Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) | Bootlegger's Brewery

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118 Reviews
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Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale)Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale)

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stout brewed with coffee and chipotle peppers.

Added by DoubleJ on 04-12-2009

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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 307
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber courtesy of CaptinRedBeard, drank back in November. Pours a black color with a tan head. Bubbly lace and retention average at best.

Nose is mocha coffee, lots of cocoa and some milk chocolate. Little bit of raspberry fruitiness, but I did not get any chipotle.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate and some decent coffee roastiness. The chipotle addition is more of a light smoke/ash presence as opposed to spicy pepperiness, which is fine by me as I typically have not enjoyed any of the other beers I have had with chipotle. Mouthfeel is less than full, but enough and certainly not thin. Good beer, wasnt sure what to expect but it is a very nice little coffee stout here. Makes me want to try some more offerings from Bootlegger's. Nice and low ABV makes it that much more enjoyable.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, courtesty of DearthVader from the Hotter than Hot BIF, an extra that fit well with the theme. Poured into a snifter.

A: Opaque dark brown body, borderline black, with a small tan head. The retention was quite good, holding onto a nice ring throughout, but the lacing was almost non-existent. Pretty good for a stout but I want it thicker, darker and creamier in general.

S: Baker's chocolate, roasted breakfast blend coffee beans, black pepper flakes and a bit of roasted spice from the chipotles used in the brewing, but not much.

T: Chocolate cake starts things off, backed by black coffee and finishing with a really wonderful lingering spice from the peppers. They don't impart, in my opinion, much to the flavor profile but it was an interesting sensation to have that burn in the back of your throat from the pepper oils. Really diverse flavors that play extremely well with each other.

M: A little thin to be calling this a 'stout' as the bottle claims, though all other characteristics make it so. A nice bit of carbonation here probably is leading to this thinner feeling.

This is most certainly reminiscent of a stout, like Bootlegger's claims, however classifying this as a Chile Beer here is wrong, IMO. Nonetheless, this is probably the best example I've seen of how to properly use chipotle peppers in a beer. They should not be the focus, instead blended with other flavors that will play well off each other -- something Bootlegger's has done.

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Photo of mactrail
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stark black beer with a faint pepper burn.

Black as a bad bone. Not much head. General impression is kind of harsh and sharp. Heavy on the hops. I don't taste much in the way of peppers, but the aftertaste has a slight burn to it. Grainy malt flavors along with raw vegetables, like a touch a brussels sprouts. Some body but not any richness.

Drank most of a tulip glass at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have had this one about three times now, mostly recently this past Saturday at home.

A: The beer pours a rich near black, but is more a dark brown. A small half to quarter inch of tan colored head rose, and settled to a ring of bubbles, leaving light lacing.

S: Scents of dark chocolate, coffee, nice mild smoke, chili, roasted malt and mild vanilla round out the aroma's. Chili's pretty mild though.

T: Roasty, malty, coffee, chocolate, mild chipotle chili pepper, pretty much in that order to me sip after sip. Alcohol is just right. Spice is a nice blend with the other flavors, not overly spicy, like say a habanero infused beer.

M: Medium carbonated, light mouth, but smooth.

O: Slightly above average. It's a bit mild on the chipotle side, but it's still there, and in that regard, a good intro for the Chile beer style, imho. Still pretty solid, and I've enjoyed it when I've had it. So far, it's been my favorite offering from Bootleggers.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into a New Belgium globe glass. Pours a deep brown/black in color with a light mocha cap. Retention is a bit brief yet holds a surface film and drops some lace. Rather glassy in the end.

Nose of chocolate, cocoa and some peppered coffee. To call this a chile beer is a bit of a stretch though. Roasted malt dominates while any pepper notes are subtle and smoky in nature and well integrated.

Flavor continues upon the coffee parade and offers a lingering hint of dry chocolate. Pepper spice notes are absent in the flavor realm.

Overall a light and chocolatey stout, moderate on the coffee and light on the spice.

Viewed as a Sweet Stout vs. this Chile nonsense...Yet still quite marginal overall. Bottom line, yet another overpriced wannabe. Check please...

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Thanks for the hookup Brendan.

Pours a dark muddy brown with a tannish one finger head into my Darkness snifter. Lacing remains.

Coffee and chocolate notes prevail. Pepper is evident with a touch of dark fruit on the backend. A peculiar combination.

The taste is definitely a combo of chocolate and coffee. You can feel the pepper finish off the sip in the back of your throat. It is a welcome sensation. The heat isn't overpowering but it is definitely there. As the beer warmed in my glass everything became more prominent. My only knock is the mouthfeel. It is a little too thin. I would like something chewier.

This was an exceptional surprise. I was expecting to have just another tick but this beer is actually quite good. I would gladly drink another.

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Photo of joepais
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I feel lucky I got this brew in a BIF then the guy decided to stop shipping brew out on his other commitments’. So here is to all you guys who got the short in of the stick. I hope the senders brews the sender got all were infected and drain pours. I split this glass with friends and poured into snifters we were greeted with big old tan head that didn’t quit, on top of a black bodied brew.
The aroma of rich dark coffee dominates this brew with a slight chipotle coming up in the back end. In the taste department you get a lot of coffee at first. I think if this was marketed as a coffee brew alone it would be fantastic but the chili pepper is under done a bit. There was some but I really had to think about it to pick it out. I think it just needs a touch more chili the concept was great but it didn’t quite come thru for me.

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Photo of jamex
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Piad $5.99 for a 650ml.

Pours a very dark rust with a head that fades in about a minute.

Smells like a porter with a few muted coffee notes and peppers. Tastes decent but the chipotle part isn't really doing it for me; I'm almost getting an ashtray taste hiding behind the peppers. I still drank the bottle, but not sure I'd get this one again.

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Photo of koopa
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Sam Adam's Laser etched glass.

Appearance: Pours an attractive dark brown with a nice 1 finger khaki crown...quite quiness like. Moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Coffee and a we bit of chipotle chili.

Taste: Same as the nose but more bite. Pretty nice actually.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin for my liking but not terrible. Definitely on the heavy side of light bodied.

Overall: A decent chipotle brew.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice dark chocolate brown with a solid two-finger buff head that slowly fades leaving nice web-like lacing.

aroma of roasted malt, hints of burnt coffee, smokiness, and a touch of milk. a mild herbal hop note and more earthy roastiness. not bad.

taste is interesting. chocolate, coffee and roasted malt evenly intermingle somewhat subtly, with a hint of pepper intermingling here and there. smooth, relatively mild, both in the coffee and the pepper. The coffee adds more earthy roastiness than normal coffee, which works nicely.

mouth is smooth, moderate, and well suited to the flavors goin' on here. A touch drying in the finish, which helps accentuate the roast, smoke, and bite of pepper.

smooth, mellow, yet just enough character to keep me interested. I could see myself drinking a few more of these easily.

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Photo of treehouse
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nosed spicy chocolate...bit o white pepper..

mouthed...rauchiness...a thin beer not too hearty....a small bit o odd combination that could work with perhaps a bit more sweetness or malty is decent to try the once...but nothing i will try again unless on tap or cask...

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Photo of abrethanson
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark and scary. I would not want to meet this beer in a dark alley. Definitely get the frothy coffee feelings like I just walked into a not Starbucks and ordered a 5 shot espresso beer. Poured a thick four finger foamy head which left decent lacing around the tulip glass.

Smell - no sense of smell here, but Columbian beans, cocoa maltiness come to mind.

Taste - first initial thoughts were lighter and not as rich and chocolaty as imagined. Notes of 60% cocoa and maltiness in the beginning followed by a sharp lingering of pepper and chipolte spice and ending with slight bitterness. Good balance on the chocolate/chipolte. A little more hop bitterness while upping the alcohol and this beer goes from good to great.

Mouthfeel - smooth, foamy, and light. I was expecting something more to chew on, but still good.

Drinkability - Goes down smooth. A great late night beer (as I am enjoying right right now) handled in moderation.

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Photo of charlzm
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed February 20th, 2011 at Boneyard Bistro, Sherman Oaks, CA.

Beer is a very dark brown pour with mahogany highlights. A thin off-white head becomes some minimal sheeting on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is virtually non-existent. There is a hint of coffee and a dash of chocolate, but I was straining to get even these fleeting notes.

Flavor is standard at first. Some chocolate malt mingles with coffee and a whiff of sourness before the chipotle kicks in. Its presence is felt as a slight warmth and a dash of pepper flavor. Mild bitterness on the finish.

The beer has a medium mouthfeel with a very light carbonation tingle on the aftertaste.

Absolutely nothing I would ever go out of my way to have again: a pedestrian stout with a dash of pepper. I don't like chile beer sin general and this one didn't change my mind.

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Photo of Dlish
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown, a ruby red on the edges, little head and rim retention last long.

S- Very smokey up front, with a bbq like smell, then the coffee and malt flood in finally a hint of pepper is at the end. Pretty good, like a stout that was just bbq.

T- A lot of coffee up front, taste simuilar to firestone's coffee porter. Deep chocolate/malt flavor. At the end is a herby/bitter/spicy. The chipotle blends with the hops, which is great, IPAs go great with something spicy. After taking some more sips the chipotle black pepper taste can be found throughout the whole taste very light. After a few sips there a very mild burn on the back of the tounge.

M- Chewy from the coffee, bit grainy too from the coffee and the pepper. Good carbonation.

D- I'll admit I have fall in love with add a dash of chipotle to beers. I've brewed my own chipotle ale turned out great. Its a great twist on a all ready good porter (or maybe its masking some of its bad traits) who knows... I def plan to drink more of this, although after one you might be running a risk of heart burn.

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Photo of claspada
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are all dark malts: lots of chocolate with a decent amount of roasted/coffee notes as well. Quite inviting...

The taste follows the nose but adds that slight little oomph from the chilies, which was undetectable from the smell. More coffee (minimal astringency, thank you), cacao, roasted malts and very light spiciness. I find the chipotle very minimal (although my taste is tuned to enjoying very spicy things).

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium, smooth, tasty. Good balance for the ABV and style; allows the flavors to shine properly.

Overall, this is a good, nice, drinkable stout with a hint of chili spice. I like it a lot, even though I wish there was a little more spice kick

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Photo of mothman
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki tan head. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: Mainly porter flavors with a dark coffee roast. No chipotles here. Dark chocolate. Creamy.

Taste: The chipotles come through more here, having a hot burn in the end. Big roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, roasted, spiced, and dry. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, decent beer. It could be awesome if it wasn't so roasted. Somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of broken22
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bootleggers Black Phoenix is being released in limited quantities and I'm glad I picked up a few bottles. This beer has a very bold label that jumped out at me. I love dark beers and when you put coffee and chipotle peppers on the label I'm buying it.

I popped the beer open poured a glass and watch the darkness flow out. This is a really dark beer. A nice thick tan head formed at the top of the glass and hung out for a bit until finally dissipating down to just a little bubble ring. I was really expecting to have a fragrant smell to this beer considering the coffee and chipotle but there wasn't really any strong smell to be had. Taking my first sip I notice that for being such a dark beer it is rather light on the palate. This beer drinks more like a brown. When I noticed that there wasn't much smell I figured the taste would be similar. Unfortunately for me that was true. There is flavor and its good its just not very prevalent.

To wrap this up I would have to say that I like this beer. I think it could just be the bottle that gave this beer the lacking smell and taste. I would love to get a nice big glass of this right from the tap. My local beer stores here in San Diego are selling a 22oz bottle of this for $5.99. I think this is very reasonable price considering the expensive ingredients that went into making this darkness. I would say if you like dark beers with coffee and have never tried one with chipotle peppers than pick up a bottle of this and enjoy.

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Photo of farrago
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour gets you two plus fingers of creamy dark brown foam, all micro-bubbles with a uniformly flat surface, you can see hundreds of bubbles popping at once as it simmers down to the surface with ease, the foam glides down the glass sides in solid sheets, no lacing. As expected, the liquid is pure jet black without a trace of color, appears to have no haziness. Wastes no time unleashing the chipotle peppers, albeit the heavily roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and cocoa, follows up with lactose, cumin and coriander spice, over time the pepper recedes in favor of earth, muddy straw and cigar ash. Medium-bodied, firm and muscular, the weak carbonation would surprise if you only viewed the glass after the pour and not minutes later when there is absolutely no bubbles to found anywhere. As a result, the heat and spice are able to soak in and maintain as consistent a presence as the bitter dark chocolate, coffee and milk cream. Except for the burn there's no real roughness, smooth enough overall texture. Oatmeal, corn bread, biscuit breadiness is doughy and not that sweet. Momentary touch of orange peel. Any greenness is akin to tea leaves or tobacco wrappers. Not particularly complex but does show determination in getting its few words across.

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Photo of birchstick
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a very dark brown / reddish color with a pretty small head that forms a rim around the glass

S - smells of rich, sweet chocolate malt, rounded out with some nice coffee tones. Finally, I could pick up the chipotle peppers which added a spicy smokiness to it. The chocolate malt is the strongest smell I detected out of all them.

T - this opens up with the sweet chocolate malts and some oat that is quickly blended with the coffee flavors. Really nice so far. On the finish, spicy chipotle peppers add a touch of spicy heat, but not too much heat where it burns (as Yeti's chocolate does to you). The chipotle really complements the chocolate and coffee malt in a somewhat subtle pleasantness. I get a lot of coffee on the exhale. Really nice!

M - quite a bit of carbonation - I was expecting a little more smoother mouth since it was brewed with some oats.

D - this is a really good chile beer. The chipotle isn't as in your face as I have experienced with other chile beers; instead, the are more subtle and complementary in their use. Big thanks to MaxStout for sending this to my doorstep - I really enjoyed this one!

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a very dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left a little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: chocolate and roastiness dominate the nose with slight chipotle pepper notes and mild coffee character.

T: the chocolate and coffee flavores were more potent on the palate with roasty milky accents and a touch of chipotle peppers that leave a slight sting on the finish.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a pretty low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild roasty, and spicy creamy finish.

D: I really enjoyed this beer that featured some roastiness chocolate and chipotle peppers. I just just wished the chipotle character was more potent throughout. Still drank good and was a decent brew.

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Photo of berebrando
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

contrary it what this site says, it is not a stout. its a dark ale, but no stout. I've been sitting on this bottle for a while. stumbled upon it in my cellar and decided it would be a great compliment to a mexican xmas dinner. it was...

pours dark black with a head of medium sized bubbles that dissipated quickly. taste started off with strong coffee and a subtle pepper background. lost a bit of flavor as it warmed to prime drinking temperatures.

it was drinkable at approx six percent and felt alright in the boca.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a nice black color. There a bit of reddish tints at the edges in the light. Medium-tan head turns into a bubbly film.

Aroma: Smells of coffee and roasted malts. No chipotle apparent, but smells like a decent stout.

Taste: Initial flavor of roasted malts and a bit of cream and coffee. Just a hint of chipotle peppers (though mostly just mild chipotle adobo) just before the finish, and barely into the aftertaste. Otherwise, the aftertaste is mostly just the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: This is a pretty smooth beer; medium-bodied with pretty minimal carbonation.

Drinkability Quite drinkable as neither the taste nor the ABV are too strong, but the taste is quite pleasant.

Seriously, my only complaint here is that there's more coffee than chipotle! Though I love peppers, I wasn't a believer when I opened the bottle. But after a few sips, I realized it could totally work! So: More. Chipotle. Please.

Pretty please?!?!

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, not quite opaque - a little light shines through. The small head quickly recedes to collar.

The nose has a mix of roasted barley, grainy sweetness, mild peppery chipotle heat and a reserved coffee presence. This is pretty balanced and harmonious, to my surprise.

The palate is also pretty good, heavy on the grainy/bready malt and dark roasted coffee, light on the chipotle flavor and heat. The beer grows in complexity as it warms, bringing the chipotle flavor closer to the forefront. The finish is roasty and mildly hot, which lingers nicely. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I'd like, but hefty enough. This was surprisingly enjoyable.

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Photo of sholland119
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice pool of mocha head.

S-Sweet chocolate malt, creamy with a hint of chile.

T-Mild roast, sweet malt, dark chocolate. Very nice but lacking in the smokiness or heat I would expect form the pepper. A hint peeks through at the end of the finish but that's about it.

M-Light side of medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D-Nice. A bit short of expectations but pleasant.


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Photo of djmichaelk
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Chilled 22oz bottle into a perfect pint.

A - On first pour, it seems and sounds almost like cola -- the head isn't huge, maybe a couple of fingers, but crackles angrily and falls away pretty quickly. It leaves pretty much nothing, not even really a ring. Swirling doesn't produce much at all. No lacing, obviously.

S - Big notes of coffee, better than most. Many coffee beers smell and taste more like stale coffee, where this has the aroma more of freshly ground roasted beans. Maybe a hint of smoke, but nothing of peppers in the nose.

T - Again, plenty of roastiness in the beer between the malt and the coffee. This has just the right amount of coffee in a beer for me -- almost as if you added a couple of tablespoons to the glass. Some dark chocolate is there, but I can't say I detect a lot of the chipotle in the flavor. Maybe just a hint of spiciness in the finish.

M - The carbonation is very light, almost bordering on flat. Leaves it with kind of an oily, slick feel. Doesn't ruin the beer for me, but it's detracting from the experience. Could definitely benefit from more assertive carbonation.

D - Despite the challenges from the carbonation, this is still a beer that I would reach for (in the morning!) again.

O - Nice beer overall. I'll definitely be sampling another to see if I just got an off bottle.

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Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) from Bootlegger's Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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