De Ranke Hop Harvest 2015

Formerly brewed at Brouwerij De Ranke
Style: Belgian Ale
Dottignies, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 96   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
Malt bill from the De Ranke XX Bitter, bitter hops: Northern Brewer, aroma (wet) hops: Hallertau Mittelfruh

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bov (12556) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - MAR 14, 2017
from Cave Bires, Yverdon - cloudy golden-blond beer with a white foam left; nice lace; light funky, yeasty and fairly fruity, estery aroma; a good malt backbone, low carbonation, light bitter, dry and long fruity, dusty and earthy finish; light sweet

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
stifler84 (47) - Klippan, SWEDEN - MAR 10, 2017
Beer tasting at Fillepolo 170310. Bottle from Systembolaget. Dry and Nice. Good finish

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Gaultier (1682) - SWEDEN - MAR 10, 2017
Beer tasting @ fillepolo 10/3-17. Bottle from Systembolaget. Malty and fruity with some spices. Body is medium, the finish is dry and malty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Jorn69 (2943) - ngelholm, SWEDEN - MAR 10, 2017
Tasting @ fillepolo 20170310. Bottle (750 ml) from Systembolaget. Malty and fruity with yeasty notes, caramely and grassy, medium body with an oily texture. The finish is dry, malty ad grassy with fruity notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
fillepolo (843) - SWEDEN - MAR 10, 2017
Beer tasting @ Fillepolo. Bottle from systembolaget. Pours a golden colour beer with a large head. Yeasty, hoppy with herbs and pepper. Dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Alengrin (5105) - BELGIUM - FEB 10, 2017
The 2015 vintage in this series, 75 cl bottle from Van Eetvelde, hopped with Northern Brewer and Hallertau Mittelfrh. I always seem to stumble upon bottles in this series too late, whereas they are probably at best when consumed young - hopefully this one held out till now. Fairly thick and frothy, egg-white, densely moussy head leaving behind a thick board of papery lacing, on top of a hazy straw blonde beer with deeper ochre-ish tinge, completely cloudy and whiter (milky) with sediment added. Aroma is initially a bit skunked (mercaptans - this one clearly saw too much light, note the green colour of the bottle in this respect too), yet quickly gone and thus making way for more flattering impressions of fresh bitter herbs (wormwood), straw, green banana, garden weeds, raw witloof, chicory root even, raw green cabbage (no DMS!), unripe apricot, old bread crust, jute, dry hay, bitter honey, dried camomile, horseradish, mustard seed, raw potato, coriander seed, hard pear, tonic water, minerals, perhaps a vague echo of bygone lemon zest, dandelion milk juice - and apart from what is perhaps reminiscent of wet cardboard, not the slightest sign of old age or oxidation. Crisp onset, bit estery, with hints of green banana (certainly no bubblegum isoamylacetate), unripe peach, green apple peel and gooseberry, sourish and dry with an only very briefly and subtly sweetish core, sharply and minerally carbonated, initially numbing a bit and making it hard to figure out the actual taste, coarsening an otherwise supple, lean, full body. Grainy middle with softer bready edges, over which this wry green fruitiness persists, gradually acquiring more and more influence from old spice-like phenols, yet nothing medicinal or band aid-like. Earthy bitter finish, some graininess and restrained fruitiness remaining but only as ornaments to a full-fledged, powerful hop bitterness filling the mouth, peppery, very leafy and very grassy with floral notes, a bit soapy even in the very end probably due to a subtle (but still redundant) dash of coriander; this spicy hop bitterness keeps dominating the back of the mouth and throat for a long time and has a profoundly resinous, quinine- and tonic water-like feel to it, not unlike XX Bitter when I come to think of it, if not more so. Some juicy graininess seeps through, along with Belgian spicy phenols. It is, in all, the uncompromising, deep and thorough, drying, pungent but noble hop bitterness which lasts and lasts, leaving behind a very gin-like, bright garden green, harsh and everlasting bitterness, like the underside of dried grapefruit peel. Alcohol remains completely out of sight - as it ought to be for a beer at near session strength. I missed out on a few of these Ranke Hop Harvest editions but compared with the ones I had, this one is a beer to be reckoned with: it has the general profile of that exceptional XX Bitter, probably the most bitter Belgian beer back in the nineties, but with a tad more finesse and elegance, though to me, the degree of uncompromising, green and even somewhat harsh hop bitterness is about the same between both. A very hop bitter beer indeed, this 2015 Hop Harvest, which probably explains why it is still standing so strong in early 2017 - reflecting the old and stern Euro noble hops preserving potency rather than the delicacy and fragility of those fancy New World hops, lovely as they may be. Thoroughly Belgian and, like XX Bitter, a bit British at the same time, this is close to the quintessence of this brewery: an aversion against sweetness, stubbornly turning its head towards bitter and dry. Probably the least accessible and therefore most uncompromising one I had in this series.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ysok02 (1392) - Mons, BELGIUM - FEB 5, 2017
Une belle bire houblonne tout en fracheur et en tension qui raffrachit aprs les deux cuves de bush prcdentes, trs bel quilibre entre le fruit, la fracheur et lamertume, et belle bulle dlicate. Bire de soif.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
cgarvieuk (23272) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - NOV 21, 2016
Keg at six deg... Very pale yellow.. Thin white lacing.. Dry fruits nose.. Light grassy fruit.. Dry hay fruit... Too bitter

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
llkc (1931) - rhus, DENMARK - OCT 19, 2016
Duft citrus lime humle grn kant smag citrus maltey appelsin korianderfr tr bitter eftersmag

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Iphonephan (6723) - Jackson Hole/McLean, Virginia, USA - SEP 28, 2016
On draft at The Sovereign in Georgetown DC. Pours a hazy gold with an off white head. Minty bubblegum nose. Flavors of spices and and grapefruit rind. Bitter finish.

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