Old Horizontal | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Old HorizontalOld Horizontal
Liked This Beer
4.05 w/ 1,906 ratings
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Massive amounts of barley malts, combined with fresh harvest American hops make it aromatic and spicy on the nose. Floral, fruity aromas slide into honeyed malt depth with lingering sensations of candied and citrus fruit. Late warming alcohol brings all of these flavors into wonderful harmony to finish.

Malt: Imported 2 row German malts
Hops: Whole flower American hops
Food Pairings: Meat pies and English cheese

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,906 |  Reviews: 1,115
Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2006 vintage bottle that I had in the fridge for a few months. I decided to take it out and use it for a nightcap last night. Allowed to warm up to around fifty degrees before decanting, this twelve ounce bottle was poured into an over sized wine glass. Consumed on 11/06/2008.

The pour was more then decent. A nice hazy, and cloudy ,mixture on this one. A nice reddish tinted light brown is what was immediately apparent in the glass, with a touch of white foam on the top that reached a height of around an inch and a half before finally settling down into a thin covering across the top of the glass.

The aroma was nice and rich. Classic Barley wine here with a nice caramel sugar, toffee and just sweet candy like malt flavors. Some light notes of alcohol, but again nothing that was terribly off. Some light notes of fruit as it started to warm. The flavor was more of the same, though a little plain for my palate on here. Some nice notes of caramel, toffee again, some light fig like fruit flavors as well, but nowhere near the level that I would have expected. Nicely hidden alcohol profile, especially for being around 11%, nice medium feel with a tight carbonation profile that kept it from feeling dull in anyway and that light syrup like thickness that wrapped it all up very well. A smooth sipper, again the alcohol very well hidden, let this one deceptively creep up on you.

Overall not a bad barley wine, admittedly not my favorite, but not bad a at all,. I would have no issues with this one on tap, and cannot wait to have this years come out.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy ruby, orange, amber color with a bubbly off white head that sticks around for a bit. Smells of piny citrusy hops. A little bread and caramel for good measure. Tastes of caramel malts, crisp citrus hops and a bit of alcohol in there too. Thick mouthfeel and body. Definitely a sipper here. Great thick barley wine.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. Pours a rich burnt straw color, with hues of gold and red shining through. A fairly beefy head of a slightly off-white color sits atop, leaving behind some fair lacing for a barlewine, but nothing out of this world.

s. smells like a good barleywine, and what I imagine when someone says Barleywine. Some heavy bready malts on the verge of yeasty, with sweetness of caramel, dulce de leche, raisins, figs, and a hint of maple. The aroma is finished by just a subtle hint of some piney hops that seem to go hand in hand with a touch of alcohol esters. Not overwhelming at all.

t. Tastes like barleywine - in both a positive and negative. Candied figs, candied hops, and candied roasted malts. This is definitely a sweet one, in the best way possible. The bitterness is almost nonexistent except for the subtle pine hop taste which is sucked back by the sweet and malt so as to not bitter the tongue. Maple and brown sugar notes round out the sweetness, while there's some indefinable spice notes that aren't in the average barleywine, like cardamom, szechuan peppercorns, clove, and anise. An interesting mix that stands on the plank of too sweet, but is held together nicely.

m. A full barleywine, with some carbonation to stand up to the viscosity. It veers away from slickness and syrupyness, with almost a hint of light and thinness. It's truly a pleasure to sip on, and doesn't feel anything like sipping syrup. The alcohol is barely perceptible in the mouth, with only hints if an alcohol numbness on the tongue and a hint of warming in the throat.

d. Definitely drinkable. This is a stellar barleywine, and would be an amazing introduction to the style. It's fairly middle of the road with some tendencies toward the sweet side of barleywines. Aside from a bit of spiciness, there's nothing that really makes this one stand out from others, but sometimes that's a good thing. And the price isn't bad either, which certainly can't hurt drinkability.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Sam's Quik Shop, Durham, NC. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a thick but surprisingly light in shade dirty reddish beer, with an initially huge, foamy three-finger tan head. The head begins to recede quickly and then slows down until there's a healthy one-finger of solid foam left. The head itself looks really juicy and moist, not like your traditional crunchy, sticky head that sticks around for a while. Since the beer is actually not entirely opaque, some lazy, pinpoint carbonation can be seen slowly moving up towards the fluff.

Aroma: A very complex and inviting aroma. The malt profile is great, with plenty of lighter toffee-like notes as well as darker toasty notes, including one that quite literally smells like a well-done piece of 12-grain toast. Hints of coffee, chocolate, caramel dance around, as do some darker fruits. Lighter fruits - white grapes seem prominent - mix with a devilishly spicy alcohol, made me cough the first time I got a whiff. Still, great aroma.

Taste: Similar to the nose in almost every way, with perhaps a little more chocolate and dark fruits than I initially picked up. There's a nice wholesome dark malt profile, light fruity esters - I get bananas and Gala apples, now, in addition to Concord grapes - a restrained hop bitterness with a few grassy, leafy notes, and a hot, spicy alcohol that kicks in way too early.

Mouthfeel: Pretty mellow, with a mild effervescence, a creamy, pillowy mouthfeel that's largely even and fine-to-medium bubbled.

Drinkability: I'm partial to barleywines, and though it's not my favorite, I agree with what many below me have said in that this one has a lot of potential if it could be laid down for a few years. The complexity of the flavors is right up there with the best of them, but they're masked and the drinker is distracted by the alcohol burn. It did pair well with some extra sharp Wisconsin cheddar, though. I plan to buy a sixer, lay it down, and give it a shot in 12 to 18 months.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 12 oz bottle received from dyan about 4 months back. Into an 8 oz clear plastic water cup, I'm crunkin this bitch up ghetto style dogg. The beer pours a hazy dark brown with a solid tan head that retains well, lace clinging to the sides of the cup.

Smell: Tons of malty sweetness, molasses, butterscotch, fruit cake, etc - smells like a barleywine.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich caramel malt and fruitcake up front, some pleasant undertones of toast and nuts along with a hint of fusels. The mouthfeel is big and chewy, appropriate for the style, and sweet from start to finish. There's a moderate hop bitterness, but age has mellowed this beer quite a bit. Pleasant stuff all in all, not my favorite style by any means but I enjoyed it all the same.

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Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle from 2007 into an oversized wine glass.

A: Tawny-raddish hue with 1/2-1 inch of caramel-colored head with scant lacing.

S: Aromas are a bit soft although elements of vanilla, cocoa, dark fruit, floral hops and alcohol esters are apparent.

T: The flavor is much sweeter than I would have imagined with a plenty of brown/candy sugar flavors, raisins, and butterscotch coupled with leafy and lightly floral hops that are most evident in the finish. Alcohol is a background player, which enhances this brew.

M: Exceedingly velvety smooth and easy to drink, which is amazing given the 11% ABV.

D: Old Horizontal would be a very good "first barleywine" to start one's foray into the style. It is smooth and easy to drink without the bulkiness of many barleywines. It still encapsulates many of the style's flavor profile possibilities well and very enjoyably.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice barleywine here from a great brewery. This is definitely better than Brooklyn's and on par with Sierra Nevada's in my opinion. This one seems to be the hoppiest of the group which makes a bit more drinkable for me. It's a very high 11% ABV but you would swear it was 5%. It almost has a different taste each sip which I thought was sort of interesting. A very good beer.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brownish red, about 2 fingers of fluffy tan head.

Smells of malt, alcohol, some mild spice, pine.

Taste isn't as great as I thought it would be, although it is good. Very malty, some smoke and wood flavors, pine notes as well as some background spice.

Mouthfeel is a bit dry, not as sticky or syrupy as most barleywines I've had. Medium bodied with less carbonation than I want.

Drinkability is good. This isn't the best barley I've had but it's a pretty good choice.

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Photo of philbe311
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby red color with honey toned highlights... Appealing tan head... Lively carbonation... Heavy appealing lacing... Coats glass... Dark, but still translucent...

S - Rich sweet scent... Caramel... Honey... Spices... Apples... Malt...

T - Alcohol... Raisins... Apricot... Invigorating grains... Sublte hops @ finish...

M - Warming from 11% ABV, but not completely overwhelming... Hearty... Smooth... Creamy... Rich... Taste hangs on in a good way...

D - Definitely a delicate sipper, but a very good sipper... You need to allow the beer to "swish" in your mouth to enjoy the true flavors that are hidden and appreciate the true mouthfeel... A job well done by Victory...

Bottle / Artwork - A playful sleeping yellow moon is front and center... Various colored fonts add character to this tastefully designed bottle...

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Photo of changeup45
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is one amazing barleywine. I was happy to find it on a road trip and my only regret now is not buying a lot more. Pours a reddish brown color, some haze to it, and a thick tan head with some really nice staying power. Aroma is quite fruity with pine, caramel, sugars, alcohol and it all creates a wonderful scent. This is a nicely hopped barleywine but not over the top allowing so many other flavors to play a major role. Toffee, brown sugar, sweet candy malt, grapefruit and pine hops and even light traces of darker fruits. Really well done. Warming but the 11% is hidden with very little alcohol sting. This can compete with any barleywine out there.

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Photo of Floydster
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased as a single from Pizza Port Bottle Shop a few months back for about two dollars, split with my dad tonight after a bad experience with another beer, poured into my Firestone pint glass

A-Deep orange with hints of brown, 3/4 inch creamy off white head, lasted a little while, some retention, not much lacing
S-Prunes, raisins, hoppiness, strong alcohol, caramel, candied sugar, dark fruits, and citrus
T-Starts off with a nice dry hoppy flavor, then turns into some sweet malt filled with raisins and other fruity sweetness, finish is warm and has more hops mixed in with some booze, sweetens as it warms, dryness mixed with the strength is quite nice but does make it a sipper for sure, nicely balanced and probably gets better with age
M-Medium bodied, sweet, dry, and boozy mouthfeel, lots of carbonation, taste does not last as long I thought it would
D-Alcohol can be harsh at times and it is not hidden well, ABV is high at eleven, heavy on the stomach but smooth at times, could use some more mellowing

Nice beer overall from Victory, not a bad barleywine for the price and wish I saw it around more for that matter, will most likely drink again, recommended

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an extremely strong, bitter beer with a very high gravity and heavy mouthfeel. It pours a dark orange/brownish color with a strong alcoholic and bitter taste. Contains a nice mix of caramel malts with overwhelming hop character and very drinkable for such a high alcoholic content. For a barleywine, I thought it tipped the scales in the side of hoppiness a little farther than expected.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a turbulent ruby-orange with a creamy, compact beige head that was moderately lasting.

S: sugary fruit, raisins, alcohol, and caramel sweetness.

T: The initial flavor is dry with a bitter citrus hopping. Dark fruit, raisins and alcohol fusels are also present and dominant. Rounding things out was some dry pine and burnt caramel and dry citrus.

M: medium, dry with a slight alcohol presence with a heavy carbonation.

D: A slow sipper that would fair better aged after some mellowing. Young, it is brash, alcohol fueled and aptly named with enough abv to keep you refrained to honest sips.

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Photo of irishtimepiece
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with a medium beige head that settles to a cap with light lacing.
A wonderful smell. Sweet and piney. Reminds me of my years climbing trees in the pine belt as a child. Plenty of dark fruits and tree sap.
Taste is rich in sweet malts. Mostly cherries and caramel. A hint of molasses. A piney hop finish.
Mouthfeel is full and slick with medium carbonation. Excellent.
A bit hot, even after 6 months of aging after purchase.
Beyond that flaw, very drinkable.

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Photo of Pencible
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a slightly hazy mahogany with lots of tan head. Its fragrance had many layers including wheat, raisin, molasses, and heavy malts, with some copper hops and alcohol. It tasted like a complex blend of powerful barley and caramel malts with refined yeast and copper hops. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste with noticeable alcohol warming. Overall this was a very enjoyable and multidimensional beer with tons of flavor and alcohol, that maintained a reasonable drinkability.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes mid-summer demands a mid-winter's drink. Thus the Old Horizontal. The beer pours a rich, thick, copper-amber hue with a fair amount of haze. A firm medium-sized head forms and lessens to 1/4 inch then stays true. Sturdy aromas of melanoidin-rich malts, candied fruits, and noticable citrus/pine hop scent. Flavors are quite a bit more intense than the aromas. The malts dominate the brew with a big sweet boost of toffee and caramel. The beer is very estery with mostly cherry flavors, but berries, figs, plumbs, prunes, dates, and grapes lend a hand as well. Sweet licorice, toasty, meaty flavors round out the flavors without getting into cough-syrup flavors. Hops give a deep herbal note along with moderate citrus and pine flavors that time hasn't completely eroded yet. Textures are richly malty giving a full palate and decadent richness. Moderate numbing and warming gives indications of alcohol strength but these attributes aren't as intense as most. The beer has a long sweet finish decorated with toffee and esters-mostly cherries and figs. The beer is immensely enjoyable, even if a bit too sweet and worty at times.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Reddish brown color with thick light brown head, about two fingers. Quickly fades into 1/4 inch layer. Good lacing.

S - Biscuity malt aroma with a strong alcohol presence as well. Light hint of some spicey hops as well.

T - Sweet biscuity malt up front quickly followed by a very mellow spicey hop characteristic. Tastes almost like a ginger snap when the hops come in. Finishes with a smooth alcohol burn. A darn good tasting barleywine.

M/D - Medium to full bodied with a somewhat creamy feel. Tastes linger in your mouth and the alcohol has a very nice and quick warming sensation.

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Photo of shadow1961
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine pours two stiff
fingers of tan foam over an almost opaque brown
brew (though it's a pretty deep ruby color up to the
light). The nose is very rich- toasty malts, caramel,
dark fruit, rum- all the good stuff. The flavor is likewise
busy- caramel, molasses, raisin- big sweet flavors
held in check by an invigorating, spicy herbal hop.
Mouthfeel starts round, trends dry due to the hops.
This kind of a brew is best served on a cold winter's
night for contemplative sipping. However, drinking
mine in the middle of July, I'm here to tell you that
at 11% alcohol by volume, it makes anytime good
sleeping weather. Very good!

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a dark brown caramel color with good good carbonation. The head is thick tan and leaves nice lace.

The smell is hoppy, more this year then in the past but also huge caramel malt.

The taste is great wow what a mouthfull, huge thick malt. The hops are here and working hard. Earthy notes that triy but get crushed by the bone crushing malt. I would like a bit more complexity but still this brew is a bruiser, the taste are crushingly strong. Very well done.

The mouthfeel is big and brutal, I thought I might need a knife to cut through it all but a chain saw works better.

Drinkability, HA! Prosit baby! MK

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a chill-hazed copper with a decent head of tan foam.

S - Fruity. Apples, raisins, dark fruit and tropical fruit. Slight funk and a floral edge. Not nearly as "heavy" smelling as that may sound...

T - Big alcohol and fruit body with a fairly hoppy finish. Some toasty notes and a sweet sugariness. Hops seem to grow as I progress through this glass.

M - Slick, somewhat hard carbonation for a barleywine I think. Body is appropriately thick for a big beer.

D - Not something to have a lot of. Would be fine splitting a 12 oz bottle. Lots of flavour - maybe a touch too big for my palate.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Ruby colored with a tiny head that forms a wall on the side of the glass. Small champagne sized bubbles can be seen near the edges of the glass.

S- Very sweet and fruity without the scent of alcohol. Odd for something this powerful.

T- More boozy than it smells but with 11% ABV thats expected. Sweet, very malty with a nice mild hoppy finish

M- Full bodied, smooth, and nicely carbonated. it warms the whole way down.

D- A nice sipper that i could have another couple of before wanting to switch to something else.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine gave this to me.

A- pours a thick creamy opaque red amber color. Very little head with no lacing.

S- a sweet sugary smell. pine and hints of caramel and malt. A toffee type of aroma wafts up to.

T- sweet and full of alcohol. a toasted caramel or toffee type of flavor as well.

M- thick and alcohol is present in my mouth well after the swallow. silky smooth and creamy.

D- This is a sipper and hard to throw these back. I had trouble for a bit until my throat adjusted. A good beer but strong on the alcohol taste and thick.

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Photo of bkilpatr
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 06/20/08.

Pours a brownish amber color with about two fingers of light tan head. The head didn't stay around for long and didn't leave any lacing. I get aromas of sweet malt, hops, caramel, and toffee.

Taste up front is a lot of sweet malt, followed by spices, bread, and caramel. The finish is nice and bitter with hops and a slight grapefruit taste. Very balanced flavor between the malts and the hops. Some alcohol warming on the way down, as well as in the taste.

Feel is kinda thick and sticky. Medium-high carbonation with a full body. Drinkability is also good. The malts and hops are balanced very nicely along with the other flavors.

This is probably the first barleywine I had that wasn't too hot with alcohol, or too bitter with hops. This just might be my new favorite barleywine.

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Photo of timbro81
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Pours aruby copper color topped by a fluffy 1/2 inch head fed by good carbonation. Smells of malty sweetness, caramel, nutty, prunes. Decent amount of silkiness in the mouth. Little bit of hops on the tongue. Sweet malty prunes assault the tongue upon swallowing. Finish swings back toward the hops and becomes really well balanced. A fantastic barleywine! 11% is hidden really well but still warms. Really nice complexity from the nose through the taste to the finish.

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Photo of Brad007
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color: Pours a dark/opaque red color with a one-finger head and decent carbonation.

Aroma: Strong and malty with a hint of raisin and currant. Alcohol seems to show through strongly.

Taste: Starts out malty and hoppy with raisin, brown sugar, caramel and currant flavors. Alcohol is actually quite mellow in the middle. Hops aren't overpowering either.

Mouthfeel: Raisin, currant and brown sugar/caramel in the mouthfeel. Smooth. Only a bit dry and chewy.

Drinkability: Feels well-balanced. I assume that this bottle may have been aged for a while because it tastes so fine. You can't really tell that it's 11% and it comes off as far more balanced than a few local examples of the style that I've had. A very nice sipping beer that could sneak up on you due to the drinkability factor.

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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 84.2% out of 100 with 1,906 ratings
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