Anniversary Ale | Short's Brewing Company

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Anniversary AleAnniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
2009 Tap only
2010 Tap and bottle
2013 Tap and bottle

Same recipe every year, according to the brewer, though ABV varies slightly.

"Anniversary Ale~ A high gravity wheat wine made with blood oranges that render an alluring dark purple hue to the color. Flavor abounds from the spice of green peppercorns and tang from blood orange zest. Aggressive dry hop additions amplify the citrus overtones and spiciness found throughout. ‘Anni’ Ale typifies the full magnitude of Short’s Brewing Company by embodying all the complexities and fulfillment necessary to pay tribute to another year of brewing. 10% ABV 63 IBU's"

Added by hoppymeal on 05-08-2009

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Reviews: 205 | Ratings: 520
Photo of MadeInTheMitten
1.73/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Poured into my mouth, from a 12oz bottle. I've been waiting for this one! Let's see how it goes. First off, this has a kick in the teeth two-hearted ale taste (I'm not familiar with hop styles, so I'm not sure which I'm tasting. Closest thing I can think of is two hearted).. Followed by a faint orange taste. This beer is not my cup of tea. I could see many hop-heads loving this tho! It just isn't my particular "cup of beer". It sure does pack a buzz. I don't see myself opening up another bottle. Sadly. I was really looking forward to this one. Oh well, onto the next! I have five left if anyone is interested in a trade!

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Photo of zeledonia
2.09/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Tasted 22 January 2014.

Pours a deep amber with rusty orange hue. A thin layer of yellowish head, gone quickly, little lacing.

Smell is really intriguing. Some sweetness, and a bunch of orange with a moderate bite. It's got some zip, both from the citrus and the light spice. But there's something a little off about it.

Taste is just awful. Starts out pleasant enough, mildly sweet with zippy citrus. But it quickly devolves into horribly astringent bitter, like the nasty drying bitterness of grapefruit rind. I'm only taking a few sips to finish this review, and then I'm dumping it. I have negative desire to drink this.

Feel is fine, I suppose, if I can get by that horrible taste. Medium-bodied, kinda sticky, enough carbonation.

They put something in this beer that they shouldn't have. Maybe some part of the blood orange? Whatever it is, it gives the flavor a powerful and unpleasant bitterness. I like plenty of bitter beers, but this is just nasty. An unhesitating, unquestioned drainpour.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.19/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Beautiful deep plum color, purpley and dark with a small off-white head that vanished quickly, leaving whispers of thin micro-bubbles and a tiny ring around the collar. Thin legs. Virtually no lace remains longer than 3 seconds.

Smells sugary... Really really sweet. The sugarysweet notes rind me of a barleywine with some decent age on it-- at least 5 or 6 years. The spicy and boozy notes are pretty huge too. Fresh ground peppercorns, earthy spicy hops, and grains of paradise/coriander/orange zest to boot.
The flavor is just like the nose, but the dry boozy finish is a bit too much.
The body is slick and oily with a lot of residual sugar-- the sugar coats my teeth. A very strange note comes up on the finish, kinda earthy and vegetal with a pronounced bitterness blending into citrus fruit. It is rather unpleasant for my money.
Overall, this is not a top choice for wheatwines, but I do understand the desire to make an anniversary beer different and exciting-- I just think this is not a very enjoyable beer, wheatwine or not.

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Photo of hardysf
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a fail by shorts in my eyes. Pours clear with a small head. Smells sweet and of citrus. Taste is a unbalanced mess. Sweet flavors, with an odd citrus (maybe guava). Up next is a bit of a sour flavor. Finishes with a spicy pepper flavor. I'm glad I decided to only buy a single instead of a six pack.

This brought back a lot of memories of bells Venus which also was a fail to me.

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Photo of thagr81us
2.85/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, orange, sugar, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, orange, sugar, and syrup. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall I was not really a big fan of this one. I'm starting to wonder if wheat wines are just not for me or something... The idea is nice, but usually the execution is off for my palate. The sweetness from the sugar on this one really killed it for me unfortunately. Worth trying for a fan of the style, but if you have never had one before I suggest starting elsewhere.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.88/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch of white head and almost no carbonation evident.

s - Smells strongly or oranges, as well as lemon, citrus hops, fruity malts, and sugar.

t - Tastes of some weird sweer oranges. Also some grapefruit, lemon, citrus hops, and sugar. Not great.

m - Light body and low carbonation.

d - Kind of a weird beer. The smell was ok, but the taste wasn't very enjoyable. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of divineaudio
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

tulip glass, 2010 batch.

a - color is an amazing! hazy, blood red. only got a thin film of head with some leggy lacing.

s - floral hops with a lot of citrus. has a slight earthiness that i can't place.

t - what a f'ing weird tasting beer. starts with a toasty malt character, but that is quickly washed away by a strong, herbal hop bitterness. has some citrus notes and a strange pungency, i'm guessing from the peppercorns. finishes bittersweet and slightly boozy.

m - feel is a little thicker than i was expecting, heavier side of medium with very little carbonation. slight alcohol warming.

d - fairly drinkable if you're into it. short's beers seem to be hit or miss, and this is a miss to me. certainly an interesting flavor experience, but not a beer that i'd want to have again.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Urbancaver - thanks, man!

Pours a cloudy,deep mahogany with speckles of yeasty chuckiness in the mix. Quite sediment fiilled. I let it settle to the bottom and it was okay.

Bitter, semi-sweet orange peels, honey, pepper, marmalade, salty mayonnaise?, lightly sweet malts mix pleasantly in the nose. Unique to say the least.

More orange zest in the mouthfeel. Bittering citrus flavor overpowers the remainder of the beers' flavor profile. I get hints of the wheatwine base, but it's definitely secondary and masked behind all the citrus.

Interesting, but not my favorite Shorts beer...

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Photo of billab914
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky orange/brown color with a thin white sheet barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma really shows a lot of the orange flavors to it. It has a bright, citrusy, orange juice like flavor to it along with a more bitter orange peel like quality. A sugary like sweetness is present as well. It's interesting, but the orange is a little overpowering. It would have been nice to get more of the wheat out of it.

The taste really blasts you with the orange again. It has more of the bitter but citrusy orange peel flavor to it. The brighter orange juice flavor is there as well but it's more reserved compared to the nose. It turns more bitter in the finish with more of the rind like flavor lingering. Unfortunately like the aroma I don't get much of anything past the oranges.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't that great for me, the oranges were just too overpowering to get much of anything else out of it. It felt more like an OJ and vodka at times. I really love the wheatwine style, but this beer didn't do it for me at all. On the positive side they did really infuse a fresh orange taste into it.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

688th Review on BA
Bottle to OSWG


Thanks to kzoobrew for this one

App- A very dark golden amber orange with a one finger puffy, clingy, very foamy head

Smell- A bit of orange, some spice, some zest, a bit damp and some wheat all rolled into one. Quite nice on the nose.

Taste- I really hate to rate it so low but I couldnt even get through a 12oz bottle. The uniqueness of this beer is evident on 1st sip. Orange, pepper is all I get. I cant place a balance but just too much for me.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. The blood orange remains with a little fruit juice feel.

Drink- I really wanted this to blow me away and I was just wrong direction. I didnt like the taste at all. I am sure this is for some people but just not me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is ruby hued and transparent, with 1/4" head and decent lacing. The aroma is primarily of hops, with a present alcohol sweetness. The flavor starts out well, with hops in the driver seat, masking the alcohol for the most part. Unfortunately, the finish brings an oddness and harshness that negatively impacts my enjoyment to a great degree. The sweetness mounts rapidly, and I could see this beer becoming cloying quickly. A couple of ounces was more than enough for me.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep dark Blood Orange color, A touch of a head that fades immediately and leaves very little lacing. No real carbonation to speak of.

S- Fresh orange juice, really nice blend of sweet malts and bright hop punch. Lots of sour cherries, tabacco smoke, and I detect a hint of somekind of barnyard sourness. The yeastiness still smells really alive in this one. Really unique! I've never smelled anything quite like this.

T- WOW!!! Sour oranges, sour cherries, cigar smoke, hints of piney hops and sweet caramel malts. The peppercorns really come thru giving just a wierd hint of heat on the tongue. This is absolutely unusual.

M- Just a little hint of heat from the peppercorns, sour and bitter with a sweetness that follows before the heat sits on the tongue. It leaves a touch of horse poop in the mouth that i'm not real fond of. I'm not much of a fan of beer with sourness to it, but this is ok and worth a try.

O- This was really cool and unusual to try. Certainly not something I'd wanna drink everyday, but I'm really glad I got to try this. Thank you northernbrews!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Crimson color with little head. Low carbonation.
Rich sweet concentrated orange smell. Peppery spice and a little hoppy. Bitter orange pith flavor comes through first and some spicy hopping. This beer is sweet and sour from the residual sugar and oranges. Tangy malt way in the background. Booze is sort of hidden. I didn't expect this to be over 10%.

This is probably the best beer I've had so far from Short's. But that's not saying much.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whew. Blood oranges. You get subtle hints of it on the nose, but there is nothing subtle about the blood oranges on the flavor profile. The bitter tones that taste like they are from the orange's skin are too prevalent. Beyond that, there is little that you get a ride from. As a wheatwine, this falls short. As a beer, it's alright.

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Photo of sholland119
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blind BIF 5, Beer #3, from abraxel. 12 oz., shared with the lovely vickster529.

A-Pours a clear reddish amber with a large frothy white head. Head does not stick around long, dissipating to a ring. Nice.

S-Looks like an IPA, smells like an IPA. Sweet citrus, mostly tangerine and pineapple, a hint of malt but not a lot.

T-Initially pleasing, at least to me. Vickie is out immediately ("I'll take a Brawler, thanks"). Nice malt sweetness on the front, hop bitterness kicks in, fine so far, then a really odd strawberry jello sweetness mingles with the hop bite in the finish. Pretty decent overall but that finish kills me.

M-Medium bodied, lingering harsh bitterness.

O-Overall, an interesting wheatwine. Not getting the peppercorns at all, and the blood orange does not really work for me. Interesting, though.


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Photo of warriorsoul
3.34/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Greg (gcare02) for this hand off.
Pours a orange-red color, very clear and with a generous finger of light tan head. Fades quickly w/ minimal lacing.
Extremely inviting aromas of oranges, grapefruit, and a hint of peppery spice.
Taste is much less exciting than the aroma. Heat up front distracts the overall experience, but once past the alcohol shock, the blood orange flavor is there. The peppercorns take over midway through the flavor and continues on into the finish.
The dry hopped addition is mostly lost at this point, but the zest finds its way into the aftertaste and keeps me coming back for another taste to see what else is there.
Wheat malt keeps the mouthfeel quite thin....was hoping for a bit more depth w/ the abv.
Not quite the winner I was expecting, but super glad to get to try it.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Notes from 6/29/10

The color is a burgundy, brownish, orangish, reddish...something like that. Quite unique. No head to speak of nor lacing. The color is the redeeming quality here.

Lots of orange zest in the scent with some spice. There is a slight brown sugary malt scent as well with alcohol esters burning my nostrils.

There is a lot of unique flavors here, props for that. The flavor is a bit sour up front which clashes with a pineapple hop. Spice comes through as well and finishes with a twinge of soapy-ness. The aftertaste is a bit funky, bitter sourness and dirt.

Medium bodied with a clean slightly dry finish and fuzzy carbonation.

One is plenty, the aftertaste doesn't keep my interest for more. I like that this is original but the flavor doesn't quite do it for me.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade with fogdog. Thanks Kevin!

2010 bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Deep reddish amber body with a good amount of haze. An off-white, fizzy head surges upward following the pour, but quickly diminishes to a thin halo. Light, spotty lacing.

Smell: Blood orange and grapefruit - loads of each! Alcohol peeks through a bit. Smells good, but certainly lacks complexity.

Taste: Grapefruit and blood orange both dominate; the grapefruit adding tons of citric bitterness, the blood orange contributing sweetness and tang. The taste follows the smell very closely. Pretty one-dimensional, though still enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Tart, dry, bitter, and generously carbonated. Medium in body. Feels much like an imperial IPA, though with a different sort of bitterness.

Drinkability: One-dimensional and strange. I couldn't seem to find anything underneath the heavy grapefruit and blood orange. This felt more like a novelty beer than a celebratory one.

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Photo of maximum12
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to malty yet again for another good-looking Short's brew. I believe I'm down to 2-3 beers from our August trade that I haven't tried, but I am really looking forward to this one. Wheatwines have been a new favorite the past several months.

Pour is nice & full, a dark reddish/orange that seems to generate its own subtle glow from within (radioactive, maybe?). Smell is straight-up sweetness - handfuls of sugar, flotsam of orange, wheat.

Short's Anniversary Ale 2009 delivers a sweet shot to the jawline. Yikes. The peppercorns advertised on the label sneak in without alerting the nose & ambush the palate, leaving a white, peppery poop on the tongue. Gargling a bit more leads one to the inevitable conclusion that oranges were involved, too, as orange, citrus, handfuls of hard sugar candy, & more peppercorns surge onto the sensory organs. One can almost imagine a stalk of wheat beneath the peppery onslaught, if one has a vivid enough imagination.

Definitely does not drink its weight. Dry & sweet, it invites taste after taste, as does the rather puzzling combination of all natural ingredients.

I'd rate this as a good beer. The peppercorns, however, have really taken over, obliterating most of the orange, wheat, & hops that might have originally existed here. Nice twist, & happy to have another 10 ounces to work through a Burn Notice with.

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Photo of
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark orange with a frothy white head that dissipates quickly to a ring.

Smell - powerful aroma of oranges, peel, and citrus hops with some sweet wheat malt and pineapple lurking in the background. The smell is warm and deep, probably becasue of the very high alcohol content.

Taste - Intense blood orange and alcohol flavours with some sweet malt and dry hopped character. The pepper kicks in right at the very end, but the orange definitely dominates the flavour.

This is not a subtle beer. It is intense and in your face, but still enjoyable if a little rough around the edges.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft: Poured a hazy dirty brown color ale with a small foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of dry wheat notes with some grainy malt notes is typical for style. Taste is a nice mix of dry wheat malt notes, light grainy notes, light residual sugar notes with some subtle blood orange notes. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not sure the flavours are well-balanced between each other’s but interesting nonetheless.

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Photo of bigaltemple
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, golden orange. White head shrinks to a thin halo. No real lacing to speak of. Pretty good show of effervescence though.

Seems to be as advertised. Get a lot of wheat, along with all things orange. Bright and sharp zest, as well as some sweet pulp.

Immediate thought is pink grapefruit. Seems to be some sweetness trying to fight its way out, but the grapefruit characteristic is too overpowering. Some orange rind mingles in as it warms a little. Also able to pull out some of the wheat notes. Mouthfeel is refreshingly crisp and wet.

Interesting brew, and an okay summer drink, but not something I would actively seek out again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 release acquired via trade from tburkhart courtesy of the Under 100 #4 BIF so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass. As a pour it and re-read the label I think I probably should have saved this beer for a Halloween Night review for nostalgic effect but it’s still mid-October so close enough.

A: The beer is a murky orange-brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, a good amount of hops, caramelized malts and a touch of spice.

T: The taste starts out with a really odd sweet and tangy flavor. The label reads “Blood Orange Wheat Wine” and the word “blood” is used generously in the description of the beer’s ingredients and shockingly enough a “blood” flavor has been created in this beer and it completely dominates. I can only describe it as acidic and citric. The malt character is hearty and not too heavy. The hops presence is mild and bring a little bit of balance. The after-taste is kind of tangy which is a first after having written over 2500 beer reviews.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Certainly very flavorful but the question is how that flavor appeals to the individual, goes down slowly because of the strange flavor and the high ABV, not too filling, very strong kick, odd representation of style, this is without a doubt the strangest beer I have ever tasted over 6+ years and 2500+ reviews. This is definitely a novelty beer but it has a taste that can grow on you if you have an affinity for that kind “Bloody Mary” flavor.

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Photo of mchegash
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.5/5
Pours a deep, slightly golden orange. Moderately hazy. About half a finger of almost pure-white foam. Moderate amount of visible rising carbonation.

Smell - 4/5
Pineapple, mandarin oranges, floral hops, perhaps slight hints of spice. An overall quite attractive citrusy-fruitiness.

Taste - 3.5/5
Quite sweet. Blood oranges, pineapple, mandarin oranges, pine citrus hops, slight amount of bitterness near the end of the sip. Despite being 10%, no alcohol flavors detectable at all. Overall not a bad taste, just not really quite what I think a wheatwine should taste like.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium bodied. Very smooth, with only a little bit of bitterness. Light to medium amount of medium-high intensity carbonation. Overall, I think I would have liked the feel to be thicker, as this is supposed to be a wheatwine, not a pale ale.

Overall - 3/5
Overall this wasn't really what I was expecting. I've only had one other wheatwine before, Pilgrim's Dole, and that tasted close-ish to a barleywine. And most barley wine have a taste in the same general area. I knew this would taste quite different because of the citrus elements, but this wheatwine tasted nothing like a barley wine. It tasted like a nice summery citrusy pale ale, or something like that. It was not a bad beer, just not really what I was looking for.

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Photo of FlandersNed
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tap. Lightly-hazy copper color., low off-white foam. Orangey/hoppy nose. Big green peppercorn & orange rind flavor. A bit boozy. Full body & medium to full carbonation.

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Anniversary Ale from Short's Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 520 ratings.
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