Druid Fluid | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

very good
246 Reviews
Druid FluidDruid Fluid

Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-30-2001

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Reviews: 246 | Ratings: 337
Photo of ChadQuest
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Color is a dark amber brown color that looks clear, dense finger of cap on top.
There is no date on this bottle but i have to guess by the aroma that this one has a year or two on it, very rounded and mellow. The aroma is some sweet malts like caramel and some brown sugars, and a hint of brightness in a citrus way.
The flavors give the same impression that either this is a very malty american barleywine or there is time on this one, could be either.
Flavors include the typical caramel malts and toffee and whatnot, but they have no depth or richness to them, and nothing to back them up. There is no alcohol presence either, this one is pretty one dimensional.
Mouthfeel is a bit dryer then most barleywines.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmpizzo for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brown with a 1 inch fizzy beige head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, alcohol, and some citrus zest. Taste is of biscuit-like malt, alcohol, and some pine and citrus zest hops. Mild hop bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a slightly fizzy carbonation level with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good hop-forward barleywine from Middle Ages. Lots of pine and citrus zest nicely balanced with the malt.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

747th Review on BA
Bottle to snifter
No date

Thanks to mjtiernan for this bottle.

App- Orange juice mixed with maple syrup brown. A one finger head that falls very quickly. A ring of bubbles around the edges. Very similar to the Monster 2009 I had the other day.

Smell- A little dank spice to this one. Deeper malts with a softer citrus on the edges of the aromatics. A little hop bitter as well.

Taste- Overall this was a very malty barleywine. A little spice like the nose adds to the taste with some muggy flavored orange. At the same time has a taste of being a little stringy and grainy but a little subdued. Smoothness comes in with some liquid caramel notes or toffee, whatever you want to call it. I have trouble between the two.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little combo of spice and bitter remain. Some pepper notes for some reason. I liked it.

Drink- Pretty tasty. A more malt forward with a little over bitter. More smooth and big than some BW's lately. A nice balance between the flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Butterscotch and dark fruits, balanced with a mix of earthy hop bitterness and alcohol. This beer review could stop right there. The clean and crisp individual flavors are well defined and very descript.

Druid Fluid pours with a heavy decantment while building a froathy ivory-stained foam stance. Brilliant clarity of deep amber or garnet colors allow for a myjestic bright glow. The creamy lightly weighted head allows for several heavy coats of lace which adorn the glass as the beer fades. It's difficult to fault much about this beer's appearance.

Diving the nose into the glass delivers a hugely malted scent of toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch, molasses, and maple. But the esters of rum-soaked grapes, plumbs, raisons, dates, and figs offer roundness and complexity to the otherwise one-dimensional sweetness. Appreciative hop nuances of grasses, pine, and tea-like herbs offer a much needed earthy component along with a soft pipe tobacco scent.

Flavors reveal both a schizophrenic and blend of styles of beer that's difficult to asses and yet celebrated at the same time. English-like maltiness and sweetness rate allows for a toffe-rich and biscotti character to rise with a soft buttery overlay that's allowed and sometimes celebrated by Brittish ales. Even the flavor of the hop balance is earthy, spicy, and somewhat grassy with elements of pine, spruce, and sweet fresh tobacco. But then the hop rates of bitterness becomes somewhat resiny like the proportions found in American-style Barleywines. And then the moderate attenuation pulls back the veil and reveals a sweeter English Ale-like sweetness that chases the hops in finish.

Full bodied and rich to the core, the beer's residual sweetness gives great creamy texture and a sticky sweet feel that pushes right up against the fence of cloying. But then the reprieve of hop dryness with alcoholic warmth and a slight pull back of malty-dryness delivers a finish of partial sweetness and pleasant hop bite that has a less-than-expected linger into the next sip.

An overall delicious beer that I somehow want to find flaw in the buttery/butterscotch flavor. But without that, this beer would be quite banal.

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Photo of leansean88
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Big ol' bottle for this guy. Cloudy, amber pour with a thin lacy head.

S - Colorful aroma of hops and fruits.

T - Malt, hops, various fruity tastes. Really comes alive on the tongue. Finishes nicely too.

M - Pretty nice, crisp feeling. Sort of overpowers the sinuses. I dunno.

O - It's not too bad. Not as good as I remember it being when my buddy let me have a sip of it. Certainly filling, and not a bad taste. But I can't see myself paying this much for what I get. Thankfully, this round was a gift.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Druid Fluid opens with a nose that better fits an IPA than a barleywine, being ripe with pine and grapefruit hop notes. Once past these strong citrusy aromas, a base of white grape, brown sugar, and toast presents itself, but missing is the usual alcoholic sugarbomb aroma that accompanies most beers of this style.

On the tongue, the beer does prove far less hoppy than the nose would imply, beginning with a shot of brown sugar and descending quickly into a fruit ester-heavy body of figs and raisins, accompanied by a touch of port wine and a heaping mass of caramelized brown sugar and maple syrup. A good dose of fizzy white grape juice adds a champagne-like overtone near the edges, and hops make a strong presence throughout with grapefruit and pine flavors that strengthen as the brew is held in the mouth. Right at the end of the mouthful, a lovely layer of toasted pecans emerges. Unfortunately, in subsequent mouthfuls many of the more subtle and flavorful fruit esters--especially the fig and raisin--are subsumed underneath the hops, and the beer tastes more and more like an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-heavy, slightly burning the soft palate.

Overall, while the first sip of this beer was excellent, subsequent sips lost the initial potency and deliciousness of the sugars, resulting in an imbalanced beverage. Middle Ages (the brewer) does note that, when young, the beer is quite hoppy, and the malts become more pronounced as the beer ages. Perhaps this one is a good cellaring beer, then.

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Photo of suspect
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

REVIEW #100!

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel Tulip glass. This beer was the first craft beer I can really remember really liking. I had this on tap at the Chapter House in Ithaca probably 10 years ago and got cut off from having any more after 4 or 5 glasses. Anyway, I figured what better beer to be #100.

A: Very nice amber color, crystal clear. Aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger head that fades to really thick, viscous lacing. Steady column of tiny bubbles stream to the top.

S: Toasted malts, sweet caramel and toffee, alcohol is most definitely present in the nose. Also picking up some fruit, fig, perhaps raisin.

T: Beautifully balanced sweet malts with the perfect amount of bitter hops. Gets better and better as it gets warmer. The alcohol is definitely present here but faded somewhat from the nose. Dark fruits round out the flavor profile and add to the complexity.

M: Perfect carbonation, medium body, the alcohol burn is not present in the feel. Lingering after taste is welcomed and leaves me going back for more.

O: Simply delicious. The craft beer i cut my teeth on and one that I will go back for over and over again. The 9.5% alcohol adds to the fun but it's the complexity of the flavor profile that makes this beer one of my favorites.

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Photo of xanok
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Druid Fluid is my first offering from Middle Ages.

Bomber poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

Pours a neat hazy amber/orange/burgundy color. Bone white head and plenty of it. Hops smell kind of earthy and piney. Kind of sweet smelling overall, like candy and caramel malt. A bit pungent.

Surprisingly citrusy for a barleywine. Not what I expected at all. Caramel and sugar tastes are there, just taking a back seat to the variety of citrus hops.

This beer is extremely smooth. The hops are the show here, but they're not overly bitter. The mouthfeel is smooth with little aftertaste. Body is maybe a bit thin for the style, but that doesn't take away from it.

If there was a barleywine that was a summer beer, this would be it. Smooth and citrusy, not overly complex. If it wasn't for the high ABV, I could drink these all day.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can finally expunge this one from my “wants” list after it had been on there for years. Thanks John. This 2009 vintage pours clear copper with tan head. The aroma is modest in strength with malts, some floral hops, pine and some tree sap. The taste is pretty smooth with pine hop resin, some spicy hops and a bit of floral hops too. Toward midway spicy hops, earthiness and a touch of roast come forward to create a near black tea like sensation. I enjoy the way this one comes together. I could sit and sip on this all night.

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Photo of Samtoberfest
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First and foremost I must say, this was my first "real" beer in my first "real" beer pub.
Entering Mahars for the first time in Albany, NY, I knew I belonged. I printed a list, not knowing what it really was, and ordered one of the first beers on the menu under the title, "Cask." Druid Fluid, be it from mere alphabetical order or not, soon became a favorite of mine. Pumped straight from the cask, it was only about 10 degrees below room temp and with far less carbonation than traditional bud light every freshly 21 year old knows all too well.
For me, the most memorable aspect of this Barleywine was the smell and mouthfeel. Dipping your nose into this ruckus pint I can only imagine is the same as cutting up a handful of hops and snorting up more of those bad-boys than Johnny Depp in the movie, "Blow." Simply, it was pungent and oh so delightful. I knew my life had changed, I just didn't realize how amazing it would be (of course not just because of the heady buzz you get from drinking just a few "real" beers!).
Of course I didn't want to sit in this trendy bar sniffing my beer for hours like some out of place tourist taking pictures of a pile of American dog shit on the sidewalk. We'd just look silly. My cheeks have never got their asses kicked so hard before in my life. It was like a trailer for "Fight Club;" I was begging for more. It was smooth, yet fierce. Every beer before now went down without much consideration, but this changed everything. I swished it around, swallowed, and then repeated. And repeated. And repeated. It was hoppy, dry, sweet, and malty all at once. The ability for a beer to be so smooth, yet so strong was a new experience for me and one I will not ever forget.
Cheers to my first "real" beer that has been in need of a review for several years now!

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Photo of oline73
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber, iced team like color with a half finger of fluffy white head that goes away pretty quickly.

Smell: Mildly sweet like brown sugar with some dark fruit, I'm picking up raisins. There is some alcohol present at the very end.

Taste: Sweet malt with hints of brown sugar and dark fruit. There is a lot of bitterness in the finish as well as some hot alcohol. The bitterness in the finish seems to hide some of the other flavors, which is too bad.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly mild carbonation. The finish is somewhat dry.

Overall: The bitter finish is way too overpowering. I would like a little bit more balance from this beer. I don't think I'm going to try to find it again.

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Photo of neorunner
3.01/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blind Beer #4 - http://flic.kr/p/9oFbSg

Thanks to Kevin (shrek806) for sending me this beer in round #4 of the Blind Beer BIF.

I remembered to remove the wax first this time. Much better result. Poured the 22oz bottle into my New Holand tulip. Amber brown in color, this beer has a slightly yellow head. Aroma is a mix of malt and hops, maybe some rye in the mix? Flavor is a blend of amber and crystal malts with a decent carmelized back end. Hops are citrusy and leave a dry feeling on the top of your mouth.

Gonna go with an IPA on this one.

The reveal - Middle Ages Druid Fluid Barleywine. Going with the trend I've noticed from this brewery, its a bit underwhelming for the style. I'm enjoying the beer, and its well constructed but I'd consider it more an IPA or RyePA even.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an Dark brown color with orange hues. It has a thick fluffy off-white head. Lots of retention on this one with a good amount of lacing.

S- Aromatic piny hops with a bit a caramel malts in the background. Hops dominate the nose.

T- Lots of caramel sweetness with bitter piny/citrus hops. Also picking up some nutty characters. Simple but very pronounced flavors.

M- Medium bodied, soft, smooth. Well carbonated. Feels light and crisp.

D/N- Wow. This is an excellent American Barley Wine. Simple yet very flavorful. Balanced just right. I will seek more of this. ISO Druid Fluid...

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Photo of brew3crew
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had during a middle ages tasting.
A-pours an orangish beer thats head quickly disappears
S-more hops than I expect from a barelywine. Malts follow
T-some sweetness from thw malts and bitterness from the hops
M-well balanced, smooth and medium bodied
D-Cannot taste the alcohol at all. This,brewery knows how to hide it

So not attempt to gargle, apparently it foams

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dish orange. A good amount of white head. Lots of great lacing. Smells hoppy and bitter. Tastes very bitter. The hop characteristics are pretty minimal. The malt backbone is fairly subpar. Well carbonated but overall not very good.

Got awkward when Carl tried to gargle it.... It's hard to gargle foam he says.

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Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head of foam. The head had small bubbles and left little to no lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, maple, brown sugar and slightly floral.

T - Lots of sweet caramel, brown sugar and bready malts. There is a mild bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a very dry finish.

D - This is an okay barleywine. It definitely leans toward the sweeter side of the spectrum. Thanks to given2flybrewing for sharing.

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Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fizzy bubbly 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over hazy rosy copper orange color. The head leaves a slight lacing.

Nose of malts, sweet malts, some caramel, maple, candy, and hints of dark fruits. A slight hint of earthy hops.

Taste is somewhat rich, fairly sweet, with lots of dark malts again, a touch of roast, toffee, caramel, maple, candy apple like, more fruits, a bit of a peppery taste too, slightly creamy and syrupy, with a bit of earthy bittering hops. It also has a slight minterality flavor to it. Finish stays semi sweet but dries a bit, it also brings a bit of tingly booze and warmth. The sweet syrupy flavors linger for a while.

Mouth is medium to heavier bodied with a little syrupy texture, and decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK, some warming and tingly booze take away a bit, and it is on the sweet side but very tolerable on that end. A very slight stickiness on the finish but that is very good compared to most barleywines.

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Photo of Lukafer
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alleykatking, been wanting to try this for a while!

Pours murky orange, thin orangeish head which quickly fades.  Smells are plum, other dark fruits, alcohol and some brown sugar.   Tastes pretty much like it smells, plums, some hops, very sweet.   Mouthfeel is sticky, low carb, kinda chewy.  Good stuff, really glad I got to try it.

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Photo of mountdew1
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a orangey/lite caramel brown. Had a thin dirty white head that clung slightly with small streams of carbonation rising from the bottom. Aroma was overly sweet, slightly hoppy, and slighty fruity. Taste was hoppy up front, slight bitterness, with some sweetness to finish. Mellowed out over time, became balanced as the beer warmed up. Felt ok in the mouth. Coated nicely, and well carbonated. Alcohol was slightly hidden which was nice, and it was pleasant to drink.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a verk dark amber brown color with very thin lacing and no carbonation.

S - Smells of pungent brown sugar, some acidic caramel/toffee malt (not a good sign), molasses, dark fruits, and some spice. The nose is not at all inviting, I'm wondering if this is a bad bottle, if so, I will review this again at a later date.

T - Definite estery character with some underlying permeating booze effervescence. Burnt toffee, very small traces of tart sour apples (again, not a good sign), oaky tannins, some toffee/caramel, and mild pine hopping on the back side.

M - Medium chewy body and leaves a lingering pine hop bitterness on the tongue with a coating of the estery malt.

D - I'm not at all impressed with this beer. Being this is the first time I've had it, I'm hoping it's a skunky bottle. If not, this isn't something I'd expect from Middle Ages.

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Photo of CaptYellow
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange; brownish-orange at the centre; red hues when held to the light. Faintest whisps at the edges.

S: Sweetness from the malt.

M: Creamy.

T: Hops upfront, malt in middle, hops in aftertaste. As I drank it, the bitterness took a back-seat and I enjoyed it more. I let two people try it: the first said it tasted purple and the next said it tasted like grapes to him. As I continued to drink it, it did seem to have the puckering effect that drinking grapes does.

D: High in alcohol so it could be expected to drink much. I did finish the bomber fairly quickly however.

O: For the price, there are other beers I'd rather buy. It's not the best barleywine I've ever had, and as I'm not a hophead, I don't think I'd care to buy this one again. Nor recommend for the style.

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Photo of alkchrios
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells of candy and sugar. very sweet.. less hoppy aroma yet a stronger alcohol scent. tastes of dried apricots and burnt caramel...very buttery. this brew is rather dry to the pallet.. clean finish but not much residue on the ol' taste buds. Good beer.. ot great but worth a try.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber was $7.99 at Hoosick Beverage in Troy, NY. Poured into a standard pint glass, served refrigerator temp.

Mostly clear orange-brown brew becomes orange-red against a light. 1" of frothy head settles slowly to a thick beige layer and leaves chunky lacing. Continues to generate abundant lace until the end. Nose is dominated by a great dose of pine and candied orange rind hops, then honey, biscuit, some florals. Smell is thick and sweet, like pez candy and honey. Taste is a great mix of candy sweetness, mixed citrus notes fronted by orange rind, biscuit, some boozy notes, pine, florals, hints of caramel. Bitter sweet, very tasty. Makes me think of lemoncello liquor. Tropical fruits, mango and coconut, come out as it breathes. Finish is fairly long and resiny. Still tasting pine several minutes later. Mouthfeel is viscous, carbonation on the high end but it is soft and not overbearing. Alcohol mildly apparent but blends well with everything else so it is not offensive. Overall an awesome brew, very enjoyable.

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Photo of TonyReaves
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from Wegman's down in Syracuse.

Pours a deep red with ample head. Smells sweet like brown sugar and fruit but with big piney overtones.

Taste is a lot of alcohol right in the opening- more than I'd like. After that, intense breadiness and some straw, which was surprising for such a big beer. It had a sharp, hoppy finish. I wouldn't call this a dry beer, but it's dry for the style.

Not as heavy on the palate as some barley wines. One of the more drinkable barleywines I'e ever had, although the alcohol is pretty strong.

I didn't love it, but I'll probably pick up another bottle next time I'm in Syracuse.

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Photo of Beejay
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks DmanGTR

A: A muddy brownish red.. like river water. Decent off white head, but this disappears quickly.

S: Sweet burnt caramel, brown sugar, and hops! The hops are earthy and mellow in the background.

T: Burnt carmel is first. Followed by an aggressive burst of earthy hops. it ends with brown sugar and carmel.

M: Syrupy, but not overly so.. nice carbonation. The carbonation is fine and high, which balances out a little of the thickness.

D: Very nice. Not sure if it is a new favorite for the style, but still very enjoyable. Going to get some cheese to pair, and enjoy the hell out of it!

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Druid Fluid from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.91 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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