Winterhook
Redhook Brewlab

WinterhookWinterhook
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #227
ABV:
6%
Score:
82
Ranked #44,546
Avg:
3.62 | pDev: 13.26%
Reviews:
478
Ratings:
957
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: 478 | Ratings: 957 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by sulldaddy:
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
More User Reviews:
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 Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One winter seasonal that I have probably seen the most improvement over the years is Winterhook. Its been around since 1985 in one form or another but seems to be on the stable path for several years now. Bright clarity off of the deep copper color brew, awesome looking lacing as it leaves a web like trail down the glass. Malty aroma of toasted grain and caramel, hint of floral and grassy hops as well. The smoothness is certainly there with a small crispness that drops off quick in the medium body. Spicy, herbal and bit time floral hop flavor don a balanced bitterness that lingers far into the drying finish.

High in drinkability, flavorful and a bit complex yet approachable enough to bring to a holiday party. By far its one of my favorites each year.

Dec 18, 2007
Photo of Wildman
Wildman from Ohio

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

This beer poured a dark copper color and formed a nice, off white bubbly head that left trace lace as it subside. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops and some caramel. A flavor of malt, caramel with some hops present. The body is fairly thin for this style and the finish is a touch on the bitter side. Just not terribly impressed with this one, which is about par for this brewery.

Feb 01, 2004
Photo of JasonA
JasonA from Massachusetts

2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark lager with little carbonated fizzy head which is a pure white. Not exactly what I would have expected for the style.

Smells a little bitter and biting. I dont sense any depth, little hops.

Not much spice, not much flavor for the style. No depth, not much of much.

Feels ok, maybe a little over carbonated.

Rather move forward from the beer than back to it. So many other options out there, I dont see myself wanting another one of these.

Dec 20, 2006
Photo of JDizzle
JDizzle from Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Mar 28, 2013
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BrianCuoz from New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Jan 29, 2014
Photo of BeerBob
BeerBob from Nebraska

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winterhook Winter Ale pours midnight red from a 12oz dark brown bottle with a pry off cap. Light tan head went to over two fingers with a firm pour into my 16oz beer tumbler. Some foam was left over after the settling out and consisted of a full ring with islands of foam here and there about the surface of the beer. The walls of my glass were garnished with ample lace as well.

Nose is spice central, with clove, coriander, and herbal pine. Palate is a major Winter Ale Spice treat. Clove, coriander, herbal pine, and orange peel are well represented.

Tasty and complex, Winterhook “Winter Ale” of 2005, is sure to put most anyone in the holiday spirit with it’s 6.0 alcohol by volume,
printed on the label.

Date on bottle 100305, no best by or born on info that I could find, either on the label or the paper six pack.

Oct 29, 2005
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear chestnut amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that gradually died down and left thick lacing down the sides of the glass and a thin layer of bubbles consistently coating the surface.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and nutty malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and quite malty with some initial hints of sweetness and some hints of spices in the finish. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is little if any warming from the alcohol.
O: There’s not much ‘warming’ in this Winter Warmer, but it is an easy-to-drink winter beer if you are looking for something that is malty and fuller bodied.

Jan 31, 2012
Photo of notsoprobeer
notsoprobeer from Oregon

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with an off-wide head—very nice looking. It has a malty aroma that reminds me of a pilsner lager. Flavor of sweet and caramel malts with a very subtle hop presence. Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, and a dry finish. Very drinkable.

Winterhook is a nice beer that I think most would enjoy. However, it's not memorable. Given the light hop flavor, I never would have guessed that Redhook used 4 hop varieties. Lastly, I don't understand what makes it a winter seasonal. It's a very middle-of-the-road beer that doesn't offer anything unique or different.

Aug 10, 2011
Photo of prock180
prock180 from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Jan 04, 2014
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CharlesRiver from Connecticut

4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had this beer in probably 4 years or so and I am looking forward to it. Reddish brown in color with a small creamy white head. The smell is wonderful. Hops, berries and malt, I love it. I must say the flavor is well balanced. Hops and berries go back and forth. Carbonation is low, just how I like this style. Aftertaste is a bit dry with more hops coming through.

Very different from what I remember but very good.

Dec 19, 2003
Photo of Rudgers73
Rudgers73 from New York

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- golden amber color, lots of carbonation, decent head that settles to a ring after a few minutes.

S- Very peculiar. It smells like a regular light bodied ale except for a strange underlaying smell. It's a musty, malty, almost earthy smell.

T- A little bit thin but a lot going on. Starts out with an earthy, tone with a little bit of spice. Maybe pumpkin spice, cloves, cinnamon. Then comes in the little bit of piny hops that finish dry and completely different than the start. Not bad, but again: a little thin.

M- Great mouthfeel. Starts out creamy and smooth than thins down to a dry hoppy feel. Interesting.

D- Not too strong. Good for whenever I'd say. It isn't wonderful but I'd say it is one of the best winter beers I've had this season. Much, much better than that samual adams winter lager crap I had last week.

Nov 08, 2006
Photo of Michaeldmanley
Michaeldmanley from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Mar 19, 2013
Photo of tgatort
tgatort from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Oct 17, 2013
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha from Arizona

3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber color with white head that recedes quickly.

Nose has some caramel and faint bourbon-like aromas.

Palate is caramelly malty sweet, thin bodied, highly carbonated, and finishes with an off-alcohol taste.

One of the least impressive winter beers I've ever sampled.

Jun 06, 2008
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio from West Virginia

2.74/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

served into tall pilsner glass,from a 12oz.brown long neck bottle crimped-on cap.

Medium copper,reddish hue,off white head dissapated quickly to layer of foam.

Nice pleasing aroma,very spicey,citrusy,yeasty aromas Belgium-like spiceyness to the nose.

Spicey taste not as spicey as the aromas would suggest. A kind of bland taste midway through. A dry,tart finish a bit citrusy. Kind of a let down after the nice aromas.

Medium mouthfeel,slightly chewey,a bit harsh going down. Average beer not exciting,couldn't drink too many of these.

Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Hopfenpeter
Hopfenpeter from Maryland

3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber in color, not much head building and disappearing fast with good enough lacing.
Smell promises a light and thirst quenching beer, with mild sweetness in the air.
You will taste refreshing fruit in the front which is immediately balanced with mild bittersweet hops. very smooth finish and fresh mouthfeel. A very drinkable beer. I wish I could drink that one on tab, or from a fresh keg.Nice beer!

Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Bromine
Bromine from Florida

3/5  rDev -17.1%

Apr 11, 2013
Photo of aaronh
aaronh from Pennsylvania

2.49/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear deep red-copper with a cream colored head that quickly fades to a thin film of foam. Aroma exhibits a touch of caramel and little else. Just a bit on the boring side of good beer. Taste has a decent amount of roastiness and a touch of coffee, both pretty unexpected. Funky lingering spicy bitterness on the finish pervades the aftertaste. Strong earthiness comes out after a few sips. Mouthfeel is a bit thin as well. Drinkability is OK, but one is more than enough for me. I don't much care for this beer. I think the blackhook may have been a better choice, as I was debating between the two. I believe I chose poorly in this instance. Damn impulse purchases! Well, at least I only bought one.

Jan 10, 2004
Photo of ibashmuck
ibashmuck from Wisconsin

1.99/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Medium head on a light amber body. Considerably more bitter than I prefer, I couldn't get anything else out of it. There was a dusty aftertaste that didn't help at all. It was smooth, however, not too fizzy. Just not anything I'd go after.

Jul 12, 2008
Photo of InebriatedJoker
InebriatedJoker from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Dec 05, 2010
Photo of skubas86
skubas86 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Dec 18, 2013
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winterhook pours a clear, light-chestnut/copper body with glowing auburn highlights beneath a massive, frothy head of tan foam. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves solid walls of lace behind.

Toasty, nutty, and caramelish malts greet you in the nose. With each swirl of the glass it seems to get richer. There's an almost buttery-cocoa, or nut-laden cookie side to it, and some light spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove) as well as a touch of piney hops (or spruce extract). Very welcoming!

In the mouth it's medium-bodied and creamy smooth with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The flavor is rich without being full, and it never becomes cloying. Initially, the toasty malts appear quite strong, even bordering on heading into roastiness as the caramel flavor is dark like burnt brown sugar. Then the spiciness and spruce-like flavors set in, helping to lead it to a dry, lingering finish. I'm not sure what spices are there, or are not there, but I picked up notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The bitterness is solid, but restrained, appearing at first only in the finish, and then more so across the middle as you progress through the glass and the spiciness builds a little on the palate. There are some beautiful subtleties going on here that would certainly be missed at draft temperature.

A really nice winter ale! Perfect with a holiday dinner or a cold night beside the fire. Enjoy it at cellar temperature to get the most out of its varied flavors.

Jan 06, 2007
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
MrHungryMonkey from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose is brightly hoppy with some spice and malt. Smells good.

Pours a deep nut brown, mild clarity, pretty good head. Looks good.

Creamy and smooth, refreshing and deep. Good bit of malt, some citric zest, grassy freshness, some coffee/toffee thick sweetness. Slight nuttiness. Finishes slightly sour/bittersweet. Tastes pretty good.

One of the better Redhooks I've had. Not bad.

Feb 25, 2009
Winterhook from Redhook Brewlab
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 957 ratings