De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke
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Ratings: 733 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +22.2%
Oh how woefully small is 750mLs!
And how infinitesimally so here.
The pain of a cessation is more than I can accept: as the shudders side-effect to the withdrawal from bliss and the ensuing crippling lament gradually saturate my very being.
Anyone curious as to what "insatiable" means and feels like needs only a bottle of this.
The potion glows a phosphorescent turbid straw lumped with a pompous column of chaste ivory.
Seeping lemon poppyseed muffin fragrance, spiced with tarragon, bay leaves, hallertau, and crushed red apples.
Then it booms into the mouth, onset with pale malt. Crackling, hissing, and humming with a crystalline hay and saltine dryness. A steely lemon edge develops, and throws a canvas for the rest of the events to unfold upon. Fruitiness simmers upwards, repressed yet indicated with groping tendrils of pineapple, pear, and kiwi, slowly ebbing towards a rind arrangement of bitter orange and lemon. Yeast churns the middle, pushing up additional dry dough, peppercorns, and the previously indicated tarragon and bay leaves. It terminates with a resurrection of lemon- even though it never left-, and a grandiloquent reedy hallertau assault, full of fescue, reprised hay bales, and wind-whipped prairie.
Despite its perceptible uppity carbonation, this sits only diffidently charged, with a rather sedate carbonation feeding a deftly structured and compact medium body. Close your eyes and feel the very Elysian Fields as they sway and slither, and shimmer down your throat.
This is some choose-your-own-adventure shit right here. Guzzle it or savor it. I tried to do the latter, but could not help myself from the former. So thoroughly quenching while still flaunting every writhing moment of its gaudy wealth of dazzling gradations.
A wholly peerless, addictive, narcotic, rejuvenating, bewildering, holistic, rapturous magnum opus.
06-14-2005 06:56:42 | More by cokes
5/5 rDev +22.2%
A classic. I gave this beer the highest score because I am a combination belgian beer and hop lover. This combines the best of both worlds. A solidly bitter beer, unlike the appelation given to the British style, with Belgian ancestry. Nino explained to me that He wanted to start a brewery that brought Belgain beer back to its roots, hoppy and dry. Over the years with the conglomeration of breweries, in the world and in Belgium, many beers have lost their character and it has been replaced with a sickly sweet one. Nino hand picks his hops and a larger quanity is added to the kettle than you could imagine, but because the hops are low-alpha european varieties the effect is something completely unlike the super-hopped American styles. If you haven't already tried this award winner, you are seriously missing out.
06-10-2007 20:01:20 | More by fourohstudent
5/5 rDev +22.2%
Drink before 10/2009
Beautiful white head, nice retention, great webs of lace. A mysterious hazy light golden brew whose look lets you know that you are in for something good. The nose reinforces that idea with strong grass, very slight funk, rose petals, mint, and cherries. Malt lays on the tongue as the crust of a fresh bread, but immediately dries out in a flash of lemon rind and iron. Drinking this one is easy with its medium-thin body that dries out the mouth in a pleasant way and leaves a complex minerally herbal flavor. Finishes oh-so-perfectly, complex yet very dry and yearning for another drink.
For some reason it just seems wrong to try to review this beer in the way that I review other beers. It has something that is just unable to be explained. A magic that must be in the water of West Flanders shared by the wonderful De Ranke and De Dolle.
The hoppiest beer in Belguim, eh? Sounds good.
One of the most beautiful heads I have seen - Small bubbles and creaminess combined, keeping the great aroma coming out. Nice leafy hops that are a little spicy and a little citrusy. Very very dry but not harsh at all. Finish lasts a long time and continues with the hoppy leafiness. So very smooth and drinkable. An amazing brew that shows that the potential of hoppy brews when they are polished.
12-10-2005 21:54:15 | More by waughbrew
4.95/5 rDev +21%
What a perfect balance of hazy, sun-scorched hop resins, lemon peel, grass and damp cellar aromas! A slow surge of crisp meringue gathers around the top of the bottle and on top of the papery orange liquid in the glass. The lead flavors are a combination of brioche, green tea and ripe lemon sweetness. Delicate, angelfood cake texture provides elasticity to the interplay of bitterness and bright, yellow-fleshed fruit. Quite dry, this is the distilled essence of August tall grass. Cool, flinty blue flavors creep into the warming juice as a dominant pattern emerges of immense breadth of texture combined with pointilist accuracy in dry, volatile resins and pulpy, woody fruit.
There is everything here to please the most hardcore Saison freak while also appealing to the less committed bitter, dry, pale lowland ale enthusiast. No wonder this is such a crossover beer.
05-19-2005 22:31:47 | More by putnam
4.9/5 rDev +19.8%
11.2oz bottle. Pours an almost opaque amber with a huge white, rocky head that will never quite go away. Strong citric and floral hop aromas present first, along with some bubblegum-like esters. Herbal and earthy. The taste is much bolder; lots of citrus hop presence dominates a slightly roasty malt back. It is indeed extra extra bitter. Finishes on a dry note; very nuanced, with earthy tones and some spices. Light-medium body with perfect carbonation. A masterpiece.
11-03-2008 00:55:26 | More by philipquarles
4.9/5 rDev +19.8%
750ml corked and capped.
Pours out pale, sickly straw and sits hazy pale gold in the glass with a massive creamy white head. Thick and resistant, it marks the glass with deep rings of white lace.
Aroma....rather, fragrance of orange rind, crisp sugar cookies, apple skins and curtailed feet of white pine.
Dynamic arrangements of hop oils and the faintest of fruit flavors mark this beer's highest quality. To the tongue, smothered pears fumble about with hints of grapeseed and lemon zest. Constantly building from the deepest depths of its bowels and arising at full gait, hops dish out a stream of herbaceous flavors commanded by the presence of white pine, sage and the bittering ends of orange rind. Yeast creates a light, doughy body that coats each individual taste bud. Finish is impecibly smooth with rich, head-strong bitterness.
Soft and wavy in the mouth, carbonation shows its softer side and massages each wall of the mouth. A very giving medium body.
If heaven was only a mouthful away, this could very well be one of the keys to unlock the gate. Character is all over the board. I can not imagine anything else of this style that could stand along side this beer without looking microscopic in proportion, but I can only hope it exists. Bottle consumed without second thought.
06-18-2005 22:36:49 | More by Skidz
4.88/5 rDev +19.3%
Full disclosure: I am an unabashed hop head pre-disposed to favor Belgian beer. Now, I can say, this is one of the greatest beers I've had.
750ml bottle with "Best By Feb 2017" on label, thereby deducing bottled in Feb 2012. Served in tulip glass and enjoyed before, during, and after dinner.
A: Pale golden straw colour, rather cloudy and hazy. Hyper-carbonated when pouring (even with extreme care), but settles nicely while retaining nice Champange-like bubbles. Dense egg white head with tenacious lace.
S: Tropical, grapefruit and lemon zest that reminds me of the best New Zealand hops (Nelson Sauvin?) and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. All that fresh fresh fragrance with undertones of clove and cut grass...heavenly!
T: Taste follows smell, like a good bridge partner follows suit. Plays with the palate, but finishes delightfully dry and crisp. Never cloying and doesn't linger too long. Leaves me eager to take another sip.
M: Tiny, dense bubbles contribute to pleasant mouthfeel. Beer is a bit too fleeting, ephemeral to score a perfect 5.0. Just a little more staying power, please.
O: Truly outstanding. A beer that I have, do, will continue to aspire to brew as a homebrewer.
12-21-2012 04:14:13 | More by dv8sean
4.83/5 rDev +18.1%
750 ml bottle with a paper wrapper- label says 6.2% ABV. Label on the bottle says 6%. Take your pick. Lot No. 00018, best by 12/08. Corked and capped; the cork was a bear to get out, and head/foam built up behind it, making this a messy opening. I tried this immediately following one of my favorites, another Belgian hoppy beer, Orval. This was a fascinating comparison.
Pours a cloudy yellow-gold, much more yellow than golden. Not unlike the color of a wit, but looks thicker. Has a pretty 1 inch white head that sticks around a while, leaving lots of lace.
Aroma: make no mistake, it's hops. But not the oily, sharp, bitter smelling hops usually found, but much more flowery, lightly fruity profile (lemon, apples, pears, maybe pineapple?). Aroma is more subtle than Orval, but very pleasant.
Flavor- starts very pleasant, like a Belgian Pale Ale usually does, fruity, buttery, slightly toasted malt, but it quickly passes over to the full-blown hop character. Once again, gentle, but firm hoppiness. More flowery than pine oil hops. A real winner. Balance is incredible.
Mouthfeel is full and creamy. A treat to taste. Drinkability- I could drink it all night (in fact, I did!).
I have a hard time admitting it, but I may like this more than Orval, my favorite of this style. They each do things slightly differently, so I'll call it a draw. But oh, man, this is one of the best beers I've ever had, and this is from someone who generally prefers malty to hoppy!
12-31-2004 17:41:28 | More by Dukeofearl
4.83/5 rDev +18.1%
750-mL bottle, corked.
This Belgian IPA poured a hazy, light amber color with strong, fine carbonation, and fluffy, off-white, stiff (meringue-like) foam that persisted and clung to the glass. The smell was strong, aromatic, noble hops. Very nice. The taste was dominated by the hops: strong, bitter and floral hoppiness. This was combined with a nice, dry maltiness. A wonderful marriage of flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry with medium body and strong carbonation. It had a light, airy feel on the tongue. The hop flavors lingered on the back of the tongue. This is a beautiful beer.
01-20-2007 23:58:46 | More by UncleJimbo
De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.