TWELVE | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
90 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by klewis on 01-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 143
Photo of Phyl21ca
1.65/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty beige/amber color ale with a huge off-white head with good retention and some lacing. Bottle was quite a gusher which makes me wonder if everything was fine. Aroma is grossly oversweet with lots of notes of dry fruits. Taste is quite unbalanced with loads of sugar and excessively sweet dry plums and gross caramel notes. Body is quite full with excessive carbonation (even for the style) and no detectable alcohol. I either got a bad bottle or this is one incredible mess.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.59/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On draft at The Pony Bar in NYC.

I am always excited and hopeful when trying an American quad. This beer appears a dark walnut hue with a very tiny head and no lacing. The aroma is basically missing everything I identify with a quad. It's too sweet and a bit artificial. There is no yeasty or Belgian characteristics that I can detect. The flavor is off and finishes with an odd astringency. Oh well, I tried. Ithaca makes awesome wild ales. Quad...not so much.

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Photo of jlapennas
2.6/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Phenolic and fruity with a moderate noble hop character in the background. There are some malt characteristics but they are very restrained for this style. The balance seems to be too much toward the yeast.

Appearance: Huge head from a very gentle pour that sustains itself for a long time. Brew is a hazy/cloudy light brown. Head suggests over-carbonation as does the rapidly streaming bubbles rising up through the beer.

Flavor: Very similar to aroma in that the malt characteristics are overwhelmed by the carbonation and yeast character. There is a lingering roasty character but otherwise a lack of malt richness and complexity. Bubbles make it seem overly dry and harsh.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly thin, and CARBONATED!

Drinkability: Overall this beer was not unpleasant but didn't really have the characteristics and balance I expect from a strong dark or quad. I would enjoy it more with increased malt character, at least the impression of sweetness, and a more restrained fermentation profile. The alcohol is well hidden though.

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Photo of Gavage
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy brown color with a 1/2" head that falls to a surface foam quickly.

Smell: huge malt and fruit sweetness along with a tinge of alcohol. Some earthiness is also detectable.

Taste: big malt profile here. Dark fruit sweetness, brown sugar, earthy tones, yeast, warming alcohol, and a moderate bitterness. This comes across a bit unbalanced as the sweetness is overpowering.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a velvety finish. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Drinkability: between the big sweetness and alcohol, an 6 oz pour was more than enough in a session. Definite slow sipping beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch E!020

a - opened the bottle and filled my la trappe chalice. classic quad color of deep purple with a reddish tint, but the creamy head that i look for in this style was nowhere to be found.

s - spicy nutmeg and a lot of earthy notes. dark fruit is there, but has taken a backseat to the spicy earthy odor. the earthiness is very barley and grain smelling.

t - the same earthy barley found on the nose is what the taste is all about. there is a lot of sweetness in the flavor as well. not sure if this one really works that well for me. certainly not the authentic yeasty quad that i love, but another spicy american take that kind of misses the mark for the style in my opinion. very grainy instead of creamy...and too sweet in a nutmeggy way.

m - medium bodied and good carbonation. booze isn't in your face, but sweetness is a bit.

o - overall this brew is very grape-juice like and not quad-like, could use a few steps off of the sweetness and a bit more creaminess to the body. it isn't bad, but not something that i will seek out again. kind of wish it was a 12oz bottle and not a 750.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a deep dark almost black brown, there's a very thin light brown head. Nose is sweet and fruity, almost like grapes.

Taste is sweet, fruity ad very grapey. Mouthfeel is pretty light an crisp. Overall quite drinkable.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. Nice dark plum color. The head is nearly white, but a hint of very very light red hues are also apparent. It's about one inch and shrinks to a light layer atop the body.

The aroma consists largely of plum and a bit of brown sugar. Nice strong malty aroma.

The taste is very sweet, but not cloying, with a kiss of hop finish. It should be noted, the finish is also sweet. There is a strong dried fruit and brown sugar flavor profile.

This is a very carbonated version of this style. Not bad, but not necessarily what is expected of the style, as it's a little sharp. The body is light to medium.

A nice drinker. One of the better U.S. examples I've had. I would try this again, perhaps It would be interesting with age.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours cloudy, opaque, dark brown with an average tan head that slowly recedes to some very thin spots of lace with a thin collar. The nose has some spicy yeast with a bunch of roasted malt, chocolate, and caramel, some alcoholic heat, and a bit of alcoholic heat. The flavor is lightly sweet with a good amount of caramel, and brown sugar malt with underlying spicy yeast, and a hint of burnt and hops bitterness. The body is full with light carbonation and a medium malty and alcoholic heat finish. Bit disappointed with this offering.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch E!028

A-Dark brown half a finger of head not much lacing.

S-Artifical, alcohol. Some fruit notes.

T-Once again seems artifical. Tastes a little earthy but not much in the way of bitter. Once again alcohol is present.

M-Dry and light

D-Sorta disappointed in this beer. I've had a few Ithaca beers and they have been decent but this one fell short. Maybe I need to try some more Quads but this didn't seem to do it for me.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into cervoise

A - Pours a brownish red to darker brown. Lots of fluffly, bubbly white head suggesting over-carbonation. Takes a while to pour

S - Dark fruits of currants, dark cherries, raisins. Some citric hops, orange rind. Brown sugar and toffee

T - A solid backing of the aforementioned dark fruits accented by a smoky malt presence contributing minor chocolate and charcoal. Slight grass and pine hops as well as some pepper and cherries

M - WAY overcarbonated. This caused the mouth to be prickly and full. Body seemed lighter than it should be also due to this.

O - Aside from the carbonation problems affecting the appearance and mouth, I think this would be a pretty good Quad. ABV was hidden fairly well too.

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Photo of Pahn
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch E!023.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch, frothy, off-white head that dissipates quickly and lacelessly. Pours hazy dark red and leaves a few sweeping peaks of lacing that fade to spots.

Smell: Effervescent, grassy, grape, a little floral. Mild cola. Earthy. After a little time in the bottle, starts to suggest some dark fruit and sweetness. Eventually settles into the nice grape/fig note that largely characterizes the flavor, with floral highlights. Would be scored higher if the smell weren't kind of faint; everything happening is good, it's just not very complex and a little too subdued.

Taste: First impression: not bad. Smooth and grape-like. Strong Belgian yeast influence, but neither spicy nor tangy. Long potato-bread-like finish.

To be blunt, it tastes a little washed out. I like a subtler Belgian strong dark ale now and then, but this is going too far. That said, the semi-dry finish goes really well with full-ish body and low bitterness.

Further into the bottle, the taste opens up a little bit, with a dominant grape/fig/Belgian yeast note that has a hint of sourness to it. A lot more happens in the aftertaste than anywhere else; it gets bready, spicy, fruity. For a bit of a self-indulgent analogy, it's like reading a very good essay about a boring movie. Interesting enough, but I'd prefer a good movie.

The alcohol heat really accumulates (12% ABV? Not hidden in this beer...), but thankfully it is not offensive at all, and actually elevates the few flavor elements that are happening.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Great semi-dry finish.

Overall: This is a good beer, but not a great beer. Everything about it over-promises; it's made by Ithaca (easily one of my top 5 American breweries), it's an anniversary release, it's a quadrupel, it's 12%ABV (serious brewers don't make the beer 12% ABV because they want to get trashed, they do it because they're getting big flavor from adding all that sugar in). On no front does it deliver the expected greatness.

This beer is, to me, like a well-made but uninspiring Cabernet Sauvignon. I like it, and I'll drink all of it... but I'm spending most of the experience wishing the beer were better. Tasty enough, but not an impressive effort, and (to again be kind of blunt) the idea of comparing it to Belgian heavyweights like Saint Bernardus 12, Chimay blue, Rochefort 10, etc. is laughable. This is worth noting not just because the beer purports to be in the same style, but also because the brewers at Ithaca have made comparable (if not superior) beers to those on more than one occasion.

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Photo of rudzud
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear brown hue with a thin mocha head.

S - Aromas of sweet malts, light plums, faint alcohol.

T - Taste is tons of sweet malts, cardboard, caramel.

M - Mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy.

O - Overall this beer was far too sticky to be enjoyable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Trxxpaxxs for this bottle!

Batch E!028. Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 6. It pours a hazy sienna-ruby topped by a third-of-a-finger of short-lived dirty tan bubbles. That's right, not even a real head, just a collection of foam-like bubbles at the surface. The nose comprises brown sugar, dark wheat, clove, light cocoa, light fig, and a light kiss of red grape. The taste holds notes of cocoa, fig, dark fruits (in the back), cashew, light wood, banana, dark greens, cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, and a touch of pine resin. The flavors kinda clash slightly at times, while at others they mesh beautifully. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, kinda grainy feel. Overall, a decently solid quad, one that is currently showing some age, but still has some wisdom to impart to us.

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. Appearance was a deep brown chestnut with a medium sized ivory colored head.Aroma was predominantly malt with some fairly strong yeast presence. Taste was earthy; again with malt and yeast predominating. Some sweetnes was present, perhaps too much for my liking.Slight hints of caramel and ethanol flavors were also present.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut colored body capped by a one and a half finger white sand head. The body is very clear, no sign of haze. The head fades back leaving a slim cap. Spotty lacing clings to the glass.

Dark berry and caramel aromas are plentiful. Subtle floral scents can be noted buried beneath. I really enjoy the aroma but it simply is not very complex.

Flavor does mimic the aroma, only slightly more complex. Deep berry and red grape flavor sit heavily on the tongue up front. Subtle caramel and chocolate flavors. Soft floral and limited floral flavors.

Medium bodied, you but appropriate carbonation. Very smooth texture. The finish is much drier than expected.

Overall a decent beer. The lack of depth and complexity really does it no favors though. Easy to drink but hard to stay interested.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark, nutty chestnut brown that can't be seen through. A good settling orange-brown head rises with active carbonation.
Smell is a lot of prunes with a bit of soy soy and speck, some smoked meats. Hints at bread and yeast with a light touch of honey.
Dark fruits overwhelm my mouth, mostly plums and prunes with bits of alcohol soaked raisins coated in sweet BBQ sauce. An interesting lager-like light toast and brown sugar flavor comes out, making this one complex.
It finishes sticky and slightly overpowering with the alcohol that is still present even after a year has passed. Prickly, almost too intense carbonation follows as well.
A good brew, though, and the differing flavors shine, creating a nice display and array of the dark fruit notes that are common for the style, despite its lack of spice.

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Photo of JAramini
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gentle pour yields massive head. This one is active. Don't move too fast or you'll have TWELVE all over your counter. It then subsides into pillowy and fluffy finally settling in at a thin layer of foam that clings to the glass.

In the pour it doesn't seem that dark, but in the snifter it's pretty well opaque and dark brown to black in color.

The aroma is primarily roastiness and smokiness. The same goes for the taste.

Carbonation is pretty high. The bubbles are more reminiscent of a tripel than a quad. Very bright and active with carbonation. Perhaps overcarbonated for the style.

Overall, I'd say this beer is a bit of a disappointment. If I were tasting it blind I don't know that "Quad" is the first style designation I would jump to. For a quad it isn't particularly complex and doesn't show much in the way of dark fruit. All I get is malt and smoke. The smoke isn't overwhelming, but is one of the more prominent flavors. If I didn't know the style I might call it a Belgian Stout.

Not bad, but not particularly interesting or exciting. There are many, much better quads out there.

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

A: Deep brownish red pour with an off white head. Hardly any retention or lacing.

S: Dark fruits, plums, grapes. Tons of candied sugar and perhaps some grain, all built on a backbone of booze.

T: The taste starts with the dark fruits and involves into candied sugar and booze. Leaves a strange taste on the back of the mouth.

MF: The beer coats the mouth, is medium bodied, and full of alcohol. Not all that balanced.

O: Only average. Considering I just got to try a bunch of De Struise quads, this falls short.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 750mL bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Colour is a hazy dark orange-brown. Thin head fades to a bubbly lacing around the rim.

Smell: Dark fruits, alcohol, and Belgian yeast mix well together in balanced aromas.

Taste: Very sweet and fruity - I get a lot of dates, raisins, brown sugar, and alcohol. A little too sweet for my preferences.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, a little thin actually. Light, modest bite from carbonation.

Overall: The smell had me excited for what I thought would be a nice, savory brew. The taste is pretty disconnected from the aromas, it was surprising and a bit of a letdown. The sweetness is almost too much to handle, it does get better as it warms up, though.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door for their Ithaca night in a tulip glass.

TWELVE is chestnut brown in color with some reddish trim if you look close enough. On the top lays a scattered cap of burnt sugar colored foam that's kinda condensed. This fades to a small ring around the glass. Only some poka-dot lacing sticks.

Malt driven but supposedly there is some hops in there, I can't pick them out. What's weird about this is I'm getting alot of roast that's reminding me of coffee, I've never smelled anything like it in a quad. Some sugary sweetness and some dark fruits. Some lingering spice

Well, there it is again, roast and coffee, I thought I was going crazy but it's there. Blocking that out, some dark fruit with fig and plum, maybe some berries. The malt is there but not as sweet as Belgian versions. There is a nice amount of Belgian yeast giving out bread and keeping this in check.

A big medium bodied beer that is malt forward, yet does not come off as silky smooth like a bernie 12 or the like. Carbonation is pretty light and a afterthought. The aftertaste is pretty tame as well. Truthfully, I thought i was drinking some perkulator dopplebock, perhaps I'm off my rocker. I have no problems with the feel though.

I'm glad I had 12 but won't be going back for it. Perhaps aging a bottle will take out all that roast but for no it's getting in the way. This is good beer and perhaps just a different approach on the style. Need some more fruit flavor and malt sweetness.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Andy for sharing this bottle with me! Poured into a tulip. The body is medium to dark brown with a violet tint to the body. About a finger of off white creamy head resides on top and retains for a bit. Malty sweetness in the aroma. Mostly dark fruits, figs, dates, plums and a small rustic dirty finish to it. The taste is very sweet and malty. Flavors of really ripe grapes and musty sweetness to it. Brown sugar and a lingering aroma of toffee round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style and the carbonation could be toned down a bit. Overall though, it's sound and drinks with good flavors and well hidden alcohol.

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Photo of scootny
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gusher!!! After pouring off a bit it still kept sending foam up the neck and into the sink. Got another glass. A kind of muddy brown with a nice sized head, a bit soapy looking but nice. Smell is toasted malts and sweet toffee. Some Belgian funk and fruit esters. Taste is sweet and malty with a good brown bread and molasses center. A nice cocoa dusting as it moves toward the finish. Hops are mild but there is a metallic bitterness that may be from the yeast. Normally it would be on the bottom but the explosive opening would have mixed it into the whole bottle. Too bad as a smoother finish would have moved the score. Feel is aces however. Thick and creamy with a rich texture. Quite drinkable in spite of the metallic yeast and another bottle sampling is in the offing. No trace of the high abv and still a good tasting brew.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared with many people at my cellar cleaning.

Light fizzy head, semi clear dark chestnut brown color.

Nose nice molasses and barrel, toasty nutty hazelnut, rummy, little toasted coconut, brown sugar.

Taste similar, sweet brown sugar, candy malt, little syrupy malt, some warming booze, mild chewy earthy spicy hops, sticky and syrupy. Finish is hot booze, more earthy spicy hops, syrupy caramel molasses like candy, etc.

Mouth is fuller bod and syrupy, nice popping carb.

Overall not bad, but not as special as I expected it to be, a bit too sweet and sticky overall, so def could have improved.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch E!020

A - It pours an initially impressive fig-brown hue, capped with a big honey-tan head. Two seconds later it looks closer to flat soda. Still, the style tends to be this way.

S - The smell is more like the Dubbels I am familiar with, rather than BSDA or Quad. Medium and orchard fruits are available in the nose: bruised peach, bruised and brown apple, plum, pluot, and carambola. Some cinnamon spice, too. There is also a healthy dose of grain, from impressions of straw and raw barley, to sweet oat and roast barley.

T - The good: there is a nutty and carob-like overtone to this beer which is quite reminiscent of a few of the better Dubbels I can recall. The comparison to Dubbel is, I guess, laudable, given the ABV. Nuances of various shades of grain, bruised and browned orchard fruits, unripe papaya and sharp, spicy alcohol give this flavor a broad enough spectrum to keep it interesting. The bad: the flavor is neither complex nor vibrant enough for the style. A quad should be more dynamic than this two-note offering (grain, orchard/stone fruit). Also, the flavor does not change throughout the quaff: it tastes the same when it crosses your lips as it does while lingering for a good minute after said sip. This bothers me for some reason.

M - The feel is too thin and not expansive enough to handle the booze. Not terrible, per se, but no great shakes either.

O - I like this quite a bit more than the score will reflect. I seem to rate stringently on Quads.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Capped 750mL Bomber (batch E!028) into a Chalice.

Picked this up from the source at the Ithaca Beer Co. tasting room.

A: Poured 1 finger of head. Deep, deep brown, nearer a special brown than a quad.

S: Fruit and sweetness, hint of iron at the back.

T: Rich and appley, fades into a fat, long and starchy finish. Still feels more like a special brown than a quad, although the taste is nice and earthy for fall.

F: Thick and murky, lovely feel.

D: Like it more as it opens up. Biggest problem here is that it doesn't drink like a quad at all. Far starchier than caramely.

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TWELVE from Ithaca Beer Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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