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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) | Laughing Dog Brewing

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BA SCORE
84
good
179 Reviews
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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.85%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Over 11 months in the making some of the Dogfather is bourbon barrel aged.

71 IBU

Added by brownbeer on 12-21-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
179
Ratings:
493
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
25.74%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
108
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 493
Photo of guityler83
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

A: Large tan, light mocha colored 3 finger head persisted a long time. When it receded it left a dense spiderweb looking trail of lacing down the edge of the snifter glass and a soapy, cola bubbles looking foam that stayed even longer. The beer is pitch black with no light shining through when held to a light source. Nice legs when agitated. (4.25).

S: The aroma is heavy in the barrel character, smokey, mesquite bbq, light vanillin and oak. Bourbon is medium to mild with a slight sweet boozy character. Alcohol is noticeable but not harsh or hot. Dark chocolate and sweet caramel malts come through at mild levels. No hops detected. (3).

T: Lots of roasty malt flavors boarding on ashy with a slight soy sauce like character. Dark cocoa and milk chocolate with caramel malts. Heavy in the barrel flavors similar to the aroma. mesquite bbq, slight smoke, lumber like oak, slight bourbon and vanilla. the balance is on the barrel flavors. The sweetness is medium with no hop flavor and just enough bitterness to keep it drinkable. (3).

M: Big viscous body with medium to low carbonation. Tingly mouth sensation from the bourbon and a hefty dose of alcohol warmth in the chest. (4).

O: In most cases of barrel aged stouts it can improve an already great beer, this beer seems to have done the opposite. The barrel seems to be either to new? or not aged long enough to mellow out the flavors or something.. but the mesquite, smokey, lumber flavor combined with the roast character is killing this beer for me.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

Label date of 12.30.13.
Poured from a bomber into a tulip on 06.04.14.

A: 2 finger tan head that retains well. Midnight black body with some red at the bottom.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate.

T: Vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate dominate. Fig, very slight roastiness, and cherry are subtle.

M: Creamy silk. Perfect carbonation. Not too chewy, just perfection.

O: This is a well rounded BB stout. It has complexity and is perfectly balanced. There is some alcohol burn on the back end. This is regularly $5.99 to $6.99 in the Seattle area, which is an incredible value. This is one that I regularly buy.

Rating: A

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Photo of Boto
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

22oz bottle: This one pours a opaque, very dark brown color. It has a light brown head, and no lacing. A bit of bourbon to the nose. Some oakiness also. Getting some chocolate malts also, but no sweetness. Some vanilla and roasted malts also. The taste is good. Some bourbon and alcohol flavors. Chocolate, hint of vanilla, some roasted malts and some of the oakiness. Not bitter, but they have balanced out most of the sweetness. Not bad!

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Photo of BeerHewitt
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

Mine is from 2013 stock, sat on it for almost a year. Not sure what it tasted like green, but right now it is one of the smoothest bourbon barrel aged stouts I have had. You get a light burn from the bourbon and alcohol throughout. A good heavy mouth-feel coats heavy on the tongue. Molasses, dark chocolate, and pecan dominate the tastes. Finishes sweet with a dryness from the 11%. Loving it.

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Photo of macher0
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. Very dark brown, near black. An aggressive pour yielded a 1-finger, amber head that retreated to a frothy, amber rim and substantial film. Almost opaque. Huge frothy laces.

S. Bourbon upfront. Other major notes of bourbon-soaked oak, vanilla, marshmallows, and dark roasted malts. Hints of tannins become apparent after it opens, Boozy. fairly strong aroma.

T. Strong booze dominates - not well balanced. With the strong booze is lots of bourbon and oak. Fairly strong dark roasted malts and hop profile. Hints of coco and coffee.

M. Fairly smooth given the strong booze presence and high ABV. High-fine carbonation.

O. very hot, but still decent. I actually had an aftertaste reminiscent of a bourbon and coke. This is a very strong beer that is best for a share. It wasn't a very spendy BA stout, so that should be considered. I would go for this again.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark dark brown essentially black color, decent sized head but leaves not lacing or lasting cap.

Smell is mostly roasted malt with an almost coffee like aroma, bourbon is fairly faint to the nose but is present.

Taste starts out with the roasted malt and a strong dark fruit presence, almost raisin-y, bourbon is quite weak but at least it isn't so overpowering it becomes bourbon like some other barrel aged beers, creamy mouthfeel with medium-low carbonation that is very soft, not overly sticky but lasts long enough so not to be too thin.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/24/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, toffee, vanilla, oak, cherry, fig, prune, light char, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, char, molasses, toffee, vanilla, oak, light bourbon, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Moderate roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, molasses, vanilla, oak, light bourbon, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of robust dark/roasted malt and moderate oak barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice barrel aged imperial stout. All around nice balance and complexity of very robust dark/roasted malt and moderate oak barrel character; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried to score this BA stout on its own merits but was haunted constantly with the price...$4.99 a bomber. As a BA aged stout goes this had a nice balance of chocolate malt, chocolate, creme, whisky like sweetness and maybe a tinge of oak. Light aroma and feel it was not too terribly light as to deter but enough to make it drinkable. The flavor is a complete, subtlety complex and delicious. I give it a four on its own merit but a five on its bargain!

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Photo of Flounder57
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: This beet poured a two finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, bourbon, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee, caramel, coconut, and chewy malts.

Taste: You definitely get the bourbon oak vanilla part, but nice barrel char to go with milk chocolate and roasted notes. Cool stuff. Wish I could pair it with the original non barrel aged Dogfather.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, creamy, boozy, smoky bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty tasty barrel aged imperial stout. Mellowed out a bit after 11 months and smooth to a "T". Now I just have to find the non barrel aged version to see how it would normally taste.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am assuming I am reviewing the correct beer. The label indicates nothing of its barrel aging, the bottle on the Laughing Dog website indicates nothing of barrel aging, but the beer has all of the qualities of barrel aging. No idea how old the bottle is because there is no date anywhere.

Great looking beer. Pitch black with a frothy, silky smooth, dark tan head of about two fingers in size. Generous lacing and the retention is awesome.

Aroma is filled with coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, bourbon. Really nice.

Flavor is spot on as well. Bitter chocolate and the hops provide some bitterness with a touch of astringency. Fully flavored bourbon and oak, smoky, alcohol, tobacco.

A very solid beer. I think i paid like $4.99 for a bomber, which makes this an awesome value. Loved this beer.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

he Dogfather.

Practically black with a nice tan cap. Holds pretty well.

Huge aroma with all sorts of crazy volatiles. Toasted coconut, bourbon, rye, waxy vanilla candle, oak, hints of passion fruit (strange?), and floral/perfumey notes. Interesting nose.

Has a thin tartness with that bright oak and waxy bourbon barrel notes. More coconut, toasted wood, perfumey fruit, black olive pit bitterness, and some dark chocolate tones. A tad bit of caramel, too. One of a kind, I'll give it that.

The body seems a bit thin for this style. Alcohol is strangely disguised, however. This feel is out-of-bounds. Indescribable how this beer works.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.59/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is super fine for an imperial stout that pours a midnight black that adsorbs all light around it. The head is thick and tan and very, very long lived that settles to a pile of foam that looks like it will never go away. The lacing is thick and long lived as well.

The nose is bready with definite bourbon notes and a definite, classic imperial spicy stout scent to it. The sweet smokey malts are balanced by the fruity malts with a tiny bit of tartness that is nicely balanced.

The taste is surprisingly dry for an imperial stout. The bourbon is strong in presence, but not dominating. The smokey malts are nicely balanced with the sweet malts that have a nice hoppy finish that is well balanced.

The mouthfeel is also a great balance for the imperial stout. It is just right, not thick and not watery.

Overall this is one impressive example of a imperial stout. The bourbon additive is a nice touch and works better than expected. I really like this one and will definitely drink it again.

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Photo of illeagle05
4.39/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 22 oz bomber poured into a snifter

A: Black with a foamy light brown head. Nice lacing from the point where poured and head is retained throughout consumption.

S: Chocolate, oak, light bourbon

T: Chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, milky sweetness, bourbon

M: Full bodied, syrupy, nice warming alcohol, slight bitterness. Very nicely balanced.

O: Absolutely solid barrel aged stout (especially for the price). I can't say necessarily that anything was lacking for me...just that compared to some others BBA stouts it came up a bit short in aroma and forwardness of the bourbon's impact in flavor. That may be a blessing in disguise for this concoction because it comes out extremely balanced for me and is extremely drinkable.

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Photo of pkalix
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

super creamy, chocolate-milk head. nice coating along the sides. roasty and toasty malt, chocolate. slight nuance of bourbon in the aroma. definite bourbon-chocolate flavors, kind of like those little chocolates you get at Christmas time, yet without the sweet liquid center. maybe a little coffee bitterness, but not a lot of coffee flavor.
the appearance and the aroma are the highlights of this one. the flavor isn't bad, just a little chalky and bitter, but it does drop off from the excited expectations after the pour. maybe it's the abv coming through.... I was eager to try this one after tasting the Mogli! overall, it's still a very decent brew.

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Photo of Flopjack
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter

Appearance - Pure black, 1 finger white sandy colored head leaving a ring once settled

Smell - Roasted milk chocolate, coffee with cream and bourbon.

Taste - Dark chocolate to start, leading you in to a roasty coffee flavor with bitterness from the initial chocolate flavor. Alcohol at the end with definite bourbon flavors. Woody, smoky and balanced nicely.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy carbonation, full bodied, thick, satisfying but not quite refreshing.

Overall - I thought this beer was good. I was surprised to find out how much this beer carries chocolatey characteristics in the nose and taste. It's the first time I've had a Dogfather and I will defintely be buying it again.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

a - poured a three-fingers thick coffee-colored head into a snifter that left great lacing throughout. the body was dark black.
s - chocolate and oak with a little bourbon heat.
t - woody with dark fruits. slight booziness.
m - slick, medium mouthfeel.
o - solid RIS.

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Photo of cdf1991
2.82/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Poured very dark into a Belhaven pint glass. Head was about an inch and a half thick and light brown

S: Coffee and bourbon

T: Bitter with lots of coffee/chocolate flavor and definitive notes of bourbon whiskey. Slightly sweet on the finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and kind of thick. Typical of most ales of this type

O: Not really my cup of tea. I have friends who absolutely love this one (the 10.85% ABV doesn't hurt), but I prefer hoppier beers like IPAs. If you're in the mood for a really dark beer to warm you up, this one might be for you

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Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once the beer achieved a more-proper temperature, I began to enjoy this beer a lot. Is there anything exceptional (by definition different) about this beer? No, but to me it is a solid stout (to my liking) that is not overpowered by the flavors of barrel-aging.

The pour is the typical dark, with tan-to-brown edge head. The smell is classic roasted malt mocha chocolate, maybe some roasted hazelnut, and a bit of wood. Very solid.

The taste follows the nose pretty well, perhaps a little more bitter - the mocha is more dark-roast coffee in nature. This lasts more or less throughout the taste, but is eventually joined by a light by encompassing feel/taste of the barrel aging, heavier on the woodiness than the bourbon, which works for me. My only downside to this is that the wood tastes "green", our young. There is also a hint of alcohol that starts early and lingers, but is far from overpowering.

This fits my definition of stout fairly well. It was bourbon-barrel-aged, and if you like the bourbon side of the style, this may disappoint. I prefer the more subdued notes from such aging, so rate this highly (for me).

Edit: had 2014 version of this, smell and taste had more bourbon bite, and even though my tastes have also changed, I re-iterate need this to be basically near room temp. Also I reduced rating slightly, mainly because feel wasn't as good as I'd want.

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Photo of SlothB77
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2012 and it was not good. Too thick, too bourbony, too bitter, too heavy.

So I was naturally hesitant to have the 2013. But I got a free sample and I was blown away. Much more sessionable/ drinkable this year. It is much much improved. The nose pops with bourbon, malts, chocolate and vanilla. The taste has a creamy dark chocolate, malt and surprisingly strong notes of coffee.

The feel is lighter and smoother than last years, but as a bourbon barrel stout it is naturally heavy-bodied.

When given the option to have this or the goose island BCBS, I would think twice.

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Photo of sleepyteacher
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

If you like the taste of bourbon, this beer will deliver a mouthful. The low price, name, and label made me really want to appreciate this bourbon aged imperial that no one was talking about.

S: You can practically smell the sweet booze from this guy across a room. My girlfriend took a whiff and didn't want to try it (not unexpected); I took a smell and couldn't wait to try it.
T: Taste was full on pancake syrup like bourbon (I mean that in a good way), very sweet and boozy. Unfortunately, there are not many layers of flavors here.
M: It's mouth feel was that of a milk stout, very light wash on the tongue.

That being said, I am very curious to see how this beer ages, so I picked up three bottles.

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Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

There's an interesting contrast between this beer fresh (so to speak) and with 2 years more age on it. There may be the most difference from aging of all the beers I've thus experimented on to date.

The pour reveals a thick and viscous beer, easily judged as likely to be an imperial Stout just from the look. it also reveals a fat, heavy, rocky tan head almost two fingers tall with good retention that deposits lacing in creamy patches that spread, leg and web out pretty nicely.
The smell is giving me roast, dark barley grains and something almost like malted milk balls with a creamy sort of sweetness. A bit of smoke and char peek through. Initially, the bourbon isn't as noticeable as in many similarly aged beers aside from a bit of wood and slight alcoholic warmth. Masking of alcohol, so long as it's not overdone, works better in the original than in a bourbon barrel-aged rendition.
This beer has a big base of strong malts, lots of roast coming through with unbrewed coffee grounds and a bit of dark and milk chocolate. Roast is the main event, though, even as some wood brings a little char into the finish. Alcoholic warmth is present but low, and the barrel provides a little vanilla but not too much. Hops are subdued for what's claimed, though there's more bitterness than just what the roast and char provide that works well to integrate itself and does balance well.
There's a mix of sweetness contributing to the body and dryness from wood as well as alcohol. Fresh, it doesn't get to express everything there is and there's slightly too much bite. Further aging smooths it out beautifully and provides a rich, creamy texture. Honestly, they would produce a better beer if they let it sit after the barrel again for two years in steel (or even bottles) and then releasing it, though it is good.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz into a CS snifter.

A- Black non transparent. Thin layer of lacing around the glass. Some head in the middle of the glass.

S- I can't put my finger on it, but it is a sweet smell. Charred dark fruits, chocolate, molasses and I think the sweet is from the bourbon I guess.

T- Again, it comes off sweet; almost like some honey was in this. The taste isn't bad, it is just so different from all other BA stouts that I have had. Chocolate, molasses and bourbon heat top this off.

M- Pretty thin, but not that big of a problem. Some carbonation follows down the throat.

O- I probably have this rated higher than others. I did not have a big problem with this one. Would much rather have than Dragon's Milk.

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Photo of BB1313
3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottled on 10/28/13. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with barely any light getting through; fluffy dark khaki head that slowly fades and leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are very malty. Lots of dough. Very roasty. There's a nice amount of dark chocolate. Hints of vanilla as well. The bourbon character is very subtle and basically goes unnoticed. The flavors aren't too interesting, but not bad. Tons of roast and smoke. Hints of ash and char. Some black coffee in the mix. Lots of chocolate. Some hints of anise. Slightly bitter. Very earthy. Once again, there's basically no bourbon presence at all. There are hints of oak/wood though, especially in the finish. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied; creamy, fluffy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Not a bad sipper.

This isn't a bad stout, but the barrel characteristics are pretty bland. I never would've guessed this was a bourbon barrel aged beer if it wasn't for the label.

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At least a year old. I'm not sure exactly when I bought it.

Pours black with a deep, chestnut brown, fluffy head that leaves nice thick coating down the glass. Full on bitter chocolate on the nose with molasses and hints of vanilla. Hit the back of my throat as I breathed it in. On the palate: bittersweet chocolate and toasted brown bread, touch of coffee, slightly boozy with a bitter finish, a hint of pine. Smooth with a bit of carbonation across the top of my mouth and quickly on the sides. Overall it's a little too sweet at times even after a bit of aging, but it's complex and well layered.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22

Pours opaque black, one inch of tan head is fine and dissipates slowly to a film.

Smells of cocoa, brown sugar, oak and a bit of roasted coffee.

Tastes of cocoa, oak, bourbon, brown sugar and a bit of figs and coffee.

Full viscous body with stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth. Light booze numbness.

A pretty good and tasty stout, well worth trying if you can find it. Can't compare to the non-aged version but this is quite enjoyable.

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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.
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