I have seen this sitting on the shelf at my local bottle shop numerous times, however I have never pulled the trigger and picked up bottle….. until now.
Let’s see what we can find out about this beer from the website, deranke.be, shall we?
XX Bitter or Extra Extra Bitter is a blond, bitter ale containing 6.2% vol. Alc. It’s famous for it’s very bitter and strong flavour. XX is being made with pale pilsner malt and loads of Brewers Gold and Hallertau hop flowers. A perfect combination that has been nationally and internationally praised. This ale has been a real trendsetter for the current comeback of bitter ales in Belgium.
Sounds very nice. Let’s drink.
This brew came in a 25.4 oz. bottle with wrapping paper of the brewers logo and information. The ABV was 6.2%.
It poured a cloudy, golden/orange color. The head was slightly off white and smooth, however it was a touch soapy. The size was excellent, the retention time admirable and the lacing noteworthy. It settled to a fine ring around the outer edges of the tulip glass that remained for the entire drink. It looked very nice I thought.
The nose was nice and hoppy with a slight hint of sourness and tartness. It smelled a bit musty with malty white breads and hints of yeast, which provided the lightest touch of “funk”. Very earthy with a fruity undertone of lemon and pear. Very well balanced, harmonized and good.
The taste was both bitter and fruity as well. Savors of not quite ripe “green” pear and lemon citrus. Wonderful grassy and floral hops with just a smidgen of tarty goodness. The funk was very light too. Additional touches of yeast and white bread. Like the bouquet, it was very well balanced, harmonized, even and enjoyable.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied, quite dry, snappy, refreshing and thirst quenching. The carbonation was excellent and a nice dose of flavor was left covering the palate long after each sip.
Man, I thought this was a GREAT brew. I’m so glad I picked it up and tried it. I will not pass it up next time that’s for sure. In some ways it kind of reminded me of a slightly hoppier Farmhouse Ale. It had a very feeble amount of tartness and funk, although enough was found to account for a comparison. The hops were spot on and blended very well with the other characteristics. The drinkability was superb and this brew would make for a killer treat during the hot/humid days of Spring and Summer here in Kentucky. If you guys have yet to try the De Ranke XX Bitter, don’t hesitate any longer. It’s a super good beer that could satisfy most any craft beer drinker in my opinion. With that being said, pick up a bottle and see what you think. Be sure to let me know in the comments also if you don’t mind.
Thanks for all of the support and for reading the reviews everyone. I’m so appreciative.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 4.5 out of 5