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Simple Is Best, In Life And In Bourbon

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

The old man, retired I’m thinkin’, sat motionless on his covered porch out in the country. What grabs my attention is a small, bright orange can of Prince Albert tobacco poking out of the chest pocket of his well-worn Key overalls. In a quick glance, it resembled a blossoming flower announcing itself to the world. In a more thoughtful look, it was tucked in those overalls just as tight as a wallet, maybe more so. His rough, workingman hands took turns cradling a well-used pipe. Tobacco smoldering, the chewed-on end barely rested on his lower lip, moving only when he spoke.


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For the Love of Bourbon

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

For the people who know me it’s no surprise that I love to entertain! Cooking for my friends and family is something that I really enjoy doing. It must be the little old Italian woman that lives inside of me, but it makes me happy to see people enjoy the food that I have prepared.

Over the last few years, I have branched out when it comes to entertaining. In other words, I’ve expanded my horizons. In 8 years I have lived in 5 different cities, in 3 different regions, each time starting over with jobs & friends, but my 2 constants have been food and bourbon. Now, not everyone enjoys bourbon, but I know that everyone loves food. I like to help bring an understanding between the two for those who are interested in drinking and eating bourbon.


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Bourbon Bachelor: Pairing KFC’s Zinger Sandwich with Kentucky’s Finest

In Banter by Lindsey WehkingLeave a Comment

If honoring your calling is the only true way to live, then today is the first day I can say with certainty that I am alive. Because pairing fried chicken with bourbon is what I was born to do.

Last week Kentucky Fried Chicken approached Bourbon & Banter with a challenge: pair their new Zinger Sandwich with Kentucky’s other darling, bourbon.

However, what ensued became less of a pairing and more competition between my meager selections of bourbons for who could match the Zinger’s spicy step? For who could bring out the best in her?! FOR WHOOO COULD WITH SHE TANGO?!?


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The Story Behind Our New Logo

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

It’s been a few weeks since we launched our new website and new logo. We thought we’d take a few moments and share with everyone some of the ideation behind the new look from the amazing designer, Josh Reeves, who created it for us. We hope you enjoy this quick peek into the story behind our logo and how it all comes together in our new tagline of Drink Curious.


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A Barrel Aged Cocktail for the Creative

In Cocktails by Jim KnudsenLeave a Comment

Imagine with me the vision of a full barrel of your favorite cocktail, mixed to your personal taste and quietly aging, absorbing rich flavors and smoothing out the combination of ingredients to create the ultimate flavor combination. It’s sitting there waiting for you, does it make you thirsty? Can you force yourself to wait until it reaches maturity? Welcome to the experience of barrel aging cocktails.

With this vision firmly in mind, I began to research cocktails. I checked some references including a previous post on Bourbon and Banter (A Barrel Aged Cocktail Adventure, by Erin Petrey). I finally got my barrels, 2 two liter barrels, as a Christmas gift from my oldest son. He is also very interested in bourbon, what can I say, the acorn does not fall far from the tree.


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Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 Year Single Barrel – DRY 85 Private Selection

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Some of the best bourbons I have tasted have been Private Barrel Selections. This Dry 85 Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 Year Single Barrel may be the best.
Dry 85 Bourbon Bar, in Annapolis, MD and open for a little over two years has had six different private barrel selections for sale. These are selected by the owner Brian Bolter. All have been superb. Five are still on the menu at least by the pour.


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Luxco Announces Plans for Bardstown Distillery

In Industry News by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

(St. Louis) April 4, 2016 – Luxco announced today the company has finalized plans to build a distillery, located in Nelson County, Kentucky. Luxco has chosen to build the distillery on a 70-acre site off state highway KY-245 in the heart of Bardstown and Bourbon Capital of the World. The company announced preliminary plans for the distillery in late 2015, and the distillery is expected to be fully operational by late 2017.

Construction on the project will begin in the summer of 2016. Buzick Construction has been awarded the contract for the project. When finished, the distillery will be approximately 18,000 square feet, have six barrel warehouses and will employ an estimated 34 people. In addition, the distillery will feature a tasting room and event space and will offer visitors a new stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

“We are looking forward to building the distillery on this scenic property and in such a central location in Bardstown,” says David Bratcher, President and COO of Luxco. “We intend the distillery to be a welcoming stop for those visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and we are excited to bring our bourbon experience and brands to Nelson County.”


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Luxco Releases Blood Oath Pact No. 2

In New Brand Releases by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

(St. Louis) March 28, 2016 – St. Louis-based Luxco has launched Blood Oath Pact No. 2 – the second expression in the limited release, ultra-premium bourbon series, Blood Oath. Blood Oath combines rare, top-notch bourbons, blended and bottled by hand for a distinctively exclusive and unimagined Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Pact No. 2 is a masterful union of three well-bred bourbons ranging in age from seven to 11 years. The first, a seven year rye bourbon finished in port barrels, is artfully joined by an 11 year wheated bourbon and an 11 year rye bourbon. Pact No. 2, bottled at 98.6 proof, is available in limited quantities nationally in 750ml bottles, with a suggested price of $99.99.


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Diamond State Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Jonathan JonesLeave a Comment

Bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States, but when one thinks of bourbon, one typically thinks of Kentucky. After all, 95% of all bourbon produced is made there. But one need not be in Kentucky to make fine bourbon; craft distilleries are popping up all over the United States, and several are producing excellent juice. That said, Delaware is not the first place I think of when I think of bourbon produced outside the bluegrass state, but here I am reviewing Diamond State Bourbon Whiskey, from Painted Stave Distilling, in Smyrna, Delaware.


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High West Releases Distillery-Exclusive 14-Yr Light Whiskey

In New Brand Releases by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

PARK CITY, Utah (March 17, 2016) — Come see the light! High West Distillery, Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870, releases a limited edition 14-Year Light Whiskey. Beginning March 19, this special bottling is available exclusively to visitors at the High West Distillery at Blue Sky Ranch, followed by a roll out at the High West Saloon & Distillery in historic Old Town Park City on April 16.

“At High West, we believe education leads to appreciation so we wanted to shed some light on this rarely discussed type of whiskey,” says High West founder David Perkins. “This is a spirit that’s not likely to be available again for a long time.”


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Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Review + Bourbon Graph

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Jennifer WellsLeave a Comment

Every regular bourbon drinker has THE bourbon, the one that opened up the portal to the possibilities that the spirit offers. For me, it wasn’t one bourbon, but several from the constellation of Buffalo Trace’s collection. Blanton’s. Elmer T. Lee. Eagle Rare. This was a galaxy I wanted to inhabit.

My first pours of any of the 7 E.H. Taylor, Jrs., were experienced in this order: the Tornado Surviving, then Cured Oak, and the Barrel Proof. Tough life, I know. But, I had spent so much time chasing unicorns that I had overlooked the “entry-level” E.H. Taylor Small Batch. Big mistake. Big. Huge.

In short, E.H. Taylor, Jr. small batch is what philosophy majors call a “Platonic ideal” – if there was one first bourbon, and all other bourbons were shadows of that bourbon, it would be this one.


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BJ & The Smoker

In Food by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

About five and a half years ago my wife bought me a smoker for my birthday. Sometime before she had brought up the idea to me and I was a bit lukewarm to it. You see, I wasn’t sure I wanted to put the time and effort into another new hobby and have it become a bit of an obsession. Besides, I already had a battle tested Weber that keeps going like a German automobile and that doesn’t even take into account my less than healthy relationship with bourbon and cigars. If you know me, I’m a HUGE carnivore. I LOVE meat. All kinds. Basically, I’m an animal lover. I LOVE eating animals. Healthy or not, I don’t do lots of fruit and vegetables. At least not nearly the amount that I should be eating. I just kind of feel like vegetables are what my food eats.


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Black Walnut Bourbon Cocktail & Pork Chop Recipes

In Cocktails, Food by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something……. Bourbon? Yes! We are talking bourbon today and I’m going to show you a twist on two ageless classics, The Old Fashioned & Pork chops. Some would say that bourbon has become my obsession, but let’s just say it’s my passion. So much so that my affection for bourbon has transitioned into the kitchen. I grew up cooking with my Gram and her motto always was “A lil’ dab will do ya.” I’ve incorporated that motto into my cooking, baking & drinking. “A Lil’ Dab of Bourbon” never hurt anyone! I drink my …


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Bourbon Toffee Cookie Recipe

In Food by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Editor’s Note: Slight change of pace with our Help Wanted guest blog post today. Instead of a bourbon review, we’re featuring a bourbon cookie recipe submitted by John Stancliffe. We hope you enjoy the change and chime in accordingly in the comments section. Also make sure to connect with John online [email protected] @thedramgeek.  February 14th is but a pour n swig away! In a perfect world we’d all adhere to the rhetoric that every day of the year is an opportunity to be extra loving to our better halves. Poppycock I say! The fact is most of us are typical casualties in …


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Thankful For Bourbon

In Food by Christelle LachapelleLeave a Comment

Thanksgiving is near and if there’s one thing that all all of us are thankful for, it’s bourbon! Whether you are hosting dinner or you are a guest, few things will make you more popular than these bourbon-based recipes! Host With The Most (Bourbon) If it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving this year, take heart. I’ve got the whole bourbon-themed menu planned out for you here. Thanksgiving Menu Punch Crimson Bulleit Punch Your Money, My Looks Appetizers Bourbon Old Fashioned Glazed Pecans Whiskey Wieners Bourbon Pecan Brie Puffed Pastries Side Dishes Bourbon Maple Cardamom Cranberry Compote Bourbon Bacon Whipped Sweet …


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Bourbon Eggnog Recipes for the Holidays

In Cocktails, Food by Caitlin Van HornLeave a Comment

Eggnog is, undoubtedly, a polarizing beverage. Raw eggs, booze, and cream stuck in the fridge for a month? Dubious. Luckily, the threat of spoilage is pretty low because of the amount of sugar, booze, and refrigeration that goes into making a batch of nog. Still, I’m pretty much convinced die-hard eggnog enthusiasts like myself only exist because we were sneaking cups of it from the family punchbowl before we knew what it was actually made of. But setting aside the yuck factor, eggnog is not only delicious (it’s basically a custard), and historical (George Washington had his own recipe, which …


These Aren’t Your College Roommate’s Jello Shots

In Cocktails, Food by Caitlin Van Horn2 Comments

  Whether you’ve been out of college a few months or a few decades, I’m sure you remember a night when you and a few Jello shots got a little too cozy, and things got out of hand. Sticky fingers, artificial colors, acrid flavors, and one hell of a hangover—sound familiar? Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to write off Jello shots (or their estranged cousin, the pudding shot) just yet. Don’t worry, there will be no recipes for plastic-handle-vodka-Jaeger-and-strawberry-Jello shooters. These feature lots of bourbon and, dare we say it, actually taste good! Let’s start …


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End of Summer Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce

In Food by Andy Jones1 Comment

Labor Day is over, the kids are back in school and our attention will soon be focusing on Fall. My to-do lists are starting to contain things like “choose cocktails for the Halloween party” or “plan liquor store searches for the fall bourbon allocations” or “start researching turkey recipes”. As it turns out we still have over a month of excellent weather and what I really should be doing is spending as much time outside as possible. If you like BBQ, and if you like bourbon, here is a great way to celebrate the last couple weeks of summer. Light …


Influenza Sorbet

In Banter, Food by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

  Can a sorbet infused with Bourbon really cure the flu? What if it costs as much as $12? Still not buying it? It may not cure the flu, but a lot of folks think that Influenza Sorbet from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams does a fantastic job of treating the flu’s symptoms. Inspired by Jeni’s grandmother’s homemade cough remedy, it’s made from a combination of honey, ginger, orange juice, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and Maker’s Mark bourbon. Not sure if it helps with the flu but it does sound tasty. (BTW, the Bourbon in the mix is in trace amounts so apparently …


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Bourbon Marshmallow & Bacon S’mores

In Food by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Bourbon Marshmallow Bacon S’more. The name pretty much says it all, don’t you think? I came across this recipe last night on how sweet it is and immediately tweeted it out to the bourbon loving masses. After dreaming about it last night I realized I need to share it on the blog as well to make sure as many people as possible were exposed to it’s sweet, smoky, sticky goodness. I’m going to look into making some of these for myself soon but I hope that if you beat me to it you come back and let us know how …


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Norlan Whisky Glass Review

In Glassware Reviews by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Let’s get something out-of-the-way before we dive into our review of the Norlan whiskey glass. I’m able to enjoy bourbon from just about any type of glass, cup, jar or bottle. At the end of the day the quality of the juice and the company are more important than the delivery vehicle. Yet, I do prefer a glass designed for whiskey when I sit down for a tasting or to write a review. Just like with wine and beer there is no shortage of glasses designed for drinking whiskey. The most popular being the Glencairn whisky glass which is my …


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The Architecture of the Shot Book Review

In Book Reviews by Jonathan JonesLeave a Comment

Note: Thanks to the fine folks at Quarto Publishing for providing us with a copy of The Architecture of the Shot for review and giveaway with no strings attached. If you walk into a bar these days, you’ll see machines that can dispense chilled shots of Jaegermeister, Fireball, or whatever the local favorite college hangover inducer happens to be. Ask for a shot, and you’re likely to be handed something that smells like cotton candy and tastes like Kool-Aid with a hint of paint thinner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When skillfully prepared, with layers of flavors, a …


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2015 Bourbon Holiday Gift Guide

In Gear News by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Now that the holiday season has officially begun we’d like to share with you our picks for this year’s 2015 Bourbon Holiday Gift Guide. In this year’s guide you’ll find a wide array of items that just about any bourbon lover would enjoy. We’ve got practical items like books and flasks that won’t break the bank as well as more expensive wish list items like a home still and a diamond studded bar spoon. (A bourbon drinker has got to dream, right?) Click on an image in the list below to visit the item’s website where you can …


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It’s Bourbon For Your Wall – 2016 Bourbon Calendar

In Gear News by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Today we’re happy to announce that the 2016 version of our bourbon calendar is now available for order. The 2016 edition includes the same photos and layout as last year’s edition but with a few additional drinking holidays added to the calendar. We feel it’s the perfect gift for the bourbon lover who needs a little help keeping track of things other than their bourbon collection. It’s the perfect addition to any office, kitchen or bar. We hope you enjoy the updated edition and share it with other bourbon lovers in your life.


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Vinturi Spirit Aerator Review

In Drinking Accessory Reviews by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Anyone that drinks wine on a regular basis knows what an aerator can do for a bottle of wine. But did you know some people claim they can do the same for spirits – especially whiskey? Vinturi, the top wine aerator brand, states that their spirits aerator “releases the full potential of any undiluted spirit, allowing it to be appreciated like never before.” I can’t speak for everyone but I’m pretty sure it’s hard to appreciate  a glass of bourbon more than I already do. But since Vinturi offered to provide me with an aerator for review I thought I’d give it a try. What follows …


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The Bourbon Tasting Notebook Review – The Fitness Tracker of Bourbon

In Book Reviews by Erin PetreyLeave a Comment

Disclaimer: A review copy of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook was provided by the authors and their publisher for this review. I appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review the book with no strings attached. Thank you. One of my favorite memories during my time with Bourbon & Banter was when I made the trek over to St. Louis from DC for Mike Veach’s Filson Bourbon Academy. Even though Mike was slated to come to DC a few weeks after, I wanted the opportunity to experience the Bourbon Academy with my fellow B&B folks. It was a brisk November morning in 2013 …


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A Wet Drunk Midwestern Summer (a tale of Tiki Cocktails)

In Book Reviews by Lindsey WehkingLeave a Comment

Note: Thanks to the fine folks at The Countryman Press for providing us with a copy of Tiki Drinks for review and giveaway with no strings attached. We might be at the un-official end-of-summer, but we’re still in the thick of it. The wet, hot, hair-glued-to-your-forehead, soggy crotch thick of it. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s a classic Midwestern Summer. The only way to survive a Midwestern Summer? Inebriation. Constant inebriation, from June all the way through August. (September if you want to play it safe). Which brings me to why we are here: you …


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DRY 85 Bourbon Bar: Like the Bourbon? Take it Home!

In Bars by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Suppose you are in one of the highest rated bourbon bars in the country tasting one of their bourbon selections. If you really like, it wouldn’t you want to buy a bottle and take it home.

That would be Dry 85, Annapolis, MD.

Dry 85, touted as a modern speakeasy, is the idea of owner Brian Bolter, a former Washington, DC newscaster and his wife, Lisa. Open since Jan 1, 2014, Dry 85 was named by The Bourbon Review Magazine as one of the top bourbon bars in the United States in July 2015. I have to second that award.

Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933. At least for everywhere in the U.S. but Washington, D.C. The District had to wait until the repeal of the Sheppard Act and remained dry for 85 more days, thus the name Dry 85.


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WhiskyFest Chicago 2016 Recap

In Events by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Editor’s Note: Today we’re featuring another post from Brett Atlas, a passionate bourbon lover hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, who can be found online at @brettatlas. This is Brett’s second Help Wanted submission so please let us know in the comments what you think about his writing and if you’d like to see him become a regular guest contributor. The 17th annual WhiskyFest made its second stop in Chicago on March 18th. WhiskyFest has exploded in popularity in recent years, and this event is no longer the laid-back casual affair that long-time attendees remember. Also, ticket prices have climbed dramatically, and …


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Bourbon Classic 2016 Recap

In Events by Ginny TonicLeave a Comment

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the Bourbon Classic at no cost to write about it for Bourbon and Banter but I paid for my hotel, food, and travel expenses while there and this review reflects my honest opinion on the event. Thank you. The Bourbon Classic returned for its fourth year February 26th and 27th. I have been lucky enough to attend the classic for the past three years now. There have been subtle changes each year but the event remains a great time for bourbon lovers. 2016 brought back everything that made the past three years a success …


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2016 San Antonio Cocktail Conference Recap

In Events by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to share this post from Kristian Jaime of Kristian Jaime Photography. Kristian supplied recap photos from last year’s San Antonio Cocktail Conference and we’re thrilled to have him back again this year sharing photos and a summary of the event.  Although the last shaker has been poured out and the final bracelet has been scanned, the 2016 San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC) was a resounding success. Houston Street Charities, the altruistic beneficiary of the four-day event, once again proved that cocktails for a cause were alive and well in the Alamo City. This years, the slate of the …


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Bourbon Classic Returns to Louisville for 2016

In Events by Ginny TonicLeave a Comment

The Bourbon Classic, an annual bourbon and culinary celebration held in Louisville Kentucky, will return for its fourth year on February 26 – 27 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. I have greatly enjoyed attending the past two years and highly recommend it to anyone who loves bourbon, good food, and spending time learning about these things from the people who make them. The event starts Friday night with From the Barrel to the Bar: Bourbon Classic Cocktail Challenge. Teams of master bartenders will be matched with an acclaimed chef and Bourbon Classic sponsor distillery, and then vie for the title of …


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Recap of St. Louis’ Whiskey Festival – Whiskey in the Winter

In Events by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

This past Friday night I attend St. Louis’ whiskey festival – Whiskey in the Winter – along with fellow Bourbon & Banter writer, Lindsey Wehking. As a proud sponsor of the event again this year, we were thrilled to see even more folks attending than last year. Whiskey in the Winter has truly become a destination event with attendees traveling to St. Louis from 30 different states. To help accommodate for this growth the event will have more space available next year to accommodate a crowd of around 1,800 (this year capacity was 1,500). This year’s even had over 300 whiskies …


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Highlights from Whiskies of the World Atlanta

In Events by Melissa AlexanderLeave a Comment

Note: Whiskies of the World Atlanta provided Melissa with a press pass in order to enjoy the event and share her experience with you. We thank WOTW Atlanta for providing this with no strings attached. Thank you.   First off, let me say that the folks running Whiskies of the World really know how to throw a fantastic event.  Of course, they delivered on the whiskey, but there were other (highly appreciated) touches that pulled the event together and made WOW ATL a welcome and inviting atmosphere.  They made sure each table had a pitcher of water for rinsing your …


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