Rugbrød | The Bruery

very good
352 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Halcyondays on 10-05-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 352 | Ratings: 923
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown. Carbonation is slightly excessive.
S- For such a dark beer, I get many aspects similar to a porter or stout. Dark fruits, breadiness, spiciness, and a slight citrus character.
T- Nothing crazy about this beer. Very straightforward, rye flavored ale.
M- Medium, but no residual sweetness.
O- Same as taste. Nothing crazy.

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Photo of clarkm04
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark, deep brown. Very cloudy/unfiltered. A very nice tan head retention.

Smell- The initial smell was truly complex with a ton of great smells including what seemed to be passion fruit. Unfortunately, this dissipated quickly and then there wasn't much smell present at all. A slight bready rye but that was it. Kind of weird in my experience to have a beer start so fragrant and progress to almost no scent from opening the bottle to pouring it into the glass.

Taste- Blunt slightly malty foretaste cascades into a bready mid and after taste. Malty/bready after taste had bits of fruit. Not much more to say about the taste. It wasn't very complex. Just a starting note that descending into the finishing notes.

Mouthfeel- Smooth. Light carbonation on the tongue

Drinkability- Very high

Overall- I thought the beer was ok. I'm glad I was able to drink it but I don't think it's the best that the Bruery puts out.

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Brown ruby with a huge tan head. Clear enough

S-Rye bread, cardamom. Slightly metallic.

T-Really Bready, like dark russian rye bread. Firmly bitter. Toasty malts. D2 Candi syrup. Spicy.

M-Prickly carbonation. Fairly thick for the carbonation. No alcohol heat. Some astringency.

D-An interesting beer. Never had the a danish rye beer before but I wouldn't avoid it if one came my way again

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at rattle and hum in nyc.

Arrives in a snifter with a thin ring of foam and murky brown color. Aroma is spicy rye and phenolic belgian yeast.

Interesting. Rye certainly asserts itself, and the spicy yeast rises forward as well. A bit of a tart green apple finish.

Not my favorite style of beer, too yeast heavy for me, but glad to have tried it.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL champagne style bomber poured into a nonic

Pours a dark burgundy amber color with a chilled haze and a bubbly one finger head that fell quickly. Some delicate lacing left behind.

The aroma is of caramel, raisins, cocoa, plums, brown bread and spicy rye.

Caramel malt and rye form a nice malt base. Belgian yeast adds a signature tang and the rye adds a pleasant spiciness. Plums and raisins and a hint of molasses fill out the rest of the flavor profile.

Dry, roasted malt and rye with a medium body. Some cocoa powder bitterness lingers. An oily, slick mouthfeel that barely touches creamy.

I struggled a bit towards the end of the bottle. The oily nature of the body caught up with me. A nice offering but not something that blew me away.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For as many times as I have had this beer, on draft, in growlers, and from the bottle, it's surprising it was not something I had posted a review on already. All well, guess I was just too busy trying new beers, but this one is a solid standby for me, and my wife was craving this on Sunday. Review is from notes, tasted on 4/17/11.

A: Poured from the 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours a little cloudy or murky, and is a rich ruby red brown color. A half inch of tan head rose, and slowly settled, leaving some slight lacing.

S: The spices come through first in the nose, Rye bread, caramel, wheat bread, as well as some brown sugar.

T: Spicy rye, some toasted bread malts, sweet caramel malts, touch of maple or toffee nutmeg, and yeast. The draft version seems to be a little like a brown ale, more nutty, while the bottle version, the spicy rye comes through more, interesting.

M: Medium mouth feel, smooth, and a little creamy. Medium carbonation, but suits the style.

O: Great Bruery staple, and one I will continue to have on occasion from time to time. I must say that there is a small degree of variability from fresh from the tap, and some bottles. Since it is unfilitered, and bottle conditioned, that can happen I suppose, but that's not a bad statement, since either way, it's a good beer. I prefer the tap version though.

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Photo of Offa
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer struck me as good and interesting, but a bit lacking in depth, lighter than expected, and yet a touch rough and sharp, the elements clashing a bit and not quite harmonious. I had let it age a while but perhaps I should have let it age longer

Cloudy red-brown, it has a huge pale tan head that quickly fills the glass completely, steadily shrinking to a lasting thin foamy top.

Aroma is caramelised rye bread with some caramelised prunes, hint of brown sugar and toasted rye crust.

Taste is light, fruity-yeasty up front with plums, hint of banana and brown sugar. Then, a hint of toasty rye and spice, with dry toastiness and an almost singed character in the finish and aftertaste, with plums, caramelised fruit, hints of sweet-but-bland champagne and fruity wine with sweet cherry. Very light, and slightly lively, in feel and body.

It has some good elements, but actually gets a bit tiresome.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair rye offering, pleasing but not particularly memorable.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle. Relatively simple and modern design with a dark brown background highlighting the name of the brew in a muted orange. Front label notes briefly main ingredients, style, intent, and unfiltered nature of the brew. Back label notes lifespan and serving instructions. Lacks bottling or freshness date, and only shows Alc. by Vol. (8%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Hazy dark brown pour, rich and very generous head, almost overwhelming. Good to medium retention, fair surface memory and some lacing.

S - Good malty nose, spicy rye, touch of caramel, light Belgium yeasty sense.

T - Following the nose, it has a long malty range, good rye sense coated with a thin hint of caramel, a faint fruity touch.

M - Medium body with generous carbonation, a bit short-lived, and a slightly dry finish.

D - Pleasing quaffer, alcohol is well integrated and the overall sense is quite positive.

Notes: Nice one, middle of the road when I think of the stuff I've tried from the Bruery. It's nothing to be looking out for, but nothing that one regrets bringing to the lips.

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Photo of KajII
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Lager glass]

The pour was a murky walnut brown with a large (2-3 finger) light brown creamy head that was mostly lasting, reducing to a small creamy cap which allowed for some excellent streaky lacing.

The aroma was quite complex of a dark bread malt, a very mild resin hop and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of molasses, rye, ginger, dark fruit (raisins and prunes), a mild nuttiness and a hint of alcohol.

The taste was “sweet and chewy” with a hint of molasses and a mild spiciness from the onset with the finish having a touch of rye, a mild dose of dark fruit and a slight alcohol presence. The flavor stuck around for an average duration with a nice sweet rye taste left behind along with a slight alcohol warming sensation.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and a bit syrupy yet still quite creamy in texture with a good strong carbonation.

Overall this was a very unique tasting brew, one that was sweet, bold, and malty, which made this an extremely enjoyable drinking experience...

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Photo of nickd717
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at The Bruery.

A - Pours a slightly hazy medium brown color with a very small off-white head that fades to a ring.

S - Nuts, chocolate and caramel malt, roast, rye, and a phenolic character.

T - Fairly sweet with caramel, nuts, dark rye bread, spices, earth and some medicinal notes.

M - Palate is smooth with low carbonation and medium body.

D - Average or a little better. Overall this is decent, but definitely not one of The Bruery's best.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured slowly into a tulip glass to avoid including the yeast sediment...

A: dark brown ale with thin head that quickly became a line around the edge and a floaty cloud in the middle - not the most enticing coloration for a beer - looked like root beer

S: very faint - maybe some yeast, malt, and caramel - a little fruity

T: first cold sips had a mild astringent quality, a little bitter, not sweet, roasty/malty

M: slightly fizzy with carbonation, left a slight mouthcoat feel

O: eh - I like rye bread and rye whisky, and there was a rye-breadiness to this beer, but it lacked any real distinguishing qualities that would make me want to try it again. I'll amend this review if it grows on me with the second pour or if it changes as it warms. Otherwise, it's probably fair to say that I like beers either a little more toward the bright, crisp end or the dark, stout end of the spectrum. This beer falls more toward the middle, perhaps like a dark barleywine/old ale-type or the like.

Edit: Amended my initial review slightly as I found the beer to be MUCH better tasting on my second pour which was closer to room temperature.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Like many of the Bruery beers I've had, this one has carbonation way out of whack. I had to open it over the sink to prevent a giant mess.

3.5 A: First pour yielded five fingers of head. Took about five poured to get a full glass. Unfortunately, the retention was pretty good so it took a long ass time. Anyway, black color. Frothy light brown head. Forever retention, but minimal lacing.

3.5 S: Big toastiness. Rye earthy spiciness, a bit bready, caramel, and toffee. Not particularly strong or wonderful.

3.5 T: Taste is like the nose, but the proportions are off. Big caramel and toffee. Rye earthiness is a bit subdued. Lots of toastiness again and some nuttiness. Grainy. Not bad, but a bit misdirected.

4.0 M: Medium body. Once the carbonation dissipated enough, the mouthfeel is actually pretty nice. Pretty creamy and smooth.

3.5 D: This beer has some potential. It needs to be cleaned up a bit and given a direction. As it stands now, I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sharing a bottle with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder which I brought back from California. Always love sharing beer with good friends.

Pours a deep red colour, very red, in fact, almost like black cherry juice, with a huge and frothy head of beige bubbles. Not much to the body, especially considering it's 8%. Head leaves little lacing. Love the colour, but I'm a little bemused at the rest of the appearance.

Not a huge amount on the nose, although there's a little acidity and a bit of grainy malt. As it warms a little, there are some odd bubblegum characters, along with some more sophisticated rye notes. But it's not an incredibly robust nose.

Taste is also a little lacklustre, quite a thin body, with overly bombastic carbonation, reasonably weak for the most part before a slight upturn in roasted malt and rye characters on the back. There's an odd acidity running through it, which may be put down to the rye. It's decent, but there's something a little uninspiring about it. Carbonation hurts the feel, and leaves it a little bloating.

I've had better rye beers, and better beers in general. This is just a little too flat, a little too devoid of character to be truly inspiring. Drinkable enough, and the 8% is well hidden, but I was hoping for something much better.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy, murky brown body with little transparency. Virtually no head to speak of with just a thin ring of off-white bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S- Breads, caramel malt, some earthy notes, spice.

T- Very malty, rye comes through a lot. Tastes like liquid bread. Rye, pumpernickel, a definite spice note, but not sure what it is. Very flavorful and earthy.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation. A very thick beer.

O- Rye comes through, but not sure of the beer overall. Not very complex, but interesting in its own way.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love rye beers and I was really looking forward to this and I was really let down. There wasn't much rye flavor in it at all. I'm debating whether or not I should go buy a bottle of it to see if its different.

Served on draft at a local beer bar. Beer is brown and really hazy. Forms a thin broken head with low carbonation and almost no lacing. Looks fine, not sure what I expected but this is approximately it.

Aroma is a mixture of sweet and roast. Was not expecting the roast at all. I can't pick up any rye character at all.

Beer is smooth and finishes completely. There is a nice sweetness up front but then the beer falls flat. There is almost nothing after that. No rye flavor, a slight roast but I don't even care about that. Its a little too thin for my tastes and this beer is really boring me.

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Photo of snpub540
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown hue with some amber highlights when held to light. Creamy brown colored head that left some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell was very much of roasted malts. Thats it.

Taste was slightly rye and the rest being roasted malt flavor. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel felt slightly thin. Drinkability is good and the alcohol is hidden and doesn't come up in taste.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The best feature of this beer. Beer gushed up like a slow champagne when I opened it. Glowing brown with a fizzing head that lasts and lasts and finally settles into a thin layer of tiny bubbles.

S: Can't really pick much out here but some bready malts.

T: Just when you think this beer is going to be Belgian-sweet, the rye comes in for the save. A little bitter, followed by a little spiciness, and finishes with just a touch of caramel.

M: Lots of carbonation and fairly thick for a rye ale.

D: This beer is a little too robust (in the sense of breadiness and carbonation) for the style and ABV. I had trouble finishing the 750 over a number of hours.

Overall, I'd choose others from the Bruery's fine selection before picking this one up again. You do get your money's worth though.

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Photo of samie85
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a cola color with a three fingers of cappucino-colored foam. This bottle was a bit of a foamer/gusher.

S-Smells of chocolate and a bit and some distinct rye notes with earthy hops.

T-Chocolate and roasted malt with spicy rye and a slightly alcoholic and bitter finish.

M-A little on the thin side with low carbonation with a decent, slightly sticky feel.

D-Pretty easy drinking for the ABV, and the fact that is a rye-based beer. This is probably my favorite rye beer to date.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Liquid is a sort of dark sienna with faint cordovan and ruby around the edges - color is subtle and difficult to evaluate in this dim setting. A thick creamy finger of desert sand foam persists and clings to the sides leaving behind a sticky, thin, even layer of lacing. Very thin legs are suspended just above the foam. Excellent head retention overall.

The aroma is simple but intriguing - a really unique mix of rye and Belgian yeast - sort of a malty sourdough starter fed with rye flour. Tangy, and almost salty in a way.

The palate entry is tart and bready with hints of sesame and buttermilk. Faint pepper and pumpernickel in the finish, along with some bitterness. Rye is a little rough as it isn't balanced by any sweetness.

Smooth, medium bodied, and well carbonated.

Best served with food (a strong cheese pairing at the least) as otherwise it becomes something of a trial to finish.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. No dating info but this is cellarable for up to 2 yrs so should be good. It was a dark caramel in color. It didn't gush but once it hits the glass the foam just starts building and keeps on going. Even with a moderate pour half of the glass was foam. Took a long time to settle enough to get a drink and then kept a constant thick foam cap. Excellent thick slow sliding lace. Way over carbonated.

The aroma was chocolate powder, spicy rye, sweet malt and some clove. Slightly dry in the nose. The taste follows the aroma and while not bad just didn't excite me. Needed more of the rye to come thru for my taste. Not bad but didn't blow me away like some other rye's. Moutfeel was a mess as it is overcarbonated and was constantly belching and getting full feeling.

Overall, was good but not great and severely over carbonated (seems to be a thing with the Bruery as several I've had lately had carb issues). Not avail in TX so shipped from Indy. Rotation - might try it on-tap or if it came in 12oz format but really no desire for another bomber of it. [N;O]

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split a 750ml bottle; poured in a stemless snifter.

A: Slow gusher. I had to really sit and wait for this one to calm down (10 min.) before I finally had more beer than head in the glass. Dark red body with a huge off-white head.

S: Nice spicy rye right up front. I do love a rye beer that actually has rye flavours in it! A bit of mexican oregano and cane sugar in the back; mild neutral hops.

T: Kind of falls apart. All the flavours from the nose are there, but the fail to work together. Everything is pretty haphazardness and in the end, all I can taste is booze.

D: See taste.

Overall: This beer started with a good nose and just couldn't hold it together. I love rye beers, I really do. I like the idea of doing a different sort of rye, but this has a sort of poor homebrew taste to it. C'mon Bruery, I expect much more from you.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 version update:

A: Medium dark murky brown with a very thick pancake batter head (at least 2 fingers of it) retention is quite good and lacing is superb.

S: Belgian spicy yeast and subtle rye bread meed orange peel.

T: Complex rye bready sweetness and molasses intertwine with muted spicy earthy flavors. It's got a nice balance of sweet and dry and a perfect level of carbonation.

M: very balanced.

O: This seems to be done quite well but overall I have to say I find the flavors just sort of muddled together with out making themselves very interesting.


A: This one pours a medium brown color and has a foamy off white head. It has good head retention.

S: I smell sweet toffee and caramel. The beer definitely has a true rye quality on the nose as well... pastrami on rye minus the pastrami.

T: There is a fair amount of rye seed bitterness... strange. Coco powder and a dark chocolate bitterness. Not a ton of richness on the palate, this beer finishes rather dry. Tons of carbonation as well I'm thinking a bit too much. Its hard to discern flavors because there is an explosion of froth in the mouth. Like eating a mad dog foaming bubblegum (only very little flavor). baking soda rye beer.

M: tons of carbonation very frothy.

d: The carbonation takes away from the drinkability. Its not bad though, Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of popery
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Spicy and fruity, Rugbrod has a big malty presence. The flavors are richer than the abv would indicate, which is always good. The yeast notes are a lot more Belgian than I was expecting. It reminds me of a smallish quad. Interesting sour finish to a mouthful of dark stone fruits and spicy malt. The beer is a bit too carbonated for me, but it looks very nice and the carbonation fades with time.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Platinum Liquor, North Strathfield and poured into a Mikkeller goblet.

Very deep brown appearance with a cream, well formed, head of foam that measured 2cm before settling at about a quarter of that for the entire sipping.

Smell is of strawberries initially, turning to dark fruits like figs and plums. Also a little bit of port makes an appearance. It avoids the usual rye aroma.

The typical rye flavour is absent in the taste as well. Instead it is a dark fruity flavour, even a little like fortified wine.

Mouthfeel is big for the size, the finish is boozy however, especially as you delve deeper into the bottle.

Overall a good winter warmer, but the booze wins out in the end. Certainly complex and gets rid of the usual prejudices that you may have towards rye beers.

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Photo of ccrida
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet, Rugbrød is dark caramel brown with a tight tan head that leaves fairly heavy lace.

Smell is weird, spicy rye, cocoa powder and fruity, not sure if that is from hops or esters though, kind of grape/melon. The fruitiness grew on me though, and was my favorite aspect of this beer, given it that Belgian character I love.

Taste is spicy for sure, again with the mix of cocoa powder and fruit. Kind of weird, mish-mashy. I'm not sure I've had a "Julebryg-style dark rye" before, but it reminds me of some kind of Belgian rye porter.

Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, medium bodied.

Drinkability is okay, I can't say I love it, but it's not terrible either. A little to kitchen sink for me. But it's fairly smooth for the size.

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Rugbrød from The Bruery
3.88 out of 5 based on 923 ratings.
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