Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,283 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 2,283 | Ratings: 7,468
Photo of garymuchow
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle via guezedude. Many thanks.

Aroma shows nice grassy hops with a pleasant malt sweetness. Fairly simple but really pleasing.
Unfortunately poured with an excessive head that settled slowly. A very golden amber and clear. Nice lacing with receding head.
More matl than I expected and it dominated at first (it seems sweet with a slight toastiness). Bitterness follows and gradually builds in intensity through the finish. Balance is nice.
Amazingly flat feel with is fine with me. Appropriate moderate heaviness. Great softness.
I like the mix of flavors and the balance of them. Great blending.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish copper with a big frothy head and some suspended yeasty bits swirling in my pint glass. Lots of floral and citric hop aroma, some yeasty notes and just a little malt sweetness. The aroma is good but seems a little subdued. Tastes great. Grapefruit hop bitterness mixed with quite a lot of fruityness gives me my needed hop fix. A bready malt character evens things out a bit and makes it very drinkable. Vinous, lingering bitter finish, alittle on the oily side. Well balanced but still hop forward.

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Photo of Wonka
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 6FL OZ

Appearance –gold body; frothy, long-lasting white head; great lace; just a touch cloudy; particulates abound

Smell – grapefruit and pine; bit of spice; biscuity sweetness

Taste – grapefruit rind and pine; light caramel and alcohol; biscuity malts emerge to nearly meet the level of hop; more balance than many top contenders; great hoppy aftertaste

Mouthfeel – slight crispness on the tongue throughout; more substance than the average IPA; pleasant hop oil at close; a light bit of dryness in transition

Drinkability – the aftertaste and ‘afterfeel’ draw big marks here

Damn. I love the 5 but not enough to match the score to name. Racer 4.x doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but Racer 5 is certainly built for it.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I finally crack open a bottle of Racer 5. I had made a trip to Bottleworks a few weeks back to pick up a training kit for my chiropractor (she really wanted to work over the Corona hump she was stuck on, so I offered to help her out). Since she was an amateur for all intents and purposes, I set my sights to the pale end of the spectrum, with two criteria:

1) I had to have tried them, and

2)They had to be available in at least some supermarkets of Western Washington.

So I ended up with a two pronged approach. Side one of the pick a six was Naughty Nellie's (Pike), Wild Salmon Pale Ale (Fish) and Wildcat IPA (Snoqualmie). Side two was Locomotive Ale (Iron Horse), Nightwatch (Maritime Pacific) and Red Seal (North Coast). The point of all this blather is that I wish I had tried Racer 5 before, as I would have substituted out the Wild Salmon (which I don't personally care for, and neither did she) and inserted one of these. This is a perfect bridge beer for those people trying to move from lighter ales (like blondes and goldens) and lagers into the slightly hoppier realms of pales, reds and IPAs.

Appearance: Simply wonderful, and almost the best part of the beer. The color is that color that for no reason at all makes me start singing the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song ("BLACK gold! TEXAS tea!"), and a gorgeous, fluffy and stubborn white head sitting atop that beer simply refuses to leave no matter how many drinks I take. Good work.

Smell: Sadly, I smell almost nothing. Warm, cold, it's all the same. I smell no malts at all and smell what I think might be hops, but wouldn't bet my sons on it.

Taste: First taste (admittedly cold), put me off. All finishing hops and very little in the front and middle. Way too hot (if I may steal the word from my man BeerPanther. Great adjective, brother. I love it.) on the first kiss. So I let it sit for five minutes or so (it's 90 fucking degrees today, so the time is compressed for de-chillification), and come back for a second try. Ahh...much better. There are the malts I'm looking for. Now I get just a mild malt presence right at the front, the hops are MUCH more subdued, and then the malts and hops slowly dance around each other on my tongue as the finish slowly drifts away. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Here, I'm a little confused. I've had an awful lot of Imperial IPAs lately, so my viscosometer might be busted. It feels a little thin to me, but I don't know if I'm really reading this beer correctly. I want to give it a 3.75, but since that doesn't exist I'm going to grade up, because that seems like the right thing to do.

Drinkability: Very, very good. I like this beer a lot, I just wish it had a nose to match its taste. I do wish I had another.

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Photo of wl0307
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The most casual and unrelated-to-beer-like beer label I've ever seen this beer has... Got this bottle by courtesy of another BA based in NY City, Bultrey(Ben), and I couldn't find any best before date or anything like that on the bottle. It's supposed to last for a long time~~I reckon?

Appearance: served in a big tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours a slightly cloudy orange amber hue, coming with an extremely foamy, thick, off-white beer head which lasts quite well. Low carbonation detected.
Smell: extremely heavily hopped--profou...ndly perfumy and floral hops exploding right under my nose, along with aggressively fruity (sweet buttery lemon-cake, ripe peach+plum+apples) aroma...it's powerful yet not overpowering, as the deeply-sweet and grainy flavour of malts sustains well following the hop parade.
Taste: oily-hoppy and richly candyish-malty mouthfeel from the very beginning... a bittersweet nutty plus some grapefruit-zesty taste prevails right afterwards, underlined by a rounded, orange-peel oily flavour sitting firmly at the background, leaving a warmish mouthfeel of fruity hops and lingering but not overly strong bitterness. It's so satisfying and settled that almost no particular alcoholic touch is left behind. The balance b/w malts and hops is good, though for me the mouthfeel is a bit overly sweet.
Drinkability: absolutely an explosive and powerful American IPA for me--a delicious present from Bultrey!

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Photo of mentor
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained from Total Beverage (Colorado) and consumed a couple evenings later in July 2005. Pours a one-finger wicked silky creamy fine clingy head. Light tan that stands over a slightly cloudy light apricot liquid. Smells potently and smooth clean grapefruit pith with some hoppy orange and tangerine. Tastes sweet honey-like malt with moderate hop bitter and strong hop flavoring. The hop flavors are distinct and clean, but supported by underlying malt sweetness. Fruity esters are mild beneath the hops, but are honey-like, with apricot and tangerine. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium body with moderate carbonation. This is a really enjoyable IPA. Great clean hop flavor without

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

Revisiting this after 6 months. Without the competition of 6 gallons of homebrew boiling off aromas of malt and hops.

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date. Waiting in fridge for a special day.
Pours a slightly hazed golden orange, almost white frothy head that persists and laces the Corsendonk tulip glass.

Citrusy hop aroma suggesting a blend of pineapple and grapefruit. Little alcohol hides in toasted malt underneath the overwhelming hops. An unidentified weak clove like spice emerges at finish but is overwelmed by the pungent bitterness that lingers on and on. The yeast from the final pour from the 22 oz bomber softens this as the 7% ABV takes hold.

Still a Big Favorite - hope to clone this one day!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at T. Phillips Alehouse, part of their recent addition of Bear Republic brews to their tap list. Served in a standard pint glass.
Racer 5 had a clear coppery color, lots of finely wrought carbonation, and a dense off-white head that grudgingly shrank and left thick sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Very attractive.
The nose raised my eyebrows - is this really an IPA, the same one I had out of a bottle 18 months ago? Has it been that long? Racer 5's nose struck me as having more in common with some APA's than what I've come to expect from a West Coast IPA. Yes, there was a definite hops presence, nicely smelling of citrus peels and, to a lesser degree, pine needles. But the malty sweetness seemed a lot more solid and held its own.
Hmm, a few pulls had me continuing to question what was up with Racer 5. It didn't strike me as having the robust hoppiness I've tasted before. The malt profile was more pronounced and in keeping with an APA. The maltiness and sweet caramel flavor carried through to the finish and remained intact up against the citrusy hops bite, which seemed oddly lacking. Even the feel seemed to be missing something, being light dry and not as lively as the level of carbonation would lead me to believe.
Overall, Racer 5 is still a pretty nice IPA; easily quaffable and well constructed. To me, it seemed like the hoppy edge had been worn down to create a more balanced brew. I still recommend it, though.

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Photo of palliko
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this one at a local Brew house. Appearance is a cloudy gold with good foam and lacing. Aroma contains a massive amounts of grapefruit hops and malt. Aroma contains hops and sweet malt. Initial taste has bitter hops, lots of malt and crackers. A great IPA.

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Photo of medic25
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a road trip to Halftime beverages in NY. Pours a fairly clear amber color with a whitish head that quickly dissipates. Pleasant hoppy aroma. Taste is very smooth for such a well-hopped IPA, with a bit of a pine-needle flavor. None of the puckering bitterness that you can get sometimes with some of the west coast hop monsters I've tried. The alcohol is subtle, definitely an easy drinker. I only wish that I could find this beer more easily in Connecticut.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like Bear Republic products.
This is not an exception to the rule.
This here IPA could easily stand toe to toe with any IPA out there and probably a good number of double IPAs.
Looks and smells as an IPA should... on the darker side of that color spectrum pouring a honey color.
The aroma grabs your nose and slams it into the pavement a couple times.
The taste is aggressive hops and malts.
This is a ballsy brew.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Long sought after bomber, finally acquired across the Wisconsin border. Pours with amazing clarity, a light bronze color, and a large creamy head that fades after sitting for a minute to a creamy layer. Smell is bursting with citrus hops, lemon zest, and floral hops, an explosive array of hops. Taste starts out with hops, transitions into floral hops, and closes with more hops and some doughiness. Starts smooth, then eviscerates your hops craving. Excellent beer. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style, well carbonated and smooth. A very nice beer.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fantastic appearance when poured. Golden orange color with a perfect two-finger head that's nice and frothy. Lively carbonation, great retention and amazing lacing left on the glass as it ventures into my stomach. The aroma was a little duller than I expected but still pleasant. Piney, fruity, and slightly earthy hops dominate the smell. Great tasting, even better than the aroma. It leaves a slightly bitter finish, but that's expected with all the hops that are used. Drinkability is good but takes a slight hit from the high ABV.

This is a fantastic IPA and I could drink this anytime without a problem. A must try for any IPA fan.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright gold tinged with reddish hues , a solid finger of off-white head and great retention. Smell was more subtle than I expected, sweet malt, orange and grapefruit hops. The taste of this is excellent--nice pine needle hoppiness upfront, a smooth sweet malt balancing perfecting, and an assault of citrus and grapefruit hops leaving a long hoppy finish. Medium bodied with a slick juicy hop-coating feel--feels just like an IPA should. Another very well balanced IPA from the west coast that I could drink all night long.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden with a nice full off-white light tan head, nice carbonation, and nice lace. Big pine hop aroma and flavors. Nice hoppiness without being overly bitter; seems nicer than the XP Pale Ale; Good balance. Medium bodied and fairly smooth with a bitter hop finish; maybe a touch airy.

Worth trying and good but not my favorite ... a possible repurchase.

Per Label: Bottle Conditioned.

Per BR website: American grains. Two Pacific Northwest hops, Columbus and Cascade. Columbus is used mostly for bittering, but used heavily as an aromatic in this strong brew. Cascade is the balance that ties the malt and bittering hops together.
1999 GABF - Gold.
og 1.070, ABV 7.0%, IBU 69.

Per B.A.B. book: 5.9%ABV (wrong). Columbus hops adn dry-hopped with Cascade (wrong?)

($3.99 / 22 oz.)

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Photo of scooter231
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This IPA pours a very pretty slightly reddish golden color. No floaties of any kind- clear, with a lot of head at first that fizzles down and leaves some lacing around the glass. Very pretty.

Smells citrusy, mostly orange and lemon, and piney. A hint of sweetness as well. Earthy. Also some spicyness in here, black pepper. Tastes citrusy, slightly bitter, and definitely hoppy. Sort of a biscuity flavor and feel. Mouthfeel is very chewy, some bubbles, mealy- very, very nice. Drinkable- I'd say so. I could have a few of these, no problem. Tasty and refreshing. God bless IPAs.

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Photo of DrJay
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slighty hazy orange colour with a generous, fluffy head. Good retention and lacing. Toasted, malty aroma with mostly pine and some citrus hop character that is more on the orange side. Also just a bit spicy. Excellent balance with plenty of bitterness balanced by bready, biscuity malts. Hop flavour is strong pine, citrus, and spice, without being over the top. Sweetness backs off towards the end, which lets the resinous bitterness come forward, along with more orange hop flavour, and a bit of alcohol warming appear. Finishes off-dry. Body is a little on the heavy side, moderate carbonation. Bottle conditioning seems to contribute to the creamy smooth texture, which improves even more as it warms. Very nice...

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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Redbone's

Light toast color served with just a bit of white on top.

Faint sweet scent.

Some bready malt dominated by snappy lemony bitter bite, that develops a suggestion of fruit.

Light-bodied and easy to drink, a nice, straight-forward IPA that really grows on you. Yum

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Photo of kmo1030
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

golden orange amber color with a thin sticky white head. piney herbal and grassy hops dominate the aroma. some grapefruit comes out as it warms. the smell is a little subdued, i don't really pick up anything else. while the aroma doesn't have a lot of grapefruit to it the taste does. the other grassy hebal aspects take a backseat to the grapefruit now, to combine with some really nice piney hops and a light honey-like sweetness that balances things out a little. medium body with subtle carbonation that lends to a nice smoothness that these type of beers are sometimes lacking. good drinkability, i had no trouble finishing the bomber and could easliy finish another with out it getting tiresome. an excellent example of a west coast IPA. highly recomended.

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Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clean and transparent light copper body with a two finger white head which reduced down to a lump looking mass.

A nice typical IPA aroma with hints of grapefruit and pine. A good bit of sweet malt as well. This IPA tastes really good. Its flavor covers the three basic hop flavors: citrus with hints of grapefruit, pine, and a finish of bitter resin. This is all balanced with a slightly sweet malt which makes this brew really balanced. Hop bitterness is good as well and stronger than most IPAs. Nicely crafted and true to the style although a touch more bitter than most.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin but still coats well enough to provide lingering time for tasting. If this was a bit heavier this would be right on par with what I woudl expect. Drikability is really what this beer is about and some of that could be due to the lighter mouthfeel in my opinion. No problems will be encountered finishing this bomber off.

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Photo of axisjones
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amberish orange with a touch of cloudiness. A nice fluffy head sits on top with a decent lacing on the way down.

The smell is quite wonderful. Typical of a west coast IPA, you have the strong cascade aroma, pine, grapefruit, citrus, floral, with just a dash of passionfruit.

Once again, this is definitely in the West Coast IPA family. I have always found this group to have more juiciness and citric flavors and this is no exception. While it is in the company of great west coast IPAs, it is unique. A crisp bitterness carries a bit of spice which is balanced by a biscuity malt all the way through. While still on the hopped the hell out end of the spectrum, it is well balanced and the finish is lingering.

Highly drinkable. Had a bomber on a hot day and it went down like candy. I was begging for more. Another great west coast brew. Perfect for sessions or whatever. Super versatile, flavorful, Racer 5 is always a good choice. If you are begging for more hops, Racer X is your answer.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Mickey for this trade.

This Racer pours out a perfectly clear honey amber color, producing a fluffy 2 finger head of light beige that has a rocky top and leaves swirling rings of lace in my pint glass. Halfway through the beer there is still about 1/8 inch of head, nice.

As I inhale deeply, aromas of medium caramel malts and pine drenched citrus peel rise to greet me. A gentle swirl releases more of the bouquet, crushed pine needles gobbed on to fresh baked honey-wheat bread. The aroma is very nice on this one, but you really have to stick your nose in the glass to get it.

A sip reveals a very hoppy IPA highlighting pine needles and fruity citrus marmalaid hops with just enough caramel malt sweetness to carry it through to the long and tongue searingly hoppy finish.

Body is solidly medium with medium bubbles of carbonation and a slick, oily, hop-juicey mouthfeel. Perfect for sitting on the porch watching an afternoon thunderstorm and ensuing downpour, as I am now.

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Photo of baiser
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me start by saying: I love Bear Republic beers. They make top notch west coast style ales, that are packed with flavour over and over. This one is no different. Excellent IPA. Pours extremely hazy, amber orange colour, with a large, fluffy white head that lasts the entire time. Great lacing. An explosion of hop aromas. Pine, citrus, toasted malt. Juicy, oily, and well full of cascade hops. Somewhat balanced. Excellent beer.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I hadn't picked this one up yet... I got obsessed with their Hop Rod Rye and really overlooked this one. Glad I finally decided to try it. A near perfect beer. Appears a cloudy yellow amber color with a dense head that lasts until the very end, leaving nice rings of white lacing on the glass. Smells quite hoppy, a mix of grapefruity pine and citrus. The taste is actually perfectly balanced, a must for a truly great IPA, though the hops come get you first. As the smell suggested, piney and citrusy, which sounds pretty typical and we've all seen those words in just about every review of an IPA, but there's a bit more to this one. Nice lemmon and orange peel zest, and a bit of dry dustiness. The deliverance of this beer is key as well; perfectly smooth mouthfeel, nice and dry yet thirst-quenchingly refreshing. I wish this beer came in sixers or growlers, because I could easily pound a half gallon of this delicious nectar. You might call this the "De Ranke XX of America", but this beer stands strong by itself as a unique west coast IPA.

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Photo of goschool
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a slightly cloudy amber, with a good sized white head. It has a big aroma of citrus (namely grapefruit and lemon) and pine. The mouthfeel is lively but, a little too thin. This brew is pretty hoppy, not quite as hoppy as it could be, but it has a nice malty backbone. I could easily drink a gallon of this stuff.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,283 ratings.
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