River Horse Special Ale ESB - River Horse Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by EPICAC:
3.55/5 rDev +12%
This was another beer served on cask. Again, it was served lightly chilled in a mug. River Horse ESP pours a very cloudy, copper color. The aroma is mild overall, but what's there is pleasant: toasty malts, and citric and fruity hops. The aromas could stand to grab you a little bit more.
Toasty malts first hit the tongue followed by a light, bready sweetness. The flavors quickly move into a citric and herbal hop finish. The flavors are pleasant, but seem a bit muddled, with nothing really standing out. This ESB is light-bodied with low carbonation and a husky texture in the finish.
This is a decent session beer, though I think it could be a bit bolder without sacrificing drinkability.
06-24-2009 00:49:16 | More by EPICAC
More User Reviews:
3.93/5 rDev +24%
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: It has an orange amber colored body with lots of yeast fine sediment floating around inside. This is cap off by a tall, light and foamy head. It is light tan in color and slowly fades to thin filmy covering which leaves behind a little slick lacing on the glass.
Smell: I get some really nice sweet bready and doughy maltiness with a faint hint of English hops.
Taste/Palate: There is a nice base of bready maltiness and yeast with pleasant sweetness. I get some mellow notes of honey like sweetness, sugar cookies and even a touch of light caramel and vanilla. The hops come in at the finish and offer some pleasant herbal character and light bitterness for balance. The mouth feel has a firm medium feel with soft carbonation.
Notes: My overall thought is that it may not be the prettiest beer but it has some good flavor notes and nice balance. Also I could see myself drinking more then a few of these at 4.5% abv.
05-20-2011 22:47:01 | More by generallee
3.1/5 rDev -2.2%
12 ounce bottle, Boring and nondescript are my words to describe this brew. As said below this one does not go anywhere. Mushy flavor profile, malty? hops? nothing really is destinct.. Poor brew to roll out as your "special" ale. I'm sure these guys are capable of better.
04-29-2004 10:30:39 | More by Billolick
2.98/5 rDev -6%
12oz. amber bottle with no freshness dating. "You'll never miss the water!" on the label.
Poured a dark copper in color with a very smooth and creamy off-white head that dies quickly and sparsely covers the glass. Aromas are tough to pick out, but are comprised mostly of a doughy sweetness...like cinnamon roll dough. Flavor is more of the same, with a shallow malty-caramel flavor supported by a bit of diacetyl input. Finishes with nary an aftertaste....nothing. Mouthfeel is very thin and not to pleasing to the palate. Drinkable, but not overly so.
Notes: Bottle clearly notes "ESB" on the bottle but there's no way that this fits the ESB mold.
05-31-2004 02:31:59 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
3.48/5 rDev +9.8%
I got this sampler case from Shelbourne Beer Dist. No dates on the case, bottle, or label. I drank this in a pilsner glass.
Pours a slightly hazy copper, with a 1/2 finger head of off-white foam. The head quickly drops to islands and a ring. Sparse splotches of lacing are evident. Not much carbonation.
Earthy type malt smell, caramel-y and toasty, with an herbal hop nose. Fruity, and maybe a touch of diacetyl. Pleasant.
The first flavor is slightly singed caramel malt, with a decent hop bitterness. Pretty fruity, with flavors of golden raisins and dates. Fairly sweet for style, but not bad. Aftertaste is sweet toasted malts.
Mouthfeel is medium sweetness, with soft carbonation. Pretty much to style. Finish is pretty sweet, but nice.
If this beer had more depth of character, it would be pretty damn good. It's within style parameters, but with just a little push, could be so much more.
08-15-2005 18:26:44 | More by jakester
3/5 rDev -5.4%
Reviewed from notes.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Fin Du Monde Tulip glass. Firm pour elicits 1/8 inch head that diminishes very rapidly. Moderate lace. Color is a slight ruby amber.
Nose- Light notes of caramel, bitters evident in the nose.
Palate- Lightly sweet caramel notes, some nuttiness. Pleasantly yet mild bitterness. Not overly complex but a nice beverage none the less.
Mouthfeel- A little thin, but pleasant.
01-06-2009 01:10:36 | More by Kraken
3.53/5 rDev +11.4%
Situation: Final exams have began--time to celebrate prematurely!
Glassware: Kisatsky's Pub shaker...
Appearance: Burnt orange-brown body with a crispy, fresh white head that settles to a lacing-less moustache..
Aroma: Robust, hoppy scents--a bit much in the hopper for an ESB (though indeed this is an American brewer)...
Palate: medium-bodied and rather smooth finish after an abrupt start; the throat is stoked ablaze with each passing sip...
Taste: buttery with sweet toffee and vanilla (?); hops provide initial runch but ease off; aftertaste is pleasantly even...
Overall: No insult, but can't think of something more to say either way--works as the twelve-pack filler with a sessionable sweetness....
07-17-2009 18:26:15 | More by dacrza1
2.95/5 rDev -6.9%
River Horse Special Ale
My first River Horse.
Appearance- orangy yellow with a thin fizzy head.
Smell- grassy hops and malt. not bad.
Taste- light and watery. yet decent malt with some grassy hints.
Mouthfeel- watery with a dull dryness in the back end.
Overall- a decent is not forgetable beer. Wouldn't seek this one out but wouldn't mind drinking another.
02-16-2005 00:08:32 | More by NJpadreFan
2.93/5 rDev -7.6%
This pours a cloudy reddish amber with a very small short lived head.The smell is average with some roasted malt,but that's about it.The taste has some roasted malt nuttiness and a slight citrus aftertaste.The m/f is light and leaves your mouth a little watery.This is an average beer and I doubt I'll try this again.
12-31-2005 03:56:33 | More by jmz62565
3.95/5 rDev +24.6%
App: Slightly darker than amber. A small, one finger head that turned into a thick lace on the top of the beer.
Smell: Sweet floral and piney hops. Smells great but much more like an APA
Taste: A malt in line with the british ale styles: slightly toasty and a bit watery. A little bit sweet. Ends with a slight bitterness. Light taste.
Medium body; very drinkable.
Not the best of the style, but a tasty, highly drinkable brew.
06-11-2009 21:43:57 | More by emsroth
3.63/5 rDev +14.5%
A quite hazy - almost cloudy - and deep-amber colored body topped by a thin & creamy white cap that has limited holding capabilities. The aroma is richly malty (similar to Munich malt) with a touch of diacetyl, gently fruity, and displays a minor hop note if you swirl the glass enough to bring it up. The body is medium with a very fine, restrained carbonation that gives it an oily, smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel. The flavor reflects the rich malt first seen in the aroma, although it's more caramelish here, with a firm hoppy balance that's more bitterness than flavor. It finishes dryish with some gently lingering maltiness, a mild fruitiness, a soft note of buttery diacetyl, and a touch of hop bitterness and flavor. Although it may sound complex here, it's actually quite straight-forward. I actually enjoy the light diacetyl here as it works well with the other characteristics of the beer and adds to the richness (as it sometimes seen in brown ales).
10-20-2002 14:21:44 | More by NeroFiddled
3.15/5 rDev -0.6%
This one showed up in the BOTM shipment for February. Pours a strange-looking coppery/orange color with a smallish creamy head that lingers on the glass. Really strong nose of toffee, biscuit, caramel, and roasted malt. Palate is caramel malt, more bread/biscuit, very light hops, hint of orange. Creamy mouthfeel with a muted aftertaste of sweet roasted malt. The bottle says this is an ESB, BA says it's a red ale,and I have to side with BA. A decent beer, but not very true to style.
02-15-2004 06:13:27 | More by ElGordo
3.13/5 rDev -1.3%
12oz single, received as an extra in a trade from Warriorsoul
appearance: pours a murky copper-amber into a between the buns pint glass, quite cloudy, light beige head forms with not much retention and decent lacing
smell: oddly sour, vegetal aromas, toasty malt aromas, artificial sweetner characteristic, light caramel, peach-citrus
taste: certainly not like any esb i have ever sampled...delicate out of place sourness, grainy aftertaste, light caramel, toasty malt...different, but not all that great
mouthfeel: lightly watery, sour on the tongue, average-low carbonation
drinkability: not bad
06-27-2006 01:54:07 | More by dirtylou
3.1/5 rDev -2.2%
OK, I can see where these guys are going with this beer. They're trying to turn a classic ESB into a full-flavored American amber. It doesn't work. The body is too thick, either from low attenuation or (possibly and) too much crystal malt. It comes off with a thick body like a 6-7% beer, which sort of negates the sessionability. Mouthfeel aside, the beer tastes like toffee malt with a dash of herbal citrus hops at the finish. So even for all that unfermented sugar thickening the beer, it doesn't seem terribly complex. I'd avoid this if I were you. It's not offensive, there are just better options out there.
04-19-2010 13:33:02 | More by tempest
3.48/5 rDev +9.8%
"Extra Special"? Hardly. "Bitter"? Not very. Pours out with a decent looking off white head that settles briskly over attractive reddish/amber clear liquid. The nose is clean, biscuity, somewhat weak maltiness with some caramel notes strewn about...where's the hops? The taste offers somewhat thin mouthfeel with tastes of crisp maltiness with a biscuit edge, very little fruitiness, very little hop bitterness...where's the hops? Finishes spritzy, light, unexciting...you win some, you lose some. This time I lost. I'll say this though, it would make a mighty fine lawnmower beer at the very least. But where's the hops??
01-13-2004 23:57:19 | More by beerluvr
2.68/5 rDev -15.5%
Purchased in alexandria, va
Pours a hazed amber/ice tea color with 3 fingers of lively sand colored head. Very good lacing, some head retention & hazed all the way to the bottom
S: Jammy notes
T: Fruitty with some astringent notes up front. Some hop tea& then diathechyl. Some spicy hop & fruitty (apricot) notes follow, but notenough to save this.
MF: Light & prickly & not pleasant
Drinks slow, too astringent, not sure how long this one was sitting in a fridge in that store, but this failed to impress & makes me hesitant to try anything else from these guys. This really reminds me of one of my first (crappy) batches of homebrew, avoid
04-05-2007 04:02:59 | More by russpowell
3.85/5 rDev +21.5%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Pours chocolately brown with touch of white foam. Laces.
Smells malty with some spices. Good blend.
Caramel malty taste with some hop. Light cola taste. Bitterness is buried and not overly dominant.
Tasty, good drinnker. Nice ale.
10-24-2010 12:38:13 | More by KTCamm
3.2/5 rDev +0.9%
Poured into a Chimay glass
A - Brown-ish copper color, thick head
S - Only subtle maltiness, with hoppiness reminiscent of an IPA.
T - Bitter, sort of a tea like flavor with some caramel notes.
M: Very dry
D: Despite having a low-alcohol content, I feel this is more of a sipper than something to wash down food with.
Serving type: bottle
10-27-2009 04:09:30 | More by tjd112
2.6/5 rDev -18%
Pours deep orange with a small white head. It's hazy and cloudy, apparently unfiltered. The aroma is almost nonexistent, but what's there is a malty sweetness with a strange soapy note in the background. The taste is very underwhelming. There's not much there past a vague malty sweetness. Hops seem nonexistent. It finishes like it starts...there's a serious lack of flavor here. This is clearly a "crossover" beer, but I think it fails at even that. There isn't very much taste and what's there isn't terribly interesting or appealing.
10-20-2005 13:32:59 | More by Hagbard
3.1/5 rDev -2.2%
Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, mostly malts. Taste is mostly of malts, some hops present, not overly flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent brew.
03-01-2010 03:34:11 | More by tone77
3.28/5 rDev +3.5%
A: Poured a clear, cranberry-orange with a 1 finger creamy, light beige head that left a fair rim lacing. Visible carbonation was soft.
S: light with some dry orange peels and light fresh flowers.
T: spritzy orange juice with fresh orange grinds. A nice fruitiness of sour apples, sour caramel and some spruce hints were detected as well. Light dry caramel toasted grains, curaco oranges and citrus rounds things out.
M: light, oily slick in texture, and softly carbonated. Light spicy orange fade is experienced on the swallow.
D: Decent drinkability, but wouldn't be my first option.
05-19-2008 22:55:31 | More by beerthulhu
River Horse Special Ale ESB from River Horse Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.