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Hop-a-lot-amus - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 137
Hads: 388
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 22.8%
Wants: 7
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AltBock on 12-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 137 | Hads: 388
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent drinkable DIPA, leafy resiny hops. A melange of hops, but enjoyable as a pint. Some hoppy aroma. Not as bitter as rated, decent colour in body with some foamy head.Average for style, neither offensive nor extraordinarily tasty.Malty sweetness kees it drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy yellowish amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation with small particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but never completely faded away and left thick lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of citrus hops along with some notes of pine resin in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of grapefruit from the hops. There are some hints of malty sweetness in the initial taste, but these are quickly replaced by a strong amount of bitterness that persists through the finish and aftertaste. There are also some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of heat from the alcohol in the finish, which is also quite dry.
O: I’m not sure if I could drink more than one of these in an evening because the taste is dominated by the hops and is very bitter.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out with a light haze to it, the color was a golden copper. The head was big and foamy until it settled into just a thin film over top of the beer. The smell of the beer has a great smell of an IPA, very floral and citrusy, plenty of pine aromas and other tropical fruits. The taste of the beer gives off a healthy amount of hop bitterness on the tongue. The mouthfeel has a tingling sensation on the sides and back of your mouth that feels like you swallowed pine needles or something. This beer overall is really good. Definitely one of my favorites from River Horse.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.84/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

"The fabled Hop-a-lot-amus is a mythical creature. The heavy hop character of this Double IPA is as subtle as a 'river horse' in your lap, but finishes like a hippo in a tutu."

--rear label

Beautifully blurry dark persimmon with bright orange accents along the edges. The upper third of the pint glass is filled with a whipped creamy crown of golden ecru colored foam that isn't shy about laying down lace. What a gorgeous DIPA.

Caramel malt is too prominent in the nose. As a result, the hoppiness isn't anywhere near powerful enough for the style. The less than classic hop lineup includes Perle, Cluster and Cascade. A faint citrusiness isn't enough to cover a vegetal-metallic character that better not appear on the palate or this will be a long 12 ounces.

Hop-a-lot-amus is not a very good DIPA as far as this hophead is concerned. There's too much flavor from caramel malt, the hops add more bitterness than flavor, and there's a solvent-like quality that is never found in good beer. Yeah, there may be a-lot-a IBUs, but that means nothing in isolation. Make that less than nothing.

A still impressive bitterness suggests that this bottle isn't old. River Horse now brews this DIPA year-round, so age is impossible to estimate. That's important because the beer tastes worn out and rough around the edges, though it's probably just poorly conceived and constructed. Specifics include steely caramel, orange oil, pine resin, metal shavings, tea leaves and a shot of grain alcohol.

The mouthfeel isn't bad, as long as one is successful in filtering out what's happening on the taste buds. It's at least medium for the style, has a smoothness born of soft-edged carbonation and is faintly sticky on the finish.

Hop-a-lot-amus has a great name and a pretty cool label. Unfortunately, that is where the positives end. River Horse has never impressed me and this sad sack DIPA does absolutely nothing to change that. What a hippo-sized disappointment.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

burnt orange amber. A nice about one inch head graced the top from the very beginning, this slowly faded to reveal just a film across the top. No significant side glass lacing on this one. Decent carbonation could be seen rising up from the bottom of the glass. Nice overall look.

Lots of piney citrus likes hops dominated the aroma. But the story was much more complex then that. Lots of balance was present as well. Some good earthy grains and sugar were also present and well represented. Nice balanced smell nothign really blowing you down in either direction. Super smooth with a delicate underlying malt layer. Lots of sweet orange peel and sugar, a hint of some grapefruit. Very nice fresh cut grass flavor as well. Alot more complex then your typical hop bomb. Very well crafted.

Super smooth again, Decent carbonation led to a good mouthfeel. Nothing slick or oily. Nothing watered down either. A good ole fashioned nice sipper

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Photo of nickfl
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with two fingers of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, dark copper colored body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Spicy hops with a hint of pine and caramel.

T - Caramel malt up front with some red apple. Pine and sweaty hop flavors come out in the middle and are pushed aside by thick, bready malt as the finish settles in. Lingering fruity yeast and soapy hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate bitterness, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Thick, malty and kind of overbearing. The hops are excessively muddy and kind of get lost in the malt. I didn't really care for this one.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dispenses forth a hazed, light amber body with a sudsy-looking, off-white head.

Smell: Hoppy nose of citrus, gooey pine sap, and dehydrated herbs. Faint tropical fruit hints. Lighter, lesser malt notes of caramel and white bread.

Taste: Light pale maltiness with slender hints of caramel and bread. Touch of crunchy rock candy sweetness. Hops impart a citrus fruitiness, a leafy character, and lightly resinous pine taste. Little squirt of papaya juice. Medium-high bitterness. Finishes bitter, drying, and with a small touch of alcoholic heat at the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus, smooth body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though it seems I may be in the minority here, I thought it was actually pretty good. I'd go even a step further and say it's one of the better River Horse brews, but, to be honest, I've had only a very small handful of their available beers.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep hazy copper, with 2-3 fingers of very foamy eggshell-white head. This retains with a rigid 1/4 finger of rich froth that slathers the sides of the glass with thick sticky lacing. The aroma has a deep earthy tang, that is full of herbal accents and sweet fruits, along with a very spicy smelling edge to it that gives this some sharpness in the nose. Backing malts have a stiff graininess to them.

The taste majorly bitter and spicy, to much so in fact, with citrus rings and (to a lesser extent) pine spreading across the back of the throat. Tropical fruits, toasted grainy sweetness, and some darker earthy character try to soften some of the intensity from the hops but the drying bitterness of this just gets to be too much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow creaminess and slick feel but some sharpness from the heavy hops spices definitely adds a intermingling prickle to this as well. For an 8.5% beer, the alcohol isn't out of control or anything but there is just enough to help intensify that bitterness to the point where it hinders the drinkibility.

Wow, this ended up just being one disappointing hot mess of a DIPA. If unbalanced out-of-control spice and bitterness are your thing then I say go for it but I personally didn't even want to finish the bottle. Just not my thing.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to stevglad and the N00b BIF for this bottle!

And the Leaving Falls Church uber-bender rolls on. This bullet pours a hazy orange amber topped by a finger of slightly off-white foam, which doesn't feel like hanging around too long. The nose finds itself a battleground for domination between sharp grapefruit and lime on the one hand and decidedly sweet caramel on the other. The taste seems to give victory to the caramel, but the fruits remain, forcing at best a Pyrrhic win for the Malties. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly sticky feel. Overall, a nicely balanced DIPA, one that provides a good amount of flavor without going overboard.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Part of the river horse mixed 12 pack (3/4 high ABV beers) for only $14.99.. pretty good deal. Pours a nice cloudy copper color with a huge head to it. Smell is brimming with hops. Taste has a nice mouthfeel and smacks you right in the palette with nice bitterness. A little unbalanced, could use a bit more of a backbone but still damn delicious. Nice high ABV beer and a pretty solid DIPA... check it out if you can.. not to mention it's a great name for a beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this bottle up from the brewery tasting room, poured chilled into a tulip, shared with octopus87.

The color is a dark golden bordering on bronze, amber hues are apparent when held to the light. The cap is cream color and measures about 1 inch from a vigorous pour, the bead is various sizes depending where you look, lace clings ok. The smell is very malty with a mild vinous yeast estrer, maybe some malt citrus in the background, but it almost smells biscuity. The feel is malty and slightly sweet at first and immediately switches gears midway through and becomes bitter and slightly astringent with a mild alcohol accompaniement. There is a slight ripple of sweetness after the sharp acidic bite recedes.

The flavor is decent with a slight grassy and mild malty flavor, the flavor of the malt is almost bready and toasted combined with the yeast since this is an unlfiltered ale. The hops are doing exactly what I dislike seeing in this type of beer - providing strictly bitterness without any real hop FLAVOR. I did find the beer to be disjointed and malty one minute and ratcheted up to very bitter the next. Overall I find this is better than many of this style, so I can't really slam it, but it doesn't seem very well composed and lacks the thing you expect from an Imperial IPA -hop aroma and flavor. I would say get this if there isn't anything better around

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A lot of things on this one strike me as "different" for a dipa. First, it's very dark. And the flavor profile is very oily with a subdued pine tone. The nose is very much so pine influenced. It might be considered a bit misleading as it doesn't taste as interesting as the nose might lead one to believe. Overall though, it is an okay ale. This really doesn't strike me as a dipa. But as a beer, unrestricted by style parameters, it isn't too bad.

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Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed/clouded (it's unfiltered) orangeish amber with a creamy off-white-to-tan head that stays.

The smell is of citrus (grapefruit and orange) and resiny pine with caramel.

The taste is of citrus - grapefruit - with pine/resin. Caramel sweetness forms the backbone. Sweetness turns to a spicy tea-like bitter finish. Warming alcohol shows through.

The medium body is somewhat oily.

It's a bit raw, but well-hopped in a "balanced" way for the style. A solid DIPA that hits the style well!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Beer is orangish and slightly hazey. Large soapy, white head with lots of large bubbles fill the top of the glass leaving lacing as it falls away. Medium to low carbonation, average sized bubbles passing through the beer. Smell is not impressive. You can pick up hints of alcohol and some hop character. The malt is also present in the smell, its just not what I expect from an imperial IPA, its not bad, just not that impressive.
Smooth tasting, most of the bitterness is late in the mouth, almost an aftertaste but not quite. High malt, this is what a DIPA should taste like. It is very impressive and balanced. The bitterness and complexity of the hop character does an adequate job masking the almost 9% ABV. The second taste, milder, less of an aftertaste. This is probably one of the most drinkable and balance DIPA I've ever had. Very interesting. Check it out. This is the first beer I've had from River Horse, I'll keep my eye out for them in the area. Cheers!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by matt9875.

The beer appears a slightly hazy shade of orange with a moderate head and fair lacing. The aroma is a balance of malt and hops, which I always find disappointing in a DIPA. For what it is, the beer tastes OK. If it was hoppier, I'd be happier, nawmsayin? The feel is pretty good, with the alcohol content disguised fairly well. The beer finishes bitter with a trace of alcohol. Overall, an OK beer, but nowhere near the elites of the style.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry pale and Carapils malt scent along with a mild bitterness and some light bready notes. The taste is decent as well. It has a solid pale and Carapils malt taste along with a nice citrus hop flavor. It has an aggressive grapefruit bitterness that really dwarfs the malt contribution. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good DIPA. I'm not a huge fan of the hop character and the malt bill isn't too exciting either.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/31/09- Purcahsed at Buy-Rite Liquors in Plainfield, NJ.

Presentation- 12oz bottle. Did not check for freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Deep orange colored pour. Lots of fine sediment. Small barely-there head with light watery lace.

Smell- Nose of fruity and sugary malt and hops. Not hugely outgoing, but there nontheless.

Taste- Lots of flavor. Largey on sugary toasted caramel malt and some floal and tropical fruited hops. Pretty evenly balanced.

Mouthfeel- Very thick. Feels like 10%...viscous. Lower carbonation level and some nice bitterness in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Gavage
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: cloudy amber in color with a one finger head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam.

Smell: caramel and bread are most noticeable with some softer citrus tones.

Taste: bready caramel with some green grapes, grass, tart grapefruit, and a big bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, crisp and a bit dry late. Very long aftertaste as the bitterness and citrus ride the tongue for a while.

Drinkability: this is a big flavored beer that is a slow sipper. Nice offering here.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A- Hop-a-lot-amus is a nice mix of deep orange and bright gold. Some white foam sat on top of this leaving some nice patterns.

S- A nicely balanced DIPA with hops working with the malts. Getting some pine scents and some sweetness from the malts.

T- Along with the pine needle taste some citrus comes through with the malts trailing behind. There indeed "a-lot" of hops in this but they are balanced well. Some sweet caramel undertones and some bitterness towards the end.

M- A delicate balance between sweet and hoppy but I believe the latter is winning. With that comes some bitterness. I believe that just a bit of alcohol did sneak through.

D- A nicely balanced double IPA that I will be going for again. Not extremely high in ABV like some other imperials can be.

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Photo of weeare138
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a dense fold with a fluffy white cap that slowly fades. Tons of scattered lacing is left arond the glass.
Smell is of English Ringwood yeast with the signature buttery aroma. Some notes of herbs and citrus creep to the top along with birch bark.
Taste is biscuity, fruity, with nots of caramel, citrus and herbs.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitter yet sweet, buttery, and semi dry.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a cloudy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy/foamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice little hop notes, citrus, pines, and some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, bitter, nice little citrus note, and some pine notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brew, wish it was fresher.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep rustic orange with a 1 finger creamy bone white head that was mostly lasting leveling to a smooth patchy covering for the remainder of the drink. To call this beer unfiltered would be a severe understatement. The clarity was murky with very little light coming thru. The lacing was slight but the intense murky unfiltered nature made up for this short coming.

S: The nose was wet caramelized grains adding sweetness while an earthy fresh cut woodsy aroma offers subtle tones along with wet pine. Light dried caramel toast and light flowery hops closes things out. Overall liked the aroma, definitely something different from the citrusy overload of hops but came in a little underpowered for a 2x ipa in my opinion.

T: The bitterness comes through with dark toasted caramel grains with a wallop of citrus. Fresh grapefruit and lemon peel add a strong hop flavor that starts juicy and wet before quickly turning dry. The flavor seems a bit thin body and flavor wise (later I would find out this had a pilsner backbone) which brings out the hoppy nature, but does little in the way of offering fullness. The beer finishes with a nice dryness of grapefruit that sticks around. Overall enough dry citrus hops to justify a 2x label but the malting while different didn't offer any balance.

M: creamy but very light with little feel to it. A nice light creamy caramel but the thin pilsner malting hinders fullness. A light residual coating of malt and grapefruit covers the tongue saving this from perhaps an average showing.

D: Decent drinkability and decent enjoyment. Will smack the taste buds around a bit with a numbing citrus worthy of double ipa standards but the malting suffers here balance wise. Still worth a look the price of a 4-pack.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Not the clearest looking DIPA (unfiltered?) with a 1/2 inch of tan colored head. Mild sediment and some lacing.

S - Smell is good citrus and grapefruit hops with a caramel like malt bite and a touch of sugar cookie like sweetness. Mild sweetness.

T - Not bad it does borderline on a "dirty" IPA with earthy like bitterness next to the regular citrus/grapefruit mending. The caramel like malts and sweetness help to block any detection of ABV so no alcohol in the flavor. Still I have had better.

M - Medium and kind of chewy. Not sure if a DIPA should be chewy.

Overall it wasn't the worst DIPA I ever had but it was worth the $1.75 for sure. Maybe they should filter it so it would look cleaner and balance some of those hops.

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Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is all kinds of citrus. Pretty intense Cascade hop aromas (just guessing). Some bready and caramel malts make an appearance but are not the star.

The hops are definitely the star but unfortunately not in a good way. The beer improves as it warms and is a pretty decent balance of hop bitterness and flavor. Citrus and fruitiness are the other main characteristics of this beer; a plus of this beer is the fact that is does not ruin/dominate your palate and you can finish it an move on w/o needing a pretzel/cracker to clean up a resiny hop mouth. This beer is fairly oily and a bit chalky. Good carbonation. Decent, but average like all the rest of the offerings from Riverhorse.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby red amber body with good head and lace along with a textbook smell of citric hops and malty sweetness. Great citric hoppy bitterness mixed with fruit tastes like grapefruit and a caramel malt sweetness all tucked in a medium body that passes over smooth and finishes dry. A graet DIPA that mixes boatloads of hops with sweet malts for an easy to drink yet very full brew.

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Hop-a-lot-amus from River Horse Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.