Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

2,807 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

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Reviews: 2,807 | Ratings: 6,666
Photo of Ricochet
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I pour a beer, and I smell a wine like smell, it's going to be something special. Few beers I've tried have smelled that way, and when they do, man, they rate high.

This poured perfectly black with a slight head that left a bit around the glass. It's black. No light came through. Outstanding. Smelling this was wonderful, with winey notes, dark malt, and chocolate. Damn. Then, for mouthfeel, I had a hard time rating this beer because I kept swallowing. All I can say is, wow. It will make you drink rather than swish.

Taste: What can I say. I'm wowed by this. There are so many different flavors, perfectly balanced, this is outstanding. Dark roasted malt, deep chocolate flavor and winey alcoholic notes.

The bonus, the first stout I'll give a 5 for drinkability. This would be a beer I could enjoy with food, with good friends, over a good video , anything. Highly reccommended when it's available. It doesn't suffer from the "bottled stout" syndrome. The flavors are fresh tasting as any. I want to sample other Brooklyn beers now. Bravo.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a nice, thick black with a small head that shrank to a ring and stayed that way. There's only a few dots of lace.

The smell is very good, with chocolate highlighting the dark malt base. The taste is chocolate up front, then malt takes over, while chocolate and hops take over the finish. The mouthfeel is strong and appealing while the drinkability is good for the strong content.

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Photo of malty
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter '04-'05 vintage.

Poured black with a khaki head that descended to 1/8".

Scent of sweet black licorice, vanilla & molasses. And, oh yes, chocolate. Alcohol is apparent also.

Flavors are sweet and robust. Bitter dark chocolate with soft coffee notes. Pointed notes of charred toffee bathed in powdered sugar. Very liqueur-like.

Mouthfeel is very soft with perfect fine carbonation. Medium bodied, which made this a fine partner to a warm summer night. Nice dry finish to counterweigh its inherent sweetness.

Drinkability is very good. Not a stout to knock you off your feet. Very refined and articulate.

Overall a great version of a style that sometimes tends to be a bit heavy-handed. I drank this at cellar temp. which seemed to me very fitting for this ale. Would gladly incorporate this into my winter repretoire. Great stout from a great brewery.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep black color-Theres no way any light is getting thru this sucker. Small head and a slight trace of lacing. Low aroma-slight licorice and roasted malt comes thu for the most part. Big roasted malt flavor. Nice grainy and burnt flavor. Hints of anise,licorice and treacle. Very slight trace of sweetness. Nice body-very full and quite bold. A freakin killer beer. One of the best going. Whether its your first or last of the day-impressive all over!

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

Pours like some kind of motor oil. Really dark and viscous. Thick mouthfeel, definitely a plus. Dark chocolate and espresso notes combine to make a really tasty beer. An extremely drinkable beer for the amount of alcohol, but 8.5% probably makes this a nightcap kind of a beer for me. Gave a couple of these away but the rest of the six pack isn't going to last very long.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release 2003 – 2004

Appearance: Deep mahogony in color, no light passes through, with a medium dark tan head, which retains well, and excellent, thick creamy lacing.

Aroma: Profound, rich aroma of coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate, lesser notes of dark fruit, very pleasing and potent.

Taste: Rich and deep bitter chocolate taste from start to finish, this lingers on and on and on, very pleasntly, though. Late in the taste, there is a warming alcohol note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, syrupy, and very full, little carbonation noted.

Drinkability/notes: A superb beer, probably best enjoyed in cold weather, although there is precious little of that or beers like this in Central Texas.

Thanks to HardTarget for this most excellent treat.

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Photo of horndecker
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was brewed in the winter of 03-04.

Blackest night, inky, with the occasional purple tinge around the edges. It has a coffee-brown, fine foamy head which is short and short-lived, but the carbonation is there, ready for action with each sip.

The smell is all bittersweet chocolate, burnt malt, a hint of prunes or raisins. Pretty fabulous.

The taste doesn't disappoint. Ruthlessly chocolatey, with a bit of coffee-ish bitterness, warming alcohol, silky smooth and creamy like a milkshake. Each sip fills your mouth with a fine foam that roils up and dances around your tongue. The aftertaste is cocoa powder and rum cake.

Had this with vanilla ice cream. Yes yes.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Winter 03/04
A: Black, really black, laughing at light black. Head was initially 3/4", dark tan color. Not so good now, seemed to fade away too quickly.
S: Dark malts, rich chocolate aroma, some coffee smells but not much. This smells like they used more hops than the other stouts I've been drinking the last two days.
T: Bitter dark chocolate taste. Again, more aggressive hops than I expected (yum). Burnt coffee taste. If there's malts here to be tasted, they are escaping me. Aftertaste lingers and lingers.
M: Full bodied without being too heavy. Strong alcohol feel. Real strong.
D&N: No doubt about it, this is a big beer. A bit stronger (alcohol wise) than I'd expect, so no drinking a few of these, one is quite enough, but I'm really enjoying it.

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Photo of Litterbean
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy crap, this beer is black. The tan head is towering and the lace is thick and persistent.

Roasted malt aroma, coupled with hints of coffee and a heaping load of chocolate. Very faint hop smell at the end.

Warming sweet malts, with a slightly bitter coffee flavor and a lot of chocolate again. Cappucino and earthy flavors permeate. A bit chewy at the end.

Smooth as hell. Thick and creamy, this one eats other stouts. Very drinkable even at the high alcohol, it's hidden so well. Delicious to say the very least.

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Photo of maybrick
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was sampled from the 1999 - 2000 12 ounce bottle. Wow, what can you say save for "damn this is the real deal." This is one of my favorite beer styles. It pours balc, black, balck, so black in fact there was no light being able to penetrate the liquid.

The aroma was of chocolate, malts, and just a touch of smoke and hop.

The taste is incredible. It is very powerful and I assume as this was cellared well for five years it has blended and mellowed. This is a wonderful beer and if you can find it - buy it.

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Photo of FirstMan
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night, this one. The head sticks around for a while and has a muddy light brown color. Eventually it unevenly diminishes into little mud-pot bubble-rings across an even layer that just covers the top of the liquid. Lots of heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is strongly roasted, toasted grains, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and (my wife thinks) a little hint of soy sauce. Very rich and complex.

Right at the beginning a quick hit of alcohol esters immediately precedes a complex mix of chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, and smoke. Very rich and complicated. Slowly the variety of flavors wanes into a lingering smoky hop bitterness.

Big, chewy mouthfeel. Smooth tempered by tinge of carbonation. Smooth, but not nearly as much as your typical English Stout.

Overall an amazing stout. Highly complex and truly world-class.

My only sidenote would be that this is a one-pint beer for me. It's so good you want to drink it slowly and savor it. I'll stick to other beers for multiples.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

presented as 12 oz bottle, limited bottling winter 04-05.
poured a black color with tannish head. The smell is roasty with distinct chocolate overtones. (Dove dark chocolate??). taste is as of a stout with chocolate ine the back of the mouth, leavinfg an enjoyable mouthfeel. 8.5% tells me one is enough. A truly enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Buildscharacter
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a super big fan of this super dark beer. It pours out like liquid night. It has a good character to it, and the I love opening one of these bottles and just smelling the sweet air inside. Wonderful.

As I said, it's quite quite dark, and stains anything it touches!! Be careful! Anyway, the head is a very dark brown color and dissipates quickly.

The smell is just wonderful, there's a reason they call it Black Chocolate. You can just smell the aroma of chocolate and malt in this great beer.

I'm not as thrilled with the 2003-2004 batch, but I am more more obliged to recomend the 2004-2005. I can't wait to let this baby age some. The 04-05 has a great smooth flavor and leaves a wonderful chocolate aftertaste. I have found that even people that aren't big beer drinkers love this beer. There is a definate coffee flavor burried under all that chocolate.

I find that warming this beer to room temp allows for the full bouqet of flavor and smells to be pulled from it.
Great sipping beer. Wouldn't suggest having more than two of them, just for the fact that they're pretty strong.

One of my favorites.

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Photo of thesilverhand
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the '04-'05 version.
Gorgeous! Thick and black as crude oil, with a beautiful brown head that dissipated, but left decent lace on the glass.
The aroma is thick with soy sauce, burnt sugars and bitter chocolate...complex and inviting. There is a slight alcohol presence.
The flavour is as dark as the beer itself...darkly roasted coffees, chocolate, burnt sugars and charcoal. There is also a nice touch of hop bitterness. The alcohol makes itself known here, too, but again, it keeps a low profile and doesn't detract from the overall flavour.
This is an amazingly viscous brew, sticking thickly throughout my mouth, but has just enough carbonation to keep it from feeling too heavy. As I make my way through the glass, the alcohol feels more prevalent, leaving me with a bit of a boozy mouthfeel.
Overall, this is a phenomenal beer, and I'd recommend it without reservation. Perhaps not more than one, however. Just getting through one has left me's like a good meal.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was really in the mood for a piece of chocolate, but I figured this may appease my craving...make that cravings...I also wanted a beer.
Winter 04-05 offering...
Pours a dark brown, bordering on black w/ a full finger and a half of heavy, cocoa-colored head...lacing is real thick, sticks to the side of my tulip and goes nowhere.
I am mostly smelling a very rich, dark chocolate with just a slightly sweet aroma...most likely due to the lacing under my nose.
The taste is fantastic! Nothing overpowering...just a well balance double stout. Sweet cocoa and carmelized malt w/ hint of coffee and touch of hops.
Mouthfeel is pretty darn thick, reminding me of World Wide w/out the burn (a good burn mind you).
Carbonation is nice, not flat and not overly dry in its finish. The alcohol is well hidden in this one.
Drinkability is decent for its style...I could put back a couple of these w/ little effort.
Only my second brew from Brooklyn...glad to see my selection getting better.

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Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Release 04-05

Appearance: Pours a dark, muddy black color with a small mocha head that leaves some splashes of lacing

Smell: Bitter chocolate and coffee notes dominate, along with prunes and a hint of alcohol; slightly smokey

Taste: Very complex. Starts out with the roasted malt flavors, lots of chocolate and coffee then, the prunes; after a few seconds the first wave of bitterness takes over; then you get a burst of alcoholic warmth which stays with you as the chocolate, sweeter this time, returns in the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous with a modest amount of carbonation

Drinkability: This is so rich and alcohol-laden that it is hard to drink the whole bottle. Forget about a second.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Note: Having had this amazingly complex brew before, I decided to forgo using my usual pint glass and instead opted for a snifter in order to review this one.

Appearance: Utter and absolute darkness, this brew is entirely opaque (even held up against a light the color does not change). Also, a thick, creamy brown head (with some minor ruby hues) that sustains for quite a while. The viscous oiliness of this beer is also very impressive (it has that somwhat rare “coats the glass” quality).

Aroma: A number of aromas emanate from this brew: chocolate, roasted coffee, burnt fruit, alcohol hints, and even hop bitterness. Nicely earthy and complex.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Two basic, overall flavors dominate this brew: bitterness and roastiness (or, more accurately, a burnt flavor). The former comes from an array of the beer’s flavors such as bitter cocoa, hop flavor, alcohol bite, etc., while the latter stems from roasted coffee, burnt fruitiness, espresso, etc. All of these varying tastes complement to create a very rich and very complex brew. Also, the sweetness has a port-like character. In addition to all this, the finish is long and robust. The mouthfeel is exceptionally thick and oily, with a nice carbonation tang as well.

A number of words could be used to describe this truly outstanding beer – rich, robust, delicious, complex, earthy, etc., - but I think one simple word does it best: amazing. Easily my favorite stout, but also one of the best out of all the beers I’ve ever tasted, regardless of style. The one very minor drawback, IMHO, is that its richness makes it somewhat difficult to finish off more than one or two of these at a time (I been drinking the same glass of this stout for almost a half-hour and I’m still not done!), not to mention its alcohol kick (an 8.5% hammer). But, overall, no serious craft beer drinker can afford to not try this one. Highly, highly recommended!!

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Photo of kaszeta
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally procured a 12 oz bottle (still looking for tap, they haven't had this one at recent festivals I've been to).

Pours with a deep black body and a nice light tan head that lingers. Smell is mostly hoppy, with some sweet malty notes and just a hint of cocoa (like opening a tin of cocoa powder).

Taste is mostly that of a darker stout, with some nice, creamy sweetness, a bit of bitterness, and just a hint of cocoa and chocolate creeping in around the edges. The chocolate taste is done quite well here, applied sparingly and not with a sledgehammer. Taste lingers, with more of a hops flavor than anything chocolate. Good, substantial mouthfeel. Delicious and drinkable

Quite good, and that's coming from a guy that doesn't usually like specialty beers.

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Photo of Schwarzbart
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with tiny tiny little carbonation bubbles that run up the side of the glass. Small head that dissipates to a nice frothy/creamy, tanish brown covering with great lacing. Smell: Just great. Lots of chocolate malts with hints of coffee and I can smell the alcohol just a tad. Taste: Bitter and sweet. Taste like espresso beans with unsweetened chocolate liquor. A roasted flavor is present that I just can't quite figure out, but it is good. Mouthfeel: Creamy Drinkability: I will definately be drinking this one again, especially considering I have 3/4 case in the basement.

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Photo of ski271
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black! I mean not a speck of light showing through. Head is small, brown, creamy and most-diminishing by the time you get a couple sips in. Good lacing coating the glass all the way down.

Smell: Sweet & malty. A wonderful chocolate aroma that is so rich and deep, accompanied by a light smell of freshly roasted dark coffee beans and an earthy, oak-like aroma. I can’t really describe it well, but it has a smell that is just so inviting and comforting.

Taste: Wow! Now that’s a fine imperial stout (but it’s classified as an American Double Stout?). Lightly hopped over a beefy, solid, roasted malt backbone. Flavors of dark chocolate and coffee are rather pronounced, along with smoke, molasses and a slight fruitiness like black cherries. The finish is medium-long in duration and lightly bitter with a hint of vanilla (or is that just my imagination?). There’s a slight warming sensation from the alcohol, but otherwise it is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture, medium-full body (lightly syrupy but not as heavy as I expected), soft carbonation, and a crispness that comes from that very nice finish.

Drinkability: I tried to slowly enjoy this bottle but ended up plowing through the glass in a matter of minutes. One of the best beers I’ve been introduced to this year! I highly recommend seeking out a bottle of this. It is truly remarkable.

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Photo of redmosquito
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black, with red highlights, and a reddish brown head that quickly dissappeared. The aroma is full of roasted, coffee, nutty oak, caramel, hintsof chocolate and an almost sherry like aroma as it warms. The taste is smooth roasted malt with solid bitterness and a lingering chocolate finish. This beer isn't dry, but rather it's sweet and warming. An obviously well made beer, surprisingly on the light side of the style, but so well balanced that it will shine over it's alcohol laen peers.

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Photo of BadBadger
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours nice and dark. A thick tan foamy head forms and lasts for a relatively long time. The smell is firstly of wonderful chocolate roasted malts. But then slight hints of alcohol start to come through the malt and chocolate aroma. The taste follows a similar pattern: thick, chocolate and malty, very slight tinge of alcohol. This is definitely far better than average, and certainly worth trying. This should be searched out and savored. This is a fine beer which continues to grow on my palate. Enjoy.

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Photo of dmbfrat420beers
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation - 12 oz bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '04-'05" label on it. I am drinking it in the March of '05.

Appearence - Poars very dark. Small, but tight, tawny head that dissipates fairly fast but leaves a nice lace on the glass.

Smell - light fusel alcohol aroma. faintly fruity odor that reminds me of currants or perhaps a brandy/port type beverage.

Taste - up front, is much like dark chocolate in its bitterness and slight fruity tartness, reminding me of rasberry, though I doubt they actually used rasberry in this brew. also some spicy alcohol notes. interesting in that it remains quite tart in the mouth but some hoppy bitterness clings to the lips. changes character quite a bit towards the end, revealing a lot of roasted malts and sweet notes. overall, quite complex and a nice warming feeling down the throat. nonetheless, this is not the best I have had, though that may owe to personal taste rather than anything inherent in the quality of the beer.

Mouthfeel - fairly mild carbonation. otherwise, nothing particularly special, although it certainly feels lighter bodied than its appearance would have suggested.

Drinkability - the tartness and the alcohol in this beer really catch up to you fast. Had this previously as part of a drinking "session" and did not appreciate it as much...nor did my stomach. i suggest it be drank in the same 'limited' way that it is bottled.

Final Notes - There is no reason not to try this beer and I very much enjoyed it. However, other imperial stouts are better, however, in particular I would recommend Weyerbacher's Heresy.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from the winter of '04-'05 batch poured into a chalice.
I think this started out too cold 'cause the beverage distributor I got it from had it in the fridge. At first I didn't think it any different from Guinness, which is pretty good in my book. As it warmed its characteristics really started to break through.
People that do not like dark, somewhat bitter chocolate are NOT going to like this brew. People that dont like strong, black coffee are NOT going to like this brew. Both of these scents and flavors are prevalent in Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Bittersweet. The mouthfeel could stand to feel a little bit thicker but it has a decent viscous quality as it stands.
Beautiful black color, a mild head, sweet but not cloying.
This is really 8.5%?
After having one I believed it but I certainly couldn't detect it by taste.
It's good to see a fellow nyc borough producing something of this quality.

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

Limited Bottling – Winter ’03-‘04
purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley, MD

Appearance – flat black; nice micronized, mocha cream-colored head; lace is solid but not of the highest level

Smell – monstrous chocolate and lively prunes are a great match; a bit of alcohol and a light bitter sense

Taste – sweet chocolate malts; prunes; subtle roasted tone; coffee aftertaste

Mouthfeel – this incarnation is a bit less thick and smooth as I have had from the BCS in the past but it is still a big contender; a bit oily; nice crisp and slightly bitter close

Drinkability – the flavors are big for me; as a chocolate connoisseur, the big chocolate flavor walks the walk; let it warm a bit and the flavors explode and the tremendous smoothness further emerges as does a fuller body

This one is nearly on my top shelf.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,666 ratings.
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