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Founders Harvest Ale | Founders Brewing Company

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1,092 Reviews
Founders Harvest AleFounders Harvest Ale

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
70 IBU

Added by granger10 on 10-24-2004

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 4,398
Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

Half an inch of head sits above a toasted orange base with spotty lacing clinging around the glass. When I smell it, it smells like a party of citrus fruits. I get the aroma of orange, tangerine, and mango, done with a sweet and fragrant accent. Although the beer's alcohol level goes beyond 7%, the beer is very smooth. Sweet citrus fruits and nothing bitter. The notes of tangerine, mango, grapefruit, passionfruit, popping above a light malt base. It's medium bodied, oily, and a joy to drink.

Give this beer a medal! Another winner in a stable full of winners.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy yellow pour with about a finger of wispy white head. Spotty lacing and the head doesn't stick around all that long.

S: Grassy hop smell with a ton of pineapple and grapefruit. Really a lot of different hops coming through. Sweet and dry.

T: The taste is all over the place with delicious hops. Grassy, fruity, floral, hardly any malts coming through, but they aren't missed. The hops all blend together for a wonderfully balanced beer. Dry hop finish.

MF: Light and crisp.

O: This is so drinkable, the dryness of the backend keeps you taking sips until it disappears. A wonderful Wet Hop Ale.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan at South Bend City Wide Liquors for letting me know this had come in (along with Backwoods Bastard...mmmm). Pours straw to orange colored with little suspended sediment throughout and a tiny bubble head that settles to a thin film. I love it. Smells citrusy and delicious. Almost smells like a ripening fruit. Flavor is great. I'm not really as much as a hophead as I used to be, primarily because of how one-dimensional some of the big hoppy beers can be when they're not made well, but beers like this remind me why I was a hophead...and why, when well used, hops are so important to a beer. Here, they are the main feature and donate a strong, mediumly-bittered grapefruit and grass flavor on top of a slightly creamy malt body. Its a great tasting beer...subtle in its attack, but extremely well-constructed.

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Photo of gpioski
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- OK, the pour looks great. Poured into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy, straw colored. Crazy aggressive carbonation. Perfect, 1 finger head that looks foamy and creamy. Really makes a good presentation.

S- Aroma has a sweet smell- like fresh grapefruit and pineapple. Strong hops with a hint of malt. Mostly citrus with a bit of cane sugar.

T- Flavor was actually different than aroma profile. Suprising. Hoppy with fruity flavors as expected, but more subtle than the aroma let on. Was both sweet and bitter at the same time, as strange as that sounds. Not as bitter as expected with 70 IBUs.

M- Decent mouthfeel. Not quite as creamy as it looked. Also, not overly carbonated, even though it looked it.

D- Very drinkable. 6.5% ABV was pretty average and the beer itself was refreshing.

Another good mark for Founders! Highly recommended.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Very golden yellow, pale. Rather small 1/8 inch head, some nice sticky lacing.

Smell - Strong fresh hop smell. Nice pineapple, orange aroma with lemon and herbal notes

Taste - Really nice pineapple/orange/lemon kick at first sip. Bitter along with some herbal flavors , lots of lemon and grapefruit. Some tropical fruits with some added sugars give a nice sweet flavor to balance out the flavor. Minor malts come out at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Sticky tropical, and bitter fruits coat the tongue. Palate gets a load of pineapple and lemon along with some malts. Aftertaste is tropical fruity, bitter and dry.

Overall - Awesome. This is not the freshest bottle, yet im really enjoying it. Still tons of flavor and really a pleasure to drink. Hoepfully next year ill score a super fresh bottle cause this is boardline world class, im thinking fresh will push it over the edge.

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Photo of bassboneman
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L= light straw color, very thin head, pretty clear in appearance
S= not picking up much from my tulip glass - but I have a cold :o(
T=very light bodied beer with a pronounced bite. Pleasantly bitter finish.
F= lively carbonation
O= My buddy told me to get this one - cause he thought it was outstanding. Sadly, my taste is similar but not quite as impressed as he...
This is a great beer nonetheless!

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Photo of DaverCS
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rather clear orange color with 1/2 a finger of head.

Aroma is predominately of grapefruit and light citrus. Some nice orange and tangerine notes. A light touch of pine.

Taste is very pleasant. Nice shot of bitterness up front, with just enough malt to keep it in line, but not enough to erase the hop character. This one is nice and citrusy with a bigger emphasis on the pine notes than was on the nose. The beer boasts a moderate amount of carbonation that pairs appropriately for the style. Bitterness does linger for a bit after the sip.

Overall, this a well crafted beer. The hops are allowed to shine. The flavor isn't all that complex, but that isn't the point really. It's just a perfect example of how fresh hops can influence a beer. I see this pairing well with some jerk chicken. It gets a 88/100.

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Photo of stewart124
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow. Not much head to speak of. Pretty lacing as it goes down.

Nose boasts citrus, pine and pineapple. I wonder if they change the hops each year.

Very nice upfront bitterness without becoming harsh. Biscuit and straw from the malts. But the hops really shine. Some slick oily resin characters without a vegetal note. Mint and piney hop bitterness.

Really a beautifully made beer. It's everything I hoped for. So easy to drink. I see where jay ashmore could say there are some shortbread cookies here. Dry but with the oils this has a fairly big mouthfeel. Delicious.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crisp golden color that's fairly transparent with limited thin white head. The lack of head from an appropriate pour was slightly odd. The smell is piney with citrus rind. The taste is near perfect. Enough brightness and citrus on the front that blends into a piney bitterness with a clean, crisp finish. You can tell this beer is fresh and it shines. Really hit the spot, and it's a top notch ale. You do get a hint of the booze on the finish too.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a beer mug.

Founders Harvest pours a clouded, yellow-straw hue with hints of peach and honey. The foam shot up quickly, nearly catching me off guard, like a 4th of July charcoal snake on steroids--and tinted a light beige color. To be honest, this looked more like a hefeweizen than a Pale, and the massive foam was a distraction, as it took a full five minutes to pour.

On the other hand, the aroma was a "wet" dream for hop-lovers; I nearly took a bite out of the foam, it smelled so good. Raw, leafy hop cones provided that signature wet-hop smell, while juicy grapefruit and pineapple from the yeast & hops added a mouth-watering sweetness to the mix.

The taste started out gentle, with a typical crystal malt presence and a hint of biscuit. Quickly, a lip-smacking alpha acid presence from the hops rode from the middle to throughout the finish, delivering a nice bitterness that seemed more in the ballpark of an IPA than a regular Pale Ale. A bit of fruity sweetness was detected as well, similar to the aroma. Mouthfeel was excellent, equal parts resinous and crisp, perfectly carbonated, and refreshing. A bit thick for a Pale, but that's okay with me. Overall, an impressive brew that lives up to the Founders repertoire, and one I hope to encounter down the road.

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Photo of warnerry
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 9/22/11

A - Pours clear golden brown with one finger of white head. Head doesn't last long but leaves some nice lacing.

S - Big aroma of resinous pine hops up front, also quite grassy and some pineapple. Eventually some biscuit malts come through as well. Nice aroma.

T - Similar to smell there is a big pine hops taste up front, accompanied by some grass and some florals. Biscuit malt appears midway, while the hops continue throughout the taste, leading to a nice bitter finish.

M -- Medium oily mouthfeel. Finish is somewhat dry and bitter.

O - A very good wet hopped IPA. Hop component is substantial but not overwhelming. I look forward to a 4 pack of this each year.

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Photo of azurel
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exactly what a harvest ale should taste like... Aroma of fresh hops....underlying dankness. Taste is of freshed picked hops supported by hop bitterness.

I assume they used pellets for bitterness and the fresh for flavor and aroma which is forefont and on point.

The malt body/sweetness doesn't appear at all, its all hop dankness.....light spicyness on the finish.

Mouth feel is full, moderate/high carbonation.

Couple weeks ago I picked about 2 lbs of fresh hops....That smell was captivating....

This Founders release really brings that smell and taste.... Another Excellent job by Founders.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby brown bottle. poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, light amber yellow and topped with a massive, though still light and fluffy golden white head that bubbles down to settle as a thin ring on top of the beer, still leaves behind some lacing though.

S: Big sweet cuts of fresh pineapple, slight grapefruit and honey and mixed with a healthy dose of bready malt sweetness

T/MF: Very hop forward, slightly acidic, probably the result of the wet hopping (more alpha oils?). Fresh, grassy hops, quite earthy, not as much pineapple that the nose let on, but there is still a nice bit of sweetness in the middle part of this beer. Finishes slightly fruity, slightly earthy and again with bits of honey coating the tongue just a bit. Decently chewy mouthfeel, medium bodied with a slight coating finish.

D: This beer has a lot to offer, very complex, a very different animal than a dry hopped beer, almost like wine, but with more carbonation of course. A beer worth returning to and a beer to covet when fresh, just a tad too acidic to be perfect but an otherwise joy to drink.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled September ninth 2011.

A two finger head off the pour and tight Styrofoam appearance. Body is a brassy fourteen carat gold and polished glowing hues. Some occasional rising carbonation. Real nice body color.

Ah fresh chewy hop love on the nose. Citrus and green grass dense and airy, faint sense of sweet pine needles. Smells great.

Taste is chewy hop bent and minor lemon like malt. Finish is a bitter tolerable dense pine and some lemon/one citrus. Very tolerable, malt sweetness comes into play after many sips. Texture is real solid nothing mind blowing though.

Overall a great fresh hop ale either on tap or out of the bottle. More lemon and pine than orange it seems it out of the bottle.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow/gold with a one finger head dissipating to spotty lacing.

Smells like a bag of hops. One of the most aggressive smelling wet hopped ales I've had. Lots of dank citrus and pine. Wonderful.

Starts off with a fresh citrus burst rounding into just a touch of biscuity flavor then finishes very bitter and dry with a nice piney dank fresh hop taste.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are equal to the style.

Probably one of my favorite wet hopped ales. Not surprising as Founders does little wrong.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Cloudy yellow/orange with a small head from a conservative pour. Bubbles were constantly rising to the top. A nice looking pale ale. It reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale, one of my regular pale ales.

Being a cigar and pipe smoker I rarely get as much aroma from a beer than non-smokers or other reviewers I read, but that was not a problem with Harvest Ale. Strong aromas of grapefruit and piney hops nearly knocked me over (in a good way). Any pale malts were way in the background. WOW! The taste is remarkable; bitter-sweet grapefruit leads the way with a delicious bitter finish that lasts until the next sip. A spectacular ale obviously brewed to highlight the fresh hops, but does not taste unbalanced at all like so many hop forward ales do.

The great balance is reflected in its luscious mouthfeel. The drinkability is very good. It could be easy to guzzle this one down but be patient. Respect the 6.5% ABV and let the brew warm. The best attributes of Founders' Harvest Ale can be more fully appreciated at temperatures quite a few degrees higher than my refrigerator's.

Founders is one of my favorite brewers already and I still haven't had some of their highest rated brews like Breakfast Stout. Kudos to the Michiganders!

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Photo of BuckyFresh
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a golden yellow, with an off-white, foamy, one-finger head. Looks like pretty decent carbonation, as I can see groups of bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass below the head. Retention is good and the lacing seems to almost climb up the sides of the glass under its own power.

Smell: I knew immediately that this was going to be a hop-head's delight because I could smell the hops as I cracked the top on this bad boy. Nice floral and citrus hops, with some resiny pine notes and some sweet malt. Pineapple, peach, mango, and orange are in the forefront.

Taste: Delightfully creamy texture and a load of hop bitterness. The fresh hops really add to the intensity it seems; reminds me a bit of the time some friends and I ate hop flowers at a beer festival (only a little toned-down, of course). The malt is there to balance things out, but the hops are the true star of this beer, and rightfully so.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, creamy texture, with a pretty dry finish. Carbonation is adequate.

Drinkability: This beer is really delicious. I would describe the fresh hopped ale as hops in HD. It seems like there was more depth and complexity than you typically get in a "traditionally hopped" beer. I will definitely seek this out again!

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Photo of biggred1
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pale golden with a fine eggshell head that leaves crusty spiderweb lacing on the glass in big rings. Fresh and fruity dank sticky hops filled my nostrils the minute I cracked this one open like grapefruit and pine sap. The flavor lives up to the nose just fine and is bursting with juicy fresh hops that don't completely overwhelm the flavor but this is a hop bomb for sure. Medium light bodied with mild carbonation. A really fabulous brew when enjoyed fresh.

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Photo of Etan
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, bottled very recently.

A: Pours a mellow orange-gold with a nice white head.

S: Beautifully fresh hop leaf, resin, pinapple, vanilla, floral, citrus rind.

T: Taste is smooth balance of rindish bitterness, orange peel, grapefruit, perfumy floral notes, slightly grassy with lots of grain in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with slight carbonation.

O: Wow, one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Tastes incredibly bright and fresh.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve ounce bottle...
Appearance: Hazy, off-colored yellow hue, massive head, slight carbonation, hefty lacing...
Smell: Drenched, wet hops...
Taste: Citrus, pine, lemon zest, more hops, well-balanced stuff...
This beer certainly straddles the fence between an APA and wet-hopped IPA...
Crisp, hoppy mouthfeel...
Perilously drinkable...
Good beer to pair with food...

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had some really stellar Harvest Ales lately, and this one might be the best of the best. Whats unique about the style is that there is a strong hop prescense, similar to an IPA, but it lacks the dry and bitter finish commonly found in said style. Here is my review:

A: Pours a nice golden amber color. Head is pretty minimal and lacing is only okay, but it still looks very appetizing in the glass.

S/T: The aroma is an explosion of tropical fruit. Lots of pineapple and grapefruit. Taste is quite similar. Grapefruit and pineapple are very forward, along with a slight lemon character. Maybe a slight citrus fruit rind in there as well. Overall, lots of tropical fruits with little to no hop bitterness. Super juicy as well. Actually reminds me a lot of Double Trouble, only lighter. Excellent.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied and very smooth. Very juicy and thirst quenching. Very sessionable. Little bitterness.

Between Hoppin Frog, Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, and Founders, this has been an excellent Harvest Ale season. Another gem from Founders. Strong hoppyness smoothed out to a nice and juicy mouthfeel. Well worth checking out. Excellent beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color that is clear and dark. The whitish head is soapy and comprised of giant loose bubbles. Nice lacing left behind in moon-crater-like rings.

Smell us huge citrus hops. Very little cracker-like dry malts. The hops rule the nose, and it is a nice bouquet.

Taste starts off with a faint malt note-- baked bread. Then the grapefruit, lemon peel, mandarin orange, and even pineapple notes all come forward. Very tasty and enjoyable.

Body is medium... Excellent carbonation.

Very nice APA. Great hoppy flavor and presence. Quite tasty. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. This is certainly one of the best harvest ales I've stumbled across.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this on the shelf tonight in a generic white 4 pack at my liquor store of choice. Wet hopped ale. The beer is a copper haze with a thin white head following the pour. Lace positive as I drink.

The nose is just dreamy. Fat, wet, juicy, fruity funky. It has been some time since I've smelled something as delightful as this. Heaps of hop character ping off this stuff. Grass, lemon grass, pine, grapefruit. Quite the fragrant one is this. Excellent hop showcase. The smell makes me want to plunge in.

The taste is every bit as glorious as the nose here. It is always a treat when the thing tastes like it smells. That demonstrates a balance I'd say. The hops jive well with the malt foundation. Pale ale is a fitting classification as this beer's dryness is held in check despite the fact that it is substantially hopped. Controlled chaos. Just a very well balanced concoction that is a pleasure at every nip. Tons of citrus and nothing abrasive. Buffered with precision. Mouthfeel is exactly right. Pleasingly plump but not heavy.

I am glad I snagged this beer. I could easily find myself marveling at the entire grouping of bottles in one sitting, however tonight I am going to exercise restraint and save some for future enjoyment. Try this one. A powerful hops experience without any rough edges.

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Photo of Morey
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with "Bottled 09/30/11 10:37" stamped on the neck.

Pours a hazy orange-yellow color with one finger of white foam. Head has settled to a thin layer after several minutes, but there's some pretty nice lacing being left on the sides of my glass.

Smells rather fruity for a wet-hop ale. Mango, peach, pineapple, with a faint grassy aroma towards the end.

Citrus carries over into the taste as well. A good amount of hop bitterness towards the middle. It lingers, but it's not palate wrecking. Nice malt backbone right behind the bitterness. Finish is somewhat clean, yet there is definitely lingering flavors of fruit and fresh hops.

Really nice medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

This is the best wet-hopped ale that I've had. I've had some other good ones, but this one sits on top thus far.

Morey's Bottom Line: I had this beer one other time, but it wasn't nearly this fresh. It was good, but this is excellent. I enjoy Sierra Nevada & Weyerbacher's offerings, but the fruity/citrus character of this one takes it to another level.

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Photo of TheTot
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Pint glass

As I poured it all I could smell was fruity hops, It smelled so delicious. Poured a bright golden brown that was slightly cloudy with a nice radiant white head that lingered longer than expected. The taste of this beer is extremely delicious. Great mouth feel that lets you enjoy the fruity hops that you get in the aroma. The flavors are a little more subdued than i had anticipated but not in an overly bad way. I think this beer had been talked up a little too much and I was overly anticipating the flavor. Still a very good beer and I will enjoy the whole 4 pack without a second thought.

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Founders Harvest Ale from Founders Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 4,398 ratings.
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