Hoptober Golden Ale | New Belgium Brewing

very good
497 Reviews
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Hoptober Golden AleHoptober Golden Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Riccymon on 08-20-2009

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Reviews: 497 | Ratings: 963
Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Stable in St. Louis.

A - Poured a clear golden hue with a white, one-finger head of soapy foam. It left a little soapy lace on the glass.

S - Great aroma floral and citrus notes with a hint of sugar cookie. Really unique and really good.

T - It had a sweet caramel backbone (like most blonde ales) but it had a hop presence that was befitting its name. Good bitter citrus hops were delicious.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - Simply put, this is the best "American Blonde Ale" that I've ever had. A great hop presence with a sweet caramel taste that all blonde ales have.

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Photo of droomyster
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a fascinating beer. Pours a clear golden body with white head with decent retention. The aromas are fascinating: lots of tropical and assorted fruits like pineapple, mango, kiwi, even some strawberries come through quite prominently, with floral notes and a lime-like zestiness in the background. The hops are more prominent in the flavor, which has a well-balanced hop to malt ratio. Fruit, grain and honey flavors are equal to the assertive hops. This is easily the best blonde ale I've ever tried. Brilliant stuff.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Don't know; drinking from the bottle. I'd assume "blonde."

S: Fairly doughy. Some grains, straw, yeast, oats. Actually smells a bit like an oatmeal stout.

T: Great dosage of hops throughout. More light fruits rather than citrus. Has a bit of a tart finish. Suprisingly doesn't leave much of a bitter aftertaste.

M: Light, refreshing. Aftertaste dissipates relatively quickly.

D: Easy to drink, surprised its at 6%. Would go great with a volleyball game. Don't drink blonde ales much, but probably my favorite in awhile of the style.

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Photo of Luigi
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color a little bubble from the carbonation. Thick foamy head that starts off three finger white head and settles down to a half finger head from start to finish. Lace sticks to the glass.

Aromas have a hit to the nose of lemon and honey at first. Then, hop bitterness and citrus pulls though the malt.

The first taste I notice is opposite of what I was smelling. The bitter hops hits at first then is balanced out with a mild honey sweetness and malt. The flavor of bitter hops with a dry finish that lingers around help balance out this ale.

Light/medium bodied with some light carbonation.

Another tasty ale from the New Belgium Brewery! Good job guys!

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Photo of climax
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real good clarity to this one, nice gold color and a good size frothy head with excellent retention made this one a looker.

Nose had a lot going for it as well. Real grassy hop aroma at first whiff. Cinnamon and spice were clearly apparent, as well as a bit more complexity with the hops showing through; floral, citrus...

Flavor was well hopped for a blonde/gold ale (albeit the name). Initially it was soapy and a bit fruity,and even some sweeter pumpkin pie. The pale malt and some diacetyl notes held the background nicely.

The body was not nice and creamy. It had some real good substance too it, not too light. Feel was nice and slick, finished a little dry, very nice.

Some light ales just don't have much going on... this one does. Nice work NB.

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Photo of LongsPeakAveBrew
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

New Belgium's Hoptober Golden Ale Pours into a thin wall Bass pint glass with a crystalline light pumpkin color and plentiful airy off white head. Head disipates as I write to a thinner and denser layer, leaving significant lace.

First notes of floral and piney hops develope with the addition of bready malt, but hops still dominate.

Strong hop impression in both flavor and bittering. The grassier hop elements come to the foreground, while biscuit malt lurks behind.

There is more body to this beer than its color, clarity, and aroma might lead you to guess. The carbonation is just right, doesn't mask any of the flavors.

After a half a pint, the beer tastes better than ever. The opening of each sip is smooth biscuity sweetness. Then the tag team of hops and carbonation bring the beer back into balncce before the hops charge on alone and leave with your mouth prepped for the next round.

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Photo of mweso2000
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I would not rank Hoptober up there with your IPA's like Great Divide or Stone, then again Hoptober is a Golden Ale.

Pours clear with a thin lacy head. Nice fresh hoppy smell. Slight hoppy taste reminds me more of a pale ale. Creamy mouthfeel and nice and light and crisp. Sometimes it is nice to drink a beer that will not make you feel full and bloated. This is a great beer if you are looking to sit back and relax with a group of friends.

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Photo of Beerbythepool
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle to New Belgium(of course) snifter.

The head was fairly thin for me, but that always happens in this glass so hard to get a true read, but no more than half a finger for me. Some lacing, but nothing substantial really sticks to the glass.

Very nice hop aroma of pine and resin. I love that they list the hops and details of the beer on the label. Thank you New Belgium for taking the time.

Even though it says Golden Ale I was expecting a darker color. This a nice light gold color perfectly clear.

The taste is very nice and easy. Hops hit you first with wonderful pine and grapefruit notes. Then especially after it warms a few minutes you get a nice malty finish. But the hop oil stays around to remind you that this is a hoppy beer. The oil is the only downfall for the mouthfeel for me.

I am impressed and I think they should call it Hopril or Hopgust because I would rather drink this beer all summer than in the fall. I was going to hold off on buying it because I not ready for autumn beers just yet, but this is just right for this season. I think the name and the label confused me on what to expect.

Go try this one out, but don't wait for the calendar to tell you when it is time...go now.

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Photo of kkipple
4.36/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mmm, New Belgium Hoptober... I've gone through a 12 pack and a half before I even thought to reviewing this gem. And it IS a gem. Fat Tire haters, you may want to avert your eyes.

A. Crystal-clear appealing yellow-gold, with a few lazily rising bubbles. A smack-dam gorgeous full porcelain head fluffs up a half-inch about my glass, looking quite well-fed and falls seductively, leaving lots of sticky white lace all 'round the glass. The head never fully dies. Simply wonderful.

S. Just flat out interesting: a wonderful earthy, dry and hop-complex aroma. Notes of honey, wheat and grain, with a rawness that is eye-opening and full. The hops are spicy and layered, but keep from overwhelming - this is not an IPA, or even a Pale ale, although it has more hop character than plenty of beers in those styles.

T. And where has this beer been all my life? You could be forgiven if you said Hoptober was a "hoppy blonde", and it is, but it's just so much more... no doubt, the 4 advertised malts (pale, wheat, oats, rye) and 5 hops (buy one and read the label) go a long way to the delicious layered hop and malt interplay here, but it rather defies easy description. Hoptober is dry, and grainy, and rye-spiced, and hop-bitter, and lemony, and earthy, and sweet, and full, and wet, and easy, and... and... well, I'm on my second bottle and not yet done with the review, that's what. This is exceptional, raw and fresh-tasting stuff.

M / D. Wet, medium-full, finely carbonated and crisp, quite easy to drink - in fact, superbly easy to drink. Just sorta slides down on its own. The 6% is too high and is just barely noticeable, I'd much prefer this be in the high 4%, but I shan't complain too much.

Hoptober is my sleeper hit of the season; a deliciously subtle and complex session brew that resists easy pigeon-holing and absolutely is memorable. Give this one a few more years and it very well be THE go-to Autumn brew for many more folks than just myself. This is one of the top beers I've tried in 2009. Please go buy some Hoptober.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.36/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional appearance with thick, rocky white head atop a translucent golden color for the beer itself.

Nose is a delight with some light melon, perhaps honeydew, and gentle herbal/spicey notes.

On the palate this comes across beautifully crisp with lovely citrus from the hops, a pleasant malt background, herbal qualities again, and has a bit of dryness/crispness that you might normally appreciate in other styles such as a bohemian pils. This is one of the most clean, refreshing, and drinkable ales I've sampled in a long time. Amazing result from New Belgium.

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Photo of cokes
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright brass under a tight-cropped carpet of white cream, pockmarked with large bubbles.
The crisp, crackery pale maltiness is scented below a varied layer of hops. Equal parts flowery, citric, and evergreen. The seem well meshed and cohere into a vibrant and unified hop aroma.
Down the hatch, the dry maltiness arrives first. Toasted egg bagels and oyster crackers. Slowly, the other grains reveal themselves. Wheat first, with a suave sub-sweetness. Rye with a tickly spicy note. Then finally (and maybe most evidently) the oats with their whipped sense of cream. Hops hit immediately, again, multidimensional, with intermeshed citrus, flowers, and pine, and a concluding and lingering, peppery, grassy bit.
The oats are the ringer for me, and they add they inimitatable glossy beefy slickness in the feel. Yet this still drinks with abandon with its sparkling carbonation. This shows a fantastic amount of complexity on its smallish frame, as each of its components takes its turn in the spotlight. It's sometimes difficult to slow the gulps down in order to savor and parse it.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/10/10

Best before Jan 9th, 2011

Very clear; golden yellow to the point it's almost shiny. Two fingers of fluffy head dropped to an 1/8th inch of bubbles but it seems to be holding. Clumpy rings of lace; right on. Consistently thin retention throughout with ok lacing.

Hoppy aroma, citrus notes - grapefruit rind, lemon zest & orange peel. Has some pine-sol mixed in, too. Floral hops round it out. There's a nice malt offset that start off with a touch of sweetness a la cotton candy, then moves on to distinct rye note. The bottle indicates oats & wheat but I'm not picking them out. Possibly they just contribute to the overall earthiness. Sweetens over time.

A good bit of bitterness is quickly accented by toasted rye & citric hop flavor, all of which comprises most of the flavor profile. Despite some subtle sugar cookie notes, the malts aren't too sweet. Wheat is apparent & there's a general graininess in the flavor. It's actually quite dry.

Hoptober is medium in body. It doesn't want for carbonation; there's a spot-on amount of prickliness working in tandem with the flavors. Finishes very dry with lingering citric hops & a ghost note of the aforementioned sugar cookie.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer & would drink my fair share of it, were it available to me. Well done, New Belgium, well done. This is an easily quaffable ale with layers of complexity aplenty in both the aroma & taste.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoptober Golden Ale is a clear, golden colored brew with a big, bubbly white head. Lots of lacing sticks to the glass. There's just a slight chill haze, and no rising carbonation bubbles. The scent is pretty nice and consists mostly of a variety of hops, ranging from floral to citrus and just a bit of bitter. The taste starts off with a pale malt start, toasty, pretty spicy, I guess very spicy for the style. Nice floral undercurrents, some wheat grains, I think some rye as well. The malt profile is getting fairly complex the more I let this one run around my mouth. Some lemon zest and some grassy notes as well. The hops finish bitter. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light yellow with a one inch head. It had absolutely amazing lacing, some of the best I've seen. Smelled of hops like the name suggests. Very piney with the malt smell nearly absent.

The taste, for an American Blonde Ale was out of this world. The piney hops came through perfectly, with a malty backbone. The only knock is the malts kind of a had a sour taste that I can attribute to adjunct grains. If it wasnt for this flavor, the taste would be perfect. The aftertaste's only problem is that off flavor tends to linger, but the piney hops stick around just as long as you want them too.

I would drink this beer any day, even if it were an APA. Solid brew all-around.

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Photo of elniko
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into New Belgium glass. Bottle marked best by 2/5/2010.

A: As the bottle foretold, golden amber coloring with relatively minimal head. Good lacing and light carbonation apparent. Solid looking brew.

S: Wonderful citrus notes from the nose, an interesting melding of the various hops that were used in the brew.

T & M: Relatively light bodied, citrus tones in the nose come through in the taste as well. There are some spicy hints in the finish. Malt never really become apparent even as the beer warms.

D: Very drinkable, not sure why this is fall seasonal as I feel that this is an awesome summer sipper. Quality new brew from New Belgium.

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Photo of LibraryTom
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A hoppy Belgian blonde ale is the best name for this one I think. Instead of having pale malt characteristics, this has the fruity Belgian blonde ale characteristics. Notes of ripe peaches are prevalent, as is a smoother, rounder mouthfeel as compared to West Coast Pale Ales. The hop character is present on the nose, as well as the palette, but is much less assertive. It tends to be a backdrop instead of the main event here. An easy drinking ale that has a beautiful rich, sweet, and smooth character, while still being refreshing.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a one finger white head and decent lacing. The aroma is of citrus hops and floral hops. The aroma for a blond is great. The taste has a sweet malt backbone and then a nice ctirus hop bite along with a piney hop bite. The taste is crisp and refreshing. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall for a blond this is a very solid beer. One of the best blondes I have ever had.

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Photo of brewanddrink
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i am a fan of all oktoberferst style or spin offs so i had to try this one. It pour smooth golden into my glass and had a great malt smell with hop notes following right after. It is good with food or by itself. Just one more great beer put out by the awesome New Belgium brewing co.

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Photo of schleprock
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle.
A: This beer looks more like a pilsner than a blonde ale with it's crisp golden color and lots of bubbles. Very nice lacing in the glass.

S: As the name suggests, plenty of fresh hops, earthy and citrusy. The aroma is crisp, sweet and full of citrus.

T: Lots of fruity esthers and a pleasant mild bite from the hops.

M: This beer starts out strong and finishes nicely. A bit of lingering bitterness from the hops and the carbonation give a nice feel.

D: This is a very drinkable beer. This could be a year round brew, or at the very least, available during summer and fall.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into SN tulip glass.
Very attractive golden with nice white head and reasonable stamina. Lots of bubble action from the nucleation.
Balanced malt hop aroma, but I especially like it when the sweet, spicy, citrus, fruit of the hops is most forward. Malt backing is biscuit, toast, nuttiness similar to Fat Tire and some of the other beers from New Belgium. Just a touch of yeast.
Balanced flavors, as with the aroma. I really enjoy the hop character as it blends best with the interesting, yet familiar malt character. Hop as flavor (citrus, spice, mild grassiness) and bitterness (blending, yet laying flat on tongue as the long dryness of the finish kicks in).
Rather fully carbonated which gives a touch of fillingness (if that's a word). Surprisingly heavy body, closer to moderate than light.
The best bottles of this I've had approach Gumballhead. It's not quite there, but it's easier for me to get and I know it will be fresh. An easy beer for me to pick up annually, if it continues to be like this.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A very nice looking golden/amber looking beer with a very thick white head that sticks around for quite a while.
S- smells very floral, with a little citrus, particularly grapefruit integrated in. a little bit of cookie smell hidden in the background, but the scent is definitely hop oriented.
t- very tasty. starts citrusy, moves to a little bit of a bitterness and finishes with some floral and bready flavors.
m- I like my beers to have some presence to them, and this one does, but it was a little overagressive. the carbonation left a little bit of piercing feeling on the pallate. mouthfeel was slightly above average for me.
d- overall a very good beer. one of new belgium's better beers. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will likely enjoy it again soon.

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Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, typical New Belgium label and bottle. As usual, they have all the relevant information easily available.

Appearance: Clear golden and a bit effervescent. Nice sized head, dense with pretty good retention.

Smell: Peppery hops, some varied grain flavors. Definitely appealing.

Taste: Definitely hop forward, but not bitter. Spicy and peppery hop flavors, with a bit of the flavor I associate with rye beers.

Overall impression: Definitely a drinkable offering, I tried this on draft and wasn't impressed - but I'm really enjoying the six pack, so maybe it was my taste buds or the lines or something.

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Photo of MOB210SA
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never wanting to risk buying the 6 pack (which is unusual), I came across a single and picked it up.

Getting close to the exp..

Best Before: Mar 05 2010

Brite white fluffy and light white head that is staying and holding up nicely. Light fuzzy golden in color. Looks great. At the end of my glass that is no shortage of lacing on my glass. It is well covered.

Before I even went in for a smell a great crisp hoppiness crossed my nose from the pour. Really sweet caramel/ caramel malt with a citrusy hoppiness. A good impressive hop nose like an IPA.

Mmm. That is my first impression. Very flavorful. Delicious maltiness with a great tasting soft hoppy finish. Slightly sweet. So similar to me, to an IPA, but less bitter hoppiness. Thats why I love it so much- instantly. So smooth and goes down easy. I could drink these all night happily. I have to say this is my favorite beer Ive tried from NB, and Ive had around 5-10.
Sweet slightly tangy hoppiness fades into sweet caramel hues with a delicious lasting finish.

Medium/light bodied, silky smooth, slightly tongue tingling carbonation. Mouthfeel is great and fits the beer/style perfect.

I guess it was my loss that I never bought it all the times I saw it.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice.

Attractive pour, with a straw golden, lager-esque look that sports sedate carbonation. A thick cap of foam initially, bone white in color and well-retained, but it eventually settles to an off-centered patch of large bubbles. Great lacing, too. Subtly hoppy nose, with soft & sweet grapefruits leading the way, backed by a hint of peppery spice from the rye and sweeter crystal malts. Enticing, but it makes you work for it...digging this one so far.

A damn tasty beer New Belgium has crafted here. Although it's called "Hoptober", the grain bill is the highlight for me, as the rye and oats meld perfectly to form a sublime, earthy smoothness to the body. Suggestions of wet hay and raw oatmeal, before a spicy kick from the rye hits mid-palate. Hops take charge of the finish, adding a great, bitter balance with notes of citrus flesh and green mint. Mouthfeel is a bit aggressive for the style, but that's not too much of an issue for me. Although this won't be the most in-your-face brew that New Belgium has to offer--far from it--but the flavor of Hoptober is both original and superbly well-balanced. An easy choice and easier drinking...seek this one out if you can!

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Photo of beerphan
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
Best Before: 05DEC10 is screened on the label

Pours a clear pale yellow with some orange tinges. Fills the pint to the rim with head and deposits rings of lace that drop together forming a spiderweb coating on the glass. Carbonation is intense, robust and unheeding.

Nose: Faint pale malts and citrus hops.

Much bolder body than expected. No thin blonde ale here. A hopeful and smooth pale malt base teases, before being back handed by a orange-citric hop blast. Finishes quick as the bitterness doesn't hang around for long but does deposit a orange malt float flavor on the mouth. The wheat and oats leave their mark in the remarkable smoothness of the brew. I really like this beer.

We can't get New Belgium in Pennsylvania and that is a shame. Thanks to Simon for bringing the beer over for tasting at the after Big Pour 4 hangout, oh yeah and his cousin for bringing it up from SC. ( Yes, i stashed a couple so i could do a review proper )

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Hoptober Golden Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.83 out of 5 based on 963 ratings.
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