Victory Harvest Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Victory Harvest AleVictory Harvest Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Highly aromatic and sensual, this novel pale ale delivers a fresh hop flavor like no other brew. Its secret? Fresh hops piled into our boiling kettle just hours after their harvest. With many more of their essential oils intact, these ‘wet’ hops add glorious middle notes of juicy, fruit and tea-like bite to play off of its lightly toasted malt character deliciously.

Added by akorsak on 10-01-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
173
Ratings:
859
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
8.76%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
142
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 859
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy by: 3/10/15.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some earth aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with lots of citrus forward fresh hop aromas and flavors and a definite tea like drying quality in the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this season was a somewhat disappointing one for wet hopped beers. a lot of good ones no doubt, but a lot that are awfully similar to each other, and this one, at least for me, gets lost in the crowd just a bit. juicy and fresh and as well made as they all are from victory, but it lacks a certain uniqueness to the hop profile or any sort of mouthfeel element that might make it stand out. nice orangey color, lasting white head in the globe, and a lot of bubbles. nose and taste hint at citrus and pineapple, but even that is somewhat generic. its in the feel where i think this one is made, or at least announces itself as excellent if a little forgettable. its got a great oily decadence to it, slick but also sticky, resinous but clean. juxtapositions you can really only find in wet hopped beers, and this one delivers in that regard, although still i dont see it moving beyond the industry standard for the style. starting to fade a little by now though, i should have picked this up a little earlier, but its still really tasty beer and one of the more slammable ones ive encountered this year.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

There's only one time of year to celebrate the true vibrantly fresh aroma, taste and sensations that the hop harvest brings. Before all the drying out and vacuum sealing all those natural, botanical and herbal juices, still in tact, meet the brew kettle for beer character that uniquely brings the flavor of fall.

Its deep golden color casts a brilliantly clear sheen through a malty sweet center, but never gives the eye any secrets of the hoppy balance within. But once the nose clears the rim of the glass, an explosion of hop aromas abound. Distinctly vegetal, citrusy and herbal, the beer's grassy bouquet commands attention with utter ease.

The middle palate draws upon a medium-light caramel support with the light starch of malt and biscuit in undertow. Its quickly receding sweetness gives the hoppy fruit impressions a succulent, ripe and fresh taste. Stealing the show are the flavors of pink grapefruit, freshly zested orange, a berry medley and a piquant lemon verbena and lime peel earthy tang. Growing bitterness carries a spicy grass and peppercorn balance to keep new waves of flavors washing over the palate with every sip.

Drying to near perfection in finish, the beer's late impressions are citrusy bitter, sticky with fresh pine resins and distinctly herbal for a deeply earthen tea-like refreshment to the palate.

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Photo of emerge077
3.16/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BBD: 3-7-16
Yeah...no. Not good, and not that old either.
Dark amber orange, lasting surface skim. Spotty flecks around the edges.
Initial aroma is rough, burnt rubber, cabbage, onions. Swirling gets rid of some unpleasantness, but it's still there. Malt sweetness starts coming through, tea, greens. Just not that good at all.

Taste is malty and tea-like, lightly piney bitter greens in the aftertaste. Lingering bitterness, somewhat bland, the hops aren't very present. Not something i'd revisit unfortunately.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear amber gold with a slight head that lasts. Strong hop aroma mostly pine with traces a citrus. Taste follows scent, nice fullbodied feel. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a standard pint glass a clear rich golden with a thinner white head atop.Whoo a big splash of tropical fruits hit ya in the nose along with a hint of Vidalia onion herbal notes,wow fresh hops galore!Grapefruit and tropical fruity hops upfront on the palate with a hint of grass and herb,just a lot of hop complexity,a mildly sweet caramel/biscuit base is well detected.One of the better harvest hop ales I have had in a while...maybe ever,a great beer.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/10/2014. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, lime, pineapple, peach, mango, berry, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, light pine, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity of bright/juicy citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, lime, peach, pineapple, mango, berry, pepper, pine, herbal, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/lime zest, peach, pineapple, mango, berry, pepper, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of bright/juicy citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate malt sweetness; with a great crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome wet hop pale ale. All around great complexity and balance of bright/juicy citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Victory Harvest Ale
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BY: 10 MAR 2015 1421 P"
$2.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Victory never fails to deliver, and just the aroma of dank, pungent hops coming off of this beer makes it all worthwhile! It's bright and full and complicated, and I can smell it at arms length. I could try to analyze the aroma but I don't think I could do it justice, so let's move on to the flavor.

Malt cuts right through, possible dashing your hopes of drinking sweaty hop juice, or perhaps not... they do remain, but not nearly as intensely as they do in the aroma. It's got an edge of sweet toasty bread, or even slightly burnt cake, and lots of gentle golden caramel. That then couples with a leafy, tea-like character from the hops and I instantly think of an English ale. But there's more, some fruits appear, giving it an almost orange marmalade character, which once again, makes me think of an English ale. Pine and pith, and other citrus find their way through as well, and it becomes more tropical and "West Coast IPA". It's solidly bitter, and in combination with the resinous hops it's quite dry in the finish, but overall the hop bitterness is balanced so that you can enjoy the hop flavors, and continue drinking without pause (although a bit of water might help to cleanse your palate and open you up to complexities you haven't experienced just yet). The soft caramel maltiness lingers long into the finish as hops flicker across it: pungent, spicy, fruity/citrusy, leafy, and even floral. Except for the possibility that some of the spiciness might be coming from the alcohol, it's entirely cloaked.

As far as hop harvest ales go, this has been one of the best I've tasted. The aroma is intense, and it's complex and full in flavor yet anchored and balanced. Each subsequent growing season will, of course, determine what the hops will give, but I'll certainly seek this out again. Along with the aroma of misty fields and piles of damp leaves, what better way welcome fall and ward off the chill than with a glass of this?

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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask, via hand pump, @ the Victory Brewing Company (Downingtown, PA) on 10/16/10. Served in a pint glass. I've got no idea if this year's edition is vastly different than any of the other years, so I'll just forego a new entry and put this under here.

Pours a hazed copper, topped with a rigid finger of smooth bright-white head. Retains with about half that original size and just absolutely COATS the sides of the glass with heavy and thick lacing. The aroma smells grassy and damp with earth & herbs, as well as a pronounced spicy character. Citrus peel and bitter fruit add some sharpness to the nose. Malt sweetness hangs on the edges, helping soften this up a little, but the hops really shine here.

The hops in the taste are coming off as initially more mellow feeling but still have a forcefulness to them, with a spicy bitterness that is softened somewhat by some easy herbal textures. This is well balanced by a flat and grainy Pale Malt sweetness across the back of the profile. Gritty bitterness lies on the tongue in the finish but isn't coming off as overbearing, as this steadily lingers with notes of bitter fruit and dry spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied in the mouth overall, with a smooth creaminess and an easy mellow slickness that matches the flavor profile. This is just really easy drinking stuff here that helps even out that bitter finish. The alcohol levels do seem lower than 7%, so maybe this is more in line with some of the lower ABV efforts from the last couple of years.

I like their Harvest Ale here because it doesn't try to beat you over the head with hops, but instead offers a nice even amount of fresh flavors and bitterness throughout. The cask conditioning is just the icing on the cake, bringing out even more of that character and giving this a silky smooth body and feel. Good stuff.

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Photo of mactrail
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color in the New Belgium snifter. Lovely fragrance of flowery hops with just a whiff of pine. More melon than mango, but fruity. Some malty taste with a touch of sweetness on the lips.

Crisp honeydew melon with a white grape touch. Juicy and light bodied with with some malty sustance. Just slightly bitter, but enough to put it in the IPA category. Another tasty hopped-up brew from Victory.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Another fine selection from Victory, who rarely disappoint. A copper-colored beer with reddish tints, and a small white head that retains as a ringlet. Clean aroma, sweet malts and floral and citrusy hops. Sweet caramel malts in the taste, floral and earthy hop notes, well-balanced. Nothing new going on here, but just a good beer in its simplicity. Light-medium body, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%

12 ounce bottle - Barrel & Barley in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a darkened copper body, though quite clear, with a slim, near white head.

Smell: Peppered citrus, mainly grapefruit but also some lemon, black tea leaves. Subtle pale maltiness.

Taste: A spiciness akin to fresh-ground pepper, a tea-like herbal quality, as well as gentle floral and citrus rind flavors overlayed atop the base pale maltiness hinting lightly toasted bread with a little sweetness. Medium bitterness overall. Crispish, bitterish finish with more of them citrus accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's okay, it's fine, and, while I have had better, it's by no means a bad beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber with thumb of beige head. Great head retention & average lacing

S: Pine & tropical notes

T: Much grapefruit, a little bit of pear, a little mango & pineapple. A little bready dryness, more grapefruit & pineapple as this warms, slight pineyness as this warms. Finishes grapefruittty, a little piney & juicy

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation, fantastic balance

Fantastic! Drinks so easy, probably the best harvest ale I had this year

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Photo of Slatetank
3.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this on tap once and wasn't sure what to make of it so I tried it again after seeing it described as a pale ale.

The color is amber with good clarity and white head. The smell has a mild herbal hop quality but seems more noble in hop scent than American. The feel is decent yet a little on the light side with moderate bitterness and mild sweetness the alcohol is not apparent.

The taste reminds me more of a pilsner than a pale I am not sure if that is based on the malt or hops but the flavor is not necessarily bad, it just does not seem to fit the style as well as it could. I would drink this again it is not bad as I said before it just doesn't stand out compared to other pales/harvest ales

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Photo of orangesol
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden. Pours clear amber orange with a nice one finger tall white head, quickly dissipating down to a light film, leaving sticky webs of lace on the glass.

Smells of mildly toasted caramel malt, some pine resin, bit of grass and a touch of citric find. Taste is mainly the caramel sweetness and sticky pine resin with some backing chewiness from the malt. Slick, bitter feel with a bitter-sweet finish that lingers long after consumption.

Overall a decent wet hop "pale ale" that has some decent flavor and balance but never really wow's me in any facet. Nice to try but they make much better hoppy beers than this one.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They kicked off New Beer Sunday (Week 610) just a short while ago & I am jumping in with some fresh/wet-hopped ales as they beg for consumption as early as possible. Not necessarily early in the day, but early in their shelf life. I submit this one with a heavy heart as rumor has it that this will be the last iteration on Victory's part after many years of annual production. Boo hoo.

From the bottle: "Mountains for the freshest and juiciest hops are piled into our brew kettles just hours after their harvest to bring you this aromatic brew that's bursting with flavor. With more of their essential oils intact, these wet hops add notes of juicy fruit and a tea-like bite that will play perfectly off the lightly toasted malt character. For the freshest flavor of this wet-hopped ale, pop that top and taste freshness NOW! Cheers, [undersigned] Bill [&] Ron[,] The Brewmasters of Victory"; "Wet-Hopped for Freshness"; "Drink NOW. Do Not Store."; "Victory for Your Taste"; "Vine to Victory".

The Pop! of the cap was a bittersweet event, but the aggro pour was perfect. The foam rose up to create two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head with great retention. Speaking of great, the aromatic esters that were released were equally great and set my hophead mouth to watering. Bringing it up to my sniffer, I was met with notes of fresh-turned earth/dirt, black pepper, drying hay, light tobacco and a dank resinousness. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. I usually gauge color first, then smell, but I just could not inhaling the odor of this beer! It is fitting in that Victory Hop Devil was the beer that really allowed me to make the connection with hops in beer and reveal my latent hopheadedness. Mouthfeel was medium, but very soft and caressing on the tongue. The taste was less peppery than it had been on the nose, but the earthiness was accompanied with a light, pleasant tropical fruitiness that was definitely tea-like in its mellowness. Mango tea is a thing, but this was a bit sweeter, more like papaya. Finish was mellow, semi-sweet, very tea-like and extremely easy-drinking. It breaks my heart to think that this may be its final iteration. I can't even bring myself to savor it as it is just so tasty & easy-drinking that over half of it has already rushed down my gullet! 8=( Bring back, bring back, bring back my Harvest Ale to me, to me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Copper transparent body with a soapy white head. Fresh hop, pine aroma with a hint of spice. A touch of black pepper in the flavor with grassy and herbal notes as well. Hop forward with a light warmth in the finish. Gentle bitterness lingers. Tasty.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tapped recently by the Sharp Edge Creekhous definitely not a Strong Ale more so one of the most balanced harvest wet hopped ales in the land...so nice. Appears a clouded amber with hop particles a floating froms a large tightly bubbled cream head that leaves even lace all around the imperial pint glass as it dwindles. Aroma...it smells like a bouquet of fresh hps with grassy, citrus (grapefruit), and pine cone scented hops to it. A bit perfumey and seductive all at once with sweet caramel malts that leave a bready spice component there. Taste is awesome albeit not over the top like some brews that claim to have fresh hops...this brew knows how to bring the fresh hop flavor with a substantial bitterness with grassy citrus peel flavors and a touch of floral effervescence and the lucious not sugary but sweet caramel malt profile truly balances so well with the prickly wet hops. Once again a mild spice character is noted within the malts but it's warming yet the alcohol flavor is so hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft gentle carbonation goes down so smooth can't wait to try more of this or something similar from Victory. Drinkability is so sessionable the true pinnacle of Harvest ales, thanks for the great brew bring more to the Burgh please.

Update 2014 version

Dank bitter aggressive fresh hops!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love me some wet-hopped beers. Love the oily kind of tone on top of the vegetal aspects. This one carries more vegetal tones than I typically like, but it's still good. A nice example of the style, though nothing I would pass other beers up for to try again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, amber/reddish toned appearance, slim whitish head...nice enough...

Aroma: very caramel malt-y, with classy noble hops speaking up...a crisp, floral aroma, crystal clean.

Taste: alive with hops, but on the mild side. Nice caramel malt, a smooth English style of ale here. Biscuity, caramely, toasty malts, nicely done texture, with hop bitterness riding on the top. Nice hops, balanced extraordinarily well with delicious malt. Yum.

Somehow, though, especially from Victory, I expected/anticipated more...and this, after having some Town Hall Fresh Hop and, just previous, some Masala Mama IPA. A bit disappointing...but expectations are false premises, so forget about that.

and big thanks to stewdawg for providing!

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Photo of rab53
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Was looking forward to this one (bought 2 4-packs). Probably past its prime, but flavor was quite vegetal. Medium body. Will update on future bottles.

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Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, tea, piney hops, slight citrus hops, hint of yeast, and spicy hops. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, tea, piney hops, slight citrus hops, hint of yeast, and spicy hops. Overall, good appearance, aroma, complexity, but body and blend are almost exclusively hops, hops, and hops, and yet still not too bitter.

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn tasty stuff. Gentle hops dominate aroma and taste. Aroma is more citrus, taste more pine. Light orange copper body with small soapy head. Mild yellow grapefruit finish. Very well done IPA.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark orange in color with a 1" head that lasts around a while. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: caramel and some earthy hops are light in the aroma.

Taste: caramel, light grapefruit tones, some orange, and a nice earthy bitterness make up a a nice fresh hop ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp and a touch dry late.

Overall: this was a flavorful ale that can be a good session beer. Hits the spot on a cool autumn day.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark bronze amber with a half finger light khaki head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of tropical and citrus fruit, piney and citrus hops, lightly caramel malt. Flavor is bready malt with hints of caramel and biscuit, piney, somewhat dank hops, light tropical and light stone fruit. Finishes with resinous dank and piney hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess and good mouth feel. A nicely complex wet hopped ale with an interesting hop bill that was robust throughout the taste and left a long lingering resinous bitterness while still retaining great herbal flavors. The malt is also rather multi-layered with the hints of biscuit in a malt body that leaves the flavors to the hops, but adds good support and interest. A great year for wet and fresh hopped ales and this one is right up there with the best. I'll look forward to it next year again.

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Victory Harvest Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.11 out of 5 based on 859 ratings.
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