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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

506 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11%


Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Big Sound Scotch Ale is dedicated to our good buddy Gino, the most Punk Rock Bagpiper you will ever meet, and the rest of the men and women of the Tampa Bay Pipes and Drums. Brown in color, Big Sound has huge notes of dark sweet toffee with underlying mild notes of coffee in the aroma. The flavor starts with a slight note of cherry and then opens into a goliath of malt character with notes of dark sweet toffee, coffee and mild notes of toasted bread in the finish. Big Sound Scotch Ale pairs well with Haggis, Highland Games, Huge Heads, Enormous pillows and of course Bagpipe Music.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: cjgator3 on 12-05-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 506 | Reviews: 177 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GallowsThief
GallowsThief

Florida

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A – Deep, dark coca cola brown pour with about two fingers of light foamy brown head. Nice lacing left down the glass.

S – Chocolate, caramel and cocoa.

T – Chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits and a distinct milk taste. Also has a strong taste of cocoa powder. Sweet but not overly though it may turn off those who do not like sweet brews. The ABV is expertly hidden here, no trace at all. Finishes with a caramel and toffee taste. Nice.

M – Has a nice creamy, slick mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

O – Really nice offering from the boys at CC. Solid brew all around. For me this was a great sipper with an almost dessert like quality.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 23:33:24 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of Beerbuddha
Beerbuddha

Louisiana

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew poured a nice deep copper color with a nice solid off white head. Lacing present throughout.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of caramel, tobacco, roasted malt and dark fruit.

Taste: The taste in similar to aroma. Caramel and dark fruits dominate. Slight tea like bitterness which balances the sweetness well. Nice booziness comes across.

Mouthfeel: This is one full bodied brew with very little carbonation.

Overall: Incredible brew! Perfect brew for the colder nights! On a side note I actually marinated some pork shoulder in this brew and it was incredible.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 14:20:49 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of pmlondrigan
pmlondrigan

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like slightly flat coca cola in the glass, though a little darker. A head appears then disappears just as fast. Faint if none existant aroma of none discript malty-ness. The flavor delivers a lot where other areas of this beer fall short. Very malty with some caramel and a hint of roast coffee. Pete-y to a degree with brown sugar. It is full and malty but dry, not sweet at all. Big full mouthfeel, a little oily, a little lacking in carbonation. Despite the beer's lack of appearance and aroma it really delivers well. If this was available in my market I'd drink it frequently in the cooler months.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 03:00:25 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of jeffthecheff
jeffthecheff

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split this 750 during another good night of beers with Joe. Pours a dark brown color with a brownish-yellow head. Retention and lacing are just okay.

The nose is pretty intense. Caramelized brown sugar is at the forefront, with a medium amount of chocolate, some vanilla, and nutiness. A little bit of booze comes through when it warms, just barley keeping the aroma from a higher score.

The flavor is very concentrated and sweet, with the same flavors as described in the nose, with a bit more emphasis on creamy nuttiness. When Joe mentioned it tasted like a creamy, sugary chocolate wafer bar, I couldn't think of anything else. That description fit too well for me not to steal it in this review.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side for the style, with mid to high carbonation and a lingering, sweet finish. This beer really impressed me, especially since I haven't been a fan of the style to this point. I might have to seek out some more examples, but I'm afraid I'll be disappointed after this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 02:56:56 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of Lerxst
Lerxst

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark brown with a one finger mocha colored head that has very good retention and leaves plenty of sticky lacing all the way down.

S-Roasted malt, sweet caramel, dark fruit and maybe a hint of tobacco. Very pleasant nose.

T-Lots of slightly sweet roasty malted goodness here. Caramel, toffee, plums and cherries, a bit smoky too. This is good.

M-Full bodied, very creamy, a bit chewy and sticky. Coats the palate well. Great mouthfeel.

D-Its a beer you take your time with no doubt, but I had no trouble finishing the entire 750 myself. It was a pleasure to do so.

This is another great beer from CC. Just wish their stuff was more widely available.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 00:03:37 | More by Lerxst
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
RomaniIteDomum

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at one of the Tampa BA gatherings. I still need to find a few bottles of this for myself.

Pours a nice red with a great lingering head. Great looking beer.

Very sweet smell with all the wonderful characteristics of the style. Great balance in the nose.

Great schotchy taste with nice finish. Good sweet notes in the beer. Drinks like candy.

This might be one of the smoothest beers I've had. It is liquid velvet. Wow.

This is an all-day everyday beer. Great for sessions or with food. Like I said, I must find some bottles.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 18:04:57 | More by RomaniIteDomum
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for sharing his March Madness Winnings. From notes, 5.21.

Pours a deep mahogany-brown color with some tight, 1 finger creamy light beige foam. Fades somewhat quickly to a good film with abstract clinging lace in my tulip.

Aroma has some darker notes than I had expected, rich, brown sugar, caramel but also some darker chocolate and toasted bread notes. Some roasted nuts, it smells pretty good. Taste isn't super sweet but has some characteristics and flavors that lean toward sweet. Big toffee and toasty notes, some caramelized brown sugar and a charred malt note that wavers toward the tiniest hint of smoke. Dark fruits, namely a dull-ish raisiny note. Rasinets? Though there is some bitter chocolate here too, leading to a very distinct, semi-sweet chocolate wafer cookie finish.

Maybe a little too carbonated right out of the bottle, but otherwise this is perfect mouthfeel. Nice and viscous, bubbles still felt on the tongue though. Good substance to it, but never felt too heavy or overbearing. I really like the 8.5% abv point as well. Alcohol was well hidden, but the robustness of the flavors still makes this somewhat of a sipper. I think I might have tried a sip of the BA version before, but now I really would like to revisit it.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 16:35:04 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of LuckySevens82
LuckySevens82

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Redlight Redlight in Orlando.
I should note that this is my 300th review in my many years on BA. I can't think of another beer I would be so happy to spend time talking about.

Pours a deep mahogany with a great strong tan head. Lacing is impressive for a beer of this style.

Smell is roast malts, a bit of peatyness, dark fruits (plums, raisins, etc.). A bit of hops in aroma. Kind of faint smelling overall, but still quite inviting.

Taste is exactly what I want in a scotch ale. Loads of roasted malts, a bit of peat, and a bunch of great fruity flavors. Alcohol is definitely well hidden in this one.

Mouthfeel is overall, very good. A little slick, but it is to be expected. I've not had a scotch ale that is not a little slick in feel.

Overall, another amazing beer from a great local brewer. I can't even begin to explain how happy and proud I am to have Cigar City in my area. Their beers are awesome, and this is no exception. It's only a shame that Redlight didn't have any bottles for take home.

Note: When talking to one of the bartenders, he mentioned that they have another Keg of Bolita Brown. Whenever Big Sound is finished, this should be up and going. I can't wait as it's the only CC beer that's available in the Orlando area I've not yet tried.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2009 04:32:18 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of wspscott
wspscott

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
no date, but I got this last summer, it has been refrigerated since then.

A: Pours almost completely black, when held up to a bright, there are obvious ruby highlights. The initial pour yielded a fluffy 2-finger head that quickly dropped to a half-finger head and a lot of lace.
S: Dark caramel, a little bit of butter (diacetyl), some fruitiness.
T: Very similar to the nose, obvious caramel and butter, the fruit is much more pronounced. I can't decide if the fruitiness is yeast or malt driven. No hint of alcohol.
M: Very rich and mouth-coating, but not cloying. A relatively high level of carbonation for the style, but not at all unpleasant, helps the mouthfeel from being too much.
D: A great sippin beer that has a ton to think about. I think I could finish the whole bottle tonight and think about a second one.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 01:44:14 | More by wspscott
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 25.4 oz. bomber into an imperial shaker. Bottling date 8.20.12

Look- Clear deep brown with two fingers of dense, creamy off-white foam. Good retention, excellent lacing.

Smell- Rich, nougaty, malty without being overly sweet. Perhaps some maple, but overall a very straightforward nutty-cocoa malt aroma.

Taste- Just what I was looking for. Brown bread, molasses, toffee, mild herbal bittering. Not picking up on any smokiness, but this one's so well balanced that I can't really fault it too much. Lingering biscuit and brown sugar, never gets too sweet or syrupy.Tasty!

Mouthfeel- Smooth, creamy, full feel but fairly dry. Clean finish. Mellow, comforting feel, dangerously drinkable for the ABV.

Overall- This is the sort of beer I miss in Texas. If only I could get something similar in the area.... Consider yourself lucky if this is a shelf beer where you live.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 07:23:56 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

2.93/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to zimmerbloke for this one. I got this bottle from him late last year and had no intention of holding onto it for a while. I ended up popping it in July and the notes are just now making it to BA. Split with TulipSnifter in a couple snifters.

A: Presents a rusty brown in the glass with a couple fingers of strawberry blonde head that dissipates quite quickly. A wisp ring maintains itself for a good hour or so. No lacing, but it is pretty leggy. 4/5

S: Lots of big ripe stone fruits and toffee. Warming peaty alcohol is bigger than what I expect given the 8.5% ABV suggested on the bottle. Very good and most pleasing. 4.5/5

T: Again heavy on the peat, big sugary sweetness, cacao dusted toast points, raisins galore, and spice. The sweetness is all over the place and really needs some toning down. 2.5/5

M: Thick and spritzy with a gummy finish. Not good. 2/5

O: Not a bad effort although unorthodox. More peat and earth with less sweet would have helped out a bunch. A higher attenuation wouldn't have hurt either. 2.5/5

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 07:02:31 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a big khaki colored head of foam. The aroma has rich toffee and dark fruit notes. Some chocolate notes are there as well. The taste is more of that dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Some sherry notes, perhaps. Big, chewy mouthfeel and body. Lower end of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 11:38:46 | More by jbaker67
Photo of gonzo46and2
gonzo46and2

Florida

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown that's slightly cloudy. Very small hints of red or amber. Had a big tan head .

Smell is very malty with brown sugar, dates, figs, raisins, caramel and maybe a bit of cafe con leche.

Taste is sweet overall with a touch of balancing hops. Lots of fruity sugar malt.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Totally satisfying. Very big beer that delivers on mouthfeel. Overall it's sweet.

Drinkability is super high. This would be my go-to wee heavy if it was always available.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 18:14:45 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of speter
speter

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark muddy brown with a massive (and I do mean massive) coffee-brown head. The head persists, leaving all kinds of lacing.

S: Figs, cherries, brown sugar, toffee, with a deeply-roasted, almost charred, chocolate/coffee note.

T: Creamy chocolate and whipped prune together. Sweet from start to finish. Only in the long aftertaste does this gain some hop bitterness. Very nice, but lacks somewhat in complexity.

M: Rich and smooth with creamy carbonation. The alcohol is extremely well integrated.

O: I know this is down from my earlier firkin review of this same beer, but I've had Traquair House Ale in the meantime, and it's changed how I view the style. With increased ABV comes required complexity.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 00:40:50 | More by speter
Photo of tjkinate
tjkinate

Texas

2.55/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My first from Cigar City. I just hope my upcoming 200th review of Hunapuh is better.

A: 2 fingered head that had decent retention settling to a thin khaki color. Deep brown bodied brew.

S: Smells like booze more than beer. A malty backbone pokes through here and there, but nothing I would call complex.

T: Caramel, sugar, and booze. Tasted like a flat day old pepsi.

M: Under carbonated

O: Not at all what I had hoped.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 23:52:05 | More by tjkinate
Photo of Danny1217
Danny1217

Florida

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, little tan head that quickly fades and leaves a thin layer at the top.
Smells of grapes, toffee, roasted malts, brown sugar, leather, and oak. A little bit of booze on the nose too. Best way I can describe it is that it smells like a red wine, but in beer form.
Tastes of spice, toffee, caramel, raisins. A bit of a roasty flavor. Nice alcohol warmth, but isn't overpowering. Nice full body, medium carbonation.

A nicely complex Scotch ale. Cigar City never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 04:50:43 | More by Danny1217
Photo of TKEbeerman
TKEbeerman

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle right to the tulip

A: Upon cracking open this brew Big Sound let out a rising head that conveniently ran directly into my tulip ;). Bellow a thick mahogany tinted head sits a very dark, extremely dark, almost black, brew with an amber and mahogany tint.

S: Fruity backed by an eloquent malt background. I sense some dark cherry and other sweet fruits along with some sweet sticky caramel.

T: Chewy, complex malty, fruity flavors. Big Sound tastes very organic and rich. Caramel pokes its head out and teases the pallet. A very slightly bitter finish is a pleasant surprise. My beef is that it's a little too sweet. Hmm...maybe some age? How long who knows, but I'm gonna put one in the Florida cellar soon.

M: Despite the impressive head the mouth feel is very lightly carbonated. Medium body. Nothing to impressive, but I'm certainly not disappointed.

D: Like I said, Big Sound needs some time in the garage practicing it's bag pipe punk rock skills, promoting it's demo tapes, and tone down it's sweetness. I like this one a lot. Don't love it yet, but hey I'm gonna give CCB a call and ask what some age will do to this brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 01:05:15 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of hoptualBrew
hoptualBrew

Florida

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle after a long fucking day @ work.

Poured into my Funky Buddha snifter a deep dark brown, nearly black with a tight sexy tall head atop the malt bomb.

Malts - holy shit! Roasted malts, caramel malts, dark chocolate, toffee, and nuts just fill the nose & send me away to beer heaven for a split second.

Wow, malt bomb like I thought. So insanely good, could drink this all day & night. Nutty caramel flavors have a strong presence throughout, but a lot of roastiness & chocolates hit the tongue too. This is a perfectly balanced sweet & malty wee heavy, perhaps the best one of its style I have had to date.

Loved this beer, one of my favorites to date. Will be picking this up again for $10.99 @ Total Wine and More.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 01:53:54 | More by hoptualBrew
Photo of garbercury
garbercury

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generous extra from BeerLovinGrl, thanks Chrissy!

A--Lacing is substantial and the retention is sticky to the glass. Deep reddish brown, classic to the Scotch Ale...

S--Cherries, and other sweet fruits come out in the nose. Cotton candy smell? Enjoyable and aromatic.

T--Sweet, with some nutty flavor, this adds to the malty characteristics of this brew. Somewhat medicinal, good but not great...

M--Maybe a touch over carbonated but certainly could be classified as good...

D--Pretty solid Scotch Ale, not a big expert on the style, and not quite as good as Old Chub, but certainly recommended...

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 00:53:08 | More by garbercury
Photo of urwithdave
urwithdave

Florida

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a gallon growler into my ccb snifter. Reviewing from notes from 032010.

A- Pours dark brown/mahogany in color. A solid creamy tan 1 inch head sticks around for awhile before fading to a 1/4' for the duration. Leaves some lacing.

S- roasted malts, some coffee, and molasses

T- Big caramel, malts, a bit of chocolate and it finishes out with a hint of coffee. No alcohol detected at all.

M- Pretty creamy with a nice carbonation level. No burn present from alcohol at all.

D- It's a little to sweet for me. With that being said, I still had 6 snifters of it. The high abv is masked incredibly and it knocked me out like an old school uppercut from Mike Tyson.

Serving type: growler

03-24-2010 07:12:26 | More by urwithdave
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
Kkottonmouthkngz

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This thing pours a murky, muddy water brown that looks strangely inviting. A tan colored superfine head makes an appearance off the initial pour, and quickly disappears immediately afterwords.
Huge amounts of toffee an sugar combined with a just right alcohol presence make up a bountiful nose. Light spice, toffee, vanilla, and a nice breadiness envelope my mouth, and are further enjoyed as this beer warms and the flavors become highly enhanced. I do love the malt level here, and have to say this is one of the best scotch ales ive had. I do notice a huge amount of variation in the ones ive had, and this one just hits all cylinders for me. Everything is balanced perfectly amd the flavors just rock.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 00:11:37 | More by Kkottonmouthkngz
Photo of One2Remeber
One2Remeber

Florida

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a snifter

A: Yellow/Lite mocha head, creamy but fizzes away quickly. Body is a very dark brown, murky.

S: Raisin, molasses, sweet like honey.

T: Smooth caramel sweetness, lightly burnt. Candy sugar explosion. Hint of chocolate with dominant figs/bread taste lingers.

M: Bitter up front. Smooth on the back, flows nice and easy. Very clean mouthfeel.

O: Not too familiar with Scottish ales but I would highly recommend this one. Not boozy at all for strength all and the flavors are kept in check. Smooth, drinkable with potent flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 00:27:13 | More by One2Remeber
Photo of FleeVT
FleeVT

Florida

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bomber with a little piece about the brew, no dates anywhere on the bottle.

Pours a deep mahogany with tan pillowy head. Carbonation bubble are big. The nose is sweet with roasted malts. Lots of toffee, hints of dark berries, and maybe a touch of molasses. A mild alcohol undertone but it is inviting. A nice full mouth with perfect texture, not too much carbonation. More sweetness on the tongue, with berries and toffee coming through again. It warms the throat, then leaves you with lip licking sweetness that is fantastic. This is a hell of a beer and a best in class for the style. I would pair it with dessert, or some gamey meat.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 02:06:19 | More by FleeVT
Photo of chicagobeerriot
chicagobeerriot

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After an honest down-the-middle pour, Big Sound produced a thick pillow of light mocha foam over a baker's chocolate brown brew that glows ruby-red at the edges when held up to the light. A very good looking beer.

Salt water taffy, brown sugar and a bit of candied fruit on the nose, but not as much of a powerhouse smell as some in the style.

The mouthfeel is appropriately medium-full without too much carbonation.

The taste is pleasantly surprising after the relatively weak smell. Starts wonderfully sweet, with brown sugar, milk chocolate, and a slight cherry fruit taste taking the lead. A satisfying bready malt (almost like toasted dark wheat bread) comes in at the end and melds very nicely with some alcohol warmth. Seems like this beer has enough backbone to take some barrel aging. Definitely could stand up to BBQ or a nice steak. Overall, this is among my favorite Scotch ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 01:47:44 | More by chicagobeerriot
Photo of bhalter8
bhalter8

Georgia

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, ruby red with a tan, one finger head. Decent retention on the head, but not much lacing left around the glass. A nice sweet malt aroma, but not too strong. There is a cornucopia of caramel, brown sugar, and a little chocolate. In short, it smells very sweet! The taste is much more strong than the aroma would indicate. Although, one thing the aroma hinted to is there, sweet, very sweet flavor. There is the same mix of caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate, but it is far more pronounced. I continue to be impressed, and amazed, by the strong flavor CCB packs in to every brew. It might not always be exactly to style, but it is delicious. A rather thick mouthfeel and fair amount of alcohol make this one a bit of a slower drinker. There is also a bit of a bitterness bite at the back-end that slowed me down. Overall, another great offering from CCB.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 23:46:52 | More by bhalter8
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.