Velvet Glove | Iron Fist Brewing Company

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101 Reviews
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Velvet GloveVelvet Glove

Brewed by:
Iron Fist Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
You know the expression, "A Velvet Glove and an Iron Fist"? It was coined to refer to a regime that used a soft exterior to hide its punishingly unforgiving nature. This seems an apt description for our Velvet Glove. Its placid appearance and unparalleled smoothness hide the truth; this is one fiendishly strong stout. Rich, chocolaty espresso dominates the flavor profile, with a velvety smooth texture that will haunt your senses.

Added by Sideswipe on 01-15-2011

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 347
Photo of Metalmonk
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at one of my favorite places in L.A., The Oaks Gourmet.

Pours a toasted golden head, a gorgeous thing while it lasts, but it fizzles quickly. Utterly dark brown liquid, reaching toward coal black.

Deeply chocolate aroma with delicate notes of toasty malt/grain (oat?). Subtle but entirely satisfactory.

This beer hits the target on the tongue, where it counts most. Dark chocolate, bittersweet baking chocolate, dark roast coffee, mineral notes, toffee, cola. Mmm. Yeah.

Velvety feel (and I swear I wrote that while momentarily forgetting the beer's name)...on the gentler side of gooey.

This imperial stout doesn't offer the impressive razzle dazzle of a Sexual Chocolate or a Dark Lord, but my oh my, does it get under the skin slowly, with subtlety and more than a hint that this was truly made with love. Great stuff.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up just outside of Honolulu.

Pours fairly black, with some chestnut highlights. The head crests at about two fingers, then falls to a nice layer of foam that leaves a thin webbing behind.

Smell; pretty subdued in the aroma department. Faint coffee and chocolate malts. Not really much going on aroma wise.

Taste; coffee and chocolate are more present than they were in the smell, though neither really dominate. Mildly sweet, giving this a slightly milk stout quality, with just some hints of licorice in the bakcground.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth.

Overall this is a really nice beer, and I really like that feel that the oatmeal provides. For the money though, there are other beers I would choose before this. I think I paid right about $13 for my bottle, though I'm sure purchasing it in Hawaii had a bit to do with that price.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Iron First Brewing - Velvet Glove 9% stout

A: Murky black with some dark brown notes on the pour, nice 1 inch head with a murky brown foam and tiny bubbles, very little lacing, great coating on the glass

S: Tons of coffee on the nose, I was expecting more chocolate but the coffee dryness is welcome

T: The coffee subsides from the nose and the chocolate shines through in a huge way, much like chocolate rain without the heat and big body. Great sweet taste with chewy maltiness and sweet finish that’s supported by a mild hoppy profile.

M: The tiny bubbles deliver an piquant effervescence that carries the chocolate malt delicately. The coating is awesome, not in a thick oppressive way, It carries a huge beer character with the accessibility of a thin middle body to it. I am not sure how they did it but it straddles two worlds without feeling one note.

D: Usually with imperial stouts this is where I make obvious statements about how big the beer is and after one it’s an unwelcome Saturday morning houseguest, but, I simply cannot in this instance. The drink ability is fantastic due to the chocolate profile, tiny bubbles, and fantastic mouthfeel. This ascends to the “wish it was packed in 12oz bottles” category. This would be a great introductory imperial stout to transcend people beyond their Guiness fancies into the world of obfuscating darkness.

Narrative: Being an accountant for brigand gypsies didn’t seem like an altogether waste of Jeff Deyoung’s time, it just felt a little misplaced. Well first there was the problem with appraising the value of stolen VCR’s and then amortizing them over a S corp structure. Then he had to figure out a way to write off all Robitussin and knife hits that his company of rogues was imbibing at a breakneck pace. All in all, Jeff was a black hearted scoundrel with the rest, but with a cunning ability to ease his way below the subterfuge. Sure, he might be figuring out ways to liquidate bootleg DVDs, but his coal black hair and khaki suit gave you the air that inspire confidence in his less than scrupulous dealings. If you invited him over for dinner, he would tell your family that he arranged government contracts and owned several mobile unilateral pawn shops. A tongue in a velvet sack, that old Jeff. You can’t quite trust him, but at the same time you feel at ease, until your iPad is gone. Now you need to buy a new iPad.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my bruery tulip. Dark black with a one finger brown head, looks highly carbonated. Aroma is light, coffee and alcohol. Taste follows the nose, coffee,malts and alcohol. This is very sweet, definitely a sipper. The mouthfeel, makes you want to drink it faster because of how smooth it is but the sweetness slows you down, not a bad stout just not very complex. Leaves me feeling a bit indifferent. Would I drink it again? Yes. Would
I buy/stock up on this? No

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Photo of GregSVT
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a deep dark black with a nice dark tan head that fades to a ring and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: The nose isn't too much of anything besides a slight milky chocolate and some roasted malt. As it warms there's a slight licorice aroma as well.

T: The taste is pretty damn good. Silky chocolate and vanilla with a slight roasted malt flavor on the background. Seriously creamy and smooth and the 9% alcohol is no where to be seen. As it warms you get a nice licorice flavor.

M: The feel is incredibly creamy and medium bodied. One of the nicest bodies on an Oatmeal Stout I have ever had.

O: The nose worried me but the flavor and body were amazing. I would definitely buy this on occasion if it was available in my area. Big thanks to Mike for hooking me up with this "should want" in our last trade.

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Photo of Bung
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Dark black pour, brown/ruby around the edge. Half finger of light tan head.

Very light roast and grainy oat. Some chocolate and caramel. A bit subdued.

Nice roast, caramel, some chocolate. Very nice oat presence, maybe some molasses. Finishes shortly after the oat with caramel, toffee light roat and coffee. This was borderline 4.5.

Body is just what I want, high side of medium. Very kind carbonation, nearly creamy. Coats very well. Alcohol is very well hidden, had an 8% oatmeal stout before this that exibited much more heat.

Very pleased with this one. If I lived near or had access to this brewery, I would seek out more.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

C: Little Dark to Tell
H: Dark Brown/Light Black
N: Chocolate, Molasses, & Hints of Brown Sugar

Dark and Sexy this beer was. The nose was led to hints of dark chocolate and coffee. Pretty standard for an Imperial Stout. The flavor was one of the more balanced stouts that I have had in a very long time! Today we seem to have stouts that are over malty, hoppy, or just have some really unusual flavors….this is not any of those. Nice hop/malt balance. At 9% it hides the alcohol very well…it’s almost dangerous. While I personally enjoy the over hopped or malty stouts…this beer was quite a change.

If you can find it, I would recommend snagging it and savoring, while it is nothing special it is a very well made beer!

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Photo of JAXSON
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, thanks Mark. Pours black with a decent amount of carbonation and a medium head. Nose is metal, sour malts, light roast, char. Flavor opens with a toasted malt and erupts with a very abrasive tinny quality that comes across as medicinal and sour. Window cleaner and metal on the finish. Obviously, not good. I don't know if this particular bottle had a problem or if this beer is grossly over rated.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a thin light brown head.

S: This was the strangest-smelling stout I've ever had. I'm a little worried that my bottle may have been infected because no one else is reporting the smells I experienced. When I sniffed this one, it was like walking into a Jamba Juice. I got a ton of strawberry/banana along with some guava, passion fruit and currant.

T: Big, juicy dark fruits upfront with pomegranate and black cherry taking the lead. Then, the taste changes and there's a progression to some dark chocolate flavors with a finish that's bitter and slightly burnt. The mouthfeel was big, chewy and really smooth. I liked this one a lot.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in a tasting flight at the brewery with my wife a weeks back, but this review is based on the bottle I got from Green Jug, so I could review it based on a larger pour, and was able to share it with others, (my brother and his wife) and go back for seconds.

A: The beer pours black, much like a Black hole, no light penetrates or escapes. A small, dark tan, near brown colored head rose about a quarter of an inch, then settled to a ring of consistent bubbles along the sides of the glass, leaving some small lacing.

S: I get whiffs of dark roasted malt, hints of roasted espresso coffee, dark chocolate or coco nibs, some vanilla, and light oats as it warmed.

T: Great flavors, moving from smooth espresso, roasted barley, and cocoa nibs to a mild oats or wheat grain character in the middle, finishing sweet, and with little to no hints of alcohol. Very well done, and a bit dangerous, but I like that.

M: Medium to full mouth feel body, and lightly to low medium carbonation. Smooth, and viscous, but NOT sticky or cloyingly sweet, which some imperial stouts, and oatmeal stouts can be.

O: Very drinkable. Great and tasty oatmeal stout, and from what they said, and the website, this is the beer (or a slight variation) that has been barreling aging to become Dark Days, really looking forward to that. My brother really liked it too. Good stuff.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

350 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a matte black color with darkish tan head. Fairly bubbly/heavy film-like head.

Smell: Quite pungent with sweet-cream and coffee. Some other roasted flavors are in there too, and I catch a hint of blueberry as well.

Taste: The flavor isn't as strong as I imagined. Roasted malts and caramel up front. Coffee and blueberries slowly float in. After a while I notice a bit of oatmeal, or at least a bit of bread. Not too much bitterness - it is pretty balanced as far as that goes. Some alcohol comes out in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, with mild carbonation. Medium-bodied - a bit thinner than I would have imagined.

Drinkability: Pretty easy to drink - there's not much alcohol in the taste.

Another nice offering from Iron First. Doesn't totally capture my attention, but I am definitely enjoying it. Billed as an Imperial Stout, it is somewhere between that and an Oatmeal Stout, but not quite either. They definitely succeed in keeping the alcohol from being an overwhelming, prominent part of the flavor, which is a good sign.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My wife picked up this bomber at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA, to serve at our tasting last night. Poured a dark brown color with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of black licorice, roasted malt, chocolate and light vanilla. On the palate, this one was medium bodied and smooth, with flavors of roasted malt, currants and chocolate. Not bad, but a huge disappointment at its price point ($11/750).

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Photo of Vdubb86
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to injuredreserve for this beer

This beer pours a very dark brown color with a dark tan almost bordering on brown foam. The head retention is decent, but it seems to fade a touch quicker than I would have liked. The aromatics are a 2 horse show. There are oats, some of which are toasted, and a whole bag of coffee. If I dig deep on the nose I can draw upon some vanilla as well. The initial taste makes me wonder if I've served this too cold. This coffee flavor is all encompassing with this taste. There may be a touch of mocha flavor with it, but in all honesty, I think it's secondary. The oatmeal is there, but has to be searched for. It goes down pretty easy, but not as good as I would have expected for an oatmeal stout. My overall impression of this beer is that it's very good. But I don't think I could venture much farther in describing it.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see another new brewery comin up and makin awesome beers.

Pours a super dark black. Thin tan head dissipated to thin ring. No lacing.

Aroma is nice and roasty and caramely. Maybe a bit of sweetened coffee.

Taste is good. Nice and roasty. Bit if caramel sweetness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than i would expect but the finish feels nice. It's the initial mouthfeel.

Overall a tasty brew. Can't wait to see what they come up with in the future. Hopefully they barrel aged some of this stuff.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours pretty much pitch-black even when held up to a light source. VERY thin head with fish-eye sized bubbles, and some spotty lacing. Typical stout appearance, I guess..

S-Has a nice sweet caramel and chocolate nose to it. I like that. Absolutely no alcohol detectable even though it is 9%. Not a booming or ambient beer when cold, and 4.0 is fair enough, since my room doesn't smell like a fermenter...booo (kidding).

T-As the name implies, VELVET....nice hazy bit of carbonation going in and out of chocolate, roast, vanilla, as well as some nutty characteristics. AWESOME. Still no alcohol!

M-Nice relaxing body for what this beer is made of, with just enough body to satisfy my stout itch, but not too much. Nice balance. Also, this is a great strong stout that has sweet notes to it but finishes relatively clean and crisp.

O- This is a great stout. It is nice not living far from the brewery (L.A.) so we get some pretty fresh stuff from them. Interested to see what this would be like in a couple of months...there is a little burn on the tongue when you look for it, but very hard to come across. Cheers, IF.

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Photo of charlzm
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, Ca on March 14th, 2011.

The beer appears black in the glass with no discernible highlights. In just a couple of minutes, a one-finger light tan head subsides to a crown that barely rings the edges of the glass.

Aroma is dark, roasted malts.

Flavor is surprisingly smooth for a beer of this ABV. Dark roasted malts up front on the palate, followed by a dash of sour cherry. A lingering coffee bitterness finishes things up. Oats not noted.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and slightly dry.

Stupidly drinkable but not delicious.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Bistre, motor-oil brown liquid with a small finger of light khaki foam which recedes to a lasting cola rand slick fairl rapidly despite a vigorous pour. Sandy amoebic lacing with thin legs.

Lots of roast notes (coffee, chocolate, barley, and maybe some black malt?) along with a light vanilla aroma.

Smooth espresso, roast barley, cocoa nibs, and a mild grainy character on the palate. A touch of licorice and demerara sugar come forward next; the finish is somewhat sweet with a glimmer of marzipan, though it slowly begins to dry out a touch with the help of the alcohol.

Medium-full bodied, creamy (more so than velvety if you want to nit pick), slightly sticky, with moderate carbonation. ABV is very well hidden.

Quite a tasty stout - looking forward to trying more from this brewery.

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Photo of Kala1073
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my new favorite stouts. This stout drinks as smooth as the name suggests. The appearance is dark like black velvet, the aroma is chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts, the mouthfeel is thick and creamy, the taste is simply delicious! This beer really took me by surprise in a good way. Iron Fist Velvet Glove hits you in the taste buds and makes you yearn for more!!!

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Photo of NickMunford
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks completely black/opaque, but the thin head gives it a bit of a super-dark brown appearance. Little head retention or lacing. Smells of dark roasted malt & chocolate with a hint of coffee. The velvet name is apt, as it feels like liquid velvet in the mouth. The aromas carry through nicely in the flavor. I don't really pick up the mealy hints that I associate with an oatmeal stout, but I think with a little tweaking and a higher ABV, this would turn into a great IRS. And this would be a great candidate for bourbon barrel aging.

I've tried two Iron Fist brews so far, and I can't wait to try more. Right now they are so new that they're a shooting star. I hope they hit the Earth and make a crater for themselves.

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Photo of rand
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bomber to pint glass

Jet black on the pour forming a frothy, 1-inch head. Lacing cascades down the glass as the head recedes - looks like a weighty beer. It smells of dark roasted malts, freshly baked pastries, molasses. Alcohol warms the nose.

Velvet Glove has a nice, creamy feel on the palate, not overly sticky, but chewy and full-bodied. It tastes of chocolate and bitter coffee at first, while it's malty aspects lend a bready feel to the beer, tasting a bit like breadcrust. Milled grain touches a raisiny sweetness mid-sip, as alcohol rolls in to round the flavor profile. Finishes sweet, creamy and slightly astringent.

If you like big stodgy stouts you could do a lot worse. Velvet Glove got easier to drink and more enjoyable as the beer warmed - 55 degrees seemed about the peak. I'll be seeking this out again.

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Photo of imagese
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ brewery. Listed as an "Imperial Oatmeal Stout". Also purchased a bottle to age

A- jet black. the faintest creamy coffee colored head left nice lacing

S- dark fruit, coffee, and bitter chocolate

T- killer taste that follows the nose. Simple, to the point, and very nicely executed

M- medium body. Velvety smooth... Chocolate and fruit sweetness linger on the palate nicely

D- drinks like a much smaller beer. So smooth and awesome.

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Photo of sdderek
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip from a 750ml bottle.

Great dark black and thick appearance. Nice head retention. Aroma has coffee, chocolate, and a bit of alcohol. Very nice.

Taste is very smooth with no hint of alcohol. Great bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt and coffee notes. Again, very, very smooth.

Mouthfeel is creamy and somewhat thin, which is very nice for this big oatmeal stout.

Very drinkable. I would love to see what this tastes like with a year on it. I will buy again!

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at hoffers cigar bar

It pours a jet black and reminds me of coal in this tulip glass. It smells of roasted coffee and bitter chocolate.

Its tastes almost exactly as it smells. It has a oatmeal beet taste with tons of rich chocolate and coffee bitterness. It has a long lasting chocolate aftertaste like that of the speedway stout.

I was blown away to fond out this was a oatmeal stout and to top it off it brew. The first iron fist brew I've had and probably wont be my last.

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Photo of Ambiorix
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

A: Black, still pour with a fine tan head. Decent lacing.

S: Raisins, roasty malt, yeasty notes.

T: Rich malty front end. Raisiny dark fruit. Slightly woody note. Coffee, earthy, blue cheese (?) funk in the finish. Nicely hopped.

M: Medium-full. Satisfying and rich without being cloying.

D: Very nicely done Imperial Stout. While not over-the-top, it was well balanced, tasty, and only hinted at the alcohol within as the name implies. The blue cheese note in the finish was really odd but not unpleasant. Not sure if this was from the yeast used or what. I'd certainly drink it again.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


6oz on tap at Iron Fist and served in a snifter. This is called Velvet Glove, not Velet Glove.

A: Deep brown with auburn highlights and a big frothy light brown head.

S: Rich dark chocolate, oatmeal, molasses, brown sugar. Roasted malt is at a moderate level. The chocolate profile is great. There's a dash of coffee in there. Alcohol is undetectable. Very nice aroma.

T: Dark chocolate with some milk, accompanied by brown sugar and molasses. An upper low bitterness is present. There's a moderate roast and a low level of coffee. Finish is bittersweet chocolate with some warming.

M: Lower full body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and creamy, though not quite as thick and creamy as I'd hoped.

Overall: A very nice Imperial Oatmeal stout, and the best beer Iron Fist has made (IMO, of course). Reminiscent of BORIS the Crusher. A great representation of the style.

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Velvet Glove from Iron Fist Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 347 ratings.
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