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Labrador Lager - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Labrador LagerLabrador Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

68 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 195
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 27.61%
Wants: 18
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Dortmunder / Export Lager |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 12-28-2008

A Traditional German Lager brewed with all German grain & yeast. Very drinkable.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Labrador Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 195
Photo of Sammy
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

from Half Time cooler,Pours mid-yellow body with some white foamish head. Aroma is a bit of strong yeast, some malts. Middling mouthfeel. Tastes so-so,minerally, somewhat apple,grassy hops though 20 IBU, not overally drinkable.You have to be in the mood for this, maybe that's not having a beer all week and it's hot.

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Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear deep yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that faded away, leaving only a bit of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of fruity yeast in the nose-apple juice stands out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of apple juice and notes of biscuity malts. There are some slight hints of grassy hops and bitterness towards the finish: these become a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer seems to be a bit heavier compared to other beers in the style but it is still very easy to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a two inch cap that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Bready, with a fruity, slightly lemony hue

Taste: Bready, up front, with the faint lemony hop flavors adding some balance to the sweet cracker malt; finishes a bit more to the sweet side than I thought it would

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: A decent enough Dortmunder, though I would like to see a bit more hop balance

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bold gold that is almost dark enough to be considered Sunkist orange. The creamy crown is midway between ivory and ecru in color. Its moonscape surface sinks slowly and splatters the glass with some pretty good looking lace in the end.

Since the nose is as much about malt as hops... and since it says 'Dortmunder' right there on the label... the above style should be changed. This puppy isn't pale enough or noble hoppy enough to be a German pilsener. Golden grains with a light toastedness combine with earthy hops that are only minimally grassy.

Thirsty Dog Labrador Lager is a very nice example of a dortmunder. As far as I can tell, it hits every one of its style marks smack dab in the middle. As in the nose, the malt (sweet) and hop (bitter) balance is pretty much perfect. Not only that, but each side of the dyad provides a significant amount of flavor. Generous ingredients is usually a good thing.

The malts are toasted and sugared biscuity, with a hint of earthy nuttiness that is probably due to a small percentage of Munich. The hops provide classic German flavor that, again, is short on grassiness. Tettnang and Hallertau are my guesses. 27 IBUs (website) or 22 IBUs (label) seems about right, which tells me that this bottle is pretty fresh.

The body/mouthfeel might be the highlight of this experience. The malt sugars provide size, the hops add an interesting edge, and the carbonation contributes the creamy expansiveness that only the best beers possess.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is the best dortmunder that has ever entered my glass. Labrador Lager isn't quite that good, but it's a surprisingly well-brewed version that I'll definitely look for again. This is a great all-rounder that is delicious solo and should accompany most foods with ridiculous ease.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really nice and tight looking as white head of maybe an inch and a half came up and settled down, fading slightly but holding its own. Light grains and bready malt notes really pulling through here. Some smattering of hops in there but again nothing really pushing that way, this was a well rounded, and very straight forward lager. As I take the first sip, crisp, clean flavor rolls across the taste buds. Really very well put together. Earthy, nice touches of grain and smooth, mellow caramel notes infiltrate as it warms. Light banana and clove maybe then coming through. I am very pleased here

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lager yeast, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready with flavors of grain, lager yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some malt and caramel sweetness comes in. The hops presence is decent and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent milder beer to drink for a while, but there are other beers in the style that I would pick first.

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

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly cloudy deep gold color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of cracker, biscuit, honey, pear, apple, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of cracker, biscuit, honey, herbal, floral, light pepper, light pear/apple, and yeast earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, biscuit, honey, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and lightly bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a good dortmunder style. Good balance and robustness of malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep golden body with an off white head, lacing is even speckled variety. Aroma has a bit of stale cardboard notes, minimal bright cereal tones with a touch of background hops. Flavor has sour apple, malt driven pale malts. Non cohesive there's no way this stuff is fresh. Ideally this is why the brewer should date his bottle, I would have never touched this knowingly old product...it came from a reputable beer store in Ohio but this is evidently old stock pulled from a cooler at least. As I push on a nice cereal sweetness takes root a touch of soggy wet cardboard and stale herbal hops. I will retry this offering I heard it's on par with Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes, not in the current state sadly. Mouthfeel is light but not thin carbonation is ample even a bit much at times, will look for a fresh version possibly in the Burgh this time around. Now I see code on the bottom of the bottle it says 0056, if that's the 56th day of 2010 then I can see why I'm questioning freshness. Drinkability isn't bad, again I plan to revisit but there's aspects I'm frowning on here.

Update: Fresh variety pack sample of this beer increased freshness equates to increased enjoyment. Pours a bright golden hue with a slightly hazed body maybe a bit of yeast left unfiltered it's like a Dortmunder/kellerbier. Aromatics offer up a liquid bread combination of malts and floral hops, I'm a fan for sure. 6% abv well hidden for a golden lager, ample hops at 22 IBUs fits the style guidelines without any issues. I love the bright white flowing head, leaves even layered lines of speckled textured lacing. Each gulp takes you into a very refreshing crisp combination of rich layered biscuit malts, a bit of honey sweetness balanced with herbal grassy German hops, not too pungent or bitter but very fresh and balanced which is key in this style of lager. Mouthfeel overall is as pleasant as it gets, and as hot as it was working outside today the beer tastes that much better. Ample natural feeling carbonation crisp inviting finish makes you want to take the next sip that much faster. Overall a highly drinkable skillfully brewed, and meant to be enjoyed in number go seek some out if your in Ohio or some of the limited distribution of this brewery.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Pours with good clarity and a large creamy head.
Set aside your preconceptions of lagers as fizzy yellow brews with little character. This is a creamy brew with a refined, if rather subtle, aroma and taste. Sure, it is neither rich nor bold, but very pleasing nonetheless. It is above average in all respects, but the perfectly carbonated, lively but soft mouthfeel may be its strongest point.

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Photo of smcolw
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, light golden color. Moderate head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Low lace, spotty.

Dry, raw grain aroma. Possibly some light colored crystal. Low, low hop.

Highly carbonated, giving it a crisp mouthfeel. I thought I had smelled the telltale signs of adjuncts. Here, I think the taste confirms it. Overall, a very dry beer. There's some bittering hop flavor in the aftertaste.

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Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle given to me in a mix of beers from a family friend from Ohio. It poured amber in color with a thick and foamy white head filling the top two inches of the glass. Nice head retention and lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma mixes toasty malts with some sweeter and grainy malty flavors. I get a little zesty, slightly citrusy hops to it as well. Very nice aroma overall, the toasty malts especially stood out to me.

The taste shows a little more of the sweeter, grainy malts throughout it. I get more of the toasty flavors coming out in the finish mixing with a touch of caramel.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style. It was both easy drinking and flavorful and pretty enjoyable overall.

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Photo of tempest
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single from Abe's Cold Beer. Pours a clear gold amber with a short white head that leaves a bit of lacing. The malt is disappointingly plain with a mild bready cake taste and aroma. The hops do a little better and bring both floral citrus and a little grassy herb forward and long into the aftertaste. Smooth and drinkable, but unremarkable aside from some pleasant hop character.

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Photo of biegaman
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Labrador Lager is clearly a yellow lab, not a chocolate one. This golden beer has a good degree of radiance and shimmering highlights into the light. It's not entirely clear, however, and has a somewhat smeared complexion. Its head looks like it came out of a salt shaker.

The aroma bares strong resemblance to soda bread and corn bread; it has an 'oven-fresh' flavour. There's so much grain and breadiness that you'd think it was crafted by a baker, not a brewer. It uses German malt but tastes like it was made in a French cafe. It's like being in a bakery very early in the morning.

All that breadiness carries with it a natural hint of sweetness; it's subtle but it makes the beer that much more delicious. Besides, while Noble hops aren't exactly showed off, they've got enough presence to lend the mouthfeel a lightly grassy texture and a splash of lemon. Its apparent simplicity masks a high degree of skill and mastery of time-honed techniques.

Technically speaking, Dortmunder is an entirely different style from Pilsner. Still, I sometimes see these beers described as "pilsner-style lager". In truth, it is a little like splitting hairs when making the distinction between these two equally clean, quaffable, golden German lagers...

In fact, even some of the most renown beer writers have had difficulty pinning down exactly what distinguishes the style from other pale lagers. One thing we know for sure, Dortmunders originated in an industrial city - not an artsy one. It is a utilitarian beer by design, produced to deliver efficient, thorough refreshment - not contemplative sipping. Thirsty Dog gets it.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In Cleveland and tried the Labrador from Thirsty Dog. The beer poured clear golden color with some white foamish head that left some lace. The smell is a bit of strong yeast, some malts. The taste is typical of most Dortmunders, some fruit, grassy hops. The mouthfeel is light in body and good carbonation. Overall it is a decent beer and can be sessioned easily.

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Photo of Tone
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden/copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, hint of earthy malt, slight citrus hops, and hint of dough. Fits the style of a Dortmunder / Export Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, hint of dough, slight citrus hops, and hint of earthy malt. Overall, poor appearance, but good aroma, blend, and body.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a little dash of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head pours a thin layer of frothy white foam which doesn't stick around too long. Not too bad.

Smell: sweetish malt with a little hint of noble hops and a clean finish. A bit low in intensity, but it's nice enough.

Taste: pretty rich flavor here, considering the mild aroma. The sweet malt has a rather floral tinge to it; I'm thinking this is yeast-born and not from the otherwise pretty normal noble hops. There's a hint of graininess and a light but acceptable bitterness at the end. A decent Dort!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a light carbonation and a moderate creaminess. Not enough effervescence in my opinion, but the body is nice; almost like a bock.

Overall: a good beer, it's a bit fruity and floral for the style. It feels like it's approaching a bock in many ways (body & sweetness), but overall it's a tasty and drinkable brew.

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Photo of tone77
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains and malts. Taste is crisp, grains, some malts, a tad sweet, just a touch of hops. Feels light in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking and pretty good beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear gold color with about a half inch off-white head that stayed around a little while. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like bready and sweet malt, and some light grassy hops. It tastes like bready and sweet malt. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. It goes down easy enough. This certainly isn't one of the better Dortmunder Lagers I've had. It's not a bad beer by any means, but there's nothing about this that would make me want to buy it again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks decent a nice amber color but the head is minimal with only a slight ring lace. Lacing is pretty sticky though.

S - Smells of light grains and sweet malts. Very little hop smell surprisingly.

T - Ow not bad! I get a nice level of caramel malt similar to an amber lager but better. It's beside a slight bit of hops and grain taste but it's sweet rather than bitter.

M - Biggest amber lager I had so far clocking in at 6% yet it's medium bodied for sure.

Overall I like this lager it has a very good flavor and is almost in the IPA territory with the ABV. Smooth.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden brown color and a mainly clear consistency. there was an inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice, sharp aroma of malt, caramel, and a little yeast.

T: Tasted of caramel, malt, and and some yeast. Very crisp and flavorful.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: A well made, drinkable beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep golden with a lingering, frothy, cream head.

Grain, sweet corn, and lightly toasted bread form the initial aroma. Earthy, slightly floral hops are subtle.

Flavor reveals more floral hop notes at the forefront, which rest on a grainy, lightly toasted, crackery malt backbone. There's a sour apple note at the base that is offputting. I have no idea how old this beer is, so hopefully it's an age thing.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with a crisp lager finish.

Very sessionable, basic, refreshing lager. The floral hop notes are nice, but that tangy acetaldehyde note kind of ruins it.

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Photo of dar482
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a deep gold color.

The aroma offers grassy, bready malts, lager qualities.

The flavor follows with grassy hops, floral, onto a light bready malt in the middle, a hint of sweetness, onto a kind spicy bitterness. A balanced brew with restrained hops to distinguish from a pilsner.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

This has a glimmering golden color and a lacing that most beers would be jealous of. This beer has a malty nose and a hint of fruit and herbs from the hops. Smooth lagers with a clean medium body win us over ... this is one of those. It's malty, but mostly on the dry side. The hops are well rounded with a sizable bitterness and a drawn out, somewhat subtle flavor. This beer is bready and yeasty with some alcohol in the finish. A very impressive lager. It stands bigger and more complex than expected.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.23/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's Labrador Lager last week for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. I have been pretty satisfied with all the Thirsty Dog beers I have had so far so I thought I should try the only other beer from them that the store had that I haven't tried before, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good, but I am Labrador owner so I'm a little biased. It poured a a pale golden yellow color that was fairly clear and it had a half a fingers worth of white head that quickly died down to a very thin ring that stayed till the end. The color was true to style but the head was pretty disappointing.

S- The first thing that I picked up was loads of sweet malts that impart a sweet grainy, and slightly bready aroma. After that comes a light amount of hops that impart a light earthy and grassy aroma. The aroma was somewhat on track for the style then the sweetness came which seemed to be way too sweet for the style.

T- The tastes seems to be almost exactly the same as the aroma. It starts off with loads of very sweet malts that impart an overly sweet grainy and biscuit taste that is a little similar to a Malt Liquor. After that comes a very slight amount of earthy and grassy hops that are easy to miss. The finish seemed to have hardly any bitterness and in it's place was lots of sweetness and a sweet grainy aftertaste. The taste is pretty boring and way too sweet, I'm not digging it.

M- Not too smooth, a little cloying, on the medium side of being light bodied, and it had a high amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel wasn't that impressive and it was a little over carbonated.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer and I thought that it wasn't a good example of a Dortmunder, the flavors were bland and there was way too much sweetness that seemed to dominate everything else. This beer doesn't have good drinkability, it doesn't hold my interest and is way too sweet, one is more then enough for me. What I liked most about this beer was the label, it's pretty sad that the label was the best thing about this beer, but that's the truth. What I liked least about this beer was pretty much everything else, there wasn't one part of this beer that didn't have some issues and the sweetness really hurt it. I wouldn't buy this beer again, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. This seems to be the first miss that I have had from this brewery, it just missed the mark on what a good Dortmunder should be like, and so far this is my least favorite Dortmunder I have had with Great Lakes Dortmunder gold still being my favorite, and this beer isn't even remotely as good as Great Lakes Dortmunder. I took a chance on this beer and it didn't turn out how I thought it would, oh well you can't win them all, better luck next time Thirsty Dog.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a Cleveland Browns pilsner glass

A - It has a golden body with three inches of white head that clings to the sides of the glass. I have never seen so many co2 bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

S - I got a snoot full of caramel malt.

T - It has a lot of caramel malt and a bready taste.

M - Surprisingly full for as light as it looks.

O - The only other beer of this style I have had in Great Lakes Dortmunder. This has a different taste to it. Reminds me more of a British style. I am pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

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Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.