Cuvee-Brut | Brouwerij Liefmans

190 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Liefmans

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Goudenband & Oud Bruin blended with cherries. Not a lambic.

Added by IronDjinn on 02-15-2010

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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 692
Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours dark brown (dark ruby into the light), small pinkish head that goes very thin very fast, leaves just some lacing.
Balsamic vinegar in the smell from afar, closer in a lot more dark cherry, some blueberry, raspberry, a big sugary sweetness creeps up, some faint hay, some faint wood barrel notes. Nice sweet/sour balance, somewhat tilting towards the first.
Aaand taste is very sweet. Starts with heavily sugared pitless cherries (exactly like the ones prepared for making jam), with the sourness in the back, gaining ground bit by bit, with a nice dark cherry flavour. Some blueberries, faint raspberries. A touch of vinegar and cider apples. Alcohol and some wood notes, creating something extremely similar to homemade cherry brandy. Some vanilla and marzipan. Very low green hay. Finishes as it starts, sweet.
Medium body, medium carbonation, almost smooth actually.
It's refreshing, it's tasty, but it's way too sweet for my taste. I know it's not a full-on sour beer, so the rating will be given considering usual Belgian fruit beers.

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Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-a clear light red color with an off white head slight lacing and fresh looking in glass
S-cherries and baked bread some cider and hay
T-some tart cherries with with a slight sour vinegar smell a sweet cherry pie finish
M-dry and sweet champagne like tart and slight sour on the tongue medium/high carbonation
O- if you like tart krieks you will like this

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Photo of JessaKay
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Visual: Color consists of a cloudy red color. Almost looks like a creamy red. Clarity is foggy, you cannot see through the beer. Head is a light pink in color and sticks around for a long time.

Aroma:Incredibly strong aroma of fruits with cherries dominating the smell. Other smells consist of citrus, with sour and sweet notes.

Taste:The first taste is sour and a bit dry, the citrus presents itself and then fades in the sour/sweet taste with a hint of oak. This beer is like a sour patch kid, first it is sour and then it is sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body but not too thick with still plenty of flavor

Overall: I fell in love with this beer at a local pub called Pale Nine Ale House in San Diego. This was the beer that developed my love for sour beers. I find this beer to be a refreshing change from most other beers. It is the perfect combination of sour tastes and fruity tastes for me.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: rich, deep red, the colour of raspberry jam, with a faintly pink head like Himalayan sea salt, fine and fll

Aroma: vibrant berry aroma - cherry but also raspberry and currant; hints of the the tart flavour to come

Taste & Mouthfeel: the taste of cherry candy (like a life savour...better) is an immediate delight, sweet and vibrant and tart all at the same time, exciting the tastebuds to no end; cherry pie filling comes to mind - this is a great match for dessert, perfect for a rich chocolate fudge cake; fine carbonation with above average effervescence and perfect for the style, putting a buffer on the sweetness while at the same time opening up the palate to fully appreciate the fruity flavour - blackberry and currant could also be accounted; last thought - a good black cherry soda

Overall: a pure pleasure to drink, actually gets you excited, and remarkably it doesn't tire with all the sugar, a credit to the excellent carbonation; get your hands on this

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Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Liefmans Cuvée Brut looks more "bruin" than "cherry" (though slivers of the latter are easily appreciated). Though technically clear, the beer's relatively deep tone prevents much visibility, to say nothing of the blinding highlights. Its head is unexpectedly bubbly and has a greyish tinge.

While notes of musty oak and a slight sourness can be appreciated in the aroma, this still smells ostensibly like candy for adults; there is more than enough fruitiness to go around. The aroma of mixed field berries and balsamic gives me a tantalizing idea for dessert (and a summer salad too).

A blend of Goudenband & Oud Bruin that is aged with cherries, it's no surprise this beer has all the black and tart cherry flavours in the world. Equally expected are the hallmark hints of treacle, molasses, red currant, raspberry, and toffee that are generally appreciated with the style.

What distinguishes this offering, however, is its overt sweetness; while Flemish reds characteristically exhibit a 'sweet and sour' profile, the edge is usually in favour of sour. But this one is notably sweet, which wouldn't bother me except that it likely stems from the added glucose.

That one important blip notwithstanding, it's hard not to champion Liefmans Cuvée Brut as an exceptionally delicious example of this wonderfully complex, distinct style. Anyone that doesn't enjoy this beer must be just plain miserable. That being said, I too would opt for the more traditional (read: unsweetened) version probably 8 times out of 10.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red with glowing red edges. The foamy pink tinged head lasts a long while, draping the glass in lace. Sweet cherry and raspberry fill the nose, not much sourness or acidity noticed. The taste is much more complex. Lactic tartness mixes with a plethora of cherry, raspberry, lemon, apple etc. flavors and a light oakyness. Some bretty funk is apparent in the background, but restrained. The mouthfeel is light bodied with an extremely creamy, textured carbonation, very nice. The finish is sweet and moderately sour.

A very nice fruit beer with lots of intense, sweet, but real (not syrupy) fruit flavor with a sour backbone keeping things in check. Complex and very approachable for a sour beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a Liefman's wine glass.

Appearance - Murky reddish body. Thin collar. Off white head.

Smell - Lots of cherry. Almost cherry juice. Slight must.

Taste - Slightly tart. Mostly sweet, though. Cherry. Raspberry. Dark caramel. Slight oak. tart finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Well it isn't a New Glarus fruit beer, but it's similar. Too sweet, though.

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Photo of Abendschein
4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was an amazing ale to grab! I saw it and thought to myself, "an aged cherry ale? That could be interesting!" Once I got back with it, I put it in the fridge and let it sit and waited to open it until my birthday celebration with a few friends a couple of weeks later. As soon as I pulled off the wrapping, I felt like I made a great choice. The bottle is very clean - it looks professional and minimalist. It has everything it needs, and nothing more.

Once I pulled the cork the aroma burst into the air and the smell was fantastic! It, of course, smelled like cherries, but it was subtle enough to allow the rest of the ingredients come out. I just could not stop smelling it at first.

The taste is just as good, too! It is not overly tart like most other cherry brews, and it's soft and smooth as well. It tingles a little, and the aftertaste is superb. It doesn't linger, but the first breathe after each drink is very refreshing.

As soon as this hits your lips, it immediately begins to relax you and carry you away. As I said before, it is smooth, and it cradles your lips and tongue. After you drink a fair amount (most of the bottle), the tart flavor becomes a little stronger and you can begin to "feel" it on your teeth. So, please, do have something nearby to refresh your mouth (water or even an apple).

Overall, I am very happy I grabbed this bottle on a whim. It's very good, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I would recommend it to anyone who has any interest in fruit flavored brews of any sort!

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Photo of elNopalero
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours an intense candied red in color with thin foaming.

Right off the bat the aroma is sweetly cherried. Well, the cherry-tartness contrasted with the sweetness, but overall it was to the positive side of anything resembling cough syrup. Dessert, perhaps?

Tartly sweet cherries came across, flavorwise, with an easygoing finish. Cherries all the way.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Cloudy dark ruby red with a thin beige head. A thin blanket sticks around for a while and nice sheet lacing is evident.

(4.0) S: Fresh cherries, apples, raisins, cane sugar, and a very faint balsamic quality. As expected the cherry aroma is dominant and evokes fresh cherry pie with bready crust and all.

(3.75) T: Similar to aroma with ripe cherries, crisp apple, lemons, grains, and cane sugar. This has a faint tart/sour balsamic quality but the focus is definitely on a sweeter cherry element. Finishes with a moderate acidic quality and a noticeable dryness.

(4.0) M: Medium bodied with a lively carbonation. Oily and velvety with the carbonation giving off a nice creamy mouthfeel.

(4.0) D: This is pretty flavourful and leans to the sweet side but with a nice natural cherry flavour to it. This went down pretty easily with a pleasant, albeit slight, balsamic tartness.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 375 ml bottle to a tulip.

A: pours a deep cherry or cranberry red color that is not cloudy. There was a beige head that dissipates quickly but was enough to leave some lacing behind in its wake.

S: sour cherries, malts, and cider vinegar.

T: tart cherry with a sweet finish, there are also hints of malts and a vinegar taste on the end.

M: high carbonation, medium body and a dry finish.

O: an interesting beer. I enjoyed the tartness quite a bit, but there were times it was a little too sweet. That being said, I think my beer was pretty young and I will be interested to try it again in a few years.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, cherries, raisins, citric

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, citric notes and raisins/cherries. It is a little too sugary sweet and it ends with a nice tart aftertaste.

Overall - Nice fruity notes and a tart finish, but just a little too sweet to enjoy in large quantities. The best before date is 2023, so maybe some age will tone down the sweetness? I will report back in 10 years..

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Photo of steagall
2.45/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

A: It was darker/muddier than expected. It wasn't bright like it should have been.

S: Smell was ok. It smelled a little harsh sweetness.

T: the taste was entirely too sweet. It was actually very hard to pallet. Kind of had to choke it down. not enough acidity either.

M: mouthfeel was fine. not too much or too thin.

O: 2112 vintage. Hard to drink. Had to choke it down what we could and pour out the rest. It was entirely too sweet. It wasn't clean tasting and proper acidity was just not there.

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Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into flute glass.

A - Pours a murky reddish mahogany with a pinkish white head.

S - Tons of cherry in the aroma. Tart, sweet, and sour

T - As expected, it is an explosion of cherry flavor. It is mainly tart with a moderate sourness, and a nice sugary/candy sweetness to round it off. It causes a lot of puckering though I consider that a good thing.

M - Thin and sticky body with high carbonation that is prickly on the tongue. The aftertaste does not linger for long and leaves me wanting more.

O - A solid sour cherry, though I prefer the Goudenband. There's a good balance of tart, sour, and sweet in this.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally got a nice autumn day with leaves in their peak. Usually have an IPA going but with all the leaves changing their color palates, I decide to go with this cuvée. Pours a red crimson with almost a pinkish head and some lacing. Sediment noted throughout.

Sour mash cherry aroma with a cider vinegar pungency.

Taste is superb! Tart cherry, oak and scant vanilla. I love this especially at colder temps which tastes more like a cherry pop with low sugar. As this warms, more cider vinegar is noted which makes this more tart and welcoming.

Medium body with a dry finish and prickly carbonation.

This is better than any cherry soda I've ever had. If your crazy for cherries with an abv you gotta pull the trigger on this.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours semi opaque. The color of cranberry. Streaming effervescence and a thin head of loose bubbles that fell away to a thick ring and left patches of lace. Nose is intense with sour cherries. A bouquet of juicy and tart fruit with a little wood and earth to show it off. There is a powdery dry scent on the nose and it smells crisp and clean. After a good dive into the glass I decided that I smell bandaids but it's very faint. As it warms there are hints of vanilla.

Taste just kept growing on me. At first I wanted to say this tastes too much like fruit juice and not like beer. Then the wood and oak came out. After that a light vinegar note, a bit of acetic puckering tartness and that vanilla to smooth it all out and make the body feel creamy. Creamy? The cherries are both tart and sweet and the brut dryness cleanses the palate with each sip so that the sweetness doesn't really linger but the tartness and the sour does. it has a faint touch of cinnamon . The wood and dry earth take hold in the middle and stay through the finish for a lovely drink. The vanilla is captivating after all.

Dynamic and strong. Resonating with complexity and character.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle, drank Oct. 2013

a: dark ruby red, purple, amber. 2 finger off white fizzy head

s: apple cider vinegar, tart apple peels, cherry. ever so slight hint of orange molasses

t: right away i notice much more cherry than in the nose. sweet and sour cherry. nice caramel sweetness, concord grapes, tart vinegar. ends with more cherries, and finishes dry. definitely on the sweeter side

m: light with nice amount of carbonation. really helps the cherry flavor pop

o: much better than the appearance and aroma indicated. this is a 2 year old bottle. still taste cherry nicely. the tartness is very mild and works well with the sweet dark cherry flavor. no flavor in here overwhelms the other, and sweet and tart are harmonized nicely. real nice stuff

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Photo of DonDirkA
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

The nose is still a little fake smelling, like the Fruitesse, but it just doesn’t smell like straight cherries, it smells more like cherry juice. Cherry juice, red grapes, cherries, plums and just a bit of the malt on the way back end.

The taste is a lot more like a legitimate beer than the Fruitesse but it has a very sweet, almost artificial tasting finish. Tart cherry juice, sour cherries and sour grapes start out in charge then quickly give in to a fake “from concentrate” cherry juice taste with too much sweetness. Not bad, but definitely not on the level of the Goudenband. Too bad.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The final entry in KRIEK WEEK!!!! Listen up, KRIEK HEADS!!!

Yes, I just have to wonder if the best has been saved for last...after all, this beer does have its own giant protective wrapper... . Poured into a chilled tulip glass.

Appearance 4.25: Beautiful and unique-looking deep, dark, almost brown-red. Opaque. Looks very much like a big tulip glass filled with blood. Head was excellent (1/4") and a light pink in color. Excellent lacing.

Smell 4.0: Great nose on this brew. I smell lots of wood and a deep, dark, cherry bouquet. I also smell a very faint hoppiness to this beer, way in the back. Other notes are leather, cherry pits and certain flat smell of green leaves.

Taste 4.25: Front is tart and somewhat dry. This fades quickly into a middle that is silky smooth, semi-sweet and it is at this level that a medium-sized wave of cherry flavor attacks your tastebuds from the middle of the palate. Finish is smooth, balanced and features brief hints of a light cherry taste, almost like Mt. Rainier cherries. Delicious. Finish is short, light and dry and features a top-palate cherry taste that fades far too quickly leaving the imbiber wanting more.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Outstanding match with the carbonation. I could almost believe it was bottle conditioned.

Overall 4.25: Outstanding/Excellent kriek. This kriek is higher in ABV (6% ABV) than many others, but it is so smooth and delicious. Wonderful and complex at every level, Liefman's is a hard act to follow, so remember that when planning a session. Session? Yes, this baby is entirely sessionable. I would highly recommend drinking the entire 75 centiliter (that's 1 pint, 9.4 ounces) in one sitting. Highly recommended for all kriek heads. Not the best from Kriek Week, but darn close.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Liefmans Cuvee-Brut: Belgian aged with cherries, Taste/Mouthfeel: hint of cherry, slightly sweet/tart; Appearance: dark cherry, slightly lighter than black cherry skin; faint transparency, good

Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of Altrurian
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A short and quickly thinning head tops this brown elixir. It smells like rhubarb, and has a taste to match. The taste, to be more precise, is that of rhubarb pie, including the delightful, mitigating sweetness of the sugary aspect of the filling and the crust. What Southern Tier's Pumking is to pumpkin pie, this brew is to its rhubarb counterpart, with a certain, sour, cherry cast. A fun concoction, with the characteristics of a dessert for a sophisticated palate. The refreshing character of the carbonation is just right.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City. Poured into a small Belgian-style tulip glass. Paired with a traditional bavarian pretzel and Dusseldorf (spicy) mustard.

Appearance - Pours a deep hue of red, like cranberry or oxidized/dried blood. At a glance, you might not even know it was red at all. Atop the body sits a one-finger head that is mostly white, but with some pinkish twinge to it. Retention is not for long, but lingers a bit before turning into a thin layer of foam over the top. Lacing is light and slick/watery.

Smell - A pleasant combination of sour cherries, some mildly piercing acidity, with overtones of cinnamon candies and some notes of spicy red wine, like a malbec. I do get some tannin elements as well. Encouraging, because I don't get the sense that this will be overly sweet from the aroma. Let's see...

Taste - While there is some sweetness, it is far from the overpowering and cloying sweetness that often comes with other beers in the "pseudo-lambic/fruit beer" style. I won't name any names, but their brewery also starts with "L". Complexity continues, with lactic tartness and more sour cherry notes amongst some softer compliments like oak and faint vanilla. The cinnamon essence again seems present here, but none of the spiciness that the nose let on. The sour is just enough to give the drink punch and fight off the natural sugar from the cherries so that the sweetness remains in balance.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation and light-bodied, allowing for easy drinking, but enough carbonation to give it a little bite. Dry finish that entices the next drink far sooner than is probably wise.

Overall, I'm disappointed to see that this is classified as a "fruit beer", because the experience of drinking it just doesn't seem to fit with what I would expect from that general style. I suppose this is one of those beers that sort of falls between the cracks of standard classification. There isn't really a beer style that ladders up to a blend of oud bruins fermented on sour cherries. If it were American-made, it would almost certainly get the "American Wild Ale" classification in my opinion.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cracked a bottle of this during the Fourth of July pool party. Really does the trick on a hot summer day.

Pours out a reddish light brown color, similar to a flanders/oud bruin blended beer. Small thin beigeish head on it. Aroma was all cherry. Just loads of cherry all over it. A little bit of brown sugar. Mild oaky notes.

Taste, not overly sweet, I sat on this one for over 2 years, and it was much more attenuated to my palate than it was when it was sweeter. A tiny bit more tart and sourness than I was expecting at this stage, man, I'm really impressed with what age has done to this fruit beer. Ah conventional wisdom, I turn thee upon thy head. A sturdy body with darker brown kind of malts, caramel is barely there.

This isn't a beer that is going to impress anyone looking for a lambic or kriek. But if you want the cherry flavor, with the rare culmination of both mild sour and balanced fruit without overwhelming sugaryness, this is the beer for you.

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Photo of wedge
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

@ Busy Bee

Hazy garnet topped with a slim, creamy head. Cherry aroma upfront with some almost chocolaty/nutty notes, slight brown sugar, and an increasing woody dryness. Super smooth cherry tartness and mild spicy wood flavors. Sweet, yet dry. Medium bodied, slick, and a real pleasure to drink.

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Photo of NODAK
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really digging the aroma. Fresh, sweet and tart cherries. A good mix of both sensations without tilting too much in either direction. I'm about to drink cherry juice I think.

Pours a nice ruby red with a fair, loose head that dissipated rapidly.

Taste is refreshingly tart. I had worried perhaps it would be too sugary sweet but I'd say it actually tilts more towards tart than anything. That's not to say that it isn't sweet, because at first there's a great sweet cherry taste that goes into a more tart sensation that especially gives a sour kick at the end. Very drinkable of course. Who doesn't like alcoholic cherry soda?? With a tart kick of course.

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Cuvee-Brut from Brouwerij Liefmans
4.05 out of 5 based on 692 ratings.
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