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De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke

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De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

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805 Ratings

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Ratings: 805
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 75
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 805 | Reviews: 479
Photo of thierrynantes
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
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
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
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
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
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
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
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
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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
3.49/5  rDev -14.5%
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
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
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
4.04/5  rDev -1%
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
3.06/5  rDev -25%
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
4.08/5  rDev 0%
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
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of ccrida
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TripelMajor
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of gamblor21
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 805 ratings.