Brouwerij De Ranke
from Belgium
38th highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedSaison De Dottignies (87 / 100) Average score75 / 100 (Excellent)
Lowest RatedKriek De Ranke (63 / 100) Number Tried14
Saison De Dottignies
Reviewed by Jez on 13.01.15 in bottle
Overall:
87 / 100
(Exceptional)
330ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. Pours a light and hazy orange-yellow colour, with a huge and boisterous head of fluffy white. Lacing is complex and confusing. Refined fine bubbling of carbonation through the body. Looks lively; a great look for a saison.

Smell is exquisite. Lots of white wine cork, crushed lemon myrtle, slight vegetative funk and a crisp acidity. A little deeper, there's a rough meatiness to it as well, adding a round Belgian yeast note to the already pungent characters. What a ripe and raucous Saison aroma.

Taste is clear and biting, with a crisp savoury note through the centre that blossoms into a lingering and freshly smooth bitterness on the back. Minimal acidity, but there's lots of organics - big crushed vegetation characters, a woody earthiness lending a slight almond flavour midway through and a crispness on the palate which excites the taste buds. It's a fabulous saison.

An exceptional drop of beer, and a fantastic example of the style. The complexity and the subtlety work beautifully in tandem to make this exciting and drinkable in equal proportions. Ah, no one beats the Belgians at a good saison. And this isn't just good - it's magnificent.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
De Ranke XX Bitter
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.05.13 in bottle
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a dusty orange colour; decent cloud, bit of bead feeding a thin white crown of tight-bubbled head. Lace clings nicely. Maybe more head would be nice, but otherwise looks great.

Smells rank from the pour. Nice, wild organic notes with a touch of lucerne, some raw bread dough and a whisper of vinegar at the back. Maybe a touch yeasty, but the tang of the hops is pleasantly refreshing.

Taste is very grainy indeed. Lots of cereal notes, honeyed oat and puffed rice on the front with a touch of caramel. Hops come through midway, with some grassy and slightly herbal notes. Decent earthy bitterness, fairly mild which is nice but a bit too mild so the sweetness is not totally balanced out and cleansed. I like it well enough, but it just seems a little drab.

Not bad, really. Lots of texture, quite bitty with a bit of fizz.

To be honest I'm not seeing what the big deal with this beer is. Implications seemed to be that this would change my mind about Belgian IPAs. It's a little different maybe and perhaps a bit more cohesive but it still strikes me as quite a middle-of-the-road drop.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Cuvée De Ranke
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 03.04.13 in bottle
Overall:
85 / 100
(Exceptional)
Purchased on the joint recommendation of Stu from Yeastie Boys and Adam from Platinum Liquor. Enjoyed the bottle all myself one lonely Friday evening.

Pours a golden colour, steady bead feeding a very pleasant heavy head, nice and generous but sinks in strands. Some lacing left behind. Looks nice.

Smells tart and funky. Large organic, earthy kind of offness with a crisp and fresh lemony acidity over the top. Touch of raspberry, too, some dirt and lucerne, but yeah the tartness is a real fresh note, and makes it smell very pleasant indeed.

Taste is also pretty funky, with a really noticeable damp, organic barnyard flavour. Tartness comes through pretty strong, with lemon, vinegar and a very underripe strawberry note. Finishes with a very slight puckering astringency, but it's really just a whisper. The back palate is mostly sweet and fruity, with a big caramelised pear character. Very tasty, balanced and professionally put-together lambic style.

Nips a bit from that wild yeast. Bit foamy from the carbonation and ends surprisingly sweet and full, but inevitably dry.

Great drop. Complex and confronting, but deeply rewarding. Beautifully reined in.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Saison De Dottignies
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.02.13 in bottle
Overall:
76 / 100
(Excellent)
Purchased on a recommendation from Adam at Platinum Liquor.

Pours a pale gold colour; cloudy. Head is cream-coloured, dense and fluffy on top. Retaining well. Lace is clingy and producing some inspiring patterns. Lovely.

Smells quite nice. Funky and organic, with notes of soil, farm animals and earthy spice, with a nice floating fruit aroma as well - some packham pear, apricot and underfermented champagne. Pleasant, but par for the saison course.

Taste is more saisony, even. Rubbery upfront, with some barnyard funk - soil and coriander characters, grains of paradise and, and some lighter floral notes of lavender and maybe frangipani. Very nice mix, lots of organic flavours. Quite an earthy funk, especially on the bitter back, but overall a very nice, drinkable BElgian palate, with lots of flavour.

Swills nicely in the mouth. Not too dry on the back. Really quite pleasant.

Textbook saison, really. All the weird yeasty notes are present and vibrant, and overall it's tasty and drinkable. Recommended.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
De Ranke Guldenberg
Reviewed by Jez on 03.12.11 in bottle
Overall:
81 / 100
(Exceptional)
Bottle purchased for me by @LaitueGonflable for my birthday.

Pours a pleasant clear, deep golden colour, with a firm, frothed egg-white head. Lacing is streaking and persistent. Lots of fine bubbled carbonation which works its way through the light body in a very sprightly manner. A little suspended yeast sediment from a less-than-ideal pour.

Nose is dry and crisp, with some light spiciness, a touch of dried fruit and a wandering lilt of apple must. Slight candied lemon twinge to it. Very well integrated and very refined.

Taste is as you would expect, very light and bright but with subtle dry complexities. Dried apple on the front, with a spritzy, slightly zesty spice mid palate, followed by a surprisingly lengthy finish, giving white grape skin and a touch of pepper. Very little astringency or phenols, and the alcohol is almost unnoticeable. Feel is light, but very smooth and careful.

Really wonderful Tripel. Plenty of complexity, but smooth, enjoyable and supremely drinkable. Great beer.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Saison De Dottignies
Reviewed by Jez on 26.10.10 in bottle
Overall:
85 / 100
(Exceptional)

Cap is extremely well sealed on the bottle. Seemed to take an awful lot of effort to prise it off. Pours a light and hazy straw yellow colour, with a huge and boisterous head of fluffy white. Lacing is complex and confusing. Refined fine bubbling of carbonation through the body. Looks lively; a great look for a saison.

Smell is exquisite. Lots of white wine cork, crushed lemon myrtle, slight vegetative funk and a crisp acidity. A little deeper, there's a rough meatiness to it as well, adding a round Belgian yeast note to the already pungent characters. What a ripe and raucous Saison aroma.

Taste is clear and biting, with a crisp savoury note through the centre that blossoms into a lingering and freshly smooth bitterness on the back. Minimal acidity, but there's lots of organics - big crushed vegetation characters, a woody earthiness lending a slight almond flavour midway through and a crispness on the palate which excites the taste buds. It's a fabulous saison.

An exceptional drop of beer, and a fantastic example of the style. The complexity and the subtlety work beautifully in tandem to make this exciting and drinkable in equal proportions. Ah, no one beats the Belgians at a good saison. And this isn't just good - it's magnificent.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Kriek De Ranke
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a bright red colour - very hazy, with pink-tinged white head. Lace is speckled, fairly thin. Yeah, looks odd, but not bad. I mean it's suitable for style. But it's odd, like the style.

Yeah, very sour nose, lots of cherry character, some cheese rind funk to it as well. Hints of red vinous notes, tart and acidic with a slight tomatoey note lingering at the back. Not bad.

Taste is very sour, fruity, with lots of tomatoey boldness to it coupled with mottled hints of cherry. The tart cherry juice character and bits of bitter cherry skin flavours come through on the mid, but that tomatoey aspect just won't leave my mind. Fairly refreshing, with nice fruity characters and a good hit of funk on the back. Crisp and tart. Pretty nice.

Has a good, firm body to it. Slightly puckering on the back though.

I'm not a big fan of the style, but if you're in the mood for a sour, cherry-flavoured beer this is one to look for.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Kriek De Ranke
Reviewed by Jez on 04.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
76 / 100
(Excellent)

Awesome paper-covered presentation. A big 750ml bottle that opens with a bare hiss. It looks impressive before I've even laid eyes on it poured.

Once it's in my glass, it's a very pleasant ruby red coloured brew, with a fine-bubbled and surprisingly heavy head of pink foam. Body is very thick, leaving some static bubbling when swirled. Very dense for a kriek. I like it a lot. I'm not sure I've ever had such a heavy kriek lambic before.

Nose is classically lambic. Big sour tart notes, although there's not a huge amount of cherry here. Still, it's extremely stylistically true, and has some wonderfully fresh and fragrant characters.

Taste is much in the same vein. Great classic and sour characters, with a refreshingly dry back palate. Cherry is present throughout, but only giving a subtle twang to the lambic sourness, which reigns throughout. Finish is indeed very dry. Mouthfeel is crisp and tart, verging on puckering without going to that extreme.

This is a very nice beer, and one that has to be respected for the expertise which went into making it so drinkable. I've had some intense and almost undrinkable lambics, but this does a good job of balancing character and intensity with drinkability.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
De Ranke XX Bitter
Reviewed by Jez on 29.11.09 in bottle
Overall:
79 / 100
(Excellent)

Pours a muddy dark yellow-orange colour, with a possibly hallucinatory green tinge. Head is a pleasantly full two fingers of creamy foam, off-white in colour, and a little rocky. It collapses after a while, but leaves some reasonably good lacing. Pretty decent looking brew, all up.

Some biscuit and green spice on the nose - quite herbal, with a sweet vanilla Belgian yeast character on the back. Round and smooth, it gets better as it warms, becoming more mellow and a little sweeter, providing a little more grain sweetness. Very pleasant.

Taste is round and succinct, very subdued, but very classy. A very pleasant classic Belgian pale sweetness on the front, hints of vanilla and shortbread, before a really pleasant green hop character on the back, like crushed vegetation. It's a really mellow and pleasant juxtaposition. Mouthfeel is spot on, a smooth entry to go with the roundness on the palate, but with a spritzy finish to match the hop note.

An exceptionally drinkable brew, and one which highlights what the Belgians do best. I've recently been drinking huge and flavoursome US craft brews, and this beer puts them in context. It shows what you can do with a more moderate taste profile, by blending disparate elements flawlessly, and providing impeccable balance. This is a big winner.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5.0