De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke

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De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

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786 Ratings

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Ratings: 786
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 68
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 786 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Monk's; served in a tulip glass

Appears a cloudy, golden yellow with a bright white pillowy cap. Had some decent lacing.

Had a very sour, floral hop aroma, with a light grapefruit/citrus and wheat backbone. Joking, it kind of smells like a wet sponge.

Whoa, this beer isn't bitter, it's sour. A lip-smacking sourness really dominates the palate. A very light malt presence that if balanced better could have made a big difference.

Very light and crisp.

A little tough to put down because of just how plain sour it is.

I have noticed that the bottle reviews are scoring much higher than the tap reviews. I am going to have to find a bottle of this somewhere and do some comparing.

Photo of AltBock
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try this Belgian IPA at Spring House's Drafting Room during their annual Hopfest on 4/12/2008.

XX poured a hazy lemon with some orange highlights blended into it. On top of this beer was a 1 finger head of white foam that had great retention that left behind a small white film and a fair amount of white streaks of lace. The aroma was truly unique! The aroma is spicy and dry with spicy citrus hops, a drop of perfume, Brett yeast, a slice of lemon, a pinch of grapefruit, and then it ended with an aroma that smelled like hay or something you would smell on a farm. I read a brief description of the beer and they said it was going to be very hoppy. Instead, it wasn't overly hoppy, but it still had a nice high level of hops to it. It started off lightly hopped and as it progressed, it got hoppier, but it ended with a mildly aggressive hoppiness. Besides all the hops in here, there was also citrus fruits, citrus hops, grapefruit, brett yeast, lightly toasted malts, a dab of lemon, and a slight touch of hay. It was a medium bodied beer with a light dry hoppy aftertaste of citrus fruits, citrus hops, and a touch of yeast. Overall, a nice not overly hopped Belgian beer. It is hoppy for a Belgain beer, but compared to what the Americans can dish out, it's mild.

Photo of RoyalT
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a gorgeous, light orange in color with a glowing character and an explosive head that left some nice lacing.

Smell - The light aroma of Belgian yeast and orangey hops is well-refined. There are some stiff Belgian spices in there too. The coriander particularly is high-end and quite enticing.

Taste - The smells from the nose come out exactly in the taste. The delicate yeast, modest orange and herbal hops, and the elaborate spicing, again with coriander leading the way, all work very well together.

Mouthfeel - This was the best part of the beer for me. The body is shy of medium and the carbonation is as good as I've ever had. Yes the bitterness is there, but the ingredients of this BPA are of such high quality and the brewing process obviously so effective that there are no sharp corners to the texture.

Drinkability - The flavors of this BPA make it drinkable enough, but coupled with its exceptional mouthfeel I can't think of a more sessionable Belgian Ale.

Comments - This is such a terrific beer. I don't know why it didn't work well for me on-tap. My overall on-tap rating didn't even break 4.0. Maybe it was just a bad keg or an off night, because this is an exceptional ale.

Update - I had a chance to pop another bottle in early 2011. It really is an incredible beer full of life with a unique hop flavor, for firm for the style, and a terrific drinker.

Photo of throwitallaway
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Pours a pale golden color with a decent one-finger head.

Aroma: Malty/biscuity upfront. Mild hop aroma.

Taste: Biscuity and malty. Hop aroma in the middle. Strong and assertive. A lot of breadiness here. Hops are subtle, not overpowering. Similar to an British IPA or XPA.

Mouthfeel: Malty and bready. Decent hop presence.

Verdict: An interesting take on an IPA. I wouldn't classify it as such and it's more of a Belgian XPA to me. I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time and glad I finally did. The bitterness is very nice.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 2007.

Appearance : clear colour, white foam not very persistant
Smell : floral aromas, with notes of yeast, mallty
Taste and mouthfell : it shows a pronounced bitterness, astringency to the finish
Drinkability : A very good beer (remind me Orval ?), a lesson in terms of bitterness

Photo of jwff
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best before 2011.

Pours a mellow maize hue with a thick white head and generous but slow rising carbonation. Heavy lacing. Sweet malt aroma reminiscent of butterscotch and a bit of yeast and grain. Mild earthy hop characteristic and nothing in my face.

Rich malt up front is immediately balanced out by an herbal/earthy hop character. Toasted grain blends in with the finish. There is a very pleasing rind type bitterness that sits on the tongue and melds so well with any lingering sweetness from the malt. Great carbonation and a light to medium body. I'm almost done with this and it's only been about 5 minutes. Should have bought a case.

Photo of tprokop7
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Moan and Dove, in Amherst, MA.

A - Bright, golden and opaque, with a thick, white head.

S - Like it should, bitter and hoppy. You really don't smell much else.

T - Again, bitter and hoppy. Wonderful.

M - Light, and with more than average carbonation.

D - This might get intense after a few, but the first one went down more quickly than I would have liked...

This is one of my favorite beers, maybe my absolute favorite.

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

750 ml bottle. Head is just so-so and the brew itself is a cloudy golden color. But things get bitter with the aroma, being a combination of citrusy hops (American hops?) and Belgian yeast. Taste was in line with the aroma, being a hybrid between two styles. It might be the bitterest beer in Belgium, but compared to real IPAs, it's not so bitter at all. Best to let it warm up to near room temperature lest it be far too dry.

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy orange with a 2 finger head of white foam. Beautiful retention. Tons of sticky laving with a half inch cap left around the top.
Smell is of freshly cracked grain, lemon zest, pumelo, banana, bubble gum, orange, and herbal hops with black pepper.
Taste is of a hopy Belgian Pale Ale highlighted by herbal and citrus with light phenols. Lithgt funk is masked by the large hop presence with grape seed oil flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light fruit, and a hop load of bitterness up front with herbal and yeasty complexities.

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

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: Hazy honey color with a medium bone white head that diminishes steadily. Spotty lacing on the glass. Yeast and hops in the nose, with bits of malt. Medium-bodied and moderately bitter with grassy hops and yeast flavors, as well as some malt in the background. The finish is dry and hoppy with a yeast/hay aftertaste. De Ranke has chosen an interesting characteristic on which to differentiate this beer from its Belgian bretheren. All in all it is a worthwhile effort.

Photo of wl0307
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted by a half-pint at the Rake nr. Borough Market, London, on 19 Feb. 2007. It was served on tap in a slim and tall goblet, and was very expensive - 1.90 quid for a half…!!

A: slightly murky dark golden in colour, almost like a honey-drink; faint beer head comes on top of a moderately fizzy body.
S: upfront comes an intense flow of flower-esters and citrus peels, leaving pale malts behind that suggest some grainy and candy-sugary sweetness. Well blended and very pleasant.
T: spicy-bitter (with a hint of coriander?!) upfront, mixed gently & harmoniously with light honeyish malts and intensifying, flat-bodied leafy bitterness, finishing off with a special aftertaste like the mixture of nuts, hays, and chunky bitter yeast sediments! Also lingering in the end is the aromatic citric aftertaste of dried citrus peels.
M&D: light-bodied, refreshing, low-fizziness on the palate, all guaranteeing a nice mouthfeel and quaffability. To me, a lover of English Bitter, this is my all-time favourite Belgian answer to a hoppy Bitter. A marvellous drink!

Photo of rallison
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden amber color with a 3 finger head that takes quite some time to die down and leaves a nice bit of lacing.

S: Spicy & yeasty, with a touch of hops.

T: Great spicy hops here. Definitely has a distinctly Belgian taste because of the yeast. Floral. Slightly fruity. And, most definitely, spicy. Spices run perfectly into the hops. Well done.

M: Nicely carbonated - flavorful but delicate.

D: Extremely drinkable.

Highly recommended. This is what a Belgian IPA should be. Try this with some spicy (spiced, that is - not Habanero spicy) cheese. Nice pairing. Of course, this also stands on its own just fine.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of marcpal
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of sleazo
3.05/5  rDev -25.2%
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

Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*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).

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

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!

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

(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.

De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 786 ratings.