Struis - Brouwerij 't IJ

Not Rated.
StruisStruis

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BA SCORE
88
very good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joepais
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip produced a good one finger white head on top of a deep reddish brown liquid with the tiniest of little partials floating around the nose on this one is hard to describe musty, fruit, earthy, and yes something I can’t describe. Medium slick mouth feel with an oily finish .Flavors on this beer is incredibly complex as well, dark fruits, spices and some funk? Truly a unique beer enough so I have to try another one to nail the description down

Photo of ATPete
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served at Brouwerij 't IJ in April 2008

*A bartender at the Brouwerij 't IJ descibed this to me as a barley wine.

A- Orange/Brown color with a small off white head.

S- Some malts, herbs, sugar syrup, and alcohol

T- Fairly sweet, very malty, very spiced, some caramel, and a touch of licorice on the finish, decently complex.

M- Full mouth feel but not very weighty

D- Eh, this one wasn't for me

Photo of ksimons
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
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 John
4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy medium brown with suspended yeast particles that are light and dark colored. Smooth, creamy, dense head. Monstrous estery aroma that includes apple, raisin, grape with some minimal alcohol. Much of the same translates to the flavor along with some caramel and mild but pleasant earthy notes. Delicious right from the fridge. It took a bit of restraint not to consume quickly. Splendid balance of sweetness, alcohol and precise hopping. So smooth. As it warms (I managed to occupy myself for a bit by restocking the beer fridge), the flavors intensify quite a bit, the alcohol is more pronounced but not overwhelming. A worthy brew of the quintecentennial review mark.

Photo of HopDerek
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jophish17 for the hookup.

Pours a murky red/brown color with 1/2 a pinky of tan head into a chalice. Nice retention and lacing. Smells of raisins, plums, grapes, caramel, cocoa, and bread. Taste starts off with fresh fruits like plums, dates, and grapes, then some candy and spices like cinnamon along with caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Feels airy and more cake-like than bready with a good body, nice carbonation, and a decent alcohol warmth. A sipping beer good to relax with.

Photo of cypressbob
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, at the brewery

Pours with a dark brown body, tonnes of big chunky yeasties floating around, tan head with good retention

Smell, dark ripe fruit, raisins, little hint of honey. Slight hint of yeast on the nose

Taste, crisp and malty. Prunes, maybe some fresh fruit like plums coming through too. There is a smooth toffee, caramel finish also. Very little evident alcohol

A tasty dark ale, the strength is really well hidden

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a murky brown color with a tan head that disipates. Leave a bit of lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice breadiness throughout. Has a bit of a fruit cake aroma too. The flavor is malty sweet, with bread and a light dark fruit taste. Very smooth for a beer of its strength. Not too much hop bitterness, but a bit drying in the finish. A very tasty brew.

Photo of Ego
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

random pick, no reason other than "haven't had this one ever"

eyes...
big soapy head, 2 full fingers on a careful pour, lots of scmutz floating around in suspension, brown hue with hints of amber, retention is excellent, lacing is tremendous.

nose...
apples, sourness with borderline funk, yeasty and a touch dry, plums, damn, every time I seem to get something a little different, the fruit element is the dominant element.

taste etc...
smooth and velvety, oddly the flavor is pretty subdued. The fruit aspect is there but subdued and then the aftertaste is sugary sweet (but not overly so), no hint of the alcohol in the flavor, the carbonation is really nice in the mouth, this is way too easy to drink. The sweetness is a little distracting but I am a bit hypersensitive to that stuff generally speaking.

verdict?
I suspect if you like sugary belgian trips you would enjoy this beverage. An interesting, understated brew and way too drinkable for the ABV. Paired well with MAME emulation of Mr. Do.

Photo of rallison
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notched as good until at least 04/2004 - this is now 3 1/2 years past that point...

Pours a very cloudy dark amber/brown with a 1 finger off-white head that leaves some lacing and a good bit of a layer on top of the beer.

Smells interesting - some slightly muddy dark fruits and port. Something else I can't quite put my finger on.

Taste is slightly oxidized, but acceptable for the age. Dark fruits - plums and the like. Some sweetness - maybe a touch of toffee. Touch of port. Overall, nice - slightly muddy in the flavors, but still enjoyable. I'll also give it a bit more leniency with regard to the muddiness because of the age.

Mouthfeel is rich, with low-ish carbonation. This has become somewhat of a sipping beer.

Drinkability is decent.

Overall, recommended. A tasty aged Beglian style beer.

Edit: Just a note - Sam at Stuffed Sandwich described this simply as "interesting." I'd have to agree.

Photo of Bandi
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of hunteraw
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: From the uninformative label, I had no idea what this was when I poured it, and I hadn't yet checked it out on BA. Turns out to be brown/red in color with a big head and ridiculous amounts of lacing - more like sheets - clinging to the glass. Nice looking.

Smell: Aroma is of spice and dark fruits, but with a tangy, sour undertone. Reminds me a bit of a kriek lambic.

Taste: Some Belgian yeast spice, dark fruit and red grape flavors, but again with a bit of sourness as well. I really had no idea what style this was before checking on BA, other than obviously being Belgian. I'm actually curious whether my bottle might have been contaminated, since none of the other reviews mention any sourness, but it wasn't bad, so hey I'll review anyway. Whoa, this is 9% ABV??? Would not have guessed from the flavor.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Medium body, somewhat slick on the tongue. Drinkability is mediocre, though. Not something I'll pick up.

Photo of Andreji
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was probably the best beer I tried from the folks at 't IJ.

The pour is dark brown with a tan head- medium, and not too lasting- reminding me a bit of the british beers I had just recently tried.

The smell is abundant in hops and a citrusy character that are well captivating, and are also a smart prelude to the taste to come.

The taste is, above all, grainy and malty- a sweet and neutral combination that gives off a sort of blood-like taste (yes, blood. didn't bite my tongue there), while on the background a higher-than-average alcohol is no longer hidden. Is this beer, in fact, a remembrance to the nights out drinking that have gone bad? I'd like to think so.

Photo of AlexM
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Andy_Luft
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of sfprint
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
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 mzwolinski
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours darkish brown with a thin, spotty tan head. Aroma is malty and dubbleish, with some light spicy apple notes. Fruitiness is more noticeable in the flavor than in most dubbels as well. I get hints of cherry, pineapple, and fig. The resulting sweetness is quite nicely balanced by a lightly toasty, bready malt character. Some nutty qualities emerge as the beer warms. Alcohol contributes some spice to the finish, but is none too oppressive. A pleasantly complex and very tasty beer.

Photo of Zraly
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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 BigCheese
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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 RuudJH
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
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 Jacobob10
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the bottle that this comes in! Reminds me of the Tottenham Hotspur logo. Anyways, it pours brown and dark ruby with a medium tan head. The head has decent retention throughout the beer, but often needed a swirl or two to bring it back to life. The aroma was my favorite part of this beer. Very complex with some caramel, fruit, and even a little coffee mixed in. The taste however did not live up to expectations. The malts were way too sweet for me and a little overdone. It was still drinkable, but this is definitely one strong brew. If you're a fan of malts, give this one a try.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
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 jsnoek
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of lmaduells
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Onslow
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

outta the bottle at the t'IJ..last beer before we moved on so i had to work kwik, kicked the panter...I was looking forward to this. Pours a light dark brown but not really see through. nice aroma. great smooth first sip. a mellow alcohlic brew that goes down very easily; and complex too...

..a good brew that says goodnight...

Photo of BuckSpin
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11oz bottle (Batch #20) in a tulip glass

Opened with a nice hiss, poured with some vitality, energy, crackle. Strong deep fruited nose, full of fig, raisin, prune. Burnt caramel adds a bittersweet aspect, damp with wood and cardboard, slightly Saisoned (Saisoned?) with sourness, alcohol lurking in the background. With some air the fruits rise stronger & thicker.

A fat 3 fingers of semi-loose antique ivory foam softly snapped and slowly settled to a finger's worth of the same, but some gentle agitation & swirling restores it with decent retention that laces in curtains. The sediment & yeast create a opaque color that actually looks like real deep, rich caramel! It looks like you could slice this! A nice piece of eye candy.

Whoa...if you have ever been on one of those amusement park vertical rides that WHOOSHES! you right straight up (or down) immediately from a dead stop....that is what the 1st taste of this is like. Initially that Saison like yeast induced sour aspect is there along with all the figs, raisins, prunes, all adding a very unusual sweet quality. Caramels are deep but not burnt, but also not significantly sweet. All that said, it's smooth in a crushed velour (not silken or satiny) way.

The yeast rise up on the palate, continuing that quasi-sour taste but overall it gets a little sweeter, lighter. Faint fruits hide in the background as the alcohol, which was slowly building, continues to grow warmer, fuzzier until a soft glow pervades the whole of the mouth.

It finishes warm, alive, crisper than it starts, leaving a surprisingly clean aftertaste along with some tingling teeth.

Wow....this is like a marriage of a good Saison and a good Belgian Dark Ale. Very enjoyable, tasty, surprisingly sour n' unsugary sweet on top of the warmth. This is screaming for some good cheese, and could likely pair well with any decent fromage. I could see some spicy simple fare (aged sausages, artisan bread) also working well. A most unusual example of the style and a very nice beer experience. Fans of either Belgian style mentioned previously should seek this out, if you like both this may become your go to. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for something good & different.

Struis from Brouwerij 't IJ
88 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.