River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale | River Horse Brewing Co.

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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale AleRiver Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A golden-orange hue, medium body and a floral, hoppy finish make this American Pale Ale perfect for any time of year.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

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Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 587
Photo of pwoods
1.81/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to NJpadreFan for this extra.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a imperial pint. No dating.

A: Pours a dark amber with good visibility. Tons of carbonation and bubbles, 2 fingers of rocky head. A bit of patchy lacing.

S: First thing I noticed was it's extremely yeasty. A pleasant grapefruit hop character can be found under it but it's nearly dominated.

T/M: Dominated again by yeast. It's to the point that it tastes more like a weizen with all the banana and clove etc. A creamy malt backbone comes in but is muted by the yeast. At the very end I get a nice sweet citrus hop flavor but only for a second. Carbonation is ridiculously high.

D: This one just isn't for me. Thanks anyway, Alan :)

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Photo of MmmIPA
2.06/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I once knew a girl from Lambertville NJ that was a flake but thats besides the point.

Nice clear orange body with a small white head that fell pretty fast.

Citrust hops smell and the malt comes in after that.

The malt and hops are fighting for beer domination and the malt is kicking ass.I can taste hop but its the malt that keeps over powering.

Mouthful is kinda thin and the carbonation is pretty tame for the style.

Cmon River Horse you have to do better then that to keep my attention.Its even dry hopped so I thought it would be bitter but this beer falls flat.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.08/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz browm long necked bottle with a crimped on cap.

Hazy,cloudy reddish/orange color.1/2" white head from a hard center pour dissapated quickly to a slight coating of foam. looked flat.

Strong sweet carmelly aromas with some grassiness,not much of a hop aroma.

Bittersweet carmelly,nutty notes of sourness. Grassy,not a bad balance, just not impressed with the taste, doesn't have any hop bite to it ,a flat taste. Has a bit of tangyness also.

A medium body,syrupy with some cloyingness. The sweetness made this beer hard to drink. Would not want to drink another. The beer reminded me of tasting your homebrew berfore it is ready. A really flat taste all around.

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Photo of csmiley
2.36/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Color ends up somewhere between copper and amber. There is some haze going on but not excessive. Head is off white and not very exciting. Topped out at under half inch with averge lacing.

S - Hops dominate the nose and are immediately astringent. Fruit comes through in the hops in the form of grapefruit. Some earthy hop aromas are thrown in there but not too strong. The background has notes of caramel and toffee and is not bad.

T - Hops are first to hit the plate and have an astringent charachter. After getting past the initial flavor some citrus hops come out to play. Noticed some grapefruit, orange, and could be some apple as well. Midway through, the sweeter malt flavors show up. They are a little stronger than I was expecting. Definitely picking up strong toasted caramel and toffee flavors. A hint of alcohol show up on the end but it is very light.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is bitter at first end up sweet. The astringency keeps going in the finish as well.

D - Drinkability is average at best. This beer just does not hit the mark in several different ways. Aroma seems to be off. Flavor seems to be off. I would not have this again and will probably avoid it if at all possible.

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Photo of emsroth
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

App: Small head that quickly dissipates, but decent lacing follows. A hazy honey brown color

Smell: Slight floral hops, but the scent is dominated by alcohol and toasty malt.

Taste: Light flavor. Slight bit of malt but mostly a hop bitterness that controls the flavor. Sweet caramel flavors come through as it warms.

Very light mouthfeel that is a slight bit chewy.

Taste almost like a bitter with the light toasty malt and dominant hop bitterness. Really a one dimensional beer that is barely enjoyable.

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Photo of wiseguy142
2.45/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a contrast filled deep amber with a foamy white head. Smells of yeast and light hops.

The taste is wayyy off for an American Pale Ale. It tastes strongly of yeast and has a rounded alcohol/bittersweet malt feel that usually comes with Belgians. Plus it is aggressively hopped with a very bitter, but not acidic hop. It's too funky to be an APA and it's too acridly sour to be a Belgian. Mixed together, it's not very good at all.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are down there too. The smooth Belgian feel to the beer just doesn't feel right for the style. This combined with the overall taste makes it fairly undrinkable.

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Photo of SmashAdams
2.5/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Weird beer. Dark and cloudy. Sweet caramel bready smell and taste. Reminds me of a light version of Founders Dirty Bastard maybe. I dont taste any hops at all. No bottle date so it could be years old for all I know. nb

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark copper, murky, definitely unfiltered.

S: Weak hoppy aroma, slight malt. Nothing special.

T: Better than the smell. Hop forward pale ale with slight fruitiness. Malt definitely present, but well balanced with the hops. Sort of a metallic taste, but not an unpleasant one.

M: Very full bodied, especially for an APA.

O: Not bad, just not great. I love APAs, and I love unfiltered ales, but this one didn't impress me. I'd drink it again if offered, but I wouldn't buy it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.63/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light amber color ale with an average head with OK retention. Aroma consists of light dry caramel malt mix with some metallic and somewhat resinous hops. Taste is also a mix between a non-descript dry caramel malt base with some notes of resinous hops and a metallic aftertaste. Body is about average with good carbonation. There was definitely something off in that one and I am not likely to revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of mwa423
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Received as a part of my booty from the Dow Jones BIF. I forget who sent it to me, but thanks!

A - Poured with no head, poured the second half very aggressively and...nothing. Confusing? The color is a murky dark brown that reminds me of pond water.

S - Lots of malt and a bit of hops

T - A bit of sweet malt and a minimal amount of hops, not complex, not even interesting. Boo.

M/D - Mouthfeel is watery, drinkability is so/so at best.

Note: I suspect something could have happened to this bottle in shipping, because it is a pretty poor example of a beer that supposedly has a B review.

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Photo of mikey711
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a near brown and is slightly cloudy. Overly carbonated with no lacing

S: I guess there are some hops in there, but really it just kind of smells like nothing. Maybe a few faint whisps of caramel and soapiness

T: Heavy caramel flavor with a touch of soapy floral hops

M: not bad at all, there is some creaminess, and it is full bodied enough for the style

D: I think i will pass after this one. Not that i couldnt drink more but i wouldnt want to

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Photo of Atron67
2.69/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I was a little dissapointed in this beer

A- it poured a nice orange body, didnt get much head, but i wasnt too phased
S- it smelled pretty good, hoppy, citrusy, what i was looking for
T- This was the disapointment, there was no zing from the hops, they were trying, but it was just too overcome by the malt. Not a bad taste, but not an IPA taste, and not what i was looking at/ hoping for
M- medium, not bad, not anything full bodied either, didnt do anything to hurt, but it didnt help
D- a decent flavor but not so much fitting for the style i would say.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Cloudy deep amber hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a thin cap.

A little bit of spicy hops are on top of a lightly toasted malt base, which gives off a little caramel.

The hops give a very herbal flavor, trailing with some sharp bitterness. A little bit of citrus is there. The malts are slightly dry, with a little bit of caramel and some toffee (first one for me in this style...). Full bodied.

Not a very good pale ale in my opinion. The Hop Hazard name indicates that this one should be a little more hoppy. I hope that the stale flavors in this one are due to age, but that doesn't seem likely.

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Photo of micahgoldfus
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a healthy amber color with carbonation bubbles running up the side. A nice white, frothy head that stuck to the edges of the glass. Smell was a clear, crisp hop and malt combination, leaning towards the hops. A little earthy, a little citrus. The smell didn't prepare me for the first sip: a total hop kick. After my tongue got used to all the bitter hop flavor, I picked up on a smoother, more mellow caramel and toasted malt flavors that come out in the aftertaste. The flavors were reasonably balanced, but this taste just didn't hit right with me. It was a bit too much, and it came off as kind of sour and acidic. The mouthfeel was a pinch too syrupy as well. All in all, the hop bite woke me up, but I didn't particularly enjoy this beer all that much.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Floral/hoppy nose. Starts hoppy, midway some mellow sweetness, finish is hoppy/bitter. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.
Orange to copper in color. Cloudy from being unfiltered. Small head with mild retrention and lacing. Pretty average looking beer. Smells okay with some floral aroma hops. Taste is on the bitter side. More bittering than flavor hops for sure as the bitterness hits early. Some odd-fitting malt flavors. Maybe some rye or roasted malt. Not bad tasting but not how I like my APAs. Mouthfeel is nice with a fluid yet weighty feel on the tongue. Very dry finish from the bittering hops. For a style that oozes drinkability, this one falls short. Not enough balance and too bitter on the palate. Just not good enough to compete in a sea of quality pale ales.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Drank from bottle at Tortugas, Lambertville, NJ.

AROMA: Fruity Hops. Citrus. (hard to discern from bottle)
LOOK: (impossible to discern from bottle)
TASTE: Same Fruity hops, plus some malty corn and/or Rye.

Pretty good beer.


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Photo of UnionMade
2.76/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a hazy golden caramel, topped with a loose spattering of misty head. The head settles into a thin collar around the glass about a hird of the way through, keeping at least a thin ring all the way down. No lace to speak of.
The aroma is somewhat reminiscent of an american barleywine. Definitely past it's prime, with hints of sherry-like oxodization and a diminished hop presence. I've had this before, and recall the aroma hopping being much stronger. The crystal malt caramel aroma pretty much dominates, with only an indistinct earthy hopping remaining. A touch of apricot and grapefruit, with some light alcohol peeking through.
The flaor starts with a pretty solid maltiness right up front. Toasty caramel crystal malt gives way to a quickly present hopping. It's still apparent, even with the age, but instead of a pleasant citric sharpness, it's a muddy earthiness that carries all the way through. Not much in the way of bitterness anymore, kind of like an old guard dog that's lost most of it's teeth. The taste is similar to oxodized cascades, or some variety thereof. A bit of metallic astringency right in the end of the finish, leaving off with a tinny sourness and a dry papery flavor. Some grapefruit flavor peeks through somewhere in the middle of the tongue, but without any giddy-up. It's not terrible, but it's much better when fresh and the hops have some teeth. The carbonation has picked up some with the oxodization, providing a mouthfilling, unnatural feel. Medium body, with a rather powdery, dry mouthfeel. I did manage to finish the sixer without too much pain, so that's somewhat of a bonus to this brew. Better than Busch, even when old and feeble.
I was a little disappointed to have bought an entire sixer that's past it's prime. Some bottle dating would be great. At least with the hops withered away, you can really taste that they have a lot of malt behind it. I'll get this again eventually. I recall it being a pretty good hoppy pale ale, but of course when i want to review it, I get an old batch. Sheesh.

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Photo of njmoons
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Like drinking a pine cone

A: light brown, 3 fingers of foam which held up

S: hoppy, piney. about what I had expected from a beer called hop hazard

T: nice base beer with some sweetness that balanced against the hops. However the one dimensional pineyness of the hops took over any complexity of the beer.

M: nice with some body to it.

D: not for me. would not get this again.

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Photo of Hagbard
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish gold with a very thin white head. Hazy and cloudy, not much light shines through. The aroma is very subdued, dominated by a malt background with a very light essence of hops. The taste begins sweeter than I expected. Eventually, a less than appealing hoppiness enters. The hoppiness is a little raw and harsh.. After a bit, and into the aftertaste, an odd chemical comes into play. This leaves a rather unpleasant aftertaste causing you to "suck on your tongue." The mouthfeel is fine and the drinkability is ok because there's not a whole lot there (although the longer I drink it the more unpleaseant the aftertaste). A very average to below average APA, I'd stick to something else.

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Photo of jhartley
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Got this as part of a mix-a-six gift from a friend.
Unfiltered, cloudy, amber colored body. Frothy white head leaves plenty of lacing behind.
All down hill from here, bland bitterness overly malty taste.
Leaves behind a dry burnt grass flavor behind.
Overall, not good. Not impressed with this one at all. This may have been old, but this still won't make me want to even attempt to try it again.
Might be a better beer, but for me this ended up being a drain pour.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Hazy copper brew with three fingers of head and substantial clumps of lacing cling all over the glass. The head has decent retention at that.

S - Very mild. The most pungent aspect is some sort of hop over caramel malt. Smell a tad like a dusty pine smell. A tiny bit of vomit and maple syrup too, odd . . . I don't care for the smell.

T - A bit of a sweet coffee flavor with a strange pine and grassy bitterness in the finish. Pretty bland, a bit of style for an APA,but nothing offensive.

M - Thin, rather harsh and a little drying - superficially refreshing.

D - Not awful. I'll pass in the future, but, in typical APA fashion, it is easy to drink. It is sessionable and consumable with foods. But it lacks a whole lot of flair - and the smell kind of sucks.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.81/5  rDev -20.2%

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of citrus hops with a back-odor of something spoiled
Head average (4 cm), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm layer
Lacing good – complete narrow rings of tiny to small bubbles
Body medium amber, cloudy
Flavor bitter, weak, short lived; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3, Aroma 2.75, Flavor 2.75, Palate 3 Overall 2.875. Final weighted score: 2.8125
I first had this in 2007 and my notes (from a microfest) say it was an IPA at 5.5% ABV and was bad. Some things have changed; it is now an APA at 6.5% ABV and now is just below average. The head and lacing are pretty nice but the body is ugly – yes, I know it’s unfiltered but still… The aroma starts off well with some hop citrus but then the odor of putrefaction sets in. Overall, even if this is contaminated, it’s still better than it was 7 years ago. I’ll try it again in another 7 years.

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I purchased this single at Michael's Deli in King of Prussia, Pa. and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: A nice dark amber color, almost brown. There was about 1/8 finer of head from a pretty hard pour, leaving no lace and no judgement about the retention.
Smell: A decent, yet muted, floral and critus hop aroma with not much complexity or depth.
Taste: The first couple of sips proved to be nice and filled with citrus hops, then I left to clean a table only to come back and discover my APA had turned into a malt bomb. Sitting by myself I uttered "woo" (Like Keanu Reeves), catching myself in a terrible suprise.
Mouthfeel: A fair ridgid and crisp mouthfeel that didn't stray to much from style.
Drinkability: I placed average only because the malt suprise was so weird that it much be experienced to understand, other than that, not very good.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of NEhophead
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Creamy off white head that becomes plastered to the glass' sides. Scattered, wirlwind lace around the glass with good strength. Bright, light bronze in color with a chill haze.

A big caramel malt nose; semi-sweet. A floral hop bouquet with a touch of lemony citrus. The sweet caramel and molasses aromas are overpowering for the style.

Sweet, yet burnt caramel malt character right up front. The floral hops are bitterly burnt and out of place; very perfumey. The hop profile itself seems unbalanced and out of place with such a strong maltiness. Finishes dry with a bitterness reminiscent of burnt coffee beans.

Medium bodied; the hops and malt character are very conflicting which gives this Pale a medicinal syrup-like mouthfeel.

The flavors of this ale are what it 'hazardous'. Unpleasant and off base for the style. My first taste of River Horse and I'm not looking forward to the five remaining bottles from the six pack.

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River Horse Hop Hazard Pale Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
3.52 out of 5 based on 587 ratings.
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