Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 5,295 | Reviews: 1,426 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev -0.7%
Appearance: Pours a tawny color with russet highlights; the modest cap drops to a layer of big bubbles on the surface, leaving some dots around the chalice
Smell: Caramel, oak, vanilla, chocolate-covered cherries and bourbon - a well-crafted blend
Taste: Caramel, up front, with a growing oaky vanilla and chocolate-covered cherry presence that adds bourbon complexity by mid-palate; after the swallow, the blend that made the aroma so attractive comes together on the tastebuds; the finish is slightly boozy
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet
Overall: Although the mouthfeel is a little thin for a Wee Heavy with this level of ABV, the nicely balanced flavor profile makes up for it
03-04-2011 01:53:09 | More by brentk56
4.03/5 rDev -6.9%
Poured bottle into a pint glass. Been wanting to try this one.
A- The pour is a mohagony red, with orange and ruby highlights. Good carbonation is present. The head settles after a minute to about one and a half fingers worth, very creamy and good retention with the high abv. The head is tan in color. The brew appears to become darker as it sits. I compare it mostly to a cream soda in appearance. Lace is left on the glass as this goes down.
S- Aroma upfront is a sweet vanilla blend. Transitions well from the vanilla into dry oak. Good amount of bourbon in the background, and the slightest hint of the booze. The best and strongest aroma in this is the vanilla. It's like this was vanilla cream stirred for a few minutes with an oak branch. There is an "after aroma" of fruityness, suggesting a decent serving of hops.
T- This is bourbon whiskey in beer form. Reminds me a little bit of makers mark. With the intial taste is smack in the palatte bourbon flavor. There is a subtle transition to vanilla and oak midway through the flavor. Molasses sneaks its way in, then is buried by the heat from the barrels and 10.2%.
M- The mouth is medium bodied, and smooth. Slightly dry finish at the end. Interestingly enough theres some heat in this beer in the beginning, but the heat mellows out as the beer warms.
D- I'm gonna have to give the score the lowest on this. The look is great, the smell is great, it tastes good, but the bourbon is almost overbearing. I have a lot of flashbacks of my prior whiskey binges in life and instantly feel hung over. I shouldn't let that deter the drinkability because I do like whiskey but its extreme. Definitely one for those who love bourbon though.
Founders does not make a bad beer. The do just about everything right in any style they try.
03-03-2011 06:20:42 | More by haazer
4.33/5 rDev 0%
"You just called me a bastard didn't you?
These guys are freaks man."
-Primus, Los Bastardos
Nice bottle art. Murky sepia color. Hard pour yields a large light beige head that leaves a slug trail of foamy crust in its wake. Collar retention with one wispy swirl bridging between sides.
Smells like bourbon, glorious bourbon. Has all the bourbon nuances of vanilla, caramel and oak but if there's a scotch ale underneath somewhere I can' find it.
Taste is similarly bourbon, majestic bourbon trouncing on what at one point may have been a scotch ale. I get a little maple and Nestle chocolate syrup in back. Mouhfeel isn't bad but it's not 10% abv good either.
This is my new favorite beer...like I got a single from Duffextracold and I'm now going out buy a case favorite beer. Whereas I could see where this beer could be much better (I'd love to see some of the scotch ale actually poke through) I love the extreme bourbon. I'm a huge bourbon fan but can' stomach too much alcohol...I think I just found the solution.
02-26-2011 14:18:45 | More by donkeyrunner
4.25/5 rDev -1.8%
A friend traded for a few bottles of these. This was the 2009 vintage, so it had some age on it. Originally had it fresh at the time, we split this bottle.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass.
The beer pours a hazy dark dirty copper brown with a ruby golden hue. A small white head rose about a quarter inch, that left some lacing on the glass. There was also a bit of sediment in the glass on this one.
The beer smells fantastic, with strong notes of wood from the barrel, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and sweet toffee.
The taste is also excellent and well balanced. The bourbon notes are upfront, with vanilla, toffee, and oak. This is followed by caramel, bourbon, and just a kiss of bitterness. It is not cloyingly sweet, but it is a sipper. There is a little kick from the alcohol, but it is well blended with the armoma's and flavor notes, so it is not in your face, just a nice sipper.
The mouth feel is light to low as to the carbonation, but the beer is very smooth, like a fine scotch, and goes down easy while sipping every last drop.
Overall, I would love to have this on hand all the time, just a great beer to smell, sip, and enjoy. After having this both fresh and with age, I actually prefer it fresh though, but it was still good with age, but the toffee notes which I love faded a bit. Kudos to Founders, well crafted.
02-25-2011 17:24:31 | More by Retsinis
4.78/5 rDev +10.4%
A: Pours a murky reddish-brown that can only be seen through when held up to light with about a finger of off-white head. The head recedes into a thin cap with a little lacing.
S: Smells of caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very lovely combination, I must say.
T: Similar to the aroma, there's a blast of caramel up front followed by a very tasty mixture of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The bourbon is perfectly balanced with the other flavors, complimenting without overwhelming, malty but not cloyingly sweet. The finish is very warming with the alcohol and bourbon flavors.
M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is very smooth and goes down with a nice warming sensation without being too hot.
D: Very drinkable, considering that this is bourbon barrel aged and high gravity. The alcohol and bourbon are definitely present, but not hot and overwhelming.
Overall, an absolutely delicious beer, even if it's not pretty. Definitely the best Scotch ale I've had to date. The oak and bourbon flavors are definitely present and unmistakable, but very well balanced with the other flavors of the beer.
02-24-2011 22:49:00 | More by n2185
4.22/5 rDev -2.5%
This was shared by ThreeWiseMen with myself and JustinA1. Thanks again Nick. Bottled 9/30/10 and poured into a snifter.
Pours out a murky mahogany color with no head. Swirling the beer in the glass brings out a small tanish head that quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Sides of the liquid are a bit lighter in color than middle of the body and body doesn't appear as murky as I was assuming it was going to but based on the pour. No lacing is left behind on the glass.
Lots of different notes coming from this one. Tons of bourbon (which is very nice) followed by vanilla, caramel, and oak. Some alcohol harshness is detected as well but when compared to some other bourbon barrel aged beers (Bourbon County Stout for one), it's not too bad. The barrel has for sure imparted a lot of its characteristics onto this and there isn't much of the base beer coming through.
Very sweet tasting beer. Much like the smell there is a lot of vanilla, oak, caramel and bourbon that comes though first. There is a bit of malt sweetness that also comes into play here but it is really a second aspect compared to the bourbon and associated taste. Finishes with a bit of alcohol burn but doesn't take away from the enjoyment of this one.
Medium bodied with not very much carbonation. This is a very smooth beer that goes down pretty easily. A slight burn at the end of each sip reminds you that it was placed in a barrel.
A very nicely done beer by Founder's. The bourbon barrel certainly takes center stage on this one so if you don't like bourbon, this may not be a good one for you. I thought it went down very easy and wouldn't mind having this again.
02-22-2011 01:01:30 | More by Swimsum
4.75/5 rDev +9.7%
Poured 12 ounce bottle in a snifter
A: amber, great head looks very good in the glass.
S: Burbon, malts
T: Burbon, caramel, oak, vanilla
M: full body, mild carbonation, rich thick
D: this is a delight to drink, im not the biggest fan of scotch ales, but this is impressive, I bought 2 bottle to have one now and save the other for later the other bottle didn't last a month well done
02-21-2011 13:59:16 | More by fastsrt
4.25/5 rDev -1.8%
Review from 12/11/10
A: Poured into tulip. Dark ruby red, a bit cloudy with hints of brown. Yellow tan head of fine bubbles.
S: Smells of mellow bourbon with vanilla oak smells up front. Picking up sweet caramel notes in the background. Smells great.
T: Just like it smells. Mellow bourbon with fragrant vanilla from the oak. A nice caramel sweetness comes into balance the potent bourbon. A great beer to age in bourbon barrels. Still able to pickup the beer style which blends well with the barrel aged additions. A bit boozy as you would expect, but not overwhelming.
M: Smooth medium to thick body. Good carbonation makes it a bit creamy.
D: Surprisingly well balanced. The caramel sweetness of the scotch ale blends well with the bourbon and vanilla notes. Overall solid beer.
02-21-2011 00:11:00 | More by camp0474
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
Continuing on my recent scotch ale bender I decided to get my fix with this crazy bastard tonight. I am a huge fan of the orginal dirty bastard, so lets see how it's barrel aged brother turns out. Picked up a single of this at a random beer store in Cadillac MI, for $3. 2010 Vintage. Poured from a 12oz brown stubby bottle into Imy chalice.
A- I love the label on this beer, the old hermit looking logger gives this beer a real backwoods vibe. This is one good looking brew, it poured coppery red color that looks really nice when held to the light. It had two fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thin layer that left a little lacing. One of the best looking beers I have had.
S- Wow, this brew smells pretty sweet. I pick up some sweet roasted malts, dark fruits, coffee, and a lot of Bourbon in this brew, no mistaking this for dirty bastard.
T- Again, wow! Upfront this beer is all about the bourbon, but its not over powering and it works really nice in contrast with the large amounts of sweet caramel malts in this brew. I can still pick up some of the normal scotch ale flavors like dark fruits but the oak, vanilla and bourbon flavors stick out the most. Great balance in this brew.
M- Medium bodied, creamy, and good carbonation.
D- Every time I take a sip of this beer i find it hard to believe that it's 10.2%, it goes down like it has the same amount as dirty bastard. I don't think I would drink more then one of these since I enjoy taking my time and sipping it. Great job at hiding the booze in this one.
Overall this was one excellent brew and I loved every sip of it. Being such a big fan of dirty bastard I didn't know how this beer was gonna stack up, but I should have known better, if founders puts it out as a seasonal you know its got to be kick ass, and it was. I had a scotty karate yesterday and loved the scotch flavors it had and I thought that the bourbon flavors worked just as well if not better. It seems now a days that stouts and wild ales get all the barrel aging fun but I feel scotch ales need to join in, this style really lends itself to barrel aging. Damn founder's, you guys are awesome, keep making great beers.
2013 Edit, after trying this beer several more times both aged and not aged i have changed my score accordingly.
02-15-2011 04:35:25 | More by StoutHunter
4.13/5 rDev -4.6%
EDIT - 2011 12 oz. revisit. Super-fresh release, bottled 19 days ago and literally arrived at my favorite retailer while I was standing in the beer section talking with a friend. Living proof that it is better to be lucky than smart. 12 oz. into a snifter.
(Note - My first experience with this was in Feb. 2011 at Kelleher's)
A - Light, thin, clear brown pour transitions into a deep caramel, mahogany-ruby in the glass. Less than a finger’s worth of offwhite head instantly settles into a couple of groups of bubbles. Looks decent enough.
S - Far better than my experience last winter on-tap. Vanilla and bourbon whiskey at the forefront morphs into caramel and alcohol. A bit phenolic. Raisin and oak underneath. Either I was served this in the incorrect glass (huge goblet) when I tried it in Peoria or something else was amiss because the aroma is far more potent this time around. Considerable improvement here.
T - Intial burst of bourbon whiskey, followed by a huge vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, and caramel sweetness. Front and middle of the tongue are complex and balanced, but backend is a tad uninvolving. Shockingly little alcohol presence, including a surprising lack of warming in the throat for something > 10%. I last described this as "mellow". Undecided about this descriptor thus far.
M - Light-medium body. It’s still a bit too light, very much in line with what I recall. Carbonation is a bit better and helps clear through some of the intensity of the flavors. Quite smooth. Far too short of a finish, though ever-so-slightly tannic from the barrels.
D - Yes, still very good in this department. Backwoods is truly a bastard because of how quickly a few pours could rush up on me if I got carried away (previously I commented about getting smashed off this).
I remain endlessly curious as to what age will do to my other bottles. Good stuff. This year's Backwoods and Breakfast Stout releases confirm for me that Founders is consistent.
02-14-2011 00:24:42 | More by Auracom
3.83/5 rDev -11.5%
Poured into a DFH Pint glass.
A- Dark brown; 1/4 inch bubbly head that was "gone in sixty seconds"; very wispy lace remained. Bits of suspended...stuff...swirling around the brew.
S- Bourbon! Malt. Toffee.
T- Clearly and unmistakably Bourbon up front, but not overpowering in strength; a 'mild' smooth burbon note. Well balanced with a hint of malt in the background.
M- Full, strong (chewy?); but a bit on the flat side.
D- Definately a sipper; this is a cool weather brew that takes a while to consume, sip by sip. You won't drink more than one or two of these in a sitting, unless you're a huge bourbon fan.
02-13-2011 14:46:08 | More by CraftAleRookie
4.15/5 rDev -4.2%
Got this in a trade with Baltimorebeerguy. I've been wanting to try it for a while, as I work my way through the wee heavys. Hard to find around here.
Aggressive pour into a pint glass. 2 finger head that drips down beautfiully with complex, syrupy lacing.
Stays firm after a few minutes. Pits and valleys. Dark copper, auburn, mahogany color. Slightly cloudy. Aroma weighs heavily on the bourbon side. Nothing Scotchy here. Getting vanilla and burnt sugar.
Let warm for 5 minutes.
Hit with the bourbon boozines right off the bat. Sticky, toffee, vanilla, malty, chewy creamy,
Nothing wrong with that, I like many bourbon beers. But it seems that when you age things in b. barrels, it either marries up to the style of brew, or it doesn't. When it does, you've got amazing things like Goose Island Rare stout. When it doesn't, you get things like Kentucky Bourbon Ale that just taste like you poured bourbon in with the original beer.
This one is somewhere in between. Yeah, I'm getting the malty, dark ale feel but it doesn't really say Scotch Ale to me a whole lot.
It IS delicious though and my only complaint is a slightly dry, phenolic finish. I'm not grabbing this when I want a Scotch Ale, but it's a wonderful sipper when you want that Bourbon feel but don't want the heaviness of a stout.
02-13-2011 01:48:07 | More by radioscooter
3.93/5 rDev -9.2%
Pours thick murky brown with a head that disappears instantly. some carbonation.
Toffee, boozy browned stone fruit, some brown bread, and earth.
What an interesting brew. You get the cherry/bourbon, no doubt. Big punch of raw alcohol with bitter bread crust, dark bread toast, bruised stone fruit, with the alcohol clearing the palate. Some slight bitter chocolate, and some earthy qualities.
Big and thick and mouthcoating. You can see it in the pour.
A sipper, but every enjoyable. Try.
02-12-2011 20:55:41 | More by OtherShoe2
3.65/5 rDev -15.7%
A- Head is initally two fingers, but fades to a ring rather quickly. body is a deep amber (copper/ruby mix) and more clear than hazy.
N- figs and alcohol, almost a bubblegum like nose.
T- strange fruity esters, like banana, the fig is still there too. very sweet with a large caramel back bone. the alcohol makes it self known on the finish, but not very assertively.
M- light carbonation, almost too light. still what little tingle it has isn't bad. Gets rather sour in the middle. giving way to a nice bittersweet finish, that lingers in the background for a while, enough to barely notice.
D- really hides the alcohol at first, but after it sits in the gut for a bit you get the warmth. overall, not the best Wee Heavy I've ever had, but still a decent beer. I'd drink it again
02-11-2011 05:40:13 | More by irishevans
4.38/5 rDev +1.2%
Served from bottle into Brooklyn Snifter. Bottled on 10/8/2010.
Appearance - Vigorous pour yields a light off-white creamy head that dissipates quickly. Murky ruby-brown with some light getting through.
Smell - So delicious. Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, Caramel, roasted smoky character, sweetness.
Taste - Largely the same as the smell. This beer has really mellowed since i had it 4 months ago. Bourbon/alcohol hits immediately with creamy vanilla and roasted characters. Delicious blend between scotch ale and barrel notes. Swishing around on the palette reveals some burnt/smoke flavors.
Mouthfeel - Creamy creamy creamy. Clings to the mouth in the best way possible.
Drinkability - Moderate/low. High alcohol that you can definitely feel. Flavors are great and balanced for a delicious sipper.
Great for cold weather - probably only one in a sitting.
02-11-2011 05:23:15 | More by bballmj2k
4/5 rDev -7.6%
Poured from the bottle a dark amber copper with a soft tannish head that disapated quickly. The nose was dominated by oak and burbon lots of it but under it you could smell smoke bready malt and light wisp of alcohol. Taste is big and bold burbon vanilla oak and bready malt hit you big upfront big on the burbon, the taste finishes dry and warm with a nice alcohol kick. Mouthfeel is thin and quick very light on the carbonatio as would be expected from an aged beer. Drinkability is marked as be careful, good brew but strong and dangerous!
02-09-2011 22:00:23 | More by rpardon7
4.38/5 rDev +1.2%
12 oz bottel poured into my stemware glass
A: pours a cloudy, muddled amber/brown color with pretty much no foam.
S: This certainly smells like a fine liquor. A lot of bourbon and vanilla. There is also a very strong oak aroma.
T: The taste has many of the same characteristics of the nose. A lot of oak, vanilla, bourbon,caramel and maybe a touch of chocolate. There is also a bitterness in there somewhere.
M: Very smooth, creamy, and full bodied. The carbonation is on the low side.
D: I was expecting to be blown away by booze, but it really was quite manageable. That said, you still feel it after enjoying a bottle.
Very nice beer !!
02-09-2011 20:26:38 | More by beerpirates
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
Backwoods smells of bourbon, toasted vanilla, sweet toffee, and roasted dark malts. Tastes of caramel-y malts balanced by bitter smoke and all pulled together by bourbon deliciousness. Long smoky finish, similar to burned marshmallows. Mouthfeel is a bit warm from the 10.2% ABV. Definitely a slow sipper.
02-09-2011 14:51:15 | More by WhyBeNormal
4.6/5 rDev +6.2%
Many thanks to OakedCanuck for this surprise!
Murky creamed coffee color on the pour, with a beige-yellow-tinted finger of head that laces nicely.
Big bourbon notes on the nose, lightly sweet and nutty, caramel and malt sweetness. Hints of bourbon booze rounds it out.
Toasted malts, hints of chocolate, bourbon, oak, woody, nutty sweetness and some really dark dried fruit notes. The bourbon is pronounced, but doesn't over power, leaving room for the plethora of other tastes to shine as well.
Feel is somewhat heavy and full, creamy, low carbonation, and slightly coating. Finish is clean though.
Drinkability is good. This is a heavy hitter, but it's not hard to put away... it's a phenomenally tasting beer, which helps in that respect!
On to the Wants you will go!
02-06-2011 01:20:28 | More by EgadBananas
4.72/5 rDev +9%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Piraat tulip. A small sand colored head formed quickly and left almost as fast. The body is a deep ruby/mahogany color...slightly cloudy.
Bam...lots of wood and bourbon hit the nose hard. You can pick up some sweet caramel notes as well as roasted malts in the background.
The taste is right were the nose indicated it would be...lots of oak/bourbon characters throughout the taste. Sweet up front and in the middle, but that fades to a boozy finish.
Medium to thick mouth feel...little carbonation...slick.
This is a wonderful barrel aged beer. Highly addicting flavor, but the booziness assures you cannot manage more than a sip at a time.
02-05-2011 04:53:42 | More by mgbickel
4.65/5 rDev +7.4%
A: Pours a dark brown/mahogany color with a yellow ish head. Good amount of head for 10% and it sticks around well. Not much light gets through this one as it is rather hazy and dark.
S: Bourbon, vanilla and tons of sweetness in the nose. Some alcohol is present but not a lot. Very big sweet malt notes though. Also get some light toasted notes, not deep but lightly on the nose.
T/M: Wow this one was not harsh up front as I thought it might be. Really great bourbon flavors and vanilla. Very impressed with the alcohol and how not over the top it is. Great sweetness in this, very heavy on the sweet. However, the alcohol balances this sweetness out well. Tastes almost like rich fudge due to the amount of vanilla and sweetness.
D: Very drinkable due to the high ABV. This is one that I can say I would highly recommend and will be getting for myself again!
02-04-2011 03:27:03 | More by mbusster88
4.58/5 rDev +5.8%
S: Clean maltiness, bourbon notes, hint of smoke, touch of ak, toffee sweet, some woodiness along with strong vanilla notes.
L: Murky brown, light tan head that dissipates quickly.
T: Caramel sweetness with bourbon backbone. Lots of vanilla and maltiness, but clean. Low earthy bitterness leads to some alcohol and oak dryness. Fairly clean finish with a touch of caramel sweetness.
M: Medium full body, low carbonation, some alcohol warmness.
Loved it, bourbon amount is perfect in this beer. Sweet but well attenuated with enough bitterness and alcohol to counter the sweetness.
02-03-2011 04:44:59 | More by bum732
4.55/5 rDev +5.1%
A - Pours a fairly clear deep red-brown color (mahogany) with a finger of off-white head. The head faded fairly quickly to a nice ring on the glass and laced very nicely.
S - Very powerful and deep smokey (bourbon) aroma. Also some sweet elements from vanilla and carmel notes. There is also booze in the nose. Excellent aroma.
T - Starts off with some sweet carmel malts and a touch of the smokiness building in the background. Also the vanilla is also mixed in. In the middle the smoky flavor really jumps out. The finish has some more of the smokey/bourbon taste, the sweet malts, some dark fruit flavors, and some booze flavor, which all blend together and linger for a while. Excellent balance in the flavor.
M - Medium to medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Almost a bit think and creamy without being too viscous. The smokiness really coasts the mouth well. There is some nice alcohol sting on the tongue also.
D - Fairly drinkable. Knocking in at a relatively high 10.20 % abv, this is a fairly heavy beer and is best sipped. That being said, the booze flavors stay in check for high level and the flavor is just amazingly well balanced and complex. Excellent beer.
02-01-2011 05:04:00 | More by ngeunit1
4.13/5 rDev -4.6%
Served in a snifter glass on tap at Founders
This beer pours a hazy plum-maroon color with little to no white head doing anything but lacing on the surface. The aroma is a lot of malts hanging out together and having a party in this glass. There is an overwhelmingly sweet aroma coming off of the nose of this beer. This beer truly is a bastard because I really can't figure out all of the flavors it's really trying to go for. The short answer is that I like it, but I don't know why. I believe that there is a definite whiskey kick to this beer that is more prevalent in the back of the palate. There might even be a touch of smoked malts used. It's a true malt bomb in every sense of the word. It's got a really decent mouthfeel, but is almost too sweet and strong to easily take down without a lot of time on your hands.
01-31-2011 04:01:39 | More by Vdubb86
4.33/5 rDev 0%
My fourth beer of the night (with many more on the way) thanks to Kevin (kzoobrew). A damn good BA and guy. Cheers!
Appearance - Pours into my great new Surly Darkness Tulip (again, thanks to Kevin) with a hazy, amber color. Less than a finger of quickly dissipating head leaves slight lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell - The bourbon is immediately present along with heavy brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, and smoky oak.
Taste - A very enjoyable first sip, wow. I will admit, Kevin sent this same beer to me, as a matter of fact, right around a year ago. I had it on Super Bowl Sunday after having a couple glasses of PtY from a growler my friend brought down from RR. Thus, I didn't review this because, well, let's be honest - I was in no mind to. Anywho, back to the review. The vanilla and bourbon meld together in an amazing way in the initial taste. This taste quickly becomes candied in flavor - actually this reminds me of something I haven't had in YEARS (20+) but I believe growing up my mother would make some type of brown sugar/vanilla/candied solution that would melt on the stove, and we would pour it into fresh snow and it would harden, then we would eat it. No joke, this tastes like it (minus the alcohol/bourbon flavors, haha). All in all, I am enjoying this immensely.
Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, relatively thick and creamy, lower carbonation.
Drinkability - I have been spacing my beers out tonight so I wouldn't be too "tipsy" to review them, and I can honestly say for the ABV I have no taste of alcohol nor warming. This is a very rich beer, though one I am thoroughly enjoying. As has been shown, sensory feelings (i.e. taste or smell) are very strong, and this beer for some reason brings me back to happy childhood memories, which makes it all the better. A very solid brew.
01-31-2011 03:25:52 | More by SpdKilz
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,295 ratings.