Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

109 Reviews
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Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël)Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël)

Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the beginning, it was only brewed in the winter and was called Barbãr Winter Bok. However, since 2008 the consumer decided otherwise.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-10-2002

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 191
Photo of Kacid
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip Glass

Appearance: Pepsi-colored with a pepsi-like colored foam. Both fine and medium sized bubbles that float on a creamy head. Nice, thick lacing that follows the long-lasting head.

Nose: Anise, pepsi, sweet alcohol, herbal, herbal soda (like Mr.Green), spicy. Strong smell of honey
Warmed up: the nose smells like purple grape kool-aid, dark bitter chocolate becomes more prominent, as well as sweet red wine. Slightly unctuous. Lacing stuck thick to the entire glass

Flavour: Herbal, Pepsi, Bitter at the back of the toungue, Alcoholic burn at the back of the throat and tongue, dark/bitter chocolate malt, Honey and Brown sugar, dried fruits

WOW, i did not expect so much out of this beer, especially having never heard of it. It is an incredible Dark ale, complex flavours that only unfold more as it warms up. While it could pair well with some berry-like dark chocolate, i'd almost prefer to savour it alone to feel its complexity. Definitely worth a try! I'm keeping at least 1 of these in my fridge from now on

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Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never expected to enjoy this beer as much as I did! This brew pours out as a deep amber color with a half inch cream colored head on it. The aroma of this beer is so sweet and inviting. It's one of those beers I just didn't want to lower from my nose. The taste of the beer has that same rich sweetness and alcohol in there that just warms the inside of your body. The mouthfeel is Silky smooth and very easy to put down. I found this to be a hidden gem of a beer. I would look for this one again any day.

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Photo of Bagman007
4.41/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A- Very dark black appearance with not a whole lot of head.

S- Has a very sweet, somewhat spicy scent to it.

T- Tastes very, very sweet. Probably one of the sweeter beers I have ever tasted. Slightly hoppy.

M- Excellent carbonation and feel. Very sweet. Very smooth.

D- Sweet, but not too sweet to hurt it's drinkability. Very smooth.

Overall a really great beer. I've only had two of Brasserie Lefèbvre's beers, but they have both been spectacular.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Va va voom! I think I can speak Flemish. Maybe it will take more of these and a little studying. This has all the great Belgian qualities that I like - the endless bubbles, the distinctive taste, etc. What it doesn't have are the funky things I sometimes associate with Belgians - cloudiness, over the top tastes or alcohol.

This is a Belgian you could have a couple of without contracting diseases for which Americans do not have a immunity. At least is seems that way. I almost thought it was an American take on a Belgian because of the clean taste. Like the head, the smell doesn't quit.

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Photo of ZAP
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep brown/maroon blend..light tan head on top fizzes like cola..

S-Smells yeasty...dark fruits (plums dark cherries)....

T-Sweet and very has the backbone of a Belgian dubbel but is much sweeter...cotton candy like in some peel and corriander evident...very sweet with mead like qualities...but the dark fruitiness of the dubbel backbone blends with it all nicely....very sounds too sweet but it really isn't.

M-medium bodied at best...sweet and sticky but not cloying...finishes with a touch of light spiciness.

D-Different but recommended. Might be a little on the sweet side for some but it is not cloying.

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Photo of ATPete
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle
2007 vintage
best by, 08/22/2009

Pours a hazy deep brown color with rich orange highlights and a large peach colored head. Great big nose of Belgian yeast esters, big spice and orange skin. Other notes include cinnamon, lime and minty soap. Spicy but bold malts and citrus notes create a round balance through out. Light/medium in body with some slight alcohol heat. I usually am not a fan of big Belgian winter biers that are packed with spice and coriander but after this mellowed out for a year this became something special. Some cherry and woody notes come through more as the beer warms adding to its complexity. This is unlike any winter bock ive ever had but i enjoyed it. Its got great herbal and earthy qualities that make it slightly medicinal but not offensive. I highly recommend this for a cold night.

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Photo of rfabian
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass it explodes into a head that completely fills the glass leaving no ale at the bottom. As I continue to pour the head subsides slowly to leave a solid curtain of lacing. The appearance is brown and cloudy. The aroma is lightly of spicy hops and strongly of malt with a hint of orange. The taste is sweetly malty with marked coriander flavor and mild bitterness. The feel is full bodied with an astringent finish. This is a very enjoyable ale.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barbãr Winterbok

From the tap it pours a dark brown, clear, with ruby hues. Aroma of dark fruits, primarily raisin, grape and fig. In the taste, fruity yeast imparting date, raisin, fig notes along with a sugary malt body and a light tang. Alcohol is well hidden. Trademark dark Belgian ale flavor, big time dark fruits. Light roasted malt qualities. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Overall, a tasty winter brew from Barbar, a spiced honey ale is also in their lineup.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As this is a Belgium Beer, available nationally, it rightly circulates under two names; Barbãr Winterbok, or Barbãr de Noël, depending on where you originate. As I tried this in Holland, it was advertised and sold as the former.
A very dark, deep chestnut color with a deep red mahogany hue when held to the light. Difficult to tell whether this beer is clear or not, because it is served in a frosted glass, the same glass as its weaker sibling actually. This helps to mask, rather than hide, the turbid nature of this beer - for it is not totally clear on closer inspection. But then, as this is a Christmas Honey Beer, perhaps that is understandable. The head is a deep smooth fantastic looking tan color that has incredible staying power and is comprised of exceptionally small bubbles barely perceptible to the naked eye, maybe the Nitrogen-CO2 mixed dispense aids this.
Nose is of malt with a honeyed sweetness - so no surpises there then. Mouthfeel is a little lacking for an 8% beer. The Barbãr is a Pale Ale with added Honey, but I am not sure how this beer is “arrived at”, that is to say whether it is a separate brew, or a seasonal concotion, it certainly tastes like the former. Either way, it has a very accomplished introduction, a smooth silky mouthfeel that belies it strength. Roast malt sweetness at the start that lingers in the mouth a while. The sweetness eventually makes way for some caramel in the middle and a very bitter finish in the end, almost tastes as if it is dry-hopped. A highly accomplished, interesting and very quaffable beer – a really dangerous lunchtime beer (oops!), considering its high strength.
A superb beer that I found to be exceptionally drinkable from the Tap. I asked whether it was available in the Bottle and the answer was a 50-50 Yes/No split from those questioned, so who knows - perhaps it is?.
A definite 4/5 beer for me. A little more mouthfeel and this beer would really rock.
Tried on 11-26-02. Draft seasonal at the ‘t Proeflokaal, Netherlands.

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Photo of riversider76
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown,with a fluffy head that did not disappear. Aroma is of sweet dark fruit,and spices. Medium bodied,with lots of carbonation. Taste is rasins, and plums,with a bit of citrus. Some peppery sipces,and a nice burn to the finish,made this a very enjoyable brew!

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Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 25/10/2009, served chilled in Gulden Draak's tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a very dark mahogany hue, mildly carbonated and topped with a huge beige soufflé head that slowly retreats to a thin cap.
S: deeply aromatic, maybe due to the magic of the honey in interaction with the yeastiness? There're plenty of grainy malts, licorice syrup, black sugar, plum candy, and of course plenty of honey notes which are however very fine indeed, on top of the usual estery notes (like sweetened kidney bean paste) and bitter-sweet herbal notes of yeast sediments. Overall, aromatic and rich, but a touch too sweet for the balance.
T: an oily and lubricating swallow of rich, sweet dark malts and juicy dark fruit syrup (featuring black plums, raisins, dates and a touch of aromatic figs) is closely followed by a wave of aromatic licorice and melted black sugar, before a dry-ish wave of yeastiness and bitter hops with a residual "ginger-honey"-ish flavour creeps down deep to the four corners of the palate. Overall, the flavour structure is very clear, with one layer of flavour emerging and building on top of another layer, leaving the dry palate and a residual herbal bitter mouthfeel to linger nicely in the very end.
M&D: pretty soft in carbonation, full-flavoured but not heavy at all, with the alc. well hidden behind the malty façade, while the bitter-sweet, dry finishing touch also witnesses the good work of yeast's consumption of the sugar provided by both malts and honey. Overall, I find this a well-structured and enticing strong dark ale with a good level of complexity to offer. Very delicious and highly drinkable!

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Photo of bsp77
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in December shipment of my BOTM club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown with a purple-red tint. Moderate tan head with very large bubbles that mostly disintegrate.

Smell: Very dry, mead-like and borderline tart - coriander, orange peel, honey, cloves and figs.

Taste: Somewhat sweet upfront with a focus on fruity malts (maybe figs) and Belgian yeast (cloves, banana). Then it turns very dry from the coriander, honey and orange peel, while the cloves carry through to the end.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, relatively light mead-like body, dry honey finish.

Drinkability: Nice cross between a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and a Braggot. One of the better honey driven beers I have had.

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Photo of rodenbach99
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bouteille brune de 330ml.

belle couleur brune avec mousse épaisse, des reflets de rouge sont présents dans la bière. nez discret de malt, de caramel,en bouche tout est est rondeur, onctueuse et longue. bonne bière agréable, l’alcool ne se fait pas sentir.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 330mL bottle into a Chimay chalice at Jing An Temple in Shanghai China.

A: The beer is a nice black color without much light coming through. Head is light tan, foamy, and stays on the sides of the glass very nicely.

S: Why/How is this so fruity? Berry and yeast character. Showing its Belgian side very readily. Some nice smooth malt in the middle. More along the lines of a dubbel.

T: Berry and anise amid the yeasts an the malt. Pretty crazy tasting. All over the place. Again a bit like a dubbel. Delicious but very unexpected.

M: Nice and smooth.

O: No way to see this coming. You see "bok" in the name and think huge malt bomb. But this is essentially a solid Belgian. Really good.

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Photo of becktone
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 1-29-09

Eye: The color of this one is a very dark brown with garnet hues that appear when the light diffuses through the beer and makes them visible. Head formation was real nice. From the pour a rocky, almost soapy looking head formed, tan in color. However, now it has receded to something around 5/8 of a finger-little more than a thick blanket of a rocky tan head. It left behind some spotty and poor looking lacing.

Nose: As the beer is poured a strong aroma fills the room. Reminds me of Quaker instant peach oatmeal...basically I get some fruit on this one. On closer inspection what I first thought of as peach is actually orange aroma, close up it is very clear that the aroma is that of oranges. Coriander is also present...the label doesn't lie. Honey sweetness is mixed right in, sandwiched between the coriander and the orange. Getting hints of wheat, and some alcohol. Thats about it. No real malted barley aroma. I was thinking that there might have been a wheat presence here and then I read the label. Really not much more complex than that. Smells inviting.

Tongue: Honey is foreground as is orange peel and coriander. On the surface the flavor profile is very similar to that of Barbar. However, the Winter Bok is warmer, toastier, with notes of roasted grains and hints at chocolate. This one definitely warms a bit as it goes down. Some roasted grain bitterness, not much but enough to be noticed there in the finish. Reminds me a bit of the Nic'e Chouffee. Some dark fruit flavors as well-plums? All in all this is a nice brew. Not as pure or herbal as Barbar, but this is a winter brew, and it is like Barbar but appropriate for the colder winter months.

Feel and Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied with moderate levels of carbonation. As aforementioned it has some warming qualities as it goes down. Aftertaste is dominated by coriander and orange notes. This is one that I'd pick up again, especially in the winter months. When I'm in the mood for a beer containing honey this is where I'll turn, during the winter that is, during the summer its most likely going to be Midas or Barbar.

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Photo of stephendr
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. glass bottle- color of deep dark amber, with a medium tan colored head - nose of jammy, raisins, sweet prunes, mint jelly, and malt – robust taste of earthy, bark, mild fruit, and some citrus- body is, and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of sweet fruit, lingering, and spices

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Photo of Beeronious07
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bought it at the local Beer shop in 0.33 liter bottle for 3.2 euros and served it at a temperature of 8 Celsius in a 0.33 liters CHIMAY goblet.
best before L06082012

A - definitely the darkest beer i have ever had. the darkest shade of chocolaty color combined with the cloudiness of the beer, don't allows for even a beam of light to show trough. the head was not that big and with again not that big retention rate, but the creaminess was to die for .... and also not that much carbonation

S - u can definitely feel the rich aroma of the honey with some some bitterness in the background. also some hops in the air with an aftershock of alcohol...

T - not that heavy beer to drink even though i expected to bee one, with moderate bitterness that i totally loved.

M - a definite alcohol in the background and the absence of carbonation can definitely be felt.

as i ended my review i can surely guarantee that this beer is too much complicate for me to do my 3rd review of all time on it but again i totally loved it even though i am not that much lover of dark bitter beers.
who know i might do another review on this one in i later time, hopefully from some Belgian pub...

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Photo of HardTarget
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: 8% abv, notes honey, coriander, orange peel, wheat, malted barley, Hallertau and Styrian hops. Best before 20090822 (sampled 20080102) 11.2 oz.

Aroma: Perfumed with floral elements, lilac? Honey and coriander come through as well.

Appearance: Opaque brown/black glass holds a solid cover through the glass leaving coats of lace.

Flavor: Heavy grape ester element coupled with a melon characteristic that reminds me strongly of Rochefort beers. While it lacks that complexity, the honeydew melon flavor is spot on. The floral notes are matched if not exceeded by the fruit flavors, with a hint of bubblegum in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low to moderate carbonation, medium body, clean finish.

Overall Impression: Enjoyable beer. A great winter brew full of spices and flavor, but all melding into a straightforward taste that’s easy to drink.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this because I though the concept of a belgian bock was neat. It poured a nice dark somewhat see through black/brown. Some medium head and a little lacing. I think it was a bit over carbonated. The aroma was of all kinds of crazy spicing. The bottle says that it has honey, orange peel, corriander, wheat, and 2 kinds of hops. Personaly I can smell the orange, corriander, and dark malts. But I can taste the honey as well as the rest of the stuff. It was a really nice balance. This is one of those beers that turn out to be good after dumping a ton of different flavors into it. The body was medium/heavy but the excess carbonation was mildly distracting. Overall I would describe this as a hybrid of bock and dubbel but more towards the bock side. I would love to drink this again.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barbar Bok, 330ml bottle at The Only, no best before, bottle states 8.5%, Belgian strong ale made with 2.5% honey.

Pours quite a dark brown with hints of russet and cherrywood. Finger of khaki head settles into some nice lacing. Nose is dark and malty, hints of fruitbread and spicing, toffee, raisin, molasses, Belgian yeast esters, and an obvious honey sweetness.

Pretty nice beer, lots of toffee and raisin, fruit bread, cocoa powder, honey sweetness and flavor is evident, nice spicing of cloves, molasses, a touch hot but not overly so, smooth and sticky rich with a nice drying finish. Round body, pretty sweet for the style, easy to drink and not overly complex, but hitting the spot on this cool fall day.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2-ounce bottle poured into a large tulip glass yields a clear, dark cola-colored body with a thick cap of persistent beige foam. The head retains well and is replenished by a steady stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Chubby wisps of lacing decorate the emptying glass.

The smell of the drink is darkly fruity with sweet malty cereal. A bit of spice tickles the nose.

The taste is exceptionally sweet with a silky malty backbone and notes of dark fruit with an unquantifiable spiciness. Despite the 8% abv, alcohol is mostly absent, save a slight warming sensation in the drinker. A hearty heft of wheat and a touch of orange-laced mellow honey sweetness round things out.

On the full side of medium-bodied with excellent carbonation and feel, Barbar is undeniably sweet, but very, very drinkable.

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Photo of Intrinsic
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to be honest, I don't even know if I'm reviewing the right beer or not. Mine just says Barbãr Bok, but it has all the same qualities that everyone else seems to report so I'll have to assume that's the one.

Its a very dark brown colour - even held up to the outside light you can hardly see through it. Nice light brown head, although it disappears quickly. Nice lacing.

The smell is sweet, with fruits and malt dominating but not overpowering. Its very nice, and leads well into the taste. I was worried the honey would make this way too sweet, but it's very well balanced by the bitter finish. It's also quite dry and well carbonated. Overall, this is a stand-out beer. It definitely lives up to the Belgian standard.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/30/08- Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by code on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep copper in color, maybe some rust color as well. Nice 3/4 inch head and leaves light patchwork of lace behind.

Smell- Fairly sweet and a decent dose of spice. A bit of chocolate malt and honey as well.

Taste- Pretty much like the nose. Maybe a touch medicinal, but not really bothersome. Good amount of sweetend honey and a very light chocolate malted flavor. A few spices here and there including corriander and maybe a tiny bit of a peppery flavor.

Mouthfeel- Middle of the road carbonation level. Lighty sweet aftertaste and a bit sticky.

Drinkability- Nice beer overal. I've been impressed with both Barbar offerings I have had.

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Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +9%

12/25/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Part of a flight. Raisins, raisins, raisins. And then...some orange but overall this one of the subtlest 'strong' ales. Must revisit in larger quantities. Repeat. Must revisit in larger quantities Repeat. Must revi....

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Photo of generallee
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: It pours a very dark brown color that has coppery highlights. The body is nearly opaque and it forms a big tan foamy head that has very good retention. It also makes nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has sweet, fruity and spicy character with just a hint of hops.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor has a wonderful natural sweetness from the honey and malted barley. Dark sweet fruit notes of raisins, figs and plums mix with coriander, bitter orange peel and a touch of earthy yeast. Hop flavor is very mild and adds just a hint of bitterness. The alcohol adds a nice warming quality and it finishes slightly dry. Its palate is medium to full bodied with a smooth creamy texture that is tempered by its lively carbonation.

Notes: This is another great Belgian treat.

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Barbãr Bok (formerly Barbãr De Noël) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
3.67 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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