Fill It or Spill It

XX Bitter

In Belgium on July 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

In honor of Belgian Independence day, I decided to a pick a beer from Belgium.  XX Bitter comes from De Rankeand I’ve enjoyed several other beers, so I was confident in this one.  XX Bitter had a little added pressure because it appears in this book a friend has and its one of those “beers to try before you die” books.

I was impressed right out of the gate because it fizzed right out of the bottle like champagne.  This beer had some yeast that was working overtime, so that was a good sign.  It broke my heart a little to see that beer running down the side of the bottle, but on the bright side there was plenty of beer left on the inside.  The ABV was light at 6.2%, so an easily sessionable beer.

The beer poured a light, golden-yellow color with lots of fluffy white head.  The head was so fluffy it looked like someone had dropped some cotton on my beer.  It had great retention because that head stuck around quite a bit and slowly dissipated.  I already mentioned this beer had carbonation out the yin-yang, but I just wanted a reason to use “out the yin-yang”.

The aroma was really interesting.  There was a good amount of funk and sourness to it, almost like a true lambic.  The grassy hop aroma was able to make its way passed the funk and takes the edge of the funk.  Of course, that Belgian yeast aroma was present too.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t much of that nose funk in the taste, which was a relief.   The Belgian yeast was present in this beer and added a little spiciness to it.  There was also a subtle bitterness upfront that smoothed out in the finish.  Very light and refreshing, so it was easy to drink.

Verdict: Fill It.  This was definitely a good beer and nice example of quality Belgian brewing.  It was one of the few beers where the complexity of the aroma is complimented by the (relatively) toned down taste.  Unfortunately, this beer was a victim of the hype for me.  I’ve had beers before that I would go out of my way to find, but this isn’t one of them.  Don’t get me wrong it’s definitely a quality beer, but just not one that blew my mind.  If you haven’t had it, you should try it because it is very drinkable.  I just wouldn’t go crazy trying to get my hands on it.


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