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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

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327 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 14.01%
Wants: 5
Gots: 27 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drnknmnky
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- brown with a thick tight foamy head. good retention and strogn lacing

S- malty sweetness. Clove, spiciness, peppery cinnamon, earthy

T- malt, spices. Clove, cinnamon, and also a sweetness comes through, and bit of peppery flavor

M- Thick medium body, spicy slight hoppiness in the inish

D - good, 8% abv cuts down on drinknability but still not somethien I'd seek out.

Photo of PoolhouseRebel
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into my Duvel tulip. A nice reddish brown rosewood color with a nice frothy beige head which leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell is of sweet malt, yeast, a subtle smokiness and alcohol.

Taste is of roasted malt and caramel with soft spicy notes up front.

Mouthfell is a bit too carbonated for my liking and, in my opinion, for a winter warmer.

I only got one bottle through a trade with my buddy and don't think I would enjoy sitting down with a sixer of it. However given the ABV is concealed very well bumps up the drinkabilty a few notches.

A nice beer, but not for me.

Photo of Vendetta
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, cloudy copper with a thick, foamy head that leaves a thin intermittent lacing down the glass as it is consumer.

Smells strongly fruity, wet, wheat.

Taste is fruity, wheat, yeasty up front with an ashen dry dark finish. No hint of the high ABV, very well concealed.

Some adequate carbonation, medium-bodied and smooth. This is a very good effort from a local brewery. Must try if you're in the area or can acquire it some other way.

Photo of taylor714914
2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured this light maroon tinted brew into a tulip glass. TONS of head, 4 fingers, and just a slight haze to it's (almost) clear color.

S- Burnt Sugar, Spices, Dried fruits (rasin, plum, dates) alcohol (rumish) Overall, this beer just screamed Captain Morgan Tattoo when I smelled it.

T- As I sipped on this beer, all I could think was "This tastes exactly like Captain Morgan Tattoo" Rum like flavors, along with the fruits and some spice (cinnamon, clove, almost pie spices) and alcohol are present. Definitely reminds me of a cold winter night brew.

M- The mouthfeel was thin for the style and I felt over carbonated for the style as well. Somewhat watery and quite bubbly.

D- Not very drinkable. Between the thin mouthfeel, the excessive carbonation, and the flavors that scream Captain Morgan Tattoo, I'll be staying away from this brew. Definitely wouldn't drink more than 1.

Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/ chestnut brown color with ruby edges and a thin head that quickly fades. Sweet malty aroma with subtle spiciness and dark fruit. Nice malty character with dark cherry flavor as well as some peppery spice, hazelnu and some other dark fruit. Nicely balanced.

Photo of eagles22
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: beautiful dark brownish color with a nice 3finger white tannish head

Smell: roasted malts and chocolate and some alcohol

Taste: nice taste...heavy carbonation hits you first with alittle alcohol and also lots of malts and a hint of light chocolate

Mouthfeel: is alright alot of carbonation at first but it ends smooth

Drinkability: not really that high...kind of too sweet but its a good beer

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
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 oriolesfan4
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Was surprised to see this at my local beer store.. never heard of this brewery and they never carried any of their other beers. Also, only 12 reviews of this guy on here.

Well, it's nothing spectacular. I know on here it says ?ABV but on the River Horse website it lists this at 8% ABV. You can definitely detect that.. this beer doesn't mask the alcohol kick at all, but being a winter seasonal I don't really mind that. There is a definite caramel aroma and taste but I have a feeling this isn't too "Belgian" in the way it tastes. Not too bad but I would only have one of these in a sitting, a decent beer.

Photo of SeanRedd
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mediocre appearance, no head, light lacing. Notes of caramel, oak, dry grain, with a sweet finish. A bit of raisins come out of the balance. Similiar to a tame American Strong Ale, that doesn't take any risks. This ale should drop the Belgian run around and identify as a well balanced, passive, winter warmer.

Photo of thespaceman
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to RayMcCusker for including this in my sixer of Ipswich Oatmeal Stout.

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber in color, generously thick, tan head with good lacing and retention.

Smell: A deep malt character emits, a pretty overwhelming alcohol note in the nose, this one really just smells like esters, alcohol, and yeast.

Taste: A nice caramel sweetness takes the backround to the excellent bite this beer has. You can definetley taste the alcohol, and although not disguised, the richness in the malt makes this one a please the sip on.

Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation, not really a creamy brew, more wet on the pallete given the malty characteristics in the taste.

Drinkability: Not too sure on the ABV of this one but it probably won't be for everyone. I enjoyed it simply because of it's warming characteristics and the fact that malty backbone of this is just right, not too thick yet not too light. An excellent brew to drink during the cold months.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this on sale at my local stop, gave it a try.

Poured a dark brown with massive head. I had to stop pouring several times and drink the beer just to try and calm it down. About 4-6 inches of head every time, never seen something like this before.

Smell is of roasted malts and faint caramel. Nothing special.

Taste, when I could drink it through the head, was a light roasted malt with sweet caramel. Very nice blend of mild spices as well.

Mouthfeel is painfully carbonated. Light bodied, way way to much carbonation. It hurt to drink.

Drinkability, carbonation aside, is rather good. If they tamed the head down this would be a great beer.

Photo of EGledhill
3.32/5  rDev -7%
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

Photo of fav920
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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 ETF5000
4.28/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Like the previous reviewer, pouring this into a german halbe glass proved a bit challenging. At first there seemed to be little head but then it instantly shot up and overflowed. Watch out fellow advocates!

A - Once it settled down, it left about one knuckle of creamy tan head with adequate lacing. Held up to the light, this beer is gorgeous with a dark amber color, even maroonish, with copious amounts of carbonation shooting up to the top. Very inviting indeed.

S - At first sniff I was a bit underwhelmed, but after analyzing it a bit more I found a prominent caramel malt that definitely took center stage with some nice subdued hop bitterness at the end. Call me crazy, but I think I may have even caught a hint of grapefruit near the end.

T - Nice mellow taste, light and refreshing even. I wouldn't say that this is a very complex beer, but drinking something like this with a nice caramely malt flavor up front is perfect in front of a fire (in the Winter perhaps?). This one has a very sweet aftertaste that sticks around for a fair amount of time after taking a sip, very tasty.

M - The first sip was a bit harsh on the carbonation, it honestly had the slight stinging sensation of champagne. I would much rather have this beer with less carbonation. However, after letting it fester for a bit I found it much more enjoyable on the palate. After the carbonation died down this feels great in the mouth. Great job, but consider toning down the carbonation.

d -I could drink a couple of pints of this no problem. Not sure what the alcohol content is on this brew though, this could get me in trouble...

Photo of beerthulhu
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep ruby in the glass, a frothy 2 finger head delights with a beige color and firm resistance to fall. The lacing is composed of several thin descending concentric circles. The capping persists and covers for the remainder of the drink while a medium strong show of carbonation is realized.

S: Sweetly toasted caramel, but the strength was very light almost making it hard to enjoy or detect. Fresh cola with light instances of dried maple syrup and dark Belgian candy sweetens the deal and can be had with a bit of patience and exploring upon warming.

T: Alcohol upfront, warm toasted caramel bread with a sweetness from dried maple syrup comes about with a woodsy hopping that was somewhat dry and bitter with cola hints. Some dried orange grinds and warm toasted caramel rounds things out for a finish with a warm cola root bitterness. Nice malt experience, warm and spicy but didn't pick up much contribution from the yeast which I hoped would have been of a Belgian strain but failed to detect.

M: Nice tingle of carbonation, body seems full with a thick viscose feel on the tongue. Warm toasted breadiness and caramel warms the inner cheeks making for a good hold.

D: Spicy cola bitterness and alcohol warmth combines with a fairly smooth character making for an easy second helping. Winter ale-ish drink worthy of a six pack recommendation.

Photo of thequeen711
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This deep amber brew has caramel malt infusion. Light hoppy and considerably lower sweetness compared to most Belgian Ales. Light lacing from the tap, nose of malt makes this brew an enjoyable treat for the winter months. We were right at the brewery for this tasting, so this is fresh as fresh can be!

Photo of JDV
2.74/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of kramer17801. Thanks!
pours a rich maroon color with a light offwhite head. Smell is mild dark toasty malt. Very bland overall with not much but light malt and bubbles. No real belgian character to it at all. I guess it does hide the alcohol very well, but this was incredibly muted flavorwise.

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

pours a medum brown with a big frothy tan head.
good lacing observed.
Nose was of caramel malts, big on caramel with a hint of hops.
Taste was very sweet and almost pure in caramel.Nice in mouthfeel and good in the finish.
MNot sure was the nae is Belgian, I noted no characteristics of a Belgian ale, but good none the less.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into mini heffe glass at 08 Long Island Crawt Brew festival. As per brewer on site, 8%ABV with a dark caramel accented color. Smell has a bouquet of aroma bursting forward. The Taste was a subtle sweetness and a light Mouthfeel finish that was very pleasing to the pallet. A very easy beer to drink with the high ABV not discernable. Good job!
Jan2010 tasting @the Bronx Ale House
A: Poured into a Ommegang Hennepin glass at the Bronx Ale House to reveal a two finger plus head. Condensed cascading lace to a fingertip rim. Slight speckles on the glass. Color was iced-tea brown with ruby red tints towards the bottom.

S: Immediate malt profile comes through with perhaps crystal malts. Dash of candied fruit perhaps.

T: Follows the nose but has quick transition to spicy burn in the aftertaste.

M: Medium to light with good retention.

D: A very good winter beer with more of a sweet profile rather than a spice bomb.

Photo of AltBock
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle that was poured into a Victory standard pint glass. This River Horse is a dark amber color that also contained a small tint of red cranberry. It had a minimal head of foam that was an off white color. Not tan, but not not white either. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind foamy rings and islands of bubbles. It had a roasted aroma of of nuts, caramel, roasted malts, subtle milk chocolate, and some sugar plums toward the back. The taste was slightly dry and roasted with roasted malts, a drop of milk chocolate, a few coffee beans, a hint of dark fruit (it could have been the plums that were in the aroma trying to emerge in the taste, but weren't very successful), and then the taste ended with crispy roasted citrus hops. It was a light to medium bodied beer that had a short lived aftertaste of roasted malts, a touch of milk chocolate, sugar plums, and a small trace of citrus hops. Overall, a decent not over the top toasty winter beer.

Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a mahogany brown, dark-brown hue with a minimal frothy head that soon dissipated and left a copious amount of lacing...
Nice, subtle aroma of caramel, cream, vanilla, esters, and candied sugars...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, with a strong suggestion of candied malts, caramel, dulce de leche, creamy, butter, syrup and molasses, and slight cocoa powder...
Good, rich, creamy, sweet mouthfeel that left a nice, sweet flavor on the tongue...
Ultra-easy level of drinkability, bursting with malts, and hardly any detection of alcohol in this one...
Good stuff from River Horse...

Photo of Kwak
1.7/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

the color was brown with a tint of red, small off white head that left in a hurry.

the smell was burnt malt

the taste was of sour hops burnt malt and almost medicine quality
aftertaste was sour with hints of alcohol not my favorite from this brewery

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle from River Horse, labeled as Belgian Freeze Winter Ale. A nice dark brown color with orange highlights. A modest head tops it off. The aroma is roasted malt, yeast and spicy hops. Medium bodied, the flavors are caramel roasted malt, burnt sugar and a tad of dark, ripe fruit. A slight warming from the alcohol is detectable. Overall not too bad.

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass:

Pours dark brown with dark orange hues and a thin tan head that dissippates to a smell patch despite continual rise of carbonation.

The smell is of caramel/toffee - towards chocolate with a touch of toast and some sour notes.

The taste is of caramel/toffee - towards chocolate, as in the aroma. Also as in aroma, some sour notes come through. I'm contributing part of the lack of depth to a weak yeast strain, though this is perhaps not the only "fault". (The sour notes I'll put in that category too). Malty with a roasted touch and a hint of alcohol pretty much sums this one up.

I don't know about "Belgian-style", though there is enough to it to give it the benefit of the doubt on the style. There is something pleasant enough about it, but doesn't stand up to be much in the end.

Photo of auxiliary
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Deep amber color with a off white head. Left come nice lace on the glass.

smell - Chocolate, and spices present here. Some herbs too.

taste - Dark chocolate, and dark fruits.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability -Not a bad tasting beer. Would drink it again.

River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.