Heavy Seas - Red Sky At Night (Saison Ale) | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Red Sky At Night (Saison Ale)Heavy Seas - Red Sky At Night (Saison Ale)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 05-23-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 800 |  Reviews: 434
Photo of donniecuffs
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, it poured a golden orange, with one finger of white, decent retention, and decent lacing. Great citrus (lemon and apricot) nose, with spice and brett funk. The taste revealed some berry flavor as well, mixed with spice and citrus, and finished on a modest spice/peel note. Light- to medium-bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation. Refreshing alternative for the summer months.

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2.41/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle to wine glass. Sampled at the end of May.
Notching at the bottom of the label indicates "Puchase Before 8/10." At least that's what the top label indicated...there were countless labels slapped haphazardly on. Sloppy.

A: Pours with a small 1 finger creamy foamy head, white with a yellow tinge. (My experience with Heavy Seas is that all of their beers produce small heads, even with a vigorous pour.) Mediocre retention. A semi thick collar lasts long and is aided by the streamers along the glass and plenty of visible carbonation. The body is lightly cloudy if not hazy with lots of fine particulate speckling the bottom and sides of the glass. Medium value goldenrod orange.

S: Average amount of sourdough bread, grain (mostly wheat) and straw in the malt bill. Lightly toasted. The hops have average intensity as well with dominant notes of lemon and orange, citrus and flowers supporting. Heavily yeasty, identifiably Belgian) with sweaty aromas of light must and barnyard. Alcohol is noticeable. Very sweet on the nose...

T: ...And even sweeter on the palate. Too sweet in fact. And the alcohol is even more noticeable, especially as it warms. Flavors of light candi sugar, bubble gum, honey, some peppery spice and maybe even a hint of ginger would normally work well together, but somehow with the Red Sky at Night, it comes off out of proportion and sloppy. Maybe if they dialed the ABV back, this beer would be more palatable.

M: Medium-full body with an alcholic texture. I can't get past it. Lightly and appropriately sour.

D: Not impressed. This is definitely a case where the sweetness (and possibly the ABV) is wayyy out of scale...not only in the beer in question, but also the style. I sure would hate to be laboring outdoors with this as a "refreshment."

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Photo of Tone
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, golden color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet malt, tart malt, yeast, pale hop, hint of wheat, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight alcohol, tart malt, sweet malt, slight hop, slight citrus, and a hint of yeast. Overall, good aroma and blend, but lacking in body.

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Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by Aug 2010. 12 oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Pours a hazy gold color w/ yeast floating. Medium head that rims around w/ decent lacing. Has that funky smell you gotta love if you're into beligian-styles. The taste is pretty subtle but sweet, starts off spicy but quickly cools down into something refreshing. This is maltier that I anticipated, considering how thin it is, but all works out. Drinkability isn't bad, I could go for a couple of these. Nice summer beer!

Heavy Seas makes some nice brews and this is no exception, something to be proud of.

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Photo of Stigs
2.82/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, served in a Duvel tulip

A - aggressive pour yields a very thin layer of loose bubbly white foam which quickly settles to a ring and small floating island. the beer is rich golden in color, and quite hazy. crazy amount of white sediment collecting at the bottom of the glass.

S - fruity with candied lemons and banana...light tartness. some gentle clove and earthy spices and faint grain.

T - strong grainy base with some fruity banana and candi sugar. rosemary and clove add some spice towards the end before a mild grassy hop finish.

M - awkward thickish body with a medium amount of carbonation. leaves mouth slightly sticky due to near cloying sweetness.

D - ummm, this at best this is a mediocre Hefe...certainly doesnt have any of the good Saison qualities. too sweet and not nearly refreshing enough. ill pass.

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Photo of weeare138
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a hazy gold with a light orange glow. A small white head quickly fizzles out into a gentle collar. Big chunky CO2 streams pump to the top of the glass.
Smell is of ripe banana cream pie, pineapple juice, vanilla wafers, honeydew melon, and light black pepper.
Taste is of the aromas with fruity yeast and berries pulling through.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied, syrupy, chewy, and effervescent.
This is not a "true" saison per se but more of an American interpretation. The addition of Candi sugar makes this one a lot more sugary than the typical dry stylized saison. Nonetheless, this makes a fine Belgian Gold Ale which would border a triple in some folks' books. Refreshing, delicious, and mildly warming. I'll have to save a few of these for aging.

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Photo of Natural510
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy golden-straw color, true to style. No head on the brew, likely due to pour from bartender.
Flavor and aroma true to style; sweet, citric (orange/tangerine), tart. Yeast-forward without being overly funky or astringent.
Nicely balanced and drinkable. Not as spicy/interesting as other American takes on the style, but still a tasty and clean (doesn't overreach on the yeast) saison.

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six pack for $7.99, with a coupon -- only $7.05 after tax!
Freshness date clearly imprinted, drink by September 2010.

A: I poured the ale into a nice Spieglau Bourgogne glass. This seemed to be appropriate and able to harness the overwhelming nose of the beer. It pours a light honey gold color, with distinct hints of orange around the rim. A lot of head at first, but it dissipates to a gentle white lacing that remains the whole beer.

S: Definitely herbaceous. I get hints of rosemary, thyme, clove, and allspice. There is a ton of fruit present too. Persimmons, apricots and citrus fruits, with perhaps a little bit of candied ginger to round out the list. Awesome.

T&M: Very, very creamy, with a long finish, medium bodied, and full of really intense wheat and spice. I would almost describe it at grapefruit/lemon wedges, dipped in brown sugar, with a hint of ginger or sweet basil. There is a ton going on in this beer. It is complex and really demands your complete attention.

I really like this ale. I think it is perfect summer. To hell with your basic summer wheat with a ton of citrus thrown in, this beats them in taste, complexity (and for me, price). I'm thinking that this would be a great breakfast beer with a quiche using swiss or fontiago cheese. Excellent brew!

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generous extra from a great BA cyrusthepup!

A-pours a very murky screwdriver orange with tons of fullfy white head.

S-the nose has a touch of earthiness to it, lemon and wheat show a strong sweet presence with a good bit of candied sugar and banana, interesting herbal spice presence in the back, light spicy pepper.

T-extremely carbonatated, almost champagne esque. notes of wheat, candied sugar, and lemon. a strong peppery spice and herbal spice notes behind (I'm guessing thats the chamomile and rosemary) notes of banana and some sour white grapes.

M-as mentioned, blown away with carbonation detracting from the feel, but softer on the tongue, lighter bodied, crisp and prickly finish.

D-this is a pretty tasty saison with some interesting things happening. the champagne flavors are interesting, the wild yeast has definitely added something to this. nice brew!

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Photo of mjw2808
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

golden amber with a small head that doesnt leave much lacing. The smell is sweet. Lots of fruit, spices and nuttiness. The taste is rich of cherry and hazelnut. Cant taste much alcohol which is surprising for a light bodied beer with a 8% abv. Average mouthfeel and very drinkable. I enjoy this beer a lot, definitely recommend it.

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very flavorful and surprisingly smooth given the ABV

Appearance: Light and golden with minimal head

Smell: Belgian spice and lots of it

Taste: Very Belgian-y; wheat, yeast, and spices

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth

Drinkability: Full flavored and good for sipping; decent attempt at a Belgian beer

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fair and pleasing take on a saison, leaning on a sweet profile.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Red tone label with the illustration of the pirate and parrot sleeping on a hammock on the sea. Neck label offers a small narrative with the sea/pirate theme, including style and ingredient notes. First label I reach after the redesign and rebranding around the "Heavy Seas" line up, while the image is an improvement it is a long way from being satisfactory. The main label works fairly well, although in the small bottles it was already quite decent, the big bottles are the design trouble and here they have decided to lazily slap the skull logo over the wave on the bottle neck... It may give them some brand consistency but it is a rather poor solution. Notes notched freshness date (SEP 10) Shows Alc. by Vol. 7.5%) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Gold pour with an average to short head and retention, and small lacing.

S - Lemony scent with a Belgium touch, sugar coats the sense.

T - Citrus backbone with a sugary note, light yeasty Belgium sense with a slightly spicy touch.

M - Light-medium body with medium and balanced carbonation. Body may feel a bit hefty than what it may be due to the alcohol level, not badly integrated but also noticeable.

D - It flows very nicely and combines all around as a rather pleasing quaffer.

Notes: While not too remarkable it feels pretty good, and it is reliable. If anything the first thing that one misses is that while seemingly bottle conditioned it feels somewhat filtered and one longs for a bit of a stronger hazy/yeasty touch on the palate.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a ChurchKey becher.

Always suh-in' good on cask over at the CK. This nice li'l bit o' Maryland saison pours a thoroughly cloudy grapefruit yellow with a small bubbly head. Not to cast aspersions on things, but it looks as though some beastly urine is sitting in my glass. Yeah. Interestingly, I still really wanna drink it... The smell helps dig me out of this grave: lemon rind, coriander, wheat fields, and mandarin oranges comprise a zesty whiff. Nice, but lacking that hint o' funk that keeps a certain Mr. Clinton in business. (I mean, seriously, did you see him on Arsenio back in '92, rockin' that sax? No wonder that elder shrub got clocked...) Things stay pretty much unchanged when smell becomes taste (synesthesia not included), though some cardamom and OJ pulp (so long as it's not in my juice, I'm fine) join in the fun as well. In sum, a melange o' summery tastiness, light in body and carbonation, heavy on righteousness. Something like that. After seeing this brew in bottles at several stores, it's nice to finally put a face to the brown glass, especially in cask-conditioned form. Get some!

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Photo of robwestcott
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very happy to find this one on the day it hit bloomington...

poured a thick hazy orange / gold from the bottle into a dogfish head signature glass, with a super thin and short lasting off white head.

very enjoyable, even more so than the glass from the tap a few weeks ago.

strong citrus-y nose, incredibly well bodied, i like this one very cold.

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Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pint glass served at the Brass Rail.

A: The saison is a pale golden color, more substantial than straw but nowhere near copper. A thin band of head is all that can be conjured up, with little lacing down the road. Very clear.

S: The nose is more BSPA than saison, sweet with candi sugars and plenty of spice to go around. Anise runs around, as does coriander, but they are by no means the only notes. Sweet pear-like fruits match the sugars.

T: The first sip matches the spicy intensity of the nose, although there is little if any booziness to combat. The candi sugars and their pale fruity sweetness stand out, along with a dash of anise and coriander. For the sugary presence, the ale is rather dry (but another sip quickly solves that dilemna). Floral hops, late in the sip, balance out the sweetness. A fuller pale malt base, evident near the end, occasionally led me to think 'Bière de Garde.'

M: The mouthfeel works with the spices and lack of booze, a pleasantly complex ale that doesn't skimp on flavor. I still, though, think it is a little too unbalanced towards the BSPA realm.

D: I'd have another glass while sitting on my patio on a warm day.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

7.5% on the bottle neck.

Pours a golden/orange color with some weird floaties, hardly any head and no lacing.

Smell has a fairly fruity and yeasty aroma with a light funk.

Taste is light and crisp, fairly sweet and fruity (light apple/banana), the funk is very slight but adds a nice complexity to the aftertaste, the strength isn't evident at all.

The way this drinks makes it very sessionable, although it doesn't pack the huge flavor punch or funkness of other saisons.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a thin white head that doesn't retain very well. The aroma has some hay and a little funk upfront, along with notes of pear and green apple, esters, biscuit, corriander, white pepper and a little honey. The flavor is fruity initially with notes of green apples, pears and honeydew melon, as well as some biscuit and hay, funky yeast, corriander and white peppercorn, a little honey and a touch of floral hops. The mouthfeel is light and sprightly, and drinkability is excellent. Very solid saison here, especially for the price.

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Photo of Fieldzy27
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is marked saying "best taste before notched month" notch says sep and its may so I think im safe

A-Pours a very nice almost autum orange color. Reminds me of pumpkins or leaves changing. When back lit turns bright yellow with an orange outline. Quite a few bubbles rising to the top. Head is off-white and melts fairly quickly.

S-Has a very sweet aroma. Almost no hops coming through at all with a very very mild hint of alcohol. Has hints of apples maybe. As much as I wanted to drink this before after smelling it my desire has doubled. Lets see if the taste follows suit...

T-The flavor is fruity and balanced I get apples and maybe raisins? a tiny bit...others as well but im sure my pallet is not advanced enough to pick up on them. The alcohol may as well be non-existent. Which I find dangerous as its stated at 7.5% on the bottle. Cant really find anything wrong with it but at the same time I have had others in the same style that jump off the pages of my memory a bit more....as it warms the sweetness dulls down a bit and the alcohol comes in a bit more . Not boozey in the least but jest enough to keep things interesting.

M-The mouth feel is great, a little too carbonated for my taste its borderline a champagne feel and its thickness is true to the style.

D- All and this is a great beer. I think next time I'll get a 6 pack this as opposed to a single if i can. I would love to put down a couple of these and with this drinkability I'm sure it would be no hard task. Im sure as well with the ABV of this guy I would be feeling wonderful after a few of them.

-had to bump up the drinkability a little because of my desire to drink another one of these on the spot...

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Photo of branimal9
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle shared at Ronzonie's Haus - 5/15/2010.

Hazy golden in color.. Aroma is the expected farmhouse scent - bready & yeasty. Barn-funk yeastiness and astringency at first sip. Tasting some wheat flavor as well. Oily and mouth-coating. Quite refreshing; overall a fine summer sipper.

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Photo of farrago
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hits you with a half finger of bone white head which is short-lived, settles into a few scattered islands across the surface, curiously more stickiness to the lacing then first expected. Visually as much dilute orange as stronger yellow, excellent clarity and, in spite of the weak hue, has a glow which pleases the eye. The nose has an outdoorsy, natural character, you almost expect to drink it on an actual farm, big time clove, cinnamon, spiced orange and something like mulled cider, country style rye breadiness, the apple, pear, apricot fruit stays within itself even though the spiciness wants to tease out more tropical fruit nuances, waft of banana. Full-bodied for the style, hugs the curves of your mouth. Strikes a good balance between sweet and spicy, all that clove, coriander, ginger sweeps through, lees and raw bread dough, white pepper, then white grape, banana, peach, pear, cherry, apricot fruit. The carbonation perhaps adds too much fluff factor. The lemon, orange citrus a steadying influence throughout. Finish is sort of short but mouth perfume full enough to compensate. Nicely drinkable.

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Photo of Wolfhausen
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this brew first time on tap at Capone's Norristown. It was poured into a chalice. It appeared to have a nice amber gold color. Smell was lacking, only slight yeast and spice. The taste was a great suprise! Not a traditional saison by any means but a pleasant escape. This ale is very sweet and has a almost bubblegum spice flavor to it. In terms of mouthfeel red sky at night is very smooth with subtle carbanation allowing it to glide across your taste buds nicely. This is such a unique brew I bought a sixer of it to go at the end of the night.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, golden color in the glass. Surprisingly, in the growler you can see a much darker reddish amber straw color due to the deepness of the container. Two finger head that disipates quickly to a thin film of white fluffy carbonation. Moderate lacing.

S: Faint scent of spices and fruits. Not much there, but maybe my allergies have kicked in as I was outside all day today.

T&M: Crisp, very crisp and smooth with a strong sweetness that hits up front. Light to medium bodied. The taste is very complex. Nice and tasty. Some clove, nutmeg, and fruity sweetness. Ever so mild floral hops that squeaks in at the end, but the malty sweetness and yeast continues to overtake any bitterness. Nice yeasty presence typical of saisons.

The 8% ABV is so well hidden that it is scary. Very nicely done! I'm really surprised that the average is so low on this. For the style, it is excellent and very similar to Hennepin. Probably a bit sweeter, but very good. Defintely worth a try.

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Photo of portia99
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed Belgian glass.

A - Pours a golden straw color with the slightest hint of orange in it. Crystal clear - one of those beers you can read a newspaper thru. Minimal to no head - a loose collar and some stubborn islands of bubbles on the surface with a continuous supply rising up from the bottom of the glass.

S - Loads of citrus, especially lemons and oranges. Some spiciness, black pepper, some wheatiness, a bit of bready malt. Aroma is pretty light overall, would like it to be a bit more assertive.

T - Taste follows the aroma pretty closely. Some light citrus notes, wheaty and malty, a bit sweet. A touch of peppery spice. Some kind of old, stale flavor notes on the swallow that lingers behind sadly.

M - Medium bodied and carbonated. Somewhat dry in the mouth. Carbonation is lively but controlled - maybe even a tad light for the style, just enough to leave a nice tingle.

D - Not a bad beer at all. Maybe I'm just used to drinking the phenomenal examples of saisons. By comparison, I find this one a bit dull and lifeless. The spiciness is good, but there is a drying off flavor in there that is spoiling it for me. The fruity and spicy flavors don't have a chance to shine...seems to bring out the malt more and dry things out.

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Photo of cdbooth219
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Beer pours a hazy golden color with one finger of off white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass

S: Smell is of lemons and oranges, with some peppery spiciness, and a bit of lactic sourness, as well as some light maltiness

T: Taste is very citrusy and peppery, with a light malty background. Also some sweet tropical fruit notes as well

M: Light-medium bodied, with a lot of carbonation

D: Very easy to drink, and it hides the 8% abv quite well

Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer, and I will definitely be seeking more of these out soon.

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Photo of danielharper
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours yellow/orange, very hazy, thin white foamy head. Significant yeast in the bottle leaves heavy levels of sediment suspended in the bottle.

Strong sour lactic aroma, some citrus esters, hints of clean dry malt. Overall lemony nose.

Citrus lemon also dominates the flavor, clean and crisp. Sweet finish, slightly dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel moderate, high carbonation, low hops.

Overall a decent beer, but uncomplex, and not really worth the effort to seek out.

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Heavy Seas - Red Sky At Night (Saison Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.68 out of 5 based on 800 ratings.
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