Struis - Brouwerij 't IJ

Not Rated.
StruisStruis

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BA SCORE
87
very good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 8
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-26-2001

A barley wine brewed in the English style. Struis is a full-bodied beer with a deep, dark colour and a soft, long-lasting head. The aroma is dark and sweet, with clear tones of chocolate and dried fruit. The aftertaste is dry and long-lasting, and leaves you yearning for more. A delicious accompaniment to food and ideal with skeapsrond cheese. Struis is only available as a bottled beer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 76
Photo of Takahiro
2.49/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks: dark ruby red/black, with thin off-white head
Smell: alcohol, faint caramel/roast malt, not much else
Taste: caramel sweet, minor roasted malt, iron flavor, prune, some restrained hop bitterness all the way in the back yard
Feel: sweet on my mouth
Overall: not impressive. the category says it's english barleywine, but i think it's leaning towards dark-belgian, say black triple.

Photo of ksimons
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-a dark caramel color with two fingers worth of khaki head

S-sweet caramel malt and dark fruits

T-dark fruit sweetness with caramel malt, light milk chocolate, rum, and a yeast finish

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation

Overall very easy to drink, well hidden alcohol, and has a nice sweetness to it

Photo of benfons
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: dark brown colour, hazy, rather small off-white head

S: lots of fruits: grapes, apple, some maltiness in the back

T: some strange mix of caramel, red fruits, yeast, that doesn't really work for me

M: medium body, little carbonation, not too dry

O: not a bad beer, but not my cup of tea

Photo of safaricook
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

looks good with fine persisting off-white head and very dark brown clear body and lots of fine carbonation. head leaves lacing, never dies completely and leaves lacing
malts are prominent in the aroma, but not sweet more sourdough bread, earthy, dark fruits and booze.
malty sweetness of course but not cloying sweetness and a prominent balancing bitterness, dark fruits as plums, ends rather dry.
lots of fine smooth carbonation with only some bite to it, medium body, not sirupy in my opinion, warming alcohol as well.
This is a very nice and moderately complex beer that borders between the English Barleywine and a Belgian Quadruppel, but is less sweet than both. It is my favorite beer of the brewery.

Photo of Zraly
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best by 6/2013. Purchase last year in July in Amsterdam. Opening to remember our fantastic vacation from last year. :)

A bit of a gusher. Poured into small Westvleteren XII chalice (splitting it with sweetie). Dark tawny with an off white head. Minor notes up front of malt, fruit, and spice.

Smooth, tingling spice notes play delicate amongst rich fruit flavors. Raisins, rum, mingling with fruit salad. Gentle spice and yeast notes, highlighting a touch of bread in the malt profile. Finish is fairly dry but yet retains the tasty sweetness. Really nice medium-bodied dark belgian-style ale. The alcohol is well-hidden, so tread lightly.

Reminds me a touch of Maudite, one of my favorites. This is better than I remember the bottle I had at the brewery. In short, if you catch a bottle or two, lay one down for a bit and reap the reward. Very sensual and soft, would work well with a nice cheese plate.

Photo of maximum12
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single someplace not far from our houseboat...is Amsterdam the hardest transit system in the world two understand? 12 oz. bottle.

Pour is iron rust red with a 10,000 foot head. Nose is very sweet, malts layered with bananas. About it, though.

Struis is a sugary bomb. Enough cavity causing material to make me wish I'd have put off my Friday dentist appt. for a bit to help with the damage done here. Sweet, sweet malts overwhelm. Bit of banana. sweet raisin, honey. Nice in the mouth, and despite the ABV, this is going down like Glass Joe...remember him?

Overall a decent if underwhelming beer. If you don't love sugar, cavities, and dentists, look elsewhere. Pretty good beer.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brouwerij 't Ij, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A: The beer is very hazy dark amber brown in color. It poured with a half finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits-prunes seem to stand out in particular-are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is a little sweet with flavors of dark fruits and very slight hints of toffee and caramel.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very pleasant and easy to drink. Any traces of alcohol are completely hidden from the taste.

Photo of Amalak
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, because the beer I had was aged seven years. This is a great beer to age. Really brings out malt floralness and tamps down the sweetness. Beautiful and flavorful, but much patience needed to get it to perfection.

Photo of RuudJH
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij 't IJ is one of the better breweries in the Netherlands, imo. It has brews like they should be: unflitered and unpasteurizedMurky brown with huge beige head.
Smell of apple pie. cinnamon. some fresh lemongrass too.
Taste similar. It's a good balance of bitter and sweetness. A hint of chocolate. Full flavoured, lingering in the mouth. It stays long as well.
Good brew. It's a dark brew, but allthough there's some roasty character in the malts, the spice and fruit esters dominate this, making it very easy going.

Photo of BigCheese
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle I stuffed in my bag on a recent europe trip. About 6 weeks since trip. Bought at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

A: Pours a Mahogany Ruby, big white sticky head, dies down a bit but leaves a hat, leaves some lacing.

S: Apples, brandy, malts, cinnamon, spiced rum.

T: Dark fruits, apples, brandy/dark rum, molasses, honey, hard candy, kiss of hops at the end. Also that distinct "belgian" bubblegum/banana/sugar yeast. Very sweet.

M: Very carbonated, syrupy, a hint of heat but not harsh. Heavy body.

O: Good post meal sipper. A nice dessert beer. A bit sweet for my liking but thats the style. Lots of similarities to dark rum.

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle at the brewery.

LOOK: Murky brown, massive head.

SMELL: Crackers, dry maltiness, marmalade, grape skin, dried grass, wild herbs

TASTE: Dried hay, toasted bread, very dry, mild hopping, alcohol, dried dark fruit.

This is a big beer but deceiving in the way of dryness & drinkability. Big enough to go up against the stinkyest of cheeses.

Photo of sfprint
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 6/19/2011

A: Light rootbeer color, soda like carbonation, dirty head.
S: Spezi like, lemon meringue, light and yeast.
T: Very nice, less sweet cola, the yeast softens the malt, Very well crafted and blended. Alcohol quite subtle.
M: Fresh, medium body, light carbonation.
O: Very good, very nice.

Photo of rinhaak
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11 oz bottle at the Brouwerij 't IJ in Amsterdam.

Pours reddish brown with a small head. Nose is sweet with German bock malts, plums, and overripe fruit.

A very complex taste, it is malty and sweet (though not overly so), with a strong Belgian malt and yeast flavor and hints of maple syrup. Dark fruits lend a full mouth, but the finish is pure coffee malts.

This really is an amazing beer: the nose suggests a German-inspired dopelbock, while the mouth is pure Belgian quadruple. I've never had anything quite like it.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my St Bernardus chalice.

A - Pours a hazy chestnut colour with a tanned one fingered head that reduces to a lacing film.

S - Aromas of aniseed, caramel malts and spice.

T - Slight aniseed taste up front before an explosion of flavours of caramel, spice, burnt toffee and caramel and a little aniseed, almost boiled sweet flavours. Finishes with a warm booze flavour. Very nice and complex.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation, perhaps a little too much.

D - This is one of those beers that you pick up and it surprises the hell out of you. This is a complex brew that offers a lot.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.02/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours murky brown with a huge head.
Nose shows musty chocolate, raisins and golden syrup. A bit rough.
Same story with the flavours; chocolate, golden syrup, not all that complex Very high carbonation, pretty ridiculous.
Not all that impressive really.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice russet. Bubbles float to the top rather leisurely. Massive billowy eggshell head with great retention.

A really interesting nose. Spice, cloves, at first. Followed by an onslought of fruit. Sort of tart, thinking grapes... almost cider like at moments. Loads of dark fruit backing it up though.

Up front is pretty straight forward. Surprisingly light caramel malt. Middle develops more of a spiced bread character, cinnamon and nutmeg with candi sugar. Backend it develops a bit of a tartness, which lasts through the finish, wraps things up pretty nicely. This beer really unfolds in stages, very interesting.

A really interesting strong ale. Alot to like about it.

Photo of juju7
1.97/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

What looks like a pretty impressive beer, aside from a riduculously massive head has turned out be somewhat of a disappointment. Acetaldehyde is the front runner in the aroma department and follows strong on the palate. I feel I should be honest with the review. I know these traits/faults when I smell them and this is what I got. Apple cider esters and sourness on the palate. I'm not happy about the money I spent on this beer so if it upsets the brewer, so be it, note the faults and do what needs to be done to right the wrongs.

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$5.29 for a 33 cl bottle.

A: very deep copper color, very dark
S: woody, malty, slight oxidation from a beer that's been aging for awhile
T: decent enough tasting beer but seemed a bit thin for a 9% ABV ale, well-balanced, a bit sweet up front, some oxidation probably from aging, nothing really wrong with it but nothing special either, the biggest issue was the thin quality and oxidation
M: OK, a bit thin
D: I wouldn't pay $5+ again for a beer with this lack of character

I don't know if it's just an old bottle or what. This is my first sampling from this brewery.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle consumed at the brewpub in Amsterdam

coaster-notes

appearance: cool label art, poured into a chalice - muddy brown body, light tan ring

smell: brown sugar, caramel malts, lots of dark fruit, spiced cake

taste: bartender described it as being similar to some belgian offerings (i believe he mentioned the words trappist and rochefort)...i enjoyed this beer, as i've enjoyed almost everything i've sampled from 't IJ over the years - nice sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, spice, nutmeg, light sticky hops

mouthfeel: nice smooth medium body

drinkability: good

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy chestnut brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of syrupy caramel malts with good amounts of toffee and booze-soaked raisins. Also present are other dark fruits, mostly dates and dried plums.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Heavy caramel malt flavors up front are joined shortly by good amounts of dark fruit flavors dusted with brown sugar. Midway through the sip an indistinct spiciness comes into play, carrying through to a sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was an easy-drinking BSDA with a sneaky high ABV. Worth a shot.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep burnished brown colour, with some upsettingly disturbed sediment chunks. Head is a voluminous mass of pocked cocoa-dust foam, which leaves some nice rings of lacing around the edge of the glass. Overall, a very decent looking beer.

Strong sweet characters on the nose, toffee, molasses, a little wood and a serving of Belgian yeast character to boot. It's the way the characters merge together that is particularly impressive, however - a really nice conglomeration of disparate notes to give a truly classic Belgian style ale nose. Delicious.

Taste is a little off for me - starts out with a pleasant round Belgian ale character, with some honey and molasses sweetness, then a little dry possibly oaky character, before there's quite a welling of rank yeast on the back palate that makes me flinch a little. This mellows the more I drink of it, but the first sip was quite offputting. Mouthfeel is slick and creamy. I'm just so disappointed about the afterpalate.

It's a very nice Belgian ale if you ignore the last five seconds or so on the palate - it's a shame that it has something so clearly out of place, because otherwise it's extremely well constructed, and very well integrated.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very pleasant burnt red colour, the colour of scorched earth. Head is a healthy beige and leaves some stunningly beautiful sheets of lace behind. Little bit of cloud in there, not much bead. Shit I dig that lace though.

Nose is not quite what I expected. A green, sour kind of character with some spice as well - cinnamon and nutmeg. A kind of fresh pineapple character is very distinct, in its tart glory. Not bad, and unique, but ultimately smells a bit raw and simple.

Taste is a fairly, or reasonably, interesting affair. Quite tart in flavour but with no real acid sensation. Elements of that pineapple character blend with some gravelly funk at the back, and a distinct brandy booze sensation as well. Alcohol not very well hidden, really. Oddly sweet overall with a dried fruit character, but a very strong funk on the back. Not quite sure what to make of this.

Mouthfeel nicely textured around the mouth, quite thick and quite boozey, but slick enough to go down. Pretty good.

I'm a bit unnerved by this, don't find it exceptionally drinkable, but it's not bad in any strict sense of the word.

Photo of Jeffo
2.98/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: A big gusher, this one is. Pours a big 3+ finger thicker looking off-white head with good retention. Burgundy or maroon red in colour with lots of carbonation. Muddy with lots of floaties in the glass. Good film cap remains and leaves some decent lacing down the sides of the glass. Colour could certainly be a little darker.

SMELL: Caramel malt, toasted malt and dark fruits, raisins, and red berries as well. Mild nose. Some spicy yeast notes as well. Pleasant.

TASTE: Some caramel malt, toasted malt and dark fruits again, mostly raisins, dates, and some sour red fruits as well. Some apples and berries in there too. Lots of spicy yeasty notes here with coriander and tyme as well. A bit of spicy alcohol at the end, though well hidden for the 9% ABV. Mild short aftertaste is a little sour as well. Nice and complex, though a little too sour for my tastes.

PALATE: Lighter body and a bit watery and airy on the palate. Not creamy or smooth really, goes down a bit watery with a slightly mouth coating finish. No bite. Not good really, but not off-putting either.

OVERALL: Brewery has some sour stuff going on. Nothing I've had from them has impressed me really. This one is kind of like their dubbel on roids, but not as creamy. It's alright, but nothing special. Not something I'd like to have again, unfortunately.

Photo of Suds
3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

So, this beer was a horrible gusher....almost one foot of foam as soon as the crown was lifted (a huge pet peeve of mine). However, after I poured what was left, the resulting liquid was pretty drinkable. It's a ruddy, muddy, cloudy brownish earth color. the head is tan and respectable. The aroma has a lot of malt quality...toasted, biscuit, fresh baked brown bread. Belgian yeast is very notable in the smell. The taste is sweet and very malty. Toasted and slightly roasted....melanoidin. Some yeast as well. Not outstanding, but pretty good. The mouthfeel is smooth, but suffers from the gush. It lost a lot of carbonation. Overall, the beer is a middle-of-the-road Belgian-style dark.

Photo of wl0307
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The cap says "No. 29", BB 20/04/2009; served mildly chilled to cool in Westmalle's long-stemmed chalice.

A: the carbonation of this bottle is just like all other 4 beers by 't IJ that I've had recently, very hyper, resulting in a super cloudy, dark russet-red colour topped with a dirty beige foamy head that manages to last very well.
S: astringently sour, rusty and musty as a result of loads of yeast sediments being thrown into the glass, which are so overpowering that hardly any other pleasant elements could pierce through the layer; a very deep sniff helps to reveal some caramely malts and estery bits (like prune juice + dried hawthorn-fruits + ground licorice), but overall the musty-sour oxidised pears and old, dried grapefruits peels come at the expense of nearly everything else. I really don't know what happens to the bottling process of 't IJ's beers?! - or is it actually the transportation and storage process that has gone wrong?
T: the flavour, surprisingly, is much more pleasant, suggesting a good input of herbal-sweet and spicy elements to pair with the muddy-bready malts and musty-rusty sour elements in the middle; the texture remains chewy with semi spiced-olives' elements to underline a vertical structure, while the lingering undertones of exotic "Chinese red-bean paste", dried hawthorn-fruits and powdery yeastiness help to make one forget any excessive sour hints from the "uncontrolled" yeastiness.
M&D: very lively on the carbonation at first but, in good time, sip by sip, the palate turns smoother with only a necessary amount of microscopic fizz to buttress the flavour, while, surprisingly, the alc. is absolutely nowhere to be found in this 9%abv. high-octave ale. Despite an immensely messy appearance and an astringent smell, the flavour and texture managed to persuade me that the goodies are truly worth waiting for - in the end. Not bad at all, this beer. I suppose a filtered version might be able to better bring out the pleasant elements without considerably compromising the complexity, as the cloudy version (as this bottle) simply is quite challenging on the nose!

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Struis from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.