De Ranke XXX Bitter
Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke

De Ranke XXX BitterDe Ranke XXX Bitter
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Belgian IPA
Ranked #35
Ranked #9,025
3.99 | pDev: 8.52%
Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke
Very Good
De Ranke XXX BitterDe Ranke XXX Bitter
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 113
Reviews by BEERchitect:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Its not everyday that we see a new offering from these regal brewers like De Ranke. So when they do, they make waves! If you thought that their "XX Bitter" set a tone for hop lovers, then you can only imagine what "XXX Bitter" delivers!

With a bright goldenrod appearance, the hazy ale releases a frothy cotton-white head to cap the beer with a billowing frothy, near-rocky proportioned head. As the froth settles onto the ale, it retains with a clumpy sheet and laces remarkably with intricate patterns.

Strong citrus and herb aromatics leap into the nose! Grapefruit peels, orange pith, and a strong grassy aroma latch onto the nose with the most terse of bready-yeast backdrop. With little of the more supple ester fruits or phenol spice, the aroma is all about the fruit.

Similarly, the taste of dry cracker and bread is cut short by the onslaught of white grapefruit and grass. Those flavors create a strong arm that wards off anything malt-focused except or grain or hay. Instead, the taste finishes with the peels and piths of citrus fruits and a light spicy taste of peppercorn.

LIght and creamy in body, the ale carries a champagne-like texture that springs the ale from the tongue and ushers in a quick dryness that allows for high rate of drinkability and refreshment without becoming harsh or bitey.

Yea, if the "XX Bitter" was the IPA equivelent of what this Belgian brewery projects, then there's no question about this elevated hop-focused Belgian Pale Ale!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

De Ranke XXX Bitter has ultra-responsive carbonation and a sunny golden-orange colour that gradually gets murkier and murkier as the bottle empties. Unlike so many Belgian ales, however, it never looks completely sullied and maintains a pretty healthy glow, even after clouding over. To no surprise the head also upholds throughout. Curiously, however, it never manages to tack onto the glass.

I'm not sure what distinguishes XXX Bitter (three 'X's) from the usual XX Bitter (two 'X's). Ironically it's actually lower in alcohol (6% as opposed to 6.2%). Apparently it was brewed solely for a Shelton Brothers festival in Portland, Maine in 2013. If in fact this bottle is two years old that would explain why it doesn't strike me as being as hoppy and lively as the standard offering.

Mind you, that's not to suggest it isn't hoppy; both the flavour and aroma are underlined with a distinctive earthiness that is unmistakably that of whole cone hops. It makes for notes of herb buds and blossoming flower petals. The combination of Brewers Gold and Hallertau is an especially pungent, spicy, grassy one that leaves an interesting aftertaste of lemon peel and ground black pepper.

Of course, don't forget, Belgian IPAs are typically very different in character from their American counterparts. Those expecting pine resins and citrus rinds are in the wrong part of the world. This beer doesn't have an aggressive, obnoxious bone in its body. And there's certainly nothing tropical happening. No, this beer has the style and poise of a bonafide European.

I have fond memories of De Ranke XX Bitter which, if memory serves correct, was among the first hoppy Belgian-style IPAs (and still one of the best). This limited edition XXX Bitter didn't quite live up to my nostalgia and, in my opinion, isn't quite different or good enough to warrant a special release. Still, it speaks to the brewery's high standards and made for a more than enjoyable (rare) tipple.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Moeder Lambik, Brussels.
Crusty white over cloudy sunshine. 4
Big lemony sherbet and oily herb. 4
Sweet crackery grain, a pile of lemon, some pear, a bit of yeasty bite, and more herbs. 4
Lemon chiffon end and harsh chalky linger.
Super dry, almost thin, crisp. 4

Not balanced on purpose - starts out as one beer, then the hops come crashing in. Low on lemon - far more IBUs than aroma. Builds on XX - lives up to the name. 4

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Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pint glass pours to six people from a 750ml people. Clear, light golden body pours with a foamy, puffy white head. Decent retention after it rose to about two fingers. Lace is thick but somewhat spotty and decent pillows.

S- Big grassy and herbal hops off the top. Some light caramel malts and cracked grains below that lending a nice balance. Yeast is spicy and Belgian.

T- Super grassy, herbal, pine, grapefruit and spicy hops fill the palate upon first sip. Light caramel and nice fresh cracked grains. Spicy Belgian yeast with notes of pepper, spices and wheat bread.

MF- Foamy light-moderate body with high-end super bubbly carbonation. Ends with a nice spicy bitterness.

Big spicy and herbal Euro hops over a nice Belgian spicy yeast. Hopped up Spicy Golden Strong Ale to me but not as good as XX in many ways.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Cap says 11DEC14 EXP: 06/12/19.

A- Pours a slightly hazy medium amber color with a full inch of white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Estery belgian yeast with some herbal hop fume and a slight skunkiness.

T- Oxidative quality at the start, then there's some fruity hop character that's still there and a bitter afterbite. The bitterness is the main player here and it's actually quite nice. Drinkable but with an intense bite that keeps you interested and coming back for more. The oxidation actually kind of complements the bitterness and together make for a pretty enjoyable drink.

M- Sharp and spritzy from the hops and medium-high carbonation. Lightish body.

O- Had the XX at nearly two years old and it was skunky and oxidized beyond enjoyment. Recently had a friend bring home a bottle and I'm not sure how old it was but it was much more enjoyable than the bottle I'd previously had which led me to go ahead and buy this. This bottle is a year and a half old and though it's not as enjoyable as the XX I recently had, it has it's good points: intense bitterness that mingles well with the yeast and somehow works with the oxidative properties it's developed. I would say it needs more malt balance though as it gets to be a bit of a chore to get through since it's only riding on two dimensions - hops and yeast - while it should be riding on three. Decent but this will probably be my last time buying their bitter beers.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL poured into an oversized tulip.

Beautiful appearance. Majestic foamy plateau, glowing golden body, streaming carbonation. Marvelous to look at. Truly gorgeous. 5

Funky and skunky aroma, but it's seductive. Smells like it's got some pilsner or helles type of malt (or maybe it's some lager yeast I'm smelling) and a corresponding light sweetness and floral, grassy and earthy quality. Then this blends with a tad tart and crisp saison aroma. Very interesting. I'm intrigued. It seems familiar and new all the same. 4.25

Starts with gentle sweetness and graininess, then floral notes and skunkiness emerge together then giving way to a honey-like finish. Light pepperiness lingers on my tongue for ages. Though the skunkiness is probably not for all, I find something irresistible about it. 4

I won't be redundant as much of the taste captures the feel, but to add to the above, this has a yeasty floral feel towards the finish and a dry, yeasty, bitter lingering sensation. 4

This beer is lovely. Truly enjoyable. It's got some odd flavor and feel, but that sets it apart from others.

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Photo of Zet
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer, tastes like a solid saison to me.

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Photo of BKotch
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WanderingFool
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml capped bottle bought at Liquor Shed.

Excellent head of foam sitting on a orange gold liquid, lacing and head retention..excellent.

Nose is of spicy and fruity hop bitterness. Flowery and I have to say, the spice is very mild. Citrus is not ignored.

Light citrus, spice, biscuit malt, smoother than a baby's butt..the tastes put you in a sit back and enjoy mode. Probably the greatest asset this hoppy Golden Ale gives me.

Smooth bodied, due partly to the low level of carbonation. I don't expect to encounter many burps drinking this beauty.

I think that this was around the $14 mark. No regrets.

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Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Excellent series of lace rings after each sip. Small head. Gold color with a mild haze.

Initial smell is of fresh tilled earth. A bit of Belgian yeast as well.

Rather thin with a high level of carbonation. The flavor is a bit harsh and biting. There's a sour start to the taste, but it morphs into singularly bitter white pepper flavor that continues through the aftertaste.

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Photo of Magery
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Noelito76
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beerdrifter
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at a great little beer store in Arlon, Belgium, Miorge Mihoublon. Cloudy golden-yellow pour with a two finger foamy white head with decent retention and lacing. The nose is herbal and grassy with hints of lemon, grapefruit, subtle yeast, and straw. The taste can be summed up with one word...BITTER! But oh what a nice bitter with tons of grassy notes along with hints of lemon, grapefruit, straw, subtle caramel sweetness, fresh picked hops, white pepper, and a touch of barnyard. The mouthfeel is sharp and tangy with incredible bitterness from start to finish. Light body with fizzy carbonation and an awesome crisp, dry finish. Overall, this is one of the most bitter beers I've tasted. Yeah, it's kind of one dimensional, but it's so bold and refreshing and really quaffable for something so bitter. Highly recommended!

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

750ml bottle, split

Enjoyed a bottle of this in Brugge last month and didn't realize it was an entirely new creation. It was nice to try it again state-side in a more controlled drinking environment. Nice cloudy straw colored body - sticky foamy retention. Nicely hopped, though not as tropical as some other "belgian ipa's" coming out of the motherland. Bready, musty, moderately bitter. Nice, but there are better options in my opinion.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pale, clear straw body with a thin head. Big citrus nose with Belgian yeast and crackery malts. Tastes of citrus, floral, and perfumey hops, crisp malt, and a lingering aspirine-like bitterness. Dry finish. Yeast brings notes of apricots and a hint of spice. Light body with bubbly and spritzy carbonation. Awesome hoppy Belgian.

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Photo of BeerTruck
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of tegelaar
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Th beer is hazy yellow in color and poured with a finger and a half high frothy bright white head that has very good retention properties and hardly died down.
S: Light to moderaate aromas of floral and herbal hops are present in the nose along with slight bits of funk.
T: The bitterness really stands out in the taste of this beer, which is similar to to the smell, and the bitterness lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be very bitter for a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of bouncepass
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A new beer from De Ranke? Get the fuck out!

The first pour is a clear yellow with a dense white head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing. This really puts even some of the recent American IPAs to shame. And the nose! What a gorgeous hop bouquet! Dank, dusty, herbal, spicy, lemony,skunky, even. Delicate cotton candy malt nose with a little dough and light honey. Superb.

The palate opens with a big, herbal bitterness, one that has a blend of mint, twigs, earth, lemon, all hallmarks of De Ranke's exquisite hopping technique. In addition to the bitterness, the hop flavor is fantastic as well. Layered oily lemons, mint, a little mineral all add to the gorgeous palate. Crisp with a blend of dough, honey and less cotton candy than the nose would have you believe. Despite being highly carbonated, this never feels fizzy or overcarbonated. Lending a mild complementary acidity to the hop bitterness, this beer finishes bitter and hoppy with a great blend of lemon and mint . A touch dusty as well. Exceptional.

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Photo of mattycasey
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of twelveinches
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a yellow gold body that is slightly see thru with two finger head and lace patches everywhere. Citric and earthy hops galore in the nose along with touches of Belgian yeasty and gets a little dirty at times and has touches of sweet malts. Well-carbonated so it is crisp and there is a smoothness to it only found in Belgian beers. Earthy, citric, even a little peppery spice it seems with bold, assertive hops and a dry finish. There not only seems to be a little hop bitterness to this beer but it seems there is a touch of sour fruit and funk as well as some moderate sweetness.

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De Ranke XXX Bitter from Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 113 ratings