Brouwerij De Ranke has been one of the Belgian breweries leading the way when it comes to hoppy Belgian beer. Their XX Bitter has an estimated BU rating around 65, although it’s less intense than an American beer with the equivalent bitterness rating, mostly due to the use of two European hop varieties: Hallertau and Brewer’s Gold.
This is the beer that inspired their importer, Shelton Brothers, and the brewery to create the XXX Bitter. The XXX Bitter takes the bitterness and the beer to the next level.
Appearance: Hazy burnished gold, white head, good retention.
Aroma: Earthy, spicy, citrus/pine, pepper, delicate hop aromas
Taste: Light breadiness, earthy, peppery phenolic finish, nice bitter hoppiness.
Overall Impression: This is another example of a Belgian brewery experimenting with hops and creating beers that are definitely hoppy yet distinctly “Belgian” in character.
Availability: In better beer stores that carry the Belgian beers imported by Shelton Brothers.
To read more De Ranke reviews or to learn more about the brewery, you can visit my Brouwerij/Brasserie De Ranke page.