RateBeer
overall
98
100
style
Brewed by Brouwerij De Ranke
Style: Belgian Ale
Dottignies, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 136   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Brewed especially for the Shelton Brothers “The Festival” 2013 in Portland, ME.

Limited kegs and 75cl bottles productions. Not to be confused with the regular XX Bitter.


4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 1, 2014
750mL bottle drunk 12/31/13, best before 2/15/18.
Thick, pillowy, creamy, white head is exceptionally well-retained and sits atop a bright blonde, well-carbonated body.
Nose smells of fragrant hops, grassy and herbal. Definitely could not differentiate this from a fresh xx, but it smells every bit as good. Clean yeast provides only light background esters, mostly drowned out by the hops. Some dry biscuity malt undertones as well.
The flavor departs a little more than the aroma, from the regular version. Right away I note more dryness and bitterness, though of course, it’s all relative to how fresh a bottle of XX youre comparing it to, not to mention this bottle is already 10 months old. Anyways, classy and elegant, with very little in the belgian character and closer to a delicious, hoppy, american golden ale. Boy is this stuff dry too. Perhaps, dare I say, too dry to balance the resinous hop assault? Powerful stuff and perhaps a bit fatiguing by the end. As much as I appreciate how clean the yeast profile is, the comparison to Taras Boulbas (which I feel sets the gold standard for these types of beers) leaves this one wanting a bit in the Belgian character. Of course, that’s just personal preference and this is a terrific beer in its own right.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bmerz (704) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 30, 2013
Bottle. Pretty much the same beer as the XX drank immediately prior. Seems very gimmicky. I don’t get much if any heightened or different hops. Pours hazy yellow with a good initial soft head and some lace. The aroma is all Brett, funk, soft light grains, citrus pith. Flavor is similar in note, strong grassy and pithy bitterness with a light spicy ride out. Feel is dense and soapy with a clean astringent end, almost pilsner like but softer. Very nice beer.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
PorterPounder (5489) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 29, 2013
Tallahassee, Fl - on tap at Proof. Sparkling, light golden pour, snow white head, nice lacing. Fresh floral aroma with hints of yeast. Flavor has some coriander, some yeasty notes, a touch of orange peel, light bubble gum in the finish, Nice spritz to the mouthfeel.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Aurelius (4133) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2013
Big, ice cream white head. Clear, very pale gold - like lager. Floral, malty aroma - narcissus, paperwhites, a little sweaty. Sweetish, floraly, tinny hops are a flaw. Weird, and a mish-mash, but entertaining. Grows on you. On tap, Proof.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
weihenweizen (1700) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2013
Refrigerated 75 cl green bottle expiration in 2018 poured into a tulip. Pours hazy bright golden with big bright white head. Aroma is yeasty with a hint of skunk, medium body, medium carbonation, and thick big bubble lacing. Taste is yeasty, some herbal hops, and dry finish. Not my thing and expected more based on rating.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
TAR (2475) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - DEC 26, 2013
Brilliant golden. Billowy, tightly packed white head holds quite well. Remarkably bright and clean aromas of zippy phenols, sage, lilac, sherbet, potpourri, pastry cream, minerals, lemon zest, fennel seed, gum, pepper, dusty yeast. Highly perfumey, as well. Dense, soft, and fluffy carbonation. Hops immediately unleash a refined succulence, with a burst of mouth-filling oils and their zingy acids colliding with an appetizing assortment of fierce pepper and coarse herbs. Hop character is teemingly flavorsome, immeasurably deep in its purity, and chock full of sweet, bright nectars. Dusty, plastery yeast bolsters the lean core with a rustic signature which beautifully contrasts with the vividly defined, squeaky clean pils malt. Very lean and deceptively simple malt fills out the body with chewy starches, as does the creamy, plastery yeast. Sophisticated hoppiness continually captivates with a staggeringly complex fusion of lemon zest, flower petals, pepper, herbs, you name it. Immaculately attenuated finish showcases bouncy, lightly toasted hay textures underscored by an invigorating assortment of feisty, bracingly bitter hops and a spirited phenolic flourish. Another stunner from the folks at De Ranke. Much like XX Bitter in its unbridled hop onslaught, but with slightly more hop depth, if that’s conceivable. This features all the hoppy elegance and succulence that only late-hopping can seem to achieve (why do so many brewers seem to favor dry-hopping when they can thoroughly coax bright aromatics and depth of flavor via the sole technique of late-hopping?). Elegant yet rustic; idiosyncratic but oh so focused. It truly mystifies how a hoppy golden beer at eight months of age can still brim with a vitality of this magnitude. But I suppose that’s the magical thing about pedigreed Belgian yeast strains and the way some brewers knows how to work them, as they can handily endure the rigors of oxidation like few others are able. I can only imagine what this must have been like uber fresh. Hell of a beer!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jbruner (2298) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 21, 2013
Pours a slightly hazy yellow on tap with fluffy white head that leaves light lace. Aroma is lemon fruitiness, Belgian yeast, and bready grain. Taste follows, less fruit and more grain. Easy to drink and nice.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
vyvvy (3961) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 11, 2013
Really like the regular XX Bitter, but this one was even better to me. Pours hazy dull orange with a large white pillowy head. The aroma has cotton, fruitiness, floral notes, powder, grapefruit and pine. It has a medium crisp body with lots of mellow carbonation. The flavor starts with pine, earth, grapefruit zest, resiny hoppiness, earthy Belgian yeast and minor malt presence. The finish is harsh and resiny with heavy earthy and woody hops. Really nicely done.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bov (9467) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - NOV 1, 2013
courtesy of Toni - hazy blond-orange beer with a persistent foam; perfumy and flowery with light citric notes and hay; medium-bodied, dry and corny, almondy and velvety palate; cheesy finish

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT2 (8380) - San Diego County, California, USA - OCT 21, 2013
Tap at Brouwer’s Cafe in Seattle, WA. Pours a clear, sparkling golden with mega white foam, volcanic retention. Nose is fresh peach, apple, ginger root. Taste is dusty, sharp as hell grassy hop bite, ginger spice, orange peel. Super clean, grassy finish. Big pilsner malt bill. A thumbs up from ryan and MrChopin.


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