Bell's Java Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
1,149 Reviews
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Java Stout uses a custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally for us by Water Street Coffee Joint, to generate its intense flavor. Possessing an unmistakable aromatic punch, Java Stout has long been one of our most popular stouts.

Added by kbub6f on 12-11-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,149 | Ratings: 3,234
Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A perfect beer. Pours black. Smells of coffee and chocolate, which is a benefit for those that are coffee and chocolate lovers. Tastes of malts, coffee and chocolate of course. Smooth overall feeling. Drinkability, just like my coffee can't stop at one cup, well this beer I can't stop at one bottle

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Photo of nawicks
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you prefer dark, strong coffee and dark, strong beer you will love this one. It's like drinking your favorite stout with the smell and reminiscent taste of a deliciously dark roasted coffee.

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Photo of techfed87
4.94/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, rich black, with a definite character. Smells of coarse coffee grounds, with a slightly sour hint to it.

Taste is potient and full forced. This thing is a beast to be rekoned with. Its the very essence of coffee, mixed with the syrupy consistancy of a full bodied stout. To compare, this is on par with Short's Cuppa Joe Cream Stout. However, thankfully for Bell's, their distribution network is a bit larger.

Both beers are a wonder to behold. If you can find them both, you are a lucky person indeed. And if you're only given the chance to try this one, then that's more than enough too.

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Photo of steorn
4.9/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

obviously a new favorite.fantastic nose w coffee but not overpowering .it draws you in and then delivers on the promise. well rounded for a brew with something added(coffee,fruit,etc...) fantastic from first sip to last.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Pours a cola black/brown with much ferocity. Head is purposefully poured to be a solid three+ fingers. As it recedes, it leaves a spiderweb of heavy lacing, looks awesome.

Smell: Mocha. A thick, roasted coffee-malt flavor lays the foundation for milk chocolate goodness.

Taste: Coffee bitterness up front, with the chocolate sweetness coming in as the beer foams up. Chewy malt character, and a distinctly pleasant semi-sweet aftertaste. Awesome.

Mouthfeel: A perfect combination of carbonation and placidity. Enters smoothly, goes down smoothly with not a lot of residual stickiness. Awesome.

Overall: This one is a solid A+...I haven't had a much better beer.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.87/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The body is almost pitch black and hazy, if that makes any sense. The head is just right; moderate with a careful pour and darkly tanned. It even left some film as it slowly receded.

Smell – Brewed with coffee, or coffee grounds? This is good stuff. The dark, roasted stout aroma has found its equal in the huge, coffee ground notes. What I find so appealing about this nose is that these are basically the only two smells that I can pick up. They dance the dance of lovers, that’s for sure.

Taste – Oh, man, if you love coffee and if you love stout, you will love this beer. Living in Seattle they sell coffee everywhere, and all the peddlers have their own interpretations of what they think is good. Well, this is good.

Starbucks should be so good. This is some of the best-tasting coffee I’ve ever had, but of course that could be because it is equally mixed with some of the best stout that I ever had. Move over Reese’s, this is the next great combination.

Mouthfeel – Bigger than medium but not quite full, this is so smooth it makes me salivate. The mouthfeel is pleasant as can be.

What makes this a 5.0 Mouthfeel for me is the flavor blendings that create nirvana in between the cheeks. The huge bitterness of this Stout rounds things to perfection.

Drinkability – Hath a more drinkable coffee-flavored stout been made? Me thinks not!

Comments – One good Bell’s deserves another. Last night Kalamazoo, this night Java Stout. What a treat. A treat that was made possible by feloniousmonk, so I have to give him props for this killer trade.

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Photo of younger35
4.87/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this gem in a trade with tpd975. Have had a couple other brews from this brewery and I love it. Drank from my Black Butte Porter pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a pitch black with a nice creamy light brown head. Head slowly recedes to leave a great cap and collar along with plenty of thick, creamy lacing.
Smell- Lots of rich roasted coffee with a bit of chocolate like sweetness in the background. If there is such thing as a smooth smell, this is it. Hints of vanilla and light toffee are also present.
Taste- Rich dark malt is smoothly sweet and there is plenty of coffee to go around on the bad boy. A bit of chocolate is present along with the espresso and maybe a touch of vanilla. Basically tastes how it smells. Leaves a lingering coffee bitterness that seems to stay in the back of the mouth for days. Absolutely no sign of the alcohol, impressively covered.
Mouthfeel- Ridiculously smooth and creamy with a nice light carbonation that really lets the smoothness shine.
Drinkability- Man this thing is wonderful. It reminds me of Founders Breakfast Stout with a bit less complexity. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all either. It’s basically a Breakfast Stout with all the rough edges polished out. Man I loved this thing, big thanks tpd975!

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Photo of becktone
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Eye: This brew pours black or close enough to it. I saw some ruby/garnet highlights when the beer caught the light. Head is tan in color and is very creamy. It has great retention, but not much to lacing.

Nose: Very nice aroma here. Sweet dark malt flavors, and perhaps a bit of vanilla/milk stout aroma. Lots of roasted grain aroma, chocolate aroma and coffee aroma. I can see why its called Java Stout. Smells like it would go great with breakfast. I love the way this brew smells, but it would be nice if it were just a bit more potent.

Tongue: Oh yeah, and explosion of flavor. This is the way I want a stout to taste. Lots of chocolate and roasted flavors along with some sweet dark malt flavor and a finish with a flavor that reminds me of a milk stout (it kinda slides in between where are all the other flavors are resting on the palate).

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This brew is full bodied on the tongue and is very smooth. It feels much the same as a milk/sweet stout-smooth, velvety, and full. Alcohol is hidden pretty well and the finish is definitely not dry, leaves a slick feeling on the tongue. This is a beer that I'd have no problem drinking all day... As a matter of fact I find it to be a great way to start the day, just as with Founder's Breakfast Stout this one can easily be consumed for breakfast, goes well with the meal or as a substitute for it. This is one I'll definitely pick up again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.84/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this a while back, had one before I really got into reviewing, decided it was too strong for my taste back then, shoved it into the BeerFrigerator and promptly forgot about it. Until now. I am not traveling this summer and since I cannot find summer employment, I am making a concerted effort to move some of the beer that has hung around for to long. Like this guy, although I would bet that it has hung in pretty well. Frankly, I am excited to try this as the dancing coffee cup on the label. I have reverted to Navy form, drinking coffee that could double as paint stripper, eating donuts/pastries at work, grits or oatmeal for breakfast with the occasional egg. All I need now is a gun. Never mind.

From the bottle: "An enchanting beer made from the marriage of a custom blend of fresh-roasted coffee beans with a dark and roasty stout."

My pour was even more impressive in its result than Bell's Extra Special Stout (the last one I reviewed prior to this)! Two dense fingers of deep-tan head with excellent retention. Color was an ebony black, allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was REALLY roasty, reminding me why I shied away from it lo, those many years ago. It was somewhere between Colombian and French Roast in its roastiness and both of those are still ones that I add to a simple Original Blend. Either one on their own and I could be hooked up to a generator for the day. That is to give you an idea of intensity, on top of which, we are talking 7.5% ABV. This is not a beer for the faint of heart! Mouthfeel was unbelievably full and creamy and one of us had mellowed in terms of taste. Either it had come down or I have elevated or perhaps both, but it was still pretty intense in terms of its dark-roasted coffee flavor and the difference was that I found it very enjoyable. I think that I was really on a hops kick back then and this just did not taste "right" to me at the time. The lacing that was beginning to appear looked like it would take a jackhammer to remove later. Finish was like finishing a demitasse of cappuccino. I kid you not, you had really better like intense coffee, not just simply a cuppa joe or this is not going to be your cup of tea, so to speak. Oh, my heart ...

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Photo of maddamish
4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great stout. I have sampled some of the best stouts out there and this one ranks right up there with them.

Dark motor oil black with a creamy brown head.

The tasting notes are dark chocolate and burnt coffee beans. Out of all the so called "Coffee Stouts" this was the... uh.... coffiest?

The taste reminded me of when I tried one of those chocolate covered coffee beans. That is how strong the coffee flavor is.

If you love stouts then you should seek this one out right now. You don't know what you are missing.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 8158. According to the website, this beer was bottled on Oct 9, 2007.

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours pitch black with a nice, two fingers size head that is cappuchino in color. Lacing so dense and thick I could barely see through the glass and into the dark as night brew.

Aroma is basically coffee. Dark roasted coffee and dark malts. If you like coffee, which I do, this was a real pleaser to the nose.

Outstanding flavors. Coffee and more coffee. Nice hoppiness to parallel the coffee. This would be a great beer to have in the morning with a nice vegetarian omelet and some sausage. Maybe I will try that this weekend. Anyway, I cant remember a coffee stout that tasted as great as this one. Outstanding.

Medium mouthfeel, could be a little thicker. This was an easy drinker. A sixer of this is not going to be enough for the season. I think a case is in order. This was a top notch coffee stout! The best I have had to date.

Edit: After about one year of age on this beer, the flavors mellow and meld significantly and this easily becomes a 5.

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Photo of hero27
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
Batch 7170.

Black as coal...a creamy, dark tan head that sits perfectly atop this brew.
The aroma is about as bold as they come. Fresh roasted coffee beans..mocha, sweet cream.. wow. To compare this to something..the last time I remember a stout smelling this good was when I first cracked open a fresh 2005 Dark Lord.
The coffee taste is, velvety milk chocolate..sweet, roasted malts..nice finishing bitterness.. absolutely delicious.
All of this ridiculous flavor completely masked any alcohol that might be noticeable.
Creamy, coating mouthfeel. The measly 12oz bottle had no was empty in no time...I wish I had a case of this stuff. An exceptional coffee-based stout.

This beer is very near phenomenal in my book. I've sampled most of the widely-considered "best" stouts out there, and in my opinion, this ranks right up there with every one of them.

Can't thank mynie enough for the bottle. i WILL be getting more of this soon, even if I have to drive to Kalamazoo myself.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like my coffee my beer. So, while I think all BAs should give this one a shot, this review is really directed at people like me, who go to work in the morning just to get free coffee, and who don't muck it up with cream or sugar.

It's deep black, beautifully so, pure onyx, with a brown head and brown lacing, although the lacing doesn't stick well to the glass, just hanging around in splotches.

The taste is pure espresso/coffee bean bliss. I loved it. The drinkability was great from my POV...sure, it's not light or smooth, but I wanted another, and another, and another...that's perfect drinkability.

This is a quirky brew. In your face. Unapologetic. It doesn't get my money back guarantee offer, because I don't know if you have the same tastes I do, but I will say that if you dig coffee, seek this one out. It might just be your fetish, like it is for me.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You need to be careful pouring this one. It's pretty charged up. You get a big rocky brown head. Very evident coffee aroma on the nose. Opaque color. Burnt malts on the nose also. The coffee taste is not subtle in this beer. It meshes so nicely in this brew. I am not a coffee drinker, but absolutely love this beer. There's a bit of carbonation in this one. Besides coffee, I get toffee and roasted undertones. A great bitterness present from coffee and Roasted malts rather than hops. I've had coffee stouts from New Glarus, Lakefront and Redhook (Double Black Stout). While those are all very good, this one is in a class by itself.

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Photo of drseamus
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This was a bottle from batch 7768 poured into a Chimay goblet. It pours jet black with a thick mocha colored head that fell over the period of several minutes. A couple of drops that fell on the bottle were a good red color.

S: I'm pretty sure a stick of chocolate dynamite went off in this beer because it exudes pure chocolate aroma.

T: This is one hell of a good beer. The flavor is insanely creamy and filled with TONS of chocolate and coffee. Sometimes I think about changing my favorite style to something else and then I have another double stout and that fleeting thought is immediately erased. It is perhaps a bit lacking in the aftertaste department. The flavor doesn't last long enough as it quickly fades.

M: This beer is good and heavy and as I said before, ridiculously smooth.

D: Damn. I might have to move to a state where they sell Bell's. Enough said.

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Photo of mrjmann
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Love this beer... my absolute favorite shelf stout, although I wish it was a bit easier on the wallet. Pours dark brown with little head, great coffee smell. Taste is all coffee, all day... some chocolate and vanilla but coffee dominant. Moderate mouthfeel which suits the flavor appropriately - not too heavy, not too thin.. just right. I love coffee stouts so this beer is amazing and am actually surprised it doesn't have higher review scores. Seek it out if you haven't already tried it, another great Bell's offering.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.79/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and oily looking cream-colored head sits on opaque black liquid, very strong coffee ground nose smelling roasty beyond roasty, like a cup o' joe...and damn inviting! Bracingly strong coffee flavor dominates with some background roasty maltiness and hops. Coffee notes linger on and on to no end. The best coffee flavored brew I've had yet, I'm a big fan of the style & this one (as do most K'zoo beers) does not disappoint.
Thanks to CRJMellor for the bottles.

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Photo of tpd975
4.77/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one arrived like so many of my other good brews via the Indiana/Florida express better known as my brother.

A: Black as night, with a small espresso colored head. Picture Perfect.

S: This one has a wonderful malt smell about it. Of course there are hints of coffee, but you can also smell chocolate and a hint of spice, nutmeg maybe?

T: Bell's never ceases to amaze. This is another solid beer from their ever impressive lineup. The taste is wonderful. It is so simple yet complex. This beer has a taste of a perfectly crafted cafe' mocha. The malt gives it a wonderful backbone and enhances the taste of fresh brewed dark coffee and chocolate.

M: It is very smooth, creamy, with very little bitterness despite the taste of dark coffee and chocolate.

D: Yes! I could drink this one morning noon and night. It is quite simply the easiest drinking stout known to man.

Overall: I have said it before, and I will say it again Bell's takes each style of beer and perfects it. They are not out blazing trails with new and interesting stuff. They take what is out there and show other brewers how it should be done and there is no exception here. They have made a perfect coffee stout. Move over Ozzie & Harriet and Peanut Butter & Jelly because we have a new perfect marriage. Coffee and Beer. Sorry Guinness, but this one truly is Brilliant!

Bell’s please barrel age some of this, you may have something to rival Founder’s KY stout.

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Photo of patol8
4.77/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review ever, this is one of favorite beers.

Appearance - Poured into pint glass producing a 2 finger dark tan head. The beer is pitch black with mild carbonation and lacing.

Smell - Smells of wonderful coffee and caramel, some possible vanilla notes

Taste - Wow, one of the better coffee stouts out there. The coffee taste hits you immediately and lasts.

Mouthfeel - I'm new to this, but I would say it was medium heavy stout and very smooth. It was what I would expect with any quality stout in terms of carbonation.

Overall - Like I said, one of my favorite beers out there right now and easily a top coffee stout. I would recommend this one strongly to anyone looking to try Bells or Coffee Stouts for the first time.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark as a coffee stout should be

S: You smell coffee, not hints of coffee, but actual coffee. This is one of the best traits of this beer

T: Tastes like a nice smooth and dark blend of coffee and dark malts, its really a match made in heaven

M: Just as it should be, not too carbonated

O: This is my favorite everyday stout. I love the coffee taste so if that is not your thing, this beer is not for you. If you are looking for a good coffee stout, try this beer and you won't be disappointed, it is what it says it is.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dark brown 1 1/2" of thick, foamy head, and laced well. Thick, muddy, opaque brown that laughs at my desk lamp's 60 watts efforts to pass through. Deep, dark coffee malts dominate the nose, and I swear I smelled some smoke, but maybe not. Taste is all about the coffee, and works well. The alcohol of this big beer is well hidden by the coffee, and which makes it both dangerously drinkable and just plain dangerous. Not a big coffee fan normally, but if I'm going to have coffee, this is the form I want!

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Photo of gordavidson
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nearly black as night with just the slightest bit of light shining through the edges of the glass. A small, light brown head forms and settles as a ring around the edge of the glass. Looks kind of menacing.

S- Coffee with a little bit of sweet malt. Maybe a hint of vanilla. Not all that complex, but very intriguing.

T- Some coffee and roasted malt. Kind of sweet. Very well done. The coffee is done perfectly with this. Not all that crazy or intense, just really tasty. I usually like my coffee warm, and I thought this beer only tasted better and really opened up as it neared room temperature. Delicious.

M- Creamy and perfect. The carbonation is perfect and the coffee does a wonderful job of coating the mouth.

D- This is wonderful. I love this so much more than I remember. I have to go back and get what little was left at the store. Highly recommended.

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Photo of philberinghele
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

cold winter wind
brew for dark winter mornings
espresso arouse

The perfect beer for mornings or evenings when you want a cup of coffee but a beer just seems more appropriate. I'm not sure if it's quite as good as goose island's black cat, but it's close. My only complaints would be that the head was a little thin. I would prefer a thicker, more espresso like crema. I need to try this on tap.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is a super thick black with a large inch tall tan head that crumbled down super slowly leaving a puffy diveted landscape for a top that stays present til about half glass, which then stays as a hazy skim and smaller bubbles. A hefty head for sure. Leaves lace in thickly sticking sheets. Ahhh the smell is just lovely, its all dried espresso coffee, very roasted and very dried and uniquely so, reminds me of true espesso thats served in Eastern world cafes. Dry and roasted, somewhat bittering too in the smell. Taste is crazy espresso, deeply roasted dryish malt tones with all sorts of dry roasted bitterness thats very easy to handle.Finish is nice and levels off nicely leaving lingering espresso dryness, slight hop bitterness and light deep dark chocolatey tones across the palate. Its partially full, quite rich, barring heavyness, and silky smooth and packed with nice espresso flavors that are a bit overpowering at first if your not ready for it, but once it settles in, its fantastic. Makes for a great dessert beer and conversational piece to share with friends. If you like coffee in any form, this is a must try, and if you like highly flavored stouts this is a big must try.

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Photo of Lupe
4.73/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night, no light or colored hues come through. Huge billowing tan head slowly recedes and leave excellent lace. Deep roasted aroma, coffee and grain, with a hint of dark chocolate. Flavor is pretty much the same. Black coffee, roasted grain, dark chocolate, and a touch of sweetness. Alcohol stays well hidden. Finishes dry with a nuttiness. Full bodied, smooth and creamy. Highly drinkable considering the richness of flavor and higher alcohol content. Goes nice with breakfast or would be good after dinner. I am not coffee drinker, but this I love this stout.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 3,234 ratings.
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