Behemoth Blonde Barleywine | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde Barleywine

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A huge, sweet Barley Wine with complex caramel malt notes, balanced by generous hopping and a high alcohol content. This fruity and malty beer is best enjoyed while keeping warm in the brutal winter months.

80 IBU

2005 Bottle release - Pink Wax
2007 Bottle release - Yellow Wax, hands not skull on flat finish label (Brewed in Nov 06)
2008 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2009 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2010 Bottle release - Green Wax
2011 Bottle release - White Wax
2011 Bottle release - Yellow Wax, glossy label, skull on label (Ohio only)
2012 Bottle release - Red Wax
2013 Bottle release - Orange Wax
2014 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2015 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2016 Bottle release - Black Metallic Wax
2017 Bottle release - Lime Green Metallic Wax

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002

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Reviews: 591 | Ratings: 1,835
Photo of TheDM
1.88/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Hotstuff and I went on a tour of their brewery. For $5 you get a 12oz glass of 3 of their beers. I thought this was the worst of their beers. The aroma was obnoxious to me. The head was mixed with large and small bubbles. It had a heavy taste with an after bite and an initial taste that I could only describe as off. The color was very nice deep caramel brown and you could not see through it. Hotstuff did not rate it but preferred to get another Robert The Bruce instead!

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Photo of charlesw
2.46/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

They should just call this an IIPA - it would score better. As it stands... Bleh. I suppose... By BJCP you might get away with having this much grapefruit in your face, but by normal drinkability standards... No way. No balance. Like, hello.

The marketing speak on the bottle is pretty far from the mark:
"gleaming dark ruby copper"
- Uh. How about cloudy orangey amber?
"breathtaking aroma [...] brown sugar, grapefruit, molasses, dark bread ..." (etc, etc)
- How about not. Brown sugar as first? And the grammar errors... It's just not professional. Well, that was obvious from the bad and inappropriate artwork. But, still. This doesn't describe the beer I smelled in the slightest. It smells like grapefruit juice mixed with fizzy mineral water.

It goes on to try to tell me what I'm tasting. Well, it's not even close. This is, oddly, cloying. Certainly hopped up the wazoo but definitely not to good effect. Sweet, flowery, bitter, sour. Leaves the mouth watering (and I don't mean that in a good way).

"It's not normal."
- Exactly. And, hey, for an IIPA I'd just say that I don't like it. For a barleywine... I say that the light fruitiness is not to style.

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Photo of Higravity
2.55/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A real nice brown with an orange tint, but I got barely any head out of this thing. It smelled promising with large floral bouquet of some potent flower and some sap that has caught fire mixed with a double fist punch of alcohol all sitting above a bed of sweet malt madness. The I took a sip and the train jumped the tracks. What a mess of a beer. The alcohol is so prevailent that even the hops seem weak and they are strong enough to do damage all on there own. I could see laying this one down for some years that is the only thing that could save this. Sharp, abrasive, raw and rough is the way I would describe this beer. It does have a great thick mouthfeel and if I couldn't taste anything I would enjoy this well enough. Sorry maybe if I get some again I'll lay it down for a few years.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.6/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2007 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by bring at a post-Christmas tasting. Thanks, Barry. From notes.

A: Pours a dark honey color, very murky. A finger of beige head forms, with short retention. The final product is a broken film on top with a thin collar.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, caramel. Roses, honey.

T: Toffee, butterscotch, and caramel up front. Honey. But the hop character is still quite pronounced, with a citrusy undercurrent, producing some tropical fruit as well as apricot. I think the roses I smelled must be floral hops, but I can't pick them out. It leans toward the sweet side; not saccharine, but it's unsatisfying in its one dimensionality.

M: The aftertaste is lightly dry, with a burn from evaporating alcohol (not too hot, though). It's viscous, with low carb. Creamy.

D: I wasn't impressed. I guess it was a mistake having this next to Perfect Storm and other beers of that ilk.

EDIT: I had the 2009 Behemoth (blue wax) at a tasting in April 2010. I was still underwhelmed. Having the 2007 next to Perfect Storm wasn't the issue. It's just not an upper tier barleywine. Very middle of the pack.

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Photo of lindenboy
2.75/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Started with a frosty pint glass, and the recollection that this beer when I first saw it at the liquor store a year ago (2006 Summer) cost almost 19$ a bottle!!! "It better be good!" I told the owner.

Almost a year later, and armed with more money than sense, I happened upon the barleywine again, at a different store, and the price had been dropped to $15 a bottle. I figured "what the hell?" and went for it.

This bottle has been cellared for a month -- I just couldn't wait any longer (and was out of beer otherwise).

Appearance - Carbonation is non-existent. Head retention lackluster (probably because of the former). It's probably good for the style not to be over done, but it could use a bit more effervescence in the glass. Looks very crisp, almost a reddish brown...good color for the style I think.

Smell - Somewhat malty, but lacking that "Three Floyds" hop crazyness. What gives on this one with the lack of aroma hops? Everything 3F makes, even an out-of-style stout, is hoppy as hell. Then you get to the barleywine, the one beer that absolutley kills for the hop balance, and that trademark crazy hoppyness vanishes. Like their previous brewer? This beer reeks of plain old pale malt. It's a muddy, malty mess. Least they could've done was pump up the sugar to dry this thing out.

Taste - Balance is all off. Hop bitterness is there, but aromas are missing. Maltyness is there, but it's mostly of a muddy, pale malt range. No biscuity flavors, nothing complex, just plain old malt. And it's deeply unbalanced. The sweetness is too much...too syrupy. This beer needs to be a bit drier to really balance well. It's hard to slurp down. My lips are sticky with sweetness after a glass.

Mouthfeel - This beer is chewy and sticky.

Drinkability - Not very. One 22 oz. bomber is MORE than enough for this evening.

I'd buy a heckuva lot of different singles before this one again, unless some major improvements came along. I would simplify the malt bill, add a little basic sugar (maybe even brown for character) to dry it out, and add some trademark aroma hops -- this beer is made for that!

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Photo of satowns
2.76/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a brownish orange color with a rocky foam cap.

Aromas of bread mold and alcohol. Apricots and a hint of medicinal alcohol. I get the sense of slight oxidation...kind of a wet cardboard stench.

Flavors of orange and other citrus. A little musty around the edges. Bitterness is there, but I don't really like the flavor of the hops, outside of the citrus.

Didn't want to finish my half of the bomber, pour it out. There could have been something wrong with this bottle; a bit light struck (although no skunk), maybe its old (but this beer should withstand a bit of age) or improper storage...

I will update my review as soon as i get another bottle.

Music enjoyed whilst sampling: none, just chatting with my neighbor who brought the beer back from a business trip to Chicago...

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Photo of rpmetzler
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer isn't bad, I'm just not a fan of the hoppiness. As I figure out my tastes, I can easily say that strong citrus hops aren't my thing. As far as hippy beers go, this isn't awful.

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Photo of harrymel
2.88/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to lurchingbeast for this one: AS AN EXTRA!!
White wax: 2011

A: Pours a whiskey orange with a three finger head which resonates for quite some time. The head is burnt cream color of thick, fine viscosity. Lacing is excellent.

S: The smell of hops burst toward me upon cracking this beer even before pouring. Pine, resin, grapefruit, caramel malts. Pretty standard combo, but well presented.

T: Sweet, alcoholic, sweet, alcoholic. The citrus of the hops comes through after a bit, but nonetheless, the alcohol is not well addressed in this beer.

M: Slick and medium bodied with low-medium carbonation. The beer leaves the mouth slick for a moment, then dry for the finish.

D: The beer is okay. The alcohol is poorly concealed. I'm disappointed. Too sweet for a fresh Barleywine. I can see why many enjoy the beer (presuming those who like this also find Hopslam and TwoHearted, Pliny to be the best of the best out there - sweet). Can't say it's for me though.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.88/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Woah! the first sipped made me stumble on ymway from the kitchen to the couch. It was like a kick to the ol' taste buds.

Poured a very murky reddish-brown in color. Thick head that dissolved to a thin film. Not much lace but I think that is a result of my dishwasher. Nose should been a warning aout the flavor. Mild malts followed by a very large wallop of hops. Even a hint of heat from the alcohol.

There is seriously no subtlety in this beer. Much easier to drink after it warmed a bit and I adjusted to it a tad. Lots and lots of piney and citrusy hops. Kind of made my tongue tingle. And adding to the tongue tingles is a solid burn from the alcohol. Really took away from the mouthfeel and the drinkability. Think I am picking up some tannins but am not really too sure. Just really struggled to finish this beer.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one tasted a bit off...there were hoppy, sour, then sweet notes all over the place with a bit too much carbonation.

If you took a Zombie Dust and let it sit in the fridge for a year, you would probably wind up with a similar tasting beer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a tulip with the wife bellied up to the bar at the Three Floyd's brewpub. Probably due to the cost of bombers, I've managed to avoid trying this one until now.

Light blond in color. Nose is light sweetness, but prett subtle, with a bit of light fruit salad.

Behemoth struck me as something that needs to age. Fresh out the keg, this isn't all that good. The hops are jarring & harsh, at odds with the caramel sweetness lurking under the surface. The malts play a definite second fiddle here, & the high alcohol adds to the strangeness & chaos in the mouth. The smooth mouthfeel only added to the confusion.

Overall a pretty decent beer, but one I'd like to see with some age on it. The components of this one definitely need to introduce themselves & get comfy before this one comes together as it seems it should.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.08/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 650ml waxed bottle into a pint glass. Blue wax so 2009 vintage that my buddy picked up at the brewery in July. Was a hazy amber color. Plenty of carb streams and some lacing. It had a large foamy beige head that very slowly settled to a collar and wisps.

The aroma was very hoppy with grapefruit and pine but plenty of molasses and sweet caramel malt as well. No alcohol presence. Was surprised how sweet smelling this one was. The taste was extremely sweet and on the wrong side of the too sweet border at first. It got a little better as it warmed up but still way too sweet. The hops were never really a player which was shocking considering how much they were in the aroma. Very odd. Needs some hop balance to the sweet and aging. Just becomes too sweet halfway to really enjoy. My rating reflects a half bottle as any more than that isn't doable.

Overall, a major disappointment and a rare miss for me from 3F's. I've had a lot of barleywines in the past couple months and this one is bottom tier.

Rotation: one and done on fresh. Would try an aged one. Would try on-tap to see if it differs.

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Photo of mlockman
3.19/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had it on tap, so maybe that was some of the issue; it was just so hop-aggressive. If I was looking for hop aggressive (which I was not) I would have ordered a Zombie Dust. Not horrible, just not my favorite rendition of the style

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Photo of Jeffo
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another cool beer from Irishgurl4. Cheers for the trade mate!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Vintage: 2012
Red Wax

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger, medium looking, off-white head with good retention. Color is a perfectly clear burnt orange with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A slight wisp remains until the end and leaves some nice dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of citrus and piney hops on the nose. Grapefruit is there as well, but mostly piney and grass aromas. A touch of caramel, but very little malt to speak of on this one.

TASTE: A touch of caramel and a hint of piney hops initially, but the beginning is a little lack luster. Flavor really picks up after the swallow, with citrus and lots of piney hop bitterness. Bold and lingering aftertaste of citrus and piney bitter hops, and just a touch of caramel malt sweetness that tries but fails to provide balance. This is flavorful and enjoyable, but it's just a DIPA really.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little lighter on the palate than hoped, and only semi-creamy as well. Goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky on the palate.

OVERALL: An enjoyable beer, but there's not much barleywine about it really. It is too hop forward and lacks a big enough malt base to put it in this style classification. Perhaps a couple years of age will do this one some good, but fresh, it's simply another hop bomb of a DIPA. This makes scoring it a tough task, as it was a really nice beer, but was also mislabled. Anyways, this is a beer I'd gladly drink in mass quantities, but not if I'm in the mood for a barleywine. Thanks for the cool beer Irishgurl4. Despite the score, I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of regspeir
3.27/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

acquired in trade from Brundo4 - 22 oz. bottle into a snifter
Pours a mahogany red with a smallish head which completely disappeared. Very light lacing which didn't last. Nose is ripe cherries, bananas and butterscotch. Hoppy start gave way to dark fruit, esp. cherries, banana and butterscotch. It almost tastes like a lighter sherry. There is a little hop bitterness in the dry finish. Some alcohol warming is there, but less that the 12.5% might lead you to expect. The mouthfeel is creamy but light for the style. This was an OK barleywine but not a favorite.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a small head with an OK lacing and a dark ruby color that's a little hazy. The smell is so very hoppy with fruit smell of grapefruit flavor. That's all I taste is grapefruity hops with a hint of grassy hops near the finish. The mouthfeel was fine, but had a little bite to it. Overall I will have this again after aging it for a while.

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Photo of Derek
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cellared ~15 months.

A: I was expecting something more Blond! Hazy chestnut with a light tan head, very little retention but some nice leg/lace.

S: Pine, booze, beer nuts, cotton candy.

T: Very boozy, but pleasantly smooth (not too hot). Pine, apricot, caramel, cotton candy and grapefruit citrus. Plenty of bitterness to offset all that sweet malt.

M: I know this is big, but there just way too much residual sugar here.

D: The alcohol is strong, but its the sugar that makes this a little rough.

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm just not getting this as a Barley wine. I smell the signature Three Floyds hops, but it isn't as sweet as a BW usually is. The nose is nice for a big, hoppy non-BW. Confusing.

The taste is, once again, bit fat hoppiness typical of the brewery- sharp and tangy. I'm STILL not getting this as a BW. A bit too thin, though the mouthfell is fine, for anything other than a BW. I get the malts, but can't pin down any caramel notes on this.

If you're looking for a sweet, thick BW- go elsewhere. If you're looking to sample thru the Three Floyds taste catalogue this one is a tick worth trying. Once.

I'd say this would be a good candidate to age or have as a barrel aged brew. As it is, it is a hop bomber that hits just a bit strong for the style.

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Photo of Gunslinger711
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Release (White Wax)

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a gorgeous dark amber red color. Little head retention, managed to leave some lacing in the glass.

Behemoth has a sweet, hoppy smell.

Juicy, wine taste at the front through the middle. A little bitter on the end.

Smooth mouthfeel for a 10.5% abv, more of that juiciness from the taste.

Drinkability: Goes down easy for a big barleywine.

Overall: Kind of disappointed, I feel like this is going to be a lot better if I let it age. I was expecting a little bit more complexity from this beer.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.37/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A heavy handed pour only raised about a 1/4 inch of off white foam on top of a orangy/reddish viscous body. Aromas of pine/grapefruit/tropical hops standout along with fruity alcohol aroma. Hop flavors do not deliver on the aroma that was promised. Malt flavors are not complex and the hop flavors seemed too muddled. Alcohol flavors are well in check for 12.5%. Nice chewey mouthfeel that is expected of the style.

A decent barlywine, but for the price of this 22oz. bomber ($16), I was expecting something that would blow my mind and would stand out from the rest. All that got blown away here is the $8 out of my wallet they are overcharging for it. If ya want a hoppy barlywine that is easier to drink and much more complex, pick up two Avery Hog Heaven bombers for about the same price.

Don't beleive the hype.

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Photo of EvilKeith
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have to admit this is only my second time trying a barleywine. The first was a 3F's in Munster. It was a 2001 Behemoth. That, I found to be more full bodied and mellower. But, here goes...

Poured into a snifter a clear deep amber color. A small ring of fine bubbles around the glass.
It smells spicy, with tangy peaches and sweet apricots. It smells sort of like an apricot, raisin fruit juice.
It's taste is sweet and spicy with a piney aftertaste. Alcohol is overtly present.

I enjoyed this before on tap.The bottle not so much.
I'll probably try the stuff on tap again.

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Photo of Gfunk720
3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dan for this 2009 bottle. Out of my Sierra Nevada XXX glass.

A- A nice amber/orange color. Pours with a light white head that dissipates quickly. Some minor lacing.

S- Some mild sweetness and hops. Nice, but nothing too interesting.

T- Creamy and malty. Caramel and some piney hops. The beer is balanced and easy to drink, but is lacking complexity. Not what I was expecting.

M- The aftertaste is nice, and the body and carbonation are good. The beer just lacks flavor, and any real complexity.

O- I had high hopes for this beer, and it really just fell short on the flavor profile. It was smooth and easy to drink, but nothing worth seeking out again.


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Photo of AndoBrew
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

*liked it, would never buy it at the price*

app: cloudy, red orange. not great not bad.

smell: smells big and bad. and robust. lotsa malts to go with some citrus and mild fruit hops. yummy, but intense.

taste: ho hum, can I say over rated. i just did. its good, but not refined and not classy. it is an average usa BW.

mf: very nice.

drinkable?: eh, kinda. its good, not great.

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Photo of lloyd83
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby red with a touch of brown, almost like a cognac. Little bit of head that disipates quickly. Not a whole lot of lace develops in glass.

Smells super hoppy with a very noticeable whiff of alcohol that stings the nose a bit with a deep inhale.

Reminiscent of a lot of other FFF brews in that it's very, very hoppy. Significant alcohol up front that makes this one a sipper for sure. Nicely sweet on the front of the tongue though. Not pulling any of the caramel malts that the bottle promises, but maybe my palate just isn't refined enough :) Seriously reminds me of a DIPA with the big hop profile and then the bitterness that it finishes with.

Feels really good in the mouth...Honestly my favorite part about the beer. Nice and full bodied; really coats well.

Again, this is a sipper. Not really what I expected at all when I picked it up. Definitely going to cellar one for awhile and re-visit to see if some of the hops/alcohol fade a bit. Not my favorite, but not bad overall.

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Photo of nick76
3.44/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Called just Behemoth. The aroma is right for the style as it pertains to american Barley Wines. There is plenty of hops, more than many of the style but not more than seems appropriate. It is both citrusy and Piny. There is also sweet malt and carrot juice. The appearance is perfect for the style with a larger head than many imported Barley Wines. The flavor is like the style with a bitter finish and very well hidden alcohol. The palate is appropriate for the style. Overall it's a good example of the style. Actually it's got some qualities that I wish other would have but I could do without the carrot taste.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,835 ratings.
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