West Lakeview Liquors


108 Reviews
West Lakeview LiquorsWest Lakeview Liquors

Type: Store

2156 W Addison St
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-6136
United States

(773) 525-1916 | map

Mon. - Thurs. 10am - 10pm
Fri. & Sat. 10am - 11pm
Sun. 11am - 10pm

Parking: Y (in the rear of the store)
Mail Order: Y

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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 189
Photo of MasterSki
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Pretty much every beer that is distributed in Illinois will turn up at West Lakeview Liquors. The staff is terrific and will make useful suggestions and answer questions ranging from "is this beer good?" to "why doesn't Illinois get Alesmith?"

Sometimes the beer is a little more pricey than somewhere like Whole Foods, but the few extra bucks are worth it to me to support a local business with such friendly proprietors.

They also hold the occasional party where rare and exotic brews are busted out and sampled. They had a pig roast in October with Devil Dancer, Blackout Stout, and SurleyFest on tap!

My only complaint is that the store is kind of small and it can be tricky to find certain brews - particularly the organization of the Belgian Kriek/Lambic area.

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Photo of goethean
5/5  rDev +9.2%

A tiny, but amazing place. It's the size of a large family room, and the beer section is only a few shelves and the coolers. However, they stock more varieties of quality beer than other stores which are many times the size of this place. Emphasizing Belgians, sours, oud bruins, and wild ales, this should be stop #1 for any BeerAdvocate passing through Chicago from less well-supplied locations. The beer guy was very helpful, very knowledgable, and someone who seems to be truly obsessed with great beer.

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Photo of osusullins
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is a beer lover's paradise. Far and away my favorite liquor store in Chicago. They always have a great stock of the highest quality of beers, and in the off chance that they are out of something, then they will special order it if it is available. Some of the kegs they have available on their keg list are simply amazing. The store is very intimate, but not cramped. It is very organized with the bottles easily accessable and easy to find if you know specifically what you are looking for. The staff is very helpful and friendly. I have had many conversations with the owner and she is an absolute pleasure to talk with. Parking is easy and it is in a great neighborhood. I can't express enough how much I love this place.

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Photo of wmtxbb
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I sort of hate this place... because it isn't next door to my house. West Lakeview liquors is the epitome of an awesome liquor store.

I'd like to start this rant about how awesome this place is by telling you, the reading audience, that I'm from Kansas - and Kansas has the most strict liquor laws in the country. We can't even fart over 0.15% without being arrested. The Kansas liquor stores stock an ample supply of the crappiest AB, coors, and Miller products that you can imagine. So, when I first moved to Chicago the liquor stores here were like a magical wonderland full of craft booze.

When I stopped into this particular liquor store, I felt the same level of awe...times 10. This place, although it is the size of a closet, has the most amazing selection; the employes know a bunch about beer and the prices are not too bad.

Overall, west lakeview liquors is awesome and you should visit this place.

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Photo of paco1029384756
5/5  rDev +9.2%

I've only been here a few times, and I have a better experience each time I visit. The staff is knowledgeable and very friendly. I was informed of beers that would be appearing in the market that I was not aware of.

It is a little cramped, but they manage to pack an incredible selection of beer into a small space. This is the place to go for rare imported beers, with an exceptional selection of Belgian beer.

Some of the beers may be priced a little high, but it's hardly a complaint when they provide great service and have so much to choose from. This is a must stop place if you are going to be anywhere near it.

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Photo of rorj
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Fantastic Service. The young guy who was working was super nice, super helpful and knowledgeable. Told me all about pipeworks and some beers in the back.

The Selection was great, tons of pipeworks, Half Acre Daisey Cutter, not too much 3Floyds but going to the pub so didn't matter to me.

someone on here said they had to pay cash for glassware, but I used a card.

great store

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
5/5  rDev +9.2%

West Lakeview Liquors is probably going to become my favorite liquor stores very quickly. I’m at the point where I typically walk into a liquor store, even a rather good one like Riley’s or Steve’s here in Madison and only find one or two new beers to try. Not so at West Lakeview! Nearly every beer at West Lakeview is rare or exceptional. Most are the type that you’ve never seen and want to try, or the kind that you have tried, but only once because they are so rare, and desperately want to try again. The standouts from my visit are really too many to list but I’ll try to give some idea of the caliber of beers, both in terms of rarity and quality, that one will find at West Lakeview: Nogne Dark Horizon (and everything else), St. Bon Chien, Jadwiga, Pannepot (both versions), De Streuss Wheat, Alpha Kong, 07 Barique, Jenlain Printempts, Fantome, Beer Geek Breakfast, and about 30-40 Belgian and French beers that I haven’t tried and in many cases, never heard of. West Lakeview also carries a boat load of meads from Wild Blossom and I look forward to trying them all over time. The staff is really excellent. The owner’s knowledge and attitude were unparalleled in the business. The other employee I spoke with was great too. Highly recommended shop that will become a must stop for me whenever I’m in Chicago.

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Photo of chrismason269
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

WLVL has a selection that is unmatched not only within the city, but in the world. Beers varying from a couple thousand feet to couple thousand miles from the store's front door make it impossible to leave without something you had no idea existed or was available. It offers the rare and regular beers from popular Goose Island, 3Floyds and Pipeworks locally but also has an imported selection that allows you to step into another world.

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Photo of inhoc00
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Finally made it to this Roscoe Village shop. WOW!!! Armaneti's is great but this place...Its like a private cellar. Wine in the front, the good stuff near the back. Small corner store with tall wooden shelves of the most complete single bottle beer collection I have ever seen. The international collection was amazing. Never seen such a large Switzerland section, but there it is. Won't even mention the Belgium section. I would need several hours to appreciate everything. Service was friendly. Found several bottles of Barley Island. The prices were very reasonable. Will certainly go back.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Firstly , let me say that this place is simply beautiful and charming from both outside and in. It's on a charming little corner of Addison in a neighborhood full of charming two flats and single family houses and cozy apartment buildings all on shady tree-lined tranquil streets. The store is in an unassuming little storefront in an apartment building with little in the way of gaudy signage that would tell one that a retail establishment is nearby. The burgundy awning with the store's name and a few neon signs (Rogue, and some others ) are all that indicates where you are. Step through the door and you find yourself in a smallish but most charming space in which to buy good beer and some good liqour and wine, as well as quality cigars and Nat Sherman cigarettes, and even some quality chocalates. The shelves are all orante wooden with dark varnish and this looks like the way stores might have looked in the 1920's (except for the modern refridgeration), or maybe in Europe, but certainly not modern America. Anyway, the selections were vary large for such a small and quaint space. Very good Belgain and Belgian styles offerings, many of them refridgerated (much more than I've ever seen before) which encourages one to get something to enjoy that same day instead of purchasing a warm one to be chilled for some later time. Also a great deal of German selections, many more than I've seen elsewhere. Some Brtitish, and excellent cross section of American crafts (Victory, Great Lakes, DFH, SN, Anchor, Two Brothers, GI, Avery, and others) and Unibroue from Quebec. The employees were friendly enthusiastic, and both very helpful and very knowledgeable, ready to offer answers and/or insights on the stock, or upcoming stock items, or even things they did not even have but knew something about it that would be helpful to the customer. Their prices are very good. This place is excellent, and it's totally worth seeking out even you don't live on the northside, or in the city, for that matter.

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Photo of AnnArborJoe
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Fantastic store. As long as you aren't there during a major rush, everyone is very helpful. I've shopped many times and I've never been disappointed by the selection, knowledge of the employees, or the level of service. The amount of liquor/wine in the store isn't phenomenal, but it's mainly a beer store and the booze/wine is enough to fulfill the needs if you're not just picking up beer. So far I've been unable to attend any tastings/BBQ/events but I've only heard good things. From my experiences, the beers that you would like to have fresh turnover pretty quickly and their overall inventory is somewhat small so I haven't had any old/skunked beers.

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Photo of mrquartetman
5/5  rDev +9.2%

This small store has a superb selection of both domestic microbrews and beers from outside the US, especially Belgian beers. One great feature is that for a store of this size, the cooler is amazing. It contains at least some of a very large selection of the beers that they stock, particularly current seasonal beers.

It's worth going back frequently because their selection changes as the season changes - and as they learn about beers they haven't tried before.

Their prices are not low, but there are often special deals that are worth taking advantage of.

The staff really knows their stuff, and they are very helpful. They drink the stuff they sell, too, and will tell you what they think.

A terrific neighborhood resource, and one worth visiting from anyplace on the map.

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Photo of cnbrown313
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Whenever my beer advocate friends come into Chicago from out of the area and ask, "Where should I go to find good beer in Chicago?" West Lakeview Liquors is my immediate response. And nobody has ever been disappointed.

A - The shop has a "boutique" feel to it (although not in a bad way). There are only about 2-3 bottles of each beer on the shelves (usually more are available in the back stock), so the store feels like a museum that is being constantly kept up by a very knowledgeable curator. Amongst the endless bottles of beers they also offer t-shirts, glasses, lambic baskets, etc. (many of which you aren't likely to find anywhere else except here and Belgium)

Q - The selection of quality beers here is the best I've ever seen. I have to imagine that it has to be up there with the best in the world. Very rare beers from breweries like Mikkeller, De Dolle, Evil Twin, Fantome, De Molen, etc. sit alongside local breweries like Pipeworks (they got their start working at this store by the way), Revolution, Three Floyds... and it goes on...and on...

Service - I've heard some people say that they haven't had the best service here, but personally, I've had nothing but good experiences. Last time I was in there buying a bottle of Bon Chein, the employee working the counter said, "If you like that, I've got a 2006 bottle in the basement you might really like? Another time I was buying about $200 worth of bottles and they threw in a free t-shirt for me too. I dropped a bottle on the floor once and thought I was about to get scolded, but the employee that saw just said, "Ah, don't worry man... that's why we've got rubber floors here!" So my service experiences here have been nothing but great.

Selection - If you are looking for the best and rarest beer you can find in Chicago. This is it...

V - Every once in a while you might be able to get a bottle $1 cheaper at Binny's, but in general, they are on par with everyone else. Also... Pipeworks bombers are $1 cheaper here than anywhere else.

O - If you haven't been here and have the means to do so. Do yourself a favor and go. And only bring what you're willing to spend... because I've gone in there for "a bottle for the night" and came out with $200-$300 in beer. It will happen...

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Photo of ktrillionaire
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

West Lakeview Liqours is a must-stop if you are in Chicago. Everything in stock is of the highest quality, from beer and booze to cheese and accoutrements. The import selection is great, and the whisky is phenomenal. Lambics and are well-represented, as are obscure Euro brands. The prices are all reasonable, and really good if you factor WLVs economy of scale. The staff is as knowledgeable as it gets and exceptionally helpful. About as good as it gets; WLV has all the good stuff and none of the crap.

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Photo of captnamerca
5/5  rDev +9.2%

My only experience with West Lakeview Liquors is placing an out-of-state order via email and over the phone. It was very easy to pick out a few beers that I can't get in Florida from their wide selection. I sent an email to find out about prices and availability and got a response from Kristina the next day. The service was exceptional. I made an order and they were able to hold it for me for a few days when an unexpected expense came up, even when it was the last of a product in stock. The package came in a sturdy styrofoam spacer and everything was in one piece. It arrived from Chicago to Florida in 3 days. Fantastic. I can't wait to order again. I can't wait to go to Chicago in person and check out the store.

I highly recommend West Lakeview Liquors to anyone in the South who wants any Midwestern and any other hard to find beer.

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Photo of ssimpson89
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was in the city and wanted to see what I could get that's not available in the 'burbs. It's a small store, but has an awesome selection. It was early on Saturday, March 9 and me and my wife were the only 2 in the store.

I didn't get the name of the guy working, but he mentioned he was a Cleveland native and was rocking a Great Lakes hoodie. He knew I wanted local and pointed me to Pipeworks, Spiteful, Begyle, etc. I also grabbed some Daisy Cutter, which is limited in the 'burbs and he asked if I wanted some Double Daisy Cutter as he thought there may be few bottles in the back. It was my first time there and he made me feel like a regular. I've been buying at least 12 beers a week from my local Binny's for the last 5 years and have never received such great service and selection of hard to get beers. They tend to hold limited releases in the back for friends of the beer guy...bad policy.

West Lakeview had most of the recent limited releases on the shelf with a 1 per customer limit, which I love. It gives everyone a chance to get their hands on rarer beers.

What a great store. Everyone in craft beer retailing should make a visit to see how it should be done. Well educated and friendly employees do make a difference. I'll definitely be going back.

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Photo of gtermi
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

When I walked into this place, I had to pinch myself because I thought I had died and went into beer heaven. Now this place isn't like Binny's where it is huge and spread out, no, this place is very tiny and stacked to the ceiling with amazing beer.. literally. They had rare beer after rare beer as I scrolled through the selection. They have the biggest selection of Mikkeller I have ever seen and a crap load of imports that I have never seen. They had hard to find Bell's, 3 Floyd's and The Bruery. The people that worked there were super nice and they enjoyed talking beer. They had a doorway you can go through and they have t-shirts and beer glasses for sale from different breweries. There is also a little bit of wine and liquor too, but you can tell their main focus is the beer. When I come back to Chicago, this is for sure the first place I will hit up.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stopped in to West Lakeview Liquors for the first time with my buddy Win from Flossmoor, IL. I had met the owner, Kristina Bozic, and her assistant, Bryna in Belgium at the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival. It was good to reconnect with both of them and of course to survey the store's extensive craft beer selection. This is definitely a place to check out for rare imports (like rare specimens from 3 Fonteinen etc.) and good local beers too. The store is small, and also sells wine and spirits, but Kristina manages to pack the small space with an informed selection of craft beers (you can check out their stock online). The essential thing to know is that Kristina and the staff are dedicated craft brew enthusiasts who keep up with the scene and really know their beers. The store will be expanded this year with a bigger beer display area. Visiting from San Francisco, I was mainly interested in North Central beers, and picked up a couple bottles of Half Acre's Baumé, a limited edition hopped chocolate rye stout to commemorate the first beer they made at their relatively new brewery established in 2009. Also picked up a bottle of Bluegrass Brewing Company's Bourbon Barrel Aged Helles, out of Louisville, KY. BBC was one of the special tastings West Lakeview puts on periodically. There were many more beers I would have purchased, but unfortunately I had maxed out my luggage space at Three Floyds the day before and was just on my way to O'Hare. I joined their mailing list and will be keeping track of their offerings and promotions (they ship) and will definitely return here when I am in the Chicago area.

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Photo of Offa
4.91/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is an outstanding liquor store. My experience included excellent, helpful, and friendly service. The selection is incredible, especially for local/Midwest beers, which is what I'm primarily looking for when going to a store in this region (my primary interest in visiting any beer store is usually getting local regional beers that I can't obtain at home). The import selection is great, too.

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Photo of beernightscout
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Quick edit: Compared to Lush down the street on Roscoe, West Lakeview is a total steal, prices here are almost half what they are at Lush for the exact same thing...why bother? kristina, us beer geeks are so thankful for you.

A local legend, and regional destination. Small, tight storefront, imagine what it could be if they had more room....Great wine and spirits to choose from, fancy food next door at their new deli...but it's all about the beer.

You will find beer here you will not find anywhere else. A huge selection of De Dolle, Mikkeller, Nogne, Brewdog, and great ones such as Aventinus Eisbock, Ølfabrikken Porter, and a collection of $25-30 imports I will probably never be able to afford. Wow. Wish I had an iphone so I can stand there, go online and see what all these rare things are rated. Mind-blowing is the best way to describe the import selection. Hands down this is the best import shop in the city.

But they do get the new releases from the important U.S. brewers too, and they get all the rare stuff. Ask kristina, the owner, how to be best kept aware of the rare stuff that comes in, or email her from their website. (I got Founders Nemesis 2010, etc.) She is very helpful. The other staff, who I see much more often, are also helpful and knowledgable.

Their prices are perfectly mid-range; no one can compete with Binny's, Foremost, Cardinal, etc., but you can go very close by to other great beer shops and pay more for the same stuff. I like to support the small family businesses when possible.

I'm a fan.

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Photo of wschmit
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

West Lakeview is probably the best bottle shop in Chicago. The selection is easily the most thoughtful and deep. I only regret that they don't devote a bit more shelf space to beer, because it's all crammed into one small area. But don't think I"m complaining, more like wishfully dreaming.

These guys know their beer--almost any given person in the shop can talk beer, and probably wine and liquor too, if given the opportunity. Binny's maybe has a beer guy or two on staff at all times, but for this little shop to muster such knowledge is damned impressive.

Selection of Americans is the skimpiest. They keep it to interesting and limited release beers. The imports are where they kill. Pannepot Reserva? Five different offerings from Fantome for 14.99? Three or four offerings from Mahr's? Six beers from Dieu du Ciel? Check, check, check, and, yes, check. I could go on--Drie Fonteinen, Cantillon, hell even seeing Spezial Rauchbier in a bottle shocked me. So the selection kicks serious tail. The only thing that could make it a five was if they had more space devoted to sixers of American stuff, but I won't hold that against them. Glad they make the decisions they do.

Oh, and prices are very fair, even inexpensive at times. If you're visiting Chicago from even a good beer town, be sure to stop here.

Edited to add: I stopped in again today, and went immediately afterwards to the Marcey St. Binny's for a side-by-side. Prices and selection are as good or better here almost across the board, except for six-packs. For example, West Lakeview had JW Lees 99 Harvest Ale for 7.99. Binny's did not have it, and the ones they did have were all 7.99 (06) or 9.99 (older). One data point does not a whole argument make, but these guys hold their own against Binny's, for sure.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This is my go-to beer shop when I'm out and about. Located only 1 mile or so from my place, I am happy to shop there whenever I'm needing some beer/wine/alcohol.

The employees are always very friendly and helpful. They are always knowledgeable about anything I ask and offer suggestions as well.

The selection is top-notch. They have many many beers that you cannot find anywhere. If you're looking for an awesome European selection + US selection, this is your place.

The prices are usually lower or right in line with most other Chicago-area liquor stores. Of course, I would rather support a local neighborhood joint over the huge discount liquor store any day of the week.

Kristina, the owner, is probably one of the nicest people you'll ever get the pleasure to meet. She loves to talk beer, wine, whiskey, cheese, etc. and knows her stuff.

I've also bought cheese/dry fruit/cured meats from the deli shop for several events I've hosted. Always a wonderful selection and very prompt on getting them ready, no matter how much time I give them.

If you're in town visiting, be sure to look this place up! It's been voted one of the best beer shops in the COUNTRY on the other site (for good reason!).

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped by for zwanze day. Beautiful shop in a nice quiet area. Inside has lots of old world charm. Tons of wood through out. Looks like a small shop in europe. Everything was well kept and clean. Great bottle presentation. Very friendly service. Selection was amazing, found lots of wants. Tons of local, american, and euro offerings. From lambic to ipa, a solid represetation. Small deli selection and speciality cheeses. Some healthy frozen goods. Very small market looking. I will be back here for sure, love this place.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

Located on the corner of West Addison and some other non-Addison street and surrounded by a reddish awning with "West Lakeview Liquors" emblazoned on it. As for parking, we lucked out in a spot along the street. The store itself is small, but definitely cozy, neat as a pin, and well-stocked (both with good beer and good people).

At the helm of this classy establishment (provided I have my facts straight) is a very nice young lady quick to offer both assistance and friendly suggestions. The rest of the staff seemed to be made up of knowledgable beer enthusiasts well-versed in their comparably priced wares.

Unlike the distinguished Acknud, I did not grab any cider or perry, instead I snatched up a basket filled to capacity with various bottles from Southern Tier, Founders (Blushing Monk), Three Floyds, Goose Island, Dark Horse, Hoppin' Frog, etc. The bombers and other large-sized bottles are arranged on wooden shelves lining the store, the bulk of the 6/4-packs are placed in coolers. Definitely a recommended beer shop stop when in the Chicago area. Why, I'd be back there right this very moment if I weren't 698 miles away in Georgia.

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Photo of 110toyourleft
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

For the most part, kegs are easy to procure in Chicago. For me, the fact that they have a published keg list, with prices, is so helpful.

Very quick turn around with ordering.

Their selection for draft beer is exceptional. I can't really speak for what's in the coolers in the bottle, but they publish that list so you can check it out in advance.

Customer service is fantastic as well. I had a problem related to my order (which was not their fault, but I had to work through them to solve it), and their extra work to solve the problem was above and beyond the call of duty.

There are places that are closer to my residence, but I'm going back here every time.

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West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
4.58 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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