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De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke

Not Rated.
De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

785 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 68
Gots: 45 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke visit their website
Belgium

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 785 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this on-tap at Brickstore Pub in Atlanta in a tulip glass.

Pours a dark lemon color with a huge two and a half finger pillowy head. It's pretty cloudy with decent lacing.

Smell is almost all bitter. There are some citrus aromas, but it's very subtle.

Taste is the same as the smell. Bitter with some citrus taste. The bitterness sticks around for a while as well, but it's not overwhelming. Somehow, the name makes sense.

Mouthfeel is great. Very smooth, with subtle carbonation. Any less carbonation and it would be flat, but as it is it's awesome.

Drinkability is good, but the lack of other flavors bring it down just a little bit. It's a really interesting beer, but it's too bitter to be insanely drinkable.

Overall this is a very, very smooth beer and it's less sweet than other Belgian IPA's that I've had. Definitely worth a try, and I'm glad I got to try this on-tap.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store, served in a De Ranke glass. Pours a hazy yellow with a very nice white rocky head that leaves some beautiful lacing. Smells of fairly light earthy hops with some decent lingering bitterness, but not a hop monster. The taste has aa beautiful balance between the malt and the hops. Slightly sweet malt up front that segues nicely into a soft creaminess and then into big, earthy/piney hop flavors with a long, pleasant bitterness. Very smooth in the mouth and delicious. This is particularly good on tap, and lacks some of the sharpness of the bottled version and seems more finely balanced while preserving the earthy bitterness. Very nice.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly cloudy golden color with one finger of white head.

S: A weird musty hop tone. I think this might have possibly been an infected bottle.

T: The name of this beer does not lie. Super bitter. Belgian IPAs are weird beer by definition. This is basically a belgian pale hopped to death and it just yields an unpleasant bitterness without balance.

M: Very well carbonated. Gave me intense hop burps.

D: Fairly easy drinking. The bitterness really cuts down on the drinkability for this one. Good beer but not something I would seek out again for the price. Stick to the McChouffe.

Photo of gford217
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store poured into a tulip.

Pours a bright hazy golden yellow with a big fluffy white head that lingers throughout the session leaving generous lacing. The smell starts with the lemon and floral hops but is fairly sweet with Belgian yeast and some sugar in the background. There are definitely some spices tickling the noses as well. The taste is less sweet than the aroma and brings more bitterness to the table. The floral hops are big up front with lemon zest and some grapefruit and the Belgian yeast and sweetness are much more in the background with the bitternes lingering through to the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp but with the obvious bitterness and lots of carbonation. This is decent Belgian IPA, though there's nothing really differentiating this one from the rest.

Photo of GreenCard
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[From a gravity cask at the 2008 GBBF]

Appearance: pale orange, quite hazy, thin layer of bubbles, not much head

Aroma: spicy "Belgian" notes (cinnamon and nutmeg phenols), woodsy hops, malt, light brown sugar

Flavor: full malt sweetness that quickly gets scrunched down by a hearty bitterness at the back of the tongue; grapefruit rinds and apricot seeds; finishes dryish with a lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, gentle carbonation, soft texture, slight alcohol warmth

Other comments: XX Bitter is a fantastic beer in the bottle. When I passed the foreign beers bar at GBBF this year and I saw it on cask, I just had to try it. It certainly has some interesting elements and is also good, but I think I prefer the bottled one.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"The hoppiest beer of Belgium"

Pours a nice looking golden clear with a nice fluffy white head that leaves moderate lace. Nose is a bit of farm funk with some euro hoppage and mucho belgian yeast. Taste follows, some barn, spice hops and belgian yeast and a touch of wheat. Mouthfeel is nice, but I think it could be a bit thinner. Drinkability is good, but not amazing. Overall a good example of the style for those who have not yet been exosed to it. A very nice and refreshing brew.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml paper-wrapped green bottle. "best by of feb 2013" (bottled 5 years prior). poured into tulip.

hazy blond straw color. lots and lots of rocky head. plenty of lace.

initial sulfurous hop, bordering on skunk, but soon transitions to very grassy and almost piney upon settling. an interesting mix of noble and english hops. hints of peppery spice, pear and toasted malt. whiffs of phenols and yeast.

blast of grassy/leafy and spicy hallertaur bitterness upfront, with an undercurrent of semi-sweet malt. fades to slightly phenolic fruitiness, but hop bitterness is present throughout. finish is very bitter, semi-dry, and overall is very reminiscent of a well-hopped german pils.

not too thin. decently smooth, then some hoppy tannic texture in the finish. prickly carbonation can also be fluffy.

Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice cloudy dark yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little white creamy head, with lots of nice thick creamy sticky lacing. The nose is malty/hoppy, laundry soap, with some yeast tones. The taste is malty/hoppy, yeasty, some sourness and bitterness. Medium body, slightly dry/bitter. Drinkable, but would not drink again. Different though.

Photo of dsa7783
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, slender, 11.2 oz bottle copped for $3.75 from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
"The Hoppiest Beer of Belgium" on the front logo sticker... A bold statement nevertheless...
Hazy, murky pour - cloudy, dark yellow hue with a minimal head that quickly dissipated and left hardly any lacing...
Minty, hop-filled aroma - very powerful, enticing and different than your usual, standard IPA... Bursting with lemons and spices...
Crisp, refreshing, hoppy, citrus-laden flavor, bursting with grapefruit, mint leaves, hops, and slight sugars - There is certainly something noticeably and distinctly different from a Belgian IPA compared to the standard American IPA and this beer best highlights the difference... The hop essence is more subdued, yet definitely there...
Good mouthfeel along with an excellent level of drinkability...
One of my favorite Belgian brews...
Definitely recommended...

Photo of callmescraps
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Don't know how I missed this one before, but now I've got it in hand. Very excited.

Appearance - A cloudy, hazy, yellowish gold. Solid two fingers of strong, pillowy head. Tons of carbonation bubbling up the sides. Just a beautiful looking beer.

Smell - Delicious. It has that spicy/citrusy belgian hop thing going on. Definite hints of citrus, like lemon with some spiciness to boot. Just a hint of that lambic funkiness as well. Awesome stuff.

Taste - Comes out citrusy and hoppy up front. Then some definite sweetness, finally a bitterness on the end. There is a bready sweetness on the aftertaste that just makes you want to have another sip. The abv is a little lower than some Belgian golden's and you can tell.

Mouthfeel - A little thinner than one might expect, but definitely present, with some real nice carbonation.

Drinkability - Absolutely off the charts. This goes down incredibly smoothly. It has some of the taste and complexity that I love in Belgians, but it's also a lower abv and just a lot smoother, with a little less going on. Very easy to drink.

This is one of the weaker Belgian goldens I've tried, and it shows. The low abv means that there isn't that slow alcohol burn that adds another layer to many goldens. It also means that this one goes down smooth as hell, and probably isn't as dangerous to throw back in quantity. It sort of reminds me of a mix of the Berkshire Steel Rail (one of the most drinkable beers ever) and something like a Duvel (possibly my favorite beer of all time). I'm definitely enjoying this beer, and I look forward to enjoying it again. However, it just misses the cut of super-elite bevs.

Photo of Kraken
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a capped and corked 750ml bottle, best by 07 2012. So I guess this was a young buck. Pours a very nice dark amber with billowy head, that leaves nice lacing and moderate retention. Smell is lite hops and malt, some Belgian yeast. Immediate and nice hops on the tongue, sweetness in middle hop bitterness in the finish. Finish lingers and is very pleasant. Mouthfeel is a joy, this is rich buttery beer. This is a very nice beer and well worth a try. Another great offering from De Ranke.

Photo of tdrshayden
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at TDR-SH.
Pours a slightly hazy gold, with a big, frothy pure white head that disappeares rather quickly with little lacing. Smell is spicy, lots of hops showing up. Yeast and breadiness as well, and some fruity hints. Taste is very nice, bright and hoppy with Citric notes, unique and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is crisp, full-bodied. Of the Belgian IPAs that I have tasted, I would rank this one of the best.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml 2007 bottle, corked and capped, attractively swaddled in a crisp white paper label stating the correct volume of the vessel, in contrast to the bottle, which is labeled as "11.2 FL OZ." I'm going with 750 ml. Final answer.

Popping off the metal cap, I was a little put off by a thin brown moldy-looking liquid between cap and cork. Wiping it away, I found the cork was intact, and when I pulled it I got a nice, agressive 'Pop!'.

The drink pours a hazy, sunny orange with a finger of bright white head that retains well and leaves webby lacing.

Smells yeasty and fruity, with notes of plums, figs, and nectarines.

Taste is enhanced by a crisp body, sporting a nice sting of carbonation. Flavors of ice-cold apple cider with spicy bread, plums, white peppercorns, with polished, golden, earthy hops basking are complimented nicely with a note of zippy lime-peel announcing a dry, pointy, bitter finish.

Excellent drinkability and very smooth. Interesting presentation with a few flaws that are more interesting than off-putting.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 capped and corked paper wrapped bottle picked up at Erickson's Fine Wines in Eagle a couple weeks ago for $13.... was planning on sharing this one with SAS side by side with MS Wrath.. but I'm tired of waiting. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

Very fizzy 2 finger white head drops quick leaving only spotty lacing atop a surprisingly crystal clear golden brew.

Aroma is punctuated spicy hops with a spike of Brett... (is there Brett in this beer? I don't think so, but I have no idea.) Very phenolic with tons of spicy and citric hop aromas...

Flavor is punctuated by citric/lemony hops with a great background of pale malts.. yeasty esters and a good punch of bitterness. Body is light and carbonation is abundant.. the complexity really changes its face sip after sip after sip... I now doubt there is Brett in this.. but instead an abundant complexity from the yeast and the myriad of hop additions.. I am a big fan as the bottle rolls on. Long peppery medicinal finish that lasts for minutes easy... like a hoppy Saison on steroids.

The clarity is brilliant.. amazing... really surprising.. sorry.. don't mean to gush, but this is a pretty beer. Flavor is wholly unique.. infinitely better than my last bottle.

I've only had this brew one other time, and then the cork was shot and it tasted very musky.. this time.. I am very impressed, although I won't likely buy again unless I am brewing a Belgian style IPA/DIPA... too pricey for my every day enjoyment.

Photo of bort11
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle capped and corked. I had to use a cork-screw to get the thing out and it was a bit of a pain in the ass. Indecipherable best by date.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Large creamy white head that sits on the surface for the duration. Light lacing. Color is a bright and hazy golden yellow. Quite nice to look at.

Smell is light and floral with a hint of lemon peel and medicinal herbs. Taste is also very floral. Mild citrus notes, fresh grass, and green herbs.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Mild creamy texture from the persistent head. This is a good one for hot summer nights.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer thanks to pintbypint. The pour leaves me with a bright white head, very nice retention and lacing. Some sediment made its way in so theres a hazy, flashy golden color.

Smells of pine, hop oils, yeasty spice and a light maltiness. A faint fruity funkiness chimes in now and then.

Tastes of hops (German types?), yeasty spice, fruit and lightly acidic. This is one interesting and delicious beer.

Photo of jwc215
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interestingly, this 750 ml bottle states "11.2 fl. oz." on the label (Impossible, but I suppose good for an "I just had one" excuse?) Cork-caged bottle, best by June 2012, poured into tulip glass:

Pours hazed/cloudy golden with a thick, foamy, then rocky, white head that thins and stays. Some trailing lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is of lemon and orange peel with grassy and herbal notes. It's a bit musty, earthy and floral.

The taste is bitter. The first few sips reminded me of chewing aspirins. Subsequent sippings reveal more balance with some orange and lemon tartness and just a hint of malt sweetness. It is bitter. I can appreciate a more bitter than sweet beer, but this is bitter over-load in a medicial/aspirin-like way. Finishes puckeringly bitter and dry.

Carbonation is enough to cleanse the palate without being too prickly.

With help of water after each few sips, this is pretty drinkable for how bitter it is. The aspirin-like taste does fade a bit as it progresses. Overall it is reminiscent of Campari, and would serve well as an aperitif, though a whole 750 is a bit much.

Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Unibroue chalice a light copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a pungent herbal hop spice and some slight yeast esthers.

The taste was upfront herbal and spicy with solid grainy backing.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a delicious and unique ale.

Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Monk's Cafe, served in a tulip.

Appears hazy yellow with a white head and thick lacing. The aroma is a bit mild, with earthy hops and a touch of pale malt. The flavor has the same light malts with a hint of biscuit, but the hops and yeast character carry the flavor. This is a great example of yeast working with hops, the spices blend and build on each other and instead of making one singular taste the flavors roll out with grinding bitter hops building up at the end.

A must try for those love Belgians with hops.

Photo of Gmann
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml corked and capped bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a beautiful sudsy white head that left nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is of Belgian yeast phenols and candi sugar, that nice tart funk earthy saison aroma. I pick up some banana, green apple, corriander, white pepper and a light grassy hop. The taste definitely has more of a hop presence. Some grassy hops flavors and dare I say a slight citrus hop. The hops are paired with a nice honey malt, flowers, spices, and Belgian candi sugar. Out of all of the Belgian IPAs that I have had this is one as the most bitter hop profile. The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation and finishes bitter. Another excellent BIPA. This is becoming a favorite style. Nice combination of sweet, spice, and bitter.

Photo of fitzy84
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Moan and Dove. Murky, cloudy gold appearance with a nice thick head and eventual patchy lacing. Strong floral hops that were to die for; a little bit thin smelling, but with its strength, it helped hinder it from being too overpowering. Bready and wheaty to the max: it was so deliciously hoppy and wrapped in woody, forest overtones. A soild medium body helps explicit the taste. Overall, really really good.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: I expect a much better head from a Belgian IPA. This one retains alright, but it is small to begin with, even after a pretty strong pour. The beer itself is a thickly yeast-hazed, bright sunflower orange-yellow, not unlike a Hefeweizen.

Smell: Not bad; a bit weak, but but not bad. My first impression is Ramune or 7-Up, with a pretty big lemon-lime aroma and some bubblegum backed by syrupy sweetness. Other fruity notes that waft off the beer include pineapple and orange - big orange, in fact. The hops are not as bracing as I expected; rather, they mingle with the yeast and pale malts to create a nice, soft, spicy depth. The hops are also extremely floral, with a very lovely rose aroma tucked amidst the tropical esters.

Taste: Mmm, nice! Some of the fruity complexity from the nose is lost here, and the malts lack substance. But it's still good, with a crackery dryness, some tangy bread and phenolic notes from the yeast, and a robustly bitter, herbal orange-rind hop kick that really blossoms in the finish, leaving a long, hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and airy yet slick. Carries the hops very well without being too syrupy.

Drinkability: This is a very good mash-up of a Belgian strong pale ale and an IPA, one that's flavorful and interesting and refreshing. I do wish some of the Belgian fruitiness came through more, but it comes through enough to set it apart from your average IPA.

Photo of csmiley
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The color ended up a medium yellow with a haze to it. Like any Belgian, the head, retention, and lacing were all excellent. The head dissapated to a nice cap of white foam in the glass.

S - Funky yeast and biscuit aromas start things out. Another aroma that is quite strong is a hop aroma that comes across as pine. Last in the aroma is some honey and alcohol.

T - Hops really come through in the flavor. Some citrus starts to creep in but mostly the pine dominates. Other flavors are just in the background to support the hops. There is some yeast and bread that start to show about midway through. The tail end is hard to pick out but consists of pale malt and honey.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is bitter and dry - with the bitterness hanging on for a while.

D - Drinkability is good. Balance of flavors is good for the style. Alcohol is low which lets the other flavors show some character. Very nice overall. I would pick this one up agian.

Photo of Slynger
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale and hazy hay color with an amber tinge. The fine, fuzzy, white lid leaves slippery lace.

Nice lemon and apple scents mix with sweet floral hops and light earthy, grassy, spiciness.

A medium-light body holds the perfect amount of soft and creamy carbonation. The taste matches the smell excellently. Lightly sweet and floral, lemony-apple, yeasty, and grassy, with light bitterness and peppery spice.

Very well balanced and extremely delishous. Can't wait to pick up some more.

Photo of willjschmidt
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle (marked best by September 2011) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a golden color with a good sized white head. A lot of yeast remains in the bottle.

S: Spicy hops, floral accents, and a bit yeasty.

T: A very interesting brew. Definitely lots of hops but certainly not the variety that I'm used to in my west coast IPA's. There are a lot of interesting flavors in there as well. I got some funky barnyard flavors, some minerals, a bit of lemon and some other fruit. It reminds me a bit of a hoppy saison.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: A very unique and excellent beer. I enjoyed it.

De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
92 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.