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De Ranke XX Bitter - Brouwerij De Ranke

Not Rated.
De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

804 Ratings

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Ratings: 804
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 74
Gots: 53 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 804 | Reviews: 479
Photo of Globetrotter
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of irishmoss
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

Photo of cjgator3
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"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.

Photo of mjc410
2.93/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of shivtim
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of haz77
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bennetj17
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Damian
3.49/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 804 ratings.