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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,901 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,901
Ratings:
5,867
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
18.33%
 
 
Wants:
290
Gots:
790
For Trade:
6
Sublimely Self-Righteous AleSublimely Self-Righteous Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,901 | Ratings: 5,867
Photo of delicious
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque, warm black body beneath a dense and tall mocha-cream colored head.
Prominent, fresh, citrus hops stick in the nose like pine sap, with a backing of faint syrupy sweetness like the sugar smell you get while making cotton candy.
This beer fills the mouth entirely. Up front it's bitter and citrus, and that bitterness lasts and lasts. As the temperature rises, the hops get more piney, a roasted chocolate sweetness comes through, and an alcohol warmth starts to appear.
It's a great looking and great tasting beer, and I really enjoyed the dichotomy between the black body and strong hop character.

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Photo of Swimsum
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 6/28 from a growler into a pint glass.
A: Pours out black and fairly thick looking. Good size head emerges from initial pour. Head texture is creamy and ivory brown in color. Head is pretty sticky but not much lacing is left on the glass as the brew is consumed. The head stays around for awhile and finally settles to a thin layer.

S: Mostly pine but some floral/grassy notes are there as well. Roasty notes very very faint (maybe be my mind playing a trick). Orange zest is also present in the smell.

T: Pretty much the same as the smell. Big pine taste upfront followed by a slight bitter finish. Grassy notes linger in the aftertaste. Alcohol isn't present when brew is cooler but as it warms up alcohol is more present.

M: Great mouthfeel, creamy but not thick. Good amount of carbonation but it doesn't take away from anything. No harsh alcohol taste when cold but as it warms, slight alcohol taste can be detected but by no means is it harsh.

D: This is a damn drinkable beer. The growler was gone all too quick, glad they bottle this. I really enjoy this beer, goes down smooth and overall just an amazing beer. If you loved the Stone XI fresh, you'll love this beer.

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Photo of jameswaldo
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wife and I had pints of this poured patiently at Ithaca Coffee Co's Tavern on the Green in Gateway Commons yesterday afternoon when I decided we needed extra fuel to get our tandem bike up steep State St Martin Luther King Jr hill. The head on this sublime beverage is so fierce, it took much gentle pouring and slopping to get the pints just perfectly right. Head is severely persistent, nearly gelatinous, leaving serious permanent lace. "Black IPA" is how Tavern chalkboard promoted this brew, and for sure it's an opaque dark, not letting even direct sunshine from Tavern's south windows peek through its delish murk.
Smell combines all sorts of complex hops and dark malt bitter-sweet odors with high-octane ethanol. Only the yeast hides from strenuous sniffing. Taste is just totally perfect. We hardly want to swallow, the mouth-feel is so smoothly satin-lined comfy cozy unctuous. We had to get a bag of gourmet pretzels to eat with this drink it was so powerfully persistent in its sweet malty bitter aftertaste the palate begs mercy. At $7 per pint, the price (and yes, I've read the blogs where rich dudes claim you shouldn't ever consider expense in "drinkable" considerations) is too steep for us to want more than one pint per day; but the brew itself is so extremely intense, we wouldn't want to indulge in more than a single pint even if we didn't both have to get back on our tandem bike and pedal 3 miles steep uphill to get home with it glowing darkly like a black hole star in our contented bellies. Generally I disapprove of sending beer long-distance (sorry! mental problems with diesel transport interfere with my palate), but thanks, Stone, for the audacity of shipping that truly sublime ale all the way from San Diego to Ithaca!

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Photo of dondeez21
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from Johnathan Rons in Brielle NJ. Word is the beer was just released in Nj only a week or 2 ago.
A: Dark Brown almost looks like cola. A thick tannish bubbly head.
S: Smells like Simcoe hops. Very much like pine needles.
T: First taste is of pine. The Simcoe hops are the strongest flavor in this beer. Very slight malt flavor.
M: Medium body with medium carbonation
D: Very good beer but also very rich and hoppy. Dont know if I would be able to drink more than a bomber in a sitting.

Edit: I ate a peanut butter cookie and then drank another glass. Once the peanut butter cleaned my palate alot more of the fruity side of Simcoe came through. Very solid beer that goes well with christmas cookies.

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Photo of RandyV
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful balck/ dark mahogany with a nice, frothy espresso creme head. Lacing is consistent and substantial. Nice floral, pine smell tells you you're in for a hop treat. It doesn't disappoint. First taste denotes citrus and molasses. The alcohol is foreward initially, which I don't mind. It mellows in subsequent tastes to a nice, warming presence. The mouthfeel is creamy, more so than I expected. The hop presence wins by a nose over that malt sweetness, which is never cloying. Just an all around flavorful, drinkable beer and a real treat for the beer senses.

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Photo of FARGO619
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many many times. I'm finally getting around to rate it. It took me off guard the first time I tried it. Nice and hoppy.
A: Dark brown with light head went down fast. Lightly carbonated. Dark ruby light flowing through on the bottom.
T: Hoppy, sweet, bitter, and subtle floral hit the nose.
D: Easy to drink.
O: Overall it is a nice dark hop that is always good to just chill to.

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

A: Thick, rich foam with some stubborn stuck-on lacing. Color is a nearly opaque black-brown with reddish highlights.

S: Strong malt presence with a hint of coffee as it warms, piny hop aromas, floral, and a hint of something like baby powder.

T: Roasted malt, dates, pine hop presence, citrus (orange juice), with some alcohol kick.

M: Good carbonation with a boozy kick.

D: This is my first taste of this style, and enjoyed it. I will definitely be back for more.

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Photo of Seeker41184
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 1/6/11

Bomber into pint glass

Pours a watery-black color with a hint of caramel color. Smell is typical Stone hops with sweet-tangy citrus. The taste is bitter hops upfront with a vast array of floral. Blended flowers is the best way to describe it, but it totally works. Another great beer by a great brewery. Go out and get this.

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Photo of deruiz10
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Two-finger head is tan and very creamy, retains throughout the drink and leaves a great webwork of lacing.

S - Toasty malts, slight brown sugar sweetness, and a whopping helping of hops. Anyone who's had some of the other strong Stone brews knows the distinctive, juniper berry-esque hop smell that characterizes these beers. There is remarkably little alcohol to be detected.

T - Toasted earthy malts, some dark chocolate bitterness, molasses. Also a big hop presence which is citrusy and crisp, though less bitter than other Stone brews. These hops are more subdued and serve to mask the alcohol, though it's still there if you look for it. Finish has a mild hop bitterness, with a slightly sweet and sour undertone as the body fades away.

M - Creamy yet relatively high in carbonation, keeps it from feeling too weighty.

D - A great sipper for the strong beer drinker who's not afraid of some hops, this is a great addition on the mellower side of the Stone lineup. It's pretty well-balanced and not overbearingly heavy, but you'd be wise to take her slow.

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Photo of colt45n
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomb!

A: Dark Dark Dark! pours like a stout but the body appears to be a lot looser with a ligh white head.

S: Hops, Unlike their ipa I am getting the hops upfront along with a little bit of sweetness.

T: Love it! I am getting some sweeter(not fruit) but some good sweet hops, with maybe some dark fruit flavors following.

D: Light and creamy, nothing like a stout but more so than a reg ipa, the body is great on this one, good mouthful, easy drink.

Overall I really enjoyed this one, this is a new style for me that I am really enjoying, out of the few stones that I've tried this is my favorite so far.

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Photo of TheOtherMike
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

I had no idea that this would be essentially black given the dark brown bottle. Giant head. I had to pour it slowly with multiple pauses to allow the head to settle. Thick sticky lacing clung to the glass.

The taste was a full spectrum from roasted malts, coffee, to spicy hops. Very unique. This is not typical of my preferred brews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. I probably went through about five 22 ounce bottles until I could find no more.

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Photo of deuschbag
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber into my stone 9th anniversery pint glass. pours a dark dark mahogany color, pretty much porter status. off white thick head with nice sticky lacing.

smell is wonderfull. such a great blend of chocolate, piney hops and malts. not one single thing over powers one another. picture perfect balance.

the taste is a resemblence to arrogant bastard but with a few tweeks to it. aggressive piney hops with just the near perfect amount of chocolaty malts which leades to a plesent dry bitter aftertaste.

full bodied soft chewy mouthfeel.

this is quite possibly one of the best fresh and well balanced brews from stone i've ever had. such a better blend than last years 10th anniversery(which was also a great brew too, don't get me wrong). i'll be getting as much fresh bottles of this as possible.

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

a - poured a three-fingers thick creamy and dense coffee-colored head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and lace with nice coating on the sides of the glass. the body was dark black and impossible to see through.
s - pine, muted citrus tones, with a light chocolate malt underneath that really comes through as it warms.
t - dry and citrusy hops at the beginning with a sweet coffee and chocolatey finish. with each sip you get the hops on the front of the tongue and a roasted malty taste on the back.
m - creamy and smooth.
d - considering stone's big hop presence this just begs to be quaffed. easily drinkable and really goes down smooth.

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Photo of BrewsCrewSA
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black, as the style would suggest. Tan head retains extremely well.

Hops overwhelm the bouquet. Smells piney, woodsy, almost like a natural fir.

Extreme flavor - hops, hops, hops, alcohol, hops. Really, there's nothing more to it, which is why I wouldn't classify this beer as extraordinary. I can see already a few sips in, how this could get redundant almost. It's like biting copper.

As the heaviness will eventually settle in, the acids kind of wear the palate out. It's extremely flavorful, it blasts the tastebuds, so again, I marked it kind of low in this respect. It offers nothing but the same flavor over and over, there's almost no complexity in my opinion.

High in alcohol and volume, I wouldn't expect more than one would not suffice, unless you're a hophead and you'd like to get tanked. Not my cup o' tea.

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Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a large goblet. Pours nearly black with a decent amount of an off-white head that leaves some good lacing on the glass.

At first smell you get a nice sweet and roasted malt aroma before being taken over by piney hop aromas of the northwest US.

It's definitely got a strong hoppy taste, but the malts do make a nice appearance. You get a nice sweet molasses, chocolate and toffee taste at first that gives way to roasted bitterness and finally gives way to a beautiful piney and citrus hoppiness.

It's got nice carbonation and mouthfeel and has good drinkability.

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Photo of philosobeer
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass at Binny's South Loop store in Chicago. Great bartender (Jim) talked about this and similar beers as a nice prelude.

Appearance - Pretty damn intense, and that generally characterize the beer and the brewer for the most part. This looked black, in the glass, coal with a lacing tan head. Catch light through the edge of a tilted glass, and you get a very dark garnet ray, provided the room has enough light.

Smell - The hops come out in full on the nose, generally a sappy pine, I smell just a touch of citrus. Both dark fruit and roasted flavors are an undertone here, as well as alcohol.

Taste - The pine hops are there on the front, and in the mid-palate I get flavors of anise and fennel (I was reminded of the fennel flavors in el camino (un)real). This isn't without some rich notes like chocolate. It has very good complexity, but the finish was fairly chemical.

Mouthfeel - sits somewhat heavily, but the carbonation (perhaps accentuated by bitter flavors) is sharp, and rather clean.

Drinkability - It drinks like an american strong dark ale, I was happy with one.

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Photo of SkitzIrish3
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and leaves two fingers of creamy, brown foam.

The smell is toasty and a heavenly mix of earthy/floral hop aromas.

Even layer of oily hop bitterness from the first drop on the tongue. The hop presence is IPA status which caught me off guard. Chocolate notes are present, but right now are hard to find since the hops are kicking my palate around. Light alcohol presence aids the bitterness; mouthfeel is solid.

I like this beer (not the price) and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is overly hopped for my taste buds. I love hops, but I can't call myself a hop head; I was hoping for more malty flavors in this. IPA lovers: GO CRAZY!

Gotta love the commentary on the back of the bottle, especially the third paragraph!

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Photo of dhilltop2000
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Definitely one to try. I wasn't sure what to expect as it’s only listed as Stone XI and mentions a dark IPA on the back. Pours a brownish-black color with ruby accents around the perimeter. The head is a little too over abundant and hangs around in thick 1-2" clumps after finishing a pint. As it warms the head only multiplies in following pours, leaving long yearning minutes of undrinkable beer due to a mountain of foam. Smell is intoxicating! A porter?, an IPA?, BOTH! Smells of toasted oats and grain while balanced by a hoppy aroma, slight citrus note, porter and some barley wine qualities. This is among Stone's better brews as it is an ensemble to the sense. Let this beer sit from the fridge for awhile and it's definitely a treat.

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Photo of HiAIPA
3.29/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 22oz. bomber, this unique black IPA was a bitter bomb from start to finish. The cooked roasted profile hits you on the nose, with chocolate malts and broasted grains. With good head and a nice quaff, an IPA porter hybrid comes to mind. The flavors tilt to the bitter side of IPA-land, with roasted dark nuts and barleycorn leading the pack. Overall a good, distinctive IPA, but a little bitter for my bulls-eye.

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Photo of Silenus89
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into my pint glass

A. Has a dark reddish brown color with and off white head that sticks around.

S. Floral hops, a little chocolate and roasted malts.

T. Has nice bitterness from the hops with chocolates and raisins as well then the alcohol comes through.

MF. Creamy, thick, and alcohol presence.

D. Very easy to drink. This is a fantastic beer I just wish i had gotten more when it first came out.

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black with a tan head, half an inch tall and persisting. Craters and bubbling on the surface, slowly dissipating to a quarter of an inch.

Biscuity nose, minimal if any hop notes that I can detect. The roasted malts are on full display here.

More roasty, solid malts in the mouth, with more of a hop balance with a very bitter aftertaste. Dry finish. It seems, dare I say, simple to me, with up front roastiness and a simply bitter finish. Maybe an undertone of sweetness to go with that, perhaps a hint of fig. I feel like I'm missing something, but it seems straightforward.

Slight carbonation and a solid feel. Not too thin and not overly viscous. Some spiciness from the hops is present here too.

The alcohol is carried well, but overall I find this somewhat disappointing. There's just not enough that I'm able to appreciate going on in this brew. I wouldn't go out of my way to have this again.

Same style as Arrogant Bastard? Really? I don't see it. This is closer to a porter by my taste.

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Photo of Dulliwhig
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass...

A - Dark chocolate brown like a tootsie roll with a thick and creamy dark tan head that leaves spotty lacing

S - Piney hops and semi-sweet bready malts.

T - Intense pine and citrus hops with a chocolately roasted malt and bitter ashiness. Mouth puckering and almost overwhelming flavor.

M - Moderately thick and chewy, average carbonation.

D - Not something that I could drink a whole lot of.

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Photo of stevenseg
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up this bottle of Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California at my newly-adopted corner beer store after a long Friday to arm myself for the weekend. Being a stout lover, I recently found myself fitting the hophead mold, so the recent black IPA trend is lending to both ends of the spectrum of my palate. Black IPAs have that hop character we all love paired with the roastiness of a light stout of porter. Usually complex given the dichotomy of the style, and I expect SSRA to live up to the Stone standard and really please my palate.

SSRA pours a deep red hue...almost black. The head pours to a healthy presence, dissipating to a thin film of lacing to greet the nose. I am a fan of thick stout beers...the darker and less viscous the better. This beer doesn't have too heavy a body and isn't too dark as too much of either would kill the IPA character.

The nose hits with a blast of hops, but only because I'm trying to pick out the "black" and the "IPA" in beers of this style. However, the roastiness and fruitiness of the of each element settle in to a faint grape-like smell...like burying my nose in a glass of Welch's.

The bitter back end of the IPA is the most dominant characteristic of this beer. There is a bit of roastiness up front that shares space with the short-boil hops, but the bitterness of the Chinook, Simcoe & Amarillo hops used in the long boil really takes over this beer. The "black" character really only lingers in the aftertaste. No solvent taste protrudes despite the rather high 8.7% ABV. At least 89 of the 90 IBU's are used up in the bitter back of the palate. More black, less bitter? I'm trying to taste fruity character or other taste elements, malt, but all I get is bitterness. There might as well be no "black" at all.

The texture of the beer is pretty typical Stone. A little more thickness, ala Arrogant Bastard, would have been appreciated. Adjuncts were used to increase the ABV without increasing body, and that's never a good thing. Skimping on malt is never a good thing, especially with the intended audience of Stone beers.

Do I like SSRA? Absolutely! But a style that has so much complexity is cheated by imbalance with this ale. The complexity, which is nonexistent in SSRA, typically is a focal point of black IPA's, but the hop bitterness is by far the dominant characteristic. I like to review beers according to the intent of the brewmaster, but even after doing some research on the Stone sight I can't tell what the intent actually is. The marketers have spent so many words pushing the "arrogant" mantra there is no attention paid to what the beer is actually supposed to be.

I can sit down with a bomber of SSRA, but if I'm in a mood for a black IPA, I'll do some scouting for a bit of a better representation.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark color with a good amount of head (about 1/2" after pour). Head disappates slowly and leaves a spotty, tan lace around the glass.

Aroma is highly complex and has hints of pineapple, mango and other fruit aromas.

Has a light mouthfeel to the body, with an initial flavor of light malt flavor combined with moderate hop taste. Has a very complex blend of fruit, just like the aroma. Fruit notes present are mango and pineapple, and these are very noticeable in the aftertaste as well.
Overall, a very unique beer from Stone. Superb!

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Photo of Jedimaster1
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one great brew from Stone. Just amazing. Poured from the bomber into a glass snifter.

A: As black as night. This is amazing to see for a DIPA!

S. You can smell the hops as well as the caramel malt. The dark malt breaks through at the end of this hoppy beer.

T: Very tasty! The taste is of citrus hops -- which are bigger and badder than the Ruination brew -- and dark malt. The taste reminded me of a barelywine as the flavor was thick, hoppy, and malty all at once similar to barleywines I have had as of recent.

M: This one just sits nice in the mouth. The bitter dry taste is followed by a warm alcohol taste (which does not overwhelm the feel for this beer).

D: Easy to drink. Too easy so be wary of the 8.7% ABV.

Great creation by Stone. Can't wait to have my other one.

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Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,901 ratings.