What Is Enlightenment? | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
American Pale Ale brewed in honor of our Second Anniversary. Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Added by CliffBrake on 04-26-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
900
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
7.06%
 
 
Wants:
279
Gots:
52
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 900
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler. Thanks to Michael for the acquisition. Shared with Adam and Mike.

The beer is mildly hazy and appears a golden yellow color. The white head is about a half inch thick and leaves ample lacing on the tulip.

The nose is excellent. Dank hops and a variety of tropical fruits and citrus. Oh yeah...

The flavor is earthy with notes of well water (in a most positive way). Lots of citrus and hop notes. Simply fantastic. Chuggable. Another winner from Hill Farmstead. I think this is the best pale ale I have ever had. I am dumbfounded. I could drink this indefinitely.

What is Enlightenment? Well, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and apparently, Shaun Hill.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL growler poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.

Appearance - Very hazy golden orange. Small white head that lingers. Thin layer of foam rests atop the beer.

Smell - Bright citrus hop. Grainy malt. Mostly hops.

Taste - Strong citrus hop. Grapefruit and slightly tropical flavor. Grains behind it with almost no sweetness. The slightest hop bitterness. Oily hop flavor lingers on the palate

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and quite drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Another great pale. Very tasty, clean, and drinkable as hell.

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Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1-liter growler care of baconsausage, big thanks for the trade man. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a clouded golden color with more than 2 fingers worth of pillowy white head. As the cap fades, it leaves a wall of lace sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives a finger of froth back to the surface fairly effortlessly.

The initial aroma includes hints of tropical fruit quality that is something along the lines of nectarines and as more sniffs are taken, more of a not-so-specific tropical fruited quality emerges. Having sampled this almost immediately after Harlan reveals a lot of similarities here to the aromatics. There is a mild cheesiness to the backend of this that takes this brew off in a different direction.

The taste has some zesty bitterness like orange pulp that blends into bitter herbal aspects mixed with a bit of grassy and then yeasty quality and faint straw-like grain inclusion. Like I noted about the aroma, there are a lot of similarities here with Harlan but maybe a bit more grain inclusion here with this brew. As it warms up, a bit of sulfur is noted and a classic "catty" quality typically found from simcoe that lasts into the aftertaste.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is light, refreshing and easy drinking. Having a 1-liter growler is perfect, I have no hesitation reaching for another glass and could easily take down several glasses of this in a session. To be picky, I found this to be just too similar to Harlan. If I wasn't paying specific attention to what was going on in my glass, I think these 2 brews could almost be passed off for one another.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill. My first Hillfarmstead brew!!! So excited. Taken from notes.

A real nice orb glowing buttery yellow gold, almost getting into green hues. Fairly opaque with a super creamy top of head that laces off white and crazy. Super aggressive looking beer.

Nose is a nice soft hop chewyness. Soft grass and hidden malt, not particularly noticeably distinct to me but smells real nice.

Palate hits with a good citrus angle, and perhaps some tropical mush. Herbal action hits on the finish with a great chewy texture, complimenting a nice mouthfeel.

Overall this is just a real solid and tasty brew, I hope the rest of Hill Farmstead's line up is just this good.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Served in a Kuhnhenn goblet.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to some wispy patches, a thin collar, and splotches of lace. Murky peach flesh body.

S - The hop intensity is crazy - I was shocked to discover this only contained Amarillo and Simcoe. The Amarillo is nostril-shredding, with lemon zest, herbs, and a hint of dankness, while the Simcoe provides a tropical undercurrent. I initially thought there might be Nelson in in here, but apparently I'm imagining things. Pleasant vanilla malt sweetness way in the background.

T - Delicious mix of citrus, herbs, stone and tropical fruits, hint of sweet malts, and moderate finishing bitterness. No loss of intensity from the aroma.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, lightly chewy, dry finish, and minimal alcohol presence.

D - Crushable stuff. I think I like Hoppy Birthday a bit more but this is similarly excellent. I could easily polish off 2L on my own. Hope Shaun Hill makes this a regular offering instead of just an anniversary beer, as it's too goo to only be made once.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I want to get more of this to write a more thoughtful review but this was at a tasting recently and it stole the show for me.

Beer is amber / orange and clear with a white head, nice retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is citrus and tropical fruits.

Beer is medium to light in body and sweet with a nice hop palate and a good lightly bitter hoppy finish. I'd have this again, a lot of this again. I want more, seriously where can I get some more?

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml Growler to HF stemmed tulip glass. Bottled 5 days prior.

A - Poured a hazy yellow/peach colour. One finger of bubbly white head formed and quickly receded to a few bubbles scattered across the top of the beer. Very light lacing.

S - A massive fresh tropical fruit, citrus and pine aroma up front with a moderate bitterness evident. Peach, mango, tangerine, apricot and grapefruit. By far the most appealing APA nose I've experienced.

T - A nice pale ale profile - well hopped but not so much that you wonder if you are drinking an IPA. Tangerine, grapefruit, mango and peach flavours take centre stage with a touch of pine present as well. The malt bill is barely noticeable but adds a very light touch of sweetness. The bitterness is quite dry.

M - Medium body with nice hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation. As noted above, very dry throughout.

O - This is a solid APA.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler from the source, thanks Curran.

This one pours a super bright and wonderful bright orange, with a fluffy head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells just so dope, with a big floral aroma, some pine, orange flesh and orange peel, grapefruit, and passionfruit.

I literally can't even. This is so good. It tastes so soft and pillowy, with soft and juicy tropical fruits- all the fruits mentioned above in the aroma are in the taste. There's very little malt here, just enough to keep the beer from being watery.

This has a super nice mouthfeel, soft, like drinking a hoppy cloud, with a good level of carbonation.

Best pale ale I've ever had. I can barely contain myself.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door. Served in a tulip.

Really nice look here in the beer boasting a olympic metal gold with a light orange look as well. As all hill beers on tap, Enlightenment boasts a bright white firm head leaving some stick on the glass. This one looks inviting as all hell. Smell i all tropical scent with simcoe coming through and a light bready malt profile with warming. This smells like beer I want to drink a lot of. Taste is light while being bold. Everything is light and melded nice like with mango, papaya, grapefruit and slight pine. It's the well water used which brings this over the top though. I don't know if this is true or not, but it has to be the water, this just tastes too clean. Feel is light with a nice crisp carb. This is a all day beer and I only wish it shows up again. I feel blessed.

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Photo of dar482
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer jumps out of the glass of huge citrus, hints of tropical, along with a signature soft and creamy mouthfeel. The beer offers dank aromas and hints of it on the flavor. A really well done hoppy pale.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blue Bird in Burlington.

Pours a hazy, glowing yellowish orange with a frothy off white head. Fairly sweet, juicy aroma of grapefruit and orange, some grass and lemon, and faint doughy malt. Like nose, flavor starts initially sweet, orange and other tropical notes before giving way to a grassy bitter finish. I prefer Edward to this, but that might just be more out of conditioning than anything else.

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Photo of rudzud
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes (May!) after hooking JLindros up with a growler. Finally getting around to adding all my beers. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Yessss, a glorious hazy golden Apollo the God of the Sun hue with with a wonderful one finger fluffy white head that fades slowly to leave a wonderful thick and creamy blanket with nice sticky side lacing.

S - Aromas EXPLODE. Actually, more than explode. They assault the nose with huge tropical citrus powers. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, juicy glorious hops. Its a nonstop glorious assault on the senses all backed up by that faint malty sweetness.

T - The taste is superb, but not quite as ZOMG as the nose. Pleasantly delicious citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, clementine) with a super faint musty hop and creamy malt sweetness. Man oh man...

M - Mouthfeel is exceptional. Creamy bust crisply carbonated. Just top notch.

O - Overall another phenomenally well done beer. I love, absolutely love, tropical notes in a beer and this one delivers in aces. Well worth the 8 hour round trip.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours unclear golden with an orange hue, thicker for the style which is nice. Aroma is the only thing that is not balanced here because it is so light. What you do get in the nose is so juicy and delicious, some citrus sweet hops. The body and flavor are perfectly balanced, as usual for HF. It brings juicy hops with just the right tang, and citrus, soft without any hop bite at all. Each sip gets better, refreshing the palate on a warm spring day just like an APA should do. Lingers on the tongue just long enough until you are going back for more.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours incredibly opaque. The body glows. Minimal head. Light bubbles and some froth. Light lacing splotches.

S-An orgasmic mixture of tropical fruits and Summer grass clippings. Malt is sprinkled with spice and is akin to a doughy sweet bun. Has that trademark Hill Farmstead hop profile. Simply elegant.

T-The flavor is exquisite. The has introduce themselves in a jacket of tropical fruits and citrus juice. There is a clear transition into a clean grassy hop finish. Tastes ripe, juicy and fresh. The malt adds an underrated balancing factor. Caramel-glazed sweet dough. It meshes perfectly with the hops.

M-Sessionability is remarkable. Light, almost cask-esque feel. Finishes with a respectable level of bitterness. Semi-creamy.

O/D-Excellent, excellent beer. This is one of those beers that just misses the cut of being lumped into my top-most tier of beers. I actually have no complaints or criticisms of this beer. Sublime.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml growler poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass 6/19/2014.

A- Beautiful hazy, darker straw yellow body with a lovely, effervescent and thick foamy white head, great retention, tons of lacing all over the place. Even as far as the other Hill Farmstead pale ales go, this is exceptionally good looking.

S- Oranges, tangerines, peppercorn, crackers, grains, a bit of pine. Nice hop-forwardness that is cut just enough by the pale malt contribution. Enjoying the slight pepperiness that reminds me a little bit of other saisons from Hill Farmstead.

F- Oranges, oranges. Plenty of freshly squeezed oranges from start to finish, ending with a tangy, piney bitterness that is just enough to contribute to the palate before it gets fatiguing. Crackers, graininess and caramel add a nice malt backbone to the experience. Drinks quite well, though not particularly complex.

M- As per the Vermont water, this is a medium bodied beer with a soft feel and creamy bubbly carbonation. It's very drinkable on a warm, rainy summer night. Bitter orange and pine finish that isn't all that bitter. Disappears easily.

O- Very nice APA that showcases a good bit of citrus hops in the nose and on the palate, with the classic Vermont pale ale appearance and mouthfeel. A pleasure to try this one.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2L swing-top growler filled at the brewery.

First HFB glass pours with a 1/2" eggshell head, over the cloudy golden amber brew. Head recedes gradually down to an uneven layer, with lasting lace. Aroma is oranges and tangerines.

Taste begins with a peek of sweetness, quickly giving way to the dominant citrus hops character which holds on through the close, which is lightly chalky. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice thirst-quenching brew for a hot day. Reminiscent of Harlan, but with much less bitterness.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed golden orange, moderate cap of bubbly white head, good sticky lacing. Big nose with grapefruit rind, under ripened tropical fruit, floral and spice, some pine resin, light biscuity malt presence under big hop notes. First sip bitter with citrus zest and under ripened tropical fruit, zesty spice pairs with bitterness well, malts a touch more present, light and biscuty. Decent firm body for the style, some heft from the oils and haze. Really nice pale ale. Lots of pales are rather one dimensional with hops, this is essentially IPA flavor without the ABVs.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you, Mike.

Mildly hazy light orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is a big, bright Citra and Simcoe nose, beautiful blend of citrust fruitiness with a touch of tropical fruit. This is mirrored on the palate, with no real malt character to speak or, and an ecxcellent fruity hop flavor. I know this is an APA, but even viewed on its own (the first hoppy beer of the evening), this was a little light, watery even, on the palate, without the kind of resin and bitterness I like in my hoppy beers. Still, this is fantastic.

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Photo of cbutova
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back a few growlers over the weekend. July 7th notes, 2nd or 3rd time having the beer over the holiday weekend.

A- Light golden body in a pint glass with a creamy white head. The cap has nice retention. Lots of lacing webs.

S- A good orange citrus forward hop aroma with some tropical fruit from a bunch of Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Peach and zest in a hop forward smell.

T- More yeast bread and light grain/biscuit/caramel coming into play as a Pale Ale should have but the hop flavors are the main show here. Peach, orange zest, lemon, citrus and some floral hop characters. Reminds me of Sculpin in a way.

MF- Lighter end body with a nice creamy texture. Moderately carbonated with a light clean bitterness rounding it all out on the palate.

Compared to Walden this has more malt/yeast character but still packs a great citrus/fruity hop character, as it should for a Pale Ale. Hops just feel so clean and fresh in HF's beers.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml flip top opened on 6.15.13

A - Pours a cloudy light orange with a small light off-white foamy head with great retention.

S - Strong citrus fruits, lots of oranges, lemons, pineapple.

T - More grassy, then the citrus follows, no bitterness.

D - Good carbonaiton with a light body.

O - Heavy citrus nose with more grass in the drink. Light, crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another pleasant treat from the 7/27 Top Hops mini tasting! Filled a week and a half ago.

a - murky straw yellow with a foamy head. beautifully cloudy. doesn't look like an IPA at all, but still gorgeous. great lacing.

s - great hop smell. citric burst. little rubber in the background (from the rice?).

t - tastes like a rice ipa. doesn't compare to the kuhnhenn DRIPA. nice, but the rice definitely takes over on the flavor and drains some of the ipa goodness from the smell...still very solid.

m - easy drinker, very soft. a bit watery even.

o - overall very good. not something i'd trade my cellar for but very crisp. nice and different for an IPA. the lower abv gives it good sessionability. the finish shows the bittery hops which i wish were more prominent in the taste. enjoyable.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

small growler poured into tulip - thanks alex

Pours a hazed pale yellow, with a thin head, leaving behind little lacing on the glass.

The nose is dry and biscuity with a nice dash of hops. There's plenty of dryness with a soft, light sweetness.

Light, oily hop presence with herbal tones. Bitter and dry with a nice leafy touch. Lemon peel, biscuit malts with grain. Touch of cracker with a pleasant, bitter dry finish.

Medium body, dry and lingering on the tongue. Solid pale ale, there's better from HF though - after reading some of these other reviews I'm wondering if this might have sat a couple days too long.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.79/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden amber, tight white head. Nose has fairly balanced grain notes, fresh, a lot like Edward. Hops have are herbal and grassy. light grapefruit, a touch light in the nose. Definitely the lightest on flavor, clean fresh grain, light cereal and dough, dry finish with more bitterness than some of the others. Grapefruit and orange citrus are light, hint of peach and grassy hops on a light body with strong carbonation.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Super huge thanks to TheLostGringo for a growler of this stuff... and it was only an extra. Shared with some good people. This one pours a golden-yellow; bright, vibrant, and translucent, but still plenty of unfiltered haze. The soapy, foamy white head settles quickly to a collar after building up to only about a half-inch in height. Good looking pale ale, no complaints so far.

What Is Enlightenment is hopped with one of my personal favorites - Amarillo - and Simcoe, which is often hit or miss for me (and is usually only miss when it's the only hop used). Piney, citrusy, bursting full of oranges and some grapefruit with oily resins and a mildly dank character hiding in the background. Success! The pine comes through from the Simcoe and mixes well with the heavy fruit aromas from Amarillo. Malt? Nah, this is a hoppy pale ale, baby!

A crisp little bitterness bites the tongue up front but it's pretty tame and never reaches a level where I'd say "this is more bitter than a pale ale should be". Lots of pines and leaves, followed up quickly with grapefruit peels, juicy orange centers, and a hint of lemon zest. Whatever the proportion of Simcoe to Amarillo is here, I don't know, but it's almost perfect.

Such a crisp pale ale, relatively light bodied, yet robust enough to maintain its presence on your palate. Carbonated well, even for a growler (I guess that's why swing-tops are so good), so it keeps nipping softly at your tongue with each sip and finishes dry to keep you thirsty. A touch of yeast and malt coats the palate and only become noticeable once the hop assault has finally faded.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the first two Hill Farmstead beers I ever had, but What is Enlightenment has essentially blown me away. Such a good pale ale, it's really a crime that this stuff is only available in Vermont. Though it was split six ways, I could easily smash through an entire growler of this on my own. So drinkable, so tasty, such an awesome pale ale.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What is Enlightenment? 12-ounce snifter at Bluebird Tavern in Burlington, Vermont.

Appearance: Classic Farmstead look, hazy-unpasteurized, one finger of bubbly snow-white head that lasts. Foamy lacing.

Smell: Reefer, quality skunk, naked hops, grass. Sniff deeper and get barnyard funk, stinky cheese. Citrus, pickled pineapple.

Taste: Super refreshing, light citrus, but not as good as smell. Smooth honey, clover, tad of spice at the end. Pollinated fields, fresh hops. For a 5.40% APA, this drinks more like a DIPA!

Mouthfeel: Nice spicy hoppy finish, well balanced all around. A little thin but fine.

Overall: Super drinkable, and as farm-fresh as always (more so here in Vermont!). A beautiful display of craftmanship and delicious hops.

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What Is Enlightenment? from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.39 out of 5 based on 900 ratings.
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