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Southampton Grand Cru | Southampton Publick House

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Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru
403 Ratings
Southampton Grand CruSouthampton Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Southampton Publick House
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 403 |  Reviews: 292
Photo of Sixpoint
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My sample poured with a mousse-like head on top of a deep golden effervescent elixir.

Candied aroma with spice. Hops absent.

Pickled spicy yeast flavor. Slight warming in the finish. Full-bodied caramel and spice dominate upfront, but beer finishes dry. This is indeed a marvel.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Beer shows its cajones and complexity, but does not flaunt it.

On one level I find this beer to be incredibly complex, on the other, it is remarkably simple. The four elements shine through in their glory, but malt and yeast take the center stage.

Too drinkable. I declare it illegal. Believe the hype.

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Photo of nickss
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellowy-orange hue with a nice 2 finger rocky head that is quite audible as it slowly subsides.

A crisp, refreshing aroma hits the nose as you inhale. Semi-sweet, but not sickeningly so. At first, a bready yeast plays lead role, then you begin to notice the hops. As the brew warms, the orange becomes impossible to miss. As I said... crisp, at first... but this beer has one of the most deep and complex aromas I have ever come across. Stunning.

Upon first sip, coriander is distinctly noticeable, with a strong orange presence as its mate. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, and perhaps a bit hot. Nothing a few months of aging wouldn't fix. Some pepper and spice lingers on the tongue and in the nostrils after sipping.

Tight and crisp... loads of carbonation, as is typical of this style. Still... I could use a bit less.

Certainly enjoyable and drinkable, but the strong alcohol in the flavour prevents this one from being a quaffer (not that you would want it to be).
Still, all in all quite a nice brew... although I will usually be able to find other brews I like just as much for less than $13.

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Photo of DrJay
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy orange/caramel colour with a bit of rocky, nearly white head that settled to a thin skim. Thick solid lace with decent retention. Sweet, fruity aroma with distinctive clove spiciness. Maybe a bit of pepper and anise. Sweetness in the flavour really brings out the spiciness - coriander and anise are prominent. There's a light orange citrus quality as well. Light alcohol and warmth in the off-dry finish. Full bodied with carbonation on the light side, making it seem a bit heavy. Very nice. I'll be putting a couple bottles of this away to see how it ages.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle bought at Julio's, Marlboro, MA. 2006 vintage, corked and caged. Epic battle ensued to get the bottle uncorked, finally had to use a corkscrew, looked like the cork was glued in place. Anyways, on to the beer...

Carefully poured in a Rapscallion glass, formed an airy 2" light beige head, with a veritable tornado of bubbles in the glass, causing the head to snowcone above the rim. Head finally settles after plenty of time for me to do some BFGuide catching up, and leaves tons of heavy lace in its wake, above the slightly cloudy coppery amber brew.

Nose is is a miasma of scents, spicy yeasts, caramelly sweetness, light fruitiness, some mustiness lurking as well. Taste starts with the sweeteness, but quickly the spices seem to tickle the taste buds one by one, increasing in intensity. Close has a citrus zest to it, and a light alcohol warmth is the parting blow. Mouthfeel and drinkability are superb. This recipe hasn't lost anything in the past couple batches.

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Photo of bwyker
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a musty golden orange with about a half-inch of off-white foam. Moderate retention, fine lacing around the glass. Smells of banana bread and clove. Taste is similar, yeasty banana spiced with coriander and pepper. Good amount of carbonation. Light body, smooth start to finish. Moderate drinkability; however, I did have this late in the evening, so it’s difficult to judge. Nothing spectacular stands out, but very good overall.

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Photo of RedChrome
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body of this beer had a clear light to medium orange color. A thick fluffy white head was about an inch and shrank to half an inch before staying the whole time. Lots of small carbonation bubbling up the glass. Lacing coated the glass and then ran away leaving thick clumps.

A nice biscuit aroma rose from the glass. The corriander and orange peels, come through in a nice blend on the back of a second whiff. There are other woody herb aromas which I can't identify completly. A very nice blend without an overpoweringly strong alcohol scent.

A nice flavor of spiced bread hit the palate first. There is a subtle hint of the corriander and orange peel, but it doesnt live up to the notes of these in the aroma. A medium stregthed quality of alcohol content leaves a nice warming sensation on the back of the throat.

A very nice body. Silky smooth, without being watery. An average burst of carbonation helped the flavors against the sides of the mouth.

A fantastic beer. This is definitly one to take your time and enjoy. This wouldn't exactly fit with any food specifically, but would be a perfect beer to enjoy with a bitter cigar on a nice relaxing evening outside near a fire. A very fine offering from a nice brewer.

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Photo of phisig137
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cork pops out of a fresh bottle with almost no pop, and worries me. Upon a vigarous pour, I find that this is well carbonated, and shows a clear golden orange color, with a thick two finger head. Nice retention slowly makes way, leaving behind a blanket of foam and good lacing.

Aroma is quite spicy, both from yeast and from added spices. Also has a slightly sugary aroma. No particular spice can be picked out of the aroma (despite them being named on the label), but blend nicely into one another.

Flavor is very spicy and dry. Good malt body up front, and the finish is heavily dominated by the spice, this time more from the added spices. Sharp burn on the finish. No alcohol detected. Becomes slightly more sweet as it warms. Mouthfeel is heavy and full, with agressive carbonation. Drinkability is good, when considering the alcohol. Burn of the spice does drop the drinkability though... that spicy burn lingers for quite some time.

I'm glad that I bought this bottle. In the past, I'd had some negative experiances with corks from SouthHampton. This bottle had signs of slight leakage from the cork, but did not exhibit any off flavors. Even though it is $12.50, I'd buy it agian.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle I bought in CT a few months ago. Poured into a Duvel glass with not too much carbonation even though I'm pretty sure it's fresh.

The appearance was good, dark golden orange, clear and covered with a thin white head. The smell is spicy and yeasty, a little orange or tangerine aroma. The bottle states "Ale brewed with Spices (dried orange peel, ground coriander seed, star anise)", so that identifies the orange.

The taste is yeasty and has a spicy bite, a little more bitter after-taste than I prefer. Also a noticeable alcohol presence. It's a lot like La Chouffe would be if orange peel was added to it and more EtOH was noticeable.

Strange note: The front label says it was brewed and bottled in Royersford, PA even thought the back label states "Brewery and Restaurant in Southampton, NY". Guess that's why it's becoming more widely distributed.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear orangey caramel with a fluffy white head that laces some.
the nose is incredible... creamsicle and herbal corriander dominate, with caramel and a little bit of wood, yeast and faint licorice. not an off aroma to be found, just well balanced pleasing smells.
the taste has much of the same charcter, orange creamsicle, with a larger licorice component, pineapple, melon, clove, corriander, oak-y vanilla, and a little yeasty candy sugar-ish type flavor. surprising bitterness at the finish cleans this up well.
fuller medium body with active delicate carbonation nicely compliments the flavor.
good drinkability, but it is a sipper with it's high, but well masked abv, and reasonably balanced sweetness. this was really pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Darkale
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting for a long time for Southampton's beers to reach Virginia, and they are finally crossing the Mason-Dixon line. This is one of the beers that I was most eager to taste, given the rave reviews it gets.

Belgian Strong Pale is not my most favorite style, but I have to admit that this is exceptional. Deep and fruity, with a thunderous sweetness that lingers... until a final little snap of hops closes every sip. How nice to have a beer that can stay with you from the beginning to the end of your evening.

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Photo of Gavage
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1" head that fall to a thick surface foam. A spot or two of lacing developed.

Smell: a pleasant fruity and spicy combination.

Taste: caramel, ripe grapes, apples, coriander, yeast, and alcohol are easy to detect. Definitely leaning towards a more complex beer as the tongue is picking up little nuances as it warms.

Mouthfeel: nicely crisp throughout while the aftertaste is brief and flavorful. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: easy to quaff and having several glasses of this is a no-brainer. Great beer here.

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Photo of Schooly
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date on case says September 2010. Good thing I got a few of these...

Dull pop from uncorking didn't sound promising. But when I poured, a huge 3in rocky head filled my Duvel tulip and lasted for about a third of the session. The liquid line was at the top of the Duvel lettering. A steady stream of bubbles streamed from the bottom. The color was a bit darker than I expected (using Duvel as my baseline).

I stuck my whole nose an mouth in the glass and caught whiffs of fresh yeast, spices and and a bit of sourness.

Taste was more yeast and coriander with a bit of hop in the background. The flavors were more of a composite than a smooth blend, with the the yeast, spices, and alcohol each giving off its signatures. The finish was distinguishable anise with an slight alcohol burn and slightly dry finish.

Alcohol warmed bubbles filled my mouth as I suck/gurgled the somewhat thick liquid. The alcohol fizz cleared my nostrils a bit.

I split this with my brother-in-law and glad I did because this fairly full bodied and strong. It would have been tough to finish the whole thing.

Overall a great beer, though a little green IMO. I see this one maturing over the next few years to become quite a fantastic brew once all these components meld together. I can't wait !

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Photo of DogFood11
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from an east coast trip to Boston. This 750 ML bottle poured into a tulip, forms a large whispy off white head that leaves sticky, dragging lace.

This is very complex, starting with the deep toffee and caramel malt backbone. Alcohol in this brew is as blessed as any brew I've had. Warming and complimentary to a rather bold malt presence. Hops are drying and there is some light fruitiness to the beer overall. Butterscotch and other rich hard candies come to mind. Thick mouthfeel, nicely carbonated to counter the almost over rich body. There is a touch of spices, mostly leaning towards citrus and pepper. Overall its a nice mix. Loved it.

Every time I thought there was something that was bothersome another element came into play to slap it down or build it up. Probably the maltiest version of this style I've had and I think it worked.

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Photo of bruachan
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice big bottle with a cork & cage at the brickskeller

the head pours very frothy and sudsy, emitting dry, spicy aromas that meld together in an oaky/aged-smelling package. it's a phenolic brew: spicy, dry and occasionally with ethanol notes. seems like a bigger, much drier version of the double wit—possibly even the same yeast. it's actually fairly bitter

the aroma is the best part, for its complexity, and while it's a nice brew the 9.5% precludes a higher score for drinkability

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Photo of EPICAC
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits. I let it warm a bit and served it in one of my Duvel Tulips.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy golden-orange. A thick, fluffy, off-white head fades to a persistent half-inch layer, leaving fluffy lace that coats the inside of the glass.

Smell: Grainy maltiness, yeast, orange, hints of other fruitiness, coriander, pepper and alcohol. There's a lot going on without seeming muddled.

Taste: Sweet bready malts upfront move into a tart citric sweetness in the center, followed by spicy pepper and alcohol with faint coriander. The peppery spice remains on the tongue creating an almost effervescent sensation while the alcohol warms the throat. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, oily, with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavorful, but perhaps a little too spicy for some.

Overall: Wow, an excellent Belgian Ale with a nice strong spicy character that's balanced well by bready and fruity sweetness.

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Photo of scooter231
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a light copper color, slightly orange, slightly golden, very clear. Some nice head, and some very nice lacing. Smells citrusy, zesty, and some definite spicyness in there. Very Hennepin-like. Taste is also citrusy and bready, and again spicy. Too spicy. Overload of corriander and black pepper, just way too much. Mouthfeel is slick and oily, and thin. For the alcohol content, it's pretty sneaky, but it's too sweet and way too spiced up. And the mouthfeel is kind of unpleasant. Better than the last time I had it, but it still disappoints.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.22/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750mL bottle, corked and caged, into a thin pilsner.

slightly hazy bright orange with some rising bubbles and a thin layer of white head.

exceedingly sweet aroma of sugared and honeyed oranges, with some notes of yeast and a gentle, coriander-like spiciness. other fruit tones peek through: apricots, raisins, plums.

an overwhelming sweetness in the flavor, with notes of raisins, oranges and alcohol. gentle carbonation and a medium-light, smooth feel. high sweetness and alcohol notes limit the drinkability.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy to grab myself a bottle. Pretty sure it was 2006 (couldnt find a date, just guessing based on the bottle).

Pours a copper orange with a big juicy head. Good lacing and head retention. Super fruity and spicy nose. Taste was similar, but had a much stronger dessert wine sweetness that I didn't expect. Initial taste on the palate is similar to the nose, but this lasting sweetness just didnt do it for me.

Great body - like a Rochefort or Westy. Extremely creamy and thick, but not overwhelmingly so.

Highly drinkable.

I really did enjoy this beer. Definitely one to sip and enjoy.

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Photo of Franchise
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a sparkling dark orange that leaves a bubbly body foggy and inviting that has a clingy tan head. The nose is candied orange, wheat, grass, lemon peel, honey, tartness, fresh spicy hop aroma that is elegant and delightful. The taste starts malty, candy fruit, citrus rind bitterness that is rounded out by a clean palate cleansing from the carbonation. The finish is bitter and slightly boozy but that alcohal is smooth a little rough but it is quickly offset by the fruit backbone making this is a phenominal ale one of the best I've had the pleasure of having.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition. A brilliant looking beer. Bright burnt-creme-brulee body with a fluffy and delicate head that lasts throughout the drinking experience. A constant, flame-like stream of bubbles licks up from the bottom of my Duvel glass. The nose has cream, anise, peachy fruits and just a light hint of sweetness. There's a brandy-like essence to the aroma of this beer.

On the palate, initial candi sugar sweetness is pushed aside by light fruitiness. It veers back into sweetness at the mid-palate, and ends with a sharp snap of hop bitterness. The finish is pretty dry. Mouthfilling yet delicate carbonation asserts itself throughout. Hot alcohol is also there -- a bit much for my taste.

Overall, an excellent American beer in a Belgian style. The alcoholic hotness does not detract from the overall enjoyment I got from this beer. Complex, tasty... a winning brew, no question about it. I'd love to see how this tastes in 5 years.

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Photo of Suds
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’d been wanting to try this beer for a while. It was sampled with a few friends just prior to a homebrewing session.
750 ml corked bottle. The beer is an effervescent and slightly cloudy light-orange colored brew. Topped with a thick and puffy white head, this is a brilliantly attractive brew (the lacing is incredible). The aroma is of citrus, spice, and yeast. There’s a fresh bread quality that’s expanded on by orange and coriander. I also swear that I can smell honey, apples, and some funky yeasty wildness. The taste is equally as intriguing. It starts with a light sweetness, followed immediately by a pleasant alcohol warming and the spice complexity. There’s a quiet caramel and roasted grain flavor that also creeps into the taste that seemed to be missing from the aroma. Nice spritzy carbonation. At first, because of the carbonation and aroma, the beer gives the sensation of lightness, in fact, this is a quite full bodied brew. It dries out by the finish, which is flavorful and long lasting. Wonderful.

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Photo of RichThatchr
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had just finished reading Phil Markowski's (Southampton's Brewer) interesting book "Farmhouse Ales" on Saisons and Biere de Garde when I found this at Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, NY. Clearly, the brewer is paying homage to the Trappist/Cistercian monastic brewers and their historic farming counterparts in northern France and Belgium with the brewing of this great ale. I had to stand back to let this one sink in because it was immensely complex and enjoyable.

I poured the deep honey toned ale into my 50cl glass and watched the head rise to a good 3" or so before I tasted it. My first impression was the smell of hops followed by thick creamy malt, and then it spiked like a touchdown ball with the coriander/orange notes that bristled with dryness. I put it down for a while, like I do with most great beers, to see what the effects of oxygen would do it.

I came back to it 10 minutes later and the ale seemed to have become more open, like a great wine from Pommerol would after decanting. How exciting!

My second thoughts were comparing this to another great Belgian style ale also made here in NY: Ommegang Hennepin. The two ales are similar, but I think the Southampton has a little more coriander and body to it.

I nearly finished off the 750ml by myself before I had dinner and I also thought this would be peer to my favorite on draft.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The cork came out of this one with a dull plop. I was a bit put off by this. So, when I poured it, I was anticipating a flat(er) beer. Boy, that was a mistake. I got about 90% head on my first pour. I decided to have a little fun with my error and I got a huge billowing mushroom cap of head to rise up out of my tulip and not a drop ran down the side. When it settled, it was a copper and straw color with a torrent of little bubbles rushing up from the dimple in my tulip. This left behind only a little lace.

Smells of honey and hazelnut with a magnificent dry, spicy yeast. There are also elements of blueberry and banana.

The flavor begins with a with cherry sweetness and a bit of diner roll. This fades into the awesome dry yeast that dried out my tongue. I’m also getting bits of bread dough, coriander, grapefruit and a little banana in the finish.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a great unobtrusive carbonation.

This one’s amazingly easy to drink for the complexity and carbonation. Fantastic!

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Photo of cbl2
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No best by date, though bottle says enjoy now, or cellar for years to come. Mine is 2006, and they've upped the ABV to 9.8 according to the bottle.


Pours a crystal clear, stunning orange brown with 2 inches of tight white lacing that is slow to settle.


Brewed with spices (dried orange peel, coriander seed, star anise), the orange dominates the nose with just a touch of the star anise shining, and hot alcohol.


Slightly coarse mouthfeel, this ale is almost saison like, with its barnyard funk flavors. Definitely spiced, with the orange and anise apparent. Some notes of hot alcohol are present midsip with faint notes of nutty sherry. Finish is syrupy sweet with notes of honey and a drying sensation.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle(2005-room temp) a reddish gold with a large head of foam that dissipates slowly leaving a fine layer.

The smell is all spicy and sweet...caramelly sweet tones dominate my nose.

The taste is very unusual! There are strong orange fruit sour notes mixed in with caramel sweetness and earthiness and a bit of pepper...hmm...and at a hefty 9.5% abv, this "sweet n sour" is in real sipper territory. ;^)

Bottom line: An interesting brew that's worth trying for it's off the beaten track flavours.

Edit: I didn't finish the bottle in my original review and have just done so with the following results:
The taste from the last 3rd of the bottle was still "sweet n sour" but the balance was much improved and...that boosted the drinkablity factor as well. I definitely would try this one again!

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Southampton Grand Cru from Southampton Publick House
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 403 ratings
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