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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

340 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 340
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 5
Gots: 36 | 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:
Beer added by: dsa7783 on 03-22-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 179
Reviews by EGledhill:
Photo of EGledhill
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to beerloco for throwing this in with a trade. poured into chalice glass.

A. poured into the middle of glass and got a 1/2 finger head that faded pretty quick. brown body. Nothing overly exciting.

S. Smells partially redeem appearance. Caramel malt sweetness dominates. A little spice and a very mild burnt coffee.

T. Taste fucks with me a little... (takes another sip). Spicy bready yeasty caramel sweetness on the front, Slight bitterness on the finish. Good taste to this one.

M. A little thin for my liking. carbonated water feel to me

D. Good beer, but not something I'd do as a go to. bitter aftertaste hangs around. Kind of makes me wanna go wash my mouth out.

Overall not too bad every once in a while. First try from these guys and this one shows potential. Glad to have gotten the chance to try this one

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of elinash
3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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"

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of wattoclone
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium-dark brown with a moderate head. Pleasant aromatic aroma with burnt sugar and vanilla notes. A pleasantly sweet malty taste with an abrupt slightly bitter finish with grapefruit notes. Certainly a well crafted Belgian dark , but the ABV borders on a Strong Dark. Although not necessarily a bad thing, a Belgian Strong Dark would have considerably more flavor to reward the consumption. American craft breweries like to push the envelope of every style, and this is no exception. If the alcohol content were lower, in the realm of a Belgian Dark Ale it would be exceptional. As a Belgian Strong Dark it is middle of the road.

Photo of Ryanm1
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of fav920
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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??!!

Photo of ggaughan
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of dacrza1
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 10, 2015... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... OCCASION: enduring what hopefully is the last cold night of the spring... APPEARANCE: flourishing, fizzing, off-white head settles from a cloud-like fluff to a consistent thickness; opaque amber body that allows little light through... AROMA: earthy enough with grass and herbs to suggest Summit hops, with a sightly spicy aspect; the backbone of each breathe is the caramel malt--loses its impact after a few swirls... PALATE: somewhat active feeling on the tongue; bubbly mouthfeel slips to a dry, lingering finish; thick overall... TASTE: an underwhelming nondescript mix of lightly sweet and bitter--surprising for a strong ale... OVERALL: a straight-forward, alcohol-masking winter warmer that drinks well and right; a beer that accomplishes its goal...

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Calico
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of jmz62565
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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).

Photo of ElGordo
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of tempest
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of beerluvr
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of jackndan
2.53/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of bditty187
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark coppery-purple hue with reddish highlights, it possesses a very attractive color, the light beige head reached a quarter of a finger before it quickly disappeared to a trace of a soapy collar. No lace. The nose indistinguishably suggests it has Belgium roots; the maltiness is stark with slight chocolate hints, nuts and little else. The potency is mild and the aromas are easily detectable, however they just weren’t saying much. The palate is remarkably similar to the nose, unfortunately. The maltiness is dry, unconnected, vague sweetness, nutty as well. There is a distant trace of spiciness in the middle, alcohol too; the finish is quick with hints of chocolate, placidly bitter aftertaste. As suggested I drank this slightly warmer than normal and as it warmed significantly I still didn’t taste much improvement. Medium in body with scattered carbonation, which produces a slick mouthfeel, that lacks a little bulk. It is easy to drink and pleasant enough, the name seems misleading but I’m not “downgrading” for that, in an odd way it reminded me a lot of Shiner Winter Ale. A decent winter ale, worth trying. Thank you beerluvr for including this offering in our Holdiay Beer Exchange 2003!

Photo of benmiliron
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paid $1.49 for a bottle. Nice dark mahogany brown, not at all cloudy. Smell is very nice, candi sugar and fruit, rum. Taste has a bit of the fruit and dark malt, with a strange type of molasses-like syrupy flavor, a bit artificial. Mouthfeel is a bit watery - should be heavier I think, with a sharp but not too rough bubble.

Photo of torchedpunk
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sample pack that came with three of each in their line.

Appearance- Pours a two inch head that dissipates quickly. Light in color compared to most 8% apv brews A dark bronze. Steady carbonation.

Smell- Smell of an interesting blend of malts, I can't pin point what's in this but it's unique. Almost a similar arome to Yuengling.

Taste- This to me is the best River Horse brew. I actually looked forward to tasting this again after the frist. Very smooth matly taste, and the alcohol is noticable. I drank it chilled and it added to the blend of crispness. The hops are subtle but have a good kick.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkablility- This guy isn't half bad. It's smooth and crisp has a bite and is great for the cold weather. This is the only reason so far I have to buy a River Horse beer.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.64/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A light see-through brown in color with a thin, lively tan head. The aroma is fine indeed – some caramel, chocolate, cotton candy and malts, they’re there. Off the cuff, a very sweet and fruity body; some roasted caramel malts give way to lively Belgium spices. Some alcohol is noted, an inviting warming factor; traces of chocolate, coriander and pepper left on the palate. This was enjoying; massively drinkable.

to view more.
River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.