Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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world-class
3,701 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,701
Ratings:
12,129
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
588
Gots:
2,976
For Trade:
53
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Reviews: 3,701 | Ratings: 12,129
Photo of MmmIPA
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ive had the CZAR and now its time for RASPUTIN! Lets see who wins! Very black body with a small thin tan head that fells fast.Chocolate is the main smell I get out of it.There is some fruit smells under the chocolate.The taste is dynamite! The taste is fruit and expresso and damn good.I taste some bitter chocolate in the aftertaste.The mouthful is slick and thick and tasty,did I mention that already? I dont know if I could drink multiple of these cause of the abv content but it is pretty well hidden,let see when it warms.I think OLD RASPY won this war.I would say to the people who want to know what is compares between,its more bolder then Stormking but not as Czar.Very good indeed.

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Photo of travelfrog
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this interesting stout at my favorite local pizza pub/watering hole. It was on draught, served in a brandy snifter of all things.

Appearance was very good, with a nice creamy dark complexion and creamy head (perhaps exaggerated somewhat by the dimensions of my snifter). There were a few air bubbles mixed in, and the beverage was less opaque than I would have expected.

Aroma was good, again perhaps concentrated by the snifter. Notes of malt and chocolate.

The flavor will come as quite a surprise to Guinness drinkers (remember this is Imperial Stout... ;). A bold combination of sherry, malt, coffee, and chocolate. Pleasant, lingering aftertaste of caffe corretto.

Mouthfeel was excellent: smooth and creamy with no burn or cloying on the roof of the mouth.

I also have to rate the drinkability quite highly for a stout, though it is certainly best sipped rather than gulped. I would not have known it was 9% alcohol if I hadn't read it on this page.

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Photo of Luchman
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with a 1 1/2 finger, light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving great lacing on the sides and clumps on the top.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate hit the nose first. Some light hops, alcohol, molasses, and slight burnt grain are there as well. Smells pretty darn good.

T: Matches smell, but only better. Great coffee/roasted malts, graininess, definitely chocolate, some dark fruits (plums, currents, etc.) and some nice hops to add to it. Some boozy alcohol is there that increases as the temperature rises. Has a dry finish. Damn... This stuff is better than I remembered.

M: Fits it nicely. Medium/full body with medium carbonation that goes done as easy as can be!

D: Not bad... Not bad at all. A very good tasting stout that I once thought to be over rated. Alcohol booziness gets there a tad bit in the end, which no doubt they intended it that way, but lowers my drinkability rating a .5.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Wonderful opaque black. The burnt brown head had nice staying power.

Aroma: Nuts chocolate and espresso bean are present in the mix.

Taste: Wonderful imperial stout here. The roasted malts give way to some earthy chocolate, and espresso beans. There are some wonderful hop bitterness at the end and some roasted nuts in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with some slight carbonation which excites the taste buds and allows the bitter chocolate espresso to seep in.

Drinkability: This is a wonderful stout. It's not something that I would introduce someone to the genre with, but it's something that people who enjoy stouts or porters will definitely enjoy.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a nearly black color, thick but not nearly as syrapy as many of the style. Big rocky brown head that subsides to a third, and then lingers. Pretty nice lacing.

Nose isn't as strong as I expected, but improving throughout the glass as it warms. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee...liquorice?...definately fruity - almost vinous...and behind it all, a bit of floral. Some alcohol, and an overall intriguing complexity despite the lack of overpowering aroma.

Adult milk shake - that was my first thought. On the full side of medium bodied and intense. Definately big carmelized sugar sweetness, with just the right amount of lingering bittersweet chocolate and hops in the finish. Roasty malts mostly short of charred - delicious.
Where is the alcohol? - none of the strength noted in the aroma is here. Extremely smooth and coats the tongue nicely.

I simply cannot sip this beer - it screams a "5" on drinkability, but if I drank as many now as I'd like, I'd be under the table talking to my shoe. Gotta knock this one a touch. I wouldn't mind if this beer was 6 or 7% - then I could drink a few of this deliciousness.

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Photo of jjmunro
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: A beautiful midnight black, as expected for Imperial Stouts. A healthy, mocha head shrank, but remained throughout the beer.

S: I was not overwhelmed by the smell. I was able to pick up apples and brown sugar. The only facet of the beer that I was not wow'ed by. There is a distinct smell, but it was just kind of average for me.

T: Rich and earthy taste that is instantly quite impressive. It was a pleasing, lingering taste that was not overpowering by any stretch of the imagination, a rarity for many American Imperial Stouts. This beer was extremely well crafted, the alcohol content was designed to be apparent, but surprisingly smooth for the style. Many compliments to the brewers of this fine stout.

M: Again, very nice for the style. Unlike many Imperial Stouts, there was not that lingering heavy aftertaste that can detract from the beer.

D: Remarkably drinkable for the style. Superbly smooth on the palate. Could easily drink 2 or 3 in a session.

Fantastic, fantastic beer. I wish all Russian Imperial Stouts could possess this smoothness and construction.

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Photo of muffguy4beer
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Black, pitch black in color. Head did not appear at first but then it cascaded up into a not light brown inch thick head.

Smell: Charcoal briquettes, root beer barrels, alcohol and grape pixie stix are all present in the smell.

Taste: Starts off like sweet strong coffee, still am getting a grapey/raisin hint as I swallow. Nice hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the beer. Complex taste consisting of light smokiness, chocolate, sweetness, coffee, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body. Appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability: One or two of these max in one sitting. I loved it but its very powerful in all aspects so I probably would max out at 2 in a session. Fantastic seasonal, perfect for a cold new england winter.

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Photo of GimmeAles
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like squid ink with a deep mahogany edge. Quite Dark. A rocky mocha-colored head rises and falls quickly leaving sparse bubbles and lace

Surprisingly, big, green hops dominate the nose with a underlying edge of char and coffee. Flavours explode in the mouth with a big cocoa-powder-baker's chocolate intro laced with a soft lactose edge. A deep toffee sweetness mingles with the still-smoking coals from last night's campfire. A powerful hop presence gives a massive bitter finish. Who baby, a big delicious beer which really benefits from serving almost room temp.

Medium viscous body with a pleasantly coating wake that begs another dive into the huge flavors. Alcohol produces warmth and only a slight phenolic presence. Who's your daddy? Old Rasputin is, in case you've forgotten.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter, the beer pours very dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. The head doesn't stick around for too long, but the lacing is OK. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. It tastes like coffee, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. The beer also has a good lingering bitter hoppy finish, with nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium/full, and it's creamy and has just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's nice and smooth. Alcohol is noticeable, but not bad. IMO, it's a good RIS, I'd recommend it to others to try.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Opaque black in color. Fluffy two fingered tan head stays for most of the serving. Nice sticky lacing crawls all over the glass.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Sweet sugars. Bread. Warming alcohol.

T: Taste is upfront roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. Dark fruits and a perfect balance of caramel malts. More roasted coffe is finished off with a warming alcohol burn.

M: Thick and creamy. Minimal carbonation. Slighty dry.

D: Dangerously drinkable for the high alcohol content. A very nice crisp and clean Imperial Stout. Recommended.

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Photo of enfield249
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark, with ruby highlights. 1/2 finger of tan head

S - I can't get much, but then I never can.

T - Bitter was my first impression. Made my eyes water for some readson. Dark Choc. Sweet in parts.

M - Good. Not to thick. About like a IMP. Stout should be.

D - I wouldn't want one every day, or even once a month. Once a year, for sure.

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Photo of Rudgers73
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. The head spilled all over the sides, oops. The head slowly settles into a sticky, heavily lacing, belgian dubbel-like cap. The beer is nearly black. I can tell from the foam on my hand that it is a very sticky brew. The smell is really fresh. I don't know how else to explain it. Green, not as in 'green beer', but floral with chlorophyll aromas. Well roasted malts with a touch of piny hops. The flavor is great. Bold, rich, smooth, and burnt. It tastes similar to storm king stout, but it has a much more creamy and smooth body. Very well balanced overall. I like the little bite at the end that comes out at the same time as the hops. It's hard to make a RIS that isn't rough around the edges, but they did it here.

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Photo of screwcitybeernut
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rasputin was a Russian mystic who contributed in the downfall of the tsarist Romanov dynasty in 1917. Rumor has it that he refused to die after being stabbed, shot, and poisoned only to have his assailants finally bind him and toss him through a hole in the ice, which apparently finished him off.

Funny.
It took me only 20 minutes to finish off Rasputin.
And he was delicious.

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is typical of the Imperial Stout style - brewed to 9% abv or higher to withstand the cold Siberian train rides from England. It leaves you feeling a bit more resistant to cold than before you drank it - some sort of exothermic reaction must have happened because halfway through the glass, I started shedding layers.

Not a beer for the faint of spirit or faint of palate.

Appearance: 4 - Black as midnight - little to no light shines through. Rocky tan head at first, subsiding to a lingering layer of light brown foam that lasts until the last sip.

Smell: 4.5 Burnt coffee, bittersweet chocolate, alcohol and roast malt.

Taste: 4.5 Coffee and chocolate up front followed by a huge hop linger. Like a good espresso, this beer stays on your palate for a while.

Mouthfeel: 4.5 Lush, creamy smooth, little carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability: 4.5 Not a chugging beer! Sip this while reading a good book in front of a fireplace.

Overall: If you like stouts, you'll love this offering from North Coast.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a syrupy black with with a big fluffy light brown - mocha head. A gorgeuos looking stout. The head retention was pretty good. It held a sizeable head more than half way through the beer. The lacing was moderate.

S - This one didnt have a big aroma, but it was pleasant nonetheless. I pickup bits of dark chocolate and coffee. There is also just a little hop-citrus smell and a touch of alcohol present.

T - Wow, a roasty chocolate flavor is the first thing I notice followed by an equally present coffee taste. Also I get a little bit of caramel, kinda like a riesen candy chew (excellent). Not much in the way of hops, but there is a touch of hop bitterness. A light bit of alcohol warnth comes through, but not as much as the 9% alcohol would suggest.

M - Kind od chewy, like riesen chew in your mouth.

D - This has become my stand by RIS. It is very drinkable, borderline sessionable. A very tasty brew.

Notes - For about 2$ a 12oz bottle this is a good value as well.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black beer, no light passes through. Big sudsy tan head sticks around, coats the glass.

Smell: Big and toasty malt, fresh roasted coffee beans, unsweetened chocolate, a light caramel sweetness, hops are present, a little green smelling, pine maybe. Great smelling beer.

Taste: Almost a milk chocolate like sweetness comes from the malt, acts as a sweetener to the coffee like character, tastes of irish cream, hint of orange citrus, stays this way until the very tail when a dose of hops hits the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full bodied, but smooth, not sticky, creamy and ever so drinkable. Carbonation is light and cleansing.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable Russian Imperials, delicious and sweet, but not sticky or heavy. If anything, not as complex as some, but definitely more approachable.

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Photo of mwearl
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black color - cannot see light through it. Head is less than an inch and doesn't last long. The taste is bitter as expected and the first couple of sips have a noticeable alcohol flavor. Very good beer with dark chocolate. If rating of 9% ABV is accurate then why do I fee so buzzed after sipping just one?! Two would put me over the top. This is a good beer if you love dark bitters (which I do).

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Photo of baggio
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel chalice. Color is dark brown/black white a nice lacing that stays there for the duration.

Smells heavily of a potent dark coffee, bitter chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is complex but is dominated by coffee, chocolate and a kick-ass
bitternes that is a wee bit too heavy. I think this beer could use a little
less hops because it feels a little out of balance. I would definitely recommend this beer for people that enjoy a heavy stout but i would not
drink more than one bottle of it per night or it would be too much. I'm gonna see how this beer tastes after a year in my pantry.

Btw the russian text on the bottle means "Good friends doesn't come easily (fast)".

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Photo of Talisker
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12oz bottle a deep brownish black. Dark brown head, lingers for a while, and the lacing sticks around forever.

Heavenly aroma. Rich malt, chocolate, toffee, some hops. The alcohol burns through a bit too much, but it's a minor flaw. Taste is magnificent - complex, something different with every sip. Rich chocolate, not too sweet, balanced by a strong bitterness. Warming, dry. Texture not thick or syrupy like too many Impy Stouts, but not as thin as a porter - these guys nail it. After each sip you want to go back immediately, but at 9% this is one to spend time with. The dryness overstays its welcome just a bit.

Works together almost perfectly. Truly one of the great stouts, great American brews, great beers - and consistent over the years.

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Photo of Fernans
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've read about much about this one, my favorite Beer pourveyor ($8) had a four pack and I picked it right up. This one jumps out right at you. The smells of coffee and chocolate hits you right away. The taste is a lively, for sure. Though the taste of alcohol is noticeable, but not detremental. Taste of rich malts that have a heavy accent of chocolate and oats. Mouthfeel is very pleasent for 9% ABV. Appearance is very dark, but with some very deep amber. This is a sipping beer, not for dinner and one to savor (it lingers in very good way). Something to relax with on cold winter nights. This reminds me of one other beer (and one of my all time favorites) Geary's Hampshire Ale. Great overall. Worth every penny.

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Photo of jmalex
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I fell in love with Ol' Raspy the first time I had it a few months ago, and tonight is the night the second bottle comes out of the fridge for a more formal tasting. At long last!

APPEARANCE: Pours a very dark brown to black with a 1-inch, dense, beige head. It lowers to a splotchy, rocky cap and tops off the beer with striking contrast. Eventually the head vanishes, leaving a thin collar and patchy lacing up the glass.

SMELL: Aromas all over the place! As I'm assessing appearance, I can't help but get a whiff of the fantastic scents. Upon further inspection, this beer smells like real heavy hitter. Sweet, dark and toasted malts, alcohol, dark fruits, and floral hops all stand out. The hop aromas are nicely subtle, and do I detect a faint hint of smoke?

TASTE: Holy Tsar! The initial taste is dominated by chocolate and fruit esters. Alcohol is fairly apparent but not as much as I expected. This beer really starts to shine as it crosses the palette. The roasted flavors really make themselves known and linger long after the final gulp. The hops play a background role the entire time but are definitely an important part of the overall taste.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium full bodied and chewy. Like drinking beer syrup. It leaves a generous coating in every corner of my mouth. Nicely carbonated - maybe could use a bit more.

DRINKABILITY: Never mind that it's 9% ABV. Never mind that you can absolutely tell. This beer goes down quick and easy. Perfect for a snowy night like tonight.

An amazingly glorious RIS in every sense of the style. Now I see how right my initial impressions were when I first tried this beer. Probably at the top of my list in this style to date. Fantastic!

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Photo of Newglarusguy
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of the more heralded stouts brewed in the US, and I think with good reason. What makes it more unusual is that it's an imperial stout, which isn't that common. Very malty, giving it a powerful sweetness, and it has a deep roasted coffee flavor. It's got 8.9% ABV, but don't worry, you'll sober up when you see the picture of Rasputin on the label. Man, he is one creepy bastard. Look at Rasputin, and then turn the bottle one way or the other, and I swear, the eyes follow you...Not even John Ashcroft gives me the paranoid willies like this label (begin Tommy Chong-like rant against the government in 3, 2, 1...).

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Photo of dickieb
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poors Black with a thin tan head. You know you have a good stout when you cant see light through it when held up to a lamp. Anyway tastes a little sweet, chocolatey, some hints of coffee. Some alcohol sneeks through, but it really adds to the over all flavor, and is in no way overpowering. A grate body, and excelent drinkability.

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Photo of kevinhulit
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black liquid with creamy tan head. rich aroma character (cofee/malt). a bit of a ting on the palate but tasty... rich finish. this beer opened my palate to stouts beyond the sam adams/guiness portion of the varitey. there is so much more to stout! a must try.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As black as a night coon hunting with a new moon. 1/4" tan head that quickly recedes to a heavy lace. Lace last as long as the beer.
Ohhh man this smells good. Licorice, syrup, dark fruits, rich bread and dark cocolate.
Taste is as good as the aroma. This beer has a sharper hoppy type bitterness than others of the style I've had. More of the rich chocolate flavors and less of the coffee. It's fantastic. This and Storm King are my two favorite of the style and two of the best beers I've had over all.
Mouthfeel is velvet. This beer is over a year old and that may have contributed to the slick mouthfeel.
It's a sipper and it's feeling but I gave it a 4.5 because it's so good.
I was taking inventory of my cellar and came across 2 bottles of these. They have to be over a year old and I was suprised I've not reviewed it yet. This should be a staple for you to sip on cold evenings.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This may be one of my favorite Imperial Stouts. I have had it many times but am just now getting around to reviewing it. Mmmm. Pours a very nice opaque black color with a thickness like hot maple syrup. Nice, dirty white head of about one finger forms and leaves lacing all the way down the side of the glass.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee and alcohol and dark fruits. Raisins and figs stand out. Some fruity esters. Chocolate seems to be the dominant flavor and of course the alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

Nice chocolate flavors with some nice fruitiness. Coffee and caramel tones. Full of raisins.

This is a wonderful impy stout. It would have been nice to have this on a cold day, as I have before, but I was a little excited about the 65 degree weather here in NC today. Been a little cool lately. Definitely go out and get some of this.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,129 ratings.
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