Café Royale | AleWerks Brewing Company

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174 Reviews
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Café RoyaleCafé Royale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
alewerks.com

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We age a stronger version of our CoffeeHouse Stout in Virginia Gentlemen Bourbon Barrels for 3 months. This aging adds layers of complexity including notes of vanilla and bourbon to this big coffee beer.

Added by mcallister on 08-21-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
174
Ratings:
711
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
18.4%
 
 
Wants:
270
Gots:
158
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 711
Photo of Gosox8787
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle chilled and poured into my Cigar City tulip glass. Big thanks to Centennial for the hookup on this long time want.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A slight medium brown head that recedes into very little lacing.

Aroma: Roasted coffee, caramel and a light chocolate backbone. Definitely some bourbon and vanilla from the barrel. The coffee provides a nice earthy tone to it.

Taste: Strong coffee notes upfront with some nice backing sweetness. Caramel, chocolate fudge, and bourbon add a nice sweetness to the coffee. Not a lot of char or smoke from the coffee, but there is a nice earthy tones. Really nice balance of malt sweetness, barrel notes, and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth with average to low carbonation.

Overall, a really nicely balanced and tasty coffee stout with a light bourbon influence. The coffee adds a really great flavor and is elevated by the malt sweetness and the barrels. A really nice surprise and awesome value. Definitely one of my favorite bourbon barrel coffee stouts.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$9.75 bomber from Abe's.

Pure black body, no highlights, topped by a thin dark tan head.

Aroma begins with deep roast coffee, followed by a big smack of bourbon and vanilla. Strong supporting roles for chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste follows a similar path. Deep roast coffee. Bourbon with vanilla. A big hoppy bite. Warming alcohol in the belly. Doesn't have quite the depth of KBS or Bourbon County.

Smooth and slick, would like it a hair richer.

Highly enjoyable and highly recommended.

 495 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
Plastic 16oz cup, Winter 2013 vintage

A: Pours dark black in color. Thin layer tan head sits on top for a little while. Some lacing is left, but mainly only a little due to plastic cup.

S: Vanilla. Dark chocolate. Fudge. Booze. Hints of dark fruit. Molasses.

T: Dark chocolate bitterness up front. Booze leading to vanilla flavors. Pulling some delicious coffee and fudgy flavors.

M: Full bodied. Creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black with loose lacing and a thin tan halo of head. The nose is a potent caramel sweetness upfront with a hint of vanilla, but little coffee or booze. The taste is obviously great caramel sweetness upfront, with a hint of bitter, roasty coffee, and very little bourbon. Rounded-out chocolatey, full-bodied, smooth sweetness without bitterness or booze defines this potent coffee BA milk stout. I'd love to drink this beer again, but think it lacks the bourbon and coffee I've come to expect with its world-class drinking status.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Inky black with a short, dark brown head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Coffee & cream, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate and fudge. Hints of bourbon and vanilla.

Taste
Light roasted coffee with cream, molasses and caramelized sugar. Hints of espresso, dark chocolate and fudge. Milky and sugary sweet. Touches of sweet bourbon and vanilla.

Mouthfeel
Medium-full bodied, smooth, silky and sweet.

Overall
Sweet, smooth and decadent. This raises the bar for Sweet Stouts.

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Photo of teromous
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black body with a short dark tan head. Head carbonation looks fairly creamy. Lacing doesn't stay.

S: Strong coffee scent, with a little bit of dark chocolate smell coming out of there. Faint earthy scent but it doesn't linger in the nose for long.

T: Smooth coffee flavor with just a hint of oak. Very low on bitterness. Some notes of rich dark chocolate come through as well. It tastes better than most actual coffees.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Extremely drinkable. No presence of harshness in this at all. The bitterness is very mellow, the coffee sits right where it should.

O; This is an extremely enjoyable drinking experience. It's not an overly complex beer, and I didn't think the bourbon barrel flavor stood out that much, but the beer works as a whole. To me, that is more important than any gimmick or process used to make the beer. This one just tastes wonderful.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown, with just a hint of red at the edges -- it's too dense for light to penetrate anywhere else. The head is walnut brown, but thin in spite of an aggressive pour and lacing is non-existent.

S: Coffee is the first aroma, which even for a coffee-based brew is a little surprising. Next came vanilla, then dark fruit notes, then heavily-toasted grain, and finally some floral hops.

T: Malt is potent, more sweet than toasted grain. Coffee notes develop, but more like an iced vanilla latte than straight coffee. As with most stouts, I get the acrid taste of burnt malt, but it's very subtle and not at all unpleasant. I definitely taste the bourbon here as well, blending seamlessly with the mildly bitter hops at the end. I think I even detected a little diacetyl in the mix as well.

M: Smooth, creamy, and chewy. Alcohol was well hidden for an 8% ABV. About as good as it gets for this style.

O: This is the best beer I've yet had from Williamsburg AleWerks. It is really good -- almost a dessert beer for all its sweetness, smoothness, and flavors.
I'm definitely going to get another of these -- Correction: I'm going to buy several more of these for future consumption!

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Photo of Shumania
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 ounce bomber poured into a tulip

a: dark as night with minimal head

s: coffee and sweet booze. vanilla and oak in there too.

t: a lot sweeter than I thought it would be. Same flavors as the smell with coffee, dark chocolate milk, vanilla, and oak. There is a small boozy finish from the bourbon.

m: very creamy. this is a sipper.

This beer is awesome. I had heard good things about it, but this is a great combination of coffee and bourbon!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a hit at my derby party of bourbon beers. Poured nealry pure blacj
Kmwith a nice tan head. Awesome nose. Coffee stuck out huge. With a touch a bourbon. Drank really smooth. Lots of flavour and thr perfect beer with derby pie. Huge chocolate and cofee of course. Loves this beer. Great for desserts

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown opaque body with just surface carbonation as the head. It has a viscous appearance.

It smells like a sweet coffee dessert, tiramisu. I love tiramisu. It has the warming smell if freshly ground coffee beans, vanilla, and a light caramel.

The lactose sweetness really pairs well with the coffee. Vanilla, carmalized sugar, and a light oak char in the flavor. It has good depth considering the heavy play in the coffee.

Smooth mouthfeel. The body is on the lighter side for a stout but it works well with the sweet aspect and makes it dangerously drinkable.

It's an amazing beer all around. Great smells, a little complexity in the taste, and drinkable.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. OH NO, dude you bought the milk STOUT! SHOOT... ugh.. well ok it's barrel aged so let's see where this leads?

A very dark walnut brown, with a fleeting tiny pencil thin head on the pour. The head though is quite mocha dark brown, but settles to a tan collar with microscopic bubbles. Body is very opaque and a good black solid walnut with faint red hues on the edges. Probably the darkest milk stout I've seen.

Nose is impressive, but not too varied for a barrel aged brew. Lots of sweet cream, warming roast malts and faint coffee. The coffee angle is quite buried, but the sweet lactose character is not overpowering or overly dominant but in control. It's a good compliment. Pretty solid.

A good controlled sweet cream palate. Creamery finish mixing in with the roast, and the coffee just kisses this nicely. Palate has a light bodied character like most milk stouts, but has a good piping coffee and milky warmth which is harmoniously balanced. Hints of barrel aging, whiskey, tannic quality, caramel, vanilla, are not really to be found, but there's a good depth that is given to the palate with a light milk lactose quality. Carbonation on first sip hints at fizz, but is slightly taken down with obvious barrel aging.

This is probably the best milk/coffee stout hybrid I've ever had. It's a great compliment to the flavors and style, this turned out exceptionally well and drinks like nothing. One of the easiest barrel aged stout beers to drink I've ever had. After note, I am not a milk stout fan. So that says something right there...

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Photo of nihiloexnihil
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into Dogfish Head glass.

Appearance: Inky black, reddish tints to the edges, littles rim of mocha head that dissipates quickly but clings ridiculously to the glass. Looks like a nitro tap.

Smell: Hm. How to describe. Almost as if someone added coffee to your hazelnut milk. Then chocolate and vanilla all at once. Hints of bourbon but not exceedingly strong.

Taste: Coffee, bourbon, vanilla, very sweet, lactose-y. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy, smooth, the thickest mouthfeel I've ever experienced in a milk/sweet stout.

Overall: This is delicious. Why this isn't more hyped up, I'm not sure. I will definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of dlello2
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at a tasting. Had about a 3oz pour... could have had more bit this one was intense!

A - Great thick brown/black pour. Good amount of head.

S - Chocolate creamy sweetness. Not as much coffee as I'd hoped. Not the best but nice.

T - Whoa this is like dessert. Super sweet. I mean, it's delicious, but it's too sweet for me to want to drink a full pour. The lack of coffee in the nose follows through in the taste. Lingering sweetness with a touch of roasty bitterness.

M - Thick and full bodied. Medium-low carb.

O - Again, this is a great dessert beer. I'm just not the biggest fan of overly sweet brews. Even for a milk stout it's definitely above average in that category.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body transparent at the edges. Nice khaki head that comes back as I move it around. Leggy.

Smell - Acidic coffee. Lactose is more subdued than Coffeehouse Stout, but still present, much to my chagrin. Chocolatey and a touch of oak, but not much barrel.

Taste - Acidic coffee again. Lactose and coffee blend. Much more chocolatey and even a bit more of the barrel. Nice chocolatey finish.

Mouthfeel - Lactose gives it body. Medium carbonation. Heavier than I expected it to be.

Overall - Stupid lactose. Although this is nice despite. Not a fan of that acidic coffee
Is that a byproduct if the lactose or barrel?

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Photo of AlexFields
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to mojiboo02 for this bottle.

Pours a very dark near black with a big rich coffee head.

Smells of bourbon, lactose, sweet vanilla and chocolate...not getting much coffee.

Taste is moderate bourbon, creamy espresso/latte style coffee, sweet chocolate and vanilla malt. Delicious.

Very drinkable with a rich creamy mouthfeel.

Great beer, wish it were more readily available all the time.

8.6/10

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Photo of jeonseh
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle

A - Dark brown, clean beer. Small mocha color head that just has a small layer of foam on the sides

S - Big coffee nose with slight cream and bourbon. Lots of coffee on this one. Coffee is smooth and sweet with no sign of bitterness

T - Sweet coffee up front with cream, brown sugar, sweet bourbon, and milk chocolate. The finish is slight roasted malt and espresso. Overall, this is a nice, smooth and complex beer

M - Smooth creamy body that goes done nice and easy.

O - A nice overall beer that is smooth and creamy, has good coffee flavor, a nice sweetness and hints of bourbon. It reminds me of a baby BCBCS.

 626 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cafe Royale pours out a thick black color, sludge-like, with one finger of bubbly brown head. I wish the head both built up more and lasted longer as it fit perfectly atop the beer. 3.5

S: The aroma is of dark coffee roasts with some oaky vanilla from the bourbon barrels. I'm surprised that the bourbon nor chocolate make a statement on the aroma. It's sort of bland and I'm not sure what to expect once I taste it. 3.5

T: The bourbon, again, isn't really the focus here. It's all about the coffee. The lactose and some chocolate provide a base for freshly roasted coffee to assault the palate. This finish has a hit of oakiness and leftover coffee grinds with some vanilla. The coffee rests on the palate forever. I wish the bourbon took more of a part of this beer. It just doesn't really taste like it was aged in anything. 4

MF: Medium body with a lower than average carbonation, albeit one that fits the style. It has a dry finish and is really drinkable. 4.5

O: For everything I wish had changed about this beer, I still think it's outstanding for a milk stout. Probably my second or third favorite I've ever had for this style. 4.5

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Photo of malloyca
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black appearance which fades to a reddish mahogany around the rim. Pours with little head but nice lacing. Aromas open with vanilla, coffee and then a distinct bourbon note that contains oak and more vanilla. Initial tastes of vanilla and coffee bean, then finishing with bourbon and bitter chocolate. Mouth feel is viscous but not overly syrupy, and some nice effervescence keeps it from being too heavy. Other than the bourbon notes this does not taste overly alcoholic and is very drinkable. A great brunch beer or with (or for) dessert after dinner.

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Photo of hornsup
4.98/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2012 Edition...have 5 more bottles I plan on aging for comparison

Poured into a Cigar City snifter

A: Pitch black with a musketeer-esque colored thin lacing on the top that stuck around for a a minute or two just to taunt me

S: Smells like a load of sugary vanilla and then you just get smacked with a subtle bourbon nose to it. you also get some dark dark chocolate notes at the end.

T: Tastes pretty much as it smells. Very very smooth at the beginning with creamy vanilla notes, some chilled coffee, and then in the aftertaste you get the bourbon woody factor...absolutely amazing.

M: Mouthfeel may be the weakest part of this beer, which is saying nothing at all because I loved this beer so much and the mouthfeel was great....I was just too occupied with the taste to completely focus. Its a bit thin, but it suffices while the bourbon coats your taste buds.

O: I think this beer is fantastic....alewerks has really outdone themselves with this beer. The beer completely changes notes once its warmed up, which I think is for the better. The bourbon compliments the sweet vanilla and chocolate notes perfectly even though I'm not a huge bourbon fan. I cant wait to see how these other bottles age.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks LambicKing!

Ok so this thing is dark. Crazy, scary dark. No translucence, so light at all. Just straight Black. It was a bit cold when I poured it, but no real head or carbonation whatsoever.

I seriously love the way this thing smells. Amazing sweet chocolate up front and throughout, with a good bit of bourbon comes in as well. The bourbon is harsh, with no real oak. Slight hint of vanilla as well.

Its a chocolate milk stout at heart, and it doesnt lose it. Up front bourbon bite with a hint of dry bitter oak that fades into a super creamy, silky smooth body. Smooth vanilla accents the light bodied sweet milk stout nicely. The milk stout underneath is everything I wanted Moo-Hoo to be. Decent body, but just slick sweet chocolate milk.

My only issue with the beer is the mouthfeel. The base beer feels amazing, but the bourbon flavors translate into a strong upfront bite that is the only real problem with this beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split, served in great lakes chalice

Virginia whale delivered by @blackie. Really a decadent beer - lots of fudge, layered chocolate cake, cookie dough, chocolate covered espresso, bourbon. Hazelnut, brown sugar, luminescent of an iced cappucino or something other sugar-jacked starbucks creation. This one drinks dangerously easy, but after a few servings, you'll likely need to be screened for diabetes. Would definitely drink this one again.

 458 characters

Photo of CJS
3.06/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade and poured out into a tulip glass with high expectations.

A Poured out nice and dark brown to black in hue. Soon followed by a sandy finger width build up of a head. Quickly graduated to a paper thin lace.

S Not much of a bellowing aroma at all. Smell of cold coffee and semi sweet milk chocolate. Has a woody scent, but not too much of a liquor soaked barrel wood scent to me.

T Malty, caramel, brown sugary up front. Basic Coffee and Chocolate on the back end with a slight barrel age taste of a finish.

M Not to thin at all. Nice consumable consistency and still able to be enjoyed.

O Could have had more coffee intensity to balance out the sweetness. A bit more chocolate depth and longer barrel aging could also have improved this brew. The hop additions were acceptable. But could have been slightly more bitter for my taste.

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Photo of Jdouble777
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 6oz ice cold bottle of deliciousness

How this beer was under a 95, I will never know.

Appearance- Dark caramel

Smell- Malty chocolaty sweetness...if your drinking this beer, your aiming for this, and it is a perfect landing

Taste- Firm full body that somehow maintains a smooth silky flow throughout with notes of hazelnut, dark coca, cappuccino, and maybe light creamy amaretto at the very end

Mouthfeel- Minimal carbonation, smooth, potent yet rapidly relaxing

Overall- Just freaking great...surpassed Lefthand's Milk Stout, which I never thought would happen...well worth the time and money

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Photo of mojiboo02
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. The 2012 version was drank on tap at the tasting room and had a great balance of bourbon and flavor. One of the best barrel aged stouts I have had recently. Excited to try it out of the bottle as this beer tasted so good on draft. Cheers!

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Photo of ChefHopMeister
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*** Updated - The Latest Batch: Bottled Approx 12/11/12 - First day of sale 12/13/12.

Another strong batch of CR from Williamsburg Alewerks. This is an outstanding limited release brew although maybe a bit drier than the previous batch released in late winter 2012 since it was in the barrel a few extra weeks.

Highly recommended for the cellar as I continue to revisit bottles from the previous release at 3-4 month intervals...it continues to get better with age and this latest batch will be no different as it will get better in the months to come. The "problem" is keeping it around long enough to get some time behind it.

Get it if you can find it. Cafe Royale will not disappoint those of us who like a nice Bourbon finish with our coffee, cream and malt.

---

22oz Bomber, cold - poured into a Pint glass
Bottled Jan 2012 (no date)

Pour: Aggressive pour into the pint resulted in less than a skinny finger head. Dark stout color with a rich coffee stained tight lacy head which faded quickly.

Nose: Somewhat underwhelming at first but as the brew gradually warmed towards room temp, the rich scents of French roast coffee, caramels, plump raisins, hints of smoke, some ripe banana.

Taste: A slicky smooth viscosity in the mouth as if you were drinking a cafe latte. The coffee, caramel and malt are well balanced with the Bourbon finish providing a rich but non-intrusive background. Well allocated carbonation.

Finish: A sweet milk stout, cafe latte finish lingers in well balanced harmony. The Bourbon continues to work magic underneath this tasty example of a whiskey finished stout.

This is a seasonal release by WA and is their Coffeehouse Stout recipe finished in 2nd use barrels that they first used to age their very popular Bourbon Barrel Porter.

The whiskey barrels are provided by micro-distiller A. Smith Bowman (located in Fredricksburg, VA about 75 minutes drive north of the brewery) and used to age their Virginia Gentleman Bourbon.

Cafe Royale is one of those beers that is nice to have "in your backyard" with easy access to. A very delightful stout that any stout lover should try and get a ho

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Café Royale from AleWerks Brewing Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 711 ratings.
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