Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"

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4,310 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,310
Reviews: 1,687
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 236
Gots: 448 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
You could say, then, that Smuttynose IPA is a physical salute to the glory of the American hop grower. The citrusy hop flavor coming from a mixture of Simcoe and Santiams is pleasantly balanced by a smooth bitterness from the Amarillo hops. The beer itself is light bodied and crisp with a golden color that will throw a slight haze, as we bottle it unfiltered. At 75 IBU's, this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA, but is meant for hop lovers looking to satisfy their craving in a way that's not easy to find. We think they’ll be quite pleased.

75 IBU

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-12-2004)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,310 | Reviews: 1,687 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GeorgeAldi
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very cloudy copper with loads of yeast just swimming all over the place. The nose is very floral and rich. Grapefruit, pine, honey, green tea, a very broad spectrum of bright, citrus notes. My palate is left reeling, aching with drying acidity, a little hint of bark, and not much sweetness to balance. This is a serious cure for a hop withdrawal. Oh, after finishing the bottle, I had to have a glass of water.

Photo of DudleyRose
2.42/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very disappointed. Tried a sixer and then a very fresh 12-pack because I thought there must be something wrong with the sixer given an IPA rated this highly. The second batch was the same. So, what's the problem? The hop smell is very subdued, as is the taste. It's a good bitter IPA but without much in the way of aroma or flavor. Maybe I've been converted from this type of IPA by the likes of Flower Power, Sculpin, Racer 5, Hopdevil and a bunch of others.

Photo of Reaper16
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle -- best before 11/11 -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a sort of goldenrod color. No, lighter; a darkish peach color. A moderate hop haze here, but you can still sort of see your fingers through the body of the beer. Maybe a half finger of bright white head that quickly settles into a small cap. Solid looking IPA.

There's plenty of solid aromas here, I just wish that they were more vibrant. There's grapefruit pith, there's some white flowers, there's something intriguing in the malt profile beyond the typical boring crystal malts that most IPAs are filled with: an interesting spiced cookie scent. These aromas are sorta' muted though.

The taste suffers from the same problem. This is a reasonably fresh bottle, but the flavors just aren't as vibrant as I thought a beer this highly-rated would have. What I do like is that this beer is on the greener, vegetal side of the IPA universe. Lots of flavors of stalks and stems and petals; like drinking a garden. There's some definite grapefruit rind going on. The malt profile is not insignificant (this is an East Coast IPA after all), but it isn't obtrusive. The finish is not balanced whatsoever; it's dominated by harsh hop oils. This is a nice IPA, but I expected more.

This is firmly a medium-bodied beer, but that works here. The malt flavors are mostly pale so the level of viscosity in this beer -- which is greater than I typically like in an IPA -- doesn't get all syrupy like it would in an IPA with more caramel malts. Overall, this is clearly a very solid IPA. I was looking for more, though. Maybe I need to try it fresher, maybe on-tap.

Photo of obrendano
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A banging classic

A - pure golden color, great head sticks everywhere. Love Smuttynose bottle designs too!

S - piney citrus hops and spicy malt backbone

T - probably one of the sharpest, most aggressive hops on the East Coast. This beats out some western brews for hop as well. Under this is a very well balanced mix of thick malt and bittering hops with slight hints of fresh bread and even chocolate. Citrus taste is utterly dominant

M - good body, not too thick or thin, nice carbonation and a nice stickiness

D - well recommended for hop fans, and anyone trying to make the step up from tamer beers. Few beers this hoppy are also this nicely balanced.

Photo of infi
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

#3 of #IPADay.

Poured into Duvel tulip.

Golden amber color with a shitload of floating sediment swimming around in the gold liquid. One-fingered sized head that recedes into a thin cap and leaves along some nice spotted lacing on the interior of the glass. The nose is beautifully floral with the resin resonating a nice amount of earthiness and piney scents. Great amount of hops in this one, as compared to the Sixpoint Bengali Tiger. There's some nice, fruity essences to the beer, as well as a slim amount of citric pungency.

The taste on this IPA is extremely balanced and amazing! Lots of great malty sweetness that is incredibly complemented by the amount of citrus and pine bitterness that follows through right after. Smuttynose wasn't lying when they labeled this their "Finestkind." Wow– one of the best tasting IPA's I've ever had. I have to reiterate that the balance is perfect in this beer. No complaints, whatsoever.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium with a good amount of carbonation. Leaves a slight, drying bitterness that quickly goes away. This IPA is definitely one needed to come across and try. A gateway into the IPA-world, for sure. Probably as good as the Big A IPA, if not better. #hophead!

Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy IPA Day beer 2 of today's journey. 12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass

A - Cloudy Light Amber, Lots of sediment, kind of throws me off a bit. Little head, lacy is nice and sticky, nice activity

S - Very light nose, pine and citrus like expected, a bit of caramel and bread, malt cuts the nose very nicely

T - So so delicate. Everything is wonderfully balanced. Nice floral and piny hops with a firm malt backing. Finishes more like a bitter, very addicting

M - A tad creamy and crisp, nice and refreshing, very clean

O - I like this a lot and will definitely enjoy it again

Photo of sergeantstogie
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Happy IPA DAY! This was the only IPA I had on hand so I was a little hesitant because at this point it is a couple months old. But, so far so good. It poured a beautiful glowing gold and had a nice fluffy head. Sadly the head dissipated pretty quick. The lacing however stuck around for good.

The smell reminded me of over ripe pineapple and I guess I will add the ever popular term of "tropical fruit."

I have had this fresh and this one while not exactly fresh, for an IPA it is past what would usually be ideal. However, I like it much better than when it was fresh. The bitterness settled a bit and allowed some of the floral hops to poke their way to your palate.

A tad bit syrupy on the mouthfeel but otherwise it was not too heavy and was carbonated perfectly.

Again, Happy IPA Day, while not an amazing IPA definitely one I would buy again.

Photo of LuthersMug
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice hue of copper and an excellent thick off-white head to match. Lacing stuck to the glass for the entire beer.

S - Best part of the beer, blueberries and floral scents waft off of this one.

T - Crisp alpine forest taste, piney. Bitter hops match this beer well.

M - At times, a bit of a metallic feel to the beer.

O - A solid IPA

Photo of bljebd
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

alot of hype about this beer...not going to say much...just did not live up to expectation..

color above average

smell was light with nothing that really stood out

had good bitterness but thats about all...would not recomend to beginer beer drinker...

actually pretty smooth but what do u expect when there is nothing to feel but some carbonation and bitterness...

not horrible.. just not close to the hype

Photo of mpyle
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange color, a bit cloudy. Pours a biggish nice tight white head with great retention.

Pine dominated hop aroma, and a bit of malt sweetness.

A hint of caramel malt sweetness at the beginning, but quickly balanced by hop flavor and bitterness. Hop flavors are piney, and quite pleasant. Finish is significantly bitter, but without a real harsh hop astringency. Hops dominate the flavor, but enough malt to provide some balance.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, no astringency even though a real tongue coater, no alcoholic warming.

Overall a very solid American IPA, with a nearly perfect flavor profile Definitely one to seek out and try.

Photo of ajwillys
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from two twelve ounce bottles into five juice glasses

Appearance - Cloudy from the dry hopping, initial heavy head that fades quickly
Smell - Suprisingly malty, no distinguishable hops, smelled like waffle house toast
Taste - Bitter, More upfront hoppiness
Mouthfeel - good
Overall - Less aroma and smell and more bitterness,

Photo of mindlucent2007
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old heads on the label. 1 1/2 inch solid, not going anywhere for awhile, off-white head. A weird twister of suspended sediment barely drifting down in the hazy amber-orange body. Strong lacing owns the glass. There are grapefruit and piney aromas as well as a malty scent. A pretty pungent IPA with the citrus then sour elements dominating. More bitter this year around. Almost an apricot type sweet note comes through in the mix. A very flavorful brew with a bitter aftertaste lingering. This is a drinkable IPA at 6.9%. Never a dull moment with the Finestkind, another one of my reliable and quick grabs.

Photo of bpw28
2.6/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Look: Three finger white head, hazy light orange, great retention, very nice lacing.

Smell: Big citrus, floral, light malt, bit of pine, bit of dough, peach, grapefruit.

Taste: Citrus, floral, pine, light malt backbone, the hops are very bitey, very light yeast.

Final Thoughts:Not for me. I can see how some hopheads like this one, but it's not even a good simplistic to me. It's like I'm drinking watered down hop juice, the hop bitter really ruins the IPA. Had it been something that I would have expected such from, I would have enjoyed it more. I enjoyed the many other common offerings of Smuttynose, and this one is my least favorite. I like IPA's, but this one is little malt backbone, not very flavorful, and just hop bite. Tried it July 13th and the freshness is marked for Nov '11. Just not for me I suppose.

Photo of LSUPT
2.78/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a best by date of November 2011, served in a Bruery Tulip, but this is my 4th time having this beer over a couple weeks.

Pours a medium yellow/orange color with about a ¾ inch head that slowly dissipates leaving a 1/8 inch fine lace sheet and a ring of froth remains throughout the drink. It’s very,very hazy and be very careful pouring this one as there is a ton of sediment and yeast in the bottle.

Mild grapefruit, I guess, and somewhat sweet nose and almost a pilsner-like biscuit and yeast flavor. Very disappointing. Taste is more of the same. Some grapefruit noticeable centennial hops and a ton of bitterness leaving few discernable flavors. Very light body with about medium carbonation and tons of bitterness in the mouthfeel. Somewhat drinkable.

For all the praise this beer gets I was very excited to try it, and it was one of the only 6-packs I purchased, but I was very disappointed. Thought it may be a Northeastern bias but the reviews are pretty consistent, maybe there’s something wrong with me but I thought this was an average IPA at best.

Photo of kotayk
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my Desi beer runner for the brew

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: A finger a half worth of head, which slowly dissipates. Head is a nice khaki color – good lacing, nice amber color, with lots of floaties – which remain suspended and don’t appear to settle – a nice LFC formulation if I may say so my self

Smell: Typical hop aromas (pine, grapefruit) predominates with a biscuit malty nose singing backup

Taste: You are hit first by the hoppy bitterness which coats the palate, and moves to the back or the throat – however the bitterness does not linger for too long. Rated at 65 IBUs but since the balance is a tad off, tastes more bitter than it should – but I’m complaining – I’m drinking an IPA and not a Zima.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium bodied – the first few sips prepare the palate for the remaining glass of Smutty goodness.

Overall: A solid IPA – not a beginner IPA, but a very refreshing brew, full of hops, grapefruits, with a hint of citrus and malt.

Notes: The hop-goodness is the roadrunner always a step ahead of the coyote (malty sweetness)

This is a good thing – last thing you want is an IPA that cloys

Photo of DirtyPenny
2.42/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The bottle shows two old men sitting in lawn chairs. By the flavor profile of this, I can only assume that they're unnecessarily bitter.

A: Yeugh. Lots and lots of little floaties. I know they aren't bad for me, but they still make for an ugly beer. Tall, pillowy white seafoam head crowns the top of this hazy honey-colored brew. Lots of lacing around the rim of the glass.

S: Hops. Grassy, piny and floral. A bit of malt.

T: The grain flavor of this is quickly washed out to sea by the hop flavors (same as nose), and the finish is bitter. If you've ever been to the beach and had a big wave run off with your swim trunks, that's a pretty good analogy. I think.

M: Carbonation is soft and minimal. Smooth and easy to chug. You'll need to because the bitterness gets worse as this beer warms.

O: Eh. I'll admit I'm not much of an IPA guy, and this doesn't do anything to change my mind.

Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy, unfiltered orange with a thick white head and thick laces down the glass.

S: Sweet malts and grassy, floral hops.

T: A nice sweet malt backbone with some good citrus and pine hop. The finish is peppery and bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is great. Medium body, good carbonation. Smooth with a semi-dry finish.

O: Quality stuff. Good all around beer. No complaints anywhere.

Photo of beerdrinker4life
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love a good IPA and certainly loved this one! Got to have this guy on tap while visiting some friends in MA. Woop woop.

So she poured out with some decent haze. Almost looked like there was yeast in there. Nice big old white head on top too. Good lacing too and looked delicious.

Smelled like a mixture of fruit and spice. Maybe some Christmas tree smell too. Very interesting.

Big bitter hop flavor! :-)

Nice medium mouthfeel and super drinkable.

This is one fine IPA.

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. A finger of dense beige head tops my beer. It shrinks down to almost half a finger, and there it remains throughout the entire beer. Great head retention, nice bit of lacing. Body looks like murky apple cider. I notice particles suspended throughout most of the body.

S. Citrus and floral aromas dominate. Also smell a hint of pine and a bit of yeast and malt.

T. I note a hint of sweet malt in the split second before the bitter hops explode onto the scene in this brew. Grapefruit dominates the hop palette, but there are hints of pine in there as well. The bitter sticks with you, even into the bread flavor at the end, which brings with it a little sweetness to tame the bitter as best it can...but the bitter holds out until the end.

M. Smooth, medium bodied, this beer is slightly creamy, and definitely very good. Dries at the end, this only makes you want it more.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by October 2011 notched on the label. What an amazing and welcomed concept.

Slightly chill hazed medium orange with a nice layer of retention and a fair amount of sticky cling.

Smells of grainy bitter citric rind and crushed baby aspirin.

Taste follows suit. Heavy handed bitterness pounds at the start and hammers throughout. Tingling orange in the middle is battered around the mouth by the sheer chaos of the baby aspirin laden honey kissed chalky wave. Finish is semi harsh, grainy, and lingers with a mildly metallic punch.

Overall, this is a lush, juicy and very bitter IPA. I appreciate how the malts play a distant second fiddle here, but the star of show could chill a bit on her bitter visage.

Photo of ujsplace
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a hazy golden orange colored brew with a finger thick pale white/yellow head that leaves some nice lacing. Can see the yeasts suspended throughout this brew.

Smells piney, citrus - grapefruit, maybe tangerine and a definite bready quality.

Tastes of oily resinous pine, grapefruit, spicyness and a nice mild toasted caramel malt sweetness that balances the finish. Almost a tea-like quality as it warms, finishes nice and dry.

Coats the tongue, clean, bitter and crisp. Very smooth and creamy.

Highly sessionable brew that is really easy going down.

Photo of magine
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a cloudy sediment filled golden orange, has an off white head. The head settles to a pocketed lace island head. Nice think sticky lacing. Very good looking brew.

Brew smells of citrus hops, pine, grapefruit and floral notes as well. A nice malty bread smell as well. Good smelling brew.

Brew is creamy and balanced. Citrus hops, piney, oily resin hops as well. Slick mouthfeel; creamy malts in the middle. Peppery, pungent fruit hops. Brew finishes slightly dry and bitter. Has a good finish and leaves you wanting the next sip. Really complex and great tasting.

This is a top notch IPA that is one of the best out there. Great stuff here and sessionable as well.

Photo of IrishEyes32250
4.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alright, first things first. I have to say that this beer has one of the most interesting names of any beer you can find. It's not gimmicky. It's the name of the brewery, a simple "IPA" and then "Finest Kind". But it's the NAME of the brewery, "Smuttynose", and the beers monicker "Finest Kind" that kind of make the mind wander. Smuttynose comes from the Isles of Shoals, located just off the coast of New Hampshire (technically they are in the state of Maine). At 25 acres, it is the third largest of the Shoal Islands. The name originated with some (more than likely completely wasted and, being on a boat for a while, probably extremely randy) fishermen who, seeing the island at sea level, noticed how the seaweed at one end looked like the "smutty nose" of some vast sea animal. Take that description and "Finest Kind" and I'll let you think about that one on your own.

I have to pay homage to the label as well; it's simple with two old men sitting on fold up chairs on their front lawn representing the beer. The old guy on the left says "India Pale Ale", and he guy on the right responds with "Finest Kind". It works. Again, nothing gimmicky. As a side note, my father-in-law REALLY digs the label in addition to the beer. Dude makes some KILLER hot sauces and wants to devise a label similar to this one to slap on the front of his bottles of ass torch. Smart. He recognizes quality.

There's nothing gimmicky about the beer either:

Appearance - Poured from a 12oz bottle into my tulip drinking vessel. Beautiful amber color with a lot of sediment, or "lees" floating around in this beer so you can tell it's not filtered. Super dope GE bright white 100 watt light bulb 2 finger head that sticks to the glass and leaves crazy lacing all over the place. The head went crazy and just laced shit up like an alcohol graffiti artist. Lately, I like to sit and stare at the lacing and try to figure out what shapes it is making. In this particular glass I saw a hadrosaurus, a kangaroo and the Hawaiian islands.

Smell - In this order: Grapefruit, florals, more grapefruit, grass, and bread. Yeah, as far as IPA's go, it can't get much better than the smell of this. It's definitely got a "dankness" about it. This is "only" 65 IBU but you can smell the bitterness emanating from this. This hits on all of my key IPA criteria: Grapefruit, dank, IBU and bitter.

Sound - That's right I introduced a sound category to beer reviewing. I'm innovating the beer review process. Remember Rice Crispies? Snap, Crackle and Pop. Remember when you used to stick your damn ear up to your cereal bowl to listen to it crackling all over the place like pop rocks in your milk. Well, I decided to stick my ear up to my beer and listen to the bubbles in the foam of the head and that was smart. A beer's head is considered a quality as it relates to the style so the SOUND of that head should be considered a factor, more specifically the liveliness of it. The head on this beer SOUNDS lively as all get out and it's all over the place with a fierceness. Quality.

Taste - OK, this is bitter right off the bat. INDEED. It attacks your tongue and taste buds with a ferocity. Crazy bitter grapefruit right up front and I'll be damned if you don't get a bit of sea salt there as well. I'll be honest, I started eating spam at the same time I started drinking this and that was a HUUUGE mistake. The saltiness of the spam and the bit of salt you get from this beer was like a sodium gang war on my tongue. The spam ended up in the freakin' garbage. I like spam but I'll be damned if I'm going to quit drinking a beer this good for it.

And remember the bit of bread detected in the smell? Well, the bready biscuit maltiness in the smell does a fine job of underlying the bitterness of the hops. It's there like a mediator for your tongue between the upfront bitter attack on your mouth muscle and the back end assault you get on the swallow. Again, this is "only" 65 IBU but it's definitely an assault on your mouth.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, leading on the thick side of things, balanced by a nice refreshing carbonation. The beer definitely pimp slaps your taste buds on the way in and on the way out. Your tongue becomes it's bitch.

Overall, I'd have to say this is one of my favorite IPAs. And it's an East Coast IPA and it could destroy most IPA's on BOTH coasts. I'm lucky as hell to be able to get this at my local craft beer store down here in Florida City. If (God forbid) Smuttynose decided to limit production and I wasn't able to find residence on the nose of a smutty nosed sea monster on the Isle of Shoals, I would definitely look to take up residence somewhere close to brewery so I could enjoy this beer on the regular.

Photo of MDDMD
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-slightly cloudy red orange color with a surprisingly thick almost creamy head

S-stale bread with floral overtones

T-hoppy and somewhat fruity, but not overly sweet with a nice bitter finish

F-thick slightly creamy

O-an excellent IPA for drinking with food or enjoying on its own. Well-made beer.

Photo of azdback
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Spaten tumbler. Cloudy dark orange color. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles lead to a very large three finger head. The head is bright white colored and very soapy and sticky in appearance. Lace is very sticky.

Smell is quite bready. With some stale fruit smells. I get just a hint of sweetness and as it warms just a tinge of alcohol.

Taste is better than the smell. Some dull citrus flavors of maybe a blood orange. There are some brighter bitter flavors of pineapple, but the taste of dank, musty yeast are there as well. Some sweetness comes from the malts but is too little too late.

The mouth is right on for the style. Bright on the tongue and well carbonated. Full flavors to the end.

Overall, I didn't really like this. I didn't hate it either. I think I have reached a point where I have tried so many IPA's (mostly West coast stuff) that it is going to be hard to impress me. I also don't understand why most of the East Coast stuff has to use the Belgian yeast strains they do. In an IPA is does nothing but hurt the flavor profile. With all that being said, I must thank McNuts for this bottle. Liked or disliked it's another notch on my beers tried belt.

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 4,310 ratings.