Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier - Professor Fritz Briem

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Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut BierProfessor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier

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BA SCORE
86
very good

161 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

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Reviews: 161
Hads: 285
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 37
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Professor Fritz Briem
Germany

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Slatetank on 07-29-2008

Created by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute (  http://www.doemens.org  ), brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 161 | Hads: 285
Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours straw with a slight haze under a thin, white foam cap.
S: A bouquet of spice, most noticeably rosemary, caraway, ginger and anise.
T: A lightly sweet with a hint of sour backgone provides a playground for the spice. Many are hard to pin down and come in and out of focus. Anise and rosemary definitely with a does of ginger heat and flavor that lingers long into the aftertaste. Some background chamomile.
F: Light, refreshing with some sparkle.
O: This is a unique, fragrant, perfumey, herby, light and real fresh beer, well worth hunting down and drinking. (573 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange body with minimal head and little lace. Aroma is spicy and not something one usually finds in a beer - anise and ginger stick out. Medium bodied beer that is a little sticky and sweet, yet balanced with spices like anise, ginger and rosemary. Clean beer, easy to drink, nice finish. Not your typical beer (i.e. ipas, stouts) and was well worth trying. (377 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. You think you know beer? Nah ha! This will open your eyes. Nose says lemon-ish, Bay leaves? Yesiree, Bob. Not only are all those ancients present they exist within harmoniously. I`m left with a feeling of want & deprivation because there are no more in the cellar & I want.

I`ll stop here because I'm afraid my praise will distance me from my next bottle.

I've said too much. (412 characters)

Photo of stumac
5/5  rDev +30.5%

I've been wanting to get my hands on this brew for quite some time and low-and-behold
it shows up at the beer store next door to my place! This is going to be a perfect treat as my
weekend starts now...

Pours up cloudy gold with a quickly fading, frizzy white head. Lots of yeast balls nestled into
the bottom of my Duvel chalice. The nose is what'll blow your dick off. It smells of ginger, anise,
rosemary, menthol, lemon peel, mango, licorice. Amazing! Taste is not as diversified. Tart,
oranges, lemons, white pepper, pale malts, floral hops. Spritzy carbo, medium leaning light
bodied. The best gruit I've ever had! Find this and drink this. You won't be dissapointed (686 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle.

A: Pours a very hazy egg yolk yellow under an extremely thin (1/16") white head at the rim and leaves a couple of spots of lace.

N: Boat loads of spices and herbs, bay leaves and ginger are prominent along with anise and rosemary, some thyme, clove, perfumy florals.

T: Grapefruit pith, ginger, nutmeg, clove, flowery. Reminds me of a medicinal tonic.

M: Semi-moderate body and very light carbonation. Spicy and herbal finish lingers.

O: Unique and glad to say "thank God for hops". (501 characters)

Photo of frDan
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

Bitter like Unicum Zwack. Similar in taste to a herbal bitter (underberg, etc.) would make a very nice digestif. Not a quaffable beer but a nice drink st the end of German. Soapy, bright, herbaceous taste. Golden straw appearance with an almost non-existent head. Overall, worth a try. (285 characters)

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a whitish pale gold that is nice and cloudy with a thick, rich long lived white head that settles very slowly leaving more of a tall ring than a lacing. My observation is that the head is so thick and slow to settle that it pulls itself back down the inside of the glass.

The nose is somewhat spicy and crisp with hints of bread, grass, tangerines, ginger and bay, and is very pleasant.

The taste is extremely unique and reflects this brews unique style and origins. The notes of ginger, bay leaves, anise and the combination of the wheat and yeast are a great success.

The moutfeel is reach and delivers the complex taste to eh palate nicely.

Overall this is an exceptionally good beer. Very different but very good. I will drink it again, and again, and... (778 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a cloudy and pale yellow gold, obviously (clearly?) unfiltered, with a little bit of sediment settling down to the bottom. The head is a creamy pillow of pure white, roughly one finger tall and holding its form for the session while dropping down deposits of webbing, patching and spotting in tandem.
This is an aromatic and fragrant bouquet with raw, rustic, herbal and earthy qualities. it's also slightly sweet, plenty tangy, and quite spicy overall. In the aroma and the flavor there's an overlying floral quality and, beneath that, a consistent perfume. I'm reminded of flowering heather in the slightly bitter, stemmy and general particularity of the spicing, while a firm backbone of dry grains and wheat-like notes hold it up and a strong taste of tangy and zesty lemon juice, maybe a hint of peel as well, hit the nostrils and the tongue at all times. There's a light minty note as well mingling with the rest, and the spicy bite has an edge like ginger or wasabi. It goes generally grassy, too, with a hint of something similar to spruce tips but underneath the rest. With all the complexity, depth and overall flavor to this beer, it may, as strange as it is, be as good a Gruit as one could find.
Flowing smoothly on the tongue and with a crisp bite that never fades, there's a dryness both from a leafy and woody feel and from a certain acidity that carries through without being harsh. The lemony tang and zest evens out the dryness and lingers well. (1,477 characters)

Photo of Atlas1
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

How cool is it that we get to at least try something called 13th Century Grut Bier in 2014? For that reason alone I am glad to be alive in this day and age. And for other reasons too, of course. But that's a good one. Also, how weird is it that some dude in Germany named Professor Fritz Briem is apparently the only guy on the planet brewing 13th Century Grut Bier? I have so many questions about this beer.

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. This beer is a nice opaque straw color. The cloudiness dissipates after a while and it mellows out to a pretty golden straw hue. Not entirely clear, but a shiny gold color. The nose is very herbal, almost medicinal. Strong on the ginger aroma here. I like this smell, but I'm not sure what to make of it. The taste is tart and bitter up front. Heavy rosemary and ginger presence. Unlike any other beer I've ever had, but then again I've never had anything claiming to be a 13th Century Grut Bier before either. Almost unpotable at first, until you sort of get used to the taste. It kinda grows on you, though. Kinda. Very dry and bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light, which I'm presuming was intended.

An odd beer for sure, but very interesting. I'm not a huge fan of this, but I like the idea of the beer completely. I could see sipping on this instead of a hot toddy next time I'm sick with a nasty cold. I would hope all the herbs contain some sort of healing powers that I could extol among my friends when they're sick as well. "Try this! It's strange and hard to drink, but has mysterious healing powers no one can explain!" Yeah, I like this. Give me a 13th Century Grut anytime. Cheers. (1,642 characters)

Photo of rangerred
1.74/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass out of a 500ml bottle.

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a one finger white head. While there is no lacing at all the head retention is quite nice.

The aroma immediately reminds me of a cough drop. Absolutely loaded with menthol along with perfume and cleaner. While it is definitely spicy it sure isn't something that appeals to me.

Unfortunately, the taste is no better. It's like someone dissolved a cough drop in old lady's perfume and mixed it with lemon juice. Nearly gag-inducing for me. To top it all off the overwhelming astringency pretty much makes this undrinkable. I'm trying to appreciate the style and history but I just can't drink this. Down the drain it goes.

Overall, I really can't get past the medicinal taste and extreme astringency. I like to think I have a pretty expansive palate and there are very few beers I just cannot drink but this is one. This might just take the cake as the worst beer I have ever tried. (965 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, straw color with thick, but short-lived head. Slight greenish hue to this one. My glass was devoid of lacing less than half way through, which made my glass feel naked. The nose is full of spices, citrus, and herbs. I get a face full of bay leaf right off the bat and hints of the rosemary and ginger. Looking for the anise and caraway, but couldn't lock onto any of those licorice-like aromatics. Taste is tart, but very herbaceous. Lemon and lemon rind, full of pith. Bitter botanicals from the steeping of the herbs and spices. The bay and rosemary really come through in the front, with ginger playing a supporting role, the caraway and anise are there if you really go looking for them, but are easily lost in the complex dance of flavors on this stage. The lasting finish is dry with a prolonged bitterness on the palate that reminds me of over-steeping lemon peels in hot tea. The bay sticks around for a long while. I don't pick up any of the wheat, nor much of the rosemary, but this is one worth returning to more than once, to ponder the depths of this polyglot brew. Mouth-feel is light and the carbonation is not very high in comparison to the initial head, but present enough to play its part. (1,221 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow with just a slight haze. I thought the Brugse Zot glass with the jester would be Medieval enough. Swarms of bubbles in the glass and a coarse white head. It settles down to near flatness after a few minutes. Light weight and rather tart.

The bitterness is a quite intense when it seeps in. Gentian is quite distinct and medicinal and you wouldn't mistake it for any kind of hop. Long aromatics in the nose, but the herbs don't jump out with individual flavors. I taste lavender, which of course isn't one of the ingredients on the label. Maybe it's the bay leaves and anis. A crazy mix.

Overall it's a very interesting interesting quaff, and this "Historic Signature Series" is well worth seeking out. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Mayfair Liquors in Denver. My first Gruit to rate, at least, though I've had the Scottish heather and seaweed ones. (867 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A mostly clear gold SRM 4-5 with a big, bubbly half-inch head. No real lacing on the inside of a Spaten Seidel, though particles in suspension range in size. Most sediment was left in the bottle. That which transferred slowly settled out.

Fresh lemon with caraway. Possibly some rosemary, but definitely anise. Anise becomes stronger with warmth. Some bay leaf and fresh ginger are also noticeable.

Tart fruit with ginger. The aroma comes through nicely and is quite refreshing. The sweet/tart interplay becomes prevalent in a mild, lingering, herbal finish.

Medium body, highly spritzy with a hint of alcohol, a satin texture with light metallic notes.

This is a superbly refreshing beer, similar to a Radler. I imagine this would be a great summer beer to relax with in the shade with friends. I was pleasantly surprised. (827 characters)

Photo of fourstringer
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 0.5L bottle into a large glass stein. Moderately aggressive hand. No clear date on a hasty examination of the vessel.

A: Hazy, yellow-green body with 1 finger of white, sudsy head. Ok retention. No lacing. That's an interesting hue...

S: Herbal spice, heavy black pepper, lemon, a bit of grass. Cool.

T: Tart and herbal initially followed by the development of an astringent bitterness. Very dry finish. Lingering essence of bitter-lemon in the aftertaste. No alcohol of note.

M: Moderate to light carbonation with a light body. Has a certain drying effect on the palate.

O: Pretty tasty, citrusy, herbal concoction. Refreshing. Tea-like in it's astringency, but nicely drinkable. It's very interesting that I don't detect any of the cited herbs/spices specifically, but together they generate a very appealing flavor profile.

Prost! (856 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 55 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma of a spring meadow with an over smell of fall’s goldenrod
Head average (4 cm), white, frothy, mostly diminishing into a 2 mm ring
No lacing
Flavor of an herbal tea (Drink it, it’s GOOD for you), obviously no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl; the only identifiable flavor is of bay leaves and maybe cumin.
Palate light, watery, carbonation starts lively but immediately fades to none.

Kind of makes me glad to be a beer drinker today, not then. (505 characters)

Photo of bierdeflanders
2.99/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

S: fruity, biscuit, with some spice

A: golden color

T: spicy, bitter, floral ( lavender) on finish leaves a lingering sharpness.

O: interesting beverage from the 13th century. A little bread note with hints of spice. bitterness lingers on the back of the palate. (265 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 500 mL botttle with no dating that I can find on the bottle. Poured into a 50 cL glass stein with a textured exterior.

Appearance - Sunny golden body with some haze and on overall bright but somewhat translucent appearance to it. Head is about a finger thick and delicate looking, with small bubbles, like you might expect from champagne, only this one has more heft to it, and sticks around longer too. Eventually the head recedes to a film across the top, leaving little to no lacing whatsoever.

Smell - Very herbal up front, with lots of different spices coming through. The predominant ones to my nose are the bay leaves and rosemary, with a hint of the anise and ginger peeking through as well. Very light and tea-like.

Taste - The way in which the nose reminded me of tea is only more on display with the taste. It's very much like a strong herbal tea, with notes of lemon zest and lemongrass, bay leaves, ginger, and bitter garden greens. The multitude of herbs clearly take the place of hops in modern beer styles, and while it's exceedingly different and unique it's not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and moderate to low carbonation, with a dry, bitter finish.

Overall, a style I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to sample. It would be interesting to see other brewers' takes on the style, similar to how berliner weisse (another Professor Fritz Briem portfolio beer) has become increasingly popular in the last several years, it seems. This reminded me a little bit of the limited experience I've had with the Sahti style. Personally, I'll stick with hops for my bittering and flavor when given a choice. (1,655 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500mL into a weizen glass. Pours a cloudy pale yellow w/ a narrow white head that dissipates to a thin film.

Aroma is big on herbal and floral scents, many of which I'm only vaguely familiar with. Rosemary and ginger, and then some floral tea-like aromas. It's certainly unique and not objectionable.

Taste leads off with wheat malt and lemon zest, then white pepper and other spices as well as floral/herbal notes. Lots of citrusy acidity gives it a refeshing zing.

Mouthfeel is soft but lively, crisp and clean. The lemony quality gives it a refreshing finish.

Overall this is probably the first or second Gruit beer I've ever had, and I enjoyed it. Not an everyday kind of beer but one that certainly deepens my appreciation for beer's long history and wide variety. It's also a well-made beer in its own right. (818 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: Bright cloudy yellow lemonade body with a fast disappearing white head.

S: Crazy aroma. Caraway, rosemary, bay leaves, ginger, mustard seed, subtle fennel, tart citrus kissed wheat and spicy barley. Weird but amazing. Timid grapefruit in the back.

T/M: Taste comes off as a super spiced up summer wheat ale. The bay leaves really bring a bitter earthy profile along with the caraway and rosemary. Like drinking a brine solution mixed with wheat beer and tart yeast. Light zesty body that is nice and refreshing. Grapefruit in the finish.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect but I gotta say its superb. The spices really work as weird as they seem. A great easy drinking summer beer. I will definitely grab more of this. Cheers! (732 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.56/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: really cloudy, yellow....bright white head, spongy - a nice amount, good rise, just doesn't want to stick around....it looks like a Berliner Weisse, or Absinthe

S: herbal - pasta sauce?! (but this goes away)...I'd like to think the rosemary and ginger comes out most predominantly....sniffed, for reference, all the herbs/spices listed on the label (with the exception of gentian, though I did have Angostura on hand...)....wasn't detecting any caraway and the anise was thankfully just enough to balance, bay leaves perhaps the same...with the green herbs and the ginger was a wonderful citrus blend of an aroma....the whole spice bill was so well balanced and edged toward accessibility

T: up front, a nasty, funky mystery (but this goes away)....the aftertaste very much mirrors the smell....I suppose that's the gentian that's prevalent here....fruity, mildly tart, some vague sweetness - herbs and spices are so well balanced and mellow enough....ginger/bay-leaf bite very late, but still fairly subdued....a sort of herbal/floral and certainly bright citrus flavors are the core here

M: sort of thinnish, a little dry....spritzy (or is that the citrusy/herbal bite?) - enhances the thinness....later, there's actually a pleasant, yet soft, filling sensation, yet it washes away somewhat clean, though a little residual stickiness remains on the palate....the lighter body works to its advantage here though

O: in my mind, this is the best of the more readily available gruit ales on the market....something that truly stands out, and it's so drinkable!...and only a German or (better) British yeast seems appropriate for this style (Belgian "gruit" is a waste/joke)...the yeast must have some hand in the flavor here, but it still allows the flavorings to come through....definitely try this if you haven't! (1,820 characters)

Photo of Braz
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Tacoma Boys. Pours a hazy pale gold with a lot of sediments floating around. Smells fantastic. Tons of spices, cinnamon, rosemary, fruit and zest. Taste is slightly tart, with some ginger and rosemary notes. Pretty good dose of carbonation compared to the appearance. Very light body with an abrupt finish and absolutely no bitterness. Not bad and I love this style of beer. Always interesting and the history is intriguing as well. (444 characters)

Photo of BrownNut
2.24/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I can't fathom how other reviewers are giving this beer praise. It's awful. Well, I take that back. It's awful unless you like the taste of a lady's bathroom. It smelled strongly of powder and some kind of pungent flower, like one of those seashell-shaped compressed powder things that your mom or grandma would crumble up in the bath back before "bath salts" meant drugs. My dining companions agreed. Four sips was too many.

I looked at its ingredient list and everything in there except one thing checked out just fine - flavors you've had in other applications and have liked just fine (bay leaves, ginger, caraway, anise, rosemary). But gentian flower seems to be the culprit that grandma-izes it. It's the only one I'd never knowingly smelled and has to be the reason this is awful. There's nothing wrong with the smell of powder or perfumey flowers or bath products, but they don't belong in my beer. The powder and flower smells dominated anything else that may have been happening in the background.

It looked fine in the glass and felt fine in the mouth, I'll give it that.

I am excited by the concept of gruits and the wild flexibility and variability they offer - the ability to flavor beer with just about anything and to get away from hops as the main character note. But this one went to a bad place. I'm a little discouraged because the Bros said in their review that this was one of the very best gruits they'd ever tried. (1,441 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a clear honey amber with a hint of a head that dissipated immediately to a ring around the glass, no lacing. Amazing aroma of rosemary, bay leaves, ginger, apple juice, light citrus; other unidentifiable aromatic herbs. Much like a kitchen dried potpourri. Starts with apple and pear juice, light grape juice; slightly vinous, aromatic herbs dominated by rosemary, slightly sweet. Finishes abruptly with dry, earthy herbs, leaving a light, but pleasant dried herb aftertaste. Light bodied. A very enjoyable reconstruction of this ancient ale style. Although I have greatly enjoyed some of the other, sweeter, gruit reconstructions from Scottish and American breweries, this one struck me as more authentic. A part of me wished for a bit more ABV to bring out the intensity of the bittering herbs. I like this Professor Briem series and am glad that he is bringing these old styles back to life. (932 characters)

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, golden straw color, with a fair amount of floating particulate matter. Head was lackluster (I may have been a little too gentle with my pouring) and faded quickly, leaving a fine lace behind.

S: A mix of champagne and apple cider are the first to greet the nose. Fruity yields to spicy, with aromas of ginger, pepper, and the faintest hint of menthol.

T: Malt sweetness lasts but a second before a tart fruitiness comes to dominate. The raw ginger that was soft in the nose is quite potent on the palate (not like a true ginger beer, but more than enough to grab my attention). As the ginger recedes after a moment, tartness returns with a mildly bitter, herbal finish; a hint of soapy fatty acid lingers on the tongue afterward.

M: Crisp and richly carbonated. Mildly astringent in the finish.

O: Despite a couple of rough edges (the soapy astringency in the finish detracted from the experience slightly), this was a tasty foray Into the sort of beverage our ancestors enjoyed. Not a drink for everyday consumption, but a nice "just because" experience. (1,070 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 09-05-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Balloon glass
Purchased: Single from Liquor Express, Huntsville AL

Appearance is cloudy and yellow, capped by a foamy white head. I see lots of floating particles in my glass which is unusual. I guess this is part of the grut/gruit spices. Head retention is good but lacing is very sparse.

Aromas are very fragrant, with lots of spices I can't identify plus a lemon citrus fruit character.

Taste is tart and fruity, with green apple, lemon and orange peel. Also has some grape/wine like flavors. As noted in the aromas, there are a lot of spices in the beer, but I can't pick them apart to identify them. The label lists many of these.

Mouthfeel has a medium-level body and a high amount of carbonation. The finish is dry and somewhat tart.

Overall a very unique and interesting beer. I'd like to try some other examples of the style, but would probably not seek out this one again. I'm glad to have tried it, but once is enough for me. (1,038 characters)

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Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier from Professor Fritz Briem
86 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.