Hipp-O-Lantern | River Horse Brewing Co.

very good
125 Reviews
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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 mmedina210
4.61/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle marked as batch 006.

It poured a copper tone with a thin beige head, and a small amount of sediment floating in the brew.

I didnt get too much from the smell other than, what I assume, is pumpkin spice.

The taste is phenomenal! A strong spice taste, made up of Pumpkin spice, and something that resembles brown sugar in the back of the throat. there is no alcohol taste, and just enough bite, to let you know the hops are there. It has a very earthy finish which is not common in these beers but welcome in my book.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. Slight carbonation, in the back and smooooth up front.

No alcohol burn and delicious taste makes this an extremely drinkable beer. Definitely my 2nd favorite Pumpkin beer.

highly recommend

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an awesome fall beer. If you're ready for the colder months, this will immediately get you ready.

Pours a nice golden brown color with some creamy colors. Nice amount of head.

Smell is instant rush of sugar and pumpkin. It's fantastic.

Taste is smooth, but not overly pumpkin. If you don't love pumpkin, you'll still like this beer (as compared to something like Smuttynose's version which has pumpkin puree in the beer).

Overall, very solid fall beer. Can't wait to have more of it.

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Photo of roar1345
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a hazy orange brown with a smallish off white head. it smells of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. the taste is awesome, pumpkiny with evened out spices. it leaves no bite on the tongue only a lingering taste of pumpkin pie and hops. the pumpkin isnt too overpowering; it goes well with the spices. not too thin of a beer either. i didn't notice it was 9 abv until i saw the bottle. this is a great beer.

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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 danz2323
4.54/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really good pumpkin with decent alcohol content. It is a sipper, unless you want to get buzzed quick and if that is the case just do a pumpkin bomb! Great dessert beer with a slice of pie or some ice cream. Most of the river horse beers are good and this is no exception.

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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 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 MrELovesBeer
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

River Horse is a brewery I've started sampling with greater regularity these past few months and have enjoyed just about all of their offerings, particularly their unfiltered lager and Triple Horse. So I was quite excited to crack open the Hipp-o-lantern. So:

Pours a lovely, cloudy, ruddy amber with a small white, slightly brownish head that dissipates quickly and minimal lacing.

Smell is a hit of everything fall and pumpkin-y - nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin, of course. Sweet as well, almost caramelized sugar.

Flavor mimics the smell. Lots of nutmeg and pumpkin with a little sweetness to balance, turning into a pleasant bitterness and spice that's similar to the spiciness of ginger. Not much carbonation here, especially after the beer warms up a bit. The aftertaste also really starts to linger not entirely pleasantly after it warms up, but that's only really toward the bottom of the glass. All nicely accompanied by some warm alcohol from the 8.1% ABV.

Overall, this is a milder, better balanced Southern Tier Pumpking. In true River Horse fashion, nothing too aggressive here - just a solid addition to the fall beer field.

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Photo of DCon
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a 12 FLUID OUNCE bottle of this in a trade w/ ipaking67. Poured from the light grey & orange labeled bottle w/ "IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ale brewed with Pumpkin Puree and Spices" & a "Pumpkin Horse Head" on the neck of the bottle and cap into my 16oz Dewey's Pizza Pint Glass. Does not have a freshness date the bottle.

Aroma- Has a SUPER strong Pumpkin aroma with tons of sweetness, spice, and ingredient within! Rivals Schlafly's Pumpkin aroma already!

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that has terrific retention. Has a dark amber/orange body color with no clarity. Leaves thick lacing down the glass.

Flavor- Tons of sweetness, spice, and malt start off the taste. Pumpkin then comes out strongly towards the end and where the bitterness level is medium-high.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, and leaves awesome amount of pumpkin/spice on the palate.

Overall Impression- Now this one breaks into my top 5 list! Maybe I enjoy these high gravity/Imperial Pumpkin Ales MUCH more but how could you blame me? These ones have the punch of pumpkin and spice while the lower ABV Pumpkin Ales only have sweetness and malt that fill out the entire taste/mouthfeel. I would definitely get your hands on this one if you get a chance! Can't even notice it is a 8.1% brew!

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into tulip.

Healthy 1F worth of cream colored head that fades to a film over a deep brown-to-orange body. Good lacing.

Lots of clove, cinnamon, and rich banana in the aroma. Very sweet. Almost like a weizenbock with cinnamon added.

Rich and smooth on the palate, with a solid embracement of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove over a sweet potato body, and lightly bittered English hop quality in the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, with just a light carbonation. Extremely drinkable, with well-hidden alcohol.

This one is a must try if you enjoy imperial pumpkin ales - much more drinkable than Pumking, as it's not the least bit cloying.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First pumpkin ale of the season.

Poured a copper/brown/orangey color with a cream-tannish colored head about half an inch. Heavily carbonated. Smell was pumpkin pie- mostly cloves- faint pureed pumpkin. Taste was nice and well-balanced. Alcohol coming through giving a slightly sour flavor at times. Heavy on the sugary malts and cardamom. All spice. Great flavors. Nice pumpkin ale here. This was awesome but not the best I have had.

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Photo of bpw28
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Three finger bone white shaving cream head, Deep Orange (about a 15 SRM), very nice lacing, very light carb can be seen, spices can be seen floating about the beer (or what I assume is spices).

Smell: Big clove,big nutmeg, cinnamon, squash and pumpkin smells, sweet, light malt smell (it smells like pie crust to me, props to River Horse), mild earthy/pipe tobacco (more props, it's aug and I feel like it's october/november in my glass).

Taste: Very big squash/pumpkin,big ginger (wasn't on the nose to me), cinnamon more forward, nutmeg, clove, peppery, light boozy, spicy, semi-dry, good body, good carb.

Final Thoughts: A very nice pumpkin ale. I'll be buying more when the leaves are falling to the ground. Thumbs up River Horse.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Autumn in a glass! (Also the BA pic for this beer is outdated).

Pours a nice orange/amber color with a very slight head which doesn't retain well. Smells slightly spices, nothing noticeable, no strong scents. Taste is out of this world though! Slight gram cracker taste upfront, slightly spicy in the middle, nutmeg, allspice, fall flavors and ends with a popping pumpkin sweetness which quickly resides into a slight beer bitterness. Almost as good as dogfish head punkin.

Very well rounded, well balanced beer, sweet, spicy, and bitter. None of which overwhelm or last long in the mouth either, an awesome autumn drinker!

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Photo of Ffrenchie181
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It doesn't have n overwhelming pumpkin pie taste to it at all, like most tendto have. I got a case of short fills, brought them home, encouraged my parents to drink them sooner rather to later. Took 2 four packs out of the case for a party. Left the state for 5 days and came home to only 2 bottles left. It's just that good!

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this beer at my local spot, Civera's. Was highly recommended by the guy who works there. Let's see how this one goes.

Appearance: Pours nicely into the glass. Has a great presence of dark orange haze, some copper brown included. Leaves behind a nice foamy head about an inch thick that lasted about 30 seconds before settling. Impressed I must truly say.

Smell: Gives off a nice aroma of spices, for example cinnamon, nutmeg and possibly ginger. I can definitely smell the pumpkin puree as the bottle indicated. Also a hint of possibly brown sugar. Totally worth just savoring and enjoying.

Taste: At first sip, I notice the boozy taste that I wasn't surprised in the least.. Theres an interesting mix of pumpkin and squash that comes through. Actually pretty well-balanced. The cinnamon and nutmeg are totally enjoyable. There's also a slight hint of creaminess. Pretty much reminds me of a liquid gingerbread cookie at this point, with an addition of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Low to medium carbonation. Finishes pretty dry, but thats on the account of the spices and ABV.

Overall: Actually a very enjoyable beer. When this came highly recommended, I was sure it wouldn't be a letdown. This was a beer that can be thoroughly enjoyed slowly, by a nice bonfire. I would be careful after consuming one haha. Well I will have this again during a long session (football game or BS'n with the guys) and I would totally recommend this beer to anyone who would ask.

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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 facundoCNB
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep amber with 2 fingers of head. SUBTLE hint of pumpkin spices, molasses, nuts. less on the pumpkin flavor and more leaning towards a malty amber ale with a hint of pumpkin. loving this one.
medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy on the lips with a chalky finish.
a nice change for a pumpkin beer. still has spices, but drinks more like a beer.

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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 thespaceman
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: One of the most beautiful pumpkin beers I've witnessed. Beautiful amber in color, nice size head slowly rises and reduces as it settles in, perfect lacing and retention here, truly fantastic!

Smell: I get alot of pumpkin spices here up front, very reserved and not overpowering. Brown sugar, clove and some allspice round out the nose. A small earthy note comes through as well settling things down.

Taste: Very reserved as far as flavoring, of course you get brilliant pumpkin flavor from the puree they use, which usually I don't like as I feel whole pumpkins make there beer more authentic, but River Horse pulls this off. Up front is good combination of allspice and brown sugar, a touch of alcohol is evident but it's not overkill, not too heavy malt backbone gives off some nice grain like flavors as well, toasty yet not a barnburner. Finishes off with some more spiciness and a quick tinge of some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: The mouth is not as thick as other pumpkins I've had in previous years, not too thin yet not over the top either. Little to no bitterness, and just enough carbonation to keep this one on the tongue without breaking down.

Drinkability: Highly impressed by River Horse's offering, Hipp-O-Lantern shows what pumpkin beer properties should be all about, not overspiced and a medium malt backbone to keep it balanced. The highlight of this beer is the color, what a beautiful beer in the glass! The ABV is not too evident, but the added alcohol benefits this beer as it's not too thick where you wouldn't be able to grab another one. I've always been a fan of River Horse but they really put me over with this fall offering. Try it!

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

River Horse- Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Hipp-O-Lantern)

A- Dark hazy/ cloudy caramel brown with a thick white head. Good head retention and nice ringed lacing down the glass.
S- Spicy nutmeg, cinnamon, and Pumpkin with hints of caramel and vanilla.
T- Sweet brown sugar and caramel malt with plenty of spices. Nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon really come through with pumpkin and roasted butternut squash.
M- Thick sweet malt with a dry spicy twang. Thick sugary feel throughout the mouth, slightly cloying. A touch of warm boozy Alc. pokes through in the end.

Overall- The 1st Pumpkin of the season and I think it sets the bar pretty high. 1 of my friends said, "tastes like Autumn", and that's a good thing!

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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 cds3717
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The perfect color for a Pumpkin Ale in my opinion. A deep copper/ amber color on the verge of brown, that reminds me of the leaves about to change in Autumn. Head doesn't last long, but for this beer I don't consider that a flaw because I was so enthralled with the color.

S: I smelled the pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, etc. (pumpkin spices) at first, then after awhile all I could make out was a great aromatic malty smell after the first few sips, unless I left it alone for a awhile (which was hard to do).

T: Same as the smell, the first few sips were all pumpkin bready with a nice malt background, then after a few more sips became more malty than anything until I let it be for a bit. (FYI the last sip is like WHAM! pumpkin spice!) There is still a hint of it, but the malt just takes the forefront, and that makes me love this beer more, because it tastes more like beer than other pumpkin ales, and less of a spice-bomb. A fantastic desert beer!

M: So I tried it both semi-cold and cold, and if semi-cold, its gonna be thinner and a little more astringent. If cold though, all you get is a full bodied, almost but not quite sticky, mouthfeel. Thats what I got, so I would recommend cold!

D: You will drink one quickly, NO PROBLEM! (You look down and can't believe its all gone!) More than one or two is hard to do though. Its too thick, heavy and strong to gulp tons of these down, but hey, its IMPERIAL!

I tried a couple other pumpkin beers with friends, and this took the cake. Its just not a novelty beer like many others, and tries to go back to the roots of being.... a beer!

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Photo of tone77
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy orange/brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is like fresh pumpkin pie. Taste is good, pumpkin, nutmeg, very flavorfull and the alcohol is well hidden. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly thickened light to medium orange with a nice off white head. A bit of lacing as it goes down. Nose is caramel, brown sugar, hints of cream, and plenty of pumpkin spices. Taste is the same with the more traditional, non-spice flavors taking the front seat. Well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit creamy. Drinkability gets a higher score as this really goes down well and is one of only a few pumpkins beers that I can actually drink twelve ounces of.

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Photo of Cmuska902
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Absolutely delicious fall color; a wonderful amber with a small head that dissipates quickly. The color alone reminds me of fall, pumpkins, and the leaves falling.

S: Smells of alcohol and spice. Faint pumpkin smell, if any, but definitely has the spicy smell of most pumpkin beers. It smells strong!

T: This beer was just what I was looking for. My first pumpkin beer of the season. Crisp malt with a pumpkin and spice that is not too overpowering. Slight warming taste of alcohol. Some nutmeg and cinnamon, perfect balance of sweet and savory.

M: Well balanced carbonation, a little thin on the tongue. Coats the mouth quickly, and finishes easily. Just enough bitterness bite at the finish to make you want another sip.

D: I can session on this beer way too easily. As soon as the temperature drops I am drinking multiple of these. Delicious, drinkable, fall, pumpkin beer. This one really surprised me. Color me impressed.

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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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