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Columbus - Brouwerij 't IJ

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ColumbusColumbus

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BA SCORE
87
very good

119 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | 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: 119 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -23%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Brouwerij 't Ij, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A: The beer is hazy amber yellow in color. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Aromas of pale malts are present in the nose along with some hints of spices and floral hops.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts and some hints of malty sweetness along with a light amount of bitterness. Some hints of alcohol are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems a little heavier mouthfeel compared to other beers in the style and is definitely a sipper given its alcohol content.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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+

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
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!

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murkiness commands the look of this brew, cast in an amber hue, nestled under a neat, creamy head.
Aroma: soft and lightly citric, spritz of spice. prodigious yeast.
Yum....big citric bite, lush yeast, nice huge hoppiness...pleasing on the palate, quite tasty...some of those Dutch can make a nice Belgian, can't they?
Creamy, tasty mouthfeel, wonderful tang on it, exceptionally smooth, rewarding and worth the drinking.
Worth the coin, however? I paid nearly $5 for this bottle..despite it's goodness, I probably won't again.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a flakey, hazy, copper color with a thick light tan head. Aromas of pear and spices waft from my glass. I pick up odoriferous notes of clove, cinnamon, wet hay, and a really weird funky-musty-earthy aroma. The taste is lightly fruity up front and finishes with an earthy-spicy note. This is an interesting beer, quite malty with notes of caramel, biscuits, toasted malt, and malt extract. A good balance of competing flavors.

Photo of GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11/14/06- Purchased at Plumpjacks in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. Bottled on date notched on label. Poured into my Maudite tulip.

Appearance- Pumpkin pie-rust colored pour. Head fills to the top my my glass. Almost a 1/2 inch remains for the endurance. Very chunky and beautiful webbed lacing.

Smell- Dark fruits and spices galore. Plums, raisins and figs. Throw in some corriander and even a dash of chocolate and caramel. I even notice some vinous scent. This beer is loaded!

Taste- Oaky bourbon like flavor. Some vanilla, but mostly butterscotch. Light caramel intermixed. I didn't get a whole lot of the fruit flavors noticed in the nose though. Mild sweetness in the malt.

Mouthfeel- Ultra smooth, super creamy. Low almost cask like carbonation. Very warming with a light sugary tongue coating.

Drinkability- A wonderful and interesting brew with lots of twists and turns. A winner in every catagory. One I will revisit for sure. One of the best beers I have had period.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this at the Cafe Wildeman in central Amsterdam. I've seen this back home periodically, always meaning to try it. What better place than in the city of its birth?

The appearance was great, murky brown color, very hazy, with a huge white head. I had to pour several times, the head just threatened to get out of hand. I saw some floaters in there, maybe yeasties but I'm not sure. I like floating particles of flavor in my Belgian beers (even my Dutch "Belgians"). The aroma was so good, I'm not sure how to get it across in description. There were many fruity smells competing, somewhat of a trailmix of dried fruits (maybe that's not accurate enough). It was very estery, extremely inviting if you like the esters of St Bernardus or Westvleteren or the like. The flavor was fruity but include a fresh-baked bread as well, so good. This was complex and tasty, and I'm definitely buying a few bottles next time I see it on the shelves at home.

Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +8%
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

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of ccrida
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of stcules
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange color. A lot of unidentified floating objects. Good foam, brownish, abundant and persistent. Very creamy.
At the nose ripe fruit (melon, citrus fruit, orange, citron). And white flowers, light. Lightly spiced too (pink pepper?).
Fruity taste, citrus, with citrus fruit, and citron, Very smooth and velveted. Sweet and spiced. Soft.
Spiced (pepper). At the same time, delicate and full.
The mouthfeel sensation is very creamy, velveted, textured. Medium-high body.
Aftertaste on the same line, but more spiced (pepper).

Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of francisweizen
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage bottle (Best by 05/02) Purchased by my friend, a former employee of the foodery who sometimes gets chances at various vintage brews for a cheap price. This one was a real winner. Best by May 02' my arse! Poured into a wide-mouthed California crystal wine glass (I'm really beginning to love these glasses for almost all beer styles, and especially Belgians) Dark glowing orange, a bit muddy, but with nice thick off-white head, that leaves some nice lacing patterns as well. Carbonation is thick, with big bubbles getting caught in the sludgy sediment on their way up to the top of the glass. Aromas are funky, some carboard and definate signs of ocidation, but almost in a good way, this brew begins to assert some wild yeast character even though no wild yeasts were used. Very wet, hay-like and bretty in the aroma, almost like a 2 year old Orval. Sweet. So yeah some lambicy notes, and some lactic sour tart, but nothing over the top, sometimes oxidation improves a beers character, this is definately one of those cases. Taste is barnyard and funkiness. Wet hay, and some oats, as well as spicy/zesty Belgian yeast flares, and some soggy hops, also some herbal tea and spice hints as well. Mouthfeel is creamy, and coating, almost too much with all of the yeast floaties, but still doable, and fine. Not bad at all. Drinkability is good as well, but towards the end of the glass some bad over-aging notes begin to intrude on the orval funk fest this vintage bottle started out as. Overall a funky, past-its-prime-but-oh-so-good sample of one of my favorite Dutch beers. This 5-6 year old bottle is much better than fresh bottles, but I have to give a fresh draft sample procured in Amsterdam the nod as the best though. Good stuff.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Classic Brouwerij ’t IJ 33cl brown glass bottle with its understated diamond shaped label. Dark red background with a white border and the familiar Ostrich in the desert affront a silhouette of a Windmill. Listed at 9% Vol., Cat.S., with a nicked on label Best Before Date of 3-05. Bottle Conditioned.

Appearance: Huge massive and very impressive white head which screams Tripel-tastic. Hazy orange peach body that has a funky with some streamers and very small yeast floaties which do not detract at all. Supreme lacing as the brew drops in my Duvel Glass and leaves a thick spiderweb pattern all over the sides. Nice conditioning, smooth swirls reinstate the head and

Nose: Yet again another fantastic nose from the ‘t IJ family of Ales. This time it is of dried fruits, apricots, prunes and other fruits including apples and pears. Some alcohol in the nose but it is fruity.

Taste: Immensely fruity Tripel-like body, tart and sharp fruits punctuate the body of this masterful brew, hoppy and bitter in the back end. Spicy and zesty it has all the acidic charm of a young nectarine with a tangerine fruity middle. The alcohol is well hidden but its there supporting this brew.

Mouthfeel: Another bloody brilliant brew from the Ostrich pluckers. Can this really be 9%?? It doesn’t feel like it at all. Impressive feel from this Tangy Tasty Tripel.

Drinkability: A fruity Tripel that is bitter and yet complex to a certain extent which adds mystique and some intrigue, it reminded me of a few other Belgium brews that I have had, including a well known Trappiste.

Overall: A superb juicy brew that begs to be imbibed and another winner from the Amsterdam based Waterfront Windmill Proeflokaal. Highly Recommended.

Photo of outoffocus
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was round 2 at 't IJ.... Columbus has a rich, medium copper/mahogany tinge, is a smidge opaque, and a creamy (!) tan head with top-shelf lace. Mild nose with some sweetness like caramel. Verrry nice feel on the tongue, plus medium body (almost more-so...). Very caramelly and toffee-ish flavor that dominates and really sticks to the palate! Didn't get any discernible hop notes, though. I asked the 'tender what style this was... he said it had no real style, just an ale that the brewers decided to "wing it" on. I wouldn't put into the Belgian Pale bin, but.... Regardless, it went down verry well (had 2 more after trying a 3rd bier, Zatte). Yummy!
Prosit!!

overall: 4.05
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

728

Photo of StJamesGate
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Columbus from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.