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