Wacko | Magic Hat Brewing Company

415 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wacko is the liquid song of summer: Crisp like the morning, cool like the evening and quenching all day long. Pop the top and set your summer loose. Wacko is a delicious summer beer with a big malty aroma, a subdued hop bite and a clean, slightly sweet finish.

15 IBU

Added by thekevlarkid on 02-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 415 | Ratings: 783
Photo of kylehay2004
3.1/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Shocked by the color. I didnt know in advance it was beat colored. Red with orange tint with a two finger light pink head.

S: Very bready and earthy. Wheat and a little malt.

T: Starts bready, nutty, earthy and wheat. The sweetness doesn't last long before the touch of bitterness aftertaste sets in.

M: Light bodied. Medium to high carbonation.

Overall: Not a fan. Dont know if its a C beer but its not something I would want to try again. The color throws me off. I always appreciate the creativity and therefore I wasnt too hard on this one.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dont be too hard on this one, its a clever summer brew. pours a hazy pink color from beet juice added, with a short white head without much retention. smells like a wheat beer, plenty of yeasty spice going on and a very light body. flavor of the beets does not really come through, its more of a visual thing, but this is a refreshing beer with nice flavor imparted by the yeast. sort of sweet for just a second at the end, before fading out slowly with a touch of bitter hops. feel is fine, very very light. a good summer session with intense carbonation. overall i like it, not my first choice, but a very drinkable seasonal that is perhaps being treated a bit too harshly here on BA...

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Photo of Knapp85
2.83/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am a fan of what Magic Hat has does. I like their sense of style and their advertising is usually very hip and fun to look at. I had very high expectations for Wacko went it came out and knew that I wanted to give it a try. A local place had it on tap and I ordered one up without any hesitation. The beer came to me as a clear pinkish hue of a beer. Interesting, kind of girlie looking but I'll give it a go. The smell was on the weak side wasn't really able to pick much up other than generic beer aromas like some malts and grains. The taste was very light as well, kind of bumming me out. The beer itself is drinkable, I expected a little bit more of a flavor or something. Just fell short on me I guess. I still enjoy other Magic Hat brews though, I'll just skip this one unless it free.

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Photo of metter98
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is crystal clear light red in color and poured with a thin off white head that quickly dissipated, leaving some lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of grainy malts and notes of fruity yeast in the nose.
T: Light flavors of pale malts dominate the overall taste; the beet juice doesn’t seem to contribute anything to the taste except for some hints of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied and clean on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink but it isn’t anything that I will be seeking out to try again.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.24/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Just bought the Magic Hat Summer Variety pack for $13.99 and tried the Wacko right away after hearing all the hub-bub about it.

Pours a pink color with pink foam.. I would say I've never seen this before but I've tried AB's Wild Blue Lager... anyways..

Eventually the head turns white and the beer mellows out to just a pinkish read. Not much there aroma wise. I must also say I've never tried a beet before, so I'm not sure of its taste. But, this beer has a nice mouthfeel and is nice and smooth and easy to drink. Has a nice fruity sort of flavor to it, but not over the top at all. Sort of like #9 just with beets I suppose. To sum it up, it's an easy drinking beer that is light bodied and good. I don't know what else people are expecting from a summer beer but there it is.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Magic Hat's fascination with fruit beers continue. A non-descript fruitiness rides through all aspects of the beer. Caught in the mix of blended berries and fruit juice, the Fruity Pebbles taste gives a lot of variety and appeal to the banal base beer.

Though the fruit is fruit-dominant, it isn't without quality beer character. The malts give a mix of true maltiness and grain flavor and feel- much like an oversparged pilsner sense. As the fruitiness falls in the finish, the malts linger a bit longer into the aftertaste. Ultimately pretty clean and crisp.

Hop character cannot be found. Very little bitterness or flavor. Still, the beer is fine without it because of the focus on the fruit flavors and subtleties. ...maybe a light herbal, lemon zest note late.

Ultimately Wacko is an ok summertime refresher. Fans of Purple Haze with find comfort with this beer.

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Photo of brentk56
2.41/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Well, here's a first - a clear salmon pink liquid with a modest head that really doesn't last very long; leaves a few spots of lace for a second or two

Smell: Sweet, vegetal aroma from the beet sugar; almost taffy-like

Taste: Opens with a taffy flavor that adds a bit of beet juice sweetness by mid-palate; no hop elements are discernible and the finish is sweet

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Nice to serve the non-beer drinkers on a hot summer day; I guess this would be an alternative to a wine cooler for that crowd

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Photo of zeff80
3.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy, pink (yes, pink) color. It had a small, white fizzy head that left no lacing. It didn't look like a great beer.

S - It smelled fruit and of some grains.

T - Tasted fruity, more like pomegranate than beet. It was sweet but not overpoweringly sweet.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A light bodied beer.

D - This one is worth a try, probably just once unless fruit beers are your thing.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of off-white head on top of a perfectly clear, reddish gold body. The foam settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Slightly sweet, malty aroma with a hint of cherry. Very light hops in the background.

T - Sweet, grainy malt up front with a bit of red apple yeast fruitiness. Some earthy, slightly musty english hops show through in the middle. Finishes with dry, toasted bread malt and more musty english hops balanced by moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A pretty standard, but drinkable brew. There isn't much going on in the aroma, but light yeast character and pleasingly musty Brit hops put some life into the flavor. The slightly reddish tinge from the beets is a little strange and it's my only complaint on an otherwise decent summer brew.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wacko is certainly not "wacko", nor is it anything new. It looks like a raspberry beer that's been made with real fruit, and to be honest, it kind of tastes like one as well. There's a subtle fruitiness to it, as well as some earthiness and sweetness in the nose, and then a hint of fruit pulp and some tartness follow in the flavor. But OK, disregard that, this is made with beet juice (and you can taste it), and the label reads "A beer with beet juice color" - implying that it's a colored beer, not unlike Coney Island Freaktoberfest (except that that beer is almost purple!).

Moving forward, it is an attractive looking beer with a slight haze and a gently ruby cast beneath a short but frothy pink head.

The aroma is a bit unusual for the uninitiated, but anyone who's had a Belgian Geuze (not the super-sweetened stuff) or an American sour ale , or even a brewpub produced raspberry ale with real fruit has had a whiff of something like this. Personally, I like it, but I can see why they might think this was off-putting to the common drinker and then think that calling it "Wacko" with an interesting label might help. Or maybe not.

The same kind of earthy, fruit-pulpy funk returns in the flavor, but it's masked a bit more. There's a hint of tartness, some nice fruitiness, and a bit of sweet golden malt. Not bad. The bitterness rises in the finish though, and although I'm fine with it, I think that might be off-putting to someone who'd be excited by a pinkish beer. Or maybe not. Oddly, based on my past experiences with this kind of stuff, the general public that will put their lips to a glass like this will tend to blind themselves to what they don't like about it (or don't realize they don't like about it), and instead, rally around it, adopting it as their own weird and cool potion.

So what do I say? Gimmicky, perhaps. I don't think that the beet is anything special, but on the other hand I don't think that marketing something like this is bad either. Whatever sells, right? And let's be honest, cards on the table, I enjoyed this and liked it a hell of a lot better than tequiza. I know chicks will dig it. And hippie guys will probably love it too. So what the hell, spread the love!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.31/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is an odd deep pinkish gold color with a large light pink head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is tart and full of beets, along with light malts and a faint touch of hops, but it's not appetizing at all and kind of nasty.

T: The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness that is quickly followed by the tart flavor of beets, which fortunately isn't as strong as it is in the smell. There's a mild hops presence that brings a little bit of balance but not much. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Crisp but not smooth at all, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not tasty in any way, does not go down easily, not too filling, mild kick, I just did not find anything good about this beer and there's no way that I would drink it again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. The back label of the bottle advises I drink this before July 2009. You got it, Magic Hat!

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-pink hue topped with an inch of fizzy, white foam.

Smell: Slight nose with some vague berry-like fruit hints, hint of lemon, and crisp, though delicate pale malts.

Taste: Pale malts, though very mild in flavor and with a small amount of sweetness. Hint of citrus from the hops with a medium bitterness. Vague hints of beet-ish, berry-like fruitiness. Finishes dry, lightly bitter, and with a club soda fizziness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation, a bit fizzy.

Drinkability: Not recommended. I've had some great beet dishes in my time. Now, I suppose I've had one iffy beet-based beer. This is a one-off release, right? Right?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Salmon pink capped by three fingers of rose petal pink froth. Leave it to Magic Hat to use something like beet extract to give the beer such an unnatural hue. I guess they felt like they had to make good on the name. The foam melts in fine fashion, leaving scattered splotches of pretty good looking lace as it does so.

Even though no fruit is added, this summer seasonal smells like a fruit beer. Oh, I don't know, some sort of berry perhaps. Of course, it could be the color that's putting that impression into my head. It's also musky and sweetish. Interesting? Yes. Nasty? No. Pleasant? Not really.

Strange, oddball, off-center beer can be good on occasion. Wacko isn't that strange... and it isn't that good. It tastes like a fruit beer too, probably from the sweetness of the beet sugar and the fruitiness of the English ale yeast strain. At least it doesn't taste like beets or it would definitely be a drain pour. Rarely has 15 IBU beer been this bitter.

I wonder if MHBC test markets their beer or if they're so enamored with the name and the artwork on the label and wild-n-wacky ingredients that they think everyone else will love it as well? I find it hard to believe that this insipidly flavored ale (bittersweet berries, grain husks and crushed aspirin) is a big seller up New England way.

The mouthfeel makes neither a positive nor a negative impression. I won't even suggest how it could be improved because the flavor profile needs such a complete overhaul that the mouthfeel hardly matters in the grand scheme of things.

Wacko isn't as wacky as Magic Hat would like to believe. Instead, it's yet another in a long line of misses from a brewery that has the talent to come up with pretty good beer when they want to. While I don't regret buying this single (since it satisfied my curiosity), I'll be glad to see the bottom of the glass.

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Photo of russpowell
3.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was able to pick up one as part of a mixed sixerover in Mizzou. Review based on notes...

Pours an effervescent pink tinged orange with 1 finger of eggshell colored head. Some lacing & zero head retnetion

S: Berries & apples

T: Berry juice, dryness & slight mineral hop edge, plus tartness up front. Faint raspberry flavor & metallic twang as this warms along with some tart cherry & a wisp of toasty malt hiding underneath. Finishes dry & fairly sugar sweet

MF: Thinnish with slight carbonation. Feels like a watered down wine cooler from the 80s minus the sulphur

Drinks okay, doesn't suck as much as the average MH product, so that's about the best endorsement I can give it...

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grabbed both the new twelve packs the other day as I had realized that there were 5 of the 7 beers in there that I have not had, and that was good enough for me. Went on an epic magic hat tasting last night and went through them all. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/05/2009.

Just wow, I cant belive this one got put out in such a large release. Pours into the glass like some weird reddish kids drink. Odd look for sure. There really is just nothing going on here. The aroma is like a light cherry maybe, like tried red tang or something it just does not really work. Bland, light flavor of grain and rice almost mixed with a very light fruit taste that is barely enough to notice. Light in body and almost unnoticeable.

Overall wow, this was really not that great of a beer, and to be honest I was unsure it really even was a beer. Not something I plan on going back to for sure.

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Photo of smcolw
1.94/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Impressive near-white head with some staying power. Bright pink color--looks like a raspberry lambic, but clear.

Sour aroma of fermented berries. Relatively mild.

Sour flavor that is over the top. Surprisingly short (near non-existent) aftertaste. Quite the novelty. Thin bodied, highly carbonated. A clear miss.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at AL's of Hampden in East Pennsboro, PA -served chilled in a pint glass.

A - An almost electric magenta like the flowers you see on cacti w/ excellent clarity. Like a mix of pink/purple east egg or Dennis Rodman's Hair from back when he was with the Bulls which is interesting, but makes you think 'cooler'. pale pink head of 1/8 inch and there is minimal lacing.

S - A very mild scent, not quite fruity, more lager-like as a hint of malt is noted

M - A very light feel-like a pale lager, crisp, refreshing w/ clean texture and slightly dry

T - A bit flavorless, really. Hints of malt as in the nose just does'nt do much to offend or impress either way-really Wacko. There are minute flavors of malt and hops that don't taste bad, just muted. I wouldn't have known there were beets used except for the coloring

D - Why bother, it just tastes like a light lager and looks fruity but doesn't taste like any fruit was used in it. I could say it is drinkable, but only passable really. I would prefer some taste, not just texture and a colored pale beer. Whatever was used to color must have fermented out and I would say try as a lawnmower ale if you see it cheaply priced. the fuschia color is kind of queer(wacko)

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Photo of mdfb79
1.88/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a reddish-pink color with 2 inches of white head and moderate carbonation. Head leaves very quickly.

s - Smells of vegetables, earthy malts, and not much more here. Maybe a hint of sweet fruit. Kind of weird.

t - Tastes of grain, bready malts, and a bit metalic. Not enjoyable.

m - Light body and high carbonation that stings the tongue.

d - I thought this was an awful beer. Not much to the smell but some weird vegetable/earthy tones, and the taste was worse, being the same plus being metalic. Would not have again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
1.86/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

So, yeah, I'm sure the score is a major tip-off that I did not enjoy this beer. Worse, it all started out so well. I saw it on the shelf at one of my local haunts and thought, "Hm, that sounds interesting. Let's give it a go." After chilling it for a few days (there's a lot of beer in that fridge, OK?), I finally got around to pouring the damn thing. It was clear, the color of a nice blood orange, and had a head made of about a finger of quick-dying white micro-foam. It seemed as though the beets were doing their job well, making a festive, interesting appearance. Things began to go sideways when my 'strils got involved. The bit of citrus hops was the only saving grace here. Unfortunately, from behind them rose some funky wheat, bad puffed rice (I didn't know that could go bad...), and a scent warning me of an impending vegetable zombie attack. I knew that damn disposal didn't work well enough. Still believing myself the Shackleford of beer, I pressed on into the foreboding taste. Big mistake. The vegetable zombies struck, a V-8 executive's acid-induced coma nightmare. He knew the vengeance was pending, but just kept convincing himself it was an impossibility. Foolish man. My taste buds were pelted with orange peels that had been urinated on by a demon; grass left over from a hippie's orgy-tastic sex tape filming; hard water; and the very salad Ngo Dinh Diem was scarfin' on when he was assassinated. I'd love to know how much they paid for that last one on E-Bay. The body was a mercifully light medium (any thicker and I may not have been able to survive), with a seemingly oppressive carbonation and a dry finish. I applaud the creativity and find the use of new and different ingredients to be a noble (is that the word?) endeavor, but this experiment has gone terribly awry. [rec] awry. I've had worse, but not many. I will say, though, it's worth a try, even if it will most likely end up down the drain loike mine. Every beer is worth a shot. They're just not all worth more than one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.47/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a crystal clear pink tinged grapefruit juice tone with a light pink tinted head.

Aromatics are dull not much going on except for corn and cooked veggies, WTF! Also on board is a light mineral water extract, are we trying to give micro brews a bad name here.

Flavor is horrid, bitter cooked veggies with little to no apparent sweetness. Just cereal grain offness with more of that cooked corn DMS going down. If your going to add beet sugar to give a beer a pink color at least make it something worth drinking, pure shite.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with an acrid finish of post puking mouthfeel. Carbontion is a bit much and it really over does it and practically induces the gag reflux with each sip.

Drinkability, this beer is a lost cause I hoped to never cross paths with any beer of this level of shit. It has created a new plateau of piss poor brewing efforts, why does it have to come from a likeable brewery like Magic Hat and have such a cool fuckin' label.

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Photo of stakem
3.15/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear redish orange color with a finger of big bubbly white head. Minimal retension and just a bit of lacing on the glass. Nose has malt sweetness, a bit of hops and true as the bottle states, a bit of a beet/earthy note in the aroma as well. Taste has a bit of malt and low hop profile. Unfamiliar taste that is minorly earthy rounding out the finish. Medium amount of carb and feel. I dont know what to make of this beer. It was an interesting experience but one was enough.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.11/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well this was interesting...I was quite startled when I started pouring the beer and noticed a pinkish/redish hue. As with all magic Hat beers....there is something familiar that each one contains. This beer is no different. As mentioned above, it pour a redish color, there isnt much smell (allergies could be causing an issue). The taste is decent. There is some subtle citrus there, but seemingly a solid amber. The lighted abv and somewhat fruity taste make this a good summer beer.

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Photo of tdm168
3.36/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby red with a thin lacing of head that disappears quickly. Smell is sweet and yeasty. Taste is an odd blend of malt and beets with a mild bitterness at the very end. The beets hang on in the aftertaste. The beet flavor actually is as well blended into this beer as beets could possibly be. Light to medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This smells like a bitter root to me. The flavor profile is...well...boring. With all that crap they are using in this beer, I was expecting at least a bit more punch. Alas, there is not much to this except faint, drab hints of who-cares-what-it-is. Nice label. Boring beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottles. Comes with handy freshness dating info on the rear label. Pours a radical shade of pinkish red/diluted beet. The head is similarly tinted, loose and fluffy before receding to a thicker film and leaving copious amounts of thick lace. Light and fruity on the nose. Not my favorite style, this one is the expected continuation of the light and fruity theme. Hops flex their muscles mid way through the experience. Hot weather, summer lunch, with dessert, all these occasions could work with this one

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Wacko from Magic Hat Brewing Company
2.84 out of 5 based on 783 ratings.
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