Harpoon Leviathan - Quad | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - QuadHarpoon Leviathan - Quad

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Leviathan Quad was fermented with a blend of two traditional Trappist yeasts. A mixture of two-row pale malts, caramel malts, and special aromatic malts gives the Quad its richness and texture. The subtle hop flavor imparted from Brewer’s Gold hops lingers in the background and provides just enough bitterness to balance the malt sweetness. The addition of imported Belgian Dark Candi Syrup rounds out the beer, giving the Quad its full body and deep auburn color. Expect notes of honeyed dry fruit with peppery phenols in the aroma, a velvet-like mouthfeel, and a superbly drinkable beer.

44 IBU

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 291
Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this style. Pours dark, with quickly dissipitating white head. Rich smelling, maltish more than yeast. A tad above average mouthfeel, very drinkable, rich. Booziness is covered up, until too late. Caramel, decent demonstration of style. A little Dark fruit.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yet dark mahogany in color and poured with a thin creamy tan head that quickly faded away leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacy patterns in the center. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of sweet and dark fruits in the nose..
T: The taste is quite sweet and has lots of flavors of dark fruits including cherries, figs, plums and raisins. There are notes of alcohol and the finish has notes of spicy yeast.
M: It feels full-bodied, a bit sticky and slightly dry on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There are lots of warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its strength. The alcohol makes itself evident in the taste, but doesn't detract from the drinkability.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying the latest installment of the Harpoon Leviathan series.. first three were pretty good and never had a quad before so should be good to try.

Pours a nice dark purple/red with tons of head and moderate lacing. Smell is very yeasty and banana like. Taste is almost way too much to describe. You get hit instantly with this nice rich flavor, but also a pretty big accompanying alcohol kick. Very smooth in the mouth though.. get a nice mix of dark fruits in there, maybe some raisin or date flavors. Nice body and mouthfeel to it, although the alcohol presence is quite prevalent and this may not be for everyone. After a long day of work though, this works out perfect for me. I liked this beer.. I don't have much to compare it to but it was different and a great nightcap.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of brown sugar and dry raisins is enjoyable. Taste is a nice enough mix between some brown sugar notes with some notes of dry fruits. Body is not completely full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall with nice drinkability factor but lacking some complexity for the style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a very dark brown color with a tiny bit of a purplish hue. Off white head with some nice lacing as it makes its way down. Really nice lacing. The nose is dark fruits with plum, fig, dates, and a tiny touch of light caramel. A nice yeasty character throughout. Taste isn't quite as complex and the tastes blend together for some moderate malt and a dark-fruit presence. Feel is really nice and creamy with a touch of booze. A really nice American take on this brew.

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Photo of superspak
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into chalice, 2012 vintage. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a small light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin ring of lace. Minimal lacing clings to the glass, with a small amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of plum, prune, molasses, caramel, cherry, toast, biscuit, banana, allspice, cinnamon, clove, and a bit of alcohol. Some pretty nice and quite unique Quadrupel aromas; with good balance and complexity. Taste of prune, cherry, toast, raisin, biscuit, allspice, banana, clove, and alcohol. Lingering notes of dark fruit, toast, spices, clove, banana, molasses, caramel, and biscuit on the finish for a good bit. Flavors are pretty good, but it is a bit boozy and not as complex as I was hoping. No cloying sweetness. Medium-low carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a fairly slick and thick mouthfeel that is decent. Alcohol presence is quite noticeable with a large lasting warming on the finish. Overall this is an ok quad. Decent flavor balance and complexity; and pretty smooth to sip on slowly.

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Photo of nickfl
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Hazy amber-brown body with a one finger, light brown head. Weak retention and lace.

S - Spicy yeast with light fruit character. Dark caramel, figs, and cherries.

T - Very spicy, phenolic yeast profile up front. Dark fruit and malt with heavy toasted notes and light roast character. Very hot alcohol in the finish, bordering on solventy.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - A bit rough and not very drinkable. The aroma is pretty nice but the yeast character in the flavor is out of control and the alcohol is really hot and unpleasant. The solventy off flavors really hurt the overall impression.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 10/31/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of cherries, bubble-gum, caramel, Belgian yeast and a faint touch of hops, a little different for the style.

T: The taste is malty up front with sweet flavors of caramel and dark fruits. The flavor of Belgian yeast is there, but it's subdued and in the background faintly. There's a strong alcohol sting and a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, not the best Quad that I've had but it's a decent strong Belgian-style beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11 ounce pour - $8.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Surprisingly clear, golden-amber body with a slim head comprised of near-white foam.

Smell: A nose of pale malted barley grains, spirits, stone fruits, Oregon cherries, banana, and hints of sugar and spice, though nothing really standing out and all of it kind of mild.

Taste: Simple syrup washed barley grains with caramel in the flavor, but, yeah, mainly just the simple syrup. Fairly sweet throughout. Ripe cherries, tart-ish pears, and green bananas. As the graininess ramps up the alcohol drops in bringing about a noted hotness. Sweetish finish, quite warm, with some late-breaking spicy phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. It's almost sticky. Almost.

Overall: It's big, sweet, and Belgian-esque, but it doesn't hold a candle to the principal Belgian quads (or even many of the domestic American renditions).

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

Dark pecan brown that becomes dark reddish orange with sunlight behind the snifter. A huge amount of downward drifting yeast is buffeted by a huge amount of upward rushing carbonation, while a chunky slice of pale caramel colored foam looks pretty good up top.

The aroma is more caramel-malted American barelywine... or Imperial Oktoberfest... or American strong ale than quadrupel. Where are the Belgian yeast esters? An appealing fruitiness and no alcohol are positives. Note: warming improves things quite a bit and brings out more quadness. Quadicity?

Like each and every member of the Harpoon Leviathan series that I've reviewed to date, Quad is delicious beer. It doesn't seriously compete with the best Belgian quads, but then it wasn't expected to. The brewery has done a fine job connecting most of the style dots and filling them in with something that has just enough depth and complexity.

Specific flavors include brown bread toast covered with caramel-toffee sauce, fig jam, orange marmalade, anise seed and black pepper. Oh, and the bubblegum-like yeast esters have now been located. Warming is opening things up verrry nicely.

Not overly sweet... just bitter enough... lingering finish that expands the flavor palette even more... all solid-as-a-rock reasons that 4.5 overall is an easy call. Rarely has 11.75% been masked this well. Kudos to Harpoon on multiple levels.

The mouthfeel hangs right in there and even manages to impress. Each sip starts out incredibly velvety smooth, falters a little, but holds on incredibly well through the finish. Obviously, well-calibrated carbonation is one of the major keys to success.

Quad is second only to the amazing Imperial Red Ale when it comes to my most favored members of the Leviathan series. There might be better American quadrupels out there, but there aren't many. If this isn't a year-round (or seasonal) release, it sure as hell should be.

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

Hazy amber in color, nice head on top with good retention, left behind a good deal of lacing along the sides and the bottom of the glass

Aroma was ok...light fruit notes, grapes, dates, perhaps some prunes at first come through. Lots of grain notes and a touch of alcohol as well. Not really very complex and overall a touch light for my tastes, but no matter we push on. Average here, perfect word. Not the most complex thing I have ever run across in my lifetime to say the least, this seemed to be amped up enough as the abv was quite apparent, but the rich fruit notes and complex taste were lacking. Lots of bland flavor that really did not go anywhere for me.

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Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2/3 head; 1/3 liquid--slow to settle. Lots of chunky lace--leaves a ring. Orange-amber color with an appropriate level of haze.

Sweet caramel aroma. Light farm smells in the background. The alcohol level is potent to the nose.

Potent alcohol warmth. Lots of malt but relatively thin body; average carbonation. The aftertaste reminds me of brandy. Low level of hop--just enough to prevent the brew from being an overly sweet offering.

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Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date though I am sure this beer will cellar well in cool temps.

Crackle ... snap ... there goes the head other than a thin ring of lace. Somewhat expected with a higher alcohol brew. The chestnut darkness still lets a good amount of light through. Booze soaked raisins, beef broth, overripe brown apples and some caramel make up the aroma. Creamy slick full body. Alcohol hits the palate right away, overripe fruit and booze. Caramel sweetness and a nutty toasted biscuit flavor kick in middle to end. Kiss of herbal / medicinal phenols. Plums and alcohol in the boozy sweet finish.

Not as fine tuned as the original Quads, alcohol seems to cloud the palate and there is some loss of depth. Aside from that this would do well with some age.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a BIG plum tinted amber brown, with a nice light tan head forming thick with fine Belgian style lacing speckled down my Piraat chalice.

Quite the malt monster like any great Quad, big alcohol fruit soaked plum brandy notes with Belgian yeast spiciness and sweet candi sugar additions. A sharp poignant tart fruit note blares through my nares with raisins and tart cherries.

Flavor is huge complex layers of dry spicy yeast and soothing alcohol with almost too much sweetness grabbing ahold of the palate. Cherry skin earthiness with tart alcohol soaked fruit layers, that 11.75% abv is kickin' and it may be tamed with some time. However, I love Harpoon's new edge taking on all of these big bold beers from the Baltic Porter to the Big Bohemian Pils they are just releasing.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy carbonation surpisingly carries it all well, a nice feel to it with some signs of effervescent Belgian like bottled conditioning. Of course the alcohol and sweet syrupy malt layers lay heavy and wouldn't allow or make you desire multiple bottles of this brew in one setting.

Drinkability overall is good for the style I've had much worse from American brewers and I must say this is one of the best on the market in some time. A beefy beer that will get you through many mid summer nights or hold to a couple until this coming winter rolls around and light a nice cigar and enjoy the combo.

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Photo of stakem
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle pulled from the cellar with a couple years of age. It appears a dark copper to brown color with khaki colored head.

It smells sugary like candied oranges and then goes to all medicinal booziness.

This tastes boozy with slight yeastiness, herbal hops and solvent alcohol. Lacking in the expected yeasty phenolics and malt backbone.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Kinda hard to put down, would not get again.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Super dark, ruby brown, barely any light getting through. No head ontop. Just a faint lacing from the pour.

S - Smells of sweet candy sugar and caramel. Some dark sugar and tangy yeast with a backdrop of alcohol mixed in.

T - Tastes sweet and tangy. Dark bitter fruit rind. Some tangy Belgian yeast present. Dark fruit sugars and tart-sweet alcohol. Malt sweetness and toffee notes too.

M - Pretty well balanced quad, the alcohol isnt too pungent even at almost 12%. Clean, semi dry finish.

O - Not bad but seems a bit young and not completely harmonious.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly foggy brown with a decent creme head. Nose is candied with noticeable alcohol tones. Flavor is smooth. There are sweet tones, yes. Spices are there, yes. Minor dough. Mass of complexity? No. Feel is thicker, sticky, and smooth at the same time. Carbonation is there, but slightly lower. This is interesting. Proof that American breweries can produce any style. The issue now is if future productions can produce a greater level of complexities and finesse. A nice one to try.

Thanks to ppoitras for this extra.

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Photo of jwc215
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this!

Poured into glass chalice:

Pours rubyish crimson/mahogany with an off-white head that soon descends to wisps. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of a berry-like sweetness and caramel.

The taste leans sweet - caramel and fruity - berries and bananas. Alcohol is obvious, in a black pepper way, and dries out the sweetness in the finish.

It is thickish and syrupy. There is carbonation, but not quite "effervescent".

It is sweet/malty and boozy - a bit harsh/astringent. It's a "big" attempt at a quad, that doesn't really impress me. Doesn't have the complexities I was hoping for, and the aftertaste doesn't "thrill" me. It's a slow sipper...

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

Growler filled at the Green Growler Grocery, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Pours darker brown, tan head quickly goes from 2 inches to nothing. No film, no collar and no lacing.

Light malt and light chocolate sniff

Malty brew with chocolate, minty chocolate brownies/chocolate chip cookies and waves of caramel notes.

Alcohol present but not really intruding onto the enjoyment of this flavorful, bold and flavorful offering.

Happy to enjoy a growler fill, as a lot of the reviews from bottled samples are middling to downright negative.

Not the worlds greatest quad, but I found this to be a fairly drinkable and pretty tasty take on the style.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

Pours a really nice cloudy amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some yeast, banannas, figs, grapes, plums, raisins notes. The taste is sweet, malty/yeasty, with some bananna and dark fruits. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it.

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

The beer pours a dark red/brown color with a thin offwhite head that fades to almost nothing. The aroma is decent. It has a warm, malty scent that boasts of dark fruits and raisins. The alcohol is well pronounced. The taste is decent as well. It has an alcohol ridden taste that's ripe with raisiny flavors, and crystal malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is average. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average quad, but it's lacking complexity. I applaud Harpoon for the the effort. I hope they continue to produce these kinds of beers.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of cherries and plums, as well as some bread and brown sugar. The alcohol is also quite present. The flavor is similar. The beer is very boozy, but the dark fruit, candy sugar and Belgian yeast notes also are strong. The beer is very fruity overall, with a lot of cherries and figs in the flavor. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transluscent chestnut with a thin head. Smells quite fruity with typical Belgian yeast notes. Tastes like a textbook quad with dark fruit, Belgian yeast notes, and rich malt. Decent mouthfeel, but a bit hot. Everything is done right here, yet still, something is lacking to elevate this to superlative. perhaps its that it isn't perfectly integrated, or lacks some of the esters that unleash some particularly interesting fruit notes, but although it is pleasant enough enough, its just lacks that "moreness".

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12z bottle into a st. bernardus chalice late at night...

A- Dark chestnut ruddy reddish/brown in color that brings forth just a centimeter of off white/tannish foam that leaves just as quickly. Becomes still and leaves no evidence.

S- Leviathan Quad has a American twist to it, the residual sugar that is prevalent in Belgian quads is barely a whimper here. This one is a dark fruit bomb with plum at the center backed by somwe chocolate and hot alcohol.

T- Pretty straight forward, plum fruits with hints of apple, also some grapes giving off somewhat vinious notes if you can imagine it. Rye bread, The sweet sugars (turbinado) reminiscent of St Bernie 12 etc is not here. Alcohol, almost 12 percent is noted and felt.

M- Hot, very hot, not really masked, feel is a big medium approaching full for the style. A light carb going for it. The fruit and alcohol reminds me of a very watered down bum wine.

D- I drank it to help me sleep, which helped, but I won't help myself to more of this. Sure some age may tame this beast in terms of alcohol, but I don't see it tasting any better.

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Photo of biegaman
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first impressions were that this was a little light in colour, and a little light in the foam department as well, to be considered a textbook style Belgian Quad. The complexion is of a caramelly tone, with almost persimmon highlighting into the light, and its head is utterly insubstantial (despite the fact that it does a considerable job on the outlining).

The aroma, likewise, is slightly off-course for the style. Although it has all the right characteristics there is something that gives away the fact that I'm not smelling one of the classic Belgian examples (despite that this is brewed with two authentic Trappist yeasts). A perfumy, rose-like alcohol, esters of dried cherry, fig and prune as well as a peppery spice fit the style description but the lack of maltiness makes it far too seasoned and frenzied.

In like manner, the taste is also unbalanced and incomplete. The malts, which are thin and gangling and contribute little else than faint hints of dried dark fruits, are completely thrashed by the Belgian candi syrup; the result is a sticky, honeyed taste that overcoats more desirable flavours of melon and pumpernickel. The spiciness becomes scathing.

As does the alcohol. Eleven and three quarters percent is a heck of a lot of alcohol to hide and Harpoon seems not to have tried at all, or at least failed to. The heat is scorching - whether from the spice or the alcohol or more likely some combination of both - and given the lack of flavour, rather than take the heat, I'd just rather get out of the kitchen.

I'd be more understanding if this were a mulled mead. As a supposed Belgian-style Quad, I cannot be the least bit complementarity or feel at all gratified. For one, it is sickly sweet and anemically thin; tastes of banana are festering and flavours of dried fruit are macerated in ethanol. This belongs in a medicine cabinet not a beer cellar.

This beer has some tough competition within its style; when I think Quad I think of some of my favourite all-time beers, most of which are permanently on stand-by in my cellar. That being said, all comparisons aside, this is simply not a good beer. Unless they find a way to scale back the alcohol and diversify the flavour this is just not worth drinking. Period.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Quad from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.68 out of 5 based on 291 ratings.
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