Karuizawa

Karuizawa Japanese Single Malt Whisky

 

The Karuizawa Distillery was one of Japan’s most small-scaled operating distilleries, operated for less than half a century and it has remained dormant since the early 21st century. Despite this, Karuizawa Single Malt Whisky is the most sought-after single malt in Japan and one of the most international desired whiskies due to the spirit’s high quality and exceptional rareness, such as the Karuizawa 1960 Single Cask No. #5627, which is probably the most rare and expensive Japanese whisky sold on the market.

 

Karuizawa was established in shadows of the active volcano Mount Asama in the former Asama Vineyard in 1955 by the Mercian Wine Company (currently known as the Mercian Corporation), a Japanese retailer of wine, liquors and distilled spirits. The distillery was named after the adjacent city of Karuizawa, the home base of a mountain ski-resort very popular among the Japanese upper class.

 

Having the Karuizawa Distillery established, the Mercian Wine Company realized their ambition to create a single malt whisky following the traditional distiller methods used in Scotland yet combined with a representative Japanese twist. In order to achieve this, both the distillery’s equipment and the climatic circumstances under which the spirit’s maturing process took place had to be predominantly similar to those in Scotland. Karuizawa was built in the city of Mitoya, the Nagano Prefecture in Japan because of the region’s similarity in climatic temperatures to those in Scotland, even though Mitoya’s seasonal fluctuations were more contrasting at its peak during summer- and wintertime. Karuizawa has used small wooden washbacks for the fermentation and imported sherry casks from Spain to provide for the spirits aging process. Karuizawa Single Malt is definitely comparable to the style of the traditional Scotch single malt whisky, bus has maintained a distinctive Japanese whisky in its taste!

 

Until the year 1958, Japan’s importing restrictions and legislation didn’t allow the import of Scottish barley needed for the spirit’s production. The distilleries in Japan were obligated to buy the required, but scarce Japanese barley supplied by the Japanese government, this was a mandatory regulation. In 1958, import restrictions were lifted. Karuizawa started right away to import the higher-quality Golden Promise barley from Scotland. By making this strategic decision, it was the first Japanese distillery to import this necessity for the production process.  Besides that, Karuizawa was the first Japanese distillery to export its whiskies across the border.

 

In that era, the international demand for Japanese whiskies wasn’t as substantial as desired sales wise. The high quality of the Karuizawa whiskies remained unknown to the general public and the expenses of producing Karuizawa Single Malt unfortunately didn’t meet the beneficial profits resulting from the distillery's sales. Karuizawa was mothballed in the year 2000 and ultimately shut down in 2011, resulting in the distillery’s premises to be dismantled and the distillery’s equipment to be sold. Most of Karuizawa’s equipment was sold to the Japanese independent bottler Gaiaflow, and the Kruizawa’s wooden casks were acquired by the Chichibu Distillery.

 

Remarkably enough, the following years the world became more and more appreciative with the Japanese whisky selection. Being such a high-class and limited released Japanese single malt, with only a few casks left in stock to release, Karuizawa has acquired a cult status. Until this day on, obtaining one of those rare vintage Karuizawa Single Malts is just something whisky collectors can only dream about.

 

Mark Watt, the general manager of independent bottler Cadenhead once said: “You want to sell your whisky? Then you should close your distillery”. Maybe, as far as the Karuizawa Distillery’s legacy is concerned, this is a nostalgic true story.

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Whiskies from Karuizawa

BOW 87
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 12 Years Old Hanshin Tigers 2003 Central League Champions 40% NV

12 Years Old Hanshin Tigers 2003 Central League Champions 40%

€ 1.246,00 (ex Vat) € 1.507,66 (in Vat) more info
BOW 86
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 12 Years Old Pure Malt Whisky 40% NV

12 Years Old Pure Malt Whisky 40%

€ 1.198,35 (ex Vat) € 1.450,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 85
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 15 years old 40% NV

15 years old 40%

€ 1.466,94 (ex Vat) € 1.775,00 (in Vat) more info
SV 87
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 19 Years Old The Whisky Fair 58.3% 1988

19 Years Old The Whisky Fair 58.3%

1988
€ 2.000,00 (ex Vat) € 2.420,00 (in Vat) more info
SV 95
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1967 Vintage Single Cask 6426 La Maison Du Whisky 58.4% 1967

1967 Vintage Single Cask 6426 La Maison Du Whisky 58.4%

1967
€ 19.995,00 (ex Vat) € 24.193,95 (in Vat) more info
BOW 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Cask:6056 Japanese Label 60.3% 1981

1981 Cask:6056 Japanese Label 60.3%

1981
€ 5.814,05 (ex Vat) € 7.035,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 91.5
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Geisha Label 31 Years Old Cask 2100 60.4% 1981

1981 Geisha Label 31 Years Old Cask 2100 60.4%

1981
€ 6.033,06 (ex Vat) € 7.300,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 91.5
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1983 Geisha Label 29 Years Old Cask 2233 59.4% 1983

1983 Geisha Label 29 Years Old Cask 2233 59.4%

1983
€ 4.793,39 (ex Vat) € 5.800,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 93
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 23 Years Old The Crowning Cask 5038 69% 1995

23 Years Old The Crowning Cask 5038 69%

1995
€ 8.223,00 (ex Vat) € 9.949,83 (in Vat) more info
SV 87
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 31 Years Old Sapphire Geisha Cask 3558 58.9% NV

31 Years Old Sapphire Geisha Cask 3558 58.9%

€ 25.000,00 (ex Vat) € 30.250,00 (in Vat) more info
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 32 Years Old Noh Whisky Cask 3565 59.2% 1980

32 Years Old Noh Whisky Cask 3565 59.2%

1980
€ 8.264,46 (ex Vat) € 10.000,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 92 sale
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 42 Years Old Vintage Cask 6177 64.3% 1970

42 Years Old Vintage Cask 6177 64.3%

1970
€ 13.223,14 € 11.322,31 (ex Vat) € 13.700,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Geisha Label Cask 7818 63.6% 1976

Geisha Label Cask 7818 63.6%

1976
€ 7.438,00 (ex Vat) € 8.999,98 (in Vat) more info
BOW 93
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Miyaki Odori Geisha Label Single Sherry Cask 866 58.6% 1999

Miyaki Odori Geisha Label Single Sherry Cask 866 58.6%

1999
€ 5.785,00 (ex Vat) € 6.999,85 (in Vat) more info
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - That Boutique-y Whisky Company Batch 3 50.1% NV

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Batch 3 50.1%

(0.5 l.)
€ 2.300,00 (ex Vat) € 2.783,00 (in Vat) more info
BOW 90
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Whisky Live 10th Anniversary Cask 6446 60% 1990

Whisky Live 10th Anniversary Cask 6446 60%

1990
€ 2.438,02 (ex Vat) € 2.950,00 (in Vat) more info


Out of stock

Karuizawa
Karuizawa -  29 Years Old Cask By Cask:7802 For Cask Norway AS and Cask of Sweden 56.7% 1984

29 Years Old Cask By Cask:7802 For Cask Norway AS and Cask of Sweden 56.7%

1984
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 12 Years Old Nite Nurse Nipped By Piranhas SMWS Cask:132.6  63% NV

12 Years Old Nite Nurse Nipped By Piranhas SMWS Cask:132.6 63%

sold out more info
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 12 Years Old Pure Malt Whisky 40% NV

12 Years Old Pure Malt Whisky 40%

sold out more info
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 13 Years Old Memories of Karuizawa 52.9% 1999

13 Years Old Memories of Karuizawa 52.9%

1999
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BOW 90
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 14 Years Old Sweet and darkly beguiling SMWS Cask:132.5 58.6% 1999

14 Years Old Sweet and darkly beguiling SMWS Cask:132.5 58.6%

1999
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 15 Years Old Noh Whisky Kamiasobi Cask:270 62,7% 1994

15 Years Old Noh Whisky Kamiasobi Cask:270 62,7%

1994
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 15 Years Old Noh Whisky Kamiasobi Cask:270 62,7% 1994

15 Years Old Noh Whisky Kamiasobi Cask:270 62,7%

1994
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BOW 87
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 17 Years Old Crystal Decanter 40% NV

17 Years Old Crystal Decanter 40%

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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 17 Years Old Crystal Decanter 40% NV

17 Years Old Crystal Decanter 40%

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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1969 42 Years Old Vintage Cask 8183 61.3% 1969

1969 42 Years Old Vintage Cask 8183 61.3%

1969
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1977 Geisha labels Cask:4010 For Taiwan 65.9% 1977

1977 Geisha labels Cask:4010 For Taiwan 65.9%

1977
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1980 Noh Whisky 32 Years Old  Cask 3565 59.2% 1980

1980 Noh Whisky 32 Years Old Cask 3565 59.2%

1980
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1980 Noh Whisky Cask 3565 59.2% 1980

1980 Noh Whisky Cask 3565 59.2%

1980
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 30 Years Old Vintage Cask 6207 58.3% 1981

1981 30 Years Old Vintage Cask 6207 58.3%

1981
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Cask:6056 Japanese Label 60.3% 1981

1981 Cask:6056 Japanese Label 60.3%

1981
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Cocktail Serie Cask 162 55.8% 1981

1981 Cocktail Serie Cask 162 55.8%

1981
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Cocktail Serie Sherry Butt Cask 162 55.8% 1981

1981 Cocktail Serie Sherry Butt Cask 162 55.8%

1981
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Geisha Label 30 Years Old Cask 6256 57.5%  1981

1981 Geisha Label 30 Years Old Cask 6256 57.5%

1981
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90
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Geisha labels Cask 6256  57.5% 1981

1981 Geisha labels Cask 6256 57.5%

1981
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89
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Vintage Single Cask: 6207 58.3%  1981

1981 Vintage Single Cask: 6207 58.3%

1981
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1981 Vintage Single Cask: 7924 Bottled For La Maison du Whisky 56.6% 1981

1981 Vintage Single Cask: 7924 Bottled For La Maison du Whisky 56.6%

1981
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SV 91
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1982 27 Years Old Geisha label Cask 2748 56.1% 1982

1982 27 Years Old Geisha label Cask 2748 56.1%

1982
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BOW 91
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1984 28 Year Old Cocktail Serie Cask 7975 59.3% 1984

1984 28 Year Old Cocktail Serie Cask 7975 59.3%

1984
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92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1984 28 Years Old Vintage Single Cask:3692  For Number One Drinks 1 Of 559 Bottles 61.6%   1981

1984 28 Years Old Vintage Single Cask:3692 For Number One Drinks 1 Of 559 Bottles 61.6%

1981
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1984 Carpe Koï Serie Cask:4021 64.5%  1984

1984 Carpe Koï Serie Cask:4021 64.5%

1984
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1984 Geisha Label 28 Years Old Cask 3186 58.0% 1984

1984 Geisha Label 28 Years Old Cask 3186 58.0%

1984
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1984 Vintage Single Cask 8173 58.5% 1984

1984 Vintage Single Cask 8173 58.5%

1984
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1984 Vintage Single Cask: 8173 For La Maison du Whisky 1 Of 363 Bottles 58.5% 1984

1984 Vintage Single Cask: 8173 For La Maison du Whisky 1 Of 363 Bottles 58.5%

1984
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BOW 89
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1985 Vintage Single Cask: 7017 60.8% 1985

1985 Vintage Single Cask: 7017 60.8%

1985
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1990 Geisha Label 22 Years Old Cask 679 56.1% 1990

1990 Geisha Label 22 Years Old Cask 679 56.1%

1990
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1991 Vintage Single Cask 3318 62.5% 1991

1991 Vintage Single Cask 3318 62.5%

1991
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strenght 3rd Edition 60.5% 1999

1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strenght 3rd Edition 60.5%

1999
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strenght 5th Edition 59.6% 1999

1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strenght 5th Edition 59.6%

1999
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strength 2th Edition 59.5% 1999

1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strength 2th Edition 59.5%

1999
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BOW 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strength 4th Edition 60.1% 1999

1999-2000 Vintages Cask Strength 4th Edition 60.1%

1999
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 23 Years Old Noh Cask:7893 63.9% 1989

23 Years Old Noh Cask:7893 63.9%

1989
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SV 91
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 26 Years Old Vintage Single Cask 103 58.1% 1981

26 Years Old Vintage Single Cask 103 58.1%

1981
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 27 Years Old Multi Vintages #1 Noh Whisky 59.1% NV

27 Years Old Multi Vintages #1 Noh Whisky 59.1%

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SV 89
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 28 Years Old Cask:3692 Bottled For Number One Drinks Company 61.6% 1984

28 Years Old Cask:3692 Bottled For Number One Drinks Company 61.6%

1984
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BOW 93
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 28 Years Old Noh Whisky Chorei Beshimi Cask 7576 57.2% 1983

28 Years Old Noh Whisky Chorei Beshimi Cask 7576 57.2%

1983
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 30 years Old Vintage Single Cask 8173 58.5% 1984

30 years Old Vintage Single Cask 8173 58.5%

1984
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SV 94
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 32 Years Old Noh Whisky Kamiasobi Hagoromo Cask:6719 63% 1976

32 Years Old Noh Whisky Kamiasobi Hagoromo Cask:6719 63%

1976
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93
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 33 Years Old Vintage Cask 152 54,5% 1981

33 Years Old Vintage Cask 152 54,5%

1981
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92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 35 Years Old Cask:6736 Bottled For Whisky Live Paris 2010 61.8% 1975

35 Years Old Cask:6736 Bottled For Whisky Live Paris 2010 61.8%

1975
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 35 Years Old Vintage Cask 6736 1975

35 Years Old Vintage Cask 6736

1975
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 35 Years Old Vintage Cask 8383 1 Of  405 Bottles Bottled for La Maison du Whisky 63% 1978

35 Years Old Vintage Cask 8383 1 Of 405 Bottles Bottled for La Maison du Whisky 63%

1978
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SV 90
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 36 Years Old Vintage Single Cask:6878 64.1% 1971

36 Years Old Vintage Single Cask:6878 64.1%

1971
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 39 Years Old  Vintage Single Cask 6207 58.3% 1981

39 Years Old Vintage Single Cask 6207 58.3%

1981
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BOW 91
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 39 Years Old  Vintage Single Cask 6207 58.3% 1981

39 Years Old Vintage Single Cask 6207 58.3%

1981
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BOW 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - 42 Years Old Vintage Cask 8183 For Number One Drinks 61,3% 1969

42 Years Old Vintage Cask 8183 For Number One Drinks 61,3%

1969
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BOW 88 sale
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Asama 11 Years Old 46% NV

Asama 11 Years Old 46%

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SV 87
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Asama 1999/2000 46% 1999

Asama 1999/2000 46%

1999
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BOW 94
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Geisha Twin Serie 29&30; Years Old The Whisky Exchange Casks:5347+8897 58.2% & 53.9% NV

Geisha Twin Serie 29&30; Years Old The Whisky Exchange Casks:5347+8897 58.2% & 53.9%

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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Karuizawa 1971 Geisha labels Botteling Serie Cask: 7267 For Taiwan 1 Of 467 Bottles 62.8% 1971

Karuizawa 1971 Geisha labels Botteling Serie Cask: 7267 For Taiwan 1 Of 467 Bottles 62.8%

1971
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Karuizawa 1972 Vintage Single Cask: 7038 1 Of 523 Bottles 63.3% 1972

Karuizawa 1972 Vintage Single Cask: 7038 1 Of 523 Bottles 63.3%

1972
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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Karuizawa 8 years old Vintage Originally Released Around 2000's 40%  NV

Karuizawa 8 years old Vintage Originally Released Around 2000's 40%

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Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Miyaki Odori Geisha Label 2219 59.8% 2000

Miyaki Odori Geisha Label 2219 59.8%

2000
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BOW 88
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Sea Dragon Cask 166 64.3% 2000

Sea Dragon Cask 166 64.3%

2000
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SV 92
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Set 1980-1981 J'avance vers le futur, Pourquoi faut il?, Prendre le rythme,en Soi 1980-1981

Set 1980-1981 J'avance vers le futur, Pourquoi faut il?, Prendre le rythme,en Soi

1980-1981
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SV 85
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Spirit of Asama (55%, OB, for Specialty Drinks, 2012) NV

Spirit of Asama (55%, OB, for Specialty Drinks, 2012)

sold out more info
SV 87
Karuizawa
Karuizawa - Spirit of Asama 48%  NV

Spirit of Asama 48%

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