Abominable Winter Ale | Hopworks Urban Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
121 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
121
Ratings:
336
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
17.66%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
38
For Trade:
1
Abominable Winter AleAbominable Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops and six organic malts.

70 IBU

This is a Winter IPA.

Added by ElGordo on 12-24-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 336
Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seriously sparkly in the mouth. Yipes! Try a big gulp of this. Attractive dark coppery amber color in the Ciney snifter. Lovely warm malty taste to start, with the carbonation giving it a sharp edge right off. Something like roasted parsnips and winter squash with that slightly sweet vegetable flavor.

The hops are fairly subdued. Just a touch of hop flavors, though this finishes with a fair amount of bitterness. More woody and yam tasting roasted malt flavors. This is definitely on the sharp side, but if you like a fizzier beer it's quite pleasing. Well balanced, and a different sort of winter seasonal. From the 16 oz can purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks, big ups and major props to msubulldog25 for having sent this to me in furtherance of The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Hopworks Urban Brewery [-] Abominable Winter Ale [-] Arr-R-Ganic"; "Illustration of Mr. Yeti by Martin Ontiveras (www.martinhead.com)"; "Certified Organic by Oregon TILTN"; "Certified Carbon Neutral"; "Drink Responsibly"; "Think-Drink-Smile-Recycle."; "World Class Beer, Sustainably"; "Aaarganic!".

Aaarrgh! The Crack! unleashed Mr. Yeti and I was not entirely ready for him to make his presence known. Drastic action was needed and so I employed an inverted Glug which resulted in a pseudo-cascade and him becoming even angrier. It was like the old adage of not being able to put the Genie back in the bottle, but here, I could not get Mr. Yeti back in the CAN! Ooh, I'm so frightened. The graphics on the CAN are MUCH better than what is pictured on the bottle and I am keeping this one for my own small CAN collection. Being a glutton for punishment, I CANtinued to empty the CAN, causing both a roaring noise and the formation of a finger of rocky, tawny head with undying retention. What have I done?!? Color was a slightly-hazy copper (SRM = > 17, < 22) and I could see Mr. Yeti peering out at me from within its depths. The nose was redolent with minty, evergreen hops, indicative of his living environment and I have to admit, my mouth began to water. Mouthfeel was medium, but cool and dry, endorsed by Marshall McLuhan, who believed that beer and television are a cool medium. Actually, my beer seemed colder than usual and my throat began to CANstrict from its icy temperatures. Mr. Yeti was doing me no favors. Seriously, though, it had a really cool, minty flavor and I was really digging this one. Finish was like good rye whiskey, smooth, cool and dry. Inhalation was like smoking a menthol cigarette. Phew. The extreme finish even produced a caramel sweetness and I was left with a lot of nice lacing in my glass.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this can as an extra in a trade. Deep amber colored body with a nice one finger off white head. Attractive beer that is made moreso by a solid piney nose. Strong hop punch on the front end with enough malt balance to be very drinkable. The abv doesn't appear until once you're finished and it "hits" you. Very well balanced and easily drinkable beer with plenty of hops to satisfy but enough balance to be a "winter" beer.

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Photo of South2NW
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber to tulip glass

A: clear amber color with about a 2 finger off white head with fair retention. Leaves sheet lacing.

S: Big citrus aromas, grapefruit and orange mostly. Hints of caramel and spice, too.

T: begins with big citrus flavors upfront with a medium amount of bitterness, finish is mostly caramel/malt. Quite pleasing.

M: very smooth. Medium carbonation, with a slightly dry finish.

O: HUB with another quality beer. $4-$5/bomber is a great deal. Will seek out again.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint can received as an extra in a trade from bfg75, thanks!

Pours a dark red color with a nice inch thick white head. The smell is mildly hoppy...but also a tad malty. not too big though. Taste is a good balance between hops and malts of a typical amber, but way more hoppy than normal. Its very good and i definitely get cascade hops mainly. Good drinkability...medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall just a real enjoyable hoppy red ale right here. Recommended!

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which seems to have a little bit of retention. The head is an off-white/very light beige while the body is a dark amber which appears as a medium amber when held up to the light. The body is translucent. A good amount of lacing (mostly sheeting) has already been left behind.

Nose- It's no surprise that the aroma is warm and inviting with the big C's in use. Very heavy citrus- lots of orange and grapefruit (lesser notes of lemon). A bit of inviting mustiness mixed with nectar, floral scents, light honey and caramel. Tiny bits of matchstick. The first time I had this beer, I thought it was an IPA in the mold of Lagunitas Sucks. Swirling shows a lot of grapefruit and matchstick.

Taste- Shows a lot more pine and resin that I remember but it is well rounded. There is matchstick and grapefruit (and more pine and resin) on the finish as well. I remembered it to be juicier but that may have been because of the association I had made with it and Lagunitas Sucks. It is slightly juicy and the citrus (orange and lemon) aspects of the nose do make themselves known after a while. While it might not be that complex, the balance and integration are incredible. It doesn't hurt that the freshness lends everything a well rounded quality. Enough malt bill (mostly caramel) to counteract the (sometimes) rowdy hops. A good beer that I, unfortunately, remember as being better. Pretty much a red IPA when it's fresh but I can see it holding up even after the hops begin to degrade (at least, that's how I remember last year's). Some spiciness from the hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel- A little less than medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Normally, I would consider it too much but it works well with the vibrant hops and slight spice.

Drinkability- Very accessible for 70 IBUs. No heat. Reasonable price of 9-10 bucks for 4 pack of tall cans. I'm sure I'll get it again.

Overall- More than above average to good beer. My review might have been more glowing but I seem to have built this beer up in my mind. Definitely worth a try. Tastes great straight from the can as well.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Deep, clear mahogany red with a fluffy off-white head and good lacing.

A: Big grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, and spicey hop notes as well as a caramel/bisciut malt backbone and some roasted notes. Very clean yeast profile.

T: Surprisingly smooth bitterness up front, followed by grapefruit rind, pine, and slightly resiny hop notes with a biscuit and caramel malt balance. Moderate carbonation and a smooth body lead into a clean finish.

Overall, a very tasty brew, but not what one would usually expect out of a winter ale. Much closer to a heavily hopped Northwest Red Ale, or a heavily hopped imperial german alt. With that in mind, this brew is definitely worth a try, especially for you hopheads.

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Photo of souvenirs
3.74/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, $5.99 + deposit at BC Liquor Store at 8th and Cambie, Vancouver.

A: warm golden brown with about a finger of head and good retention.
S: grapefruit and other citrus, plus a more general fruitiness. Some sweetness.
T: grapefruit, malt, moderate but not overwhelming bitterness.

Based on the name, I was expecting a winter warmer. I see the it's listed on here as an American amber / red ale, which is definitely more accurate. I think I need a beeradvocate.com app so I can check out beer info from the liquor store before I make my purchases! This wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't what I wanted.

Would I get it again? I wouldn't seek it out, but I definitely wouldn't turn it down either.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can, has a confusing date on the bottom along with "Happy 2013!" which is nice, so presumably this was canned sometime in 2013. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy amber copper color, topped with an inch of creamy off-white head, leaves nice lacing.

S- Lots of citrusy, piney, floral hops, some fruit, caramel malt.

T- Nice amount of citrus, mostly orange but also some grapefruit, some pine. Towards the finish a lot of caramel and bready malt takes over, with a mildly bitter, grassy finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, good carbonation.

O- A solid hoppy red ale, worth checking out.

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Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bfg75 for this bottle as an extra, which has since been resting in the fridge to slow it down. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife while watching my first Twins spring training game of the year. Yippee!

Pour is clear copperish red, & clean & clear as a whistle. Nose is nice floral, grapefruit, dash of sweetness, but one has to get out the shovel to dig much up.

Abominable Winter Ale could be renamed Abominable Biscuit Beer. Huge malty biscuitness jumps out of the woods & ambushes the palate; there's certainly plenty of hops, but the breadiness is ascendant. Hops kick in underneath the falling biscuit as bitter, mild grapefruit, but much more in the mouthfeel, which is very slick & neat. High point of the beer, though it's certainly easy to drink.

Eh. Just to the right of the middle of the road, this is a nice, inoffensive beer that's easy on the palate but without much in the way of character. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to VoodooImpStout for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a herbal hop flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall boy can served cold into an imperial pint glass. 70 IBU, 17 Plato.

Abominable Winter Ale is a slightly hazy amber red color with thick off-white head. It has good retention and leaves some nice lacing behind.

Aroma is nice and hoppy with a sweet fruity character. Fresh citrus and candied ginger come through.

Flavor is plenty hoppy but, at the same time, more malty than expected. It has a fair dose of bitterness from the hops but the big malt bill goes a long way towards balancing it. Bready with a hint of rye malt and a big citrusy, resiney hop profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very good hoppy amber rye winter (and whatever else you want it to be) ale.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear reddish copper color with a nice 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange rind, orange zest, pineapple, pine, caramel, floral, grass, bread, honey, and hop earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes; with a great hop/malt balance. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, pineapple, pine, orange rind, caramel, floral, grass, honey, bread, and light earthy pine spiciness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, pine, caramel, honey, bread, floral, grass, and light earthy pine spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop flavor; with a great hop/malt balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice red ale. Very nice balance and complexity of hop flavor with great malt balance; and dangerously easy to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of hreb
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served cold in pint glass. Beer pours a deep orange amber with nearly no head. Bonus points for the painted label on the bottle with Mr. Yeti. Slight citrus hop aroma.

Flavor is big on C-hops. This is the amber of IPAs. A little darker and there would be nothing between this and a CDA. At 7.3% it rationalizes the "winter ale" monicker, but the folks at Hopworks seem to be saying "It's Winter, you should be drinking hoppy beer. Just like every other time of the year."

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper/brown color with a small tan head, about one finger in height. Not much retention that reduces to a very thin cap on top. Streaky lacing down the glass.

S: Nice aroma, a combination of light grapefruit and orange with some floral notes. Lots of sweet caramel and bready malt on the backend.

T: Nice amber ale, with a nice combination of light tropical fruits, grass, and floral hops. More caramel and light toffee.

M: Medium to full bodied for an amber/red. Moderate carbonation.

O: A solid beer, like that it comes out in the winter, sorta like Celebration, but just a shade below.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

16oz tall boy can into New Belgium .47 L globe (both measures are one pint!)

A- Clear mahogany amber with some rust orange where the light shines through. Three finger creamy orange head with staying power. 4.25

S- Fresh hops and ethanol enter the nose first. Orange and grassiness make up the hop profile, which is highlighted over a toasty malt backbone. Not a super strong-smelling winter beer. 3.25

T- Delightful. Some understated spices bring the sweet toffee and strong dark malts to life while tropical fruits lighten the saccharine taste. The fresh-cut grass and grain alcohol from the aroma is almost completely covered by robust flavors. 4.5

M- Very syrupy from start to finish. Thick in the mouth with pretty light carbonation and some hop bite. A veneer is left on the inside of the mouth, especially on the roof, creating thirst for another drink or preferably an intermittent slurp of water. 3

O- Yummy winter ale. The smell is not great, but do we sit around sniffing our beers? No, we drink them (unless of course we are writing a review), and this one tastes like a campfire on a cold night. 4.25

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Photo of CookstLiquor
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle. It's still winter last time we checked, so this arrived right on time. The nose is an amazingly enticing combination of citrus and sweet malt. Great hops/malt balance. The taste definitely delivers a similar experience, but with so much more complexity. There's plenty of sweet fruit, marmalade zing, ripe melons and a nice roundness to the malt. But a since so much of the fruit blast comes as a result of the hops, there's also a good clean, drying finish that saves this from being overly sweet. Hard to categorize this beer, except to say that it's delicious and is one of the better winter brews we've tried this year.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy rusty brown with a small white head with just a touch of retention and lacing.

Smells like candied citrus with a good dose of pine as well.

Lots of that candied grapefruit up front in the flavor. A little bit of a bready sweetness in the middle. Finishes balanced with some pine resin to go along with the continued citrus presence.

Medium bodied and a bit sticky. Solid carbonation levels.

I would call this more of a DIPA or hoppy amber rather than a winter as I don't pick up many spices, but it's still a solid beer.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A; transparent, amber with orange hints
S: nice citrus rind, fresh, not over-powering; can't detect any maltiness
T: very well balanced, rich full fresh maltiness; hint of bitterness in the finish; no big flavours but a very pleasant richness. Not overly complex or developing.
M: full-bodied
O: a solid cohesive likeable flavour that makes me want another sip ... but wishes it developed into something more.

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

Poured from 16oz tall can into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium red-orange hue with a haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy light-tan/ivory foam with a hint of a reddish cast. Quite good.

Smell: clean citrusy hop nose with a base of lightly caramelly malt. I like the composition here; hops are fresh and malt is free of biscuity aroma.

Taste: hoppy flavor with citrusy and lightly piney/resiny character. Malt is somewhat caramelly and somewhat bready with that definite crystal malt flavor. A good execution of a hoppy red!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very good carbonation and a concomitant creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a very good amber ale indeed. I'm usually not too keen on the style, but this beer is tasty and executed well, and I'd have it again in a pinch.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium copper amber with a healthy two finger light tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine hops, caramel malt and light stone fruit juice. Flavor a nice blend of caramel malt and aromatic citrus and pine hops, finishing with pine hops, malt and a hint of cinnamon. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A very nicely made hops forward amber ale approaching an IPA, with good flavorful malt support and a light touch of seasonal spice. Well done.

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Photo of Braz
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish color with really bubbly white head that sustains for at least a minute or so. Smells of caramel and burnt sugar, also citrus notes and pine resin. Great balance of bitter and sweet. Good dose of hops for an amber. Definate citrus flavors going on here too. Body is very good and is lightly carbonated. I'm not sure what is wintery about this, and think it could be offered year 'round.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy rudy brown with a finger of creamy head, just a raft of mirco-bubble retention.

S: Sweet candy grapefruit and malts mingled with citrus and a pine resin. No hint of yeast or breadiness, alcohol absent. Smell reminds me of a caramelized grapefruit candied peels.

T: Up front with grapefruit and pine resins hop profile, but closely followed by well balanced sweet malts. I'm not getting the traditional spices that are present in other winter beers, however the skilled balance of malts and hops is the defining taste profile.

M: Carbonation presents some pin pricks but the creamy mouth feel is noticeable smooth and thick. I wasn't expecting this level of creaminess considering the hop notes on the scent, a nice surprise.

O: This is enjoyable and very drinkable, it could be labeled as a Imperial IPA or an ESB on account of the hops and malt mix. I don't necessarily think of a winter ale given that I'm not picking up an winter spices on the nose or palate. The skilled mix of malts and hops that produce a creamy taste and feel with tangy grapefruit and pine notes are especially enjoyable.

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Photo of demuzik
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An enjoyable winter ale on the hoppy, fruity side - just what you need if you've OD'd on too many spiced/flavored warmers.

The mouthfeel is almost surprisingly thick for an under 8% beer... but the flavor is very well done. Balance of a hoppy fruit basket with plenty of malt undertones; totally piny yet fruity, spicy, and bready.

The color is brown and clarity is a little below average.

Worth at least a try during the colder months.

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Photo of Holy_Hop_Head
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say which hasn't already been said?

Appearance is a nice clear amber with about a finger's head and low head-retention.

The nose hits you with a slight floral and heavy citrus, particularly a fresh, aromatic grapefruit.

If you swish a little around in your mouth, you become overwhelmed by the hops - clean, bright, bitter, citrus...heavy grapefruit. Then the winter spice hits you, subtly...a peppery clove is what I taste. The hops stay with you through the whole ride. Then it finishes with a caramel malt, not too sweet, and it seems to blend well with the other flavors. I agree that the yeast doesn't seem to add a lot to the flavor as far as I can tell. As the beer warms up a little, the malt comes out more which lends to slightly more balance. Very good!

Medium body. Definitely a hop-centric beer for a winter ale...so much you can feel the oily resin on your tongue. But it's nice...

I often don't like winter beers that much because they seem unbalanced - too sweet. This one is different - it's balanced to the side of hops, which is something that I can get behind. I would be curious what would happen if there was just a bit more spice to add to the complexity and bring out the "winter beer" more. Overall, very good...to be expected from such a great brewery!

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Abominable Winter Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.