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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged | The Bruery

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
110 Reviews
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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel AgedSmoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2014 Vintage is 14% ABV

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 03-19-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
110
Ratings:
620
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
27.74%
 
 
Wants:
109
Gots:
234
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 620
Photo of PeaJayTheGr8
5/5  rDev +21.7%

I'm a novice when it comes to craft beers, especially BBAs but I know that I have found my new favorite style of beer and this brand delivers.

I love the combination of the BBA and smoke. I've tried a couple of BBAs and smoked beers but haven't had a combo until this one. I could drink this one and never have another craft beer and be satisfied. But I will be diving into more.

If you want to take advice from a novice, there you have it. Great brew!

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Photo of Agent1
4.99/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WARNING: If you do not enjoy dark ales, maybe avoid this sexy beast. This is a VERY bold beer, and not for the faint of heart. Highly recommended if you enjoy Belgian Quads or extreme, experimental Porters.

Appearance - Beautiful creamy brown/ beige head. Large pockets of coalescing bubbles form while allowing this to warm. A dark brown, almost black elixir! Head retention is impressive, too.

Smell - Seriously incredible. Butterscotch, vanilla bean, butter, subtle peat moss, figs, caramel, licorice, smoke, wood, prunes, cream/ milk, molasses, bitter hops (hard to distinguish).

Taste - Fig jam, butterscotch, milk chocolate, hazelnut, licorice root, whiskey/ bourbon (obvious given all the barrel aging), overripe plums, dry smokey wood notes, subtle peat moss (similar to lightly peated scotches such as Oban or Laphroaig), fermented blackberries, molasses, roasted malts, rich barley, all tied together with a deep alcoholic burn...which is fuckin' superb. SO much going on here. Again, not for the faint of heart. An incredibly succulent and smokey finish. It's somewhat shocking to think that the booze is barely noticeable at 14% abv, even under all the layered flavor.

Mouthfeel - Excellent carbonation. Very lively and bubbly, yet still thick and syrupy. Smooth and velvety on the palate. Super soft and sticky, like toffy.

Overall - This is easily one of my favorite dark ales of all time, hands down. It is an incredible experience every sip. Also, I should mention, this is definitely a beer worthy of pairing food. Perhaps a medium rare steak or a sharp cheese. Speaking of pairings, while drinking this bottle I decided to open some aged cheddar from Balderson. Overall, this is also a bottle in need of commitment. It is the equivalent to that of a bottle of wine, which also warrants pairing food with it and milking it slowly. To sum this brew up in a few words: complex, deep, hearty, and rich. Definitely a trip!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Five ounces for seven dollars at Tria Taproom in Philadelphia, served in a wine glass.

Appearance: 3.75 Dark, thick, rich. Barely any head. What you expect from a beer of this kind.

Smell: 5 WOW! Scotch, peat. Complexity, so much going on- smoke, acridity, vinous notes, coal. Stunning. Dirty chimney. Dark chocolate, cranberry, spice. Barrel, rye whiskey. Stunning.

Taste: 5.00 Bourbon, chocolate, truffles (Belgian bonbons), umami. Imagine a black-footed pig and one of the midgets from Willow foraging for truffles deep in the forests of Italy back in the 15th century. They are both sweaty, hungry and inspired, determined. They have walked through miles of dirty trails covered in mud, sprouting mushrooms and decaying tree parts. Their clothes are soaked in charcoal shadows from the fires they lit along the way. The pig and the midget are this beer.
Peaty finish, brown butter swirled around. A tad of mezcal as well, and spice from the rye.

Mouth: 4.00: Prickly, beautiful carbonation, well balanced. “Just the right amount of bubbles”. Medium body, full flavor. Nice smoke touch on the throat at the end of the sip, but never overwhelming. A little thin around the edges, that’s the only low point.

Overall: 5.00 Drinkability here is off the charts,. 14% but you can’t taste it. No booze at all. Smooth. A truly outrageous beer. Smoke, sweetness, barrel. So close to perfection!

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Photo of Dusten2015
4.77/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle

L: Dark, but not pitch black, nice thick head about a finger tall, khaki colored which dissipated quickly.

S:Fantastic , figs, raisins, woody/oaky, dates, slight vanilla.

T: Fantastic, almost exactly like it smelled, and just so damn smooth. i imagine it mellowed out over the 2 years, which may have led to the smoothness.

F:Velvety, slightly oily, mouth coating, but quick to disperse.

O:I wish i had more bottles of this, and a fresh one to compare. This beer was fantastic and i hope to find more in the future.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nothing wrong with this beer. Me likey, me likey, me likey long time.. Sorry I don't know what got into me. Pitch black pour with a very thin mocha cap. Coffee and chocolate and of course bourbon in the aroma. Bourbon in the taste, in the best possible non-overpowering way. Great balance for a BA, more should try and obtain this type of balance. Thick pleasant mouthfeel that carries all the great roasty toasty flavors.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.64/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look - Pitch black, opaque
Smell - Bourbon, wood, oak, smoke, vanilla
Taste - Follows the nose beautifully. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, wood, chocolate, roast
Feel - Nice slick creamy mouthfeel, easy drinking, smooth

Overall - Super enjoyable! An excellent beer.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%

May 2014 bottle, opened Sep 2014

A - Deep midnight brown body with a thin rim of light mahogany highlights. Dark khaki head has nice retention and low lace.

S - Roasted caramelized steak, molasses, touch of anise, dark breads, leather, earthy charred oak, spent coffee grounds, and the smell of your clothes the day after a bonfire.

T - Bacon, oak, vanilla ice cream, molasses, burnt toffee, caramel, chocolate creamsicle, medium roast coffee latte, charred oak. The finish is outrageous: pure, thick coffee milkshake that lasts a lifetime with edges campfire smoke.

M - Fantastically smooth with outstanding staying power. Medium-full body.

O - The finish on this beer is absolutely incredible; hands down one of the best I've ever had. Extraordinarily complex for a smoke beer.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.62 Smooking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.75 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.54 10% 0.45
S - 4.35 4.50 4.65 4.65 4.63 4.65 4.57 20% 0.91
T - 4.40 4.45 4.60 4.76 4.76 4.80 4.63 40% 1.85
M - 4.60 4.60 4.60 5.00 4.82 4.70 4.72 10% 0.47
O - 4.50 4.50 4.70 4.80 4.50 4.75 4.63 20% 0.93

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Photo of dsa7783
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cloverleaf Tavern. Excellent, strong-bodied, flavorful, immensely decadent brew. This is truly a delight as well as a sipper. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Vintage 2014.

Deep walnut brown, nearly black, not an inch of hue out of this body color coming out of this at all. Head manages an espresso brown color, slightly dark and mocha, only a finger, but keeps well. Dissolves and leave a nice simple tan 2 milimeter collar while settling, non oily top and a whisp of bubbles.

Fantastic aroma. Mild sensing smoked malts, hints of campfire like wood, and mild roast. Deep dark ganache and thick like chocolate qualities, deep woody oak notes almost sensing tree sap quality and stickyness. Excellent balanced and tame and wonderfully in control. Real inviting.

This is not what I expected on first sip. Deep rich sweetness. Thick notes of grape and grappa like flavors but with far thicker dark malt. This is sweet like a solid brandy, but manages more classic roast to keep it in check. Thick roast coating, if there could be said such a thing for the mouthfeel. Mild sensing embers of smoke trickle on the finish, almost as if the fire hits with little pockets of pepper and ash. Chocolate dark and smoked brandy qualities, low phenolic, just a touch of medicinal though creeping out but luckily very tiny. Dark cocoa powder hits over time, mixing wonderfully with the ashen like finish and flavors on the end wonderfully. Not boozy hot at all which is shocking, until it passes the aftertaste and hits in the stomach very slowly and totally unaware.

This is pretty impressive, but it's also quite sweet but tolerable. If the alcohol and sugars could be dialed down this would be extremely impressive.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: very dark. Opaque. Not seeing any light get through this bad boy. Nice thick chocolate head esp for the high abv.
Smell: vanilla bourbon smoky chocolate. Damn this is decadent in a great way.
Taste: more of the same goodness as the nose. This is simply delicious.
Overall: awesome treat. Well done. Kudos.

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Photo of Resuin
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. I am pretty sure that this is from 2012 but I do not see a bottling date.

Appearance: Pours a deep, deep brown/black and leaves just a hint of really dark brown head, which fades to just the rim.

Smell: Bourbon comes out first, followed by spicy, smoked meats, chocolate, molasses, more smoke. The smoke and bourbon aromas intermingle well and are pretty well balanced with each other.

Taste: The smokiness comes out first, followed by some vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, caramel, and then the bourbon dominates the back end. Plums and figs. A good, well balanced amount of smoke. I swear there is just a hint of spiciness to this one as well. The alcohol is hidden amazingly well, probably the best I've found.

Mouth-feel: Thick, creamy mouth-feel with a medium carbonation. I think the higher carbonation then expected gives this one a slightly different feel from counterparts. Finishes smooth and smoky.

Overall: This is a well-crafted brew. The smokiness really compliments the other major flavors and masterfully masks the alcohol within. From the smoked meats of the aroma to the nice bourbony finish, this is a top-to-bottom delicious beer.

 1,192 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing so that this one gets a score since I usually use "Hads" these days. However, this one I liked so much that I'm pleased to be reviewing it.

Pours black/brown with a nice dark khaki/malted brown head. Nice looking and pours with a bit of a viscous "feel" to it.

Nose is pleasant sweet dark chocolate, roasted grain, vanilla tones and integrated smoke. Some "sweet jerky" notes to it all around.

Mouthfeel is rich, full, bold and creamy. The balance on this one is spot one.

Flavor profile is great and it's balanced and fully integrated. Sweet beef jerkey, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, coffee and more all integrated in a mouthfilling balanced brew.

Nothing stands out and hits you over the head and yet you can break the flavor componants apart, if you choose. Just a delicious verson of Smoking Wood. This is the one. Nice job. Perfect with BBQ and other meats. Was also nice with dessert and could be a sipper, as well.

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Photo of MDHopster
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

A) black with small cream head by time it arrived at table in 10 oz goblet. Draft serving.

M) silky but with alcohol burn

S). Strong bourbon aroma of oak and vanilla

T) strong bourbon favors of oak and vanilla, coffee aftertaste.

I've really taken to rye beers and barrel aged beers lately,esoecially bourbon barrel aged brews, and so far this is one of the best I've tasted.

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Photo of Beejay
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

2014 Edition.

A: Deep jet black in the glass with coffee and cream colored head.

S: Huge hit from the bourbon. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla come right out. Rich caramel maltiness, and a dark earthiness round out the aroma, but the bourbon barrel rocks on through. In the very finish there is a nice hint of smoke.

T: Malt, bourbon, and smoke. Man this beer is tasty. Nice malt richness, enough bitterness to keep it from cloying, and a deep luxurious smoke flavor. Not sure wht type of smoke they used, but often times with Cherry malt it comes off a little too sweet, in this case the smoke is dense, rich, and counteracts the velvety goodness that is in this beer. The bourbon is a little more subdued than I would have thought from the smell, but it is still fairly present. The booze is well hidden in this one.

M: Rich, thick, and malty. Carbonation is a medium and helps to balance out the rest of the body.

O: Overall, just a damn fine brew.

 964 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dfernandez77 for this bottle in a recent trade. Big bomber split into two snifters.

The pour is black trending towards black. Minimal carbonation. Nose is smokier than expected, heavy smoke, hints of barrel, plenty of barrel & a bit of chocolatte. Had a couple of weeny-smelling brews lately, this, this isn't for the faint of heart.

Rye Barrel Aged Smoking Wood brings out the best of the Bruery Augean Stables. Smokiness is present but not overwhelming, instead set off beautifully against a ton of vanilla & big roast. Bourbon is complementary & tickles the back of the aftertaste. Thick chocolate rises from the surface of the brew like Excalibur when it warms. Big & chewy. Solid. Contains no alcohol, so it's easy to drink by the gallon.

Wow. I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers, but this hits the bulls-eye. A beer with layer upon layer that's easy to drink despite the stupidnessly ABV...this is an excellent beer that borders on the elite. Fantastic. Lovin' every sip of it

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Photo of gshak
4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very well made beer, a shame that it will no longer be available. Anyhoo...
A - Has that big beer look - 0 carbonation, 0 head..just sits there wallowing in its self-glory of being a 14% badass sumabitch
S - Has that big beer smell - no shit, this stuff is BBA - bourbon notes right off the bottle cap...roasty, toasty, smokey and giving me the woody.
T - Has that big beer taste - Vanilla, wood, bourbon, coffee-like roast, warm toasted bread, and whiskey. Oh yes, like someone dropped a shot of whiskey in the concoction and then another...just for good measure. This baby burns!
M - Feels oily and light and that is only due to the amount of whiskey this beer has picked up from the barrels. The base beer I am sure is probably about as thick and gooey as they come...
O - I won't even pretend like I know how to improve upon this beer. I'm hovering around 4.5 on this one...think I'll just go with that. Need to go hunt if there are any more bottles lying around somewhere....

 983 characters

Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Well, frick. Huge bourbon, chocolate and coffee flavours. Some leather, smoke and nuttiness in the background. Super creamy, syrupy mouthfeel. Bottle says 14%, must be a different vintage.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 2012 RS Initiation party. Taster glass.

A: Pours black with a light khaki head. Good retention and some lacing.

S: Similar to the taste. Slightly more smoke and rye come through as it warms.

T: Chocolate, round and slightly sweet bourbon and vanilla, some oak, subdued smoke, spicy rye, with some coffee and sweetness on the finish. More smoked malt comes out as it warms.

M: Smooth, medium-full body and light carbonation.

O: My immediate impression was that this is a slightly smokey BCBS. Really delicious. I got less of that as the beer warmed and the smoke came through more.

In any case, I liked this much more than the rye barrel version: the slight sweetness, more bourbon and barrel characteristics, and less smoke really elevated this to more than a slightly bourbon-y porter.

09/12 update: Tried this again and was a little less impressed. There was a bacony flavor that came in and out, and the nice barrel characteristics didn't show as much.

 974 characters

Photo of BullDoza
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 5/13/14.

A: It's Dark; black. Mocha, 1/4 finger head which, faded in to a thin outer ring quickly. Some small bubbles. Not much carbonation, as expected, but more than anticipated. Nice alcohol legs.

S: Bourbon. Slight oak. Sweet, as is typical of Bruery stouts. Faint vanilla notes. Dark chocolate mingle with dark fruit. Licorice. The smoke starts to come out more as it warms, but still not as much as I had hoped. Rye character does become more apparent.

T: Smoked character of the malt more noticeable in the taste, but still lacking. Vanilla. Raisin. Dark chocolate offers up a subtle bitterness. There is some roast, and the finish recalls a mild pipe tobacco. Licorice on the very end.

M: Fine. I wouldn't call it full, but definitely thinner than I'd prefer. I wish it coated the palate with more chewiness.

O: I wish the "smoked" character was a little more. The Rye spice is lost on me. Overall, a very good bourbon barrel porter. I have to say that I enjoyed the Rye Barrel version of this quite a bit more; I didn't anticipate that. The smoke came through much better in it than here. Not necessarily a knock on this beer, as it is very good. If you're choosing between the two, my nod goes to the Rye Whiskey version.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thick, black, darkness pours out of the bottle with a beautiful milk chocolate head that settles pretty quickly to stillness.

The smell is great, fresh roasted coffee beans, sweet toffee, smokey malt (not over the top smokey) and cocoa.

This is not a 'shy' beer by any means. Huge, sticky malts balanced perfectly by savory smokey notes. Bourbon barrell provides a nice tannic backbone and vanilla/bourbon component to the beer.

For 14% ABV this is incredibly smooth and delicious. What a great beer to have with breakfast!

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Photo of gcasher
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow! 1st off this is a $30 beer in a bomber bottle. It tastes like it was aged in a single malt scotch barrel from Islay or was brewed with smoked peet. The mouthfeel is fantastic in its heavy depth. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black and oily. Dark brown head that doesn't last.
S- Booze, wood, bourbon, meat
T- Meaty. Smoky, chocolate. Perfect bourbon
M- Low carbonation. Slick
D- A truly outstanding beer (once again) from The Bruery.

 217 characters

Photo of macher0
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

Pours very dark bown, nearly black with a frothy amber head that slowly retreats to a fine rim.
The nose is equal dark malts, bouron-soaked oak, and smokey char. Very nice cause the smoke is subtle
which brings out the vanilla/bourbon. The taste is equally balanced. Lots of dark malts, and bourbon, with a very
subtle smoke. The smoke is simialr to opening a smoker with ribs on the rack - not nessesarily bacon.
Super smooth feel, moderate carbonation, and full body. This is very similar to ba smoked stouts. The
smoke is subtle and the barrel and bourbon definately come through. Recommended.

 598 characters

Photo of LloydDobler
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into large wine goblet. Btl date 5/19/14

My first smoked beer. What a way to start the UFC fight night! Here weeeee go! Pours nice and dark. A thin brown cap fades fast and leaves me drinking a glass of ink. Spice from charred wood and rye compliment the nose here that is mainly sweet bourbon. Taste is chocolate and bourbon. The smokiness isn't here at all. Wait a sec... And there it is! Smoke almost rolls over the tongue in the lingering aftertaste. Very strange, but in a cool way. Feel is full and this has nice carbonation too. Overall better than the reviews and ratings might have you believe.

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Photo of IKR
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a moderate beige head that slowly fades. The head on my bottle was smaller than that of the Rye Whiskey-aged variants I sampled.

Smell: Smoked wood, some vanilla notes, and moderate bourbon aromas.

Taste: The smoke is present like in the Rye whiskey-aged version, but I found the Bourbon-aged version to have less of a "smoke" presence. I get some Bourbon, roast malts, vanilla, and some oak notes. I'm getting some mild dark fruit notes as well. The beer finishes with the smoke and Bourbon barrel elements. The higher ABV (than the Rye whiskey-aged version) results in a bit more heat but fairly subdued for something 13%.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a modest level of carbonation.

Overall: A good beer. There are some trade-offs in my opinion compared to the Rye whiskey-aged version, but both beers were welcome surprises to me.

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Smoking Wood Bourbon Barrel Aged from The Bruery
4.11 out of 5 based on 620 ratings.
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