Hades Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

372 Reviews
Hades AleHades Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ArrogantB on 06-11-2007

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Reviews: 372 | Ratings: 718
Photo of MadScientist
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: light golden with great clarity and a long lasting white head of rocky bubbles that leaves some lacing. A larger head would be nice but it is likely the fault of my glass.

S: The overall impression of the aroma is spice from the yeast and hops. A moderately-strong fruity and spicy Belgian yeast aromas of pepper, oranges, peaches and a touch of ginger. There is a moderate Continental hops aroma being a spicy and a bit floral.

T: Strong complex spice flavors mostly pepper with a little ginger and all-spice. There is a moderate fruitiness of oranges, pears and apricots. There is a some malt flavor and a moderately-strong hops bitterness with a moderate spicy hops flavor. The balance is firmly bitter with a very dry finish and a lingering hops bitterness.

M: A medium-light bodied beer with moderately-strong carbonation.

O: A Belgian Pale Ale with a pronounced spice character derived mostly from the yeast with the hops lending a hand.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew was served from a bottle at Jembetat Gallery and Café in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a hefe glass showing a straw yellow coloring. No real head was visualized, but a white film of bubbles lay across the liquid’s surface. Spots of lacing were left here and there as the beer disappeared, but no other lacing surfaced. No sediment or haze was noted, and carbonation appeared highly active. The aroma gave star, banana esters, light adjuncty grain, faint caramels and butters, chalk, flour, and baker’s yeast. On the back there was the warming bite of phenolic clove and dried strawberry sugars to cut the drying twang of grain. Our first impression was that the beer was chalky and bitter to the end, following a robust, grapey sweetness at the outset. As we sipped, bittering grain, sour lemon tea, strong phenolic clove, and fusel booze started things off. The middle peaked with soured citrus, of both grain and hop, with a wheaty dryness. The finish was bitter and chalky, with lemon rind bite, spicy notes of clove, esters of bubblegum and banana. A bready coolness calmed the palate by the end, as the beer warmed. The aftertaste breathed of bittered grain, grassy and citric hops, souring yeast, and musky woodiness. The body was medium to thick, and the carbonation was higher, making each sip very bubbly and bright to the palate. There was light coolness, and an initial metallic coating to the sip, with slurp, smack, cream, and pop being decent on the finish. The mouth was left with a final dry, crisp bite, with light astringency. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank okay on account of the, at times, excessive bitterness.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the nose. There was soft sweetness of white sugar, light gingerbread, and big banana and bubblegum esters. These mixed nicely, getting you interested from the start. It did, however, lose points on the excessive bitterness and surprising booziness at the end of the flavoring. Each sip felt nice going down, but mouthfeel was otherwise less contributory. This beer is decent for the style and, at times, overly robust in all the wrong places.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin coating of bubbles on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of earthy yeast in the nose along with some hints of floral hops and spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the spices are a little more prominent and faint hints of alcohol, bitterness and biscuit malts are also evident.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean and rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is relatively easy to drink considering its strength and would make for a good strong pale ale to drink on a summer day (if you want something with a little more strength compared to a saison).

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Photo of Mojo
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours up very pale straw with a thin head, not much retention, lots of delicate lacing, and a generous amount of tiny carbonation bubbles constantly rising from the bottom. The smell is honey, cinnamon, floral, malt, and biscuit. Taste mainly follows the nose with a subtle honey flavor up front followed by spicy hops on the finish. Mouthfeel is nice with good carbonation. Overall I tend to like beer a bit more powerful, but this offering is quite nice even if it is a milder flavor. Strange that a beer this mild would be called Hades though.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel Tulip glass. Bottled Aug 10 2012.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of white head that quickly fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Quite a big Belgian aroma. Belgian yeast and funk with big hints of cloves, banana, lemon zest, pear, apple, orange, white grape, and some coriander. Some fairly grassy hops and light hints of grapefruit esters. Big presence of candied sugars. Also some soft malts along with hints of caramel. A pretty sweet but spicy smelling ale.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a complex, sweet, and spicy Belgian style taste. Spicy and funky Belgian yeast with clove and coriander spices. Big notes of fruits including banana, lemon, orange, pear, apple, white grape juice, and a little grapefruit. Fairly grassy with a mix of earthy and citrus hops. Big taste of candied sugar. Towards the finish is a quite noticeable taste of malts with some notes of biscuit, crackers, and caramel. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a medium to high level of carbonation. Spicy and juicy feel that is fairly smooth. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A really good take on this Belgian style. Good use of Belgian yeast and spices. Fruit taste is solid.

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Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hades opens with a strong Belgian nose, heavy with banana and clove, and bearing strong touches of pineapple, pear, white grape, cherry, and heavy syrup fruit cocktail. It’s immediately apparent that there are a lot of sugars in here, as not only are there plenty of fruit esters to go around, but brown sugar, candi sugar, and light caramel as well. Such sweetness is barely kept in check by hints of French baguette, toasted wheat, and floury white bread dough, as well as a mere smattering of grapefruit from the hops. As a whole, the nose is obviously heavily biased toward fruit and clove, and while a bit more complementary aromas would have been nice, the beer has still been obviously crafted well.

On the tongue, the first notes are a massive banana and clove blast, followed almost immediately by pineapple, cherry, pear, and white grape. The 7.8% ABV is also immediately apparent in a vodka-like tinge, giving the beer a strong cocktail feel, and slightly burning the tongue. Brown sugar and caramel add further sugars, and the bready notes here lend an undercurrent of toast crust, wheat dough, and floury baguette. There’s also a peppery spiciness, which combines with the alcohol to create further heat. Some rosewater and pine, as well as grapefruit rind, come from the hops. The aftertaste is a continuation of the strong fruit sugar and clove flavors, with extra pepper and burn from the alcohol, and lingers on the tongue for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, further adding to the burn.

Overall, this is good beer, and certainly one of the stronger-tasting Belgians on the market. The sheer volume of flavor in here, especially present in the variety and complexity of sugars, is impressive. Unfortunately, the beer gets slightly carried away with these notes, especially as they combine with the heavy alcohol burn, and the result, while delicious, is at the same time slightly overwhelming and distracting, creating a sensation of vodka-soaked fruit cocktail. Worth trying, but beware the burn.

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Photo of peensteen
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very pale blonde, light haze, a little under a finger of white head, little lace as well. Smell is quite malty and biscuity initially, belgian yeast and banana follows, spicy and fruity, mostly apple, quite nice and better as this neared the end. Taste is spicy with clove and banana, yeasty and doughy flavours and a little bit of alcohol, fruity, some earthy hop flavours and a dry bitterness overtop of a light sweetness. Medium carbonation, medium bodied fairly nice feel. Solid belgian pale but nothing about it really stands out, still a drinkable brew.

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Photo of intensify
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Yellow, golden colored body. Small soapy head which didn't stick around for very long. I expected this to be bigger on the appearance presentation.

S- Citrus fruit, orange peel, lemon zest, hops, honey and a piney lingering aroma.

T- Nice presence of fresh oranges, apricots and some zest to give it a nice balance. Not hoppy or bitter like your average Pale Ale. This one is definately on the sweeter side.Candy like taste.

M- Medium odied, semi-dry finish.

Unique taste to compared to others of this style. Stands out from the rest and is worthy of taking up a side shelf in my fridge.

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Photo of KajII
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a clear medium yellow with a small (less than 1 finger) white creamy head that diminished down to a thin film with a small collar and had some excellent sheets of streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a grain malt and a soapy Belgian yeast with notes of banana, citrus (lemon), pears, apple, a bit of clove and a mild alcohol presence.

The taste was mildly sweet and lightly acidic with notes of banana, apple and maybe pear early on, becoming very yeasty with a good note of citrus and a slight spicy/sour alcohol ending. The flavor lasted for a decent while following the swallow, with a slight sourness left behind to linger taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a dry and slightly watery texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall a bold, tasty brew with a decent alcohol infused citrus/fruity taste. That blended along with a yeasty sourness, makes this a nice refreshing quite drinkable Belgian Ale...


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Photo of Cylinsier
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a light clear lemon gold, two inches of sudsy white head dissipates slowly.

Smells of grassy malts, tart citrus, lemongrass, coriander, and champagne.

Tastes like slightly bitter grassy malt mixed with tart lemon citrus and semi-sweet white grape juice.

Medium body with a very light sting of carbonation over the tongue.

Great, light-feeling fruity saison-like brew. Has some unique elements to it and hides its strength. Memorable and worthwhile, would definitely have again.

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Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - bright yellow with a loose layer of white, bubbly head that fades quickly

S - yeasty, lightly fruity

T - lightly malty, fruity, a bit sweet, yeasty

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent Belgian ale. Unfortunately, it's a bit one-dimensional and boring. Highly drinkable and smooth, it's worth a try. For me though I'll pass in the future.

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Photo of RickS95
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks nothing like a Belgian, more like an overproduced American macro. Very light, straw golden color. Extremely clear. I'll give it an extra half point for the nice, bright white head. Fair retention, but no lace. Very disappointed in the look.

Good enough smell, with the standard Belgian spices, as well as the Belgian yeast and a good supply of malt. Slightly floral scent.

Lots of pepper spice. The malt comes through. Hoppy finish.

Somewhat complex in that you get a few different feels, mostly bitter and spicy. Mid sip produces a buttery feel. Medium bodied. A little heat from the alcohol.

Ended up much better than the appearance. Fairly drinkable, but not something I'd want to have again.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a really nice, bright and golden yellow with 2 1/2 fingers of fluffy white head.

The aroma is mainly coriander, citrus notes and Belgian yeast.

The taste has a lot of the coriander, citrus, lemon and Belgian yeast notes along with some nice spicy notes and fruits like apple and pear. Really easy to drink and very refreshing.

This is a good example of this style.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a nice golden color with a three finger pure white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, spices, fruit, subtle banana, and floral notes. The flavor was of sweet malt, spices, wheat, fruit, and banana. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Surprisingly this one was rather fruit forward upon investigation. While this is definitely good for drinkability it does wear on you after awhile as there was no real balance in it to counter-act this. I would have loved to see just a hint of citrus or bitterness going on to make this one a little more balanced. The alcohol is nowhere to be found though if that is more your thing. Worth trying if see it sitting around on the shelves.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at The Lincoln Room in San Diego on June 9, 2012. Had about a finger of head. Color was basically golden. Light gray lacing with good retention on the sides.

Smelled cloves, banana and Circus Peanuts, the usual for me and the majority of Belgian ales. Also got apple, pear, light lemon notes and some spices which I couldn’t recognize.

Tasted pretty similar to the nose. Got cloves, banana, Smelled cloves, banana, apple and pear. Nothing too crazy.

Light-to-medium body. Thin texture. Above average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Ehh, nothing to great about this beer which is a bit disappointing considering Great Divide and what they put out there.

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Photo of Philousa
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Imbibed on tap at Haven Gastropub on 6/9/12. Reviewed from notes.

Poured super clear with frothy, thin head. Golden like sunlight. Very floral Belgian yeast exhibits earthy spices. Not much citrus, but it's there if you look for it. Kinda buttery. Taste starts with light Belgian pale malt, then some cloves, allspice, and bitter Belgian malt. A little bit of nutty flourish with fresh berry. Fruit is faint, but there. Not much hops, but fresh grass comes to mind. Bitter cloves linger. Balanced mouthfeel with a dry aftertaste.

Solid American influenced Belgian. Not overly complex, but there's enough in there to keep it interesting.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright, clear, light golden yellow with a small brilliant white head. Moderate oily lacing.

The aroma has a nice banana scent along with a rich bready malt.

The taste follows suit with the aroma, clear bready malts, what tastes like Euro pilsner hops and a nice subdued banana ester along with a mild spiciness.

Mouthfeel develops with warming and is full and very very smooth.

Very nice Belgian light pale ale, not terribly complex but very tasty and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Etan
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a tall tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful light gold with a decent white head. Small amount of lacing.

S: Sugary pale malt, stone fruit esters, banana, bubblegum, coarse grain, dry yeast.

T: Rich sweet pale malt, sugary white cake, mildly fruity estes (grapes, nectarine, banana), subtle pepper, soft yeast, hint of alcohol.

M: Light-bodied with some tingly carbonation.

O: Pretty good BSPA.

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. It has a perfect blend of Belgium yeast with bittering hops. It pours super clear golden color (a bit surprising for a Belgium.) Smell - crisp/bright/citrusy Belgium yeast. Taste is well balanced of pale ale meets Belgium ale. If you like pale ale you'll dig this. It's a good break from straight forward pales ales. If you like Belgium ales you'll dig this too. It's not too sweet and not overly bitter. Alcohol is very well masked, you can barely tell it's a 7+ abv. I love Great Divide beers - haven't had a bad one yet! Nice work GD!

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando.

Poured into a goblet. Brilliant golden colour. Clear. Nice foamy head, good retention, some lacing.

Nose is quite pleasant and wild. Grain, apple, pear, spice, medicinal hops, floral notes, a bit of booze and funky Belgian yeast.

Tasty brew, similar notes as in the nose. Nice apple banana flavor, and the funkiness reminds me of many a Belgian ale. Grain to the finish along with some floral notes. Moderate to light body, carbonation is somewhat high. A bit oily.

A nice Belgian ale, light and flavorful. Would love this on draught.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an incredibly crystal clear straw color with a bubbly bright white head. Faint earthy and barnyard aromas, some grassy notes a touch of pepper and clove.

Incredibly clean and crisp, medium bodied concise and extremely well blended flavors. Phenolic balance throughout in contrast to the sweeter Apple and pear undertones. Sweet fruity yeast floral flavors and earthy hops. Incredibly clean balanced and flavorful. Drinkability is dangerously high. Simply an amazing beer. Incredible subtlety. Would get straight 5's if it was a touch less medicinal. But an extremely incredible beer. This thing needs to be available in NJ more often.

All the flavors you want from a big strong Belgian pale ale with the drinkability of a smaller Belgian pale ale. Amazing.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Bottled on Jan 20, 2012.

A: Pours a clear light straw yellow with a 1 finger white had. Almost no visible carbonation and the head becomes a film within a minute.

S: A nice fruity yeast aroma. Some banana, hops and bread notes too. Slight alcohol on the nose. Good belgian smell.

T: Banana yeast flavor with hints of hops. Little bready on the aftertaste. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Light on the palette. Don't feel the booze till their in your stomach. Low carbonation, no real stickiness.

Overall not a super impressive beer. Good belgian qualities but there are better on the market. Very drinkable though. Great yeast strain.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin white head. Clear amber color. No real lacing.

S- Golden malts and some light hops.

T- Very smooth flavor. Muted and yet flavorful. Hoppy and some wine notes.

M- Light bodied but too heavy on the carbonation.

O- Ok beer. Middling.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle in Florida. We get distribution of Great Divide in New Jersey, but I never saw this beer on the shelf at my normal stores. Although I took most of the last month off from beer shopping.

In my tulip I get hazy yellow coloring with a very light head (that dissipated immediately). Hades has a very nice Belgian sour smell. You can really breathe in this beer.

I like the taste of Hades. It was a pretty clean flavor, and the balance is spot on. I get some straw flavor and a little bitter effect. The after-taste was also pretty clean. I like how it eased off the tongue.

I would like to enjoy more bottles of this in the summer. Hades was a light feeling beer, which does a good job of hiding 7.8% ABV. I am going to look around for this in New Jersey to store for the summer.

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Photo of prototypic
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hades Ale pours a lighter straw color. It’s a little hazy and has more of a gold look when held to light. It’s topped with a very modest white head that rises just above the surface. It falls quickly and leaves a very light, spotty lacing behind. Not bad.

The nose is above average. It’s a little weak in the aromatics department. Needs more strength. Belgian yeast is noted initially. Not a bad place to start. It has a spicy scent, featuring clove and pepper notes. There’s an earthy, grassy scent throughout. Smells a bit like noble hops. Light fruit notes of apple and peach are secondary and subtle. Smells a little malty and sweet late. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but isn’t overly strong.

The flavor is a notch above the nose. The malt base is clearly pilsner. Tastes a little sweet. Belgian yeast adds some nice spicy notes that work well with the yeast. Clove and pepper are the most notable. Fruit flavors of apple and peach are noted, but they are subtle. There’s a grassy hop flavor that’s readily apparent throughout. Definitely seems like some form of noble hop. It’s a nice flavor that works well into the mix. Spicy notes take over on the tail. Alcohol isn’t overly strong. Finishes spicy and grassy.

Hades Ale has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active and quite crisp. It has a nice bite to it. I like it. It’s relatively easy drinking. I could go for a bottle or two. The strong spicy notes might be a bit much beyond that.

Great Divide did a credible job with Hades Ale. It’s pretty good stuff. It does have a few blemishes. The nose could use more strength and perhaps the strong spiciness could be toned down just a tad. It’s pretty enjoyable overall though. Worth checking out.

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Hades Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 718 ratings.
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