Dark Vine Black India Pale Ale | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
48 Reviews
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Dark Vine Black India Pale AleDark Vine Black India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A hoppy black IPA bursting with so much flavor that you might think you’re tasting double. Intensely floral nose, surprisingly light body, and strong bitter finish.

Added by MisSigsFan on 10-17-2013

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 285
Photo of timmy2b
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle into a goblet. Pours a very dark black (almost as dark as a stout) with a small cloudy white/tan head. Does not have much of a smell to it at all, very mild and I am almost getting a light nutty scent. Started out tasting fairly light with a bitterness that lingers. As I got through the glass the alcohol taste became a lot more apparent. Very mild hoppy kick. right after the sip.

This is a typical black IPA/Cascade Dark Ale. It is smooth for the alcohol percentage, but it is not hidden very well. Was expecting a little more balance, but this is a drinkable beer.

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Photo of T-34-85
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Poured into a balloon glass. Beer is a dark, black color with a good foamy head, which subsides down to a nice shallow ring of lacing around the perimeter of the glass.

S: A very surprising presence of citrusy and floral hop aroma. This is mingled with a solid toasty malt smell with the dark malts used.

T: Similar to the smell, there is a mingled flavor of the hops, including a good level of bitterness, with the dark roasted malt flavors.

Overall: I would like to preface by saying that in my opinion, this beer is very well executed in terms of the development of the flavors, aroma, etc. However, the combination of the aromatic, citrusy and floral hop aromas with the dark malts that establish the black IPA classification are a strange combination to me, and not to my liking. The least desirable part of the beer to me is the taste, where the hop flavors are overpowered by the maltiness, but the hop flavor does not pair well with the malts.

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Photo of jhartley
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass/goblet glass.

Pours a dark black body with a fingers worth of fluffy tan colored head. Body shows a cola like color around the edges when held up to the light.

Smells of pine and hops, there's a burnt smell of some sort that I could not quite pin down. An almost sour smell. Wasn't really appealing.

Tastes way better than it smells. Definitely a hoppy beer! Still on the fence withe whole black IPA thing, but this is pretty tasty. Grapefruit/citrus dominates followed by a smoky malt sweet finish.

Very easy drinker, smooth and easy. Smokiness from the malts and bitter bite from the hops. Pretty well balanced beer.

Wasn't super impressed, but really liked how easy this was to drink. Wasn't overly impressed with the aroma, but the taste and drink-ability more than made up for it. Unlike the first beer I had from the Box of Hops (The Creeker) this one can easily be a one and done brew.

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Photo of Omnium
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Extremely dark brown in color a finger of off white head, little lacing.
S - Decent to the nose, mild roasted malt, alcohol, baking chocolate, licorice, some papaya, grapefruit, pine.
T - Too extreme. First off its way too boozy, bad job at hiding the alcohol, very astringent and soapy. Some darker fruit flavors, fig, a little papaya. There is so much abrasive bitterness here its overwhelming when paired with the booze. Almost imparts a spicy quality.
M - Too much bitterness, burn, and soapy texture.
O - One of the worst Black IPA's I've ever had. Its too extreme and unbalanced, there's so many undeveloped flavors here too. What a shame, considering how amazing The Creeker turned out to be.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stemless wine glass

A- pours black with a one finger tan head. Sticks around for awhile, very solid. Looks nice, a little better than par for the course

S- slight roast, some citrus. Very mild, standard aromas for a black IPA

T- little bit of juicy citrus, minimal roast. Kinda bland IMO

M- medium bodied, just kind of there. Alcohol is hidden very well though

O- not a bad beer, just nothing outstanding. Below average for a black IPA

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Photo of BB1313
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours very black with just the slightest amount of light getting through; fluffy khaki head that fades slowly and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are somewhat subtle with hints of grapefruit and pine. Lots of malts, but not too roasty. The flavors have subtle alcohol notes, but it's not hot or boozy. Lots of pine needles. Some hints of citrus. Finishes with some grapefruit and the roasy characteristics starts to appear. Very earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and has active carbonation. It's ultimate a smooth drink. Makes a nice brew to sip on, but it's still easy to drink.

This is a solid "Imperial Black IPA". It's well-crafted, but it's really nothing too exciting and leaves me wanting more. Too many alcohol notes in the nose and flavors. But once again, it's not hot or boozy.

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Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown color, cola like. The tan head is short, dense and creamy. The head left a small wall of lacing.

The aroma is of piney/resiny hops. Not very strong but noticable. Subtle roast notes with a hint of scorched caramel. Not too much there.

Substantial piney hop flavor and bitterness hits upfront. Some citrus pops through. This is followed by a fairly smooth coffee/roast note. Which is then followed by an acrid roast bitterness. The beer hits the style notes well. Its not too bitter from the roast, which is preferrable to me.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. A good balance between sweet and bitter, but bitter does win out in the finish.

A good example of the style. Its not my favorite style so it is slightly reflected in my score. Well made.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer started off with so much promise, but I found it to be very disappointing.
The aroma was quite nice. It was very hoppy smelling with floral and pine notes. Roasted barley lay just beyond with some roasted malts as well.
The appearance was good too, dark and menacing with a tall light beige head making a nice contrast.
The disappointment came in the taste. Which was like a shell to the aroma meaning if it tasted like the nose we would have a winner but it doesn't
Instead we have a beer that tastes watery with a brash bitter acidic taste.
The characteristics of the nose are missing. The floral hops which smelled so fresh are absent as well as the roasted maltiness.
The beer drinks thin and watery with an abrasive charcoal finish before a massive bitter ending.
The things I like about black IPA'S are the fresh hops and roasted character. These two things are absent.
What would be nice would be a blend of flower power with a roasted porter, thats a black IPA

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is black, solid; head is tan, presents a little more than 1/4 inch thick, then dissipates to larger bubbles and froth, some lacing on the glass.

Smell is a little subdued, moderate roast, some caramel, some toast; hops are subtle, light pine and grass.

Taste is quite good considering this brews abv, heavier roasted malt upfront, some toast follows then the hops clean it up, good pine and grass.

Mouthfeel was a bit dry, but seems about right for the abv strength.

Overall, a very good brew, nice flavors and cover the strength well. Nice roast presence and good hop flavor.

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Photo of zimm421
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stemless wine glass. Appears a full black color with a thin, light brown head. A little bit of lacing is left behind, but nothing great.

The nose is full of pine and floral, with a good amount of toasted malt and sweetness coming through as well. Nothing is overwhelming, but it is balanced, and on-point. The taste begins with a good amount of pine, quickly over-powered by dark toasted malts, with hints of dark fruits. Those dark malts are really the feature of this. The finish is a little bitter, but doesn't stick around forever.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation and a thick, sticky finish. Overall, this is a good black IPA, but isn't anything that will blow you away. That being said, the combination of the dark toasted malts and the pine and floral hops is very interesting, and worth a try.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Dark Vine"

Part of the Box of Hops sampler.

Pours a clear, dark amber brown that borders on opaque. Off white head forms and leaves a good amount of lace on the fluted pint.

Aroma of strong piney hops, grass, and faint citrus, mixing with a dark, sticky, tobacco like malt note with some char on the end.

In the taste, bitter hops and roasted malts, no surprises. Char comes out a lot more than in the aroma, which is also true about a grapefruit tinged citrus edge. A bit of coffee and faint vanilla are present in the finish, which does not exclude hop bitterness and flavor. There is little to no alcohol heat, which is quite an accomplishment for a black ale clocking in at nearly 10% abv.

The body of this beer is medium, well carbonated and smooth. Not sure what they did here with such flavor and potency being overly heavy. Hop flavors stick to the palate, as does a small residual malty sweetness.

Overall, this is essentially a hoppy stout. Dark Vine has a strong hop flavor and a good supporting cast of dark malts and resilient yeast. A perfect beer to drink when there's snow, freezing rain, and sleet outside.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks very dark brown with super thick lacing from what was a nearly two-fingered head that fell and left all sorts of appealing designs in its wake.

Zesty citrus peel, pine, hearty roast, punchy dryness; all in the nose. Has the freshness of a young and good black ale. Definitely 'IPA' with that thinner crispness, never letting the maltiness get a grip. Earthy and citrusy hoppiness that falls into a nice balance.

Very hoppy with a spry citrus note that goes wild with pithy orange and grapefruit. Wet and round, yet roasty, but hop leaf is big and primary. Almost vegetal. The crackery malts do have an unsweet chocolate flavor. Some strange tinny orange flavor that carries through to the finish and beyond with some mild astringency.

The feel is okay, but light. Dark Vine is a little heady, too. The body has some swish to it, and the carbonation doesn't let down at all, if not, it's brushy and rough.

Dark Vine is a good black IPA. It's not a bad pick.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: naturally, black ale with a tan head a few fingers high; left some lace

S: musky hop aromas amid sweet molasses and dark chewy malts

T: roasted dark malt underscores the resinous and earthy hops, mixing in suggestions of anise, molasses, and dark chewy bread

M: slick, medium-bodied, somewhat sticky, mellow bitterness, some coating

O: a good black ale, featuring most of the elements common to the style, but augmented by a dark hop bill to boot

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a FW tulip

pours a dark black with a big 2 inch beige head. smell is a mixture of hops and burnt malts.. taste is much smokier than i would have anticipated..the hops are on the back end but the smoky malts are very prevalent and lingering. not too easy drinking because of the smokiness. higher side of medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall too smoky/malty for me. but drinkable.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark Vine BIPA
12oz, BBD Jan 2014
DFH IPA glass

A: Pours a slightly deep reddish brown color. Very well carbonated. Tight bubbled. Light tan head. Two full fingers. Leaving sticky lacing.

S: Pine like hops. Roasted malts. Some chocolate leaks through. A little malt.

T: Flavor is better than nose. Not as good as Wookey Jack by a long short. Wanted more hop character. Some pine hop first. Some chocolate malt. Eh. Finish is somewhat dry.

M: Round medium leading to fuller side.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to JayORear for sharing this one.

Best before 1/2014.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, citrus zest, and pine aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, earth, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors for the style.

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Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Two fingers wort of late to develop light brown colored batter like densely packed frothiness... Rock solid retention... The color is a translucent dark brown... A limited bit of carbonation can be seen meandering around... The nose is fairly subdued but far from impotent... There is a bright citrus at the forefront... Pineapple... Oranges... Next comes a rock solid malt base... Biscuit... Light caramel... This all sits a top a faint roasted malt character... The palate starts exactly as expected with a pleasant mix of hops and malt base... The finish has a surprising presence of vanilla which lingers a bit... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Smooth an rather quaffable... Limited carbonation... The finish has a very slight charred texture and turns slightly chalky... Not a bad brew by any means, but a few notches below best in class American Black Ales... The slightly cloying vanilla presence, while not off putting, detracts slightly from the other charming qualities of this brew... Having now worked my way through the 2nd Box of Hops offering, I can safely say the Flower Power is still the best of the bunch...

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Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color—only faint traces of dark red are visible near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan colored head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose. Notes of dark malts and hints of pine also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has flavors of dark and roasted malts along with some slight hints of pine. The roasted malts linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted malts leaves your mouth a little dry in the finish.
O: This beer doesn't seem nearly as heavy compared to other beers in the style but still packs in lots of roasted malt flavors.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark brown color and creates a pinky thick layer of roasted toffee colored head that sticks to the side of the glass. Very sticky lacing.

S - Dark roasted malt, vinous herbal, and some citrus in the background (but not much).

T - Follows the nose with dark roasted malt leading the charge but then mellows and allows the bitterness to take the front seat midway through with nice bitterness with a floral,citrus pine character and finishes by leaving a coating of resiny pine and citrus in the mouth (not what I expected)...the hops totally wash away any chocolate malt presence that may have been left behind.

M - Medium body, somewhat sticky on the lips.

O - The ABV is incredibly well hidden and I had no idea this beer was sitting in the 9% range which makes it dangerously drinkable. Speaking of which, I'm not a fan of the style and I didn't enjoy this at all in the beginning but several sips in it started to grow on me with some really tasty hop resin which I never expected. I purposely avoided this one in the Box of Hops and it turned out to be way better than I anticipated - don't care for the aroma but the taste makes up for it.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

New release from Ithaca? Fine by me. This is 9.5% abv? Never would've guessed that.

But to the beer: nice fruity edge, in a black ale kind of way. Seems like there is some tasty hop oils on there too. Earthy, yet balanced and bright. Not blowing me away, but a very pleasant drinker.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this as part of the box of hops mix case, enjoyed chilled in a pint.

The color is very dark brown with crimson shade at the base of the glass with thick rocky ecru head with average bead and very good lacing/retention. The smell is a mix of citrus hop scents and slight burnt malt with mild hints of pine and light alcohol. The feel has a nice bitterness level with mild sweetness up front and moderate carbonation with a slight burnt/malt bitterness in the background mild dry graininess and roasted textures linger with a slight bitter linger.

The taste of Dark Vine has a mild pine hop flavor with some dark roasted keeping up and slight brown sugar element of crystal malt toward the middle. There is a mild citrus tinge from the hops which have good flavor and dominate the malt, however there is enough to soften the flavor and give a more balanced flavor of burnt malt with the juicy hops trailing toward the end. Overall I enjoyed this a lot more than most of the style even though it is a bit more malty than I expected considering the bitterness level of some of the other hoppy beers in the repertoire however the alcohol is pretty well hidden making for a drinkable hoppy black ale

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Photo of corby112
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears nearly black and opaque in the glass with dark mahogany edges and a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention with rings and streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Roasted dark malt aroma with very little hop character. Smells more like a porter at this point with robust, slightly smoked malt notes countered by a sweeter dessert-like character. Subtle grassy pine presence with a touch of floral buds and resinous oils but these hop/IPA characteristics are overpowered by the complex malt bill. Decent blend of roast and sweeter malts with hints of liquid smoke, burnt toast, coffee bean, oatmeal, dark chocolate, caramel and toffee. Smells decent but I would have preferred a stronger hop presence in the nose.

On the lighter end of medium body with a strong earthy hop presence giving off some dry, piney bitterness that lingers over the dark malt backbone into a bone dry finish. Resinous oils, dank buds, pine needle and spruce tip followed by hints of burnt toast, bittersweet dark chocolate, used coffee grounds, oatmeal, ash, caramel and toffee. Pretty robust but never approaches being acrid, harsh or overly roasted. Complex, well balanced and very easy to drink with a well masked ABV. No heat with very little alcohol sweetness in the finish. I'm not a big fan of black IPAs but this is one if the better interpretations of the style that I've had.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a stella artois chalice from the 12 oz. bottle

A: nice dark roasted appearance. Opaque with cherry-coke looking edges. 1 finger head that drops to a 1 mm thin ring. Minimal lacing. still. Not hazy as far as I can tell. Has minor legs on vigorous swirl.

S: Bitter citrus. resiny. sour citrus. Minor fruity astringency. pungent! Malt is muted and slightly masked.

T: I am getting diacetyl,smooth butter popcorn notes. Sharp pine punch. Rich malt backbone of lightly roasted coffee and toasted biscuit. Is that brewer's licorice hiding in there?

M: creamy. very pleasant creaminess. Side of the tongue puckers a little,
strange sensation. Piney outbreath. Not any discernible heat. Milk-malt ball ultimate breath.

O: very nice brew. Not offensive, but it has some pronounced notes. It's is like porter meets APA over buttered popcorn. Pleasant.

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Photo of IronLover
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick, billowy beige foam with nice staying power. Foam reduced to a thick cap that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Black in color down the middle with dark brown shades on the edges. Dark roasted malt, floral and light citrus aromas with occasional pine hop and a light medicinal, band-aid smell at the back end. Medium bodied with assertive, but delicate carbonation. Burnt malt flavor up front followed by citrus hop bitterness into the middle. Pine hop bitterness and espresso flavors from the middle to the end. Finishes with a lingering pine hop and charred malt bite along with boozy notes as this warmed up.

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Photo of cavedave
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thin ring of light tan is all that remains of a thin layer of foam. Crazy ass lace wallpaper clings.

Light/med.aroma features burnt sugar and roast against a backdrop of citrus and herbal hops. Even lighter caramel sweet shows through.

Taste is medium strength, with the roast showing the way for some nicely complimentary hops. It is very bright for a beer that is basically a showcase for the more bitter aspects of malt and hops, surprisingly delicious and interesting. The sip ends with the roast going up to, and not exceeding, the line between bitter and acrid. Dry.

Light in the mouth, low carb. medium viscosity, and a finish that could be a bit cleaner, but is nice.

A decent take on the style, will definitely appeal to those who like BIPA to feature bitter and roast.

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Dark Vine Black India Pale Ale from Ithaca Beer Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 285 ratings.
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