Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red wax identifies the Four Roses version.

Added by largadeer on 11-14-2010

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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 566
Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black color with a small tan head but still leaves some super lacing as your swirl the beer around.

Aromas of sweet bourbon, oak, roasted malts and dark chocolate. As it warms you get some dark fruits (figs), sweet fruit and caramel maltiness. A sweeter aroma than most of the Eclipse series.

The tastes follow the nose and begin with sweet bourbon, oak, roasted malts and dark chocolate. Then you get some vanilla, coffee and dark fruits that emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Finish is smooth but on the heavier side despite the lower than "normal" ABV for the style.

Overall I personally enjoyed this more than both of the Elijah Craig versions that I sampled the same evening. This was slightly frutier and sweeter with less biting alcohol.

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Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #575, 2011 Red wax
Poured into a tulip.

Black with some garnet highlights around the edges. 3 fingers of fluffy, light brown head. Good retention for the high abv.

Sweet bourbon, toffee and honey. Dark fruit, black licorice, bittersweet chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

Moderate amount of sweet bourbon notes upfront giving off some pleasant alcohol esters. A lot of dark fruit consisting of overripe plum, fig and some maraschino cherries. Molasses, toffee and honey. Bittersweet chocolate and cocoa nib. Finishes with light notes of espresso, coffee grounds, earth and some very subtle oak.

Medium bodied, silky, warming and sticky.

Deceptively smooth and easy drinking for a BA Imperial Stout. Complex and sweet but lacing vanilla flavors. Worth the $30 price tag? No. I can get KBS or BCBS cheaper and those are much better quality.

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Photo of Hophead717
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a thin mocha head that quickly disappears.

S: Roasted malt, sweet bourbon. A little boring.

T: Dark fruits, with mild roasted malts, light coffee, sweetness from the honey and bourbon. Finish is a nice mix of roasted malts and sweet bourbon.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation. Works well for the style and hides the 9.5%.

O: A very good beer, but probably not quite worth the price. The EC18 remains my favorite.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Red Wax, bottle #660. Poured into tulip.

Pours with a very short, caramel-brown head over a deep, dark brown body. Touch of lacing.

Aromas are wonderful. Burnt molasses, caramel, and oak barrel lead the way, with dark chocolate, black licorice, and maple syrup in a close second.

Oily on the palate with a bite of char in the finish. Flavors include molasses, roasted coffee grinds, hop oils, and the darkest of dark chocolate. Good bitter dryness in the finish.

I have yet to be let down by any of these. They're all just so damn tasty (albeit pricey!).

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Photo of korguy123
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Edition into CBS snifter.

A- Opaque black, inky, oily, black pour. Light tan head, head and lacing are nice for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout at almost 10%.

S- Smooth, sweet bourbon up front. Oak is there adding a nice touch. Black licorice, dark chocolate, fresh pressed coffee, vanilla and brown sugar with a touch of molasses. The bourbon has a presence that isn't too much but also adds a touch of warmth in it's aroma.

T- Smooth bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla and a good dose of fresh brewed coffee. Touch of char and some oak. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and some licorice.

M- Full bodied, creamy, low carbonation and a little on the sticky syrupy side.

O- The Elijah Craig 18 I had was fantastic. I had low expectations for this one as I assumed the EC18 was the cream of the crop. This one holds it's own. It truly is remarkable to see the difference just a barrel can do to vary a beer so many ways.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Splitting a bottle with my lovely wife tonight while playing Nintendo. Like a boss.

Served in my new FiftyFifty Eclipse shifter. Thanks Matt!

The beer is dark brown with a dense, oily, beige head that displays lasting retention and leaves copious sticky lacing on the sniffer. The aroma brings bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, hints of marshmallow. Smells great. Delicious flavor. Lots oak character. Not quite tannic, per se, but ample wood presence. Light and silky on the palate. A touch of warming alcohol in the finish, but really, this is dangerously drinkable. An outstanding barrel aged stout from the folks at FiftyFifty.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in a Eclipse snifter, hell yes. Beer is black, dark, with a thin brown head of small bubbles, some lacing, decent retnetion.

Aroma is boozy, strong vanilla and tannic components, rounds nicely. I really like it.

Beer is medium in body, creamy, this is the 2011 version which is much better, smoother better integrated than the 2010, a phenomenal beer right here. Nice finish, no heat, strong bourbon barrel character, very nice. I'd have this again.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Red Wax. Bottle #2286. Pours a dark brownish black color with a large tan-mocha colored head that takes quite some time to go down. Scent is dark chocolate with some roasted malt aromas. Sweet vanilla and oak with some cocoa powder and a hint of anise. More sweet chocolate with a bit of espresso. Not detecting very much bourbon in the nose. Taste is...THERE's THE BOURBON! Wow, so tasty. Where do I start? Sweet cocoa up front with some nice roasted marshmallow flavor. Sweet bourbon meshed well with vanilla, toffee, and dark cherries. A tad bit of alcohol, but a ton of roasted malt and amazing chocolate and bourbon flavors. The dark cherry finish just tops this beer off. Mouthfeel is fluffy and creamy. Drinkability is high. Overall, this could possibly be my favorite I've had from the Eclipse series so far (only had 2010 Evan Williams and 2011 18 year EC). I'd have to look at how I rated those, but this one is spectacular!

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by cmrillo at his own party! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark reddish brown with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, earth, subtle vanilla, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, earth, wood, vanilla, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. Based on have both of the Elijah Craigs just before this one, you definitely tell the Four Roses barrel treatment from the other. This one carried a nice earthy note along with it while still carrying over a lot from the others as well. It was rather enjoyable and definitely worth getting your hands on if you do not have any in your possession currently.

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Photo of bashiba
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice deep dark brown with a thin ring of tan head.

Smelled sweet and chocolatey, almost candy bar like, very light on the bourbon with just a touch of vanilla.

My first impression of the flavor is wow this is boring. The flavors are strangely muted and subdued for a big barrel aged stout. Its a bit sweet with chocolate and coffee notes with a hint of bourbon and oak, but just barely.

Mouthfeel was lightly warm, but almost seemed a touch thin.

Overall one of the more pedestrian Barrel aged stouts I have had.

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Photo of MordorMongo
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #6 cellar temp served in a tulip

A : Jet black, 1" mocha colored head that settles into a nice froth on top, lacing throughout, weaker retention than I expected

S : Booming oak and chocolate, bourbon less present than expected in the nose, some faint coffee

T : Comes off a bit dry, I get a lot more cocoa and coffee than I do the anticipated vanilla and toffee from the is not unpleasant at all just less barrel than I assumed.

M : Thinnish with strong carbonation, some bitter dark chocolate mid-palate and a dry, tight finish

O : Would have been interesting to have this blind as I don't think I would have guessed it for close to what it is. It is a very good imperial stout but the barrel notes were below expectation. Would be a great $15 beer, but at $30 is a bit meh. Glad to have had it though!

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Photo of liamt07
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Marcus, 650ml into some snifters. 2011 vintage I believe.

Black in body with a few fingers of brown head. Good lacing, but only a ring of retention. Nose has chocolate, bourbon, brown sugar, a good bit of malt sweetness and some roasted marshmallow. Just enough of everything. Taste has the bourbon well integrated into some milk chocolate, light roast, a touch of oak, vanilla and brown sugar. A solid sweetness all around. Medium full feel, super smooth low carbonation. Sweet, bourbon-y and chocolate-y. Yum.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a small amount of medium brown head.

S - Bourbon, oak and sweet roasted malts. The bourbon and base beer are well integrated and neither overshadows the other.

T - Bourbon, oak, honey and a good roasted malt presence are well integrated, as the nose suggested. There's a good sweetness present that really brings out the bourbon and some lighter vanilla and chocolate notes.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light carbonation.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle number 2296 split two ways.

A - Pours a dark, almost opaque with a lively dark tan head that eventually fades to edges.

S - Strong chocolate hits you first, then some some oak and booze follow it up. As I let it sit and warm, lots of nice welcoming carmel tones come through. I wanted to smell it more than drink it.

T - The taste was more boozy and chocolate up-front, also like the nose. As it warmed, lots of wonderful carmel flavors showed up.

D - Good carbonation for the style with a medium to heavy body.

O - Good at first, but as it warmed it really opened up with the carmel tones. Very nice. Let this one sit and you will love it.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks for sharing Matt!
2011 Vintage. Bottle #723.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some tan froth and lace.

(S)- Tons of oak in this. Bits of raisin and coffee, but otherwise, an overall dry, oaky, almost salty profile.

(T)- Still, the larger dry oak character from the smell is present, but does have some nice raisin, coffee, and cocoa to it.

(M)- A slightly higher carbonation level than normal, but really not that high considering. At the same time, it feels a tad thinner than the others, but still solid flavors.

(D)- Its a solid example for the style, but in my opinion one of the "lesser" examples in the Eclipse barrel variations.

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Photo of jegross2
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Eclipse Imperial Stout (Four Roses bourbon version) from FiftyFifty Brewing Company.
Score: 92

2011 vintage, bottle no. 2641. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 03/07/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours half a finger of creamy tan head that settles to a thin ring around the glass. Jet black with caramel strip of highlight atop the glass. Average lacing, above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Surprisingly straightforward for a barrel aged beer. Lots of dark chocolate. Then vanilla bean and a little toffee. Not much else. 4/5

Taste: Primarily a medley of various chocolate flavors. Some dark chocolate, creamy milk chocolate and some roasted chocolate. A little oak, followed by bourbon and caramel undertones. There is a modest amount of dark fruit, and a honey-like sweetness. Not very complex outside the chocolate flavors, but still very delicious. Alcohol is entirely hidden. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Really creamy mouthfeel. The finish is dry and slightly sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: Really tasty, but not very complex. This is a super solid barrel aged imperial stout that drinks incredibly well.

Recommendation: Delicious? Yes. Worth the cost? No. At $30+ a bottle, this is one certainly overpriced for what it is. I would absolutely drink it again, but there are plenty of cheaper, easier to find barrel aged imperial stouts out there.

Pairings: Chocolate chip pancakes.

Cost: $30 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage split with mjyoung.

A: Pours near black with a finger of creamy, fluffy, light brown head that faded into a soft film and collar leaving streaks of lace down the glass.
S: I get big notes of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and woody, spicy barrel. Very smooth smelling with no harshness.
T: Super smooth and integrated flavors of dark chocolate and mellow barrel spices and oak. I get a ton of vanilla and oak in the finish, with some powdery cocoa and roast in the aftertaste. The bourbon is mellow and smooth, and I get a hint of caramel, marshmallow, and toasted oats as well.
M: Velvety smooth mouth, super fluffy mousse-like carbonation with a thick full body that has a nice heft to it.
O: One of the better variations in my opinion and definitely an exceptional stout. Flavors are rich and creamy, and the mouthfeel with silky and smooth. Well done.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, bottle 1385/2011. Pours dark brown / black with a bit creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is oaty chocolate malts with some dark fruit, black licorice and light bourbon. There's some alcohol as well. It's a bit more subdued than expected.

The flavor is sweet sugary (honey?) chocolate malts and dark fruits and some grain that leads to a bitter warming alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, some harsh boozy bitterness early on, but it mellows and becomes pretty well balanced. As it warms up all the way, it becomes a bit boozy again.

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Photo of mjyoung
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011. Split w/ scottfrie. Thanks a ton.

A: Dark. Not quite the inky blackness I was expecting but with a beautifully off-tan head that dissipates relatively quickly.

S: To quote a friend "Mmmm bourbon-y chocolate". That pretty much sums it up. Not too much that is TOO crazy in here, but it's quite good.

T: Same thing on the palate. Delicious bourbon and delicious chocolate. Not the most robust or complex of flavors, but the three or four notes that come through are superb. Oh-so-smooth...

M: Thick but not chewy. It's a bit thinner than I would like, but that's a minor knock. A tasty beer, and great feel.

O: It's hard to say how this stacks up with the others, but it IS good. Of that there is no doubt. It's easy to be consistent when all you're doing is changing the barrels, but 50/50 continues to overwhelm.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to crack one of these bad boys open for some time now! Happy to have most of the 2011 collection and doubles of some, this included.

Poured into my CBS snifter: Midnight black appearance with a solid finger of tan head.

Nose is dark, bitter, boozy. Vanilla is noticeable. A harbinger of good things to come, I hope...

Flavor is rich and boozy. A great barrel showcase, as I've heard. The oak and vanilla noted are definitely there. Warming from the alcohol, but in a beneficial and happy way. This is a sipper and a half. I can picture drinking this for an hour or two, as it warms and various flavor components come to the forefront.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still rich and coating. Not a motor-oil comparison to be had here, so please move along.

Overall, this is a fantastic brew. The base beer must be pretty damn good, but the barrel treatment is really the thing. I regret not having some Four Roses Bourbon on hand to sip along with, maybe for the next one. Great Brew 50/50!

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Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 2613; 2011 Vintage

A - Pours deep brown with one and a half fingers of brown head. Head has very good retention and leaves some rings of lacing.

S - Aroma is somewhat subtle, but consists of sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, some char and mild booze.

T - Taste is a big improvement on the nose. Bourbon is prominent up front, quickly followed by a big chocolate taste. Vanilla and more bourbon in the middle. Also seems to be a faint hop presence. A bit too much char on the finish, but still very enjoyable.

M - Medium mouthfeel, a bit lighter than I would like, but good.

O - I enjoyed the EC 12 version quite a bit more, but this is still a very nice barrel-aged stout. Wish the char (and price) could be turned down just a bit.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #645. Served in a snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a very dark, opaque black body topped by about a finger of dark beige foam. Dissipates fairly quickly to a thick ring with large bubbles. Bits of lacing.

Dry and dusty barrel aroma. A little lighter than other versions. Vanilla ice cream and marshmallows dominate. Chocolate malt. Light bourbon and oak presence. A good bit of alcohol.

Taste is rich and very sweet. Honey is there, along with vanilla and more oak than in the nose. Roasty chocolate malt meets sweet bourbon in the middle of the flavor. Elements are well integrated. Roasty bitter finish with some booze dries things up. Heat comes on after several sips.

Body is medium-full and carbonation is medium-low. Fairly oily slick feel. Goes down great.

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Photo of oline73
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Smooth roasted malt with some chocolate, peppery oak, and bourbon alcohol warmth in the finish.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malt with a nice undertone from the bourbon. The woody note is slightly peppery, just like the smell. Not quite full enough to be outstanding.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, which seems a bit thin for this beer. Rather large bubbles with a dry finish.

Overall: This beer was a bit thin but it was still quite good. Not my favorite variation, but I would still have another.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, 2011 vintage bottle number 1885, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours black with mahogany highlights, topped with a finger of creamy tan head that recedes to a thin layer, leaves good lacing.

S- Very nicely blended bourbon with chocolate cookies, some molasses with oak and vanilla.

T- Bourbon flavors, oak and coconut, some dark fruits mixed with molasses and honey. Roasted, slightly smoky malts.

M- Full-bodied, smooth feel, creamy, would have liked it slightly thicker, some boozy warmth.

O- An excellent barrel-aged stout, it's not the best in the series but is still very good.

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4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to fish bowl. 2010 vintage. Bottle number 457. Many thanks to Grant for the trade. Sampled 3/18/12.

A: Scant 1 finger of head on the pour (the deep and wide glass rarely produces much more than that). The wispy head is light brown in color and doesn't last long, leaving only a crescent shaped ring along the sides. The body is very dark brown, and dark amber edges can be seen when the glass gets tilted back. Dots of lace sprinkle the glass before being washed away by the next sip.

S: The bourbon barrel sets the nose off. More refined than overpowering and very well integrated. Less prevalent are the subtle notes of cookie, cocoa powder, honey and vanillins. I pick up on light scents of dry wood, which are probably the oaky tannins coming through.

T: I honestly think that the honey is the key to this beer - and the most distinguishing factor. Not only does the honey flavor work with the overall profile, but there is a decent amount of malt sweetness here - and the drying effect of the honey does well to balance it out. The bourbon character supports the base beer well.

M: The body is no slouch - but it could stand to be a fuller certainly. Carbonation is spot on and keeps the beer rolling slowly over the tongue. Light heat on the backend is a plus in my mind.

O: Great beer - and not a single complaint - but I will be looking for a little more out of the next few 50/50's that I open.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 566 ratings.
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