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Westmalle Trappist Tripel | Brouwerij Westmalle

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,717 Reviews
Westmalle Trappist TripelWestmalle Trappist Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westmalle
Belgium
trappistwestmalle.be

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:
1,717
Ratings:
4,443
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
16.36%
 
 
Wants:
416
Gots:
809
For Trade:
5
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Reviews: 1,717 | Ratings: 4,443
Photo of SupaCelt
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one displays a sort of sunburst pattern when eyed whilst it rests in the goblet glass. The center of the half circle is more of an orange colour than the golden hues that flourish on the edges around this darker core. Yip. A matress of luscious white presides over the event and is continually fed from plentiful springs of gas. The nose is a bit blunt. It smells of a dull spiciness. The sweet tones are not as prevalent as I had expected. This smells quite raw and earthy. If you want to know what earthy is: earthy is a more poetic way to say it smells like barks and rind and other organic debris and natural shit have been introduced to the mixture by some means. Raw varies by degree. Raw is a facet of earthy that denotes level of perceived rotten ambiance. This one is low on raw, but it is a bit raw. Some degree of rot is always suitable and needed for character. So you see, earthy and raw sound better as such than do the aforementioned descriptives. Thin layers of banana and sugar lay underneath these assertive rough textures. In time a more acidic and fruity nose crops up and becomes noticeable. The taste shows the sweet and fruity aspects boastfully. It has a tang to it that reminds me of some acidophilus barrel dweller. She is sweet up front moving purposefully to a sudden bitterness that is again overtaken by sweet in the finish. It unfolds like the tortoise and the hare. The mouthfeel projects a creaminess to bolster the lighter qualities of the liquid. The end result is another stellar Belgian beer. Otherworldly in a sense. Right on you Jean Claude Van Dammes.

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Photo of Solomon420
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle smuggled back from Belgium by me :)
the pour was nice, very nice colour, very characteristic of its style. The smell was fruity and airy, with spicy notes popping up from within. First swig I noticed a nice taste of citrusy pleasure followed by a small bite of alcohol in the aftertaste. Not overpowering and very expected from a Tripel. This one is easy to drink and a very well made beer. Its reputation preceeds it very well and I will jot this one down of beers to bring back from Europe during next years business trip.

 538 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 11/07/07.

Huge pillowy white head atop a hazy light orange body with some particulate strewn about.

The nose: spicy, vinous, alcoholic, light fruit.

Big time spice, firm bitterness, and a combustible effervescence combine for an active but focused feeling on the palate. Bitterness grabs and hold the attention into the finish, where yeasty notes perk up as well.

Its carbonation may be a touch on the high side for my tastes -- but then again, this one seems like maybe its been bottle-conditioning for a while now -- but even so that's an issue that's easily taken care of by a few extra swirls of the glass.

The finish and aftertaste are suitably dry and spicy to ensure the glass isn't away from the lips for too long.

What a wonderful beer. Lively, flavorful, alluring, unique -- commands your attention.

 845 characters

Photo of bonbright7
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I shared two bottles of this in a beer tasting on LI this evening and I was impressed by the generous bubbly head as well as elastic webs inside the poured bottle: very fresh. This reddish-golden ale flowed majectically into my cup and the first taste was immense with a snappy ending I couldn't quite describe.

This would have been great to serve at Thanksgiving with the dark meat of the turkey, stuffing, wild rice, and gravy.

By the way, if you are looking for this on Long Island, NY, Whole Foods in Manhasset on 25-A/Northern Blvd has this (among others) and that particular store is one of the three regular retailers to have it in metro-NYC.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Big, white, Belgian head, mountainous and snowy with thick, cloudy lace. Body is a bright orange-amber with tiny bits of sediment in evenly-distributed suspension. Bold and classy.

Smell: Apple tartness, cinnamon spice, earthy yeast, sharp grain alcohol, pear and pineapple juice sweetness. Very fresh, bright, and invigorating. You can tell it's a strong one, but the alcohol does not overwhelm. Burnt sugar and grassy notes emerge as it warms.

Taste: Snappy, slightly astringent alcohol along with a very vinous and fruity malt character, finishing with an orange rind bitterness and a dry, yeasty tartness that sticks to your tonsils.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sticky, and medium-bodied. It could be creamier, but at least the alcohol doesn't scorch the palate (as it does in some other tripels).

Drinkability: This a powerful beer, both in flavor and in alcohol, but it is still quite drinkable. It has all the depth, flavor, and boldness of a red wine, making it a great pair for beef.

 1,007 characters

Photo of elricorico
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden colour with an abundance of foamy white head. Lots of visible carbonation and good head retention.

The smell is dominated by candy sugar and alcohol spiciness. Some citrus base, and a touch of soapy aroma in there as well.

First impression is that this is a sweet and fruity ale, with a notable alcohol finish, though the alcohol waits until the bitter end to show itself. As I drink further, alcohol becomes more and more the defining taste. Fruity citrus flavours up front that can't quite keep up with the alcohol burn of the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, light but not watery, with just a bit of stickiness to it. Well carbonated but not abrasive.

Drinkability suffers from the alcohol burn, but it isn't bad in the end. A decent triple, but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites.

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Photo of westweasel
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from an 11.2 ounce bottle from Family Liquors in Homewood, IL.

Appearance: Hazy, bright tan/yellow color. Huge white head. Tons of Belgian lace.

Smell: Scents of floral, spice, clove, and orange.

Taste: It has flavors of orange and spice with very low bitterness or hop taste.
It has a very dry finish with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable which is scary. This beer has a high alcohol content (9.5 ABV) that is not apparent when drinking. It would be very easy to drink two or three of these before you realize what's happening.

 609 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

06/21/06- Purchased at Jackson's Wine and Spirits in Lafayette, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. Date strip on the side, but unnothced..although there is a date stamped on the bottle that says Dec 2005. Assuming that this is the best by date as I have had the bottle aging for about two years. Didn't really think much of it as I'm assuming a good tripel should be able to age that long with no ill effects. Poured into my Westmalle chalice.

Appearance- Peachy-orange colored pour. Whoops, a bit to much on the pour as a huge chunk of yeast dropped in my glass and then broke apart into little protien balls and yeast flakes. None to appetizing right now. Head was only a 1/2 inch as first which shrunk to a rim in no time flat. Lacing was very minimal.

Smell- Light alcoholic esters. Lots of spicy goodness. Sweet smelling tropical fruits.

Taste- Sadly I am disappointed. This one is all alcohol. From sip one that's about all I got. An overwhelming taste of alcohol. Made this 9% beer taste like a 15% beer. Also seemed a bit watered down at times. Beneath all that there was a tropical fruity base with some spicyness.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation...alcohol aftertaste. Your friends will think you are a drunk after drinking this one.

Drinkability- Past it's prime? Not sure. Other people think the same about the alcohol. Maybe just not my cup of tea for a tripel. I still have a bomber of this stashed away within it's best by period. I'll have to bust it out real soon for comparrison.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A very aggressive head on this one, took me 3 stages to get it all out of the 330 ml brown bottle. The result is a merrengue-like ethereal head, and as it slowly drops I was rewarded with a half-moon shape embossed in it. Aw shucks... Almost a creamy-like lacing left over. The body is a hazy apricot with lazy eddies of carbonation and a bit of suspended particles, since I gave the bottle a quick swish before I poured out the remaining contents.

A bit of sugary sweetness greets the nose first, along with citrus rind, before the spice really hits. Difficult to dissect the spice profile at this point though, it tends to play cat and mouse.

The alcohol steps forward quickly to shake my hand upon the first sip. It warms the mouth while everything else in the flavour subtely slips by, and then its all over. Some grains and spice in the middle, and a hoppy, rind-ish finish. Balanced and subtle, but overwhelmed by the alcohol content. Seems to me at times more like a high-octane English Bitter than a tripel.

The mouthfeel is light, but smooth and velvety, it compliments the aesthetics of the head. It's a small pleasure to roll over the tongue.

However the mouthfeel alone isn't enough to bring me back for another one of these any time soon. A lower abv% may have helped to compliment the subtlety of the flavour profile more, as the two aren't jiving particularly well for now, since I'd much rather be dancing with the wallflower rather than the boozy partner that keeps rubbing up against me every time I turn around and take a sip.

 1,559 characters

Photo of barleyman
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the unique brown glass 11.2 oz bottle into my straight sided tumbler. A stiff rocky head was noted that laced down the sides of the glass. A dark golden cloudy color with lots of carbonation. Smell is primarily citrus, with raisins, bread and yeast tones as well. Taste is combination of smell components with a slight hop finish. Mouthfeel is lighter than most other Trappist tripels, as is the color. Drinkability is better than most in this style. The best Trappist to start your jouney with.

Just a thought,

barleyman

 539 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear gold with a giant white foamy head. The smell is strong with coriander, floral,malt, candy sugar, and apricot. The taste is very good with all the aromas mentioned along with fruit, pepper, and some citrus,lemon. The m/f is light and smooth,perfectly mixed making this one of the truely great beers in the world.

 331 characters

Photo of bjohnson
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$11.20 at Downtown in Davis Sq.

A: Pours a densely hazy golden color with yellow hues. Huge foamy frothy white head. Good retention and nice spider-web lace on the glass.
S: Phenolic aromas with some banana and fruit like notes also. A bit sweet and spicy also.
T & M: Tastes of bananas and sweet fruit hit the palate first. Slight bitterness detected in the aftertaste, mostly on the tip of the tongue and roof of the mouth. Good level of carbonation has a big presence up front. Very sweet tasting, but definitely a good tasting tripel. Creamy, but light on the palate with a smooth some-what dry finish.
D: Drinkable to a point. High abv like all tripels. I do love the style, but I think there are better ones out there for cheaper. I would assume the higher price is based on it being a trappist and travel costs, etc. A good one to try though.

 855 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1997
Best before 5/3/99

Pours hazy orangy gold, with moderate carbonation revealing a modest white head.
Densely packed froth is short-lived and settles into the goblet, leaving behind edging and a whispy skim-coat.
Aromatics are filled with dried hard fruit candies and hints of vanilla.
Tangerines, apricots, cherry bubble gum, with some light caramel notes.
Nose finishes slightly sweet with a wink of juniper and white pepper.
Body on the thin side of medium, mildly creamy and slightly sticky.
Pallet starts off with honey drizzled dried fruits dusted with spice.
Malt character is small with a light husky note under the peppery fruit.
Warming and slightly hot on the back of the throat.
Finishes dryingly, with some residuals and a light bitterness in tandem with spice.

Nine years old and only showing some subdued character with a lower carbonation level. Some slight oxidation shows itself in the quanine-like wince in the nose, and a hint of wet paper in the finish.

 1,001 characters

Photo of CreamAle128
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pure white head, small bubbles, and very creamy looking, decent lacing on the glass. Nice yellow hugh to the beer.

Smell:Can smell some apricots, bit of citrus and hops, a bit of honey somewhere in the middle, behind all the other aromatics. Not too bad, not as good as the Achel though for smell. Just needs more of everything, too subtle.

Taste: Hops! this is by far the hoppiest Triple i have had. Tarty, slightly acidic, some soft fruits, that briefely come up, little alcohol, slightly pepper-like. Finshes with a quick, sharp, and strong bitterness, and lingers for a little while, with dryness. It seems as though there are many soft fruit complexities that are hidden behind all of the strong hop flavor/characteristics, its nice to try and be able to see if a person can find them. Makes the mouth water! P.S as the beer warms, the hop sharpness decreases.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy, coating, slight, and i mean very slight astringancy. Not bad!

Drinkability: A Joy to drink, i see this as a powerful triple that is to be respected for its strength, and is one to have on occasion. Can't have too many of these, for its intense flavour, not because of its alcohol.

I will revisit this again in the future

 1,247 characters

Photo of Drew966
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Westmalle Trappist Tripel pours a luminescent copper with a small off-white head from a brown 33cl bottle. Aroma is dominated by an apricot like smell which is quite nice, a bit of alcohol is noticeable too. Sparkly carbonation. The alcohol is quite noticeable to me. Also, fruit is present, but the finish is definitely spicy. Very interesting beer. I'm going to have to revisit this one. Recommended.

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Photo of pootz
2.73/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured a slightly clouded sparkling orange-gold ale into my trappist chalace. Discreet fluffy cap and wonderful lacing. Lively champagne-like effervescence.

The nose is greeted with an earthy-spicey-honey-apricot aroma..alcohol not overly obnoxious to the nose.

Medium body. Mouth feel is peppery from the carbonation/alcohol decernment.

Flavor is not overly complex with malt mixture, the dominant sweet brewer’s sugar mingles with caramel malt to give a sweet spiced cider tone, the hops are there but sit in the background providing a tartness reminiscent of sour apple with yeasty-earthy undertones...then the slap in the face... a short, dry, harsh alcoholic finish where the alcohol becomes very apparent and literally obliterates the flavor profile of the ale.

Not my cup of tea....not very drinkable and too sharp/harsh to be savored slowly. Perhaps a year or two in cellar will mellow it, but drunk fresh it's pretty harsh like a high classed euro strong beer. I echo Oakes sentiment: " what the hell is so special about this?"

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Photo of bgraney
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep gold with a huge white head. Lots of visual action, almost like staring into an aquarium. Fountains shooting up from the bottom of the glass.
Very nice extensive floral aroma with the expected alcohol presence.
Full of flavor which fills the entire mouth to the back of the tongue. I was expecting a little more variation to the taste. I had a Westmalle double at a restaurant recently and remember being more impressed with the flavor of that.
A smooth ride considering the alcohol content. You can definitely sip the night away with as many of these as you want.

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Photo of mcowgill
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange yellow with big creamy head that leaves a thin lacing around the glass. Sediment floating around.

S - Yeast aroma with lemon and spice

T - Citrusy, hoppy, nice belgian yeast taste

M - Full bodied, perfectly carbonated

D - Very drinkable potent tripel. One of the best I've had.

 300 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is as good as they get. A true Tripel straight from Belgium! It is more light and fruity than I would have expected but so remarkably easy to drink.

Appearance: Pours an orange yellow peach color.

Smell: This beer was very aromatic; filling the nose with zesty lemon, toasty malty and other sweet fruits.

Taste: Soft and fruity on the palate but with a nice mix of lively spices. Very balanced very smooth, lemony hops and sweet malts just sing.

Mouthfeel: Light weight but full and creamy in the mouth.

Drinkability: I have yet to have a better experience with any Tripel.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

 629 characters

Photo of instrumentality
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured the contents of this small bottle into a pint glass. The body was a cloudy, yellowish color that looked quite similar to unfiltered apple cider. However, at first, this color took up only an inch or two at the bottom of the glass; the rest was filled by a bubbly, fluffy white head, more carbonated than any beer I've had. The head settled slowly to about half its original stature, allowing me to pour the remains of the beer from the bottle.

The scent was a potent mix rof champagne, apples, and peaches. It was quite unusual and refreshing.

Mouthfeel was very bubbly and burned somewhat from the alcohol.

The taste was unlike any beer I've had. It had a...sharpness? sourness? to it that reminded me a great deal of champagne, mingled with the subtle flavor of peaches.

As for drinkability, I interpret this to mean how easily I can down a bottle of the stuff. While I definitely enjoyed the flavor, it was something I would want in small doses as opposed to throwing back a couple at a time.

Again, this is a highly unique beer, at least coming from the perspective of someone who's not too well-versed in this style. This is the second Westmalle Tripel I've had, and there will definitely be a third, but probably not for some time.

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Photo of Phocion
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a Westmalle chalice with a light, cloudy, golden color and a very rich, appetizing white head, leaving nice creamy lacing around the glass. Small bubbles throughout sneaking up to the top. This thing looks delicious.

Maybe it's just because I finished a Rochefort 10, but I'm not picking up any strong scents except for the fruit. Apricot would be my guess, with a hint of lemon peeking through as well.

Tripels have never been my favorite style of Belgian, but this is good. Not great, but good. Very tarty and acidic, but sweet at the same time. The alcohol content is definitely evident as well.

Medium-bodied, with a lot of carbonation. Nothing too special.

The carbonation is already getting to me, and it's a bit too dry as well. However, for the ABV it's a very drinkable beer.

Overall, it's a good beer, but if I'm going to drink a Westmalle, I'd prefer the Dubbel.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear with a huge head...like Duvel....makes you wait. Laces and drops to about 1/8" after several minutes. Lots of bubbles...pretty lively.
First whiff is faintly like a pilsner...then mild grainy, earthy, must.
Really complex taste...starts a little tart and yeasty..hay, grain, barnyard-wool , a little sweet malt...hops kick in with lemon/orange, pepper....alcohol shows up, but subtle....yeasty-malt dry finish. Aftertaste is a balance of malt, wool and hop bitter, and it lasts a while after each sip. Alcohol more evident as it warms up.
Mouthfeel is great...medium body...high carbonation.
All in all , a very nice Tripel...unique.

 650 characters

Photo of orsulacp
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a light copper with a bright white head and active carbonation. The smell seemed muted, a bit of clove and some citrus friut, not much else. The taste makes up for the smell, orange candy and a peppery spicy bite, the alcohol is hidden in the taste but I can feel it warming my stomach. Light mouthfeel, highly carbonated to add to the peppery bite. Very drinkable and refreshing.

 392 characters

Photo of bigman147
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour - Bright gold with a thick heavy white head. A lot of lacing on the glass. Also a noticible amount of sediment (yeast) in the glass. This gives it the combination of hazy unfiltered with the added benefit of allowing for proper cellaring.

Aroma - Very complex and ever changing. When I first opened the bottle, I was struck by the slight sulphidic/yeasty character. As the beer warmed slightly, I picked up more citrus (grapefruit/lemon) maybe even slight apricot. The yeast and malty aromas blending with the citrus makes for a pleasant aroma

Taste - 3 things stick out in my mind as far as taste. A very bready malty flavor that I found very pleasant. The sweetness was very forward and the bitterness as very late. The alcohol is very pronounced in the finish which makes me what to take the next sip before it develops completely. The taste is like a rollercoaster around my tongue (Sweet, Sour, Bitter). A little of everything and yet not too much of any. (thankfully no salty flavor)

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated, very alcoholic finish. Bitterness is short but sweet without a horrible lingering.

Drinkability - This is tough. Its very good but I think the high alcohol @ 9.5 ABV%, it loses alot of the drinkable nature. Also the carbonation which is still very active is very filling. I found myself burping yeasty, sweet, hop bombs for a few hours after having it. Its very good and as many have stated "this is the mother of all tripels".

 1,466 characters

Photo of Cresant
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. 11.2 oz. dated 6/4/07. Purchased at Whole Foods.

Rocky big head peaked around 3 inches and slowly subsided to lace. The body was a hazy golden brown. Held to the light I could see that the etched "D" at the bottom of the tulip was a bubble factory, sending a constant stream of tiny fizz toward the surface.

Smell was very nice, multi-layered. Sweet malts, bread dough, pancake syrup, and apricots. Hops so intense it smelled like driving past A-B in St. Louis.

The taste did not match the lovely aroma. A bit of molasses and nice hops appearance. An oily creamy flavor. The alcohol (ETOH) was well hidden from my tastebuds but not my brain. As the beer warmed the ETOH became more evident. A brandy-like taste warmed my mouth.

The mouthfeel was filling and champagne-like. Pleasant ETOH burn.

I cannot drink more than one per sitting, but with the high ETOH I don't want/need more than one. A fulfilling sipper.

 957 characters

Westmalle Trappist Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle
4.28 out of 5 based on 4,443 ratings.
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