Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
1,092 Reviews
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The once strongest beer in the world is back! Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Brewed under the exclusive licence of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding, Switzerland.

Added by UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

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Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 2,029
Photo of hops202
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a spiegelau glass. 2013 vintage.

A - dark ruby with honey edges. Fairly transparent.

S - vanilla and sweetness with slight toasty nuttiness. Smells delicious.

T- golden raisins and vanilla with some nuttiness and more sugar. Like sweet smooth honey milked from golden raisins.

M - full bodied but not too much.

O - absolutely delicious. A must have.

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Photo of ibandribew
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My ratings are loosely based on memory, as I was in neither the mindset nor setting for a proper tasting. However, I will say this: this beer knocks you out in the caliber of the craft and ABV. I had it for breakfast while visiting Spain, hardly appreciating its beauty. What I would give to try this again correctly... Don't pass up an opportunity to enjoy this.

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Photo of Mike-Harms
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into stout glass, very little head even with aggressive pour. This is a beautiful beer, pours clear amber/mahogany.

Strong nose, and on the palate... bam! This is a big syrupy, caramelly, honey-raisin-rummy, silky doppelbock! It's a very powerful taste and mouthfeel, definitely a dessert beer because this would be hard to follow.

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Photo of Aristeia_88
4.86/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Didn't even know what this was before buying it- But apparently, it's a Doppelbock- and those are one of my favorite styles, so here goes...

Poured from an 11.2oz Bottle into an Innis & Gunn Snifter. (Vintage 2012)

A: This is probably the most beautiful shade of amber-ruby I've ever seen- And it's absolutely crystal clear. Very much like Eku 28 (Also an amazing brew) but with a head that dissipates much more quickly. Ever constant bubbles travel up the sides of the glass, collecting in a ring around the lip. It looks like we're off to a good start.

S: Again, Just like Eku 28... There's an amazing nose coming from a generous use of what I imagine to be Victory Malt. Sweet burnt caramel, almost no mention of hops, and a touch of alcohol...

T: Words can't even describe what I'm tasting right now... Again, there is absolutely no hop presence... There's burnt or toasted caramel, an almost marshmallow like sweetness, and something in there that reminds me of the best cream soda you've never had...

M: Creamy, lightly carbonated, yet dense - sweet, yet bittersweet, delicate, yet heavy... This is one amazing blend of contradictions that have been melded together so precisely, it's almost impossible to know what's going on.

O: At $6.50 a bottle, I'd call this the bargain of the century... You'll never find a more perfect embodiment of what a doppelbock can be. The Austrians have come up with one amazing beer... If I ever see this again, I will most certainly buy it again, and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever tasted beer. Simply Amazing...

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Photo of henkmudi
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cold bottled, syrup consistency, similar to blackberry juice, tick but not creamy. Malt, dried fruit, caramel, oak tree and some smoke in smell and taste. Honey and rum at the end. Dark and heavy, ideal for dark chocolate, and beer chocolate cake. Not too sweet, nor too dry. Cigars, apples, rye, and more to be found.

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Photo of John656
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Chestnut brown in colour. Not very strong head retention.

S - Prunes and dark fruits with candy sweetness.

T - This is a sweet beer with strong hints of molasses, dark berries and toffee. Touch of booze is present at the end but its still very smooth. There is an oak-like character that is really comes out in the after taste that leaves one reaching for more.

M - Smooth and silky mouth feel and below average carbonation. Medium bodied beer that is designed for those who like stronger ales.

O - Can't believe this beer is 14%. If you love Belgian quads and strong dark ales, then this is a must. This beer might be a tad too sweet for some but I appreciate the complexity of sweet flavours that exhibit great balance and finish.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle
Served in a teku glass
Bottled in 2007

L - It is burgundy with very little off-white head. It looks kind of like wine.

S - I get sweet malt and alcohol. There is some dark fruit, figs, and dates.

T - The taste is loaded with dark fruit. Dates, figs, and molasses are noticeable as well as some alcohol.

F - Syrupy

O - This beer is smooth with nice flavor development. I get a warming sensation from the high abv. I should sleep well tonight!

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Photo of dacrza1
3.19/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

DATE REVIEWED: May 23, 2014... GLASSWARE: Celebrator Doppelbock... OCCASION: state playoffs drama--7th inning interrupted by rain to resume tomorrow... APPEARANCE: a fizzing head vanishes into air, leaving a dark amber, reasonably effervescent body the color of iced tea; zero lacing--one wonders where the head went, until one realizes the alcohol kills this ascetic beauty... AROMA: powerful sugar malts create a candied aroma; a syrupy suggestion too promises a sweet malty experience floral notes suggest hops are not balanced but are present... PALATE: instant burn, like a rum-drenched swizzle stick broke apart; to be taken in sips! alcohol comes in hot and challenges ... TASTE: rum/candy sweet--slightly smoky as a scotch might bee; some caramel and toffee, but predominantly a menacing malt that dares to be consumed--I like challenges, but wow...OVERALLL: I recalled the experience of sipping this in Russell's almost two decades ago, and I knew this review would reveal my inability to enjoy the finer, more precious things in life. Complex enough to be cellared and sipped, unique enough to be an acquired taste, I cannot pretend to have an affinity (my wife smirks at my struggle from the couch)... the beer grows in its attractiveness as the glass drains, but the full-bodied nature demands something intense as a pairing, like a rich chocolate cake....

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Photo of weltywm
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Deep amber with about 1 finger of off-white head.

Smell: Smooth and sweet: dark fruit, hops, and a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel: Like the smell, I taste dark fruit like cherry up front, mixed with some oaky sweetness and molasses. There is a bit of hops to balance it out, along with some spice. As it warms, I get more bready notes, with some toffee and figs. Maybe a hint of vanilla and some brandy.

Mouthfeel: Very velvety, with a smooth finish and a long finish. Very good.

Overall: This is an excellent beer, incredibly balanced and tons of complexity. I'm looking forward to grabbing one to see how it ages. Definitely would recommend.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The label reads "MALT LIQUOR" for a reason as this is a straight malt bomb. It starts with strong chocolate malt but settles into a dark fruit, fig, prune and raisin. It finishes with a strong alcohol brashness in flavor and feel. Overall it's pretty good and fairly varied but 14 pct ABV is forever evident.

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Photo of Pauline_K
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This doppelbock is quite strong, in both aroma and flavor. The strong ABV is quite noticeable in the finish. It is hitting my head quickly.

Appearance: This beer has a deep ruby red color when held up to the light. When not held up to the light the color is like a cherry cola. The beer poured a very small head that quickly dissipated.

Aroma: Sugary carmel and maple syrup come to mind. Candied cherries also come to mind. As some people noted, this beer smells more like a thick cocktail, than a a beer. I have to agree with this statement. Overall, it smells very sweet.

Taste: It has a heavy mouthfeel with syrup qualities. The aroma matches the taste well. Very malt heavy. Flavors of carmel, sweet vermouth, cherry, and maple syrup come to mind. The finish is sweet and the high ABV is noticeable. It has a slight bitter finish.

Overall: I respect the style of this beer and understand its significance, however, I do not need to drink it again. The thick aroma and flavor calls for a very small pour. It is an attractive beer, but not one that I would recommend for a social event, it is for a late evening of sipping, thinking, reading, and writing. The high ABV has a very calming and warming effect.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear ruby body topped with a small head that recedes to nothing quickly. A swirl causes the viscous liquid to leave some legs on the glass. Resembles brandy in appearance.

S: Sweet maple syrup and brandied cherries. A little warming alcohol as it comes to room temperature. Honestly smells like a brandy manhattan.

T: Mostly follows the nose, with maple and sweet cherry leading the way. Brandy, caramel, and hints of sweet vermouth follow. Barely perceptible tingle of alcohol, that 14% is well hidden.

M: Thick and syrupy, with medium carbonation. Mouth coating viscosity.

O: First time having this beer, and definitely enjoyed it. The resemblance to a well made cocktail in both flavor and texture was uncanny. Definitely a sipper, but something I'll be reaching for again next year.

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Photo of Focusf111
1.02/5  rDev -74.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love high ABV beers, I have an open mind, and I love everything about the brewing craft. But this...thing....candy-coated cigarette ash that has been doused in bottom shelf bourbon. Holy hell I havent had a beer this bad in a long time. Gives me the haunted shivers I got when I tried a sip of bud light chelada. Whoever you are that brewed this batch (or beer in general) there is a special spot in hell for you. Right next to the chelada guy.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle, only a couple of months old

A- Pours clear and copper color with a very small fizzy head that disappears quickly, leaving nothing behind

S- big sweet malty aromas with notes of fresh bread, fruit cake, caramel, toffee, alcohol and dark cherries

T- very sweet caramel malt up front with a big hit of sweet brown sugar. sweet bread with some fruity notes mixed in, continuing into a sweet finish

M- thick and viscous body with low carbonation, foamy mouthfeel with a smooth finish, big alcohol warmth at the end

O- super sweet and definitely a sipper, but the sweetness does not overpower. Great sweet bread flavors that one would expect from a doppelbock. I'd love to get another bottle to see what some age does for it, but it drinks just fine fresh

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Photo of undeadozzy
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Poured a deep ruby with a cream colored head that disappears to a whisper quickly, but left lots of lacing. Looks like a wine or a brandy, and is a beautiful color.

S - Huge showing from dark fruit. The smell is nearly like a wine, and I can literally smell the alcohol. Figs, grapes, plum and hints of dark chocolate and prune.

T - Intense flavor, huge deep dark malt hit, massive showing of dark fruit and some dark chocolate, and another huge wallop from the high ABV, which makes itself known, but not obnoxiously. My bottle had been aging for a few months, and I'd imagine the flavor was more intense initially, whereas now it has matured and brought out some beautiful spicy sweet tones. Delicious.

M - Extremely sticky, almost has a cough syrup texture to it, very thick. Heavy.

O - An expertly crafted dopplebock, and one I'd love to try fresh to compare the flavors to the aged bottle I had. Absolutely delightful!

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Photo of Givemebeer
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: pours ruby in color no head no lacing.

S: alcohol soy sauce and caramel

T: soy sauce toffee raisins molasses. The alcohol makes it's presence known at the end but not tooo aggressively for a 14% giant.

M: pretty thick and sweet. But not overly sweet.

O: this is a classic. I'm going to buy one and age it to see how it does. This bottle I drank is fresh.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served at the January tasting at the Taproom. Thanks to whoever brought the bottle! Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2005 vintage.

While I've seen this beer at its freshest (usually dark amber brown), it's impressive what 8 years has done to it - clearer, with a pale amber color that ranges on being copper tinged. There actually was a head overall, as well as carbonation, which is nothing but good news. A bone white ring clings to the top, and while nothing really sticks to the glass, the alcohol tears are quite large on this. Reminds me a lot of the appearance of a less viscous Sherry right away.

And, wouldn't you know it, the nose reminds me of a variety of fortified wines as well - most notably Sherry and Madeira - but there's also some brandy-esque elements within the concoction. Big caramel and honey soaked raisins, candied plums, dates, and a little bit of a sweet grape aroma. Toffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, as well as some white pepper and light floral elements. Very sweet, yes, yet at the same very restrained in terms of going overboard, and the oxidized notes are perhaps the ones to credit for. Due to its age and time oxidizing, it's picked up some spicy, dried fruit, and resinous (woody) elements that really balance out the sweetness, and this, along with no burn whatsoever from the alcohol, makes this a unique experience.

The flavor reaches the same level of excitement - this is what highly age-worthy strong ales (or old ales) should strive to become. I haven't had Tom Hardy's Ale before, but I'd imagine a good vintage of this, aged for a long time, could reach the same dizzying and legendary heights of the former. Big notes of sweet, caramelized, dried raisins, dates, prunes, and grapes, alongside some lightly spicy elements from the age and refined notes of toasted toffee, cinnamon, and a little bit of vanilla. Like a good Cognac, goes down extremely silky, with minimal heat and lots of refined, resinous and dried fruity elements, alongside an aftertaste that is crisp, thick, and well poised. Really enticing, and really wonderful.

With the age at hand, this isn't difficult to drink at all. The amount served to me was perfect, but I could easily split a bottle of this. I used to hear divided things about this - that it was too sweet, too boozy, and pricey for the effort required to finish it. I say - give it some time, let it mellow out over a decade, maybe even two. You'll find yourself, in the end, with one of the most fantastic elixirs in the beer world, bar none. I wish I had more bottles of this vintage to age for the next decade, but alas, I'll have to dig deeper to find more. If you can find a bottle that's at least 8-10 years old, don't miss out the chance to try this!

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Novare as part of my Uprising.

The beer is served in a an Allagash tulip. The beer is a deep amber with a tan head that resides to the edge of the glass.

The nose is all malt, caremel, toasted and hints of fig fruitiness.

The taste is big and bold, malty and the classic german dopple bock, almost cola flavor. The alcohol is quite noticible.

Overall a good beer, definitly not for everyday.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear but almost ruby-like dark copper. The beige head quickly reduces to bubbles around the rim. Looking into the glass it looks like whisky, has that sort of density where it fades colour the closer to the glass it gets.

S: Toffee apples, concentrated caramel.

T: Very sweet but certainly not the sweetest thing out there. Does not taste like 14% at all – cannot taste any alcohol. Not complex, just syrupy and warming. Not getting any fruit. Leaves that sweet lacquer flavour on the breath after swallowing. Definitely some resemblance to cough syrup, which is no bad thing. More akin to an English barley wine than anything German I've had.

M: Smooth and gloopy. Nice and effervescent when swallowing. Lovely and sticky.

O: Not complex at all but still delicious. Elementary, you might say. Cough medicine-like syrup with shit loads of alcohol, what's not to like!

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Photo of samtrillo
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Transparent red amber. Looks like delicious maple syrup! OOohhh...

Smell- Sweet malt, cherry. Gets your taste buds interested!

Taste- Sweet alcohol cherries. Syrupy malt with undertones of other fruits and vanilla? Lot's to unpack. If you like complex sweet alcohol flavors you'll be at home. Think of Port Wine. Yummmm.

Mouthfeel- Smooth high alcohol, if that makes sense. If you like high alcohol beers you'll like this feel. Low Carbonation.

Overall: Not my favorite, but I'd love to try this aged. Always worth a try even with a steep import price. Go get it.

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Photo of Dave1999
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent dark brown with a small white head.

The smell is dark fruits, cherries, plums,figs,dates and the like, is also very sweet smelling.

The taste is dark fruits, port, some alcohol.

Mouthfeel is syrupy with low carbonation.

A very sweet and tasty beer.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012
Served in a Prairie Teku glass

A - Crystal clear with a blush red amber color. Small tan head that vanishes quick. Beautiful beer.

S - Sweet bready malt, toasted cereal grains, cherries, nutty cocoa, caramel,

T - Sweet caramel malts layered with fruit bread, amaretto liquor, very nutty, toasted grains, and woody vanilla are buried deep under the sweet malts. The finish is very rounded with alcohol wicking the up the wet sweetness with a crisp bite.

M - Heavy side of medium, low carbonation, smooth and syrupy at times.

The roundness of this beer is very impressive. The heavy alcohol works perfectly with no astringency. Looks great in a glass as well.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

'15 vintage. Poured from fridge temp. Golden color and semi-transparent. Thick and syrupy looking. Smell is sweet and malty. Getting some honey, maple, and grapes. Taste follows the nose, but its honestly not as sweet as it smells. Taste is honey and sweet malts. Definitely picking up the alcohol heat, but how could you not? I still haven't tried this with a lot of age, but I can't wait to do so. Mouthfeel is thick and nice. Overall fantastic and as described.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.84/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

There's not telling how old the bottle is.

Pours and amber/copper /light brown. The color of a good single malt scotch. Or a glass of tea. it had a thin layer of cream for foam that receded to the edge of the glass before my very eyes. I will liken it to vapor. It's thick like a liquor and coats the glass with each swirl, has alcohol legs and stunning clarity. It has a sharpness and a piercing light like a star. When I saw this beer I felt startled and sober.

Nose is like a perfume. Intoxicating alcohol fumes. Don't get me wrong they are sweet and pleasant. Ripe fruit. Plum and a lightness like grapes. On the nose the malt is like pure sugar. Not really heavy. Just pristine. Succulent plum and a bit of alcohol spice mingle. When I smelled the beer I felt delighted.

Taste is something you won't ever forget. The succulent plum, the very ripest part closest to the pit. All sweetness. The grapey notes. Then the malt is so light it defies explanation. It is as if God had made a honey you could drink. Raw, golden sugar. it's smooth. So very smooth. It's creamy and there's hardly any carbonation to speak of. Wave after wave of simple goodness. It drinks like sweetened tea only with a bit of alcohol to warm in a dry finish. The dryness takes away the flavors on the palate too quickly but they move to the aftertaste where they reside in exactly the same strength as on the tongue. I have never seen that before. A touch of spicy alcohol and a bit of warmth plus all that flavor. After I tasted the beer I felt appreciative.

I have never had anything like this. Perfect.

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Photo of tmzl
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours with barely any head - white, mostly diminishing. Leaves a small amount of lacing. As expected almost no carbonation for such a high ABV beer. Colour is deep amber, clear. Thick, looks like a clear watery syrup - inviting to say at least.

Smell: Huge sweet, carmelish, honey malt smell. Also some alcohol comes into the nose. There are some very light fruity esters - figs related. Reminds of Hungarian wine Tokaji.

Taste: Smell pretty much translates into taste. Heavy almost harsh sweetness - dates, sugar cane, molasses, honey with some figs. Fat candy. Bitterness comes probably from the huge honey like sweetness and some alcohol - and this light alcoholic bitterness stays with you for a while.

Mouthfeel: Full, syrupy, low carbonation. You get full of it very fast, couldn't drink a whole bottle. Moderate alcohol warming.

Overall: Fat and very sweet - never was a fan of these two. But it's definitely an interesting beer, just not my style. Would recommend to try it, if your into sweet shit - you'll probably love it.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,029 ratings.
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