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Hipp-O-Lantern - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

331 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 331
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 18
Gots: 22 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 331 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev +6.4%

a- bottle poured into urthel glass, hazy chesnut coloring, bit more than a finger fades to uneven layer.

s- straight pumpkin pie drizzled with caramel, really nice. the spice here doesn't blow me away which is good, clove and a bit of cardamom.

t- really nice pumpkin ale here, i get alot of pumpkin, caramel, clove, cardamom. no hint of the 9%, this is among the best pumpkin ales i've had, there is a bit of creamyness here like whipped fresh cream.

m- smooth medium body.

d- good stuff here for sure, yep. i'd drink this one again for sure. good stuff from river horse.

thecarster1, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%

Big thanks to Jwiss22 for the bottle. Cheers, Pal!

Appearance -- Pours a rosy sunset hue with one finger of sudsy white head. Looks pretty good.

Smell -- Caramel, raisin, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, pie crust, some alcohol.

Taste -- Rum raisin, plum, ginger, cinnamon spice, pumpkin, English hops. Alcohol presence is moderate, but probably too sharp for the style.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with rather lively carbonation. Probably saves this one from feeling syrupy.

Drinkability -- Not bad. Almost an Old Ale-cum-Pumpkin Ale: rich and fruity malt flavor with gentle spicing and adequate pumpkin character. One of my personal favorites of the style. Honestly, my only quip is the alcohol presence, while not terribly offensive, it should be really toned down for the style.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of thain709
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%

A - A murky, burnt orange body with a creamy, off white head...the head becomes spotty and leaves some lacing

S - The aroma is pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg)...the spices aren't in your face, very mild, but also very pleasant

T - A pumpkin pie flavor carries over into the flavor...again it's not in your face but that's a good thing here...there's more of a toasted flavor lingering...I can't put my finger on it but it comes across as toasted malts, so it's adding another dimension to the beer...alcohol comes through as the beer warms

M - Medium bodied...wishing it was fuller for the look of the beer...comes up light/watery sometimes...alcohol flavor shines as the beer warms

D - This was a nice surprise...I did not know River Horse had a pumpkin ale, so I grabbed this one...not as good as Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin, but it's a nice imperial pumpkin ale

thain709, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%

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.

BeerFMAndy, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of EPseja
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Being an Imperial Pumpkin, this one was served from its 12oz. bottle at cellar temperature in a big brandy snifter.

A - Coppery orange pour with decent activity, but only a thin, filmy head remains after only 30 seconds. Some sediment at the bottom -- be sure to pour it in, as it definitely adds to the overall taste and mouthfeel as it also provides a nice murk to the look. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - Nice, caramel malts accentuated with a modest smattering of Pumpkin Pie spices in good balance so that no one is too overpowering -- cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove are apparent. Some slight notes of pie crust as well.

T - Nicely malty, with an obvious alcohol presence shortly thereafter in the middle. The spices present are subtle, as an accent rather than a showcase. Ginger seems to find its way to the fore just ahead of cinnamon and way ahead of the other spices. A tinge of tartness tells of the pumpkin puree that's present, as well as perhaps some of the yeast in the sediment. Finish is sweet but crisply hoppy. Enjoyable.

M - Not very viscous on the way in, showing why the alcohol remains noticeable -- because it's not masked by syrupy sweetness -- which is not a bad thing. Fluffy and dense after rising in the mouth, becoming a tinge gassy in the swallow.

D - It's nice to see another Pumpkin Ale make its way onto the scene that's not overly spiced, and actually uses real pumpkin instead of simply adding Pumpkin Pie spices. In the Imperial Pumpkin category however, this beer has a lot to live up to. Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin still holds the top slot for me, but I'm happy to say that this one sits proudly nearby -- and at a better price point. The only major detriment is that I don't feel that this beer benefits from the extra alcohol. If it clocked in at about 7% instead of 9%, I'd say that it would be much more balanced and delicious overall.

One extra note: allow this beer to warm up to just above cellar temperature, as this will take the edge off the alcohol, and increase the depth of the smell and taste. Great job, River Horse!

EPseja, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%

12oz bottle served in a glass goblet.

L - murky orange/amber color with a thin beige head that left very little lacing.

S - pumpkin pie spices, a very good aroma.

T - very pumpkin pie-like in flavor, all the spices you'd expect with the alcohol being fairly well hidden until it starts warming up.

F - medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

D - it's a decent tasting beer but the higher abv makes it a "one and done" beer.

JoeyBeerBelly, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of BeefyMee
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

BeefyMee, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Sneers
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%

Also known as the Brewer's Reserve Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Pours a fairly dark red-orange capped with an off-white head that leaves a respectable amount of lacing.

The nose is more spice than pumpkin, namely cinnamon and nutmeg, with a hint of bubblegum.

Less spice than in the aroma, toasted malts and pumpkin are dominant. This is one of the sweeter pumpkin ales that I've had, but the 9.0% alcohol makes itself apparent and cuts through a bit. Bubblegum is still there a bit. Moderate hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, but could be smoother and it gets a little thinner as it warms. This is a pretty tasty pumpkin ale from the folks down the road at River Horse.

Sneers, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of mltobin
4/5  rDev +6.4%

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 !

mltobin, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

Gmann, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%

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

Slatetank, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +9%

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.

Thorpe429, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of drcarver
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%

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%.

drcarver, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of biggerboat88
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

biggerboat88, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

Gavage, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

CharlatanSin, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of thespaceman
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%

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!

thespaceman, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of Cmuska902
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

Cmuska902, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of mmedina210
4.68/5  rDev +24.5%

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

mmedina210, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of Brez07
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%

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

Brez07, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%

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

pzrhsau, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of roar1345
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%

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.

roar1345, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
3.63/5  rDev -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.

mdaschaf, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Tomdee74
4/5  rDev +6.4%

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+..

Tomdee74, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of cds3717
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%

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!

cds3717, Aug 24, 2010
Hipp-O-Lantern from River Horse Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.