Founders Devil Dancer | Founders Brewing Company

very good
1,483 Reviews
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Founders Devil DancerFounders Devil Dancer

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Triple IPA. Dry-hopped for twenty-six days straight with a combination of 10 hop varieties. 112 actual IBU; although it calculates to over 200!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-17-2004

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Reviews: 1,483 | Ratings: 5,033
Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap in Greenville SC.
Pour is hazy brown-copper. The large, foamy off-white head is durable and leaves foamy lacing.
Aroma: boozy, hoppy and sweet, with a promise of toffee.
Flavor: moderately-high bitterness, but less than expected, and more sweet malts. some complexity. A bit boozy

Overall: a malty triple IPA.

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Photo of stevoj
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A really nice beer, but overall killed by the candy sweetness. This could have been great. Caramel and toffee sweetness in the aroma, sweet malts in the flavor, a sugary malt bomb. No sign of the ABV though, although I suspect it will sneak up on me later.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Understanding the amount of work and time that goes into an IPA monster of this magnitude is missed by 90% of these reviews. You can't compare Jackson Pollock to Norman Rockwell

A: pours a vibrant, clear deep amber with 3/4" white head that recedes slowly. Retention & lacing are quite good.

S: Very deep caramel nuttiness & huge hop undertones.

T: Leads with off-sweet roasted nut & macerated fruit notes. Mid palate is more roasty-toasty nuttiness & hints of citrus peel. Bittering hops are present. Finish is off-sweet as well & lingers with dense resinous hops.

M: Moderate carb & a thick syrupy, yet surprisingly delicate body come together nicely.

O: This may well be one of my new faves.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark amber-copper with a 1-finger tan head.

Aroma: sweet bready-malt with a solid hop background. From the aroma, you know this beer will be sweet.

Flavor: caramel and light molasses followed by a heavy dose of hops. The molasses is quite pronounced in the finish. I’ve only had molasses like this in imperial stouts. Well balanced, though. The hops last through to the finish and really shine. There is no alcoholic warmth and little, if any, alcohol flavor, despite being 12% abv.

Mouthfeel: body is light-medium, and light enough you’d likely drink another. The light body allows this beer to creep up on you. Remarkably drinkable given its strength.

Overall: good, but not great. This beer is certainly worth trying, but given a good selection of 2X IPAs or “triple IPAs”, I’d opt for others. This beer is very hoppy, but the hops don’t seem to be the headliner – more of an equal partner to the malt. Again, well balanced, but for a triple IPA, I’d expect the hops to be far more prominent.

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Photo of DBosco
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was a 15 month old bottle rescued from the local shelves. Reddish orange with little head. Smells malty with hops minus any citrus or floral character. Tastes of malty sweetness, with some piney bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little oily, not much carbonation; alcohol not prominent surprisingly. Overall, pretty much what I expected - not objectionable but not great, but then I knew this was an old bottle.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap at Alley Katz in Citrus Heights, CA

Appearance - Served up in a snifter with a finger's worth of sandstone colored head. The brew itself is relatively clear and beautifully deep ruby red. Good retention before dissipating to a thin, broken layer of surface suds. Good lacing, with chunks and large spots making up the bulk of it.

Smell - Interesting aroma, with notes of orange, grapefruit, sweetened raisins, toffee and a bit of spice.

Taste - A bit of a mess on the tongue. Near overwhelming amount of pine and citrus bitterness, while malts come through with a raisin bread-like sweetness. Cinnamon spice. Aftertaste lingers with more pine, grapefruit pith and a whole lot of boozy astringency.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky texture; near syrupy. Dry, boozy finish.

Overall - One thing's for certain: this will definitely challenge the taste buds. Even for a well-versed hoppy beer drinker such as myself, I find this a bit rough and abrasive. It's certainly not undrinkable, and it does have its positive qualities, but I won't ever be dropping $20+ on a 4 pack for it.

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Photo of Act25
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta love the outliers. This is on the edge. 112 btu, 12% Abv, dark bomb.

A: Looks great. 4 on color. Tawny, hazed, alcohol mirrored body, over set by scant lace and after a thick head, just a ring. Best color.
S: Given what's to come, too light. malty, candied fruit, pine resin, sweet, approaching barley wine.
T: Ample, complex, extremely bitter. Peppery, spicey, pungent yet still clean. Complex, strong herbal and earthy hops. Sweetness is balanced by the bitterness with candied fruit and tart citrus custard. Grand Mariner like.
F: Thick, brandy body with low carbonation. Sharp & crisp for the degree of sugar.

Overall:Warms up quickly and burns. The alcohol is prominent as are the pungent, bitter hops.
As A bros wrote:
"This beer is insane. No, absolutely insane! dropped bombs on our palates, fight fire with fire! Aim and launch it at some really spicy"

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Description: Appearance is almost red when held up to a light with no real discernible head or lacing to speak of. Smell is rich, caramel, bread, with more sweetness than hops. Not what I would term "hoppy", despite a mountain of IBUs. The taste is bitter but not crisp or dry the way that a West Coast IPA might be. Instead, it's more earthy and woody, even though I don't think this is barrel aged. There's also a certain "funk" in the aroma that reminds me of onion. Kind of musty but in a good way. Feel is smooth, thick and velvety for an IPA.

Suggested food pairing: Philly cheese steak with lots of peppers and onions

If you like this beer then you should also try: Waldo's Special Ale

Overall: 4.25 (This beer is good and I would likely drink it again) Allow me to qualify the review above by saying that it was based on a bottle over two years old. On the advice of a local Beer Store Guy (BSG), I aged a few against the strict edicts of the IPA Freshness Police. I have to say, it made a significant difference. When I drank the fresh ones, they were O.K. but maybe a little harsh. The aging mellowed it out and it was an altogether better beer.

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Photo of jmd1978
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Dark Amber color with almost no head. Smell very malty with caramel and hoppy notes. Taste surprisingly sweet with caramel and toffee malts. Then the hops hits you. Very piney and earthy notes. Intense. Finish leaves a hippy coating in your mouth for awhile. This beer is very intense. Took me 3-4 sips to begin to love it. Very hoppy and good but a little too malty to be a favorite. Will happily drink again. I wish it had more flavor profile to really enjoy but at 112 IBUs it's tough (for me at least) to pick up any other flavors in it.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber color with off-white head. Aroma has caramel, dark oranges and earth hops. Taste starts with big punch of hops, bitter and abrasive. Earthy, resiny and grassy. Intense, bitter finish and aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation. Overall it's a well made beer but triple IPA is not one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of Shade1951
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is so bitter that it actually straddles the line into sweetness. The first taste the mouth picks up upon sipping is sweetness, followed immediately by a rush of bitterness. It's a good looking ale - reminiscent of that of a barleywine. There's also a mild creaminess in the mouthfeel. Quite strong, very tasty, and very rewarding.

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Photo of Jaypeajus
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75 is a super malty backbone has an Amber pour minimal head. Smell some ripe pineapple, more sweet smelling than last two in past month from same pack. Saving one more as a "see what happens to a hi abv TIPA after a year-ish-barleywine characteristics?" Tastes Carmel malts, I can really see this being a mock BW with some age already, only 2 months in..Feel is not the greatest as an IPA goes, but this all around is a weird IPA..while I rate it moderately low, I really like it, and I wrote this up after first four or five sips, so I know the 12% isn't running my mouth..interesting to say the least.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark amber beer with a one finger high, beige, creamy head. A lot of lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Resin, pine, oak, orange, caramel malt and toffee.
Taste: Pine, orange marmalade, hops and orange peel.
Mouth: Full body. Light carbonation. Oily and smooth texture. Bitter ending.

The 12% ABV is very well hidden! I can fell the warmth of the alcohol after a while.

Great beer!

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle. Bottle date 5-11-16. Poured into Aslin Brewing Teku glass.

L: Good 3F+ head with surprising retention considering ABV (uh oh, is it malted over?), plenty of lacing and a ring. Beer is deep amber, not too hazy as you can see some carbonation bubbles.

S: Not sure if this is supposed to be more malt forward or if we are getting some hop fade. Brewer says they went malt forward to balance the ten different hops they used, so let's go with that. So yes, lots of sweet malt up front. I get some of the tropical scents and floral hints, but surely they intend more from a ten hop concoction? No alcohol in the nose, so that's good.

T: Malt forward, lots of caramel and wheat, maybe some Pils, tropical fruit and some pine in there as well. A bit floral. A little bit of alcohol on the end. Others have remarked there is a barleywine-ish character and I would not disagree.

F: Medium to full bodied, light to medium carbonation as the alcohol does the drying work. By default, getting all these malts and hops into a reasonable tasting beer is a plus for construction, and the balancing of this very high IBU is well-done.

O: Would like to try it fresh and see if there is any difference, but when I think Triple IPA, I think of Kane's Hop Lab and not this interpretation of the style.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This high-octane Imperial IPA is a crystal-clear, effervescent deep-amber beer sporting a large, pebbly, light-peach-colored head that shows modest retention; lacing is very good, consisting of sticky slabs and cavelets. The nose is medium-big: a leading zwieback-like toasted malt aroma is quickly overrun by a delicious blend of pineapple juice, sweet and spicy florals, more subtle cannabis and potent alcohol overtones. Up front, the palate is big, juicy pineapple backed by bitterish green pine and light caramel; mid-palate the malt character gains a lot of ground intensity-wise, completely outpacing the bitterness, but remains markedly light in character. By the end, the hop character is relegated to a pineapple/floral accent, the boozy undertow is quite strong, and a notable astringency develops. The finish is a moderate warming hit of caramel and booze, followed by the onset of a light-moderate grassy pineapple bitterness that lasts for a good while. The mouthfeel is big for the medium body, and slightly warming; the texture is sticky/creamy and very slightly peppery from the restrained carbonation. Ultimately, it is the alcohol that provides a counterpoint to the malt character in this beer. (12 oz bottle, 51 days after pkg)

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I almost feel like I shouldn't have reviewed this. As a beer, it is great! But labeled as and IPA is kind of hard for me to swallow. Yes it's bitter, and strong, and has a big hop profile, but it still borders a fine line to an American Barleywine in my opinion. Strong alcohol presence and huge malty goodness make this a nice sipper. Cheers!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very hazy dark amber, almost red, color with a 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both excellent. Very malty, citrus, caramel, piney aroma. Very appealing. Definitely a boozy taste. No hiding that. The strong malty taste almost drowns out any citrus but has a nice, aggressive piney hop at the end with a very smooth, creamy, caramel like ending. Strong astringency at the end. Very good beer, but this is for sipping only.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Beer Nerd tulip glass
From: Bine & Vine in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $6.30 (10 pct. off with mixed 6-pack purchase)
Purchased: July 1, 2016
Consumed: July 2, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on May 10, 2016 at 11:49 a.m. ET

Got talked into buying this by Geoi at Bine & Vine, but he wouldn’t give a bad recommendation. Had never heard of it before purchasing it. Super pricey ($6.99 before the 10 percent deal) and it will be tough to live up to. But I love Founders (it’s currently at top-10 brewery (min. 10 reviews)) and I like boozy beer. Let’s do this.

Poured a copper, amber, hazy color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy, khaki head. Some hints of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Excellent spiderweb foamy lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled a big whiff of tons of hops, not sure about 10 though. Could single out Mosaic and Citra out specifically, but that’s it. Also got tropical notes (stone fruit, mango and light pineapple), caramel, hints of spoiled orange peel and citrus zest. Initially smelled pretty good, but thinned out quickly. (Smell - 3.75)

All right, no hiding that 12 pct. Got a punch in the face of hops - Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra are most noticeable - to go along with tropical rind, mango, red grapefruit rind, juicy stone fruit, candied sugary caramel, resin backbone, herbal grassy hops and hints of vegetables. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Lively carbonation. Finish starts out super boozy, but smooths out nicely. (Feel - 4.00)

This was better than I thought it would. Not $6.30 ($6.99) good, but nice for 12 percent. I’d have it again for sure. (Overall - 4.00)

3.96 | 89 | B+

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Photo of threeviews
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Initial Review:

12oz bottle (Bottle On Date: 6/01/12) poured into a Spiegelau balloon glass.

A- A vigorous pour yeilds a semi-hazy (albeit suprisingly clear for a bottle conditioned beer), blood orange / copper color with just over 1-fingers worth of a light, kahki head. It should come as no surprise the head was short-lived and noticable alcohol legs coat the glass.

S- Initally, very muted...but once the head subsided and the beer settled into the glass, I get tangerine, hints of ruby red grapefruit, pine resin, oak and caramel malt. Surprisingly, it reminiscent of my favorite Imperial IPA's, Dogfish Head's Burton Baton (although much more muted than BB). If you told me this was aged on oak, I would believe you! As the brew warms (and unlike Burton Baton), alcohol becomes very evident in the aroma.

T- Sweet caramel malt gives way to a burgeoning, piney bitterness that scrubbs the palate dry. Simultaneously, alcohol heat builds in the back of the throat and warms all the way down into the chest. The hops definitely keep the malts in check, as you only perceive them in the initial stages of the sip. Although a much heftier bittering assault...yep, it continues to reinforce the similarties to Burton Baton. But where DD pummels you with bitterness, BB has more overall flavor.

M- Malt sweetness coats the tongue but your palate is ultimately left like sandpaper. A slightly heavier body and more subdued carbonation marks the most drastic differences between DD and BB.

O- If you didn't see it coming already, I cannot shake the correlation to DD and BB. That said, this is a wonderful beer, but being that it is a seasonal, limited availability and quite pricey (I've seen it range from $5 to $7+ per bottle), I just don't think it is worth the extra money (although I could only imagine the base cost to make this beer!). I will just be thankful for being able to quaff Burton Baton year-round and at a significantly lower price. Although a tremendous fan of all things Founders brews, this will be a one-time purchase for me.

Updated Review:
12oz bottle (BOD: 05-10-2016) into an IPA glass:

Although I have had the advantage of sampling this year's version more fresh than previous iterations, this is one remarkable brew. This is truly an IPA deserving of Imperial status and nothing that could be considered a "Hoppy Barleywine." Notwithstanding the heavy malt backbone (as expected), the hop profile stands up in spades: pine, bitter citrus, sweet berries and under-ripened tropical fruit all come through in both aroma and flavor.

As it warms, the alcohol is present but it provides a sweetness and dryness that hops and malt cannot alone provide. This is a massive beer and the only other "extreme" IPA that comes to mind is Molotov Cocktail (Evil Twin). However, Devil Dancer has a more gentle bitterness and possesses none of the astringent qualities that Hop Extract affords.

The ~$19.99/4Pack pricepoint is a bit steep which is the biggest detractor of this brew (and hampering my overall rating). However, it is bold enough, hoppy enough and limited enough to make it worth a purchase of a single 4-Pack.

(Grades given based on the 5-10-2016 release)

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Photo of 98green
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to snifter. Look is medium ruby. Smell is boozy sweet malts, some pine. Taste is total malt bomb, heavy, bitter hops hits hard, but in a harsh way. Bitter doesn't linger long due to all the malt. Not a bright hop flavor at all. I normally don't fall into the camp that thinks big IPAs go to barleywine, but I see the link with this one. Feel is rough as well, the ABV is very present. Overall not high on my list of big IPAs.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red brown with a fluffy beige head that disappates quickly. Aroma is pine, resin, earth, caramel, toffee, and some alcohol. Taste follows with resin, toffee, earth, alcohol, a big bitterness. Mouthfeel is full and oily, almost imperial stout like viscosity. Overall, this is a damn good triple ipa, and dangerously drinkable for 12%.

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Photo of Bleer
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Founders is my favorite brewery but....this beer is a miss based on cost. It's a great beer, smells and tastes great, but for $20/four pack, it's not much different than a handful of DIPAs I've and very similar to Ruin Ten by Stone which is much cheaper. Good beer, price doesn't make sense.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby-red brown with huge head...looks like the foam is meringue.
S: Little to no hops; caramelized sugar, sticky toffee pudding.
T: Definitely boozy with tons of caramel and light malt; reminiscent of a toaster pastry including some dark fruitiness. Hints of hops sneak through a long finish with tons more malt; very little ethanol on the finish.
M: A little viscous and heavy but still drinkable.
O: While not an amazing beer it's interesting to see how a more traditional approach to heavily hopped and malted beers can be pushed to their limit. Personally I prefer the newer, lighter, low dextrose approach to high ABV hops but this is still an interesting beer and worth a shot.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Company snifter

A: Pours deep crimson red with a frothy tan head that settles to a dense layer and leaves some

S: Big caramel toffee sweetness, bready malt, fruity notes, pine, a hint of citrus, and a touch of boozy warmth.

T: It's a full blown war between malt and hops. Pine and citrus, grapefruit, lemon, orange, gives way to fruity tropical notes, mango, passion fruit, peach, and a little plum, all fighting for supremacy against a mountain of toasty bready malt and caramel toffee sweetness, with a little booze (which is pretty expected in a 12% beast).

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation keeps it from getting too syrupy, mild warmth.

O: This beer is an absolute monster. Sort of an imperial IPA meets barleywine. Fun one to try and a fine beer, but I can't say it'd be what I would reach for if I was craving a 3xIPA. I'm curious to see what a little age would do to this one.

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Photo of ZAP
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sticky and rich feel to this on first sip...boozy....first taste had some light tropical rum like notes....aroma more pine....pine emerges on the taste as well.....toffeeish malt...a somewhat sharp biting bitterness on the finish...more of an alcohol sharpness than hop finish...

Overall I find this too boozy and alcohol laden with all the hops really not shining through much. I've had many beers with more ABV and less biting alcohol notes.

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Founders Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 5,033 ratings.
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