Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutBackyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries.

Added by MasterSki on 10-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 2,095
Photo of DrJay
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black. There were a few dark brown bubbles ringing the glass, but that's it. Roasted grain aroma with lots of berries and booze, coffee, nutty, a bit woody. Berry flavour was pronounced throughout - impressive that they were able to get that much character into an already big beer. Roast and booze, wood, caramel sweetness, moderate bitterness. Sweet berry finish with lingering tannins and alcohol warmth. Full bodied with low carbonation, moderate astringency. Quite tasty. The berry and barrel character worked well with the stout.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I still dream about this beer. Shared and poured into two snifters.

Pours dark, opaque, beautiful. Very small head forms.

Smells of roastiness, dark rich chocolate, sweet berries, and alcohol.

Tastes absolutely incredible. One sip will have decadent, whiskey soaked brownies at the forefront, the next sip will have sweet, slightly tart berry flavors charging to the forefront. So many layers of taste. Can't distinguish the various berries, as I have not tasted them before, but certainly tastes like sweet raspberries and blackberries to me (I think boysenberries are a hybrid of raspberries and blackberries?) Very roasty, and a bit spicy on the back end, which is probably the rye whisky.

The mouthfeel is very typical for Bourbon County, sticky, sweet, and absurdly full. A full dessert in a glass.

The best Bourbon County variant I've had so far. To die for.

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Photo of ItsMe
4.91/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark, motor oil looking with virtually no head. Ruby edges.

the nose is crazy. super whiskey, vanilla and coconut, dark malty chocolate. dark fruit!

wow. the way dark chocolate, whiskey, and berry flavors are melded and dance with eachother on the palate is amazing. theres a roastiness and surprisingly strong berry zingon the back end that balances out the softer bourbony - vanilla and choclate maltiness up front. jammy.

mouthfeel is viscious. this bitch is thick, slick, and coating with a velvety quality. nice minimal yet present carbonation.

this is one of the best beers ive ever had the privilage of tasting. so sad it's a one off.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a Prairie Teku glass.

Apperance: Very thick, next to no head. Pitch black, with a slight raspberry tone to it. A coffee colored crown around the edge of the glass. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Loads of bourbon, sweet jammy berries, and lots of chocolate. Smells delicious.

Taste: Tastes like Bourbon County tends to. Loads of dark chocolate and bourbon flavors, a hint of spicy rye, and then an overwhelming berry tanginess on the finish. Like biting into a delicious raspberry truffle.

Mouthfeel: Deliciously thick. Coats the mouth for sure, and has a rather sticky finish.

Overall: This is absolutely delicious. Probably my favorite of the Bourbon county variants so far, and yes I've had Proprietors. The berries just work so well with the chocolate notes of the beer, it's really just damn good. I've decided that fruited stouts are always delicious, or at least the two examples I've had of them so far have been.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out rather still, with the fudge brown liquid shivering naked, with just a few bubbles around the edge; leggy, I will give it that

Smell: Chocolate-covered boysenberries

Taste: Heavily roasted, up front, with chocolate flavor building; by mid-palate, the boysenberry (I know boysenberries but I haven't a clue about marionberries and mulberries are just a nursery rhyme to me) flavor overwhelms; after the swallow, the rye barrel flavor builds and cuts somewhat into the sweetness of the fruit; jammy and boozy in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with very low carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: I came into this with high expectations but was a little let down as the jammy flavors are just a bit much for my palate and I would have preferred just slightly more carbonation; still, a very fine beer

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- As balck as they come. With almost no head to speak of.

S- Bold Rye and dark chocolate, massively roasty. A touch of blueberry on the back end.

T- Typical bourbon county. Massive roasted malt. Dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, burnt sugar. The rye is excellent, a bold sour mash and a complex whiskey flavor. The Wood from the barrel also adds to the drying factor of this beer. The berry twist is awesome. A lot of blueberry, A hint of raspberry as well. The berry is a welcome twist and a fantastic addition to the fantastic beer.

M- Big feel, A welcome sweetness from the berries. A surprising balance and drinkability from such a massive flavor

O- Amazing stuff, one of the best stouts Ive ever had and a good addition to the BC family.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

T: Bright raspberry, bourbon, dark chocolate, balanced roast, vanilla, light coffee, milk chocolate, jam, boysenberry
O: This is an ideal barrel aged fruit stout. Amazing complexity and no signs of oxidation after a few years

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Photo of maximum12
4.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Gonziollini for handing me this bottle during the chaos, fun, & lost phone signal that was the Central Waters Anniversary Party. Been looking forward to this one. 22 oz. bottle with a berry-colored label, split with my wife. Bottled on 11/20/13, #0803.

Pour is black with zero wind moving across it & a five o'clock shadow of head. Look lifeless, taste good, you're beautiful. The nose makes me reflect on the headware of Carmen Miranda, without the bananas, with a suprising amount of chocolate drizzle & surprisingly low amount of vanilla/bourbon. Smells niiiice.

Bourbon County Brand Stout Backyard Rye is a boozy fruit shovel to the cranium. The berries - I'm not buying that anybody could identify them without the label - are bright, fresh, & tasty as hell, not like that weird, Skittish cherry flavor that some stouts sport. Behind the berry blast is a double spoonful of liquid chocolate & a left hook of understated but spicy rye. The barrel also brings mild back-of-the-tongue heat & an expected dollop of vanilla. The rye cuts what might have been overbearing sweetness to tolerable, nay, nipple-twisting levels of yum. As thick as one would expect any Bourbon County Stout to be, but a notch up in drinkability. I tried to restrain myself, occifer, really.

As always, I'm left wondering why I believe the base beer is just good but some of these variants knock my grundies off. This one does a balancing act that's tough for the best brewer: balancing the barrel, base beer, & berries. Unless it slipped me some tongue, I'm not sure it could get much better. An elite-level beer.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip; split with a friend.

A: As expected, it's pitch black with a thin brown head that quickly settles into a ring. Intimidating and appreciated.

S: Lovely, intense combination of barrel and fruit. The oak, whiskey, and vanilla are the most aromatic elements, with the sweet berry notes forming a delightful background for the spicy, vibrant rye. Terrific.

T: Follows the nose, and then some. The whiskey, spice, oak, coconut, and vanilla from the barrel are front and center, but eventually give way to a sweet, chewy, chocolatey maltiness before the deeply sweet fruit takes over toward the finish. Impressively little alcohol flavor, even on the aftertaste - the intensity of each of the beer's three well-balanced components keeps any heat far in the distance. Genuinely outstanding, even among BCBS variants I've had.

M: Thick, chewy, and sticky. Nice creamy carbonation helps, but it's a bit on the cloying side.

O: I expected to like this one the least of this year's variants, but actually enjoyed it more than either the Barleywine or even Coffee (haven't had Prop; ISO!). I loved the way the base beer's sweetness was embraced and enhanced by the fruit and yet offset by the piquancy of the rye barrel. Great stuff.


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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.94/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not going to go too much into detail on this beer.

The appearance is pitchblack and the pour doesn't produce a ton of head.

I don't get a lot off the nose, the bourbon is there, but not much else.

This beer is very much like the Bourbon County regular, but it has a tart cherry taste that to me was good, but slightly cloying. I have to say I prefer the regular, although perhaps this would be better with age.

The beer is very smooth and the high alcohol well-disguised, as is customary with BCBS.

Overall, good, but not great and considering the bottle cost me $23, probably something I'd hesitate to buy again.

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Photo of Roguer
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thin, 1/2 finger dark brown head with purple hints; quickly fades, leaving almost no trace. Brew is a solid, oily dark black, not completely jet or ebony black, but still opaque.

Whiskey hits the nose first, along with cream, cocoa, wheat/barley, and a hint of sour/tart.

Taste follows the nose, but in reverse order: touch of sweet tartness initially, followed by creamy milk chocolate, mildly roasted barley, vanilla, and whiskey. The berries are most noticeably present on the back-end, with a sweet, blueberry/raspberry-like flavor.

Nice thick and chewy mouthfeel; oily and slick as a residue on the mouth. Superb. Significant alcohol presence: slight burn, and major heat coinciding with the aftertaste. Not unexpected for this beer, of course.

As I've come to expect from the BCB series, this is a truly outstanding beer. The rye whiskey doesn't come across much differently than bourbon barrels (which is logical), although this carries more liquor heat than BCBS. The berries (mulberries, boysenberries, and marionberries according to the label) really add a unique quality to the beer and, while decidedly different, do not detract from the overall experience.

I prefer regular BCBS to this variant, but it's a very, very good beer, notwithstanding.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Very minimal head that has little retention. The head was a light and creamy beige while the body is an opaque dark chocolate black with a reddish tint from the berries around the edges. Doesn't leave any lacing behind.

Nose- Strong notes of berry, nothing that I can really distinguish and honestly I couldn't tell the difference between the berries used. I'm not even sure I've had each of them. Light chocolate but this is very much dominated by the berry notes.

Taste- Very reflective of the nose and shows strong notes of berries. Once again, I won't even bother to try to identify them or pretend that I understand their nuances. Really crowds out much of what makes the regular Bourbon County such a great beer. There are notes of chocolate and coffee but the berry aspect really tramples this. Alcohol isn't as presence as in the original. Reminds me a lot of the De Struise Blackberry Albert I had yesterday but the berry notes are definitely more forward. Chocolate comes in as the second place note and really works well with the berry aspects. Really good beer but just shy of great. A slight step up from Black Damnation I and does flirt with being great. Very jammy with light bitterness on the end with a slight bit of woodiness.

Mouthfeel- A little more than medium bodied with a good amount of syrup to the texture. Very light carbonation which gives the beer a little more structure and makes it seem fuller.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and doesn't give any indication of the alcohol at all. Pretty pricy at 20 bucks a bottle though. I would rather spend that money on the regular or maybe even the coffee.

Overall- Mostly really good beer that has some inclinations toward being a great beer. Definitely worth a try but not in the same league as the original- the berry notes render it a little too one-dimensional. I think I will be trading my bottle instead of aging. Still a really good beer though.

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Photo of brureview
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a Stone Snifter.

1/2F head. Dark opaque chocolate color.

Strong whiskey, cherry, berry fruits, chocolate wafting from the head.

The mouth feel is very carbonated.

Taste: extraordinary. I like this variant better than the standard BCS. An exceptional meld of chocolate, berry, and whiskey. Very smooth with warming.

Overall: this was difficult to find. I got the last bottle from one case purchased by the beer store. It won't be released next year.
A top class act- a melding of different elements of the taste/aroma into a well balanced, outstanding beer.

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Photo of MarriedAtGI
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This may be the best BCS variant I have had. Bottle shared with two colleagues at Stout in Chicago.

A: Deep dark opaque brown with reddish orange edges. Minimal head.
S: Blackberry and a hint of cocoa
T: Berries dominate with chocolate and a bit of roastiness also present.
M: Moderately heavy body with gentle sparkly carbonation. Not too heavy - less syrupy than the regular BCS. Very pleasant
O: I like this more than last years Cherry Rye. Just a fantastic beer. Like chocolate covered berries in liquid form.

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Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Zeb for sharing this.

Let's skip right to the taste. This beer tastes like someone took a spoonful of overly sweet jam and shoved it into your mouth, and then gave you a teeny sip of BCBS to wash it down. That overly sweet berry flavor dominates the palate.

On the whole, this flavor profile did not work for me. I love the taste of Bourbon County, and I did not get that here. The berries took over and would not relinquish their hold. This is still a decent beer, but doesn't live up to the very high standards of your typical BCBS product. With that said, I wouldn't mind trying it again in a couple years to see if the berry flavor becomes a bit more tame.

Update -11/14
With a year on it, this bottle is tasting pretty fantastic. Side by side by side with Bramble and Cherry Rye, this was my favorite of the variants. Very glad I've still got one tucked in the cellar. Score updated form a 3.83 to a 4.25.

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Photo of roger617
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this multiple times. Always a bomber poured into snifter.

Pours dark black with a thin line of khaki head. Aroma is up front of sweet berries, with a strong lingering bourbon, roast and chocolate - as expected in the base. Taste is surprisingly sweet, fruity, chocolaty with the obvious base beer leading the way. Hard to believe such a strong beer can be dominated by this much fruity sweetness in a good way! Mouthfeel is thick, carbed to fit as expected. Hard to say anything bad about this beer. Takes the base BCBS and twists it upside down with an incredible fruity blend that does nothing but compliments all around.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had, bottle shared at SS'14.
This review is for a bottle from the cellar.

Poured into a Bourbon County tulip (2014 version). Appearance was pretty much like any BCBS, solid black/uber-brown color with a finger of dark brown head that receded to a thick collar, dabs of random lacing on the glass. Aroma of smooth whiskey, dark malts, semi-sweet chocolate, and a good dose of berry jam. I can't quite remember how much the fruit came through when this was "fresher," but it was still pretty prominent at this point. Nice taste, smooth dark malts, whiskey-soaked oak, berry medley, and a touch of tobacco smokiness that lingered into the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel, medium-full body, appropriately lower carbonation. Very nice, even if I still prefer the original.

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Photo of barczar
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Opaque black, minimal head.

Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon.

Fruit shows up in the flavor. Raspberries. Yum.

Body is light. Slight alcohol warmth.

Chocolate and raspberries, with a bit of bourbon. Ecstasy. Not as sweet as this year's bourbon county. More character with the fruit additions.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! An aggressive pour of this pitch black beer yields a one finger caramel colored head that faded quickly, but had some really nice lacing. The nose is totally dominated by the berries, followed closely by chocolate fudge, espresso, oak, booze, and some subtle rye. The taste is rich and bold with the berries and booze dominating. The oak and whiskey really emerge as it warms along with hints of chocolate fudge, vanilla, fresh berry jam, and subtle rye. The mouthfeel is creamy, thick, and syrupy with a mouth-coating finish. Overall, it's dangerously close to being cloying, and may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Definitely a sipper, desert type of beer, but still very well done.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8oz pour into snifter from bottle dated 20NOV2013.

Oil black, minimal rim of dark brown head quickly recedes. No lacing, plenty of legs.

Could really sniff this all night. Wonderful berry-choc combo, fudge, a bit of spice and barrel.

The flavors meld well and really compliment each other. Berries are the backbone but don't dominate the barrel-aged goodness. Reminds me of a nice dark chocolate, flowerless tort with a berry coulis.

Nice thick, heavy mouthfeel. Not too oily or slick.

Wow! Took my time and savored each sip. Well done.

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Photo of Resuin
4.61/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an enlarged snifter. This was bottled November 20, 2013, so is slightly less than a year "old". Opened at cellar temp - around 55 F.

Appearance: Pours black and leaves a tan/light-medium brown head of a finger or so, which fades really quickly to leave just a brown layer around the glass. (4.25)

Smell: Rich milk chocolate/fudge, raspberry, malts, a bit of alcohol heat, molasses, oak. Actually quite jammy, despite the variety in the smell. A nice chocolate/berries mix. (4.5)

Taste: Chocolate, raspberry, cherries, oak, vanilla, some spices, actually really smooth - the alcohol is hardly present. Really well balanced. The finish is medium to long with oak, berries and some cocoa. (4.75)

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a full, creamy body. The finish has flavor but not a whole lot of heat. Fits the style and flavor profile well. (4.75)

Overall: This is a well crafted berry stout. Flavors from each component of brewing are well integrated - the berries, the malts, the barrel. Highly drinkable for the strength. Tasty. (4.5)

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, 11/20/13
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours oily pitch black. Initially a thin layer of light brown, some pink hints. Basically just collar. Alcohol feet.

S: Big sweet fruits on the nose. Really dominated the beer. Dark chocolate. Some fudge.

T: Sweet fruit. Dark chocolate meshing with some coffee. Vanilla. Really any booze heat is deadened by the fruit. Finish in long with lingering chocolate and fruit.

M: Oily full bodied.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.81/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours very, if any, little head that dissipates very quickly and leaves nothing around the inside of the ring. The beer itself is a ark chocolate back with beautiful hints of red. The beer gives off a nice sheen but unable to see through. No lacing but some hints of alcohol on the glass. The beer has a very nice and unique smell. Dark chocolate notes and a bit of alcohol on the nose. The various berries also make an appearance. The taste is divine bordering on perfect. The mix of dark chocolate notes and the tarty berry flavor provide a great contrast to each other. The beer also has whiskey notes and a bit of lingering alcohol and tart berry taste in the aftertaste as well as slight bits of rye. The beer feel is thick bodied with a very smooth, almost velvety feel with very little biting carbonation. Overall, a FANTASTIC variation of the beer.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottled NOV 13 2013. poured into tulip.

pours very dark brown with a coffee hued head. good retention and lacing. smells like dessert. a lot of berry. this same principle follows the palate. too much berry in my opinion, takes away from the rye stout. licorice, rye, oak, bittersweet chocolate. pretty drinkable regardless of the fruit, which I find slightly unappealing. silky smooth body. super full. overall good, just nothing great. I really wish the fruit wasn't in this and it was just rye. the fruit sort of gets in the way. I am not sure what age would do to this, perhaps cool out some of the fruit, but if I had to guess this drinks better fresh.

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Photo of MrBoz21
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From tap - a little cold

Deep black - opaque swirls of khaki creme on top

Aroma: sweet chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla

Taste: like a dessert awesome bourbon notes, sweet vanilla chocolate and coffee. Very slight booze

Mouth is thick slick and creamy

Overall - this beer raises the bar to wine liquor, you taste and savor and enjoy

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Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.53 out of 5 based on 2,095 ratings.
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