Tripel Overhead (Bourbon Barrel-aged) | Mother Earth Brewing

very good
58 Reviews
Tripel Overhead (Bourbon Barrel-aged)Tripel Overhead (Bourbon Barrel-aged)

Brewed by:
Mother Earth Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cvstrickland on 05-04-2010

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 146
Photo of ArrogantB
1.48/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I got this in a trade a while back and as afraid to open it. My fear was justified. This was the worst beer I've ever had. It smelled and tasted like cheap booze and nothing else. Not only was his a drainpour but I couldn't even swallow the first sips, I spit them out. If you like cheap booze this might be just the beer for you.

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Photo of Verecund
2.13/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Harrika's in Swansboro, NC. I've had this in both 2010 (12 oz.) and 2011 (750ml) formats from the bottle, and the former is better than the latter. This rate is for the 2011 version on tap.

Pours a hazy caramel-amber with half a finger of head. Okay lacing, but this is one hazy tripel.

Almost nothing distinguishable on the nose. Pale malts, honey sweetness, faint (cheap bourbon), and a touch of vanilla. The 2010 version had a hint of tropical fruit and the bourbon was more pronounced. This is a mess. Also, there's a strong whiff of floor cleaner/solventy booze.

Fairly one-note: sweet honey and faint bourbon. A small hint of coconut, though nothing like last year's. No tripel base to speak of. A good bit of booziness.

Medium carbonation and creamy. A little boozy.

A huge mess. I would give last year's version around a B, but this is muddled and messy. I don't know if I could pinpoint the base style if I didn't know and the bourbon - which was too strong last year - is too faint. This recipe needs to be dialed in. What happened to the coconut from the barrel and the fruity tripel characteristics?

Do not buy this beer at $17/750ml.

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Photo of axeman9182
2.51/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, bottled April 2010, poured into my Allagash chalice.

The beer pours a nice orange, and while the beer is relatively clear, there are plenty of floating particles suspended in it (if that makes any sense). I hadn't realize that this tripel was bourbon barrel aged when I picked it up in the store, but one sniff quickly alerted me to the fact that it was. The nose is very heavy on bourbon, especially colder, and the tripel base only becomes apparent when the beer warms some. My experience with the taste is similar, very heavy on the bourbon, with a little of a traditional tripel flavor way in the background. Vanilla is also appreciable too, though just barely. Body and carbonation are both solid for the style, but neither make enough of an impression to warrant a really high score. This beer is an example of the possible pitfalls of barrel aging. Rather than oak and vanilla flavors, and/or a subtle bourbon influence, bourbon totally takes over the beer, and makes it too much of a sipper.

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Photo of WeisGuy
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Crittervision for this generous extra.

a - pours a hazy bright golden amber, one-finger white head with moderate retention and lacing

s - really weird, strong peanut butter aroma, lots of roasted peanuts, definite notes of oak and bourbon heat along with some Belgian spice and yeast, some vanilla in there as well

t - once again, a strange peanut butter/roasted peanut taste up front but not as strong as in the aroma, more oak and spice mixed with banana, yeast and bourbon heat on the backend

m - medium-to-full bodied, carbonation on the slightly low side, moderate alcohol warming, somewhat sweet on the finish

d - not all that drinkable with the strange peanut butter aroma/flavor and the bourbon heat, just not that enjoyable really

Unique brew to say the least. I might be crazy for the peanut butter that I picked up on, but one other person in the tasting group got the same thing. I don't see it mentioned in any other of the reviews, though. Not worth going out of your way to seek out, but worth a try just for the uniqueness if you see it on the shelf.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Alex for sharing this one.

A - Orangish bodied beer with a bit of a white head that left some spots on the side.

S - I guess this is a tripel, but bourbon and barrel have obliterated it. Bourbon, wood, vanilla, candy corns, some belgian yeast I think and fruits, but not really.

T - It tastes like bourbon, candy corns, wood, decent amount of alcohol. You get the underlying tripel if you look for it in candied sugar, stone fruits, and some yeast, but it doesn't really matter.

M - Lower carbonation, lighter side of medium bodied.

O - This didn't work, just take any lighter flavored beer and leave it in a barrel to long and it will probably taste like this. Not saying it tastes bad per se, but it's just not good take on a tripel.

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Photo of callmemickey
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I recently received this as an extra... when I opened the bottle I had no idea it was aged in bourbon barrels (i didnt may too much attention the labeling at the bottom!) so needless to say I was quite surprised

A: Dark amber with some light golden hues. Small off-white caps quickly died down and left only the faintest clumps of lacing.

S: Bourbon. Lots of it. Complete with oak and vanilla. So much so that it drowned out the tripel-like fruity notes. Some diacetyl creeping in here as well.

T: The flavor didn't work for me... the bourbon was harsh and abrasive... downing out the delicate fruity esters. Way too much diacetyl here. Butterscotch galore.

M: Somewhat thin, with moderate carbonation. The booze is not really hidden.

D: In the end the harshness of the bourbon and the butterscoth just didn't work for me. An interesting, but ultimately unsuccessful idea.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.04/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Atually kind of an ugly, extremely hazy yellow color. Decent head and lacing.
I can almost sum up the rest of this review with the single word "bourbon"
Bourbon totally dominates this beer in both the taste and the nose
Trace of malts, yeast can be detected, but the bourbon takes the cake.
Taste was almost totaly bourbon.
Think they over did it with this one a bit.

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Photo of Shaggy9356
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Extra from wchollif...thanks! Grabbed 12oz. bottle of tripel from the fridge never reading the bottle and seeing that it was bourbon barrel aged.

Appearance: Hazy orangish, not super appealing to look at, minor lacing along glass. Whispy foam, light carbonation.

Smell: Bourbon, mead, vanilla, esters

taste: holy crap, who poured some tripel in my bourbon? Crazy bourbon flavor dominates, lots of vanilla, more mead. Real hard time picking up the base flavor of the beer. A little heat on the swallow and some isopropyl taste.

Drinkability - not expecting this one bit. I love bourbon but this may even overdo it for me. Not a huge fan of the finish. I like that they tried this but maybe again a % of it in the bourbon barrels and blending it would make for an easier beer to drink. Surprised to see this in a 12 oz. bottle.

This may take me the rest of the night to finish and its only 4 pm.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Pours and looks like apple cider. Lots of bubbles and a head that stays for quite some time.
S: Very sweet and fruity. Pineapple notes, apple, sweet, a little kick.
T: Hits being sour and bitter. Not the same notes as in the smell. A little bit of sweetness but it's overpowered quickly by alcohol which seems to dominate the beer.
M: Sits a little sour. Body is decent. It's bearable but not mind blowing.

Overall I was really optimistic about this beer which smelled great and fruity and complex. The taste though is almost exclusively sour and alcohol so not really impressive. It's doable but not blowing my mind.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is dominated by bourbon, with notes of caramel and brown sugar, oak, alcohol, vanilla, charcoal, a little yeastiness, a little fruit, and ALCOHOL. The flavor also has big bourbon notes upfront, with notes of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, caramelized oranges, yeasty esters, candy sugar and fusel alcohol. The mouthfeel is a little thick, and drinkability is seriously hampered by the alcohol presence. This is an exercise in barrel aging gone wrong, the end result is drinkable but in no way better than the base beer. They need to tone down the bourbon character and allow the tripel to shine through more.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BucketBoy for this extra
12oz bottle into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: It pours a murky golden color with zero clarity. It yields a small one finger head that vanished quickly leaving decent lacing.

S: Big bourbon notes come rushing from the glass. Smokey vanilla, caramel, and oak are the dominant forces.

T: The bourbon absolutely dominates this brew. I am having trouble distinguishing the tripel from the barrel. Waves of vanilla, burnt wood, and caramel lead the way.

M: A lush, velvet texture pushes the medium body to it's limits.

O: Unbalanced as it is I still can't help but love it. Bourbon barrels...

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Photo of nerdrocker101
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out honey orange with a slim, loose white head. The lacing is very thin and soapy like residue in the shower.

The nose is all bourbon. Aromas of butterscotch and vanilla mingle.

The mouth is much the same. Loads of bourbon, some candi sugar. I feel as if the delicate style has been overpowered by the barrels or maybe just exposed to them for too long.

Fairly heavy body, certainly not stout-like, but heavier than most tripels nonetheless. Moderate carbonation. Warm for sure.

I love barrel aged beers, but I feel like I have no idea what this beer tastes like. I might as well have just licked the barrels.

I think I need to go get the non-barrel-aged version.

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Photo of abecall98
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A nice extra from Bucketboy, Thanks!

A - pours a cloudy copper color. Very thin head, grabs onto sides of the glass. Looks very thick.

S - oh boy, is that Bourbon, yes it is. Lovely. A hint of sweet fruity esters finishes the nose. I like this.

T - bourbon is the strong, very dominate in the taste. A few more sips show the yeast in action, that classic Tripel banana clove is present. Alcohol is very very present, and that's not too cool however.

M - not like your average Tripel. The beer is lightly carbonated, but that's expected from bourbon barrel beers. Still, more carb would amplify this beer a point or 2.

D - the beer is pleasing, inviting, and tasty, but that Alcohol, ohan that alcohol in the finish... Please go away. It's only a 9% abv. Beer, go away.

O - this was a pleasant extra. I have been very very underwhelmed from beers lately, and although this beer is not perfect, it is still an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of blackie
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: st. bernie chalice, rich golden-amber in color with a pretty scant head, thin ring around the glass

s: sweet pale malts, honey, tropical fruit preserves (whoever said orange marmalade nailed it), estery, bourbon and vanilla, the bourbon isn't overpowering - it's actually pretty restrained here - but it just doesn't really add or detract very much from this particular tripel

m: lightly carbonated with a slick, sugary body

t: very sweet - lots of bready honey flavor from start to finish, some belgian yeast influence with a light spice and esters, lots of residual sugar here, sweet citrus preserves, honeydew melon, light to moderate bourbon with a high vanilla component, booze modest but really there as it warms to room temp, finishing with a light woody astringency

d: okay...much like the standard tripel - average and kinda sweet, but with the obvious addition of bourbon - not really a good thing, not really a bad thing, just a thing, but it does give this one a slight edge over the standard version

single from Bruisin' sometime this summer

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big Thanks to ASUBeer for hooking me up with this one.

I must put out the disclaimer: I am not a huge fans of the yeast forward Belgian style ales. However, when they get up into the Tripple range, I tend to find a few more that I enjoy.

First and foremost, the Bourbon Barrel aging made this a very interesting ale all around.

Poured beautiful, with an active head putting forth aromas of Bourbon sweetness with undertones of slightly peppery/fruity yeast.

Taste, was a melange of bourbon, less yeast (the way I prefer it), hints of caramel and fruit.

Felt good in the mouth, not too light, not too chewy.

As it warmed, I found I enjoyed it more. It retained more of a Bourbon flavor, that was straight forward (lacking the other roasty characters that usually come with the barrel). More of that sweet Bourbon flavor, like it had been spiked with Southern Comfort or some other similar libation.

Glad I got to try this one, very interesting.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of bmanning at a tasting this evening. Served in a tulip.

Pours a hazy golden color with a thin white head that quickly recedes and leaves behind some very spotty lacing. There is a thin half collar on the top of part of the beer. The nose is completely lacking in what I would describe as typical tripel characteristics. The bourbon has completely taken over, though it's somewhat nice. The taste adds in some slight sweetness, though bourbon is still the predominant note. There is some slight grain there as well. Medium body with a bit of alcohol. Decent enough, though I think the bourbon has really taken over without leaving much, if any, of the base beer behind.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to BucketBoy for this one. Bottle is dated 04/10. Served in my Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a half-finger of white foam that settles to a thin ring and some patchy film, perhaps a few tiny spots of lace. Hazy, peach juice body.

S - Holy crap! This smells like bourbon. There's some oak and vanilla too, but if you told me that someone just dumped straight bourbon into my beer I would probably believe you. As it warms there's a faint hint of stone fruits, but letting the temperature rise also brings out more fusel alcohol.

T - Taste has huge coconut and butterscotch flavor from the barrels, and some bourbon whiskey flavor. There's some fruity tripel in the background, I guess. Alcohol is a little better hidden in the taste.

M - Body is medium and smooth, with lower carbonation. It's a touch watery for a 9% tripel, and the alcohol heat is not particularly well-hidden - this must have picked up a few percent from the barrels. Finishes lightly sticky.

D - The sweetness and booze gets pretty fatiguing. I think it took me over an hour to get through a 12oz bottle. I probably should have shared this one with a friend or two. One of the most bourbon-influenced beers I've ever encountered.

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Photo of ewright
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: The pour is hazy orange-amber in color with a 1/4" layer of white head that recedes to a thin ring all too quickly. I'd like to see more retention in a tripel, barrel aged or not.

S: Boozy and bourbon laced up front. The Belgian esters rise in the background with some spice and a muted bubblegum note. I'm also getting faint note of 'nilla wafers, likely from the oak barrel. There's something else there ... maybe a hint of green raisin? Complex, but hard to nail down.

T: Initially, this tastes like a standard tripel, but with a shot of bourbon added. Other than the booze and a slight oak note, nothing really stands out at first. On the back of the tongue, I start to get a faint banana note. There's a definite bourbon twang in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate to low carbonation ... maybe this is why there isn't much head retention. The beer is pretty solid on the tongue, but the booze in the aftertaste helps to keep the palette lighter than expected.

D: OK, this is hard to describe. I'm not giving this beer very high marks on any specific characteristic, but I really enjoy it. This is my second bottle from the same 4-pk; I recall the first one fondly. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this one, with another month or so of age, doesn't stand out as much but it is still tasty. This beer confuses me, but in a good way.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of atsprings (hooked me big-time up after the first one of these broke in transit!). Bottled 04/10.

Pours into my Corsendonk tulip with a murky peach body (radiant tangerine when held to the light). A soapy head quickly builds and fades to a scant patch & ring of foam that leaves no lace. Bourbon bursts from the glass and hits the nose with notes of vanilla, fresh oak tannins, and delicious booze. Big caramel presence as well with some light yeasty tropical fruits, and although the Tripel characteristics are largely over-shadowed, it's impressive just how much bourbon they squeezed into this beer's aroma.

Wow...this beer is hot! Big, boozy bourbon notes immediately coat the palate with vanilla & green oak. The tripel presence shines through more than in the aroma, adding spicy peppercorn and sweet malts to the mix. Mouthfeel isn't overly thick, and the carbonation level is right on, but the alcohol is tongue-numbing throughout the entire sip. Basically, the booze is all over the place, making me think this would be a great candidate for a few years in the cellar. Right now, however, the bourbon is too powerful. A sipper for sure, and I'd go so far as to recommend sharing a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Bottle shared by Andrew, thanks!

A: Dark orange with a small white head.

S: Pronounced bourbon and oak with a dash of vanilla and a strong bubblegum presence. Malt is bready and sweet with a sugar notes. Apple is faint.

T: Bread and grain with sugar and bubblegum. Bourbon is light and oak is evident. The beer is quite sweet and alcohol is strong in the finish.

M: Medium in body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: Smelled better than it tasted, and a little too sweet, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this bottle, Carl.

A: The beer pours a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a finger or two of white head.

S: The barrel has really taken over here. Lots of oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes. The more base Tripel aromas are there, but underneath. A decent amount of banana as well as some sugar, graham cracker, and bubblegum.

T: The flavor is much the same, though it's a bit more fruity and sweet. Heavy on the bourbon and oak with a mild citrus note, banana, and plenty more sugar and bubblegum flavors.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Not very Tripel-like anymore, but still pretty good.

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Photo of rye726
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden tan with a silky beige head. Nice lace.

Nose has floral hops, tropical fruits, candy malts and peppery yeast along with a good amount of oak. Also some nice notes of vanilla and bourbon.

Taste is a bit hot, but I like what the barrel aging did to this beer. The bourbon and oak flavors are well balanced yet still play a large roll in the flavor profile.

Creamy, smooth body. Well carbonated. Lacking complexity in the finish, a bit hot. Should age well.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired by Nick straight from North Carolina, thanks dude! I've been on a Tripel kick lately and am always excited to try something new from Mother Earth. 750 ml corked and caged bottle, poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Cloudy golden bronze with a ever so slightly off-white head. The retention cap covers the entire surface and there are really clingy patches of lacing all over. It's a really nice looking beer but perhaps a bit darker in the body than most Tripels.

S: Massive yeasty notes come off strong in the aroma along with a whiff of alcohol. For being such dominating aromas on their own this threw me off for a second. Honeycomb, sweet caramel malt and caramel apple come through near the end. It smells way more malt and yeast forward than other Tripels, and doesn't seem to strike a good balance.

T: Big alcohol notes are noticeable around mid-palate and well into the finish. Unfortunately these flavors are quite intense and initially mask any flavor present. Belgian yeast elements make their mark along with very bready malts. Overripe citrus fruits are along with the alcohol burn in the finish and just a few seconds into the linger.

M: Fairly active carbonation, nice and fizzy on the palate. It's the mouth feel you'd expect for the style, really well done in this area.

Overall, this wasn't too impressive in comparison to other quality Tripels (both domestic and international). The flavors seemed strikingly unbalanced and in need of some refinement. Other than that, it had all the typical elements you'd expect right down to the great mouth feel but everything else needs to be tied together better.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Westmalle Chalice

A: A lick of head on a clouded amber body

S: Candied fruits, bourbon, sticky caramel, hint of booze, orange candies, charred wood.

T: Cheap bourbon, marmalade, marshmellow, vanilla, and another wave of thickened sugar march on the palate.

M: Carb is a tad high for me but settles down with time.

D: A bit too sweet to want to attack two back to back. Still, a flavorful tripel.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An average beer. Not a lot of bourbon in the beer, but enjoyable none the less. The belgium yeast is a little overpowering, but a good change of pace.

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Tripel Overhead (Bourbon Barrel-aged) from Mother Earth Brewing
3.84 out of 5 based on 146 ratings.
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