Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale
River Horse Brewing Co.

Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin AleHipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #115
Ranked #29,748
3.79 | pDev: 12.4%
River Horse Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States
Very Good
Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin AleHipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Notes: A festive Ale brewed with pumpkin and molasses. A variety of hand-crushed, whole spices set up an impressive aroma and well balanced taste.
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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 480 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss from New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Based on notes from 2011. Had this on draft.
A: pours a red amber body with small white head with good retention and lacing.
S: sweet, toffee smell with strong clove smell and cinnamon undertones
T: sweet, subtle caramel; alcohol is pretty evident; clove taste is pretty strong with some nutmeg notes as well
M: medium bodied and pretty refreshing; ok overall
D: ok mouthfeel and taste combo; alcohol is a bit overbearing; ok overall; was hoping for a more balanced beer

Nov 25, 2020
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Medium bodied with average amount of carbonation.
Aroma is pumpkin and squash first followed by a mild amount of spice .malt and some yeast also shows up
. The taste is again pumpkin and squash forward, it is very obvious yet not overpowering . The spice is there but more as a back up dancer, not the main star. Some malt shows up in the aftertaste.
This is a beer that doesn't rely on a spice overload to create the pie flavor. Some may not like all the pumpkin but I really enjoyed it and liked that the spice was subsued

Oct 20, 2018
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Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty nice look, opaque and amber with a staying offwhite head. Sweet scent on the nose with some pumpkin and a bit of spice. Pretty decent flavor, slightly bitter and then sweet with slight spice on the finish. A bit of alcohol perceived on this one. More medium than thin with a creamy texture. All in all pretty decent for a pumpkin ale.

Sep 15, 2018
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky, dark copper orange in color. Poured with a moderate, creamy, off-white foam with excellent retention. Medium light pumpkin, malt, and sweet dark molasses aroma with peppery spicy notes. Medium bodied with soft, medium carbonation. Creamy smooth feel through the middle with light warmth to the finish. Pumpkin malt and molasses up front followed by medium light bitterness though the middle. Peppery spicy flavors on the back end followed by growing, boozy warmth to the end. Booziness quickly tapers at the semi-dry finish followed by light pumpkin and molasses sweetness. This had nice character, pumpkin, sweet and spice and boozy warmth. A very drinkable higher abv pumpkin brew.

Sep 27, 2017
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Golden orange (is that an actual color??). Off white head disappears quickly, but leaves nice lacing.

S---The pumpkin pie spices are strong. Sweet.

T---Strong pumpkin pie spice flavors. Maybe a bit too much. Very sweet, molasses shows through.

F---A bit too syrupy for me. Minimal carbonation.

O---Maybe pumpkin beers aren't my thing. It was OK, but I usually really like River Horse products, this one wasn't that great.

Sep 17, 2017
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fall 2014
Not bad, but alcohol is too present and the after taste is harsh; thin feel.
2014 Pumpkin Double Blind Tasting: 1-Sam Adams Fat Jack. 2-Hoppin’ Frog. 3-Fegleys Devious. 4-Weyerbacher. 5-Southern Tier Pumking. 6-Terrapin Pumpkinfest. 7-Long Trail. 8-River Horse. 9-Blue Moon. 10-UFO Pumpkin (harpoon). 11-Sam Adams Pumpkin. 12-Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin. 13-Dogfishhead (shocker) 14-Ichabod."
6th of 12 in Round 1-A of Pumpkin Beer Tasting. Just missed advancement.

Winner out of 28 pumpkin beers.

Update of Pumpkin Beer from 2013-2019 Blind Tastings.


Nov 27, 2015
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ctylinebeer from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a tulip glass at Isaac Newtons in Newtown, PA. Not too much head, but the lacing is sticking all over the glass. The nose is mostly cinnamon and nut meg, but pumpkin is just coming through, more pulp than spice. The taste is kind of quad tasting with the spices. Alcohol is very prevalent. Kind of a syrupy mouth feel with a spicy finish. Overall it is s good seasonal beer, very much a pumpkin beer. It's enjoyable. Cheers!

Oct 21, 2015
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J30wang from New York

3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This tart, tomato-ey taste that leads to a nice rice-y flavor. I imagine this might be the copper flavor from the cans of the pumpkin puree (just imagination, I could totally be wrong lol not all pumpkin purees come from cans). Pumpkin has it's fruity flavors too--it's not all spice. This beer captures that quite well. Drinkable and definitely enjoyable.

Oct 17, 2015
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PA-hunter from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8.1% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark cinnamon brown color with two finger head with good retention. Forms a circular ring of lacing. Opaque.

Smell- Sweet nutty malt, light pumpkin aroma, minimal hints of clove/nutmeg like spices.

Taste- Caramel-like sweetness from the malt. A touch of honey. Pumpkin follows for a brief bit, before being taken to a spicy finish. Brown sugar is prominent with lingering sweetness, along with some nutmeg.

Mouthfeel- Heavy in body with active carbonation. Some alcohol burn.

Overall- A pleasant pumpkin ale, reminiscent of a really strong brown ale. The pumpkin is there, could have been a bit more but not bad. The spices werent over done, and the brown sugar notes were not bad at all. Easy drinking too for how big an ale this is. Very smooth. I would get this pumpkin ale again.

Sep 29, 2015
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dd43 from Connecticut

3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lot of pumpkin beers get shit on for having artificial taste or being overly spiced. I don't question the veracity of the ingredient list for River Horse Brewing's pumpkin beer, but I do feel the spicing was a little heavy handed. I prefer something a little more nuanced, such as the seasonals from weyerbacher and dogfish head. There wasn't anything particularly off putting about this bear, but they could dial it back a little. Nice booze level though, they shouldn't change that.

Sep 13, 2015
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WhiteHillsStore from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep orange with an eggshell white head that trails the glass. The smell was a bit more reserved than I thought it would be. There was some pumpkin and cinnamon but not as much as I thought there would be. The taste was great with a lot of pumpkin flavor up front and then spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and I think cardamom come through. Really liked this one.

Feb 22, 2015
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wingleader09 from New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank a couple of these at a pub the other night and enjoyed it a lot. Hints of pumpkin and spice were not overpowering and the beer had a nice clean slightly sweet finish. I will definitely get more of this one.

Nov 20, 2014
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So much pumpkin puree it looks and pours like pressed cider.

A: Pours a murky, hazy cider orange capped by an off white head that fades too fast and leaves too little lace, but no surprise with all that fermenting fruit in the beer!

S: The pie spice smell is the best part as it also smells of apple cider, fruit orchard in Nov, with fallen fruit, long grass, wet earth, spice rack. A bit metallic - I dont think this part of NJ has the best water.

T: Follows smell. Spice forward, with Pie.... brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and that apple cider tang along with the pumpkin fruit in the base notes. Good.

F: Medium with good chewiness. Sweet but not cloying, good finish, the alcohol is hidden.

O: A better than average imperial pumpkin beer. I'm not a fan of this much sweet or fruit or spice! It's like flavored coffee.

Nov 13, 2014
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in November 2014.

Appearance: Amber/orange.

Smell: Pleasant, with a spicy aroma. I can smell the pumpkin influences, with a little pepper.

Taste: Very nice balance. I can definitely taste the pumpkin influences, which makes for a unique taste. I like the balance between the pumpkin, hps, and malty sweetness, and the pumpkin flavor is not too strong. This is one of the best pumpkin ales I have tried.

This is an interesting seasonal beer . I would buy this again.

Nov 09, 2014
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange capped by an impressive head that leaves some splashy lacing

Smell: The pie spices dominate the aromatics, though there is an oddly vegetal/metallic aspect that is also present

Taste: Spice forward, with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg tones; underneath, the pumpkin is somewhat apparent but the spices dominate from start to finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; the alcohol is well hidden

Overall: A good pumpkin beer, though it is a little too sweet and spicy for my palate

Nov 05, 2014
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Neorebel from New Jersey

3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hipp-O-Lantern pours a burnt orange color, with a thin head of off-white foam. The brew is carbonated, and some fine sediment is visible in the hazy liquid. The aroma is quite good, reminding the drinker of sweet pumpkin cake, cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The flavor is toned down a bit in comparison to the aroma, but still has a decent pumpkin flavor. The finish is a little too sharply spicy for my taste, and the mouth feel and finish is thin and trails off quickly. Not a bad pumpkin ale by any means, but far from being something I would buy every year.

Oct 30, 2014
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JohnFatAss from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, off white head.
Rich, creamy and smooth.
Real nice flavor. The pumpkin pie spices are not overpowering.
Sweet and malty, pumpkin pie spice and a little warmth from the alcohol.
Very enjoyable and one of the better pumpkin beers I have had.

Oct 22, 2014
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wattoclone from California

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Pours a cloudy, medium amber brown wiith a large, persistent white head from a growler supplied by CJ's in Towamencin PA. Aroma is pleasant aromatic, mostly vanilla, with some definite pumpkin pie notes. Taste is very smooth, malty and easy drinking. There is not much pumpkin or spice, but a subtle complex mixture of all of the above. Not as intense as the Neshaminy Creek imperial pumpkin "Punkless Dunkel", but nevertheless quite good and VERY sessionable. This delicious brew will please the palates of all but the most experienced beer drinkers who have destroyed their palates with over-the-top insanely intense brews.

Oct 10, 2014
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dar482 from New York

4/5  rDev +5.5%

A beer comes in a orange amber color.

The aroma has lots of spice, a medium pumpkin, and almost a bready or pastry aroma.

The flavor follows with a smack of spice in the front, medium light pumpkin, and a good brown ale base with some toasted malt and sweetness.

A surprisingly good brew from River Horse.

Sep 19, 2014
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dank203 from New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%

I actually liked this, the alcohol well hidden, a lot of fresh pumpkin flavor with less pumpkin spice, a little sweetness. creamy smooth feel and dry spicy finish

Sep 12, 2014
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Durge from Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured cold into the pint glass this seasonal shows a nice autumnal rusty caramel brown with a respectable white sheet of foam on top and solid streaks of lacing. The aroma offers a yeasty allspice and nutmeg medley with hints of orange and clove. Nice. The flavor comes on pretty strong with grassy grain pumpkin and more allspice. Unfortunately my one gripe with this beer is that alcohol is more evident in the flavor than I'd like. I appreciate that it's an imperial (a misnomer outside the Russian stout family) and many of my favorite brews are high alcohol, but alcohol in itself should not be a "flavor". It doesn't ruin this beer for me but it does make this a bit disappointing. Like the aroma I pick up some clove and citrus notes, as well as brown bread malt and caramel. The body is medium at best and with a peppery carbonation there's a slightly creamy but tingly feel. Good for a bit of fall pleasure but short of expectations.

Nov 28, 2013
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Huffs from New York

4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a sam adams glass, developed a nice cream colored head with nice retention and lacing. Appaerance was a very hazy amber to orange color. Aroma had strong notes of spice and in particular, nutmeg. Tasted of spice and hop, nice floral, nutmeg and clove notes. Nice full and creamy mouthfeel with a spicy and lingering aftertaste.

Nov 17, 2013
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours lightly hazy. The color is dark orange. My pour creates a well-built, tan head of tight, smooth bubbles. Laces well too.

S-A pleasant albeit powerful medley of Autumn spice, concentrated malt and pureed pumpkin. A bit of booze.

T-Flavor is also pretty tasty. It comes of strong and hot with gourdy, squashy pumpkin. Heavy malted sweetness manages to pair well with the pumpkin flavors (sometimes I find the sweetness and pumpkin flavors clash). Fall spice combination in full effect. It all works pretty well to make a solid, imperial pumpkin beer.

M-Full bodied and a bit sticky. Alcohol warms the cheeks a bit. A definite sipper.

O/D-One of the better pumpkin brews I tried this season. I wouldn't be shocked if I revisited a 4-pack of this next Fall.

Nov 02, 2013
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Just shy of two finger's worth of crisp light khaki / light brown colored froth that displays decent retention... The lacing that is left is full and slightly whimsical with a slight collar... The color is a perfect balance of light-to-medium brown and dark amber... There is a very subtle haziness... A moderate bit of moderate-to-quick paced carbonation... Looks rich and warming overall...

S - The spice component is the star of the aroma... Nutmeg... Cinnamon... A hint of clove... Slightly sweet pumpkin pie filling is next... A light layer of brown sugar lingers beneath the surface... Nice balance and complexity... Seems to find the middle ground between sweet pumpkin pie and spice bomb...

T - The first sip reveals a nice mix of pumpkin puree, autumnal spice and brown sugar... No one flavor dominates and there is wonderful balance... There is a slight caramel sweetness that lingers beneath the surface... A very subtle booziness rises on the finish... The spices also reemerge to round out this fairly complex and highly evolved pumpkin ale...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Lush... Crisp... A good bit of nondescript carbonation... The finish is a touch on the dry side...

D - A very nice Pumpkin Ale and by far the best offering I've had from River Horse to date... I've been a tad disappointed in their other offerings.. The end result is a solid, much better than average, but a tad bit short of top of class Pumpkin Ale... I'm happy to have encountered and will gladly invest in a 4 pack each holiday season when I'm able to find it on the shelves...

Oct 27, 2013
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phrostee from New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up as an alternative to Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin, which has been completely sold out for over 3 weeks now at the BK in Chatham, NJ. Not as much body as the Sam but It is very good. Just a tad too thin imo and it was this or Captain Lawrence Pumpkin, which I've had before and it sahx a cawk. Nonetheless , serving the River Horse Pumpkin in a chilled glass is a nice fall treat. Get some while you can.

Oct 24, 2013
Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale from River Horse Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 480 ratings