Imperial Stout Trooper | New England Brewing Co.

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Imperial Stout TrooperImperial Stout Trooper

Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2006 - 12oz bottle
2007 - not released
2008 - 12oz bottle
2009 - 750mL bottle
2010 - 750mL bottle and Groucho glasses label change
2011 - bottle date added to label
2012 - 500mL bottle
2013 - 500mL bottle labeled 12/2013
2014 - 500mL bottle
2015 - 12oz can

Added by goodbyeohio on 12-29-2006

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Reviews: 496 | Ratings: 1,273
Photo of AleWatcher
1.38/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2009 vintage -- the cool label.
reviewed from notes.

Sadly, the cool label is about the best thing this beer has going for it.
Pours like a thin brown body with red and yellow(?!) hues in the legs. Looks like a strange cola more than an RIS. Doesn't look appealing. No lacing, no head.
nose is pretty weak... like earthy tobacco and some chocolate malt. Just barely, at that.

(at this point I relate an anecdote of a waiter at a thai restaurant giving me a porno dvd. I cannot insert the story here as it is highly inappropriate... so BM me for the story!)

This beer is a lot like that DVD-- perhaps I'm better for the experience, but it isn't something I want again!

The feel is really thin and water, and WAAAAY overcarbonated.
The tobacco flavors really start to come through as this warms up... blech. Some bitter cocoa notes on the finish are actually unpleasant and harsh. Brutal.
Just not good... Very sad about this beer.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
2.1/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 Groucho Bottle

A: Pours extremely dark and thick with a decent head, and some lacing as well

S: This is was one of the worst smelling stouts I have ever come across. It had way too much dirty ashtray, smoke, and some tobacco.

T: Sometimes after the aroma you can be put off and then be pleasantly surprised by the taste, but this did not deliver. It tasted of extremely bitter dark chocolate, tobacco, ash, and astringent roast coffee.

M: I was impressed with the mouthfeel though, it an extremely rich, thick, consistency to it, and also some light carbonation.

O: Overall, I would say they over did it on the roast barley, carafa III, and black patent. It just was undrinkable. I had to pour out my glass, this was like kissing a chain smoker! I dont know what they were thinking while tasting this, but who knows maybe there was too much of roasted barley added in the mash. I am usually generous with my ratings but with this one I couldnt do it. Maybe this was just a bad batch because I know I am in the dissenter position.

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Photo of jeonseh
2.49/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2010 bottle poured into a snifter

A - Dark brown with small mocha colored head

S- The smell is off as I keep getting pennies that overpower light coffee and slight dark fruit

T - Roasted coffee, slight vanilla, caramel, dark roasted coffee. Slight prune juice as well. It drinks better than it smells but it's not great

MF - Light carbonation with medium body that gives it a slight astringent and bitter lingering taste

O - Cool bottle but the beer is off as it has too much copper for a RIS

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Photo of AgentZero
2.76/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Ethan for sharing this one. '09 bottling with the now defunct lable.

A - Black beer with a bit of a brown head. Didn't stick around for long.

S - Roast and char, some malt sweetness, prety boring.

T - Charred malt, some chocolate. Really just kind of bland and boring. It really needs some more flavor.

M - Smooth, too much carbonation.

O - I really didn't care for this beer that much. Average at best, and something I'd never try to get again.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
2.82/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Perhaps it was the true geek in me that made me want to try this beer. An Imperial Storm Trooper to vouch for the delectable nature of the Dark Side via a Russian Imperial Stout? How interesting... "Brewed in a brewery not to far away and not too long ago..." 2010's bottle cracked and shared amongst three friends and poured into brandy snifters...

The dark side of the force is strong with this one. Jet black and impervious to light. A billowing chocolate head rises and lingers as if to mock the very alcohol that tries to bring it down. Fairly viscous, lacing clings to the glass with hues reminiscent of cocoa mixed with cayenne powder. Truly, the appearance of this beverage of the Sith is a beautiful thing indeed.

No bouquet arises from the pour itself and a formidable inhalation only brings up a conservative aroma. Were they paying by the laser here? A bit of baker's chocolate takes center with a slight touch of roast and dark sweet malt. Plenty of carbonation but the beer almost smells like it could be flat. This beautiful head speaks otherwise though. The nose is simple and unimpressive.

First taste is a touch of smoke that hides at the very tip of my tongue. Baker's chocolate fills my mouth with a silkiness that is very pleasant. Full bodied but without accentuating taste. Bitter chocolate is, inevitably, the majority vote of what this beer is and can be. Earthy hops play into and hide amongst the mediocrity. Perhaps with enough Jedi meditation I could find a faint trace of licorice, but the taste is not pronounced by any means. Not much going on here... You've failed me for the last time, Admiral.

An alright beer overall but nothing close to great. Two of the three of us drank very slowly as if dreading the next drop. Perhaps the Dark Side of the Force is still strong in this one; Forcefully keeping us at bay so that others may drink this beer instead...

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Photo of MarkIntihar
2.9/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into my Kuhnhenn snifter. Huge thanks to Michael for this one! 2010 Groucho bottle.

A - Pours jet black with a finger plus of darker tan head. Seems to be a bit thinner than I expected when pouring, but in the glass looks thick and delicious. Retention is very nice as well.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and faint toffee are the first impressions on the nose. Upon taking a deeper whiff, there is a definite coffee presence in this one, as well as a bit of a dark fruit (fig, maybe?) that just adds to the complexity of this one. Each whiff brings something new to the table, and it all seems to melt together beautifully in the nose.

T - Taste is... off. Not like, infected off, either. Just weird, and not good. Burnt coffee, harsh alcohol taste, and just overall not good. I can't put my finger on exactly what is wrong with this, but it is definitely not the beer I was expecting. After having and enjoying the taste of the barrel aged version of this beer, this is a pretty big let down.

M - Thick and creamy at first, but that quickly fades to a harsh alcohol burn that stings the tongue after swallowing. The alcohol leaves a lasting bite that is unpleasant. Definitely feels overcarbonated as well, as some other reviewers have mentioned.

O - A huge let down, and possibly my first drain pour in a while, as I am wanting to get on to other beers tonight and this is not an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to warriorsoul for sharing this 22 oz. bottle from the 2010 release.

The pour is pretty standard of a good Russian Imperial Stout. Bottomless opaque black capped off by a slightly lighter colored head that produces some reasonably good lacing that is more present early on and fading to nothing as I near the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted barley, with the charred malt being one of the dominant characteristics. I don't find any dark fruits in there, nor are there any coffee notes to augment the roast. A bit disappointed with it both in the nose and on the palate. The flavor is similarly lacking fruit and coffee notes, though it adds some harsher tannins that seem to derive from the roasted barley. Not by a long shot the most enjoyable stout that I have had to date.

A bit thinner than I would prefer, and the tannic harshness does make it a bit of a chore to drink for enjoyment. I would like to try this in a few years once it has time to mellow out a little, because it is just too rough around the edges at this point.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, vintage 2010 with the Groucho Marx disguise on the bottle.

A: Cloudy dark brown almost black body, though light enough that I could see some sediment floating at the bottom of the glass. Tan, creamy head with some pretty good lacing and retention. Not too bad but not as deep and dark as I like a RIS to be.

S: Roasted malt, charred oak, heavily roasted coffee beans, mild bitter dark chocolate with a finishing note of tobacco. A little too "burnt" overall for my likings, not inviting.

T: Roasted chocolate malt initially washes the palate, followed by some coffee grounds. Cocoa powder finishes but nothing strong enough to compete with the heavily roasted / burnt profile here. It's seems to overtake anything and doesn't provide much complexity as it could.

M: Medium-bodied which is too bad, I expect a full body on any Imperial Stout. The carbonation was a bit too much, not low to give it a creamy mouth feel.

Honestly, I'm really disappointed in this one. I think much of the allure to this beer is the branding and the fact that it's out of reach for most of the country. If this were sitting on shelves all over, it wouldn't get as much praise. Unfortunately, it just doesn't stand up with the other RIS on the market -- there are far better.

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Photo of Someguy1989
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter for the Superbowl,

A: Fairly dark, with a large brown head that dissipated quickly.

S: Roasted coffee, some sweet chocolate. The coffee aroma in this was great.

T: More coffee finishing with a bit of very bitter chocolate. Finishing boozy with a lot of heat from the alcohol. Maybe a bit of herbal backbone from the hops.

M/D: Thick and syrupy, with a bit of creaminess to it, great feel. The heat from the alcohol with the heaviness made it very hard to drink. Definitely a sipper

Aside from the awesome name and bottle art, I wasn't too impressed by this one especially given all the hype. I have another bottle and am gonna age it to see if some time makes this one a little better

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Photo of codysjb
3.21/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short Review, Poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS glass. 2011 vintage.
L: Great, Nice and black and an awesome dark head that fades instantaneously.
S: Coffee and some caramel, mostly stout like.
T: Ehh not the best. Lots of Coffee notes, maybe some burned something or other. Little Caramel.
M: Same as taste.
O: Really disappointed in this. Wanted to like it, just didn't.

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.23/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was decent Stout, dry finish, notes of toffee, and dark goodness.

Obviously why this beer was given to the "Dark Side," Unfortunately this beer won't be around much longer, production of this beer is at a halt due to copyright infringement.

It's too bad, this beer is good too.

A good Star Wars Memorabilia too.

Pours midnight black, some head, some lacing. Robust aroma, and smooth body.

I'm keeping my extra bottle around for a while.

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Photo of seeswo
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a good sized cocoa head. Looks good. Smell is light chocolate and roasted malts, maybe molasses. The taste is just monster hops. Way over the top with the hops, totally washing out the chocolate, coffee and roasted flavors. I've had less hoppy black IPAs. The balance of the hops and the base beer is not as finely crafted as say Darkness. The mouthfeel is nice, carbonated and not overly sweet like some RIS's. Basically, I didn't like this beer. They either covered over a bland base beer with mega hops, or they totally ruined a good base beer by over hopping it. Either way, I found it to be frustrating. A big saving grace is the complete lack of alcohol in the flavor.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.26/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

03/06/11- Review of a 2010 bottle thanks to billyshears.
A: Black with little brown hues, decent brown collar and film with lacing.
S: Milk chocolate milk, strong creamy oatmeal, slight bubblegum or artificial sweetener, dried figs. The artificial sweetener knocks its review down a bit, even in the taste category.
T: Chocolate milk, not very complex overall, molasses on the finish with orange hops. It's decent.
M: Thinner without a good creamy or frothy until the finish.
D: OK. I'm a little underwhelmed with this one.

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Photo of harrymel
3.29/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2009
Pours a beautiful silky black with a soft light mocha foam. I'm not usually impressed by a stout's look, but this one is pretty to me. Cocoa, leather, alcohol, licorice and hints of graham. Flavor is bready with a rye tone and some more graham and dark, dark chocolate. A bit of oxidation is evident, but not to the demise, rather a slight compliment to the beer. Body is very thin for the style, almost empty with a subdued (due decorum) carb and an off dry finish. Nice beer, but not worth seeking out again for me.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to angrybabboon for splitting the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a heavier dark deep brown with a creamy, loose dark tan head. Drops to a spotty cap in short order. No lacing and minimal carbonation.

Smell: seriously roasted. Slightly burnt. Some sweeter malt notes as well. Nice infusion of cocoa powder and over sweetened coffee. Chewy burnt malts. Espresso beans and a touch of leather. All the aromas are there but it's relatively mellow. Some alcohol on the front of the nose. Sweet with a touch of cough syrup. dark fruits are buried. Heavy on raisin and cherry.

Taste: Deeply roasted malts. Burnt edges with a smoky char. Some dark fruits pull through. Overripe bing cherry. No hops to speak of. Some caramel sweetness as in candy. Bread crust and burnt toast. Same dynamic as the nose. All the right flavors are in place but it'a all on mute. Lingering charred sweetness. Old worn leather and some fresh pipe tobacco.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Bubbly and light for the style. Lingering dry smokiness.

Overall: I tried this in a massive stout rating and it was incredibly underwhelming. Now that I've tried it in isolation, I know that's the case. Everything that should be in this beer is, but it's been dialed down. Makes for an incredibly easy drinking take on the style, but ultimately falls short.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I can't remember who shared it, and my notes don't say.

A: Pours a dark brown body with some mild edge clarity. The center of the body becomes clear in smaller quantities. Tan head (small, short-lived) becomes a thin collar.

S: Roasty coffee, grain, some mild chocolate. Light anise. A pleasant, though not overwhelming, aroma.

T: Begins with roasted coffee, segueing into milk chocolate in the center taste. There is definitely an undercurrent of either anise or dark fruit, but it's so light that I can't really tell which it is. It finishes with some roasted grain aftertaste.

M: Just under medium-bodied; a bit thin for the style, but not flawed.

O: I find this perfectly serviceable, but I'm not sure it would merit any more attention than Old Rasputin if it weren't for the label controversy.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.37/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've been waiting a while to try this one. 2010 750ml poured into my snifter. Pours pitch black with a tightly compacted brownish head. Thick enough to coat the glass when swirled. Looks promising.
Lots of sweet malt, roasty cocoa notes , and bitter dark chocolate in the nose . Cavity causing chocolate sweetness is most notable.
First taste I'm picking up mostly bitter dark chocolate and burnt coffee. Vague hints of vanilla, cocoa nibs, and booze in the finish.
mouthfeel is thick and syrupy.I would like it to have a little more carbonation.
Overall a decent stout. The smell was its best attribute.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Vintage 2011. Thanks to Celtic001 for this bottle! Bottle poured into a tall chalice. Pours a deep foreboding black, with a thick, lustrous mocha head. The nose is a bounty of coffee, roasted embers, bakers chocolate. The big downfall to this one though is the feel. This is an over-carbonated mess. Harsh bubbles scald the palate. Way overdone. This is a much more roasted beer than anticipated. Smoke, charred wood, some mild cocoa-like flavors. Not a lot of sweetness to help balance this one out. Meh. This one was disappointing to say the least. Not worthy of the hype for me anyways. Glad I tried it though.

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Photo of ottovon
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

shared by phelps at a recent tasting.

A: pours out a dark brown with a nice brown head.

S: not very impressive. i get some alcohol and then powdered cocoa. some roasted malt as well.

T: some chocolate and molasses. hints of coffee.

M: thick with low carbonation.

O: a little over hyped in my opinion. a good beer, but nothing amazing.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 bottle.

Appearance - It's dark, but not inky. Almost a dark brown more than black. Nice mocha head that dissipates to very little lacing. Chunky sediment that floats on the surface. Gross.

Smell - Sweet at first, but immediately roasty. Dark coffee, roasty. One note smell, but not bad. Hop aroma as well.

Taste - Roasty, hoppy, again it's one note. A hint of sweetness, but it's all coffee. Bitter finish that isn't well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Thin bodied and and extremely dry. Not a good mouthfeel.

Overall - I find it hard to find redeeming qualities to this one. There's nothing offensive about it, but it's painfully average. Why do people like this so much?

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Photo of tjthresh
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle that pours dark brown. This beer appears to be water thin. There is a decent brown head. The aroma presents light chocolate, char, and cooked sugar aromas. The flavor is mostly cocoa. Pretty hoppy and sugary. Thin body with lots of carbonation. Seems fairly run of the mill to me.

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Photo of Brabander
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jeffo brought this beer with him at the tastingday @ de Molen in Bodegraven, Holland. This tasting was organized by THE beerlady of Holland, Fiona de Lange.

Thanks for this bottle Jeff!

Jeff tolf us the story behind this bottle and that made me curious about this beer.

To be hounest, this is not one of the better stouts i had. Taste and smell are a bit above normal. This stout is a good beer to begin with when you are new on the stout front!

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure where I first had this (I rated it 1/13, but I don't remember the occasion), but I do know someone shared a bottle at Voodoo's first Barrel Room release in March 2013, and that's what I have notes for. Not sure what vintage it was, but it was a 750ml bottle. If I had to guess I'd say 2011.

Straight-up black pour, with a small bubbly head that receded to a thin, wispy layer, leaving a few dots of lace on the glass. Lots of roast in the aroma, dark malts and cocoa, herbal, and surprisingly some piney hops notes. More of the same in the taste, roasty dark malts and unsweetened cocoa, anise, a somewhat awkward pine hop presence, solventy grain alcohol. Fairly strong bitterness overall. Hmm. Body was medium and somewhat thinned out. This beer didn't really do much for me. It was pretty basic and uninteresting, like an average homebrew. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 9/16/11

2009 Vintage

Much appreciation to smutty33

Pours a dark brown, moderately inky brown and settles pretty much black. One thumb head thins to a smooth, diminutive layer, but leaves a thicker collar of retention. A few patchy trails of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma has a comfortably earthy, roasted bent. Roasted coffee, coffee bean overtones. Calm earthy hops linger about. There is also a nutty notion here and there; almost seems like peanut butter. Roasted dark grains make up a solid backdrop. Hints of burnt sugars linger with flakes of ash and a touch of papery oxidation.

Said papery note certainly comes out in the flavor, as do dulled notes of nuts and earth (almost dirt-like at times). Some tangy roasted notes throughout. As with the nose, there is a grainy penchant that adds a bit of a robust edge. Coffee is subdued; not much there. Tastes ok. It has a little bit of "uh huh," but not a lot of "oh yeah."

Closer to medium to medium than full body; not viscous either - the beer isn't the driest, but it has a staccato vibe. Carbonation is quite fluffy; this kind of over-runs much of the feel and flavor.

The temperature started warm and only became warmer from there; some of the rougher edges started to become tamed. Overall, this one is pretty good. I wonder if it would have been better if opened sooner.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Pours a slick black, with a three inch dark tan head, that leaves rings of lace. Smell is roasted coffee, smoke, leather, and tobacco. Taste is all of that with lots of smoke, leather, and licorice that lingers awhile. Not my favorite flavors from a Imperial stout. Body is medium, enough carbonation, a little dry, and drinkable enough. This a good stout, but not my favorite flavors. Wish it was chewier also.

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Imperial Stout Trooper from New England Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,273 ratings.
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