Red Rocket Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

2,606 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

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Ratings: 2,606 |  Reviews: 1,178
Photo of hophead247
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby color with a creamy tan head. Aroma has a very nice and sweet resin note at the beginning, followed closely by citrus and caramel with a little touch of bitter hops. Flavor is smooth and sweet at the front with a middle of caramel and sweet malts and a light and bitter finish. Lingers for a bit on the tongue. Bear Republic has never let me down...

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Photo of afksports
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 8/12/2010 (it was quite the evening).

This one has a really nice soft head, finger thick, maintains well. A dark red/amber appearance that lets enough light through to make you really want it. The smell does the same thing, with a toasty sweetness coming through along with the hops.

Taste wise, it's got all the elements of a typical red, but nothing stood out for me - other than that it was done well. Same as the aroma, it has a little bitter, a little caramel-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel was medium-bodied, with good carbonation. Drinkability suffers a little due to my bias towards the style, but would be stronger for fans of it. The 6.8abv contributed to the night being a lot more fun than the morning.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale

Appearance: Dark red, medium-small pillowy head, and good lacing.

Smell: HOPS, slight citrus, and a hint of malt.

Taste: Malty hops and a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

This is great! I love the hoppiness and balance of other flavors. A surprisingly great beer!

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Photo of jizfiasco
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz to pint
Pours a real red, good beige head looks pretty tasty. Smells malty and hoppy, very excited at this point. Carbonation is low on this one, can barely see bubbles rising. Taste is a little weak in the malt but hops are there. Hop note is not very complex as in other reds/ambers. The bitterness is refresshing but could use some debth, color is deceiving. Very drinkable though as i continued with my second pour got a bit more balanced as it warmed. I would drink it again though and would like to give it another chance on tap. A good beer but not as good as my favorite reds.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a dark red/brown color with a decent head and nice lacing.

S: A nice mix here of hops, darker malts and some caramel

T: Nice hop flavor up front followed by some caramel and maltiness on the back end.

M/D: Medium bodied, on the drier side and leaves a sticky mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable, but not as great as I was hoping. It was a good beer, but not a great one.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a striking mahogany red with deep ruby highlights, white foamy head that leaves rings as it settles down.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops, malty, caramel nut biscuits.

Taste: Citrus and resinous hops giving way to a nutty bread-biscuit malt backbone, a hint of pepper/spice appears along with some caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and smooth drinking.

Drinkability: Easy to drink and a good beer by all means, but nothing special.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

A- A deep caramelly, nutty, rusty red with orange highlights. The beer is fairly clear. Nice khaki head. Its small but sticky.

S- Nutty, sweet, caramelly malts. Peppery, spicy, piney and citrus hops. Its pretty evenly matched with the hops winning out in dominance ever so slightly.

T- The taste follows the nose pretty well. A very nutty malt base rides below a peppery hopping.

I would drink this again when Im in the mood for a nice red. Bear Republic makes some good stuff.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with a slight head. Some fair retention and lace.

Big toasted malt, hop, and burnt sugar aroma. It all works.

Toasty goodness here. Overtoasted bread, some caramel, some burnt brown sugar, piney hops, wood, light alcohol, dark dried fruit (savory raisin elements).

I would have thought this would be fuller bodied. has a little thinner edge which I'm not sure I like, although I see the purpose. Not cloying at all, and aids in drinkability. Good with food or on its own. Filling and satisfying. Good complex and drinkable.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.12/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes--
Served in pint glass.
No visible bottle dating to go by, so if this is an old bottle-- then that isn't MY fault as a consumer! (or maybe I should just NOT buy products that don't put the date on them?)

Pours a dark red... So dark red in fact, that it almost appears brown. A tannish 2 finger head settled to a half-finger cap that stayed there a while. Left some nice rings of lace.

Smell is molassesy sweet malts. Not quite smokey, but certainly roasted! Big roastiness in the flavor. The roastiness is almost to the point where it reminds me of coffee-- it isn't all bad, just odd.
Very little hop presence-- perhaps this bottle is past its prime? Too bad there is no way for me to tell! I had a similar problem with my original review of Racer 5. I gave it a D+ on what turned out to be an old bottle. I have since re-reviewed and changed the score.
Maybe it's time to print up a 6 digit date on your product!!

Taste is roasty and sweet before turning slightly bitter and... uhhh... ummm... kind of hard to describe what happens next. It is almost chalky? Almost like... this is what pod people would drink. Perhaps this is an unpleasant side-effect of the rye?

The nose is now smelling like burnt toffee.
The finish is bitter and sticky. Feel is bad. It is slick up front and sticky at the back-- unpleasant.

This is completely a waste of my time and money. I am pouring the remainder of my glass out and moving on with my life.

I will not be buying any more Bear Republic products until they put a bottle date on their product. You guys are now 0 for 2 with me.

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Photo of culver501
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark reddish brown, 1" tan head, a little flaky sediment floating around, (?!) other than a little yeast in the bottle it looks ok, decent carbonation, head dissipates quickly

S-pretty nice playful hop/malt balance, floral hop notes, sweet malt

T-pretty good balance, i feel like both the hop bitterness and the toasty malt sweetness are pretty aggressive but really balance each other better than some of the other reds i've had, the 6.8 ABV comes through a little at the end

M-seems on par for the style, a little sweet and coating, the sediment thing kind of threw me off at first, didn't expect and wondered if something might be off

D-heck yes, a solid red

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Photo of beergod1
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK...the 3rd Bear Republic I tried, and they keep getting better.
Beautiful clear/Brown, with an outstanding head. The initial aroma, for me, was very hoppy with underlying notes of caramel and malt. This beer is actually complex, as there seems to be so much going on. You think it has a malt finish, yet as you sit waiting for the next sip, here come the hops again. Very drinkable, I DO recommend this beer. NEED....TO....GET...MORE...

Just had at UPick6 in Erie PA. Cask....What a way to make a great beer better. Creamy as hell, Foam stuck to the glass from top to bottom. I made noises every time I Sipped.

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Photo of silentjay
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a rather murky brown color (little to no amber/red) with an average sized light tan head that quickly recedes but leaves plenty of laces.

aroma is of caramel malts with some herbal, piney and spicy hops. nicely balanced aroma.

a lot of herbal hops up front and a touch of piney hops lead to a spicy flavor that is countered by some caramel and toffee-like malts that dont quite make this a sweet beer, but leave a sticky sweet aftertaste.

light/medium bodied, but very syrupy with barely noticeable carbonation and a bit of resin left behind.

drinks ok. nothing special here, unfortunately. I remember a bit more piney hops in the flavor, but i may be confused. I would have enjoyed that i bit better i think. though, this is not bad at all.

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Photo of musicman575
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oddly, this was the only microbrew offering at a super popular pizza joint in Berkeley, CA. It was easy to make a decision.

What a great coffee-like color. The creamy head had a nice brown tint to it as well. I'm used to tasting the hops a second after I take a drink, but the hops in this beer hit quick, then leave you with their pleasant bouquets while you enjoy the soft, carmely maltiness and return slightly for a good finish. What a talented beer! Each sip cleared my palate enough that the flavors didn't build up and overwhelm my senses by the end of the bottle, making for one of the most drinkable dark beers I've ever had.

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Photo of rembrant
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours-a lot of head on a rich red mahogany,quite a pretty beer.
A down the middle pour gives a LOT of foam but it's a tasty beer mousse and settles down to 2 fingers

Aroma Interesting A touch of caramel + vanilla,some fruit salad and a little piney hops in the back. A rather distinctive artoma tat makes promises.

Taste ..Promises kept. Quite a nice merger with the smooth rich malt side and a multi hops (Citra?) that's a bit unexpected in that it has pretty much an IPA potency but a more cirtusy finish than what I usually encounter. Tha Malt side never gives up though and the Malts and hops do a fine tango of bittersweet where the balance shifts moment to moment. Not only tasty but has some unique personality.

Mouth,rather plush. There's some heft,it's not flat and the sweet syrupy caramel you first notice contributes in the aftertaste as do the various hop effects.

Drinkable? Oh yeah. Well, might be a bit full and filling to be one you'd guzzle a 6 pack in an evening but it's a nice "tweener" with elements of IPA and Porter The bottle notes call it Scotch Ale but I'd tend to compare it to Dark IPA's like Dogfish 90 and Yakima Twilight. Rather than real big in any area,it's a jack of all trades between the Stouts and IPAs with a bit more going on than a Brown/Amber tends to have.

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Photo of ncredible1
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a hazy deep reddish brown with a frothy off white head and a nice sheet of lacing. Just what I'd expect.

S-Lots of rich caramel malt, backed up by some nice grapefruit hoppiness. Quite Interesting combination.

T-Lots of flavor. Heavy on the malt, especially for the style, but In my opinion this is a good thing. Some nice citric bitterness in the finish make this is a big amber ale flavor wise. Awesome.

M-Maybe a bit heavy for the style. No surprise given the flavor profile. However, This is no ordinary red amber ale. Flavors just pop in the mouth.

D-Deliciously flavorful and highly drinkable i put down two 22 ouncers. I seemingly couldn't get enough of this ale. Highly recommend!

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep Amber, almost brown, nice tan/rose head.

S - hops, hops, hops!!! and then a rush of malty goodness

T - More of the same here - Bright citrus hops, spicy on the tip, floral in the middle and crisp, pleasant bitterness on the finish. The malt starts creeping in mid-swallow and rounds out the finish.

M - Great weight, balanced nicely by carbonation (very pleasant mids)

D - I could probably drink a case of bombers in one sitting... I couldn't stand up afterwards, but I could revel in my greatness!

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pours crimson red into the glass giving rise to about a finger of thick, creamy lightly tanned beige head. The color is really red all over with bright ruby highlights and maybe the slightest touch of a copperish bronze.

Aroma-Juicy hops upfront followed by a big undercurrent of sweet and toasty caramel malt, neither aroma is fully obliterated by the other and they intermix wonderfully. As someone who prefers their hops balanced with hefty malt bills, this is right up my alley.

Taste-Such a smooth combination of flavors, and nicely layered too. First comes the hops upfront with a nice kick of piney bitterness followed up quickly by a wave of malty sweetness in the middle, then it finishes dry on the back. I would have perhaps liked it if the hops were a tad juicier upfront and had more of that citric/fruity quality but I don't think that's what they were going for. The malt flavors really dominate in the middle with flavors of toasty caramelized brown sugar.

Mouthfeel-Plush with medium-low carbonation, nice and full bodied.

Drinkability-Almost done with my second bottle as I'm writing, gotta give it the nod here.

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Photo of philbertk
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Ricardo's Red Rocket Ale--1999 22 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Red Ale. Clear medium dark red color despite being unfiltered. Rich earthy floral hop front leading to rich licorice cherry body. Hints of Scottish character. Dry spicy hop finish. Nice balance. Sampled 4/25/1999.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Ricardo's Red Rocket Red Ale--2007 22 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 65+IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Red Ale--Scottish. Rich lacy head. Clear dark mahogany red color hazes with BC sediment. Floral hop mild peat front. Tangy toasted malty mild sweet crisp toffee fruit rich Red Ale Hop body. Hot hop mild citrus malty end. Sampled 8/7/2007.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Ricardo's Red Rocket Red Ale--2008 12 oz. Plastic Stick On Label Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 65+IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Red Ale--Scottish. Light sediment. Big dense rocky lacy off white tan head. Mild hazy dark bronze red color. Rich roasted hop peat hint front. Crisp tangy zesty dry sweet roasted mild fruit hop ester malty Scottish body. Crisp roasted hop spice clean balanced rich end. Nice blend. Sampled 11/21/2008. 6-Pack $7.49.

Bear Republic Brewing Company--Ricardo's Red Rocket Ale--2009 22 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 65+IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Red Ale--Scottish. Rich lacy off white head. Clear deep dark copper red color. Sediment hint hazes bronze. Roasted malty rich floral hop smoky peat hint front. Rich malty roasted mild sweet hop resin infused toffee mild smoky peat burnt fruit body. Cloying malt hop spice end. Sampled 9/16/2009. 4 @ $4.00 Each.

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Photo of jpro
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler this afternoon en route to a cookout with some friends...

A: Poured into a shaker pint... deep ruby red with some haze; chestnut head is huge and frothy, leaving a few globs of lace here and there.

S: Caramel malts and some light sweetness; piney hops, with some light floral and citrus notes; alcohol peeks through as it warms.

T: Big time caramel malts up front with some touches of brown sugar... maybe some molasses; herby hops that lead to a dry finish.

M: Crisp, medium-bodied and smooth; finishes a touch dry.

D: Another impressive brew from Bear Republic; we finished the growler with ease! Good stuff.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bear Republic is one of many amazing craft breweries in the United States, specifically in California, which unfortunately never makes its way as far north as Canada. There are many breweries in this scenario, however a good friend of mine had moved to LA, and hasn't stopped talking about Bear Republic's Red Rocket and their Racer 5 IPA. So last time he came back to Canada he made sure to represent, and brought with him some Red Rocket Ale; their American Amber.

I had heard a lot of hype, and from many valuable sources, so I was pretty excited for this beer. Also, I love a good rich American Amber, and feel like many breweries overlook the style, or continue to produce relatively bland, 5% versions with less body and taste than is fitting of the style.

It was a beautiful sunny spring day at the cottage, so I took the opportunity to enjoy this magnificent ale.

The Red Rocket is 6.8% abv, which is really exactly where I think an American Red should be. Nice and rich, full in body, sweet, malty and a good bite to it. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, I haven't even opened the bottle yet. Bear republic actually claims the beer is a "bastardized Scottish style Red", which makes me even more excited! It recently took home a silver at the 2009 California State Fair, and has won silvers at previous Great American Beer Festivals.

From the get-go this beer surprised and impressed me; it poured a deep and dark amber red showing loads of mahogany, bronze, and black tones. A sturdy and creamy airy head built about two inches above the beer with a big amber tan color. The nose was full malts, caramel and toffee spice, a touch of hops, and sweet berry floating across the whole beer. It was deep and rich, and did remind me more of a Scottish rather than American Ale.

Regardless of style origin, I went right in for the kill grabbing a large gulp of this beer - it didn't surprise me because I was expect something delicious, but it rather proved me right in a very satisfying way. Right away thick and creamy caramel and crystal malts hit the center of your tongue and glide over to your cheeks and throat. Hops too, are very apparent, it has 67 IBUs, so it is slightly more bitter than the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. They come in with soft bitter and crisp hop herbal flavors though rather than the citrus rush.

As it warms slightly the complexity of the malt shows more aromatic properties and some sweet signs of cherries, rhubarb and strawberry. Mild spices add to the balance in this beer with pepper and ginger, maybe a touch of allspice. Carbonation is relatively average, but allows the beer to still remain smooth and elegant on the palate. The finish is crisp with rich malt sweetness and is significantly appetizing.

I definitely enjoyed this one a lot, and will look for packs of it for the summer. I had it on its own, but I can imagine it with grilled red meat, hearty pasta, pizza, burgers, and cheesecake. MMMmmm, maybe in a cheesecake...

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with about two fingers of offwhite foamy head, decent lacing.

The scent is of some light citrus, bready malts, and some hops.

The taste is of resiny hops, bready malts, and citrus at the end a little watery also.

Light bodied, smooth and sort of thin, pretty good moderate carbonation.

This is a very easy drinker, there is good flavor and good balance. Though this was a little too watery and thin for me.

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Photo of Soonami
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Rocket Ale very good red ale that is a dark copper color with a finely knit cap or just off-white head that leaves clingy splotches on the glass. Dark caramel malt, sweet breadiness, and piney hops dominate the nose and the taste. The finish is sweet and very bitter. As the beer warms the overwhelming bitterness is mediated by malt depth and melanoidin flavors. The beer is slick and thick, which makes it luxurious in the mouth.

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

12 oz bottle poured into Chinet plastic cup (hey, I'm traveling) 8.15.2010.

Full finger white semi-rocky head, medium dissipation. Dark amber/brown body with some garnet highlights, too dark for visible carbonation. Crystal malt dominated nose, some citrus notes to the hops. Taste profile mirrors nose, a bit of spiciness on the backend. Fairly full mouthfeel, above average effervescence. Pretty drinkable. Nice hop profile, certainly not an IPA but has a nice Nugget Nectar nice taste.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear and bright ruby-copper pour with nice lasting head and great lacing. Very earthy nose with lots of dark caramel malt and a touch of fruitiness. Lots of pine sap in the taste complemented nicely with roasty, caramel malts and a touch of biscuit and molasses. The balance is great, with a nice bitter hop bite coexisting with the sweet malt. This one definitely improves as it warms. The mouthfeel is a bit chewy and resiny, but creamy smooth at the same time. A very drinkable beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of droomyster
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer almost three minutes ago and the head is right where I left it, two fingers aloft, a craggy tan heap of foam. The body is dark and hazy, mostly mahogany with reddish edges. The aromas and taste are amazingly well balanced: a difficult feat considering how aggressively bold both its hops and malts are. On both the nose and the palate, sweet brown sugar is what I initially detect before a powerful citrusiness asserts itself. Layers of caramelly malts and pine resin battle it out on the palate. Orange zest and burnt sugar linger long on the finish. Very full-bodied, hefty as hell, and thoroughly gratifying.

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Red Rocket Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,606 ratings.
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