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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) - Steel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,036 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,036
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 2.36
pDev: 37.29%
Wants: 10
Gots: 101 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steel Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-13-2001

Brewed in different abv. versions: 6.0%, 7.3%, 8.1%, & reports of a 8.9%
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,036 | Reviews: 508
Photo of Monsteruss
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When pouring from the big can, the foam was light wheat in color and dissapated quickly. The color was light gold yellow. The smell had a sence of high gravity (which there is). The smell was also deep, hops overtone with a hint of wheat and a hint of floral. The taste was heavy, dull and hight gravity hops. Mouthfeel - heavy and full-bodied. Drinkability - it would be good if it weren't for the dominate high gravity feel.

Photo of bsend
3.6/5  rDev +52.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured the legendary 40 ounce bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Beer pours a surprising medium golden color, with a small fizzy white head. The beer lets plenty of light through.

Smell: For a beer of this style, I was slightly impressed. No serious skunky smell compared to other beers of this style. Generally sweet nose and burned grains.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet flavor. Burned sugar, and grain. Definite alcohol flavor but when chilled, it is more subtle.

Mouthfeel: Standard moderate carbonation. Medium body, but light.

Drinkability: What it's famous for. Goes down way too easy for the 8.1% abv. I didn't mind sipping through a pint which says a lot, and I would definitely have another.

Final Thoughts - I revisited Steel Reserve recently when a friend brought it over. It was actually surprisingly decent for what it is, and most likely receives harsh reviews for being compared to an Imperial IPA or stout. Keeping the style in mind, this delivers on many levels. Try one with an open mind before you review.

Photo of BEERchitect
2.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Yes, ladies and Gentlemen I have reached the bottom of the barrel!

the beer pours with a heavy carbonation jostled in a turbulant and somewhat fizzy fashion. Though not particularly clear, the strong straw beer holds a fine head and laces. An ok look.

Aromas of apples and apple cider vinegar reach the nose just before a mix of grains and malt. A lot of fruitiness comes from the yeast along with some fresh bread, yeast notes. Dare I say that there is a nice floral note tucked away in there?

Flavors again take an acidic vinegary, apple-ey lead and kinda kills the initial impression of the beer. But later comes that grain-malt taste that begins to favor the grains. Sweetness does rub out the graininess but it doesn't resemble maltiness. Given the 8.1%, the beer hides the alcohol flavor well.

The body is a bit heavy and sweet for any straw colored lager, and may become a bit oily on the palate. Again graininess adds to the astringency; as do the cidery notes. Not crazy about the mouthfeel.

To be macro-swill and a beer whose sole purpose is to get you drunk, it's really not totally apauling. It's kinda in the mix with most other mass-produced lagers. Average at best, but I knock off a few points for the cidery and grainy characteristics.

I'm sure my Beer Karma will take a hit for admitting drinking this.

Photo of JamesMcPolin
3.06/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I just wanted to add to the dialog that I think some of you are being too harsh on 211. You have to rate Steel for what it is, an 8.1% lager that is widely available and can be purchased for a couple of bucks - 40oz - or $7 for a 12 pack. You can't compare it directly against expensive craft beers, they serve different purposes. You can't tell me that the A,S,T,M,D of a beer is the same regardless of what you paid for it. If a single 22oz bomber costs me $7 or more I know I'm going to be rating it with different expectations in mind that include a justification of the cost.

Photo of cbros
2.85/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 24 ounce can of this after seeing it in a movie. The product placement got me and I was interested plus the fact that the can was only $1.56 I figured I had nothing to lose. Pours an alomst clear straw yellow, no activty after pour and there is no lace present either. Doesn't have a defined taste or mouthfeel, you mostly get what you expect out of this.

Not the best malt liquor ever but not too shabby. Probably will never buy this again but you never know. If I ever decide to slum it again this will be the beer I'll get.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
2.6/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The big Steel Reserve 211. I had to try this one.

A- Starts with a very clean foamy head (about a half inch), that drops quickly to barely anything. No lacing at all. A pure straw yellow the color.
Note: After beer warm up it leaves minimal lacing... not bad.

S- Smells like any other macro beer out there. Differences are light but it has a yeasty smell along with corn and alcohol.

T- Taste is decent for a malt liquor. At first is a very dry flavor of malt and corn sweetness. Second is the bite of possibly hops or just the alcohol finish.

M- This beer literally rolls over the tongue and skips the lingering in the mouth, alcohol really has no bad effect on the mouthfeel.

D- I could drink this... only when i was in the mood for getting drunk. But for a malt liquor not bad.
Note: Good beer for the price of being buzzed.

Photo of cheapxceptbeer
3.7/5  rDev +56.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I got the 24 ounce high gravity lager for a buck 40 at the local store, and when you think about it that is a buck 40 for a buzz because this stuff is crazy strong. The 8% abv is higher than most beers, but there is something in these malt liquors that is hard to describe, maybe its something they use to make the wort ferment quicker but it is like a psycotropic drug! But on to flavor:

There is no real appearance or aroma to discuss so I give this one average on both accounts, it is not important for this style. As far as taste goes this is a smooth mother, not the usual rice/corn/cereal taste I don't know how they make this on such a limited budget but impressive taste, almost as good as Haffenreffer. Full mouthfeel, not like the usual american lager/malt liquor. Well this stuff is heavier than others in the style but not too bad, I am not having a problem with my large canister of Steel Reserve.

When you are in the mood to just drink and not worry about flavor this could be your brew if not Haffenreffer, or Narragansett.

Photo of Plekto
2.82/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is inexpensive and it tastes fairly okay. It's not a good beer, but it does completely trounce the typical cheap beers that we all know and hate. It's by far the best beer in its price range. If you only have pocket change and just need a beer, buy this instead of the typical rice/corn based beer. This is also made out of rice and corn, but it is by far the closest tasting to normal beer(barley/hops type) of this type that I have found.

Most people expect it to be real beer - it's not. But it is the best of the pseudo-beers and dirt cheap at that. That's worth mentioning.

It's a perfect cheap replacement for the typical budget beer that you'd typically drink at a BBQ or at a party or wherever when you just want to drink something to go with the chips and salsa. Forget Bud Light or Molson or the similar cheap beers - go straight to this instead. Your guests won't care and you'll save some money. Just keep it ice cold. It's *not* Corona, which can be drunk slightly room temp.

One thing that I noticed, though - the high alcohol version is much much better than the others and the can version is as well. Evidently the beer is *extremely* susceptible to light and the glass bottle variety is not nearly as good/more hit and miss. Buy the black label 8.1% alcohol can.

edit: I picked up a 12 pack for $7.99 locally. They evidently make the same stuff in 12oz cans now.

Photo of woemad
2.91/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big-ass 24oz can that looks like it could be used well in hand-to-can fighting. Picked up for $0.99 at a grocery store/meatmarket in one of the more ghetto-ish parts of the 'kan. Never tried a malt liquor before, so I decided what the hell.

Poured a clear, golden color with hundreds of tiny little bubbles rushing skyward faster than the buildup of Eddie Murphy's saliva at a screening of The Crying Game (yes, that's the malt liquor talking). Surprisingly creamy looking white head that's so fizzy it sounded like I'd thrown in some rice crispies. The head lasted longer than I thought it could, left actual lace on the sides of the glass and never did quite vanish.

The nose, while not terribly promising, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Corny, as expected, there was also some mildly apple-ish fruitiness, alongside a crude, earthy graininess and some ominous boozy notes. The booze wasn't as in-your-face smelling as I expected it to be.

The taste, while nothing even remotely spectacular, seemed better-melded than the smell. Corn and sweet maltiness mixed together was the first taste sensation, backed with a more mild fruitiness and a faint metallic twang. At the swallow was a very minor hop zap. Hovering way in the background is a quietly menacing, warming alcohol flavor, that becomes less and less shy as it warms up. I'm guessing it's not very obvious to those that choose to pound one when it's still ice cold.

Somewhat medium bodied, with a dry yet coating mouthfeel.

Dangerously drinkable, in a manner that suggests that if you don't respect this beer, it'll mess you up hardcore. Not bad in a quantity of one, as it's very inoffensive, and doesn't seem as strong as it is at first. I can see why it seems to be the beer of choice for the local hobos, jduging by the many empty cans that seem to congregate under the freeway.

Photo of Bookseeb
2.19/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance seems a nice golden amber with a fair head. Smell and taste is a sweet malty metallic with a of course alchohol making it a bit rough around the edges. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation. It's kinda what I expected and not, but for the price, hey why not.

Photo of WakeandBake
1.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22oz Bottle. A golden yellow pour with a big white fizzy head,lots of carbonation, strong aroma of corn husks,boiled vegetables,and moldy cracked corn, Flavor is a lot like the aroma some corn,wet straw,and cheep vodka,really cheep,with a less than pleasent barnyard aftertaste, this was a drainpour folks, I can power through most nasty beers but not this one... Fail , I'm sorry but if I have to get drunk this bad I will buy a bottle of mouthwash at the Dollar Store

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.33/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

MotherofGod. Out of a 24 oz. can this beer was a perfectly clear, pale gold color with lots of visible rising carbonation. The two finger head was slightly off-white and retained nicely at first as a puffy cap, then a small collar. The aroma was of corn mash, pale malt, alcohol and faint hops. The flavors were actually pretty good. Well, for a malt liquor anyway. I tasted pale malt, sweet malt, cereal grains, hints of metal and a touch of hop bitterness. Left an oily slick on my tongue. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation good. Best when damn near frozen, but for 6% quite drinkable. If you gotta go Malt, it's a cheap, classic choice.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.13/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, bright gold in color. A large, foamy, off-white head bubbles up with solidT: retention and lacing. As much as you can expect here, really.

S: Strong notes of cooked corn up front, along with some grain husk malt aroma. Some darting, alcoholic scents bringing vodka to mind. Vague hints of something I want to call floral or fruity, but it's difficult to say for sure.

T: Robust graininess with a significant dose of cooked corn. Some nondescript hop bite comes and goes. Another dose of refined sugar into the finish - rather sweet. Alcohol and some more creamed corn rides into the aftertaste.

M: Rather solid body with a sticky, dry feel. Carbonation is semi-lively. An alcoholic twang to the finish.

D: Quite assertively corny...which is probably to be expected. Given that, it pulls it off pretty admirably. It's quite adjuncty and boozy, but it never becomes a chore to drink, which is as impressive as it is baffling. If you're on an extreme budget, you could do a lot worse.

Photo of unclejimbay
2.1/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)
Steel Brewing Company
Style: American Malt Liquor
ABV: 8.10 %
live review can>pint glass

A 2.5 - Small head gone quick, noticeable carbonation, medium golden straw in color
S 2.5 sweet almost honey malt aroma
T 2.0 - much sweeter in taste than I expected, to sweet IMO in this context, sugary malty-ness, some honey notes
MF 1.5 - medium++ carbonation, you can sense an alcohol slickness
D 2.0, this beer is not for me, bteer than expected, but almost undrinkable

Photo of PintOHops
3.6/5  rDev +52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured some from a 40oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears yellow/gold in color with a quarter inch bubble like head that reduces quickly to a thin film. Very large bubbles that disappear pretty fast leaving the beer looking pretty dead & uninviting. Has medium carbonation and leaves no lacing. Smells of sharp citrus, alcoholic, metallic & sweet malty notes, followed by some strange fruity aromas like raisins, strawberry's and grapes. Some cooked vegetables & grains, develops musty stale aromas as it warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of very sharp alcoholic, citrus and metallic notes, and finishes with very sweet stale, bitter, malty, grainy flavors. Cooked vegetables and some lingering grain and malt on the palate. The sharp alcoholic, metallic notes are very offensive and only get worse as it warms! Mouthfeel is somewhat smooth and lite bodied, has some pretty lively, bitey carbonation on the palate as well.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Okay, so I decided to tackle the 211 after avoiding it and dreading it for so long. Let me tell you, there isn't a drop of this stuff that's even close to being pleasant or drinkable. The alcohol! The metal! The sweet grainy malts! Ugh! So overwhelming from the first sip, you have to nearly freeze this thing to get it down, and it only gets worse as it warms! I recommend you stay far away from this one and just try a less potent malt that still gets the job done. I took the silver bullet so you didn't have to!

All jokes aside, this thing is completely undrinkable, and very offensive. Yes it well leave you stumbling down the hall way wondering what happened but at a very high cost! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Malt Liquor but not if you must nearly freeze it.

Note - Had this again recently, I compared it side by side with Hurricane High Gravity. Both where equally drinkable, even as it warmed. I almost prefer this over the HHG. Recommended for what it is, not bad.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.16/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sometimes you gotta walk on the wild side, but quite honestly, I'm pretty scared right now. 99 cents for a huge can of high gravity malt liquor with "steel" in the name? [Shudder...]

Certainly does not look bad. The body has the clarity of glass, the color is a sunny golden-yellow shade, head is creamy and long-lasting.

Aroma is not offensive--not transcendent either. Somewhere between aftershave (plenty of alcohol in the nose) and sugary cake batter. Interesting, but take a few too many whiffs and the alcohol becomes kind of sickening in its naked, medicinal, cheap-buzz character.

Flavor is what scared me the most, of course, but I don't find this all that bad. There's a cheapness to the experience, with a typical adjunct-lager corniness mixing with the Brut aftershave vibe; but it also has a fruitiness and butterscotch/vanilla cake batter sweetness that offsets its negative traits. Hops aren't added with love, they're just kind of there, but the sweet candy/cake-like maltiness continues to please enough that this avoids being a disgusting drain-pour.

Texture is fizzy, but backed by a solid roundness that lends itself well to the flavor.

I don't see myself reaching for this ever again, but in a pinch, this has more flavor and character than the equally inexpensive
swill that's available. Feels weird saying it, but this is not all that bad. I'm under no illusion that it's great either. Somewhat ironically, it seems that a few years of experience with big-ass beers like Imperials Pilsners, Strong Euro Lagers and even Double IPAs gives you the tools to appreciate a beer like this. I'm not any kind of malt liquor expert, but there are no doubt many worse out there than this. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Bacong
2.2/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Today I went to my liquor store expecting to spend a decent amount of money on my favorite beer, Young's Double Chocolate Stout. But a friend is really high on Steel Reserve, he loves it, all he drinks, so I said, what the hell. The store had a deal, 2 for 4, so naturally I slap down a 10 and say "give me 4."

poured out of 40 oz bottle into mug

Appearance: yellow. Piss yellow. Decent head when pouring, but very very soon after it dissipates to absolutely nothing.

Smell: fricking horrible. Adjuncts, malts and rice.

Taste: Taste is not as bad as expected, pretty sweet with not alot of alcohol present, a nice bitter alcoholy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: smooth feeling and easy drinking. Took me maybe 15 minutes to drink this 40 (probably way too fast as I am getting progressively more drunk as I write this)

Drinkability: Pretty damn easy to swallow. It was so cheap that I do not regret drinking so much of this so quickly. I will buy it again because it is so damn cheap and the ABV (8.1%) is so high that I can get pretty drunk on pocket change.

Overall, I recommend this to non-discerning beer drinkers who want to get really drunk on pocket change. If I had drank another 40 I doubt I'd pass for sentient.

I'm glad I finally found a beer that I can drink alot of for cheap and not actually mind the taste of. I will happily buy this again! Plus the bottle looks pretty cool.

Photo of jwhite1979
3.2/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Either you love this peculiar beer or you hate it. I think. It's strong enough to knock you on your butt, it's cheap enough to buy with change from under your couch cushions, and it has enough flavor to savor.

But that flavor--do you like it or not? It's sweet, kind of hoppy, not bitter at all, but bordering on putrid with the first sip. I was revolted at first, but I kept trying to like it. I couldn't finish my 12 pack--they were just too rugged--so the next day I gave it another shot. After a while they started growing on me.

Now I buy two 24oz cans on Wednesday nights and bring them to the pool hall, leaving one in the fridge there until Friday night when I return. Perfect sipping beer, but you have to develop a taste for its queer flavor. It's worth it in the long run.

Photo of biggred1
3/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Absolutely clear, dark yellow with a big fizzy white head that settles to a skim of fine foam that leaves little lace. Smells of cooked grits and caramel with a nice hit of grain alcohol. Tastes fairly sweet and brashly alcoholic but finishes pretty clean for the style, nothing really off, just a one trick pony. Heavy duty carbonation and medium bodied. This beer is for those that want a powerful beer that is way inexpensive and it succeeds on both fronts. Easier drinking than most Malt Liquors.

Photo of aval89
2.49/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving was of a 24oz can..
poured a golden almost amber color, but not quite..
minimal head with an ok lacing on the glass

smells of sweet malts followed by a metallic odor then a strong boozy smell..

t&m: the taste is malty with a metallic taste followed by a warm boozy aftertaste...the strong alcohol taste slowly fades as you drink more....also has a somewhat smooth finish

drinkability is either u like it or dislike it....thats all i can say on that part


Photo of comet5
2.9/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I told myself I wasn't going to spend any money on liquor this weekend, so I compromised with myself and said I'd get something from the liquor store that I could afford with the loose change I had scattered around my apartment. I knew this meant I would be buying my first 40oz. I have to say its not as bad as I thought it would be.

Since it was my first 40oz, I drank from the bottle, that how its done right? Its orange in color; sweet, and malty, with an alcohol flavor that was almost astringent at first and mellowed after about half the bottle was gone. Did the beer breath a bit or did my palette get used to it? At first the carbonation was really strong, but mellowed to become rather frothy in the mouth. The finish was good, the malty sweetness didn't linger, rather I was left with a hint of the "select hops" touted on the label and a warm feeling in my stomach(after half the bottle).

Its something I would definitely buy again, given that what I normally consider a cheap alternative like PBR doesn't taste much better and has half the alcohol content. Might as well get a bigger bang for you buck when you're not going for flavor.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.73/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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

A: The beer is a light gold color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of adjuncts, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and a little boozy up front with flavors of grain & adjuncts. There's a very mild hops presence that isn't enough to mask the alcohol, since there's no much other substance to the beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp but not very smooth, light body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Not very flavorful at all, goes down ok, not filling at all, strong kick, it's a decent representation of its style for whatever that might be worth. There are definitely better high-octane beers out there that you can put away quickly, if that's what you're going for.

Photo of PatronWizard
2.61/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first malt liquor review! What a joyous occasion. Grabbed a 24oz can for the low low price of $1.49 and put it to the head.

Bold label. 8.1% High Gravity. Slow brewed for exceptionally smooth flavor. Medieval symbol for steel. WTF?

Pours a much deeper shade of urine than expected. Golden. Head fizzled out in 3 seconds. Looks like this story is over. But....

Smells. Just short of offensive.

Taste actually has some barley bite to it I do believe. A little better than the usual corn based swill. A very weak bready flavor with a slight taste of rubbing alcohol. It's not disgusting. Hell I might even lay down a 3 for taste.

Light on the carbonation, almost smooth. Probably the best cheap piece of shit I've ever had. And at 8.1, this abomination is all about gettin the job done. The next time I have only two bucks, ten minutes, and a shitty task, I might grab another.

Overall: not good, but better than expected

Photo of theBubba
3.28/5  rDev +39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A buck gets you:

24 oz. of the best tasting high grav cheap beer.

A can so cool that you want to cut the top off and save it for a paint brush holder (it's too tall for pencils) or maybe gutter spikes.

A nice buzz.

Seriously, this brew runs rings around any of the big three's Ice beers, as well as LaBatt, Molson, etc. It pours with a decent head, keeps a lace to the end (my glass is always soap free), and presents a slight floral smell as it warms and a taste of almond or marzipan, and of course alcohol. To my thinking, currently this is the only one of it's kind.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.24/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- The beer is very pale straw yellow. Clear as to be expected. The head was busy at first, but has since died down to an electric white cap atop the beer. Lots of activity within the beer. In terms of American Malt Liquor it looks average, especially compared to its AML peers.

S- Surprisingly I'm getting some clove, this is very fruity. I'm pretty amazed. I asked my wife, who doesn't know what beer I have in my glass and she even said cinnamon, clove, and grapefruit. Crazy!

T- This is a beast, definitely an AML. Malts, and the ever present Alcohol taste. I'm also getting the slight clove taste, as well as the familiar lager taste.

M- Feels like a beer, and especially an AML.

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Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity) from Steel Brewing Company
57 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.