Hipp-O-Lantern | River Horse Brewing Co.

very good
125 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
River Horse Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A festive Ale brewed with pumpkin and molasses. A variety of hand-crushed, whole spices set up an impressive aroma and well balanced taste.

Added by NJpadreFan on 07-18-2010

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 418
Photo of q33jeff
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

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.


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Photo of ctylinebeer
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
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!

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Photo of J30wang
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.96/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of dd43
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of Act25
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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

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Photo of JohnFatAss
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

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.

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Photo of dar482
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

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Photo of dank203
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

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

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Photo of Durge
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Huffs
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of philbe311
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
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...

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Photo of phrostee
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of dheacck11
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour is a deep murky orange and muddy brown. Pretty opaque.

Nose is pretty malty and sweet, but not overbearing. Some nice hints of pumpkin spice.

Taste is nice. Decent burst of spice, some nice subtle sweet malt. Little bit of a bitter bite at the end. Very nutmeg.

Feel is medium.

Nice pumpkin ale. Little more on the brown ale side of things. Can't really taste the booze, but certaiinly can feel it.

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Photo of TheCraftBeerCouple
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Spiegelau IPA Glass

A - Pours very hazy orange-brown color. Inch of off white head, minimal lacing.

S - Lots of pumpkin pie spice and caramel on the nose, hints of toasted malt.

T - Very balanced taste, pumpkin gourd and vanilla, hints of brown sugar and toasty malts, actually tastes very much like an apple cider doughnut. Impressed how well it masks the 8.1 ABV, very drinkable.

M - Chewy, creamy mouthfeel. Medium-High Carbonation. Dry Finish.

O - One of the more successful "imperial pumpkins" I've had this season in regards to balance. Not overly cloying in any way. Well done River Horse.

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Photo of plaid75
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a slightly murky burnt orange hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured pumpkin flesh and burnt caramel.

The taste was bursting with fresh pumpkin flesh - rindy and chewy. There was a very slight spice and nicely dry finish.

The mouthfeel was chewy for the style.

Overall one of the most pumpkinesque experiences out there. Fresh and vegetal.

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Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A brownish, murky brew, with lots of haze and a modest of-white head, the beer is interesting, but not beautiful. The smell is spicy...but not over-done pie spice. Instead, it is a bit peppery...the vegetable pumpkin scent comes out a little, but never fully developers. It hides its alcohol well. Mild warming, but it stayed hidden at the start. Semi sweet, the beer relies on spice and a lightly roasted flavor. The body is full, and spice really comes out in the finish. I really enjoyed it more and more as I worked through the bottle.

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Photo of beercat11
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have tried many pumkin beers, for the price and quality of this offering, I think it's a winner. The pumkin and spices are mellow and subdued enough to know you are drinking a decent ale. You can almost imagine the taste if it wasn't a pumpkin beer. I'm a big fan of Weyerbacher Imperial pumkin, but for almost $2 less a 4 pack for the hippo it's a big no brainer because they are very similar in character. The difference between the 2 and many other imperial pumpkins is the creamy texture wich I find very appealing in this style. I think this beer is top notch for the style. If you can find it this year and like pumkin beer, I promise you that you won't be disappointed. Cheers.

Very good again. My friend and I compared this to 6 other imperial pumpkins and found this beers texture (not flavor) unique to the point of enhansing the pumpkin beer experience. They all have pumpkin flavor but the creamyness seems to set it apart in a nice way.

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Photo of Glennlawless
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pint glass

A- dark copper in color and got a nice inch head that was a slight off white.
Nice lacing left as you drink as well.
S- got a nice touch of cinnamon sugar and sweet malts.

T. Pumpkin pie! Very good beer. Very sweet. You get a little vanilla here and there. Not much of a bite either - very well balanced beer!

M- slightly creamy, semi heavy ale, yet very drinkable.

Overall, this is a real good beer. For having an abv over 8%, this beer is dangerously smooth. Perfect for the fall. I'd totally buy this again.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4 pack picked up in Jersey. Poured into a bottle.

Fall gets off with a bang - first pumpkin of the year and this one nails it. Pours dark copper amber with fast bubbles and no foam. Cinnamon pumpkin nose. Brown sugar. Taste is a rich pumpkin, spices. Bready. Pumpkin pie mouthfeel. Really good.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Restoring from lost review...

Pours a amber tinted orange, fluffy and soapy white head. Light scent, moderately spicy with some underlying sweetness, not much pumpkin. Taste begins with spice and bitterness, some pumpkin comes through and a mesh of vanilla and sugar hinted at on the back end. Medium bodied. Falls in the category of pumpkin ales that are more about the spice than the pumpkin or pie.

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Hipp-O-Lantern from River Horse Brewing Co.
3.77 out of 5 based on 418 ratings.
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