River Horse Special Ale Amber - River Horse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
River Horse Special Ale AmberRiver Horse Special Ale Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 0
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rfgetz on 09-22-2010)
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy and a dark shade of amber in color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that has very good retention properties and left a short head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts and earthy yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel and toasted malts along with earthy yeast. A light amount of bitterness is present. The earthiness lingers through the finish.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate with a little smoothness and a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the malty nature of this beer because there were just enough hops to help balance this off and keep things drinkable. It's pretty tasty for a beer with a low abv.

Photo of Slatetank
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is the last bottle I picked up as part of a sampler pack from the brewery in Lambertville -poured from the chilled 12oz into a double walled tumber.

The amber has good deep ruby color which borders on bronze with a translucent clarity and 3 fingers of rocky ecru which settle to a 1/4 inch. The lace collection on the glass is good with a fine bead. The smell is good, which is a mix of hops that have a herbal and pine blend of scents and some light sweetness from the malt with a mellow ester of yeast fruitiness in the nose with a subtle toasted toffee-like aroma. The feel is very moderately bitter within style and standard carbonation with mild sweet entry and balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness is good with some subtle diacetyl and semi-dry finish with light cream and toasted accent.

This amber tastes malty up front with subtle toasted tinges and slight caramel notes which fade into a slight sweet relaxed taste and the hops come secondary with some light herbal/pine flavors which accent the yeast and malt well. The hops keep things balanced but don't move into the flavor realm much more than bitter with slight diacetyl in the background which is countered by slight pepper and mild fruit elements from the yeast. This is a good amber over all, not one I would revisit but nothing seriously flawed about it either. It might be good for a cookout to have on hand - a little on the sweet side as it finishes and could use a little more complexity in the malt and yeast but in general I liked it and it is better than average.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a medium dark and cloudy mahogany brown with lots of suspended particles and a 3/8 inch head that rapidly fades to a thin layer.
S - Slightly malty hints of caramel
T - A nice balance of bitterness fading to a sweet finish
M - Medium to full bodied
0 - That's Special .... although I can not tell if it's Dana Carvey's or George Carlin's voice that I hear this beer in.

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My thanks to tone 77 for coming by with a buncha bottles for me to try. It is nice to have someone local with whom to trade.

From the bottle: "Many of us here in the U.S. of A. consider ourselves to be "Special". We think this American Amber is pretty Special as well. Hope you enjoy it!"

I enjoyed pouring it into my glass and watching a dense finger of light-tan head being produced and experiencing decent retention at the outset of yet another sweltering afternoon. I also enjoyed gazing at its reddish-amber color with NE-quality clarity. I further enjoyed the pleasant admixture of grass hops and caramel malts on the nose. I gained enjoyment from its medium-to-full mouthfeel (not quite creamy, but close) and its taste with a seeming emphasis on hops. Finally, I enjoyed the extreme finish, which is when the malt really came into play. I had not tasted it much until then, but it lingered well after the swallow. Overall, an enjoyable beer.

Photo of ejimhof
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of tone77
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty dark amber color with a small head. Smell is of malts, some hops. Taste is the same, some malts up front with hops kicking in at the end, a touch of caramel is present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall makes for a solid offering.

Photo of claspada
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red with a very large off white head with good retention.

Aromas begin with sweet pale malt and some light caramel. As it warms you get some slight brown sugar, roasted malt with a bit of earthy hoppiness.

The tastes follow the nose with light caramel, toasted bready maltiness with some light toffee flavors as well. Light and clean earthy hoppiness emerges more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation. Finish is lightly dry and earthy but mainly clean and crisp.

Overall this is a decent, flavorful and balanced amber ale. Nothing to mind-blowing but quite satifying considering the ABV, nice daytime outdoors beer.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Actually quite clear since most of their beers are "unfiltered" with a 1/4 inch of opaque colored head. A touch darker than I expected for the ABV.

S - Slightly dirty malts clash with mild hops and mild caramel malts. Smell is less than expected.

T - Well it's not a bad amber it's just not that great. Hops are mildly herbal almost citrus like with a caramel base. Basic and boring.

M - Light to medium it's on par for the ABV.

Overall I am becoming more disappointed with this brewery every beer. Don't buy this if you can avoid it.

Photo of ZEB89
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of LoveStout
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of rfgetz
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with minimal cap of white head. Scent is of weak carmel malts with a decent fresh pine and citrus hop note. Taste is a little better than scent dictates, decent light carmel matls combine with piney and citrus hops to form a decent, uncomplicated beer. Lighter side of medium bodied, moderately high carbonation. A decent beer, unspectacular yet drinkable.

Photo of woosterbill
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, courtesy of a non-BA rugby teammate of mine, into a Duvel tulip.

A: A fairly rough, careless pour produces a perfect two-finger head of tight tan foam above a clear dark amber body. Average retention and some spotty lacing. Maybe not as lace-heavy as I'd like, but a great looking beer nonetheless.

S: Fairly light aroma of slightly toasty caramel malt. Maybe a little nutty as well. Quite restrained, but entirely inoffensive.

T: Follows the nose precisely in its lack of complexity, although it does deliver considerably more intensity. This is actually a bit of a problem for me, as there aren't nearly enough hops to balance out the single-minded maltiness of this beer. The flavor isn't bad at all, but it gets remarkably cloying for a sub-5% brew. What bitterness there is seems to come from the lightly toasted edge of the up-front malts; on the finish, there's nothing but malt sweetness. A little out of whack, but not too bad.

M: Light-to-medium body with a moderate dose of sharp carbonation. About what I expected, and decently lively, but not terribly pleasant.

D: For the style, it's pretty good. For the nigh-sessionable ABV, it really isn't. I've had many 6% beers that were easier to quaff.

Notes: This tastes right on the borderline between an amber ale and an ESB, which apparently it used to be called. I'm not sure which designation does it more justice, actually. It's not really hoppy enough for either, which is a disappointment. Still, not a bad one to try if you're into beers that pack a good deal of flavor into a low-ABV package.

Cheers!

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy copper/mahogany color with a two finger cream colored head. The head has a great level of retention, holding on for quite some time, fading slowly to leave a good level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is mainly of a lightly roasted malt smell mixed with a decent showing of caramel and some toffee. Along with these aromas so too comes a tiny bit of dark fruit, which overall creates a rather sweet aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a lightly roasted malt flavor and some fruit flavors of apple. A caramel sweetness is present upfront as well, with it slowly fading throughout most of the taste. More toward the middle, with the caramel fading some, come some flavor of a more bitter hop nature. They are mainly of an earthy and herbal flavor and remain relatively light till the end. While the caramel faded steadily from the beginning it picks up again at the end, and when mixed with the rest of the flavors, it leaves a nice easy going taste of a bready caramel and light hop to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in terms of its creaminess and thickness with a carbonation level that is average as well.

Overall – A nice drinking brew, but overall nothing extraordinary.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a red/crimson color. Good head. Off-white and compact. Leaves a ton of lacing. Beer is transparent.

S-A light nose. Sweet with mellow hops. Sweet caramel. Doesn't smell like it will be a very hoppy Amber. I absolutely love hoppy Ambers. This one seems like it will be a sweeter take on the style.

T-More sweet than hoppy. Hops are slight. Light hop flavors of grass and flowers. Mostly sweet. Light bitterness. Sweet caramel. Mellow flavor.

M-Lively carbonation. Medium to lighter body. Very light bitterness.

O/D-Okay beer. Not memorable. Easy to drink, but hard to savor. Just a middle of the road beer.

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head, hazy, dark amber in color, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and some pine hops

Taste: caramel, toasted malt and some pine hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with a slightly bitter backbone

Drinkability: A decent amber that could use a bit more hops. Not bad, but nothing that really jumps out and makes me want another either.

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of WDJersey
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of jsanford
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extra received from THECPJ. Thanks! Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber with a thin white head that quickly recedes to a ring.
S - Strong caramel malt with a bit of pine and citrus.
T - More sweet caramel malt with a faint nuttiness. Earthy hops provide some balance, but the malt dominates.
M - Medium-light bodied with crisp carbonation.
D - Pretty quaffable. Tasty, if a bit bland.

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River Horse Special Ale Amber from River Horse Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.