Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale
2,607 Ratings
Red Rocket AleRed Rocket Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces it's origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales or Lagers - SILVER
1998 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales - SILVER

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,607 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of IronLover
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bottle with no freshness date. Dark mahogany in color with a deep haze and reddish hue on the edges of the glass. Poured with a very brief head that reduced to a sticky ring on the glass. Mostly sweet caramel malt flavors with floral hops and dark fruit. Medium bodied and a bit on the oily side up front that subdues the carbonation a bit. The carbonation slowly intensifies toward the finish as the oily feel transitions to a light resinous feel. Dark caramel malt is the dominant flavor with a hint of chocolate and dark, ripe, fruit through the middle. Hop character starts slowly but builds from beginning to end, starting with floral flavors and ending with pine hop bitterness. Finishes semi-dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Lots of subtle complexity in aroma, flavor and feel.

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Photo of BlackWednesday
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one really kind of messed with my mind at first. When I took my first whiff all I got was bacon grease. I thought csbosox may have not washed my glass very well. Then I read the lable and picked up Scottish red ale and things started to make more sence. The beer was poured into a New Belguim Worthy glass. Dark red with some firey hues near the bottom. Carbonation rose from the bottom to ample beige head that lasted most of the experience. The nose was smokey with a touch of roast. The hops didn’t really come out to play until the beer had warmed quite a bit. The flavor was very rich with chocolate and roast along with some peaty smokey flavor. A touch of toffee. Quite full bodied, and silky over smooth over the tongue. No unpleasant sensatiolns at all. Overall, this isn’t a beer I’d drink very often, but interesting nonetheless.

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Photo of meeekyh
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So tonight I opted for something a bit different. From the 12 oz bottle into mt Hennepin glass.

I notice the color is deep amber and there is turbidity enough to mention. The dark tan head is thick but has little staying power.

The nose is deep and full of malt with a bright hoppieness that belies the fact this is no longer a Scottish ale in its soul. The nose deep like dried fruits.

Flavor is likewise dark and deep with hints of prune and a tartness that carries through the whole flavor.

Mouthfeel is full, heavy even, and the finish is slightly dry. Carbonation is good.

I like this beer. The grassy notes in the finish are nice and the rest of the flavor is welcoming.

A good beer and better than many 'American anbers' I have tried.


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Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber, with 2 fingers of very off-white/light mocha head. This retains with a rich ½ finger and just RINGS the sides of the glass with heavy sticky lacing. Great look to this! The aroma is floral, spicy, and very piney up front, backed up by a thick tangy mix of green citrus, sticky smelling caramel, and toasted bread. Just a smidge of light warmth gives this a touch of heft underneath the flavors.

The taste is strong with grapefruit bitterness and and sharp pine resins that are aggressive across the tongue. This is actually fairly well balanced though by a notes of ripe citric fruitiness, sweet caramel character, and a STRONG toasted graininess which hangs in the finish just as much as that dry spicy bitterness and pine does. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and while initially fairly slick and creamy along the back of the throat, does manage to firm itself up and lays a steady prickle on the tongue the longer this sits in the mouth. Alcohol is well hid here for nearly 7% and thankfully so, as I don’t think that the flavors here really needed to be intensified any more than they already were.

I think that this was one of the first big hoppy American Ambers that I experienced back when I first really got into craft beer and I was pleased to find that it still holds up. By only complaint is that the toasted aspect of this comes on a bit strong at times but there is no doubt that this is quite full flavored and easy drinking for the relative size of it.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very slow to emerge 1/8" head which quickly disappeared to lace. Deep ruddy brown color and when held to bright light it just barely has a maroon tinge. Smells of caramel hops IPA. Taste is the same and also has a little sweet raisin. Although I had high expectations and this generally gets great reviews I just thought my sample was far flatter and less complicated than I was expecting.

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Photo of avaldivia
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep auburn reddish color. Very beautiful when held up to the light. You could see particles floating in the bear. Nice head that was fairly thin but left a good amount of lacing.

S: Strong malt smell. A bit of a floral, citrusy note. I got a hint of alcohol on the back end, but it was not prominent.

T Malty, sweet. Alcohol punch at the end. Light bitterness upfront that gives way to a good balance of malt.

M: Thick. Very heavy on the tongue. Good carbonation so it did not feel like heavy syrup.

O: Excellent Red Ale. I have tried a lot of things from Bear Republic and have yet to be let down. I don't know if I could do a six pack of this, but I would definitely pick it up if the mood was right.

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-brown with hints of red,opaque with a tan creamy head that dissipates slowly

S-grassy with citrusy overtones

T-malty with some citrus notes and slight bitter finish

F-medium-bodied and smooth with light carbonation

O-a good red ale at a good price

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Photo of chocosushi
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For some reason I though this was an IPA when I bought it.
12 oz -> Guiness Glass

A ~ Brown-Ruby Red with a great soft looking head.

S ~ Bitter grassy aroma...light dry malt with a tinge of citrus

T ~ Big Bold resin that QUICKLY switched strawberry jam, grapefruit peel, and sugary malty sweetness. Specks of grass and toffee throughout.

M ~ Great carbonation, but a bit too "red" at times. During some sips it felt like it was a completely different beer. Awkward finish.

D ~ Given the choice of a local over this one I would go with Native Amber, but this was not a bad beer for the price. I'd say buy a single before a six.


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Photo of brian44556
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Southern Tier pint glass. No date on the bottle. Received in a trade with SolomonGrundy, many thanks as usual buddy!

Pours a dark amber with a thick off white head. Has little floaties throughout the glass and leaves a nice ring of lace. Smells of hop, malt, and caramel. Enjoy the hoppy smell for a Red Ale. Taste is average at best. Has a small hop profile, a bready yeast taste, and a sweet caramel backbone. Mouthful is thin and carbonation is present. Overall this is an average beer. I'm glad I had a chance to try it. Nugget Nectar turned me on to the style and think it may have me biased on my reviews of Amber Ales, but I'm trying to find another Amber Ale to live up to those standards.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Very dark amber/red. Clear with floating things in it (yeast?). One finger off white head, with lots of big bubbles. Decent lacing.

S: Floral and citrus hops. Light pineapple/grapefruit. Very light caramel malts.

T: A kind of off bready caramel malt taste throughout. Grapefruit and floral hop flavors trying to breakthrough, but the light sweetness of the malts never really let them. A bit yeasty, maybe from the sediment floating in the beer.

M: Medium bodied. Decent coating of the mouth. Mild carbonation. Very light lingering bitterness.

O: A highly rated beer on BA. I see it everywhere but never get it. Found a 12oz'er for $1.59 so I said might-as-well. For me this is just another mildly sweet Red Ale. Typical. Can be found by half the brewers around here. I had a higher hope for it as it seems like there is such a big thing how West Coast beers are overall better than East Coast beers.

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Photo of cfinch2
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First review ya'll, longtime craft drinker in my one year of legality

For the most part of my beer-drinking career, I've been one to assault myself with hops, thinking the most intense flavor is by and above the best. This isn't a confessional though, I haven't changed that much. I have, however, come to appreciate the malt, fruit, and other whatnots in the non-IPA territory. Nugget Nectar pushed me to do so, and this ale was pretty much next in line

A: Poured a quite thick parchment colored head (probably with some help from the frozen glass) that hung around for a while. Left a nice bit of lacing on its way down

S: Fruity, malty hops I guess. Still workin on this...

T: Mostly smooth, like a red ale, but with just a little bit of bite in the follow-through. Pretty malty overall, and drinks like its under 6.8

M: Great. A bit sticky, smooth, and not at all thin, and the light carbonation is just the right amount.

O: Definitely one of my favorite red ales, second only to Nugget Nectar and Peak's King Crimson. However, this is a lot cheaper, so its a better deal I'd say. Malty for everyone, and a little bitter for us hop-heads.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.77/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap into a mason jar.
Looks nice and foamy. A deep mahogany brown with ruby tinged edges. 1 finger creamy-bubbled head, leaves behind some interesting lacing patterns. Tons of citric hop flavor and smell ambushes me repeatedly. Sadly, I find that the malt is simply too weak to hold up to the aggressive hopping. Everything seems out of balance to me, both in the nose and in the taste. I've had imperial IPAs that had much better balance between malts and hops than this thing. I can't even smell or taste the malt, this comes across to me as a poorly done IPA, not as a red ale. I can't find any yeasty bready presence at all. I can't find any malt at all. I'm left alone with one trick pony citric hops. Thankfully, there is an excellent and light refreshing mouthfeel, crisply carbonated. The texture is easily the strongest suit of this brew. I'm not impressed.

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Photo of VicSlick
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is my first review, so go easy on me...

This beer did not impress me particularly, but it was good. With such high accolades shown in the beers rating I was expecting a whole lot more. I wanted to taste more hops and sweetness. This beer was rather bitter and low on the taste spectrum.

It POURED a nice smooth flow into an Old Spaghetti factory tall beer glass, a little half inch eggshell colored head that dissipated after the third sip.

Mouthfeel was sharp, rather bubbly. Good.

Smell was average. A bit citrusy. Good.

It tastes good. I will leave it at that.

Overall. Its good. Not great, not worthy of an A on Beer Advocate, but good. Too pricey for me to buy regularly.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. This American Red Ale poured a hazy mahogany color. It produced a nice thick head and had excellent retention. There was a nice amount of lace stuck to the glass. The Aroma was full of roasted caramel malt and had hits of pine cones. According to the bottle this beer was bottle conditioned which explains its very active carbonation. The taste comprised of chocolate, roasted malt and caramel. There is also a nice amount of bitter hop flavor and gives this ale some "balls". Overall very good beer, I was not disappointed.

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Photo of SDtastentune
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Bubbly head that dissipates quickly, Small amount of lacing but not major. Red/Amber, unfiltered with some floaty sediments through out.

S - Bread, musty malts, and a unique hop smell.

T - Has a great musty hop, bread... unique malty'ness thing going on, tastes more than 6.8%. Very rich and complex.

M - Medium carbonation, great aftertaste, goes down slightly hot, but not.

O - Overall, a great red ale on steroids with superb taste and unique smells. Recommended for a hop head or a red head lover.

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very nice amber color with a decent head on top that eventually becomes an excellent lacing.

S: Hops. A nice grain/malty scent.

T: Very malty/grainy. Toasted flavors. Citrusy hops, with a nice bitter finish.

M: Obvious carbonation, though it's not overpowering.

Overall: A good hoppy beer, though I personally wouldn't classify it as a red ale. It is definitely worth trying, especially if you enjoy a nice hoppy/grainy ale. Definitely will get again.

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Photo of Roke87
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Pours a dark brown colour with a nice red tint when held up to a light, aggressive pour yields three fingers of tan head that quickly dissipates to a nice ring around the glass leaving lot of lacing throughout till finish.

Smell- I get the sweet caramel malts right off the bat mixed with a nice hop presence, but not overpowering, a very well balanced beer and I quite like the smells coming from this one.

Taste- Very similar to the smells the taste has more of a citrusy grapefruit taste that doesn’t hesitate on the piney hop flavours as well. A very nice balance of the hops and sweet caramel malts this one finishes with a nice sweet taste.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied red ale, with average to below average carbonation, goes down very smooth and finishes nice and crisp with a nice sweetness to it.

Overall- this one is an experience to the palate, on the one hand you have that great hop presence with the resiny pine flavours and hops, and on the other hand it finishes with that great sweet caramel flavour that is just not found in a lot of other red ales. Wish I would have picked up at least a 6 of this because it is well worth it, over and above my expectations, would and definitely will pick this one up again if I have the chance.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber color with ruby highlights throughout. About 1/2 an inch of off-white head fades fairly quickly but leaves some impressive lacing

S: Nice and malty, pretty sweet (almost barleywine-like) with hints of hops. The malts definitely dominate the nose

T: The hops shine more in the taste than in the nose, and balance nicely with the sweet caramel malts. Not bitter at all, yet not overly sweet either. Alcohol is almost non-existent. Very nice

M: Medium body and carbonation, which also helps to balance the hops and malts

O: A very fine red ale that does a great job balancing the heavy, sweet malt profile with some "aggressive" hopping. Fairly easy to drink at only 6.8%, too!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just noticed today while I was at the Spec's on 249 and Spring Cypress that I hadn't reviewed this beer yet. I have always really liked Bear Republic and even worked their booth at the GABF a few years ago. Let's review this one properly, but I am going to take the appearance score with a grain of salt as this beer just rode home on my motorcycle about an hour ago.

Appearance: Pours a pretty dark brown color that may have some reddish hints that would push it to a dark Amber. There was about 3/8" of tan foam on top after a pretty aggressive pour, and the foam was creamy and looked like it was going to stick around for a while. There is lots of lace left on the glass after drinking and the head never completely goes away.

Aroma: I initially got lots of fresh floral/citrusy American hops along with some mild toasty dark malts giving some sweet toffee and a touch of burnt toast. Otherwise the aroma is clean and inviting. As the beer warms up, the malt is becoming more of a player.

Taste: The flavor is much more malt balanced than the aroma let on. There are lots of sweet malty things going on in here with the toffee that I got in the nose as well as some toasty notes that remind me of British malts. The hops, though very noticeable in the flavor, step aside in the finish and let the malt be the leader by a nose. The carbonation is perfect for what I would think that this beer needs. The alcohol is masked well and may contribute a little bit to the back of the throat late after the sip, but there are some acidic roasty notes sitting back there from the dark malts too that, along with the hops, dry the finish out a bit but it still ends really drinkable.

Opinion: Overall I am really happy with this one. It has lots of flavor and a balanced profile with plenty of carbonation. There is nothing that hits the palate like it shouldn't be there, so overall, I would give this beer a solid thumbs up!

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Photo of yusef
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a British nonic pint glass

A: pours a dark red amber color with a nice 2 finger tan off white head. solid lacing on side of the glass. not very carbonated.

S: first sniff of the beer reminds me of a stout or porter. caramel malts and some hops. couldn't find the bottling date, so not sure if it was supposed to have a bigger hop presence

T: taste for me was pretty much all malt, cant really detect anything else. no hop bitterness

M: medium bodied and little carbonation

O: i believe this is the first bear republic offering i haven't been impressed with. not my favorite of the style due to the malt forward smell and taste, but worth trying

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Photo of TheSignPost
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall, I like this beer. It pours a deep reddish amber. The beer has an almost mocha quality to it, like a stout or a porter, but this one is surely an ale. The hops are not overdone, but are strong enough to balance the flavor.

I would drink it again.

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Photo of BB1313
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No date. 12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Pours a dark, deep amber w/ sediment, nice head and sticky lacing. Lots of orange in the nose w/ hints of mocha. Lots of orange and tangerines in the flavors. Maybe some lemon and toffee. I'm also picking up a decent amount of caramel and chocolate. The bitterness is there, but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is very nice, extremely smooth and creamy. I love the texture! It's extremely easy to drink despite being full-bodied. This isn't bad, but it could be alot better if they refined the flavors. The aromas and flavors are reminiscent of an average IPA.

I appreciate Bear Republic, but I've never been a huge fan of this one.. there are too many better examples of a red ale.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a super-dark mahogany with deep ruby tones. Head is nice and frothy (a la cappuccino) off-white, and it settles into a thin coating on the surface of the beer replete with bubbles (especially around the edges of the glass).

Smell: Hops! Really good hops, too. I haven't had a clear hop profile like this in a beer in quite a while. The dry bitterness is matched evenly with both sweet floral aromas and slight citrus scents (grapefruit). Malt is sweet, with a touch of yeast in the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is superbly bitter, though the first inclination is towards sweetness. Medium bodied syrupy malt brew brings hop bitterness and twang along for the ride. Alcohol is a touch over-the-top, and the aftertaste is primarily bitter. Pretty good...but not great.

Overall: This is a decent beer. Definitely above average, its bitterness is something to be challenged, even by imperial brews. A little sour for my liking, but not repulsively so.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A deep and dark hued red; nearly brown in color with red highlights. Huge, thick, persistent foaming tan head that sticks around, then leaves marked lacing down the glass.

An incredibly aromatic red ale. It's interestingly varied in its aroma. There's plenty of candied and caramel malts, some muted grapefruit and citrus scented hop aromas, along with a sticky, syrupy boozy aroma that reminds me distinctly of SoCal style barleywines, namely Old Guardian--this came as a huge surprise to me.

Unfortunately, I didn't find quite the flavor I did in the nose. The caramel and bready malts are the star of this beer and I miss a lot of the grapefruit and sweetness I find in the nose. There's some definite hop bitterness, and it's still a tasty and highly drinkable beer, but seems simple in the mouth compared to it's aroma.

A full-bodied, highly drinkable red ale.

A great looking beer with an incredible aroma. A tasty and delicious red ale.

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Photo of spicelab
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maple syrup, one finger dense beige-head. Solid lacing as it falls to leave only a cluster of the larger bubbles

Earthy pine, lime and refined floral hops beautifully meshed with a caramel and savoury malt backbone. Not a great deal else but expertly crafted and balanced.

Unapologetically bitter grapefruit and pine resin initally, then a rising tide of citrus rind which marries nicely with the liberal candied brown sugar malt character. Rocket and mint also out in force.

Quite mild carbonation, intriguing lingering bitterness that has a surprising presence.

Very satisfying and highly drinkable. Nothing is overdone and the interaction between hops and malt is uncomplicated while at the same time distinctive. Good stuff.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 2,607 ratings
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