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Hipp-O-Lantern - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%
Wants: 20
Gots: 31 | 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: 362 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

JohnnyChicago, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of thedoubler55
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

thedoubler55, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Rifugium, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

BeerImmediately, Oct 06, 2011
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.

Billolick, Oct 02, 2011
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!

jtierney89, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of tone77
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

tone77, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of 57md
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

57md, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Daniellobo, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of MrELovesBeer
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

MrELovesBeer, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of jwc215
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

jwc215, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of DanJan
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

DanJan, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

happy4hoppybeer, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of magine
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

magine, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of tko741
2.88/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

tko741, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of Naugros
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Naugros, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of tobelerone
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

tobelerone, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of danz2323
4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

danz2323, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

metter98, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

DavidSeanNJ, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of cjoc83
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

cjoc83, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of devinoconnor
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

devinoconnor, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

womencantsail, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of dahlen22
2.86/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

dahlen22, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of HopsYeast
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

HopsYeast, Aug 14, 2011
Hipp-O-Lantern from River Horse Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.