De Ranke XX Bitter | Brouwerij De Ranke

De Ranke XX BitterDe Ranke XX Bitter
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 961 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: 961 |  Reviews: 512
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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Photo of PartyBear
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a cloudy yellow/orange body, with a big rocky white head, and very heavy carbonation. Very floral aromas with a heavy citrus slant, slightly soapy, and an unmistakable Belgian yeastiness. The taste is like the nose with a clear floral character upfront, followed by a bitter hoppiness. There is a sweet malt back bone which has a butter popcorn taste, and a light caramel. Really great beer, very light and drinkable.

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

Pours vibrant pale gold with a lively carbonation feeding a large head.
Nose shows juicy light fruit, especially green apples, pears, and white grapes, along with piney, resinous hops, and some sweet bready malt and light, sweet candi sugar.
These aromas transfer well through to the flavours, with more light fruit and bready malt before a prominent, but slightly grainy/metallic bitterness rolls through.
Completely missed the brett, its nothing like Orval as the description suggests.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, best before the end of May 2014. The beer pours a hazy gold color with about a half inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is lemon, peppery spice, Belgian yeast and a bit of grapefruit. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, with the addition of a nice lingering bitter hoppy aftertaste. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's well carbonated and finishes dry. Drinkability is pretty good, it goes down easy and it's very enjoyable. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy yellow-copper with a huge, rocky white head. Okay lacing. Soapy, herbal, earthy aroma. Some funk, but it may be from the yeast-hop mix. Effervescent mouthfeel, dry finish. Very hoppy, bitter, earthy bite with faint Belgian funk and spice. Kind of a weird blend reminiscent of Urthel's Hop It. I don't know, it just feels unbalanced.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a muddy dark yellow-orange colour, with a possibly hallucinatory green tinge. Head is a pleasantly full two fingers of creamy foam, off-white in colour, and a little rocky. It collapses after a while, but leaves some reasonably good lacing. Pretty decent looking brew, all up.

Some biscuit and green spice on the nose - quite herbal, with a sweet vanilla Belgian yeast character on the back. Round and smooth, it gets better as it warms, becoming more mellow and a little sweeter, providing a little more grain sweetness. Very pleasant.

Taste is round and succinct, very subdued, but very classy. A very pleasant classic Belgian pale sweetness on the front, hints of vanilla and shortbread, before a really pleasant green hop character on the back, like crushed vegetation. It's a really mellow and pleasant juxtaposition. Mouthfeel is spot on, a smooth entry to go with the roundness on the palate, but with a spritzy finish to match the hop note.

An exceptionally drinkable brew, and one which highlights what the Belgians do best. I've recently been drinking huge and flavoursome US craft brews, and this beer puts them in context. It shows what you can do with a more moderate taste profile, by blending disparate elements flawlessly, and providing impeccable balance. This is a big winner.

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Photo of jbowers56
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden yellow colour. 3 fingers of pillowy white head. Dissipates fairly quickly but settles in to a nice cloudy layer.

Very nicy fruity, citrussy sharp aroma. A bit of yeastyness.

Citrussy stuff up front - quite sharp. Immediate taste is sourish bitterness, then some fruits followed by some warming malt sweetness. A very fine beer.

Perfect mouthfeel for the style. Just enough carbonation to balance the sweetness that enters at the end.

Good drinkability for a belgian pale.

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

Some green-yellow color to the cloudy liquor--large bubbled head, but it leaves some nice lace.

Traditional pale Belgian aromas, including some barnyard smells.

I like the bitterness--from mid-taste through the finish and aftertaste. There's a good malt base. Lots of ground pepper. Spritzy but with a good body.

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Photo of diechipmunk
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from tap into a tulip. Cloudy golden with 2 fingers fluffy white head that that leaves very nice lacing.

S: Smell of pine and citrus with a touch of malt and the mildest trace of Belgian funk.

T: Taste was classic bitter with a some Belgian yeast, lemon, pepper, and a little something else, clove maybe? Nice dry finish. one of the best tasting bitters I've had this side of the Atlantic.

M: Medium body, smooth and flavorful. Exceedingly pleasant.

D: Superb! It has the smooth, perfectly balanced taste of an English Bitter with the added complexity of a Belgian ale and the moderate ABV makes it very sessionable.

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Photo of Travlr
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle.
Appearance was cloudy golden, with a thick white head that lingers and leaves very nice lacing.
Smell of pine and flowers, like a meadow at the edge of a deep forest.
Taste was bitter lemon and black pepper, well-hopped, with a bitter, dry finish.
A classic bitter, near the top of the style, and definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of GottBier
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a bright golden haze that was very attractive but seemed to be out of place with the taste. Quick, three-fingered head dropped back quickly to a thin layer with very little lace. Carbonation was champagne-like.
S - Mildly resiny and floral. Not strong, but detectable.
T - Bitterness is the most noticeable feature. A clean, sharp, austere bitterness in the taste and in the aftertaste. Did exactly what it meant to do. Some interesting funky complexity came along as the palate adjusted to bitterness-shock.
M - Rich, thick, and smooth. Wonderful traits, but somehow out of character with the bitterness. Thus the .5 subtraction.
D - My history on this is shaky, but I imagine that if the Puritans drank beer, it would taste like this. The bitterness is so pronounced that the pleasure and the penitence for said pleasure are practically simultaneous. As with some great art, I admire this beer without actually liking it.
This is my first review, so bear with the perhaps-shaky evaluation language. I may have poured the beer a wee bit too cold, because flavors became more complex as I made my way through the bottle.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy weiss bier color with a thick white head that leaves thick lacing around the glass.

Sweet clove smell with hints of yeast.

Taste is kind of a thick dry hoppy flavor with some hints of cloves.
Very dry bitter finish.

One of the better belgian IPAs.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue glass on nov8 2009

A cloudy golden peach with lots of bubbles and it tried to jump out of the bottle. not the biggest head but it hangs around for a while and leaves decent lace

S mostly I smell funky yeast with a little citrus and spice

T again funky yeast with some decent spicy hops and mild citrus

M almost turns to foam in your mouth, not a bad thing but there is a lot of carbonation

D gave me a little heart burn and just didn't sit too well but it was still enjoyable just makes you a little bloated

pretty good beer overall, I will give it another chance in the future.

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Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy golden color with almost no head to speak of. Some spotty lacing is left that seems characteristic of Belgian style beers. Cloudyness is accpeted in this style so no points can be docked for that. However, it does not APPEAR all that appetizing. Smells like belgian malts and yeast, the nose is not huge for me here, some citrus in the nose as well. Taste here is great, I wasn't sure it would be this way after the nose. A very complex taste and a bitterness you will not find in most American beers. It is as if they extracted the hop bitterness and removed a lot of the hop flavors, this is probably the most bitter beer I have ever had. It is just a straight up bitter slam with no huge hoppy notes, some pine and earth but not overpowering, very cool. Also in here is the belgian malts, yeast, and citrus. Lemon and lime peel can be tasted giving the beer even more great flavor. This beer's taste is probably the most unique IPA taste I have sampled thus far. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, light bodied with good carbonation. The MF suits the flavor very well and feels nice. No warming in this beer at all. A nice bitter coat left on the tongue. Drinkability is good. The amazing taste is something that shouldn't be overlooked, the price is a bit steep and the bitterness will certainly get overpowering after a while. If I see this on tap again I will probably have another but won't be buying the rather expensive bottle anytime soon (which I have had and must say I prefer the tap version by a long shot).

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Photo of bminor7
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750 ml from Oliver's Beverage in Albany NY. 15.99 for this bad boy, green glass wrapped in a paper cover with the date 7/2012, being 5 years after the brew date of 7/2007, meaning this beer had probably been sitting on the shelf for 2 years before I purchased it this fall. Important to note...

A - a cap and cork to be removed before you can enjoy this. cork inscription satisfies the bilingual belgians - BROUWERIJ DE RANK BRASSERIE. some blue mold possibly noted on the cork exterior! pours murky honey golden with 2 finger foam settles with pretty lacing.

S - holy skunky skunkmaster. despite the toilet paper shield, maybe this bottle was lightstruck! if I ever open my own beverage center, it will be artificial light only! remaining is hops pineyness, yeasty belgian quality, subtle alcohol.

T - hops and bitterness. malt is faint but what is there is bready. mainly a hops presence. tastes sort of like a belgian version of Okocim. mercaptans make a strong push!

M - light/medium body, carbonation is suitable.

D - crisp flavors and low ABV...this is very drinkable. i'll give De Ranke the benefit of the doubt and assume I had a lightstruck version.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber golden color with a small white head that quickly fades to a light ring and leaves a little bit of lacing.

Spicy aroma upfront with a touch of citrusy hops in the back.

Taste starts off very spicy and then come notes of lemon and grapefruit. Starts off fairly bitter but towards the end contains sweeter fruity and yeasty notes, more along the lines of what you might expect from a tripel.

Light to medium body with a crisp, dry finish. Enjoyable all around. Not very strong, making it one of the more sessionable Belgians around.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured in a sampling glass.

Pours a very light golden straw color, a bit cloudy with a very small head that stays around without lacing. Smell is yeasty and pretty sweet, nice.

Taste is awesome, screw miller this is the Champagne of beers! Dry and smooth, quite carbonated but still very smooth. Very sharp an tasty, an awesome beer!

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De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
Beer rating: 85.2% out of 100 with 961 ratings
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