Monthly Archives: October 2013

Review of De Ranke XXX Bitter

Hello everyone.  It’s time for another craft beer review and today I’m going to be trying the De Ranke XXX Bitter produced by the Brouwerij De Ranke located in Wevelgem, Belgium.

I’ve only ever had the De Ranke XX Bitter and I thought it was wonderful, so I’m guessing that this beer should rank right up there with it.

I checked on the website,, and didn’t find any info for the XXX Bitter, but I did check on and found this.

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.

Not much to go on there, but that’s ok.  Let’s drink this thing.


This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle with an ABV of 6.0%.

It poured a beautiful, mostly clear, golden color.  It formed a billowy, soft, fluffy, rocky, white head from a very easy pour.  It was sized great and the retention time was awesome.  The lacing was patchy and soapy, but very nice looking.  This was a gorgeous looking beer and just staring at it in the glass made me want to turn it up and take a sip.

The nose was very floral.  Tones of fruity green apple and pear made their way into my nostrils while spices of pepper and coriander followed.  Fresh smelling grasses, yeast and bready goodness added more complexity, depth and roundness.  This brew smelled very, very nice.

Within the flavor a fresh grassy, grain and hay-like component began first.  The fruitiness didn’t seem as strong, however it was still noted.  The green apple gave it the slightest bit of tartness.  The yeast and bready characteristics were rather profound though.  At the back end a very nice hop bite tickled the tongue while a peppery sting complimented.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Very crisp, refreshing and dry with a wee bit of bite.  A good, medium strength carbonation allowed a lot of flavor to completely cover the palate for enjoyment between sips.

I tell ya.  I thought this was a great beer. It was very easy going and it would be a great Spring time brew.  The freshness would totally match that point of the season.  It was well balanced and intricate in both the aroma and the taste.  Not to mention that it looked spectacular standing in the tulip.  I have no doubt that this beverage could be appreciated by even the most advanced craft beer enthusiast as well as someone just getting started in the world of better beer.  I know that I really enjoyed it and I hope that De Ranke brews the XXX Bitter again sometime because I’ll definitely pick it up.  Did any of you guys get the opportunity to sample this brew?  What did you think of it?  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about your experience.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.5 out of 5

Grade:  A

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Country: Belgium, De Ranke


Review of Mystic Saison Renaud

What’s up guys?  Thanks for checking back in on another post.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Mystic Saison Renaud brewed by the Mystic Brewery situated in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

I can’t say that I know much about this brewery, however this particular beer came highly recommended from my local bottle shop, so I had to pick it up.

Let’s jump over to the website,, and see what they have to say about the Saison Renaud.

A saison for the summer. Made with pilsner malt and Saaz hops…it’s similar to a pilsner with more spice and light fruit.

This beer was batch #007.  Let’s do this.


This brew came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it possessed an ABV of 6.5%.

It poured a hazy, golden/yellow to light orange color.  It had a big, billowy, rocky, soapy, white head the had great retention time and some nice patchy lacing.  This was a very inviting looking brew that’s for sure.

The nose was very, very complex and in-depth.  It produced tones of lemon citrus along with hints of hay and grass.  It had a beautiful musty funk.  It was also quite floral with a subtle waft of white grape, which made it similar to a white wine.  I even smelled some green apple and some light spice.  The yeast and bready fragrances really began to pop as it warmed and helped tie it all together and give it a solid backbone.  This thing smelled great in my opinion.

The flavor provided the lemon citrus, which was just a wee bit sour, at first.  It was quickly followed by the barnyard funk.  The grassy, yeasty and somewhat bready components followed suit, while the peppery spice seemed to be dialed down a bit so just to compliment.  The green apple savors came through right at the end.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  It was dry, crisp, refreshing, thirst quenching and bitey.  The carbonation was lively, but not stingy.  No real presence of warmth from the alcohol, however an excellent shot of flavor was left behind long after each sip.

I’ll tell ya.  I found this to be a very, very nice brew.  It was super refreshing and super easy to drink.  It’s definitely one that I would love to have again sometime that’s for sure.  Especially next Spring or Summer. Although, I believe I may be able to enjoy this beverage at any point during the year to tell the truth.  If you guys see it, don’t pass it up and give it a try.  If you enjoy the Saison style I have no doubt that you will enjoy the Mystic Saison Renaud.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.2 out of 5

Grade:  A-

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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Country: USA, Mystic


Review of Crooked Stave Vieille Artisanal Saison

Hey everyone.  I hope all has been going well.  It’s time to get back to the craft beer reviews and for today’s tasting I’m going to be drinking the Crooked Stave Vieille Artisanal Saison produced by the Crooked Stave Brewery located in Denver, Colorado.

This will be my first experience with anything from these guys.  I’ve heard good things, so I’m really looking forward to it.

The website,, gave up this bit of info regarding the Vieille Artisanal Saison.

Vieille meaning “Old” is our artisinal barrel-aged Saison, lightly dry hopped. Each batch release is a diverse blend of Vieille casks that have taken on a soft Brettanomyces character before being lightly dry hopped. Dominated by a floral, citrusy hop character, a subtle herbal note and a tart finish, Vieille’s character exemplifies artisan Saisons.

Alrighty.  Let’s drink this thing.


This beer came in a 12.7 oz. bottle with an ABV of 4.2%.

It poured a hazy, yellow to gold color with a white head.  The crown was sized very well and the texture was sudsy, soapy and a touch fizzy.  The retention time seemed ok, but the lacing was mostly average.  Still not bad though.  Definitely a pleasant looking beer.

The nose brought forth a decent shot of funk and oak while a light lemon citrus note crept in after a few seconds.  As it continued to warm I began to gather some of those typical Saison aromas.  Hints of hay and fresh grasses along with a wee bit of peppery spice and earthiness.  Not bad.  Not all that robust, however rather suitable.

The taste was even more light than the aroma.  It was muted quite a bit actually.  A lot of the same characteristics were found in the taste though.  Lemon citrus, oak, funk, musty hay and grasses.  It almost had a floral type of taste as well.

The mouthfeel was medium to thin.  Somewhat watery to tell the truth.  Very smooth, crisp, refreshing and thirst quenching.  The carbonation was good, although not a terrible amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each gulp.

Overall, I thought this was an ok beer.  It’s definitely worth a try and it would be perfect for a Summer brew. The drinkability was killer and it wasn’t over the top with flavor or nuances.  It would also be a great drink for someone wanting to dip their toe into the Saison realm.  It was proper and well made albeit a bit underscored. So, if you guys have the opportunity to try the Crooked Stave Vieille Artisanal Saison go for it and see what you think.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me all about it when you do.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.55 out of 5

Grade:  B

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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Country: USA, Crooked Stave

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