Technically, we can call this a local brew. River Horse brews just about an hour out of the city.
This is a lively lager–the initial pour starts sizzling as soon as beer hits glass. There is a strong nose that I can smell already; I’m looking forward to getting a proper inhalation as there seems to be a lot of spicy graininess. The head is pure white and dense, receding to stamp a fine doily lace down the bell of the glass. Clarity is not great, there is an elegantly cloudy core that is lets light through, but that is not transparent. Steady effervescence creeps up between the inner wall of the glass and the butterscotch murkiness.
The spicy odor is still evident but is sweeter than I initially thought. Tart, bitter apple skin seems to be the most aggressive aroma, but underneath there is a dry grain smell that is a bit sweet, like undercooked oatmeal with cinnamon. The sip is excellent–clean and full, coating with absolutely no cloy and a crisp hop back that snaps. The effervescence touches the tongue and leaves a maltiness that hints at the butterscotch seen in the center of the glass. The tip of the tongue and the start of the sip produce a slight granny smith tang but finishes smoothly like a proper lager.
I’ve got a few bottles of RH Hop Hazard waiting on the shelves right now and after this RH offering, I am definitely going to be chilling the next bottle soon. I guess good things really do come from Jersey.