Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale | Burton Bridge Brewery

133 Reviews
Burton Bridge Empire India Pale AleBurton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Burton Bridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002

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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 169
Photo of mdagnew
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a nice rich amber colour. Slightly off white head poured very big and foamy with a rocky topping then faded to light foamy covering with thick edging. Quite a lot of small carbonation bubbles rush to the surface...

Quite a strange aroma this one... quite spicy with lots of grassy and peppery notes, quite strong celery hints, some soapiness, yeast, tart fruits (oranges, pears, limes, some grapefruits), talc hints, woody, some freshly baked bread...

Taste is a little on the bland side... peppery and spicy hops, metallic hints, overripe tart fruits (pears, sour apples, light orange), light pale malts, herbal, light vegetal traces, faint sweet honey aftertaste, light chalk...

Feel - Very sharp and dry... light / medium bodied... quite refreshing and thirst quenching - the 7.5% is barely noticeable... it's just a little on the dull side..

Overall - A pretty average and slightly odd IPA... maybe worth a try once...

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Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a long-neck 500ml brown bottle, BB NOV 08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a translucent (a roughly-filtered beer!!) dark amber hue, topped with a rather fluffy and dirty white head which settles slowly to a thin carpet, while the semi-lively carbonation is fine and constant.
S: the aroma is like a strong ale with that specific touch of very ripe melons and banana-oil, some sour-sweet peary touch of fruity malts, and blurred orangey hoppy aroma. Overall, quite pleasant and easily approachable, but lacking a structure or some layers for an IPA.
T: a rich but never imposing flavour of overripe fruits (pear-ish & apple-ly) and salty-sweet yeasts rests on a solid backdrop of pale malts, leading towards more fruity and herbal hops in the aftertaste, which are not so much aromatic in the equation but rather express themselves in the form of an underlying stream of chewy, bitter-sweet root-herbal bitterness... At the remote corner inside the mouth, the banana-oil-like fruit-ester lingers along with faint hints of sweet black tea as well as an undertone of melted toffee...
M&D: the texture is so smooth but never short of decent and healthy dose of soft carbonation, rendering a rich but quiet malty body balanced by generous amounts of English hops. Very little trace of alcohol is detected on the palate, making this strong ale even quaffable. I'm not familiar with the really traditional type of English IPA, but this balanced and gentle interpretation is surely inviting!

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Photo of dgallina
4.32/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle without freshness dating.

Pours good-looking cloudy tan, with very strong carbonation and a few fingers of sticky foam. Smells powerfully woody and fruity, with tangy alcohol and sweet pink grapefruit notes. The flavor is significantly drier, more grainy and woody in character. The sugary grapefruit center is balanced by toasted malt at the edges. Finishes with a parched alcohol sharpness that suggests barrel-aged whiskey. The medium-rich body is somewhat oily and over-carbonated for something this strong. Drinks like a much larger beer than the labeled alcohol-by-volume would lead you to believe. An odd, but tasty, duck.

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Photo of firkinhophead
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy gold with a tight, off-white cap that clings nicely, but no lacing to speak of.

Aroma is fruity, with some tropical notes (pineapple, guava), maybe some citrus hops. Alcohol becomes evident as it warms.

Taste is initially fruity with an herbal hop bitterness that builds middle to end. Aforementioned pineapple, pear, British pale malt. Pithy citrus bitterness, lemongrass, pine from the hops, some phenolic astringency in the finish. Drying alcohol, herbs.

Mouthfeel is thin, but not watery, carbonation is solid. Very dry for the ABV. Drinkability is hurt by the phenols and some fusels as it warms.

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Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at goebbels in Wichita. Happy to find something from one of my very favorite breweries when I lived in England ( most cask offering were amazing )

Pours apricot/amber with 4+ fingers of rocky sand colored head. Hazes a bit as the bottle is emptied. Crazy lacing & head retention

S: Leafy hops, not much else

T: Leafy hops, biscuitty malt & some sulphuric notes, plus a bit of citrus hops up front. More leafy hops, a touch of pears, & apricots, plus dryness as this warms. Finishes fruity, dry, a bit chalky even & with leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & nice balance

Drinks easy for the abv, wished the hops & or malt stuck out a bit more, but a solid effort, this is probably much better on cask, I'm betting

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Photo of haz77
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy yellow-tinged copper with a thick, firm inch of head. Very active carbonation keeps this solidly in place.

S - Lemon, grass, mildly sulfurous/metallic smell, yeast, toffee.

T - Grassyness and citrus upfront, although grassyness pushes forward in the middle. Toffee appears and becomes sweeter towards the end of the drink. Earthy/woody flavours linger in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body with much more refined carbonation than the appearance suggests. Fairly smooth and closer to cask than the majority of bottles.

D - The smell was the only slight letdown. Other than that, very drinkable and tasty beer.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Originally reviewed 17 May 2008, revised 3 Dec 2009. I am nor sure if I ma just more in the mood for this beer or if I got a better bottle. Overall my tasting notes are very similar, but where I found a couple off notes the first time, this time I thought they all worked passably well. Original score 4/2/3.5/4/3.5.

A = Slightly hazy orange amber color, very spidery lacy large head which leaves medium-heavy lacing.

S = Light maple syrup, orange zest, soap, sweat. Very distinctive smells with a lot going on, quite complex.

T = The taste covered many of the same sensations as the smell but was a little better integrated. Good tart citrus flavors, some earthy hops notes, a nice bread dough malt underneath, longish slightly metallic bitter finish. A decent English IPA.

M = Medium body, good frothiness, decent mouthcoating.

D = Fair drinkability, would be better if the smell was not quite so all over the place.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Empire IPA

A- Deep cloudy orange with a thick foamy head. Mild lacing down the glass.
S-Sweet toffee malt, yeasty. Very mild aroma but intnsifies as it warms.
T- Mild sweet citrus hops, toffee malt, Fresh baked bread, earthy hops.
M- Mild up front with a slightly sweet body. Good dry finish with a touch of bitterness.

Overall- A favorite among a few of the "mug"gers at my pub, and rightfully so. Good solid English IPA that would be a pleasure drinking all day.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.45/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

19 oz bottle picked up sometime last week at the Coop (Don't remember the price).. poured into my Sam Adams shaped glass.

2 finger head is pillowy and sticky.. quite a bit of carbonation.. brew is polished amber copper... took more than a minute to get a pour that didn't want to pour over the rim.. too much carbonation for sure.

Aroma is big grassy/earthy hops.. a little sour and metallic. pale malts play second fiddle or maybe third.

Flavor is waaaay off base for an EIPA.. Big bitter out of the gate comes crashing through a funky and sour/metallic mid palate that lingers and screws everything up. Almost no sweetness or maltiness.. Sorta a sour green apple/under ripe peach essence. Body is lite/medium with too much carbonation to even remotely be pleasant. Pineapple and fresh penny copper are very evident as it warms. Burpy in an unpleasant way.

I don't believe this is an "off" beer.. I just think it is the way the brewer made it. Really nothing I would ever consider buying again unless I had a certified letter from the brewer saying my money would be well spent this time around.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ML bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a hazy, murky, amber, copper hue with a decent-sized frothy and foamy head that lingered on for a bit before slowly receding and leaving a fine amount of lacing around the glass...
Aroma was dominated by hops and slight malts with a slightly apparent alcohol presence...
Taste was a testament to hops and a fair balance of malts... more sweet than I was expecting, with noticeable suggestions of caramel, vanilla, ginger, pines, lemons, clove, citrus, grapefruit, and sugars... Flavor was very different from a typical IPA, with a suggsestion of whiskey or perhaps brandy... "Bottled beer after six months in the cask" on the black side logo sticker...
Decent mouthfeel, very sweet with a strong presence of sugars and honey...
Drinkability took a hit due to the strong, cloying, ultra-sweet flavor and noticeable 7.5% ABV...
Not the best depiction of the style that I've come across, but an interesting sample nonetheless...

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Photo of SirSaranac
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ol' bottle pours a cloudy copper hue... quite dark copper. Nice, 2 finger tan frothy head. Great lacing. This brew has a very complex nose that I wasn't expecting. Spicy... sweet... cinnamon? The taste is a really spicy malt... and then hops stop in to say a quick hello. Tastes like faint cinnamon also. Quite different, but I like it. Wish i had another bottle to decipher it further.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber with a huge billowing head that lingers and slowly drops, lacing and cratering.
Lots of lively bubbles right after the pour.
Smell is somewhat metallic, earthy , funky and winey...a lot going on.
The flavor is pretty complex and interesting. Very phenolic...medicinal, slightly sweet caramel malt...various fruits...hints of sulfur, Bretty funk, sour green apple..almost tart..yeasty...some hop bitter and chalk. As it warms, it really has a cask like body and mouthfeel...low , soft carbonation...full body. Nice.
I'm really liking it, although I do think it is a bit odd. I will definitely buy more of these.

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Photo of beerbutcher
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours reddish amber with off-white head.

nose is slightly caramelly with intense fruit aromas, some tropical, some apricot (goldings derived i guess), then there's something exotic... dried fruit and some pungent funky stuff. i suspect it's brett from the barrel. gives the beer a bouquet of age and a bit of a wild edge, i like it!

Deliciously fruity beer with substantial maltiness and a heft of bitterness behind. the brett leaves a trail of refreshing acidity that doesn't compete in any bad way.

A very complex beer worth pondering as it warms in your glass. I could drink casefulls of this stuff. Very refreshing for it's strength and worthy of some fine, well aged cheese!

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, this is the furthest thing from an American IPA as you can get. Once expectations are out of the way, this ale presents many unique qualities.

Definitely Brett in this one. This is my second pint in 2 days, and i'm really enjoying this stuff. It pours a hazy, tawny orange into a goblet-style glass. About 1/2 inch of foam fizzles up and settles to nothing, no lacing even. Looks like a cask ale in fact, and lo and behold, the label states it was cask aged 6 months before bottling.

Aroma is fantastic. Musty citrus, wet hay, barnyard funk more akin to Gueuze, but nowhere near as sharp or sour. Orval may find a distant cousin in this unique English IPA. There's also a mildly cheesy, aged hop presence.

Flavors of apricot, almond, and citrus rind. Toffee like malt, but only in texture and not sweetness. Dry and bitter finish. Fruitiness is very unique, in that it has a certain fullness and distinct apricot/persimmon taste. A mild underlying spice from the hops. Brett adds another distinctive facet of restrained wildness. Must be some funky casks that are used for aging!

Smooth with low carbonation, mellow with mild bitterness in the finish. Easy to finish the bottle, but it must be savored. Cheers...

EDIT 2008: 2 bottles I purchased in Madison weren't similar at all to my first review. Hoping they were just old, and that the funky spice shows up in future bottles. Edit #2: Hit or miss with this one, i've had one tasty one, and two so-so bottles from the same place, same purchase. Seems there's alot of variability with this, but i'll continue to drink it, because when it's good, it's a really captivating beer...pretty similar to Wild Devil.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.62/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a British pub glass at just cooler than cellar temperature.

A: Dark orange and very cloudy, with lots of yeast in suspension. A rocky, white head forms on the pour and slowly collapses into a two inch pillow that follows the beer down the glass. Lots of lacing.

S: Strong English hops on the nose, followed by apricot and a touch of bread. Makes a powerful first impression.

T: The taste is initially dominated by English hops (perhaps Challenger?) followed by apricot and other fruit. On the finish is a definite toffee note, with some mineral water flavor as well. This beer is more complex than many American interpretations of the style. Some alcohol warming, but not much.

M: Moderate to light mouthfeel. The carbonation is light and perceptible only at the very end.

D: I could drink a few of these despite its strength.

Overall: Although other reviewers don't think as highly of this beer, this is one of the best English IPAs I've had. Complex but very drinkable, hoppy but still balanced with malt sweetness, this is what I think of when I imagine the style.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Four fingers of dense, white, foamy head sprang forth from a moderate pour into an imperial nonic pint glass, the most appropriate glassware I could think of for the job. Lace appears along the sides in tiny colonies, while the beer itself glows a hazy, orangish color with some light amber highlights.

S: Rather mild hop aroma, very subdued but intriguing in its tame, lightly floral scent.

T: Malt sweetness surges up front and peaks in the middle, with an overlapping bitterness that follows and rushes right into a truncated finish, leaving little hop feel behind. Aftertaste has a small sweetness from before return faintly. While this beer's rougher edges smooth out as it warms, that cloying sweetness underneath still remains a detractor.

M: Well-carbonated little number that kind of curls the tongue a bit, a little too sharp actually.

D: For some reason, this feels like it would be closer to its EIPA predecessors, but it has a flavor profile that mostly feels rushed on the tongue. While I do enjoy the more nuanced and gentler nature of an English IPA, this one didn't seem to quite hit the mark on the palate.

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Photo of Lupin
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a minimal filmy head that dissipates within a minute. Minimal lacing.

Smells like a gueze with a little bit of malty diarrhea mixed in. Pretty gross. Probably the worst smelling beer I've ever consumed. Kinda reminds me of smelling the empty, yeasty bottle of a belgian that I've finished a day or two ago.

Taste is bittersweet and sour, but not offensive. Good, fresh finish but a little bit of the awkward aroma lingers on the palate, and I just can't get it out of my head. Flavor profile does not change too much as it warms.

Overall, refreshing but not particularly impressive.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle

Pours a slightly hazed orange-amber with a rocky tan head. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by floral hops, with just a slight fruitiness in the background.

Taste is lots of floral hops from start to finish, with a slight fruitiness and a big bitter bite that latches on midway and lasts beyond the finish.

Medium-full body, plenty of CO2.

The punch of floral hops begins to wear out it's welcome about 1/3 the way through the glass. It is a taste I really enjoy, but not so much in this high volume - which I never realized until I had this beer. With some things, less really is more.

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a bright amber with thick off-white head that lasted through most of the drink and left good lacing up and down the glass. Aroma was a perfect blend of floral hops, bread and malty sweetness, and at mid-glass the alcohol crept into the nose in juist the right proportion. Mouthfeel was tingly and bittersweet, while the flavor was a continuation of the spicy floral hops and malty sweetness, along with the hint of apples.

This all blended to a long smooth and thirst quenching finish. One of the better English beers I’ve had.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a victim of current IPA I guess and was expecting something different than how this tasted, and I wonder if this is how an IPA tasted in the English Empire.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a huge pillowy white head that took a while to break down with lacing over inch inch of the glass.

S: Very fruity with some citrus, but mostly I got alot of past it's prime Granny Smith apple scent.

T: Upon first sip it was a very nice surprise. Sour with that great English water flavor that I love so much.

M: Very easy drinking but it was quite dry in my mouth.

Overall I really liked this beer. I would purchase again.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this because I like IPA's and the bottle looked neat. Plus, I have a friend who loves English IPA's.

Appearance is a medium amber color with fairly high carbonation, a good head and very nice retention.

Aroma is very fruity with a little bit of spicy, floral hops.

Taste was a little spicy and very fruity. A bit of a sour note in the middle and overall an almost apple juice-like taste. Not that great to me.

Mouthfeel was a little thin and fizzy.

Overall, a decent beer but too fruity and fizzy for my tastes.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat interesting bottle blurb about the old Burton brewing industry, mentions that the beer is cask aged before refermentation in the bottle. Should be some good complexity here.

Color is a hazy deep orange, little bubble flit rapidly to the top. Very nice thick creamy head hangs around for a good long while, never quite leaves the scene. Lacing is minimal.

The nose is very different, slightly medicinal alcohol and ester-dominated yeast scent. Reminiscient of green apple peel.

This is a creamy full English IPA, there is a ton of fruity yeast characteristics, heavy on unripe apple, pear, wood. Strange dominance of the hops, which are relegated to the background. High abv is evident in mildly astringent alcohol flavor. There's some grain or pale malt here, but between the hop and fruit yeast flavors, there's not much evidence.

This is a very unique IPA, I've never had anything labeled as such that tastes like this one. There are elements of the light fruity Belgian tripel at play here while obviously the English IPA is a benchmark.

I really enjoy it, but would haste to point out the fuller body and high alcohol as opposed to an oilier, peppery hop dominated ale. Keep an open mind and think about the historical role of this style.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a medium cloudy yellow/beige color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of english dry hops with a floral component is dominating and quite enjoyable. Taste is a mix between some malt that is quite dry as well as a hoppy finish with a dry aftertaste. Body is above average with low filtration and low carbonation. I have really been digging the English hops lately and this was very rewarding.

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Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle

Pours hazy golden with a huge, rocky, frothy head. I like a good head on my beer, but it's at a nuisance point with this one.

The smell is spicy. Peppery, orange peel, floral.

The taste is of orange peel, leafy and peppery. A mixture of tropical fruits.with malt way in the back, though it peeks through once in awhile. Agressive alcohol. Very bitter and drying.

Sprtizy feel with lingering drying hop bitterness.

An IPA in the raw. Can't say I'm crazy about it, but worth trying for historical reasons and to try a beer that is different than most modern IPA's.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm, a lot going on in this brew. It's a gusher straight from the bottle. After cleaning up the counter, the floor, and my dog, the beer poured a well headed, creamy looking, orange / copper hue with a weizen-type haze. Obviously bottle conditioned, evident with the sprinkles of yeast and hops swirling around. The aromas are a highly phenolic and estery scent with bold earthy hops and a firm malt base. The flavors are a forced fruitiness (peaches, pineapples, pears, and appricots) along with a strong alcohol, plastic flavor. the hop flavors are present and offset the heavy malts well, but never really round out the flavors properly. The feel is a firm weightedness from the malts, along with a prickle from the carbonation and alcohols. Finishes with strong hops, plastics, and malts. Just seems that the beer was fermented at way too high of temperature. Not a bad beer, but one that I will not likely try again.

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Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
3.57 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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