PUMPKIN BREW REVIEW – River Horse Hipp-o-lantern Imperial Pumpkin

Hipp-o-lantern Imperial Pumpkin

River Horse Hipp-o-lantern Imperial Pumpkin
River Horse Brewing Co. (Lambertville, NJ)
“Ale Brewed With Pumpkin Puree and Spices”
8.1% ABV
In the River Horse vein but pumpkinized. Marbly orange outline (which I like very much) and the signature label hippo turned into a jack-o-lantern. Distinctive font. Distinctive pumpkin play on their brand. Well done.
Wheaty with pumpkin on the end… like opening a beer and a can of pumpkin in close sequence and breathing deeply.
Medium pumpkin-ness in taste. As labeled and advertised, this beer is working with pumpkin puree instead of something along the lines of pumpkin pie. It’s not sweet, but it’s there, and not overwhelming – What I feel is unfortunately lacking (please forgive me, seasonal delights) in some of the pumpkin spice lattes I’ve had in my time.
The spicier spices of fall are present – this is not sweet in the least. Allspice, nutmeg and the like float in on the darker ale. It’s not burning your tongue or anything near that (gross), but it’s balancing out the booze, which is undeniably present in an 8.1 ABV beer.
On my first sip, I thought this was funky, but as I continued and focused I started to really enjoy this. I was expecting sweeter, but this was the opposite, and it turned out to be a good thing. I think that pumpkin beer haters (and their numbers are growing, aren’t they?) need to sip this in their taste testing, because it’s a beer first, with pumpkin and fall accents in the background. A stepping stone between sweet pumpkin treat beer and darker, bolder Octoberfest.
3.5/5 pumpkins.