Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter | Summit Brewing Company

very good
157 Ratings
Summit Imperial Pumpkin PorterSummit Imperial Pumpkin Porter

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 11-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 123
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Stub & Herb's On New Year's Day. God Bless 'em for being open on that day!

A - Poured a jet-black color with a one-finger,light brown head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of coffee, smoke, roasted malt and some very faint floral notes.

T - One of the most unique tasting beers I've ever had. Coffee, chocolate, pumpkin and roasty malt. Bitter with sweetness to boot.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry, refreshing finish.

D - So good!! The beer highlight of my trip to MN (aside from finding Surly beers on tap everywhere!).

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Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Stellas in uptown

Served with a finger of light khaki head. Color is nearing black. Decent head retention with some nice lace.

Aroma: Chocolate, caramel, some roasted malts, and spice. Pumpkin and nutmeg show, but it doesn't overpower the beer.

Taste: Much similar to the aroma. I enjoy this pumpkin beer because the pumpkin and spice flavors are complements to the porter and not something that take over the chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt flavors. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin show.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and roasted. Medium bodied (I expected a bigger body) with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, not a bad offering from summit. It was somewhat drinkable as well. I doubt I will buy it again, but it was a decent beer to try once.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle at Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL. Served in a snifter.

The pour is quite nice. Black body with a two-finger mocha-colored head to start out with. This doesn't last for too long, however, as it quickly fades into a very bubbly cap with a thick collar and a few dots of lacing. The nose is quite nice with a bit of pumpkin spice, some heavy chocolate, and some nice roasted malt.

The flavor really packs a lot in with the chocolate really coming out alongside the roast and pumpkin character. Some mild cinnamon and other spices in the background. A really nice touch to this. Feel is pretty thick and viscous, though the carbonation level is maybe a bit too high. Quite tasty. A solid hit from Summit and something I wish I had regular Fall-time access to.

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Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really interesting looking beer thanks to duff247.

Pours a creamy almost 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, over essentially pitch black beer. A small head covering that is left after a while literally never fades.

The nose is really nice, some light roast, creamy porter aromas, a bit of coffee, slight baker's chocolate, and a nice roasted pumpkin aroma, hints of spices with that, cinnamon, but both blended well and subtle. A bit of caramel and toffee, some light earthy bittering hops, as it warms a lot more chocolate comes out as well.

Taste brings more pumpkin and spice to the foreground, some pumpkin flavor but not over the top toasted pumpkin like most pumpkin beers, some light spices, cinnamon etc, all bring the pumpkin portion of the beer out. Some light roast, coffee, toffee, caramel, chocolate, and quite a bit of light earthy bittering hops with a slight spicy demeanor, which linger with a long semi bitter but earthy hop finish, some sweetness lingering as well, with some creamy porter and roast, a bit of caramel and pumpkin spice.

Mouth is a little heavier bodied with decent carbonation for the style.

Drink is decent, booze doesn't really hit, a bit of a sticky finish doesn't help, as well as long pumpkin spices flavors, but otherwise decent.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Flows out a near black body with a thinnish, albeit initially dense, beige head.

Smell: Smells mainly of roasted malt, baker's chocolate, mild coffee, a bit of caramel, though beyond the malts, I'm snorting up some scents yielding light tones of pumpkin puree and gingerbread spices.

Taste: Malts of the darker variety, supporting tastes of caramel, unsweetened chocolate, coffee, and a bit of roasted grains. The pumpkin flavor is fairly reserved throughout, so gourdophobes shouldn't entirely dismiss this offering. The traditional holiday spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.) additions are aided by a dose of spicy English hops, though they are still secondary dark maltiness. Subtle spice character on the predominately roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's fairly tasty. I'd still recommend the Midnight Sun IPP over this, as it's a bit more audacious in terms of flavor, but this brew is still worth picking up a bottle or two.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down."

--Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Crown cracking resulted in a barely audible escape of CO2, so it was surprising to see a reasonably thick slice of caramel colored foam atop a midnight black body. The lid lacks interesting surface topography and doesn't grace the glass with much lace.

Imperial Pumpkin Porter smells pretty much like an Imperial pumpkin porter should smell, although a little more spiciness would be welcome too. The base porter dominates the nasal profile with a pleasing blast of chocolate malt. Pumpkin is difficult to appreciate, which is understandable.

SIPP is sippable beer. It's also gulpable beer if that's more your thing. My first impression was that a better mouthfeel is the only thing holding this brew back, but the flavor and drinkability scores would most likely have been the same either way. In other words... solidly good.

There is less sweetness and (slightly) more tanginess than expected. Sourish porters are historically accurate, so no sense getting bent out of shape over that. Given what else is going on, specific spices are hard to identity. No surprise, perhaps, when the list includes cinnamon, allspice, cassia, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves.

It all comes together pretty well, with proper balance on all fronts. The spice load isn't a hindrance to a multiple bottle session, but the ABV might be. For those who care about such things, the hop bill includes Fuggles, Northdown and East Kent Goldings. Lovely choices all around, since citrus zesty American varieties would have accentuated that which didn't need accentuating.

The mouthfeel could be bigger and better bubbled. The carbonation is somewhat harsh early and fades too quickly. At no point does it give it give proper lift and creaminess to the beer. In fact, the bottom half of the bottle is no better than average.

It's great to see Summit 'going big' with the Unchained Series. Imperial Pumpkin Porter is a fine effort that is better carbonation away from solid scores across the board. Thanks to feloniousmonk for another tasty treat from The Land Of 10,000 Lakes.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another new one for me. i used this one as my nightcap. poured into a pint glass.

really nice and deep dark brown pour that was essentially black with no lacing shining through at all. just splendid beer here as the nice tan head rose up beautifully from underneath. aroma is roasted malts, nice pumpkin and cinnamon spice mixed with a touch of nutmeg and vanilla. nearly identical in the follow through as each sip seemed to bring the pumpkin more to the front and coat it with deep chocolate layers. simply a marvel i have to admit

overall an awesome beer and worthy of alot of praise.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Cobblestone's in york -served chilled in a taster.

The porter is translucent mahogany with ruby highlights showing when held to the light. A thin beige cap leaves a thick film of sticky lace and bead is tiny while the retention is good. Wow, the smell is fragrant w/ notes of vanilla and mild clove -light fruity esters augment the spice w/ a tinge of pine. There are hints of cinnamon sticking out with nutmeg and some herbal notes with gental woody aromatics adding to the porter w/ a mild cocoa aroma. The feel is as expected-roasted and spiced with a sufficient sweetness level. The feel is very chewy and has high carbonation leveling the semi sweet finish and moderately low bitterness.

A slightly toasted flavor on entry w/ sweet maltiness leads to light nutty flavors with mild pepper and subtle floral vanilla notes. Hops give a subtle pine accent and a dry cocoa powder flavor lingers. The gentle biscuit and dried fruit earthiness adds to the complexity with a warm finish. The mild cinnamon and alcohol heat w/ bitterness that seems more apparent in the final taste. Overall this is a decent porter + I am sure the spice improves the beer but that is only because Summit used some restraint and the spices used are complimentary to a porter. I could definitely have several of these -no problem.

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Photo of orangesol
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours very dark brown, nearly black, with a small one finger tall tan head leaving small wisps of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, bakers chocolate, light vanilla sweetness, canned pumpkin pulp, and pumpkin pie spices.

T - Starts off a big dose of dark roasted malt slowly giving way to a mix of sweet chocolate and spicy pumpkin pulp. The alcohol is all but undetectable. The finish is mostly just dark roast, lingering for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Full feel with plenty of dark roast sticking around through the finish.

O - Not too bad for a cross over beer. I think the dark flavors dominated the pumpkin a bit too much at the beginning but it got a bit better toward the end.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Surly shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this BIFed bottle!

Finally, I'll get to see what pumpkin does to a porter. It pours a straight onyx topped by over a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises heavy chocolate, heavy roasted malts, cinnamon, pumpkin pie (inclusively), graham crackers, and molasses. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, chocolate powder, gourd flesh, and light cinnamon and nutmeg. The body is a slightly hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thickly watery feel. Overall, a decidedly interesting brew, one that is simultaneously tasty and off-putting. I have no other way to describe it, dear friends. I say grab one of your own and guzzle to whatever degree you see fit. Only then will you understand the Janus nature of this beer.

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Photo of stakem
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Batdorf served in a pint glass. Appears black in color with a thin line of lighter brown clarity around the edges. A finger of brown froth sits atop and recedes leaving a coating of webby and leggy lace about the glass.

Aroma includes a scent of pumpkin flesh mixed with cocoa and dark kilned grains that emit a scent somewhat like charcoal and coffee. Faint grainy sweetness and spices are evident but they are in the background and enjoyable, not overdone at all.

The taste is dark and roasty with a flavor that is nutty. Some pumpkin flesh flavor comes through with spices upfront before blending into more of the porter characteristics tasting very much like coffee and chocolate. A flavor of semisweet bakers chocolate lasts inside the mouth which is quite enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest to light level of carbonation. This was an enjoyable and easy drinking example of the increasingly popular stout/porter pumpkin beers. Fair base of a porter with a noticeable and not exaggerated spiced flavor. The pumpkin tastes fresh and real and is more present than the spiced aspect which I enjoyed. The abv was hidden quite well.

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Photo of Duff27
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark, dark brown with a thin mocha head. Decent head retention and lacing.

S- Chocolate but a definate sweet pumpkin smell.

T- Roasted malts. More chocolate with a touch of coffee. Pumpkin is not as pronounced as it is in the smell, may have faded over time.

M- Good smooth and creamy mouthfeel, par for the style.

D/O- Definately worth a try if you can still find some. Bring it back sometime Summit!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full-on ebony appearance, roasted brown head, slim and soon gone.

Aroma brims with spice. They put a ton in here, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, allspice, maybe more, I forget. It rides over anything else. A little coffee and caramel, maybe, with the black & chocolate malt.

tAste: All dark malts, and plenty of spice. Can't taste the pumpkin, doesn't reveal itself at all. Well, it's in there somewhere, but the porter elements are going strong, bittersweet, smooth, rich, and tasty. Cocoa flavor is major. Spice is coming on strong, and taking control, becoming bright and dominant.

I keep looking for the pumpkin, and have to realize it was meant to be drowned out by the malt and the spice. It's there, but undetectable and utterly submerged. But the beer becomes more than the sum of it's parts, and something very satisfying.

wait, halfway through the pint, now I'm getting the pumpkin, there it is. Neat little cameo, it pops up for a peep.

Yum, yum, yum. Warm, malt, chocolate, pumpkin, and then all that spice. It's there for flavor, but doesn't become hot or take over in any way. A well done brew all the way. Pumpkin haters needn't worry, as that flavor is subdued, and stout and porter lovers have much to enjoy.

Another winner in the Unchained Series!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shared by Mike. Served in a Goose Island tulip.

A - Dark brown body, with a half-finger of tan foam that settles to a ring and some wisps, leaving a few spots of lace.

S - Pumpkin heavy, with only medium levels of related spices. Chocolate cake malt character. The aroma is quite pleasant, with solid balance and integration.

T - This is much less pleasing. Burnt malts, dark chocolate, some dark multi-grain bread, and a very weird astringent and bitter finish.

M - Zesty and overcarbonated, body is a bit thin for 7.5%. Sticky texture with a sticky finish.

D - I suppose this blows the Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9 out of the water, but that's a pretty dubious claim. A largely average pumpkin beer. I'd much rather have TREAT or Big Black Pumpkin.

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Princeton's in Maple Grove. This turned out to be another great beer from the Unchained Series. This reminds me of the relation between Black IPAs and regular IPAs, this is the chocolate version of a pumpkin beer.

The aroma has a mix of cocoa, molasses, caramel and pumpkin pie. It's a smooth character and reminds me of dessert. The flavor is surprisingly bitter for a pumpkin beer, but I like it. There's more of the cocoa and pumpkin pie flavor and the taste closes out with a earthy, herbal bitterness.

I wish more pumpkin beers would break the mold like this one. Forget Pumking, I'll take a Summit.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Enjoy be 05-11-2011. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for this one!

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color that produced a minimal tan head with decent retention.

(S)- A mellow roasted background. Some pumpkin and subtle spices. Also has a dry nutty aspect with chocolate & molasses too. Simple, but definitely fits the name/what I was expecting.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Not as much pumpkin as I had hoped, but it is subtle and helps add another level to the overall creaminess of the beer. Still has a nice mellow roasted flavor to the background. Gets better as it warmed.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A good roasted profile. This spices come through, but I wish more pumpkin was detectable.

(D)- A very interesting beer that I was rather excited to try. Its good for sure, but is still very much a porter with some spices added. If more pumpkin came through on this, it would be dynamite and ease the palate off some of the roasted components. A solid brew for the season however.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a dark silky black body with a creamy tan head that last for a good bit.

S- The rich aroma of pumpkin bread baking and banana esters note to follow finishes with a raw crushed dark malt and fresh wort sweetness.

T- The roasted malt blends with the pumpkin spice and a a slightly dry roasted flavor finishes the beer. There is a slightly sweet wort flavor that lingers a moment.

M- The medium mouthfeel is cut by a big fizz in the finish and no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This beer has a nice solid roasty porter base wtih a fresh ground pumpkin spice flavor to compliment and blend in. This is a very nice beer to sip a few glasses of.

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Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 05.

a - opened and filled my snifter. poured dark and viscous. there was a thin dark brown almost grey head. this beer is 8 ball black.

s - HOLY MOLY CHARLIE BROWN, it's the great pumpkin! very nice. spicy pumpkin with cinnamon and apple pie. some caramel coated roast.

t - well, that's unique. pot pour…tastes like pot pouri, the porter is in there as well, but it is rather spicy. almost like there is chili in there. chocolatey and burnt malt. really nice.

m - pretty full bodied for a porter. more stout like to me.

o - overall, this is a beer to be tried. it is extremely unique and rather tasty. really glad i got to try this one.

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black color. A two finger tan head rises with excellent retention. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: Toasted malt, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Crusty bread, and pumpkin pie lingers. Very nice.
T: This is awesome. Everything is so well rounded. Nothing sticks out, but it all works great together. Toasted malt, bread, chocolate up front. Finishes with the perfect balance of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and gingerbread cookies. There is lots going on that is in perfect balance.
M/D: A big full body that is ultra smooth. This is like silk. Easy to drink. The alcohol shows up a bit more than I would like, but still a really nice beer to sip on.

This is excellent. I am not a huge pumpkin beer fan, but I am really liking the new trend for pumpkin stouts and porters. It just works better to me than a regular pumpkin beer. Everything works really well together, and something I would highly recommend.

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Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Great looker...almost black with a pefect creamy chocolate colored tan on top.

S-Very roasty wtih a light burnt maltiness as well. This is the eight bottle of this I have had over the past month and at different times I have gotten a decent pure pumpkin accent to the smell and at other times not as much. This time I am not getting as much...maybe as it ages it diminishes?

T-First off I think the base porter is very well done. This would match up with all the heavy hitters for just a plain porter. The pumpkin is definitely subtle but probably by design because it adds just a light unique touch to the flavor. Very tasty.

M-I've seen some complaints that this is thin but I don't feel it. In fact, this is pretty rich in body...creamy texture...not something you would session...a sipper for one or two..

D-Shoot for what this is supposed to be " AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN PORTER" I think this is spot on..Sure perhaps some would want more pumpkin but I think it is about perfect. Well done. This is so rich I view it as a one a night type beer...maybe two but that is what I'd expect from AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN PORTER"

My new Unchained Rankings:

1.Kolsch (Should be a summer seasonal)
3 (Tie) Golden Ale
3 (Tie) Imperial Pumpkin Porter
5.90 Scottish Style Ale

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Photo of jera1350
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viscous solid black with a thin creamy brown head.

Light roast with a moderate pumpkin and spice smell. Notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and cream.

Nearly identicle to the nose. The pumpkin and spice is nicely complimented with a lactose like sweetness and deep roast.

Satiny smooth, chewy and medium full bodied.

I stand corrected from my on tap review. This is an all around solid beer. It is unique to any other porter. It works really well in regards to the pumpkin and spice. I could enjoy this one all fall and winter long. Well done Summit.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a slight amber red at the bottom with light shining through. Big deep tan foam head with great retention and good lacing.

Smell: Strong dark roasted malts with dark chocolate followed by a spicy pumpkin aroma. A hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Roasted malts up front followed by chocolate and coffee. The pumpkin spices follow and finishes with a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very creamy.

Overall: A very good porter. The spice complements it well and is well balanced.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 2 finger head

smell: pumpkin spices, roasted malts

taste: some spices but not nearly enough for me, with a bitter aftertaste

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body

overall: a decent pumpkin porter but since this beer is in my homebrew repertoire I actually perfered mine in a blind side by side taste test.


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Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Summit Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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