Northern Liberties IPA | Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

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Northern Liberties IPANorthern Liberties IPA

Brewed by:
Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerman207 on 05-14-2010

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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 186
Photo of stewart124
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Arnold's

Copper in color with little head.

Nice pine resin and citrus in the nose.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Medium caramel character with some bready notes but overall caramel comes through. Pleasing amounts of bitterness with nothing over the top. Blends well with the malt character.

Finish is pine and bits of citrus. Nice feel and a nice addition to Moerlein's portfolio.

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Photo of Dave128
3.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug from a 12oz twistoff bottle. Uh oh!! popping the top has the beer spewing a fifth of its contents onto my desk even tho its been sitting there for half an hour to bring down to a better temp.

A - Actually pretty darn nice looking. Great head. very cloudy amber in color. Sheets of lace run down the glass.

S - Faint piney smell. not many strong aromas.

T - Tastes pretty strongly of pinecone. There is a tiny hint of citrus flavors, but they are shortlived and the bitterness comes around. Its not too strong in general, but a little strong considering there is not a huge amount of malt backbone.

M - Highly carbonated. Super fizzy. medium mouthfeel but harsh carbonation.

O - Not bad. Suffers from averageness. Could use a little more balance and less carbonation.

Edit: I just discovered the bottle I bought as a single was about a year old so take this review with a grain of salt.

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Photo of Kelly88
3.14/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into my bruery tulip.

A- brownish red with a very solid and very resilient off white head. Can't see through this brew but you can see the tiny Carb bubbles racing to the top. A little to dark for me but a great head.

S- not getting much smell in This. A very weird plastic earthy vegetable smell. Not the most appealing.

T- much better than the smell. Some sweet candied malts, sugary sweet. Watered down orange hop bite is a transition taste into the very grassy earthy finish.

M- on the light side. Creamy with good carbonation. Nothing is unappealing so its pretty good.

Overall I don't really like this beer. Terrible smells and a strange taste. Now I know why this brewery Sticks to malt forward brews.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic - can't vouch on how fresh this is since there's no freshness date in view. Review taken from notes.

Appearance: The body of the beer is actually fairly dark for an IPA - a pleasant, deep copper with some hints of fiery orange, fairly hazy but no sediment in suspension. An aggressive pour yielded a 1.5 finger head of ivory white foam which slowly faded to a cap of wisps and left behind spotty lacing.

Smell: Bold, but balanced. There are the obligatory notes of citrus, particularly grapefruit and just a little bit of lemon; but there are also some notable floral/herbal scents in there accented by some pine resin, all backed by just a pinch of either pale or caramel malt, providing a slightly sugary scent to the beer.

Taste: A fairly rich beer. Citric hops dominate with flavors of orange rind and grapefruit, underscored by a backbone of floral and herbal spiciness on the middle of the palate, which carries into some pine resin notes in the finish. There's a small but substantial backbone of malt flavors, sweet and sugary, to provide some balance for the beer. Nice balance between very American and European hop characteristics. A good thirst quencher, and a balanced IPA that still knows how to kick it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body overall, not too highly carbonated. Lingering flavors from the hops create a slightly drying finish leaving me thirsty for another sip. Alcohol is well-hidden, even though the ABV is a little low for this style in this brew.

Overall: Pretty good IPA, a little bit of a surprise from Moerlein, who generally specializes in Euro-style beers. Good balance and drinkability, but nothing to get crazy excited over. This isn't a super-assertive IPA - in fact, I would venture to say it's either a very mild IPA or a slightly souped-up APA. If you want to support your locals and want a good beer with some character, check this out. Sessionable but not fantastic.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an HotD tulip on 4/14/11.

Pours a pretty golden honey color with a fluffy white head that dissipates leaving moderate lacing .

Smells are very subdued. Citrus fruit, pine and some earthy grass aromas come through. Some sweet malt backbone becomes apparent as the brew warms and becomes more volatile. I echo some of the other reviews that believe it smells more like a pale ale then an IPA.

Taste is diluted and not what I expected. Again more like a pale ale. I can taste some hop forward citrus but for the most part this beers taste is forgettable.

Mouthfeel is light to moderate and crisp. Some resin sticks and leaves hop bitterness as well as a little fruit hop flavor.

Overall this is a one and done for me. It has some significant flaws such as the weak smell and taste and the mouthfeel is leaning towards lagger.

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Photo of rlshep
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Aroma: Citrus, tangerines, piney. Dark sugar. Plums in background. Aroma, could be more assertive.

Appearance: Aggressive pour produces 1 finger off-white head. Dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing. Orangeish amber color. Very clear.

Flavor: Very piney. A sugary taste present. Possibly band-aidish. More of the dark caramel from aroma. High bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On thin side. Alcohol a little hot. Seems astringent, husky and harsh,

Overall: I find myself liking IPAs less and less. It is hard to say where the over the top bitterness/hoppiness ends and being just a bad beer starts. This is not an easy drinking beer, very harsh. I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of rembrant
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wrote a review months ago and it was among quite a backlog I'd yet to post Now with a revisit...I'm not tasting the same beer anyhow. Either my first was a bit old and faded or Moerlein upgraded this beer
Looks-If you've seen Hopslam and Nugget Nectar...same look Rich orange.a bit hazy,even a hard pour yields just a bit of offwhite head.
Aroma A scent of caramel maltand some mixed fruity citrus.. As I'd found previously there's a slight yeasty hint as though they wanted to have a hint of lager in it. This, however,has much better hops to it.
Taste The Malts only get a moment and then the hops take command,yet this is not a one-note. The malts do maintain some influence,the yeast add a little to the complexity. I'm not getting a single dominant hop ttaste,not a discreet fruit. It's like grapefruit,pineapple,green apple,pine cone,orange and lemon all have a voice in there. In the end, a German -like Nobel hop appears with a dry woodiness that joins the fruits for the finish.
In the past I'd felt it was more like a Pale Ale labeled as IPA. Now it's not just an IPA for real,but a good one. As I had my first of Hopslam and Nugget Nectar just lately..that says something
I like an IPA to be BEER,to have more than just a bang of grapefruit.
Mouth- The Orange-Haze look and the hop-slimed glass gave warning this should have good substance and indeed it does.
Carbonation is right. Aftertaste doesn't linger long relative to the hop flavor but is a clean and nice finish
Drinkability is quite drinkable. Elsewhere it's not seen much,but here it's available and budget friendly. Not in any way abrassive or weak,real quenching and complex enough to stay interesting

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Photo of brown2cu
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear copper color with a small head that leaves a very fine froth. minimal lacing was noticed which was suprising considering that most ipa's I have had are positively overrun with it. Just seems a bit dull and listless compared to some other brews in this style.

Not bad smelling. I am detecting a fair amount of sweet fruit with a layer of citrusy fruit topped off with a good amount of pine and grass. I would prefer it to be a little more pungent for the style. It seems closer to a pale ale than an India pale ale.

A bit watered down in my opinion. it is close to balanced but the hop profile wins out it seems. I noticed a good amount of caramelly malt and a cloying amount of floral hops that lays waste to the malt character somewhat sucessfully. a good bit of biscuty character is present at the front, this is again however, short lived.

This beer has a good mouthfeel. Nice and crisp, suprisingly so for an ipa. it cleanses the mouth after each swallow and leaves you wanting for another sip. Leaves a citrusy tang behind as well.

If you are looking for a sessionable ipa look no further. It has the right amount of flavor to be continuously quaffable over a period of time. The ABV is masked masterfully in this as well which boosts its' sessionable capabilities. It left me wanting though; I would have greatly enjoyed this is the flavor were more pronounced.

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Photo of johncampbell
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from a tap at Arnold's Bar and Grill in Downtown Cincinnati, OH.

Dark copper with amber highlights and a finger of head which remained intact through the first third of the pint before fading to a ring that lightly laced the glass.

The aroma was all Centennial and Cascade, and a lot of it - a very nice blend of citrus and grass with a promise of sweet malt.

The hop flavor was not as intense as the aroma, but had a good, crisp citrus flavor with a hint of pine. The sweet malt I detected in the nose was also lighter than I expected, but it gave the beer a toasty, caramel flavor that offset the hop bitterness. Combined, they provided a good balance for this medium-bodied, dry IPA.

The mouthfeel was crisp and vibrant with just the right amount of carbonation, body, and flavor.

This beer was much better than I anticipated and my first "new" Christian Morlein beer. I think I was expecting something tame and mainstream, proving again that I should leave my preconceived notions at the door.

I look forward to drinking more from these guys and following their new endeavors. Good job.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very unusual choice comming out of such a conventional brewing company that favors German styles.

Northern Liberties pours with a standard copper or heavy gold color. High carbonation fuels a froathy but volitile head that fell to stillness mid way through, with only a floating pocket of lace here and there. Farily standard but I like better head character from high-hopped beers. A mild haze from dry hopping is evident.

Citrus and pine resins take precidence while mild caramel malt flavors support but don't interrupt the hops. Lightly phenolic, the beer has a mild medicinal taste that at times seem plasticy. Bitterness is high and strays from the smooth citrus start and towards a grassy, straw-like or hay-like astringent bite in the finish.

The otherwise crisp beer has a well-attenuated character that leaves it less creamy early but dry late. If not for a leafy, stemmy, grassy finish the beer would fare much better.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single bottle (no date I could interpret - lots of numbers on the bottle, but meaningless to me) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange-yellow (towards darker orange with hints of brown) beer with an impressively thick and persistent 1/2" light tan head. Plenty of bubbles coming up through the beer. Sheets of lacing or islands of lacing/dense foam here and there as I drank it down.

Smell: When cold, citrus and pine smells, but as it warms up, the pine and citrus begin to fade and are replaced with some faint floral smells. Interesting.

Taste: Bitter up front and the bitterness gets stronger as the beer warms up. The malt attempts to cut through towards the end before the bittern aftertaste comes back. It's an IPA, but when cold I found it more balanced, and upon warming up it becomes very unbalanced in favor of hop bitterness. Sadly it's just a bitter hop flavor - not a lot of range.

Mouthfeel: Despite all the bubbles you see in the glass, there is very little carbonation on the tongue. Otherwise, the beer is very smooth and definitely thicker than water. I hesitate to call it creamy, but it's headed in that direction.

Drinkability: Went okay with a meal (Tuna casserole) but the lopsided bitterness of the beer definitely makes me want to stop at one. I think I would need something stronger in flavor for a meal to go with this one. I'm not sure if I would drink it alone. Good looking beer...just not the greatest AIPA I've ever had.

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Photo of generalnotsew
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look is kind of orangish cloudy fecal matter brown. It does produce a head so some marks for that. It doesn't look very satisfying. Smell is very spicy and herbal. Has a bit of a pilsner quality. Some sweet fruits in the nose as well. This beer is quite bitter for the abv. Didn't really expect that. More of an earthy piney bitterness rather than grapefruit. Yeah it is very bitter with very little sweetness backing it up if any at all. I am impressed with this part especially considering the abv. Hopheads will be pleased. Even if the appearance and smell aren't up to par it sure does make up for it in bold flavor. I will buy this again.

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Photo of rcwhiteky
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A a nice clear copper with about two inches of off white foam
S- Malty and hoppy at the same time like a candy coated pine tree
T- Much like the aroma hops with a strong malt backbone very good though

M- medium to thin little dissatified with this aspect
D-looked down and was suprised to see that the beer was gone went down very smooth

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Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Moerlein name once represented a line of quite good beers, but, over time, the name simply tagged contract brewed beers of average quality. Northern Liberties redeems the name. A quite good IPA, liberally hopped with nicely aromatic hops. Firm and crisp in the mouth, and a very good value, to boot.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 7/16/10

Robust shade of copper with amber highlights. Nice clarity. Over one finger head thins slowly with decent swaths of lace clinging to the inside of the glass. Swirling keeps a thin layer; splotchy lace throughout.

This is an earthy smelling IPA; prevalent floral wisps, grassiness & a touch of pine. Modest hints of lemon zest & orange peel. Substantial malt backdrop with notes of biscuit, caramel & sweet bread. Yeasty undertones.

Similar to the aroma, the taste is very floral with a grassy twist. Piney bitterness is more apparent to taste; offering enough dryness to offset the malts. Malts are prominent but not eschewing balance. Caramel & toasty bread notes. Doesn't seem like citrus is a large piece of the equation.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation - just enough to keep things moving. Some grittiness. Piney bitterness & toasted caramel linger briefly on the finish.

Drinkability is fine. It's definitely balanced for an American IPA, but never tips the scale toward the malty side of things (in my opinion, it's more of an English IPA). In any case, it's tasty & easy to drink. I didn't even know Moerlein had an IPA. Thanks to my Uncle Todd for bringing some Moerlein brews when he drove up for the Dream Theater concert.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - good looking golden amber tea color. Voluminous head with lots of staying power and lace.

Aroma - sharp and pungent hops with just a trace of sweet citrus. A little more fruit on setup, pretty nice balance!

Taste - some initial biscuity malts on the opening. The hops, far more pungent and bitter when fresh, are still knocking it pretty stiff but they have tamed somewhat. Still very piny and in better balance with the malts several months after purchase. Good resiny aftertaste and dry finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth feel. If you let it sit, the amped up carbonation burns off and makes for a crisp but mellow feel.

Drinkability - very tasty session IPA. Worth checking out.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper gold in color. Nice fluffy head that recedes and laces the glass.

S - Malt sweetness and slight grain, but I can't smell the hops at all. Maybe I am a bit stuffed up, but I just can't smell them.

T - Nice bitterness and malt that are very balanced. The hops don't have much flavor at all, they seem to be adding bitterness rather than hop flavor(or a balance of both).

M - Smooth creamy and moderate to high carbonation. Modest gravity for an IPA, but there are some residual dextrins that add body.

D - Pretty drinkable for an IPA. This is not a big beer, I would put it between an APA and an IPA. There is nothing offensive about this beer, it just isn't very aggressive compared to other American IPAs out there.

Overall it is a bit of a boring IPA. Solid malt backbone and very balanced between sweetness and bitterness. I wish it had some hop aroma and hop flavor other than plain bitterness. I am excited for their brewpub that is planned to open next summer between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown stadium. It will be great to have a local brewery to visit on gameday!

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Photo of pwoods
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6er purchased at Krogers, 12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours an average amber color with some coppery hues. Good clarity. A finger or so worth of thick white head forms and holds for a bit. Good lacing.

S: I'm thinking this wasn't dry hopped. Some American hopping in there with a bit of fruit and citrus, with a touch of pine in the back. More of the grassy and floral Euro hopping, though. A likely sweet cereal malt bill in the back to balance things.

T/M: A decent bitterness level but not very clean... has a bit of chalkiness on the back end. The American hopping comes out a bit more in the flavor but it still has an assertive English hop profile. The malts are nice in this, not too sweet and adds a bit of complexity. I'd say the malts would be perfect with a slight boost in IBU's and more big American hops in a late addition/whirlpool and dry hopping. Body is medium or so and the carbonation adds a bit of a creamy feel.

D: Good ABV and pretty drinkable. I had high hopes with this beer, and I'm not completely let down as it's a pretty decent beer. I just think Cincinnati is ready for a big 'West Coast Style' IPA. I wish someone would give it a try!

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the record, I am VERY happy that a Cincinnati-based brewer finally made a SOLID IPA... I don't live in Michigan or Cali, so brewers that make a good IPA in Cincinnati are rare (to non-existent!

Pours a crystal clear, dark honey into my traditional pint glass. The head is 1/2 inch after an average pour. Great, sticky lacing seen on the sides of the pint glass. Looks good!

I get light, sweet malts and citrus on the nose, like oranges and some grassiness.

Wow! Bitter citrus up front a moderately complex malt bill, characteristic in most Moerlein beers. This certainly feels like "Over-The-Rhine's (Pale Ale)" bigger brother. Less earthy hops though and an overall, larger hop presence. This is a nice example of an IPA.

Great, high carbonated mounthfeel with a touch of bitterness, but not overwhelming.

If you are a fan of well-balanced IPA's, you must give this one a try! Very nice. Looks like I have a new, local IPA to enjoy!

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Copper with a cascading head that dissipates to a small coat quickly and then sticks around for the whole session. A thin lacing is left on the glass.
S. Malt with subtle hop profile.
T. Sweet malty goodness up front with a hop backbone. The characteristic Moerlein malt profile is instantly recognizable. The hops come into the game late and stick around through the initial aftertaste only to once again make way for the sweet malt (and some sweet citrus- orange) in the ending.
M. Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.
D. One of the more complex IPAs that I've tried recently. It's not terribly bitter, which helps make it a great session beer. Moerlein has made me smile again.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at Maifest in Covington, KY. It was poured with a large fluffy/thick head that stuck around for a while. The beer is a clear copper color and looks inviting. The smell is a bit underwhelming for an IPA. Not too much hop aroma, but if Moerlein's pale ale is any indication this will be a more malt-forward IPA than most. Yep, it is. The hop bitterness is there upon the first few sips but that fades away to the sweet malt base. Like their OTR the malt shines through more than the hops. This is more like a pale ale while OTR is more like an amber or something else. That's not to say the taste is bad... it is very fresh and flavorful while begging for another drink. I finished the pint pretty quickly and could see myself drinking this all night. Overall it's a pretty good beer but if you like a lot of hops from your IPA you may want to look elsewhere.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lively copper coloured pour, with a somewhat hoppy aroma in the nose. Meringue-like foam develops as the head settles.
This is a good presentation. Tangy hops on the palate combined with substantial malt support , make this not an excessively bitter ale. I would say it favors better than Left Hand's 400 pound monkey, in that it is more focused on freshness, and of course, balance.
Very drinkable and worth seeking out.

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Photo of beerman207
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at Party Town in Florence, KY. Saw it was recently announced and was pretty pumped to find it being a fan of Moerlein.

A: Very good - copper, clear, pours a huge head in the glass, leaving amazing lacing and just looks amazing for an IPA

S: Unfortunately, this part is a let down for me. Can't say that I can detect much more than some faint citrus and some malt. Towards the end of the beer,I begin to get a lot more maltiness and some sweetness coming through.

T: Taste is citrus, malt, some lemon zest maybe? Really crisp, great bite at the finish and overall just tasty.

M: Good mouthfeel - nothing too crazy just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I could drink these all night. Wish the nose was better but if I had my choice, I'd just pop the cap, throw it in a cozy and sip away all day mowing the grass or hanging outside sans glass. The price point for a single was about $1.60 which is also very reasonable for this brew.

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Northern Liberties IPA from Christian Moerlein Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 186 ratings.
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