Wynona's Big Brown Ale | Voodoo Brewing Company

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Wynona's Big Brown AleWynona's Big Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Voodoo Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
his is named after a song that sparked the idea to make this ale. Brown ales seem to be there, but not really there, do you know what I mean? Well that won't be the mistake with Wynona! Voodooed out this style and add more that's what we say. Hoppy and smooth hints of chocolate and tons of brown malt to let you know it's there. Try the brown, You'll be Happy You Did!!

Added by WVbeergeek on 07-05-2006

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 309
Photo of aorloski
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served room temperature.

Appearance - pours incredibly dark brown, closer to black than anything. A decent amount of head on this one, maybe about a finger. Expected at this ABV. Pours pretty creamy/lighter side. Reminds me of a DFH Palo Santo but less viscous.

Smell - Smells great, very good nut brown quality OVER THE TOP. Roasted characters, chocolate, deep dark malts and a mild hint of peat.

Taste - Follows the nose, but better. I am pretty damn impressed by this beer, honestly it is pretty fucking complex. The nut brown qualities are right up front, unmistakable and then it morphs into this really robust malty, nutty and chocolatey velvet goodness in your mouth. A hint of bitterness brings out the dark chocolate qualities. Really just a fantastic beer.

Mouthfeel - So creamy, velvet like, carbonation perfect for this.

Overall - I got this as an extra in a trade and so happy i did, you can't find these in boston. This reminds me a lot of palo santo marron but about 2 steps down. Which to me is a good thing. I love palo santo, but if i saw this stuff around i would probably pick it over it. Really a great offering, and my first Voodoo beer. Good job guys, will be looking for more in the future!

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Photo of superspak
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle date. I got a gusher. Pours crystal clear dark brown color with a nice dense 2-3 fingers of light tan head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap that lasts forever. Some nice lacing clings around the glass as well. Aromas of roasted malt, caramel, bread, apple skin, light dark fruit, chocolate, and some molasses. I think it is safe to say my bottle might be a bit infected. The apple skin aroma just throws everything off. Taste quite a bit better: big caramel, toasted malt, biscuit, chocolate, bitter coffee, molasses, nuttiness, and spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, molasses, bread, nuttiness, and spices. Nice balance of flavor and bitterness. A bit of a metallic flavor is present as well. Medium bodied with big full carbonation; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel with big prickly carbonation. Overall for probably being infected, this is an ok brown ale. I will definitely give it another shot sometime, the bomber is only 6 bucks.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Wegman's in State College and poured in to a Duvel tulip.

A - Dark brown during the pour and almost black once it settled in the glass. Half a finger of off-white head formed and slowly receded.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, a touch of coffee, hazelnut.

T - Roasted malts, hazelnut, coffee, chocolate. Somewhat reminiscent of a stout. A very robust flavour profile.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Paymygasbill77
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a beer mug. This beer pours a Very dark reddish-brown with a decent light brown head. Nice Lacing.

S: Molasses or brown sugar. This really smells great! It made me want to drink it.

T: Molasses and chocolate malt flavors up front that lingers and blends nicely with the mildly bitter finish. This beer is not too sweet and not too dry; very well balanced.

M: Full bodied and almost creamy at times.

O: This is a well-crafted brown ale that pulls you in and makes you want more. I find it to be very well balanced and flavorful. If you like a American-style brown ale this one is for you!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish color with a tan head. The aroma if full of cinnamon, hazelnuts, toffee and caramel. A nice, semi-complex aroma that hits all the things I look for in a brown ale.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of toffee and cinnamon, as well as some very light smoked notes. There is also a little bit of alcohol noticeable in the flavor, but it is fairly well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a chilled bomber into a wine glass.

A-Murky brown dark tea with a scuddy ring of a head. Pretty lackluster, unfortunately.

S-Sweet caramel and roasted nut malts. Not picking up much hopping here, but it is a very nice nose.

T-Astringent bitter hops hit the palate first, then give way to a sweet, slick, buttery roasted malt finish. Detecting some coffee and cocoa here. Not terribly complex.

M-This is a bit of an oddball because the slickness is at odds with a rather thin mouthfeel. Somewhat overcarbonated.

O-This one left me a bit flat. I was expecting more in the taste department. Pretty lackluster brew that will not find a space in my cellar.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head.

S: Lightly roasty with some coffee notes and a nice toasted malt aroma. Quite a bit of toasted nuts, maybe a bit of chocolate, too. A bit sweet with some toffee notes.

T: A fairly strong coffee flavor, a good amount of roasted malt, too. Some toasted malts and chocolate, maybe a bit of dark fruit flavor, too. A light earthy hop flavor and a hint of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Maybe a little bit too roasty for me, but not too shabby.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to B0knows for this one. Poured into my Sammy Perfect Pint...

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with that nice ruby tobacco sunburst I've come to love from the better examples of this style. A disappointing quarter finger tan head from a fairly aggressive pour. Decent lacing.

S: Well that's quite nice, thank you. Strong coffee roast, mild biscuit malt, and a faint smokey quality. A good smelling brown ale here.

T: Oh very good, gents, very good. Sweet malt, roasted biscuity and coffee. A caramel sweetness lingers in the background. This is tasty and always light. Good job.

M: Excellent. Captures this style near perfectly. Carbonation is a little heavier and the roasted qualities really stand out against it. It's complex and savory but remarkably light and refreshing.

O: A great example of a style that is often "mailed in". This isn't your daddy's brown ale. This is a complex, enjoyable, well-crafted brew that will hang in there with a porter or IPA any day. Great job!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Great big caramel light brown head forms with some soapy character but with much staying power. Body is classic brown dark chestnut with red hues, slightly clear.. great looking brown here. Nice clumpy island of retention head too.

Nose is a great milk chocolate, and ripped husky like grain and malt. Real enjoyable.

A mild grain taste with a slow lingering malt on the swallow. The flavor really punches in the aftertaste to linger so nicely. Mild hop sting it seems on the finish too. Great solid texture mixing with the palate all over.

Overall a fantastic brown ale end of story.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer from Jwiss22. Thanks Justin!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - dark brown color with a thin beige head that stayed as a ring leaving a few spots on the glass.

S - roasted coffee beans and piney hops.

T - solid roasted malt flavor upfront is met with hoppy bitterness going back to a roasty espresso coffee-like finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth, easy drinking feel.

O - a most enjoyable brown ale.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy dark brown. Nice bubbles. Off-white head that diminished almost immediately. Not much lacing.

S: Toasted. Hints of caramel and coffee.

T: Light sweetness and a moderate hop bitterness. Coffee flavors. Subtle nutty finish.

M: Light to medium body that was smooth and slightly dry. The carbonation was lively.

O: A little too much bitterness and coffee flavor for my taste. I prefer more nutty brown ales. But overall, this wasn't bad. The mouthfeel was very nice.

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Photo of mizzouguy
2.39/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Wow, I'm guessing a bad bottle based on the other reviews. First things first, pours deep brown with a head that explodes. Smell is all bitter coffee and metallic. Not good and the taste follows. Very bitter and ends with a metallic aftertaste. The mouthfeel is totally over carbonated and just not good. Can't really pull a whole lot of positive out of this one but I'm guessing it is just a bad bottle. Maybe I will try again and hope for a better bottle.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to PittRooney for this bottle and many others!

12 oz bottle pulled from the fridge allowed to warm up for 20 minutes or so, poured into an imperial pint glass. 12/10 written in marker on the cap.

pours out a nice dark brown color, almost a little ruby red when held to the light. fairly clear body. big 2-3 fingers of light tan colored head off of the pour that faded to a thick, creamy, retentive layer. some nice sticky lace.

the aroma is mostly that of light roasted malt and coffee. some very light fruits behind all the malt and maybe just a touch metallic and a touch of bakers chocolate.

a very nice taste. a nice balance between sweet and bitter. lots of lightly roasted malt, brown malt, and coffee at the forefront. some bakers chocolate, light fruits, and kind of an earthy hop at the finish with a little bitterness.

medium bodied, maybe just a little more body than your average brown, but i welcome it. i wouldve never guessed 7.3%.

a solid brown ale, coffee flavors and brown malt are the the highlights here. bigger and better than your average brown. if your ever have the chance to try this, i definatly suggest you do.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a lot of coffee going on in it. The beer is a deep brown color, as it should be. The beer didn't have much of a nut flavor to it because the coffee strongly over powers it. The sweetness that a Brown Ale has is also muted for the same reason. This beer is now on the bitter side like cold black coffee.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, no date, poured into DFH Snifter

A - Super dark, opaque pour with just a hint of brown at the bottom of the snifter. Half a finger or so of toasted marshmallow colored head. Retention settles to a thin layer across the top of the brew; loose lacing.

S - Big, earthy nose with a heavy hit of chocolate malt; more reminiscent of a stout then most browns I'm used to. But hey, it smells darn good so I'm into it.

T&M - Ton's of malt on the palate, with big roasted malt and chocolate flavors. There's also a lot of bitterness after the malt subsides a bit, with a grapefruit and piney flavor. Alcohol is well hidden behind the big flavors.

O - Certainly the maltiest, and also most bitter, brown that I've ever had. Lot's of characteristics that remind me of stouts and strong dark ales. A very tasty brew.

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Photo of pgaveau
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle without any bottling date.

Pours an amber brown with yeast floating around. Very little head or carbonation. Muted aroma of coffee and cola. The taste is of caramel and malt. There is almost no bitterness or after taste. I enjoyed this beer and would have it again. I look forward to tasting other offerings from Voodoo.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hmmm...this beer. strange.

poured into a snifter, deep brown. great lacing.

aroma is nutty, caramel, catty hops.

sweet caramel, catty hop flavor,nutty, roasted coffee flavor in the finish. kinda bitter, kinda sweet. i'm not quite sure how to take this beer.

medium bodied. this beer is weird. i feel like i could drink a decent amount of it. it's just really different.

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cole's, in Buffalo.

The beer has a dark brown base colour, highlights that glint like tinsel and a head that fits like the ugly, oversize sweater your relative got your for Christmas. It's a promising looking brown ale and the fact that it is so dark, the odd ornamental bursts of light brown and dark red notwithstanding, suggests this is a particularly hefty brown ale as well.

If you're at all familiar with the music of Primus, Wynona's Big Brown Beav.. err, Ale, is a lot like Les Claypool: technically and fundamentally very sound whilst at the same time unconventional and even a little eccentric. The toasted and nutty malts of a classic brown ale are thorough but squawking over them is a distortion of hops and heavy-roast coffee.

So who said anyway that this had to be a mild style? Holy crap this has a lot of flavour! Maybe not in content, but in form this resembles very much higher gravity stouts and porters in having a tremendously rich and heavy maltiness with a prominent hairline roastiness and flavours suggestive of chocolate, hazelnut and (lots of) coffee.

All the nutty and malty sweetness meets a rather premature end at the hands of a fairly tyrannous bitterness. That hoppiness, despite its obvious presence, might be overlooked because of accompanying notes of dark berries and chocolate, both of which leave a resoundingly flavourful taste in the mouth. There is never any mention of the alcohol.

Voodoo has crafted a historic ale at a weight for contemporary palates; it lumps all the habitual hoppiness and monster maltiness now so in vogue and rallies it into the framework of an old timey classic. And, in doing so without compromising the style's traditionally agreeable, quaffable nature, it serves as a resounding example of the craftsmanship and intuition of this brewery and the American craft scene in general.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
2.04/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a hazy brown color with a thick tan foam head with plenty of lacing.

S: Lots of roasted nuts, milk chocolate, bread and caramel. Very sweet smelling, quite inviting.

T: A highly bitter taste and metallic tasting. A bad bottle or how the beer normally is? There is some nutty malt character but the metallic taste is too much.

M: Metallic and bitter.

D: I am not sure if this is a bad bottle or not as I have not seen anything posted anywhere. Voodoo makes very tasty brews, this one is a miss for me.

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Photo of stakem
2.67/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle with no indication of freshness poured into a shaped pint glass. This brew appears dark brown in color with lighter brown and ruby clarity when held to the light. I only got about 8 ounces down the side of the glass before I have to wait for the head to reside. Slightly more than 3 fingers of darkly tanned head forms atop this brew and slowly recedes leaving thick patches of lacing on the glass. The retention of the head is fairly solid and laces in a complete wall around the glassware.

The aroma of this brew is chocolate malt as soon as the cap is popped. As it sits in the glass and more whiffs are taken, the chocolate aspect drops off and it smells a bit musty with herbal hops and a touch of mineral character. There is a slight bit of "greenness" to the nose with a scent of alcohol and citrus.

The taste is a dry touch of dark malt upfront tasting lightly roasty and smoky with a bit of coffee-like bitterness and a faint amount of residual sweetness. The roast of the chocolate malt provides it's own level of bitterness before the hops come into play with an herbal flavor and bitterness. The taste of this brew is a bit perplexing in a not-so-good way. Some sips are roasty malt which is enjoyable, other sips are more mineral filled, green and tasting a bit off.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a higher than expected amount of carbonation that is a bit prickly on the tongue. I could not finish the glass and don't think I would risk trying another one if I had to pay for it. This just doesn't taste much at all like the Wynona's Big Brown I had before that inspired me to recently pick up this bottle to review. The sample I had before had much more residual sweetness and a much brighter hop character to it. Perhaps this is just an old bottle? Who knows, there is no way to tell how fresh it is since there is no date code. However, the excess carbonation and off character to this brew makes me suspect something might be off with this bottle. I don't know if it provides any benefit since there is no bottle/date code, but this particular bottle had a gold cap.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, nice creamy, tan thick head appeared and filled the top of the glass. Great lacing as the head dies and the beer is enjoyed. Color is a nice translucent brown with amber highlights.

Smell is on the milder side, but very nice chocolately and roasted scents.

Taste is smooooth, nice and creamy, with nothing overdone, good roasted, chocalate and caramel malt flavors throughout. Hop bitterness is well balanced, tough to decipher the particulars but it complements the malt flavors well.

Mouthfeel and drinkability set this beer apart. The flavors are very well presented but come clean in the mouth, nothing off balance, good carbontation. An exceptionally drinkable beer, tough to tell it clocks in at >7% abv.

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Photo of cooch69
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours more than just a brown ale. It's very brown. Dark Chocolate brown with a small head and a lot of lacing.

It smells pretty light. Milk Chocolate and a bit of hops are in the aroma.

The tatse is full of semi dark chocolate(60%).
There is a good amount of hops in there but it is only enough to balance it. Not that strong. It is pretty dry with a medium body however the alcohol is'nt that detectable. It will hit you quick.

I have only had two Voodoo beers so far and they were both pretty solid. Hopefully I will get my hands on a Big Black Voodoo Daddy that is if the bar still has it on the menu.

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

Aromas are initially nutty with a solid maltiness. There was a wide range of roasted nuttiness; really enjoy when brown ales use old school brown malts. Hiding behind all the roasted nuts was a splash of sweet caramel, a drop of milk chocolate and a subtle hint of roasted coffee beans.

The taste was also nutty and roasted brilliance. You can find all the same type of nuts that were in the aroma here in the taste. Following the roasted nuts was some dark roasted malts, a nice amount of bitter chocolate and a very subtle touch of sweet caramel.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a full flavored dry roasted aftertaste of roasted nuts, a hint of dark roasted malts and a touch of dark chocolate.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It really is a superb example of a Brown ale for an extremely reasonable price. Packed with numerous flavors and tastes it is one to be enjoyed during a nice chilly day or even a warmer one because it is so dynamic. Because it is so delicious I could pound this but it shouldn't be, just because it so amazing. Voodoo is a great brewery that I have yet to have a bad offering from.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle not dated

Voodoo Brewing Wynona's Big Brown Ale poured a dark brown color with a 1-finger tan head that dissipated rather quickly to form fine bubbly lacing - almost like a film circling my mug. The aroma is of warm caramel, chocolate and roasted malt. The taste is dominated by British Brown malt giving this ale its nice sweet nut character. Present also is the flavors of chocolate, caramel, with a light grapefruit citrus towards the finish accompanied with a touch of warming alcohol. Mouth feel is a medium body with a medium almost fizzy carbonation.

Wynona's Big Brown Ale is a bold Brown Ale that is rich and full flavored - thumbs-up Voodoo.

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Photo of jampics2
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter.

This beer poured a brown color with a bit of red around the edges. Opaque after it settles, which took a bit of time. A nice fluffy white head crowns the brown ale in style. Some good retention and lace are also noted.

Wynona's Big Brown Ale is a brown ale that almost crosses the line towards being a nutty porter IMO. There's some really nice roasted malt that gives a decadent and smooth chocolate smell, much like hot cocoa. Some well-integrated nuttiness is also noted. This has a nice, full nose but could stand to be a touch more expressive.

Luckily, the beer does bring the flavor. This tastes great! Sweet caramel and roasted malt come across like chocolate flavored sweetened coffee. Dark toffee and dark fruit are present in the climax of the taste. Then, a touch of bitterness subsides and this finishes with some great nuttiness. The Shorts PB&J beer had ruined nuttiness for me for a while now because of the way the peanuts and infection jelled into one taste, but this has such good flavor it's got me back on-board.

The beer is medium bodied with more than adequate carbonation. Too much carbonation. Sparkles like champagne. That's the big bummer here. If the carb was dialed down and the sparkle subsided, we'd be looking at one of my favorite new Brown Ales. As is, I'd give another vintage a shot the next time I'm out in PA. Another pretty impressive tasting beer from Voodoo!

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Wynona's Big Brown Ale from Voodoo Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 309 ratings.
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