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Columbus - Brouwerij 't IJ

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

74 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 135
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 8
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 135
Reviews by benfons:
Photo of benfons
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: hazy amber colour, dense thick head, a lot of lacing

S: yeast, grassy malts, hints of raspberry and lime

T: loads of malts and yeast, bitter finish, not much there

M: medium body, not dry for a beer with this bitterness

O: not an impressive beer, not bad, but just not much there

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More User Reviews:
Photo of farundrpar
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of petewheeler
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Shovelbum
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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!

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Photo of RickyS
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DarrellK
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of acurtis
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of anders36
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 576 characters

Photo of schuim
2.09/5  rDev -45.9%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of DStoked
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Cbmccarthy
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Gurus
4.56/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

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Photo of schavuytje
4.69/5  rDev +21.5%
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

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
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!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sfprint
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 574 characters

Photo of brinch
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of stouty1
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of torriman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of natiousd
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of pleasewearpants
4.2/5  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.

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Columbus from Brouwerij 't IJ
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.