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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) | Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
2,190 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,190 |  Reviews: 826
Photo of aaronh
3.71/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, dark chocolate colored beer topped by a thick head that looks like spray-foam insulation. Aroma of plums smothered in dark chocolate, with a hint of bready yeast and a slight spiciness. Complex yet clean. Surprisingly, there is a noticeable bitterness in the flavor. A sweet malt and alcohol backdrop support the fruity notes and a decent amount of phenols. Lingering bitterness with a slight sugary sweetness. The mouthfeel is decent, but perhaps a bit on the thin side. Drinkability is good, although I'm not sure I'd want to drink this one very often. This is a decent beer, but there are many, many better in my opinion. This one's pretty to look at, but nothing special to imbibe. So let's see, a bottle of this or a sixer of SNCA? This will stay on the shelf almost every time.

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Photo of erica
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, this one was incredible! Great dark red-brown/burgundy colour, very pretty. It smelled fruity and spicy- like cinnamon/nutmeg dusted apples perhaps.. It tasted a thousand times more than it smelled. I looked at my boyfriend and said with wide eyes it's like those red spiced apple rings! But better! That is the best way I could describe the taste- red spiced apple rings. Mouthfeel was perfect and drinkability is therefore great. I can't wait til I can afford to get this again.... yes I only bought 1 bottle but it's still a bit too pricy to get too often. For now the experience lingers in my mind....

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Photo of beerguy101
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color. Medium white head. Aroma is malty, bananas and bready yeasts. A medium bodied Belgian Strong Ale. Malts are fruity and complex; oranges, plums and banana flavors compete with bready yeasts. Rich complex flavor. Very smooth. The flavors improve and the beers mellow as it warms. It much better at 68 degrees that 58. This is a nice beer, very drinkable. But the 12 is so...much better. Very drinkable and worth trying. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of Realale
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rich brown with ruby undertones. Slight light beige incomplete head.

Nose is stunning. Bready with some slightly biscuity malt support an incredible array of candied fruit (cherry, lime, raisin, prune) and rum/spirity notes.

Great flavor. Very fruity and complex all supported by wonderful malt. Well-balanced, not remotely cloying, and showing no alcohol. Very long finish.

Carbonation is excellent, cutting through the richness without becoming obtrusive. Imminently drinkable, but worthy of deliberation and contemplation.

All other Trappist offerings fail in comparison to this one for me. Brilliant beer and worth every penny.

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Photo of Hex92
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With my first few sips of this beer I was not too impressed. But I let it sit for a few minutes and warm up some. Truly an amazing beer. Very dark brown beer with a good head but no lacing. Not as many different flavors as say the Maredsous 8, but whats there is better. Excellent mouthfeel and very drinkable. I think this may be my favorite dubbel. I'm glad I bought two bottles.

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Photo of freed
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Elemental for getting this one for me.

Pours a deep mahogany with the slightest ruby tints when held to the light. Amazing head made of smallish to medium sized bubbles that are cream colored. Head lasts all the way through the beer, but no lacing belies this.

Aroma is that of a single malt distiller. Rough, musty timber, warm peat, and sour tang of the distiller's feet. Entering the mouth, its almost creamy. Smooth sensation then follows with sweetness and tartness of a fruit, but mouth fills with the body of malt. The expansive feeling in my mouth is quite amazing. The carbonation, alcohol, and body all make for a full experience. The mouth is left dry and sweet, and definitely ready for another sip. My own sense of duty must override my mouth's desire for more. I've managed to make this last for 45 minutes though, and its just getting better.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i want more of this stuff...now. luckily, a local store had a handful in stock. i'll have to make it an out of stock item for them tomorrow. this beer is, quite simply, amazing. it pours a dark dark amber/brown colour with a medium tan head that dissolves rather quickly. the smell just blew me away. it sort of reminded me of a red wine, with a grapey/fruit quality to it. this is apparent in the taste as well, and there is some earthiness here along with some tart and some sweetness, all intermingling with a bit of butter flavouring. wow. smooth as hell and easy to drink. the alcohol is apparent but not intrusive here. just an exceptional beer all around. search everywhere for this one if you have to.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled March 2004
A bready, yeasty aroma emanates from my glass as I pour this murky dark brown beer. It is topped by a thin light brown head. The aroma has a typically Belgian spicy (pepper), aroma with a hint of alcohol, and dark fruit (raisin being dominant). There is a hint of rum in the nose as well. The taste is dry, dusty and spicy. The fruit character is almost non-existant. As the beer warms up, a bit of sweetness becomes apparent. This beer seems very musty and dusty, for some reason. Quite complex, with some interesting spiciness that is all over the place; notes of pepper, clove, cummin, cardamom, and all spice. I actually like this quite a bit, though it really needs to be served on the warm side of cool to really shined.

Sampled Spring 2001
The offering smelled of dark candied malt accompanied by an appropriately dark brown color. It tasted quite good, sweetish with complex notes of malt and caramel. There was an intricate aftertaste that was complemented by a bitterness that was not from hops, but coated all 360° of the back of my mouth. The bottle, in a tasteful way that ran counter to modern commercial methods, was completely bare except for the bottle cap, which designated the brewery and the title 8°.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Westy ever, at the Kulminator in Antwerp!

Appearance: A dark brown pour with a very rich looking tan head.

Smell: I fund the nose to have a suprising tartness to it and light woody notes. There are hints of spice and unsweetened chocolate here as well.

Taste: Now this is what i was waiting for! A lovely creamy, rich body with wonderful sweetness and complexity. Hints of cocolate, black licorice and caramel reign supreme. Underlying spice gives the beer an extra kick.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. A full and satisfying beer.

Drinkability: How about all the time?! Fantastic beer with great complexity and great dinkability. This is what brewing is all about.

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Photo of moulefrite
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To date the most interesting and tasty beer I've had. This has everything in the right place for the style-how would/could it be better-only if it were more readily available. The beer pours a massive head in which underneath lies a very dark brownish red life substaining beverage. Aromas are at once complex, inviting and very unique. The beer is richly malty, yet softly fruity at the same time. The balace here is perfect! In the mouth a triumph of complexity! Rich and malty with deep roasted flavors followed by mildly assertive bitterness. Extremely subtle fruitiness comes enveloped in flavors the finest bitter chocolate. The alcohol, while strong is so well integrated you hardly know it's there...until all the sudden you do! This may be better consumed in a soup bowl..it'll last longer! This is like drinking a beer version of Chateau Margaux ! A real treat!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.95/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: An unlabelled brown 33cl bottle, that wangled its way Westward directly from the St.Sixtus Abdij. Without a label, all of the important information is contained on a black crown cap with a silver center that has a computer inked 15-04-06, seems like I’m early for the party again. Dark blue lettering states “Trappist Westvleteren 8, Bier Cat.S, Alc. 8% Vol.”. Classically understated.

Appearance: Dark brown, lots of streamers fill the glass at first, they continue throughout the drink. Beige head looks fucking impressive, rocky at first, it settles slowly to an even smooth silky mass that leaves an intricate looking lace. An impeccable appearance that is very hard to fault. Superb conditioning.

Nose: Incredible that such a fantastic rainbow of odors can come from just one glass. Molasses and brown sugars are immediately detected. Malts are there on closer inspection. Dark fruits, raisins, dates, rum and figs are all there when you concentrate harder. Chocolate, toffee and other dark fruits may well be in my imagination – or is it just the fact that I am awe struck.

Taste: I am never ever failed to be anything but totally impressed by this beer. I always take the 12 when offered the choice. Sadly this means I constantly forget just how damn good this bloody beer is. The beer delivers all of the flavors the nose offers up for purchase, but the way they are skillfully blended must be every brewers dream to achieve or replicate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky, rich and sinful. Other beers are mere 2-stroke engines when compared to this beautifully engineered, smooth powerful V12 engine. Put the foot down on this one and you will not be disappointed by its road handling.

Drinkability: Quite simply, Exceptional.

Overall: On its day, or maybe with some aging, this is equally as impressive as the Westie 12. I just wish the experience would last forever. This beer certainly lives up to the hype. DO NOT let this one pass if you see it, and whatever you pay for it – it is well worth the money.

Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the Very Best Beers available in the World today.

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Photo of jackndan
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westvleteren Abt 8 Blue Cap: “Trappenstenbier.” Pours a deep black color, wonderful thick rocky tannish head. Even held up to a bright light, you cannot see through this beer. I’ve held off, at least initially, in pouring the yeast on the bottom.

As noted, the head is thick and rocky, with tremendous staying power. Leaves a thick lacing down the side of the glass.

Remarkably understated aroma, light malts and dried fruits and raisons, again very muted.

The taste is remarkable. Nice almost smoky taste starts us off, flowing directly into an extremely complex burst of fruit flavors, red wine, prunes and plums. The aftertaste is subtle and clean, with a bit of nuttiness. Nice alcohol warmth.

Very smooth and exceptionally easy to drink. Well worth what I paid.

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Photo of taez555
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a big white/tan head with a dark brown body.

The nose was simply amazing. Phenols, grapes, dark malts, dark plums, raisins, mild chocolate, caramel. Very port like.

The taste was also just as impressive. Medium bodied with a very fine carbonation. Sweet with lots of dark roasted malt flavors. Dates, raisins, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and dark bitter cherries as it warms. Definitely a slight citrus flavor like lime peel or grapefruit juice. A smooth woody flavor as well. Oak, faint tobacco or smoke, almost like the inside of a charred barrel. It had a very faint earth hop flavor, but mostly a soft bitterness and light alcohol warmth.

This beer took its time to fade and ended with a long bitter and raison finish.

Basically this is an amazing beer. Beautiful combination of all the dark malts and bitter fruit flavors. All in perfect balance and harmony. I actually like this better than the abt 12. Almost worth the $8 a bottle.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Gorgeous, deep brown color with a gigantic whitish tan head that laced every square exposed inch of the inside glass.

Smell – Strong aroma of molasses and fine brown sugar. Some malt as well, and a few other things that I couldn't pinpoint. The smell says it’s serious.

Taste – This is a hearty brew. The initial taste is almost like a good single malt scotch. It is so sweet, but a sophisticated sweet. I don’t know what it is, almost like a good rye or barley flavor. The malt is there, too, along with a presence of alcohol and even a bitter, slightly burnt, dark flavor. This beer has it all, and it's all well executed.

The finish just keeps going. It’s almost like syrup – it lingers in your mouth forever. I can’t say enough about the flavor of this beer. I’m a big fan of the (properly done) darker European ales (weitzens, abbeys, etc) and this one just blows me away.

Mouthfeel – I thought the beer was undercarbonated ever so slightly (for my taste), but typical of the style. The smoothness though was beyond reproach.

Drinkability – This is its strong suit. The 5.0 that I’m giving it here under represents my enjoyment in drinking this bottle.

Comments – I had never heard of this beer until I went into a store and, for no real reason, tossed it in my cart. When I logged on I realized that I may have grabbed a diamond in the sand, and I was right.

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Photo of jcalabre
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled sometime in the last year or two. I am writing this review from my notes.
Oh, those mad monks...
This pours Dark brown w/ a huge head. This beer is very Malty w/ flavors of raisin & warmth. It finishes very sweetly. You can't go wrong with any of the Westy beers

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Body is a perfect ruddy brown, eggplantish, edging on violet, lovely, rich and full color, and the head is large, slowly to simmer down, off-whitish.

Aroma : good Lord, it's perfect, rich and raisiny, strong, spicy, very lively, ...what are they mixing in those monasteries? It's a magical bouquet, is what I say!Oh,to sniff it anew is another pleasure, and now, I can't hold back, it's time to drink the damned thing!

I've raved about the works of the brothers of St. Sixtus before, but GOOD GOD JESUS!!! This is mystifying, uplifting, magical, amazing! Can I be more specific? No...Energizing is the best adjective, the beer is so lively it makes everything it comes in contact with livelier!

This apparently belongs to the style "Belgian Abbey Dubbel", but on consuming 1/2 of one small bottle, I know now that this beer puts all the others to shame! There is fruit, and dazzling hops, and malt, and tantalizing texture, but the thing that sets this apart, if there is such a thing, is unknowable.
I had a Belgian Abbey Dubbel tonight from a very reputable source, and it was nice, but not magical.
This ..this ...it transports ones senses to new realms, higher planes of appreciation! If I'm getting lofty, forgive me, please, but know that every word is true..I don't know how they do what they do, but they do! This is the ultimate!
I'm joining the cloister, too, if means getting close to beer this fine and lovely!
Here's to all the monks, toiling for our sins, and crafting this exceptional, gorgeous, transcendental work!

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Photo of Jon
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Similar to its big brother, Westvleteren 12, Number 8 pours a cloudy mahogany huge with a monster head that subsides after a minute or so in the chalice glass. Smell is diverse with notes of heavy malt, yeast, apricots, and mild alcohol. This is a very tasty beer -- notes of raisins, sweet malt, very subdued hops, yeast, and alcohol are all there. Mouthfeel is superbly smooth and while easy to drink, it's a bit too rich to deserve a perfect score. This is a masterful brew, and I actually prefer it to its big brother, Number 12.

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/brown with a ton of carbonation and a massive light tan head. Out of this large head bellows the aromas of fruit, spices, and yeast that make the mouth water. The nice blend of flavors is a repeat of the smell but with more complexity. There is a wave of flavors consisting of lightly sweetened fruit, faint yeast and an array of spices and a calmly warming alcohol. This is a light to medium bodied brew and drinks down way too easy! Op uw gezonheid!

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Photo of clvand0
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours the cloudy brown that I've become accustomed to with excellent Belgian beers. This one has quite a bit more head than the Rocheforts and the Westy 12. The aroma is great - smells of fruits with an undertone of alcohol. The taste is wonderfully smooth - must like the Westy12, but the taste reminds me a lot of the Rochefort 8. This is one of the best beers I've had along with the others mentioned above. If you've not had this, it's worth the high price. It leaves a great fruity taste on the palate after drinking. I could drink this beer all night if it weren't so expensive.

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Photo of Boto
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Westy. It was absolutely superb! I love the caramel and fruit tastes and aroma. This may be the priciest beer that I have bought, but it is an exceptional treat. It even caused me to fork over $180.00 for a mixed full case to be shipped from Belgium of the 12, 8 and blonde. Truly nirvana!

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Photo of MJR
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Westvleteren brew...I've been looking forward to this!

Appearance: Into my Westy chalice, it pours a beautiful reddish-brown, mahogany color with a touch of haze. The head starts around an inch thick and sticks like a champ. Fantastic lacing on the glass.

Smell: Damn...what an aroma! As complex and fruity as anything I've ever encountered, this brew has toffee, grape, fig, raison, and plum simply jumping out of the glass. There's also a light spicy note in there, as well as a bit of a phenolic character. Adding the portion at the bottom of the bottle imparts a bready character from the yeast.

Taste: Amazing rich and smooth with tons of fruitiness. All of the characteristics of the aroma are here: toffee, fig, raison, plum, and grape. Very sweet, with a nice kick of spiciness towards the end. I taste a phenolic flavor, but it's in the background. There's a touch of bready and yeasty flavors towards the end of the bottle, from the slight sediment. Finishes creamy and warming with an alcohol note. Great integration of flavors, as the balance between them is incredible.

Mouthfeel: Medium in thickness, with a smooth mouthfeel. Very creamy and round on the palate. There's a touch of alcohol dryness on the swallow.

Drinkability: Damn good, if you can find it! This brew isn't available in my area, so this is quite the treat. I could drink a few of these over the course of a night, sipping slowly and enjoying every drop. I actually prefer this over the more well-known and stunning Abt 12.

A huge 'thank you' goes out to StevieW for including this heavenly brew in our trade.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.42/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a light cream-colored head over dark hazy brown liquid with some particulate matter floating about. Nose is of raisins, a little port wine, dark fruit. Taste is quickly sweet with some phenolic character present. Then a bit of fruitiness followed by hop bitterness and an alcoholic note. Finishes more sweet than bitter. Nice, but not worth the $6 I paid for it.

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Photo of Brent
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful brownish-bronze color. Moderate head with vigorous carbonation bubbles streaming up. Aroma hits you from a foot away - dark and sweet. Without a doubt the cleanest and most crisp Belgian I've come across. The malty goodness races across your tongue so fast that you want to grab it and hold on to savor. Slightly tart at the front and amazingly dry. Glides away at the finish with just enough bitterness. Drinkability factor is off the scale.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The difference between this and the 12 is quite easy to see after just the first sip. This is a great brew, but the 12 is head and shoulders above it.

The brew looks absolutely beautiful in my goblet. A deep, dark amber color with a tight head that retains very well. Yeasty, spicy nose with some dark fruits and light chocolate. Smells very similar to the 12, but with less alcohol in the nose.

I know I keep comparing this to the 12...but I have to. This seems to have more of a warming alcohol presence, despite the significantly lower ABV. The alcohol is prevalent at the end of each sip, however, I was a bit disappointed in the complexity. I want more. Compared to other brews though, this is a hell of a brew. A mild hoppiness blends well with the fruity and spicy flavors. When cold though, there is little flavor to this brew. Definitely must let it warm to truly appreciate it. 8 is great...but its no 12!

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Photo of HopheadEd
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer a week ago and knew this had to be my 100th. This is without a doubt the best Dubbel I have had. A dark brown, almost reddish color with an unbelievable head that needs to settle before tasting; not an easy feat. Sticky lace on the glass just adds to the experience. Dark fruits, plums, raisins, black cherries, dominate the aromas. The same smells are dominate in the taste, as well as some bready yeast, which adds to the mystique. Unbelievably smooth carbonation, high yet drinkable. Creamy, silky mouthfeel, easy going down, very, very drinkable. I mentioned this as a quest, now the 12 is on my short list. Excellent beer.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 2,190 ratings
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