Cruising With Ruben & The Jets | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Cruising With Ruben & The JetsCruising With Ruben & The Jets

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BradLikesBrew on 12-05-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 315 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of paco1029384756
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with one finger of off white head.

Scent of roasted malts, fruits, and sugars. Not much to it, and it just really isn't that good.

Taste of fruits, maple syrup and hints of roasted malts. One of the most average Imperial Stouts I have ever had, at least it was only $4.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and thin.

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Photo of possumfollower2
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Trying this out as we speak. Will admit I'm drinking it out of a wine glass...don't hate me. The aroma is undramatic, maybe a little unassuming. Definite fruitiness in the bouquet among the roastiness. A beautiful beer when it goes down. Up front roastiness of a light American Stout but finishes with a berry tone that is very pleasurable. Light complexities like a deep dark amber---reminiscent of the Censored Copper Ale (which I love, thanks Lagunitas) only, of course, in a deeper, darker variance. Loving it the whole way through. The more I indulge the more I think that a 22oz should be split because it's deceptively easy going. Beware the silky, fruity goodness. A great treat. I recommend the Ruben and the Jets.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a light tan meniscus of foam that last for a few sips. This beer is a bit too dense to see any carbonation in exept for a few tiny bubbles that are stuck to the glass wall.

S- During the pour I thought this beer had a strong banana aroma but it more fruity with more sniffing. That quickly turned to some roasted dark malt notes and a cola aroma to it. There was a hint of cream and a soft grape note in the finish.

T- This beer has a smooth roasted black malt flavor with some chocolate malt supporting it with a semi-sweetness. The finish was a soft inky bitter malt note that balanced the flavors upfront.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a silky texture and no alcohol heat.

D- This beer has some nice flavors but they were a bit soft and there was not a lot of depth to them. This was a pretty light stout in terms of big dark roasted flavors and there wasn't any real hops character but that was fine cause the malt bitterness balance the sweetness.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, but shows some clear, deep red notes to it even as it sits on my desk. When held up to the light it shows a brilliantly clear, dark cherry red color. The aroma is quite fruity smelling with ample berry notes (blueberry, and blackberry are noticeable), but these are most definitely, at least partially, from the chocolate character as the finish has a rich, bright chocolate note to it. There is also a touch of tartness here that accentuates the berry notes, a touch of up front roast character as well as a touch of solvent like alcohol and some toasted bread crust character. This has a very interesting nose to it; it can be quite intriguing at times.

The beer is soft and creamy textured up front, but this is somewhat cut by a prickly carbonation, but then it finishes with a velvety texture again. There is a strong roast character here that provides a lot of burnt bitterness. The beer is sweet up front which accentuates a bright berry character, and there seems to be a fair amount of hop character here as well; some of the berry notes come from this, there is also a touch of pine, as well as some grapefruit like notes as well as a herbal bitterness to the finish. The sweet chocolate notes get mixed in with the roasted grain character; the chocolate flavors are actually somewhat hard to pick out and if I didn't know this contained chocolate then I would not guess it. Also the pepper is almost non-existent, I get no zing, subtle or otherwise.

Not a bad beer given that the bottle advertises nothing about the beer on it, so to say I am disappointed in the chocolate and white pepper character seems a bit disingenuous. This is actually a pretty good beer, it definitely has a hard time fitting in a style description (which is, I suppose, fitting) as it is not really roasted enough to be your typical strong American Stout. Certainly interesting and a beer that I can easily spend an evening sipping my way through a 22oz bottle of.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Raymond69
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours kinda light for a stout , gas station coffee color. Decent head , some lacing.

Aroma of muted hops and some faint cocoa.

Thin dark malts , with a slight hoppiness in the background remind me of Guinness , with more body/alcohol.

Mouthfeel is kinda thin and dry , good carbonation.

Overall a I enjoyed this beer , although it's a little odd , drinks just fine.

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Photo of thespaceman
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass (Great price, only paid $3.99 at Valley Discount Wine & Liqour.

Appearance: Darkish brown/black in color, nice toppling white head with decent retention.

Smell: Some good maltiness, a bit of spice, coffee elements and toffee.

Taste: A good tinge of esters is up front, a very peppery element is somewhat hidden yet rears it's head on the finish. Again, some chocolate is present, along with some caramel. The maltiness on this one is paired beautifully with the elements.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, doesn't get wet on the tongue, this was stays firm all the way through. Nice & hearty.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this, Lagunitas has always impressed me with their brews, they are uncanny and off the wall but work well. And at 3.99 a bomber, you can't go wrong. Well worth it to try!

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Photo of rayjay
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the Zappa series. Hopefully this isn't the last one in the series as I have heard.

Thin black beer, more like very dark brown, transparent especially around the edges. Looks like weak instant coffee. White foam that looks kind of like polluted water and goes away after a few minutes. Disclaimer: none of the preceding is a knock at the beer!

Lots of esters, only a bit of black malt and hops.

Taste: has a lot in common with a dopplebock (tons of dark carmel malt, maybe 200L, and little, if any, chocolate malt and roasted barley; carmel malt maybe the only dark malt???), a Belgian dubble (tons of fruity esters, generously hopped for a European ale, deep brown malty body), and a mildly brewed English style Russian imperial stout like Sam Smiths (again with the weak instant coffee, sticky sweet mouthfeel and aftertaste, toffee-like flavors, and notable, yet not overwhelming, hopping). Talk about a hybrid beer. All aspects work well together.

Interesting and drinkable to boot. Doesn't bog down your pallet or your thirst, but definitely comes across as a strong beer, much the same way a Belgian abbey dubble does. Moderate carbonation, which I usually prefer and works good for this beer.

A fine beer worth seeking out. Don't approach it expecting a knockout imperial stout, just open up to it and accept it for being different and it's a fun beer to drink.


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Photo of drgonzo3705
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown color with good amounts of carbonation and a small head that leaves a little lacing.

S: Roasted chocolate/cocoa and molasses

T: Mild. Nothing offending but nothing appealing. It tastes a lot like it smells.

M: Medium good carbonation and slight hoppiness.

D: Easily drinkable, but not my first choice for a Imperial Stout or second for that matter!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - murky brown color with a tan head that had decent legs and left a good amount of lacing.

S - sweet date/fig aroma.

T - sweet and somewhat roasty taste, fruity date flavor with a little bitterness towards the finish, which ends up sweet tasting.

F - medium/full bodied with a creamy feel.

D - easy enough to finish a bomber of.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from River's Bend.

A - Poured a clear dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

S- Moderate toasted malt aroma.

T - Medium toasted bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

M - Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation.

D - My expectations where met but average for style.

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Photo of bovinecrusader
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(22oz bomber in an oversized wine glass)

I love Zappa.
I love Lagunitas.
I love the 40th Anniv. releases, so far..

Just couldn't get my head around this one though.

Don't get me wrong, its good... Decent molasses/maple/mahogany color. Thin, yet present layer of caramel colored head (probably due to the wine glass). Mouthfeel starts a bit lacking, but finishes with a nice peppery spiciness to lift off the mid-back palate. And taste? Deep dark roasted fig, molasses...I almost get a Mother's Brand Oatmeal Cookie (ya know...with the vanilla icing).

However, considering I've loved the style choices for the last several releases (Brown Ale for "Lumpy Gravy" and a triple for "We're Only In It for the Money"), I think this one comes up a tad short.

"BoppaDoAyDoo Style Ale"? I can see it. But I think that considering the FZ quote on the bottle, " ...I would do anything just to sing the songs that was turning me on in high school," I think it would've been cool to get a sessionable lager of some sort...something we all started with in school, kinda embracing the rebellious 50's youth the album nostalgically reflects.

I know, not the point of the review, but if you're gonna pair the beer with the experience of listening to the album, I think you have to take that into account. Don't get me wrong, its a GREAT beer...I just think they didn't quite nail it on the head with this one. That being said, I'm still hanging on the edge of glass waiting for the next release, Uncle Meat.

LAST 5 SIPS EDIT: Definitely better as it warms. Finally getting some chocolate and pepperiness. Still rate it a B, but its really really really drinkable..deceptively so.

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Photo of BWMKappaSig
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep mahogany with a thin tan head. Very little lacing on the glass.

Smell - Roasted chocolate malts and molasses and somewhat reminiscent of an oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie. Very mild alcohol note, very dissimilar to most imperial stouts of its type.

Taste - Roasted chocolate and coffee notes.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat thin for the style, not as chewy as I hoped for. Finishes remarkably crisp for a beer this type.

Drinkability - Enjoyable and drinkable; does not pack the wallop of other imperial stouts.

Overall it doesn't live up to some of the big west coast stouts like Shakespeare or the Stone Imperial, but it's good for the style. Nice little dessert beer.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice coal black into my Duvel tulip glass. Aggressive pour produces a nice thick finger and a half of dark brown foamy head. Lots of little carbonation bubbles in the drink and head.

Smells like coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. The scent is not strong on this brew, it's subtle and understated.

Tastes a lot like it smells, but the taste gets better as the beer warms up.

Feels a bit thinner than what I expect from an Imperial Stout. Nice carbonation, but the body is a little thin.

Very easy to drink stout. What I really like about this brew is the drinkability. For a brew with 8.6% ABV, there is no alcohol burn. Many Imperial's have too much of the astringent alcohol taste in them, this one tastes smooth.

Overall a good drink from an excellent brewery.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark murky brown with a light tan head, good lacing all around.

S: Smell is striking and good. Creamed coffee, molasses, sweet pine notes.

T: Cloyingly sweet, big old molasses note, and fermented prune (which I didn't particularly care for). No real bitterness from the malt or hops to balance, like malt syrup.

M: Mouthfeel isn't bad aside from the heavy sweetness. Light carbonation, relatively full feel.

D: While Kill Ugly Radio was outstanding, the last 2 Zappa inspired beers have been mis-steps from this pretty good brewery. Hopefully the next one will be better.

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Photo of Taylor88
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the folks a Lagunitas. They are, for the lack of a better word, Nutjobs. C'mon, a series of beers named after Frank Zappa albums??? I thought I was weird!!...Now to the beer:

22oz BOMBER: In a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Poured heavy and dark...slightly ominous since the label tells you nothing about the beer you are about to drink aside from the fact that its ABV is 8.6%.

SMELL: Strong of coffee and chocolate but appealing.

TASTE: My first sip is more chocolate than coffee but both come through nicely...I like it.

MOUTHFEEL: This is my toughest category for any beer. I would say that it is not as creamy as some porters (it is a porter isn't it?) but I like that.

DRINKABILITY: Not my usual choice of beer. I'm a hop/red head (literally), but I really enjoyed this beer.

RAMBLING ON: It probably didn't hurt that I also bought Cursing with Ruben and the Jets on vinyl in 1969. With 30+ albums under his belt, God only know what Lagunitas will do with albums like like "Uncle Meat", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and "Burnt Weeny Sandwich"...Long Live Frank Zappa...Long Live Lagunitas

END of BOTTLE UPDATE: (20 minutes afer writing the review above)Seemed to get more chocolatly near the end as it warmed up. Not a bad thing but might affect my choice as to when I would consume during an evening of beers.

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Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a very dark ruby with a bit of tan head. It smelled like roasted coffee and milk chocolate, with some molasses and a bit of alcohol. It tasted mostly like sweet milk chocolate and roasted coffee, with some molasses and a bit of bitter copper hops. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a very nice clean flavor, though nothing exciting. It had great body too, and hid the alcohol decently. This was nice and sweet, which made it quite easy to drink for a double stout. Not sure how well it would age, but it's great fresh, so why bother waiting?

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Photo of asabreed
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Less opaque than I expected, with a decent mocha-colored head and some thinner clumps of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate malts and toasted flavors, with a bit of roasted coffee and some diacetyl and buttery aromas.

Taste: What lacks mostly here is the finish, as the flavors seem like they're going to continue on and... they don't die, but they don't linger as long as they should. Still, as it warms the flavors seem to meld a bit more, with good roasted malt notes, mild coffee, and honey and molasses. A bit sweeter than many, which maybe takes away from some of the roasted and malty depth, but it's still pretty pleasant all around.

Mouthfeel: Could be a bit creamier with more carbonation, as it seems a bit slick and watery, though it's nothing that takes much away from everything else.

Drinkability: Another worthwhile brew from Lagunitas. I say it always and too much, but I love their love of experimentation, and I'll always buy their new stuff. Because of the sweetness, this would also be a good stout to let someone try who hasn't tried a lot. Keep the Zappa series rolling, ya'll.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/01/09- Purchased at Safeway in San Mateo, CA. $2.99 sale price tag.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, new late 2008 release poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Kind of a mix between deep brown and lighter black. About a 1/2 inch light brown head on the pour with some light lines and streaks of lace.

Smell- Roasted malts, some chocolate malt notes, maybe a hint of coffee. Note a huge nose, but nice.

Taste- Middle of the road roasted malt..not to deep, just about right. Hops are mild and lightly bitter. Nice lighter chocolate flavor mingling throughout.

Mouthfeel- Medium thickness and mouthfeel with a medium carbonation level. Light hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- I think a lot of people aren't looking at the 8% abv and aren't giving this beer it's true props. It's not supposed to be as heavy as Stone or Alesmith. For what it is, it's a very nice beer with good flavor and drinkability. One of the better lower abv Double Stouts I have had in a while. Good job Lagunitas.

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Photo of JoshuaCain
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very dark brown, nearly black, only the faintest light shows through around the edges. thin brown head with fair retention, good lacing.
aroma is of malty sweet bread, a nice amount of hops to the nose as well.
tastes very malty, black coffee, caramel, pine. not amazing, but not bad either.
mouthfeel is quite nice. a medium body but very silky.
overall its drinkable, and definitely a good value, but I am not going to run out and stock up on this one. maybe I needed to know the album to fully enjoy it.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, opaque, with ruby edges. No real head, more of an oily ring of tan bubbles on top. Decent, sticky lacing. Low-lying aroma of chocolate, stale coffee, and nuts; yet, not in a good or strong way like Chock Full O Nuts. Flat mouthfeel and taste. Thin for the style. A helping of nuts comes with an herbal/earthy pepper and fruit flavor. The fruit is old or overripe cherry or berries, and does not go well with the pepper and holiday spice. For some reason, the malt does not take control of this beer. I can taste the cocoa and caramel, as well as a roasted grain flavor, but it just lies there on your tongue.

Overall, this beer is a bunch of flavors that doesn't go well. And, in no way is this an Imperial Stout. Its thin, its nutty, its a mess.

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Photo of meatyard
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Is a clear, dark, cola color with a light tan head. It's not totally black and you can see through it when held to a light. Leaves light lacing.
S-Is a light, roasted malt smell and a hint of coffee.
T-Is of overly roasted malt, some alcohol before it warms up and a little bit of spiciness. There's also some bitterness or something not quite right in the taste at the end.
M-Is medium to thin-not what I would expect from an Imperial Stout.
D-Is also not what I would expect, being not the most pleasant IS out there.

I was hoping to like this better than other reviewers but I have to agree with a lot of their comments. I do like many Lagunitas beers but this one, not so much, especially for what it should be. It's not bad, but not one of their better brews. There's too much "light" not enough "ooomph".

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/22/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of roasted malt and sweet dark fruits. Flavor of apple cider, bready malts, with a sweet (fruity sweet not sugary sweet) finish. Not as roasted as a typical stout, this sort of reminds me of a doppelbock. Pretty tasty though. I often find that Lagunitas beers are either a hit or a miss, and this one was a hit!
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

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Photo of BeerSox
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into 20oz stemless snifter. First twist-off 22oz bottle that I can recall seeing.

Pitch black, although the shape of the glass creates some interesting areas of glowing ruby red. One finger light tan head that settles to a thin rim along the glass.

Delicate burnt malt aromas. Very light.

The roasted malts are very subtle in the flavor as well, mixed with a little bit of dark fruit. In the background is a flavor I can't quite put my finger on - slightly acerbic and reminds me of the tart flavors of a plum. Possibly something from the hops, which are otherwise unnoticed. Full bodied.

I found this Imperial Stout somewhat average along with some odd flavors. While somewhat drinkable (no acerbic flavors, over-the-top hops, or fusel alcohol) it just doesn't have the complexity or deep malt flavors I would like.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a decent black with a bit of garnet around the edges. Slight head quickly fades to nothing.
Smell is a bit of coffee, just a hint of chocolate malt.
Taste is very mild, just a hint of coffee and chocolate to support the smell. Slight hop presence but not enough to really identify. There's a slight metallic twang in the finish.
Very thin feel, slightly carbonated.
Lacks in anything outstanding. Not that stouts have to be outstanding in any area but being listed as a double stout, I expected a lot more.

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Photo of xhcadamx
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light black with ruby edges. Big tan head with decent lacing

S - a small dose of coffee with a background of hops. very interesting.

T - sweet coffee but not overwhelming. I heard this had a pepper taste but I do not detect that at all. Like a muted Cappuccino Stout.

M - Thin just like Cappuccino Stout. I like my Double/Imperial Stouts to have a bit more body

D - I would have a few more.

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Cruising With Ruben & The Jets from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 315 ratings.
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