Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing AleProfessor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
BBC's version of an India Ale Ale, named as such because of its popularity with British Troops in colonial India. The beer’s alcoholic strength and high hopping rates (hops also act as a preservative) helped it withstand the long ocean voyage from England. Brewed with lots of pale ale malt and caramelized wheat and barley, we then add large quantitites of American Columbus, Simcoe and Cascade hops. Then we allow the hot wort to run through a bed of raw hops (known as the hopback) prior to fermentation. This process adds a burst of hop aroma and flavor. Big, bold and bitter, just like Jeff Gesser.

72 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-20-2005

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 45
Photo of silenius
1.73/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I picked up this beer on a recent trip to Indianapolis to visit family.

The bottle makes me believe this is some kinda high-octane brew that will stupify my mind. Just what I need on a night like tonight with all the fire works and guns going off.

It pours a very clear orange amber with a nicely vigorous frothy head that leaves a fair amount of lacing in my glass. The head is kind of strange it that i starts out looking really creamy, but then degenerates into a strange seafoam like froth.

Smell is unpleasant and I almost poured this one down the drain due to the unappealing and strange odor. I know I've smelled it before, but I can't quite remember where or what it was. Was it some kind of raisin and granola trail mix left in the sun to rot? Some odd dried fruit dessert concoction that was foisted on me my a cousin when I was young? Whatever it was, I have no fond memories of it. I decided to give it a try anyway.

Taste is like white grapefruit juice, but without any sweet component (and that is saying a lot given that there isn't much sweetness in white grapefruit). It is bitter without any piney or floral overtones. It is everything bad that hops have to offer. It has really no redeeming qualities except the promise of numbing my mind this evening. So I slag forward.

Mouthfeel, if one can get past the taste, isn't bad and has a nice degree of carbonation and slickness.

Alcohol is the only redeeming component of this beer.

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Photo of klewis
2.12/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Pours a hazy copper with barely a head. No lacing.

S: A light smell of toffee and hops with a bit of bathroom funk.

T: A light taste of caramel but very little flavor over all. Hop flavor is non-existent. Astringent hop bitterness wallops you over the head in the finish. This one is a mess.

M: Medium-bodied with light-moderate carbonation.

D: At $6 for a 750ml, I wasn't expecting much, but this one still disappointed. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.19/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle received from bamadog in a recent trade. Thanks for the beer!

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a very cloudy dark copper with a thick beige head on top. Decent retention. Left some pretty sip rings on the glass. That was the best part of the beer. Scents of toffee, bread, and earth. Not what I would expect from an IPA. Hmm.

Decent body on this beer. Nice mellow smoothness with a touch of carbonation play on the tongue. Flavor is weird. Dull earthy bitterness, caramel, and a slight tart funkiness on the finish. This is strange. Not sure what I think of this beer. It's interesting, to say the least. I wouldn't go out of my way to grab this one again. Too bad, I liked the other BBC brews I've had.

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Photo of Sephiroth
2.27/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with enormous head and nice lacing. Body is a deep orange. Floral hop aroma, slight diaceytal and malt.

Tastes hollow. Oh sure, it's hoppy, but it is kinda bland. Floral hops, no noticeable malt. Thin mouthfeel, I'm dumping the rest of this bottle.

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Photo of Reaper16
2.28/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750mL bottle served into a pint glass.

Pours murky, septic shade of brown. Ugly body. half a finger of tan head with adequate lacing. Tons of sediment all throughout the body, even on a careful pour. This does not look like something you'd want to drink.

More malty than hoppy. Apart from a distant floral astringency there are not any hops on the nose of this "IPA." Stale brown malts smelling mostly of breadcrust make up the vast majority of the beer's aroma. Terrible for the style, just terrible.

The taste follows the nose, only majorly improved. It is still more malty than hoppy. Some ashy, leafy dead flowers make up the hop flavors, while the malts are vaguely nutty and toasty. It sort of tastes like Diet Barleywine. Littlefoot, if you will.

The body seems pretty thin on the tongue. It is around medium bodied for the style, it's just that the lack of hops makes me think the beer would have been thicker than it is. I am glad that it isn't. Drinkability? Terrible. I would rather drainpour this than have another glass. But I guess that if you can appreciate it as a Diet Barleywine than you might be able to stomach the whole bottle. It isn't offensive nearly as much as it is boring.

Mind Numbing Ale? I suppose so; my mind is numb trying to figure out how this beer got onto the market labeled as an IPA. This is an affordable bottle but don't even waste your time with it.

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Photo of ckeegan04
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Reddish orange color with a gargantuan head. Big time foamer here. Ended up with 1/2 beer 1/2 foam after a very gentle pour. Head slowly recedes and leaves light lacing.

S - Somewhat earthy and medicinal aroma with underlying citrus notes. Very unique aroma. A light toasted bread underneath,

T - Bready and caramel sweetness up front. Then a somewhat sour flavor comes through along with a very earthy hop taste. The sourness has hints of grapes and cherries. Very weird flavor combos. Not bad, just not good.

M/D - Medium bodied and rather smooth and creamy. The flavor brings down the drinkability a notch or two.

After two of the BBC big IPA's I can safely say I dont have the need to go back. This beer and Homewrecker DIPA were both very disapointing. I'll stick with their dependable 12oz offerings in the future.

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Photo of hopdog
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle shared courtesy of weeare138. Looking at the bottle before opening, it wasn't filled very high (foil wrapped top and appeared to have no leakage at all).

Loug audible pop as it was opened. Poured a deep and hazy amber color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of pine, oranges, caramel and vegetables (yucky). Tastes of pine, oranges, caramel, and a little grassy. Home brew looking label (when Mike brought it out, I thought it was one of his home brews although most of his labels are better than this one!).

Notes from 6/2/06

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep orange color with good carbonation and a big head. Nose is floral, malty but faint and even some grain. Taste is pretty average, not much hops here and some caramel malt but pretty average and not much going on. A little light on mouthfeel and drinkability is low.

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Photo of trep
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Orange-red body with a huge bubbly vanilla head. Carbonation rises slowly. Spicy, fruity hop character, no malt to speak of. Head quickly fades to chunky bubbles.

Intense bitterness in the taste. Hardly any malt to balance it out. It's there, just hardly noticable behind the huge wall of hops. This is pretty tough to get down. Hop flavor is nice though.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated. Not very drinkable.

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

Bottle from ABC in Ashland, KY. This beer is a mostly clear orange-amber color with a medium and fluffly light beige head that diminishes slowly. Thin rings of lacing on the glass. Mildly citric hops aroma with notes of grass. Medium-bodied and moderately hoppy at first with an underlying toasted malt character. Notes of sweet caramel and toffee become increasingly assertive throughout. The finish is mostly sweet malt with a lingering mild hops. Overall this IPA is lacking cohesiveness, it could definitely be better.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL courtesy of kirok1999...pours a hazed, very dark copper color. Interesting beer, darker than many an amber ale! Fine bubbled and retention is good.

Nose is very much dark fruit and burnt toffee. Hops are resinous and piney on the nostrils.

Taste is very caramely, burnt toffee and takes the east coast IPA style to the extreme. Resinous hop bitterness lends a fluffed up aspect I dont really like too much. Its fairly smooth, but not really my style that I prefer in an IPA.

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Photo of weeare138
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for the trade...
Examining the bottle before opening, it looks like the bottle was filled with a large amount of headspace(like 5-6 inches!) and there was no apparent leakage, or cap damage. egajdzis opened the bottle with a large POP!
Appears an amber orange with a 1 finger, light tan head that slowly fades out. Tiny bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light caramel, and citrus with small amount of cardboard in the background.
Taste is of the same aromas with nothing more jumping out.
Mouthfeel is sugary orange candy filled with a mild dosage of hops in the finish.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blazing bonfire orange with Champagne-like bubbles. A huge release of CO2 on crown cracking led to a slow and gentle pour... which led to at least four fingers of pale orange froth that is slowly popping and crackling its way into the atmosphere. Widely scattered fragments of watery lace are the extent of the glass coverage.

What an odd aroma for an IPA. For starters, it doesn't smell like there are many hops in the house. For finishers, there's a musty earthiness that belongs to some other beer of some other style. Professor Gesser better get a clue. And fast.

My first mouthful tells me that PGMNA is a beer that favors caramel malt at least as much as hops. That isn't the typical recipe for an American IPA, but it kinda sorta works if you prefer English IPAs. Speaking of English, the hops taste like they hail from that country. I'll go with Fuggles and East Kent Goldings. Yeah, that's probably way off.

Since each pour results in an impressive foam explosion, I'm having to wait quite a while between glassfuls... which gives me the opportunity to notice how much better the beer looks now than it did after the original pour. The appearance score has been increased accordingly.

Gesser's tastes like a lighter, lower ABV, caramel malt-dominant barleywine. The flavor profile includes English toffee, cedar chips, sandalwood, grapefruit zest, bitter orange peel and a pinch of cardamom. These guys must use some kind of whacked out yeast strain. The bitterness is cumulative and is just starting to scrub the top layer off my tongue. Sneakily bitter is what it is.

At least the frenetic carbonation of the original pour isn't manifested in the mouthfeel. The beer is lighter than the usual IPA and is actually insufficiently bubbled in the end. Definite room for improvement.

Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale is now known as Professor Gesser's India Pale Ale. Damn those Feds. It's a strange elixir that is more interesting than good. At only $6.99 for the '750', it's still worth a purchase for those who want to taste an American IPA that's brewed outside the box. Waaay outside the box.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy copper color, with a thick, off-white, airy head. Great head retention, and lots of lace left coating the glass. Lots of streaming bubbles rising from the bottom as well.

Fruity, floral, and caramel notes in the nose. Maybe a bit of apple and banana in with the fruity notes.

Lots of caramel malt flavor, with some fruity flavors. Floral and earthy bitterness. Pretty well balanced with a solid malt base. Seems more English in style.

Medium body, not as much carbonation as I suspected from the pour. Worth a shot.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark orange with a very large, frothy, light head. Moderate lacing. Smells citrus at first, slight grassy notes, and pine.
Tastes a harsh citrus and pine. Very carbonated and only slightly sweet. Huge hops, lots of bitterness and dry. Alcohol warms in the end.
Rich and lush mouthfeel. A hop bomb. Not bad but a little harsh.

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Photo of far333
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle compliments of Brent who has graciously shared many a BBC brew. Opens with a pop and a rush of air. Pours from the bottle a clear dark honey color with thick columns of bubbles rushing to the top and depositing a thick and frothy 2 inch high head that takes a few minutes to settle out.

Aroma is grainy and resinous with nearly a physical presence. Citrusy hops with sweet fruit and honey and some sweet candy. Flavor does not live up to the aroma. Hops are subdued, and very piney. A firm malt backbone rides beneath, but not many other flavors mix in and out. A citrus peel bitter lingers and remains on the pallette.

Mouthfeel is round and full, good carbonation. Better than average drinkability, but more complexity would make this one more enjoyable to me.

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Photo of kdmorse
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: After a tip from a friend who tried this beer, I poured as slowly as possible into my Duvel tulip. After this careful procedure, I ended up with 2/3 creamy, tan head and 1/3 glowing orange body. Head hangs around forever and finally starts to recede but leaves a trail of rocky lace.

S: Sweet citrus and pine aromas. The smell that made me fall in love with Dreadnaught all over again.

T: Somewhat disappointing after the appearance and the smell. Spicy and sweet flavors. Malt is peppery. Hops finish the beer cleanly with bitter taste. Not much of the citrus or piney smells that I found in the nose.

M: Light and fizzy. Lots of carbonation.

D: Drinks almost like a DIPA. Alcohol isn't getting to me much, but the peppery flavors linger a bit too long.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BEERchitect for this one.

Pours a very attractive dark amber color with a nice foamy head. This is a nice looking beer.

Smells quite surprisingly malty with a bit of a hoppy finish.

The taste is also quite sweet and malty. There is also a nice spiciness in the finish. Interesting.

Honestly, this beer is a little thin. It works well for the beer, I guess.

Aside from the light mouthfeel this one is quite good and pretty damn drinkable.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a creamy yet rocky head that pulls away from the glass but holds its shape. The body is a clear amber copper hue with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. The head last and last.

S- The well blended smell of toasted malt, light yeast and green hops with a light lemony hop aroma come through even as the next glass is being poured.

T- The full taste of green pine and lemon hops has a nice support from lightly toasted malt and some biscuit malt. The finish has a green pine bitterness that lingers for a good bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has some good green hops with a nice support of malt. The malt has nice complexity that adds an interesting nuance.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance - uncapping the bottle creates an impressive rush of air, this one's loaded! A dark tangerine pour into a Belgian glass is quickly topped by four fingers of cream-colored foam. Large pockets of lace are left behind as the bubbles slowly give way. After a few minutes, there is a sloped formation in the glass like a snow-covered mound or something. Additional pours even things out but the head maintains a solid and thick cover.

Aroma - sweet citrus and pine with a definite heaviness as if saturated with hop aroma. Settles down after a bit to allow some toasty biscuit aromas to come through.

Taste - starts out sweet with some fruity citrus, malty with caramel tones. The swallow brings out the hops. Big time. Like concentrated grapefruit oil, the bitterness sets up pretty quickly and lingers quite well. An intensely bitter beer, approaching medicinal. Ruination-caliber palate destruction. Ends kind of warm from the alcohol and I think I singed a few tastebuds as well. Gets much better as the 'numbing' ensues. Once my tongue was pounded into submission from the relentless hops, this tasted better. I like it but this is more to the liking of the incurable hophead.

Mouthfeel - syrupy thickness and very carbonated. Putting it into a goblet does it proper justice, I think it deserves better than a pint glass. A big bodied beer.

Drinkability - limited drinkability for me. If I had an IPA tasting, this one's in, but just for myself, I don't think so.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, ruddy amber with a thick, creamy off-white head. Lacing is fairly thick.

S: Mild, muted aromas of lemon, lime, bitter orange, biscuit, herbs, caramel, and pine take some time to reveal themselves on the nose.

T: Notes of lemon, lime, herbs, bitter orange, kumquat, biscuit, crackers, toffee, caramel, pine, and spruce fill the mouth. The finish combines lemon, lime, pine, spruce, and caramel flavors to great effect.

M: Medium-bodied and dry for the style. Carbonation is active and firm. Alcohol is undetectable.

O: A nice, somewhat underrated IPA. The nose is a bit uninspiring, but this is still a good beer. I could see this being a solid introductory brew for someone new to hoppier ales or a respectable go-to when better known IPAs are not available.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(edit) This can't be the same beer I'm reading in the other reviews, even though the label is near identical with just a slight name change. This beer isn't even CLOSE to thin like has been described. Not sure if I have a beer that's not logged in yet to BA or not...I'll leave it here. It's labeled as "India Pale Ale" with no mention of "mind numbing" anywhere...

I guess this is also called the "mind numbing ale"...I'm starting to hate breweries that do this: take the same beer and re-name it.

In any event: thanks to most awesome trader Brian44556 for this nice tall bottle. Cheers, mate!

Pours a divine orange-red-amber. By divine I mean, thrrough some trick of the light/sediment/brewing, this beer has the effect of creating a halo like refraction of light through the glass. It's really cool. Head that adorns this is creamy, tall and leaves excellent lacing. Heavily carbonated from the bottle conditiong. Looks fantastic. Aromas are awesome. I get some tropical fruit - pineapple and mango. A slightly soapy smell, like ones of those super-fruity liquid hand soaps. Also bubblegum. Some hints of hop extract or, absent that, dry hopping in there also. Somewhat robust at first, but they mellow out. Very nice so far.

Flavor is very much like the aroma. A sharp bubblegum-hop components reaches right out and grabs your ass. This is countered by a swift smack across the face of the carbonation that makes for a nice, creamy mouthfeel. Super-creamy feel, actually. This creaminess is long and carries through the whole drink. There are some very sweet malt characteristics that come through in the middle/late middle. Mr. hops returns with his wandering hands in the finish which is long and bitter in a good way. This is really a great beer. Only drawback is the soap-like component that kind of flits about here and there in the brew. Very nice effort. ABV is around 7% I reckon...

What I like most: The beautiful, deific appearance.

What I like least: The soapy flavor and aroma characteristic that hangs around.

Very good beer and a nice East Coast beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, copper color with a small, white, bubbly head. It left lace.

S - It smelled of grapefruit and floral notes. Also, a toasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted of toffee and sweet caramel malt. It had a nice sharp kick of grapefruit flavor.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty interesting IPA. It is certainy a malt-forward IPA.

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

Capped mag bottle with decorative foil cap cover. Poured a slightly hazy amber with a vigorous head - took a while and several small, careful pours to fill the glass. Big, bold, slightly harsh hops with a counterpart dense malt, a little sweet and almost sticky - this one pushes the line into double IPA territory. The alcohol is there, but blends in fairly well. Overall, this is a nicely pumped-up IPA, a little rough around the edges but enjoyable.

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

Always impressed with BBC brews, the IPA is no slack. A bright deep golden - copper color with active carbonation, a lasting head, and nice lacing. Aromas of citrus fruits, floral hops, and spices rest against a solid barley malt base. Tastes moderately sweet with barley for just a second before the flavoring hops dominate. Hop flavor of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and ginger-like spices abound and vary durring the jouney into the finish. A solid medium body provides good creaminess and texture. The hops cut through the body nicely, allowing a clean, bitter, and mildly dry finish. Never harsh, grainy, or astringent. Easy to drink.

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Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.63 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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