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Traquair 2020 | Traquair House Brewery Lld

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94 Reviews
Traquair 2020Traquair 2020

Brewed by:
Traquair House Brewery Lld
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sitarist on 01-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 141
Photo of shleepy
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle info snifter glasses. Bought at Whole Foods in San Ramon, CA.

A: A good, brown color. Small-medium off-white head.

S: Molasses, and either oakiness, a spice, or both.

T: Hot alcohols come though, just a little bit. A lightly (hazel)nutty sweetness. Does not finish clean because of the alcohol.

M: Fairly heavy-bodied. Low-medium carbonation.

O: I remember liking the House Ale more. I think this one is too high ABV to be very enjoyable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled December 2011
A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber that shows a brilliantly clear, rich amber hue when held up to the light as well as carbonation bubbles viscously struggling to rise up through the beer. As I pour this deeply caramelized sugar notes are noticeable as well as an earthy, coriander like spiciness that really seems to be more of a nutty note as my nose adjusts. Notes of caramel brittle, touches of toffee, a nutty sweet maltiness as well as a frutiness that reminds me of dates and perhaps a touch of raisins are noticeable up front; this really does sort of remind me of some sort of nut & caramel candy, perhaps a nut brittle of some sort. At first there seemed to be an ever so slight vegetal note to this beer, but that seems to have dissipated pretty quickly.

Rich feeling as it first hits my palate, but not nearly as much as I was expecting, a bubbly carbonation keeps this moving along, even providing a touch of carbonic bite in the finish. A hint of dark malt, sort of grain husk astringency is lightly noticed in the finish, there is also perhaps a touch of herbal character and bitterness in the finish. The beer is viscous and certainly has a certain heft to it as it lumbers across the palate; this suggest at the sweetness that is so pervasive in this beer; it isn’t quite cloyingly sweet and the sweetness is not simplistic as there is a lot of caramel, chewy-nutty malt complexity, definite caramelized biscuit character, as well as a more toffee like note at times. There is a subdued fruitiness here that suggests at dates and perhaps some raisin like notes (though the latter seems a little bit of a stretch. There is a touch of spiciness and heat from the alcohol in the finish, though for a beer of this strength it is certainly quite smooth. This suggests at a rich, almost oxidized character (though I don’t think this is strictly true) that reminds me of sherry in some ways (the nutty notes also help with this).

This is quite tasty, definitely an appropriate, cold weather sipping beer. I could see this aging quite elegantly for a couple years, though I don’t think this would be in peak condition come 2020.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Mahogany brown color. Clear. Small head.
S: Strong toffee. Licorice. Bourbon, which makes me suspect that it has been aged in barrels. Molasses. Baked bread. Figs. Some alcohol. More intense than the house Traquair which I found to be more fruity.
T: Alcohol quite noticeable up front. Mollasses-like sweetness. Caramel. Finishes with a raw grain astringency.
M: Full body. Medium carbonation. Creamy, like a toffee candy.
O: An interesting, complex beer, but not as drinkable as the lighter version, which has more balance.

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Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a very dark brown body with clear, amber highlights. The head settles relatively quickly and leaves little lace.

S - A thick aroma of toffee and raisin with some dark molasses notes in the background. Some fruity yeast notes of red apple and plum as well.

T - Sweet, thick sugary notes up front with a lot of plum and caramel. Red apple notes creep up in the middle and the caramel malt becomes even more pronounced. The beer finishes with a slight hint of molasses and a touch of smoke that play with the plum and caramel as they linger on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Big and sugary, this beer seems like it could use a bit of age to really come together. It isn't harsh or boozy, despite its high abv, but the malt is sticky sweet and kind of one dimensional. The caramel character and fruity yeast dominate with just a touch of molasses for depth and almost none of the rich toffee that characterizes better examples of the style. It is clearly meant to be aged and I expect that sometime between now and its drink by date of 2020, it will have become something more than it is today.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby brown color where light easily passes. Modest but thick, long-lasting head that leaves a ring of lace after each sip.

Strong, rich maple syrup and caramel smells. Very sweet, like freshly made toffee.

Strong malt sugar flavor, reminds me of taffy for some reason. The alcohol is very present, but not overwhelming. Rich body, naturally, but the low carbonation makes nearly oily. Notes of vanilla and flat cola.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Label says brewed in 2010.

A- Pours a dark brown somewhat opaque color with a 1/4 inch tan head that quickly dissolves and becomes a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Light surface foam and unimpressive lacing.

S- Soft roast in the nose with notes of milk chocolate and traces of oxidation. Some alcohol plus some sherry-like sweetness.

T- Smooth roast leaning toward the nuttier side of things with less oxidation sensed than in the aroma. Alcohol is very subdued allowing for multiple sips in a short time-span. More notes of sherry plus some cocoa. Hardly any hop bitterness.

M- Creamy, slick and deep. Low carbonation and a hefty body.

O- Glad I didn't let this go any longer since there are clearly signs of oxidation. The label implies that it can be aged up until 2020 but I beg to differ since there's not enough alcohol. And, although the English barleywines aren't traditionally more hop forward, there isn't enough hop content for my taste.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle, Eddie.

Pours an opaque dark amber color with a finger of frothy off-white head. Intense aroma of dark fruits and caramel to this one. Some plums and almost vinous red wine notes to it. It’s also got an almost woody character to it. The flavor is sweet, but not overly so. A bit woody and vinous, maybe even tannic. Heavy flavors of plum and fruit skins. Dark sugar and molasses are also prominent. Medium to full body with low carbonation.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(11.2oz bottle). Pours a deep mahogany with thin off-white head. Aroma has loads of caramel malt, some smoke?, and some wood. It has a faint resemblence to a belgian quad. Not quite a quad, but some similarities by aroma. Taste is sweet with caramel again shining through and light bittering hops. Full bodied with a sticky texture. Finish is slightly bitter. A very nice beer that I would expect to age very well.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been keeping an eye out for this one for the last month or so, found some a few days ago.

Pours very dark red/brown, off-white head becomes a thick ring and cap pretty quick, leaves some lacing.

Brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, and a tiny bit of booze in the scent. Nice but doesn't really smell like a barleywine...

Taste mostly follows the nose, definitely reminds me of a scotch ale or old ale more than a barleywine for sure. Brown sugar, toffee/caramel, molasses, some toasty malts and dark fruit. It is pretty sweet but not cloying. Some grassy hops. The flavors, although nice enough, seem muted, there isn't much depth.

Very smooth, full mouthfeel. Alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden although it starts to show more as it warms.

Good, but nowhere near $10/bottle good. I bought another bottle to age though this drinks pretty well right now.

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Photo of lanamj
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my trolls tulip.

A- A nice brown color. Not much clarity one this one, rather opaque. It has a nice mocha head that resides to a foamy cover with heavy lacing.

S- Nice caramel, and sweet malts. It has a small amount of spice in it as well. I do get some dark fruit and molasses as well

T- Nice malty flavor. It has a lot of sweet flavors like molasses, brown sugar and some spice. I get some chocolate and date as well

M- Nice and medium body. Its not to thick but not thin either. I fell like the long feel it leaves makes this a great beer. Carbonation is great.

O- I like this beer a lot. It is good fresh I'm sure with some age it would be great. All around its not the best Barleywine I've ever had but it holds a lot of the qualities that the greats hold.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown and ruby read body under a light colored head, bubbles dancing up from the bottom as the lacey head fades

Smell: Malty sugars and baked bread give way to fruity notes, specifically figs which fade into a caramel finish

Taste: Fruity caramel and complex sugars and malts predominate, with hints of bubblegum and dark cherries, which give way to other dark fruits and an acerbic finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, flows on the tongue with a supportive carbonation finish, I wish this was a bit thicker in the body.

Overall: Interesting beer, seems like it has been diluted down a bit, I think if it were a bit more concentrated it would have a better chance of being at the peak in 2020, as it stand now, I don't think that will be the case

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature 48º into a tulip.

Dark saturated copper crimson in the light, with a finger or two of tan foam resting on top. It settles after a few minutes leaving a delicate ring of lacing on the way down. A thin skim remains across the surface after the first few sips.

Estery and phenolic in the nose like a high gravity doppelbock, perceptible hints of alcohol and malty spice. Brown sugar and cinnamon.

Full bodied, sweet and estery with plum, raisin, and plantains fried in butter. Hints of butter toffee, sticky with brown sugar sweetness, fig jam and multigrain bread. Slightly drying in the finish from the alcohol. Body has enough carbonation to avoid being syrupy, and is simply full bodied and sweet. The 10% abv is apparent in the aroma and taste, though it doesn't overwhelm. One to take awhile with, sipping away the last days of winter.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, revealing a rich opaque brown body under a finger of creamy-looking butter-colored head. Some bubbles and lacing. Smells soft and malty with a lot of rounded edges. Slight vanilla, very mealy, some mangosteen.

Tastes sweet and delicate with a slight alcohol presence up front which devolves into mealy caramel and soursop shake. Lots of fruitiness in the finish, similar to a scotch ale. Mouthfeel is light with a gentle carbonation that adds some tingle and some body to the otherwise just-more-viscous-than-watery consistency. For 10%, it's entirely drinkable.

Overall it's no J. W. Lees, but this brew is certainly no disappointment. I'd buy it again, maybe even to age.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened this bottle last night to celebrate Amy's birthday. Picked these up from West Lakeview, Capone's, and Rick's. I'll give them each an assist. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a bronze brew with a bit of a garnet hue. Nice tan head sticks around for a bit and leaves a few legs on the side of the glass. The nose starts out with some dried plum and raisin plus a bit of molasses and brown-sugar sweetness. There is some sweet sherry there as well as it warms up. The flavor is mostly comprised of lingering dark fruits and cherry plus some sherry undertones along with a molasses-like sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation; there is no booze but the finish is a bit too bitter, almost tannic. Drinkability was pretty good. Not super impressed with this one right now (although I had high expectations). We'll see what it's like in a few years.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is really a pretty one. I 3/4 in a snifter and felt like checking out the rest in a wine glass to get a better look. In a snifter I nearly thought it looked like the deepest shade of violet, though in a wine glass it shows more of a deep orange/red. good retention and seemingly good carbonation too. Slow legs but not too much sticky lacing to speak of ... maybe in a pint? lots of aging potential.

S: Brandy like on the nose, esters of dark chewy fruit. This guy has a pretty big bouquet overall with lots of complex flavors. lots of aging potential.

T: Not quite what I was expecting/hoping for on this one though I perhaps had very high expectations as this stuff is quite good. Though first Ill read out the bad ... roasted malts show up more than I would like them to. It has a charred bread quality which is a bit unwelcome, and I think hides what the fruity aroma might have provided on the palate. Sort of reminds me of maple syrup soaked pancakes. Only it would be a pretty bittersweet syrup.

M: um... good

D: quite freaking high but god damn this shit is pricy. Ef the sticker price on this stuff. I see it aging some and it will be interesting to see just how it does but frankly ... 2020? no way.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into duvel glass.

Appearance: brown body with a cranberry red hue. Almost 2 fingers of offwhite head that drops to a thin cap.

Smell: The nose is sweet, fruity, spicy, and vinous. Almost reminicent of a Wee Heavy beer minus the smoke.

Taste: Low end of moderately sweet malt profile that goes right into a strong fruity note about the middle of the beer. Hints of brown sugar, candied sugar, and caramel; but its even more fruity than the beer is malty sweet. I am getting a mixture of raisins, prunes, red apples, red grapes, pears, and white grapes. The beer finishes with an estery, vinous, and spicy, alcohol burn that is a touch stronger than subtle yet not quite to the moderate level.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This drinks pretty easy for a 10% ABV beer. A touch of heat from the beer, but thats to be expected within the style/ABV that this beer proclaims to be affixed to.

Overall: This is a nice beer, but I can't say its an english barleywine. Its so much more fruity than it is malty sweet; so it reminds me more of a Scottish Wee Heavy especially in the flavor profile of the beer. More caramel, toffee notes is to my liking for an english barleywine. I speculate that since this beer was made in scotland the yeast strand from that beer region imparts the fruity flavors and nose found in this beer that are similiar to a Scottish Wee Heavy style beer.

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Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 brown bottle with a best before date of April 2020.

LOOK: Hazed tawny hue, good lacing on the glass

SMELL: Figs, apple butter, Christmas pudding, slightly boozy alcohol, faint spice, vegtal hop, caramel

TASTE: Smooth, thick creaminess, very malty, caramel, nutty, grainy, earthy, leafy hops, mild twang, slow escalating alcohol warmth, figs, cotton candy, green peppercorn, biscuity, semi-sweet finish

Damn, wish I had grabbed two bottles to see where this one goes eight years later. Certainly great enough to pop open now. A solid sip.

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Photo of mryuk
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a medium brown amber with almost no head at all.

smell is sweet and malty with a hint of black cherries. slight coffee scent as well.

taste is not as sweet as expected, alcoholic with a slight bitter finish.

mouth is medium bodied with almost no carbonation.

overall this was just so-so for me. seems like it is setup to age for a few years. not sure if i should get another one and throw it in the cellar to give it a chance. maybe i will be updating the review in a few years.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with a friend and served into a goblet

A: Hazy brown with a small amount of cream colored head. A bit muddy looking, but not bad.

S: Caramel, toffee, Figs. Very nice.

T: Plums, toffee, some breadiness - not nearly as sweet as I thought it'd be. Complex and balanced.

M: fairly thick with good carbonation.

O: I very much enjoy this beer. I find many English Barleywines to be too sweet and boozy. Not so with this beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep garnet body with flecks of red in the light. Nice off-white head. Small, but appropriate. Mostly wisps of bubbles after a few moments. Some foam does cling to the glass, surprisingly, especially as I swirl it.

Smell - Rich, molasses flavors dominant. Good dark fruits almost as strong. A touch metallic at the end of the nose. Smells really nice, aside from a touch of impurity.

Taste - The sweetness comes through a bit more, but it's not too much. The molasses flavor is a nice complement to the fruitier aspects. There's a lingering bitterness that manifests itself as a bit earthy, but adds a nice backdrop for the malts. As it warms, there's a distinct diacetyl flavor in the finish. A bit of the scotch ale coming through? It shouldn't be there, I suppose, but I don't mind it.

Mouthfeel - Remarkably light for a 10% barleywine. Not what I expected. Too light, really, as the flavors drop off and almost nothing lingers on the palate. Makes me want to drink it faster, but it's still not a light beer.

Overall - Good flavors. I don't see this improving with age, despite its name. Even with a nice flavor, it lacks the depth to be truly delicious.

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Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

Pours dark for a barley wine, almost opaque mahogany, with faint copper tints around the edges. There is a decent head but it's not long for the world and recedes quickly to a thin cap.

Aroma is sweet with treacle, caramel, chocolate and tons of dark fruits with raisins and figs. There is also a huge molasses aroma with hints of bready malts.

Taste is also sweet thought there is more of a woody character up front. But after the wood comes the parade of sweet flavors. I'm getting some red apple skin, caramel and plums. The finish has a boozy heat but with plenty of molasses sweetness lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but feels really thick on the palate, heavy with sugary sweetness.

I really enjoyed this one as I like my barley wines sweet, and this is certainly sweet. Should age like a champ.

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Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear mahogany with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like rich toffee and caramel and candied pecans, with a little copper and raisin and floral hops and honey wheat bread.
T: It tasted like sweet toffee and caramel and candied pecans, with some raisin and copper and floral hops, and a bit of honey wheat bread. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste that was surprisingly dry.
M: It was oily and viscous with a good amount of carbonation. Solid body.
D: This was a very nice English barleywine that was clearly intended for aging. It's really good now, but it'll be excellent in 2020. The body was a little over-carbonated at this point, and the alcohol was noticeable, so it's better to sip fresh. I'm sure that will all mellow out over the years. Enjoyable brew, and definitely recommended to cellar.

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superior English style barleywine. Dark colour, dark fruit, toffee, booze balanced with a subdued sweetness, cherry, fig, vanilla.Some mollasses and massive rich malts. Very drinkable, so smooth. Above average mouthfeel. I am sure ageing would make it even more amazing.Thanks again M.-P.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark brown with sherry highlights and 1/4 inch of khaki colored head. Dissipates quickly, leaving intermittent soapy lace.

S-Fruity, estery goodness. Banana, grape, caramel, fresh baked whole wheat bread.

T/M-As far as English style barleywines go, this one hits all the right marks. Thin and concentrated body that still manages to be soft on the palate. Alternately bready and sweet, with the subtlest touch of fruit. 10%ABV is very well hidden.

D-Will certainly improve with age, but this is drinking great right now.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks very much to G311 for the opportunity to try this 'want'. Pours a beautiful deep mahogany with a loose, bubbly cream-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets. Head slowly dissipates into a soapy skim. Some spots and strands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses toffee, caramel, lactose and dark fruit. Taste follows nose; however, it is somewhat more subdued than anticipated - toasted malt, figs, prunes, raisins and lactose sweetness rounds out the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an almost still carbonation. I have to say that it's drinking quite well right now but I'm interested to see what a few years might do to the overall character. Alcohol is also dangerously well-hidden at 10%.

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Traquair 2020 from Traquair House Brewery Lld
4.18 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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