Sregnar35 (977) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - MAR 5, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
RATING # 400. Pours with a great thick white head, with large bubbles. Aroma is body odor, were talking straight armpits here. Flavor is bitter, but nicely bready too, good yeasty flavor.
crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 25, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A wonderful beer. Basically tasted like a belgian IPA. Very drinkable and smooth but ccertainly full bodied.
Mungo (2471) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - FEB 25, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
BCA (from Bitter Virtue, drank in the month of bottling). Fabulous hoppy aroma - citiric marmaladey with a resiny undertone. Slightly sweet aroma which I cannot place Iíll have to get a few more bottles to try and identify it! At first the bitterness seems quite mild - it does build to a more tolerable level but never gets out of hand. Dry finish with dusty hop flavours and haunting flavour of the unidentifiable taste. I think the comparisons with Orval are unfounded, quite simply this is a different beer with different intentions and none of the subtelties.
iowaherkeye (2696) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - FEB 17, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2007 Rerate. 11.2oz bottle notched Best Before April 2010. Pours a hazy golden with a fading 1 1/2 finger white head. Aroma has a good amount of spicy dusty and earthy hops, some yeast, lemon and orange. There is a fair amount more bitterness in this compared to a lot of Belgians. Flavor is much the same with a tinge of orange hard candy. Lingering bitter finish.Carbonation is fairly low, light to medium bodied. Hmmm, I was actually expecting to rate this a fair amount higher--I guess not.
Old rating follows.11.2 oz. bottle--best by July í09.Pours a hazy light golden with a moderate sized white head, which quickly dissipates. Nose is of citrus hops and yeast. It is fairly hoppy, but not "remarkably hoppy." Also some spices and pepper. Aftertaste of bitter mustiness. Pretty good, but not as phenomenal as the ratings. 7-3-6-3-14
GG (2326) - NorCal, California, USA - FEB 7, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Golden in color with a nice fluffy head. Takes awhile to go back down. Aroma is white pepper, hops, citrus and some sweet fruit I canít pinpoint. Apricot in the flavor with hops (although not as bitter as youíd think with a tagline of Hoppiest Beer in Europe) and carbonation. Very drinkable and very enjoyable.
KarmanGhia (276) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - FEB 5, 2006
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Finally, hops! This pours a hazy yellowish amber with a light gray hue. The nose is piney and lightly citric. The first taste confirms this evidence of strong hops and it arrives with a sharp, ruby-red grapefruit tinge on the back of the tongue. This is followed soonafter by a light graininess and hints of yeast. The tastes end with a lengthy, trailing bitterness that dries the tonge and confirms my belief that I have finally found a great, hoppy Continental brew.
ezra456 (39) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JAN 30, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
poured out a hazy/cloudy light golden color with a nice fluffy white head that dissipated quicly with great lacing. aromas consisted of flowers, grapefruit, tons of citrus, flowers, and some clove. very intense aromas. mouthfeel was farity light. flavors consisted of once again, tons of yeast, tonst of citrus, some clove, maybe and orange peel or two. also very flowery and herbal. very nice finish, sharp/clean/smooth. an absolutely amazing beer! a great job by Brouwerij De Ranke.
mctous (131) - Herndon, Virginia, USA - JAN 29, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Once the cork is removed the bottle reeks of hops, yeast, and little else. The modest head is not especialy hoppy but displays a fine, even methode champagnoise carbonation. Medium pale malt body, pronounced yeast, and pronounced Tettnanger dry hops carry the palate, but the flavors do not quite synergize. This beer does not resemble Orval as much as a ultra-hopped saison. Even though we Americans produce many hoppy ales, XX Bitter has a hop character unlike anything else.
JudgeDread (16) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 27, 2006
2.6 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Good god. My first taste and the hps spacked the sense into me!!! Bitter is an understatement, is there any beer in this beer. Aroma is very faint with all the hop bitterness I expected more. Nice white head from the pour, but short lasting with Belgian Lace. Very dry beer almost like dust. Very low maltiness, with the hop overpowering all other flavors. Flavors came out very faint after swishing it around in my mouth. Very effervescent in the glass with a little cloudiness. This beer has been hooked up to a hop AMP!!!
I loved it even thought I gave it a low score.
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 25, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
De Ranke XX Bitter is billed as "The Hoppiest
Beer of Belgium" and after one 750ml bottle, I must
concur. Iíve never come across a beer from Belgium
that I could say was hoppier. This beer is a Belgian
Golden Ale, coming in at 6.2% abv, and is hopped with
massive amounts of Brewers Gold and Hallertau hop
varieties. My guess is, this beer is well over 100
IBU(bitterness units) and its percieved bitterness is
off the charts. This beer is so bitter, it almost
tastes like poision, but in a good way if you can
De Ranke XX Bitter bottles are wrapped in paper, and
what a gift a hop head recieves, after un-wrapping and
popping the corked bottle. De Ranke XX Bitter pours to
a beautiful, hazy, very pale golden color with a
thick, creamy, dense, bright white head, and a lively
carbonation. This beer is sedimented with yeast, so a
secondary fermentation is taking place in the bottle,
also producing lots of natural carbonation. The nose
on this beer is a virtual hop assault of your
nostrils. Massive waves of very flowery, herbal, and
citric hop aromas flood the nostrils, with just a hint
of yeastiness and pale malt fighting for your
attention as well. You could hold this beer a foot
away, and you could still literally, smell the hop
aromas, they are that intense. The palate is firm with
good pale malt flavors, a backdrop of yeasty flavor,
and lots of herbal and lemon peel hop flavors on the
tongue. De Ranke XX Bitter finishes with a extreme,
intense, brutal, flowery, citric, and herbal hop
bitterness that lingers and will make your face wince
it is so bitter.
I image this is what hemlock tastes like going down.
Clearly this beer is not for everyone, and is geared
for beer lovers who love extreme tastes. Most beer
drinkers would not enjoy this beer. This beer is
brewed for the hard core beer lover, and will even
give the most seasoned hop head pause. If you love
bitter beers, this is one, that just has to be
experienced. I loved this beer the second I tried it.
And for a beer that is so unique and brewed in such
small batches, it is very well priced. I only paid $9
for a 750ml bottle, and it was well worth it for me. De Ranke XX
Bitter can be found in select markets in the US, and
is a beer well worth seeking out. This is the
ultimate aperitif beer, and would slice right though
the richest of dishes, such dense and buttery cheeses,
prime rib au jus, a nutty terrine, or lamb shanks.
This one floored me.