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Grand Cru | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 01-08-2011

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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 276
Photo of aasher
2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a raisin brown in color with a one finger beige colored head. It's very, very light in body for the style. It smells of a variety of dark fruits, namely raisins, figs, and plums. It is VERY, VERY sweet. The flavors...oh man....they're a little much. It's cloyingly sweet and in the worst way. Dark fruits, molasses, maple syrup, and soda syrup combine to make this a malt bomb that you should avoid at all costs. This beer is also very light bodied for the style and a little watery. It would be one thing if BA had to call this a BSDA on a whim, but it says it right on the front of the bottle. For the style, it's one of the worst I've seen or tried. This beer doesn't need to waste your time. It's also surprising that this is 11%. You don't get ANY alcohol at all. If only they could've hidden the flavors that well...

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Photo of bamadog
2.42/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle of this on a whim this weekend. Review is from notes taken on 4/10/2011 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pour is a dark mahogany with nice and rich ruby highlights bleeding through; starts with a big 2 and 1/2 finger light tan head with decent retention; while the body is dark, it does have decent clarity and shows moderately strong carbonation bubbling up throughout; as the head fades, it leaves a sticky web of lacing behind

Smell: Doesn't necessarily smell like many BSDs I've had in the past... Bit of a moist, mulchy, cereal-like graininess with a touch of peat and light chocolate

Taste: Bit of a letdown... Much like the smell, the taste is dominated by that big mulchy cereal-like grain bill and it reminds me more of a big Doppelbock as opposed to a BSD; light hint of chocolate behind it; underneath all of the grain is some Belgian candi sugars that leave an overly sweet aftertaste; presence of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-heavy in body, the body comes across a touch syrupy with stronger carbonation that is very present, yet still manages to come across as smooth; a thick and sticky coating is left all over the mouth and the belly is left feeling especially warm from the 11% ABV.

Overall: For this beer to labeled as GDBC's "Grand Cru," there is a problem. They've definitely got better beers than this, and as a matter of fact, I've been let down by the last couple that I've tried from them. I feel that they need to go back to the drawing board as this one's a bit of a mess. Looks and feels good, but smells and tastes not-so-good. Better luck next time, Great Divide.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.45/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a burgundy color with good carbonation and reddih hues with a small white cap

S: Candy sugar, fruits, booze

T: Warm, hints of dark fruits, plenty of sugary sweetness ont he back. This was a m uddy, confused beer which did not sit well with me and did not taste even remotely close to some the standard Grand Crus. I understand the "style' OR LACK THERE OF ON THE CRU BUT THIS WAS NOT TASTY.

M: Warm, sticky, sweet, medium to full body

D: Not impressed. I actually drain poured this Grand Cru.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.72/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Mohaggany or however that is supposed to be spelled. Aroma was boozy, not much else.

Taste hit the dark fruits, bitterness, and massive f'n heat. Burnt brown sugar. Serious, this is hot beer. Woof. In like a 1oz pour, sure, but drinking 12oz of this is like drinking fireball with raisins all night.

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Photo of mactrail
2.82/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The aroma makes me think of Japanese plum vinegar. Maybe the alcohol fumes transport the funkiest of the yeast factors. Quite a lovely dark amber color with a decent foam.

First impression is a trip down Candy Cane Lane. A Dr. Pepper flavor. Sugary taste with touches of vanilla, bran muffins, dates, and sulfury golden raisins. Lots of butter and a tang of acidity. The sweet and bitter taste with the sour touch is not my favorite. A few sips are interesting, but it wears the palate fast. Best in small doses.

From 22 oz bottle bought at Mega Liquor in Hemet, California. I don't believe I've ever seen it in Colorado.

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Photo of CelticAleMan
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:


A - Beautiful deep ruby-mahogany colored. 1 finger tan head. Good lacing.

S - Very sweet, fruity, candi sugar, bubblegum, cloves, spicy and even a little smoky. Pretty interesting.

T - Very sweet, candied dark fruits, caramel, mild spiciness, a little roasted malts, tons of dark fruits (raisins, dates, sweet cherries). Cloying in its sweetness. I cannot handle this sugary sweetness. There is a weird lingering bitterness in finish, but even then it is still too sweet. The sweetness covers and envelopes the palate.

M - On the lower end of the heavy bodied. Kinda syrupy, yet a little creamy.

O - Too sweet and syrupy to drink a serving of, let alone a bomber. If there wasn't so much residual sugars it might have been good.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown and red, pretty good clarity for a beer this dark. Aroma of alcohol and syrup.

Usual dark fruit descriptions, fig, raisin, plum, with brown sugar. Too much alcohol and sweetness for my palate to appreciate it. A little more roasty bitterness, but it actually kind of help I'd say, aside from the massive alcohol mouthfeel it left.

Glad I got to try this at the SD international beer fest, would have never bought it without trying it, not a style I'm usually down wit.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.
Bottled: Jan 12, 2011

A - When I pop the cap a nice little 1 inch head pops up on the neck of the bottle. Pours a slightly reddish mahogany color with a 0.5 inch tall head that has some ecru hints to it. There are some dense bubbles packed in and mixed in with some bigger bubbles. Some slight stickiness is present.

S - Belgian yeast comes up. Some clove and slight band aid notes. There is some slight boozy warmth on the back end of the beer as well. Slight dark fruit sweetness can be perceived. Some caramel mixed in with some slight bread notes.

T & M - First some dark fruit sweetness comes up. Figs and some raisins. There is intense caramel and molasses. The sweetness is a bit much for me. Doesn't seem to have much going for it aside from being sweet and a bit hot. Not my favorite and I throughly enjoy some of their other offerings.

O - Looser in my book. I wont have again.

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Photo of kbnooshay
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark red-brown with a short lived tan head. Aroma is a little weak and watery, but I detect green apple, dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Pretty dissapointing after the first sip. This just doesn't taste very Belgiany. The yeast i detected in the nose is so faint in the taste. Brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit sweetness dominates. There is no complexity, just sweet and dull. This could use some Belgian spices! Very weak and bland. Hint of cheap wood. Feel is smooth and slick but on the thin side.

Dissapointing from such a great brewery.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a large Duvel snifter

Pours a dark chocolatey brown with a nice solid tan head with fair head retention. Dark brown with hints of caramel and red when held to the light.

Chocolate, caramel and nice pear notes on the nose.

Sweet raisin, dark plum, chocolate and rich malt flavors.

A heavy sweetness that becomes fairly unpleasant if drunken too fast with a flat sweet aftertaste.

Overall I had high hopes for this beer. It started great by the looks and smell. After I took a few sips I began to get turned of by the sweet heaviness. I am pretty disappointed by it and not sure if I actually want to finish it now. I feel like I just a brick of dark sugar.

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Photo of notyourdadsbeer
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber at Euclid Hall.

A: Deep brown with a billowing off white to tan head. Lacing is pretty solid but the head fades moderately fast.

S: Having a tough one with this. There's not a lot of caramel or toffee notes coming through. Touch of spice but over all very muted. So muted I don't get deep malts or big hops. I get almost nothing which is really disappointing for a "Grand Cru".

T: There is sweetness up front and thick chewy malts. Mid palate reveals deep plum and touch of dried dates, but the finish is not there. The sweetness isn't intense, cloying, or even the center piece of the beer. The beer isn't as rich as I would have hoped for either.

M: Moderate carbonation and moderately heavy on the mouth but not nearly the bite I would have for saw. While still fairly heavy it wasn't as big as I would have liked from a Belgian Style Strong Dark Ale.

D: I think the BA should decided which bottles receive the title "Grand Cru", just like Burgundy wine. Grand Cru is meant to be the very best one can make and this fell short entirely. The malts aren't nearly sweet enough, the weight of the beer is lacking, there is almost zero finish. I get just about nothing off the nose which should ring of sweet caramel, toffee, and sugar. I think in the coming years they will really work out the kinks and make a great Grand Cru but in the mean time the title should be changed entirely; this is not a Grand Cru.

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Photo of oberon
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great Divide is one of my favorite breweries,I always look for new wares from them to snap up,I wish I wouldnt have grabbed this today though.Poured into a chalice a mahogany with a tinge of amber,a rather thin beige head atop.No aromas....really no aromas after a riveted pour into a chalice!Okay light phenols,that is it!Not much better flavor wise to be honest,light spiced phenols and some cake but its just to light in any flavor component.I had higher expectations,just another reason to check reviews before going out and buying anything.Damn!

I hate to give such a bad review to such a great American brewery, but I got to do what I got do do.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with strong reddish tones. One-finger light tan head with more reddish hues. Fades fairly quickly but leaves decent lacing.

Smells of good strong sweet caramel malts, and some Belgian yeast providing a bit of clove spice. The smell is pleasant, but it doesn't have a whole lot of dimension to it. I get a bit of port wine, some nice bready notes from the malts.

Whoa. Tastes uber-sweet and very rounded. The sweetness fills up the mouth and settles on the back of the tongue. The sugars are so powerful that I can't pick up much else in the flavor. It's like drinking a sweet dessert. I get the sort of yeasty bready flavor I normally get from doppelbocks. Some dark fruit like plums and raisins come through. But mostly, it's just overpoweringly sweet, with not a whole lot else to it. I get a touch of spice and a bit of alcohol pinch in the finish.

Medium-bodied, low carbonation. Sticky and syrupy. A light alcohol burn builds throughout. With a beer this heavy and sweet, I need more carbonation to move things around and bring out other flavors.

This is a serious malt-bomb. What's there is decently tasty. But unfortunately, it doesn't have much depth or complexity. To me, it comes across as sweet, sweet, and more sweet.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at Great Divide tap room.

A - pours a deep ruby/ garnet with 2 fingers of off white head that retains well.

S - Cherry malt, dark fruits, currant, alcohol vapors

T - Vineous grape malt, stingy alcohol burns the tongue a bit. Brown sugar, syrupy dark fruits along with golden raisins. Yeast is there but overcome by syrupy cloying malt. Faint hints of cocoa toward the end.

M - Great carbonation. Rich body, smooth at first but becomes slightly syrupy.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle split with onix1agr and poured into two duvel snifters.

A- a steady pour yields a finger or so of tan head that settles rather quickly and leaves only a faint ring around the glass. A nice red orange brown in color with a good clarity.

S- predominantly sweet, caramel and toffee with a touch of spice and alcohol.

T- very sweet again the spice does a bit to balance it out. Some fruity esters float around. Not much else going on.

M- about medium in body with a light carb that gives a bit of oily slip to it. A touch of heat on the palate and in the belly.

D- its solid not all that special. Maybe with some time things might develop a bit more.

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent golden brown but settles a burgandy amber with a fingers worth of creamy colored head. Bubbly head slides quick but leaves some behind.

The nose brings sweet and berady malt with a soy sauce scent and a bit of fig/plum. There within lies a slight scent of Belgian yeast with a sort of banana smell.

The taste brings an offputting metallic flavor up front with some dark fruit and some foreign yeast. The ABV is very well hidden underneath the flavors so thats a plus...i guess. I expected more from GD.

The body is a bit thin and lacks enough carbonation. It is smooth though and drinkable given an 11% ABV.

Overall, I wont be seeking this one out again but is pretty drinkable.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
bottled on Jan 12 2011
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep dense garnet body with a thick creamy light tan head that last a few sips before fading to a thin ring. There is a strand of microbubbles trailing up from the base of the glass.

S- The clean soft nutty malt aroma has some nougat note and a yeasty hint that finishes with a soft peppery cinnamon phenolic that grows as the beer warms.

T- The full cloying sweetness has some dark fruity notes in the finish and a bit of a spicy pepper hint but not as much as in the nose.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a thick body and a faint alcohol heat that can't stand up to the sweetness but does take on some fusel qualities as the beer warms.

D- This beer has a big sweetness with not much else to support it or balance it. The faint yeast characteristics and alcohol offer some attempt but it is just not enough.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from 2/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark muddy brown amber. Minimal head, but some lacing. Light and dark fruit aromas, but not very assertive. Sweet dark fruits, figs and plums mostly, syrupy. Light fruit and faint malt and hop finish. Tastes OK, but not that interesting. The flavors are not complex and do not make up for the high sweetness. A rare Great Divide miss.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.07/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into a couple of snifters. Bottled Jan 2011.

A - Pours a deep murky brown with auburn edges in the light. Maybe a finger of off-white head, little retention, and almost no lacing.

S - Standard dark fruits and spice, with raisins, figs, nutmeg and clove up front, and plenty of yeastiness to go around. Pleasant but not really superlative.

T - More spice than I'd imagined from the nose, and the flavors bring to mind allspice and some anise along with the aforementioned clove. The fruit is a little more muted, but the dominant note is raisins. It's less bready than I thought it'd be and it has a short alcohol burn in the finish. Good flavors but the burn costs a bit in the score.

M - Full in the mouth, with a long dry finish. Somewhat prickly carbonation gives it a harsh impression.

D - The abv is high-ish but no so much for the style. I could maybe have another but probably not today. I'd probably reach for something else next but I wouldn't turn one of these down by any means.

O - Another solid offering from Great Divide. Looking back on my scores, it almost seems like I don't think very much of it, which isn't quite true. It's not a bad beer at all, it's just an average beer in a style that happens to be packed with some very high-quality competitors.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark crimson/brown, not as dark as I would think. Nice two finger caramel head that quickly disappears. The smell is mainly fruit, but I'm strangely having a hard time distinguishing smells on this one... A little on the weak side for such a big beer. The taste is nice- liquorice, plums, raisins, dates, pears, and alcohol. The plum taste is a little overpowering for me, I'd like to see a little more balance. Strong plum aftertaste, not sure I'll be able to finish this bomber myself in one sitting- the taste is really heavy. This beer got bottled 1 month ago, and would probably do well w/ some aging. I'll have to try and pick another up and let it sit for a couple years. Nice beer though....

An edit: I had to drainpour about half this beer (in a bomber) after I wrote the review, and have adjusted the numbers to reflect that. The plum taste was SO overwhelming, I just couldn't finish this one, and didn't want to. I believe this beer probably should be aged for seveal years, and that would help smooth it out. My bottle was only 2 months old.... Just my 2 cents.

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Photo of claytong
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I give such a low rating due to the fact of the cost for a bomber and for the style (for which I'm a big fan). This in the state of Colorado as well.
not much head on a controlled pour. get bubbles in my nose the first sips. warm alcohol hits the tongue with a subtleness that also controls most other flavors. a bit of malt finishes along with a bit of metal.
was going to store this one, but had a bad day so i thought this would be nice, a let down. shouldve kept storing i guess.

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Photo of walteez
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: It pours exceptionally beautiful. Without the aid of light it seems to be a dark brown but when held to a lamp it really glows. A nice cherry, burgundy hue appears with the light shining through it.

S: Typical - fruity and sweet aromas.

T: I get a nice taste of sweet fruits up front but then I'm bombarded with a spicy, bitterness mid palate that seems rather off in this style (not so much the spiciness but definitely the bitterness). It finishes with a bit of a raisiny sweetness.

M: Nothing astounding, a nice medium bodied brew.

D: While I love Belgians, this one seems a bit off. The bitterness mid taste wasn't enough to ruin it for me but when I can buy Rochefort & St. Bernardus all day long at the local store I don't foresee myself getting this again. One thing to note is that I've never had a Belgian this fresh from bottling - with some time in the bottle it might mellow and get a bit better.

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Photo of JonathanG
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Unfortunately, I'd classify the beauty here as skin deep. Not much going on below the surface. Served in a tulip glass from the tap with a 1-finger head. Nice color that is reddish-dark copper. Cap dissipates and has to be coaxed back to the surface.

S: Roasted malts dominate, with faint fruit esters of raspberry. Also some doughy, bready notes.

T: About the same as the nose. It did hide the alcohol well.

M: Clean, medium body. Thought there might be a touch more body for 11% ABV.

O: I didn't order a 2nd round as this came across as pretty average. A bit lackluster overall, unfortunately. I tend to like Great Divide, but this just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of 100floods
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date. Beige head provides a roof to a ruby red hued liquid. Smells of juice, cherry, dark yeast. Sweet, a little warm, that juice aroma carries to the flavor. The warmth lingers after each sip. Tastes a little flat as if aged, for quite some time. Since there is no bottle date, I can only speculate the age of this beer (and judging by the fact that I bought this with the two previous Great Divide beers I reviewed I can assume this was made at least in September). Subtle hints of brown sugar blended with the more upfront presence of alcohol. This beer seems kind of limp. If I knew how old this beer was I may/not have a different view of it. Overall its a bit sweet, but at least the alcohol isn't too hot.

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Photo of HaysAmerica
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this for more than four months in my beer fridge. Poured from the 650ml bottle into a small snifter. Label indicates that this was bottled on Jan 13, 2011. Pours a nice amber red mixed w/ some dark wood. Decent head that quickly dissapates. Hazy. What head there was appeared to be off white or eggshell in color. Lacing is ok.

Smell is alcoholic mixed w/ dark fruit. Burnt sugars, plum/raisin mix. I can tell this'll be sweet from the malt profile just by whiffing this one. Almost a licorice to this one.

Tastes like prunes. Not prune juice due to the thick body but pruny. Has a little tartness to it too. That I didn't expect. Has a decently complex mixture of dark fruit taste. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Not much of a burn to it. Pretty well has a moist & nice finish to it. Pretty typical to style but I have to say that the tartness is a little off. I was expecting more alcohol burn but I'm not getting that...nice.

Mouthfeel & body are medium. Not too thick. As the beer warms up the alcohol comes out more & more. The nose is deceptive as it almost makes me whince & hesitate to take a sip. The alcohol is there but not overpowering or distracting. I probably could've sat on this for another year & it would be wonderful.

I should've waited till late October or December to crack this one open. This would be great w/ snow on the ground; not in the beginning of summer. Not as in your face as most of the BSDA's that I've had but a decent middle of the road interpretation.

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Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 276 ratings.
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