Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,701 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,701
Ratings:
12,129
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
588
Gots:
2,976
For Trade:
53
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Reviews: 3,701 | Ratings: 12,129
Photo of heath1agnew
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- great black color with a thick tan head and good lacing.

S- dark fruits, a bit of a metallic smell.

T&M- dark chocolate and coffee, with a nice bitter finish. mouthfeel is not too heavy.

D- good drinkability for russian imperial.

finally got hold of another great beer, they are hard to come by where i live.

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Photo of cptierney
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is it, the beer that started it all. Old Rasputin has such a personal appeal to me, we have shared many a night together and I can't help but feel in the presence of an old friend when I pour that 12 ouncer into its appropriate Old Rasputin North Coast nonic pint glass. This isn't so much a review as it is a love letter.

First, there's the color. My dad used to drink Guinness and say it was as black as Hitler's soul. If that was the case, whose soul is as pitch black as the opaque liquid before me? This is void of space dark crowned with an impressive three fingers of fluffy light brown celestial foam that gently dissipates to leave a thin corona of light atop this black beast.

Old Raspy's nose really shines. There are the requisite notes of black coffee and cocoa that one would expect but it is in the complexity of sweet notes that this brew asserts its dominance. I can't describe all the elements but I'll try to do it justice by stating that there is a warm toffee ambiance that radiates from my glass.

A quaff of this stout is best described as velvety smooth. If Barry White made beer, this is what it would taste like. Viscous enough to have body but liquid enough to avoid adjectives like jammy, Old Raspy disappears with a satisfactory level of bubbleage and harmony.

The flavor of this beer is a little old fashioned as compared to some of its more hyped up cousins. While it lacks in the dark fruits category it shines in the area of malt. Biscuity, bready, and toasted are words that quickly come to mind. The sweetness is also evident with touches of vanilla and candied sugar. There is some bittering, as the hops play their hand at the beers finish, though they remain merely character actors in this beers screenplay.

This is not a sipping beer for experienced RIS drinkers. Its relative light body and minimal bitterness make for a remarkably sessionable Imperial Stout. There is an associated danger with this brew however, that 9% ABV is not a joke.

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Photo of Nostrajonus
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark brown pour with a two finger creamy tan head that sticks around for the long haul. Foamy thick lacing follws the beer down to the bottom as you drink.

S- Rich roasted malts with some subtle dark chocolate smells.

T- This thing is mallllty. The grain really comes through, and the dark chocolate smell is present on the palate as well.

M- The texture is perfect. The nitrogen conditioning gives this brew a creaminess that is unbeatable. Full points for mouthfeel.

O-This is a great beer. Anyone who thinks Guinness is stout (I love Guinness, but lets be honest) should drink this wonderful North Coast creation, and reevaluate.

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Photo of hoppyFreshness
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

This is my favorite russian imperial stout. It tastes incredible and goes down easy (especially on nitro). A little too easy. This beer tends to put the demon in me and the spirit of old Grigori Rasputin comes out in full effect. Dire consequences rapidly ensue.

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Photo of ectomorph
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle out of a "Never Say Die" 4 pack.

A - Poured into a pint glass this is jet black with a large dark tan head that has been staring at me for 5 minutes now.

S - Espresso and chocolate are the 1st things to mind. Roasty caramel sweetness. Epitome of 'mouth watering'.

T - Rich roasted coffee and caramel malts. Alcohol in the nose on the finish. Dark chocolate is picked up on the 2nd pull. Excellent.

M - Very complex and big bodied with that head cushioning each sip.

D - Is there a better brew for the winter? I doubt it.

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Photo of cetherid
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a tulip.

A.

beer is a nice dark black color. head is frothy brown and leaves a lot of lacing.

S.

big roasted notes of coffee and chocolate. I'm getting some slight dark fruit in there like raisins. Smell isn't overwhelming but noticeable

T.

roasted coffee...some dark chocolate in there with a little sweetness and a nice little bite of bitterness finishes it off. A great tasting beer.

M.

about full bodied. a nice amount of carbonation. a little tingle on the tongue from carbonation and bitterness.

D.

very high. probably the standard in Imperial Stouts. Not many things bad with this beer. It's nothing I'd spend my life savings on, but I can see myself grabbing a 4pack of this once a month. The price and availability make it very high as well.

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Photo of Llewellyn9
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm an old hat when it comes to imperial stouts, and this is a trusty stand by.

poors beautifully, impenetrably dark brown, nearly black with hits of red. head is a pillow of tan goodness. nice lace, but not as much as i would like.

the smell is a testament to the power of malt. Dark, roasted and beguiling, with a hint of hops; coffee and chocolate to boot.

see smell above, and add the fact that that i'm weeping as i type this...

like carbonated molasses, and i mean that in the in the best possible way.

here we reach a dilemma, do i love imperial stouts, F*CK YES!!! could i drink them all night?? probably not, even if they are god... uh, i mean, good.

epilogue: i made a black and tan with this and pliny the elder. needless to say, i've put in an order for a new set of taste buds...

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Photo of mnj21655
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a nice 2, maybe 3, finger brown head and lacing that lasts until the end. When held to the light there are mere hints of ruby at the edges. Smells first of a hint of hops then strongly of sweet chocolately roasted malts. Great taste with lots of flavors. The sweet roasted malts dominate but as with the smell I am able to detect a hint of hop bitterness. I am able to pick out some coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and some dried fruits. A pleasantly bitter dark chocolate flavor lingers in the finish. Despite clocking in at 9% ABV the alcohol is masked quite well. Mouthfeel is great. Good, solid body that is thick without being chewy. This brew is also creamy and somewhat dry, very nice. Drinkability is excellent. This is a great interpretation of the style. Great taste with fairly complex flavors make this a treat.

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Photo of vince4953529
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've purchased this beer intermittently. this is one of the very first (three years ago) imperial stout I've tried as I first venture into the cosmos of craft beer. I just bought a 4-pk of this at an amazing $5.99 deal (that's 48 oz of world class stout), and it tastes even better than the first time I've tried it.

Look is black, but not the blackest of the black, with a gorgeous head forming. Smell is a bit of fruity chocolate aroma.

Taste is sweet at first, and a slight burnt bitterness at finishing. I could not detect and alcohol burn whatsoever. It drinks supremely easy, thus beware it hits you at the end when you're at your third bottle.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle to snifter

A: black, thick tan head, laces the glass

S: rich roasty, sweet, coffee,

T: Roasted malts, smooth starts off sweet and finishes in perfect balance between bitterness and alcohol. i use this beer as a basis for many beers of this style this is a grand example of of the style.

M: perfect carbonation, full body and enjoyable finish.

D: I love this brew and a 4 pack will go down in an evening. I have been drinking this one for a long time and just decided to post a review.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip from 12 oz bottle - no best by date visible.

Poured a deep black w/ thick two finger head that held retention for what seemed forever,excellent webbing as the lace lowered,good carbonation.

Taste - Toasted malts with burnt coffee ,bitter chocolate
slight hops /mild boozy aftertaste.

Drinkability - Well blended and balanced just enough flavors to pull off the high abv % - Tackles your tongue with exotic flavors.
Extremely drinkable - I recommend drinking it slowly as to enjoy all of it's complex flavors.

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Photo of isubsmith
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark, night-ly black. Medium head that quickly dissipated after the pour into an imperial pint glass. Lots of residual lacing though.

Nose: Wow. Very rich. Roasted barley. Extra-strong coffee smells. Extremely aromatic.

Taste: Burnt coffee and well-roasted barley, unsweetened chocolate. Finish is bitter hops mingling with the well-roasted coffee tastes.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Much heavier than (say) Guinness, but lighter than (say) Victory Storm King.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable, esp for almost 9% ABV. Very flavorful.

Absolutely worth a drink if you like stouts.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An impressive, complex, tasty Russian Imperial Stout, Old Rasputin is the antithesis of nastiness represented by its namesake. It pours a very dark brown, with a finger thick of long-lasting head and a latticed froth that adheres to the pint glass throughout consumption--impressive. The smell and taste are bold, hoppy, and rich with malt, chocolate, coffee, and maybe caramel--strong but smooth in taste and texture. The finish is wonderful, and I'm ruing the fact that I only picked up one in a sampler pack at the local Piccadilly.

Very tasty, helping me bounce back strong from being under the weather yesterday. Easily one of the best stouts I've had, and right at and near the the top of Russian Imperials I've had the good fortune to have tried. Definitely a great find, more than worth the try, and don't make the mistake of buying just one. Get the pack. You won't be sorry.

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Photo of car2052
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to snifter glass.

A: Jet black. With a 1 in. light brown head that fades down to a modest ring.
S: Whiskey, molasses, dalt malts, chocolate, and a hint of coffee.
T: Very dark breads: rye, pumpernickel.. Strong coffee taste, with hints of dark chocolate.
M: Medium to full mouthfeel.
O: This is my first Russian Imperial, and I think it is very good. Look forward to trying many more.

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Photo of teovaldi
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small light brown head. Incredible amounts of lacing.

Coffee, coffee and more coffee mixed with dark chocolate and some malts in there as well. A bit of sweetness and alcohol comes as the beer warms. Exceptional smell!

Lots and lots of coffee up front, bitter chocolate with some malts. Finishes slightly bitter/boozy but very nice.

Thick, vicious, velvety, almost creamy mouthfeel. Very nice and also much better on tap versus bottled.

While this is thick and vicious you hardly taste the alcohol at all. Quite drinkable considering how big this brew is.

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Photo of shabbtastic
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep black into a pint glass. Beautiful two finger brownish tan head with impeccable lacing, (like the aging of a tree).

S - Coffee (espresso) with hints of dark chocolate. Dark roasted malts with a nice hop companion that adds just the right touch.

T - Wow, really full of flavor. Rich and smooth, perfect balance of creamy and bitter. Alcohol is noticeable, strong but very subtle. Earthy hops in the back make this an exceptional RIS.

M - Full bodied, nicely carbonated.

D - This is a benchmark for the style IMO. I could (slowly) drink these all night. Warm and inviting and probable one of the best RIS I'm had. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today!

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Photo of taters21
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was absolutely splendid and a great example of an imperial stout having a thick, lowly carbonated mouthfeel, and a taste and smell full of coffee and dark cocoa notes. Though I did detect some dark fruit in the nose, possibly fig or plums, cocoa and coffee dominated on the palate, which worked well with the mouthfeel, if I tasted this blindly, I could easily believe it to be an oatmeal stout, all in all an exceptional stout, highly recommended.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A black brew with dark brown highlights is capped by a solid looking thick brown 1 and 1/2 finger head that sticks around for quite some time. Thick waves of lace coat the glass.

S - Solid scents of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and roasted grains fill the nostrils. This is actually pretty mellow smelling, and the high alcohol level is not detectable. Burnt notes are there also.

T - Wonderfully full flavors of roasted cereal grains, chocolate, firewood, hickory, coffee, and tobacco. The taste is very bitter, but balanced by a little bit or chocolatey sweetness. This is really the most pleasant stout that I've had!

M - Full bodided, sweet and dextriny and first, slighty spicy and warming from the alcohol, and very dry on the finish. This stuff wicks the moisture away from you mouth and leaves you clucking, trying to make more spit. Wonderful.

D - Despite the alcohol content and strong roasty burnt flavors, I believe that this is about the most drinkable stout ever. Give me more!

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Photo of sgtaxt
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a stunning obsidian black. Mocha colored, one finger head that dissipates quickly leaving just a ring of foam and minimal lacing. Beautiful beer.

Smell: Coffee and dark malts. Some fruit scents that remind me of red wine. Also a bit of a sour, acidic smell right at the end (maybe the alcohol?).

Taste: Espresso, bold roast (almost burnt) flavor, bitterness balanced by warm chocolate flavors. The 9% ABV is apparent without being overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body paired with med-high carbonation makes this beer creamy and satisfying. Taste and carbonation linger in the mouth.

Overall: My first imperial stout so I don't have much to compare it to, but this beer is outstanding no matter how you look at it.

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Photo of Caj1
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Man oh man, am I glad I found this at the package store. I will have to beg the manager to keep stocking it.

A: Beautiful. Cascading pour is reminiscent of a Guinness but the bubbles don't waterfall since there isn't nitrogen infused. A two-inch caramel head that refuses to die. Becomes pillowy and leaves minimal lacing. The foam slides down the side of the glass and recollects on top of the beer. Beer is a deep, deep red-brown from what little I can see on the edge of the mug but the body is black. Light does not penetrate.

S: warm and malty sweet like some graham cracker and allspice. Light fruitiness probably from hops since yeast is probably killed by the higher ABV. A little bit of grass and earth. Slight alcohol vapor takes it to the head.

T: VERY rich and complex. Toasted biscuit or sweetbuns with good rounded coffee notes and some dark chocolate depth. Slight bitterness from hops and toasted grain. Malt is sweet and bready without being cloying. Slight alcohol astringency helps cut the malt stickiness and the dark toast flavors linger for a long time.

M: Rich, full-bodied and creamy from foam. Alcohol helps dry the palate a little and cuts the sticky malt and sugar and it leaves a nice bite after enveloping the mouth in rich softness.

Beautiful beer and well worth the $2.50 (plus tax!) per bottle. Very few bad notes here and they are just nitpicks. It could use a point or so less ethanol but it leaves a lovely buzz so it is worth it. Also I would enjoy slightly more chocolate but again that is subjective. Great stuff. If this was on tap I would be in heaven. I will try to make this a staple.

Good health, great beer.

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Photo of MuddyMcGinny
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle angry pour to a English nonic.

Motor oil Black Sabbath black with a HUGE 2+ finger head that almost flowed over, didn't mean to pour too hard - oops!, but a firm hearty insane mocha colored froth with a hint of commie reddish ruby overtone... ha!... comes back strong on a good swirl o' the glass when halfway thru with really good lacing as well.

Nose of bitter coffee and sweetness of malt. Medium-firm body with robust flavors throughout... a little smoke and fire, obvious coffee bitter, malts and dark fruit earthiness. Alcohol hidden very well. A good bite on the tongue at first sip but mellows to malty awesomeness as the pint dwindles.

Had a bottle at Downtown Bar & Grill Brooklyn for the first time in a while and just had to pick up a four pack today. One of my all time favorites. Would give 5's across the board but only the beer gods can create a perfect beer! Well done.

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well there are 3.665 reviews of this one so what can i really say? I guess if you see it buy it. a wonderful Stout. I bought a 4 pack and i am heading out to buy more.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a large snifter (this time--used different glassware every time with largely the same results).

Color pitch black. Thick latte foam with plenty of staying power and lots of lacing, resembling crema.

Nose of good espresso and roasted dark malts. This is followed by pecan notes, with a hint of orange, then a hit of booze--this comes across even in a snifter, which is supposed to concentrate the bouquet.

Taste starts out as strong espresso and that remains throughout. Bitter cocoa notes with dark tea thrown in, a bit of orange zest and pecans mingled with both dark and sweet malts, with hints of caramel and vanilla. Coffee comes through in the finish with more citrus and a hint of pepper. Lingering aftertaste of dark malts and finally some pumpernickel bread, but then shuts off clean. Nice complexity and balance.

Body is big and toasty, almost oily so, again, a comparison with top espresso. Mild but everpresent carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well, aside from the boozy aroma and a bit of heat in the finish.

This is a beautiful product. I first came across it by accident, while looking for a different impy stout. This stood out because of the name, the artwork and it was $3 less for 4-pack (almost an aberration in MA). I'm much more than $3 richer for it now. This is about as close to a 5 as a regular beer gets (the only distraction is a somewhat boozy nose, and not because of the vessel). I keep going back to the well after that serendipitous moment and it tastes better every time.

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Photo of Khaymanbb
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I first had this in bottles from my local liquor store, as I was sampling all the types of stouts he could get in a 1/6 barrel. Then I got a 1/6 bl and there is a slight increase in rating:
Bottle:
L: poured chocolate brown/black, with large head that dissipated slowly (I hard poured it, shouldn't do that...)
S: not much of an aroma, slightly malty with hint of vanilla and chocolate
T: very good. Can really get the chocolate and vanilla flavors, with some notes of coffee and possibly almonds? Slightly nutty, but in a good way. Not too fond of beers with nut flavors
F: These can be quaffed like nobodies business, just beware: the 9% ABV will kick in and drop you on the floor if you're not taking these slowly.
O: Very good stout.
Nitro keg:
L: had gas too high, so head was creamy tan half glass. Reset gas, did a Guinness pour, and whole new world. Top 1/2 inch thick marshmallowy cream, below that thick bubbled creamy head, then dark chocolate color beer.
S: Not much of a noticeable smell at all.
T: Super creamy, smooth, flavors of good stout beer with very slight chocolate and vanilla. Absolutely delicious. You will get a slight sharp alcohol taste as well, due to the high ABV, but nothing like a vodka or bourbon. It's noticeable, which is odd when drinking a beer.
F: One of my new favorites. Guy was out of LH Milk Stout, offered this for same price. Now it's my 3rd favorite over the prior and Guinness.
O: A great beer that needs to be in everyone's fridge or kegerator. Also will get you crazy hammered if you drink it like a normal beer. So be careful...

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,129 ratings.
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