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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale AleRoad Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale

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176 Reviews
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Reviews: 176
Hads: 1,283
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 25.8%
Wants: 53
Gots: 294 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wrigleyf on 04-22-2014

Our Imperial Rye IPA is brewed in the name of our Road Warriors—the sales team who tirelessly hit the streets, traveling from town to town and pub to pub sharing the Green Flash experience. Road Warrior™ charges full flavor forward. Columbus and Mosaic hops, rich crystal and spicy rye malts pave the way for Mosaic and Amarillo dry-hopping to boldly shine through in the finish. Raise a glass to those who never settle!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 176 | Hads: 1,283
Photo of MAB
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

This was a "wow" beer for me. I was not expecting the unique flavor that I got from it.
It was plenty bitter, plenty of malty balance, but an unidentifiable flavor just kept me sipping for more.
Delicious stuff; I'll be having more. On-tap at Hop In Brew in Calgary, OCT 15, 2014

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Photo of garymuchow
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even during the pour I could pick up the hop, rye and alcohol. On closer inspection a bigger grain and more intense hop mix nicely and form an appealing sweet nectar aroma. Some fruit but also flowery.
Huge tan mousse head. Red amber body mostly clear.
Full taste with some pushing of the hop oils, but seems to hold back just in time. The hops really lay on the tongue (and shred those poor cells up a bit too). Clear and distinct rye spicness. Complex hop flavors before the bitterness does it's damage and then lingers for a good long while. Smooth alcohol with a little warming in the gut, and some perfumey taste which is not overpowering.
Bigger than moderate feel and smooth enough carbonation.
Drink smooths out as it warms and airs out.

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Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark reddish brown with a medium tan head. mild lacing. Rye and grains upfront with caramel malt making its way slowly as it warms up, some earthy resin pine hops bitterness. Palate is a medium to full body, good carbonation, mild dry alcohol. Finish is rye and grains, caramel malt with some earthy resin hops bitterness on the end and some lingering rye malt flavor. A note worthy rye DIPA, good and full flavored brew.

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Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured from a 12 oz stubby brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. Best by space on label but blank. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Murky brown but clears as the glass empties with 1-finger of frothy beige head with good retention and a nice web of lacing at the top of the glass. (4)

S: Very rustic, earthy aroma with an excellent mix of lemony-grapefruit and herbal honeysuckle aroma. Light and medium crystal malts lend a touch of sweetness. There is a grassy edge as well to this wonderful beer. No yeast and minimal alcohol aroma. (4.25)

T: Flavor does not drop off at all -- I like the grassy, herbal yet floral edge to the hops flavor, it is very unique and inviting. There are some citrus characteristics too with lemon and grapefruit and pine resin pushing into the picture too. The light and medium crystal malts provide a good countering sweetness. The grassy, rustic finish is exceptional. Road Warrior is an underrated beer. Alcohol flavor provides a bit of an undercurrent of sweetness. (4.5)

M: Medium body with a nice dry finish and low-ish carbonation. (4)

O: Road Warrior is a nice diamond in the rough -- rustic and earthy but with plenty of hop citrus and pine resin coupling with the light crystal maltiness. Great beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby red over an amber background. Massive head with excellent retention and lacing. Very nice complex nose of citrus and tropical hops, a hint of spicy hops and rye over a caramel and biscuit malt sweet base. Medium body with an almost creamy texture. Slightly above normal carbonation with a good effervescent finish. The bold flavor profile is complex, but falls a bit short on balance. It begins with a blend of hop flavor that has a sweet caramel undertone, then rapidly flows into the bitter aspects that predominate the middle. The spicy rye notes assert themselves as you adjust to the mostly pine bitterness with small amounts of dank, tropical and citrus hop flavor. The finish is where the alcohol predominates and lingers over a receding bitterness and fading sweetness that, unfortunately, is out of balance. You get the nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat, but the lingering aftertaste is a bit astringent.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.44/5  rDev -40%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass, with a branded black pry-off pressure cap. "Best by 12/05/14." Purchased at Whole Foods HQ yesterday.

Reviewed as an "Imperial Rye India Pale Ale" per the label. 9.0% ABV. 80 IBU.

Expectations are below average given the brewery and style; I'm of the opinion Green Flash is (along with Stone) on the cutting edge of the trend towards direly imbalanced (Imperial) IPAs.

Served cold into a snifter at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A gentle hiss upon opening suggests apt carbonation.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pale khaki/off-white colour. Has a fairly creamy nicely thick consistency and a relatively soft complexion, though I do wish it were fuller. Thick lacing clings to the sides of the glass as it recedes. Head retention is above average for the high ABV - about 4 minutes.

BODY: Shallow muddled garnet colour of below average vibrance. Translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible, though I'm hesitant to say it appears clean.

It leans far more towards an amber colour than expected given the style, which is uncommon but neither unique nor special. I find it generally appealing.

AROMA: Much sweeter than I ever could have anticipated - Green Flash brewed this? Where's the overbearing bitterness assault with wreckless disregard for balance? I pick up on amber malt, deep caramalt, toasty bready malts, sweetbread, and a kiss of rye malt's signature spiciness.

What's unimpressive is the hop character and awkward Christmasy spice. All the hops really evoke is vague shallow fruit and herbs. Boy does Amarillo seem wasted on this.

It's a shallow aroma of light strength, and I find it largely unevocative. Frankly, it's boring for an IPA - let alone an Imperial IPA - and I never thought I'd write this about a Green Flash beer: but where are the hops?

TASTE: The dominant herbal hop character is just plain unsatisfying, and the signature spiciness of the rye barely emerges. I'm not finding any Amarillo character here, which is a damn shame given it's my favourite hop. Even some floral hop character would be better than what little is offered here - let alone some nectary, oily, citrusy, grassy, or resinous hop character. There's some uninteresting vague fruitiness. If the crux of the imperial IPA is/are the hop flavour(s), this beer just plain doesn't deliver.

The malt base is largely amber and caramalt, with a bit of pale malt. A strange foundation for a purported imperial IPA. I do find it slightly too sweet, but I suppose that's a welcome change from Green Flash's usual m.o. of overbearing bitterness.

Not that this is a balanced beer by any means. The hops aren't complemented well by the malts, and while it has a loose cohesion, it's far from a gestalt build.

Do I like it? Not really. In classic Green Flash fashion, it's a mess. Sure, there's a fair amount going on in this flavour profile, but the beer lacks order and focus. It's sloppily constructed. By no means subtle; this is as in-your-face and shallow a flavour profile as you'll find in the style. Not an intricate or pleasant brew. The ale esters are nice, I guess.

As it warms, I do pick up on some citrusy blood orange character, but it's largely eclipsed by the grapefruit, and is ultimately muted by the unnecessary bitterness that emerges alongside it.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied. It's smooth and wet, yet somehow drags on the palate. There's an irritating scratchiness on the back end. Overcarbonated. Alcohol warmth is noticeable, to its detriment.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or creamy.

Overall presence on the palate is poor; this texture is mismatched to this beer's taste - not that the flavour profile is all that great to start with.

OVERALL: I continue to be confounded by Green Flash's popularity and consistently high beer ratings. I would caution friends against purchasing this. While it wasn't the bitterness nuke I anticipated, its imbalance was still dire. The discerning drinker will be unimpressed. I'll finish the bottle with some effort. I admit I'm a bit confused by the herbal hop emphasis, but I guess I'm glad they're not pushing Mosaic in the marketing like many other breweries might.


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Photo of claminat420
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

A for appearance- [on a hardy pour] somewhat transparent amber colored. nice frothy off white
head that leaves alil bit of lacing.

A for aroma- a spicy floral aroma. caramel malt is definitely detected.

T-* this is awesome solid malt hophead loving goodness*. wish I could try this on tap. spiciness
snaps with with hops which were slight grapefruit mixed with tropical fruit. as it's not fresh and
by months the caramel malts really shine. the abv is pretty hidden with the malt.

M- medium/ heavy body. good carbonation.

DRINKABILITY<<< bring it back!- about to be on the 4th out of the four pack. plan on getting more.

Overall- I would get this for another month and maybe one more. seeing as it came out in may this
beer might be getting past it's prime. seeing the specialty malts really shine with this brew is
what you want in a rye ipa. I would like to try this beer fresh next year to see how much the
hops showcase compared to the aged malt creeping goodness which it's now. like I said in taste
this beer is more for the hophead who wouldn't mind malt showing up to the party.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -1.7%

A-Clear deep amber orange, some carbonation, one finger head that leaves some lacing.

S-Some rye and malt, tad bit of grass and some citrus.

T-Starts with some rye spiciness and malt. Tad bit of grass and earthy notes with mild citrus

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation and some hop resins

O-If only I was watching Frasier while drinking this.

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Photo of tykechandler
2/5  rDev -50.9%

blech. the grain bill here is very rye forward, which is fine. but notes of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar simply do not mesh with the hop profile. in reality, it tastes like a decent homebrew; hoppy, but not balanced at all. seek shelter elsewhere. i drank ~6 oz and poured the rest out. i'm just not a fan of this one from a brewery that i generally enjoy a good deal.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red copper light brown with a short off white head that dissipates leaving some lacing, clear

S: peppery and pine, distinct spicy smell from the rye, hop forward with notes of citrus mostly grapefruit

T: heavy on the rye flavors with some slight alcohol flavor, esters present, leather, tobacco

M: quite heavy and coats the tongue, lower carbonation

O: an aggressive rye flavor with heavy hops

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Photo of schoolboy
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Ah, another great Green Flash brew. This may be the heaviest of theirs that I've had, but they do nanny very well.

Is dark, cause its a rye brew. IPA or aipa don't seem accurate. The aroma is a wonderful citrusy rye boozy smell.

The taste is thick. It's sweet, bitter and boozy, and fairly complex. The after taste I bitter to a high degree. It lingers nicely. This is an over the top brew that has a great balance of loads of bitter with loads of malt.

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Photo of coldriver
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

12 oz bottle pours a dark amber with nice head and lacing, Aroma is pungent pine-resin, apricot and grapefruit, with some alcohol. Taste has a sharp rye malt bite, but not overdone. Hops profile is typical Chuck Silva deep pine resin dominated - flavorful but not particularly fruity (so good). Love the way this sticks to the back of the tongue begging you for another sip. This is pretty damn good managing to avoid the higher alcohol over-sweet sugar water taste of many imperial IPA's.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.49/5  rDev -14.3%

22oz bottle split into taster glassware
Notes taken on 07/06/2014

A: Darker amber body with nice visible clarity and a massive amount of khaki head production up top. Stays forever it seems leaving the glass messy with the sticky stuff. Looks nice with quality ingredients utilized giving plenty of retention.

S: Heavy malt laden nose with loads of peppery Rye spice character and a bit of caramel malt sweetness. One of the more Rye forward beers I have come across. Mild undercurrents of grapefruit citrus and mango there but they are taking the back seat. Not bad but neither the Mosaic hopped RIPA I was expecting.

T: The flavors are very malt forward yet unexpectedly well balanced. Has a big toasted Rye bread and peppery spiciness with some caramel malt sweets to boot. There is a low level of actual hop bitterness that comes with some decent tropical spiced papaya, mango, and grapefruit notes. They just aren’t very stand out amongst all the juicy malts. A bit of alcohol spice kicks in at the finish. Actually tastes more like an Amber Ale should. I think this one might be a little too much Rye for my liking.

M: Moderate to heavier body but with ample carb and a nice creamy consistency. Decent drying towards the finish and slightly resinous but mostly fair and clean.

D: Was not a big fan here. Not particularly flawed just not to my liking. Way heavy on the Rye and too much Crystal malt sweetness to let the Mosaics really shine on. Probably one and done here. A rare miss from Green Flash for me.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

A: poured into a tulip to a reddish brown with a quarter inch of dense light tan head that is quick to fade to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of citrusy hops and spicy rye
T: taste is tropical fruits, citrus, pine and spicy rye malt with a slight amount of sweetness. swallow is oily pine and citrus with a little residual caramel sweetness and lingering spice
M: somewhat thick and creamy on the palate with carbonation that struggles to come through the thick body of the beer and a oily hop finish that leaves the mouth coated
O: Very West Coast and very good. Plenty of hop flavor and the rye plays a nice supporting role. Definitely a beer for hop heads.

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Photo of lordofstarside
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

12oz to a pint glass, best by date is blank

Pours a very dark golden orange, with some nice red hues, looks almost brown, akin to iced tea. A finger of foam has died down sort of fast, with some moderate carbonation stemming from the sides. Okay lacing, good visibility

Smells pretty good. Strong pine and citrus- grapefruit, lemon, with a few tropical hints. Behind that is a nice spicy malt from the rye with some strong caramel notes. Finishes with a little bit of alcohol

Taste deviates a bit. Might be the age of the bottle but the malts stand out quite a bit more than the nose. In a roll reversal, strong spicy caramel is now backed up by pine and a bit of grapefruit, finishing with some alcohol

Feel is a medium body with moderate bitterness and a dry finish. Alcohol hidden well, drinks easy enough

Overall not a bad beer, I don't know whether or not the flavor is supposed to balance this way seeing as the age of the bottle was left blank. It's the new label though so it can't be too old. There are just some things man isn't meant to know

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Yardhouse. I'd been avoiding this in bottles because Green Flash is never fresh but this was not bad. Dark red color. Aroma was slightly spicy and slightly hoppy. Flavor was nice and hoppy, rye, good malts, actually better than I thought it would be.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a. Nice three finger head. Beautiful brown color.

s. Rye and malt and pine

t. Wow - Rye and pine and malt. Super balance.

m. Excellent balance. Very very good for a 9% beer.

o. This is a super beer. Might be my favorite Green Flash so far. Outstanding beer.

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Photo of Bone53
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mad Mex

Appearance: Amber.color with an egg shell colored head

Smell: Citrus fruits upfront with malt

Taste: citrus, malt, slight spices and alcohol. Somewhat astringent

Mouthfeel: Medium body; Goes down smooth and silky

Overall: I've been having top tier IPAs lately and this one doesn't stack up against them. It has some nice citrus notes, but other than that its sort of run of the mill for me. Its not juicy and smack in your face with hops which I prefer, and expect when I'm looking for a highly rated and potentially favorite beer. Considering the price ($14 four pack), its definitely not worth it for me.

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Photo of smcolw
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light brown color with a hue of rubies. Clear. Solid, thick head that settles very slowly. Excellent ring lace with a blanket between each ring.

A touch of earthiness with a muted, neutral hop bitterness. Perhaps some sage notes as well.

I taste lavender, crystal malt and bittering hop. The swallow brings out the 9.0% abv with warmth to the back of my throat--it's akin to a dry liqueur. Full bodied but with ample carbonation to bring balance. Looong aftertaste of white pepper.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber hazy body with nice dense tan head. Really nice retention but not a lot of lacing

S - Tons of hop citrus, lime and grapefruit

T - Hop upfront are dry and less citrus than the aroma would suggest. Hops are more pine and floral, and balanced really nicely with sugary malts. Alcohol is obvious and adds nice heat.

M - Medium body with fine moderate carbonation. Sticky and tacky

O - Another great beer from Green Flash. Hop forward but nice malt balance. Will certainly be picking this up again.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense, resiny, off-white head that has great persistence. A nice, subdued citrus hop aroma. Radiant, slightly turbid burnt umber color. A nice, spicy rye flavor with bitter, citrus hops. Builds into a slightly more spicy rye flavor while the bitterness slowly peaks. Finish is grapefruit hops and rye spice lingering.

This is really, really nice.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 8/3/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, floral hops and caramelized rye malts.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh hops bitterness that is followed by some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty and brings some balance. There is also some background spice flavor. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are other choices in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours out a dark amber with very little head.
S: Highly citrusy nose underlaid with malty sweetness.
T: Very heavy malt flavor, with sweetness cut by highly citrus hops. Alcohol is apparent in the finish.
M: Thick, with low carbonation.

This is a strong, heavy beer. Unfortunately, the taste isn't really very complex, and it's certainly not interesting.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From the bomber into a snifter.

The color here will surprise you, or at least it surprised me. It's a dark, grainy brown color with a bit of cloudiness that reminds me of dunkelweizen or a kellerbier. A massive foam results from the pour and the head takes its time in receding. Scattered lace streaks around the glass.

Now here's a unique smell fa ya. Spicy rye meets orange juice is what I'm essentially getting. Think rye bread with an orange marmalade. Something pungently sweet, like a sticky bun I'm thinking, wends its way to my nose. Hop resin provides some additional bite.

When rye met citrus... Wow. This is tasty. There's a near-perfect consistency in the aroma to the taste. I continue to get something that suggests a sweet, citrusy pastry, but one made with a rye dough. Vanilla, some astringency and caramel all find their way across my tongue. There's simply a wealth of rich flavors going on here.

I have to ding the beer a bit for the booziness, it's pretty intense and could be toned down considerably. But that's really my only critique, as this beer is creamy, sweet, spicy and aggressively bitter at the finish. The alcohol level and hops contribute to a dry, long finish.

So many unique features to this beer, so that's really a plus. It's a beer that really stands out to me. I'm officially a fan. I'd just warn that the booze may throw off some, but if you can get past that, this beer is delectable.

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Photo of rand
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Green flash IMp red

12 oz bottle to pint

A: The brew pours extremely foamy, thought it was a bottle-fermented for a minute. Dark, blood red in color, the giant head never fully recedes.

S: spicy, floral hops are prominAnt, with plenty of boozy volatiles carrying notes of caramel and bread. Strangely the bouquet is fairly subdued.

T: Much more powerful on the palate. Bitter hops right at the tip, astringent and vinous. A huge, nutty malt-backbone quickly pushes back, a little too much, making the end of the sip sticky and chewy. The sweet malted rye borders on cloying, as it finishes longer than it should, with a
sweet sticky residue coating the palate between sips

Another palate wrecker from GF, a bit of a hop bomb, but it's off balance and not the easiest quaff. Probably would've liked this more 4 or 5 years ago but there have been way too many big hoppy beers out of San Diego that are more dialed-in than this.

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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.