Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CaptinRedBeard on 05-05-2010

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 468
Photo of secondtooth
3.86/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany/black, with way too much carbonation. Bubbles almost overflowed! Massive tan head. No lace.

Aroma is rich chocolate and vanilla.

Flavor is a strong and woody, so there's definite signs of the barrel-aging. Nice and delicious hint of bourbon vanilla and a detectable alcoholic burn at the finish.

Lighter-bodied than would be expected from this type of stout, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.51/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a dark brown almost black color with a HUGE rocky foam head that is not settling down very quickly...

S- With this being an 8.6% Bourbon Barrel Stout I would have expected alot more from the nose. Some faint roasted malt aromas but I'm not getting much bourbon or anything else for that matter.

T- The flavor underneath all of these bubbles helps me to breath a sigh of relief because I really thought that this might be infected (20 mins and the 4 inch head hasn't settled a bit). Thankfully there is a decent stout flavor here with some chocolate and roasted flavors. Still not much bourbon though.

M- Medium bodied and wildly over carbonated. As I popped the top the cap almost launched across the room. Even with a delicate pour I struggled to keep the foam from taking up most of the room in my glass. Very sudsy mouthfeel and certainly not typical for a stout.

D- The flavor was decent but the nose was lacking and I didn't get any bourbon. Way too carbonated.

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Photo of GilmooDaddy
1.85/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Purchased from Total Wine in Chesapeake, Virginia.

(Appearance): Pours an almost midnight brown/ black with a 3/4 finger sized light brown foam head.

(Smell): The smell is definitely subdued in this one, although there are slight hints of chocolate and toffee.

(Taste): This stout tastes more like a can of Cola mixed with cheap liquor than any kind of well composed brew. This identity crisis gives it a very cheap and "college party" failure vibe that just takes any enjoyment or class out of trying to drink it.

(Mouthfeel): Moderately carbonated and feels surprisingly syrupy; as a matter of fact, much too syrupy. After the wash down, the very "viscous soda" feeling lingers on all parts of the mouth. Gross.

(Drinkability): Not drinkable. If you were to receive a bottle for free, it would be worth trying for the sake of trying to comprehend how it ever got on the shelf. I couldn't even finish my entire glass. Do not buy.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.82/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to billab914 for this Kentucky tick.

This beer pours a very very dark brown to the point that it is opaque in the glass. There is little to no head to speak of the beige foam that was initially on the surface didn't stay around too long. I perhaps have allowed the beer to get to cold as the aroma doesn't appear to be as bold as I would have anticipated initially. A bit of time helped, as the aromas that came out were rather pleasant. There is a great deal of vanilla on the nose with oak portions. Hints of coffee waft into the aroma as well, surprisingly I can smell no bourbon as of yet. The palate is rather woodsy upfront, but the vanilla helps it to fade back and go down easy. The aftertaste has some bitterness due to the late arrival of the coffee flavor to my palate. I wish I'd gotten a little touch of bourbon in this beer, but I am sadly out of luck. This is a good beer to sit down and drink and enjoy. On the lighter end of the spectrum for it's style, yet delicious and robust as it should be. I would recommend this beer. I found it to be quite nice.

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Photo of radioscooter
2.63/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Right on the heels of Backwoods Bastard so I'm in a bourbon laced session.

Aroma is bourbony but also there is some char. Appearance is black with almost no head to speak of.

Taste is not what I like. I am pairing this with fresh chocolate chip cookies and it's still exceedingly bitter, chalky and dry. I'm getting nutty, coffee, and charred barrel flavors.

Not really a strong bourbon taste like some others. It's just a hint.

The stout really overwhelms and in this case, not in a good way.

RIYL dry, bitter stouts.

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Photo of phiberoptik
3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16oz pint glass. First thing I noticed was almost no head and zero lacing once the head was gone. Maybe this is from the barrel aging, I dont know but it falls flat.

Maybe I am a little stuffed up but Im not catching a lot of anything in the nose of this beer. I get the bourbon and a little oak and maybe some caramel. The alcohol comes through as well.

The taste is nice. I like it more than I was thinking I would based on the appearance. Bourbon up front, a little oak, dark roast coffee, and alcohol on the finish as well.

It feels a little watery and kind of lacks some body. Its drinkable other than the alcohol content.

I would definitely drink this if it was in front of me but it wont be on my short list. Just too many out there better.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an oily black with a toasted solid tan head that looks good while it lasts, though it crackles down to nothing pretty quickly, despite a hard pour.

A surprisingly sedate smell for a bourbon barrel stout. Hints of anise/licorice and gooey melted chocolate come forth, as does a bit of milky sweet cream. Only with warming does the bourbon come through, and it's neither intrusive nor too subdued.

Things improve in the taste department. I still get hints of anise, while the chocolate is bigger and gooier, and a healthy dark roast coffee bean element comes into it. Sweet dark fruits muscle in as well, giving an added edge to the flavor. Bourbon is here, though it didn't bring much wood along with it. It's nice and mellow, really laid back, and that's how I like my bourbon-ed beers. A slightly mineral taste pervades underneath it all, and actually comes out just a little too much in the finish, but chocolate-covered caramels come in strongly and try to snuff that out.

The enjoyment of the flavors is brought down a couple notches due to the surprisingly thin/watery and also too-carbonated texture. A little confusing getting both characteristics together, and in a stout no less. It's not terrible, and would pass if it were any number of other styles. But it's trying to be a premium stout, and something rounder, creamier and smoother would have been better.

I found more to like about it this second tasting than I did the first a couple days ago. This isn't amazing, but the bar has been set so high for bourbon barrel stouts that one performing merely B-level ("good") gets slapped around a lot. I'm not sure that's fair, but hey, life isn't fair, and beer is one of the best things in life, so...just give it a shot and think for yourself.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.5/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in November 2010.
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Dark black with a half finger of light brown head.

S - Sweet molasses, bourbon, chocolate and slight coffee notes.

T - Bourbon is the dominant flavour but is not overwhelming like it can be in many beers of this style. There are some light chocolate and molasses notes but overall this is a fairly one dimensional beer.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

D - Very drinkable but somewhat one dimensional. Would love to see a little more character in this one.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.83/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as part of the December beertrade

Hard pour into a DFH Tulipish glass, 2 fingers of light brown head. Very sweet malt smell, a bit of caramel, a bit of wood, and a bit of astringency.

Malt is well balanced with a dark roast flavor- not nearly as sweet as I expected it to be. Very pleasant dark chocolate and roast coffee aftertaste. MF is not particularly strong, pleasingly creamy- lending to make this a medium drinkable beer.

I've had a lot of luck in the last few porters/stouts that I've had the pleasure of tasting, and this is a pretty nice stout. Much like the most recent porters I've tried, this succeeds in that it doesn't try too hard to be overpowering in any sense of the word.

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Photo of jsanford
2.69/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Picked up a single of this at a Total Wine while visiting the parents. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours cola-black with a big foamy mocha-colored head that swells up considerably, only to quickly dissipate to a flat black. Really strange, I've never seen a beer lose it's head so quickly, kinda reminds me of a glass of Pepsi.
S - Bourbon dominates the nose, along with chocolate syrup and coffee. As a bourbon fan, this smells pretty good, if a bit one-dimensional.
T - Dark malt, coffee, vanilla, chocolate syrup and bourbon. Flavors are nicely on-point but...
M - ...Horrible mouthfeel. Thin body with a weird, fizzy carbonation. Once again my soda comparison comes in. Feels like chocolate-bourbon Pepsi.
D - I'm struggling to get through this, I can't believe how badly they screwed up the mouthfeel on this. Make it creamy with lower carbonation an you'd have a great beer on your hands. As it is? A trainwreck.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.46/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Nothing like picking up a bottle tick then checking the review to see a c+, this will be yummy! 12oz bottle in August 2010, poured into my Darkness glass...The lightest shade of black with dark brown fringes. A really light tan head rises a full finger then disappears to a thin ring, no lacing...Light and boring aroma that is very malty at first, chocolate syrup mostly. The syrup has really generic qualities that are not appealing at all. I can't tell this was barrel aged, no typical indicators...The taste is horrendous, light chocolate syrup poured into a glass of water that then was used as an ashtray. The feel is super light, very water like.

There are no redeeming qualities to this beer, it should be avoided.

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Photo of ratrod53
2.7/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- It pours a nice head that leaves vary quickly and leaves no lacing. It has a pitch black body.

S- I get just a faint smell of coffee and a little bit of a bourbon to it.

T- Tase is vary dissapointing it's a real bland taste. I taste coffee and maye a kick from its ABV. It's also has a little metalic feel too. There is jut not alot going on with it.

M- It's a real light feeling beer it dosn't feel like I'm drinking a stout.

D- I could drink it again but I wouldn't want to. I'm sure I could find something better. This could be a really good beer. They just haven't found the right combination fot it yet.

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Photo of TheSarge
2.42/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours okay for a light tan head, which dissipates quickly, and the body is pitch black in color.

In the aroma there are coffee, cocoa, and bourbon characteristics.

Taste wise it is very metallic... Almost like sucking on pennies. The coffee/cocoa taste is mildly detectable.

MF is thin, even though this has a higher abv. You can tell this does have a bit more strength in the end with a warming feeling.

Okay I'm new to these barrel aged beers and what not, but the bourbon does not mesh well in this brew and the aging process probably took what was once a decent stout, and turned it into a heap of a mess.

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Photo of velosuds
3.07/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours a weak, dark brown hue with a less than a finger, creamy tan head that recedes too quickly leaving scant lacing.

S-Booze from the bourbon barrels, toffee, and slight coffee.

T-Taste isn't robust enough. It is hard to believe this a stout, and at 8.6% ABV. It was bland and no where near approximating the expectation from the smell.

M-Too light and thin, almost watery. No where near adequate for the style.

D-This is not a very good beer. And my first from Kentucky.

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Photo of rpardon7
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle an oil black with a small tan head that receded very quickly and left no lacing or trace of head to be found. Smell was heavy in the coffee and roasted malt with a small amount of vanilla and bourbon sneaking through. Taste was very similar to the smell, dominated by roasted grain and coffee and small amount of chocolate and vanilla, the beer finished with a small hop bite and very little of the bourbon. Mouthfeel was thinner than expected and being an aged beer the lack of carbonation did not help the thinness of the beer. Drinkability is good, not an overpowering stout smooth but not as much flavor as I hoped. I would have to say I prefer goose islands broubon county over this beer.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A - Served in pint glass. Very dark brown, almost black color with amber highlights. Three fingers of mocha head.

S - Sweet vanilla, bourbon, chocolate

T - Oak/vanilla, roasted malt. Finishes with black coffee.

M - Medium leaning towards full.

D - It's not going to be a go to stout, but I wouldn't turn one down either. I am a fan of the style and almost every stout I have had is drinkable. That being said, I feel that this is an above average beer in the entire landscape of beers.

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Photo of Natural510
2.35/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle; bottled-on date Sept '10.

Pours a black ink color with a dark tan head. Chunky head is massive, a bit overzealous for its own good.
Scent is strong with vanilla and hints of sweet chocolate.
Flavor is decidedly bourbon initially; vanilla comes through much more strongly as it warms, with added hints of cocoa and wood.
The body of the beer is strange; the rockiness from the head creates a fizziness in the mouth but the beer itself feels flat, creating an undesirable mouthfeel.
This one is barely drinkable, even in cold weather. The vanilla is too strong, without any accompanying roasted malts, and the body of the beer is all over the place.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
1.15/5  rDev -64.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was in a huge birthday box from mdfb79. Ive seen this stuff around but Ive never purchased it so I was happy to receive it.

A- Pours thin, with a head that fizzles and cracks like diet coke. It fades out hurriedly with no lacing. An odd characteristic for a beer of this style.

S- The smell is totally off. It smells hollow. It smells like cardboard that has been written on with permanent marker. Bourbon is nowhere to be found. There is a little glimpse of roasted malts and a bit of sweet chocolate but it seems to smell rather stale.

T- The taste is a good example of pretty much everything that can go wrong in brewing. Oxidation, contamination, under carbonation, AND over carbonation at the same time. Diacytl is the star of the show. This stuff is BUTTERY. Its like I just grabbed a can of Pam and sprayed it directly into my nose, eyes and mouth. As I writhe on the floor I notice the flavors of cardboard and paper towles. Permanent marker brazenly cuts through the popcorn butter and stationery. Some where in this chaos there is a flash of tart berries that adds insult to injury.

M- My tongue is left numb. I guess this is a reactionary effect as my body tried to protect itself from what it perceives as dangerous. Before all the taste buds were burnt off my tongue I managed to sense that this beer is pretty light and has overly active carbonation.

D- Despite my mouth going numb I couldnt finish this. Next time Ill just draw all over my tongue with a brand new Sharpie.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep brown, almost opaque black with a light bubbly head that settles away quickly. Some decent lacing. Looks nice.

S - A good whiff of bourbon alcohol and vanilla. Some faint hints of roasted malt in the background. Smell is very nice and enticing.

T - Here's where this one starts letting me down a bit. Lots of vanilla and a decent flash of bourbon, but really that's about it. It's not bad, but there's not a lot going on here. Was hoping for more of a kick and some more complexity... still just getting vanilla and bourbon.

M - Mouthfeel is the real disappointment. This beer is very light and thin. Not at all what I'm looking for in a robust bourbon barrel stout.

D - Meh. Decent flavor, but the weak feel will have you yearning for something else pretty quickly.

Pretty disappointed in this one. Was hoping for a more full bodied, full flavored experience here, especially when I generally really enjoy BBC's beers. I've had the Jefferson Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout on tap and it was pretty good from what I remember. Might have to track some more of that down.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.04/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in July 2010, consumed in December 2010.

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a fluted pint glass. When I popped the top, there was a loud fizz sound and that generally doesnt bode well. Pours a thin looking, very carbonated pitch black color with a thin and infected-looking tan head. As a homebrewer, I have seen beers with infections and this one doesnt look promising.

Aroma was mild mannered and luckily, without infection. Smells salty and battery-like. A bit of roasted frain with minimal bouron aromas. Slight vanilla.

Pretty decent flavor. Good roastiness, burnt grains, chocolate, vanilla, oak. The bourbon flavor slowly exudes after this one warms up, making this barely passable as a bourbon style stout.

The mouthfeel on this one was the worst part about this beer. Way overcarbonated and chalky. Thus, this beer is tough to stomach. I can feel the gasses expanding in my nether regions, and it aint pretty. Not worthy.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.07/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my pint glass this beer is a very dark brown/almost black with ruby highlights. Barely any head but a thin ring around the glass. Smell at first is bourbon, straight up. As it warms some sweet chocolate notes shine through. Taste = bourbon. Holy crap this is heavy on the bourbon. I've had plenty of bourbon barrel aged beers in my day but this has the heaviest bourbon flavor of any. There's a hint of stout underneath but I can't get away from the bourbon. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and this beer burns my throat minutes after each sip. If you love bourbon this is for you but it is not very beerlike.

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Photo of Khazadum
1.51/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Huge thanks to a solid trader for this brew. Been sitting on it for a while now. Bottled in June of 2010 and poured into my brandy snifter.

We got a dissappointing head formation with large bubbles, too many in fact that explode away leaving me with a thin cap and ugly collar. This one is pretty much run of the mill darkness with little in the ways of carbonation present.

Disgusting. Heavy popcorn style butter overpowering the nose. After that we have a faint faint grain background. What is wrong with this? There is no bourbon even though it is claimed to be barrel aged.

Flavor Profile
Heavy butter again. This is disgustingly full of butter. It is like I dropped my crab meat in the bowl of butter and just licked it off instead of eating the meat. Full on nasty.

There are some sour, acetic notes towards the middle with hints of bourbon sweetness making me think this is infected. I don't know exactly, but it has to be. No one would release a beer like this. It dies off quickly but the memory haunts me. I barrel forward with ticking in my heart.

Oral Sensations
Cringe worthy. Mild body, smooth, and low carbonation. The flavors are what ruins this beverage. I'm glad it is relatively clean at the ending with everything going to baseline quickly.

My god... no... never.. not in a million years. Someone will have to test this first before I even get near it. The flavors and aroma are so sickening I feel nausea coming on. I can't even stomach the idea of drinking it right now.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Libbey tumbler.Strangely, there is a fluffy head of foam that wants to stay that way, presenting a very thin body, especially for a stout, with a palate that is rather bland and chalky. The graphics on the bottle label has more complexity than the actual beer. Alcohol strength is well disguised, although in this case, this could not be considered a virtue. Totally one dimensional.

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Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice and dark. Cross between burnt deep brown and a light shade of black. On top is a thick brown head.

Smells like a forest. Earthy flowers and oak, with vanilla in the background.

It tastes like a watered down coffee/cola combination. Peppery notes as well. As the beer warms, the vanilla tickles the tongue.

There's some bitterness all the way through. It starts early with the pepper then finishes with the bittering hops.

It's an easy beer to drink. It's not sweet like a porter, despite the vanilla. While there is some bitterness, it seems to be the right amount. Full-bodied with lots of alcohol, but drinks easier than you'd guess.

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Photo of mothman
3.79/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Duck Rabbit snifter.

Pours a layer of tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Marshmallows and cocoa powder. It has vanilla with a bit of roast malts. Not a lot of bourbon, but I like the nose.

Taste: More marshmallows and vanilla. Very sweet and creamy. Cocoa powder, chocolate, and roasted malts. Again, not a lot of bourbon notes here, but I do like it.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry and roasted.

Overall, I like this beer, but the bourbon notes are no where to be found. The flavors are good. Rating this as a stout, it is good. Rating it as a bourbon bal stout, it is not up to par. I like it though.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.23 out of 5 based on 468 ratings.
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