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

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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: 177 | Ratings: 365
Photo of facundoCNB
3.94/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a deep amber/brown in color with a finger of head.
smells of raisins, dates, fig, apples, banana... a cross between a quad and winter warmer.
tastes of brown sugar, raisins, a slight cocoa flavor, apples, cinnamon, banana.
medium/full body, low carbonation, creamy on the lips..

a sweet and tasty treat. a great seasonal with awesome artwork. it's like drinking an oatmeal raisin cookie.

 389 characters

Photo of MattyK
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark, cloudy, unfiltered Belgium dark ale.

S- sweet Carmel/brown sugars, raisins, plums, tad bit of some cherries.

T- definitely sweet sugars right off the bat. Can definitely identify its Belgium base, but not overwhelming, tasting a lot of dark fruits such as plum, raisins, and cherries. Very proportionate in all flavors.

M-moderately carbonated, being an 8%'r the alcohol hides very well within the initial taste. Seconds after consumed the slight burn from the alcohol comes into play on the tongue.

O-overall I think this is a great Belgium ale to kick off the winter season. Excellent flavor of the fruits for an 8% beer, but at the same time has that unique Belgium characteristic to it.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another thanks to Dan (DSlim71) for this extra. Cheers buddy!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a semi-opaque brown color. About a half finger of tan head appears that dissipates quickly leaving decent lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Dark fruits such as plums, dates, and raisins. Malty sweetness, brown sugar, spices such as clove, and some honey.

Taste – While the aroma did not lend itself to the “Belgian” style…the flavor sure does. Lots of Belgian yeast, cloves, banana, candied molasses, dark fruits such as those aforementioned, and just a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – To be frank, not as bad as I feel some people make it out. While not “good” per-say…not horrible. As the beer warms some tart cherry notes come through which are pleasant. In addition, the Belgian yeast is not that noticeable (good thing for me) so that bumps it up a point or two. A decent beer to finish the night with before getting up early to fly to Miami for a wedding. Cheers!

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Photo of bubseymour
2.92/5  rDev -18%
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.

 517 characters

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle served in a pint.

Appearance-Pours bright amber, clear, barely any head, fades fast to single ring around edge. Sticky upon swirling. Slow steady visible carbonation.

Smell- sour yeast, like sourdough. light spice-coriander? clover, citrus, honey. pretty typical Belgian smell. Doesn't smell dark however.

Taste- orange rind. Nice Belgian yeast funk. light spice. coriander, and an odd lemon peppery flavor. Tastes pretty pale to me. What makes this a dark ale? the color? seriously?

Mouthfeel- thin, little sticky, but pretty clean overall.

Overall, very nice, not the best, but above average.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Cazeau Tournay De Noel.

A: Hazy dark amber with one-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Caramel malt and spice. Mild.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Spicy hops. Sort of tart. Yeast and funk.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Kind of thin. Slightly warm.

O: There wasn't much to the nose, and it tasted kind of weird. I liked the Cazeau Tournay De Noel better.

 485 characters

Photo of magine
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

Pours a dark brown with some slight reddish hue. Has good carbonation and a bubbly off white head. Cloudy brew with some sediment floating. Good patchy lacing remains clinging to the glass. Good looks.

Brew smells of candied sugars, Belgian yeasts strains and dark fruits. Good smelling brew.

Brew is sweet and smooth; creamy malts and yeasts. Dark fruits and good malts; caramel, toffee, raisins. Some good sour flavors here as well. Brew has nice peppery spice as well. Finishes slightly boozy and dry. The peppery spice and sourness over takes some of the flavors as you drink, which holds it back a bit. A good tasting and feeling brew.

Brew drinks well and has good flavors. An pretty good american brewed Belgian dark ale.

 755 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the prettiest beer you'll see, kind of a muddy apple cider appearance, with a small white head that vanishes rapidly, leaving very little lacing behind.

Sweet aroma full of caramel, toasted malt, dark stone fruits, and prominent booze. Taste follows the nose, moderately sweet but not cloying, very fruity, with noticeable booze and a light yeasty spiciness. Very low bitterness, really no hop presence to speak of at all.

Medium carbonation and body with a little creaminess in the mouthfeel. Fairly short finish that has a kind of berry fruitiness and booze in the aftertaste. Not bad at all, feels pretty authentic actually. Good job by River Horse. Not the deepest or most subtle attempt at a Belgian style beer but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of Naugros
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looking good to begin with: apple cider colored with a thick beige head that leaves behind pretty good lacing. The smell is even decent with Belgian yeast evident as well as caramel malts. Dried apricots against a slightly soapy odor.

Yellow raisins and cherries in the flavor. Unfortunately, that soapiness continues from the smell. A little bit of caramel and a minor alcohol note with a clove. A little messy in the presentation in the mouth as well with tingles and bites in various places with astringency. Doesn't leave a pleasant feel behind and there's a film on my lips I'll need to clear off.

Not a big fan of this one.

 633 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

 557 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice

Pours a dirty amber color with a small off-white cap. Falls quickly to form a thin collar. No lacing whatsoever. The aroma is of spicy clove, tart cherries, banana, candi sugar, and some honey. The flavor profile follows the nose for the most part. Tart cherries carry the load with spicy clove and some honey balancing things out. The feel is medium with solid carbonation. A bit prickly on the finish. Tart cherries and spice linger. Overall, this is a nice little belgian dark, suitable as a winter ale.

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Photo of HopsYeast
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- 3/4 finger pale beige head. copper color with a slight orangish hue. hazy body with no sediment.
s-sweet malt, subtle hops, and some hints of yeast in the form of pear and banana.
t-yeast, muted malts and a very subtle hop flavor. nothing stands out too distinctly but also its somewhat bland in a way. its a mish mosh of flavors that are all a only little above average, but doing so makes the beer that way too.
m-nice body, has somewhat of a syrupy quality but not too much. has a nice carbonation level. it is decently drinkable especially for 8%
o-this is an ok beer. another river horse brew that has seemed to gone slightly down in quality in the past few years. they still put out great brews, but this is one that seems to have taken a blow.

 755 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
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!

 705 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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

 729 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown liquid poured down into the glass. A huge head of tan then rose up to a height of around two inches before settling back down into a frothy and foamy cap that stayed with it throughout the session. Only real knock here being too much head if anything. Aroma was fairly light, nice spice notes up front, hints of caramel, dark prune like fruit notes and a hint of cinnamon of all things. Carried over well in the flavor which was equally rich. Strong notes of spice up front and a smooth, mellow texture that really seemed to hit the nail on the head. Earthy and herbal with nice hints of dark fruit, I really felt it summed up the part quite well

 657 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
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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Photo of bpw28
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep Tan Beautiful Head, Amber, Cloudy, Very Nice Lacing

Nose: Bannana, Clove, Fig, Sweet Malty, Oaky

Taste: Bannana returns, turning to a nice crisp medium roasty, brown sugar like tail before a nice mellow bitter.

Final Thoughts: Interesting. Good beer, but not blow my eyebrows off amazing.

Food Pairing:Dark Fruits, Medium Body Cheese, Ham, Duck, Roast Turkey, Spicy Dishes.

 394 characters

Photo of EkimGram
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from 12oz bottle into large snifter. Colour is a rich amber-brown. Bubbly head, 1/2 inch thick, dissipates into very thin fluffs.

Smell: Very malty, yeasty, and some other spicy notes as well. There is an underlying sweetness to it.

Taste: Bittersweet, lots of clove and yeast. A little bit of spice. Overall, a little weak.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, lots of carbonation with some bite.

Drinkability: Overall, not the most impressive brew I've had. Nice aromas and appearance but the taste is somewhat lacking.

 533 characters

Photo of Docer
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received a bottle in a trade from Ranbot, thanks for the mighty fine extra!

- Rich dark amber orange slightly cloudy brew.. fluffy off white head down to a medium sized ring and some scattered trace amounts of bubbles..

- Brown sugar, grains, clove and banana yeast.. sweet breadiness.. fig, raisin..

- Smooth and sweet prune, fig, herbal quality... belgian yeast which isnt too intrusive.. brown sugars, perhaps some honey... nice bitterness.. grassy earthy..

- Medium bodied, dryingly chewy.. slightly cloying..

- Great beer overall, very unique and has many dimensions to the flavor. Certainly recommended.

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Photo of jjchristiano
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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 +20.2%
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 drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
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 cooch69
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pors a nice deep bright mahogany with some amber highlights. It has a small neat head that settles down pretty quickly.

Nose of candied sugars, crystal malts, and some figs. Even a bit of caramel in there too.

Taste is of candied apples and a light and brisk caramelly maltiness. A little bit of hop character comes through in the finish. Mostly just of a bittering agent.

This beer is on the higher side of medium with a nice creamy mouthfeel and a good bit of carbonation to wash it down well for the 8% abv.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -20.8%
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 JMD
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich dark copper with nice foamy head that fades very slowly. Leaves clumpy lacing down the glass.

S: Belgian yeast and ripe dark fruits. Some toasted malt with hints of brown sugar and molasses. Nice aroma but a bit subdued.

T: Toasted malt upfront, with candied dark fruit. Raisins and dark cherries are prominent. Hints of spice and licorice. ABV is well masked.

M: Medium to full bodied and smooth

D: This is a good attempt at a belgian dark ale, but doesn't quite compare with Belgian counterparts. So far I haven't been impressed with River Horse, but this is one of their better offerings.

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River Horse Belgian Freeze Belgian Style Winter Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
3.56 out of 5 based on 365 ratings.
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