XX Bitter is a Belgian IPA, and a good one at that. It's bitter, obviously, and requires aging to reach its peak level.
Now, you probably won't fall head over heels in love with the XX if bitterness is not your thing. This is the type of beer Keystone advertised against, though anyone with even a semblance of good taste would go with a Bitter Beer Face over a Keystone Headache.
The nose reveals a fairly balanced ale, with a good mix of floral scents, citrus, and, of course, hops. When it hits the mouth, though, the hops hops (Get it?! We're very funny.) up front. It's not as crazy as many American IPAs, and particularly the citric flavors laces the tongue well. But god, let's be clear, this is still plenty bitter, and probably to a comfortable level for most Hop Heads. It feels extremely smooth and crisp.
Belgian IPAs can be a bit of a hit or miss, but the XX hit a good homerun. It's as bitter as advertised, and smooth enough to be a nice sipping beer at a relatively mild 6.2% ABV. Highly recommended.
Vote for De Ranke XX Bitter: It’s your civic duty!