Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutBramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

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896 Ratings
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Ratings: 896
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 794
Gots: 336 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Khazadum on 02-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels with raspberries & blackberries.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 896 | Reviews: 180
Reviews by WolfsbaneBloom:
More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Adam last night.

Pours like an oil slick, black as can be, with no head, lacing, or visual carbonation.

Smells like fresh raspberry puree and juice, even after 3 years, amazingly, with the typical big bourbon, chocolate and marshmallows of the many variants of the series.

This one doesn't quite taste as thick as some of the other Bourbon County variants, but it's still like drinking bourbon fudge- this time, covered heavily in raspberry jam. The raspberry and blackberry flavor is still incredibly strong, and verges on cloying territory- the aftertaste of this one is entirely raspberry juice, with a twinge of cough syrup. The aftertaste is what keeps this from being a perfect variant. There is clearly an inordinate amount of berries added to this beer. Chocolate covered raspberries all the way.

The mouthfeel on this one is great- thick, syrupy, and fudgey, with a lower amount of carbonation, and a huge body.

Not the best variant, in the same way that George is not one of the best Beatles. Still amazing, no matter what.

Photo of Raimalise
4/5  rDev -7.8%

It pours black with a little brown. No lacing.

The nose, boose heavy, dried fruit, bit of sweetness, and a little stout.

Tastes... Balanced with barrel characteristics. Light fruity notes delightful smell and taste. Fruits have fallen off a bit. Past its prime for the fruits. Very boose forward and over powering. Still very drinkable.

Photo of tectactoe
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Preismj for this huge want that I can now cross off the list. I love raspberry stouts that are done properly, and based on past experiences, I trust that Goose Island knows what they're doing. Pours mostly black with some slight ruby tones crowding the edges. The tan head forms slowly during the pour and fades pretty quickly to a ring around the top. A quick swirl of the glass easily conjures up quite a bit of foam, however.

Wow, after one whiff, I'm already in love with this beer. Such a dense berry aroma, complete with raspberries, blackberries, and maybe even a little bit of blueberry and black cherry. Perhaps those last two fruits are just springing from my imagination, but the "fruity" essence of this beer already seems more layered and complex than just raspberry and blackberry. Lots of roasted malts lay softly behind the portrait of berries with a solid stroke of bourbon and oak that slashes through it all. The barrel qualities are much lighter in this beer as compared to many of the other BCS variants, but it works as a perfect addition to the fruit - complementing without drowning out.

Bramble Rye has a magnificent berry flavor right out of the gate - mounds of raspberry jam and raspberry puree engulf your palate immediately upon taking your first sip. It provides a mild tartness without ever becoming sour or seeming "out of place" despite it being in a bourbon barrel aged stout. The bourbon and oak flavors are definitely there - signature BCS style, although the tartness from the raspberry up front really cuts through and mellows out the already mellow barrel-aging contributions. They took something great and made it even better... How is that possible to this degree?

The initial tartness from the berry onslaught eventually ceases and turns into a savory sweetness that lasts well into the aftertaste. Halfway through, as the raspberries settle down, the barrel aging flavors become more pronounced; bourbon that is as smooth as ever, wet oak, and a reasonable dose of vanilla. Somewhere in the middle, I'm also picking up a light cola flavor that works ties the sweetness of the fruit and the robustness of the alcohol together really well. The body is smooth, creamy, and chewy; full-bodied with a slick mouth feel. It leaves the palate very sticky - even a bit more than other, heavy BCS-type beers. Lower end of the carbonation spectrum.

When all was said and done, the raspberry and blackberry dominate the flavor profile more so than the bourbon and oak flavors, but shockingly enough, that's what I love about this beer. It seems like a perfect addition of berry sweetness into a stout, with the bourbon and oak sitting just behind it, beefing it up just a bit without stealing the show. This is definitely a nice change of pace from the other BCS variants, as I believe it's the most drastically different one. But again, that very fact might partially explain my affinity to it. That, and the fact that I'm a raspberry whore. Is it wrong to say that I like this more than Rare? Because I do. And if you love raspberries like I do - you might, too.

Photo of codysjb
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer tasting on 10/14/12
Pours motor oil, no head
The original bourbon county with sutle notes of raspberry and blackberry.
Wow. Bourbon county with raspberry and other berry notes amazing
Mouthful is all berries soooo good.
Def worth it sooo good.

Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a brown head, exactly like all of the other members of the Bourbon County Stout family. The aroma is awesome. I get a ton of berry notes, as well as some chocolate, roasted malt and whiskey notes. All of that goes very well together. The flavor is identical, with a ton of blackberry and raspberry notes up front, which add a very unique flavor to the beer. There is also a nice rye whiskey character, as well as some chocolate, vanilla and medium to heavy roasted malt. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An excellent beer, which in my opinion, is better than all of the other variants with the exception of the coffee, which is one of my favorite beers of all time. Amazing.

Photo of bsp77
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Almost pure black with nice tan head at first but quickly settles back to a thin lace.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, berries, whiskey and rye. A little more subtle than expected.

Taste: Wow, sweet berries galore! What was just a hint in the aroma is an onslaught on the taste buds. The raspberries and blackberries are really front and center, with some backbone of chocolate, molasses and anise. The rye whiskey barrel aging is present, but minimally so; much less apparent than the bourbon barrel aging of the other variants.

Feel: Thick, chewy, but oh-so-smooth body with low carbonation. Not nearly as boozy and warming as the other Bourbon Counties. The only downside is that the berries really coat the mouth a little too much.

Overall: While not as good as the Original or the almighty Coffee, I do enjoy this quite a bit - more so than Vanilla, which just seemed too boozy.

Seriously, why didn't I buy Rare when I had the chance? Stupid, cheap ass.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled on 12/10/11 bottle # 0955. (1 year and 3 months of age)

Pour out that super viscous, dark black color that is bourbon county. Just the slightest hint of dark brown on the edges. Minimal brown colored head that was gone after only a few minutes, but after a swirl your left with some very nice looking viscous legs on the sides of the glass.

Strong bourbon aromas, boozey, the berries are a bit lost behind the bourbon, but I remember when this was fresher it hAd a real nice raspberry aroma. A nice berry jam type aroma does come out the more it warms however.

Berries mingle harmoniously with bourbon. Nice chewy caramel, burnt caramel, charred barrel, berries add a bit of tartness, berry jam, some wood, hints of almost a cinnamon like spice, and maybe some brown sugar/ molasses.

Sticky and sweet, big chewy mouthfeel.

This was a great beer fresh as well as a great beer with some age. Similar to the cherry rye only a bit better IMO.

Photo of ehammond1
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, MrVonZipper!

(Aged for 1.5 years)

Dark black motor oil pour with a minimal dark brown, but somewhat persistent head. This doesn't leave much in the way of lace, but at this high of an ABV, that really isn't too shocking. Near perfect for the style.

Deep, rich base of chocolate and mild bourbon, but the berry fruit character is definitely present adding a mildly sweet and juicy presence.

The fruit is more present in the flavor than in the aroma, and it's a welcome addition to one of my favorite base beer's ever. Complementary, juicy blackberry and raspberry stands firmly against the layers of chocolate, oak, and mild vanilla character from the base beer. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

Full, creamy body. Low carbonation, but somewhat sticky and chewy as well. Grand. Decadent. Perfect. Goose Island dials it in, again.

A fantastic variant, and glad to take my time with a bottle. Granted, I still prefer the base beer; admittedly, I prefer the base beer to most everything.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this at the July 4th weekend, Sonnen/Silva II, disc golf & pool party extravaganza this summer.

Pours out like most BCS does, black, with a thin head. Aroma, the good blend and balance of heavy roasted malt, bourbon barrels, and a surprisingly present blackberry presence. Good job guys.

Drinks like heaven. The berries really make the beer less bourbony, thins it out just a bit to make it more drinkable. Don't let it fool you that it isn't a massive beer though, there's way more alcohol in this than you can taste. A little sweeter than just blackberries, maybe there was raspberries in this too, or boysenberries, they always have something berry wise going on in Oregon. It can be a rather bipolar beer at times, sometimes the fruityness and high sweetness hits you, other times, your teeth are gritting with burnt malt between it, others, its like you're still sipping fine bourbon. Then you can kind of get the meld of chocolate raspberry cake drizzled in BCS. That's when its best. Carbonation seemed a tad higher, which went well with this variety. A moderate amount of wood still comes through.

If you like your dark chocolate with blackberries and bourbon, you should love this beer. I did.

Photo of jeonseh
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to GI Wrigley to have a bottle.

A - Color is a deep black / purple with no head. The beer has a reddish tint to it as you swirl it around. The color reminds me of raspberries. Very clean and thick.

S - Smells of raspberries and blackberries with hints of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Definitely has a big boozy and fragrant nose

T - Raspberries and caramel sweetness are the first notes that come through definitely sweeter and tamer than normal BCBS. On the back end, there is vanilla and a hint of oak spiciness. The fruit, especially the raspberries is what stands out on this one as you don't get much of the barrel until the end when a slight spiciness lingers on the tongue. There are only hints of the bourbon compared to normal BCBS

MF - Surprisingly a good amount of carbonation up front that helps add a snap to the fruit. Once that fades the beer has a thick and sticky mouthfeel that goes with the sweeter flavors

O - A delicious and interesting take on BCCS. The fruit flavors add an interesting layer of complexity and make this one stand out in it uniqueness amongst the BCBS family. It's also the most approachable of BCBS family and would be the one that the non-bourbon lovers would like the best. However, I didn't find its flavors to standout and blend as well as they do in Normal and Coffee BCBS.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to Jay for sharing!

A: Pours a deep black color with a small mocha colored head on top. A little bit of head retention with minimal lacing.

S: Tons of fruit in the aroma, lots of blackberrys and raspberries, reminds me of pie. There is some vanilla and a little dark chocolate.

T: Similarly fruity with plenty of berry flavor. More chocolate and some rye. The berries really impress me here, I was surprised at how syrupy/sweet they were.

M: Medium bodied, slightly thinner than other BCS offerings I have had. Alcohol hidden nicely.

O: Enjoyed this quite a bit. The jam-like fruit flavors worked for me mixed with a bit of chocolate.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.6/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black oily and viscous with a short brown bubbly head. No retention or lacing. 

Blackberries and raspberries and pretty prominent in the nose. A bit of bourbon and drunken fruit with a little chocolate. 

Flavor is interesting. The furthest away from the other BCS variations. Very tart and fruity up front. Berries are prominent. I dont get too much from the rye like I'd hoped. 

Velvety smooth mouth and full bodied. Low carb. 

Overall it's the least of my favorite BCS variation. It's good but not really my stee-lo. The berries are a bit too much for me. 

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jon for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours black like every other Bourbon County variation. No head. Oily legs. Very sparse, spotty lace. Average.

Nose is aromatic. Booze, bitter chocolate, fudge, some roasted malt. There's also a mellow sweetness that lingers in the back. Real nice.

This one is good but strange. Opens sweet red fruit, some mellow, nice tartness. Chocolate, fudge, and cocoa. Roasted malt graininess on the back end. Boozy and sweet on the finish. Lingering chocolate and fudge aftertaste with a hot zing. I actually really enjoy this.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and warm going down. Finishes hot with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Nice. Could be a touch smoother.

Overall, I think this is a bit better than the regular Bourbon County with a touch more character. Its very different from its brethren because of the fruit, but nonethless quiet enjoyable. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled 12/10/11.

Appearance - Inky black as always from GI. Minimal head, but what it has it holds. Mocha bubbles form a collar and some wisps on the surface.

Smell - Tons of raspberries. Blackberries too, I guess, but I'm not as good at identifying those. There's a whiskey character there too. Distinct from Bourbon. Molasses and chocolate trademark of a GI stout.

Taste - Dominated by fruit again. More blended than the aroma, but it's still a bit too much fruit. Sweet raspberries and chocolate. Molasses and some whiskey notes spike in the finish. Not the barrel character I'd like. More of a rye whiskey flavor integration than barrel notes.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly tame in the alcohol. The fruit seems to have put out the BCBS fire. It gets hotter as it warms (you know what I mean), but overall easier to drink than regular. The fruit makes it very sweet and sluggish, though.

Overall - I like fruited stouts. Maybe not this much fruit, but the flavors always seem to complement each other nicely. I'd still prefer other variants to this as the barrel doesn't seem to make as much of an impact.

Photo of beerhan
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into a snifter, jet black with a thin brown lace head.

S-Initial whiskey notes with a lot of raspberry jam aroma. Very fruity.

T-Lots of whiskey taste but as it warms up lots of chocolate and raspberry shine through with a mixed berry finish. Absolutely delicious.

M-Slick and creamy with almost no carbonation. Goes down smooth with no burn for the abv.

O-Bramble rye is absolutely delicious but would be ideal for those 185ml bottles as a 650 is really a lot for this one. It makes a great dessert beer and I would love to see it again.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a tinge of purple when held up to the light. No head at all.

It smells like blackberry jam and chocolate. It has a heavy sweet presence like dessert in a glass.

It's overly sweet and, when combined with the booze, tastes like childrens' cough syrup. The berries overwhelm the beauty of bcbs and almost take the bourbon out of the equation.

Mouthfeel is thick, astringent, and syrupy. Again, cough syrup.

This was disappointing and a mediocre version of a great beer. Unfortunately, only a shell of that beer remains in this version.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during the 2nd Annual Redneck Racin’ & Tastin’ while tailgating at the dirt track race! Big thanks goes out to the BA who brought this one (you didn’t put your name on the spreadsheet!!!) for this one! Served from bottle into a NoDa snifter. Poured a dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, raspberry, wood, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, raspberry, cherry, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The fruit profile on this one really added a nice twist to the base brew by adding another level of complexity to an already solid brew. Unfortunately the mouthfeel thinned out a little bit on this one compared to the base brew. Still very nice and glad I finally got the chance to try this one. I feel that Goose Island can do no wrong with this series. Don’t prove me wrong….

Photo of smitty4657
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The most drinkable of the BCBS I had in 2013, this has a wonderful fruit nose and tastes like a blend of BCBS and maraschino cherries. I'll admit it came toward the end of a marathon night of stouts so the fruit is the part that stands out the most, but I preferred it to the 2012 Cherry Rye (but would still take BCBS Coffee or the regular).

Photo of jimmy82063
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 1022 poured into a snifter glass. Pours a nice jet black, no head which is to be expected given the experiences with its cousins. A little red hue is noticed at the edges. The nose gives off some very nice rasberry smell. Taste is very interesting as you get that classic BCBS flavor but it is a bit different with the raspberry and blackberry flavors. The berries are up front and the finish is whiskey. This is very good hopefully this is not the last we see of this.

Photo of zep9865
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed with aasher 2/28. Poured into Aecht Schlenferla snifter. Pours jet black with a ruby-mocha foam head.

Smells like bourbon county stout. Milk chocolate, toffee, vanilla and a little bourbon. The raspberry is slightly detectable and drowns out the booze a little bit

Front palate is vanilla and toffee but raspberry jam immediately takes over with very nice, bright acidity. This is a zinfandel lover's delight.

The fruit is so pure, but well integrated with the rest of the beer. It makes you think about jim beam red stag, and how much it sucks, and how this beer is such a great representation of fruit and bourbon.

This beer is so well balanced. Borderline fruit forward, and i love it for that.

Will drink this ne time, even if i catch a good enough buzz to pay an obnoxious price

Photo of claaark13
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the hookup Joel. Poured at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Dark brown body with a fizzy and fading head. Minimal lacing remains. The 2011 BCBS batch and variants really seem to all look like this. Sticks well to the glass though, I guess.

S - Lots of berries, little bit of fudge. Slightest amount of oak. Smells great, but not much like a RIS. More like a raspberry smoothie.

T - Spiced raspberry upfront, berries really stay throughout. They seem to try to fend off some heat that comes and goes. It is weird that it is kinda hot but kinda smooth. The whiskey and oak seem more pronounced in the finish. Roast, barrel and berries in the end. Some dark chocolate is evident mid-taste, but it never really sticks too long. Somewhat noticeable towards the finish as well.

M - Oh, Goose Island. This almost seems lighter than the others.

O - Really an interesting beer. I enjoyed it though. Get it and expect a very berry-forward RIS. If you expect something different, you'll be very upset.

Edit - As of 3/27/13, 4/4/4.5/3.5/4.25

Photo of Skyline312
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Bottle Date: 10DEC2011.

A - Pours a very dark ink color with purple lacing. Minimal head rentention. Leaves an oily coat on the glass.

S - Dark chocolate covered blackberries/raspberries with a little bourbon burn to your nose. Smells absolutely amazing! Immediately made my mouth water.

T - Initial burst of tart berry with a heavy jam/syrup swallow, bourbon burn in the throat, aftertaste was like I just took a bite of dark chocolate and let it melt in my mouth.

M - Oily, thick almost syrup/jam like. Coats extremely well. Even after swallowing there is a secondary coating left across the tongue. Mouth continued to water well after I swallowed, very interesting.

O - An amzing take on the BCS, I plan on cellaring a bottle to see how this beer ages over a couple of years. Berries and dark chocolate were the predominant flavors of this rich full-palate stout. In the war between the berries and bourbon, the berries have won the batttle. After some aging, however, the bourbon will win the war.

Photo of emerge077
3.58/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dan for sharing this one, happy birthday buddy.

Pours into a snifter like any other BCS variant, black body with tobacco stained edges. Scant lacing around the edges, a feeble swirl of skim on the surface.

Jammy fruit dominates the aroma, some mild stouty roast peeks through, but just barely. Its a bit more subdued and less complex than BCS and other iterations.

Indistinct sweet fruit dominates the taste, flirting with becoming artificial/medicinal. Some mild chocolate, vanilla and mellow stout flavors linger beneath. Sweet and jammy fruit lingers, creamy full bodied feel, mellow carbonation.

Not one i'd pick up considering the price and overt one dimensional sweetness and cloying fruit. It isn't as successful as other BCS treatments. Give me Bourbon County instead any day of the week.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of raspberry jam with light roasted malt with quite a bit more residual sugar than I was expecting. Taste is a wonderful mix between a sweet imperial stout based with light roasted malt notes and some raspberry and blackberry jam. All the flavours mix in very well and nothing was off-balance. Body is full with light creamy texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable with barrel notes not as discernible as in the regular version.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle to CBS Snifter. Bottled on 12/10/11 1013.

A - Poured dark black with half a finger of espresso coloured head that quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Rye up front followed by a big sweet hit of pureed raspberries with lighter blackberry notes. The background adds a basic roasted malt aroma.

T - Huge sweet raspberry flavour up front that gives way to rye and some oak flavours followed bu a big roasted malt presence. The raspberry dominates and is very sweet, more reminiscent of raspberry puree or jam as opposed to fresh berries. The raspberry returns in the finish with a big sweetness. The ABV is slightly warming in the finish as well but is generally well hidden.

M - Full body, thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - A unique and interesting beer. Too sweet and too much raspberry prevent this form being an outstanding beer. Still very enjoyable.

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Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.