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Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve: A Review

Woodford Reserve Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve: A ReviewThe Redbreast 12 Year:

The Readbreast 12 year Irish whiskey is absolutely an outstanding whiskey.  It’s one of the best whiskeys we’ve ever had period.  Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey we’ve ever on the planet.  With a scotch like complexity and a bit of sweetness, it had the perfect whiskey flavor but not too much that it dominates the drink.  The bite is absolutely flawless.  Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.  

The Elijah Craig 18 Year:

A very strong single barrel bourbon, the Elijah Craig 12 year, has a great bite and a lot of flavor for bourbon.  One knows right away that you are drinking bourbon.  The Elijah Craig 18 year is the oldest single barrel bourbon in the world.  After the 18 years almost two thirds of the barrel has evaporated.  Not only are aged whiskeys, cognacs and rums more expensive to store for that period of time, but after so long, there is so little of the actual drink left to consume that a fine aged whiskey has to come with a serious price tag.  If you’re a fan of bourbon, the Elijah Craig 18 year is an excellent choice.             

Woodford Reserve:

The Woodfor Reserve is a handcrafted 90.4 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  I’ve had this 5 other times and liked it, but now it showed true character.  With a great bourbon flavor, it’s much more subtle than the Elijah Craig.  It’s a great balance for a bourbon whiskey with a little complexity and rather smooth. 

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The Makers Mark 562 Bourbon Seasoned Cigar: A Review

makers mark cigars 224x300 The Makers Mark 562 Bourbon Seasoned Cigar:  A Review By Matt Goldstein

Wrapper: Sumatra

Filler: Dominican Republic

Binder:  Connecticut

Size:  Torpedo

Strength:  Medium Body

 The 562 Torpedo Cigar by Maker’s Mark is a bourbon seasoned small batch hand made cigar from the Dominican Republic.  The long leaf tobacco is grown with Cuban seeds in the Dominican, and aromatically seasoned with Maker’s Mark bourbon.  The cigar is then sealed in a glass tube with the Makers Mark signature red wax.  The seal is air tight so there is no need for a humidor. 

The first 1/3 of the Makers Mark 562 Torpedo Cigar is smooth with slightly sweet smoke and a sweet flavorsome wrapper.  The middle of the cigar brings a lot more flavor and is slightly dry with hints of wood.  The 562 Torpedo smokes well and is a great cigar. 

Check outCAO Gold , Gurkha Symphony , Tony Borhani’s Bahia Trinidad

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Single Malt Scotch vs. Blended Scotch Whisky: Dewar’s, JohhnieWalker, Chivas Regal & Talisker, Laphroaig, Oban & Balvenie

dram of scotch 200x300 Single Malt Scotch vs. Blended Scotch Whisky: Dewars, JohhnieWalker, Chivas Regal & Talisker, Laphroaig, Oban & BalvenieNot on the Rocks! 

By Eric Duncan

Rules to Live by for the Aspiring Scotch Connoisseur; Single Malt Scotch Whisky vs. Blended Scotch Whisky 

 This is only meant to serve as a brief introduction and overview of the differences between Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Blended Scotch Whisky. There is also Bourbon Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, etc.

 Single Malt Scotch and Blended Scotch Whisky are similar spirits but are often incorrectly assumed to be interchangeable.  A single malt scotch is distilled of only malted barley and water at one distillery.   Where as Blended Scotch Whisky is typically 60-80% grain whiskey mixed with several single malt scotch’s.

Blended Scotch Whisky uses the grain whisky to cut the “harshness” of the pure single malts. It is typically distilled in the “low lands” and has a more mellow flavor then a single malt scotch.   Every major Blended Scotch Whisky producer has a “Master blender” who creates combinations of several single malts and grain whisky’s to produce a flavor unique to their brand.  They not only need to know mixture of the current single malt’s they utilize but they need to know what other single malts they can substitute if the quality or availability of a certain single malt changes. They are also responsible to sample every batch to ensure consistency in their product.  Examples of Blended Scotch Whisky are;  Dewar’s, JohhnieWalker, J&B, The Famous Grouse and Chivas Regal.

Single Malt Scotch has a wide array of tastes, which vary depending on; the malt and water used, where it is produced, if peat is used in the drying process, how it is stored and for how long it is stored.  The scotch must be matured for at least 3 years to be considered a Single Malt Scotch.   As a Scotch matures it continues to change in character and begins to mellow. The older Scotch is often more expensive due to further evaporation during the maturation process as well as the prolonged marketing.

The beauty of single malt scotch is that there are a multitude of variables that alter the taste, color and aroma.  In the end it comes down to a personal preference of the taster and what characteristics they enjoy. A peaty scotch has a discernable smoky flavor to it because the peat is added to the fire that is used to dry the malt after the germination process.  The type of cask a scotch is matured in changes the flavor as well.  Bourbon and Sherry casks are the most commonly used, but Bordeaux wine, port and Cognac are some other commonly utilized casks.  Single Malt’s such as Balvenie are often available in a double cask addition where they are transferred to a second cask  towards the end of the maturation process to pick up additional characteristics.   Single Malts that are matured by the ocean often pick up a slight trace of the salty ocean air in their flavor.  A few examples of Single Malt Scotch include; Talisker, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Oban, Balvenie, Singleton of Glendullan, Jura, Caol Ila, Ardbeg, and Bruichladdich.

One of the most important differences between Blended Scotch Whisky and Single Malt Scotch is in the way they should be served.   Blended Scotch Whisky is typically served in a glass tumbler.  On the other hand, Single Malt should be served in a tulip glass.  The tulip glass has a bulb shaped bottom and narrows out toward the top.  The wide bottom allows the flavor to mature in the glass while the narrow top helps to keep the aroma locked in, similar to a snifter.

It is common place to hear Blended Scotch Whisky ordered on the rocks or with a finger or two of water added.  Since Blended Scotch Whisky is already diluted at least 60% by the grain whiskey this is an acceptable way to drink this spirit.  Single Malt should be served with only a couple drops of distilled water added.  This serves to break the surface tension which opens up the flavor of the single malt.   Adding more water or putting it on the rocks simply dilutes the taste and compromises the integrity of the single malt.

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The Whiskey Goldmine: Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12, Wild Turky Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels & Bulleit Bourbon

whiskeys 1111 300x174 The Whiskey Goldmine: Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12, Wild Turky Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels & Bulleit BourbonFeaturing Redbreast 12 Year, Elijah Craig 18 Year, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12 Year, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels and Bulleit Bourbon 

By Matt Goldstein 

After many futile attempts at trying to come up with a more manly way to say whiskey “tasting” we just said forget it and got lit.  It was the Whiskey Goldmine.  We had 8 different whiskeys from bourbon to Irish whiskey and just plain old regular whiskey.  The goldmine did not disappoint. 

The career bourbon drinker Jimmy Barlieb, myself and special guest appearance by the one and only track star champion and softball phenom, Steve Tuteur poured about a shot each whiskey sipped them in a completely random order, sometimes with ice, sometimes without.  We also did a few shots hear and there depending on the mood and type of whiskey. 

2988 Redbreas 300x300 The Whiskey Goldmine: Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12, Wild Turky Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels & Bulleit BourbonThe Redbreast 12 Year:

Redbreast Irish whiskey was absolutely outstanding and by far the best whiskey of the evening.  Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey we’ve ever tasted.  With a scotch like complexity and a bit of sweetness, it had the perfect whiskey flavor but not too much that it dominated the entire drink.  The bite was absolutely flawless.  Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.  

elijah craig 18 161x300 The Whiskey Goldmine: Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12, Wild Turky Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels & Bulleit BourbonThe Elijah Craig 18 Year:

The Elijah Craig single barrel bourbon was very strong.  It had a great bite and a lot of flavor for bourbon.  You knew right away that you were drinking bourbon.  The Elijah Craig 18 year is the oldest single sarrel bourbon in the world.  After the 18 years almost two thirds of the barrel has evaporated.  Not only are aged whiskeys, cognacs and rums more expensive to store for that period of time, but after so long, there is so little of the actual drink left to consume that a fine aged whiskey has to come with a serious price tag.  If you’re a fan of bourbon, the Elijah Craig 18 year is an excellent choice.         

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Woodford Reserve:

Woodford Reserve is a handcrafted 90.4 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  I’ve had this 4 other times and liked it, but this time it really grew on me.  Although it has the bourbon flavor, it’s much more subtle than the Elijah Craig.  It’s a great balance for a bourbon whiskey with a little complexity and rather smooth. 

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Powers Gold Label 12 Year Special Reserve:

Powers 12 is a blended Irish whiskey.  It doesn’t have as much flavor as the regular Powers Gold Label but it’s certainly smooth enough for a straight sipping whiskey.  Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks.  Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland.  Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.          

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wild turkey rarebreed 300x300 The Whiskey Goldmine: Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12, Wild Turky Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels & Bulleit BourbonWild Turkey Rare Breed:

Rare Breed is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  What a badass shot of whiskey!  WOW!  We love it!  Rare Breed is barrel proof at 108.6.  According to bourbonenthusiast.com, Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon is a unique blend of Wild Turkey 6 year, 8 year and 12 year-old stocks. 

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Bulleit Bourbon:

Bulleit is distilled and aged in small batches and stored in a single-story warehouse.  It’s a 90 proof bourbon whiskey which is “formulated by mingling, not blending,” two and sometimes three different batches.  Bulleit is very strong and dry whiskey with a heavy of bourbon flavor.  With a high content of rye, the Bulleit is called the frontier whiskey.  It wasn’t one of my favorites of the night but our writer Jon Rosenberg seems to love it.  Jon described Bulleit as follows, “There’s that glorious aftertaste: the second after the drink goes down there’s this lingering something that I have only ever found in Bulleit.  It’s the sort of special flavor that can bring to mind old memories in a flash…”

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Jack Daniels Old Number 7:

Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey speaks for itself.  By far one of our favorite whiskey shots in the world, Jack Daniels is aged in white oak barrels characterized by the famous charcoal mellow.  It’s made very much like bourbon, but since it’s not from Kentucky, technically it’s just a whiskey.  But who cares?  It’s not where you’re from; it’s where you’re at.  Old Number 7 is more of a shot whiskey than a sipping whiskey but Gentlemen Jack is a perfect sipping whiskey.  A review of the single barrel is coming very soon as well. 

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The Makers Mark:

The Makers Mark was not actually opened on this night because we were pretty lit from all the other whiskeys, but we’ve had it plenty of times so we can tell you all about it.  Makers Mark is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  It’s a single barrel small batch whiskey.  Maker’s Mark is a solid shot drinking whiskey and definitely a better sipping than Jack.

jonny cash 300x266 The Whiskey Goldmine: Redbreast 12, Elijah Craig 18, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12, Wild Turky Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels & Bulleit BourbonThe Whiskey Armageddon:  To compliment the whiskey, we drank Guinness and smoked couple Oliva Seri V, and CAO Brazilia cigars.  The official song of the night was When the Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash.  What’s better than a biblical song about Armageddon to help you savor the whiskey?  When the Johnny Cash song came on all hell broke loose.  I had no choice but to punch Jimmy right in his mouth.  He shouldn’t have dropped his guard; that was pretty stupid.  His lip was bleeding.  Oops.  He then tackled me and beat the crap out of me.  It was awesome.  If there was a whiskey goldmine, I’m pretty sure we found it. 

“Will you partake in that last offered cup, or disappear into the potter’s ground?  When the man comes around.”

Steve and myself ranked the whiskeys as follows:

1.  Redbreast 12 Year

2.  Wild Turkey Rare Breed

3.  Woodford Reserve

4.  Elijah Craig 18 Years

5.  Powers Gold Label 12 Year

 6.  Bulleit Bourbon

 7.  Makers Mark

8.  Jack Daniels

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Bushmills 21 Year, Powers 12 and Talisker 10: A Review

 

bushmills 21 yo single malt 111111 300x300 Bushmills 21 Year, Powers 12 and Talisker 10: A Review

“Talisker 10 is a top 3 Single Malt Scotch.”

By Eric Duncan & Matt Goldstein

 Attending a wedding between our dear friends and family a few weeks ago, the Bushmills 21 was a gift for the groomsmen.  The father of the groom, a native Irishman, and now NYC bartender, bought the very rare bottle of Bushmills 21 years aged so we could all have a taste in the suite prior to the ceremony.  The bottle was opened at 1 pm but I was a bit to hung over from the now legendary rehearsal dinner.  I needed a few more waters and a nap first or I wasn’t going to make the wedding.       

Eric Duncan:  The Bushmills 21 was smooth for an Irish whiskey, but a little too sweet.  I can’t cheat on my Tullamore Dew, but I was the only one with key to the suite so had to take everyone from wedding party up there who wanted a shot.  So 7 shots later, Kevin got married!! 

Powers 12Yr Bottle 99x300 Bushmills 21 Year, Powers 12 and Talisker 10: A ReviewMatt Goldstein:  Bushmills 21 – After a 30 minute nap and 4 bottles of water I was ready to go.  The Bushmills 21 was actually very smooth.  For some reason I am used to the more aged whiskeys and scotches to have a bit more bite.  This was excellent.  It did have a little sweetness but also a great whiskey flavor.  Smooth, sweet and flavorful…  Bushmills 21 year is aged in American Bourbon casks and Spanish Sherry casks for the first 19 years and then in Madeira Casks for the final 2 years.  

Eric Duncan:  Powers 12 – It wasn’t bad, but it’s more of a shot drinking whiskey than a sipping whiskey.  Also, I may just not like flavor of aged Irish whiskey.  I had a $150 bottle of aged Jamison and would have been fine with the regular version.  I don’t think an aged whiskey changes the flavor as much as an aged scotch.  The whiskeys do actually get a little sweeter.

Matt Goldstein:  Powers 12 – The John Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey is without a doubt my favorite shot drinking whiskey in the world.  Yes, I love Jack, Jameson and Tullamore but the Powers isn’t the most popular whiskey in Ireland for nothing.  I drink powers in a shot, straight and on the rocks.  The Powers 12 is actually a smooth whiskey.  It doesn’t have as much flavor as the regular Powers Gold Label but it’s certainly smooth enough for a straight sipping whiskey.  Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks.        

Eric Duncan:  Talisker 10 – We actually were drinking Oban at the bar for the rehearsal dinner, but I love some Talisker, especially at a bachelor party.  It has a slight peaty flavor but it’s not overdone.  It also has some nice undertones including pepper.  This is one of my top 3 single malts along with Lagavulin and Oban, but for the price $50 you can’t go wrong when it feels sooo right.

Talisker 10 Yr v2 Bushmills 21 Year, Powers 12 and Talisker 10: A ReviewMatt Goldstein:  Talisker 10 –  I completely agree with Eric here when he says this is his top 3 single malt scotches.  For me, this is #2 behind the Bowmor Islay single malt which is smoky but not too smoky.   Bowmor is a little less smoky than Jonnie Walker black I would say.  The Talisker 10 is the same.  It’s got a lot of flavor but the smokiness is subtle; the scotch makes the statement.  The Talisker 10 is an Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky produced on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Talisker has an above average Peat content and is actually used in part of Jonnie Walker’s blended Scotch whisky. 

 Talisker 10 year is a must buy!

 

 

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Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey: A Review

bulleit bourbon 1 297x300 Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey: A Review

by Jonathan Rosenberg

I’m relatively new to drinking whiskey like a beverage, as opposed to as a succession of quickly-imbibed stepping stones on a path towards drunkenness.  In December 2007, a friend gifted me a bottle of Knob Creek when I announced the start of a six-month campaign to be a writer.  A real honest -to-god paid writer.  It was a gamble (and it ended up not paying off, not then anyway) – but this friend got me this bourbon because bourbon, he said, “is a writer’s drink.”  I liked that.  It fit snugly into my Romantic notions of writerhood:  The aloof poet, the unconscious traveler, the dude passed out back stage at a Guided By Voices show.  Mere brew would not do!  (I honestly did not mean for that last sentence to rhyme Johnny Cochran style.)

Knob Creek:

The Knob Creek was tasty; it whetted my appetite for sure.  I pushed through the burn (for some reason I used to be fond of announcing, “butterscotch bullet!” with each sip, as a way to mask my whiskey-virgin whiny-girledness.)  By the end of the bottle I knew that I had discovered a new thing to spend $25 on at least once a month.  And I knew I liked bourbon specifically – its sweetness, its copper color.  But I didn’t really know where to go next.  The local Bevmo (a wonderland of alcoholic-awesomeness for my East Coast buddies who are unaware…) had just shelves and shelves of this stuff.  I had heard of Jim Beam, and Jack Daniels (okay, technically not a bourbon), and never particularly liked them.  But this Knob Creek was different.  It was complex, soulful.  Were their other treasures waiting to be unearthed?

The first bourbon I discovered entirely on my own, separate from any friend’s recommendation, was Bulleit.  I was immediately attracted to the bottle- a sort of canteen-looking thing, like a relic from a bygone time.  The subheading “Frontier Whiskey” furthered this Old West image- I liked their marketing department already.  And then there was that color, that glorious orange, like a glass of Oktoberfest beer.  Bulleit is certainly the most orange of any bourbon I’ve experienced.  And something about that, its suggestion of Autumnal warmth perhaps, really appeals to me.  I remember loving this bourbon right off the bat, and it quickly became my go-to.  Particularly since Trader Joe’s, at least in LA, sells it for $19.99.  Always.

So what’s it taste like?  Don’t fret dear reader, I’ve got the bottle in front of me this very moment.  Let’s explore, shall we?  The smell is of cinnamon and honey and pumpkin, sweet things, and I want to say prune, but then again I typically want to say prune.  The taste is unique, to my tongue, for a bourbon.  There’s almost a cotton-candy sweetness at first bite- followed by the vaguest hint of fire jolly rancher.  The burn is spicy but not too harsh, like good buffalo wings.  And then there’s that glorious aftertaste: the second after the drink goes down there’s this lingering something that I have only ever found in Bulleit.  It’s the sort of special flavor that can bring to mind old memories in a flash, like Proust and his Madeleine, or the guy from Blues Traveler and his chili.

 Now, I’ve since had better bourbons with more interesting flavors, liquid symphonies and blissful maelstroms, but I will always have a soft spot for this, my first discovery and still one of my favorites.  If there was a rating system on Whiskey Goldmine, I’d give it 9 out of 10 Whiskey Goldmine Units (WGUs)!

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Worlds Best Whiskey Shots: Powers, Jameson, Jack Daniels, Tullamore Dew, Crown Royal, Bushmills and more

Powers Whiskey Worlds Best Whiskey Shots: Powers, Jameson, Jack Daniels, Tullamore Dew, Crown Royal, Bushmills and morePowers Reigns Supreme Over the Best Whiskey Shots in the World!

By Matt Goldstein

1.  Powers Irish Whiskey Gold Label

Established in 1791 in Dublin, Powers is now the most popular whiskey in Ireland.  Powers is also the most popular whiskey in Philadelphia’s infamous Chestnut Hill Bocce Club, home to many Irish hoodlums and 1 lonely Jew, me.

2. Jameson Irish Whiskey, Triple Distilled

Established in 1780 in Dublin, Jameson now sells 30 million bottles annually and is by far the best selling Irish Whiskey in the world.

3. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Old Number 7 Brand

This Lynchburg Tennessee native is made with a signature Charcoal Mellow and aged in hand crafted barrels.  Established in 1875, Jack Daniels has a net income of $121 million. 

4. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Triple Distilled

Founded in Tullamore, Offaly County in the heart of Ireland in 1822, this “legendary” Irish Whiskey is famous for it’s copper pot still blend.  Tullamore Dew is the 2nd best selling Irish Whiskey in the world and is also growing the fastest. 

5. Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey

Created in 1939, the Segrams president decided to make a special whiskey blend for    the arrival of King George IV and Queen Elizabeth, hence the royal blue, velvet bag.  Crown Royal always performs well in international competitions and is the best selling Canadian whiskey in the United States.   

6. Bushmills Irish Whiskey, triple distilled

7. Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

8. Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Sour Mash

9. Old Grand Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

10. Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 

Random Whiskey Shots:

I bet you are asking yourself how I came up with such an iron clad, scientifically factual top 10 list that cannot be changed, ever!  Well, It was years of practice my friend.  I bet you are also asking yourself how you can join the prestigious members only Bocce Club.  Well, I doubt you can afford the very pricey $40 a year membership fee that comes with about 80 shots of free Powers annually.  The Bocce Club is an elite force of Irish hoodlums and former Italian Mafioso, and I’m the only Jew allowed in, although I have been kicked out and I think suspended or something, but that’s all in the past.  You are probably also annoyed that I stopped those amazing little synopsis paragraphs after Crown Royal.  The truth is that I have to go to the gym before my wife starts yelling at me to clean the house, which will never happen by the way.  I have to burn off those three shots of Powers from yesterdays Bocce outing that were somewhere between the 12 beers tailgating at a Phillies game in 100 degree weather.  Ugh!  Never again.  But the whiskeys listed 6-10 are certainly deserving in their own right.  Jim Beam actually produces Baker’s, Basil Hayden’s, Booker’s and Knobb Creek.  So if you thought Jim Beam was cheap, middle shelf, think again.  Jim Beam is probably the finest Bourbon Whiskey distiller in the world!  Also, this list is about doing shots, not sipping, so stop being a whiney little girl.

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