Hipp-O-Lantern - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

385 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 385
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%
Wants: 17
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NJpadreFan on 07-18-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 385 | Reviews: 122
Reviews by mcallister:
Photo of mcallister
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber with a tan fizzy head that fades quickly to a foamy topper.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, toffee and hints of caramel and candy corn.

Not a bad pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and squash, good malt character nice and bready with toffee and hints of caramel. Moderate carbonation a bit creamy.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness info, but with new graphics and 8.1% ABV

Pours hazed darker amber, oatmeal head, stays around for a good while, then turns inot a thicker collar and leaves ample fine lace.

Nose sadly is dominated by alcohol, with the expected pumpkin pie seasonings relagated to the background. Allspice, cinnimmon, vanilla and the crew.

Medium pumpkin notes, more alcohol tinged jabs to the palate, and more spices that make me think of fall and thanksgiving.

This beer is "hot" with alcohol notes and while not undrinkable, its not really all that pleasant, certaintly not easy drinking and not the greatest pumpkin beer out there this season.

Photo of tigg924
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1 inch head, orange-brown in color, hazy, high carbonation

Smell: rich pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg

Taste: rich pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, dry toasted malt, and a bit of sugary cream at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight bitterness in the background, high carbonation, medium bodied, dry--especially for the style

Overall: An above average to average pumpkin beer and certainly slightly below other imperial pumpkin ales. A good deal of dry malt and cinnamon here. Not bad, but I will look for other pumpkin ales first.

Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Pours a cloudy, medium amber brown wiith a large, persistent white head from a growler supplied by CJ's in Towamencin PA. Aroma is pleasant aromatic, mostly vanilla, with some definite pumpkin pie notes. Taste is very smooth, malty and easy drinking. There is not much pumpkin or spice, but a subtle complex mixture of all of the above. Not as intense as the Neshaminy Creek imperial pumpkin "Punkless Dunkel", but nevertheless quite good and VERY sessionable. This delicious brew will please the palates of all but the most experienced beer drinkers who have destroyed their palates with over-the-top insanely intense brews.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH snifter glass

A: Had a dark copper color with a small head that dissipated quickly. A ring of small bubbles remained around the rim.

S: Very nice aroma, not overpowering at all. The nutmeg and cinnamon come through nicely. This beer smelled great, but I think it was just a tad on the weak side. However, in this style I would prefer it to be subtle than completely in my face.

T: A nice pumpkin flavor, the spices from the aroma come through when drinking it. There is a nice balance between the spices/pumpkin and the malt backbone.

M/D: This beer is smooth with just a bit of heat form the alcohol. It is my first pumpkin of the season, and I think does a pretty good job overall. It would make for a nice sipper this fall, I probably wouldn't drink more than two in an evening.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

River Horse- Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Hipp-O-Lantern)

A- Dark hazy/ cloudy caramel brown with a thick white head. Good head retention and nice ringed lacing down the glass.
S- Spicy nutmeg, cinnamon, and Pumpkin with hints of caramel and vanilla.
T- Sweet brown sugar and caramel malt with plenty of spices. Nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon really come through with pumpkin and roasted butternut squash.
M- Thick sweet malt with a dry spicy twang. Thick sugary feel throughout the mouth, slightly cloying. A touch of warm boozy Alc. pokes through in the end.

Overall- The 1st Pumpkin of the season and I think it sets the bar pretty high. 1 of my friends said, "tastes like Autumn", and that's a good thing!

Photo of maltmonster
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

A - Pours a cloudy orange/brown with a one and a half finger off white head. The sight of an unfiltered pumpkin made this one look quite intriguing. Ever so slight lacing on the glass.

S - Smells alot like the typical pumpkin gambit. Lots of nutmeg and clove with a little cinnamon and a some nice pumpkin back there too.

T - This one was quite a bit spicier than I was expecting. The taste follows pretty closely with what i noted in the "smell" section. The pumpkin was very up front this time but transitioned to all spice on the finish; which was on the drier side. Overall a nice balance between spice and pumkin with just enough bitterness to keep it balanced.

M - Somewhat thick in the mouth. Of course it is unfiltered which naturally gives it a little extra chewiness.

D - It's an Imperial Pumpkin. Could I drink a whole six pack in a sitting - no. But I did give it slightly better than average because it did not get cloying, as some can get.

Overall I would give this beer a "Very Good" rating. It is one of the bigger pumpkins out there, aside from say ST Pumpking, and sure will take the chill out of a cool fall night. I would definately recomend it for anyone who likes a stronger pumpkin ale

Photo of JohnFatAss
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, off white head.
Rich, creamy and smooth.
Real nice flavor. The pumpkin pie spices are not overpowering.
Sweet and malty, pumpkin pie spice and a little warmth from the alcohol.
Very enjoyable and one of the better pumpkin beers I have had.

Photo of dahlen22
2.87/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber with a decent head.

Aroma: Cinn, nutmeg, vanilla, allspice, clove, and faint pumkin

Taste: Same as aroma with a faint hoppiness that is hidden beneath the pumkin pie spices listed above. The alcohol is prevelant on this one.

Overall: Not too good, not too bad. If you are looking for a decent 4-pack of a imperial pumkin, it is worth a try. A bit too bitter up front for the style...pumpkin flavors are weak. I would skip this one and get the Southern Tier Pumking if you truly want to enjoy this style of beer in a tastier, more balanced form.

Photo of mikey711
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice amber color, with good clarity. the head was a bit heavier than i like and while it held well it did not leave good lacing

S: Slight pumpkin pie notes, some vegatative pumpkin notes, some nutmeg, cinnamon. A nice balance between sweetness and vegginess.

T: Nice pumpkin taste with some nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. I would have liked there to be more breadiness to give it a pumpkin pie like taste

M: There is a slightly astringent quality to it that is a bit off putting. A slight bit of heat present too

D: A solid pumpkin beer and my first of the season. I am sure ill have this one again in the coming months

Photo of russpowell
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from Timmush, cheers Tim!

Pours a ruddy-hued caramel with a 1 finger deep tan head. A little viscosity to this, above average head retention & lacing

S: Faint metallic notes, squashy notes a touch of cinnamon at the end,

T: Fairly assertive booze mixes with a touch of woody & metallic hops up front, along with s touch of squash & dryness up front, pumpkin pie spice is very restrained.Nutmeg & cinnamon come through as this warms along with hints of gingerbread & molasses. Finishes bready (ginger) & with woody dryness & a more subtle hint of booze

MF: Fairly thick, a touch of booze heat & low carbonation

Interesting, i always think the bigger versions have way more upside. This one may cellar for a few years. Going down great on a fairly cold October afternoon in Okieland. Good to see a decent offering from these guys. Started slow, but came on. My previous encounter was pretty underwhelming

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First pumpkin ale of the season.

Poured a copper/brown/orangey color with a cream-tannish colored head about half an inch. Heavily carbonated. Smell was pumpkin pie- mostly cloves- faint pureed pumpkin. Taste was nice and well-balanced. Alcohol coming through giving a slightly sour flavor at times. Heavy on the sugary malts and cardamom. All spice. Great flavors. Nice pumpkin ale here. This was awesome but not the best I have had.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to the BA who sent me this one as an extra in a past trade (don't have my spreadsheet at home)! Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Poured a dark red-orange with a one and a half finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, ginger, alcohol, and subtle nutmeg. The flavor was of sweet malt, subtle alcohol, pumpkin, cinnamon, subtle nutmeg, and spices. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I have grown to like Pumpkin brews more and more, and this one is a good example of why. The pumpkin definitely dominated the flavor and aroma on this one. While doing so, it brought a nice collection of spices to the game. Very well balanced and tasty. A definite must try for the curious or pumpkin brew fan a-like.

Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mud puddle brown color with some amber highlights. Fairly small tight head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is primarily of pumpkin pie spices; nutmeg and allspice come to mind with a hint of brown sugar. A rather subdued aroma. The flavor has some noticable pumpkin flavor to it, with the nutmeg and allspice spices. Some solvent notes come through from the ABV, which hinders the nice pumpkin and spice flavors. Kind of a shame. The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation which gives the beer a nice crisp feel. The ABV is noticable and leaves a little belly burn. A bit sticky in the end. I wanted to like this pumpkin ale but the high abv prevented that from happening. It is not bad, has some nice flavor, but there is just not a need to imperialize this style. Worth a try.

Photo of mfunk9786
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewing this new pumpkin beer from River Horse at slightly above ideal temperature for a beer of this alcohol level, but I'll factor that into the review (I'd say it's at the mid-to-high 40s). First pumpkin beer of the season - I just couldn't wait!

A: Dark orange/light brown (do you see the glass half empty or half full?), with an off-white head that doesn't stick around for long. Not quite the startling orange color that Pumking has me all stuck-up and spoiled over, but quite nice.

S: Smell is slightly boozy, one certainly can detect the 9% ABV in the nose. Sort of smells like a nice pumpkin-flavored white wine, more than a beer. There's not a lot of typical beer attributes on the nose, all pumpkin spice and pumpkin meat.

T: Taste is much like the smell - certainly boozy, but with a nice allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin character. Certainly closer to a "pumpkin pie" beer than a beer with pumpkin characteristics, one can detect a bit of whipped cream sweetness, and there is very little hop or malt presence that's very perceptible. It's a pumpkin bomb, for better or worse (and this is my favorite style!). The boozy aftertaste makes this merely a lowly competitor rather than the [Pum]king of the pumpkin beer.

M: Boozy, and surprisingly thin for the alcohol content. One would expect an imperial of any style to have a lot more body, but it's surprisingly thin in the mouth and doesn't leave a whole lot of aftertaste, good or bad.

D: As a result of the thin-ish mouthfeel, it's a drinkable beer that may have you going through two or more in an evening if you're a fan of pumpkin beers. Definitely recommended for a go-around, and hats off to River Horse for making an imperial pumpkin ale.

Photo of drcarver
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid brew from a solid brewery. Beer consumed at a fairly warm 60`.

A - great tawny color with a slight off-white head which last until the end of the glass. The body is fairly flat, but very clear.

S - aroma is subdued with hints of spice, alcohol, and bready yeast

T - here's the trick it is truly beer + pumpkin not liquid spice cabinet like many breweries end up making. Beer was drank at a warmer temp just to allow full flavor to come through. Great malt flavor and sweetness up front with a rounded earthiness. There is a strong alcohol flavor that may be helping in cleaning up the The start of the aftertaste is allspice and nutmeg which lasts briefly then finishes clean.

M - full bodied yet clean on the after taste. vegetable/earthy flavor leads to a chewiness in the texture.

D - goes down smoothly, but the alcohol flavor really slows you down... which is good... because its 9%.

Photo of KTCamm
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4 pack picked up in Jersey. Poured into a bottle.

Fall gets off with a bang - first pumpkin of the year and this one nails it. Pours dark copper amber with fast bubbles and no foam. Cinnamon pumpkin nose. Brown sugar. Taste is a rich pumpkin, spices. Bready. Pumpkin pie mouthfeel. Really good.

Photo of HopsYeast
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a-pours a reddish copper with no head that has a slightly cloudy body.
s-many different spices you would expect with a pumpkin ale. cinnamon, all spice, vanilla, pumpkin, malt, and a very faint touch of sweet honey
t-starts with a sweetness like clover honey combined with molasses and malt. then there is notes of earthy pumpkin with cloves and ends with a faint touch of hops and all spice. very nice.
m-smooth with low carbonation. leave a pleasant fizziness on the palate after consumption.
o-good imp pumpkin ale. doesnt sit heavy on the stomach and can be enjoyed through out the night. like that it features more earthiness of pumpkin rather than the sweet pumpkin pie flavor.

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Autumn in a glass! (Also the BA pic for this beer is outdated).

Pours a nice orange/amber color with a very slight head which doesn't retain well. Smells slightly spices, nothing noticeable, no strong scents. Taste is out of this world though! Slight gram cracker taste upfront, slightly spicy in the middle, nutmeg, allspice, fall flavors and ends with a popping pumpkin sweetness which quickly resides into a slight beer bitterness. Almost as good as dogfish head punkin.

Very well rounded, well balanced beer, sweet, spicy, and bitter. None of which overwhelm or last long in the mouth either, an awesome autumn drinker!

Photo of tone77
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy orange/brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is like fresh pumpkin pie. Taste is good, pumpkin, nutmeg, very flavorfull and the alcohol is well hidden. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a beer worth seeking out.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dense caramel-ice tea coloring has a solid 1 finger goldish-tan head that showed some resilence.

S: Spicing is evident upon opening and the pour, strong aroma of cinnamon, sweet cola, honey-caramel sweetness with a soft touch of nutmeg. Pumpkin puree is also prominent.

T: Flavor was strongly spiced, cinnamon, honey-caramel with a alcohol warmth. Pumpkin puree was meaty, but the alcohol seemed a bit much and distracted from the pumpkin aspect of the beer. Toasted grahm with a ginger snap and sweet caramelized brown sugar moment.

M: Snappy carbonation, creamy light to medium substance wise, creamy pumpkin and spicy alcohol warmth.

O: Overall i think the alcohol seems to interfere to much with the pumpkin aspect of the drink. A pumpkin beer should be fun, spicy, enjoyable to drink, while most of that is distracted by the heat of going big. Im all for big alcohol beers, i just dont think a pumpkin beer is a good option where the sweet and spicy nature is muted. Not ideal for multiples, i rather a pumpkin beer i can casually enjoy around a campfire out in the woods, where the campfire will keep me warm not so much alcohol and where the flavor a bit more enjoyable and defined.

Photo of DanJan
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First ever review!

a - A very murky brown-orange. Good carbonation with about a finger and a half of head.

s - Great aroma coming off this beer. You get hit with a lot of spices (nutmeg, all spice, cloves and cinnamon) but the pumpkin smell is definitely there.

t - The spices from the nose are back but are much more subdued. While some may enjoy a more subtle beer I was expecting a bigger hit from the first sip. Pumpkin gets lost in the shuffle between the first spice wave and the alcoholic heat at the end.

m - Hard to describe. Sticks around long enough to enjoy but doesn't feel overly light or overly sticky. Just average.

o - To me this is a fairly standard beer. For people who don't want the artificial pumpkin taste this might be a good bet. I think River Horse does a good job of accurately creating a Pumpkin Ale but it's nothing spectacular.

Photo of danz2323
4.54/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really good pumpkin with decent alcohol content. It is a sipper, unless you want to get buzzed quick and if that is the case just do a pumpkin bomb! Great dessert beer with a slice of pie or some ice cream. Most of the river horse beers are good and this is no exception.

Photo of philbe311
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Just shy of two finger's worth of crisp light khaki / light brown colored froth that displays decent retention... The lacing that is left is full and slightly whimsical with a slight collar... The color is a perfect balance of light-to-medium brown and dark amber... There is a very subtle haziness... A moderate bit of moderate-to-quick paced carbonation... Looks rich and warming overall...

S - The spice component is the star of the aroma... Nutmeg... Cinnamon... A hint of clove... Slightly sweet pumpkin pie filling is next... A light layer of brown sugar lingers beneath the surface... Nice balance and complexity... Seems to find the middle ground between sweet pumpkin pie and spice bomb...

T - The first sip reveals a nice mix of pumpkin puree, autumnal spice and brown sugar... No one flavor dominates and there is wonderful balance... There is a slight caramel sweetness that lingers beneath the surface... A very subtle booziness rises on the finish... The spices also reemerge to round out this fairly complex and highly evolved pumpkin ale...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Lush... Crisp... A good bit of nondescript carbonation... The finish is a touch on the dry side...

D - A very nice Pumpkin Ale and by far the best offering I've had from River Horse to date... I've been a tad disappointed in their other offerings.. The end result is a solid, much better than average, but a tad bit short of top of class Pumpkin Ale... I'm happy to have encountered and will gladly invest in a 4 pack each holiday season when I'm able to find it on the shelves...

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Batch 006, no info.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for another pumpkin beer! I've never even seen this, awesome!

A - A hippo could easily hide in this murky amber-orange beer. It's next-to impossible to see the steady stream of carbonation feeding the fluffy off-white head. Good retention and some sticky lace left behind.

S - Hmm, I wonder what type of yeast is used in this one as it has a fairly prominent aroma of bubblegum in the nose. It's not bad, just a little disruptive and odd when mixed with the pumpkin and spice. Caramel malt in the background adds a solid base. Later on the spiciness fades out just a bit too much. This needs less hefe aroma, more pumpkin.

T - THERE is the imperial! Tons of alcohol in this one is noticeable right off the bat. It's not overly solvent-like but it's certainly still potent. So potent, in fact, it covers up the pumpkin and spice flavors that are already mild. Lots of sweet caramel and crystal malt though. Yeast is a big part of this brew too, but it doesn't give off that bubblegum flavor found in the nose.

M - Full-bodied and rich but smooth and nicely carbonated, this has some heat to the finish, especially experienced retro-nasally. It's also got a hot mouthfeel like a clear liquor would. Slight spice lingering on the finish. Too hot.

D - It's not exactly a chore to drink but it's certainly much boozier than it needs to be. This one has too much alcohol and not enough of what really counts in a pumpkin beer; pumpkin and spice. There is some room to make this an awesome beer though.

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Hipp-O-Lantern from River Horse Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.