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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 tjd112

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into Coke glass

Appearance: Black body, white half-finger head that dissipates to very little lacing

Smell: Bananas and clove

Taste: Basically follows the smell, except with more raisin and more booziness

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very dry

Drinkability: Drink slowly

Overall: Yet another great Belgian imitation from NJ

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 18:22:26 | More by tjd112
Photo of CHADMC3


3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a honey walnut w/ cherry hues with an almost non-existent off white head that dissolves to no lacing.

Aroma consists of dark fruit, yeast, and sweet malt. Perhaps some woody notes, and possibly vinous. I am having trouble deciphering the specifics of this one.

The flavor consists of cherry, yeast, and sweet malt, much like the nose. As it warms, the spice shows up as well as the aforementioned woody aspects, and possibly some candied sugar.

Medium to thin in body with little carbonation, slight burn with woody notes and abv, not much else to report.

I am really not sure what to make of this brew. Certainly not quite exemplary of the style, but still tasty and worth a try. The cherry somewhat overwhelmed my palate, and there did not seem to be the balance the A's of the world have.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 03:57:21 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

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

Poured a hazy bronze with a finger of tan head, into a pint glass. The aroma consisted of banana, clove, nutmeg, and bubble gum. The taste confirmed all of this, but also candi sugar, coriander, and lemon peel, with a little bite of dryness on the finish. Medium body and decent carbonation. I'd like to age some of this to see the result. Definitely a decent example of the style, but Unibroue it is not.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 23:50:12 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of jlindros


2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found this bottle on the back of a shelf dusty, probably about a year old so not very fresh, hope that didn't ruin the beer. Poured into oversized bubble wine glass.

A: Very dark brown color with slight maroon tinge almost no light, light frothy head the dissipates very slowly but leaves the remnants of the head for a while

N: Nose is smooth light, slightly malty, pretty fruity, slight vanilla, touch of raisin, some alcohol and yeast

T: Lots of fruit and raisin, a strange toasty fig newton like taste, very chewy, some alcohol, a little sour, it does taste a little old and past its prime, not much for Belgian at all except the alcohol sour dark fruity taste and some yeastiness, slightly buttery, pretty phenolic (finally figured that taste out with this beer)

M: Chewy and pretty thick, decent carbonation

F: Finishes pretty sweet and strange malts, more of that fig newton like taste, leaves a dry rotten fruit taste in the mouth, phenolic and a slight slimey trail on the tongue with toasty buttered popcorn

Final thoughts: Not sure if this beer is way past its prime, or if this is usually how it is. I'll have to try to revisit when it's fresh. Its got some nice dark fruit taste and good malts, but too much rotten fruit and phenols, sticky and chewy, not the best drinking experience

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 01:02:35 | More by jlindros
Photo of ckeegan04


3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with dark ruby highlights when held up to light. Thick, creamy head, about one finger thick. Excellent retention and leaves very nice lacing on the glass.

S - Strong aroma of sweet, dark malts. Big caramel and a little roasted grain. Hints of spice and just a touch of Belgian yeast.

T - Very sweet with hints of candi sugar, caramel and roasted malts. Light taste of the typical Belgian yeast tastes. A mild spiciness comes through as the beer warms.

M/D - Smooth and creamy feel. Very easy drinking. Good carbonation level. Almost nitro tap like feel.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 14:24:34 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of gford217


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

12oz bottle courtesy of mhewes poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep brown that shows clear bronze when held up to light. There's a big creamy off-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a wispy cap and bits of lacing.

The aroma is very sweet with some caramel malts and plenty of dark fruits and some Belgian yeast aromas. There is a hint of spiciness in the nose but the sweetness is prominent.

The taste is also extremely sweet, with candi sugar and Belgian yeast dominating. There are some dark fruits and a little bit of spice in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low, soft carbonation. It's sticky sweet on the palate.

This is a decent beer but the overwhelming sweetness makes it a little tough to drink the entire bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 20:54:35 | More by gford217
Photo of Risser09


3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic - fridge - 2008

Appearance: An aggressive pour yields deep brown colored ale with ruby red highlights. The beer is seemingly transparent with a 3.5" tall, cream soda-esque head. The top is frothy with craters left behind as though cooking a pancake. Great retention and sweeping lace is left behind.

Smell: Deep caramel malt aroma is accompanied by cherry, walnut and some oak. I don't get any hops or yeast.

Taste: Pinchy burst of bitterness gives way to a roasted and caramel malt. A certain spiciness of clove and pepper linger into the finish. A roasted chestnut and coffee finish are dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth beer, with some carbonation. This brew actually has a bit of boozy feeling in the finish. Nicely audacious.

Drinkability: A good winter ale. My least favorite style shows off what can be good about the style. Roasty and boozy, with a little spice. Cool.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2009 17:42:56 | More by Risser09
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with some dominating Belgian style malt. Taste is also a nice enough mix between some candi sugar and nice Belgian malt with some fruity ester and a lightly spicy yeast. Body is not as full as I would have liked it with some good carbonation and no presence of alcohol. Not bad but makes me want to learn more from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 02:54:49 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of magnj

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a 6-pack in December. I didn't love it so I stuck two in the basement hoping they would mellow out. When I first reviewed this beer I noted that it was hot and harsh. It has since mellowed significantly, the over-carbonation issue seems to have gone away and this beer is really starting to taste great. This is actually the third time I'm reviewing this, the review below from December is a re-review from my first taste a few weeks earlier.

Still a sipper at 8% but I'm making my way through this one much quicker than I was 6 months ago.

I'll keep the other one for next year and compare, assuming they brew it again.

a - I'm giving this one a second shot. Like last time there was a huge head upon pouring, this time it was easier to manage though. Deep wood, maple syrup colors. Again a thin head remained for the whole glass, nice lacing. Carbonation quite active.

s - Smoky, Sweet, Alcohol, Wine...

t - At first I tasted primarily the roasty toasty malts. As I drank more, the alcohol really came through and seemed to overpower the brew at times. Borderline burnt, sweeter in smaller sips.

m - Better than last time, seems less thick, nicer balance of carbonation. Sits on the tongue a while, maybe half a minute.

d - Drinkable, sipper for sure at 8%...nice for a cold night watching some hockey.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 01:18:08 | More by magnj
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle snatched from my cellar and poured into my Duvel tulip glass. Appears a mildly hazed dark crimson color with about half an inch of light ecru foam. The foam leaves no lacing to speak of. Smells and tastes of caramel, dark brown sugar, raisins, lightly roasted grains, and spicy yeast. Rather full bodied with medium carbonation. This held up fairly well .

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 18:46:29 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of Jimmys


4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, dark amber coloring. Little opaque, with a pretty solid head. Carmelly malty smells. Very solid taste, real sweet malts with a nice little pop to it. Belgian with a little pizzazz, I like it. Mouthfeel has that pop I was talking about making it an easy drinker. Got a great deal going to the brewery to pick up a couple at the end of the season.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 02:47:55 | More by Jimmys
Photo of matty


3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-brown colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is fruity.Taste is dark fruits,sugar cane and spices.There is some kind of spice floating around in there,not sure what it is but it's good.Overall a pretty decent beer that I would purchase again!!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 03:27:29 | More by matty
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts along with some Belgian candy sugar. It's refreshingly fruity with just bit of tartness. The taste is decent. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes with some moderate esters. There is a hint of earthy/roasted character as well as a bit of tart fruit. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It seems as though this could have been a little heavier. This is an easy drinking Belgian beer. Is it the best out there? No, but it's not bad and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 21:53:21 | More by WesWes
Photo of acdcfan99


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

I bought a few cases because it was on sale. I liked when it was colder, but now that its warming not so much. Can I blame them? not so much, but even when it was cold, it didnt do too much for me. I await when I can do some palate expansion and talk specifically about what I didnt't like, but till then... However, they were exceptionally nice at the brewery, where I bought them. I have no vested interest at RH, but locals, which incl. me, who talk bad, should visit again, I had nothing but great service.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 10:14:15 | More by acdcfan99
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was down at River Horse tasting room yesterday and after enjoying the shiznit of the varieties on tap there, particularly the double wit and tripel, brought back a pack of this because it was on sale from last season.

A: Strong pour produced a huge fluffy head that went nowhere. Burnt crimson body.

S: Malty and sweet, seems to have character here. Belgian aromas, almost too much so in a fake way.

T: Spices dominate. Cloves and fennel seed completely mask any bitterness or other sugar flavors. Some dark fruit as it warmed off but not nearly enough.

M: There was a lot of carbonation nearly to the point of a burn from the zip and spice. Almost to the point of a hot sauce burn.

D: It came across as hard to drink. Not because it was bad, not because of the apparent abv, but it just did not go down easily or pleasurably.

Have had before at the brewery but first time sitting down with a good 12oz. Not so good, not nearly as good as some of the other stuff they have been putting out.

River Horse has been like a new brewery as of late- making NJ proud, but this isn't a favorite of the bunch. Can't win em all.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 19:52:22 | More by marcpal
Photo of schroederm


3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a tulip:

Tons, tons of head. Wish I had used a chalice. Visible carbonation on the sides of the glass. Garnet in color, with fantastic lacing. A very enticing smell with caramel, cherry, and toffee notes. Tasted a little sour, a little too sweet with lots of raisin an a touch of green apple. Way too carbonated, even for the style. Sweetness makes this a little less drinkable.

Overall: This was past its expiration date, which may have negatively affected my review. It's clearly not the highest quality Belgian Dark, but still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 17:24:34 | More by schroederm
Photo of drnknmnky


3.48/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 20:08:35 | More by drnknmnky
Photo of PoolhouseRebel

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 23:18:19 | More by PoolhouseRebel
Photo of Vendetta

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 22:00:31 | More by Vendetta
Photo of taylor714914


2.63/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2009 02:06:00 | More by taylor714914
Photo of corby112


3.8/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 00:48:14 | More by corby112
Photo of eagles22


3.55/5  rDev 0%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 02:29:23 | More by eagles22
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 23:55:55 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of marlinsfan4


3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 19:19:59 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of SeanRedd

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 19:16:32 | More by SeanRedd
River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.