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Hipp-O-Lantern - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

124 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 406
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 22.49%
Wants: 21
Gots: 58 | 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

A festive Ale brewed with pumpkin and molasses. A variety of hand-crushed, whole spices set up an impressive aroma and well balanced taste.
View: Beers (30) | Events
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 406
Photo of BeefyMee
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Great burnt orange color. Hazy with some tiny suspended particles. I know this wasn't sitting on the shelf for years so this must be intentional.

S: Heady pumpkin aroma. Moderately boozy, if not a little above average.

T: Burnt pumpkin, some pumpkin pie spice, also a tad metallic. Alcohol starts to come through and was very noticeable by the end of the glass.

M: Velvety smooth. Pumpkin beers seem to have a leg up here.

D: Good but the alcohol hurts it a little.

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

I picked up one bottle of this recently, first pumpkin of the year.
Appearance is a dark orange color with an off-white head.
Smell contains vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin, nice mix.
Taking a sip of Hopp-O-Lantern and it tastes great. It has an emphasize on spice, malt is also prevalent, and sweet, but not overboard. Mouthfeel is a proper balance for the style. Drinkability for an imperial pumpkin is surprisingly good. If you have access to this in your state, try it !

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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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth Beach DE-poured chilled from the 12oz bottle into a tulip

A - A slightly hazed auburn shade w/ rocky two finger ginger snap head w/ tiny bead. Smatterings of lace creep up like snail trails

S - The smell has a creamy spicy and woody scent w/ a slight cinnamon and brown sugar arom w/ mild meaty scent

M - The feel is semi-dry w/ spiced texture and mild bitterness w/ subtle tangy and mild vinous acidity w/ dry finish

T - The taste has a slight woody cinnamon note w/ light peppery allspice and mild vegetal quality w/ sweet flavors kept at low range w/ more herbal hop accents. The mix of subtle acidity and mild alcohol essence which has a slight warming on the palate is pleasant and the flavor of the malt backing up the spice is good too

D - I found this above average overall, I would be pleased to try this again. It was a fresh tasting bottle and spicing doesn't overwhelm the taste. The only thing prohibiting multiple tastes is the abv a good Imperial, but there are a few that rank higher IMO

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly thickened light to medium orange with a nice off white head. A bit of lacing as it goes down. Nose is caramel, brown sugar, hints of cream, and plenty of pumpkin spices. Taste is the same with the more traditional, non-spice flavors taking the front seat. Well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit creamy. Drinkability gets a higher score as this really goes down well and is one of only a few pumpkins beers that I can actually drink twelve ounces of.

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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%.

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Photo of biggerboat88
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

River Horse is only 20 minutes from my home so I always want to try their brews whenever I can and as a fan of a good pumpkin ale I had to give this fall seasonal from their Brewer's Reserve a shot. This is a really nice looking pumpkin, a rich dark-orange color with significant beige head. Elaborate lacing coated the glass but without much head retention. Some "pumpkin beers" seem to ignore actual pumpkin flavor all together but luckily River Horse kept it in the brew. This smells beautiful with a lot of allspice, cinnamon, pumpkin itself, and a little alcohol. The taste is much of the same but I couldn't actually taste the 9.00% ABV making it rather dangerous on a chilled autumn eve. Not much carbonation, the spicy flavor keeps your tongue occupied instead. The flavor wasn't as strong as it could have been which would be great for some folks but I really like my pumpkin beers to be fully flavored since I rarely enjoy more than one a night. Despite the higher ABV this is a pumpkin that someone could have a few of without being overwhelmed with spiciness. Not my favorite for the style but nothing particularly wrong with it either.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark orange in color with a one finger head that slowly falls.

Smell: spices and malt sweetness are easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: big malt profile with nutmeg, cinnamon, a nice balancing bitterness, and warming alcohol create a nice version of the style.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finis. Aftertaste is long as the flavors stick to the tongue.

Drinkability: this is a slow drinking beer but provides a sign that fall and football are starting. Definitely a well done beer, but alcohol will limit you to one per session.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a murky, orange-tinged brown (I poured it into a pint glass, but after drinking the thing I realize a chalice would probably be better). The beige head is large and won't go away for anything. As I've said before, heady beer is good beer, so I like what I'm seeing. Thick, chunky lacing paints the glass.

The smell is a pumpkin spice mix; cinnamon and allspice primarily. It's pretty restrained, though, which is a good sign. The taste is quite good, and a good bit more complex than the smell. You'll still taste the spices, but like the smell, they don't overwhelm. There is also a distinct taste of actual pumpkin, which seems to be something that lots of pumpkin beers forget. Brown sugar is also present, and a nice, light booziness throughout. All-in-all, it tastes like fall.

The carbonation is low, and the beer coats the mouth which mitigates the thin mouthfeel a bit. The fact that it's 9% ABV really sneaks up on you, though. The ABV isn't on the bottle, so I can see drinking a few of these in a row and then getting surprised when my head gets funny. But this a very good beer. I was very pleasantly surprised. I can definitely see coming back to this one a few times throughout the fall.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.26/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: One of the most beautiful pumpkin beers I've witnessed. Beautiful amber in color, nice size head slowly rises and reduces as it settles in, perfect lacing and retention here, truly fantastic!

Smell: I get alot of pumpkin spices here up front, very reserved and not overpowering. Brown sugar, clove and some allspice round out the nose. A small earthy note comes through as well settling things down.

Taste: Very reserved as far as flavoring, of course you get brilliant pumpkin flavor from the puree they use, which usually I don't like as I feel whole pumpkins make there beer more authentic, but River Horse pulls this off. Up front is good combination of allspice and brown sugar, a touch of alcohol is evident but it's not overkill, not too heavy malt backbone gives off some nice grain like flavors as well, toasty yet not a barnburner. Finishes off with some more spiciness and a quick tinge of some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: The mouth is not as thick as other pumpkins I've had in previous years, not too thin yet not over the top either. Little to no bitterness, and just enough carbonation to keep this one on the tongue without breaking down.

Drinkability: Highly impressed by River Horse's offering, Hipp-O-Lantern shows what pumpkin beer properties should be all about, not overspiced and a medium malt backbone to keep it balanced. The highlight of this beer is the color, what a beautiful beer in the glass! The ABV is not too evident, but the added alcohol benefits this beer as it's not too thick where you wouldn't be able to grab another one. I've always been a fan of River Horse but they really put me over with this fall offering. Try it!

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Photo of Cmuska902
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Absolutely delicious fall color; a wonderful amber with a small head that dissipates quickly. The color alone reminds me of fall, pumpkins, and the leaves falling.

S: Smells of alcohol and spice. Faint pumpkin smell, if any, but definitely has the spicy smell of most pumpkin beers. It smells strong!

T: This beer was just what I was looking for. My first pumpkin beer of the season. Crisp malt with a pumpkin and spice that is not too overpowering. Slight warming taste of alcohol. Some nutmeg and cinnamon, perfect balance of sweet and savory.

M: Well balanced carbonation, a little thin on the tongue. Coats the mouth quickly, and finishes easily. Just enough bitterness bite at the finish to make you want another sip.

D: I can session on this beer way too easily. As soon as the temperature drops I am drinking multiple of these. Delicious, drinkable, fall, pumpkin beer. This one really surprised me. Color me impressed.

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Photo of mmedina210
4.61/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle marked as batch 006.

It poured a copper tone with a thin beige head, and a small amount of sediment floating in the brew.

I didnt get too much from the smell other than, what I assume, is pumpkin spice.

The taste is phenomenal! A strong spice taste, made up of Pumpkin spice, and something that resembles brown sugar in the back of the throat. there is no alcohol taste, and just enough bite, to let you know the hops are there. It has a very earthy finish which is not common in these beers but welcome in my book.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. Slight carbonation, in the back and smooooth up front.

No alcohol burn and delicious taste makes this an extremely drinkable beer. Definitely my 2nd favorite Pumpkin beer.

highly recommend

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Photo of Brez07
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours an orange/amber (basically pumpkin) hue that yields a one finger sandy head. No lacing to speak of

S: Some pumpkin spice, nutmeg and burnt sugar. Kinda smells like pumpkin ice coffee

T: Definitely some pumpkin spice, not surprisingly. There's a bit of a sweetness to it, but not too much. Leaves an earthy aftertaste, which I'm not necessarily a fan of

M: Medium bodied. Crisp, tingly mouthfeel. Leaves an ever so slight bitterness on the palate

D: Very drinkable, especially at 9%. My glass was empty before I realized it. That being said, overall I was slightly disappointed by this beer as the other beers I've tried from this brewery were very tasty. The pumpkin doesn't stand out much except with a slightly off aftertaste

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Photo of pzrhsau
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cloudy amber brown with a nice sized head that doesn't dissipate.
S: Rich aroma of pumpkin with notes of cinnamon and all spice. It also has a slightly sweet aroma with some hints of alcohol.
T:Slight pumpkin flavor that is layered by the malt and spice. It doesn't come off as a pie as much as a good blend of spices and sweet pumpkin.
D/M: Crisp and heavy but still very drinkable but definitely leaves an aftertaste. Very creative name and it was great to see such a great beer from NJ

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Photo of roar1345
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a hazy orange brown with a smallish off white head. it smells of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. the taste is awesome, pumpkiny with evened out spices. it leaves no bite on the tongue only a lingering taste of pumpkin pie and hops. the pumpkin isnt too overpowering; it goes well with the spices. not too thin of a beer either. i didn't notice it was 9 abv until i saw the bottle. this is a great beer.

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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.

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Photo of Tomdee74
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanx to smutty33 for givin me one of these to try. and i am impressed.. i'm drinking it now and it holds up pretty solid to the other pumpkins out there.. and hats off to river horse for making an imperial pumpkin... this exceeded my expectations as i've had hop-o-lat-amus and some of their other stuff and i'd say it's just decent.. i'm not gonna do the whole ASTMD thing cuz i really don't know if many people give a s*** abot that to be honest.. but this was good.. very worthy of giving it a shot.. i will be picking this up on a near trip i'm sure.. I will say it's a solid B+..

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Photo of cds3717
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The perfect color for a Pumpkin Ale in my opinion. A deep copper/ amber color on the verge of brown, that reminds me of the leaves about to change in Autumn. Head doesn't last long, but for this beer I don't consider that a flaw because I was so enthralled with the color.

S: I smelled the pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, etc. (pumpkin spices) at first, then after awhile all I could make out was a great aromatic malty smell after the first few sips, unless I left it alone for a awhile (which was hard to do).

T: Same as the smell, the first few sips were all pumpkin bready with a nice malt background, then after a few more sips became more malty than anything until I let it be for a bit. (FYI the last sip is like WHAM! pumpkin spice!) There is still a hint of it, but the malt just takes the forefront, and that makes me love this beer more, because it tastes more like beer than other pumpkin ales, and less of a spice-bomb. A fantastic desert beer!

M: So I tried it both semi-cold and cold, and if semi-cold, its gonna be thinner and a little more astringent. If cold though, all you get is a full bodied, almost but not quite sticky, mouthfeel. Thats what I got, so I would recommend cold!

D: You will drink one quickly, NO PROBLEM! (You look down and can't believe its all gone!) More than one or two is hard to do though. Its too thick, heavy and strong to gulp tons of these down, but hey, its IMPERIAL!

I tried a couple other pumpkin beers with friends, and this took the cake. Its just not a novelty beer like many others, and tries to go back to the roots of being.... a beer!

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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

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Photo of magnj
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little early for the style but I figured I'd try it fresh.

A - Deep caramel amber bordering on brown. Very clear, produced a generous head on an aggressive pour down the middle of my Guinness glass.

S - Sweet malty nose with some kind of spices offering a hint that it is a fall seasonal style, though I wouldn't guess pumpkin.

T - Sweet to very sweet all the way through, way balanced towards the malt, somewhat spicy. Although that may not be a terribly detailed description I will say that so far this is my favorite pumpkin beer I've had yet, most I find intolerable or at best boring. This one is tasty even on a warm night.

M/D - Full body that ends sticky, flavor lingers and as it fades the pumpkin an spices really shine through. Although it is sweeter than any I have tried it is really tasty, would probably be able to have a few if it was cooler. Impressed!

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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.

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Photo of mrgrinch
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had the good fortune to bring a six-pack of this home from the River Horse Brewery in Lambertville. They had just finished brewing and bottling/kegging it for this season. There were a few cases available for purchase and I thought I would give it a rip.
Appearance - Dark, cloudy and orange. The carbonation is robust, very little head. A very even lacing. It looks good and vibrant!

Smell - I may have had it too chilled for ideal aroma analysis, but there is a distinct smell of pumpkin and spice. Very nice. Sweet and sharp at the same time. As it warmed up the flavors became very distinct. Reminds me of Thanksgiving at Grandma's house.

Taste - You can taste the pumpkin and spices which are not too overpowering. Clove? Nutmeg? This is definitely an Autumn beer. The alcohol is very notable in the finish.

Mouthfeel - The beer is not overly heavy and has a nice texture. I like the rapid carbonation. It adds a lightness to what is a full, sweet, and turbid beer.

Drinkability - This is a nice dessert beer. I would likely only drink one at a sitting, though.

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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

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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!

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Hipp-O-Lantern from River Horse Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.