De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

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501 Reviews
De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke
Belgium | website

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: 501 | Ratings: 919
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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Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle - Belgium Beer Factory
Golden Hazy colour, fair yeast sediment, small head which sticks to glass. High carbonation, strong fizzing sound. Very malty smell, no real hint of hops or fruits. Very dry full bodied bitter taste. Good dry,bitter ale.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Belgian beer of an ocher color and an ok whitey foam.
Smell and taste are basically malty, full of earthly notes with some grainy and spicy ones too. Hoppy character that is basically bitter, not too many yeasty or fruity notes.
Feel is nice, full body, crispy and definitely bitter; carbonation is appropriate.

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Photo of Takahiro
3.26/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Looks: pours hazy golden, with spiritzy bubbles (may be dirty glass)
Smell: belgian yeasty phenol, grape fruity hop aroma, pines
Taste: green pine and grape fruit hop bitterness up front, some Belgian yeast flavor that matches the hop flavor, silky smooth maltiness
Feel: leaning towards dry finish
Overall: good Belgian IPA, but a bit too bitter for my tast

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 750 ml bottle served in a chalice.
A: Hazy gold under a persistent 1” lacy parchment white foam cap.
S: Floral spicy hops dominate over a background of large pitted fruit.
T: Floral, spicy hop flavors over a bready peach to tropical fruit background with a bitter hop accent on the finish.
M: Creamy medium body with very soft carbonation.
O: This is supposed to be the hoppiest beer in Belgium but the hops are there as much for flavor as for bitterness. The bitterness is rounded and not harsh. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of aleigator
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a big, bubbly head with a bright yellow color.

Smells of wheat and soft yeast, with a coppery metallic hint on the back end. Underneath these dominant aromas, floral hops unfold, adding to the rustic character of this ale.

The taste yields much more hops than the nose did, while the brew begins with bready, mellow malts. Hops are detectable from the very beginning, side by side with the malts, while its floral character adds to the slightly biscuity malt foundation. This gets wrapped up by soft, slightly spiced belgian yeast, creating a great, smooth mouthfeel, which got a certain crispness to it. Then the hops turn remarkably dry, along with the sweeter malts, while they intensify their floral, wet grass appearance.

Hops become the center of attention, while this still drinks like a belgian ale, due to its distinct yeast flavor, with some peppery spices towards the finish, introducing an almost herbal dryness to the tongue. Finishes hop-forward, while malts and yeast handle the bitterness well, providing a convincing sweet, mellow, spiced counterpart.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful champagne-like appearance. The aroma wasn't much to speak of. The taste was a clean cracker kind of malt flavor, finishing quite clean and bitter. Nothing really stood out for me other than the appearance. Maybe I was expecting more.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pale straw.
Quite astringent taste, very dry and bitter, grapefruit in the main, hint lemon, overpowers the Belgian yeast.
Very light bodied for 6%
Overall lacks something, maybe just too bitter and not rounded enough.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

Serving: 750 mL bottle poured into a stemmed pilsner (beer tulip) glass (cap reads: LOTNR B91T14, EXP: 11/01/19).

Appearance: Lightly hazy, warm orange golden hue. Lively, frothy white head with lasting haze on top and some lacing.

Smell: Fresh white bread maltiness, lemon zest, black pepper, fruit and ester notes.

Taste: Dry, clean malty base with light citrus and yeast continuing from the nose, and plenty of herbal hops, tending pleasantly towards medicinal. Crisp, dry and rather bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with prickly, likely carbonation.

Overall: Great, clean beer flavors; like Belgian Pale crossed with an intense, hoppy Czech Pilsner.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.98/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz. draft pour at Jester King Brewery on 9/26/14. Thank you Jester King. This beer reminded me why I got into, and enjoy, drinking craft beer. It reminded me of the first time I had a good European Lager in the mid 80's: golden, hardy unroasted malt backbone, strong bitter hop finish. While the malt takes first billing, the hops provide a perfect supporting role: citrusy, slightly acidic, what balance. Beautify look: golden with a healthy white head. What really impressed me, though, was the aroma, a wonderful combination of malt and fruit. Fresh, dry, a masterpiece.

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Photo of stewart124
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Pours a hazy golden straw color with just a few millimeters of fizzy white head.

Nose boasts pineapple, mango, pepper and phenols which I come to expect from a Belgian yeast.

Sharp initial flavor with lemon pith and more peppery notes. Nice subtle pilsner malt characters that blend well with the sharper hop and yeast character. Spicy noble hops and some citrus notes from what I would imagine are American hops. There are some slightly tart characters and horse blanket/barnyard but this isn't overwhelmingly sour. It seems just a touch which just rounds out this beer and helps it finish dry leaving just a hint of hops on the palate.

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -26.5%

01/31/14 From bottle at Rattle n HUm, NYC. May be past due, but interesting nontheless. A bit flat but since the label says "the Hoppiest beer of Belgium" I wonder.

I'm a big Belgian fan & shy away from hoppy, but if this is the top end...I'm moving to Belgium.

On the spicy side for the genre. Not bad..not that good, but as I said this bottle may be past prime.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed a pint on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. A Belgian IPA actually from Belgium, this brew presents a slightly cloudy golden yellow with just under an inch of white foam on top, looks much like Duvel or another "strong golden" ale. Aroma presages the tart, dry bitterness to come, tons of Styrian-type hops and an astringent green apple, pear, and orange fruitiness counterbalanced by a doughy yeast sweetness. Although a subtle candi sugar sweet note is detectable, on my palate this brew registers largely as tart, dry, bitter, and rather woody, medicinal hops leading the way and closing out the show with a tannic, dry gooseberry and grape finale. Once the palate acclimatizes to said bitterness, you will notice the fruit elements from the nose (pear, apple, orange) and a classic Belgian yeast character, but this requires some perseverance if you are unfamiliar with this style. Did I mention that this beer is dry? Well-attenuated body and rather heavy carbonation. Truth be told, I prefer many North American takes on this style, where the fruit is more ripe and prominent on the palate, but this obviously has its merits and is a good benchmark for a classic, genuinely Belgian hoppy ale.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.17/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml Bottle from Beers of Europe website (£2.09):
Slightly cloudy, bright amber to orange with a 1cm, foamy white head that holds well. Head retention is good with it reducing slightly to hold at just under half a cm & covers the surface of the beer, with plenty of bubbles rising to the top too.

Tonnes of yeast & floral notes upfront, subtle hops as well & plenty of fruits coming through. Apples, some pear, lemon & orange all feature with plenty of pepper & spice backing them up. The smell wasn't the strongest initially but at the same time it wouldn't be considered weak either, the balance seemed good. I got some grain & a slight touch of alcohol with plenty of bitterness.

Spicy with a very bitter taste that was only hinted at in the aroma, the taste goes well beyond that with some hops coming through too. The yeast from the nose featured strongly here as well with some pepper & a few fruits like apple & pears.

Smooth with solid, high carbonation & a medium body. The beer is a very dry & sharp tasting one with an intensely bitter finish.

I wasn't too sure about this one really, I quite enjoyed the aroma & how the taste started out but I wasn't a fan of the incredibly bitter finish to the beer. Despite the fact that the name should have been an indication, nothing in the smell prepared me for just how bitter the taste of this one would end up. Drinkable but not one I'll go back to.

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Photo of fourstringer
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bagged and capped 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. Exp: 14/09/18.

A: Lightly cloudy golden yellow body. 1.5 fingers of clean, white head. Good retention. Moderate lacing. Classic vibes.

S: Slightly musty Belgian yeast. Hay, grass. Floral hops. Hints of apple. Cracker. Earth. A tad light overall, but very nice.

T: Flash of sweetness before a moderate, noble-type hop bitterness. A lightly bready pale malt backbone develops, but never overtakes the hops. Finishes rather dry with a lingering flowery bite. Minimal alcohol.

M: Moderate carbonation with a fine, creamy texture. Moderate body. Excellent.

O: An assertively hopped Belgian pale of very high quality. Superb drinkability. All around class act. If you don't like this, you don't like beer.


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Photo of JTuomi
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a tulip. Clear golden color, a medium white head with decent retention and good lacing. Hazy golden after pouring in the yeasty bottom of the bottle after sipping halfway through the glass.
The smell has sweet floral and grassy hops and some belgian yeast without pouring the yeast from the bottle, mostly yeast on the nose after pouring it all in. Before pouring the bottom of the bottle in, tastes of crisp sweet malts followed by a dry resiny hop bitterness that stayed in the aftertaste. Having the yeast poured in, the taste is more earthy and the hoppy bitterness is cutted down, but still present.
Medium body, high carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Drinkable despite the bitterness, didn't last too long in the glass. Overall a good belgian IPA, which I preferred with the yeast poured, but very good both ways.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
91 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.
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