De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

957 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: 957 |  Reviews: 510
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

A: Pours a hazy beige color with a light white medium head which doesn't leave many lacings
S: Very Belgium. Belgium 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, earthy and bitter (very good)
M: Medium body to an IPA. Medium carbonation
D: High. Refreshing. The "low" ABV helps a lot and the bitterness is a must. Highly suggested to bitterness lovers

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Memphis and Cumberland in the streets of Philadelphia.

Double X comes off the spout looking bright golden with yellow highlights infused underneath a clump of white foam that leaves minimal stick. A nice ring around the glass. Scents dont exactly burst out at you, obviously there is some hops and very low traces of malt sweet backing. Some warming brings a fuller bouquet with small citrus, grass clippings, and the 'bitter'ness deepens a bit. First swigs Im just like 'eh' but overtime this did turn out to be quite bitter but not overpowering. Not really tropical more down to earth. Small lemons and grass, light malt sweet back, light as can be. Pretty bitter on the mouth this lives up to it's name. The low ABV makes for less malt and sugars used so this is on the hoppy side, I liked it, alot.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Bottled in January 2010 - best before January 2015. Pours 80% head - creamy, frothy and cloud-like with a bright white hue. Body is pale, orange-gold with a semi-hazy clarity. Head eventually settles into a solid 1/8th inch skim with thick, swaths of porous lacing coating the sides of the glass and exhibiting excellent adhesion. Nose expresses Belgian yeast, citric acid and an earthy/medicinal bitter quality. Taste is entirely less bitter than I anticipated - citrus, perhaps a little minty and a medicinal bitterness that slowly dissipates between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light with an assertive carbonation that approaches prickly and gives the body more presence. A solid Belgian IPA, but hard to believe it is the hoppiest beer of Belgium (per the label). Nonetheless, quite easy drinking for the style.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 FL, OZ. bottle into a Delerium branded tulip glass (beer is 6% ALC and brewed in Wevelgem, Belgium).

A: Pours a cloudy yellow hue with a decent head that dissipates quickly, but sticks around in small amounts for the entire brew; some lace that clings to the glass as well - very nice but not out of the ordinary.

S: Sweet graininess with a sour hoppy finish. Some liquor and champagne yeast in there as well.

T: Not far off from the smell - sweet and hoppy, dry and malty - very well balanced with a champagne-like finish; very dry and smooth but with very evident hop in the mix as well.

M: Overall, I think it's light bodied even though it has some aspects of a medium bodied brew. Very dry and sweet, but not overwhelming; refreshing and grassy too. Perfectly balanced!

D: Easy drinker. Pleasant balance of bitter hop and sweet malt.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Light yellow mildly foamy.

S-Smells like a belgian IPA. Nothing like its American counterparts. Fairly bitter but nothing shocking. Yeasty.

T-Yes,it was bitter but not nearly as complex as any respecteable American IPA I have tried. Grassy, a bit floral and earthy. A bit sour.

M-Light and carbonated.

D- Quite drinkable. Alcohol well masked.

I wouldn't pick it over a good Amerian IPA but thats just my opinion. Lacks the hop complexity that I love so much.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle from Vinnin Liquors Swampscott Ma.
Light golden beer. Very clear. Nice white head that laces the glass every sip.
Smells of hops, but very unfamiliar odors for me.
Slow progression of some really unique and interesting flavors. strong bitterness, but it fits into the range of flavors like a puzzle piece. Balanced and suiting. Every sip tastes better. I keep noticing new complexities. Clean citrousy hops, spicy. Not very scorching to the palate. I like American IPA's more, but this is a pretty interesting beer. worth trying.

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Photo of Pencible
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy light gold with fluffy white head.
S: It smelled like citrus and earthy metallic hops, with sour Belgian yeast an dsome bready malt.
T: It tasted like bready wheat malt with sour Belgian yeast and bitter lemon zest and grapefruit. It had a bitter and metallic aftertaste.
M: It was thin with lots of carbonation, like champagne.
D: This was not super clean, but it was definitely a hoppy Belgian ale. Body was ok, and it wasn't difficult to drink aside from the lasting bitterness. But I'm generally not impressed with this beer.

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Photo of chickenm
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330mL bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a big white head. The aroma is a little funky with grass, citrus, and yeast. Flavor is rather light with citrus, pepper, grass, and some bitterness. This is also quite dry. Decent beer, but not one of my favorites.

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Photo of rudzud
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from at the Armsby Abbey on 8/11

A - Cloudy straw with a nice one finger head with a TON of lacing. This was crazy I've never had a beer with this much lacing to it.

S - Smells like what one would expect. Floral hops.

T - Very solid bitter. Nice and hoppy with lots of citrus rind taste.

M - Low carbonation resulting in a rather heavey feel.

D - Really good dry hoppy finish. Extremely drinkable really making you want more with each sip.

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Photo of peabody
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out cloudy yellow to orange/amber. Three fingers of very creamy white suds and lots of lacing.
Smell is floral hop and some Belgian yeast. Mostly though, the grapefruit rind hop is the star here.
Flavor is a little dirty and bitter. After the whirlwind XXbitter hits, you get a nice sweet malt finish.. I would say this is a very balanced IPA.
Clean mouthfeel even though the maltyness stays with you for a while.
I would down a couple of these bad boys if I had them.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly-hazed straw color with a good-sized white head that eventually makes its way down to about an eighth of an inch of lacing. Nose is slightly sweet and grassy with a wee bit of hay. Some pear and milder fruits. Taste is similar with a bit of bitterness coming through alongside a bit more earth. Mouthfeel is beautifully done; wonderful carbonation and a silky creaminess. Excellent drinkability. Another big hit from De Ranke.

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

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Blond with an opaque, cloudy body and a finger of white foam that recedes to a collar.

The aroma is yeasty and hoppy. Lots of spiciness from both the yeast and hops, citrus and fresh herbs, pepper, a little bubblegum.

Spicy hop flavors, some bubblegum and white pepper from the yeast. Quite dry and bitter, herbal and floral. Medium-bodied, fairly crisp. Pale malts show themselves mid palate, but the finish is a bitter herbal hop assault. Pretty tasty stuff.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled shared with drabmuh at my place last weekend. Thanks Matt! Review from notes.

XX Bitter appears a hazy straw yellow hue with a massive whipped meringue head and an ample supply of caked-on lacing. Belgian yeast, hops, and straw make up the aromas. This beer tastes exactly like one would/should expect from a Belgian IPA. The hops are quite present and taste really nice, especially paired with the heavy Belgian yeast component. The carbonation level is solid and the beer has a decent feel. Overall this is a well-crafted brew, and a solid example of the style.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on June 26th 2010 at Novare Res in Portland ME. Served in a 12oz De Ranke tulip for $8.50. Review transcribed from notes.

Thick hazy golden yellow brew with a thin white head. Smells of sweet and bitter orange rind, honey, some faint lemongrass hops. Fairly sweet. Taste is strong lemongrass hop on a thick and sweet honey and malt background. Faint yeast, good bready feel. Leaves wisps of foam on the glass. Some spicy coriander and a hint of clove as it warms. Body is fairly thick but the carbonation cuts through to give it a crisp and balanced feel.

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Photo of thekanna
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Green bottle wrapped in paper; best before date 11/2014.

A: Bright, hazy gold with a relatively large white head with turbulent pour; minimal lacing in spots down the side of the glass.

S: Subtle floral sweetness, a bit of sugar in there, some yeast and hops subdued in the background.

T/M: Very smooth tulip, yeast, and phenol flavor; hop bitterness is prominent at the end but comes as a suggestion, not as a slap in the face like most highly-hopped American IPAs. Tiny, effervescent carbonation, slightly thin but suitable for the style.

D: Extremely drinkable, improves with every sip. An excellent brew.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 2014 so this is a "fresh" bottle. I wanted to drink it fresh because this is supposedly an IPA. Served in a tulip glass.

Beer is yellow and forms a giant head of tiny bubbles that completely coat the glass with lacing. Carbonation is moderate looks good. Mild hazy.

Aroma is sweet and mildly hoppy aroma. Some piny and earthy hops.

Beer is light in body and finishes a little dry. Bitterness builds in the back of the palate. There isn't much sweetness up front and the yeast / bready character with the nice Belgian yeast esters are also rather subdued. Drinkability is good and mouthfeel is fine. Overall its a little thin and a little too dry.

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Photo of Amalak
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had off the tap at the beer garden in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Radagast, I think is the name.
A- Nice crisp gold color, clear and bubbly. Some head, and some lacing.
S- slight lemony scent.
T- I'm not as in love with this as my friends were. It's smooth with a slight sourness. Bitter, but not overly. It has a biting taste in the back of the mouth. Can't put my finger on it, but it is just every so slightly lacking...something.

UPDATE: I had this a second time and it was very weird: every time I took a sip it exploded into it wasn't actual flowing liquid. It was actually had to drink. I will have to try again to see if this was a one-off thing.

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

PIB tap-version 7.17.2010, sampled upon recommendation of Alex Ganum at Upright.

Very minimal white head, leaving a small ring around outside of glass, no lacing. Strawish orange body, no visible carbonation, not sure this is the freshest of kegs. Very very hoppy nose with some lemon notes and a bit of white pepper presence as the beer warmed. The taste starts upfront with a firm malt backbone, not too sweet, may be pilsener malt, a really hoppy middle, a bit grassy and floral, leading to a quite bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is medium light, decent effervescence, leading to a fairly dry finish probably attributable to the Belgian yeast. May have lost a bit of the hop presence due to a bit aged of a keg, but this was certainly one of the best Belgian IPAs I've had. Recommended.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

@ Craigie on Main (I know, ooh la la).

Deep maize color with a large, billowing white head. Foam dissipates from the sides in leaving a little foam island and lacey trails. Bottle has best of date of January 2015.

Lots and lots of medicinal hops with a fresh pine cone. Just a whiff of malt sugars underneath.

While that same medicinal/pine cone bitter is the star of the show I found the mouthfeel and malt to catch my attention more often than not. Mouthfeel is light and airy with pricks from the hops and the malt has just a tinge of butter which lends to a whipped egg yolk impression. Funny that in an amply bitter IPA I would be contemplating the hops least.

Brewer's Gold and Hallertau don't really do it for me hopwise but I could see if that's you're thing this is a great beer.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold, with an ample head and foamy bubbles that leave curtains of lacing on the glass.

Smells malty, salty, hoppy, with a tad of butterskotch.

Tastes of caramel malts, then fresh green bitter hops kick in. Very fresh, green tasting hops. Like hommelbier, but more hoppy.

Body is medium and the carbonation gives it a creamy mouthfeel.

This is a classic highly-hopped Belgian IPA, with an underlying Belgian malt/yeast structure. Very drinkable at 6.2%, a sessionable beer of choice for summer drinking if you like bitters. Cheers!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So this is the hoppiest beer from Belgium as their marketing department claims? Ugh.

Lame yellow hazy appearance that isn't special. Not bad. Aroma, meh, banana, clove, orange, but no hops. Taste, a bitter beer, sure. Hops? No. Taste? Not really, just bitterness. Like someone just boiled hops for 2 hours, and did nothing else with it. Like an imperial Belgian hefe I guess. Some lemon and bitterness. Enjoy!
Too expensive to be drinkable. Nothing to appreciate mouthfeel, other than bitterness. Too one dimensional.

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Photo of gatornation
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle pored a hazy golden color with a huge fluffy white head ( its a belgian no aggressive pour here) it recedes in a timely manner just enough for it to warm a little more... clinging lace abounds..smell is light floral aromas,musty malts and bread,with yeast and spice..this has a malty musty sweet floral hop taste not overwhelming but more sweetness with a hint of bittering hops in the finish with a musty grain taste ..mouth feel is medium but light for a belgian ipa ..overall its way drinkable and the flavors augment as it warms but not the tastiest BIPA ive ever had especially for the price..wanted to try this one glad i did will buy again and would love to have on tap

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Photo of Jeffo
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've looked at and passed up this one on many occasions at Bert's Bierhuis. Finally decided to pick one up.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 3 finger medium-thin fluffy white head that mounds out of the glass. Decent retention as well. Amber orange in color, opaque, with medium carbonation evident. Head fades to a thin foam cap and a ring, leaving some immediate chunky lacing down the glass. A film remains until the end and leaves a bit of lacing as it drinks away.

SMELL: Pale and grainy malt with some pineapple sweetness. Some flowery hops and a bit of soapiness in there too that I could do without. Not off-putting though.

TASTE: Grainy and pale malt up front, and moves into a flowery hoppy and bitter finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste is very bitter and full of flowery notes. Touches of pineapple sweetness adds a hint of balance to the bitterness.

PALATE: Medium-thin body and quite light on the palate. Semi-creamy, goes down smooth and finishes somewhat dry.

OVERALL: As bitter as it says it is. I can believe that this at least competes for the most bitter beer in Belgium. Enjoyable enough, but a little one dimensional. Would drink again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Tawny gold with a huge, thick-capping white head. It's typically Belgian, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. If nothing else, it's a looker.

S - Hmm. Surprisingly subdued. Sweet malt and medicinal qualities are prominent. There's also a sharply grassy, haylike note, but it doesn't come out and smack you like you'd expect.

T - Follows the nose pretty well. It's not a powerhouse like other Belgian IPAs. I had it once before(as my first Belgian IPA) and was disappointed. Now I can appreciate what it's going for. Sweet malts followed by spicy Belgian yeast leading into lemony, grassy noble hop flavors. The finish is dry and the bitterness that's there just lingers and lingers.

MF - On the lighter side, slightly slick and prickly with carbonation. Considering the lighter ABV for the style, I think the feel works well.

D - It's not nearly as big as other Belgian IPAs and doesn't have the depth of flavors some of them offer, but I can definitely appreciate something that isn't going to sink me after one. It's hot and humid out and De Ranke XX Bitter manages to be refreshing while providing ample flavor.

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey,
A: huge 2+ finger fluffy head fades at a medium pace over hazy golden orange yellow colored beer, lots of sticky lacing.

N: Lots of Belgian golden malts, light malty aromas, the some floral light spicy hops, lower alpha, a little sweet as well.

T: Somewhat sweet with more Belgian malts, fluffy tasting malts, some hop bitterness with spicy and floral hops, light grassy and citrus hops as well, very slight astringent as well, some wheat with banana and light fruits, and even a little lemon.

M: Medium body loaded with carbonation.

F: The bitterness comes out more on the finish as it builds especially, and a little more astringent too. Grassy earthy spicy hops with a little citrus are the key items. It's somewhat dry as well, with some lingering Belgian malts and a looong bitterness.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
4.08 out of 5 based on 957 ratings.
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