Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) | Steel Brewing Company

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)
Liked This Beer
2.38 w/ 1,219 ratings
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in different abv. versions: 6.0%, 7.3%, 8.1%, & reports of a 8.9%. In a few counties/states, a 3.2% version is also available.

Added by Todd on 09-13-2001

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Ratings: 1,219 |  Reviews: 564
Photo of dankster
3.3/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

40oz tasted with the boys at the skatepark.

normal clear pale look for malt LQ

Smell has big corn and grain to it

Taste is just fine for a ML that has a 8.1 ABV

Mouth is clean but a slight burn in the back after a few

overall a great way to get hammered for dirt cheap!

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Photo of Paincane
2.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden clear when poured into pint glass producing a one finger soapy white head. Thin layer of lace along rim of glass.
S: Grain, alcohol and malt aromas are evident. Slightly skunky.
T: Corn, grain, barley and malt flavors are followed by a trace of citrus.
M: Medium bodied with vigorous carbonation. Higher ABV is evident as it warms.
O: Crisply refreshing. Not a great beer by any means, but not terrible either. Would reserve this for hot summer days by the pool. I do not think I will seek it out again, but would not thumb my nose at it if offered.

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Photo of gtermi
2.46/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

I remember the days of not knowing anything about beers and just grabbing a few of these bad boys. I have to say though that they did the job and was the perfect sit back and get wasted beer.
Now that I have grown up and realized what good beer is, this beer just doesnt do it for me anymore. The appearance is basic and boring, the smell is like your basic junk beer, nothing reall there. The taste is actually better than BMC IMO, so I gave it a 3. The beer made me very burppy and was just unpleasant. Overall this is just one of those beers you drink at a party when you only have 5 dollars in your pocket.

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Photo of Tundruth
2.88/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears light golden/amber in color and forms a thick fluffy white head of suds.

Smell is average, nothing special. Smells nearly identical to any adjunct lager with maybe a bit more of a metallic/astringent tinge.

Tastes of decent adjunct lager. Pretty bad, but they managed to somehow make it palatable, at least.

Mouth-feel is decently carbonated and light.

All in all this beer is definitely a good bargain, and considering its claim to fame being its high gravity and ABV it tastes not half bad as well.

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Photo of Emerson1310
4.5/5  rDev +89.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I too, am not snobbish for beer. My palate is wide open for different flavors from lager like this up to Sculpin, Pliny and HopSlam.

A: Light gold with bright white 3 finger head and good carbonation.

S: Like a malt lager!! Nothing exceptional, as expected.

T: Very lager-ish, but when chilled to almost slushiness, it is very refreshing and pleasant. The rather high 8.3% ABV doesn't show in the taste, the flavor of alcohol is rather limited.

O: The price for this is exceptional too, at $6.99 a 12-pack, $1.99 for a large 22oz bomber, etc. Beware the high ABV, this beer will definitely knock you on your butt if you drink too much!!

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Photo of ehammond1
2.45/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A (surprisingly) better than average pour! Clear light goldenrod yellow with a large, persistent white head, and lots and lots of spiderweb lacing down the glass. Dare I say, nearly perfect?

Grainy and corny aroma with a hint of dishwater and dirty sponge.

At least I don't taste dirty sponge! What I do taste is an inoffensive, grainy, corny, and sugary beer. I also taste some alcohol.

Medium bodied with too much carbonation.

I plan on never drinking this again.

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Photo of DrainBamage
3.52/5  rDev +47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel color with a very thick head that thins to a lace. Smells heavy of adjuncts with a hint of something peculiar. Goes down surprising smooth with notes of fusel alcohols and leaves a little bitterness in the back of the mouth. Overall this is a very drinkable beer considering the style and ABV. Only downside to this beer is the putrid adjunct smell.

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Photo of ditmier
1.81/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

So I fancy myself an above average drinker, in both quantity and quality...never before have I faced such an ominious brew starting from the pour, I had the fear...2009 Can - you can sense the gravity even just pouring it, which is a thick golden with a sizeable white head...aroma is sweet and a bit hot...flavour is not horribly offensive, mostly corn, adjuncts and heat, but again, you can tell bad shit is lurking around the corner if you keep drinking...I mean, like falling off the parking garage that you decided to scale from the outside at 3AM because your so called friend dared you and is now calling you a pussy - bad shit...maybe when I become a full-blown alcoholic and get tired of MD20, I’ll hit this up again, but I’m done for fault is not with the beer, but with what it might make me do...ERIC SMASH

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Photo of tko741
2.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an English pint glass from a 24oz can of the 8.1% version.

Looks like a slightly more amber version of your run-of-the-mill malt liquor or mass produced beer. Rice-colored, one-finger head that dissipates with haste.

Smells of light metal and raisiny more to say on that. Very basic.

Packs a very quick carbonated punch followed by very sweet malts. Even at 8.1%, the alcohol hotness is quite tame. Overall, some very dark fruits (namely prune and other high-fiber variants), mixed with flatness and a slight warming.

As a malt liquor, there are few better examples.

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Photo of ChrisCage
1.73/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- This is super clear, and yellow grass in color. The head starts out super white, and is pretty much non existent....settling to a patchy, fizzy thin layer over the brew! Carbonation looks to be heavy, and the lacing is surprisingly good! Overall not the best looking beverage, but it's no worse than your typical BMC!

S- Smells very very sweet, with some overripe apple cider quality, and syrupy boiled corn water and boiled potatoes. There is no hop presence available, and again, to my surprise, the alcohol content is not really noticeable. Again, aside from being primarily of sweet syrupy adjunct with a bit of fruitiness, it's not much worse than a typical macro!

T- Brrr (head shaking), this is terrible! My wife feels that this is pretty tasteless, pun intended....I on the other hand taste nothing but sugary sweet alcohol and aluminum....bleh! This has a taste that resembles the smell of wet rotting garbage, boiled in sugar water! Every drink makes me quiver in fear of the next sip!

M- Cloying medium body with a lingering coating of sugar water....this gets thicker as it warms up, and develops more stomach churning alcohol character too...

O- Terrible hot garbage was created when the powers that be came up with this one! Now I really don't want the hobo lifestyle if this is what I have to look forward to...not that I wanted it before. Even my wife groaned when she asked if we were done with the bottle after pouring her and I a glass each. I'd rather take my chances on getting hammered drinking Bud Select 55 all night. I'd still drink this over Bavaria 8.6 Red...I feel bad for this company....reading the inside of their label, they really think they've brewed a quality product...

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Photo of McCutheon
2.6/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It's late at night. You've run out of beer and 7-11 is your only option. You could get a Fosters, could run with Steel Reserve.

As a last resort and for the price, it's not a bad beverage. Sure it's some convenience store special, but to be honest, it's not much worse than DFH Midas Touch.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.56/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is foamy but that goes away fast. The body is a pale gold color. It has a thin mouthfeel. The aroma does smell like corn right off the bat. It smells like pure adjunct but you can’t be mad that is the name of the game in this style of “beer”. There is some bitterness but it is more alcohol like bitterness not hops. The feel has a burn to it both from the carbonation and the alcohol. There is like petrol like aftertaste. What do you expect for the price. It is not bad if you just want to get messed up.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.1/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Bright brassy yellow. High clairity, Cloudy bleached white head. Almost no lacing.

S - Smells are of loose wet leaves and unidentified vegetable matter. Not much in the way of malts, even adjunct ones. Nor is there much hoppiness. There is kind of a mild bready sugary smell but just barely. While this is not unpleasant it is also not appetizing.

T - Initially mild sweetness. Middle and end tastes are non-existent. As in, I really can't taste much at all in this beer. I don't dislike this but I wish it had more character.

M - Slightly watery, slightly spicy and with a tiny bit of burn. As it warms it gets slightly more thick and malty.

D - Overall surprisingly good. Good for the price of course, but also good for this style and not bad all-around.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Labeled with a date, "Best before Oct3111" Phew....this beer is still good. At the time of this review, this beer is the most reviewed Malt Liquor on Beeradvocate, also the #19 top American Malt Liquor on the best of Malt Liquor list also #83 on the "Bottom of the Barrel" list...this is what I call a "super tick."

Beer served out of a clear bottle into a Golden Pheasant (ZlatyBazant) glass. Beer is yellow and clear with strong carbonation, a thin head of small white bubbles, no lacing, but the head has some retention, looks like beer.

Aroma is mildly sweet, mildly alcoholic, mildly corn....ummmm...OK, not the worst Malt Liquor I've smelled, perhaps a slight bitterness....what the hell is this going to taste like.

OK, so I've been away from "Bad Beer Thursdays" for a few months but I have to say....I'm glad I didn't get the 40 ounce, instead I opted for the 22 FL oz. Beer is super sweet up front, corny and dry on the finish, almost nothing in between, there is an almost plastic like flavor, artificial, fake, in the middle that carries the beer through. Completely uninteresting. I suppose drinkable if I wanted to get crunked, but otherwise a total avoid.

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Photo of Bonis
2.37/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes: 7/15

I picked up this beer at a gas station because I'd heard it wasn't terrible for a malt liquor, and I've never had it. Not to mention, the 24 oz only set me back a cool $1.39.

A - Poured this into the tall weizen glass. A clear golden straw with lively carbonation, and a surprisingly thick white head. A touch of lacing is left on the glass but not much. This looks better than many beers I've had. Doesn't look half bad in the glass.

S - A touch of malts, more adjuncts, more alcohol.. A little musty. Just straight up nasty smelling. The most unappealing aspect of this brew.

T - Taste is of sweet corn and alcohol. This is the most alcohol dominant 8% beer I've ever tasted, but I can't expect too much for what I paid. It is rather smooth though, as notified on the can. The hop bite is surprisingly there, but easily taken over by cloying corn flavors and warming alcohol. Not horrible, but definitely not one of the better beers I've recently had.

M - This is an aspect of the beer that helped a lot. My can seemed pretty heavily carbed and had decent body. This helped with hiding some of the flavor aspects of the beer that were terrible.

Overall, I am glad I tried this. Hell, it's the only beer I had of the night, and I got a decent buzz. I just don't wanna have to down another one anytime soon. This is a beer that I would recommend to very few people, though I think any fan of beer should try it.

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Photo of nerow
1.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased for a single dollar from a Stockton Corner-Store on a hot afternoon and "enjoyed" out of a paper bag while waiting for a train to catch with some of my Fraternity Brothers. Is there a more perfect time and place to drink an 8.1% Malt Liquor? I certainly can't think of one.

A- Not applicable for this tasting, but from others I recall a Pale Golden color, Minimal lacing, with light carbonation visible. This could be the archetype for American Macrobrew.

S- Sharply alcoholic, with the unmistakable aroma of rotting vegetables, corn and sugar. Not quite the smell I would expect while approaching the gates of Beer Hell, but close.

T- Lots of corn, highly alcoholic, with the off-putting carachter of Banana-Bready esters, which fate to a pungent petroleum. Certainly not the worst thing I've drank, but not terribly impressive either.

M/O- It's a malt liquor. Oily mouth-feel, slight prickle of carbonation. Good for a hot day, if you're trying to get drunk, or if a 16 oz can is retailing for a single dollar. Certainly not a beer to be savored, but not the worst beer I've ever drank by far.

If I had to define a place by this beer, it would be: Stockton.

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Photo of cpz28
3.74/5  rDev +57.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a joke for a malt liquor tasting

A- crystal clear golden yellow color

S- some corn, but mostly malty/ bready

T- more bitter than you might think, which equates to it being balanced. Tastes slightly corny, and very bready. Similar to a sweeter, less hoppy imperial pilsner. Hides its ABV fairly well.

M- Carbonation was perfect for the beer. It leaves a slight slickness on the palate and is not at all thin.

O- I'm shocked; I was expecting complete nastiness and a drain pour. It's really not bad. I'd take it over many of the six packs and bombers I've bought over the years.The clerk probably was wondering what was wrong with me...Founders porter, La Fin Du Monde, Dreadnaught, and Steel Reserve.

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Photo of nukem5
2.86/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Crisp golden color with a nice big malty head of foam.

S: Grain corn rice and a very pleasant bittering hop detection.

T: Sweet and malty but a definite bittering in there of hop.

M: Creamy medium bodied with a lower than I expected carbonation level.

O: Surprisingly fairly good ok...ish ,makes me feel cheep but think it will end up being a secret passion.

Lets be honest about this... we know why we like it %.%%ABV
But is is smooth.

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Photo of Thanby
1.94/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a pale golden, crystal clear with a big foamy head. Not bad looking to be honest.

The nose is like a pale lager, crisp and hoppy, with a completely undiscernable malt. Seems almost like corn. Boozey.

First taste is... well now I'm really getting hung up on the corn flavor. Malty sweet with not as much hop character as the smell led me to believe. The ABV is not hidden at all, but doesn't rule the flavor either. I still can't discern much of what the malt is made of.

Lingering pale malt sweetness and a bit of bittering around the edges. Thicker in body and fairly smooth and pretty easy to drink, with a decent alcohol kick, but overall not as bad as I was expecting. For what it's worth, this product does exactly what it is intended to do.

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Photo of imbibehour
2.66/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a giant 24oz. can into a nonic pint glass. ABV listed as 8.10%. Bought literally one block cold from the freezer from the corner liquor store in my hood to my table. If they didn't have any... I could walk another block to the other liquor store, or the one after that, or the one after that.... OR THE one after that and get another. Date good till Oct 17th 2011. This giant silver can looks like a lethal weapon, hopefully that isn't a premonition of things to come and I'll be able to live after this experience. I almost feel bad for this because a few hours ago I was enjoy a bottle of KBS but... there you have it.

Out of the can she pours a very big four finger but soapy head that disappears very quickly. The head bubbles are large. Body is a simple gold, almost pale straw but not so pale, and my glass frosts. There is no lacing on this glass at all, and it has large bubbles of carbonation from the bottom that stop as soon as the head is gone. Head falls to nothing very quickly. Out of the can it looks like something watery is coming.

Bouquet. No.. a bouquet employs goodness. Roses have a bouquet, this has a smell. What is that dam smell? Vegetative, slightly buttery diacetyl, but mostly over cooked veggies. Faint sweet malts behind but we're getting into some solid DMS territory here. It's off putting let's just say that. Almost a corn like syrup sweetness smell too after a few sips.

Taste.. surprising. There's some body here which I was not expecting. There's a hint of bread on the swallow, but a very metallic mid palate feeling of solvent. Surprisingly not boozy tasting or feeling either, but still extremely wet. Very dry on the tongue also after a couple sips, but a real cotton mouth feeling after awhile which brings my mouthfeel score down considerably. That dryness just kills me and wont give up, it's all over/in my mouth and really unpleasant.

You could do a lot worse, but this is not something I would ever try again. I also can't believe it only cost me 3 bucks for two of these ginormous cans, I can't even remember the last time I paid that LITTLE for beer. If you put a bullet to my head and said drink this if you want to live (and that's assuming I want to live) then sure I could do it, lord knows I have had much better, but I know I've had worse.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.14/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Pilsener Glass
TEMP: Chilled to approx 38 degrees (Warmed while drinking)
24oz. Can 8.10%abv

This pours a slightly dark, straw yellow color. It has light hinbts of orange and amber, which make it a couple of shades darker then the average macro lager. It produces a two-finger head of bone-white colored foam, which is loose and frothy. The retention is okay and the lacing is in thin strand that are actually somewhat sticky.

The smell is absolutely unappealing. Very grainy and sweet, almost in a lacto-sort of way. Like having Kix cereal, not finishing it so you put it in the fridge, then come back to it the next day. It has a slight hint of bile to it, as well. Hints of malts are peaking through the surface, but even they don't really seem to help this smell.

Thankfully, the flavor is not nearly as bad as the smell. It is still very grain heavy and has a good deal of sweetness to it. It's not overly sweet though, as was expected. Light notes of citrus fruits. A medicinal quality alcohol presence. As it warms, a definite apple-juice flavor profile comes on, fairly prominently.
It's suprising in it's ability to NOT completely be horrible.

This is on the high end of medium-bodied. It has quite a high level of carbonation, filled with both the expected medium-sized bubbles and some unexpected smaller-sized bubbles. This keeps it crisp and slightly refreshing, yet has a slight touch of creaminess in its' finish.

Overall, a beer that I could most likely drink again. However with such a plethora of better choices available in the market, I can't imagine that I will.

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Photo of Nerudamann
2.85/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a stein glass.

Look - light golden in color, clear, no carbonation and almost no foam at all.

Smell - very cereal-like. No malt or hop flavor to the smell at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel - oddly enough it affects more of the taste buds on the side of the tongue than I would have expected. Otherwise, no taste at all really. The "taste" may be from the higher abv. Texture is a bit more well-balanced than I would have thought, but still a little more toward the watery side.

Overall - good abv, but for what you get from that there's almost no taste. Nothing interesting about the beer.

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Photo of ism
3.65/5  rDev +53.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz can poured into pint glasses. Very slight haze in a goldenrod body topped with a frothy snow-white head. Faint rings of lacing with low retention, leaving a thin white layer. Nose of malt and corn, a bit of dirty yeast, slight band-aid phenol. Medium-thick mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Sweet corn up front, but the real action happens when it goes down. The corn kicks into high gear with a sharp grass and bright hay in the back of the throat and there's a quick smidge of bright floral, as if the small amount of hops are trying very hard to say hi. Very short finish, and it's just corn.

Very smooth as claimed, and hides the alcohol very well. Surprisingly flavourful compared to macro lagers, though single-minded. Becomes sickeningly sweet as it warms. Can only be drank ice cold. One of the better malt liquors I've had. For the price I can't complain.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
1.13/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a pale straw yellow with a small white head. Has LOTS of carbonation visible.

Smells strongly of fruit and alcohol. Mostly smells sort of like old berries or perhaps a very sweet wine.

The taste is very distinctive. I don't think this could ever be mistaken for any other malt liquor I've had. The first thing that hits is a strong sweet flavour of expired fruit. That is followed by a chemically alcohol and fusel alcohol flavour and the aftertaste is that of cheap bread. I wish the initial flavour was more akin to the aftertaste. This has a highly chemical taste. It just tastes unnatural, like it wasn't even brewed, but made by some freaky science designed to kill hobos. I'm a fan of the bite in this beer, but I'm too scared of it to buy it again. I feel like it might dissolve my body from the inside. We'll see.

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Photo of superdavex
2.77/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought at a gas station and drank out of the can which is the way this brew is meant to be enjoyed IMO. It was what you'd expect a malt liquor to look (like a can) and smell like (corn adjuncts and alcohol) except that it is exceptionally smooth with almost no aftertaste. Cheers to Steel Brewing for somehow figuring out how to do this with such a non-premium beer. I have had this many times in the past and will continue to have it when only having pocket change and wanting a beer. For what it is, it does it very well.

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 7.1% out of 100 with 1,219 ratings
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