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

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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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 374
Photo of grawp57
4.75/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite beers. A nice clear amber color. Slightly fruity smell. Sweet and smoky on the front end with a slightly bitter finish. Drinks well from fist to last. An excellent, strong winter brew.

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Photo of Tombomb
4.72/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this beer in a beer club mixed case. The theme of the case was BIG beers. With that said, so far this is the best that I have had. The pour was from a 12 oz bottle, beer was about 48 degrees. The color was a nice copper/dark amber color. Very nice head with a moderate pour that seemed to stand up well. There was some lacing ar I drank the beer from a guinness glass. The smell was cool. Lots going on in this beer. The smell had a spicy/fruity nose. The taste was better than I thought it would be for the alcohol content. I taste the dark malts and raisins. The finish could be a little smoother, but overall a great beer.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.64/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A light see-through brown in color with a thin, lively tan head. The aroma is fine indeed – some caramel, chocolate, cotton candy and malts, they’re there. Off the cuff, a very sweet and fruity body; some roasted caramel malts give way to lively Belgium spices. Some alcohol is noted, an inviting warming factor; traces of chocolate, coriander and pepper left on the palate. This was enjoying; massively drinkable.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, bordering on black, with mahogany hues and a low light brown head and light decent carbonation. Prominent chocolate, roasty, and Belgian yeast aromas with some dark fruit notes. Robust dars malt and dark fruit flavors; nice balance... not sweet at all. Medium-light bodied.

Very nice American BSDA !!

Per label: "lots of roasted Caramel Malt"

'5274' lasered near bottom
Tasted: 11/20/06

($1.79 / 12 oz bottle)

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Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Dark for a Belgian ale (at least in my limited experience), reddish orange rust lava, or lipton tea. Cloudy as all get out, with a nice yellowish head. A delicious beer from my home state. First NJ microbrew I've ever had in fact. 8.0% abv is awesome too!

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think this beer does what it was meant to do very well. Its warming and very good for the cold months.

Pours a very very hazy brown with about an inch of head that eventually recedes to a lace at the top of the glass. Not too much on the nose, just some dark fruit such as dates figs and raisins. Also some mild phenolic scents.

Up front the beer is slightly spices. It follows up with some dark malts and dark fruits whose mild sweetness is balanced by a very mild hop presence leaving the slightly high alcohol content to warm your throat on the swallow.

Medium bodied with lower than average carbonation. This beer is slightly mild overall but does what it does extremely well. Extremely drinkable on a cold winters night

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Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a mahogany brown, dark-brown hue with a minimal frothy head that soon dissipated and left a copious amount of lacing...
Nice, subtle aroma of caramel, cream, vanilla, esters, and candied sugars...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, with a strong suggestion of candied malts, caramel, dulce de leche, creamy, butter, syrup and molasses, and slight cocoa powder...
Good, rich, creamy, sweet mouthfeel that left a nice, sweet flavor on the tongue...
Ultra-easy level of drinkability, bursting with malts, and hardly any detection of alcohol in this one...
Good stuff from River Horse...

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Photo of jjchristiano
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Went to a RiverHorse meet the brewer event and this was one of the taps. Served from a small 12 oz tulip glass. I really enjoyed the beer and found it very true to its Belgian Dark Ale style definition. A great beer to sip by the fireplace. Not a beer for guzzling at a tailgate.

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Photo of theycallmedoc
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Guinness Pint glass.

A- Dark brown/amber and hazy, can barely see through if at all. Thick head that likes to hang around for as long as it can hold on. Sticky as it gets. Beautiful to look at. Antsy waiting for the head to die down. After a few sips found some solids floating in the bottom.

S- Smells like an almost moldy christmas tree, hoppy. Grassy. Can almost smell the malt trying to break through.

T- Hoppy with caramel malts. Some spices with a metallic finish. Alcohol has a mild presence but not as much as the flavor of gnawing on a mouthful of wood chips.

M- Very thick and creamy. My favorite kind of body; thick legs and smooth down the gullet.

D- Being a Jersey Boy I'm very partial to Riverhorse. But as always a delicious brew. Two or three might be my cap, but super delicious and very enjoyable.

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Photo of ETF5000
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Like the previous reviewer, pouring this into a german halbe glass proved a bit challenging. At first there seemed to be little head but then it instantly shot up and overflowed. Watch out fellow advocates!

A - Once it settled down, it left about one knuckle of creamy tan head with adequate lacing. Held up to the light, this beer is gorgeous with a dark amber color, even maroonish, with copious amounts of carbonation shooting up to the top. Very inviting indeed.

S - At first sniff I was a bit underwhelmed, but after analyzing it a bit more I found a prominent caramel malt that definitely took center stage with some nice subdued hop bitterness at the end. Call me crazy, but I think I may have even caught a hint of grapefruit near the end.

T - Nice mellow taste, light and refreshing even. I wouldn't say that this is a very complex beer, but drinking something like this with a nice caramely malt flavor up front is perfect in front of a fire (in the Winter perhaps?). This one has a very sweet aftertaste that sticks around for a fair amount of time after taking a sip, very tasty.

M - The first sip was a bit harsh on the carbonation, it honestly had the slight stinging sensation of champagne. I would much rather have this beer with less carbonation. However, after letting it fester for a bit I found it much more enjoyable on the palate. After the carbonation died down this feels great in the mouth. Great job, but consider toning down the carbonation.

d -I could drink a couple of pints of this no problem. Not sure what the alcohol content is on this brew though, this could get me in trouble...

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful clear garnet color. A thin and tight beige head dwindles away in seconds. All that's left is a slightly bubbly rimming. The lacing is adequate. I really like this aroma. It's sweet and candy like but a bit musty and yeasty as well. The taste is very pleasing. Sweet and fruity yet yeasty and bready as well. A little roasty as well. A nicely crafted belgian style beverage. The carbonation is lively enough and the body checks in around medium. I like this one quite a bit.

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Photo of jaluria
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark crimson, almost burgundy color with an off-white colored head that was never very intense, but remained present throughout the session. Some bits of lacing were left behind in my goblet. Aromas of caramel, cooked sugar, grains, honey, and clay. The taste was a sweet and relatively mild with flavors of fruits, honey, and caramel present upfront. The finish was what I most enjoyed about this beer because without warning, it gave off coffee flavors that left me wanting more. I detected a dry, bitter taste in the back of my throat, just as I would were I drinking coffee. The beer coated my entire mouth quickly and left behind hints of the various flavors in this beer. I still can't believe this beer has an ABV of 8%; I would have guessed it was around 5%...the alcohol is that well hidden.
Overall, this is just an excellent brew that I really enjoyed and look forward to having more of in the very near future.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.24/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy reddish copper with 1 finger of head that dissipates quickly. Film clings to the side while a thin layer of lacing slides down the glass.

N: Cherry, honey, fig, banana, candy sugar, light funk, hints of cinnamon and perhaps some clove.

T: Banana, cherry, cinnamon with hints of funk and clove. Bready malts and honey flow in with a hint of grape and fig. Finishes with clove and cinnamon.

M: Light-medium bodied, smooth, mild carbonation, clean and dry.

O: Nicely balanced and easy drinking. 8% ABV is well hidden. Mainly consists of cherry, banana and bread. Spicing is light with a mellow yeastiness. Sweet and candy-like. This makes a wonderful winter treat!

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours dark and deep auburn, nearly dark amber to brown. thin head as well.

smells sweet, some banana to it. definitely a Belgian style, the candy yeast is present.

taste is sweet, candy yeast is obvious. slight smoky taste to it as well. some bitterness to it as well. goes down smooth, not overpowering but still easy to drink.

overall this isn't bad. nothing special but still good. good for cold weather, which is exactly why i'm drinking it tonite!

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Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
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 tjd112
4.21/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into Coke glass

Appearance: Black body, white half-finger head that dissipates to very little lacing

Smell: Bananas and clove

Taste: Basically follows the smell, except with more raisin and more booziness

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very dry

Drinkability: Drink slowly

Overall: Yet another great Belgian imitation from NJ

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Photo of Rudgers73
4.14/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. The head fizzes up to 3/4" and settles quickly to nothing. The beer is a nice dark caramel color. Very Belgian-like aroma with sticky sweet sugar and roasted malts. The taste is very interesting. It starts out malty with a bit of mild hops showing through then ends very abruptly with a nutty and dry aftertaste. I, for one, love beers that have a nutty aftertaste. Although I don't think this has very many aspects of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale other than smell, I think it makes an awesome brown ale. It's strong, sweet, nutty, and well balanced. It would have gotten a 4.5 out of me for mouthfeel if it hadn't have shown that little bit of wateriness that definitely doesn't show up in a good Belgian style beer. Very drinkable thought.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
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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Photo of wailingwench
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Eye Candy: Deep garnett red, thin fizzy 1 finger head. Superb retention, lasted throughout. Sparse carbonation bubbles at the beginning. Looks inviting.

The Nose Knows: Thick biscuit front, trails off with hints of caramel and vanilla, finishes dark sweet fruit. As it warms, the alcohol and the deep malts emerge. Complex.

Tongueland: Thinner than it smells and looks. Malts, sweet dark fruit. Finishes with a touch of smoke that trails off lightly with alcohol. The alcohol really stands out as it warms and kills the other underlying flavors.

Bender Factor: I feel that cellaring would refine this brew and distinguish the flavors. In early December, the alcohol has too much presence. I will try this again as I see it having real potential as a true winter warmer, especially at 8 %.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish amber color with a desent size foamy cap. there is little in way of lacing and fades to a strong surface collar. Good carbonation. Nicely aromatic with rich malts of pale and crystal and hints of maybe some roasted malts. A good wiff of Beligian yeast and candied sugar. Taste like the nose rich malts, Belgian yeast, candied sugar, cherries and a nice earthiness. A medium weight beer that slides down smooth with a semi-dry finish. Soft alcohol warming acompanies the finish. A good beer, nice apperancnce, smell and taste. Easy drinking.

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Photo of ChrisNYCLIDC
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this beer more than I thought I would. Usually not a fan of winter seasonals but this one was rich in flavor, dark, but not too dark and could definitely taste fruit, caramels and other warm flavors. Not a bad aftertaste I get with these wintery beers, not too sweet either. Quite enjoyable from a small brewery near me that I've really grown to like.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into mini heffe glass at 08 Long Island Crawt Brew festival. As per brewer on site, 8%ABV with a dark caramel accented color. Smell has a bouquet of aroma bursting forward. The Taste was a subtle sweetness and a light Mouthfeel finish that was very pleasing to the pallet. A very easy beer to drink with the high ABV not discernable. Good job!
Jan2010 tasting @the Bronx Ale House
A: Poured into a Ommegang Hennepin glass at the Bronx Ale House to reveal a two finger plus head. Condensed cascading lace to a fingertip rim. Slight speckles on the glass. Color was iced-tea brown with ruby red tints towards the bottom.

S: Immediate malt profile comes through with perhaps crystal malts. Dash of candied fruit perhaps.

T: Follows the nose but has quick transition to spicy burn in the aftertaste.

M: Medium to light with good retention.

D: A very good winter beer with more of a sweet profile rather than a spice bomb.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another random bottle, can you tell how bored I am. Beer is dark amber / red with a thin head of tiny bubbles, no retention, carbonation low, lacing moderate to low.

Sweet, malty, bready, smells pretty good.

Beer is light in body with an odd bitterness late in the palate, you know, this tastes like a Belgian amber I brewed once. It's estery and bright on the palate, well carbonated, it tastes pretty good. I'd have it again.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with an off white creamy head. There was good lacing and retention.

The smell featured initial black licorice and orange peel aromas with mild dark fruits and some various herbal spices.

The taste consisted of a dark chocolate, dark sweet fruits, orange peel and licorice. Some earthy ginger flavor as well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness and slightly creamy.

Overall a very flavorful and unique winter beer, and accessible Belgian Strong Ale.

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River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
3.55 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
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