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NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Ayyy. Thanks for moving the thread ♥️

Currently having a Flor de Las Antillas Robusto on a slightly long lunch break.

I've been mulling over that Arturo Fuente Añejo Sharks I had the other day, and goddamn that was super delicious. I need to have some later format Tatuaje Havana VI smokes and a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero. They're all in that decadent, rich, smooth, sweet chocolate territory. They'll be a good comparison.

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NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



My partner got me a scratch and dent Newair wineador last year because they like the apartment warmer than my cigars do. Absolutely one of the best things I've gotten for cigars:

https://i.imgur.com/SukGnM5.jpg

The San Cristobal Revelation boxes turned out to be ideal storage. They're my partner's favorite and the blend is absolutely in my top 5, so there's plenty more coming in to fill out the storage.

https://i.imgur.com/Ny1ykPz.jpg

Lastly, fan. Attached to a My Father La Gran Oferta box. Still running great and keeping my smokes happier than they've ever been:

https://i.imgur.com/pLGKGnY.jpg

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Oof, not down with that nic-ness.

A friend passed me a Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ white label the other day. Wrapping it up now.

It has a great white chocolate note at the start that turns into white pepper nicotine punch at the last third. I think the shorter Robusto might be the buy for this one, the nicotine is a little too powerful even on a rather full stomach.

Overall, very tasty and flavorful if you're into a big build to spice instead of starting with it. I'll smoke more, but I don't think it's gonna be a regular in the humidor.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Do you have a hygrometer? I got some great ones from AliExpress ages ago and they're giving me the same reading give or take 1 unit compared to the $20 dollar one I've got in there as well:

https://a.aliexpress.com/_d7MpcHo

It has great plastic retention clips and fits a standard imperial Forstner bit (don't remember which off the top of my head, sadly.

I've given out a few emptied cigar boxes with those mounted in as travel humidors (be sure to re-seal with wood glue and wood filler if you can!).

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Oh yeah, maybe. I'm in Chicago, so YMMV, but I'm sitting solid at 66-68% in my humidor and everything has been great. My hydration jars are due for a recharge, but everything has been really good so far.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Oh yeah, Fox Cigar owns bones.

@Kenning, for a quick fix for you friends, it might be worth pulling some out a few hours ahead of time. "Dry boxing" can be really helpful especially for a short term workaround/company.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Glad to help Kenning! That humidor sounds much happier.

Great info on the Leaf series, I'm officially convinced to try them! Very excited to do that.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I'm super psyched for my local spot to update their site, because I'll be posting it all over the place here. They have some great TAA stuff and custom jobs from Hamlet, My Father, Tatuaje, La Aurora, Joya de Nicaragua, and others.

Pricing is great, too, if you're outside Chicago because of our local 28% excise tax

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Hell yeah my dude, all are welcome!

I should pick up some Habanos myself. I've been missing the Por Larrañaga flavor lately.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Hell yeah for spicy smokes! I'm a big big fan.

If I can take a sec to share some experience for folks willing to dive in to Habanos, I hope this can save some time/confusion/headache:

Global demand for Habanos exceeds production capacity. I've heard a bunch of rumors about how this impacts the nitty gritty of manufacturing, but there are a few "for sure" things that should be known:

1) Because of this demand, cigars don't get their traditional "rest" period after being wrapped. Cigars are live cultures, and this rest period is so the fermentation can continue its work. If you have a smoke that tastes like ammonia or has a super effervescent sharpness to it, it's a sign that it needs to rest. The important take-away is that if you get a box, check the code on the bottom. It'll have a date format on there, make sure it's at least 1 year old, preferably 2.

2) This demand impacts QA, if you don't have a PerfecDraw, get one. Some boxes are totally fine, some are geficht, and there's no "real" way to know until you're sucking a golfball through a crazy straw. The PerfecDraw pays for itself super quick, even on non-Habanos! Every time I grab a Habano, I make sure I have the PerfecDraw on me.

Regarding which ones to check out, I've kicked around a bunch of marcas and vitolas on a budget. There is definitely a "Cuban profile" and each marca touches it in different ways. Hay, salty/ocean air, light wood, and a mineral flavor are all parts of the terroire of Habanos. If you're balling on a budget, I have a list for you! And luckily these are in lower demand than the big popular ones so your odds of getting a decent box code are somewhat higher:

1) Por Larranaga Montecarlos: These are long, skinny, and are very much a "core" kind of Habano for me - the blend has a similar profile to H. Upmann, Montecristo, and my best recollection of Romeo y Julieta. On the milder side, creamy, and the mineral & salty flavors are very present. If you don't like lanceros or panetelas, though, skip these.

2) H. Upmann Regalias: Similar to above, these are permanent members of my humidor. If you want an entree to the marca, these are purestrain Upmann, and it'll give you an idea of what everything uplabel is. Like the PL Montes, they are creamy & mineral-y, but I remember them being a little more robust in profile.

3) Jose L. Piedra Cazadores: Don't get the smaller ones. These are mixed filler (long & short filler) and cheaper than a date with me. The filler construction also means that they burn faster than an equivalently sized long filler. With that out of the way, they punch way above their price point. Creamy, smooth, and mild they're kind of a diet Romeo y Julieta. I try to keep a 5x5 of these in my humidor because friends love smoking a Cuban, and you don't have to worry about throwing money away for a fun experience for a friend. I like these especially for not knowing what I feel like smoking because I know it'll be a good time. Use a punch if you can.

4) Ramon Allones Small Club Corona: Petite coronas have a special place in my heart, but these are worth every puff. If you want to see what the spicier side of Cubans is like without shelling out, these are a great way to start. Another member of the marca, Ramon Allones Special Select are the big brother and a ton of folks like having them in the humidor. If you overall like the direction, Partagas & Bolivar are good ones to try experimenting with. Bolivar #2s en tubos are favorites of mine.

Edit 5) Quintero y Hermano: This is a great, mellow, medium body mixed filler cigar. It piques into spicier territory from puff to puff, and construction issues require a PerfecDraw, but goddamn am I enjoying the one I'm smoking this instant. Incredibly cheap, very yummy. Peanut butter, pear, wood, ocean air.

There are oodles of good ones to check out if you're willing to hit the $7+/stick range, but these guys should all be doable at $5/stick or less. There are a ton of samplers, too, that are very much worth checking out! Especially if you can find a coronas sampler, it should be a super good shot.

A quick word on custom rolls: tons of places have these and I generally regard them as fun experiments. There aren't really any good ways to determine if they are actually made in Cuba. If you're super into "Cubans" over a good cigar, just save your energy for something worth being a dork about.

I hope that's helpful! Can't wait to hear everyone's expeditions into Habanos-land.

NewFatMike fucked around with this message at 15:10 on Jul 13, 2020

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I know double posting is in poor taste, but I wanted to separate the cigar I'm smoking from that: Alec Bradley Magic Toast Toro.

It's fine. Toasty, sweet, mellow. Mild/medium and not very complex. It smells a lot better than it smokes, imo. I'm not a huge fan of Alec Bradleys, and the whole time I was smoking it, I wished it had been a Nica Rustica instead - hits the same notes but better in most ways. Surrogates Cracker Crumbs also hit the toasty/sweet profile for me, but with a bit more punch and pepper. If you like those toasty & sweet profiles but want to give your palate a break or just plain old want something a little easier, it's a good buy. Just not really for me.

E: a shameful, shameful snipe.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Glad to help friendos!

Also, if that method of review sounds nice I put together the quickest possible Google Sheets thing for y'all to make your own copies of to build up a review database.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Bon66x57NTFFD6BGgZHToruVdddg0czMTM-EBw3jBco/edit?usp=sharing

I broke it down so that when you sort through the responses in a spreadsheet or whatever you can add filters and things like that (e.g. I want things that are 4+ in strength or whatever).

Just make sure that when you make a copy, you go to "Responses" and designate a spreadsheet destination.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Having a Partagas Mille Fleur. What a crackerjack little smoke. The burn wanders a little, but it's not really anything that needs correcting.

Firmly medium body; coffee, cream, wood, earth, nutmeg, and some allspice.

Under $5/stick. Super fantastic! Burns on the quicker side, so under an hour of smoking in it for sure.

Payday was today, gotta figure out what to restock the humidor with

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Yeah, it takes a special touch to make the girthy smokes very good to me - the Garcias sure make the list.

Having a Hamlet 25th Anniversary in a corona extra or something. My regular home stop, Up Down Cigar, gets loads of exclusive vitolas and blends. I have similar tastes to one of the owners, so it takes a lot of guesswork out.

They just had a Hamlet event, and ran some special. It was a discounted bundle of these, like a half box of freebies and a free ashtray. I thought the ashtray was going to be crappy and plastic but

https://i.imgur.com/cjmA7fp.jpg

Hamlet is an exquisite craftsman, and a competent blender. After all the super heavy spice bombs and a craving for more Cuban flavors, this is really hitting the spot.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Holy moly! That's gotta be great. One of the freebies I got from this promo was a culebra - never had one before, so it'll be fun!

Tatuaje Havana VI No. 5s and San Cristobal Revelation Prophets were on the pickup today as well. Not all for me, thankfully!

Hopefully you'll post a trip report on that flying pig if/when you smoke it

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Yeah, seems like some of the Antillas and Centurions I got need to bed down for a week or two. Cigar maintenance is a funny thing. I think Cigar Page and similar vendors rely so much on fast turnaround and cheaping out on packaging that the smokes aren't all that happy when they arrive.

I'm gonna be ordering those same sticks from Fox Cigar in a month or so to test the hypothesis. Maybe an extra $1/stick is worth the better shipping conditions and samples.

@Kenning, the conical ember was from smoking too fast or too hard, hopefully this will help:

https://tobacconistuniversity.org/faq_smoking_too_hot.php

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



In addition to dry boxing, while smoking I'll frequently take a long, slow exhale out through the cigar then let it rest a minute or two before smoking again.

This can help even out the burn without passing fresh oxygen and fuel to the hottest end parts.

I will also say that Nub hasn't necessarily been my marca of choice for a bad spate of cigars from them, but uhhh there are so many variables that it's hard to pin down hard truths.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Having a Tatuaje Havana VI Verocru. The 4" x 40rg come in 50 cabs and are permanent members of the humidor.

The standard Havana VI blend didn't do much for me, but these guys are great. Devil's Food Cake, red wine, dark chocolate, cereal grains, and salt.

I really ought to pick up a few of the larger vitolas to see how they scale up.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Having an Illusione Rothschild, and I'm very, very happy.

I'm also kinda grumbly because my humidor doesn't love getting a bunch of cigars put in it all at once. Quarantine smoking rate (and concomitant restocking) is really throwing the ecosystem out of whack. Now everything kinda needs to bed down.

Guess our house will just buy stuff once a week and put some aside before restocking to give us a few days' grace. Might want to do the same if you're doing a big restocking trip!

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Yeah, both Perdomo and everything AJ Fernandez I've tried has been firmly "not for me"

I suppose we're... taste buds.

Humidor, thankfully, is leveling out and flavors are getting back to where they're supposed to be. I'm definitely feeling some Padron smokes as my next pickup. Maybe Maduro 2000s.

Had a Tatuaje brown label Noella after breakfast. What a great smoke. Oily, woody. Very classic. Probably what pushed me to Padron territory again.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Whoa! I'll have to look out for that next time I smoke it.

I usually get a lot of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a creamy kind of base to carry it all. I can definitely see that coming across salty.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Oof burned tongue is the worst.

My Father Centurion H-2K-CT still loving rules. Just very into everything this cigar has to offer. Cream, cereal, spice, good anytime body while staying on the strong side.

Relating to my other hobby, I've finally gotten a CNC machine an the makerspace I volunteer at up and running. I made sure I had a good bit to do some fun cigar trays and a local lumber place sells Spanish cedar. Been a great weekend!

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I have been doodling up a modernist inspired individual cigar holder and ashtray 3D printed with high temp resin. I just need work to give me some software access back

I've got a few things I'm noodling around with and believe me, once they're done I'll be posting all up in this thread about it.

Presentation tray is high on the list for simplicity, getting out to the dang place is the hard part!

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Ooh looks like I'll be checking out the 1964s sooner than later.

Regarding humidor regulars, I'm always keeping around:

San Cristobal Revelation Prophets
Tatuaje Havana VI Verocru No. 5s
La Aurora Corojo 1962 Churchill
Illusione Rothschildes
My Father Centurion H-2K-CT
Flor de Las Antillas Robusto

We try to keep around H. Upmann Regalias and Partagas Mille Fleurs, but budgets are limited, etc.

Luckily my partner and I both smoke cigars, so we get to spread cost across the both of us

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Arigatou gozaimasu on those Habanos. I've had a handful, but maybe I'll have a few more Habanos buys in me this year!

Always super happy to provide smokes info, and I love trading info with thread members <3

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Fully agree on PSD4; had a 2016 in the humidor for a few years, smoked it, enjoyed it, and never picked up more. $10+/cigar can get you much further elsewhere.

Got a Hamlet Tabaquero Bala for breakfast this morning:



I don't think the photo does it justice, this is a funky looking smoke. It's tapered, rounded at the foot with a little hole. Smells nice and musty like a good anejo. Really earthy, a little cedar, and just some hints of pepper. Feels a little like a Partagas - couldn't imagine why.

There is a growing sweetness that I am extremely about, so it's departing from the Partagas palate and becoming more its own thing. It's not cloying, but very natural. It has a "classic" kind of base now, about an inch and change in, that reminds me a lot of Padrons and La Auroras and I think what the Last Call by AJ Fernandez aims for. Toasty, earthy, and sweet.

I'm gonna smoke the rest of it instead of review, but if there is interest I do like to write full reviews on smokes. I have a few more of these, so the opportunity is there if there is a desire for it.

Great body/flavor density, but medium strength. It's not here to throw you around (an experience that I generally enjoy from heavy hitters).

I love odd vitolas. From a review perspective, it's a really great way to isolate build quality from blend quality. There's a lot of usual construction things you can find out, but if a weird looking tapered cigar like these or a Salomon both looks and smokes well, taste aside, you know you've got some pro level construction going on.

Not that that's really an issue with Hamlets - I frequently describe them as cigars with cigarette reliability. I generally have thought the blends are competent but not my favorite, and I'm coming around to a bit of a reversal on that. I don't know if it's older blends or just bad luck but the Nudies were fabulous, I really enjoy the 25th Anniversary blend, and this is threatening to be a regular member in my humidor.

Very glad I chose this to start my day - I'm taking a certification exam and setting yourself up for success is so important.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Super bummer! I wonder if dry boxing might be the way to go on those. I had a box of Por Larrañaga sticks that were plugged to hell and back right out of the humidor, but fine after a few hours in a travel humidor.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I mean I wonder if an empty cigar box even in those conditions. Can't hurt? It's been pretty muggy here in Chicago and I'm finding some forgotten/returned to sticks are doing pretty well in ambient

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I was eyeing down the void of JR Cigar alternatives just the other day. There's some good mixed filler out there for super cheap, and those are long so I wonder if by "Cuban Experience" they mean it needs to sit in your humidor for a year or two

For some cheap and cheerful, after this box of Padrons, I'm gonna pick up some of those EP Carrillo New Waves. Reviews are good and the price is VERY good. I miss having a bunch of coronas around (not the invisible kind).

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I *have* been posting some pricier sticks than I'm used to lately. I do try to keep under $6/stick but uhh hobbies do have a way of creeping up on us spending wise, I suppose.

PLPCs still go for around $4-5/stick, depending on how long you care to wait. Truly, right around $4-5/stick those H. Upmann Regalias and Partagas Mille Fleurs are

I'm definitely going to pick up some fivers of this JR Alternatives nonsense. I can't not. Like $2/stick is worth the humidification it provides 😹

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Congrats!

Having a Padron 2000 Maduro.

This is great. The grainy texture of the wrapper is really special. It's sweet, chocolatey, got a little manure funk. It almost feels like throat coat with molasses.

Sitting around $5-6/stick is really great. Very glad I gave these another shot!

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



It is ten thousand degrees and six hundred percent humidity in Chicago, and I'm thanking my pioneering forebears for inventing cigars and dark and stormies. A consistent pleasure in these times of turmoil.

Hope y'all are staying safe and hydrated ♥️

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Hurray! I'm so glad my recommendations have brought happiness to thread readers ♥️

Nothing too special today smokes wise. This week is somewhat dominated by my project to build a workbench in my home office.

Planning on rummaging around for some cheap and cheerful smokes - I've been hearing some really good things about the EP Carrillo New Wave cigars and some Curivari Buenaventuras, so I'll be pulling the trigger on those soon.

I think I have one Illusione Rothschild left, so it's about time to pick up some more. Hopefully having some milder smokes on rotation will kick me out of a flavor funk and make those spicy boys POP.

Not really an edit, but: I modeled out a hygrometer holder and 90 degree jig holder for woodworking to 3D print. Might be having some fun building some boxes. Perhaps even some Spanish cedar ones!

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Hmm I guess that depends on what you're looking for. Hamlet's Tabaquero line really reminds me strongly of Partagas for 1/3-1/2 the smoke before turning onto its own thing. I think it's really great.

I haven't had any of the other vitolas, but the La Aurora Corojo 1962 Churchill smokes like a tour of Habanos. I get a lot of Upmann, Por Larrañaga, and Partagas Series D from it. Really scratches the itch on the cheap, too!

Do you have a particular marca in mind? It would be really helpful to narrow down the profile. Creamy stuff is pretty easy to come by. Nicaraguan smokes do well on cream and spice. For salty, woody flavors, Dominicans are my go to (if not Habanos).

If you're really into Habanos, it's not hard to get them stateside and if you PM me, I'll happily send along a few sites!

Dramatika, I'm extremely jealous of your weekend! I've got another Fuente Añejo Shark in my humidor. I'm anticipating a special occasion in the next couple weeks that'll be a good cause to smoke it to celebrate!

Padron Maduro 2000 this morning, Illusione Rothschild right now. Really looking forward to my payday tomorrow to pick up those EP Carrillo New Wave Stellas and some Curivari Buenaventuras.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



They are all, in fact, Habanos!

Getting all the info in one place is a little tough. Here's a digest:

Samplers and downline products are your friend.

Samplers are great because they can give you the best that's out there to get a feel on who's about what.

There are A LOT of caveats, namely about being careful about the age of the smokes. Most marcas "rest" their smokes after they're wrapped anywhere from 6 months to longer
There's more demand then Cuba could ever supply, and so most cigars go out straight from the factory.

I don't know if samplers have date codes, but full boxes of cigars do, so checking for age is a biggie. 12+ months, preferably 18+ from the box date on most. More details to be had, but this is a long post anyway.

Getting the cigars in the USA isn't hard in TYOOL 2020, but since they're contraband, you tend to end up with grognards and minmaxers.

There are a LOT of good, great, and drat near miraculous Cuban cigars. But they're still just cigars. Check the samplers. I'm also a fan of Mille Fleurs/Regalias/etc that are all right around $100/box of 20-25. I'm certain plenty of sites sell fivers if you want to try a few at a time.

If you want sites, I'm happy to discuss it over PM! Dedicated forums like Friends of Habanos are also valuable (if a little biased) sources of info.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



I'm having, for the first time since before lockdown started, my favorite cigar:

La Aurora Hors D'Age

The 2017 is my tippy top favorite, but this 2018 corona extra is 90+% the same cigar for 2/3 the price. Even closer, now that it's got a lot more humidor time on.

This is so great. I really haven't found a cigar that makes a play at the throne for me. It's so complex and engaging, and the build quality is excellent.

Starts medium, ramps up from there. Spiced cream, moves to spicy if my recollection is correct.

The 2017 Gordo was excellent, the store special vitola I'm having is a corona extra. Make sure you get a vitola that lets the wrapper stand out!

I'm just gonna go enjoy it, and if you've got an urge to splurge for a $12-$15 stick, it's a line with checking out.

Happy weekend, friendos.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Very excited to have another thread reader try the H-2K-CT. I'll be having one of my last ones today myself. Rough day, so I've gotta treat myself right!

E: seems like most places are out of full boxes at the moment, so that bums me out for a restock.

NewFatMike fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Aug 3, 2020

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Oooh thank you! I had found some at Mike's Cigars, but I've never ordered from them before. I emailed Fox to ask if they have more on the way.

The corona is my preferred vitola because it's a biggun' on that line.

This Toro that's sat for a few weeks is delectable. And the standard Centurions are really great, too. If you're a fan of the cereal/wheat profile from Don Pepin Garcia Blue line, you'll be in for a treat.

Very lucky and glad to share in this hobby with y'all ♥️

E: getting to the very end on this, and I'm so glad it's a mainstay of the humidor. Chocolate, wheat, spice. What a delight!

NewFatMike fucked around with this message at 22:37 on Aug 3, 2020

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Re: Cellophane; I'm a particular fan of keeping it on. I've had a few run-ins with tobacco mites, and it's such a loving hassle. A few sticks at a time, no big loss but I lost several decade old sticks from one incident. If it doesn't come with cellophane, don't sweat it. If it does, I keep it on. It doesn't really impact individual humidification.

EP Carillo New Wave Stellas came in, as did the Curivari Buenaventura Picadores! To rationalize my impatience Since it's been pretty muggy in Chicago and they came from PA, which is also muggy in the summertime, I have risked smoking one of the Picadores right off the truck (and will probably do the same with one of the Stellas tonight).

I am very, very pleased. A lot of folks tend to write off mixed filler smokes as "floor sweepings" and that's the kind of self-fellating attitude that I really hate seeing in any hobby. Mixed fillers/Picadores/Cuban Sandwiches, whatever you call them, tend to smoke a bit faster. They're generally less complex than a long filler cigar (although in the price brackets you tend to find mixed fillers, complexity is not the name of the game). I think mixed fillers also occupy a philosophically important niche in any brand: how do you regard your customers who might be the most financially challenged? Strange times we're living in, and money is harder to come by. But I digress.

I'm going to let these sit a week or two (or reorder them so I have enough that will actually make it) before doing a full review, but I fully find these Worth Smoking™ should you find yourself pulling them straight out of the box and putting them right into your mouth. It's a great entree to this brand I don't really know anything about and now I REALLY want to try more. Other picadores Worth Smoking™ are:
  • Tatuaje Series P
  • (Habano) Quintero y Hermano Nacionales
  • (Habano) Jose L. Piedra Cazadores
  • Drew Estate Factory Smokes Maduro (not worth a full box imo, but worth checking out)

And one of the best parts is that since they're kind of one trick ponies and super cheap, you don't have to feel bad about wasting money if you find yourself a little over-nicotined

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NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Cazadores as far as I know are just a vitola - I believe Cuban Romeo y Julieta have one as well.

They're just long Coronas, I think. Maybe shorter than a Lonsdale or Churchill?

Also I couldn't resist one of those EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Stellas. Promising now, but I think they're really going to kick rear end in a week or two.

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