Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,508 Reviews
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

Added by beernbbq on 04-14-2004

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Reviews: 3,508 | Ratings: 12,889
Photo of Chico1985
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first HopSlam, starting off what should be a pretty crazy weekend. Received 2 of these and many Surly goodies from a trade with surlytwinsfan, much thanks! This is batch 10100 which was bottled 1/5/11.

Pours glowing orange with very nice creamy white head, starts leaving lacing right away. Retains at a half finger.

The smell burst through upon cracking the cap. Pineapple and grapefruit, honey and caramel, all sprinkled with some sugar. Quite aromatic and probably 5 worthy at first, but seems to quickly lose strength.

Taste seems to differ a bit from the scent. Lots more of a pine/resin influence at work, still getting big pineapple, grapefruit and orange peel, and some tropical notes as well. I always wondered how the honey was integrated in this beer and it actually does seem to have a nice role, adding a nice flavor and subtle sweetness. Quite bitter but caramel malt does a good job of trying to balance it out.

Incredibly smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation seems to be on the low side, but it feels extremely light. Some booze noticeable but I'd say it's hidden for 10%.

A damn good DIPA. The smell beats out the taste for me, but for a 10% DIPA this is definitely among the smoothest, tastiest ones around. Happy to finally try this legendary beer and looking forward to my next one.

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now were talking. This is my kind of beer. It had a very rich color and I could immediately smell the hops when it was placed before me. For having such a high ABV I was concerned this might be sweeter than I like, but the people at Bell's have loaded up on the hop goodness!

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Photo of thain709
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A bright yet slightly hazy golden honey body...a big, fluffy white head that never really leaves...lacing sticks to the side of the glass in sheets

S - What a sweet, citrusy nose...big and bold grapefruit aromas with a touch of lemon and orange...an underlying sweetness is present

T - The citrus flavor is predominant in the flavor...once again big and bold grapefruit and lemon flavors...they are sweet and not at all bitter...the honey plays a big part as well...it really adds another level of sweetness...which I found became too sweet and took away from the citrus flavors

M - Medium bodied...sticky sweet with a great finish

D - I was able to finally consume a HopSlam...I found it to be very nice...great citrus flavors with an underlying sweetness...my only problem would be the 10% ABV...but watch out because it's dangerous enjoyable

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy yellowish amber color. Provides a small white foam head with decent lazy.

S: The name is hopslam and the hops are predominant (shocking, I know). Lots of citrus hops with just a slight hint of malts. Complex and appealing.

T: A great combination of hops and malts. Hops are most prevalent, but there is a smooth sweet malt kick as well. Blended well together.

M: Leaves a nice dry hoppy finish on the palate.

D: A really high ABV keeps this from being a session obviously, but 2-3 in a sitting is more than doable.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at the Eccentric back in May after partaking of several other offerings from Bell's; however, I'm thankful for the opportunity to try this as a standalone. Received this as a generous extra from bgramer (thanks Brendan). Batch 8277 printed on the bottle. Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a one-inch loose head. Cap reduced to half its size within seconds before settling into a thin skim of foam and ringlets. Some strands of watery lacing adhered to the walls of the glass during the tasting. Scent off the cap pop was sweet; however, aromas in the glass yielded a predominantly floral hops nose, with a mead-like quality detectable in the background. Taste consistent with nose, with a very complex flavor profile; both sweet and bitter at the same time. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a slightly viscous feeling and a light effervescence in the mouth. I'm generally not one for IPAs, but Hopslam is in a category all its own in my opinion.

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Photo of philly224
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had from an 12 oz bottle that was a few months old.

A: Golden color with a little bit of a white head.

S: Lots of pine/grapefruit you can really smell the hops in this one

T: I got a lot of grapefruit and the honey balanced things out nicely. Even at over 2 months old this beer tasted great.

M: Medium body with a good bit of carbonation

Overall this is a great year and I cant wait until next years release to try it fresh.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this one is sooo damn good! Fresh grapefruity hops on the nose, with some malty goodness to balance it out.. I actually have had hoppy brews, but this one is so well balanced and drinkable. Pours a clear golden color with a thick head and nice lacing. Smells of pine nuts and grapefruit. I could drink 6 of these and lose my mind in a heartbeat. A hop lover's ecstasy!

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Photo of animortician
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received via a trade. Bottle date 12/29/2011. Enjoyed on 2/8/12. This isn't on tap at the brewery but I don't think a month after bottling is enough to really mess with my overall experience of this beer.

A: Golden, good clarity, light head and good carbonation.

S: Exciting, very fruity, complex, tropical fruit

T: Was expecting more based off of the smell. Lacked some of the fruitiness. Still tasted really good though. Grape, smooth hops.

M: Great Mouthfeel, light carbonation, Hops didn't kill any of the other flavors or malt presence, 10% ABV is hidden well.

O: Don't get me wrong this beer is Great. Doesn't live up to the hype it seems. My biggest Kudos to bells would be the balance of flavor and hiding the 10% without killing your mouth in bitterness. Flavor to me thought just tasted like a Sierra Nevada Torpedo extra IPA with more fruit and balanced with more Alcohol. Great beer but not worth trading for more.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber orange with a one finger head. Nose is pine and citrus. Taste is much the same with pineapple and orange being the dominant flavors. Feel is excellent, rich and full. Medium carb. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall, a very good DIPA. My first experience with Hopslam. Feel is where this brew excels. Though I'm not convinced it's worth the hype it receives given that IMO there are other DIPAs as good as this and more readily available.

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Photo of sixthglass
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Wonderful Orange color with a huge head.

S - This smells of slight florals and citrus all smashed together with HOPS !

T - Hops hops hops honey, hops hops and hops, citrus, hops.

M - Nice medium body, I like how thick this feels in the mouth, coats and sticks.

O - Fantastic brew, look forward to it every year !

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this from Dunt in a BIF. It is honey gold in color with a 2 finger white head, lots of lace. The aroma is full of sweet juicy hops, honey, and pine. The taste is sweet pine with some grapefruit up front. The honey lends a very nice sweetness that balances out the hops. Hopslam is medium in body and very smooth, the alcohol is not noticeable. A very tasty DIPA.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to find this on the shelves while I was visiting Minnesota, but though it is a tremendous DIPA, I'm not sure it's quite worth the hoopla. (Though I would still recommend tracking it down and trying it, if you can!)

It's plenty hoppy, but creates a good balance between bitter and sweet. A mouth full of citrus with some grapefruit and orange (unlike some previous reviewers, I didn't feel the grapefruit was overwhelmingly strong), the beer doesn't do a very good job of hiding the alcohol. I wouldn't call this a complex beer, but what is there is done really well. This beer is all about the hops, which is good since Bell's made some nice choices with their hop selection.

I really enjoyed this beer, and though it didn't blow my mind, it certainly could fight for a rank among the top 15 or so DIPAs on the market. Give it a try if you can.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled October 2006, Sampled December 2006
Pours with a touch of yeast dustiness, but the beer is a lightly reddish hued, amber to copper color. It is topped by a frothy, almost two-finger thick, light tan colored head. The aroma is certainly quite hoppy; it is a mix of citrus, pine and even a more dank hop note similar to onions or perhaps even garlic. The hop aromatics are certainly an interesting mix. The predominant character is that of audaciously vibrant sweet citrus and exotic fruit aromas; notes of apricots, lychee, pineapple, candied orange peel, concentrated ruby-red-grapefruit, and other tropical fruit notes make up the dominant notes. Behind the upfront hop fruit though is a touch of more raw hop character; hints of pine, menthol and that onion-like almost garlic character lurk in the back ground, just enough to add a hint of complexity. Where is the malt? I couldn't tell you underneath all of the hops.

The taste is sweet with the fruity hop notes, in fact the sweet fruitiness just sticks around clinging to the palate even after the beer has left my mouth. The hop fruit notes are much the same as I noticed in the aroma, but here there is a touch of biting bitterness to add a touch of balance. You know it is a hop focused beer, when you need hop bitterness to balance other hop derived notes. The malt is buried here, playing only a supporting role, there is certainly enough malt to not allow the hops to be dominating and raw, but definitely not enough more my hop flagellated taste buds to notice. It has just enough mouthfeel / palate coating ability to help the dominant hop character along; I wouldn't say that this was a beer you wanted to pound, but it is dangerously quaffable.

The hop character here is so smooth & even soft (despite being amped up and loud overall); the brewer definitely took a heavy handed approach with smooth fruity hops like Simcoe and Amarillo when brewing this beer. The flavor does not have much, if anything, noticeable of the onion / garlic note that I experienced in the aroma, though perhaps there is a touch of it in the finish. Really the finish is dominated by a smooth, lingering bitterness that perhaps takes on a touch of mentholated pine. I really am a sucker for these smoothly fruity, over the top, one dimensional hop bombs. This is quite bitter, though I don't necessarily realize it most of the time. This is totally only comprises one dimension of the usual three that a beer can have (hop, malt and yeast), but it is so enjoyable in its expression of the hop.

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Photo of Thanby
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we go, the Holy Grail of IPAs.

Pours a pale honey/straw color, crystal clear, with a big foamy off-white head that hang around and sticks like glue.

Pungent aroma, dominated by the bouquet of hops, with some grapefruit bitterness and a little spice in the middle, the honey winds its way through and pulls it all together.

First taste opens up surprisingly sweet, rich pale malt with the honey dead-center, some brown sugar, and the citrusy overtones again bringing grapefruit to mind and conjuring some esters. As the malty sweetness slides away, it leaves a big coating of hops that oozes over the tongue. I can't pick out specific varieties, but I'm sure there's a dozen. Balanced hops bouquet and some ABV vapors linger for a while, with the honey sort-of sneaking back in, leaves things a little sticky and the hops never completely fade.

Medium body with a sticky finish but balanced and mature enough that it goes down smooth and is surprisingly easy to drink. This didn't "kick me in the face" as much as I was expecting, but it sure doesn't disappoint, and is not for the faint-of-palate. An IPA connoisseur's dream. Yet again, Bells shows how high their quality standards really are with this gem of a beer.

Final thought: I'm glad this is limited release, because it is so good that it would be bad for my liver and wallet if it were available year-round.

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Photo of legalpete19340
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear honey colored orangish-yellow with a thick head that took its time leaving. Did a decent job of lacing the glass.

S: A dankness sits on top of strong pine notes. Could be my imagination from the label but I swear I get honey notes too. Some grapefruit but mostly pine.

T: Strong bite in this beer and a fizziness on the tongue. Lots of grapefruit and much more than the scent led on. The finish is quite sweet and again I swear I get honey. The bite is balanced by subdued pine and sweetness. I get the 10% ABV after letting a sip settle. Warm.

M: Medium. Not syrupy. Fizzy and full.

D: As a DIPA this is pretty drinkable for me. The sweetness doesnt offend and would order another.

No doubt this is a very well crafted beer but something was missing for me to set it apart as exceptional.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a gold with little white head and leaves some lacing.

The smell is sweet of apricots and other citrus. Slight pine. Pretty deep fresh smell for sure.

The taste is a sweeter ipa with citrus and the alcohol at first adds a great quality to the taste. But as its warming up the alcohol is becoming more and more present.

Over all I am impressed with this beer and after reading all the hype for a month or so Im glad it still came through!

And its almost too easy to drink for being 10%!

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Photo of dlmccabe1
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This thing is a huge citrusy bomb with crazy aromas right away. It pours a golden straw color.

Not overly bitter but tons of hop flavors and aromas. My kind of beer. Finishes with a hint of sweetness, probably from the honey, with a a long finish and a really rich mouthfeel for an IPA. Any bitterness that comes is lingering at the end.

I think this is a delicious IPA. It's really drinkable and has heavy hop aroma and flavor. But I paid $25 for a six pack....which is a little ridiculous.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ratings posted are for BATCH #8277

GLASS: Tulip Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BATCH #9505 (01-05-10) 4 Months old at review (05-11-10)

Appearance is the same as the one-year old bottle, reviewed below. Still beautiful and impressive.

The nose has a bit more piney hops presence, but that's about the only real difference. Still has a big, sweet, malty presence to back up all of that hoppiness.

Yes, this is quite a bit hoppier than the year-old bottle that I previously had. Lots of big notes of pine tar blend in with the big malty sweetness. At this point though, the hops are still overpowering the sweetness, quite a bit.

I find this body to be not as thick and sticky as my previous bottle. I don't know if that's because of the aging or if it's a recipe tweak. Still medium-bodied and Medium-to-high level of carbonation, which gives it a nice touch of creaminess.

This is nicely drinkable. It is a slight bit too out of balance for me to enjoy all of the time though.
Honestly, I think that I prefer the one-year old version a bit more. It has more balance and is easier to drink. Looks like I'll be leaving my other couple of bottles in the cellar!

BATCH #8277(01-09-08) This one is a year old. I'll review a fresh one, once I can track down a bottle. Someday....

Nice, hazy, dark golden honey colored liquid. Two-finger head of thick off-white colored foam. Great retention and thick, sticky lacing.

Nice citrus hops are still big with this one. Orange and grapefruit, mostly. Hint of pine. Nice caramel malt presence, now. Nice floral quality.

Hops have definitely mellowed out. Quite abit, I'd guess. Still has a nice piney/grapefruity quality. Also has quite the caramel malt backbone, now. It's really a very balanced beer, right at this point. The honey is easily detectable, also, and I find it to be a very nice component in this brew.

Good solid medium body. Almost sticky, the way it coats your mouth. Traces of it stay there, even after you swallow, then slowly make their way down your throat.

At this age, I find this to be a super drinkable beer. Very well balanced and all around tasty.

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Photo of qchic
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden peach color with a frothy head that leaves sticky lace behind.
Of course, lots of hops in the nose with citrus, pine, and pineapple. Rockin bitterness in the flavor with pine, tangerine and tropical fruits, more bitterness, and alcohol that also contributes to the mouthfeel. A party in the mouth. Warming alcohol would (or should) prevent one from downing too many of these and since it's available for such a short time I find it easy to savor one at a time.

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Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- 4.5 Hopslam is a pretty light orange color and can barely be seen through. It has lots of bubbles and a nice, sticky white head that clings to the glass. An aggressive pour gave it 1-2 fingers. There is high lacing with this one.

S- 4.5 Hops, hops, hops... And a sweet citrus. There's a hint of pine as well. It's a very intense but welcoming scent. It would be agonizing to smell this and not be able to try it!

T- 4 As it smells, the hops are dominant. However, they are balanced out considerably well by a honey and citrus blend. This is a good tasting powerfully-hopped ale. It can leave you puckering. It's also just slightly boozy on the finish (though not bad considering its 10% ABV).

M- 4.5 Great medium body and carbonation with this brew. It is velvety and smooth (once you forget about the taste for a second and concentrate on the feel it's quite good). Only a tinge of syrup as it goes down but this seems to fit.

D- 4 This beer is pretty drinkable for its style. This is a matter of personal preference for me; I'm not the biggest hop-head out there but as imperial IPAs go I could drink as many of these as any. It definitely has a 'kick' to it, though, so be careful! Always an annual treat worth picking up.

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Photo of miromanyth
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So much hype...does it deserve it?

A: Very nice in a glass, as our most DIPA's. A golden honey color with pretty bubbles rolling up the side.

S: The absolute best part of this beer is the smell. Divinity. Mango's and peaches, dipped in honey, with a nice hop aroma. The best smelling beer ever in my opinion.

T: The fruit smell comes through in the flavor. Peaches and mangos, a nice sweetness from the honey...and a pleasant alcohol/hop bite in the finish. Super smooth, and easy to drink.
Floral, mild (very mild) citrus notes. Grapefruit. Earthy. Complex to say the least.

M: Creamy. Smooth. Biting as it rolls over the tongue. After it goes down the tongue is in hop-shock for a few moments.

D: Overall, I love this beer - but who doesn't? It's Bell's, it's a DIPA, it's an American beer fully realized. A delicious beer...but there are better DIPA's. And frankly, standing in line for it is absurd.

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Photo of carln26
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper color with a bit of sediment. The beer is topped by a thick, fluffy off-white head. The nose is dominated by citrus hops. Nice blend of grapefruit and mandarin orange. Little malt in the aroma. The flavor? Citrus, citrus, and more citrus. I would not call it a hop bomb, as the bitterness is not overwhelming, but there is a load of mandarin and grapefruit citrus with just a touch of pine midway. The malt is a subtle sweetness that accentuates the hoppy character. The mouthfeel is light and slightly effervescent. Remarkably, and wonderfully drinakble. There was a nice thread between some friends of mine a while back as to how this compares with the Two Hearted Ale. Very different beer. I prefer Two Hearted. This is still a nice offering.

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Photo of rypkr
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Updated taste from 4 to 4.25 on 1-31-17. Usually I consider this okay at best but this year felt a little more appreciative of it (though I still think it's hyped and blown out of proportion).

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Photo of JerseyKirk
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden but not transparent. Hardly any head due to alcohol content. White head. Limited lacing.

S: Grapefruit. Strong and delicious smelling.

T: Hoppy but not overly bitter. Really smooth and balanced. Clean finish. No alcohol burn even though its 10% abv.

M: Full bodied.

D: Could easily drink more without being overworked with hop flavors.

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Photo of charlzm
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consume don May 25th, 2016. Poured from a can celebrating its 4 month anniversary today.

Pour is a slightly hazy honey gold with a three finger white head that, when it subsides, provides impressive lace all the way down.

Aroma is citrus peel, peppery honey and pine resin.

Flavor is somewhat sweet with honey and grapefruit notes. Significant bitterness crests in the aftertaste to tidy things up.

Mouthfeel is ever-so-slightly creamy and a little slick. Dry without being parching.

While not a blinding revelation, this beer (even as old as it is) is not to be trifled with. Can't wait to try it fresher!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,889 ratings.
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