Single Batch Series - Barleywine | Sebago Brewing Company

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Single Batch Series - BarleywineSingle Batch Series - Barleywine

Brewed by:
Sebago Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is a blend of Old World influence and modern day ingredients and technique. Domestic malt and distinctly American hops produce this rich, full bodied ale. On top of it all, this beer was barrel-aged in charred oak bourbon barrels for over eight months. The end result is an unfiltered dark ruby colored ale with very intense aromatics.

60 IBU

Added by barleywinebrewer on 05-01-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 156
Photo of jmarsh123
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jamesb7 for the bottle!

Pours murky mahogany with a finger of beige head fading into a wisp leaving excellent legs down the glass.

Smells of sweet toffee with some mild hoppiness. Not a whole lot of bourbon on the nose.

Straight malty. Loads of sweet toffee and caramel. Again a little less hoppy than the typical American Barleywine. Closer akin to the English style. Finishes a little boozy and hot with the bourbon.

Pretty thick mouthfeel and mild carbonation.

Fairly solid beer, but the bourbon comes out a bit hot near the end. Good flavors and a good beer, but I think some time may do this well.

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Photo of jammalamma
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this little gem as an extra- looking forward to it! I love me a good barleywine...

Carefully poured in a Duvel snifter, no head. Small bit of bubbles around the edge is all.
The smell is wonderful, sweet and figgy with booze and a little bit of roast.

Taste and mouthfeel are pleasant. Sweet; creamy (medium density) body; starts with a mild sweetness like a touch of liquid fig & chestnut (no nut skin here), toffee & caramel that finishes with the addition of some mild raisin and a growing, greater booziness. Bourbon booze burn present the whole time, yet, very smooth mouthfeel and finish. Only real "downside" here would be the growing alcohol presence as it warms and as you drink sip after sip... but you can't fault it for being boozy! ;)
Bourbon is a great addition to this beer- it lingers on the back of your tongue with its roasty booze resins, malts and caramelized sugars.

Overall it seems hot, but is a good user friendly barleywine. This bomber would be good to split with someone.

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Photo of tsreynolds
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Mikro in Hamden, CT while visiting a friend.

Pour: It was poured into a Maudite snifter. The color was dark caramel brown with a hint of amber. The head was light tan with moderate lacing.

Smell: Smells of slight sweet pineapple, caramel and hints of raisin.

Taste: Smooth sweet raisin and slight hints of caramel with a slight bourbon finish. There was mild hop character as well. Absolutely delicious.

Mouth feel: Thick with a very smooth, clean finish. Leaves you lingering and wanting for more. Nary a hint of alcohol burn.

Drinkability: Very high. I had to order another! This is a fantastic offering from Sebago. I even lucked out and found a pile of them stashed at the local store the next day! We will see how it tastes out of the bottle...and aged.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stella chalet. Poured aggressive and got a massive 2 inch tanish red head, that has nice retention and leaves traces of lace on the walls of the glass. Color is a dark amber. Smell is buttery toffee, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, and light bourbon. Taste is very aggressive with bourbon and oak dominating the profile, definitely has some supporting flavors, but barely cameos. Body is medium, good amount of carbonation considering the style, a little dry, and not that drinkable because I would have guessed it was closet to 12% ABV. This is solid, but I wish the barrels didn't dominate the flavor as much.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle as a extra from hiphopipa - Huge Thanks Hollie !

Poured from bottle into a Bruery Tulip - 2011 series .

A: Pours a medium golden brown with a half finger head that descends into a thin frothy lacing ,decent carbonation.

S: Vanilla, caramel/toffee , bourbon, sweet / sugar , slight fruit.

T: "Wow" am I impressed , this BA Barleywine hits all the flavors you would expect in a BA Barleywine , Bourbon , smooth vanilla notes followed by a nice slightly sweet caramel /toffee ,some slight fig and ever so slight hops .

O: Overall I would drink this beer every day if given the chance, I think it could hold it's own against any BA Barleywine out there with the exception of King Henry -
A real surprise for a beer you never hear anything about , The abv% is kept in check and hardly noticeable , I am definitely going to try and land a few more of these, good thing I have friends and family in Maine - I need more.
Highly recommended.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle chilled and poured into two pint glasses. Split with a friend.

Appearance: Dark caramel brown in color with a nice, pillowy beige head. Pretty good retention as well.

Aroma: The barrel notes are definitely there, but there is also a really nice base beer. Toasted nuts, toffee, caramel, and some bittering hops. The barrel gives off some nice bourbon and vanilla that matches well with the hazelnut aspect of the beer.

Taste: Bourbon and vanilla upfront mix well with a sherry type note from the base barleywine. The hop character is definitely stronger than I expected from the aroma but matches really well with the barrel. Really nice caramel and molasses notes backing throughout. A really nicely balanced and complex version of an American style barleywine that is barrel aged.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very smooth. Really easy to drink.

Overall, an awesome barrel aged barleywine and by far the best beer I've ever had from Sebago. A really affordable and tasty option that I definitely plan on picking up more of. The barrel treatment and the base blend really nicely. Possibly the best version of an American style barleywine I've had that was barrel aged.

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Photo of abecall98
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you Reagan1984 for this wonderful beer.

A - pours a cloudy murky brown. Beer slightly laces, and head is minimal, but long lasting.

S - oh my. There are few beers that have that aroma that grab you by the horns and pull you in. This, is one of them. So much going on in the nose. I first notice a strong prescence of barrel, and sweet whisky. A further whiff reveals some sweet fruits such as plum and strawberry oddly. Just fantastic.

T - sweet malt begins the flavor journey. I pick up hints of caramel and brown sugar. The bourbon flavor itself is a little subdued, but vanilla flavors from the barrel shine nicely. Slight oak and sugar finish the flavor profile. Alcohol is almost unnoticed.

M - creamy and smooth. Sticky mouthfeel as well. Just wonderful.

O - one of my favorite Barleywines of all time. I'm not the biggest Fan of the style either. This beer further pushes my interest into the BA Barleywines. I know I have a lot more to try, but this sets my bar. Thanks Greg.

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Photo of Etan
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Sent to me by the generous Valdieu2. 2010 vintage.

A: Pours an opaque reddish brown with a small off-white head. Tiny bit of lacing. Generic barleywine look.

S: Nose comprised of soft mushed dark fruit (raisin, fig), brown bread malt and sugar, slight sweet caramel.

T: Assertive dark dried fruit, sugar-coated, bourbon-laced. Fig, raisin, banana bread, big caramel and toffee, smoothed out by a bit of solid oak and smooth vanilla. The liquor is there but doesn't overwhelm the malt profile. The alcohol shows itself in a brief flash, but then fades into the sweetness of the beer.

M: Nice, soft body. Still a good tingle of carbonation on it.

O: This is definitely up there with the big ones. Really quite smooth.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to HopStoopid120 for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a nice ruddy mahogany color. About a finger of slight tan head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Heavy vanilla, toffee, and caramel. Slight bourbon and oak. Very nice.

Taste – Wow. The creamy vanilla and bourbon flavors come up front. Then comes the oak and legitimate real toffee flavor mixed with just the faintest of dark cocoa. Finishes with caramel and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel – A very smooth, creamy medium body. Medium to low carbonation that is spot on.

Overall – Well hell. This is one of the better extra’s I have ever received in relation to taste. A fantastic barleywine and honestly one I will seek more out of.

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Photo of redleaves
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour almost headless, dark caramel with a touch of red. Nose starts off wood, caramel, malt, butterscotch. A closer whif does bring up some nail polish and cat food. Don't sniff too hard. Boozy, taste is light sweet, butterscotch, caramel, barrel, char, touch of leaf, maybe green pepper, black pepper. Edges on cloying but bites off the end. Thick on the tongue but enough bite and texture. Abv is there in the taste but that is alright, thank goodness for the barrel, I feel like it wouldn't have done so well. Very nice. Just don't breathe in too hard!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to gary for hooking up this delicacy. enjoyed from my maine brewing co wine glass.

a - brew poured a transparent caramel plum color with a thin cream colored head that dissipated rather quickly.

s - REALLY nice. big toffee and caramel with a wonderful hint of oaky bourbon. smells fantastic.

t - bourbon is much more present in the flavor (not that it is hidden in the nose mind you). the blend is really spot on though. toffee and caramel is strong and present...i'm surprised this is considered an american barley, although, not sure when this was brewed, but there is no hop presence...but i like it! really tasty.

m - smooth with a slight tingle.

o - overall, this is a sleeper. shocked you don't hear more about it. can definitely hang with the big boys and probably beat one or two in a blind taste test. worth checking out, thanks gary...really solid pull!

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Photo of KevSal
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to Pahn for this gem. man hes sent me a lot of awesome beers and this is the first one i finally review? wtf! Evan needs some recognition!

extra he sent along in a trade. 22oz bomber into 2 snifter

a- pours out a deep orange hue, very light in color for a ba barelywine. small tiny head that dissapears quickly. very clear, and the carbonation is noticeable.

s- holy smokes! as soon as i cracked this one the banquet of vanila and toffe filled the room. very impressive, immediately reminds me more of a ba scotch ale, think backwoods bastard. lots of sweetness and bourbon vanilla. slight alc faintly on the back end.

t- yum this one follows the nose closely. tons of great bourbon character with out the alch at all. this barelywine compliments the bourbon well. im really enjoying this one. very similar to backwoods bastard.

m- medium to thick bodied with maybe a touch too much carbonation, nothing a swirl doesnt fix.

o- wow what a great surprise! this one is very well executed. lots of the flavors i enjoy. looking forward to trying more single batches. again it very similar to backwoods, i think this is exactly what i was hoping from ba full boar to put devils canyon on the map, they need to take notes.

thanks again Evan! youve got me in wee heaven!

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Photo of cbeer88
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into DFH snifter.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown floats into the glass, finger and a half of off-white head. Lacing is very spotted and head has nice thin staying power.

Smell: Toffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel malt. Very nice.

Taste: Wow. Impressively well blended and balanced with toffee, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar. The bourbon is in your face and provides a bit of heat, but it's really not over the top at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full bodied and chewy. Carb is adequate.

Drinkability: I'm questioning if this is really as low as 9.2%, but if that's accurate, then bomber down the hatch… so smooth and drinkable.

Overall: This is a stunner. Sebago makes some solid (if unspectacular) beers and definitely flies under the radar. I've had some of the barrel-aged one-offs at the brewpub before, but this is their best beer, and also one of the best sub-$10 barrel aged bombers of anything I've ever had. I only picked up two bottles - wish I had more!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Reagan1984. Served in a wine glass at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Finger of foam settles to a thin partial cap and thicker collar, with some spotty lace left behind. Hazy ruby-brown body.

S - Nice aroma, with tons of butterscotch, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and smooth bourbon notes. There's a bit of dry oak and alcohol as it warms up, but nothing out of character for 9.2%.

T - Taste isn't quite on the same level as the aroma, but it's still pretty solid. Lots of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, but a bit more rough whiskey and oak.

M - Smooth, medium body, sticky, chewy and bready, with medium-low carbonation and some light tannic dryness. Perhaps a bit of warming alcohol, but nothing excessive.

D - Well, it's the best Sebago beer I've had (although I haven't had many). Quite a deal for the listed $9 price tag. I'd happily drink this if it were local, as it's competitive with many higher profile (and priced) beers.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a khaki, three-finger head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Almost clear deep amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light bourbon nose, flavor is clover and bourbon, higher ABV is hidden. Dry finish. $9.50 for a 22oz bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A- copper with minimal head and a sticky lacing

S- toffee, vanilla, bourbon, astringent alcohol, cane sugar

T- pretty much the same as the aroma, yet much smoother than anticipated with the only alcohol presence being a slight booze in the bourbon flavor. The bourbon is definitely forward in the taste.

M- carbonation is forward with a medium mouthfeel. The astringency is felt, even with the lack of presence in the taste.

O- stevefinny sent this bottle to me in the secret Santa BIF; what a pleasant surprise it was. I have read that this is a $9 bomber. If it is, it is 100% worth it! I have paid much more for beers that pale in comparison to this. I would love to get another bottle to see what a year would do for this (if I could hold into it that long!).

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with Stopper. Poured into a snifter at room temp the beer pours a slightly hazy chestnut hue with minimal beige head. The head fades to an edge layer and wispy islands rather quickly after the pour. Aroma is vanilla and bourbon, some caramel and brown sugar. I dont get any real hop hits and the booze is also well hidden.
First sip reveal an average body with silky smooth texture and very mild rolling carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt bourbon and brown sugar. I get a little booze towards the end of each sip. I still dont get hops and the beer is malty and tasty. Reminds me more of an old ale as a style, but a yummy brew nonetheless.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Connecticut and was so pleasantly surprised by it. Truth be told, I have not been the biggest fan of Sebago products. This is definitely an exception.

Light brown amber color, thin head that fades quickly and little/no lace.

Aroma is coconut, vanilla and sweet caramel.

I think the flavor is wonderful. Definitely sweet and the same notes from the aroma are in the flavor. Lots of coconut and vanilla. Below this is a nice sweet caramel flavor. Just a touch of warming from the ABV, but not hot at all. A bot of toastiness in the malt flavor.

A touch sticky and fairly bold.

Nice little beer and one I’ll look for again down the road.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. There is a small bubbly head atop a dark red amber body.

The aroma has a lot of vanilla and some oak.

The taste starts out with a slight bit of malt sweetness that reveals barrel notes of wood and vanilla. There is a slight bourbon bite at the end. I even get a touch of cocoa.

The body is medium with a small amount of sharp carbonation.

This is pretty good. I will drink again.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a ruddy dark red with a decent light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has wonderful notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, figs, and brown sugar.

T: The taste is similar to the nose with an interesting hop presence as well. Other flavors that stand out are vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar coated figs.

M: The feel is a bit on the thinner side of medium but it's creamy.

O: The hops in this one try to take over the taste but the barrel flavors still shine through. Pretty good stuff but not the best BW I've had.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip. Split with another BA.

A: Translucent red-amber body under a solid cap of fine tan head. Nice lace. Attractive.

S: Smooth, rich, and supple: vanilla, oak, bourbon, and toffee. So simple, so incredibly enjoyable. I could inhale this for hours. Wow.

T: Very oaky, with vanilla and bourbon leading in to toffee and booze. Great, but a little less smooth than the impeccable aroma.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Fine.

O: What a terrific beer - and for only $9 a bomber! As soon as I took my first sniff of this bottle I made up my mind to buy at least a few more. This is a top-notch BBBW, plain and simple. It doesn't have any truly memorable features (like King Henry's stout nuances, Kuhnhenn BBBW's crazy earthiness, etc), but it delivers spiritous sweetness with the best of them. Everyone should seek out this beer, and Sebago should change their minds about the whole "single batch" thing.


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Photo of silentjay
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a deep mahogany brew with a smallish light tan head that settles at one finger and laces well.

veryyy bourbon heavy aroma. kind of an odd peaty smokiness that would lead me toward thinking this was aged in scotch barrels instead of bourbon, but its obvious the bourbon barrels used (not sure of the brand) were very charred. some caramel sweetness and grains.

again, bourbon heavy. charred wood dominates, with some vanilla trying to sweeten things up. boozy, sweet, a touch fruity. the vanilla/coconut bourbon flavors come through even more as it warms with the charred portion being toned down a bit. The barleywine aspects of this are subdued, which is kind of the antithesis of a barleywine.

thinner body than expected for the style with subtle carbonation but tons of heat left after the swallow.

I like bourbon. I like bourbon-heavy beers, but this one just misses the mark for me. Its parts don't quite mesh well into a beer that I'd seek out.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank Mike. This was the last beer we shared from his blind BIF box, served blind in a snifter for ticking.

Beer is brown, hazy, tan head, lazy small, no lacing, low retention, looks fine.

Aroma makes this a barleywine, strong sweet, bourbon.

Beer tastes fine but the aroma was better than the taste. The malt wins out the entire time, mild bourbon in the dry finish competing with some tannic oakiness too. Decent, probably one of the best beers of the night but that's not saying much.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of Blind BIF 6. Thanks to Brez07. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a moderately-dark brown with a thin off-white collar and a touch of a spotty lacing. The nose brings through quite a bit of bourbon and some light fruit. Heavy sweetness. Flavor has a good dosing of bourbon and some sweetness. Light oak. Dry tannins in the finish. Some booze. Lots of bourbon and not heavy enough to be a stout, so my guess is a bourbon barleywine.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 12/11/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery red color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramel, fruits, hearty malts, some hops and a touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out very creamy for the style and with candy-like sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. The malt character is hearty and there’s a subdued but complementary hops presence that creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good Barleywine worth drinking for as long as you can handle it.

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Single Batch Series - Barleywine from Sebago Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 156 ratings.
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