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Imperial Cherry Amber Ale - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Cherry Amber AleImperial Cherry Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

45 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AltBock on 07-16-2008)
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Foxman:
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

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

It pours a reddish amber, perhaps even the vaunted "ruby" in places, and it's clear and nicely carbonated. A finger of beige head settles soon to wispy froth. Dashes of lacing perforate the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there's a whisper of toasted malt, just barely speaking of caramel, as well as a biscuit note, but both are very distant. And the cherry, if indeed that's what it is, is metallic and flat, but there is something there, whatever it may be. Alcohol is soft but insistent.

Upon tasting, the malt is toasted with a rounded mix of caramel and bread dough, but the sweetness that exists is promptly put to pasture by the extract-driven tinny bite of cherry. And yes, it is cherry, but it's ephemeral, with more of an edgy bitterness than any real fruit character. Alcohol is less pertinent here, but it is in play. The finish is reasonably crisp, but not especially clean or lingering. The label had me expecting something that the beer inside the bottle didn't seem to be up to delivering.

Between light and medium bodied, it has a fairly slick feel, but the drop-off is abrupt and the dry embers glow a tad too brightly.

Like others have mentioned, the label sets some expectations that just aren't fully met, from Imperial to cherry to amber. Well, OK, maybe amber is on point, but the cherry isn't imperial, and the imperial isn't cherry, so it's a touch confused. On its own, free of those expectations, it would be fair enough to sit back and have a few, but the cost overshoots the delivery. I was a fan of the Double White, and this one at least shows a willingness to branch out yet a little more. I'm patient, so maybe the next one will come up big again.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 19:38:03 | More by Foxman
More User Reviews:
Photo of HopBrain
HopBrain

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

07-10-2012 16:51:11 | More by HopBrain
Photo of hockeyfighter19
hockeyfighter19

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

07-03-2012 23:27:53 | More by hockeyfighter19
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

3/5  rDev -9.9%

12-02-2011 06:00:48 | More by rab53
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Another tip o' the Wood to my local trader, tone77, who is keeping me in bottles.

From the bottle: "Let's face it. Brewers get bored of making the same beers everyday. That's why we introduced our line of Limited Edition Beers. What's in this bottle is a unique brew conceived by our crack team of alchemist brewers and produced with painstaking care for the craft beer drinker in you."

My aggro pour created a foamy finger of tawny head with good retention. Color was a slightly hazy reddish-deep amber. Nose was very caramel malt sweet. I waited until 1500 (Local, EST) for my first sip as a toast to Don Younger, R.I.P. It was very malty with a slight sour cherry taste in the mouth. The mouthfeel was rather thin. The finish left me with an impression of cherries, but it was overall muted. I was not terribly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 20:03:54 | More by woodychandler
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with some amber hues. Smell is of cherries and hops. Taste is good, again cherries with some hops, not overly sweet. Feels full bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a good quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 15:11:33 | More by tone77
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The has a clear brown liquid body with a large tan foamy head. Because of the dark color of the beer, it is a little difficult to see the rising carbonation, but it is there. The aroma is made up of musty yeast and sweet cherry juice. The flavor is full of malty sweetness. There is a little bit of cherry, but nothing like a sour kriek. This is definitely an American fruit beer. There is a slight dry bitterness in the finish, but nothing significant. The body is very sticky and leaves lots of coating behind; it makes the beer feel kind of heavy. There isn't that much carbonation that I can feel. Because of the quality of the body, I don't find this brew all that drinkable. I feel like I need ot rinse my mouth out with water; sometimes that's a good quality, such as with a RIS, but I don't like it in my amber ales. Unless your a big fan of River Horse or fruit beers, I wouldn't go out of my way to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 00:46:34 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark cherry red/coppery amber color with a one finger foamy off white head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Slightly earthy aroma that's dominated by sweet dark cherry along with hints of nut and subtle earthy hops.

Sweet medium body with a very prominent dark cherry presence that is slightly tart. There's a nice malt backbone providing decent balance and subtle earthy dry hops. Pretty quaffable with a slightly dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 08:29:07 | More by corby112
Photo of Ladybugger
Ladybugger

Maine

4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cellar-temperature bottle into a standard pint glass. Color is amber-brown with a quickly-thinning off-white head. This beer leaves beautiful lacing along the glass as I drink. Smells hoppy with fruit tones and malt. Flavors include piney hops up front, and malt and dried fruits second, notably raisin and cherry. The fruit flavor is what lingers in the mouth, but this beer has a much richer mouthfeel than lighter, fruitier beers. Some carbonation is present. This beer tastes darker than it looks, and has a really nice balance of flavors. The bottle I poured has been in our cellar for about 5 months, and I recall the beer being fruitier with more identifiable cherry flavors when I first had a few. It's still a solid beer that I could have a few of.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 21:55:47 | More by Ladybugger
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 09/03/09. Bottle. Pours a semi-hazy brown with a small off-white head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, molasses, toffee. Lots of malt. Flavor is initially cherry/sweetness followed by lots of the caramel malt. Not as scary as the name suggests but it's not very good either. It's very bland--all malt, not much else.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 01:40:07 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Quick 6 on Mt Rose Ave in York. poured chilled from the 12oz into a tulip pint.

A- A hazed reddish amber w/ a 3 finger cap of off white which makes sticky lace on the glass. The bead is fine and head is rocky

S - The aroma is fruity, woody and slightly tannic w/ mildly acidic ester w/ subtle alcohol note

M - A light body for the strength, a bit thin w/ moderate carbonation and gentle bitterness w/ a subtle tinge of fruit tanginess and light biterness

T - The flavor of the malt is sligthly grainy w/ a fruity yeast taste accenting and pretty dry cherry skin essence. The beer has a mild dried apricot - stone fruit tinge, but the amber malt flavor is more dominant w/ a light grainy taste and mellow yeast which contributes only slightly to the flavor. There is a mild toasted element in the finish

D - This beer doesn't come across as imperial in taste which is good, but it is a bit dry for the style and the cherry element isn't enough to warrant the name IMO

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 14:54:49 | More by Slatetank
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a ruddy brownish amber that clears up a little bit as it warms. There's a small cream-colored head that recedes fairly quickly to a small collar and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is fairly nondescript but still good with the lightly toasted caramel malts with sweet sugar-coated cherries on top.

The taste has a hint of cherry tartness up front before the sweetness takes over in the form of caramel malts and sweet cherries.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of things with good carbonation and sugary sweet in the finish.

This is a very drinkable beer that uses the cherries as a light complement to the basic amber base underneath. It's not groundbreaking but I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 00:57:37 | More by gford217
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker glass. Appears a clear deep apricot color with barely a fingers depth of bone white foam. Taste and aromas are of toasted wheat, cherry skins and juice, caramel, earthy and grassy. Quite light bodied which is surprising given the high ABV. Not sure I would throw this in the cart again.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 04:21:16 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of TheTrevor
TheTrevor

New York

3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a copper color with a single-finger head. The smell is mostly malts with a little bit of suprisingly-realistically smelling cherries. The cherry doesn't come through in the taste much, though. It's pretty much just straight malt with a little bit of cherry in the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly watery with moderate carbonation. Not the best flavored beer in the world, but at least it's a beer that's flavored rather than a flavoring that overpowers a beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 23:46:55 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
BuffaloTapHugger

New York

3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single poured into a pint glass. Color is a dark ruby hazy brown, head sticks around until finished and no lacing. Smells are of some granny smith apples, soil, some cherry, and malt. Taste is a little tart with a faint hint of cherry in the backdrop. Its very smooth with great carbonation, ABV is not noticed at all, its hidden somewhere in the bowels below. Its a drinkable brew, the mellowness of the cherry concept works for me. Nothing stellar in this beer though, recommended at own risk.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 01:21:44 | More by BuffaloTapHugger
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a warm brick color, topped with a dense puff of ivory head. God head retention, holding a collar through the glass, with spattered lacework.
The aroma is much less than I'd expected. Grainy caramel malt, with a touch of cherry juice. That's basically it.
The flavor is somewhat on the sweeter side. Caramel malt with a bit of a grainy character. Sweet and fruity in an estery way, with mild cherry presence, like actual cherry juice, not the syrup kind. It lends a vague sourness to the finsh, which is nice, but fails to assert itself amongst the typical amber ale flavors. Woodsy hops in the finish. A rather light mouthfeel, certainly light for a 7% brew. I'm grateful the cherry isn't overbearing and unnecessarily sweet, but it seems to get lost within the malt. I have no problem polishing one bottle off, but I don't exactly crave another.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 08:16:00 | More by UnionMade
Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
KOPBeerDrinker

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass an amber color. 1" of off white fluffy head formed and quickly left.

Smells of sweet malts with a hint of cherry, not as much as one would guess by the name. Some hoppy notes come through.

Taste is pretty sweet and bready. Cherry comes through in the end, faintly.

Mouthfeel is thin, not much carbonation. Very easy to drink. Not a bad beer, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 01:48:16 | More by KOPBeerDrinker
Photo of deereless
deereless

Colorado

2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Amber colored, thin layer of head with spots of sticky foam along the edges of the glass - 3.75, S: Heavy on the malts, light on the cherries in the name, some herbal aromas that seem to indicate a noble hop - 3.50, T: Quite a bit of hop bitterness, medium malt, only the faintest hint of cherries, somewhat disappointing - 2.75, M: Medium carbonation - 3.50, D: Depending on how you judge this beer, it is a decent hopped amber ale, but I struggle to pick out the cherries so boldly printed on the label, an alright beer and not much more - 3.25

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2009 00:48:32 | More by deereless
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crisp amber colour with a mid sized tan head that dissolves rather quickly but leaves a lot of residue on the glass.

The aroma hits you with a fair amount of malt: earthy and a bit dirty, with minimal to no sweet or cherry notes detected, and only a hint of somewhat grassy hops here and there.

Flavour is much like the aroma, but with a bit more cherry taste to it, mostly toward the finish of each sip, and it is quite tame and far from overpowering, which tends to be the case more often than not in a fruit flavoured beer. It was nice to see said cherry notes held back. There's also more of a bread vibe here as well. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a bit of a sharp kick to each sip.

This isn't a bad brew overall. As mentioned, the cherry notes are kept to a minimum, which helps (to me) wit the overall flavour and presentation. There's no where near the cherry-bomb flavour of, say a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Probably my least favourite of the three Brewer's Reserve Beers I've had (this is a really nice series overall so far), but still a winner nonetheless. Try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 03:10:58 | More by guinness33
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is an entirely okay beer, but nothing special. The beer pours a nicely carbonated clear amber color with a smallish head that doesn't last long. Not much in the lacing either. The nose on the beer is a good dose of sweet malts, and there is some sweetish cherry popping through. You won't find much of the cherry in the taste, but it is there in the aroma. The nose is enticing and the high point.

The taste is a notch or two above average. This is a fairly sweet malty beer, with some very hard to detect floral notes, which must be the cherries. You can barely, if at all, detect the cherry presence. This is a light to medium bodied beer, with a fairly well balanced hop bitterness towards the finish. There is a lot of carbonation packed in this bottle. There are some caramel malts, and perhaps a touch of spiciness in the beer as well. This is a fairly unidimensional beer, that is very drinkable, but not overly memorable.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 21:54:49 | More by albern
Photo of BWH3
BWH3

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Light copper to deep orange. Thin beige head that runs away leaving little remnants. Still and clear.

S: Many a bland caramel malt with a faint hint of sweet cherry. Overall bland and too mild for words like reserve and limited edition.

T: Slightly better than the smell with a bit of fruity yeast finish capped by a dry hop earthy bitterness.

M: Flat and poor head retention

D: see my comments under the smell for my final verdict.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 01:31:46 | More by BWH3
Photo of YankChef
YankChef

Louisiana

4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into goblet

appearance: medium amber with bright red hues, nice topping white head that is thin

aroma: smells bright and vibrant, hoppy as well with some stone fruit to go along with the cherry

taste: This tastes like a red amber, sweet and juicy upfront with a nice balancing hop punch, I would say the hops dominate. Cherry beer? I dont know...

Overall: I mean its a pretty good beer, but as a cherry beer im not really getting it.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 03:11:15 | More by YankChef
Photo of beermanbrian
beermanbrian

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Amber brown color. Off white head that never amounts to much more than a cap. Some lacing trails closely behind the beer and dosn't cling at all. Smell of mostly caramel malt. Slight fruityness but nothing distintive that would make me scream cherries. For an imperial I expecting a much bolder taste. The mouth is also a little thin for an imperial. Just an average beer and hardly worth the price. Dosn't live up to it's name at all.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 01:56:39 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a towering offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. There are lots of floaties present. The aroma is average. It has a dry pale and roasted malt scent along with a fruity aroma that I assume is the cherries. The taste is average as well. It has a dry pale and roasted malt flavor along with a stale cherry character. It's tart and quite off putting. I'm not sure if this is an old beer or what, but there is something wrong here. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with too much carbonation. This is a disappointing beer to say the least. The cherries really ruin the taste. It's one and done for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 19:57:26 | More by WesWes
Photo of Douglas88
Douglas88

Utah

3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very interesting bottle from Thaichile. Pours a dark amber color with a medium tan head. The aroma was light hops, some caramel malt, and perhaps some sweet cherry. The flavor was fairly straightforward, but nice; some sweet malts, a large hop presence, not too bitter but flavorful, and some very light cherries. A very quaffable beer and no notice of alcohol. More like a Pale Ale than anything else really

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 00:19:01 | More by Douglas88
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Imperial Cherry Amber Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.