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Brewed by Brouwerij De Ranke
Style: Belgian Ale
Dottignies, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 145   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.


4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
TAR (2499) - 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!

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
77ships (4031) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - AUG 18, 2013
75 cl. bottle sampled @ GBF 2013. With 3 X’s I was expecting a totally brutal hop onslaught esp. considering just how hardcore hop harvest beers can be when had fresh. Instead I got a more balanced, rounder and frankly even better version of the already pretty great XX. Hazy orange with a white head. Smell is sweet peaches, oranges, white bread yeast, fruity, very round with small grassy hop flourishes, white pepper,… Taste is bubblegum, bitter peach, slight grass and flora hops, light caramel, touch white bread, hops, pepper, touch citrus, cloves. Full bubblegum. Really good but unfortunately for the USA but that is also probably why this one is so good. Thx! to the RB Crew for sharing.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
3fourths (8055) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 25, 2013
UPDATED: SEP 11, 2014 Draft through a few glasses to make a session. Lightly hazed effervescent gold with a fine-bubbled rocky white head. Grassy, floral, lemon focused aroma. Pithy strong bitterness and a dry pale malt core give this one an intense hoppiness that would be excessive for me if it the hops weren’t so vibrant and gloriously juicy, zingy and floral. Doughy / bready pale malt gives it the smell of an active bakery... De Ranke yeast once again gives this beer a softness and rusticity that is really rare to find in beer, not just Belgian ales. Soft body, creamy soft carbonation, bitter, off-dry, wonderfully expressive. Another winner for me on first taste, though I leave it open for bottle samples (i always assume that bottle fermentation gives Belgian beer added punch and life from the yeast). With how quiet nose is on this draft sample I can’t wait to get a full effervescent pour from a fresh bottle. When they will show up in CO who knows. In short, it compares very well with XX but has noticeably more bitterness and thankfully little else different, at least not different enough to notice without doing a side by side. That will come if CO ever sees bottles. I do suspect that the draft pour is less yeasty, seems that way from what I recall of the last few batches of XX. I love De Ranke yeast but maybe I love it’s quieter character in this amazingly hopped Belgian blonde.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Slayer85 (1051) - Firenze, ITALY - SEP 14, 2013
750 ml bottle. A hazy medium blonde beer, with a huge, frothy, lacing, fully lasting white head. The aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain/bread, crackers), moderately to heavily hoppy (flowers, grass, herbs, hint of grapefruit), lightly yeasty (dough), with notes of lemon, orange, straw. The flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, velvety/smooth texture, average/lively carbonation, dry and very long finish with heavy bitterness, lightly alcoholic. Although I prefer the regular version, this is an ultra-clean, quaffable, nicely complex ale from one of the best Belgian producers.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Vignale (2069) - Malmö, SWEDEN - JUN 21, 2014
Flaska från SB. Gyllenfärgad, disis, stort vitt bestående skum. Stor doft av belgisk jäst, gräs, hö, örter, kryddig men också en citrusblommig fruktighet. Lätt och elegant och örtigt kärv på samma gång. Frisk, torr, välhumlad, lätt honungssötma, syrliga och lätt beska äpplen, citrus, koriander. Perfekt på midsommarbordet. Jag älskar xx bitter och det här är ändå bättre. Så bra balans, så fina smaker, ovanligt välhumlat och ändå typisk belgiskt. Ett nytt favoritöl.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ZwartePiet (59) - BELGIUM - JUL 1, 2013
De la XX Bitter encore plus sèche et rapeuse... BIM Ca déchire ! Pour un dire un peu plus, c’est blond leger et bien bien houblonné. Un belle amertume, bien bien fleuri qui persiste en bouche. Yummy

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MrChopin (3347) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - FEB 19, 2014
hazy gold, puffy white head. Floral nose is heavy perfume and petal, stinging pepper grass nose, heavy oils. Flavor strokes the tongue, dank and oily with biscuit undercurrent, light petals and tons of grassy pineapple and grapefruit all over. Straight stinging floral juice.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
SlackerMads (1623) - Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 13, 2014
UPDATED: APR 29, 2014 2 x bottle. Hazy yellow with a large frothy white head and high effervescence. Looks beautiful, I want to dive in. Dusty, solid herbal, dry flowers, straw, light grain, dry wood, bread, dough. Medium sweet and bitter with a dry and light bitter finish with lingering hops. Oily texture, soft carbonation. Very smooth and endlessly drinkable. Could bring about world peace if it was distributed widely.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ekstedt (5454) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 27, 2013
Bottle (75 cl) from Hop Duvel. Gent, Belgium. Clear pale golden, large white head. Grainy, peppery and orangey aroma, some floral and gerbal hops. Light to medium bodied, medium to high carbonation. Dry with wonderful, firm, lingering bitterness.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jcr (2210) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JUL 17, 2014
750 ml. Lightly hazed golden body. Huge, meringue-like white head, lasting. Aroma of floral and grassy hops, lemon, citrus, esters, toasted grain. The flavor is lightly to moderately sweet and lightly to moderately bitter. It finishes lightly sweet and moderately to heavily bitter. Medium body, watery texture, dense carbonation. Long, lingering bitterness. Dry finish. Lemon and bitter grass taste. Hops and grains nicely nuanced — no raw dusty grain or leafy hop tastes. Absolutely clean. Excellent beer.


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