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Natsumikan Ale | Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

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Natsumikan AleNatsumikan Ale
Very Good
35 Ratings
Natsumikan AleNatsumikan Ale

Brewed by:
Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewer's Notes: Baird Natsumikan Ale is brewed with whirlpool additions of ample quantities of freshly peeled and stomped natsumikans that were grown in the Heda orchard of our good friend Nagakura-san. Natsumikans are grapefruit-like both in appearance (large, round, yellowish orange) and in flavor (tart and sweetly sour). The tart natsumikan flavor is supported by a big, sweetly malty wort base that is accentuated by a high mashing temperature. Additional citrus and floral notes are provided by an All-American lineup of hops: Simcoe, Horizon and Mount Hood. ABV is approximately 5.4-6.0%.

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-01-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Captain Couger and rated at 6%. Medium orange with a soapy white fead. Fruity aroma. Appropriate understated carbonation. Taste is tangerine and orange, with other citruys.Fruity aroma. Easy drinking, sweet but not too sweet nor too malty.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

my first craft beer from japan. never heard of a natsumikan fruit, but now i want to find one and experiment. pours a neat pale amber/copper color with some haze and a one inch white head that fades in time. smells like acidic tropical fruit, pinepple, passion fruit, grapefruit. also lots of hops on the nose, from all aromatic families, and a mellow yeasty spice. flavor is very complex, lots of hops up front, getting tart half way through as the japanese grapefruit hits, somewhere between a lemon and a white grapefruit, rind maybe. tart, not sour, sweet as it fades, hoppy with some bite in the finish. feel is nice too, could stand a touch more carbonation to crisp things up, but not totally flat. nice cornered medium body, heavy sediment towards the bottom. overall a way out there beer, impressively hoppy. good times.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high bright white head that died down, but left a short head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of natsumikans are present in the nose, which seem to smell like lemons with hints of grapefruits.
T: The taste follows the smell, but is a bit stronger with flavors of lemons and limes with hints of grapefruit. No malts are detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The light-body and citrusy flavors in this beer make it somewhat refreshing, so it could make for a nice choice during the summer months.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

633ml bomber - neat to see package individualism in a foreign country's version of a local staple.

This beer pours a hazy pale orange amber colour, with two fingers of creamy eggshell-white head, which leaves a broken low wall of painted lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of sweet bready malt, exotic citrus fruit, beyond the normal grapefruit and orange, like the star fruit and its ilk at the supermarket, perhaps. The taste is musty toasted barley grain, a somewhat prominent tea-leaf earthiness, and a mild citrus variant edge. No booze overly evident. The carbonation is moderate, the body on the light side of medium, a bit airy, and too zingy to be considered outright smooth. It finishes fairly clean, the soft malt and residual Yankee-san hops mellowing nicely.

A decent citrusy ale, with the now welcomely expected side-shift in local ingredient variation from this brewer.

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Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure of the age on this bottle, but it's been available for a few months. Shared with Botham & co. at Local Option.

Murky glowing orange, white foam that leaves flecks around the edges of the glass. Smells faintly of citrus and floral hops, with some malt sweetness, though somewhat subdued overall.

Fairly average body and flavor, again some citrus hints, but not especially vibrant. Aftertaste has some bitter orange peel, which was nice. Fairly light feeling, it's easygoing and summery. Good one to share, hope the next time I drink it, it's fresher.

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Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold to amber color, slightly hazy. Impressive and extensive head which fades steadily and leaves some chunky lace

Clean, light malt base with a refreshing hop presence for balance.

Strong hop bitterness with the first sip. Malt takes a back seat, but the spicy hop does not overwhelm. Not sure what Natsumikan fruit is, but I don't taste any unusual or fruity flavors. There is a slight sweetness which departs from what I'd expect from a pale ale. Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tangerine orange with grapefruit peel highlights. It makes sense that a citrus fruit beer should resemble citrus fruit. The parchment colored crown reached three fingers on the pour and looks like it wants to hang around for a spell. Although pint glass coverage is merely adequate, beer and foam look mighty nice.

The aroma is appropriately fruity, with some pleasant fruit peel muskiness thrown in for good measure. Orange and lemon notes are undoubtedly coming from the natsumikans (summer tangerines) and the American hops are probably contributing too. Bottom line: fresh, clean and slightly different.

Each one of those words accurately describes the flavor profile as well, especially the last one. This beer has a unique flavor profile that is imparted by a fruit that American brewers don't have access to. That's what I like about Baird; they craft American-style beer with a distinctly Japanese twist.

Equal parts untoasted barley and wheat, along with some candi sugar, give the beer a sugar wafer quality that might have been missed if more hops were in the house. More hops would have pleased this hophead's palate, but their flavor and bitterness probably would have overwhelmed the flavor and tartness of the natsumikan juice.

White grapefruit is dominant, followed by lemon, then orange. Bitter and tart are pretty evenly matched, with sweetness taking a back seat throughout the mouthful. This is a tremendously refreshing and drinkable ale that is perfect for the warm summer months.

The mouthfeel is unquestionably light, but it works like a dream in concert with everything else. The flavor doesn't get washed away at the end and the carbonation is crisp without being buzzy. I wouldn't change a thing.

Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale tastes like an American pale ale with an exotic, citrus fruity twist. Even though less than easy access and a relatively high price argue against a repeat purchase, I'm enjoying this bottle immensely. Great summer beer!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Ding for sending this one to me. I never would have given it a shot without him. Very interesting to say the least, I busted this one out as a light offering to get the afternoon started. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed of 05/25/2009.
The pour was decent enough. Very fizzy with a light head of white on top of a golden yellow colored body. Very summer looking. This all settled down quickly and left the golden look to stare at you. The Light aroma of oranges and lemons highlighted here, with an almost ginger like touch to it added a nice element of zing. Light in body and highly carbonated, this actually worked well here, keeping it from coming across too heavy. As it melds across the tongue, light, prickly notes of citrus are all over this one as the even light notes of grain and ginger accent it very well. Very light and highly session able.
Overall while note my favorite thing in the world, I have to say it was still more then decent. I would have no issue at all if this came in a 12oz but the big bottle was a little too much for my palate.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a foggy brown touched orange/gold with a decent creme head. Flavor is interesting as you'd imagine it to be. Slight sweet citrus-like tone with a bare bitter side to it. Since I have no idea what a natsumikan tastes like so I have no point of reference as I'm sure most of us Yankees won't. Feel is good on liquid and carbonation. This is an easy to drink fruit beer.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, bitter aroma that centers around this natsumikan fruit, which I'm no too familiar with. It's citrusy almost like an orange/lemon hybrid. The peel seems to add quite a bit of bitter zest. The taste is decent as well. It tastes like a witbier to me. It's light and refreshing with some bitter fruit rind in the finish. It's easy going down, but the peel flavor is a bit off putting. It's thin and dry with a moderate citrus zest. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an interesting beer, primarily because of the fruit of choice. I'm happy to have tried it, but I'll probably pass next time due to the $11.99 a bottle price tag.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was a recent addition to the lineup at Green's Package in Atlanta. Very nice to see another craft brewery from Japan available here. My bottle has the moniker "Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale", but it appears this is the same beer based on the description. Abv on this bottle is 6%. Pours a slightly hazy orange with a head that fades to a thin ring. The smell is very light, but there are very nice aromas of citrus peels, the esssential oils almost leap out of the glass when taking a whiff. Nice pithy bitterness as well. The taste has lots more of the pithy bitterness, some of the floral citrus oils, and some late citrus juice. This citrus is a bit unusual. Intensely citrusy, somewhat between a grapefruit, mandarin, and yuzu with some nice bitterness. Very clean and refreshing in the mouth, this is extremely interesting and would be superb with Sushi, Tempura, or soem nice Izakaya snacks.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

633 mL bottle, my first ale from Baird,

A: Pours a translucent orange with a soft white head, average retention.

S: Citrus, definite American hop feel mixed with the fruit.

T: Classic amber ale maltiness comes through in a hit at the beginning. Sweetness upfront, with a heavy citrus rind mid-palate. The finish brings more fruity citrus with lots of lemon, Silician orange marmalade and tangerine, with a Simcoe/pineapple tropical play in the aftertaste. Complex and tasty.

M: Nice medium-full body with a note of acidity. Has a heavy citrus/limonene feel on the tongue which is quite unique in beer and which I enjoyed quite a bit.

D: An intriguing ale. Definitely one of the most authentic tasting fruit beers I've ever had, there's nothing artificial here. It's pricey, but is certainly a palate expander and very good ale, so it's worth a purchase.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright orange color and a cloudy consistency. Lots of floaties. There was a big, creamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very sweet, fruity aroma. Also some traces of malt.

T: Tasted primarily of the advertised fruit, which is tart and sweet, but overwhelmingly so. Some malt also present. An interesting flavor. More robust than most fruit beers.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a surprisingly smooth and dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: A slightly odd, yet drinkable beer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright brassy hue with some copper highlights. Quick two finger leaves the party too soon. There's some sediment suspended, but mostly on the bottom of my glass, looks like bits of this beers namesake fruit. Only a few tiny bubbles rising to the top of this beer.

The aroma is a medium citric hop and ruity aroma. You can sort of smell some orange-like citric meat and only a little zest from the hops. There's also a soft tart aroma as well.

Interetsing flavors. You get the fruity citrus flavors from the natzumikans. But also the bitter citrus flavors from the hops. The malt adds some toasted tea biscuit subtlety to balance things a little bit. The palate has a little tart pop upfront, then resins out thanks to the hopping.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer that has a mix of a hoppy ale with some citrus notes from the fruit. The beer is turgid in colour with a kinda unappealing brown colour but the nose is hoppy and kinda fruity. I liked the beer and found it very drinkable with quite a bit of complexity on the finish.

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Photo of hopdog
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of herbalness, citrus, and fruity. I wrote down 'different' by the aromas. Tastes of the same herbalness, oranges/citrus, and some wheatiness.

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Photo of Florida9
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clearish orange-amber in color. Forms a rocky, super-dirty whitish colored head that slowly reduces to a chunky surface coating. Globs of lacing coat the side of the glass.

S: Oddly complex: a mix of orangey citrus, some fruity malts, and grassy hops.

T: Okay, this flavor is quite unique and I'm having a hard time describing it. Starts off lightly sweet. Some toasty malts. It slowly and gradually develops a persistent grapefruit-like bitterness. A little dull orange in the mix. Grassy, peppery, almost spicy. Finish is different - persistently bitter and citric.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. Exceedingly dry on the finish. Leaves a persistent acrid feeling in the mouth.

O: A interesting beer. Good. Enjoyable. Quite flavorful. Different, yet still familiar.

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Photo of koopa
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

Appearance: Murky peach with honey folds. A 2 finger white crown has little retention and some lacing.

Smell: Like an under-ripe grapefruit with a mixture of american hops. Simcoe seems to be the dominant one in the nose.

Taste: Natsumikan fruit with some hop bitterness from the simcoes, Horizons and Mount Hoods. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Very effervescent and light bodied.

Drinkability: btw the low abv and mouthfeel this one is easy to drink.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for this.

From a 633 ml brown bottle, abv listed at 6%. Cloudy amber in appearance, but not murky. Tall off-white spongy merrengue head with impressive retention.

Clean aroma at first, becomes a bit musty. Light bready malt, sweet fruit, and a grapefruit-like quality.

Clean flavour, dry neutral grains, something of an tea-like character in the middle, with a sharp spicy citrus-rind presence in the finish. Something like white grapefruit pith lingers on in the aftertaste, quite astringent. A more assertive citrus character takes over as it warms.

Medium-light mouthfeel, low carbonation but it still offers some spritz, dry.

It has its moments, the addition of fruit adds some extra puckering citrus notes to accentuate the hops, however beyond that it kind of falls short.

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Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at a tasting a few weeks back, and then had to grab a bottle at Gordon's

A: THis beer pours a hazy burnt orange with a two inch of white sudsy head that retains nicely. Head leaves wispy chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of major citrus hops - grapefruit (though more appropriately I believe would be Natsumikan) and tangerine notes come bursting through.

T: Taste is - wow this is tart, but not overbearingly tart. Piney hops really hit in the forefront and lends in to crazy tangerine and nectarine flavoring. The hops bite and tartness slowly fade out and in to a touch of malt in the finish that pulls the overall taste to this beer together nicely.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp feel with a slightly oily finish.

D: I was completely surprised by this beer. Nicely balance, great flavoring that plays off the hop and malt. This goes down very easily and would enjoy picking up another bottle or two.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Poured from a 633mL bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler.

Cloudy orange peel and amber body with two dense fingers of ivory. Impressive sticky lacing.

Potent unique aromatics - somewhat similar to pomelo with a bitter/sour element (thus, fresh natsumikan). Lightly biscuity and hoppy smells as well.

Faintly toasted malt, lots of citrus, very juicy with mild bitterness on the palate. Supremely balanced. The finish is slightly earthy and suggestive of apple skins.

Light bodied, pillowy, well carbonated, juicy yet dry.

This may be the perfect session ale - elegant, singular, and very well crafted. Some of Baird's other concepts are more appealing to me, but the execution of this beer is unimpeachable.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

633ml bottle. no date found. tasted in early/mid may 2009.

honey straw w amber tones. decent off-white head, fades to wispy layer and ring. nice 1st ring of lace, but fades away. the rest of the lacing down the glass is splotchy and sparse.

aroma: fruity and citrusy, mostly juice and flesh, then some zest and pine. faint bready malt, lightly caramelized. more mild pine and citrus again in the back.

taste: fruity again, sort of like orange and tangerine, with similar lightly tart tones, peaking before the finish and meeting the moderate bitterness, citrus zest and resins from the hops. just enough caramel and bread underneath, keeping the focus on fruity refreshment. a bit more pith/rind character in the aftertaste than i desire, but not enough to detract significantly.

medium body. tart acidity gives mild texture. carbonation can be crisp at start, but matches with the acidity.

interesting and refreshing.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into red wine glass. served at 43 degrees and up.

Pours a murky dark copper, with a fluffy one finger head, which settles after a bit to a dense cap. Very prominent solid lacing.

Nose shows off the natsumikan with some fresh, tart grapefruity aromas, a bit of lemon, a light musty chalkiness, perhaps from the peels, and a slightly toasty underlying malt note.

Taste is tart up front, juicy under-ripe grapefruit and a bit of an astringent, chalky presence, with a complementary light bitterness from the hops. The chalkiness comes and goes; when it's gone, this a very delicious, interesting beer. When it's there, it's oddly distracting and "old" tasting, which conflicts with the fresh, juicy natsumikan presence. An underlying toasty, biscuity malt body holds the whole thing together. Definitely let this warm up to about 47-50 degrees to get the full effect.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp but not too sharp carbonation. Lingering very light tart acidity, a bit chalky at times.

Drinkability - pretty good. This is a somewhat unorthodox set of flavors, but I tend to think it works pretty well. I like it.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Opaque orange body, with little to no pure white head.
S - Nice tangerine and grapefruit nose
T - Extremely well balanced, with minimal fruit or sweetness. Very similar to some of those over the top double IPAs without any of the excessive alcohol or bitterness. Very well balanced wheat bread like malt flavor and mild bitterness.
M - Very light and refreshing. Minimal carbonation.
D - Fantastic well balanced beer.

Had on tap at Beer and Bear here in Osaka.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this one, I'm a sucker for pretty labels. 22oz into flute. Had to google Natsumikan... some Japanese fruit somewhere between a tangerine and an orange.

A- Golden amber orangey, zesty, vibrant beer. Really shimmering in the glass. Head is impossibly thick, white as snow.. I'm really surprised there's such a huge head on a fruit beer. Thick as any DIPA. Lacing us unreal. I don't think it could get any better... really blown away here.

S- Tangerine sweetness... citric bite, mild grapefruit, white grapes, and a bit of hops (simcoe, but without the harshness). Very faint, though.. incredibly fruity and a bit floral. I guess it's a Natsumikan-esque profile... (translated 'summer tangerine).

T- Wow! Bitter, tart, and sweet, but not nearly as leading in the nose. Like grapefruit rind, white grapeskin, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Actually, the bitterness subsides about 1/3 of the way in. Becomes more floral (lilac, hibiscus) and sweeter, but never crosses the line into 'too sweet' territory. A wonderful beer... I'm really digging this.

M- Good carbonation, crisp enough to keep the sweetness in check. No complaints here.

D- High.. a unique beer that I really enjoyed. I will buy more of this.. I see this more of a summer beer, but it did me fine on a cold winter night. If you see it, buy it... a one-of-a-kind drink. My first Japanese craft beer.. a smashing success!

*note.. I guessed simcoe before I read the beer description that identifies simcoe.. I guess my tastebuds are finally going places!

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Natsumikan Ale from Baird Brewing Company / Fishmarket Taproom
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 35 ratings
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