Wet Willy Scotch Ale | New England Brewing Co.

Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale
Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 319 ratings
Wet Willy Scotch AleWet Willy Scotch Ale

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 157
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.47/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown and hazy, not a lot of head or lacing.

Sweet, fruity, malty smelling, with a little toffee.

Taste is so-so. Very malty with some fruits and a tinge of alcohol. A bit of an unpleasant pungent, moldy cellar flavor is somewhat off-putting.

Feel is slick and thin, not what I was expecting for a scotch ale.

Not an especially good beer. They need to tweak this recipe some.

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Photo of maximum12
2.18/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to biglobo8971 for the trade & almost simultaneously, to jmu500 for dropping this in as an extra. A sudden embarrasment of riches. I hope. We're about to find out. 500ML bottle, dated 2010.

Kudos to New England for the easy-remove foil thingee on the top; removed without issue or personal injury. Nice creepy guy in the artwork. Pour is paler than expected, like a faded Florida orange. Maybe it's just the typing, but there's an orange odor coming off the beer, too, along with earthiness. Not a lot going on.

Wet Willy gives off a first blush of being - thin. Not Heather Locklear thin, but Kate Moss thin (sorry, my frame of reference is showing, I'll pull that up). Watery. There's thin caramel, thin toffee...well, there's not much. Did I mention the mouthfeel is thin? That's really wrecking this one for me. If I could knock that score into negative territory, I would.

Really? This is the third disappointment of the night. Thin, dull, simple. I'd rather have a beer knock me for a loop in a daredevil attempt at somthing rather than this. Boring, I am sorry to report.

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Photo of ksimons
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a cloudy copper with white head that quickly disappears and leaves a bit of lace on top

S-malts, caramel, a hint of alcohol

T-big rich malt taste, sweet caramel with a light bitter hop backbone. Alcohol warming sets in after a few sips

M-medium to full body, light carbonation, smooth

D-alcohol very apparent after a few drinks, but it is 10%, a nice malty taste, but could only have one per sitting

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger white head fades slowly leaving some lace. Slightly hazy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is complex maybe sherry and flavor is sweetish sherry. Different scotch ale expecting more dark fruit. High ABV is hidden. Not cheap - $7.99 for a 500ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of Thads324
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A : pours a hazy amber with a thin off white head. There is a hint of orange hue as well.

S : smells very sweet, with undertones of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. There is a sweet smelling alcohol smell as well with a hint of bourban whiskey in the back side.

T : Starts out mild and swings into a slightly sweet, slightly fruity malt flavor. finishes with a strong alcohol blended with a faint hop bitterness. There is a feeling of orange peel flavor, probably from the hops.

M : quite easy going in my opinion, while the flavor tends to escape the tongue, even after half a pint.

D : It is easier to drink than the 10% would let you assume, although you know the booze is there.

While it is a decent beer, I don't really like heavy malt without a heavy caramel taste for a scottish ale. Everything is there, just lacking in the area that makes it a true wee heavy. Still a good brew however

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. It has a light brown color, almost the color of brown sugar, when held up to the light it's close to a dark orange color in the middle. You can clearly see that there are some yeast particles floating around, so it's a little hazy. There is a tan head that produces some pretty good lacing, sort of an of off white/tan color.

The smell is very complex and pretty good. Toffee and caramelized malts start out. There are tones of fruitiness, particularly dark fruits, dehydrated. Has an almost banana, dopplebock, belgian yeastiness to it, really a lot going on. There is a hop presence, but it isn't very strong. That's really my only complaint, as complex as it is, none of the aromas are all that strong.

The taste is very good and a slight step up. Like the smell, the pale malts and toffee flavors stand out. Malts in general are very strong in the flavor profile. Again there are a whole lot of fruity tones, figs, prunes, other dehydrated darker fruits. Again there are some slight banana tones, but not as strong as in the smell. There is a smokeiness to it, but not as strong as I would like. I really like peat malt smoke flavors and aromas in scotch ales, and this would be perfect with just a hint more. It does have some slight boozy flavors, however they are not too strong despite a 10% abv. Again there is a hop presence overall bitterness towards the end of each sip, but clearly not the dominant feature. The end portion of each sip also has some slight grapeskin flavors sort of similar to a port wine, almost a slight sourness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's medium/full bodied and has a strong bitter finish. The alcohol level is good and doesn't bite you even though it makes itself noticeable, good carbonation level I guess it's the grapeskin mentioned earlier, but there is a slight sour feel to it. I find it pretty drinkable, but more of a sipper. Glad I finally got to try this one.

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Photo of sentomaster
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date. 550 ml bottlePoured into a tulip.

Smell is rich sherry alcohol with a bit of vanilla and must.

Fusel alcohol dominates the palate. A bit of unripe tangerines and medicinal cherries. A leafy, earthy, oily, leathery bitterness rides along with the alcohol. Alcohol lingers with a bit of smoke and wood...

This was really disappointing after seeing what a high average this beer was getting. This really really fails as a scotch ale and is just ok as a...old ale maybe? It drinks more like an old ale with the musty, leathery, earthiness. None of the classic toasty, caramelized malt, which is quintessential scotch ale, is allowed to shine through at all- and what little fruitiness comes through is weak and unappealing.

Big letdown and I still can't seem to find an American brewery who can nail this style like the country of its origin...

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly bright cloudy amber-orange color with a finer of off-white head. The heads fairly quickly to a ring with some lacing.

S - Aroma is full of a ton of sweet carmel malt. There is also some nice oak and smokiness mixed in. Some dark fruit aromas with a touch of booze also noticeable.

T - Starts off with some sweet roasted carmel malt, some light fruit, and some smoke/oak flavor. Through the middle more of the dark fruit flavor really comes through with some more smokiness. The finish has a mix of the dark fruit flavor, some oak flavor, the sweet malt, and some booze in the background. These flavors really linger nicely.

M - Medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of subtle carbonation. Really nice and smooth and even crisp. Feels really balanced in the mouth. The finish is just a slightly bit syrupy.

D - For 10% abv and a ton a flavor this stays fairly drinkable. There is a lot of flavor going on, but it all stays really nice and balanced. Lots of sweetness, but again, it stays very enjoyable and avoids getting cloying.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium reddish amber with touches white foam. All malt smell. Malt taste open, peaty with a lingering back hop. Whiskey backed taste. Smooth. Earthy. Flavorful. Modestly drinkable, alcohol wallop.

I liked it, but not nearly as much as the other reviewers.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The murky apricot nectar colored liquid is capped by a thick tan head that flattens to a bubbly pancake, leaving a few clumps behind

Smell: Toffee, dark fruit, and cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste: After the toffee opening, the earthy and peaty flavors move in, but by mid-palate, there is a fusel alcohol character that dominates, bringing along a harsh grainy aspect; after the swallow, the toffee flavors return, though the grainy element lingers

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Lacks the layers of malt and some of the sweetness that one finds in the best examples of the style; still, this is quite a decent stab at a Wee Heavy

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: this thing pours a murky, thick orange brown that kind of resembles apple cider. theres minimal head, as well as retention for what resulted from the pour. all thats left after a minute or so is a few pockets of bubbles hugging the side of the glass.

S: enormous blasts of oak and a mildly sweet booziness. the room just got overtaken by this beer. really from the second i popped the cap, the alcohol came out.

T: the carmelized malts provide a huge flavor profile here, with some undefined spice components. ive had very few scotch ales before so im not sure how to distinguish the different aspects. i feel like the flavors im getting belong with a cold night and a fire in the fireplace. although i cant quite figure this out completely, im rather enjoying it.

M: im almost immediately hit by the alcohol, but its more of a warming aspect and i think rounds this beer out. carbonation is on the lower side of the spectrum and yields a rather smooth mouthfeel. the booze comes back in the backend and warms
the back of your throat with the return of some interesting
spices. aside from the fact this is not what i was expecting, again i cant complain about much here.

D: every sip i take brings a new life to this beer and i learn something new, so ill enjoy it all the way through. highly recommended, this is a wicked cool brew!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy burnt orange, small tan head leaves immediately, some spotty lace.

S - Malt, fruit wood and moss. Booze evident too.

T - Malt and fruit first, slammed by booze flavor and wood/vanilla.

M - Not terribly balance, carbonation a little lower than I like, but each sip is asking for another.

D - At the ABV and the big flavors, not the session beer.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours a hazy nectarine hue - rosy at the heart with orange and amber highlights. Slim sudsy white head, minor lacing. Beautiful.

Smell -- Grainy with toated malt and caramelized malt, macerated drupes, and earthy/leafy hops. Certainly malty, but more husky grain and fruity ester than caramel.

Taste -- Husky toasted grain, faint caramel, plums and peaches, and lots of earthy/leafy bitterness. Alcohol presence is quite apparent and slightly solvent-like. The more I drink this, the more it tastes like peach-infused vodka and flat tonic water.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full bodied, slick and chewy, with moderate carbonation. Not bad.

Drinkability -- This was a letdown. Very peculiar with the heavy fruit esters and leafy bitterness - again, my mind conjures up peach vodka and flat tonic water. If you gave me this beer and asked me to guess what it was, I certainly wouldn't have guessed Scotch Ale. Not enough of that classic caramelized malt character that typifies the style. Didn't hate it, but I don't see myself reaching for more.

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Photo of radioscooter
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade and was eager to try it as part of my ongoing WH/SA journey.

Appearance is underwhelming. Almost no head, quickly dissipating bubbles. Cloudy caramel color.

Aroma is earthy, musty, mossy, and heady.

First taste throws me off. Wow. A Scotch Ale that actually tastes a bit like Scotch... Okay, that's a new one. Of course it's possible. It's all about the malt after all. But usually we don't get this much woodiness and Glen-roaming -in-the-gloaming in ale form.

Sadly, the ridiculously inane name of this beer paired with the stupid label art did not set me up for the seriousness of the brew. This beer deserves a label with a crest on it and a name like "The Highlander" or "Glen Woodbridge" or something that makes you anticipate their effort. As opposed to yet another overly goofy, fraternity-aimed gigglefest.

The alcohol level is immediately up front. Not annoyingly so, but prominent.
I think mine is much too cold so I'm going to back off for a little while.

20 minutes later...

As it oxidizes a bit more of the phenols come out and the spice levels reveal themselves in the flavor. Lots of sweet butter, toffee, and butterscotch syrup. It's like an alcoholic Werther's.

Too boozy for all night. And not dark or heavy enough to treat like a true sipper. But definitely something to visit.

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Photo of Stigs
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

oddly shaped 500ml bottle, split and served in Stone Levitation glasses

A - pours with a short-lived third inch of loose, bubbly light tan colored foam which settles to a ring within a few minutes. the beer is slightly cloudy, dark gold and amber in color.

S - heavily earthy, with scents of smoke and firewood alongside some vegetation and peat. bold, sweet caramel and alcohol round it out.

T - begins with some lightly fruity notes...grapes pears and apples before being cut into sharply by the earthy smoke. fair amount of alcohol, and tobacco (where are the firearms?) creep into the second half. all the while, sweet caramel and toffee provide the base.

M - medium bodied, very oily and pretty slick going down. moderate, tight and fizzy carbonation doesnt overpower at all. mouth is left slightly sticky from the sweetness, yet alcohol does a fairly good job cleaning it up.

D - solid all around. bold and flavorful, yet nothing really stands out. good representation of the style, if not a bit safe. oh well, its still quite good.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ML brown bottle, wrapped in foil; served in an oversized wine glass.

Pours a murky, two-toned light copper in color beneath a porous, deliciately thin head. Thin, dimpled lacing grace the rim of the wine glass with good strength.

Mild caramel and toffee amidst a moderately strong, slightly sour alcohol nose; bourbon notes perhaps. Holiday spices: cinnamon, nutmeg; gingerbread with medicinal tones. Intriguing, but rather mild.

Musty-yeast filled bread-like maltiness. The malt character is much more bitter instead of rounded or sweet as expected. One-toned fig, raisin, and date flavors prior to some bland, alcohol heat. A bland flavored Scotch Ale.

Almost full bodied; primarily heavy as the bready flavors overtake the palate.

A pretty disappointing offering from New England. The secondary flavors (e.g., alcohol, dark fruit, malt sweetness, etc.) just never developed. Instead, what is left is a rather bland, one-note offering with some flavor flaws along the way.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had been looking forward to trying this beer after I had ghandi bot.

This beer pours a hazy orangish brown color, with a small off white head. the beer has a very homebrew look to it. the smell is mediocre, there is not much going on there, a little yeast smell, some faint smokey smell is also present. The taste is awseome, would not expect this flavor from a beer with such a muted nose. definitely picking up the smoked malts, as well as the carmalized sugars from the brewing process. This beer is nice and sweet, but is balanced out by the smokiness from the malts. the mouthfeel is very full with decent carbonation, a very good example of the style, it is also very drinkable for the 10% abv.

definitely worth the 7-8 dollars.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours kind of murky dark amber with a thing layer of white foam that vanishes almost right away. Toasty malt aroma with slight caramel sweetness and a slightly fruity aroma. The flavor is really malty with a kind of sweet slightly fruity flavor and a caramel finish. The feel is good, with a nice medium body and soft carbonation. Overall a good beer, it's kind of boozy with a warm finish.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mob2332 for the bottle. Cheers.

Poured into snifter. The body is a caramel orange color capped by a one and a half finger white head. The head diminishes quickly leaving a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. A health dose of lacing is left holding tightly to the glass.

Wow, the aroma is catching me off guard. Very strong smoke and woody scents absolutely ooze from the glass. These are very complimentary and appropriate for the style but I was certainly not expecting this. Rich caramel can be noticed behind though cannot compete with the upfront aromas.

The flavor is nearly as much a surprise as the smell as the nose did not lead the tongue in the right direction. The upfront smoke and oak which were prominent in the nose are now much more subdued. Heavy caramelized sugar greet the tongue. On the midpalate a bright dark fruit twang emerges.
The flavors finally merge into one cohesive flavor near the back of the palate. Pleasant oaky dryness sits on the back of the tongue.

Medium bodied wee heavy. The carbonation is one the lower side which is very appropriate. Very smooth texture on the tongue. The finish is moderate, honestly a bit more dry than what I would expect.

I really enjoy this beer. Each Scotch Ale I come across is a bit different but each is enjoyable. Wet Willy uses less roasted malt and more caramelized sugars compared to what I am use to. The flavor is a pleasant departure from my norm. Wet Willy managed to catch me off guard more than once, each time leaving me pleasantly surprised. I like this beer, I would advise checking it out.

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Photo of aepb1
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Amber clear body with a fluffy white head

S- Sweet malts up front, some more earthy malts are next

T- Caramel malts up front, moves into a body of earthy oak and finishes in a nice boozy scotch ale taste

M- Medium body, kind of thin for the style in my opinion

D- Very interesting and easy to drink scotch ale

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Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased at WineNation, Millbury, MA. Maroon shrink-wrapped cap.

Poured into a Harpoon LE tulip, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the totally cloudy orangey amber brew. Head quickly recedes to the rim, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is dominated by vanilla which plays with the booziness.

Taste starts sweet, a peek of tart fruitiness in the middle, citrus hops to a vanilla alcohol close. Aftertaste lingers of earthiness. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, maybe a bit lacking in carbonation, with reasonable drinkability as well. Could be a bit better for me, but still and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad I was able to find a bottle of this

A - Poured a coppery mahongany colour into a Duvel tulip with a nice light offwhite colour one finger head that slowly fades leaving nice side lacing. When held up to the light there is a slight amount of suspended particles.

S - Picking up some nice carmel malts and maybe some kinda of alcohol and bready notes. For a split second I pick up the faintest of bourbon notes. Must be my nose playing tricks...

T - Malts are the centerpiece here. Sweet carmel malts. Nice subtle flavours here with no distinguishable hop characteristics.

M - Low carbonation on this one with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth all the way down.

D - Highly drinkable thanks to the subtle flavors and smooth characteristics. Could never tell this was a 10% ABV brew. Cant wait to buy another bottle of this.

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Photo of TheTippler
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was told by a distributor that only 50 cases of this is made. I am unaware of the validity of this. Cloudy and copper in color. Finger-sized head that dissipates somewhat quickly. I can't really smell much on it... maybe a bit of smoke? Remarkably smooth for a 10% scotch ale and dangerously drinkable. Caramel-toffee-boozy flavors.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Release - Grabbed a 500ml bottle around the holidays. A murky plaid label with an illustration of Groundskeeper Willy in a slicker. Pours a perfect copper, slightly cloudy, large off white head dissipates quickly. Big malt aroma, caramel and tangerine, oak. Full-bodied, syrupy thick with a matching texture. Pretty sweet upfront with a smokiness. A bit astringent from the alcohol. A bit like airplane glue. Quite bitter as well, finishes with a citrusy/piny finish. The pete flavors really start to come out as this one warms. It's a sipper but may have consumed a bit too fast to truly appreciate it. Definitely a good winter warmer upper.


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Photo of andrewinski1
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from my brother for Christmas. Poured into a tulip. A very light tan solid head rests atop a perfectly caramel colored clear body.

The aroma is a nice bready toast aroma. The malt is really the star of the show here. There is a little bit of buttery aroma as well, but it took me a while to find it and could be perceived as a nice addition to the complexity; it is appropriate for the style.

The flavor is mildly sweet and very malty. Almost no hop presence is detected. Toffee and caramel are dominant flavors, and the beer only hints at a touch of burnt sugar. Very nice with the subtle flavors.

A nice smooth mouthfeel for the high ABV. This is very smooth and drinkable. Love it.

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Wet Willy Scotch Ale from New England Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 76.8% out of 100 with 319 ratings
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