De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke
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Ratings: 739 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
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
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
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
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
4.78/5 rDev +16.9%
This beer is an object of beauty. Thick, sticky, lacy white head that fills the glass and slides down the sides until the very last sip. Wonderful, hazy yellow glow. Beautiful Champagne microbubbles tease the tongue.
This beer smells of Belgian cellar, a slight sour funk and skunk, iron geranium, lemon peel, bready yeast and sun lit barley. Herbal fresh green hops and aged Fall leaves.
Lively blended flavors include: Iron, herbal hops, freshly turned earth, French bread, honeyed malt, lemon verbena and fresh grass.
This beer is incredibly refreshing and drinkable. I wish I could afford a few hundred bottles of it. It would make for many great food pairings and enjoyable moments. A classic!
01-16-2007 19:21:01 | More by kohoutek
3.95/5 rDev -3.4%
750ml bottle, and the best before date is not notched out. Oh well.
Pours a slightly hazy pale, straw-like color with a good two fingers worth of foam that fades slowly to a solid cap. The lacing is broken and in quite large chunks.
Smell; very earthy hops in this one, with some vague hints of citrus. There's a touch of pepper in here as well.
Taste; as with the nose, the hops have a very earthy feel to them, but the citrus is a little bit more pronounced, and comes off lemony. A bit of caramel malts are present to go along with the peppery spices. Initially the hops and crbonation came off as a bit harsh But as this gets warmer, the hops become more floral, and the carbonation smooths out a lot.
Mouthfee/Drinkabiity; as I said above, at first this was a bit harsh with the carbonation, but that settled down to become pretty smooth, with medium body. The drinkability ends up pretty very good on this one.
01-10-2007 01:49:55 | More by RedHaze
3.75/5 rDev -8.3%
Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an Orval glass. The head is big carbonation and white. The color is a murky, orange; much like a Julius Etcher hefe. Unfiltered, but no big particals floating around. The taste is a clean bitterness that is "the hoppist Belgian beer" is maybe true. There is a rawness in the body and flavor that is sweet smooth texture. The flavors are the hops and the yeast variety. The body is medium and I finished the bottle myself and that's all I need in a sitting of this brew.
01-01-2007 21:51:30 | More by phishgator
4.13/5 rDev +1%
11.2 ozer that has BBD of Sep 11, couldn't wait, sorry
Pours semi-hazy golden/bronze with a rocky 2 fingers deep off white head. Good lacing & a pretty healthy film
S: Apple skins & breadyness as it warms
T: Huge grapefruitty hops with a little malt sweetness, not much. Some fruittyness/jammyness as it warms. Breadyness fights through earthy hoppyness. Finishes citrussy, fruitty & dry
MF: Low carbonation with a little slickness & fair balance
Drinks fairly easy, says it's the hoppiest ale in Belgium & to my knowledge they might be right. Granted they cheated by going low on the abv 6.2%/malt profile by Belgian standards. I liked this & wished it wasn't so expensive ($4.50 a bottle)
12-24-2006 23:25:16 | More by russpowell
4.38/5 rDev +7.1%
Found at the Bier Temple in Brussels, the brown 33cl bottle with a tapered neck features a yellow and brown label depicting a couple of hops clusters under the name. No ingredient information. Best before 12/2010, I certainly wasn't going to wait that long to try this long anticipated treasure.
Pours a cloudy orangish yellow under a slightly off-white two finger head that fades quite slowly but doesn't leave much in the way of lace. The nose is very floral, reminiscent of carnations, with a bit of spice. The mouth is surprisingly light and very prickly. The taste opens with a more traditional Francophone fruitiness with hints of coriander and cassis. The hops kick in fairly quickly though, overwhelming the fruit and turning the lighter spices into a pretty sharp espresso bitter. The hops are not overpowering by any means, but they are insistent into the finish, then fade fairly quickly in the aftertaste, leaving just a faint memory of their bitterness. An interesting hybrid of traditional Belgian and new age hoppiness. I like it.
12-15-2006 21:22:15 | More by Globetrotter
4.75/5 rDev +16.1%
What a wonderful beer. Just had to get that out of the way before I started. 750 mL, corked, crowned, and wrapped in paper - very elegant presentation. The wrapping tells me that is it best before June 2010 (making June '05 the bottling date) and the label mistakenly identifies the bottle as 11.2 oz. It pours a bright, unfiltered yellow/gold with medium carbonation and a beautiful, fluffy, four finger, bone-white head that leaves big clumps of lace on my tulip. Subsequent pours make the beer more and more transluscent. The aroma has noble hops aplenty, with oily, soapy?, grassy, and spicy notes, along with some medicinal phenols. On the palate it is a showcase of spicy, floral, perfumy, piney?, and grassy hops, with clean, pale malts in the back, giving only enough flavor to balance the medium bitterness. In addition, there are phenols and notes of green apple, melon rind, and yeast on top of a medium body that retains medium carbonation all the way through, leaving a medium to long finish. I really like the way they hopped this beer - it reminds me of a well-crafted pilsner, but so much better. There is a huge hop presence, but the bitterness is well-calibrated and, although it is heady, it's light enough in alcohol to make it a session beer. Amazing to say the least. The only downside is the price tag ($13), but I'm willing to splurge on this beauty at least once more.
12-15-2006 01:32:44 | More by mmmbeer
4.5/5 rDev +10%
33cl bottle best before January 2011... poured into my Magic d'Achouffe tulip.
This poured a golden straw color that's very clear, many columns of tiny bubbles rising to a 1 ½ finger white head. The aroma is light fruitiness, floral, and slight spicy noble hop, Saaz like presence. The taste seems to have the same citrus, floral, and spice hop flavors melded with a nice pale Belgian malt profile. The malt adds nice sweetness that tries to balance out the hops, but it fails to do this, perfectly. There's isn't a overpowering "Belgian yeast" flavor, and that's good. Light bubbly carbonation in the mouth, and it finishes nice and dry. This is low in alcohol, great tasting, and has a crisp refreshing quality to it. Well done.
12-14-2006 15:23:39 | More by irishmoss
4.5/5 rDev +10%
750 ml corked and capped green bottle in white wrapping paper. The label on the bottle says its 11.2 oz.
Pours a hazy blond color, lighter than I expected. The foamy ivory head has great retention and leaves plenty of lace. The aroma is herbal, grassy, grainy and minty with leathery brett funk. The taste is quite, well, bitter with lots of concentrated noble hop flavor. Pastoral, herbal hops are complimented by a light doughy malt. Barnyard brett is abundant, but this isnt as funky as Orval. The finish is moderately bitter and quite aromatically hoppy. The mouthfeel is thick with a somewhat oily consistency and low carbonation.
This isnt as much like Orval as I was anticipating. Its paler, less funky and has a very different mouthfeel. That is irrelavant though because its still a damn good beer.
12-05-2006 02:20:12 | More by CAMRAhardliner
4.72/5 rDev +15.4%
"The Hoppiest Beer of Belgium" printed on the label.
"Best Before" January 2011 notched on the bottom of the label. Poured into a tulip glass. Pours a pale orangish amber color with a creamy white head. There is a lot of yeast on the bottom of the bottle and I found that it just intensifies the taste and aroma when included in the pour. Beautiful aroma that is sour with a yeasty and floral spicyness. I am really digging the taste. It is bitter that finishes dry and spicy. Not much in the malt department, but that is not what this beer is about. Overall, this instantly climbs the ranks as one of my favorites. This is simply a superbly crafted brew.
12-05-2006 00:59:36 | More by cjgator3
2.8/5 rDev -31.5%
The pour into my Westvleteren chalice raises a creamy, VERY light tan one finger head (the yeast and about an inch of beer are still in the bottle) over a slightly hazy golden liquid with large and lazy bubbles coursing to the surface. Lacing and retention are both very impressive. The nose seems full of noble hops and sweet Belgian ale aromas: sugar, fruits. Also a bit of pepper and other spiciness. Very bitter, indeed! But, not like an IPA, but like a very strong pilsner, with additional fruitiness and sugar. The focus is entirely on the hops. Reminds me of a Prima Pils (the hop profile, at least), but even more intense. The metallic tang of the hops is too much for me, though. I don't like noble hops at this intensity level. The mouth is pretty thick, and the carbonation is also very high. This is an interesting novelty, but I won't be heading here again.
The yeast pour thickens the beer, but doesn't do much to lower the hop bite.
11-17-2006 20:36:47 | More by mjc410
4.38/5 rDev +7.1%
On tap at Monk's in Philly.
Appearance: hazy pale golden yellow color with a one finger head. Nice lacing develops during the session.
Smell: floral hops and loads of sharp citrus tones are easily detectable by the nose.
Taste: lighter malt profile with a bold hop bitterness that works well. Grapefruits, spice, and a hint of yeast keep this in balance.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp from start to finish. Short bitter aftertaste.
Drinkability: wonderful belgian pale ale that can almost be considered a session beer. Easy to drink and very enjoyable on the tastebuds.
11-14-2006 17:29:18 | More by Gavage
4.1/5 rDev +0.2%
A very good brew. Had this on-tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It's a hazy golden color with some bubbles, a small white head, and good lacing. The nose is very nice. It's a complex blend of hops and wheat, smells very "fresh," with a hint of citrus and some airy grains. Taste is a balance of hops and malts, slighty fruity up front with the namesake bitter in the finish. Mouthfeel is nice and full. Drinkability is good.
11-10-2006 22:32:47 | More by shivtim
4.13/5 rDev +1%
A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a couple of inches of firm white head. This slowly drops leaving small clumps of lacing everywhere. Lively looking carbonation.
S - Big smack of phenols, citrus, green apple, some other mixed fruit, flowers. Intense and enjoyable.
T - Green apple and flowery character is upfront, before sweeter and juicier fruit comes to the fore in the middle. A wave of bitterness appears, before the sour and dry finish takes over. Aftertaste is herbal, slightly spicy and lingering.
M - Light-medium in body, with soft carbonation.
D - Tasty stuff and pretty drinkable.
10-23-2006 08:14:26 | More by haz77
4.33/5 rDev +5.9%
Best before date: September 2008, with an indication it was bottled 5 years prior.
Appears to be a bright golden ale, lots of clarity, with a light foam that pretty much sticks around as a frothy ring. Nice complex aroma of orange and lemon spice, musty hops, and a light woodiness. The taste carries more citrusy spritz, with spicy dryness leading into an excellent bitter finish. The bitterness is intense and lasting, very enjoyable. Light mouthfeel, fairly crisp/sharp carbonation.
This beer was unique to me, probably the most bitter Belgian I can remember trying. The flavor is complex, and the bitterness is heavenly. Highly recommended...
10-17-2006 08:07:23 | More by bennetj17
4.28/5 rDev +4.6%
A - Lemon rind yellow with a fairly short lived large head that leaves patchy scattered lacing behind. Miniscule bubbles are barely descernable through my goblet, but they clearly haze the brew.
S - Extremely strong aroma of grapefruit pith, next would be lillies and pine (a very distinct tree, but the grapefruit pith aroma is strong enought that I can't really pinpoint it) a bit of lemon, grapefruit (innards now) and grass as well. Under all of this, I can still smell some gumball and barnyard odors. An amazing smell and likely a very unique one.
T - More grapefruit pith and that same pine, but I still can't figure it out. The aftertaste is powerfully bitter (grapefruit mostly, but once again pine as well), but somehow extremely mellow.
M - Smooth, very thin, and really refreshing. Generally, I find really bitter beers can't pull off the refreshing part, but the grapefruit bitterness meshes beautifully with the pine to have it succeed somehow.
D - Quaffable. Dinner's best friend. Sessionable (sans price tag of course). Worth seeking. All around impressive. This bottle will have no difficulty disappearing. Since it is $9 a fifth, I won't be seeing this for a long time I fear . . . but someday, we shall meet again!
09-20-2006 00:33:30 | More by mrasskicktastic
3.48/5 rDev -14.9%
Drank from an 11.2 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Poured a murky amber with an enormous, white, bubbly, rocky head that stuck in clumps to the sides of the glass. Lots of sticky lacing.
Smell was clean, crisp and fresh like the countryside. A mix of strong, grassy hops, lemon zest and some hay. There was also a noticeable soapy smell as well.
The taste started out subtle but intensified as it traveled along the palate. Tons of piney hops, citrus and some floral notes. Incredibly dry, hoppy and bitter with an even more bitter aftertaste.
This beer unquestionably lived up to its name.
09-16-2006 23:46:56 | More by Damian
3.28/5 rDev -19.8%
Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Left a one finger head with good retention and good lacing. Body was a hazy slightly orangish gold.
Smell - apricots, plums, and barnyard must.
Taste - apricots and plums washed through with a strong sour and bitter musty taste.
Mouthfeel - medium to thin bodied, fluid, somewhat fizzy.
Drinkability - this is decent, but not great, and something I'd get only once -in-a-while.
09-03-2006 17:23:50 | More by ultralarry2006
4.22/5 rDev +3.2%
this beer pours a cloudy golden yellow with orange accents (i poured the yeast) with a large, off white rocky head. the smell has a yogurty sourness with some piney hops, belgian spice, some woody elements/ something else i cannot identify. taste is of very bitter hops, spice, golden maltiness and some sourness. very nice velvety mouthfeel. solid, delicious beer that bends style boundaries. a little hard on the wallet at $3.99 for a 330cl, but worth it once in awhile. purchased at cellar's in roseville, MN.
08-22-2006 03:14:17 | More by sacrelicio
3.88/5 rDev -5.1%
750ml bottle. A cloudy yellow-orange pour, slightly hazy, with a large rocky off-white head. The head subsided fairly quickly and left a reasonable amount of lacing. Nose is citrus, primarily lemon, a faint earthiness, and some scent of apple. The taste was, surprise, rather bitter (grapefruit). I also picked up a melon like flavor that I have only tasted in Fantome before. Towards the middle, there is a phenol/medicinal taste, and finally pepper in the finish. Very light and highly carbonated, quite drying. Highly drinkable, another nice hoppy Belgian.
08-15-2006 16:24:57 | More by
De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.