Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
328 Reviews
Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch AleGreen Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 02-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 580
Photo of scottfrie
1.91/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into AVBC snifter. Split with a friend.

A: pours a raisin colored reddish-brown with almost no light tan head. No lacing.
S: Notes of pineapple, light brine and caramel malt. Not especially fragrant.
T: Not really picking up much actually. This beer is really bland. I get a touch of sweet malt, maybe caramel. I'm confused. The aftertaste has a touch of bitterness. Maybe tobacco. I get notes of red grape skins as well.
M: Low carbonation, slick mouthfeel, and medium body that is on the thin side.
O: My friend and I were surprised at how bad this was. There was nothing to this beer. Very underwhelming and bland.

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Photo of gfreed
2.23/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Now I know what the brewers at Stone do when they're not brewing screaming-at-the-top-of-their-lungs-until-they're-hoarse, offensively over-hopped beer: they're co-brewing dull, featureless hooey like this Scotch ale. Somewhat flatter than a good European counterpart, with a thin and inactive head but decent mahogany color, there's some nice malty aroma with a little nutmeg and apricots fighting for attention as well. The taste is underwhelming: very little beyond a thin, boozy flavor of vegetables and dried fruit. Normally a style that gets more complex as it warms, this beer just got more and more flavorless. Seek others.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.3/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, California and served into a Disney Scotch Ale thistle glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Cost was $3.19 plus tax.

Stone Collaborations 2011 series, brewed with Pizza Port (Carlsbad) and Green Flash. Brew date is December 17th, 2010 according to the label.

Expectations are average; I like Port brewing and Stone (though I'm always wary of their arrogant douchey gimmicks), but Green Flash isn't particularly special.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Bottle recommends a cellar aging temperature of 55 F/13 C or below.

A: Pours a half finger head, quite thin, without much cream at all, and of bad (~12 second) retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark caramel-amber. It an't much to look at, but it's beer. Nothing unique or special. No floating yeast particles. Mundane compared to other beers in the style.

Sm: Malts - some caramelized, some darker, some lighter, a little biscuity. Grain. Indistinct caramel-esque notes. That's about it. A simple, weak, unappealing, mild strength aroma.

T: Caramelized malts are dominant. Hints of tea. Some brighter malts. Overwhelming sugars (some brown, others questionable) in the third act. No cream, yeast, or alcohol comes through. Simply, blandly built. Badly balanced. Dull and boring. There's little to say about it. Not at all complex or subtle. Meh.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Undercarbonated. The thickness is off, but not too far in either extreme. Doesn't complements the flavours really at all. Poorly executed.

Dr: A boring bland Scotch Ale if I ever had one. Though it hides its ABV well, it's simply low quality. The label mentions something about "Why would these three breweries known for their hoppy beers brew a Scotch Ale?" Great question. Another bad collaboration beer wherein Stone is involved.


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Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.33/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to barfdiggs for this one...

A: Pours a murky redish-brown with a thin layer of off-white foam across the top. The head settles into a small ring along the edges of the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is peat, soy, gym socks, and slight sour cherries. I'm already not a fan.

T: This beer starts out sweet, with some caramel notes, some seaweed, and old muddled fruit.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's hot and sour, sweet and salty, and it finishes weird.

O: No thanks. I'm just not into this one. I'm not a huge fan of scotch ales to begin with, but this one verges on bad.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Very little head pours... Very flat in appearance. Heavy oxidation, I've keep it at 65 degree in a dark box... Never had a problem before.

Very mossy and peat-y on the nose. Slight soggy cardboard and alcohol scent.

Very mossy, high heat and FLAT!!! Lots of metalic flavors. Nothing stands out about this brew, perhaps it was better fresh???

Not recommended.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I always love trying these Stone collaboration beers. I'm not sure why because they are usually expensively priced, I guess its good marketing. I was excited to try a Wee Heavy from these guys. It seems so far from what Green Flash, Port and Stone normally do. Its their true brewing skills put to the test when they leave their hoppy comfort zones.

A- Right away I was struck by the lightness of this beer. Its a few shades darker than I wanted to see. All of the really good Wee Heavies I've had have been nearing black. This one is a reddish brown. Its got purples in the shadows and ambers in the highlights. The head is nice and fluffy though but lacing is minimal as the retention isnt spectacular.

S- This is malty, but its not rich and decadent. Its just quite grainy. It smells like a corn mill or something. There is a little bit of hoppiness, perhaps more hoppiness than a benchmark Wee Heavy, but much less than a Green Flash beer. A little bit of caramel and toffee try to fight through the grainy smells but it aint impressing me none.

T- Very much like the aroma. Seemingly straight forward grains. No real deep, rich decadence. Wheres the sweet berries? Wheres the rich chocolate? Wheres the smooth toffee? All of those things are there in spirit I suppose but this is not a malt bomb.

I love a good Wee Heavy, but most American examples are simply not what I would call a good Wee Heavy. This one included. Below average to the style.

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Photo of jpmclaug
2.77/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into my New Belgium globe

Dark brown with a small circle of off white head. Malt monster, sweet notes, caramel with maybe a touch of smoke a hint of booze as well. Sweet notes, a lot more smoke in the taste and some caramel and biscuity malts, not much flavor in the finish, some fruity notes. Mouthfeel is medium body with a normal amount of carbonation for the style.

Meh not as great as I was expecting. Really lacking in overall flavor. I dunno I guess I was expecting more considering who made this. I don't think I'd pick this up again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.81/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

alright so its upstairs at barleys and i decided to go check it out. split the pint with calton and glad i did as this was simply not good.

the pour had me fooled as the deep and dark brown looked very nice to me, with its light and compact head, but looks can be decieving as was the case here. aroma was all over. some off dark fruits that were misplaced as were some caramel malts that were no where near strong enough. flavor was wrong, with plums dominating a wet hay and mud like flavor that i just simply coul not take. had a touch of tartness to it in the finish with a healthy dose of grass and a dry finish.

overall i am not sure what was supposed to happen here but it did not work. i would not be going back for this in anyway.

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Photo of rand
2.89/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From 12 oz bottle to nonic pint glass

Copper-brown in color, Highway 78 forms a small head on a gentle pour, leaving little receded lacing. Seemingly oily and viscous, the brew yields surprisingly little aroma, even on an aggressive twirl, other than a lingering tone of sweet raisin bread. The flavors are one-dimensional as well, as the huge malty overtone dominates the palate. Sweet, bready, raisin-y - even a little boozy. And that's about where the flavors end. The beer is chewy as hell, sludgy even, and, as it lacks carbonation or a hop-punch, the brew leaves a trail of palatine residue.

Without violating the laws of "smoothness" or "balance", Highway 78 is about as boring a beer as I can remember. Coming from three of the most hop-aggressive brewers on the planet, I can understand wanting to mix things up, but there are plenty of examples malt-forward Scotch Ales with more depth and character. Thankfully, this trio has so many other remarkable ales I'll just forget about this one.

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Photo of azdback
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Spaten tumbler. Dark reddish brown, I'd say like the color of stained redwood. A scant one finger light tan head, which has diminished a little, but is not going anywhere right now. Lace doesn't stay till the end of the party.

Yeast, and I want to say it smells like root beer. Sassafras, and candied ginger.

Whamp..whamp..whhaaamp! Hmm...interestingly not tasty. I mean no offense to any of these brewers, they are in fact 3 of my favorites, but I guess maybe this just isn't my style. I get a little caramel, and a lot of yeasty, sourdough cinnamon raisin toast.

Nicely carbonated, and mildly syrupy. Not watery at all. Soft drink sweet, without the over the top carbonation.

Again, no disrespect to the brewers, but I really just think I am not into the style. Although, I do remember really enjoying a Wee Heavy from Alesmith. The mouthfeel is the best part.

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Photo of charlzm
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Consumed February 24th, 2011 in a standard pint glass.

Beer is a very clear deep brown with a maroon tint. Almost no head just a minute after the pour; just a clingy little crown providing some sheeting.

Aroma is caramel malts and sweet fruit (plums, perhaps?). A touch of butterscotch?

Flavor is more bitter than usual for a scotch ale. Caramel malts and juicy melanoidins up front, followed by a significant bitterness with a citric edge. Not very complex and too hop-heavy for my palate.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and slick with a little hint of carbonation tingle.

Overall, I can't get behind this beer because of the hop character. I'm going to age one and see if the hops fade and produce something more interesting.

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Photo of bennetj17
2.97/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bit of a still pour, low carbonation present, the foam reaches a decent thickness but dissipates quickly. It has a clear, dark amber color that glows in the light. Nice malty nose of raisin fruit and caramel cookie sweetness. I wish it smelled a bit more intense as I like what I am picking up. Take a good whiff and the alcohol starts to find it's way to the nose.

The flavor is not what I expected. It has a raisiny, boozy taste, that's a bit hard to grasp. I don't know if it's the lack of carbonation, or not enough residual sugars, but it seems thin to me. The alcohol flavor is quite strong as the malty sweetness I expected from the aroma is not dominant enough. There seems to be a fair amount of hoppy bitterness in the end, and the overall result makes me think more Barleywine than Scotch ale. Heck, you might even convince me this was a poorly made Dubbel.

This collaboration brew is a failure in my opinion. It's nice to see an attempt at a style less commonly utilized, but these brewers should stick to what they are good at. I mean it's Pizza Port, Stone and Green Flash. Make a huge West Coast Double IPA for god sakes. I'd rather drink an Old Chub over this any day...

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Photo of thagr81us
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had in the company of mikesgroove as a pre-game to a Hobo Tasting. Served from tap into a shaker pint. Poured a reddish brown with a minimal off-white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, maple syrup, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, and maple syrup. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall I was not really sure about this one. Kind of a little two sweet for my liking. The maple syrup completely dominated this brew, but not in a good way. Not sure what Stone was going for on this one, but it missed the mark for me. I could see this being good cooked down to a reduction and put on pancakes for some, but that's about it. Worth trying to say you have, but I don't think I will have it again.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served chilled in a traditional pint glass.

I tried one a week ago and it poured amazing, looked brilliant. Tried one tonight, jamming some Beatles, and it turned out differently. Poured a murky dull non-transparent reddish tea brown that produced no head and left a barely visibly ring around the glass. (the last I tried produced an amazing soft pastel yellow lacey head like I've never seen before) The smells are not very robust with large aromas of malt, roast and caramel. The tastes reflect the appearence wtih subtlties of dark tastes of malt and coffee. Poured somewhat syrupy but isn't overly boozy. May have had a bad bottle as I saw this beers potential. Didn't record at the time.

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Photo of rudzud
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this roughly over a year ago at Julio's. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear mahogany pour with a very thin offwhite head that fades quickly to leave a thin halo and light wisps.

S - Smell is of sticky sweet carmel malts and dark fruits. Almost like a eisbock or something

T - Taste is...hrm. Not diggin this really. More carmel malts and sticky sweet dark "old world" type fruits. Not really figs..dates maybe? Molasses, cola syrup, almost like a kvass, just not as bad.

M - Mouthfeel isnt that bad. Not too thin, light carbonation. ABV isnt that noticeable. Best quality of the beer.

O - Overall this beer was slightly best. Very disappointed in this one. Really didnt care for this.

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Photo of nickfromsacto
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired this bottle directly from Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido.
There was a free tour and a tasting of four of their year round beers. Awesome!!!

The head was very disappointing. The beer looks filtered like most of Stone's beers. It is a dark amber color. It doesn't have a very distinct or strong smell, except for maybe caramel and oak. The taste is sweet (almost soda like). The malt tastes caramel-y, which suites its style. The hop character is almost undetectable (unusual for Stone). Although it is almost 9% ABV, the Highway 78 is very drinkable.

Overall, a drinkable but not particularly impressive beer. Mitch should stick to brewing alone.

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Photo of Northsider
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a taster of this from the tap last night. I wanted to branch out from stouts and wheatbeers and try some different styles. I didn't care for this at all, but I'm trying to be objective

A - had a darker color than I thought, head disappeared quickly but left some residue on the glass

S - A few smells in this one, I couldn't nail down a single particular smell.

T - Taste was ok for me. Almost kind of fruity, but not in a pleasant way...

O - Overall, very average for me. I don't think I'd get this again. It's not a bad beer, but not my style.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a thistle glass.

Pours a deep brilliant ruby, with a ½ finger of smooth light mocha colored head. This retains with some fairly gentle looking foamy ringing around the sides of the glass that leaves back a very smallish smattering of lace. Eventually this pretty much goes dead about half way through the glass. The aroma smells of dark cherries, toffee, and some lighter chocolate notes. Any roasted aspects seem fairly subdued here in the nose, while the alcohol adds a touch of warm spiciness to this.

The taste has a lot of dark fruit going on with it, which is set against notes of sweet caramel and maybe be a touch of light cocoa. Things get a bit more dark and roasty feeling along the back, while like the nose, the ABV is extra some extra sweetness and spice to this. The finish is dry and slightly toasted feeling. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a smooth creaminess that then encapsulates more of a firm prickly feel on the tongue. The beefy alcohol presence here does start to wear on the palate after a while.

I didn’t care for this Stone collaboration a whole lot. This just had a bunch of sweetness and moderate roasted character to it, without any of the gentle smokiness that I would normally look for in the style. I was expecting a bit more complexity and an overall more inspired effort that what I found here. Especially from the breweries involved.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a Gordon thistle glass.

Pours a deep copper hue with a thin wisp of a light tan head. Some lacing evident.

Aromas of sweet, caramelly malt. Slightly metallic aroma. No hint of hops, as it should be.

Flavors of sweet caramel malt, hints of a graininess, light licorise, and that coppery, meltallic aroma in the flavor. Finish is medium, metallic, slow fade.

Mouthfeel is dry, astringent, metallic, not that pleasant. Big chewy malt.

Overall, not that pleasant of a wee heavy. Comes across as if the mashout was too hot and pulled some unpleasant tannins from the grain husks. Not a good showing.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a glass.

A- Brown and dark bronze with bubbles that don't quite make a cap, no foam, no stick, no nothing, stillness.

S- A very clean scotch ale, it reminds me of every other scotch ale I've had, no difference there. Mounds of caramel on top of light chocolate and toasted malts burnt to a tee.

T- Toffee over caramel taste wise, toasted malt up there, no fruit, no bitterness, very clean scotch ale, no alcohol, even though it's almost 9%. Not hard to hide under all that malt. Simple.

M- Very smooth, barely carbed, a medium build, malty, it is what it is?

D- I got through the bottle. Not something I would want to drink again.

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Photo of radioscooter
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a Stone fan - so sue me.

But I am a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy fan so here we go.

Caramely - root beer appearance with a fair head. Nice froth pattern. Good lacing.

Aroma is oddly vinegary. Not sure why or if it's some bad gunk under the lid.

Taste - yeah, malty, boozy, a little phenols creeping in. Not what I'd expect from Stone or from Port - in a bad way, not a good way. This collaboration should have yielded something better. Butterscotchy light dried fruits, sweet but quick finish. Malty but no balls to back it up.

It's like they tried to clone Wet Willy badly. Note to all breweries - fins a better example of the style to clone. Try McEwans or Belhaven or Traquair House.

Not the worst. And it's growing on me. But def. not something to seek out. Imagine Wet Willy with a little phenolic nastiness.

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Photo of champ103
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby mahogany color. At first a two finger beige head forms, but recedes to a ring in a second. Not much lace is left behind.
S: I get a bunch of earthy yeast in the nose. Raisins and sweet malt. Not much in the nose, and what is there does not mesh well.
T: Earthy, kind of like Belgian yeast. Raisins and very sweet. Some fusel alcohol as well.
M/D: A medium body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Not a lot flavor going on, and a bit of alcohol. There is some burning in the back of the throat. Not something I am coming back to often.

This is a disappointment for me as this is my favorite style. There is not a lot going on, and other than being sweet, not much of a Scotch Ale either. Just ho hum.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Reddish-brown body. Not much of a head or lacing.

S: Fruity, smoky, and alcoholic.

T: Malty with dark fruits and toffee. Some peaty and roasted notes. A bit of herbal hops and alcohol burn. They're all pretty muted, though, and they all come together in kind of a bland muddle.

M: Medium-bodied, somewhat chewy.

D: I never imagined Stone could make such a bland beer. Then again, I haven't really been in love with any of the Scotch ales I've had. Maybe this just isn't the style for me.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was probably one of my least favorite Stone collaborations, I usually enjoy them. Dark brown color and not much head. Smells like a scotch ale at first, peaty and malty and then a blast of alcohol that I did not enjoy in the least. The flavor was malty and decent but nothing special at all. I'd take an Oskar Blues Old Chub over this beer every single time.

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Photo of output01x
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (2011 Vintage) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1-finger tan head that quickly recedes in a couple minutes to a minimal dusting. The body is a cloudy dark brown. Very little lacing can be seen throughout consumption.

Caramel malt, dark fruit (raisin predominantly), and a thick booze in the nose. The smells are rather muted which is very disappointing as a beer in this style can gain much from a good aroma.

Very sweet up front with dark fruit notes. An alcohol warmth and odd fruity tatness follows. This is a Scotch Ale and not a Belgian Dark Ale, right?

Full bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer can rest on your tongue for indefinite periods of time but still leaves little stickiness. It is definitely a sippper but lacks the thick mouthfeel of a typical Scotch Ale.

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Green Flash / Pizza Port / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale from Stone Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 580 ratings.
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