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Scott S

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  1. Well, take my calling it "triple sec" with a bit of care. I'm no expert in these matters, but it just did not seem to fit with the Curacaos and certainly not with the brandy/cognac ones. I can't say that I detected any hint of tequila, though I have to say that the first thought in my mind was "Margarita!" when I tasted it. I would say that it certainly seems like it was made for margaritas, and would pair with tequila perfectly. I can't wait for the night that I'm in a margarita mood, the Citronge will come back out in an instant. I just had another smell and sip and I can definitely say that I don't think there's any tequila in it. It just seems like a different bitter orange in there amongst the other orange tastes. It really is quite good. I got a 375ml for $13 locally, in Massachusetts. I'm sure it's cheaper in CA. Try it - you won't be wasting your money.
  2. Due to a post on the Tiki Central Forums I decided to go through my orange liqueurs to taste-test, note, and compare. Come to find out I had 10 orange liqueurs lying about, and it took me two nights to go through them all and write this. Orange Liqueur Throwdown The Orange-Cognac/Brandy Liqueurs Grand Marnier - $43, 80 proof The original liqueuer created in 1880 by Louis-Alexander Marnier Lapostolle. A delicate blend of fine cognacs and distilled essence of tropical oranges with the addition of "the Marnier Lapostolle secret." Slow ageing in French oak casks gives it incomparable roundeness and subtlety. Mild scent of bitter oranges with cognac. Pleasant smell. Very nice orange taste, very natural, with a mild cognac behind it. Perfect mouthfeel, just a little thick but not cloying, but thick enough to remain in the mouth for some time. A slow finish with a very mild burn, but lightly lingers in the mouth for some time. A high quality liqueur that is extremely sippable. Wonderful. In a cocktail I would think it a bit mild when looking for orange flavor, but it's high quality and cognac flavor would greatly benefit the right cocktails. Marie Brizard Orangero - $20, 76 Proof Cognac based orange liqueur. Andalusia is one the prestigious parts of Spain where they traditionally grow the sweetest and juiciest oranges. If you distill the blend of sweet and bitter fruit, the result will be nothing else but Orangero. (I think this is the same product under a new name, Grand Orange.) The only clear one of these cognac/brandy liqueurs. Very nice natural orange smell, not too strong, with hints of bitterness. Pleasing taste, again not overly powerful. Slightly sweet, but a nice balance tending towards bitterness, with a little bit of heat. Slightly thick mouthfeel, a touch of burn, and a fast finish. This is very well done, and a pleasure to sip, but doesn't have much place in a cocktail due to it's weak taste. GranGala - $26, 80 Proof Imported from the House of Stock in Trieste, Italy since 1884, GranGala draws its proud heritage from the Italian beauty, culture and tradition of an earlier century. Its orange flavor is always exceptionally smooth and pleasing to the palate. Remarkably versatile, Imported GranGala is delicious in Margaritas, Cosmopolitans, straight, on-the-rocks or in shooters. It is also great when mixed with vodka, gin, vermouth, flavored brandies, fruit juices and even other liqueurs. GranGala's sophisticated orange flavor can enhance the flavor of foods ranging from appetizers to entrees and desserts and is used by five-star European chefs to delight gourmets. One with color, it's a mild orange color, like a yellow-orange mixed with a light brandy (which it is). Smell is a odd thing, with some orange but something else, almost nutty. Taste of orange but not too much, more of the fruity brandy coming through. Pleasant enough, but not awe-inspiring. A larger sip brings more orange to the roof of the mouth, and finishes a little longer with a very very mild burn. The orange definitely comes through after letting it linger, something that doesn't really happen with a smaller sip. A fine, quality liqueur, very good for sipping if it catches your fancy, but it has some oddness - in the brandy I'd say - that would appeal to some and definitely not appeal to others. I also think that this would be a bit odd in most cocktails. The Triple Sec Liqueurs Cointreau - $40, 80 Proof One of the world's most renowned brands, Cointreau is a unique premiu spirit made from orange peels, which has been enojoyed around the world for more than 150 years. Cointreau's subtle complexity can be appreciated simply over ice, with freshly squeezed lime juice mixed with sparkiling water in a refreshing Cointreua Bubbles, or, shaken for an indulgent and sophisticated cocktail such as the Cointreau Cosmipolitan or the original Margarita. Strong smell of natural oranges, like twisting a fresh orange peel - pith and rind - under your nose. The bitterness come through quite a bit, but it's not unpleasant at all, just strong. Strong orange taste, quite sweet, smooth at first with a taste that fills the mouth with orange. A bit thick, but a pleasant mouthfeel to it. Very long finish that burns quite a bit, and for a long time. For sipping, this is quite overpowering assault of flavor and a burn that is not exactly condusive to sipping. It has a powerful taste for a cocktail, and would need to balanced to suit it's strong orange flavor. Marie Brizard Triple Sec - $20, 78 Proof The best bitter oranges are harvested from Haiti. The orange skins are dried under the hot Caribbean sun to concentrate all their exotic flavors. While distilling them, Marie Brizard preserves their flavor and the acute aromas that are typical of this fruit. Quite mild smell of oranges, much milder than Cointreau. The taste is of a sweeter, milder orange-like flavor. This is not the taste of orange peels, but rather a very strong orange slice. Almost as thick of a mouthfeel as Cointreau, but a bit smoother and more pleasant. Finish is much much shorter than Cointreau, and much milder - almost no burn at all. This is a pleasant sipping liqueur, though it might not have enough flavor for some. It does not seem like a liqueur that would be very noticable in a cocktail. Patron Citronge - $24, 80 Proof Patrón Citrónge is a premium reserve, extra fine orange liqueur. It is the only pure, natural orange liqueur that is distilled in Mexico and exported to the United States. No artificial flavors or chemical enhancers are ever added. Citrónge is excellent straight or in a premium cocktail. It also adds a unique flavor to gourmet cooking recipes. Citrónge and Patrón tequila make the finest, most authentic, smooth and delicious Margaritas. Smell is stronger than MB and milder than Cointreau, with a mild sense of artificial ingredients. Initial taste is strong on the front of the tongue, with a noticable amount of alcohol taste in the back of the nose. Mouthfeel is extremely pleasant - smooth and fine. Perfect in fact. The mid-taste bursts and fills the mouth and sides of the tongue with a very pleasant flavor which subsides into the finish. However, a sneaky little burn follows down the throat - not unpleasant, just noticable. The mid-taste is by far it's best point, and this extra burst of taste would warrant a cocktail that could handle it. Allen's Triple Sec - $7, 30 Proof No useful information found about this liqueur. The bottle says "Allen's Liqueurs are made using the finest quality ingredients, resulting in an exceptional product to be savored. Smell is of a medium orange, somewhat artificial and smells a bit like a candy ingredient. It's an enticing smell and makes you want more. Taste is nothing special to speak of - barely orange, with a good deal of sweetness but surprisingly not over-powerful. The finish starts with a hint of bitterness and is over suddenly, with no burn. I really can't see this doing much in a cocktail. There's just not enough smell or taste or alcohol for this to be very worthwhile. The Curacao Liqueurs Senior Curacao Of Curacao - $26, 62 Proof We named it "Curacao of Curacao" to differentiate it from other brands of Curacao liqueur that are not original. We are the only original since we have the only Curacao liqueur processed with the dried peels of the "Laraha" (bitter orange native of Curacao). Smell is a not-too-strong one of mildly bitter oranges, with tints of sweetness. Sweet taste, good orange strength, less bitter than the smell but very mildly artificial-tasting. Perfect mouthfeel, with a subtle bit clinging to the mouth to extend the taste. Very smooth, medium finish, only a tiny hint of burn. Very conducive to sipping. This seems like a good balance of orange flavor and sweetness for many cocktails. DeKuyper Curacao - $11, 54 Proof No useful information found about this liqueur. The bottle says "Our curacao is produced in the Old World DeKuyper tradition. The result is a smooth, naturally delicious product." It also says "Natural Orange Flavor." Decently strong orange smell, with a bit of artificial sweetness, though not unattractively so. Stronger orange taste than the smell, with even more artificalness in it's sweetness. Thick mouthfeel but not overly so, and not clinging. Very smooth, medium finish and no burn at all. For less than half the price of the Senior Curacao this should be considered, though the Senior is definitely in another class the DeKuyper is far more than half the quality. This should be very good in most cocktails calling for Curacao. Leroux Curacao - $9, 30 Proof No useful information found about this liqueur. The bottle says "Natural Fruit Flavor." Strong orange smell with some bitter detected, though somewhat artificial. Less orange taste, more sweetness, and quickly finished with no burn at all. Relatively unremarkable, though this has enough orange taste to be considered for the inexpensive, sweet cocktails. Summary The first thing that keeps coming to mind is the burn at the finish of the Cointreau. No other liqueur in this review came anywhere close. This shouldn't be of too much concern in most cocktails though. It was by far the strongest orange taste, and by a lesser margin the most natural tasting. The Patron Citronge surprised me with it's quality and mid-burst of extra taste. I look forward to using this in cocktails that need a bit more complexity, and the Mai Tai would be one of my first choices. The similarities - and price difference - between the Senior and DeKuyper made me go back for a showdown between the two. The Senior definitely wins in this showdown, with more orange flavor and much more natural. The DeKuyper should not be overlooked though, especially since it's less than half the price. The high quality of the Grand Marnier makes it a staple, but it's cognac base and somewhat mild orange flavor means it needs the correct cocktail, and should not be used in any old cocktail that calls for orange flavor. By the time the orange was strong enough the cognac might be too strong. Alone, or in the right cocktail, it's outstanding. Best Orange Flavor Cointreau Best Overall Quality Grand Marnier Best Bargain DeKuyper
  3. Scott, I love your taste in Rum, Great to meet another True Rum n Coke Drinker. Here's your Membership # 013-09-01-06 Thanks Derf. Glad to be a member. I have to amend my choice of rum, though, since I got tired of the blandness of the Cruzan Single. It's a damned fine rum, but a little weak in taste. I recently bought a bottle of Angostura 1824 and sipping it straight was not to my liking. I'm not a fan of the woodiness and oaks present in this rum. I was fairly bummed, since it was a $55 bottle of rum, so I tried it with ginger ale and lime. It still didn't work for me. I wasn't about to dump it down the drain though, so I made a Rum & Coke with a squeeze of lime. Pure heaven. What a delightful mix. Now I've got to try this stuff in a Mai Tai.
  4. I've tried several of the Plantation rums, and they are a bit hit-or-miss in my opinion. Some I've really enjoyed, and some have been just good. I've never poured any down the drain. But I can never remember which ones I've liked or not. They're certainly always "good enough" though perhaps *slightly* overpriced, and they make for an interesting collection. I think they're always worth trying if you like to try many rums, but some industrious searching here will prove a better way to spend your money. Unless you like to stock 40 half-full bottles of rum in your basement. :-)
  5. Scott S


    Kappy's in Peabody, on 114 near the malls, has the Apry. I was just there Saturday night and saw it.
  6. That's about what I was thinking. I'm not a huge cognac drinker, but it does happen occasionally and the Ferrand was one of those occasions. But it will certainly collect some dust, so some might be more useful in a proper drink. And a Sidecar or Sazerac were the ones I was thinking about - not a Hurricane or something like that. :-)
  7. Thanks for the replies on my question folks. That gives me a much better idea of what to get. PS: I have a bottle (well half a bottle :-) ) of Pierre Ferrand Reserve, Grande Champagne- something that is pretty darn tasty straight up. Is this something "good enough for a Sidecar?" Or too good for some other generic drinks? Granted, using it isn't wasting it - I'm more worried about trying a Sidecar for the first time and thinking it's horrible because I used the wrong liquor. Even worse would be that such a mistake might cause me to never order or make a good Sidecar for the rest of my life.
  8. I'm just starting out with cocktails and I've been flipping through The Joy Of Mixology marking off drinks I'd like to try. Many of my choices call for brandy, but I have no knowledge of brandies in any way. Could someone suggest a specific brand or two that are suitable for all those drinks that simply call for brandy? I don't mind paying for quality, especially if it's available in a 375ml.
  9. It's been a long time, but I remember liking Rum & Coke with Appleton quite a bit. Nowadays though, I generally do the Cruzan Single Barrel Estate with coke, since that's a fine rum but I just don't find it flavorful enough to stand on it's own. I'm always looking for a bit more. The Ron Matusalem (12- or 15-year, I forget) was very good, too, but that may have been because my other choice that night was Ron Zacapa 23 which I chose to drink straight, so I tried the Ron M with the coke. I will have to try the Pyrat, just to try it, but the Cruzan works so well that I'm not sure if I'll change. (For a while at least.)
  10. It's been on my long list but it's certainly on my short list now. I've never run across this locally though, so I may have to get my shop to order it or go online. The Pistol was great, but most likely too sweet to drink often. In any case, variety is a good thing, so I'll try the Santa Teresa. Thanks Ed!
  11. It's been a while since I've visited The Ministry of Rum, but recent events have brought rum back to the forefront of my brain it seems.... I don't drink at all in the winter, but spring is here and I met up with an old friend recently. After some talking I joined his weekly poker night with a bunch of regulars. Come to find out they enjoy single malt whiskies, which I don't enjoy so I brought some rum to the next game. I started off with a bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel Estate. Evil as it may sound, I knew these guys weren't rum drinkers and might mix it with Coke. It might seem a crime but I knew that it would mix well for the lighter folks. Well some mixed, but others tried it straight and it was definitely enjoyed by all. For the next game I brought some Ron Zacapa Centenario and Pyrat XO. I only had a couple fingers of the Zacapa and 1/3 of the XO, but figured that it was enough to allow several tastes. I also warned that these rums should really be enjoyed straight, and produced a bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse for the ones who wished to mix. The Cruzan was finished that night, as were the small amounts of Zacapa and Pyrat. No Coke was mixed this night, and the Mount Gay was never even cracked. I figured that these people were learning - and who wouldn't with the above selection? The next week I totally forgot to check my bar, and rushed towards the game. I remembered in time, so I stopped at a good liquor store on the way and found a great selection. (Yes, I'll be back.) I hemmed and I hawed, trying to remember which rums were on my list to try. They had several rums known to me but I wanted to try something different. I settled on a bottle of Pyrat Pistol. It would be an understatement to say that it was well received. The Pistol bottle is small and didn't make it through the second game of cards. So the Mount Gay was cracked and quickly poured with Coke. Though it can't be compared to the Pyrat it was still enjoyed by the rum drinkers. Yes, I officially labeled them Rum Drinkers at this time. One of them said that he "was definitely going to start drinking rum from now on." I wrote down my 5 favorites rums for him, and then wrote the list again for another guy. The following week proved very lucky since I went hunting under my bar and came up with a bottle of Pampero Anniversario that was about half full, and another bottle of the Cruzan Single Barrel which had barely been touched. The rum had good effects for me that night, as I won enough at poker to pay for all that rum and more. I converted another one of the guys. And I noticed that my friend's bar still had 6 bottles of single malt, but only a single bottle of rum was left standing. A good sign, I'd say. Tomorrow night I'm bringing a bottle of Montecristo 12-year-old. I have high hopes for this one, as it's been on my short list for some time. I was truly surprised to find it in a local liquor store. Though I have not done poorly at these poker games, who can really lose with rums like this? And so far I've got 3 converts to The Dark (rum) Side. Wish me luck for more converts. So, on to the next part. I spent about 3 months researching rum a couple years ago, and then spent the last 2 summers "studying." :-) In all I tried about 30 or 35 rums, with most of them being on someone's Top Ten list. My favorite 5 (in order) right now are: Pyrat Pistol Ron Zacapa Centenario Pampero Anniversario Pyrat XO Diamond Single Barrel Estate The Ron Zacapa Centenario has been my favorite until I tried the Pistol. I have to admit that the Pistol might be at the top of the list because it was a very recent tasting. I love it's smoothness, but it is pretty darn sweet - though I like sweet rums this was over the top. It might not be drinkable for long. I also like more flavorful rums - I love the Pyrat XO for the number of different tastes in a single sip, but it can't compare to the Pistol or Zacapa for smoothness. I do have to admit a preference for smoothness, and the Pistol and Zacapa are quite smooth indeed. Which rum do you think is the smoothest?
  12. Yes, your page was one of the ones I came across in my hunt, though I kinda dismissed it since it is so very similar to Trader Vic's recipe. Given this, and your mention of the TV mix, makes me wonder if what I remember is anything like a real Mai Tai. This seems odd, since most the Mai Tais I've had at Chinese restaraunts I've tried are at least similar to what I remember. So I must be doing something wrong I guess, or East Coast Mai Tais are nothing like the real thing. A Mai Tai should not be an overly sweet drink, there should be a very good balance between the sweet and the sour, and the almond flavoring should sit nicely in the background. This is a pretty good description of what I remember though. We both use Myer's Dark, but I've used Appleton and Mount Gay for the gold. I don't think that either are too far off from Bacardi Gold to make the difference. And I did drop the simple syrup when I found it too sweet. One thing I could mention is that I think mine wasn't sour enough, yet I wouldn't go any heavier of the lime (which seemed right). Maybe a dash of sour mix or a touch of lemon? I have one last bottle of TV mix, but I'll be hitting the store for more rum. Another night of mixing and tasting lies ahead. I can't wait until I get this right. Of course, I'm not looking forward to the next morning. :-)
  13. A recent thread gave me a hankering for a Mai Tai, a drink I used to love when I was younger. So I went out and researched, and found that Mai Tai Recipes are like opinions - everyone has one. I did, of course, try Trader Vic's and didn't like it - at least the way I made it. I tried Mai Tais at a few local Chinese Restaraunts to attempt to remember the flavor I was seeking. Two were OK, one wasn't good and the last one sucked. And this didn't help, as I am apparently inept at discerning the tastes. The ingredients I've been using for Trader Vic's recipe are: Appleton Estate V/X Myer's Dark Fee's Brothers Orgeat Leroux Orange Curacao Fresh Lime Simple Syrup made from Sugar-in-the-Raw Are these OK? Any better suggestions to improve the taste? I found the above too light, and too sweet. But I don't even have any idea what a real Trader Vic's Mai Tai is supposed to taste like. The closest I came was using his pre-mix stuff, which was fairly horrible - too sweet, extremely artificial tasting, etc. I like the ones I got at a Chinese restaurant when I was younger. Dark, not very sweet, a little bitter. Does anyone have a recipe for a "Chinese Restaurant Mai Tai?"
  14. A friend is making a trip to Puerto Rico and has offered to bring me back a bottle or two of rum. Any ideas on what to get - something that isn't so easily available here in the US? I'm not looking to save a buck, but rather looking to try something great that isn't available around here. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  15. Ron Zacapa Centenario for $23??? Where are you getting this price? I just paid $40 and $41 for two bottles at 2 different places.
  16. I had a bad experience with a Barbancourt - I think it was the five-star but I'm not positive. It left an aftertaste akin to paint thinner, and tasting on 2 different nights didn't change this. Most of the bottle was used to start campfires. HOWEVER, so many people are saying to try this that it is on the end of my short list. I just hope to find it in a bar so that I don't have to buy the whole bottle. In the end I hope I just got a "skunked" bottle of rum last time. I've got a Cruzan Single Barrel Estate on order, but the Diamond Estate is on my short list as well. I'm looking forward to both.
  17. My older cousin was a very frequent guest of a particular Chinese restaraunt, and just about had free run of the place. I was drinking Tiki Bowls there at age 14, and just about anything with an umbrella shortly after. By the time I was 16 I had a Mai Tai at my table before I sat down. When I finally hit legal drinking age my brother and I would usually drink 8 Mai Tais in a single sitting. Somehow I managed to escape the draw of serious drinking.
  18. The Appleton 12-year is an old favorite that I drank for years. I haven't had it for a while, so it's on the end of the short list, as is the 21-year. I'm fearful that the El Dorado & Mount Gay will be too strong a taste for me. I try to stay away from the ones that carry over too much of the bourbon/whiskey/etc from the cask. (The Pampero Anniversario didn't make my "keeper" list for this reason.) They are on my short list to try, if I can find them at a bar somewhere, or at a rum tasting, but I'm afraid that a full bottle would be a waste. I've been running into mentions of the Santa Theresa and the HC during my research - I'll have to check them in greater detail. The Saint James is new to me, so I'll have to research that in full. As to the expense of the Zacapa, I don't mind since I drink so infrequently. I'm actually quite pleased that all these great rums are so inexpensive! Thanks for the suggestions!
  19. I'm not sure... It was quite dark, but not to the extent of a dark rum. Not too sweet, and a touch of bitterness. I know the bartenders filled a glass with crushed ice, used a splash of pre-mix #1, a splash of pre-mix #2, white rum, dark-gold rum, then shook everything and returned it to the glass. The "pre-mix #1 & #2" is an assumption on my part - they used the white plastic bar "bottles" for these, but they could contain anything. From my experiments I've a strong feeling that the rum used was quite important, and I believe it may have been Ron Rico White, not sure of the Gold. Please note that it's been about 15 years since I've had one from this restaurant.
  20. Oh, well. I was really looking forward to a good Mai Tai. I thought about it after I posted, and I'm not even sure that I want "a good Mai Tai" so much as I want a Mai Tai like they made at a particular Chinese restaurant I frequented many years ago. I have no idea how authentic they were, but it's what I grew up on, and thus they were good. I've tried at least 8 or 10 recipes, order some Trader Vic's Mix (blech) and missed Trader Vic's TWICE when traveling to Atlanta. All I want is a Mai Tai like I had when I was a kid.
  21. We sampled the Pampero Anniversario and the Ron Zacapa Centenario this weekend, along with a Kaniche Guadeloupe. We also hit the Pyrat for some comparisons. Please note that I'm still a newbie at this rum stuff - not very diverse (yet). I don't have highly-refined taste buds. I'm opinionated - I like smooth rums, multiple tastes which aren't too subtle, and I generally don't like being overpowered by the previous occupant of the barrel. That said.... The Kaniche was good, a very nice taste but a bit harsh for a sipping rum, IMHO. I thought this was a very nice, quality rum with a very nice full flavor - a rum that tasted like rum. Even though I don't like to do this, I found it excellent in Rum & Coke. But for $27 I'd get something else to mix. The Pampero was very very nice, smooth and rich. But too dark/bourbony tasting (or something) for me. I'll enjoy this bottle over time, but it's probably not something I'd get again. This cost me $30, and it is much, much better quality than the Kaniche. The Ron Zacapa was simply superb. Smooth, a little sweet, a few subtle flavors and a very nice, long finish. Did I mention smooth? This was certainly a winner. I'll be quite unhappy if I don't have a bottle of this on my shelf. Well worth the $40 spent. The Pyrat XO was great as usual. I love the not-quite-subtle blend of flavors and aromas and the way it tastes in different areas of the mouth. A great sipping rum. I generally pay around $48 for this, and I'm quite happy to do so. I have a hard time picking between the Ron Zacapa and the Pyrat. I loved the smoothness of the RZ, but I also love the stronger various tastes of the Pyrat. There may be times when the complexities of the Pyrat are too much, but times they're desired. On another night I may just want a simpler smoother rum, then it will be a night for RZ. But for the weekend, I could not choose between the two. I have a couple more rums on order - Cruzan Single Barrel Estate and Montecristo 12-year-old - for this coming weekend. I'm certainly looking forward to them both. I'm still trying to figure out what comes after them.
  22. Babyluck which restaraunt is this? I haven't had a good Mai Tai in years, and I'm not that far from Wellesley.
  23. In my quest to because a rum afficionado (still in the wannabe stage) I've come across several rums which are good, but not good enough for straight sipping. (IMHO) I'm not willing to waste or ignore these rums, so I'm looking for some simple drink recipes. Simple in the sense that I don't wish to cover up or overpower the rum, but wish to smooth it and make it "more drinkable." I'm not a rum & coke fan, and the rest of the rum drinks I know are things like Mai-Tai and Scorpions and such. What do you drink when you wish to taste the rum, or aren't in the mood for drinking it straight?
  24. First reason for me is cooling. Second is variety. More and different tastes. If you're here on this board, I assume you drink things other than water...
  25. Depends on mood with me. There are times I want my drink **smooth** when neat or with a touch of ice. Sapphire is good for this, Beefeater is not so good. Then there are times a want a Gin & Tonic - Sapphire is not so good, Beefeater is much better. There are times I just want to get punched out - hell, then I just go to vodka. I'm actually a Rum drinker, and I prefer the smooth, complex ones with many other tastes that ripple through the nose and tongue and mouth and finish. IMHO Gin doesn't really lend itself to this type of taste experience like a Whisky or Rum or Cognac does.
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