Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout | Harvey & Son Ltd.

400 Reviews
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double StoutLe Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout

Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 02-19-2001

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Reviews: 400 | Ratings: 479
Photo of nuggetsofnectar
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back to reviewing after 4 years...starting back with a beer I was thoroughly impressed by ten years ago.

2008 Vintage:

App: Obsidian black with a beautiful burnt tan head (1" with slow pour) that left nice lacing....

Smell: dark malts...musky coffee beans...some vanilla and oak in the background

Taste: Wow a few years have maturated this just enough...initial burst of soy sauce dark but also sweet malts...vanilla with a slight cofffee and sweet cocoa backbone....as it warms the aforementioned is highlighted...quiet nice this

Mouthfeel: somewhat thin but not a deterrent...its got a decent viscosity and nice mellow sweet vibe

Overall..I am sure this offering can be good or bad pending the year...I picked a winner....it truly was a nice sipper

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.74/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer's physical appearance resembles that of a tawny port. The is absolutely no head. The aroma is sour and tart...almost gueuze like, but with a hint of roasted malt. The taste is of sour cardboard. Simply awful. The mouthfeel is thin for an imperial stout. Overall, this beer is a drain pour. In fact I disliked the taste so much that I had to force myself to take a second sip. I would not suggest this beer to anyone.

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Photo of Wowcoolman
4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in '08, poured into a snifter. Purchased from K&L Wines in Hollywood on a strong recommendation from their beer man- I'm glad I listened, thanks!
A- Dark, with an aggressive head (temp of beer was 55-60 degrees)
S- Dark chocolate, licorice, roasted nuts, slight forest
T- Wonderful and balanced. A mix of bitter-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, butterscotch, alcohol, and caramel.
M- Full, rich, creamy, and buttery in the finish.
D- A sipper that disappeared quite quickly. A model Russian Stout.

Note- This beer has a diminished rating because too many bottles sampled were aged too long. Get an '08 and serve it at a proper temperature. 9.3 ounces only, and every single one is intense.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 2003 batch. Sampled on February 21, 2011. It was nice to see a bottle with a 2003 date sitting on a shelf in the store so I picked it up. Perhaps I should have left it there. It poured black as night with no head. Bourbon and chocolate filled the nose. It was a nice heavy body but the taste was too much like burnt, dark chocolate. The chocolate was just a bit overwhelming for my tastes. The hints of a nice Imperial Stout character were there but maybe it would have been three or four years ago.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a rich vinous roast for a classic stout framed as the founder of the style.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle. Old fashion, antique-like emblem around a crown and the name of the brew. Side notes show several award, brewing license (East Sussex with Estonian supervision), and surrounding the seal there is a long narrative going over the historic background, and tradition. Notes vintage 2008 and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour, with a nice looking 1/3" ecru head, creamy with medium to low retention, nice surface memory and rich wave of lacing.

S - Nose is stimulatingly sour, with port like notes, fruity, and with a malt undercurrent.

T - Hmm, taste has a characteristic roasted sourness that is quite rich. Figs, prunes, roasted malt... Compact and delightful around a vinous sense with touches of cocoa and coffee that is memorable.

M - Full body, very creamy with a nice bitter finish.

D - Great sipper, nice and pleasing in its complexity.

Notes: Allure of the classic aside, or the claim to set a standard for the style for that matter, this is quite the brew. I've have had it before, in some of those corked bottles a while back, and while different vintages this is about right in tune with most of my early memories. The distinct sour and port notes may not be up everybody's alley, both for a brew and for something expected of the style actually. But if one picks up a liking for that range this is quite the brew. Reminds me a bit of how De Molen picked up a classic RIS with their early versions of the Rasputin. While I remember older vintages likable but pretty flat and somewhat thin, this one is not only sturdy on the mouthfeel but also on the appearance.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 1999.

The cork pulled without a whisp and the beer poured completely flat. Oily black with zero head or lace.

Aromatics lead off with vineous char, double-black soy sauce, salted bakers chocolate, black cherries, and sherry. Quite wine-like with a fruity, tart promise and a hint of booze.

Medium bodied with a slick, slippery mouthfeel. Flat and a bit tacky.

Burnt malt, black chocolate, and coffee-rubbed figs start the palate. Shades of red wine, soy sauce, and applewood smoke follow through.

Finishes with lingering smoke, soy, and boozy char.

What a unique beer. The soy sauce character is a bit much and the beer being flat detracts quite a bit. Otherwise the intense smoke and vineous character add quite a complexity.
Just too damn bad it was flat, otherwise it would have been much more enjoyable.
A fun experience though for 12 year old beer.

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Photo of biglite351
1.38/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Honesty did not realize that this was a dated bottle. I simply never had it before so I grabbed it. It is dated 2003 so I have high hopes for it. I had a 2004 of a different brew about a year ago and loved it, this is now 2 years older.

A - beautiful blackness with zero red around the edges. Very little foam at all, just a touch of dark brown.

S - prunes and vinegar, no longer looking forward to taking a sip...

T - old prunes pickled in vinegar.

M - don't really know, one sip and dump! But my tongue is tingling so that is something.

D - potentially never again no matter what year!

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Photo of mntlover
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008

Pours a oil black no light through this baby with a big fluffy dark chocolate head that falls to a cap and laces well. Wonderful looking brew.

Aroma is roasted malts, some nice woody notes almost like wine barrel aroma I am picking up, or is it just a touch of sherry. Some dark fruity notes mixed with chocolate with hints of cherries also present. The wine notes or what ever it is adds something nice that is unusual but enjoyable.

Taste is roasted malts light coffee some sweet chocolate all that falls away pretty quickly to what i was smelling. Alcohol notes wine sherry like, or maybe its just the cherries that I am picking up. Just seems not to go well with the roasted malts sure smells nice though.

Mouthfeel is nice full carbonation just a little to much for my tastes but overall nice.

Drinkability is ok defiantly worth a try just seems not to blend well wine like flavors with roastiness.

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Photo of rudzud
1.21/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

*2003 Vintage*

Picked this up on a whim from Julio's. It was in a random section, no price no anything. Rang up as $6.99 so I figured I would take a stab at it. Very angry I bought this instead of Péché Mortel.

A - Cork was a pain, very brittle which I suppose can be expected from something 8 years old. Poured into a tulip a oily black pour with zero carbonation. No head, poured like a bottle of oil.

S - Wow, I smell soy sauce. A little smoke and alcohol but this is mostly soy sauce.

T - Wow, this is almost a stomach turner. First taste I get is salt. There are some dark fruits somewhere in there but ugh. The last thing I taste is salt. This is saltier than Kelpi, the seaweed beer!

M - You call this an imperial stout? Stuff is like water. Thin, salty water.

D - Yeah, drainpour. No question about it. Was really looking forward to this too. Damnit.

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Photo of electrobunny
3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

2003 Bottle with 8 years on it at time of tasting.

Deep black body with a thin brown soapy lacing. Flat as can be. Smells of black cherry, fig, green apple, some dark chocolate, earth and a hint of smoke. The aroma looks promising at this point even though it has a slightly sour quality. Bitter molasses and earthy/wood notes are immediately noticeable. There is a bit of a soy taste in there but it's a little masked by soft burn sugar notes. Roasted grains come through gently in the aftertaste with some earthy bitterness. Can still pick up some traces of alcohol on the end. Thin and slick mouthfeel with a mildly tart dry finish. Medium bodied and practically no carbonation. There's still some complexity after all these years but I can't help but feel it's lost quite a bit of flavor. Sight oxidation in the taste but even though its flavor is more subtle I'm still getting a lot of the qualities called out in reviews of younger bottles. Molasses and licorice flavors are nice as well as the subtle earthy bite. Will have to try a younger bottle for comparison.

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Photo of cbilek06
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, can't even see through it when you hold it up to light. Frothy tan head.

S: Sweet malt

T: Sweet Malty taste and finishes with a merlot flavor. Astringent aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied

D: Overall I really like this beer and would have one again, however it is a bit pricey.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2008.

Black with a thick, pillowy and long lasting mocha brown head.

Nose is cherry whiskey coffee. Hints of soy, black chocolate and molasses.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy chewy. Mouthfeel of manufacturer's cream.

Flavors are complex and huge. Big sweet black coffee, whiskied cherries, sweet soy sauce; brown sugar, molasses, roasted grains; everything you'd want in a big rich stout. There is a "tart" bitterness that detracts for me but this is a first class stout.

Bitter espresso finish rounds it out nicely.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strange-looking bottle. 2001 vintage shared by bmanning and served in a tulip.

Pours black with no head and some small bubbles resting on top. Nine years old so I won't take too much off here. The nose is cherry with a bit of black licorice. It's definitely oxidized, though not necessarily in a bad way. The flavor shows the oxidation a bit more with a bit of cardboard, though everything comes together and melds with the dark fruits and slight cherry and roasted characteristics. The mouthfeel is really quite smooth with some low carbonation. Drinks really well and I'm glad I got to try this. Thanks, Ben.

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Photo of metter98
3.16/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color (it has a slight reddish tinge when closely held up to a light) and only poured with a few bubbles floating around the edges of the glass.
S: There are aromas of red wine and sourness in the nose.
T: Like the smell, there are flavors of red wine in the overall taste, which also has a slight amount of acidity.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. It also feels thin and watery and has the consistency of soy sauce.
D: The characteristics of this beer don't seem to fit the style so I'm not sure if I would try it again.

Note: 2003 vintage

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Photo of vfgccp
2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

2003 bottle

A - Oil black. No head or carbonation to speak of.

S - Very strong. Sweet alcohol, cognac, liquorish, chocolate liquor, rasins,

T - Whoa.... Not what I was expecting. Loads of scotch, tannins, roast coffee, hazelnut, oak. If you told me this wasn't a beer I'd believe you.

M - Incredibly dry, even by wine standards. It wasn't enjoyable for me.

D - Drinks more like a burbon than a beer; need to sit and sip on this one.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.45/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Albert Le Coq Imperial Stout, 2000 vintage, bottle bought at Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD, and poured into a goblet at the bar.

Appearance: Black like the day Lehman Brothers went under on September 15, 2008. Never forget! Incredibly thick pour, no head, no carbonation, no lacing. More like an old whiskey, or a fancified kalimotxo (the Spanish proletarian drink made out of cheap red wine and coke).

Smell: Confit olive oil, gasoline, aromas of Spanish tapas. Very nourishing! Bourbon barrel all around the nose. Very little roastiness or coffee, as one would expect in a RIS.

Taste: More olive oil, some hoppy bitterness. Smoke and bourbon. Reminds me a bit of Bourbon-aged Stone RIS. Vinegar and booze.

Mouthfeel: No carbonation, medium body (almost full). Sticky sweet, a tad chewy. Body lingers in mouth like funky fun pop rocks. Smooth, creamy, tasty.

Drinkability: Damn high! Easy at 9%, goes down nice even when warm. Chuggable, enjoyable, beautiful. This is without a doubt the oldest RIS I've ever had, and also one of the funnest old beers ever. Gorgeous!

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Photo of oldhippie247
4.23/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted 2008 Vintage bottle.

Pours deep, deep brown to black. Head is tan and fluffy.

Nose is an awesome sweet and sour at the same time, which follows through on the palate.

A bit of the roastiness that was not that evident on the nose is a bit more prominent on the palate. Plum and dark fruit notes are balanced by bitter roasted malt. sourness, and rich dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is relatively light for a 9% Imperial Stout with so much flavor.

I first tasted this beer (from the old corked bottles) about 3 years ago and did not like it at all. Since then I have developed a far broader taste and now love this beer. Don't expect a typical Imperial Stout, but keep an open mind and enjoy.

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Photo of Ambiorix
3.04/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled, 2003 vintage. Black pour with practically zero head. The nose was raisins, soy sauce, and some vinous notes. The flavor had some barnyard elemtns to it, soy sauce, raisins, baker's chocolate. The finish had some alcohol notes, and a bit of coffee. This beer had been on my wish list for some time, and I was disapointed. I don't think this bottle aged well, so perhaps it was past its prime.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep dark murky red / brown colour. Light creamy mocha head poured quite loose and frothy and faded fairly quickly to light wispy covering with thicker edging... some decent lines of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of liquorice to the fore then followed by roasted (charred) chocolate malts, dried spicy dark fruits (raisins, dates, cherries, some apples), quite boozy, vinegar notes, strong fresh vanilla, hay, quite a lot of sourness, burnt butter...

Taste - Stewed dark spicy fruits (plums, black cherries, black currents, apples), very warming alcohol, roasted bready malts, yeasty, dark candy sugar, oak and vanilla, quite medicinal - cough mixture, some soy sauce sourness, sooty...

Feel - Quite sharp with a lot of carbonation then mellows out a touch... medium bodied... pretty drinkable for 10%

Overall - A pretty good and different take on a RIS... well worth a try...

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
1.9/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A 2001 le coq, procured on a whim from a reputable bottleshop.

A cork keeps the juice in, but no cage. Tricky. I pull and nothing pushes. Zero carb, a still beer. A vigorous pour creates no more head than lemonade, deep black lemonade.

It smells good, deep roast, noble fruits and a hair of spice. It smells like I want it to taste. But it doesn't. It tastes like death, spice, vinegar, charcoal, and metal. Not metal like iron and zinc, but metal like megadeath and Opeth. Why is this in my mouth? a tingle, pain really from the spicy medicine flavours.

This thing tastes like meth addicts look. Stay away from an aged version, it will make you very sad about the sate of the world.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.18/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque viscous black with caffe au lait-colored foam that sticks and piles like a cappuccino and leaves cathedral lace. As dark as any beer I've seen. Nose is oak barrel, leather, fermented grape skin, prune and cinnamon. Sweet fruitcake - candied fruit, spice and bread - plus baker's chocolate, brown sugar and raisins. Sour high notes. Earthy nutmeg and some roast at the end. Silky smooth, full, chewy, no burn.

At least a year's cellar on this. Note, labeled 9% not 10.

Monster dessert beer. No trace of American RIS (big hops, big roast) tendencies, no heaviness for an RIS and no 10% kick. So smooth and lovely, a true old school Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Offa
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had this twice - once in 2010 and once in Oct 2014, with very different experiences. The old review is first. My new review, from Oct 2014 notes, follows. The score reflects the first time. The second bottle would average about 2.5 overall.

This is a very rich, strong, fairly intensely winey stout, interesting, good for sipping, but really my sort of thing, being too wine-like and too intense in what character elements it has.

Black, it has a small, dark brown head slowly shrinking to a thin ring.

Aroma is turned fermented plums & spiced baked apples in brandy, some roastiness, some balsamic vinegar.

Taste is very rich and strong at first, with fairly intense wine, along with brandy, chocolate hint, dark toast, coffee grounds, winey-vinegary charred prunes, black pepper. It has lingering peppery spicey-alcoholic bitterness. It's slightly slick in feel, but not really oily and not thick or heavy in body. The intensity of the first few sips soon mellows and compelxity and drinkability increase, but it still is definitely a beer to sip in small amounts for me.

Second bottle, Oct 2014, basically the bad elements intensified and lacking the good elements that made me like this before:

Black, brown head slowly shrinks.

Aromas - fermented prunes, steak sauce, meat, balsamic vinegar - a bit pungent in a bad way.

taste - better, balsamic vinegar, stewed prunes, hint of rum, sour old fruit, dry burtn toast, hot, spicy bitterness. Not enjoyable.

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Photo of captainjferjado
4.25/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from 2003 I recently found at a package store which may have been aging them for the interim years. I should ask.

This beer pours a jet black with little immediate head. This will become a common theme, but its lack of head almost becomes an exaggeration of this style. After the pour there is a short, almost nonexistent and quickly dissipating head.

Its smell is very intense: nutty, bitter, with some sweet caramel and some very faint chocolate. It is a very bitter taste with very little sweetness--much like the nose, but I also find some smoked oakiness mellows the bitterness and gives further character.

Unlike other stouts, this one avoids an unpalatable viscosity remaining smooth with almost non-existent carbonation. Despite the harshness of the smoky bitterness this beer remains smooth and appropriate for slow sipping. As I stated before, I can't help but this "Extra Double" Stout has refined and exaggerated the qualities of a Stout into a fine sipping specimen.

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Photo of bgildea
4.26/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark brown/black color. Thick dark tan tan head that leaves a significant amount of lacing.

S: Slight smell of nuts and roasted malts. A little too much alcohol smell for me though.

T: Nice sweet flavor initially possibly brown sugar, which fades well into a roasted malts and semi sweet chocolate taste. Good balance of flavors. Nice and tasty.

M: A good amount of chew to the beer. Nice and thick.

D: The beer is very drinkable. I loved the balance of flavors and i could knock a few of these back.

Overall: Overall the beer was very good. I liked the initial sweet flavor and it finishes with a nice hearty roasted after taste. Great balance, all dark beer drinkers should try it.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.3/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Alastar for this one by way of IS BIF 2. Poured from a 12oz. corked bottle into a Blue Point snifter. 2003 vintage.

A: Gentle pour yields a .25 finger deep, coarse mocha head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. This is by FAR, the darkest opaque black beer that I've ever seen. I didn't know black came in shades until I saw this monstrosity in my glass. Lacing is stringy and spotty in parts with decent cling.

S: Aroma is one of wood, sweet soy sauce, prune juice, booze, and toffee. Definitely unique as the woodiness is very prominent in the nose.

T: This beer may be corked or infected or both. That being said, opens woody with a huge cork taste. Slightly sour at the opening and this becomes more pronounced towards the middle. Booziness is very noticeable throughout the whole experience. Sour cherries and wood engulf any hint of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toffee, or other "stouty" flavors. Finish is sour, aftertaste is bitter coffee beans and more sourness.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily but abrasive in the mouth. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: A 2.5 because I'm giving this one the benefit of the doubt that I had a bad bottle. If I have a good one, I'll edit as needed. As it stands though, a total drain pour. Almost vomit inducing. Off flavors were very prominent and they dominated the regrettable though admittedly brief experience.

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
3.43 out of 5 based on 479 ratings.
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