De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

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De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter
970 Ratings
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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Ratings: 970 |  Reviews: 518
Photo of Mosley1212
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 2" white head. Body is a clear light lemon color, kind of pretty. Smell and taste both bring the hops in clean fruity, sweet, bitter expressions. The label claims this is "The Hoppiest Beer of Belgium". Yeah, it's hoppy, but I'm not sure their claim would stand up. In the US this would be a more mid-range IPA.

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Photo of spicelab
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle thanks to [email protected] Liquor. Long time favourite that I'm finally getting round to reviewing.

Gusher! Manage to salvage a pour of sorts. Hazy straw honey with a rocky, porous white head that leaves little mark as it falls.

Seriously yeasty, with a vegetative rawness verges into lambic territory. Grapefruit pith, white pepper, floral spice, cut grass and a touch of honey sweetness.

Truckloads of mouth puckering bitter citrus pith and rind, predominantly grapefruit and lemon. Behind this is plenty of horse blanket funk, floral hops, thyme, parlsey and radicchio.

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation prickle and a conspicuously tart, dry finish.

For a 6.2% beer this is a behemoth. An uncompromising bitter, tart and slightly funky brew that lies somewhere in between a Saison and a Lambic.

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Photo of ccm414
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a 4 oz sampling glass.

A- Pale in color, almost looks silver towards the edges. Nice head retention while leaving a good uniform lace around the glass.

S- Belgian yeast jumps right out in front, then BAM, gets hit by a car. It gives off an almost "raw" hop smell. It has some lighter fruit notes, I mainly got pear aromas.

T- Very dry and yeasty, not much like the smell at all. A bit bitter, but it doesn't overpower or linger very long. I was expecting a bit more bitterness to this one.

M- Light in body, a little creamy, but it seamed a bit over-carbonated.

D- A good beer, but not sure how often I would return to this one.


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Photo of wcintula
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a 330mL bottle at BXL. No freshness date notched on the label.

Poured into a Gouden Carolus goblet, the beer is a hazy honey color with a foamy white head. Nice hop aroma to it. The taste is hoppy as well, as the beer leans on the bitter side with a nice Belgian yeast flavor, while finishing dry. A good velvety feel to it, the carbonation assists the bitterness.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: nice mountain of full foam; golden colour;
S: great, the smell of blossom-honey, citrus, a bit like Houblon Chouffe, alcohol;
T: lot of tartness and hoppiness, quite dry finish;
M: okay;
O: after the great looks and smells I hoped for a little bit more. I bit too hoppy for me. But can I blame the Ranke? The warning was XX-bitter!

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Photo of argock
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by May 2015 notched on bottom of label. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.25.

A: Pure gold with wispy white 1-finger head with good retention and several crooked bands of lace.

S: Bitter herbal hops with biscuity pale malt

T: Delicious biscuit maltiness off the top with a scathing bitterness throughout. The hops take on a grassy. herbal character overall. The beer brings a yeasty note with some earthy flavors that don't really come through in the aroma. It finishes slightly nutty with a bit of phenol and herbal.

M: Silky with average carbonation and a layered feel.

O: A really good beer that went down exceedingly quickly. I like the refined earthiness with nice herbal tones and a solid underlying bitterness on a biscuity malt foundation. I will be looking out for more of this without a doubt.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first introduction to the hoppy Belgians or Belgian IPAs. I'm excited, as it should combine 2 of my favourite beer traditions.

It pours a hazy blonde colour with a centimeter of fluffy head on top and come nice lacing. It's pale compared to what I expected, but is similar to other Belgian pale ales.

The aroma is fantastic! Very spicy and fruity, with distinct apple and citrus aromas dominating. The hops lend a crisp spicy aspect too.

It's quite light on the mouth to start. The light fruitiness comes through very clearly to start with minimal maltiness. The hop aromas develop very clearly and lend a lot of grassy and aromatic qualities to the beer. The hop bite and bitterness comes through very clearly towards the finish. The carbonation is very fine, leading to a fairly smooth drink.

Overall, this is a style i could really get behind, but it lacks the intensity i was expecting. Perhaps I'm too used to American-style IIPAs. This one is quite easy to drink, while still having a very distinctive hop character and a fantastic aroma!

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Photo of FosterJM
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

756th Review on BA
Draft to snifter

@ Woodshop Classix

App- A lighter softer yellow with a little bubbly one finger head. A ring of bubbles around the edges as it fell. No cling, no legs.

Smell- A touch of bitter on the nose but much more lemony than expected. A little bit of dish soap as well.

Taste- Some of the nose follows the taste but not too much. Light, light bitter with some of that lemony flavors and a bit of yeast to me.

Mouth- Light bodied and a medium carbonation. A soapy bubbly lemon flavor remained.

Drink- It was a nice little beer to start the day, but the flavors just didnt work all that well for me.

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Photo of BeerMaverick
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a 4 oz sampling glass at a beer tasting my friends and I had.

A - Large amount of frothy white head that resembles ice cream. This beer is extremely carbonated from bottle fermentation and there is plenty of lace to go around. The beer itself is a pale yellowish color with some burnt orange tones.

S - Very bitter esters with a funky musty aroma. Seems similar to a saison with respect to the farmhouse aromas. Belgian yeast is definitely there with some green apple, pear, and a peppery spiciness to tie everything together.

T - Slightly sweeter and more fruity than the aromas. Apples are more dominant, but the beer is still very bitter. Belgian spices and yeast are just as robust. This brew is lacking in malt character, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't.

M - Dry beer with a hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Light to medium-bodied with Belgian spices to give it a nice background.

O - In my opinion, this beer has the perfect amount of bitterness despite being named "XX Bitter". The bitterness is there, but it doesn't overpower any of the other unique facets such as the Belgian yeast strain, complex mix of spices (I won't even pretend that I know these), and overall funky saison-like character. According to my co-worker (who is friends with the Shelton Brothers), they both quit their jobs and starting importing Belgian beers after tasting De Ranke XX Bitter...thank you Sheltons!

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Photo of stevenstofen
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a beer tasting:

A - Pours a bright golden-yellow color. 2 finger head on top with lasting retention.

S - Belgian yeast are very prominent here. Also I get some floral hop aroma. Even some crab apple.

T - Fantastic! I was expecting it to be a bitter bomb because of the name - but it really is not that bitter! There was definitely more fruit in he nose than on the palate. Very pleasant.

MF - A very dry, light bodied brew. Definitely a good amount of carbonation and little to no alcohol burn.

O - I would absolutely have this beer again. It is the first I have had of the style and it sure wont be the last. Maybe I will stop practicing law and start importing beer.

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Photo of ggilman
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.

Hazy suspension, light honey yellow. Lemon color with tight white head. Very fruity yeasty nose. Musty, yet light and crisp. Apple-ish with an intense back of throat lingering bitterness. Herbal hops dominate. Light bodied with a very dry finish. Extreme bitterness lingers.

Haven't reviewed many Belgians, but this was a nice introduction to the style for an IPA drinker.

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Photo of impending
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

La Trappe. Moderately hazy pale dull yellow, pure white dense head, ok lacing.

Hops dominate the light aroma, citrus and floral. Yeasty goodness lie beneath, minor light skinned fruits sit nearby.

The flavor too is of the hops but the bitterness while present is restrained. The strong hop flavor is earthy and floral. A peppery dry finish announces the trailing minor bitter aftertaste. Light bodied lively mouthfeel.

A belgian ipa more ipa than most.

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Photo of gfreed
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the hoppy Belgian beer! How may ways do I love thee? You won't remove the enamel from my teeth; you won't make my hair fall out; you won't offend my wife; you won't send the cat scurrying into the basement. You are round and balanced; you have a yeasty aroma; you have a malty taste set back by a hoppy edge that knows its place.

An outstanding IPA mostly because of what it is *not*.

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Photo of Squelch
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: clear. slight head no lacing

smell: hops dominate. ever so slight malt aroma

taste: Again, hops dominate. Not good hops either. This IPA doesn't hold a candle to American IPA's. However, i give it a B for effort

Mouthfeel: Light and puckering.

Overall: See my notes on taste. If offered this vs an average american IPA, there's no question I'd choose an American IPA.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation and a small amount of visible particles floating in suspension. It poured with a three finger high bright white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a finger high head covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of yeast in the nose along with some notes of floral hops and spices. The spiciness particularly stands out in the finish.
T: Like the smell, flavors of peppery spices and yeast stand out in the overall taste, which has a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium bodied, clean and very dry on the palate with a high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink for the style and the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of LaCoursiere
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled in 2009, best by 10/2014.

A - Poured a slightly cloudy (I let a bit of sediment get in, otherwise it would have been very clear) golden yellow color with a two finger fluffy off-white head. The etching in the glass kept a nice thin head throughout. Moderate lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

S - Smells very clean and fresh with notes of pale malts and citrusy hops. It smells like a barley field with lemon and pine trees planted nearby (if there could be such a thing).

T - Biscuity malts up front with lemon juice and peppery spice in the middle with a flash of subtle citrus sweetness before fading to a fairly intense grassy/piney hop bitter finish. Excellent, like a hoppy version of Duvel.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth w/ very pleasant medium-light carbonation that compliments the flavor profile very well. A slight alcohol warmth.

O/D - I'm really impressed with this beer. I was already a fan of Belgian golden ales and IPAs, and this is an excellent combination of the two. If you're an IPA fan that is thinking about trying some Belgians, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle from State Line. I'm surprised I haven't had this before.

Gushing all over my desk, my carpet and the outline for my dissertation, this beer is almost all white foam with a light yellow body that's moderately hazy. The nose is bright and refreshing. Spicy Hallertau/ Saaz hops are noticeable immediately with an herbal bitterness. Behind it, there's a strong yeast expression with a rustic, saison-like spice with pepper and clove as well as cut grass and hay. The malt base is probably all pilsner malt here, it smells simple and clean, allowing the hops to shine through. Despite its relative youth, there's a mild Brett presence, with clove and some phenols. One of the better Belgian IPAs I've had.

The palate opens beautifully balanced, with a blend of Bretty clove phenols, moderately resiny hop flavors with some mint, herbaceousness and a little pine and a delicate cotton candy malt backbone. The malt is *really* simple here, a light mildly doughy, mildly honey-like sugar. Drying and bitter on the finish with lingering clove and Bretty phenols, this beer is light in body and highly carbonated. Despite this, it feels just right on the palate, a little creamy even. Drying, refreshing and well-crafted - what more could one want?

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bottled 12/2010 best by 12/2015

A: opened with an incredible amount of CO2 release, pours with a very frothy, lacey head, slight chill haze , darkish yellow color
S: classic Belgian golden ale, clean, crisp, with great earthy hops and great Belgina farmhous yeast
T: incredibly well-balanced beer, malt backbone with good bitter, earthy finish, strong yeast in finish also
M: well-balanced, you expect a ton of hop bitterness finish but it is very subdued - lively on tongue
O: great classic beer

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Photo of KrautAficionado
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy orange gold with a frothy, sizeable head that recedes slowly. Aroma of yeasty funk, floral hops, and sweet malts with citrus accents. Inital taste of grass, pine, and citrus, followed by an overpowering bitterness that lasts through the finish into sometime next Tuesday. Hops taste real fresh. I guess they don’t call it XX bitter for nothing. This is one of the bigger Belgians I’ve had, but isn’t truly balanced. It is what it is, and what it is is BITTER and tasty.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

33cl bottle poured into a balloon tulip:

A: Pours hazy light gold, about a finger of white head. Leaves just a little lacing.

S: To be honest, when I first started pouring, I got a little kick of skunk (not extreme, but there). Past that, I got a little musty and funky belgian yeast, sweet pale malts, spicy and floral hops, and a touch of citrus (mainly lemon zest) and alcohol. I'm guessing the hops have faded a bit as it's smelling more like a fresh hoppy saison than an IPA.

T: Lots of funky belgian yeast character with just a touch of skunk, lightly sugared light crisp pale malts, hops are fading but are mostly floral and very spicy. There's a good surge of bitterness (a little touch of pine resin) right up front that mellows to the semi-sweet malts in the middle, but come back strong in the finish. Finish is dry with some funky mist, floral hops, and lots of lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium body, high carbonation with a very fine bubbles that help the hop bitterness to really explode on the palate. Crisp dry finish.

O: This bottle was like a slightly skunked fresh saison. It was enjoyable but the skunk thing was just a little distracting (to be honest, I'm not sure if it's actual skunking or it's supposed to be THIS funky/musty/slightly almost spoiled, but the first rush of aroma was like a skunk walked by my window). It's an interesting beer, if it is indeed skunked and old, I could see how this could be solid when fresh. As is, I would probably be a little upset if this was my home brew.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow, slightly orange and the pour formed a big bubbly off-white head. Biscuit malt aroma along with a big burst of floral/fruity hops. Tangerine and mango, faint amounts of fresh hay. A strong aroma of champagne yeast blends in as well. Compared to the nose, the flavor is very different. The fruity side of the hops has been masked and it has become a lemon bite with an earthy hay finish. A lot of bread, slightly wheat, malt, which has a subtle sourness, make up the body. The yeast adds a spicy/sour fruit character and gives the creamy body a solid amount of carbonation. Pleasant lingering aftertaste and not a lot of bitter bite.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 33cl bottle, best before Aug 2014, drank on Fathers Day (19 June) 2011. Poured into a La Chouffe stemmed tulip glass.

Hazy look to the dull golden body, lively and with a good white head on top.

As you'd expect a pronounced hop aroma came from the glass, floral more than spicey. The taste followed the smells, with hints of spices now coming from the hop content. The alcohol is evident, but not overpowering, the hops keeping it in place.

Most likely the hoppiest Belgian beer I've had so far. I'm a malt man normally, but this was fine for me: any more hops however and I'd not be so generous with my review or scores.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 970 ratings