1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
91
outstanding

747 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 747
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 64
Gots: 39 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of De Ranke XX Bitter Alström Bros
Ratings: 747 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

750mL bottle poured into a chalice, best before 7/12 so I think I'm safe on this one.

A: Pours a few nice light copper amber with a loosely bubbled half inch head that bubbles down to a thin lace in a minute or two. Really active and beautiful carbonation coming from all directions from the bottom of the glass.

S: Lemon, fresh cracks of pepper here and there coupled with a nice and fresh grass notes, not quite (or maybe at all) as funky as I was imagining, but maybe this is the additonal amount of hops from this belgian.

T/MF: Opens very grassy and peppery with bits of caramlized sugars here and there, finishes dry and crunchy on the back of the tongue with a bready pine finish. This one is certainly bitter and even a bit sour in the finish, but it tastes very clean and very fresh, it really is quite nice and the lingering stickiness from the hops is a nice touch. Feels a bit watery in the mouth at first then the carbonation and bitternes takes over a bit more and the beer feels a bit rocky in the mouth, very complex tastes and mouthfeel.

D: This is a nice and fresh and certainly very bitter take on a belgian IPA. Personally I think I enjoy Piraat's version better, but the two seem almost like completly different styles, the Piraat tasting much sweeter and this one a great deal more bitter, but really this is a very nice representation of belgian style.

bluemoonswoon, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

Got the bottle out of the fridge, got the oversized wine glass out of the cabinet, and I got the bottle opener ready. Good, I'm all set to try "the hoppiest beer of Belgium". On to the beer:

The beer is a darker, cloudy, bolder blonde in color with a big billowy head. The yeast sitting in the bottom of the bottle is brown. Smell is phenolic and fruity, hops are spicy. Moving on to the taste, the hops are certainly noticable, again spicy, but not over the top like in American styles. The uniqueness of this beer is the yeast that brings out phenolic and medicinal flavors with just a little ripe fruit. More and more hops jump out as the journey continues.

By far the hoppiest beer I've had from Belgium, yet it's fairly easy drinking. An 11.2 ounce bottle wasn't enough for me. Next time I'm going for the corked 750 ml bottle.

DoubleJ, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of marcpal
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%

11.2oz into custom goblet.

A: Golden and cloudy with substantially built head. Lacing was there and yeasty appearance.

S: Citrus hops to the aroma, not significant. More floral citrus than hops citrus.

T: Bitter and yeasty with strong citrus flavors. Hoppy by Belgian standards and it matched really well with the normal spicy fruit.

M: High level of carbonation that I just cant pair well with an IPA. A good representation of the style though.

D: I found this beer to be very drinkable but the yeast comes into play a bit much through it.

Not a bad beer, but inferior in style to Hop-It in my opinion.

marcpal, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of Mandrake
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a slightly hazy bright golden-yellow, with a big, frothy pure white head that dissipates slowly and leaves fabulous lacing. Smell is nice and spicy, lots of noble hops showing up. Yeast and breadiness as well, and some fruity hints. Taste is very nice, bright and hoppy with lots of complexity. Citric notes and leafy notes alongside cloves and yeast, it's unique and very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is crisp, well carbonated, and full of body, and drinkability is excellent. Top-drawer beer.

Mandrake, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a cloudy, dark yellow, with a medium, slightly fizzy head, almost looks like a dark witbier, definitely unfiltered.

S: Nice smell of lemon and grass notes, and a bit of apple.

T: This beer tastes very interesting. It tastes kind of like a light version of Duvel mixed with a hop steriod, if that makes any sense. Overall, it has a good flavour of Granny Smith apples, lemony hops, cedar, and pine. This is definitely one of the hoppiest beers from Belgium that I have ever had, but it is not a huge hop bomb like some of the American-type IPAs are, it takes a more floral, elegant approach. This is an interesting beer to review, and my feelings on the flavour change from sip to sip. Sometimes I'm really into the mix of flavours, and other times, I feel that it's too astringent, though it's not a bad beer or flavour by any means.

M: Full mouthfeel, with rich carbonation, a satisfying feel in the mouth.

D: One of the few Belgian IPAs I have ever had, one of the most idiosyncratic flavours I have ever had in a beer. A nice experiment, but I don't know if I'll have it again, very pricey, but I'm glad I tried it.

Halcyondays, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

By blending the complex yeasty fruit character of a Belgian ale and the bone dry body of a good IPA, this superb hybrid truly delivers. Served on tap in a large Unibroue tulip at Brasserie V in Madison, WI. Appearance is a bit disappointing on tap as there is no head. This is partially the result of an overly generous and poorly executed pour but still, I would like to see a touch of lace at least. I don’t recall having this problem when I’ve consumed it out of the bottle. Body is light orange and clear. Aroma is clean and spicy with hints of citrus and floral hops and touches of fruity yeast. Taste contains a pale malt backbone but that is just an afterthought. Hops dominate this beer. Sharp citric flavors and feel hit the front of the palate while dry spicy notes pound the back. All the while a generic fruity (think cotton candy) yeast flavor balances and rounds everything out. The superb mouthfeel makes this beer fun to drink and the peppery dry finish makes it easy. A great beer.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of DIM
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

a: Poured carefully to leave the sediment behind producing almost no head. A vigorous swirling brought a quarter inch of white froth. Ale appears as a clear pale golden color.

s: The best phrase I can come up with is lightly hopped fruitcake. There are some candied fruits, a bit of sugar, lots of yeast, and more alcohol than should be found in a beer of 6%. Confounding and wonderfull.

t: Very bready and earthy with some floral hops present. I expected more fruit and sweetness based on the smell. Surprisingly one dimensional. Very good but I felt it lacked depth.

m: Fills the mouth nicely, lip smackable. A bit chalky at the finish.

d: I only bought one bottle, but I will seek out more as this beer is unique in my experience.

DIM, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of sleazo
3.05/5  rDev -25.4%

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

sleazo, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev +1%

*The best by date on this bottle indicated that this beer is 2.5 years old; which is about 1/2 way through the suggested shelf life.

A - Golden orange color with two fingers of white head. Clear enough to read through, but somewhat poor head retention.

S - Sweet, bready, hoppy aroma. Grassy, with some alcohol. Distinct "sherry" note has developed from age.

T - Grainy with notes of apricot, caramel, and coffee. Some hop flavor followed by a robustly bitter finish. I also get some tobacco and phenolic, papery flavors.

M - Moderate body, quite dry, and medium-high carbonation. There is some astringency in the finish.

D - Quite an interesting beer. The overall impression is of a German style pilsner, but this beer is much more complex than a pils. Some of the flavors are very surprising considering the beer's color. This is not a sessionable, easy drinking beer, but under the right circumstances it could be spectacular (perhaps with a cigar).

nickfl, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of hunteraw
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

Was happy to find this on my first trip to the beer store in Cambridge.

Appearance: Golden in color, a tad hazy (but I had walked it all the way across town...), exceptional head retention and lacing.

Smell: Hops: citrus, belgian yeast: spice.

Taste: Solid bitterness, with lots of Belgian yeast flavor. Finishes dry. Reminds me of my homebrewed Belgian IPA, but better.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: high!

hunteraw, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

(Served in a tulip glass)
best before Dec. ’11 5years after bottle date
A- This beer pours a light peach body that is a bit hazy and a wicked carbonation of micro bubbles. The creamy beige head is like meringue sitting on the beer and it last and last.

S- The smell of perfumed yeast and green hops with a nice note of young brie.

T- The taste of bitter pine hops burst at the beginning with a faint caramel malt notes. As the beer warms there notes of white sugar and a light white cheese rind hint. The finish has a nice pungent bitterness that lingers after the finish.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel that comes from the creamy head in each sip. There is a tight fizz in the finish that helps boost the hops flavor.

D- This beer has nice big hops that are not American in flavor supported by some nice Belgian yeast notes. The crazy head kept me mesmerized while drinking.

rhoadsrage, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%

On-tap 8/26/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong pale hops and light malts but not much else.

T: Unlike a lot of beers that have the word “bitter” in their name, this one earns it. A strong, bitter bite of hops starts out, then a light malt character comes in to provide a little bit of balance. There’s also a mild flavor of Belgian yeast but it’s the hops flavor that dominates.

M: Very crisp with a little smoothness, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer to stick with but it would not be my first choice.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 27, 2007
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Slightly hazed golden colour with a bright white head that settled quickly to a short cap. The fine bubbles formed solid sheets of lace on my glass. Very hoppy aroma - earthy, floral, perfumy, woody - with a bit of spice and fruit character. Bitterness was very strong and lasted through the finish. It had a sweet-tart fruitiness and a mild malt presence. Hops were earthy and then spicy in the finish. Light bodied with considerable carbonation that gave it an airy texture. Slightly soapy, yet still with some dryness. Quite drinkable and very enjoyable on a hot day.

DrJay, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of ccrida
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%

Had on draft at the Beer Stein in Eugene. Served in an Affligem chalice, XX Bitter is a beautiful, hazy pale yellow, with a small, firm off-white collar. You know it's a looker when someone at the bar come up to you and says "that is one gorgeous looking beer, what is it?"

Aroma was pretty soft, spicy hops, minerals and a bit of candi sweetness, with more floral notes as it warms up.

The taste is good, but very bitter. Dominated by the noble hop spiciness, behind which lays a soft sweetness with a hint of vanilla, heavy minerals, and a bone dry finish. I still prefer De Ranke's Noel, which is similar less the heavy bitterness, which is a bit heavy-handed here.

The mouthfeel is spritzy, med-light bodied.

This was a fantastic brew, but too bitter to really throw back to many of them, even one started to really build up on my tongue by the end.

ccrida, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of TripelMajor
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

Served on tap ice-cold in a tuliped challis.

Had to wait for this one to warm up for the full character to come out. Golden in color, with a clean white head that retained for more than half of my nursing. Wonderful hop bouquet with some light Belgian spice aroma, clean not as strong most Belgian beers.

Surprisingly dry and bitter, but it helped balance the strength and character of this strong blonde (I'm partial to Belgian IPAst, for this reason). Notes of citrus and bright straw malts. Spice came out as it warmed up, but remained restrained.

Smooth, but the heavy hop aroma stayed on my tongue, almost drying it out. The alcohol went undetected in the taste, but was felt internally half-way through. Hops remained on my tongue well after finishing the beer. A little thin for my tastes.

Like a good beer, left me wanting more. Could drink quite a few of these before getting too bored. Refreshing, but hoppy enough to entertain even the most jaded of pacific northwest palates (especially considering the style).

Overall a dynamite brew, and the hoppiest Belgian that I've come across.
I Wanted a bit more body and spice.
I still prefer the Chouffe Houblon.

TripelMajor, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of gamblor21
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%

Wow very impressed fro the "Hoppiest Beer of Belgium" not strong like an American IPA. Creamy Head, Very light and crisp which makes it a great summer beer, and something that you can drink over and over again. It is not bitter like the name of it might suggest.

gamblor21, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
4.05/5  rDev -1%

Straw colored brew with orange highlights, slight sediment haze but not much. Huge carbonation is bubbling over as soon as its corked, head is full, white, tightly packed foam that forms some rocky, impressive head. Thick lacing.

Knowing what to expect with the XX, I was surprised at how smooth the aroma was: as light as floral, but definitely spicy, with some citric hop as well.

Pale malt takes the edge off a relatively well seasoned hop blast. Lemongrass and other citric-yet-earthy flavors, a little horse blanket Belgian yeast that's not exactly wild but not sterile, peppery hops and alcohol make themselves very well known. Finish is spicy, mouthfeel unremarkable.

Not as carbonated as some bottle conditioned Belgians, this one is a very nice hoppy import. Recommended for all to try.

BretSikkink, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%

Pours a hazy glowing gold with substantial white head that dissipates slowly leaving moderate lacing.

Ah the nose. Hoppiest Belgian I've found yet. Hops almost overpowers the malt, but it's there.

Taste is sublime. A well balanced brew with a great deal of appeal. Hops are predominant, with the bitter dryness they impart.

Mouthfeel is great with great carbonation and pleasant coating of the mouth.

With this low of an ABV it is truly worthy of being a session beer. Must have more. This 750 will be gone sooner than I wish.

techdiver, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of fourohstudent
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.

fourohstudent, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of jbsteiny
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

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.

jbsteiny, May 25, 2007
Photo of kajerm
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

Bottle at the Map Room. Pours gold and unacceptably clear with a sizeable white head and good lacing. Either this is filtered (which is blasphemy for a Belgian Ale) or it needs more floaties.

The aroma is a nice mixture of belgian and IPA-- malts, banana-type esters, some phenols, light candi sugar, and strong continental hops are all present.

Opens up with malty/sugary sweetness and bananas, which quickly give way to phenolic spiciness and herbal hop flavor. The finish is bitter. Not quite as hoppy (or as good) as Houblon Chouffe, but I still love it.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with brisk carbonation. I might like it to be very slightly heavier, but that's a minor gripe-- it's refreshing and ideally suited to the flavor.

Belgian Pale Ales and IPAs are both some of the most drinkable styles around, and so it makes sense that a hybrid of the two would be just as drinkable, and it is.

kajerm, May 20, 2007
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

had this at the hopleaf, served in a small tumbler-type glass. poured a very hazy, orange/light amber. nice creamy tight head and lacing. aroma was phenomenal...i swear it was dominated by apricots. also some vegetal, grassy aromas as it opened up along with some doughy/malty notes. a bit of bready sweetness upfront is quickly followed by a good amount of hop bitterness, a touch less ibus than a big american ipa. finish is long and complex and mouthfeel is medium. nice carbonation in this one. definitely worth a try if you can find it.

MrMcGibblets, May 14, 2007
Photo of acrawf6
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%

Best before 9/11
Pours out a clear dark orange golden with a large fluffy white head. nice thick lacing. very nice.

Smell. hops come out nicely here

Taste. Nice balance of the hop bitterness, and the belgian sweetness. Also seems to have a honey taste with a nice malty backbone. aftertaste is bittering.

mouthfeel. body is medium with a crisp carbonation.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer.

acrawf6, May 13, 2007
Photo of markaberrant
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Served in 12oz tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy, straw orange. Thick 1" head forms and holds up pretty well. Nice lacing.

Smell is quite perfumey - floral and spicy, with a bit of citrus fruit. Unique.

Bitterness hits right on the tip of the tongue. Orange and spice in the middle. Lingering perfumey finish.

Mouthfeel is light with lots of carbonation. Works well with rest of beer.

Drinkability is high. I like the mix of bitterness, belgian fruit/spice, and the light body.

4s across the board, what can I say? No deficiencies to speak of and it's a nice blend of styles. Recommended.

markaberrant, May 06, 2007
Photo of isaac
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

big ol' green bottle to snifter.

pours a hazy straw color with a big, fat, long-lasting white head on top, and gorgeous, sparkling lace down the glass. smell is grassy, floral, spicy, and lemony - very noble-hopppy - with nice bready malts and faint yeasty-funkiness. taste is fantastic, following suit from the smell, but with more sweetness from the pale malt and surprisingly refreshing! mouthfeel is slave to the champagne-like carbonation, but as a celebration drink, this beer is fantastic! highly recommended, if not a bit pricey...

isaac, May 02, 2007
De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 747 ratings.