Row 2/Hill 56 | Russian River Brewing Company

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Row 2/Hill 56Row 2/Hill 56

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by litheum94 on 01-22-2012

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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 1,221
Photo of cvm4
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date of June 26th, 2012.

A - Pours a hazy golden orange. 1 finger eggshell head.

S - Loaded down with grapefruit, sweet peaches, floral fragrances and a semi-malty backbone.

T - A subdued grapefruit flavor up front with clean malts and a slight hop bite. Nothing complex or exciting going on.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Very wet finish.

O - It's a really awesome beer except that the flavor is just boring. Nothing to wow you or keep your attention. It's very drinkable though.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a nice deep gold, with a medium fluffy white head, some spots of lace.

S: Very fragrant Simcoe goodness. Floral to a T with some pineapple, pine, honeysuckle flower, and grapefruit.

T: Nice soft bready malt flavour along with some very solid pine, citrus and tropical fruit notes. Nice undercurrent of grass as well. Complex hop character.

M: Medium-bodied, very soft carbonation, frothy.

O: Definite similarities to SNPA in flavour and mouthfeel. A very good product, Russian River always puts out great hoppy beers.

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Photo of t420o
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Row 2/Hill 56: The Story of Simcoe

A- pour produces a 1-1/2 finger white head resting of a pale golden body. Good retention and lacing. 4.5 

S- this thing smells awesome! The simcoe is very potent with it's earthy, green, resinous smell, and the malt balance is excellent. 4.5  

T- excellent APA. The simcoe is very strong upfront. Earthy, piney and dank it's excellent and even though the malt is taking a back seat here it's slight sweetness and bready/biscuty flavor evens out the simcoe nicely without taking anything away from it

M- good. Lower side of average carbonation level and good body. 4 

O- one of the better apa's I've had. That said, the simcoe is pretty strong and that hinders the drinkability. I wouldn't have much more than the 17.25 ozs they have this bottled at in one sitting. Still an excellent beer though. 4


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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead chalice. Bottle dated 6/26/2012.

Appearance - Hazy golden orange. Small white head. Nice lacing. Iffy retention.

Smell - Peaches, grapefruit, and onions. Good ol' simcoe. Hardly any malt behind it.

Taste - More oniony in the flavor. Grapefruit. Grainy and bready malts. Not a lot of bitterness, but with nothing backing it up, it's detectable. Not a complex flavor, but nice.

Mouthfeel - Light, well carbonated. Drinkable. Gulpable.

Overall - Simcoe may not be everyone's favorite hop, but this is well done for what the hop delivers.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 510mL bottle into a nonic pint glass at high altitude near Denver, CO. A big thanks to kojevergas for bringing this one out from California.

A: Pours a clear yellow golden color with a thick foamy white head. Decent retention and a moderate amount of lacing.

S: The hops come through quite strongly here. Almost all grapefruit here with some crisp malt notes in the background.

T: Opens with floral grapefruit notes from the Simcoe hops, followed by some clean malts and a bitter finish. Note a whole lot going on here.

M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. The finish is slightly wet. Works well with the bitterness from the hops.

O: This beer highlights the hops quite well, but it's a bit of a letdown in light of Russian River's other offerings.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

510 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical unbranded pint glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I've had this before and enjoyed it for what it was. Bottled on 06/26/2012.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of fair cream, fair thickness, and above average retention. Colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It looks like any other pale ale, to be honest.

Sm: Simcoe hops. Clean malts. Floral character. Grapefruit citrus. A mild strength aroma.

T: Grapefruit citrus esters are dominant. The hops are cleanly cut by the malts, which help to lend it body. Slight cream. It's not horribly complex or subtle, but it's a nice little beer. Balanced but mundane.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness and carbonation. Suits the flavours pretty well.

Dr: A drinkable little single hop pale ale, but not much else. I've come to expect far more from Russian River. I wouldn't get it again unless the price dropped considerably. A bit boring, actually. Hides its ABV well. For what it is, it's good, but it's far from unique or special. Russian River has far better offerings.


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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a golden color with two fingers of generous slightly off white head. Wonderful head retention with some good lacing.

S- huge bouquet of Simcoe hops! Floral with pungent fresh pine and juicy citrus yellow grapefruit. Resiny and sticky with hop oil in the middle. Finishes with a biscuity malt with a lingering hop character.

T- big Simcoe hop flavor with fresh pine and bitter zesty yellow grapefruit. Substantially bitter and hoppy with some balancing biscuity malt on the very dry crisp finish with a resiny hop flavor lingering in the aftertaste... delicious.

MF- slick juicy mouthfeel with a full light medium body. Average carbonation.

D- superbly drinkable and refreshing.

Overall a superb pale ale. More please!

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap – Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Another draught pour hits the rim of my pint leaving only room for a thin sheet of off-white head over a nice clear golden-amber ale. Streaming carbonation and just a few splashes of cling down the glass.

S: Smell is slightly muted however still displays some grapefruit zest highlights mixed with a bit of pine sap aromas. Picking up some faint hints of bready pale malts as well.

T: Tastes of pure Simcoe love! A nice array of grapefruit and pine with a lesser bit of woodsy herbs. Musky and pungent. This is somewhat aggressive and bitter with an actual touch of crusty bread noted that isn’t as apparent in say Pliny or Bind Pig. Little alcohol kick towards the end. A real step up from the nose. Dry and hoppy with some really fine balance. So much greatness from just one strain.

M: Has a light to medium body with a decent creamy texture overall. Standard level of carbonation with a real crisp drying finale. Ample dry-hopping gives a sticky residual lupulin linger.

D: This is not the new hop blockbuster to go off hoarding but just masterfully crafted as expected. A fine showcase to the versatility of the Simcoes with flavors ranging from citrus to evergreen and herbs. Balanced proper with some noticeable malt character to it. Very enjoyable. I will look forward to trying a few bottles.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured a golden orange in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of head that had great retention but left plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront there was plenty of pine hops that were noticeable, grassy notes, some citrus such as lemon and grapefruit but had a nice sweetness that wasn't overwhelming.

T: the hop profile was just expectional which brought piney, citrusy, grassy, earthy character alongside a well balanced malty sweetness and a touch of grapefruit bitterness.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with good amount of carbonation which had a hoppy, citrusy, earthy, mild sweet, oily and slight bitter finish.

O: this beer is at the top of its class even beating so called IPAs on the shelf. Really well balanced and great hop forward pale ale. I expected nothing less from RR.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the growler, Jer.

Pours a clear golden amber color with a tall white head. Nice fresh citrus hoppiness. Tons of grapefruit, lots of tangerine as well. Pine and a hint of grass with sweet bready malt. The flavor is a bit sweet, but good pine and grapefruit. A little bit of floral hop character as well. Nice beer, easy to drink.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Churchill Pub in San Marcos, Calif., on July 14, 2012. Draft into pint glass. Honey pale color. Two fingers of head once I got it. Gray and tan lacing with good retention. Even on the sides and foamy.

Smelled a sharp whiff of grapefruit right away. Slight pine and lemon as well. Very bitter.

Sharp bitter taste right away. Grapefruit citrus hops dominated as expected after the smell.

Medium-to-light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Bitter abrupt finish.

A pretty good beer overall, but I was a bit disappointed overall. That being said, I’d still give it another go.

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

Picked up a couple fresh specimens this afternoon. First time with this brew. Poured into my tulip the brew is a pleasant pale copper with a nice inch thick cap of foam that reveals nice lacing as I drink down. The nose is fragrant with bright citrus, sticky resiny pine, all things Simcoe.Flavors falls right in line with red grapefruit, bitter lemon peel and bitter pine sap on a crisp dry mouth that leaves behind a very pleasant unique biting orange peel note. A delicious APA, much needed here on the west coast in a sea of sameness with this style beer. Very drinkable and almost sessionable at 5.8 abv. It's not Zombie Dust, but it's a serious APA for all of you that seek out quality in this style.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 06/26/2012. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a hazy golden yellow color with two fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, lemon, pine hops, tropical fruits, fruity malts, and pale malts. Lots of hops and lots of fruit; really awesome nose.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, bready malts, pale malts, fruity malts, lemon, and grapefruit. The slightest amount of bitterness, but not much at all. Not as hoppy as the nose, but still quite nice.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Very easy to drink, and only the slightest amount of bitterness. A little less carbonation and it'd be great.

o - Overall I thought this was a great APA, and another great hoppy beer from Russian River. The nose is super hoppy and full of citruus and pine, and the taste is great too. Glad to see them bottling this one, will love to have it again.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1386th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- More of a orange mixed with yellow and a bit clear. Good clarity in the bottle with a huge 2-1/2 finger white head. Nice bubble activity with a good amount of cling and sticky lace down the glass.

Smell- A bit of a damp citrus with some very earthy and grassy notes. Smells a bit like a small IPA mixed with some liquid simple syrup. A bit full on the nose with more orange and tangerine aromas.

Taste- For a APA its drinking very large. The flavors are well balanced between a damp citrus with a soft earthy flavor. A bit thick with a pine balance. Not over the top, not a 5 but for an APA its very good. The simcoe is only thing keeping it from a 5. Has a flavor I can't pin and that doesnt work for me.

Mouth- A larger medium body with a medium carbonation. A bit dry and sticky. Residual earthy citrus flavors.

Drink- Call it an APA its fine. Ill stick with a small IPA all day long. I'd like another bottle on a hot day but wont go crazy trying to find one.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a golden yellow with about an inch of very light fluffy head, a bit chunky.

total tropical citrus domination. juicy and sweet

light tropical citrus hop flavor with a very light and thin malt flavor towards the end. very fresh and ripe.

light and easy, mild carbonation

very easy to drink, very flavorful and never overpowering. light malt lets the simcoe shine.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear light orange, not much carbonation, two finger fluffy head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S-Floral hops, earthy/pine notes.

T-Balanced with nice floral, citrus and pine hops. Nice level of bitterness for an APA.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and smooth.

O-A wonderful, refreshing and most of all balanced beer. RR really knows how to craft balanced hoppy brews.

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Photo of WesM63
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz bottled into a tulip.

A: Pours a nice golden straw with a beautiful 2finger white head. A fair amount of retention and plenty of lacing.

S: Smells of citrus (mango, pineapple) and some pine/resin.

T: Hops, pine/resin, citrus in the middle and just fades off with citrus and some light bitterness.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation. At first I thought it was a bitter watery at the end, but it's not, the flavor just fades out as it should.

O: Overall, excellent. Big citrus and pine, although not as profound as say an IPA or IIPA but the citrus and pine are profound above anything else. Delicious and session-able. A real winner here.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared thanks to Darrell, durwoodx. Thanks man, this beer is awesome for the summer.

The beer pours a nice orange color with gold highlights and a small frothy white head that dies to a ring, some lacing.

The aroma is awesome, it really highlights the earthy citrus of Simone hops extremely well, this is what mikkeller was trying to do with their single hop series beers I think. Some light bread and honey as well, very nice.

The taste is very nice, it has a super fresh burst of citrus grapefruit flavor and some earth, it's really nice and refreshing. Not a ton of flavor, but it really highlights the simcoe well without a lot of malt to support and no alcohol presence at all.

The feel is very light and carbonation is good. Just a small bittersweet lingering taste.

The beer is very nice, a great summer drinker I wish I could just session all day!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Review #100*

Big thanks to eyebereej for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from two liter flip-top Russian River growler into pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful clear gold to dark gold. Forms a two-finger white head that sticks around pretty well. Moderate amount of visible carbonation.

S: Wow, does this smell good. I definitely get orange hop aroma first & foremost, but there are some flower, pine, tropical fruit, and spicy notes with caramel malt also.

T: Citrus bitter hops, tropical fruit, biscuit malt. At the end, though, there is some weakness & drop-off to the flavors & a little thin mineral-y flavor that seems off. This does seem to diminish some as the beer warms slightly (or as I get used to it?).

M: Dry bittering finish. Good amount of carbonation, even from the growler. Nice weight for an APA.

O: This is a very good hoppy APA, and I feel like I'm being a little picky on the flavor profile. Still, it doesn't quite rise to the world-class category in my opinion. I would certainly drink some more, however.

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Photo of Enish266
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Barons Marketplace for $4.49. Bottled on 6-26-12.

A - light golden yellow with a touch of haze

S - citrus and pine. Simcoe is a hop varietal I really enjoy and this delivers as expected.

T - straddles the line between IPA and hoppy pale. Taste backs up the nose and my palate is splashed with a dose of bitter hops. A touch of mango and resiny pine finish slowly on the tongue.

M - moderate to high carbonation. Lightly oily and hoppy bitterness lingers on the finish.

O - quite tasty offering and can't wait for the next in the series.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Newcastle schooner. Bottle date of 6/26/12.

A: Pours a golden color with a touch of quickly dissipating head and a touch of lacing.

S: Earthy hops (mango, pineapple, grapefruit) balanced with a firm honey-malt backbone.

T: The simcoe hops assert themselves here, very flavorful, but once again the hops are kept in check by the malts. Very well rounded.

M: Smooth and slick but not oily, carb is medium, finish is dry.

O: A great hoppy APA, this beer is very tasty and highly drinkable. I hope Russian River continues to produce this ale, as I will definitely buy more. Cheers!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man. A new Russian River beer, how exciting.

The appearance is clear and light orange hued with a constant stream of bubbles rising from the bottom of the tulip glass. A nice half inch of white head sits atop the beer.

The aroma brings hops, grass. Smells like a Russian River hop profile. Nicely done.

The flavor offers an earthy hop character, citrus, grass. Malt presence is there, but light.

The beer finishes dry. Light bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, highly drinkable and enjoyable. Another tasty offering from an outstanding brewery.

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Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado SF, $4 during Happy Hour "is for whores" (Don Younger) 7.4.12.

One finger pure white head, small bubbles, over medium gold clear body, multiple streams of rising carbonation. Nose is a combination of fruitiness, grapefruit pith, clean non-assertive malt with a bit of pine resin. Taste mirrors nose, more fruity than malty until the pine notes set in on the back end, increasingly so as it warmed. Mouthfeel on the light side of medium, good effervescence. A real revelation re single hop APA, glad I got the last glass before the keg blew. One of the hoppier APAs I've had, and one of the best tastewise. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had on-tap at Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA. I'm not a huge fan of Simcoe, so I was interested to see if Russian River could turn my head.

Pours a quite light yellow colour, with some mild hazing to the body. Weight is solid but not overpowering. Head is filmy, patchy, but solid enough, and it leaves great lace. Overall, it's a pretty good-looking beer.

Nose is just lovely. Bright, punchy citrus like lemon and mandarin comes through strongly along with clean, fresh elements like passionfruit and lychee. Wow, this is Simcoe? It is, but not as I know it, obviously. This is powerful, sharp, fragrant and gorgeous.

Light clean entry on the palate, leading to more of those spicy lychee characters with deeper leafier hop characters. There's a slightly savoury note on the back with just enough bite to sharpen it, but no overt bitterness. Very clean and light feel, which is suitable.

OK, OK, Russian River. I give up. How did you perform this magic trick with Simcoe? This is gorgeous stuff, like no Simcoe I've ever had before—to me Simcoe was flabbily and lazily hoppy, giving citrus and oily pine with residual sweetness that always detracted from the beer. This is fragrant, juicy, tight and delicious. I'm just going to put it down to your skill.

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Photo of Sunhunters
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 500mL bottle into Tulip glass. Bottled 6/26/12.

Appearance (4.0) - A beautiful, pale orange with real clarity. Poured a 2-finger head of loosely packed foam with large caliber bubbles. Cappuccino-like head melts away quickly and leaves a few patches of medium-large bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. Spotty lacing with a few larger plaques.

Smell (4.5) - Earthy pine resin comes to the forefront of the nose, which is fairly potent in this fresh pale ale. Some mushroom and cedar compliment the pine and there is a balancing dash of guava, pineapple, and citrus. Quite heady.

Taste (4.0) - Pine resin and bitter orange in equal proportions. The mushroom aroma does not carry through to the taste, but there is an earthy tobacco-like spice that finishes with a crisp bitterness. The balance of fruit, pine and earth is masterful - really showcases the broadness of the Simcoe. However, the hops aren't adequately supported by a malt base (in my opinion) and the result is a somewhat watered-down flavor. Granted it's only clocking in at 5.8% and is meant to be sessionable, but it tastes and feels a little thin to me.

Mouthfeel (3.0) - Starts off nice and crisp due to the bitterness of the hops and the balanced carbonation, yet the overall product is a little thin and watery, and leaves a watery feel on the tongue. Not a deal-breaker but not spectacular.

Overall (4.0) - A fine showcase for Simcoe in an extremely sessionable pale ale. Really seems more like a diet IPA with all that fruit and pine. The aroma is killer, and the taste follows suit, but I feel that the slightly watery texture loses some points for this beer, which is still a great product overall.

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Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,221 ratings.
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