Warlock | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
410 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial stout brewed with pumpkins Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet.

Dark and mysterious, the Blackwater Series is serious about high gravity. Reanimate your senses with Warlock’s huge roasted malt character, moderate carbonation and spicy pumpkin pie aroma.

Added by MasterSki on 09-19-2013

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Reviews: 410 | Ratings: 3,040
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark as sin, this one, under a vast, thick, creamy-toned head. Looks fantastic.

Aroma: there's pumpkin here, but it's a little hard to find. At first. Give it time and it starts to follow, though still held back a bit but other stout-y aromatics, like a complementary helping of cocoa and coffee. Pumpkin spice notes are here, as well.

Now, to drink. Full-bodied, plump and thick in the mouth, with the pumpkin flavor fairly spilling all over now. End dryly with a slightly bitter touch in the finish. Tasty blend of the stout and the pumpkin. Sweetness is kept at bay just by a hair, a delicious tango between scrumptious flavors.

Do I like this? Yes, I do.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark brown-to-black, with mahogany highlights and a creamy, dense, cream colored head that settles in to a solid quarter inch. Aromas of fresh baked pumpkin bread, with all of the highlights. Roasty notes, cinnamon and nutmeg spice, and a touch of bready character. Wow, this smells amazing. Flavors are roast forward, with a light, somewhat loose blending of chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, bread, cream, and vanilla. Very sweet, and once again, just like fresh baked pumpkin bread, although the flavor profiles come across a little bit more subtle than the aromas. Thin, dry bodied, with a roasted, bitter profile blending with a creamy sweetness into the aftertaste. Dry, slightly lingering spice character into a slow settling finish. Easy drinker with true pumpkin flavors. This is a good beer. Might be picking up more to do a "pumpkin keg" for an upcoming Halloween party.

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Photo of stevoj
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from my brother. Cracked this open to accompany the change in weather. Perfect! Tons of gingerbread, fall spice, cinnamon and nutmeg, in both aroma and taste. Gentle alcohol warmth to boot. Nice autumn beer, very welcoming.

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Photo of Gavage
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dark brown in color with a 1/4" head that falls to some surface bubbles.

Smell: roasted tones with some cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

Taste: roasted malts, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, moderate bitterness, and some mild alcohol warming are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the end. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a slow sipping beer that I found enjoyable. One is enough in a session, but it is very satisfying.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass, with a one finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Very intriguing aroma of dark toasty malt, pie crust, baked pumpkin, peanut butter nuttiness and hints of pumpkin pie spices. Never smelled anything like it, but it's tempting. Flavor is sweet pumpkin and pie spices, big vanilla, chocolate. Finish is toasted, nearly charred malt and grassy hop bitterness that is not noticeable until the end. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Flavors very reminiscent of Pumking with an emphasis on stout's toasty malt. It's a nice combination. More pumpkin forward than my normal favorite Elysian's Dark of the Moon. DotM is more a stout with pumpkin flavor, this is closer to Pumking with some stout blended in. I like both combinations and will add this to my Autumn regulars. Anyother winner from Southern Tier.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured a translucent dark brown colour with a thin layer of dirty white head.

S - A big spice bouquet accompanies a pumpkin aroma up front. Some clove, nutmeg and cinnamon notes are present. The spice profile completely drowns out any stout-like aroama.

T - Spice and pumpkin aromas dominate with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all present. A slight bitter roast shows up in the finish but the stout profile is barely noticeable.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bomber
2016 Vintage

Poured into a goblet a very nice dark brown color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, with also leaves some very nice small islands and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some pretty nice chocolate/toffee notes, vanilla, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinamon. The taste is very nice, malty, chocolate/toffee, pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, licorice. Full body, ABV hidden very well, nice little bitter/dry finish. Overall, this is a very tasty brew, definitely hitting the spot today. Recommended!

22 oz. Bomber
DOB: 08/13/15

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a nice small quick/fizzy off-white head, which leaves minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some nice pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, some roastyness. The taste is very very nice, malty, with some really nice pumpkin, nutmeg, spices, vanilla. Medium body, ABV is basically non-existant, with some really nice bitterness in the finish. Overall, this is a very tasty brew, again quite different take on the style. Always nice to drink something from ST.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The darker answer to Pumking here, and somehow even more decadent than it's older brother. Bottle purchased at Wegmans.

Pours dark brown almost black. 1 inch head dissipates quickly, small amount of lacing forms down the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, cloves, and nutmeg. Smells basically exactly like Pumking, but darker and with roasted malt.

The taste is very similar. Tastes exactly the same as Pumking, but creamier, and roastier. A bit more bitter than the original, due to the roast. Maybe some licorice or chocolate is present too, but it's drowned out by the pumpkin pie qualities that make this beer so decadent.

No alcohol kick is present. Rich, creamy mouthfeel, sweet finish. Low carbonation.

A worthy sequel to Pumking for the winter months.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber brown with an off white head.
Aroma of pumpkin and roasted malt, some nice spice and pumpkin pie smells.
The roasted malt flavor here is very nice with the vanilla and pumpkin notes. Small dry spice bite with all spice, coriander and dry cinnamon. Quite roasty and delicious. The darker brethren of the famous Pumking, this has a pumpkin mocha coffee flavor.
Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pumpkin pie, cinnamon and spice all contribute to a decadent flavor. Medium bodied and perfect carbonation with a dry spice bite. Overall, this is a great pumpkin stout / dark pumpkin ale. Worth the wait.

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Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This "Blackwater Series" offering looks watery alright but it's far from black. Warlock pours a completely flat, listless, and transparent brown tone, without any bubbles or highlighting. That this can't sustain even a thin trim of foam is of some concern, but not as much of one as the fact that I can see my finger on the other side of this so-called 'Imperial Stout'.

Eyes shut, I can't tell Warlock from Pumking (and I have tried them side by side). The spicy pumpkin pie aromas are identical and there's no olfactory evidence of the addition of roasted malt. The idea of adding a rich, chocolatey dimension to that beer would make what is already outstanding truly sublime. But alas, this doesn't smell different at all...

The way I see it there's two preconditions for "Imperial" stouts: high alcohol percentage and big, rich, dense maltiness. Warlock just barely meets those criteria. At 8.6% it may be no lightweight on paper but it's not exactly a giant on the palate; the malts are bone-thin. Imperial Stouts should make you want to head-bang - not tap your feet. And this one is a muted toe-tapper.

The egg white brushed pie crust and pantry spice flavours are superb as ever - and maintain their 'old lady perfume' strength throughout - but those, like me, excited for some kind of coffee or cocoa accompaniment will be let down. Despite its billing this one has a soft vanilla- and cinnamon-influenced heart and not a trace of tar, smoke, richness, or roast.

It seems to me that in creating Warlock Southern Tier did nothing but add a spot of black malt for colour to their Pumking recipe. I may be wrong, but tell that to my senses. I love Pumking so I won't sit here and tell you that the nearly identical Warlock is anything other than delicious, but I demand more from a beer labeled an "imperial stout". Overall, this was a huge disappointment.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on August 30, 2014 - Labor Day weekend. I do try to wait until after Labor Day to crack open pumpkins brews.

Deep dark brown to black pour with a modest tan head that becomes a ring.

Oh man - that aroma. Pumpkin spice, yes. But a rich dark sweet malt character to even it all out.

Medium to full body.

The taste? Were you expecting the best? Well, you will not be disappointed. Pumpkin spice, dark roasted malts, and mild hop finish. This is quite remarkable.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Although this beer is definitely on the sweet side (like so many of the big offerings from Southern Tier), I have to say that I enjoyed this very much. I treated this like dessert, so the sweetness didn't bother me in the least- a time and a place for everything. I like the blending of roasty stout with the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. You get chocolate and vanilla notes as well as some roasted notes from the stout, some silkiness from the pumpkin, and a nice sweet/spicy note from the additions. Definitely hit the spot for me.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a somewhat blackish body with one finger head that left lace. A bready, pumpkin pie with crust type aroma along with cinnamon and nutmeg and some roasted malts as well in the aroma. Smooth and creamy are the first words that come to mind, and as I delve into this beer I'm getting a good balance of pumpkin flavors, sweet malts like caramel and dark chocolate and a good bit of roasted malts as well. Finish is a little heated and spicy and complements the more smoother and sweeter aspects of the beer. Not necessarily stout-like for those who prefer dryer stouts, but a really good sipper that is worth trying by anyone who likes their beers even slightly heavy.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass, this pours a dark black color with a tan colored head with good retention and lacing along with brownish red hues when held up to the light.

S- I was expecting a big roasted malt aroma with hints of pumpkin. This is just the opposite with a ton of pumpkin spice notes complementing the roasted malts in the nose. Very nice!

T- The taste is outstanding. I didn't know how this would work out and was scared the imperial stout would drown out the pumpkin flavors. This is not the case and the flavors work extremely well together. The dark roasted malts are complemented by a big pumpkin flavor in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, my expectations were exceeded. This is a great pumpkin beer that is highly recommended. Time to go back and pick up a few more bottles.

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Photo of corby112
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a one finger, light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Decent retention with sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

Surprisingly huge spicy pumpkin pie presence in the nose with some robust roasted malt and sweet desert-like chocolate notes. It's Southern Tier so I shouldn't be that surprised but the aroma is almost as pumpkin forward as Pumpking. I was expecting more stout character by that takes a back seat to the autumnal spices and pumpkin purée. Hints of clove, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon along with pumkin pie filling and roasted pumkin seeds. It takes a while to open up but once it does, there's subtle roast and sweet malts underneath. Hints of sweet and dark chocolate along with oatmeal and robust coffee bean. Smells very interesting but I wish that the stout notes were a bit stronger.

Thankfully the flavor is more of a mix of pumkin and stout notes. Dry and roasted with a robust dark malt presence that's countered by sweeter malts and strong pumkin pie flavors on the back end. Slightly smokey with burnt sugar and deeply roasted malt but its not acrid or harsh at all. Hints of gourmet coffee, burnt toast, bittersweet dark chocolate and oatmeal followed by sweeter chocolate flavor, toffee and nut before a strong pumpkin ale flavor in the finish. Spicy and sweet with ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg along with pumpkin purée/pie filling, toasted pumpkin seeds and vanilla. Nicely balanced and whereas the aroma felt like a pumpkin beer with subtle stout character, the flavor is more stout-like with lingering pumpkin pie sweetness. ABV is excellently masked, resulting in another dangerously drinkable entry in the Backwater series.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells just like Pumking. Nose has that vanilla-nutmeg as their famous pumpkin ale. If I was blind, just by scent I’d assume it was Pumking. Thinner bodied than expected. Flavor has a large amount of vanilla notes under the Pumking flavor. Huge nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, squash, and graham.

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Photo of JohnParadee
4.79/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of stout. But this sh*t freakin' rocks! Poured from a growler, I didn't waste a lot of time oogling the appearance (although I will say that the head was ample, full, and clung to the glass for a long time), but instead buried my schnoz into the tulip glass and enjoyed the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla nose and then satiated my curious thirst desperately inspired by an afternoon spent wrapping presents for my mother-in-laws' autre grand-rug-rats. And WOW, was I rewarded ("thank you, God"). Anyone who enjoys good beer made well will appreciate this palate pleaser. Smooth malty taste, with great balance between the alcohol and the creamy texture, and the root-beer-like taste of this charmer. Throw another log on the fire and peel off your panties, honey -- this one's a keeper!

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Black pour with a small beige head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is light pumpkin and nutmeg. Flavor is sweet with a pumpkin pie like taste upfront that has elements of pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, brown sugar and a really nice pie crust flavor. Medium to full body also has a distinct bitter flavor of roasted malt and burnt chocolate. Finishes with an almost candy like pumpkin flavor that is balanced by a hint of the bitter roasted malt.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a dense obsidian black body with a thick bubbly tan head that soon fades away

S- The mix of pumpkin spices and vanilla custard blend with a dry cinnamon hint.

T- The bug dull pumpkin spice blend has a powdered ginger finish and a graham malt crust to the finish. There are some black malt flavors in the background and a banana custard note grows in the aftertaste.

M- The medium mouthfeel has no real alcohol heat to it.

O- The aroma grows and is interesting but the flavor is odd with a lot of strange flavors mixed together and they don't really compliment each other.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

on draft at beer study in chapel hill. snifter.

pours a jet black with a slight head. smell is real big and intense with pumpkin, wow. taste starts off with some malty stout notes but the pumpkin flavors quickly take over. this is real close to pumking in flavor. which is a good thing. higher side of medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall if you enjoy pumpkin beers, you'll enjoy this one!

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Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown/black with garnet highlights and a thick tan head that lingers.

Pumpkin, nutmeg, sweet malt, roast character, and cinnamon form the aroma. The spice notes dominate.

Roast malt, which is fairly bitter, dominates, while underlying flavors of pumpkin and sugar add contrast. The finish is decidedly roasty and dry. Nutmeg and cinnamon become evident in the aftertaste.

Body is fairly full and smooth, with low carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

More bitter than anticipated from the aroma. The pumpkin character was substantial, which kept the spices in check. I'd prefer a little softer roast. Luckily, like all southern tier stouts, there's a lot of sweetness mid palate to keep the bitterness from ruining the experience.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. DOB is 10/16/13

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small sheer patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a thin ring behind on the glass.

S- Smells just like Pumking with that super sweet graham cracker aroma plus a bunch of spices.

T- Also tastes like Pumking but with just some dark roast laid over top. All the usual spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice. Super sweet, just like Pumking, with not much else different.

M- Slightly more viscous than Pumking but not enough to really make it all that different. Medium-low carbonation with a fullish body.

O- Honestly, if you blindfolded someone who knew what Pumking tasted like and gave them this beer to drink, they would say "That's Pumking." Really, the color is the only thing that makes this majorly different from Pumking which is pretty disappointing because I was at least looking forward to it having a creamy mouthfeel but it doesn't even have that.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a fairly opaque black with a tiny head. Doesn't look too viscous. Speckles of lacing.

S-Very spicy with nutmeg. Hints of anise. Graham crackers. There is also a real, roasted pumpkin aroma. All of this is backed by a firm roastiness. Light alcohol.

T-The nutmeg and clove come on first with lighter anise. I really get a big graham cracker flavor too, like the nose. Then comes a cool, burnt pumpkin pie flavor. Quite roasts and charred. Finishes with some cinnamon.

M-Fairly full bodied but not a cup of oil. Softer carbonation. A little hot.

O/D-I really enjoyed this beer. It's a cool take on the Pumpkin style. We'll worth a try. I loved Pumking and this one is damn good too.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cooper's Tavern in Madison, WI. Poured into a tulip glass 10/26/2014.

A- Dark brown body, nearly black. One finger offwhite head with great retention time. No lacing at all, as expected. [3.75]

S- Pumpkin spices, milk chocolate, a little bit of roast. But even when it warms up, it is all cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice. It smells like a big slice of pumpkin pie mixed in with a small slice of chocolate cake. Smells delicious and nicely balanced. [4.25]

F- Drinks like sweet pumpkin pie up front, finishes a slightly fudgy bitter dark chocolate, which is a nice balance. Surprisingly delicious, nicely complex with the spices, milk chocolate sweetness, roast character and dark chocolate bitterness. It's not a mess or anything like that despite the overall sweetness. [4]

M- Medium bodied, on the thinner side, lower in carbonation but still drinks smoothly. Not bitter or resinous at all; the finish is a nice slightly bitter dark chocolate mixed in with all the pumpkin spices. Nicely balanced, more so than Pumking. [4]

O- This surprised me and surpassed all expectations. This is a very tasty pumpkin-inspired imperial stout and would recommend it to any pumpkin beer lover. [4]

Final score: 4.04

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a big, tan-colored, long-lasting, foamy head. Not much lacing.

S: A big aroma of malt, pumpkin, and spices. Unusual, but enticing.

T: Tasted of pumpkin, roasted malt, some spices, and a definite hoppiness in the finish. Like the aroma the flavor is unusual for the style. The pumpkin is quite prevalent, but it seems to work well in this style.

M: A moderate amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied, less thick than most stouts.

O: Not your typical stout, but this isn't a bad thing. Tasty and well done.

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Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 3,040 ratings.
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