Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,332 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

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Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 6,464
Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info offered. Pours clear lighter almond amber, dark eggshell head, fairly thin, but tightly knit and long lasting, leaving ample low sheeting and expansive lacing. Pungent hop juice nose, fruity and full of pineapple goodness. Hop saturated IPA, American in style all the way. More pineapple, resiny grapefruit notes as well, hop lovers rejoice...agressivly hopped and thoroughly deliciously crafted. A nice new addition to the neighborhood

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Beer is clear and yellow orange forms a thin white head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is slightly sweet and strongly piny hop. Smells pretty good.

Beer is medium bodied and slightly sweet up front from some malt. Lots of good pine hop character in the back of the palate and overall a highly drinkable beer. Its pretty good for an American IPA.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/11/07- Had on tap at the Bistro IPA Fest.

Presentation- Via the tap into taster glasses.

Appearance- Light amber in hue with a soft, smaller creamy white head. Excellent lace markings.

Smell- Sweet fresh grapefruit nose. Malty goodness as well. This one is going to be sugary.

Taste- Hmmm, not a sugary as expected, but just about right. The toasted caramel candy malt fits well with the very large blast of grapefruit hoppiness. Alcohol is there, but this beer does a good job of hiding it.

Mouthfeel- Slightly creamy and smooth with a perfect sweet aftertaste. Carbonation is right where it should be. Wish there was just a touch more of hop bitterness that follows you home.

Drinkability- The winner in my mind at this years fest. Sadly, it didn't place in the top three. It was Firestone Walker's first attempt at making this brew. They just kegged it the day before and my friend was the first in line to try it. Hope they keep making this one as it's one of the better DIPA's I've had.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of djmichaelk via trade. Thanks!
Bottled on 6/24/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Light amber colour - not cloudy at all, with one finger of bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Initial nose is well balanced with some bitter citrus hops and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

T - A well balanced IPA with a significant malt sweetness and some citrus and piney hops. The hops are not overly bitter or flavourful but the bitterness does linger in the finish. Would love a little more hop punch in this one. The malt profile is somewhat more dominant on the palate than the hops are.

D - A good IPA. Not spectacular but one that I would drink again.

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Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LeftmindedRighty for the trade.

The immediate grapefruit and pineapple fruit flavors leave few doubts about the American origin of this brew, but the spicy finish gives a nod to the British past of the style. The malts are fairly light with just a hint of dry biscuit barley under the citrus. The appearance is a deep gold-orange with a tall white head a thick lacing. The body is also as light as any pale ale, making this almost too drinkable for the 7.5% strength. Overall this IPA is rich in flavor with strong bitterness, while still maintaining drinkability. I'd say this is the best IPA I've had in some time. It doesn't hit you over the head with hops yet is complex and interesting.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights that a thin white head and left a little frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the caramel malts pop out first longaide candy notes, citrus, bready, and faint hop aromas that real don't make a statement for a IPA.

T: the hops did show up on the taste some what but they weren't as potent as I thought they would be. The caramal malts held it down on the backbone with bready and citrus accents: not real punchy.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that was not real prickly but had a sweet, slight bitter, and oily finish.

D: it drank really good but didn't have the hop punch and hop profile that I expect from a west coast IPA; maybe it wasn't as fresh.

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Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange/copper color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, citrus hops, slight yeast, hint of citrus (pomegranate?), and hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, hint of pine, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, alcohol, hint of citrus, hint of yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Heroe's in Claremont, CA, on to the beer:

This is a good looking amber colore beer mixed with reddish and orange hues, and as a bonus leaves good lacing in the glass. Aroma is mildly hoppy. As for the taste, if you guessed hopy, you're correct. It's big upfront and piney, it softens up into tidbits of caramel and bread. Surprisingly refreshing and easy drinking.

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Photo of Duff27
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled: 09/28/11

A- Dark yellow/light orange beer. Inch-tall white head. Above average lacing with good head retention.

S- Subdued sweet citrus nose, pineapple/grapefruit.

T- Well balanced, very clean. More sweet citrus on the tail end of each sip. Drinks lower than 7.5%abv

M- Medium to medium-full mouthfeel, good carbonation.

D/O- I found Union Jack to be very drinkable, probably it's greatest attribute. All around very solid IPA. Thanks PTMcB for a beer that I've just never ran across before.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a white head. Aroma is tons of citrus hops. Flavor is very hoppy but not too bitter. The predominant flavor is orange and other citrus fruits. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.
This is a beer that I could drink several of in one sitting, unlike some of the hoppier less-balanced versions of this style. This is a great beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a medium coppery-gold amber with a fine half finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Nice aroma of pineapple and other tropical fruit, citrus, piney and citrus hops, sweet malt; smells great. Flavor is caramel malt, great mixed citrus and tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine and citrus hops. Finishes with a more of the superbly integrated fruit flavors and a lingering citrus hop bitterness. Mdium bodied with light creaminess. This is an extremely well integrated IPA. It is not a hop bomb, but plenty of nice hop presence. The malt body is very tasty. Nicely integrated. I wish I hadn't waited so long to try this.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revist: 22 Apr 2015
12oz. Bottle
Bottled On: 02/17/15

Pours a very nice clean/clear, dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some islands and nice sticky lacing. The nose is pretty hoppy, with some malts thrown in, citrus, and some pines. The taste is hoppy, with some nice malt blend, with some citrus and pines. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall a very tasty IPA, nice to see it here in UT.

Thanks goes out to murphjuice and Bitterbill for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear, dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, some islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is pretty hoppy, with some malts thrown in, citrus, and some pines. The taste is hoppy, with some nice maltyness, with some citrus and pines. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty IPA, a classic in the making.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen glass at the compound. Got this up in ny on a recent trip and it's super fresh.

Union jack, hazy sunset orange with a hint of amber and rising bubbles making for a milkshake of tannish foam about a half inch in stature. Faint spraypaint lace.

Smell is dry hopped with some 3c action.a big burst of citrus backed with pine and not to malty, but some caramel seeps in. not the most pungent ipa but it stacks up.

Jack livens things up in the taste department with some mango and some pine and some dry hoppin. Midway getting sweet malt with grapefruit, bubblegum and leafy hops and a trace of alcohol.

I like the feel on this, its aggressive in flavor yet the it's not all that harsh on the tounge, mouth etc. Just a mild bitterness. A lighter side of medium with medium carb, moderate spritz. Insanely drinkable, insanely good, I wish fw made it to pa. In the range of the first batch of torpedo, with more dry hopping.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is fruity, malty. Taste is big on piney hops, didn't see that coming from the aroma, touches of grapefruit, medium bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a solid beer, but I was expecting a little more.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A full pour yields a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head in my 25cl tulip. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep copper / amber color and becomes a bright copper color when held up to the light. A nicely resinous hop character greets my nose as I go in for a draught of the aroma; a mix of ruby-red grapefruit, lychee, tangelo peel, apricot and a zesty herbal pine note that provides a bit of contrast. Not much in the way of malt comes through in the aroma, it plays more of a supporting role for the dominant hop character, but there are some biscuit-like malt notes if you really dig for them. I really like the smooth, fruity hop notes that are found in the nose, they make this beer quite inviting.

Lightly sweet, with a caramelized malt touch that really serves to accentuate certain aspects of the dominant hop flavors. Flavors of grapefruit, tart orange zest and lychee are accentuated by the sweetness, but there are also substantial hop flavors of pine, menthol and "herb" like flavors. There is a nice biting, though note overwhelming bitterness, that hits you as the beer first hits the tongue and lingers on into a very long finish, long after the beer has left my mouth. Speaking of the finish, towards the beginning of the finish some crushed malt flavors, biscuit-malt and saltine-cracker notes become noticeable. These last, though not a huge flavor player, do provide a nice boost of complexity to this beer. This is nice and drinkable, I wouldn't have guessed this was 7.5% abv as it drinks a bit lighter than that, still it has a chewy heft to it that really serves to carry the ample hop character.

It seems like I haven't had a nice, juicy, American example of an IPA in a while, this one definitely hits the spot & is a great example of the style. It is perhaps not quite as juicy and over the hop, I mean top, as I think it could be, but that is really nit-picking as this is a very hoppy brew.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz received as an extra with a very cool trader.. Weibull. Poured into my New Sam Adams funky glass.

1" head takes a while to die back leaving bunches of lace.. sorta looks crunchy. Brew is crystal clear golden.. very pretty.

Alot of grapefruit and pine hoppiness in the nose and little else.. very clean and very hoppy.. smells fresh.

Flavor is all about the hops .. citrus and pine cones.. a little sweet off the top but that all melts away quickly.. lite pale malts .. and a very nice bitter backbone... finishes with a lip-smacking grapefruit oil on my teeth and lips... wonderful. Mouthfeel is spot-on for the style.. carbonation is prickly but helps with the maltiness... this brew tastes like a big-boned IPA (verging on DIPA territory) and it is.. but everything is very well balanced.

I could drink these for quite a while.. A huge thanks goes out to Class Act Trader Weibull. Jason.. I owe you big!

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Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a full blown citrus hop.

The taste consisted of leafy and citrus hops, a grainy malt and a touch of caramel.

The mouthfeel was at the full side of the style.

Overall a very tasty, hop driven west coast IPA.

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Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ironic for a beer named Union Jack to have a glistening golden complexion that kind of mimics that of a setting sun. But it still looks mighty and triumphant - bold, blistered highlights shine on while bubbles tirelessly build upon their castle made out of sturdy, ivory white foam. If this is half as good as it looks I'll still be pleased.

Given the name you'd expect an English-leaning IPA - the aroma suggests otherwise. The bouquet is crammed with Pacific Northwest hops. Notes of lemon, pineapple, papaya and pine all rise above the beer's ultra-bready, biscuity malt base. Good thing for the citrus and sweetness because there's an herbal dimension that's so strong as to almost be medicinal.

From first sip right through to finish, alpha acids are hard at work scrubbing away at all that toasted, caramelly maltiness. While many IPAs hint at citrus, there's a tangibly pulpy 'fresh-squeezed' flavour to this one. Notes of orange and grapefruit juice help cut through some of that bitter, 'green', herbal cough remedy note mentioned already.

And while there is four pounds of hops per barrel (which is a lot) most comes in the form of late addition and dry hopping. So contrary to how it may sound, this combination of tree roots and fruit piths blend beautifully with the bakers confectionery and makes for an immensely pleasant beer (provided you sign off on the 7.5% alcohol and 70 IBU).

Sounds odd to say, but Union Jack damn well should be the flagship beer of this American brewery! Firestone Walker kind of made a name for themselves by differentiating with brands like DBA, their Anniversary Series releases and more recently the blended sours made at their Barrelworks location. But their IPA is still up there with the best of them.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.47/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from a six-pack from BevMo Huntington Beach,

A: Pours a light orange, with a slow to form small white head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Pungent hops, mostly white grapefruit and citrus peel, light tangerine.

T: Lots of bitter melon, cantaloupe, and grapefruit upfront, with a bit of tropical fruit and caramel malt to end. Not my favourite hop profile, but very full-flavoured.

M: Crisp biting carbonation, with a lingering aftertaste, medium-bodied.

D: A pretty good IPA all-around, I won't have any problem finishing the sixer.

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Photo of Zorro
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle says 7.5% ABV so I assume the 8% was just taproom guesstimation.

Clear copper golden colored ale with a near white colored head, great clarity and good looks but not outstanding.

Smell is sweet but SHARPLY aromatic with the hops, Hops Shortage? Not in this beer! Strong scents of pine resin and tropical fruit with lots of citrus too. Firestone's typical oak barrel scents are in this but a bit hidden. Alcohol fumes carry fruity scents mostly apricot and plum. The hops in this hit you the moment you pop the cap.

The taste starts out sweet and spicy, at first the hop level seems a bit low but THAT changes in about two seconds. Strongly pine and citrus at the start. Nice balance very hoppy and fairly bitter but the sweetness is balanced just right here. Fair amount of tropical flavor here and it does remind me a little of FFF Dreadnaught in that way. You can feel the alcohol warmth in your chest and it releasing higher than average aromatic hop compounds in to your mouth. Vanilla, oak and faint mango and melon show up after your senses adapt to the hop levels. This is one of the AIPAs that pushes near or into DIPA land.

Mouthfeel is good.

Super easy to drink AIPA that is quite easy to mistake for a low alcohol beer. Enough flavor here that you would NOT be out of line drinking this like a Double IPA. I could easily give this a 5 in both taste and drinkability but I will only pick one and easy to drink is the stronger of the two great things about this beer. Possibly the best AIPA there is anywhere.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of 24 taps at the Greenroom, Flagstaff. My second beer, the name pulled me towards it, would it be like a UK IPA, being called Union Jack?

This is an all American IPA, hops to the fore!

The deep golden orange almost headless beer stared back at me, daring me to sniff and drink it. We locked horns and the battle began.

Hops attacked my nose, with hints of citrus fruits attempting to sneek through without a safety net, I laughed and took the hits without flinching.

Do your worst American hops, I'm ready for you. The taste was a hop blend which didn't have the bitterness some US IPA's have a habit of giving you, this was easy drinking compared to many. My delicate English palate wasn't offended in the slightest. I also noticed some caramel notes trying to get out of the glass, but the hops didn't allow anything else to have a say in the flavours and wouldn't let it become truely noticable.

Not a bad experience at all, I must be getting used to all these hops I keep coming up against on my US road trip.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer and much better than other Firestone Walker beers I've had from sixpacks. This beer alone is reason enough for me to try some of their other products as they come out- and not just the really hard to find ones like 10 or 11. Pours a dark golden with a thin head and spotty lacing. Smells citrusy, herbal, and a bit earthy. Nicely balanced. The taste is equally balanced between the hops and malt with some nice length to the flavors. Chewy malt with a touch of sweetness and nicely bitter earthy hops. Very good body, and a nice long finish. Delicious, I'm quite impressed with this offering. If it were available in my area it would o into my regular rotation.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber colored beer; receding 1/2 inch of fluffy white head; nice slowly falling lace.

Superb aroma; very hoppy, with prominent citrus notes, particularly pineapple and grapefruit.

The taste is in the same bag and for me, absolutely delicious. The bitterness is held in check just enough to allow all that juicy pineapple flavor to shine through. Just the faintest hint of malt sweetness. Lots of grassy and herbal notes as well.

Medium long finish; lingers nicely, but just dry enough to bring you back for more. Moderate carbonation.

I really think this is a superb IPA; one of the best I've ever had and exactly what I look for in this style. The hop characteristics are very refined, full of subtle fruity notes and not just a bitter bomb. Yum. So fresh, could drink this one all day and night.

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Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this beer previously in bottles, but this was the first time I ever had the pleasure of drinking it on tap. Part of the regular rotation at the excellent Rose and Crown pub in Palo Alto.

Like the bottled version, this beer pour an orange peach color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is impressive, consisting of a sweet, fruity, malty nose, that is aggressively undercut by a huge wave of hoppy bitterness. Flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, and what strikes me the most is just how well balanced this beer is. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is just excellent. There is no doubt, this would be my go to IPA of choice, were it only available on the East Coast. Just an all around excellent IPA.

Edit from 1/12. This beer is now available in the Baltimore area, and as mentioned, is now my IPA whenever I see it on the menu in town. It's a beer I order automatically when ever I see it in town. Thank God we now get FW beers now here in Bawlmore.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: crystal-clear body with a rich orange hue and two solid fingers of ivory head. Pretty solid.

Smell: big hops; citrusy up front followed by an earthiness and a funkiness. Some sweetish malt comes through, but this is giving every indication of being a good old fashioned West Coast IPA.

Taste: solid, tasty IPA. Hops trend way more toward citrus and pine at first, then change over to funk toward the middle. The finish is quite bitter indeed. The caramelly malt flavors provide a light backdrop to all these ops. A tasty beer; I'm surprised this isn't classified as a double IPA with its ABV and high hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: medium or so bodied; not a whole lot of carbonation. Feel works for the style but isn't notably impressive.

Drinkability: drinkability is quite good. The hops keep it refreshing, although as I said this thing could be considered a double.

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,464 ratings.
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