Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
424
Ratings:
3,019
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
20.54%
 
 
Wants:
2,165
Gots:
851
For Trade:
116
User Reviews
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Reviews: 424 | Ratings: 3,019
Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to dlello2 for this bottle, now drained into two small taster cups. Consumed as part of a Friday night lineup that included the '10, '11, & '12 vintages. One of my favorite regularly available stouts, so I've been looking forward to this vertical. 12 oz. wax-capped bottle.

Pour is black & close to flat, but it makes up for it in the smell. Lush bourbon loveliness pours out after the wax is busted, but fades quickly. By the time it warms there's nothing but a hint of malt & figment of bourbon left. Huh.

Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth is a shot of Maker's Mark to the gut; I wouldn't be surprised if this was 25% bourbon. Bourbon suffuses the base beer & overwhelms it with goodness (except I love the base beer). Roast manages to thrash its way out of the bourbon, & it retreats as it warms. Chocolate emerges rapidly; rich. Gorgeous. Deep wood that really adds some depth. Wasn't really digging this initially, but after some time, it grew on my rapidly. Up, up, & away. Heavy. Luscious.

Wow. This one didn't impress me out of the gate, but as it warmed - really warmed, after about 25-30 minutes - it became amazing. This is an excellent beer that really complements the excellent base beer. Worthy. Glad I have one more.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black and black... tiny mocha head, with very little lacing.

S: Wow... bourbon, cherry, molasses, oak, brown sugar, chocolate. Very boozy but strong smell.

T: Bourbon, vanila, brown sugar, chocolate, quite strong cherry and dark fruits, some smoke and hops near the end. Sweet and Slightly too boozy for me, but big big taste (follows the nose)

M: A bit too hot for me and surprisingly not as thick nad syrupy as I expected for a big beer like this.

O: Very nice bourbon barrel aged stout, but not my favorite. I much prefer this over the normal plead the 5th (which was a bit too smokey for my taste).

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Photo of chinchill
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle.
Aroma/Flavor: Rich, complex, and smooth. Well balanced Very lightly boozy; ABV seems notably lower than 11%. Fine whisky notes.

Mouthfeel: Very Full bodied.

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Photo of iadler
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to exitmusic00 for cracking one of these open for the holiday party. Been wanting to try this for some time.

A- Pours a pitch black oil with a thin mocha head. No lacing is left behind.

S- Oak, earthy bourbon, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted and hints of coffee and dark fruits including figs and raisins.

T- Roasted malt upfront with oak, dark chocolate, caramel, black cherries, raisins, coffee and a bit of vanilla and cream. The bourbon is noticeable, but is not as overpowering as I was expecting.

M- Low carbonation with a medium body. A rich and oily mouthfeel that coats the tongue. A warm finish, but the ABV is kept in check pretty well.

O- Despite how fresh this was, this wasn't overly boozy. The mouthfeel was the highlight as it was the perfect level of carbonation and the bourbon was integrated very well with the base beer. Can't wait to crack some more open in the future.

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Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a ton to 4DAloveofSTOUT for this one, thanks Brian!

A- pours a thin dark mocha head that recedes fairly quickly into a collar around the glass.

Aroma is of sweet, faint booziness.

Roastiness blends well with the -bal qualities. As alcoholic as this seems I would not guess it at 14%abv

Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Low but fitting carbonation.

Reminded me a lot of BCBS and while this was a very good example of melding an imperial stout with bourbon barrel aging I'd have to give my preference to BCBS. That said, this is definitely worth seeking out if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of portia99
4.26/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle (2012 vintage) poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours with a thick and oily appearance as it enters the glass. Pitch black in color with almost not head formation that really only results in a thin dark brown collar and no lacing.

S - Sweet on the nose with molasses and dark caramelized sugar, brown sugar, chocolate, some anise and some boozy bourbon. As it warms in the glass a bit, I get some sugar cookies, light butter and some vanilla.

T - Bourbon up front that puts a tingle on the lips and tongue immediately. Chocolate, molasses, a bit of char, dark roasted malts and hints of coffee. Not as sweet as the aroma would indicate. Coffee comes on more on the back end of each sip and eventually leaves a long lingering flavor past the swallow. Bourbon smoothes out as the beer warms too and a smooth vanilla kicks up a notch as well.

M - Thick and full bodied - a bit slick and oily. Sweet with bourbon flavors and bitter and roasty blending together quite well to give an excellent overall balance. The thickness is great yielding a luxurious soft feel.

O - Overall, very nice BA imperial stout. I like this quite a bit more than the standard version and actually think this is a smoother drinker even with the addition of somewhat boozy bourbon. Alcohol is noticeable throughout but isn't at all harsh and burning, just a very desirable warmth. Barrel works well to add some extra nuance in the flavor and aroma. One of the better BA beers out there.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.26/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep impenetrable black with a good head that shocked me because every bottle of Plea The 5th I've opened has had a whisper of a head. This nice head leaves a subsequent nice lace. The aroma is plum, fig, vanilla, molasses, and plenty of deep roast. The flavor is loads of vanilla and chocolate with plenty of dark fruit and some nice fig and raisin notes with just a mild warming alcohol note. A delicious variation of an already delicious beer.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.26/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: so thick and dark, with a great light brown head.

Smell: bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, pecan pie.

Taste: bourbon, alcohol heat, vanilla, tobacco. Little roast or bitterness, some chocolate. No dark fruits, cherry, etc. Some bacon-like savory flavors.

Feel: medium, maybe a bit overcarbonated, a bit dry on the end.

Overall: not sure if it's the difference in vintage, age, or the barreling, but I liked the 2014 non-BA bottle I had a few nights ago a bit better than this. The barrel influence overwhelms some of the nuance I got from that. Still, good.

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Photo of nickd717
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nanoslug for this one.

Pours black and relatively viscous with a one-finger tan head and thick lacing.

Great aroma, similar to the regular version with a decent bourbon and -bal hints. Dark chocolate, roast, molasses, and anise.

The flavor is rich and huge on the molasses, not unlike the regular version. Rich dark chocolate notes and a good bourbon-soaked wood presence.

Really thick and a little syrupy with very low carbonation.

Great beer. Glad I got to tick this. I love me some -bal aged RISes, and this is a great example.

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Photo of Phelps
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sent by seeswo in the Blind Beers BIF. The 12-ounce bottle was poured into my fantastic new Three Floyds snifter and reviewed blind.

Inky black, with a dark, fizzy, cinnamon-colored head.

The nose on this one is decidedly swee. Big showing from the underlying stout here, with notes of sugary chocolate, toast and sweet wort immediately noticeable. Below those is more of the fresh oak and smooth bourbon.

Flavor’s great. As the aroma suggested, there’s a big showing from the sweet, chocolatey malt. Cocoa nibs, toffee and a big hit of toasted coconuts play off a nice bourbon character. The liquor here is top-shelf. The flavor continues to improve as it warms, eventually getting to where there’s so much coconut and chocolate, it’s like drinking a liquified Almond Joy. With bourbon.

Carbonation is a notch under medium. The tiny bubbles massage the tongue as I move the thick, medium-full-bodied brew around. There’s even a nice tongue-coating action from the residual sugars. Alcohol seems a little bit bigger than is necessary, though.

A great flavor. Loving the toasted coconut notes, and the bourbon is very well-blended. A tasty, sweet, drinkable stout.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter. 2011 vintage with silver wax.

A- pours a thick black with a 1 finger dark cola head. Small amoeba blotches remain on the glass.

S- huge vanilla aroma, marshmallow, chocolate, bourbon, some ashy roastiness.

T- bourbon, dark chocolate, oak, roasted dark malts, big coffee bitterness at the finish.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Rich and slick feel with a slight burn from the abv.

O- very good BA stout. From the regular version I guess I should expect the as hipness and dark chocolate. Just didn't have that amazing vanilla, chocolate, bourbon combo I love from bcbs.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle from Jim M. Thanks! Poured into my LA Teku.

A: Pours in an inky, almost treacly manner to the glass. Fills up with a solid dark mocha head which fades quickly. Some carbonation bubbles are disturbing the surface of this black puddle. Legs are thick, thick, thick.

N: Hearty bourbon with a big chocolate and espresso background. Vanilla and caramel and oak. Coconut and more fudge. Brown sugar and some molasses. Big sweet sugars here. Some rye and oatmeal.

T: Very, very sweet. Bourbon appropriates the top level here and adds a sweet sting on top of a very pronounced sweet malt body. There’s a little bit of earth, pine and spice from what I assume are the hops and there’s some additional roast. This has some surprising balance, though it’s still a heavy confection. Does have a salty soy sauce aspect.

M: Super boozy, but it’s got a wonderfully filling mouthfeel. Other RIS’s should pay attention to this aspect, it’s the best I’ve had outside Apple Brandy Hunahpu’s.

O: I wish I had split this bottle because it’s absolutely going to sit in my stomach, but at the same time, I don’t think I’m going to get sick of it. This might get a few more points if it turned down the bourbon heat, but at the same time, it’s done an excellent job of making both the bourbon and the stout distinct, so what else can you want?

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Photo of Kraj30
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

had two 8oz drafts... i has very light bourbon smell... a little thing for my liking.. vanilla and bourbon are on the taste but it is not very strong.. like to have a bottle or older bottle because this was very young

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Photo of Masonz223
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Note: 2015 bottle
Smell: cinamon vanilla coconut sugary rasin sweet chocolate
Taste: upfront vanilla charcoal middle of the mouth sugared coverd rasin malt sweetness a faint cinamon sticky sugary milk chocolate. Finished with a real sharp dark roasted coffee dark chocolate a little bit of smokiness and some alchool heat present.
Feel: medium body a nice coffee biterness lingers in the finish.
Overall: it has all the flavores you look for in a barrel aged stout. Though I wished the flavores were more in your face especially that cinamon I got in the nose. Still a little boozy to could age longer which isn't a big surprise still pretty young. Saying all that this beer is still pretty damn good!

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Photo of Ratman197
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured a clear dark reddish brown with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of bourbon, oak, cocoa, light roastiness and light vanilla. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of bourbon, oak, maple,light vanilla and light roastiness with a smooth lingering bourbon finish.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Local Option. Served in a snifter. The perfect nightcap for a Thursday night filled with drunkenness and debauchery.

A - Filled to the brim, so it's hard to get a handle on head volume/retention. Thick ring with a bit of film on top, and some spotty lacing as the beverage is consumed. Ominous black body.

S - A lot of dark roasted grain character, with an earthy and fairly mellow bourbon character. I'm not sure what barrels were used, but they certainly seem to be of high quality. This really needs to warm up, and even then it isn't the most aggressive nose.

T - The taste is quite excellent, with a hefty amount of dark roasted grain, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and other sweet things. Again, the bourbon makes its presence known through barrel flavors and depth, rather than in-your-face harsh whiskey.

M - Shockingly little warmth for a 14% beast. Full body, with sufficient carbonation to keep it from getting too syrupy. Stick finish, with only light tannic character.

D - This was quite drinkable for the ridiculous ABV. I'm tempted to trek back to Local Option for another pour under more sober conditions. Also, kudos to Dark Horse for enhancing an already excellent beer with tasteful and well-integrated barrel-aging. They've also done a good job keeping the beer from thinning out too much or getting too astringent.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

the beer pours a jet black with a thin tan halo of tan head...rather ominous looking. the nose is slightly boozy, with intensely earthy chocolate/coffee, and bourbon vanilla. the taste is also intense with caramel upfront, burning booze, lingering milk chocolate and a touch of bitterness. the mouhfeel is definitely thick, full bodied and flavorful. The roasty lingering chocolate aftertaste has a subtle hint of bourbon, but blends well. This is a world class BBA stout that drinks super smooth...tasty

Round 2 updates - 2012 vintage consumed 07/2014
minimal head, masked booze when cold - but still big bourbon notes, silky smooth mouthfeel, a little more coconut than before. This beer has aged very well.

Round 3 - 2013 vintage consumed 07/2014
really similar experience -- went in it with higher expectations and feel as though the 2012 was a bit smoother. Surprisingly I get more oxidation from this beer than the 2012

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Photo of tewaris
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a small sample, poured on tap, at Heritage Liquor's annual Beer Geek Christmas.

Pours pitch black with a dark brown bubbly collar. Tough to comment on retention and lacing but looks like a classic barrel aged stout. Excellent aroma, full of vanilla and chocolate notes with plenty of sweetness, but no harsh alcohol. Bourbon is certainly present, and dominates the aroma but only in good ways.

Taste is similar to aroma with bourbon shining, bringing a great oak-vanilla element to taste and enhancing the chocolate. Bittersweet with coffee like acidity that was absent in the nose, and seems a little over the top. Finishes clean and bitter. The body is a little thin for my liking and carbonation a tad higher. If this is actually 14% ABV, it drinks amazingly easy!

One of the best examples of Bourbon Barrel aged beers in the sense that Barrel aging has made an otherwise average RIS excellent! Do not pass it up if you ever get the chance to try it!

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Phineasgage is a gentlemen.

Pour is dense, opaque and inky. Black. Looks very nice.
The first thing that hits me on the aroma is the bourbon and how strong it is without getting fusel, that is really nice.
Flavor wise the bourbon is there but softer allowing more vanilla, chocolate, oak, and roast to come through. really awesome.
This one shows the barrels very nicely without coming out to much, really impressive, i really like it.
The mouthfeel is full, not as thick as BCS or Marshall Z, but a tick behind and nice.

Very good beer.

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Photo of Bferber
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

My impression of this was much different than many reviews, so here goes. 2014 vintage

L- not at all the motor oil many described, not even black. More of a deep brown, with a nice mocha head, pleasant appearance but no standout.

S- had a slightly metallic tinge at first when cold, but went away after warmed slightly. Bourbon present but very muted. Roasty, malty, dark fruits - maybe some raisin, and slightly vinous.

T- very similar to smell. Bourbon pretty muted, dark fruit is strongest secondary flavor to the malts.

F- mouthfeel is excellent. Low carb, pretty full mouthfeel. Creamy and smooth.

O - solid beer, really enjoyed mouthfeel. Was hoping for more of a bourbon barrel presence, but enjoyed the straightforward flavors without having much "adjunct" qualities of chocolate, coffee or vanilla that seems to be all the rage lately.

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Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2013 Vintage
A- Pours near pitch black with a nice cream colored head.

S-Creamy bourbon. Nice vanilla undertones.

T-Bourbon up front, followed closely by oak, vanilla, and finally a slight alcoholic burn.

M-Smooth and creamy. A little high on the carbonation for a barrel aged stout.

O- A well done brew. Easy drinker, but that little alcohol kick at the end lets you know it is an 11% beast.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Eric who brought this to our tasting, poured into my Narke glass. Normally, I don't review a beer twice, but the difference of on tap vs bottle justifies it as if its an almost entirely different beer...Black pour with a light tan head, not there for long, ok lacing, but low on carbonation overall...The aroma is totally different, slightly weird. Its all creamy peanut butter with chocolate, actually its really awesome, but has me perplexed as on tap it was tons of vanilla and bourbon. A tad too rich for me, but its good...The taste gets us back on track, more oak, chocolate and bourbon come through, still missing the vanilla though. Finish is bitter, adds to keep the experience interesting. The alcohol is hidden well, creamy from start to finish.

This was good, but not as good as tap where I was blown away. Worth trying for sure, but get it on tap.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black color with thin mocha head. Aroma is lightly sweet roasted malts. Flavor is candied dark fruit and semi sweet.has notes of roasted chocolate malts and the bourbon is really mellow. Has a rich body and overall really delicious.

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Photo of zac16125
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter
2011 vintage

A big thanks goes out to injuredreserve for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours black as night with less than a 1/2 finger sliver of dark mocha colored head, which quickly dissipates down to just a thin outer ring. Leaves a few patches of lacing.

S: Initially I get tons of dark fruit notes accompanied by an equally large bourbon presence. Also get milk chocolate, roasted malt, cherries. Wonderful.

T: Milk chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malt all explode onto the palate with the first sip. Its rather sweet, and noticeably bitter. Coffee, raw oak, bakers chocolate. Quite complex. Nice combination of sweetness and barrel notes, but I could do without the bitterness, which tends to be the flavor that lingers in the aftertaste at the finish of each sip.

M/D: Very smooth, appropraite carbonation, maybe a touch thin for the style. ABV is exceptionally well masked though, and drinkability is insane. Really cant believe this is 14%.

O: Overall, an excellent beer. Doesnt quite stack up with the best of the style, but certainly an enjoyable drink that I would drink again in a heartbeat. Highly recommend.

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Photo of eyeenjoybeer
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Batch; bottle poured into a Bell's tulip glass

Appearance: looks like old motor oil pouring into the glass and thin tan head forms and quickly dissipates.

Smell: light chocolate, faint toasted coconut, faint vanilla, and fairly pronounced bourbon notes.

Taste: Bourbon on the front end with a transition to chocolate milk then dark roastiness reminiscent of the base beer. Alcohol lingers at the very end....and then pure cocoa notes (interesting). This beer is incredibly smooth and drinkable. That all said, I don't find it to be very complex.

Mouthfeel: This could use just a touch more carbonation, but it is hardly to fault for it. This beer coats and chews like a chocolate milk. I love the velvety-ness.

Overall: I enjoy the hell out of this beer. I think that some time will cool the alcohol noted only at the end.

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,019 ratings.
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