Highland Tasgall Ale | Highland Brewing

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Highland Tasgall AleHighland Tasgall Ale

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AlexJ on 08-26-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 182
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely quaffable and moderately smoked scotch. Good balance and smooth. Brown and decent dark head. Chocolate, spice, good carbonation and mouthfeel. Tasty. North Carolina is rising in the charts since they popped their cap.Sampled with the Atlanta B.A. crew at Brick Store Pub.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: brown tinted, single finger head. Murky, very dark with little light passing through.

S: a subtley sweet and earthy aroma.

T: very mild sweet start with roasty finishing taste. Musky and caramel notes.

M: thick,mild carbonation. Initially smooth with crisp finish.

O: Very drinkable for a Scotish ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Merlin48 for the offering, and thanks to Kmpitz2 for not bogartening. A very good beer, though a little muddled in the style. Very little, if anything, wrong with the brew in terms of its recipe or brewing methods. Out of character with it's heavy feel and sweetness that over-rides the Scottish cleanliness and crispness. Could easily become an Old Ale if aged properly. Malty sweet with chocolates and nuttiness. A constant, but soothing alcoholic sweetness and strength. Lightly spicy and low on the hops. Nevertheless, a good brew independent of style.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly dark brown color with a moderate tan head that leaves shards of lace

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma with undertones of dark chocolate and nutmeg

Taste: Starts out with a hermit cake flavor with rich dough, chocolate and cake spices; after the swallow, there is a modest bitterness that emerges to join the sweet flavors and keep them in check; the finish is well-balanced and long lasting

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Highland has produces a nice twist on the Wee Heavy that may well be their best brew - but wait a minute, what about that Imperial Gaelic - well, maybe their second best brew

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

Appearance: The darkest of ambers, nearly opaque and almost black. This is the darkest scotch ale I've seen. A one finger head rises and falls within the span of about a minute, leaving behind some spotty lace.

Smell: Chocolate, caramel and some bready undertones. Hints of raisins and dates.

Taste & mouthfeel: Evenly balanced between caramel malt and roasted barley flavors, this is a pretty bold scotch ale. Hops are subdued; bitterness comes more from the roasted barley. Earthy undertones appear as the beer warms along with a hint of dried fruit. It finishes on a semi-dry note, with the roasted grain and fruit flavors slightly overtaking the caramel.

Notes: Thanks to Loki for this one. Yet another great beer from a very solid brewery.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a light tan head, though not much lacing. The nose is brown sugar, some toasted malt, and not too much else. The taste is about the same and ends up being quite bland. There's some semi-sweet malt and a bit of toffee. A bit of alcohol in the feel and a decent body. Well made, but not all that great.

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

Pours a deep mahogany with an off white creamy head very rich and full looking,aromas are smokey and caramelly sweet with an underlying roasted malt note wich was expected.Quite fruity up front like prune and raisin some bitter chocolate as well a healthy dose of drying earthy hop rounds out the finish.A nice newer "big" brew from Highland a very quality NC brewer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from unclejedi through the Little Guy BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very malty with strong notes of chocolate and dark fruit, along with a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out with smoky malts and dark chocolate, then flavors of dark fruit and a mild hops bitterness follow. Then a very slight alcohol burn ensues. The after-taste is smoky and very sweet. This is one of those beers where each sip makes you crave the next.

M: Crisp and very smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, a little bit filling, excellent representation of style, I liked this beer a lot. It's the perfect sipper and one that I could sip for quite a long time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, nearly opaque brown with a slight, ivory head holding minimal retention.

Smell: Mm-mmm! A good, solid roasted malt aroma with a background of earthy hops.

Taste: An envigorating upfront roasted malt surge. There's also a toothsome sweetness about it, and that's entirely a good thing. More hopped than other scotch ales I've had, but the hopping is still quite light, and only helps to round out the malt flavors. The hops follow through in the warm, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a careful amount of carbonation lends to a great mouthfeel!

Drinkability: While not your typical scotch ale, the Tasgall Ale is an exceptionally approachable beer. This brew is quite pleasing, and the 8% ABV is indiscernible. I know *I'm* up for another one!

Congratulations to Highland on their first higher alcohol brew!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cherry tobacco with orange peel edges and a firmly creamy crown the color of buttered, toasted wheat bread. A solid sheet of lace--now starting to tear--is beginning to form as the head slowly deflates. What more could I ask of a Scotch ale? Nothing, that's what. Quality through and through.

The nose is too shy. It needn't be though, because it's a good one. Moderately roasted malt, cocoa and dark brown sugar struggle to reach ramming speed and don't quite get there. Without more power I have no hope of appreciating any of the less aggressive aspects of the aroma that I'm sure must be present.

Thankfully, the beer is more forthcoming on the palate. While it isn't the biggest or the deepest Wee Heavy on the block, it is a tasty little sucker with no shortage of flavor. The initial portion of the flavor arc is almost porter-like due to the abundant roasted malt flavors. Within moments though, brown sugar, dark caramel and dark fruit (raisins, figs) come to the fore.

I'm struggling to identify any peatiness or smokiness whatsoever. Perhaps a few tendrils of the latter make an appearance on the back end. I'm sure that the absence of those particular flavors has a lot to do with my sense that Tasgall isn't especially multi-faceted or particularly deep. That's okay because it's still damn tasty beer.

The body/mouthfeel is just above the lower limit of acceptabililty for the style. Keep in mind that I love full-bodied beer and my lower limit is probably a good bit north of the style guidelines. The mouthfeel is lightly chewy--and that's being generous--but it could be a mite thicker and stickier to suit me.

Tasgall Ale isn't the equal of my favorite domestic versions (AleSmith Wee Heavy and Founders Dirty Bastard), but it occupies third place easily enough. I'm only two offerings away from running the Highland Brewing table and I haven't run across a less than good beer yet.

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Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pours ruby red/brown with a 1/4" tan head ring. Good lacing & some head retention

S: Rich choclate malt

T: Choclate with slight bitterness up front. Then cinamon, honey, licorice & molasses all surface at some point. Finishes sweet, malty, with choclate & warming alcohol notes

MF: Slick, medium body with good balance & understated carbonation (perfect)

Very drinkable despite the heft, really enjoy this style & this is an outstanding example from an outstanding brewery!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I cannot believe I actually waited this long to try a Highland Tasgall. Something I walk by at the store everytime I go in, but take for granted and nver buy. It figures. So this time I bought one and went for it. I was very happy I did..

A - Poured a deep dark brown, almost black in color, totally and completly opaque. A huge tan colored head, at least two inches in height towered over the top on the glass, and reluctantly settled after a few minutes to a nice layer of lace that glazed over the top of it. Very thick residual side glass lace all over this, looked thick.

S - Aroma was very sweet. Lots of caramel and a decent touch of coffee, enough to be truly noticeable. A light europ hoppiness could be smelled way in the back, but this was primarily a thick sugar laden ale of sorts, damn fine smell.

T - The taste was very unigue. Again very sweet with tons of malt in it. A nice dry finish lingered long after the last sip. A noticeable amount of hop was there but was completly bitch smacked by the malts in this. A nice touch of alcohol was definatly present in here. It was not overwhelming by any means, but was definatly noticeable. Very full flavor. Definaly a sipper but not too heavt at all. Well rounded and very balanced in its approach and finish.

M - Very thick and creamy. Was suprised this was a Wee Heavy as it had a very creamy feel to it. Was exceptionally smooth and dessert like almost.

D - Really nice, this was a fine sipper and a very very enjoyable beer. Definalty one to keep on hand at all times. A true winner for sure.

Overall I really liked this and what was the biggest dissapointment was that I had passed it soo many times before. I will definatly be picking this one up again. A damn damn good beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appears a deep ruby brown hue with murky dark edges forming thick tan head and sporadic lacing around my chalice, sampled courtesy of jcdiflorio's stock from beer trades. Aroma contains deep roasted nutty chocolate tones with raisin and mild alcohol notes this is such a strong dominant malt nose with subtle subdued tobacco leaf hop notes rolling in, Tony likey. For a Wee Heavy much more dark roasted malt tones that traditionally used but the way they're blended here makes you appreciate American craft brewing that much more. Flavor is chalk full of vinous ripe fruit notes with a mild tartness and earthy grape seed nutty character I feel like I'm getting my antioxidants from this brew, well rounded grain doses a balance between dark roasted dry chocolate and caramel roasted bready malt layers colliding. Light presence of hops with herbal earthy highlights and a kiss of pine cone edged hops, but a yeast note that screams funky UK ales gives off a great flavor really adding some of this beers most interesting qualities. Although I thrive on the hops a well done malt bomb always hits the spot and this one is like poetry in the smoothness category. Mouthfeel is medium bodied even soft carbonation touch of residual sugars bringing a sticky texture on but it's welcomed hered never cloying in any way. Drinkability is incredibly effortless at 8% abv you can barely notice which says it's definitely a well constructed brew, so far the best of the lot I've sampled from the South.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bboven for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a deep dark brown color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy tannish head, some small islands, oil slicks, and sticky lacing around the edges follows. The nose is malty, roasted, chocolate, and toffee tones. The taste is slightly sweet, malt, slightly roasted, good tones of chocolate/toffee. There is a nice warm feeling from the alcohol in the finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one goes down pretty easy, definitely recommended.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark brown, almost black with a light tan headthat quickly goes away. Much darker than your typical scotch ale.

Smellis quite light, mostly just a faint, but pleasant roasty aroma.

Taste is quite nice. Dryer than most Scotch ales, with the roasted grains more in evidence than lots of sweet malt. Almost smokey, and with a nice edge of bitterness and a late malt hit on the finish. An unusual and delicious rendition.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and not sticky at all. Carbonation is medium.

Quite drinkable, and the alcohol is not noticed at all.

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

This beer is a deep, dark, opaque, amber-tinged brown color. It is topped by a four-finger thick, amber-hued tan head that is mostly frothy, but a little creamy in consistency. The aroma is rich with a mix of fruit and malt; I get notes of fig, rich toffee, hints of salty-chewy malt, concentrated raisins, condensed toasted grain, and a touch of lightly roasted coffee. The aroma is quite enjoyable; rich and concentrated, which makes for an intriguing nose.

A solid, thick mouthfeel is only partially offset by an ample carbonation that seems a bit out of place in a beer like this. Luckily a quick swirl and the carbonation is gone; I much prefer more carbonation than less, as I can always get rid of the former. Ah yes, it is much creamier with less carbonation, and it still has just a touch of prickly carbonation. This is a malt lovers dream and exactly what I was in the mood for right now. I get notes of just barely sweet caramel, rich toffee, ample toasted grain, hints of chocolate and something good that I can only describe as a mix of dust from freshly crushed biscuit and melanoid malts. Underneath all of this malt is something unexpected. It is hops of course, subtly at first in the background, but here the whole time. Supporting the huge malt notes, the hops supply a substantial bitterness from start to finish. They also supply some fruit character, which amplifies the fruit notes from the malt; I get notes of figs and raisins (from the malt), moving to a currant/ berry component that is contributed by the hops. The hops also bring a touch of spiciness and a hint of herbal character as well.

This beer is definitely hitting the spot; rich, chewy, but not at all cloying, with a surprising depth of hop character, but only if you look for it underneath all that malt character. There is perhaps a bit of hot alcohol, at times, in the finish, but nothing too detracting. As the beer warms up, it becomes even maltier and richer; quite nice, yet always with that off-setting bitterness, which, just keeps the malt in check, well makes a valiant attempt to anyway.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a glass mug)
thanks to SincereNc for this brew
A- This beer pours a dense but crystal clear dark body with a faint glow of walnut brown at the base of the glass. There is a sea of tiny bubbles on the perimeter of the glass supporting a thick creamy meniscus of light tan head.

S- The smell of sweet earthy roasted malt has a dark toasted note to it.

T- The taste of roasted brown malt has some nice fresh chocolate malt flavors with a tobacco leave quality to it. There is a light fruity quality to the malt that is followed by a roasted peanut shell note. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note that is pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft warm alcohol heat in the finish.

D- This is a big beer with some unique qualities to the malt that make it very interesting to drink. Even though it has a bit of alcohol, that really supports the malt, it goes down smooth.

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

A 650 mL bomber served in a Troegenator seidel.

A: The ale has a small white ring of head that retains moderately well. The beer itself is a deep black cherry red with lighter ruby red hints when held to light.

S: The ale has a slightly smoky aroma that accentuates a biscuity malt nose.

T: The beer has a thick and chewy malt body, although those malts are restrained and this is not a malt bomb. The flavors that I pick up are caramel and nuttiness with a smoky undertone. The hops add a slight kick, just enough to add a slight break to the malts

M: The malts are strong, with a wide array of flavors, giving the beer a pleasant taste.

D: Very drinkable and a decent example of a wee heavy.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with lots of mahogany to light, a decent light brown head, and good carbonation. Big chocolatey aroma; a bit roasty but not coffee-ish at all; no smokiness. Similar flavors with a big treacle-like malt flavor; a bit sweet in flavor but not bad. Full-medium bodied and SMOOTH !

Per Label: "Roasted Barley and Chocolate Malt"

Per HBC website: Sterling Hops. 27 IBU.

Tasted: 03/15/07

($4.99 / 22 oz.)

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

22oz bottle from AKSmokedPorter as part of Secret Santa 2005. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" light brown head above the clear burgundy brew. Head fades slowly, settles at about half height, with plentiful tan lacing. Aroma is hearty dark malt, with fruits and a bit of alcohol making token appearances. Taste is similar ot the nose, but with a slight smokiness coming in over the dark sweetness. Fruitiness is present in the middle, and alcohol slightly warms the throat. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and drinkability is nice as well. Another nice one from Highland.

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Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gford217 for sending this my way in a late spring BIF, & as it's the day after Labor Day, it seemed a fitting day for it to go down. Split with the wife who picked it out of the fridge among other appealing options.

Pours dark with amber around the edges & only a little ringworm of head. Smells nice, some unidentifiable malts, prevailing westerly of alcohol, & some sweetish something or other.

Tasgall is a very interesting beer, above & beyond the nice name. Toffee is the leader in this pack, trailed by a nascent sweetness, dark malts, with bit parts given to rich chocolate and caramel.

All the candied elements give the beer a sweet, glossy smoothness that fills out a style-appropriate fullness. Drinkability is the star here. This is a good beer, but the perfect balance of fullness, sweetness, & a warm finish make it a beer to reach for quickly & often.

Excellent beer where I didn't truly expect to find one. I'd like to try this one again with a fresher bottle someday.

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

22 oz. bottle. Nice thick brown pour. Tan head, not too big. Pretty sticky. Some ground roast nuts, coffee, toffee, very slight chocolate. Very medium bodied. Slight warming from the alcohol. Big beer, well done for the style. My favorite of theirs along with the black mocha stout.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

really pumped for this one...always a fan of a good scotch and have heard good things about this one.

a - opened the bottle and filled capt lawrence taster tulip. really nice deep plum. great shine and the head built to be about a finger of off tan. beer has a darker heart than the outskirts. really attractive, classic looking.

s - purple grape malts. plums and barley. crisp. fresh grape juice. soft and timid.

t - slam in the face with barley, grape, malts, finishing with grass. malty caramel. little watery. pretty earthy almost like an esb.

m - full and leaves a tea-like after feel.

o - overall, not bad. i had higher expectations based on what i had heard. i felt that it was a little watery. it was good, but there are many better scotches out there.

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Photo of n2185
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with reddish tints and two fingers of beige head that recedes into a thin cap with some decent lacing.

S: Caramel and vanilla at first followed by bubblegum and even a slight pineapple aroma. The finish has a touch a bready aroma with a touch of an alcohol smell.

T: Smooth, sweet caramel and vanilla followed by a slightly bitter yeast and bread flavor. The hops provide a little citrus and bitterness, but not much. Slight alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer manages to be sweet but not sticky or cloyingly so. It's nice and creamy instead and doesn't leave a sugary coating in my mouth. Very nice.

O: I have to say, this is probably the best beer I've had from Highland. I'm generally not a fan of them, but as Scotch ales go, this is quite good. It manages to avoid being a syrupy sweet mess like many, but is smooth, creamy, and sweet but not too much so.

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Photo of glid02
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of heavy toasted malts with hints of darker roasted malts. Also present are moderate amounts of light molasses and lighter amounts of toffee. Finally, earthy hops and very slight smoke waft in and out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet toasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of toffee and lighter amounts of molasses. Midway through the sip very slight amounts of smoke come into play before being pushed aside by earthy hops. The hops soon give way to the toasted malts which carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this beer had escaped me for some time but I’m glad I finally had the chance to try it. It’s short of exceptional but it is very good and is worth a shot.

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Highland Tasgall Ale from Highland Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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