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Struis | Brouwerij 't IJ

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
79 Reviews
StruisStruis
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ
Netherlands | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
79
Ratings:
120
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
13.85%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
12
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 120
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 Ego
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

random pick, no reason other than "haven't had this one ever"

eyes...
big soapy head, 2 full fingers on a careful pour, lots of scmutz floating around in suspension, brown hue with hints of amber, retention is excellent, lacing is tremendous.

nose...
apples, sourness with borderline funk, yeasty and a touch dry, plums, damn, every time I seem to get something a little different, the fruit element is the dominant element.

taste etc...
smooth and velvety, oddly the flavor is pretty subdued. The fruit aspect is there but subdued and then the aftertaste is sugary sweet (but not overly so), no hint of the alcohol in the flavor, the carbonation is really nice in the mouth, this is way too easy to drink. The sweetness is a little distracting but I am a bit hypersensitive to that stuff generally speaking.

verdict?
I suspect if you like sugary belgian trips you would enjoy this beverage. An interesting, understated brew and way too drinkable for the ABV. Paired well with MAME emulation of Mr. Do.

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Photo of Zraly
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best by 6/2013. Purchase last year in July in Amsterdam. Opening to remember our fantastic vacation from last year. :)

A bit of a gusher. Poured into small Westvleteren XII chalice (splitting it with sweetie). Dark tawny with an off white head. Minor notes up front of malt, fruit, and spice.

Smooth, tingling spice notes play delicate amongst rich fruit flavors. Raisins, rum, mingling with fruit salad. Gentle spice and yeast notes, highlighting a touch of bread in the malt profile. Finish is fairly dry but yet retains the tasty sweetness. Really nice medium-bodied dark belgian-style ale. The alcohol is well-hidden, so tread lightly.

Reminds me a touch of Maudite, one of my favorites. This is better than I remember the bottle I had at the brewery. In short, if you catch a bottle or two, lay one down for a bit and reap the reward. Very sensual and soft, would work well with a nice cheese plate.

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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 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 rallison
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notched as good until at least 04/2004 - this is now 3 1/2 years past that point...

Pours a very cloudy dark amber/brown with a 1 finger off-white head that leaves some lacing and a good bit of a layer on top of the beer.

Smells interesting - some slightly muddy dark fruits and port. Something else I can't quite put my finger on.

Taste is slightly oxidized, but acceptable for the age. Dark fruits - plums and the like. Some sweetness - maybe a touch of toffee. Touch of port. Overall, nice - slightly muddy in the flavors, but still enjoyable. I'll also give it a bit more leniency with regard to the muddiness because of the age.

Mouthfeel is rich, with low-ish carbonation. This has become somewhat of a sipping beer.

Drinkability is decent.

Overall, recommended. A tasty aged Beglian style beer.

Edit: Just a note - Sam at Stuffed Sandwich described this simply as "interesting." I'd have to agree.

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Photo of janubio
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark reddish colour, beautiful hints of red when held to the light. Two fingers off white head, leaving some lace. Smell of whiskey, or some barrel aged liquor, chocolate, dark fruits. Medium to light body, good carbonation. Taste again of whisky, dark fruits, licorice, chocolate, caramel. Good.

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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 BigCheese
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle I stuffed in my bag on a recent europe trip. About 6 weeks since trip. Bought at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

A: Pours a Mahogany Ruby, big white sticky head, dies down a bit but leaves a hat, leaves some lacing.

S: Apples, brandy, malts, cinnamon, spiced rum.

T: Dark fruits, apples, brandy/dark rum, molasses, honey, hard candy, kiss of hops at the end. Also that distinct "belgian" bubblegum/banana/sugar yeast. Very sweet.

M: Very carbonated, syrupy, a hint of heat but not harsh. Heavy body.

O: Good post meal sipper. A nice dessert beer. A bit sweet for my liking but thats the style. Lots of similarities to dark rum.

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Photo of sfprint
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 6/19/2011

A: Light rootbeer color, soda like carbonation, dirty head.
S: Spezi like, lemon meringue, light and yeast.
T: Very nice, less sweet cola, the yeast softens the malt, Very well crafted and blended. Alcohol quite subtle.
M: Fresh, medium body, light carbonation.
O: Very good, very nice.

 308 characters

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 RuudJH
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij 't IJ is one of the better breweries in the Netherlands, imo. It has brews like they should be: unflitered and unpasteurizedMurky brown with huge beige head.
Smell of apple pie. cinnamon. some fresh lemongrass too.
Taste similar. It's a good balance of bitter and sweetness. A hint of chocolate. Full flavoured, lingering in the mouth. It stays long as well.
Good brew. It's a dark brew, but allthough there's some roasty character in the malts, the spice and fruit esters dominate this, making it very easy going.

 524 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice russet. Bubbles float to the top rather leisurely. Massive billowy eggshell head with great retention.

A really interesting nose. Spice, cloves, at first. Followed by an onslought of fruit. Sort of tart, thinking grapes... almost cider like at moments. Loads of dark fruit backing it up though.

Up front is pretty straight forward. Surprisingly light caramel malt. Middle develops more of a spiced bread character, cinnamon and nutmeg with candi sugar. Backend it develops a bit of a tartness, which lasts through the finish, wraps things up pretty nicely. This beer really unfolds in stages, very interesting.

A really interesting strong ale. Alot to like about it.

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

outta the bottle at the t'IJ..last beer before we moved on so i had to work kwik, kicked the panter...I was looking forward to this. Pours a light dark brown but not really see through. nice aroma. great smooth first sip. a mellow alcohlic brew that goes down very easily; and complex too...

..a good brew that says goodnight...

 329 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11oz bottle (Batch #20) in a tulip glass

Opened with a nice hiss, poured with some vitality, energy, crackle. Strong deep fruited nose, full of fig, raisin, prune. Burnt caramel adds a bittersweet aspect, damp with wood and cardboard, slightly Saisoned (Saisoned?) with sourness, alcohol lurking in the background. With some air the fruits rise stronger & thicker.

A fat 3 fingers of semi-loose antique ivory foam softly snapped and slowly settled to a finger's worth of the same, but some gentle agitation & swirling restores it with decent retention that laces in curtains. The sediment & yeast create a opaque color that actually looks like real deep, rich caramel! It looks like you could slice this! A nice piece of eye candy.

Whoa...if you have ever been on one of those amusement park vertical rides that WHOOSHES! you right straight up (or down) immediately from a dead stop....that is what the 1st taste of this is like. Initially that Saison like yeast induced sour aspect is there along with all the figs, raisins, prunes, all adding a very unusual sweet quality. Caramels are deep but not burnt, but also not significantly sweet. All that said, it's smooth in a crushed velour (not silken or satiny) way.

The yeast rise up on the palate, continuing that quasi-sour taste but overall it gets a little sweeter, lighter. Faint fruits hide in the background as the alcohol, which was slowly building, continues to grow warmer, fuzzier until a soft glow pervades the whole of the mouth.

It finishes warm, alive, crisper than it starts, leaving a surprisingly clean aftertaste along with some tingling teeth.

Wow....this is like a marriage of a good Saison and a good Belgian Dark Ale. Very enjoyable, tasty, surprisingly sour n' unsugary sweet on top of the warmth. This is screaming for some good cheese, and could likely pair well with any decent fromage. I could see some spicy simple fare (aged sausages, artisan bread) also working well. A most unusual example of the style and a very nice beer experience. Fans of either Belgian style mentioned previously should seek this out, if you like both this may become your go to. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for something good & different.

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Photo of juju7
1.97/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

What looks like a pretty impressive beer, aside from a riduculously massive head has turned out be somewhat of a disappointment. Acetaldehyde is the front runner in the aroma department and follows strong on the palate. I feel I should be honest with the review. I know these traits/faults when I smell them and this is what I got. Apple cider esters and sourness on the palate. I'm not happy about the money I spent on this beer so if it upsets the brewer, so be it, note the faults and do what needs to be done to right the wrongs.

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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 rinhaak
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11 oz bottle at the Brouwerij 't IJ in Amsterdam.

Pours reddish brown with a small head. Nose is sweet with German bock malts, plums, and overripe fruit.

A very complex taste, it is malty and sweet (though not overly so), with a strong Belgian malt and yeast flavor and hints of maple syrup. Dark fruits lend a full mouth, but the finish is pure coffee malts.

This really is an amazing beer: the nose suggests a German-inspired dopelbock, while the mouth is pure Belgian quadruple. I've never had anything quite like it.

 525 characters

Photo of benfons
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: dark brown colour, hazy, rather small off-white head

S: lots of fruits: grapes, apple, some maltiness in the back

T: some strange mix of caramel, red fruits, yeast, that doesn't really work for me

M: medium body, little carbonation, not too dry

O: not a bad beer, but not my cup of tea

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another recommend from Buckspin. Pours a heavy hazy very foamy orange brown color. Smells very sweet almost like a fruitcake. Tastes more pleasing, dried fruit, sweet oranges, a hint of bitterness that lingers a bit, hides the high alcohol level very well. Good mouthfeel. Overall really good, especially for me who has lately been obsessing for very hoppy beers. A definite thumbs up!!

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Photo of henrysunset
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from kat & Justin's trip to Amsterdam...

cloudy dark brown with giant head of tan foam with lacy foam really nice

smell is all malts... sweet and very nice. flavor delivers, much maltiness, much sweetness. toastiness is really pleasent balanced and mellow.

 269 characters

Photo of Takahiro
2.49/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks: dark ruby red/black, with thin off-white head
Smell: alcohol, faint caramel/roast malt, not much else
Taste: caramel sweet, minor roasted malt, iron flavor, prune, some restrained hop bitterness all the way in the back yard
Feel: sweet on my mouth
Overall: not impressive. the category says it's english barleywine, but i think it's leaning towards dark-belgian, say black triple.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/2005 bottle (aged almost 4 years)

A - Brown, Caramel colors, murky, cream head

S - Syrup, plums/figs/dates (?), sugary, sweet

T - Sweet, spicy, malty, sugary. No hops,

D - I haven't had many Strong Dark Ales so I feel almost unsure about the rating, with that said, I find this beer fantastic and will be experimenting more with this genre.

 347 characters

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.

 360 characters

Photo of BarryNL
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep red-brown, cloudy with particulate matter but some might say that's the sign of a good, bottle conditioned beer. A nice, small white head with good retention.

S: Something here I really can't put my finger on - very distinctive. Almost like the orange and coriander scents you'd expect in a tripel. Could be a strong aromatic or amber malt smell.

T: Rich, sweet, fresh dates, prunes, spices. A big, complex taste. One flavour follows the other with every mouthful.

M: Holds a high carbonation - quite gassy when swirled in the mouth, but not unpleasantly so. Makes it a chewy beer with good body.

D: Very quaffable for a beer of this strength. Quite fresh tasting and not cloying as some of this style can be. The high amount of gas the beer holds has the predictable effects after a while - but that's beer for you.

Overall, this is a beer that shows that this small upstart brewery on the IJ can certainly hold its own against the big boys of Belgium.

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Struis from Brouwerij 't IJ
87 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.
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