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Black Wych | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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101 Reviews
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Black WychBlack Wych
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom
wychwood.co.uk

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
BLACK WYCH A Dark Mysterious Spellbinding Porter
BLACK WYCH spellbinding porter ,
The Black Wych has cast her spell , start with a measure of
alluring rich dark malt & allow the bitterness to creep in.
This silkily smooth porter is a force to be reckoned with.

Brewed primarily for export.

Added by the42ndtourist on 10-09-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
187
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
14.67%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
30
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 187
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smooth English stout, good representation of style. Lower alcohol than the US versions, understated, medium mouthfeel. Smooth easy drink. Great bottle and nice black appearance. Roasty smell. Uncomplicated taste. Not too malted, and malts a taste taken away at end of dryish finish.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, another good choice, marketing-wise, at least, for Hallowe'en festivities, i.e. drinking while waiting for the neighbourhood kiddies to come begging for early-onset diabetes.

This beer pours a near opaque black, but upon closer back-lit inspection, prominent red cola edges are revealed, with two chubby fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves a band of cobwebbed (natch) lace around the glass as it slowly lumbers out of sight.

It smells of mildly roasted caramel malt, coffee spiked with somewhat sour milk, apple and banana fruit esters, bittersweet chocolate, faint anise root, and a weak earthy hop bitterness. The taste is grainy, kind of biscuity caramel malt, dry cocoa powder, day-old coffee and milk that's been sitting out on the kitchen counter for about as long, peevish yeast, a subtle muddled black fruitiness, and meek floral and earthy noble hops.

The carbonation is fairly soft in its gently rendered frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and more or less smooth, with a suggestion of an airy creaminess arising as things warm up a tad. It finishes off-dry, but trending towards the latter, with a bit of nascent roasted chocolaty nuttiness.

Overall, a decently tasty, if not particularly spell-binding Old World stout, with more than a few nods to the porters of a different English age. Scary? Not really. Scarily drinkable? Nope. Adequate for the night's activities? You betcha.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle - Dark black brew with a nice foamy head with medium retention. Floral aroma coming out of my glass is incredible. Taste is very sweet unlike the irish stout. This is very different and the body is very light. I'm not even sure this is a stout but overall it is not a bad beer.

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Photo of mothman
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tan head. Dark brown color. Nearing black.

English Porter all the way. Chocolate with some roast. Caramel and toffee. Sweet. Lighter bodied. Nice carbonation. Nothing crazy, but enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black body with clear mahogany highlights at the base of the glass. Topped by a short, frothy, light tan head that holds fairly well and leaves some nice lace. The nose expresses a roasty malt, mild diacetyl butteriness, and some grassy and earthy hops. The body is light/medium with a very fine and mild carbonation that leaves it smooth in the mouth. The flavor starts with a charming semi-sweet chocolate note and underlying butterscotch that are soon overtaken by roastiness and then drying bitterness. It finishes dry, bitter, and fairly short with only a mild lingering roastiness. A bit one-sided but well-balanced and enjoyable; and at is moderate strength it makes a good session ale! As is the case with many English beers, this is best enjoyed at cellar temperature.

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Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick tan head that stays around. Broken rings of lacing stick to glass.

The smell is of dark malt - toffee and earthy/fruty notes emerge from a charcoal smoky background.

The taste is of charcoal smokiness that is well-balanced by toffee, sweetish chocolate and a plum-like fruitiness. Finishes dry.

Medium-bodied and smooth.

A solid, nicely balanced, tasty English stout that is drinkable, even "sessionable".

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Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The woman on the label, presumably the 'Black Wych', is actually green; the beer itself, fortunately, is black... more or less. Its body is devotedly opaque, even when held straight against the light, but flashy auburn highlights do prevail, albeit only along the bottom and only when titled at odd angles. There's nothing better suited to a beer with this appearance than a creamy, mocha coloured head - unfortunately, this doesn't have it.

The aroma, although not teeming with character, offers at least a snippet of a considerable number of scents, none of which are uncustomary (but all of which are highly appreciated) for the style. Included is a pleasantly smokey chocolate, the faint whiff of a particularly roasty coffee, dark fruits, burning wood, and a good deal of black licorice.

The flavour makes its offerings in a similarly thorough yet painfully temperate fashion. A sweet, toffee-laced, nougaty maltiness is coerced by a smokey, heavily roasted element. Hints of dark berries, black licorice and milky chocolate gently seem onto the palate. The taste might more readily be likened to smoked meats than it would a decadent dessert.

But both of those comparisons would be a great stretch given the tame and tepid makeup of the beer. My personal plea would have been for a little more malt - not so much for the flavour's sake as for the mouthfeel's. This biscuity, buttermilk texture could use a nice drizzle of caramel syrup if it is be considered anything more than simply quaffable.

I wouldn't consider the beer to be spell binding (bear in mind that this style of stout rarely is). Those stout lovers with insatiable appetites and the indulgent sweet-tooth might find themselves left with much to be desired, but this should be a well considered option for those who enjoy a mild mannered, easily quaffed pint of stout. It didn't put any spells on me, but I'd still say it's worth a look if you're one to dabble in the black arts.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11th Beer from this brewery reviewed by me, well I do live in the UK and their many bottled beers are for sale all over the place.

Brown 500ml bottle best before 22 Oct 08, drank 07 Aug 08. Poured one and a half times into my Westmalle Trappist Challice.

Dark, very dark indeed. Tan head which didn't stay very full for long.

Aroma of burnt malts, liquorice and a rich fruit cake.

The taste is burnt malts, liquorice and without any rich fruit cake.

The mouthfeel is a little watery for a Stout, no great depth.

I liked it however, the weak mouthfeel didn't detract from the overal taste or enjoyment. If the head had stayed and there was more 'meat' in the body, then this would have been a very, very good beer.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours very dark - black, with a brown head. It takes some time before the head dissipates and then there are nice lacings.

S: Very hard roasted malt!!! But also chocolate and coffee.

T: Hard roasted malt, and some chocolate and coffee - much like the smell, but then there is also a strong dryness due to the bitter hops. I can also sence some fruit (apples)
The aftertaste is very dry with nice bitterness from the hops.

M: Very dry and creamy.

D: This is a nice stout, but not the best. I'll probably buy this one again.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkish brown, which is surprisingly clear when held to light. Head is a pancake bubbled crackle of milk chocolate dust. Not much lacing unfortunately; body is thick but not insane. Not bad.

Very intense sweet toffee nose. Very sweet and quite rich, with darker notes of dried figs or raisins, but certainly nothing dark or particularly burnt, a very sweet and subdued nose for a stout.

Very mild on the palate too, but very smooth and pleasant. Initial soft powdery chocolate, moving quietly to a light roasted grainy husk character. Very nice and very subtle. Mouthfeel is undoubtedly a little thin, but it's not bad.

An extremely drinkable mild English stout, smooth and inoffensive, with just enough character to keep you interested. I do like a nice drinkable English stout, and this is a good example.

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Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coming in a 500ml brown bottle, filtered. BB 16/08/2007, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: nearly black in colour, with a thick, tan-hued frothy and fluffy beer head that patiently settles down and leaves even sheets of lacing along the way...
S: pronounced dark/black maltiness upfront, full of sweet nuts, chocolate brownie and cold filtered coffee, a tart-sweet edge of dark fruits and a light touch of flowery hops at the back... good-bodied, smooth and sweet, true to the style of English oatmeal/sweet stout, albeit slightly simplistic.
T: upfront is a smooth entry of bitter-sweet oats, chocolate malts, and roast nuts, backed by a rich flow of roastiness of coffee beans and tobacco... leaving a lively dried-spice bitterness, fruity hops, a touch of ground licorice-root, and faint pheonol lingering at the back of the tongue... The bitter-sweet theme receives a good backing from the acidic tinge of roasted malts, as well as the ever-lasting dryish, chewy, tannic, yet aromatic bitterness...
M&D: very smooth, due to the oats in the mix, I suppose, while the carbonation is attenuated, ideal for this style. Overall, this stout benefits from a good length of hop bitterness on top of the usual presence of roastiness, making it a quaffable stout with an enticing kick to hook the palate.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass nov14 2009

A black with half a glass of mocha head with decent retention and lots of lace.

S I don't get too much of anything just some dark malt and mild coffee

T again not a whole lot going on but more then the smell by having a little chocolate added to the coffee, still not that strong

M a little bitter with a silky feel pretty good in this department

D better then average but not by much

I had to try this one for the label alone, looked much better then it was, oh well still worth trying

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Photo of bark
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is black with a tint of wine red. The head is beige and two fingers high.

The smell is soft with notes of dry, roasted malt, coffee and some vanilla.

The carbonation is creamy with small bubbles that tickled my tongue.

The taste is somewhat sweet with roasted, velvety malts. There are some fruity hops and a full-bodied taste. The long aftertaste is creamy with some delicate bitterness, coffee and toffee.

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Photo of DrJay
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark with ruby highlights. Thin lace of tan head on top. Roasted barley really comes through in the aroma, along with a sweet caramel-like smell. Dark malts are prominent in the flavour, with some grainy roasted notes. The combination of malt and hop bitterness reminds me a bit of dark chocolate. Moderate sweetness provides balance for the drying effect of the roasted barley. Medium/low carbonation, medium body. Finish is slightly dry on the tongue, but with a lasting maltiness also present.

500 mL clear glass bottle, best before date on back label.

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Photo of Viggo
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark red/brown, huge thick tan head forms, nice lacing, good retention, certainly looks like a stout. Smell is sweet, some caramel, coffee/chocolate roast, fruits, interesting. Taste is light and sweet, some toffee, licorice, bit of roast, other wise nothing, very weak in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Not very pleasant, watery, avoid.

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

This is a nearly black beer, thick and almost solid in color. The head begins very dense and tan, but falls quickly into a thin and wispy sheet. The aroma is quite nice. Smells of slightly burnt and heavily roasted barley are straightforward and wonderful. There's a bit of fruit and a little coffee and chocolate. Some pepper and a little spice hang in the distance of the aroma. Not bad at all. It's a fairly dry beer, with a little acidic quality. The heavily roasted barley flavor contributes heavily to the beer's character. A little bitterness starts in the mid-taste, and continues through the finish, but is never dominant. There's also a little oily slickness that stays throughout the entire sip. The body is very full and thick, with an incredibly smooth mouthfeel. Good stout.

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Photo of stcules
2.28/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Quite dark, with mahogany reflexes. Beige foam, ok, for the style.
At the smell a light roasted malt, notes of caramel, and maybe a light candy sugar.
At the taste, is is sweeter, with sugary notes more strong, though on the malt/caramel/roasted background. Then dried fruti, and a light tropical fruitiness. A bit too sweet.
Quite boring, not well balanced.
Almost void body.
Too sweet aftertaste. Light roasted.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Like the other Wychwood beers I have tried so far, this is below average. Pours a nice dark color with a slight coffee aroma but the flavor was seriously lacking. Thin and metallic and too fizzy. Maybe this is what a lightstruck Stout tastes like? Damn these clear bottles!

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very dark in colour with a very slight red tinge when held up to the light, but otherwise black. Head is nice and beige but strangely pink. Dense but with large pockmarks up the top, sinking a bit but leaves nice specks of lacing that aren't very thick though. Looks nice and interesting.

Nose is very burnt, with a woody character like oak on there, a lot of sour fruit, plummy and jammy with large espresso bitterness and a hint of spicy vegemite. A bit too sour to be rated as delicious, but pretty nice.

Taste is a bit of a disappointment; some decent bitter stout flavours, over-roasted malt with a bitter cocoa character, some woody flavours as well, mostly pine and maybe a hint of vanilla on the back, but really the palate is a bit flat, with a surprisingly watery character through most of it.

Weakly sour, with a really annoyingly thin feel, really doesn't grip me with flavour or body. Look it's not a BAD beer, just disappoints me with its lack of flavour. It's reasonably drinkable but just falls flat.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a Pint Glass. It looks as though they've replaced the clear bottle with a brown one. That's a plus for sure.

APPEARANCE: Pours a thick medium sized one-finger tan head. Head quickly dissipates into a decent film that hangs around the whole time and leaves some lacing down the glass. Color is pretty much black and it's relatively opaque. No carbonation evident. Very good looking stout.

SMELL: Roasted barley malt, chocolate with a smoky component as well. A bit of toffee in the background too. A slight bit of vanilla comes out as it warms. Very nice and a bit bigger than expected for the style.

TASTE: Roasted brunt malt taste with that smoky component as well. Coffee and bitter espresso there as well, a bit like black coffee. A strong bitter-sweet aftertaste is very appropriate and lingers nicely. Very nice taste profile; complex and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-light body, goes down smooth and finishes very dry. Carbonation is slightly higher than average for the style. No bite. Could be a little thicker and heavier for the style.

OVERALL: This is an excellent stout. One of the better English stouts I've had. I really enjoyed this. It's very drinkable and I had to slow down so I could enjoy it for longer. There are a lot of good things about it, and only the slightly light over-carbonated palate keeps it from being a whopper. I actually compared this next to Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout and I think I enjoyed this one more. Could definitely drink a lot of these. Very well done.

Note: Apparently we used to be able to get this in Ontario. We can still get Hobgoblin I think, but I hear the LCBO has discontinued this brew. What a shame. I'll keep my fingers crossed and have a look around when I'm back home.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice label but I worry about the clear bottle. The beer itself was a
beautiful black colour with purple highlights. This stout was well made and nicely balanced with the focus on easy to drink. Not the biggest stout but with more flavour than most well known Irish pints.
I would buy this again when I need a stout that doesn't make me change to another style after one glass.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's...

Poured completely black - no light gets through even when held up to light... Creamy brown head poured thick and foamy then faded to nice light layer... to dark to see any carbonation... light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Quite strong roasted chocolate maltiness, molasses / dark brown sugar notes, strong coffee, dark tart fruits (blackcurrents, prunes), peppery hop bitterness, light smokey / musty notes..

Taste – Strong roasted malts, creamy dark chocolate with some bitterness, some aniseed notes, tart fruits (blackcurrents, prunes), definite mustiness, some oat traces just come through, some light molasses sweetness, nice peppery hops, light burnt toffee notes...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... Full bodied. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent and well balanced example of a stout.... Recommended !!

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Photo of BigBry
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First product from Wychwood I have seen and tasted. Clear 500 ml bottle embossed with Wychwood around bottom and broom riding witch on shoulder. Black liquid that poured to a full tan head with large bubbles, almost had a bit of cascade action happening. It has an aroma of burnt caramel and coffee, strong but not overpowering. Taste is OK, but not really what I was expecting. Very bitter and hoppy, almost harsh when you expect a smoother body. Had a lingering sourish after taste.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before July 20 2015. The label describes this one as a porter rather than a stout, but as far as I'm concerned those are pretty much the same thing to begin with. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep, brownish-black cola colour with some crimson highlights; topped with just under an inch of dense, creamy beige head. It dissipates, slowly but surely, over the next handful of minutes, resulting in a modest collar and a full swath of lace sweeping around the glass. The aroma is decidedly sweet and malty, with toffee, toasted nuts, raisins and roasted barley being the most prominent of its contributors. There is also a slight hint of baker's chocolate and licorice.

After a few sniffs, I was getting a little worried that this one would be too sweet - but the first sip puts that fear to rest. Roasted malts, caramel and dark roast coffee are the first descriptors that come to mind, with another hint of baker's chocolate, equally subtle as it was in the aroma. It finishes earthy and leafy, with an almost acrid burnt/roasty coffee bean bitterness lingering into the aftertaste before fading quickly. Rather dry. On the light side of medium-bodied, with restrained carbonation that gives this one a silky, luxurious mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 3.75, a B+. Wychwood's Black Wych is a proper English-style dark ale - a bold malt bill that takes centre stage, but is kept in check by a combination of roasted notes and the leafy English hop bitterness. Combine that with an enjoyable mouthfeel and relatively low abv, and you've got the recipe for one highly serviceable session porter. This is not an especially remarkable beer, but I have no major objections and it's definitely one of the better products I've tried from this brewery over the years.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally available in Cowtown, along with the Hobgoblin again.

I like the design of the bottle, the witch of the Wychwood logo on the neck label and cap, the embossed logo on the bottle, and mildy seductive witch on the label (according to individual tastes I suppose, although she does look strikingly similar to Helena Bonham Carter), holding up the toad ready for brewing whatever comes next.... The clear bottle is a bit of of turn-off though.

Poured from a 500 ml clear bottle, a dark coffee coloured body, with a small creamy beige head that settles to a thin cap and leaves some slight lacing. Dark mahogany highlights when held up to direct sunlight. Smells of light roasted malt, some licorice and coffee, a touch of chocolate, but all very faint and watered down. I tried a new bottle from the one I originally reviewed, and found it far more flavourful and robust than from my first sample. Starts out with dry roasted malts, and quickly picks up a chocolate sweetness in the middle, finishing with a sticky hybrid of sweet malt, chocolate and licorice. Dry espresso and almost a burnt character come out on the aftertaste, a little bit of charcoal. Creamy smooth mouthfeel with decent body, but light enough to make it enjoyably quaffable. I'm rather glad I went back and tried another one of these over a year later, I had picked up a sub-par bottle initially, and had all but written this stuff off. A decent stout, all things considered, even though I still have to get over the stigma of the clear bottle.

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Black Wych from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.68 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
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