Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout | Barley Island Brewing Company

very good
42 Ratings
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 12-12-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 41
Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ckeegan04
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Inky black with a thick brown head. Head is very creamy in appearance and about two fingers thick. Slowly fades to a 1/2 inch cap on the beer and leaves sheets of lacing behind.

S - Primarily a bourbon aroma with hints of vanilla and oak. Light roasted malt aroma in the background. Bourbon is certianly the dominant aroma.

T - Light roasted malt taste with just a hint of vanilla and bourbon. Really comes through as a very flavorful oatmeal stout without any one taste dominating. Hints of bitter chocolate in the finish.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very creamy. Excellent feel and very easy drinking.

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Photo of hopdog
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottles acquired in trades with atpayne & Sephiroth (thanks!).

Poured a dark black color with brown edges and a larger sized tan head. Aromas of wood, vanilla, bourbon, roast, oak, light coffee, and chocolate. Tastes of vanilla, lighter wood, oats, bourbon, roast, and light coffee. Soft and creamy body. I really enjoyed it.

Notes from 12/23/07

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Photo of dirtylou
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, found at City-Wide in South Bend a few weeks ago...the 16% standard deviation of ratings on this beer is about as high as i can remember seeing. given my love for bourbon, i assume i'll be on the high end of that range

appearance: poured into a ND Soccer pint glass, big dark mahogany body, creamy chocolate cap...dark and strong body

smell: bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, vanilla, char, roasted malt and oats, dark chocolate, espresso

taste: holy schnikies - this thing is loaded with bourbon. It really masks all the oatmeal stout roastiness and only some vanilla and char seem to be making their way through. It's messy and boozy (in taste, not ABV) but the bourbon character intrigues me

mouthfeel: pretty smooth and creamy, upon exploration - this is lighter than i initially thought

drinkability: going to be a tough one

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Photo of Biggness
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark bown this a 15 finger head and lacing, well if I had a larger glass I might have gotten a 30 finger head. on 4 conservative pours I got nothing but head. The smell was nice and very strong on the bourbon. The taste was nice a little more bourbon flavor than I would generally like, but it was nice and I felt it was lacking in the malt/hops category, bourbon way overpowered all the other flavors. The mouthfeel was low because of the rediculous carbonation level, as well as the drinkablilty, I don't like to wait 8 minutes till I can drink my beer personally.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received from moose3285 as an extra. Thanks, man! Into my snifter.

A: Pours black with dark brown highlights. A massive three finger brown head with excellent retention. Leaves a ton of foam as i drink this. Must say this is pretty!

S: Tons of chocolate malt character on the nose, along with coffee and a good dose of bourbon heat. This smells delicious

T: Starts off with a good deal of bourbon on the palate with chocolate and coffee coming in behind. There's a mild sourness on the finish that's really pleasing too, similar to a souring milk. The finish is mildly burnt bitter and tasty

M: Carbonation is a little high and takes away from what oatmeal silkiness is there. The rest is solid, though - the beer's fairly light, carbonation is great too

D: At 5% ABV, I'd drink a lot of this. This is really good stuff - apart from carbonation. Thanks, Mike!

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Photo of seaoflament
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy SPLITGRIN for the opportunity to try this beer.

Pretty loud "hiss" when I cracked the top.

Pours a nice dark color that prevents any light from passing through. Very active carbonation and a good inch and a half of foam built up from a careful pour. Very good retention; the beer maintains a quarter inch tanned crown. After the beer gets to room temperature the head pretty much disappears, even swirling won't bring it back.

Wow, deep chocolate aromas. Lots of milk chocolate on the nose, smells like a chocolate milkshake. The woodsy notes in the background, which are not overdone, bring more complexity to this beer. Hints of vanilla, soft sugar cookies, roasted malts, barley, caramel/butterscotch, cocoa, and bits of charred/old wood. After the beer settles in the glass for a few moments, the aroma tones down, especially the sweet, rich, chocolate, and develops some lactic aromas. There are also some notes of dark fruits like raisins, maybe a bit of dates, and dried black cherries. I'm getting some dry grain and warm oatmeal too. Also a little bit of mineral water in the second pour.

Taste follows the aroma closely. There's chocolate but more like in a dry powder form, roasted malts, roasted barley, dark fruits, berries, and a bit of alcohol in the finish. Hints of vanilla, wood, coffee, and fruit in the aftertaste. A little bit of cola flavor near the finish. As it warms up there is more toasted bread flavors. A little bourbon flavor in the middle and finish.

Mouthfeel could be smoother, the carbonation is a little too aggressive and stings the tongue. Finish is a little thin too, probably from the barrel-aging, which is a shame as I was hoping for a smooth drink. The carbonation seems to calm down after a while but I'm still not impressed with the mouthfeel, still thin and lacks the rich and smooth characteristics of an oatmeal stout.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. The aroma is very nice, there's roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and chocolate that I can smell. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of caramel, charred/burnt malt and a little bit of coffee. There's a good lingering bittersweet chocolate and oaky aftertaste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit chewy and slick and has medium/low carbonation. It's very, very smooth and easy to drink. I think this is a pretty good beer, I'd definitely pick this up again. This was the first beer I've tried from Barley Island, I'll have to try more of their brews now!

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Photo of tpd975
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another tasty treat courtesy of Joey Redner. Thanks.

A: Pours a deep flat black with a dark brown fluffy head that towers above the brew. The head has nice retention and left behind nice chunky lace.

S: Nice roasted malt aromas with just a hint of the barrel. Mild oak and vanilla with a touch of bourbon.

T: Nice mild oat character with hints of chocolate and coffee. The barrel quality is slight which is nice. Slight dashes of oak and vanilla come thru.

M: Medium in body pretty smooth.

D: A pretty good drinking beer.

Overall: A pretty good beer from the state in which I was born and raised. Next time I am back home visiting family I will have to seek out some of their other offerings.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for this one.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

I love me an oatmeal stout, and this is the first one I've had that's been barrel aged (that isn't an imperial). Let's do this!!

Pours an absolute black with a big two finger brown colored head that quickly dies down to a layer of creamy goodness. Fair amount of lacing is left behind, I have a feeling I'm really going to enjoy this oatmeal stout. Smokey roasted barley up front on the nose with woody notes, sweet brown sugar, and toasted oat. Caramel sweetness and a hint of molasses. I don't detect the bourbon in the smell, let's see if it can be detected in on the tongue. Taste begins with a sweet cane sugar and slightly charred oak. A slick bourbon sweetness emerges midway and lingers in the aftertaste. Chocolate and caramel malts throughout. Slick and wet mouthfeel with a light to medium body. Carbonation is very minimal which I enjoy when it comes to oatmeal stouts. Lots going on with this beer, I love it. I don't know of any other oatmeal stouts aged in any type of barrel and I hope more will follow in Barley Island's footsteps. I'm sure many feel an oatmeal stout isn't "big" enough to be barrel aged, but this beer really hits the spot. Unfortunately this beer is retired, and I can't thank Michael enough for giving me the opportunity to sample this rare brew. This has become a new favorite oatmeal stout of mine.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Dispensed from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Black beer with a pretty dark, tan head. Head size is decent, at around two fingers. Head dissipates at a leisurely pace to around 1/4 inch and remains that size for quite a while. Although the head was large, there was not much substance to it. Lacing is revealed as well.

Nice aromas. Plenty of that vanilla bourbon flavor. Lots of roasted grains. Chocolate as well with very little if any coffee aromas.

Lots of bourbon on the tongue initially, followed by some sweetness possibly due to the oatmeal. Bitter chocolate in the finish. Sweet in the finish as well.

This was a terrific beer. Drinkablitity is damn near perfect. I havent had many barrel aged oatmeal stouts but I can imagine many having a better overall feel to it and satisfaction factor. Mouthfeel was a little thin. Finish was sweet and somewhat sticky. Slick on the tongue. I enjoyed this on a nice cold winters day and it certianly hit the spot.

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Photo of cameraman
2.67/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A dark pitch black color, with a brown, almost caramel colored head. The head is about an inch and half thick and has very good retention. Wow, what an aroma, the bourbon comes right out at the start, with sweet caramel and butter notes. That is followed by the sweet, distinct scent of oatmeal. The taste of oatmeal comes out very weak, the most dominant flavors are chocolate and coffee. The bourbon is almost non-existant, it comes in at the tail end of each taste. A very thin feel, almost as if it were watered down, I was expecting something more thick and syrupy. There is also the strong feel of carbonation coming in halfway and stays there till the end. This beer had a great start, a beutiful look and a fantastic aroma, was all for not. That was due to a weak flavor and a very unappealing mouthfeel. A note: After I wrote this review, I looked at the bottle it stated it was bottled in 2004. So, this beer did not age very at all.

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Photo of hero27
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.
Courtesy of SPLITGRIN in trade.

Dark auburn color. Lively head of thin tan foam recedes to leave small rings of lacing on the glass.
Aroma is of rich vanilla, oak, & roasted coffee..hints of bourbon & chocolate as well...very nice.
Drank at nearly room temp, the bitter chocolate and rich roasted malts shine pretty not drink this straight out of the fridge or you'll hardly pick up a thing. Slightly oaky, and the bourbon comes to the forefront to leave a bittersweet but smoky finish.
Body probably should be beefier for a barrel-aged stout, that's really the only downside I noticed with this beer. Finish is dry and smooth.
Overall, I'd rate this as a decent oatmeal stout with a nice bourbon flair & sweet characteristics overall.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow what a find!!

I heard about this brew from the brewmaster himself. He told me that the oatmeal stout was placed in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels for aging.
On to the review!

The smell of this brew is phenomenal. It's like smelling a bottle of bourbon without a doubt. The head started out as a 3 finger brown beauty that quickly resided at about a quarter of an inch. The taste is....(speechless)
As I stated its like a FKBS on steroids. A true extreme beer IMO. The mouthfeel is full and velvety. It's strong taste of bourbon and coffee could scare ppl away. The drinkability is the only problem because its so extreme it could freak ppl's taste-buds out.

Overall: I will be going back tomorrow to buy all of these they have remaining. I love this brew!

Edit: I just opened another bottle of this brew. I can't help but want to drink this all the time. I am a whiskey lover as well as I beer lover and I must say this really hits the spot. I can taste all of the bourbon notes and all the coffee stout notes. I LOVE THIS BREW. enjoy

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4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Still retains good carbonation after the barrel ageing as it yeilds a two finger head that is a rich milk chocolate brown. Body is 3000 mile motor oil black. Nose is a rich malty based sense experience. Including roasty coffee, and toffee notes laced with dark chocolate. On first sip you really get the bourbon up front. Very sweet on the palate with almost soured ripe dark fruit. Slightly bitter coffee twing twords the finish. Burnt malt throughout. This one is very good but a little all over the place. Could be more balanced. Slight sour thick mouthfeel. Realatively easy to drink.

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Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at biegaman's super extravaganza spring Saison tasting! blankboy (RB) brought this one!

Pours a hazed brown/black, quite opaque, thin tan head, nice lace, leaves a solid layer. Smell is great, sweet, very malty, lots of roast, vanilla/oak, bourbon, more roast, chocolate, really nicely put together. Taste is caramel malt, chocolate roast, bit of coffee, light bourbon, oaky vanilla, rich flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, warmth going down from the bourbon. Nice example of bourbon aging, really integrates well with the beer, very nice. Thanks Paul!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Lewis13 from RB. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head lasts nicely, with ample lace. Aroma is dark grains, oat sweetness, and moderate bourbon. Taste follows the nose almost exactly, dark maltiness upfront, segues into rich oats, and then comes on with vanilla character and bourbon lingering. Mouth is smooth and drinking for a BA brew. Wouldn't mind stumbling onto this one again...

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Photo of flexabull
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Indybeer. Thanks again!

Pours a deep flat black color, with a sizable tan head.

Aromas are of bourbon, dark bitter chocolate, and a bit of oak. Nice nose on this one.

Flavors are of oatmeal, chocolate, and a hint of bourbon. I think the bourbon flavor adds a nice touch here, it's subtle, and not overpowering the other nice stout flavors. Finish is crisp, and biting. There is a slight hop bitterness that lingers on the palate. This is a pretty nice stout!

Mouthfeel is good. It is creamy, supple, full, and smooth.

Drinkability is very good. A full flavored stout, that won't knock you out with a ton of alcohol.

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Photo of crwills
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting at biegaman's place with grub, viggo, lexx, blankboy (RB), and tupalev (RB). I didn't write down who brought what, unfortunately, so thanks everyone!

Fantastic colour to this one -- deep black with a tan head. Aroma is completely unsubtle bourbon -- POW! Others here said they were tired of it, but I guess I haven't had enough bourbon-barrel aged beers yet to get to that point, so it was great for me! Cakey yeast follow-up in the aroma and initial flavour, which was surprisingly sweet. A little bit weaker in the body than I'd like for the style, but nothing major. Definite smokiness in there with the bourbon as well.

Probably one of my top 2 or 3 in this tasting!

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Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Blankboy for this delicious rare treat! What a great example of barrel aging and a tasty stout!
22oz bomber, pours near opaque black. Thin trim of brown head. Good response upon swirl. Some ruby shine, the more you swirl the darker the head. A tremendously strong aroma - roasted malts, roasted oats, coffee beans - all overwhelmed by bourbon! Alll the complexities of the bourbon without too much aggressive. Real strong notes of oak and vanilla, becomes intense almost. Nothing less than a perfect 5 would be fair to score this aroma. The bourbon, oddly (but fortunately in some ways) doesn't seem to intervene much with the flavours. The oatmeal and the malts are full bodied in the flavour. Nice short element of roast on the finish alongside notes of toffee and chocolate. Bourbon, chocolate, fantastic, lovely.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

group tasting may 26/07 with biegaman, Viggo, Lexx, crwills, [email protected], [email protected], and me (grub). everybody threw something into the mix and we had a great lineup of beer. blankboy contributed this one, so thanks paul!

22oz bottle.

pours deep brown, not quite black. a small dense tan head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. hint of alcohol. big bready malt. light roast. dark chocolate.

taste is great. big dark chocolate and bourbon. vanilla. light roast. bit of coffee. bready malt. slight hint of citrus.

mouthfeel is good. nice medium-low carbonation level. big body. smooth.

drinkability is excellent. well balanced and very enjoyable. a great brew.

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Photo of joe1510
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bottle
Big Red Bloomington

Poured the darkest brown body you could imagine. So close to black it's hard to tell the difference. A 1+ finger chocolate head formed on the pour that quickly faded to a whispy cap with thick edges. Leaves sticky thin drink lines with each sip that slowly fall back into the body. This beer looks good but menecing at the same time.

The aroma starts off with a solid base of malt. Coffee beans and bittersweet chocolate are both present and very enjoyable. A perfect blend of vanilla bean, some musty wood, and mild bourbon come in flashes over the malts. This is a wonderful warm smelling beer.

The flavor is all in the aroma. The chocolate maltiness starts things off and is quickly followed by coffee beans at mid-palate. The coffee beans follow through to the finish and are accompanied by lightly roasted grains. The vanilla and mild bourbon leave a very pleasant coating that lasts a few seconds after the swallow. Leaves a mildly bitter coffee aftertaste.

Medium body with a nice creaminess from the barrel aging. Sluggish carbonation lets the beer work through at it's own pace.

This is definately a highly drinkable beer. Very enjoyable and not heavy like most of the barrel aged stouts you run into. Lower abv lets you enjoy a few glasses without being too much.

This beer is a huge surprise. I saw the average score before I reviewed and after sampling this bottle I really can't understand why it's so low. This is a wonderful beer. If it's retired I hope they plan to bring it back at some point. Really well made beer.

Notes: I read through some other reviews after I wrote this one. Many said the bourbon was way too strong. I sat on this bottle for probably 4-5 months.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my delirium tremens tulip glass.
Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a slight 1/4" head that recedes to a froth on top. Beer pours a little thin for my liking, but I can get by that.
Smell is bourbon and all bourbon. There are other smells fighting to make themselves present in the nose but the bourbon is just too dominant to let them show.
Tastes good. Theres a very good bourbon taste. There is some of the oatmeal stout coming through in the taste.
After letting it warm up a bit there is no change in the taste. Still dominated by the bourbon.
The mouthfeel is smooth with just a slight bit of carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer. I enjoy bourbon aged beers so I'm really enjoying this one. I just wish there was a secondary taste that showed up. If there was a noticeable chocolate or coffee taste then this would be a very solid stout.
This is a good stout. Appreciate the opportunity to drink it.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very dark color with only hints of redness where the light sneaks through. Head is minimal and disappears almost instantly. The nose shows some malt character, and the bourbon notes are unmistakably present. In the taste, the bourbon is too present. This struck me as closer to a Scotch ale than a stout, as whiskey flavors and the accompanying sweetness eclipsed the roasted malts one would expect in this style. The character is interesting for sure but unbalanced. Likewise, the mouthfeel is too thin for the style. I enjoyed trying this one, but there are other oatmeal stouts that reign supreme.

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Photo of BlackAngus
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice brown head that retains really well. Very black, completely opaque color.

S - Bourbon dominates the aroma. Some vanilla aroma, presumably from the barrel, as well.

T - Nice maltiness, some chocolate, but bourbon is the star of the show here. I think it's nicely balanced.

M - Medium-full bodied, low carbonation, clean finish. Very slight sweet bourbon aftertaste.

D - This isn't a session beer. But it is extremely drinkable. I will pick it up again when I see it.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 42 ratings.
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