Verdi Imperial Stout | Birrificio Del Ducato

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Verdi Imperial StoutVerdi Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Birrificio Del Ducato

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Crosling on 06-11-2008

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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 279
Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml flared bottle. Made with an addition, beyond the usual suspects, of oats and spices (nature unspecified). Ol' Giuseppe appears quite melancholy in his depiction on the label.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight caramel edges at the base, and a voluminous amount of puffy, tightly foamy, and creamy mocha head, which settles rather slowly, eventually leaving some quick-melting curtains of drooping lace around the glass.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, chalky dark cocoa, sour black fruit, thin lactose, mild earthy spice, and weedy, leafy hops. The taste is lightly toasted bready caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, fruity cherry, a touch of earthy yeast, still indistinct warming spices, and a sour lactic undercurrent, one swirling through a cup of cold, nutty espresso.

The carbonation is lively, but finely textured in its good to go frothiness, the body an aspiring medium weight, and fairly smooth, the oats registering here and there. It finishes off-dry, the sweet roasted malt meeting the challenge from the still active hops and spiciness.

With characteristics from FES, porter, and RIS alike, this is one healthy Euro-centric offering. Agreeable enough, overall, with virtually no hint of the well-integrated big ABV - and in reference to the label-maker's poetic leanings: my thirst (for big beer, anyway) is slaked, and my rancour, while not exactly bitter, is another issue altogether.

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Photo of corby112
3.29/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black with a frothy two finger mocha coloredhead that slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Chunks of lacing left behind.

Very roasty malt aroma with a strong coffeeajd dark chocolate character. I'm also pickin up some slight alcohol/heat and a vinous dark fruit presnce.

Medium bodied with a velvety chocolate malt presence that tames the strong roasted malt character a bit. Lots of dark malt with hits of toast, dark chocolate, coffee/espresso bean and oatmeal. Slightly creamy lactic presence mid palate followed by some subtle spice and dark fruit that linger into a dry finish that has a bit too much boozy heat for my liking.

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Photo of Jdmpolk
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black, impenetrable by light, like motor oil. A fluffy khaki brown head floats a fingers length on top.

S- A rich dense roasty aroma, with a hint of sour note at the end. Hint of toffee and caramel, with notes of smoke.

T- Light coffee flavor with the persistent sourness at the end. Chili pepper spice tickles the back of your throat.

M- Smooth at first, then syrupy. Dry finish.

O- A tasty beer, however, lost points due to the sourness that persisted throughout.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Typical black looking stout with a small brown head that didn't stay for long and didn't leave much on the sides.

S - Some really nice chilis that don't seem too hot or too green. Chocolate, char, coffee, it's really a fairly pleasant mix.

M - Taste is really great. Reminds me a lot of a baby Hunahpu. Chili's have good flavor without being overpowering, and don't have enough heat to detract from the taste. Mixes well with the chocolate, char, and roast for a nice beer.

M - Fairly close to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - A surprisingly good beer, if you like Hunahpu, you might go for this.

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Photo of BigB415
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with medium head. The head actually reminded me of Guinness with it's frothy head that laced to the side of the glass without running down the glass, I could scoop the head off and it'll stick to my finger. The smell is of chocolate. Taste more chocolate and very faint spice. I was expecting the chili to be more pronounced than it is right now. I gave it a chance to warm but it is still very faint, just enough to feel it which is fine by me. I don't want to be overloaded with spiciness since it is a beer and not a soup. I don't taste any alcohol and I just had to remind myself it's 8.2% Practically no mouthfeel so it's a little thin. Overall, it's ok. It's my first Italian stout but it doesn't make me want to avoid other Italian stouts. It's a good gateway Italian stout. It's just different with the chili added.

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Photo of biglite351
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - No light through glass at all. Very tight tan head.

S - Mild malts, spice and chocolate.

T - Chocolate, malts, dried fruit, hints of spice in finish.

M - Good coating with a tingle all over the tongue and top of throat. Hint of heat, probably from a spice rather than alcohol.

O - Different enough to order one... odd enough to order ONLY one.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a dark brown color. The head was thin but actually had a pretty good lacing despite the size. The smell of the beer had a good roasted aroma, some light chocolate and some spices on the nose. The taste of the beer has a good bitter sweet flavor. The mix of dark fruits chocolate and spice all come together for a unique taste. The mouthfeel is thinner than most Russian Imperial Stouts. Overall regardless of the style I think the beer is very good on it's own.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle

A- Very dark brown (almost black). Just a hint of hazel colour head that dissapears very quickly, leaving just some little lacing on the glass

S- Dark chocolate malts with some roastiness to them, a faint spiciness underneath to bring some life

T- Dark chocolate is again dominant, though i'm also getting some light coffee notes. Some vague spiciness on the tongue and a nice warming feel from the not completely hidden alcohol

M- A bit thinner than usual in body. Soft, though maybe a little even, on the palate; prickly with spicies on the tongue. A lot of pepper in the aftertaste

O- Warming but not as flavourful or complex as other strong stouts. The pepper aftertaste gets really too strong and annoying and seems to be hiding the other flavours: i feel like this beer is not perfectly balanced

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured a very dark almost burgundy black. Huge 3 finger head that dissipates quickly.

S. Not a whole lot going on here, maybe a hint of pepper.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes very light in viscocity with an almost cream profile which is instantly neutralized by the chili pepper incorporated into the beer. Once the beer heats up a little bit (temperature wise) you can definitely get a little more bite from the pepper.

Overall: An average imperial stout, the 8.2% is hidden extremely well, not even a hint of booziness to it. Price point would be the reason I would say to skip over it, $6.99 for the bottle.

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Photo of chilly460
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby brown, pretty much black. One finger of mocha head, decent retention, solid lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt with some sweet milk chocolate in the finish.

T: Coffee is definitely prevalent up front. Some darker chocolte and roasted malts come in. The chilis are mild, some spiciness in the finish but not overwhelming.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, light carbonation.

O: Very solid brew that I'd buy again, balanced and nice mouthfeel. Flavors are not as robust as truly "world class" stouts.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft Sampled at Kickbacks. Poured into a snifter a dark brown/black color with a light tan head. Roasty, malty, chocolate aroma with a touch of the pepper. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Roasted chocolate and coffee flavors with a touch of bitterness. The pepper is mild but builds. Overall, rather nice drinking. Some lace left in the glass.

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Photo of Reaper16
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served into a snifter

Pours a dark chestnut brown. It isn't quite black, but it's getting there. I got next to no head on my pour, but I was able to coax out about 1/4 of a finger of khaki foam. It laces in spots like Morse code.

The first thing that I notice on the nose is a slightly sour, kinda acrid malt note that is reminiscent to me of some British Porters. There's definite coffee grounds in here too. A bit of char of some kind. Maybe I'm only saying this because I know that its brewed with chile peppers, but I smell some roasted red pepper here as well. There's an essential red pepper flavor, nearly "fruity," as well as some charred skin. There's just a twinge of the heat that other beers brewed with chilies tend to have in their aromas. This does not at all smell like an Imperial Stout, as the beer's label claims it to be. But it is interesting and on-point as far as a Foreign/Export Stout goes.

The taste is quite unexpected. I didn't really smell any chocolate character at all, but the flavor is mostly milk chocolate. This is a chocolate bomb, truly. Milk chocolate for days. There's also a bit of red bell pepper flavor, and a small tingling sensation from the chiles that comes across like Big Red chewing gum. Maybe some coffee on the finish. Verdi reminds me of a less-complex version of Mikkeller Chipotle Porter. It's certainly in the Foreign/Export Stout category. Hell, if it was labeled an Imperial Porter than no one would bat an eye. It's pretty tasty -- enough pepper flavor to make keep the milk chocolate in check.

It's got a thinner, more Porter-like mouthfeel. Smooth carbonation. It works with the flavors, and that's the reason I'm scoring it a 4.0 instead of a 3.5. Overall, this is a fine, fine Foreign/Export Stout. It's tasty and easy-drinking. Is it worth purchasing? No. I paid $10 for this 11.2oz. bottle. Why do Italian craft beers have to cost so much? It isn't worth $10 but it is pretty darn good. If you're a big fan of light-but-flavor-packed stouts then you will enjoy this beer as an occasional treat. It's too expensive to make it anything else.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Sampled at Kickbacks. Poured into a snifter a dark brown/black color with a light tan head. Roasty, malty, chocolate aroma with a touch of the pepper. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Roasted chocolate and coffee flavors with a touch of bitterness. The pepper is mild but builds. Overall, rather nice drinking. Some lace left in the glass. As I let this sit a while and warm the hot peppers for sure become more apparent, not too much in the upfornt but rather in the end and starts with a mild heat that starts in the throat.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz into a North Coast pint glass...

A - Pours black with a two finger brown head. Head does not stick around for long, and there is not much lacing to be had...

S - Coffee, a touch of spice, and a good amount of roastiness...

T - Chocolate, coffee, and dark roasted malts. Lots of roastiness to be had. Finishes on a hot chilli note. As the beer warms the spicy finish becomes more apparent. This one is tasty...

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Pretty much what you would expect from the style...

O - I really enjoyed the spicy finish. Good tasting brew, but not worth the money in my opinion. Payed 10 dollars for 11.2oz bottle. Glad I got a chance to try this, but probably something I won't be revisiting in the near future...


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

Poured black with a tan head, and thicker in the foam than expected. Smelled like roasted coffee. Flavor was more complex with dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol. Slight alcohol warming in the finish. Overall a fine beer, but very hearty. I'm no expert on the subject, but shouldn't this be a porter?

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I woke up this Saturday morning and absolutely destroyed my to-do list. What's a guy to do but celebrate completion of a plentiful list of soul-killing banal minutiae with a delicious beer from the Greenville Beer Exchange? Nothing. That's what. There's nothing to do other than that. At all.

A - Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Pours molasses black with no highlights, some sediment, and a medium-thin, tightly foamed khaki head. The head dies away to leave a creamy film atop the beer and a ring of tiny bubbles around the glass.

S - The aroma is sort of forward-malty, with a little bit of dark chocolate, hint of coffee, and some solid wheat/barley notes. No sign of the hot chilis.

T - Pretty standard chocolate/cocoa, roasted malt, slight acidity stout flavor, but with that chili edge. There's a definite, reserved chili edge to the flavor that is a shade more prominent in the aftertaste. I wanted to call it sort of a capsaicin flavor, but a quick check shows me capsaicin has no flavor. So just a chili flavor then, not the active ingredient in aforementioned pepper. HEY, IT'S CHILI.

M - Just a tinge thinner than a lot of your stronger stouts, but that seems to work.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Beer gives its presence known with a bit of gusto. Solid retention time with many miniature bubbles creating the appearance of a solid mass, but its a falsehood. It actually is interesting formation of a two phase system. We have tiny bubbles stagnant on the bottom holding up a singular mass of cream. Coloration is that of a sienna brown. Low amount of carbonation viewed from the edges in this inky darkness. Not too much going on in terms of perpetuating the mass. There is a good amount of sticky lacing as the froth recedes.

S- Perfect amount of roasted grain. Its the aroma of baking bread wafting from the oven throughout the house. Following that is a tad bit of the acrid nature of burnt grains bringing it full circle to the heat of the chili. Light spicy nature like smelling too close to a jalapeno. Brings a bit of zesty chili spice to memory as well.

Maybe some cocoa, not exactly sure if that is the sweet nature or not. Could be a false aroma.

T- Opens with a moderate hit of roasted and mostly burnt grain. Quickly fades away to the middle where the true monster lies. A quick burst of chili heat that never corrupts the flavors. It doesn't burn, it doesn't saturate, it doesn't overwhelm. It is how chili is designed to be in a stout. As this slowly fizzles the finish perks up which is almost entirely chocolate. Awesome hit on the end of milk chocolate, sweetness, and chili memories. Not the spice or heat, just the flavor of a chili pepper. Great work on this.

M- Undercarbonated. It truly needs more carbonation. It has a medium build, but that is because it is a tad syrupy at times. The finish is great with lingering potentials. Thin sometimes, and for an 8% I wasn't really overwhelmed with alcoholic characteristics at all.

D- I like this beer a lot. It has some errors in the tactile areas, but it hit a solid double for smell and taste. I wonder how it would have been if it was much fresher. I never stopped drinking it. As it warmed, it began to get sweeter and sweeter. Reminding me more and more of a milk stout with a lactose sweetness rather than sucrose or malt.

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Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, pours with a huge tan head, excellent retention & lace.

S: Licorice, coffee, demerara sugar/molasses, bakers chocolate, light alcohol, underlying fruity esters and hints of nobel spicing.

T: Molasses, licorice, cappuccino, bakers chocolate, solid bitterness, alcohol is perceptible. The acidity is a bit like a classic baltic porter.

M: Fairly full body, smooth with a some acidity.

D: An exquisite sipper.

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Photo of brystmar
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Oddly shaped 33cl bottle into wine glass. Very dark with minimal, chocolatey head and ok retention + lace.

Interesting smell with chilis in the nose, some sweetness, vanilla, malts. Awesome.

Despite the cool smell, taste is pretty straightforward. Roasted malts, chocolate, a brief hint of chili in the back of my throat as it goes down.

Full-bodied and perfectly carbonated. Low drinkability however, I definitely prefer other stouts.

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Photo of samie85
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a jet black with one and a half fingers of medium brown head.

S-Smells of rich and deep dark chocolate with maybe a hint of some chili.

T-Rich and sweet dark chocolate with a small hit of chili and finishes dry and slightly bitter with lingering, yet mild chili notes.

M-Thick and rich with a moderate amount of carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

D-Really easy drinking for a chili Imperial Stout. The chili is faint enough for the less spicy tolerant out there while the rest of the beer is a really solid, delicious stout.

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Photo of Soilworker
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a pry-top bottle into a tulip glass. This bottle was purchased in Italy and brought back in March of 2010 so it has a little over 6 months of aging on it.

A: Dark black liquid with a one-finger thick tan head. Reasonable lacing with respectable head retention.

S: Roasted malts with notes of cocoa and some slight sweet berry notes. Very little hop presence. Fairly decent for a stout, though the berry notes are a bit odd in my opinion.

T: This one has definitely mellowed out a bit due to the age. There is quite a bit of dark roasted malts with a pleasant amount of bitterness. There are some slight notes of unsweetened cocoa. There is a noticeable heat after you swallow which is due to the cayan peppers added in this beer.

M: While rolling the liquid around in my mouth there is a very nice silky feel in the mouth. As you swallow there is a significant dryness in the mouth.

D: This one can be enjoyed slowly but this is not what I would consider a session beer. Its enjoyable but certainly not as drinkable as some other stouts.

Notes: I really enjoyed this beer when I had it Italy and it was pretty decent now. I don't think having age on this one is a good idea; it should be drank fresh in my opnion.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My first stout from Italy- very cool.

A- Body appears to be a dark brown, nearly black hue-but when held up to the light it glows and murky translucency comes forward. Pours with a 1/2 finger milky head.

S- Dark chocolate is dominant with very faint chili in the nose and a mild roasted malt background that gives off the impression of coffee.

T- Initial flavor is mild and offers cocoa, smoke, and roasted malt with a very faint accent of chili. The flavors intensify for the finish but remains pretty consistent all the way through-with roasted malt and chocolate being the highlights.

M- Carbonation is low and body is moderately thick.

D- This is a very good, easy to drink brew overall. The chili and spice are very faint all the way through and provide a nice compliment to the chocolatey stout in the background. This is a classy, not over the top, well done brew.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-very dark black color with a creamy tan colored head.

S-the nose is very cake like, chocolaty and creamy, light roasted malt with a hint of pepper but extremely faint in the back.

T-the flavor isn't quite as savory, a little thinner, notes of chocolate cake but light, hints of smokey malts and some light roasted malts in there, hint of coffee, slight note of licorice and pepper in the back.

M-creamy medium to light body, decent carbonation, creamy finish.

D-the body is slightly thin, the flavors are also slightly thin, nicely integrated pepper flavors, very light which i actually prefer. decent stuff.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this one at West Lakeview Liquors. Shared with my wife, and served in a Night of the Living Ales taster pint.

A - Porus wiht a finger of light mocha foam that settles to a thin cap and thicker collar. Body is a near-black that reveals some reddish transparency at the fringes.

S - Big cocoa and roast malt aroma, with a hint of chili peppers that clears the sinuses. There's some faint smoke and a noticeable coffee note that emerges as the beer warms up. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

T - The taste is much more burnt malt oriented, with notes of smoke and char. There is some nice balancing cocoa sweetness, and perhaps even a hint of vanilla (or lactose sugar?) The finish is a little peppery, but doesn't come across as excessively spicy or hot - I'm not sure I would have got "hot chili" from the taste alone.

M - OK - first thing I notice isn't technically "mouthfeel", but this beer makes my eyes water. It reminds me of when I'm cutting peppers and inadvertently rub my eyes. The body is medium, and seems about right for the 8.2% ABV. The finish has a peppery dryness to it. Carbonation is surprisingly high for an Italian beer, meaning it is medium-low. Some definite heat builds over 6oz or so.

D - This is really good. It's kind of like Hunhapu's Lite. If it weren't so expensive I'd get it more often. Also among the best Italian beers I've had. Pairs well with Verdi's Macbeth.

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Photo of Richardberg
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - poured into wine glasses. Very dark, nearly black, small tan head, moderate lacing.

S - baker's chocolate, chili powder, vanilla extract, charcoal. Doesn't sound too unusual but trust me it's complex and interesting.

T - also complex, but quite different. Slightly bitter from start to finish, in a good way. Chili only comes out at the very end. Even the primary chocolate malts are subdued vs the aroma, in favor of the burnt, almost peaty flavor.

M - has definite weight, though not super heavy. Best part is it's super oily and sticky.

D - all of the above, coming in >8%, yet very easy to drink in my opinion. One of the first really well crafted Italians for me (many others have showed promise but ultimately disappointed).

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Verdi Imperial Stout from Birrificio Del Ducato
4 out of 5 based on 279 ratings.
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