The spicy taste is complex and soft. Jopen Koyt is brewed with gruit, a medieval spice mixture with ritually plucked gale. According to a myth, gale can be hallucinogenic and to avoid this gale should be picked by naked witches at full moon.
This red-brown beer is a replica of a city beer from Haarlem and is brewed according to the brewer's choice (prescribed city recipe) from 1407.
2 years ago
Added to database
15 years ago
This traditional ale pours a medium brown color from a 750ml bottle. Small sized white foamy head. Aroma is dried fruit, malt, herbs and sweet. A medium bodied ale. Malts are fruity and sweet. Lots of spices permeate this beer. I am assuming things like sage, thyme and coriander. Fruity and sweet. Bright yeasts. Lively carbonation. Nice balance. A very pleasant tasting, if not slightly strange, beer: The mild bitterness comes from both the hops and the spices and it is hard to figure which is which. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
Lot 18IC. Poured a cloudy, murky, sedimented brown-orange color with a small head. Lacing was ok, nothing special. Aroma was rather complex, strong alcohol, some oak, and whiskey or bourbon type flavors. Flavor was fairly light for the color and aroma: oak most notable, some light fruits (apples, light cherries) with some light tart/sour aspects (little vinegar, a touch of that Flemish Sour aspect). Spices were initially subtle: a good thing, as strong can be annoying. Mouthfeel a little thin.
A 750mL passed to me by my mate Darren the same time as the SD Strong Ale Fest. I didn't see this coming, to be honest -- a Gruit from out of the blue. And after popping this open and sampling it, my taste buds surely didn't see it coming either!
Took some work to get the cork out, but I was evventually rewarded with a nice smoking bottle, releasing all types of fascinating aromas.
Poured this with a fair amount of vim and vigor into my Duvel glass, a glass where the interesting aromas would be concentrated. Ruddy dark-brown in appearence, with a well-behaved head of foam. As I progressed through my glassful, not much in the way of lacing, which I guess has something to do with the proteins and such absent -- proteins that would normally show up in a beer that has been hopped, that is to say.
It's the aroma that first truly drew me into this beer, to be honest. Not hoppy (obviously), and not overtly fruity, per se. I'm not sure what I'm smelling here, to be honest. Maybe hints of plum and figs? I dunno. I just know that it's quite nice, and that I could sniff a beer like this for hours on end!
And then the flavor profile. As I hophead, I'm quite perplexed with the idea that such a fascinating beer is completely sans hops. After all, even the fruitiest and most avant-garde Belgian beers out there at least have some aged Saaz or Styrian Goldings somewhere in the boil. But with a Gruit, all those preconceived notions are out the window -- leaving behind a beer that is bitter, and yet not hoppy..., and fruity, yet not particularily "fruit oriented" (if that makes any sense). This reminds me of one of my current all-time favorite brews (the Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru), with perhaps the additional under-current of raisins and figs to the mix. In short, a medley of wonderful flavors here!
A nicely drinkable brew, that doesn't come off as heavy or as turgid as I expected, when I first heard of the style. In fact, with only the hints of the alcohol in the backend -- and the relative rarity of this beer in general -- I can still see how this can become quite popular for those "in the know". But until then, I like to think of this as one of my personal "secret" beers -- a secret to be shared amongst family and (much more importantly!) friends!
Sampled from bottle. Pours a murky brown with no head or lacing. Aroma is of hard candy, prunes, flowers and spice. Flavor is worty with licorice, alcohol, and pepper. Balanced, viscous and well-carbonated. An interesting style of beer.