USAlive! (Alive) | Mikkeller ApS

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USAlive! (Alive)USAlive! (Alive)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (tomahawk, cascade and amarillo), yeast and brettanomyces.

Added by Nickls on 03-02-2009

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 202
Photo of dogfishandi
2.67/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. about 1 year of age.

pours out a nice cloudy light orange color with a big 3-4 fingers of nice retentive off white head. good lace, looks good!

kind of off aroma. definatly not your usual barnyard brett aroma as i was expecting. hard to detect any brett at all, smells more like really old bottle funky. a wierd wet cardboard, concentrate grape juice thing going on. slightly figgy, maybe a touch of apple juice. becomes a little carmelly as it warms.

the taste is much the same, something doesnt seem quite right here. sweet fruity malts, concentrate grape and apple juice funkiness. this just tastes really off. slight caramel malt. no real sourness. some bitterness in the finish.

finishes a little sweet and dry. lots of carbonation. just slightly tart.

this was just awful, im not sure if something went wrong with this batch or it was just a really old bottle, but i could hardly finish a glass. avoid this!

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.11/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: single finger thick off white head with nice lacing on a amber with copper uses body.

S: smells very soapy, like dishwater, hint of peppermint, caramel and fresh flowers. This beer smells terrible initially. It has more strawberry aroma one the head goes down.

T: peppermint, red hots without the spice, yeast, toasted malts, a little strawberry initially in the finish then moving to a very medicinal and aspirin finish.

M: medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall: Awful smell really, I had to make sure the review reflected that. I can't really tell hot this beer as received as many decent reviews as it has. I would not get this beer, especially for what you tend to pay for Mikkeller.

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Photo of mattsander
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Murky deep copper - this is not an attractive beer. Brisk carbonation creates a fluffy head that quickly vanishes.

S: Heaps of Brett character - wet dog and rain covered leaves. Little else, I get no indication of the dry hops used.

T: Mimics the Brett-bomb of the nose. Complex, heavy, deep, bitter. Finishes long and dry with a pear like fruitiness.

M: The dryness is my favorite part of the beer, lovely carbonation and a crisp finish.

O: It seems odd to dryhop a beer intended for long aging (w/ Brett). By the time the Brett has evolved into something interesting, the dry hop character has been totally lost. An interesting beer and a very 'pure' Brett character for those who search it out.

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Photo of nickfl
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours with a small head of off white foam on a hazy, amber body. The head fades slowly and leaves nice lace. Phenolic aroma with some spice and lemons, which oddly combine to smell like dish soap. Dry caramel, pepper, and some aspirin. Moderately light body, fairly high carbonation, and a very dry finish. Not great, the aroma is very odd and the flavor follows.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance - Clear amber body. Huge cream head. Sticky lacing and an eternal pillow of foam.

Smell - Funky saison yeast aromas. Mild brett earthiness. Some slight acidic notes and deep caramel malt.

Taste - Sharper acidity, but nothing I'd call sour. A little metallic. Some lemony citrus, maybe from hops or yeast. Sweetness comes from a substantial caramel malt base.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Medium body. Lots of flavors going on in the finish.

Overall - Not what I expected. I think I like it. Strange one though.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Cloudy rust and amber colored pour with a two-finger off-white head. Big aroma of sour fruit. Very nice mildly sour taste that has elements of tropical fruits and grapefruit with a good malt backing. Also, has a bit of spice, funk, and yeasty flavors. Finishes with a lightly bitter and spicy flavor.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

7.5% ABV according to the beer board in the bar where I got it. Served on-draught at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, California. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention. Body colour is a chestnut-auburn (if you'll excuse the pretension inherent in that phrasing). Nontransparent; non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Berry esters, fruit, wild yeast with some spice, cream, light caramelized malt, clean malts, and hint of toasted malt character. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Toasted clean malts with delightfully subtle spice. Nice underlying cream. Biscuity spicy yeast. A collage of fermented fruit, caramelization, and a tea like bitterness emerges about the climax. Nicely put together; really well balanced. The spice really accents the subtlety. A lovely vibrant build. Complex and above all subtle. Some butterscotch (not diacetyl).

Mf: Coarse and wet, highlighting the complexity without compromising drinkability. Near perfect carbonation. Good thickness. Not too heavy or overbearing on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable. A delightful example of the style. Another winner from Mikkeller. I'd definitely get this again. Hides its ABV well.

Low B

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Photo of elricorico
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A slightly hazed amber colour with a solid two finger head that is just off-white in colour. Lacing starts to stick right away, and the head sustains for some time.

Brett is notable to the nose right away, bring a funky and slightly sour impression. Mixed in is citrus and pine. My nose can't tell what the malt brings to the table.

A touch of pale malt followed by a strong mix of pine hops with a little bit of yeast sourness. A little bit of alcohol heat sticks around at the end, more than I'd like with an 8% ABV. A little bit of caramel sweetness sticks to the tongue. It's okay, but really wasn't what I was hoping.

Body is a bit sticky and acidic, with a somewhat foamy carbonation. Doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Just a bit of a wash of flavours that just don't seem to work together as well as they compete with each other. Not something to avoid, but I won't be picking up another bottle.

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Photo of shleepy
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought in 750ml bottle at K&L in Redwood City, served in Chimay glasses.

A: Amber, pretty hazy. Slightly off-white head with decent head retention.

S: Mostly light, hoppy notes - citrus and some pineapple, with a bit of sweetness.

T: Candy sugar sweetness right on the tongue; medium maltiness, hoppy spiciness and some barely distinguishable fruitiness, balanced by brett bitterness; smooth and clean finish, surprisingly enough. Perhaps we got a fresh bottle, since I'm not getting a lot of the funkiness that should be apparent in a wild ale.

M: Medium body and carb; smooth and silky; very pleasant and drinkable.

O: Not sure that I'd buy it again, since there are better options at this price point, but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep amber with a medium white head, leaving solid lace.

S: Candied orange, some sweet malt, dark sugar, dried fig, much sweeter than I thought'd be.

T: Sweet fruit, notes of stone fruit, some grapefruit, with some earthy character.

M: Medium to full-bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

O: A solid effort, it wasn't as dry as I thought it would be with tasting It's Alright. I enjoyed it, but nothing mind-blowing.

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Photo of Yojimbo1941
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brasserie V

A - dark tangerine with tan head, lots of lacing

S - slight vinegar, brett, earthy, bitter hops, some bittersweet orange

T - citrus, dry cereal giving way to heavy grapefruit, some sweet tangerine, slight apricot

M - medium to heavy, acidic at the end

D - not something I would drink all night

Overall I'm not that impressed. It's decent and the description of Orval/IPA is apt but it's just not a beer that I'm interested in drinking. Those of you who love Belgian IPAs will probably fap over this one. Again, nice beer just not the style I like.

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Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears copper in color with a finger of off-white head. It retains fairly decent leaving patchy lace on the glass as it slowly recedes.

The smell of the brew includes a hint of caramel malt sweetnesd with some earthy notes. Also present is citrusy fruits like grapefruit. A bit of cardboard quality rounds out the nose. Overall a bit perplexing, yet mild and not all that appealing.

The taste includes some fruity quality of grapefruit that also includes a rindy bitterness of pulp and zest. Some earth and peppery spice mixes with cardboard-like oxidation and earthy funk. The flavor of this brew is what you would expect from the aroma, it is disjointed and doesn't really come together.

It is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. An interesting mix of flavor that wasn't bad, just unique without much appeal. It is quite oily and bitter as it warms up with just a bit more focus on some natural fruity/alcohol esters. This brew is not something I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of brendan13
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tulip glass an orange hued dark amber, slightly hazy with an inch of fluffy head that slowly falls away leaving a fair bit of lace.
S - Floral and grassy hops with a bit of a fruity character. Vauge caramel malt character and a touch of brett.
T - Like the smell floral and grassy hops come through initially followed by some fruitiness and light malt sweetness.
M - Quite light bodied with fairly high carbonation. A strong bitterness.
D - A nice beer that I'd recommend trying.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

With the underpinnings of seemingly an American pale ale but with the soul of spontaneous Belgian ale, Mikkeller's USAlive! isn't just alive, it's wildly alive!

There might as well be two beers living in the snifter- the first entice the nose with deeply earthen, gamey and almost mushroomy brine character. Cellar-type musk, dried sandalwood, curing leather and dried citrus while another host of initial flavors rise with steely caramel, biscuit and toasted grain.

Its middle palate awakens with a sweet and sour tone with firm caramel, nutty and toasted support and an acute lime, grapefruit and under-ripened orange character. Its minerally taste is briney, oaken and dusty. Gaining a bitter taste, its hops are grassy and dryly of hay.

Its off-dry finish retains much more malt character than wild ale normally do even while its musty and earthy veil wafts above. Leaving the palate with a sharp hop bitterness, its iron-side taste invites a powdery sensation of sawdust to linger afterwards.

Uncommonly malty, the pale amber ale delivers on its barley-rich promise even though its "wild" brettanomyces character normally dries the beer more completely. Balanced to the malty side, its a sour ale perhaps on training wheels.

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Photo of SleepyMonk
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled corked 750ml bottle poured into a standard sized Tulip glass.

Removed the silver foil wrap and cage and then popped the synthetic cork expecting an explosive pop, but instead got nothing - understandably I'm a little concerned at this point. Still it is able to generate a generous amount of off white egg shell colored head, approx. 2-3 finger that starts out full and gives way to a very aerated and light whispy head with plenty of lacing. Body is a striking tea like color with almost impeccable clarity.

Sweet hoppy aroma with carefully cut citrus and pine notes with mild hints of phenyl and soft alcohol.

Taste is slightly aggressive as it hits out hard with a sour grapefruit blended with more citrus and pine flavors. I do detect some amount of caramel and/or candy sweetness that others have reported but neither flavor is strong in the mix and they certainly do nothing to help define this palate .

Weighting is possibly a notch or two below moderate and the carbonation is most certainly thin (see opening appearance description). Aromatic notes are well clarified. Taste opens up with a hard hit of sourness but mellows out as your palate grabs onto some of the more subtle notes. The finish is a very interesting dusty barnyard gueuze-like funkiness.

Great beer but I must say I have tasted a lot of Belgian Strong Ales and I don't recall tasting anything quite like this, so I'm not too sure about the style. I find it very comparable to Unibroue's Terrible if anything.

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Photo of stevoj
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Brewers haven. very GOOD BUT PEDESTRIAN Belgian ale (not necessarily a bad thing). Darkish amber, wit light smoky nose and malty taste with a hint of spiciness.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy dark amber color with beige head. Aroma has caramel malt, some sweet, overripe fruits and some floral yeast esters. Taste is more yeasty, it even has some light brett notes. Also the sweetness from the aroma does not translate to the taste, it's quite bitter and earthy, but it's still fruity overall. Medium body with medium to high effervescence. Overall it's a quite interesting beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger extremely slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spices, earth, funk, and pear. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, earth, funk, spices, bread, pear, and earthy funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. There was just something about the flavor on this one that was a little off-putting for me. There just seemed to be too much earthiness and funk going on without anything to really balance it out. The aroma on the other hand was quite nice. Glad I got to try this one based on the style on the bottle. I suggest you do the same if you like earthy funkiness.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a large, fading head.
Nose shows caramel, piney and fruity hops, funky brett notes, lemon and soft alcohol.
Flavours are dominated by hops, with piny and grapefruit notes most prominent before the mild acidity and funky brett enter. The alcohol and piny bitterness are very bold in the dry finish.
Carbonation seems a little full on.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 750 ml caged and corked brown bottle, silver foil around cap and neck.

Rich hazy yet translucent copper hue, loose creamy off-white head that leaves behind an insane coating of solid thick sticky lacing.

Mild caramel malt, some brown sugar, grassy and citrus hops on the nose. Reminds me of a young American barlerwine. Lingering floral and perfume notes. Very enjoyable, it all works beyond the sum of its parts.

Light malt, the bulk of the flavour comes from a lopsided balance of leafy green, spicy, grapefruit pith hops, a neutral earthiness lingers in the aftertaste, while some herbal notes pop up longer into the aftertaste. Pleasant to drink, but becomes a bit one-dimensional after a while.

Light side of medium-bodied, mild carbonation, dry, a bit musty.

Holds its own and definitely makes its presence known, but fails to hold interest after a while. Great for a hoppy Belgian ale, but gets a bit lopsided as a result. A great substitute for an English IPA, ignore the U.S. homage when it comes to the hops.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large (750ml?) bottle into a schooner. The foil at the top of the bottle notes a date: 03/02/15 - perhaps a best before? Could get some more of these and lay them down.

A - pours a slightly cloudy light brown, with a one finger tan head that resolves after a couple minutes leaving some thin lacing.

S - fruit notes on the nose, sweet plum along with some floral elements. Light bready sweetness and perhaps even a hint of pineapple.

T - tart and bitter, with lots of lemon in the finish; very unusual in that it has only light to moderate hops bitterness up front, nearly no malt to balance it off and then a very bitter finish. The the bitterness builds and builds through the finish almost like a lemon rind stuck in the back of the throat. Intensely bitter in the end. Tastes nothing like it smells. (Where did the sweetness go?)

M - medium bodied with lots of carbonation; effervescent with just a hint of alcohol warming

D - initially seems quite drinkable, though the bitterness in the finish is quite powerful (would be curious to know the IBUs on this one). May be too powerful for some.

The bottle used to list this as a Wild Ale (in 2011) rather than a Strong Pale Ale; hard to say which one it really is in the end. It's no longer listed as a Wild Ale in 2012. From the bottle there's no appreciable funk, which was a bit surprising. Overall a very interesting beer and one definitely worth trying. Just watch out for the bitter, bitter finish.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a gorgeous half-pint glass in the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. From notes. Reviewed 7 June 2011.

A: Clearish; pretty. Light, white, creamy head fades fast leaving really great lace. Nicely orange.

S: Smells like an IPA. Fresh, semi-vegetal hops provide exciting topnotes. Some grapefruit...and some sweetness, from both malt and, seemingly, yeast.

T: Whoah. QUITE bitter. Quite. Raw grapefruit juice. Hops are slightly soapy, but with a nice tinge. A bit of lambic sourness. The finish is lemon peels and more hops. Drying and pleasant.

M: Carbonation, dryness, and sourness (almost too much).

O: Too bitter and sour for me. It's strength shows after half a glass. Not precisely *recommended*, but worth trying.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 750ml bottle on our porch with my girlfriend. Enjoying what will probably be the last 70 degree day of autumn in the Chicagoland area.

Pours a cloudy and dark rust colored amber. Pretty good two finger head that recedes to a nice film. The aroma is a sweet green apple skin with flower petals and just a touch of worn leather. The taste starts out bitter green apples and some light bready malts. The American hops dominate the middle to finish with super strog floral notes. The finish does have some interesting fruits that I can't place in the finish mixing with the resiny, almost palate coating hops. Good converstaion starting, bitter Belgian style brew.

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Photo of birchstick
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker reddish brown color with a really nice one finger head that retains extremely well. Nose is onion and earthy hops with some fruitiness and a nice Brett must and funk. Taste is pretty similar - starts off with some sweet malts that are pushed aside by some really earthy, onion, and citrus. These are replaced with some fruity Belgian yeast flavors. Ends with a bit of earthy funk and earthy hops, good combo that complement each other nicely. Overall, this is a nice beer. It combines some stuff that I didn't think would work (hops and Brett), but it did so I. A really nice way. Recommended.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mikkeller Usalive,

A: The beer had a strange deep amber look to it that almost faded into a dark apple juice color, very light carbonation and almost no lacing to speak of.

S: There was a mild funk to this, a kind of wet hay but no real wild aspects of vinegar or pedio/lacto dryness. There’s some grapefruit hidden in there as well but not a particularly forthright beer on the nose.

T: This beer has a chameleon character to it I think due to the brett that takes it from a sweet melted caramel to a mild tartness at the end. As a side note, there is some weird funk like wet crayon, crisp apples with a wet dog dryness. Several things going on here but ultimately very interesting.

M: The coating is similar to a pale ale or a single IPA. Nothing too watery or overwhelming. The Belgian aspect to this beer gives it a bit of an expansive nature but not too filling.

D: My dad loved this beer and he had never had anything with Brett in it before. I don’t know how else to sell this than that. It is pretty accessible to anyone and, again, if cost was not so ridiculously prohibitive, it would be a great casual beer.

Narrative: Welp. DAY IN DAY OUT, these vacuums wont sell themselves. No sirree, it takes pressing the flesh and getting out and pounding the old pavement or I am not Jimmy Warrington, number one Dyson salesman in the tristate area. It just takes a few things, I tell you what, a firm jaw line, bulletproof self-esteem, and the complete lack of inhibition to barge directly into a person’s home and begin officious cleaning. That is how I do it and Jimmy Warrington doesn’t lie. That is the US way, pressing products on people, hoping they are made locally, and providing a long term high interest payment plan. Yes sir, I don’t want to see any dirty shag carpets or collateral income laying around, those are the enemies of Dyson at large! So what is it gonna take to get this next woman into a Dyson? Well, BEHIND a Dyson vacuum, a wild flair and generally likeable set of veneers, sorry time to sell this old sucking machine!

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USAlive! (Alive) from Mikkeller ApS
3.97 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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