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: 135   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Brewed especially for the Shelton Brothers ďThe FestivalĒ 2013 in Portland, ME.

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


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
bytemesis (3076) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - FEB 9, 2014
Bottle. Pours hazy butterscotch, love that color. Tons of tiny particles floating around in suspension. Medium off-white head, creamy, nice lacing. Aroma is citrus, yeast, pepper, grass, orange. Light sweet, medium bitter with a sharp bitter finish. Medium plus mouthfeel, creamy and silky.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
OldMrCrow (1809) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 5, 2014
750 ml bottle from my Portland trip. 200th Belgian for me.

Given my fondness for De Ranke in general and for De Ranke in particular, I was intrigued when this came out but never thought Iíd get a chance to try it. Iím very glad I did. Pours yellow with a fluffy white head into a Duvel tulip. Nose of dusty, peppery European hops -- Hallertau? -- seriously earthy, amply floral, a sour grassy aroma coming up behind, just a hint of Belgian yeast (it could use more of this character, I think) and the slightest note of alcohol. Flavor is a blast of grassy earthy hops, like a pilsner on íroids (but much better than a US imperial pils!), flowery fields and a touch of soap. Bitter oils linger long on the tongue like grapefruit pith but not citric like the juice or peel. Mild malt sweetness of stone-ground wheat thins is there early in the long side of the finish. Early on this is easy enough to drink, though there is a just a bit of heat from the mere 6% abv. Halfway through the bottle palate fatigue sets in and Iíve got to dock it a point from the overall for that. This one is close enough to the XX than I canít say much about the difference between them without trying them head-to-head. Iím not sure this one would break into a regular rotation even if it was readily available, but itís very enjoyable to try on a one-time basis.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mcberko (6272) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 4, 2014
750mL bottle, pours a cloudy golden with a large white head. Aroma is lovely, with notes of floral hops, Belgian yeast, and some spicy hoppy notes as well. Flavour is intensely hoppy, with shitloads of bitter spicy floral hops, and just enough dry malt backing. Wonderfully drinkable despite being unbalanced. Excellent.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rasmus40 (10842) - Beder, Aarhus, DENMARK - JAN 19, 2014
Bottle @ fonefan tasting. Clear golden with a white head. Aroma is sweet, malty, yeasty and moderate hoppy - grass. Flavor is medium sweet and rather bitter. Dry and rather bitter finish. 190114

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
yngwie (13346) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JAN 18, 2014
Bottle, 75cl corked. A well-retained white head of two-finger size sits on top of a clear, golden body. Thereís lots of lovely piney and resiny hops on the nose, some hints of white pepper and a whiff of flowers. A pleasant scent of pale malts in the back, with some biscuity notes. Itís dry and full bodied, with a quite high but pleasant level of carbonation. Perhaps a tad too bitter, but the pale malts deals nicely with it. Resins, some grass and a touch of pine cones. Thereís a faint touch of white sugar here as well, but thatís left in the remote background, just to remind us of its origin. It might be a bit challenging to finish a bottle without sharing, but itís definitely a fine brew. Hope this one will be brewed at a regular basis. 140118

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Meilby (7385) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JAN 18, 2014
Bottle 750ml @ fonefan
Pours clear golden with a white head. Aroma has notes of malt, yeast, some fruits and grass. Taste is light to medium sweet and medium bitter with a dry, bitter and grassy finish. Body is light to medium, texture is thin to oily, carbonation is soft.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
saxo (13851) - HÝjbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - JAN 18, 2014
Bottle @ fonefan tasting. Nice head with good duration. Color is golden. Aroma and taste are bitter hops, grass, straw, malt and has a long bitter grassy finish.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Christian (11054) - Odense, DENMARK - JAN 18, 2014
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2014 Vestjysk Vinter Vanvid januar 2014. Hazy pale golden with a small white head. Herbal hoppy aroma with fruity notes and a hint of spice. Dry, spicy and herbal hoppy flavour with a grassy hint. A pleasant, very bitter finish and long hoppy aftertaste

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dedollewaitor (13802) - Odense, DENMARK - JAN 18, 2014
Bottle @ Fynsk Brunsviger er kommet til Ulfborg for at blive , som streger i dine hvide underbukser. Day 2. Pours slight unclear yellow with a egg white head. Mild yeast and tons of grassy hops. Dry and crisp. Lasting bitter finish. Nice and clean.

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, itís 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, thatís just personal preference and this is a terrific beer in its own right.


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