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Barrel-Aged Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

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Barrel-Aged AbraxasBarrel-Aged Abraxas

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91 Reviews
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Reviews: 91
Hads: 1,067
Avg: 4.65
pDev: 7.1%
Wants: 2,135
Gots: 139 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Etan on 11-18-2012

Imperial Stout aged Twelve months in Rittenhouse Rye barrels with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, ancho chiles & cinnamon sticks
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 1,067
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Bottled 1/2013.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, chile, and graham crackers. Taste is much the same with the whiskey coming through on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and chile heat on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with an unbelievable smell and tasty flavors.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.59/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by stlwill at the RBSG grand tasting at Surly. I certainly wasn't going to try trading for this one so I'm grateful for the free pour.

Pours a murky black/brown color, some head but it dissipates quickly.

Aroma is really heavy on the cinnamon. Actually everything about this beer is about the cinnamon. Plenty of booze present too, along with some wood and chocolate. Not a bad start but I'm scared of how sweet this is going to be.

Flavor is as feared: too heavy on the cinnamon and sugar. The upside is that there is some whiskey, toasted wood, and chocolate behind that. Unfortunately there are also roast, burnt, and all around astringent flavors. Not overly bitter.

Body is heavy, unsurprisingly but it's a good thickness. Could use some more carbonation.

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Photo of oline73
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was lucky enough to have this at the Perennial beer dinner at Birch and Barley. Served in a tasting snifter.

The beer pours an opaque dark brown/black color with not much head to speak of. The smell is divine. As good as this beer tastes, it smells even better. I'm getting pepper spice with sweet cocoa and notes of coconut and cinnamon. The taste is a bitter sweet dark chocolate. The peppers burn and the burn increases as the beer warms. I'm getting some cinnamon and smooth bourbon. There is a roasty note that reminds me of coffee. The body is thick and syrupy, smooth and sticky on the mouth. There is a tingly carbonation and you can feel a slight burn. This is an awesome beer and I'd love to have more in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter.

Well, up to now I've had great luck with beers (and Santana albums) with the name Abraxas. I like those odds. This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of dark-ish tan foam. The nose comprises bourbon, roasted malts, light toasted coconut, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, light hickory smoke, and chocolate syrup. The taste holds notes of boozy bourbon, smoky peppers, brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and a heavy dose of roasted malts. As damn fine as this tastes, the booziness holds it back from approaching transcendental. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a damn fine brew, one whose booziness seems to be its only hindrance. Good times, indeed.

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Photo of jlindros
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had the regular version but thanks to rudzud for sharing another big want from my list.

Light fizzy head, dark creamy head covering fades instantly, pitch black color with great legs.

Nose is awesome, coconut surprisingly, great dark choc, creamy choc, vanilla barrel, so much cocoa, toasted barrel, melting choc, little caramel, decent cinnamon. Amazing.

Taste great choc, lots of cinnamon, hot spicy cinnamon, great coconut, vanilla barrel, bitter dark choc, thick melting choc, light vanilla barrel, dark choc, little creamy, mild hot booze, little nutty and thick dark malt. Finish is semi sweet and lots of hot cinnamon and booze, more big coconut and vanilla barrel.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, some warming booze little creamy and melting choc.

Overall great other than really spicy cinnamon is a bit too much, but otherwise awesome, great coconut and choc.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Steve? Can't totally remember.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a thick collar, a few stray wisps on top, and a few specks of lace. Very dark brown body that verges on black.

S - The whiskey integration here is well-done, and the spicy rye notes complement the massive cinnamon and milder chile flavors. I'm actually surprised by how restrained the barrel is given this was aged for 11 months. Stout flavors tend to take a back seat to the adjuncts, with an unclear boundary between cocoa nibs and malt. Quite nice all the same.

T - The taste is of similar quality, with a medley of spicy rye whiskey, chiles, cocoa nibs, oak, and a dialed down level of cinnamon here. Vanilla shows up, but is quite light, and a caramel and lightly roasted malt backbone shows up to support the complex array of barrel and adjuncts.

M - Medium-full body, chewy, with appropriate lower carbonation, and a bit of lingering chile heat. Alcohol is very well hidden, just like the base beer.

D - A very good take on a beer I already enjoyed quite a bit. Very mellow, considering the high alcohol content, but it'd be a challenge to work through an entire bottle on my own. I prefer the double vanilla and chile version I had on-tap, but I found this to be an improvement on the base beer.

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Photo of orangesol
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Bainbridge Street Barrel House during their 1st anniversary party. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small trails of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, strong chili heat, room temperature chocolate, vanilla beans, fresh ground cinnamon and a bit of light booze. Was really hard to finish my glass because it smelled so incredible.

T - Starts off with a quick hit of chocolate, caramel and vanilla sweetness quickly being joined by hints of cinnamon, chillies, drying oak and smooth bourbon burn. Finish is pretty sweet with some heat, lingering for quite awhile. Not as intoxicating as the nose but still really damn good.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Despite the big, roasty body it was still really smooth, only a bit of booze creeping in at the end of each sip.

O - This might be the best chili stout I have ever had. It packs all of the flavors I enjoyed in the base beer and the bourbon was strong but not over the top. I really loved the choice of rye barrels for this one, really brought it all together. I would love to have this again in the future.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Birch and Barley for the Perennial Artisan Ales beer dinner.

The beer is black with a thin beige collar. The nose is phenomenal. Chocolate, cinnamon sticks, spicy chilis. Unbelievable flavor, with everything coming together in beautiful harmony. Bourbon character is mild, but certainly present. A bit of alcohol in the finish, with a little bite from the bourbon. Lingering spicy heat in the finish. What an awesome beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Glass staining. Nice khaki head. Wispy on the surface with a thick collar.

Smell - Wow nice. Lots of cinnamon. Peppers, vanilla, and chocolate. Not a lot of barrel character from it. Peanut buttery.

Taste - Peppers come through in the background throughout. Peanut butter flavor persists throughout too. Lots of chocolate and a bucket of cinnamon. Some whiskey and vanilla comes through, but not much else.

Mouthfeel - Chewy and slick. Very nice body. Peppers cut the heaviness.

Overall - Pains me to say this is just as good as Hunahpu. I wish there was more barrel, but it's hella good.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.74/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at churchkey

Pours an opaque dark brown with a ring of dark mocha head and a splotchy film. Nose of booze, coconut, vanilla extract, rubbing alcohol, peppermint and cocoa. Medium thick body, light carbonation, silky texture. Rich, sweet flavor with slight bitterness and peppery heat in finish. Not as sweet as expected from nose, more balance of spice with sweet; coconut, chili pepper, cinnamon, cocoa and burning. I'm having a hard time in the finish distinguishing between bitterness, alcohol burn and pepper heat. Better than expected, but no Hunahpu. The chilis sort of ruin this for me, oh well

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured a big black body with good carbonation leaving a moderate brown cap which quikly fades leaving some bubbles and spotty lacing

5: Big cinnamon and anchos smothered by chocolate, roasted malt and light bourbon.

T: Taste follows the nose very well. Big cinnamon meets chiles but that cinnamon really rivals the chiles. It provides an initial zing or spiciness which is nice, it lingers from start to finish. It provides a nice heat which smothers the alcohol heat. The chocolate and roasted base is nice and helps keep the beer in check. The bourbon is almost mute under all of the flavor which is sordove a good thing in this case. The finish is rather creamy, spicey, sweet and decadent.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation but good for the style considering it is barrel aged. The spice and heat really coats the palate providing some staying power. Awesome.

O: Most excellent. If you dig Huna you will dig this and I really dig Huna. Amazing stout!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured in to snifter.

A - Poured a thick, sludgy ink black colour with a thin layer of espresso coloured that quickly reduced to a ring around the glass.

S - A big (unexpected) coconut aroma up front that is followed by a big sweet cocoa aroma and notes of char, whiskey, chilli peppers and a touch of smoke. An absolutely wonderful nose.

T - A huge toasted coconut flavour up front that gives way to cinnamon and ancho chilli notes that come through beautifully in flavour without a lot of heat. Sweet chocolate and molasses notes enter mid-palate and balance out the spices nicely. The barrel presence is more muted than expected but adds a nice layer of whiskey and char notes throughout and a touch of vanilla that shows up in the finish. The flavours work so well together and are well integrated with the barrel aging.

M - Full body. Somewhat viscous. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - This beer was flawless.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Shared by my friend Photekut at the end of our Hill Farmstead tasting on 2/16/2013. I brought the regular Abraxas to a tasting a month or so earlier and we knew we had to get this, so thanks JR for doing that. :)

A: Looks much like the regular Abraxas, which is to say an incredibly thick dark chocolate color with a big, thick, frothy chocolate brown head. Like a melted cocoa drink from a nice chocolatier.

S: Holy shit. The smell is unbelievable. Loads of rich chocolate, vanilla, coconut, cinnamon and spicy chili. This smells like a German chocolate cake, but twice as good as any German chocolate cake could actually be. Easily as good an aroma as any beer I've had.

T: And it tastes just as good. Staggeringly rich and complex variety of flavors. Huge chocolate again, tons of vanilla, coconut, caramel, spice, oak...whiskey too but the whiskey is very subtle and seems to be doing more to transform the other flavors than to stand out in its own right. Spicy on the finish but not too much. This is just amazing.

M: Incredibly thick and rich, and yet impossible to stop drinking. We'd have finished numerous bottles of this if someone had offered them, I have no doubt.

O: This is a top five beer for me, maybe number one among stouts. Utterly amazing. I expected great things after having the regular Abraxas, but this vastly exceeded expectations. It's hard to believe how much complexity and balance the barrel aging added to this beer.


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Photo of SadMachine
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 7/24/14

A- Pours a thick, viscous motor-oil black with a small light brown head that recedes to a film and leaves some lacing. When swirled some nice alcohol legs are visible.

S- Massive waves of cinnamon and chocolate waft out of the glass immediately! Tons of sweet chocolate and bitter dark chocolate. There is almost a maple syrup smell, and some molasses going on. Fudge and some whiskey and vanilla. The nice touch of chilies gives a spicy and sweet touch that rounds this out. So complex and so fantastic!

T- It bursts with flavors as soon as it hits the tongue! Bitter dark chocolate up front, followed by loads of chili peppers, and a whole lot of whiskey as well. Some dark roasty malts give some coffee-like flavor. Hints of cinnamon and vanilla add to the complexity. A lot of boozy heat and spicy heat make this a very slow sipper.

M- Incredibly thick and viscous, nice carbonation, dry, and a good bit of heat.

O- This is just an awesomely crafted beer that hits so many different notes without being messy! I personally would prefer a little less booze and heat to allow for some other flavors to shine more, but it's a very minor complaint!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.59/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle opened on 8.17.13
Thanks C!

A - Pours a dark chocolate brown with a small dark brown head that quickly fades to the edges.

S - Whiskey first, then the chilies hit, finally the cacao and cinnamon in the finish.

T - Smooth whiskey, then the chilies and cinnamon hit, finishes with the chocolate.

D - Low carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Well rounded and all ingredients hit you in stages. Wow, world class beer!

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Photo of rudzud
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a super dark black hue with a thin halo that fades almost immediately.

S - Aromas are crazy, huge coconut barrel notes, enormous cinnamon notes, vanilla, faint chili, awesome.

T - Taste is loads of barrel coconut, crazy amount, lots of cinnamon. As awesome as this is the nose is this taste is awesome. Really really tasty with still tons of cinnamon.

M - Mouthfeel is really smooth and creamy, delicious and silky.

O - Overall this was a damn good beer, though the cinnamon was a bit heavy.

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Photo of IrishColonial
4.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Churchkey

A: dark melted chocolate brown, no head 3.5

S: chocolate covered cinnamon toast crunch; slight chili; lots of coconut 4.5

M: thick and creamy, definitely a sipper 4

T: lots of chocolate fudge with coconut, almost like an Almond Joy; the chilis offer a nice bite on the aftertaste; lots of cinnamon, good flavor but a bit much. 4.5

O: This beer is really tasty, like hot fudge, coconut, vanilla drink, almost like the Aztecs or Mayans used to drink "from the gods." one snifter is definitely enough due to its richness but it is an awesome beer. 4.5

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cinnamon, pepper skin, vanilla, cardamom, and chocolate. Fudge. Cinnamon is the dominant flavor. Barrel integrated extremely well. Oaky, dry, not to sweet. Medium bodied. Pretty awesome beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.87/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared last night by Curran, thanks man.

Pours a pretty dark black, with a half inch mocha-colored head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells tremendously rich and decadent- a huge amount of fudge and aromatic cocoa powder, some rye whiskey, and vanilla. I can't wait to get into this.

This also tastes like a dream. The barreling seems to have amplified the chocolate aspect of this beer, and downplayed the peppers. The peppers are still there, but less so than regular Abraxas. I get also cinnamon, vanilla, oak, spicy rye whiskey, and vegetal pepper with no real actual heat. This is one decadent mofo of a stout.

This is thick bodied, with a creamy, rich mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation. Despite the ABV and richness, it's very drinkable.

This is up there with the best stouts I've ever had. It's so well-done.

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Photo of maximum12
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%

Picked out by my lovely wife to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, & that’s about all you need to know about what a fine bride I have. Fifteen years. Damn. 750ML bottle I won in the lottery this year…which I entered once. On a whim. After a drunken tasting. Lucky me!

Pour is black, carbonation active for a beer of its weight. The nose is delicious but hard to tease apart – other than the chocolate, which has fudgy hands all over the aroma. Underneath is gorgeous vanilla, warm chilies, more sweetness from the malts. The balance is exquisite.

Abraxas – Barrel Aged is simply a world-class beer even with one of my favorite ingredients, dry-hopped hype. But hell, the base beer is nearly perfect; how much better could a barrel make it? What’s astounding is that you can swish this beer around in your mouth & identify each lovely taste: strong natural vanilla, artisan chocolate that washes through & around every component of the beer, light cinnamon. Chilies hit the sweet spot in the bat, neither under- nor over-done, providing light without heat, so to speak. Whiskey barrel? Barely visible on the aftertaste, slight enough that it could be missed amidst the harmony of flavors. This is a beer that, if I could get enough of it, I’d drink constantly. This should come with an IV kit.

An elite-level beer: but if you’re not a ticker, steer clear. The barrel really adds minimally to what was already an incredible stout. Get thee some regular old Abraxas, son, & know that you’re not missing much by not having this whale. Except a similarly great brew.

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Photo of JamLand
4.37/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a deep black with a fingers worth of an almost caramel looking head.

S: Great and foreboding. The cacao, chiles, cinnamon, and more chiles come through. The barrel presence is minimal.

T: The cinnamon and chiles are the dominant taste. The barrel is subtly hanging out in the background. Reminds of a chile spiced, hot chocolate. However, the chiles were too dominant for me.

F: For my taste, the feel was perfect for an imperial stout. Thick and rich, exactly what I'm looking for in this style.

Overall, a great beer, but the spice level of the chiles was too dominant for me. Beers like this have a difficult time living up to their considerable hype, however I can see how for some people this beer would be near perfection. If the chiles were dialed back a bit, this would be one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The aroma is inviting of aroma, pepper skin, sweet milk chocolate, cinnamon, chunky dark chocolate, fudge.

The flavor hits of that sweet milk chocolate, some brownie batter, vanilla, raisins, more dark fruit. Then onto a fruit pepper skin with a medium amount of heat. The finish is of cacao along with some bourbon and caramel sweetness.

The barrel character on this is phenomenal along with the already amazing base beer.

Up there with DB Cake and better than DBH.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A premier BA spiced stout, equal to Double Barrel Huna as the best two out there. Fantastic spice & heat, along with great barrel aging to make it a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of CTJman
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer brings barrel aged stouts to the next level. My number 1

The adjuncts stand out with a smooth mouthfeal. Savored each sip to the end. I need more of this in my life

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from trade, 2014 batch with black wax. Pours incredibly black, inky, viscous, and ends up with a finger and a half of dark brown head, creamy looking, too. Incredible aroma of sweet chocolate and cinnamon, spicy rye whiskey, very very faint peppers, vanilla, roasted marshmallows. It's like cinnamon s'mores with whiskey, though the whiskey supports rather than overpowers the smell. Flavor follows with awesome cocoa powder and cinnamon, vanilla whiskey notes, ever so slight spice and warmth that lingers from a combination of the peppers and the alcohol. Thick and viscous, though not syrupy, low carbonation but enough bubbles to keep things thick, and very rich with a slightly roasty dry finish. I was expecting more whiskey on this one, but it melds into the beer so well. Seems very much worth the hype here. Incredible beer, though still takes a back seat to DB Huna for me.

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Barrel-Aged Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
100 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.