Archive for April, 2018

Irresistible Islay — New “Old Particular” Casks from Bowmore & Bunnahabhain at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

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Irresistible Islay — New “Old Particular” Casks from Bowmore & Bunnahabhain

Our “Old Particular” program continues to be the go-to source for countless Scotch fans. No where else can you find such unique and rare expressions of Scotch at such competitive prices. Central to this program’s success is, of course, the quality of the whisky and the very strict set of criteria when selecting “Old Particular” casks. Central to our decision making is how well a bottling reflects its region, the distiller, and its age. This isn’t to say we are looking for cookie-cutter expressions. On the contrary, it’s expected that every bottling have its own unique profile and special flair. But if a whisky travels too far in one direction or is otherwise out-of-balance, then we take a pass.

The newest additions to our “Old Particular” portfolio are perfect examples of what we look for in a Scotch, or more specifically, Islay Scotch. The Bowmore 20 Year Old “Old Particular” has all the power and concentration one would expect from this historic distillery, while at the same time revealing a delicate and nuanced expression. For longtime Bowmore fans, it’s a can’t miss dram. The Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old, having been aged in a sherry hogshead, has the concomitant notes of oloroso, caramelized fruit, and salted nuts. Richly textured and with shockingly layered complexity, it punches far above its weight. The prices for both are downright amazing when you consider their age and pedigree. Our “Old Particular” bottlings never last on our shelves and we fully expect this pair to move at a very fast clip, so don’t think on this one for too long.

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1997 Bowmore 20 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($149.99)

Another classic 20 year old Bowmore beauty from our friends at Old Particular has landed to make 2018 another banner year for our whisky import program. This 52.7% ABV stunner packs a healthy dollop of smoke along with tropical fruits and notes of citrus with plenty of length through the finish. The peat isn’t nearly as pronounced in this expression as it was in the previous edition, so fans of Talisker or other mildly peated malts might want to take a look at this one. The finish is sweetly smoked with a coastal sea air element, notes of vanilla, and lots of spice. It’s hard to go wrong with classic Bowmore at full proof, especially at this age.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

This 20 year old Bowmore is more like an edition of the Compass Box Flaming Heart than a concentrated single cask expression. It’s so balanced with mild peatiness and plenty of sweet vanilla to add richness on the finish. Fans of more gentle Islay flavors will go gaga for this as everything is in perfect harmony here, even at 52.7%. Add this to your bar at your own peril: it’s too delicious to sip slowly.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 18, 2018

If I had to pick one distillery to drink for the rest of my life, Bowmore would definitely be in the running. They do some solid and safe stuff at the distillery, but where it truly shines are the single casks. I’m not sure why we’ve had such incredible luck with this distillery, but we’ve literally purchased every casks we’ve tasted distilled in the last several years (save the 1971 at Signatory, but only because it was $1000+ a bottle). While there was a weird period at the distillery from the early 80s to the mid 90s, they seem to have cycled through those casks and we’re not seeing the perfumed weird stuff any longer. What we have seen has been so delicious and diverse I just never get tired of them. Even more impressive is that we’re able to get old Islay whisky from a blue chip distillery and not charge $300 a bottle! Even though we’ve done two others this year already this cask was so different and absolutely delectable we couldn’t resist it. You may think you have enough Bowmore, but you’re wrong. It opens with a classic Bowmore nose, medium intensity peat, sea spray, wet earth, bright citrus fruit and herbs. Crystalline and absolute purity on the palate with the sweet tropical fruit, citrus peel and smoke working together in gorgeous harmony. The first whisky for Springtime! I like this better than the last cask by a few ticks and with a drop of water it’s one of the more inviting Bowmore we’ve ever bottled.

Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

I haven’t been so excited about single barrel Islay since our last Bowmore, and this is every bit as good as that was! It is creamy and delicate on the nose, with notes of orange marmalade and just a hint of peat. On the palate, it’s incredibly velvety and smooth, with fresh notes of tropical fruit, a creamy malt texture and an underlying peat that is robust without being invasive with perfect integration. This is the best deal in Scotch we have, so it certainly won’t last long.

Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

The salty and sweet twenty year old Bowmore has all of the charm of the best of Islay along with the complexity and length that only time will bring. If you like the natural style of non-Sherry influenced Islay, but want the texture and interest of an older malt, this is a perfect choice.

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1991 Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($159.99)

This 25 year Bunnahabhain isn’t just from a “refill hogshead” barrel, it’s from a sherry hogshead and the dark, rich color of the malt lets you know at first glance that this is going to be one supple dram. Bunnahabhain, unpeated in its classic expression, takes on a completely different character in sherry than its Islay counterparts. While sherried Bowmore tends toward savory campfire notes and sherried Kilchoman towards sweet peat, sherried Bunnahabhain is like pure salted caramel, combining the sea elements of island maturation with the mouthcoating texture of a textbook Speyside malt. After 25 years in the barrel, this incredible specimen came out at 49.5% cask strength with an absolutely incredible color. Sweet sherry dances with caramelized apples and pears, lots of Oloroso rancio, and loads of oak spice on the finish. You’ll be thinking more along the lines of Macallan and Glenfarclas than Islay at the end of this one. This is a MUST for sherry heads.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

Bunnahabhain has been having a banner year so far at K&L. First the distillery direct 13 year PX edition flew outta here as people went nuts for all that sweet sherry. Then we featured the 12 year old single cask expression from OP at a ridiculous bargain price. Now we’ve got this 25 year old single sherry hogshead edition to bring folks back on the sherry train. This baby is DARK, as in saturated with sweet sherry goodness. It’s also a PERFECT 49.5% ABV, so it’s sippable and ready to go right out of the bottle. I can’t say enough good things about this one. It’s a sherry head’s dream come true, lots of sweet textures and plenty of salty Islay character to add nuance. This will go very fast.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 18, 2018

Wow I mean just what the hell? We’ve had a string of wonderful Bunnahs over the last year, the result I believe of the distillery’s change in ownership. When the new owners took a look at all the old whisky in the warehouse that they didn’t own, I bet they sent a few thousand letters on fancy legal paper. Rent is going up! Anyway, we’re the great beneficiaries of that business acumen. Other independents have taken the good name and the old age and jacked the prices up, but we’ve got some good old friends in bonny Scotland who treat us well. The dark color forces a double take when it hits the glass. Refill? Dang! It must have been a fresh dump if you catch my drift, but it’s balanced and absolutely filled to the brim with life. The nose is nuts and orange liqueur by the sea. Dark fruit salted. Tobacco leaf and cedar pointed by subtle salted and stewed red fruit quality. Touches of dried kelp, freshly polished leather and no obvious peat. The sweetness of the nose is balanced by the rich savory entry on the palate. It’s a big one! Nice and dry with a big oak spice pulling through in the back. Truly a special cask, one of the best values we’ll ever offer.

Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

The color on this is unbelievable. Think deep mahogany, almost difficult to see through. The sherry influence is immediately evident on the nose with rich fruity notes of caramelized apples and pears. On the palate, it is rich and mouth-coating, with syrupy fruity sweetness and a nice long, malty finish. What a punch of flavor! It’s incredibly smooth and silky without the heat one expects from 49.5% alcohol.

Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

This spectacular quarter century old malt has the gentlemanly roundness that I always want but rarely encounter in long aged whisky. It is not only velvety and full in the mouth, it also has great nutty complexity from the Sherry wood treatment. I find this to be a value at the price. I am sure if it was being offered by the distillery instead of direct and exclusive from Old Particular, it would be more than twice the price!

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

When you pull the bottle out of the gift box the first thing you’ll realize is you’re dealing with a sherry aged beauty. It’s striking how dark it is; especially when you hold it next to our 12 year old Bunnahabhain cask. The nose is loaded with rancio, fudge, orange and cocoa. The palate is rich and weighty. The gentle smoke sails in the background. The salinity rides up front. If you already know and love Bunnahabhain, don’t miss this guy. If you’re just wanting to explore Islay but aren’t sure about full blown campfire smoke: start here.

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Scotch Whisky Auction 85th Auction Now Live – Whisky News

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Hi folks,

That’s us live with the 85th auction! Happy bidding!

This time the link below might actually take you to the current auction!

Happy Bidding!

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Whisky Online Auctions April 2018 Auction Now Live – Whisky News

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Highlighting our April auction is an impressive haul of over 70 Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottlings. This collection was acquired over many years by the vendor, mainly from the mid 1990s through to the early 2000s  – he purchased them directly from the SMWS and enjoyed just as many bottlings that’s currently up for auction. You will find numerous interesting and unusual examples, many of which have quirky tasting notes which we have highlighted on each lot from the stack of original SMWS newsletters that were issued to members at the time of release. A few of our favourites include this 1966 Ardbeg 33.13; described as Sweet, sour and Phenolic and originally cost a mere £48 in 1992. A 1968 Glen Garioch 19.18, this one is described as an explosion of spice with bitter coffee. Hot on the heels of this is a 1969 Bruichladdich 23.9 that appears to be from a sherry cask.

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From the 1970s casks there’s a whole host of brilliant releases, starting with a hot and fiery 1976 Clynelish 26.25 quickly followed by a 1977 Brora 61.3 which has been quoted ”Lagavulin by another name?”. And my personal favourite a 1978 Laphroaig 29.7 which was highlighted as a (Best Buy) in the 1995 Autumn Bottlings costing at the time a trivial £47. This was summed up as ”Sweet sherry and light fruitiness over smoke”. Sounds like a classic old Laphroaig that will be as brilliant as with the 1976 & 1977 further down.

Onto the 1980s and there’s a few nice sherried expressions such as this 1984 Ben Nevis 78.14; highlighted in the 1998 Christmas issue quoted with ”Fruit soaked in alcohol”. Another 1984, this time a Glenglassaugh 21.18 – It’s a Sherry cask; released in early summer 2001 under (Closed Distillery) Staff Shorts: ”Rum and raisin ice cream with fruit flan; if you like sherried whiskies, you’ll love this”. and finally a 1987 Highland Park 4.71; from a first-fill sherry butt. This was released for the 2001 New Year Bottlings and has been highlighted as the (Chairmans Choice). This is just a small slice of the collection, so head over to our site to view the full catalogue.

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We’re pleased to auction yet another full cask held in bond. The cask available is a 1993 Hogshead of Bruichladdich which would currently yield approximately 110 x 70cl bottles of whisky at 42.6% currently at 25 years old. This is an extremely fresh and drinkable Bruichladdich. Very much an afternoon kind of whisky. The lower strength does not hinder the texture or overtly enhance the tannin, rather it helps elevate the softer cereal and citrus fruit tones throughout the whisky. A cask that demands to be bottled imminently due to the strength, but will yield a highly enjoyable and approachable dram.

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Featuring for the first time this year is the magnificent 1955 40-year-old Bowmore – In cask this has seen seven different distillery managers. It started life in a Bourbon Hogshead, 20 years later it was transferred to a carefully selected Sherry Butt, it was then left to mature for a further 20 years. The outcome is a pinnacle of it’s kind. The decanter and wooden presentation both reflect similar care and attention to detail as the liquid itself. Using traditional skills each decanter has been individually blown, hand cut and engraved by the artists of Caithness Glass. Each decanter is individually numbered and has been created to reflect images of the traditional Bowmore bottle. The individual oak presentation case has been handmade by the Master Cabinet Makers of Charles Kirkby & sons. These skills combined are the result of a pure pedigree.

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Up next is the 1948 51-year-old is one of the all time great Macallans and considered in the same league as the 1949 Millennium 50 year old and many of the greatest Fine & Rare releases; this is one of the most sublime whiskies ever released by this distillery. This along with the 1946 don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve and like for like seem like a bargain in the current market.

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An increasingly hard to find bottling of stunning 1968 sherry matured Glendronach that was sold exclusively through All Nippon Airways (ANA). This one is cask number 06 which we have never auctioned before. This example is in excellent condition with a perfectly preserved filling level.

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Two highly desirable official Laphroaig’s from the mid 1990s. The rumour is the casks for these two bottlings were purchased back by the distillery from a private cask owner. Renowned for their intense fruity and peaty profile. Very much like you find in old Bowmore’s. These don’t turn up in auction much, so this is a great opportunity to acquire both vintages and if you’re brave enough, you could do an epic head to head.

All the best from all of us here at ​Whisky Online Auctions.

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Introducing Chris Goodrum of Gauntleys of Nottingham as Guest Whisky Reviewer – Whisky News

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I started at Gauntleys in February 2000 and although having a very minimal knowledge of whiskies at the time I took over looking after our spirits selection. At the time this mainly comprised distillery bottlings with a few bottlings from Gordon & MacPhail. I decided that if we were to be truly thought of as a whisky specialist, then I should apply the same criteria to our whisky selection as we did to our wine, this meant tasting as many whisky samples as I could get my hands on!

This period of time was marked by an increased interest in Independently bottled whiskies and I would regularly badger them to send me samples of their new releases, so I could select which ones I thought were worthy of putting on our shelves. Interestingly enough it is now common practice for a number of these companies to regularly send out samples of their new releases, although I’m not taking all the credit for this practice! Over the next few years I believe I became very well versed in judging the quality of these Independent releases, so much so that in 2007 the Whisky Magazine asked me to become a judge for their Independent Bottlers Challenge competition and this subsequently led to being asked to judge the World Whisky Awards in 2012 as well as the World Drinks Awards. Also in that year I started my weekly YouTube channel called the Good Dram Show, which is still going strong.

I am now a regular judge for a number of spirits competitions and spent a happy couple of years doing the New Releases tasting section of the Whisky Magazine. I would like to think that I have a reputation within the whisky industry as a firm but fair judge and having no allegiances I am free to offer an honest opinion and give praise and constructive criticism where due.

Although there are a number of whisky writers and reviewers with a lot more experience than I have, I believe that I make a valid and valuable contribution to the whisky industry as a whole through my passion for whisky and all things spirits related.

The Whisky Shop “Every Wednesday is a #WhiskyWednesday!” – Whisky News

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Are you a whisky collector or just enjoy tasting different whiskies and expanding your knowledge? Then you’re in the right place!

Did you know The Whisky Shop has its own Whisky Club, where thousands of members take advantage of some incredible benefits, including Whisky Wednesday flash sales.

For just £20 per year, you will gain access to our weekly flash sales, with discounts of up to 60% on some collectable bottles, limited editions and our special selection of customer favourites. But that’s not all – there’s also monthly 10% discounts, free copies of Whiskeria magazine, members-only auctions and more!

How does Whisky Wednesday work?

5 products, 5 great discounts
24 hours only or while stocks last
1 bottle per item per customer
Exclusively for W Club members
Free Click & Collect available

Join The W Club today and start enjoying amazing whisky savings from tomorrow!

If you have any questions about Whisky Wednesdays or The W Club membership, please reply to this email and our team will be able to help you.

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Back in Stock at K&L California – Whisky News

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George Dickel “K&L Exclusive” 9 Year Old Single Barrel #L8040K1007 Tennessee Whiskey (750ml) $44.99 View

Douglas Laing’s Big Peat “Christmas” Limited Edition Cask Strength Islay Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $80) The exceptional Big Peat Christmas 2017 is arriving with perfect timing to avoid any holiday gifting or sharing with unappreciative relatives. The 2017 Christmas Edition of Big Peat is the probably the best received of these always-beloved annual releases. This is a blend of seven Islay single malts including the rare closed Port Ellen distillery. Douglas Laing has confirmed Bowmore, Caol Ila and Ardbeg, so that leaves Kilchoman, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Bunnahabhain for us to speculate about. High quality blended malt bottled at full strength from these rare special distilleries, we’d expect a hefty price tag. Since we have the California exclusive, we can offer you this amazing whisky for the best price anywhere in the world. Enjoy it now or stock up for the 2018 holidays. $49.99 View

Ben Nevis 21 Year Old Faultline Refill Bourbon Hogshead Cask Strength Single Cask Single Malt Whisky (750ml) This incredible collaboration between Alexander Murray and K&L is part of the first batch of Faultline casks we’ve had in years. There are only a couple of factors that qualify a cask for inclusion in this special program. The casks must be absolutely exceptional and they must represent the best possible value for our customers. As the whisky boom has continued to explode across the world, fewer sources are available and scarcity means higher prices. The great casks we find are less likely to be made available to us under our own brand as our suppliers want credit for great casks under their own labels. That’s why this find is so incredible. Ben Nevis is an unbelievably good distillery that is unfortunately NOT regularly available in the US. Located on the western coast of Scotland in the town of Fort Williams, they’re owners are Japanese, which means that’s where the whisky goes. This gorgeous old hogshead filled once previously was fashioned from American oak and shows all the great texture and depth we’d expect from Ben Nevis, although with none of the saltpeter or sulfur that is sometimes present in their heady distillate. Pungent and almost extreme, the nose is a concentrated particle beam of fruit and malt flavor. This cask is all about freshness, maturity and balance. While it may not be as showy as the others on paper, the absolute purity of the aromatics and the unrelenting energy of this malt will leave a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to procure one. $89.99 View

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Chris Goodrum Reviews the Bruichladdich Range – Scotch Whisky News

Chris Goodrum

This week I’m looking at not only the Bruichladdich Rare Casks releases but their core range too.

The Review

Whisky Intelligence is pleased to introduce whisky review by Chris Goodrum of Gauntleys of Nottingham

INDUSTRY LEADERS TO GATHER TO DEBATE FUTURE OF WHISKY PRODUCTION – Whisky News

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INDUSTRY LEADERS TO GATHER TO DEBATE FUTURE OF WHISKY PRODUCTION

The whisky industry is preparing for the 2018 World Whisky Forum, with the programme of speakers and topics now announced.

The theme for the 2018 forum is Whisky 2020 with speakers from all areas of the industry considering the shape of future whisky production and consumption. The Forum will be moderated by Dave Broom.

Speakers include Ian Chang, Master Blender at Kavalan Distillery, who will discuss how grappling with the challenging climate in Yilan forced Kavalan to embrace innovation and turned it into a model for the distillery of the future.

The forum will also feature a panel discussion lead by Becky Paskin and Georgie Bell, founders of the recently launched #OurWhisky movement, on the changing face of whisky consumption and the importance for the future of the industry, of accurate representation of the diversity of whisky drinkers and producers.

Ingvar Ronde, one of the Forum’s organisers and author of the Malt Whisky Yearbook said: ‘The World Whisky Forum is about sharing experiences and the exchange of ideas. I expect the same open and curious atmosphere that characterized the first meeting at BOX last year. I’m especially happy to see this great mix of speakers, representing small entrepreneurial companies such as Kyrö from Finland as well as international giants like Hiram Walker and Kirin Brewery. I truly believe that gatherings like this are essential when it comes to shaping the future of whisky and it’s really fascinating to be a part of it when it happens.’

The Forum, now in its second year, will be hosted by the Cotswolds Distillery. The distillery was recently named Craft Producer of the Year (Worldwide) in Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards and Head Distiller, Nickolas Franchino, will be speaking on how small producers can carve out a place for themselves despite sharing a market with much bigger, more established players. Places at the Forum are open only to members of the industry and are extremely limited – for more information on securing a place visit www.worldwhiskyforum.org

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The WORLD WHISKY FORUM was founded in 2017 by Jan Groth of Box/High Coast Distillery in Sweden. It is a stage for the new wave of distillers and whisky stakeholders around the world who put innovation, rethinking and, of course, craftsmanship first. It is a recurring event that takes place every eighteen months.

The COTSWOLDS DISTILLERY was founded in 2014 and is the first full-scale distillery in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was recently named Craft Producer of the Year in the Icons of Whisky Awards, and in the UK category of the Icons of Gin Awards.

For more information, please visit www.worldwhiskyforum.org and www.cotswoldsdistillery.com, or contact Jan Groth, Head of the World Whisky Forum +46 (0)70-494 18 01 jan.groth@worldwhiskyform.org or Zoe Rutherford, Communications Manager at the Cotswolds Distillery zrutherford@cotswoldsdistillery.com +44 1608 238 533.

Glenfarclas 2004 Distillery Exclusive for the Spirit of Speyside Festival – Scotch Whisky News

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Glenfarclas 2004 Distillery Exclusive

A second fill sherry butt has been selected by Callum Fraser as this years’ Distillery Exclusive for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. This is the first time a distillery manager at J&G Grant has chosen a cask for bottling in over 150 years of production. To mark this special occasion, a select number of bottles have been signed by Callum at random. 80 bottles will be available daily to purchase from our Visitor Centre from 10am on Thursday 3rd May. Sales will be limited to 1 per person and the price will be £120. Unfortunately this will only be sold to visitors of the Glenfarclas Visitor Centre during this time.

Keep an eye on our social media for updates on availability!

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Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989 – Scotch Whisky News

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Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989

The second release in the Bond House No.1 Collection, this Highland single malt was crafted from some of the last spirit to emerge from the distillery’s former still house. Distilled in 1989 and matured for 27 years in a handful of highly sought-after casks, including some prestigious ex-Côte-Rôtie casks from the northern Rhône wine region of France. Each bottle is individually numbered and comes in a stunning display case with a copper plaque inscribed with the story of the expression.

There’s an enticing buttery sweetness on the nose, with hints of toasted marshmallow, vanilla and aromatic smoke. The palate is rich and syrupy with baked apple and fudge mingling with a gentle citrus note. The long and full finish brings honeyed notes of oak and leather.

£550 Pre-Order Now

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