AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old AleAleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Same recipe as Decadence 2005.

Added by jerz on 06-14-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 209 |  Reviews: 139
Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark mahogany with a ruby tinge. A quarter inch head of beige settled into a partial skim coat on the surface and revealed some minimal tacky lacework.

Aromatics lead off with chipped toffee, dried figs, and cocoa-dusted oak. Slightly roasty with an earthy booziness and rich caramel.

On the full side of medium bodied with a chewy, doughy mouthfeel. Carbonation is light which is good for the style.

Caramel-laced malt, oaky tannins, and roasty undertones start the palate. A whisky-like booziness quickly steps forward along with plenty of toffee, leather, and dried figs.

Finishes with lingering roasty malt, oaky earthiness, and boozy warmth.

Theres a surprising amount of oaky overtones for a non barrel aged beer here. Lacking the classic vineousity found in a great Old Ale though.
Certainly will serve me well while I settle in after another ten inch snowstorm.

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Photo of hellbilly
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle graciously provided by bockyhorsey...

pours hazy a rich chestnut-y auburn brown with a small tan head and a bunch of spotty lacing.

the aroma has distinct barrel aged qualities to it yet it has not seen wood... oak, vanilla, tons of cognac spiciness, brown sugar, orange and cocoa butter. there's a nice oxidized/aged smell in the background that i am really digging into.

the palate is sweet for sure but never reaches cloying. astringency and nearly bitter spiciness clean off any residue and alcohol lends a hand to clean off the tongue.... the flavor has some caramel, cocoa butter, coffee, clove, cinnamon and vanilla in addition to the aroma profile... so rich. decadent possibly?

medium bodied with a lux mouth feel and the perfect amount of carbonation. bitterness and spice make it really easy to keep drinking!

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Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear brown, with a slight cream head. Aroma is heavy with chocolate malts, alcohol, and candied fruits. Figs and cherries are faint and boozy. Taste is thick with sweet malts. Chocolate and toffee blend with the fruit, to form a slightly chocolate-covered-cherry candy taste up front. The cherries and caramel linger. Finishes with a slow and sticky alcohol burn, cognac flavor, without the dried fruit. Viscous mouthfeel. Easily drinkable, while maintaining complexity.

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Photo of hopdog
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a dark and cloudy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of alcohol, dark cherries, caramel, and some other dark fruits. Tastes of cherries, caramel, light chocolate and a little sugary. Decent amount of an alcohol burn. Smooth body. I'm glad I got through this one prior to Eric calling the aroma hair spray...

Notes from 9/30/05

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4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am excited to see how this one has aged, although this is my first bottle and probably my only one I will have to try so I really have nothing to compare it with.

Carbonation crackles and creates an inch of rich tan head that fades in minutes leaving just a skim and short lace. Body is a full deep ruby brown like brown dark toned leather.

Nose is amazing and if I didnt know better I would have thought it was a barrel aged beer. Tones of oaky bourbon dark candied fruit, toffee sweet malts and buttered creamy rum.

Enters the mouth with shockingly hot alchol, its not horrible but not what I was expecting from a beer aged three years. Carmalized malts really strain to showcase through the dry alchol feel on the palate. Roasty nuts and dark toffee notes arrise as you continue to drink and the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is a mmix of sweet, dry, bitter and a noticeable thickness that hangs on the back of the taste buds. Solid drinkability, but alchol does hurt this a bit. I was really excited by the nose.

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Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous looking ruby color, with a small and quickly diminishing head. Apricot, cherry and plum aromas, with hints of caramel, but the main aroma is harsh alcohol. Flavor is malt accented, with hints of caramel and toffee, along with a variety of fruits. It is hot, possessing a lot of ethanol character in the flavor, and especially the aroma, but I still find it to be pretty tasty. I do have four more bottles to revisit for different ratings. Pretty brash and in your face.

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Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by miketd. Thanks!
Pours dark amber to maroon and is mostly opaque. Smell is light, thin aged, mellow sweetness, and tea leaves. Taste is hoppy caramel with a slightly watery sweetness. Still a surprising hop characteristic. Interesting, but I prefer the BA version highly as well as the 06 Decadence.

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Photo of avaulteriam
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh, I'm still not big on Old ales or English style BWs. Nose is very fruity, some dark fruits. Big beer with a vinous character. Nothing special, in my opinion. Reddish tinged brown with offwhite head. Nose is sweet and malty, a bit musty and vinous.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a trade with a Cali BA, either oodeftone or Metallitone1, can't remember. Either way, thanks! I went into this already having tasted the barrel-aged version first and not havign had this fresh. It was a dark ruby-orange, decent head at first, looks similar to the barrel-aged but less murky. Nice smells of candy, grapes, cognac and barleywine. The flavor was toffee, caramel, really nice. I will say this is better barrel-aged because it adds a boozy, bourbon-vanilla but still the regular version is an excellent barleywine/old ale and the 11% ABV is completely hidden. I'm glad I still have one bottle of the BA version, mmmm.

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Photo of genog
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours a reddish brown type color. Sparkling body creating a somewhat glow. Light thin layer of white bubbly head sits on top

Aroma is very nice, but subtle. Caramel malty with some sugary sweetness. Pinch of hops pokes through.

Taste is roasty with sweet fruits and candy type sweetness. Raisins coat the backbone brining to mind a great mellowed out barleywine.

Mouthfeeling is very thick and coats the tongue. Makes this a nice sipper.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/24/08- Purchased at High Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, sealed in foil and capped. 2005 edition supporting their 10th anniversary. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Slight murky off brown color, maybe a cough sryup orange tinge around the edges. Good and strong 3/4 inch head of foam upon pour. Leaves some sticky traces of lace on the finish.

Smell- Heavenly! Tons of sweet roasted caramel, brown sugar and a medly of dark fruits (plums, dates and figs). Right on the crack of the bottle the scent escaped and filled the air. Not quite as strong a scent in the glass, but still tremendous.

Taste- Old ales are rather new to me. Pretty sure I have only reviewed a handful if that. This beer just blew me away though. Identical to the nose as a blend of caramel candied malt hits you strong. Brown sugar seems to be a bit more restrained than the nose would have suggested. Plums and dates soaked in what seems like whiskey or bourbon also add to the experience.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch too much carbonation is the only things I can fuss about. Very creamy and viscous.

Drinkability- Damn. I am so friggin glad I have another bottle of this stashed away. Think I'll save it for a few more years and crack it on some special occasion. One of the best beers I have set my mouth upon.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head, but a soft pour to split the bottle. Not to mention it was 2 years old at the time...

nice reddish orange, with golden highlights. Fruity, tangy, vineou, touch of whiskey/rum/brandy or apple cider. Drying. Smells of airy fruit.

English, all the way. As big a session beer as you can find. Enjoyable.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure if my bottle has been abused but I didn't have quite the same experience that some of these other people did.

It poured hazy and red. Not much carbonation but it was a nice balance. The head was tan but didn't last.

The smell seemed right on the money when I read that this is an english old ale. It was mild but it had a strong sweet malt smell. There was some caramel and some sugar. I didn't catch nearly as much of that alcohol nose coming from the bottle but in my pint glass there was a tiny bit of it. Definitely smelled aged. I didn't catch any hop aroma and since the malt seemed so aged, I'm not sure that this beer really would hold up too much longer.

The taste was strong but not as impressive as I had hoped after reading some of these reviews. Somewhat complex and of caramel and alcohol. I can see the brown sugar taste that people are mentioning. The alcohol is a bit distracting and even though this has a real nice flavor, its not worth what I paid for it.

The body was heavy, which was nice, but the alcohol burn was strong. Drinkable if real cold but the flavors don't come out until it warms. No perfect temperature to drink this at in my opinion.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, ruby-red body with a small, bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of spiced caramel, syrup-soaked pound cake, dried fruits, fire-toasted wood, and fine tobacco backed by an earthy hop scent.

Taste: Spiced caramel malt flavor with a moderate sweetness to pair with the moderate earthy hop bitterness. Light cherry fruitiness. Hint of coffee along the way. Woody, bittersweet finish with a lil' kick of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I can easily imagine this was brash and hot when first released, but 2+ years have tempered its harsher characteristics and coalesced it into a fine beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Candy apple red with ripe orange edges. Backlighting results in a wonderful, warm, firelight glow. The smallish cap is the color of lightly buttered white toast and lasts much longer than expected given the way it looked immediately after the pour. The glass is barely touched, unsurprising given the ABV, but the beer itself looks great.

The nose is nice without being 'knock your socks off' stupendous. It's primarily caramel malty with aromas of brown sugar and brown fruit (fallen apples and figs). I'm reminded of a wee heavy for some reason, although there isn't any peat. A musky, earthy hoppiness gives the nose yet another dimension.

I imagine that Decadence has mellowed during its two year sleep. It's obvious that it was a rip snorter when younger, since one can still detect the echoes (more than echoes, actually) of a considerable alcohol presence. It doesn't taste like it should be aged much longer, though. One more year at most.

Brown is still the order of the day. The flavor profile consists of well-toasted brown bread (with some pumpernickel cocoa and some rye spiciness) drizzled with caramel and dusted with brown sugar. The fruits noted above are still present as well. Decadence isn't that sweet, however, since the alcohol cuts through each mouthful like a knife through warm butter.

I don't believe that this 10th Anniversary release was aged in whiskey barrels, but it sure tastes like it. I should have said 'whisky', not 'whiskey', since it tastes more like a dram of Scotland's finest was added at some point along the way. On second thought, it just might hold up for a few more years.

While the mouthfeel isn't as decadent as the name would suggest, it's beginning to come into its own as the beer nears room temperature. There's a stealth viscosity that it becoming more noticeable each time I upend the glass. A barely audible 'pffft' on crown cracking led me to expect a quiescent mouthfeel... which is exactly what I'm getting.

Decadence Anniversary Ale isn't the best old ale that I've ever had, but it has enough going for it to justify the name and gold foil-bedecked bottle. AleSmith continues to impress. I'm enjoying this one and I look forward to seeing what future Decadences have in store.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown to almost black with generous light tan head.

Nose is "whoppers" candy sweet - nougat milk chocolatey with a suggestion of yeasty esters.

Palate is roasty and malty sweet with caramel thickness, brown sugar, fruit candies, and cocoa powder on the finish. The body is very creamy and thick, viscous, whatever. It's nice.

Finish reveals the alcohol warmth with chocolate notes and some tartness.

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Photo of Cascadia
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amazingly, I found two bottles of this at the Beer Stein in Eugene yesterday. I asked about how well they stored them and was confident they took good care of them over the last two years. I huried home and opened one up to try it, I had to make sure they were good...

And yeah, they're good. Nice head from the pour, dark ruby brown color that looks black until you hold it up to the light and catch the redness around the edges. Perfect looking Old Ale.

Smells like leather and dark raisons, with a slight sun-tea like nose. There is a small amount of heat in the nose, and being that it's 11%, I figured there would be.

Tastes is great. Very complex, smoke, leather, dark brown sugar, and a balenced hop bitterness. Again, perfect for the style. In fact, I'd say this one is a great representation of the Old Ale class. I only wish I had tried it two years ago to see how well it's aged. I'm gunna sit on the other bottle to see where it goes in a few months. Seems like this one is close to peaking.


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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased in late 2005, tasted in January 2007. Purchase price and location info not recorded.

This is one big beer. One big full rich powerful beer. Very alcoholic, very strong, very wow. And I think it's great.

Pours a clear brown with lots and lots of gorgeous ruby highlights in my Trappistes Rocheforte goblet. Not much of a head, but a very nice looking thin tan cover.

Aroma is molassas, brown sugar, some dark fruits, and bit of whiskey. Flavor builds upon this, with dates, chocolate-covered cherries, figs, wood, and some spices thrown in for fun. Very complex.

The mouth is thick and chewy, big and full. A lot of alcohol, but not too much (and usually it is for me).

I really like this beer, and know it's the last time I'll likely have it. It is a huge beer, and best for special occasions, but I will miss it fondly.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on August 1, 2006. 750mL Bottle. This is a celebration beer, for many reasons. It’s my 600th rate. The ratebeerian who sent me this beer just celebrated his first anniversary for a wedding that I was the best man at, a year ago. Today is the first day of August, marking the autumnal swing of the avian world, where birds begin to head south. Friday, it’s my birthday. So this Anniversary Ale, of epic celebratory proportions is the perfect choice to mark all these occasions! I undress the bottle of its’ gold foil crown and pop the top. A light psst, then the silky pour into a goblet. Immeadiately, rich aged brandy soaked fruits tickle my nostrils. There’s incredible maturity in those alcohol tones, from aged bourbon black cake to maciated figs in cognac. Exotic dessert spices dance on the surface and waft gently up the nose. Pineapple, pound cake and a whole slew of indescribable nuanced characters erupt from the snifter. The pour is a fiery core of mostly clear ruby-hued liquors, with golden-orange fringes, a light carbonation, a fine mist of yeast particles across the beer and a lacy edge of tawny head. On the tounge, a elicitation of the aroma, with perky pineapple candies, rich creamed malts, replete with a touch of Marakesh spice and squeezed raisin juice. The alcohols unleash a fiery blast of warmth into the humours, but I’m not taken aback, only encouraged and pleased with the gentle heat and the sophistication it brings. In the middle, these fires meld with a tart candied lemon rind and the whole wash of sugary and creamy malt characters, in a heavenly blend of various sugars and grains. This is heavly refined. In the backend, there’s a light bite of British hop bite, but only so much to create balance, without overpowering what an Old Ale should be. Damn, I love balance. Here, I’m not taken aback by the lack of carbonation, or the alcoholic fury. This beer is worthy to be something to celebrate with any time. Later, I’ll use it as a deglazing liquid for butter sauteed nectarines and rainier cherries, and it will be delicious.

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Photo of nvsblman
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with the color, and almost the consistency, of dark maple syrup. About a finger of off-white head. The aroma is strong with caramel, also toffee, oak, vanilla, and a light alcohol note. The taste is sweet, but not too sweet. There is almost a rum-like alcohol flavor along with the caramel and toffee. Also some chocolate and dried fruit. Silky mouthfeel with just a little carbonation. This was really enjoyable, I'd love to pick up another one of these to try in a year or two.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours with a one finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Raisiny nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, smooth high ABV stays hidden until finish. However my drinking partner thinks it is more like a liquor drink than a beer. Pricey at $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Hi-Time Cellars Costa Mesa, Ca.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautifully printed 750ml bottle, courtesy of Mikeys01. Thanks, brother!
Deep caramel, pouring nice and clear until the end. Minimal head, not too much there. No lacing, either. Big, malty aroma, thick with caramel. Juicy and raisin-like, with minimal hop presence. A trace of smoke. No real alcohol presence until it warms to room temperature. Clean aromas. Huge, malty flavor. Rich and syrupy, with heaps of molasses, fig and raisin. Just awesome. A malt lover's dream. Reminds me very much of a doppelbock. Almost as clean, too. Gentle carbonation contributes a light sparkle. Juicy roastiness and smoky characteristics. Glides across the palate like silk, coating the palate with a lingering, sweet flavor. Some sweet, fruity booze is apparent in the end. Tastes like it's already aged, with the soft quality. Light on the sherry tones, not particularly complex for a beer of this strength. Still nice. Smooth sippin' is what this one's all about.

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Photo of Phocion
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Very dark brownish-amber with a modest head that quickly sinks into a light lace.

Nose is very sweet. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Definite alcohol presence as well.

Sweet malts and alcohol. Not much for hops presence, but the same characteristics from the aroma are present in the taste, with more alcohol as well as somewhat fruity; figs in specific.

Very creamy and warm on the palate. Though this is definitely not a beer to slam, I see the bottle going quickly. This frightens me with the 11% ABV that this thing boasts. If you can still find a bottle, pick one up. It'll be worth it.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Retired? This is a vintage ale it will never technically be retired.

After a strong pour I am rewarded with a red brown ale without a lot of head formation.

Smell is quite spicy and sweet to the nose. Lots of fig, prune and cinnamon in the scent. Fair amount of brown sugar and nut aromas here, this much more like a Belgian Strong Brown Ale to me scent wise. Toffee and chocolate aromas are also in this.

Taste is sweet and spicy with a strong hop bitterness at the start. Lots of sweet brown sugar and cinnamon flavor fights it out with the more than ample hop level for the attention of your taste buds. There is a fairly strong nut flavor here a lot like sherry. Lots of hop flavor here mostly strong citrus flavors with some cinnamon and ginger to it too.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick.

Strong ale here that does lack a bit in drinkability. This is a big strong hoppy beer that you will not be drinking as a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful gold foil wrapped bottle that couldn’t be more pretty. Painted bottle artwork on the back decries that this is a celebration of ten years.
P.S. Rusty rim awaits under the cap!

Auburn russet hue toped with a scant khaki collar. Lacks a head cap, but presumably makes up for it in awl-kee-hawl oomph!

Barleywine promise scents front this aroma attack with a touch of honey.

First swigs: Barleywine like essence that quickly offers a sweetness of dark fruit figs and black cherry. Half-warmed, this is a hot awl-kee-hawl boozer big beer. A generous flavor of candied Balgian sugar taste.

Feel is medium bodied with a booziness. Gentle carbonation that builds an easy drinker. Whew! Not good. Under carbonated in a way. This is one that should not be so drinkable.

Last swigs: Trust me when I say that this has a hint of BigFoot in it. Not for the faint of heart, as this has a hefty punch.

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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