De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

506 Reviews
De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
XX Bitter or Extra Extra Bitter is a blond, bitter ale containing 6.2% vol. Alc. It’s famous for it’s very bitter and strong flavour. XX is being made with pale pilsner malt and loads of Brewers Gold and Hallertau hop flowers. A perfect combination that has been nationally and internationally praised. This ale has been a real trendsetter for the current comeback of bitter ales in Belgium.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2002

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Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 944
Photo of JackRWatkins
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: pours a pretty, hazy (though nowhere near opaque) gold color with a nice and bubbly three finger head, with (surprisingly and a bit frustratingly if I'm being honest) good retention
S: a touch of dankness here and a generally crisp, clean aroma, with subtle notes of estery, characteristically belgian yeast character (I wish the aroma was stronger)
T: Immediately malty up front with a clean bitterness closing it out, some subtle fruity esters and a clean, biscuity malt profile are present as well, it is a very refreshing beer, though I with the hops used contributed more than the clean, bitterness that is here (or at least it would have been nice to have something more saaz like and spicy in the mix), the estery quality comes out more as the beer warms up a bit
M: very sharp, almost too much
O: Full, rich, malty pleasant and ... you guessed it, bitter, to be perfectly honest in many ways it's not really like anything else I've had, and I've had a lot of Belgian and Belgian inspired beer, though I would have to seriously meditate on what would be the most fitting time to have this (no real situation comes to mind immediately) I would definitely buy this again and I would reluctantly recommend it (not really sure to whom though)

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Extra Extra Bitter! 750 ml. Bottle wrapped in paper.Thank you Shelton Brothers . Not an"Abbey" brewed in Wevelgem, Belgium.

Poured into a classic Ommegang wide tulip glass. Top of cap: EXP 12/4/21 so I guess its pretty fresh, since its only January 2017.

A very cloudy white gold color, yeastie floatie bits swirl around with the jazzy carbonation. A crystal white tower of dense foam has staying power with excellent, stick, clumpy lace. The lace has formed full rings around the glass, perfect lacing and a big "island" clump of dense foam perfectly centered just refuses to fall.Looong lace, very sticky and continuously carbonated and lively.

A very hearty, bready and herbalized malty aroma impresses the senses. Dramatically herbal, earthy and funky hop scent is very powerful. Major tones of dry fall leaves being baked in the sharp, autumn sun, household herbal mix and spices and green, but dry herbal hops. A classic Hallertau aroma.

First, the mouthfeel....absolutley exquisite. Fresh, clean, jazzy, light and then lush, full, smooth and soft going down. Classic and perfect, dry finish that lingers. Wow. Just, wow. Out-of-this-world experience.

The flavor.....Where do I begin?......Belgian Golden Ale with a major hop profile. My favorite hop flavors are the classic European sort, Saaz,Hallertau and Noble. I love the dank earthy, herbal and spicy hop cone flavor's most.....and this one might be the most earthy, herbal and spicy hop taste I have ever had. It's very dense in Hallertau and Brewer's Gold flavor's. Very, very complex hop profile, with an excellent, slightly sweet, bready and wicked clean pilsner malt balance. Some of the charm to this brew is in the amazing balance of classic pilsner malty flavors and huge, earthy hop tones getting it on! Grooving, big-time. The very long, sun-baked leaves and dry earth finish is remarkable. The liquid simply dances on your pallet. Dry, golden wheat, barley and hops from a very isolated farm in the country is the vibe I get with every sip. I can picture an ancient farmer with immaculate, high elevation soil,rolling hills and field as far as the eye can see..... Plowing, tilling & sowing his fields, preparing these ingredients for some face-less Belgian or French King and his extensive kingdom. QUALITY! The King shouts. This brew would delight to no end.

Highest quality. A pleasure to experience. Authentic Belgian styles are my "Mecca" of the beer world. This one is high grade shit. Lush hops, killer malt.....simply, a surreal experience in every detail.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I went ahead and got this out of curiosity... It has a lot of Tripel characteristics but finishes with a very distinct bitterness that remains on the palate long after the sip is down--which makes you want to sip again to get the refreshing front of the sip back....This is actually a very good ale for having such a bitter finish. Good carbonation, great head.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saturday afternoon with a 750 of this...a good day. Pours a slightly hazy pale gold with a big creamy head that leaves lacing and still has a film of foam 10 minutes later as I finish the first glass. Nose is very saison-like with citrus, yeast, and a bit of hay and funk. Flavor switches it up with firm dry bitterness, hay, herbal. Bright, refreshing, and substantial at the same time. Nice lingering finish that does not turn astringent. Overall, a better beer than I expected, and I expected it to be good.

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4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden colored haze poured with fluffy head that faded to a thin cap smell Belgium yeast slight lemon peppery cracker faint overall taste wow bitter as advertised really a lot going on complex flavors really nice some fruit again lemon mostly very dry wounderful overall. Well worth trying great Belgium ale

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Photo of MrDell
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25


De Ranke - XX Bitter
Belgian IPA- 6.2% - 330ml bottle –Bottled 11.11.2015 Best before 03.11.2020

De Ranke Website:
XX Bitter or Extra Extra Bitter is a blond, bitter ale containing 6.2% vol. Alc. It’s famous for it’s very bitter and strong flavour. XX is being made with pale pilsner malt and loads of Brewers Gold and Hallertau hop flowers. A perfect combination that has been nationally and internationally praised. This ale has been a real trendsetter for the current comeback of bitter ales in Belgium.

Appearance: Pale straw coloured beer with a one finger, fluffy white head. Medium levels of fine attentuation. Some nice lacing.

Aroma: Oranges dominating, hops in the back ground but not as many hop aromas as I was expecting. Alcohol and a little malt also coming through.

Taste: As the label says BITTER. As soon as the ale enters the mouth the bitterness really hits the sides of the palate, no fruity flavours present as you get from the aroma hops in say, an American IPA. This really is a different beast altogether. The only other flavour I'm getting from this one is the Curaçao peel, which lingers in the background. The middle is much of the same, and the bitterness hangs around for a long time after swallowing.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied, dry and extremely bitter, not much else to say here.

Overall: While I could drink the whole beer comfortably, personally I find it just too bitter. Maybe that will change overtime but for now I find this one unbalanced.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent BIPA. This fine brew pours a lightly cloudy deep amber tinged golden
with a nice head of white foam that settles to a thick ring, thick pool, and nice sudsy
lacing. Nose of sweet candy malts, honey, bittering hops, and banana and citrus notes
most likely from the yeast. Flavors exceed the nose with light honey and mild candy
sugars vying for dominance over the herbal hop notes that increase lightly with warmth
on the front and sides, banana notes fall into the middle and fade into the back with touches
of lemon and subtle herbal notes. Very nice mouth feel, medium high carbonation to back
it lively and sessionable with a nice dose of bittering hops on the aftertaste and a dry finish.

More excellence from the land of great ales----Belgium!


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Photo of OlaB
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: cloudy deep yellow color. Gives a small top of head that disolves rather quickly. Ok lacings on the glass.

S: fruity with notes of citrus fruits and some small hints of banana. I also sense yeast and floral notes .

T&F: starts of with a very fruity flavour. Citrus fruits and apples is what mainly feel. Is a yeasty sweet taste in the background. The finish is of course a lot of hippy bitterness. The bitterness in the aftertaste stays there for a long time. I actually think this beer was very complex in the taste for this beers tyke.

O: a good beer for it's style and quite fruity for being a ipa

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Photo of Dzu
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into goblet.
L: Turbid light amber with a weak foam head.
S: Great smell of fruits, hops.
T: Bitterness and sweets.
F: Long pleasant aftertaste.
O: Too bitter for me but very good.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.86/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Breaks out a yellow color that has me wondering if this was a wheat beer? No? Maybe they just didn't use any hop bags and there's humulone everywhere. Strange that this is so cloudy. Aroma was more of the belgian spice rack than expected. If I want hops, I don't want no clove. Even drops some of the banana angle from the yeast. Where are the hops?

Taste finally drops some hops but it seems all noble hop bitterness and earthiness, the carbonation could be higher in this too. Expensive and silly if you ask me. Belgium has some great world class stuff, but ipa isn't their forte.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This ale wins my first review in this style because it is proof that my taste buds can change and that my preferences are not cast.
When I first had this in 2013, my notes said DBA, Don't Buy Again. At 58 IBU, that was a no-brainer. (I bought it the first time because it is on the "1001" list.)
Then I had a couple of more in this style from Belgium and thought I might have been harsh on XX. So, I drank it again and understood something: that dry is not hoppy and I shouldn't confuse the two. (I don't, but dryness still is not a preferred characteristic to malt. As you can see, I'm a slow sell.)

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Photo of kkleu357
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From Notes on 9/15/15. My first beer ever in Belgium! On tap at Moeder Lambic. Poured a nice blond color. Slightly sweet aroma. Taste is mildly bitter, especially compared to American bitter standards. I think it is also nice a sweet.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge wave of lemon on the nose, almost to an industrial level like with a cleaner, but undercut with some earthy Belgian yeast, red apple & loam. Fairly carbonated & a bit stinging upfront, lots of that lemon & apple juice hit you. There is a classic Belgian yeast backbone / mineral water taste but it's fairly distant, and then the end is a big bitter punch. Not your typical puckering hops bitterness, more earthy & flowery, like swallowing a bunch of booze-soaked pine needles. Pretty light mouthfeel & it dissipates off the tongue quickly, crisper than lots of Belgians, like due to the Pilsner malt. You do get some of that dry cracker thing going on in there as well. All in all a very good beer, I prefer to the bitter American IPAs out there

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Photo of Emersonio
2.94/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pour: On draft at The Jeffery in NYC. Poured into a tulip glass. Appearance: Light gold in color. A wee bit hazy. Medium white head with good lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma: Not much on the nose to report. Mild grass and hops. Taste: Some hoppy character through the opening sip. Kind of drops off after that. Aftertaste: Quickly receding hoppy notes with a bit of bite at the end. Notes: Strange brew. Maybe sat too long. Just nothing there. Overall. Puzzled by this one. Really not much there. Okay. 2.94 out of 5.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: light golden hue with a moderate haze and a pretty strong effervescence. Head pours two fingers of frothy ivory foam which leaves a chunky lace on the glass as it dissipates.

Smell: sweet malt base with a dash of fruity Belgian character and a nice dose of grassy hops atop. I dig it.

Taste: much hoppier than the aroma, they are green, grassy, earthy and a little bit piney. The underlying malt base reminds me of a BSDA or a tripel, with an added kick of bitterness. A very, very good beer indeed!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great big and well-integrated carbonation yielding a very satisfying creaminess. Great!

Overall: this beer absolutely works for me. It's like the drinkable, hoppy tripel I always wanted, or something like that.

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Golden colour with champagne like froth that dissipates quickly. Head reappears easily when swirled. Aroma is of Belgian yeast, slight breads malt notes and subtle piney hop. Flavour is spicy Belgian yeast with slightly sharp bitterness that dissipates. Solid Belgian IPA. Very drinkable

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Photo of Getalegup
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Overall, this wasn't bad. It really has a brett-fermented dank IPA flavor. I've had this style twice before. This one's hops might have been too old to contribute much to the flavor.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as tasty as the triple X Bitter...of course xxx are always going to be better than xx. But overall a nice Belgian IPA, I would certainly not mind giving it another try, hopefully some day from the source.

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Photo of Premo88
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

25.4 oz. bottle poured into tulip
("10/1/20 expiration printed on top of bottle cap)

L: pale gold, almost 100% clear, just a little cloudiness; huge head of white/off-white foam, over 2 inches and super fluffy, like cotton balls; also super sticky and not dissipating quickly; keeps an amazing skin, almost 1/4 inch at all times ... and you see why inside the glass -- a veritable bubble factory is churning in there, hundreds and hundreds of bubbles flying up the middle of the column; lacing, sticking, the skin, the thick collar ... it's a foam machine

S: sweet, hoppy, floral, grassy and very tart, lemons, limes; as it warms, the sweetness subsides and you get a very farmhouse-ale like aroma ... musty barn, some tartness but very tame, kumquats

T: huge bitter hop bite, mostly floral/perfume-like but with some grass and a lot of sweetness pushing into the bitterness; the hops are for real, but they mix with the malt to form a classic Belgian fruity juiciness, strawberries, cherries, maybe some orange ... cantalope

F: lovely ... big carbonation but with enough liquid weight to form a classic medium-crisp ale feel

O: it's bitter, but it's so much more ... tart Belgian pale notes, almost but never really sour; a fruit basket of flavors that aren't typical of the American citrusy/mangoey IPA; some good grassy flavors .... it's like a hopped-up Orval and the closest thing I've had to it is Prairie Hop or Buffalo Bayou's Abrikoos -- but this has some farmhouse ale earthy/hay notes that really nail home its Belgian authenticity. fantastic beer!

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Photo of gallen444
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle into Chimay Chalice
Consumed: 08.21.15

Appearance: Hazy golden peach color, persistent 1/4 inch head, mild lacing.

Smell: Hoppy with a hint of fruit.

Taste: Dry, grapefruit and pine with a strong bitter finish.

Feel: Creamy and a bit chalky due to the bitterness, medium carbonation.

Overall: Refreshing well-executed Belgian golden ale. Very consistent across bottlings based on multiple samplings over the last three or so years.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a really refreshing and well executed beer. Nice, full malt body for a lighter belgian gold/blonde ale. The hop aroma is a more classic, noble hop spiciness with minor grassy notes. The taste begins with a nice bit of light malt goodness but is quickly followed by a pronounced bitterness and spiciness from the hops. The bitterness is for real but is very welcome (it DOES say bitter right on the label), kind of provides a similar sensation to a hand full of altoids, intense and prominent but refreshing and not distracting from the rest of the beer. Definitely would recommend for any fans of hoppy/bitter beers.

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Photo of Beermanmiles
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer. Mega hoppy yet somehow not overwhelming. When the beer reaches your tongue, all you get is flavor without discomfort. Some Belgian IPAs balance bitterness, alcohol, and carbonation poorly. Regardless of the name xx bitter, this is just a well balanced Belgium IPA and I claim it to be my number one classy occasion beer. This is a great beer to serve at a black tie occasion. It really taste fantastic and puts you in an overall good mood. I have also heard that this is the best brewery in Belgium, not sure how true that is but why not.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours a hazy golden color. It is topped with a lively three inches of off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

It has a spicy aroma consistent with Belgian yeast. I pick up some light fruit smells, some peach and pear.

It tastes of spicy pear with a bitter finish.

Medium mouthfeel

It is a pretty tasty beverage. The bitter finish leaves the palate craving more of the spicy pear at the beginning. This was a nice pick up.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whew! Belgian Golden with an insane amount of bittering. You have to dig to pick up the standard Belgian farmhouse yeast but its there under all the puckering. Bitter fades quickly though and finishes like a top tier golden ale.

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Photo of 57md
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hazy straw in color. The nose is mildly funky. The flavor profile and body are more reminiscent of a Belgian Pale Ale than a Belgian IPA. There is not much hop bitterness on the finish.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
4.08 out of 5 based on 944 ratings.
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