Cantillon Iris | Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon IrisCantillon Iris
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon
Belgium
cantillon.be

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
From the brewery's website: "Although it is a spontaneous fermentation beer, the Iris is very different from the Lambic. The amber colour and the bitter and slightly caramelized taste make it a complex beer."

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-05-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
489
Ratings:
2,004
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
19.25%
 
 
Wants:
705
Gots:
462
For Trade:
47
User Reviews
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Reviews: 489 | Ratings: 2,004
Photo of TheSSG
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a frothy white head with great persistence. Sour aroma with soft floral notes. Umber color. Starts intensely sour and bitter; grapefruit hoppiness dominates. Malt comes through after this, and the finish is lingering bitterness over the malt.

This is amazing. The combination of sour and bitter is great (though I was skeptical). A surprisingly subdued aroma.

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Photo of rudzud
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 2012 vintage enjoyed at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes:

A - Poured in to my Tree House glass a nice golden hue with a quarter inch head that faded to leave light wisps. Solid lambic appearance.

S - Yeah, unreal. Goddamn to I love Cantillon. This is musty with nice sour funk. Faint herbal notes too with nice sour/tart fruits.

T - Sour, mouth puckering sour. Nice floral notes along with good fruits with lemon and grapefruit jumping out. Just delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is basically fluid awesomeness. Very good body and carbonation that works so incredibly well with flavor profile.

O - Overall, yeah, you know what you're getting with Cantillon. Just an excellent beer and so well crafted.

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Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006. Bottled in 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle, corked and capped. Bottling date and freshness date on label (Bottled 2008-05-26, best before 2015-12). Some information about the production process on the back.

Appearance: The pour is golden/copper - almost reddish - and semi-clear. The color of this brew is very appealing. The white, 1 cm head is lively but quickly dissipates leaving a minimal ring of lacings. The head is not as big as anticipated (perhaps due to the chosen glassware).

Smell: The smell is rather complex: Scents of unripe green apples sit side by side with hints of grapefruit, and in the other corner vinegar tags up with a faint funky smell. Amazing smell.

Taste: The taste is even more complex than the smell. Where to start, where to start... First of all, this is a very sour beer. Sourness and tartness thus being its main characteristics. Tastes of especially lemon, but lime, are up-front and linger on throughout the experience. A fruity character of unripe green apples and grapefruits is also prominent. Vinegar also reappears in the taste, but is not as dominant as in the smell. A faint hint of yeast is also detectable. Subtle hints of a funky barnyard taste adds an interesting tension to the taste of the concoction. The very long finish is primarily sour and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium. Carbonation is good. The sourness sends a tickling feeling to the cheeks, which is a pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: I really like lambics and in my opinion this is a really good beer. The distinct sourness actually doesn't become overwhelming, even though the bottle is 750 ml. A highly recommended brew.

NOTE: I'm going to cellar a bottle of this for a year or two, and see how it turns out cellared.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden orange with a big white head, doesn't stick around too long.

S- There is a really nice funk to offset the sourness. Similar to a stinky cheese rind.

T- Sour, yet a light fruitiness to it as well.

M/D- you work a lot of carbonation out of it just by swirling it so much to keep bringing back the aroma but it really offers a nice intese sourness with a good funky bite to it as well.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 15JUN2004. Many, many thanks to Beersignal for letting me participate in the tasting of this very rare find.

Peachy orange, clearer than I expected. The small white head dissapeared rapidly.

The minute I squeezed my nose in the tasting glass I knew I was about to experience something special. This Beer has enormous complexity. A citrus fruit start, than a very pepermint freshness, some green apple, pear, and a smell I could only compare to those leather tobacco pouches cowboys used to have on their belts! After a while it went back to citrus and started all over again, absolutely fantastic stuff!

The first sip sucks out your saliva glands from around your tongue and vanishes with them, not making any promises on their safe return. After a few more, I very faintly detected a nanosecond's worth of sweetness, then Bam! The great sourness takes command, scrambles your tastebuds with oak, grapefruit, and a distinguishable hop bitterness, leaving a very dry, crisp mouthfeel.

We debated somewhat on the drinkability, and pondered if we could spend a whole evening drinking nothing but this amazing brew. I'm definately up for it! Too bad this stuff is so hard to find.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bad boy on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly before a Mountain Goats show and man did it hit the spot. The appearance was pleasant but unexceptional, resembling an overcarbonated pale ale. The head was very nice however.

The aroma was sour lactic funkiness with very grainy notes that reminded me of eating rye bread in a horse stall-an appealing description that I'm grateful fellow beer enthusiasts can appreciate. The flavor followed suit with super intense blue cheesey flavors and complex grains. Paired wonderfully with the smoked trout.

Mouthfeel was wonderful with balanced sprightly carbonation. As for drinkability, although fairly acidic, the craftsmanship of this brew along with its addictively tart flavor certainly would keep me coming back for more.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 Bottled Feb 17, 2010

A= The pour looks thick. The beer pours totally golden with a white head on it that is about a finger high. The retention and lacing are all about average. Pretty hazy looking.

S= Sour, Cheezy, and Hoppy I would say. Lots of hay in this one. There is a significant barnyard smell that I have always sort of found in Cantillon beers but the sourness seems to be toned down a little more with this one letting the funk really come through. Another supising thing is the hop character that comes through in this one. Most sours are just so sour that they don't really get as strong of highlights as this one has. Great smell.

T= Again with the soft sourness. Really plesant. The initial taste is a light lemon taste then the other flavors come through much more. A lot of hay and funk to it. There is a defined hop flavor to it as well. Not bitter hops or fruity hops but a nice earthy hop flavor. There seems to be a slight hop bitterness that lingers after the swallow. This is a funky earthy beer in the truest sense of the word. Sour without being crazy. Really unique to say the least.

M= A nice light spritzy carbonation. Not nearly as thick as the pour made me think it was.

D= This beer is really nice. A wow beer for me. This beer is sour without being dominating and really sort of letting some of the beers complexities come through and shine. It has a real "beer" taste as well as some of those sour notes I love so much. I'll be buying more of this.

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tulip. Appearance is pale orange, like the color of apple juice. Smells like cheese aging in a damp tack room in an old barn. Tastes of lemon, crap apple, hints of different hop profiles come through--more so than any lambic I've had, which stands to reason considering it was brewed with fresh hops, than dry hopped later--rounds out with the sweet side of grapefruit. Not much lacing.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got to try a vintage bottle of this at a local bar, dated 1996. $12.

Bright vibrant red, like kool-aid or a crayon. No head. Extremely tart, strong nose. The taste was intensely tart and sour, maybe even beyond Dogfish Head's Festina Lente. I mean that in a good way, though. I really enjoyed this, and dont know what to compare it to, other than the above mentioned lambic. I dont know if the flavor was supposed to be cherry or raspberry or what. The lowest mark for this lambic was the drinkability. It is pretty intense, and I dont know how much the average lambic drinker could handle.

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Photo of 01001111
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Burnt amber.

S: Tart, Cantillon yeast funk.

T: Peach, state bitter hops, an odd mixture of medicinal and rotten. Simultaneously delicious and mildly disgusting.

M: A slight prickly tartness. Crisp but full bodied.

O: Unique. Oddly compelling. Cantillon are certainly the kings of funk.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +8%

totally different stuff from cantillon here. all barley malt instead of some amount of wheat in here make it quite a bit more sturdy then their lambic types, and the hops are definitely more aggressive in flavor, although still really mild, especially by American standards. the beer has a darker caramel color to it, plenty of hazy as per usual with cantillon, and a tall and lasting dull muted whited head of tiny bubbles. the nose is more funk than sour, with some textured sweetness in there, and then of course the oaky mature lacto thing to finish. the taste is just like the nose, exactly like it, with the barley malt influencing this beer more in terms of body I think than flavor. the hops have an earthy dried herbal character to them than likes the bigger body, and carbonation is effervescently bright. I like the slightly richer feel to this, and the longer finish not usually there in their lambic. maybe a little less unique and distinct than some of their other beers, like say fou foune or the lou pepe fruit beers, but I think its quality is as good as any, and its definitely a new direction for them. stoked to have shared this bottle with my brother, who loves sours and wilds but until now has never had a beer from cantillon. we both really enjoyed it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's last night

A: Reddish orange with a thin white head, decent retention,

S: Incredible combination of citrus hops and funk. It's not a combination I typically care for, but this time, it works. The citrus/orange character is just unbelievable. Not as funky as the bottle I had, and the acidity is milder. Slightly aspirin-like.

T: Opens up sour, tart and acidic with massive hop flavor. Very very tasty. Complex. Finishes mildly hoppy and bitter with sourness. Mild grape character.

M: Light, good acidity, great finish

D: Very drinkable.

Try this beer fresh. It's quite different than older vintages!

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Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy, light copper colored body, topped by a thin layer of light tan head. The foam recedes quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Floral funk with notes of coriander, pepper and perhaps some chamomile. Lots of musty funk and a bit of toffee and toasted malt.

T - Soft, smooth lactic sourness with fruity flavors of pineapple up front. Some acetic sourness in the middle along with toffee malt and sweet, candied citrus that creates a sweet/sour contrast that is a little reminiscent of a Flemish red. More citrus sourness in the finish with some vanilla malt notes.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is an exceptionally complex and drinkable lambic. The wild character is intense and complex, but the sourness is rounded and never overwhelms the palate. There is a lot of fruity complexity that works with the funk to create a sweet and sour character that reminds me a bit of a Flemish red. All of this is backed up by a nice malt character that is quite a bit more complex than that of most lambics. A great beer that deserves a place in any collection of sour beers.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage

Fairly hazy golden colored brew, non-stop rising bubbles produce a big white head. Scent is sour and fruity. Taste is fairly barny and quite a bit sour. Interestingly there is a pretty noticeable hop profile. Im not a lambic master, but i cant recall hops coming into play very often. Good amount of puckering fruit, lemon, grapefruit. Im almost picking up wheat tones as well. Some vinegar. Very interesting and tasty, i.e. cantillon

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Photo of Derek
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004.

A: Bronze with a fizzy, white head, initially some retention and hints of lace.

S: Earthy, metallic-mineral aroma, cider, tart/acidic aroma. Relatively mild & not overtly funky with subtle hints of barnyard.

T: Tart cider with biscuity malt undertones; metallic-earthiness; very pleasant leather-like quality; crisp tartness that isn't at all puckering.

M: Light to moderate body is well-carbonated, smooth and slightly acidic.

D: Very drinkable for a lambic.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL glass poured into a stemless wine glass.

Starts with a creamy cream-colored head over a grapefruit juice colored-body. Has a similar texture and cloudiness to grapefruit juice. 5

Tart citrus again reminds me of grapefruit. Funk-heavy, orchard-like and peach and apricot. 4.5

Grapefruit juice with earthy, grassy hops. Orchard funk kind of blankets the flavors leaving its mark. Peach tart flavors linger. Excellent. 4.5

Tart, lightly acidic, funky, and earthy. 4.75

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Photo of ericdavidmorris
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My very first Cantillon experience. Had on tap at Torst. An amber color, light head, good lacing retention for a sour. Very tart taste with floral notes. Complex beer to taste, very happy I tried it.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Iris 2000. A 1 Pint 9.40 fl.oz green glass bottle, the front of which contains a small label containing a picture of a Marsh Iris (symbol of Brussels) painted by Julie Van Roy. Iris is different to all the other Cantillon beers, it is not brewed with the stipulated 35% wheat required of trad. lambics, but made only with pale ale malt. This is partly responsible for it’s amber color, which is quite a bit darker than the other offerings from the Brewery. Neither are 100% dried-aged hops used, Iris utilises 50% fresh-young hops. After 2 yrs in the Barrel, it is then “cold-hopped” with fresh hops before being bottled. Wow.
With this in mind I eagerly removed the thick black foil, the crown cap & cork and I poured the whole bottle in one go, first into a large Glass Jug & the remainder into a Cantillon Tumbler. I avoided pouring any yeast into the bulk of the beer that way. I served it at 55 Deg.F. It pours with a medium effervescence & a rich white short lived head which settles to a very tight 1/8” collar. Lines of bubbles slowly stream upwards throughout the experience. The body of the beer is a lovely deep amber-orange color that has ‘peachy’ twinkles when held to the light. Quite a bit darker than other Cantillon offerings I noted.
The beer in my Glass exhibited a slight haze as I finished the pour. I wanted every drop of this beer & picking up some of the yeast as a side-effect was perfectly acceptable to me in doing so. As I topped up from the Jug the clarity returned. A Gorgeous sexy amber-peach color. I wanted this beer so much.
Nose is vinous, sharp & acrid, but not as acidic as other offerings from the Brewery. Breath in deeply over this beer & you get the aroma from the 50% fresh hops used against a background of mustiness. As with all Cantillon beers, it does not pussy-foot around in the taste stakes – it is not for the feint-of-heart. Tastes are robust without apology. The first taste is dominated by the sensational mouthfeel, velvety, spritzy and lively – I am sure it reacts with the saliva in your mouth. Acidity is there & to a seasoned geuze-drinker, it may seem somewhat restrained, for it is neatly balanced by a bitterness (no doubt from the fresh hops) & a mild taste of burnt brown sugar & caramel which linger in the finish, culminating in an astringent shock finish, the trademark “Cantillon Mouth-Pucker”.
A truly unique beer, that is pseudo-lambic, rare for Cantillon the Masters of Tradition. Another excellent, high quality, offering.

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Photo of mjsarch
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1996 bottle numbered 163 of 500, consumed on my birthday. Wonder how many bottles from this batch are left on the planet?

A - Thin rim of head persists with no lacing, very minimal carbonation, some suspended yeast with the pour. Copper color.

S - Could smell this one about three feet away: sour, barnyard, horse blanket, acetic aroma.

T - Somewhat more mellow than some of the Cantillon brews. Grapefruit, lemon, floral, vinegar all present.

M - Mouth puckering sour.

D - Nice beer for savoring and observing a special occasion.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

350 mL bottle with 2007 vintage on the label and a 2009 bottling on the cork. Pours a very hazed, dark orange color with a bubbly white head that fades pretty quick to a light collar.

Light peachy and strawberry fruitiness compliments a barnyard funk that most certainly includes brettomyces. Has some sour notes and even a bit of flowery hops. Kinda like a starburst candy. Superb smelling beverage here.

Incredibly tart with some sour layering and woody brett flavor in the middle. Finishes off very dry with some more tannic tartness. The oak is readily apparent as it warms, toasted with plenty of acidity. Very good complexity and balance. Sourness diminishes as you work the bottle, but plenty of other flavors come up to fill the void. Very drinkable and went exceptionally well with some chevre goat cheese. I think I could live in Cantillon's cellar.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looked ipa-ish, vibrant orange and yellow. Lots of lemon and aged hops in the aroma, complex, super nice. Bright oak, french.

Taste lots of white wine notes, green apple, super mild caramel still comes out dry. Damn I love this beer.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 poured at Churchkey on Zwanze Day.

Pours a cloudy dark gold with a leggy white lacing. Incredible lacing actually clinging the glass as I swirled it. Great look, hence the 5.

Candied orange, hay, grass, with slight garlic/onion notes come through for me in the aroma. The garlic/onion detracts somewhat.

The flavor is a different story. Beautiful mouth-filling funk and sour grapefruit fresh make up the taste.

The mouthfeel is quite outstanding. Full flavor and body yet a subtle drying finish. Medium carbonation works great with this.

This was my favorite Cantillon of the day next to Zwanze '10 and '11.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale, hazy, one finger head.

S - tart, vinegar

T - funky, straw, a little wheat, also some wine notes.

M - zesty, lively, refreshing.

O - ok, Cantillons are difficult to rate.... They, to a large extent, are all a celebration of barnyard funk, vinegar, sour, tart, and refreshing. However, it's just by the end of a shared bottle you find yourself thinking, jeez this is just great beer.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cantillon Iris was served from a corked (2001), capped, and foiled 750ml bottle. In a chalice, this beautiful beer was a brilliant and shiny copper color, and was topped by an everlasting, fine, and creamy off-white head that left sheets of luxurious lacing wherever it touched. The carbonation was varied and fascinating, consisting of slower small streamers, and large speeding bubbles that would hit the surface with such force they could be seen making bumps in the head from above. The nose presented an aggressive sourness with a soft musty grapefruit component followed by herbal juniper berry and powdery floral perfumy notes. On the palate, an up-front oaky dry sourness with an assertive raw lemon accent explodes then gains a tannic bitterness before slowly dropping off, leaving lingering herbal/grassy earthen lemony aftertastes. The body is very smooth, slick, and richly full, serving to counter and balance the dry oaken sourness. The vigorous carbonation matched well with the flavors and character of this lambic. I found this beautiful all-malt lambic to be wonderfully aromatic, robustly flavorful, and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured with a HUGE head, I'm not sure if there is some wheat in the malt bill or what, but its very pretty. The beer itself is almost entirely opaque, quite hazy, and is a light to medium brown color.

The nose here is very barn-yard funky. Its not nearly as "in your face" sour and acidic as the Cantillon Gueuze, but its got a good dosage of bitterness going on.

This beer starts with an almost malty sweetness as it first hits your palate, but that quickly subsides as the sour acidity literally EXPLODES into your mouth. I would put the sourness here at 6/10, its pretty sour, but not crazy sour. As the flavor rests on the palate its acidity really lingers for a long time. This beer is crazy complex, with the sweet, then bitter, then acidic; its Cantillon at its best.

I'll probably never see this beer on the shelves in Portland again, but by god it was worth $20.

PS. Big thanks to the guy at the store who was in line immediatly ahead of me, he gave the last bottle to my GF and I as we were the first in line not to get any.

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Cantillon Iris from Brasserie Cantillon
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,004 ratings.
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