Grand Baltic Porter | Garrison Brewing Company

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86
very good
52 Reviews
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Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This traditional beer style was originally brewed in countries bordering the Baltic Sea. Although derived from English porters, it was mostly influenced by Russian imperial stouts. Typically, the Baltic porters are brewed with lager yeasts and are smoother than the imperial stouts. Grand Baltic Porter is good for the soul and luxurious on a cold Baltic night. Skal!

30 IBU

Added by nighthawk on 01-18-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
76
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
11.46%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 76
Photo of mintjellie
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Deep, rich, and murky brown colour, very close to black. Thin tan head dissipates quickly, no lace. Aromatic notes of cacao powder, raisin, coffee, and brown sugar. Chocolate flavour up front, followed by dried fruit, and a fairly strong molasses note. Coffee notes are faint and linger in the background. The beer is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Mouthfeel is smooth and rich without being heavy.

When I saw molasses listed as an ingredient on this beer, it made me somewhat fearful after their molasses-bomb Spruce Beer. This isn't quite as overpowering. After a few mouthfuls I actually found myself thinking "I could actually get through this bottle." I was wrong. I can't get around this. After drinking half the bottle, I had to pour the rest down the drain. It simply overpowered my palate.

That's still a half a bottle farther than I made it with the Spruce Beer though.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Long813 for sending me this one. Cheers!

The beer is black, but not dark black. The head is beige and nicely formed, however it disappear quickly. The aroma is light. I get some chocolate with some metallic notes. Not inspiring. I doubt this could won a gold medal but apparently it did...

The taste is more intense. I get some molasses with a coffee type bitterness. Not bad but nothing out of this world too. For a baltic porter I think this beer is pretty light. However, due to the alcohol level, it is a sipper but in no way the body is full. There is no complexity in this beer, just pretty straight forward I would say.

Drinkability is low due to the high ABV. Mouthfeel is not great for this type of beer, could be almost watery. Not an inspiring beer.

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Photo of DaPan
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tall Muskoka Brewing snifter. Generous white rounded head, good retention. Slowly dissipates into thin white band. Bottled November 25, 2011 part of LCBO brewery feature.

Dark opaque beer with hints of ruby red around the perimeter. An attractive brew.

Nose is red licorice, sweets and toasty malts. Not what I expected from a Baltic porter.

Taste is malty, toasty and a bit sour. Sour taste was unexpected.

Decent mouthfeel, a bit thick, what I was looking for in the style. Aftertaste is a bit sour, not entirely unpleasant, but not what was expected for the style.

Overall, not my favorite Garrison brew.

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Photo of Risser09
3.37/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into a white wine glass · cellar temp (november 6) · Bottled January 25th, 2011

The bottle claims this is a lager, so I guess they use a lager yeast to make a porter style beer. Ingredients include: Water, malt, hops, yeast, molasses, dates & coffee

Appearance: Pours a very dark black with red highlights (pretty). The head builds like a lager would and shows great retention. Light brown in color, it slowly recedes and leaves a coating on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, sweet fruit (dates), raisins, and I think I can smell the molasses coming through. Love that dark fruit, toasted malt combo.

Taste: Roasted malt, alcohol, bitter hops, some dark fruit. The aroma made me think this beer would have denser flavors. I am getting a lot of alcohol from this one.

Mouthfeel: Lagerish, fairly dry, lots of booze, some quaint dark fruit. Without the booze, this would be easier to drink.

Overall: I like this beer. Like the other beers from Nova Scotia, there needs to be more complexity in this beer.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber. Nice carbonation coming up. One finger of light brown head sitting atop looking a little creamy but fizzy as well. No lace and a half finger of retention.

S - A blend of chocolate, cola, chocolate milk, a little toasty.

T - A sourness is present with alot of chocolate and roasty malt. There is a clean fruity note like a blueberry maybe as well. Some sweet spice is there also. Odd combo of flavours.

M - Mild carbonation and a full body with a sweet, berry-like finish.

O/D - Odd for the style but it works. A tasty brew with lot's of depth of flavour. Perhaps needs some tweaking, but a nice Baltic Porter. I couldn't have more than one of these though.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.39/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Well, it's deep brown/black like a porter should be, but it doesn't quite pull off many other traits I'd expect from a porter. The head is lager like, not creamy and it makes pop like fizzle as you set it down. I managed to get a finger's worth but it was gone in a nearly a minute.

Smell: Sweet malt scent with a touch of acid. It doesn't need a lot of warming. I'm kind of left expecting more, given I usually expect a bit more roast in a darker beer, but it's still solid.

Taste: Nice roasted barely taste that still manages to have a slight sweetness to go with a coffee and smokey flavour. Walnut, almond and cherry notes in the background. Bitter, but not stout bitter and a mild acid touch which helps to smooth it out.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fell flat really quick, and that really held the beer back. It was great for then whole minute it lasted, but then once is was gone it was just too watery in texture. The aftertaste sticks around just long enough, which is good.

Drinkability: No problems getting it down, but as a porter I kind of expect it to be a bit heavier. It's missing something that I can't quite put my finger on.

Final Thoughts: Nitro would have really helped this one out. Heck, blowing into it with a straw to get some carbonation might have made it fare better. I dunno, maybe I left it in the fridge too long, and maybe I'm being a bit unfair, but I'd say pass.

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Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Private Garrison order. A big beer, very malty with a touch of sourness. While drinkable, not hitting the style. Rather muted and simple for flavours,I did not find this particularly interesting even for a plain porter. Minimal roast. AVerage carbonation and mouthfeel.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $5 or so back in 2011

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an above average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and light coffee. There is also a lot of a maraschino cherry like flavour.

Overall - Perhaps aging was not a good idea with this one.. if the maraschino cherry flavour is intentional it is a little weird. The booze is well hidden, but the beer has an odd flavour to it.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's almost a red... you can see it as it pours, but it's so dark when in the glass that it looks like a solid dark brown. Quite dark / clear... not cloudy despite sediment in bottle.

Definite smell of whole wheat bread and molasses. Rich. In some whiffs, I can faintly smell the alcohol.

The taste is good, much like the smell. Very much a bread-y / molasses taste, with maybe some hints of coffee / chocolate as listed. As the beer goes on, though, the alcohol does come out a bit in the taste. It's still good, but the alcohol coming through is what keeps it as just good.

It feels alright in the mouth. Not too much carbonation. Smooth. Don't like the kick of the alcohol on the tongue, though.

This would be very drinkable... if it was 1/2 a pint or 1/2 a bottle. Nice-tasting, smooth, rich. A full bottle is a bit much (due to the alcohol... just for how it comes out more as you drink it).

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Photo of Rutager
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Deep, deep brown-red with two fingers of thick and creamy tan head.

Smell. Plums, burnt sugar, roasty malt.

Taste. Apples, molasses and heavy roasted grains. A little bitterness and tobacco in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-strong, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Not bad. A little harsh, but not bad tasting. Finished without any troubles, but wouldn't open another right away.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I recall last year's batch being pretty good, and it won an award. As such, I was eagerly awaiting this year's batch to see how it turned out.

Pours an ink black with plenty of chocolaty head. Head is very thick and has plenty of staying power. Sporadic lacing down the glass.

Very deep, rich scent. Definitely some molasses, though there are distinct chocolate notes as well. A light touch of alcohol is also detectable.

Molasses and toffee malt flavor is the first thing I notice when taking a sip. Alcohol is also easily detectable. Light background of some chocolate. Aftertaste of molasses and alcohol.

This is a slower drinker. 9% definitely feels like 9%, and you get some warmth in your cheeks before you finish half a glass. More suited for a little warmth after those cold wet days, rather than for an extended drinking session.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL wax-sealed bottle with vintage on the label.

Pours black, hints of brown near the edges of the glass, with a generous fizzy tan head that's a little rocky. Reduces to a haze that disappears about halfway through.

Aromas of dark chocolate and roasted grains, dark fruit tartness, with some molasses sweetness. Alcohol warmth is very mild.

Up front there's a mild sweetness of caramel or molasses, quickly moved aside by a tart fruit flavour - like sour dates or prunes. The molasses is tasted again, fairly smooth and quite sweet, before the alcohol gives you a kick on the finish.

The smooth mouthfeel is about a medium body, though there's a stickiness to it that makes it feel weighty. Carbonation is very mild, almost nonexistent. Clings to the mouth.

The alcohol and thick, almost syrupy taste makes this one a sipper. This one's going down fine, but I'm not looking for another one.

Malt sweetness dominates this beer, sometimes to the extent that it's cloying and syrupy. I put a couple aside, and interested to see where it goes in a few years.

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Photo of kjyost
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BBrianBoogie for this bottle.

Pours an amazing looking beer initially almost opaque, but definitely brown with an intriguing orangey head. This would have scored top marks, save for the utter lack of lacing that this beer had. The nose of the beer was one of licorice and molasses. Nice, but nothing to write home about.

The body of the beer had an underlying sweetness that coupled well with the bitterness from the dark malts. The malt also brought forth flavours of licorice and molasses, and perhaps a note of oak aging, although I could be trying to find something here.

Low carbonation and a good lingering bitterness that keeps the beer well balanced. The ABV is in no way noticeable here, and is a good sipper.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer last summer from a generous trader who's name escapes me. Cheers for the beers man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A brown, muddy looking pour produces a 2+ finger, medium looking, light tan head with very good retention. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap. Muddy black body with no carbonation evident. Splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking. Pretty nasty.

SMELL: Dark malts, dark fruits, mostly raisins and dates, with some spicy yeast notes. A light touch of dark chocolate as well. Bold enough and reminds me of a Belgian strong dark ale.

TASTE: Spicy and fruity Belgian strong dark. Dark malts, toffee sweetness, and some dark fruits up front. Raisins, grapes and dates are in there. Some spicy yeast flavors and a touch of dark chocolate at the swallow as well. Bold and persistent aftertaste of dark fruits, spicy yeast and some bitter dark chocolate as balance. Interesting, and probably a more traditional lager-style baltic porter. Reminds me more of a flavorful Belgian strong dark ale.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down a little fizzy and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the swallow. Average at best, unfortunately.

OVERALL: This is a bold, flavorful and spicy lager. A traditional baltic porter for sure, much of the aroma and flavor profile reminds me of a Belgian strong dark ale. Regardless, this is a good beer no matter what, and a thicker, creamier palate would make this one of the better ones in the country. Complex and enjoyable. Cheers!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on November 25, 2011.

Very dark, almost black, but some brownish hints are present. A small and somewhat fizzy tan head dissipates quickly.

Smell is malty with dark berries- maybe blackberry, some cherry. A bit musky and an anise scent as well. A bit of a medicinal smell. Some nice scents but the anise and the medicinal aspects are not for me.

Taste works better than the smell for me. The berry and cherry flavours are present along with some roasted, caramel malt, a bit of chocolate. Anise flavour is light, less than in the smell, which improves matters for me. Also a bit of a nutty flavour. I feel like the use of lager yeast lessens the flavour a bit for me, but it is really quite good.

Highly carbonated, medium to full bodied, chewy. Nice but carbonation is too much.

Overall, pretty nice flavour but the rest of the elements are not quite there for me. All fine but not great. Happy to finish the bottle, that is for sure.

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Photo of Long813
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on: December 1st, 2009
From: Garrison Brewery

A: Dark brown almost black body with three fingers of dark mocha head. Head dissipates quickly to a thin ring and leaves no lacing.

S: Mild roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, some caramel. Some bread fullness too.

T: Strong notes of mild malts, coffee beans, chocolate and creamy caramel and ends with some wheat/bread notes.

M: Medium bodied and medium low carbonation. Texture is smooth leaving a bitter finish. Alcohol becomes more prominate as the temperature hits ambient.

D: Not bad Garrison, after a number of months the flavours smooth out, but the alcohol is still shown. It's a drinkable beer, but I don't see what makes this "baltic" or a lager.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another new offering from Garrison for the Alberta market.

A - Almost pitch black, but some light does manage to get through, thumb of light mocha head with some retention and no lacing.

S - Pretty mild on the nose with burnt sugar, dark cocoa and molasses all coming through.

T - Molasses is definitely present, dark roasted malts, bitter espresso. ABV heat is well concealed, though some ABV sweetness is noticeable. Some nuttiness and light peat notes are also coming through.

M - Comes across a tad thin, but the finish is nice and wet.

O - A tasty offering that packs a punch both in terms of ABV and flavour. Definitely worth a try and likely to be a repeat offender as I found this one quite drinkable. Definitely a star in the Garrison line-up.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown bottle, black foil around the neck and cap. Pours out a dark brown that turns a translucent cola hue when held to direct light. Tall creamy beige head that slowly settles.

The aroma exhibits mild roasted malt, hints of cocoa, cafe au lait, and prominent levels of dark dried fruit.

Mild roast malt and some rum/raisin character up front in the flavour, sweet coffee and alcohol in the middle, with some grainy toffee malt and mild spicy hops on the finish.

Medium-bodied, silky slick texture, low carbonation.

A well put together Baltic Porter, a bit on the mild side for my liking, but has a decent balance.

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml wax topped bottle.

Pours a very opaque black, maybe some dark reddish highlights, thick tan head forms, slowly settles to a thick ring, some lace spots stick. Smell is nice, quite rich, dark fruit and chocolate milk, very malty, light roast and biscuit, raisins, good stuff. Taste is similar, sweet up front, some brown sugar and caramel, chocolate, lots of fruit, touch of alcohol, nice biscuity finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Pretty solid example of the style.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml bottle thanks to bobsy, bottle Dec. 2009 but just received in a private order... who knows how it was stored?!

Pours a dark brown with hints of mahogany and ruby around the edges, a nice mocha head forms but has little retention. Easy enough to swirl and get a bit more though.

Dark fruits, dates, vanilla, burnt sugar, molasses, hint of cocoa, perhaps one the best I've had from Garrison. Thinnish body for the style and the largest error is the over-carbonation which, unless swirled away, lets the beer explode in your mouth rather than glide silkily through.

Easy to drink, no notice of the ABV. I would gladly drink this one again.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed on November 25, 2011. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured medium brown and settled dark brown with half a finger of bubbly light brown head that quickly receded to a ring around the glass. A slight ruby glow is evident around some of the edges.

S - Big dark fruit aroma up front - cherry, raisin, figs. A touch of cocoa is evident in the background along with some brown sugar and toffee sweetness. A very atypical nose for a baltic porter but very inviting.

T - Dark fruit up front with raising and a warming alcohol presence. A touch of cocoa is evident in the background along with a big sweetness with hints of molasses and brown sugar. The sweetness and the warming alcohol balance each other out nicely. Overall, this is a very nice beer, but if I tasted this blind I would think I was drinking a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of SebD
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice mocha head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves next to no lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of dark fruit (raisins and cherries), chocolate, caramel/toffee and some roasted malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has dark fruit, some chocolate, roasted malts and a toffee/molasses sweetness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of korguy123
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Super dark, murky brown with red hues. Half finger width off white head that quickly drops to thin cap. Lacing is minimal.

S- Chocolate and coffee. There is a anise and dark stone fruit presence. There is a caramel and toffee with a slight cherry aroma.

T- Chocolate, cherry, coffee and caramel. Licorice is there but very slight. Quite complex tasting.

M- Medium to full bodied, slightly creamy and a touch of alcohol.

O- Another awesome offering from Garrison's will have to get more of these.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle provided by Alex for our Canadian tasting...Pours a medium brown with a light tan head that rises about a finger but is gone right away, ugly...Light aroma of chocolate and grain, with a light dark fruits, not as sweet as expected for a bp...From the taste and feel I think right away this is a very lagerish bp. Not very sweet, roasy with dark fruits, not overly strong but decent enough to drink.

Nothing special but I'd drink it again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Loftarasa. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a big ring and bit of hazy film, with minimal lace. Black body that reveals a bit of lighter brown at the fringes.

S - Chocolate, dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, and some burnt sugars over top of a bready lager backdrop. Seems more like a dark doppelbock than a Baltic porter.

T - Taste is very heavy in dark fruits, but finishes with toasted bread, roast malts, and some light licorice notes. Fairly consistent with the aroma. Not at all surprised that it was made with dates and molasses although I didn't know this beforehand.

M - Carbonation is a little bit tinglier than I prefer, smooth medium body, and a sticky finish.

D - It's a somewhat unusual Baltic Porter but it's a surprisingly decent beer. I'm not sure if Canadian brewers have problems with getting things to style, but unlike KGB at least this tasted good.

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Grand Baltic Porter from Garrison Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.
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