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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.

532 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 532
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 8
Gots: 61 | 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: resirob on 11-23-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 532 | Reviews: 248 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbnooshay
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

People seem to be so harsh to the brews this place makes. This is is a fantastic brew! I think I like it almost as much as the belgian frostbite. Not much head after I poured it. The aroma is toastey and sweet; Not alcoholic at all! This is one of those beers that you can't begin to understand how it is rated at 10% alcohol. The taste is incredibly smooth and malty. The hops are lite but nice. The brown sugar/caramellish tint to the malt rocks. The mouthfeel is kinda slick and nice but by the end of the beer you mouth will be dry as shit! I could down 3 or 4 of these but i would be dead!


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.

Photo of brantadid
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a crystal clear carmel/golden color. Very little head and no lacing.

Smells very hoppy. Some citrus rind and strawberry in the nose. Very pleasant.

Slight strawberry on the front palate. Citrus and some faint pine comes through in the mid to back palate. Nice crispness to this beer.

Mouthfeel is light yet creamy. Carbonation is on the high side but it is fairly drinkable.

Photo of thartman
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a bottle into a wide-mouthed glass. There was a very thin head, which dissipated quickly, and little carbonation. The color was a pale, amber, with some dark gold when held up to the light.

There was a fruity, smell with a hint of vanilla. The taste was fruity and sweet, a little spicy, with a nice vanilla aftertaste. The 10% alcohol was hidden well.

This beer had a grainy texture, and was unique to the style, but worth a try.

Photo of marcpal
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap during a sampling at the Lambertville brewery. Not a huge fan of this type of beer but thought it was very good and tasty, especially given the ABV.

A: Burnt siena with a good natural head and lacing throughout the beer.

S: Contrary to description and others tastes, didnt sense cloves (which is good thing). Had some fruitiness to it and deep flavors in the background of the aroma.

T: Did not have the hard alcohol fruity taste of a 10% but maintained the fruitiness and was even more tasty as worked way through the beer. Really developed some sort of nut/chocolate background as drank the beer- very good.

M: Depth of texture and carbonation was middle of the road.

D: Almost too drinkable for the ABV. Easily could have put a few away without thinking twice.

Photo of Contra
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was not quite what I expected, but once I warmed up to it, I found it delicious. It's a much darker shade than other Tripels I've had, but not quite as deep as Belgian Strong Ales. The aroma just isn't that strong, at least when I gave it a whiff. The taste, however, is complex enough to be very intriguing. There is a flavor reminiscent of pumpkin ales, which I couldn't place right away. Layered on top of this is a nice vanilla-malty overtones which can't be missed.

This stuff is quiet potent, but you'd never know it from tasting it. I could guzzle this if I had to, but why let it go to waste? Sip after sip, I just can't get tired of it.

Photo of Viggo
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traded for at DL Day, I should have written stuff down because now I have no idea who it came from. So to whoever, let me know! And thanks!

Pours a cloudy golden, real nice colour, small white head forms, some lace spots, decent retention, settles to a thin layer and ring. Smell is strange, sweet and caramelly, citrus, bit of floral, almost a skunkiness, sugary, touch of alcohol but well hidden. Taste is very sweet, candi sugar like, spices, Belgian yeast, quite bready, bit of citrus, more sweetness, some alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, nice warming. Few weird aromas and flavours, very sugar, but smooth and pretty drinkable.

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.

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
3.47/5  rDev -6%
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
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
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
4.17/5  rDev +13%
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
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
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
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
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
3.8/5  rDev +3%
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
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
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
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
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
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
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
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

River Horse Tripel Horse from River Horse Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 532 ratings.