De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

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De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter
965 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: 965 |  Reviews: 516
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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 +5.2%
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 +10.6%
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 -26.3%
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 -6.6%
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 -13.3%
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 -3.9%
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 +0.2%
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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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Uncle Mike's. 11 oz. pour in a snifter.

Appearance: The tightly wound creamy white head is the first thing I notice. Full cloudy golden color.

Smell: The aroma is full of Belgian spice, yeast, and funk. Some bready malt in the background.

Taste: A biscuity malt starts off, but the intensity is not high. Mild sweetness and brisk spice before the hops step in. Mild citrus flavor complements the strong bitter herbal hops. The end oscillates between bitter and a little sweet.

Mouthfeel: Crisp to start, but the carbonation breaks down after a little bit. Medium body. Finishes dry.

Drinkability: Proper ABV, balanced Belgian IPA - quite quaffable.

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Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Deep Ellum 5/22

A: This beer pours a hazy straw yellow with a one finger of white head. Head recedes at a nice moderate pace and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is grassy and piney hops, hints of citrus, and a hint of yeast.

T: Taste is peppery, spicy hops at the forefront with just a bit of lemon mingled in. Middle mellows out with a bit of funk, some breadiness and yeast flavoring. Finish has a nice light, though very discernable grassy hop bite to it.

M: Lighter side of medium body, moderate to higher carbonation, a touch oily at the forefront with a dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, not too filling, nicely balanced, and I could certainly have a few of these.

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Photo of ottovon
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: it has a really nice straw yellow color with a nice white head.

S: it has a grassy, earthy hop smell, as well as a lemony citrus aroma.

T: some citrus and grassy hops. a little bready. it is quite bitter in the end.

M: it is thin and highly carbonated, but goes good with this beer.

D: it is a decent beer, but i have had much better belgian IPAs. its not something i would seek out.

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Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip, bottle thanks to freud! Huge white head, billowing, sticky, soapy etc etc, settling down to a thin layer, body is a deep orange, opaque with the yeast. Looks real good. Smell is spicy, bready, some alcohol, sweet malt, and a bit of hops. Smelled hoppier when I opened the bottle though, was big when I popped the cap. Taste is hoppy, but fairly balanced, the spices are right there too. Quite bitter in the aftertaste and a really dry, stinging finish as I gulp this. Pretty good Belgian IPA, only my second ever though, so I'm not one to judge!

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

11.2oz bottle, served in a pilsener type glass...

A - solid inch or so of insanely creamy and frothy white foam, settles to about half the size within a couple minutes. sits atop a very cloudy, bright gold colored beer. leaves a solid wall of lace behind after every sip, pretty impressive.

S - very sharp grassy hops, sweet-ish belgian yeast, lemon peel, crackers...

T - big bite of grassy and earthy hops with each sip, sweetened slightly by some doughy malt, lemon zest.

M - lots of biting prickly carbonation which melds nicely with the hop bittering, finishes incredibly crisp with some lingering grassy notes.

D - very good if you're in the mood. one of my new favorite styles...this one brings some real bite. can wear after a little but still delicious.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Vine Street pub in Denver.
A hazey, pale golden pour with quite a big, fluffy white head. Lacing was average, but a quick swirl would bring the head back a touch.
Aroma...first thing I get is spearmint. Weird, but good. Some mint and light cracker.
a nice combination of mint, clove and citrus in the taste. A soft citrus. Spice is paired well with the light malt. Tasty.
If anything, it's over-carbonated. The 'tingle' of the carbonation gets in the way of the bite. But it's still good. Malty, too. Finished it rather quickly.

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Photo of malmquna
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle stored on its side into a 25cl Hoegaarden glass (free with my purchase of three six-packs).

Billowy white head that stays high for a while and then settles into a nice covering lace. Seriously effervescent upon opening the bottle and pouring from a moderate distance. Cloudy (no doubt due to the horizontal storage), deep golden liquid. Not altogether impressive appearance, but that's usually the least of my worries.

The smell is fantastic. Sharp, sweet, floral hop notes. Some serious vegetal yeast aroma. This smells like beer should smell.

Great aroma begets great taste. This is an unexpected hop bomb, though the name of the beer would hint to it. Subtle malt for half a second, then wham...floral than fully bitter hops in your mouth. Finishes with a high hop astringency on the back of the tongue. Little room for anything else, though slight malt character and unfiltered yeastiness round out the rest.

I like this beer, but the finish is a little harsh. Perhaps my West Coast upbringing has been overpowered by a couple of years of Continental living, but the astringency in the finish contributes to a less-than-perfect mouthfeel.

Regardless of hop-beaten tongue, I'd say this is a very drinkable beer. I found this at a fine foods shop across from my new apartment and I think it may get a spot in the regular rotation. If you come across it, grab it immediately.

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Photo of berley31
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a moderate-sized, white head that had pretty good lasting power. Body is a light golden color, and clear.

S: Slightly fruity aroma, with spices coming through as well. Touch of bitterness and tartness. Very complex.

T: This is a very light and refreshing beer. Starts off fairly sweet and fruity, with a bit of breadiness to it, then finishes with a light bitterness that leaves the mouth fairly dry.

M: Light-bodied, slightly creamy texture, with average carbonation.

D: This is a really good Belgian IPA... after drinking so many North American IPAs, it's nice to go to the Belgian style to realize not every IPA has to knock you out with the hops. Very subtle and enjoyable.

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Photo of dbexpert
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Bright golden straw color, perfect white head builds to solid 1" on pour, leaving a faint skimming of head. Quickly awoken by a twirl of the glass!
S. Light sweet toast notes swollowed by bright lemon zest aromas.
T. Great. Malt offers a beautiful sweetness quickly balanced by delicate hop notes. Quite a bit of lemon grass comes through. Fantastic brew for light summer fair!
M. What it should be! Yeast is quite subdued. forget the sauvignon blanc, pair this with fish!
D. too drinkable! Can not wait to find on draft!

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Photo of hops4life
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All about the hop. Not the deepest, not the most complex, but provides good balance in a highly hopped beer without a ton of residual sugar. Light and dry, with a mild piney funk and an astringent aftertaste that would compliment sausage, cheese, or seafood. Might overwhelm delicate flavors in food or delicate palates of drinkers who are accustomed to a sweeter balance to their hop bombs. I'll go back for this a few times before finding its high note. A thoroughbred. Find the right course for this horse and you will have a winner.

Cellar temp 750ml decanted into a Cordendonk tall tulip glass. Hazy straw pour with a stiff, though short lived, head.

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Photo of zeff80
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden-orange color with a three-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled yeasty, funky, herbal and a little skunky. It was odd

T - The taste was herbal, a little musty and quite bitter. The hops were balance out by a caramel and toffee backbone.

M - This was very crisp and sharp. One of the driest finishes I've ever had in a beer. A medium bodied Belgian.

D - This is an interesting beer. The smell and taste were vastly different. Overall, it's good but not great.

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

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Whoa! Four fingers of cavernous, lumpy white head over pale gold body, a little hazy, with plenty of bubbly action. Leaves licheny-y lacing. Took four separate pours to empty the bottle for all the head.

Smell is lemony citrus, grassy, peppery. A very "fresh" smell. Getting some tea leaves. A little bit of a booze smell creeps in, too, but not real strong.

Sweet lemon & tea, followed quickly by an earthy dryness & piney bitterness. Bitterness hangs around, but finish includes a sweetness like lemon drop, white grape, & subtle toffee. A "coolness" like mint, but without the mint flavor. Tobacco kind of flavor, that

Full-bodied & foamy. Dryness makes me come back for more.

Another good one. So far all my favorite Belgian IPAs are the ones *made in* Belgium, & this is no exception. Easily drinkable, despite its complexity.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this on tap, into a tulip at the Map Room.

The beer pours a cloudy straw gold, typical beglian yeasty. There is two fingers of white head but its gone right away. Light lacing.

The aroma is super light, typical belgian ipa with some earthy hops.

The taste is the same, little hops, yeast, kind of boring belgian.

Nothing special here.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle shared via fisherman4- pours a golden hay with a very thick snow white head. Nose- earthy and citrus. Taste- quite bitter along with a brett musty undertone. Hops are grassy and herbal. The brett combined with the agressive hopping makes for a really dried out beer. Finish is very dry. Carbonation is fairly high and body is on the thin side. Interesting brew I'd like to revisit again.

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Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

excited to find this down in hobart. review 400!!

very light golden color. large white frothy head. high carbonation. medium cloudiness.

definite floral and grassy hops make a nice mix in this case. almost pilsner like. that extra bit of character does set it apart though. floral and fruity notes perhaps from the yeast.

bitterness leaves quite an impression. much less funk than other examples which suits me just fine. still has an obvious belgian character in the yeast without the funky twang. hops are certainly there as well and make up the major component of the flavor. good bitterness with just as much flavor. malt provides enough of a base for everything else to hang off of without being distracting.

quite a nice beer this. plenty of character but still light enough to leave you waiting for the next sip.

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Photo of philbe311
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been eager to try this one for a while... First thing that I notice as I'm about to pop open this 25.4oz bottle, is the fact that the label notes it's a 11.2oz bottle... Also, the best by date is not clearly notched...

A - Three plus fingers worth of tightly compact smooth creamy virginal white head... Retention is solid... A very pale lemony yellow color... Slightly hazy... Bursting with big bubbled quick than average paced carbonation reminiscent of a glass of champagne... A little bit of foam clings to the sides of the glass...

S - Sweet yet subdued lemon... Wheat... A mildly funky yeast... Grassy... Hints of apple and pear... An ever so faint whiff of cloves... A touch hoppiness...

T - The "hoppiest beer of Belgium" doesn't disappoint... A pungent euro hoppiness dominates... Lemon zest... A touch a white pepper... Slightly medicinal...

M - Consistently bone dry beginning to end... Sturdy and stiff yet light bodied... Biting carbonation... Even and balanced throughout...

D - A sophisticated and worldly sipper... Not my favorite, but a highly recommended and much appreciated Belgian IPA none the less... A brew the a wine drinker may truly appreciate... This one is going down fairly easy and without any complains...

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Two different bottles: one was set to expire in 2013 (two years old, from Half Time-NY) and one has a few months left (five years old, from Knightly-FL); surprisingly I prefer the older bottle. The flavors mellowed only slightly, but seemed to meld substantially.

A – It pours a hazy peach-gold hue with a very nice fluffy white cap of foam. Good retention, but little lace.

S – Not as overwhelmingly hoppy as advertised, but discernibly bitter and very inviting. Grassy and herbal essences dominate, but there are minor nuances of coriander, alcohol and caramel as well. The fresher bottling smelled a tad more of alcohol, and was generally more astringent.

T – The taste is the picture of balance; the hop is certainly abundantly and prominently featured, but it is matched so sublimely with the rest of the elements of this brew that it never becomes obtrusive. The hop tends towards a very herbal profile; resiny. The malt is more a fusion of light caramel flavors and astringent pilsener-pale malt. There are also impressions of grass, celery and coriander. Just a very delicious, albeit understated, set of flavors going on here.

M – Very refreshing and yet full enough to feel substantial; also nice effervescence throughout.

D – Extremely sessionable. Pairs as well as a pairing can be.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 965 ratings
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