St. Peter's Old-Style Porter | St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd

very good
383 Reviews
St. Peter's Old-Style PorterSt. Peter's Old-Style Porter

Brewed by:
St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-16-2002

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Reviews: 383 | Ratings: 603
Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very attractive brew. Poured a deep ruby brown -- almost black, but not quite. Two fingers of cappuccino colored head developed and dissipated slowly to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: A lot of dark malts -- coffee, caramel, maybe a little chocolate -- and dark fruits; I'm thinking plum for some reason, but it's not that sweet. Dates, maybe?

Taste: Whoa -- that's good. There's a perfect hop bite. The taste is dominated by the dark malts: coffee is the most prevalent, but the caramel comes into play, too. The dark fruit, whatever it is, comes through as well.

Drinkability: There's nothing better than old school -- or old-style, in this case. St. Peter's Old-Style Porter is a top-notch brew.

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Photo of jongillin
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one from the bottle poured to a glass.
This is to me the quintessential old English style porter.
The appearance is really a sight to behold. Looks great with all the trade marks of porter color and a slightly tan colored head. The head stays and laces the glace nicely with every sip.
The smell gives some nice over tones of the roasted malt as well as some coffee flavor. It smells just like a porter should. The taste on this is all about the malts: coffee and chocolate. Rich and well balanced flavor that leaves you wishing you had bought six instead of the one.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Some carbonation but just right.
Just like most things out of this brewery it is very drinkable. So, when you go to the liquor store and see that it is $4 a bottle just repeat to yourself that it is worth it.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Old school flask style bottle. Replica circa 1770 across the Delaware River right here in Philly. Poured into English style pub glass.

A: appears ruby brown with low but good carbonation and thin head that eventually fades to nothing. Just like an English pub would serve it. Impressive.

S: butter, dry cocoa, licorice, some roast, slight coffee, earthy hops, graham crackers.

T: starts sweet but ends dry with faint roasty porter finish. Sweetness reminiscant of chocolate, cocoa, coffee. Nice firm bitterness at the end.

M: feels about medium. Light enough to drink quite easily but malt complexities seem to weigh it down enough so you can ponder the great taste.

O: wonderful beer. Glad to have found this at Total Wine. Would definitely buy & drink again. Takes me back to the Old World if I imagine I could. If only I could brew a beer this great tasting, complex with low alcohol of 5.1%.

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Photo of Offa
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful porter.

Dark reddish brown, it has a mdeium tan head that slowly shrinks and leaves a little lace.

The aroma is rich, toasty, with chocolate and a hint of earthy fruit.

The taste is chocolaty but not overly so, and has toastiness that is dry but not too dry, hints of coffee and earthy fruit. It has a full sweetness balanced with light bitterness and a drish finish. It has a lot of subtle complexity with the different elements blending harmoniously and leaving it very tasty yet extremely drinkable.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I have to cop to really having an affinity for the St. Peter's Brewery line of beers. It may have something to do with their flask-shaped bottles, but if the contents were no bueno, I would have eschewed their beers long before this. Face it, aesthetics will only get you so far. No, these are good, well-executed beers that are stylistically adherent.

From the (cask-shaped) bottle: "A blend of a mature old ale and a young light ale creates a porter of traditional character, dark in colour, complex in taste. Brewed with skill and patience in one of Britain's finest small breweries."; "Historical Notes [-] St. Peter's Brewery is located in a medieval hall in a remote and beautiful corner of Suffolk. There our beers begin their lives deep below the brewery with water drawn from a pure source - as it has been for over 700 years, essential for the full flavour and pure character of all St. Peter's beers."; "Our beautiful flask-shaped oval bottle is a faithful copy of one produced c. 1770 for Thomas Gerrard of Gibbstown, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The original is now kept at St. Peter's Hall and is a rare example of an oval Eighteenth Century beer bottle."; [depicted -] St. Peter's Hall, circa 1280 AD".

Once I Pop!ped the cap, I was anxious to get started, so I employed a heavy-handed pour. This produced three fingers of dense, light-tan head with moderate retention that left great, sticky lacing in its wake. Nose was earthy, reminiscent of a root cellar or root vegetables. I also got anise, chocolate and light smoke. Oooh. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, approaching, but not quite achieving creaminess. The taste was a riot of flavors - big on anise, some sweet chocolate, a little smoke. This was the kind of beer that I could really get behind! I always characterize myself as a self-avowed hophead, but I will try anything once. This was a perfect example of why one should keep an open mind. I am a big supporter of the brewery and until they let me down, I will champion their cause. The dictum on this site has been review to taste, not to style, but in this case, it tasted great and was stylistically spot-on. Finish was semi-sweet and very satisfying. The flavors all melded together beautifully and left me wishing for more.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

the last of a motherload of beers my wife bought for me this past christmas. pours with almost no head, and what there is clears almost immediately. very black, not not opaque. Odor is very chocolately, sort of like putting your nose in a bag of dark chocolate chips. roasted smell too and some alcohol is apparant. Smooth, roasted flavor, almost charcoal like. some grassy, dried leaf flavors too. Smooth and gulpable. Overall, fandiddly-tastic. my first St. Peter goes over great.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one pours a dark amber brown with an inch of foam. It was a vigorous pour but the foam wasn't easy to come by.

The smell is nice and roasty and has a bitter-sweet thing going on. Nice.

The taste is very nice. Roasted malts start off giving a pleasant bitterness with some light notes of milk chocolate and toffee for some sweetness, and even a bit of a coffee kick. It has a slight tartness to it near the finish. Nice and tasty this one. I'm liking it a lot.

The mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is still in lightish territory. Very nice feel overall.

Drinkability? Damn good! I wish I had more bottles as it goes down way too easy. A nearly brilliant interpretation of an English Porter that packs a lot of flavour. Highly recommended!

Oh, and the foam doesn't quite disappear as there's still some spotting in what will be my last sip from my glass. Lacing is minimal.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a glass mug)
A- The dark brown body has reddish highlights with a light tan creamy head that last and last.
S- This beer has a light fragrant roasted black malt flavor without a bitterness and a dry caramel quality that finishes with a slight tartness and a chocolate note that grows as the beer warms.
T- This beer has a smooth mellow roasted malt flavor with a toffee flavor and a watery taste to follow. There is a nice roasted mellow finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat or astringency.
D- This beer has a good session beer with a great depth and a nice subtle complexity and I would love to try this on cask.

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Photo of beveritt
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 500 ml green bottle into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with 3 fingers of tan head. This settles very slowly, leaving behind incredible, spidery lacing. The beer itself is a very deep brown and opaque in the middle.

Smell: Creamy malt aroma, with hints of lactose and vanilla.

Taste: Slightly sour upfront, with a mellow chocolate and marshmallow finish. Hints of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, as is appropriate for the style. Body is incredible, thick and mouth coating.

Drinkability: A delicious, full bodied porter that stands out in all respects. Definitely going to add this to the regular lineup.

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Photo of Afterburner
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a dark, dark brown, nearly black. Foamy head, which retires fairly quickly, but leaves persistant lacework.

Smell: Toffee-ish, roasted barley. Not much in the way of esters, but I suspect that's due to the temperature.

Taste: Wow! This is a very nice beer. Strong malt aspect at the beginning, transforming into a burnt toffee character mid-palate, and finally closing with a flavor of brown bread and mild hop character in the lingering finish. Exceptionally well-balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent. I could drink another few of these, easy. Very tasty.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very solid beer.

Pours a deep brown color with ruby highlites, bears a medium head with amazing durability and lacing.

I can't help that think, though I have had many good porters; this one is what a porter should taste like.

Smells of malts and caramels. Tastes of dark malts and caramel, as well as light underlying hoppy tones. Delightful.

Great mouthfeel, very thick on the palate.

I would love to have this for a session drink.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a brown head.

S: Roasty, sweet malt, chocolate, coffee, smells good.

T: Taste is the same, but better. It's very flavorful, and the nose was quite dull, comparatively.

M: Very full bodied. Very smooth.

O: A damn fine porter. This beer made me fall in love with the brewery, and I've tried almost everything of their that I can get my hands on.

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Photo of danny013
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a 20 oz. imperial pint glass. Beer pours a dark brown, nearly opaque body with big hints of mahogany where the light passes through. Thick, 2 finger light brown head sits atop the beer, falls down to a 1/8" clumpy head that stays around for the pint and leaves some light lace.

Aroma is of chocolate malts, some light coffee, and some herbal hops mixed in with a light sourness. Bready malts and just a hint of alcohol linger in the back. Very pleasant, good depth.

As the beer is drank, sweet malts envelope the tongue and transfers smoothly to a rather surprising aggressive earthy hoppiness. A light sourness hints around in the back of the beer, plays a nice counterpoint to the aggressive hops. Thick bread notes intermingle, and the bitterness gives way to a rich bittersweet chocolate flavor as the beer is swallowed, bringing the beer back to the sweet side. Chocolate slightly fades to a dry finish and a pleasant bitter sourness which lingers on the tongue.

A full-bodied porter matched perfectly with a light carbonation to bring out the creamy mouthfeel to make a smooth, easy drinking porter.

Drinkability is great, a great tasting porter that is both full of flavor and depth and easily quaffable. A great example, and certainly one of the reasons this remains my preferred style of beer. Second beer from St. Peter's Brewery, and have been pleasantly surprised with what they have to offer so far! Look forward to drinking many more of this beer and trying out some others from them.

Let it warm up to cellar temps, sit back and relax, sip slowly, and wade through this fine porter.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It appears that St. Peter's has changed their bottle shape a bit. This one is rounder than bottles I've had in the past. Not sure I like that; the old oval-shaped bottles were really great. Let's hope the quality of beer hasn't changed as well.

Poured into a barrel pint, the Old Style Porter is a dark brown color, with hues of orange and ruby that sparkle bright as outside light shines through from the other side. Big, bubbly, off-white head on top. Good lace. The nose is excellent. So many porters tend to be a bit muted in the aroma department, but not so with this one. It's fruity, with notes of plum and cherry and fig and other dark fruits. It's got vanilla as well, and hints of chocolate, candied sugar, nutmeg. Really well balanced and very nice. The taste is just as nice, but slightly different. Dense and tart, it has notes of bitter chocolate and coffee, with a distinct nuttiness to it. Again, the dark fruit is present and as the beer warms there develops a noticeable smokiness as well. Mouthfeel is tangy and fizzy, but solid.

This is, in my opinion, an excellent porter. It is well balanced and serviceable, but also quite complex. It's really all over the place, but never distracting. Sweet and light and fruity, but dense, dark, and bitterly chocolate, all at the same time. And at 5.10% ABV, it's an entirely sessionable beer. I would lover to try this on tap sometime. If you are a porter fan, seek this beer out. Would go great with a dark stew as well as a thick chocolate cake.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was never really huge fan of porters, and never went out of my way to try new ones, UNTIL I tried this beer. The aroma was the high point for me: very sweet malts, sugary candy, caramel, and mocha coffee. Can smell it from a good distance away. Small, light brown head that sticks gorgeously to the side of the glass. Very dark brown in color with amber hues; almost looks like maple syrup. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, and light rum shine through. Long lasting, sweet aftertaste. I highly advise trying this one.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A bit of a thin looking head, despite being 3 fingers thick, it is fading fast. It leaves a decent, light beige lacing. The beer is black at first glance, but takes on a deep brown when penetrated by light. This looks pretty typical porter to me, very classic, though it could use a creamier head and perhaps a little richer color. 4/5

S: Dry roasted grain dominates while some mild, floral English hops also make a little appearance. Again, this isn't the richest or intense aroma, like the appearance, but it seems to typify the subtle beauty of English brewing. 4/5

T: The taste is equally mild, not slap you in the face, and very refreshing. There are some beers that are mild, and that allows something not good to show through, or that just don't impress because they lack impact and balance. This is neither of those things. This is balanced, subtle and really quite delicious. 4.5

M: Smooth, but not heavy or rich, perfect carbonation. A little more body maybe, but this was pretty good. 4.5

D: Highly drinkable, a perfectly sessionable beer, but perhaps a little depth could make it more interesting drinking experience. 4.5

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Photo of akogrady
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice dark, dark brown, nearly opaque. Short head that gradually melts away.

S - Smells rich and earthy. A little roasty character to it.

T - Delicious. A rich flavor with roasty background filling out the malt/hops (more malt than hops) profile in a very tasty manor.

M - Goes down quite smooth with moderate carbonation.

D - Could definitely have a few in an evening.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say, I was quite surprised at this one. Its ghastly appearance had not only no head at all, but it had large, clear bubbles as though I had just aggresively poured tea into the glass. This doesn't even look like beer. The colour is dark reddish brown. The smell was fabulous! Loads of burnt chocolate malts and coffee. Nearly devoid of hops. The taste, too, is full of chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee. Mouthfeel is quite thin and much lighter in weight than one would be lead to believe. This is a delicious, wonderfully smelling, and easy to drink porter. Aside from its peculiar appearance, I say this is one of my favourites.

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Photo of fullsweep
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Green 500 mL bottle in the classic St. Peter's style/shape (I love those bottles). Anyway . . .

A: black/dark brown/cola coloured with a 1-finger head that dissipates rather quickly yet leaves a nice bit of lacing all the way around the glass.

S: mild hints of cocoa, liquorice yet with a mild creamy edge taper to it.

T: very nice! This is quite possibly the best porter I've ever had. Nice and bitter up front but with a creamy sweetness to mellow things out.

M: again, exceptional on the mouthfeel. It has the perfect mix of a creamy/sticky sweetness with just enough bite to make it interesting.

O: a great beer and possibly my favourite porter so far! I'd drink this more often if I could afford it, hehe.

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Photo of Cresant
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 16.9 oz. dark green bottle into a becker glass. No date evident. A large khaki head developed, leaving puffy/sticky lace. The body was dark brown with cola colored highlights.

Smell was peat and light smokiness. Lightly metallic. Grainy malts.

Taste was toasty bitterness. Light hoppiness. Very refreshing. Sweet grain flavor. Moist bread and nuttiness, cola? Nice.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a very porter-like thinness of body.

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Photo of wl0307
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB 08/09/2009, served cool in a broad-rimmed goblet (Westmalle).

A: pours a mahogany, gently bubbly body; the slowly building-up beige beer head stays thick like a souffle, gradually breaking down to a 1cm foam retaining throughout the drink... just lovely
S: very pronounced brown-sugary dark malts dominate the nose upfront, in a while succumbing to an aromatic-roasty and bitter-sweet chocolatey note with a faint vanilla hint, and abundant sour-sweet fruity notes of ripe dark fruits. In the background, a faint, deeply dried grassy hop aroma sustains, a bit reminiscent of Czech cerne lager. Overall, fulsome, rounded, and quite balanced~~
T: a lightly sour black-fruitiness, a little comes with an intense taste of bitter chocolates ... quickly revealing a deeper layer of dryish and more bitter roasted/charred flavour of coffee-beans and nuts; the aftertaste is not so much flavoursome as dryish hop-bitter, which is so pronounced and chewy that it almost rings a bell of Chinese herb-medicine soup, radiating lingering herbal bitterness beyond boundaries... Throughout the drink, the sound input of light sourness stays loyally on the side, underlining the bitter elements just nicely...
M&D: a full-bodied porter, with a creamy texture full of fine fizziness; the bitter flavour is echoed constantly by a healthy dose of sourness as balancer, but overall it is an aggressively bitter Porter unlike the usual fares. To me it's just quaffable and utterly enjoyable!

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Photo of joecast
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

love these bottles. even this green one is damn nice lookin. and 500ml too, sweet.

quite dark with a thin of white head. good lacing. the head is a bit lighter than you would expect for such a dark beer. the beer itself shows hints of red when held to light. low carbonation.

very tempted to give the aroma 5.0! this is quite a sniffer. probably the biggest aroma i've found on a malt oriented beer. sweet full malty. a hint of candy, but not cloying. maybe butterscotch or peanut brittle, something like that anyway.

mmm tasty. quite nice with a good mix of sweetness cut by a hint of dry sourness (just a hint). plenty of malt to fill out the palate. a little bit each of chocolate, coffee and roast. very subtle. some dry ash.charred malt as well.

mouthfeel comes across slightly thin which does this beer no favors. a bit heavier, more substantial mouthfeel would really finish this beer off the way it deserves. very well done otherwise.

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Photo of KraegerB
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Presentation- 1pint .9 fl oz. green Old fashion bottle.

The beer pours a near black in colorand almost opaque when held to the light it appears red-ish brown near the edges of the glass. There wasn't really much of a head when poured into the glass and there doesn't seem to be much carbonation.

Smell - Dark chocolate scent.

Feel - Medium bodied, smooth.

Taste - Definite coffee taste. Hint of sweetness. There is a well balanced bitterness from the hops. this beer has a nicely balanced taste

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a dark, creamy brown/black color with a thick, creamy pale colored head. The smell is a blend of malt, smoke, port wine, and sweet spices. Initial flavors of pale malt and slightly sour undertones, with highlights of bitter coffee flavors, and notes of earthy tones. There are sour undertones to the aftertaste, as well. The beer is full and smooth in mouth, with a nice, gentle finish. The sourness is gone by the end of the beer, and the taste remains pleasant in mouth between sips. A very easy to drink beer.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice dark brownish black with a thin layer of foam at the top. Decent lacing on the glass.

S: Hints of coffee and chocolate primarily, with a bit of a roasted flavor behind it.

T: Similar to the smell, but better. A hint of sweetness, some mild coffee, and a bit of chocolate all melded together. Very,very tasty.

M: Smooth is the best word to describe it. Not too thin, not too thick.

D: This is a great porter, and very sessionable as well. Another excellent brew from a great brewery.

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St. Peter's Old-Style Porter from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
3.84 out of 5 based on 603 ratings.
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