Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,290 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 2,290 | Ratings: 7,507
Photo of leantom
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a classic, but I've never had it before today. Here goes:

A: OK. Great head and lacing; very thick-looking. However, the beer is unfiltered and therefore not exactly pretty to look at. Looks of solid hop particles are floating in the solution. Murky orange-amber.

S: Grapefruit, pine, citrus on a mild malt backbone. Rather generic, but still good.

T: Follows the nose but slightly more malt in the taste than in the smell.

F: Thick and rich. Alright for the style.

O: Good beer. Little overrated, but still good.

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Photo of julian
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just like to preface that I'm not a big hophead, nor are IPAs even close to my favorite style. I have been experimenting with my palate and learning to try new things...hoppy beers are growing on me...slowly. So with that in mind here's my review!

A: great color and head! Pours a cloudy apricot color with a generous creamy white head with little retention but lovely lacing all around.

S: strong hoppy aroma up front followed by a barrage of citrus fumes.

T: hop heavy as it first hits your lips with a bitter, piney acidity that gives way to an array of citrusy flavors. It's not overly bitter so I can only assume there's a complimentary helping of malt in there somewhere.

M: medium carbonation, practically unnoticeable abv (although on the high end). crisp, refreshing and flavorful. easily redrinkable. hop lovers rejoice!

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I just finished trying a Schlitz...and simply needed to grab a beer I know I would like!

A - Pours murky tangerine with a healthy head. This bottle had an outrageous amount of yeast accumulated, which I guess adds a little something.

S - Not too powerful, but a sudsy soapiness is meshed with citrus tang for a healthy IPA aroma. Some yeastiness notes as well.

T - Spicy pine hop flavors come through at first with a thick butter flavor making this IPA a little bit creamier in flavor. Unabashedly a California IPA, with a bit more of oak and pine earthy flavor.

M - Creamy with the typical hop bite making Racer 5 unique. Almost chewy at points.

Overal Racer 5 is a standby in the IPA culture, worth a look.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/9/08. Bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a foamy white head. Aroma and flavor of citrus and piney hop, some corn, sweet malt. Very drinkable, especially when cold. A little heavy mouthfeel for a single IPA, not that I minded necessarily....an awesome beer with hop deliciousness.

Update 9/14/08: Thought I'd revist this tasty IPA...Growler from Bellport Beer. Aroma of luscious pine and faint citrus. Flavor of lots of citrus (orange peel) with bitter piney hops in the finish. Quite sweet. Nicely balanced, although more on the hoppier side. Just as tasty as before! (No change in my rate).
7/4/8/4/16 (3.9/5)

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Photo of jdense
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured in Kapittel chalice.

2 finger lingering white head with nice lacing over slightly opaque amber orange body. Hops are pretty noticeable in the nose but not overwhelming. Spicy hops on the back end of taste balanced by sweetish malt up front. A nice example of NoCal IPA, though my preference runs towards Racer X in terms of complexity and taste. Maybe it's a carbonation issue related to the bottle conditioning, but I'm not having any problems with the yeast. Worth a shot, though definitely better on tap and superlative on cask at the Horse Brass

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Photo of Sal_Paradise
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a ton of times, but I guess this is the time I'm going to actually review it. On draft at a local bar in western, MA.
Apppearance: Pours hazy orange with a white head which quickly dissipates. I've actually always thought of this as a golden IPA...but the lighting in here isn't that grate either...I think this bar probably goes through a beer like this at a moderate pace, so it's not super fresh, but still very good.

Smell: LIght grapefruit smell, floral, yeasty (almost like sourdough)

Taste: As almost every other time i've had this it is really a grate all around balanced ipa. Initially good grapefuit taste, well balanced malt in the middle and a slight hint of acidity/bitterness at the end. I would love to try one of these that was super fresh...I think it would likely be much more assertive.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Sometimes these are just too easy to drink...at 7% that can be dangerous, but it is tasty. This is a perfect summer time IPA. Light in body yet tasty, closer to an american pale ale i think. Differing from someone like sierra pale in a good way with more citrusy/floral hops.

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Photo of mbunje
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle poured into a Pint Glass....

1/2" head minimizes to a thin film after a few minutes. Foam is white and dense. Lacing is pretty sticky as it slides down the glass.

Smell is nice. At first I smell a light champagne like scent. becoming a piney hop scent with a little bit of wheat.

Taste is nice, hoppy for sure but not over the top. Pretty good balance. Hops are more pine than citrus and there is a bready/malt balance hear. hides the alcohol pretty well at 7%.

I think the mouthfeel is my favorite part of this beer. Good hop oil presence, mild carbonation to keep it dancing on the tongue, and a general thickness to the beer

I could probably drink a few of these bombers. Taste is substantial, but not so much as to ruin you after one.

Must have this if you like IPAs


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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium orange amber, light head and minimal lacing. Nice fresh sweet herbal hop and malt aroma. Citrus, hops, light malt. Grapefruit and light pine. Hop and citrus aftertaste. Moderate body. A pleasant, moderately intense IPA.

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Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 6pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.
Purchase Price: $10.99
Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Upon examining the unopened bottle, a fair amount of "floaties" are noticed at the bottom of the bottle. After posting a thread, still not sure if this is normal or not. Some say it's from the bottle conditioning and others say the same thing but it also may be an old bottle. Pours a rather hazy, opaque deep honey color. A one finger, white foamy head on the initial pour put it quickly fades. A good amount of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Decent lacing on the side of the glass after finishing.

S - A very nice aroma of spicy hops and citrus.

T - A very nice tasting IPA. A nice bitter bite from the hops is offset by the grapefruit taste. A decent malt backbone. Overall, decently balanced beer which leans towards the bitter side than the sweet side. The alcohol is well disguised.

M - A well carbonated beer. A slightly bitter aftertaste lingers after each sip.

D - This could easily be a beer that you could spend the night drinking even at the 7% ABV. They go down rather easily.

Overall: A really good IPA. This is my first experience with Bear Republic and I was pleasantly surprised. Recommended.


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Photo of Rast
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Round two of the Great Snowstorm IPA Taste-Off (Ed. 2014)

At least 1/4 inch on the ground. Typical, or perhaps archetypical, for an IPA: golden good. Bottle-conditioned and hazy as heck. Lovely foamy head. Nothing particularly smell-nice or taste-nice, just good ol' fashioned hop love. Bitter and balmy. Mouthfeel is especially nice: rich and inviting. Extra-sessionable for a bitter 7-percenter. Obtain multiple.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Racer 5 pours a slightly hazy straw color with a thin white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving only a few spots of lace behind. A hoppy aroma full of pine floats over the beer.

Each sip of this thin to medium bodied beer is somewhat chewy with a light tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is very hoppy with notes of pine and hints of pepper. A biscuity malt flavor in the background helps to balance out all the hops. Some piney bitterness and a hint of malt remain when the beer is gone.

This is a very tasty beer, but not for those who don't like hops.

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Photo of beagle75
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with over one finger of lofty and persistent off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass, and suspended hop solids are distributed throughout the column.

S: Hoppy pine and herbaceous spice find balance with caramel and juicy orange citrus. Intensity is consistent throughout, perhaps even increasing as it warms in the glass.

T: Begins dry, with refined pale malt and aromatic hops--consisting of grapefruit and herbaceous flowering plants--in balance, unfettered by only very strained acidity. Mild astringency decorates the toasty middle, lending an impression of volatile fusel alcohols on the palate. Moderate bitterness emerges in the finish, lingering alongside the honest herbaceous grapefruit aromatics found in the beginning.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, simultaneously wet and creamy on the palate developing into a sublime smoothness, with moderate carbonation that keeps the texture from becoming heavy or lifeless.

D: Certainly deserving of top-tier status amongst West Coast IPAs, Racer 5 may be one of the worthiest and most appropriate benchmarks by which to measure others of the style. Not only are flavors bright and clean in a way that is not at all self-conscious, they are nicely balanced. It bears similarities to Port Wipeout IPA and Ballast Point Big Eye IPA (especially to the former).

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Photo of kojevergas
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7% ABV confirmed. Bottled 03/21/13. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded silver pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some great beers from this brewery before, and this has a great reputation - plus it's fresh.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger vibrant beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention for the fairly high ABV. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. About what I'd expect from a good beer in the style, though the colour could be fuller and more vibrant. Light even lacing as the head recedes. Excited to try this. No overt flaws in the appearance.

Sm: Lovely varied floral hop notes. Hop oil. Nectary hops. Pale malts. Grassy character. Light pine. The oily hop character (Columbus) is dominant - just what I want from a good IPA. Well hopped and balanced. Pleasant, fresh, appealing. This is exactly what an IPA should smell like. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Very inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Great stuff. Oily hop notes mix well with lighter nectary hop notes and moderate floral hop character. The body is simple flavorful pale malts, lending it a refreshing taste. It lacks the citrusy gush I want it to have, but it's well constructed and damn well balanced across the board, with hardly any hop bitterness coming through at all. What little hop bitterness there is comes through just a bit on the climax and in the third act; it's not perfect balance but it's impressive. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol. Lightly grassy, highlighting the pale malts. Love the hop choices here - especially columbus. I'd like to see what amarillo does to the flavour profile. Beautifully balanced, beautifully executed. A tasty IPA with good depth of flavour, complexity, and subtlety. This is how you brew an IPA.

Mf: Soft, smooth, oily, a bit nectary, and wet. Refreshing. Lightly crisp. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Perfect carbonation. Very well executed, evoking care and effort.

Dr: Damn drinkable. I'll definitely be getting more of this and will happily buy it by the six pack. If I bought beer I'd already tried on a regular basis, this would be right up there - or probably above - Lagunitas as my IPA mainstay. Up there with Sculpin in terms of quality and availability. Bravo, Bear Republic. I'm beating myself up over waiting so long to review it. This is how an IPA ought to be: balanced and flavorful, with subtlety and complexity. Very well done.


08/24/16 2nd impression:

Racer 5 is a go-to IPA of mine, a stellar brew that bests others in its category.

Fruity without venturing too deep into tropical territory. Floral, balanced, and slightly resinous. Slightly oily hops.

Refreshing and approachable.


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Photo of ztaylor1
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- amber colored and dellightfully hazy, a light tan head dies to a beautiful film.

Smell- very balanced notes of pale and biscuity malts with very strong citrus notes. Citrus hops are dominant but floral and pine are there too. Very balanced.

Taste- the hops cut through quickly and the malt holds up the rear which is a bit unexpected but not unpleasant. A bit astringent, with a bite.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with a sneaky carbonation, not defined at first, but after a second it prickles the palate.

Drinkability- the balancing act of this beer makes it so drinkable.

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Photo of phisig137
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color, with a frothy 2 finger head that slowly falls leaving behind abundant lacing.

Aroma is filled with citrusy hops, and a slight hint of caramel sweetness.

Flavor is well balanced. Not outrageously bitter, but solid amounts of citrusy hop flavor, backed by a decent malt backbone. Very enjoyable, and easy to drink. Mouthfeel is smooth, and bubbly.

Very nice beer overall, although I notice a trend in Bear Republic beers.... they all seem to use the same two or three hops. Not a bad thing, just something I noticed.

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Photo of MysticRuler
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A surprisingly nice IPA. I wasn't expecting much given the high volume production, however, the West Coast Hops shine, as usual. Nice balance of sweet maltiness (but not too sweet which is a problem with alot of IPAs) twinned with hoppy bitterness; its a very drinkable IPA. Superior to a number of higher rated IPAs out there.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 3 floyds pint glass.

A- One finger head dissipates quickly to nice bubbly ring around the glass, moderate carbonation, hazy yellow orange color
S- Very nice aroma, hops, citrus, pine, malt aromas, peach, grapefruit, good west coast representation.
T- Sweet bitterness upfront, citrus, grapefruit, big malt backbone, little too malty for an IPA in my opinion.
M- Light/Medium mouthfeel, dry aftertaste.
O- Nice solid IPA, little too malty for my taste, was expecting the hops to be more pronounced, still overall it was a tasty beer.

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Photo of DIM
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a cloudy straw yellow color with some amberish highlights. It was served to me with some thin white froth.

s: Aromas of fresh citrusy hops that were a little grassy and some tingly caramel sweetness.

t: The big citric hops wanted to shine, but there was just a little too much caramel sweetness. Very good overall though.

m: Prickly, oily body and active long lasting carbonation.

d: I wasn't in the mood for a DIPA and I think this borders on one. Just a little too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look - A beautiful slightly hazy golden apricot color
Smell - Tons of floral, spice, citrus, sweet malts
Taste - Taste follows the nose. Very floral, spice notes, earthy, a splash of citrus, some dankness on the back end

Overall - If you love beers like DFH 90min, Two Hearted and Victories Hop Devil you'll definitely like this one. A very well done IPA. It's just not the tropical juice bomb that I personally love.

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Photo of JonathanG
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Variability within the 6-pack, as far as some sediment in one of the bottles. Would've rated appearance higher if there was consistency in the appearance.

Mouthfeel is lighter than some IPAs at the same strength, so this one is a bit easier to drink overall, i.e.: you can drink more than one fairly easily. Not as viscous or syrupy, and a bit drier/cleaner mid-palate overall.

With that being said, the first one I drank, I was only O.K. with. A bit different flavor profile than what I had been drinking lately in the IPA category... a bit more grain/cereal notes to it, so that threw me off. I had another one yesterday and liked it a bit better, even though it had minor yeast/sediment inclusions at the bottom of the bottle when I pulled it out of the refrigerator. I didn't remember seeing sediment a couple of days earlier in the previous 2-bottles?

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Photo of djhowell
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It has a hazy amber body with a good sized, bright white, thick head that fades quickly. Leaves lots of lacing.

S Not very aromatic, mostly pine, a hint of citrus.

T This is sweeter than I expected. Piney hops dominate up front, a little more citrus next, and finishes with some mild bitterness.

M Smooth, and lighter than most IPAs I've had. The carbonation is ample and works well with it.

D I like it, it's very drinkable and I would not have guessed at the 7% ABV. It's not as hoppy as I had anticipated based on what I read here. I bought a single bottle but I think I'd like to try and find a few more.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap @ Romans' Pub on 5-22-08.

Pours a hazy orange amber with a one-finger, pitted, off-white head. Takes lacing to a new art form with sheets of sticky froth that languish throughout the session.

Floral hoppy nose with aromas of pine and citrus.

Opens with a malty sweetness that quickly transitions to a sharp and bitter middle. Moves on to notes of pine, grapefruit and citrus rinds. Finishes crisp and bitter. Overall, a nicely balanced amalgam of bitter hops and sweet malt.

Chewy mouthfeel. Smooth and sessionable. Take a couple laps and pull Racer 5 into the pits for a high-performance bitter fix.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: hazed orange with a bit of particulate that can be seen. head is a bit disappointing, off-white half inch sized head dies quickly without very good retention. and it aint the glass. some lacing.

S: hints of bubble gum mix with pineapple and toasted malts. rich in munich perhaps? something bready and rich, but not until the hops make their presence felt. bits of pine work into the hop medley, but this thing is mostly tropical.

T: tropical fruit. mangos and watermelon. very similar to the nose, after the hop attack the palate moves into a slightly chewy toasted malt flavor. however, bitterness does remain throughout. lingering bitterness and dry finish.

M: pretty moderate carbonation on a medium bodied brew.

D: pretty light drinking AIPA considering the 7%ABV nametag. well balanced while accenting tropical american hops. not my all time favorite, but certainly in the conversation of great AIPA's.

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Photo of PhilsPils
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

At one time, I thought this was a really good IPA but either I have been subjected to way better brews or this beer has changed. Either way, this will probably be my last Racer 5. Plenty of bittering hops but not enough aroma/dry hops to make it anything other than good quality middle of the road. Too many other IPAs waiting to be tried to get any more of my business.

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Photo of wspscott
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
bottled on 3/29/12 in my refrigerator for the last 2 months

A: Crystal clear deep gold color with a 1/2 finger white head that drops quickly to a film on the surface, nice amount of lace. Looks like an IPA
S: A honey sweetness with some "American" hops
T: A sharp, yet smooth hoppiness that lingers on the back of the tongue. There is a light honeyed-citrus flavor along with some pine. It becomes sweeter as it warms and some of the sharp bitterness fades.
M: Very crisp, but a little round, nice amount of carbonation.
O: Very easy to drink and easy to reach for a 2nd or 3rd, but the alcohol level would make that a little dangerous. I suspect that if I drank 3 of these, then finishing the six pack would not be a problem (until morning). I suspect that this was a "better" beer a couple of months ago, but it is still excellent, very nice. Worth seeking out for any American IPA fans, I would purchase again.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,507 ratings.
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