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Fantôme De Noel | Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel
Very Good
634 Ratings
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ever-evolving offering is said to be spiced with honey, caramel, black pepper, coriander and (per usual with Fantôme) a number of other special secret ingredients. A rich, dark-flavored beer with lots of deep-roasted chocolate malt, but still fairly dry, with a hint of sourness at the core. It is very spicy, with some winter spruce flavor in the bargain. The wild yeast sourness also adds to its welcoming character.

Added by taez555 on 12-03-2001

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Ratings: 634 |  Reviews: 359
Photo of libertygrails
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a capped and corked 1 PT 9,4 FL.OZ. dinner bottle into a vintage Schlitz "The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous" goblet. One of 4 i recently found in a local Flea Market.

Appearance: Winey, hazel brown color, minimal head, spare carbonation.

Nose: Malty, fruit cake, alcohol

Palate: Tobacco, coffee, cinnamon/all spice, yeasty/bready, dried fruits, figs, faint Merlot-esque notes.

Mouthfeel/Finish: Somewhat light and flat.

Drinkability: This is one to share and get other opinions.

Overall, a wee bit underwhelmed with this Ale. In fact, i've been somewhat ambivalent with the majority of Fantome product i've tried so far. My fave being the Hiver so far. I guess i should have reviewed that one, but was entertaining company at the time. I'm still on the Quest for one that knocks me out.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 bottle purchased from Riley's in Madison a year or so ago. This bottle is at least 2 years old and perhaps much more. It's hard to tell with Riley's and there are no best by or brew on dates on the label.

Appearance: Cloudy, medium brown body with a lasting but thin tan skim.

Aroma: Expected Fantome yeast aromas of sour fruits and dust. Some gym sock qualities. Mildly oxidized metals. Some spice - cinnamon and allspice?

Taste: Apples and winter spice, funky yeast, some oxidization, generic fruit cake flavors, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied and heading towards low carbonation. Moderate funk. No notice what-so-ever of the 10% abv. Numbs and tingles the tongue.

Drinkability: Easy to drink but somewhat dull. I've had better Noel in the past. This bottle could be a touch older than prime (please don't get on my case review national socialists. I've had 9 year-old Fantome that kicked ass so to me it is worth seeing if their beers can last. Noel might be one that cannot).

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Photo of largadeer
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Dark and opaque, chestnut in color with two inches of foam from a gentle pour.

Smell - Very earthy. Tobacco, leather, a bit of spicy citrus.

Taste & mouthfeel - Light-bodied and bone dry. The flavor is bizarre and complex, ranging from leather and tobacco to lemon to habanero pepper to nutmeg. There's no trace of sweetness - it's hard to believe that this stuff is 10%. The earthy dryness of the finish immediately brings to mind good pipe tobacco.

Notes - Utterly strange beer. It's not something I could drink frequently, but it's very interesting.

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Photo of ccrida
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my Fantome tulip, the Fantôme de Noel (no 'special' on my label, which is more modern looking, red/black/white only) is a dark hazy garnet with a medium sized pillowy ivory head that is long lasting but leaves light lace. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is very unique, soft and fruity, a little sour, tropical citrus and damp earth. I really dig it.

Taste is a bit of a let down from the fantastic aroma, where the roasted malt seems to beat out the fruity esters, with traces of strawberry, grass, mint, molasses, iron, tin and cola. And while there's a noticeable must, damp and earthy, there's no real lactic or sour buggy flavors on the dry, clean finish. ABV is totally hidden.

Mouthfeel is flat but light and smooth.

Drinkability is pretty good, especially for the ABV. Fantôme de Noel isn't a mind-blower, but it's interesting, distinguished by the flavor of strawberries and cream. I've been anxious to try for quite some time, and glad I finally got to. I'd heard they didn't make any this year, and then this shows up when it's almost March, so I'm not sure what the story is other then I assume it's pretty new (the unticked best before boxes on the label start in 08).

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Photo of blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml capped and corked bottle into a widened pilsner glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a reddish brown with a creamy tan/brown head that looks like ants are running thru it. When the head dies down there is roughly 3 fingers of carbonation with lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell- Fruity and spicy with herbs, lemons, and the Fantome yeast which is quite recognizable. Lots of spices.. a hint of cinnamon. Big sourness coming off of this.

Taste- Nutmeg, corriander, pepper, and a puckering tartness which I think is supposed to be here as it doesn't taste entirely out of place. Alcohol is not too perceptible but there is a certain solvent quality to the beer. Herbs and fruits also become apparent with big tart citrus. Cinnamon is here as well. This is one bizarre brew.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, a solvent like quality to the alcohol that leaves a drying puckering feel on the tongue with a bit of a peppery spice. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability- A nice different saison with qualities that I would only expect to see from fantome. Not for everyone, but it seems to always work for me.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This capped and corked bottle pours out a dirty penny colored copper with hints of ruby redness. Dark cream colored head tops off this bubbly brew. This saison is a bit darker than many others I've enjoyed. Intriguing to say the least.

Smells very funky of horse blanket and earthy mustiness. Less hay and hops than something along the lines of Saison Dupont or Hennepin and more sweet malts. This is certainly from Belgium.

Tastes similar to its smells with a tart funk that is difficult to describe, but easy to enjoy. I'm not entirely certain what qualifies this of its seasonal title, but it does contain subtle hints of spice that unless focused upon can easily pass unnoticed. Nice sour wood-like tones with tart fruits.

The mouthfeel comes off as light and effervescent. This is not a big and powerful winter warmer as the label could lead you to believe. Dangerously drinkable and nearly comes off tasting like a sessionable ale. Winter and saison style can be a tough combination to pull off and while this may not have done just that it was enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle consumed on ukranian christmas (I think) big shout out for all my ukranian friends out there...

Appearance- deep stout like appearance with a huge offwhite head. Great lacing.

Nose- licorce, some chocolate and twinge of funkiness.

Taste- big licorce, dusty and dry as a popcorn fart. Lots of other spices I can't pick out. Sourness is there, but more so just a dusty, dark fruit weird ass beer, but I'm not complaining. Some powdered chocolate taste as well.
Mouthfeel- thing bodied for such an otherwise rich beer. Very drying in the mouth. Drinkability is medium. A bottle best shared, but I took this beast on by myself.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and capped bottle bought from BelgianShop.com... aged for about 18 months... poured into a Fantome glass

Poured a deep mahogany red / brown colour. Dirty tan head poured quite thick and rocky then faded to a decent frothy coating... quite a lot of big carbonation bubbles drift to the surface... some random sticky lacing...

Aroma - Lots of blackcurrent, black cherry and fig fruity notes, quite herbal and grassy, cough mixture notes (anise ?), tons of freshly cut wet hay notes, mushroom, light muscovado sugar and treacle sweetness, earthy funkiness coming through, leathery, some roasted nuttiness, dark and slightly roasted malts...

Taste – Quite strange - not how i expected.... lots of grass and hay notes, very herbal although i can't quite put my finger on what exactly... some musty funk notes, some breadiness, a lot of red wine notes - definite blackcurrents and red grapes, Flanders red ale notes, liquorice, very little sweetness, some soy sauce notes, lightly roasted malts...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry.. surprisingly light bodied... very drinkable for a 10% brew - the alcohol is very well hidden...

Overall - A very good and (as usual) slightly strange brew from Fantome... definitely worth a try though...

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy brown almost black with a dark tan head. Plenty of carbonation. Fruity aroma with some burnt sugar maltiness. Lots of black pepper in the flavor. Dark malt in the finish with a nice bit of sourness.
A little spicy for my taste, a very interesting beer, but I don't think I could drink much.

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Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lot E 07 Enjoyed Christmas Eve

Poured an effervescent mahogany/ebony with purple tinges & 2 fingers of tan head. A bit of lacing & no head retention

S: Vinegar, sourness, leather & mushroom funkiness. I also get oaky notes& compost

T: Tartness, raisins, oaky dryness a touch of medicinal/licorice flavor up front. Then warming booze along with figs & dates once this warms along with apple skins & brown sugar. Finishes slightly fruity ( dates & apricots), dry with appleskins & balsamic vinegar

MF: Slick, medium bodied with low carbonation & much dryness

Drank very easy for the abv, but too dry to session on. All in all, a pretty good saison, a lot of complexity here

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Photo of ntillemans
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice, unexpectedly dark...reddish brown color with a finger of tan head (poured fairly slowly)

S - Very nice smell, like an excellent flemish sour...with a hint of the saison smell...but I would have expected a flemish sour taste the way it smelled

T - I was surprised by the taste of it. It was so unexpected that I disliked the taste of it , at first. My wife immediately liked it alot. I was thrown by the woody flavor of it and bitter sour taste. But the complexity seduced me and I came to appreciate it much more s I continued to drink it. It's unusual though...not sure whether I could highly recommend something so peculiar.

M - Lighter than I expected but pleasant...with a nice tingle on the tongue

D - This one was so unusual that I'm not sure how drinkable it is. I'm liking it more and more towards the end of the glass I'm drinking right now. But I'm not ready to crack another bottle. Maybe there's just a little too much going on with this one.

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Photo of brdc
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Capped and corked large bottle, poured into a tulip.

Very dark, almost impenetrable although generates some red highlights when held against the light. Topping it, the tan head is quite fluffy, creamy, and cling to the side of the glass with every sip.
The aroma is an interesting combination of a fruit lambic, a flanders red and a strong belgian; multiple fruits, mostly dark, sweetish caramel, some added tartness and then some earthiness to vaguely remind this is a saison (is it?).

Quite unexpectedly, the body is light to medium, which is a bit off, particularly for something peaking at 10% ABV. Nonetheless, it is pleasant, starting spicy, going tart, fruity then sweetish, and goes back and forth. It keeps you guessing all the way. My favorite saison (?), my favorite Fantome, with a bit more body, would be a complete masterpiece. Very worthwhile nonetheless, but don't pair it with heavy foods as I did.

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Photo of John_M
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the beers from Fantome, but wish they could sometimes restrain themselves when it comes to mixing in lambic and/or gueuze into thier recipes. That being said...

The beer pours a very dark brown with very good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty subdued, but one gets a hint of sweet malt, spices and a blast of sour. This is a very interesting beer on the palate. It tastes like a spicey brown dubbel, but with a goodly dollop of lambic or gueuze. So there is a considerable sour component, which wears on me a bit. Still, I had no trouble at all drinking this, and considering the abv., the drinkability of this beer is amazing. I would guess it to be around 6%, not the 10% indicated on the bottle. The beer has a light, fluffy mouth feel, and is medium bodied.

As is usual with Fantome, once again they have crafted an interesting, very complex beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and capped bottle into a goblet.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a large caramel colored head that eventually settled down to a nice foamy covering that left fantasctic lacing down the side of the glass. Aroma is sweet chocolate mixed with spices followed by some sour dark fruit notes.

Taste profile matches the aroma. Cocoa sweetness that is nicely mixed with some subtle spiciness and finishes rather strongly with a pronounced sour cherry tartness. The mouthfeel is interesting. It's very light on carbonation but still feels medium bodied with a nice silky character that slides over the tongue. The alcohol is very well hidden for a 10% beer, the only trace being a faint one in the nose.

Fantome comes through with a another beer that once again makes a huge impression on me. A warming and immensely drinkable personality and eclectic mix of holiday flavors as only Fantome can do make this a holiday sipper to savor.

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Photo of nickfl
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown, nearly opaque, with just a hint of amber showing through the bottom. Capped by a two finger, light brown head that leaves very little lace behind as it settles.

S - Earthy aroma. Smells of wet leaves, caraway seeds, and sage. Quite herbal and a bit sour.

T - Strange sour, almost salty flavor up front. Bready malt and more of the herbal caraway character that was in the aroma. Very earthy and herbal, mushrooms, wet soil... quite unusual. There is a lot of hop character in the finish and the bitterness plays off the earthy flavors quite well.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation.

D - This is not an easily drinkable beer. It is quite complex and very unusual (both characteristics I have come to expect from Fantome), but it is not as pleasant as the other beers that I have been fortunate enough to sample from this brewery. It is quite medicinal and, at times, almost reminds me of seaweed. The dark grains don't seem to have worked too well in this one; it isn't particularly roasty, it just has a slightly unpleasand oak character. I can't see much in this beer that conjures up the Christmas season.

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Photo of mfhlucky13
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark deep reddish black, like cola. Not much head, but a nice caramel colored ring. Lots of sour fruit notes and maybe a little coffee and spice. Thin to medium in the mouth but it hangs on your cheeks with a little funk. Light acidity. Easy to drink, because I keep trying to figure out all that I'm tasting.

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Photo of Domingo
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle of this at the Falling Rock on 11/3. This is actually last year's item.
Pours a hazy deep red color with a 1/8" head on the top of it. As you work your way down, the head settles a little, but never completely goes away. I've only had a few saisons and this is my first flavored one. I was expecting something pale, so this was a fun surprise.
Smell is definitely Belgian. Yeast and grassy hops with a sour vinegar note. Not really picking up a ton of festive spices in the smell.
Taste starts off sour, but you can definitely pick out the new spices in the flavor. Cinnamon and allspice. Hops are there in the background, but they really just keep this from being too sour or spicy. I have to say I enjoy this. The spices aren't as "in your face" as most holiday beers, but they there and add an extra zing.
Mouthfeel is thick and it helps retain all of the flavor.
Admittedly pricing my be prohibitive, but this was a beer I'd love to have more of. Belgian holiday beers are becoming some of my favorites.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark brown with a nice initial head that faded to a wispy cap and created some slight lacing. The smell is mostly sour, Rodenbach like up front. Some interesting spice notes on the finish with cinammon, nutmeg and other Christmas spices. This creates an unusual interplay with the sour notes. The taste is similar- beautifully integrated sour and spice notes. Very smooth and earthy with dark fruit throughout as well. The mouthfeeel is very smooth and somewhat light- refreshing, which is a nice break for a winter seasonal. The fact that this is last year's brew pprobably has soured it up some and helped integrate the flavors. As usual, a very nice product from this brewery.

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Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with crimson edges when held to the light. A 2 finger beige head fades into a silky, creamy head and thick collar. Sticky streaks of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of tart citrus, black grapes, plums, caramel, bananas, apricots, prunes, oxidized bread, and apples.
Taste is mainly summed up through the listed aromas, along with gooseberries, and a tart grape flavor shining through on top of oak and mild funk.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, grapey, funky with apple, and fizziness that ends in a slightly acidic and vinuous oaky note.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a little pricey but actually worth the price given the quality. It had a dark black color with brown edges I instantly enjoyed the smells of dark sour fruits like sour cherries or raspberries. The taste was like sour dark tart fruits such as blueberries and it puckers my mouth a little. This brew also has some funkiness going on in the background and a dry mouthfeel (which I assume is due to the high Abv which I can’t detect). This is very good and I look forward to the rest of the Fantome beers I can find.

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Photo of Viggo
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Love me some Fantomes!

This pours a clear dark red/brown, thick tan head, settles to a thin layer, some nice lacing, decent retention. Smell is sweet, very malty, spices, caramel, bread, Fantome funk, sour citrus, yeast, bit of iron, nice. Taste is like the aroma, spicy, caramel, funk, ginger and cinnamon, iron, bit of a weak finish but the funk murders your palate. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth, hides the alcohol well. Fantome never disappoints me.

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Photo of Lexx
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Viggo for this one!
Deep, deep, clear ruby tone with huge, rocky, soapy beige head.
It smells like, well, Fantome. Sweet, irony funk with some sour cherry and carob. blackberry jam, the salty kind of black licorice.
The taste is a very subdued black cherry with a slightly bitter finish that comes out of nowhere. I couldnt believe this one was 10%
The mouthfeel was quite smooth - this was extremely drinkable.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark russet color with a near-black middle and a dark tan, lace-leaving head. Funky smell of brett mixed with stone fruits and some understated spiciness. Lightly sweet smells, like simple syrup infused with fruit, also make an appearance. On the palate, sour and stony acidity comes first, followed by nickel mixed with savory spices. Well defined hop bitterness. Sour cherries dominate the mid-palate before the hops and brett take over again toward the end. Mouthfeel is rather still considering the substantial carbonation. Overall, I enjoyed this but not overly so. The funky/tart aesthetic is interesting, but it hardly screams "christmas" or even "winter" to me. The ABV is up there, but the flavors are things I would enjoy in warmer weather. Still, it's an interesting, unique and tasty beer.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle capped and corked. It pours a murky mud puddle brown, with a light caramel spot glowing near the bottom. The four-finger beige head is volcanoes up quite intensely, creating some foamy craters, but receds rather quickly.

The aroma is dominated by apple, toasty malt and yeast, and a flare of spices. The flavor is quite tart, the yeasts combining to deliver a strong presence of apple, pear, grapefruit, and strong doses of fruity sugar. Some ginger, light cinnamon, and other less defined spice elements also make appearances. The alcohol is merely a ghost on, flaring slightly on the finish.

It is light bodied. The tartness somewhat overwhelms the brew, which somewhat lacks in complexity and weight. I wish the malt was a bit more assertive. It is rather drinkable though, once geared toward the high sugar content. Solid but not spetacular.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Capped and corked 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. The aroma is sour dark fruits, malt and yeast and some spice. My reaction after the first sip was: "10%? You have got to be kidding me!" This beer hides the high alcohol as good as any other I have had. The taste is a little tart with doughy malt, spice and I am picking up some tobacco flavors as well in the taste. The finish is dry. The taste is certainly good but I was somewhat let down in it's lack of complexity. Overall, another good brew from Fantome that is suprisingly drinkable despite it's high ABV.

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Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 634 ratings
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