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River Horse Special Ale ESB - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Special Ale ESBRiver Horse Special Ale ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

160 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 160
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.17
pDev: 14.51%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGordo
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.

ElGordo, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
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??

beerluvr, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of Suds
3.28/5  rDev +3.5%

I guess that I had higher hopes for this beer.
Copper color with a faint head. Subtle and delicate balance of musty hop and worty-malt aroma. Overall, the smell is pretty good...just way too faint. Caramel-ish foretaste and slightly sweet and hoppy finish. Overall, the beer is light-bodied and un-challenging. Strictly middle of the road.

Suds, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of hungryghost
3.45/5  rDev +8.8%

Amber, copper in color, small, short lived head.
Sweet malt aroma with a hint of hops.
Smooth honey like sweetness (I know its not honey cuz the bottle said so), with a slight, hop tang. Nice balance between the two flavors. Not as sweet as expected.
Mouthfeel is good, pretty clean finish, becomes a little sticky halfway through first one. Overall a very drinkable beer.

hungryghost, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of goz
3.25/5  rDev +2.5%

Pours a medium amber, with a large off-white head that mostly diminishes to leave good lacing. Aroma is light, with some toasted grains and caramel. Flavor starts slightly sweet, then turns to some mild roasted graininess. Thinnish body, fairly light on the aromas and flavor, which seems to be typical of this brewery.

goz, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +24.6%

Pours an amber color with a thick bubbly head. Lacing was produced on the glass as it emptied. The aroma was pleasant, fruity and sweet overtones were very noticable. The body was thinner than expected, but flavorful with a nice balance of malts and some slight bitterness. The malt lasts long on the tongue. Extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Gavage, Nov 01, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
3.38/5  rDev +6.6%

Tasting #2: Not even sure that it's exactly the same beer but obviously not far off considering I did my second review blind of the first and not much different in the score dept...

Golden copper color with a low white ringed head, no to low carbonation, and no lace. Lightly sweet caramel malt aroma. Sweet caramel malt flavor but not quite overly sweet; certainly not balanced to the ESB style. Medium bodied but flat.

Overall a malt heavy ESB with little hop character... Pass.

Per label: "Caramel malt, Carapils malt"

($6.99 / 6-pack)

===
Original Tasting notes from mixed pack on 7/21/03:
All 3.5's scored...

Dark gold, light amber color with a low beige head and fairly low carbonation. Light spicy malt aroma (maybe a touch of Vienna or Munich Malt ?). Malty "Oktoberfestish" type flavor with no hop characteristics. Medium bodied and smooth.

Per 12-pack Carrier: "Smooth Amber Ale"

RBorsato, Jul 21, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
3.08/5  rDev -2.8%

I did not get even a little bit of head on top of this dark amber colored beer. The aroma was dominated by malts, but there was a bit of hops that you could just get a whiff of.

In the taste, the hops made their presence felt a little more with a bitter spicy flavor. The malts were in a pretty good balance, and a caramel like taste also came through. This brew is medium-bodied and very drinkable because of its clean and smooth qualities. It is sure not an all star, and it is lacking in taste, but you could always throw a few back.

ElGuapo, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
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).

NeroFiddled, Oct 20, 2002
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.43/5  rDev +8.2%

Copper color body. Decent head which doesn't linger. Little to no lacing. Very malty without being overly sweet, a little chocolate tone in the taste/aftertaste. Not spectacular, but went nice (3 bottles nice) with dinner at deli where single selections were running a little low, so I went local.

RonfromJersey, Jun 01, 2002
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River Horse Special Ale ESB from River Horse Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.