De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

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De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
XX Bitter or Extra Extra Bitter is a blond, bitter ale containing 6.2% vol. Alc. It’s famous for it’s very bitter and strong flavour. XX is being made with pale pilsner malt and loads of Brewers Gold and Hallertau hop flowers. A perfect combination that has been nationally and internationally praised. This ale has been a real trendsetter for the current comeback of bitter ales in Belgium.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2002

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Reviews: 495 | Ratings: 907
Photo of marburg
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy maize with a big, billowing white head and solid lacing. Pronounced hop aroma with mild citrus and sponge cake. There's an amazing amount of hop bitterness to this beer, but unlike most English/American takes, the initial flavors one encounters in this beer are well spiced and completely unique. Banana, lemon, and even some phenolic, plastic clove flavor comes through. Mineral water and a raw, oily feel lend a certain dull weight to this beer. Heavy, despite it's "fluffy" appearance. A true Belgian pale ale with a heavy dosage of hops. This is something yeasty, complex, wild, and uniquely Belgian with an intense bitterness around the edges. Even better fresh and on draft.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden peach color with a big, rocky white head.
Smells of sweet pale malt, tropical fruit, tangy yeast and a zingy hop aroma. There was a smidge of funk as well.
The malt and citrus fruits were there but the hops really exploded onto the scene and left a long, lingering bitterness. Overpowered the malt and seemed to unbalance the whole. There were also some funky and spicy flavors and some sweetness in the finish. It claims to be Belgiums' most bitter beer and it's certainly lives up to that claim, at least next to the Belgian beers I've tried.
Superb mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied with a velvety smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Excellent amount of carbonation.
Light, crisp and flavorful. Great drinkability.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

75 cl corked and capped bottle dated best before 12-2008. Pours a hazy, golden peach color with a huge light cream colored head that's lasting and leaving lace as it slowly subsides. Big fresh, floral hop aroma (I'm picking up on some Saaz and Hallertau), somewhat spicy in character. Decent malt backbone evident, but the beer's yeastiness seems to shine brighter than the malt, but the winner is the hops. Very dry on the palate, spicy and white peppery, with a hint of citrus, but it gets lost in the mix. Silky mouthfeel with excellent carbonation keeps the drinker sipping. Highly enjoyable, refreshing and jaw-droppingly delicious.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours a muddy golden with an honest off-white head from which only a film will last. Let’s take note that this bottle is a year and a few months past 1 yr old, so the bitterness level must not be what it used to be. First sniff indicated very yeasty aspects that remind me of a cement-floored basement with a bit too high of a humidity level, a fair bit too many cobwebs hanging on the ceiling and just too much dust on the books that decorate the walls. Nevertheless, the hops are strong although not as agressive as I thought, reading the labels, I see they’ve used hallertau which I love. It’s very floral, lemony, slightly resiny, lightly orangey. In mouth, the musty yeast and noble hops work very well together. It’s extremely refreshing, salty with a moderate bitter attack that finishes spicy. Silky medium body. Excellent, I guess the age made it wonders for me, not being a fan of very citrusy and sour american IPAs.

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Photo of beerinator
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden copper leaning towards down right yellow. Slight bit cloudy (may have been the pour). Lots of good retention.

Aroma: Sweet, citrusy and sour, in that order. The aroma is interesting and inviting.

Taste: Nice thick mouthfeel. Citrusy sweet at the beginning. Smooth sweet beginning leading to a lingering bitterness.

Notes: Very drinkable.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this beauty at Beermania in Brussels as well .. this is the hop monster of belgium. Pale golden color with a wonderful white lasting head in the goblet. Big wonderful hop field (sweet flower grassy) nose. Gentle coating mouth lovingly surrounds the tongue. Lingering flowery taste calls you to drink more.. An awesome hoppy pale ale. Good until 2008. I love this beer.. very very drinkable.

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Photo of necoadam
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oh those wacky Belgian beers. This one is pretty weird I have to admit. Poured out a light orange color with a massive head that took a few minutes to settle down. Smell consisted of lots of yeast and hops. Taste was bitter alright. Lemon, hops, herbs, and spiciness all come through and blend together. It finish quite dry which I didn't like about this brew. I would of preferred if it had a wet aftertaste. Even though the taste was nice, I wouldn't want more than a glass. But it's an interesting brew and look for this one in stores.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

De Ranke XX Bitter is billed as Belgium's Hoppiest Beer and comes in a paper-wrapped 750ml bottle with a wine-style cork and beer style cap. The label says 11.2 oz, but the bottle is obviously a 750ml. I poured my into a Duvel tulip glass; it formed a thick creamy white head atop a slightly cloudy golden ale. Aroma is full of piney, spicy hops. Taste is bitter, with some yeasty flavor and some slight Belgian barnyard flavors and some floral notes as well. A delicious beer that belies the notion that Belgians only use stale hops. One of my favorite beers right now - wonderful on tap as well.

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Photo of tjd25
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful persistent creamy head. Pale golden color, very slightly opaque. The smell is hoppy, herbal, grassy, slightly citric. The hops overwhelm most of the taste. The only other thing that’s noticeable is some sweet citrus, I’d say grapefruit. Hops are herbal, fruity and mostly powerful. They remain forever in the aftertaste. A nice hoppy beer.

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Photo of Jason
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is like Orval on crack. A very heady and carbonated brew. Bit of resiny hop bitterness on the tongue as well as some in the aroma. This is doubled with the effects of medicinal phenols as well as the yeast flavors. Lots of bitterness and phenolic activity with hints of lemon, horse blanket and mineral. Touch of fruitiness gets lost as well as the malt as it attempts to add some sweetness to the brew. In the end it is quite dry.

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Photo of ark57
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a cloudy, golden color with plenty of creamy white head. It leaves some good lace behind as well. There is some brett in the aroma with some vanilla and a lot of floral hops. The body is resreved with some soft barnyard flavors and plenty of floral and herbal bitterness. It finshes quite dry. This is a great beer for hopheads and belgian lovers alike.

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Photo of taez555
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy yellowish/tan body with a huge foamy white head.

The nose is a great mix of phenols, earthy hops, soft farmhouse notes, yeast, and malt.

Smooth with a light graininess. Light to medium body. Firm bitterness that slightly overpowers the malt, but is at no time distracting. Yeast, phenols, earthy hops, wheat, malt with just a beautiful farmhouse, manure sort of taste as well.

Really a very cool and unique beer. It’s like an old fashioned Belgian monk got together with an American hophead brewer and they only have German hops. Farmhouse meets hophouse. Simply a great beer.

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Photo of drewbage
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Maproom in Chicago on draft

Bolleke glass.. Hazy cloudy gold with a low white head.

Deep banana cream pie with a final finish of cinnamon in the nose. Dried coconut and a start of an herbal hop character finish the beer's aroma

Flavor starts with a viscous pineapple body, quickly defeated by a small touch of metal and a long intense spicey yeast phenol and spicy hop burn that holds on long on the tongue.

Easily one of the hoppiest beers I've ever tasted from Belgium. Not quite my favorite BPA (that belongs to Poperings Hommelbier)

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Photo of zerk
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light copper with a 2 finger head that leaves sheets of lace. Aroma is a mixture of musty yeast, some toasted malt, and a boatload of spicy and earthy hops. Flavor begins with some biscuity malt that is then completely assaulted by spicy hop bitterness... a touch of grapefruit works it's way in as well. The flavor is heavily tilted to the bitter side, but it is a great beer if you're a hophead (which I am.) Mouthfeel is oily and acidic, with a light to medium body and low carbonation. All in all, a most unusual and enjoyable beer!

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Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of konabrewer
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tall wine-style glass at Anam Cara Publick House.

Simply stated my favorite beer right now.

Beautifully golden with a sharp floral hop aroma right away. The slightly sweet malt and yeast character balance perfectly as I quaff.

I will sit back with this one many times again and will update accordingly.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank at Lucky Baldwin's 5th Belgian Beer Festival. Served in a Piraat glass.

Oh, those tricky Belgians. To show that they know bitter the way a hop head likes bitter but not stray from the Belgian qualities of this pale ale. I wish this one was more available in California. Lucky Baldwin's is the only place I have ever had it.

Pours a pale golden yellow. Some straw like colors highlight the sides of the glass when held up to the light. A big frothy crater filled head slowly disappears but leaves a bubbly trail of lace down the glass. Scents are hoppy and floral. Some spices but not much malt in the nose. The scents tickle the nose and give a bubbly high energy quality to the feel of the scents. Very nicely done.

Bitter is as bitter does. At first taste this ale lets you know it is bitter. Great hops and a real citris bite to it. The floral flavors and some spices help smooth the bitterness and keep the flavors from being harsh. The malt flavors provide some back up to keep the hops honest but this is a bitter offering. Some yeast and grain flavors appear from time to time and provide a simple hello. The flavors are a well thought out boquet for the palate. The complexities of this ale are put together so well that it comes across as a very simple pale ale. Excellent!

Mouthfeel is prickly at first but then it smooths upon the swallow. Medium bodied and refreshing. I could drink many of these. In fact I had two at LB's. A very easy drinking pale and a pale for all occasions. I would pair this ale with many styles of food or drink it as a session beer.

De Ranke send us some more.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured pale yellow with a slight haze. The head was white and lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was spicy and citrusy hoppy. Also a slight Belgian yeast aroma was present.

The flavor was bitter and very hoppy. The malt is present enough to balance the flavor. Very resinous hop bitterness and hop flavor. Nice!

The finish was dry and bitter. The body was medium.

11.2 ounce bottle. Bottle says 6% ABV.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clouded golden orange hue with a rocky foam white head very gelatinous in texture with fine Belgian lacing. Aroma: Sharp citrus hop edge with flowery hops flowing in the mix this shit is hoppy surrounded by a sweet honey malt profile. Taste: Extremely hoppy belgian ale, this is the Stone Brewing of Belgium awesome stuff earty mix of pine cone flavor hops rough edge of citrusy hop bite, soft Belgian pale malts tie this one altogether. Mouthfeel: Effervescent carbonation bubbly medium body hop resins flowing along the palate. Drinkability: Good stuff happy to taste a belgian this hoppy adds a new posibility to the flavor profile of beers great bier easily consumed.

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Photo of silenius
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Hopleaf in Chicago just a couple hours ago.

Appearance is a hazy honey gold color with a centimeter thick head in a tulip glass.

I didn't get much of an aroma out of this one. Not floral at all. Nothing overpowering or even apparent. I light standard "beerish" smell.

The taste was full on hops, though. Tooth sucking hoppy goodness that lasted and lasted in the back of my throat! That is what I am looking for in a hoppy beer! Bitter and pleasant!

The mouthfeel was a moderate consistency. Not light at all and not heavy. Nice carbonation and it went down smooth.

Drinkability was high. I kept sipping at this beer to keep the bitter taste going full on. I will have another!

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Photo of nomad
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dead clear autumnal gold color, this beer has a nice little head on top. Slick and clean in action and appearance, it still left plenty of hard-clinging stain looking like rings of mineral desposits on my tulip glass.

Smells of lemon zest, husky pine with peppery spice speckled all over, and a phenolic presence that haunts the glass. Tasted like grapefruit juice, as if straight and freshly squeezed, but different from a Casacde-based grapefruit-tasting American IPA. Sharp, almost mint-like, leafy hop flavor comes on near the finish, where you begin to grip the melange of yeast, bready malt, and the strangest and best flavor of hops turned vinuous in astringency, intwined complexity, and mouth tingling. An almost musty feel in the finish, like a lambic or oud bruin, this is a great beer and unique in its blending of varying parts. Woo... quite a trip in one bottle.

In one sentence, I'd call it an artful rendering of hoppy flavors on a malty base with the magic of yeast and handcrafting. Very Belgian in its peculiarity.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the Map Room in Chicago.
Poured golden yellow with minimal head. Alcoholic esters hit right away along with powerful hop aroma. Flavor is very bitter at it sort of jumps at you but is somewhat offset by light chewy malt that also appears. Little but too bitter and dry on my palate. I imagine this would be a good session beer as your palate got adjusted to it.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is by far one of the more enigmatic and esoteric beers I have ever tried. A hoppy belgian. Quite the interesting combonation. It poured a cloudy golden color with a white bubbly head that reduced to nothing much more than a ring around the outside. The smell was very fruity, with mellon, berry and soft fruits dominating with hints of lemon and other citrus hiding in the background. The taste was like two beers blended. It had much of the traditional spicy belgian pale ale characteristics with doughy yeasty notes mellowing it out.... then all of a sudden huge piny hop leaf would assert itself pummeling my taste buds. Very interesting beer. One to sit and ponder over.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light yellow orange color, slightly cloudy. It looks alot like a light apple cider. There is a little head, but it stays around, leaving a touch of lace. The smell, surprisingly enough, has a lot of spiced apple cider to it, with sweet piny hops rounding it out. The flavor is immediately hoppy, deep and piny, beggining out mellow, and then growing to sharp finish, mellowing into a distincly hoppy aftertaste. Slight citrus flavors linger behind. This is a great beer in terms of mouthfeel. It is smooth yet crisp, with a sharp hit on the back of the tongue. It is very drinkable, although expensive.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.