Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPASmuttynose Noonan Black IPA

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerNinja007 on 02-27-2013

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 389
Photo of HamdenHector
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: deep brown; 1 finger tan head that receded slowly to a thick ring around the edge of the glass; nice lacing;

S: roasted malt; coffee;

T: coffee ice cream; piney hops show through at mid-palate; finish is moderately bitter with coffee and pine before the swallow and espresso after;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; long, dry finish;

O: complex flavors; I was happy that the hop flavor came through - doesn't seem to happen a lot with this style;

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of impenetrable, stouty black. It puts up a hearty two and a half finger head of soapy, khaki colored bubbles, showing great retention. This is easily reproducible. Thick and chunky lacing is left around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be active. The aroma gives brightly sweet citric, grassy, and soapy hops, with additional sugars from bubblegum esters and dried apricots. The malts are a mix of pales, lightly charred coffee malts, and salted barley. Faint booze comes with warmth, as does powdered oat, vanilla extract, floral perfume, milky creaminess, and fine metallics. Our first impression is that the flavoring shows expertly roasted malts, with excellent, juicy balance from the hop camp. The taste opens with surprisingly char-roasted malts, nectarine and apricot fleshiness, orange peel zest, lactic acidity, and fresh grapefruity hops. Bittered soapy hops mix with the depth of coffee and chocolate malts, bringing us to the peak, where char, soured grain, alcohol, and soft caramel sugar sweetness come out. The finish comes with black strap molasses, licorice bite, continued coffee bean acidity, clean coffee malts, white sugar graininess, floral hops, and more juicy grapefruit. The aftertaste breathes of soured coffee char, limey citrus, earthy and soapy hops, roasty chocolate malts, fusel booze, strawberry stems, and big yeasty bite. The body is on the lighter side of medium, while carbonation is the same. Each sip gives fantastic slurp, sip, cream, pop, and froth, with chalky astringency left streaked down the palate. The abv is easy, and drinkability is high.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the feel. Each sip is delightfully slurpable, with appropriate body, soft creaminess, and nice fizziness. The coloring is also robust for the style, and the aroma gives a good deal of complexity through its fusel qualities. The flavoring remains uniform throughout, keeping things smooth, predictable, and flowing. While some may see this as a bad thing, it actually remained easy going and very drinkable. This is a serious take stylistically and certainly in line with some of Smuttynose’s top beers.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 6/28/13

Appearance: While I'm tempted to say this is black, it's really more of a dark, dark brown - pours with a big, creamy beige head - leaves a nice, above-average web of lacing

Smell: Roasty and chocolatey, with some hints of citrus - on the mild and balanced side for this style - nicely roasted malts, chocolate malt, and some roasty coffee - a bunch of dark chocolate and baker's chocolate - a vague hint of grass and grapefruit hops

Taste: Roasty and chocolatey, as the smell would suggest - roasty and lightly burnt malts - chocolate malts - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, and some semisweet chocolate - above average bitterness - some oily grapefruit rind, but not much hop character - some burnt coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, extremely dry finish

Overall: Good, but very far from legendary

The biggest problem with this beer is the name. As Greg Noonan is often credited for inventing this style, a black IPA named after him should be very exceptional. This is good, but I wouldn't call it exceptional.

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Photo of farrago
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a big, frothy brown head, close to three fingers as it crests, full-on mix of bubble sizes, from huge to tiny, dimpled all over, the lacing is thin but forms broad sheets which cover close to half the available glass space. Black liquid yet has a shiny brightness to it, this in spite of the chunky floaties inside the glass, hard to visually gauge the carbonation, shifts to a yellow hue along the rims. The nose is sweetly roasty, oodles of chocolate, coffee, hard toffee with even more malt after that, it’s hoppy in a mellow fashion, more cleansing than herbaceous, subtle floral lift, not much fruit but maybe a little earthiness. Full-bodied, thicker and denser than expected, the carbonation is slow to unwind but it does not feel flatfooted. Here too there’s a strong emphasis on roast although it does adroitly avoid bitterness. Coffee beans, cocoa, mocha more than milkiness, although there’s moments of root beer and vanilla. Mutter of quinine. The mouth feel is grippy and dry, more pine and cut grass than flowers or citrus. Again, hard to discern clear fruit presence, more apricot, maybe cherry. Because it starts with such intent and energy, it’s hard for it not to finish likewise. Sticks to the basics, does them well enough.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is black, solid, head is tan 1/2 inch after pour, then dissipates to a good top and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell is a great mix of toast, bread, biscuit, lighter caramel and chocolate, and roast; hops are light and earthy.

Taste is more roast forward, a little biting from roast and hops, other malts are biscuit and caramel, no chocolate in the flavor; hops are earthy, light pine in flavor.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant, some lingering bitterness from the roast, but good for lighter beer; lingers more on the back of the tongue with lighter flavors on the cheek, nice carbonation and a near creamy feel from the wheat/biscuit malts.

Overall, a very solid brew, great roasty flavor, cleaner hop profile and a creamy undertone form the nose and mouthfeel

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Photo of Act25
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this brewer, and I find this beer is under-rated on BA compared to my 4.0 experience of it.

A: Starts out with a perfect black pour with an ample, lasting tan head that loads the glass with persistent lacing
S: Balanced hop aroma, more malt than hops. Cocoa, coffee, grass, and roast aromas. Outdoorsy.

T: Rich, velvety malt is layered with grassy hops, bitters, coffee, cocoa and pine. Very complex, rich, layered, inviting, definitely a meditation beer. Tingly bitter, nice feeling. Very dry and long finish. Great.

MF: Chaulky and creamy at once, drying, long finish leaves you almost puckered.

The best black IPA I have every enjoyed. Must try esp if you like em dry.

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Photo of scotorum
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by 7/23/14

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Black with clear ruby highlights when seen through light. Two inch tall tan head receded very slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark chocolate.

t: Dark chocolate and smoke up front with plenty of hop bite. Smoke in the aftertaste. Tastes like a hoppy stout or porter.

m: Moderate.

o: Dunno who the Noonan guy is on the label and in the title but whatever he has to do with this brew he did ok. This might qualify as a Baltic or American porter. And a pretty good one.

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Photo of zac16125
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass
no bottling dates

A: Pours an opaque black with lots of light brown sedimentation suspended in the glass. 2.5 fingers width of light tan head has good retention before dissipating down to thick film that hands around for the remainder of the drink and leaves tons of lacing.

S: Citrus rind and resinous pine. Roasted malts and cream. This one is heavier on the hop notes than some of the style, which IMO is how the style meant to be.

T: Follows the nose. Hops are the most prominent component with piney bitterness and bitter citrus rind. Roasted flavors and cream are present but subtle.

M/D: Full bodied, appropriate carbonation, a bit drying on the finish, drinkability is average.

O: When this style first began hitting the shelves I loved it, but as more and more examples of the style came out I found myself shying away from them because they usually were underwhelming. This one is an exception. The big hop characters with only subtle "dark" flavors is IMO how the style should be done.

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Photo of brother_rebus
2.54/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

So thin. No foreward taste of much. It all kinda blends. I do like the carbonation of it though- it's kinda like Sri Lanka: not as latent as a stout or porter, still stays in touch with India.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very solid black IPA with mild hop flavors and more roasty malt flavors like a stout. Yet, the dryness is there, which I'd prefer to be balanced by more sweetness. If there's one weakness, its that this is just a little thin in feel and taste, but not so much that it feels watery or bland. Would I like a little more body and spiciness or chocolate/coffee? Yes. But this is satisfying anyway. I could easily drink again.

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3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$3 for a pint during happy hour
Sampled 26MAR13

[A] Arrives with a solid finger of dense foamy/fluffy head, oatmeal colored. Retention and lacing are well above average. The body is close to black.

[S] Hopping is clearly abundant. Notes fresh pine wood, sawdust and earth. Bitter chocolate and dark roast are layered into the profile nicely.

[T] Woodsy, earthy, spicy hops with more roasted malt flavor than I care for in a hoppy beer. Semi acrid.

[M] Gritty texture, fine, biting carbonation. Semi-aggressive. The body is medium. Light sweetness up front and rather dry on the finish.

[O] Either an aggressively hopped black ale or an overly roasted black IPA - neither of which suit my tastes too well but this is a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bbd 8/13/14) into a pint glass, dark brown almost black with a large thick tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: black patent malt, dark and toasty, coffee, only light hops

T: bitter burnt flavors up front coupled with substantial hop bitterness, flavor stays bitter throughout, coffee, pine resin hops, espresso

M: medium with higher carbonation

O: quite bitter overall with little malt sweetness, focus is on heavily roasted malt

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque black body with brown hues beneath the dark tan, billowing, fluffy head, which is very slow to dissipate leaving a dense, sticky lacing behind.

Fresh grassy and earthy or wood hops greet the nose followed by the roasted and smoky malt.

The flavor offers excellent smoked and toasted malts with hints of chocolate mid-palate and a nice hoppy biting finish that is part woody and part earthy. The flavor is very porteresque meets IPA.

Medium to fuller in body with medium carbonation featuring a semi-bitter, semi-drying finish.

Nice brew and while it may more closely resemble a porter than a Black IPA, it is just as advertised and when keeping in mind what this recipe was when originally brewed, this beer is delicious.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown with good clarity. The persistant head is made of mousse-like dark tan bubble. The head settles a half a finger of foam leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A strong citrus hops aroma mixed with moderate chocolaty, dark grains aromas. The is a medium-strong herbaceous fresh hopped aroma that mixes very well with the malt and citrus. The hops have a light pineapple note to them. A light floral alcohol sweetness.

T: A strong citrus hops flavor and an agressive hops bitterness. There is a moderate amount of chocolate and coffee flavors with just a slight dark grain bitterness. The balance is pretty bitter even with the medium-low malt bitterness. The finish is off-dry and the aftertaste is of citrus hops bitterness with a bit of dark grain.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: I don't understand kids today and I still think these Black IPA are just a well hopped, unbalanced Robust Porter. That being said I like the blend of citrus and chocolate/coffee malt with the agressive hops bitterness going on here. The hops get just a tad harsh on the finish which could be reduced by the use of higher alpha hops, not that I'm complaining.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark muddy brown - bordering on black. Has a big frothy caramel colored head with very good retention and lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, caramel, and floral hops.

It has a thick malty mouth that is pulled away from an elusive sweet caramel into burnt bitterness. It is very crisp and refreshing and has some good complexities in the interplay of sweet and bitter, but bitter definitely dominates almost to a fault. There is some nice bitter citrus and pine, but the burnt malt bitterness overshadows the rest. A very good beer none-the-less.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pumped to try this, thought it was gone but blanchards had a six pack still kicking.

A: Pours just off back, cocacola color. big sandy head, died quick, not a ton of lacing.

S: Some roasted malts and hops. A little chocolate and some grassy/citrusy hops.

T: Roasted malts up front, some bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, transitions to more of a dry bitter grassy/piney and slightly citrus/lime hop flavor. Finishes rather dry. Definitely some bitterness to this, high IBU's. some charcoal/smokiness in malt profile too.

M: Creamy/velvety mouthfeel, very smooth. Low carbonation. Would have thought higher abv based on taste.

O: Tasty, very flavorful, kinda like a super robust porter. High bitterness especially for ABV. Worthy purchase and up to the smuttynose standard. Glad I bought it, but in the future I would probably tick something else.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Originally released quite a while ago as part of the short batch series but now it's going to be a regular offering. The ABV is different and they've probably tweeked the recipe a bit, so I think it deserves a separate entry.

Obtained a 6-pack from the brewery for $9. Best by 08/18/13 ABV 5.7%. Smutty's recently upgraded their stamping equipment so that ABV can be printed on the bottle instead of hard-typed on the label, because they do see some batch-to-batch variability.

A: 12oz bottle poured cold into a tulip. A hard pour puts up 3/4" of dense taupe creamy head with good retention. A few minutes later it's still half there, and the half that's gone has left a super thick creamy layer of lace behind on the glass. The brew itself is pitch black, no light getting through even when held to a bright light.

S: A robust blend of resiny pine hop and bitter black malt. As it warms/ airs, the pine dissipates a bit to a more generic hop bitterness and the malt mellows to include some dark cocoa aspects.

T: Very much like the smell. A good strong dose of semi-piney hop up front coasts largely undetected past the mid-palate and hits hard again in the back of the mouth. The bitter black malt blends very well with the hop and carries through nicely throughout the sip. Mixed hoppy bitterness and bitter black malt, along with a bit of cool menthol feel, lingers very long into the finish.

M: Good smooth mouthfeel, a moderate viscosity mixed with soft carbonation, very well-balanced.

D: A really solid example of the style, very balanced and full-flavored. Nicely done, I think Mr. Noonan would be proud.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(4.25) A: Root-beer brown with a very attractive creamy mocha coloured head. Commendable retention and sticky lacing down the glass.

(3.75) S: Caramel, roasted qualities including dark fruits & some cocoa, slightly herbal, and citrusy. Good mix of pleasing aromas from both the lighter and darker side of things.

(4.0) T: Citrus, caramel, herbal-like, lighter cocoa, and faint raisins. A heavy bitterness with less dryness in comparison. This is quite easy to drink with lots of flavour but not in an overbearing way. Very good.

(3.75) M: Lighter bodied with a moderate-lower carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a
relatively clean texture.

(3.75) D: This is a solid and easy-drinking black IPA that I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours almost bible black with a long lived frothy head.
There's plenty of hops bitterness with an underlying toasted malt hint.
The flavor stance is vibrant on the palate with what I would expect from an IPA.
There's a long finish but I wish the entire mouthfeel and flavor cross-section had "more of". Nevertheless I found this beer as an interesting and enjoyable IPA.
Certainly worth your "beer-time" on a bottle or two.

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Photo of Thads324
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the darkest of blacks. Big pillowy tan head that is sticky and unwavering.

Smells like lots of roasted malts. Hints of coffee, cocoa and musty earthy hops. Nothing overpowering but very good.

Starts light with some brown ale flavors, some piney and earthy hops kick in with a hint of citrus. Good bitterness in the middle but not overpowering. Ends with medium roasted malt flavor with mild coffee and toasted grains. A bit of toffee to go with the grassy hop flavor at the end.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation that carries the bitterness well. Too much flavor for any semblance of alcohol.

A full flavored brew with great balance and taste. I bought a single, but I'd like to get more sometime this week. Good stuff!

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Photo of MisterE
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

12 ounce bottle with “best by” date of 08/05/14 and ABV 6.2% printed on the glass

A: poured gently into a tall snifter - deep dark brown with considerable sediment in the bottom and a powerful foamy head that keeps building for several minutes after the pour - excellent lacing

S: dark roasted malt but dominated by grassy and piney hops - stronger as it warms up

T: excellent example of the style - hops are present throughout, but muted by the dark, almost burnt flavor of toasted grains - so little sweetness that I expected to read there was coffee in the mash

M: medium body with moderate carbonation - smooth and very dry

O: glad to have tried this one and would buy it again, but unlikely to become one of my go to beers

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Photo of 312HopBomb
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew appears a dark brownish black color with some dark ruby highlights and a three finger head that falls slowly with fine bubbles and thick sheets of tan lacing.

The aroma consists of dark baker's chocolate and some light, slightly citrus hop.

The flavor is dark and roasty with dark chocolate then transitions to some moderate hop bitterness that's both citrus and pine. Somewhat dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium carbonation and creamy with a bitter finish.

A nice black IPA that has some great roast and assertive fresh hop flavor. Good job Smuttynose!

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Photo of WyethBednar
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've had a few Black IPAs before and have never liked them, mainly because they just sort of seemed like porters that for some reason classified themselves as IPAs. However, this one definitely showed me what a Black IPA could be. It was a nicely balanced beer, with a nice roasty base that was complemented nicely by a hoppy kick.

Appearance: Just like the name would suggest, it's pretty black. A relatively thin white head that doesn't leave much lacing.

Smell: Definitely tips you off to the hoppiness. One thing I never liked about other Black IPAs was that the smell was all roast and coffee, there was no hop presence, and this one definitely didn't have that problem. Nice balanced smell of roastiness and hops.

Taste: Complex and awesome. Really well-balanced, with enough hop presence to please any fans of IPAs. Versatile enough to pair well with either a spicy meal or a dessert.

Mouthfeel: A little thin feeling. Decent carbonation, but due to the roasty character of the beer a little more smoothness would be a nice improvement.

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Photo of Bucktron18
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with freshness date.

Pours almost black. Dark amber hughes with a thick light tan head that sits on top like a dollop of whipped cream. Great lacing. Some chunky off white sediment sits in the center (I'm assuming this was bottle conditioned otherwise I would have some serious problems. Looks much like Finest kind with a stiff pour in that regard). Smells of roasted malt which don't overpower the hops, but do make them harder to pick out. Taste is bitter from the start with some bitter roasted notes that blend almost seamlessly into a middle and finnish of seriously bitter hops. Grapefruit rind and some faint grassy piney notes. Finish is bitter and lingers. Mouthfeel is great. Low-medium carbonation with a smoothness all the way through.

Overall a great black ale with some serious bitterness from start to finish.

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Photo of ChiChi
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out thick, heavy and beastly. Yes, a beast of a beer. Many qualities of a good stout, as far as Black IPA's are concerned, this is way heavier and stronger. Aftertaste of bourbon. Heavy malt taste leaves the palate slightly dry. Nice glass lacing, The Noonan is a complex brew that gets better and takes over with every sip. I can't find any foods to pair it with yet, because this beer is almost like a meal in itself.

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
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