Aardmonnik - Earthmonk | De Struise Brouwers

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Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed and bottled on the Deca Brewery in Woesten-Vleteren.

Oud Vlaams Bruin - Blend 30% Old & 70% New

EBC:52, IBU:15, OG:1078, FG:1018, ABV:??
Hops: Bramling Cross, Hallertau MF

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-14-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
179
Ratings:
283
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
17.6%
 
 
Wants:
178
Gots:
84
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 283
Photo of granite
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off let me thank Chris of Ebenezers pub for sharing this remarkable beer with me.

This was the ultimate beer experience for me. I'm sitting in a pub in Maine that would rival any pub in Belgium. I’m having a great conversation about spontaneous fermentation and traditional geuze blending with Urbain, brewer of De Struise and Chris, proprietor of Ebenezers Pub. I was just served a glass of Boons 3 year unblended flat geuze and I’m thinking that life can not get any better. Then in comes the DHL delivery and it just happens to be the shipment of Earthmonk. Not in a box but rather in a plastic pail with broken glass sticker plastered all over it. I could tell that Urbain and Chris were visible pissed and who could blame then. Chris informed me that he has waited over a year for this to arrive. So Urbain starts unpacking the pail and with great relief, only one bottle did not survive the trip. Chris instantly plunged a bottle in a picture of ice water to cool it. A few minutes later Urbain pops it and instructs all of us how Earthmonk should be dispensed. He held the bottle about a foot and a half above the glass and started to decant it very slowly. He said this was the only way it will produce a large head. He then presented me the first glass and I was speechless.
Sitting in my hand was a snifter filled with a dark brown liquid with ruby red highlights. Floating on top was a large, rocky off white head that consisted of the finest little bubbles of carbonation. It was such a beautiful presentation. Urban said it was a little darker then most Oud Bruins brewed today but it was a better representation of what an Old bruin may have been like a few hundred years ago.
The aroma was remarkable. Chocolate malt and oak followed by fig and cherry like fruity esters. I understand where the earth name came from. It had a subtle forest thing going on. It is very hard for me to describe but it added an extra layer of complexity. It may be derived from the wild yeast and bugs that were isolated from grape skins in a famous wine region (I forgot the name) by Urban when he set out to create Earthmonk. I also noted a touch of acetic and some wine like character and in the nose.
The first thought that popped into my head when I tasted it was how rich it was. It started with a toffee like malt flavor. Not overly sweet or cloying but just enough young beer in the blend to balance the sourness or acetic character of the older portion. The fruit profile also changed from that of the aroma. It had more of a spiced citrus and raisins flavor. The finish seemed to last forever. It consisted of vanilla, woodsy phenols, wild bliss and a sweet and sour tug of war that made me want more and more.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the good fortune to try one of these recently, and was just overwhelmed. This might be the best beer I've ever had; wish I could get my hands on some more. It was served in a wine glass, and had a hazy red/brown color. The thin head was a light brown. Incredible aroma. An extremely earthy, barnyard aroma, intense but pleasant. Somewhat vinous nose also. It had a sour, dark fruit taste. The earthiness translated into a yeast taste. The flavors intensified as the beer warmed. This was a deep, richly rewarding beer.

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Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark mahogany color with a thin tan head. The nose has a good amount of cherries along with oak, tart fruit and some musky funk. The taste is a very nice balance between the sweet and tart flavors. There is a very subtle manure presence. Clean, crisp body suits the style well. Dry, acidic finish. Another delicious brew from Struise. Near perfect.

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Photo of 77black_ships
4.94/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Rating: 2007 Vintage [email protected]: brown with dark red colour with a small white head, taste is deep, tart & sour with balsamic and red wine vinegar & red wine with sour fruits and acidic wood + dark cherries, sour red berries, sherry, sugar,… despite the bold flavours straying into sour/vinegar/acidic territory, this is extremely balanced, not puckering sour and easy to drink, mouthfeel is smooth but quite thick as well at the same time, very little carbonation which is just perfect

Later rating: 2011 [email protected]: just issued, almost sweet with some brown sugar compared with the 2007 Vintage with red wine like flavours overpowering balsamic & wine vinegar, sourness is very restrained, red fruit, touch of wood, one notch lighter body, very good, liked the 2007 a bit more

2013: 2007 is getting crazily sour now & 2011 is beginning to develop nicely, this is still one of the best sours around, wonderful brew that I like to revisit from time to time

Early 2013: tried a 2005, pretty good still but has oxidized a bit & is def. already somewhat downhill

Rating is for the 2007 Vintage.

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Photo of crowellr
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just came back from another amazing experience at Ebs. Brought friends from Boston, all of whom were expecting the best beer bar in the world and left with nothing saying otherwise. The conversation started with us talking about the Westvleteren 12 and how I had acquired some that I will soon enjoy. He says, I got something you'll like more. After a thrilling 20 minute speech about the different breweries, I will never get tired of listening to him talk about beer, the knowledge he has amazes me, he left us to enjoy our beer and food. A little while later he comes back with a bottle of Earthmonk, and lets everyone at the table have some.

Now I know I am very young, still just 22, but I have had plenty of experience with great beer. This one def topped them all, first of the smell was intoxicating. Infact after the first couple sips, I just sat there smelling this beer, not wanting that smell to leave.

After the first sip, I relized is what unlike any beer I have had before, the different combinations of flavors made a distinct almost earth taste, very odd way to describe it I know.

Either way, this is the best beer I have every had, and most likely will keep that title after I crack my Westlevteren 12, 8 and blonde. Chris is an amazing man, and anyone that has not made it up there is missing an experience that every beer drinker should have.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is actually not retired and is still being made evidenced by the sight of a huge container of cherries floating on top of the fermenting beer I saw at the Struise farm a few weeks back.

This beer was sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerp, in a Struise tulip. Beer poured a deep brown, iced tea like color with a decent head that receeded quickly. Nose had some definite sour cherry notes and a tart character. Taste was wonderful. Cherry taste was fresh but yet there was a wood character from the aging. Nice sour tone all through the beer made this one hard to put down.

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Photo of digita7693
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Alvinne Craft Beer Fest 2011.
This was the 2008 version.

A dark brown to black with a nice foamy head that is light brown, sticks around for a bit.

S deliciously sour, but not overpoweringly, smells of plums and raisins and cherries, and some wood smell and an underlying sweetness.

T taste is rather similar to the smell. some nice fruit and wood tones, a slight sweetness at first that turns tart on the back. There is some spice mixed in there as well. This is a deliciously complex beer that runs the gambit from sweet to tart, but never too much with either extreme.

M/D good carbonation, lighter mouthfeel, very very drinkable

Wish I could get more of this, simply wonderful! I am wondering, due to the mixed reviews, if there were some bad bottles or if a certain year was better than another. 2008 was exceptional on tap!

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Photo of MtGoat
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Bottle (330 ml, best before 2011)

Glassware: De Struise Tulip

Appearance: Poured vigorously from 6-8 inches above the glass as previously seen at Kulminator and by the De Struise Brouwers. Dark brown with an airy bubbly head.

Smell: Tart, dried fruit, cherries, floral, malt, slight cocoa/leathery scents, oak.

Taste: Fruits, OAK (and old oak at that), slight cocoa/caramel, amazing complexity! A finish that lingers with a growing tartness. The taste is very similar to the smell. A very well crafted brew...as usual from these guys.

Mouthfeel: A fairly heavy mouthfeel. Full, smooth, satisfying.

Drinkability: Oh so drinkable. I was thinking about cracking bottle after bottle...

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.84/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Beerzebub for the hook-up.

A - Pours a deep chestnut hue with big tan bubbles and wispy froth overall.

S - Holy shit! Black cherry, grape soda, big-time oak, pear, earthiness and ever-so-slight (and complementary) solvent-isoamyl alcohol, even some cinnamon-raisin. Amazing.

T - This could pass as a exceptionally fine wine. Amazing depth and complexity. Big red grape tones, some currant and lots of wood, a little kick from solvent alcohol on the finish. Bigger and badder than (most of) the rest. Not a huge lactic sour, like many of the style.

M - Lighter side of medium-bodied, with a very dry finish.

D - Phenomenal, except for the price tag and availability... Still, this is probably worth the $2-3 per ounce.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.82/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is maybe the most complex beer i've ever had!

pours a murky brown with some caramel/cherry tones around the edges. good head that dissipates very quickly and leaves no lace.

smells acidic with hints at cherries and alcohol.

the taste...what can i say? it seems like every sip i tasted something totally different. wood, cherries, mild funk, yeast, etc. it just keeps going and going.

this is a very drinkable beer based on how ridiculously delicious it is! it's ABV gives this is ability to make it a session beer, but the cost and availability hinder it greatly.

get this is you can, it's worth it.

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Photo of ChrisPr
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown, almost like a dark eisbock, with no head and garnet hints at the edges. I almost want to give a 5.0 for appearance. Smells of malt, prune and wood with slight vinegar. The mouthfeel is light-to-medium though this beer has some viscosity though it finishes quite dry. This is a very tasty beer with white grapefruit and spiciness reminiscent of Muller-Thurgau up front and a mild prune and wood finish. The acetic qualities are well-balanced, with the tartness between an old, viscous barrel-aged beer and a Flemish red. An exceptional sipper!

Not like any other beer I've ever had, but it shows some characteristics shared with l'Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2005. This beer is very drinkable but unfortunately quite rare. Well, well worth seeking out if this sounds like something you'd enjoy. I now consider it one of the great soured ales in the world.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.79/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark reddish brown, with no head. Smells sour, alcoholic, and of dark fruits. Lots of yeast in the bottom. Taste is not as sour as the smell. It's sweet, with lots of plum and dark berry, maybe a little cherry. Alcohol is only barely prevalent, but still more than I'd have expected. The more I drink it the more I taste plum, maybe even plum wine. I can't pinpoint what, but this beer really does make me love it with every sip.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.71/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brownish red with no head. Complex nose. Acetic and oaky with dark macerated cherries, sherry vinegar, and brown sugar. The cherries smell deep and dark with wonderful nuances. The taste is also complex with more of that wonderful cherry flavor. Winey and sour but with a rich but light cherry liquor sweetness lurking in the background, and some very complex funky earthiness with a bit of horseblanket, but not so far as barnyard. Wondefully sweet/tart but with great depth. Very smooth and even a bit creamy, though tart. A very nice version and definitely a bit less acetic than most. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CBA
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A descent from sour/vinous, tart cherry, fruit cake to wood, damp earth and some residual sweetness at the end. Not too acidic, never cloying this is one to savour slowly.

A beer to cause introspection indeed.

33cl bottles courtesy of Kulminator - one of the few beer brought home from Belgium.

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Photo of bobv
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Vigorous pour into a Rochefort goblet produces slight head which disappears quickly to just a slight ring around the glass.

S: Slight vinegar with hints of citrus, brown sugar, molasses, little cocoa, Truly amazing.

T: I get grapefruit followed by a little pepper. So tasty.

M: Not much in the way of a full mouthfeel, but who cares, this is delicious.

O: Oh boy, I could drink this all night. Doesn't feel like 8 ABV. I could drink this for breakfast instead of grapefruit juice.
Thanks to the boys of Oostvleteren!

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Photo of cbeer88
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle poured into Duvel tulip, fresh from the 2011 released batch (brewed in 2008).

Appearance: Aggressively dropped him right down the center of the glass and was left with nothing more than a few bubbles for head. Dark brown body, with light only cracking through along the edges of the glass. This looks sludgy in the glass, closer to what I'd expect from a quad or a stout than a Flanders Bruin.

Smell: Cherries, raisins, vinegar, heavy oak. I can smell the sour before I taste it. Fantastic.

Taste: Intense and full flavored is an understatement. Not just the tartness either, but everything is potent - almost like pouring a marinade onto your cooked meat as if it were a dipping sauce. The predominant taste is similar to what you get when you suck on a fresh cherry. Definitely tart, and definitely vinegar flavor in there as well. Unique is an understatement, and I award this beer major points for that.

Mouthfeel: Very low carb, but there and surprisingly adequate. Thick and heavy.

Drinkability: Low to moderate. Alcohol is perfectly hidden, despite the 8% ABV. The intensity of flavors though make this a sipper, and one bottle in a session is plenty. In fact, you could easily split this small bottle and satisfy two people.

Overall: I heard this beer was one of a kind, and it certainly lived up to that billing. It is not for everybody, as is indicative from the reviews all over the place. But, it is well worth seeking out, as you won't know if you like it until you try it. It's drinking good now (fresh), but the inherent complexity makes me glad I have a few to lay down to see how this tasty beer evolves over time.

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Photo of emerge077
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured as the brewers advise, at a height of six or more inches, it actually produces a lasting head of larger, honeycombed bubbles. Here's the visual: http://belgianbeerboard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=102

Ten minutes later, and the head is still there, along with a little spotty lace. Served at 50º cellar temperature into a stemmed Oerbier glass.

Aged balsamic vinegar in the nose, sweet and spicy, a touch lactic. Black with a lighter auburn glow at the edge when backlit. The feel is very rich, probably the most full bodied Oud Bruin i've had. The low carbonation and and vinous body gives it a slight heft, and even more of a balsamic character to match the taste. Very tasty, there are also hints of anise, black cherry, leather, tobacco, yogurt, and other spices. Tartness is fairly mild, though it still gives a good bite. Very savory, definitely one to sip and contemplate.

Huge thanks to ygtbsm94 for sending me this, and to tyee for sharing it awhile back. This is really exceptional stuff!

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A noses beer fermented in barrels with swirls of red wine vinegar elegant. But also the cellars, sawdust, wood stuffy (like dust which can invade the old books from a library).

On the palate, the flavor is complex. It was more like a good old drink a red gueuze of Flanders. One benchmark for the tasting of delicious flavors. Among other red fruit (blackcurrant in particular), the good old Burgundy and tannic acidity that continues in force after-taste.

And always with this mixture of styles between Brussels Champagne and Flemish Burgundy that makes the complex beer, tasty and also easy to drink.

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Photo of Travlr
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generous sample poured by Urbain from the barrel at the smaller brewery in Oost Vleteren.
A: Almost completely black, lively tan head that settles quickly and leaves scant lacing.
S: Aroma of malt vinegar and old wine.
T: Flavor starts with port wine and progresses to a rick sourness and very high acidity. A unique brew, something to be sought after.

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

I was very excited about this beer. I have heard really good thinks about it and never got around to drinking the one bottle I traded for.

Very little carbonation initially and any carbonation the beer had dissipated within 2 minutes of the pour. Nearly completely flat.

This is a real intense beer. Strong raisin plum and dark fruit smells from this beer. Sour dirty and funky tasting. Oily and quite viscus. Smooth and very easy to sip. Wonderfully sour and almost like vinegar in nature.

This is not for everyone but I loved it. Another great beer by DeStruise. I have a feeling that I'm gonna try to score a few more of this one.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 batch bottle released in 2011. I have been looking to find this one for a while and it is nice to remove a Want from a few years back. Poured into a Bruery Tulip

Pour is a dark cherry brown flanders oud bruin color. Exactly what I was hoping for. This is a lot more unsettled looking and hazy perhaps than I was afraid it might be.

Aroma of sweet ripe cherries, some vinegar, sweet malt and oak barrel. Yeah this is basically what I live for here.

Taste is just damn good. There is a very strong sour presence melding with a mildewy oak flavor. Cherries all over, a light cotton candy presence mixing at the end with plenty of oak edginess. Light vinegar touches and a light berry flavor in the back. The vinegar is more in nose than in flavor. I actually had a slight hiss from popping the top off which I was surprised after hearing others complain that it was flat. I really believe this comes together quite well and will definitely be enjoying more of these.

Body is medium with a very slight carbonation. Being that Flanders Oud Bruin's are typically similar to this, I have to think that this is done right and give more points to De Struisse. I have no idea where the 8% is hidden, but this comes together like a masterpiece and I can really enjoy sipping on it.

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Photo of belgiumking
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I received came from Amsterdam from a reputable beer shop.

The beer poured a very dark crimson/brown and had virtually no head and at first appearence I thought it might have ben spoiled - until I captured the aroma.

The aroma reminded me of old Rodenbach Grand Cru from 10+ years ago. Very rich, full of dark fruits, clove, anise, cherry and some floral. The flavor was incredible, once again reminding me of a beer I once loved. very regal and full of complex character with notes of every aroma mentioned above with the plus of the wild yeast strains that are used to make this beer. Very tart and wonderfully funky.

Please note that this is NOT a one time beer, rather a yearly release of a one batch beer that will have extreme limited availability. So if you ever see it - buy it!

I think this beer will age to 20 years like the old Rodenbach.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Odd pour from bottle, it was difficult to get a head of any kind. Pour in a tulip glass.

Initial strong acetone smell quickly dissipated to a funky cherry aroma.

Deep cloudy mahogany color.

The person I was sharing with described the first taste as blood, a thick rich coppery taste.
As the drinking progressed a full spectrum of fruit and funky shown greatly.

The mouth feel was great and contributed to the overall presentation of this beer.

Excellent overall experience.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you very much to a customer for this beer...what a treat!
2008 Vintage

A- Almost stout-like in appearance, no head, fizzy swirl of carb in the middle of a color-devoid structure...

S-Vanilla, cherry, oak, intense, strong, amazing smells....omg....There isn't a single hint of sour beer behind this nose. Simply smooth vanilla and cherry...awesome....can't remember a better nose on a sour....

T- Starts off smooth, nothing much going on *served at 39 degrees F.* THEN spice, phenols, tartness, tanginess, oh man...this is great....

M- Solid brick of a mouthfeel, with a few glimmers of carbonation...nothing exceptionally nasty about the 'brick' that I speak of, but it is DIFFERENT....all together a different beer but for mouthfeel, I'd expect something FLAT to taste like this, but in all it provides the right amount of carbonation! NICE!

O- Best Flemish Red I've ever tried. Period. Duchesse on crack...

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Photo of DirkWadden
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

absolute favorite. I tried this beer in Antwerp's 'kulminator' cafe. Not cheap, but it's worth it. The dark brown equivalent of a geuze. Beautiful dark red color, deep, sour flavor, fruity and heavy. For those who are up for it :)

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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.
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