Belgian Tripel HorseMay 1, 2006 Lambertville, NJ
River Horse Brewing Co. Lambertville, NJ Available: CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA The location of the River Horse brewery, on the banks of the Delaware River, might explain why the company is named after the hippopotamus, although hippos in New Jersey are fairly rare. Alcohol (wt.): n/a Alcohol (vol.): 10% Color: n/a Bitterness: n/a Original Gravity: n/a Final gravity: n/a Malts used: n/a Hops used: n/a
Brave to use “horse” in the brewery name, and even braver to produce an American version of a Belgian tripel strong ale. But it’s a beauty (a fine filly), from its entrancing burnished gold color, through the intensely spicy aroma (with hints of citrus and freshly-cut wood) to a palate that is spicy, tangy and fruity. Hops make a late arrival in the finish, adding some deep bitterness to juicy malt, yeast esters and tart fruit. Refreshing and memorable, but be warned: it’s 10% ABV. This horse could fall at the first fence.
- Roger Protz
This beer’s head speaks Belgian, but with an accent (not quite the right sound—i.e. it clicks too quietly, rather than producing the subtle buzz expected—yet quite OK, nevertheless). The nose is definitely Belgian, however, as is the palate. Very well done, indeed. Seconds? Why resist when the Force is on your side, and Lambertville, NJ, is closer to home than Belgium. Bring me another; I’ll wear earplugs.
- Fred Eckhardt
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Styleand Saké.
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