Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
111 Reviews
Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
75 IBU

Added by GJ40 on 11-07-2008

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 564
Photo of buschbeer
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle
Served in a conical pint glass
Thanks to sommersb for this one.

A - It is copper colored with amber highlights. Sediments create a cloudy appearance. On top sits one finger of tan head.

S - I smell some roasted caramel malt. I get alternating whiffs of chocolate and vanilla. Some alcohol comes through ever so slightly.

T - The smoothness is apparent in the taste. I get some mild caramel malt. The thing that seems to come through after a while is the alcohol. It provides a warming sensation and is perceptible to the taste. The oak flavors are present and accounted. The hops, while muted, try to make their presence known. The is a tea-like, orange, bitter thing going.

M - Medium to full with moderate carbonation. It is pretty smooth going down.

O - At first I liked it. It has a lot of complex flavors. As it warmed the alcohol and bitterness came through and were not necessarily great. The barrel aging create a mellow beer, but some flavors are a little off.

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Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a hazy dark copper color with amber/mahogany edges and a 1.5 finger off-white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Splotches of lace left behind.

Aroma reminds me of an old ale.  Some toasted, earthy oak along with subtle vanilla followed by caramel malt and earthy floral hop notes.  Oak becomes more prominent as it warms giving off a slight toothpick character.  Caramel malt sweetness, toffee and rye overpower the hops.  Subtle resinous piney character but not what I was expecting for a hoppy beer.

Medium bodied with a nice oak barrel presence that's decently integrated into the base beer.  It's strong but doesn't completely overpower the other flavors.  Virgin oak/toothpick flavor with a little bit of spicy rye.  Again, the hops are there but are overpowered by the strong barrel and malt profile.  Hints of caramel, toffee, spicy rue and cocoa followed floral and slightly earthy hop bitterness.  A bit dry but the malts have sweetness for balance.  Abv well masked and decently drinkable but overpowering wood flavors hurt a bit.  Also, way too malty for the style in my opinion.  Not bad but the barrel character is too dominant and the hops are overpowered.

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Photo of suspect
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle courtesy of Bulbman into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

A: Pours a hazy, dark copper color. Aggressive pour leads to a mostly white 1 finger head that fades slowly to thick sticky lacing.

S: Big malty monster is how I would categorize the smell of this brew. It definitely has hop bitterness in the nose but the big fat malt profile takes center stage. Also rearing its big ugly head is the oak notes. Definitely on the back end of the nose (after the malts) but absolutely present.

T: Sweet malts hit first followed nicely by the oak and immediately by sweet raisin, vanilla and the alcohol. Really nice balance of malt and bittering hops at the tail end.

M: Creamy finish, big body. Not overly carbonated. Bitterness leads to good puckering long after the beer has been swallowed.

O: A solid beer. It's not overpowering, it's not a "wow" beer but it's solid and it's big. Good winter sipper.

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Photo of ksimons
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a cloudy brown amber with a thin layer of white head that sticks to the edge of the glass

S-caramel malt, raisins, light vanilla, and grapefruit hops

T-starts out malty with raisins and caramel and finishes with citrus hops and oak

M-medium to full body, lightish carbonation, a bitter aftertaste, and some alcohol warming

Overall I usually don't like very hoppy beers, but this is really nice. For me this was a good combination of malt and hops, I guess I could see some people wishing for a bit more

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Photo of wedge
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage: 2012

Pours a murky, deep chestnut color with a surprising amount of sediment floaties left in the bottle. A small, soapy off-white head settles to a wispy covering. Smells of dark fruit, spice, and oak over a rich caramel foundation and some sharpness from the booze. Honestly, upon first sip, this is way smoother and tastier than I was expecting. While most of the hops have faded from the aroma, they are still apparent in the flavor, though not in a big, brash, "American" sort of way. Earthy, tea, pine, and floral hops fuse with oak, vanilla, toffee, and moderate, spicy alcohol. Lingering oily resins. Oh yeah, this is quite satisfying. Smooth, chewy, not overly bitter or sweet. Nice!

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Photo of Dope
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an extremely dark red-brown. Small but dense tan head. Fades away somewhat quickly but has good retention at least. Moderate lacing left behind.

S: Caramel and herbal hops. Mild tropical fruits in there too, primarily pineapple I would say. Maybe even hints of melon and honey?

T: Lots of melon, pineapple and then herbal hops up front. Get kind of a toasted, almost burnt breadiness in the middle. Tastes like stale, toasted bread crusts. Strong too. Finish is all bread crust with hints of herbal hops. Long lingering toasty bread crusts in the aftertaste. Has an oaky presence throughout the beer but nothing overpowering.

M: Medium bodied, a bit dry in the aftertaste.

O: Interesting amber ale. Strong on the breadiness, pretty much overpowers the hops. Oak is prominent too but more of an all-encompassing layer over everything. Never really stands on its own. A bit unbalanced but still unique and tasty.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 2-finger frothy, rocky, tan head. Decent retention and some lacing. Slightly hazy and I can’t really see any bubbles.

S – There are definite oak-aged characteristics here with woody oak and vanilla aromas. There’s a good bit of caramel malt and citrus hops here and maybe some tropical fruit aromas, as well.

T – Oak and vanilla come in right up front and kind of slap you in the face. As those flavors settle down, some orange, grapefruit, and pine hop bitterness creeps in. As the bitterness mellows, caramel malt and brown sugar sweetness shows up. Some spicy phenols appear at the finish, as well.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with pretty good carbonation, a sticky and somewhat viscous mouthfeel, and a spicy, slightly bitter, and slightly dry finish. Spicy medicinal phenols linger for a bit along with a mild throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This is a decent amber ale. As with some other oaked beers from Terrapin that I’ve had, the oak is a bit overdone. It doesn’t necessarily taste or smell bad, but all the good amber ale characteristics are muted behind all the oak and vanilla. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t seek it out again.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Hazy, dark reddish copper in color. Thin, off-white foamy head, medium visible carbonation.

S: Pine, citrus rind hops, with sweet and caramel bready malts and a sweet oaky vanilla.

T: Oak. Then some oak, and oak. Some faint pine hop bitterness, then some sweet malts. Then oaky vanilla dryness.

M: Medium body, sticky mouthfeel, alcohol noticeable but not to the point of distraction. Relatively low carbonation sensation.

O: This isn't truly a bad beer, but way too much oak and way too little hops. I'm not thrilled.

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Photo of n2185
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper with half a finger of beige head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Loads of caramel malts with notes of vanilla and oak mixed in. There are some subtle citrusy hop notes in there as well.

T: Sweet caramel malts dominate here as well, again with vanilla and oak notes. There are some light earthy pine notes and slight bitterness towards the lightly alcoholic finish.

M: Medium-thick beer with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being too sticky sweet, but could use either a creamier body or a bit more carbonation.

O: A decent beer overall, though a bit simplistic and lacking depth.

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Photo of rangerred
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy very dark brown with a one finger tan head. Poor head retention and a just a small bit of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Lots of spicy, earthy hop aroma with a decent amount of oak thrown in. It is all kind of muddled, however, with a little bit of toffee and caramel spread around the edges. Nothing offensive but it is just a little messy.

Oak figures very prominent in the flavor with the hops taking somewhat of a back seat. Earthy hops prop up the oak but much like the aroma, there is really no strong definition or separation of flavors. Toffee and caramel are mild in the background along with just moderate bitterness. Mouthfeel is sticky sweet with drinkability being somewhat limited.

Overall, a nice attempt by Terrapin but I'm not so sure that it works. It is just a little bit of a mess. Glad I got to try it as I normally love oak aged beers but this one just doesn't really work for me.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Label says Vintage 2012.

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam, plus a small patch of bubbles in the middle. Semi-resilient lacing slowly cascades down the glass.

S- Big blast of oaky malt and earthy hops. Also some heavy booze characteristics but everything works together to make a decently pleasant, if not rough around the edges, bouquet. Notes of caramel, bourbon and some light vanilla.

T- Taste is similar to the regular BHM but with a solid smack of oak right off the bat that steadies into a comfortable malt sweetness mid-palate. Becomes semi-astringent upon multiple sips. Hops aren't as prevalent as one would expect, they're more of just an afterthought to all the other bold flavors, providing a semi-bitter aftertaste. Alcohol and hops are more noticeable as it warms.

M- Very sharp and dry with medium-low carbonation and a full-ish body.

O- I like the original a bit better, but fans of barrel aging will certainly get their kicks with this one.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a mudied amber/brown with a finger of tan head that dissipates after a few minutes leaving a only a (relatively thick) layer across the surface. The outer ring rides up the glass nicely.

S - Very oaky, decent amounts of piney hops, plenty of alcohol, some pineapple, toasty caramel, and dark fruit.

T - Sweet pineapple, piney hops and oak up front. Dark fruits and alcohol follow. Slightly dry and slight alcohol/dark fruit twang at the finish, lingers a bit but not too strongly.

M - Medium bodied, very smooth, less carbonation, not a total sipper but pretty robust.

O - Very flavorful, very well balanced, very smooth, and its a big beer. Very good.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled in large ale glass

A: red-brown; very good carbonation, but latent--very little head
S: robust, oaky hops come through in abundance; smells like a mean red ale; very inviting
T: wooh; love the flavor; huge hop bomb, combined with a classic red ale; very boozy, turning this in the direction of a barleywine style; watch out--this thing will knock you out

Very pleasing beer; don't let the label fool ya

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Photo of thagr81us
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared this one at a tasting while Mississipping was in town! Served from growler into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, caramel, citrus, citrus hop, and oak. The flavor was of sweet malt, oak, caramel, citrus, citrus hop, caramel hop, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. If you would have not have told me this one was oak aged, I would have definitely been able to figure it out based on my first sip. The oak in this one was so strong on the flavor it wasn’t even funny. I’m sure it covered up some subtle flavors, but I do know this is what Terrapin was aiming for when they did this brew. The aroma was quite nice with the citrus going on and really kept it interesting. Glad I finally got the opportunity to try this and hope I get to try more of Terrapin’s specially treated brews out there.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Hazed dark brown-amber body with a short lived crown of khaki bubbly head that settles to an alligator skin film on top.

S: Robust roasted caramel malt, toffee, timidly smoked oak, orange dish soap, vanilla, figs, apples peels, pumpernickel bread and dirty barley.

T/M: Huge flavors bursting into a robust malted beast with vanilla oak, smoldered barley and spicy-floral hops. Bready yeast, flowers, orange oil, figs soaked in spiced rum. This is similar to a barley wine style ale. Coffee comes out faintly in the background once swallowed. Full mouthfeel that is dense and chewy with moderate effervescence. Finish is dry with lingering bartlett pears, oak and pippali pepper.

O: A definite big boy beer. Robust and complex with big roasted malts and a great bombardment of spiced and floral hops. This is a beer I will always look forward to. Cheers!

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Photo of nickthegun12
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark red color with a frothy tan head

smell is of american hops, with a sort of pineapple, gummy bear, fresh produce smell right off the top...a dark vanilla bean is there too

taste is thick, the alcohol is very present in the taste. vanilla is prominent too. the hops arent that noticeable in the taste

mouth feel is thick and leaves out dry from the alcohol

overall this beer is fan F*(^^%$#tastic!

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Photo of beerluvr
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012. Pours into a Duvel Tulip with not much head, settles quickly over super hazy almost opaque brownish/red-colored liquid. Taking a whiff of the nose reveals little oakiness but there's a nice hoppy aroma with sweet malt overtones...smells inviting. Nice smoothly carbonated mouthfeel gives way to nicely balanced hop bitterness and malt sweetness on the palate. Smooth. Finish is again nicely balanced but still not sensing any oak barrel notes...not complaining though, finishes on a not-too-bitter yet hoppy flavor note with a little alcohol warmth (it is a respectable 9.1%). Fits perfectly on this cold and damp late Dec. evening.

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Photo of shand
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oak Aged Big Hoppy Monster pours a deep red color with a thick head that retains very well. The aroma is oaky and toasty, with some sharp hops. The taste is sweeter than anticipated from the nose, with the oak and a large amount of sweet malts really amping up the sweet factor. The candied hops only amplify this. The finish is very woody and a bit sticky from the hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated, and the drinkability is solid. Overall, a good beer. I think I like the non-oak aged version better though.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine World in Destin. Served in a tulip.

A - Light tan foam settles to wisps and a thin collar, leaving minimal lace. Transparent amber-chocolate color. Some visible bubble streams.

S - Oak and piney and earthy hop notes, with a crystal malt imparting red fruits, cotton candy, and perhaps a touch of milk chocolate. Oak dominates, and it's a bit heavy-handed and sharp. Otherwise it's a balanced imperial red ale.

T - The taste has more balance, with a nice mixture of chocolate, caramel, red fruits, and and earthy hops. Oaky vanilla is present but less overwhelming, and mingles with the hops to provide herbal and woody bitterness. Alcohol is quite well-hidden.

M - Exceptionally smooth, medium body, pleasant moderate carbonation, and a dry, toasty finish. Perhaps a hint of warmth, but otherwise quite nice. Probably my favorite element of this beer.

D - Enjoyable stuff, although it's verging on brown ale in malt profile. I also expected more hop aroma from a beer called Big Hoppy Monster - the bitterness is there, but it's not at all what I was expecting. Still, quite drinkable and fairly unique.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2012 vintage. It was poured into my FIrestone Walker tulip.

Oak Aged Big Hoppy Monster pours a pretty clear ruby red, with some lighter red highlights. About two fingers of off white foam tops the beer, hanging around for a little bit before leaving a few chunks of lacing clinging to the glass. The nose is really nice, with aromas of caramel and oak mingling and playing off of a bit of resinous, piney hops. The flavor starts off with a healthy dose of caramel sweetness. A brief, but bracing bitterness follows, before allowing those same piney hops to come in. The finish though is straight oak, and a little more intense than is probably necessary. The body, while sturdy, stops well short of being syrupy or too heavy. The carbonation is definitely on the low side, in fact I'd probably say just a little too much. While this fresh bottle of oaked Big Hoppy Monster is drinking nicely, I think six months to a year of time will do some favors for the other bottle I have on hand.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a thin, off white head that has good retention

S - woody, earthy, alcohol, caramel, faint candy sugar

T - oaky, bready, caramel, juicy fruit, herbal, citrusy

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This was a nice amber ale. Normally, I would have appreciated the oak touches here. I'm only disappointed because I love the regular Big Hoppy Monster. The oak here takes a bit away from the lucious malt flavors that I get from the original. On it's own it's a great beer, but in comparison to the original it leaves me wanting more. No matter the comparisons, it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a darkish brown with good two finger white head and lace down the glass on top of a very hoppy aroma mixed with oakey and slight sweet caramel and sugary malts. Taste is more of the same, as is mouthfeel, as a sturdy, heavy but easy passing beer goes over my tongue with a mix of grapefruit like hops, sugary sweetness, touch of oakiness and a dry, sturdy finish. Hops flavor profile is mostly like a wet, grape variety, and the malts are caramel and other sweetness and the beer is not too complex but has a good amount of depth. The dry finish is a great complement to a good beer and this is a very enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a 12 pz bottle poured into a snifter.

It pours a dark brown and has medium clarity. It smells very oaky and some malts are present as well. It tastes oaky and malty up front and then eases off into a pleasant hop finish. It has a big body which is a plus in my book and has decent carbonation. I would recommend but I could only do one or two before my pallet would be wrecked.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from a four pack bought at Ned's.

Appearance: Hazy iced tea with almost no head. Leaves some spots of lacing.

Smell: Smells oaked and big, but not all that hoppy. Some caramel malt and a bit of toast. There is some sweet citrus hops, but nowhere near the original BHM.

Taste: Upfront lots of malt sweetness, but the heavy oak flavor takes over. Lots of toasty oak and vanilla. Too much. Finishes dry, woody, bitter.

Mouthfeel: Big upfront, but undercarbonated, and way too dry in the finish.

Overall: This is a big step down from big hoppy monster. I thought it sounded good, but its just OK.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle says 9.1%.

Appearance - Worrying lack of a pfft when I crack the cap. As I pour, there isn't much by way of bubbles. Not until the end do a few stray cream bubbles make an appearance. In the end, it has a collar on top of an opaque reddish brown body.

Smell - Oak, caramel malt, not a huge hop presence. Some of it's there, I guess, but it just smells like any other over-inflated red ale.

Taste - Better, for sure. More of a hop presence here. A little grapefruity. Lots of caramel and toasted malt. Maybe that's the oak, though. Gives it a little bit of a charred taste. Strong oak presence that becomes very dry in the back. Vanilla is all over in the finish. Oak lingers on the palate along with a hop bite.

Mouthfeel - The oak doesn't make it feel as big, but it's a slow drinker for an amber. The taste points to sweetness without really providing any.

Overall - Nothing terribly special. Too big for it's own good. I don't know why they had to make it even more alcohol than before. The oak is a nice foil to the malt, though.

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Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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