Tripel Horse | River Horse Brewing Co.

Tripel HorseTripel Horse
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 642 ratings
Tripel HorseTripel Horse

Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our take on a Belgian Style Tripel Ale, brewed with spices and fermented with a Trappist yeast strain which lends hints of vanilla and creates a variety of complex flavors.

Added by jerseyemt on 05-21-2003

View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 642 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of Sammy
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Below average for the style, still quaffable. Chocolate brown colour. 10% is a lot, and I was getting it from the aroma through the afterhammer. A bit of sweetness, an OK chewy yeast. Spice, but nothing too complex. Fizzy carbonation. This is an interesting brewery.

 266 characters

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a golden yellow color, pretty big fluffy white head on it. The smell of the beer had some decent wheat like aromas and a little bit of spices on the nose. The taste of the beer wasn;t too bad, I found that it was pretty close to what I would consider a good Tripel. Some of the flavors were a little off which is understandable. The mouthfeel was also decent, found it to have a good body and was drinkable. Overall it's an above average Tripel, wouldn't need to have it again though.

 508 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured cloudy golden with a big, white foamy head that died down considerably. Well carbonated.
S: Smells of alcohol and sugar dominate the aroma, while there are some hints of vanilla and yeast.
T: There's plenty of taste in this beer, but it's dry and not sweet.
M: The beer is well balanced and the flavors mask much of the alcohol.
D: You definitely need to let this one warm up a bit to appreciate it. Triples are meant to be slowly enjoyed but this is relatively easy to consume since it comes in 12 ounce bottles.

 523 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In an attempt to create a standout Tripel, it becomes a little overkilled. Begins with every fruit and spice imaginable in a beer. Among which are pears, pineapples, oranges, pepper, and corriander. The malt and sugar base becomes over attenuated and the yeast exhibits a stressed plastic and fusal unnecessarily hot flavor and feel. The candy sugars add a powdered sugar taste and powdery texture. If you're interested in a pure alcohol beer and are not fussy about flavor, then this one is probably for you. If not, then there are much better Belgian Tripels out there.

 571 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

D+ (2.35) / AVOID

17 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with a spumeous head that is rock solid and leaves a fair amount of lace

Smell: Bananas and coriander, with a touch of lemon and a solvent alcohol element

Taste: Starts out with a banana and coriander flavor that is joined, mid palate, by a prickly harshness; the finish is quite alcoholic, but contains some tropical fruit elements in addition to the solvents

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation; lots of warming alcohol on the finish

Drinkability: Reading through these reviews, it appears that this beer has been somewhat inconsistent in the past as my impressions are very different from some other reviewers; in any event, I think this tripel has a lot going for it but would be improved dramatically by reducing the abv a couple of points

 805 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of largadeer
2.36/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: A hazy amber body with three fingers of white foam. This stuff is intensely carbonated - a torrent of rising bubbles keeps the head going for what seems like forever.

Smell: Spicy and sweet with an almost over the top clove aroma and a bit of soap beneath that.

Taste/mouthfeel: Good God, this is cloyingly sweet. Sugary as hell with an almost excessive spiciness. Clove, nutmeg and coriander with a refined white sugar sweetness is how I'd describe this. Light bodied, slightly overcarbonated and horribly sweet. If you enjoy eating sugar packets you may enjoy this. Personally, I think I'll grab something drier.

 628 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All of the River Horse beers have improved lately, and this one is no exception. It pours a hazy dull orange body beneath a short head of bright white foam that holds fairly well before dropping to a big bubbled collar.

The nose is interesting and enticing with notes of tropical fruit, sugar, and a bit of spice.

In the mouth it's surprisingly soft for the style, with a medium body and somewhat restrained carbonation.

The flavor is quite fruity and spicy with notes of pineapple, tangerine, papaya, melon, peach, lemon zest, and banana. It's lightly malty, but more candyish; and dry-and chalky but not decisively bitter. It is balanced, however, despite its bold character, by a touch of drying alcohol, plastic-like phenols, and some peppery spice. It finishes chalky dry, peppery, and lingering with some juicy fruitness.


 848 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a Porter Bar .
Murky, golden body with a decent head.
This is rather spicy tripel with overly coarse carbonation.
More bitter than tart and more tat than sweet. Fairly complex flavor includes some yeast and bready malts.

 240 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to juliusseizure (Reddit) for this one.

Pours a light fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, very little lacing, super cloudy wheat orange yellow color.

Nose brings plenty of wit like wheat aromas, lots of wheat and tripel like Belgian spices coriander like, lots of citrus zest, Belgian esters with touch booze and bubblegum phenols, light Clementine flesh.

Taste continues, light Belgian tripel spices light coriander allspice like but light, fluffy malts with plenty of wheat, very Belgian wit like. Plenty of citrus again, fresh Clementine, orange peel galore, little tangy. Light yeasty flavor comes through with esters, some warming and slight tingly booze bringing hint of bubblegum phenols again. Finish is bitter, orange rind, light spices, wheat, Clementine, some light booze and a bit sticky despite drying.

Mouth is med bodied, little syrupy but fluffy, good carb, some warming and tingly booze.

Overall decent, more like a double Belgian wit but that can pass as a tripel these days since most American brewers seem to think that that is what a tripel means. However, well done wheat, spices, citrus, nice esters and phenols, and nice booze warmth.

 1,187 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Truly intense stew of flavors. Long, long spicy nose. Carnations and sage. A hazy golden yellow in the wine glass. Pale color belies the thick mouth feel, which is quite sticky with sugar. A cordial-like flavor, perhaps a malt liqueur with herbs of Slovenia. It is kind of mysterious and intriguing. Hops? Hard to tell if the mix includes very aromatic hops or just the hyperactive Belgian yeast.

Quite drinkable as a bedtime sip or late night with cold pizza, say. Quite creamy and mouth-filling when you pour another inch after it's been open a while.

 554 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Precisely equal parts rich amber and juicy orange with pale lemon trim. Despite an elevated pour, the jaundiced ivory cap didn't quite reach two fingers in thickness. It looks good though and is gracing the glass with an attractive array of fine lace. Although I like the look, no one is likely to confuse Tripel Horse with a quality Belgian tripel when viewing them side by side.

The same could be said for the nose. Actually, the nose isn't that impressive. It lacks power and presence, two 'gotta haves' when it comes to beer of this style. A moderate clove spiciness keeps it from the ranks of the merely average.

I don't know why it's so difficult for American brewers (Allagash excepted) to brew good, Belgian-style tripels. Lack of experience is probably the biggest reason, but it can't be that difficult to pull off a decent version, can it? Tripel Horse, while a decent strong ale, isn't any sort of tripel at all. And I typically give beer of this style a fair amount of slack since I love it so much.

There isn't enough malt on board for starters, which has the effect of turning what should be a sweet fruitiness into a sour fruitiness. Sweetness and bitterness are present in lesser amounts and clash with the unripe fruitiness rather than working with it for the betterment of the beer as a whole. It doesn't taste like the Belgian yeast strain (that I assume was used) scored very high in Complexity 101 at Yeast University. Or is that *The* Yeast University?

The only real positive is the fact that the 10% ABV is hidden remarkably well. Tripel Horse drinks at least two percentage points lower than that. My hopes that the beer would improve to some extent with warming haven't been realized. It's just more of the same with less of a chill.

The mouthfeel tries its damnest, but can't quite make it to 'good'. It struggles to be medium for the style and begins to lose its composure as the finish approaches. I don't mind it, I just don't love it. A Belgian amount of carbonation might have helped. Then again, huge numbers of bubbles are best left in the hands of the masters.

River Horse Tripel Horse is neither a Triple Crown winner, nor is it destined for the glue factory. It's just a simple, inauthentic version from a brewery that I'm beginning to think of as no better than average. Yeah, I know that a river horse is actually a hippopotamus, but you try coming up with a decent play on words that involves a hippo.

 2,460 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

True Confessions time, kids. I had this the other night out at House of Pizza in Millersville and was highly excited to see it in their cooler. They usually have some interesting things to try, plus I like their food as compared to Jack's, so there I was. I asked for a glass, which they gave me, but it was frosted, dammit. I figured, what the hey, I'll forge ahead. I now can say this unequivocably: a frosted glass is NOT the way to go.

It poured with a thin white head, but that can be attributed to the temperature of the glass. It had a spicy, yeasty nose. The beer was very clear and light amber in color. The mouthfeel was medium to creamy and it was very sweet in the mouth, with notes of vanilla. The finish was also sweet. I noted at this point that there was no indication, other than on the label, that this was 10% ABV.

As it warmed, I began to notice the alcohol burn in the mouth. The taste of sweet, fruity esters became more noticible. I also began to note the vanilla scent on the nose that the label mentions. I have now (re)learned my lesson. I will revisit this beer, but in a non-chilled glass.

Finally, the high alcohol content means lowered drinkabliity. I liked it, but man, was it powerful.

Revisiting this beer in a bottle on 12 July 2017, picking up where I had left off during a brewery horizontal on the 4th of July.

From the bottle: "Belgian-style Ale brewed with Spices".

I could see a good bit of lees on the punt, so following the Pop! of the cap, I employed a very gentle pour so as not to rouse them. An in-glass swirl caused two-plus fingers of foamy, fizzy, tawny head to quickly rise and then fall away equally quickly. Nose was sweet, bready & spicy, like spiced banana bread or spice cake with bananas, Color was an oh-so-slightly-hazy Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9). The taste was spiced banana bread with a bit of fusel alcohol heat added for good measure. Phew! Finish was breathtakingly (literally, I had to reach for my asthma inhaler) dry, between the spices & the alcohol heat. Phew!

 2,031 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

big frothy head and a nice hazy amber color, a bit darker then i expected to be honest and definitely lively. aroma is soft and light with peaches, pears, and tons of dry hops. really not at all what i was expecting, but what can you do. same with the flavor, not really all that i was expecting, light with too much emphasis on the grains and not enough punch, really just not doing it for me at all. finish is the same, clean but lacking true depth.

overall an ehh for me. i have had much better in the style for sure.

 521 characters

Photo of Slatetank
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Alright I will make this one short and sweet - I picked this bottle up at the brewery tasting room, sampled from a tulip.

The appearance is good, light golden with some apricot hues, the ale is hazed and I let a little yeast particulate sneak in. The head is healthy and retains well. The lace stickage is ok and bead is fine. The smell is very banana with some slight clove tinges with a very sweet odor and relatively strong fusel alcohol aroma. The feel is my least favorite part of this ale, too sweet and has a warming feel pretty soon into the swallow with a slight spice tinge and some phenolics with a yeasty tanginess.

The Tripel is pretty mediocre flavor wise, it has some malt flavor, but mostly it just tastes sweet and simple with a yeasty tropical accent which comes off as ripe banana with a dash of spice. The flavor turns to alcohol pretty rapidly which is not quite like pure alcohol but doesn't really do anything to help matters. I would only recommend this if you have to try it because I have had more than enough of this (my wife would not split the bottle) since I had to drink 12oz myself.

 1,120 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

Thanks to stevglad and the N00b BIF for this bottle!

A tripel horse...what an abomination of nature! It pours a hazy amberish-straw topped by a quickly-fading finger of white foam. The nose is straight tripel, comprising pepper, Belgian-y yeast, cardamom, a hint of coriander and citrus peel, and wheat. The taste generally follows, though the usual spiciness is drowned out by a wave of citrusy wheat. This is a bit of a letdown after the smell led me to believe other things were coming to me. The body is a nice medium, with a lightish carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, not the best tripel out there...there seems to be a lack of the necessary spice and tripel-ness. Something like that.

 738 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Tripel Horse from River Horse Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 51.2% out of 100 with 642 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.