2 Beer Guys Blog

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

De Ranke XX versus Urthel Hop-It!

2 Beer Guys Blog

Ian wanted to know whether "De Ranke XX Bitter" was the hoppiest beer in Belgium. As it happens, I -have- had De Ranke XX Bitter. This is BITTER beer. Very VERY bitter beer.
It is certainly hoppy, but to me it's a decade beer. The taste is MUCH too bitter for the drinker to enjoy pretty much anything else, really.
Once you had one you will know yourself to be a real trooper, a guy who would wash himself in a tub of Budweiser and drink it afterwards!
This is seriously bitter beer.

However, is it the hoppiest beer? Well: no. This isn't the hoppiest beer at all. What you really want is Urthel Hop-it: http://ratebeer.com/Beer/urthel-hop-it/51264/
I've had one soon after it was released to the general public. It is very hoppy [whouda thunk?] but completely contrary to the XX, this beer is actually a delight. I can't seem to find a picture of the brewer, to my great agony, but it might be a hint of why it is so tasty. Hop-it is very hoppy, laced with spices but it has a wonderful fruity character to it. Big head of steam with some carbonation. You will taste bitterness which is poorly understood, judging by the comments on ratebeer, something you cannot avoid given that it has more IBU points than De Ranke XX. However, the bitterness is not of the kind that makes your cheeks want to touch each other from the inside, this is actually a great beer. It masks the alcohol content very well. You will find that this is something you could be drinking for a while but it would so come back to bite you as it is a 9.5% alcohol content, quite the delighful buzz :). What this beer has that De Ranke XX does not have is balance. By IBU count alone you would avoid this beer because you thought it would be far too bitter by far, but it is actually a very steady platform. A very finely crafted beer. Not too much hop [but there's a lot of it], not too bitter [but it has a delightful bite], not too much fruit [but you'll go: yummy!], not too much alcohol [but it certainly puts a bullseye on your butt if you have too much of it]. I most definitely recommend it.

Hildegard, here's to you, sweetie!


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