De Ranke XX Bitter (330ml Bottle)
Some more delicate palates are put off right away. It is first of all remarkably hoppy – and it persists in its hoppiness unto the bitter end – but it does not want for balancing maltiness. In the middle is a “barnyard” Brettanomyces yeast character that is very reminiscent of Orval in its heyday. You might say this beer is Orval with everything turned up to 11, which is exactly what the brewers were seeking
Poured a hazy straw gold with a small white head. The aroma is FLOWERS! A full beautiful bouqet of flowers, wow, it almost seemed over-powering to me. A touch of hops and some earthy aspects as well. Flavour is of dank cheese, sweet malty goodness, minor hop bitterness, but the Brett really steals the show. I almost detected some honey in the finish which was pleasant. Sort of like Orval though personally I feel it is different, and unique enough on its own they don’t have to make the comparison. Nice lingering brett yeasty aspects, gym sock, mold, etc. All those bizarre yet delicious characters I’ve come to know and love. Amazing the floral aroma was not at all apparent in the flavour. Very nice beer over-all.
Belgian-style ales seldom fit neatly into classic beer styles, but this category represents those "session" ales (in Belgium this means under 7% abv!) that do not fit other categories. Colour ranges from golden to deep amber, with the occasional example coming in darker. Body tends to be light to medium, with a wide range of hop and malt levels. Yeastiness and acidity may also be present.