1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke

Not Rated.
De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

792 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 792
Reviews: 476
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 71
Gots: 47 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of De Ranke XX Bitter Alström Bros
Ratings: 792 | Reviews: 476 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of sacrelicio
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the Erasmus Hotel in Brugge.

Aroma: Perfumed with floral and alcoholic notes

Appearance: Clear gold body with a good two fingers of thick white head that gave very thick lacing

Flavor: HOPS! Deep bittering hops, mostly floral, maybe some Saaz as I got some peppery notes as well. I was starting to forget what hops tasted like, but unfortunately, they all were on the bittering side of the boil, so very little in the aroma and taste.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, medium-light body, lingering finish

Overall Impression: Good hoppy beer, very unusual for Belgium. Doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance against any American Pale Ale, but definitely worth a try.

Photo of oggg
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber courtesy of my non-BA real life brother

Finally got a chance to try this beer that had been sitting in my closet for about a year. It poured a brilliant yellow color with pure white foam. The head was easily rousable with a careful pour. The brew smelled fresh with a light but unmistakable Belgian liveliness. First I thought I got lychee, but it seemed to keep changing on me. Stiff Saaz bitterness -- not sure if it's because I've been on a hop vacation or if Saaz bitterness is harsh to me, but it was pretty stiff. In fact, it was slightly disagreeable. The rest was pretty clean; actually it was pretty damn clean and smooth and refreshing. Quite a quaffer. It still finished a bit sweet. Medium bodied.

Overall: I've been on a major hop vacation, and perhaps I never really understood Saaz, but it was quite a quaffer despite its harshness

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

A large "pop" when uncorked... very good sign... a faint hint of sulphur and a bit of hoppiness wafts out.

Pours a bright golden color with a frothy, tight and white 2" head...
Beautiful beer. The amount of lacing and stickage is awesome. Swirling creates a great effect of cascading and build. Awesome.

Aroma is musky upfront... cheesy... a bit hoppy. On the second whiff the hops are much more apparent. A touch of citrus and a bit of yeast.

Quite bitter and quite drinkable. Nice, smooth mouthfeel. Bitterness is evident mostly in the back of the throat and in the dryness left on the palate.

Highly drinkable.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is dated 4/05

A - Cloudy sunset orange/yellow with good 1 inch head that dies quickly to leave behind thing whispies.

S - Blend of sugar, malt & hops, with none becoming overpowering. A delicate balance, but not a very intense smell.

T - The most balance hops senstation I've taste (a truly Belgian take in my mind). Not overly bitter like our American hop fests. A pleasant sweetness accompanies.

M - Lightly carbonated & invigorating.

D - Very drinkable. Strikes a balance between the hopheads and the Belgian enthusiasts. A must try.

Photo of brushpig
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 12oz bottle at the Hopleaf in Chicago, served in a tulip glass.

Golden yellow hue with foamy white head that left rather quickly.

Nice medium aroma with spices, hops, citrus with hints of , flowers,and grass.

Great flavor! Bold hop bitterness, peppery with citrus and light hay.
Well balenced, refreshing and left with a dry finish.

Very good and surprising Belgium. Recommended for sure.

Photo of santoslhalper
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearence: Pours a hazy gold with a creamy white head that dies down to just a collar, but leaves beautiful lacing.

Smell: Very bitter and earthy smelling, with strong piney and citrusy notes. Very complex smelling.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Simply put, and American IPA with Belgian yeast. Very hoppy and bitter, with strong citrus notes. Incredibly dry, quite peppery and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied yet smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: A complex, damn near challenging brew I'd have trouble putting down more than one of. A lot is happening on my palate, and it's a bit confusing and ubalanced. The bitterness is almost out of control, and I think the label brandishing the phrase "the hoppiest beer in Belgium" may be true. Enjoy.

Photo of Hautacam
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of guitarmage
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of mynie
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Absumaster
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of bruachan
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
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)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of soultrain
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of bditty187
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Crosling
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.08/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of JasonCoop
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of TastyTaste
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 792 ratings.