India Pale Ale | Meantime Brewing Company Limited

very good
351 Reviews
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India Pale AleIndia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2005

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 588
Photo of bcole002
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, I'm a huge IPA fan and, therefore, I am somewhat critical of IPAs, in general. Once de-corked and the beer poured, the beer smells great. Mid-way through your beer, I found myself saying aloud, "I can't believe this came from a bottle." The beer actually tastes like it just came out of a tap. Excellent beer to enjoy.

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Photo of Offa
4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding IPA.

Golden, a tad hazy, bubbly, it has a huge off-white head that's creamy and long-lasting, slowly shrinking to a smaller top and leaving good lace.

The aroms is very nice, fresh & ripe green apples, grapefruit, pine, honey, a little herbal quality.

The taste is sweet and bitter, full of flavour and complexity, applie, pine, honey, citrus, a clear grassy quality, fruit, stewed fruit, and orange marmalade sweetness with alcoholic warmth coming through. It has a dryish, hoppp, spicey finish and is great alone or with food.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best IPAs I've ever had. Despite the ABV, this is by no means an in-your-face, extreme IPA. Instead, this is a well-crafted, traditional English IPA with an ABV that could be expected from a beer intended for a lengthy export journey.

Slightly cloudy amber colour with a respectable foamy white head. Grassy citrus scent with a bready malt character. Definite hop presence.

Slightly sweet taste. The hops lend a citrus sour flavour, but the malt is well matched and brings an almost sourdough character to the taste. Very tasty, and well balanced.

This is a smooth drinking, almost sessionable IPA. If it weren't for the bottle size (750ml), I would easily be able to put away 3 or 4 of these.

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Photo of ccrida
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For such an elegant presentation with the 750ml champagne bottle, I choose my old John Smith's flared flute glass from the Brussels Exhibition.
The meantime IPA, an 1820s style recipe, is a pale burnt orange with slight chill haze and a large, fluffy white head, in spite of the pathetic lack of pop when I removed the cork. The head is fairly slow to recede, and leaves heavy lace and chunks of foam. Perfect!

The aroma is very enjoyable, medium strength. Sweet malt and a dry mineral essence not unlike a saison, with nice floral, citrus hop punch. Saison is my favorite style of beer, and I also love the floral hop aromas, so this really speaks to me. A bit more umph, and I'd give it a 5.

The taste also very enjoyable. Living in the NW, I haven't had an English IPA in quite some time (London 7 years ago??), and I'm really appreciating the subtly. The malt, while still fairly sweet, is not as dominant as in the nose, and is balanced by a firm bitter backbone, with more citrus and floral hops as well. The finish is very clean and dry.

The mouthfeel is moderately creamy, with a light body that still has a satisfying fullness, without the oiliness that most IPAs possess.

This is a fantastic IPA, incredibly well made. Truly world class, it's super tasty and easy drinking, and goes down with zero indication of it's ABV, which is formidable, especially for an English Ale. Luckily, it's elegance encourages one to savor the nuances and really enjoy the brew. As they say on the bottle tag, "Drink the beer and savor the good things in life!"

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Photo of London1985
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely LOVE this IPA. Meantime is my local brewery and im lucky to have them on my doorstep after reading the price some of our cousins across the pond are paying for their products.

However ive found some Meantimes brews to be hit or miss. I wasnt particularly impressed with their London Porter, but they more than made up for it with this example of English IPA.

It looks how an IPA should look, an almost gold haze to the liquid with tinges of copper. It smells fantastic with notes of cinnamon, honey and citrus hitting the back of my throat as
well as the bitter sweet scent of the hops.

Taste is very subtle and refined compared to the wallop of hops you get when tasting an American IPA. It fills your pallate with citrus and spice and then flows smoothly down the throat leaving an undertone of bitter hops. I drink this very often and each time i drink it i fall even more in love with it.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange color, clouded with sediment even on a gentle pour. Head is white, 1 finger, and leaves good lacing.

Aroma is inviting and complex, with fruity and floral notes and a hint of sweetness.

Taste is amazingly complex and enjoyable. The hops yield apple and pear, pine and pleasant herbal notes. The malt is a caramel-toffee sweetness that is subtly laced through the symphony of hop flavors. Substantial mouthfeel with a peppery, smooth finish.

This ale was a real treat, and one that I will be returning to often.

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Photo of cbrakel
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After recently sampling a wide variety of IPA's, I stumbled upon this gem at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA.

My expectations were quite high for this beer, having it recommended from a trusted source.

My first tasting blew me away....a fantastic beer....well-balanced, hoppy, but rich, complex and smooth.

Now, on the second tasting, I can say that this is one of the best IPA's I've had to date. It does not disappoint. However, this is a beer that should be savored...

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Photo of wavz
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From first pop of the cork, all the things that are IPA are in this bottle. Great rich amber honey copper color with traces of cloudy sediment. The pour of the beer gives a great head that sticks to the side of the glass, and hangs around for quite a while. Nicely balanced with a citrus fruit and hoppy flower aroma. And the drinkibility is easy like sunday morning due to that flowery citrus smell. I would like to say a toast to this one.

Life, alas.
Is very dear.
Up with the glass.
Down with the beer!


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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Poured a hazy orange color, with a light white head that dissolved quickly, except for a thin film that lasted throughout the drink.

S: Aroma was all hops with just a hint of sweetness.

T: The taste was excellent. One of the best IPA's I have had. Deep, full hop flavor. Consistent throughout the drink.

M/D: The beer was full bodied with the right amount of carbonation. Nice bitter aftertaste, but highly drinkable. I will be going back to buy more in the near future and plan to keep it in stock all summer. Exceptional beer. Highly recommend to any lover of the IPA.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm gonna break down most of this review into two pours since the first pour from my 750ml bottle into a my American pint glass yielded noticeable differences in appearance, flavor, and taste than the second pour.

Appearance- First pour yielded a a sparse one finger that dissipated in about a minute. The color was an exquisite golden amber color with a little lacing. Second pour yielded the same one finger head but the color was a more cluody copper color. Darker than the first pour from gthe bottle.

Smell- First pour was a dry 70% malt, 30% hops with a anise thrown in their. Second pour was a more complex smelling malt with a bit of hops and sugar and cinnamon.

Taste- First pour was closer to a regular IPA. A dry hop and malt mix of about 60% and 40%. The secodn pour was a much more complex and dynamic flavor. The hops and malts were dancing around in my mouth beautifully. With hints of candy and toffee. Toffee, can you believe it.

Moouthfeel- First pour was in the traditional IPA vein of dry and hoppy as far as the palate was concerned. The second pour was a rich hop and malt palate that this beer went great with my corned beef hash and pickles lunch swimmingly.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update: a few months after original review (see below). I was going to be happy to just have a couple of bottles of this, and leave it at that, but my local kept putting bottles out, and the more I tried it, the more I liked it. The drinkability of this is just totally nailed. Not a wild west IPA hop monster, it's subtle, and works on those levels. I've talked with some who didn't care for this much, but IMHO, they are missing out on the subtle nature of this and all I can say is, more for me! Scores modified accordingly.

Original Review: A new find in the Inland Empire of southern California (certainly not to be confused with the Empire from which this beer travelled). Maybe it's no longer an India Pale Ale from Britain- it's an Inland Empire Pale Ale (IEPA).

750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in early August 2006, for $8.99 and popped a few days later on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

A beautiful bottle and label reminiscent of an expensive champagne- looks very high class. Cage comes off easily to show a Meantime-impressed cork, but a sticky substance covers the bottle rim and part of the cork- rather unsettling. But past that, onto the pour: I chose a proper British Imperial Pint glass nonic from Carlsbad's Pizza Port festival for a bit of authenticity.

Pours a cloudy orange golden amber- no head to speak of at first when poured colder, a hard pour was required to get a rise from the brew. It settled quickly back to a thin cover. A subsequent top-up when warmer provides a much more satisfatory head.

Aroma is perhaps the best part of this beer. I almost gave it a 5. Sour orange, scented pine, and a hint of black pepper sit atop a slightly sweet malt. Very nice.

Flavor is pretty good as well- the aromas are all there, as well as a much more solid hop punch towards the end of the swallow. Lots of grapefruit dancing with sweetness that keeps the tartness down. Reminds me more of the American IPA hop predominance, but using a lovely British palette for the base.

Mouth is rich and full, solid, although the hop astringency at the end keep the drinkability down.

Overall a solid beer, very nice. Glad I have another put aside. They claim this is bottle conditioned and suitable for aging, but for a hoppy beer, is that doing a good thing? I don't know. Probably won't have the patience for it anyway.


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Photo of cokes
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It sits in the glass, dusty golden amber topped with fleeting ivory foam.
Inhale, and its dank prairies, spruce trees, cherry cordials, iron, pumpernickel, fig preserves and browned butter.
It tows toffee first, as it gallivants into the mouth, immediately ensued with apple butter, lime rinds,and biscuits. Raw sugar remains for a moment, and then is swept clean with the quartzite minerality. And here is shimmers for several euphoric seconds. Gritty sand and flint and pulpy orange juice and burned butter and even coriander, as it gradually transfers into a lime leaf and corn husk bitter greenness. At the close, it is all lime twisted gin and tonic, but in flavor only, never in burn or other alcohol-associated unpleasantries.
Medium built, with a firm body butting against a fine-grained, jagged carbonation. And it works perfectly here. This is sharp in almost all its facets and definitions. And it is downable in nothing less than gullet-stretching gulps.
This is a traditionally hewn English IPA juiced to American standards. Seek this one with haste, and don't allow the price tag to scare you off. It's something special, especially for those that might knee-jerkedly dispel Fuggles and Goldings. This shows those hops in unprecedented depth.
Absolutely required reading here.

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Photo of gfreed
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A seriously excellent UK IPA: fruity and dry, zesty and sharp but without all the skin-flaying harshness found in so many American models. Even my wife, ever-hesitant toward IPAs as a class, enjoyed it. And you won't need to drink a bottle of water afterward.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from corked and caged 750ml bottle a hazy reddish gold with light carbonation and a medium sized head of foam that sticks around forever and has nice lacing.

The smell has a nice grassy hoppy nose to it but I also get a good wiff of caramel malt.

The taste is big and bold! Huge sweet caramel malt up front with a bit of grassy and citrusy hops(love them Fuggles and Goldings) right behind it and man, after a few sips, you get the feeling that this is gonna balance out doesn't. Make no mistake aboot it, this is a malt dominated IPA and it works so darn well! My hat's off to Meantime!

Bottom line: Best example of an English IPA I've ever tasted and I hope to buy more on my next visit to Colorado. Folks, this is a winner!!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/02/07- Purchased at Draeger's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle both caged and corked. Didn't recall seeing any fresness codes. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Light orange, off amber coloring. Fluffy and frothy sparkling white 3/4 inch head. Settles at a decent ring of froth. Leaves nice trails and patches of lacing.

Smell- Lots of hoppy goodness with more citrus notes than of pine and/or grapefruit. Seems like and orange-lemon combination. Sweet caramel malts as well in the nose.

Taste- Mmmm, very very well balanced. Nice orange hoppy flavor added with a nice sweet roasted malt makes for a terrific taste. A bit of biscuit, might even be just a touch more malty than hoppy. Tastes very fresh, especially in the hop dept.

Mouthfeel- Very brisk and biting carbonation level. A bit too much for me. Duvel-like in texture. Only drawback for me at least. Good bitter fruity aftertaste.

Drinkability- Seems more like a well balanced American made IPA than one of English style. Either way it's a great beer that is tops for me in English and one of the better ones under American. I've past this beer by several times because of the $10 price tag, but I will be returning again to try. Excellent job.

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Photo of farrago
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a dense cream white head, mainly tiny, sticky bubbles with a few larger ones interspersed, carpets the glass sides with lacing. Warm glow to the fat sunset orange color, as much light brown mixed in as yellow, moderate transparency. Excellent clarity to the nose with spacing among the pine oil, grapefruit and orange citrus, daisies and other wildflowers, green apple and pear fruit, golden honey and sweet tea scents. Close to full-bodied, here it is more compact and woven into a unified whole. The carbonation level is excellent and carries the flavors while allowing the palate to enjoy the array of textures. On the sweet side of the spectrum, emphasizing pink grapefruit, tangerine, lime citrus, honey and flaky pastry dough. The malt flavor is there, smoothing influence too, but it does not reach the level of chocolate or caramel found in other beers. Light clove and cinnamon spice break through near the end as well as dried oat cereal. Very clean finish with tempting aftertaste and weight echoes across the tongue.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy orange with touch of yellow and a bigg fluffy head. Leaves beautiful lacing on the glass.

S - Lovely bouquet with floral and citrus notes. Malt sweetness is powerful, and hops are downplayed in the classic british style.

T - Unlike most US IPAs, the malt more than balances the hops in this brew. Floral and fruity accents abound with a slight bitterness. Delicious.

M - Smooth yet drying with only a hint of a bitter aftertaste.

D - Wish I could have this beer every day, but the price and availability limit that option. If you see it, buy one (or several).

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Photo of rajendra82
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer came in an elegant looking Champagne style brown-green bomber with the information about the beer printed on contoured labels. Having a wire cage and cork added to the overall refinement of the packaging. As the beer relinquished the confinement to the appointed Imperial Pint glass, the color looked golden amber, the body slightly hazy, carbonation ample, and head well proportioned at two-finger thick. The appearance was pretty spot on for an IPA from either side of the Atlantic, while the smell was that of signature English hops. The restrained spiciness, and full on earthiness of the hops could not be mistaken for anything but Fuggles & Golding. The taste indicated that the hops had been added in amounts typically absent from the beers brewed over there. It wasn’t overly bitter, but it was certainly spicy and snappy. There was also a good deal of citric acidity that makes the American versions of the style so quaffable. The very cohesive flavor profile set off fireworks in my mouth with each sip. The body was medium thick and carbonation soft and creamy, i.e., the typical IPA mouthfeel that makes me long for the next sip. Aftertaste was long drawn out and citric. Kudos to Meantime for incorporating the American influences so well, while keeping the beer an English IPA at its heart. Will have to pick up more next time I’m at Green’s.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pors a honey comb clody colour with a tight white head that reduces to a decent film.

S - Nice bicuit malty aroma with some citrus.

T - Strong malty citrus notes with plenty of hopps, has a touch of melon. Very well balanced indeed.

M - You won't find better balnce between carbonation and body and it's so smooth.

D - This is a classic IPA which I regard as the benchmark for the style and so nice to see that it comes from the home of IPA's

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Photo of tronester
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a medium off-white head. Smells of fresh peaches. Taste is bready, sugary sweet, with an earthy, fruity bitterness. The English yeast strain and earthy hops differentiate this from American IPA's. Nice clean, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth carbonation. Drinkability is great, tastes like the alcohol is much less than 7.5 percent.

This is by far the best English IPA I have had, I would consider it the benchmark for the style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of danielharper
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy yellow-orange-brown body with a thick slightly-off-white head that sticks around. Beer leaves significant lacing.

S: Very grapefruity, with a nice crisp hop backbone. Some caramel malty characteristics buried deep. Very nice.

T: Again with the grapefruit and the crisp hoppiness. Incredibly well-balanced, but with that nice bitterness that even pleases a veteran of hoppy American IPAs like me. On the backend I get a slight barrel-aged quality -- it's far from aggressive, but it's definitely there. Sweeter than expected.

M: Moderate-to-heavy thickness, low carbonation, decently high on hops.

D: That 7.5% ABV is very well-hidden. This beer is smooth and clean but has a nice wallop of hops hidden inside, and a malty sweetness that somehow manages not to cloy. Is this the greatest EIPA ever?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

But friends, this beer changed my life.

Appearance: Pours out a blurred coppery orange with a very fluffy, very inviting white head.

Smell: Exhilarating aroma of fresh bread, butter, and toffee tied to the spicy, herbal scent of English hops.

Taste: Yum! This brew was a perfect blend of caramel sweetness, rich grains, and a citrus hop flavor reminiscent of orange marmalade. Nice spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is soft and fine.

Drinkability: Very much so. I can't help but lavish this beer with uplifting compliments, positive energy, good-cheer thoughts and sugarplums.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with LuckySevens82. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged. Nice that the caged top has drinking directions: "Remove cork, hold glass open end up, pour, taste, swallow." I think they left off "repeat as necessary", but maybe they ran out of room.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a frothy 1 1/4" off-white head above the clear golden amber brew. Head fades quite slowly, and light, delicate lacing is prevalent, not unlike a cask ale would produce. Aroma is balanced, yet that does not indicate boring, as hops and malt sweetness are present. Taste is also cask-like to my tastebuds, with sedate grains giving way to ample lightly fruity hoppiness, more than what the style classification would lead you to expect. Mouthfeel and drinkability are superb, would love to find this one locally, perhaps for a bit cheaper, and revisit over and over.

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Photo of cmmprez
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After drinking many sub-par IPAs, this was a refreshing change. This London IPA was extremely well-balanced and mellowing. It had a great hop flavor profile (fuggles) without the astringent bitterness that is characteristic of so many American IPAs. This is a beer that I could have a few rounds of without having my mouth become completely dried out. It drinks more like a Pale Ale than a IPA.

It looks like a Hefewiesen in its cloudy yellow appearance. The aroma was mostly clean with subtle hops. Hopheads will not be overly excited about this brew. I thought it was well crafted and would strongly recommend this beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours dark gold to amber with a slight chill haze under a fluffy 2”off white head that produces extensive lace.
S: Fresh grain, pear, biscuit with moderate hops.
T: Malts range from caramel to toast, fruit – pear, melon, plum, some biscuit. Medium hop, moderate bitter. Malt is also moderate. Finishes medium to dry.
F: Creamy and smooth, medium body, medium to low carbonation.
O: A very well balanced and flavorful India Pale Ale.

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India Pale Ale from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
3.92 out of 5 based on 588 ratings.
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