Brouwerij 't IJ

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Ranked #185
Ranked #23,578
3.84 | pDev: 12.5%
Brouwerij 't IJ
Very Good
Notes: The first beer to come out of our vats, back in 1985, making it the classic beer of Brouwerij ‘t IJ. It is a ‘tripel’, the category reserved for the stronger, blonde beers in Belgian tradition. Zatte more than lives up to expectations in this respect. It is a full-bodied, golden beer with a scent of fresh fruit mingled here and there with a hint of grain. The flavour is slightly sweet, ending with a fine, dry aftertaste. A delicious beer that can be enjoyed in all seasons.
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 196 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Classic Brouwerij ’t IJ 33cl [11.2 fl.oz] brown glass bottle with a red crown cap and the understated but highly recognizable diamond shaped label. Red background with a white border and the familiar Ostrich with an egg at its feet, stands in the desert affront a silhouette of a Windmill. Listed at 8% Vol., Cat.S., with a nicked on label Best Before Date of 8-05. Bottle Conditioned.

Appearance: Orange-golden body which is lightly clouded on the single pour of the entire bottles contents into my favorite Duvel glass. Bloated with an immense number of fine “bespeckled floaties”. Low yet fine-bubbled carbonation and a thin but firm white head remains constant, but it is at levels way below that of the draft version I had at the Waterfront Windmill Proeflokaal years ago. Minimal lacing.

Nose: Pastel aromas, flat hints of pineapple, pears and sharp oranges, nice enough yet it lacked a defined “real fruit” feel. After a while, deeper inhalation reveals a stark sour streak that takes the luscious edge off of the fruits in the nose. Lacking. Smells “old” in fact.

Taste: Dry grain entrance, that builds with the soft but spiky conditioning in the front. Middle has a delicate dry pineapple and a zesty orange feel. The grainy malts linger with an oatmeal consistency that is a little off-putting. Dry boring finish with some [as Vyvyan from the Young One’s would say] “Neil, Neil, Orange Peel” to rescue some interest in the ending.

Mouthfeel: Has a medium body that holds up well. The dissolved effervescent carbon dioxide supports well but ultimately cannot do anything to off-set the cloying oatmeal feel and the flat, limpid uni-dimensional fruit traits.

Drinkability: Spritzy carbonation helps, but overall I felt let down by this sample. Having had a few glasses of Zatte in the downstairs room at the ‘t IJ Proeflokaal, I am finding it hard to believe that this is even the same brew I had years ago!! One-dimensional with high spiky carbonation and flat fruit tastes with a grainy feel…..I wouldn’t drink another bottle of this if I had it in the fridge, put it like that.

Overall: Listed as an ‘Amsterdamse Tripel’, last time I ordered one of those I ended up with two women…..oh erm, I mean I guess I much preferred this one on draft to be honest. Does my memory fail me perhaps?? I don’t think so. I do vividly the recall the two women, No, erm….I mean this was a distinct highlight at ‘t IJ Proeflokaal during both my visits there over the years. Sadly, it looses something in the bottle I feel, the sample I had tasted a tad “old” and “cardboardy”, even though it was still within its BB Date. Not that bad, but not as good as my expectations – disappointing overall if I am honest, I am more likely to spend my money on the other type of ‘Amsterdamse Tripel’ rather than this one again.

May 19, 2005
More User Reviews:
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ThaneMcC from Germany

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Belgian blonde- triple- cloves, coriander and pleasant astringency- good on a warm sunny day

Jul 05, 2019
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marc77 from California

4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautifully thick, hilly and creamy white head tops a hazy amber oranged hued brew w/ copious bubbling. The aroma is dominated by sweet fruit esters including peach and mango, but are accompanied by subdued tarter citrus rind and lemon. Trace of mustiness and phenol are present in aroma as well. Very appealing aromawise. The flavor is an inverse extension of the aroma, with lightly tart, citric fruit dominating. Light to moderate in body w/ a smooth mouthfeel that belies the highly carbonated appearance. Fermenation byproducts such as phenol / clove or banana esters common to many tripels are absent in flavor, lending it a fruity but clean flavor profile. Light breadiness and hint of hop bitterness emerge with a quick snap towards the end of the sip. Finishes w/ a fading unripe berry fruitiness. Zatte is a delightful tripel. It's not as intense as some others, and has a greater emphasis on fruity esters since other funky Belgian yeast byproducts are absent. Relatively clean in flavor, but still very flavorful and tremendously drinkable.

Aug 11, 2002
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steverx8 from England

3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 19, 2019
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John from New York

5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly an exceptional beer had fresh on tap at a friendly cafe in Amsterdam. I could've stayed here and drunk these all afternoon long...or until I fell out of my seat. A perfect sunny comfortable day sitting outside at a sidewalk table with a fine brew. That's good livin'. Rich, hazy golden color, big creamy foam head. Fruity, inviting aroma. Fruity, estery, sweet/tart flavor with a welcome alcohol bite. Thick and substantial mouthfeel. A seriously fine brew.

Jun 12, 2002
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the 3rd bier I tried during my (one and only) visit to 't IJ... ABV is 9%, and they serve all their bier at the brewpub in 0.25l glasses... Zatte was medium golden hued, cloudy, and with a slight off-white fluffy head. The fluff lasts well and sticks nicely to the glass. Mild nose with a hint of citrus and a bready character. Hard to pinpoint exactly. Medium bodied, Zatte also cruised easily over the tongue. The flavor has bready malt attributes to start, with a light sweetness present. A floral hoppiness comes through, though it's a quick hitter and doesn't linger. Another nice 't IJ brew.

overall: 3.9
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


Aug 31, 2004
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rastaman from England

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent beer. Very nice soft yeasty character, slight sweet start, spicy middle, bitter, slightly acidic finish, quite fresh, full-bodied and complex, i quite liked it.

Aug 04, 2002
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Lightweight from Oregon

4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The smell is faintly reminiscent of an antique leather chest and matches well with its murky golden hue. The slightly syrupy sweet taste was quite pleasant in this slow drinking bottle conditioned beer. My experience with this beer style is a bit limited, but I reckon I could definitely acquire a taste for it.

Jul 19, 2002
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mjohn27603 from Michigan

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours orangish yellow in appearance. Smell is slightly sweet but very faint. Taste is slightly sweet. When I bought this from Cloverleaf fellow BA'er Putnam mentioned root vegetables. I would agree with that. There is a beet or parsnip flavor in the background. Not the sweetest or best tasating of the tripels I've had. Slightly metallic in taste. Has a slight tang to it.

Jun 16, 2005
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WOW! What an interesting beer! I'm not sure I'd call it a tripel myself, but what the hell?

It pours a cloudy brass/amber body beneath a short cap of white froth that
steadily drops to an average collar and minor, whispy, semi-surface covering. And it leaves a few drips and drabs of lace, but that's it.

The nose, however, is more exciting! (Or at least interesting!) It's yeasty, woody (cedar shavings?), wheatish, worty, gummy, candy-ish, spicy, and fruity (papaya, peach, pineapple, dull melon, mango, raisin, cocoanut?). It's all of these things, but it's still somehow restrained. Tre bizzarre!

In the mouth it's delicately zesty but backed by a dextrinous, medium body that leads it to become pillowy soft and velvety smooth as it warms.

The flavor offers everything that the aroma does and more, but the predominant flavors are yeasty/fruity ( It's a touch chalky and yeasty, and it finishes dry with lingering notes of dull, tropical fruit (again... papaya, tangerine, a spritz of pineapple, raisin) and spice.

The alcohol is incredibly well-cloaked throughout, but it does appear in the finish towards the end of the goblet.

May 25, 2005
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bditty187 from Nebraska

4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sediment laced liquid; I guess I poured a tad sloppy. Nevertheless, I can obviously see the otherwise, clear, shiny gold hue with bruised peach highlights. Massive white head, at the apex the foam was three fingers tall. Excellent staying power, the bubbles were slow to fade to a modest one finger cap. Lacing started before I even took a sip. I love that. The true subsequent lacing was splotchy and unorganized but prevalent enough for me to take note. On the whole, I really like the appearance.

The nose is lovely and well-rounded. I don’t find the aromas boastful but before I can even deconstruct what I smell I know this beer will taste great. Now *that* is a wonderful feeling. Okay, back to the bouquet. At times a tropical fruit blend shines but only for a moment, I started to detect pears and white grapes in very small amounts. In the mix are wood shavings. Faintly spicy; I can’t really say what I smell in this aspect, which is a sign of a well crafted brew. Yeasty finish with a slight (but not unpleasant) sourness; the more I sniff the woodier it is getting (I don’t really care for that). For a Triple the nose isn’t very hoppy… that will be by only negative comment and comparison to a style. Intriguing.

Huh… I like the palate… but it is a tickle different than the nose led on. First of all, it is much fruitier than I was expecting. It is loudly tropical upfront with pears, apples, and white grapes at the finish, lovely. Out of nowhere a blast of hops smacks my tongue; crisp and bitter with an earthy, slightly spicy bite. Citrusy before the end, Sprite, chalky lemon, and some faint spices. In the aftertaste is some banana and pepper. Woody but faint enough for my tastes. Surprisingly sweet post-aftertaste, I’ll call it a residue. This is a complex beer. Is it really a Triple? I don’t know and I don’t care. Complex but not heavy-handed; I’ve had more aggressive Triples but this one works. Lovely.

Medium in body, low and slightly creamy carbonation, the mouthfeel fits well with the palate but there is nothing all that memorable about it.

Damn drinkable. The 8% abv is very well hidden. I wish it didn’t cost $5 a bottle. Still, a real treat would be some bleu cheese, grapes, apples, and wheat crackers and a bottle of Zatte and I would be a happy camper. Damn good. I purchased my bottle in Omaha. Worth a try, for sure!

Mar 17, 2006
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mzwolinski from California

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy peach in color with a thin, off-white head. Good lace down the glass.

Nose is spicy, with light hints of fruit and lemongrass. There's a nice tartness here and something a bit odd/funky lurking underneath.

Flavor, too, is tart, and a bit spicy. Quite hot in the finish with a spicy finish that grows in intensity as the beer warms. Lots of fireworks here, but not a lot of body to undergird it.

Heavily carbonated with a light mouthfeel. A bit too ephemeral.

All in all, a drinkable beer, but ultimately a bit unsatisfying -- too much hoopla and not enough body for a well-rounded drinking experience.

Aug 28, 2006
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putnam from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After poking my nose into the glass I'm thinking Biere de Garde/Saison meets Tripel Karmeliet and a bag of nuts. It's not actually all that intense or goofy, but the balance of aromas includes some unorthodox elements: peanuts, whiskey, orange, nectarine, cream and roasted root vegetables. On the palate it is bitter, dry and low-acid with a pool of spiced carrot juice in the background. Big, creamy richness is supported by vanilla-shaped tiny cream bubbles. Cracked acorns, pollen and Swedish crackers lift the aromas on the finish. A real head-scratcher. I instinctively dislike some things about it, but after a good slurp is down, I crave another.

Fans of carrot juice-flavored tripel will be delighted with this.

May 19, 2005
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BeerResearcher from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 8/04. Thin dark brown bottle.
This odd-style brew pours a very cloudy honey amber with a snow-white head and a good amount of lace.
It has a barn-like smell at first pour. Aromas of malt, clove, spices and hops fade rather quickly.
The malt has a biscuity quality, along with a bit of a herbal taste.
The hops provide a lemon citrusy tartness and a light spiciness.
A taste of green apples and lemon zest emerge, as does a hint of warming alcohol. It finishes with an oaky dryness.

Feb 17, 2004
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Gusler from Arizona

3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A somewhat murky deep amber to almost brown color on the pour, head is average in size, frothy in texture and the lace thick and clinging. Nose is nutty sweet, malt, lightly smoked or maybe peat. Front is sweet and malt laden, top passable in its feel. The finish is moderately carbonated, dry, plummish, and mellow in the hop spiciness, droughty lingering aftertaste, and a quite decent and robust beer

Jan 07, 2003
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francisweizen from Alaska

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the famous Vildeman cafe in Amsterdam! The brown glass bottle had no label, and this beer was ordered as "Zat-ah" from brewery "Tea-gh". This brew was a glowing golden colour with a nice frothy head of white snow. The aromas were of nice yeast, honey, different spices, and interestingly fruity malts. The taste was malty and fruity, with some nice spicing/hopping to boot. This reminded me of a weird spiced version of Hommelbier. The mouthfeel was medium>thick and the drinkability was excellent as well. A really good Holland brew!

Mar 30, 2004
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As soon as I crack the crown cap, a heady whiff of fruity aromas wafts out, with a suggestion of grapes in the lead. Hazy orange color, enormous crackly creamy head, casting a pinkish appearance in contrast to the body of the beer. Aroma is vibrant, dazzling, lovely, largely citrus and spice. Soft and sweet, with a slightly sour palate that remains throughout the finish. Somehow, I'm getting the feel of a lambic here, with the sourness and the fruit. Not among my favorite tripels, but a nice shot.

Jan 11, 2003
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Andreji from Texas

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't overly impressed by any of the IJ products and this one- good and all- wasn't an exception.

Pour kinda threw me off after tasting the Scharrel Wit because I thought they'd just poured me another one of the same. looks orange, bright, with a medium white head that has considerable retention.

The nose is very distinctive, because it's far fruitier than the wit. much as the flavour, it brings accross an interesting blend of mandarine and maracuja- a bit citrusy sour at the same time- and then ends in a strong, yet balanced bitterness.

Full-bodied, definetly, with the carbonation consistent to the sort of beer it is. worth trying.

Jun 30, 2005
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SeanChouffe from New Mexico

3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An amber/orange color, hazy, with a full white head; effervescent, with full lacing and a nice film. Aroma is of pineapple, apples, pears and other fruity esters. Flavor has a sweet start and bitter finish, dry and yeasty. Palate is smooth, medium bodied with low co2. Quite one-dimensional; smells like a tripel, but the finish is surprisingly dull and bitter.

Nov 07, 2004
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ark57 from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark gold with some orange hue. It is murky with a thin creamy head. The aroma is yeasty and bready with some sweetness and spice. It is earthy and spicy up front and the body is light and crisp. The carbonation is prickly and there is some orange notes with a slight sourness. It finishes with some alcohol and bitterness.

Mar 26, 2004
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle date 08.04, Sampled August 2004
Pours a hazy rich gold color that is topped by a fluffy cream-tan colored head. I get soft aromas of tropical fruit, oranges, pepper, and a faint mustiness. Overall the aroma is fairly weak though. The taste is lightly sweet up front and the finish is definitely interesting: I get a certain astringency and a mustiness. There are also notes of lemon, orange, pear and lots of spice notes in the finish. This is a very interesting beer, the after taste is chock-full of subtle spice notes that really grab my attention.

Aug 20, 2004
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Shaw from Florida

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy gold with a short white head. The head remains as a layer of white in my glass.

It smells of spices: coriander and serious orange peel! It took me a few sniffs to get acclimated to the aroma. At first I didn't think there was much smell. But after a few snorts I really notice the orange aroma. I wonder if there is more than dried orange peel? Fresh oranges?

The taste is a little light in flavor for me. It has all the normal triple tastes: spices, sweetness, etc. but just needs more of them. This lightness is nothing serious, however, which is why I gave it a 3.5. It hides its high ABV very well, there are no big alcohol flavors. I'd never guess this beer was as strong as it is.

The body is light and crisp. I really like the high carbonation level in this beer. It bubbles and froths over my tongue.

For an 8 percent beer, this is deceptively light in flavor and quite drinkable. There are better tripels out there, but this is an especially refreshing take on the style.

May 25, 2005
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byrd from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber brew with a medium head that quickly subsides to a bubbly lace that sticks to the sides of the glass. There is a little carbonation seen rising to the surface. Aroma is very spicy with pepper notes standing out. Carmel malt, honey, candied sugar, and a hint of lemon are all also present. The palate is quite sweet up front with hints of honey. The middle is spicy - pepper and cloves - with a lemony citric hop finish that lingers. There is a decent carbonation that gives a fluffiness to the mouthfeel. This is an okay tripel, but doesn’t really standout in my mind.

Nov 25, 2003
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uturn from Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Dec 01, 2011
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Crosling from Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, Califonria. Pale yellow with a gigantic head of white foam. Appealing nose of light fruits (pears and apples), bubble gum, spice and yeast. Airy, light and timid body. Big bubble gum flavors with hints of papaya, pear, apples, hops and yeast. I really like Ij and their beers.

Mar 27, 2006
Zatte from Brouwerij 't IJ
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 196 ratings