Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Damon (1993-2004) The time spent with loved ones, now lost, seems to affect our mind and body perpetually: memories happen upon us, unsuspectingly, and bring about tears of fond remembrance. Damon was our brother – devout and patient in an age of busyness and distraction. In his honor, we crafted and conditioned this Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels from our favorite distillery. We still reflect, daily, upon our Damon and his scruffy chin of grey – of his loyalty and his love.

Aged in Blanton's bourbon barrels.

Added by Jason on 01-10-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
97
Ratings:
684
Avg:
4.46
pDev:
8.52%
 
 
Wants:
1,185
Gots:
113
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 684
Photo of josephwa
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - dark black, not a much head, yet incredibly inviting.

S - Lots of bourbon and booze! Dark smooth malt on the nose.

T - Very nice and smooth bourbon taste. Very little sweetness but it fits well. Goes down so easy and smooth. Such a solid brew! Wish I had more!

M - A little alcohol burn, thick body, very little alcohol burn, I could handle walking around all day with a mouthful of this brew!

O - This is a perfect beer! Absolutely loved it! Well done brewers at Hill Farmstead, well done.

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Photo of fireazzi
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a great barrel aged stout. Very dark. Carbonation was low as others said. Great barrel bite. Has that chocolate bourbon feel. Love the smell. Such a nice thick body.

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Photo of SDRedDevil
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 bottle, pitch black color with minimal carb. Some have commented that this is undercarbed but was not the issue here. Rich fudge and molasses with the barrel mixing in nicely. Really rich and decadent, stoked to have been able to try it.....

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Photo of brewmeister1984
4.98/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amazing beer. One of the best bourbon barrel aged beers I have ever had. So smooth for 10.5 percent. Wish I had more to have. ! A++++++. Cheers Mates!

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Photo of alaimoa
4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle poured into snifter. Poured straight down the middle of the glass and got no head but a perfect brown ring of foam around the outside of the glass. Smells burnt brown sugar, coffee, bourbon, caramel. Very smooth with no boozy heat and initially a little too sweet but mellows as it warms
Overall as close to perfect as it gets and I'm surprised at some of the ratings of too boozy and hot. Maybe the month of waiting to drink has helped

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Photo of mattsmith413
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Begging HF to make more stouts...not that their other selections are anything to scoff at. Pitch black pour with a coffee colored head and a terrific nose.

The taste is a fantastic mix of chocolate, roast, and bourbon. As it warms, sweeter notes of molasses and dark fruit shine through.

Thick mouthfeel. A very well-rounded beer.

Overall, one of best beers I have had from HF...but I am a dark beer drinker.

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Photo of aleigator
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours an oily black color with a small, dark brown head, which vanishes immediately.

The aromas of this are simply amazing - there's a lot going on with licorice, scorched malts, tobacco and dark chocolate. The barrel adds a tremendous depth with dried apples, rock sugar, peppers, dried plum and lots of spicy wood, tickling the nose by developing a boozy warmth.

Drinks silk and velvet, full bodied with lots and lots of alcohol soaked layers of rich maltiness.

Tastes right from the beginning of burned malts, wild honey, whipped cream as for its awesome mouthfeel, and fudge. Develops a spicy licorice roastiness once the barrel gets noteable, together with cinnamon, toasted nuts and a luscious amount of bitter chocolate. Finishes with molasses, melting chocolate, long lasting tobacco, dried earth and a flowery note from the otherwise still pleasantly spicy barrel.

This is like an amped up Bourbon County - not necessarily thicker on the tongue, but even creamier with more roast and bitter chocolate, countered by an even sweeter fudge note, balanced by earth and spices. Awesomly intense and balanced throughout.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was lucky enough to get a couple bottles of this, one from jedwards and the othe from jbeatty. Thanks heaps gents. I thought I'd take the HF challenge and drink them both on the same night. What a treat / mistake that was...

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Vintage 2011
Bottle 451 of 864

APPEARANCE: A sludgy black, thick pour yields a small, tight, tan head with very good retention. Head fades to a good wisp and ring. Pitch black in color with no carbonation evident. A swirling wisp and ring remain until the end and leaves dots of lacing down the glass. Thick and nasty looking. This is a black, black, thick, evil looking stout beer.

SMELL: Big nose on this one for sure. Roasted malts, dark chocolate and lots of bourbon barrel. Oak, vanilla and milk chocolate in there, as well as touches of toffee and molasses. This is phenomenal, though perhaps a touch more base beer is needed for a perfect score.

TASTE: This is a perfect score. Period. Roasted and caramel malt up front, with lots of bourbon barrel at the swallow. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk choclate with some bitter dark chocolate and toffee sweetness as well. Big, bold and lingering aftertaste of bourbon barrel, bitter dark chocolate, sweet molasses and roasted flavors just doesn't quit. This is phenomenally ballanced and absolutely decadent. Love it.

PALATE: Full body, thick and heavy on the palate, with lower levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a bite at the swallow, though well measured, and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers. Could be a touch smoother, but it's full, heavy, and plenty dominating.

OVERALL: Well, I hate to say it, but this is perhaps the best barrel aged imperial stout to have ever crossed my lips. I can't imagine it getting any closer to perfection than this. A massive, evil look, a wonderfully bold and balanced nose, flavors to write home to your mom about, and a heavy and meanacing palate to boot, this is just a nasty beer that every BA stout lover should get to try. Actually, since I would love to get more of it, forget everything I just said about it. Nevermind. It sucks. Thanks again gents! Send more asap. I am thirsty.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip. Thick pitch-black body with a thin dark-tan head. Looks beautiful. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The nose is packed with cocoa, bourbon, wood and vanilla. Smells amazing. Roasty with a touch of booze. On the tongue its sweet bourbon and vanilla up front, but then finishes with a wave of dark chocolate and some dry, earthy, dark malt bitterness on the tail end. The 10% abv is noticeable, but doesn’t get in the way of taste or enjoyment. Very drinkable for a barrel aged imperial stout. The body is smooth and creamy with light carbonation. Overall, this is phenomenal, but Hill Farmstead never disappoints. Damon is drinking excellently now, but I’m sure it will hold up or even get better in the years to come. Beautiful.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a viscous, used motor-oil black, with a finger and a half mocha head. Hello there beautiful! Good retention, but leaves very little to no lacing, probably due to the long time spent in the barrel. Very nice alcohol legs when swirled.

S- And hello there bourbon! Loads of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and booze! Hints of roast, grains, dark/sweet fruits (i.e. prunes/figs). Super complex, and damn near perfect! One detractor is there is a good bit of booze/acetone aroma that comes out as it warms.

T- The flavor is to die for! There are cascades of vanilla, chocolate, sweet molasses, and brown sugar that flow over the tongue. This is mellow, sweet, and complex. Dark fruits and roast play a strong secondary role, balancing and tying everything together. I would write more, but finding more descriptors is difficult, and this is so damn tasty I just want to drink the rest!

M- The mouthfeel is so thick, viscous, and velvety smooth! Light carbonation, some warming/soothing booze, and a dry finish. Perfection!

O- Overall this was just an absolute treat to have! I can't wait to see how my other bottle ages, and how DBD tastes!

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Photo of cfrances33
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #142/864, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem. Enjoyed on November 9, 2012.

Pour: Completely pitch black body. Straight up midnight. Perhaps the darkest beer I've ever had. Forms a half of an inch of deep khaki head, that leaves a nice rim. Slight lacing, but Damon leaves the glass with a brown sludge.

Smell: Bourbon vanilla up front, followed by some milk chocolate. Dark fruits take over the nose from here, with a nice combo of raisins and figs.

Taste: Wow. Smooth bourbon toffee up front, that gives way to chewy chocolate fudge. A nice vanilla moves in, and characterizes the majority of the sweetness. The dark fruits complement flawlessly, and while I can normally do without them, they really work here. Finishes chewy with a brownie batter like lingering taste on the palate.

Mouthfeel: So incredibly smooth. Bourbon provides all the amazing toffee and vanilla flavors, with no heat. Nearly velvety, and walks the fine line between being light and thick. Awesome.

Overall: Amazing beer. Absolutely blew me away. I cannot wait to try future releases of this beer.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from 2013.
Poured on Christmas morning 2016 into stemmed Hill Farmstead stemware.
Pours nearly jet black with one half finger of deep caramel colored head.
Aromas are incredible, a perfect mix of deeply roasted malt and bourbon.
Flavors are wonderful and balanced. Notes of bitter coffee, sweet chocolate and mellow bourbon.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Silky, thick enough.
Overall, this is completely on par with BCBS if not better.

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to mulder1010 for opening this up. 500ml, bottle 638 of 864, 2011 vintage.

Pours a not quite black, dark with a tan head of foam that falls and leaves tears on the side of the Great Divide tulip.

Smell is rich, with bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and oak, coconut and toasted coconut all there. Nothing too over the top, all mingling well and still able to get both the base beer and the effect of the barrel.

Tastes of chocolate, some vanilla, coconut with a touch of bourbon and oak that keep it ticking along nicely.

No booze, beautiful coating mouthfeel. Not the thickest body, but what is there coats your mouth amazing well, yet has you back and ready for another sip not too long afterwards.

First Hill Farmstead beer and went into it with great expectations. It still managed to excel, brilliant. Massively enjoyable. Refined, tasty and great balance. Very enjoyable to drink. Hats off to mulder1010 for this! One amazing brew.

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Photo of jegross2
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BEER REVIEW #300!

Reviewing the infamous Damon from Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Vermont. Hill Farmstead quickly became one of my favorite breweries this year, and Damon solidified Hill Farmstead's place in my top three.
Score: 98

2011 vintage (batch 1), bottle #471/864. Black wax. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 06/06/12.This beer was consumed the night before being sworn into the Wisconsin state bar as a celebratory libation.

Appearance: Pours the color of motor oil with a thin brown layer of head atop the beer that quickly settles to a mocha-colored ring around the glass. Oily lacing, minimal head and decent retention. The beer looks visually imposing enough at 10.5% ABV. 4/5

Smell: Ample notes of raisin and complex chocolate coat the nose. There's milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate and even some fudge as the brew warms. There is also bourbon vanilla and fig present too. Absolutely awesome nose. 4.75/5

Taste: Smooth bourbon, raisins/figs, fudge and milk chocolate throughout with a nice vanilla flavor in the middle. The vanilla sweetness yields to a fudge flavor towards the finish, though the aftertaste is more of a creamy milk chocolate flavor than fudge. Residual notes of wood. Some sweet maltiness comes out as the beer. Smooth and without booziness. The balance and integration of the flavors here is absolutely superb, almost seamless at times. The flavors are almost too complex and integrated to pin down. Needless to say, this is is a decadent digestif! 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Super creamy mouthfeel. Mildly dry finish with a rich milk chocolate aftertaste. 4.5/5

Overall: One of the best beers of the year; this one truly lives up to it's hype. My only wish is that I had another.

Recommendation: A top notch barrel aged imperial stout that is absolutely worth seeking out. Even casual beer drinkers should be able to revel in the flavorful, unboozy complexities of this big brew.

Pairings: Fresh mint ice cream.

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tracked this one down quite a while ago and enjoyed with a friend to celebrate Iowa knocking off Michigan? Nice standard Bourbon Barrel stout with nice smooth bourbon and some roasted chocolate notes!

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Photo of Gushue3
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really excited to finally try this beer, a good way to end my vacation. Poured into Hill Farmstead bulb

A Pours opaque from the bottle and the same in the glass. Smaller brown head forms above the body and slowly comes down leaving bubbles and froth on top. Nice signs of carbonation when I play with it and this beer looks pretty nice, big surprise from HF.

S Sweet malts and a nice dose of bourbon are the first thing I notice. Sweet chocolate and a subtle roast are there

T Follows the nose to a tee. Sweet roasty malts, chocolate,sweet bourbon that is well integrated. Vanilla-y bourbon on the finish makes this one very nice and complex stout. Not one flavor overpowers another, each sip is a little different.

M Big heavy mouthfeel with a low carbonation feel. pretty much how I like my stouts to feel. Slick and creamy, this is an enjoyable sipper

O Really enjoyable stout. Flavor profile is really something else

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black pour with a coffee colored head and a terrific nose.

The taste is a fantastically balanced mix of chocolate, roast, and bourbon. As it warms, sweeter notes of molasses and dark fruit shine through.

Thick mouthfeel. A very well-rounded beer.

Overall, one of best stouts out there. A classic example of what a Hill Farmstead dark beer is in its very best form.

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Photo of landhoney
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer, to me the unique thing about this beer is the finish; chocolate, coconut, vanilla, citrus(?) but not in a sour way at all, just a hint of something maybe from the hops(?). Mouthfeel was excellent as well. Up front its definitely stout, bourbon, wood, etc. all very well balanced, on the sweet side but certainly not too sweet. Overall an amazing beer, and uniquely complex in the finish especially.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown to a light black in color with small carbonation barley a finger head.

S- This baby smell of the finest bourbon in the world with fresh smell of vanilla and oak tannins even a slight of roasty scent.

T- Aww pure heaven with the flavors of good bourbon , vanilla , honey and caramel that so sticky goodness. Even had hint of light milk chocolate taste in the aftertaste.

M- This have a nice smooth to velvety goodness that just wraps around the tounge and just clinging on every minute.

O- This is one hell of beer. IMO it ranks with the best and should climb the latter pretty fast. This is a must try beer. Cheers....

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Photo of Crookdrain
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Re-reviewing from a bottle popped this past weekend. Popped my first bottle of B2 back in December with NYCBuckeye and Sobeleg and was unimpressed - thought it was thin and very hot. This bottle (same batch - B2) was a ridiculous improvement.

A: Jet black of night. Barely any tan head, dissipates quickly. Looks like chocolate motor oil.

S: Big barrel character going to war with the chocolate and roast coffee underneath. A little bit of licorice too perhaps? We were out on the porch - could have been wafting in the air though from elsewhere.

T: Was really pleasantly surprised with the improvement an extra 7 months in the bottle did for the taste (and mouthfeel). Heat was way down, giving way to layers of (in order of strength): oaky bourbon, dark chocolate covered-esperesso beans, roasted malt. Absolutely outstanding.

M: This was the biggest improvement since the first bottle we popped in December. This just coated your mouth like the unmixed syrup at the bottom of an old-fashioned glass of Hershey's chocolate milk. Super thick and chewy - which for the style put the beer into a new stratosphere. Not sure if the first bottle from December was bad bottle or not (we got the bottles together at the DBD release, so weird if there was that big of a variation).

O: One of the best BB stouts I've ever had. This bottle edges out M&C 1 & 3, BoT, and even GoM. If you have the chance to trade for this, it seems like this batch is peaking right now. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jesus this is an amazing beer. Tried it only a few days after RARE DOS from Peg's... the most similar beer to RARE DOS I've ever had. Amazing mouthfeel. The aroma and flavour can only be described as perfect. A masterpiece from Shaun and one I'm looking forward to having again

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I never cease to be amazed by Hill Farmstead beers. Any style that I have by them is one of the better examples of the style that I have had. This beer is so smooth with nice bourbon tones that just add to the enjoyment. Love me some HF!

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Bottle
L: Dark black onyx hues with exceedingly minimal carbonation
S: Rich mocha and dark chocolate fudge with a hint of the bourbon nuance that's to come
T: Bold molasses, chocolate, and caramel with subtle oak, rye whiskey, and bourbon flavors
F: Although the beer appeared to pour a viscous motor oil thickness, the actual feel was decidedly more medium-bodied
O: Another fantastic stout offering from HF. While the lack of carbonation on the pour did not provide the prettiest looking beer - the smell and taste were right up there with some of the better BA stouts I've had the pleasure of trying. I hope HF will bring this one back sooner than later - delicious beer indeed.

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Photo of Pahn
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22oz bottle split 2 ways with BA morningthief. Poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: Black with a one inch dark tan head. Leaves sweeping spots and arches of lacing. Looks pretty serious.

Smell: Pretty muted. Some oak and more molasses. Very good but a little simple. Some red wine notes come out with warmth.

Taste: Holy shit. The aroma didn't prepare me for all this flavor. Up front it's sweet bourbon and vanilla oak, leading to brownies fresh out of the oven and a lot of molasses. Highlights to the flavor are unique and amazing. I've tasted most of this before in different places, but the highlights to the flavor (and the overall impression, and how pronounced and complimentary everything is) is uncommonly excellent.

I knew I would give this a 5 for taste after just a few sips. The question isn't "is this a good stout?" it's "Is this the best stout you've ever tasted?"

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied, and very creamy. Slight dryness at the end to balance the pastry assault. Mild alcohol heat. Works with the flavor.

Overall: You want to think Hill Farmstead is overrated, but it's not. This beer is so good it's inspiring.

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Photo of raveskdr
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split this beer with starrdogg after we picked it up from HF. Poured into a snifter.

A - Jet black. No other way to describe it. Really lacking in carbonation even after a super aggressive pour. Slight bubbles make their way to the top of the beer.

S - A lot of vanilla and wood on the nose. There is a scent there that I can't really put my finger on, but it just smelled a tad odd and out of place. Not unpleasant, it just didn't mesh.

T - Wow. Just, wow. TONS of roasted coffee, chocolate, vanilla. They all intermingle perfectly together. Slightly better than BoT.

M - Smooth and silky, no alcohol on the back end. An incredibly drinkable beer for being a barreled stout.

O - Another winner. Simply a beautifully done beer. His barreled beers can compete with anyone. Worth every last bit of the hype.

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Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.46 out of 5 based on 684 ratings.
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