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.
superspak (4475) - Michigan, USA - JUN 30, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
bnokk (447) - Lee, Massachusetts, USA - APR 8, 2016
2.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
APPEARANCE- medium amber color and orange hue. Great head and lacing, even hours later.
NOSE- caramel and malty sweetness.
FLAVOR- some sweetness and clear malty character. Finishes with a bitterness that could be nice for the style, but the flavor isn’t very pleasant.
tfontana (607) - Fremont, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 16, 2016
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle pour into nonic pint glass from Signal Variety. Aroma is bread with lemony citrus (similar to Pledge). Appearance is clear orange-amber with nice sparkle, ephemeral small white head and trace lacing. Taste is lemony citrus over mildly sweet backbone. Palate is medium bodied with average texture and lively carbonation with crisp lemon bitter finish. Overall, a highly drinkable beer but no warmth or evident alcohol so wouldn’t know it as a strong ale.
donandres (297) - , Washington, USA - JAN 24, 2016
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
12 ounce bottle poured in wine glass
Appearance: Dark amber, with some head dissipates a bit slowly and minimal lacing
Smell: not a lot of aroma, some hint of toated grains
Taste: Nice initial taste, but not a lot of follow through
Overall: Good beer but not something to look forward to, commercial
Today is January 23, 2015
jcnielsen (3129) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JAN 11, 2016
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Pours an amber color with white head. Caramel, toast, malty, slight booze aromas. Malty, toast, slight metallic flavors. Pretty blah, pass.
Fredis23 (564) - Hickory Hills, Illinois, USA - JAN 10, 2016
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark Copper Color, Huge Foamy Head That Lasts, Spotty Lacing. Malt , Faint Hop Aroma. Malt, Lightly Toasted, Modest Hop Bitter, Faint Citrus. Medium Body. While It Is Not That Impressive at First It grows on You. Easy to drink, Smooth. Simple but enjoyable. Funny Scandinavian Sweater Knit Pattern Label... Decent.
mintzmeet (436) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 8, 2016
2.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pretty solid brew. No real aroma and honestly not particularly bold flavors, but just decent dark beer. A little creamy.
rondphoto (3843) - Lakeside Park, Kentucky, USA - DEC 31, 2015
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
bottle from Adam Stovall - Thanks! --- Clear dark amber color, off-white head cover, spots and dots of lace. Taste is Full bodied malt with a little roasted overtones, that moves through a lightly carbonated swallow to a finish that has light hops, and serves to dry the palate. Overall a little heavy, but still quite drinkable.
natejgood (470) - Bozeman, Montana, USA - DEC 27, 2015
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a light brown with a smallish head. Slight aroma of grapefruit and fresh cut grass. Flavor is a not at all like the aroma. Malty and sweet with just a bit of bitterness at the finish. This beer doesn’t have the best aftertaste.
ElCapitan22 (327) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Had this out of a bottle, but it is copper in color. No lacing or head retention either. Smells malty, like a red. Tastes sweet and malty. Has a flavor of honey and some clove. A decent session beer for the holidays, but that’s it.