De Ranke XXX Bitter | Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke

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De Ranke XXX BitterDe Ranke XXX Bitter
Very Good
104 Ratings
De Ranke XXX BitterDe Ranke XXX Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERchitect on 07-25-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev +4%
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.

 1,096 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 1,609 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

 824 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

 1,487 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4/5  rDev +1%
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 biegaman
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 1,975 characters

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of innominat
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of nikigava
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 439 characters

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of BKotch
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bouncepass
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of goochpunch
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

 335 characters

Photo of Magery
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of WhitmansNiece
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of desint
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gtermi
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a massive three finger head that kept growing for five minutes after pouring, making a pyramid over the glass. Great retention and tons of pillowy lacing. Big aroma of citrus, graperfrut, citrus and grassy hops, light sweet malt, and sad to say a hint of skunkiness that was very distinct on opening, but present, but not as evident in the aroma. After smelling it I looked at the bottle, yes, it is green glass. Brouwerij De Ranke, no you! Flavor seems quite light at first, refreshing light grapefruit and lemon with herbal citrusy hops; the flavor continues to build with more fresh lemon, sweet bready malt, and Belgian yeast developing, finally finishing with a very long, lingering lemon citrus and herbal hop bitterness. Medium bodied with hints of creaminess and peppery carbonation. A wonderful rollercoaster of flavor that is both refreshing and rewarding. A wonderful IPA with Belgian yeast integrated perfectly. Fortunately the skunkiness was not noticeable in the flavor, probably due to the strength and herbal nature of the hops, but why take a chance? Seek this one out, it's worth the trouble.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 559 characters

Photo of Jose9e
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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De Ranke XXX Bitter from Brouwerij Brasserie De Ranke
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 104 ratings