Struis | Brouwerij 't IJ

very good
79 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A barley wine brewed in the English style. Struis is a full-bodied beer with a deep, dark colour and a soft, long-lasting head. The aroma is dark and sweet, with clear tones of chocolate and dried fruit. The aftertaste is dry and long-lasting, and leaves you yearning for more. A delicious accompaniment to food and ideal with skeapsrond cheese. Struis is only available as a bottled beer.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-26-2001

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 123
Photo of GooberMcNutly
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A strong Belgian style ale made in Holland sounds funky, but they pull it off quite well. Strong coppery color and big fluffy head bring a strong sour aroma and a slight alcoholic odor to the nose. The flavor is a little too malty for me as a Belgian Ale, which gives it a barleywine aspect. 9% alcohol is not at all evident in the taste though, just the nose.

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Photo of Absumaster
2.68/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

OK, again I ask myself why we are always stuck with the infected beers and the good ones are send out to the US!

This is already my third 't IJ beer and again I can smell the lactic acid hitting my nose. There is also something like melon and pine-apple in the smell. Appearance is good, a brown, murky beer with a 1 inch white head.

Taste is mild acidic and fruity with the melon and pine-apple taste, a combination of yeast flavors and lactic acid I think. A good bitterness complements the beer and aftertaste is slightly sticky and bitter, which also activates my salive glands.

I know that underneath the acidity, there is a good beer and I know that they can make good beers, but for some reason they always have infections in their beers and this is happening for years already. What a waste of reputation!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky orange caramel that just barely allows bright sunlight to pass through to the other side of the glass. A slight blush of coral red adds a beautiful sunset glow and bright orange edges provide a nice contrast. I don't even mind that the golden beige cap is relatively small and doesn't provide much lace. This is one nice looking Dutch ale.

Brouwerij 't IJ calls Struis a barleywine rather than a BSDA. I'm not so sure about that. The nose is much more akin to a Belgian strong dark ale due to its musty, fruity, spicy nature. It's amazingly complex and carries a spice load that almost puts it into the (Fantome-like) saison category. Whatever one calls it, this is an aromatic, exotic, wonderful smelling beer.

I had no idea what to expect from Struis before cracking the crown today. As in the nose, a complex, musty, earthy, spicy fruitiness dominates. Bruised apples, fig paste, grapes and dark rum-soaked golden raisins melt into the taste buds with each mouthful. Caramel malt does its best to hold down the opposite side of the scales. Actually, an aggressive Belgian yeastiness overpowers even the fruit and might put more than a few people off.

It's too bad the flavor profile doesn't have more of a spark. I'm drinking a nicely aged bottle, but I can't help thinking that some amount of youthful brashness would have served Struis well. One benefit of several years in the bottle is that alcohol is nowhere to found on the palate. It is delivering a gentle, spreading warmth however.

Simply put, the mouthfeel isn't big enough. A beer that tastes like this one does deserves some amount of sticky chewiness. It reminds me of some of the so-called 'big' beer from the U.K. in that it's much less viscous than most American big beer and is less mouth pleasing as a result. I guess it all comes down to what one is used to.

Struis is an authentic BSDA brewed in Holland. I liked it better during ounces one, two and three than during ounces ten, eleven and twelve. Having said that, it's still a well-brewed, interesting, enjoyable sipper that I might consider buying again if it wasn't for the $4.99 price tag. Proost!

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Photo of hunteraw
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: From the uninformative label, I had no idea what this was when I poured it, and I hadn't yet checked it out on BA. Turns out to be brown/red in color with a big head and ridiculous amounts of lacing - more like sheets - clinging to the glass. Nice looking.

Smell: Aroma is of spice and dark fruits, but with a tangy, sour undertone. Reminds me a bit of a kriek lambic.

Taste: Some Belgian yeast spice, dark fruit and red grape flavors, but again with a bit of sourness as well. I really had no idea what style this was before checking on BA, other than obviously being Belgian. I'm actually curious whether my bottle might have been contaminated, since none of the other reviews mention any sourness, but it wasn't bad, so hey I'll review anyway. Whoa, this is 9% ABV??? Would not have guessed from the flavor.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Medium body, somewhat slick on the tongue. Drinkability is mediocre, though. Not something I'll pick up.

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Photo of hanco005
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, notched 1 05, poured into my St. Bernardus glass

A—pours solid raison brown with no head at all, just a few tan bubbles on the top, lacing is just a clear oily film

S—dark fruits, sweet caramel, alcohol is very present

T—sweet dark overripe fruits, plums, raisons, black cherries, caramel, alcohol, all of the flavors are mixed together well, the alcohol warms the throat on the swallow

M—a little oily, not much for carbonation, medium/full bodied

d—A sipper for sure, but very drinkable. I like it and would have it again.

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Photo of patto1ro
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dates, grape, raisin, apple and nut aroma; sweet taste with chocolate, raisin, dates and cream aromas; long bitterish finish with chocolate, cream, black toffee and toast aromas.

When on form, totally delicious. Immensely complex dried fruit aroma, joined by a soft chocolate flavour in the mouth that´s lifted by just the right level of carbonation.. Wonderful.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very decent yeasty. Yes candi, pineapple, apples. Though overall not too complex. Creamy medium-thin mouthfeel. Could use food for mouth puckering finish. A fine one to have once.There are better in the brewery's lineup. At the Brick Store Pub, with the Atlanta B.A. crew.

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Photo of Matcpd
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(Sampled at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn - served warm)

appearance --
Nice light tan and creamy head; Deep Amber/Brown Color

nose --
Immediately I smell fruits, specifically pineapple. Very extraoridinary and unique nose!

taste/mouthfeel --
The taste, like the nose, has distinct notes of pineapple. Slight hint of raisons. Slightly bitter, but not floral. Fairly sweet. The beer tastes extremely fresh - almost like I was consuming it right from the tap. I am always impressed by the beers this brewer produces.

drinkability --
Drinkable, which is scarey. Beers around 9% that go down this easy, like Duvel and Brooklyn's Fortitude, always end up causing trouble.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass, Struis is a solid ruddybrown color, with cocoa-tinged tannish foam resting neatly atop. Looks alright by me.

Nose: yeast and spice hit a two-pronged attack, and fruit takes up the rear, dark ones, plums, and dates, and grapes, and raisins, and more. Drink it in deeper and the spices have taken over, peppers and clove and more. Definitely dubbel-ish, this. Rich and lovely.

Taste it: wonderful! A big explosion on the palate, a delirious blend of dark fruits, spices, and hefty malt, uplifted by Belgian yeast that adds a wicked funk to the proceedings. Berries become bigger in the flavor profile, grape stands tall, as well. And then up comes plum!

This is a fun beer, to be sure. Full-bodied, long finish, impeccable flavors, evident, but untroubling alcohol. A great Belgian beer from the Netherlands, and why the hell not?

I will return to this one, that I can guarantee!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Plummy brown and darkly toned with a medium cap of light tan firmly smoothed froth on top. Settles to a thin collar and the lace is strewn about in minimal glaring dots and a few straggly strings.

Aroma is quite nice with a pleasant bouquet of berries and dark fruity things. Dates and raisins with twists of lemon skins make up a good portion as it gains a alcoholic soaked berry and date mixing with some black licorice and root beer.

Taste is mostly dark and fruity, steady and even in the front and middle with a dark fruity maltyness thats a scad yeasty and spiced. Tends to finish better with a gradual brigade of hefty complexity in the dark fruits, adding some pits, skins, and baked raisin, dates, and spicy breadyness. Also hits a wonderful drying sense of dried dark fruits of the raisin and dates, perhaps a bit of fig too. Quite nice and much, much better as it warms. It really gains some nice subtle complexity as it goes.

Feel is about medium, with a lighter side to its body then you'd think with all of its dark-sided malt and fruityness. Not a bad thing really, it actually suits the character quite well; especially as it warms. This one grows on you. The pleasing finish with its long wondering dried dark fruity draw is a fine treat to the palate as it leans into some soft breadyness.

A damn fine brew. Drinkable as all get out with its moderate carbonation and long drawn out finish. 'Struis' is a nice brew to share; or to hoard, take your pick. Good stuff.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, 1 finger thick, light brown head that sits atop a hazy, deeply amber colored brew. The aroma is malty and rich with notes of concentrated, sweet malt extract, a sweet dough like breadiness, along with notes of prunes and figs. To balance the sweet notes there is a baking spice type spiciness here with notes of clove, a hint of nutmeg, perhaps a touch of cinnamon, and even a note of spicy cardamom. The aroma is concentrated and sweet, like a dark holiday sweet bread or even a cake. It is quite the way to end the evening.

The taste has an upfront fruity sweetness that is not too heavy and reminds me of figs, and raisins. There is also a nice backdrop of maltiness here that has notes of caramel, brown sugar, a hint of molasses and a certain fresh, bready quality that reminds me of a sweet spice cake. This beer really has a rich quality to it that is quite satisfying and satiating, though it certainly is not sticky at all, or even too full on the palate. It has just the heft to it to remain drinkable, in fact it is the flavors of this beer, not the thick body, that make this such a savory experience.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Struis (Ostrich) is the brewery's flagship beer. It pours up very nicely into an over-sized goblet with typical ample carbonation. The color is deep golden-burnt orangish/copper with a dense frappe-whitish head. Delicious aromas of candied ripe fruit, mulberry spice and sweet orange marmalade dominate. The well integrated malt flavors are wonderfully rich with hints of tangerine citrus, treacle, and some brandied character mixed in the slightly dry-hoppy finish. This beer exemplifies how dangerously drinkable this style can be. Drink as an apertif or paired with tangy Stilton cheese & peppered crackers. This rare treat is definitely worth seeking out. Here's to Brouwerij 't IJ (The Egg)!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of cypressbob
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, at the brewery

Pours with a dark brown body, tonnes of big chunky yeasties floating around, tan head with good retention

Smell, dark ripe fruit, raisins, little hint of honey. Slight hint of yeast on the nose

Taste, crisp and malty. Prunes, maybe some fresh fruit like plums coming through too. There is a smooth toffee, caramel finish also. Very little evident alcohol

A tasty dark ale, the strength is really well hidden

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the bottle that this comes in! Reminds me of the Tottenham Hotspur logo. Anyways, it pours brown and dark ruby with a medium tan head. The head has decent retention throughout the beer, but often needed a swirl or two to bring it back to life. The aroma was my favorite part of this beer. Very complex with some caramel, fruit, and even a little coffee mixed in. The taste however did not live up to expectations. The malts were way too sweet for me and a little overdone. It was still drinkable, but this is definitely one strong brew. If you're a fan of malts, give this one a try.

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Photo of Andreji
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was probably the best beer I tried from the folks at 't IJ.

The pour is dark brown with a tan head- medium, and not too lasting- reminding me a bit of the british beers I had just recently tried.

The smell is abundant in hops and a citrusy character that are well captivating, and are also a smart prelude to the taste to come.

The taste is, above all, grainy and malty- a sweet and neutral combination that gives off a sort of blood-like taste (yes, blood. didn't bite my tongue there), while on the background a higher-than-average alcohol is no longer hidden. Is this beer, in fact, a remembrance to the nights out drinking that have gone bad? I'd like to think so.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a deep walnut brown hazy body with a nice light tan head. It has a nice Belgian lace through the beer.

S- This beer has a nice brown sugar, dried fruit with a slight alcohol warmth.

T- This beer has a nice roasted malt flavor with a slight sweet dark sugar flavor. It has a faint roasted coffee note that has a faint sourness.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a bit of some fizz.

D-This is a good solid beer with nice complexity but not huge complexity.

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Photo of yoko
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The infamous ostrich and black egg lends to a thick opaque cider-like chestnut/garnet pleasure (unfiltered/unpasturized). A hard pour (1/2” held in bottle) sees a near 3 finger head fluff which within 5 minutes declines to a heavy macchiato with a scant sticky lace.

I found by the time I got a handle on this experiences 2/3’s of my beverage was gone. hMmm.

The nose with warming evolved from its pear, apple, banana, cardamom, clove with much softening and a bit more banana, now with some flowery hops. The carbonation was with spritz, perhaps lending to the lightness and later bite. I found two things happen, almost as if layered. First the fruit carried with softness, spritz rose, and the floral hops came up with a slight bite finish. The dryness at the end extenuated this final taste.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, slightly translucent brown with a full, rich, gorgeous off-white head in a Leffe goblet. There isn't much prettier than this pour. Left a moderate amount of deep brown yeast that stayed at the bottom of the bottle. After a few minutes, the head settles somewhat unevenly,

Aroma is much better than expected- a rich, full, quadrupel-like aroma of fruits- dark fruits, banana, clove, and the like, surrounded by an off-sweet malt. Flavor follows through in a very nice strong dark ale, full and rich mouthfeel that is downright pleasant (just a tad thin, but not enough to quibble over). Alcohol profile is stronger than I like- it should be there without being noticed, here it starts to burn the throat as it goes down.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours darkish brown with a thin, spotty tan head. Aroma is malty and dubbleish, with some light spicy apple notes. Fruitiness is more noticeable in the flavor than in most dubbels as well. I get hints of cherry, pineapple, and fig. The resulting sweetness is quite nicely balanced by a lightly toasty, bready malt character. Some nutty qualities emerge as the beer warms. Alcohol contributes some spice to the finish, but is none too oppressive. A pleasantly complex and very tasty beer.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a murky brown color with a tan head that disipates. Leave a bit of lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice breadiness throughout. Has a bit of a fruit cake aroma too. The flavor is malty sweet, with bread and a light dark fruit taste. Very smooth for a beer of its strength. Not too much hop bitterness, but a bit drying in the finish. A very tasty brew.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice a very slightly hazy medium amber brown with an off-white head that fell very quickly and retreated to the edges of the surface and dissappeared without a trace on the glass.

The aroma was, well, heavenly. Deep dark fruitiness leads the way with raisins and plums. Behind that lurked a spicy nature and caramel. A deep inhale yeilds only wisps of alcohol that contribute complexity.

The flavor was just a step behind the aroma with dark fruits again in full force followed by caramel maltiness. The spices were present as well and the alcohol was not around in the flavor. The bittering was just enough to keep the maltiness in check.

The finish was just dry and over time dried even further with reminders of the deep dark fruits complexly mixed with slight spices and just a slight bit of alcohol warming. The body was medium full and seemed just a bit less due to carbonation.

50 cl bottle. Notched at 11 and 01. The head on this beer was impaired by the alcohol content of 9%. A great beer!

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Photo of Bierman9
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last bottle of the stash of stuff I brought back from Amsterdam in August....
Deep, rich chestnut and garnet are the colors of the day here. There is plentiful carbonation rising within the liquid, which is clear throughout, though the bottle has some yeasties left which will cloud things up later. Head is a lasting layer of extremely fine bubbles, with a bit more density around the rim. Lacing is decent on top of things. The nose exhibits lots of raisiny and dark fruit notes, though there is also something funky going on in there I can't quite finger. The body is medium, and it passes smoothly and easily over the tongue. The flavor is also fruity, though less of the dark variety and more in the tropical direction. There are also suggestions of candy sugar, and the finish is very dry, with the fruitiness and light hops lingering. Decent bier, something nice to have now and then.

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


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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | 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 blue 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 1-05. Bottle Conditioned.

Appearance: Pours with a lovely smooth carpet like light brown head which forms readily. The main body is a very dark ruddy brown that has a strong dark ale appearance. Nice conditioning, smooth swirls reinstate the head and elevate the presentation.

Nose: Lovely nose, ripe fruits, apples, light cinnamon and some baked pears coated in hot brown sugar, very nice. Fantastic nose that leaps right out of the Glass and hits you with a lick of fruity alcohol around the edges.

Taste: Plums, raisins, brown sugar coated baked Apples; hot spicy cinnamon coated soft Pears, toasty malts and some soft chewy toffee in the back end. Some milk chocolate in the back and a very satisfying Very nice indeed.

Mouthfeel: A damn solid brew, it may be a 9% monster but it has all the poise and finesse of an Old Master, this is a seriously great beer.

Drinkability: All gone, all too quickly, I have to get me some more of this one.

Overall: Absolutely superb, a cracker from the Amsterdam based Waterfront Brewery, I just must get back to the Windmill Proeflokaal some day soon. Recommended.

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Photo of Crosling
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Gollem in Amsterdam, Holland.

Ruddy Brown.

The nose is odd. Chocolate, banana and clove are present cinnamon, ripe fruits and a slight hint of peppers.

Light and fluffy but still full bodied and complex. Notes of chocolate, caramel, cherries and plums. The hops are flowery and dominant, especially on the finish.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber/caramel color with thick puffy white head that kicks off thick gobs of lace.
Aroma of caramel, coriander and some other unidentified spices with some darker citrus fruits in the background.
Flavor of sweet chewy malt, some yeast, little bit of smoke and some classic Belgian spice.
Mouthfeel is smooth and matly to start then a moderately picy middle followed by a heavy alcoholic hit on the finish.
Drinkability is very good. Really nice surpirse. Good solid beer.

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Struis from Brouwerij 't IJ
3.9 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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