Archive for the ‘River Horse Brewing Company’ Category

Having a brewery in my town has some perks. I was able to pick this up the weekend that it was released.


ABV: 10.5%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The inspiration for One Score Anniversary Ale came from a River Horse staff favorite, their go-to cocktail: the Old Fashioned. We took our top selling beer, Tripel Horse, and put half into bourbon barrels and half into red wine barrels with oranges and tart cherries. Closed them up and let it age. It took awhile, but after the flavors were exactly where we wanted them to be individually, we blended them to create a classy and delicious beer. The perfect beer to toast our 20th anniversary!”

Random: I can’t believe that Cats is back on Broadway.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head that dissipated quickly. It left a modicum of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness.
The nose was filled with Belgian candi sugar and stone fruit, specifically apricot. There was also a decent amount of alcohol that was noticeable. I didn’t pick up much spice or barrel on the nose. This changed with the flavor. The first note I picked up was toasted oak and vanilla. It also had a touch of red wine, which played off well on the tripel notes of candi sugar and apricot. Some clove spice was present too. It did have a booze bite, but nothing that was offensive. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sweet with peach, apricot and vanilla. A bomber of this set me back $14.99, which was $.68 per ounce. This is probably the best beer that I’ve ever had from my local brewery. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0


Since I have a brewery in town, occasionally I stop by and pick up some of their offerings, especially if they’re aged in barrels. Since they moved a few years back to the new brewery, they have a lot more room for barrels. I’ve gone to a few of their events and they’re usually well-planned and not super packed. I just wish they had beers that pushed the envelope a little more.


ABV: 6%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Farmhouse Saison – A Belgian Style Ale brewed with white and pink peppercorns along with lemongrass – soured in white wine barrels with Brettanomyces.”

Random: Their labels have gotten much better since the redesign.

This beer poured slight more than half a finger of white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left only a little lacing on the glass. It also left a small crown on top of an almost clear, yellow body. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some Brett and light fun with lemonhead candy. The taste was mild for a sour. I picked up a white wine grape note with light toasted oak. There wasn’t much in the way of peppercorn spice. It had a thin body with high carbonation and was quite dry. The finish was instantaneous with light barnyard funk. A bomber of this was $14.99, which broke down to $.68 per ounce. This was a decent beer, but it was expensive for what seemed like a beginner’s sour. I won’t be getting this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Today’s selection is the new IPA from the brewery in my town. They made a pretty big deal over the release, so I picked up a bottle to try.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our American IPA is a cross between the West Coast and New England styles. It’s brewed with a pale malt profile to allow the hops to shine through, then dry hopped with over two pounds per barrel worth of Mosaic. This is a great amped up IPA for hop lovers.”

Random: My IT department fixed my touchpad on my work computer. There were no drivers installed, so anytime I used it without an external mouse was torture.

The beer poured with a really fluffy, two finger, slightly off white head. It took almost no time to dissipate completely and left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and light orange in color with high carbonation visible. The nose was weirdly sweet for the style with honey as well. There was also a floral characteristic to it. The taste was really floral as well and almost perfume-like. There was also a delicate pine note with some alcohol dryness. I didn’t pick up any malt to the beer until it warmed up. After it warmed, it was incredibly malty. It had a thinner body for the style with high carbonation. The finish was quick and floral. The bottle was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. This beer wasn’t bad and drinkable, but the flavors were relatively simple. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The other beer that I reviewed at the River Horse event was this one. There was only one station pouring this and it was hidden all the way in the back of the brewery. But, I managed to grab a pour of this and yet another pretzel.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We start with a brown porter brewed with dark roasted malts, and add one pound of chocolate per barrel. We then throw in some Madagascar Vanilla beans to accentuate the chocolate flavors, resulting in a decadent porter.”

Random: This beer started as part of their “Brewer’s Reserve Series” and was then changed to a seasonal that is available From February to March.

This beer poured with a half finger of thick, tan head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with high carbonation visible, despite the color. The nose had a lot of milk chocolate and cocoa powder. It was quite sweet, like malted milk balls, but didn’t have the roast or smoke qualities that I can usually pick up with a porter. The taste had milk chocolate as well with lactose sweetness. What I missed was that there was very little roast characteristic to balance this out, so after a few sips, I wasn’t thrilled with the prospects of finishing an entire pint. It had an overly thin body with high carbonation. The finish was quick, and again, very sweet and chocolate. This beer wasn’t a standout to me and needed some balance.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

When I flew back from California, the next day, River Horse was having an event celebrating their release of their new year-round beer, Roly Poly Pils. Although the draft list wasn’t the most exciting I’ve ever seen and I thought the tickets were a touch overpriced ($15 per person for entry, a glass and one beer token), we decided to go the event. I hadn’t been to the new brewery and the space was open and clean. They also had unlimited soft pretzels, which I took advantage of. The first beer I had was this one.


ABV: 5.3%

Style: Czech Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A complex balance of malts round out Czech Saaz and German Hallertau hops, followed by a clean and crisp finish A class Czech-style Pilsner, our Roly Poly Pils is a super drinkable and tasty year round beer!”

Random: Because we live in the same town as River Horse, we have more glasses from them than any other brewery.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw-yellow with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had mineral water and Pilsner malt. It had a really clean smell. The taste also had a nice mineral quality with some grass and grain from the pilsner malt. The body was on the thicker side of the style with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with slight sweetness from the malt and light grass. This beer was insanely drinkable and one that I enjoyed a lot. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a six-pack for a barbecue.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

When this beer was released, Val and I got tickets to go to the event. Inevitably, I was stuck at work, so I couldn’t go, but Val bought two bottles. I popped this one open and left the other in the cellar to age for a few years.


ABV: 11%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to, “River Horse has moved from a 10,000-square-foot location to a 25,000-square-foot building, giving the brewer the ability to produce new kinds of beer, as well as lots more beer than before. Our view was that we just wanted to get in here and start making beer and then expand. The factory floor is geared for expansion. As of now River Horse has 11 beer fermenting tanks and two ‘brite’ tanks, into which the beer goes after fermentation to mature and develop natural carbonation. Walsh has space in the buildings for up to 20 fermenters, each of which can hold up to 40 barrels of beer. The company currently produces 9,000 barrels per year, and hopes to ramp up production significantly over the coming year.”

Random: The press release above was from 3 years ago. I’ve since been to the new brewery and the space is huge, and conveniently located in my town.

The beer poured with a one finger, light khaki head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown and slightly cloudy with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was robust with vanilla, toasted oak and lots of whiskey. After it warmed, I picked up maple syrup too. The oak and whiskey notes dominated the nose, which muted some of the barleywine sweetness. The taste was a pure oak bomb. Notes of toasted oak chips, vanilla and booze (specifically whiskey), were what coated my tongue. Toffee came through at the end of the sip, but this wasn’t an overly sweet beer. It had a thinner than usual body for the style with lots of carbonation. The beer finished shockingly quick with heat from the booze. A bomber of it set me back $15 ($.68 per ounce). This beer was alright, and one that I think age will greatly help. I’m glad I got two bottles of it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Since end of quarter is finally over, I can get back to blogging and reviewing. I picked up this single a few weeks back at Joe Canal’s. This is the first beer that I’ve had from them since I’ve moved to the same town it’s brewed in. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 5.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An American style IPA, brewed with American and New Zealand hops added continuously throughout the boil giving an aroma with notes of tropical fruit and citrus. The balance of hops and malt body make this the ideal year-round IPA.”

Random: They’ve definitely improved their website since the last beer I’ve had from them and it looks great.

This beer poured with a huge and thick, pure white head that took forever to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy orange with high carbonation visible and lots of floaties. The nose was filled with bitter citrus rind and light notes of tropical fruit. The taste was not nearly as bitter as I expected or wanted. It had light citrus rind, grapefruit flesh and then lemon. Sweetness from the malt followed and there wasn’t any tropical fruit that I picked up. The flavor was a bit too delicate for the style. I also got a peculiar spice note at the end, which I couldn’t place and didn’t fit with the beer at all. It had a thin body with moderate carbonation. It finished swiftly with citrus pith. This beer was $1.69 for the twelve-ounce bottle, which broke down to $.14 per ounce. With so many IPAs out there now, this is just another pedestrian one that I wouldn’t rush back to have, even if it is brewed in my town.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0