Jopen Koyt
Jopen Bier BV Haarlem

Jopen KoytJopen Koyt
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Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #6
Ranked #9,429
3.97 | pDev: 11.34%
Jopen Bier BV Haarlem
Very Good
Jopen KoytJopen Koyt
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 135
Photo of Humanusfermentum
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tea-colored pour; foamy head reduced to a thin, persistent, creamy one. It helped in retaining some of the more subtle notes in the flavor. Nice, complex flavor profile. Dark and earthy, like a pint out of a medieval tavern. I've discovered an affinity for these ancient ales.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This gruit brought the spices on the front, middle and end of the taste. Clove, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbal spices. Body has texture to suit these spices. There are some boozy fruits, but the spices rule all. Would love some more balance, but otherwise pretty nice.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish, deep mahogany coloration with a medium, creamy head. Smell is very sweet and malty, with some herbal notes coming through as well. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by caramel, bready malt, some dark fruit: fig, raisin and strong herbal notes that are difficult to define exactly. There are sweet aniseed notes reminiscent of liquorice, some light notes of alpine herbs, specifically eucalyptus, and also almost spicy notes remiscent of cumin. Finishes sweet and herbal with some licorice lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium/rich body and low carbonation. This kinda reminds me of a Ricola cough drop, but in a good way. It's quite sweet, but not cloyingly so, with the herbs lending a good balance and providing some really unique notes. Incredibly impressive for being brewed traditionally, without any hops.

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Photo of dcotom
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from an 11.2-ounce bottle into a straight-sided mug. Hazy light brown color with tan highlights and a thick light tan head that left some stringy lacing as it settled to a thin ring. (There was also some particulate matter suspended in the beer, which may be off-putting to some.) Aromas of caramel and dark fruit (prune, raisin) smack you in the face. Stay with it long enough and some floral and spicy notes begin to come through. Tons of malty sweetness on the tongue, with - again - big flavors of caramel, dark fruit, and herbal spiciness. There is a little tart fruit and quite a bit of astringence coming through on the finish. Mouthfeel is substantial, no doubt attributable to the oats in the grain bill. Surprisingly little alcohol warmth, considering the relatively high ABV (8.5%). Very tasty, if a little out of the ordinary. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(750 ml corked/caged bottle, bottle - best by: 24 Nov 2017, bottled: 24K15... poured into a large wine glass)

L: dark garnet liquid, appearing opaque though toward the bottom trough of the glass, it lightens and shows clear... some foam builds on the pour, but it's immediately apparent that it won't retain, which it doesn't, but a think blanket cap remains; lacing minimal

S: very much like a Belgian brown ale, or dark trappist, with dark gingerbread, raisin, and perhaps prune aromas... anticipates dark, deep malts and possibly a touch of caramel sweetness... plum or vinous-like esters slowly emerge, alcohol maintains a low profile

T: as the smell implies, rich dried fruit and dark bready malt, with a hint of licorice and subtle sweetness in the finish... I'm not very familiar with the flavor of sweet gale, but nothing out of the ordinary herbal-wise stands out - a mellow bitterness lingers, but it could be a combo of phenols and roasted malts causing it... I feel like this is on par with (if not marginally tastier than) a Corsendonk brown, or something similar

F: light-medium bodied with a soft heat thinning it slightly; clean, but with a little hip fat... carbonation is at a mellow, ideal level, and (to repeat) the soft heat is lovely... overall: sloppy, soft, lazy, comfy

O: I'd kept an eye out for this since learning of it around 2010 - glad I finally stumbled across it and would definitely buy it again, despite the fact that it's not terribly 'herbal'

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Photo of schavuytje
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A traditional scotch ale de dutch way @ 1407; red-brown body with a bitter herbs aroma, flavors of many malted barley, wheat and oats; biscuit, sweet and creamy solid in alcohol

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.24/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 4.23 (Including tax)/11.2 oz bottle ($ 0.378/oz) at the Lager Mill, Frankenmuth, MI.
Bottle dated 26 Nov 2017 stored at 42 degrees. Served at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – herbal and somewhat medicine-ish. Fades away.
Head large (Maximum five cm, aggressive pour), tan, medium density with precipitate floating on the surface, average retention. Diminishing to an irregular seven to fifteen frothy ring and a rocky partial layer.
Lacing – good. Towering wide columns of tiny to small bubbles.
Body – dark brown, muddy with precipitate, some effervescence.
Flavor – slightly sweet herbal tea. Allowing it to warm in my mouth only accentuates the herbal medicine aspects of the nose. No malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – medium, lightly syrupy, soft carbonation.

Typical of gruits and atypical for a beer. Not bad for what it is but certainly not a good substitute for a Dutch beer. I can see this with a meal in the Netherlands as a novelty but not as a regular libation. But since the brewer is calling it a “Gruitbier”, I’ll score it as a beer.

Appearance 3.25, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.25.

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Photo of janubio
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber colour, reddish tones when held to the light. Medium head with long retention, good lace. Aroma is earthy, herbs, nuts, caramel. Sticky palate, medium to full body, strong carbonation. Taste of honey, caramel, chocolate, nuts.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Hazy deep brown color with a decent sized tightly bubbled tan head that slowly recedes. Lightly herbal on the nose with plenty of brown sugary maltiness to counter. Light pine in the flavor with a bit of bitterness and sweet bready caramel and brown sugar maltiness to counter. Light earthy spicy notes round this out nicely. I'm not usually a fan of gruit but this one I kind of liked.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 ounce bottle, best before 26 NOV 2017 stamped on the back label. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a hazy reddish/brown color with about an inch and a half tan head that stuck around for a bit. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like stone fruit, sweet spices, herbs and earthiness. It tastes like stone and dark fruit, caramel, herbs, earthiness, sweet spices, licorice and molasses. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and easy to drink with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this brew, glad I tried this one! $3.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color almost like a light Amber molasses. Aroma is malty sweet with a lift herbal quality. Flavor is caramel malts with a aromatic vegetable flavor. Almost like a wild leafy green. Body is smooth and nice to drink. Overall a very solid brew, nothing I would drink a lot of but still solid.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. After dinner. Profile of a good Dubbel with hops replaced with odd (for me) yet pleasant mix of herbs that integrates vey well. 6 months after BB date.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Best by 24 Nov 2017.
A: Pours a very dark but very clear reddish amber hue with 1/2 inch dark tan head with good retention (very tight bubble formation) and mild amount of lasting lacing.
S: Heavy and sweet caramel malt, herbal notes (mint and clove), and earthy minerals.
T: Moderately heavy sweet caramel malt, red berries, mint, clove, cedar wood, very soft pine, and a hint of juniper berries and earthy minerals. There also seem to be more herbal notes that I am not identifying. A surprising amount of complexity here given the absence of hops!
M: Soft (wheat and oats), full, and velvety. Moderately heavy body. Softly sweet (mostly caramel with some fruit notes) with mild herbal bitterness throughout. Nice lingering on the palate.
D: This one was a very nice surprise! It's amazing what can result from an herbal blend standing in for the hops. If you are a hop head, stay away. If you are up for something different, definitely seek it out!

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Photo of KatyBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After I Had this in Amsterdam in 2015, I thought it was too different to seek it out again. But, I saw it on the shelves at Binny's three years later. And I'm glad I Had it again. Jopen Koyt is more than different. It is interesting and well-made. And to explain the high OA points given, I like the informative story on the label.

Since gruits are not particularly attractive, I think the dark malts used here help the cause of making the style seem normal.
Smells? I like them a lot because these are mostly malts moving in to serve my sweet-tooth; but the balance comes from herbs instead of hops... which I also like. Tastes come in the same and the 8.5% stays concealed. Tastes have a stimulating finish from the herbs.

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.....
Open Koyt also is reviewed at length in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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Photo of leroybrown10
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Zet
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of boddhitree
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev -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).

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Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Best before 03/ 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.

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Photo of safaricook
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
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

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of sfprint
4.17/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Jopen Koyt from Jopen Bier BV Haarlem
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 135 ratings