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Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,705 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-06-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,705
Ratings:
4,392
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
16.36%
 
 
Wants:
401
Gots:
774
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 1,705 | Ratings: 4,392
Photo of thirdeye11
3.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 330ml Westmalle bottle into a Westmalle chalice glass.

A: This beer pours a beautiful 1 finger head into the very wide-mouthed Westmalle chalice-style glass, and recedes slowly. There is always a layer of carbonation/head on the top which I find to be a good thing. There is minimal lacing if any at all.

S: I can't really get a lot from the smell of this beer, but a slight skunkiness maybe, and some sour/bitter apple comes through as well. I think I would have preferred it in a Duvel glass actually.

T: This beer is extremely peppery. I really compare this to La Fin Du Monde because for me that beer does an excellent job of balancing sweetness and pepperiness, but the Westmalle is way over the top in the pepperiness side. For those looking to drink a less sweet tripel though, this is probably right up your alley. I just didn't prefer it. There was also a light fruity taste that I couldn't put my finger on, but was more in the aftertaste than up front. The pepper just seems to cover everything.

M: This beer is also too carbonated. It is one of the best palate cleansers I have had which is good, but it is just too dry and overcarbonated for my tastes.

D: I have only had this one twice, and each time I am left not wanting another. I enjoyed the first one I had, and respect this beer for what it is but for me I don't ever see myself drinking more than one.

Overall Westmalle tripel is a complete departure from almost every other tripel I have had in that it is extremely dry, very peppery both times I have had it, but drinking through the first bottle is definitely not a chore. I will definitely get this again, but I don't think I would drink more than one in a night. I also would choose several others in the style over the Westmalle. Even if Westmalle was as cheap as some other offerings (which it isn't, it's one of the most expensive tripels out there) I still think I would pick others over it regularly.

Highly recommended as I know some love this beer, but not my favorite.

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Photo of Wisconsin93
3.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a mellow orange. Has a cloudy, unfiltered look. Nice head retention with noticeable lattice.

S - Boozy and peppery. Small hint of citrus, mostly lemon. Overall a complex bouquet, but not very strong

T - Spicy. We almost tasted vanilla, but very faint. It was juicy, but still a very dry-tasting beer. Not very sweet.

M - High carbonation with a silky feel. Left us salivating between sips. Lots of complexity here. Our favorite part.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This first thing I noticed right away with this one was a monstrous banana smell. There may very well be bananas in this one. A bit of cloves. Cloudy yellow orange in colour. Thin fizzy head than hangs around for a bit. Par for the course with Belgians. You know the drill. As much as it pains me to say so, this stuff really has a bitterness to it that I just totally do not care for. Very disappointed indeed. I have been looking forward to tasting this for quite some time now. The texture, or mouthfeel, is quite nice. Smooth and just heavy enough for the style. Again, I don't know what the hell is going on with the taste, but it seems offensively bitter. I am, however, just now getting over a sickness that has incapacitated me for last four days or so. Perhaps my sense of smell and taste are still a bit impaired. I certainly hope so. I should re-review this in about a week or so. Until then, tonights review stands.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy yellow pour into my St. Bernardus goblet with about a finger of white head. Large bubbly lacing runs down the side of the glass for only a fleeting moment before plunging back into the beer.

S: The aroma is full of clove and bananas, some booze, Belgian yeast and candied sugar. Pretty typical of a tripel, balanced, but not overly impressive.

T: The taste is really spicy and fruity. The booze is nowhere to be found, and the typical warming alcohol feeling seems to be missing, which is really surprising considering the ABV. Very sweet, the taste seems to be just not up to par with other Tripels I've had.

MF: A bit over carbonated with a light body. Dry finish.

O: This was good, and a pretty decent baseline for the style, but it just didn't blow me away. It just seemed too plain.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color was a very light yellow with a slightly hazed appearance. Inch and a quarter high white head was pillow like and took a few minutes to fade. Tiny sized bubbles were in abundance. Lacing in rings.

Very sweet fruit aromas. Bananas, peaches and cherries are blended with strength in that order. Earthy yeast is light against the sweetness. Almost nothing bitter to detect.

Sweet taste with a very strong plastic presence. This had an apple taste hidden behind the initial flavor. Despite the fruit, this one falls short of expectation from the aroma.

Decent feel on the sides of the tongue. Carbonation tingles for a while on all surfaces.

Overall a decent brew. This one would work with a plate of lamb kabobs. A solid beer, that pales when compared to others in the style. Try it if you get a chance, but look for others to rule the style.

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Photo of hammer09
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a cloudy, blonde with vigorous carbonation and a thick, white, foamy head. Smell is of the typical champagne-like yeasty aroma associated with many Belgian ales out there; mild and sweet. Taste is sweet with a definite citrus flavor that, unlike other reviewers, I wasn't able to detect in this beer's aroma. Taste was good, but not as flavorful as I had anticipated; still a very good beer however. Mouthfeel is warming and alcoholic with crisp carbonation. Overall, a very good brew that is easily drinkable.

 524 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: yellowish-gold hue with a tantalizing layer of pure-white head (creamy on top and spongey beneath), slight haziness, some varied-size bubbles rising quickly

Aroma: a big bloom of banana and malt initially, then clove and a bit of cotton candy, wisps of alcohol, bubble-gum, isopropyl

Flavor: peppery alcohol flavor is dominant (like a stiff drink!); the alcohol blooms in the palate and sort of disappears, leaving: a grainy maltiness and some over-ripe pear fruitiness followed by a terse bitter taste (not so sure if it's from hops, though); the finish is pretty dry with the bitterness lingering long in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, champagne-like carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth

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Photo of sjdevel
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: 3.75
Cloudy straw yellow/gold. 3-4 finger head with vigorous bubbling that continues on. Great head retention.

Smell: 3.5
Slight bread and tart grape flavors. Belgian yeast is not as evident as I expected.

Taste: 3.25
At first, there is a bite – a slight hop bitterness and a blast of biscuit and crackers. It starts dry, sweetens up a bit, and later dries out/levels out. There are spice notes of black peppercorns and turmeric. It gets quite earthy in the middle. There is a slight smokey aftertaste when all is said and done.

Feel: 4.25
Medium body approaching full. Very bubbly and adds to the feel. Very interesting on the sensors.

Overall: 3.75
Really good. Not as sweet as some Tripels. Slight dirty taste and very fizzy. At times, it tasted a bit “commercially”.

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Photo of red80go
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - pours a beautiful yellow orangish color with an inch head
s - fruity with a hint of pepper
t - start peppery upfront thin settles quickly into a fruity (pear, grapefruit) dry finish, lingering after taste of grapes
m - feels great with a lot going on, good carbonation up front
d- this is a very drinkable beer and i didn't taste as much alcohol as I thought by the abv, but one should sip a slow pace or it might bite you

I have seen this beer available at tons of stores nowadays.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just picked up the Westmalle gift pack that included 3 Tripels and 3 Dubbels plus a beautiful looking chalice that will probably rival my Duvel tulip, I just know it.

A- Pours a golden honey with a fingers width of white head. No real lacing to speak of which is disappointing although the thin cap that remains on top of the body is a plus.

S- Much mellower than I'm use to with Tripels. The first thing I picked up on was bananna peels followed by a fruity sweetness. Bready yeast in the background.

T- Different from the smell. I get a lot of bubblegum flavor and some spice. Sour apple bitterness in the aftertaste mixed with alcohol.

M- I found the body to be lighter than usual for a tripel and the carbonation was a bit to much. Finish is dry and the alcohol really sits in the mouth for awhile.

D- Although this isn't my favorite style, I just didn't think it stacked up against some of the other tripels I've had. I wanted to enjoy it because I really love trappist beers, but there is definitely better options out there IMO.

 1,040 characters

Photo of BierStein711
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice

Golden hazy yellow, much like a hefeweizen or Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde.

Three finger head that was reduced in ten minutes, and disappeared after twenty minutes.

S: Barley, alcohol, and wheat

T: Wheat and barley malts, hop bitterness, and a subtle bite

M: Heavy, but not as heavy as some Russian Imperial Stouts or some other Belgians

Overall, this is a beer with a prestigious name that I would not seek out due to both price and the fact that I didn't care for it that much.

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Photo of BeelzeBrew
3.56/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A cloudy yellow, dark straw-like color. When poured slightly aggressively, the head was huge at nearly 4 fingers, but dissipated into a full glass lacing with about a centimeter of height. Nice to look at.

S: Twangy, fruity and alcoholic. Not the most inviting scent. Sweetness and fruits, a tidbit of hops.

T: Sweet, full-bodied and heavy on the banana. It's hoppy, but not reaching Pale Ale proportions. The most prominent taste here is the alcoholic blast, it's a pleasant burn...but for a Tripel, it could have been masked much better. It does seem to smoothen out and become more complex as the beer warms, great taste by the time you're 2/3rds finished.

M: It is thick in your mouth, creamy as well.

D: Not so good on the drinkability, the alcohol can be harsh...overall I'd easily drink a few of these, but not something I can claim to drink all night.

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Photo of Converge
3.56/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a 14.9oz goblet.

A - After a long, tedious pour, this brew literally yields a mountain of frothy white foam for a head. Once in the glass, I'm left with a hazy, pale-golden beer with small bubbles of lively carbonation flowing up the glass. Fantastic rocky head retention and decent enough lacing.

S - Sometimes smelling a beer through a thick, dense head after the pour can be a bit off putting, but it doesn't look like this head is leaving any time soon... The aroma I get is rather peculiar however. Lots of pale barley malt and bready wheat, with some apricot, pear, peach, honey, and light grassy hops. The yeast presence is minimal and the spices seem to be completely AWOL. What I'm left with is a simple but fragrant aroma, with an understated sweetness. Almost reminds me of a blonde ale, or dare I say it, some sort of imperial lager...

T - Much like the aroma, a pronounced backbone of both pale barley malt and bready wheat leads the way, with subtleties sprinkled on top. Apricot and peach flavors are nice and some slight honey and candi sugar notes add some sweetness. Gets more and more bready as it warms. The finish is where this one gets strange for me, and seems to be quite out of style. The usual spice on would expected from a tripel is toned way, way down, and this coming from a guy who doesn't usually care for the spice in tripels. Next up, the hop presence is overdone for the style, with some borderline herbal notes coming through. And lastly, and worst of all, I'm left with the overbearing flavor and warmth of alcohol in the finish. I definitely did not expect this from such a highly rated beer, and a Trappist one at that. The flavor profile just feels muted and even boring, and the alcohol is just too obvious for only 9.50% ABV. Still a half decent brew, but nowhere near the reputation it carries.

M - Medium bodied, with a touch too much carbonation. A little sticky, but really quite oily and warming. Not so good.

D - Definitely a different tripel than most, but this just isn't for me. The profile feels too simple and uninteresting and the blatant alcohol presence just kills it for me. Brewing a tripel that doesn't rely heavily on spicy and yeasty qualities seems like a fair enough idea, but don't make it 9.50% ABV with no significant flavors to mask the alcohol.

 2,342 characters

Photo of fisherman34
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gold in colour with a floatie or two, and well carbonated. Pleasing aromas of MacIntosh apple, pear, and a bit of spicy yeast. The fruit flavors become more lemon like on the palate, and mix well with the light malt and mild grassy hop notes. Surprisingly bitter finish, with notes of lemon rind at the end. A bit too dry for the style IMO (if that’s even possible). Not bad, but could be better.

 397 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Slightly cloudy straw colored pour with thin, but lasting white foam top. I bought two bottles, so hoping the other is different. Lots of pepper dominates the aroma. in there somewhere is some banana and bubblegum, but pepper and/or clove overwhelms. Flavor is unfortunately very similar. Hard to discern the subleties, but there is some malt sweetness. Finishes with a bite from the pepper.

 391 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Huge, bubbly, dense bright-white head on a hazy, burnt/dirty gold colored beer. Lively carbonation without being effervescent. Big chunks of lacing. Retention is crazy.

Smell: Banana, ester, spicy Belgian yeast, and some sweet pale malts. Bready and snappy. Big ripe fruit with apple coming through the back. Nice building clove spiciness. Backing alcohol. Vaguely waxy.

Taste: Clove laced banana and esters. Belgian yeast for days. Ripe banana, apple skin, clove spiciness with some bubblegum thrown in for good measure. Earthy and slightly dirty. Building alcohol warmth as the beer warms. Bready. So much yeast. Pale malts add some sweetness. Toasted malt backing is unique. Cloyingly Belgian. Raw honey edge. Phenolic, especially as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light with a solid, yet moderate carbonation. Lingering spiciness coupled with a moderate dryness.

Overall: Find "yeast bomb" in the dictionary. It's a picture of this beer.

So much yeast it's distracting. Each sip is a sharp punch of yeast aggression. Nice malts and carbonation make it drinkable, but the yeast hits so hard for so long it loses out overall.

 1,145 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light, but very hazed yellow colour, with an extremely voluminous head of crackling whit bubbles. Some dissipation as the head collapses, but the lacing is reasonably good, sticking in the same patterns as the large bubbles cracked. Lots of streaming carbonation, but that gives it rather a refined look. Looks very decent overall.

Nose is rather bready, but with a good, slightly funky crushed citrus leaf character. Plenty of Belgian yeas, but a lot of refreshment to be had throughout, and a little bit of classic spice and phenolics to remind you of the style. Very decent.

Taste is sharp and peppery, and extremely phenolic on the finish, with a big bitterness that wells up throughout. Front is thin with a slight yeast overtone, before the phenolic spice comes through with a vengeance. Feel is very light, but gets cut with the astringency on the back.

Wow, compared to the St Bernardus I had earlier in the evening, this is a far more raw and far harsher beer, and it suffers for it. Not a huge amount of complexity, and a ragingly raw back palate that truly hurts drinkability. As much as I'm reviewing it, I know it's not my place to tell the Trappist monks what to do, but this was not my cup of tea. There are other examples I've enjoyed a whole lot more.

It's not a bad beer by any means, but it's below the baseline for the style in my opinion.

 1,376 characters

Photo of seabass87
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in corked-and-caged 1 PT 9.4 FL OZ bottle. Bottled on 16/11/10. Poured into chalice.

A- Glowing light orange body. Incredibly cloudy. Pour reveals 1 1/2 fingers of fizzy head that dissipates quickly.

S- Banana bread and orange peel form the base. Sharp notes of pepper and clean alcohol. Unsure of where this one is going.

T- Bananas, grapefruit and some other bitter citrus esters. Alcohol. The yeast is lively and spicy, as opposed to the bread-y taste one might expect. Not a mild taste. The alcohol is not hidden. A fair amount of pepper and spice. Bitter and slightly metallic in transition, and a bit medicinal. Some pine-y hops come at the close.

M- Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Finish is very dry.

O- I know this beer is pretty much universally lauded, but I found it to be just OK. It does have a stronger, more complex taste than many tripels. Not bad, but I'd take a Chimay White or a LFDM over this any day.

 950 characters

Photo of jhubeifc
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to try another of the Trappist Ales but was quite disappointed with Westmalle Tripel to be honest. Perhaps I got a poor bottle....
It poured with no head whatsoever and left only minimal lacing. It was a beautiful pale amber and had a decent enough waft. Fruit notes, slight banana and a mild alcohol, perhaps whiskey.
It had very little carbonation and tasted flat across the palate. Fruit followed by some sourdough bread which was a nice surprise. A mild bitter finish.
Not as complex as either of the other Trappists I've sampled this week and in truth was my least favorite of the bunch. Still worth a try and I know I'll give it another go to see if I did indeed get a bad bottle.

 701 characters

Photo of jmasher85
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one at my Beer Club meeting where we sampled almost every available Trappist Beer, so some tough competition that night. Even with that said, this one tasted a bit flat and one-dimensional compared to the Westmalle Dubbel, so between the two, and for the same price, I'd go for the other. Still though, a pretty damn tasty beer, if you can get a good deal.

 369 characters

Photo of Yesac
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Peachy golden color, small bright white head quickly settles to a small foamy layer.

S- Light fruits, Belgian yeast,

T- Reminds me of a white wine or dry champagne. Sweet, citrusy, dry and that's about it. Flavors are all bunched together. Makes a great sipper.

M- Medium body, high carbonation.

D- Great Belgian sipper over all. Slightly to dry for my liking and not as complex as I'm used to with this style.

 421 characters

Photo of IrieJackalope
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Belgian style goblet. Lots of carbonation and the head foams up to about two inches right away and slowly drops back down. Ultimately, there's a think layer of head and some pretty thick lacing left down the side of the glass. Color is a golden, yellow-almost-orange, tone. Very inviting. The smell is almost completely dominated by the Belgian yeast strain that we've all come to admire in Trappist ales. The taste is delicious, with a smooth sweet malty taste. The yeasty smell is consistant in the beer's taste as well with spicy notes of clove throughout. There's a pretty viscous body, but not as full as I would expect from a Triple. Pretty drinkable, overall, but I would say that it fails to compare with other Trappist greats...especially Chimay's Triple.

 798 characters

Photo of mothman
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

TOP 100 Tick FTW!!!

Poured into unibroue snifter.

Pours 1.5 finger of white head. Nice retention, but no lace. Color is a hazy pale gold.

Aroma: Dried apples and pears are the dominate fruit flavors here. Some cloves and spice notes. Belgian yeast shows with some bready malts. Herbal floral hop profile.

Taste: A bit of booze shows, coriander and spices are big, dried apples and pears again. Yeast, bready malts. The taste follows the nose fairly identical.

Mouthfeel: Very fizzy and dry. Medium bodied with a very high amount of carbonation. A bit hot as well with more alcohol showing than I would like.

Overall, a decent tripel, but too much carbonation and a bit too much alcohol showing. Somewhat drinkable. I dig a bit of it.

 740 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 cl bottle poured into An Brainblasta goblet in the Porterhouse Dublin. Reviewed from notes.

A: Four finger head of nice thickness, very good retention, and a bit of cream. Hazy yellow colour. Very appealing. Head retains impressively well for 9.5% ABV. I'm excited to try this.

Sm: Fresh slightly citrusy scent, maybe some yeast.

T: Fresh open of a little cream to a complex body of estery notes and citrus hops that are subtle but lovely. Fresh barley. A hint of bittering hops. The three acts work together; the transitions are seamless. Built and balanced well.

Mf: Very coarse, bringing out the flavours in the body. Starts wet but gets very dry, especially at the climax. Too heavy for the complexity (or perhaps more appropriately, lack thereof).

Dr: Too coarse and dry, but hides its 9.5% ABV extraordinarily well. I'd have it again at a better price, perhaps in Belgium.

An influential beer that I need to revisit in more depth.

***
04.14.16: 2nd impression from a bottle purchased at Albert Hiejn in Rotterdam.

Boozier than I remember. Pear, Belgian yeast, Belgian pale malts, faint honey, flowery notes.

I really owe this a proper full review...

Low B / GOOD

 1,186 characters

Photo of artdob
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Super meringue head.

Initially found it difficult to nose through the intensely thick head. Even after subsiding, still having difficulty getting much off the aroma. Mainly getting yeast esters. I recall the dubel from the same brewery being much more intense in this category.

Tastes of champagne laced with honey, chamomile tea with undetyong bitterness.

Warm and slight carbonation on the mouthfeel.

 405 characters

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
95 out of 100 based on 1,705 ratings.
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