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River Horse Tripel Horse - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Tripel HorseRiver Horse Tripel Horse

Educational use only; do not reuse.

256 Reviews

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Reviews: 256
Hads: 582
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 21.41%
Wants: 12
Gots: 100 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jerseyemt on 05-21-2003

Our take on a Belgian Style Tripel Ale, brewed with spices and fermented with a Trappist yeast strain which lends hints of vanilla and creates a variety of complex flavors.
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Reviews: 256 | Hads: 582
Photo of mjernewein
1.18/5  rDev -68%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On opening... it looked good, had a nice head.

And then, I had a sip. This is bar none the worst Belgian style beer that I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.

Overall Taste: Budweiser mixed with molasses
Aftertaste: yard clippings
Aroma: smelled like ham

This stuff is crap with a capital C. I want the $17.00 that I spent on the six pack back.

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Photo of samie85
2.04/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A-Pours a hazy orange/light amber color with a one finger white head that quickly disspates.

S-I'm getting bubblegum, vanilla, and some nutmeg or allspice with a bit of apple, and some plum. Pretty interesting aromas; I'm drooling...

T-Wow, not following the nose at all. First thing I taste is what solvents/rubbing alcohol smell like with some spicy characteristics(nutmeg/allspice) with vanilla and then back to that solvent/rubbing alcohol taste. Pretty rough.

M-The mouth feel is pretty thin with lots of carbonation and a dry and warming alcohol finish in the back of the mouth and throat.

D-Not good at all, the alcohol is way too present and I'm pretty sure that's what is ruining this beer for me. I can't get by the alcohol, it totally overwhelms the rest of the flavors in this beer. Things seemed so promising based on the nose.

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Photo of J-Rye
2.16/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Maybe it was just that the 6-pack wasn't treated well before I bought it, but the fact that there was a taste that was not unlike bile turned me off to this beer and the brewery.

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Photo of largadeer
2.36/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: A hazy amber body with three fingers of white foam. This stuff is intensely carbonated - a torrent of rising bubbles keeps the head going for what seems like forever.

Smell: Spicy and sweet with an almost over the top clove aroma and a bit of soap beneath that.

Taste/mouthfeel: Good God, this is cloyingly sweet. Sugary as hell with an almost excessive spiciness. Clove, nutmeg and coriander with a refined white sugar sweetness is how I'd describe this. Light bodied, slightly overcarbonated and horribly sweet. If you enjoy eating sugar packets you may enjoy this. Personally, I think I'll grab something drier.

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Photo of claspada
2.36/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber color with a spumeous head that is rock solid and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Aromas are extremely phenolic and yeast forward highlighted by bananas, cloves, a touch of lemon and a solvent alcohol element.

The taste follow the nose with banana and clove flavors that are joined, mid palate, by a prickly harshness; the finish is quite alcoholic, but contains some tropical fruit elements in addition to the solvents.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is estery with lots of warming alcohol.

Overall this is just a subpar example of a Belgian style ale. Too boozy and phenolic and just a pass for me going forward.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.4/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Cloudy gold with 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Light carbonation.

Caramel, banana, booze, and clove.

Huge clove spiciness, banana bread, and booze. Some caramel notes in there.

Light bodied, oily, warming, spicy, and somewhat cloying.

I need a Westmalle to redeem myself.

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Photo of Rudgers73
2.51/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into my Hennepin goblet.

There is a decent 2 inches of head that initially sits atop a strange colored tripel. It is an amber, dark honey color. It is also crystal clear. This has already brought me to a tough choice: Do I rate this beer on what it tastes like, smells like, etc. or do I judge it on the standard of a typical Belgian Tripel? The head falls to a retentive chunky layer about an inch thick. I've made my decision to rate it against a true Belgian Tripel...
They have the nose about right. Sticky sweet and smooth. Mellow yeast and ripe fruit. C02 and bittering hops (saaz?) Cookie dough sweetness. On to the taste.

Doesn't really taste like a tripel at all. It is very coarse, one dimensional, and hot. Burnt candi sugar, artificial sweetener, more like a high octane red ale. They need to work on their hop and yeast integration to make this a round an balanced beer like a good tripel should be. It's too harsh for anything delicate to permeate from the beer. Where is the delicate bready malt, the sweet citrus, and the cloves? This is just a strong beer made with candi sugar.

Not so awesome.

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Photo of Vendetta
2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours lightly yellow, large doughy head, decent lacing.

Aroma is floral malt, very wet and fruity.

The flavor is good, floral malt, some apple, banana. However there is a strong astringent bite during the finish, something I've encountered with American tripels before. It really kills the brew and harms the drinkability.

Mouthfeel is pretty average, it's a little bit too carbonated, but medium bodied and with a good consistency. Astringent bite sucks.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Crystal clear amber in color with a thin, sizzling white head that forms a thin ring and minimal lacing.

Aroma is sweet and malty for a Trippel, with notes of fruit, bubblegum, and a subtle corn note. Doesn't really smell like a Tripel.

The flavor is actually quite harsh and abrasive. It's dominated by grainy malt and corn notes with a bit of dry fruit and citrus. It's not sweet like the nose, rather peppery and harsh with alcoholic heat. It bears an unpleasant hop finish that is far too bitter for this style.

Body is quite big and grainy, not delicate or effervescent like a good Belgian ale. I could not finish the 12 oz bottle.

I was expecting more based on the other reviews.

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Photo of BeerlyLegal
2.72/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5


Citrusy orange/tangerine taste and smell and dry like a cheap champagne.

More along the lines of a Lager than a Belgium. A Tripel seriously?

"Brewed with spices" but hardly tastes like it ~ hardly worth explaining let alone trying or even finishing

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Photo of DIM
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Original score and review from 2007

a: Clear golden color with a medium sized white head. A pretty lively beer, lots of ascending bubbles.

s: Alcoholic floral perfume up front. Some cinnamon, artificial sweetner and cloves.

t: This beer just tastes artificial. Sour cloves, floral perfume, and artificial sweetner. Very unpleasant.

m: Fizzy and a bit thin.

d: I didn't finish it.

Revisited 11/2014

Someone suggested years ago that I revisit this one and I finally did. I upped the scores a bit but this still isn't all that good. I was able to discern some soft fruit notes but this is just way too sweet. The finish was an unpleasant medicinal artificial sweetener with hints of cloves. The mouthfeel seems to have improved, this bottle was soft and full bodied.

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Photo of Huffs
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass and little head developed. Came and went fast, no lacing (10%ABV). Appearance is cloudy and dark yellow to orange in color. Aroma has some grain and citrus notes, not very potent aroma. Taste was gummy with citrus notes (orange). Also a taste of alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, but not creamy, just heavy. Aftertaste of alcohol.

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Photo of tempest
2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with a friend and served the beer in a small goblet.

The body is a clear gold with a short white hed, all good so far. The aroma is a bit odd with fresh, cut apples with spice. The flavor has more of the apple with light clove with an odd malt sweetness that reminds me of extract beer. Still, the drinkability of this 10% brew is quite good. Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't make me want to continue.

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Photo of PBoegel
2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle no freshness into a Chimay Goblet.

Not a lot to say here. This brew really comes off as a very big Saison, fruity and spicy and funky, the character of a solid Tripel is missing to me.

Look for a much livelier carbonation a lot more dryness, this particular triple is a bit cloying which impedes the drinkability. The alcohol is fairly well masked. THe head is non existent after several seconds. The flavor is floral and sweet honeysuckle.

Not terrible, simply not what I look for at all in a Tripel, and is simply a bit off style to me.

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Photo of mrgrinch
2.94/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Light orange-to-orange in color. Decent head. Served in a plastic sample cup at the brewery, so I could not see the clarity, etc.

Smell - Really spicy.

Taste - Spicy and boozy. Too strong to be pleasant for me.

Mouthfeel - Thin and dry.

Drinkabililty - Not for me.

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Photo of techcommdood
2.94/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with minimal head. Light golden color with a ton of trub in suspension. Looks like a snow globe, only the particles are not falling out of suspension. Not an appetizing looking beer.

Strong citrus (lemon) and caramel notes with minor presence of Belgian spices.

Extremely malty with strong honey flavors coming through. Very sweet, almost like candy.

Somewhat thick though clean-feeling despite the suspended particles in there.

Somewhat thicker than the style (tripel) would suggest, though the sweetness does make it somewhat easy to drink. No dry feeling at all.

I'd give this one another go, though I wouldn't place it at the top of my preferences. It's not the most beautiful-looking beer, though interesting to look at. Perhaps a mystic could use it to read fortunes in the suspended matter.

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Photo of Slatetank
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Alright I will make this one short and sweet - I picked this bottle up at the brewery tasting room, sampled from a tulip.

The appearance is good, light golden with some apricot hues, the ale is hazed and I let a little yeast particulate sneak in. The head is healthy and retains well. The lace stickage is ok and bead is fine. The smell is very banana with some slight clove tinges with a very sweet odor and relatively strong fusel alcohol aroma. The feel is my least favorite part of this ale, too sweet and has a warming feel pretty soon into the swallow with a slight spice tinge and some phenolics with a yeasty tanginess.

The Tripel is pretty mediocre flavor wise, it has some malt flavor, but mostly it just tastes sweet and simple with a yeasty tropical accent which comes off as ripe banana with a dash of spice. The flavor turns to alcohol pretty rapidly which is not quite like pure alcohol but doesn't really do anything to help matters. I would only recommend this if you have to try it because I have had more than enough of this (my wife would not split the bottle) since I had to drink 12oz myself.

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Photo of scooter231
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Strawberry juice colored, not clear but not too hazy, very little head, and no lacing. Nose is such a bouquet of fruit scents- oranges, peaches, berries- so fruity. Zesty, too. Sugary. Floral. Yeasty.

Taste is a bit too fruity sugary, just toooo sweet. I'd rather it be a bit more subtle. Mouthfeel isn't very full-bodied at all, and though it's a bit chewy, it's rather thin. Drinkability is relatively high considering alcohol content, but this is too sweet for me.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

big frothy head and a nice hazy amber color, a bit darker then i expected to be honest and definitely lively. aroma is soft and light with peaches, pears, and tons of dry hops. really not at all what i was expecting, but what can you do. same with the flavor, not really all that i was expecting, light with too much emphasis on the grains and not enough punch, really just not doing it for me at all. finish is the same, clean but lacking true depth.

overall an ehh for me. i have had much better in the style for sure.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drinkability of a 10% ABV brew...Highly likely!!! What more can be said. Nose had slight vanilla undertones and finishes quite dry. Since the higher ABV allows this brew to get better with age...let's see what happens when we keep this one for a few years to mature!!

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Photo of n2185
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a frothy ring with no lacing.

S: Belgian spices up front followed by slight bubblegum characteristics and lots of sweet yeasty aromas.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some Belgian spice flavors at first followed by notes of bubblegum and then a strong, sweet yeast flavor dominates. There are hints of light fruit notes intertwined as well, and the finish has a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is a bit too thick but at least has a decent amount of carbonation and isn't sticky sweet.

O: An alright tripel, though nothing special. Even with a decanted pour, the yeast dominates the nose and palate. It'd be nice to have more balance and depth as well as a higher attenuation.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden orange with light white head that shrinks into the body quickly with no signs of lace. Very sweet aroma, some fruity scents including apple. Very little spice and fairly big alcohol notes. The taste is very similar with big sweetness making up most of the flavor. Some light fruit and spice is lurking about. The alcohol stands out a bit too much. Sweet and with an alcohol bite is how this finished. Pretty solid mouthfeel, what you would expect. Fairly warming as well due to the big alcohol. Not bad just not interesting to me. It really didn’t have enough of everything but the sweetness and alcohol.

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Photo of csmiley
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours gold in color. Head was minimal topping out at less than a quarter inch. Retention was just below average. Lacing was average.

S - Biscuit and wheat start the nose off. Honey comes in about midway. Finishing off the smell is some caramel and alcohol. Very light aroma overall.

T - More biscuit and wheat in the flavor but some sweetness creeps in quickly behind it. Honey and caramel come to mind. The tail end has an alcohol wollop mixed with hints of yeast. Flavor is light overall.

M - Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Finish is sweet and goes away quickly. Smooth for a 10% beer.

D - Drinkability is about average. Most characteristics of this beer are bland but it somehow still has enough flavor to keep me remotely interested. At 10%, it goes down easy. Unfortunately, this is just not what I look for in a tripel.

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Photo of prototypic
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kudos to csmiley for the brew.

Appearance: It's clear and golden brown in color. Head is foamy white and about two fingers deep. Retention was actually good although lacing was light and spotty. Nothing to get too excited about.

Smell: The nose is very underwhelming. It's extremely difficult to pick up much of anything. There's a noticeable yeasty aroma that overpowers everything else. It's a little spicy smelling, primarily clove with perhaps a bit of pepper. Alcohol is surprisingly not noticeable. That's a wrap folks. Disappointing.

Taste: The flavor is merely average. It's yeasty and a bit spicy. Actually only the clove spice is noticeable in taste. It's actually the only going for this beer. There are some light citrusy notes present. Mostly lemon. It is a little sweet. Again, alcohol is not noticeable in taste and that's very surprising for this beer. Honestly, it's one of the few positive aspects of this one.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and feels too thin. It lacks a creamy smooth feel. Carbonation is okay, but it's not enough to bump it up. Drinkability is pretty limited. I don't like the flavor, but it's pretty drinkabile for a 10% beer. That's something, isn't it?

This is a disappointing beer. I wanted to like it and I certainly tried. I just can't get there. Suffice it to say it needs a lot of work.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

The Tripel is a tough style to go after as there are not too many original examples to compare it to, though a lot of renditions lean more toward the Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

Massive bubbles gather from the very active carbonation which is to style. Bright golden amber color with a good enough clarity. Lilac, bubble gum, raw honey, vanilla, hint of solvent-like varnish and sage make for a very complex aroma. Big biting crispness followed by a slick smoothness from a fluffy medium body. Medicinal phenols are present with slight Band-Aid and bubble flavor, nothing too harsh. Cracker maltiness. Estery fruitiness ranges from star fruit to papaya, green banana to kiwi. Alcohol is warming and a little wild. Puckering yeast, powdery and chalky. Hint of green peppercorn, thick herb and a dry maltiness finish the beer off with a dry finish.

Calling this a Tripel is a stretch, as without a doubt it's closer to a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Phenols and esters bring it to that level. Perhaps we are splitting hairs here. We'll simply deem this beer worthy of a try.

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River Horse Tripel Horse from River Horse Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.