Beer sellers: De Bierkoning
Origin: Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
From one of the Netherlands’ best established and most consistently good micros, this is a decidedly local beer, commissioned from ’t IJ on Amsterdam’s Funenkade by the Bierkoning beer shop by the Dam, not more than two kilometres away. The name Vlo means ‘flea’ but also apparently stands for ‘Vodden, Lompen, Ongeregeld’ – ‘Rags, more rags, irregular.’ That last word describes its availability on draught at the brewery’s tasting room, but it’s always on sale bottle conditioned at the shop. These days all the ingredients are organic, including judiciously deployed coriander.
There’s nothing raggy or fleabitten about this rich amber, heavily sedimented beer with its creamy off-white head. A sweetish, yeasty and orangey aroma has notes of coriander and toffee, while the smooth brown sugar palate is soon dried by a complex mix of hops and medicinal herbs. Following a smooth swallow there are more hops and bitter herbs over barley sugar and spiced orange in the finish. A big and vivid beer that’s perhaps worth ageing a couple of months to round off its raw edges.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/t-ij-speciale-vlo/6060/