Anniversary Strong Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
75 Reviews
Anniversary Strong AleAnniversary Strong Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jakob on 05-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 403
Photo of darkphx
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I personally have had every Trappist beer, and just recently got to try Westvleteren 12. One of my favorite biers is St. Bernardus Abt 12, and I will that New Glarus Anniversary Strong Ale is as good if not better then the other Belgian Strong Dark biers (quads) that I have tried.

I grabbed one this weekend and wasn't expecting much, since this was New Glarus' first time brewing a big beer like this. I was very surprised at how good it was. I am now on the hunt to grab several more of these to throw in my cellar. Hats off to New Glarus! Cheers!

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Photo of sonoffenrir
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle. $6.99 at the local corner market.

As a New Glarus whore, I was expecting alot from this beer and was not disappointed. Pours a beautiful dark red copper with a 2-3 finger head that hold for a long time. Resiny, bready, slightly fruity nose. Complexity is off the chain. Dark fruits, citrus, pine, Belgian sugar, resin, with a pronounced breadiness and just a hint of funk. ABV is high and well-masked. I had a couple Victory Storm King Stouts the other night (9.5 ABV), and this ale seemed to be above that. I would put it in the 10+ range. If you see this one, grab it. This would seem to be a beer that will age well. I'm going to grab a couple more and forget I have them for a year or two.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500 ml bottle $6.99/bottle

A: clear, deep copper color with red hues, off white head that was full, dissipated a bit, but kept it right to the end
S: medium to full nose, Belgian candi sugar, roasted malt, yeasty, classic Belgian dubbel
T: outstanding, roasted malt, candi sugar, some acridness, yeasty, classic Belgian dubbel
M: full and rounded
O: I usually don't give out high ratings and reserve them for classic styles, this is one of them, this is a classic Belgian dubbel but what it really has going for it is the incredible freshness of the taste

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Photo of martyl1000
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a burnt orange amber, w/ two fingers of gradient khaki head that goes nowhere, even w/ time. The aroma is somewhat tame, though instantly identifiable for the style. No, I take that back, as it warms, you get a decent hit of clove, banana taffy, and vanilla.

Definitely beats two of Unibroue's BSDA's (Maudite, Trois Pistoles) which are quite good but overwrought in one way or another, either too sweet or too rich. (I do love La Terrible, though.) The yeast-fruits in this New Glarus brew (banana, prune, fig) are perfectly attenuated by the high carbonation, keeping the whole affair light and refreshing, though the spritziness does sacrifice what might've been a creamy mouth feel.

Spicy and sweet, nutmeg, clove, banana bread, fig, and nuts. Very nice balance between stone fruits and spices.

Perhaps my favorite BSDA, along w/ La Terrible.

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Photo of VStarWalt
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought this at the brewery where they sold them in pint bottles with a limit of two per customer. I would compare it very favorably to Chimay Blue label. I had a bottle Chimay around and drank that a few nights later. Then rotated back to the second bottle of New Glarus a few nights after that. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep, dark chestnut hue. Big frothy beige head with great density and lacing capability. Lots of eye pleasing lace for my viewing pleasure as I drink. On the nose, I get cedar plank, slight farmyard tones, cinnamon dough balls and some fig. Pretty delicate beer, yet complex. It has subtlety but also depth. Dark fruits and slighy rum undtertones. Black cherry. Dates and figs. Low on the heat factor. Biscuity malt base. Some slight apple and pear esters. Bread pudding and raisin. The flavors seem to not cease....Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and light-medium bodied. The beauty of this beer really is finding that perfect equilibrium of subtlety and complexity. Well done and it doesn't surprise me coming from one of my Top 3 favorite breweries of the past 15 years. Great sipping beer and nightcap.

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Photo of drpimento
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very fine beer. Poured at a good temperature with a giant, light tan, foamy, frothy, sudsy head that settled a bit slow and some lace. Color is a clear brown with some amber highlights and lots large bubble trails. Aroma is first bananas, then malt and a little other fruit, yeast. Flavor is very smooth, similar to nose, nice balance between sweet, bitter, and tang. Body is perfect; full, round, yet enough edge to keep it satisfying and interesting at the same time. The finish is like all those qualities that taper off moderately. Don't know how strong it is, but seems like I could drink a load of it. Happily.

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Photo of Hessma
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could have spent more time smelling this BSDA than drinking it. A sweet and spicy aroma that has you wishing there was a scented candle somewhere just like it.

The abv seems to be a secret, I'm guessing it pushes 10%, but the alcohol is well hidden with the complexity and flavor (straight Dubbel) that you would expect from New Glarus.

The Belgian yeast and candi sugar comes through both in the nose and on the palate, followed by a wonderful earthy bittering balance of both American and German hops.

Overall a great beer, but slightly disappointing for a 20th Anniv brew.
Congrats to New Glarus on another great beer and another great year!

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Photo of ChimRichels
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle has been cellared since I purchased it in early 2013 - Should be about a year old at this point.

A - Body is a deep ruby, and appears to be clear and without any noticeable cloudiness. Head almost seems to be pink from the body, and is structured like whipped cream - extremely thick and rocky. It isn't going anywhere any time soon. If there was an option to rate the head, this one gets a 5. (NOTE: I just finished the beer, and there is an inch and a half of head sitting at the bottom of the glass, still stiff as a rock).

S - Rasins, figs, dark fruits, bubblegum/taffy, a bit of tartness.

T - Rich with the dark fruit flavors, as well as the bubblegum/taffy sweetness that follows from the nose. Alcohol is just barely noticeable on the finish, mostly in the feel rather than the taste.

M - I think a year in the cellar has really smoothed out the texture, this is more silky than I recall it being when it was released.

O - Really impressed by this beer, and I am regretting not having purchased more bottles to see how it would benefit from additional aging. Regardless, this is a great showing of what the Carey's are capable of.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The word is this is extremely limited and rationed throughout the state so make sure you grab it while you can.

This one pours a dark amber color with a foamy beige head. The aroma is very yeasty with hints of bread, tart fruit, and banana. Very inviting with its’ traditional Belgian characteristics.

Holy cow is this beer smooth! To compliment the smooth texture is a rich, deep flavor that is very well balanced. Yeast, caramel malt, banana, and citrus are all present and very tasty. This is a slow sipper that delivers a lot of great flavor. It finishes sweet with a great malty after taste. The lacing it leaves behind is pretty impressive too!

This is a brew well worthy of being a 20th Anniversary celebration release. This ranks pretty high with me amongst other New Glarus beers. I’m sure this will earn a place in the hearts of many beer lovers. All I can say is I will look forward to a delicious 25th Anniversary brew 5 years from now! -Chris Lemke of

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Tawny mahogany in color, New Glarus' 20th Anniversary is dark but still clear, pouring with a dense pile of ivory foam that leaves crowded rings of lace encircling the tulip.

S - Belgian yeast introduces ripe dark fruit without haste, offering pleasantries of sticky Sun Maid raisins, caramelized plum, and banana with a suggestion of currents. The dark beer isn't without some malt influence though, as toffee, molasses, and brown sugar creep in on the finish.

T - Replicating the aroma, New Glarus' 20th Anniversary starts with sweet, bready malt; smooth caramel and toast flavors smeared with a dark fruit jam comprised of raisin, plum, and a finish of banana and faint clove spice.

M - Somewhat of an enigma, the body of this beer leaps back and fourth between extremes. It's got a medium-full feel that's lightened first by sparkling, throat prickling carbonation that returns to smooth, round malt sweetness only to be finished out by warming alcohol and it's thinning quality. Overall, a bit over-carbonated for my liking as it disrupts the smoothness the beer's flavor begs for.

O - Taste New Glarus' 20th Anniversary blind and you might just imagine you're enjoying a subtle, malty, and yeast ester-nuanced beer imported from Belgium itself. The charming congregation of flavors has come together very nicely since it's release making it a perfect candidate for further aging!

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Photo of fatherdmj
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

I bought two of these last summer at the brewery. Drank one a while back. It was a bit strong, as the name suggests. Opened the other one just now and some age gives the beer a bit of balance. There are complaints elsewhere of over-carbonation. That may be the case. Nevertheless, the complicated flavor profile of this beer make it a can't miss. If you find one somewhere, pick one up and give it a rest for a few months before opening it. You'll be glad you did.

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Photo of Jakob
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised when I visited Wisconsin and saw that this beer was available at checkout. Bought two bottles....glad I did. This is a very solid beer (as one can generally expect from New Glarus). I bought mine in the R&D 500mL bottle.

The beer poured a nice thick head. Color is a very dark red - you can barely see through it when held to the spring sunlight. The nose is sweet with a tinge of raisin and malt, but with noticeable alcohol. The taste is similar, sweet and malty followed with an alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is nice with a reasonable amount of carbonation.

As one might assume, this is my first review. While I drink craft beer in quantities that might raise alarm in some circles, I have not attended Siebel and don't run in circles where the finer qualities and idiosyncrasies of beer are the topic of discussion (although I think I should consider new circles). Nonetheless, this is a really good strong ale. I haven't any idea what the ABV is, but after one bottle I am certain it is in the 8-9.5% range. I suggest this beer for all of those who appreciate good beer and fans of New Glarus.

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Photo of Woodman70
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a big fan of Belgian Strong Ales...or so I thought...This beer was absolutely amazing!!! heading back to the liquor store to buy 4 more...I think this would be a perfect beer to cellar for a year..Dan created a great 20th anniversary beer as expected

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: brownish with reddish hues. fairly good clarity for the darkness of the beer. a finger or so of a white head that leaves a layer on the top and a sticky lacing on the sides.

Smell: Fruit first, plums and black cherries, dark candi sugar. and belgian yeast.

Taste: opens up with lots of fruit. plums and black cherries. middle is full of amber candi sugar and belgian yeast. the end comes full circle and leaves with lots of fruit.

Mouthfeel: this one is full of opposites. at times its creamy and juicy but then it ends dry. its sweet but the sweetness is never lingering. just a slight tinge of alcohol warmth. nice and heavy overall.

Overall: a wonderfully brewed beer. In the few new glarus beers ive had i have found very fruity and terrific yeast strains. pushes the limits of the style but stays easy within.

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Photo of jonfalk
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This strong Ale boasts an impressive pour into a Belgium style chalice, exhibiting a brown to red color with a thick tan head. The aroma was immediate and equally rich. Lacing existed through out the entire experience. The immediate flavors are cherry, dark chocolate and raisin. A slight tart note was noticed but did not reappear until later in the glass as the elixir warmed. Spice notes of allspice and clove were found to be a bit harsh, perhaps even hot, but cellaring could smooth out that experience. This beer has a rich mouth feel which helps cover the alcohol and makes this fairly drinkable beverage. Overall my congratulations to the craftsman raised master. I expect this to age well and would recommend one to drink and one to cellar as the individuals means permit.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice dark brown color with little head. Dark red almost purple accents.

S - Very sweet smell with caramel malt notes

T - Complex is a good way to describe it. Starts out with a cherry or apple taste and finishes with caramel, malt, hops, and alcohol.

M - Very fizzy up front, but clean and smooth finish.

O - Complex and unique taste profile. It's not an every day beer, but a nice beer to sip slowly on a cool Saturday night. Cheers to the success that New Glarus Brewery very much deserves and Cheers to Dan and Deb for making it 30 years.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish caramel amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of creamy off white head which slowly recede into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of clingy lacing.

Smell: A rich, yeasty, and spicy dark Belgian style aroma with lots of fruit esters. Belgian yeast with hints of clove, funk, cinnamon, and pepper. Toasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toasted bread, grains, and a slight hint of roast chocolate. Lively fruit aroma with hints of banana, apple, and pear along with dark fruit hints of grapes, raisin, fig, dates, prunes, and plum. Some candied sugar hints. Subtle earthy hop presence in the background. Also a little scent of the booze. A very solid dark Belgian aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a yeasty and spicy dark Belgian taste with lots of toasty malt and fruit notes. Belgian yeast upfront with notes of clove, funk, and cinnamon and pepper spicing. Sweet notes of Belgian candied sugar. Big bready toasted malt presence with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and a little dark roast flavor. Big mix of fruit esters including notes of banana, apple, and pear. Dark fruit notes of fig, dates, dark grapes, raisin, prune, and plum. Subtle earthy and herbal hop presence towards the finish. Slight alcohol taste. A very solid Dark Belgian taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Creamy, fairly juicy, and drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is light.

Overall: A pretty solid American take on a Dark Belgian ale/Dubbel. Good use of toasty malts with some nice spice and fruit esters.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle.

A: Deep reddish-brown body beneath two inches of fine, dense, pillowy tan head. Lovely, rocky retention and lots of delicate lacing. Gorgeous.

S: Classic Belgian aroma of spices and dark fruits, with a bit of toasted bread and even a hint of smokiness. Very complex and inviting.

T: Good balance of malt and yeast here, with raisins, dates, and pepper all playing major roles. Bubblegum, smoke, and clove as well. Spicy, slightly warming finish. Yeasty aftertaste. Good stuff.

M: Smooth medium body. Moderate, soft carbonation. Delicate and velvety.

O: This was a great beer, and definitely somewhere in between a Dubbel and a BSDA. Really sad I only ever found a single bottle of this during my WI trip, as I'd love to see how it ages.


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Photo of cradke
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown with some transparency around the rim of the glass. Very fluffy head (2-3 fingers.)

Smell: Dark malts. Sweet candied sugar and Belgian yeast. Inviting, but with a touch of high ABV.

Taste: Strong Belgian yest, candied sugar and alcohol up front. Blends to very belgian quad taste. Dark fruits, esters, and some fig. Lots of brown and dark sugar. Enjoyable but maybe somewhere between over the top and not quite enough flavor. Wish they dialed it up just a bit more.

Mouthfeel: Very nice carbonation. I very much enjoy how the taste spreads across the palate. Wish it was a touch more viscous and thicker to let the dark notes sink in.

Overall: This is a very good beer. It's got great Belgian quad style notes with lots of dark fruit. I wish it was a touch thicker and that the flavor was a little more pronounced. On the plus side, this has every ingredient needed to age beautifully. Strong ABV, dark sugar and lots of carbonation from the get go. If you have multiples, crack one and let the other age. If you only have one, wait a couple months and let it develop. It's very good now, but it could be an world beater with 12-18 months on it.

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Photo of Benish
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter glass. The color was dark like prune juice, almost impenetrable. When pouring it produces a thick head, it has that off white tannish color. Moderate lacings all over the glass.

I smelled primarily dark fruit. I'm thinking prunes, dark cherries, and some dates.

The beer is sweet and yeasty. Once again dominantly dark fruits. Dark cherries seems to be most noticeable. Plenty of carbonation present. It has a medium to heavy body. Actually seems almost syrupy. There is some noticeable heat but nothing harsh. Maybe it's a little like cherry cough syrup but not in a bad way! This is for my own reference BTW.

The finish may be just a tad subpar the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (which I drank for the first time last night). However I'm told that this is a double, not a quad. I have hit by the craft beer bug not too long ago and am just getting into some Belgium style ales.

Overall this beer is delicious. I'm amaze what Dan can do. He brews so many great beers and this is certainly one of them. New Glarus always impresses me!

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Photo of weonfire
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark Brown/Red, opaque, huge-long lasting head, excellent patchy lacing up to top of glass, head very slow to dissipate, light carbonation rising

S - Carmel, Dark aged fruit- dates & cherry, dark chocolate

T - Carmel, Dry/earthy/bread, dark chocolate, biscuit. finish has a touch of sweetness

M - Full body, excellent carbonation, frothy, flavors cover very well

O - Certainly surprised me a bit. Much more dry/earthy than expected. ABV is hidden very well. Mouth has a real nice carbonation fizz. Unfortunately no sweetness- until a touch on the finish. Really wish there was a lot more. Lot more. Real easy drinking tho. Got one more for the cellar. Pretty interested to see the evolution in a years time.

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Photo of Jparker37
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Good clarity to the ruby ale. Head holds a small, light tan cap. Streaks of lacing-o-plenty.

S - Aroma picked up during the pour, this is exciting. Great bit of smooth chocolate. Raisin quality is moderate. Big banana Esters. Hidden alcohol when poured slightly below serving temp. Picking up a citrusy tartness faintly.

T - Starts out sweet and candy-like, banana peaking in. Those clear candi sugars really are the backbone. The dark feel to the raisin red fruit malt leads into a spiciness which then precedes the moderately boozy alcohol finish.

M - On the sweet side, full bodied, medium-light carbonation.

O - Tremendous looking beer has a great head and is sticky as hell. Aroma is bursting with character and dimension. I personally get a little off put by the candi sugar after a while but it's just not quite my thing. This is a Dubbel on steroids. Spiciness gives even more dimension to the flavor. Great full bodied brew that I would recommend for anyone to sip on through the course of a cool Wisconsin night.

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Photo of rudzud
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clearish chestnut hue with a one finger head that fades to leave light lacing.

S - Aromas of cardboard, sugars, malts, caramel, dark fruit.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of sugar, caramel, malts, dark fruit, raisins, earthy, leather, brown sugar.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, rather sweet.

O - Overall this beer was nicely done. Really tasty strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of bound4er
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Dark amber to crimson appearance with an off white to faint tan head of massive proportions. Produces an abundance of lacing the likes of which I have never seen.

S. Belgian-like nose of fruity esters, caramel malt and pitted fruits.

T. Caramel malt, raisin, brown sugar and a slight spritz of hops on a lingering, sweet finish.

M. Full bodied with nice creaminess. Low carbonation.

O. This is a really good, easy drinking 20th anniversary Belgian ale. I wish I would have bought more when I had the chance.

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Anniversary Strong Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 403 ratings.
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