Home > Belgian IPA, India Pale Ale > De Ranke XX Bitter (247 of 1001)

De Ranke XX Bitter (247 of 1001)

Rating: 3.3

This one is a bottle I picked up online just before the end of last year and I’ve had sitting in the cellar ever since, the main reason for this was my initial thinking that is was an outrageously strong beer that was best kept for a while before enjoying but upon finding out it was a mere 6% bottle I thought it best to try it now; if nothing else then it’ll get my 1001 Beers list count up a little. The beer is apparently a cross between a Belgian IPA and a Belgian strong pale ale, I’ll find out which it is closer to upon trying the drink but either way I’m looking forward to this, all the more so since finding out the abv. was a little more manageable than I’d originally assumed.

De Ranke XX Bitter

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber in colour, almost orange with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that holds well. The body of the beer is slightly cloudy and there seems to be plenty of evidence of visible carbonation with an abundance of small bubbles rising to the surface. Head retention is pretty good as well with it reducing slightly to hold at just under half a centimetre in height and covering the surface of the beer without turning patchy in the opening minutes.
Aroma (7/10): Tonnes of yeast and floral notes upfront, there is some subtle hops as well and plenty of fruits coming through. Apples, some pear, lemon and orange all feature with plenty of pepper and spice backing them up. The smell wasn’t the strongest on the nose initially but at the same time it wouldn’t be considered weak either, the balance seemed good. I could detect some grain and a slight touch of alcohol on the nose with this one plus touches of bitterness as well, mainly from the hops at the beginning but overall the beer is a complex and fairly good smelling one.
Taste (6/10): Quite spicy initially with a very bitter taste that was only hinted at in the aroma, the taste goes well beyond that with some hops coming through as well. The yeast from the nose featured strongly here as well with some pepper and a few of the fruits previously mentioned as well, apple and pears being the most pronounced here. I definitely liked how this one started but once the bitterness kicked in it was a little too much for me.
Palate (3/5): Smooth with solid, high carbonation and a medium body. The beer is a very dry and fairly sharp tasting one with an intensely bitter finish to proceedings that was difficult for me to enjoy too much.

Overall (12/20): I’m not too sure about this one really, I quite enjoyed the aroma and how the taste started out but I wasn’t a fan of the incredibly bitter finish to the beer. Despite the fact that the name should have been an indication, nothing in the smell prepared me for just how bitter the taste of this one would end up. The beer also seemed a little stronger than I would have expected from a 6% beer with touches of grain and alcohol being more pronounced than I’d have liked.

Brewed In: Dottignies, Hainaut, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij De Ranke
First Brewed: 1997
Type: Belgian IPA
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £2.09

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