Jopen Koyt | Jopen Bier BV Haarlem

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Jopen KoytJopen Koyt

Brewed by:
Jopen Bier BV Haarlem

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2002

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 117
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wine colour with a little lace. Light mouthfeel. Aged past expiry by eight months, and still quite drinkable, and likely mellowed. Tough cork to remove. Herbal and spicey, with clove and pepper, cinammon, good dark fruit soaked in there. Thanks Paul.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
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 metter98
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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 superspak
3.94/5  rDev -1%
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 oberon
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burgundy with a big fluffy off white head,wow the aromas are quite a treat cinnamon and clove dominate with a nice underlying cherry fruitiness both intermingle very well together.Seems to be quite complex,nutmeg and cloves really show up with a real grape juice flavor showing up with just a hint of green herbs in the finish.I have to say I have never had a beer taste so much like grape before it was rather pleasant.My second gruit and I really enoyed this one.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a gruit, brewed without hops. It relies on herbs and spices to balance the sweetness of the malt. Cloudy. Brownish in color with a very fine and creamy 1/4" tan head that holds very, very well and leaves some good lace. The body is medium with a very fine effervescence that makes it quite soft in the mouth. The aroma is fairly full with dark fruit, cherries, tartness, a lightly peppery spiciness, soft caramel maltiness, and some herbal qualities that I can't readily define. The herbs do give a drying quality and the beer is well rounded. Some fruity & herbal maltiness lingers in the finish, but it's not sticky as the tartness balances it. The alcohol is well hidden, only emerging toward the end of the serving. A very unique, interesting, and rewarding beer. Quite enjoyable. Much more balanced and mellow than I'd expected. Absolutely worth trying.

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Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork-caged 750 ml bottle - Best before 08/05/09 printed on cork.

Pours dark brown with a light tan head that stays.

The smell is spicy - nutmeg, cinnamon, earthy herbs, and a strong caramel/toffee. The spices rennder an earthiness that takes the place of hops very well. More than pleasantly surprised here!

The taste is of caramel/toffee with spicy earthy bitterness (and without hops!) Anise, nutmeg, cinnamon spiciness blends so well and mesh with the toffeeish malt, yet stops short of being over-spiced, and allows the maltiness to dominate, but in a balanced way. Alcohol is not noticeable in taste, though becomes quite warming after half-way through the 750 bottle. Earthy, complex, yet not overwhelming, with a nice maltiness. It has a creamy, medium to full body. Drinks dangerously smoothly, though slows down to a very sippable sipper! This is unique, interesting, and well-done!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cloudy crimson/amber coloration, with various floatablities, running rampant, an excellent helping of froth buzzing atop.
big spice in the nose, cinnamon, clove, huge, and spilling over with dark fruit, as well, big time cherries, and grapes, and prunes, a wicked mix, not your average cornucopia in the least! Enticing and intoxicating!
In the taste, more of these flavors recurr, ever so pleasantly, the palate is coated well with sweet, rich fruit and copious spicy accompaniament. Full bodied, long, clinging finish, memorable flavor.
I'm still considering this brew, halfway through the bottle, but it definitely registers among the best beers from the Netherlands to have ever reached my lips.
As I finish the bottle, I can only reflect on the marvelous, rich, delciousness...I definitely need to return to the store and stock up on more, for this is a very fine bottle indeed.
Very slick in feel and flavor, rich in taste and texture, full in body and character...damnit, I like it, don't care what you say! I'm an unabashed fan of this stuff, and you can cuff me if you like, I'll still sing it on high (and try to procure a case for personal consumption!)

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown amber. Minimal head and no lacing. Nice dark Belgian aroma. Tasty dark malts with nutty flavors, dark fruit and unidentifiable, but pleasant herbs. Nice malty middle and finish. Medium bodied with creaminsess. Delicious. I really like this beer. Excellently integrated and wonderful.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ok, so I'm a hop-head and I'll try to keep this review somewhat objective.

Pours a dark amber/crimson, fairly clean and clear. No much of a head; off-tan about 1/2 finger. It does look a bit flat, no pop in the cork, and this harms the feel of it later on.

Sweet aroma, malty yet not husky. Fruits and booze, non-sweet

Tastes very sweet at first, but it dies down considerably, which is good. it has a syrupy feel at first, but that fades away too...more carbonation would have been better. Fruits and sweet caramel, sweet bread, spice, herbal and floral--but earthy floral.

Overall, this is a nice beer. Didnt' think I'd drink the whole 750ml bottle...but I did.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, clear, amber-garnet color and it is topped by a thick light brown head. Aromas of crystal malt, dark fruit (cherry and raisin are most evident), hint of alcohol, candied fruit, and allspice. This beer has a rich creamy mouthfeel to it. The candied fruit is in the taste as well, but this beer is not overly sweet for it. The gruit herbs/spices are quite muted, I can't pick out any individual contributions. There is no real balancing bitterness here, though there is perhaps a light astringency in the finish. This is predominantly a fruity tasting beer, it tastes like a cross between a fruit cake and a spice cake. This would be an appropriate beer for a cold winter evening.

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Photo of wl0307
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisit 3.5 years since my first encounter; BB 22/04/10, served between cool and lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: dark mahogany hue with light cloudiness of yeast sediments, topped with a dirty dark beige frothy head settling only reluctantly
S: just as nice as the last bottle, full of deeply-scented and yet soul-lifting herbs & spices on a par with jammy, thick, syrupy and treacle-ish dark maltiness, with ginger, cinnamon and licorice coming before other mixed spices and, most notably, smoked black-prune juice in the fruit-malty department. Lovely...
T: really delicious... the slightly alcoholic swallow of dark malts is mixed inextricably with burned & jammy dark fruits (fat raisins and prunes), as well as a rich yet by-no-means overpowering input of "gruit", featuring ginger, licorice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and what-not on a flat bedrock of spiced-coffee-flavoured toffee, bitter chocolates, caramel-coated walnuts, and treacle. Mildly chewy and bitter-sweet (a bit like cold, sweetened black tea) in the finish, witnessing a nice balancing work from the hops and burned malts, as well as a lightly sour touch of dark fruits that helps to keep a balance at the tail.
M&D: softly carbonated, light-bodied but never thin, this heavily-spiced ale is also deliciously malty and fruity in every sense with a decent complexity and sound body overall. Somehow, this bottle tastes even more impressive than my last encounter, which I take as a good thing!

* Tasting Date: 30/09/05
Purchased at the Beer Circus in E. Croydon, London. 30cl brown bottle, the BB date is 22/12/05.
3.5 A: served in a tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a dark ruby to deep reddish-brown colours, after force-pouring the head is still moderate, dissipating slowly into oblivion; very low carbonation as far as I can see against light.
4.5 S: spicy, spicy, spicy--like a pack of mulled-wine spice infused in plum juice... cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, a touch of marzepan, and refreshing note of mint-leaves(?) dominate the nose, while hidden beneath is a slightly sweetish, chocolatey, burned dark-fruity base of mixed malts. Overall quite refreshing and heart-lifting, not overdone at all! I like it.
3.5 T: an interesting, "floating" texture of sour-sweet malts hits the palate, immediately bringing on board a thin-bodied ripe blueberry-ish juicy flavour mixing with the mild maltiness with a touch of nutmeg (or the like...) and black licorice; quite light on spice and light on everything else, while the mid-flavour of malts passes on to slightly warmish touch on the swallow with minimum influence from the overwhelming spices on the nose... why?
3.5 M&3 D: slightly stimulating initially but overall quite smooth; the body is too thin and flavour too simple and timid compared with the promising aroma. I wonder if it's meant to be like this, and perhaps that it's nearing the BB date has to do with the lack of spicy intervention on the palate and in the aftertaste? It's an interesting brew all the same, though my curiosity and interest stops with this bottle (at 2.5pounds a bottle!!)...

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
best before 03/05/09 on cork
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a garnet glow at the base and a thin wispy head that is soon gone and a slow microcarbonation that glides up the sides of the glass.

S- The brown malt aroma has some dry toffee and wet wood characteristics with walnuts and cherry stones to follow.

T- The dry woody brown malt flavor has some dry toffee and cherry stone flavors to follow. There is just a touch of sweetness in the finish with a soft green herbal and tea berry hint in the finish. The pot caramel and cola notes come through in the brown malt flavor as the beer opens up.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat and a slightly watery texture that turns a bit slippery in the finish.

O- This is a great blend of characters with some faint flanders red hints and some nice bock qualities all come together. If I would have seen the date before I bought it I would have passed on it but it was quite a surprise to taste this good given the age on it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.86/5  rDev -3%
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 scruffwhor
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color- A dark amber, mahagony, cherry wood stain. Semi-creamy and almost opaque.

Smell- Smells like a creamy, green apple salad with a pronounced herbal end.

Taste- The green apple flavor follows the smell with a creamy malt aftertaste that lingers a couple seconds after you swallow. Alos conjures up hints of coriander, orange peel, and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel- A little heavier than I expected.The carbonation does help dilute the unexpected heavinessthe that creamy flavor promotes.

Drinkability- I would not want drink another bottle until 2 hours after I had the first. This would be a good after dinner beer to have by itself.

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Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle was a gusher and lost about 40%. Poured with large (!) tan head and good lace. Color is a hazy medium amber. Aroma is a slightly sour yeasty malty spicey and bitter belgian style. Flavor's about the same. Decent body and carbonation (!) Slightly boozy at the end. Much better than the other Italian Chestnut beer I just had. But that's not saying a lot.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A crystal clear brown/ruby red with a quickly fading head of brown/tan. Aromas are very fruity, and consist of various malts, spices, candy sugar, yeast, and more. The taste is quite fruity. Sweet up front and dry in the finish with malts and spices in the taste. The mouthfeel is great with a wonderful texture that is medium bodied and great. The drinkability is also excellent.

Overall, this is an amazingly interesting and complex beer, considering that it has NO hops. Hey if medievil beer was like this...send me back in time!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this one is a *turn up* for the books!
A traditional Dutch Gruit Bier. My First!

A beer brewed by a collective group under the leadership of a chap called Michel Ordeman, who recreates traditional beers from the Haarlem area (no not that one!, the one with a double ‘a’ in the province of North Holland, Netherlands). Jopen "Brewery" BV does NOT have their own brewery, but they do recreate Medieval & Middle Age recipes, & have them Contract Brewed (they have been brewed at the Halve Maan, Van Steenberge & others since 1993). The recipe for Jopen Koyt originates from 1407. BTW, Jopen is the old Dutch name for a Beer Cask.

Comes in a 750ml tall, thin neck bottle. ‘½In-½Out’ Cork & Wired Caged. The Cork was a ****er to get out, I had to resort to pliers to get a good grip! Huge expulsion, with lots of slow moving gray steamy gun smoke.

Massive thick tan head, large expanse at first made it difficult to pour. It settles to a thick pillowy ½” which lasts, & lasts. Great lacing. Dark-brown, when back-lit it has a slight cloudy appearance & a red-orange hue at times.

The aroma is very enticing. Where to start; peppery dark spices, fruity malts, some grain, dark fruits and the alcohol definitely comes through in the *very* aromatic nose towards the end. I got Aniseed & Curacao Oranges in the background – its feint, but it is there.

This is very good. It’s amazing that a beer with NO hops, and just Oats and Spices to balance the Malts works SO well – it tastes SO good. This has quite a complex body & layered taste profiles.

Finishes with a mildly warming, fruity alcohol finish that lingers. Big in the mouthfeel, well rounded and smooth drinking, it kicks ass, but it is subtle in its stature. The finish has support from the 8.5% alcohol, but equally from the spices, which leaves the tongue with an aniseed and licorice tingle at times.

This 75cl Bottle cost me $8. Probably one of the most expensive Dutch beers I have ever purchased. But Damn, it was well worth it!

Oats, Wheat & Barley in the Mash with a Gruit of several Spices. Hopheads may not even understand this beer (which may confirm the rumors) – how could they when there are NO Hops? I know, NO Hops – yet this is excellent!!! Unique & WELL Worth a Try.

I must get some more of this beer for my Beer C-ellar-upboard.
Can't wait to age this one!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Since I Had this in Amsterdam and am unlikely to seek it out again, I will review it now and say that it was interesting. 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.....
Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a crystal clear medium amber with a small bubble tan and compact head that laced the glass.

The aroma was earth and malty with no real spice in it.

The flavor was almost Belgian and farmhouse with a dry bitterness but the first taste was sweet on the palate, but that quickly went dry. A nice caramel spicy flavor and then alcohol.

The finish was dry and alcoholic with spiciness through the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium light.

A complex and interesting beer.

Corked 25 ounce bottle. The cork was near impossible to remove.

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Photo of safaricook
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
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 josanguapo
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
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 ThePorterSorter
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
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 thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
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 leroybrown10
3.94/5  rDev -1%
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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Jopen Koyt from Jopen Bier BV Haarlem
3.98 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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