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Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,541 Reviews
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Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American wheat beer with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish. This delicious session beer is brewed with boatloads of Amarillo hops.

35 IBU

Added by cretemixer on 04-17-2003

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,541 | Ratings: 5,730
Photo of sid240
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was my first try at American Hoppy Wheat beers. Wow, what an eye opener. The appearance is a very clear pale orange/yellow color, small white head. The smell is all fruit: orange, peach and tangerine. I really like the fact that those flavors are not the only thing you get, this is a well integrated wheat beer.

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Photo of willyc
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Listen. I, as a, small minded, standard, do not care for wheat beers. I respect them I just don't love them. So when I had a couple of these Gumballheads I was not expecting too much. The great hops and red wheat combine like chocolate and peanutbutter(figuratively) to make a badass easy sipping beer that has a lot of grapefruit, Lemon, and peach notes. I loved it. In fact I want to go back and change my review scores...done. So three floyds (not sold in my great state) your winning streak continues in my book. Good Day.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Perfectly clear gold, with a white head that doesn't quite last long enough. The smell is wonderful. Lots of sweet malt and fruity wheat smell along with the characteristic amarillo hops smell which comes off as sweet citrusy fruit. Very pungent indeed. Taste is at first a very nice light sweetness from the malt. Then the hops take over and give this more citrus flavor than any wheat beer I've ever had, except when a server decided to cram an orange slice into my Blue Moon for some reason. A light bitterness is in the finish. Wow, this is refreshing. It could use a little bit more carbonation though, maybe I let this bottle sit for a bit too long in the fridge. I remember it being better on tap at the brewery.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thickerfreakness rules for sending me this one! Decanted from the bottle into a weizen glass. Pours a golden color with a one-finger head that fizzes away quickly. Big aromas of pineapples and wheat, with a little spice underneath. Tastes of slightly bitter hops, wheat, biscuity malts, and a general fruitiness. The fruit really shows up after swallowing the beer. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and well carbonated. This is one of the most drinkable beers I've had, period. Overall this isn't quite what I expected, but totally awesome.

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Photo of crwills
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fantastic! So disappointed I only had one bottle. This has to be one of my all time top brews.

Pours a dark, cloudy gold with a nice big head. Looks great. Aroma is very IPA-like, with lots of grapefruity and piney hops.

Flavour is restrained but complex. Smooth, hefe-like mouthfeel but IPA-like hops. The combination works beautifully, and is as balanced as it can get. Aftertaste is well balanced as well -- neither feature of the beer stands out, but rather they combine into something unique.

I look forward to seeking out a greater quantity of this one, for sure!

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this bomber into two tulips and observed a slight cloudy, light-golden body, with a small head. Very little carbonation, no sediment.
It had a wonderfully floral hoppy nose, with hints of honey, some wheat, alcohol and plenty of citrus; orange and mild lemon.
The taste was exceptionally complex, with a smack in the face of hops at first, piney, sweet, floral and clean, which faded into a wheaty dry aftertaste. It was only mildly carbonated, and left a clean, dry taste after each sip.
I know this is billed as a wheat, but I got a mostly hoppy ale feeling from this beer. Don't get me wrong, it was right up there with some of the best pale ales and IPAs I've had recently, but not much of a wheat. Overall, extremely complex and 100% unique.

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Photo of biegaman
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What in previous bottles I've had was a peachy froth of capping, had fizzled out quickly with this one. What remains is only a thin collar, tightly bound to the outside circumference. To the light, the body takes on a lemon juice yellow colour. Away from the light, the beer shifts to a more enhance shade of sunset orange.

This smell should be a legal trademark of Three Floyds. A bursting bouquet, both fruity and sappy, that blooms with huge blasts of tangerine, grapefruit, and citrus. There are notes of pineapple and mango as well. This is island punch for the hophead!

The mouthfeel is crisp and tremendously refreshing. A perfect balance is struck between hops and malt, bitterness and softness. Just a tad acidic, which only adds to its quenching power. It passes over the palate almost too smoothly.

With every sip I take I can imagine myself doing 'snow angels' in a truck full of freshly picked hops. I lay there, on my back, swinging my arms up and down, the smile on my face ear to ear. A beautiful exotic woman brings me a hallowed out pineapple with a straw umbrella garnishing its side. From this I drink the most wonderful beverage - this is that beverage.

I read one reviewer of this beer say "... I'm really starting to become a fan of Three Floyds". Really? Just now? I was a fan even before I ever tried one of their beers! (Common, how cool is ALL their label artwork?) Drink one - any - Three Floyds beer and you'll be a fan.

These guys know how to brew; they are certainly among the best in the United States. If there's anything they may very be the best at it's brewing hoppy beers. Three Floyds has mastered this to the point of flawlessness. Point in case: the Gumballhead.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

American wheat beer is supposed to suck. Wheat tastes like crap -- cut out the flavorful hops, the big, fat, estery yeast, and you're left with liquid bread. Not in the good way we think of beer as nourishing and complete, but literally like a loaf of bread tossed in the blender with some water.

I don't see why we should call this a hefe, much less judge it by those standards. What's wild about this beer is that there's no yeast in suspension -- it's as clear as Miller Lite and brillantly so. Yet, the aroma and flavor profile are very hefe -- subtle notes of bubblegum and phenols. The bubblegum, however, is laced with oranges, a spot of lemon, and flowers, straight from the powdery lupulin that is the Amarillo hop. And, staying true to its name, a gentle wheat graininess at the end gives us the perception of phenols. Without more yeast, however, there's no way this could have that great creamy body of a true hefe. Unless, of course, the malt is just viscous enough to contribute body without any added sweetness. It's as if the Floyds said "Yeah, we know American yeasts make boring wheat beers -- but WE don't make boring beer."

The hops are fresh, fresh as the morning dew, yet never intrusive. But there's no denying that this is an Amarillo bomb and one that, 22 ounces later, becomes very one-dimensional. I was trying to pinpoint the flavor and recalled tasting hops fresh out of the bag when I first started brewing. These Amarillos are even fresher -- on the palette they are a combination of taste and smell -- a full sensory experience. This is all the stuff of great -- truly great -- American pale ale supplanted with wheat and made none the worse for wear.

So liquid and juicy up front like a cask IPA; so tame yet full of flavor from the Amarillo hops.

3Floyds has once again redefined a style and this time it is the American wheat: do not be afraid of hops; they, too, may be gentle. And the glory has come to us.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of larryi86
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you betsona!
12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Clear yellow with bright hint of copper and a three finger white head.

S- Nice crisp citrus hop, sweet malts wheat, a hint of floral hops.

T- Well balanced, hops are definitely there, but do not take over the flavor. Nice wheat and sweet malt taste in the middle.

M- A little on the lighter side, smooth, crisp, refreshing.

D- This goes down really easy. I wish I could get lager quantities of this near me because I would love to be able have this waiting for me after a long day of work on a nice spring day.

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Photo of Brew33
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my first FFF offerings. I was not disappointed. This beer is awesome. It looks like a run of the mill wheat. Lively carbonation, yellow in color. The aroma was awesome. All hops. I wasn't sure what to expect .... The taste was epic. All wheat with a nice hoppy finish. Extremely drinkable. Wonderful session beer. No overly sweet flavors, no banana or clove or coriander just a straightforward kick ass brew.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into an Iron Man pint glass.

Hard pour yields a fizzy white head that dies down to a layer of foam on top. Hazy golden color. Wisps of lacing down the glass.

Smells of pineapple, tropical fruits, and hints of bubblegum. Very fruitty/hoppy for a wheat ale.

Sweet pineapple and tropical fruits. Then a very distinct bubble gum flavor followed by a nice wheat flavor. Almost IPA like with some wheat used for malts. Quite interesting.

Light bodied with high end of medium carbonation, and a nice little hop bite on the end.

Incredibly drinkable. I would definitely session this... if only 3F's were distributed in California.

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Photo of Srodri10
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my very first beer review. Seeing as how I live in Chicago I have have this beer soo many times. And I must say that it is a great representation of what 3 floyds can do.

A: hazy golden yellow tinted orange

S: The aromas on the beer are of citrus and hoppy in nature

T: Fantastic! It balances complex and even somewhat sweet wheat with fabulously rich hops flavors and a hint of pine with loads of hops.

M: Carbonated with a medium.

D: Can easily put back numerous of these in one sitting...

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Photo of dogger6253
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Two inch head fell pretty quickly, may have been a bad pour or something??? Regardless, a film stays atop of the beer throughout the entire glass, coating the sides in thick chunks of lace. As for body, sort of an amber, very clear and somehow very enticing, though I'm having trouble putting why into words.

When I read "wheat beer" on the bottle, I thought I was in for a much different beer than I got. I have to say I was so pleasantly surprised too. I've been drinking a lot of wheat beers over the summer and I feel just about due for a rich, juicy assault of hops. I smell juicy, grapefruit-infested hops right out of the bottle, even with the glass a couple of feet away, the scent finds you. There are other sweet, malty characteristics to the aroma too.

Wow. I couldn't have expected this taste to be so well-rounded. I figured I was in for some wheat flavor, and I knew there had to be heavy hops, so I didn't know what was coming. My first instinct is to pay note to the wheaty base, very calming and smooth. This moves into the hops, they kind of come through toward the back of the tongue. Grapefruit and lemon are key in the flavor, pine coming through a bit and an almost rosemary-like taste.

Overall, sweet and refreshing. Very crisp flavors.This is exactly what I needed to drink. There isn't much for carbonation, and the body is moderately heavy. I'm going to be getting some more of this down the road. I wish it was available in my area, it'd be a terrific session beer IMO.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this after a meeting at The Crane Alley in Urbana. Hazy blond body topped by two pillowy fingers of white head; nice durability and lacing. The smells are rich and lively--plenty of citrus, ample spice, definitely veering toward sweet. I get orange, tangerine, and peach with pepper and coriander--lovely.

After such a nose, anything less than an excellent taste would be a letdown. Thankfully, Gumballhead does NOT disappoint. It's very fruity yet not cloying or syrupy. Light and smooth, this is a terrific representative of the style. Its exquisite texture is reminiscent of German wheats such as Ayinger and Erdinger, though a bit fuller in flavor. Gumballhead compares quite favorably, which says a lot.

Gumballhead left me highly impressed. I figured this would be a good APWA. Not only was it great, it was also one of the very best offerings I've ever had from Three Floyds. Tremendous.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank this in a pint glass from a tap.

The beer is a dark gold yellow with a light white head. There is decent but minimal lacing.

There is a not a strong aroma coming from the beer but you detect slight smells of citrus and flowers.

After the smell I wasn't expecting much, but boy was I wrong.

The taste is great, its lkight but sweet with a very subtle bubblegum finish.

This is a great summer sessional beer that I could drink all night a long.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle into Sam Adams glass on 8/15/08.
Thanks to brewslut for bringing these back to me from a recent trip to Great Taste.

A - Clear light golden body with half a finger of creamy white head that receded into a thin veil of retention and left a good bit of lace around the glass. Cyclone of tight, swirling carbonation bubbles permeate the body.

S - Huge citrus notes for a wheat beer with lots of grapefruit and lemon. Nice malt presence as well with bready notes.

T - Tangy citrus hops mingle with crusty bread maltiness and some grain. Lemon zest is apparent. This almost has the tartness of a Berliner Weisse, but with quite the hop presence for a wheat beer. Flavor finishes with a bready malt aspect that ties everything together.

M - Light body with medium carbonation and a smooth, crisp finish. Mild bitterness on the palate with a bit of a tart character.

D - Man, another awesome creation from FFF! This brew boasts superior drinkability and tons of fresh flavors and aromas that will keep me coming back for more. I'm glad I have a couple of these on hand, as I will definitely be revisiting this gem very soon!

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Photo of Zorro
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 OZ Bomber provided by Thaichile.

Pours a near clear orange colored ale with a bit of a white head. This truly looks like an AIPA in the glass.

Smell is mild sweet malt with a great deal of biscuit and cracker in it. There is a mild faint hop scent here that doesn't seem to quite make it up to pale ale strength. Faint citrus and pine but nothing too noticeable.

Taste is slightly sweet with a damn good citrus hop flavor in my mouth with a faint melon and lemon and tea after taste. Definitely sweet and strong on the hops, this is like Dreadnaughts little brother in a good way. There is a biscuit malt flavor here but this is most certainly a hops beer and one that I really dig.
Yummy tasty strong hops that is what makes this beer. This gets a 5, as there isn't another American Wheat beer in the same class, Sierra Nevada should taste this and fix their wheat beer.

Mouthfeel is good without being too thick for a summer beer.

This is in my book the ultimate lawnmower beer and simply the best American Style Wheat Beer by at least a factor of two, nothing else comes close. Only real defect is that the hops hide from your nose, but that might not be what you need in a summer beer. Best wheat beer in the USA, all the other brewers could learn a lot from this beer.

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Photo of kegerator
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

enojyable. is this really a wheat beer? didn't taste any of those flavors at all. if i was giving style points it would probably not get very good ratings but it was dam tasty.

pours a hazy yellow with hints of coppery orange and a 1/2 inch head thats fairly creamy and sticks around for a while.
smell was nothing major. smelled citrusy/floral hops and thats about it.
taste was outstanding. nice creamy mouthfeel that finishes crisp and slightly dry. taste was slightly fruity up front with hits of lemon from the hops on the finish.
nice beer but to me it was more of a pale ale then a wheat.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's kinda silly to call this beer a Pale Wheat Ale. It's not accurate and it's not fair. It's not accurate because this beer is certainly an IPA with an American wheat / barley malt base; whereas most IPAs have a standard barley malt base only. It's not fair because this beer is hands-down a better beer than any other Pale Wheat Ale that I have ever drank. Calling this beer a Pale Wheat is misleading and completely over-hopped for it's style. The alcohols show an interesting evaporative cooling effect without much drying. The hops, although pleasantly citrus, adds a mild dish-soap flavor that becomes distracting as the beer warms. Though I can see why so many BA's rate this beer so high, I'm not going to get carried away with the hype.

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4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a small wine glass, shared other 2/3 of this beer.

A: The golden hue, has a deeper copper, than most wheat beers. Good lacing with slight head retention.

S: WOW. . now the Gumballhead namesake makes sense. This beer has a very distant smell, and it is extremely pleasing. The aromas would have made me think that this was an IPA. Great to drink out of a wine glass or other type of aroma capturing glass.

T: The taste did not bring as much flavor as the aroma, but the taste of light hops and wheat, are very pleasing. The grapefruit really stands out.

M: A bit more on the creamy and silky side of mouthfeel, more along my lines than other wheat beers.

D: Great drinkablity, one that I Will go back for. Also a wheat that I would recommend. I have to go and get another to send to my good friend so he can have his wheat beer expectations bended.

Notes: Highly Recommended. Thanks Bliss in Wauconda, IL for the great singles selection.

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Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from joe1510, cheers Joe!

Pours an effervescent honey with 3+ fingers of fluffy eggshell white head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Lemons, white pepper, apricot & breadyness

T: Lemons, white pepper, breadyness, fruittyness & grainyness up front. Honey malt, passion fruit & nice grapefruitty & lemony hops as this warms. Finishes bready with nice citrus hops & honey

MF: Medium bodied with light carbonation & some syruppy qualities

Drinks really easy, but the complexity draws you in as well; One of the better American Pale Wheats out there!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to seeswo for hooking this up in our big IP trade yesterday! Cheers!

Pours a golden straw color, with a big spongy bright white head. Retention is killer, and the lacing left behind is wonderfully soapy and sticky. Clarity is up there.

Aroma is beautiful! Big piny, woodsy, crisp hop aromas with tinges of sweet citrus, an almost caramel-esque malt backbone, with some back end notes of glazed bread crust.

Nice resiny hoppyness co-mingle with some doughy, bready notes, and a pleasant backing malt character. The finish lingers nicely with a touch of bittersweet notes.

The feel is lightly crisp, a bit slick and almost velvety. Very smooth, and clean. Body is light.

Overall, I don't think there could be a better APWA. This particular style, to me, is probably the most boring and uninteresting styles, but this is definitely not a boring APWA! Kudos FFF!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gumballhead pours a decent though not overly-impressive golden amber colour with a nice sized, sticky white head on top.

The smell is an overwhelmingly pleasant combination of stuff stemming from the hops: floral notes, pine, sweetness, etc. There's also a touch of citrus in the mix as well. Wheat is mildly presnet in the background.

The flavour is more of the same: the hop onslaught is non-stop, yet it is somehow subdued enough that it doesn't really move this one into IPA territory. There is a floral flavour throughout mixed in with wheat throughout. The finish is very sweet but also has a bit of a wood flavour in it as well. It starts to get juicy then goes dry. Weird and different, but good.

The body is nice and full for the style and there's a slick oily feel to it as well.

This is a damn tasty brew overall and a great summer session brew. It far and away has the most flavour of any summer brew I've ever sampled, yet remains pretty simple and thirst quenching at the same time. Yum.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Rhoadsrage on a awesome trade! I have been wanting to try this one for quite some time and missed it when it was in Ohio. Poured into a wheat glass pours a yellow red with a fluffy head that leaves nice lace on the glass. Smell is exceptional with citrus, tangerine, pear, orange, beautiful smelling beer. Taste is very impressive with low carbonation and a smooth taste of hops that are not overpowering but sweet and done right. Malt finish on the backend and a high drinkability. Overall this was a very impressive beer and one that went higher than my expectations. I have never been dissapointed with Three Floyds, can't wait to make a trip to the brewpub.

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Photo of AlyssaW
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- A nice golden color. The clearest wheat ale I've had. Very small head.

S- very hoppy, citrus smell.

T- Does not taste nearly as hoppy as it smells. There is more citrus with a light grapefruit and wheat undertone.

M- Light and refreshing. Highly carbonated.

O- My new favorite wheat ale. The mix of hops, citrus, and grapefruit is the perfect combination and no one ingredient overpowers another.

Serving type: 12oz bottle

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,730 ratings.
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