Oh, Redhook, what a roller coaster ride you have taken us on over the last few years. Going from good, to eh, to a comeback, down to something very very sad, and lately back to "hmmm", the latest Winterhook is actually quite good. And as this winter beer season is coming to a close, this ale is a good one to go out on. One where you can sit and bathe in nostalgia of what once was and what might possibly be again, unless Winterhook is merely another peak for Redhook.
It pours a nice dark brown color with a lightly tanned head, about a finger's worth of it. Decent lacing and definitely an inviting looking beer.
Give it a quick whiff and you will find a light mixture of spices and hopiness. This carries over to the flavor; the spices hit first, but are mellowed out by subtle sweet flavors of caramel and just a hint of citrus. The hops hit toward the end, giving your tongue a gentle massage while making it clear that this is, indeed, a Washington beer.
It's a drinkable winter warmer, one that might be just a bit thin as far as the mouthfeel goes, but also one anybody can agree on. Heck, I'd drink it again.
Hopefully Redhook can get back into a more consistent rhythm and produce more beer with this kind of quality. We might add the brewery back into the rotation if that's the case.
Vote for Redhook Winterhook 2011: It’s your civic duty!