Hop-a-lot-amus | River Horse Brewing Co.

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390 Ratings

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AltBock on 12-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 390 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of aahynick
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

40F in a pilsner glass

A- hazy light copper with a creamy head

S- both spicy and flowery aroma

T- sweet and spicy with rich malt character

M - almost a syrup like thickness felt

D- I was shocked because my Riverhorse experiences have been mediocre at best but this one could make me a IPA fan before long.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orange amber color with a giant tan frothy head. Great lacing that lasts forever make this a very nice looking beer. The smell is pungent with bread yeast and citrus hops being strong. The taste has a very bitter hop harshness to it with some bread yeast and alcohol. The m/f is medium with flavors not mixing all that well. This is a beer that I think could use some cellaring.

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Photo of far333
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky burnt orange with a fat frothy and lumpy head of meringue. Low aroma of sappy hop resins, some cotton candy and ripe fruit.

Sharp flavor of orange rind, pine sap, burntleaves, grainy brown sugar and caramelized pear. More booze than hops. Smooth, full and creamy mouthfeel. Tasty beer, but hops seems muted by alcohol and there could be more balance.

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Photo of Naugros
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you didn't bother to read the label, this beer is unfiltered so expect it to be hazy. The color is golden orange with that expected haze. There is not much head to this beer and no lace whatsoever.

From the name I expected quite a bit of esters in the nose, but found an understated tangerine scent. Rarely do I have to agitate the surface of an IPA to get a good whiff, but had to do so here. From that I got a biscuity scent, but just barely.

For a DIPA, the flavor was a little underwhelming. I expected a huge hops punch in the face, but found this to be nicely balanced between the sweet caramel of the malt and the tangerine and bitterness of the hops. Still, the bitterness hangs on a little too long for my taste.

This beer does something that I'm not fond of and that's jumping straight to the back of the throat after only a little play on the tongue. The aftertaste lingers at the back of the palate.

The lingering aftertaste is too much for me to want another one. I am impressed by the hops selection in this beer and the balance is appreciated, but I would enjoy it a lot more if the wash was cleaner.

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Photo of Amalak
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It had a bronze color to it with good sediment and an excellent head and lace. Has a caramel, citrusy taste.

It has a very smooth hoppy flavor. The caramel comes through in the taste. There's a nice citrusy, hoppiness to it as well. I really enjoy this IPA.

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Photo of Tomdee74
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a few times but most recently on tap. It was decent i must say..

A - Pours a great DIPA color. Orangeish/amber light brown color with a good head and pretty good lacing.

S - I smell the floral, fruity hops but not pungent and not overpowering which is what i would prefer.

T - Decent taste to it. Not horrible at all and I wouldn't go crazy seeking this out when there are so many good beers. but this is worthy. i was not disappointed in it.

D - Pretty drinkable. I could easily have a couple of these. I'm happy to try these however i won't be seeking this out as a must have.

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Photo of berpwillie
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy orange copper color with a bout a half inch of very fluffy head which stuck around for the length of the beer. the head reminded me of some fluff(marshmallow), with lots of fluffy lace. unlike some of the others that reviewed this beer i really enjoyed. i was set aside by the lack of "other flavors" i liked the fact that the hop flavor basically slapped me in the face. First sip of this beer opened up my sinus, it was extremely hoppy and bitter and very enjoyable.

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Photo of pwoody11
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy golden color with some slick lace action.

The aroma is a little earthy with the up front scent of pine, citrus, hops.

The beer was very bitter. I don't mind bitter as long as there are other flavors complimenting it well, but I'm really having trouble find any taste other than the hops. I'll have to leave it at that. Pine and citrus. Not as balanced as it should be.

I'd only buy this again when introducing a newcomer to craft beer to demonstrate the hop taste and maybe to compare to another DIPA to show how well bitterness can actually be balanced out.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry pale and Carapils malt scent along with a mild bitterness and some light bready notes. The taste is decent as well. It has a solid pale and Carapils malt taste along with a nice citrus hop flavor. It has an aggressive grapefruit bitterness that really dwarfs the malt contribution. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good DIPA. I'm not a huge fan of the hop character and the malt bill isn't too exciting either.

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Photo of number1bum
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a chunky, thick light beige head. It's pretty cloudy, and keeps a thin but mostly full lace and some webbing on the sides.

Smell is very malt forward, with a buttery caramel aroma in particular. Hops lend some sweet fruit with a subtle juiciness that is nice, but that's really about it. For a DIPA this is very much lacking in hop aromas.

At first I get a couple of off flavors that are not very enjoyable at all. Has a medicinal sort of fruity sweetness to it, followed by a harsh, bitter, metallic bite that is not very pleasant. Luckily those give way to some juicy, fruity sweetness, still somewhat medicinal but not as bothersome as originally, with some bitter citrus peel and sweet caramel. As it warms the hop bitterness becomes more prominent and very intense. It ends up tasting decent at times, but like the smell I think it's still short in the hop department, and it's definitely rough around the edges and occasionally unpleasant. A bit of a mess.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body and is pretty creamy, although not terribly smooth owing to the harsh bitterness mentioned earlier. On the bright side the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Overall I would call this a pretty poor DIPA and not something I could see myself coming back to. It's too malt forward and rough around the edges, and at times it's downright unpleasant. At other times it shows some flashes, with some nice juiciness, but it's still not very good.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dispenses forth a hazed, light amber body with a sudsy-looking, off-white head.

Smell: Hoppy nose of citrus, gooey pine sap, and dehydrated herbs. Faint tropical fruit hints. Lighter, lesser malt notes of caramel and white bread.

Taste: Light pale maltiness with slender hints of caramel and bread. Touch of crunchy rock candy sweetness. Hops impart a citrus fruitiness, a leafy character, and lightly resinous pine taste. Little squirt of papaya juice. Medium-high bitterness. Finishes bitter, drying, and with a small touch of alcoholic heat at the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus, smooth body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though it seems I may be in the minority here, I thought it was actually pretty good. I'd go even a step further and say it's one of the better River Horse brews, but, to be honest, I've had only a very small handful of their available beers.

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Photo of HeroicDoses
2.08/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I'd equate Hop-A-Lotamus to the moment in the movie Slap Shot when the second the puck is dropped to start a game, a massive brawl erupts. "Too much...too soon." I believe is the line at that point, and this beer is the same thing. Just too many f'ing hops for my taste. One is great, but by the end of it it becomes obnoxious. Completely overpowering and uber-sticky. If that's your thing, then this is your holy grail. If it's not (or even slightly not), this is like drinking hop flavored cement. There is no balance or smooth finish with this beer, it's as advertised, an f'ing ton of hops.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The colour of this one is reminiscent of the inside of a grapefruit. Pinkish/amber/red and clear with a massive head that sticks around leaving a bunch of lacing.

S: Woah. Hops. Holy crap this one has a lot of them I gather just from the smell. It didn't make my eyes water, but it came pretty damn close.

T: The hops in this one used my tongue, and my palate for that matter, as a punching bag. This is one of the hoppier brews I've had. Citrusy and fruity in the background, but those hops completely dominate. I'm sure most beer lovers here in the United States would like this one alot, since many of them really like their hopped up brews. This beer is on hops with steroids. They must have put in a heroic dose of hops in this one. Personally, this is good, but the hops are a bit overwhelming.

M: Extremely oily and a bit chalky. Good carbonation.

D: The human palate supposedly can only detect bitterness, in beer sense, in the range of 100 or so IBU. This one is rated as having an IBU rating of 93. Feels like 193, though I wouldn't really know according to hop experts. This is a good beer, though, and hopheads are sure to like this one regardless of how over the top it is. For someone who is a "middle of the road" hoppy beer drinker such as myself, I'd say this one just might obliterate your palate.

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Photo of beerman207
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with a nice tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves good lacing behind

S: I can really smell this very well as the citrus and hop presence are really apparent. Malt is also there.

T: Wow, like a punch in the mouth. It's bitter and then some more bitter and wait - more bitterness. In the finish there's a tad of malt sweetness that tries to come through but the balance here is just off in my opinion. Needs more sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth

D: I will finish this one but can't say I'd try to locate another. Good brew but the bitterness makes me pucker each time I take a sip.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep hazy copper, with 2-3 fingers of very foamy eggshell-white head. This retains with a rigid 1/4 finger of rich froth that slathers the sides of the glass with thick sticky lacing. The aroma has a deep earthy tang, that is full of herbal accents and sweet fruits, along with a very spicy smelling edge to it that gives this some sharpness in the nose. Backing malts have a stiff graininess to them.

The taste majorly bitter and spicy, to much so in fact, with citrus rings and (to a lesser extent) pine spreading across the back of the throat. Tropical fruits, toasted grainy sweetness, and some darker earthy character try to soften some of the intensity from the hops but the drying bitterness of this just gets to be too much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow creaminess and slick feel but some sharpness from the heavy hops spices definitely adds a intermingling prickle to this as well. For an 8.5% beer, the alcohol isn't out of control or anything but there is just enough to help intensify that bitterness to the point where it hinders the drinkibility.

Wow, this ended up just being one disappointing hot mess of a DIPA. If unbalanced out-of-control spice and bitterness are your thing then I say go for it but I personally didn't even want to finish the bottle. Just not my thing.

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Photo of DmanGTR
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Poured hazy burnt orange with a well formed 1" white head that left ample lacing in the tulip. This is an unfiltered beer, hence the haziness. Looks lovely to me! 4.5

S - Huge malt backbone of cereal grains, caramel, and deep fruits. Hops balance well with the malts with tones of passionfruit, pineapple, and a bit of "tropical fruit" smell. Maybe the hops could use a little boost in terms of intensity. 4.0

T - Wow this is bitter. Very bitter. It kind of caught me off guard, as I was expecting a burst of fruity and citrusy hop flavor. Instead all I get is a one-dimensional caramel and bitterness slap in the face. To boot, all flavors die nearly immediately except for bitterness, which lingers like bitter medicine. This is rather off-putting... 2.0

M - Medium bodied, moderately carbonated and prickles the palate. 3.5

D - The taste is really hindering this. 2.0

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Dark hazy golden orange color with a off white head about an inch high. Nice lacing going on here as well.

S- I'm not exactly sure what I am getting more of here. The malty caramel scent or the hop. Either way, the smell is enticing and is making my mouth water.

T- The hops hit my tongue initially, but nothing overwhelming. Following the hops, the caramel sweet and toffee taste really kicks in. This was a malt lovers DIPA.

M- Thick bodied. Creamy and very slick.

D- Easy drinking DIPA. I enjoyed this one. River Horse stepped up their game. Only wish the hops were the star of the beer.

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Photo of Durge
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy dark rust color with a healthy off-white head and great lacing. The aroma brings caramel malt with a rubbing alcohol overtone on citrus hop. The flavor speaks much better of a more likable blend of malt, toffee and citrus hops. There's still a bit of alcohol going on but it's a mid-plus bodied, slightly buttery tasting brew with nice tingly carbonation. Reasonably drinkable. The taste and feel rescued this from the aroma.

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Photo of ralree
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice cloudy orange, 1-finger white head, not fluffy and short-lived. Lacing is good.

S: Rather caramelly and sugary malt with a great hop kick. Great flowering hop smell is the main meat of this aroma.

T: Really strong out of the gate, hits you like a door in the face with insane hops and alcohol, with a nice sweet malt underneath. Malt is a bit smoky, and the alcohol quickly becomes less noticeable because of the hops. Totally awesome beer for hopheads!

M: A bit over-carbonated, but bearable. Syrupy like mad. Non-astringent.

D: This is so rich that it's actually harder to drink than many beers. It's really the only part they could improve, but this beer isn't made to be drinkable by all, just to destroy mouths with hop madness. Well done!

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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 3 fingers of white head above a dark yellow/brown murky body. A lot of lacing to boot. Very delicious and foreboding looking.

S - Great hop aroma. Floral and subtly minty. Very refreshing smelling.

T - Quite a taste. Extremely hoppy, obviously. I can't tell exactly what kind of hops they are, but it's similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale so I'm guessing cascade hops. Mostly hoppy through and through, but very delicious overall, if you can stand the bitterness.

MF - Thick and heavy. Compliments the flavor well. Would have expected a little heavier of a body, although as it is it almost compromises the drinkability.

D - Not very drinkable, due to both the heavy body and the bitter taste.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.84/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

"The fabled Hop-a-lot-amus is a mythical creature. The heavy hop character of this Double IPA is as subtle as a 'river horse' in your lap, but finishes like a hippo in a tutu."

--rear label

Beautifully blurry dark persimmon with bright orange accents along the edges. The upper third of the pint glass is filled with a whipped creamy crown of golden ecru colored foam that isn't shy about laying down lace. What a gorgeous DIPA.

Caramel malt is too prominent in the nose. As a result, the hoppiness isn't anywhere near powerful enough for the style. The less than classic hop lineup includes Perle, Cluster and Cascade. A faint citrusiness isn't enough to cover a vegetal-metallic character that better not appear on the palate or this will be a long 12 ounces.

Hop-a-lot-amus is not a very good DIPA as far as this hophead is concerned. There's too much flavor from caramel malt, the hops add more bitterness than flavor, and there's a solvent-like quality that is never found in good beer. Yeah, there may be a-lot-a IBUs, but that means nothing in isolation. Make that less than nothing.

A still impressive bitterness suggests that this bottle isn't old. River Horse now brews this DIPA year-round, so age is impossible to estimate. That's important because the beer tastes worn out and rough around the edges, though it's probably just poorly conceived and constructed. Specifics include steely caramel, orange oil, pine resin, metal shavings, tea leaves and a shot of grain alcohol.

The mouthfeel isn't bad, as long as one is successful in filtering out what's happening on the taste buds. It's at least medium for the style, has a smoothness born of soft-edged carbonation and is faintly sticky on the finish.

Hop-a-lot-amus has a great name and a pretty cool label. Unfortunately, that is where the positives end. River Horse has never impressed me and this sad sack DIPA does absolutely nothing to change that. What a hippo-sized disappointment.

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Photo of Timtac
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing outstanding, nothing wrong with this 8.5% IPA. Unfiltered sediment stuck out with a darker than expected color and larger than normal head from a bottle into a goblet.

Taste was okay for the alcohol. I've been to this tiny Lambertville brewery, and it's generally unsanitary, so maybe I'm biased. I do believe that the water they use holds each type of beer River Horse makes back from their potential.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a cloudy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy/foamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice little hop notes, citrus, pines, and some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, bitter, nice little citrus note, and some pine notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brew, wish it was fresher.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruddy orange with a stiff white head that puckers and craters. Faint nose - some orange peel and sour barrel. Sourdough toast malts with punishingly bitter citrus pith and pine sap hops. Ting of sweet on the finish but more pucker to follow and dry chalky leave. Medium body with resin and stick, slight burn.

Holy IBU! Didn't know NJ could roll like this like this. Malts are there so I can't say it's out of balance, but could use some hop flavor rather than pure bitterness.

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Photo of jaluria
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack of this during my last visit to NJ.

Poured a soft, clear yellow-orange color with a subtle off-white colored head that quickly dissipates. Just a touch of lacing is left behind in my goblet.

The aroma is subdued with hints of orange peel, roasted seeds and tangerine. The carbonation is pretty intense and yet the aromas are gentle and just slightly inticing.

The taste deviates from the aromas as the crisp hop flavors really come out. Citrus and grapefruit hop flavors seem to dominate. I cannot detect any Simcoe-style hops that have the pungent flavor profile. A flavorful beer with a bready malt profile that offsets the hops.

The beer is a bit thin and short-lived in my mouth. The finish is quite crisp and refreshing making it a really drinkable beer.

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Hop-a-lot-amus from River Horse Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 390 ratings