Green Flash Grand Cru | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kleffman on 03-03-2008

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Reviews: 175 | Ratings: 448
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip.

Apeanrance: A cloudy brown slight orange tint to it, honestly looks inctedible. The head rose maybe 1/4", slightly off white with a little dab of orange to it.

Smell: Light yeast scent, too friggin light.

Taste: absolutely robust, yeasty, bready, sour and a hint of banana sweetness to it. Absolutely a hit, taste is rich enough you would think its from belgium itself.

Mouth: Medium a little light, lightly dry but no joke sticky icky afyer taste.

Overall: this brew might need a little tweaking but I will take it the way it is. Honestly for your buck it feels more like a steal....this brew plus a glass and you're good. Salud!

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Photo of schoolboy
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Green Flash makes first rate stuff but I had not previously tried this one. It's a beautiful dark brew with a nice head and lace. Very clear. The aroma is a little weak, but not offensive in any way. The taste, though full and appropriate for the style, is understated. This is not an American version, it is true to the style. It doesn't seem to need aging. This bottle was from 10-30-2012, so about 5.5 months, and it is just fine - I would not want it to settle in as it might with age.

It's a decent Belgian that I would buy again, but a bit pricey.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured out brown with two fingers of light brown head. A small amount of lacing is visible and slides down into the beer with each sip.

S: Smells like bananas, spicy yeast, and booze.

T: A mild version of the smell. A surprising amount of hoppiness in this one.

M: Medium body with a typical heavy champagne-like carbonation for a Belgian style.

O: I'm a hophead and this is a cool beer for me. Unlike many other Belgian dark ales, this lacks some of the sweetness and throws in some hoppiness that is a bit unexpected. The taste could be a little bit more robust and sweet.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a snifter to a deep brown with slight red tint and a finger and a half of dense light tan head that fades to a small pool
S: smells of dark fruits, a little spice, plumb, candi syrup. hint of alcohol soaked cherries
T: tastes of caramel, sugary sweetness, dark fruits, and a bit of spice. swallow brings a bit of alcohol and a slight alcohol soaked cherry flavor
M: fairly full in the mouth with soft but slightly prickly carbonation
O: good but not the best I've had. there are others in the style that I prefer around the same price point. the nose is great and the flavors are good but it kind of falls off mid taste and never picks itself up again until the swallow.

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Photo of rawfish
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown, ruby highlights and a quickly forming parchment colored head. Reaches two and a half fingers in height. Recedes fairly quickly leaving messy scatterings of lacing behind on the glass.

Sweet and earthy tones of molasses, toffee, chicory and heavy licorice. Notes of rhubarb and cherry. Alcohol mixed with the odd phenol finishes the aroma with husky grain, licorice and sharpie marker.

Bready but completely lacking in sweetness, spices hit the palate with clove, more licorice and powder. Earthy and medicinal hops add some balance and light earthy bitterness in the shadow of the drink. Grape-like tannins bring out an astringent flavor with lemony acidity and a twang of metal.

Soapy finish, despite the high indication of carbonation during the pour it is quite appropriate. Easy to drink body . Alcohol is nicely disguised.

This beer really hits the palate with soapy Belgian spices and earthy flavors, very phenol heavy. Really not for me flavor-wise, I've been really sensitive to metallic flavors in some beers lately. Quite a different take on a Belgian strong ale. Happy for the chance to try this one though.

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Photo of tdm168
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A - very dark brown bordering on black; huge, thick, brownish, off white head that has great retention

S - raisins, clove, Belgian yeast, very funky

T - dark fruit, some faint chocolate, very mild spices, Belgian funk, mild bitter finish; spicy, warming alcohol in the finish

M - full bodied, a bit crisp

This isn't a bad beer at all. It has much of what I look for in this style; dark fruit notes balanced with funky, spicy Belgian yeast. If I were to have complaints it would be that this beer doesn't have a rich maltiness that I desire and I find it to be a bit crisp. Otherwise, I thought this was a nice take on the style.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Dark brown pour with a half inch or so of foamy off-white head; moderate retention and lacing. Caramel malts in the nose, stone fruits and a bit of citrus. Sweet malts taste, dried fruits, candied citrus zest, some herbal hoppiness. Medium body. A pleasant drink overall.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Inspired by Belgium but brewed in San Diego, Green Flash springs to life with the grand daddy of them- the Belgian Strong Dark Ale, or as most Belgians put it- Grand Cru.

Green Flash's version pours with a dark brown base and ruby highlights with a lavender tinge. It's overall viscous aesthetics allow for a creamy dense off-white head to separate from the beer and cap the beer with confidence. But the head dissipates nearly midway through the session and leaves random lace clinging to the glass. Though formidable, its appearance doesn't carry the lightness or airness like those of Belgian fame.

Candied aromas of dark fruit come to life in the form of dates, figs, raisins, plumb, red grape, and prune. Apple like tartness weaves into a base of dessert breads and malt sweetness for a deep fruitcake-like aroma. Spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, soft corriander and rummy alcohol- the beer's balance becomes evident.

Favoring sweet and fruit flavors, the beer's taste is dense, rich, and succulent. The strong savory character shines with dark, dried, pitted fruit with molasses overtones. Sweetness lingers deeply even as the balance from peppercorn, wine-like tannin, cinnamon, rum, and woodish hops grow to meet the malty lean. With its turn to semi-dry malt closure, the beer becomes a savory sipper rather than a palatable drinking ale.

And with a strong malty backbone, the beer resists the urge to dry out in mouthfeel as well. Rich, creamy, and weighted on the mouth, the beer lumbers somewhat in its attempt to finish. Strong alcohol warmth, semi-dryness, and spicy prickle signals closure similar to Belgian versions of Gulden Draak and Kasteel Donker- very dessert-like.

This Grand Cru's American-ized technique causes the beer to taste and feel slightly barleywine-ish but with the phenol-ester balance of Belgian versions. It's creamy and rich rather than racy and dry, making this type of taste and texture familiar with American-brewed Belgian-style ales.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bier Academy in Canyon Country, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, spices, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a hoppy flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty but has a better smell in my opinion.

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Photo of KajII
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a murky dark brown with a purple hue and a small (less than 1 finger) light brown creamy head that reduced down to a large puddle and medium collar with excellent full sheets of layered lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted dark bread malt and a sweet doughy Belgian yeast with notes of caramel, cinnamon, coriander and dark fruit (figs, dates, berries and overripe plums).

The taste was a bold malty sweet with notes of caramel and dark fruit pretty much throughout, with the finish being a tad yeasty and having a mildly spicy alcohol ending. The flavor lasted and average duration following the swallow with a mild spicy fruity taste left lying on the taste buds along with a slow creeping alcohol warming sensation.

Mouthfeel was just a bit under medium in body with a nice smooth creamy texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall this was a brew with a nice bold fruitiness which melded nicely with the Belgian yeast and the mild spiciness, allowing for a smooth and easy drinkability that hid the high ABV almost totally, except for a slight warming sensation towards the end...

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Photo of XxNitExX
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip

A- Nice deep dark brown with red highlights. Looks like a nice Cabernet with the right light. Tannish head that did not stay around but left some okay lacing. Can't get enough of this color!

S- Dried Fruits is what I get upfront, with some woody esters also. No alcohol tinge at all, no hops, not much on the malty side either.

T- Strong Belgian yeast taste you get with some cheaper Belgian beers. Like unrefined esters that were not sure what they were going to be. Still get some nice dark dried fruits also but not as much. Sweet, next to zero alcohol taste.

M- Smooth. Not strongly carbonated. Seems kind of light for such a dark beer.

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Photo of bcsbeer
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured with a huge tan head. Very dark with a nice clear cherry hew when held up to the light.
The nose was big and boozy. Bourbon, rum, raisin, and malts. The taste was similar , boozy, dark fruits, warm banana bread, with some nice spice added in. Medium to low carbonation. Mouth feel was in the middle. Overall: I didn't like this in the beginning but as the beer warmed up, I warmed up to it or may be it was the ABV? Either way I was happy when it was all done. Put this in a snifter with a fine cigar and your in like the butchers dog.

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Photo of BB1313
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Bottled on 10/30/12. Poured into a chalice. Pours a dark brown with ruby red hues. Huge off-white head that sticks around and leaves really nice lacing. Looks pretty good. Smells good too. The aromas are full of cherries, bananas, and bubblegum. There's some sugar cane and dark fruits in the aromas as well. Smells very sweet. I was expecting very sweet flavors, but it's somewhat more on the bitter side. Lots of raisins, plums, and prunes. There's a subtle hop bitterness followed by a minor touch of heat, but far from anything overboard. The mouthfeel is pretty nice. Active carbonation, but not extremely active. It's on the lighter side of full-bodied and remains fluffy and creamy.

I'm not crazy about the taste, but everything else is right on. I'm a huge fan of Green Flash, but this isn't a winner like most of their beers, in my opinion.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 18, 2013.

The pour is an attractive dark amber brown with a sort of purple hue when held to the light. The moderate off-white head lingers for a short while then becomes a silky ring.

The nose was mellower than I anticipated with modest esters of dark sweet malts and dark fruit and a sort of crispy-cleanliness that I don't relate to a dark ale like this.

The body is medium to bold.

Whereas the aroma is subtle and played down the taste erupts with dark sweet malts and yeast up front and then a biting but still low to moderate bitterness pulling up the rear. Mellow to bold in one motion. Kind of interesting and likable.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, bottle dated 11/06/12. Pours a brownish red,with a three inch light tan head, that dissipates quickly, leaving plenty of lace behind. Smell is powerful, banana, clove, brown sugar, and dark fruit. Taste is all of that, that just as pu pungent as the nose, banana and clove up front with some sweat brown sugar and rum soaked raisins in the finish. Body is medium large, enough carbonation for the style, a little dry, and goes down easy enough. This isn't my favorite style, but I like this beer. Excellent example of the style.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Looks like root beer on the pour. Some brown with plenty of red highlights. A nice fluffy, two finger tan head floats effortlessly and leaves barely a trace of lacing as it slowly fades away.

S- Some notes of banana and birch. Touches of clove, pineapple, candied brown sugar, and subtle touches of dark fruit like figs, dates, and raisins. I was really expecting much, much more on the nose from this. It's almost a tease. You really have to take a deep whiff just to pull in something on the nose.

T- Again, very subtle and shunted. No big notes of anything. Kind of a blander depiction of the smell. Very disapointed. Some over-ripe banana and spice. A dull mix of tropical and dried fruit.

M- Decent carbonation at first, but it slowly dies out and becomes flat. Has a touch of sticky honey that rolls on the tongue. Nice sweetness and not much alcohol.

O- Average at best. Very dissapointing when compared to most GF brews. I wish they'd get they're act together on this one. I had such high hopes.

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Photo of acevenom
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Pours dark reddish brown with an off-white head. Some ruby light is visible along the bottom of the glass. There are visible tiny bubbles rising in the beer. A ring of lacing is left where the head once was when the head dissipates and a thin film remains atop the beer. This lacing also travels down the glass as the beer is consumed. There are aromas of bready malt with fruity esters. I get banana and bubble gum as well as some spiciness. Bready malt, fruit, and spice hit the tongue on the first sip, masking the 9% alcohol very well. The fruit notes are dark fruits like raisin along with some banana. It has a really solid malt backbone. There's some hop bitterness on the back end. The body is medium to full with moderate carbonation. This beer is dangerously easy to drink and finishes slightly dry. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.85/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Green Flash Grand Cru has a thick, foamy, beige head, and a dark purple-brown appearance, with some brilliant red highlights showing up when light catches the beer at the right point. Very thick lacing rings are left on the glass. The aroma is of bold, lively fruitiness, black bread, bread crust, and dates. Taste is similar, with cinnamon, raisins, yeast, some banana, coriander, a bit of hoppiness, and licorice. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Green Flash Grand Cru finishes mostly dry, rich, and rather drinkable. Overall, this is just fantastic, and I would say this it is absolutely a "must-try" beer!


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Photo of barczar
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep brown with a dense one inch khaki head that lingers, eventually leaving sheets of lacing.

Belgian yeast esters, banana, clove, and sweet, slightly bready malt form the aroma.

Belgian yeast esters again dominate the flavor, with toasted and lightly roasted breadcrust leading into a slightly dry finish. Tasty, but bitter hops seem to be at odds with the esters and malt. Notes of bubblegum emerge as it warms.

Body is moderate to full, with carbonation on the low side and significant alcohol warmth.

Good brew, but somewhat lackluster in character. Must be the yeast. Banana and bubblegum dominate.

Update: tried on draft yesterday, and it lacks a lot of character. Was dominates by floral hops, had little malt or yeast character, and was decidedly bitter. Wouldn't drink it again.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small white head which quickly disappears.

The smell is what you would expect from a Belgian beer, yeasty, bananas and cloves.

The tastes is dark fruits, dark bitter malts and some smokey flavours.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This tastes like a Belgian mixed with a smokey porter, fare enough it's interesting but I don't think it works all that great.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a brown color and a hazy texture. There was a big, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A decent, but not spectacular aroma of yeast, dark fruit, and malt.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, a whole lot of malt, something sugary (caramel, perhaps), and dark fruit (cherry, apple). A pretty good flavor, but not quite as rich or bold as some Belgian-made BSDAs.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a vibrant, prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not a bad beer at all, but not quite as polished as other Green Flash creations. Still, a drinkable brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12oz snubby bottle poured into a CHIMAY chalice. This one was bottled sometime in October of 2012, so about a month and a half old. Been meaning to scope this after all the bombers dissapeared from the area.

A loud hiss when the cap was pryed open, sounds good, not a lot of bubbles forming in the bottle though. A pretty stealth pour yielded about a quarter inch of off tan/light brown foam that was thick looking but died rather quickly leaving nothing, no lace, ring around the collar.

Smell is very yeast forward and it travels up the nose. I get a lot of fresh baked dark bread action, some rye, pumpernickle. Some clove pops out with some dark fruit, cherry, a trace amount of banana. The 9 percent is fairly well hidden. No hops really in the mix. Blackberry and some underlining spice. An odd smell.

Possibly the freshness on the bottle, but I get a whole bready taste up front, fresh baked bread, rye biscuit, clove. A fruity middle, banana, cherry, plum, candied apple. Some alcohol creeps through with some caramel malt in the back with a hint of chocolate. An odd taste. Belgian with a twist of something.

Body on the grand cru is on the lighter side of full with a light carbonation for the countries style, I was expecting more bubbles, it kinda dulled the taste a bit, or perhaps this should lay down a bit, but what i tasted today, i would not risk aging any bottles. I struggled to get through the bottle and will be keeping my dollars with Rayon Vert

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, nearly black, with a small beige head. Not a lot of lacing or retention.

Lots of caramel in an overall malty nose. Some raisins, ripe fruit, dark berries, faint alcohol.

Big malt bomb with some dark ripe berry flavors, caramel, some bitterness.

Light in body, a bit dry.

Pretty good stuff!

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Photo of BostonHops
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a muddy dark brown color; small head with no real retention to speak of although a decent amount of lacing is evident... a bit unusual.

nose greets you with a smattering of dark fruits, caramel, yeast, and malts. pretty typical for the style. good but nothing really sets it apart. taste mostly follows the aroma, though maybe more hoppy than what i noticed in the nose. alcohol is not as well hidden as i would prefer. still, it's tasty enough, and becomes more complex as it warms. mouthfeel is borderline decadent: rich, full, and creamy. well done there. i'm enjoying this; while it's not a world-beater i would definitely have it again.

original review on: 08-12-2010

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Photo of Docer
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: (3.5)

- Nice super dark brown brew, and can see a bit of a ruby red glow at the edges of the glass while held in the light. An off-white to gray finger of head stuck around briefly and a thin island is what is left over the brew.. slightly small bubbly ring.

Smell: (3.5)

- This brew packs a pretty heavy barleywine-like caramel punch to the face. Sweet caramel malts, sugars, molasses, light currants, and esters. Lots of raisin, fig, and prune show through heavily with the caramel sweetness. Not so much in hops buy maybe some grassy and earthy hints.

Taste: (3.5)

- Sweet caramel, and big on fig and prune. Raisins too of course as it is heavy and hard to decipher which. Esters, light currants, and earthy hops seem to balance this sweet puppy out a bit. Truly a nice flavor and makes me wonder why they didn't use a Belgian yeast solely? Some light spice and clove may exist, but not much. Hardly can taste its strength.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)

- Big bodied brew without being overly syrupy. It leaves a slight chalky finish, but overall is only slightly chewy and cloying. It certainly is smooth, and lends no alcohol burn or dryness.

Overall: (3.0)

- It is a big brew, and does contain some lovely esters and dark fruit in the flavor. For me many Green Flash beers are just too heavy and thick with the caramel malts. This one is quite sweet which I can't say I like rather well. I like more dry, less sweet, and more bready in a grand cru.. which isn't really a style in its own, but most often a blend, or mixed bag even. If a big Green Flash fan... worth a shot. Like sweet? Worth a shot. But otherwise, I wouldn't buy it again.

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Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 448 ratings.
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