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 Kwak
1.7/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

the color was brown with a tint of red, small off white head that left in a hurry.

the smell was burnt malt

the taste was of sour hops burnt malt and almost medicine quality
aftertaste was sour with hints of alcohol not my favorite from this brewery

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Photo of Antc2382
1.82/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

A let down.. Ive now had plenty of River Horse brews. I am starting to see that they are hit or miss. This was a miss for me.. Pours a
Muddy brown, looks like dirt water. Nose is nothing of note. Taste- eww metallic. I had this on tap so maybe it's off, but not good at all...

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Photo of q33jeff
2.11/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Aroma: caramel, brown sugar, yeasty. Look: cloudy light brown. No head. Taste: wang. Ash. Orange rind. Phosphates. Feel. Mostly flat. Some small bubbles. Not great."

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Photo of outdoorbrewer
2.22/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I poured this beer from a bottle given by my Valentine Have not been a fan of belgium ales and this beer won't push me over to the other side. Oh yes I did give a nod of it's good . Know what I mean.
In smelling the glass I'm stumped to come up with a close approximation of what I'm dealing with.
A sweet wet leather laced with black pepper might describe the aroma
Initial head looked good that reduced to broken off-white foam and a swirl produces a donut that fades back down while lacing the glass
Held up to the light I see a clear red hue and no visible bubbles
Initial flavor is sour sweet with the taste same as the aroma if you could imagine that. No bitterness detected at all.
Light to medium body finishes watery and has a soft carbonation.
I'm guessing the yeast employed produces the rich earthy aromas and the cherry-like sourness
I don't care for this style of beer

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Photo of
2.26/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle

Poured a light brown with ruby highlights. Very faint haze. Medium sized, light tan head, which faded fast.

Aroma was spicy and citrusy. Low grade Belgian scent, looking for a little more given title.

Then the train went off the tracks. Taste was tart and citrusy. Way too sour for me to appreciate much of anything else. I struggled through a bit more, and think the malt character was somewhat biscuity. Reminded me just a bit of Rodenbach.

Mouthfeel was medium in body, with low carbonation. Moderately drying.

Overall, just not good in my opinion. This is the third beer I have tried from this brewer, and it's going to be the last for a while. If sour is your thing, though, be sure to give this one a try.

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Photo of deejaydan
2.3/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to ImStilltheGman for the opportunity...

Pours a ruby color with minimal head and lacing. Aroma is faint musty dried fruits. Taste is tart, and puckering, some astringency here. Mouthfeel suffers from the taste. A slight sour character to the taste as well. Not good. Drinkable? Not especially, but I'm glad I got a chance to try it out.

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Photo of jackndan
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

River Horse Belgian Frostbite: from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours perfectly clear. Deep, deep brown. Very little head, but what it had left a bit of Belgian lace on the side of the mug. The aroma is fine, somewhat licorice, a bit of coffee and a little spice. The taste on the other hand, is not unlike the aroma, but itÂ’s not right up my alley right now. Hell, perhaps ever, as the dominant tastes seem to involve a decided battle between spices (orange peel, cinnamon stick) and coffee/roasted malts. I guess it is just too warm around here this week to enjoy this beer.

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Photo of taylor714914
2.65/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured this light maroon tinted brew into a tulip glass. TONS of head, 4 fingers, and just a slight haze to it's (almost) clear color.

S- Burnt Sugar, Spices, Dried fruits (rasin, plum, dates) alcohol (rumish) Overall, this beer just screamed Captain Morgan Tattoo when I smelled it.

T- As I sipped on this beer, all I could think was "This tastes exactly like Captain Morgan Tattoo" Rum like flavors, along with the fruits and some spice (cinnamon, clove, almost pie spices) and alcohol are present. Definitely reminds me of a cold winter night brew.

M- The mouthfeel was thin for the style and I felt over carbonated for the style as well. Somewhat watery and quite bubbly.

D- Not very drinkable. Between the thin mouthfeel, the excessive carbonation, and the flavors that scream Captain Morgan Tattoo, I'll be staying away from this brew. Definitely wouldn't drink more than 1.

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Photo of JDV
2.74/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of kramer17801. Thanks!
pours a rich maroon color with a light offwhite head. Smell is mild dark toasty malt. Very bland overall with not much but light malt and bubbles. No real belgian character to it at all. I guess it does hide the alcohol very well, but this was incredibly muted flavorwise.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle with no drink by date. The color is a cola brown with hues of vanilla coke. A good amount of bubbles cling to the glass, but, only produce a very minimal head. The head is thin and leaves very little lacing.

The aroma hints of caramel and black pepper with some butter thrown in.

The taste is sweet at first, followed by mild roasted malts with a coffee bitterness in the backend. There is no hop flavor, and, I find the taste to be kind of weak. The end of the glass brings about some sourness and yeast flavors.

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Photo of Hautacam
2.76/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance was very good...a nice amber ....good foamy head, which reduced to a slight collar.
Smell was slightly spicy...apple,malt.
Taste was good..classic Belgian yeasty....the malt flavor was different...hard to describe...funky malt ?...not a plus, but not negative enough to consider not drinking it. Sugar comes through...not much alcohol flavor. Also , a little watery...like a good beer gone "lite".
Mouthfeel a little too thin for a Belgian.Carbonation was fair.
This is a drinkable beer...not too high in alcohol.
I was a little disappointed with this one , mostly because of the light flavor. Their Triple Horse is so good , I thought that anything Belgian from them would be great. I'll stick to their Triple.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - dark ruby red color, with a thin off whitish head, very faintly visible carbonation

S - hmmm, an enticing molasses/date flavor, twinge of alcohol aroma as well, smells good

T - more sour than i expected, at first like a sour lactose type flavor, then the flavors separate into sour fruit and almost a coffee type flavor, its ok, not a good blending

M&D - sour and bitter, kinda chewy, its ok but not a repeater for me

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Photo of cwalter
2.81/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Amber/ruby in color. Does not support much of a head.

S: Getting a lot of belgian yeast, candied sugar and dark fruits.

T: In the taste the belgian yeast funkiness is really prominent. Some hints of figs and candied plums, but they are extremely overshadowed by the yeast and alcohol warmth.

O: Not really hitting the mark for me.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a bottle into a dinner glass.

A: Amber-brown colour. Bad head. Kind of appealing.

Sm: Musty malt, hint of prune, treated barley, maybe an adjunct, nuts (almond?).

T: No, not almond - caramel! The body is built strangely for a winter amber. The finish is nutty, not hoppy. The balance is biased towards the finish.

Mf: Too smooth, a bit too wet. Nicer towards the finish.

Dr: Too much caramel. Too expensive.

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Photo of Minotaur
2.83/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what to think of this beer. I tried it early last year as I had a craving for a winter ale and most of my standby ales were already unavailable. I love Belgians. But yet there is something cloying about this beer I can't put my finger on.

Riverhorse produces generally good beer so I decide to try it.

It pours extremely dark red-brown into both a pint glass and a goblet. Very much looks like a dubble which increased the initial appeal for me. The head is energetic and dense but not obtrusive.

I'm not sure if my problem with it is that it isn't complex enough, or that the complexities are so subtle that I can't seem to sort it out.

I love both Belgian Ales and Warmers... and I feel that this beer is somehow trying to make up its mind as to which it is. I go back and forth on the flavors which seem alternately too sweet or unbalanced in terms of malt to spice ratio. It is by no means bad quality, but I can't quite seem to wrap my taste-buds around it. There is the malt, vague bitterness. Cinnamon, clove, bready consistency, and some alluring esters. None of which appear to make up to an appealing whole.

The dark red color, malty warmth, and slight bitterness lend more towards a Winter Ale, but there is also very mild sugar and fruit flavor that leads it into Belgian territory. Half the sips I take, I really like it - half the time I find something about it to be a bit "off mark".

I find the combination of flavors and carbonation level to be bothersome to the point I gave it an average rating of drinkable - I just don't find it easy to finish off.

It is however unique enough to give it a shot though I probably would not buy another whole pack of it. I've spoken to the brewers about it and it seems to be one of the brewery's most popular offerings. So clearly many find something in there that I seem to be missing.

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Photo of Naes
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a dark brown ale with a small tan head.
Its aroma is of malts and is almost candy sweet.
The flavor starts out slightly watery, then becomes sugary sweet followed by chocolate and caramel malt with a slight sourness.
Mouth feel starts out a bit watery, then becomes a little too sugary for my likings.
Despite the abundance of sweetness in this beer, it is still an alright brew.

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Photo of jlindros
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found this bottle on the back of a shelf dusty, probably about a year old so not very fresh, hope that didn't ruin the beer. Poured into oversized bubble wine glass.

A: Very dark brown color with slight maroon tinge almost no light, light frothy head the dissipates very slowly but leaves the remnants of the head for a while

N: Nose is smooth light, slightly malty, pretty fruity, slight vanilla, touch of raisin, some alcohol and yeast

T: Lots of fruit and raisin, a strange toasty fig newton like taste, very chewy, some alcohol, a little sour, it does taste a little old and past its prime, not much for Belgian at all except the alcohol sour dark fruity taste and some yeastiness, slightly buttery, pretty phenolic (finally figured that taste out with this beer)

M: Chewy and pretty thick, decent carbonation

F: Finishes pretty sweet and strange malts, more of that fig newton like taste, leaves a dry rotten fruit taste in the mouth, phenolic and a slight slimey trail on the tongue with toasty buttered popcorn

Final thoughts: Not sure if this beer is way past its prime, or if this is usually how it is. I'll have to try to revisit when it's fresh. Its got some nice dark fruit taste and good malts, but too much rotten fruit and phenols, sticky and chewy, not the best drinking experience

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Photo of bubseymour
2.92/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - dark and scary. Like a really murky apple cider look. Average/above average 2 finger head that reduced quickly.

Smell - Very very spicy aroma.

Taste - not into this taste much at all. Something seems off with the water. Very metallic and mineral like flavor. Spice is well noted as well. Fairly smooth, but slight hop bite in finish but very mild. Strong dark beer but not too boozy.

Mouthfeel - full bodied

Overall - Taste makes this barely drinkable to me. Perhaps this just isn't my style of beer.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle from Trader Joes. Pours dark amber with a tall, foamy, off-white head. Aroma is of bready malt, alcohol, brown sugar and dark fruit. Body is full and smooth. Taste is of bready malt, caramel, drying alcohol, earthy hops, brown sugar and cooked vegetables. Finish is long and dry. I will skip this brew next time.

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Photo of Beejay
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Very dark, mohagany colored brew, with a nice tan head.

S: Sweet, with raisons, caramel, figs and grapes.. Smells very nice.

T: Burnt caramel at the begining... and actually throughout the whole thing. Slight sweetness to it, but I was expecting much more from the scent. Smokey and malty, but not the big belgian flavor I was expecting.. more like belgian ash tray.. I am a fan of roasty/smokey beers, but for some reason this seems out of place, the sweetness in the finish is nice, but the flavors do not blend well in my opinion.

M: Fairly good here, carbonation is very high and fine much like a seltzer water. There is a little bit of a sticky after feel to it...

D: Nice to try but no thanks.. I just feel like this is two opposing forces clashing together in a beer that just does not make much sense to me. I want to like it, I really do, but it is just not happening.

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Photo of thequeen711
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This deep amber brew has caramel malt infusion. Light hoppy and considerably lower sweetness compared to most Belgian Ales. Light lacing from the tap, nose of malt makes this brew an enjoyable treat for the winter months. We were right at the brewery for this tasting, so this is fresh as fresh can be!

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Photo of axeman9182
3.02/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

River Horse's Belgian Freeze pours an opaque burnt copper, with just over a finger of bone colored foam. There's a little bit of head retention, and not much lacing at all. There's a lot going on in the aroma, with caramel, bready, fig, berry, and clove aromas all easily appreciable. The first two are just a little too prominent for my taste though. The flavor profile is the same story. Yes there are some fruity esters and some clove like phenols, and I even enjoy how they're balanced relative to each other (with the former shining more than the latter). The problem is how prevalent the malt character is. There's more caramel and toasty bread than anything else. The body is headed in the right direction (dry), but it's not quite light enough. Similarly, there's some life to the carbonation, but I find myself looking for even more. Still, the mouthfeel is very close to being great. Belgian Freeze is a pleasant enough brew, but it just doesn't blow me away as a Belgian Dark Ale.

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Photo of Franchise
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This winter beer pours a amber/tan color. The head is tan and disappears very quickly. As I smell this beer I pick up some spices nutmeg, cinnamon, and some toasty aromas. As this beer hits my palate I def detect some sweetness maybe brown sugar, or molasses. Also some floural presence which is very different in a winter beer also some nutty flavors that really taste well together. The negative aspect of this beer is the "sour grapes" taste that comes threw although faint enough to notice. Overall this is a decent beer that could use some minor improvements.

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Photo of hungryghost
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into the glass it comes a copper brown/ dark amber color. Many bubbles cling to the inside of my pint glass. The amount of foam on top is minimal and short lived.
Smells faintly of malts, touch of sweetness.
I can taste the caramel (roasted?) malt.
Overall the brew was thinner than expected. Mouthfeel was clean, sweet but not sticky, and a bit watery.
I might go for another but not interested in any more than two of this one.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out with a decent looking amber color. The head was pretty big at first but settled into just a thin layer over the beer. The smell of the beer has some spice to it mixed with malts. The taste of the beer was more of an autumn spiced beer than a Christmas one. The flavors were mixed between sweet and spicy. The mouthfeel was alright, nothing too crazy here. Overall I wasn't too impressed with this brew.

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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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