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

Hipp-o-lantern Imperial Pumpkin

BEER BEING REVIEWED
River Horse Hipp-o-lantern Imperial Pumpkin
River Horse Brewing Co. (Lambertville, NJ)
“Ale Brewed With Pumpkin Puree and Spices”
8.1% ABV
LABEL
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.
AROMA
Wheaty with pumpkin on the end… like opening a beer and a can of pumpkin in close sequence and breathing deeply.
PUMPKIN
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.
SPICE
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.
THOUGHTS
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.
RATING
3.5/5 pumpkins.

Pigskin & Pumpkin Preview.

It’s a gorgeous Saturday in New York City, although a little on the warm side for fall (for me). College Football has already kicked-off today across the country, and there is a semi-full slate of big-time match-ups (see below). As for Penn State, the 4-1 Nittany Lions host the 3-1 Iowa Hawkeyes at 3:30 PM for the Lions’ Big Ten Home Opener. In recent years, Iowa has been notorious for thwarting Penn State’s efforts.

I felt her pain.

But with this being Iowa’s first conference game of the season and with a considerably different defensive roster this year, it’s hard to say just yet where the Hawkeyes stack up. We’ll soon find out if Iowa’s #9-in-conference ranking in total defense is reality, and subsequently a big positive for the (impotent) Penn State offense. We’ll also see if Penn State’s defense is as good as it seems (Devin Still is beastly in a good way), while they try to contain the conference’s top passing offense led by Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg and receivers Marvin McNutt and Keenan Davis.

OTHER GAMES OF NOTE:
-#3 Oklahoma is currently visting and beating on #11 Texas (48-10 in the 4th quarter)
-#17 Florida attempts to knock off #1 LSU in an SEC match-up at 3:30 PM
-Another big SEC game – #15 Auburn (people are taking note of the Tigers now/again) visits #10 Arkansas, 7 PM kick-off
-Ohio State @ #14 Nebraska for a Big Ten battle at 8 PM. Both are coming off ugly Big Ten opener losses.

PUMPKIN THING TO NOTE:

Plastic cup.. bummer.

I am working on sampling a vast variety of pumpkin beers available this season, and I’m going to be reviewing them. I am not a beerie (foodie… but with beer.. no?), but I have opinions, and I am very pro-beer and pro-pumpkin, respectively. With that said, my rating system is going to be unique. Check out my first review tomorrow.