BREWER: Purple Moose Brewery, Gwynedd, Wales

STYLE: Premium Bitter

ABV: 4.3%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle

TWITTER: @PurpleMooseBrew

INSTAGRAM: purplemoosebrewery

DATE OF POST: 26th March 2023 



I think that I can be forgiven for at first thinking this brew was from New Zealand. See, the name, Whakahari, seems a bit New Zealandish to me? Maybe because it reminds me of the name of the stunning NZ hop that is Wakatu? Or maybe it’s because I’m a bit off on ass.

It then became obvious that this must be a beer from Canada. Purple Moose Brewery and abstract moose head logo made this pretty obvious. But no! Turns out I am an ass. As on further exploration of the bottle info it finally became apparent that this beer is brewed in Porthmadog, North Wales.

None of this has any bearing on my thoughts towards packaging nor the brew itself, just thought I’d mention it, ya know.

Anyway, let’s start off with the packaging shall we. I really like the moose head logo and purple is my favourite colour. So you would think I would like if not love the appearance of this bottle. But I do not, from the front anyway. However once the vessel is turned 180degs with one hand (like the beer testing pro that I am) the info and lay out of said info, is nothing short of exceptional and there in abundance. And the main point I took away from it was that Whakahari is brewed using the water from the hills of Snowdonia. Now this HAS to be a good thing doesn’t it?? I also possibly learned that Whakahari is Welsh for Cheers, though I need to research before comment so will come back to that.

This is a good solid brew I have to say, in fact it’s better than solid. Soft and bright in the sip (thank you Snowdonian water) with lovely hints of toffee and orange. There’s a good and balanced flavour here with a strong body. You honestly would not go far wrong with one a these in a pub at the base of Mount Snowdon after a vigorous climb.

Which I am doing in a month to be fair! In memory of my Mum (who we lost a year ago) and to raise money for the hospice that cared for her in her final weeks.

You can sponsor me below if you like


I promise you I had not planned this! I really hadn’t, was just the Snowdonia water thing that triggered me into action!

And turns out Whakahari is not Welsh for Cheers but Maori for make merry!  What the hell is going on!!!!?

At least I’m not an ass… well.

Jymi’s Rating: 80%



There are many things that I like about Whakahari. For starters, the beers itself is good. There’s a good dose of citrus upfront. Then there’s a rounded bitter finish which increases as you go down the glass. Not the most full-bodied brew I’ve ever chugged but it has a decent presence in the mouth. 

To begin with, I wasn’t sure why a Welsh brew was called Whakahari. And it took me a while, but I like the concept. It’s quite obvious, really, it’s brewed with NZ hops.  This theme carries all the way through the beer, including the design. 

When I studied the bottle, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked the packaging. I imagined the label as can art and it began to tick many boxes for me. As an aside, the QR code with the moose highlighted needs a special mention. 

All round Whakahari is a good concept that’s well delivered. 

Sammy’s Rating: 82%



MOB review next weekend: VELOCITY by SALTAIRE

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

Instagram: muse.on.booze



BREWER: Dorking Brewery, Surrey, England


ABV: 4.4%

VESSEL: 44oml tin

TWITTER: @Dorking_Brewery

INSTAGRAM: dorkingbrewery

DATE OF POST: 19th March 2023



Unsurprisingly, this beer is made using galaxy hops. Solid name when you think about it. And you don’t have to think too hard to get it. I think that deserves a little nod. So, although you can’t see it, I am giving a little nod to the name Trip to Galaxy. 

Trip to Galaxy is a collaboration between Dorking Brewery (obvs) and Calibro 22 Brewery haling from Dorking’s twin Italian town, Sinalunga. I do love these collabs, but there’s got to be extra kudos doing it with one of your twin town brewers. This aspect most certainly gets another nod from this tester. 

Nods over. Onto the testing. 

Zesty and clean on the palate, TTG is quite the revelation. I have to confess, before drinking I wasn’t expecting anything quite as refreshing as it is. The fruity flavour is short lived and finishes with a sharp after taste. As you move down your beverage, the sharpness becomes a well-rounded, soft bitterness. All in all, this makes for a banging drinking experience. 

It might not be the most complex of beers, but TTG definitely has some character about it. Imagine yourself on a beach in summer or chatting while the bangers burn on a bbq – these sort of scenarios are where this brew would come into its own. 

I like it. I like it a lot. 

Great collab. Even better beer. 

Sammy’s Rating: 80%



Let’s just start with… this is a banging beer!

But before the fanfare I need to get a neg off me chest… yawn yawn.

Trip to Galaxy as a name suggests in fairly huge hop spades that this would be a single hop brew. I mean, thankfully Galaxy is used but we also have Citra and Columbus hops joining the party. This really is not a bad thing AT ALL but with a name like TRIP TO GALAXY there was a fairly large head scratch going on.

Anyway, whatever, to the beer itself.

In both packaging and brew this beer is clean, tight and awesome.

I love the simplicity of the tin, but it’s kinda bringin the noize too in an understated way! #oxymoron.

Jymi’s notes on the brew:

Full of flavour and only 4.4%

Very refreshing, crisp with a great mouthfeel.

Light and zesty in the sip with an great build to bitterness in swallow and aftertaste.

Galaxy does take centre stage to be fair, Passion Fruit balanced with grassy notes.

In conclusion, go find, buy and enjoy!

Jymi’s Rating: 86%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Fiftytwo North (Woodforde’s Brewery), Norfolk, England

STYLE: Pale Ale 

ABV: 4.3%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @WoodfordesBeer

INSTAGRAM: woodfordesbeer

DATE OF POST: 12th March 2023



FiftyTwoNorth have something to prove to Jymi after their last outing for Muse on Booze in July ‘22. I seem to remember it being of one of the biggest differences in score that Sammy and I have had. I also seem to remember that Sammy thought the brew was ok but not off the charts. But I thought the beer, Voltage, was shocking. So as I say, something to prove…

But I’m sorry to say they have not turned the ship around, far from it. I think they have just set the coordinates for the nearest iceberg instead. Norada is a shocking beer, it’s as simple as that. There are no twists or turns nor tones or tickles, it just taste like beer, and a bad beer at that. A beer tasting like beer is not necessarily a bad thing though, as long as that beer tastes good.

But as stated somewhere upwards of 52 times now, Norada does not taste good and FiftyTwoNorth have their work cut out to turn this around for Jymi.

Jymi’s Rating: 22%



Norada is a decent drop. Not a world beater by any means. But decent. 

The aspect I like most about this brew, is the lemon theme that runs through it. Right from the outset, through the first sip to the last, there’s a nice subtle hint of lemon. This golden thread, which is evident throughout, makes Norada very refreshing. 

Ok, it’s not complex. It isn’t clever. But it is refreshing. And this makes it drinkable. 

So, how could this be improved? 

Well, for me, Norada could do with a little more body in the mouth. It’s a little light. Some might say it’s a little thin, when drinking. More body would make the lemon flavours pound on your tastebuds, rather than tickle them as it does currently. 

That said, more body would change the set up completely and that might damage what’s already good about this beer. 

All in all, good job.

Sammy’s Rating: 72%



MOB review next weekend: TRIP TO GALAXY by DORKING BREWERY

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Felinfoel Brewery, Carmarthenshire, Wales

STYLE: Red Ale 

ABV: 4.2%

VESSEL: 44oml tin

TWITTER: @FelinfoelAles

INSTAGRAM: felinfoelbrewery

DATE OF POST: 5th March 2023



Double Dragon is a fantastic name for a beer. Though I had to go a long way to come back. See, the word double in beer terms nowadays suggests something strong, something dank, something big. So when I first got my mitts on this brew I was fully expecting to turn the tin around and be informed that this is an 8%+ bruiser of a beer from South West Wales. You can imagine my shock when I found out it was only coming in at 4.2%. Bit of a daft name for a beer then, I thought to myself. However I than began to explore the MANY words on this can.




And according to the Muse on Booze man on the ground in Wales, Michael P Anther, this brew has been knocking around for quite some time and almost certainly predates anything like a Double IPA that we find in our hipster bottle shops nowadays.

So, though misleading to the drinker initially, Double Dragon is a fantastic name for a beer!

Can’t say I’m much looking forward to it though as the can art is SHIT therefore making this brew unappealing before it’s even cracked.

But do not judge a book by it’s cover Jymi boi… let’s get DD poured…

Ok, sorry, I have to cut to the chase here. This is a terrible beer. It taste’s like flipping blackcurrant squash for crying out loud!! And not a very strong one at that. Now, listen, I don’t mind a blackcurrant squash (though I probably haven’t had one for over 20 years) but do I want it to have a hint of beer in it… no. And do I want my beer tasting like blackcurrant squash… no. And that is that.


Jymi’s Rating: 17%



So, Double Dragon. It’s a beer. Good start.

Everything from this point on is downhill. 

For starters, the can looks like something more akin to something you might see from the orient as opposed to Wales. This is backed up by the name. To be fair, I get why the name is Double Dragon, but it all smacks of China rather than Wales. 

Anyway, let us not dwell too much on this. Let us move on.

And it’s not about to get better. 

The number of statements on the can is ludicrous. 

Best beer and brewer twice! When? And from whom?

National ale of Wales. Big claim. Others might have a little something to say about that. 

And then let me sum up Double Dragon as a consumption experience: Wet sock smell. Stale beer. Not the most pleasant.  In fact, it’s the opposite of pleasant. 

If you haven’t guessed, I don’t like this beer. Not one bit. 

Steer well clear, my friends. 

Sammy’s Rating: 19%



MOB review next weekend: NORADA by FIFTYTWO NORTH

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Brewboard, Cambridgeshire, England


ABV: 4.6%

VESSEL: 330ml tin

TWITTER: @BrewBoard

INSTAGRAM: brewboarduk

DATE OF POST: 27th February 2023



Cardinal Dred, I assumed was named after maybe a Marvel character or an infamous criminal from years gone by… I didn’t know though so had to take to the Google to find out. It would seem that there is no Cardinal Dred to be found other than our beer we have here. Which for me makes it a very strange name for a brew indeed. Cardinal Red, yes. But Cardianal Dred? I mean I could be missing something fairly major here but I just do not get it. Something else I don’t get is the tin art. A Dr. Moreau-esque birdman/manbird with a long bow? Again, I could be missing the point here but I really don’t get it and have to say wasn’t particularly looking forward to testing the beer because of it. Silly I know, but Jymi can’t help the way he feels.

Can popped n’ poured, instantly I was put at ease as the aroma coming from this Red IPA is wonderful. Sweet, malty with hints of dark fruit, the nose just makes you want to get involved with this beer. And after the first sip I began to get pretty excited as it was delightful I have to say and backing up everything going on in the aroma. However as I progressed through the drink everything just began to fade and have way less impact. At no point did the beer begin to be bad but it did drop off at an alarming rate.

There is clearly something very good knocking around in the character of Cardinal Dred but it just hasn’t been clung onto by our brewer here. Maybe just maybe if it was 5.6% and not 4.6% the problem would be solved. But at the end of the day, what do I flippin’ know eh.

Jymi’s Rating: 62%



From the outset, Cardinal Dred rubbed me up the wrong way.  Just a little bit.

And no, I am not talking about the packaging, which as with all Brewboard offerings is a little off piste.  

It’s the fizz.  It’s off the scale. Ok, you might say I poured CD in a bit of haste.  But, don’t I do that with all of my beers?  And for the record, the vast majority do not leave me with mostly head and just a little beer.

Perhaps, I just need to move on from this.  So I will.  Only for the sake of getting to the important bits…

…which I have to say are a little underwhelming.  

CD tastes of beer.  It’s quite nutty, but beer nonetheless.  And that’s what we might hope.  However, that’s about all I can say about it.  And when I say it tastes of beer, imagine stereotypical views of beer, you know, the sort your grandad might drink on a Sunday afternoon, and then you’ll be in the right ball park.  

Yes, I know this has a place.  I like a beer to taste like a beer.  But, when we are promised a red IPA, I do get my expectations raised a little higher than what’s described above.

If I were to sum up CD, it might read something like: Passable. Ok. Nothing special.

Sammy’s Rating: 68%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Left Handed Giant, Bristol, England


ABV: 5%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @LHGBrewingco

INSTAGRAM: lefthandedgiantbrewing

DATE OF POST: 21st February 2023



I feel like I need to give Ancient Lands’ can an honourable mention.  There’s something about the pink hue that gives it an awesome impression.  If you’re a Led Zep fan (as I am), think Houses of the Holy and you’ll be in the right ball park.  The graphic on the can captures the feel and concept of the beer really well.

But the good things about AL doesn’t stop at the can. Oh no, my friends, that’s just the beginning.  

Once set free into the glass, you’re faced with a lush orange liquid.  And it needs to be said, although perhaps a little obvious – this look is very tempting indeed.

AL itself, is a hit of a beer.  It’s sourness holds off until right until the end, when it’s joined by a plethora of botanical notes.  Unlike so many other sours, it actually gets more sour as you go down the glass.  

The mouthfeel is also rather syrupy.  I know this might sound off putting.  But with AL, it’s actually a plus.  It makes for a luxurious feel, which carries the flavours of the beer really well.

As you might have guessed by now, I like this beer.  I like the concept.  I especially like the brew.  You might be asking, why then doesn’t it score slightly higher?

Well, it would if it just had a little more clarity in it’s notes.  While I do like it, the flavour becomes a little bit meshed together and the subtly of what could have been is lost.

Still, do not shy away from AL, it’s definitely one worth giving a go. 

Sammy’s Rating: 83%



With the changing of seasons, particularly Winter into Spring, folk tend to lose their minds when it comes to what clobber to saddle up with…

You’ll catch nut bars like Jymi rocking flipflops, shorts, a hoodie, sunglasses and a Minnesota Vikings bobble hat.

Folk like Ralph, our favourite landlord hitting up the wellies, tracky Bs, T-shirt and scarf look.

And we can’t ignore scary Sammy with his biker boots, salopettes, string vest and motorcycle helmet.

However, I get it, folk are longing for spring. And with thoughts of spring, dreams on supping on a Gin and Tonic of a warmer afternoon begin to enter the wandering mind.

Though it is still February, we are reviewing a Botanical Sour this week!!! A beer produced to celebrate the seasonal Gin that is Ana, by Psychopomp Microdistillery.

And wow, this a good drop!

Ancient Lands pours a fantastic orange with a nose of mango instantly making it’s way to the beer drinkers snout. The mouthfeel is exceptional. Taste wise, it’s sweet, then slightly sour with a flavour for me that was all mango and the soft carbonation really does make this brew sing. As the beer progresses the sourness begins to creep in more and more, as does hints of lime. The aftertaste is sour, really sour, and that is a good thing as brings the beer to a natural conclusion. My only tiny gripe is that it drops away a little too much before the aftertaste jets kick in.

Therefore we have an absolute cracker of a beer, but not necessarily a worldy.


Jymi’s Rating: 84%


MOB review next weekend: CARDINAL DRED by BREWBOARD

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Lyme Regis Brewery, Dorset, England

STYLE: Best Bitter

ABV: 4.5%

VESSEL: 500ml brown bottle 

TWITTER: @LymeRegisBrew 

INSTAGRAM: lymeregisbrewery

DATE OF POST: 13th February 2023



Without naming any names (Great Yarmouth, Bournemouth), some British seasides are a bit shit. I was speaking to someone from eastern Europe the other day and they mentioned that until recently they thought British seaside towns were just a bit shabby… until they visited the west country. The tucked away bays of Devon and Cornwall blew her away.

Now our beer today is brewed out that way. More specifically, Lyme Regis in Dorset (I know Bournemouth is in Dorset as well but the West and East are very different beasts).

Lyme Regis is pretty idyllic. Epic views due to the steep decent down to the coastline as well as a lot of the trading being fairly independent and local.

And so we come to Town Mill Best. Instantly I was in two minds over the packaging. I like the colour. I really like the art. But all coming together as a label for a bottle of beer… I wasn’t so sure.

This brew is very smooth indeed, and tastes great to be fair with flashes of caramel and berries, but is lacking a touch of body and length towards the end. Don’t get me wrong, the ultimate aftertaste is pretty nice but the thinning out on the tongue prior does let TMB down.

In no way will you ever be disappointed by this beer but the chances of you rushing home to wake your sleeping partner to tell them about it are… slim.

Jymi’s Rating: 70%



A best bitter should be, as promised, best. It’s in the name. 

So, it goes without saying, whenever one’s on the menu, I quite look forward to it. 

They should speak of the quality of the brew from a brewery. They’re a representative if you like. They’re a diplomat. They stand for what the brewery is aspiring to. 

We can sum up, then, that a best bitter best be good. 

Town Mill Best, I’m pleased to say, delivers. 

While it has nothing that’s original or gimmicky, it’s just all round good. Or as you might like to say, it’s best (but not quite). 

You see, while it ticks all the boxes, TMB has no USP. That doesn’t bother me. Not in the slightest. 

Why doesn’t it?

Well, it’s a damn good beer. It doesn’t need to have a USP. It just needs to be enjoyed whenever you want to enjoy a beer. 

And, therefore, my friends, TMB is a success. 

Sammy’s Rating: 82%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

Instagram: muse.on.booze




BREWER: AB InBev, Lancashire, England

STYLE: Bitter

ABV: 3.5%

VESSEL: 44oml tin

TWITTER: @BoddingtonsUK

INSTAGRAM: #boddingtonsbeer

DATE OF POST: 5th January 2023



Where do you go with a beer like this?

Back in the day, this was an easy to find beer. It was successful. A go to option for many. To be honest, I have no idea why. 

Boddies is watery. But not in a washed-out way. You see, the flavour is distinctly like dishwater.  And that’s shocking. 

There is no occasion where you’d want to get your hands on one of these. 

The can deserves a mention. And that’s where it ends. 

Avoid at all costs. No beer would be better than this. 

Sammy’s Rating: 14%



Though I was fairly sure this beer wasn’t ever going to shoot the lights out there was a part of me that thought it might actually be OK and pleasant enough to drink.

The reason I was pretty sure no lights were getting shot out is that this is a 3.5% creamflow Bitter and is produced in the absolute bucket load by macro big boys AB InBev.

The reason I thought this might actually be somehow OK was that about 500 years ago when my old man used to pass me one over on Christmas Day, I quite enjoyed it.

Now, I was correct in thinking this wouldn’t be something special. I however was incorrect thinking it may be pleasant enough…

It’s not.

It is a f’ing car crash of a beer. Complete and utter horror show.

How it even got to the score I awarded amazes me but there are some positives I suppose…

The look of the can though not amazing, is pretty iconic and quite cool. The drink itself, though disgusting, is very smooth and if somehow you did enjoy this beer it would be very drinkable because of this.

But in conclusion… it’s utter shit.

Jymi’s Rating: 17%




Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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BREWER: Bullhouse Brew Co., Leinster, Ireland

STYLE: Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @bullhousebrewco

INSTAGRAM: #bullhousebrewco

DATE OF POST: 29th January 2023



Rolling Papers. What a terrible name for a beer. 

Have you ever had the misfortune to drink from a fag ashed can? You know, the one that everyone has used for their ashtray, mostly filled with dog ends and a little bit of backwashed beer. 

I have. 

And it’s terrible. 

And, to be clear Rolling Papers doesn’t taste of that. Not in the slightest. But to call a beer Rolling Papers… I mean, come on! 

If you’re wondering, the beer itself isn’t too bad. It’s perfectly fine. Nothing to write home about. 

But I was lost at the name. Checked out. And the beer ain’t good enough to outshine that.

End of. 

In my opinion, anyway. 

Sammy’s Rating: 54%



There are many way’s of earning points when a beer goes under the hooters of MOB.

Some decent packaging will get a brew a few. A good name will chalk up a few more. If the beer has a decent aroma some more marks will be awarded. And obviously if a beer tastes good then the majority of points will be dished out here.

Now for me Rolling Papers ticks all of the boxes. The concept is a little flawed yes, but from name to tin art to taste… I’m all over this brew.

Simple but very cool can! Awesome name! Bangin nose! Great look in glass as well as mouthfeel! And a really tasty drop!

Our Dublin based brewers have created a very well balanced and easy drinking pale here. Early sweetness replaced by bitterness make Rolling Papers a crushable and very enjoyable beer indeed.

Jymi’s Rating: 88%



MOB review next weekend: BODDINGTONS by AB InBev

Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

Instagram: muse.on.booze



BREWER: By the Horns, Surrey, England

STYLE: Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.8%

VESSEL: 440ml tin

TWITTER: @ByTheHornsBrew

INSTAGRAM: bythehornsbrew

DATE OF POST: 22nd January 2023



Appetite is a cracking beer. It’s an absolute belter. 

We could split hairs and waste time discussing the packaging and the name (which is all linked to Guns N Roses (the band)), but the reality is, it’s the brew that deserves the limelight here. 

We are promised coffee and coconut with Appetite, which is a stout. And we are delivered both of them in abundance, in a top-notch brew of a beer. 

Straight from the aroma, through to the last sip, Appetite delivers. It hits every high note and keeps getting better the more you drink. 

Its complexity is managed well in the brew. Impressive. It is impressive. 

While this is one for a special occasion and definitely not a session brew, the mouthfeel is luxurious and delight to behold. It’s like your mouth is taken on a silky journey (whatever one of them may be). 

Awesome beer. 

Sammy’s Rating: 86%



There is literally only one negative thing to say about this beer and it’s not even about the beer itself AND it’s regarding my unnecessarily critical arty eye AND I even say it’s a non point! Fook, let’s get to it…

Look, there is all the positive to come but I just need to get this off of my chest…

The font used for the name doesn’t sit particularly well with the rest of the frankly ridiculously good tin art. There, that’s it. And the font used is ripped straight from the Guns n’ Roses 1987 debut (YES, F’ING DEBUT) album Appetite For Destruction. Now considering this beer is inspired by this album, it makes the font totally appropriate and my earlier points mute… WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE BABY, WELCOME TO THE FUCKING JUNGLE!

This is a flippin’ fantastic drop people let me tell you!

When you think Imperial Stout you think, full on, I’m gonna need / take time to sip this down. Reason for this is an Impy stout is strong, should be stacked with flavour and full bodied.

Now, Appetite is defo strong, defo STACKED with flavour BUT isn’t full bodied. This is not to say it’s thin, because it is far from that, but it has a viscosity that say’s drink me quicker than my ABV suggests. Which is f’ing dangerous and dare I say even makes this brew kinda sessionable?! (FYI, I tried, it’s not).

Appetite is not just an Imperial Stout, it’s a Coffee & Coconut Imperial Stout! Now, the last time coconut got involved with a beer for a MOB test was way back in 2018 with Coco Cocoa by the normally very reliable Thornbridge. I seem to remember my conclusion was that is tasted like sun lotion, which let’s be honest, is not a positive thing. However By the Horns have managed to deliver a very subtle amount of coconut in the flavour and let me tell you it’s just the ticket! The coffee flavour as well, though certainly prominent, is not at all over powering. All backed up by a chocolate backdrop making Appetite a formidable brew let me tell you.

Go get your hands on some.

Jymi’s Rating: 91%



Sammy & Jymi – Musing on Booze weekly since 2017

Twitter: @museonbooze

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