Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,078 Reviews
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 2,078 | Ratings: 4,698
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional IPA grapefruit highly hopped with edge of rye, which made it quite interesting. Amber. Very drinkable to the point of drop off. Hop burps citrus aroma. Malts for balance.Roast tea, bitter aftertaste.
Had this nearly three years later, it was in my basement for half a year or so, Very bitter with some rye, but did not like it as much. Still very drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark iced tea color with a 1/2 beige head that fades to a film. Very little lacing.

S - Pine hops and slight malt aroma.

T - Bitter pine hops with slight malt taste.

M - Slightly flat. Coats the mouth.

D - Not too good. Hop dominates but tastes off.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No head really with nice lacing on a brownish amber with slight golden hues. Aroma is a little light with caramel, citrus hops and candied orange. Flavor is actually pretty complex with both toasted and caramel malts, rye breads, orange peel, red apples, candied fruits, earthy hops and a mild pine presence. Medium body and moderate carbonation. I like the Fruitness which isn't too sweet with and excellent base malt and rye character.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

been meaning to get on this one for awhile. this is a monster beer. hands down one of the most hoppy and most complex rye beers ive had. it pours a deep indian brown color with just a bit of haze. looks pretty dense, with some light coming through, but not much. theres about a one inch off white head on it, but it recedes pretty quickly. the nose is very very hoppy. sticky sweet dank hops, oily and aggressive. theres also some spice from the rye, bready and pungent, as well as a darker sweeter malt profile than i expected when i bought it. the flavor is unreal. so much going on. at first sip its a hop trip, high alpha and mean, but that gets interrupted fairly quickly by a really distinct and different peppery rye flavor that comes out of nowhere and lasts the rest of the time. sweeter malt kicks up at the end, and the bitter aspect of the hops finally comes back. the finish is long and complex. this is a gem as far as flavor journey goes, more rye heavy than any ive had i think. mouthfeel is good, big and thick on the body, with enough carbonation to make it dangerously drinkable. there is some hop resin left in the mouth though that is a love it or hate it kind of thing. i think it makes the beer come across a bit heavy, but thats just me. this is a perfect cold weather beer, with all the necessary elements. high abv, big hop, lots of body, and stick to your guts malt. this is worth the hype for sure.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a dark amber color, mostly brown in specific lighting. The heas was nice looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer was more hoppy than anything else I could pick up on the nose. The taste of the beer was also quite hoppy, I was hoping to pick up on some more Rye than anything else but I continue to struggle with picking up the Rye in most beers. The aftertaste is bitter and yet sweet almost all at once. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty nice, well carbonated, stings the tongue a bit, leave a bitterness on the sides of the mouth. Overall this beer was pretty good.

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Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that has good head retention properties and never completely faded away. A medium amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are strong aromas of grapefruit and piney hops in the nose along with some notes of rye.
T: Flavors of piney hops really stand out in the taste and finish. There is a mild to moderate amount of bitterness that isn't overpowering due to a good balance between the malt and hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is masked rather well so this beer is easy to drink.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rye grains in any other beer style doesn't work for me. But in an IPA, I think it adds character and an intense bittering. An otherwise, great IPA has been improved with some serious hopping and a rye grain flavor / astringency than any malt base cannot compete with. Sweet, of course, but quickly dominated with hop citrus, pine, grass, and dirty flavors. Rye contributes a deep molassas bitter-sweetness and a grain husk bittering. Perhaps too astringent to make it easy drinking. Otherwise malty sweet with a dark toasted grain flavor. Bitter til the end with a shadowing sweetness, muskiness, and earthiness. Very good beer.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky reddish-amber - surprisingly dark for an IPA. The first pour provides 2 inches of frothy foam that lasts a respectably long amount of time.

Smell: Intensely hoppy; notes of pine and bready malts with a touch of citrus.

Taste: Extremely bitter and hoppy from the get-go; a subtle beer this is not. If you want balance, grab a Racer 5. The hops have a strong pine-like quality to them, typical of many of Northern California's best IPAs, but it's harnessed in an unusual way here. The rye provides a hint of spicy, gingerbread-like sweetness, creating a rounded flavor that a lot of bigger IPAs lack. The finish is oily and resiny, leaving a coating bitterness on the palate.

Mouth: Full-bodied and oily; this drinks almost like a stout.

Drinkability: Delicious but extremely potent. Not exactly a quaffable beer, but highly drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber color; a serious beige head that leaves an abstract pattern of splashy lacing around the glass (looks like Matisse's cutout dancers)

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma with loads of citrusy hops peeking through the background

Taste: Starts out with a nice caramel flavor that builds in a piney/citrus direction by mid-palate and after the swallow; at the very finish, the sour rye and tobacco flavors emerge and last forever; well-balanced ending with the flavorful malt

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A top flight DIPA with a nice sour rye kick to it

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Photo of biboergosum
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bomber of this during a trip to Austin, Texas a few months ago, and I'm feeling a bit masochistic in my beer craving tonight, so in the interests of serving that, and not letting this IPA get any older, bottoms up...

This beer pours a hazy dark copper brown with an abundance of foamy, frothy white head, that takes its sweet time going away. The smell is grapefruit citrus hops, and sweet caramel malt, with a bit of grainy spiciness. The taste is a wallop of citrus and pine hops, balanced by a decent sweet malt backbone. The grainy spiciness of the rye is quite evident, and a nice addition to the usual suspects. The carbonation is on the moderate side, and there is only a mild warming from the alcohol. This finishes off-dry, with a nice tangy bitterness from some leafy green hoppiness. Once my palate reset itself to Hops, Straight Ahead!, this became very drinkable. Would that i could have this as the base for a session...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Hogtownharry: Poured a dark amber color ale with huge foamy off-white heat with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with good malt backbone is very interesting. Taste is a mix between semi-sweet caramel malt with some c-hops that provide a bitter finish. Rye is quite hard to distinguish and doesn’t seem to provide that much in the overall mix. Body is slightly above average and alcohol is well hidden. Very well done overall but definitely not a style (American strong ale) that really excite me.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich cherry wood red colored beer with a big light tan colored head that just sits there.

Big hops aroma consisting of dark fruits, some citrus, a floralness, some slight sweetness and a lot more complexities coming through that I can discern,

Nice hops taste, slightly bitter with some caramel malt mixed with the dark fruits and slight citrus that the aroma has, a very full and rich taste with a lot of complexities.

Good hops taste, yet has more balance than some of the more hoppy beers I've tried.

Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Saw the high ratings so I picked this one up. 8% confirmed. 12 oz bottle into conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in Los Feliz, CA. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof. I googled the Bear Republic bottle codes and discovered this was bottled 09/12/12; I'm a little pissed at my bottle shop but I'll give her a spin anyway.

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

A: Pours a two finger creamy frothy head of good thickness and great retention for the high ABV. Body colour is an unexpected dark copper; semitransparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Decent lacing as the head recedes, but it looks like it'll retain for a good five minutes. The colour is fantastic for an IPA; I'm already impressed.

Sm: Nectary hops are dominant, with some floral character and a bit of pine. Some oily hops. A bit of bitterness comes through, but just enough. Caramel. Sweeter malts than pale malts, but not quite amber or biscuit. Some grapefruit citrus zest and even a more herbal note; perhaps mint? Yes, natural mint leaf. No yeast is detectable, nor is any alcohol. I'm looking forward to trying it. An average strength aroma.

T: Mmm. Hoppy yet incredibly balanced; lots of nectary hop character, with perfect complementary floral and light pine character. A bit of herbal fermented mint leaf aids its refreshing feel. No hop bitterness whatsoever comes through. Shockingly well balanced. Light oily hop notes. Caramel and sweet malts form the simple yet effective foundation - which is more than merely a platform for the hop notes. Slight spice is also detectable. The rye works here beautifully, complementing and cooperating with the nectary hops to give it more depth. No yeast character. No alcohol comes through. Constructively, it's a bit too sweet and the hop character could be much more complex. Lacks subtlety. Still, it's tasty - and let's not forget it's four months old.

Mf: Slightly oily, very nectary, and smooth and wet. Soft and refreshing, yet a bit too thick. Perfect carbonation. Complements the flavour profile very well.

Dr: An incredibly drinkable and refreshing IPA, with a well hidden ABV that'll sneak up on you. $7.99 a four pack is quite fair for a beer of this quality. Bear republic has impressed me. For a four month old IPA, it's rather good. I intend to revisit it fresh; it deserves that respect.

Low B

I imagine it's best on draught.

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Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of dertbert.

A - Poured out a dark amber/burgandy color with a tan, creamy, two-finger head that left behind nice lacing.

S - It smelled of tons of hops and rye! There was a light maltiness detected, too.

T - It tasted bittersweet with the grassy hoppiness. It had an earthy quality and a touch of caramel malt.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Another great offering from Bear Republic.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: 16-ounch glass pint glass with University of Chicago emblem.

A: Pours a very dark copper with a reddish tint. Nice creamy head. Large carbonation bubbles visible on the top of the beer, and a decent amount of carbonation flow inside of the brew after it was poured.

S: Sweet hop presence.

T: Strong rye taste a the beginning, fading into hops and a delicate sweetness. The rye returns in the aftertaste. The malt comes through as the beer lingers, but the hops provide the dominant sensation.

M: Carbonation and taste sting the tip of the tongue, but in a pleasant manner. Sits so well you don't want to swallow.

D: Perfect mouthfeel and great taste. This one is exceedingly drinkable. Can hardly wait for more in between each sip.

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Photo of oline73
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky reddish dark amber color with a finger of off white head. The head fades to a layer covering the top of the pour with some really nice lacing.

Smell: Full of wonderful citrusy hops with a sweet malt background. I can definitely smell the spice from the rye.

Taste: Hops are the dominant flavor here, but there is plenty of malt sweetness and rye to keep things interesting. Some mildly sweet bready malt along with the bitterness. The finish is full of rye spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy, tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really nice rye beer. The hops, malt and rye work together very well. I'll definitely have it again at some point.

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Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a almost creamy-like head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,the rye really comes thru in the aroma along with a dose of grapefruit these aromas melded very well together I already knew this was gonna be a hoppy brew before even tasting.Like a few of the others who reviewed this one the first few sips hit pretty hard with some bigtime bitterness but mellowed after awhile with that late rye touch making this very refreshing.Glad to get a chance to try this a very nice beer would love to have on tap again sometime.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy dark bronze under a one-inch thick off - white head which leaves good lace. Pine and grapefruity hop aroma. Bitter and mildly rye spiced with some caramel and faint toffee. Solid.

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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass

A: Big frothy 1.5 finger head that fades dark brown reddish hazy color

N: Nose has lots of noble hops and maybe a touch of sweet malts but not much to it

T: Taste starts with some darker malts and rye taste, it has a strange tangy sour-like flavor that's not really sour probably from the rye, a good hop character dominates the taste with a high spicy hop taste and bitterness and maybe a touch of smoked malts, there is also an interesting juicy fruity center like peach or something similar

M: Mouth is very frothy and medium thickness

F: Finish is pretty dry and has a really strong bitter hop character with more spicey hops and a little alcohol on the finish,

Final Thoughts: with the strong rye and hop character it's tough to drink but has a great taste, this is a great change from a typical DIPA

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Photo of mothman
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours 1 and 1/2 fingers of slight tan head. Color is a dark copper brown. Decent retention, but leaves great lace walls. Some sediments managed to sneak out of the bottle.

Aroma: A big nose of caramel comes off first, and then a ton of floral and earthy hops hit. Seems to have a mix of citrus flavors, but the hops are fairly dominate here. A decent amount of rye is present as well.

Taste: A much bigger rye taste here. Caramel malts. Hops aren't as bitter here as I was expecting, they are mainly earthy tasting. A lot more malty than I was expecting, but I don't mind it.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice bitter bite, but it isn't overwhelming. A little booze shines through at the end, but other than that there is really no presence of it. This beer ends with a hoppy rye, slight dry aftertaste. It is medium bodied with decent amount of carbonation. I am liking the mouthfeel for this style of beer.

Overall, I am liking this beer. It is drinkable and has a big hop flavor but isn't overdone. I shouldn't have a problem with my bomber. I didn't even realize the abv was 8%. This drinks incredible for that high of an abv. Bumping drinkability to a 4.5.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a huge poofy head of light tan head. After several minutes, I'm able to get a little more beer into the glass and it eventually settles down into a downright beautiufl creamy retention that left some awesome spirals of thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is absolutely rich with a nice blend of roasted rye malts, some caramel sweetness, citrus notes, and piney hops.

The taste is initially sweet up front with a mix of roasted rye and caramel malts but then gives way to resinous hop bitterness that sticks and lingers on the palette before a final wash of sweetness comes in. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very nice smooth and creamy feel.

I must say that the balance between the rye and piney hops in this beer is almost damn near perfect and is what really makes this great. As for drinkability, I was hard pressed to remember that this thing was 8% at the rate that the 22oz bottle disappeared. This is definitely a top rate beer and one you should seek out.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/22/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep ruby copper color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, caramel, bread, spicy rye, floral, pine, grass, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, pine, caramel, bread, spicy rye, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, caramel, bread, rye, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome balance and complexity of hop flavors with moderate rye presence; with a fair amount of malt balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, crisp, and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent rye IPA! All around great balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! This beer really knocked me out. Love at first sip! It pours a rich mahogany colored body topped by a densely creamy bone white head that holds quite well. The head eventually drops, but keeps a good collar and light surface covering - as well as leaving some excellent lace. There are some suspended particles of yeast & hop, but it's only slightly hazy beyond that. The aroma offers a light fruitiness, a gently sweet maltiness, and some sweetly citrusy/lightly piney hops. The body is full, oily, and quite creamy as it warms in the mouth, supported by a moderate and very fine carbonation from bottle conditioning. But the flavor is what really caught my attention! Richly malty with a toffee-ish sweetness, boldy fruity, lightly spicy, and well-infused with bold hop flavor and a firm, but balanced, bracing bitterness. It's quite unique. Although there's only a small percentage used, I guess it's the rye that really helps to give it its distinct character. There's certainly some caramel malt going on, but it also has a spicy edge to it. It finishes dry with a short burst of malt sweetness up-front, and then a long lasting mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. A really flavorful and complex beer that pulls no punches and has exceptional drinkability. Absolutely worth seeking out.

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Photo of mactrail
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Powerful hoppy mellow ale.

Rich and mouthfilling with a nice touch of sweetness. Wonderful aroma of something like candied hops. Almost a Belgian sugar flavor. I wonder how this would be if they did a "Belgo" version like the Stone barley wine. Hints of smoke, lots of caramel, and the impression of a Scotch Ale with some extra hops. Quite bitter after the malt, but fades to a nice complex mix.

I have liked this beer for a long time. Glad to see it's rated highly by a lot of people. It's my idea of an IPA. I guess I always thought of it as just a unique hoppy brew .

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Photo of chinchill
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a brownish dark amber. hazy, with a rather creamy and irregular tan head. The head has good retention. Generous sticky lacing is left behind.

The rye is evident, but not pronounced, in the aroma. In contrast, there's a good bit of citrus in the nose but not much in the flavor. The rye seems light in the taste at first but ramps up and leaves plenty of spicy impact from mid-taste on. Has a fine and lasting aftertaste that features both hops and rye. This is more like an imperial rye IPA than a rye PA. The taste is earthy and spicy, with only a faint citrus component, but with a nice hint of dark fruit.

M: excellent, moderate carbonation; slight dry finish.

O: Even though the bottle was left out for about 15 minutes of warming before opening, this beer did improve a little with further warming.
A fine beer no doubt, but I had a newly released Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada last week that was fruitier and better overall, IMO. The Hop Rod has more rye flavor.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,698 ratings.
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