1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Columbus - Brouwerij 't IJ

Not Rated.

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

104 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paterlodie


1.93/5  rDev -50.3%

BB 8-05. Good presentation with lasting head and coppercolored beer. Negative is the meatbals floating in the beer witch was resting in my fridge for over a week and had a carefull poorout. Nose is not clean having remains in flavour of lots of different species of wildyeasts giving it an unfresh bretty nose. This just stinks. Taste is very tard, rough and unbalanced.Quiet some sourness and a hanging bitterness makes this one to a poorout after couple of sips.

07-26-2005 20:54:56 | More by paterlodie
Photo of schuim


2.08/5  rDev -46.4%

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.

03-14-2009 21:18:24 | More by schuim
Photo of BarryNL


2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

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.

01-16-2008 20:23:29 | More by BarryNL
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -23.2%

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.

09-05-2004 03:49:59 | More by Sammy
Photo of brinch


3/5  rDev -22.7%

03-16-2012 21:17:52 | More by brinch
Photo of WynnO


3/5  rDev -22.7%

08-26-2012 04:02:51 | More by WynnO
Photo of jophish17


3/5  rDev -22.7%

12-24-2011 07:09:55 | More by jophish17
Photo of Absumaster


3.13/5  rDev -19.3%

This is yet another 't IJ beer that is disappointing. On tap this beer is wonderful and gets higher rankings. Like all their beers this one seems to be infected.

Appearance is a murky brown color with a 1 inch creamy head that stays on the beer for the rest of the glass.

Smell is sour, like lactic acid. A little less than the Struis I recently had, but still quite obvious. The beer is also fruity, they ferment at higher temperatures and this typical for 't IJ. Together with the fruit and the sourness it smells like melon and pine-apple.

Taste is sour with the lactic acid again. Less acidic and less bitter than the Struis. There is some caramel hidden behind the acidity. Mouthfeel is medium, it is kind of sticky and somewhat sweet.

The tap version is much better, but although the acidity is non-intentional, it sort of fits the beer, but does not get the best of ratings.

12-17-2006 08:33:04 | More by Absumaster
Photo of benfons


3.16/5  rDev -18.6%

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

05-08-2014 20:51:41 | More by benfons
Photo of AdamNowek


3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

08-08-2014 21:50:59 | More by AdamNowek
Photo of Bandi

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

04-16-2013 20:47:52 | More by Bandi
Photo of sulldaddy


3.33/5  rDev -14.2%

I am sampling this bottle with Stopper. the beer is at cellar temp and poured into a snifter. Pours a slightly cloudy mahogany with a fizzy thin surface layer of beige head that hangs out throughout the sampling. Popping the cap releases heavy fruit aromas immediately. Aroma is pretty strong with heavy banana and green apple, lots of general funk and a little bit of boozy alcohol, and some phenolic scents too (yuk) on the last part. First sip is average to lite body with fine tingly carb. Flavor is surprisingly mild with some fruit (grapes and pears) a bit of tartness comes through but overall the flavor is disappointing for its lack of punch that the nose promised. The beer doesnt linger at all and is almost forgettable after each sip. Pretty solid up until my tastebuds started judging.

05-19-2007 15:37:05 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of yen157

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -14.2%

Cloudy amber body topped with lasting off white head. Sweet, dusty nose with notes of apricot and old coriander. Actually, this is not too dissimilar to the Heavyweight Lunacy Grand Cru. Beer is sweet in the mouth as the aroma would suggest, but this is quickly put into check by a quick tartness and lingering spice and bitterness one two punch. The malt is a little tired and moderately oxidized; truthfully, this is where my comparison to the Heavyweight beer and the came from. Body is fairly light given the sweetness, and carbonation is fine, yet relentless. The prickly carbonation seems to enhance the bitterness.

My bottle is notched “01” , so it’s probably pretty old. I’d like to get my hands on a fresh one and give it a spin.

03-23-2005 23:53:38 | More by yen157
Photo of RedBaron


3.33/5  rDev -14.2%

Well, I'm not sure what to make of this beer. Interesting, yes. Odd, too. The bottle has a 'drink best by' March, 2005.

Appearance: Cloudy, hazy copper. Small yeast run-off particles settled on the bottom. Head off-white and sustaining.
Smell: Phenolic, fruity (apples, berries); not much by way of aromatic hops.
Taste: Complex, yet...Kind of homebrew-ish, extract-y, band aid-y. However, good yeast culture is evident by the residual sugars left of the palette, and I'm thinking that certain fruits (apricot?) may have been used, too. Bubbelgummy finish. Do I detect a slight gin component in this beer?
Mouthfeel: No real bitterness upfront; sweet and phenolic; slight bitter finish, with an appreciative dry quality.
Drinkability: This beer may actually have a slight infection to it. I'm sure the brewer took care with this, but sometimes trans-Atlantic travel isn't so good for certain brews. Still, considering the complexity of this beer, the shortcomings I felt overall are outweighed by the creativeness and work that must've went in to producing this beer. I'd like to try one of these on their home turf in Holland.

11-27-2004 01:42:56 | More by RedBaron
Photo of dogfooddog


3.45/5  rDev -11.1%

from a trade with absumaster, thanks again for the chance to try these varied dutch beers.

pours dirty-orange (cloudly, some sediment got in) with a decent light-tan head.

Nose is notably sour, verging on unpleasant. not sure what the deal is there. actually reminds me of some types of sour bread.

Oddly sour, bitter front end on the taste, I am not sure but there feels to have a notable malt presence as well. Harsh, but not unpleasant overall. Definitely unusual.

finishes mildly bitter, still hints of the sourness in the mouth.

odd but pleasant beer, the alcohol is not visible in the taste.

01-12-2007 04:12:07 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of Evil_Pidde


3.45/5  rDev -11.1%

A: Pours warm amber with a really tall white compact head that takes some time to dissipate into rather nice lacings.

S: Kind of artificial, dry bitter hops. Spices and some sour malt. Green apples.

T: Sour and a bit bitter. Malt is dry. Spicy, peppers. Yeast. Green apples and bitter orange sezt.

M: Sour long aftertaste. Body is smooth and medium, but very creamy, almost buttery. Low carbonation.

O: Very uneven. In some parts - great, in others - not so much. The good parts make me think of a Biere de Garde, rather than an Belgian Pale Ale.

10-14-2011 18:38:25 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of farundrpar


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

01-08-2012 12:19:58 | More by farundrpar
Photo of DStoked


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

05-17-2013 18:25:49 | More by DStoked
Photo of HiPpYcHoP


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

10-06-2012 19:52:12 | More by HiPpYcHoP
Photo of outoffocus


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

06-01-2014 00:27:53 | More by outoffocus
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Poured skillfully into my chalice, looking cloudy with an orange brown hue. Crowned with a thick foamy off white ehad that never died. Seriously, I nursed this beer for 30 minutes, and there was still head there. I think the ehad interfered with taking proper notes on the nose, all I could get was a feint apricot. When I tasted this, I got malt, yeast, strawberry, apricot, and some hop bitterness on the end. This had a big lingering finish with a prickly mouthfeel. Even straight tot he end, this beer foamed up in my mouth. the taste was big, but balanced, and you didn't get alcohol notice the alcohol at all.

10-08-2006 14:16:16 | More by dherling
Photo of sfprint


3.6/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

10-05-2011 03:57:32 | More by sfprint
Photo of BeerBuilder


3.63/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours to a cloudy orangish color with a thick, rocky off-white head. The aroma is yeasty, a bit herbal, spicy, and musty with a light fruitiness as well. The flavor is a bit tart and sweet, with a spicy yeast taste as well. A light fruitiness is present in the flavor too. It is a bit warming and finishes a bit bitter and very dry. An interesting brew.

11-14-2004 02:31:14 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

(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.

06-26-2005 18:40:55 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of mzwolinski


3.7/5  rDev -4.6%

Hazy golden orange in color, with a thinnish, off-white creamy head. Notes of tropical fruits, spice, and hops in the nose. Flavor is quite tart, and bitter right from the start. Really, really spicy, and a bit musty. Acidic in its finish, with mild fruit flavors and not-at-all subtle alcohol flavors. Overall this is quite a strong beer, though the even carbonation yields a tingly mouthfeel that helps to lighten things a bit, and the flavors seem to blend and mellow better with warmth. Still, it's a bit much.

05-23-2005 15:04:22 | More by mzwolinski
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Columbus from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.