Madness & Civilization #1 - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Not Rated.
Madness & Civilization #1Madness & Civilization #1

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

42 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 304
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 2.74%
Wants: 148
Gots: 57 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 05-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

It is a BLEND of very complex components - 2 year old Buckwheat Rye aged in Elijah Craig 18 barrels, 15 month Maple Wheat Imperial Stout, and a blend of Vanilla and Cacao Nib Bourbon Barrel aged Everett.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 304
Photo of jegross2
3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Reviewing the Madness & Civilization #1 from the Hill Farmstead Brewery out of Greensboro Bend, Vermont.

Score: 75

Spring 2013 vintage bottle served in a taster glass and enjoyed on 01/12/14.

Appearance: Pours a black color with one to two fingers of dark tan head that settles to a thin layer. Above average lacing, very good retention. 4/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, oak, hint of vanilla. Touch of brown sugar. Hint of booze too. Hot, but nice aroma. 4/5

Taste: Sharp, acidic oak-forward bourbon flavor. Chocolate and alcohol finish. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, more carbonation than necessary for the flavor profile. Bitter and acidic. 2.5/5

Overall: Supremely disappointing, particularly compared to Damon and Bourbon Barrel Aged Genealogy of Morals. This was not one of Shaun's better stouts. If you are going to spend big to acquire a Hill Farmstead beer, I recommend considering alternative possibilities.

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle. (951 characters)

Photo of Luk13
3.84/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hill Farmstead third anniversary. Black pour with brown highlights, decent moka head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, maple and dark fruits. Taste has chocolate, vanilla and maple but seem a little muted . Medium bodied. Not nearly as decadent as Damon. The beer was so cold because of the weather, it might have opened up a little bit if it had warmed up a little bit. (384 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is jet black with a tight creamy caramel head that sits and stays leaving a thick lace as it slowly dissipates. The nose is sweet with a nice bourbon backbone. A hint dark chocolate, some brown sugar, dark fruits, and and light coffee roast. The body is extremely soft and delicate with a very light carbonation and creamy texture. The taste is a bit sweeter than the nose. There is with brown sugar, caramel, plum, faint chocolate, and a berry malt sweetness. The whiskey and barrel play through the finish and linger in a good way. (538 characters)

Photo of Holland
3.97/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: deep black and viscous looking, along with some of the best head retention I have ever seen.

S: chocolate, roast, slight cherry, and lightly sweet

T: a bit sweet, full of oak, dark fruits, and a bit too much cherry-like flavor for my liking. Still delicious, but it's not like Genealogy of Morals. Definitely has the wheat and dark fruit though.

M: thick and well carbonated, just fine for an imperial stout

O: pretty meh beer for Hill Farmstead standards, but excellent by other standards. Not sure if I'd buy it again at $15 per 500 ml bottle. (554 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger dark mocha head with moderate to low retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is patchy with good stick. Decent.

Aromas of wine grapes, bourbon, dark chocolate, roast, and cocoa. Some molasses and chocolate sweetness wafts through the layers of booze. Solid though I could go for a bit more oomph here.

Opens sweet chocolate and molasses. An extremely mellow wine-y tartness floats in the background covered by layers of booze, fudge and chocolate. Very sweet throughout. Some woodiness at the back end adds some depth. Finishes chocolate with some slight roast coarseness. Aftertaste of booze and molasses. Very complex but a touch sweet for my taste.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down warm and slick. Finishes messy with a sticky sweet, lingering aftertaste. Nice.

An extremely well made beer, this is certainly one of the most complex imperial stouts I've had in a while. The flavors work well together too but there's just a touch too much sweetness for my liking at times. Still, definitely worth trying. (1,154 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this brew.
Deeply dark and earthy in appearance. The smell is somewhat shy unless encouraged out with a strong swirl. Noticeable hot alcohol esters, with wet barrel, brandy booziness, sweet dark malts and smoothing of vanilla over the top of it all. The flavour leans to the sweet verse hoppy bitters, with burnt toffee, dark honey, vanilla and a full bourbon warmth. The barrel aging assertively adds depth to this brew. (450 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.16/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another wonderful bottle from jbeatty. Thanks for all the stuff man!

From a 50cl bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Black pour, clear, produces a 1+ finger, medium looking, fizzy tan head with pretty good retention. Fades to a foamy half wisp cap. Black body with no real carbonation evident. A ring remains leaving a few dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Oak and bourbon up front, with coconut and vanilla, milk chocolate, pure chocolate, some light coffee and coconut cream. Roasted notes with light toffee and caramel as well. Vanilla and coconut bourbon barrels are nice with the other flavors.

TASTE: Bourbon and oak with some alcohol up front. Caramel sweetness with lots of coconut and vanilla cream as well, then a big and lingering finish of more bourbon, oak, coconut, milk chocolate and bitter, pure chocolate as well. Caramel sweetness with a hint of roast as well. Very nice, flavorful and complex without a doubt. Lovely.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A touch light and prickly perhaps, goes down fine and finishes sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the swallow and some heat lingers. Needs to be fuller for top marks, but smooth enough.

OVERALL: This one is quite tasty. The barrel flavor is a bit more forthcoming and overpowering than a lot of other HF barrel aged offerings, but the base beer still makes an appearance. Very flavorful and wonderful aroma as well. The feel needs to be fuller and the heat could mellow, but this is a treat non-the-less. Worth checking out if you can. Thanks again jbeatty. Recommended. (1,592 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a decent khaki head. Nice collar. Islands of bubbles.

Smell - Bourbon and vanilla. More blended into the flavor than #2. Oak and vanilla blend well. Chocolate, but not fudgy.

Taste - Bourbon is very sharp and not as well integrated. Chocolate. Vanilla. Oak comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Slightly boozy. Medium body, not very thick.

Overall - Doesn't seem as rich as Madness #2. Just as good though. (498 characters)

Photo of Skrip
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a Noda snifter.

A~ black! obviously! with a nice tan head and a good amount of lacing for a stout.

S~ lots of bourbon and booziness up front. all followed by some chocolate, caramel, and vanilla beans.

T~ a ton of chocolate and cocao nibs. spicy rye malts, vanilla and caramel as you start to swallow. all followed by bourbon boozy goodness, which literally tastes like a glass of Elijah Craig on the rocks. i've never experienced so much bourbon barrel presence, like as if it was the actual thing. total hybrid stout/porter. the Everett aspects give this a baltic style, which adds a fantastic roasted sweetness.

M~ heres where the maple comes out, very rich and thick. also has some what of a cocao nib feel, if you know what i mean. still very smooth and nicely carbonated.

O~ definitely an all around complex, completely balanced stout. which comes as no surprise! could definitely use a little age though to let the booze fad a bit, but if you like Elijah Craig i'd dive right in! (1,017 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours slightly darker than cola with a head that quickly dissipates towards the edges. Nose expresses cocoa, roast and a trace of cherry juice. The barrel really comes out in the flavor profile, as well as roast, char, cocoa, vanilla and tart fruit. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a carbonation that is just a little too lively and some residual acidity. This is a great tasting beer with a fantastic barrel presence - the spirits are really well defined. That said, if the carbonation dropped off a bit more it would be greatly enhanced. (538 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A huge thank you to hoppypocket for this and many other awesome brews!

Appearance. Pours a very deep chestnut brown, close to black. Topped with a finger and a half of thick and creamy tan head. Very impressive.

Smell. Dark chocolate and bourbon barrels, earthy and spicy scents as well (maybe the hops, maybe not...) and some smooth darker malts. Unique and nice.

Taste. Sweet dark malts with a good hit of milk chocolate, smooth bourbon and plenty of barrel, vanilla, dark cherry, and some interesting malty flavours.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, medium (maybe slightly less) smooth and creamy carbonation.

Overall. Very interesting stuff. Sweet, lots of barrel, good stuff. (682 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this side by side with M&C2, which edged this one out.

Dark brown-black pour, with a finger of mocha head, as opposed to its counterpart, which was much more subdued; the head sank to a ringlet and held there, leaving dots of lacing on the glass. Aroma was fairly sweet, scents of dark sugars, toffee, chocolate, cream, bourbon, vanilla, light essence of indistinct dark fruits. In the taste, dark malts, brown sugar, toffee, milk chocolate, bourbon/oak/vanilla, hints of anise and raisin, marshmallow root. Sweeter and not quite as smooth as #2, but still quite good in its own right. Medium body verging on full, slick mouthfeel, with the bourbon being pretty well integrated, and keeping the beer from being too hot. Very good overall. (743 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 500 mL bottle from the release today. Decided to open one of my bottles after the long drive back home. Chilled slightly before opening and poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Pours a nice, light brown head with good retention that sticks well to the glass.

Aroma: Marshmallow sweetness, light bourbon, maple and chocolate notes upfront. Definitely a touch of burn from the alcohol. Bursts of maple and vanilla as well as dark fruits.

Taste: Light bourbon tones tones come together with caramel and marshmallow sweetness with the base beer. The combination of the chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and rye really provide an interesting background contrast. A touch of sweet maple as well. Really nice balance and drinkability. The barrel is nicely integrated and not forced at all.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied overall, but definitely lighter for the style. There is some nice creaminess and a solid amount of carbonation.

Overall, a really tasty blended stout with a really sweet backbone. The sweetness works well with the barrel and the alcohol is not too overbearing at all. Definitely happy to get the chance to try this and look forward to trying it again. (1,223 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Florida9 for cracking this. Pours pitch black with velvety brown head. Nose features heavy roast and tons of licorice. Some cacao and vanilla come through, but in a subtle way. I don't get a ton of spirit character on the nose, but plenty of char and oak and a hint of booziness. Flavor is creamy and smooth. Chocolate and roast make up the better part of the flavor with some supporting notes from vanilla and oak. The oak brings on some earthiness to the flavor and accentuates the licorice at the end. Mouthfeel is heavy and right where it should be for the style. Overall, this brew is well balanced considering its weight. Tons of flavor. (653 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 01: poured out as a thick looking black beer with a creamy tan head on top. The retention is thin and lacing this minimal. The smell of the beer is big, lots of oak and lots of roasted malt and dark chocolate. The taste of bold, very roasted and nice fresh oak with some dark chocolate bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is heavy, nice smooth thickness with a subtle carbonation. Overall this beer is very good, ton of complexity and depth. Long lasting flavors sure to please most stout lovers. Very good stuff, glad I got to try this one. (551 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours black and opaque with a 2 finger dark brown crown that some retention and little lace. About what you'd expect for barrel aged imperial stout.

Smell: Oh man the nose is truly the highlight of this beer. Oak, bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, and almost a fruit wood like characteristic. Hints of maple over lush malt.

Taste: Even more nuanced than the nose, although not as appealing imho. Bourbon and a hint of vanilla up front, malt and "powdery" cocoa in the middle, with an alcohol tinged finish that is aided by a touch of rye. Neither the oak nor the maple is as prevalent in the taste as it is in the aroma for me.

Mouthfeel: Thick borderline syrup like body with low carbonation. The bourbon helps wash it off of the palate at the end of each sip though.

Overall: An interesting blend I wouldn't mind having another bottle of. (905 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass. Thanks Don for sharing this!

A- Pours a dark brown that appears an opaque jet black in the glass, a thin creamy mocha brown head forms that recedes fairly fast to a flat top, leaves some sparse spotty lacing.

S- Sweet bourbon, integrated creamy chocolate, hints of oak, slight fairly hidden booze, very subtle dark fruits hiding in the back.

T- Creamy chocolate, hints of fudge, dark fruits, maple syrup, some vanilla on the backend, a tiny bit of wheat, finishes with fudge, creamy chocolate, and dark fruits with a nice lingering aftertaste. Nice complexities that balance nicely.

M- Smooth, lightly creamy, abv very well hidden, fairly low carbonation but fits the style nicely.

O- This was a nice, complex barrel aged stout blend that did not disappoint from HF. The cocoa nibs, vanilla, dark fruit tastes, and bourbon all came out very nicely. I feel like MC2 might have had a slightly better taste, but MC2 definitely wins in aroma. (986 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark dark dark. Black in color. Forms a creamy mocha colored head. Some light lacing. Aroma is creamy and dark. Dark fruits, licorice, chocolate. Very sweet. Heavy roasted malts. Taste is similar. Rather sweet. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, boozy. Complex, dark, and sweet. Full bodied. Viscous, almost syrupy. Low bitterness. A very good beer. (339 characters)

Photo of justforrazors
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed live 7-30-13

Poured from bottle into HF glass.

A- Pours a thick black with a long lasting mocha head with high carbonation visible. Over the 5 or so minutes I left it to sit before drinking, the head has not dropped at all, and you can clearly see bubbles rising from the bottom to the top. A nice thick half-finger head made it all the way down to the point where I finished with the review.

S- Bourbon, chocolate, some subtle roast and vanilla along with a caramel sweetness.

T- The taste follows the smell. Bourbon followed by vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. The vanilla really stands out and provides a nice marshmallow sweetness to the beer. On the back end, alcohol is evident as well as some oak. There is also a bitter note that lingers for a while after the other flavors disappear.

M- Definitely a bit over carbonated for a RIS in my opinion. Maybe this was an attempt to make sure this one didn't end up like BoT? I could literally hear the carbonation when I went to take a drink, although it didn't feel as overly carbonated as it appeared. The beer has a full body, although it is very smooth and easy to drink. There is a lingering bitter note, as well as some drying qualities on the finish, most likely from the oak.

O- Interesting beer for sure. This isn't the greatest Barrel-Aged stout I have had, but very good either way. The alcohol was still a bit too upfront for me, although hopefully it will mellow a bit with time. (1,463 characters)

Photo of hillvt4me
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap and poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with brown to red undertone. Minimal head and lacing.

Smell - Bourbon, chocolate and vanilla aromas.

Taste - Bourbon, cherry, chocalate and oak on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation. Slightly boozy. Medium to full body.

Overall - Well balanced and a great treat. (327 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had as part of a tasting with the NWIBDU. Thanks for sharing!

S - Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, light astringency from the alcohol and oak

T - Caramel, chocolate, good amount of vanilla sweetness. Light booze and alcohol comes through as well as oak to give it a slight heat. Well balanced and delicious stout.

M - Medium smooth body with light astringency from the oak and the bourbon

O - Really a great stout that is right up my alley with the great balance between the sweet chocolate, vanilla and caramel flavors balanced with the slight heat from the booze and astringency from the oak. Another great HF beer. (616 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

thanks to pjl44 for this fantastic extra!
poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 fingers of medium tan colored head. Good head retention that drops slowly. Thick and sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of milk chocolate, vanilla, and rye notes. Mellow oak, earthy and roasty grain. Everything has a nice balance in the nose. Fairly sweet smell nose on this beer.

Taste: A quick blast of chocolate and cocoa sweetness that is quickly interupted by huge rye notes. Middle of the beer is roasty and oaky. Mild roasty flavor that trancends through out the entire flavor profile of the beer. Then the sweetness returns and takes of vanilla and a hint of marshmellows. More rye notes in the finish with a touch of warming booze and a slightly bitter cocoa flavor that make the beer have a slight dryness. Great balance and complexity. As the beer warms the rye intensifies considerably and some smokiness emerges as well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky, slick, smooth, slightly oily, and creamy. All the flavor just coats your mouth in richness. Just a touch boozey for a 9% beer, but its nothing that is distracting.

Overall: This is the first stout that I have tried from Hills Farmstead. It is a wonderful blend beer, but its biggest crutch is that it has just a little to much rye for my personal taste. It is very complex and rich beer. It has a very nice mouthfeel as well. I have only dabbeled in a few Hills Farmstead beers, but every beer I have tried so far from Hills Farmstead tells me that they flat out brew fantastic beer! (1,611 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, AdamJackson!

Very close to black in color with a somewhat persistant, slightly creamy, small-bubbled dark brown head. Gorgeous lacing left down the glass. A simply gorgeous stout. Hill Farmstead always makes beautiful beer.

Layered, complex, and delightful aroma. Coffee, chocolates, marshmallow, and integrated, fine bourbon integrate into something truly special. Some dark fruit emerges as the beer warms some along with a toasted, nearly burnt, fresh out of the oven pie crust character. Exceptional.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though the bourbon takes a touch more of a firm presence upfront--but not in a stinging, harsh way. The bourbon is flavorful, integrated, and complementary to the chocolate, vanilla, and pie crust flavors. Incredibly drinkable.

Medium to nearing full in body with moderate carbonation. Not an overly heavy or viscous stout.

Fantastic. So much better than Damon, and I had to beg, borrow, and steal to taste that one. This one just showed up unexpectedly. Thanks again, Adam! (1,064 characters)

Photo of anteater
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle

A: Dark dark brown, large dark tan head

S: Very upfront sweetness, bourbon

T: Chocolate, bourbon, maple, an interesting layer of spiciness from the rye, vanilla. The overall flavor is pretty strong but well balanced and very smooth

M: Kind of thin. Not as thick as I would have liked it and the carbonation was also a little high.

O: Really delicious stout. I tend to prefer beers like this in the 13% range and I think a really good bourbon barrel aged stout at 9% is difficult to pull off. The mouthfeel wasn't perfect but the smell and complexity of the taste more than made up for it. (606 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle split two ways with Dustin. Thanks man! Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 3/3/2014.

App- pitch black motor oil, thick one finger brown head with fantastic retention for a stout. Must be the buckwheat in one of the threads. Lots of thick sticky lacing. Phenomenal as far as stouts go.. really have not seen a stout look this good in a long time.

Smell- strong smoky bourbon and milk chocolate which I attribute to Everett. Lots of dark chocolate, charcoal and more bourbon. Very bourbon-forward stout.

Flavor- fantastic bourbon. Lots of it in such a great mellow presence that is well-integrated into the rest of the beer. It's smooth bourbon that isn't hot at all, with its charcoal sweetness lingering a while in the aftertaste but not for long. Also a lot of milk chocolate that integrates well. Cocoa, dark chocolate comes out as it warms up. No maple notes; however if its there in the sweetness of this beer, it's a subtle contribution. Not super complex but everything integrates very well; it may be the time on this bottle.

Mouthfeel- the best I've had on a HF stout. Thick, creamy, decadent and finishes very smoothly without any harsh bourbon flavors. No heat at all, just full of bourbon flavor.

Overall- it's not quite Black Gold, but this is like it's mellow, sweet cousin. Well done integration of bourbon into a blended stout. Not complex, but very bourbon-forward in such an enjoyable manner. (1,445 characters)

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Madness & Civilization #1 from Hill Farmstead Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.