Brynhildr's Gift | Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company

very good
22 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brynhildr's Gift is named for the valkyrie Brynhildr, who, upon being awaken by the dragon-slaying hero Sigfried, gave him the gifts of ale and wisdom. While not a traditional Scandinavian ale, I used rye, juniper berries, and some traditional brewing techniques to create a modern farmhouse ale with character that would be recognizable to the old norse.

Added by jera1350 on 05-24-2012

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 67
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours reddish amber with a slight haze under a thin, quickly receding, foam cap. S: Juniper berry nose with hints of vegetal, light malt and fruit. T: The juniper berries blend well with big saison yeast fruit flavors of citrus and light tropical with traces of caramel in the background. Yeast flavors are medium high, malt flavors are medium to medium low and hop flavors and bitterness are low. F: Effervescent, highly carbonated with a medium light body. O: The ceramic swing top caps do not always provide the best seal – every now and again I get a bottle that is flat. Its still drinkable but not as nice.

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Photo of joe1510
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml Swingtop
Warehouse Liquor's - Duluth, MN

2014 Bottling

Brynhildr's Gift pours still, even when pouring from high. After sitting for a few seconds the cascade effect kicks and and slowly starts forming a head on this beer, strange, interesting. The head does fade back to a slim ring though. The body is highly saturated orange and absolutely glows when backlit. I'd like some more foam but it's a good looking beer regardless.

This guy has a very unusual, interesting nose. Juniper is vibrant from front to back with slightly sweet, but somewhat green, berry qualities. Candied citrus and orange marmalade add another layer of mouthwatering sweetness. A drizzle of caramel, a spicy rye back, and ripe berries make for an interesting overall whiff. Deep pulls release some orchard fruity esters, peach and pear, a little muddled. For the uniqueness alone this beer has my mouth watering.

The flavor profile isn't far from the nose though a little sweeter and not as clean. Caramel lays the base while rye adds spice along the periphery. Juniper berries run front to back, again with that refreshing, bright, green berry quality that borders, but never reaches, tart. Orange marmalade is back and combines with the candied citrus peel. This is a good beer it's just a little on the sloppy side if I'm going to be picky.

The body weighs in a touch above moderate with a smooth sweetness. The bubbles are minimal which makes for a slow moving beverine. A soft herbal bitterness lingers and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. This is an easy drinker, especially when taking the 8.2% into account.

This is the first beer I've had from Olvalde Farm and I really enjoy the uniqueness and the flavor profile, but the nose really stands high. Not many Sahti-style beverages out on the market. I'd pick this guy up again in the future and would recommend it for something totally different, fun, and unique.

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Photo of Amy
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Reading other people's reviews, mention was made of a loud pop when opening the bottle. I was surprised how easily this opened with very little vacuum pressure. I wonder if I got a bad bottle because it was more of a sour beer than I was expecting. I thought I'd really enjoyed this beer in the past so that's why I bought it. It wasn't a typical Belgian. Nor did I get a juniper nose or taste from it, so it just wasn't true to style. Maybe this is because of the extra fermenting that happens in the bottle. I really like the other stuff I've tried from this brewery. I wish I could find it on tap, but so far, all I've found it in is big bottles.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another one of a kind beer, totally different from anything else out. thanks to drlovemd87 for sharing this special bottle. hazy dark goldenrod color with a lazy but airy white head that lasts reasonably well. it smells crazy, lots of juniper almost like a gin but less citric and quite a bit less medicinal and botanical heavy. the juniper is fresh and wintery more than anything else, with a lighter wheat malt base that must have some spelt or rye or other heritage type grain in it, because its got body and pep that dont usually accompany 100% wheat beers. the flavor too shows some granular spunk, but is flavored predominantly by the juniper. the only off element for me is the yeast, somewhere between saison yeast and ale yeast fermented too warmly, there is a funky almost wine-like vibe to it that doesnt really meld with what else is going on. still, i love how dry it is and how distinct it is, a great use of juniper where i had previously given up on it almost entirely as a suitable beer ingredient. not the most drinkable or honestly pleasurable beer on the market, but it challenges my palate and i dont get that very often anymore. much appreciated strange beer here. all of their stuff has been extremely interesting, but this one may be the most outside the box of them all.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into cervoise. 2013 vintage.
A: Opens with a loud "pop". Pours a clear orange-yellow with high carbonation producing a prolific 4+ inch white head. Good retention and lacing.
S: Juniper, mild farmhouse funk, toasted grains, spicy rye. Fresh and aromatic.
T: The saison comes through more here with citrus and farmhouse funk leading the way. Followed closely by juniper berries, soft caramel malt, herbal mint, and a mild rye note. The juniper blends in with the rest of the beer and adds a nice extra element.
M: Light-medium body. Refreshing with loads of carbonated effervescence. Sweetly spicy (mint-like).
D: Definitely an interesting take on the style. The juniper berries take this to another level. Absolutely worth a go. This farm/brewery is really growing on me!

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Photo of MetricOcean
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The small batch approach that is taken at Olvalde and the care put into each recipe is noticeable every time I try their beer. This Farmhouse ale starts sweet, but the higher ABV cuts through as well. The rye is more hidden than the juniper, but both were subtly layered in like an art. Well done, as always.

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Photo of emerge077
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage, served in a small snifter.
Dark saturated orange, thin layer of foam. Bottle gushed when opened. Lightly hazed with some suspended micro sediment.

Bubblegum aroma, fairly sweet, like Bazooka Joe in wax paper with the little comic.
Not getting juniper, not much of anything besides the yeast esters.

Malt sweetness with some phenolic yeast, clove and bubbleum. Sweetness lingers, light bitterness in the aftertaste. Medium bodied, a bit of a chore to drink. Glad this was shared, a whole bottle would be tough. Too sweet and yeast forward without any discernible juniper character.

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Photo of hardy008
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Dark amber with a 4+ finger off white head with very good retention and lots of lacing. the aroma has Belgian yeast, apricots, pears, juniper, spices, and phenols. Very nice aroma.

The taste is much like the aroma. It is sweet with apricots, pears, Belgian yeast, juniper, spices, and phenols. An excellent example of a Saison. which tastes like it could have been brewed in Belgium.

Medium bodied, smooth, and properly carbonated for the style. Finishes somewhat dry, and also leaves a bit of a sticky feeling in the mouth. This is a really nice Saison. Very nicely made.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml swing top bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. 2012 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge five finger off white head that slowly recedes into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A very yeasty, fruity aroma with a good dose of spice. Belgian yeast with a good amount of farmhouse funk. Cloves, white pepper, and other spices. Hints of banana, apple and pear. Big hints of citrus pineapple, mango, papaya, and passion fruit. Hints of the juniper berries come out as well as Belgian candied sugars. Fairly herbal with some moderate earthy hops in the background. A pretty solid Saison smell.

Taste: Like the smell hints, a yeasty, spicy, sweet and fruity Saison taste. Belgian yeast and farmhouse funk with a taste of clove and white pepper spice and fruity esters of apple, banana, and pear. Juniper berries and a big citrus presence with notes of mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and papaya. Malts and wheat with a bready taste of cereal grains and caramel. Belgian candied sugar adds some sweetness. Light hop presence with some herbal and earthy notes. Taste is on the sweet side but not cloying. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and somewhat sticky. Fairly smooth.

Overall: A very solid take on a Belgian Saison. All the spice and fruity esters you expect from the style along with a interesting kick of juniper.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from joshuaseresse. Shared on Freddy's boat and therefore served in plastic cups.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin cap and a thicker collar, with stray splotches of lace. Hazy dark orange-brown body.

S - Phenolic farmhouse yeast, sharp unmalted grains, light juniper, hay, grass, and some other nebulous spices. Anise? Clove?

T - The taste has significantly more sweetness to it - it's vaguely candi-esque in some ways. Some fruity, berry notes, with mild spice but fairly restrained bitterness. Some grass, earthy, and a vaguely tree bark sort of flavor.

M - Medium-bodied, with active carbonation. A touch grainy, with a semi-dry finish and mild residual stickiness. No perceptible alcohol, although it's hard to know whether that's impressive with no listed ABV.

D - I was pleasantly surprised by how restrained the juniper was, and this was strangely drinkable stuff. A few of us easily finished the 750ml swing-top. Wouldn't trade for this one again, but I'd have it again if I saw it on-tap somewhere.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large swing-top bottle sent from Aaron (thanks man) who does an awesome job of hooking me up with locals. Split into New Belgium Globe's with a friend.

A: Dark gold, opaque from the yeast, with a hefty off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Belgian and yeasty, light funk and fruitiness combined with hints of honey, wildflower, soapy/herbal character with light peppery notes...hints of banana and apricot in the fruity notes.

T: Strong malt presence to balance the yeasty component, there even seems to be some caramel sweetness here...notes of spices, hints of grape bubble gum, faint juniper.

MF: Dry, creamy mouthfeel...bottle-conditioned softness...decent carbonation, clean finish.

O: Solid offering. This particular brewery seems to be doing good things. This is not a particular saison I'd revisit though I am glad to have tried it. Cheers Aaron!

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Photo of stakem
2.99/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Swingtop bottle/growler however you want to play the cards. It was either a 750ml or a 1-liter, not entirely sure but that matters not. I shared this one with friends during an extended saison tasting. It appears a copper color with 3 fingers worth of off-white head. Some yellow to green clarity is seen around the edges. Finger-like patches of lace stick to the glass.

The aroma is full of minerals and banana. Some herbal hop inclusion before the onset of funky footy grain. As the brew warms up, there is a bit of stinky cheese aspect going on as well.

The taste is reminescent of banana bread. Phenolic spice like clove sits overtop a toasty buttery grain quakity. Minerals are present with some herbal hops and carbonic quality. Some sticky caramel and toffee sweetness increaes in strength as it warms.

This is a rich medium bodies brew with a modest to higher level of carbonation. Its an interestibg experience but not something I would drink again. The bottle size makes it accomodating for a group setting. I would never want to try and drink this myself.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell: sweet, clean, slight soap, bit of honey.

Taste: rich, lightly creamy, ripe peaches, clear juniper (which is awesome). Mild spice. Very . . . herbal. Nice and smooth mouthfeel with a hint of stickiness.

So lightly hopped and "herbal" that it has a sort of gardeny old saison or gruit kind of deal going on. If you told me it wasn't hopped, I would believe you.

The negative is that it's super-sweet and can drag on. I'd split the bottle with a friend, or pair with something.

I really appreciate what they've got going on here. Recommend a try.

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Photo of bsp77
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Very bubbly, fiery orange with massive off-white head.

Smell: Belgian yeast (banana, clove), fleshy fruit such as peach, some breadiness, and juniper.

Taste: Interesting mix of banana, peach, bread, and rye. There are some other fruits present as well, which are on the overripe side of things. Overall, a little sticky and borderline too sweet. Then the juniper takes over and it really lingers for a long time, which takes a little getting used to.

Feel: High carbonation, medium body, finish is not at dry as I would wish.

Overall: Very interesting and original beer. Definitely enjoyed it, but the mix of sickly sweet fruits and oddly drying juniper just doesn't quite do it for me.

And why is this marked as a Saison? Should be under the catch all Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Olvalde Farms Brynhildr's Gift Farmhouse Ale with Junipers

Olvalde Farms' Brynhildr's Gift, Minnesota Farmhouse Juniper Ale, Ale brewed with juniper berries, lightly hopped, unfiltered, re-fermented in the bottle. 1pint, 9.4 fluid ounces. ALC by VOL: ?

Third release from this tiny micro- (nano-?) brewery in Rollingstone, Minnesota, a town I'd never heard of before this brewery, and still, all I know of it is this brewery.
Let's find out if their streak continues, so off comes the cage and the stopper…

Highly hazy, deep amber appearance, under a lush, creamy-toned head, leaves lace and lasts long. Beautiful.

Aroma: large and in charge. Funky Belgian yeast gives off many exotic phenols, very musty and fruity, with a whiff of horse blanket. Apricot, pear, banana, lemon, a cornucopia, indeed, with pepper and straw mingled in. Fresh and lovely.

Taste: Mmmm. Interesting. Full malty flavor, Belgian yeast, and, yeah, the juniper berries really do stand out. Just enough of everything. Minor hops, lush malt, with a spicy/fruity kick. Drinks down delightfully. Yum. Tast-y!

This is an excellent ale to pair with food, and would go well with just about anything. Way to go, Joe, you're 3 for 3!

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Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New breweries, pay attention. This is how you do it. Put out an excellent first beer & follow it up with interesting beers that are under-represented in the market. Hey, you! I said pay attention! 750 ML swing-top bottle split with my wife.

Poured carefully, left a finger or so in the bottom with the spent yeast; Ode's only downfall was the heaviness of the yeast, something I don't want to repeat. Flash of copper & orange. Seriously carbonated, even on the gentlest pour this one swells like a blow-up doll. Nose is serious Belgian yeast with an undertow of earthiness that must be the rye, & a sharp tang that must be the juniper.

Brynhildr's Gift is a bright, sunny smile of a beer. It immediately reminds me of a mid-summer field, & I'm finding it hard to describe. Clean. Very clean. Delightful juniper up front, along with a soft blur of grassiness & yeast. Earthy without being dank in the middle, & the ending is crisp, tangy, & slightly sweet. The mouth is at once pleasing & its weakness. There's a wonderful smooth creaminess to it, but as with Ode, the high level of carbonation is distracting. Stupid easy to drink.

Hard one to judge. Another memorable beer from Olvalde, & really, what more can one ask? I'm going with very good, bordering on excellent. Keep making beer this good, I'll happily keep buying it.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage printed on the swingtop paper.

A= Pours a hazy deep amber color with a three finger tan head on it that holds great retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Smells a little peppery with a little bit of a malt sweetness to it. The juniper is quiet in the nose. Candied sugar comes through a bit as well.

T= The taste is very similar to the smell only much more powerful. The juniper is again sort of a minimal component. A little peppery yeast to it and candied sugar like I noticed in the nose.

M= The mouth is great for a saison. Nicely carbonated.

O= This is a quality beer. One of the best beers I've had from the brewery actually. Quality flavors and great depth. This is a saison worth trying. Another really great beer from Olvalde.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy bright amber-orange color. The head is a billowy three inches in height, and recedes very slowly into a thick cap of chunky lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass until the beer is gone. This is one very impressive looking beer. The aroma is perhaps the most earthy I've ever encountered in a beer. There is hay, leather, juniper, wet horse blanket, and a rather pronounced rye spiciness. The taste, like the aroma, is full of rye character. There is a firm spiciness through out the sip that raps itself around the earthy, barnyard qualities of this beer. There is also a really nice fruity sweetness from the juniper in the finish that balances of the spiciness very well. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a smooth texture, and appropriately high carbonation. Overall, this is a great beer with a ton of complexity. I notice something new with every sip. I'm not sure a beer can get much better than that.

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Photo of morimech
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, hazy golden color with a massive head that took its time settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma of wildflowers, honey, yeast, and pale malt. Some herbal and earthy qualities as well.

Sweet is the first impression of the flavor. But the complexity just builds with this beer. Another Olvalde Farm ale that is yeast driven. Loads of fruity esters. Other flavors of honey with floral/herbal notes. Wish I could pick out the juniper, but I cannot.

Medium body with a surpisingly low carbonation considering the pour. Smooth, creamy texture that coats the palate.

Probably closer to a traditional Belgian Strong Golden Ale than The Auroch's Horn. Not much for saison qualities but just a well crafted ale. Wish it delivered with the juniper and rye.

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Photo of yamar68
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just picked this brand new beer up from Zipps. Joe Pond has surely proven his brewing capabilities by now, I hope this one holds up to the standard that he's set for himself. Poured from 750ml swing top to tulip:

Pours a deep, hazy pear/gold with a swelling soft white head. Precise lacing and moderate, consistent beading. Really a gorgeous beer to look at.

You'll know by the nose that he wasn't stingy with the juniper. Bright juniper notes supported with big yeast, clove, banana, some nutty bits, spicy cereal malts. Lovely, fresh, complex.

The nose gave me high hopes that the flavors surpassed. I'd have to guess that Auroch's Horn is the base beer here. It seems like the juniper really beefs up the beer. Some bitter, malty caramel are thrown into the mix. Sweet bread. Sort of a tangy finish that's hard to dissect.

Overall, this is exactly what I was hoping for. This guy really knows how to brew great beer. I hope he does big things but, at the same time, I wish he would just keep doing his thing because he really has a knack for this.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. flip-top bottle.

A: Pours an orange/amber hue with a big off-white head that slowly settles. Very good lacing and subtle carbonation.

S: Caramel malt and fruity aromas dominate, while the juniper is not very present. Hops lend a bit of floral character.

T: Another mind-bender from Olvalde. Fruity up front with caramel apple and slight citrus character. Mid palate is all fruit, with a slight orange peel note, finishing dry with grassy notes, along with the juniper.

Notes: A bit more body than I expected. Slick mouthfeel lends to a very long-lasting finish. Drinkability is superb. Once again, Joe has outdone himself. A very tasty beer. I want more!

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Photo of jera1350
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Ovalde website:

Brynhildr's Gift is a sapid ale brewed with pale malt, rye, and juniper berries.

The Name: Brynhildr's Gift is named for the valkyrie Brynhildr, who, upon being awaken by the dragon-slaying hero Sigfried, gave him the gifts of ale and wisdom. While not a traditional Scandinavian ale, I used rye, juniper berries, and some traditional brewing techniques to create a modern farmhouse ale with character that would be recognizable to the old norse.

Pours a coppery burnt orange with a massive head of sandy colored foam.

Huge complexity to the nose. Very herbal and floral with belgian yeast scents. Loads of different floral notes with some light malt sweetness.

I am really taken aback by the flavor provided. It is so different and complex that I am having trouble describing it. First of all, I'm not a huge saison/farmhouse ale fan, but this is incredibly good and different. It does have a high sweetness to it. Think of the most complex wildflower honey here. Loads of floral flavors also. Hibiscus, violet and rose petal. Not really getting the juniper or rye, but that's fine because the overall flavor is incredibly enjoyable.

Kind of a sticky, honey like feel, but very smooth and dry on the end.

This is the first "WOW" beer I've had in a long while. When you can't find the words to describe a beer, you know it's complex. Just another original brew from Olvalde. Joe really has creativity when it comes to brewing and this is just another example. I will be getting more of this one.

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Brynhildr's Gift from Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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