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 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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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

belgian golden meets english bitter to me here, its got the dry belgian yeast and great carbonation, but also that english grain profile and body. it has a nice golden color, cloudy and with some lingering yeast floaters, as well as a tall and bright white head. it smells like the all too common euro green bottle skunk. its not old at all, but has that stink to it that is in so many of these. behind that though is a summery belgian yeast and what appears to be a primarily wheat malt base. the flavor has a great grassy hop finish to it, bitter and robust, but pleasing and refreshing. the malt is bigger than it looks, and has a nice frothy texture to it. combined with such frantic carbonation, the mouthfeel on this beer is near perfect for the style. i wish i could try it without the staleness to it, but i like it more as i drink it more, and i can see what its supposed to be even through this. simple beer really, but a nice balance between yeast and hops, the two main flavor agents of this brew. overpriced at about 13 bucks on shelves, but a tasty brew nevertheless.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | 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 great lacing. The nose is herbal and grassy with hints of lemon, grapefruit, subtle yeast, and straw. The taste lives up to the name with loads of bitter hoppiness along with hints of grass, lemon zest, white pepper, grapefruit, and subtle caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is light bodied, sharp and tangy, with a refreshing crisp, bitter, dry finish. Overall, this was about what I had expected, considering that I had already had the XXX Bitter. Extremely bitter, but quite drinkable and very refreshing. And you can't beat the price for a beer of this quality. Wondering why I waited so long to try this.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy yellowish golden body with great carbonation that gave a very large, foamy head, that died slow and left lace patches everywhere with a mild bitter hop aroma, I mostly picked up some funk and a little Belgian yeast. Smooth, lighter bodied, has this yeastiness on the edge that makes it pass easy on the tongue and gives a touch of sweetness. There seems to be sour/tart fruit flavors like green apple or pear and there is a nice bit of barnyard funk. Some minor citric hop bitterness adds a little spice to the beer, mainly the finish, and once in a while I get some fruit sweetness.

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Photo of babaracas
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy tangerine color with three fingers high rocky white head, sheet of sticky lace for a few inches. Smell: hoppy and fruity; lemon, grapefruit, grass; pine, pear, and berry notes. Taste: biscuit, notes of stone fruit and not-so-ripe pear, spicy, grassy, sticky orange citrus notes. Hop soaked, semi-sticky, semi-dry finish. Mouthfeel: medium-plus bodied, incredibly creamy, prickly then pillowy -- very near perfect. A fantastic Belgian IPA.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into my struise tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy beige color with a light white medium head which doesn't leave many lacings
S: hops and yeasts are evident. Barley malts. The hops are citrus, grassy, earthy and stinging in the nose
T: Pretty much as the smell. Very dry, little sweet , malty , earthy and bitter (very good)
M: Medium body , good carbonation
D: High. Refreshing. The "low" ABV helps a lot and the bitterness is a must.

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Photo of jhawth
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured into a goblet. Pours a murky, light orange-ish straw with a foamy two-finger head.

Aroma: Spicy Belgian yeast notes reminiscent of other Belgian golden ales, herbal, floral, grassy, and spicy hop notes, malt notes are subdued.

Taste: Some biscuity malts, plenty of spicy Belgian yeastiness, and a healthy dose of hop bitterness to accompany the aromatic qualities.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, light carbonation. A little thin, perhaps.

Overall: Interesting, hoppy, enjoyable Belgian golden ale.

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Photo of draheim
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330mL (Exp. 16/05/18) into a tulip. Pours a clear golden color w/ a 1-finger white head.

Aroma leads off with a damp, moldy basement smell I'm not enjoying, which I attribute to the yeast. The yeast also brings a spicy, lemony quality. Beyond that, some muted floral and herbal hops.

Taste also has that musty, spicy character from the Belgian yeast. Floral and bitter, fruity esters. Pale biscuity malt.

Mouthfeel is soft and medium-bodied.

Overall a different take on the IPA with approximately equal contributions from the yeast, hops, and malt. I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as some other Belgian IPAs.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not-yet-reviewed classic. This has a best-by date of 5/16/18, pretty fresh.

Hazy and straw-colored with a big foamy white head. A thick cap is left for most of the duration. Nose brings on a good mix of herbal and citrus hop but wheat, yeast and slight farm remain at the forefront. Decent potency.

Taste follows with a nice plethora of hop flavors (earthy, peach, lemon, grassy) and some spiciness. Nice yeasty/biscuit tones that leave you with a delicious finish. Farm and some medicinal tones feel a little out of place but overall very nicely balanced, moreso than the scent definitely. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a good/generous amount of foaminess, a pretty dry finish, easy-drinking for sure.

This isn't my favorite for the style but still damn good. Nice hop flavor with low bitterness and plenty of Belgian flair.

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Photo of joe1510
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz Bottle
Binny's Willowbrook

Best before date: 4/10

XX Bitter pours a deep hazy golden. The gold absolutely glows in the light becoming more of a straw golden. Massive amounts of tiny carbonation bubbles rise to the surface creating a big three finger dense white creamy head and keeping it there for ages. As the head ever so slowly recedes I get sheet lacing so thick it's impossible to see through it. This is one amazing looking brew.

Aroma is big and juicy. Candi sugar and biscuity malts greet the nose up front. Grassy hops come along rather quickly and floral hop aromas show up on the finish. Dusty yeast is splashed around throughout always in the background but always there. Strong wafts of gritty pear and granny smith apple rise into the air as well. An excellent smelling ale.

Flavor is right on par with the aroma. Biscuity malts create a solid background with a sprinkling of candi sugar sweetness. The dusty yeast shows up mid palate along with pear skins and granny smith apples. For being an older bottle the hops are still very apparant showing up on the finish with a very welcomed grassy, spicy nature. Excellent!

The mouthfeel is absolutely alive. High natural carbonation tickles the tongue and gets it ready for the hoppy finish. Light body from the use of candi sugar. The swallow is dry and leaves you wanting another drink immediately.

The drinkability is off the charts. This glass I poured myself is disappearing far too quickly. I find myself wanting to gulp it down.

XX Bitter, in my opinion, is one outstanding ale. Absolutely delicious with a nice hop bitterness on the finish. I feel like running to the store and picking up more of these right now. Two thumbs up. I'm anxious to try others from De Ranke.

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Photo of FLima
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best before September 2015, but left refrigerated for a decent time.
Amber gold color with apparent carbonation and a fluffy head that dissipated quickly leaving some laces. Gets murky after pouring the residual yeast.
Citrusy aroma with notes of herbal hops, Cointreau and brown sugar.
Delicious flavor, with fresh tangerine notes and lemon zest followed by a good deal of herbal and earthy hops. Hints of slightly toasted malts, lemongrass, pineapple and minerals. Distant tartness. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with low carbonation with tiny bubbles.
What a superb beer, refreshing with an assertive and elegant hoppiness, and still very well balanced and with high drinkability. And it is not overly sweet, which in my opinion is an original sin of several Belgian brews, and it is much more fun given the adequate hopping with a mild tartness.

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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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