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Hipp-O-Lantern - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hipp-O-LanternHipp-O-Lantern

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

312 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13%
Wants: 16
Gots: 17 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: NJpadreFan on 07-18-2010)
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Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyChicago
JohnnyChicago

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip pint. Considering this is from a six-pack and has a different label from the four-packs, I'm guessing its from last year.

A: Pours a dirty light amber with little head and big chunks on the bottom of the glass...hmm...

S: Smells of yeast, old gourd, and a bit of pie spices. Its a little unbalanced.

T: Flavour is actually better than the nose suggests. Its heaviest on the clove and all spice, but there is a solid, non-sweet pumpkin backing that pushed the whole beer through. A kiss of hops in the finish.

D: Pretty smooth for a 9%. Maybe its the age that mellowed it, but the heat is controlled. Mouthfeel is slick.

Overall: Well done pumpkin ale, and the age hasn't significantly hurt this. That being said, this one is just a bit light on actual pumpkin ale flavours. It tastes more like an imperial golden ale with just a hint of pumpkin pie. Not bad, but not as pumpkin-forward as I like.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 12:27:28 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of thedoubler55
thedoubler55

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A reddish copper, with a nice amount of tan foam at the top, that leaves a bit of lacing around the glass.

S- Pumpkin pie, but not very potent of a smell, a bit of spiciness and booze at the tail end.

T- Cinnamon, a bit of spice nothing wild like other pumpkin beers I have had, a nice sweetness, nutmeg.

M- Nice balance of beer, not to much carbonation, not to bad.

O- Not one of my favorite october beers but this one was not to bad.

Serving type: growler

10-09-2011 21:01:30 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Leaf, Easton, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, a slightly hazy, burnt orange, with a finger or so of frothy white head that left some nice lacing. Aroma of malty sweetness, with light pumpkin and spices. Taste of caramel, sweet malts, toasted grains, with an adequate, non-overblown infusion of pumpkin pie. I prefer my pumpkin ales to have a big pumpkin and spice flavor, but this was still sufficient. Medium mouthfeel, a little bit of alcohol warmth, and generally drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 01:12:42 | More by Rifugium
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into tulip.

Healthy 1F worth of cream colored head that fades to a film over a deep brown-to-orange body. Good lacing.

Lots of clove, cinnamon, and rich banana in the aroma. Very sweet. Almost like a weizenbock with cinnamon added.

Rich and smooth on the palate, with a solid embracement of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove over a sweet potato body, and lightly bittered English hop quality in the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, with just a light carbonation. Extremely drinkable, with well-hidden alcohol.

This one is a must try if you enjoy imperial pumpkin ales - much more drinkable than Pumking, as it's not the least bit cloying.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 23:18:16 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.58/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 22:46:12 | More by Billolick
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 03:36:43 | More by jtierney89
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 16:01:17 | More by tone77
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark and cloudy orange with a half finger of head that dissipates quickly. Toffee is dominant in the nose, but not noticeable in the taste. The taste has a cider flavor up front and really lacks any pumpkin. This is not terribly heavy, but it is not an easy drinking beer either. The alcohol is not overwhelming, but it is present more so than in other imperial pumpkins. I'd recommend several other imperial pumpkins before this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 03:46:24 | More by 57md
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hefty and fair take at imperializing a pumpkin ale.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Simple design with fonts resembling hand/drawing over a grey background and orange framing. The neck label has a small drawing of a hippo shaped Jack O'Lantern. Small generic description on the back. Notes 8.1% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A -Murky amber-brown pour with a short-lived creamy head, short surface memory other than a fading thin ring with no trace of lacing.

S - Sweet caramel coating spices and pumpkin. Common ranges of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg…

T - Same push with a predominantly malty sweetness over which the pumpkin sense rides with the expected range of spices, clove, nutmeg etc… and a burnt caramel hint here and there.

M - Medium to medium-full body, smooth and a bit too sugary covering the palate.

O - Pleasing take on a double pumpkin ale, maybe missing a bigger profile in the pumpkin to balance the sugary sense.

Notes: Not a bad offering overall but for me a bit too sweet, other than that the balance between pumpkin and spice has a nice rhythm and potential.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 19:25:56 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of MrELovesBeer
MrELovesBeer

Vermont

4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

River Horse is a brewery I've started sampling with greater regularity these past few months and have enjoyed just about all of their offerings, particularly their unfiltered lager and Triple Horse. So I was quite excited to crack open the Hipp-o-lantern. So:

Pours a lovely, cloudy, ruddy amber with a small white, slightly brownish head that dissipates quickly and minimal lacing.

Smell is a hit of everything fall and pumpkin-y - nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin, of course. Sweet as well, almost caramelized sugar.

Flavor mimics the smell. Lots of nutmeg and pumpkin with a little sweetness to balance, turning into a pleasant bitterness and spice that's similar to the spiciness of ginger. Not much carbonation here, especially after the beer warms up a bit. The aftertaste also really starts to linger not entirely pleasantly after it warms up, but that's only really toward the bottom of the glass. All nicely accompanied by some warm alcohol from the 8.1% ABV.

Overall, this is a milder, better balanced Southern Tier Pumpking. In true River Horse fashion, nothing too aggressive here - just a solid addition to the fall beer field.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 04:05:55 | More by MrELovesBeer
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed deep orange with a thin tan head that lasts and leaves some laci.ng.

The smell is of light pumpkin spicing with a grainy background.

The taste is of light pumpkin spicing with grainy malt. Alcohol peeks through. It has a sweet-ish mildly spicy finish.

It is pretty smooth despite the noticeable alcohol. It doesn't quite have enough body for an imperial.

The note on the label says "Nobody likes a show-off". Well, mission accomplished there. I don't particularly care for over-spiced beers. If this weren't labelled as an "imperial", and the alcohol cut back a bit I would have been more impressed.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 15:35:55 | More by jwc215
Photo of DanJan
DanJan

Colorado

3.4/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 01:46:32 | More by DanJan
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
happy4hoppybeer

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having developed a taste for pumpkin ales since last year with DF Punkin Ale and this year's batch of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, I sought some more out, and noticed this one, from River Horse, whom I've had the quite decent Hop-a-lo-amus Double IPA, bought it instantly. Here goes:

Pours from bottle into pint glass a cloudy dark amber almost brownish orange, with very thin pale white head. Fizzles away fast, very minimal lacing. Poor retention.

Nose detects very light scents of sweetness all around, some nuts, spices, cinnamon, malt, faint traces of hops, leaves and yes, pumpkin. Very nice aromas, but kind of light/faint, by that I mean you kind of have to put an effort into detecting i.e. nose real close and sniffing hard.

Tongue catches a lot of the same, malt sweetness, some spices and artificial pumpkin flavoring. Brewery has stated on their website they use pumpkin puree. Slight alcohol warmth, aftertaste at the end. Medium body, fairly heavy carbonation.

Very nice effort by River Horse. A fine example of a Pumpkin Ale. I think what's holding this one back a little is the faintness of the aromas and palate, it should stand out a little better without the drinker putting effort to taste and savor. Nonetheless, a worthy addition to the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 20:12:58 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at pjs pub

Nice dark orange amber. Creamy off white lace head. Good lace.

Smells of spices, malty pumpkin cinnamon and pie like nose. Good nose.

Brew is balanced and has good malts and spice. Very good flavors on this one. Good drying and alcohol from this one. Really a tremendously balanced ale.

The best brew from river horse I have had. A great pumpkin brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 23:18:14 | More by magine
Photo of tko741
tko741

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice one-finger, rice colored head greets you in the glass. It all but disappears into the cloudy, amber-earth colored beer. Hard to see any sort of carbonation or lacing. Whiffs are smoky, definitely pumpkiny, with an obvious cinnamon and allspice influence. Upon a sip, there’s a chaotic, if fleeting, dark pumpkin taste, followed by a big, hot hit of alcohol. The beer finishes with distinct suggestions of raisin, plum, cinnamon, and a strong helping of malts; perhaps a little bit of marzipan floats around as well. The brew has a little life to it in its carbonation.

Overall: River Horse seems to have missed the mark with this one. While pumpkin meat and spices do appear in the beer, it’s overpowered by a very malt liquor-like alcohol hotness that is distracting and, honestly, unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 01:28:39 | More by tko741
Photo of Naugros
Naugros

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of pumping ales...they might be least favorite style actually...but I will try to be fair. Poured into my River Horse pint glass.

Everything about this beer is very typical for a pumpkin ale:
- The color (burnt orange approaching brown)
- The head (not much of one and a thin ring with film left over)
- The smell (pumpkin pie)
- The taste (same as above)

But there are things that make this one stand out.
- In the smell the spicing does not seem as strong as many other breweries go with. This surprises me considering that River Horse uses too much cardamom in their wit.
- The flavor exhibits more of a malt and hops presence and doesn't let the pumpkin take over entirely. The malts come through as Boston brown bread and the hops as pine.
- There is a sweetness here that reminds me of brown sugar.
- The body is a little lighter than most pumpkin ales and a bit smoother. However, the hops and spices add a bitterness that increases as the beer warms.

This may be my favorite pumpkin ale to date. It is actually an ale brewed with pumpkin with some spicing added rather than a pumpkin pie turned into a beer. But it still does taste like a pumpkin pie turned into a beer, just not as strongly as others.

Update: I tasted this side by side with the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin and I was wrong. Weyerbacher is still the king of pumpkin ales in my book. River Horse comes in second.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 18:00:39 | More by Naugros
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour leaves just a thin white band of a head; soon dissipates to nearly nothing. Beer is cloudy, brownish gold, with minimal lacing that slides quickly down the sides of the glass. Aroma is boozy and sour, without much evidence of typical pumpkin pie spices. They make a restrained appearance in the mouth, however, though the taste is surprisingly balanced. Bitterness and malt level off nicely. No sweetness.

Medium short finish without cloying. Good carbonation. A nice beer but not one that shouts pumpkin at all. Tastes of spice on the palate are dominated by a pleasant booziness, only reappearing briefly in the finish. Overall, well made and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 14:07:19 | More by tobelerone
Photo of danz2323
danz2323

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 15:28:14 | More by danz2323
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy brownish orange in color. It poured with a half finger off white head that died down leaving a bit of lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spices in the nose along with some hints of brown sugar.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some hints of malty sweetness. The flavors become a little more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer is very flavorful and hides its alcohol very well considering the strength. I would definitely consider having this one again; it’s very good but a step or two below Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 10:51:07 | More by metter98
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 15:43:39 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of cjoc83
cjoc83

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown/burnt orange, lots of haze, about a fingers worth of off-white head that recedes to a frothy layer. Scant lacing.

Smell is pretty standard for a pumpkin ale; clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, but it seems to be lacking something...can't really tell what it is.

Taste is also pretty standard, but again, seems to be lacking. It just doesn't smack of liquid pumpkin pie like some of the better pumpkin beers out there. It almost seems to have a sweet potato pie taste more than pumpkin. Still, relatively tasty. Clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, although they seem subdued. Some caramel malts mix in with the spice.

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium bodied, good carbonation for the style.

Definitely not the best pumpkin beer I've ever had, but also not bad. Drinkable. But there are definitely better examples of this style out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 01:22:45 | More by cjoc83
Photo of devinoconnor
devinoconnor

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an awesome fall beer. If you're ready for the colder months, this will immediately get you ready.

Pours a nice golden brown color with some creamy colors. Nice amount of head.

Smell is instant rush of sugar and pumpkin. It's fantastic.

Taste is smooth, but not overly pumpkin. If you don't love pumpkin, you'll still like this beer (as compared to something like Smuttynose's version which has pumpkin puree in the beer).

Overall, very solid fall beer. Can't wait to have more of it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2011 14:54:58 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

2.53/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a cloudy, brownish, amber color with a small, soapy, off-white head.

S: There's a light metallic note to it and some water there as well. Very heavy on the spice/herb notes. There's a ot of cinnamon and nutmeg along with a bit of sage. Some light grass and bready malt.

T: The flavor is almost savory/meaty. A light smoke note, some cardboard, and minimal pumpkin. There is also a moderate spice note, mostly the same ones as detected on the aroma.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: Not a good aroma or flavor. Pretty bad pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 17:54:47 | More by womencantsail
Photo of dahlen22
dahlen22

New Jersey

2.86/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 15:50:20 | More by dahlen22
Photo of HopsYeast
HopsYeast

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 23:23:34 | More by HopsYeast
Hipp-O-Lantern from River Horse Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.