Shade Grown Coffee Porter | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Shade Grown Coffee PorterShade Grown Coffee Porter

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by assurbanipaul on 12-07-2003

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Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 357
Photo of Arbitrator
2.25/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. A generous extra from MiguelMandingo. Thanks Mike!

A: Pours a clear, but dark, brown body that is more translucent than expected against the light. Despite a vigorous pour, the light beige head is weak and barely rises to half a finger of thickness. It immediately collapses back into a collar and a thin scattered film on top of the brew.

S: Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate. Not a bad smell, but it took some agitation to bring it out.

T: Nutty bittersweet chocolate, mild roasted malt, and coffee. Even though I'm not a huge fan of coffee stouts, this is fairly well integrated into the main flavor and it complements the rest of the porter nicely. Except in the finish, where it becomes vegetal and disharmonious. However, after I let it warm above optimal drinking temperature, it becomes less vegetal and the roast comes out more to cover up the coffee's finish. It's not terrible, but it's not good.

M: Light-medium bodied, with low carbonation.

D: I hear these guys just started bottling their beers, so I hope to try more from them in the future. Right now I think this isn't worth getting again.

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Photo of chocosushi
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cuvée des Trolls glass
A ~ Pours dark brown with a copper hue. Not much lacing..

S ~ Oatmeal with Brown Sugar, Wheat bread, & Caramel. I'm really not getting any coffee.

T ~ Oatmeal follows through with caramel & brown sugar following right behind. Cappuccino powder...barely. Hops are very mild & earthy. Coffee is so mildly expressed I feel I am not even tasting it. Nice prune notes for what it's worth.

M ~ Nice sweetness, but turns grapey quickly upon warming. Mo roastyness akin to a good Coffee porter. Carbonation is spritzy & doesn't worth with the thin frame of this beer. Faintly grassy.

D ~ Pretty drinkable, yes, but not wroth seeking out. No coffee here. Frankly I'm pretty disappointed. Thanks Brad for the opportunity!

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Photo of SkipWeathers
2.56/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - kind of a ruby brown, little fizz

S - minimal aroma; no real smell at all

T - slight roast flavor, maybe some weak coffee, not much else

M - thin, weak, dissipating quickly, not much here

D - would not be hard to drink several of these, as long as you like weak porters.

A weak offering from Real Ale. I love their Devil's Backbone (my quaff of the Summer of '10), but this is not so good. I was hoping for some bold flavors here but none found. Was similar to Pipeline Porter. I had high hopes for it but it was disappointing too.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.6/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cheers very much to my bro Aaron for bringing this back from a recent trip to Texas. It seems Texan beers are rare in the parts of the US I ever get to visit.

Pours a disappointingly light looking brown colour, with oily hints at the corners. Head forms as a passive slick of film across the top of the glass. Body is also thin and light, but with a pleasing fine bead of carbonation. It's ok, but the negatives draw down the positives leaving it looking pretty average.

Nose is mild with filtered coffee aromas, and a touch of husky malt giving a twinge of grainy sweetness. Other sweet confectionery hints give notes of marshmallows and powdered sugar. It's not very full, and the coffee flavour seems lackadaisically layered on top of a relatively substandard beer otherwise.

Taste is also thin, with weak filtered coffee flavours riding along for the ride, awash a faint watery palate of nothingness. Slight raw beany character towards the back, and a slightly gritty finish like coarse dirt. Eh. Feel is particularly empty, letting even the purported marshmallow sweetness drop away to nothing.

A pretty disappointing brew, all up, and a sad initiation to Texan craft beer as far as I'm concerned. There are two more to come from Aaron's haul, so hopefully there's some redemption there.

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Photo of ms11781
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to RealZombieJesus. Best by 02/09/2012 printed on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a murky deep brown color with lighter brown hues at the edges and bottom of the glass. A thin tan head develops and falls rather quickly. A thin foam cap sticks around for a bit before also disappearing. Slight wisps of lacing are left on the glass but they also seem to dwindle with time.

The nose is made up of subdued notes of chocolate and some sweet malt. There is some dark fruit that struggles to peek its had out as well. There is no coffee detected in the nose which is disappointing from a coffee porter.

The taste follows closely with the nose with the addition of some roasty and nutty notes. The chocolate is up front again but it's quickly taken over by a big sweet malt character. Roasted malt saves the beer from being too sweet and there is a pleasant nutty characteristic in the finish and aftertaste.

Medium body with soft carbonation. There is a smooth, creamy mouthfeel to it. It's probably the best characteristic of the beer.

This one missed the mark for me. There was no coffee in the nose or the taste. The lack of coffee seemed to let other characteristics stand out when they probably should have been in the background. Considering this was consumed so close to the best by date my guess is that this is best when fresh.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There's no indication on the bottle lable that notes the "Shade Grown" title but it's the same beer in the end.

This Coffee Porter is a middle-of-the-road base of chocolate, pale, and a bit of roasted malts. Roast is intensified by the coffee additions which pick up a 'columbian coffee' nuttiness. Though the coffee is present, I have had regular Porters with as much coffee flavor and boldness. Bitterness is a good blend of hops and coffee resins with a bit of grassiness comming into the flavor hop flavor mix.

The beer is a dark brown color with some opaquness particularly around the edges. A loosely knit head falls apart under the coffee influence (a lot of coffee beers do this). Some lacing and foam holds onto the edges before completely disipating after a few minutes.

A grainy, tart-sour thing happens as the beer warms and carbonation subsides. I'm not sure if this is part of the beers character or if it is becaue I am drinking toward the tail end of the 'Best By' date.

The body is pretty light and could use a fuller, maltier, breadier mouthfeel. Without it, the beer seems thin as the carbonation is fleeting.

Thanks Exiled.

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Photo of nas5755
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- brown with chocolate edges and normal head, little retention

S- Subtle milk-chocolate, dark malts

T-Chocolate, dark malts, a little roast, a little coffee fruit and coffee bitterness and some vanilla.

M- carbonation is ok, slightly on the plus side, thin

D- A fairly drinkable porter, could have thicker body and a little less carbonation, but overall a solid beer

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Photo of jkanavel
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, clear, bubbly, reddish around the edges. Weak head, no retention whatsoever.

S: Pretty standard given the addition of coffee in the brew.

T: VERY dry, this is not a sweet porter. Smooth vanilla, bitter-sweet chocolate notes, definantly some nice coffee, but more like a french press coffee than an espresso. Not sure what degree of roasted the added coffee was.
Acid levels are WAY to high in this beer. After the first bottle I was done. No question about it. It left a sour gas station coffee flavor lingering on the back of my tongue.

M: Effervescent. Really highly carbonated. Thin, kind of water.

O: This beer tastes good on the front of the palate. Pretty good indeed, everything else about it falls flat imho. I try to drink local often, but this is just not what I want representing Texas's contribution to brewing. There's always Rahr and St. Arnolds...

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Photo of seeswo
3.09/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a reasonable tan head. Smells very weakly of roast and coffee. To be fair, it says best if consumed by today - acquired in a trade. Anyway, taste is very low-key. It's like a very basic but smooth porter that was dusted with the tiniest bit of coffee. I can only rate what I've got, but this is very basic. No off flavors, so thats good? Very smooth mouthfeel, but thin, and reasonably drinkable, I guess. Very forgettable.

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Photo of midaszero
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Opaque brown black with a small coffee head and good lacing

S - Tiny bit of a coffee scent but not much

T - Malt with a little coffee. Kind of smokey

M - Light medium body that is a little watery with medium carbonation

D - Enjoyable but not as strong of a coffee presence as I was hoping for

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Photo of Anthony1
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with amber tints at the edges. The beige head thins to a film leaving no lace.

The nose is predominantly coffee, with some chocolate. Sweet chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is a nice roasted, coffee bitterness with a bit of lingering fruitiness. Medium-bodied, moderately high carbonation. Some graininess.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.14/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mhewes for this extra in a recent trade. How did you know I love coffee beers? From notes.

Pours brown with some red highlights. 2 finger light cocoa colored head falls to nothing, no lacing or retention.

Aromatic coffee beans were apparent as I poured the bottled into my tulip. Very clean coffee aroma, not real edge or bite to it. Light chocolate malts and hints of dark chocolate.

Taste is kind of underwhelming. Synthetic coffee flavor, slight bitterness from the roast. Faint chocolate. This combined with the watery mouthfeel that was lacking substance was a bit of a disappointment.

Easy enough to drink, and I really wanted to like it, but there are a lot of better coffee beers out there. One and done.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to DaveHack for this awesome extra that he had no obligation to provide. Poured into a snifter. Best by date of 2/2012.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A very thin cream colored head of about a quarter finger rings the glass. Some touch and go lacing on the sides of the glass. Disappointingly thing head.

S: Pretty good. Strong coffee, chocolate, roasted biscuit, and grain. I'm also getting faint traces of vanilla and some sweet fruit.

T: Pretty low key. Caramel and creamy malts with a light coffee presence. Nothing very assertive here, it is subtle and quite easy drinking.

M: Thin for a porter. I'd say this drinks more like a coffee-infused brown ale. Lots of carbonation, too much for the style. It's more crisp than creamy. Sweet flavors cover up any roasted characteristics. The body just seems way too light.

O: This was an odd duck. The smell was good and I expected a thick, creamy porter with some delicate coffee notes. What I got was an overly sweet, thin brown ale with some coffee roast on the back end. By no means is it bad, but the body as a whole was surprisingly light and rather thin. Coffee presence should be amped up quite a bit and the body should be fuller and creamier to meet the expectations I have for a porter. By no means a bad beer, but stylistically it misses the mark by a good margin.

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Photo of Tifore
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Recieved this bottle in a trade from Twiggamortis420 (Greg). Thanks buddy.
Poured from the 12 ounce glass into my DFH Snifter.

A - Pours a really dark brown that you can't see through except when held up to the light which also brings some red and orange hues to the brew. A small 1/2 finger head develops but quickly turns into a pretty decent sized cap with some light lacing.

S - The smell is delicate on this brew which I wasn't expecting. I was expecting big BAM of coffee. I do smell some light coffee notes with a real sort of sweetness, perhaps some semi sweet chocolate and carmel. Also has a pretty good malty smell to it.

T - A very refreshing porter for sure. Really crisp and not so thick as I was expecting. The flavors aren't very big here either kinda like the nose but I get some sweet malts, and some coffee / chocolate. Very similar to the nose. No hops really to speak of and I have this wierd sort of metal taste left in my mouth. Maybe the barrel used to brew it out of? Interesting.

M - Mouthfeel is nice. It has some good carbonation which adds a nice touch and the beer isn't too thick which was very unexpected.

D - If it wasn't for this darn metallic taste which stays with me throughout drinking the whole beer I might be willing to have another but this taste is strange. Just kinda tastes like they scrubbed the sides of the take with a brillo pad and let that be part of the flavoring process. I'd be intrigued to visit it again from another batch.

 1,485 characters

Photo of Mauerhan
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

cracked open a bit below room temp. dark brown with some lighter highlights. small tan head that falls flat quickly leaving little if no lacing.

smell is thin hints of watered down old coffee grounds. decent smell. nothing crazy but nice. as it warms it reminds me of an english brown. slightly nutty wih some sweetness. almost a candied walnuts.

taste is very thin. watery coffee dominates the mouth. nutty finish. good not great. alright to drink but I dont think I would visit again

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red colour, looks black until held up to the light. Head is cream-coloured, thin but able to be revived with a quick swill. Lace is not that clingy; sinks slowly down the glass. Nice; looks rich and inviting, like Richard Branson after a hit of MDMA.

Smells a little too sweet for my liking. Big grainy smell, almost raw without a lot of toastiness, although a light caramelised aroma hits later. Touch of plum, dates and red grape skins as esters, but mostly that sweet grain character. Decent, but can't say I'm a huge fan, and would really expect more... you know, coffee, from a coffee porter.

Taste is really rather similar, lots of sweet cereal notes. Puffed rice, hot cross buns on there, slight treacle glaze but a decent toasty note running down the back and a mild espresso flavour. A bit diminutive on the finish, there's a linger but it's all quite meek and muted. Slightly toasty and a bit sweet. Quite pleasant, but overall a bit lacking, yet tastes like it wants to be complex.

Yeah, a bit thin upfront but then regains some power towards the back. Drying, not hugely full.

Something's lacking, and I think it's heart. There's some high points and some lower plateaux. Not overall bad though.

 1,229 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/15/2007 (Tap @ Alamo Drafthouse West Oaks, Houston, TX):

Pours a dark brown/black colored body, with a small head, off-white in color. Has a strong aroma of coffee, and some malts. Has a watery palate, and a coffee taste, but not too strong. Good taste, roasted.

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Photo of DevilsCups
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Founders Tulip.

A - The stream out of the bottle is a cola colored pour, but settles a nice black body in the glass. Thin bone-white to tan head. Settles to a nice soapiness layered on top. Standard looking porter.

S - Pretty nice aroma. Nothing outstanding. Milk chocolate with a coffee background. I would imagine a fresh bottler would have a bigger coffee note to it, which would benefit this brew possibly. I'm not too sure, as the milk chocolate notes are pretty nice.

T - Chocolate with a bit of sweetness up front with a slight coffee background. Old bottle, so I would imagine it's faded just like the nose. There's a nice bitterness that's either coming from the hops used or the lasting effect of the coffee. Slight metallic note. Decent.

M - Carbonated like a plain ale. Could use a softer bubble. This would be nice on nitro.

O - Standard issue porter methinks. Nothing outstanding, but a solid regular porter from an up and coming state.

 979 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a coffee like brown with a decent size tan foam

S - mostly coffee aroma with some dark fruit and bitterness

T - mild coffee flavor with some bitterness to it, everything is pretty mild and nothing too outstanding

M - creamy mouthfeel and good carbonation

D - seemed like a decent beer all around, just nothing too amazing

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Photo of axeman9182
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of OakedCanuck, it has a best by date of 1/20/11 (just made it!) and was poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours surprisingly dark, even for a porter. It's almost stout black, with no highlights showing through. At the same time, the head is a bit lighter than anticipated, closer to off white than tan. It approaches three fingers in height, but doesn't last for very long, nor does it leave anything really in the way of lacing. The nose is entirely one note, coffee (unsurprisingly). It could stand to be a little more forceful, and it is a bit dull with nothing else going on in the background. Try as I might, I can't find anything going on here beyond coffee. The blend of added coffee and flavor from the grains results in a coffee flavor that's round and smooth, rather than anything resembling acridity or being overly roasted. The body is a bit on the light side, even for a relatively dry porter. It could stand to have a bit more heft behind it. At the same time, the carbonation is a bit dull, contributing to the ho hum nature of this beer. If I was going to add coffee to a beer, my first choice for a base beer wouldn't be a porter that's already fairly coffee heavy. A little more contrast or variety of flavors would have made a serviceable beer more enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a very flat looking pour, dark brown in color. smells of tobacco, coffee, hints of bourbon or vanilla. tastes like cold black 2 day old coffee.. toasted grains, coffee with a hint of sourness. something feels off, but the bottle is as fresh as it gets. feels like a light bodied beer on the mouth, but poured like a medium body. not much carbonation, no head, no lacing - and slightly off flavors.. not great things. i have a 2nd bottle of this, but i'm not sure it's worth it. it wasn't bad, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. I have gotten 3 bottles of this recently in trades so thanks to all of you guys for this.

A- Pours a deep cola brown looking color with ruby highlights when held to the light. One finger tan head pops up and shows medium retention. Lacing is ringy and light overall.

S- Coffee notes come into play first along with a strange off putting acidic hint as well. A metallic taste comes over this and hints throughout the entire beer. Light bitter baker's chocolate hints toward the ending of the beer. A basic smelling coffee porter with a touch of its own umph.

T- Black coffee notes with a hint of cream is the front flavor on this beer. Some light darker chocolate (bitter) in the middle of the beer with a hint of roasted malts which make up the base of the beer. The ending shows back a little coffee again but this is overtaken by a metallic taste. No real hop flavor at all in the beer which for some reason I expected.

M- Lighter mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Coffee notes with light chocolate notes left on the palate. The aftertaste of this beer is mostly metallic tones with a hint of coffee and alcohol. Flavors were a little off with the metallic taste but other than that it is coffee forward which it should be. Not clean tasting from of course the metallic taste but other than it would have seemed to be clean tasting. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This beer has the chance to be very good. I can't wait to crack open some of the other bottles of this I have to see if the coffee and porter itself can dominate in the taste and not the metallic flavoring. ABV seems to be hidden pretty well only showing up toward the ending. A nice try for Real Ale.

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A beautiful deep dark brown. Cream colored head that disappears quickly.

Smell- Coffee and chocolate in that order. Almost smells like root beer.

Taste- You can taste the coffee right up front. Maybe some dark bitter chocolate. Hints of roasted malt too. Alcohol sugar comes in on the back-end.

Mouthfeel- Really nice mouthfeel. Exactly how a porter should go down. Not as thin as an IPA, but not as thick as an Russian Imperial stout.

Overall- A great seasonal beer from a good brewery. Grab some if you still can, but drink them ASAP. These won't taste good for long.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Lawson's snifter. Thanks Dan (totoropanda) for this one.

A- Pours a hazlenut brown that appears mostly black in the glass, very thin beige head that dissipates fairly fast, some light spotty lacing, fairly minimal carbonation that doesn't last that long.

S- Espresso beans, malts, about average aroma strength, nothing too exciting.

T- Coffee, espresso beans, malts, a little bit watery, some light hops, a little bit more flavorful then aroma but nothing spectacular. Decent coffee profile, but nothing much else.

M- Medium bodied, fairly light carbonation, easy drinking, a little bit watery.

O- This wasn't anything too spectacular. Decent overall, but nothing that made it stand out that much. I enjoyed drinking this, but I've had much better coffee porters.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle, best by 01/26/11.
A: Dark brown with a dark tan collar/film/lacing.
S: Dark caramel and almonds, latte, bananas, milk chocolate, green hops in the finish.
T: Metallic green lingering finish, toffee and caramel mix with a mildly roasted coffee, and almond.
M: Lighter with a decent froth, it feels a little thin.
O: Decent. I might order it on tap occasionally if it was available here.

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Shade Grown Coffee Porter from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 357 ratings.
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