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

River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter AleRiver Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

274 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.08%

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)
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Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 168 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of micromaniac129


4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish amber color with a desent size foamy cap. there is little in way of lacing and fades to a strong surface collar. Good carbonation. Nicely aromatic with rich malts of pale and crystal and hints of maybe some roasted malts. A good wiff of Beligian yeast and candied sugar. Taste like the nose rich malts, Belgian yeast, candied sugar, cherries and a nice earthiness. A medium weight beer that slides down smooth with a semi-dry finish. Soft alcohol warming acompanies the finish. A good beer, nice apperancnce, smell and taste. Easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 12:49:37 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice

Pours a dirty amber color with a small off-white cap. Falls quickly to form a thin collar. No lacing whatsoever. The aroma is of spicy clove, tart cherries, banana, candi sugar, and some honey. The flavor profile follows the nose for the most part. Tart cherries carry the load with spicy clove and some honey balancing things out. The feel is medium with solid carbonation. A bit prickly on the finish. Tart cherries and spice linger. Overall, this is a nice little belgian dark, suitable as a winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 21:03:35 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of HopsYeast

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- 3/4 finger pale beige head. copper color with a slight orangish hue. hazy body with no sediment.
s-sweet malt, subtle hops, and some hints of yeast in the form of pear and banana.
t-yeast, muted malts and a very subtle hop flavor. nothing stands out too distinctly but also its somewhat bland in a way. its a mish mosh of flavors that are all a only little above average, but doing so makes the beer that way too.
m-nice body, has somewhat of a syrupy quality but not too much. has a nice carbonation level. it is decently drinkable especially for 8%
o-this is an ok beer. another river horse brew that has seemed to gone slightly down in quality in the past few years. they still put out great brews, but this is one that seems to have taken a blow.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 01:05:12 | More by HopsYeast
Photo of justintcoons


4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy reddish copper with 1 finger of head that dissipates quickly. Film clings to the side while a thin layer of lacing slides down the glass.

N: Cherry, honey, fig, banana, candy sugar, light funk, hints of cinnamon and perhaps some clove.

T: Banana, cherry, cinnamon with hints of funk and clove. Bready malts and honey flow in with a hint of grape and fig. Finishes with clove and cinnamon.

M: Light-medium bodied, smooth, mild carbonation, clean and dry.

O: Nicely balanced and easy drinking. 8% ABV is well hidden. Mainly consists of cherry, banana and bread. Spicing is light with a mellow yeastiness. Sweet and candy-like. This makes a wonderful winter treat!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 01:19:24 | More by justintcoons
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think this beer does what it was meant to do very well. Its warming and very good for the cold months.

Pours a very very hazy brown with about an inch of head that eventually recedes to a lace at the top of the glass. Not too much on the nose, just some dark fruit such as dates figs and raisins. Also some mild phenolic scents.

Up front the beer is slightly spices. It follows up with some dark malts and dark fruits whose mild sweetness is balanced by a very mild hop presence leaving the slightly high alcohol content to warm your throat on the swallow.

Medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. This beer is slightly mild overall but does what it does extremely well. Extremely drinkable on a cold winters night

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 00:45:55 | More by jtierney89
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown liquid poured down into the glass. A huge head of tan then rose up to a height of around two inches before settling back down into a frothy and foamy cap that stayed with it throughout the session. Only real knock here being too much head if anything. Aroma was fairly light, nice spice notes up front, hints of caramel, dark prune like fruit notes and a hint of cinnamon of all things. Carried over well in the flavor which was equally rich. Strong notes of spice up front and a smooth, mellow texture that really seemed to hit the nail on the head. Earthy and herbal with nice hints of dark fruit, I really felt it summed up the part quite well

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 12:43:05 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Knapp85


3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out with a decent looking amber color. The head was pretty big at first but settled into just a thin layer over the beer. The smell of the beer has some spice to it mixed with malts. The taste of the beer was more of an autumn spiced beer than a Christmas one. The flavors were mixed between sweet and spicy. The mouthfeel was alright, nothing too crazy here. Overall I wasn't too impressed with this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 18:13:08 | More by Knapp85
Photo of bpw28

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep Tan Beautiful Head, Amber, Cloudy, Very Nice Lacing

Nose: Bannana, Clove, Fig, Sweet Malty, Oaky

Taste: Bannana returns, turning to a nice crisp medium roasty, brown sugar like tail before a nice mellow bitter.

Final Thoughts: Interesting. Good beer, but not blow my eyebrows off amazing.

Food Pairing:Dark Fruits, Medium Body Cheese, Ham, Duck, Roast Turkey, Spicy Dishes.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 01:13:42 | More by bpw28
Photo of EkimGram

New York

3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from 12oz bottle into large snifter. Colour is a rich amber-brown. Bubbly head, 1/2 inch thick, dissipates into very thin fluffs.

Smell: Very malty, yeasty, and some other spicy notes as well. There is an underlying sweetness to it.

Taste: Bittersweet, lots of clove and yeast. A little bit of spice. Overall, a little weak.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, lots of carbonation with some bite.

Drinkability: Overall, not the most impressive brew I've had. Nice aromas and appearance but the taste is somewhat lacking.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 03:00:31 | More by EkimGram
Photo of Docer


3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a bottle in a trade from Ranbot, thanks for the mighty fine extra!

- Rich dark amber orange slightly cloudy brew.. fluffy off white head down to a medium sized ring and some scattered trace amounts of bubbles..

- Brown sugar, grains, clove and banana yeast.. sweet breadiness.. fig, raisin..

- Smooth and sweet prune, fig, herbal quality... belgian yeast which isnt too intrusive.. brown sugars, perhaps some honey... nice bitterness.. grassy earthy..

- Medium bodied, dryingly chewy.. slightly cloying..

- Great beer overall, very unique and has many dimensions to the flavor. Certainly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 23:26:39 | More by Docer
Photo of jjchristiano

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Went to a RiverHorse meet the brewer event and this was one of the taps. Served from a small 12 oz tulip glass. I really enjoyed the beer and found it very true to its Belgian Dark Ale style definition. A great beer to sip by the fireplace. Not a beer for guzzling at a tailgate.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2011 12:11:25 | More by jjchristiano
Photo of theycallmedoc

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Guinness Pint glass.

A- Dark brown/amber and hazy, can barely see through if at all. Thick head that likes to hang around for as long as it can hold on. Sticky as it gets. Beautiful to look at. Antsy waiting for the head to die down. After a few sips found some solids floating in the bottom.

S- Smells like an almost moldy christmas tree, hoppy. Grassy. Can almost smell the malt trying to break through.

T- Hoppy with caramel malts. Some spices with a metallic finish. Alcohol has a mild presence but not as much as the flavor of gnawing on a mouthful of wood chips.

M- Very thick and creamy. My favorite kind of body; thick legs and smooth down the gullet.

D- Being a Jersey Boy I'm very partial to Riverhorse. But as always a delicious brew. Two or three might be my cap, but super delicious and very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 04:25:29 | More by theycallmedoc
Photo of drabmuh


4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another random bottle, can you tell how bored I am. Beer is dark amber / red with a thin head of tiny bubbles, no retention, carbonation low, lacing moderate to low.

Sweet, malty, bready, smells pretty good.

Beer is light in body with an odd bitterness late in the palate, you know, this tastes like a Belgian amber I brewed once. It's estery and bright on the palate, well carbonated, it tastes pretty good. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 03:22:55 | More by drabmuh
Photo of cooch69


3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pors a nice deep bright mahogany with some amber highlights. It has a small neat head that settles down pretty quickly.

Nose of candied sugars, crystal malts, and some figs. Even a bit of caramel in there too.

Taste is of candied apples and a light and brisk caramelly maltiness. A little bit of hop character comes through in the finish. Mostly just of a bittering agent.

This beer is on the higher side of medium with a nice creamy mouthfeel and a good bit of carbonation to wash it down well for the 8% abv.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 05:01:40 | More by cooch69
Photo of kojevergas


2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a bottle into a dinner glass.

A: Amber-brown colour. Bad head. Kind of appealing.

Sm: Musty malt, hint of prune, treated barley, maybe an adjunct, nuts (almond?).

T: No, not almond - caramel! The body is built strangely for a winter amber. The finish is nutty, not hoppy. The balance is biased towards the finish.

Mf: Too smooth, a bit too wet. Nicer towards the finish.

Dr: Too much caramel. Too expensive.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 01:20:07 | More by kojevergas
Photo of JMD


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich dark copper with nice foamy head that fades very slowly. Leaves clumpy lacing down the glass.

S: Belgian yeast and ripe dark fruits. Some toasted malt with hints of brown sugar and molasses. Nice aroma but a bit subdued.

T: Toasted malt upfront, with candied dark fruit. Raisins and dark cherries are prominent. Hints of spice and licorice. ABV is well masked.

M: Medium to full bodied and smooth

D: This is a good attempt at a belgian dark ale, but doesn't quite compare with Belgian counterparts. So far I haven't been impressed with River Horse, but this is one of their better offerings.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 00:54:53 | More by JMD
Photo of elinash

New York

3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into a Chimay Goblet. Dark brown in color that lets very little light through. Two finger white head that slowley bubles down into a thin foam.

S: Sweet malts with a hint of spicyness, raisins, dark fruit, metallic twang. Hides the booze well.

T: Dark fruits,caramel, bread, belgian yeast esters, metal.

M: Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 04:07:48 | More by ixodus
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black/ruby amber hue with a pretty decent head that leaves a bunch of lacing.

S: Raisins, licorice, and a hint of metallic odor. Odd.

T: Begins sweet with hints of the aforementioned raisins and licorice, finishing off with a somewhat spicy finish.

M: Carbonation is good; could be ramped up slightly. Mildly creamy, but not overly so.

D: I swore I had this before, but it must've have been a different beer, such as DFH Rasion D'Etre, which this reminds me of. DFH's offering is a bit more unrefined in that the alcohol is much more prevalent. Even so, these two are somewhat similar, with this one having a slightly better drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 02:09:15 | More by irishking1977
Photo of Pabs311


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber/brown color, some haziness. half-inch thick foamy off-white head.

S- Sweet maltiness. Rasin, and other dried light fruits (apricot, peaches). Some spiceness, i.e. clove.

T- Well blanced with the nose as far as aromas of fruit and spice. Not as sweet as expected. Apparent alcohol, can be a bit to much.

M/D- medium bodied, good mouthfell but lingering alcohol.

Not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 17:11:45 | More by Pabs311
Photo of Tombomb


4.7/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this beer in a beer club mixed case. The theme of the case was BIG beers. With that said, so far this is the best that I have had. The pour was from a 12 oz bottle, beer was about 48 degrees. The color was a nice copper/dark amber color. Very nice head with a moderate pour that seemed to stand up well. There was some lacing ar I drank the beer from a guinness glass. The smell was cool. Lots going on in this beer. The smell had a spicy/fruity nose. The taste was better than I thought it would be for the alcohol content. I taste the dark malts and raisins. The finish could be a little smoother, but overall a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 19:59:23 | More by Tombomb
Photo of Beejay


2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Very dark, mohagany colored brew, with a nice tan head.

S: Sweet, with raisons, caramel, figs and grapes.. Smells very nice.

T: Burnt caramel at the begining... and actually throughout the whole thing. Slight sweetness to it, but I was expecting much more from the scent. Smokey and malty, but not the big belgian flavor I was expecting.. more like belgian ash tray.. I am a fan of roasty/smokey beers, but for some reason this seems out of place, the sweetness in the finish is nice, but the flavors do not blend well in my opinion.

M: Fairly good here, carbonation is very high and fine much like a seltzer water. There is a little bit of a sticky after feel to it...

D: Nice to try but no thanks.. I just feel like this is two opposing forces clashing together in a beer that just does not make much sense to me. I want to like it, I really do, but it is just not happening.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 03:24:46 | More by Beejay
Photo of david18

New York

4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Sputen Duyvel last night and enjoyed it very much. Poured into a wine glass, like everything at that bar, it had a great dark color and and excellent flavor that had both the aroma and essence of belgian wheat with the complexity of dark malts that was both belgian and classic winter.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2010 23:10:22 | More by david18
Photo of FickleBeast

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours clear amber-orange with one finger of foam that dissipates quickly without lacing.

Smell is yeasty - but I'm picking up more of a German yeast profile, lots of banana and clove flavors.

Belgian yeast fruitiness comes through in the flavor, no phenolic/plasticy tastes that sometimes is present with Belgian yeasts. A bit of alcohol warmth on the back end. Mouthfeel in thin - this beer could stand to have a little more body.

Drinkability is pretty good, the alcohol is masked well.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 03:18:34 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of Minotaur


2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what to think of this beer. I tried it early last year as I had a craving for a winter ale and most of my standby ales were already unavailable. I love Belgians. But yet there is something cloying about this beer I can't put my finger on.

Riverhorse produces generally good beer so I decide to try it.

It pours extremely dark red-brown into both a pint glass and a goblet. Very much looks like a dubble which increased the initial appeal for me. The head is energetic and dense but not obtrusive.

I'm not sure if my problem with it is that it isn't complex enough, or that the complexities are so subtle that I can't seem to sort it out.

I love both Belgian Ales and Warmers... and I feel that this beer is somehow trying to make up its mind as to which it is. I go back and forth on the flavors which seem alternately too sweet or unbalanced in terms of malt to spice ratio. It is by no means bad quality, but I can't quite seem to wrap my taste-buds around it. There is the malt, vague bitterness. Cinnamon, clove, bready consistency, and some alluring esters. None of which appear to make up to an appealing whole.

The dark red color, malty warmth, and slight bitterness lend more towards a Winter Ale, but there is also very mild sugar and fruit flavor that leads it into Belgian territory. Half the sips I take, I really like it - half the time I find something about it to be a bit "off mark".

I find the combination of flavors and carbonation level to be bothersome to the point I gave it an average rating of drinkable - I just don't find it easy to finish off.

It is however unique enough to give it a shot though I probably would not buy another whole pack of it. I've spoken to the brewers about it and it seems to be one of the brewery's most popular offerings. So clearly many find something in there that I seem to be missing.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 03:52:51 | More by Minotaur
River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.