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Columbus - Brouwerij 't IJ

ColumbusColumbus

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

97 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%


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: 97 | Reviews: 70 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of janubio
janubio

Spain

3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 ml. bottle. Hazy brown colour, with a big head and a lace that seems to last forever. Smell of chocolate, vanilla, raisins, spice. Medium body, smooth palate, the beer slicks from the tongue to the throat gently. Taste of chocolate, caramel, fruits. Great.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 21:49:40 | More by janubio
Photo of schavuytje
schavuytje

Netherlands

4.66/5  rDev +19.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 07:03:55 | More by schavuytje
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle in the brewery flute (ironic that a Dutch brewery wouldn't use a tulip glass!) at Aran Pub in Amsterdam. Hazy burnt gold with a white head that leaves scattered, sticky lace.

Smell is fruity esters, marzipan.

Taste is similar, pretty standard BSDA taste with Amber malt sugars and banana esters.

Mouthful is sticky, medium bodied.

Drinkability is fine, a robust beer, smooth for the size, some complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 18:11:31 | More by ccrida
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from In De Wildeman in Amsterdam.

Nice fluffy pillow 2 finger head fades slowly with tons of lacing, hazy super murky layers of sediment pond water dark orange brown color. Unfiltered.

Nose is interesting, little fruity almost citrus like, coriander and light spices, sweet candy malts, a big Belgian yeast like fruitiness, and wit like aromas.

Taste wow that's unique, a big malt profile, toasty, toasted wheat, light sweet brownish malts, caramel and Munich like malts without the toasty red malt character, maybe lots of Maris otter or something special, roasted oats?, light citrus and coriander, Belgian yeast ester profile. Semi sweet with a light booze warmth. Finish brings more booze, esters, more citrus and coriander and write sweet.
Mouth is med to fuller bodied, plenty of fluffy carb, light warming booze.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 16:37:22 | More by jlindros
Photo of nico_freespirit
nico_freespirit


4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a nice beer, really special when you're smelling it, at first it smells once open the cap like a bakery, recent bread is a strong smell but so nice. It's full of sediments, its high graduation doesn't seems once you drink it. I'm tasting it at room temperature and its flavour is much stronger than other belgian pale ales, it's sweet and doughy, for me is like eating bread recently out of the oven. Definetly I like this beer so much, I think that dutch beers have a huge potential that is not operating in Spain..

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 22:29:13 | More by nico_freespirit
Photo of Sunnanek
Sunnanek

Sweden

3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 18:38:25 | More by Sunnanek
Photo of sfprint
sfprint

Germany

3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 01:08:31 | More by pleasewearpants
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich complex and long brew, quite the surprise.

Presentation: 33ml brown capped bottle. Romboid label with a burgundy and light cream design presided by the emblem of the ostrich with a boat in the horizon. Notes main characteristics, and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy amber pour, towering frothy head, great retention, rich creamy surface memory with strong lacing. A looker to remember...

S - Good nose with citric hoppy touches and caramel, hint of earthy funk...

T - Rich step up from the nose… Long and complex bitterness, grapefruit, touches of grass… tied to caramel and touches of toffee as it finishes. Hints of small earthy funk mid palate with a nice fruity touch.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation, rides nicely with the bitterness leading to a smooth and softy creamy finish.

O - Great experience, extraordinary range and appearance.

Notes: Took me by surprise, this one is complex and pleasing on all sides. A tad too pricey but not too much from this Dutch importer. Thank you Toño for the recommendation and treat. (Their dark BSA is good but another beast altogether. Right now this one is the winner with a difference.)

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 04:03:14 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Cafe Belgique in Amsterdam. From notes on the street.

A - Poured a hazy dark copper with no visible carbonation. Crazy ice cream scoop head was white. Good lacing and retention with that ice cream scoop.

S - Really nice fruity hop notes and fruity yeasty esters with a hint of booze and sweet spice.

T - Great juicy hops. Yeast esters to compliment. Strong juicy hops come like grapefruit. Not malty enough to balance but it's still nice and refreshing.

M - Strong carbonation and a medium to light body with a strong bitter finish.

O/D - This may as well be a Double IPA. The malt character is more akin to a Belgian Ale but the hop character of this is quite strong and would hold it's own with some of the better IIPAs. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 21:03:22 | More by tbeckett
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale Drank from my St Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a cloudy honey colour and has a nice tight white head that stays the distance.

S - Plenty of sour, lambic aromas of passionfruit spice.

T - Plenty of spice and herbs up front and finishes with a nice creamy vanilla booze flavour.

M - Medium body and low carbonation.

D - This is a heavy hitter and right up there with the best Belgium Pale Ales. I can,t believe i'm giving this an A+, but it is fully deserved.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 15:02:08 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At The Old Nickel, Amsterdam.

Pours murky amber gold with lacy solid white cap of froth. Sour cherry jam and deep hops on the nose. Gooseberry jam malts, green apple esters, then bright lime and nettle tea stewed hops. Crisp, light to medium, some chew, no heat.

Interesting hops but low IBUs. Taste does not follow nose. Solid, but not as hoppy as the name might suggest.

2nd tasting on draft at the brewery, 30.VII.13 - Puffy lacey head over dark amber, a soapy nose that makes we wonder about the house yeast, caramel and a big lemon sorbet C hop hit, with a medium, smooth, very chewy body.
Solid malt backbone, with smooth even bitterness. Not the hoppiest beer from a hoppy brewery, I've had European-made barleywines with less presence.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 17:55:29 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of decafron
decafron

California

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this bottle was brought from amsterdam and poured into a duvel tulip.
pours a hazy orange/copper/amber with a big white head and ample lacing. the smell is loaded with citrus, coconut, and malt..odd but it works. spices and malt dominate up front with apricot and lemon bringing up the rear. it's funky but balanced with a slightly sour mouthfeel. best of all, it's incredibly delicious without a trace of its 9% abv. where they hid it, i have no idea. so good to see some fine ale being brewed in holland.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 01:56:24 | More by decafron
Photo of Fizzlybear
Fizzlybear

United Kingdom (England)

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Pours a misty copper colour with lots of sediment and lacing. So much sediment it ruined the look slightly.

S - The main smells of this beer is of sweet honey and orange zest.

T - The initial taste it very herby and malty that turns into a sweet citrus flavour (mainly lemons and oranges)

M&D - The drink is a good consistency with slight smoothness and the right amount of carbonation. For 9% an easy drink.

Overall a good flavoured beer that pours a good colour but the amount of sediment lets it down in the looks department.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 10:06:17 | More by Fizzlybear
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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+

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 02:15:16 | More by emerge077
Photo of thepeter
thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can't find a BB date on the bottle but it was on a discount rack at a beer store and the cap had some rust on the top and yeast on the inside. I am guessing that this one has been around at least a couple of years

A- Pours a hazy brown to orange with a very fluffy cloud like head. The Lacing it leaves is more like puffs of foam on the side of the glass.

S- Citrus, Yeast, Brett (a bit of an Orval scent), sugar and a whiff of booze.

T -Bitter hops, citrus peels with the white part adding to the bitterness, yeast, spices some pepper and maybe coriander, again I get a bit of brett that I relate to an Orval, which is not a bad thing.

M&D- Very light on the tongue, almost fluffy. Carbonation was moderate but body was a bit light. Almost floated in my mouth and down to my belly.

I loved this one fresh when I had it at the brewery in Amsterdam, but for the £1 I paid, it was certainly worth it.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 10:40:02 | More by thepeter
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

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

BB 20/06/09, served lightly-chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped goblet.

A: a lightly cloudy, bright dark orangey amber hue comes with semi-lively fine fizz and a very tight and frothy off-white head that lasts really well throughout the drink.
S: the major theme of sweet orangey fruits, old grapefruit peels, old leather and brown-sugary malts is backed by an assertive but not OTT musty&rusty yeastiness along with its spicy edge reminiscent of cloves, cardamom, and a wee bit of white pepper. Pleasant indeed!
T: medium-bodied, spicy yeasty, sour-sweet fruity and bready malty from the beginning, consisting of a zesty edge of hops, dried spiced-olives, dried hawthorn fruits, sweet fat pale prunes, a relatively light input of candy-ish malts and overripe banana-esters; smoothly, giving way to an enticing aftertaste full of spicy-yeasty and musty notes, chewy, leather-ish, and quite pleasantly so. The finish is pretty dry (due to the yeastiness!), partly elevating the weight of this 9%abv. For this style of beer, the mustiness might have come slightly over the average, but, by 't IJ's standard, the yeastiness here is not too messy at all.
M&D: lightly spritzy but not overly carbonated for the flavour, which is moderate in complexity and yet still very tasty. By the level of mustiness, this ale at times tastes even like the farmhouse ale such as a Saison; regardless of the style, however, it proves a lovely drinkable one that outshines many other 't IJ's bottled beers which simply are "polluted" by overwhelming yeast notes and taste, the same elements working miraculously well in this bottle!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 20:44:31 | More by wl0307
Photo of cadenwhitaker
cadenwhitaker

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 12-13-2008
Bottle year 2006/02 - review year 2008/12 (almost 3 years old)

9% alcohol.... ok... where are they hiding the remaining 5%?! This is the smoothest 9% I think I've ever had.

Some citrus, no hops, lemon in the smell... this beer has LAYERS! On one hand it is very easy to session, on the other hand it is very easy to sit back and appreciate.

Fantastic.

Reviewed again on 04-11-2009

Bottle year 2006/02

I decided to revisit this beer, as it was my gateway into belgians. Now that I've had more of the same style I felt it was a good time to see how it compares.

Still, this is easily in my top 10 of beers. Again with this bottle I'm getting some citrus, lemon, honey, sugar and hardly any of the 9% of the alcohol.

I dropped the score because the bottles are chock full of floaties... I really couldn't care but I suppose that's not a very appealing thing.

Still, after sampling this I haven't been able to find a good alternative, none of the other belgians taste at all like this one. Much sweeter, sweeter then anything I've had at Unibroue, sweeter then any of the trappists. Lots and lots of honey, with some citrus.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 01:45:20 | More by cadenwhitaker
Photo of schuim
schuim

Netherlands

2.08/5  rDev -46.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 05:43:04 | More by tempest
Photo of baggio
baggio

Sweden

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle@home

A: Hazy red/brown with a thick white head. Some bits of yeast flowing around.

S: Lots of fruit, Yeast, Spices, Wee hint of alcohol.

T: Spices (among them pepper and coriander), Apricot, Citric notes, Caramel, Figs.

M: Sweet and fullbodied with lots of carbonation. Nice sweetness and some faint bitterness at the end to make it a more balanced brew.

This beer was recommended to me by the owner of the Cracked kettle beershop in amsterdam. Very belgian in character and a good one at that. A solid effort!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 18:55:14 | More by baggio
Photo of mhewes
mhewes

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice hazy golden color with a good white head that leaves some nice lacing behind. Some floaties also.

S : Lots of fruit aromas, couldn't really pick out any specific ones. Some yeast notes also

T : Sweet malt flavors along with fruit notes. Some good spice flavor like coriander, cinnamon.

M : Medium-bodied, good carbonation

D : This one was really easy to drink. I didn't really think of it as a Belgian Pale Ale though.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 14:26:34 | More by mhewes
Photo of Onslow
Onslow

Texas

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

outta ye ole bottle...if you like golden ales that make you float, float with Columbus. looks nice but tastes better. honey and all that greet the taste buds. i'm all for it!

pours a light golden yellow..

..foam is all that and a bag of chips...

..one of the t'IJ's hidden secrets..

..save this for the end of the night...

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 14:03:58 | More by Onslow
Photo of BarryNL
BarryNL

Netherlands

2.75/5  rDev -29.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at "Cafe Golem" Amsterdam out of a 33cl Bottle.

Pours a hazy burnt orange with ample head that slowly drops to about an inch. Aroma of baked apples and caramel. The initial taste of bitter hops on the tip of your tongue and then washed over by a fruity sweetness the rest of the way. Tastes of plums and baked apples. Heavy carbonation lingers in your mouth like sparkling water or sprite. The 9% alcohol is well masked, combined with the heavy carbonation makes me want to drink this faster than I should. Of all the Amsterdam brewed ales I tried this one is tops. Too bad I could not find this one in any of the bottle shops.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2007 17:27:53 | More by sfreshnock
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Columbus from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.