José Martí India Porter - French Oak | Cigar City Brewing

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José Martí India Porter - French OakJosé Martí India Porter - French Oak
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jsanford on 03-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
54
Ratings:
98
Avg:
3.56
pDev:
26.4%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
28
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 98
Photo of Knapp85
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out looking much like the regular version, the beer is very dark in color with a creamy looking tan head on top. The retention is thin but hold up nicely, the lacing is also sticky on the glass. The smell of the beer is loaded with French Oak, in all honestly that is all I get on the nose. The taste goes with the flavor... I taste all french oak and nothing else. The mouthfeel is a bit sharp on the carbonation, making this beer a bit on the dry side and it stings to drink. Overall this was a bit of a disappointment, had much higher hopes for this one and was let down.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are strong aromas of chocolate, coffee, oak and roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of vanilla.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is very complex (due to the barrel aging) with flavors of chocolate and mocha along with notes of vanilla and hints of licorice.
M: It feels relatively full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness, which is most apparent in the finish.
O: The oak aging definitely adds an interesting level of complexity to this beer, which makes it a nice one to sip and savor.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A rocky beige head caps the fudge brown-colored liquid and delivers an impressive lacing performance

Smell: Strong, oaky aromas underpin black bread, coffee, chocolate and vanilla

Taste: Black bread and molasses, up front, with the coffee, chocolate, vanilla and oak flavors building through the middle; after the swallow, however, the oak dominates though pithy hops also enter the profile; rather tannic in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Although the oak is powerful in this beer, there are a lot of other flavors present and I was rather pleased with the outcome

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown body with a solid inch of tan-hued foam.

Smell: Well-roasted malts with a scent of bittersweet chocolate and an underlying chalky quality before the pronounced oak character hits you with its striking woodiness and accents of oregano and summer savory.

Taste: The roastiness and chocolate are carrying over from the aroma with a fast blip of curt sweetness, and, as expected from the nose, it's strongly oaky with a ripplingly blitz of accompanying tannins. Again, there're those peppery, savory aspects. Some small touches of char and smoke signal smoke are felt. Vague hint of vanilla. A belt of cold coffee, with more of the tannic oakiness on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. The mouthfeel, friends, is smooth.

Overall: José M is abundantly oak-induced without, thankfully, turning into a truly ganky mess, making for an overall interesting brew.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown in color with no light cracking through this one at all. A smallish head, maybe a half an inch in height coming up over the top, never really did fade away as it kept that nice layer there throughout the session.

The aroma was just rife with whiskey and oak. roasted malts and chocolate like notes hiding right under its surface. Letting it warm really let the oak and vanilla start to become dominant, and a hint of alcohol started to present itself in the back end. The flavor was more of the same, rich, full bodied, I would have swore this was a stout in a blind tasting, but no, this indeed was apparently a robust porter. Luscious, velvet like feel in the carbonation never gave way. The flavor started with that warm influx of vanilla and whiskey, lots of caramelized malts and a light roasted or smoky note to it. This then rolled over with nice touches of chocolate rippling throughout

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Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin for sharing this one.

Pours a tan head. Color is a caramel brown.

Aroma: A lot of oak. French oak to be specific. It is very dominate. A little chocolate and caramel. Warming.

Taste: Very unique. The French oak dominates this beer. A little bit of roast. Caramel and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Slight warming and a little roasty. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, good stuff, but a little overdose on the oak. Still, pretty drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

After several months of relative nothing, finally a potentially good beer comes along in the Rare Beer of the Month Club. It pours a straight black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises pine, roasted malts, oak, chocolate syrup, and light coffee. The taste holds notes of oak, pine, roasted malts, and bitter dark chocolate. The oak is quite present, presenting a nice foil for the more traditional porter qualities. It's a bit hard to get used to, though. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation, a smooth feel, and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice porter, one that took to the oak-aging rather nicely, if not quite perfectly.

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Photo of billab914
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Rhettroactive for sharing this one. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured black in color thick foamy head. Pretty nice looking beer of the style.

The aroma has a pretty bold, woody oak presence to it. It mixes with some sweeter cocoa and a little hoppiness as well. The French oak seems to dominate a little too much though making it seem too one dimensional.

The taste also shows a lot of the woody oak to it, especially in the finish. A little more sweeter caramel and chocolate to it along with some hoppy, herbal bitterness. Again, the woody oak just seems to dominate it a little too much.

The mouthfeel feels a little thin for the style with moderate carbonation. Overall, it was a decent but not great beer. It felt one dimensional with the oak being the dominant flavor. The oak just didn't compliment it all that well.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.59/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black with a big off-white head. Good retention. Great lacing.

Smell - Hops, coffee, and lots of oak. Serious oak.

Taste - Tastes like regular Jose Marti at first. Hoppy, coffee, chocolate. Then the oak hits. Like a train wreck of oak. Strong, ashy, dry oak. Bad.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Terrible finish of oak. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Really ruined by the oak. The oak flavor is overpoweringly bad. The beer starts off good and ends up nearly undrinkable.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid dark brown with a huge bubbly tan head that slowly recedes to lots of sticky lace. Smells of chocolate and roast with a hint of licorice, earthy and herbal with some faint woody notes. The flavor comes through with chocolate and roast up front that segue's to a vinous and earthy herbal flavor. The finish is a bit heavy on the woody, but nothing like the cedar aged stuff I've tried. Medium body with a moderate to heavy level of carbonation and a bubbly earthy oaky almost ashy mouthfeel. I've gotta hand it to Cigar City for always surprising my taste buds, this is another wonderfully unique beer that I'm glad I was able to sample.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle acquired from the Rare Beer Club. Cigar City's José Martí aged on French Oak Spirals. Very intriguing and if there is one brewery who has master spiral aging, Cigar City would be it. Split with my girlfriend, poured into two snifter glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, almost black, opaque body. A creamy, frothy and bubbly tan head sits atop. There is a great amount of retention all over the surface and around the edges, as well as patches of lacing on the walls.

S: Oak wood, bourbon, cherry, vanilla, chocolate, black bitter coffee beans. A certain sweetness is present throughout the entire aroma that I can't quite put my finger on. I attribute that to the Oak Spirals but it truly does absolute wonders for the nose.

T: Roasted oak wood, very rich and big mocha and espresso notes. These are dominating at first and last well through the entire palate hurdles. A slight alcohol note is detected in the linger as well as finishing a touch hot but very flavorful. It's sweet and fruity, though no tartness which can come sometimes with a port-like quality. Very diverse flavor profile that is executed extremely well.

M: Carbonated but not overly so. It feels thinner, on the lower end of a medium-bodied beer but appropriate for the style. This drinks very smooth even with the active carbonation. An absolute easy drinking beer even for it's caliber of ABV.

I've never had the regular José Martí but this version aged on French Oak Spirals is truly unique and delicious. The fruity qualities that come through on both the nose and palate are enough to set this apart from other American Porters. The oak adds a very nice complexity that perhaps would otherwise be absent.

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Photo of aasher
1.43/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer is courtesy of Sean, thanks man! I love trying CC that is new to me.

This one pours a solid dark chocolaty brown in color and medium in body. The aromas are of strange woods, bark, dry wood, an Amish furniture showroom, and forest brush. Dear god its woody. The flavor is worse. You get an unbearable amount of dried wood with a boatload of fresh rubber. It's bonafide undrinkable. Awful stuff. This wood is far too strong to use with this base beer. I'd stay away. This is almost as bad as the Humidor Series Jai Alai. Cedar and Virgin Oak just are not suitable for barrel aging.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8/12/2011

Thanks to Jason and Sean for bringing this.

A: Black with a fizzy light brown head.

S: Lots of oak with lots of chocolate. Lightly smoky with a restrained char and a touch of booze. 

T: Dark chocolate with a strong oak presence. Malt has an upper moderate roasted quality. Bitterness is at a moderate level. Tons of oak. Super dry oaken chocolate finish. Did I mention there's a lot of oak?

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. 

Overall: More oak than is desirable. A few ounces is more than sufficient.

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Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to chefmonty for sharing. Poured into an Overlord approved Cigar City snifter.

Pours pitch black with faint mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Huge toasted oak aroma with a dominating charred wood presence with some roasted dark malts underneath. As the beer warms the maltnotes become more evident.

Medium bodied with a bery prominent dry oak presence that dominates the flavor, lingering into a bone dry finish. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts to all of the oak flavor, there is a nice roasts malt haracter hidden underneath. Hints of dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, toast and oatmeal. ABV is well masked but this could be tough to drink for those who aren't into virgin oak beers.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.99/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 750mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 4/5/12
*From notes

A: God damn dark. Rich brown to black hue gives this the appearance of an RIS, not a Porter. A .5 finger creamy head leads to a good collar and solid lacing.

S: Herbaceous. Freshly shoveled earth. Wood chips. A touch of hops circle my nose too, yet it's all a bit one note and not all that appealing.

T: Way too much wood. There's not enough balance or complexity, as the French oak bludgeons the base beer. Jose's typical hop bill is sorta-kinda there, but muted in a really negative way by the tannic and off-putting wood. They don't marry well in the slightest. Even when I'm finished with each sip, I can't get the char out of my mouth.

M: Plenty thick and rich. CCB has a history of top shelf body, and this is no exception.

O: I can't recommend this beer. It's unbalanced in a way that comes off as lazy and uninspired. Maybe a rum barrel or some type of agave nectar infusion would be cool. But as it is, this is most certainly not very good.

A (somewhat) rare miss for CCB.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, near black without light behind it and a wonderful cap of dense khaki colored creamy head - long lasting and good lacing. Scent leads with roasted grain and bitter cocoa powder before unleashing a big plume of oak, interesting notes of fragrant spice and dark fruit on the end. Taste quickly leads with heavily roasted, lightly charred grain, bitter cocoa and very quickly moves to a very heavily tannic and drying oak... almost like sucking on a unfinished oak plank. Taste changes directions a bit and brings it back to where light coffee notes, dark stone fruit, some earthiness and interesting spice profile (from the hops or additions?) can be found. Lighter side of medium bodied, very dry. The amount of oak involved on this screamed for a bigger flavor profile and heftier body... maybe the oak was best saved for a stout. Has some decent qualities and is interesting like everything else Cigar City does, but not a favorite.

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like a broken record (that's really good), this is a long-distance dedication (thanks) to moose3285 (in my best Casey Kasem voice).

Poured into a pair of lovely Cigar City glasses we picked up at the brewery two winters ago. Dark brown that may as well be black, with plenty of bubbles. Smell is a dwarven warhammer of oak to the sinuses; like walking through the doors of an oak desk factory. Bits of malt & smoke peek through the raw wood.

Jose Marti Aged on Oak Spirals is more oak than beer. Wow. Oak strips the taste buds, drying them out in a single motion, leaving splinters in my tongue. After shaking off the two-by-four blow, there's chocolate underneath, good amount of bitterness (seems like hops?) married to hard roast. Tannic! Drier than an oak bonfire. Weirdly appealing, I'm drinking mine at a rather rapid rate. I've always liked wood. Living, dead, drinking it, whatever.

Certainly unique, I can't recall another beer with this much oak in it; I can see how it would be overwhelming. Ultimately, a very good beer, but the split decision is completely understandable.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%

Had this one, 2011 bottle, at The Porter Bar in Atlanta on 11/23/14. I was pretty excited to get to try this. Pours black just like regular Jose Marti with a fluffy khaki head on top that sits around for a good bit. Lots of oak on the nose, light plastic smells, a bit strange, some weird spiciness, something almost like pine. Flavor follows with some faint chocolate tones, and a massive spicy oak flavor that just envelopes the entire palate, and not really in a good way. Very harsh here, and this thing is 3 years old. Medium bodied, maybe even on the thinner side, with medium carbonation. This was certainly a disappointment, but nonetheless very happy I got a chance to try it. Just too much wood here.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, sawdust, Lowes, and cedar. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I can honestly tell you to go to the Lowe's/Home Depot lumber section and get a good smell so you can remember. Then go smell this beer. They smelled the exact same to me and I was not the only other person who thought this either. CCB definitely made sure that you knew this brew had seen some wood action in its making. Luckily it did not taste like Lowe's/Home Depot. The wood flavor was definitely present, but not overwhelming as it was in the flavor. The nice roastiness going on in this one really seemed to help carry the brew to a new level. A definite must try if you get the chance or just like the smell of lumber.

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Photo of gford217
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours very dark brown, darker than most potters, almost stout-like, with a big thick tan head which recedes pretty quickly.

Aroma is very good and definitely favors the oak which has some spiciness and a bit of vanilla. The roasted malts and coffee that I love in the regular version are not as prominent.

The taste is even heavier on the oak with a heavy spiciness and lots of oak character. The underlying beer is very tough to detect which is a bad thing for this one. Wish the taste had more porter character.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with good carbonation, though it's definitely prickly with the barrel notes.

All in all, a good beer but definitely not as good as the base beer for me.

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Photo of Dope
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No bottle date that I can see. I got this through the Rare Beer club probably a year ago. I heard it was extremely oaky so I let it sit for a year.

A: Very dark brown pour. Enormous fluffy light brown head. Takes forever to fade away, leaving a nice island behind. Nice swath of lacing everywhere.

S: Smoke, roasted malt with some char and chocolate. Charred oak. Decent amount of anise.

T: Smoky up front with lots of meatiness too. A little char and chocolate. Intense wave of oak in the middle, like chewing a 2x4. Anise and smoked meat in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: Hmph. Hopefully the oak has faded a bit with age but it's still very woody. It's also quite smoky with lots of meat. I was really reaching to get some roasted malt, it was mainly just smoked meat, oak, then more smoked meat. If you're a fan of beers like this you will probably love it. As for me I'm not a fan of smoked beers or intensely oaky beers either (see, Great Divide anniversary series). This was a little rough for me as a result.

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Photo of illidurit
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours dark brown with a fluffy khaki head. Fresh-cut wood/sawdust aroma, vague lime fruitiness, and dark chocolate. Biter chocolate flavor, well-married to a very prominent woodiness (cigar box/fireplace notes). Too much wood but not bad.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Chris S. a co-worker of mine from Tampa for picking this up for me. It was one of the advertised stars at a recent Stout/Porter tasting. While it was a little disappointing in it’s flavor and overall appeal, we were still happy to have had the opportunity to try it.

Nothing of real note to point out in it’s visual appeal. More dull in finish vs. having a sheen. Dark with a thick head that showed good retention, but didn’t leave much lace.

Aroma is the first hint of the flaw here. And by flaw I do not mean the beer was defective in any fashion, it was not. Just vs. my preference, and frankly the others in the group. Wood was the main note in the aroma. Other standard Porter notes here, but it was all about what I’ll refer to as “raw” wood. Almost saw dust like.

Flavor sadly followed the aroma. THe overwhelming note here was from the oak spirals. Tons of woody notes that were not well rounded and didn’t mix well with the roasted notes. Almost wanted to add a touch of corn syrup to my glass to add some sweetness to balance the raw notes from the wood.

Frankly was not a fan. This is the 2nd or third Cigar City selection where this was an issue for me. I suppose others like the total wood character, but I just don’t . It should add complexity and bring out new notes, but it should not be about sucking on a piece of wood.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

675th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
750 ML

App- A dark dark brown. A lot darker than Bolita and had about the same head. Nice cling and some sheety lace.

Smell- A classic porter smell but not as thin. Dark roasts, a little coffee, some booze, some vanilla.

Taste- In the forefront is a very strong porter with the above nose taking over on the taste. On the backend you get a unique little treat from the barreling of this beer. The roast and chocolate are most upfront with a small vanilla.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little bit of the chocolate and oak flavors remain. A little dry.

Drink- This was a unique take on a very classic style. The French barrels really added a new dimension to this tasty beer. This was only my second CCB and it just happened to be a very unique one.

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Photo of Florida9
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Forms a dark tan head that eventually reduces down to a thick ring around the edges.

S: Woodsy. Lots of oak. A little coffee and some roasted malts.

T: Wood and lots of it. Tastes like sucking on a piece of furniture (thankfully no varnish, though). Flavor is odd, lightly sweet, not necessarily good. Some coffee and some chocolate, but my god, the strong oak flavor just overpowers everything. Tannic bitterness.

M: Fuller bodied and dry. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Sometimes subtlety and moderation can be appreciated characteristics. However, this beer does not offer either. It is quite in-your-face with the French oak, much more so than I cared for. Jose Marti is a fine beer, but the wood is just too much.

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José Martí India Porter - French Oak from Cigar City Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.
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