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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Hop Hazard Pale AleRiver Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

526 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 526
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.92%
Wants: 5
Gots: 54 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ralree
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep opaque brown, great lacing, great retention. 1-finger of head.

S: Really sugary, caramel, lots of grain, a few hops, but not as much hop smell as I expect/like in this style. Just barely some grapefruit in the background.

T: Rather hoppy front end, along with a nice strong barley kick. Really toasty, almost burned, and rather grainy malt with some caramel. Lots of spices and dark chocolate. The chocolate makes it nice and bittersweet. The hops with the chocolate go together quite well.

M: Creamy, medium-body, non-astringent, carbonation good.

D: Really filling, so not an easy drinker. Good to sip.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 8/22/09. Bottle. Pours a semi-hazy amber brown with a small off-white head. Aroma of caramel malt, toffee, and floral hops. Flavor is quite similar, very malty (caramel malt, toasted malt) with some bitter hops in the finish, but this isn't very hoppy at all. Pretty drinkable and a nice session beer.

Photo of woosterbill
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a staggeringly dark, hazy reddish-brown - by far the darkest "pale" ale I've ever seen. I tend to like darker, more balanced beers in this style, but this is definitely beyond any normal limit for the style. One finger of slightly off-white head; average retention and decent lace.

S: Moderate amount of piney hops and lots of biscuity malt. Definitely a more malt-forward APA, but overall pretty pleasant.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely, with a blandly bitter finish. Not bad in any way, but thoroughly boring.

M: Fairly light-bodied with appealingly soft carbonation. Quite Pleasant.

D: Probably this brew's biggest strength - smoothly sweet malts and a cleanly bitter finish make it quite sessionable. I could easily go through a sixer of these in an evening.

Notes: Definitely a drinkable beer, but nothing much to discuss. This reminds me of nothing more than the pale ale offering from a mediocre brew-pub - no real character to the hops, and a bit too much chewiness in the prominent malts. Still, nothing offensive at all, and good stuff in the mouthfeel and drinkability categories. Oh, and I was glad to check NJ off my list of states.


Photo of timtim
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i also wish this one turned my gears, but it doesn't. hazy amberish with a white head that settles pretty quickly but leaves a bit of attractive lace as it goes. nose is a competition between spicy, earthy, slightly citrusy hops and lightly toasted malt that carries a mild grainy sweetness. definite stab at balance, and it's actually pretty well achieved. a little hot for such a low abv and a little full bodied (read: weirdly slightly syrupy) for the style. the booziness, toasty malt profile and hop character don't translate to dryness, and i think thats what throws it off for me. i prefer my pale ales a bit drier (and a lot hoppier, but i'm not taking off points for that) and a touch less sweet. where's the full nelson? where's the alpha king?

Photo of Slatetank
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this at Quick six in West York, PA. poured chilled from the 12oz into my dfh shaped pint.

A - A somewhat dark turbid caramel shade w/ particulate settling in the bottom (hops). 2 fingers of light cream tops the ale w/ a fine bead and sticky lace rings the glass.

S - A very fragrant hoppy nose w/ both herbal and sweet aromas. The odor of fruity yeast esters hint at English pale, but a slight nutty caramel hint is there too.

M - A slightly syrupy sweet texture w/ mellow bitterness. There is more spice from the hops than flavor really. A yeasty soft texture is there w/ medium carbonation and mild bitter tinge in the finish

T - The flavor is mild w/ subtle fruity flavor and mild caramel malt w/ a subtle bitter tinge w/ a piney hop note. A mellow pepper-like spice follows the creamy malt w/ a slightly acidic hop taste which is lemony and the flavor is mildly tart as it finishes

D - An average pale drinkability-wise for me. The ale lacks any thing to set it apart and comes off slightly one-note to me

edit -5/23/10
thanks to carlos for sharing this
A-4, S-3.5, M-4, T-3.5, D-4

A - A slightly hazed caramel colored light brown with thick cream cap of tan which has tight beading. Lace clings to the glass in ringlets

S - A sweet worty caramel malt smell with mild floral citrus hop aroma w/ a hint of pepper

M - A smooth balanced feel of biscuity and spiced hop with moderate carbonation and medium bitterness w/ a clean dry finish

T - The flavor is good whil not outstanding hop flavor, a nice balance is achieved between the crystal malts and mild toasted quality w/ a slight lemony bitterness with mild pepper in the finish

D - Overall a solid beer I wouldn't mind having on hand, a decent pale ale. I think it fits the style well

Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wish I liked this beer more - Riverhorse is a cute little brewery and seems very enthusiastic. But it's OK.

Pours copper with thin head. Aroma is malty, toasted, with earthy hops. Flavor is toasted with hints of caramel with earthy and overripe floral hops and a gentle bitterness on the back. Mouthfeel is clingy and a bit oily.

Photo of Amalak
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had at Boulevard Tavern in Brooklyn.
A- Reddish brown color, with a solid head and lace. Semi-opaque.
S- No real scent to it.
T- The hops certainly come through and has an IPA taste to it. There a slight caramel taste there mixed with some fruitiness.

Photo of BeerSox
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Cloudy deep amber hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a thin cap.

A little bit of spicy hops are on top of a lightly toasted malt base, which gives off a little caramel.

The hops give a very herbal flavor, trailing with some sharp bitterness. A little bit of citrus is there. The malts are slightly dry, with a little bit of caramel and some toffee (first one for me in this style...). Full bodied.

Not a very good pale ale in my opinion. The Hop Hazard name indicates that this one should be a little more hoppy. I hope that the stale flavors in this one are due to age, but that doesn't seem likely.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy copper color with a thick tiny bubbled eggshell heading with very good lacing throughout.

Smell is of caramel malts at first whiff. Followed by nice citrusy hops and dry hop aroma. Very nice maltiness to me is dominant.

Taste is very hoppy,bitter hops at that. A slight thickness like a syrupy taste. Extremely sweet caramel malt's flexes it's muscle. Very slight butteriness to this beer.

Mouth is very smooth and finishes dry. Medium bodied with a balls out carbonation that never ends.I've swirled this a dozen times and the same amount of carbonation fills the glass.

Drink is excellent nice hoppiness not to overpowering and malts to match.

A very well balanced APA. It reminds me alot of the 90 min IPA but less syrupy. Awesome beverage.

Photo of mwa423
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Received as a part of my booty from the Dow Jones BIF. I forget who sent it to me, but thanks!

A - Poured with no head, poured the second half very aggressively and...nothing. Confusing? The color is a murky dark brown that reminds me of pond water.

S - Lots of malt and a bit of hops

T - A bit of sweet malt and a minimal amount of hops, not complex, not even interesting. Boo.

M/D - Mouthfeel is watery, drinkability is so/so at best.

Note: I suspect something could have happened to this bottle in shipping, because it is a pretty poor example of a beer that supposedly has a B review.

Photo of Kitt
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma is a rich, lingering, malt, with a powerful hop overtone.

Pours a deep, dark, orange-copper. Head is frothy-thick but weak in depth. Lace lingers in head's withdrawal, but rapidly dissipates a short distance above rim thereafter.

Strong hop flavor with citrus and piney undertones. Malt flavor retreats rapidly to background while bitter taste persistently lingers. The strong hop and malt flavor -- while initially desirable -- rapidly takes over, eventually masking any hint of distant citrus and pine. This is a rich and sweet APA -- however, the flavor is a bit too sweet for its own good. Its heavy nature overwhelms other desireable tones.

Mouthfeel is rich and heavy. The combination of rich hops and heavy feel tips the scale too far. If drinkability were crisp and refreshing this would be a top APA. The heavy nature is not effectively balanced and the beer is slightly over-carbonated. Still, this is an above average APA.

This beer makes a great Saturday night night-cap.

Photo of bonkers
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. It pours a hazy orange with a thick white head and lots of lacing. The aroma is a bit grassy, bit faint. The flavor is nicely balanced with a malty sweetness for by a light piney finish. The brew is medium bodied and a bit too highly carbonated. It is smooth drinking and a solide APA.

Photo of KenOnBass
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Boulevard Tavern, Brooklyn, NY.

A: White head, orange color. Not much of a head or lacing.

S: Smell of hops and a little malty.

T: Very sweet tasting. Not enough of a hops flavor for my liking.

M: Sweet and smooth.

D: As far as pale ales go, the smell of hops in this beer makes me crave an IPA. More sweet than bitter.

Photo of ToasterChef
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is rusty orange in color, with some cloudiness. It has a good sized head of very light brown bubbles. The aroma is of cherries, clover honey and a bit of earthiness. There are certainly some hops in the flavor, but it isn't too bitter. The bitterness gets more pronounced at the end, but still, it isn't overwhelming. It doesn't linger long after you swallow. There is a grassy flavor up front. The beer feels very smooth, with an average amount of carbonation. It has bit of a fuller body than I expected. This is a very enjoyable beer. I may be a bit biased, as this beer is unavailable in Maine I'm reviewing it while on vacation, but I could really drink a bunch of these. I'm glad I picked up a six pack, knowing nothing of this particular beer or its brewery.

Photo of DevilDogBeer
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

River Horse Hop Hazard pours a nice orange color with a cloudy look indicative of the unfiltered brew. The head settles to a nice white cap with little bubbles that clings to the glass. The smell is floral and citrus with the hops coming to the forefront of the nose. The taste is very good, with a hop bite on the front of the tongue finishing with a nice malty aftertaste. This beer is well balanced and presents the hops up front but it is not so bitter it can't be enjoyed. There are notes of citrus and flowers in the brew which would seem to indicate a nice blend of hops used. There is a slight taste of a caramel or high crystal malt in the beer but the finish is pleasant. The mouthfeel is very smooth and rich, but it leaves no unpleasant aftertaste, just a slight malt tone. At 6.5% ABV, this beer goes down smooth but should be enjoyed in moderation or with food since it can stack up on you quick. Overall this is a well balanced IPA that is worth a try.

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle bought at Ancona`s in Ridgefield.

Poured into a pint glass, this offering from River Horse is a light but deep brown with a one finger head that turns mostly to a lace ring after a sip or two. The smell is interesting, sweet like a colored marshmallow with some of those hops present as well. The taste is a little bitter, hops are there, with a faint sweetness. It is pairing very well with the chili that I am eating for dinner tonight. Mouthfeel is spicy with some hops and finishes dry, I think I will need to cleanse the palate with some water after this. As I continue with this, I realize the drinkability is just about average despite the abv not being too high. It is however a very good beer to pair with a nice meal of chili, wings, pot pie, etc.

Photo of philbe311
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - One fingers worth of frothy slightly off white head... Loads and loads of rapid carbonation throughout... A toasty golden copper color which is a little lighter at the bottom and darker at the top... A faint haziness... Loads of foam cling to the sides of the glass...

S - A faint citric hoppiness... Lots of bready malts... Green apple... Mellow, but still pleasant and enjoyable...

T - Much more assertive hop presence than I expected, but far from overpowering... The hops dominate throughout, but minor notes of biscuit and malt were noted...

M - A lush creaminess if first detected as the foam reaches first, but quickly dissappears... Pringly biting carbonation up front... Dry and chalky... Medium bodied... Slight solvent aftertaste burns on the back of the tongue...

D - An assertive American Pale Ale... Without knowing better, I would have guessed it was an IPA... Drinkable and enjoyable, but not overly memorable...

Photo of rfgetz
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy, orangy amber. Thin head.

S: Roasted malts, bread and fresh floral hops.

T: Sweet, bready malts. Floral hops and carmel. Slight bitterness to finish.

M: Medium bodied, slightly bitter aftertaste

D: A little on the bready and sweet side for an APA. Mosre british influence.

Photo of dacrza1
3.34/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Situation: A relaxing Friday...
Glassware: Yuengling pint...
Appearance: Light orange, almost pumpkin-colored body with a steady stream of effervescence--ACTIVE; bubbling clustery head, thick and pillowy with traces of lacing...
Aroma: fruity esters awaken the nostril, with the expected pine bite from hops--appropriate...
Palate: medium-bodied and tipped to the throatmalts thrown in provide a late balance, but the majority of this beer lingers between the teeth--a bit less easy drinking than I'd imagined!
Taste: First sip is hoppy and sharp, arush to the throat; by last sip, this beer could be either a nacho chaser (my plans tonight), a sessioner if you are up for it, or a single drink for any season--quite versatile...
Overall: Nice tracings as the glass drains, suggesting a well-crafted pale... do not experience the malts as much as the brewery advertises, but still pleasantly dry... the sum of its parts add up to more than this rating, perhaps...

Photo of maddogruss
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this in a River Horse mixer.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with a nice, two finger, off-white head that was pretty silky. Nice retention and lacing until the end.

S: A fairly sweet, malty, citrus smell with some bitter hope notes as well as some earthiness. A nice, pretty balanced smell for an APA.

T: The taste was fairly equal to the smell, but not overly bitter. More of an earthy hop taste with some bitter notes to balance. A slightly malty backbone was evident in the aftertaste. Pretty nice overall.

M: A medium-bodied mouthfeel that was pretty nice on the palette and fairly smooth. Mouthfeel was fairly typical of the style.

D: A fairly nice drinking beer with a pretty solid mouthfeel and taste combination. The beer could have used a little less carbonation, but the offering was still good, nonetheless.

Photo of Durge
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very cloudy dark amber color with lots of big white floaties, a respectable blotchy off-white head and nice streaky lace. The aroma is a maple peanut butter stink bomb with just a hint of yeasty bread. The flavor brings out sharp citrus peppery hop bitterness. There's some maple and even some clove-like qualities going on. It's interesting but not hoppy enough for something called Hop Hazzard. Relatively thin, average drinkability based on a middle ground feel and dubious flavor. It becomes mellower and more enjoyable toward the end of the pint. Not bad, but not great, a bit odd as hop brews go.

Photo of jhammel01
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st beer from River Horse...

Pours a clear golden honey color Without much head at all. The head dissipated pretty quickly. Some reviewers have stated that theirs was pretty cloudy but mine is very very clear.

The smell is great. Its nice and hoppy! Also a little piney.

At 1st taste, I really thought this was an IPA. Only after seeing the discription on here did I realize it was an APA. Hops, pine malt and a bit of alcohol come through. As it warmed it really lost a bit of its bite somehow. Not to the point of being bland though.

All and all, I found this to be a pretty well rounded beer. I'd love to pick up a 6 pack next time instead of only one single.

Photo of TLove
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet glass.

Appearance a touch cloudy, but on par with most substantive pale ales.

Smells like a caramel IPA with a light body.

Substantial and sharp hops, lighter body, but really full, dark malts blended in with the light.

Nutty finish with a date/raisin fruit taste lingering with the hops.

Very nice beer and surprisingly well-balanced for a pale ale.

Photo of emsroth
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

App: Small head that quickly dissipates, but decent lacing follows. A hazy honey brown color

Smell: Slight floral hops, but the scent is dominated by alcohol and toasty malt.

Taste: Light flavor. Slight bit of malt but mostly a hop bitterness that controls the flavor. Sweet caramel flavors come through as it warms.

Very light mouthfeel that is a slight bit chewy.

Taste almost like a bitter with the light toasty malt and dominant hop bitterness. Really a one dimensional beer that is barely enjoyable.

Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey brown color with a tight, cream colored head that settled into a sparse cap with some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is quite bready, with some caramel and a light peppery spicy hop. The bready caramel malt is forefront with a stale grassy hop following that offsets the sweetness. There is a bit of a nutty and rusty metallic flavor going on as well. Moderate body with semi-soft carbonation, starts off malty sweet but finishes with a bitter hop. Definitely a malt forward APA; solid malt body, heavier than most though it does have a solid hop presence. Perhaps a bit too much caramel malt. Worth trying.

River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.