Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Jopen Koyt | Jopen Bier BV Haarlem

very good
55 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Jopen KoytJopen Koyt

Brewed by:
Jopen Bier BV Haarlem
Netherlands | website

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Jopen Koyt is a gruitbeer (herb beer) that is brewed according to the bierkeur (city recipe) from 1407. The beer is brewed with malted barley, malted wheat and oats and has a malty taste with a smooth herbal finish. The aroma has a hint of herbs and spices mixed with dark malt. Jopen Koyt is the only gruitbeer from the Netherlands. Gold medal winner at the European Beerstar competition in 2009 and a silver medal at the European Beerstar Competition in 2011.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2002

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 98
Photo of KatyBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass. Initial 1 finger head, disappeared almost immediately. Bready, almost sourdough on the nose. pleasant taste with hints of chocolate, maple syrup, raisins. Nice, pleasant finish. One glass is enough. Could not finish second.

 254 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 11/26/17.

Pours a murky copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment sink to the bottom of the glass after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, earth, spice, and herb aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, earth, spice, and herb flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting mix of herb and spice characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 660 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Since I Had this in Amsterdam and am unlikely to seek it out again, I will review it now and say that it was interesting. But take a review from a better source....
MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave Koyt 3 of 4 stars made with oats, is iron-ish, aromatic and arousing to the senses."
or also.....
Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

 345 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel brown with some cloudiness. 2+ finger head is tan and creamy. Fades semi quick and leaves moderate lacing behind.

Aroma of spice and malt. Cinnamon, chai, and caramel. Bread dough.

Tastes much like the aroma. Spice and malt. Maybe a bit of earthiness. Some fruit. Apple, pear, raisin, and dates.

Medium body with rather sharp carbonation. Spice lingers.

Easy drinking beer with excellent spice notes. Wish the carbonation was toned down.

 467 characters

Photo of Zet
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very interesting beer to try. Poured in its glass, it looks like murky brown water with flakes of dandruff floating around. Not very appealing, but then again, I'm not an experienced gruit drinker, so this is probably normal. Smell is nice, with herbs and notes of apple syrup. Herbs are also going wild in the taste. A very smooth beer with a nice alcohol warmth. Due to this it is probably better suited for the winter season, but I still enjoyed it mid-July.

 461 characters

Photo of boddhitree
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank this at Braukunstlive 2014 in Munich, Germany.
I didn't take enough notes, but I did write this: "WOW! Very Chocolatey!" It was very sublime. This is traditionally a spiced beer, and I was expecting more spices, but then again, chocolate is a spice, I guess.

I'd love to brew this beer.

 294 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Le Souffleur de Bières, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark brown color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : yeasty and spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : herbal notes, leading to bitter finish.
Overall : a good beer in the style traditional ale (old gruit).

 290 characters

Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Jopenkerk, Haarlem, Netherlands

A: The beer is very dark brownish red in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a half a finger high beige head that died down a bit but hardly faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of herbs are present in the nose - rosemary seems to stand out in particular along with some hints of juniper.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors are much stronger and rosemary really seems to stand out in particular.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very flavorful and easy to drink gruit beer that is also a little more fuller bodied compared to other beers in the style.

 700 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Best before 03/2009...got a bit of age on it.
The beer pours a clear dark brown with no head and a touch of sediment. The nose is tame with a caramel sweetness and no distinct herbal characteristics. The taste is a mellow brown ale, sweet raisins upfront, with a nondistinct lingering herbal finish. The herbal flavors are slightly tomato-y with a slowly building, lingering, tangy, metallic finish. The beer is light-medium bodied characterized as being sweet, weakly herbal, drinkable, and completely uncarbonated. There is very little bitterness. This is a drinkable gruit, but I would have liked to try it fresh as the carbonation and herbal pop were both missing.

 668 characters

Photo of safaricook
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this at the Marqt on Overtoom close to the Leidsplein in Amsterdam. Poured it into the original Jopen Stemglass.

Two finger of beige head reduces slowly to a thin layer, nice lacing; clear bright ruby to amber body with lots of carbonation visible

strong smell dark malt, yeast and dark fruits, some distant coffee, vanilla, really pleasant!

taste is a reluctant maltiness and a bit more towards the coffee, some sour ting on the tongue as well; aftertaste is first a bit metallic but soon moves towards a smooth bitterness that origins probably from Myrica gale a herb that was added to the beer.

head is velvety almost creamy; carbonation tickles on tongue and throat; aside the carbonation the beer is rather oily, very smooth on the tongue.

I had this beer before and remembered it to be good, but in fact it is really good, excellent. I usually criticize the Jopen brewery for having too many different types that are all somehow special but not really balanced and just not great. However, with this recipe from 1407 they are doing everything right

 1,066 characters

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 18IC bottle code. Pours very hazy and cloudy reddish brown color with a 2 finger foamy khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a ring of lace. No lacing at all on the glass. Aromas of apple skin, pear, caramel, raisin, molasses, herbal, floral, pepper, clove, earth, anise, and yeast spiciness. Very nice and interesting aromas with good balance and complexity. Really wasn’t sure what to expect. Taste of big apple, pear, pepper, caramel, toast, molasses, raisin, herbal, floral, earth, clove, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruit, raisin, caramel, molasses, pepper, herbal, toast, earth, clove, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and flavor complexity; good malt/spice balance; almost zero cloying flavors present on the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a fairly slick, prickly, and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial gruit ale. This was very interesting and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. There is nice flavor complexity and balance; and it is quite smooth to sip on. Very enjoyable and unique offering.

 1,230 characters

Photo of sfprint
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exp: 3/2013
A: Burst out of the bottle when I opened it. A medium dark brown with a soda like head.
S: Like a sweet cola, perhaps more fruity in a way, but it's very soda like.
T: Although the alcohol is detectable and even makes it slightly medicinal, it's very much like a cola slurpee with perhaps just a dab of cherry slurpee mixed in. Fairly sweet, but also delicious.
M: Along the lines of a sharp sting, but not so intense. Otherwise like a crisp cola.
O: Like I've mentioned 10 times, soda/cola like. It's very nice, although barely resembles a beer.

 558 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown amber. Minimal head and no lacing. Nice dark Belgian aroma. Tasty dark malts with nutty flavors, dark fruit and unidentifiable, but pleasant herbs. Nice malty middle and finish. Medium bodied with creaminsess. Delicious. I really like this beer. Excellently integrated and wonderful.

 302 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
best before 03/05/09 on cork
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a garnet glow at the base and a thin wispy head that is soon gone and a slow microcarbonation that glides up the sides of the glass.

S- The brown malt aroma has some dry toffee and wet wood characteristics with walnuts and cherry stones to follow.

T- The dry woody brown malt flavor has some dry toffee and cherry stone flavors to follow. There is just a touch of sweetness in the finish with a soft green herbal and tea berry hint in the finish. The pot caramel and cola notes come through in the brown malt flavor as the beer opens up.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat and a slightly watery texture that turns a bit slippery in the finish.

O- This is a great blend of characters with some faint flanders red hints and some nice bock qualities all come together. If I would have seen the date before I bought it I would have passed on it but it was quite a surprise to taste this good given the age on it.

 1,042 characters

Photo of BMoldy
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pretty dark mahogany-colored brew with a large light-brown head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves good lacing.

S: Very spicy, sort of ginger-like aroma, with maybe some licorice, cinnamon and nutmeg in the background. Juniper would make sense, for a Dutch beer. Brown sugar-esque sweetness. A touch floral as well.

T: Again, super spicy in the beginning, like drinking an herbal tonic of some sort. Faint bitter orange flavor as well. The caramel-like malt starts to show about midway through with the slightest hint of toastiness. Alcohol flavor is absent, but a warming sensation is certainly present as it goes down. The spiciness definitely does its job of keeping the malt in check, though it is a little overpowering. Finishes relatively sweet and a touch sticky.

M: Medium-bodied leaning towards the heavy side. Good but unassertive carbonation keeps the beer from being too overpowering and gives it a nice crispness, though I still feel like this is a little bigger than it should be, especially with the 8.5% ABV.

O: A very cool and different beer. The spices are very present and do their job well. My only complaint is that it's maybe a little too strong and would benefit (at least drinkability-wise) from being brewed to a lower gravity. Not sure if I'll be revisiting it any time soon, but it was definitely worth trying.

 1,357 characters

Photo of Brabander
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer from another planet! This taste is way different form other Dutch beers....

Got this beer form my cousin Peter yesterday and put it in the fridge for a night. Now it's time to drink it.

Poured in my Hoegaarden glass the beer looks very nice, deepdarkred fluid with a broken white head. After the head is gone the is a pretty amount of lacing in the glass.

Very special smell, almost like a bouquet.

Taste with a bit of salmiak.

You should try this one!

 472 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ok, so I'm a hop-head and I'll try to keep this review somewhat objective.

Pours a dark amber/crimson, fairly clean and clear. No much of a head; off-tan about 1/2 finger. It does look a bit flat, no pop in the cork, and this harms the feel of it later on.

Sweet aroma, malty yet not husky. Fruits and booze, non-sweet

Tastes very sweet at first, but it dies down considerably, which is good. it has a syrupy feel at first, but that fades away too...more carbonation would have been better. Fruits and sweet caramel, sweet bread, spice, herbal and floral--but earthy floral.

Overall, this is a nice beer. Didnt' think I'd drink the whole 750ml bottle...but I did.

 668 characters

Photo of professorpint
4.84/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle purchased at Brussin Ales in Asheville, NC. Copper brown in color, spicy herbal, yet floral, bouquet, deep yet crisp with little syrupy aftertaste.

Exceptional example of what a gruit style has to offer. I was told that it is a 15th century recipe. If this is what beer was like before hops, then I say burn the hop crops and start growing herbs.

 360 characters

Photo of mytireisfat
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 25 fl oz tall brown bottle.

A: One finger brownish head that dissipates quick. Brown in color.

S: This was a strange one. get a sweetness out of it. and spices... also i thought maybe getting a cola flavor out of it. and a teriyaki smell too... kind of weird.

T: Sweetness, chocolate, a bit flat (in a good way), spices.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

D: I really liked this beer. first gruit beer ive had, so its hard to judge. but i liked it. would love to buy again.

 484 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle was a gusher and lost about 40%. Poured with large (!) tan head and good lace. Color is a hazy medium amber. Aroma is a slightly sour yeasty malty spicey and bitter belgian style. Flavor's about the same. Decent body and carbonation (!) Slightly boozy at the end. Much better than the other Italian Chestnut beer I just had. But that's not saying a lot.

 360 characters

Photo of PapaEugene
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jopen koyt brewed after an year 1407 recipe. It contains a herbal mixture of which some people say it makes you hallucinate.... but that never happened to me while drinking this Koyt.

Poured it into my Rochefort glass.

A: It forms a medium head that collapses quiet fast, but leaves a nice lacing throughout the drinking. Nice robust brown color.

S: Caramel, roasted malts and it's easy to notice a herbal aroma which is unique to this beer.

T: Caramel again, some hint of coffee, malts, fruity though not sure which ones. This is probably caused by the light herbal taste. A little bitterness, mainly in the aftertaste.

M: Medium carbonation, a little creamy.

D: Very drinkable and a very original one. Like a good dark trappist/abbey beer with a pinch of extraordinairy herbs. Will keep this one in stock.

 813 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a friend for my birthday some time ago. Poured into a Westmalle glass. The beer pours a redish-brown color with a two finger thick head that disappeared fast during drinking.

The scent is warm, an aroma of herbs, spices and some hints of alcohol and some sweetness that I cannot define (dark fruits??).

The taste is spicy with malts, some sweet caramel-chocolate taste, and again some undefined fruits. Very rich in taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good, medium thickness with medium-high carbonation

Overall a very good beer, not comparable to anything I had before. I read it is not brewed with hops in antoher review, but with herbs. The resulting spicy smell and taste reminds me a little bit of cough syrup, but than the nice one you can't stop drinking. A must try!

 811 characters

Photo of rye726
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice gruit from Jopen. Pours a rich mahogany with a tna head. Nose has a nice collection of herbs along with nutty malts. Taste also has a nice grain profile, but the spice presence is a bit dull. Medium to full body, carbonation a bit high. Good example of the style.

 268 characters

Photo of RuudJH
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer that's brewed, not with hops, but with a mix of herbs, of which 'Myrica gale' is the main (and for a long time controversial) ingredient.
A 15th century receipe.
Oats based, stated on the bottle label.

A: Dark brown colour, cloudy, with a beige head that's pretty good. It really looks like a stout.
S: This beer has a gardensmell to it. flowers, herbs. Also a bit of coffee and bread.
T: Not a very robust beer, a bit spicy, roasted grains. and herbs.
M: This beer goes down easy. The yeast is masked pretty well by the mixture of herbs.
D: It's interesting to try this one, and imagine what people would think of it 6 centuries ago.

 641 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisit 3.5 years since my first encounter; BB 22/04/10, served between cool and lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: dark mahogany hue with light cloudiness of yeast sediments, topped with a dirty dark beige frothy head settling only reluctantly
S: just as nice as the last bottle, full of deeply-scented and yet soul-lifting herbs & spices on a par with jammy, thick, syrupy and treacle-ish dark maltiness, with ginger, cinnamon and licorice coming before other mixed spices and, most notably, smoked black-prune juice in the fruit-malty department. Lovely...
T: really delicious... the slightly alcoholic swallow of dark malts is mixed inextricably with burned & jammy dark fruits (fat raisins and prunes), as well as a rich yet by-no-means overpowering input of "gruit", featuring ginger, licorice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and what-not on a flat bedrock of spiced-coffee-flavoured toffee, bitter chocolates, caramel-coated walnuts, and treacle. Mildly chewy and bitter-sweet (a bit like cold, sweetened black tea) in the finish, witnessing a nice balancing work from the hops and burned malts, as well as a lightly sour touch of dark fruits that helps to keep a balance at the tail.
M&D: softly carbonated, light-bodied but never thin, this heavily-spiced ale is also deliciously malty and fruity in every sense with a decent complexity and sound body overall. Somehow, this bottle tastes even more impressive than my last encounter, which I take as a good thing!

* Tasting Date: 30/09/05
Purchased at the Beer Circus in E. Croydon, London. 30cl brown bottle, the BB date is 22/12/05.
3.5 A: served in a tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a dark ruby to deep reddish-brown colours, after force-pouring the head is still moderate, dissipating slowly into oblivion; very low carbonation as far as I can see against light.
4.5 S: spicy, spicy, spicy--like a pack of mulled-wine spice infused in plum juice... cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, a touch of marzepan, and refreshing note of mint-leaves(?) dominate the nose, while hidden beneath is a slightly sweetish, chocolatey, burned dark-fruity base of mixed malts. Overall quite refreshing and heart-lifting, not overdone at all! I like it.
3.5 T: an interesting, "floating" texture of sour-sweet malts hits the palate, immediately bringing on board a thin-bodied ripe blueberry-ish juicy flavour mixing with the mild maltiness with a touch of nutmeg (or the like...) and black licorice; quite light on spice and light on everything else, while the mid-flavour of malts passes on to slightly warmish touch on the swallow with minimum influence from the overwhelming spices on the nose... why?
3.5 M&3 D: slightly stimulating initially but overall quite smooth; the body is too thin and flavour too simple and timid compared with the promising aroma. I wonder if it's meant to be like this, and perhaps that it's nearing the BB date has to do with the lack of spicy intervention on the palate and in the aftertaste? It's an interesting brew all the same, though my curiosity and interest stops with this bottle (at 2.5pounds a bottle!!)...

 3,107 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Jopen Koyt from Jopen Bier BV Haarlem
88 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.