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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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1,126 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

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Reviews: 1,126 | Ratings: 3,935
Photo of bret27
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

S: Oaky, tart, vanilla, brett, berries

A: Very dark ruby brown, thick creamy dark head

T: Sweet and tart cherries, touch of vanilla and woodiness. Tart, vinegar, extremely dry finish.

M/D: Medium, slick, and dry. Very delicious and drinkable.

Overall: I like the more oak aging on this one, than the normal version. The extra oak/wild bugs adds more flavor and yet more dryness, making it more drinkable for me.

When I realized I gave it an A+, I kind of second-guessed myself, but I stand by it. This is a phenomenal Flander's Red. World class IMO.

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Photo of meatyard
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly clear, ruby/brown with a 1-finger, short lasting, tan head that leaves no lacing.
The smell is tart fruits and is vinegary, it's very pleasant.
The taste starts with a cider vinegar moves quickly into sweet and sour fruits and ends with a tart green apple flavor that lingers a while. I feel a bit of the acidic burn down my throat as well.
Mouthfeel is light tending toward medium with appropriate though, maybe, slightly low carbonation for me.
Drinkability: For me this is excellent though those not enamored with sour beers may find it a chore. I've held onto this bottle for a couple of years and it may have mellowed slightly. I will have to pick up another this week.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 bottle after a great meal with friends.

A- a nice inch or so of tan head that settles to a ring. Gorgeous hazy dark red brown in color.

S- I love the nose on this. Funky must, apple cider vinegar, old oak, cherries, leather, the depth of complexity is staggering.

T- the nose doesn't lie, this delivers in a big way. Tart and sour, funky and woody. Over ripe cherries and apple cider again. Oak builds with a dry graininess as the brew warms.

M- crisp, clean and ever so refreshing with a nice pucker. Low carb but right in line for the style.

D- this brew is so perfectly drinkable. Its sour but balanced so well with the sweetness and oak that I have on more the one occasion had one after the other for hours.

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Photo of leschkie
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Toronado and poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a variety of foliage colors that you typically see when driving through the Atlantic Northeast during autumn. At first glance, a conglomeration between pumpkin orange and chestnut brown. But placing this one in fron of the setting sun reveals its true beauty: blazing fire red resembling the setting sun of the deserts of the American Southwest. Incredible! The frothy ecru head is spritzy with its fair share of carbination that eventually settles into a thin ring with pieces of broken delicate lace.

Smell: Sweet and sour cherries, dry tartness with some acidity and vinegar, and generous quantities of oak from the barrels. Each contribution is just so spot on that I can't even fathom it. This is the prototypical scent that every sour should have, period.

Taste: Holy crap! My taste buds are swimming in this stuff. The sweet and sour notes just play off of each other perfectly. When I want sour, I get sour. Just when the sour and tart get to the point of being borderline overwhelming, the sweet makes itself known to assuage the situation. Finishes clean and refreshingly dry with a nice acidic bite.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with the perfect amount of carbination. Sticky, but only just. This will probably be one of the few beers I review that will receive a perfect score for mouthfeel. I can't find anything wrong with it. Nothing more I can say than that.

Overall: I will never understand why people continue to seek out the rarer, younger "sexy" sours out there when they have utter perfection at their fingertips with the Rodenbach Grand Cru. Trust me, once you've had this on-tap, you will never go back. For me, this one will always be that first crush that you never really truly get over. Absolutely delectable.

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Photo of scottg
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip glass at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT.

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a thin creamy head. Aromas of apple, alcohol, and some dark fruit. Up front taste of a sweet apple cider blends with cherry, raisins, and a tart green apple flavor to form an almost brandy like flavor, very complex. High carbonation, medium body, this beer coats and cleanses your mouth awakening your taste buds. The combination of sweet and tart is fantastic. An absolute must try for anyone who appreciates great beer.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Nice clear deep dark Ruby Red colour with an off White large bubbled head that redeuces to a thin film.

S - Very bold Oak aromas, some faint boiled cherries lollies, vineous.

T - Oh yeah.The oak hits you straight away, and the sour tartness on the end so very well balanced with cheery sweetness. The vineus flavours are balsamic like, also some dry white wine flavours to enjoy

M - Light to medium body with full carbonation.

O - Superb.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into my trusty Duvel glass pours a deep, dark burgundy red ale, topped by an inch thick cream head, dollops of arched lacing slow descend back into the deep. After a short time, the head has dissipated, leaving a swirling froth of film.

I'm taken aback by the aroma, sour it is. A bouquet abounds, apples, cherries, plums, red grapes, an earthy hue of oaky delight.

Tart, gripping fruit hold your attention from the first instant, the plum and wood taking the lead, the tart overpowering the sweet, but gently so. Grape and apple make flirting passes, but the true master here is the tartness.

The mouth if full and sumptuous, the carbonation light and fleeting, caressing the mouth's senses. A dry finish completes the picture.

In all, this is a very fine beer, the pinnacle of its style. I can't say I'm completely hooked on the style, but when the occasion suits me, it's a fine thing to behold.

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Photo of LusciousJackson
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been awhile since my local spot has had these on the shelf and when I spotted a case waiting to be stocked I had to snatch a few up before they all disappear.

Average pour into the good ol' New Belgium balloon produced a gorgeous two fingers of head. A tinge of amber in the tan. Body of the beer is a very pretty deep red brown although as I move the glass around I catch a purplish hue reminding me of plums.

Aroma is just outstanding. Big sour cherry, tart apple with a slight vinegar in the back. I could hang my nose is the glass all day long.

Taste is as refreshing as I can imagine. Sour cherry again, raspberry tartness. The vinegar comes through a bit in the middle and that tongue scrubbing sour at the end begs for another sip.

Mouthfeel is incredibly crisp and clean. Very pleasant experience.

This is an amazing beer and an amazing value to boot earning a permanent spot in my cellar.

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Photo of joshstevens87
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark red/rusty brownwith a minimal dirty tan head
S-a big bouquet of fruit mixed with a sharp vinegar
T-a sharp vinegary mustyness and a good dose of darkerfruits and apples with a slight smooth woodness
M-a full boddy with a modest carbonation very smooth and complex
D-a delicious beer that is amazingly complex and vcan easily be enjoyed all night

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Photo of dqderrick
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served at 45F initially and allowed to warm to 50-55 during sampling.

Dark reddish brown with nicing lacing that sticks around. Surprising opaque.

Smells a little cherry sour. It took me a few whiffs to "get into" the smell but it grew on me and I quickly fell in love. The sour smell hits hard.

Tastes SOUR, fruit, a touch of vanilla. The barrel aging didn't immediately present itself but my lack of tasting barrel aged beers of this style may be the cause. The initial sour bite is such a great experience and ends with a light vinegar sour that I have to attribute to the barrel aging. I'm loving the fresh aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated and amazingly fun on my palate.

I had no problem finishing the large bottle by myself. I'd definitely like to grab another to keep in the fridge... but would definitely only have one a session.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with ruby highlights, foams up somewhat but is fairly subdued. Not much for retention, decent collar around the brew with some spotty stuff in the middle. Little lacing.

Aroma is big on the tart, with plenty of cherry and other fruity esters, and a deep vinous character. Oak, with a hint of toffee malt, but very much dominated by the sour fruits.

Similar flavor to the nose, very light and tart. Body is light, with not a lot of carbonation, the powerful fruit blast stays on the palate. An incredible array of yeast strains combine to produce this outstanding wild Flemish ale. Very flavorful and easy to drink. As highly recommended a Red Ale as any.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: the beer pours a reddish-brown color with a nice light-brown head.
Smell: Barley, vinegar, red fruits, grapes, vanila and oak.
Taste: Barley, vinegar, red fruits, passion fruit, vanila oak and a puckering tartness in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-thick body, medium-low carbonation.
Overall: Excellent brew, clean and sharp sourness. fantastic

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Photo of watchnerd
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle. Apparently nearly impossible to get through normal retail channels in California. Had to order mine through Liquid Solutions.THE definitive Flemish red. Sour, fruity, yeast, with just a hint of citric acidity. Wonderful. If I could find a source in the Bay Area, I'd buy a case, or perhaps a bottle a week.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

from a bomber into a tulip
a: dull sepia with some reddish tints in the light, 1 finger khaki head
s: tart apple, sour cherry, strawberries, woodsy berries, some musty leathery warmth
t & m: follows the nose but a little less perfect, very vinous, a little molasses and some hoppy bite also...somehow not quite as nice as the nose to me, but still wonderfully integrated; very nice balance between dryness, tingling hoppy edge, and mildly puckering sour.

classic and thoroughly enjoyable. Bet this would pair really nicely with a fancy creamy cheese or a bleu.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Northdown in a chalice.

Appearance: My chalice arrives with a ruby brown liquid that does not really permit light to pass through. A frothy tan head bubbles for a minute but eventually fades to a ring around the glass. A little bit of lace on the glass, but not much.

Smell: Great full aroma of cherries, oak, and vanilla. Very tart, vinegary and and pleasant, with some general spiciness and red grape in the background.

Taste: Tart cherry is the predominant flavor throughout. Some red grape, a hint of plum, oak, vanilla, and some light spice from the yeast add a fair amount of depth. This starts sour, is sour in the middle, and finishes sour as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, acidic, and vinegary, with above average carbonation. The tart flavor causes me to salivate, while the texture of the beer dries out the corners of my mouth. Medium bodied.

Overall: This is just an exceptional beer. Smooth, with a complexity that may come from the blending of the barrels or from the yeast strains, but I would recommend always having this one available. Right now this is the front runner for my favorite Flanders Red.

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Photo of xav33
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach Grand Cru
12 oz bottle
Medium pour in a tulip glass
Best before 04/08, crucified 01/07

Poured a ruddy brown with an average light brown somewhat lasting head that settles into a thin consistent layer due to good carbonation.

Smelt of strong sweet vinaigrette, and white grape juice, with moderate oak, pipe tobacco, cobwebs.

Taste was upfront strong sourness and moderate sweetness, like some concentrated white grape juice or biting into a fresh tart plum, followed by more strong sourness and moderate sweetness and a tinge of oak, roasted or smoky malt bitterness, and a comfortable brandy like alcoholic warmth on a long sour finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, watery, strongly puckering, lively but softly carbonated, and very slightly alcoholic.

Overall, this is a pretty amazing beer. I have seldom been a fan of sour beers, but the balance of sweetness and subtle bitterness all mesh perfectly. The smell was strong, teasing and enchanting; I spent the first 15 minutes basking in its redolence.

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Photo of dmitrosan
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: very rich, balanced & smoky nose with a sour cherry and mead notes.
T: A balanced acidity like in overaged white wine that then transforms in soft bread notes. Dominant sour cherry taste with sherry hint.
Aftertaste: Very rich and playful.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz serving served quite cool on-tap into a Rodenbach Grand Cru flute at Bier Markt -Square One. Wanted to try something different, and saw this was on tap, so had to give it a try.

Appearance - Poured and enticing shade of ruby, with some mahogany colored hues. Not clear, but not hazy and very mysterious. Small thin layer of off-white head was poured and stuck around with wisps resting on top of the beer and numerous rings of lacing as was consumed.

Smell - Sour cherries, a hint of grape and some wood with some raspberry maybe. Smells like a sour beer, but crafted in the most subtle of ways that's hard to describe but smells oh so fine.

Taste - Great Scott this is delicious. Sour cherries and raspberries amongst a medley of other small fruits, some serious tartness like the sweet tarts candy, but way more refined without the excessive sugary rush afterwards. Some dry oak flavors melded with grape that remind of champagne. Some earthy bitterness to follow. So much going on it's hard to describe. Some mild saltiness throughout.

Mouthfeel - Flawless, just the right amount of carbonation to go with the flavor profiles, which means lower carbonation (but not too low). Some heft to support the 6%, but on a warm summer's day, this goes as easy as any beer I've ever had.

Mouthfeel - World-class and top notch all the way. Granted my experience with sours is pretty limited, enjoyed a couple, glad I tried a couple others but wouldn't repeat the purchase, but this was just "wow". I finally see what the fuss is all about. Super highly recommended, and makes the list of top 1% of beers I've ever tried. I wanted to go back for another glass the very next day even at exorbitant prices, because it was so good.

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Photo of YankChef
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Very deep dark red with a strong crimson hue when held up to the light. A 1 inch head developed and then dissipated to about 1/2 inch.

Smell: Big nose of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. There is a slight smokiness that is noticable from the oak.

Taste: Upfront the beer is sweet and smoky, but this is quickly dominated by the very powerful sour flavor of tart berries and it almost tastes like someone squeezed a lemon in here on top of it, big time citrus notes to go along with the tart berry flavors.

Mouthfeel: Moderate-Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly syrupy.

Overall: This is truly a kick-ass beer that is unlike just about any ive ever had, Unbelievably delicious and refreshing and complex. Very highly recommended

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Photo of ryane
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great beer!

got a bit of a funky smell, but to be expected from a flanders red

wonderful wine like taste, sour cherry dominates and a very pleasant tartness, hard to believe there is no fruit in this beer

really good with cheese, my gf loved this beer

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Photo of gdfan47
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- comes out a nice darkish red with very little head
S- Vinegar, cherries, sugar, cranberries, not overly sweet
T- very tart, slightly like cranberry juice but more refined and interesting, alot going on, tart but not like brett tart
M- almost flat but still refreshing, slightly less abrasive than the smell
D- a very good beer, a very expsensive beer.... just a little too sweet to drink more than 3 or so..

blurring the lines of aa lambic ,fantastic and worth checking out for sure

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Photo of dudecandle
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

25 oz bottle into tumbler:

A: Beautiful deep red-brown color with off-white head, good retention and lacing

S/T: It starts off with a pretty simple grape-cherry smell, perhaps some nice floral notes. Once it comes to tasting, it has a beautiful dark cherry/grape soda taste, but with a pleasantly tart, almost apple-sweet finish. Something in the background gives it some subtle rounding, perhaps hops, or even oak.

M: Very nice in-between creamy, silky, and carbonated textured.

O: Changed my mind about Flanders Reds. The sour cherry aspect has me thinking this is a nice, nostalgic soda, but the body fills out, and even at only 6%, it feels very very big. It's the kind of beer that makes me never want to see the bottom of my glass.

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Photo of marc77
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep garnet hue with a slight murk. Thin, but well retained light tan head leaves sparse lace.

Aroma: Pungent barrage of vinous sherry, tart, fermented plum along with heaty ethanol. Secondary notes of cheesy old hop, musty oak and chunky lactic tartness. Mellows and morphs as it breathes, with both licorish notes and bubblegum esters surfacing to provide a candyish contrast. Very enticing and uniquely intense aromawise.

Taste: Coating wash of thick, aged balsamic tartness bathes the palate initially, then widens into a melange of balsamic drizzled sour cherry, lightly tannic oak and yeast must. Sweetens somewhat mid palate, with notes of caramelized raisins and old fruitcake providing addition depth and additional contrast. Tartness reemerges late, this time of a clean, green apple nature. Finishes with a thirst inducing combination of tart, lightly salted lemon.

Mouthfeel: Deceivingly light and crisp on the palate, due to the high attenuation. Soft and smooth.

Drinkability / overall: A delicious, intensely flavored, beefed up Old Bruin. Concomitantly rich and satiating, yet teasingly whimsical, beckoning the palate for more to attempt comprehension. This deserves to be in a 750 ml bottle. Outstanding. "Best before 9/13/04"

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: There was some off-gas when popping the top, but the beer pours mostly still with a small ring of foam on top. This beer is mostly clear with a reddish brown tint. There are only a few bubbles rising, but the head was never really there to maintain.

Aroma: My first impression is of a little bit of sweetness and a defined dark cherry presence. I get a little bit of dry woody aromatics that contribute to the impression of sourness to the beer. It obviously has a wild character. As it warms, the complexity of the aroma gets more intense and seems to accentuate the sweetness giving it a mild caramel-like quality.

Taste: The beer comes across the palate as being pretty dry and clean. It is obviously well attenuated and the sweetness that you pick up in the nose is just an impression that is left from the wild yeast. The flavor tells a different story than the aroma did, but the cherry notes stand strong the entire time. There is a strong malty backbone that this beer once stood upon, but the yeast took care of that and left some dryness in their wake...however you can still taste that depth in the flavor. I don't get any strong hops or anything, and the wild yeast character lend as much to the balance as anything.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer and again, it makes me wonder why in the heck we can't get beer like this in Texas. I really enjoy the depth of flavor in this beer and ones similar (like the Duchesse), but for some reason "Texans don't get it". A beer like this is one that you will either love or hate depending on your preference, but I really enjoy them. I would most certainly drink this beer again and would do so regularly if it were available in my area. As it is, I got a four pack (now three pack) in Florida to sit on an enjoy on special occasions. I would definitely recommend this beer to try and see if your palate is agreeable to it or not.

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

*Bottle: 33cl
*Alcohol: 6%
*Special beer category is not noted
*Brewery: Brouwerij Rodenbach, B-Roeselare 8800
*Place beer was reviewed: Den Stillen Genieter, Nauwstraat 9, B-2800 Mechelen

As soon as I ordered this beer I knew I was up for something special. When I saw the bartender go down into the cellar I could barely wait to take the first nip. And a exceptional bottle it was . It had been waiting patiently for me since 1992.
It poured a dark red beer with a small head. When I looked through the glass I could make up a dark-red and orange colour. The first smell was a fruity sour odour. Quite like the normal Rodenbach. And then came the first taste. Truly magnificent! A deep sour and at the same time a rewarding sugary taste. The sourness kept on lingering in my mouth, but never was it to powerful. Just like you would want it to be. It did remind me of some traditional Gueuze, but this was truly a unique taste.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat!

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,935 ratings.
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