River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale | River Horse Brewing Co.

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River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter AleRiver Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale
386 Ratings
River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter AleRiver Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale

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

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our warming winter Ale is amber in color, malty and full bodied. Belgian yeast provides a variety of delicate characteristics in the nose and on the palate.

Added by dsa7783 on 03-22-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 386 |  Reviews: 180
Reviews by cmq103:
Photo of cmq103
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had the chance to try a few River Horse brews when I lived in the Philly area and honestly wasnt all that impressed but Iam gonna give them a go again.This offering poured a deep murky ruddy brown with a tight formed 1/2 finger slight off white head that was gone quite fast leaving no lace behind.Aromas of vanilla,raisin,roasted nuts and slight phenols are pretty appetizing,I like the flavors going on mainly because the phenolic flavors dont dominate somewhat pruney and raisiny with some herbal sharpness and cola lingering flavors with a hint of earth as it warms.Goes down very easily the mouthfeel is spot on not overly heavy for such big flavors,I like it better than most I think.

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Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of elinash
3.27/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber brown with head that disappears into a very thin ring. On first sip, this beer approximates a Belgian ale, but on closer inspection, it lacks balance and its flavors are too disparate. The nose is pungent, maybe phenolic. It has flavors of banana and spices, but further drinking leads to a very alcoholic lingering bitter and drying taste. All in all, I rate this passable to OK. It is not a very good example of a Belgian Dark Ale. Seems to me that "Belgian" is used all to often as a style branding for American beers when it only uses the ingredients and not the rigor of Belgian brewing.

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Photo of daveshawley
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o any freshness dating. This one pours a good looking mahogony, its clear and supports an off white head. Respectable, fine lacing left on the glass. Nose here is herbal and spicy. This is a better then average American take on the style. Not overly bold nor complex, but a decent everyday Belgian style ale. Notes of raisins, some rum, minor candi sugar type notes and a fairly dry finish. Sort of Belgian Dark Ale "Light"

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Photo of PJ721
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark chestnut in color. Thin layer of lasting white lace sticks to the glass. Aromas are spicy. Lots of winter brew scents. Some cinnamon, clove, and Pepsi on the nose. Flavor is tasty. Not quite "belgian" but close. Chocolate and caramel with some dark raisins floating around. Finishes with barely a whisper of ABV. Aftertaste has a noticeable wet cardboard flavor to it, detracting a bit from the taste. Fairly full, low levels of carbonation. Not massively drinkable, but solid overall.

 499 characters

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of wattoclone
3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium-dark brown with a moderate head. Pleasant aromatic aroma with burnt sugar and vanilla notes. A pleasantly sweet malty taste with an abrupt slightly bitter finish with grapefruit notes. Certainly a well crafted Belgian dark , but the ABV borders on a Strong Dark. Although not necessarily a bad thing, a Belgian Strong Dark would have considerably more flavor to reward the consumption. American craft breweries like to push the envelope of every style, and this is no exception. If the alcohol content were lower, in the realm of a Belgian Dark Ale it would be exceptional. As a Belgian Strong Dark it is middle of the road.

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Photo of acurtis
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JMS1512
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of HollandTunnels
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of Ryanm1
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown into a glass with about a finger of white lacing.

Tingley mouthfeel.

Very powerful smell of cherrys and similiar fruit esters along with a smell of alcohol present as is such in other high abv beers that use belgian yeast.

As for tastes its got the sweetness I expect in my belgians. Kind of tastes like a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Great beer if you like winter belgians.

 416 characters

Photo of fav920
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Very good taste, but like the other River Horse beers I've sampled, seems to be too much carbonation?? Huge head which will dissipate, but like a bubbly champagne that leaves me burping all night, and leaves that "gritty" feel in my mouth. I like the taste, would it kill them to put the ABV on ther bottle??!!

 310 characters

Photo of ggaughan
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one sitting in my beer fridge in the cellar for some time and thought it was the right time to crack her open. The beer poured a deep brown color with a slight tan head that stuck around for a few minute and left a nice little ring around my pint glass. The aroma was a nice floral, sweet mix with some caramel malts and hops in it. Very nice. The taste is more of the same from the aroma. Sweet malts and a bit hoppy but overall a pretty good balance. Not an overly complex beer and for the 8% abv a bit disapointing for complexity but a very drinkable beer with a light medium body.

 595 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 10, 2015... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... OCCASION: enduring what hopefully is the last cold night of the spring... APPEARANCE: flourishing, fizzing, off-white head settles from a cloud-like fluff to a consistent thickness; opaque amber body that allows little light through... AROMA: earthy enough with grass and herbs to suggest Summit hops, with a sightly spicy aspect; the backbone of each breathe is the caramel malt--loses its impact after a few swirls... PALATE: somewhat active feeling on the tongue; bubbly mouthfeel slips to a dry, lingering finish; thick overall... TASTE: an underwhelming nondescript mix of lightly sweet and bitter--surprising for a strong ale... OVERALL: a straight-forward, alcohol-masking winter warmer that drinks well and right; a beer that accomplishes its goal...

 820 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

River Horse- Belgian Freeze

A- Deep thick brown with a thick tight foamy head. Solid lacing down the whole glass.
S- Big thick sweet malt with a good spicy nose. Clove and bubblegum come through.
T- Thick malt, slight black licorice touch, with generous doses of spices. Clove, cinnimon, and rock candy sugar are prominent.
M- Thick throughout with a good spicy body and finish. Slight pine hop bitterness in the end.

Overall- Quite tasty but A bit high on the alc, 8%, so that'll limit this down to just a few. Recommended!

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Photo of Varkias41
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Calico
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To start off, let me say that I think the entire '05 batch of this was infected with lactobacillus, hence the sourness that many reviewers are reporting.

This is the '06, being reviewed from a 12-oz. bottle. Head is slight but clingy. Appearance is a fairly clear brown. Aroma is biscuity, malty, toasty, a small amount of noble hops. I was expecting some of the phenolic notes in the taste that last year's batch brought, but alas, it seemed more like a German alt, with a little bit of yeasty/malty richness. This can't be 8% abv.

I actually liked last year's better, but I am weird. When I was 2 years old I was begging my elder family members for an ounce of straight vinegar. I enjoyed the entire lacto-infected 12-pack of River Horse brews I had. So never mind me. This year's... as a winter ale? skip it and take the Ithaca Winterizer or the North Coast WinterBraun instead. Or the Southern Tier Old Man Winter, or that old stand-by, Anchor Our Special Ale. Any of them has more character than this one.

 1,017 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark amber with a smallish foamy head.The head disappears quickly leaving almost no lacing.The smell is a strong roasted malt aroma that doesn't last too long.There also are some wheat scents.The taste is mild for a winter beer,but not bad,My intial reaction was alot of roasted malt,but the aftertaste is like a wheat beer,different.This is pretty light for a winter and I would rank it higher,but it's not a well balanced beer.The roasted malt and wheat flavors are too strong for each other.This isn't a bad beer,just a slightly flawed one.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a disappointing thin head, but the color is a gorgeous ruby-laced caramel brown. A whole lotta lace covers the glass.

Aroma is cherry, chocolate, light spices, and slightly sour background.

Chocolate and cherry both come on strong in the flavor, with lighter shades of caramel and dessert spices in back. Finishes slightly sour. Good, but doesn't leave you craving another sip.

This has a lot going for it, it's almost there...but it has a kind of veil over it. The flavors you would expect for the style are here, just not as bold as they should be. It could use more ass-kicking character...flavor knobs turned about just a notch or two more, that would do it.

 677 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark coloured ale, with a sour yeasty aroma, and a sour yeasty taste, something like a Belgian shwartzbier. Medium mouthfeel. Fizzy carbonation, like Dr. Pepper.Carmel, toffee, orange and spicy herbal juicey. Not bad, sweetness makes it drinkable. a fair Belgian ale.

 269 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The very dark and reddish-orange accented caramel-colored body of River Horse's Belgian Frostbite alludes to the intrigueing and unique chocolate notes found in both its aroma and flavor. The nose is malty, caramelish and subtly chocolatey, with a soft fruitiness (dull plum?) and hint of background spice (most likely from the yeast). It's medium-full bodied, lightly zesty, and then creamy across the palate. The flavor is rich but not overwhelming, and loaded with soft nutty malt, dark fruit (raisins, dark fruit skins, prune), a touch of wood, a hint of licorice, and a mild note of chocolate that appears in the finish. It's quite nice, and best enjoyed just slightly warmer than a regular pint but not at cellar temperature (maybe 40-45F).

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River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 386 ratings