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Columbus - Brouwerij 't IJ

Not Rated.
ColumbusColumbus

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

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | 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: 106 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jneiswender
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Had this beer at the brewery in Amsterdam. Served on tap, cool in small taster snifters.

A-old gold, murky topaz body and an off white head.

S-strong grain, some smoke and yeast.

T-spicy, orange/tangerine finish from the hops.

M-medium and medium carbonation

D-Very nice. Good to see something like this in Amsterdam given what is commonly found. I would drink this again.

jneiswender, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Fizzlybear
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

Fizzlybear, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

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 thepeter
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

thepeter, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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!

wl0307, May 24, 2009
Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%

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.

cadenwhitaker, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of schuim
2.08/5  rDev -46.5%

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 tempest
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

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 baggio
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

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!

baggio, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of mhewes
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

mhewes, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

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 ATPete
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

Served at Brouwerij 't IJ in April 2008

A- Pours a cloudy orange amber color, very frothy white head.

S- Yeasty, a little bit of booze, herbs, malt

T- Strong malt character, some sweet caramel, coffee and candi sugar. A touch of bitterness closes out the sip and balances this beer.

M- Medium/heavy feel, not thick

D- Very good for a 9%'er

ATPete, May 05, 2008
Photo of Onslow
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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...

Onslow, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of BarryNL
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

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
Photo of sfreshnock
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

sfreshnock, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

This beer poured a hazy orange/yellow body with a huge thick white head.

Nose was dominated by a fruity sour belgian yeast. Ripe golden fruits, apricots, pears, golden raisins, peaches, grapefruit and slight nips of spices.

Taste is medium bodied with a big level of carbonation. Lots of sour yeast taste, golden ripe fruits, rotting citrus peel and a surprisingly strong hop bitterness and big earthy hop taste. Alcohol is very apparent in this beer and really adds tons of warmth right up front and in to the finish. Very tart and dry with a strong lambic type sourness. Touches of clove and other spices sit against the hops. Ends with a long dry alcohol sour bitterness.

What an interesting beer. Classic belgian pale/triple with a little natural lambic note and some nice hops backbone. Very nice, makes me miss Amsterdam.

taez555, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

TurdFurgison, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of sulldaddy
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%

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.

sulldaddy, May 19, 2007
Photo of albern
3.93/5  rDev +1%

This beer pours a huge frothy head that does linger. It doesn't just lace, it leaves billows on the side of the glass. It pours an orange, cloudy color with some yeasty bits floating around. There is plenty of unfiltered dark yeast as you pour out the bottom of the bottle. The smell is apricot and yeast, with some noticeable alcohol as well. The taste is very good. This is a medium to full bodied, citrus, tangy, ale with quite substantial yeast flavorings. This is also a strong beer at 9 ABV, and you will taste the warming alcohol, but the flowery flavors do a nice job of masking the alcohol to a point. You can taste the alcohol more on the back end and in the after taste as well. This is a well carbonated beer, quite substantial, very fruity as it warms a bit. This is listed as a Belgian Pale ... maybe. It has more the characteristics of a full bodied trippel, than it does an Abbey style pale or blond ale. Certainly the alcohol content puts it in league with the Trippels. You can't go wrong here. L'Chaim

albern, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%

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.

GClarkage, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of dogfooddog
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

dogfooddog, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of DarrellK
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%

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 Absumaster
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%

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.

Absumaster, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

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 dherling
3.5/5  rDev -10%

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.

dherling, Oct 08, 2006
Columbus from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.