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River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter AleRiver Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

285 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 285
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.04%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dsa7783 on 03-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 285 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Act25:
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev +4.2%

This is my favorite River Horse so far. It's an authentic Belgian Dark Ale.
After 3 tries, this beer is getting better. Which is saying alot. A must try.

A: Energetic brown body, hazed, with thick retentive head and lots of lacing. Looks as it should, as a 2nd or 3rd tier belgian dark ale.
S: Aromas of flower store, candy store, bananas and Belgian yeast. More fruit than flowers.

T: Taste follows smell, and is sweet to bitter arc, with sweet winning, but not cloying. Bit too sweet and fruity, but complex and good. Lots of yeast, not as much spice or mystery as the real deal. Makes me want a salty cheese or pretzel.
M: Plenty of body with moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of weight and stickiness, a little bit too sweet in finish. Ding for being a bit mouth coating in finish.
O:"almost as flavorful as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale" but not as complex or counter balanced by bitter, pepper, spice.

I'd drink this again, and I'd include in a Belgian taste off.

03-08-2014 01:59:57 | More by Act25
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +18%

I have had the chance to try a few River Horse brews when I lived in the Philly area and honestly wasnt all that impressed but Iam gonna give them a go again.This offering poured a deep murky ruddy brown with a tight formed 1/2 finger slight off white head that was gone quite fast leaving no lace behind.Aromas of vanilla,raisin,roasted nuts and slight phenols are pretty appetizing,I like the flavors going on mainly because the phenolic flavors dont dominate somewhat pruney and raisiny with some herbal sharpness and cola lingering flavors with a hint of earth as it warms.Goes down very easily the mouthfeel is spot on not overly heavy for such big flavors,I like it better than most I think.

10-22-2006 19:49:53 | More by oberon
Photo of Tiernan


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

02-13-2014 07:46:52 | More by Tiernan
Photo of elinash

New York

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%

Pours dark amber brown with head that disappears into a very thin ring. On first sip, this beer approximates a Belgian ale, but on closer inspection, it lacks balance and its flavors are too disparate. The nose is pungent, maybe phenolic. It has flavors of banana and spices, but further drinking leads to a very alcoholic lingering bitter and drying taste. All in all, I rate this passable to OK. It is not a very good example of a Belgian Dark Ale. Seems to me that "Belgian" is used all to often as a style branding for American beers when it only uses the ingredients and not the rigor of Belgian brewing.

11-26-2010 23:59:58 | More by elinash
Photo of daveshawley


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

08-16-2012 02:58:48 | More by daveshawley
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.95/5  rDev +11%

12 ounce bottle, w/o any freshness dating. This one pours a good looking mahogony, its clear and supports an off white head. Respectable, fine lacing left on the glass. Nose here is herbal and spicy. This is a better then average American take on the style. Not overly bold nor complex, but a decent everyday Belgian style ale. Notes of raisins, some rum, minor candi sugar type notes and a fairly dry finish. Sort of Belgian Dark Ale "Light"

11-03-2005 01:52:08 | More by Billolick
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


3.58/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured a dark chestnut in color. Thin layer of lasting white lace sticks to the glass. Aromas are spicy. Lots of winter brew scents. Some cinnamon, clove, and Pepsi on the nose. Flavor is tasty. Not quite "belgian" but close. Chocolate and caramel with some dark raisins floating around. Finishes with barely a whisper of ABV. Aftertaste has a noticeable wet cardboard flavor to it, detracting a bit from the taste. Fairly full, low levels of carbonation. Not massively drinkable, but solid overall.

07-29-2004 02:54:21 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

09-10-2013 00:22:21 | More by ImFlyerThanYou
Photo of HollandTunnels


2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

02-04-2012 17:28:37 | More by HollandTunnels
Photo of Ryanm1


4.33/5  rDev +21.6%

Pours brown into a glass with about a finger of white lacing.

Tingley mouthfeel.

Very powerful smell of cherrys and similiar fruit esters along with a smell of alcohol present as is such in other high abv beers that use belgian yeast.

As for tastes its got the sweetness I expect in my belgians. Kind of tastes like a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Great beer if you like winter belgians.

01-04-2013 02:15:58 | More by Ryanm1
Photo of fav920

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +8.1%

Very good taste, but like the other River Horse beers I've sampled, seems to be too much carbonation?? Huge head which will dissipate, but like a bubbly champagne that leaves me burping all night, and leaves that "gritty" feel in my mouth. I like the taste, would it kill them to put the ABV on ther bottle??!!

10-06-2008 03:41:10 | More by fav920
Photo of ggaughan


3.83/5  rDev +7.6%

I had this one sitting in my beer fridge in the cellar for some time and thought it was the right time to crack her open. The beer poured a deep brown color with a slight tan head that stuck around for a few minute and left a nice little ring around my pint glass. The aroma was a nice floral, sweet mix with some caramel malts and hops in it. Very nice. The taste is more of the same from the aroma. Sweet malts and a bit hoppy but overall a pretty good balance. Not an overly complex beer and for the 8% abv a bit disapointing for complexity but a very drinkable beer with a light medium body.

04-01-2006 04:13:57 | More by ggaughan
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +9.6%

River Horse- Belgian Freeze

A- Deep thick brown with a thick tight foamy head. Solid lacing down the whole glass.
S- Big thick sweet malt with a good spicy nose. Clove and bubblegum come through.
T- Thick malt, slight black licorice touch, with generous doses of spices. Clove, cinnimon, and rock candy sugar are prominent.
M- Thick throughout with a good spicy body and finish. Slight pine hop bitterness in the end.

Overall- Quite tasty but A bit high on the alc, 8%, so that'll limit this down to just a few. Recommended!

12-05-2008 23:55:55 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Varkias41

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

08-22-2013 18:05:22 | More by Varkias41
Photo of Calico

New York

3.33/5  rDev -6.5%

To start off, let me say that I think the entire '05 batch of this was infected with lactobacillus, hence the sourness that many reviewers are reporting.

This is the '06, being reviewed from a 12-oz. bottle. Head is slight but clingy. Appearance is a fairly clear brown. Aroma is biscuity, malty, toasty, a small amount of noble hops. I was expecting some of the phenolic notes in the taste that last year's batch brought, but alas, it seemed more like a German alt, with a little bit of yeasty/malty richness. This can't be 8% abv.

I actually liked last year's better, but I am weird. When I was 2 years old I was begging my elder family members for an ounce of straight vinegar. I enjoyed the entire lacto-infected 12-pack of River Horse brews I had. So never mind me. This year's... as a winter ale? skip it and take the Ithaca Winterizer or the North Coast WinterBraun instead. Or the Southern Tier Old Man Winter, or that old stand-by, Anchor Our Special Ale. Any of them has more character than this one.

12-29-2006 02:28:09 | More by Calico
Photo of jmz62565


3.43/5  rDev -3.7%

This pours a dark amber with a smallish foamy head.The head disappears quickly leaving almost no lacing.The smell is a strong roasted malt aroma that doesn't last too long.There also are some wheat scents.The taste is mild for a winter beer,but not bad,My intial reaction was alot of roasted malt,but the aftertaste is like a wheat beer,different.This is pretty light for a winter and I would rank it higher,but it's not a well balanced beer.The roasted malt and wheat flavors are too strong for each other.This isn't a bad beer,just a slightly flawed one.

12-25-2005 03:16:05 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a disappointing thin head, but the color is a gorgeous ruby-laced caramel brown. A whole lotta lace covers the glass.

Aroma is cherry, chocolate, light spices, and slightly sour background.

Chocolate and cherry both come on strong in the flavor, with lighter shades of caramel and dessert spices in back. Finishes slightly sour. Good, but doesn't leave you craving another sip.

This has a lot going for it, it's almost there...but it has a kind of veil over it. The flavors you would expect for the style are here, just not as bold as they should be. It could use more ass-kicking character...flavor knobs turned about just a notch or two more, that would do it.

04-29-2007 19:14:52 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of geodonnokepyo


3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

12-15-2013 04:11:34 | More by geodonnokepyo
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%

A dark coloured ale, with a sour yeasty aroma, and a sour yeasty taste, something like a Belgian shwartzbier. Medium mouthfeel. Fizzy carbonation, like Dr. Pepper.Carmel, toffee, orange and spicy herbal juicey. Not bad, sweetness makes it drinkable. a fair Belgian ale.

06-20-2007 03:09:41 | More by Sammy
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.1/5  rDev +15.2%

The very dark and reddish-orange accented caramel-colored body of River Horse's Belgian Frostbite alludes to the intrigueing and unique chocolate notes found in both its aroma and flavor. The nose is malty, caramelish and subtly chocolatey, with a soft fruitiness (dull plum?) and hint of background spice (most likely from the yeast). It's medium-full bodied, lightly zesty, and then creamy across the palate. The flavor is rich but not overwhelming, and loaded with soft nutty malt, dark fruit (raisins, dark fruit skins, prune), a touch of wood, a hint of licorice, and a mild note of chocolate that appears in the finish. It's quite nice, and best enjoyed just slightly warmer than a regular pint but not at cellar temperature (maybe 40-45F).

10-16-2004 17:52:16 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of ElGordo


3.48/5  rDev -2.2%

From the February BOTM shipment. Pours a fairly translucent reddish-brown with a small, coffee-colored head that vanishes quickly. Nice nose of brown sugar, Belgian yeast, roasted malt, and alcohol, almost like a classic Belgian brown should smell. Taste is mostly of roasted malt, with a bit of coffee, brown sugar, and clove thrown in. Nice body. Herby spiciness lingers for a while on the palate. Kind of a weird cross between a Belgian brown and an American brown. Not bad, not great.

02-26-2004 06:47:36 | More by ElGordo
Photo of tempest


3.13/5  rDev -12.1%

The good: Smooth with well-hidden alcohol.
The bad: Mostly tastes like like an overly sweet brown ale.

Smells like very herbal dark grains, licorice like. The taste is a slightly sharp and sweet with a little spice and white grape. There's also a little grassy bitterness at the end, but overall I don't have enough going on. It's just a bit plain for an 8% Belgian. Not bad, maybe just not for me.

01-11-2008 04:56:04 | More by tempest
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +13.2%

Pours with an ample tan head that settles over clear, deep amber liquid. The nose has a vaguely Belgian quality to it along with roasted malt aromas and some hop spiciness. The taste is quite good, with suggestions of light candi sugar, sweet yet roasty malt that dries out after swallowing, and a balanced hoppiness...not to strong yet enough to assert themselves nicely. Finishes with a bittersweet flourish, a bit better than I had expected...just let it warm a bit before pouring or drinking as I had originally had one straight from the icebox and was none too impressed, warming definately brings out the best in this beer. River Horses' best offering, IMO.

11-29-2003 00:18:00 | More by beerluvr
Photo of andjusticeforale


3.4/5  rDev -4.5%

My friend the package store owner gave me one of these. It poured nice and smelled great, and the first sip... disappointed in the watery mouthfeel and lack of carbonation. There are tons of roasted malt here, and a bunch of deep flavors. The alcohol is masked well, but the thin quality of the body can't be overcome.

11-03-2005 02:25:43 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of jackndan


2.53/5  rDev -28.9%

River Horse Belgian Frostbite: from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours perfectly clear. Deep, deep brown. Very little head, but what it had left a bit of Belgian lace on the side of the mug. The aroma is fine, somewhat licorice, a bit of coffee and a little spice. The taste on the other hand, is not unlike the aroma, but it’s not right up my alley right now. Hell, perhaps ever, as the dominant tastes seem to involve a decided battle between spices (orange peel, cinnamon stick) and coffee/roasted malts. I guess it is just too warm around here this week to enjoy this beer.

04-17-2004 04:01:53 | More by jackndan
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River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.