Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout | Guinness Ltd.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
214 Reviews
Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen StoutGuinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland
guinness.com

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This 8% abv stout has long been a secret pleasure among beer connoisseurs and indeed our Brewers, who value the mouth watering intensity of its roasted malt, smoked wood and dark chocolate notes, not to mention it's excellent and seemingly endless finish. Since 1944 we have been exclusively exporting this same special stout from Ireland into Belgium through the vibrant port of Antwerp. This is the first time we're making it available for general release in America.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 06-28-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
214
Ratings:
429
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Wants:
138
Gots:
75
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 429
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has an opaque black body with tiny strands of bubbles gliding up the sides of the glass. There is a creamy oatmeal colored head that is thick and last for the full beer. There are register marks of foam on the glass with each sip.

S- The smell of fruity prunes turns into a smooth dark black malt smell with a light earthiness.

T- The dark black malt has an earthy note and a cream taste. There are some caramel malt notes that support the black malt. There is a faint roasted licorice note and a finish of black bitterness and a chalk note. The black roasted note lingers nicely after the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture. There is a soft spice of alcohol heat at the finish.

D- This beer has a great roasted black malt flavor with smooth quality and a nice bitterness. This is not a full bodied Guinness often enhanced with NO2 but a much lighter bodied but still full flavored Guinness. Very drinkable even at 8% ABV.

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Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to upsjeff for this 330 mL bottle.

A: The stout is a dark brown, nearly black, color with the occasional ruby red flash. A finger and a half of tan leather head is lacing nicely.

S: The nose has lactic sourness amongst the roasted malts. Peppery flourish and mild hops round out the nose, which is much fuller than the 250th that I just had.

T: Mmmm! The stout has the thick qualities of a Guinness with a touch of Belgian spiciness. Chocolate malts are nicely roasted and augmented with cocoa powder. Lactic sweetness has an edge of sourness but not a significant one. A pronounced hoppiness resides near the end of each sip. Licorice and dark fruits are signs of the Belgian aspect. Luscious chocolate lingers on the palate long after a sip is gone.

M: The mouthfeel is rich, a nice twist on the classic Guinness export. A stout that embraces its Belgian side.

D: Quite the conundrum: it is the best Guinness but it is too rich to enjoy over and over again. The 8% doesn't really rear its ugly head, content to stay in the background.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and some random splotches of bubbly surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Biscuity sweet malt character exhibits notes of brown sugar, molasses and caramel. Also a hint of coffee.

T- Roasty upfront with a slight metallic flavor mid-palate that's soon washed away by sweetness. Very drinkable for the ABV and there's some hop bitterness plus some bitterness from the roast to complement the sweetness.

M- Soft and slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Quite good though I doubt I'd revisit it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, 24-11-13 00:49 printed on back label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some caramel. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some burnt/charred malt. It starts off bitter, but gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 8% ABV is well hidden in this brew. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle that I received as an extra from Masterski. Thank you, Alex, this has been on my wants for about 2 years and I finally get a chance to drink this.

This is another first for me - this bottle actually has nutritional information on it! 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 0.8 grams of protein per 100ml for a grand total of 64 calories per serving, best by 27 August 2010.

Pouring a very dark brown, this sits black with reddish dark brown highlights. A mocha colored head is present, dense, creamy and beautiful lacework. The nose is excellent. Licorice and molasses, there's also some spice character. The spice is a blend of yeast and licorice. Unsweetened dark chocolate syrup and a little coffee are present, but what strikes me the most is the complex yeast profile - spicy with a little clove? Some vanilla and brown sugar are also present.

The palate opens with a blend of licorice, cocoa and some spice character. Moderately yeasty, particularly on the mid-palate. The malt backbone is quite complex, with a blend of moderate roast, a little acidic burnt malt bitterness, some burnt sugar and some molasses. Drying on the finish with some yeast, this beer is medium in body with moderate carbonation. Spicy and yeasty on the finish, this is enjoyable, and I'm glad to have got the chance to drink this. Excellent

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Photo of Brad007
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've never seen this before. Pours a dark hue with a brown head into my glass. Roasted coffee and rich cocoa notes in the nose. Rich roasted coffee with bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit upfront. Chewy finish with some alcohol warmth. Well worth a shot if you're a fan of Guinness Export/Foreign Export stouts.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I revisited this beer tonight (2-27-17) as part of a three way blind taste test with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Bent Brewstillery FES. This one came in second place. Bent Brewstillery came in first.

I agree with my original thoughts and ratings below. This one has a nice bitterness to it without being too harsh, which the other Guinness that I tasted approaches. LongBeachBum got me my first sample of this. ZAP got me my recent sample.

Original Review: July 22, 2004

Inky black appearance. One finger airy light brown head. Retention is outstanding and the lacing comes in full sheets. Sharp nose of espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla bean and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is velvety. Body is a little better than medium. The taste is full of bitter goodness. Roasted bitterness dominates to a point, but doesn't overpower. There's also some nutty character and smoke and tobacco and char and baker's chocolate and...Wow. Nice mix of flavors. This is hands down the best Guiness offering.

Gotta thank the Bum for such a rare treat.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vertical tasting w/ 2014, 2013, and 2010 expiry dated bottles; ratings are averaged.
2014: Garnet black with webby tendrils of tan.
Metallic and lean nose with slight raisin.
Giant treacle body with some coffee grounds and dried cranberry.
Pure Baker’s chocolate end and drying vinous linger.
Medium to full, dry, and chewy.

Much tinnier and port-like than I’d expect - raisiny yet dry. No sweetness to help you swallow it. Mighty but easy.

2013: Bigger vinous nose, great webbing, and a much fuller and silkier body. Big chocolate thread; reminiscent of Polish rum-raisin bon-bons. So much to dig into; almost not the same beer.

2010: Tobacco nose comes out now, there are more oxidized sherry notes, and it’s starting to get too fizzy. Past its peak, but still has an incredible long, layered sultana finish.

Overall all a very different creature from Foreign Export - goes for tart over sweet, dark fruit over coffee. Should be laid down and then tasted like port. Worthwhile.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, thanks to my friend, Ken, for giving me a bottle to try
A - towering tan colored head holds incredible retention atop a black colored ale; heavy lacing sticks all the way down the glass
S - roasted barley, fresh french roast coffee, cream, earthy hops
T - roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, raisin, earthy hops, faint smoke and anise
M - fuller side of medium for body, creamy and smooth, finishing modestly bitter with a twang of familiar Guinness sourness; roast & char linger on the palate
O - very similar to Guinness Foreign Extra Stout - this one seems to be more roasty while FES seems to be more dark fruit. I'd love to have them side by side because both are very good. I'd drink this anytime.

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Photo of Suds
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked this beer up at a local supermarket in northern Italy. It pours as a deep blackish-brown liquid with a monstrously fizzy head. The head settles down quickly, but leaves some pretty lace. The aroma is fantastic...chocolate, coffee beans, very roasted grain, charcoal, and a lot of caramel. As the beer warms, a slight alcohol smell comes forth as well. The taste is solidly good. It's moderately dry, despite some notable malt flavors (quite a bit drier than the Foreign Extra Stout). There's a lot of bitterness, both from hops and also from highly roasted grains. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and satisfying. This is quite good, and easily one of the best Guinness products that I've had.

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Photo of dgilks
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's an interesting aroma. A light hint of roast, some yeast fruitiness and just a wisp of diacetyl. The aroma is unfortunately weak.

Very dark brown-black colour with a massive, creamy tan head. Good head retention.

The flavour is good. The roast bitterness is smooth tempered by a rich, round malt body and a hint of alcohol. Some nice fruity esters come through. Just a hint of acidity that is the trademark of the Guinness brand and a light touch of diacetyl. Solid.

Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Simple, smooth and effective. Greamy and with a nicely dried out finish.

A great beer. The alcohol is well hidden in the flavour and works effectively to temper some of the flavours. The best Guinness product I've tried.

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

I picked up a few bottles at the Brussels Midi station to bring back to the States, something like 2 euros each. It's always surprising how simple it can be to find my most treasured bottles so easily available in some convenience store (like Andechs beers in Munich, various Kolsch beers in Cologne, or God knows what else in Belgium).

The beer is dark brown to the point of blackness, completely opaque, with a thin mocha-hued head. The aroma is nice, big Belgian character, not too far from a BSDA. Some roasted malts but more sweet than roasty, some dark fruits like plums or figs.

The beer tastes so good, this is what I always wanted Black Albert to taste like, a Belgian stout. Definitely has Belgian character, possibly the yeast used, doesn't seem spiced at all. Sweet up front with long aftertastes of the dark fruits from the aroma. The mouthfeel is much thicker than any Guinness I've tried before, not quite syrupy but heading in that direction. Absolutely the best Guinness I've ever had, I'm so glad to have a few more to savor.

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Photo of stcules
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color is black. It has two fingers of a beautiful cream colored foam, creamy. Good appearance.
Stout smell, intense, strong, with malty notes, liquorice, dark malts. Dark and intense notes.
The taste is strong and intense too, with a lot of liquorice, cocoa, hazelnut, and a rhubarb touch. Even some bitter roots.
It is for sure less smooth than a regular Guinness Draught, but more interesting.
Intense, strong, full.

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Photo of ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L-Black...minimal head

S-Roasted malt...sweet..some brown sugar and molasses...coffee...dark chocolate.

T-Rich roasted malts with dark chocolate and coffee. A hint of smoke is there and a lingering sweet/sour type of thing on the finish.

F-Full bodied but not immense. Velvety texture. Very drinkable despite the body and abv.

O-Excellent Export Stout that could sneak up on you quick as this drinks pretty easy.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Rochefort goblet.

A: Looks impressive. Dark, dense, and brown with acceptable head that quickly dissipates. Interesting tracing on the surface and nice lacing on the sides.

S: Rich roasted malts and hops hit the nose and hint at coffee and dark chocolates. This is what a stout should smell like. Unfortunately, this greatness does not endure and the smell fades with time.

T: Way better than normal Guinness and the best stout I've ever had. Surprisingly light and alcoholicly sweet at first, this inital flavour burst gives up ground to the dominant character of this beer...Assertive, strong bitter notes -- hops and roast coffee -- march on through the mouth, fading slowly into a balanced, pleasant, and dry aftertaste.

M: The 8% gives this stout the oomph it needs. Lightly carbonated for a pleasant tingle. Balance prevents overpowering bitterness.

D/O: As good as this beer is, it's one I wouldn't drink often. It's too distinctive and...arrogant. The strong hops add a different character to the traditional stout, and I heartily approve.

EDIT (16 June): Changed the Drinkability/Overall from 3.5 to 4.5.

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Photo of mynie
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich, high-ABV Belgian-style stout that's supposedly been brewed since the end of WW2 and is available just now for the first time in the US.

Pours a viscous, very dark black with a wonderfully large and retentive brown head.

Smells very sweet and malty with big nodes of chocolate and ripe fruit. Very smooth with nothing betraying the relatively high ABV.

Tastes really good. Not as assertive as you might assume, but very well done. The hops are toned way down from regular Guinness or the Foreign Extra Stout, and a lack of any booze burn allows the rich malt nodes to really shine. Chocolate, ripe fruit, and light butterscotch dominate throughout, starting dry and getting gradually sweeter as the sip progresses, with a lingering finish that's the distillation of what you want out of a stout grain bill.

The Guinness name and relatively accessible price point might turn away some snobs, but this is actually a wonderful beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The aroma is half fully expected, half unique. The smoky, fruity, roasty notes I expect from a foreign stout are there; this version in particular amplifies some of the lighter fruits (think apple, peach, and even orange) and adds a distinct bread quality. This definitely has Belgian yeast, I can smell it a mile away. The flavor profile (mostly) follows suit. An intense start of yeasty bread, black pepper, and apples turn into dark fruits around the middle. It finishes like a proper Guinness should: with plenty of smoke, roasted malt, and espresso flavors. Its lack of careful balance keeps the flavor from being a 4 (the yeast profile being the culprit), but I'm still impressed by the depth and nuance offered. It feels creamy and soft yet it's dry enough to keep it clean, with a long finish. This also feels a bit bulkier around the middle of the palate compared to the front and back (where it's thinner). Carbonation is fine. I'd personally put this a slight notch below my favorite Guinness - the FES - but it's still a very good stout that many craft brewers would be proud to have in their collection.

3.85/5: A tasty and fun yet archetypal Belgian-style stout

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Photo of ccrida
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle that I brought back from Belgium about 2 months ago, poured into my Delirium snifter, Guinness Special Export is black with a big dark tan head, which is very dense and fluffy, with long last and tons of foamy lace.

Smell is very fruity, classic cured dark fruit Belgian esters. Very strong, prunes.

Taste is quite a bit more Belgian strong dark ale then stout, not much roast to speak of, just dark malts and fruity esters. Most acrid on the finish, more char then roast, but just enough that it can be legitimately called a stout. Really quite tasty, if not what I was expecting. The stout aspect builds on my palate as I work through the beer, but it's still very Belgian.

Mouthfeel is very dry, viscous but medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice Belgian stout. Much better then the regular Guinness, it actually has flavor, and it's good.

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Photo of bobv
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Easy pour yields a one inch had with some lacing that lasts all the way down. Nose of chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. Taste follows with a nice bitterness in the finish, not overpoweringly bitter, just...nice. Real nice, full feel. This makes their famous stout feel like water, but we knew that! Overall, I think the Belgians were lucky to have had this since 1944!

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Photo of scottfrie
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle into SA perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a deep darker than cola brown with a couple fingers of very dense light brown head. The head took forever to slowly fade into a thick and lasting fuzzy collar that left a thick network of impressive lacing down the glass.
S: Ashy, smoky, nose with notes of tobacco smoke, savory barbeque smoke, chicory, and slight sulfur.
T: More of a roasted and toasted grain quality to the flavor than it is pure smoke like the nose. Still, there is a subtle smoky undertone throughout the flavor. Roasted malt flavors up front followed by sweet and sticky flavors of molasses and slight caramel. Savory, meaty, smoke and slightly acrid flavors round out the finish, and I get a hint of chocolate and chicory lingering in the aftertaste. Mild spice.
M: Dense, softy, and creamy carbonation that really froths up on my palate. Full body, chewy and thick mouthfeel, moderate bitterness.
O: The aftertaste was like a lighter version of the taste that lingers after smoking a cigarette. Thick, chewy, and drinkable, but probably not something I’ll revisit.

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Photo of dertyd
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice stout, aroma was of dark fruit with a slight herbal aroma.....flavors follow the nose with dark fruit,wood, herbal spice with a smooth finish....grade B beer

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet roasted malt and a small bitterness. In the taste, roasted malts, a sweetness, a note of alcohol and a dry hop in the end. A bitter and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel , with a dry chocolate roast in the aftertaste. It is like an imperial stout, or Guinness on steroids.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Darkly pitched in black with periodic flashes of brown tinting. Lofty huge dark tan top of smoothed over foam. Stays at the helm forever and a day and never leaves its seat, fanning out eventually to leave enormous amounts of thick lacing.

Well rounded aroma of dark cocoa and milk chocolate with a light roasted quality and even lighter fruity notions of cherries and figs.

Flavor is quite full of action from front to back. Slender and dark fruity front, sweetly sided undertones at first, then, bold and creamy, big roasted chocolate cake center, dry and bittering finish with burnt crusty edges of roasted malts and grains. Turns to smoke, charcoal, tar, coffee grounds, and dry licorice spice as it cinders off into the finish. Wonderfully complex and layered with fun roasty flavors. A great whirlwind at the finish totally knocks it out of the park.

Feel is rich, thick, and velvety with a unique sweet under carriage that keeps a very nice balance. The roast never really completely takes over but makes great efforts to do so. The body of this stout continues to grow in texture as it warms, becoming creamier and warmer in cocoa returns towards the finish as does the coffee grade.

A fantastic beer. The true Guinness! So truly sad that many here in the states don't realize what they think and drink as the "Original" - isn't actually what it should and could be. Oh well...

I thank the hell out of Shaughn256 for sending this as an extra in our latest trade! Osu!

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottled and trying to be impartial despite not being impressed by any of the brewers but have most expectations of this
Pours a jet black body with decent enough tan head
Dark fruit aroma
Coffee and fig
Thin tho

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Photo of gford217
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased from Carrefour in Athens, Greece, where I couldn't believe my luck.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in as black in the glass with a huge rocky tan head that lasted for ages and left great lacing. The aroma is a little better than draught with a slightly more evident chocolate malt backbone but with the bitterness I expected. The taste, however, was much more complex than i expected. It has the roasted malt backbone but with milk chocolate sweetness balanced with some coffee bitterness in the finish. Very, very nice flavor. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with good carbonation with the patented Guinness creaminess. This is a revelation compared to standard Guinness and I'm lucky I got the chance to try this one.

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Guinness Special Export Stout / Antwerpen Stout from Guinness Ltd.
4.16 out of 5 based on 429 ratings.
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