De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke
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Ratings: 718 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NearerMyBeerToMe:
4.55/5 rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
As I take off the cap, foam starts gushing out of the bottle, and precious beer starts flowing onto my countertop. In a panic I rush to get my goblet under the bottle and manage to save about 10 oz. of the stuff. 1.2 oz. may not sound like much to lose, but this the third bottle of XX Bitter I've had in my life, and by now I know that losing any of this stuff is a near-tragedy. Here's why... Fuzzy neon apricot-colored liquid fills the goblet, topped by a slowy descending layer of white foam. When I swirl the goblet, the center of the head rises in a little yin-yang pattern, while at the edge of the glass the head breaks apart into nets of lace. Farmy smells of hay and sod congeal, clay-like, in the nose. They finish with hints of kumquat and citrus rind, growing more grassy and citric with warmth. The taste is more earthy than fungal; more bitter than acidic... extreme fruit pit bitterness, sour almonds, a Saaz and rosemary sourdough sandwich. It continues with fruit rinds, wheat chaff, shredded cigarette tobacco, and humus. Doughy mouthfeel with froth at the edges of the tongue is quite a contrast, though the carbonation fades a bit too quickly. Just enough alcohol balances the heft of the flavor. Drinking this is like drinking a summer day on the river... your senses taking in the exhalations of mud and loam, the vegetal murk cut by the sun's clear hard vibrance as your mind floats along with the idiot river.
Soooo very good.
Serving type: bottle
07-08-2005 01:43:03 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
More User Reviews:
3.89/5 rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Enjoyed a pint on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. A Belgian IPA actually from Belgium, this brew presents a slightly cloudy golden yellow with just under an inch of white foam on top, looks much like Duvel or another "strong golden" ale. Aroma presages the tart, dry bitterness to come, tons of Styrian-type hops and an astringent green apple, pear, and orange fruitiness counterbalanced by a doughy yeast sweetness. Although a subtle candi sugar sweet note is detectable, on my palate this brew registers largely as tart, dry, bitter, and rather woody, medicinal hops leading the way and closing out the show with a tannic, dry gooseberry and grape finale. Once the palate acclimatizes to said bitterness, you will notice the fruit elements from the nose (pear, apple, orange) and a classic Belgian yeast character, but this requires some perseverance if you are unfamiliar with this style. Did I mention that this beer is dry? Well-attenuated body and rather heavy carbonation. Truth be told, I prefer many North American takes on this style, where the fruit is more ripe and prominent on the palate, but this obviously has its merits and is a good benchmark for a classic, genuinely Belgian hoppy ale.
Serving type: on-tap
07-20-2014 16:25:35 | More by CalgaryFMC
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.11/5 rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
330ml Bottle from Beers of Europe website (£2.09):
Slightly cloudy, bright amber to orange with a 1cm, foamy white head that holds well. Head retention is good with it reducing slightly to hold at just under half a cm & covers the surface of the beer, with plenty of bubbles rising to the top too.
Tonnes of yeast & floral notes upfront, subtle hops as well & plenty of fruits coming through. Apples, some pear, lemon & orange all feature with plenty of pepper & spice backing them up. The smell wasn't the strongest initially but at the same time it wouldn't be considered weak either, the balance seemed good. I got some grain & a slight touch of alcohol with plenty of bitterness.
Spicy with a very bitter taste that was only hinted at in the aroma, the taste goes well beyond that with some hops coming through too. The yeast from the nose featured strongly here as well with some pepper & a few fruits like apple & pears.
Smooth with solid, high carbonation & a medium body. The beer is a very dry & sharp tasting one with an intensely bitter finish.
I wasn't too sure about this one really, I quite enjoyed the aroma & how the taste started out but I wasn't a fan of the incredibly bitter finish to the beer. Despite the fact that the name should have been an indication, nothing in the smell prepared me for just how bitter the taste of this one would end up. Drinkable but not one I'll go back to.
Serving type: bottle
07-07-2014 10:14:18 | More by flyingpig
De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.