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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,629 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,629
Hads: 10,795
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,587
Gots: 5,965 | FT: 619
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-26-2003

60 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,629 | Hads: 10,795
Photo of Yetiman420
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the 2007 variety purchased in New York City for $5.75 a bottle. Served at 40 degrees in the Sam Adams *ultimate* beer glass.

Pours black with a thin, forced head. The intial aroma and taste was heavy to the bourbon side. 40 degrees is too cold for this beer. As it warmed up, the flavor became an amazing balance between bourbon and chocolate.

A very complex and enjoyable bourbon beer. Make sure it's not served too cold.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Edition - Pours deep down black , not as thick as motor oil but getting close. Not much carbonation but there is one beautiful 1/16 inch caramel colored head. Heavy lacing. First sniff: Smells like bourbon straight out of the bottle with deep roasted malts aroma overtones. First tastes is thick with a lovely bourbon kick followed by heavy malts, coffee, and chocolate - slight hint of vanilla trying to poke through. This is an awesome treat definitely "World Class".

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Photo of bbothen
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a pitch tar black with a thin tan tiny bubble head.

Smells of bourbon, wood, sweet raisin, plum, date, tobacco, smoke, molasses, black licorice & a bunch of other stuff I can't identify. Not necessarily in that order. There's alot going on here. Great.

Tastes of whisky, bourbon whiskey to be exact. Nice & sweet. Wood, vanilla, chocolate. Puckering whiskey. This gets your attention. Bravo.

Feel is smooth & creamy with a warm booze finish.

Well for a 13% rich barrel aged beer...it's good. 12 oz could even be shared with another.

This is a fantastic beer. Kudos to Goose Island. Try this beer.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.07/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 ounce of this was obtained in a trade with danielphoran. Big thanks to you for the sample. Pours a completely black coloration, with no heading what so ever. I still appreciate the color quite a bit. Aroma is clearly chocolate dominated, followed by dark fruits, brandy, and a bit of alcohol. It is a very sweet nose, which is perfect for this style. Big on chocolate cake in the flavor, with rum soaked raisins, cherry cordial, and a bit of...more chocolate cake I guess. Body I like because it is slick, but not too heavy. Also, the alcohol is not too in your face, which is again, perfect for this style. One is enough for me in one night, but it is definitely one that can be sipped over the course of an hour or two. This is a lovely stout. It reminds me a bit of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, except better tasting, and not nearly as much alcohol. One to seek out for sure. Cheers

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shbobdb for the opportunity to indulge in this obvious monster beer.

12 ounce bottle: vigorous pour into a .4 liter chalice yields almost no head. Just a thin ring. Thick as maple syrup, dark and opaque as molasses.

Smell is oak, vanilla, chocolate malt, vinous woody tannins. There is a note of merlot. Cocoa powder smell has an interesting "dry" aroma - don't know how else to describe it. Hint of smoke.

Taste is wowowow. Boozy, bourbon, charred oak, burned sugar, burned chocolate. Long dry charred aftertaste, with plenty of smoke notes. I can see why they claim this is a good cigar beer. Lots of alcohol -- warming, sweet, sharp. The only bitterness is the toasted (or burned and smoked?) malt bitterness. Hops, if they are there, are totally sublimated to the intense smoky-char flavors. This is the most burned flavors I've ever experienced in a beverage.

Certainly this is an extremely thick and chewy beer. Syrupy, almost, it almost sticks to the inside of the mouth and under the tongue.

Drinkability? This thing is definitely a sipper, but what you sip is pretty good.

What can you say about a 13% beer with this much bourbon-barrel overtness? This beast is intense, and in your face. A smash-mouth charred malt bomb, exploding with burned sweet smoky flavors.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a Kentucky Bourbon Ale snifter. The beer produced a jet black color and dark brown head. The head did not linger however, as the 13% ABV left only a few wisps across the top, and a broken ring around the edge. The aroma is full of dark roasted barley giving off chocolate and coffee flavors, vanilla and hints of coconut from the bourbon are present along with the light presence of the charred oak. Sipping the beer, and the massive amount of darkly roasted barley hits your first and then the bourbon comes in to take care of the rest. The first flavors to pound your tongue are chocolate and coffee and massive sweetness, but the bourbon balances this out with vanilla and enough charred oak to keep the sweetness in check. The beer is a full explosion of flavor, but everything has been put into balance incredibly well. The mouthfeel is as full bodied as they come, with enough carbonation present to bring the beers wonderful flavors to the forefront. A sipping beer for sure, but and idea digestif during colder months.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this was a 2007 vintage poured into a great divide snifter.

the beer poured the deepest black. not a hint of head. it still sticks to the side of my glass though.

the smell is bourbon, molasses, licorice, butterscotch, & chocolate. super duper complex.

the taste is exactly like the smell. super complex. SUPER BOURBON. i love it. without question, the tastiest goose island offering i have had.

the mouthfeel is full and velvety. great for the style.

let's not kid, this beer will kick your ass. the bourbon is the big show in this beer. if you don't like bourbon, don't try this beer. it's an evening sipper for sure. only rating it what i am as it's impossible to drink more than one of these and they are really better to split with a friend.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Bottle.
Pours real nice and thick with no head whatsoever. Smell is incredible. Lots of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate, with some hints of bourbon/alcohol coming through as well.
This has a myriad of flavors going on in the taste. However, they're not blended together very well. It's one after another as they fight for the lead. The flavors are good, but not working well and complimenting as they should. Huge, creamy mouthfeel.

Update: 2007 batch.
This beer is incredible. Much more complex barrel flavor. Very good vanilla, bourbon and oak in the flavor. This batch is everything this beer needs to be. One of my favorite beers right now.

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Photo of JDV
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Holdenn, The_Epeeist or drewbeerme. Thanks from all of you! <br>
'07 Bottle. Pours dark, dark black and oily with a short lived tan head in a snifter. Smell is bourbon, oak, then sweet roasty malt. A fair amount of bourbon in the nose, but not overwhelming. Taste is oily bourbon woodiness, then bittersweet chocolately roast. Balanced well, leaning towards a touch more bourbon than most bourbon beers I've had. Very light alcohol in the flavor for 13%, but a slight bit warming. Rich oily mouthfeel and light, but softly prickling carbonation. This is damn good.

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Photo of btuthill
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


pours very dark and about as viscous as anticipated. the carbonation is proper, and the head is robust. the smell is intoxicating. i imagine one could smell it from across the room. thick vanilla, sweet bourbon, milk chocolate, and perhaps a bit of oak dominate your nose. the taste doesn't disappoint, and is true to the smell. the smooth, silky, perhaps slightly creamy feel adds to the comforting flavor.

the flavor may be a bit strong for me to drink more than two of these in a sitting, but at 13%, i can't complain. this is a truly world class beer, and the definition of a 5.0 smell and taste.

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Photo of mhewes
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A : Pours a nice dark black with a very small brown head.

S : Lots of bourbon and oak. Some roasted malts and coffee also.

T : Starts off with a strong bourbon flavor, has some chocolate and espresso flavors also. A nice hop bitterness in there also. Really smooth

M : Creamy, smooth

D : I want more. This was a great stout and one of my favorite bourbon ones.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got in a trade with akorsak, thanks man.

A- Nice pour, the head was there, and then vanished quickly. A small ring of foam around the circumference of the glass. The beer is very dark and black as night.

S- The Bourbon smell is very present, dark with a slight anise smell.

T- The taste is very delicious. Carmel and buttery. The roasted malt character is very superb. The alcohol spice is there to tickle the tongue. Very good stout, I wish I had more then one bottle.

M- Very nice and smooth. The spice of the alcohol is very nice.

D- Yes please!

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Photo of BDIMike
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly jet black color. Also with a thin tan head, that almost has a red hue to it. Looks like oil.
Very nice smell. Lots going on here. Smells of vanilla and smoke. Also a strong smell of alcohol and the bourbon barrels. Slight sweetness of caramel at the end as well.
Lots of taste to this beer. The first taste is of the alcohol and a bourbon tinge. Once the alcohol goes away there are great tastes of caramel, burnt malts, and a vanilla taste stays on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is very thin and smooth. Almost like the feel of a thin oil or something like that.
Drinkability is amazing for something that is 13% ABV. At the first taste of this beer, I was not a fan because I generally don't like the beers that taste like a hard alcohol. However, this beer is great when the alcohol taste cedes and the many flavors of the malts come to the forefront.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of DavidEddie. A karmic throw in of epic proportions!

12oz bottle 07 vintage, with bottle on date: 01207 Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery Snifter.

Pours ultra thick and jet black, no light penetrating at all. No head, only a faint oil patch lace. Pungent charred malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and bourbon soaked cherry aromas. Booze is there too, oh yeah. Taste of dark German chocolate cake drizzeled with a cherry bourbon sauce. Coffee, chocolate and warm boozy bourbon left on my tongue. Ultra warming, with a thick creamy coating mouthfeel. Cigar beer, desert beer, sit back and enjoy life beer. This is a world class sipper. Glad I still have one more of last years vintage in the cellar.

Huge thanks Dave for the chance to consider this again.

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Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- No real head to speak of, but the huge black thick 10w-30 body made up for it. Once swirled, A huge golden coating clings to the sides of the glass and slowly recedes. This baby is thick.

S- Huge fresh flower component, cherry, tobacco, touch of bourbon.

T- Barleywine-like, syrupy sweetness. Crazy sweetness that maybe a bit of aging would take care of. Big chocolate and caramel.

M- No carb, but great.

D- 11%, but a bit to sweet. I am glad I split the bottle with a buddy because I just wouldn't be able to finish one of these, and maybe not even half of it myself.

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Photo of tedpeer
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce pour into a chalice. Bottle from 2007.

A - Black and thick. Very little head, quickly settled to no head.

S - Coffee and bourbon aroma. Wife said it smelt like Kahlua.

T - Bourbon taste mostly overpowers everything else, but I still get a hint of coffee. After taste lingers a while.

M - creamy and smooth. Coats the mouth.

D - This one's a sipper and at 13%, one's my limit.

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Photo of raverjames
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from 2006 batch.

A: Black, thick and viscous. This is the way any good imperial stout should look, in my opinion.

S: Slight coffee like aroma, with hints of bourbon and oak. Hops have really subsided over the years.

T: Exceptional flavor. Taste is slight bourbon, chocolat, toffee, and the dark malts are really standing out. Everything is nice and balanced. I have tried this when it was fresh, but it was much harsher.

M: Silky smooth, thick, creamy, and just perfect.

D: This was surprisingly easy to drink. Now that it has some age, the flavors are balanced out and it is a wonderful beer.

Thanks to John at Goebel Liquor for selling me this. I want more!!!:)

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Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of numerous generous traders poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with very little head and mahogany hints when held up to light.

S: The aroma certainly doesn't betray the name as the bourbon makes itself known in the aroma with a definite alcohol burn in the nose. Some malt and smoke in the smell as well with a faint hint of sweetness from caramel and chocolate. It's really about the bourbon here.

T: Initial sweet malt flavor with caramel, vanilla and chocolate is quickly blown away by a massive bourbon blast. The finish is slightly bitter with coffee and smoked wood and leaves a serious aftertaste that lingers for a while.

M: Despite the alcohol presence, the mouthfeel is extremely creamy and smooth with a nice carbonation complement.

D: This beer has too much booze to be seriously drinkable, though the mouthfeel belies the bourbon dominance. I like this one but the bourbon is just a bit overpowering for my liking (and I'm a big bourbon fan).

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Photo of vwcraig
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 edition as an extra from lightindarkness

Pours black for sure into a Michael Jackson snifter. Extra thick and syrupy and no head at all. Mostly just whiskey in nose. Vanilla, oak and a coconut type smell. No mistaking what you are drinking with this one. Instantly warming almost a burn. Whiskey up front and mid-palate. Finish finally brings the stout into play with the roasty flavors. Not at all for people that do not get along with whiskies and the tastes. Full bodied to say the least with a sticky mouthfeel. Drinkability would have me drink just one of these per night.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 2007 release.

Pours black as an oil slick with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head. This eventually fizzles out into a still, dead looking black surface that reminds of the lifeless eyes of a Great White shark. Lacing is relegated to a spotty smattering at first and then eventually a fantastic looking oily brown residue that coats the side of the glass. The aroma is OMG! huge bourbon notes straight up my nose and other places.. Aaaaargh! I've never had a beer burn my eyeballs before! In all seriousness, the bourbon notes do absolutely dominate the nose but somehow I can still pick up some of the Stout notes, including chocolate, smoke, roast, and char.

The taste is just as boozy with bourbon notes as the aroma and it's no wonder that I put it in a snifter. Overpowering notes of oak and vanilla mingle with the molassass, roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, smoke, and soy sauce character of the Stout. There's a ton in there but it's all just a bit unbalanced towards the bourbon side right now. The mouthfeel is right up there with the deepest for me (Dark Lord & Expedition)and is just absolutely thick and chewy as can be. That 13% is present but gives off more warmth than it does heat and combines with the bourbon notes to finish things with a bit of a hot punch.

Wow! This is just a beast of a beer in every capacity. Huge bourbon? Huge Stout flavors? Huge alcohol? Check! Check! and Check! My only gripe with this beer is that right now, the bourbon overrides some of those wonderful Stout characteristics a little too much. I'm most definitley looking forward to aging a bottle of this for a year and revistiing it again.

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Photo of Slynger
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jet black with a slim, creamy, dark tan lid.

One sniff is all I need to know that if this beer's flavor can match up with it's nose, it surely must be my favorite stout of all time. Inhaling deep, my nostrils fill with sweet dark chocolate, molasses, and caramel; complimented by fresh ground black coffee, vanilla oak barrels, smoke, and bourbon spice. Absolutely aromazing.

The flavor is everything it should be and more. Sweet melted dark chocolate with dark fruits, molasses, caramel, toffee, and red apples. Next comes dark, roasted, black coffee, sweet smoke and vanilla, and woody oak barrels with bourbon and spice. Very, very nice. Body is full as can be and mouthfeel is milkshake creamy and smooth.

Absolutely OUTSTANDING!! Of all the imperial stout's I've tried, this is the best. Simply dynamite on all levels.

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Photo of bkilpatr
2.89/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay glass. 05/12/08. 2007 version, bottled on 10/12/07.

Pours nearly pitch black with hints of ruby around the edges. Almost no head at all, just a thin layer of brown head that quickly disappeared. Aromas of bourbon, sweet vanilla and caramel, and roasted malts.

The taste is very complex and interesting. There is a heavy bourbon flavor, as well as vanilla and caramel, chocolate, molasses, roasted malt, and oak. Some bitter roasted coffee and dark chocolate in the end. and of course there's the alcohol (13% ABV) taste. There's only one part that I REALLY don't like. There's a massive sickly sweet flavor to it. It's almost disgusting. If it weren't so darn sweet it would be amazing. So the taste rating is hard to decide: on one hand I think there is a nice mix of flavors, while on the other hand the sweetness is way too sick and overpowering.

Mouthfeel is alright. The carbonation is very low, so it feels kinda flat, thick, and sticky. Drinkability for me is low. The sweetness, it kills me. That and the high ABV. Definitely a sipper, and no way I could drink more than one... well, if I can even get through this one.

I can't see how this beer gets the high ratings. Very overrated in my opinion. Try it if you must though.

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Photo of joepais
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jay23 for this one
2007 Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a tan colored head that turns to a nice ring around the glass. All this on top of a jet black body

Aromas of vanilla roasted malts, bourbon, and a slight oak note as well

Flavors are bourbon, sweet roasted malts, vanilla caramel and a hint of black licorice. Great flavors almost no bitters but the alcohol heat keeps the sweetness in check. Sips extremely well, smooth is a good word for it thick and oily in the mouth

Again drinkable would not be the word I would associate with this one, sipping is a must .one of the ultimate desert beers I have had so far. A great night cap and should be enjoyed as such

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Photo of kasper
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle compliments of lightindarkness, poured into a an oversized goblet.

A: Pours like thin motor oil, the darkest of browns -- just a shade away from black -- with a millimeter of light chocolate color head that disappears before you can take the first sip, leaving only a ring, and a faint swirl in the center, of the glass.

S: Boy, can I recognize the aroma of this brew any day. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, and bittersweet chocolate all rolled into one voluptuous scent

T: Oh man, sweet malted chocolates up front, followed by a rush of vanilla and then an oaky bourbon alcoholic finish. This isn't your grandmas traditional stout, that's for sure. But it's f**&ing fantastic!!

M: Smooth, but oily. It's thick, but not DL or Ten Fidy thick. Full bodied, nonetheless. Real mild but tinglingly carbonation, especially on the finish.

D: This is up there in my top 5 brews. Has been since I first tried it, and don't see it dropping out anytime soon. Due to its rarity in my area, I've never put back more than one in a sitting, and don't recommend anyone else take up the challenge at 13%ABV.

I must admit, however, that I recently tasted a one-year aged 2006 (when it was still 11%ABV) and i found that one to be even more desirable. A good one to roll one up w/ imho =P

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Photo of corey0212
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in my first-ever trade! Thanks to JoeyBeerBelly for this one!!!

Pours black, with just the faintest hint of ruby around the edges. Little tiny tan head fades almost completely, but hangs around the edge of the glass. The smell is unreal. Vanilla, spicy oak, alcohol....almost eye-watering. The vanilla bean taste is just massive in this beer. There's some chocolate on the back end of this, too. This is just spicy, vanilla bourbon heaven. Incredible chewy mouthfeel, lingering spiciness on the tongue....it's fair to say I'm losing my mind here. Sometimes I think about giving up on the "big beers", and drinking pale ales every day. Then I try something like this, and realize how mind-bending some beers can be. This is outstanding!!!

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,629 ratings.