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Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt | August Schell Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Schmaltz's AltBarrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt
Very Good
45 Ratings
Barrel Aged Schmaltz's AltBarrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 05-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of LaCoursiere
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with a date of 09/19/10.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Poured dark brown w/ a dark red hue. It had a 1/2 finger khaki head that dissipated quickly to a thin collar that remained. The clarity of the beer could be seen by holding to the light.

S - Fruits of cherry and grape. The oak notes are there kind of mixing with the fruit to smell kind or like port wine. Slightly smoked malt peeks through the fruits.

T - Dark fruity wine notes up front that fade to roasted and slightly smoky malts. The oak characters peaks through at different points depending on the sip. Faint molasses and brown sugar sweet notes from the malts are present in the middle.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation and a dry, slightly chalky finish. No alcohol presence.

O/D - I was lucky to find this still on the shelf several days ago. Excellent brew from Schell's. I can say this is my favorite from them thus far. The smoke and wine flavors work very well together. Sometimes I tasted more wine and sometimes I tasted more smoke. Quite a fun tasting experience.

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Photo of dbossman
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown with a golden amber tint; this looks like thin motor oil; a nice head that dissipateds rather quickly to a thin, tan film; beautiful lacing that fades a bit too quickly

S: Sweet caramel and raisins on top of a sweet bready malt quality, but this also has a strong, deep red wine aroma--lots of dark fruits and grapes as well as a smokey oak quality; a tad boozy

T: This is pretty subdued and thin but a pleasant grainy and wine quality does persist; a bit of a peaty oaky quality but mostly grains with dark fruits--grapes, raisins, cherries, etc.

F: Not much carbonation and a bit thin but the beer does manage to coat the mouth fairly well

O: The wine and thinness become a bit grating after a while; this beer does have complexity and it grows on you as you drink but it's a sipper and one you will want to share

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

$10.49 for a 22 oz. bottle.

A: deep, dark mahogany color, very little head
S: mild nose, some roasted malt with hints of barrel aging but not much else
T: nice ale but really not much with respect to barrel aging, well-made beer but not much of anything for standing out
M: somewhat disappointing, thin, watery mouthfeel
O: very disappointed, I was expecting more from the barrel aging

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting Beer for sure... Pours reddish with a bit of head. Very clear. Smells like wine and malt. A lot of red wine on the nose. Tastes like a malty red wine... Vry weird. A bit thin but well carbonated. Not really all that flavourful. Not something i would drink again

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pretty deep reddish brown with a medium head leaving some lace. The aroma is fruity and earthy with some oaky wood notes. The flavor is fruity at first with some banana and some dark fruit the beer is just mildly roasty and very dry. There are plenty of earthy notes and the red wine character is there, although I don't know if I would detect it say if the bottle didn't say "aged in a red wine barrel" This is very tasty none the less. If anything this rounds Schmaltz Alt out very nicely and drops the metallic note that can sometimes be mildly off putting in a beer I otherwise love.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this BIFed bottle!

I don't believe I've tried a barrel-aged alt before, so here's to another BA tick (nickd would be so proud...)! It pours a deep ruby-brown topped by over a finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises musty red grapes, plum, orange peel, soap, buttery caramel, and some light oak. The taste holds notes of figs, raisins, plums, and red grapes. From then, it delves into a weak red table wine, disregarding all that preceded it. Allowing it to warm up a bit allowed the wine to consume all else, resulting in a sort of weak port. This is truly odd, but not altogether off-putting. The body is a straight medium with a very light moderate carbonation. Overall, this is quite the oddball brew, but with every sip I feel I must go for yet another very soon, if for no other reason than to see what lies beyond the next taste.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to Lenny1203 for this beer

Pours a super dark amber color with an ecru foam on the surface. There are aromatic notes of oak, red grapes, plums, and brown sugar. The taste is malty up front and finishes more oaked. The flavors are muddled together, but not wholly bad. There are distinct tannins from grapes in this beer. The mouthfeel is a tad bit astringent and way too watery for my liking. It still drinks pretty well, but I must admit it's not one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of kenito799
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. Rare tasting.
Pours a clear dark brown, at 1 inch you can read through it. Foamy tan head recedes, active carbonation.

Aroma is clean and fresh, toasty, consistent with a good alt.

I love this style and this is a great one. The crisp clean toastiness is wonderfully refreshing. There is a slightly tangy tart apply quality, perhaps that hint of fruit is imparted by the red wine barrels. It is a lovely effect. Great session beer!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Roasted chestnut with sunny Sunkist edges. The pour produced a good-sized crown of pale caramel colored foam that has a bubbly surface and looks like it wants to hang around for a spell. Lace is pretty nice and so is the overall appearance.

The nose is too subdued. Essentially none of the dark malts are noted... nor is much else. Even though it's probably nothing more than the power of suggestion, a lightly tangy red wine essense is appreciated. This offering is the standard Schmaltz's Alt that was aged in barrels that had previously held pinot noir.

It isn't overpowering, or even prominent, but there's a definite red grape quality to this brew that matches the medium-dark malts pretty well. It isn't quite enough, though, to turn an above-average (3.5) altbier into a solidly good (4.0) altbier.

ASBC's BASA needs more POP! on the palate, which could easily be achieved with a more focused hoppiness. Specifics include brown bread with a thin layer of fruit jam, miniscule amounts of dark caramel and nuts... and a splash of red wine. More power and more definition would easily add a half-point to the taste score, because it's almost there already.

The mouthfeel is a disappointment. It's a little too thin and the carbonation gives it almost no lift or volume. More malt and better bubbles would fix it right up.

In the end, Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt is slightly better beer than Schmaltz's Alt by virtue of having been barrel-aged. Unfortunately, time in the wood has impacted the mouthfeel negatively, as it often does. This is batch #1 in the new Stag Series.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle consumed at Stub during Darkness weekend...A dark brown with amber on the sides, a half finger of light head but light carbonation...A light aroma red wine, wood and a touch of hops, the combo sounds ok, just nothing great...The taste is bland, dark fruits on the back, light hops. The feel is so light, less than water that it really distracts the beer. Aging an alt beer was not a good idea, this beer is a light mess not worth drinking and the wood doesn't improve it.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.91/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle shared with Jason and Mike at Stub and Herb's. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pours with a half-finger of off-white foam that settles to a thick ring and partial cap. Transparent when held to the light, with a dark ruby hue.

S - Not much of the red wine mentioned on the bottle - mostly just vanilla and barrel notes instead. Some vinous and apple malt character.

T - Taste is very grape-heavy and filled with malt sweetness. Again, not very much red wine or barrel character. Generic beer aftertaste.

M - Medium carbonation zing, smooth medium body, and no alcohol (not that there should be any at 5.1%).

D - Even splitting this three ways, it was tough to finish. A rare tick, but not a good one. Didn't seem like it was in the barrel for very long.

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Photo of Fitzgerald
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into the Schells 150 anniversary glass that was free with the purchase of a 22oz bottle of barrel aged Schmaltzs Alt. The color is a dark ruby mahogany with a slight tan head.

S- A very dark fruit scent almost like a sherry.

T- Very smooth with dark fruit taste figs, cherries almost like a belgian sour ale. You can also taste the red wine barrel aging coming through.

MF- Smooth almost an oily feel, no carbonation very warm feel for low alcohol.

D- What a great beer very complex with all different scents and flavors coming through low alcohol so the bomber is just right.

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Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1100. Figured this would be a good one to do considering it's Schell's big anniversary and a 'milestone' for me.

Poured into Bruery Snifter

Pours ½ finger of creamy beige head. Fades down, leaving some rings. Color is a dark dark brown.

Aroma: Notes of licorice, cherries, plums, toffee, and caramel up front. There is some oak showing with slight wine notes, maybe some grapes. Pretty decent alt.

Taste: The wine notes are right up front with this beer providing a very slight sour flavor. It does has a nice oak profile as well with some hints of vanilla. Then the malts come in. Lots of caramel malts here. Some dark fruits as well. Cherries, raisins, licorice all show. Very rich and malty.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and smooth. A lighter bodied, but at 5.1% I wouldn't expect it to be too big. A decent amount of carbonation as well. Ends a bit dry with malt flavors.

Overall, I think this beer is good. It is an awesome alt and really represents the style well with some addition flavors from the barrels. Pretty drinkable as well since it isn't very big, yet it still has a great amount of flavors.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - thick tan head that settles into a lacing, clear dark ruby color, leaves a nice lacing as it drains

S - dark grains and an almost grape-like scent that blends together nicely

T - smooth dark roasted grain flavor with a touch of wood-like character on the finish; hop bitterness is nearly undetectable but does not finish sweet at all, very balanced; touch of roast on the finish and some faint tannins; esters are very restrained

M - medium body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a very interesting and intriguing beer. For their 1st limited release Schell has come up with something familiar but different, not to mention tasty. I'd pick up another bottle if I get the opportunity.

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Photo of DanOLeary
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: A bright and full nose of red cherries with just a hint of oak following that up. Some dark fruits are also noted. ABV is not stated on the bottle but there is a moderate among of alcohol spice coming off the beer as well. A bit of chocolate is just barely noticeable. No hop aroma.

Appearance: Black body with clear ruby highlights along the edges and top. Head poured about one finger of tan large bubbles, but faded quickly to a trace of a ring along the outside.

Flavor: Light caramel blended with some plum and roasted malt. Sweet chocolate works its way in as well toward the middle where hop bitterness makes a showing ever so slightly. Finish is very clean with a touch of malt sugars left behind for sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light body with light carbonation. It's either the roast or barrel aging that give a sense of dryness on the palate right in the middle, then the beer ends very crisp and dry. Light visit from hop bitterness in the finish.

Overall: Surprisingly light flavors coming off this beer, especially when you consider the relatively complex aroma. The dark fruit and light cherry character is very nice in the nose, but doesn't fully transcend to the flavor. A nice beer to enjoy on a cool Autumn evening, but still an easy drinking ale.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with mahogany and ruby hues. Soft, light, off-white head on top.

S: Dark fruits, plums and fig mostly. Some cola aromas too. Just a hint of pinot noir in the end. Not terribly aromatic overall, but some nice aromas.

T: Lots of dark fruit flavors at first, with more of that plum and fig that was in the aroma. This is followed by some faint chocolate flavors. The wine is more present in the flavor, with some dark cherry and earthiness. I get a hint of vanilla in the end. The hops are just barely there and provide a pleasant, herbal bitterness. Some cola like aftertaste at the end. Very complex for such a lower abv beer.

M: light-medium bodied. Quite dry. Finishes crisp and tart. Good carbonation.

D: A very flavorful beer. Quite unique. Reminds me of a dubbel in some aspects, except for the lack of belgian yeast character. Very enjoyable overall. I want another.

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up the last bomber from Princeton Liquors for $10. This proved to be a great after-dinner drink. It reminded me of a smooth old ale, but with a lighter body. My only complaint was that there was a creamy off-note that tasted a bit like minor oxidation. Otherwise there was a slight berry liquor flavor and smooth caramel malts that all finished with a dry, tart tang. This is certainly one of Schell's more interesting beer and worth checking out for yourself.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours really quite dark red-brown, almost black. Still has a very nice 2.5 finger head with a very smooth cap, though it's a little airy underneath and fading fast, but leaves an alright lace. Looks like maybe some Active carb, but hard to tell.

S: Smells like many other alts I've had, just a little funky. The pinot barrels come through for sure. Mostly malty, though some German hops can be noticed as a spicy undertone. Decently aromatic, but not overwhelming.

T: The taste is very interesting. It (duh) tastes like an aged ale, but one that would normally be to light to age, but it's still very good. It seems like maybe some of the structure has broken down? A mild oaky-winey taste is there and it's nice. My beer is VERY cold (well, relative to how I usually drink beer) but it's super refreshing and good. It's a little acidic.

M: Very light and smooth actually, but each sip seems to change. Sometimes it feels a little thin, other times the body really comes out. It makes it fun to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coffee color with a rocky beige head that leaves clumps of foam behind

Smell: While the aroma smells like a cross between red wine and beer, I cannot say that it is particularly appealing

Taste: Fortunately, the taste is far better than the smell; opens with a brown bread backbone upon which there are red wine grape and chocolate flavors that are nicely layered with the tartness of the grapes and the sweetness of the chocolate; after the swallow, the flavors merge together nicely, with the wine flavors coming out a bit on top

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fascinating brew which marries the wine and beer elements in a way that is very different from any other attempts to incorporate wine barrels into the beer making art

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Photo of pdoran10
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had much from schell's but thought I'd give their new limited release series a shot.

Beer pours out a very dark brown almost black with a finger and a half of head that quickly fades. no lacing :(

Smell is nutty with a slight roasted quality. red wine hint present too. not super fragrant.

taste is hazelnut nutmeg that is quickly overtaken by red wine from the aging. really strong red wine barrel presence but it works very well. good harmony in the flavors. yum!

mouthfeel is thin and a bit acidic from the wine, but acceptable. seems as if the base beer is lacking.

very nice smooth harmony in the flavors and low abv makes this one easy to drink. well done schell's

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Photo of dpnelson1978
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle into tulip.

S: Sweet caramel aroma and a hint of raisin and rum.

A: Small creamy off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lacing and a thin bubbly cover. Dark brown body, almost opaque and just a slight purple tone along the edges.

T: Slight sour notes over a subdued caramel malt backbone. Little hop bitterness, but sour has some staying power.

M: Smooth and creamy. Light to medium body, light to medium carbonation.

D: Very sessionable brew. Goes down easy with or without food. Delicious!

O: Good beer, but room for improvement. I'll be looking forward to the next release. Best beer I've had from the brewery.

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Photo of Schmaltzy
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with golden ruby hues with small tan head around the outside of the glass.

S- Swirl in the glass reveals a nice light caramel and cherry scent followed by a nice light vanilla/floral scents, light tannic scents followed by a nice dry oakiness.

T- Wow I like the pinot barrels being used on a low ABV alt beer like this, they are both light and complement eachother well. Very similar to the smell with a nice pinot grape/cherry flavor followed by some light malt with vanilla oaky finish. Really nice, I know some people say that this should be a bigger beer but this is very nice and enjoyable as both styles, alt and pinot noir, are light and very drinkable.

M- Very nice and easy to drink with lots of flavors hiding in this beer, a delight to have. Light body with ample carbonation.

D- Nice and easy, the alt and pinot barrels do eachother well complementing eachother nicely, glad to be getting more of this beer soon.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a fairly impressive tan head.

S: The nose is somewhat underwhelming with some light maltiness giving off some caramel sweetness and a bit of bread. Maybe a hint of oak, vanilla, or wine, but not too much going on.

T: A slight tartness to this, which I was definitely not expecting. Just a touch of grape flavor along with some other miscellaneous fruits. Maybe a bit of earthiness, but could just be the wood.

M: The body is definitely on the thin side. I don't usually think of 5% altbiers going into barrels, so perhaps this was a bit ambitious.

D: I was not very impressed with this beer. It did not have anything that was outright terrible about it, but I did not find anything that kept me interested.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from Scoobydank, much to the chagrin of Alex. Thanks, Bill! I didn't know Schell had barrels!

Pouring dark brown, this beer has great clarity. With reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped by a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. Quite beautiful. The nose is dominated by the barrel character. Vanilla, coconut are present, completely masking the base beer, which admittedly, I have no exposure. The only part of the base alt that appears is a bready, dark caramel malt character. No hops are noticeable. A little toffee appears as it warms up. In fact, it really comes to life, with a great red wine complexity with a little dark fruit, some cocoa and a rich vinous character, but then again, it's all barrel and not much base beer.

If the nose was dominated by the barrel, the palate is more so. Opening with just a ton of vanilla and coconut, there's a lot of barrel character on this one (minus the boozy heat, which is very nice). While there's the potential for these flavors to complement the malt character of an aged alt, there's a touch too much here, the caramel and dark fruit character are whelmed by the barrel. Wine character is low too, the only thing that hints to its presence is a touch of dark fruit character. As it warms up, the wine does come through a lot more. The malt does linger on the finish, with a pleasant blend of toffee, caramel and a little creme brulee. Tannins are low, practically non-existent. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is decent on the palate. While the ABV makes this shockingly easy to drink, this could just be so much better as it has immense potential. Nevertheless, an excellent first attempt, one that grew on me the more I drank of it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Schell's Stag Series Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt, Beer Aged in Red Wine Barrels, Limited Release Batch No. 1.

Dark brown color, ruby highlights around the edges, smallish beige head.

Aroma: clean, lightly malty, slightly tannin-y, revealing something of the barrel in the nose. A little caramel and toffee, some touches of cocoa. Sweet, and well-rounded.

Let's see how she tastes...Mmm, the pinot jumps right out, berries and plump grapes keeping up and hanging around with the malt.

This is an incredibly unique brew. When so many others do the bourbon barrel stout thing, along comes the traditional German brewery do wine barrel up an alt, of all the things in the world. I've always like Schmaltz' Alt, now here it is, spritzed up with the juice of the vine.

Lightly tart and gritty, nice texture, wonderful mouthfeel, ...I can feel the simple, malty pleasures of the alt underneath, spruced up with the pleasures of the barrel. Grapes and grains, together in perfect harmony...mmmm, this is good.

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Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 45 ratings
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