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De Ranke XXX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

very good
18 Reviews
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De Ranke XXX BitterDe Ranke XXX Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERchitect on 07-25-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 87
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at a great little beer store in Arlon, Belgium, Miorge Mihoublon. Cloudy golden-yellow pour with a two finger foamy white head with decent retention and lacing. The nose is herbal and grassy with hints of lemon, grapefruit, subtle yeast, and straw. The taste can be summed up with one word...BITTER! But oh what a nice bitter with tons of grassy notes along with hints of lemon, grapefruit, straw, subtle caramel sweetness, fresh picked hops, white pepper, and a touch of barnyard. The mouthfeel is sharp and tangy with incredible bitterness from start to finish. Light body with fizzy carbonation and an awesome crisp, dry finish. Overall, this is one of the most bitter beers I've tasted. Yeah, it's kind of one dimensional, but it's so bold and refreshing and really quaffable for something so bitter. Highly recommended!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

De Ranke XXX Bitter has ultra-responsive carbonation and a sunny golden-orange colour that gradually gets murkier and murkier as the bottle empties. Unlike so many Belgian ales, however, it never looks completely sullied and maintains a pretty healthy glow, even after clouding over. To no surprise the head also upholds throughout. Curiously, however, it never manages to tack onto the glass.

I'm not sure what distinguishes XXX Bitter (three 'X's) from the usual XX Bitter (two 'X's). Ironically it's actually lower in alcohol (6% as opposed to 6.2%). Apparently it was brewed solely for a Shelton Brothers festival in Portland, Maine in 2013. If in fact this bottle is two years old that would explain why it doesn't strike me as being as hoppy and lively as the standard offering.

Mind you, that's not to suggest it isn't hoppy; both the flavour and aroma are underlined with a distinctive earthiness that is unmistakably that of whole cone hops. It makes for notes of herb buds and blossoming flower petals. The combination of Brewers Gold and Hallertau is an especially pungent, spicy, grassy one that leaves an interesting aftertaste of lemon peel and ground black pepper.

Of course, don't forget, Belgian IPAs are typically very different in character from their American counterparts. Those expecting pine resins and citrus rinds are in the wrong part of the world. This beer doesn't have an aggressive, obnoxious bone in its body. And there's certainly nothing tropical happening. No, this beer has the style and poise of a bonafide European.

I have fond memories of De Ranke XX Bitter which, if memory serves correct, was among the first hoppy Belgian-style IPAs (and still one of the best). This limited edition XXX Bitter didn't quite live up to my nostalgia and, in my opinion, isn't quite different or good enough to warrant a special release. Still, it speaks to the brewery's high standards and made for a more than enjoyable (rare) tipple.

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Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of innominat
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL poured into an oversized tulip.

Beautiful appearance. Majestic foamy plateau, glowing golden body, streaming carbonation. Marvelous to look at. Truly gorgeous. 5

Funky and skunky aroma, but it's seductive. Smells like it's got some pilsner or helles type of malt (or maybe it's some lager yeast I'm smelling) and a corresponding light sweetness and floral, grassy and earthy quality. Then this blends with a tad tart and crisp saison aroma. Very interesting. I'm intrigued. It seems familiar and new all the same. 4.25

Starts with gentle sweetness and graininess, then floral notes and skunkiness emerge together then giving way to a honey-like finish. Light pepperiness lingers on my tongue for ages. Though the skunkiness is probably not for all, I find something irresistible about it. 4

I won't be redundant as much of the taste captures the feel, but to add to the above, this has a yeasty floral feel towards the finish and a dry, yeasty, bitter lingering sensation. 4

This beer is lovely. Truly enjoyable. It's got some odd flavor and feel, but that sets it apart from others.

 1,096 characters

Photo of nikigava
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, split

Enjoyed a bottle of this in Brugge last month and didn't realize it was an entirely new creation. It was nice to try it again state-side in a more controlled drinking environment. Nice cloudy straw colored body - sticky foamy retention. Nicely hopped, though not as tropical as some other "belgian ipa's" coming out of the motherland. Bready, musty, moderately bitter. Nice, but there are better options in my opinion.

 439 characters

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of BKotch
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of goochpunch
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pale, clear straw body with a thin head. Big citrus nose with Belgian yeast and crackery malts. Tastes of citrus, floral, and perfumey hops, crisp malt, and a lingering aspirine-like bitterness. Dry finish. Yeast brings notes of apricots and a hint of spice. Light body with bubbly and spritzy carbonation. Awesome hoppy Belgian.

 335 characters

Photo of Magery
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of WhitmansNiece
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of desint
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gtermi
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a massive three finger head that kept growing for five minutes after pouring, making a pyramid over the glass. Great retention and tons of pillowy lacing. Big aroma of citrus, graperfrut, citrus and grassy hops, light sweet malt, and sad to say a hint of skunkiness that was very distinct on opening, but present, but not as evident in the aroma. After smelling it I looked at the bottle, yes, it is green glass. Brouwerij De Ranke, no you! Flavor seems quite light at first, refreshing light grapefruit and lemon with herbal citrusy hops; the flavor continues to build with more fresh lemon, sweet bready malt, and Belgian yeast developing, finally finishing with a very long, lingering lemon citrus and herbal hop bitterness. Medium bodied with hints of creaminess and peppery carbonation. A wonderful rollercoaster of flavor that is both refreshing and rewarding. A wonderful IPA with Belgian yeast integrated perfectly. Fortunately the skunkiness was not noticeable in the flavor, probably due to the strength and herbal nature of the hops, but why take a chance? Seek this one out, it's worth the trouble.

 1,178 characters

Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Th beer is hazy yellow in color and poured with a finger and a half high frothy bright white head that has very good retention properties and hardly died down.
S: Light to moderaate aromas of floral and herbal hops are present in the nose along with slight bits of funk.
T: The bitterness really stands out in the taste of this beer, which is similar to to the smell, and the bitterness lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be very bitter for a Belgian IPA.

 559 characters

Photo of Jose9e
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Noelito76
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MRsojourner
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of robear
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Anatole
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pint glass pours to six people from a 750ml people. Clear, light golden body pours with a foamy, puffy white head. Decent retention after it rose to about two fingers. Lace is thick but somewhat spotty and decent pillows.

S- Big grassy and herbal hops off the top. Some light caramel malts and cracked grains below that lending a nice balance. Yeast is spicy and Belgian.

T- Super grassy, herbal, pine, grapefruit and spicy hops fill the palate upon first sip. Light caramel and nice fresh cracked grains. Spicy Belgian yeast with notes of pepper, spices and wheat bread.

MF- Foamy light-moderate body with high-end super bubbly carbonation. Ends with a nice spicy bitterness.

Big spicy and herbal Euro hops over a nice Belgian spicy yeast. Hopped up Spicy Golden Strong Ale to me but not as good as XX in many ways.

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De Ranke XXX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
88 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.