B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale | O'Fallon Brewery

very good
23 Reviews
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B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark AleB.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale

Brewed by:
O'Fallon Brewery
Missouri, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by homebrewhawk on 02-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 64
Photo of peabody
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a very cloudy dark brown to black with very little off-white small suds that stay with the pour for the length of the drink. Lacing here for sure.
The aroma is raisin and date and sugar malts. The alcohol is pretty evident here. The belgian yeast is here also but the whole thing smells like sour raisins.
Taste is pretty good for a 10%er. You have the belgian spices and the oatmeal and raisin but the alcohol really puts this beer in the "hot" range. Still not so overbearing as to be bad.
Mouthfeel is sticky and the flavor retention is very nice here.
Overall I think this is a very good beer from a so-so brewer.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair take on a Belgian dark ale aged in Port barrels, hefty vinous raisins overpower the experience.

Presentation: 22 oz brown wax capped bottle. Glossy label with a barrel background, brewery brained, and burnt typography with name of brew. Back offers a small narrative with intent, brew details. and bottling date of June 2011. Shows 10% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep amber brown pour with a brief head that fades in an instant leaving almost no memory or lacing.

S - Malty-raisiny, sweet vinous touch with a sugary sense…

T - Which ride furiously over the palate. Strong sense of dark fruits blended with that port barrel, raisins, figs, raisins, and some more dark raisins, small sense of a Belgian sugary edge with a minimal yeastiness, hint of sour corners under the long sweetness, which buries in a remote distance notes of wood.

M - Medium/-full body with minimal carbonation. Maybe feeling studier given the intensity of flavor. Sticky and quite cloying as it finishes.

O - Slow sipper, one needs to like this intense dark fruitiness and barrel to really enjoy it.

Notes: Glad to try it but raisins are not my thing, at least not in this quantity, and the way this port was shining it screamed vinous raisins throughout. Enticing for the first small snifter, too much for a second one...

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Photo of fvernon
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottled in June of 2011 into a Goose Island belgian glass. It poured a clean mahogany with almost no head or lacing; just a thin metallic edging around the glass.

The aroma is of prunes and sour cherries that have been smashed to pulp and soaked in port wine and belgian ale; some hints of oak, caramel, and toast linger in the background, but the aroma of fortified-wine-soaked fruit is pretty dominating. It's inviting, but maybe a bit unidimensional.

The taste is immediately sour cherry, port wine, and a somewhat mild belgian dark ale. I fear it is a bit overpowered by the aging process as compared to, say, a quad may be - but it still makes it through with a nice belgian character. Fruity, a bit yeasty, and with some zest that tries to balance out the heavy sweetness of the port barrels. As it warms up the port calms down a bit, but I feel as though it is a consistent fight for dominance as opposed to a smooth collaboration of flavors here.

The mouthfeel is quite nice - not too thick or thin, with the sweetness sticking around by not cloyingly.

I'm very glad to have tried it - I can certainly see port barrel aging as a good idea, so long as they are decently high-end barrels and the beer already strong enough in depth and complexity to withstand the onslaught of an already-overbearing partner. The B.D.S. gives it a good shot, and I'm enjoying it, but I'm also sitting here wondering how one could use port barrels in a way that brings balance as opposed to conflict in a glass.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

Pours a hazy orange brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, raisins, and caramel covered green apples. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased many moons ago at Armanetti's. Served in a random glass at Edward's 80s party.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, partial cap, and minimal lace. Dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - Bready malts, brown sugar, port, oak, candi sugar, red fruits, plums and raisins - quite sweet but with a sharp vinous note.

T - Taste is quite similar, with lots of red fruits, sweet port, caramel, red licorice, and candi sugar. Belgian yeast character is quite restrained in relation to the malt, or it's been obliterated by port - there's just the faintest bit of yeasty bread to keep things from getting cloying.

M - Medium-bodied with active carbonation. Fairly crisp and dry, and lightly tannic in the finish. I don't get much alcohol heat

D - This is really easy to drink considering the ABV, although it gets a tad too sweet after a while. I could have stood for a tad more Belgian yeast character, but this is a nice port-barrel strong ale in any case.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed 7/10 and bottled 6/11

A-Pours out an uber murky,maroonish brown with an extremely slight,light tan collar of foam that died quickly leaving scant spots of lacing.

S-Sweet cherry,booze,Belgian spice,wood and dried fruit(currant,raisin)

T-Very vinous.Obvious port-like notes of ripe red grape,baked red apple,dried dark fruit and booze that finishes with a slight earhty hop/dry spice note of cardamom/clove.

M-Dry and tannic with fleeting sweetness and a chewy texture.

O-Not a bad effort here from O'Fallon

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Photo of brentk56
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opens silently, though it does pour out a bit of foam that quickly fades to a ringlet; the color of the liquid is coffee brown; while there is not much head to speak of, it does leave a surprising amount of dots on the chalice

Smell: The alcohol is prominent on the nose, but underneath the booze burn there is a vinous blend of fortified grape, blackberry and oak

Taste: Fruity and tart, up front, with fortified grapes, blackberries and sour cherry flavors; by mid-palate, some chocolate adds depth, though the tartness builds; nicely balanced into the finish, with some oak and vanilla flavors lingering into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Certainly the best beer I have tasted from O'Fallon though not the best example of a wine barrel aged beer I have sampled; a bit one-dimensional as the BSDA elements fail to come through in a meaningful way

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours an almost purple tinted brown if that's possible. Very little head with the looks of some carbonation, but the head dissipates very quickly.

S - Candied sugar plums soaked in port. Has a scent that is slightly off though, and can't quite put my finger on it. Little band-aidish. Sometimes the smell is inviting, other times I'm put off. All in all, the smell is interesting to me.

T - Taste is of cherries, dark fruit, some raisin, with that port barrel aging making a lovely sweetness throughout the taste. The port is very prevalent as this is quite fresh and my favorite part of this. The oak is detectable in the backend, adding some vanilla like notes. While the smell perplexed me, the taste I can say for sure was good, and good throughout.

M - Mouthfeel is a little still and not much carbonation which I expected a little from the looks of the beer. But otherwise, the port makes this beer quite smooth and drinkable, coating the mouth in flavor. Slightly medium mouthfeel, but does a good job of not weighing heavy especially for a beer aged in port.

O - This beer's biggest enemy is cold, it got best as it was closest to room temperature. Once there, it become very good. A nice drinkable beer full of dark coating flavors, but not weighing heavy on the mouth or stomach. Would also be great to pair with food. Definitely an American edge to a Belgian style, but quite good.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a thin ring of light tan head. Oily lacing.

The nose is filled with figs, plums, sherry, port, and a light green apple aroma.

the flavors consist of bready malts, sour apple, oak tannins, figs amongst other dark fruits. Port characteristics shine throughout each sip.

The mouthfeel is medium-thick with a light carbonation level. Silky.

Overall, pretty unique and tasty to boot. The port really makes this one special.

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Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy mahogany with a sliver tan head.
Some lacing & head retention

S: Bourbon notes, plums, faint boozeyness

T: Dark fruit, figs, raisins, prunes & a touch faint boozeness plus woodyness up front. Port barrel aging is coming through in spades as this warms, hints of Christmas pudding in this one, plus some jammy notes as well. Finishes with much dark fruittyness, dark chocolate & port notes & just a bit of leafy hops & a kiss of boozeyness, pretty darn dry

MF: Fairly chewy, low carbonation

Easily THE BEST beer from these guys period. I really enjoyed this one, drinks so easy for the ABV

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

A BSD plus a port barrel sounds like a good combination to me... This stuff pours a dark black-garnet topped by a finger of sweet khaki foam. The nose comprises black grapes, brown sugar, light maple syrup, light molasses, very light oak, dark fruits, and clove. The taste brings in more of the same, though some actual tawny port flavors come into play here as well. In addition, some vanilla bean and light cocoa find their ways in, too. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mildly grainy feel. Overall, a very nice beer, one that deftly explores the interplay between port and BSD, and one that somehow gets systematically overlooked 'round these parts.

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Photo of claspada
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a super hazy, murky, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam that immediately dissipates. When I swirl in attempt to agitate some foam, I get a little more, that leaves minimal lacing.

Where the appearance drops the ball, the aromas more than make up for it. Initially all I get is crazy amounts of oak and alcohol. After it opens up (literally only a couple minutes) the unpleasant booziness vanishes and I get really pleasant dark fruitiness, delicious sweet/vinous port and amazing dark caramelized malts. No way you would know that this is a Belgian ale (no yeast esters or phenols).

The tastes, however, do have some Belgian characteristics to blend harmoniously with the superbly balanced barrel aging. First you get the sweet port and vinous dry red wine flavors, then the Belgian beer base shows itself, transitioning into the light Belgian spice/clove. There is an emerging apple and more dark fruits (raisins/prunes) as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lower than normal amount of carbonation, but I attribute that to the barrel aging. Dry, vinous, slightly yeasty finish; equally vinous and Belgian.

Overall this beer was a great treat. Very unique and nothing like I have ever had to date. I have recently become adverse of Belgian ales because of the overly phenolic and estery nature of poorly made American examples, but I love wine Barrel aged beers so I had to seek this one out and I am quite glad I did. The Belgian presence is subtle enough that it add to the complexity of the flavor profile without overshadowing the delicious port barrel flavors. Flavors emerge more and more as it warms so make sure you don't drink this too cold. Well worth seeking out as it is a very unique and delicious brew.

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Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a murky, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. The long lasting head receded to leave patchy lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled of port, oak and chocolate notes. It smelled really good. I couldn't stop taking it in.

T - It tasted roasty with burnt molasses and some fruitiness. There were nice port and oak notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. It had a medium body with a warm alcohol presence.

O - This is a really good Belgian-style ale. I really like the port barrel aging. I knew these types of beers were coming from O'Fallon and I'm glad it did.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice tawny, brune color. Average sized, creamy, smooth, slightly sticky off-white head. Average retention leaving a nice sticky layer of lace.

S - Sweet and tart dark fruit, including raisins, figs, dates, and plums. Vanilla and a strong port aroma. Sweet plum and berry jam aroma on the finish. Very reminiscent of jam/preserves along with a nice port kick. I'm really digging the nose.

T - Similar to the nose but with more port and oaky flavor and slightly more tart. Dark fruit dominates with raisin and date being the strongest. Vanilla is definitely present along with a sweet brown sugar flavor. Some sweet plum and berry. Finishes with a tart dark fruit/port. Pretty sweet overall.

M - Medium body. Average carbonation. Sticky, nearing cloying, and fairly chewy.

D - Sweet and borderline cloying. Flavors meld together well and make this a nice sipper overall. Alcohol is very well hidden despite the fact that the port flavors are very strong. Fairly drinkable as a sweet beer to sip.

Notes: Overall it's a nice dessert/nightcap beer. The combo of port barrels and a BSDA is great as both flavors compliment each other nicely. It gets a touch on the cloying side, but other than that I really don't have any complaints. Solid beer that I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of Listers
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown with almost no head into a New Belgium globe. Smell has a lot barrel smell along with red grapes or raisin smell. A little smoke in the smell along with dark fruits and cinnamon. Taste doesn't have a sharp bite and is surprisingly smooth. Mild carbonation and fair booziness. Taste is not as complex as the nose but still taste like a standard good dark belgian with a little bit of barrel behind it. Overall this is a solid beer but a bit underwhelming for the price.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First! Wax dipped 22oz. bottle. Wax was a mother! Poured a cloudy dark reddish brown with a quickly dissipating thin white head. There is a lot going on in the aroma. The port jumps right out at you along with dark fruit and oak. Not a lot of carbonation, fuller side of medium bodied. More port and oak in the flavor along with some caramel sweetness. Not a lot of Belgian yeast flavor. Bit of heat in the finish. Long oaky finish. Bottle conditioned. Good complexity of flavor. I like port, so this worked for me.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present, although the label does mention it being bottled sometime in June 2011. Either way, the local store still has bottles of this so I thought it was about time to try it out. My first big bottle from O'Fallon Brewery, "ale aged in port barrels". I have no idea what to expect.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a murky muddy caramel brown colored body with a slight conjuration of some tan bubbles that thins to a bubbly ring. Some okay lacing, but none seems to stick. Either way, it looks very nice and appealing.

S - The aroma is very lovely and has a lot going on - earthy and woodsy, caramel, oak wood, vanilla, caramelized / candied raisins. The smell is akin to a beautiful bourbon barrel aged stout at times. Very nice.

T - Tart on the initial sip from the port barrel aging, which was slightly unexpected based on the aroma. Very dry / tannic, with a very prominent red grapes / red wine warmth and flavor. Extremely wine-like at times, with notes of chocolate, burnt caramel, and a woodsy sort of roastiness / bitterness on the finish. I am actually really enjoying this.

M - The feel is smooth and creamy. Dry and port-like on the finish. Lightly bitter, fruity, and tart. Good carbonation still hanging in there, considering this beer is getting up there with age.

Overall, an excellent and fairly complex beer from O'Fallon that has held up nicely. Probably one of the best wine barrel aged beers I've had yet, and definitely the best effort I've had from O'Fallon so far. I would definitely be interested in grabbing another bottle of this to hold down further. Highly recommended if it is still available to you.

O'Fallon B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale ---4/5.

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Photo of 44Stone
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12oz. Tulip. Very little head with a very dark mahogany color.

Smells of Raisins, Figs, Oak and Port Wine.

Tastes of, well, PORT WINE. Very intense and exactly what was expected since they label it a Port Wine aged Ale. Booze is apparent but not overwhelming. The follow through is sharp and smoky with a yeasty, creamy, spicy finish.

A very nice Ale from the people at O'Fallon. Somebody's doing something right over there. Here's to more like this one.

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Photo of DCon
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 1 pint 6 fluid oz bottle of this from Lukas Liquor in Ellisville, MO for $11.99. Poured from the Maroon Waxed bottle w/ a Wood Barrel Label w/ Silver/Black writing into a 16oz Pint Glass. Has "brewed in July, 2010" & June, 2010 bottled on the back label.

Aroma- A very nice caramel aroma is dominant with a red wine note (definitely from the port barrels). Aroma was very complexed as well with richness and strength. Tons of malt come around at the finish.

Appearance- Pours a 2 finger head that is creamy and has great good retention. The body color is the darkest amber/copper tone with no clarity. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- Has a caramel flavor from the beginning of the drink til a sweet, easy going booziness comes around. Has a ton of dark wine in the background and a light smokiness. Aged and finishes with a medium bitterness level.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, pomegranate and berries finish on the palate. Very sweet and intense with a noticeable alcohol character.

Overall Impression- My favorite brew from O'Fallon so far! A great amount of port barrel flavor and fruit is included in both the flavor and mouthfeel. Every minute of this one was interesting and one of the best from Dave! Enjoy the Wheach during the Summer, this one during the Winter. Awesome!

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Photo of jdprmd
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in oversized snifter

Appearance, label says it all “ Belgian style Dark Ale, very little head that also disappears quickly.

Smell of the port wine really comes through with raison and other dark fruit notes, caramel, and roasty wood notes from barrel aging … the smell is truly amazing and complex.

Taste is sweet, dark grapes, after taste is even darker with caramel and light chocolate notes coming through. There seem to be lots of undertone flavors that add to this that are hard to pick out, dark cherry is one of them, this is my first port aged beer and I am really enjoying it.

Mouthfeel: rich, a melody of notes coming through which adds to the drinkability of the beer

Overall great and enjoyable, age would treat it nicely, tasty to the last drop and gets better as it warms up! I am glad that O’Fallon has stepped it up to this level of complexity in a beer as I am from Missouri. I look forward to more beers like this from them and hope to hear news of it soon!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a dense opaque brown body with a bubbly head that soon disappears and a gentle carbonation.

S- The raisin aroma takes on a rich port aroma with some wet oak and dark cola notes to it. There is a nice vinous finish that has almost a bourbon quality to it.

T- The blends of dry malt and faint roasted malt hint with the dry vinous dark port really work together. There is some nice big red wine notes with some grape seed bitterness in the finish with a nice alcohol taste. The rich flavor lingers for a moment after the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle carbonation and a well hidden alcohol warmth.

O- This beer has lots of big great character that blends and compliments very well for such big flavors. The port character and malt sweetness don’t get overly sweet and the nice big alcohol in the finish helps to cut the big flavors and makes it a delicious sipper.

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Photo of cardern
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was really great. I have enjoyed bourbon-aged beers in the past, and BDS was no exception. The bourbon definitely came through: it was very boozy, with a hint of chocolate. It poured with a moderate head and a very dark color. The wax seal was a pain, really thick.

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Photo of jrcmlc
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap and in the 22oz bomber bottle at Piasa Winery in Grafton, IL.

A - Poured out a murky, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. The long lasting head receded to leave patchy lacing on the glass.

S: Smells like Port, with a hint of chocoalte and maybe tobacco? As other reviewers say, it's really wonderful to just smell it.

T: Definately has port attributes, has some woody flavor with some fruit and the finish is very belgian.

M: Smooth, glassy, little bit on the end to let you know it has some ABV to it.

O: I'm not much of a "sour" guy, but I guess this qualifies, although it's not along the lines of a consecration from RR, it definately has the Port in it. Woody, Great smell, great mouthfeel, with a real belgian finish. Awesome!

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B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale from O'Fallon Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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