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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,928
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 929
Gots: 994 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,928
Photo of DovaliHops
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been waiting to try this for a long time now. Had Daisy Cutter last night, so this beer has a lot to prove. I doubt it could be better than DC. Pours a very unique amber color with a nice medium sized head on it. Hops smells immediately when pouring. When smelling this, I get a LOT of sweet malts and caramel. Also get a lot of hops, but not nearly as much as DC. The citrus fruits are there, but not very "in your face." This smell is more well balanced than DC. Taste is very sugary sweet up front, then some citrus fruitiness (i also get hints of cherry), followed by the hop bitterness. This is just an amazing pale ale. The mouthfeel is chewier than most pale ales I've had, but keeps an AMAZING drinkability. I wish they sold this here in California. I'm so spoiled after these last two nights with DC last night and now AK tonight (got 1 of each as extras in a trade). I'm gonna go through "Flawless Pale Ale" withdrawals for the rest of the week.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy orange-gold, almost copper, with a pale toffee-colored cap that is somewhat stiff and resembles softly beaten egg whites. The crown has good staying power and deposits quite a bit of lace in thick rings and sheets.

The nose is citrusy hoppy. Not overpowering, not the 'olfactory bomb' that is Stone IPA. The flavor has a citrusy hop bite, but there's also plenty of malt to balance things out. Flavors include grapefruit and orange peel primarily. Delicious. The mouthfeel is plenty smooth, no complaints here. Drinkability is high... nice and smooth, very well-balanced.

Alpha King does seem more like an IPA than a true pale ale. I could definitely make this a regular in my rotation if it was more available. I plan to pick up a couple of fresh sixers (at the brewery) next week.

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Photo of Maestro
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was extremely impressed with this pale ale. I like the idea of dropping the "India" moniker. The nose is great. Lots of citrus and pine, coupled with a sweet malt profile. The head is white and thin, but leaves a decent lacing. The color is orange with lots of red highlights. The taste is extremely balanced. The hops are quite present, but they seem to be just right. This isn't an Imperial IPA, just a well-hopped pale ale. There are some grapefruit notes alongside some hints of pine. These are balanced by a taste of toast or a biscuit flavor that balances the hops very well. The ABV is warming as you move through the beer. The finish is very clean and keeps you coming back for more. Wow! This is a great beer.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter. the body is a dark amber color with a light haze. the head leaves a bubbly lace throughout with light sheeting, it only takes a light swirl to really agitate the head again.
s - hops! grapefruit and pine with a little malt hint.
t - orange zest is the dominant flavor but it has a little grassy taste with some malt in the finish.
m - it's bubbly, smooth and creamy all at the same time. it is so clean it leaves zero aftertaste or lingering on the tongue immediately after the sip.
d - this is superb. i could drink this beer all night long. if there is a better APA out there i haven't had it and they've really done something if it's better than the alpha king. this alpha king is the alpha male of APAs.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago.

A - Ruby amber and clear with a thin white head.

S - Pine and citrus hop aromas mainly. Zesty and zingy.

T - Big ole dose of ctrus and pine hop flavors. Orange rind, pine, and lemon. Much more powerful than the nose. Biscuity malts hold it together.

M - Acidic, medium bodied, and chewy. Excellent dryish finish.

D - Awesome! I could drink these regularly.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pulled from a cask at the Map Room and served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is an impeccable looking dark copper brown with a thick and creamy one inch head that fades into a cap about halfway though the session and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

S: Smell is very subtle and very unlike Alpha King from the bottle, this beer seems like an almost entirely different animal. Mild pine and citrus with a good amount of sweet brown sugary malt greet the nose, you can already tell this beer is going to be something special.

T/MF: First sip is a bit unassuming but all that follow are pure hoppy and malty goodness. Super fresh pine and grassy lemony nuttiness, just about the freshest livest thing that has ever passed my lips. Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of hop bitterness and carbonation to hold everything together.

D: Insanely drinkable, one of the freshest cleanest tasting "Pale ales" I've had in recent memory. Alpha King is a must try from the cask.

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Photo of oracle
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20 oz imperial pint in a traditional english pint glass

This beer is medium to light amber with medium density white head that left little lacing.

Smell is STRONGLY of hops. with strong citrus aromas dominating.

Taste - absolutely outstanding. Strong hoppy at the front with a wonderful citrus middle. Finishes much more cleanly than a lot of other extremely hoppy beers it might be compared with. Well crafted and complex in character, this beer should be appreciated slowly.

This beer drinks clean and easy for such a hoppy ale. It seems to me to be closer to an IPA than a Pale Ale.

Overall, excellent and highly recommended.

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Photo of jsh420
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

notes from 5/26 blind ipa tasting

pours dark copper orange with 1/2 finger head that left no lacing

smells citrus hops grapefruit little pine and carmel malts

taste was well balanced hops upfront grapefruit and pine with a good malt backbone

mouthfeel was a light/medium body with nice creamy finish

drinkability is very good it might look heavy but this is one easy drinking beer

over this beer finished tied for next to last in blind tasting - to iTs credit this is not an IPA just a very good if not great APA (reviewed as APA)
rankings on tasting 1-8 GFlash-2Hrtd-BigEye=Hop3-CorneDuDiable-60min=AlphaKing-Hdevil

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Photo of ChiBeerKM
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

this beer pours a deep amber/ruby color with an inch of fluffy white head that clings to the side of the glass as you drink. very nice looking brew.

the aroma is full of citrus hops plus a small pine aroma as well. ripe grapefruit and orange zest come to mind. there is a slight caramel smell from the malt, which comes out more as the beer warms and opens up.

taste is amazing with hops leading the way with just enough caramel malt to balance the citrusy bitterness. mouthfeel is medium and silky smooth w/ perfect dryness to leave you wanting another sip.

overall this APA is top notch. exactly what i like from the style and exactly what i expect from three floyds. pick some up if you can!


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Photo of keilerdunkel
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance is slightly hazy with a orange/brown coppery color topped off with a 1" head which subsided to 1/4" after a couple of minutes. It left nice lacing to the end of the glass.

It has a slightly sweet smell, with a definite citrus overtones (grapefruit/tangerine cross for lack of a better comparison)

Taste: mmm, this is how I expect an APA to taste. Almost as bitter as an americal IPA but not quite. On the first sip, the bitterness hits you first, not overpowering but there, and then is followed by a malty middle and then finishes with the bitterness. Again that nice citrus American hop taste is upfront. Towards the end of the glass, the malt becomes more pronounced, but never loses the hop bite.

mouthfeel smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I could drink these all night, I am surprised at the ABV, because it was not noticible at all. I now see the comparisons mentioned with Pride & Joy mild.

The Three Floyd's beers are fast converting me to being a hop head.

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Photo of DrMalt
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired in a trade with Demcorhip.

Expectations were high, shouldn't have read about it before I tried it.

Shared a 12oz bottle (thankfully friend enjoyed as much as I ).

Poured a somewhat hazy amber with hints of orange & a medium sized frothy head.

Taste was definitively APA with loads of hop bitterness, but for me without some of the sometimes "off" bitterness that others can bring. I was surprised by the unique & impressive hop flavours that this beer brought to an APA.

Mouthfeel was good & I think because of the balance of the brew. Malt vs. hop.

Drinkability was simply outstanding. I have always enjoyed drinking APA's for their drinkability & thought it would be hard to top a Liberty or Red Seal Ale. But for my palatte this tops em' all.

My sense is the other BA's that tasted & reviewed this must know a thing or two. Just a great rendition of an APA!

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Photo of twelvsies
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down my favorite beer out of the Three Floyds haul I just received (thanks Josh, aka alleykatking). Rich amber in color, great head and lacing on the glass. This beer is just perfectly balanced. Some might push this beer into the IPA category, but I believe it's right where it belongs as a pale ale. It's darker than most IPAs, and while yes it is very hoppy, it's not super bitter or dry. It really has an excellent "hop efficiency", yes I just made that up. Basically I mean that the hops used in this beer seem like they go a long way and the utmost flavor is achieved from the ingredient, therefore it's not overloaded with extra hops or clouded by other ingredients trying to balance out the hops. Fruity, ripe, delicious fresh hop taste. A nice malt backdrop. Wish I had more...

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy deep copper with a creamy beige head and nice lacing.

A sweet maltiness and a burst of spicy hops and pine await those put it to their nose.

A perfect combination that plays off the aroma. The tastes includes the balance of the malts and the bitterness of the hops with their spice and pine.

Medium bodied and carbonated.

This is an incredible APA and quickly became one of my favorites. Enjoy.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a nice frothy white head that dissipates and leaves good lacing on the walls of my pint glass. Fantastic floral hoppy nose with big scents of citrus fruit and some sweet malt lagging behind. The scent is very vibrant and fresh. Great citrus hop bite at the front of the palate with tastes of grapefruit and fresh tangerines with just the right touch of sweet biscuity malt to round everything out. Medium bodied with medium carbonation that is smooth, crisp, and clean. A good session beer that goes well about anytime you could want.

Great beer from the boys in Munster. I award them with having this in my fridge at all times.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, almost amber color for this APA. Carbonation very active with about a finger of lacing. Enjoyed out of a large tulip glass.

Smell: The hops jump right out of the bottle at you. But along with the hops is a mix of various citrus flavors and sweet caramel. I enjoyed taking in the aroma of this one for a while before drinking it.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, the hops are the first thing that hits the palate. I've had many lower level IPA that do not have anywhere near the hop presence Alpha King does. But it certainly is not to be confused as an IPA, the malt character provides a warming kiss on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A crisp feel is provided which sticks around for a while after drinking this beer.

Overall: Across the board, one of my favorite beers to date. I live in an area where some effort is need to obtain this brew, but worth it every time. It is unfair to compare other APA against this beer since it is simply so much different then other of its style.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6 pack at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI.

A: Pours a very reddish amber color with an initial one finger cream colored head that has awesome retention. Great lace.
S: Aromas of piney hops infused with grapefruit and citrus flavors hit the nose first. Wonderful smelling pale ale, almost like an ipa. Biscuity malts also.
T: Tastes of pine hops hit the palate first, followed by a nice malty and bitter aftertaste thats just wonderful. Great tasting pale ale--to repeat, more like an ipa. Bready malt flavor hangs at the roof and back of the mouth.
M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very high on this offering from 3 Floyds. Slick but smooth mouthfeel allows you to have a bunch of these. The hop complexion makes this a very enticing ale to drink. Sessionable? Yes! Love this one--my new favorite pale ale.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz poured into a pint glass

Cant believe I have tried 12 other three floyds beers before getting around to try this one.

A- Pours clear orange amber. Nice visible carbonation. A dense foamy three finger head of an off white coloration.

S- A very hoppy punch to the nose. Great sugary citrus like pinapple and mango and orange, Smells like fresh fruit. A light but delicious smelling malt backbone. An extremely fresh hop profile that somehow reminds me of candy. Smells slightly like fruity pebbles and Lysol, in a very good way. A marvelous smelling pale.

T- Tastes like it smells. It starts off with a sugary malt rush of light caramel and candy. Its followed up by a ton of fresh citrus flavors. Its all about the pinapple and mango, Lots of lemon and orange as well. The bitterness is relatively low considering the hop profile.

M- This beer is fairly bitter and sweet but also, not too hard to take down more then a few. Good carbonation to match the flavors. A bitter aftertaste but with that comes the glorious citrus flavors.

O- Embarrassed that it took me this long to get around to try this one. This is the best pale ale I know of. Its also priced well, unlike a lot of other 3F brews. If you like a hoppy pale ale and IPA's, this is the bomb.

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Photo of sacfly
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. Off white head with medium bubbles. Smell is a wonderful sweet citrus, orange and grapefruit.

First taste: hop flavors balanced very well with the malt. Just the right amount of crystal malt without being too sweet. Just the right amount of citrus and pine without being too over the top. Pine comes out more in the bitter aftertaste.

A quite tasty APA. I have waited for a long time for this and it did not disappoint. Just saw this is 7.35%ABV??? Wow. Never would have guessed.

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Photo of brdc
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at their location, on tap.

Dark golden with ruby overtones, and a white sticky head, just like from the bottle.
Nose is hoppy, fruity as expected, but the malts are quite noticeable as well, adding some sweetness, earthy/grainy features to balance it out. It feels very fresh, with a more pronounced fuitiness when compared to the bottle, which is an improvement.
Taste is very well-balanced just like the bottle; hoppy and, fruity but also at times malty and even somewhat sweet. Dry finish, but here, compared to the bottle, the fruitiness and bitterness feel a bit more noticeable, and it lingers for a bit longer.
Medium, creamy on the palate, it is very flavorful and well-hopped, but the malts are not ignored and maintain a very flavorful balance, although comparing to the bottle, the hops are a lit bit more upfront.
Impressive, even better than the bottle version.

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Photo of DaggerEyes
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass

poured a rich copper with some amber and ruby hints, with a finger thick off white foamy head. Sticky to the sides of the glass with a moderate amount of lacing an even thin head remaining throughout.

A wonderfully aromatic brew with a wonderful floral boquet. The hops are the first to hit the nose and they are as one might expect piney and citrusy, but there is a strong malt back bone, laced with subtle sweet carmel scents which makes the smell wonderfully unique and balanced beautifully

An even mixture of sweet fruity and sligtly carmelesque malts and citric hops up front with a bitter (but not too bitter) grapefruitesque finish. a really solid, well crafted and wonderful taste

Tingles the tip of the tounge and maintins a nice amount of carbonation throughout. Great medium bodied brew with a really clean finish.

What a beer. A buddy shipped these to me and man the hype is to be believed it's some great stuff.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from Three Floyds Brewery. Thanks Paul!

Poured into a Two Brothers "It's beer thirty" Nonic, it forms a tall three finger head. Color is a slightly hazed glowing honey. A dense head slowly settles leaving a full coating of lace. Top notch appearance.

A tropical citrus burst of lemon zest and orange peel greets the nose. Sweet honey malt backs this up.

Taste does not follow the nose as a more resiny hop bitterness coats the palate with some sweet orange and balanced by honey like pale malt. Some grapefruit hops appear as this warms. No apparent alcohol warming despite the 6% measurement.

Smooth. smooth, smooth. This has a high quality complex mouthfeel. Very full and flavorful. There is fine carbonation in just the right amount.

This is as close to an IPA as a pale ale gets. It's more hoppy than many IPA's.

My brother and I have been drinking this fine brew since 1996. They were at a local brew fest in Downers Grove. My brother tried Alpha King and adopted it as his favorite of all time. We have been hop heads ever since. Thanks for years of cranking out awesome beer Three Floyds.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't thank jmp30 enough for sending me two bottles of this excellent beer. It easily lived up to my expectations. A nice copper color with a reddish hue that comes with a medium sized head. Moderate carbonation and a small amount of lacing left behind. Smelled excellent with the hops being very evident and a mouth watering sweetness of citrus that lingers. Tastes like heaven in a bottle if that's possible. Perfect combination of hops and malty goodness, with a bitterness that seems to come and go at the right time. Nice, smooth mouthfeel with a great texture that coats the tongue. If I had regular access to this stuff I would always have a few close by. Quite drinkable and enjoyable though for many it would be something you'd have to get used to. Almost an IPA from my experience but a damned good APA if that's what they call it.

Another thanks goes to czoch75 for a sixer that was included in a trade.

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Photo of Vipsanius
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got in a couple of six packs of this much heralded beer. After trying a few glasses, I found my Orval chalice to be the most rewarding (pint glass and others just didn't do it justice). The appearance is a fairly transparent amber color with a little bit of a red tint, very small off white head but with surprisingly decent lacing, however.

Floral and citrus hops dominate the aroma, which also has some sweet caramel malt, piney hop and dark fruit undertones.

The taste is as hoppy as a bunny rabbit on caffeine pills but in a very controlled and balanced sort of way. Not insanely out of control with the hops like some pale ales I've had. This is by far the widest range of flavors I've had from an APA to date. There's no one taste really dominating the others but a lot going on there. Citrus hops, floral hops, small amount of piney hops, which is good because a little goes a long way, vanilla, pomegranate (wth), honey, plum and many other flavors. Also, there's a surprising amount of malt flavors that come through and leave a very nice aftertaste.

This beer is velvety smooth going down and has just the right amount of carbonation. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable but not too bad considering the percentage.

Overall, a great and very drinkable American Pale Ale and definitely the first one I would recommend to someone interested in trying out the style. A great APA, in my mind, should also be a good session beer and this one certainly is...just be careful with the alcohol % as it can sneak up on you.

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Photo of mattboyer182
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - A golden coppery color and a finger of white head.

S - Smells of citrus and piney hops. Theres a sweet balance in this beer as well. it's not all about the hops.

T - A grapefruit, orange citrus to the hops. An Amazing bitter to it. It comes in with an awesome sweetness in the middle and finishes with a great lingering bitter.

M - Light to medium body and good carbonation.

O - Used to be my favorite APA... that is until zombie dust came out.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark golden color, with a good size head that lasted through out the beer. There is a strong hoppy and grapfruit aroma. There is a strong hoppy taste, but it lacks that bite that some pale ales have, also a bitter grapefruit like taste is detectable. Not very carbonated and could use some more carbonation. Overall a REALLLY good beer, I enjoyed this one.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,742 ratings.