Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

7,914 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Ratings: 7,914 |  Reviews: 2,830
Photo of rawthar
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy, diluted pale sunbeam yellow with a white merengue of thick head

S- Hints of caramel over ripe dark fermenting fruits, some pepper, maybe a bit of coriander, and lots of Belgian yeast

T- Bready, nutty, flavors follow the nose, a bit of phenol, a tart and pilsy finish

M- Smooth carbonation, silky body

D- Goes down easy, inoffensive

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow, very fizzy and carbonated, similar to apple juice in appearance and aroma.

Taste, very fruity, must be the yeast, but lacking hop character, and is extremely hot on the alcohol. Tastes like it might be 18 rather than 8%. More apple downward bottle. Can't really say this one was enjoyable, but this kind of thing has never really been my style. Next time I score a bottle on a whim, I'm gonna age it. I like big extreme beers, but this just tastes like a macro as if its a boilermaker (i.e. a shot of alcohol in the beer).

Too expensive and rough to get through to rate any better on the drinkability scale.

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Photo of cakirkl
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip, nearly a 4 finger head! A light golden color; a little too light might be confused for a dark adj. lager. That head is sticking around for some time; it's a bright white, thick but also fluffy. The lacing left is thick rings from every sip; it makes up for the slightly light coloring. It is begging to get marked down for the light coloring which slightly disturbs me, but 4.5 gets the nod.

S - The head is so big I can't stick my nose into the glass. Gives off a light pear, brown sugar, sweet smell. Also getting some golden fruit, bananas, and a slight bit of cloves. Smells good!

T - Finally the head has reduced itself to about 2.5 fingers, I'll try it now. I had this beer right as I began drinking craft beer, and I thought, this beer doesn't have much on it. My palate is a bit more developed now, I must say, I'm floored by this. It's nearly a delicate beer, but oh so good! Getting a slight mix of everything from the nose, a bit less pear, and ever so slight alcohol which holds the beer together. There is no one dominant flavor, just a swirling mix of wonderful-ness. I wish something would stand out to me, but it doesn't, which is what keeps it from a 5; though it is very much flirting with perfection.

M - Also something I thought of right when I had the first sip. Superb! Everything works together nicely, and the alcohol on the back end of the tongue keeps this beer from going a little bit light, perfection.

D - I must say, the 8.5% is masked quite well. But as it warms up a bit, it is slowly becoming a bit more boozy. That's just nitpicking, but I'm enjoying it thoroughly as my nightcap. Sits around a 4.25 but I can't justify a 4 but can justify a 4.5.

Overall: This is a wonderful beer to try. If you haven't, do it.

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Photo of hawks10
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip, best before March 2011, bottled March 2008??

Pours a golden pale orange with just a touch of haze. Tons of fluffy and pillowy white head erupts and sticks around forever, leaving chunks of lacing behind...

Spicy and malty. Bananas and cloves with a strong Belgian yeast aroma...

Fruity and thick, bready malts with a bit of yeasty spice. Balanced and crisp, full flavored but light...

Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation, slightly drying with a bit of a lingering alcohol burn...

It's Duvel, we pretty much all know what to expect, good beer, but not something I am ever salivating over...

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Photo of johnwarne
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer haiku for you:

"Strong pale ale Duvel,
You make others turn their tail.
A classic Belgian."

Readily available, and yet never fails to disappoint. This is a classic representative of the country, and you will not ever have remorse about sampling one [or two] of these. Do not underestimate the kick: seems stronger than 8.5%.


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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to a Duvel tulip ... of course.

A - Pale yellow in colour with a lot of thick, bubbly white head and also a lot of visible carbonation.

S - Some light bitter hops up front with bready malts. Typical nose for a Beldian Pale Ale.

T - Some bitter hops up front and sweet bready malts: well balanced. An ever-so-slight spice taste with some bitterness in the finish.

M - Light body, heavily carbonated.

D - A solid beer. I am happy that I bought this but would not seek it out in the future.

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Photo of jlapennas
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Fruity with a bit of Pils malt in the background. Fruit aromas remind me of peaches and orange. No hops detected. There is a sweet creamy note to the aroma, the overall effect almost reminds me of a orange creamsicle. Fairly subtle alcohol in the background.

Appearance: Extremely clear straw gold. Beautiful billowing head that never fades much. Classic Duvel appearance.

Flavor: Fruity notes and crisp carbonation dominate at first leading into some malty sweetness and a bitter dry finish. Finishes with a bit of warming alcohol but pretty smooth considering it's such a big beer. As in the aroma, the esters are not the same as I remember from past bottles. I'm getting a lot of flavors that remind me more of Maredsous beers, not the Duvel of my memory/imagination.

Mouthfeel: Very highly carbonated and dry. Refreshing when cold. Great.

Overall: I've experienced a fair amount of inconsistency in this beer over the last couple years and this particular one adds to the puzzle. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it but it's not the same or as good as some other bottles I've had. As mentioned above, reminds me very much of Maredsous in it's yeast character and it also seems a bit sweeter than I remember. Still quite enjoyable and a style all it's own.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A - Hazy golden, the color of straw. Huge pillowy four-finger head that takes its time to recede to a thin cap with big chunks of foam hanging around. Lots of patchy lacing and rings around the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S - Lots of candied fruits, brown sugar, and maybe just a hint of pineapple. While it's light, it's definitely a Belgian ale.

T - This is definitely a better beer at cellar temps. Fridge temps kill the subtlety. Apricot, plum, and figs dominate. Dark sugar and a little malt.

M - You can't review this beer without talking about the carbonation, and those tiny bubbles are definitely one of the best points of this beer. Very champagne-like, and it makes this one of the best-feeling beers on the planet. This is one of the reasons people keep coming back to this one over and over.

D - While it says 8.5%, it certainly doesn't feel like it. Very light and fresh tasting, and I feel like I could drink a case of it without any issue.

Overall - This is THE benchmark for the style, and it shows. This is the beer that others (of the style) strive to reproduce. The absolute best thing I can say about it is that even with the incredible options that I have here in California, I still buy a bottle of this almost every week. Outstanding.

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Photo of Glory
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think everyone in here knows Duvel. Well I sure hope so!
This is a classical beer.
Served in a authentic Duvel Glass from a bottle, the appearance is great, a nice golden color toped with a thick creamy like foam. This is my favorite part of this beer.

Then the smell is dominated with a bit of bananas, apricots, a little mineral side as well like limestone.

The taste is nicely balanced between acidity and bitterness, a bit of cereal sweetness, nice powerfull and just right
the carbonation is creamy and velvety. The after taste is a bitt on the alcohol side.

Great beer, great history, great bargain!!!!

Cheers lads

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Photo of appenzeller
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is just beautiful. Huge, frothy lingering head. Color is Duvel gold.

This beer smells of cider, flowers, beautiful nose that is slightly pungent but not overpowering.

Taste. Ah, it gets even better. Malts not easiy discernible, sweetness of apple, some acidity tasting of lemon or lime, beautifully balanced with hops. The high ABV of this beer is barely discernible, no wonder it's named "Duvel."

What can you say? Sometimes the hype is justified. First tried this as a poor college kid wandering Europe, not sure how I got my hands on it then but it was a revelation. This beer is the equivalent of a Bordeaux first-growth, a Chateau Margaux of the beer world. In other words, one of the world's great beers. And you can try it for the price of a sandwich.

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Photo of seh410
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The beer itself is a cloudy opaque golden hue. It's topped by a thick, foamy, lacy white head - its so fluffy and white that it looks like meringue, like a beer baked Alaska. The thick head lingers, almost like foam on a cappuccino. It leaves lace on the sides of the glass and floats on the middle like melted whipped cream. It's fantastic looking.

Aroma: You can definitely smell the high alcohol volume → it's gives off a hint of sticky sweetness in the background. On second whiff, it smells thick almost... it has a very rich aroma with hints of banana (?) and citrusy spice

Taste: This is fantastic. Jumped to the top of my list after the first sip. It tastes full and rich and creamy but yet very light and refreshing. It warms in the mouth (that's the high alcohol content showing itself) and tastes of yeast with hints of fruit. SO good.

Mouthfeel: So creamy but also light and fresh. It feels good going down for sure.

Drinkability: Absolutely. I could easily polish off a couple of these (not that I'd want to or should with that 8.5% ABV). I've never come across a beer with this high volume that drinks so well.

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Photo of Daniell
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: forgetting how generous Duvel's head is I overpour, resulting in too much head. Colour is actually very pretty. At first I think hoegaarden but then I realize it's darker than that and kind of more cloudy, especially when it's help up to light and it's kind of golden. The head is excellent too despite my overpour. It just sticks around. And the lacing. It stays there. It just sticks to the glass like a bunch of clouds. This has to be a 5.

S: predominantly citrus. Candied cumquats perhaps? Something herbal/medicinal in there too. Trying another approach after drinking a bit, I'm thinking sour lemons with some dust. Or maybe orange marmalade or even lemonade. Later after eating some beef bake I get some really amazing juicy pineapple. Almost like putting your nose up to a ripe pineapple in a store to check if it is indeed fresh. It even carries some of the circumstantial aromas you get in that sort of scenario, if you know what I mean. Kind of like the earthiness and nuttiness and even the sulfur and sweetness of the pineapple. I also almost get the rubberiness of Orval in there. 5

T: reminds me a bit of Orval but without the bandaids I so dislike. Tropical fruits, sulfur, herbs, bitters. I like the way you gulp it down and it finishes on the bitters, which linger around. They're kind of mild and very balanced though so you end up with a very "wholesome" taste in the mouth afterwards. I think this aspect of the beer is excellent. Later on I also get pineapple in the taste. 5

M: Not that carbonated but I think I released the carbonation earlier. It's certainly not a problem for me. Might revise when I next have it (which should be very soon) 4.5

D: the only thing which would prevent me having about 8 of these is desire to preserve my liver and feeling bad about not appreciating the complexities of the beer as I get drunker and drunker (oh, and the price). 5

I had this one after delirium tremens which is supposedly in the same style (I think they are worlds apart). I did find Duvel markedly better than that beer, particularly as it seemed to keep on giving so that may have influenced my ratings. Definitely a world-class beer though and I will make sure to buy it a bit more often and try the bomber version.

Edit: I recently had it while out and was less blown away by it. Oh well, next time I get the chance to review it I will do so and see if I want to change any scores.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2-oz. bottle into my Duvel snifter.

Appearance: Clear, light golden with a two-and-a-half-finger white head. Amazing retention and lacing. And most interestingly, there's this stream of bubbles constantly rising up from the center of the bottom of the glass. It's like an underwater volcano! I've never seen that in any other beer.

Smell: That archetypical Belgian yeasty smell. Fruity tones, as well.

Taste: Wow, now this is interesting. I'm not sure what to make of this. It tastes dry, kind of bitter, but it's not the hoppy bitterness I'm used to. Alcohol is present, that's for sure, making this a 'warm' beer going down. The fruitiness I detected in the smell is nowhere in the taste. In fact, this is probably the least sweet Belgian-type beer I've ever had. Actually, it's spicy in a slightly lemony way. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Dry, light-medium body.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sipper. It's too complex to just gulp down. It demands the drinker to take his time and try to pick everything apart. I enjoy doing that, so this is a definite winner.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a light yellow color with a white head. The aroma is pilsner malt with some lemon citrus and grassy and spicy hops. The flavor is lemon and oranges with low to medium bitterness, spicy hops and pilsner malt. The beer is very dry. Medium to high carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel poured a yellow color, with a very good sized head. It smelt like typical beer, but strong. It had a very strong hops, and overall beer tast. It was easy to drink, and you would want another afterwards. Overall a very good beer, one that you will never get sick of.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a perfect beer for a pounding headache.

Huge, billowy head that clumps together and sticks to the glass like white caps left behind on the shore on a windy day. Poured in a crisp, clear pale moonlight yellow until I soiled it with the lees, because I do love my x-tra yeast. Juicy and cloudy it did become.

The scent is powerful and provocative. Clove-ish, spicy yeast and a warming, rounded phenolic aroma that assures you pleasure will be had.

When it touches your lips and then your tongue and the inside of your mouth, the warm spiciness boldly propagates. A touch of mellow peachy fruitiness ferries the elixir down your throat. A sense of well-being springs up from the depths while an aftershock of sedation follows soon after.

Yeah, this is good. Maybe not earth-shattering, but it's expertly balanced and a steal at $3.99!

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Photo of emmasdad
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp, light golden color, with a huge, fluffy white head. Aromas of Belgian yeast, apples, pears. On the palate, this one is very complex, light and refreshing, yet strong and flavorful at the same time. Some peppery spiciness, more apples/pears and some sweet malt. It's easy to see why this one spawned a style of its own.

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a Tremens tulip

a- pours a pale gold with a massive, airy pure white head. ridiculous head retention, bubbles continuously rising fueling the white fluffy mass. the head on this beer is a beautiful thing.

s- heavy floral, almost perfumy hop presence. very nice yeast esters that are reminescent of pears. spicy, peppery with a hint of alcohol

t- a surpising high amount of bitterness balances the soft pale malts. the fruity esters are much more tame than in the aroma. a bit of sweetness leads into a dry finish with the slightest hint of alcohol.

m- very high carbonation level with a light-medium body. very smooth with very little alchohol presence.

d- one of those dangerously drinkable beers. smooth ass hell with an 8.5abv that is no where to be found. not to mention it's very tasty.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iconic, reliable, and tasty Belgium Golden Ale. A standard...

Presentation: 330 ml brow capped bottle. White background label with name of the brew in large fonts, seal and signature alongside perfunctory legal notes. Back label offers a brief narrative of ingredients, history, serving, storing, and socializing instructions. Notes best by date (08 2012), and shows Alc. by Vol. (8.5%) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Lightly hazy straw to pale gold pour with a nice frothy head, good retention, and nice lacing with a consistent surface memory.

S - Spicy and yeasty nose, with a light sweet touch. Feels very fresh...

T - Rich fruity and spicy yeast sense, fresh again, with a light tart touch, almost apple tartness.

M - Light body with generous carbonation and a crisp finish.

D - Too quaffable... Alcohol is integrated beautifully, and for something that goes down with such ease it is important not to forget that this is a 8.5% brew.

Notes: For my liking it is nothing spectacular, but I think it has to do more so with my feel towards Belgian Strong Pale Ales for which I am not particularly passionate. Having said that this remains top quality and reliable, and I have never seen a complaint trying to reach my lips when having this one.

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Photo of Chizoad
3.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into pint glasses. Crazy head which eventually faded leaving a mesa in the middle of the glass and lacing all over the glass surface. Beer was pale golden with vague haze.

Fairly decent smell, but mostly hops/malt and something like cloves? I have no idea really. Interesting but not outstanding.

Tasted much as it smelled. A mild bitterness that seemed tastier at first than it did later. Maybe it's the style that I don't have a great appreciation for. I haven't had many of these at all.

Medium body, tending towards thinness. Easy drinker.

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Photo of Epicedion
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Beautiful. Pure gold topped with a poofy head. Lacing all the way up the glass. A thin stream of bubbles constantly rises from the nucleation D etched in the bottom of the glass.

S: A lightly sweet, spicy smell with some lemon and grain behind it. Pleasant and soothing.

T: There's sweet citrus up front, which gives way quickly to some spice, followed immediately by more citrus and slightly bitter hops. This beer is perfectly balanced to be refreshing without being overwhelming in any category. It couldn't be better.

M: Smooth, silk with some prickly carbonation. Alcohol but not very dry or astringent. My only complaint here is that it's a little bit thin, but that's mostly bolstered by the carbonation.

D: Complex with no downsides. But be careful, a couple bottles and you'll be sailing.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby dark brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on label.
Pours a pale golden straw color with a unique multi-sized bubbly head. The lacing looks like a honeycomb, with lots a large airy bubble pockets.
A potent aroma of morning pasture, fresh herbs, daisies with dry malt are upfront. Whiffs of orange zest and hint of pineapple last throughout. A light vodka-like alcohol vapor is noticed.
Bold sweet malty tastes meld well with a multi-layered hop bitterness and bite. Sweet liquidy sugar and tart orange flavors mingle with the edgy citrusy bitterness. A hint of leather and tobacco create some unexpected, yet welcome depth and character. A fine effervesence creates its own one-of-a-kind fizzy body. It sort of reminds me of a Mimosa.
This is a fairly potent brew that looks innocent enough, but is really a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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Photo of MealInAGlass
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Holy crap this beer is delicious.

When poured into the trademark tulip glass that came with the package deal, I'll have to admit that I don't particularly care for the 50/50 mix. Aside from that, this beer is delicious.

I was talking to my girlfried at the time I took my first sip, and I just paused in mid-sentence to admire the delicious-ness of Duvel. Naturally, I got yelled at for ignoring her for beer.. But it was worth it.

Appearance: 4
Smell: 4.5
Taste: 5
Mouthfeel: 5
Drinkability: 4.5

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Photo of JamisonM
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into Duvel tulip glass

A: huge bright white head with great head retention a wonderful golden color the look of this beer in the duvel glass screams class in every way

S: spice, yeasty, some pepper and lemon very complex

T: spice and esters taste is complex and I have trouble putting it into words its fantastic taste like a dry champagne but don't get me wrong its beer for sure

M: med mouth with high carbonation

D: yea you can drink this all night if you wanted to only the abv would hold you back

overall: extremely well made world class beer they invented the style and they do a damn fine job brewing this, I have never had a bad bottle of this nectar of the gods.

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Photo of dobiechief
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was one of my first ventures into the world of real beer, and it is still one of my very favorites. It is absolutely lovely in a glass, with a virtually perfect head. The color is so appealing that you want to take some time appreciating it. The aroma is a bit sweet and citrus-like, as is the flavor. The mouthfeel is among the best out there; rich and inviting. The aftertaste is sweet and pleasant - never detracting from the overall effect.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,914 ratings.
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