Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale | Deschutes Brewery

506 Reviews
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark AleHop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An India Black Ale.
Available - May to September
Alc. by Vol. - 6.5% (2010), 6.9% (2011)
IBUs - 75

Added by JohnGalt1 on 05-27-2010

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Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 1,345
Photo of largadeer
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Appropriately black-ish body with a dense tan head that retains nicely.

Smell: A ton of green, sappy pine on the nose along with a touch of mint. Plenty of dark malt, too, largely dry and ashy. There's a hint of caramel, but sweetness is reigned-in on the whole.

Palate: Pine alongside orange-like citrus. There's plenty of roastiness, a hint of dark chocolate and a big resinous kick in the finish. Acidic and slightly ashy. Carbonation feels too high at first, but it settles out quickly. This is hugely flavorful and quite bitter, perhaps a bit too sharp for its own good. The mouthfeel is light and dry, a touch thin toward the finish.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber into a stemless 12 oz. tulip. Best by date 9.21.12.

Look- Ruby brown with two fingers of toasted coconut head. Excellent retention, plenty of thick legs and lace.

Smell- Fresh pine sap, coriander, cinnamon rolls, maple syrup, dark roast. Swirling brings out a powdery scent and a hint of alcohol.

Taste- First taste comes off as one-dimensional and somewhat plain, but revisiting as it warms reveals a number of fairly subtle flavors. Star anise and spiced Turkish coffee come to mind. piney hop presence. Vaguely lemony flavor (lemon seeds, actually) asserts itself halfway through the glass. Aftertaste is of espresso and campfire biscuits. Mineral character builds as the glass empties.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, clean, extremely easy drinking. Wish it was a bit more substantial, however- almost watery. Half of a bomber was fine, I wouldn't mind having the whole thing to myself.

Overall- Mixed feelings here; it's good, but feels like it fell just shy of being great. Decently priced, definitely worth trying.

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Photo of scootpolute
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 Pint, 6 FL ozs brown bottle with an interesting animation of a hop field in the dark, in front of a mountain and the moon, 'Best-By' date clearly marked.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a clinging tan lace that seems to stay for a while...HUGE light brown head...AMAZING lacing!!!

Smell: Mildly sweet in the nose with hints of soaked currants, roasted malts and a big scent of hops.

Taste: After the luscious mouth feel come the flavour which is quite malty & hoppy... light acidic twang from the roasted malts, a little dark roasted coffee flavour and an underlying toasted biscuit taste are balanced with a perfect combo of big hop and roasted malt bitterness. The lingering after taste is of faded burnt sugar, drying grain and a slightly warming alcohol. A wonderful big hop character helps to round this brew also.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much on the heavy side for mouth feel, but VERY drinkable.

Notes: YUM! This is a growing NW 'trend' style combining the likes of porters with IPAs (aka Black IPA)...So, if you enjoy porters 'AND' IPAs, this is your beer!...this one goes down as a great one, no doubt!

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Photo of julian89
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy Scudder and myself split a fairly large order from Deschutes, Goose Island, and Surley. Excellent beer tasting.

From bottle to typical drinking glass (alas not pint glass today)

Appearance: Pours a thick (molasses like) dark body. A nice 1" cream tan head with a fairly good retention. Excellent lacing. A very good looking dark beer.

Smell: First noted a semi strong earthy piney hops smell. Rich dark noted hops throughout. A very subtle semi dark chocolate finish.

Taste: It has a fresh crisp taste and feel. The balance is very intriguing. I taste a strong amount of dark chocolate malt. The high lovibond grains give it a toasty breadiness and and the piney hops round out great.

Mouthfeel: A great carbonation but a little watery for my taste. It's light to medium bodied but any dark stout/porter/ or ale should at least have a medium body feel to get above a 4 in my book. The only real down side to this beer.

Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoy this beer. It is a great dark beer, could use a little more thickness on the mouth feel.

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Photo of stampfler07
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown with tons of thick brown head that takes quite a while to settle down, leaving good lacing

S- Strong juniper aroma, some sweet and kind of tangy malt aromas as well

T- Pine hop flavor, strong bitterness in the middle and finish, roasted dark malt complexion comes pit at the finish, good balance even for the strong hop

M- Moderate carbonation and body, slightly dry

O- One of my favorite styles and very well done, great balance but each component of the flavor is strong on its own as well. I grab a bomber every time I see it, highly recommended

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

Bought a 22oz bottle of this from The Beer Shoppe in Yakima, WA for $6.20. Poured from the Dark Green/Black labeled bottle w/ a stake portraying "Hope in the Dark" on it into a 12oz Shaker Glass. Has BEST BY: 06/08/12 on the side of the label.

Aroma- The aroma is very strong with an Imperial IPA aroma. Tons of hops and strength and only a minimal amount of roast/malt. Terrific!

Appearance- Pours a 2 finger head that has fantastic head retention. Has a very opaque colored body that is the deepest brown color. Leaves thick lacing behind.

Flavor- Has a strong hop presence from beginning to end and only slight roastiness. The finish has a medium bitterness level and is dry.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Creamy, Sweet, and finishes with well balanced malts and hops together.

Overall Impression- And the winner of this years Black IPA goes to... Deschutes! A fantastic example of the style and hope to go back to this one on draft or even bottle again. Once again, I haven't seen this one hit the MO market yet, so had to go to it.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Good till August 31st 2012.

Out of the bottle comes a big dark brown nearly black walnut body, providing a big four finger tan head, settlng down nicely and very slowly.

A very subdued nose, light malts and hint of milk chocolate, small pine hop it seems, but very closed.

Taste and palate really seems mellow. A soft bodied palate, almost creamy and chewy, with a mild roast density, and this mushy fruit hop angle. Finish hits with chewy orange and citrus on the finish, with a good controlled bitter. Bitter zest of orange oil comes through in the palate, whaffing nicely.

A real interesting take, with a mellow hop profile for this style. Nothing better from Deschutes as always, I dig it.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a barrel pint glass, Hop in the Dark is a really dark ale. Solid black throughout with some mahogany on the edges when held up to light. Thick, one-finger light brown head with staying power. A very good looking beer.

The nose is lightly hoppy with notes of coffee, cocoa, and dark fruit. It's a nice aroma that masks its complexity with a subtle delivery. The taste follows suit, with a noticeable dark cherry flavor intertwined with a dry, baker's chocolate flavor. A hoppy, coffee bitterness finishes it off. The mouthfeel is creamy and textured.

This is a fine beer. I'm not sure I'll drink much more of this during the hot Texas summer months, but I can see revisiting this in the fall or winter many times over. A tasty, serviceable here, like I've become accustomed to from Deschutes.

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

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

Excited to try this one.

Pours a nice dark dark brown nearly black with some light amber edges. Nice tall 1 inch head that is a light tan and has some great retention. Quite sticky as well and very dense.

Starts off with very grassy and herbal Pacific NW smelling hops. Herbal and also quite piney. Slight roasty notes can be perceived but the hop resin is a bit more dominant.

Flavor starts off with some grassy and herbal hop notes. Piney and grassy with some slight citrus notes. There is some nice roast to the malt portion but it is not that intense. I was expecting something more like Stones 15th. It is not as intense but still very good. The slightly burnt malt notes strike a balance with the hop notes that balance the brew out. As the beer warms the roasted malt takes a more prominent role while still being balanced.

Pretty good brew. I was excited to try it and it didn't disappoint. Yumy hop notes with a nice grassy notes balanced by some good burnt malt notes.

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Photo of pants678
2.51/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours porter/stout black with a beige foam. Looks right up my alley.

I can smell the crisp, earthy cascade hops but not much else.

Not quite a Black IPA but not that far away either. Floral, clove notes stand out and they put the mild chocolate well in the background. In the end I can't imagine I'd go back, either you have a craving for one or the other. Big plus for not being muddled.

Smooth texture from the black malt. Not particularly sharp, sculpted more like a porter in regard to carbonation.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the 2012 release. Thanks for sending this to me, Chris, especially after drinking the bottles you grabbed me the past two releases!

A very dark brown with a light brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a nice looking CDA/ABA/BIPA. Highlights are reddish brown. As for the nose? I really don't see how this isn't an excellent hoppy porter/stout. Moderately roasty with a robust hop aroma (pine and citrus), this has less caramel and more roast than most CDAs. That said, there is *some* caramel, a little bit of cocoa and perfumey hops to round out the nose. Excellent.

The palate opens with a blend of moderate bitterness and a low-level but sharp grainy bitterness, mildly acidic as well. Pine, grapefruit and a little bit of orange are all noticeable in the hop bitterness. The grainy bitterness does mask some of the hop flavor, and the light unsweetened cocoa character does enhance the sense that this really is a hoppy porter. The mid-palate is just a touch watery. Light in body with a moderate, creamy carbonation, this beer finishes with an aggressive pine bitterness, a little bit of roast and some citrus. Excellent stuff, this.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black in color. The head is tan with good retention. A decent amount a lacing to boot.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, grapefruit bitterness and a candy sweetness towards the end. Excellent

T - Roasted peanuts, orange peel, sweet caramel and a coffee like aftertaste in the finish.

M - Thick mouthfeel. Smooth. With a lingering bubbly feel on the palate.

O - Pretty damn good stuff. Probably would be a regular if it was year round.

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Photo of WesM63
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Dechutes Tulip

A: Pours a near black with a nice 2finger brown head. Decent lacing and retention.

S: Smells of pine/resin and some roasted malts.

T: Hops/pine on the tongue some dark roasted malts come in mid taste and finishes a bit watery.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Decent brew. It seems like it's missing something, as I prefer Stone's SSR better.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber into standard pint, fridge temp.

A: aggressive pour got 3 fingers of frothy mocha head that is falling very slow and leaving sheets of lacing. Completely opaque black, not a photon of light makes it through this thing.

S: hops on the nose like mad, a little citrusy and a little grassy like there is cascade hops in there (I would assume so since it is a cascade black ale). Behind that is a little sweet chocolate smell from the dark malts. No burnt malt smell from the black but the chocolate shines through.

T: A little malty sweetness up front and then a big hit of hops. Almost like their Obsidian Stout but amplified hops. At least three layers of flavor; slight chocolate sweetness fades quickly into dark maltly richness and then the hops hits with fresh grassy love before it fades to a bitter on the back of the tongue that lingers. The malt reappears as it transitions into aftertaste with a touch more black and chocolate malt on the tongue to let you know why you wanted another drink.

M: Solid medium mouthfeel, rich and smooth. This goes down easy for something as high in hops it is. Not a session but easy to get lost in your glass of beer with this one.

O: A tad hoppy for my taste but really good. I would drink this one again for sure. Another winner for Deschutes (but everyone know they don't fail)

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Photo of denver10
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

So....do I like Deschutes more than I dislike Black Ales or is my dislike of Black Ales greater than my love for Deschutes? At $4.50 a bomber it seemed liike a worthy test.

Pours hazy black with a thumbs width bubbly mocha head. Nice lacing. A sharp earthiness/pineness alongside a touch of some citric rind starts things off supported by some coffee and chocolate and even some bread. Smell dulls out a little as it warms. Flavor offers some chocolate, coffee, pepper, pine with a mild to moderate bitterness developing throughout the sip and climaxing in the finish. A nice creamy and silky active mouthfeel. Overall, Deschutes made me enjoy a black ale, though still not a style I find myself too fond of. Most Black IPA's that I have tried seem to have a strong infusion of citric fruit which this one doesn't, something that I think helped me enjoy this one more than others. Probably not a beer I will rush to have again, but still one I am glad to have tried and have enjoyed trying.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not going to go into too much detail here.

A - More black than brown, solid head and retention - Good.

S - Not much in the way of hops here...a bit dull and lacking. Maybe a black pale ale opposed to IPA?

T - Black pale ale for sure. A little bit hoppy, dark malts and chocolate present with some hop bitterness and wee bits of pine but where's that citrus hop goodness that goes with IPAs? Not bad but not great.

M - pretty solid here, best aspect of the brew. Perfect carbonation and a almost creamy bitterness.

O - Nothing memorable. For my palate, I'll take Stone's SSR over this one all day, everyday. But hey, that's for me and this one might be for others.

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Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in KC, er Gladstone, MO (Bubbles) yesterday, BBD of 31 Aug 2012

Pours chestnut/mahogany with 3 fingers of khaki head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Brown bread, minty hops & roastyness

T: Brown bread peppery & woody hops, pine & a touch of chicory up front. Some roasted grain as this warms along with pine & woodyness. Finishes roasty & piney with dryness, & carob

MF: Fairly chewy, moderate carbonation, good balance

Not the best of this style, but right up there nipping at their heels, Drinks sooo easy

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber bottle best by 8-31-12.
Bottle kept in fridge, poured into a nonic pint.

A- Pours very dark brown, looking almost black in the glass with very little ruby highlights when held up to the light. The 3 fingers width of head has a dark tan, almost mocha color to it. The head does hang around a long time, and I can see that it is going to leave some really chunky lacing on the glass.

S- Plenty of hops up front. Lots of pine, and some roasty dark malts.

T- A pleasant punch of piney, hoppy, bitterness hits the tongue, but soon turns into a nice chocolatey, malty flavor. It errors on the hoppy side of balanced, but not overly so.

M- Nice and velvety. Carbonation is not overbearing.

O- Another solid hit from Deschutes. Enjoyable, and refreshing. Deschutes combined the best of both worlds. The chocolatey smokey roasty flavors of dark malts with the piney, grapefruity, hoppy flavors. Seek this one out.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.99/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by 8/31/12

Huge tan foamy/soapy head. Lots of sticky foam left behind on the walls of my Duvel Tulip. Brew is thin black with lots of brown and purple.

Quite dull on the hops... Roasty and slightly pine.

Weirdly bitter... Overly pine. Lots of light airy chocolate and roasted malt. Perfect carbonation, but the bitterness/dryness ruins it, IMO.

I've had better Black IPAs...this ones a bit of a mess. There's a lot left to be desired with this brew, less chocolate and more delicate hops, to start. Semi-recommended.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

an excellent black ipa. pours very rich looking, thicker and an aggressive fizz happening. 2 inch tan head with nice rentention, dark brown liquid. smells like bitter pine family hops, and chocolatey roasty earthy malts. balanced but hop forward. flavor follows suit, great interplay between the rich velvet of the malt and the puckery punch of the hops. feel is lovely as well, very creamy in the mouth with a fuller body and good carbonation. overall a damn good brew, which ive now come to expect regularly from deschutes. they never ever disappoint

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking. very black with a light brown head, great lacing.

Smell is really nice, so hoppy I was blasted with hops just when I popped the top! In the glass it's nicely hoppy too, with plenty of roasty malts too.

Taste is amazing too, great job on this one. The roasted malts are well accented with grapefruit and floral notes, and a blasting array of perfectly proportioned hop flavors. Seriously, they hit the nail on the head with this CDA.

Body is pretty rich and thick, feels like a bigger beer than it is.

Amazing. Definitely a must try for hop lovers, CDA lovers, and even IPA lovers.

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Photo of dfillius
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says best by 11/28/11, had on 1/6/12. No sign of old age though.

A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of tight tan head with great retention. Nearly opaque DARK brown liquid with ruby red edges. Good looking!
S: Cocoa, slight citrus, apple. Possibly tropical fruit and coniferous hoppiness and savory garlic. I would like a tad more complexity.
T: Coffee and dark chocolate with some great bitterness. At the beginning it is at the RIS-lite end of CDAs, but as time goes on it creeps toward the IPA end of it. I like that. Grapefruit bite is dominant at the end; some earthiness comes in then too.
M: Full, roastily bitter. Quite puckering and bitter! Almost astringently hoppy. Ending is very dry.
O: This thankfully was not old/no hop degradation is apparent. One of the best CDAs I've had. Maybe Stone 11th was better. I love the hop bite dominates with the roast playing second fiddle.

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Photo of natemort13
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pours from the bottle is garnet and turns into black as it hits my tulip. A foamy dark tan head leaves generous spider web lacing as it recedes.

I could smell the hops as I poured it. Upon closer olfactory inspection, juicy hops with a generous citrus undertone are present. A slight creamy coffee roast comes in after the hops. Grape and figs as it warms.

Taste reverses from the nose. Creamy coffee hits first and lingers on the tongue with a green hop bitterness. Finish is slightly bitter hops with a long roasty component to it. Very vinous hops in the taste that balance extremely well with the roasted malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is perceived as slightly slick which almost gives it a thin feel but this is definitely a medium bodied brew.

Overall this is one of the better black ipas I've had, super glad the safeway down the street has it at 5 a bomber, will seek out again.

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

Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a root beer head. Aromas of malted milk balls and cascade hops. The mouthfeel is soft and wet, but less viscous than the eyes would lead one to expect. A delightful mild carbonation scrub on the finish. Flavors are characterized by chocolate and tart citrus. Some floral essence as the olfactory becomes more involved in the taste. Lastly, a little smokiness that the hop bitterness tends to perpetuate. I've never been remarkably impressed with this beer. Don't get me wrong, it's better than average, but by Deschuttes standards, it is nothing about which to get too excited. Especially for the price.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - Obsidian black with no light even attempting to get through this beast. 1.5 Finger ecru head with good retention and good lacing.

S - Dalt malts, chocolate, grapefruit cascade hops

T - Really awesome, tastebuds stimulated all over the place. A nice bold flavor from beginning to end. A zippy bitter hop notes a start with some floral and citrus grapefruit. Then the malt sweetness, coffee and chocolate to follow with a solid bitter finish. A fantastically well balanced beer experience. Oh and a pine cone burp to follow!

M - Full body, moderate carbonation

O - This was a great dark ale, I love this brewery and this beer is a very nice bitter dark beer at 70 ibu and has a lot of hop character to boot.

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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,345 ratings.
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