Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
159 Reviews
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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A "German-style Double IPA" according to Larry Bell.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2008

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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 435
Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have gone through almost my entire 6er of this and have enjoyed every bottle of it.

Poured into tulip.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Color is a hazy orange hued gold. Leaves some splattered lace.

Aroma: Grapefruit citrus, bready malts, lots of pineapple which is awesome, and pine hops.

Taste: I am loving the pineapple in this beer. It is so clean. It also has a grapefruit citrus flavor with pine hops and some bready malts. A bit of alcohol shows.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very refreshing. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, this is a very drinkable dipa. I have had a lot of this and still want more. Much better than this years batch of oracle. The pineapple was simply awesome. Very happy with this one.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Piccadilly at the Crossing just had this arrive today, as Sam the fine purveyor mentioned, so it was a must-grab. As someone who struggled to endure the year-plus of Bell's absence from Illinois (otherwise known as The Great Abdication), I felt a sense of pride and honor for having been a Bell's fan, and for Bell's making this in honor of their loyal Illinois patrons.

Good start and look, with a fat finger of off-white foam coating a murky brown body with copper trim; nice duration and lacing. Excellent aromas, full of citrus (especially pineapple, orange, and lemon), with floral overtones and plenty of toasted malt to spare as well--very balanced and robust smell!

Good, solid taste, striking a fine hop-malt balance. Caramel and dark chocolate come forth, with a distinct floral, pine whiff to accompany the citrusy taste. More malt than I expected in the taste after the glorious smell, that is still fine with me. The hops aren't absent, but rather more restrained in the flavor than the aroma indicated.

Terrific effervescence achieves a pretty high mouthfeel score in my book, though some might disagree. I found that it significantly enhanced the flavor and accentuated the balance that Bell's achieved.

Very well done overall, and does not quite drink like a DIPA. In a way, one might be disappointed that the taste doesn't reflect the ramped-up hops and flavor. Yet this is, to me, unquestionably a success, in no small part because the malt flavor and content is unmistakable without dominating the hops.

Thanks, Bell's, from Illinois.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle, Batch 9920. I never noticed before, but the small neck label says Hopsolution, and the larger label says Hopsoulution. A mistake perhaps? A solution to the soul?

Anyway...pours bright amber with a thick, foamy, off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass. Some lace, but not a lot. Aromas are fresh and rather bready and malty with notes of floral hops, pineapple, and slight citrus. On the palate, it's medium bodied with notes of bready malt, toffee, and caramel up front, followed by intense piny hops with some citric grapefruit as well. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable and leaves a prickle on the tongue on the finish.

Overall, it's a unique DIPA given it's up-front malt characteristics, but I love its balance. Could be what I'd expect an "Imperial Two Hearted" to taste like if such an ale existed.

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Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

batch 9920 bottled 8/17/10

pours hazy orangish amber with a 2 finger head that left lacing all down the glass

smells like 2hearted with lots of malts - very floral some pine and oh the malts

taste - wow this is the DIPA i have been looking for flavor wise - rich toffee carmel malts with plenty of the floral and pine hop flavors

mouthfeel is a little heavy and sticky

drinkability takes a hit with the heavy mouthfeel but its sold in sixers 6 sixers instead of overpriced bombers is a huge plus and oh did i forget that this beer tastes amazing

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking reddish orange color, white head, two fingers, a little lacing. Smell is kind of eh for a 2XIPA, a little citrus and pine, a little minty actually. Taste is a little more malt forward then expected, with a good bit of crystal malt flavor. Some piney notes, not too bitter really, really needs some more hop charecter. Clean finish, plan mouthfeel.

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Photo of thetomG
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice cloudy amber colored pour. Small ring of foam around the glass with some sticky lacing left behind. Aroma is malty caramel with some slight hop scents coming through as well.

Flavor is also super malty with caramel, hops, and a hint of citrus present... finish is a bit roasty.

Good interesting beer and definitely something I'll be drinking more of.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured this into a pint...

The beer is a reddish copper color with a 2 finger tan head. The beer shows tons of bubbles streaming up the sides of my glass-- it is effervescent and lively. The head has average retention and leaves behind thick spots of lacing as it settles.

Weird for me to be smelling chocolate-esque malts in a DIPA? I don't know... but I think I like it. The nose also gives off a roasted caramel and toasted bread note. The hops aren't as big as I was expecting... This is another in a long line of beers with "hop" in the name that aren't the giant hop-bomb I was hoping for.
So for a second, I'll pretend that this beer is called something else...
The finish is a little chalky with VERY mild bitterness. The taste shows off some sweetness and some earthy, floral, and spicy hop notes. The beer is smooth and easy to drink.

Halfway through the glass, I'll note that the lacing looks lovely-- like an intricate and delicate lace doily.

The smell and taste are not what I would expect from this beer... but perhaps this is a situation where I should let o of my affectations and expectations. The beer is unbelievably easy to drink: for the last 5 nights I have come downstairs with one of these, set on reviewing it... and for the last 5 nights I have finished the beer before I was done replying to my beer mail! Easy to drink doesn't do it justice!

This is an excellent daily drinker of a DIPA-- nice medium body is big enough to keep me satisfied while the flavor is bold and complex enough to keep me interested.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well this is the most recent batch of Hopsoulution, brewed about 3 weeks ago. Dubbed a German Double IPA. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I will review it as categorized on BA.

A: pours a deep, slightly hazy, burnt orange, brownish color, some light passes through, this is on the very dark side for IPAs I have tried. A bit of a tan head which hangs around, some spotty lacing.

S: the aroma is a full of earthy hops with notes of pine needles and caramel, along with a considerable booziness. The hops, while strong, don't give off a nice fresh aroma as I would expect in a freshly bottle DIPA. The hops don't seem to be very aromatic.

T: the front features some malt forward sweetness with a big dose of spiciness. The hops come in with a big bitter presence, but give way quickly to a somewhat harsh alcoholic finish. I'm not really impressed by the balance of this brew. There are definitely some nice flavors in there and a unique take on the style, but it doesn't all come together.

MF: medium body, medium to low carbonation, nice mouthfeel

D: This beer is not bad, but I must say I'm a bit disappointed. Hopslam is one of my favorite DIPA's, and I've heard ravings about the Oracle (haven't tried yet), but this one just doesn't seem to be a cut above like most of Bell's products. I wish I would have just found a single or two of this beer as it is a bit spendy at $14 per six given its quality

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Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy dark orange in color with a slight white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is caramel malt and mild dark fruit. Surprisingly, no appreciable hops.

Taste is bready, malty and sweet. Plenty of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit comes on strong with generous raisin and date. Earthy, woody, and nutty. Nice alcohol warmth. Finishes with a mild musty herbal/earthy English bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full and chewy.

Strange... a DIPA that tastes like an Old Ale. Hops take a backseat to the caramel malt and dark fruit sweetness. Very dry, woody and earthy. I'm not sure that it's tagged under the correct style, but I'm sure that it is tasty.

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Photo of crossovert
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch 9920.

It pours a hazed brownish orange/red. The head is frothy and white and leaves some nice lacing as it recedes.

The smell is bizzare. I have never smelled a DIPA this fruity. It smells like strawberry taffy. There is also a lot of candied orange peel. Very sweet, some candied lemon in there too.

Taste has some of the candied orange carry over along with some hoppy bitterness. This beer does not taste like an average dipa. The bitterness is there but not very persistent. There is a lot of alt here but it doesn't really overpower the hops, rather accenting them. It tastes like candied fruits. There is a bit of herbal pine that creeps in but it is overpowered by the fruity candy taste.

This is an interesting beer, I dk if I like it or hate it, it surely could be a polarizing DIPA if it was widely distributed and more people could try it.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a lightly hazy caramel amber color with some mahogany highlights. Produced a good frothy tan colored head with some good retention.

(S)- A good burst of pineapple and grapefruit citrus up front. A mellow dry pine wood behind that. The citrus really takes the forefront.

(T)- Wow, very different from the smell. A big piney resin blast on the front end. In the middle, it has a dry cotton-like citrus and bark consistency. Alot of wood flavors in this.

(M)- A good carbonation level to it. I like the citrus profile, but it is kinda an afterthought to the big dry, almost bitter wood notes.

(D)- A different take on the style. Far more woody and dry than typical, but the citrus does come though on the finish. Good stuff though, almost takes on a more amber ale character the more I have of it.

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Photo of antoines15
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

fresh bottle

A: dark orange-ish in color, lots of sediment in the bottle, very cloudy beer. one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: alcohol smell, hoppy, malty, nothing special, pretty standard stuff.

T: caramel malty with the bitterness. Bready, nothing special, kinda meh. Almost a belgian style taste to it.

M: medium-ish mouthfeel, not bad, but nothing special.

D: kinda boozy, wouldn't want more than a few and at the cost of $16 for a six pack, i think i would take a pass on this one. Glad I got to try it and I am going to do a side-by-side with Oracle tomorrow. (gotta love living in Illiana!)

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Photo of tapman
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

About the color of an amber ale, light to moderate orange, the head is relatively small head that disappears almost immediately. Appears unfiltered which is a plus. Did I mention the nice cake of sediment on the bottom of the bottle? Well, dig it.

Smells like Tangy Taffy candy, bubble gum, fruity medium-kilned malt, a little hot alcohol if you swirl the hell out of it. I love the bright aroma, though I miss the west-coast grass-like properties.

Beefy, fruity and earthy hops balance a lightly flavored malt blend. Flavor is not as big as the nose and tastes like it could have handled a lot more middle-addition of hops. Bitterness isn't big at all which does help to bring out the other flavors. A hint of some citrus as it warms. Glad I didn't hit that review button yet.

A little heavy, but fine for the style. Feels like 8.4% and that isn't too bad. Could have appreciated an even chewier texture for the taste to make this a sipper. As it is this one is going down too fast.

A good beer compared to what I've had. To me Founder's Double Trouble had more flavor and the Green Flash is just so great. Basically, I think this one could handle more hops to be honest. Still a fine offereing from Bell's. I hope to try a new vintage next year.

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Photo of bashiba
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep amber with a light but sticky white head.

The smell is light buscuity grain with a bit of green hops.

The flavor is very balanced for a Double IPA, nice big buscuity and caramel grain body with an equally large fresh hop finish. The hops are less of the typical West Coast Citrus style and more of a medicinal funky and earthy hops, maybe warrior or nugget.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily like a double IPA should be.

Easy to drink and tasty, could be a regular in fridge if not for the price and extreme rarity.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a rich burnt orange with almost no head and just enough haze to catch light. Even headless it's beautiful.

Smell -- What is going on here?? LOTS of distinct hop aromas: juicy fruit, apricot, tangerine and grapefruit, herb garden. As far as malt, it's hot biscuits with a big dab of honey.

Tate -- The hops are very eclectic: predominantly earthy and herbal, although pine, citrus and juicy fruits are there. Honeyed biscuits, melon, and plum come out in the malts. Alcohol is evident. Overall, balanced and eclectic. No hop bomb here, perhaps for the better.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, slick, with moderate prickly carbonation. A bit oily from the hops. Faint alcohol warmth.

Drinkability -- Probably wouldn't be my first choice, but it's certainly interesting. Worth a shot for sure.

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Photo of nkersten
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my 3 Floyds Imperial Pint glass. A vigorous pour gives a half inch off white head that quickly fades. Liquid is a hazy dark burnt orange. Not much going on in the smell. Some hops, but not overwhelming. Vinous fruits, bready malt and some toffee. Almost more like a blond barleywine then an IIPA. Taste at first is somewhat metallic, but by the second sip that is gone. Bitter hops, some caramel flavors, but lacking in the flavoring hops. Toffee and bread dough in the finish. Bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy body with light carbonation but still somewhat clean. Drinkability is good, but nothing special - there are many other IPAs and DIPAs that would would prefer. This beer is average at best, definitely not worth the $17/ 6pack price tag.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead..aka Eric. You always surprise me with these beers! Review from notes:

A- Pours a deep amber color. One and a half finger white head stays around for a short while before dying down to a ring on the beer. Light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma on this is interesting to say the least. A big malty body took me by surprise. Caramel and toffee unpfront. Some light darker fruits with a bitter hop presence in there. The earthy hops work well with balancing the malts.

T- Interesting once again. Big malts in the front of this. Tons of bready caramel malts take a light backseat to a light bitter hop bite before jumping back into all malts. Sweet alcohol on the backend of this.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big malts on the palate with some sweet alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors were a little muddled together. Some slight oxidation can be detected overall.

D- This beer drinks more like a strong amber ale more so than a DIPA. I am thinking this beer is a little past its prime. Starting to drink with more barleywine like qualities. If you have any I would suggest you drink it now.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Definately a malt-assertive Double IPA, HopSolution shows a lot of aggression on all fronts.

The beer pours a richer-than-expected dark copper, deep amber color and with an equally deep haze. A short-statured foamstance doesn't billow over but retains quite well with a persistent white foam. The beer laces well.

Strong malt aromas display deep caramelized barley malts, seemingly from toffee or molassas. A mix of malts and esters give the impression of dates, figs, and plumbs. Hop aromas are sharp and bitter with an earthy, pine, and an overall resiny scent.

Flavors also begin with a sweet and sticky malt base. Molassas flavor is met with bread crusts, stone fruits, and intense hop flavor. Pungent, sharp, and with an aggressive bite, the hops give quite a bitter bite to go along with flavor. Still, much more earthy, dirty, grassy, and hay-like rather than the bright citrus notes usually associated with Double IPA's.

HopSolution starts and remains fairly heavy and sticky for an IPA. When the alcohols and hop dryness comes into play, the malts still insist on keeping the beer balanced toward the malty side and keeping it from drying out the way that is expected. Along with the hop bite, the alcohols reveal themselves in a harsher almost-fusal way.

Certainly an easy drink for any hop-head. But HopSolution edges very close to Strong American ales such as Arrogant Bastard.

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Photo of corby112
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy golden amber orange color with a thick frothy yellowish beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves a good bit of soapy lacing on it's way down.

Citrus floral hop aroma with only subtle malt presence and hints of dank, resinous hop oils, grapefruit citrus peel and pine.

Nice chewy resinous mouthfeel with a bitter yet floral hop blast that lasts throughout lingering over the subtle malt backbone into a crisp sweet dry finish. Slightly creamy body with a lot of dry pine hop flavor as well as hints of sweet citrus peel. The sweetness and bitterness are really well balanced and they are countered nicely by a subtle malt backbone. Although the backbone provides a nice balance, it doesn't take away from the hoppy goodness, rather it makes this beer extremely quaffable. I wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of mwa423
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy amber with a half a finger of head. There is very little smell, which I would say is a flaw for style. The taste however is fantastic, malty and a citrusy hop bite on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability couldn't be better which is impressive for an 8.4% abv beer.

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Photo of degerbah
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an amber color with a finger of head. Almost no aroma at all which I thought was unusual for a DIPA. No hop smell whatsoever. The first taste has a hint of hops, but not nearly as much as I expected. I think that the hops may have faded as this was a trade bottle and I don't know how old it is. Still tastes well balanced and there is nowhere near the alcohol taste I would expect from something so strong. Dangerously drinkable, I would definitely like to try some that I knew was fresh to see if there was more hoppiness.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, copper color with a small, yet thick, off-white, long-lasting head. It left sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of warm grassy hops and burnt toast maltiness.

T - It had a great bitter hoppiness. There was a nice bubblegum flavor with some strong caramel flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium to full bodied ale.

D - This is great. I wish its distribution reached Missouri. I'd buy it often.

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Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sez it's brewed especially for the jerks who live in Illinois. Maybe this is why none of them seem to know how turn signals work; they're all jacked up hops.

Pours dark, variegated, lighter orange haze on the bottom and superdark toffee amber on top.

Smells of hops and of wood. Big, thick malt, firm alcohol burn, and the same basic hop profile as Hopslam (albeit much smaller).

Tastes like hopslam, only less hoppy and more directly alcoholic. Sweeter citrus hops start things off, moving into wooden syrupy malt, moving then into a nicely balanced middle of toffee and more englishy hops. I got no idea what's going on in this hop blend, honestly, but it's pretty good.

Not quite the *wow* beer I was expecting, but I've had a helluva lot of good beer lately. Still it's a nice way to end a long day.

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Photo of toolbrew
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish-copper color with a slight head. Good lacing down the glass.

Hop aromas like sweet sour apples..if that makes sense.

Bitter hop taste at first, quickly followed by a light malt sensation, then with a bitter hop finish. Well balanced.

Goes down smoothly with most of the sensation on the rear of the mouth. Slightly oily.

A good beer and a good substitute for Two Hearted...though I would prefer the Two Hearted. I have enjoyed my six-pack of this.

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Photo of mrquartetman
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden, with medium head that dissipates quickly

S: Hop over a good strong malt

T: Not overly hopped, despite the name. It has a good malt flavor behind the hop, and the balance is very good.

M: Not as dense as I would expect and not as persitently hoppy as the style would suggest, but decent.

D: A very refreshing, flavorful beer that might be a bit much to drink a lot of, given the higher abv.

Unfortunately, this is a "brewed once" beer that Bell's doesn't have even on its web site. It was once and gone.

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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 435 ratings.
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