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

733 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 733
Reviews: 468
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: 733 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TripelMajor
TripelMajor

New York

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.

07-06-2007 00:17:33 | More by TripelMajor
Photo of gamblor21
gamblor21

New Jersey

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.

07-04-2007 13:52:42 | More by gamblor21
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

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.

07-04-2007 07:23:17 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of techdiver
techdiver

Pennsylvania

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.

06-30-2007 03:42:52 | More by techdiver
Photo of fourohstudent
fourohstudent

Maine

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
Photo of jbsteiny
jbsteiny

Hawaii

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.

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

Illinois

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.

05-20-2007 19:24:21 | More by kajerm
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets

Illinois

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.

05-14-2007 01:09:52 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of acrawf6
acrawf6

Louisiana

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.

05-13-2007 04:31:12 | More by acrawf6
Photo of markaberrant
markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

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.

05-06-2007 02:15:40 | More by markaberrant
Photo of isaac
isaac

Oregon

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...

05-02-2007 08:15:50 | More by isaac
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

3.6/5  rDev -12%

A- cloudy pineapple in color, explosive tight, bubbly, yet thin, white head, settles to 1 finger, good retent

S- floral, lemon, fresh, clean

T- earthy, herbal, little sparks of lemon here and there, bitter, grainy

M- dry finish and after, light body, high carbonation

D- a hoppy and bitter beer thats not ridiculously over hopped, awesome, though i could live with out that lemon flavor, i'd pass on another for now, but i can see this brew and me in the future.

04-22-2007 23:41:23 | More by tonistruth
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

12oz. bottle, served at cellar temperature. Sat in the cellar for at least 4-5 months.

Pours a golden yellow tone with high clarity. Lots of lacing, and an ever-present skim of foam.

Grainy, musty smell, that retains some positive Belgian characteristics. There is an underlying earthiness and faint herbal aroma.

Malt component has an earthy, almost smoky flavor. Hops show a big prescence, earthy, herbal, with slight bitterness.

For what it is, it sees and raises the ante on US IPA's. Very balanced and tasty, exceptional drinkability. If it were a 750mL bottle, it would disappear just as fast.

04-22-2007 01:03:11 | More by emerge077
Photo of tanarm
tanarm

California

3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

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.

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

Texas

4.55/5  rDev +11.2%

Best before April 2010. 6% ABV.

Pours a hazed gold with a big bubbly head at first, but then subsides. Head clings a bit to the glass on the sips, but doesn't leave much lacing to speak of, but some scattered spots. Some sweet pale malts up front in the nose, and some mild esters. Pretty clean for a Belgian. Hops take on an herbal and floral presence. In the flavor, a malty sweetness is presented at first, which is then followed by herbal and grassy hops. I somehow get a flavor of caraway in the middle. What follows the hop flavors is a bitterness that lingers on past the finish while bready and nutty malts come to the forefront in the aftertaste. Overall hop character in this hoppy Belgian reminds me of an assertive pils. Body is pretty lightweight with a carbonation that tingles the tongue, which I think is right on considering what this is going for in the flavor profile. 11.2 oz. is not enough of this.

04-04-2007 03:58:10 | More by goochpunch
Photo of elricorico
elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -7.6%

Pours very clear orange gold with a large fluffy white head. I couldn't resist pouring in the yeast though, and the beer became opaque dull orange. The head seems to last and last, with very sticky lacing all around..

The smell immediately brings to mind a tripel, yeasty and zesty. Citrus and pepper aromas and just a hint of mustiness. A good Belgian smell.

Enters the mouth tasting like a tripel as well, but then the hops take over in a big way. This is the most bitter Belgian I've had so far. Very citrus and spice in flavour, and the finish leaves the back half of the tongue feeling dry. Faint alcohol heat is there if you look for it. Interesting, but not exactly what I was hoping for.

There is a relatively light body to this beer, and it is well carbonated but not overdone.

If you can't decide between having a Belgian Pale or an IPA, this could fill both cravings. Certainly worth checking out.

03-14-2007 02:12:05 | More by elricorico
Photo of IgnatiusReilly
IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a 1 pt. 9.4 fl oz. green, corked bottle into a goblet at home.

A: The appearance is yellow straw to a very pale amber. Thick head retention, about two fingers thick.

S: The aroma is familiar Belgian ale yeast mixed with bready malt and some floral hops. Sweet fruit smells come through, some banana and apple. Some spiciness from the hops as well.

T: Very complex. Semi-sweet, grainy malt hits first, with a hint of apple fruit flavoring. This is followed by a (big) hop spiciness that lingers in the mouth. The finish is also hoppy and very dry, but again returns to the earthy and sweet malt.

M: Very smooth and mouth-coating. Medium carbonation and alcohol bite.

D: Extremely drinkable – 6% ABV is not very high for a Belgian. Very refreshing.

This beer is very hoppy and dry compared to most other Belgian ales (hence the name, right?). Interesting, layered and complex, though subtle and not over-powering.

03-11-2007 20:09:30 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of rayjay
rayjay

Hawaii

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%

11.2 oz bottle, bb Jan 2011.

Lots of creamy foam, not unlike shaving cream. A+ head retention and Brussels lacing. Pale beer with excellent clarity.

Not much for hops on the nose, although there is a very nice Belgian ale aroma with some grape candy and dust.

Ahh, thats a nice bitter ale. The hops aren't huge, but the bitterness is. Great, clean, strong ale body which is quite refreshing; pleasant yet firm hopping is evident. The aftertaste is where the bitterness really kicks in; kettle hops and some tannins make for an exponential bitter backdrop similar to oversteeped green tea. Some DMS. Slightly tart and papery. Much like a well-made Rolling Rock with a Belgian yeast.

VERY light and refreshing; I wouldn't be surprised if there were adjuncts. Don't get me wrong, because I really like it. Tiny bubbles, like a champagne mouthfeel, with a dry finish. If I lived in Belgium I might drink this like I drink Big Daddy IPA now. Cheers!

02-26-2007 06:05:47 | More by rayjay
Photo of BeerHonky
BeerHonky

New York

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%

750 ml bottle, wrapped in paper. Freshness date clearly printed on the paper which tells me that the beer will be good until May 2011. That means it was bottled May 2006. Enjoyed in large, bulbous wine glasses. Pours a beautiful golden straw color with a bit of cloudiness as some yeast sediment spilled into the glass. Big fluffy, white head that faded to a thin ring around the glass. Well...guess what...it smells like hops! Wow, big strong hop aroma here. Fresh, grassy, slightly piny hops with hints of that fruity Belgian yeast aroma. Medium bodied with refreshing, tiny bubbled carbonation. Starts out with those fruity flavors, I'm getting a little bit of banana and tart apples...just a little though. That is followed by the super crisp hop flavors. Not resinous like American IPA's, but clean and dry with a strong bitter finish. Oh, and underneath it all is a subtle dry, biscuity malt flavor. This has possibly the most enjoyable bitterness I've ever had. My only gripe with this beer is that I don't find it very drinkable due to its strong bitterness. The more I drank, the more the bitterness seemed to numb my palate to the other flavors. Other than that, this stuff is just amazing and hard to believe that it comes from Belgium.

02-24-2007 20:25:11 | More by BeerHonky
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%

Clear bright golden color, big dense white head. Lace in spikes, like peaks of waves in Japanese prints.

Smell: plenty of grassy noble hops, lemon, vinegar, spice, sugar cookies. Almost like a saison loaded with noble hops. Delicious.

Tastes primarily of clean, grassy hops. A bare hint of sweetness, becoming completely dry. Bracing, refreshing bitterness, but restrained enough to maintain excellent balance. Some mild acidity. Long, long grassy finish.

Rich mouthfeel, even suggestive of wheat or oats, but maybe it's just the very fine carbonation. Finishes slightly watery, though. Insanely drinkable, in keeping with the style.

Really good, and completely original and interesting.

02-23-2007 06:47:21 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of dblinkhorn
dblinkhorn

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

Poured from a 750ml capped & corked bottle into a tulip glass.

* This bottle is probably around a year old. *

Appearance - Pours with a large, white and soapy head that has good retention. It is straw/gold in color with less than expected carbonation activity within and good clarity. The head leaves excellent lacing on the way down and eventually settles at a creamy half-finger white cap.

Smell - Slight sourness and lots of hoppy aromas. There are some mild sweet charactaristics on the nose as well, like mild fermenting fruits. Hardly any real malt aromas to speak of. It also has some champagne-like ("white grapey") properties in the smell also.

Taste - Again some sourness up front, but mainly a lot of floral and herbal hop flavors right away. And I mean a lot. I don't know if this is really the hoppiest beer in Belgium, but it's certainly quite hoppy compared to most. The hops mellow somewhat and the malt and some sweetness start to show themselves. Also, immediately following this, you get some more champagne properties toward the finish. The overall malt character definitely takes a back seat to the hops, which in the beer are purposefully given center state. However, the malt does have a mild breadiness to it, and is somewhat rich, but the volume of the flavor is low. After swallow, there lingers moderate earthiness/tartness and mild herbal flavors as well.

Mouthfeel - For a lighter beer, it is wonderfully smooth with a nice medium body. The carbonation structure is also excellent. These are things I've come to expect with most if not all Belgian beers. You won't be dissapointed in this category.

Drinkability - It goes down smooth and while the hop flavors are pretty strong, they are actually quite tame in "attack" compared to a lot of American IPAs and especially IIPA/DIPAs. Good again in this category.

Basically, if you don't like hops, obviously the "hoppiest beer in Belgium" isn't probably something you would be interested in trying in the first place. So assuming you do, this is a gem for sure. It has the usual golden ale characteristics with a supercharged hop make-up. Definitely worth a shot...or two...or ten.

02-07-2007 01:46:02 | More by dblinkhorn
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

It pours a hazy, bright and carbonated neon yellow. Three fingers of dense white head sculpts and retains some time. Valences of lacing drape the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries semi-sweet grain along with tangy yeast and clove, coriander, and mint. A slight caramel note is nudged aside by banana, apple, and a peppery hop air. A slight earthy funk whistles through as well.

Upon sipping, a bright flash of grain sweetness is singed to cinders by a crisp spiciness buoyed by a slightly acetic yeast influence and the peppery sensation of hops. A glimpse of vanilla and biscuit is washed out by a well-proportioned snappy bitterness, with the finish dusky dry and green apple crisp. It's unique and quite strident in its manner.

Light bodied, the grain is fairly coating, but it's the esters and sere bitterness that stimulate the rear-tongue saliva bath.

The bitterness is the selling point and a true strength, but it's the busy, organized-frenzy blend that makes this so refreshing and enjoyable. It's so clean that each sip asks for another, making it gladly drinkable, if you like its traits. It's pretty, involved, and worth the measure of attention it demands.

01-30-2007 19:54:06 | More by Foxman
Photo of Estarrio
Estarrio

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%

Poured clear, gold into a long tulip glass with a medium white head and visibly, aggressive carbonation. The head retains well, with sticky lacings. Ensuing pours prove to be cloudier, producing a lighter, translucent, hay color.

The brew smells like heaven. Sweet malt, candied sugar, funky Belgian yeast and the most potent hop bouquet that I've yet to enjoy from a Belgian IPA. This is sweet, floral, funky, earthy, grassy and bitter. This is aromatic bliss from a bottle.

Again, the hoppy profile continues to impress in the flavor. Sweet malt with candied sugar, damp wheat and funky, doughy, yeast create the flavor up front. These flavors are balanced by an aggressive hop profile. Herbal, grassy and pleasingly bitter hops create a Belgian IPA that stands out amongst its peers. The bitter aftertaste is dry, greedily begging for another sip. Some hints of spicy clove and pepper are also notable throughout.

This medium bodied brew is well complimented by the soft, fizzy carbonation. The wonderfully balanced flavors and low ABV make for a great, sessionable treat.

I've been working my way through the Belgian IPA offerings and this beer has been on my radar for quite some time. This is a unique treat that really sets the benchmark high for hoppy Belgian beers.

01-24-2007 00:54:09 | More by Estarrio
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

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
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a La Chouffe tulip.

A: Pale gold in color and very clear. Small one finger head that dissolves to a clingy ring. Very sticky lace.

S: Odd mix of aromas. Lemon peel, dirt, earthy hops, and soap.

T: Mild caramel malt crossed with citrus and spicy hops and this strange "dirt" flavor (the flavor reminds me of how dirt smells when it first starts raining). Sweet and bready malt quality in the finish.

M: Bitter and drying from the hops with a restrained sweetness from the malt. Leaves the tongue alternating between dry and sweet. Nice.

D: Tasty hops and nice complexity coupled with 6.2% abv make the drinkability good on this one...if you get a good bottle. My experience with this beer has been hit or miss to say the least, both in bottles and on draft. I've had bottles of this from the same case that have been very good (like this one) to almost drain pour (the whole bottle tasted like mouthfull after mouthfull of dirt). I had it on draft at Map Room once and it also tasted like dirt! Strange.

01-19-2007 21:05:49 | More by GbVDave
De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.