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Live Review: Redhook Winterhook.

January 10, 2010

1:30 pm: Took the 12 oz. bottle of Redhook Winter Hook out of the fridge to sit and warm up for a few minutes.

1:38 pm: I’ve decided to try this live review as a different format to my typical review. I usually drink a beer with the intention of reviewing here on Beer Epiphany, but the majority of the time I’m not sitting in front of my computer. So, I take detailed tasting notes on my iPhone, snap a few pics, and save them via the WordPress iPhone app. I then can develop them at a later time into a full post on my home computer.

This time I will be jotting down things as they happen just to see how my review format changes. This is an experiment, so lets see what happens.

1:47 pm: The beer has been sitting in the sealed bottle on the table for 17 minutes. Time to crack it open and review.

1:49 pm: A pour into my Chimay trappist glass reveals little to no head. The beer itself is clear and the a dark brown with just a hint of reddish-orange at the sides. I took a few minutes here to try and snap some artsy beer photos with my iPhone.

1:54 pm: the aroma is malty, caramel, and earthy hop

1:55 pm: the flavor is a roasty maltiness up front which then slides into a light earthy hop bitterness that balances it out quite nicely.

1:56 pm: Let’s look at what the bottle has to say about this brew. It’s brewed by Redhook and they call it a “Winter Ale.” The listed ABV is 5.9% and a stamped date of 10/21/09 is clearly visible. I’m assuming this is the bottled-on date and not the drink-by date.

The Redhook website description is as follows:

Winter seasonal ales are often referred to as Winter Warmers due to their bold flavors and higher alcohol. Winterhook is an excellent example of this style with its rich, full body and deep chestnut color. We brewed Winterhook with nine different varieties of malt, giving the beer its complex malt profile with the perfect hints of chocolate and caramel. We add four hop charges to balance the malt sweetness, leaving the beer with the perfect balance.

2:02 pm: Another quaff and it’s still all malt. An even stronger earthiness comes through this time. The hops quickly chime in to keep the flavor profile balanced.

The body is medium and leaves a slightly sticky mouth residue behind. Winter Hook is quite drinkable

2:06 pm: As I continue to drink Redhook’s Winter Hook I realize that this is a “good” beer, but it is far from great. It fits in with other winter beers just fine, but it doesn’t really do anything to stand out from the crowd. The earthiness and lack of traditional winter spices help, but something is still lacking.

2:10 pm: Listening to 30 Seconds to Mars “This is War” LP is a perfect match to a quality craft brew. The NFL playoffs are on in the other room, but the Bears never made it in, so my interest is diminished (Go Farve?).

2:12 pm: Well, just a couple ounces remain and thats all she wrote on Redhook Winterhook. It’s time to crunch the numbers and see what happens.

Appearance: Nice color, no head- 3.0/5

Aroma: Balanced- 3.0/5

Flavor: Earthy, Un-Spiced like most winter beers- 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium, residual- 3.0/5

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable at 5.9% ABV- 3.5/5

Overall: 3.2/5

Verdict: I won’t be rushing out to buy another 6-pack of this, but it certainly is a good beer. I’d like to try it draft and see what changes. If you are in the mood for a slightly more earthy winter brew then Redhook has you covered!

Redhook Winterhook Official Site

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