O'Brien's IPA | Alpine Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sfoley333 on 01-10-2008

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 135
Photo of DefenCorps
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chris was kind enough to send me a handbottle which was tasty enough to make me get a whole growler. Thanks to doubleo on RB for the growler, which is why I'm re-reviewing.

A: Crystal clear amber with a finger thick off-white head that's incredibly frothy and appealing. Good carbonation, great head retention and plenty of lace. Awesome

S: Massive pine hops right out of the gate, this _smells_ resiny. It's like swimming in a pool of pine sap, pretty remarkable. Orange peel and more pine sap. Malt? None whatsoever. Pure hops and pretty remarkable

T: Oh my god! pine hops dominate the palate, opening with a smooth bitterness and an incredible amount of flavor. Pure pine and some citrus, incredibly well expressed. Citrus is along the lines of orange and lemon peel. Malt is non-existent, this beer finishes dry and resiny.

M: Light in body with an incredibly resiny mouthfeel from the hops, this is incredible. Carbonation is soft and works beautifully with rest of the beer. And the finish? To die for - long, resiny and mildly bitter

D: Thank god for snow days, this growler is going to be gone in no time. Probably the best IPA I've had.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Stone Bistro on 6/29. Review from notes.

a - bright golden amber color, one-inch white head with great retention and lacing, quite clear with only minimal suspended sediment

s - big citrus and tropical fruit dominated aroma, lots of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange, mango and some pineapple, really jumps out of the glass, lighter pine resin notes with an even lighter grainy malt aroma

t - like the aroma, the taste is dominated by citrus and tropical fruits, lots of fresh grapefruit and lemon with lighter mango and pineapple flavors, the pine is more pronounced on the palate than in the aroma with heavy doses of hop oil attacking the palate, there is a light maltiness underneath the hops that give it just enough backbone, alcohol is not very noticeable at all

m - medium-bodied with slightly higher than moderate carbonation, very dry, crisp finish, light alcohol warming

d - incredibly drinkable stuff, the hops are intense but they don't wear out the palate as fast as many IPAs, alcohol is dangerously hidden, flavors are so fresh and intense that you want to keep drinking

I've been wanting to try this one for awhile now, and it just so happens that I got to have it at Stone instead of O'Brien's. This is one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever tried, and it reminds me a lot of Blind Pig and RR IPA, two of my long-standing favorites. It would be great to see Alpine put this in bottles at some point. I don't know that anyone other than RR can compete with Alpine when it comes to IPAs.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ ... O'Brien's!

Awesome. Right up there with most of the Russian River IPA's and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid in the genre of refreshing, hoppy but not over the top West Coast IPA's.

Tremendous body, aroma, taste, everything. Very little to complain about, might be a bit more punchy but the overall effect is ridiculous in terms of hop flavor, aroma and refreshment.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler picked up 4 days ago.

A- Burnt orange/red, very clear, with a slightly off white fluffy head that builds up. Spot on for my favorite color for an IPA.

S- Smell is mostly citrusy hops with a malt sweetness. A really fresh smell to it, as expected being from a tap at the brewery.

T- starts sweet real quickly and then fades into a moderately bitter citrus, slightly berry-ish finish. The delayed aftertaste is very interesting- it's like citrus, but caramel combining with it to make something juicy sweet. It's nice.

M/D- not only is this IPA easy to drink, it packs a nice punch. Light body yet still really hoppy. There's just nothing like a good West Coast IPA (which most east coast breweries unfortunately just can't grasp).

Easily one of my favorite IPA's- but no surprise b/c Alpine knows what it takes to make a good one. Similar hop qualities in this to Pure Hoppiness but lighter and more of a malt sweetness ot it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a wonderful, wonderful IPA. I was really blown away by how good this one really was. A huge thanks goes out to my kind friend for finally getting me this one, I had waiting what seemed like a lifetime to land it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was enjoyed on Memorial Day 5/31/2010.

Big pour, nice light orange amber in color with great clarity that really let me see tons of carbonation bubbles streaming in from the top of the glass. Rich lacing coming down the sides and a huge, three finger deep head of white foam capped it all off wonderfully. I really could have asked for this one to look any better then it did.

Aroma is pungent orange, rich and sweet notes mixed in as well, but a huge and amazingly fresh aroma of citrus coming off of this one. Lemon zest, touches of tropical fruits and a really just superior smell that lighten up the entire room. Letting it warm really brought out the best in it as each sip seemed to be absolutely sparkling flavor and a huge, rich profile that did not disappoint. As I take each sip I am reminded of just how good a good IPA can be. Simply remarkable balance and a soft, yet very well structured flavor. Orange, tropical fruit, mangoes, grapefruit and touches of light buttery notes all collide to really put on quite a nice show I have to admit. Amazing drinkability as I would be able to put down this entire growler without batting an eye.

Overall one of the best I have ever had. Lives up to every ounce of its reputation. I would love to have it on tap all day every day. Just a stunningly good example of the style.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at O'Brien's Pub 14th Anniversary Barrel-Aged beer night 1/15.
A- Pours a clear strong orange hue, thin layer of white head sustains, creamy lacing on the glass
S- Pure hops up front, mostly grassy with a touch of pine, crisp and fresh with a touch of malt in the background
T- Initial taste is delicious, grassy hops with a very 'green' and fresh taste, citrus and pine peek thought with a touch of chalk, delicious!
M- Medium-bodied, oily texture coats the tongue, mild carbonation
D- My second experience with this absolutely stellar single IPA, i love the hop profile and balance, very drinkable with low alcohol presence, I have heard this is a Blind Pig clone which I would love to evaluate in the future, here's to hoping this proliferates and perhaps gets bottled!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this from Alpine in mid August 2009, finally sitting down to review from my notes. Pours a beautiful orange-apricot color with a white head and a nose that overwhelms the nostrils with citrus and tropical fruits. While the taste isn't over-the-top hoppy, they're just right and showcase the tropical flavors of the nose. The mouthfeel is just about right, and the smell/flavor combo lead to unparalleled drinkability--one of the best IPA's I had on a long trip.

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Photo of nickd717
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler shared thanks to Arbitrator.

Awesome appearance. Brilliant mostly clear copper color with a lasting two-finger white head and great lacing.

Huge citrusy, piney, and resinous hope aroma with sweet malt and fresh cereal grains.

Sweet pale malt base, a little sweeter than most Alpine IPAs in a good way. Really tastes like wort in a way, and I like it. Also huge ripe grapefruit flesh and peel, resins, and pine needles.

Brutal resins attack your palate despite the fact that the body is only medium. Dry and bitter.

Really really awesome overall. Not surprising.

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Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Bright amber in color with absolutely brilliant clarity. Pours with a tall eggshell-colored head that leaves sheets of lace behind as it (quickly) disappears from my glass. Awesome.

Smell: Huge resin and pine hop aroma right off the bat, signature Alpine. More attentive inhaling reveals hints of lemon peel, mint and faint tropical fruit. Malt aromas are pretty much absent. The aroma on this stuff is intoxicating.

Taste & mouthfeel: Grapefruit, pine needles and tobacco up front. I have no idea how these guys pack so much hop flavor into their beers while still maintaining perfect balance. A dry, somewhat crackery malt foundation supports the hops beautifully, while lending no perceptible sweetness; this beer is all about the incredible hop flavor. Resiny bitterness comes through strong in the finish, without ever overwhelming the hop flavor. This is a near perfect IPA, I'd be hard pressed to fault it.

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Photo of Dijeriduster
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at O'Briens at the tail end of SDBW. Stunning from the cask.

A - Very hazy from the cask with a slight amber tint to the golden wonder. Good head from the cask, though a little foamy vs. thick and creamy.

S - HOPPY. Especially on cask the floral and citrus notes come thru strong. Doesn't smell sweet like Alpine's other IPA's (Nelson, Duet Pure Hop)

T - Devine. I look for a little more bitterness in an IPA and this delivers like the other Alpine IPA's don't. Strong bitter Cascade? hops come thru first followed by a well rounded floral and citrus finish.

M - I don't know if I would even bother getting this on tap vs the cask. Mouthfeel was superb - just enough carbonation to support the hops and malt without deadning the senses. Def a gem on the O'Brien's beer engine.

D - High. Think of a hoppier Sierra Nevada Pale. Great after a long day of work, remaining very refreshing vs some maltier IPA's.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled growler into a glass. Thanks, Brian.

A: Pours a clear, golden amber color in the glass. It's well carbonated despite over a week in the growler (plus shipping); I guess the waxing + refrigeration made it hold up. Great retention, leaving sticky lace down the sides of the glass.

S: Citrus: lemon zest, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, pineapple. A grainy malt presence with a touch of pine following last.

T: I love the citrus here. It's not quite as tropical as, say, Sculpin (one of my Gold Standard IPAs), but it has a bright presence that is hard to beat. It helps that it's deliciously fresh. Lemon zest stands out most, followed by grapefruit, orange, a touch of pineapple and tangerine. Malt presence is quite light; it's somewhat grainy, but it only lends some heft to the beer without imparting a lot of sweetness or identifiable flavor.

M: Light-medium bodied. It is well-attenuated, showcasing the hops while having j-u-s-t enough malt heft. I like my IPAs dry, so this really nails it. A clean flavor without much lingering bitterness.

D: I wasn't in the best of health when I received this, so I had to wait on it. I wasn't in the best of health when I finally opened this, either; but I think I could have put the full growler down myself. Maybe someday I will. I should have Alpine adopt me.

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Photo of rand
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler to pint

A: O'Brien's IPA pours a surprisingly deep copper in color, perfectly clear, and forms a fluffy, cavernous head. Patches of lacing are left all over the pint glass.

S: Wet floral hops jump to the front of the bouquet - grapefruit-citrus-y with a touch of buttery tropical tones, but this is a lot more subtle than Alpine's typical IPA hop profile. The malt and yeast aspects are more dry and cracker-like than bready (again, in comparison to Alpine's big IPA's), which blend nicely with the relatively subdued hop notes.

T: The flavor profile unravels all at once, with fresh, lightly bitter hops bouncing off honey-sweet malts. There's the characteristically Alpine tropical note that, although doesn't dominate the palate, become the profile's most distinctive feature. Some resinous dryness carries towards the finish, pushing back the honey-sweet malt-backbone. This back-and-forth carries to a balanced and clean finish.

M: Medium bodied, but the depth and breadth of flavors makes the beer feel heavier than it is. Nice scrubbing carbonation keeps the palate clean between sips.

Probably the most sessionable IPA I've come across - 6.2% is pushing it, but this is basically a pale ale with IPA flavor. I can't think of an IPA in a 6-pack that even comes close to this.

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Photo of GJ40
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Golden with good clarity and a small white head.

S - Very nice floral and citrusy aromas.

T - Loads of floral and citrusy hop flavor with very little bitterness. Some toasted malt to help support the hops. This is exactly the taste I associate with San Diego.

M - A slick and smooth consistency that helps to coat your mouth with flavor. A nice low carbonation.

D - This is a refreshing and enjoyable IPA. It would be a great every day beer.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine. Tulip glass.

A: Light golden, clear, with about a finger of snow white foam. Leaves behind good lacing, very good retention.

S: Gorgeous pine with a nice citrus backbone. The piney-ness smells delicious, but is not overpowering.

T: Mostly pine with some grapefruit and biscuity malt, lemon mixed in. Long, smooth bitter finish.

M: Medium body with crisp, medium-high carbonation.

O: Another winner from Alpine, O'Brien's IPA is an excellent tribute to my favorite bar. I could drink loads of this.

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Photo of m1ked
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler at the source for a camping trip.

A- Crystal clear coppery-orange. Poured aggressively which rewarded me with a beautiful cascade of tiny bubbles. Retained a 1" white foamy head, that shrinks down to a thin layer with plenty of lacing.

S- Sweet piney tangerines, grapefruit zest and a little grassy. Delicious.

T- Sweet maltiness hint that quickly gives way to the smooth pine-tangerine flavor. A sweet bitter lingering flavor.

M- Smooth, almost creamy. Medium bodied, coats my tongue.

D- This brew is so easy to drink, and delicious. It is not overly hoppy (to me)and the etoh is well hidden, and a great balance. Easily sessionable.

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

Poured from a 64oz growler into multiple pints. Thanks to HeatherAnn, Jay, Wil, and Chris for the assist. Extra special thanks to errantnight for this latest installment in our never ending trade!

A: Pours a bright orange with just the slightest bit of haze. A monster four finger head of light orange meringue settled on top of our glasses and left a gorgeous and sticky mess down the inside. Carbonation was ample.

S: Very sticky citrus aromas here. Orange, tangerine, and a bit of lemon rind. While it warmed some tropical fruit aromas crept out and displaced the citrus just a bit.

T: Just like above with some pine flavors emerging as it warmed. A glorious layering of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine.

M: Some sweet fruit and malt kept in check by some textbook west coast bitterness. Just oily and sticky enough but in no way a palate wrecker.

O: Remarkably easy to crush due, no doubt, to how well balanced this was. This had all the right aromas and flavors coupled with just the right amount of heft.

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

Growler graciously provided by mnbearsfan. Thanks Matt!

Poured into my New Belgium snifter. Initial pour yields a finger of off white head which recedes quickly leaving a small ring around the outside of the glass. The beer is a crystal clear, deep amber color. Looks great! A column of bubbles flows steadily upward from the middle of the glass making a small, round, mound of foam in the center of the beer. My last growler of Hoppy Birthday did this also. The nose is citrus rind and pale malt. Taste follows with waves of bitter grapefruit and orange rind. There is just enough malt to back up the hops, but bitterness is the star of the show here. The finish is dry and bitter. Mouhfeel is light with a fairly high level of carbonation. ABV is completely hidden, adding to the very enjoyable drinkability of this beer. Alpine knocks it out of the park again with this one! An incredible take on the classic west coast IPA. Recommended.

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

Pours a crystal clear, deep golden color with a rapidly dissipating off-white head that gets perpetually fed by carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Sweet grapefruit nose is so inviting. Full body that enters the mouth so smoothly you'd think it was nitrogen. Lovely citrus through and through without overpowering. This IPA has nice balance.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is orange with a 3 finger head. The head lingers for a very, very long time, and the lacing is beautiful. The aroma is very crisp. Orange pith, pineapple, and tons of grapefruit with some floral notes and pine resin. Flavor is very citrusy, that citrus being mainly grapefruit. No alcohol is noticeable in the flavor. Very little sweetness. Very dry. The finish is citrus bitterness and lingers for an extended period of time. Light bodied with good carbonation. The drinkability is insane on this one.

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Photo of mikey711
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Smokepot23 for the growler of this treat!

A: Nice transparent firey oranges with pleanty of carbonation rushing from the bottom of the glass. The head pours about an inch and a half thick of fluffy white goodness and leaves very nice gobs of lace as is fades.

S: The first whiff provided an array of tropical fruit notes like mango, peach, pineapple. The second whiff was more piney and sticky smelling with some floral notes and bitter grapefruit in the background. Very much

T: Sticky resinous pine and bitter grapefruit are the most prominent flavors with hints of citrus coming through in the end. It also has a nice clear herbal finish.

M: Light and refreshing with a good lingering bitter note. It be a little bit smoother

D: This is a great day time/ all day drinking beer. Overall I am very happy to have had the opportunity to try this treat from Alpine

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Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler obtained in a trade with MrHirschybar, shared at a local tasting with some other gentlemen and one gentlelady.

Beer served in a Bruery tulip, no Alpine glass for Matt. Beer is amber, light amber with a nice great head, the growler was filled to the tippy top, awesome overall. Very awesome.

Aroma is hoppy, excellent, earthy, mildly piny, fruity hops. No malt sneaking through.

Beer is medium to light in body, very bitter finish but it is not too dry on the back. The forward is a nice mixture of hop flavors and components, mild sulfury CTZ chewiness with some great tropical and citrus flavors. A very good IPA and a very good beer. Have it again? Yes please.

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Photo of Lunch
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz. growler shared by Dr. Abmuh, thanks!

Poured into a Jest King snifter as I, like Matt, do not have an Alpine glass...damned embarrassing. Great carbonation, head formation and retention. The goddamn growler has treated this bitch well. Looks pretty clear and light orange.

Smell is all hops as there is no balance in this one. Really nice aroma that is loaded with citrus and perhaps a hint of pine. Taste is pretty much the same with perhaps a few floral notes.

mouthfeel is certainly good, but perhaps a little bit thin even for an IPA.

Really a nice beer and glad that I got to try it. Another great beer from Alpine.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at, wait for it... O'Brien's. Pours clear gold with a short, off-white head. Crisp aroma of grapefruit, pine, pepper, and perfume. Creamy, yet light mouthfeel. Hops and resin up front, but not overwhelming. More of a pink grapefruit sweetness in terms of citrus mixed well with the biscuit maltiness. Bitter and clean finish. Loved it.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a crystal clear copper color with a nice white head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some nice spotty lacing.

S- I'm not picking up really any malts here. Completely domintaed by hops. The first thing I noticed was a herbal smell that was marijuana like. Quite a bit of citrus, grapefruit and orange.

T- Hop dominanted for sure with just a bit malt sweetness. A very tasty brew for sure. Quite a bit of tropical fruits.

M- Thinner side of medium in body and a good amount of carbonation.

O- A very awesome brew for sure. Really glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer is light orange / amber hued, with a half inch of white head that leaves decent lacing on the glass. The aroma consists primarily of wonderfully fresh citrus and hops. This is one helluva tasty beverage. Wow. Another success from Alpine. The beer is hop forward, with virtually no malt presence, which is perfect. The body is a tad on the thin side, but that just makes it easier to guzzle. This IPA is teeming with flavor, and goes down as easy as...well, you get the idea. I preferred the Hoppy Birthday to this, but O'Brien's IPA is an awesome beer nonetheless. I would love to have this again.

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O'Brien's IPA from Alpine Beer Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
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