Monk's Blood | 21st Amendment Brewery

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Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Strong Dark ale brewed with cinnamon, on oak chips with figs.

Added by taxguyjase on 09-10-2009

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Reviews: 526 | Ratings: 1,412
Photo of jjanega08
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= pours a deep brown color. Mahogony highlights around the beer with a nice thin head covering the top of the beer. The head is pretty small for a Belgian beer and fades fast to a thin skin with spotty lacing.

S= Smells interesting. Some decent Belgian spice to it. Darker smells coming through with pears that I typically associate with Belgian yeast. Nothing exceptional and somewhat muted.

T= Quite nice actually. I didn't expect it to taste so good. Nice hershey candy sort of flavor. I really can't explain why it's hersey like. Great toffee notes. The yeast melds nicely with the darker roastier flavors. Heath bar sort of. Hard to explain but good.

M= Nice carbonation and nice creamy feeling. Dry finish.

D= Pretty good. This beer is sort of candy like and I have a tough time explaining it but I like it. I feel like the lower carbonation really fits this beer despite not fitting to the Belgian style.

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Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear deep brown colored beer. Small tan head.

Strong chocolate and vanilla aroma. There is some fig and oak in here too. There is a cake batter smell here that I can best describe as chocolate cake.

Starts out sweet with a wheat toast with chocolate syrup flavor. Lots of chocolate and vanilla in this basically it tastes like chocolate cake.

Mouthfeel is a little light.

VERY drinkable. While you drink this it is so mild you don't think there is any alcohol in it. Dangerously tasty.

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Photo of GregPearson33
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep maple amber color with an inviting one-finger thick head of almost indiscernibly small bubbles that dissipated after about a minute. The smell is a little fruity and sweet, with an inviting malt aroma.

Wow this is drinkable! For 8+% ABV I was expecting a heavy brew, but the first thing I noticed was its relatively light the mouthfeel, probably aided by substantial carbonation. The taste is sweet with some faint cherry and vanilla. The fruitiness is particularly evident in the finish, as is some spice (cinnamon?). While this isn't a beer I'd choose for myself, I think it's worth a try. I think next time I have it -- or offer it up -- it will be as an apre dinner brew -- I could see it going really well as a with some sort of dark chocolate/raspberry creation!

Also, really dig the can -- awesome art/labeling.

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Photo of hardy008
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color with ruby highlights, and a light tan head which does not last long. Smells of dark fruit and brown sugar. Likewise for the taste. While still good, this is not as complex as other Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

Sweet, medium bodied, carbonation is decent. The alcohol is not well hidden. Still a tasty, drinkable brew, but a few notches below the better beers in this category.

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Photo of anneseg
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer I have had out of a can in a while and I was really happy with this one. The color is a nice deep red on the edges, the smell reminded me of gulden draak. The head retention was decent and lingered longer than I expected.

The most noticeable taste is the malty sweetness. It is a little boozy but not too much. There is a bit of clove after the initial taste. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz can into a tulip.

Appearance: hazy dark, chocolatey brown with a finger of thick tan head. Looks good to me.

Smell: a little sweet and malty but I get a lot of the old band-aid aroma which, while it doesn't really offend me, doesn't seem like it would be on purpose. Underneath that is a little woodiness which is nice, but overall I'm not terribly impressed.

Taste: flavor is more complex than the aroma, but sadly it also includes the band-aids (though it is a much smaller percentage of the flavor profile). Woodiness also remains, but this is nice. There is a little fruitiness present which consists of a little plum and perhaps a little cherry. Overall, not too bad, but not great.

Mouthfeel: sticky with a medium body. Carbonation seems a little low to me, at least for the style, so there is not as much creaminess as I like. Not bad, not great.

Drinkability: this beer just doesn't come together for me. It's far from bad, but it has a few problems for which its redeeming qualities fail to compensate. I won't seek it out again, at least not this year, but I won't outright knock it, either.

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Photo of glaze0101
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So what is this bloody beer anyway? Well, to start with, it kinda looks like blood. It is a brownish red colour like a blood stain that has been through the wash. This ale has little to no head, and no lacing (though I must admit I'm not sure my glass is "beer clean" tonight) The aroma is kinda like a rotten fruit, in a good way. Figs, some citrus and vanilla are in the aroma and the flavour. The yeast is very strong and present with only a slight bitterness from the hops. Well balanced and odd. So odd, I think I like it!

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Photo of morimech
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark plum colored with a small off-white head. A little sticky lacing.

Smell- Full of dark fruit, figs, dates, and prunes. Some spices like cinnamon and cloves. Also some vanilla.

Taste- A lot of dark fruit upfront. Belgian yeast flavors. Just faint hints of the cinnamon and vanilla that compliments the rest of the flavors nicely. Just a little sweet overall.

Mouthfeel- Almost as good as anything in a bottle. Medium body and light carbonation. Great texture.

Drinkability- Tastes fresh and lively thanks to the storage vessel. Proof that any style benefits from being canned.

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Photo of Fitzgerald
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heard about this beer on a Craft Beer podcast, they were interviewing Shaun from 21st Amendment Brewing Co. so I went down to my favorite liquor store, Dennis Brothers and bought this along with a six pack of 21st I.P.A.
A- Poured fairly hard produced a nice tan head that faded fairly quick, some lacing, color is a dark ruby brown.

S- Can smell hints of alcohol lots of dark fruit coming through maybe a little chocolate.

T- I love the taste of this beer lot of different flavors coming through fig and some other dark fruits, cherry maybe and also can taste some bourbon type flavor.

MF- A heavy oily dark ale very warm, dry finish, smooth nice after taste.

D- Very nice ale, I drank the 21st I.P.A.before this one, which really made this Monks Blood stand out with it's different style.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of dark fruits and spices. Taste is like it smells, dark fruit and spices, some notes of alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried this before, and have had a can sitting in the fridge waiting to do a review. Then got it as an extra from womencantsail today, so I figured it was a good time to do it.

A: Large frothy big bubbled 2 finger head rises over the very dark but somewhat clear brown color.

N: Brown sugar and dark malts dominate the nose. A little hop bitterness is there, as well as some dark fruits, plum, raisin. Lots of caramelized brown sugar.

T: Starts with lots of sweet dark malts. A chewy malt flavor with some light roast, Belgian malts, and caramel malt. Lots of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig, etc. Again tons of caramelized brown sugar comes through. A touch of hop bitterness. It gets a very slight boozy quality but hides the 8.5% well.

M: Decent body and good carbonation.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet with more brown sugar and fruit. Some strange bitterness comes through on the finish too, but its a somewhat unpleasant bitterness. The sweetness, syrup, and brown sugar never wants to go away. That is probably the only downfall of this beer. I wonder if it will mellow as it ages. With how sweet it is, it makes it a tough drink actually.

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Photo of HopHooligan
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was a little hesitant with this one only because it came in a can, but the can looks devilish and kinda evil so it must be worth it.

A- Deep deep rich brown coloring, little foam, medium lacing on the glass.

S- Great smelling brew, a lot of oak and vanilla. Slight alcohol scent

t- First hits the pallet with vanilla and a little cherry flavor. Afterwards strong cinnamon taste.

M- Light to medium body, same with carbonation.

D- Strong tasting beer, probably a sipper. ABV is 8% so not too many hehe

This was my first try with 21st Amendment Brewery, they make a good beer and have changed my views on canned beers.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a Three Philosopher's chalice. Cheers to indiapaleale for the trade via his "Nice Cans BIF".

Monk's Blood displays a deep, dark russet hue that lightens to ruby red in the artificial fluorescent glow of my apartment. A wispy veil of khaki bubbles retains well atop the surface and momentarily clings to the side of the glass. A decidedly American take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, as foresty hops hit the nose first. Whiffs of raisin and fig-laden booze follow suit, with caramelized toffee and toasted chocolate malts. Enticing, to say the least...

Hoppy taste, too. Perhaps a bit much for the style, as citrus and pine override much of the caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Drying on the finish, without much of an aftertaste beside a flash of nuttiness and a sourish, near-medicinal booze note. Medium, highly carbonated body with a slick finish that drinks well for the style. All in all, 21st Amendment has crafted an interesting take on the Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but I might pass on this in favor of the originals of the style (Gulden Draak, Chimay, etc.). Still, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark iron rich blood appearance. Bubbly beige head has some stick to it. rum, figs, raisins, cinnamon, tree bark. Lots of stuff going on here in the nose. Same on the buds. Lots of flavors and depth. Cherry based fig backbone. Cinnamon and vanilla accent nicely. Raisins. Woodiness. Fairly sweet, but not overly so. This is good. I'd give it a 4.25 in flavor if I could, but this is on the 4 side o fit rather than the 4.5 side of it. Mouthfeel is very even keel. Lightly carbonated and the alcohol is hidden quite nicely.

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Burgundy to brown with dark red highlights at the sides. Tan cap with lots of varied bubble sizes all over the surface. The head basically faded entirely after a few minutes and leaving behind just a little bit of lacing.

S - Surprised to get a little bit of vanilla and oak up front. I wasn't sure how noticeable they'd be, but they seem to play a nice, though mild part in the nose. There's a tartness in the background, presumably from the figs. It definitely reminds me a bit of brandy, though there's no real evident alcohol.

T - The vanilla and oak notes aren't quite as prominent in the taste, but they're still there. Lightly tart fruit kind of underscores the entire package. It's not necessarily identifiable as fig to me, but it's nice and not overdone. Getting a bit more of a woody character now, though again, it's fairly light. I've been wondering about the cinnamon for a few minutes now, and I realize it provides a slight spiciness instead of a strong cinnamon taste. Malts chime in with a nice dark fruitiness that surrounds the whole profile. Finishes with just the slightest tartness, then a lingering sweetness.

MF - Nicely carbonated yet still managing to be chewy. Sticks to the tongue and really lingers.

D - Pretty nice. It has the advantage of being on the lower ABV end for the style, which definitely makes having more than one manageable. Monk's Blood offers up a lot of complexity and a mildness that I associate with the Rochefort lineup.

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Photo of MeadGuyfromMD
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

* Poured from a can in a carboard 4 pack

A - Deep, Deep Copper with a fluffy tan head about 3/4", that dissipated fairly quick. It did leave a very nice lace behind.

S - Beautiful aroma of dark sweet fruit, noticeable maltiness, a hint of spice and banana. I also notice a mild alcohol aroma

T - Sweet, with a hair of tartness at the end. There are dark fruits and some caramels at work here. The cinnamon is there, but not overpowering, I think I taste fig or tart cherries on the tip of my tongue.

M - Very good balance on a Belgian style beer. There is light to Medium carbonation and the beer glides over my tongue with ease.

D - Very good balance, good carbonation, not to sweet and it certainly goes down easy. I can see this 4 pack going down in one night, but only if you are looking to do some chanting of your own. I could easily drink and enjoy two, but I would recommend you stop there. Respect this very fine brew, don't pound all 4 in a one session.

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip

Tan fluffy head with bubbles ranging from micro to mondo. When Ii held this brew to the light blood was the first thing to come to mind. Light barely passes through this dark deep red canned Belgian style. The name serves the appearance and the taste with great honor. I have never had a Belgian style served from a can. until today...21 A continues to wow me with every release that comes my way. I look at this as the Belgian dark ale that can go camping and fishing.

The sweet dark roasty flavors combine to hide the 8.5% that slides by and warms the belly. Smells of sourdough bread fill the nose with the fruity esters of the Belgian yeast. Caramel and plums, raisins and honeydew melon. There is a slight sourness i just can not peg. This is a full flavored ale that coats the mouth thickly lasting only long enough to remind of how well the last sip went down before committing to another.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brownish color, tints of red, with decent head that left some lace. A semi-sweet smell of minor sugary malt along with some tart fruits for a balanced aroma, although the typical Belgian yeast/orange smell I find in most ales is lacking. Medium-bodied beer that has a mix of tart fruit and some citric notes along with hints of caramel malt and some stickiness to it. Gets a tad too sticky and becomes chewey but other than that this is an easy drinker but just a tad too mellow for my liking.

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Photo of mobyviacheslov
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A--I poured this one into a glass, even though with most other 21st Ammendment Canned craft brews, I've tried them out of the can just for "fun". Couldn't bring myself to do it with a Belgian style ale though. There was virtually no head, though the outer rim of the beer maintained a tiny coagulation of bubbles that did leave level marks after each sip for around a minute before running back into the beer. The beer itself is a very dark, nearly opaque the low light of my kitchen it looked black. Light reveals a few ruby colors.

S--the nose was very mild, with hints of caramel and dried fruit. Not a lot of character to the nose...perhaps the canning process or the can itself reduces the smells that the lees and sediment in a bottled belgian usually benefits from.

T--First of all, I waited about an hour after taking the can out of the fridge, but it still felt about 40 degrees (problem I've had with all canned micros). My first sip, all I could taste was CAN, though this didn't happen with others from this brewery...perhaps it was mental, since a belgian in a can is still weird to me...considering that "flavor" went away on subsequent sips. There are some intriguingly tart caramel flavors, which are very contradicting but it works quite well. There are underlying tobacco flavors as well. The initial flavor burst is malty and very true to the style, and the finish brings out the tart and tobacco flavors. Its not the most sophisticated, strong, or complex ale in the world, but certainly better than I was expecting. I will let the last half of this sit out for a little while and see if the temperature can help bring out more pungent flavors.

M--This is my only real problem with the beer. Waaaay to much carbonation going on here. Its not bud-light carbonation, but its more than I expected. I have had many belgian ales with higher than average carbonation, and it generally is a plus, adding a pop to your tongue that amplifies the subtle this case, it seems to overpower them, perhaps causing the mild flavors.

D--Well, due to the fact that I drank this waaay to cold, and its carbonation level, this beer actually comes off as very drinkable. Like, "have 10 or so at a barbeque" drinkable. Probably dangerous due to the ABV. As I've said about other 21st canned beers, this would actually be a great barbeque beer if you want to slum it out of a can, but still feel snob-superior to the MGD drinkers.
Serving Type: 12 oz can, poured in
to a snifter, probably around 40 degrees.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep crimson mahogany red hue with light tan head and speckled lacing surrounding the sides of my Allagash chalice. Light beige head with thin speckled lacing. Aroma has a sweet sugar backing with hints of vanilla and spice. Sharp sweetness filled with raisins and plum, and I guess fig additions according to my can. A touch of cider like notes to it, very cohesive with mellow booze. Flavor is nice slightly acidic with raisins and figs exchanging strokes of flavor ample bitterness to balance it out, and a touch of mellow alcohol in the finish this brew from a can for 8 bucks a 4 pack equates to a good deal. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with slightly sticky edges a nice all around drinking experience especially for a canned strong Belgian style dark ale. Drinkability was solid a beer I will revisit during the next three cans offered by this small brewer.

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Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now that 21st Amendment has rolled into Virginia, I was able to pick up a fresh can from Beer Run in Charlottesville.

A: Deep bronze, sporting a nice finger and a half tall head that strings lace around the glass walls.

S: Malts, Belgian yeast esters, and vanilla - though, like a vanilla extract rather than straight up beans. I don't pick up the 'oiliness' of the vanilla beans, so it has me wondering what was used. Nonetheless, it's pleasant and complements the other aromas nicely. Oak scents pair evenly with it, a nice balance of flavours.

T: Vanilla is quite a big flavour on my palate, as well. There's a bit of a buried 'slightly burnt' toffee flavour that comes out under it all - it's very subtle, and I find it to be a really nice touch. I do find that the vanilla and cinnamon pretty much dominate, though... even the wood notes are a bit subdued to them, and I am not really picking up on the figs that the can states are in there much.

M + D: It has quite a robust body, giving it almost a chewy mouthfeel, but falling a little short of that. A nice 'end of the night' beer that has served well as my nightcap. Not bad at all!

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Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby brown with a glowing clarity. Thick beige head that settles slowly, but doesn't leave much lace.

Sweet caramel aroma of darker crystal malts. No notable hop to the nose.

This is a tale of a sweet, rich beer. Here, I can detect the slightest of hop bitterness. Lots of sweet cola flavor. The alcohol doesn't show up until the swallow. Very true to the style even with the oily body.

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Photo of SRossman
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out of its can into my Chimay glass with a small beige head building to about a 1/4inch which fades quickly. One thing that American breweries seem to often fall short on, in terms of replicating Belgian beers, is that huge pillowy head and this one isn't an exception. It has a dark cherry cola like color to it.

Aroma: Lots of intense malt sweetness that is accentuated by a rich dark fruit character and some spice. I get the faint hint of cherry along with cinnamon and vanilla.

Taste: Very balanced flavor profile. Exhibits what is expected in subtle form, dark burnt sugars, some spice and that dark fruit. Booze is there but not too overwhelming. Nothings popping really, all subtle flavors.

MF/D: It feels just a bit thin for its style and ABV. The carbonation helps keep it together but it could benefit from a slightly fuller body.

This is a solid offering. Nothing mind blowing but certainly not weak by any means. I look forward to trying more 21A in the future.

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Photo of BigMike
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Color is like a dark cranberry. Off white head of just over a finger. It disappears quickly with minimal lacing left.

Lot's of raisins in the nose along with some bing cherry. A lot of caramel sweetness and some cinnamon.

Theres a slight tartness with the taste. Kind of like tart cherries. Lot's of raisins and a touch of oak. A very faint amount of vanilla also.

Nice mouthfeel. Kind of sticky in the mouth but very smooth. Low carbonation.

Drinkability is really good. I like this beer a lot. No alcohol presence at all. I would recommend this for sure.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.22/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: ruddy rusty-brown, slight haze, not much head formation

Aroma: biscuity malt, raisins, brown sugar, rum, oak

Flavor: sweet maltiness with notes of dark caramel, molasses, vanilla, and a sour-milk tartness; finishes sweet a raisiny aftertaste

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, slick, and alcohol warmth in the throat

Other comments: I've got a bone to pick with the can/package design because you can barely read it! The font and white-on-black makes it almost illegible.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,412 ratings.
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