BART | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Blend of American barleywine and oatmeal stout aged six months in a Jack Daniels barrel."

Added by hopdog on 12-09-2008

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 180
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, citrus zest, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice barrel aged qualities all around.

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Photo of largadeer
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at FiftyFifty, 2010 edition aged in bourbon barrels of some sort.

A beer has never been more aptly named, for this is indeed a barrel aged rare tick.

It's a dark caramel hue, nicely carbonated, topped by a small but retaining off-white head.

There's a ton of caramel on the nose, both from whiskey barrels and the barleywine component of the beer. The whiskey character seems slightly more one-dimensional to me compared to Eclipse, but it's excellent all the same. Totality contributes a bit of chocolate that blends harmoniously with the fruitiness of Old Conundrum. Alcohol is hardly noticed.

The palate is only semi-sweet. Big caramel and bourbon flavors are balanced by light alcohol and tannic oak. The mid-palate brings out notes of stone fruit preserves, vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium in body, a little thinner than I'd like, with a little astringency showing up in the otherwise mellow finish.

This was quite good. Not on the same level as Eclipse, but with a bit more work it has the potential to be. Glad that this is going to be bottled next year.

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Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into an eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color with a khaki head a finger strong that slowly fades leaving a full wall of lacing effect on the glass. When held to the light, there is some cola clarity around the edges.

The smell includes fruity to floral hops mingled with an accenting fruity alcohol component. Some roast blends into herbal and dare I say catty to citrus aspects. It gets raisony as it warms up with a hint of minerals and solvent/neutral booze.

The taste includes roast initially that blends to a raisony alcohol character. Some citrus and herbal hops fade/blend into lots of fruity and floral notes. Only in the aftertaste, long after each sip is a bit of roast present tasting of stale coffee and a bit of must and earth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. This brew is quite perplexing. At times, it kinda has a mellow black ipa kinda feel to it. It looks like a stout but smells/tastes strong of american barleywine. It makes sense after reading the blend description but it is strange how the stout aspect is all in the looks and the barleywine dominates every other aspect of the brew except the aftertaste hints towards stout. This is worth trying but not getting crazy over. Unless you are a fan of boozy black ipas, then it is worth flipping your shit over.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Poured dark black with one finger of light brown head and great lacing.

S - A huge charred malt aroma with vanilla, chocolate fudge, bourbon and light caramel notes.

T - Huge barrel qualities really shine through - char, oak, bourbon and vanilla are all present. Chocolate fudge, roast and dark caramel all come through from the base beer. Great balance of sweetness with bitter roast.

M - Full body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Devil's Den for their 4th annual Bella Vista beer bash. Served in a tulip glass.

Barrel Aged Really Tasty is just that, really tasty. Out of the spout BART appears very black in color with a nice firm half inch of tightly coiled cream colored foam with minor sticking.

Smell is really off the charts with barrel profile. A nice integration of bourbon, oatmeal, chocolate, deep malt profile with some trace hints of alcohol. Some mild hop aroma comes out. The oak is nice and pleasant and not to overstated and the vanilla is superb. Well integrated is an understatement.

I gotta say I might like this better than regular Eclipse variations, although this is off the tap which makes it that much better. The barleywine portion takes away some of the bourbon/barrel flavor from the eclipse portion, yet adds another layer without losing the boat. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, floral hop presence, oak, oatmeal, roasty malt and a touch of smoke. I love this beer. It's easy to drink.

As said above, easier to take down than a regular eclipse, although I am a bit of a lightweight. The smoothness off the tap make this stand out like whoa. A touch of heat, not hot with a above medium body. You gotta try this stuff. I might have to seek this out again.

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Photo of corby112
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 vintage on draft at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with a half finger light beige head that quickly fades into a lasting ring.  Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet boozy aroma with a very strong barrel presence that slightly overpowers the sweet and dark malts notes.  Toasted oak, and alcohol followed by spicy rye, coffee, dark chocolate and vinous fruit notes.  It takes a while for these other notes to open up, but they're there underneath all of the booze and oak.

Medium bodied with a really strong boozy barrel presence that dominates the flavor, almost completely obliterating and trace of a base beer.  Lots of toasted oak, vanilla, spicy rye and scorching hot booze assaulting the palate.   After it warms up considerably, there is some subtle hops, leathery malt and dark fruit but the boozy barrel character is way too strong.  This brewery usually makes really good barrel aged beers but this turned out to be extremely hot and one dimensional.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

No matter what the age on this, I find a reason to like it. Same with barrel variation.

Anyhoo, pours lighter than Eclipse, this is a blend of barleywine and stout. Imperial stout. Thin off white/beige head, 1/3". Aroma of chocolate, cocoa, wood, hops, caramel.

Taste, wow, enjoyable sipper, not boozy at all. Vanilla, rye like sweetness, char. Still some chocolate malt, even some light orange citrus notes. Just as good as most of the Eclipse series. Packs a lot of complexity into a drinkable beer. Cheaper than Eclipse too. I should be buying more of this and less Eclipse.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a tulip (from notes; originally consumed 6/2012)

An ink black in color with just a thin light tan collar around the edges. No lacing.

Barrel aging is supremely evident. Huge notes of oak, whiskey, and vanilla greet the olfactories. Dark roasted malt, oats, and dark chocolate round out well incorporated nose. All of the aromas are well-intertwined.

The barleywine characteristics come out a little more in the flavor profile. Some roast, whiskey, and oak up front before some light floral hops and dark fruits through the middle. Oats and chocolate blend with whiskey, and some vanilla in the finish. Some booze is evident, and lingers for a little while.

Full, rich body. Thick, but smooth. Well blended.

I am amazed at how well these aromas and flavors play together. Everything is well incorporated. The name says it all: Barrel Aged, Really Tasty.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the Eclipse party, barrel aged barleywine and stout, 1/2 and 1/2, named after the practical dog mascot of the brewery so the story goes. Amazing delivery of the jack daniels into this one. (Edit: It was heaven hill, but whatever the bourbon was, it melded ever so nicely) Great barrel aged bourbon barleywine aroma, rich and seductive.

Taste, good enough with anything in any style, lots of vanilla, ample hops from the barleywine, it never felt heavy in here. Was like a conglomeration of all their stouts and a barleywine. I'd take this over any of the FW anniversary blends any day. A little big of lingering chocolate from the stout side of the equation. Tad of citrus from the barleywine. Lots of complimentary if not often harmonious flavors in this one.

Can't figure out how something like this, with so much diverse flavor from different component beers, didn't have much heat and didn't really fatigue the palate. This was a great beer to change it up with after a massive palate gauntlet of Eclipse barrel aged stuff that night. Can't wait for this on tap.

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Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to hefman for this bottle: the guy basically opened up his cellar for a few Midwestern scraps, including indulging my FiftyFifty love. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

The pour is inside-your-ass black, with the small collar of head typical of FiftyFifty brews. The nose consists entirely of sweet vanilla from the barrel.

B.A.R.T. rhymes with f.a.r.t. Which came up during a blistering game of, well, some bloody thing we were playing on New Year’s last night. Someone thought it was the most socially unacceptable thing ever (not one of my friends, obviously). Anyways. Even without knowing it’s a mix of stout & barleywine, this beer comes off as schizophrenic. Chocolate & vanilla give my tongue a gentile caressing & mark a lovely tandem to kick this bitch off. Bourbon settles in the mid-section, strong & pleasing. Char marches alongside, strong oak, toffee. Ultimately this is about the bourbon, smooth, & damned if I couldn’t drink this until I was willing to vote for a Bush.

Damn. FiftyFifty makes some fine stuff & I’ve come to expect excellence from them over the years. I am not disappoint, son, darn-tootin’ close to elite status.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%

A-Black in the glass, one finger tan/off white head that leaves some lacing.

S-Dark fruits, honey, some roasted malt and bourbon.

T-What I presume to be honey, Mild bourbon, Dark fruits and slightly roasted malt.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and a tad watery.

O-Honey in beers just does not do it for me.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes taken from a bottleshare at the Phoenix Sun in NYC. Thanks kindly to Alex for sharing.

a - dark as night. head like a dessert coffee. body was deep dark purple.
s - timid. some roast. nutmeg...dark fruits.
t - there is a lot going on in this one. kind of strong ale, it IS a strong ale...i had thought this was a stout going into it, but upon checking, tis a strong ale. decent for the style, a bit heavy on the booze and roastiness.
m - big and boozy. medium bodied.
o - overall decent strong ale, probably not worth what you'd have to give up to get it.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap a monks in philly

Pours a slightly clouded golden amber color with a crop of soft beige head. Retains for a bit before leaving patchy lacing on the glass.

Nearly equal parts punchy pine hops and warming, boozy glow. Touches of vanilla and oak with leathery tannins. Bourbon and caramel malts with notes of sweetness.

A bit hoppy up front from the barleywine aspect of the blend, carried by notes of pine and citrusy grapefruit. A little fruity and juicy, but swept away by building barrel notes with vanilla and oak. Bourbon with chocolate, oats, caramel, bread crust. Finishes bitter and hoppy with lingering boozy warmth.

Fuller body, well carbonated, sticky and slightly dry on the tongue with a lingering effect. This is an awesome example of blending, style bending and barrel aging. I had the opportunity to try this twice but I still wish I had some bottles.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black with a finger of thick light khaki colored head that lasted for quite some time. Wispy spotty lace was left down the glass.
S: Caramel, brown sugar and molasses are sweet over boozy and roasted notes of toasted malt and raisins.
T: Sweet, buttery and smooth but powerful flavors of raisin, caramel, toffee, fig, molasses, brown sugar, dark chocolate, whiskey, and earthy spice. Solid hoppy bitterness from the barleywine lingers alongside slight vanilla, more whiskey booze, and lightly bitter chocolate.
M: Thick, slick, soft and sweet. Very smooth and integrated flavors, but still bitter and boozy although not hot. Low carbonation; drinks very well.
O: I really enjoyed this. After having it on tap a few times I’m glad I got to sit down in a controlled environment and really enjoy a bottle. An excellent blend.

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Photo of pkalix
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

flashbacks to Churchhill's Pub... I don't know why. man, I need to make another trip down that way....
basic dark pour. very nice oak aromas, much like the eclipse series I am so darned in love with.... flavors are of oak, barrel, slight twang of a bourbon although I don't think it's supposed to be there... I didn't know what to think before I purchased this but I had to anyway, due to my love and devotion to the eclipse series....
this one is pretty-darned-alright. didn't know what to expect and searched the BA data banks for an inclination of what to expect. this is NOT their stout, but a rather singular ale-type of version. it is similar to the Firestone barrel series, and very comparable. a little thicker than any of the more notable Firestone editions, I think, and that flies in the face of the eclipse series in general as they are much 'thinner' than the TOTALITY stout which is the base brew for the eclipse. but this is really interesting. further, it states that it is TWELVE PERCENT, rather than the 9% stated at the top of tis page which leads me to wonder.... anyway! decent brew. not as smooth and refined as the eclipse series, but very decent in its own right. my first time realizing it even exists after searching out the eclipses the last two years... it's a little rich, though....

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Photo of Jeffo
3.11/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber of this stuff from ScottO recently. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Ale with honey in oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fluffy light head with very good retention. Bistre brown, clear, with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full creamy wisp with lots of sheets of lacing down the glass. A faint wisp and ring remain leaving some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Oak, some vanilla, milk chocolate, caramel and sweet cream on the nose. Relatively mild, unfortunately.

TASTE: Oak, vanilla and some caramel up front. More flavors at the swallow with oak, toffee, caramel, sweet cream and vanilla, milk chocolate and lightly burnt flavors lingering on the palate. A bit of perfume in there as well. Lots of oak in there, with the vanilla and caramel that comes with it.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down okay and finishes with a bit of a burn and finishes a bit sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This is alright, but certainly nothing special. The oak is a touch perfume-like, which becomes tiring as the bottle empties. An okay beer from a brewery that makes some rather good stuff. Happy to try things from 50/50, but this is not a repeat. Thanks again ScottO!

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours black with a thick and creamy tan head. Monster lace after each sip.

S- Slightly hot whiskey aroma with some cola, chocolate, spicy rye, honey and some raisin.

T- Chocolate and lots of whiskey right away, chocolate covered raisin, light char and a lot of honey sweetness. Flavored get a touch disjointed as the beer warms, but pretty good.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1354th Review on BA
Bottle to CCB Snifter

Thanks to StarRaptor for sharing

App- Appeared in the glass an inky black. The stout took over on the coloring of this one. Had only minimal touches of the ruddy brown or bright orange from a Barleywine in this case. A nice head formed a bit of a khaki color and faded quickly leaving some okay lacing.

Smell- Hot damn. So smooth and bourbon for days. A little bit of vanilla. A ton of the malts from the barleywine take over and create an enticing mix on the nose. I am even more anxious to take a sip now.

Taste- Incredibly smooth. The room full of BA's got quiet as we all tried to pick out random flavors and nuances to this beer. The name stands as reason. The team up there wasnt lying. The malt creates a great background from the BW to age on and the oatmeal makes it very creamy with a sweeter flavor.

Mouth- Full medium with a medium thick carbonation. A lot of malts and barrel come through on the residual flavors with some vanilla and creme flavors remaining.

Drink- Incredibly good. I never thought I would get to try this one. Thanks Scott. A very wonderul beer that was complex and layered for days.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured more like a stout, black, some brown edges, tanned head. Aroma was sweet, with a sugary fruity note, medium barrel wood and bourbon, hint of char, molasses, plums, chocolate and roasted malts. Taste had a nice vanilla and wood note, subtle but well noticeable bourbon note, chocolate, figs, hints of citrus hots and a very mild bitterness. Feel was more on the medium body side of things, carbonation felt good.

This had a reminiscence of Eclipse, but not the full on stout experience. Pretty nice, quite enjoyable.

Thanks David!

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Photo of hopdog
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. This is a blend of their Barley Wine and Oatmeal Stout aged in a JD Barrel for 160 days. Interesting sounding to say the least.

Poured a dark brown color with red edges and a small sized off white head. Aromas of wood, oaky, bourbon, citrus, and fruity. Tastes of lighter wood, bourbon, fruity, and citrus. Some coffee and oats in the tastes too.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker brown color, light tan head, thin collar. Nose is smooth booze, oak, caramel, some dark fruit. Flavor is oak, burnt sugars, oak, vanilla, toasted malts. Medium body, good carbonation, creamy sweet finish.

Not my favorite beer from FiftyFifty, but nothing really mind-blowing here. I'm looking forward to see how this ages in the next year or so, as I have one bottle left. Decent, but not sure I'd seek out again.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very dark.Brown, but near black. Tiny light mocha head, mostly rim. Some cling.

S - Hershey syrup, light soy.

T - Malty, smell attributes in taste.

M - Creamy, a little to the sweet side. Only slightly cloying. Good carb.

D - One is enough, obviously. Half of one is probably enough. Good to try.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My 800th beer check in on Beer Advocate.

Not sure what vintage this bottle is but, it's ABV is listed as 12%. Smells of cocoa, coffee and bourbon. The taste follows, with cocoa, coffee, bourbon and honey sweetness that becomes more dominant as the beer warms. Very good.

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Photo of Floydster
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2008 Strong Ale Festival, was excited to see this in the lineup after hearing all the hype from the Bistro Barrel Aged Fest, consumed 12/5/08, reviewed from notes, color was a medium brown with some dark orange mixed in, creamy 1/2 inch off white head that had some retention, small amount of lacing also, aroma was filled with whiskey, roasted malts, oak, dark fruit, and both types of chocolate, flavor was a little dry at first with some hops carrying over from the barleywine component, beer gets sweet as it warms with the fruit and malt, oaky characteristics keep it dry enough to keep things in check, bourbon finish is smooth but a little funky at times, there is also a bit of earthiness lingering in the background, mouthfeel is sweet and fairly smooth, body is on the thicker side even after barrel aging for four months, could drink a few glasses of this, especially nice in the winter time, not too filling, I did not know a barleywine and oatmeal stout could blend so well, probably would have been better without the Jack barrel but still quite enjoyable, recommended

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bart is a blend of brews that changes up each year. This particular iteration is a blend of Totality imperial stout, Donner Party porter and Summit barleywine aged in bourbon barrels for 180 days. Poured into a tulip.

Thin yet completely black look. The half-inch head of light, sandy tan head fizzles away nearly completely after a few seconds.

Interesting nose, with a noticeable blend of roast and barleywine notes. From the stout and porter: bitter toast and roast, a hint of coffee, some oats. From the barleywine: caramel and oranges. Not much barrel from any of it, though.

In the flavor, the barrels aren’t very noticeable save some clean oak. Bitter black malt and dark coffee blend with orange zest, caramel, oats and vanilla.

Smooth, soft medium body. Mild massaging carbonation breaks into soft fizz as it moves. Alcohol isn’t very noticeable, but dark malt bitterness builds.

Bart’s decent, but I could use more barrel or bourbon. Interesting blend, though. Really tasty yes; barrel-aged no.

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BART from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 180 ratings.
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