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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
788 Ratings
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Flyer on 06-18-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 788 |  Reviews: 653
Photo of beeroclock
4.92/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It doesn't get much better than this. It's got the bitter hop bite that will please any hop-head out there. I think Campbell's soup drink this before thinking of the slogan, MMMM MMMM Good. Man, that sums it up. I popped the top and poured into the Sam Adams glass received from being a founding member of the BA mag. You can't get aggressive with the pour, even being easy on it produces a monster head. The smell of hops pillow out as soon as you pop the top and as the head melts away, the smell continues to blow that hop scent in your face. Taste.... oh the taste... Great citrus hop punch to the back of the throat. It stays with you through the entire swallow and stays on your tongue long enough to make you crave another sip. Drinkability is exceptional. I only wish I could get this in 6 packs for $8, instead of a 4 pack for $9. I would stock up and keep this as my staple. Excellent beer, I suggest it to anyone that enjoys the DFH 90 & 120 min IPA's.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- fiery glowing orange with bright golden highlights, the lightly hazy color of this brew is amazing. foam is perfect as well, cream colored with an orange-ish tint. ridiculous retention and lace is no surprise, and i can tell already that this bottle speaks the truth.

S- citrus grapefruit, some lemon, pine, and the background toasty sweetness of some pale malt. quality reefer, pineapple, and other unimaginable tropical fruits converge into a bitter slurry of delight, and i don't believe i've ever smelled a noble hop in this way.

T- fresh piney citrusy burst right away, grapefruit and orange peel, tangerine, lemon zest, apricot, pineapple, white pepper, with aromatic underlying woodsy and somewhat sweet pale malt flavor. clearly the showcasing of hallertau hops has resulted in something of a glorious magnitude. the fundamentally simple flavor profile seemingly uses each element in perfect harmony. a bit of chalky earthy yeast flavor, beneath toasty caramelized grain sweetness, beneath pungent herbal citrus bold brash unrelenting hop flavor. true to the marketing, it is insanely hoppy without being overly bitter. finishes with a touch of sweetness and a sharp bite that recurs with every slight move of a mouth muscle.

MF- evidence of this baby's viscosity is revealed as it is poured showing off some slo-mo cascade action. mildly powdery, and carbonation is nestled perfectly at medium rare, dispersing alpha oils around the palate and achieving a resinous, slightly dry medicinal feeling that almost has me stoned. and by medicinal i mean high-octane codeine cough syrup. roll me away.

D- hallelujah, a savior is born, and i would like to hereby express my sincere christmas gratitude to mr. koch and the good folks at BBC for putting forth this endeavor, and to nate for being ballsy enough to grab a few cases. entirely drinkable for any hopster, 10 seconds after each sip i'm clutching the glass like a humulus fiend as i tremble whilst bumping up to revisit my fix. deserves a perfect score here but i don't think i could drink more than a couple before experiencing the feline feeling of catnip. incredible.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy pale orange color. The head is massive, billowy, fluffy, and sticks around forever. The aroma is of spicy citrus with a hint of pine, a touch of mint, and a very faint mineralness. The taste is like the aroma, but with a firm, almost abrasive, bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is of full bodied with nice carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer. It is like an DIPA, but with a lager yeast and noble hops. I coud drink this everyday, but I would certainly like to have the option.

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Photo of bditty187
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy, peachy-gold in hue with a slight orange influence; the color is wonderful! Poured into the Sam Adams “Boston Lager Pint” the head was a healthy two fingers tall; off-white in color. Excellent head retention, the foam is very slow to collapse. A modest cap lasted the entire consumption. The lacing was widespread, somewhat disorganized but awfully damn fulfilling to look at. Overall, this is a dandy beer to gaze at. Eye candy… beer porn if you will.

Huge hoppy nose! I *LOVE* how hoppy a pilsner can beer and still retain the aroma of a pilsner. For example, Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner smells “Belgian” to me (it is a lovely beer, BTW). The Hallertau hops are rockin’! Grass, hay, earth, weeds, flowers, pine, resin, juicy lemon, wood, and hints of herbal spiciness. Amazing. I get hints of cracker/toasted bread maltiness, while secondary these aromas add great complexity. The alcohol is vaguely noticeable but I consider it very well hidden. I just adore the nose. I could smell it for hours but the invitation to take a sip is to strong. Mouthwatering. Perfect. So boastful and yet articulate!

Regardless of style, this is one of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure to try. Amazing hoppy flavors upon taking a sip; grass, hay, earth, resin, pith, pine, citrus, and orange peel are the most vocal flavors. I get hints of wood as well. Bready/cracker maltiness, sort of dry but quite flavorful. BAM!!! The bitterness really arrives after a couple sips. My word, this is bitter and so pleasantly so! Screw DIPAs give me SA Impy Pils! The nearly 9% ABV adds warmth and some vague spiciness (and mental glee). I love the complexity of the flavors and the reward of tongue coating bitterness. This is a truly amazing beer; my taste buds crave for another sip as soon as I swallow the previous. I am addicted.

Medium/medium-full in body, moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. It is not sluggish or too full; it has pilsner qualities to it. My tongue is numb with hoppy flavors… what a great aftertaste.

Drinkable? Shit yeah!! The three 4-packs were not nearly enough. I should have bought a case. I wish Nebraska had received more than a half pallet. Anyway, this is a World Class beer. It is a must try. Honestly, I might be understating how terrific this beer is. What a joyous quaff…

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Photo of BrotherBenny
4.87/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a real treat.

Pours a coppery red with a nice head that you could float a dime on. The head goes down some after the pour but remained the entire time.

The aroma was magnificent, not overdone but nicely done.

Taste is like the aroma, very complex from start to finish, but leaves nothing in the way of poor finish, a great beer to savor.

This is a very drinkable beer with great characteristics, the only problem is the limited availability. Many thanks to the two fellows that shared this!!

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Photo of Douglas14
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, i never thought the day would come when I would enjoy a lager, let alone a pilsner this much. This beer is absolutely incredible...better than most ales out there.

it pours a light golden color and very hazy. There is a nice thick, fluffy white head that leaves ok lace. The smell is intensely of hops right away. The taste is almost that of an IPA...I know, weird, right? Super hoppy, sweet, maybe some citrus as well. The body is very full and nicely carbonated.

Overall, outstanding.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At first taste it was alot of hops. However, after digesting what the taste was it was fantastic. After the initial shock of the hoppiness of the beer, it was great. It has fantastic smell and drinkability. The smell is what a beer should smell like, a very good entry.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let's cut to the chase here. This beer kicks ass! I'm sitting here drinking my second bottle recently received of ncvbc as part of a stellar haul for Secret Bunny '08. The first bottle was had at Cobblestones in York a month or two back. Both experiences with this beer have been standout.

Hallertau Imperial Pils pours a marbled mass of igneous orange and cloud white. Plenty of fluffy cream flecks the walls of the glass as the one-finger downy head caresses them.

Peppery alcohol greets the nose on an easy sniff. The Mittelfrueh hops embolden this beer with a peerless aroma. Grassy but oh-so-smooth and mellow, the abundance of unique noble hops creates true art in this snifter's bowl.

Tongue-curling isomerized alpha acids nuzzle my palate on a wash of velvety malt. Mossy spice and European Pilsner malt peek out from behind the sturdy alcohol.

Hearty in smell, taste and in mouthfeel, this brew is full of strong ale integrity with a soft and delicious delivery.

I appreciate this beer's candor.

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Photo of gabriel_should
4.84/5  rDev +19.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hugely hazy bruised banana with apricot undertones. It isn't often that one can appreciate a beer's murkiness through a brown glass bottle, but such is the case here. I love 'dirty' looking beer, especially when hop particles are involved. The pale beige crown couldn't be any more beautiful. Scads of sticky lace only add to the magnificence.

I've never crushed fresh Hallertau hops in my hands and then inhaled the residue, but it must smell something like Imperial Pilsner. Actually, that isn't strictly true. The beer also has a sweet pale maltiness that gives depth and breath to the hop resins. I hadn't noticed it before, but this hop's muskiness reminds me, in some respects, of Cascade.

I like this beer just as much as the beer that inspired it, Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest. Maybe more. Pay very close attention to the label if you're ambivalent about hops because phrases such as 'Intense Hop Experience', 'enormous, almost reckless quantities... of hops' is truth in advertising. This stuff will rip the top several layers off your mouth and tongue without breaking a sweat.

The thing that makes this insanely delicious beer, though, is that it isn't *only* about the hops. Somewhere, way down deep, lives a sugar cookie-like pale maltiness that just does manage to take the intensely serrated edges off the alpha acids. Aging this ale should be a crime punishable by death. As fresh as possible is the only way to go.

I never knew that Hallertau Mittelfrueh were this fruity. I'm getting tons of peach and apricot, along with tidal waves of sticky orange marmalade and shards of bitter lemon. Each mouthful is an explosion of hop flavor that lasts and lasts and lasts. I better slow down or there won't be anything left to assess the mouthfeel.

While it doesn't quite deserve a perfect score, this elixir is pure pleasure in the mouth. It's at least medium-full and is as plush as one could ever hope for. It seems that the brewers have struck the perfect balance between luxuriousness and ease of drinkability.

I have no idea if Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is identical to Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest. My guess is that it's pretty damn close and my suspicion is that it's even hoppier. Cheers to Mr. Koch for making this a year-round offering. It's a damn good thing the hop shortage didn't hit Germany. In a word... Wow!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears an orange marmalade like hue with a thick large bubbled custard textured foamy off white head. Unfiltered but nothing like the hop particles that the 2005 version had to offer, head dwindles slowly great retention with lacing that forms unevenly with speckled pattern all around my pint. Aroma contains deep complex layers of herbal grassy hop bursts with mild skunk edged pungency. To balance out the intense hop experience comes pale biscuit malt sweetness with some hot alcohol action tickling the ol' nose hairs, a mild air of sweet honey character as well. Flavor offers up a barrage of Hallertau hoppiness with strong colossal hop bitterness over a delicate light biscuit malt character mild bready yeast notes too boot. Hop heavy in your face with the hops herbal grassy pungent citrus peels galore and a touch of that skunk flow. What a beer to really understand what Hallertau hops are all about, definitely tastes good to have raw hops on the tongue. Mouthfeel is full bodied with hop oils giving it the lusciousness that I'm sensing on my palate carbonation carries everything well, raw hop attack bites the tongue and finishes dry with alcohol and bitter hops left in the finish. Drinkability is great if you like the hops, because I feel like I could use about a case of this stuff just so I can fall in the hop pile every once in awhile, single hopped anything is usually great but this brew is world class.

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Photo of necrat
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow is the least I can say about this. Was recommended by my friend Steve Pascale.

Appearance is a nice foggy copper color. Laced head on the glass with a somewhat sticky head to it.

The smell is almost worth the beer price. Definatley a unique smell. I could smell Malts, Hops, and I swear I even smelled a little hint of Pine.

The taste is a nice balance of bitter hops and malt. The aftertaste is remarkable, some alcohol, hops and something I can honestly say I haven't really tasted before.

The mouthfeel is exceptional and this is definatley a winner. I have started to grow leary of Sam Adams beers as being "above average" but not at the level of some (Oaked Arrogant Bastard or Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA). This beer definatley puts Sam back on the map, in my book!

Thanks, Steve for the suggestion!

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Photo of jetfanzee
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden copper, cloudy in the glass, with a chunky head that stays around for a while. Good lacing that lasts longer than the beer does, with a strong stream of bubbles raising from the bottom of the glass.

Strong piney smell rises out of the bottle before you even start the pour. Gets even stronger in the glass, where it's joined by a hint of citrus. You can't wait for the hops to hit you.

The front of your tongue is teased by a hint of sweetness from the malt, but don't expect it to last. The hops then hit full force and boy do the hit. Your whole mouth is coated with the hop flavor, and the bitterness, but it never becomes overpowering. The hops never make it to the back of the throat. A bit of alcohol is there, but it doesn't distract from the hops, who are clearly the star of the show.

High carbonation cuts through the oily mouthfeel you would expect from a strongly hopped IPA. Excellent drinkability, the first one definitely calls for another.

Thanks Jim Koch for another great offering from Boston Beer.

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Photo of gatorguy813
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is without question, one of the best tasting,smelling,looking beers that i have had the pleasure of enjoying. I could give an in depth review of this beer, but it would be a waste of your time. I really hope this was not a one time release. If you have the opportunity to secure a bottle of this brew, do it!

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

High marks for this hop-tastic beer. It looks great, smells great and tastes even better. On first taste the hops are like a citrus punch in the face, but just when you think its too overpowering the bitterness subsides and leaves you with the rest of the beers flavors. A complex and flavorful beer and a must try for anyone who likes a hoppy brew.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy peach nectar with wild carbonation that rises up to the thick and fluffy head. Leaves just a touch of lacing. Wow. Smells like sticking your head into a bucket load of hops or getting a whiff of a strong hop tea. Tons of hops in the nose with big earthy and herbal aromas. A malty sweetness and faint alcohol presence back up the hops. Hallertau takes the center stage of the flavor as well. All the intricate characteristics of this noble hop are magnified time 100 simply because there is so much of it used for this beer. Lots of fruitiness, flowers, perfume, tea, and general hop leafiness and spiciness are all up on the taste-buds. An assertive bitterness comes in the finish to wonderfully balance the well-stated malty sweetness. Although the alcohol is not pervasive in any way, it does show up a bit. While this adds a rounding complexity to everything, I kind of would have preferred this to be lower on the abv scale. It does something to the overall flavor slight so slightly hinders drinkability. Mouthfeel is full, a touch slick, and well carbonated. This goes beyond impressive.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a hazy orange color with a patchy, clingy head that leaves decent lacing behind. masses of hop aroma fill the air upon pouring into the glass. These continental noble hops remind me of sea air. some clean pilsner malt provides good complexity in the nose.

the taste is quite rightly described as an 'explosion of Hellertau hops'. Ive never experienced this delicate hop in such concentration and its a beautiful thing. A solid bitterness resounds throughout, tempered by a complex mix of herbal, minty, tea, sea air hop flavors. Malt is always in the distant background but adds a complimentary caramel balance. The mouthfeel is full and highly carbonated with velvety bubbles. The finish is infinitely long with delicious concentrated noble hop flavors.

This beer is a real winner. Strange that its labeled as an ale on the bottle... Regardless it kicks ass and is must try material for hop heads.

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly cloudy copper with a fairly weak head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S - HOPS!!! Floral, grassy, and some more subtle citrus notes, especially lemon. It seems that the full spectrum of hop notes can be found in this beer.

T - Every bit as complex as the smell. Grapefruit bitterness is blended with some sour lemon notes. A hint of peppery spice comes through as well.

M - Medium bodied, but finishes dry and crisp like a good pilsner should. Some lasting bitterness remains on the palate.

D - This has got to be the most refreshing 8% beer I've had since my first Duvel!! This is a very enjoyable beer and a terrific example of the style.

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Photo of slim2043
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of shick1
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of StarSAELS
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This hazy brew from Sam Adams is worth the $10 a four-pack I paid at the marketplace Kroger. Enough said...

... yeah, right!

I picked up a four-fer a month ago and quaffed two in one night. The friend I gave a glass to struggled to finish it, and had to switch to Beck's afterwards. I can't fault him, really; this beer's not for everyone. But me, the hop-head I am... sublimely enjoyable!

In between now and then, I've had a few high-powered IPAs, so my comparison is drawn from there.

There's a little bit of sedimentation on the bottom of the bottle, enough to swirl away with the (unopened) bottle upended. Pours a thick, hazy orange-amber with a nice, fluffy, off-white two-finger head. Decent lacing, but I swirl the glass a lot, so if it gets sticky, I wouldn't know.

The resiny, slightly citrusy IPA aroma is uniquely balanced by a sweet malty scent. As the brew warms the alcohol becomes apparent. The initial (fridge-temp) taste is all IPA hops with a peppery finish from the well-hidden alcohol. As the brew warms, the intense hop flavor gives in to the sweet, caramelly malts and an astringent alcohol bite. Late finish is tantalizingly bitter from the hops.

It's got a full, rich and silky with a light carbonation tingle. If kept colder, the alcohol aroma and taste could be kept at bay.

One is really enough... the night I had two I was at a Halloween party... everybody was crazy that night! Will I get it again? You betcha.


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Photo of Gehrig
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Terrific beer, intensely hopped, Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is impressive, and strong. The presentation is great, with two fingers of thick white head topping a cloudy orange body. Lots of dense lacing on the way down, very nice. The nose is good, lots of hops prominent, with a bit of fruit--orange, maybe a touch of lemon and grapefruit. The taste is magnificent, with the hops dominating but the fruit present and accounted for. The melange is very nice, with the grassy taste and fruit balancing each other very well. I'm completely wowed by the mouthfeel, with the initial bite of the dense hops outweighed by the smooth, thick texture. It really gets better as it's consumed, and masks the high ABV quite well.

An outstanding beverage. The ABV keeps the drinkability down somewhat but it is just great overall. I wish the store had more.

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Photo of pep
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of beerthulhu
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy golden orange color, creamy light tan head and a healthy carbonation factor to bring out the incredible perfumy hop aroma.

S: Labeled as 12 pounds of Hallertau hops per barrel it definitely makes a presence on the nose. The noble hallertau hops definitely make an impact with a huge perfume aroma of fresh flowers.

F: The hopping is very big and spicy, yet is not overly done and is very well balanced and refined producing a beautiful spicy and hoppy flavor with some fresh flowery notes with light citrus notes. The finish is dry with a nice fresh flowery hop fade and resin lacing left on the tongue leaving you wanting more. Wow a very nice change to have a 100+ ibu hoppy beer that is not west coast hopped, but rather a noble hopping which I believe may be a first of this magnitude.

M: beautiful, fresh soft flowers and spiciness

D: heavenly.

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright light orange colour with some chill haze. Generous eggshell-white head falls to about 1/8" layer.

Appetizing aroma of floral hops with light fruity character. Full body with a creamy, rich, velvety texture and very fine, light carbonation. Crackery malt with soft, floral hop notes. Bitterness is gently balancing, building into a firm finish. Hint of burnt sugar late. Well crafted lager with seamless flavours. Plenty of hops, but with a soft character.

Leaves some lace on the glass and lingering floral hop-bitter-caramel malt tastes on the palate. Alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms. Really excellent beer!

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 788 ratings
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