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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

758 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 758
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.74%
Wants: 63
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: 758 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hautacam
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date : Jan / 2011
Cloudy deep gold with a 2" head in a chalice...laces and drops to about 1/4 "..looks really good.
Smells like a funky pilsner....a very Saaz-like hop aroma with some barnyard funk mixed in. Hint of sour apple.
Tastes much like it smells...starts a little sweet, but quickly the hops kick in with a nice citrus-rind bitter. A little grassy ....just a hint of apple way in the back. A dry bitter finish...barnyard funk in the aftertaste. This is not terribly complex....but the few flavors it has are just great ... the combination of citrus and funk is perfect.
Mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation...goes well with the flavors.
This is a unique brew and very drinkable...not a high ABV...I consider it a stand alone beer, but I'm sure this would also go very well with a seafood dinner. Great stuff if you like bitter brews.

Hautacam, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Starts balanced between bitter and sweet, hoppier than usual for a Belgian but nothing like the heavyhanded hops we get here. Smooth finish. Best before 4/2010 and this has only 6.2% ABV. $3.85 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of guitarmage
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a golden rod with a chill haze. Ample foamy white head reduces to a patchy white lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt is followed by notes of green apples, with a large dose of citrusy hops. Smells great.

Taste: Plenty of malt upfront, then lots of tart citrus, green apple, alcohol warmth and then the clean hops in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth, light to medium carbonation. A much thinner feel than APA's, but oh so good.

Drinkability: I personally find this flavor delicious. The bitterness is not the aromatic type that goes up your nose, it's just on the tongue and all the tartness is delicious. Great beer and great Belgian pale ale.

guitarmage, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent, excellent, excellent bottle condition, hazy, champagne head pour.

Very intense, hoppy smell. I really was not expecting this. Bitter, dire hops, quite complicated. Like Dreadnaught, minus the fruit hops. Little pengs of Belgian fruit work their way in there.

Taste like hop sunshine. Big, dry hops. We've all had fruit complexities in our hops, floral complexities, even grass and pine complexities, but I have never before come across a complexity based solely around dryness. There's a bitter, roasted dryness, a more Belgian, yeasty dryness, and then a slightly sour dryness, all backed up with solid Belgian fruit malt that make the whole sheband seem alot more alcoholic than it actually is.

"The hoppiest beer in Belgium"? I'd stop short of calling myself an expert on the subject, but, in my humble, somewhat versed opinion, I would agree.

mynie, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer has a orange color with a very small head and not much carbonation.
Smell is citrus and fresh like lime, this obviously comes from the generous amount of hops that have been used. There is also a resinous and piny smell. In the back is also some fruitiness, which reminds me of honey.
Taste is sharp bitter and resinous with citric notes, all pretty fresh, but a little rough. In the end I can taste some fruitiness, which balances the hoppiness somewhat.
Mouthfeel is medium, the low carbonation enforces the bitterness.
I feel this beer is 1-dimensional, the bitterness leaves little room for other flavors to come out. Nevertheless, a good beer.

Absumaster, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass the beer was a slightly cloudy golden color with two-fingers of pure snow-white head and some slight carbonation bubble streaming up the glass. Some spotty lacing, but nothing appreciable.

The nose is soft fruit with a notable aroma of freshly cut granny smith apples. A soft hop flavor andjust slight grain and malt in the background.

The taste mimics the aroma in many ways. A strong fruit presence of green apples that is tart from beginning to end is present. A subtle but sturdy malt profile that is injected with moments of bitterness and hop character. Nothingly overpoweringly bitter here but enough to excite the palate. The tartness of the beer seems to balance off all the flavors.

Medium to light body but well carbonated, crisp and tart.

An interesting and enjoyable beer. A nice fruitty tartness lends a good deal to its drinkability and this is not the bitter that one might expect. Mildly bitter with a noticable hop character that indeed balanced well. This beer deserves the praise it gets. Very enjoyable, excellent in the summer, and one I'll have again for sure.

Sycodrummer, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

it was absolutely crystal clear in the bottle, but i think my "cellar" is kinda warm so the cork practically removed itself and the bottle erupted. so the beer in my glass isn't clear, but i won't detract points for the explosion factor

the head is very nice: thick and creamy. it's stuck all over the glass. big noble hop aroma: floral, earthy. a sour (good) smell is floating around too. it is, indeed, bitter. most of the flavors are fairly subtle, actually, up until the bitterness. light hop flavor melds with the light malt hints. very soft mouthfeel

this is good. i'm looking forward to the pere noel i've got (perhaps i should throw that in the fridge so it doesn't explode as well)

bruachan, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of GreenWBush
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I, like most reviewers, have been intrigued by this beer from afar but have shied away due to the prohibitive ~$15 per 750. When I came across the 11.2 oz'er - which I had never seen - for a bargain basement $4 I had to pull the trigger. I hate that price so often dictates and informs my choices...but you've clearly got to pay to play and other fiduciary cliches.

XX Bitter dissimenates spectacularly into a brandy snifter, a peach colored brew with a photogenic blob of meringue. I hesitate taking the first sip and adore the near-sexy lace sheets all across the top of glass.

This beer is aromatically graceful, bringing to mind the finest Belgian singles, albeit decidedly hoppier than usual. Pine, wheat-crackers, skunky herbs, cracked pepper, lime, and Pilsner malt.

On the tongue, this beer detours from expectation and into transcendent grace. It slides into the beer-hole like a stranger in the night, with silken powderiness underneath a screen of pleasing bitterness, and surprising hop-created fruitiness. Words fail to describe this brew, but there are basic elements here melded into beauty...bone dry malts, faint kisses of Brett, lingering and unrepentant phenolic bitterness.

11.2 of this nectar is not enough. If you've been scared to pull the trigger because of the price tag, get over it. Hellaciously good.

GreenWBush, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of soultrain
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A-Clear golden straw colored beer before the yeast pour, in which case it's a cloudy yellow/orange. 2" head settles to 1" in a minute. O.k. lacing.
S-Belgian malts, with a pilsner-esque twist. Hops (saaz?) are in the house, which is fine by me.
T-Great bitterness for a belgian, hops are on showcase here, and hop burps of the noble variety are inflicted upon me, and I'm really diggin' this beer. This really reminds me of a pilsner when it's cold; as it warms it's not a hop bomb by any means, but a wonderfully lite, hoppy, belgian ale.
M-Good carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.
D-Good ice cold, better at cellar temp. Supreme drinkability. I could drink this all night.

CRUX: GREAT BELGIAN PALE ALE. One of the hoppiest Belgians? Nah, but a very enjoyable brew, and I appreciate it immensely, but I wish it was, uh, cheaper. I'd get this again, though.

soultrain, May 23, 2006
Photo of canucklehead
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to Malto for this sample. Golden orange colour with a big head this is a strange beer in that it has all the citrus, big yeasty notes of a Belgian pale ale but there is considerable US style hope that come across in the nose and the finish. A very nice combo of old and new world and a overall big balanced flavour.

canucklehead, May 06, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is near perfect to perfect. big white frothy head, although easily managed leaves the rocky like lacing that makes you watch it in wonder. Extremely fine champagne like carbonation melds into this golden body.

Pretty god damn hopped up for a belgian, possibly the biggest hop presence I've personally had from this brewing mecca. Don't get carried away...by U.S. standards it is still hoppy but the one thing I'm missing here is some sort of balancer, it doesn't have to be big just give me a note of citrus, or malts. Kinda raw and sharp and dry, the dryness is powdery towards the end of the pull. I loved the fact that they wrapped this in some paper keeping more light out and keeping it fresh...thanks.

Notes: The hoppy dry powder effect really controls this brew. I never let the price dictate the final score as I would have scored this the same at $1 or $100 dollars but for a staggering $15 bucks I'll pass next time I'm around this offering....is it hella good? You bet but far from excellence.

DogFood11, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of bditty187
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazy, yellow with a peachy-gold influence; the color is warm and appealing. Fluffy white head, at the apex the head was three fingers tall. The bubbles slowly faded to a half finger cap. Some organized lacing started before I even took a sip. The subsequent lacing was rather prevalent. A small cap lasted the entire consumption. What a beautiful beer!

The nose is bright and friendly. While not rich in conversation the melody it hums it truly lovely. Citrusy like few Belgians I’ve smelled. Lemon zest infused with marshmallows, grain, lightly spicy. I can’t really distinguish any of the spices singularly, which is a sign of a great beer. At the back are some light caramel notes and some dry, cracker-like maltiness. Moderate potency, I really like the nose… maybe a little concise to be great but it is inviting.

This is clearly the hoppiest beer I have ever tasted from Belgium. IMO, it doubles Duvel’s hoppiness. Cheesy in spots, pine bark, citrus, flowers, earth, wood. The hoppy flavors run a very natural, outdoorsy gambit. I get hints of mangos and white pepper too. The malt is secondary, cracker-like, and similar to a nice Pilsner. Lightly fruity plus there is a dry, flowery taste. Again, like the nose the palate isn’t overly chatty or complex but there is a wonderful melody being sung. Mild bitterness. The alcohol is hidden. I detect a slightly cheesy aftertaste with a nice sweetness that really isn’t found anywhere else. What a charming beverage.

The mouthfeel fits this beer very damn well. It is about medium in body, low but natural carbonation, creamy on the tongue. I bet this beer would kill with a variety of cheese and fresh fruit. Hell, this beer might kill with fish. This beer is tasty and delicate, what a combination!

I am truly impressed. It would have been easy to brew a “heavy-handed” hoppy Belgian ale, it is truly skillful to brew a hoppy beer with restraint and keep so much flavor! What a playful beer. The more I quaff the more I like it. This is so damn drinkable! I hope this beer will be available in Omaha soon. I purchased this bottle in Lincoln, NE a few months ago… plus I lost these notes for about a month. Recommended.

bditty187, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold. Aroma of of mainly fruity hops (nectarine, apricot, peach), herbs, dough, caramel and butter toffee. Characterful hop flavor. I wonder if the Belgians like this stuff or if they think it is over the top. Notes of peach, nectarine and lemon. Great hop flavor without much bitterness. Nice balance and texture. A different, but worthy saison.

Crosling, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in De Zolder, Brugge, Belgium, April 06.
Appearence was a lovely golden cloudy brew with an off-white head. Nice lacing on the glass as it emptied.
Smelled good, hops with a hint of caramel.
Tasted bitter (yes!), at first but then mellowing into a very nice flavoured ale. Mouthfeel was very very good. Very nice to swirl about. Very drinkable.

JohnfromDublin, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of JasonCoop
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter. pours a beautiful hazy light gold color. nice big white foam on top.

smells herby, a bit grassy, and quite hoppy. piney and citrusy. smells delicious.

taste is nice and juicy up front. full, yeasty and buttery at first. into a nice hop bitterness with hints of lemon mainly. delicious. nothing like an american hop head's highly hopped IPA or something, but generously hopped. finishes dry and bitter with great hop flavor and a sort of earthy/piney aftertaste.

mouthfeel is great. nice and creamy but with a dry finish. highly drinkable, but a bit expensive.

JasonCoop, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeast clouded white body, head is ample, leaving a nice amount of lace on the way down. Citrus hops are present, slightly sweet. Taste is hoppy, yes, but the hoppiest Belgian beer? Doubt it. It does have a nice sharp but refreshing flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy, carbonated well enough. Drinkability is good, I could session these easily, if the price wasn't so prohibitive.

TastyTaste, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of carln26
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw colored gold and very hazy, this beer is topped by a clumpy white head that looks like it will stay around for days. The aroma has a bit of bread dough, some mild orange, and light caramel, and a bit of hop flower. The flavor moderates the Belgian triple character. The orange and yeast notes are there, but the bitterness from the hops is more pronounced. It resonates throughout the entire drink. Nor residual sweetness, which I like. Full and slick mouth feel, with a mild alcohol heat on the finish. I had this beer on tap more than a year ago. It’s great to finally have it from the bottle.

carln26, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from belgianshop.com

Poured a light golden yellow colour... White head poured very thick and foamy and faded to thin layer...

Aroma - Lemony, honey sweetness, grassy, spicy hops, light malts, some traces of basil, floral...

Taste - Very strong spicy hop bitterness (mouth dryingly good !!), strong lemon citrus notes, hints of hay / grass, little or no sweetness, peppery, floral...

Feel - Very sharp and dry. Light body. Very refreshing and pretty drinkable..

Overall - An excellent beer !! Highly recommended !! Pretty unusual for a Belgian...

mdagnew, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was poured into a wide mouth wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer was a clear pale coppery yellow. The head was explosive and off white in coloration. The head was two inches thick. Pan cake like lacing trail behind on the glass.

Smell: The beer has an extremely hoppy pine citrus smell for a belgian. There is a sweet malty under tone to the beer.

Taste: The beer has a very strong citrus and hop kick. This is sort of an oddity for a Belgian in my experience. There is a very subdued malty prescence to the beer.

Mouthfeel: The beer is medium bodied. The beer has a very slick mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is a very clean tasting easy drinking beer. I think this beer has redefined what a Belgian beer is like for me.

nlmartin, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of gosurfobx
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 750ml bottle with cork and crown cap. Pours hazy golden color with a large frothy white head. Smells yeasty with hints of citrus. Taste is such of belgain pale ale, with more bitterness than usual. Very yeasty with a spicy citrus flavor. The mouthfeel is good and well carbonated. Very good on drinkabilty.

gosurfobx, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before date: 4/08

Thick, dense foam; bright white head that stands an inch tall for a few moments. Spotted and condensed lacing with decent strength. Slightly hazy, bright golden with shades of light auburn.

Semi-sweet Belgian candied sugar. Musty, light oak with whaffs of lingering alcohol. Pear, slightly tart green apple, and peach.

Aged oak into light citrus flavors: lemon zest, pear, and apple. Perfume-like, floral hop intoxicant; big, burnt hop bitterness. A mild, underlying malt sweetness providing a nice balance. The hop presence and bitterness develops slowly, but becomes a mouthful at mid-sip. A touch of pepper to accompany the dry finish leaving an oak-flavored, floral hop aftertaste.

Medium bodied; perfume-like and gritty on the palate, yet still quite smooth and inviting.

A unique style for a Belgian brew; think Fantome meets Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Great balance and flavors. At 6.2% abv, this makes for an interesting session Belgian.

NEhophead, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of MattBrooks
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours very cloudy with sandy dust piles and granules clinging to the side of the glass. The head is an enormous white pillow set atop this golden cascading waterfall. Smells like fresh fields of grains found throughout the midwest and tastes fresh with lemon hints springing right out of it. A delicious brew that delivers exactly what one would expect going in.

MattBrooks, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in July of this year. Pours with less head than the storm going on in the bottle would lead one to believe. Appearance is hazy, yeasty, and golden. Aroma is a little spicy and yeasty. Bitter hops abound.

This reminds me of the shock of my first taste of Ruination. This is a lot hoppier than my previous year old bottle led me to believe. No citrus, just a clean bitterness. Some yeast notes. Mouthfeel is quite lively. I'm glad this is a 750.

Sephiroth, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of waughbrew
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Revisited:
Drink before 10/2009
Beautiful white head, nice retention, great webs of lace. A mysterious hazy light golden brew whose look lets you know that you are in for something good. The nose reinforces that idea with strong grass, very slight funk, rose petals, mint, and cherries. Malt lays on the tongue as the crust of a fresh bread, but immediately dries out in a flash of lemon rind and iron. Drinking this one is easy with its medium-thin body that dries out the mouth in a pleasant way and leaves a complex minerally herbal flavor. Finishes oh-so-perfectly, complex yet very dry and yearning for another drink.

For some reason it just seems wrong to try to review this beer in the way that I review other beers. It has something that is just unable to be explained. A magic that must be in the water of West Flanders shared by the wonderful De Ranke and De Dolle.

First Review:

The hoppiest beer in Belguim, eh? Sounds good.

One of the most beautiful heads I have seen - Small bubbles and creaminess combined, keeping the great aroma coming out. Nice leafy hops that are a little spicy and a little citrusy. Very very dry but not harsh at all. Finish lasts a long time and continues with the hoppy leafiness. So very smooth and drinkable. An amazing brew that shows that the potential of hoppy brews when they are polished.

waughbrew, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sits a hazy straw color in my glass with a frothy, pale, off-white head that fades after a bit of time. The aroma is herbal with lots of hoppy notes to it. There is a sharp bitterness cuts throughout the flavor notes of this beer. It is quite herbal as well with a raw grassiness to it. The hops clearly dominate this beer: bitter, chewy and raw, dominating any light malt character that might be present. There is a bit of a tart lemon-like character here, which seems to be hop derived as well. This is quite tasty, though it seems a lot cleaner than the bottled version that I am used to. I definitely like it, but I think I prefer the funkiness that is found in the bottled version.

Gueuzedude, Nov 23, 2005
De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 758 ratings.