Aug 22, 2007

River Horse Special Ale ESB

Prior to finding this bottle sitting on the shelf waving at me, I had never heard of River Horse Brewery. Actually, I haven’t seen this beer again since I first picked it up a couple of weeks ago. Had it not been a new beer to me, I’m pretty sure that I would have picked it up in a heartbeat anyways. The label art on this brew is great and immediately caught my eye amongst the other beers. The layered graphics, typography, and worn look give it a timely, yet modern feel that I found too much to ignore.

Alright, enough of the design blubbering. On to the beer.

Beer Label: River Horse Brewery Special Ale ESB


The brew pours a slightly hazy copper, with an off white head that faded slowly.


Hmm… this one smells pretty good. It’s malty with a hint of caramel, but very little sweetness. There’s a nuttiness in there as well that sort of reminds me of New Castle a bit.


Maybe it’s because I had during a day of record heat or the lower carbonation activity, but man, this one tasted just like an unsweetened iced tea. The malt is the primary flavor with next to no sweetness. The nuttiness from the aroma is really subtle, but still there as well.


I’m not sure if I would go out of my way to buy this one in the future since it’s a little on the subtle side for an ESB in terms of flavors. Everything is well balanced, refreshing, and still a find brew, but it’s lacking a little something.

Rating: 3/5