Baller Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Baller StoutBaller Stout

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Three Floyds’ 15th Anniversary beer. A blend of Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, De Struise Black Albert, and Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch.

Added by AleWatcher on 11-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 757
Photo of Arbitrator
2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by stupac2. Thanks, Stu!

A: Pours a deep, dark brown (nearly black) with a small ring of tan head.

S: It is ashy on the nose; I associate this burnt aroma with Mikkeller. Notes of soy sauce and prunes -- the Dark Lord. Metallicity and roast. It's mildly hoppy (Darkness?).

T: It starts off ashy, chocolatey, and over-represented by dark fruits (particularly prunes), but it fights back with a nice pine resin presence that I find somewhat redeeming, if not outstanding.

M: Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation.

O: Maybe it's my bias at work here (I don't like two of the components, though I feel the other two are all right), but this really didn't deliver. More body and balance would have been nice. In its current form, it's a gimmick, and not a great one. Excellent wax, though.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.81/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A huge thank you to HosP for surprising me with this beer! Thanks Mark.

A: Pours super dark brown, near black, with almost no head or lace.
S: Sweet smelling with notes booze, DL sweetness, Darkness hops, but not much coffee. Not as potent as I was expecting.
T: Interesting and complex. Vanilla, licorice, brown sugar, dark fruits, cloyingly sweet sugar, and something that’s a bit sharp/astringent. The flavors are a bit all over the place.
M: Full bodied with a hint of booze. Carbonation is low and the mouthfeel is heavy, sweet, and greasy. There’s something sharp in there too. Maybe some more age?
O: I don’t think this is any better than the individual beers by themselves, but it’s not a terrible stout. Definitely rough around the edges though. Thanks again, Mark, I appreciate it.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.84/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for sending me this bottle, Richard. Was interested to try this one.

Pours almost black with a thin layer of tan head. Smells very, very, ashy. Must be the Beer Geek Brunch. There’s some metal and a bit of dark fruit character to it. Very roasty, too. The flavor isn’t much better. Very ashy and roasty. There is some dark fruit and maybe a little bit of licorice and molasses. A hint of vanilla to go along with the char and ash. Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Unfortunately, the beer wasn't near as good as I had hoped.

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Photo of afksports
3.01/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks go out to Mike for sending this bottle my way after breaking his nose at the release party. Too bad the beer wasn't better reflective of his efforts.

What's that thing they say? The whole is greater than the sum of its parts? Well... this is the opposite. Each part is WAY better than what they become when combined.

Sure, the appearance nails the stout style. Dark, great lace, good head. But it smells of booze right off the bat, and only a little bit of roasted malt. The taste continues its downhill trend. Smacks of booze, burnt toast, and has a nasty alcoholic aftertaste. Not a pleasant stout.

The mouthfeel is reflective of the stouts going into it, and it has a nice medium to thick presence. But overall this is a boozy mess, and a truly forgettable beer.

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Photo of largadeer
3.09/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black in the glass topped by a tall mocha head. Viscous, sticky appearance with great head retention.

Sweet, heavily roasted nose; lots of char and sweetness, reminds me of tar and molasses. Surprisingly coffee forward, mildly fruity from the Black Albert component.

Extremely sweet palate, but also sharply bitter. Acrid, acidic malt, bitter earthy coffee, tart blackberry, molasses, tar. Full bodied, bordering on syrupy, but the bitterness builds a lot more than the sweetness. The hoppiness of Darkness comes through slightly, leaving a lingering resiny bite.

This isn't bad per se, but it has too many clashing elements. The mix of intense sweetness, bitterness, coffee and esters doesn't really work.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz waxed and capped bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a frothy 2 finger mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is layered with great stick and super thick legs. Awesome looking brew.

Hints of sweet soy sauce, dark fruit, hop bitterness, lactose, roasted malt and just a bit of chocolate and cocoa. Good complexity but its not the most pleasing.

Opens roast, creamy hop bitterness, sweet soy sauce and chocolate. More of the same in the middle but the alcohol kicks in pretty hard. Something just doesn't seem to work here. Sweet molasses diffuses in at the end, mercifully sweetening this one a bit. Bittersweet dark fruit and rotting rind at the end. Aftertaste of smoke, hazelnut shell and molasses. Not really for me.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Thick and oily in the mouth and goes down with some bubbles and a big dose of booze. Still a bit hot at the finish after all this time. Messy aftertaste. Decent.

I've heard that this beer is not the greatest but I had to try it for myself. Now I know the rumors are true. This takes all the bad qualities of Darkness (can be too roasty, too hoppy) and Dark Lord (too much soy sauce) and amplifies them into one big mess. A big pass for me.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared with the brother and brother-in-law while enjoying the overall crapulence of another holiday together. Sharing beers is my attempted contribution to the general welfare.

Pours a surprisingly fizzy and vibrant headed dark cola.

Clashtastic nose of universes colliding.

Tastes is an up front and unabashed assault of acrid coffee, smoke, and roasty char. If the hoppiness had attempted to peek it's meager head, it was summarily punished by the brutish and bullying maltzilla.

Far too much carbonation provides a fizzy cola mouthfeel atop the generous body.

Naysayers may bang the Floyds-can-do-no-wrong-gong. This experiment should be put to pasture. There's simply too much going on here, with very little cohesion: like a round about navigated by crackheads. In theory this could/should have been good? I'm not even sure if that holds. As is, in this humble know-nothings opinion, this is one imperial hype train that should remain in the station.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Back log rating, reviewed from notes.

22oz bottle courtesy of LoPo87. Thanks!

A: Pitch black with a thin lacing and great legs.

N: Pepper, chocolate, burnt brown sugar, black licorice, and smoke.

T: Hops, chocolate, definite bitterness. SMoke, plenty of overly roasted coffee.

M: Not as thick and oily as I'd expect; rather it maintains a pretty thin feel. Very alcoholic, though, and it is a distraction.

O: This isn't awful, but neither is it remarkable or great. Not complex, nor drinkable, and as such, it's deserving of a pass.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared by Andrewinski1. Thanks! Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with about an inch of dark khaki colored head. Some soapy lace on the side.

Lots going on in the aroma here. Vanilla is right up front giving this a big sweetness starting out. Hints of molasses and with a light coffee background. Pleasant but a little sweeter than I hoped. Vanilla sweetness is prominent with a little coffee rounding it out. A touch of grassy hops round this out. Sweet and hoppy; this actually doesn't come together like I would have hoped.

The body is full and the carbonation is a little bit on the sharp side (for the style).

Overall this one just doesn't seem to hit it's focus for me. I dig all the base beers but blended they seem to be fighting for a spotlight. I just assume have any of them on their own.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thinner pour than expected. Deep dark brown with a mocha head that never fully settles.

Grassy, hoppy nose. Rich dark chocolate and roasted malt. Some ground coffee; less than expected.

Moderately thick mouthfeel for an American imperial stout. Cloying on the finish with a lot of molasses and dark chocolate. Moderate bitterness. Grassy hop profile. Coffee in the background but faint. I think the blend fades out some of the finer attributes of each beer. Dark Lord really sticks to your tongue on the finish. This is hype at one of its finest moments.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into taster - thanks rob

Pours an inky blackness, think and viscous with barely any head or lacing.

An intense assortment of scents in the nose with hoppy bitterness, sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans and dark malts. Boozy warmth, dark fruit and vanilla.

Having tasted all of the base beers numerous times, this is a borderline insane combination of flavors. Robust and earthy with a hoppy snap up front, followed by waves of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and dark fruit. Touches of candied raisins supported by a thick, heavy dark malt backbone. Roasty and warm with an upfront boozy finish.

Fullest of full bodied, decent carbonation, sticky and heavy on the tongue. I, as many others did, wanted to really enjoy this but it's almost just too much. The $30 price point really doesn't help either.

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Photo of brystmar
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by afksports at a recent gathering.

Deep, black pour that wasn't as viscous as I expected. Many competing aromas in the nose that seem to work together at times but eventually don't mesh as a whole. Much like the taste: it's a clusterfuck of flavors that would be great individually but just don't blend properly. Dark Lord seems more forward than the other contributing stouts, and unfortunately it's the 2011 release of DL that worked its way into this cuvee. Each individual beer is superior to this blend.

Glad I got to try it, but I definitely won't be trading for this one.

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Photo of Jparkanzky
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in the brew pub.

Picked up my and my wife's allotment (also drank a BA Owd Engwish in the brew-pub.... WOW that's good.... got a bottle of that too, and can't wait to open it)

It's rather thin.... not very boozy which is good. It certainly has nice mocha/chocolate notes once it warms up a bit.

It's fairly carbonated with a touch of hops to it.

Overall, despite not being able to try each piece of the puzzle, I'd venture to say it's not as good as the sum of it's parts.

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Photo of Sideswipe
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Bottle courtesy of AleWatcher. Thanks Jeff!

The beer pours a deep brown to black color. A finger of mocha hued bubbles recedes quickly leaving a small tan coaster. Decent lacing. The nose is hops and sweet, roasted malt. Taste opens with hoppy bitterness which is followed closely by flavors of sweet roasted malt and ashy char. The finish is semi-dry with a sweet, bitter aftertaste. The beer is full bodied with a sticky, viscous feel. It got signicantly better as it warmed. Not my favorite beer from Three Floyd's, but not all that bad either. Very glad i had the opportunity.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

FFF XV Anniversary Beer. Received a bottle of this in a trade with someone? This particular review comes from a bottle Doopie opened on a botched theme night. After an infected BA Yeti and some other oxidized beer, this one saved the day. Thanks for sharing man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Yellow wax
A blend of Surly Darkness, FFF Dark Lord, Struise Albert, and Mikkeller Brunch.

APPEARANCE: A very transparent pour yields a one 1+ finger, medium looking, light tan head with great retention. Black body, relatively transparent, with next to zero carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a film and sticks to the sides of the glass. A good film remains until the end leaving some nice dots of lacing down the glass. Good lacing, but terribly thin looking.

SMELL: Very odd. Cotton candy with sweet cream, milk chocolate and some earthy tones. Bold enough, but very different than expected.

TASTE: Weird too. Sweet cotton candy, sweet whipped cream and caramel tones up front. Roasted notes through the middle with some chocolate flavors as well, moving into a bold and lingering sweet and earthy aftertaste. Caramel, toffee, with some bitter chocolate and floral hop notes linger on the palate. Quite complex, moving from a sweet cream beginning to a bitter chocolate and floral finish, though not quite sure how enjoyable it was.

PALATE: On the fuller side of medium with medium carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a bite and finishes rather sticky. Some heat lingers as well.

OVERALL: A very different and puzzling stout. I have no idea how those four beers turned into this. The beginning is very sweet and candy like, as if the sweetness of Darkness and Dark Lord dominated the show, then the finish shows some competing bitterness, perhaps coming from the Black Albert. Interestingly complex I would say, but that doesn’t always mean it’s enjoyable. Anyways, this is a beer you’ll have to try for yourself, as it probably has something that will really appeal to some palates out there. Thanks a lot for Doopie. This beer saved beer night!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to Florida9 for sharing this bottle!

I feel a heavy bit o' bass and a constant display of basketball pantomime is necessary whilst drinking this. I don't know why... Anyway, this stuff pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises green-y hops (I'm thinking Simcoe here), light roasted malts, coffee, and light leek. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, chocolate syrup, light molasses, pine resin, very light leek, and light bitter coffee. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, I can't help but say that I was disappointed with this brew. I enjoy the constituent elements separately (though I'm not the biggest Black Albert fan in the world), but together they don't seem to work. There's too much in the way of hops and the coffee just comes through bitterly. Glad I got to try it, though...

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one of those beers that the sum of its parts was less than them individually. I just didn't like the blend, too dark fruit hot bitter alcohol came through.

Looked like Dark Lord, thick, black, viscous. Smelled like super charred roast and dark fruits, too much ibus, too much hops. They took some of the hard to swallow parts of these beers and amped 'em up.

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Photo of tewaris
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Dan and Frank!

Excellent stout looks, dark and thick with a good dark tan head. Aroma is sweet malts, some vanilla (nowhere close to a -bal beer though) and roast. I don't get much coffee.

Tastes rough and aggressive... the smoothness of the component beers is missing, and I like Dark Lord :-/

Mouthfeel is good, rich body and medium carbonation. To echo what others have said, this beers is less stellar than its components:

|x1 + x2| ≤ |x1| + |x2|

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to jale for this bottle. Served in a FFF Anniversary pint glass.

Pours nearly black with a nice tan head. Good retention and lacing. The nose is fairly sweet with plenty of dark fruits. Some chocolate and roast behind. Not as complex or integrated as I would expect. Flavor is pretty similar. Quite sweet. Medium body and chewy. Some booze. Not terribly impressed -- from breweries of this caliber, I expected a lot more.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this from claaark13; thanks Sean! Poured into a tulip. The color is black and there is a healthy 2 inch medium tan head that leaves behind some nice lacing.

My initial reaction of the aroma is how well the hops are integrated here, much like darkness. I also get a lot of sweet vanilla and a small bit of mocha.

The taste has some nice sweetness, much like Darklord, but there seems to be a bit more coffee and mocha flavors to go with it, followed by a nice hop finish.

This is nice and full bodied, with a hefty dose of carbonation. This drinks nicely.

I like this alright. I don't love Darklord by itself but I do like the others. Blended together, nothing seems to stand out. The coffee seems muted, the chocolate flavors seem muted. Overall tasty though.

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Photo of claspada
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with a smalldark tan head that leaves ample lacing.

Aromas begin with bourbon, oak, coffee, dark roasted malts and boozy alcohol. As it warms you get a little bit of sugary Milk chocolate sweetness and darker fruits but the roast is up front and dominant.

The tastes begin with espresso coffee, roasted malts, alcohol, bourbon and acrid licorice/molasses. Again, as it warms your get some sweeter dark fruits, raisins and sugary milk chocolate sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. The finish is fairly sweet and roasy with some alcohol heat.

Overall this beer is one of those that the sum of it parts do not live up the original offerings. Each of the base beers used to blend this beer are superior than this melange. For what I was told this cost originally and cost to acquire I am glad I did not invest personally.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

993rd Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz, yellow wax capped

Thanks to Steve for hosting and opening this one.
*Shared by those at MrHirschybars*

App- A small inky black pour with a lot of foam in it. Didn’t really expect this one to foam a bit in the glass. Thought would be a bit more oily and black like DL.

Smell- There was a quite a bit working here from all the stouts. You had roast and grain, you had smoke and dark fruits. Wasn't sure what final blend was, but could've been worked on a bit more.

Taste- This wasn’t my favorite beer of the night by any means with some great small and some great and RARE stouts being opened. I did find that the blend could've been re-worked a little bit more to showcase more of the Darkness fruits and some more of the Belgian notes as well. The overwhelming DL blend to this one just brought it down for me.

Mouth- A medium body with a lower medium carbonation level. Dark chocolate, coffee and roast after taste. A good feel but not as creamy as I would like it to be. A little more grainy.

Drink- Thanks Steve for opening this up. I wasn’t going to trade for this one seeing as I wasn’t sure I could land one. Kinda glad I didn’t now.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer, very viscous looking, with a nice brown head that left a lot of stick on the sides.

S - Very sweet smelling with some fruity yeast. I actually get more Black Albert with a bit of Dark Lord than any of the other beers (maybe 2010 Darkness-like aroma). Wish there was more Brunch Weasel.

T - A lot of milk chocolate, dark malts, and fruity yeast. It's quite sweet, without any super complex characteristics. A bit of black licorice as well, which is nice only because it breaks up a bit of the sweetness. Not great, but it's not a bad beer.

M - Not super thick, but still heavier side of medium. Smooth, decent carbonation.

O - Not a great beer, not a horrible beer. There's several of the beers added together I prefer alone. Fun collaboration, but results were merely whelming.

Note: If I had a suggestion for FFF in producing an anniversary beer like this I would have went BALLS OUT to turn up the quality a notch. First I would have hired a professional blender to figure out what ratio to put these together in, much like Firestone Walker does with theirs. Secondly, I might have considered aging the result on some bourbon (cause we all love -bals) or perhaps a special other spirit barrel so we can look forward to stages of cooling off and added complexity. But even without that, would have definitely done the blender, as I would have like certain other flavors to stand out and some to be complimentary.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber a week after FFF XV.

A - Pours dark brown/black, mocha-colored head, thin collar, sticky lace.

S - More hops and coffee from the bottle, which is really nice. Still a good amount of dark fruits, light roast, and char.

T - I picked up a bunch of the Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch coffee from the bottle but didn't see it much on-tap and much less char notes. The taste of the bottle version is superior to the draft. Still quite messy at this point.

M - Full, rich and viscous, creamy, sweet finish.

O - I really enjoyed the bottle more then on-tap. The hoppy notes are excellent, nice dark fruit character, and the char wasn't too bad once it warmed (and even less from the bottle). I would say the bottles are drinking better then the draft, but that's just me.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle shared by Thorpe.

Pours a dark brown, near black with a small head of tan bubbles. Sweet roasty aroma of dark chocolate and mild fruit. Flavor is more roasty and burnt than the nose and not quite as sweet. Disappointing lack of coffee or dark fruit in the flavor. Medium thick body, slightly thinner than expected. Sufficient booze presence throughout. Nice, but disappointing given the background of the beers involved.

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Baller Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 757 ratings.
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