Vlo | Brouwerij 't IJ

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Very Good
20 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't IJ

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A prize-winning beer that we brew specially for De Bierkoning. The fruity, bitter hops and lightly roasted malt complement each other perfectly in this light brown beer. These flavours are accentuated with a little coriander to produce a full aroma of flowers, citrus and a hint of caramel. An irresistible beer that was crowned in the Brussels Beer Challenge with a silver medal in the Herb & Spice category.

Added by stcules on 06-12-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by cypressbob:
Photo of cypressbob
3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into an 't IJ brewery glass

Pours with a cloudy amber body, thick fluffy head with great retention

Smell, strong fresh herbs and mixed spice, corriander and parsley especially. Slight nuttiness along with a bit of funk in the background, some marzipan too

Taste, thick choking spice and dry hop profile, some hop bitterness and a little bit of lasting barnyard funk in the background

Disappointing to say the least, very unbalanced, well hopped but far too much spice, not great

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RuudJH
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bio beer with and EKO mark, unfiltered, unpasteurized.

Orange brown, murky, fluffy head, nice lacing.
Smell very fresh. Loads of citric, spice and floral hops.
Taste is pretty bitter. Hops and yeast (brett) dominate the beer.
Smooth, but with a very dry and bitter bite in the finish. Perhaps a bit too bitter.
Overall a very interesting and complex beer. Wild and unbalanced.
Well worth a try.

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Photo of sansho
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Absumaster
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my last 't IJ beer that I bought. The other 6(!) were sour or extremely sour as a results of an infection. At the point of dispare, I crack open this bottle to find a great beer!

Appearance is a murky brown beer with a 1 inch, creamy head that sticks to the glass the entire beer.

Smell is a little acidic with a clear lactic acidity. Some hoppiness and slightly unfresh smell.

Taste is bitter and hoppy with the bitterness being a bit sharp. It gives a burning sensation in the back of my throat. Some acidity is tasted, but subdued by the bitterness. Some liquorice taste.
A good bitter blond, which is a bit rough on the hops, but does show that 't IJ is able to produce good beers! Let's hope that it will improve to this level in the future.

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Photo of safaricook
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Heretic42
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at De Bierkoning with a BB of 04/2013

A: Cloudy amber, poured with about an inch of head that diminishes but doesn't completely die

S: Light floral, fruity notes, mainly citrus and coriander

T: Similar to the smell, it's slightly hoppy, slightly fruity with a bitter finish. Feels a bit out of balance with the bitterness dominating an otherwise faint flavor profile.

M: Medium-low amount of carbonation, slightly fizzy up front then a smooth finish.

O: A decent if forgettable BSPA. It's more than drinkable, but there are more than enough better choices available both for the style and for the Netherlands.

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Photo of jroof1
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of patto1ro
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber colour with a whipped cream head; coriander, citrus, peach, orange and barnyard aroma; sweetish/bitterish taste with coriander, orange, pepper, resin and barnyard aromas; bitter finish with coriander, pepper, resin and wood aromas.

An unusual combination of coriander, hop and Brettanomyces flavours. Distinctive and very, very good.
Tasted 29/06/2006.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted this on-tap offering in Café Belgique, Amsterdam in October 2004 (sorry, only found tasting notes now!).

This is a locally brewed beer with a fine appearence; served in a thick short stemmed glass it has a lovely orange yellow colour, and is cloudy.

The smell is floral, fruity and refreshing and the taste does not dissappoint revealing some citrus/cinnamon character. This is a little reminiscent of a Witbier, but with much more depth and character. A pleasent slightly dry mouthfeel, makes this one a great middle-of-the-day beer and a good session beer.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of John
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another unique offering from Brouwerij 't IJ. A difficult one to catagorize or find a comparison. Spicey, herbal, citrus, hoppy aroma. More of the same flavors. Incredible brew that's highly hopped with some coriander added. The two blend together well and lend quite an assertive bite. This one left me jonesin' for more. 7.0% abv.

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Photo of AlexM
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of this at De Bier Koning. The gent there says 't IJ brews it especially for sale there. Enjoyed during my stay in Amsterdam.
Vlo possesses a deep, dark golden shade, and is cloudy through and through. Topped off by a creamy, fine, long-lasting white head leaving good Belgian lace. Nose has an abundant floral hop lean to it, with spicy aspects to boot. Medium in the body category, Vlo has a slight bubbliness on the tongue, yet is still smooth without being prickly. A light toasty aspect leads off, though the hops are the heavy hitter here, along with intimations of mango and passion fruit, and a light coriander character. Tasty, the Vlo was!!


overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of Crosling
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled at Arendsnest in Amsterdam, Holland.


Freshly hopped, spicy, floral and somewhat appealing, still very subtle, with fruit flavors of orange, coriander and clove.

Highly hopped, dry and fruity with notes of coriander, orange, tangerine, lemon and biscuit like malt. Thin body and sparse carbonation.

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Photo of stcules
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light mahogany colour, with average foam, compact and creamy, beige.
Well spiced (cinnamon). Fresh flowers, herbs. The smell is soft and creamy (it can recall an english creamy ale).
After a while, the hops is more evident.
Vanilla, fresh hop, liquorice in good evidence, malt.
In the aftertaste the same notes, with dominance of liquorice and bitter herbs.
Quite good body, sinuous, for an elegant and creamy beer. Very good!

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Photo of erickehoe
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 33cl bottle into snifter. Bottle cap says 12.2013

Luscious frothy 1/2 inch head. Lacing is there. Caramel colored beer. It's pretty.

Doughy, yeasty smells. A little bit of toffee. Citrus hop aroma.

Starts smooth (I pour my beers hard, so some carbonation is agitated away). It has faint notes of chewy, yeasty bread dough in the taste, but the bulk of flavor comes from the hop profile. Midtaste, an earthy, citrusy flavor comes through. Finishes with peppery/grapefruity zest. Reserved flavors for a 7% abv beer.

Slick, slightly thin mouthfeel. Silky with a pinpointed carbonation.

Overall, it's a fine beer. Nothing stands out, necessarily. It offers drinkability and an interesting palate of tastes, and it remains fairly subtle throughout.

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Photo of wl0307
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 20/04/09, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: pours a hazy dark reddish amber hue, coming with very thick and tight off-white creamy head that seems to last throughout the drink, on top of
S: rustic and funky yeasts, grapefruit zests, very dry and lactic... (overly yeasty for me), on top of candy-ish sweet malts, (lightly "stinky") banana-esters, dried hawthorn fruits, cloves, and sweet citrus notes like Golding hops. Alas, just like the other IJ's bottled ales I've had, the yeast sediments seem to be overpowering and suppress other potential goodies on the nose.
T: semi oily-rich but simultaneously smooth & "spongey" due to the microscopic fizziness... sweet amber malts, a decent amount of fruit-esters and Chinese red-bean paste, mild input of alcohol, and overripe-fruit-like stinky edge all approach at once in addition to the major theme of woody-zesty hints of funky yeasts. The aftertaste goes deep, herbally/licorice bitter and clove-ish spicy, leaving a quietly chewy palate deep into the finish but always with a bitter-sweet touch. Interestingly, although the yeast sediments also overwhelm the taste as on the nose, there comes a balance b/w the dry-ish palate, sour-bitterness and fruity-maltiness. Nice, in a strange way.
M&D: the texture, as described above, is softly-carbonated and refreshing at first and turns more and more smooth as the beer breathes; the body is full but the sweetness is not OTT, the alc. is always in check, the sour-funky yeastiness doesn't go crazy or crude, and so the intriguing balance overall makes this a more drinkable beer than most of its sister products (that I've tried). I wonder if the filtered version (if any?) might be more lovely?

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Photo of dgilks
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice aroma with light lemony notes, a hint of barnyard funk, some soft malt and a touch of clove.

A bit murky, orange and with a massive off-white head. The bottle was a gusher.

The flavour isn't bad with muted citrus, soft malts and jut a hint of funk. The beer tastes a bit stale (even though within date).

Medium body with low carbonation. This isn't quite right.

This isn't a bad BSPA but it isn't great. Some more zing to the flavour would really help lift this up a notch.

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Photo of Aethien
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber colour with a nice, big tan head, plenty of lacing and great retention.

Smells like banana, floral and grassy hops, citrus and orange notes and some yeast.

The taste is hoppy (remeniscent of a Belgian style IPA) with loads of fruitiness, yeast and some floral and grassy notes to fill it up. It finishes dry and quite bitter.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy for the beer but it's smooth and with just enough carbonation for it to not get in the way of anything.

Overall this is more of a Pale Alo or Belgian IPA than a Strong Pale Ale but it's certainly interesting and quite drinkable.

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Vlo from Brouwerij 't IJ
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 20 ratings