Hipp-O-Lantern | River Horse Brewing Co.

very good
125 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 418
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.

 600 characters

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.

 469 characters

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. 

 967 characters

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.

 605 characters

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.

 452 characters

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.

 349 characters

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!

 772 characters

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.

 1,056 characters

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.

 1,480 characters

Photo of PatrickDaniele
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/10/12

A: Hazy light brown, orange, ambery color.

S: Not to strong of a smell for a pumpkin style beer. You pick up hints of the pumpkin but not a full on smell.

T: The taste is good, despite the small hint of the alcohol. It is an overall strong beer (8.1%) but the pumpkin does not fully take over the taste.

M: Thin feel, not watery, but not as full as some other pumpkin beers ive had. Good carbonation.

Overall i feel its an enjoyable beer. Something to sit on, and if you put down a few youll be feeling good.

***Side note: Taste and Mouthfeel so much better from tap.

 596 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber to copper color body with a two inch tan head that slowly dissipates to leav a consistent lacing behind.

Appealing aromas of pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, and toasted malts float from the glass.

The flavor is packed with chewy pumpkin, nutmeg, and fall spice as well as sweet breads and toasted malt.

Medium in both body and carbonation with a bit of a chewy, pumpkin finish.

This is one of the best pumkins I've had after the big two. Great beer.

 467 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into tulip. no bottled on date.

A: one of the darkest pumpkin beers i have ever seen. i would say this is more of a medium hazed brown than an orange. head is white and frothy. retention is thick and stays. darker, but still a good looking brew.

S: mostly cinnamon. all-spice and ginger too. the aroma definitely lures the ones that are prone to a spicy seasonal drink. reminds me a little of mulled cider.

T: spicy body throughout with a reasonable malt backbone. finish has a linger of allspice but that is about it. not finding much else on the body, which is a bit disappointing.

M: average carbonation on a medium body.

D: definitely doesnt drink like an imperial pumpkin, even if the abv says different. the spice is overwhelmed while the pumpkin flavor doesnt really show its head. ummmm, i say pass.

 830 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A real hazy amber that has an off-white head that is about 1/3".

Smell: Probably the most potent smelling pumpkin beer, as I was pouring it the aroma was seeping into my nostrils. Strong nutmeg and fresh pumpkin scent.

Taste: Smells great but the taste is off but not by much. Little sweet and surprisingly little bitter than most.

Mouth: Little light, still good though. sharp texture but feels like a woody after taste that shouldn't be part of a punkin ale.

Overall: You are drinking a good beer and might just sneak into my top five pumpkins that I have had this season. Right after a cheesecake even better. Salud!

 639 characters

Photo of Kooz
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly opaque nut brown with an orange tinge and a tan head that sticks around to the end but doesn't leave any lacing. It's a good looking beer and makes me thirsty.

Spices and pumpkin in the nose. I can smell nutmeg, which also comes through in the taste right from the get go. There's a bit of alcohol in the smell as well, which costs it a bit.

Tastes a touch spicier than I'd prefer, but its good. There's some nice pumpkin flavor and the spices are good, just a little unbalanced.

A slightly acrid taste and less body than I anticipated makes it clear to me that the weakest part of this beer is the mouthfeel. That said, the mouthfeel isn't terrible. It's just no better than average.

Overall, this is a good beer, and you can do much worse, but there are some better options out there so choose carefully.

 819 characters

Photo of MattyK
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark rusty copper color. Decent dark vanilla head as well as solid lacing.

S- limited spice & vanalla scent

T- nice thick spice and sweetness (Carmel, clove, vanilla) not overwhelming on any single flavor. Well balanced.

M- mild spice followed by the Carmel sweetness. Moderately carbonated for an imperial makes it drinkable also releases thoose spice flavors well after swallowed.

O- overall I really like this imperial. You don't find one flavor prodomanitly taking over another like in other pumking ales. The flavors are definitely present but in no way dominate which make this imperial very drinkable.

 619 characters

Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Cloudy, copper-amber body. Half inch of sturdy, dense, light khaki head. Nice lacing. Lots of pumpkin pie spices on the nose. Clove, vanilla, nutmeg, and allspice. Toasted graham cracker crust malt and bubblegum also in there.

Herbal, spicy (hop?) flavors up front. Spices make their presence known and stay for a bit. Cookie and graham cracker malt sweetness fills up the palate. Clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon feature prominently in the finish. Slight spicy bitterness lingers, along with a hearty dose of pulpy, pie-y malt. Medium-full body, with a creamy feel. Not bad, but there are better imperial pumpkin ales.

 631 characters

Photo of MDDMD
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark amber color with an off-white head and some lacing

S-nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, bread

T-malt, pumpkin, spices, brown sugar

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent and drinkable pumpkin ale, but not as well-balanced as some others

 251 characters

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!

 343 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Trader’s Joe. Pours hazy brown with a short lived off-white head and lively carbonation. Nose reminds me of Belgian sour red, also some spices, caramel malt, hints of cacao. Body is full and tangy. Taste is some pumpkin, spices, herbal hops, brown sugar, and caramel. Finish is long and very spicy. Nice brew.

 329 characters

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

Thanks Wy!

Pumpkin, chocolate, caramel, honey, minimal spices in the aroma. Taste follows suit, bringing everything above together harmoniously. Opened over a dozen pumpkin beers tonight and this was towards the top.

Have yet to be disappointed with a River Horse beer.

 271 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four-pack of this while visiting LBI this year. The owner of the shop spoke very well of it, which was promising.

A: I found this to pour particularly dark, though I suppose there is no real 'colour rule' that a pumpkin ale needs to follow. Some will be light, some will be darker. It's a little murky, and topped with an off-white head that picks up towards the end of the pour to stick around a little while.

S + T: There's a nice 'bakery scent' from this one... a little on the 'pumpkin pie spices' side of the spectrum, but rather well balanced and quite smooth on the palate. It doesn't have the dusty, overdone ginger or allspice flavours that many can have.

M + D: It's among the first page of heavy hitters as far as alcohol goes (at time of review). The alcohol sits fairly well behind a pretty solid flavour profile, and drinks remarkably smooth. A well-done beer, and one that will certainly have me more interested in trying out other River Horse offerings in the future.

 1,001 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy rust body, very little head,
no lacing

S: clove, all spice, mild pumpkin

T: all spice, malt, pumpkin, boozy finish

M: med/light body, smooth mouth

O: Love pumpkin beers, not huge fan of this brewery,
but want to support local breweries. Not enough
pumpkin for me and tad too boozy.


 320 characters

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

Pours a slightly light to medium orange with a smallish off white head leaving a bit of lacing as it goes down.

Aromas begin with caramel, brown sugar, hints of cream and plenty of pumpkin spices. Some light grass and bready malt, but quite heavy on the spice/herb notes.

The taste follow the nose but with more traditional, non-spice flavors taking the front seat. Nutmeg and cinnamon come through as this warms along with hints of gingerbread and metallic, biting molasses.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is a bit creamy, but mainly dry due to the spices and higher ABV booziness.

Overall as someone that has had almost every solid example of a pumpkin ale that's ever been brewed. This one is slightly unbalanced, a bit boozy and forgetable overall. Would have better with less ABV and less spice additions probably.

 865 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%

A - Amber bodied brew with a thin, foamy, off-white head.

S - A big bouquet of traditional fall spices. Cardamon, nutmeg, allspice and a touch of cinnamon. Some dry grains and a hint of warm alcohol.

T - Tons of traditional pumpkin pie flavors. Sweet nutmeg, allspice and a little cinnamon. Very faint brown sugar sweetness and a malty component balance the spices. Dry, bitter grains and warming alcohol detected at the end. Very well balanced.

M - Medium bodied, pleasant carbonation. Clean and silky with a very well hidden 9.0 ABV. A semi-dry, slightly warming finish.

O - This may be my favorite pumpkin ale. I will soon be traveling to the nearby River Horse Brewery to enjoy this on tap.

 698 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.