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

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

372 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 372
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 6
Gots: 26 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AltBock on 12-03-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 372 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ralree
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice cloudy orange, 1-finger white head, not fluffy and short-lived. Lacing is good.

S: Rather caramelly and sugary malt with a great hop kick. Great flowering hop smell is the main meat of this aroma.

T: Really strong out of the gate, hits you like a door in the face with insane hops and alcohol, with a nice sweet malt underneath. Malt is a bit smoky, and the alcohol quickly becomes less noticeable because of the hops. Totally awesome beer for hopheads!

M: A bit over-carbonated, but bearable. Syrupy like mad. Non-astringent.

D: This is so rich that it's actually harder to drink than many beers. It's really the only part they could improve, but this beer isn't made to be drinkable by all, just to destroy mouths with hop madness. Well done!

ralree, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of MikeBrandman
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 3 fingers of white head above a dark yellow/brown murky body. A lot of lacing to boot. Very delicious and foreboding looking.

S - Great hop aroma. Floral and subtly minty. Very refreshing smelling.

T - Quite a taste. Extremely hoppy, obviously. I can't tell exactly what kind of hops they are, but it's similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale so I'm guessing cascade hops. Mostly hoppy through and through, but very delicious overall, if you can stand the bitterness.

MF - Thick and heavy. Compliments the flavor well. Would have expected a little heavier of a body, although as it is it almost compromises the drinkability.

D - Not very drinkable, due to both the heavy body and the bitter taste.

MikeBrandman, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of Timtac
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing outstanding, nothing wrong with this 8.5% IPA. Unfiltered sediment stuck out with a darker than expected color and larger than normal head from a bottle into a goblet.

Taste was okay for the alcohol. I've been to this tiny Lambertville brewery, and it's generally unsanitary, so maybe I'm biased. I do believe that the water they use holds each type of beer River Horse makes back from their potential.

Timtac, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Wasatch, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruddy orange with a stiff white head that puckers and craters. Faint nose - some orange peel and sour barrel. Sourdough toast malts with punishingly bitter citrus pith and pine sap hops. Ting of sweet on the finish but more pucker to follow and dry chalky leave. Medium body with resin and stick, slight burn.

Holy IBU! Didn't know NJ could roll like this like this. Malts are there so I can't say it's out of balance, but could use some hop flavor rather than pure bitterness.

StJamesGate, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of jaluria
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack of this during my last visit to NJ.

Poured a soft, clear yellow-orange color with a subtle off-white colored head that quickly dissipates. Just a touch of lacing is left behind in my goblet.

The aroma is subdued with hints of orange peel, roasted seeds and tangerine. The carbonation is pretty intense and yet the aromas are gentle and just slightly inticing.

The taste deviates from the aromas as the crisp hop flavors really come out. Citrus and grapefruit hop flavors seem to dominate. I cannot detect any Simcoe-style hops that have the pungent flavor profile. A flavorful beer with a bready malt profile that offsets the hops.

The beer is a bit thin and short-lived in my mouth. The finish is quite crisp and refreshing making it a really drinkable beer.

jaluria, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of Seanibus
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I have heard of "Hop Bombs," but I usually expect that to mean hop character. Here we seem to have a hop bitterness bomb.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Pours deep copper with a dense, large head, almost more like a nitro tap pour. The aroma is bitter and sharp, like a powerful, salty nut brittle, with a dose of sharp cognac-like booziness. The flavor is malty and toffee-like with a sharp, tight, nutty bitterness, with some piny hop character clinging on for dear life. The mouthfeel is amazingly astringent, drying the tongue with every sip. The alcohol is hot and sharp, with a congac or sherry effect.

Does this sound terrible? I was afraid it might. But it's not. It's a bit like an overpowering rye bread, or an artisnal ginger ale - not something you expect, maybe even nor what you'd want with every meal, but still something worth trying and maybe even visiting with repeatedly.

Seanibus, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of mikereaser
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 8/7/09.

A - pours a cloudy amber with a layer of fine bubbles

S - grassy, earthiness with sweet malt, hints of lemon

T - sweet malt, earthy piney hops with lemon notes, nice earthy bitter finish

M/D - dry finish, good carbonation, medium bodied, oily mouthfeel, good flavor but the oiliness and flavor leaves me not wanting another

mikereaser, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of rawhydes1
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cloudy amber color, with average head and retention.

Smells of pine, with very pine, resiny, oily mouthfeel.

Due to it's oily viscosity, not the most drinkable beer.

This beer did not impress me at first, but I will say, however, that the second beer did grow on me a bit.

rawhydes1, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of samie85
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 12/24.

A-Pours a reddish amber with a white, two finger head.

S-Piney, citrus(grapefruit and orange), and spicy hop aromas. Caramel malt is also present.

T-Piney, bitter hops with a caramel base and a bitter, grapefruit finish.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth for an IPA.

D-Very easy drinking Double IPA, would try again if I could get it regularly.

samie85, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10/11/2009. Growler from Big Z Beverage. Pours a deep hazy orange/brown with a small white head. Aroma of caramel malt, floral hops, and a touch of citrus. Flavor is largely malty with some bitter hops in the finish. Pretty decent IIPA, although a little lacking in the citrus department.

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of aglose45
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy, ruby/golden brown color, with an ivory colored head.

S: Smells of sweet fruity esters and maltyness.

T: Minimal amount of cirrus hop flavor and too much sweet malt. While there is a limited amount of hop flavor, there is however some hop bitterness. Fruity esters also play a role in the flavor.

M: Medium bodied, minimal amount of hop resin, and good carbonation.

D: Ehh. Not bad, not good..it's average...

aglose45, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of tjd112
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Flying Fish Pint Glass; a white finger head on a hazy brown body. Smells heavily of apricots, and tastes like caramel at first with a hop finish, although some fruity notes are detected within. Smooth with a dry finish, mouthfeel medium to heavy, and this is suprisingly drinkable for a strong IPA

tjd112, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of ScarletLady
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap
A - hazy apricot. liked the fact that it was partially filtered. Poured with a great head, the kind that looks like you could sculpt something. Lots of lacing
S - definite hop nose but not super strong
T - slightly sweet at first with a good firm, slightly bitter hop finish. dry on the end
m - just the right amount of carbonation
D - definitely a keeper with a nice hop balance. Can definitely drink more than one in a sitting

ScarletLady, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.96/5  rDev +10%
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.

oriolesfan4, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of jeffthecheff
2.65/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks steve for the bottle. No freshness date.

Like the bottle says, this is certainly unfiltered. It has a reddish copper color that is completely opaque. The head is white and forms with good lacing.

The aroma reminded me of a barleywine. There is a good amount of malts in the nose that creates a sweet, candy like aroma with a good amount of yeasty fruitiness. The hops fight through and are detectable in the nose, but its not as hoppy as your typical DIPA. There is a good amount of pine. I like the aroma, but it doesn't fit the profile of a DIPA.

The flavor is very sweet, very bitter, and has an intense finish of alcohol and strong bitterness. Some dark caramel malts are in this beer that provide the dark sweetness. The hop flavor is kind of confusing because it battles so much with the huge bite of bitter and sweet. This is an intense ale, and reminds me more of a decent tasting barleywine than a DIPA.

The body on this beer could be a little drier, even if they were going for the so called "balanced DIPA." You can feel the bitterness before you even swallow, and once you do, its all you remember in both the flavor and the mouthfeel. I would keep away from this if your looking for a hoppy DIPA. Even if I graded this as a barleywine, its still not all that great. I really don't want to finish this glass....

jeffthecheff, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of deereless
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A golden brown color, slightly opaque, a thin layer of thick spotty head that seems to stick around, no obvious sediment in the original pour but significant amounts are visible on the bottom of the bottle - 4.25, S: Solid hop aroma, piney and citrusy - 3.50, T: Thick flavors of bitter hops and a layer of sweet malts, hops are predominantly piney, borders on a very hoppy barley wine, quite sticky and resiny - 4.00, M: Thick mouth feel - 4.25, D: An enjoyable and drinkable beer - 3.50

deereless, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very hazy red-orange body, topped by four fingers of just-off-white rocky foam.

Nice inviting aroma of citrus, heavy on the orange.

Thick malty base beginning. Quickly followed by a burst of exploding juicy fruits everywhere. Mix of bitter and sweet in the aftertaste.

Somewhat sloppy mouthfeel. Solid drinkability. Invites revisiting.

The recreation of River Horse continues, with a solid winner here.

RonfromJersey, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem and poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a hazed apricot color with a good two fingers of fluffy light rust colored foam. A decent lace is left on the inside of my glass with each sip. Huge floral and perfume notes, followed by oranges, tangerines, citrus oils, red grapefruit juice and peel, bitter and sweet, alcohol heat. Body is a bit thin with decent carbonation levels and a slick, slightly boozy finish.

ClockworkOrange, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Unibroue Tulip. 8.5% ABV, no date, "Unfiltered Double India Pale Ale" Awesome bottle design!

Thanks a lot to NeroFiddled for this-here bottle!

A - I'm glad the bottle reads "Unfiltered" because it pours a completely murky brown-orange color. No light gets through it. The three-finger tan head rises fast and refuses to settle! Minutes go by before it begins lowering. The dense bubbles cling to the glass with all their might though, leaving few open areas to see though.

S - Huge amounts of hops pour out of the bottle as soon as the cap is cracked and even more when it's poured! It's very well-balanced between a submissive, rich malty sweetness and the strong grapefruit citrus hop-bomb that this is. While the aroma is potent and dominating, it's a bit one-dimensional. Beefy and strong without a whole lot of nuances. Great though!

T - Talk about a hop-slap in the face by a fat hippo! The hops are immediately crisp and full of pine with a hearty grapefruit zing to 'em. A bit head-twitching if you aren't expecting it. The malts aren't tasted as much as they are felt in the background just holding everything together nicely with a mild sweetness. Like the aroma, while the flavor is undoubtedly good, it's a bit on the one-dimensional side. Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. Little nuances to be pulled from within.

M - Full-bodied and round with a good balance, it's crisp and really dry to the finish with one hell of a kick. A citrus-hop bitterness that'll knock your socks loose.

D - I already want more River Horse beers. This is very good and a good drinkable DIPA as well. Lacking a bit of depth but still successful nonetheless. Definitely a punch of hops to the face on this one.

BeerFMAndy, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Gavage, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

clayrock81, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of bgjohnston
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a hazy copper color with a tan head that stays with you for at least the first couple of sips, then sticking to the glass. Light but steady carbonation.

Smell is the kind of DIPA smell that I like: fragrant grapefruit with a hint of pine resin. And the taste gives more of the same. I know there is some malt in there, keeping the bitter edge muted until the very end, but it ultimately gives up, finishing with a final bitter knock-out punch.

The mouth feel is full, but not overwhelming. If I were 20 years younger, I would have pounded 3 of them by now, so I give it high marks for drinkability, although you really should watch yourself. 8.5% ABV is a very dangerous zone for drinkability.

I wasn't sure what to think about this new beer (to me) from New Jersey, of all places. Having lived there for a while, I had never heard of this beer or brewery, and now really wish I had.

bgjohnston, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Lothore
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice orangey hue with a 2 finger, frothy, eggshell head that leaves lots of lacing as it dissipates.

S- A bouquet of citrus, wheaty grains, grapefruit.

T- Bready with a huge wave of grapefruit that overtakes the palate and finishes pretty bitter.

M- Medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Definitely an underrated beer in my opinion. This is exactly the direction I love my DIPAs to go, lots of grapefruit hops, bitter finish, malt doesn't come to the front end at all.

Lothore, Oct 13, 2009
Hop-a-lot-amus from River Horse Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.