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Baggywrinkle Barleywine | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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84 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-09-2001

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 138
Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.76/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy and rusty. Not a lot of head but what there is lingers.

Yeasty, bready, yummy cookie dough smell.

Delicious barleywine! Caramel, cherry, and not too much hops. That's where many barleywines go wrong for me - too much hops. These beers are intense enough. You don't want the hops to be what lingers on the tongue, you want to taste the grains, the yeast and the sweetness.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Cask Republic, dry hopped with Citra. Served, rather insanely, in a pint glass.

A: Milky orange-amber body under a lovely two fingers of classic cask froth that shows pretty good retention and leaves some nice lace. Inviting.

S: Juicy hops, caramel, and some background booze. The Citra really shines with intense mango, grapefruit, and lemon notes dominating. Terrific.

T: Almost tart citrus right up front, followed by super-sweet brown sugar and caramel malt, and closed out with even tarter fruitiness and some spicy alcohol. Bitter, hoppy aftertaste. Wow.

M: Soft, substantial, faintly carbonated cask body. A little sticky.

O: I've never been a huge fan of the base beer, but with a boatload of Citra it's really delightful. The fruitiness and bitterness provide both complement and contrast to the core malt sweetness, giving an otherwise boring beer some real complexity. Great use of dry hopping.


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Photo of Fish113d
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opening this bottle that I got as a "gift" from Spence in CT. Pouring this into "Trusty" my goblet, it pours pretty cloudy which was about the same color as the bottle, a deep dark brownish color. It gave off very little head, but a small edge layer, and it didn't appear to have very much carbonation.

Sniffing it, it has a pretty sour smell with fruity malts (sour plums or raisins) w/ enough alcohol to burn out your nose hairs!!! Wow, it totally made me pull back!

Upon tasting it, I was afraid the alcohol would burn most of the taste away. However, I got lots of fruit flavors (plums) and some spices (nutmeg or cinammon) and very little hops if at all. The alcohol hits at the finish and destroys your palette and takes no prisoners! It has great feel, with little carbonation and a nice medium body. It was even a little chewy as they describe on the bottle and it was quite easy to drink. A 750 ml bottle is enough for any one man, and maybe even something to share with a friend...thanks Spence!!!

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Photo of UnionMade
4.32/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ye gods. A barleywine from the heavens. I aged this beer for about a year before opening.
The beer pours a hazy amber gold, on the dark side (in more ways than one), with a light mist of head floating atop the evil fluid.
Gigantic aroma, with perhaps more hops and malt than I can take. Very agressive, yet beconing, like a succubus. It's one of those things you know is bad for you, but you do it anyways.
Flavor is just massive. Humongous hops and fruity maltiness. Grapefruity flavors from the intense hopping, with an apple/pear/plum estery background. Slight buttery mouthfeel. Alcohol is definitely present, permeating through the hops and esters, and joining the maltiness down the gullet. Silky and seductive, then bites you in the ass when you stand up. This stuff is dangerous.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- Dense deep caramel body with a bubbly thick light tan head that last for a good bit. there is a gentle carbonation trailing up the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma of cream and caramel have some nice butter toffee notes as it warms.

T- the classic caramel malt with a touch of sweetness and a nice dry woody hop hint in the finish. There is a note of pine resin in the hops but it always stays pretty soft compared to the malt flavors.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel is followed by no alcohol heat until it is really warm.

O- The nice classic rich English barleywine is slightly dry and very drinkable. The nice American hops notes and a new twist to this well build beer.

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Photo of jaymirage
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the most agreeable offerings I've had in a while. Supremely underrated.

For a number of months now I've been a huge fan of the Whale's Tail Pale. Red label, limited release no. 1242. Pours a color not unlike that of a box of Domino's light brown sugar. The head is thin, disappearing, all to my dismay, too quickly..

Remarkable taste. Really, really, light. The alcohol is masked outrageously well. The flavor is simple, elegant, and refined. Not so much fruity, not so much malty, just clean and engaging. Mild carbonation.

The thin mouthfeel and superbly-masked alcohol lends a dangerous drinkability to this one; quite possibly the most drinkable barley wine I've had. Not as savory as many other barley wines, but it goes down quicker and easier than everything else in its class. This one caught me off guard, in a very good way.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thin white head leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Hardly any carbonation. Medium bodied. Nose is alcohol with a hint of raisins. I guess the ABV is all over the place - I have limited release # 0846 and the ABV is 12%. Starts malty and sweet - no sourness, smooth finish but with alcohol overtones. Very pricey $14.75 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits in Acton, Ma but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of pat61
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden amber with a slight haze, very moussey off white head. Smell: Not a big nose – some fruit, alcohol, faint sweetness. Taste: Fills the mouth with foam that introduces fruit flavors over light malts that are almost immediately met by rich grapefruit rind hops that guide the drinker to the finish. The hops are big enough to balance a fair amount of sweetness in the beer. Mouthfeel: Big, chewy, creamy, rich.

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Photo of corey0212
4.09/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky iced-tea color, some nicer ruby highlights when held to light, foamy tan head fades pretty fast, and leaves a few stray spots of lacing on the glass. Smell is powerfully hoppy, big juicy grapefruit aromas, lots of sticky-sweet caramel malt, and a goodly amount of alcohol on the nose. Taste kind of comes out of nowhere in relation to the smell....some apple, caramel, and a bitter, but not unpleasant taste of alcohol. Maybe a little thin on the moutfheel, but with some nice lingering bitterness and spice. I'll certainly pick up a few more of these for my paltry "beer cellar". Might be fun to see how this one ages.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks. A muddy ruddy Amber with no head.
Smell. Fruity, earthy, molasses sweet,spices. Nothing of note until it warmed up.
Taste. Malty sweet start, barley middle, mildly dry hoppiness.
Feel. Medium weight with no sparkle, a bit watery for me.
Overall. Very bland until it warmed up, then I really liked it. Nice malty flavorful richness.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/20/05- Received as a gift from BA member Spinlock.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. No dates on the bottle, but assuming it's a 2004 release, as it has been aging for a good year since it had been given to me. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky milk chocolate colored pour. Maybe like a thick iced tea color. Solid and quickly fading head with minor lace.

Smell- Lots of stuff going on here. Tons of caramel with some vanilla, maybe a marshmallow scent as well. Butterscotch for sure and more caramel.

Taste- Kinda like a liquid caramello bar. Lots of milk chocolate flavor mixed in with truckloads of sweet caramel. Almost brandyesque in flavor. East coast style for sure. No hops in this guy.

Mouthfeel- Heavy mouthfeel as expected. Creamy, thick and slick.

Drinkability- Wonder what this one tasted like fresh? At any rate, it was different, potent and fairly tasty and flavorful. Would recommend.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a murky dark brown in color with pale yellow highlights and a thin head that left slight wisps of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: brown sugar caramel, and dark fruit showed it self first in the aroma with booze, maple but hints of vinous character.

T: the booze was more intense on the palate alongside brown sugar, caramel, dark fruit notes, mild tobacco flavor and maple syrup accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slight fruity, mild musty, boozy, sticky finish.

O: I honestly thought it was a solid barleywine and was glad to try a beer from cisco.

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Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Muddy orange color, with a wispy white head. Coconut, vanilla, frosted fruits, chocolate, caramel, cocoa, brown sugar and cake batter in the luscious and intoxicating aroma. Big gulps reveal an enormous chewy character, with a medium body. Flavor is malt accented, yet reveals interwoven flavors of toasted oak, vanilla and coconut. Hints of banana and fig on the mid-palate, which leads to a mildly vinous, nougat and caramel like finish. I find it delicious, but in a more subtle, gentler way. Not what you would expect from such a montrous beer.

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Photo of Murph
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifulhazy brown/deep amber color with a thick, creamy, lasting, tan head. Nice sweet caramel and bready malt aromas dominate this one with some definite alcohol spiciness to it as well. The taste starts off with some huge bready malt flavors and sweet caramelness. There is a bit of dark fruit complexity here with some raisins and slight vinous characters. There is also some slight alcohol characterisitcs that are mostly present only in their brain fogging nature. Very creamy but a little bit thinner than I would like I could drink this stuff all day, until I passed out at least. Other users seemed not to like it and thought it was rather thin so I don't know if they changed the recipe or if this one just gets tremedously better over time or what but I really liked it.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New review from 06MAY07. I recently scored another bottle of this and decided to give it a second chance. Poured a dull, murky mahogany, topped by a creamy, fine tan head. Foam was abundant to start then ebbed and steadied at about 1/4" for the duration. Excellent lacing in the glass, too. Nose has lots of malt, with toffee/caramel notes prominent. Reminded me of a milk-shake. Body and sensation on the tongue were medium and fairly smooth, respectively. Flavor sets it very much in the English realm of the style. Lots of toffee and mocha with some semi-sweetness hitting the palate. Hops are present though restrained, and are a bit earthy while contributing a smidge of florality. Lacks complexity, but still decent tasting. Much better than the original bottle from years back.... Prosit!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

*** ***

Original review of 17NOV02. Had a semi-decent, fine, thin, tan had atop a mahogany colored body of bier. Lace was decent, too. Body and tongue were medium to medium-plus, on the whole. I found both the nose and the flavor to exhibit some fruity, sourish, even rhubarb-like notes. A MAJOR let-down. I was expecting a rich, sweet, malty, strong bier. A fruity, tart flavor was completely unexpected. Again, a MAJOR disappointment. (4.0/3.0/3.0/4.0/3.0 - 3.30).


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Photo of sulldaddy
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Well I have sat on this bottle for a while and finally decided to sit down and drink it.
I am sampling a 2003 vintage 1pt 9 oz bottle, in a snifter at room temp. The beer pours a clear mahogany with small fizzy, frothy, beige head that fades quickly to a thin edge and surface layer. Aroma is sweet and fruity with molasses, ripe pears and plums, some caramel and a big hit of hot alcohol.
First sip reveals a fairly thick chewy body with prickly and fine carbonation. Flavor is sweet with brown sugar and ripe pears mixing with some toffee. The beer finishes fairly hot and full of alcohol, some strong warming in the belly. Definately a sipper.

Oh, the next day I had one hell of a hangover and this was the only bottle I had. I am no light weight and drink almost every nite, but this brew gave me a killer headache the next day, maybe I should have listened to the label and shared with friends.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewery has been appearing with more frequency here in southern Maine/seacoast New Hampshire, and I'm very happy about that. This was a fairly nice barleywine, kind of middle of the road. In a snifter it was a red/brown color with a thin tan head. It had a caramel malt aroma with a little hint of fruit. Taste was mostly hops, a little sweet caramel. The alcohol was not noticeable at all. It had a subdued, unaggressive mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75-ml bottle split with a friend. Label says 2002. Gold plastic around the neck. Pop the cap.

This pours a hazy orangey/brown colour witha substantial head of dirty off-white head that lasts for a bit and than dies its death. Aromas are very sweet for a barleywine, malty and accentuated with sweet tropical fruits like pineapple, and mango, as well as bubble gum notes and sticky cotton candy hops. The taste is herbal and reiny with the sweet fruit mending well with the sweet hops, this is a real sweet tooth beer. The 12% goes pretty much unnoticed and this one is nice and light and fizzy on the tongue. Drinkability is good. This one is quite interesting.

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Photo of DIM
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label on my bottle indicates a 9% abv.

a: This was a light coppery color with a slight chill haze, pale for a barleywine. It poured with a fairly long lasting, creamy, sticky head.

s: Assertive, astringent piny hop aromas take center stage. No date on the bottle, but this smells fairly fresh. Plenty of sweet elements at work as well; charred toffee and brown sugar in particular. A little heat and a hint of raisin round things out. As this warms, the sweetness becomes more pronounced.

t: There is a piny hop tingle up front that lingers throughout. Strong, warm toffee flavors emerge in the middle. The finish is a bit hot, with some astringent bitterness. Overall, this tastes like it is a bit young.

m: Medium bodied and a little oily with gentle but long lasting, creamy carbonation. There is a nice, lingering smoky toffee aftertaste.

d: This had a pretty strong hop presence that reminded of an American barleywine, maybe even a DIPA. The toffee tough, was definitely English. This was big, and frankly a little harsh, but its just what I was in the mood for. Thanks to joepais for my favorite kind of beer to get in a trade. A suprise barleywine that I've never heard of.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 1 pt 9.4 floz bomber into a tulip blass. Bottle says 12%, no discernable date.

A - Murky, hazy orange with a half finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - Citrus, fig, dark fruit.

T - Raisin bread, orange rind. Caramel. Nougat? Hops hit at the end. A little bit of heat, but it is well masked. Occassionally, I'll get hints of mild smoke.

M - Carbonation is medium for a barleywine. Seems to sit on the lighter side of mouthfeel.

O - I found this to be pleasantly enjoyable. It's seems well made, and probably sits in the middle of Engligh/American barleywine continuim.

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Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour is a deep brown to black, the color I love, the head impressive in size, frothy in texture, and the lace in thick sticky sheets to smother the glass. Roasted grains dominate the nose, fusel alcohol, sweet and even a slight touch of yeast, a real treat to the senses. Front is sweet, the top middling in its mouth feel, the finish strikingly acidic, the hops up close and personal in their spicy bite, very dry aftertaste that lingers on., and a sure "Belly Warmer",

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Photo of Lldeegan
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper, with a soapy khaki head.
Some brown sugar, molasses in the nose with dark fruit and an earthy hop aroma.
On the palate, sweet malt, toffee, and then fruity sweet that fades to a bitter and warming finish.
A sticky mouthfeel and a good harmony of malt sweet and piney and earthy hops. This beer was really easy to drink and really tasty.

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Photo of CountLupulus
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a gnarly red-amber, cloudy and ripe with mystery. Thin head, spidery lacing.

Smell: Probably the highlight of this brew: a big, bright, rounded fruit aroma that roils round the nostrils and beckons one closer.

Taste: Jagged and unmodulated: a throaty rash of booze with dark fruits up front, sweet, sweet, sweet; rolls back, leaving a bubbly fizzing sensation along the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thin and ephemeral: surprising for a barleywine, which can afford to hang and cling. Carbonation is spiky but awkward, emphasizing the finish, and not the start, like a dying star.

Drinkability: More sport than leisure, this one lacks the hop snap and malt range that would make it a pensively pleasurable sipper, but it's fun and loud. Drinks more like an imprecise imperial experiment than a classic quiet, complex, introverted barleywine.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001 as reviewed on 9/14/06.

Pours murky, dark chestnut, with barely any head coming out of solution.
Meager amount of beige bubbles of various sizes dissapate to just a ring around the edges, with minimal dotted lacework.
Aromatics are largely dried malt, dark fruit, raisins, and some very nice vineous notes.
A small wet paper hint detracts minimally.
Very barleywine-esque in the aromatics and subdued hopping, with heavy-ish malt nods to the brits.
Body is fullish with plenty of chewy, syrupy, malt.
Light carbonation adds to the "wine-like" character.
Pallet is very raisiny, with malt and dark rum.
Underlying citrus fruit is there when you look for it, and bitterness is to balance only.
Finishes with cocoa dusted dark malt and some lingering warmth.

This Baggywrinkle has held up well on it's side for 5 years, but the more current versions are superior, as they are barrel aged.

Edit 1/25/08
another vintage 2001 bottle sampled, and this beer is fading.
Mostly just dry malt and hints of raisins. The vineousity is holding up, but there's some wet paper-board that's starting to detract.
There are some decent sherry notes that are becoming prominant, though.

Vintage 2002 as reviewed on 4/28/08

A boisterous whisp breaks through the cracking of the cap.
A carefull, slanted pour shows dark amber and hazy, with a lively, two-inch head. Dense froth of beige which fell slowly and left some errant dots of lacework.

Dark malts, brown sugar, and caramel lead off the nose. Belgian-like phenols make an appearance. Cloves and a hint of bubblegum. Some faint citrus, leather, and raisins follow beneath along with a hint of smoke and wet cardboard.

Lively, creamy mouthfeel. Sticky and tacky.

Malt-forward on the pallet, with sweet toffee, caramel, cocoa, and figs.
Raisins, dark rum, and alcohol follow through.
Finishes with warmth on the throat with lingering sugary malts and underlying orange oil.

The best aged example I've had, and resembling a large Belgian Dubble. Probably infected, but to a benefit for my tastes.

Vintage 2003 as reviewed on 3/6/09.

Pours dark amber with a slight haze and an inch-plus head of beige into a tulip glass.
A solid skim coat remained on the surface of the brew for the duration as well as some decent lacing.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of vineousity and bourbon. Very Sherry-like and boozy. Cherries, malt, and whiskey. Very nice.

Medium bodied with a tacky but creamy mouthfeel. Crispish with a chewy edge.

Ripe fruit, Sherry, plump malt, and bourbon start the palate. A very high level of vineousity builds and nods to red wine. Hopping is only found in some balancing bitterness, which is followed by some earthy tannins.

Finishes with a lingering warmth, extreme vineous overtones, and boozy-bourbon caramel.

By far this is the best Baggywrinkle I've had. Incredibly complex and probably peaking at six years old. A great example of the art of barrel-aging.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 1 pt 9.4 oz bottle.

Appearance: Hazy amber with small white foam.

Smell: Had a cilantro-like herbal aroma, probably from some kind of hops. Also aromas of oak, sweet malt, and the smell of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet flavor, but also an earthy flavor with some oak, and alcohol. Very low hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, clean, but a little thin in the body feel.

Drinkability: Good. An interesting barley wine.

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Baggywrinkle Barleywine from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.51 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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