Sah'tea | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
601 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Sahti

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Ancient Ale is a modern take on a 9th-century Finnish beer.

The wort for Sah'tea is caramelized over white-hot river rocks, and the beer is fermented with a German weizen yeast. In addition to juniper berries foraged from the Finnish countryside, Sah'tea is flavored with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper.

The spicing is subtle and balanced, and Sah'tea is a highly-quaffable, truly unique brew with a full mouthfeel.


Added by DarkerTheBetter on 09-28-2008

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Reviews: 601 | Ratings: 1,825
Photo of BraveUlysses
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Sah'Tea has a very cloudy appearance with a very urine-like color. The aroma is delicious: spices fill the nose and remind me of pumpkin pie, sans pumpkin. Definitely a fall beer; the taste is similar to the smell with the pumpkin pie spices dominating the palate; I noticed the cloves in particular. The mouthfeel is full and has less than average carbonation, a great sipping beer.

One thing of note: the alcohol disguises itself very well. While the beer is listed as 9% ABV, it tastes more like a 6-7%. Well done, Dogfish Head.

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Photo of tpd975
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice bold orangish gold hue with a tall puffy cloud like head. Good retention with streaming lace all the way down the glass.

S: Nice aromas. Bold ginger notes with hints of black chai, cinnamon, and subtle berry.

T: Very much Chai forward. I just got home from Turkey where I consumed tons of Chai. Let me tell you I love how the tea works in this beer. Tons of honey like sweetness, and bold ginger notes are there along with a hint of citrus. No real juniper berry though.

M: Medium in body, great carbonation, smooth.

T: I really like it. One of the better DFH offerings as of late. I love how the tea plays off this beer. Wish I had saved it as a night cap. This one would be the perfect before bed brew.

DFH you have yourself a winner here!

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden color with a thick white head.

Strong smell of cinnamon and ginger.

Taste heavily resembles chai and ginger bread. There' a dash of corriander in there, too.

Heavier body, but crisp with carbonation. There's a sweetness to it that makes it sit a little heavy.

It's in interesting brew, but one glass is enough for me. The flavor and aftertaste are both a little odd and I wasn't feelin' it.

Glad I tried it, but not again.

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Photo of zplug123
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served from the wine-type bottle, poured into a 16 oz pint glass.

A: Hazy, golden color, moderate head retention at first fading into rather slow-moving carbonation. Non-filtered is a plus

S: I'm pleasantly reminded of a gingerbread cookie, catching some juniper at the end.

T: The ginger stays throughout the entire taste, while an ending of chai (clove, cinnamon) complements the sweetness, not hoppy at all.

M: Full-bodied with a clean taste, almost seems to refresh my breath. Little carbonation, but it's what tingles my tastebuds in the beginning.

D: Absolutely a drink for those days where cold weather is prevalent. My first taste of Sahti, american-brewed or not, is definitely not my last

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Photo of adamette
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from a 1 pint, 9.6 oz. bottle into my DFH pint glass. Purchased at Warehouse Beverage on Mayfield in Cleveland last Tuesday for $11.99. Stamp of "bottled in 2009" stamped on the side of the bottle.

A Hazy but translucent light brown/orange body under a generous 3 inch head that sticks around for several minutes (at least 5 as I type this statement).

S Light spices, malt sweetness, some citrus in a smell spectrum that is not unlike a blonde ale.

T Nice range of tastes from gentle "blonde" ale to some moderate spices (the Juniper berries, the Black Chai Tea?) and a nice sweetness (from the malt, some other source?). This is my first Sahti so I have nothing to compare it to directly (within the style) but I point to other styles that I know for some comparison. I think that it might be closest to a Belgian blonde (maybe a Leffe?) but that it is maltier and with more of a spice profile. Excellent taste.

M This is a thick beer and the ABV is hidden VERY well indeed. There is a syrupy quality to the feel which I find appealing.

D Well this is very drinkable. I have finished the first pint (of about 2) without even hesitating.

Notes: A bit pricey but I think well worth it. I would love to see more from this style out there. Bravo DFH!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.31/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a slight hazy bright orange body with a bubble beige head that boils and then soon disappears. There are strands of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface out of the murky liquid.

S- The sharp ginger bite hits the nose right away followed by some soft plastic notes and a finish of eucalyptus.

T- The flavor of medicinal herbal cough drops is followed by a much softer caramel sweet hint and then fades back into the medicinal plant after taste that lingers. There are notes of camphor and dry spices with a light dry horehound note aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish that enhances the medicinal aftertaste. There is no alcohol heat noticed.

D- The first glass was rough to get through so I knew there was no way I could get through the giant bottle, and I hate to waste beer. As the rest swirled down the drain the kitchen filled with an herbal Vicks vapor rub aroma. This was to medicinal and there were very little beer qualities to this drink. I brewed a Triple with Chia and it had the same bad qualities so I'm glad to learn that chia spices just turn out this way, and it wasn't my batch.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a golden color with a bit of a haze to it. You can see the carbonation racing to the top, but there isn't really any head and no lacing.

The aroma is a nice wow factor for this brew. I get some sweet honey, ginger, clove, the tea and what I guess is the Juniper berries. Sweet smelling with a bit of spice to it.

The flavor is a mix of the thing I smelled, with honey dominating the first sip. The further into the glass I get, the more the spice come out. I notice the Juniper, but it's not as strong as I had hoped. The black tea resides in the back ground quite nicely, though.

Good carbonation, but a bit too syrupy for me. The sweetness is almost too much at times. Another nice brew from a great brewery that is willing to try that experiment most won't touch with a ten foot stir paddle.

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Photo of csmiley
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a medium gold and not altogether clear. Head comes to a level that is equivalent to a medium sized cap on top of the beer. It sticks around for less than a minutes and fades to a barely there ring around the brew. Some lacing stays behind in the glass.

S - Spicy up front. Typical chai aromas really stick out. Getting allspice and black pepper. Starts to get a little green in the middle with pine and maybe a little grass. There might be some alcohol that pokes through as well. Finishes off sweet with a mild honey aroma.

T - Interesting. The spiciness seems dialed back in the flavor and melds with the rest of the beer pretty well. Pepper and ginger keep things really warm at first. A pretty strong malt backbone is evident pretty quick. Pale malt and honey come through strong with some white bread that finishes it off. The 9% is hidden very well. Some berry flavors seem to come and go but are really hard to single out other than just using a generic "berry" description.

M - This has a fuller body than expected. Carbonation is minimal and what is present ever so slightly tickles the palate. Finish is pretty sweet and spicy.

D - Drinkability is decent. All the flavors make this beer interesting and the alcohol is hidden well. However, 750 ml could be a bit much for one person to handle. Don't get me wrong, it's really not bad at all but this beer could be enjoyed much more if the serving size was a little smaller. Splitting a bottle with a couple friends would just about do it. This is my first selection from this particular style and it's good enough to warrant hunting down more examples. Thanks to DFH for brewing another off centered ale for it's slightly off centered customers.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed, golden color-nice effervescent look to it. No real foam or lacing but a huge bevy of bubbles continuously rising. Nice sweet aroma-mildly gingery and clove like. Some honey notes. Sweet and malty up front. Honey like flavor reminds me of a mead more then anything. Nice spiciness going on. Slight juniper taste-I was expecting more actually. Nice mouthfeel though some might find it syrupy sweet-I quite like it. A decent beer. I have one sahti to compare it to so I am no expert. I like it though the sweetness might become too much for me. Worth a shot.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter

Appearance: Pour yields a hazy light gold in color, minimal size head decreases as it gets to the top and sits, lacing and retention are nice all around.

Smell: Up front is a huge wallop of fruit florals, almost garden like, very earthy and fresh smelling. Bits of cranberry, juniper berries and some apple spice are very refreshing in the nose. I can definetley spot some tea like properties too, very different but in the same veign it's a perfect match to the fruitiness.

Taste: Juniper berries are very easy to spot upon first sip, very floral like and sweet. Chai tea is also easily spotted, almost like drinking a glass of fruit flavored ice tea. I get almost a apple pie like malt backbone in the finish here, this beer would taste great around fall season. The finish consists of that tea like flavoring with a touch of light fruity esters and some alcohol. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is at a medium, not overdone and doesn't make you pucker with so much fruit infusions here. Bitterness creeps up after a couple sips. Medium bodied yet the firm maltiness keeps this brew in check on the tongue.

Drinkability: What an invigorating, yet well thought out and well balanced beer. I love the inclusion of actual tea, it pairs wonderfully with the nice fruit undertones and that apple pie spiciness. A beer you can session in the summer, and the spiciness can even let this pass as a beer for the fall months. Along with Theobrama, DFH has produced another wonderful concoction that is another winner in my book.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml crown capped bottle into 25oz snifter.

Opaque orange hue with a one finger off-white head that slowly settles to absolutely nothing. Looks like cheap orange drink.

Very light aroma, very sweet and piney, with a bit of juniper coming through.

Very sweet again, with a little bit of spice. Citrus and honey is in the background. Full bodied, higher carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden.

An okay beer, seems to remind me of a very sweet American Pale Wheat Ale. I'd still like to try a Sahti which is closer to the older style.

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Photo of steeltown71
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into Corsendonk Christmas snifter. Pours a nice, translucent gold with moderate carbonation.

S: Unusual aromas here - white grapes, kiwi, French baguette, considerable clove/spice presence.

T: Spicy-herbal, sweet honey, bread, slight bitterness on the finish with lingering spice.

M: Pretty lively carbonation, slightly syrupy.

D: 9% abv is well hidden, but I'd recommend splitting the 750mL bottle between 2-4 people.

I love DFH for their willingness to explore any style or simply create a new category, but this isn't my favorite of their offerings. Liked the smell better than the taste. Still, always nice to try something unconventional and I hope they keep expanding.

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Photo of bonkers
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 25 ounce bottle into a snifter. The brew pours a clear, pale, orange with a medium white head. The brew smells really, really sweet. The first thing that hits my tongue is spice, not sure if it is the chai tea or what, but this is a spicy beer. The juniper berries lend a sickly sweetness to this and the finish is sweet. The beer is a medium bodied sipper. This is the first Sahti I have tried and I am not a big fan. IMO this one is too spicy and sweet.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Dogfish heads experimental and unusual one off beer. Sometimes the experimental beer is craptastically bad; however, sometimes the experimental beer is fantastic. Sahtea falls into the fantastic range. The beer was served chilled and poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The color of the beers body is an orange / apricot coloration. It could almost pass for effervescent tea. The head is a thin off white coloration. The head quickly resolves to a thin film.

Smell: The juniper berries jump out and stand up at attention in glass. If you dont like juniper berries dont even bother with this beer. I have had gin with less juniper in it. Very spicey with the juniper. There is a bit more going on here. The juniper combines well with cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and ginger. The chai tea is spot on in the aroma. I honestly cannot pick anything else out in the aroma and I am really liking what I smell already.

Taste: The juniper berries are present in the flavor but take a back seat to the chai. The flavors of the chai really are first rate. The beer has a pleasing malty sweetness that sets off the chai and juniper. If you dont like either chai or juniper dont bother. Spiceyness prevents the beer from going over into the realm of overly sweetened.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. It almost passes into the realm of viscous on the mouthfeel. The beer is a monster 9%er. Inspite of ABV I think I could drink a bunch of this in a setting. Another fantastic experimental beer from Dogfish Head!...

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Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deleriumfest for sharing this one.

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a 1/2 finger white head. Fades down quick. Not a lot of lace. Color is a sweet looking orange mango. A very hazy beer.

Aroma: Juniper berries and chai-tea. Very sweet. Has some honey to it. I am really enjoying the aroma.

Taste: Same stuff as in the smell. Juniper berries, chai-tea, but it has some spices to it. Very unique. I also get some figs here.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a tingle in the mouth, but it is so clean. Leaves a clean berry aftertaste. Medium bodied along with decent carbonation.

Overall, This is one fine beer. I love the tea flavor and I can easily drink a lot of this. Thanks Brandon for sharing this treat!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice attempt, could have been better. In a mug the beer was an orange color with a small white head. Sweet malt aroma, tea, juniper. The taste was lacking, all I could get was sweet tea. Where's the rye and juniper? On the bland side. I really like DFH and applaud their outside the box thinking, but this was a miss for me.

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a cloudy dark gold color with a bit of white head. It smelled distinctly like chai tea leaves, with some peach and honey and green banana. It tasted like chai tea and fresh banana, with orange and peach and honey, and a bit of nutty malt and bready yeast and cloves. It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation, and had a mild sour aftertaste. Overall this was a very interesting and delicate beer with complex flavor. It was quite unique and enjoyable, as a change of pace. It had great body and hid the alcohol very well. So it was definitely easy to drink, but quite worth sipping. I was surprised how the tea character never faded as it warmed, or as I became more accustomed to it.

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Photo of waltonc
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my New Belgium glass while listening to NWA's "Appetite for Destruction." Pairs perfectly.

Pours a nice-looking hazy straw color with an inch of white head. Smell and taste are really spicy and sweet - similar ginger notes as the Pangea, and the chai is quite prevalent. As everyone else notes - this is quite unique. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with medium carbonation - a sugar bomb that, coupled with the ABV, should be available in something smaller than a 750 ml bottle. Quite good overall. I appreciate DFH's effort to brew outside the box.

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Photo of TheMistler
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours rather thick, producing little head. A very cloudy, honey gold color.

A sweet chai aroma reminds me of spice cake. A bit yeasty. Nutmeg and coriander. Juniper come in towards the end.

The taste is slightly floral up front, but then becoming sweet and malty (biscuit). Intermingling notes of juniper twigs. Ginger. Some dusty yeast. Tea notes. Combined with the slightest, welcome hints of hop bittering and the spice, the finish is dry. Spice - predominantly nutmeg - lingers on the palate.

ABV is very well hidden. Medium to full bodied, a little chewy, but with nicely crisp and prickly carbonation (more than I expected given the lackluster head) keeping things lively.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.12/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amended 11/26/11 - I have apologized to this beer after tasting it several more times and especially with food. Many of the characteristics that I disliked below I now find appealing and this one is especially food friendly. Have it with exotic foods and big flavored food and it really goes well. I have changed my original D+ rating. Sorry Sah'tea..

* * *

Orig. Review: Please let me say first, that I love Dogfish Head Brewery. It is perhaps my favorite because it's not afraid to be bold, different and extreme. I've now tasted over 25 different Dogfish Head brews and there have only been 1 or 2 that I really didn't like. Sah'tea has joined the list.

Pours an orange amber with a very thin white head.

Huge nose of chai tea, sage and basil herbs that is somewhat different but appealing.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin and overall a bit disappointing.

Flavors are sweet peachy and overwhelming in chai tea flavors and character. Undertones of orange marmalade flavors and peach tea. In the interests of fairness, I do not particularly like chai tea. Those that like chai tea that tasted this beer with me were much more forgiving. Thus, this really is a "chai tea beer" in almost all respects.

Short sweet peachy/chai tea finish. Undertones of sage/basil/juniper berries in nose, flavors and finish.

Interesting beer but I have no idea why this beer was made, bottled or sold. My 21 year old daughter said she likes it..."it doesn't taste like beer." Others called it "refreshing."

I don't know when you would drink it...perhaps to cool down or in lieu of cold water? Would not be particularly food friendly nor would one want to sit and drink it by itself or sip it.

This is is just "not my cup of tea." (I couldn't resist...sorry).

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Photo of BMoney575
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 7-24-09

Pours a cool orange color, very bright, with a smallish white head and chunky lacing.

Smell is sweet and sour, with lots of chai tea. Very different, very sweet.

Taste is much like the smell, slightly sour with lots of chai tea flavor. The finish is very fruity, and the alcohol is well masked.

Mouthfeel is sharp and well carbonated, with a tartness that adds to the sour finish.

Drinkability is quite good, the flavors are different, but enjoyable.

Overall a very interesting beer, and well-worth a try.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A cloudy, luminescent, orange liquid with a splotchy, thin white head. Looks pretty nice.

S- Chai tea, mint, and berries. Smells like a very nice holiday beer, but works really well here.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma. This is really tasty and unique with an extraordinarily well masked alcohol.

M- Creamy with a nice carbonation level and a clean, dry aftertaste.

D- A very unique beer that is tasty as hell. I do not think it is worth the $18+ they are charging for a 750ml bottle, but it is worth a try.

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Photo of froghop
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a hazy yellow-orange with a small white head, and a little lacing.

smell is of sweet fruit, spice, tea, and juniper berries.

taste is a little watery, juniper berries, tea, and a few hops, ends a little on the sweet side.

overall a very different beer, strange taste.

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Photo of deliriumfest
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 7/24/09

Poured a nice golden orange color with a small white head. Aroma is dominated by chai tea (nutmeg, cinnamon, corrianger) with a hint of juniper and something resembling pumpkin with a bit of alcohol. Taste is similar again being dominated by the chai tea flavor and finishes again with alcohol. Mouthfeel is near perfect as it is very creamy and well rounded with not much carbonation. Drinkability is decent due to the mouthfeel although I am not that fond of this beer.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
2.95/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into DFH pint. Reviewed from notes, sampled on 07/14

Didn't really know what to expect when I poured this one, first Sahti style. I know I should've saved it to share with someone else as the spices got to me after awhile, but meh. Poured the color of an IPA and the head disappeared after a couple minutes. No trace of lacing. The complex smells of honey, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine and a healthy dose of ginger. The spice sensory overload continued in the taste, more clove, some apricot, really floral and perfumey. The competing spices were battling each other, too many. The dryness of it bothered me. Lingering spices on the tongue and coating the mouth. Why release in July? This is a Christmas beer, cold weather, and crackling fires. That said, around that time I might just be in the mood to have one.

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Sah'tea from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.95 out of 5 based on 1,825 ratings.
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