De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke

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De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter
977 Ratings
De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Brasserie 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 977 |  Reviews: 521
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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Photo of richmof
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From the bottle this time, which I prefer to the draught, pours a golden orange into its own tulip. Frothy head, which laces down.

11.2oz bottle, best by 10/13. A careful pour elicits a modest two finger head atop a hazy gold elixir with yeasty swirls.

Earthy hops and citrus on the nose, the same flavours continue in mouth. This does what it says on the tin. It is all about the hoppy bitterness. Yum.

I drink this a session beer when I can and hope I never tire of it.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, best by 10/13. A careful pour elicits a modest two finger head atop a hazy gold elixir with yeasty swirls.

Aroma is of dried, yellowed hops, noble funkiness and lemon zest.

Flavor is piercingly bitter, but not as tart as, say, an Orval. An old world musty hop flavor comes through, but it's very nice. Dried, earthy hops dominate. The front of the drink has some light sweetness, followed by a very bitter and dry finish. Belgian yeastiness comes through to remind you of this beer's origins. Feel is highly effervescent, yet creamy. Quite a delight to quaff, and easy too, at six percent. Dare I utter sessionable and Belgian in the same sentence?

A deliciously dry Belgian IPA. "A-"

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

"The hoppiest beer of Belgium". I can't make out the best by date but the bottle says it is good for 5 years, I'm sure it is best fresh though.

It pours into my tulip a murky gold/orange with a huge 4 finger white head.

There is a definite pungent hoppiness to it that just attacks the nostrils. I like it alot, the hops are citrusy and floral with a bit of spice, decidedly noble.

The taste is more balanced than the smell, with a big hop bitterness in the end but smooth malty flavors such as candi sugar and caramel as well. Perhaps a bit of raisin too. The hops are bitter and grassy, very nice.

It may be the hoppiest, but it isn't the best Belgian IPA though it is solid.

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Photo of markbatonrouge
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I liked this beer well-enough -- there's a funkiness about it that makes it unusual enough that I'm glad I tried it. I'm just not sure it's appealing enough to want more...

a: cloudy yellow/orange; thin but pretty, lacey head.

smell: here's where the funk first hit me. while eventually some fruity hoppiness came out (never very much), the dominant smell was a sourness -- maybe old hay, barnyard, flowers that are starting to compost. Sour aromas can be enticing, bringing a savoriness to the table; they're certainly very interesting.

taste: the sourness is clearly there in the taste as well, and then the hoppy bitterness comes in. There were times when I like the combination of sourness and bitterness; but more often I thought they didn't blend that well.

mouthfeel: a nice effervescence; perhaps a bit thin.

drinkability: I liked it, but mostly because it was interesting and different. It's not going to make my top 10 list of beers I can't wait to drink. I might have one again sometime, when I'm in the mood for something different and a bit funky.

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Photo of meeekyh
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 1.2 oz bottle that claims it is 'the hoppiest beer of Belgium' into a St. Bernardus goblet.

The Head is bone-white, billowy and leaves nice lacing as it departs.

Smells are strong grapefruit and other citrus, spice and the elusive quality I ascribe to the pirate beers (most of which are Belgian IPA's).

Taste is bitter, tart, yeasty bread, caramel, and spice. The taste seems to go on and on. I am pleased.

Mouthfeel is light, to my surprise. The carbonation is also light but not to any detriment. Finish is almost neutral but slightly dry.

The drinkability of this beer is a high as one could wish for either an IPA or a Belgian and for both is tops the chart for sure. I imagine the low-by-comparison ABV of 6.2 contributes to that.

Get some, share it if you can. It is just likely to bring some joy to the lucky recipient.


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Photo of Dawkfan
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy yellow/light orange with 2 fingers of soapy white head. Head retention moderate, lacing is good.

S- Reminiscent of a Belgian Pale Ale, fruity, yeasty, and a barnyard aroma. If I really try, I think I can pick up a little citrus aroma from the hops. The hops are barely detectable, but the smell is enjoyable.

T- Funk and Belgian yeast and then out of nowhere the bitterness hits you right in the end and lingers long after it's gone. This is by far the driest IPA I've ever had, it's clean on the palate and one of the more interesting flavors I've had in a beer before.

M- Body is a little to thin, but the carbonation feels right.

D- I need to seek out more Belgian IPA's, what a unique flavor profile in this one.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very pale yellow with a loose egg shell white head that still sets, holds and sheets. Sweet corn, some soap, yeast, cloves and noble hops all in there in the nose. Malts are hay and green fruit with stinging anise, herb and lemon pit hops. Prickly and gassy with a long, aspirin leave. Light with no stick.

A very bitter pale ale more than any kind of IPA; all IBUs over hop flavor.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy, hazy golden. Large, foamy white head with a good amount of lacing left over.

S - Lots of hop flavors including some lemon and orange citrus, pine, grassy, and floral.

T - Very hoppy beer with taste similar to the smell. Grassy and citrus and some pine being the most apparent. Minimal malt taste. Some medicinal taste as well. A bit of tart/funky yeast flavors.

M - Fairly light bordering medium body. Normal carbonation, and somewhat creamy. Drying effect at the end.

D - Not great. Due to the bitterness and drying effect it is not all that refreshing. Not bad flavors though, and I wouldn't mind drinking again. Just probably one would do me for a night.

Notes: Most bitter, and probably the hoppiest, Belgian IPA I have tried. That said it is definitely a Belgian (yeast). Good every once in a while beer, especially if you are craving hops and a bit of funk.

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Photo of TommyW
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very clear, light, golden body with tall white head.

S- Nice aroma of clean German-style hops with notes of fruity sweetness and phenols.

T- Light malt with some Belgian sugar sweetness, the taste is dominated by the clean European hop profile. The hops leave a clean, bitter finish. Very much on the dry side.

M- Medium and crisp body with a dry finish.

D- A very nice Belgian IPA, very clean and refreshing.

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Photo of dgilks
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly musty aroma with hints of tart tropical fruit. Some tropical fruit hops and citrus also come through. It's interesting.

It pours a slightly hazy, yellow colour with a billowing, large white head. Decent retention but not much lace.

The flavour has notes of Belgian Tripel but it lacks the yeast character I would have expected. On the other hand some nice tropical fruit notes come through in the background. The real star is a crisp, lingering bitterness which works with the beer. It is different for sure and I would appreciate either some more hop flavour or some yeast character to help balance the bitterness.

Light body with moderately-high carbonation. I get a bit of alcohol warming too. Good.

This is an interesting beer. it certainly isn't (and shouldn't be) a Belgian IPA. This seems to strike what the brewery is seeking to do. Nonetheless it could be refined a bit further to round out some edges which grate a little bit. While my review differs quite substantially from others, the bottling date on my bottle indicates that this beer is under a year old so freshness shouldn't be an issue.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL in de dolle glass in ghent. Reviewed 7/12/2009.

Ar: floral and smooth citrus resin, smooth and resinous

Ap: hazy peach with fluffy dense head, good retention, smooth tenacious lace

F: Hop resin, smooth citrus, mandarin and grapefruit, light candy sweet, smooth strong bitterness, light piney, tropical fruit, very smooth persistent bitterness, clean, Fruity and heavier floral

M: Med/high carbonation, medium mouthfeel, clean bitterness

O: mild but very smooth, lots of bitterness, great hoppy belgian beer

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with greenish reflections probably due to a resinous hops. The nose is hoppy and mouth following the same path is to be both safe, tough and bitter. The palate is intense and shows the power and quality of hopping. The holding of mouth is also impressive. It also presents similarities with Orval where, vis-à-vis the latter, it gains in power hop what it loses in complexity. A beer of high quality.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow orange, one finger foamy head when first poured that settles down to a thin lacing, no carbonation.

The aroma - sour, spicy floral, lemony-pepper, slight resins and hops. The taste has a lemony pepper tartness in the background mixed with some malt that tries to fight to the top of the pallette to be noticed more but gets brutally knocked down with a massive amount of grapefruit hop flavoring. The hops linger for a LONG time.

Mouthfeel is prickly as the bubbles dance on the tongue and feels a little grainy but not overly harsh. The body is on the lighter side of medium but thin, is crisp, and finishes dry. As the hops start to fade a few minutes after the sip, the tart lemon taste is slight and starts to settle in while the dryness subsides and everything goes back to normal.

I love hoppy beers and since the ABV is low, this is a very drinkable beer. I would most enjoy this in the warm summer months while sitting on the deck.

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 977 ratings