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Watou Tripel | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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Watou TripelWatou Tripel

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 02-19-2002

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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 531
Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Very large and thick frothy white head forms on the pour. Three to four fingers deep and lots of retention. Thick creamy clumps of ring lacing sit on top of a bright lemon body with a fast layer of middle carbonation rising. A real impressive looking tripel.

Bouquet is quite classic Belgian standard only more subtle and toned down. Hints of mellow candi sugar, light honey too. Slight wine like aromas but otherwise pretty straightforward.

Palate comes with subtlety and simple enjoyable flavors. A little bit of wine crispness, but malt and sugar honey sweetness lightly coat. Slightly crisp and bubbly not particularly dry. Fruit character or boozy qualities not really noticeable either. Good coating in the palate without being too sweet or thick.

Overall a pretty solid straightforward tripel but one that doesn't knock my socks off.

 889 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle obtained from a St. Bernardus mixed 6-pack poured into a goblet. A rich burnished golden color with an imposing fluffy white head, classic Belgian look. Massive banana and clove aromas, along with another note consistent with spicy, slightly woody Belgian yeast. I found this one to be sweet and malty for a tripel, with notably less overt alcohol on the palate than one often gets with such brews. Malt backbone recalls brown sugar, a little butterscotch, and lightly burnt pancakes. Fruity and spicy, featuring clove and cinnamon phenols coupled with assertive banana and baked pear. The yeast recalls a hefeweizen. Impressively hoppy for the style as well, with some noble hop and gooseberry notes showing up in the fairly sweet but not cloying finish. Highly carbonated but quite smooth and on the thick side of the Belgian ale body continuum. It was interesting to sample a tripel that was largely true to style but nevertheless sweeter and less boozy than the iconic examples.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an Orval chalice. The beer is dark gold in color and fairly clear with just a slight bit of haze. It sports a rather thin head that dies down to a thin lacing in less than a minute. The nose has lots of sweet, fruity aromas of apples, pears, and grapes. It also has some nice rich bready notes from the malt.

Medium-full body, smooth creamy feel, and a sweet, fruity flavor sum up this beer. Apples and fresh toast greet you up front. Next, come some spicy clove-like notes and just a hint of hoppy goodness. There's no real alcohol heat or booziness, just soft sweet flavors with a complementary spice. The finish is like apple juice and champagne.

Overall, a good Tripel, though it lacks a bit of the flavor complexity of their St. Bernardus Tripel. This one is a bit sweet and lacks some of the spice. Still, if you try one you've got to try the other!

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Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A nice golden color, fluffy white head

Smell: Bready, yeasty, fruity, banana, cloves

Taste: Fruity, with some bready malts,cloves and spice, semi dry finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, full Belgian carbonation

Overall: Another excellent tripel from St. Bernardus. Not sure what exactly the difference in flavor is, but both are welcome in my fridge any time.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- It's close to being a gusher and it seems to have pretty good retention as well. The head is a fluffy, pure cotton white while the body is a weak and hazy medium amber which appears as a mix of lemon and pale amber when held up to the light. A good amount of lacing is left behind.

Nose- Fairly typical tripel aroma. Starts off with banana, then some cloves and other phenols, followed by Belgian yeast. Very clean and very well rounded. Lacks a bit of complexity though. Swirling does nothing to show any new aromas. Perhaps a creamier banana but that's it.

Taste- Starts off with much of the same notes as the aroma. Lots of banana, but seemingly even more cloves. Very well rounded to the point of being creamy. Light Belgian yeast with hints of woodiness but seems to contain more clove and slight cinnamon than anything else. Not terribly complex but shows incredible balance and integration. Yeast lingers on the tongue but not in the back of the throat like most lingers. A little bit gritty, almost earthy. Tiny hints of apple but I feel like it's pointless to try to parse this beer too much. It might seem boring to a novice palate but the balance aided by the exquisite mouthfeel really puts this beer in to the very good, solid category. I really want to get another bottle for aging. It certainly isn't the best tripel I've had but it's certainly a very enjoyable one. Overall, banana is the dominant note.

Mouthfeel- Despite the slight grittiness, the mouthfeel provides the foundation for this beer's character. Light and airy but remarkably creamy and smooth. The low carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability- Almost incredible. I feel like this is almost drinking itself. And four bucks for a quality Belgian is damn good.

Overall- Very good, solid beer. Would be a great introduction to what a tripel should be or at least, what the template for a good tripel would be. Worth a try- even if you think you don't like tripels. Will repurchase when I get around to John's Market again.

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

12oz bottle from the St Bernardus Mixed Selection six pack served in a goblet.

Appearance is a little darker than most Belgian tripels I have had, and this has bubbles rising to the top and floaties suspended throughout. I like the look of this!

Smells like fruity yeast esters. Interesting.

Taste and smell really open up as it warms. Smells sweeter as it warms. When colder, dark roasted malts and then Belgin hops- no floral or citrus but oakish wood like hops and a drying type finish that never completely dries and is far from puckering. As it warms, the transition to hops seems faster and they get more pronounced. A little sourness stays on the back of your tongue after you have swallowed. Boozy, yeasty, hoppy, aged tasting, superbly crafted like a Belgian triple should be.

Mouth feel is slick and viscous and then the sizzle of carbonation then back to a smooth feeling. Nice mouth feel.

Overall this is an outstanding tripel. If I was going to drink a tripel, I would probably want this one or Allagash Curieux but I still have the St Bernardus Tripel on deck to try next. This Watou Tripel has an old antique/old world type taste to it that I do not get in Tripel Karmeliet or La Fin Du Monde. I like that taste of have been sitting in a cellar aging for a century so that is a bonus. Tripels are not my favorite style as generally the stronger hop presence is not my bag. For context, I like sweet beers in the style of Belgian Strong Dark Ales, Bruins, Dubbels etc.

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

BB October 25, 2013

Beer is slightly murky gold in colour. Moderately sized white head. Good retention.

Sweet malt, light fruits (peach, apple) and candy sugar are all there in the nose. Yeast. Smells quite sweet.

The light fruit is strong in the taste (peach, green grape, apple). Yeast adds a dryness, some spicy flavours. Sweet, but not nearly as sweet as I expected from the nose.

Medium bodied, strongly carbonated.

Overall, quite good. The standard St. Bernadus Tripel is certainly superior, but this is a nice beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

St.Bernardus : Watou Tripel

LOOK: Pours a hazy deep gold, almost peach color. Some yeast sediment is in the beer, which was not unexpected. Soapy froth forms and recedes to a ball in the center due to the etched goblet pulling in the carbonation.

SMELL: Pungent Belgian yeast, noble hops, medicinal notes. Toffee, sour apple and saltwater taffy.

TASTE: Raw tripel here, you have fruity suggestions of some pear, ripe apple and even darker fruit notes. Creamy, sugary malt profile. Picking up a bit of raisin as well. Hops are lying low with a resinous bitterness that lies on the fringes of the flavor profile along with light hoppy acidity. A touch medicinal working with mineral elements from the water and hop flowers. The yeast has a fruity, yet also peppery character. Flavors of unprocessed honey, toffee and grass show more as it warms. Quite refreshing.

FEEL: Medium bodied, soft medium fine carbonation. Yeast sediment gives the beer a slick, chalky finish.

OVERALL: A fine tripel, with different dynamics than the St.Bernardus Tripel. No hint of booze, this drinks like a monk's table beer. I am glad I had the opportunity to drink a bottle of this well made, authentic Belgian beer.

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Photo of safaricook
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Blind Tasting Tripel Project of Fall 2015
L Foam was unstable and dissapeared quickly, orange, a little murky, some suspended yeast, coarse and plenty bubbles
S Pears with some clove, some booze, some sweetness
T some pears, fruity malt sweetness, dry and peppery on the end, no hopping or bitterness to speak of
F light body evervescent, tickling carbonation, just a little burn to it, drink-ability is lowered by high burpiness
O a flawlessly crafted Tripel, however, a bit boring, lacks character, middle of the road

Blind tasting is very revealing. I always thought that this bear was great, but either I was influenced by breweries name or my taste has changed. Still, really good beer and not offensive.

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Photo of spoony
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle (dated February 13, 2015) into a tulip.

A-A timid pour produces a huge, dense, shiny, white head of foam. The head leaves some decent-sized chunks on the glass as I drink it down. The brew is mostly clear (left the sediment in the bottle) and is orange-tinted gold in color. A fair amount of carbonation is visible.

S-I smell something I can only describe as "juice box" up front...kind of a sweet, fruity note, but non-descript. As the brew warmed, I detected mild banana/clove notes from the yeast and a lightly sharp, peppery, grassy note.

T-The taste tracked the smell with less juice box to be found. The brew provides some sweet, tropical banana, along with slightly floral, grassy flavors. Subtle.

M-The feel is nice and creamy with a slick finish. Medium body.

O-This is a fine Belgian tripel. The appearance is what other tripels should strive for and the mouthfeel matches the flavor nicely. It has that subtlety in flavor that many American brewers should take note of, but it lacks the complexity and spice shown in the best variants of this style (its Bernardus cousin, for example).

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Photo of rangerred
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a slightly hazy medium orange with a half finger fluffy white head. Excellent head retention with just a little bit of lacing on the sides of the glass.

There is really a whole lot going on in the aroma. Lots of Belgian spicyness along with some peach and orange. marmalade. Strong notes of caramel candy and lightly toasted bread. More earthy than I was expecting.

The flavor doesn't seem quite as complex as the aroma but it is still quite enjoyable. Bread mixed with peaches and orange throughout with a lot of banana and clove up front. Hops are nearly non-existent which is appropriate. Some caramel sweetness but it is restrained with a somewhat drying finish bringing up the end. No hint of alcohol whatsoever.

Overall, a really good tripel with quite a bit going on. I really love the number of nuances in the aroma and flavor. This is a really interesting as well as refreshing beer to drink.

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Photo of mooseo
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into tulip.

A - Gold copper with an absolute titanic dense white head.

S - Light tart apple, pear, bready malts, and Belgian yeast.

T - Apple, pear, and banana combine with sweet bready malt and peppery spices. A touch of tartness but not much. Finishes citrusy and earthy with light grassy hops.

M - Light-medium body. Very smooth and creamy with high carbonation. Dry finish.

O - A pretty good, easy drinking tripel. No alcohol evident. Flavor overall is light and subtle but very tasty.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Unibroue chalice.

A: golden in color with a mild haze. Four fingers of rocky white head retains very well. Thick clumps of lacing cling to the glass in jagged patterns.

S: Very fruit-forward with perfumey scents of pear and apple blossom. Quick, sharp whiffs of clove and spice. White pepper and church incense. Faint grassy hops. Honeyed dough and grain.

T: Honeyed dough and golden malts. Bready. Yeast takes the mid palate with tastes of chalk, clove, pepper, and spices. Very floral quality with apple blossoms coming across quite strongly. Pear. Mild grassy, herbal hop. Dries significantly into the finish and ends abruptly with dry grain, cracker, and faint yeast.

M: Medium bodied. Sits a little more heavily in the mouth than I'd like. Almost a bit sludgy. Small bubbled, biting carbonation picks it up just enough. Creamy.

O: It's a little sweeter than I'd normally like a tripel to be, and almost feels a little half-baked. Not quite as complex as other examples of the style, and not quite as drinkable. Still more than worthy of a drink though.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

A- pours a murky golden yellow with sediments floating all around. Large white creamy head upon pour that reduces to a thin but solid layer floating on top, patches of lace around the rim.

S- some powdery yeast, candied sugar, a bit of banana, slightly grainy and peppery with a bit if alcohol.

T- sweet bready malt with a peppery kick, yeasty and a bit spicy, finishes with just a kick if hops and booze, slightly sweet yet dry.

M- medium body, lively carbonation leads to foamy mouthfeel and finish. Just a bit of warming alcohol on the finish but hidden well for the most part.

O- this isn't the best tripel that I've had, but its certainly enjoyable. Pairs well with a cold winter night.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle, poured into a long tulip glass.

Cloudy, peach colored body with lots of sediment floating around. Large head that leaves good lacing.
Aroma is yeasty with grassy, floral notes.
Taste is in balance between malt and hops. Although it's not that strong, it has an alcoholic taste.
Body feels medium, crisp and carbonation is medium to high.

Overall it is a decent Tripel. Not the best I had but neither the worst.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is a hazy dark peach skin color with a thick tight off white head. Nose has loads of yeast and a nice spice to it. Earthy banana notes up front with some lemon underneath. Taste follows the nose, a touch sweeter, full body and high clean carbonation. Zesty lemon juice, peppery, and yeast mix together and balance out very well. Solid stuff, gets a hint sweet in the finish.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy yellow with lots of big fluffy head. Slight hint of spice on the aroma with minimal fruit, pears if anything, dry yeastyness. Tastes refreshing but was expecting more flavor, this has a hint of yeasty spice on top of slightly watered down honey sweetness. Very dry finish, with high carbonation and light palate. A decent beer, but doesn't stand up to the Quality of the Abt 12.

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Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured into a snifter glass with a two finger high white head that has good retention properties and gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of Belgian yeast that contribute notes of bananas with notes of candi sugar and hints of peppery spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some malty sweetness followed by hints of spices towards the finish.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate with a high amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer hides its alcohol rather well, but the high amount of candi sugar is what causes you to need to sip it. It’s a good representation of the style.

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Photo of beergoot
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a soft, cloudy, golden color with a fairly dense, thick white head.

Initial smell is of citrus and fruit with a pungent hop spiciness. Notes of caramel with pale malt grains.

Taste is sharp and biting. A slight sourness (grapefruit-like) presents itself that quickly gives wave to a strong overall bitterness.

Light to medium in body. A bit acidic.

A decent enough beer. It hides its alcohol strength fairly well with its flavor characteristics. A bit harsh with the bitterness, but fair enough for the style.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a cloudy dark orange amber with tons of floaties, dark brown and white. Small, off-white head and lacing. The beer is moderate bodied and the floating particles are suspended in the beer; very interesting looking. An aroma of sweet malt and light fruit, slightly sour. Flavor is sweet malt, light fruit, caramel, vanilla and Belgian spice, somewhat dry finish. Nice flavor progression. A nicely made tripel, somewhat sweeter than others, which is to my taste.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter, cloudy orange with a fine white head that lingers.

Smells of bready, rochefort yeast with some alcohol, fruit, floral and honey notes. It has a nice, big nose.

Tastes of honey and bready malt up front that goes into a more bitter, floral middle and ends on a warm alcohol and honey finish. The taste is honey through and through. Good and different.

Medium body with high carbonation is good, could be a bit dryer for my taste.

A good, interesting triple that is yeast driven with some floral, sweet honey notes.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into signature chalice, best by 10/25/2013. Pours very cloudy golden amber color with a fairly dense 1 finger white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap. Some slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of lemon, apricot, banana, clove, biscuit, bubblegum, candi sugar, herbal spice, and some yeast funk. Decent aromas that are a bit muted. Taste of lemon, banana, bubblegum, clove, biscuit, candi sugar, herbal, floral, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of clove, banana, citrus, candi sugar, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Much more fruity than it is spicy. A touch on the dry side for a Tripel. Good flavor balance and decent complexity. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. Very easy to drink. Alcohol is almost invisible with almost no warming noticeable on the finish. Overall this is definitely a very nice, well balanced, and drinkable Tripel. I have to admit that I expected a lot more from St. Bernard on this one though.

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Photo of martja
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a gobblet. Appearance was a murkey muted orange with limited bubbles visible rising when held up to the light. half-finger of head disappeared fairly quickly. The smell is sweet with light fruit and yeast notes coming through. The taste is sweet with yeast up front and a bit of hopps on the aftertaste. Slightly bitter on the finish. In the mouth, this explodes to inflate your mouth with bubbles. The yeast and sweetness linger after you swollow with the addition of some bitter hops.
Overall this beer is slightly thicker with the sweetness and yeast, but not overpowering like some in this class. Very nice.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.29/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Back label says best before end 03 03 14 or drink by March 3rd, 2014.

A- Pours a hazy dark gold color with a full finger of head that doesn’t do much to retain before rendering itself to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and a patch of surface foam. Not much lacing.

S- Has a funk to it that’s backed by some booze fumes. It’s more of a rich funk than a sour one.

T- Initial onset of Belgian yeast that fades quickly into bites of alcohol. Not much depth here. Just that typical Tripel flavor with some heavy booze in the back. A little bit of wet cardboard.

M- Surprisingly low carbonation for a St. Bernardus.

O- Pretty lackluster compared to the other offerings I’ve had. I would say it could be just a bad bottle, but the other beers from the same variety pack were perfectly fine.

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Photo of djbow
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy gold color with a 2 finger head of very tight bubbles that posses good retention. Nice lacing with mild alcohol legs.

S: Caramel, yeast / spice, ripe fruit, malt and alcohol. Almost a quad.

T: The taste follows the nose. Caramel, yeast / spice, ripe fruit, malt and alcohol. Very big beer flavor. Again, this beer is almost a quad.

M: Light / medium body, spot on pallet cleansing carbonation. Smooth overall, well balanced with mild alcohol warmth.

O: To me this beer is a slightly smaller version of the St. Bernardus Triple. It is a good beer and given the right food paring it has its place. This said, I do prefer the St. Bernardus Triple.

Glass: Tulip.

Serving Temp = 51F.

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Watou Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.02 out of 5 based on 531 ratings.
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