White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1) | White Birch Brewing

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White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1)White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1)

Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barrel fermented, untamable, fierce; Indomitus. This Wild Ale is fermented in oak with our house yeast, a blend of brettanomyces and aged hops. It’s brought to you unblended and uncut, creating a sharp, tart flavor with fascinating fruit notes.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 06-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 41
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from VanillaMike so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice glass. Bottled on date of 5/27/2010, #99 of 154.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains esters, apples, caramelized malts, Belgian yeast and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with burst of sourness that remains dominant with flavors of apples wild Belgian yeast and citrus. Then some mild sweetness comes in along with a complementary hops presence. The malt character is on the thin side and provides a decent balance. I didn’t pick up much of the oak aging. The after-taste is tart.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid sour beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a chocolate brown head like a stout. Barely any carbonation. Thick, stagnent syrup.

S: Bourbon. Dark chocolate, port wine.

T: Chocolate -> candied whole spices -> flip the switch into sour (bell curve) -> faint dry roastiness

M: Low carbonation, a slight dryness from the roast and even some coffee aspects which I hate the idea of in a sour. Overall its pretty neutral.

O: I don't see the need for the hate.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.81/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

After being led to believe this was one of the worst beers ever made by larga "I can only communicate in hyperbole" deer, I approached this beer with trepidation and excitement at the last big Peninsula tasting.

A: Pours a hazy goldenrod body capped with a small wisp of off-white head.

S: This changes as it warms, going from earthen / dirty notes to more expression of brett (must, funk) and lemons. I really want to hate this, considering everything I've heard about it, but at best it's just sub-par.

T: It's not super flavorful, but it combines flavors of lemons, must (reminding me of an attic), slight funk, and a noticeable metallicity in the finish. Again, I want to hate this, and I'm annoyed that this wasn't the dirty pond water it was hyperbolically claimed to be.

M: Oddly unsettled and uneven in flavor, resulting in some sips that are earthy / funk and others that are more metallic, without a general sense of integration. There may be a good beer here waiting to get out.

O: On hand, were 4 people who had had Indomitus before (3 whose tastes I trust, and largadeer), and the former 3 all agreed: the beer had improved substantially since its amazing trainwreck showing in their last encounter with it. I, having no prior experience, am left disappointingly undisappointed. White Birch, you are somehow... improving?

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Photo of puboflyons
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Black batch bottled August 16, 2011 no. 156. Sampled on December 25, 2011. The pour is more like a stout than anything else with its pitch black color and thick foamy head. The aroma is full of dark grains, malts, wood, and earthy hops. The body falls into the medium to heavy range. The taste is wild and hoppy with a pucker-up sourness. The yeast seems to come out more as it gets to the end of glass.

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.79/5  rDev +46.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is from an August 2011 bottling not to be confused with the may 2010 bottling.

This beer is AMAZING.

Pours a deep dark mahogany color that borders on black with a 1 finger mocha head.

Smell is heavenly combination of freshly picked wild raspberries, dark chocolate, coffee, and some Brett.

The taste is sublime, complex, and smooth. It has wild ale all over it but never becomes abrasive. The coffee and chocolate rule the day with deep subtle fruit notes and dew drops from fresh cut hay coming to the party.

Bought direct from Bill at the new store in Hooksett.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.12/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was quite a surprise, got it via the tickers BIF from womencantsail, thanks!

Wonderful pour, kind of orange colored with a nice head and some lace, but overall a really nice looking beer.

Tasted and smelled downright sour, in a wonderful way. Sour crabapples brought forth a pungent tart fruitiness that comes right out and stays in your face the whole time. Funk and vinegar accent this great beer creation all the way. Finish was sour and dry.

Body was pretty light but right on par for the style.

This was a really tasty beer. I'd very happily have this one again anytime, and don't really understand the wild swings in the reviews so far. Its clearly a wild ale and has all the features that I look for in this style. As far as I'm concerned this one is "Great job White Birch!"

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Photo of scottfrie
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing Mike. Bottled 5/27/10, Batch 1.

A: Pours a glowing pumpkin color with a thin white head.
S: I get a bit of cucumber and melon on the nose. Strange.
T: Notes of melon, brett, and a grapefruit pith sourness to the finish. It’s also a bit solventy and rough. I also get note of oak and some else more sinister that I’m not a fan of but cannot put my finger on.
M: A clean mouthfeel with fluffy carbonation and a pleasant sourness to the finish. The alcohol and acidic make it a bit uncomfortable to drink though.
O: Odd, but not as bad as some make out. I was content with just one pour. I could not drink a whole bottle of this.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.46/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. Bottled May 27, 2010. Bottle number 31 of 154.

The beer pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is bread and citrus, with a little bit of cardboard. The flavor is not good at all. I get a ton of cork and cardboard, as well as a little bit of brett, grass, grain and some nasty fruit notes. Not sure what went wrong, but the beer cannot taste like the brewer intended. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Gross.

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Photo of Overlord
1.99/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know that Bill can brew world class beers. I've had them from him. This isn't a world class beer. Then again, it isn't quite as awful as other reviews make it out to be.

I will say this: if you have this beer at a temperature below a comfortable 70 or so fahrenheit, you will find it undrinkable. The person who was kind enough to send me a bottle indicated I should let it warm up. Chilled, it's a bracing, curdled ball of oaked dirt, urinal caked dirt, and dank slightly funky dirt with some scorched plastic dirt.

With some heat, the aroma and flavor opened up, and some bracing lemons, a bit of dancing ... I don't know ... cobwebs of metallic zestiness ... and different nuances of soured dirt appeared.

It's a bad beer. Couldn't finish the bottle. Not really sour, though there are hints. It's mostly striated earth/dirt funk with heaping bits of randomness.

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Photo of Brez07
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this to the recent SMBDC sour tasting. Opened it later in the meeting after some people left, so I ended up with around 8oz. Batch 1, bottle 140/154

A: Light goldenrod in color. Some visible carbonation. Left a thin white layer of head

S: Interesting nose. Very musty, earthy. Lots of horse blanket. Has a mossy smell about it

T: Musky funk. I'd also say this was dusty in a way. Light fruit in the finish (apricot, peach). Not a terrible amount of tartness

M: Light to medium bodied. As stated, light tartness resulting in a smooth drinking wild. Funky, dry finish

D: Overall, everyone seemed to like this one. Not the greatest or most sour wild out there, but definitely not a drainpour as others have mentioned. Would like to see a 2nd batch made

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Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Hobo Tasting #2 with mikesgroove. Big thanks to Mike for bringing this one out to share with me. Bottle #153/154, bottle on May 27, 2010. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, oak, and big funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, big oak, and skunky funk. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. Definitely had a big skunky funk going on here. Excellent flavor and aroma though. Really glad Mike shared this one with me. A must try!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hobo tasting number two at the main street pub. shared with calton as always. bottle 153/154

i really dont get what is going on with the reviewing of this beer. it seems east of the mississippi its a great beer, west its worst then natty light, i just dont get it. maybe some people dont know a good sour? ii think the real reason is some people are all hyped up on the fruity sours an lambics and this is not that. this is just deep horse funk and in your face sour without that fresh fruit. its a love it or hate it i guess but i loved it.

poured out a nice amber color with minimal cloudiness and a small white head that would soon fade. aroma is just downright sour. so much critters in here. lacto like i have never seen. reminds me of the early batches of the rr sours when they were fresh. just raw vinegar and straight funk, gorgeous. carried right over into the flavor which again was no holds barred and just deep sour and funk that was incredibly vibrant and tongue lashing. dry finish is an understatement as all sense of flavor is zapped from the mouth and cotton mouth is what you are left with.

overall loved it, its nit a fruit or lambic sour people. this is pushing the envelope of the style and done very, very well.

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Photo of mothman
1.78/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Color is a hazy gold. Has a white head to it.

Aroma: Funky, bretty, vinegar, cat-piss. This is an abomination.

Taste: Lemon, funky, garbage, cat-piss. Acidic notes with some oak. This beer is terrible. What the hell was White Birch trying to brew?

Mouthfeel: Creamy and funky. Lighter bodied, medium carbonation. Ends acidic and medicinal. Not good.

Overall, this is a terrible beer and I could hardly drink much of it. I had enough it to jot down some notes, but after that I stopped drinking it. A definite drain pour. I sure hope they never make this one again.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.1/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, pours a clear medium dark orange with a white head that dies down to a thin ring. Really musty nose with a vibrant white grapefruit pulp character. Very, very dry mouth still that omnipresent white grapefruit. Very straightforward but unique flavor. Some grapefruit bitterness clings to the back palate. Funky brett starts to swirl up as it warms. Sprtizy, lively carbonation. Similar in a way to Beatification, though more full and I think more unique. Really fun beer, I've had this twice and both bottles were equally good.

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Photo of HopHead84
1.77/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5


Thanks Bill! Golden with a small white head.

The aroma is redolent of sulfur, with oppressive notes of urinal cake, burnt plastic, sweat, and chlorine. How exotic.

The flavor is sulfuric ash, with harsh chlorine, unwashed outer labia, scorched plastic, and a disgusting mold character. This was really bad.

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Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade with sisuspeed - thanks!

Pours a hazy golden-red color with a two-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of must, funk and fruit. The musty notes are similar to an old basement, or as Jeremy put it, an old bookstore. The funk parts are more wet hay than anything else and the fruits are slightly tart raspberries and cherries.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the emphasis is more on the funk and fruit aspects. Light malt and hints of wheat twang kick things off and are quickly overtaken by solid amounts of tart fruit flavors - raspberries and cherries as in the aroma. Midway through the moderate amounts of funk work their way into things, carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass and would have no problems having another.

Overall this has to be the mustiest smelling beer I remember having. After cataloguing a myriad of issues with WB I think I finally found a winner, whether or not the musty notes were 100% intentional is another matter entirely. A very, very interesting beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.12/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle 29 of 154
Bottled May 27th, 2010

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. Nice, clear, burnt orange body with a thin foamy white head on top that has some staying power.

Green apple and oak on the nose with pears and chardonnay grapes. Touch of alcohol as well. A good brett presence with a bit of mustiness.

Tipping back the glass reveals a nice, green apple, brett tartness on the tongue, but then unfortunately takes a turn for the worse. Green apple brett fades to a somewhat harsh solvent like character with wet cardboard. From there the finish leaves a burnt plastic, almost meaty flavor in your mouth. Not overly pleasant, but some might like it.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with light, but sharp carbonation. A decent amount of acidic tartness, but unfortunately the finish leaves a somewhat waxy coating with the aftertaste.

Drinkability is somewhat low. I want to like this beer. It looks good. The aroma is actually quite good and the initial taste as the beer first hits your lips is decent, but it dives quickly from there leaving an unpleasant finish.

As a side note, I had this beer at it's initial release and it was much better. Somewhere in the B+/A- range. I'm not really sure what happened. I've got another bottle in the cellar, so we'll see if time is the culprit or if I just opened a sub-par bottle.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle 29. Poured into a snifter, revealing clear amber brown body with flecks of gold under a thick, dense off-white head. Very pretty. Smells sharply funky with some stone fruit and a nice barrel presence. Lots of bright sour notes, but also kind of like being out in a tall dry field in the heat of summer smelling all the grassy floral funkiness. Very cool smells.

Tastes very sharp and funky, with stinky cheese flavors and an undeniable sharp sourness up front followed by a weird, lemon rind-like bitterness that mellows out a bit at the end. The aftertaste is hard to describe and very unlike what the fresh beer brought forth... sort of like licking river rocks. That part is not so much my thing, but the rest of the tastes are good and go very well with the gjetost cheese on toast with fresh blackberries that I happen to be pairing it with. Not sure if the extra flavors are due to the aged hops. Mouthfeel is as smooth as you'd expect this astringent a beer to be, slight carbonation adds a little volume to the otherwise light body. The fresh version of this I remember being extremely drinkable, but for this slightly aged bottle the aftertaste gets a little off-putting in the end. Overall it's still a decent beer, but I would die for another fresh bottle.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.45/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Frank for sharing this one!

A-great hazed golden orange color with a dense pure white head.

S-notes of grapefruit rin and peach up front with a nice musky cellar funk and notes of earthy dirt behind with a nice funky cheese.

T-hints of sweetness and fruit up front, light grapefruit rind and peaches, the cellar musk is well and has a good presence, cheese lies behind, hints of acidity to it and light bitterness in the back.

M-soft and gentle, lighter body and carbonation, a little thin and maybe a touch of driness in the finish.

D-very interesting american sour, first I've tried that had that musky and cheesy funk to it much in the direction of 3 Fonteinen. really moving in the right direction with this beer!

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Photo of nickd717
1.76/5  rDev -46%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle generously shared by Nanoslug. A hype machine this is, but is it good or is it just rare and barrel aged? 150-odd bottles were made in total I hear.

Pours hazy golden with a one-finger white head that leaves white foam.

The aroma is that of an old stagnant pond, overgrown with algae and toads ribbiting along the edges. Some cellophane notes as well, something that reminds me of the Fruit Roll-Ups wrapper.

The flavor is not so good. Pond water is big as in the aroma, but there is a little urine as well. Funky in a bad way, with a plasticky note and lots of wild yeast.

Medium-light body with very high carbonation.

Just not too good overall. Not sure why the hype is so big on these beers. These beers are not so good.

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Photo of DefenCorps
1.7/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Nanoslug(s) for this beer. What the fuck is this atrocity?

Pours clear orange dense white head good retention and lace. Smells like cork, TCA and oak. Fucking awful. Overly tannic, there's too much oak. Smells like the chesapeake bay on a bad day. Tastes almost as bad. Butter, cork tannins, and a little vanilla are present, all rather terribly out of balance. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, the finish is disgustingly tannic and corked. Awful.

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Photo of MasterSki
1.85/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Adam & Anna for sharing this one. I'd been looking forward to trying it. Batch 1, Bottle 53 of 154. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Pours with a big off-white foam that eventually settles to a thin collar and some hazy film, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is a murky orange-brown color.

S - Algae, pond water, seaweed, mold, and urinal pucks. Wow, this is pretty awful. The only positive is that the 8.8% is well-hidden in there.

T - Taste is surprisingly bland - I suppose that's an improvement? Maybe a bit of sourness and tart green apple among the standing water and gym bag flavors. Finish was slight bacon and smoke - very odd and incongruous.

M - Feel is gritty and a touch slimy. Light-medium body that seems a bit thin for the ABV. The carbonation was pleasant.

D - Just awful - I'm not sure what the intent here was, but this is epic fail territory. I felt bad for Chris' drain.

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Photo of largadeer
1.03/5  rDev -68.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks for sharing this one, Nanoslug(s). Amber hued, pretty hazy and murky with no head, only a thin collar.

Smells pretty terrible. Cork, mold, oak, sweaty socks, urinal cake, papery oxidation. Really heavy on the wet paper.

Oxidized and stale palate, wet dog, mold, astringent tannins. Only slightly sour, more funky and stale. I can't extrapolate much on this one because it's really bad. It finishes oaky, slightly nutty, very drying. Not a fan, the funk has an awful mold character to it that reminds me of a soggy gym towel or something. Had this after a few excellent Cantillon beers and the difference was staggering.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a White Birch flute. Special thenks to vanillamike for this from our recent trade!

Bottled: May 27, 2010
Batch: One
Bottle: 81 of 154
ABV: Alc. 8.8% by Vol.

A: Pours a hazy, slightly tarnished copper color with about one finger of creamy, eggshell-colored foam on top. The head quickly disappears and leaves no trace of lace in the glass.

S: A fair amount of cork at first. This was followed by what Heather described as a tobacco shop and/or stationary store aroma. In addition to that there was a bunch of tart berry, bright citrus, new oak, leaf pile, and dusty hay loft.

T: Pretty much just as above with a nice emphasis on mild vinegar, tart fruit, buttery oak, cobwebbed rafters, and old sweaty leather belt.

M: Bright fruit and tart vinegar with astringent yeast notes. Finishes almost dusty feeling.

D: Tart, tangy, and sour without being SOUR. Another winner from White Birch!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours clear copper with a gold hue and a quarter inch of quickly fizzling white head. Two whisps remained on the surface for the duration as well as some dotted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with funk, oak, and cheese. Musty boards rubbed with aged cheese rinds and pencil shavings. Hints of citrus pith, goat hair, pineapple, cloves, and cedar.

On the light side of medium bodied with a crisp, sharpish edge.

A citric tartness leads off the palate, with a hefty dose of brett and woody overtones quickly following. Pineapple skin, shaved barnboards, old sock, brittle hay, and soured apples.
A dusty fruit bowl stuffed with old socks found in the hayloft.

Finishes with a lingering tartness, musty cheese, and crackled wood.

Booya. Keep 'em coming like this Bill. Notes of sherry and all that dusty, wood-rubbed character gives the impression of some definate age to this barrel. The Brett is full-on and the tartness is well on it's way to sour.

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White Birch Barrel Aged Indomitus (Batch 1) from White Birch Brewing
3.26 out of 5 based on 41 ratings.
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