Unplugged Iced Barleywine | New Glarus Brewing Company

193 Reviews
Unplugged Iced BarleywineUnplugged Iced Barleywine

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 256
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where to begin? When I saw the unplugged lineup for 2009 my jaw dropped to see that an Iced Barleywine would start off the year. Now, Dan and Deb rarely cease to surprise, but this one seems like it would come straight out of the DFH lab. A beautiful, rich, cognac body with whispy white head. Amazing clarity as well. The aroma is in-your-face malt sweetness and big boozy overtones. Large bouquet of bourbon soaked raisin carmelized sugars. Much like the aroma, the taste is amazing. Rich, port-like flavors come through with a wet-tobacco and whiskey profiles. The body is rich and textured. The alcohol warms the body but does not burn in any way. This is the ultimate sipper that opens up remarkably as it warms to room temp. I feel fortunate to be able to get this and have stashed away a 4-pack in the cellar. What an amazing beer that could be easily done badly. Well done...Well done!

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Photo of INTENSEdan
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Room temp out of a wine glass.

Straight to the point - amazing. Beautiful ruby/copper appearance, wonderful aroma filled with cherries, vanilla, caramel, toasty biscuits. Basically huge malty richness with layers of dark fruits on top.

I don't tend to be able to detect alcohol in beers, but this one has a slight burn. Considering the ABV it's quite the feat. It does not detract from the drinkability, either.

Incredible beer for the price. Don't pass this one up.

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Photo of ballewblake
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Wow, didn't expect this. About a half finger head on a dump pour. Bone white head, dark purple body. Smell is figs, grapes, sweet fruits and yeast. Some ethanol burned my eyes too, on the smell. :) I put this in the fridge for about an hour and you know what, I think that was just about perfect. Great warm flavors pouring through. This is a really soothing brew. Great balance for the alcohol content, even warm the alcohol isn't slapping me around, really smooth. Awesome sweet flavors coming out of the malts, I get the balancing hops on the back to even it out. This is a class act barleywine.

Thanks to Taturbo for the bottles!

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.79/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tuo for hooking me up with this. Reviewed from notes. Sampled on 05/11/2009

The deep red goodness poured flat in the snifter, but some swirling creates a little action. Smells delicious, raisins (port), molasses and honey. No indication of the %13 ABV in the nose. It is also hidden in the taste. There are waaay hotter barleywines with less alcohol in them, could be the "iced" process. There are distinctive caramel and nutty flavors. The Barry White of barleywines, velvety smooth. A true joy to drink. Between the hidden ABV and silky smooth flavor, I could drink quite a bit of this, then hit the floor.

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Photo of krazycatlady
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love barleywines and had high hopes for this beer. I wasn't disappointed. Nice balance of hops and fruit. You can taste the high-alcohol nature of the style but it isn't overwhelming. Nice thick feel in the mouth, wonderful aftertaste. I need more of this beer! I wish that I still lived in Wisconsin and will have to bother the relatives to go get more for me!

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Photo of Mdog
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Red-brown, lots of little particles, great head for such a strong beer.

Smell: Sweet, cherry, candy-like.

Taste: Very complex stuff and very tasty. Sweetness, fruits, lasting brown sugar, a kind of red wine flavor all come to the party. A little alcohol burn lets you know to savor it slowly.

Drinkability: Most barleywines I'll have a bomber or a couple 12oz's, but at this strength, it is one and done. Awesome bargain though.

I have been looking forward to trying this since it was announced. Very tasty stuff and very strong. Definitely leans to the English barleywine side, but not overpoweringly sweet. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BigSteinsEmpire
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been sampling a ton of barley wines as of late and this still is as good as it gets....top notch fellow BA's. Poured this bad boy into a snifter and instantly smelled delicious malts and carmels....and the taste is second to none. Very complex and yet so easy to drink. The color is a nice light copper.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to beerbeagle for sending this one down to me. I love me a Barleywine and an Iced one, oh hell yeah! Served damn near room temp and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 03/07/2009.

The pour was a nice dark amber with alot of ruby colored highlights to it. Some light carbonation at first, but that settled down quickly and only left behind a small amount of lacing after that. Still though, nice cloudiness and a really solid look for the style. Earthy, rich and fresh hops highlighted the aroma with a touch of a grassy note to it and a light fig like smell. As I reached in for the first sip, the hops tore apart my tongue, letting light earthy fruit notes pour in and a really lay a smack down with a rich, syrup like feel to it. Super mellow and smooth with no sign of alcohol at all, I was really, really impressed with just how damn drinkable this thing was. Overall so damn solild, very hot and new, but in the context, freakin wow this was good.

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Photo of goethean
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like tawny port (mmm...tawny port). Has a wonderful big, mouth-filling malt profile, featuring a strong munich malt flavor and which is reminiscient of well-aged Rogue Old Crustacean, which I haven't had since they went to the ceramic bottles. This is offset by detectable flavoring hops as well as substantial bittering hops. Well balanced (keep in mind that I am a devoted malt-head. I don't think that I'll cellar these however, as they are not bottle-conditioned. 13.5%? I wouldn't have guessed that. The hops disguise the alcohol. This beer does not taste boozy, which represents a tremendous accomplishment.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep, deep ruby with a half finger head.

S- Rich robust caramel malts with light piney hop notes and hints of toffee.

T- Super rich and intense caramel malt, toffee and very light fruity flavors add to the depth and complexity. Hops and a light alcohol note come through to keep the sweetness from being cloying and to balance it all out. As it warms the alcohol becomes slightly peppery in the smooth finish.

M- Very smooth, full and rich.

D- I bought some for now and will buy more to cellar.

Just might be the best unplugged yet. It was nice to see Dan flexing his "extreme muscles".

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has been amongst my other cellared brews since April 2009.

A - Its a beauty in a clear deep purple body with a head of about a quarter inch that has great stamina. Her top is dressed in a color just darker than an eggshell.

S - Plum, alcohol, anise and molasses. (Note: I'm having a very hard time smelling it and not drinking it because the aroma is so undeniably appealing.)

T - Brown sugar coated in a mist of slightly bitter hops that are tasted only on the rear-outside edges of my tongue, and they come in late. There are pungent plums swirling and an obvious, however, well welcomed alcohol flavor throughout.

M - It brings a warm feeling to inside of my lower chest and upper abdomen. It goes down with grace and ease. It's so smooth and soft that its hard to recognize as a barley-wine.

~ This is a great beer. I shared a couple bottles of this with four buddies on New Years Eve and it was without a doubt, a big hit. Novice to experienced beer drinkers can enjoy this beer. But, be sure to drink it slow because after all, "the essence is to travel gracefully rather than to arrive." That's not mine, that's Enos Mills'.


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Photo of bennetj17
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an excellent clarity, looks a bit syrupy as it fills the glass. No head develops, but some splashes of carbonation are evident as a thin ring holds abouth the edges. The colour is a dark amber with caramel tint. The nose is not as heavily malt focused as expected. I get a nice freshly cut grass hoppiness, with a moderate degree of alcohol fume. The malt has a tangy-sweet, wet fruit character, somewhat ripe, with notes of cherry, raisin, and cinnamon.

I allowed it to warm significantly before taking the first sip. It doesn't seem nearly as hot as the ABV listed. The hops again pair well, while the delicious caramel malt backbone carries through toward the finish. I really enjoy the hops as they have an excellent raw, grassy-earth quality that really makes the flavor what it is. The beer has a nice dryness to it also, with some toasty, cookie like character involved. I was expecting this to be more like some Eisbocks I've tried, where the malt sweetness is overtly cloying, but these flavors are well balanced and seem almost mellow. The mouthfeel has a hint of syrupy heaviness, but overall it goes down pretty smooth, and the carbonation shows itself well.

This is much better than I imagined. With the heavy hop balance it's almost like a "Triple IPA". The closest thing I can think of to this is the Double Crooked Tree, although the malts here are a bit darker. New Glarus, you sure can make really strong beers very quaffable. Well done...

Thanks to Arsenal04 for the bottle...

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is such a fluke. I had no beer in my fridge, and no money in my bank account. I agreed with my friend today when he said that he wanted to open a "nice big barley wine". I thought to myself that Mirror Mirror or 2009 Bigfoot would be good. Then I came home to a package from a great trader, Sean. I opened it up and the thing was filled with Barley Wines. So, I opened up this bottle and was very happy.

The appearance is of an expensive whiskey. It pours with some carbonation and has a crisp white head that leaves without a trace. This is an English Barley Wine, so that is expected. The color is a dark hammered copper with golden edges. The heart is a light brown-amber color, this looks good.

The smell is of an aged Barley Wine. Malt sweetness with some of the ABV is present. Sugary prunes and raisins as well. I also get some old fruity hop sweetness.

The taste is elegant and refined. This thing is maturing very well I assume, because from the other reviews I have read, this beer tastes nothing like 'ethanol infused'. There are very mellowed malt sweetness that present a prune and brown sugar characteristic that is amazing. The alcohol is still present, but it pushes the dark fruit tastes out without interfering. Raisins and liquor are lingering flavors.

The mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated for me. I understand that this style can be undercarbonated, but this is actually carbonated and it makes the tastes stand out. It is oily and a bit hot still, but all very enjoyable. Two years on this would be ideal.

The drinkability is good, I am drinking it slow and savoring every sip because I do not know if I will ever try it again. Delicious.


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Photo of scaliasux
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark brown, maybe a hint of red. A little hard to tell, but appears clear. Thin off-white head.

Smell - Strong caramel malt aroma. Also plum or raisin? Rich and complex.

Taste - Intense caramel malt sweetness. Balanced by strong hoppy finish. High alcohol content is apparent. Variety of flavors present - raisin, molasses, more?

Mouthfeel - Medium. Strong alcohol warmth.

Drinkability - Interesting beer. Which is about the best thing you can say about a beer. Not real experienced with these strong, highly-flavorful beers, but I enjoy them. One could probably savor this beer over a few hours.

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Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with some red and ruby hues with light interaction. A very loose light bodied head appears and than fades quickly into splotchy bubbly topper. No lace accept for a stranded bubble here and there.

Big on dried fruit character, alcohol, grassy hop aroma and a bit of earth. Very rustic in nature by its aroma in a nice way.

Damn this is tasty rich and very complex and condensed. Excites the tastebuds like no other. Full of date and fig with hints of maple and a nutty character. Some alcohol burn in the middle with a grassy hop bitterness on the middle and finish. Just so big and delicious with a big syrupy mouthfeel. More bitter than the residual sugars of the middle would make you think. A great beer indeed.

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Photo of darklordlager
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber colour, with some copper highlights. Very small head that recedes almost immediately.

Smell is of sweet layered malts, with dark fruits. Deep caramel and a bit of mollasses-only a hint of alcohol which is very impressive given the monstrous ABV. Some bitter hop character.

Taste is of sweet malts, deep caramel, dried plums, biscuit, and bitter hops. Dark cherry, grape husks and alcohol as it warms. Bready hints come through as well.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, and sticky. Low carbonation--works well.

Drinkability-- Smooth with a great balance with the complex flavours and alcohol. Incredible drinkability for the style--I need to pick up some more.

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Photo of jj21
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown with light tan head. Good carbonation that dies down quickly. Aromas of dark fruits, caramel, raisins and vanilla. Incredible explosion of flavors with some burn still after six months but much mellower than when it first came out. Nice hop presence still up front and balances nicely. Very drinkable for such high alcohol.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wowsa, this is great! in beers this big there is always a bit of hotness, and this one is pretty hot in the level that i find perfect, its not really masked much at all, but the hotness is not degrading as it can be to some beers, it has a flavor that can stand forefront and let other secondary flavors support it, in the same way as fine distilled beverages. very clean finish and thinner then typical mouthfeel for a barlaywine, and i am very dissapointed i didn't get on this stuff sooner! it's another great beer from New Glarus!

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Photo of groovy24
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Poured a 12 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip glass after 10 minutes of warming up.

Appearance: Poured a dark mahogany with a two finger head which disappeared quickley to a tight lace on the top. A bunch little bubbles rise to the top at a very slow pace.

Smell: Smells of figs, rasins and dark plums. Huge malt aroma with just a slight hit of hops.

Taste: Did I just put a piece of Bubble Yum in my mouth but what was that spice along with it?

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was very nice and the finish that is still confusing me a bit.

Drinkability: If this beer really comes in at 13%+ then this one could be dangerous. A very nice beer to sit home with on a Friday night. I can't wait to see what this one will be like a few years down the road.

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Photo of younger35
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these gems from New Glarus on a recent visit. Very excited to give this brew a try as I really love these Unplugged brews. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a reddish purple with a small dirty white head that recedes very quickly leaving no cap and very very thin collar. Obviously no lacing is left since there is no head!
Smell- Rich dried fruits such as figs, raisins, prunes and the like. Rich and malty with a big dose of caramel and toffee malts. The bottle is correct in its sherry reference along with a slight bit of something like bourbon. The alcohol is pretty strong but definitely not the focal point of the nose, just a side note. The only downside is that it isn't as pungent as the taste, it's fairly light considering.
Taste- Holy fucking smooth and fruity. It's full of dark fruit (again - figs, plums, black cherries, prunes) and ripe fruity berries (blueberry and blackberry) along with a big rich malt. I get the port/sherry thing but to me it takes on a more of a bourbon barrel type theme. I think it's just all the caramel and toffee and alcohol. Slightly sweet toward the finish with a light bit of lingering brown sugar and/or molasses.
Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous with a super SUPER smooth feel and a light bit of warming. Amazing body and feel considering the 13 ½% ABV.
Drinkability- I tell ya. I didn't think a beer with a ABV like this could have such a great feel and be damned drinkable. Granted it is a sipping brew but a fine one at that. The town of New Glarus is fairly surprising. It's a Swiss themed town in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. To have a world class brewer there making these amazing brews blows my mind. Seek this and all NG brews out.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into red wine glass - a great extra from tpd975. Thanks again, Greg!

Pours a vibrant ruby brown, almost jewel-like, no real head at all, but gorgeous nonetheless.

Nose is ridiculously rich - candy-like rich red fruits, candy sugar, huge caramel, toffee, maybe even a bit of sweet milk chocolate in there, and a fantastic alcohol component that only complements the rest of the nose. Superb nose.

Taste is fantastic as well. Complex, balanced, delicious - initial notes of caramel and toffee, citrus peel and light pine bitterness, with the big red fruit and caramel notes of the nose coming through, but clearly tempered by the perfectly balanced hop presence. Alcohol is surprisingly tame - it's there, but it's by no means distracting. Finish is long, lingering bitterness pairs with the the lingering fruitcake richness and a nice alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, but a nice, light carbonation lifts the whole thing up without intruding. Finish is massive, long, and multifaceted.

Drinkability is good, though - tempered by fact that while balanced, it's also just flat out massive. The finish is about an hour long, and the flavor just won't let go. Fantastic sipper on a cold winter night.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to a large snifter.

A: Pours a brown body with an off-white yellowish head about a finger in height, the head has decent retention but leaves no lacing.

S: Smells very earthy with dark berries, sweet malts, toffee/caramel, and small amount of hops and alcohol.

T: Tastes very similar to the scent. Sweet malts with dark fruit, toffee and chocolate, with a strong alcohol presence from start to finish. Flavor doesn't change much from the start to finish.

Overall: Very good barleywine, great flavor and smell. The mouthfeel is very heavy (28 on the plato) with a small amount of carbonation. Very drinkable for how strong and bold it is, I could do a couple of these easily.

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Photo of Atron67
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank at just below RT in a tulip (specifically the harpoon 100 barrel glass)

This is the kinda big beer i look for :) not just a hop bomb this beer relies on old fashioned malt and technique to obtain its complex profile and subtlety.

A- poors a copper red hues amber that is crystal clear with an almost white head on top. amazing head formation and retention for such a huge beer.

S- amber malt charactheristics subtle character. pepper character and almost hidden hops. on the sweeter side, very enticing.

T- incredibly smooth, overtly malty but very subdued for a beer of this size. slight cherry character, pepper character again. sweet but much more balanced than i would have expected. this is less sweet than the alt. flows right over the tongue. this is a wonderful sipping beer that lets you know why barleywine's evolved.

M- much lighter than expected. smooth low carbonation. heavy still.

D- an awesome sipping beer, but a very powerful brew. i just love beers like this though.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich mahogany in color with a thin foam cap sitting on top. Ruby highlights when held up to light. Very clear with scattered carbonation bubbles slowly rising to the top.

S - Aromas of toffee, caramel and a bit of lightly toasted bread. As the beer warms a hint of alcohol begins to seep into the smell. A faint hint of earthy, floral hops lingers in the background.

T - Light sweetness and lots of toasted bread initially. Get some dark fruits; maybe raisin? A caramel and toffee sweetness lingers throughout. Alcohol is certainly present and there is a bit of warming, but it is rather tame for a 13% plus beer. I find this one to be rather remarkable.

M - Medium to fuill bodied with a rather silky feel. As mentioned above, there is a bit of a warming sensation from the alochol and it does burn just a touch going down.

O - Wow, really impressed with this one. Well balanced and very easy drinking. Wish it wasnt the only one I had.

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Photo of charlesw
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will never really understand people, I guess. Anyway, hey, I'm reviewing as an american barleywine because, like, hello. It's much better if you consider it one. In fact, I don't see English in this one.

Deep brown amber. Beautiful tiny bubbles flow slowly up to a nice had that is around for a few minutes. Pretty light in the nose - note really english or american. None of the prune notes and not over the top in bitterness. Different. A little passion flower, some new grass (baby grass in the early spring), ah. Some mustiness, too.

The taste is amazing. Great. Fantastic. Good description, huh? So... The main thing is that it's very well balanced. Sure, it's sweet. It's also bitter. And flowery. And earthy. Maybe a touch of caramel. But it's all so darned well balanced out that you're not really hit over the head by any one of the various elements. And, hey, I don't even notice the alcohol.

Pretty darned close to as good as it gets, that's all I've got to say!

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Unplugged Iced Barleywine from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 256 ratings.
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