Churchkey (15) - - FEB 11, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
zaschell (14) - , Washington, USA - DEC 7, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A pretty standard tasting winter ale. Red Hook turns out good stuff, and this is no exception, but stacked up against the other NW micro winter brews, it is not quite as good.
somecrzyguy420 (13) - schenectady, New York, USA - DEC 29, 2006
1.2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 2/20
im not a real hoppy fan so i didnt care for this much, good dark color though, aroma typical of a seasonal ale
gardyloo (12) - USA - DEC 11, 2007
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
i may have been drunk by the time i switched to this, but i remember enjoying it thoroughly.
arsenal (10) - Orange, Virginia, USA - NOV 11, 2006
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
one of my favorite everyday beers is Red Hook’s ESB... so i thought i’d be "relatively safe". that’s a pretty good description of Winterhook. there are Belgian elements in the aroma and flavor (which is not my favorite), but pleasingly so (despite a metallic aftertaste). and i was a little surprised by the kick provided by the alcohol content. very acceptable.
abc2248 (9) - LITITZ, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 1, 2005 does not count
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark amber color. Sweet, malty aroma. Tastes like a brown ale with a little more citrusy hops flavor. Not exceptionally flavorful. Finish is fairly dry and somewhat bitter. OK, but nothing special.
Chrisco88 (9) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 31, 2010 does not count
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Appearance: Poured deep amber/brown with a small, bubbly beige head that faded quite quickly.
Aroma: Not very aromatic at all, nothing jumps out. With a bit of swirling I picked up some caramel or roasted smells as well as a bit of spiciness of some sort.
Taste: Quite balanced but a little sweet in the end. Caramel flavor dominate with some roasted malts in there as well. Towards the end there’s a tinge of bitterness but there’s also a nice earthy spice to ponder.
Palate: For the most part it was smooth but below average carbonation left me with a watery consistency.
Overall: Easy to drink and perfect for cold temperatures so can’t ask for much more, but it seems all the flavors and aromas are so bland and subtle that Winterhook just doesn’t stand out.
timetrvlr (8) - milford, Connecticut, USA - JAN 27, 2005 does not count
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
little head, easy on the palate with slightly bitter aftertone. i drink this often when its available because its satisfying and very reasonably priced
Justinw (7) - Maplewood, Minnesota, USA - FEB 7, 2005 does not count
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very dark mahogoney color. Small light head with a mild hop aroma. Burnt flavor with a hint of nuttyness to it. Finishes with a bitter aftertaste.
LaFinca (6) - state college, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 5, 2003 does not count
4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2003 I’m not very much into spicy beers but decided to purchase a mixed case of ESB and Winterhook today (11/5/03). I purchased the beer at a drive thru distributorship and noticed when I got home they accidentally slipped an entire case of the Winterhook in the back instead of the mixed case. I was a little upset and went on the Internet and read, no surprise, a lot of terrible reviews which even made me more upset.
I was almost ready to take the case back when I went to the Redhook website and seen that the Winterhook was dry hopped (I’m a dry hop freak) and I also read one or two reviews stating that the 2003 batch has changed so I decided to take a chance and pop one open instead of returning the case.
Right of the bat, the dry hopped aroma hit me and it was breathtaking. I’ve never had a bottled beer with this much dry hop aroma unless I had brewed it myself. This is definitely a 10 in the aroma category and the dry hopping, I believe, also gives this beer a clean, crisp, and astringent taste.
As for balance, some reviews of previous years stated the beer was sweet and malty but I found this year’s batch to be somewhat on the hoppy side. Redhook’s website states the bittering units are 29.2 which isn’t too shabby if you love hops and they may have raised the alcohol level somewhat from the last few years to remove the sweetness.
Their website states “Best Damn Vintage Yet” and never having tried any of the others and after reading so many horrible reviews, I guess they made a lot of changes to improve this beer. Although they are not overpowering, I would love to try this one without the spices.
Don’t be hesitant, like I was to try it; you just might be surprised.