Green Flash Le Freak | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Green Flash Le FreakGreen Flash Le Freak

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Le Freak® is the first-ever hybrid ale of its kind: the convergence of a Belgian-Style Trippel with an American Imperial IPA. This zesty Amarillo dry-hopped, bottle-conditioned marvel entices with fruity Belgian yeast aromatics and a firm, dry finish. Aromas of orange and passion fruit with sweet bready malts, and flavors of orange marmalade and citrus fruit pith. Experience a legendary beer.

Added by Westsidethreat on 05-08-2007

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Reviews: 749 | Ratings: 2,405
Photo of Youbecha
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll admit, my first Belgian frame of reference is Trappist brews and American IPAs. The IPAness is there, but it feels like a good Belgian ale, not a good IPA...I will have to reevaluate.

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Photo of stercomm
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a regular pint glass

A - lighty coppery color with a massive 3 finger, frothy, creamy off white head that recedes slowly and coats the glass with nice lacing

S - Getting cloves, some pepper and lemon, there is a slight funkiness in the scents as well.

T - Agree with some of the other reviews, a rather different taste profile that candied sweetness of a Belgium ale and the bitter hops of an American pale ale. Starts out like a Belgium ale but ends with a combination of hops and Belgium funkiness.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation

O - Not sure I'm into this flavor profile, great smells, taste is a bit harsh

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%

Server on tap in a straight pint glass.

A- Light amber, good clarity, white head.

S- Spice, cloves, a little fruitiness including some light banana.

T- Bitter, lots of spice character of cloves and maybe even a touch of caraway?

M- Medium nice and creamy

O- I didn't really care for this one, I'm not really a fan of the style in general, I don't find Belgian yeasts really complement higher hopping that well. One note of caution for me though is that I had this at a place where the beer sometimes has a funny taste to it, so I might have to grab a bottle of this sometime to compare.

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Photo of smbslt
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium gold with an off-white head. Head did not last long and not much carbonation. Good lacing.
Not enough Belgian character to include in the name. Decidedly IPA in smell and taste. Bitterness is harsh, not complemented by the spice. Better examples with more balance exist.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours out a nearly transparent,bronze body fitted with 3 inches of super,creamy,slightly off white froth that diminished slowly from the sides of the glass leaving a tall,center island of foam.Thick and clingy deposits of lacing were left.

S-Undeniable Belgian spice initially with scents of clove,white pepper and cardamom followed by fruity notes of pear,lemon and sweet citrus and finishing with doughy yeast and stick bubblegum
on the nose.

T-Things kind of went south for me here.There were some bright orchard fruit flavors of green apple and pear followed by bitter,grapefruit rind and bubblegum.The beer seemed jumbled and these flavors didn't mesh for me.The finish consisted of
a forced bitterness and an unappealing tinny/metallic note.

M-Light/medium body with a lasting bitterness and lively carbonation.The bitterness and overall mouthfeel here just didn't seem well calculated.This is the first Green Flash beer that left me disappointed.

O-I had pretty high expectations for this one but unfortunately they fell short.Nice looking beer with a good nose but something didn't quite work for me.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank on tap at Monk, Fremantle

A - Pours a greyish golden colour with a very slight Hazy colour, fluffy white head that laces.

S - A little sweet on the nose, apple and spice present.

T - Quite large malt flavours but a dominant sickly sweetness to it that dominates the flavour too much. Not enough pine for a Belgian IPA.

M - Little light on the body and carbonation

O - A long way behind the Belgian versions of this style

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Photo of kbuzz
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'd like to start by saying that this beer has the most bizaare packaging - uninteresting and rushed. I can't help but let label design influence my opinion of a beer when I am drinking from a bottle. Not at all an interesting label, but Green Flash always is lacking in this department. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Beer pours an ultra clear copper/orange color with amber hues when held up to the light. Some VERY minor sediment, but sediment is a plus in my book as long as it doesn't hurt the clarity of the beer. Beer is very active; bubbles flow freely through the center of this ale.

S: Smell is all malt. For a beer advertised as a crossover between an IPA and Belgian Tripel, I'm not getting either smell in the nose. This smells like a high gravity IPA, with very little hop smell at all. No yeast smell whatsoever. Caramel malts dominate. Smells like an average run of the mill IPA.

T: Better than the smell would indicate. Solid hop bitterness provides the backbone to this beer. Some piney/citrus hop taste up front...very mild yeast qualities. Caramel maltiness comes through at the end and carries through into the aftertaste. Very balanced for an IPA. Again, not getting any of the Tripel qualities here at all...if not for the description on the label, thus far would never have guessed that there was any attempt to inject that style in this beer.

M: Medium to full-bodied beer. Solid carbonation. Smooth, creamy, very drinkable...

O: Eh. This beer is pretty forgetable. Not bad at all. But it does not come through as advertised. If you're looking for an interesting blend of styles (as I was), this will dissapoint. Through no fault of their own, I got the impression that this is a West Coast Brewery struggling to expand their profile. Maybe it was the influence of the boring label, but I think this is a poor example of a Green flash beer...they have better beers on the market.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Beautiful deep gold/amber and nice, puffy head that descended slowly to a collar. Nice lacing and a strong carbo-stream.

S - Raw honey with freshly cut, wet grass.

T - The bitterness detracts from what might have been a superior offering. It's hard to get past the artichoke stem-like bitterness. That said, there's some alluring spices and a nice raw honey element in the mix but the alcohol on the back end subdues it. Pity.

M - Nice carbonation and decent creaminess make you strive for more but . . . .

D - The alcohol is over the top but I can see swirling this down with hop heads on a warm, sunny deck somewhere. This might work with mussels.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber served into a tulip glass

Pours a hazy, dull mustard yellow color. Less than a finger of soapy white head on this pour. This looks like an average Belgian IPA to me. It leans more towards the appearance of a Tripel, but there's nothing really standout about it either way.

If you read my reviews of any other Belgian IPA style beer, you'll see that I vastly prefer beers of this style be an IPA first and foremost, as opposed to a Tripel or Belgian Blonde Ale w/ a more assertive hop character than normal. Le Freak is hard to negotiate on those lines. On the surface, it smells like a Tripel with some moderate hop character. But it also smells in such a way that it makes me think this might be an older bottle. There's no bottle dating, so I can't be sure. Judging just by the sensory details in front of me, this is a Tripel: soft banana esters, candi sugar, baked bread. The lemon and grass (not lemongrass) notes from the hops are there, but they are decidedly a secondary characteristic. And so I run into the quintessential problem of the style: the hops don't really add anything positive (in a harmonious sense) to the beer, and the underlying Belgian ale isn't interesting enough to warrant trying without the hops. add to this conundrum the fact that the 9.2% ABV definitely shows strong on the palate, and you have a beer that isn't my thing. Still, it is a better effort than most in the Belgian-first school of Belgian IPAs.

That stylistic schism makes the mouthfeel on these beers hard to score too. If this is nominally an IPA then the beer is too thick. But it's mostly spot-on for a Tripel. I'm going to score it as above-average and call it a day. Overall, this is not the kind of beer that I'll likely revisit. I don't much care for Belgian IPAs that aren't IPAs first. To its credit, Le Freak gives a strong effort as far as that kind of beer goes.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange golden hue with a fine bubbled off white head forming thick, fine speckled lacing lines the sides of my glass.

A brash collision of Belgian yeast and American alpha hops going on. Citric/pineapple tropical fruit explosion with hints of spicy yeast and slight band aid phenolics.

Flavor can't make up it's mind, the roughness of the two flavors colliding, harsh herbal/citric/dank mary jane colliding with the fruity phenolic spicy yeast characteristics. It just doesn't work for me as a whole the flavors don't complement each other.

Mouthfeel is oily slick with hops, carbonation is lively from the Belgian yeast fermentation. Body is medium to full a bit cloying from the harsh hops and spicy yeast hitting me at once.

Drinkability overall isn't what I want from the style, most versions are their own worst enemy this is a perfect example of that. American hops and Belgian yeast are hard to harmonize.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Seen this around forever, but never bothered to try. Just felt like something different tonight, so this qualifies.

Appearance- Really nice. A deep, rich copper color. Full two inches of thick, rocky head. It laces beautifully. It's a really good looking beer.

Smell- Interesting. Plenty of hops. Quite grassy. Nice hints of spice and clove on the nose. There's a little barnyard. Coriander. Interesting.

Taste- Follows the nose, and then some. Lots of grassiness. Very green. There is some biscuity malt. The spice disappears. It's mostly a DIPA, with more grass than I prefer. Some pale malt also comes through. Boozier than expected. Very bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Pretty decent. It gets a little syrupy. Would like a bit more bubbles.

Drinkability- More booze and more grass than I'd prefer.

Eh. I thought this was going to be a unique beverage. Instead it's just a grassy, boozy DIPA. Oh well, not for me.

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Photo of nick76
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very hoppy with citrus and grass. It's also got fruit and malt. The appearance is hazy gold with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma and rather bitter. The palate is thin but smooth. Overall it's decent but a little to astringent.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Le Freak pours a golden bronze color with a nice long lasting head. There is a strong spicy aroma, very hoppy and strong Belgian candy notes. The taste has some big sweet Belgian candy flavors, with a harsh bitter hoppy finish. Good feel, nice body. Overall it is as advertised a Belgian IPA mixed with IIPA, the only problem is the IIPA flavor is a bit odd, overpowering and tastes a bit old.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured yellow-orange with a three finger white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, sweet alcohol, fruit, wheat, fruit hop, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, fruit hop, wheat, spice, spicy hop, earth, and alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was a lot going on in this one in both the aroma and flavor, however they didn’t all seem to work together in my opinion, but rather against one another. This really hurt the overall brew in my opinion. There was definitely a lot of spice going on here which was nice blended with the fruit tones, but the alcohol came along and wrecked it all. Too bad. Worth trying to judge for yourself.

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Photo of drummstikk
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Le Freak's Belgian yeast character is nearly drowned out by intense English hop aroma. Strong alcohol and strong woody hops make me think of this beer more as an imperial bitter.

Smell is of wood and alcohol. Taste is a powerful drying effect from hops that probably include Fuggle, along with stiff caramel malts and a bitter alcohol backbone. Body is medium to full, but the beer finishes dry. If you're a Fuggle and Northern Brewer fan, line up for a romp through the woods.

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Photo of dondeez21
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. The beer is described as a fusion of Imperial Pale Ale and a Belgian Triple. I didnt notice much of an Imperial Pale Ale influence it mostly reminded me of a Triple.
A: Clear, Orange beer with a nice 1 inch head and nice lacing
S: Very yeasty, smells like a nice Belgian Triple
T: Belgian tastes. Yeast is most noticeable with a slight alcohol kick. Not much hop flavor in this beer.
M: Thin dry and fizzy
D: This beer is good but not exactly what I was expecting. If I were to compare it to triple I would say it represents the style well. I dont feel it holds up well as an IIPA. There isnt much, if any hop flavor or aroma.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Didn't expect to find this in my local store. Hmm... west coast IPA meets Belgian trippel... interesting. Bomber 22oz poured into standard pint... nothing else available. Oh well.

A- Pours a super pale saffron yellow with a nice active head. Spots of lace all around. Head settles nicely.

S- Hops are there. So is the spice. A sweet licorice smell is noted, too.

T- Um...can't find the words. Complex. Hoppy. Spicy. Tart. Sour. Bitter. Sweet. Yeasty. Very very complex flavors and mouthfeel. After second pour, hops settle and the flavors come out even more. An incredibly flavorful beer. I wish it was a bit more refined and not as hoppy, and I love hops. Perhaps I don't get this style. The Belgian yeast and the hops are fighting and don't seem to want to get along.

M- Complex, tart, sweet, peppery hops, spice, and others pound the tongue. Good for what it is.

D- Moderate at best. Very hard-hitting beer.

All in all, not an everyday drinker. Not sure If I'd ever get this one again. Flavors are intense but a bit confusing. It pulls in a bunch of directions without picking one and sticking to it. Which is what they were going for... It does taste like a DIPA trippel... whatever that is.

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Photo of imonhiatus
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2013 bottle sent my way as an apology for an infected silva stout. classy move!

that said this wasn't really my bag not bad just not my thing. Belgian pale aleish American style. good, not great

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Photo of n0rc41
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass....

A= Was really good I like the color and good 2 finger head that went down fast with excellent lacing.

S=wasnt too impressed, smelled like a cheaper Belgian beer.
T=not impressed, the cross of IPA's and Belgian taste dont mix in my book. I like good IPA's and good Belgians, like killains kilt lifter. but the two together. I just get this good belgian taste at first then at the end the IPA kicks in and I just dont think they mix in my book.

M=wasnt too good either, being the tastes didnt mix I had a strong alcohol taste in there. wasnt good..just still better than coors or bud lol

D=alright wasnt too bad overall. just didnt score good in my book.

Good beer overall. just had great lacing and IPA flavor, the Belgian just wasnt a good mix. but I am sure some one out there would love it. just no for me.

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Photo of diddly
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber

Nice creamy head. Pours a cloudy amber. You can definitely tell there's something different about this one, but it's tough to tell exactly what the combo is without knowing - I think it's easier to pick out the IPA than the other half. I definitely got the hops, but basically simultaneous with a ton of other flavors and aromas. The beer also seems to have some sour elements to it.

I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn't order it again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful golden amber in the Affligem chalice. Nice foam and lacing. It's certainly a big hoppy beer but it does swing both ways. Rather sweet, and probably more of the Belgian sugar. Even tastes a little like the recent GF Rayon Vert, with the big dose of Brettanomyces. So there are plenty of Belgian tastes with a lot of the off-center bitter-sweet.

This has a lot of the Imperial IPA character, with the malty richness and huge hops. Very bitter aftertaste. Overall it's just too much of the bitter hops but the yeasty and bacteria flavors are quite forward. On the coarse side and quite sharp. 22 oz bottle from Mega Liquor in Hemet.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've really been looking to having this - as sign the BBF - I've had a soft spot for Belgian IPAs. I found a 22 oz bomber and am going to sample it in an oversized wine glass. "01 08" was barely etched near the base of the glass - leading me to believe that was when it was brewed.

Appearance: Gave it a fairly vigorous pour to elicit in hopes of eliciting some decent head from her. The body poured a gorgeous opaque bronze with mahogany highlights. The head had some great great retention, starting at about a finger and a half, and really holding strong at about half a finger. The foam looks vintage with it's parchment coloring. Some nice suddy lacing as well.

Smell: The first draw is the comforting Belgian yeast, with hints of pepper and lemon. Upon aerating it a bit, bubblegum emerges, as well as a smoky profile much like when incense is first lit.

Taste: My first thought was "Hmm" definitely interesting, as a big hop firestorm really takes over what was a big Belgian nose. Subtle yeasts flavors really try to peak their heads up, as I can sense some citrus. Really hard to pull out much of the normal Belgian sweetness, as the hop tide really rolls in almost immediately. Hop characters are very earthy, and unlike any I've really encountered. I'm pulling out some grass and dark wood, with a light hint of grapefruit. As it's warming - I'm enjoying it more, as the hops become more fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium body on this guy, with a touch of viscosity as it hits your tongue. The hops are extremely sticky and really coat the back of your pallete and mouth - actually leaning towards unpleasant on this.

Drinkability: Alcohol is completely muted in this 9.2% freak - however, the hop bitterness really keeps you from drinking too much of this. I'll be honest, in that I was quite disappointed. Certainly complex, and interesting, but the rave scores led me to believe that I was going to be in complete lust here due to my love of Belgians and serious hops. This is my first Green Flash tasting - so perhaps I just am not used to their hops.

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Photo of ksimons
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-poured into a snifer glass, has a dark orange/amber color and a creamy looking head that leaves some sticky residue on the glass

S-a citrus pine scent is most predominant, very spicy and sharp on the nose. Hints of sweetness come out as well

T-very bitter for the most part, but towards the end there is a tiny bit of sweet malts. Overall though this is a bitter beer

M-very dry, low carbonation, leaves a very bitter aftertaste

D-too bitter for me so I probably wouldn't have it again, but if that is your thing you would probably like this one a lot

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangey body with a bubbly, wispy, white head.

Smell: A mix of grains and grapefruit held together by mashed bananas and tossed with pine needles and white pepper.

Taste: Pale and Belgian maltiness, with a touch of grain, and a brief, though refined sweetness. Tastes of bananas, citrus grapefruit, and pine before a caustic, moderate bitterness is unleashed upon the tongue. Dash of spice. Light yeastiness. Some floral and fruity peach hints to be found during the rare times when the bitterness lets up. Finishes crisp and with a bitterness that lasts well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Yep, it's a bitter tripel, alright. It performed a bit better than expected, but I wouldn't push over an old lady to get a bottle unless she was really really asking for it (to be pushed, not the bottle).

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Photo of Viggo
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a clear orange, some dark amber and golden highlights, some protein floaties hanging around, very thick and chunky white head forms, slowly settles to a thick ring and layer, very sticky, huge lace sheets stick all over the glass.

Smell is nice, pretty malty, big caramel, some biscuit, a bit of alcohol, very fruity, some pineapple and grapefruit, floral, a bit on the sweet side, lightly yeast, a touch of sour funk, pretty cool stuff.

Taste is neat, a bit of bandaid/plastic, sweet and malty, some caramel, clover honey, lightly fruity, biscuit, apricot, a touch of pineapple juice, some floral, a bit yeast, touch of spice and funk, almost a charred wood feel in the finish, interesting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, feels a bit slick going down, some alcohol burn. Not bad, but has some strange character to it. Thanks Russ!

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Green Flash Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,405 ratings.
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