Winterhook
Redhook Brewlab

WinterhookWinterhook
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #237
ABV:
6%
Score:
82
Ranked #42,645
Avg:
3.62 | pDev: 13.26%
Reviews:
477
Ratings:
956
From:
Redhook Brewlab
 
Washington, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  28
Gots
  90
SCORE
82
Good
WinterhookWinterhook
Notes: 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
Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 956 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours brown with a tan head. Head retention is medium.

Smell: It is malty with a spicy and malt combination. It has a potato like note with a slight bit of mustiness.

Taste: It has malty flavors with a bit of chocolate and potato. There are some spices to is as well.

Feel: It has a medium body with moderate bitterness.

Overall, it has a odd combination of flavors, however, it is easy drinking.

Feb 17, 2020
Photo of SmokySignals
SmokySignals from North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle of REDHOOK WINTERHOOK (Hoppy Brown Ale) from new 2019 fall hoppy hook mix 12 box on sale for $12, so of course. Cheaper than Budweiner sake...
Poured into mug, it's a dark, clear brown , with nice full 2-3 finger head that falls at. nice pace, and leaves lacing in the re-used mug.
There are some nice smells politely present, but I cannot really identify them
Taste-wise, it's pretty basic, and not really good enough to follow anything else like a good porter or stout, but it may be a good first/last/dinner beer on a cool evening. Nothing offensive, but not much in the malts or body of it. Fairly pleasant but nothing to really adhere to and describe . Dry and hoppy, so it is as advertised. May be better as a fall/summer beer.
The feel of the beer is nice, smooth, has enough body, and is well-carbonated.
Overall, it's a weak pedestrian dark beer with more booze than a usual brown. Low-brow holiday party beer maybe?
Should be good enough for a Thursday night game and some crappy snacks/snappy cracks, but it's honestly not that great.

Nov 21, 2019
Photo of rarigney
rarigney from Washington

3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2018 version is a hoppy dark lager. It’s malty on the nose and palate, but has a nice herbal hop bitterness as well. It’s crisp and clean and goes down way too easily.

Dec 21, 2018
Photo of Gdobber
Gdobber from Washington

4.63/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz in a tulip:
Look: Mahogany, looks like Ice tea. 1/2 finger head that was a foamy cream. Beautiful looking beer.
Smell: Delicious. chocolate, raspberry, hint of orange. Nutmeg, spices, slight fruity hop character.
Taste: fruity malty front that turns a fruity bitter. Finishes slightly more earthy bitterness but alternates with a dark fruit.
Feel: about average. Wish it was a bit thicker and syrupy.
Overall: solid winter beer.

Jan 20, 2018
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2016-17 bottle.
Pours with a dark mahogany body that has excellent clarity and is topped by a durable, foamy beige head. Soapy lacing.
Aroma mildly to moderately spicy.
Flavor: winter spices, moderate in strength, with earthy hops and faint dark bread. Moderately bitter.

Overall: a good hoppy dark ale with limited winter spices.

Apr 02, 2017
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing this #30 way late but I lucked out because it is still so good. If it was going to be nasty because i let it age too long, I was just going to wait until WH #33 came out to review it.

Very pinkish copper-amber, semi-opaque. Head of fluffy, foamy, chunky, well-retaining golden tan. Decent lacing. Aromas of resin, leather, a little gingerbread, and just a pinch of dark or caramelized fruit. Palate definitely has a caramel and slight dark fruit backdrop, but the hops and spices all but overwhelm these, with a burst of dankness, leaf matter, a handful of nondescript winter spices, and extreme peppercorn well before retro-olfaction. Medium to nearly full in body, well-carbonated enough to not seem overly thick, soft suds at first, but prickles by the finish at a standard drinking pace. Mildly astringent.

Mar 17, 2017
Photo of andrewh995
andrewh995 from Arizona

3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not too sure what to say about this one. It's very good and very warming as the type suggests. But I've never had anything like it so I can't compare it to much. Mildly spicy with aspects from both a darker beer and a maltier beer.

Feb 20, 2017
Photo of jth63
jth63 from Rhode Island

4.21/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly I liked this more than expected. Most winter ales are too sweet, spicy or malty. This is well balanced and not loaded with shit that doesn't belong in beer. It does finish a little bitter, but that's okay with me. I think the low ratings are the result of the reviewers expecting lots of nutmeg, allspice, cloves or some other ingredient that doesn't belong.

Jan 22, 2017
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nobbyv from New Hampshire

2.17/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

This is for the 32nd bottling of Winterhook, purchased in a 12-pack on 1/7/2017, poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a darkish brown. Good malty smell. Initial sip is malty with some nutty undertones. This lasts for a solid 3-4 seconds, but then gives way to an overpoweringly bitter aftertaste. Finished two and then gave up on it. Can't drink anymore.

Not a good representation of the style, and not a good beer overall.

Jan 16, 2017
Photo of Mardukk
Mardukk from Ohio

2.38/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours cloudy brown with an off white head. Head and lacing present. The smell is toasted nutty.

The taste is pretty nice nutty with some malt up front. Where this goes wrong is the mid to aftertaste. Any nutty malt is overpowered by a very bitter smoky burnt taste on the back of my tongue. The off putting bitterness lingers and lingers. There are not enough malts to help balance this very bitter ale.

Burnt and bitter are not two qualities I look for in a winter ale. Not recommended.

Jan 04, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Dec 08, 2016
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Nov 26, 2016
Photo of mrfulcher
mrfulcher from Virginia

2.84/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

Nov 11, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Aug 22, 2016
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Jul 05, 2016
Photo of BeerWithMike
BeerWithMike from Nebraska

3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Feb 06, 2016
Photo of pianoguy
pianoguy from Washington

3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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)

Nov 01, 2015
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
oldirtycaffrey from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Jan 05, 2015
Photo of everythingiszen
everythingiszen from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Dec 18, 2014
Photo of gonzo000
gonzo000 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of CTHomer
CTHomer from Connecticut

3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
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;

Nov 30, 2014
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy from Ohio

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Foyle
Foyle from North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
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

Apr 27, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

2.09/5  rDev -42.3%
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

Apr 21, 2014
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Mar 20, 2014
Winterhook from Redhook Brewlab
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 956 ratings