21iceman40 (1735) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 2, 2001
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2003 Not very strong for an english strong ale. Boring malty flavor. Nothing special here. drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - NOV 24, 2002
Very sour kind of bitter, unpleasant actually. I drank this while watching UW upset No.3 WSU, and being from Pullman maybe this was Seattle’s way of saying "don’t drink our goddamn beer if you our rooting for the other team." Well, just like the Huskies, beer too can have a bad season. Fulkrum78 (175) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 10, 2002
In my opinion, an average beer. I’ve had better, I’ve had worse. Next time I buy something, I’ll buy something else. cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - DEC 15, 2002
Mediocre strong ale. Nothing that makes this a holiday brew...where is the special spice? jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - JAN 14, 2003
Clear, copper/amber with quickly diminishing head, decent lace. Grainy aroma with fruit, spice and slight hops. Thin to medium bodied, slick feel with flavors of slight roast, nasty fruit flavors, slight spice, metallic hops, light malt that is not bad but this puppy doesn’t do it.
wulfhere (217) - Billings, Montana, USA - NOV 25, 2003
Medium red/dark amber with a small to negligible head.
Nice hop nose with hints of your traditional spices (which may or may not be in this "strong ale")and maybe some fruit.
The body is pretty thin, and this isn't a warming beer--which is the point of winterfest ales--to warm you up.
The mouthfeel is thin--a nice malt/hop finish. maxwillis (5) - Prescott, Arizona, USA - DEC 7, 2003 does not count
I didn't think it was all that great. the ESB is still much better. The brew just isn't the same since I left seattle. For a couple months I had a tower of red hook cases in the coner of my room. they each had a coupon for a tour of the brewery, I never did make it. truegen (167) - Puyallup, Washington, USA - OCT 2, 2007
12 oz. bottle. This was better, once upon a time. Sample from the first batch into the local market, and I’m feeling let down. This is more like a summer ale than winter. The color is lighter, the nose and flavor more citrusy than in years past, and there doesn’t seem to be anything "roasty" about this beer at all. This is the ESB with a fake suntan. I like the ESB, and this is a drinkable beer, but there’s no Winter in this Hook. Feinschmecker (202) - Seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 19, 2007
Bottle. Copper and translucent. Not much in the realm of aroma. Faint hop aroma, maybe. The malt and hop flavor is light, what a let down. This one should not be a winter beer. It is neither rich nor hearty. The alcohol is too low and this beer does not deliver the winter goods. after4ever (8025) - Mukilteo, Washington, USA - OCT 31, 2007
Draft at the Woodinville brewpub. Crystal clear toffeeish amber with scant gray head. Musty, sweaty, bready nose. Medium body, very little carb. Mild. Roasty, toasty brown bread on the mid-palate, and sour in an almost rye-like way. Are they using a central keg line back there or something? Not much finish. Company says it "tastes like watered-down whiskey."