Thursday, January 18, 2007

Red Hook "Winter Hook" Just Doesn't Have Me Hooked

It's winter here in good ole' Western PA and things can get pretty boring past the holidays in that lull between Christmas, New Year's and.....Memorial Day I guess. Anyway, it's finally getting cold around here and maybe we'll even see some snow before spring (can you believe it snowed in Malibu, CA today and we're still snow free in PA?).

Well, winter is one of my favorite months because I'm a big fan of winter style beers, if you can even call it a style. I always try to get my hands on as many different new winter type microbrews which I haven't tried before. I'll be starting to post more now that the holiday rush is over and the winter-styles of microbrews will be my main focus for sure.

Red Hook Brewery has a winter offering called....are you ready? Winter Hook. Wow, the name on the bottle blew me away right off the bat. I had to try it. All kidding aside however, Winter Hook is not a bad winter brew. My bottle indicated a brewing date of 11/15/06 which makes it fairly fresh to sample.

Pouring into a standard pub style glass, the color was very much a carmel tone and very clear. Head about 1/2 inch but it dissipated within just a few quick minutes. Taking a long whiff of aroma pulled in a caramel smell but also just a twinge of spiciness that I could only closely compare to a nutmeg scent.

Taste, pretty sweet and sticky which surprised me a little. I've tried a few microbrews from Red Hook before and most that I've tried have given me a "hoppy" impression of this brewery and its microbrews. This one was an aboutface. In fact, this is the first year I've seen Winter Hook around these parts at least so I am a bit curious as to whether this might be a new offering from the Red Hook folks.

This beer, as mentioned was sweet, and tasted very much of caramel, nutmeg (which helped confirm the aroma) and very faint hops in the far background. It was decent in overall drinkability at 6% ABV and I found myself trying a second before I knew it. Whether that qualifies this microbrew as a good one or not, I'm still not overall ready to rank it way up there in my humble opinion. It kind of just went down easy and rolled into another bottle. I didn't really think to myself " man, that was great, I think I'll have another!".

Overall, I would recommend giving this one a shot if you haven't tried it before. It may be just your thing but this beer just didn't go really to one extreme or the other with me. I'd call it a good microbrew, but nothing I'd go searching for 100 miles down the road. Maybe Red Hook Brewery rotates a different style in every year for their "Winter Hook" like some microbreweries do. I really don't know for sure but hey, give it a try. Let me know what you think. It's still far beyond the standard everyday mass produced stuff you will find anywhere else.

I'd give it a 5.75 out of 10.00. Check out Red Hook's other beers here at their site Just a heads up, if you like IPA's like I do, they do offer a very good one if you get a chance to check one out sometime (highly recommeded!).

You can check out more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!

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