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De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke

De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

673 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 673
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2002)
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Ratings: 673 | Reviews: 463 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of goodbyeohio


2.7/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pours a murky yellow with little-to-no carbonation, some floating and shifting particles of sediment which i mistook for bubbles. syrupy and flat like a nectar of sorts.. hop nectar, i guess. smells very hoppy with a light sweetness. taste is super bitter. sure, it's called 'bitter', but being belgian i did expect something more mild. not my cup of tea at all despite its uniqueness. will not drink this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 23:02:46 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of catadoraccidental

2.7/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

APPEARANCE: Many white foam mostly inconsistent. There remains a layer thickness of a finger for several minutes passes before stabilizing at a thickness of half finger. Many brands irregular foam from the maximum height reached to serve. Hazy blond color. MSE gaseous seen intense activity coming from the background, as if boiling. The "boil" is very curious. AROMA: In the first instant, herbal flavor that gives way after a bitter notes. That smell becomes final. I like. TASTE: No shades or is especially attractive. I expected a very intense bitterness, but is moderate. Very ordinary except for the bitterness that, again, is present, and is intensifying, but without being excessive. Easily drinkable and refreshing, but nothing more. Okay to accompany nibbles like some fries or a rough, and in that sense is a good alternative to the plague of European lager, but nothing more. Overall rating: Not rated I think it's okay to consider it more like an Orval, for example. For me there is more than a good quality lager. I said. If your budget allows, alternative to a common European lager. € 2.20

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 17:47:42 | More by catadoraccidental
Photo of mjc410


2.8/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The pour into my Westvleteren chalice raises a creamy, VERY light tan one finger head (the yeast and about an inch of beer are still in the bottle) over a slightly hazy golden liquid with large and lazy bubbles coursing to the surface. Lacing and retention are both very impressive. The nose seems full of noble hops and sweet Belgian ale aromas: sugar, fruits. Also a bit of pepper and other spiciness. Very bitter, indeed! But, not like an IPA, but like a very strong pilsner, with additional fruitiness and sugar. The focus is entirely on the hops. Reminds me of a Prima Pils (the hop profile, at least), but even more intense. The metallic tang of the hops is too much for me, though. I don't like noble hops at this intensity level. The mouth is pretty thick, and the carbonation is also very high. This is an interesting novelty, but I won't be heading here again.

The yeast pour thickens the beer, but doesn't do much to lower the hop bite.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2006 20:36:47 | More by mjc410
Photo of hero27


2.83/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle

Pours a hazy, golden orange color with a frothy, white head. Lacing is minimal due to the oily consistency. Smells (and tastes) mostly of spices, yeast, and phenols. Lingering, dry aftertaste. I bought this beer because it's the self-proclaimed "Hoppiest Beer of Belgium". Not much to brag about, considering I can probably think of nearly a hundred brews made in America that are more hoppy. Sorry, but for me, this beer has "average" written all over it..

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2005 01:16:14 | More by hero27
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Duvel tulip at a few degrees over fridge temperature. This is known to be a different take on the Belgian Pale Ale theme, with more hops than most. Looking forward to the tasting, as I have had this bottle waiting patiently for months.

Appearance- A medium yellow/gold with almost total clarity. The 3/4" rocky head that adorned the top has faded rather quickly to a rim with sporadic, cloudy wisps. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smell- I'm not sure what the dominant aroma is here, but it is offensive. Right off the pour, it became evident that something crazy is happening. Pungent, rotting oranges and garbage is the best way to describe it. Not funk, but spoiled food. Rank.

Taste- Okay, I now see why this is considered the hoppiest beer of Belgium. It is definitely complex, and very interesting. Nothing like the smell suggests, the hops are heavy-handed as they overwhelm the palate with floral, grassy, dry characteristics. The adventure begins with a musty, nasty intro that makes way for the eventual dry mouth-puckering bitterness. It's interesting to note that the finish is very familiar, like a Pilsner Urquell in its simplicity... yet the trek is fresh, new, but dangerous... this beer is not for everybody.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Light to medium weight, pretty average... a slight prickle at the front of the tongue that breeds softly over the whole. Alcohol is evident only by sensation and not by taste, as a mild warming and tingle comes forth. I won't be visiting this one again, although I'm appreciative for the tasting.

A beer like no other, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2005 23:44:02 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Brent


3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"The hoppiest beer of Belgium" according to the bottle. I don't think so. Bottle conditioned, and a careful pour managed to leave the sediment in the bottle, resulting in a golden yellow decant. A little sweet and dense, no more than average for the style. Hops bittering seemed no more pronounced than the average Belgian golden or pale ale. Moderate yeast phenol flavors, with a slightly off finish. Overall, my experience was neither particularly good nor bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2003 20:27:41 | More by Brent
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So this is the hoppiest beer from Belgium as their marketing department claims? Ugh.

Lame yellow hazy appearance that isn't special. Not bad. Aroma, meh, banana, clove, orange, but no hops. Taste, a bitter beer, sure. Hops? No. Taste? Not really, just bitterness. Like someone just boiled hops for 2 hours, and did nothing else with it. Like an imperial Belgian hefe I guess. Some lemon and bitterness. Enjoy!
Too expensive to be drinkable. Nothing to appreciate mouthfeel, other than bitterness. Too one dimensional.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 17:39:05 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of sleazo

New York

3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A_pours a cloudy golden. A nice head settles into the head of the chalice.

S_Slightly sweet. Mild esters. Some hops

T_ this is somewhat of a mishmash to me. The funky belgian taste and the floral hop attack don't intertwine very well. Mostly it tastes like a very bitter triple which obscures most of the nuances a triple should have

M_effervescent as a tripel should be

D_meh. This just doesn't quite meld like the Piraat. A good beer to try I suppose

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2007 04:57:37 | More by sleazo
Photo of Satchboogie

New Hampshire

3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

33cl bottle poured into a balloon tulip:

A: Pours hazy light gold, about a finger of white head. Leaves just a little lacing.

S: To be honest, when I first started pouring, I got a little kick of skunk (not extreme, but there). Past that, I got a little musty and funky belgian yeast, sweet pale malts, spicy and floral hops, and a touch of citrus (mainly lemon zest) and alcohol. I'm guessing the hops have faded a bit as it's smelling more like a fresh hoppy saison than an IPA.

T: Lots of funky belgian yeast character with just a touch of skunk, lightly sugared light crisp pale malts, hops are fading but are mostly floral and very spicy. There's a good surge of bitterness (a little touch of pine resin) right up front that mellows to the semi-sweet malts in the middle, but come back strong in the finish. Finish is dry with some funky mist, floral hops, and lots of lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium body, high carbonation with a very fine bubbles that help the hop bitterness to really explode on the palate. Crisp dry finish.

O: This bottle was like a slightly skunked fresh saison. It was enjoyable but the skunk thing was just a little distracting (to be honest, I'm not sure if it's actual skunking or it's supposed to be THIS funky/musty/slightly almost spoiled, but the first rush of aroma was like a skunk walked by my window). It's an interesting beer, if it is indeed skunked and old, I could see how this could be solid when fresh. As is, I would probably be a little upset if this was my home brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 02:56:39 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of aracauna


3.13/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Good, wet head that fades to a fuzzy film on top of the cloudy orange body. The aroma strikes me first with something that I really don't like. My best way to describe it is orange-juice gone bad. Otherwise it's flowery and herbally. The flavor is even more herbally, which melds nicely with the hop bitterness. There's a bit of odd flavor here. It's like the difference between fresh orange juice and the orange juice stored in clear glass bottles. It's not rotten, but something light does to orange juice, make it have a similar bitter fruit flavor to what this beer has going on. Turpentine or creosote. Definite bandaids. It's got a lot going on, but there's too many things that I don't like about it.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 07:12:01 | More by aracauna
Photo of throwitallaway


3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a chalice. Yellow with a small head that dissipates quickly. Smells vaguely fruity with some hops and malt present. Flavor is a little odd. Initially it tastes like a typical Belgian Ale with spices. But then resiny and floral hops kick in and overpower the other flavors. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. I'm not entirely sure what to think about this beer. I like the two flavor profiles by themselves, but mixed together it doesn't work well on my palate.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 23:27:15 | More by throwitallaway
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Light yellow mildly foamy.

S-Smells like a belgian IPA. Nothing like its American counterparts. Fairly bitter but nothing shocking. Yeasty.

T-Yes,it was bitter but not nearly as complex as any respecteable American IPA I have tried. Grassy, a bit floral and earthy. A bit sour.

M-Light and carbonated.

D- Quite drinkable. Alcohol well masked.

I wouldn't pick it over a good Amerian IPA but thats just my opinion. Lacks the hop complexity that I love so much.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 06:14:17 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of GRG1313


3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"The Hoppiest Beer of Belgium" boasts the label.

Dark gold with a gorgeous pure white thick egg white peaked type of head.

Nose was all Belgian sugar, sweet banana and cooked peaches. No typical hop tones in the nose.

Mouthfeel is thin and without character.

Flavors are bitter pine hop with lemon/pine tones. There is a lemon citrus character to the front and mid palate.

Finish is "heavy" pine bitter character.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 06:59:49 | More by GRG1313
Photo of tanarm


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I uncap to find there is a cork. I uncork and pour a very cloudy, straw yellow bodied beer, with a bubbly white head. The aroma is yeasty, citric, orange peel and fruity hop undertones. Props on decent head retention throughout!

The first thing I taste is bitter orange peel. Then comes the hops... very bitter aftertaste. Bitter from the middle of the tongue back, and it lingers. You can still taste the citrusy flavors. Some sourness... is there wheat involved? I'm having difficulty picking out any malt flavor. The body is extremely light... As my taste buds become numb from the bitterness I can taste the body more and more... but it is still light. And bitter.

This is a bit dry for my taste, but I think that is true to the style. The bitterness is just not the kind is was hoping for. It is not balanced by any real malty body or alcohol taste. At $13 for a bottle I will probably never buy this again, although I will certainly finish this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2007 00:56:40 | More by tanarm
Photo of jbsteiny


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle -- cork below the cap. This was a much-anticipated decanting, as I'd been jealously eyeing its prominent position on the Spuyten Duyvil chalkboard for years, only to find it at the grocery store for $12 (as opposed to $20 at SD).

Poured a hazy light gold with a big foamy head that just won't quit. Not a lot of lacing, though. An almost overwhelming aroma -- musty yeast and bitter hops beat up the malts, orange peel, lemon seeds. I was very excited. Unfortunately, I found that the aggressive bitterness of this beer burned out my tongue fairly quickly, and these malts that other reviewers are keen on were indistinguishable to me. I like hops, and I like bitterness, but I wasn't too keen on this. A bit medicinal, I was surprised to see the ABV was relatively low.

The mouthfeel was impressive -- light body, but huge profile (the hops I mentioned) which dries right up. However, I let my buddies finish this bottle up while I moved onto a Sixpoint growler, as I found it way too unbalanced. Disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2007 03:27:13 | More by jbsteiny
Photo of FosterJM


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

756th Review on BA
Draft to snifter

@ Woodshop Classix

App- A lighter softer yellow with a little bubbly one finger head. A ring of bubbles around the edges as it fell. No cling, no legs.

Smell- A touch of bitter on the nose but much more lemony than expected. A little bit of dish soap as well.

Taste- Some of the nose follows the taste but not too much. Light, light bitter with some of that lemony flavors and a bit of yeast to me.

Mouth- Light bodied and a medium carbonation. A soapy bubbly lemon flavor remained.

Drink- It was a nice little beer to start the day, but the flavors just didnt work all that well for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2011 16:47:35 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Sixpoint

New York

3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Blind Tiger.

Normally, I found this beer interesting and complex. I remember first having the bottle version about 7 years ago and being blown away. I just had it on tap last night and I was disappointed.

I heard they changed the recipe; I don't know if this is true. It was not hoppy at all. AT all! It's supposed to be a XX bitter, right?

My sample poured a murky orange color, it looked like orange juice.

An aroma of weak malt and some yeast, no hop aroma.

Beer had a low carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. I miss the beer of old.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2005 00:26:57 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of ultralarry2006


3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Left a one finger head with good retention and good lacing. Body was a hazy slightly orangish gold.

Smell - apricots, plums, and barnyard must.

Taste - apricots and plums washed through with a strong sour and bitter musty taste.

Mouthfeel - medium to thin bodied, fluid, somewhat fizzy.

Drinkability - this is decent, but not great, and something I'd get only once -in-a-while.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 17:23:50 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of DoctorDog


3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2 oz. bottle into a goblet. Notched with a "best before" of January 2012. Extremely minor note, but ABV on bottle is listed @ 6%, as opposed to the 6.2% listed here.

A- Pours a hazy golden, with 2+ fingers of white head. Head fades gradually into a thin cap, leaving ample of lacing.

S- Mild bready yeastiness, and some slightly metallic notes.

T- Crisp lemon/honey zestiness on the front. Finishes with a somewhat biting mineral/metallic bitterness. This sensation decreases throughout consumption, and takes on a more herbal feel. Malt/sweetness is minimal. Overall impression of taste profile definitely improved by the end of this bottle.

M- Fairly crisp with medium carbonation. Not quite as slick as I'd hoped, but decent.

D- OK. Probably not something I'd want more than one of.

Future outlook: Not a bad beer, but not exactly my cup of meat, and not something I'm likely to revisit anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 04:11:38 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

33cl bottle into a tulip. best by 31/10/17

pours a pale, hazy yellow with an inch thick lasting white head. Smell is big right out of the bottle - tart white grape aroma fills your senses. Taste is super intriguing and not at all expected. Almost..bland actually. Nothing at all how it initially smelled coming out of the bottle. there's a strong bitterness on the backend for sure, hence the name of course, but other than that there really isnt much to speak of. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkability is low because of the bitterness and nothing else. Dry.

Overall extremely dissappointing. Not sure what i was expecting, but it wasnt this. Do not recommend.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 23:52:06 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

3.34/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Paper says Best Before End of: 11 2016

A- Pours a medium amber color with a full inch of off-white head that retains good and long before eventually settling at a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides down the glass.

S- Bright and bubbly with the usual fruit aromas associated with pale Belgians plus a healthy dose of yeastiness but hardly any hops are detected. Hint of wet cardboard.

T- Damn. I was hoping I wouldn't be detecting this much oxidation but the wet cardboard flavor is just reigning over this beer. Whatever hoppiness was in there before is no longer apart of the overall profile except for a tad in the aftertaste. Still, there's a decent amount of malt still providing some good taste. But, altogether, this beer's well past its prime in the flavor department.

M- Nice and spritzy with a bit of dryness. Medium-high carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Everything about this beer is OK except for the flavor. Yes, it does say that the bottling date is five years prior to the Best Before date so that means it's over a year and a half old, but it also says that it will be good up until 2016 which I disagree with. They should just put a bottled-on date.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 05:03:44 | More by Immortale25
Photo of HardTarget


3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the Erasmus Hotel in Brugge.

Aroma: Perfumed with floral and alcoholic notes

Appearance: Clear gold body with a good two fingers of thick white head that gave very thick lacing

Flavor: HOPS! Deep bittering hops, mostly floral, maybe some Saaz as I got some peppery notes as well. I was starting to forget what hops tasted like, but unfortunately, they all were on the bittering side of the boil, so very little in the aroma and taste.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, medium-light body, lingering finish

Overall Impression: Good hoppy beer, very unusual for Belgium. Doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance against any American Pale Ale, but definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2006 05:35:57 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had off the tap at the beer garden in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Radagast, I think is the name.
A- Nice crisp gold color, clear and bubbly. Some head, and some lacing.
S- slight lemony scent.
T- I'm not as in love with this as my friends were. It's smooth with a slight sourness. Bitter, but not overly. It has a biting taste in the back of the mouth. Can't put my finger on it, but it is just every so slightly lacking...something.

UPDATE: I had this a second time and it was very weird: every time I took a sip it exploded into fizz...so it wasn't actual flowing liquid. It was actually had to drink. I will have to try again to see if this was a one-off thing.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2010 21:26:18 | More by Amalak
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: had a slightly opaque straw color with a big ol' white head on top. Head stuck around quite a while and left lots of lace behind.
Nose: hayfield malts, lemon rinds, hints of honey and mild fruitiness all briefly surfaced before another aroma pushed through. Had a nice citrusy hops aroma.
Taste: crackery dry malt flavor up front. Big-time bitterness - grapefruit and lemon rinds and a sharp, sour crabapple-inspired bitterness that built to a nearly intolerable level by the finish.
Feel: medium leaning toward light, crisp, and dry.
Overall: I'm what I'd consider to be a fan of beers packing some bitterness. I like a good kick in the butt from a solid IPA. This brew, however, offered up bitterness on a entirely different level that was unappealing. The aroma and feel were good but the bitterness just was a turn-off for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2004 23:11:14 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hoppiest beer in Belgium?Pours a nice hazy orage/golden color with a huge blooming head that globs up on the side of the glass,citruisy aroma with some deep honey estures pretty appetizing.Taste starts ut dry and leafy definent hop profile but not a big fan of the heavy medicinal flavor in the finish and aftertaste all good up till then.A well made Belgian Pale but a little to medicinal for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 21:28:05 | More by oberon
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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.