De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

955 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: 955 |  Reviews: 509
Photo of gfreed
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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 -14.2%
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 +1.2%
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 +6.6%
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 +4.7%
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%
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 -9.3%
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 -25.5%
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%
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 -2.7%
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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Photo of Rutager
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear, golden yellow with a finger of white head that lasts a while and leaves a little lace. A few floaties present, despite the careful pour.

Smell. Belgian yeast and light toasted malt with some floral hops.

Taste. Spicy hops, light grains. Slightly sweet with a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. Good beer. Not a big Belgian fan, but the heavy-handed hops in this one made me happy.

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

Hazed. Pale yellow color. White foamy head that sticks to the glass. Aroma is fruity and resinous. Get some bitterness in the nose too. Medium intensity. Very inviting. Taste is bitter... first thing that hits me its the bitterness. It feels good. Very very dry. Makes you want to drink more :)

Overall, this beer is good. Easy drinker. Very refreshing. One of the best belgian IPA I've tasted so far.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy golden copper with a massive 1 1/2" white soapy head that dissipated slowly.

S: Floral and hoppy.

T: Metallic, floral, hoppy, bitter, alcohol.

M: Hops, bitter, metallic somewhat which makes me wonder if this bottle is a little on the old side...

O: I kind of expected more from this beer since it is touted as a world class beer and is offered throughout different beer stores, but I don't think I would buy this one again. Whether that is a matter of freshness or not, I am not sure as this is the first time I have tried this beer. But it said on the side that it should be consumed by March 21, 2015 so I guess this isn't the case...

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Photo of bfields4
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large but tight white head provides a lot of lace. Hazy straw yellow body.

Belgian yeast aroma, green apples, sweet lemony and citrus malt smells. Just a bit of herbalness from the hops not usually found in a Belgian beer.

Herbal hops hit first a little lighter than I would have though. The taste is a much different beast than the aroma. There's a sweet pearish taste that finishes with a bitter twang.

A nice beer easy to drink and light bodied. I was expecting a little bit more from the flavor, but not bad. I'd like to try this one on tap sometime.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A- A slightly hazy orange-yellow liquid with many streams of rising carbonation giving way to a 1 cm thick and creamy white head that has excellent retention.

S- Some citrus and a touch of peaches and white bread. Not that unique or impressive.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma. Not particularly bitter, but it is tasty.

M- Exceedingly creamy. Very smooth with just a slight coating to the mouth on the finish.

O- Overall, it is well executed but overall not that memorable. Drinks well for the ABV. The mouthfeel is what makes it for me.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy straw colour witha white foamy head that retains and laces.

S - Yeast and sweet malts.

T - Nice biscuit up front witha little pepper and sweetnes following. The hops are there in the background, and sweet on the finish.

M - Medium body and low to medium carbonation

O - A very solid BIPA

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

Best before Jan 2015. Served cool in my Westy chalice. My first experience with a Belgian IPA.

Nice hazy golden color with white lacing. Not much head although it was colder than it maybe should have been.

Sweet, Belgian yeasty smell. Not hoppy to the nose.
Taste is something I would imagine if a tripel mated with a English IPA. Typical Belgian yeast with candi sugar sweetness. Hint of the malt although yeast dominates. Hoppy bitterness with bitterness of nobel hops. Not the in-your-face hoppiness of an american IPA but bitter none the less.
Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, not as carbonated as I was expecting but good. Overall this is a nice beer. I am glad I tried this. A bit pricey for a daily drinker but worth coming back to again.

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Photo of warnerry
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

best by April 2014, so bottled April 2009

Pours a hazy straw color with one finger of off-white head. Head has good retention but doesn't leave much lacing behind.

Smells slightly funky to begin with, followed by a lot of florals and a subtle citrus. Also a bit of spiciness, earthy and bready aromas.

Taste is a nice combination of earthy hops, actually quite bitter upfront, followed by nice backbone of biscuit malts, belgian yeast. Also a bit of pepper and other spices, with a very dry finish.

Light, crisp mouthfeel with a sharp drying feeling on the finish.

One of the better Belgian IPAs I've had.

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4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale straw gold pours into my snifter glass. Cloudy apperance. Headed with 2 cm dense foam. Good retention & carbonation. Fruity & hoppy aroma, floral hints felt too, opens the door to a subtle & kind bitterness in your mouth. Well balanced flavors & dry bitterness will remain in your palate. Medium body. Excelent drinkability & refreshing sensation. May I have one more please?

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Photo of GRG1313
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"The Hoppiest Beer of Belgium" boasts the label.

Dark gold with a gorgeous pure white thick egg white peaked type of head.

Nose was all Belgian sugar, sweet banana and cooked peaches. No typical hop tones in the nose.

Mouthfeel is thin and without character.

Flavors are bitter pine hop with lemon/pine tones. There is a lemon citrus character to the front and mid palate.

Finish is "heavy" pine bitter character.

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Photo of foogerd
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy yellow body with a billowing white foamy head.

S- Light yeasty fruits, some phenols some sweet malts.

T- Sweet biscuity malts and spicy peppery yeast, lots of bitter phenols, still manages to be drinkable and tasty but I cant totally shake out the bitterness. The hops also play a role in the bitterness so that tones it down somewhat. Sweet honey biscuits at the finish.

M- Thick and nice feel on the palette.

D- Abv becomes apparent from the bitterness of the phenols although inherently i think it wouldnt have been felt. Some sips were very tasty others just bothered me from the phenols.

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Photo of plfahey
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Medium straw yellow, with a slight haze. Thick, pillowy white head with good retention and awesome lacing.

Aroma-Woodsy, earthy, herbal hops. Light fruit esters (pear, orange, slight cherry). Grainy malt, hint of rose-like/peppery alcohol. Some spicy, clove-like phenolics. Strange, burnt graham cracker/toasty malt aroma as well.

Flavor-Light, grainy malt flavors, with low herbal hop flavors. Esters are low to none. Relatively high presence of phenols-peppery, spicy, a little bit clovey, and a hint of plastic. Lots of yeast flavor. Hop bitterness is medium.

Mouthfeel-Medium light, with medium low carbonation. Relatively smooth.

Good, though the hops are overwhelmed by yeast-derived phenols in the flavor, which is not necessarily a bad thing, although the slight plastic-y phenols detract from the overall enjoyment of the beer.

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Photo of atis
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle

Pours hazy yellow with dense white head with excellent retention, leaving beautiful, thick and dense lacing. Aroma is citrus and floral hops with lively spicy yeast, some sweetness.

Taste is herbal hops with considerable bitterness, hints of grapefruit and dry finish. In the middle of glass funky flavours can be felt and fruity esters (citrus) become more pronounced. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, I would have liked slightly more carbonation.

The best Belgian IPA I have had so far, certainly will buy and enjoy it again.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a slightly hazed piss colored yellow with a faint thin white head.

S-the nose is quite pleasant with just a hint of the belgian yeast up front as the hop showcase shines through with citrusy and floral hops behind the lightly spiced yeast.

T-the flavors are subtle and quite enjoyable. a nice yeasty presence with a fair bit of white peppery spice, the hops transition smooth and easily, rather floral hop presence with some nice citrus undertones.

M-it has a medium to light body with a certain smoothness to it yet lively on the the back of the throat from a lively carbonation with a semi dry finish.

D-nicely balnaced and very easy and tasty to drink. mild yet pleasant flavors, nice belgian yeast presence and a well integrated hop profile.

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Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split 2 ways. Thanks to MRMOJORISIN for sharing.

A: Poured - relatively gently - into a Piraat tulip-type glass. Body is a slightly hazy light-golden in color with a 1/2-finger whitish head. Leaves behind good lacing.

S: First impression: slightly skunky. Florally, earthy hops over light-struck hops.

T: This one lives up to its name - it is definitely bitter - in the American way, not in the way that an English ESB is "bitter." Light biscuity malt up front but it's overwhelmed by bitterness from grassy, florally hops. Finishes with lingering dry, lemony, mouth-puckering bitterness.

M: Medium in heft; slightly gritty feel which, along with that lingering hop bitterness, makes me think of resiny, fresh hops.

D: Good, if you like a bitter beer. Otherwise, that bitterness will slow you down.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
4.08 out of 5 based on 955 ratings.
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