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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand Cru 2004The Beast Grand Cru 2004

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  18.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: clvand0 on 10-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle that reads "Bottled in 2004" and lists the alcohol as 18.1% from an original gravity of 1.138 (34.5 degrees plato). Wow! It's superbly malty and fruity, but with a harsh, brash, raspy slap of alcohol.... the beast lives up to its name! Enticing... seductive.... mind-numbing... killer !!!
It pours a crystal-clear reddish-copper body beneath a creamy, yellow-tinged head that dwindles down to just a thin collar with nary a scant touch of lacing left on the glass. It just cannot hold, but that's to be expected in any beer that boasts 18.1% alcohol by volume!
The nose delivers bright, juicy, vinous and tropical fruits (apples, berries, prunes, red grapes, raisins, wine, melon, pineapple, and even a bit of cocoanut) over a honeyish, bready, and dough-like maltiness. (I'm guessing the yeast strain is White Labs Belgian Ale - WLP550, or the Wyeast equivalent. I think it may be derived from Chimay because I'm linking that fruit and spice characteristic to the Chimay Grande Reserve... just pumped up a notch! But I could be wrong, However, there has to be a Champagne yeast at work here to boost it to it's incredible alcohol level - unless it's a distiller's yeast).
The flavor is even fuller than the nose indicates, with a much wider fruitiness, more bready maltiness, and a whallop of palate-and brain-wrecking alcohol! It's like Samichlaus infused with fruit juice, wine, a handful of raisins, and a splash of vodka! It starts and finishes almost the same; but there's so much there in between! It finishes drying, mostly because of its alcohol, but there's a bold bitterness at work there as well.
Forgiving the heat of this bad boy, this is a remarkable Belgian strong ale, although I tend to think of it more as a barleywine fermented with Belgian yeast. Of course, it wouldn't be a barleywine then, would it?
It suffers in the "overall" drinkability category due to its intense alcoholic push, but if you have just a small 8 ounce glass you migh pine for another - which leads me to a 4.5 for drinkability.
This is one of Avery's best, and it's unusual at that, as they seem to try to hit the mark for the style on their other beers (and grand cru is not a style, it simply means "great vintage"), but this one is way out there. And, the alcohol is kind of a defect as well, yet all of their other beers are very well done. Let's just call this one a 'crazy-assed enigma'. But I do have one final note... why was this not put into the 12 oz bottles? 22 oz is enough for 4 to share!

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2005 22:27:54 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that is quite warm and toastey. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some roasted malts for that nice toasted aroma. The taste is decent. It has an intense malt flavor that goes down slow and easy with a very warm finish. It has a fairly simple malt bill, but it has good flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent strong ale, although I'm not seeing the Belgian style characteristics. It is a brew for those cold winter days when you need a good warming up. It drinks well, but it's a beer you want to put away slow.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 01:03:09 | More by WesWes
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish red with a small one finger tannish head that does not lace but who expected lace at 18%

Aroma is big on malt with lots of caramel, toffee lots of dark rum soaked fruit plums and raisins mixed with a definate alcohol presence but actually smells pretty inviting.

Taste is big on malt lots of caramel toffee mixed with rum soaked fruits big on flavor also lots of alcohol that warms the body but in my opinion not to obtrusive. Hell it is 18% abv and the malt flavors more then outway the alcohol felt or tasted. Finish is caramel malt with a lingering aclohol presence light hops in there but can't over come the malt or alcohol.

Mouthfeel is almost full a big ale that seems lighter, due to the alcohol probably.

Drinkability is tricky it is good considering the 18% and would hate myself if I had more then one probably. Also would and in fact will buy again if I find some bottles hiding somewhere. That being the case would say drinkability is good, know I am going against the grain but actually enjoyed this Beast and wouldn't mind seeing him again in my dreams.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 04:06:12 | More by mntlover
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very nice color-pale mahogany. Nice chestnut hues. Aroma of oak and sherry. Somewhat piney and vinuous. Flavor is a big malt blast upfront but is quickly replaced by the alcohol. Very resiny but the alcohol really dominates the whole experience. Good mouthfeel minus the burn in the backround. Just way too overwhelming in the long run. Call me a lite weight-hey I like a good Bigfoot after cutting the grass!!! This is just too much even the 2nd time around. I think they are on the right track but a better balance is needed. Stiil-try it and see for yourself. Its quite the ride.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2005 02:09:35 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of SheepNutz
SheepNutz

Kentucky

2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

2004 edition, 18.1% abv. 22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. It pours a medium red color with one finger of head. There is no lacing to be seen. The smell has a good maltiness to it, but just before the alcohol sets your nose hairs ablaze. I've smelled moonshine with less ethanol aroma (no, I am not kidding). The taste actually brings a little bit of a good balance of malt and hops, but one the alcohol hits you, it's all over. It basically ruins the beer. The mouthfeel is even a little light and slick. The drinkability is downright horrible. I think the only beer that could compete with this one in drinkability is Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer. The Beast would make a great solvent to replace methanol down at the crime lab.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 01:59:39 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of soulfly967
soulfly967

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish amber color, with a slight white head that quickly faded away. The smell was spectacular! Plums, cherries, lots of alcohol and some distant malts. The taste was of dark fruits and lots of sweetness at the beginning with a powerful alcohol warming on the back. The mouthfeel was full bodied, thick, with some mild carbonation. I'm not sure if anyone could drink more than one of these monsters in one night. But, overall I would have to say that this was a pretty good brew, I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2005 19:44:19 | More by soulfly967
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beerinator

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby red in color. Creamy off-white head. Stick to your ribs retention.

Aroma: Cherry is solid as a fruit flavor in the aroma. This beer has a barleywine'ish type aroma. The malt, nuttyness and caramel are large here. Alcohol comes through quite harsh here in the nose. Plums and raisins are among the other fruit flavors noted.

Taste: Fruity. The alcohol forces its way through here, but it's not overpoweringly harsh. Plum and raisins are evident. There is a slight tingle on the palate from the alcohol burn.

Notes: This beer is almost too high in alcohol for me to enjoy many of the more subtle flavors. I think some of the sharpness in the flavor comes from the alcohol burn, not any bitterness that might be coming from the malt or hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 22:11:06 | More by beerinator
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

2.25/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2004 edition at 18.1%ABV. This beer poured an amber color with no head. The nose was alcohol with a bit of sweet cherry, along with more alcohol. The taste is a big kick of alcohol upfront, masking any real flavors that are going on. I can taste something sweet, but can't get through the alcohol to find out what it is. The feel was thick, but the alcohol is burningly apparent. I just can't get past the alcohol. This beer is not a very good one right now. Maybe in a few years, but not now.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2005 15:21:58 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color without much head or lacing

Smell: Alcoholic dark fruits and honey

Taste: Lots of dark fruits - dates, raisins and a honey mead taste

Mouthfeel: Very heavy body, like an after-dinner liqueur

Drinkability: Wonderful, port-like. This beer is starting to come together now; I tasted it about six months ago and it was way too alcoholic

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 10:56:34 | More by brentk56
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer disembogues the 22-ounce brown bottle a luminous ruby brown with a dinosauric frothy light tan head that settles rather quickly and the residual lace a tight sheet upon the glass. Oh my, is that alcohol I smell, sweet malt, caramel, over ripe pineapple, fresh, crisp, clean and a damn fine treat for my old schnozzle, start is all alcohol with a monsterous sweetness and a fair grain profile, the top is moderate to full in feel. Finish is submissive in its acidity with the hops burned out of existence by the 18.1 percent ABV and the specialty sugars leave a thick sweetness on the palate, big tummy warmer that is also quite dry, a monster of a beer, but one I do not think will appeal too many.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2005 21:07:48 | More by Gusler
Photo of kbub6f
kbub6f

New York

2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Small, yellow-tan, coarse, noisy head. Very clear, light garnet body with a few slow streams of bubbles. One or maybe two small spots of lacing Sweet, spicy nose: grapes and Belgian spice; peppery. All alcohol all the time. Overripe fruit in the sweet front; some butter and caramel in the middle, but alcohol takes over again for the finish. Reminiscences of alcohol swab. Some spice. Not very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 21:21:36 | More by kbub6f
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Poured a deep copper with a thin, bubby off-white head that actually has some retention to it.

Smell: The smell is malt focused with caramal, sweet, and syrupy notes. The alcohol is not as strong as I had expected.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Based on the reviews on here, this isn't half bad at all. The flavor is ridiculously powerful and complex, but it maintains a delicte balance. Sweet and caramel notes are the focused, but the alcohol isn't as strong as I'd thought it'd be. Really not a bad tasting beer at all. There is a nice amount of hop bitterness at the end as well. The mouthfeel is thick and slick and slippery.

Drinkability and Overall: C'mon now. This is a very good beer. I'm quite impressed at the balance it has for such and ENORMOUS beer. Obviously the dirnkability isn't the highest seeing as how it's 18.1%. It definitly lets you know it's potentcy after a few sips. Well this is an interesting brew, and a damn good one at that.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 01:34:17 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of mgdeth
mgdeth

Montana

2.28/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Copper color. Good head, but it does not last too long.

Smell - Distinct alcohol in the nose. There is also some malt, but no hops that I can detect.

Taste - Distinct alcohol in the taste. This one is too hot and solvent like. This has the makings of a good beer, but I think it was probably released a few years too early. When sipped in small doses, I can taste sweet malt in the fore- to mid-taste.

Mouthfeel - Huge body, with medium carbonation. The alcohol burns my mouth, which is not too pleasant.

Drinkability - Too alcoholic. This one needs to be cellared for a (long) while to mellow out.

Comments - The low marks I gave this beer represent what I think are qualities that will improve with age. I'm not giving up on this beer until it has at least one more year to age. It does not have contamination-type flaws. I'm hoping for the best.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 02:46:44 | More by mgdeth
Photo of beercollector
beercollector

Oregon

3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm a fan of Avery's big beers. This one is one that needs to sit in the cellar to mellow.

It pours a deep orange with big lasting head. Good lacing.

It has a slight malt aroma and very light hop.

The alcohol does not really come out in the flavor. It is moderately sweet, has a bit of hop flavor, and the malt just isn't present, over powered I think by the 18.1 alcohol.

It soed have a thick full body and soft carbonation that has an astringent after taste.

This is a single bottle per night beer and basically an alcohol delivery system right now. It could be much better balanced and perhaps next year or so it might meld together to be a nice to spend an evening with.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2005 19:03:01 | More by beercollector
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Hmm. No reviews of this in over a month. I should preface this review by saying that I rated the previous incarnation of the Beast at a 4.25. According to the label, this new high octane version contains a similar variety of exotic hops, malts, and specialty sugars. Appearance is impressive, with a clear copper body, some apparent bubbly carbonation, and an impressive offwhite head that retains for a few minutes at about two centimeters in height. After a few minutes, the head vanishes along with the initial patch lace. Aroma: Some dark fruits of raisins and prunes, lots of pepper notes from the alcohol(suggestive of some hablaneros), coriander, cheap bourbon whiskey, clover honey, and some suggestions of caramel maltiness.
Mouthfeel: Whew! Burning alcohol is alarming. Somewhat syrupy, with a medium body and subdued carbonation.
Taste: Extreme alcohol burns away most of the nuances that I appreciated in the old version of the Beast. With some patience, you can pick up some grassy hops bitterness and hints of dark fruity rum soaked prunes, but the high alcohol dumbs and numbs the senses here. Finishes with a stomach and throat burning alcohol presence. Quite medicinal. This might cure what ails you, but it reminds of the taste of a poultice that my grandmother might have made out of moonshine, herbs, and honey to cure any variety of maladies.
Drinkability: One bottle of this will get you intoxicated, no doubt. This version of the Beast is way over the top, and overdone with the big abv. The alcohol smothers all the quality malts and hops into a stifling and painful death. This tastes better toward the finish, but by then it has intoxicated you to the point that you would probably be reviewing aftershave lotion favorably. This version of the Beast is suitable for a tasting on April 1st, or for fraternity pranks and/or hazing for younger folks. I cellar Avery 10 and 11, with passion, and still like the earlier version of the Beast. This one is just too bizarre for normal tastes.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 00:03:22 | More by merlin48
Photo of kegerator
kegerator

Maryland

3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

poured out a amber/ruby brown with a decent 1/2 inch head that dwindled quickly.
Aroma was big malts, fruit and brown sugar, hints of molasses and some slight hops in the back and alcohol. Brandy like alcohol.

taste was a huge hit of malt when it hits the mouth with some slight fuitiness and then the alcohol burn wallaops you. very warming with a slight burning at the back of the throat.
all in all i liked this brew but its not very drinkable with that alcohol burn it gives. definitely one to sip delicately. I think lightening up on the abv would send this beer to the top. I really enjoyed the flavors and character just too much alcohol burn for me. I have other big beers with 20% and 18% abvs that you knew the alcohol was there and tasted it but it was melded in much better.
I probably wouldn't pay the 9 bucks to buy another one.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2005 19:24:28 | More by kegerator
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Is this thing on?

Um, Hi Avery. Yeah, um, in case you missed out on, oh, say the last year's worth of discussion, your first version of the Beast was largely reviled as an unecessary and misguided attempt at a high-test "big" beer.

So let me get this straight, you upped the ABV 2%?
What a great idea!
It's assuring to see that you've got your finger on the pulse of your audience.

So now, is this version created out of
a): sheer ignorance?,
b).an attempt to simply brew a headline making high octane brew in the wake of Dogfish Head and others?, or
c.) an audacious rebuttal and reformulation of all the things that didn't quite work in Beast's smaller form, with an added middle finger to the naysayers?

Pitches out amber with a bleached grey head that sprints away leaving no lace, no anything.
Captain Morgan's nose traced with tangerines and molasses.
Begins titanically sweet. Brown sugar, kiwi, burnt honey, molasses, and blueberry. Bread develops then is rendered feeble by the hornet's nest of stinging alcohol fury. Vodka and rum, and lots of them. Cheap seeming too, full of heat and short on depth.
Syrupy mixed-drink in build, battled up front with a rushing fizz, then resigned into the booze-driven abyss.

What are you doing Avery? I never participated in that large and vocal Beast-hater camp. In fact, I thought the old Beast was passable, and probably the best Belgian-inspired brew you offered, even if it was outright flawed and did suffer from being over-strong. The old Beast was all plums and dark fruits and candy and cognac. This is Red Bull and shitty rail vodka, sprinkled with brown sugar.

Count me in with those that rally against this particular creation.

Did you guys even taste this before releasing it? And be honest here.

Shame on you Avery.

Listen next time.
---
(the correct answers are: a & b)

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2005 07:42:14 | More by cokes
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

2.3/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in the 22 oz. bomber into a goblet. The color is ruby red, with a decent head for the superalcohol. The smell is a plumish sweetness mixed with a LOT of alcohol. The taste is just a slightly sweet plum/spicy flavor, but it's mixed with a very strong and less than pleasant alcohol, with an alcohol burn that seems like an 80 proof liquor. Mouthfeel gives a VERY strong esophogeal burn and numbs the tongue. As for drinkability, not really something that I'd call for again.

I consider the Beast nickname people a good group of friends, but I still tried to give this one a fair shake. Well, at first it didn't seem as bad as I was expecting (mostly because I was drinking it like it was a brandy, not realizing that a brandy is 40% ABV), but doesn't mean that it's necessarily good either. I've had all the DFH super-beers (120 Min, Raison D'Extra and the 23% WWS) and none of them were this alcohol-tasting! The sad thing that underneath this seems like this could have been an awesome beer, and if they cut a few percent off then it would be enjoyable, but for now I won't have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 01:19:27 | More by beergeek279
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow, this beer was a rollercoaster. It looked good and smelled good, but that was about it. I think they tried to put waaay to much alcohol in this, and that's what ruined it for me. At least in other high alcohol brews, the alcohol is a bit more subtle. This one was loud and in your face. After the alcohol hit the tounge, not much other taste was detectable. I think this beer would definately benefit from a lower alcohol level. What were they thinking?

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 12:50:44 | More by JISurfer
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
GIVEMEBACKMYSON

Alaska

4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of booze, cherry, booze, maple, booze, rye, and a faintly detectable note of booze.
This beer has a thin head with little retention and a vibrant amber color with hints of purple and pink.
This stuff is quite lively on the tongue. Much more so than anticipated. Lighter feel than expected as well. Somewhat confusing to the palate at first.
There is a huge and complex malt presence to this beer. There are a variety of distractions from this. Some characters that pop their heads in include green wood, fig, apricot, and other dried fruits, rhubarb, and a host of various tart berries. Inside of my mouth, a deranged malt monster has a wrestling match with a shitload of assorted dried, tart fruits. After much screaming and bloodshed, the malt monster wins via submission. Have fun in my stomach, motherfucker. As this beer warms, things get even crazier than already described. To the point where my attempts at description become futile. But the booze factor gets hotter, especially through the finish and exhale.
Big thanks to BA MoeSizlak for splitting this bomber with me.
If you're flying solo, popping the top off The Beast is ill advised. The Beast really grabs ya by the boo-boo.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 20:10:51 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of ABV
ABV

New York

5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Folks, a brew that clocks in at more than 18% abv should not be this drinkable. But the Beast is, and packaged in 22oz. bombers, it's as dangerous as its name suggests. Nose is perfumey sweet with alcohol evident. Tastes of candied sugar, sweet but not cloying, dates, raisons figs, grapefruiy pine nuts, the hint of citrussy hops, burnt molasses. An absolutely wonderful brew for which I suggest moderation. After a half bottle I feel a glow of mild euphoria, and rising, am unsteady on my feet, as if they have been fitted with soft pillows. Another exceptional seasonal from Avery.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2004 04:40:07 | More by ABV
Photo of sacfly
sacfly

Maryland

1.75/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours red with a white head that dies off almost instantly. Smells sweet and of alcohol. Taste is.. ugh. Alcohol.

I used to think Ralph Wiggam on the Simpson’s comment “Tastes like burning” was a funny line. Not anymore. I know exactly what he was talking about now. Nothing pleasant about the taste.

The impressive ingredients list on the bottle seemed interesting, but it is a struggle to get past the alcohol burn in the mouth, throat and stomach. If you buy this, let it age for a long time. Years. Very unpleasant right now.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2004 22:00:44 | More by sacfly
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Came in a 22oz bottle. Very cool bottle - a little intimidating. I've been waiting to try this year's version of The Beast with its upped alcohol. Poured into a snifter. Red body with a small head that dies off quickly. The aroma had a little bit of sweet caramel malts and fruit, then an enormous alcohol kick. The flavor was a little sweet but the alcohol is enormous. It's hard to taste anything with the huge alcohol presence. This beer is hard to drink. I enjoyed it to an extent, just because it was something new, but man was it hard to finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2004 17:44:44 | More by clvand0
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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 from Avery Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.