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: 116
Photo of rvdoorn
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a friend for my birthday some time ago. Poured into a Westmalle glass. The beer pours a redish-brown color with a two finger thick head that disappeared fast during drinking.

The scent is warm, an aroma of herbs, spices and some hints of alcohol and some sweetness that I cannot define (dark fruits??).

The taste is spicy with malts, some sweet caramel-chocolate taste, and again some undefined fruits. Very rich in taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good, medium thickness with medium-high carbonation

Overall a very good beer, not comparable to anything I had before. I read it is not brewed with hops in antoher review, but with herbs. The resulting spicy smell and taste reminds me a little bit of cough syrup, but than the nice one you can't stop drinking. A must try!

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Photo of rye726
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice gruit from Jopen. Pours a rich mahogany with a tna head. Nose has a nice collection of herbs along with nutty malts. Taste also has a nice grain profile, but the spice presence is a bit dull. Medium to full body, carbonation a bit high. Good example of the style.

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Photo of RuudJH
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer that's brewed, not with hops, but with a mix of herbs, of which 'Myrica gale' is the main (and for a long time controversial) ingredient.
A 15th century receipe.
Oats based, stated on the bottle label.

A: Dark brown colour, cloudy, with a beige head that's pretty good. It really looks like a stout.
S: This beer has a gardensmell to it. flowers, herbs. Also a bit of coffee and bread.
T: Not a very robust beer, a bit spicy, roasted grains. and herbs.
M: This beer goes down easy. The yeast is masked pretty well by the mixture of herbs.
D: It's interesting to try this one, and imagine what people would think of it 6 centuries ago.

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Photo of wl0307
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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 chinabeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle. synthetic cork has "best before 03/05/09". poured into tulip.

very dark amber, no haze. moderate, light tan head soon fades to wisps and a ring. somewhat scattered, thin lacing.

aroma is malty caramel, prune juice, plums and spice (anise, cinnamon, and maybe coriander), molasses, raisins and brown sugar.

flavors are similar: malty, fruity and mildly herbal. sweet but gently phenolic in the back. faint bitterness in the finish.

medium body, with gentle to moderate carbonation, goes into a very faint astringency in the finish.

sweetness almost approaches cloying, but overall remains quite drinkable, esp. with something like thyme-pepper-garlic seasoned lamb chops.

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Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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 rallison
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at least 2 years old, possibly up to 5 years old.

Pours an amber red with a 1/2 finger white head that diminishes and leaves no lacing.

Smells very much of herbs - medicinal, to an extent - with some vinegar and spiciness (likely from the herbs as well). Quite interesting. The vinegar notes either preclude a very interesting beer, or possibly an over-the-hill, horrible bottle. Let's find out..

Tons of herbs in here. I can't quite pinpoint them, but some of them most definitely lean toward medicinal. Somewhat spicy, but not over the top. Hints of red wine, dried fruits and caramel. Finishes with herbal spice.

Nicely carbonated with a fair richness.

Recommended. I can definitely see this being a beer with quite a history. I'd be curious to know how close this comes to the original versions. Unique - I like that.

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Photo of ntillemans
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish brown, somewhat cloudy, nice three fingers of head. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smells fruity, like fig

T: Fruity, spicy taste, alcohol...detect anise (but not overbearing)...tatses like the traditional gruit spices are present. It's a little thin after the initial burst of flavor (where the alcohol jumps to the fore) and before the aftertaste. If not for that momentary thinness, I would have given the taste of this the highest mark.

M: There's a nice effervessence and creaminess. I was expecting less body, head and cabonation from a gruit. So, well done.

D: I split the 750 ml bottle with my wife. I would have finished the bottle if I were on my own. I'll definitely try this one again.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.67/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a reddish brown with a half inch thick head that settles quickly to a thin bubbly ring.

S: A hearty aroma with hints of dark fruit with the alcohol coming through. It makes me want to taste it even more.

T: The dark fruit aroma comes through in the taste. The spicing that makes it fall into this category tastes similar to cinnamon. The alcohol is definitely present in the flavor as well. This one is a great example of the whole being better than the sum of its parts.

M: The spicing and carbonation tickle the tongue making it very interesting to roll around in the mouth. The thickness adds to the experience as well.

D: I really enjoyed everything about this beer. It made me come back for more early and often.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Jopen pours a nice ruby brown mix and tops off with a nice thick three finger head. The smell was strong. It consisted of fruit, herbs, and spices. The taste was of berries, spices, herbs, and slight after notes of caramel. The mouthfeel was good. The flavors explode on the palate. It was very easy to drink with a little carbonation. I would definitely go for this again!

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This from a trade with Absumaster.

This 8.5% bottle-conditioned beer pours a deep orange-brown with a small light tan head.

Nose is mainly of sweetened cinnamon-like spice, with other odors below I cannot name or make out. Attractive though unusual. I didn't realize this wasn in fact a spiced beer when I tried it.

Taste is of alcohol (not well-hidden), some sense of dark sweet fruity malt, and a peripheral taste of the cinnamon from the nose. Aside from the alcohol, a very enjoyable beer, but the 8.5% should be better masked.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a gruit beer and is a replicate of an ancient beer.

Appearance is not very good, red/brown with little head and not much carbonation.

Smell is nice, earthy with a strong caramellic smell and some chocolate.

Taste is caramel, tobacco, candy sweets and slightly sweet. A good maltiness and some flowery and spicy tastes. Could this be the gagel that I taste. I don't know how this tastes, but for me it is clear that this beer is really something special. The other tastes in here are so special that I don't know where they are coming from, but I don't mind, taste is good.

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Photo of Hunter
1.65/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Things don't look good. Dark brown ale with no head at all. Zippo. Bad bottle?
Smell: Caramel, damp sugars, some alcohol.
Taste: Utterly flat. More like sugary iced tea than ale.
Mouthfeel: Cloying.
Drinkability: I'm convinced I got a bad bottle. Will try to review again another time.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
2.96/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, dark orange/red. There is a thick, low hover of creamy head.

Smell: Very clean, flowery smell - lots of sweet herbs coupled with a green tea and honey.

Taste: The onset of this beer comes on with lots of spark and vibrance, powered by a sharp fruit and sugar that bubbles its way up to the roof of your mouth. As the onset fades, a less robust lemon and tea flavor enters. There is a small hint of ground black pepper at the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Its a little bubbly, but nice. It seems to mellow it pretty quickly once it is in the mouth, but the its carbonation does fill the mouth more than the wetness or saturation of the flavor

Drinkability: As far as gruits go, this one seems to me more artificial. Actually, it makes me rethink how well crafted earlier gruits might truly have been.

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Photo of whynot44
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium bodied, cloudy, translucent reddish brown with a brief yellowish tan head.

The aroma is fruity/spicy, plums, dark cherries, allspice?

The taste is sweet up front with plums, raisins, dark cherries, somewhat of a candied fruit taste, with a spicy, somewhat astringent overtone. Something like a spiced, rum-laced fruitcake. Interesting and not bad.

Worth a try just for the history but also enjoyable, even for a hophead like me. Alcohol content is not obvious but builds up a nice warmth over the course of a bottle.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark, dangerous pour from a 750. tight, even, one-finger head that has not diminished in the slightest over 15 minutes of in-glass warming. pumpkin-orange highlights and a few random floaties.

smells soapy.. green apple hints and smells like rock candy tastes. very fresh in its fruitiness, with a yeasty smell reminiscent of champagne. very busy in the nose. approaching mulled wine in it sweet spice complexity.

very carbonated and heavy with alcohol-soaked dark fruits. very belgian for a dutch gruit. green apple continues and settles in a pool of brandy. cherries appear in essence, maltiness adds a rich sweetness and some thickness to counter the bubbly nature. grassy finish with some noticeable funk attributed to possible bacterials or sherry-like age.

not the best example of a true gruit that i've ever had, more like a belgian ale. still, ill recommend this as a suitable starter beer for those intimidated by heavily spiced concoctions. makes room for depth and complexity while offering a solid malty brew in the background. good.

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Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
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 scruffwhor
3.87/5  rDev -3%
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 oberon
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
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 Shultzerdugen
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl. brown bottle with cage and cork. I had to get pliers to get the cork out, man was that sucker tight.

Poured a clouded dark mahogany with a small collar of off-white froth.

Bananas, clove, green apple peel in the nose.

Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Tart and dry, nice roasty malt taste towards the back. Herbs act as hops to help balance the sweetness in the finish. Interesting graininess in the mouthfeel.

My first Gruit, and I wasn't let down. Very interesting and amazing considering the absence of hops!

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Photo of edchicma
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with a quickly dissipating head. Nose is a blend of fruit, wine, malt and grassy elements...very nice. Tatse is excellent. Malt and alcohol on the front..belnding into a lightly biiter finish. Mouthfeel is suprising light for the high abv. Very easy on the drinkability scale, considering the high abv also. Some qualities of a Double...but without the abundance of port-wine like qualities. A very nice change of pace.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What a great nose, to say there must be "gagel" in this beer! Strange but a good change of nose every now and then cant harm and this one is exceptional. Too bad there is hardly any carbon dioxide and with it of course hardly any foam. Further a full malty and spicy bitter taste with a bitter aftertaste.
Too bad for for foam and mouthfeel but all in all most certainly one I go for again!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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 Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut brown, generous 1 inch light brown head, diminishing. Surprisingly cerealic aroma, like sweet wheat or oat cereals with a touch of brown sugar, accompanied with clove spiced toasted bread. On the tongue, the same show keeps on with that buckwheat pancakes alike malt worthy of praise. Very bready, incredibly well-hidden alcohol. Great alcohol hiding. Subtle yeast component. Fading balancing leafy bitterness. Medium body fits well. Well built.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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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Jopen Koyt from Jopen Bier BV Haarlem
3.99 out of 5 based on 116 ratings.
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