear / light tan head (head disipated quickly in the 10/04/01 version but not the 11/28/01 version - strange). Light Hop aroma. Great balance with a spicy malt character and a nice hoppy finish (moderate bitterness)... I think I also detected a portion of light Chocolate malt (esp. in the 2000 version). Best after 6 mos and before 1 year.

NOTE: As I understand it, the Winterhook may be the original RH ESB before A-B changed the recipe a few years back ... that was around the time I quit drinking the ESB because it just didn't have the same great taste.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/30/02 - less than 2 months old. Knowing that this is not a beer to cellar I promptly opened my bottle of Winterhook 2002. The neck label reads "Quality Endures", and it probably will hold for some time, but I have never found it to improve with age. Drink this one fresh. That said... It pours a clear reddish-copper with a foamy light tan head that drops quickly to a decent collar but leaves no surface covering. The aroma offers some very mild fruit and light spice over a thin caramel maltiness. The body is medium with a very fine carbonation that's lower than might be expected (@ 2.0 volumes CO2) and gives it a lightly tingly and smoothly creamy mouthfeel - particularly as it warms. I find it adds to the character of the beer. The flavor starts with some spicy & toasty maltiness, followed by a light fruitiness, and finishes drying with some lingering softly piney & mineral-like hops. If spices are added I'm guessing that nutmeg is included. Although this beer isn't a stunner on its own, it does pair really well with a variety of foods. A good beer to enjoy during a holiday dinner. Best served at cellar temperature to bring out it's malty sweetness and full range of flavors.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hope that this is my last winter brew of the year 2003(what a winter) with spring starting to make itself known. That being said this was a very good beer taht I wouldn't necissarily need to drink during the winter to enjoy. There was almost no head and very little lace on top of a fine copper liquid. The smell was not at all heavy or overbearing with a nice balance of sweetness. Taste was also sweet with very distinct notes of mango and mellon as well as some tart cherry flavors as well. Overall a beer that I would not mind buying more of winter or summer.

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Photo of kunzbrew
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a sexy copper color with a light creamy head that lingers a little. Leaves a sexy lace behind. Malt taste is good with hints of spices with a woody taste. Hops are lacking but overall not to bad of a holiday strong ale.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark copper color, pours with a moderate head that develops a bit slowly and then fades to a paper thin layer, lots of fine slow-rising carbonation, good lace. Roasted malt, and some winter spice notes dominate the aroma. The taste is rich, smooth, very malty and somewhat sweet, with hints of chocolate, citrus, and alcohol, quite warming. The hops assert themselves early, with the finish being dominated by the roasted malts, slight sweetness, and hints of fruit and spices. A very nice winter beer.

Winterhook is one of Redhook's trio of seasonal brews, along with Nut Brown Ale and Blonde Ale. It is generally available during the late fall and early winter season.

Update for 2002 bottling: Still simply excellent, a treat to be enjoyed on a cold winter's day.

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Photo of zacharius
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drinking this beer on tap is much tastier than the bottled version, I can't quite put my finger on what is different but it seems a slight bit sweeter on tap. This beer has a nice aroma with hints of roasted barley and hops. The aroma and flavor that follows match nicely. This is a great easy drinking seasonal ale that even non-microbrew guests can enjoy.

My main problem with the brew is that it is billed as a robust winter ale which makes you expect a strong winter warmer but to this standard Winterhook comes up thin. While mild flavored beer with broad appeal is a hallmark of Redhook, this is by far their best beer. Don't expect a winter warmer but instead a nice amber ale with a touch of darker roasted malts.

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Photo of JahNoth
3.66/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very drinkable, but nothing special. Not malty enough for my taste, decent dose of hops though. Nice bitter finish.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.66/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Made on 09Oct02
Drank on 01Mar03

Tan-yellow head, deep amber body and spotty lacing.

Rich malty aroma

This is a really complex beer. Starts out with predominately multigrain dark bread taste, which changes into a more floral middle palate and ends with malted mild bitter finish.

Nothing exciting about the mouthfeel.

Bottle states that this is a robust winter ale, and I think that this is not a very accurate description, in that it is delicious it is s not robust.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz fat brown twisty. Picture of Old Man Winter blowing with a clearly marked freshness date.

Appearance: Deep copper in colour with a full-bodied appearance and creamy, thin head.

Smell: Rich caramel, hints of fruit, mild dextrin sweetness and a touch of grain.

Taste: A very complex flavour begins with a somewhat sharp, chewy malt that goes tangy with a combination of hop bitterness and husk (grain). The brew ends with with notes of hop, dry grain and residual sweetness. Nice hop finish.

Notes: This is not a great Winter Ale, but, a more than decent one -- and well worth a try.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, well-carbonated, with a thin prickly head which dissipates quickly. Aroma is somewhat weak, but is dominated by citric hop boquet and a decent malt sweetness. The flavor has a lot of sweet, slightly toasted malt, with a hint of caramel and some understated but pleasant spicy notes. Light fruity flavors as well, especially in the aftertaste, where it combines with a husky grain flavor. Dry finish. A fairly crisp beer, though perhaps a bit too light in the mouth for a 'robust' winter brew. Pleasant, but somehow unsatisfying.

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Photo of psugrad98
3.57/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark in color with off white slightly tan head. Thick and chewey mouthfeel with sweet maltiness with firm hop bitterness and slight huskiness. Average brew, nontheless. Still tasty.

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Photo of Jarod
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a brownish red color into the glass. The head was white in color, semi thick but not real long lasting. About 1-2 inches that dissipated to a thin line after a minute. No lace seemed to be present at the end. The aroma was of malt, grain some fruit to make it sweet and a tad hops. The aroma was there, but had to be swirled to awaken the smells. The taste was semi-sweet malt, hints of caramel and fruit (pears or apples, might be hints of cherries present as well), some spices peak through along with the hops. There is a small aftertaste left over. Not what I am used to when it comes to a “winter” brew. Seemed to need something more, but not bad.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer that I haven't had in a couple of years. This beer pours dark amber in color with a small off white head. The smell is sweet with hints of raspberry or some other berry. The taste is similar but with a healthy dose of malt. Kind of one dimensional. The ending is a bit disappointing as a lot of the flavor doesn't seem to last. I have to say that I like this better than some Winter Seasonals but it doesn't top my list.

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Photo of tigerpaws
3.51/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Though usually I am not the biggest fan off special winter brews this is a very good one. Very good deep color and nice head. No aroma there to speak off but goes well with heavy soups and heavier foods. I recommend trying this beer and with a heavy hearty meal.............CHEERS

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

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with a bottled on date on the side of the label. 2002 Limited Bottling is stated on the neck.

Appearance: Thin yet sticky off white lace, brilliant filtered clarity with a deep orangey amber hue.

Smell: Clean fruity and ester aroma with mild malt notes and a faint hop in the mix.

Taste: Somewhat smooth with a placid crispness. Weak medium body shows a good amount of malt but lacks in complexity as a stays in a monotone toasted sweetness throughout most of the glass. Touch of mild fruitiness, esters and hop round the brew out a bit. Some earthy hop adds a level of flavour middle to end. Finishes a tad sweet.

Notes: A decent winter warmer / strong ale, beef the malt up a bit more to add some depth and character and this would be more than just decent. Worth a try and still a good stable brew to have around the holidays to mix things up.

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

Fruity, caramel sweetness with hints of roasted malts in the back. Not much hop character,but that's not what this beer is about. All in all, a decent winter brew that I was happy to see being served at a Christmas cocktail party last night. I might even go out and get some of my own.

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Photo of johnrobe
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I guess the picture on the label is that of fearsome "Old Man Winter". Too bad. Somehow it seems inappropriate marketing for a "Robust Winter Ale" that lacks punch both in flavor and ABV. Not that it is altogether bad, just somewhat of a "winter session brew" (something I consider to be an oxymoron). Caramel malt dominates what little aroma there is. A light candy-like malt flavor is most evident on the palate, with some tea-like hops making a brief appearance for balance only. Some graininess and bit of metallic taste on the finish. Mouthfeel is too thin for a winter brew.

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Photo of Morris729
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish amber color with a thin off-white colored head that fades into a bubbly lace. Nose is malty with notes of caramel and fruit. Medium in body with lots of toasted malt flavor. Other flavors are hard to detect over the malt, but there are faint notes of semi-sweet chocolate, dark caramel, and raisin. Some mildly spicy hops and some alcohol notes come through in the finish. I wouldn’t call this much of a winter warmer, but it’s a decent beer, especially if you like malty brews.

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Photo of cokes
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep scarlet brown. Thin, yet persistent bone-colored head.
Lightly fruity on the nose with evident citric hops.
Taste begins with ghosts of caramel sweetness, which switches quickly to some sugary fruit tones. No specific fruits particularly stand out. From here it turns lightly toasted and grainy before riding out with a subtle flourish of sweetened citric hops.
Doesn't seemed fully developed. There are several interesting things happening, but it never pulls anything together and ends up seeming half-assed.
Thinnish in the mouth, especially for a winter seasonal.
Nonetheless, this is decent in a pinch. I like it quite a bit better than last year's version (for whatever reason).

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Photo of vitesse
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served in 12 oz. brown bottle.
appearance is nice reddish amber color. not quite dark enough for a "Robust winter ale," but decent fluffy head that dissipates somewhat quickly. smell is malty. taste is good, but not strong enough for a winter ale. maltiness is very smooth and the flavor leaves a nice hoppy aftertaste.
the mouthfeel is just too thin. this beer needs to more body.
drinkability is high. there's no overpowering alcohol presence in it.
overall, this is a pretty good brown ale. the flavor is nice and balanced, just needs to be "bigger."

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Photo of StevieW
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper to reddish amber in color. Nice fluffy white head. Some spotty lacing. Smell was sublte sweet malt, not much else to note. Taste was mostly maltly. Toasted toffe and some nutty flavors. I guess I expected more spices. Some hop bitterness initially. Flavors seem to fall apart as it sat in the glass. A little thin and watery finish for such a good looking dark beer. I kept waiting for something spectacular to happen, but never did. Not a bad tasting beer, but there are so many great flavorful winter seasonals, I think this one gets lost in the shuffle.

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Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured kind of a amber color with frothy head that left a little lace around the glass.Real malty cakey smell,with am malted background in the taste pretty weak I guess though compared to alot of winter style beers.The body was not thick enough for me either.

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Redhook Winterhook Robust Winter Ale (1985-2002) from Redhook Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 18.6% out of 100 with 43 ratings
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