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River Horse Tripel Horse - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Tripel HorseRiver Horse Tripel Horse

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

525 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 525
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 7
Gots: 51 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: resirob on 11-23-2004)
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 525 | Reviews: 245 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
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.

Photo of sloejams
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this last year at some point as a Beer of the Month selection.

It has a decent pale amber color. The aroma is of cloves, some cinnamon and a bit or coriander. Not a lot of yeast as expected in a tripel. Taste follows with a lil lemon to it.

It's a decent beer. I was happy to get something so big from the BOTM.

Photo of kernalklink
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy light orange with some reddish hues- very nice looking, and there's lace as well. Decent yeasty spiciness, not overpowering and the malts used in this brew also come through in the aroma- resinous clove-like scents, with sweet doughy bread. Taste is also very good- for those who like belgians but not the overpowering yeast some tripels possess, this one is for you. Dark fruits, floral yeast and sweet caramelized malts. Good slick body, mildly carbonated and dry in the finish. Alcohol is relatively high, but almost undetectable. This is a very decent offering, an american micro version which manages to mix complex flavors well, while keeping it accessible to those who may be afraid of strong belgian flavors.

Photo of steamingheap
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours deep orange and cloudy from the bottle sediment. The head disappeared quickly. The aroma was primarily malty and fruity with a touch of spice. The flavor starts sweet and fruity and then a slight alcohol flavor breaks through. The beer gains some additional complexity as it warms. For a brief moment just before the alcohol kick-in is a glimpse of sour flavor. The carbonation was moderate and the mouthfeel light to medium.

The beer hides the high alcohol content fairly well. Unfortunately, there was some harshness (from alcohol or bitterness...?) that covers some of the more delicate flavors in the middle of the profile. While drinkable for a high O.G. brew, overall, there are other Belgians that I'd rather enjoy. Still, worth trying.

Photo of rayjay
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for the surprise bottle, zrrbrrt! Never had this before but I've enjoyed the Hop Hazard on draft in Philly a few years back.

Brilliant clear beer with no sediment, small firm foam head, modestly active carbonation escaping in the form of a constant flow of small bubbles. This is a good looking, inviting beer.

The nose features lots of malts, and an estery Belgian style pez-candy yeast, although much more restrained than, say, St. Bernardus. Some alcohol but it smells tamed.

Very refined and well balanced. Refreshing, with pilsner qualities much like Duval. Subtle flavors that melt together in perfect harmony. Delicate noble bitterness that's quite enjoyable. Far from bold. This is one of the finer American versions of the style. It could compete with many Belgian versions as well, but I think it would be beaten in the personality department. Very diffucult to fathom this weighing 10% abv--where is the alcohol? Featuring subtle bananas and mild acetaldehyde. A tiny bit isovaleric. Not taking off any points because all the flavors melt, none are offensive, and there's alot of alcohol which is probably helping to tame everything.

Gentle but confident carbonation makes for a great mouthfeel. Not too sweet, sticky, or syrupy, common complaints of mine for this style. A winner!

Careful, because the drinkablity is way too high for the abv.

My only complaints are that it's not exactly authentic and has a definate US vibe (screw tradition, US brewers should make beers with US style...but they call it a triple so they asked for it!!!). Cheers to River Horse!

Photo of 484dan
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

at first glance this beer has a regular orange/brownish color to it... the smell has a high aroma of yeast... the taste is suprisingly smooth and refreshing... no aftertaste and not much carbonation either... the alcohol is hidden quit well... overall this is a good sipping beer... watch out for the abv. it'll sneek up on ya'

Photo of Sporkus
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy auburn with a thin, fast-fading head.

S - Definitely a tart and varied fruit aroma ... conjures sour cherry, apple, prune and apricot. Cloves are present, too.

T - Aforementioned fruitiness and cloviness (is that a word?) are very prevalent. Sweet and a bit tart. Faint hops and a light carmel malt undercurrent. Alcohol is well-disguised--never would have guessed it was 10% ABV.

M - Medium-bodied, light carbonation.

D - Very drinkable for having such high alcohol content.

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with a spumeous head that is rock solid and leaves a fair amount of lace

Smell: Bananas and coriander, with a touch of lemon and a solvent alcohol element

Taste: Starts out with a banana and coriander flavor that is joined, mid palate, by a prickly harshness; the finish is quite alcoholic, but contains some tropical fruit elements in addition to the solvents

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation; lots of warming alcohol on the finish

Drinkability: Reading through these reviews, it appears that this beer has been somewhat inconsistent in the past as my impressions are very different from some other reviewers; in any event, I think this tripel has a lot going for it but would be improved dramatically by reducing the abv a couple of points

Photo of JasonCoop
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice deep orange amber color with a fizzy head that fades quickly.

smells sweet and fruity. subtly spicy also.

taste is quite sweet right up front. i taste a nice fruitiness, i'm thinking of apples. mixed in with an interesting spice. nice and sweet. very tastey.

mouthfeel is full and creamy. almost chewy. very good, about what i expected from the style. drinkability is good but not great, this is a strong beer after all.

Photo of jwc215
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light orange with a thin head that immediately disappears. Interesting color, nice clarity, poor head retention.

A pleasant clove is in the aroma. Unfortunately, that's all folks...but the clove does give off a pleasant, inviting aroma. Wish there were more to it.

The taste is of aforementioned clove. Some sweet malt mixes in to give it a candy-like taste. The yeast, unfortunately, does not seem to fully stand up to the task. But, something about it makes it tasty enough to not be unpleasant. Some hints of vanilla come through in the finish. More aromatic than tasty.

Smooth, but a bit too thin.

Well, it's no Belgian, but it's a decent American interpretation of a Tripel. It does have a nice clove spiciness, and enough sweet malt to keep it from being a wreck. The abv is dangerously hidden, making it easy to drink. It comes in a six-pack (for about ten bucks). So if you want a not-so-bad tripel in a six-pack, it would be worth it. If you are looking for Belgium-in-America...I don't know that this one quite does it.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no date. Pours a clear copper color. The head is thin and recedes quite rapidly, leaving just a whisper of lacing.

It smells like a tripel, very yeasty, yet has a strong charred wood, smoked bacon element, along with being earthy and spicy. The flavor offers plenty of berries, apples, and cloves, along with some caramel and sherry--the alcohol is well disguised considering the high ABV.

It's medium-bodied and moderatley complex, with a smokey, dry, yeasty finish, after a fruity center. It's drinkable. It doesn't possess the most personalityas far as tripels are concerned, but it's not bad.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Precisely equal parts rich amber and juicy orange with pale lemon trim. Despite an elevated pour, the jaundiced ivory cap didn't quite reach two fingers in thickness. It looks good though and is gracing the glass with an attractive array of fine lace. Although I like the look, no one is likely to confuse Tripel Horse with a quality Belgian tripel when viewing them side by side.

The same could be said for the nose. Actually, the nose isn't that impressive. It lacks power and presence, two 'gotta haves' when it comes to beer of this style. A moderate clove spiciness keeps it from the ranks of the merely average.

I don't know why it's so difficult for American brewers (Allagash excepted) to brew good, Belgian-style tripels. Lack of experience is probably the biggest reason, but it can't be that difficult to pull off a decent version, can it? Tripel Horse, while a decent strong ale, isn't any sort of tripel at all. And I typically give beer of this style a fair amount of slack since I love it so much.

There isn't enough malt on board for starters, which has the effect of turning what should be a sweet fruitiness into a sour fruitiness. Sweetness and bitterness are present in lesser amounts and clash with the unripe fruitiness rather than working with it for the betterment of the beer as a whole. It doesn't taste like the Belgian yeast strain (that I assume was used) scored very high in Complexity 101 at Yeast University. Or is that *The* Yeast University?

The only real positive is the fact that the 10% ABV is hidden remarkably well. Tripel Horse drinks at least two percentage points lower than that. My hopes that the beer would improve to some extent with warming haven't been realized. It's just more of the same with less of a chill.

The mouthfeel tries its damnest, but can't quite make it to 'good'. It struggles to be medium for the style and begins to lose its composure as the finish approaches. I don't mind it, I just don't love it. A Belgian amount of carbonation might have helped. Then again, huge numbers of bubbles are best left in the hands of the masters.

River Horse Tripel Horse is neither a Triple Crown winner, nor is it destined for the glue factory. It's just a simple, inauthentic version from a brewery that I'm beginning to think of as no better than average. Yeah, I know that a river horse is actually a hippopotamus, but you try coming up with a decent play on words that involves a hippo.

Photo of dickroop
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have drunk two of these - one time there was hardly any head, another time it was a huge super-foamy 4-finger head. Go figure. Color is golden to dark yellowish, hazy. Streams of bubbles in both cases. Smell is fruity with hints of cherry? banana? It was hints only, really any fruitiness was pretty indistinct.

Taste was fruity without being sweet, seltzery and slightly sour especially in the mid-palate. Some nice malt presence was there but no real sweetness. Seltzery in the finish. Mouthfeel was light and crisp, pleasant zingy carbonation, a little sticky. Pretty light for a brew that had been charged to get to 10% abv. Remarkably, little or no alcohol was apparent, that's a good achievement.

Drinkability was easy enough, except at 10% it's not sessionable. One of my first experiences with this style, a fun learning experience for me.

Photo of Foxman
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a hazy ruby, ruddy in deeper spots and shiny at the margins. A finger of light beige head sinks soon to wisps of surface foam. Twigs of lacing stick the inside of the glass.

The aroma wafts a thick brown sugar sweetness, slightly with dates and raisins, and rife with vague spice of yeasty phenols. The alcohol is brawny and omnipresent.

Upon tasting, the malt is rock candy sweet and cloying, with a deeper prune and earthy berry undercurrent. The spices again are sensed peripherally, with perhaps a glimpse of clove, but nothing more specific, though the central spine of alcohol is plenty prevalent. A crisp green apple tart dryness flashes through, and the finish is a lingering generic bitterness. The flavor strives for more than it achieves, with a muddled end result.

Medium bodied, the spice glow and malt fruitiness leave a mildly creamy caress along the inside of the mouth.

It's a big beer that wants to play big, but isn't coordinated enough to be especially credible. It's like Shaq playing with two left feet and shoes that are too big, assuming such shoes exist somewhere. The ABV is the most notable component of the beer, and that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. I gave it a shot, and finished the bottle. My wife is welcome to the rest, but I'm not sure she wants it either.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange with a bit of bronze tint. A tiny head that vanished quickly. No lacing.

S - Lemon and grapefruit pith. Slightly bread like with a bit of grassy hops in the background. It isn't offensive by any standards, but it isn't terribly inviting.

T - A bit of a sour lemon flavor at first that shifts to a lightly sweet malty, slightly breadish, profile. This maltiness continues to evolve into a slightly sour mildly citrus bitter flavor. The aftertaste has some notes of grassy hops and diacetyl too. To be blunt, I don't think this is a typical tripel flavor, so it might not be an exemplary model for the style. On the otherhand, I am enjoying this flavor a lot for some reason.

M - Smooth, medium bodied pretty refreshing.

D - Not bad at all. I am rather impressed. By no means is this a beer I will seek out, I probably won't have it again, but I wouldn't mind having it again if I stumble upon it. It has pretty drinkable effect, but it is 10% abv (which is well masked by the way. Worth trying at least once.

Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Below average for the style, still quaffable. Chocolate brown colour. 10% is a lot, and I was getting it from the aroma through the afterhammer. A bit of sweetness, an OK chewy yeast. Spice, but nothing too complex. Fizzy carbonation. This is an interesting brewery.

Photo of tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orange color with massive white puffy head. Smell is strong of bananas, with lots of summer and citrus fruits mixed in. Taste is mainly of bananas, spices, and a bit of pepper. Finish a bit alcoholic (which would be expected) but overly unpleasant. A very nice beer with great drinkability (considering its alcohol content)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a taster glass, pours copper amber to light gold, good half inch whitish head and decent lacing. Nose is pretty nice, light fruits, slightly spicy yeast, and a candy-like sugar. Tastes of all kinds of fruits, quite smooth, actually a really good mouth, candy sugar sweetness, only slightly aware of the abv, handled very well... Really, I'm pretty impressed by this beer, a great interpretation of a classic style. Too bad I got this as a gift, only had a few, and gave a few away.. would have liked to have this again.

Photo of macster
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber-orange color with a thin, weak white head which fades quickly to a spotty film. No lacing noted. Aromas are pleasing, just a bit tame. Notes of ripe apple, banana, apricot give this a very fruity nose with additional hints of caramel, ginger, yeast and candy sugar. Carbonation is very minimal giving it a somewhat flat, slick texture; otherwise mouthfeel is full. Taste starts out very sweet and a bit cloying. Flavors of apple, pear, apricot, banana, honey, yeast and some restrained spices comes through nicely. Finish is helped from getting too sweet by the 10% alcohol and a touch of hops. Taking into consideration how many better Tripels are available, one try is enough

Photo of jpweisel
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For a beer w/ 10% ABV the alcohol taste is minimal.

It has a fruity taste(orange or apricot) and the color is dark amber. Minimal head and not a lot of carbonation.

I orginally had on tap and then bought a 6 pack. Each bottle tastes different and better w/ time.

I have recommended to others and they agree this is a great high alcohol beer.

Photo of aquatonex
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours medium honey colored, rather cloudy. Decent carbonation, not much head along with some hints of lacing. Smells are light for a Tripel, and I do not detect the alcohol in the nose, which is good. Sweet fruitiness (peaches and citrus, not raisins) and light malts. Taste is not alcohol-y, another plus, but the actual flavors are not so balanced. Rather sickly sweet, makes me a little nauseous actually. Now that I think about it, I had 2 others of these months ago and they tasted totally different. It definitely got BETTER with age, however I think it still needs time to mature and balance out. Overall, OK, if I had rated this months ago I would have been much more disappointed.

Photo of arizcards
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as part of my MicroBrewClub April shipment.

Beer pours a dark orange with a minimal head. The initial nose out of the bottle was of sour apples. Taste is a nice medley of sour apples, candied sugar, with a nice dry hop finish. Alcohol was warming with the first sip only. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice and full for the style. Drinkability is pretty good. The hign abv is well masked. Not a bad job of brewing. It is a nice representation of the style but just not quite up there with the tripels from Belgium. But it is worth a shot!

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark honey amber color, with a thin white head that lace quickly
no visible carbonation

S - hoppy with fruity ester aromas, like that of raisins or dates, a draker fruity resemblance, even a slight hint of pine

T - more sour than i expected, lemony at first, then sweetness combines to form a smoked meat taste, like kielbasa, then finishes sweet

M - smooth, finishes dry though

D - high drinkability, a nice tripel, needs slightly less sour and sweet for me, but damn tasty

Photo of hanco005
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Selection in my Beer of the Month package. No freshness date, but not sure one is needed for this beer. 12 oz bottle poured into my St. Bernardus glass

A—pours cloudy rust color with absolutely no head whatsoever, no lacing either, is this beer flat? We shall see….

S—fruity and sweet, spicy ginger, some ripe fruits, other holiday type spices show up, too, cinnamon, nutmeg, alcohol is hidden well (it is 10% abv after all)

T—very flavorful, all the smells come out in the taste, ginger is probably strongest, followed by ripe fruits, alcohol is hidden very well…I expected it to be boozy, but it’s not.

M—very, very smooth, medium bodied, good carbonation despite the appearance

D—very good. I would love another, but could have two more. The 10% abv is sneaky in this one.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Flirts with being overly sweet but dries up to a reasonabley crisp finish. Fruity with peaches, canned peaches and nectarines. A hint of corriander can be found. The odors are more inticing than the flavor but the flavor profile is good. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for something that's 10% strong.
Not a tripel for everyone, but for those that like sweeter examples of the style this should fit the bill.

River Horse Tripel Horse from River Horse Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.