Brewed by Brouwerij ’t IJ
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Amsterdam, Netherlands


on tap


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RATINGS: 230   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55/5   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
A prize-winning beer that we brew specially for De Bierkoning. The fruity, bitter hops and lightly roasted malt complement each other perfectly in this light brown beer. These flavours are accentuated with a little coriander to produce a full aroma of flowers, citrus and a hint of caramel. An irresistible beer that was crowned in the Brussels Beer Challenge with a silver medal in the Herb & Spice category.

Vlo stands for Vodden, Lompen en Ongeregeld (translates a bit as rags, bags and bums).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
kepano (261) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 23, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2008 My first encounter with Vlo was actually with Vlo himself, the manager of De Bierkoning in Amsterdam. When I asked him about the beer he joyfully exclaimed: "Flo? Flo is me!" patting his chest. He went on to explain how the word ’vlo’ is Dutch for flea, the nickname he earned working at the flea market selling "Eh... Stuff." as he put it. My friend and I followed our visit of the store by the brewery ’t IJ itself where we met one of the brewers who also works at de Bierkoning. He noted that IJ (also Amsterdam’s waterfront) sounds like the Dutch word for egg which explains the ubiquitous logo. After some talk, our new friend mentioned that any self-respecting Vlo lover, would know to get it on tap at Café Belgique. So that’s what I did. I had stolen a few sips from my friend at ’t Arendsnest when he had the bottled version, so I was ready to find out what made the tap version better.

In appearance the body seemed to vascillate between pinkish orangish yellow hues depending on my angle, much like a ripe apricot that displays on one side its prime rosy skin and on the other a golden youth. The plump creamy head produces multiple tenacious rings of lace as the level descends - an elegant effect. Apricot, peach, mango, coriander, orange peel and pepper emanate from the glass. The clement complexity allows a distinctive aroma to form without it seeming facile. So far, all appeared to be similar to the bottled alternative, though the slight spiciness in the nose felt more discernible. This sentiment became conspicuous in the flavor which had previously been much fruitier. A delicate hop flavor was also unveiled on tap, a toasty blend of sweetened grapefruit, orange peel and pine contributing to the gentle bitter finish. Vanilla, cinnamon and hazelnut are prominent and overshadow some of the peach and apricot flavors that seemed to dominate the bottled variant. Surprisingly the complexity was nearly not affected by the colder temperature, in fact I would highly recommend drinking Vlo between 5 and 7°C where its refreshing qualities give the beer more than just a good taste. On the tongue, the tickling carbonation is above average but accompanies the spicy character appropriately. Quite a remarkable product, all things considered. I wish I had purchased a case from De Bierkoning as I could easily see myself succumb to its soft yet intriguing complexity on a regular basis.

Re-rate (Jan 2008): Sadly, the Vlo I knew is no more. What has taken its place is an unrecognizable brew. Far more malty and caramelly, with a decent dose of hop, this is a brew that has lost much of its subtlety and flair. Unfortunate! I’m retaining my old rating as a memory of the delicious beer it was.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dimitri99 (63) - USA - APR 16, 2006
Bought in bottle, Beerking shop in Amsterdam. Brewed specially for that shop, near the Magna Plaza mall. Delicious and enjoyable, complex. Large head. Smooth.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SilkTork (5542) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - JUN 29, 2006
Bottle at Catford Beer Fest. Wheat beer with hints of poo and shoe polish. Dry finish - very hoppy for a wheat beer. I like it. Mineral tasting. Interesting. Quite brilliant. One of the most enjoyable wheat beers I can recall drinking.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jehoey (765) - Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 15, 2006
I really like this beer. had a bottle at Gollem in A’’dam. Fruity sugary aroma with banana, corriander, and citurs. appearence is an off orangish yellow that is cloudy. nice flavor that is dry and sweet. nice actiove palate. great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JK (5735) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - MAR 22, 2007
Bottle from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam. Cloudy orange and some sediment. Huge, long-lasting head. Dandelions in the aroma and other lighter spices. Sour, herbal flavor. Earthy. I thought it was a saison. However it is classified, I like it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
scanovajr (674) - Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - AUG 12, 2007
On tap @ Café Belgique, Amsterdam. Pours hazy oragnge with a small white head. Aroma is flowery, hoppy and malty. Taste is malty, spicy. Notes of bubblegum and yeast. Dry and hoppy end. Very well balanced

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ante (3374) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JAN 16, 2008
Bottled. Oh, this was quite a crazy beer. Pours out in a vibrant hazy orange colour with a low thick head. Big funky and yeasty aroma of white pepper, mature cheese, fresh green hops, tart oranges and herbs. Medium bodied with with dryish yeasty and funky flavour of white bread, white pepper, basil, anise, white grapes and all-spice. Dryish, funky finish of anise, all-spice, wild yeast and white bread. Fantastic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MIBRomeo (2570) - Wisconsin, USA - MAY 18, 2008
a blond w/ corriander... from what I hear this was a brewers mistake that was liked so well they kept doing it. Hazy dark amber coloring nearing brown w/ a tall white head. Odd aroma hints of tart fruits that I did not expect, light spicing corriander then anotehr spice I just can’t pick out under all the corriander.. some sweet sugars blended w/ a light fruit.. different but nice. Nice palate full and well coated while lightly creamy. Odd again in taste like a brett to your lips w/ it’s dry tongue.. just lots of corriander again.. a powerful yeast taste I’m told is typical to this brewery, earthy w/ breads and some sweetness... an odd fruity oily taste that I think could be juniper oil but I’m not sure finishes very dry. I like this stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DutchMark (359) - NETHERLANDS - NOV 30, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2013 Very nice! Could call it an ipa. Flavor is full but well balanced. Not too sweet, full flavor of yeast, malts, hops and tropical fruit. Good dry bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Svesse (7850) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - SEP 6, 2007
(Bottle, Monk’s Café, Stockholm) Amber colour, slightly hazy, with firm huge off-white head. Fruity, spicy nose with notes of orange peel and clove. Fruity, spicy taste with clove, cardamom, dark citrus, orange peel and grapefruit. Heavy citrussy bitterness in the finish with notes of bitter almond. Rather sweet, full body. Great beer with a powerful, hoppy and spicy character.

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