Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,242 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,242
Ratings:
12,625
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,057
Gots:
4,923
For Trade:
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,242 | Ratings: 12,625
Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After hearing the hype surrounding this beer, I went on an adventure to obtain it in upstate Vermont. After taking off a day from work, I traveled almost 4 hours to hop in the lines at the venues where this was being delivered that Thursday. I was accompanied by a whole bunch of craft beer lovers. Without disappointment, I was able to obtain several cases of this elusive gem! Following directions, I drank this straight from the can and what a surprise it was... by far one of the best double IPAs in the country. I can realistically see why this beer is so sought after. If you haven't already, do your best to obtain a fresh can of this beer... it will change your thoughts about craft beer. Cheers!

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Photo of flannelman808
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

no date on the can...

A: Yellow/amber with lots of little uniformly sized particles floating around. Thick off-white seafoam head forms and retains quite well. Good lacing also.

S: Recently fallen pine needle dominates as well as a resinous punch of a cannibisian nature. Subtle biscuit cookie shows as an afterthought.

T: Pine and grapefruit pith wash over the palate as well as that resinous quality aforementioned in the aroma. This is quite bitter I must say, and evokes a nice tingly sensation on the middle of the tongue which sort of amplifies that quality. Sticky tobacco leaf tar like flavors creep into the finish in an interesting sort of way. Great stouts often carry "layers" of flavor and usually they revolve around chocolate. This carries layers of hop driven complexity. Overall I find it to revolve around herbaceous flavors. Not much citrus and what's there resembles more pith than zest. Overall this is bitter however there is a sort of burnt sugar cookie quality which provides some sweet balancing notes. This is not quite as dry as pliny overall.

M: Despite the prickle, this is very sticky on the back-palate contributing to a nice long finish.

O: Really a very good beer, and I would love to try more of it at the freshest stage possible. All the same, however old this was it's very good, but lets be honest, it's not deserving of a 100 rating.

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Photo of pburland23
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy for bringing two cans of Heady Topper to our college reunion.

This is the second of two. I drank the first from the can as instructed. But, I figured I'd pour the second one for the review.

Poured from a 16 oz. can into my CBS snifter.

Appearance: Incredibly hazy honeyed colored pour. Totally opaque. Thin layer of wispy white head. Not much in the way of head retention but very nice lacing.

Smell: The hops aroma just pummels you with each whiff of the beer. Huge grapefruit, mango and peach aromas along with some herbal notes. As a hophead, this is an incredibly pleasing smelly beer. It's over the top for certain but it works

Taste: Not nearly as bitter as I expected. It's rife with tropical fruit tastes including grapefruit and mango. It's dank, juicy and delicious. Dry finish with a mild booziness. A super tasty DIPA though I could stand a little more balance.

Mouthfeel : Thick and extremely resinous. Mildly boozy but quite drinkable.

Overall: This is an excellent beer but it's a little green around the edges particularly when drank from a glass. It's a taste bomb from a can. Enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired a 4-pack from a trade. No date on this, but it was picked up last week from the brewery. Should only be a couple weeks old at this point.

A: Yeah I poured it in a glass. So what. Very cloudy, dull orange color. Lots of crap floating around in there. Great head, excellent retention though. Lacing covering the glass as I drink more.

S: Pungent aroma. Freshly squeezed orange juice, dank piney hops, grapes. It fills the entire room with hop aroma. Ridiculous.

T: Hop flavor on this one is ridiculous, in the best of ways. Waves and waves of it (quoting the can), and it never gets too bitter. Perfectly balanced. There's malt in there, but it stays behind the scenes and does its job.

M: Like a warm blanket in the winter. Feels great.

O: I'm currently using google maps to find my way to Waterbury, VT. Might even scour craigslist for jobs up there. This beer is a hophead's dream.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.69/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Did not drink from a can. Large tulip SARA glass.
A: Cloudy straw with plenty of head. Surprisingly pale.
S: A little dry hopping with mostly light yeast, very similar to a hopped saison. Strange vegetal smell.
T: Very odd flavors coming through. There's an almost peppery vegetable odor that reminds me of something unpleasant but interesting. Very light on the citrusy hops, no real pine to speak of. Light overall with some hop bitterness on the back end.
M: Easy to drink; crisp with small carbonation and a finish that gets longer as you drink.
O: A very drinkable but weirdly flavored beer that reminds me more of a hoppy saison than an IPA, let alone a DIPA. Very unique but disappointing considering the hype. Won't need to revisit this one. Better the second time around; the first time was a real let down.
Thanks for hooking it up, Joe!

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours yellow, hazy with a very nice white foam head (I poured it to share it, even though it says it´s better from the can). Aroma is great, hoppy, citric, flowery, fruity, delicious. Taste is amazing, hops and malts are very well balanced and tasty. Amazing beer, getting one of these in Mexico is nearly impossible. Cheers

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Photo of KDawg
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into a tulip. Pours a clear gold color with a very foamy head.

The nose is jam packed with aromas if grapefruit, guava, papaya, citrus, and hops. There is a lot if depth with a cleanness to the aromas a well.

The feel is extremely smooth and polished. Along with it comes great notes of guava, grapefruit, hops, and some papaya.

This is one of the best double IPAs I've had. This certainly lived up to the hype and I wish I could get my hands on it more often.

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Photo of troegaarden
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I reviewed this beer out of a can without pouring it so I do not having any appearance notes. I have had a sampling of this once before, poured into a glass and the color was a deep orange or amber. Pretty hazy as well.

Appearance: This time around, it's N/A. BA obviously wanted this field filled in above so I did so accordingly.

Aroma: The aroma on this bad boy is very floral and fruity. I get hints of pineapple, mango, and pine. This beer smells AWESOME!

Taste: This beer is just as it is described on its label. It's not super over powering, it just provides you with unrelenting hoppy flavors. This beer is well balanced and just like the can says, very drinkable. After each sip, it leaves you with a slight bit of dryness with lingering hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on this beer is solid. It's also very smooth and refreshing.

Overall, this beer is out of this world! It's no wonder that this beer has 100 scores on BeerAdvocate. Cheers!

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Photo of JWU
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can. Drank it straight from the can. I did pour just a tiny bit in a small glass to get the appearance.

A- A hazy as heck golden/orange. Big fluffy white head. All sorts of sediment. Strangely beautiful.

S- Simcoe. Lots of it. Big astringency, orange, mango, and

T- Big hype, and it lives up to it. It's PERFECTLY bitter. Not too crushing, but just enough in your face. Orange, mango, some hoppy floral presence as well. A very slight sugary sweetness. It all melds just perfectly. The aftertaste is slightly sweet, and a present, but not overkill bitterness is there as well. Pine mostly on the finish. I could drink this stuff all the time.

M- Slick and creamy. Oily. Carbonation perfectly scrubs the palette.

O- I've had plenty of big hype beers that didn't deliver. Heady delivers. In spades.

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Photo of SINKTIPS_N_SUDS
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok. Here I go. Got this from beerme330, big ups dude. Thank you. Drank it from the can other than a small amount poured to get a look at it. Looks like a floaty filled home brew. Smell was hops, tho they didn't eminate from the can as other have stated. Taste was quite hoppy with a bit of bitterness but it had an overwhelming booziness to it I didn't expect for 8%. Some citrus and tropical fruits present, but not nearly the life altering menagerie of lupulin I expected/hoped for.
Feel and carbonation were spot on for DIPA. OVERALL A VERY GOOD BEER, but not something I'd kill someone, in front of they own grandma for. Maybe I'm in the minority but...

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.08/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This review is based on a couple of years of consuming heady on a fairly regular basis. When I first tried heady I was blown away at the freshness of the beer and the overall package the beer brought. There have been a couple of times that I had heady and it was not what it had been or what I was expecting, consistently good but never mind blowing as it once was.

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Photo of readbaron
3.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to KickInTheChalice for the pour.

Pours out golden orange with a finger of frothy white head. Limited lacing, and decent retention.

Smells hoppy - piney and bitter - but with a strong tint of copper/metal in the nose. For an east coast DIPA, not as much malt as I would have expected. The hops and copper do fade into a bit of honey sweetness, but this is a hop forward beer.

Taste is better than the nose - there's still something metalic/copper going on, but it's not as overwhelming as it smelled. Starts off with Sweet honey caramel malts, followed by dank hoppy bitterness.

Feel is solid - medium bodied, crisp and dry.

Overall - I don't get the hype for this beer - actually for all the Vermont DIPAs. Not a bad beer, but certainly not world class.

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Photo of Auracom
3.36/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I knew I'd tick this one eventually without having to actively seek it out. Success! Thanks Dan for the share on your extra. 2 oz. into a tulip so I could mark the visuals and aroma, another 3-4 oz. straight from the can on June 14th, 2013.

A - Lightly cloudy, murky medium-golden color with an enormously bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Deeply resinous, pine-sol, rouge, slightly burnt caramel, touch of peach and herbs.

T - It's really better balanced than I thought it would be. That being said, the hops are sharp, overly-acidic, and disappointingly simple. Grapefruit rind, toasted almond, and lemon peel.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, very dry (even sour-like) finish.

D - I'm a bit stunned in a bad way. There are scores of other IPA/DIPA's I would choose over this particular can. Another revisit? I don't know.

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can, huge thanks to Chris for sending this out here. Canned 15 May.

Murky appearance, really light milky golden orange colour. Nothing much to write home about. Nice white foam on top that gradually reduces over the time of drinking but always staying at a level just above film. Nice lacing as it slowly recedes.

Brilliant aromas of pine, pineapple, mango and grapefruit. The pine is temporary and the grapefruit and other fruits take over. Lots going on. Well integrated and a delight to smell.

Tastes of the grapefruit and pine with a touch of the mango and pineapple there as well. Even a little bit of apple oddly as i get to the end of it. Very impressive, but probably a touch below what is delivered with the smell.

HIgher carbonation than most. Doesn't get gassy, nor does it get harsh with the higher levels. Solid bitterness throughout and finishes with a bit of a kick and this is just enhanced with the added carbonation. Very drinkable, 16oz disappears all too soon.

Brilliant. Amazingly drinkable, beautiful beer. I can see why people grab their full 6 case allocation at the cannery. The 8% ABV isn't noticable until you finish it and get a bit of a glow. Really impressive beer!

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Photo of MWolverines66
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was very excited to try this beer and wanted to see if it could live up to the hype. Obeyed what the can said and drank this out of the can, but poured a little out to see the color. It was a golden color with a little cloudiness.

Smells of pine, citrus and tropical fruits with a huge wave of hops. It smelled completely different than anything I have had before. The taste followed the smell as it was a complex combination of sweet, sour, bitter hops. That's as detailed as I can get because I can't really explain what it was. From sip to swallow the flavor was constantly changing.

Overall I don't know if this would be the best tasting beer in the world for me, but it was definitely the most complex and interesting tasting beer I've ever had.

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Photo of Matty123
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say that hasn't been said already? Best beer in the Country. Often imitated, never fkn duplicated. I've had all the "best" x times and none of them are the Topper. This beer leaves you feeling like you just ate a fresh grapefruit. It leaves you wanting to crack another. I've had it out the can and out of a Tulip, and its just as good either way! GOD BLESS THE ALCHEMIST! You want the beer You're drinking now to be like this but just admit it... It's not!

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Photo of abrand
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to hooliganlife for hooking me up with this. 16 ounce can poured into New Belgium globe glass

This pours a deep copper color with a nice retaining head that lines the glass. The pour is very hazy but appealing. Smells of huge citrus fruits including oranges, pineapples and melons. Some earthy smells come through with pine needles. Nice hop presence as well on the nose. Taste is very sweet up front with a delicious hop finish that balances on the palate. Very enjoyable tasting beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is amazing. Very drinkable DIPA with 8% and the taste is amazing. Thanks again Scotty!

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Photo of seanwhite
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Regretfully the brewery got hit hard by Hurricane Irene and only the cannery remains, and thank hop god that it was not impacted.

The first thing I think of with the aroma is straight hops in the face. The aroma is very crisp and refreshing, I could sit and smell this for a while.

The flavor is very hoppy and juicy, like biting into a hybrid hop fruit of all the aromas in one. There is the right amount of bitterness and a nice sweetness that cuts through it.

The mouthfeel is smooth, a little more creamy and thicker then I was expecting, moderate carbonation. Though, as a whole everything works well together.

This is an incredible beer, the best DIPA/IPA I have had in a long time and possibly ever.

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Photo of StormKing47
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle in trade from beerometer, enjoyed with Jwiss22, from my notes for once...

A- A ridiculous color for a DIPA. Where is the hazy golden, amber color? No where, it has succumb to the light brown/dark caramel color similar to freshly brewed sun tea. I am almost transported back to summer time and the innocence of child hood. A wild looking color with a crazy amount of yeast swirling around and bouncing off the carb bubbles. This one is all capped off with a medium, fluffy white head. Astounding!

S- A barrage of pine, pine resin, grapefruit, citrus fruits and tropical goodness all come through at once. The aromas have staggered me, but I can't give up this one smells too incredible. It's a West Coaster that has found a home on the East Coast. A slight warming and the tropical, citrus and piney aromas are still leading an onslaught of my senses, but is accompanied with the sweet smell of caramel to balance this monster out. Amazing aromas, just want to keep sniffing and sniffing!

T- This one is all about the hops and does not disappoint. After all the smelling and anticipation here it comes...a smack of hops right upside my head. Pine, bitterness, pine resin, bitterness, citrus juice, grapefruit, more bitterness and some tropical hints to keep it all together. It's a crazy balance of hops that continue throughout each sip and seem to just keep coming. Oh yea there is a slight caramel sweetness quivering in the background to try and herd all of the hop nuances from spinning out of control and murdering your taste buds.

M- This one is not syrupy, but kind of oily in a way. It seems to stick to everything and coats every area of the mouth that can taste. It actually feels balanced in a way. The carb is not to tingly, the hops aren't to sticky and the slight sweetness keeps it all in check.

D- A definite hop bomb that is incredibly drinkable. Could drink this for any meal, brush my teeth with it and use it as mouth wash. High abv says no, no, no, but everything else says yes, yes, yes.

My first try of this one and sad to say it was a bottle, would love to try the draft and can't wait for the cans. Looks like the West Coast has found a little bit of competition.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 pint can from recent trade with mountainsnow 1010--a big thanks!
No can dating.
The inscription implores "DRINK FROM THE CAN!".
Started that way, then realized I would not be able to comment on the appearance-Duh!.
Golden-orange, clear elixir poured into SA glass. Thin, white head, quickly dissipates. Nice lacing.
From the can, huge hop resin and floral notes--heaven to this hophead. After the pour, grapefruit, lime, sweet and tangy fruit explode. Wow.
This is all about the hop. Full bittersweet hop all over the tongue, smooths out to leave a nice tingling sensation across the landscape. Grapefruit to lemon aftertaste but the sweet hops do not die! Awesome!
Medium body, plenty of bubbles, alcohol hidden (cannot believe 8%).
This is a keeper and one that all hopheads should seek. The standard for DIPAs. Now you can argue that Hopslam is sweeter, but really, for those that crave the hops and all of its glorious characteristics, this is the one. And in a can. The debate is dead.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours a very murky, glowing orange color, similar to a hefeweizen. looks very pulpy. The aroma is similar to smelling a handful of fresh hop pellets on a brewery tour. resinous, out of control sharp hop notes of grapefruit, pine, some pineapple maybe and fresh cut peaches. Really great nose. The taste is much of the same as the aroma but with a big juicy feel to it that makes this drinkable. not overly bitter as i would have expected which adds to the drinkability. The mouthfeel is medium bodied since its unfiltered and has a chewy character to it. Really great beer, perfect for all seasons for sure.

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Photo of muletrane
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into my Alchemist tumbler. (14oz poured into the glass). Purchased from the cannery on 10/9/11.

A: Pours a hazy light amber colour. 1.5 fingers of off white frothy head. Minimal lace.

S: Floral hops, pine, orange peel, grapefruit, some malts. Perfect!

T: Just like the can says "wave after wave of hoppy goodness!" All the notes from the nose come through in the taste. This is a hopheads dream. Pure joy in a can. Every sip makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! Long lasting hoppy finish that I wish would never end!

M: Heavy body/moderate carbonation. Bitter and hoppy throughout the mouthfeel. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall this is the best DIPA and best beer I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy! Every sip is filled with amazing hoppy goodness! I would make the 6 hour trip to Waterbury every month if I could, just for this beer! Thanks to the folks at The Alchemist cannery for being friendly awesome people and for making this truly wonderful beer!

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Photo of BrandonOakes
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

They hype was not false. This was absolutely divine!

At the crack of the can, which I drank from, the hops were on attack and when I began to drink it, the onslaught didn't stop at any time.

By far, one of if not the best I have had. Definitely happy I waited to make this beer #200!

If I could get this regularly, I would be buying everything I could!

Don't fear the hype. It is all true!

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Photo of uustal
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, light tangerine with a two-finger bright white head. Good lacing and head retention. Aroma, wow. Fresh pineapple, mango, grapefruit and orange and just a touch of pine that is outdone by the huge, fresh fruity notes. This beer is so refreshingly hoppy. Big tropical fruit notes, pineapple is giant. Juciy, fresh grapefruit and orange notes. Nice pine notes add some bitterness too. Hugely hoppy, but with the perfect amount of bitterness. Get different hop notes with each sip and they keep coming. Awesome drinkability, the hop blend goes down like a Gatorade. Overall, the best DIPA I've had to date. Really tough to make this big of a beer this easy to drink while maintaining absolutely huge flavor.

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Photo of berkshire413
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

from the can, this beer is just incredible, what can be said that hasnt already been said. If you love hops jump right in and take a bath. great complexity pineapple up front, citrus galore, piney and juicy all they way through. every sip makes you think of something different, there is so much going on with this beer its impossible to capture in words or in one sip, so grab a few cases.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.
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