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Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

310 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 310
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 39
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006)
View: Beers (26) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 310 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Stand-Out Belgian Pale, one of the finds of my obscure pale hunt. Mildly yeasty, with a good fomay head. Nice mouthfeel, medium lus mouthfeel, expirey 2008. Quite hoppy,good bitterness and a remarkable overall taste effort for 4.5% a.b.v. I would drink this regular and convert many people if this was available regularly.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2007 00:23:17 | More by Sammy
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t0rin0

California

3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

08-31-2012 12:49:10 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pale yellow color with a small 1 inch head that becomes an oily film on the top of the beer. Spotty bits of lace on the drink down. Smells of yeast, watery citrus hops, and malt. Tastes of watery malt, subdued citrus hops, and yeast. Somewhat abrasive hop bitterness after each sip. Not too good. Good carbonation makes for a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, I am glad I got to try this hard to find Belgian beer but it is not my cup of tea.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 21:10:04 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle at 't Brugs Beertje in Brugge during last week's trip to Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a De La Senne cervoise.

Pours a semi-hazy straw color with a huge white head and gobs of lacing on the way down. The nose brings some straw and wheat with some faint hops. Nice and inviting, but nothing too exceptional. The flavor really takes a turn in a positive direction with plenty of floral hops to combine with the light malt. Light body and good bitterness. Solidly-dry finish. High carbonation and super crisp. DLS does it again. Fantastic brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 20:04:37 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling sunshine yellow with a generous amount of carbonation and an expansive head that was first visible extruding out of the bottle neck following cork removal. The foam looks much better in the glass. It's pearlescent ivory in color, has a fantastic texture (softly rocky and ridiculously sticky) and is depositing patches of thick lace.

TB smells more like a saison than a Belgian pale ale. The nose is lemon peppery and herbal at once. I keep reading about how hoppy this ale is, but it doesn't smell as hoppy as a trio of great Belgians that I've had in the past year or so (Urthel Hop-It, De Ranke XX Bitter and Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel). Let's see what the taste buds have to say.

Taras Boulba is very good beer. It's also amazingly quenching and refreshing beer. Given the flavor and the ABV, this '750' should be gone in no time at all. Back to appearance: a second pour has added a huge amount of yeast to the glass and has made the already attractive head even more attractive. This is one gorgeous ale.

Several ounces are gone and my initial enthusiasm has ebbed a little... but only a little. The beer's biggest negative is that the flavor isn't quite as deep and as complex as it could be. I wonder if a slightly higher ABV would help in that regard. That's pretty much it for the negatives... on to the positives.

Despite a lack of barnyard funk, saison is still the more appropriate style. There's a modest amount of untoasted crackery malt, just enough to give the top notes of hops and yeast an adequate amount of support. Hop flavor and bitterness is generous for a Belgian ale. The finish is especially snappy and tight.

As far as specific flavors are concerned, let's go with lemon zest, meadow grasses, white pepper and spicy cardamom. Maybe a little ground clove as well, but it isn't dominant. The flavor is definitely more assertive as I get into the middle of the bottle. It could be due to warming, but I suspect that the yeast are simply now more plentiful within each gulp. The next highest flavor score is a small step away rather than a giant leap.

Considering the 4.5% ABV, the mouthfeel is surprisingly enjoyable. It doesn't venture beyond light, yet has enough smooth creaminess to get the job done. Longer lasting bubbles would be good; both overall and within each mouthful.

Why would Brasserie De La Senne name a pale ale after an obscure historical novel written by an obscure Ukranian named Nikolai Gogole? Who cares, as long as the beer is delicious. Taras Boulba is another hoppy Belgian that saison freaks owe it to themselves to try.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2008 21:45:30 | More by BuckeyeNation
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metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation along with some fine particles floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high bright white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of herbal and spicy hops are present in the nose along with some hints of Belgian yeast.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by grassy, herbal and peppery spicy flavors from the hops, the latter of which lingers through the finish. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The low alcohol content makes the beer very sessionable but it is still packed with lots of hoppy and yeasty flavors making it comparable to some of the top Belgian Pale Ales.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2013 01:16:49 | More by metter98
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nmann08

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

11-10-2013 18:36:59 | More by nmann08
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy (lots of lees) beige color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of extra dry hops with lightly spicy yeast. Taste is a well balance mix between some spicy yeast with some really dry hops (not really bitter though) and good Belgian style malt profile. Full body with great carbonation. Well done if maybe a tad too dry but I wouldn't mind having this more often.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2008 18:56:51 | More by Phyl21ca
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acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

05-22-2014 03:19:44 | More by acurtis
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"It was the best of beers, it was the worst of beers..." Well, there's no downside to this Belgian offering but with a foral delicate character up front and a biting bitter note in the back, this really is a tale of two beers.

Pouring with the delicate light straw hue that's typical with Belgian blonde ales, the beer casts a mild yeasty cloud and uninterrupted streams of carbonation. The spritzy bubbles build a fluffed cottony head that sits lightly on the beer and laces the glass intricately.

Very floral to the nose, the beer's supple malt sweetness gives a rounded and somewhat fuller scent to the bouquet of orange blossom, honeysuckle, lavender, lemongrass, and soft coriander. Underpinnings of soft bready pilsner malt allows for a light grain and yeast scent to give impressions of cookie dough.

Just when you think that the aroma profile translates effortlessly to taste, the beer gives a few surprises. Of course the supple sweetness of malt touches the tongue and then seemingly dissolves like powdered sugar while the floral notes march onto the mid palate with a developing earth, grassy, and pepper tone. But the procession toward finish continues to grow into an intensely hopped bitterness that wasn't expected. Finish much like many Belgian IPAs, the bitter bite that's only illuminated in the back of the throat reminds me of lemon pepper, sassafras, and sandalwood.

The finesse of the beer's upstart plays light on the palate with the creamy effervescent that lifts and whimsically dissapears- again, much like powdered sugar or cotton candy. This powdery note hides its bittering power very well and never allows it to pronounce until deeper in the finish. But that bitterness does bring about a sharp, peppery, and somewhat astringent bite that's much like biting on raspberry seeds. Lightly acidic, the beer closes with pleasant alcohol warmth, aided hop dryness, and a fast-fleeting malt presence.

This beer would work perfectly with some of those delicate fish entrees that are also a bit oily. The floral notes of the beer will complement that of the fish preparation, and the bitterness will cleanse the mouth and allow the champagney carbonation to refresh the palate and ensure every bite tastes like the first.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2012 17:16:11 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt

A: The pour is a somewhat hazy straw color with a touch of orange and a white head.

S: Lots of hop notes. The aroma is very floral, though there is a bit of grass. Malt aromas in the form of bread and crackers, giving the nose a nice bit of sweetness. Some light esters and phenols, too.

T: Sweet malt to start off the flavor. It's mostly bread and cracker malts. The floral hops stand out and there is a touch of grass. A mild fruit ester note, but a decent amount of pepper and bitterness.

M: The body is light to medium with a medium carbonation.

O: Another nice, light beer with a pretty solid hop character.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 22:22:05 | More by womencantsail
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, dull golden-hued body with a tall, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Fresh, aromatic notes of dusty citrus fruits, cantaloupe juice, herbs, clean soap, and spices set against a humble backdrop of pale malts.

Taste: European pale malts, only lightly sweet. Fruity tastes of melon and lemon slide into tastes of dried herbs, lemon pepper, and watercress. Moderate bitterness. Slight Belgian yeast character. Minor acidity. Floral, soapy hop flavors in the latter half. Spicy bitterness in the brightly crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm always happy to mix in a lighter alcohol brew, particularly when it's both pleasantly flavorful and irresistibly quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 02:03:28 | More by ChainGangGuy
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spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

03-11-2013 05:51:29 | More by spycow
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice clear golden color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer had some light spice notes on the nose but really gives off lots of nice grainy aromas with some floral hops in there too. The taste of the beer was a little on the light side. It had some decent bitter notes along with some sweet grain too. The mouthfeel was light and pretty refreshing. Overall this brew was good, just not has strong as I thought it might be. Very easy going brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 19:49:10 | More by Knapp85
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #300

For this "benchmark" review, I wanted to try something new & relatively unknown.

Taras Boulba pours a deep peachy tone into an oversized tulip glass. Slightly hazy texture with unfiltered particles of yeast, and steady streamers of carbonation. Merengue-like foam billows to form craggy peaks. Irregular, spotty lacing rings the glass as the excess foam dwindles to an iceberg-like island. It certainly looks Belgian in all aspects.

There's a light pear fruitiness to the aroma, similar to Zinnebir from this brewery. Also a mineral water element, with light earthy hops making an appearance.

It's lightly fruity and hoppy on the palate, with a residual dry, herbal aftertaste. The hops are earthy, and balance the mild fruitiness. Not over the top hops, just gently bitter, with the drying herbal aftertaste.

The feel is airy and effervescent, juicy at first, then with the dry smack on the back of the palate. It was very easy to finish a 750mL of this very refreshing summertime Belgian. Imagine a hoppier, less fruity version of Zinnebir, and that's not far off the mark.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 01:55:33 | More by emerge077
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westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

01-09-2013 23:24:28 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a couple bottles from Dyan this week. Thanks!

Into a wide-mouthed goblet, Taras Boulba appears a hazy, yeasty straw color. Champagne-like effervescence feeds a large creamy head that slowly settles to a splotchy cap.

The aroma contains a subtle and pleasant mix of bready malts, spicy Belgian yeast and zesty, lemony hops.

Herbal, floral, zesty hops hit the palate first, quickly matched by bready and earthy malts, white pepper-like spiciness, strong lemon rind bitterness. This has a lot of flavor and complexity, but it never feels heavier than its 4.5% ABV. Light and thirst-quenching, dry from front to back, I'm really liking the balance between the malt, hops and yeast. There's a touch of medicinal phenols in the finish that remind me of aged Orval, faint enough to add an interesting complexity. The bitterness in the finish seems to grow with each sip, lingering for minutes in between sips, exhibiting an herbal and lemon peel-like character. Such a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 00:51:04 | More by largadeer
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded yellow orange that's hard to see in this dark light. Nose is minor dough with spices mixed in. Milder than I expected. Flavor is quite hoppy it seems. Fair amount of dough. Earthy too. Minor citrus on the backside. Decent level of spices it seems, buy really the hops are in full effect here. Smooth feel. Low carbonation. Nice to drink. It started off off to me but soon got quite nice. Like this beer a lot.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2008 23:52:39 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a big fan of paying over $10 for a bottle of beer I've never heard of, but I am prone to references to the works of Nikoalai Gogol. One of the strangest labels I've seen in a while. Looks computer drawn, and depicts a bald, moustachioed burly man hoisting a keg and shouting "Smeirlap" over the prone, and outcrying figure of a man with a face out of "Guernica", all before a carnival backdrop, with a slanted church to right of panel. Picasso man is crying out something in Flemish, and if you visit the Shelton Brothers website, they explain the word balloons and the connection to the Gogol story. Somewhat....

anyway..

capped and corked, ...POP! and out comes the funk! and into a Westmalle chalice she goes...

Clean golden hue, lightly hazed,, huge, pillowy white, lace leaving head. Looks beautiful.

Flowery aroma, a touch of sour, and lots of spice...plenty of Saaz hops going on, I think...Green bottle, and initial aromatic impressions had me worried about skunking, but it just seems the unique character of this brew, and not a bottle of cat pee. (Close, though.) Some lemony, citrusy flavor meets the light spices. Nice.

Taste: hops are in charge on the tastebuds, laying claim of the palate. Light bodied, low alcohol, light in the malt department, this is all hops, and easy drinking. Smooth, with no flaws, but lacks pizzaz, or any real, particular character. A palatable ale with higher hops. No biggie. Would go great with food, but offers no excitement. Nice for sessioning. But at that price, I expect more.

Worth the $10.49? No. But they got me with the name and the label. That's how they get ya!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2007 09:07:40 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey DC, served in a snifter. Beer is yellow and mildly hazy with a big tight white head.

Beer is yeasty and sweet in the nose, mild hoppiness.

Beer is sweet in the sense that Duvel is sweet beer, it is an interesting beer. Yeasty and mildly dry on the finish with a little hops in the midpalate, mild bitterness at the end. I enjoyed it a lot.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2012 18:02:41 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland ME. Served chilled in a goblet

A - A beautiful golden color w/ excellent clarity - rocky pale white cap w/ average sized beading and thick lace collects

S - The smell has green spiciness from the hops w/ tropical notes from the yeast and mild pine notes from the hops as well. The fruit esters seem to be most similar to pineapple w/ mild bitter citrus peel and a mild vegetal note in the background

M - The feel is very good -dry and bitter w/ mild sweet herbal textures -moderately carbonated w/ mellow sweet malt and herbal tinges carry over into the finish w/ a dash of spice as it ends dry

T - The flavor is full w/ sweet tinge of light malt and mellow bitter citrus and pine hop tastes w/a hint of tropical fruit and the malt crispness balanced w/ a light vegetal and spiced
note of hops which also have minor floral aspects. The flavor has a dry quality which is hard to describe but is not so dry that you don't notice the sweet sugared tip. The complexity is good, but not over the top either -just a solid Belgian Pale taste IMO

D - A drinkable pale, the drinkability is very nice for this style - hopped slightly like a belgian strong yet abv is at level of a pale so it is win/win. I found the bitterness to be substantial and if it weren't at the lowered strength it is could be compared to a Belgian Ipa w/ the bitterness - recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2010 14:59:57 | More by Slatetank
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Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

My wife asked for the Zinnebir Christmas, but after reading the profile/reviews, I'm about 99% positive that she was given this beer instead by mistake, and she ended up not caring for it, thus swapping it for my De Struise Tsjeeses. Who got the raw end of that deal? I'll let you decide. I liked both beers fine, so...

Anyway.

Served in a pint glass, this beer poured a hazy golden-yellow with a decently foamy white head. Hoppy aroma, grassy, and a bit bready. Biscuity malts in the taste, generously hopped, floral and some citrus notes, almost IPA-ish in nature, and touches of light fruit and light peppery spice. Bitter finish. Decent, but not overwhelming. Light-medium body, and fairly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 02:07:08 | More by Rifugium
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one...

Pours hazed/cloudy golden with a huge foamy head that descends to a rocky cover. Patchy lacing sticks.

The smell is of orange and lemon with strong grassy and grainy notes. Bready and sourish.

The taste is not up to the nose. Medicinal/herbal - almost too much so, though orange and lemon with grassy notes are there.
It has a chalky, puckeringly dry, leafy finish.

The feel is airy with quite a bit of carbonation.

I don't care much for the herbal/medicinal/Alka-seltzerish aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 03:56:22 | More by jwc215
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite well carbonated and despite a very careful pour I start out with four-fingers of foam, that quickly grows to 6 fingers in height, including the last two-and-a-half being above the rim of my tulip glass. Quite a well built structure, it shows no signs of overflowing despite its height. The head is a light tan color and sits atop a brilliantly clear, orangish tinged, gold colored brew. The foam is quite dense and creamy in consistency. This is quite aromatic; as I pour I get notes of dried grass and as I marvel at the structure of the head I get bright fruit aromatics that remind me of aromatic apples and pears. I have no idea how I am going to get to the beer under all of this foam, but for now I am content delving into the contents of the aroma. This definitely has a funky edge to it; slightly musty, a touch of cork, damp grain and a touch of sharp esters / phenolics are the funky notes. Really the aroma is about the mix of fruit and hop character though; just under the omnipresent fruit notes (apple, pear, some star-fruit, kiwi and dried Muscat grape) is a nice grassy hop character that has a light herbal edge to it. As my nose gets used to the fruit notes, more aromas start to come out; the aroma now smells distinctly of un-ripened fruit (green mango, green papaya and even a distinctively cucumber like note). As the head slowly recedes it forms a volcanic cone structure that is topped by a bulbous, mushroom crown of froth; really one of the most distinct structures I have ever seen on a beer. A nice, thin layering of Belgian lace clings to the sides of the glass too.

Very dry tasting up front and even creamy feeling on the tongue. After five minutes of waiting for the first sip the beer has lost quite a bit of carbonation, but it still has more than your average beer. The carbonation adds a bit of texture to what is a very light feeling beer. There is a bracing bitterness to this beer though that lingers through to a long finish. In the near finish that un-ripened fruit character / cucumber note from the aroma shows up in the flavor, but it is not nearly as big as the aromatic note was. The fruit notes come out more towards the end as this is where a touch of malt sweetness shows up, just before succumbing to the dry, biting bitterness. The hop flavor in this brew leans towards grassy notes with a touch of lemon zest, perhaps some notes of nettle and even a touch of a tobacco like note that mixes in with the bitterness in the finish. The second pour of this beer retains a lot more carbonation, actually I did not wait a full 5+ minutes before taking my first sip. This causes the beer to almost vaporize as it first hits my tongue. Soft flavors of apple and pear are noticeable at times as is a bready malt / yeast note, some cracker like malt and some honey-like malt flavors.

This beer is very good; probably one of the best visual experiences; it has a very intriguing aromatic character, but is not quite perfect; and the flavor is merely quite good. The flavor seems a touch flat somehow, this is of course a product of the low alcohol percentage, but the best of these hoppy, low alcohol sort of season like brews have more texture and more exciting flavors to them than this does. Still this is very good, and I would be quite happy to see a bunch more beers in this same vein. I like how easy drinking this beer is and also how the bitterness, while substantial, is not overdone. I could use a bit more hop flavor and aromatics, but that might be made up for by getting a really fresh sample of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2007 02:36:51 | More by Gueuzedude
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Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +0.5%

11-25-2011 14:39:07 | More by Rochefort10nh
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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
89 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.