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 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.

 308 characters

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.

 295 characters

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.

 402 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1 inch head, orange-brown in color, hazy, high carbonation

Smell: rich pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg

Taste: rich pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, dry toasted malt, and a bit of sugary cream at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight bitterness in the background, high carbonation, medium bodied, dry--especially for the style

Overall: An above average to average pumpkin beer and certainly slightly below other imperial pumpkin ales. A good deal of dry malt and cinnamon here. Not bad, but I will look for other pumpkin ales first.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a murkey brown color body with a thin tannish head that hangs around for a little bit, then fades to a thin lace. The smell is of pumpkin flesh and cinnamon. The taste is very nice of pumpkin and cinnamon and other spices. The spices are not over powering, just balanced really well. The mouth feel is nice, leaves a nice after taste of spices on the back of the tongue. Overall this is a really good pumpkin beers, one of the better ones i have had this year.

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Photo of Chas58
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Firestone Walker Nonic Pint Glass from a Growler

A. Golden Burnt Amber with a haziness, small head and limited lacing.

S. A very rich pumpkin aroma with a hint of spices, clearly cloves, nutmeg and some cinnamon.  Not pumpkin pie but clearly pumpkin based and very rich. The spices dominate the nose in a very pleasant way. 

T. The first taste is really nice, spicy with a deep rich pumpkin taste. Medium in carbonation and very complex. Very little alcohol comes through, which can be an issue as this is very drinkable but with and significant ABV. 

M. The first taste leaves a slight yeasty film although it may be from the cloves, with a pleasant aftertaste reminiscent of the spices. 

O. This is one of the nicer pumpkins this season. The overall flavor is pleasing and the rich complexity makes it very enjoyable, sip after sip. river Horse has recently been very consistent with the quality and complexity of their beers. Worth a sip. 

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dense caramel-ice tea coloring has a solid 1 finger goldish-tan head that showed some resilence.

S: Spicing is evident upon opening and the pour, strong aroma of cinnamon, sweet cola, honey-caramel sweetness with a soft touch of nutmeg. Pumpkin puree is also prominent.

T: Flavor was strongly spiced, cinnamon, honey-caramel with a alcohol warmth. Pumpkin puree was meaty, but the alcohol seemed a bit much and distracted from the pumpkin aspect of the beer. Toasted grahm with a ginger snap and sweet caramelized brown sugar moment.

M: Snappy carbonation, creamy light to medium substance wise, creamy pumpkin and spicy alcohol warmth.

O: Overall i think the alcohol seems to interfere to much with the pumpkin aspect of the drink. A pumpkin beer should be fun, spicy, enjoyable to drink, while most of that is distracted by the heat of going big. Im all for big alcohol beers, i just dont think a pumpkin beer is a good option where the sweet and spicy nature is muted. Not ideal for multiples, i rather a pumpkin beer i can casually enjoy around a campfire out in the woods, where the campfire will keep me warm not so much alcohol and where the flavor a bit more enjoyable and defined.

 1,200 characters

Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter on a rainy fall October day bro.

A: Dark muddy brown with a generous white head and significant lacing.

S: Faint pumpkin pie spices, little bit of malt, sort of weak, especially for an imperial.

T: Normal pumpkin pie spices but with a kick of something I can only describe as milk duds.

M: Surprisingly light for being an imperial with no alcohol heat, even though it's 8.1%. Not too sweet.

O: Not really impressed, but it's definitely decent. Very drinkable for the style. Four of these would definitely fuck you up. Worth it if you can find it in singles, though.

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Photo of Roose13
3.19/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: The look of this beer is awesome. A cloudy brown, pretty hazy. Very thin head.

S: Brown sugar, pumpkin, malty

T: Taste is average. Kinda disappointed in this, expecting good things seeing as RH makes a lot of great beer. Spiced, kinda hoppy.

M: Medium. Lightly carbonated.

Overall: Decent beer overall. Have had plenty of other better pumpkin ales than this. Still pretty solid and I'd definitely drink it again.

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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 DrDemento456
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another pumpkin beer I never had. Whoot!

A - Pours a dirty brown that is very hazy, Head is a 1/4 inch that fades to a mild lace ring. Mild sticky lacing,

S - Brown sugar and toasted pumpkin flesh are the first things I smell. Mild toasted malts, sweet allspice and hops are secondary smells.

T - Not bad the taste is mostly spiced but not to the point of cloying, hops and brown sugars are great, and it finishes with a mild hop/vegital bite which I assume is pumpkin. All clash very well to make a tasty brew.

M - Have to give credit on this it has a high octane ABV but drinks with a medium chewy body.

Overall one of the best River horse beers I ever drank and even one of the better pumpkin ales I drank this season. Worth seeking out if a fan of the style!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a slightly hazy medium brown in color with orange highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of pumpkin with moderate aromas of brown sugar, molasses, and pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice).

T: The beer starts out with quite a bit of caramel malt sweetness in addition to the brown sugar and molasses from the smell. There are also light pumpkin flavors and stronger pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). The beers flavors intensify as it warms and the complexity increases.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: This beer has very good flavors and hides the fairly high ABV well. Easy to drink and enjoyable, definitely one to pick up again next fall.

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