LaFinca (6) - state college, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 5, 2003
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.
alexsdad06 (5342) - Ohio, USA - JUN 14, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle at home from backlog notes 07/08. Pours a mostly clear reddish brown color with a medium sized off white head. The aroma and flavor have mild toasted malts, caramel, light citrus, dried fruits with a mild amount of spices. Thin body, flavor is better than I would have expected. I just like my winter warmers to be bigger.
troyc (2432) - Illinois, USA - MAY 1, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
[Bottle] Pour is brown in color with a small head on top. Nose is of earthy hops and some spice from the grains. Caramel blends with mild nutmeg/cinnamon in the taste. Dark fruit, raisin and mild toffee and tobacco round it out. Decent complexity overall, especially as the beer warms. Tasting notes from 11/2011.
Jay_Dubbz (79) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 28, 2014
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Poured from 12oz bottle. Nice amber coloring and a semi-full mouthfeel. Not overpowering but great flavor. Great interpretation of the style.
--you've been Dubbed.
Erzengel (2399) - Wuppertal, GERMANY - FEB 26, 2014
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks to SefanSD for this brew. Winterhook #29.
Reddish-brown in the glass, nice roasted nose. The beer starts malty, dry. The mainpart is a bit more dry, nicely malty and very nicely hopped. The bitter-hops get more intense till the end, nicely dry with the roasted malt, and still easy to drink.
a very nice winter beer - not sweet and nicely balanced. --> 12/11/12/12
howlinwlf (26) - Ronkonkoma, New York, USA - FEB 14, 2014
3.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Winter Hook # 29. Two 12 oz bottles poured into a .5 liter tall glass. Great deep dark amber color with a unsubstantial head. This a great yet basic ale. It has a great full flavor. Given that this is a "winter ale", it it were left over into the Spring, or maybe Summer months, I would enjoy this sturdy ale. The winter or holiday spices are minimal, and the hops level is well executed. Not over malty. Not over sweet. I think the $10 dollar word is "Toasty".
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.
nathan30533 (585) - Dahlonega, Georgia, USA - FEB 5, 2014
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Enjoyable brew. This one has notes and aroma of caramel and taste the balance of the hops. Overall Good not great.
boxofrane (2067) - Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 3, 2014
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Pours clear reddish brown with a small off white head and limited retention. The aroma is all malt.. some caramel and toffee seem to dominate. The taste is malty but really not much of a defined flavor.. just a mix of sweetness.
Hopswagger (197) - South Carolina, USA - FEB 1, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
P: Clear ruby red body with a small layer of micro bubble head that exits fast. A thin layer of bubble remain on top but most flock to the edges.
S: Earthy hops, dirt, pine resin, faint cocoa dust, roasted caramel, molasses and candy malt. Butterscotch and peppery spice.
T/M: Follows the nose with a healthy dose of earthy hops , cocoa powder and nice warming sensation. Bittersweet dark chocolate, orange oil and roasted caramel apple peels on the super dry finish. Light-medium prickly mouthfeel.
O: Gotta love a hoppy warmer. Intense earthy flavors bordering dirt in the mouth. Pine and hints of fruit compliment the roasty sweet malts. A great treat for winter that I’m eager to try the slightly altered version next year. Cheers!
luttonm (2170) - Belgrade, SERBIA - FEB 1, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz in Washington. Ruddy brown. Sweet malt. Caramel metallic bite. Not terrible.. Warm balance.