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Columbus - Brouwerij 't IJ

Not Rated.
ColumbusColumbus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

118 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An amber, craft beer with generous amounts of hops and alcohol. This copper-gold beer is a real heavyweight and a must for beer lovers. The liberal quantities of malt and bitter hops create a complex, full flavour. It starts as slightly sweet with malty aromas of chocolate, fruit and grain, while the bitter hops stand out nicely in the aftertaste. A feast for the connoisseur!

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BarryNL:
Photo of BarryNL
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Nice amber orange colour with lacy white head. Unfortunately the beer is full of floating crap - it looks at lot like they hopped this one with pellets and didn't even try to get the junk out afterwards. Not really appropriate to a commercial beer.

S: It's difficult to detect much except the overpowering lambic sourness. There's some earthy yeastiness in there but otherwise it's just sour.

T: Some hops, but mostly just sourness.

M: Good, mouthfeel, appropriate to the gravity - perhaps a little too carbonated.

D: Nah. Next.

This bottle had six months to go on the best before date so I'm guessing it's about 18 months old. Maybe a newer one would have a lower level of sourness and be more drinkable but this one is too one dimensional. I've tried four beers now from this brewery and they all have pretty much the same distinctive overpowering sour flavour - in a blind tasting I'm not even sure I could tell one from the other. Only the Struis was a winner - maybe it was fresher. If I come across a recent bottle of this I might give it another chance, but otherwise I don't think I'll bother with any more beers from 't IJ.

BarryNL, Jan 16, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of farundrpar
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

farundrpar, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of petewheeler
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

petewheeler, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Shovelbum
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a massive rocky cream colored head that rises up out of tulip, but maintains its structural integrity until it slowly recedes back into its amber tinted amber body. Huge amount of honeycomb-like lace left clinging to the glass. Fairly hazy. Aromas of apricot and straw rise from my glass before it’s even been raised. Upon closer olfactory inspection there’s a big lemony tart aroma along with more mild level of pepper spice. The taste is similarly tart up front and toward the finish, but in the middle a nice biscuit character comes through. A bit of a mineral/ saltine cracker character comes through as it warms and a the tartness becomes more hay-like than citric. A nice spicy bitterness is present throughout. Well-carbonated and as a result it has a very light mouthfeel and the 9% ABV seems like a gross exaggeration.

The tartness walks up to the edge of excess, but exercises restraint at the last second. This ale definitely improves and mellows out as it warms. The tartness complements the other flavors rather than overpowers them and you can begin to pick up more of the malt character. Still this ale has some serious Belgian funk going on!

Shovelbum, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of DarrellK
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at two tempertures and had different results. When served on the cooler side the result was better as the alcohol seemed more muted.

In either case, the pour results in a nice tight head that maintains through out. The spicey aroma is pronounced and is bit like a wheat beer. The color is a clear golden with some lingering carbonation.

The cooler try yielded a smoother, less tart mouth and like a wheat there in a breadiness.

The finish is slightly tart and very dry. The lack of alcohol bite could let one think it was lower gravity.

I enjoy this style very much but some may not care for the averall character. I agree that it would be special on draft.

DarrellK, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a nice golden orange color with a slightly cloudy body and a strong carbonation. Even with a very gentle pour there is lot of chunks stirred up. A nice creamy off-white head. good Belguan lace the whole way through the glass.

S-This beer has a nice sweet flower aroma with hints of roses and apricots. It also has a faint tartness at the finish.

T-This beer has a very bitter intro with a sour finish. It taste almost like a lot of hop bitterness at the beginning, even though I highly doubt that flavor would be from hops. There are also some faint fruit notes and pale malt flavors at the finish. There are some strong grapefruit flavors that come through as the beer warms.


M- This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel and fizz to it.

D- This is not one of the BPA that I have tasted and it is missing a lot of the intricacies of this style. I would really like to try a bottle from a different batch to make sure this wasn't just a bum bottle.

rhoadsrage, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of anders36
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drink this beer 7 months after best before date. It pours a golden orange colour into the glass. The beer is a bit cloudy too with rests of yeasts. Pours a large white head that disappears quickly. The smell is fruity and a sweet smell of the belgian yeast too. It has a little sweet taste and malty. Hints of fruit in the taste too.
The aftertaste is rich and abit thick. So this is not an easy drinking beer. The aftertaste is good and warming from the alcohol and has a nice bitterness. This is a good beer, but i think 9 % is a bit to high in alcohole. Atleast for me.

anders36, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of schuim
2.08/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer has an orange colour and a big flow of co2 that couses a big head. The aroma is orangepeel,yeast and sour.

In taste the yeast and sourness is strong together with a warming effect of the alcohol. It turns slight bitter toward the end.

In my opinion the beer is brewed with unhappy yeast, it dominates the flavour in an unpleasant way.
to bad this used to be a great beer. Will try again later.

schuim, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of DStoked
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

DStoked, May 17, 2013
Photo of Cbmccarthy
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Cbmccarthy, Tuesday at 02:34 AM
Photo of Gurus
4.56/5  rDev +17.5%

Gurus, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It was skunked. I received it in July , I think from Malto, and did not consume it until September. But a bottle condition smelling like late day barn? Hold your nose, and everything else is a bit above average. If there are lingonberries there, that sure assisted the smell. Orange color and orange-citrus fruit, foaming and decent yeast, malty and strong carbonation.

Sammy, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of schavuytje
4.66/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

amber colored Belgian Strong Ale with a yeast-colored foam
nice full taste of fresh sour fruit, malty,grain excelent
in the aftertaste a ferm light hop bitter,almost perfect
i liked more bitter hop added to my taste
overall a very good beer
donot skip for your palate

schavuytje, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Even carefully poured the deep peach body is quite cloudy and has particles in suspension. Its full and frothy white head holds quite well and keeps a thin surface covering throughout the glass. Additionally, it leaves some very nice lace although it doesn't stick from start to finish. The bouquet is quite complex and offers a combination of dried fruit (apricot, fig, prune), some light spice, a soft tartness, and a dull earthiness and mild mustiness that's really quite unique. The body is medium/full with a lightly zesty, almost cottony mouthfeel. The flavor is yeasty, fruity, sweetish, and softly spicy with a solid bitterness. The alcohol is well cloaked and only reveals itself towards the end of the glass. It finishes drying with a lingering combination of sticky sweet malt and bitterness. Well woth trying for its uniqueness alone!

NeroFiddled, Jan 09, 2003
Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the brewery - wasnt, sure of the style at the time but guessed correctly after tasting

appearance: bright golden body, sparkling in the sunlight, foamy white cap and an overall nice looking brew

smell: sweet peaches, passion fruit, fruity esters, belgian spices, white pepper, corriander

taste: Columbus is a nice strong belgian pale ale. The overall flavor profile is on the sweet end with an emphasis on peaches, passion fruit, white grape, and apricot. Spices play a secondary role but hints of corriander and white pepper are noted

mouthfeel: medium body, slightly boozy, spritzy feeling

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of sfprint
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

exp 4/12
A: amber/red, suspended bits of sediment, even 3 finger head, little rising carbonation.
S: phenols blended well with the rest, very nostril dilating, plum/apricot jam.
T: Alcohol is more promenant than the phenols in the taste, but the alcohol sits pretty well for the percentage, but the alcohol/phenol action give it a somewhat tart quality. Otherwise difficult to describe. Nice. Neutral but nice flavor. Unsweet apricot. Smoke.
M: Fairly creamy, tinge astringent.
O: Decent, with some nice characteristics.

sfprint, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle brought back from Amsterdam. Pours a hazy orange-amber with a white head and lacing.

Clearly, at 9% this is a strong pale ale, but whatever. I also get a strong funky/sour lemon flavor that not all reviews mention. I wonder if this beer is like Orval and becomes a lambic with time. The woody, herbal yeast character and citrus really dominate with a slight earthy, peppery bitterness at the end followed by a long aftertaste and return to the citrus. For 9% and being a sour beer, it's very drinkable. I, however, hope someone resolves what kind of beer this is.

tempest, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of brinch
3/5  rDev -22.7%

brinch, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of stouty1
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured very nice with a huge foamy head that left to give a nice thin lace around the glass. The nose was a fruity sense with a hint of green from a the plant. Yes, I could actually smell it, like fresh cut grass. The orangeness of the color leaves me to believe that this is going to taste very fruity.
A nice fizzy feeling in mouth leaves a tingling feeling that evolves into a nice dryness to savor. This beer has the hint of a citrus drink with a nice alcohol feeling. This will definitely be on my list to return to.

stouty1, Jun 10, 2006
Photo of torriman
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

torriman, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of natiousd
4/5  rDev +3.1%

natiousd, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of pleasewearpants
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hazy burnt orange color. Tight beige head that hangs around for the entire time. Some nice lacing down the sides.
Immediate first thought on aroma is martinelli's apple juice and light citrus. Awesome! Slight yeasty notes as the beer warms up.
Flavor is very complex. Sweet to bitter to light grain back to bitter. Not hot at all for being 9%. I'd really like to sit outside and drink this from a big goblet. Great carbonation too.

pleasewearpants, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean pour in to a Duvel tulip, it was bright golden orange save for a few random suspended bits. Giant sticky head, ala Orval or Duvel. A little gunsmoke once the cap came off, and the odd smell of warm corn tortillas. Very yeasty now, a candy-like shortbread cookie dominates the aroma. Brett is present, some wet hay and vegetal flavors in the aftertaste. Soapy, sticky foam that lasts for a good 20 minutes. Fruity, medicinal flavors, this bottle obviously cellared long enough for the Brett to come out. Some dried currant and apricot notes, clover, grass, and honey/maple syrup.

Seems almost like an aged Tripel at this point. A little odd, I remember it being sweeter and richer than this. Oh well that's what I get for cellaring it for a year+

emerge077, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light orange/amber color with lots of yeasties and a big sticky off white head. Lots of carbonation.
Aroma is sweet and tart ripe fruits with some spices in the backround.
Flavor is sweet with some tart fruit and malt notes.
Mouthfeel becomes very tart, almost puckering as it finishes. Light sweetness makes tart flavors bearable and yeast cuts further.
Drinkability is pretty hgh, I've gained alot of respect for this brewery as I've cycled through majority of their beers.

CRJMellor, May 24, 2004
Photo of Dukeofearl
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Standard 11.2 oz bottle as described by others, the labelled is nicked with 5/02 (and this is 3/05 at review time, so I hope that means when the beer was created. So this beer is at least 3 years old, maybe much older if it is a best-by date (not sure which it is). Purchased at Lee's Discount Liquor in Las Vegas on my last road trip.

Pours into my Duvel glass dark orange/apricot, with a moderate head that quickly dies down, leaving no lace to speak of. Surprising. Left a bunch in the bottle with a fair amount of sediment included. Looks rich and syrupy.

I could barely look at this baby for the review because of the huge fruity aroma that slapped me upside the head while I was still pouring it. I had to stop what I was doing and "just breathe" (as they say in yoga class). It's a dirty job, but someone has to smell this wonderful, delicious, sweet, fruity aroma of Brach's Orange Slice candies (remember those from childhood?) at a distance, and rich, apricot and peaches when I stick my nose into the tulip. Marvelous!

But what does it taste like? I have to let it warm a minute. But here it is- very rich, very full (I know, that's more mouthfeel than taste), very alcoholic. Fruity, but not sweet as in the aroma- deeper, darker fruit, add some plums to the mix, but boy, the alcohol profile is the dominant note, and it really bring the rating down in my book. Maybe it should warm a little more. As it warms, the alcohol profile dies a little, but is still the dominant characteristic. Rich fruit, and a light-moderate peppery-spice profile sits behind. Reminds me in some ways of De Dolle Stille Nacht, if you've had that one. Not as spicy or syrupy, but in the same ballpark. After adding the yeast (very dark and cloudy), the spiciness level increased dramatically.

Overall a nice beer to enjoy, but is generally to strong and overpowering for me to want more than on rare occasion.

Dukeofearl, Mar 26, 2005
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Columbus from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.