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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedAleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 01-01-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
344
Ratings:
2,053
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
19.24%
 
 
Wants:
2,017
Gots:
643
For Trade:
91
User Reviews
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Reviews: 344 | Ratings: 2,053
Photo of gueuzedreg
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2006 750ml #77/235. Another one bites the dust.

A- Jet black. No carbonation. The bottle cap wanted to come right off. No lacing.

S- Burnt wood, burnt toffee, dark chocolate; bourbon is muted melded in the back.

T- It tastes oxidized a bit. The bourbon is so mellowed out, and I think the lack of carbonation may have been from a slight air pathway in the bottle cap.

M- Very smooth, but no carbonation hurts this. Probably tastes like a new bottle where the lid has been off for a year in the fridge.

O- I was hoping for an epic experience with this rare bottle, instead I got a flat BA stout. I have had the '12, and I know how good this can be.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite the hefty price tag, I was excited to obtain a bottle of this so I could try what is a very highly rated beer. When I initially tried regular Speedway Stout, I was somewhat underwhelmed when comparing to other coffee stouts. The same is true with the barrel aged version. It was a really good beer but not up to par with some of the better barrel aged coffee stouts out there. At $40 a bottle, this is one that I probably won't seek out again although I was happy to be able to try it.

The beer pours a thick, opaque black with little head. The smell is a sweet mix of bourbon and coffee. My issue with the taste (just as with regular Speedway) is that the coffee seems rather rash and isn't smoothly integrated into the rest of the beer. Maybe with some age this would mellow out. Otherwise, the bourbon taste is very enjoyable and overall the beer has a sweetness that is similar other big stouts.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 295/441 Thanks UncleJedi!

Pours black with beautiful red highlights. The head quickly dissipates. Smells only of bourbon and alcohol. First sip is roasted malts, prunes, oak, vanilla, licorice and a ton of alcohol. There is plenty of yummy bitterness as it is sweet for only a moment. Part of a massive 2 day Stout tasting. On my bracket BA Speedway lost to Older Viscosity in the second round.

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Photo of leschkie
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the 2011 release at Alesmith. Written notes from 4 tasters of the 2009 BA version.

Appearance: Reminded me of what I would expect if I dropped an 88% cocoa piece of dark chocolate into my taster cup and let it melt while I waited the 3.5 hours in line to get my ticket. Poured a hybrid between dark mocha and jet black, depending on your angle, with a tan head whose thickness was about the size of 3 US quarters stacked on top of each other. After ~10 seconds following the pour, the head quickly dissipated to form a lingering ring around the edges of the taster cup.

Smell: Holy crap, what a distinction between the BA and regular version. The barreling process completely metamorphosized this one. Aromas of wood and spicy bourbon upfront with dark chocolate and coffee following suit. Could have sworn I detected subtle hints of vanilla and burnt malt, but it also could have been the delirium starting to set in as a result of standing in line for hours on end in the sun wearing a long sleeve thermal shirt, a cashmere sweater, and jeans in the middle of June in San Diego. (Insert "idiot"-related synonyms here)

Taste: Absolutely delicious. Easily explains why I decided to leave 1 line only to wait in another on 4 separate occasions. Taste closely follows the nose. Very nice balance between the barrel, coffee, and dark chocolate with an added treat at the finish: absolutely no bitterness from the coffee (unlike the regular version of Speedway). Slight heat from the alcohol, but not enough to add to my slowly-rising body temperature as a result of being bombarded by sunrays while standing around.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to full-bodied. Felt like smooth velvet swirling in my mouth. Carbination was spot-on.

Overall: Nice work Alesmith. They worked the barreling process to near perfection with this one. Danger is its middle name. Deceivingly drinkable for a 12% ABV. Probably explains my lack of self-control and my desire to have 4 helpings of this one (in adddition to the Decadence and Speedway Vanilla & Coconut tasters I had as well). While Alesmith does a superb job with not letting the barrel completely overwhelm all other aspects of the beer, my only criticism is that I wish the bourbon was just a tad more pronounced in the flavor profile. Regardless, I enjoyed this one very much. I wish everyone gets the chance to sample this eventually. In my opinion, the BA version of Speedway completely blows the regular version right out of the water.

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Photo of vacax
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The growler pours gosh danged dark with around a finger of dark mocha head. Not much retention or lacing, goes down to zero bubbles pretty quickly. Slight coating effect from the alcohol, but no legs or church windows. The aroma is plums, bourbon, brown sugar, black treacle, coconut, coffee, and oak. The barrel presence is quite real and stronger than the bottles I have tasted from time to time, as this growler would be fresher out of the oak. The flavor has cocoa, oak, bourbon, raisin, and even some olive and spiciness to it. Roasted coffee and cookielike malts on the finish. The body is medium to full with some nice oily thickness to it, but still a bit thinner I would expect. Quite a nice beer, somewhat boozy, though I like some nice bourbon flavors. I will have a couple glasses.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look-Color is a dark brow, a bit of light shines through the thinner part of the glass, pours a thin ring of lacing.
Smell-Smells just like chocolate espresso cake. Lots of milk chocolate, vanilla, and mild coffee.
Tate-Just like the smell, a beautiful blend of milk chocolate, vanilla (probably from the barrels) and smooth coffee. The bourbon barrels really took the bitter edge of the coffee without overpowering the rest of the flavors, no booze to speak of at all. unbelievably delicious.
Feel-Medium/full body, lighter then expected(mean that positively), has a pillowy, marshmallow-like chewiness that is extremely enjoyable, not too oily, more carbonated then you'd think from looking at it which keeps the texture from being too heavy.
Overall-Seriously delicous beer, Flawless texture and absolutely unbelievable flavor and aroma.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchill's Renaissance.

Appearance is jet black. Thin head dissapated fast. Left a ring. No lacing.

Aroma is tons of dark fruits, caramel, toasted sugars. Very complex. Some bourbon in the nose.

Tastes exactly as it smells with a good bourbon flavor that doesn't take over and let's the other flavors play as well.

Mouthfeel is heavy with nice carb.

Overall a damn fine beer that I am glad shows up every once in a while.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, thanks James. Pours a viscous black "nighter than night" with a mocha head. Nose is more coffee forward than I expected, still a very pleasant montage of fresh coffee beans, baker's chocolate, pleasantly sweet vanilla. Barrel is subdued but woven in nicely. Really good contrast between bitter elements (coffee beans, baker's chocolate), sweet elements (vanilla, coconut), and a pleasant complexity from the barrel. Luscious and thick in the mouth. Flavors open with very dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee beans parading high in the profile, segueing into that rich bourbon barrel, coconut, and a really nice creamy, hot finish. Mouthfeel is perfectly thick and creamy, foamed latte and crushed velvet. Beautiful beer!

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark brown, tan head that retreats to a ring around the outside that stays for the rest of the beers existance.
S- Smells of rich mahogany, serious. Bourbon alcohol, chocolate.
T- Much like the smell, roasty, coffee, malts, bourbon spiciness, chocolate, very spicy.
M- Fairly thick, lightly carbed about perfect for this beer, have to mention the tingling on the lips slight burn.
O- Great beer that recieved a very distinct and satisfying change from the barrel age.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006. Pours black with a good sized dark tan, light brown head that very slowly recedes. Aroma is sweet vanilla and caramel, dark fruits, charred woodiness, and some leather as well. Taste is a great mixture of chocolate and vanilla, and plenty of liquid caramel. Nice bourbony and wood notes in the tangy finish, along with a small nibbly bite and warmth from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, carbonation is fairly light, decent peppery tingle on the tongue and warmth in the throat towards the finish. Excellent beer, vanilla and caramel notes come thru very well. Many thanks to Carlos for sharing and for this opportunity.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from fridge temp to Alesmith snifter. Look is incredible. Good carbonation with about 1cm of tan head. Smell is out of this world. Lots of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, licorice, and vanilla. Taste follows the nose nicely. The coffee is incredible. The licorice seems strong, which is fantastic. Marshmallow, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and blackberries. The feel is very creamy - not thin at all. This is absolutely amazing. Overall, one of the best BA stouts I have tried.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Trey for bringing this gem to our tasting. Bottle 60/196 from 2003, this was a highlight of the tasting. Number 12 on day 2 and number 21 overall. Poured into a snifter.

Pours pitch black and extremely viscous. There is no head at all, nor is there any hint of carbonation. I guess that years in bourbon barrels will do that to ya. Upon swirling, nice legs form on the sides of my glass. This is one classy-looking beer.

The nose is phenomenal, as AleSmith shows of their ability to do barrel aging better than, in my estimation, any brewery out there. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon all come through in the nose, completely masking any alcohol aroma that may be present. Additionally, the bourbon and oakey vanilla are more highlighting factors than they are focal points. This is how I like my barrel-aged beers to smell.

On the palate, the complexity begins to grow and expand. Added to the nice balance of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and bourbon are dark fruity flavors of dates and prunes. There is also a nice nutty syrup twinge that comes through towards the finish. The finish is full of well-balanced mellow bourbon and vanilla. Dark chocolate lingers on the palate afterwards.

Smooth and almost creamy, this beer is a case study is how a barrel aged beer should be created. The fact that there is no carbonation works extremely well, and the consistency is not syrupy either. The body is great, and the drinking experience phenomenal.

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Photo of waltonc
2.16/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had a 2006 bottle of this with JoeySchlitz last night. I was really looking forward to this and saved it for the holidays. Unfortunately, it may have been spoiled. The smell and taste had a sour spoiled milk quality to them that overrode everything else for me. I ended up having to pour this down the drain. It poured black with no head at all. Body was on the lighter side for a big barrel aged stout (but still fairly thick on an absolute scale). This was a disappointing and surprising brew, as I really enjoyed the barrel aged Numbskull and barrel aged 07 Decadence, so figured the BA Speedway would follow in the same vein.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

A - Black body, dark brown 3 finger head with tight bubbles.

S - Bourbon, oak, maybe some vanilla.

T - Bourbon, still a lot of coffee, brown sugar, molasses, big chocolate finish.

M - Full. Dry finish. Good amount of carbonation.

Great beer. Not quite as full bodied as the non BA version. Reminded me a lot of BA sexual chocolate but bigger.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.21/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

At a recent tasting i had the 2007 bottle, i didn't get to try any other vintages that were also cracked due to the shear number of glasses present and i wanted to let other BAs go first, but i got alot of the 2007 since it was not in high demand, but if i ever do i may update this, as the 2007 is not a sight/taste to behold.
Color is very dark in all regards, head fades into the black body.
The aroma gives the impression that this is super sweet and going to be sticky, it really smells under attenuated and sugary but with a bit of roast and chocolate inside aswell.
The flavors take a nose dive into dry territory that tastes like it was meant to be tart, or aged with dark fruits or something along those lines, i really kept thinking this was like a bad stout version of Boulavard BBQ with dark cherries as it had those same characterisitcs, though not desirable and tasty like you would expect, maybe i needed more to grow on me. There was considerable oxidation which only made things worse. Dry and over fermented, if you have a bottle, i'd save it for 2025, just because it's barely worth drinking now, i think most of our bottle was left over on the table. Maybe in 2025 it will be a novelty.

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Photo of treyrab
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow what a fantastic beer brought out by Dyan at our Graduation tasting! Many, many thanks!

Vintage 2007.

A: Pours a nice dark black with noticeable brown hues. Yields a nice head, but the head was very light colored. The lightest colored head for an Imperial Stout I have seen, as it was a light tan/khaki color. That was the really only downfall in the appearance.

S: Wow. Incredible scents of sweet bourbon, dark roasted barley, dark chocolate, and a nice oak scent. If you love bourbon, this is the beer for you. The bourbon scent comes right to the forefront.

T: Again, the warming, sweet bourbon is fantastic. I like my barrel aged beers to blend the bourbon without it being too harsh, and this does just that. Great dark bitter roast and sweet caramel.

Overall, this is a great, great stout. One of the best in its class. Thanks Dyan!

Update:

2003 Vintage. One of the best beers I ever had. Top 3 beers for sure. So rich, creamy, and perfect sweet bourbon. It is mostly flat, but it actually complements the beer and coats the palate.

The 2003 is: 4.5/5/5/5/5

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Photo of Tommo
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 version, from a bottle a few months after the release day. I mean, maybe i just dont like speedway. I find this beer very thin, not a ton of bourbon charecter, and overall kind of boring. The speedway charecter lends an astringent flavor i do not appreciate, and again, the body is not what i expected from a beer of this "caliber"

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 750ml served in a snifter, so excited to finally try this one.

Pours like motoroil, ink black with a one finger mocha head that dissipates into a ring around the edges. Big legs, no lacing.

Almost smells like dark chocolate frosting with a twist of bourbon. A touch of tannin and vanilla, the coffee has unfortunately faded out of this.

Big dark chocolate up front with a rounded out sweetness similar to malt balls. Bourbon notes throughout with highlights of vanilla and oak. Surprisingly not hot at all.

Heavy on the palate and sticky. Extremely low carbonation.

A solid barrel aged stout but doesn't do too much different than any other highly rated stout. Wish I had popped this sooner because I feel that it would have had more to offer earlier in it's life but still, a great beer.

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Photo of spicelab
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to mulder1010 for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Black with a persistent dark tan head.

Caramel fudge, chocolate, liquorice and dark fruits. Sharpness and pungency from the barrel aging, if not real discernible bourbon characteristics.

Moderate char and coffee roast gives way to plenty of rich, dark fruits, caramel, leather, cola, vanilla and hints of booze. Gets better with each sip.

Silky smooth with tingly carbonation. Some booze heat mars an otherwise flawless mouthfeel.

Didn't find the bourbon characteristics overbearing like some other reviewers - in fact found the opposite and that is my chief criticism of the beer. Technically very well done, but was expecting more complexity and barrel character.

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Photo of JonnyBeers
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

March 2013 bottle. Still pretty darn hot, and I generally don't mind the bourbon heat. The coffee is still super strong, and the best part of the beer for me. I prefer the base Speedway to be honest. This one doesn't stack up to a fresh Bourbon County, and it pails in comparison to a BC Coffee. Too hot, still. It's very good, but considering how easy it is to get the regular Speedway in my area, I doubt I'll make a huge effort to find this one again when the regular is $12 a 750ml.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ryan for bringing this beer to our tasting. 2003 vintage poured into a Darkness snifter. Bottle #100/196.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brownie color. Practically zero head developed as the beer was poured. Not the sexiest looking beer.

S- Wonderful mixture of mellow bourbon aromas and candied chocolates. Some molasses and chocolate brownies in there as well with a hint of vanilla. Super complex.

T- Mellowed bourbon upfront. Following is a mixture of chocolate malts, brownies, and bitter caramel. Blends together very well. As stated, this beer was very mellow, yet complex. Great malt profile.

M- Viscous and velvety smooth. Just the way I like it.

D- One of the easiest drinking stouts I have ever had. The mellowed out attributes really helped here.

Overall, very excited to finally try this beer, especially one as old as this one. An excellent beer and a good example of how aging can completely change a beer. Recommended.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a dark brown head with good retention. Plenty of visible carbonation The barrel character is most prominent with bourbon, charred wood, vanilla, oak and tannins being most prominent. Behind it lies a more mellow Speedway - chocolate and mellow coffee but all told, this is a big bourbon trip. Medium body with plenty of bourbon up front with oak and vanilla. Moderately oaky and tannic in a way that works well with the dark sweetness of the chocolate and medium-roasted coffee. Tannic and oaky on the finish with a good bit of vanilla. Medium body, soft carbonation, excellent finish

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle sharred with many BA's at this years Darkness Eve Tasting.

2009 bottle.

A- Pours dark black color, really nice appearance, ½ fingers worth of brown head that dissipates to a nice ring around the glass.
S- The aroma is fantastic, really nice notes of roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, I cannot wait to try this beer.
T- I was not let down, big coffee flavor, the perfect amount of bourbon comes out, vanilla beans, roasted coffee, chocolate and cocoa, really nice, well balanced brew.
M- Medium/Big mouth feel, well carbonated, creamy, silky smooth drinking, slight roasty aftertaste, alcohol is hidden.
O- I absolutely love this beer, the coffee, bourbon and vanilla are phenomenal in this beer, all the different flavors that come out are well balanced and make this beer an amazing experience.

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Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to boutip, 2009 vintage. Appearance is a nice full black with decent brown mocha head. Aroma is quite straightforward with bourbon, vanilla, the usual Alesmith divine caramel and molasses. You can definitly feel the high alcohol content which brings the ripe fruits upfront along with bourbon and caramel notes. Flavors are hard to describe as they aren't amazingly complex but so well integrated and intense. Bourbon and age seem to have completly taken over coffee from the regular version. As much as I like the regular version, BA speedway lifts this one to a new level without being over the top. Exactly what I expect from a bourbon barrel version.

Side-by-side with Black Note with BA speedway being a close winner. Although I prefered Black Note's palate and aroma, BA speedway's flavors were out of this world. One of the best stout I've had.

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Photo of zdk9
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Not as beautiful compared to the normal version, the head just isn't quite there- still super black.

S- Buttery, creamy coffee (maybe cafe con leche). Milk chocolate. Getting more vanilla as it warms up.

T- Hot, there's almost a chile flavor to this. Coffee, but not overwhelming, more chocolate than the regular.

M- Thick, sticking, minerally, interesting.

D- This is different from the regular, but I'm not sure I'd say it's better- less coffee and slightly more complex. I wish there was more bourbon/wood/vanilla. I'm kinda suprised that this isn't smoother than it is. Regardless I'm glad I had it.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,053 ratings.
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