Cantillon Lambic - Brasserie Cantillon

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Cantillon Lambic
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

50 Reviews
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Reviews: 50
Hads: 212
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 6.16%
Wants: 46
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Cantillon visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-30-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 212
Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20 month old lambic tasted at the brewery.

Looks like apple juice. Golden yellow and orange. Small white bubbles formed from the pour dissipate quickly as there is no carbonation.

The aroma is mostly apple vinegar with some funk/must and light white grape.

The taste mirrors the aroma but with an added sour bite. Sort of mild sourness compared to some of the other 'Loon offerings.

Light bodied so no carb is not a problem.

Nice to try the regular unblended lambic. (473 characters)

Photo of cps98
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A – Cloudy, deep yellow light orange color. No head was seen but light lacing was present for the better part.

S – Really sweet aroma, lots of Brett funk present also some hints of citrus.

T – I got a lot of citrus notes like lemon, and grapefruit. Lots of lactic acid.

M – light bodied, really dry. Little to no carbonation.

O – This was a really nice 2 year lambic on tap. Clean crisp flavors, some layers of funk and acid. I really liked this since the Brett didn’t get too funky. (503 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft offering of a 2 year year old unblended lambic. The brew appears a clear golden orange through body and more yellowish around the edges. A few larger sized bubbles hang around the perimeter of the glass.

The nose has notes of cheese, oak and vinegar with a slight edge of something fruity like pear and citrus zest. Very clean smelling with a nice complexity and overall enjoyable set of balanced aromatics.

The flavor is a bit like coder at first and surprisingly more focuse on alcohol esters than I would have guessed. Some notes of pear mix with a woody earth inclusion and an herbal bitterness brings in the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a lower level of carbonation. A kiss of alcohol keeps things interesting. This was tart but not puckeringly so. I found myself crushing my glass quicker than I wanted to was left wanting to drink more. I dont know how often a treat like this comes around but if you get a chance, you need to try this. (965 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Monks during Zwanze Day 2012.

Pours a mostly clear bright orange color with just a few bubbles of white foam on top; little to no lacing as I swirl.

Aromas begin with a great deal of musty oak, the most oak I have smelled in a lambic to date. As it warms I get a little cheesy funk and a touch of lemon peel.

The taste follow the nose with the drying oaking tannic flavors up front which transitions into sour lemon and some musty, earthy hay or dried grassy. The acidity and tartness is quite light at this point being so young; there is almost a sweet maltiness to it.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with little to no carbonation; it's actually pretty much flat. Finish is drying and oaky with some lingering sweet and sour notes.

Overall this was an interesting experience to taste a lambic so fresh and unblended. It is really oaky but not overly so but the lack of carbonation hurts the drinkability. It is still quite tasty just kind of one dimentional considering the unblended nature and the youth. I would definitely have it again but I don't NEED to as with other Cantillon offerings. (1,126 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an excellent lambic by cantillon, enjoyed on tap at armsby abbey on zwanze day.

this beer pours a nice yellow straw color and completely transparent, with no head.

the smell is quite funky with some definite barkyard and musty cellar notes. there is a hint of tart green apple in the smell.

the taste is pretty similar to the nose, lightly tart very funky and extremely drinkable.

mouthfeel is almost completely still, maybe due to being force served from the keg a small amount of CO2 dissolved into the beer.

overall this beer is great, but i do prefer 1900 grand cru (583 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a tumbler at Churchkey as part of Zwanze day 2012. From notes, 2 year unblended.

Ok I am sure I am going to get some hatred on this one, but I have to be honest with myself here from all the Cantillon fanboys (and ladies). I know of course lambics can come out without any head, that's fine. That's not my issue with appearance on this. My issue is this looks in the glass like a urine sample. Golden urine yellow, the odd tiny bubble creeps up or sticks to the glass, and clear. I am sorry gang this doesn't look appetizing appearance wise, that's just me. Let's get to the more enjoyable parts of this now shall we.

Bouquet has a real nice brine salt character, and mixture of classic funk notes. Lemon tang punches in nicely also.

Palate hits with a real big almost thick vinegar body. Somewhere between white wine and rice vinegar acid, chewy and dense. Finish hits with a real hint of strangely faint sweetness slightly masking over the sourness. Heavily earthy and lots of soil dirt in the mid palate, also bringing much of the classic lemon sensing nose to taste.

Overall it's a solid lambic, even if it doesn't look like something I would want to drink. (1,184 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Armsby Abbey for Zwanze Day.

Very interesting and unique beer. Never had an unblended lambic until now. The official name on the board was Single Barrel Lambic #2 (unblended) so I'm hoping this is the right place for this review. Vinegar, must, earth, wet wood, funk, and barn come through in the nose and the flavor. It sounds strange but you can really get the barrel and unblended qualities from this. Not as effervescent as blended versions. Started the day with this and was very happy with that choice. Great stuff. (522 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the un-blended 2 year Cantillon lambic served on-tap at Lord Hobo for Zwanze Day 2012. 12oz serving in a tulip glass ordered twice and consumed alongside other Cantillons including Zwanze '12. Supposedly this is very rare and we were told not many bars got this even for Zwanze Day.

A- Appears a bright still golden color with hardly any carbonation and absolutely no head. Some faint small carbonation bubbles here and there, but overall hardly any carbonation and absolutely no lacing.

S- Musty, Funky, a little bit of Vinegar. Fairly aromatic and comparable to a nice aged cheese.

T- Musty, funky, some light vinegar, very light acidic sourness on the finish.

M- Medium bodied, easy to drink, not really carbonated but doesn't really take away anything from the taste.

O- I'm very glad I got to try this- not only was it very interesting but it was very good. It was awesome being able to try this alongside other Cantillons. I wouldn't say this was as flavorful as other Cantillons, but it definitely had the unique Cantillon funk that the microorganisms in the brewery creat. For an unblended lambic this was fantastic and practically just as enjoyable as any blended lambic. Overall this was an awesome experience and I would recommend any one to try it as well if they get the chance. (1,304 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey for Zwanze 2012, aged 2 years. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear golden orange color with a thin white head that quickly fades.

S- Very funky, some barnyard character but also lots of musty cheese, lemony citrus and some wood.

T- Similar to the nose, lots of funk with hay and cheese, decent amount of lemony tartness and lactic acidity, the finish is super dry and astringent with some wood flavor.

M- Light-bodied, bone dry with light acidity.

O- A very interesting beer, not my favorite from Cantillon but it's still a great beer and cool to compare to Bruocsella. (602 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New review. The bottle I had before was suspect. This time, I tried the beer at Moeder Lambic Fontainas. The next day I had this again at Cantillon.

The beer is hazy and copper hued with a thick head. The aroma is funky and fabulous, and of course, embodies that classic Cantillon scent I have come to love. The flavor is fabulous. Earthy, fresh, funky, musty, damp basement, rain, straw, hay, farm. Complex and yet so easy to drink. Light in body but not thin. A wonderful lambic.

***Original review 07 July 2012***

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

1998 vintage

The beer is transparent and copper to amber in color. No head whatsoever. The aroma brings basement, rain water, funk. The taste is much sweeter than anticipated. A bit of Cantillon funk in the finish, but not to the usual level. Notes of ripe fruit. Overall, this was just ok. I look forward to trying this from the source and comparing to this vintage bottle version. (945 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the brewery after taking the self-guided tour. The beer was introduced as the unblended base lambic, meant to demonstrate the building block that will be blended and fruit-infused to create other beers.

A - Golden with some orange highlights; fairly clear. No head at all, just a handful of thin bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - Aroma is unexpectedly delicate. I get some dry malt graininess, and slight cheese-like funk; however, the biggest element is a gentle, sweet citrus. Others have called it lemony or lemongrass, but I get sweet oranges--mandarin oranges are the closest reference I've got.

T - Flavors are not assertive. There is a low, somewhat sharp blue-cheese note, low bready malt, and again the sweet orange note. No hops flavor, as expected.

M - Light body, no hops bitterness noticeable. No carbonation--totally flat. No alcohol sensation.

O - This is a very enjoyable, easy-drinking beer. I am not a huge fan of lambics, but this one is very impressive for a "work in progress" that is meant for blending and not intended to be sold on its own. (1,088 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cantillon Single Barrel Lambic served at Armsby Abbey. Into a Cantillon flute. Reviewed from notes.

Beer is clear and golden with a .5 finger white head with little retention. No lace. Average for the style.

Nose is lemon rind, citrus tartness, mild hay, barnyard funk. Light, crisp, and aromatic. Nice.

Opens soft pineapple, peach, apricot, and lemon tartness. Woody towards the end with funky notes of cobwebs, hay and wet wood. Tart finish and aftertaste. Very soft. Super drinkable with good complexity.

Light bodied with high carbonation. Spritzy and lively in the mouth with a dry finish and puckering aftertaste. Incredible feel on this one.

A decent beer with nice complexity and an incredible mouthfeel. I can see where the Cantillon magic stems from. Definitely worth seeking out on tap. (805 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the "oude" version, a 1998 bottle shared by Brad (I believe that was the date). Thanks Brad! Beer served in a snifter, at the time of this review, this is #5 on the "Top Beers - Lambic - Unblended" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is clear and still, amber with no head, no carbonation, interesting.

Aroma is mildly sour, a little cidery, interesting aroma, there are hints of the Cantillon style funk in there but mostly there is this almost sweet note to it.

Beer is medium in body, a little cidery on the nose, the finish is nice with a little tartness coming through, a shadow of funk is in there as well. I really am looking forward to one day trying this beer at the source. (689 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on cask at moeder lambic fontainas. Served in a Cantillon tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear orangish amber with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: This is a mild smelling beer, slightly tart and sweet with a hint of funk.

Taste: More assertive than the smell. Tart with a very slight funk. Just enough malt to back up the funky tartness. The finish is quite sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with almost no carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The smell was nice but not strong enough. I enjoyed the balance and the fact that this one didn't try to kill you with tartness. I would have it again given the chance. (686 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Moeder Lambic Fontainas, served in a Cantillon tulip.

A: Hazy deep gold body under a finger of surprisingly persistent off-white froth. Spotty lace, even. Great.

S: Delicate yet dirty, with hay, barnyard, lemon, apple, and straight acidity. Solid.

T: Very funky, with some cheese joining the barnyard and hay from the nose. Some fruity lends sweetness and tartness to the back half, with green apple being prominent. Fairly dry, tart finish. Great stuff.

M: Soft, light-to-medium body with delicate carbonation. Terrific.

O: This is probably the best unblended one-year-old Lambic I've had. It can't match the depth of a well-aged Bruocsella, or De Cam Oude Lambik, but it's still great stuff.

Cheers! (715 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Moeder Lambic. Pour is a peachy yellow, mostly transparent with a thin off white head. The nose has a touch of lemon with a nice dusty funk to it, cob webbs and light leather, more lemon with some golden fruits faintly weaved in at the end. The taste is extremely dusty and funky, very old bookshelf. There is some tart lemon that comes in as peaches, golden fruits and some floral bitter hops present themselves behind in order. The body is light, very gentle, soft carbonation and rather dry in the finish. Funky is the focus, age may add some fruit as this is probably a newer oude lambic. (606 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sending me this, Cory! 1998 vintage, kegged in 2001. Poured into Cantillon tasting glass.

A - Pours a yellow/orange/reddish color (depending on the light), some bubbles here and there, but otherwise, not much carbonation.

S - High level of puckering tartness, some fruity sweetness, old cheesy funk, slight touch of citrus. The nose has a lot of funky sour notes to it...smells pretty "raw".

T - Lemon peel, slightly salty, citrus, light sourness, and oak. Finish is bleu cheese funk mixed with some tart notes. The taste isn't quite as tart/sour/funky as the nose suggests. There's more cheese/dust/funk then anything. The hops are pretty much nonexistent, being almost 14 years old. As it warms, it reminds me of a slightly tart apple juice (minus the huge sugar) with a big emphasis on tart green apple notes.

M - Light, pretty much flat, dry finish.

O - Pretty good but not one of my favorites from Cantillon. The nose is good, but I don't think the taste lived up to what I was expecting. There's less complexity, but it is damn easy to drink. Obviously, you're going to try it, no matter what I say. It's Cantillon. (1,137 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is an orange gold with no head or carbonation.

Smells of wet hay, citrus, old wood, and leather.

Taste follows the nose. Light malt, wet hay, horse blanket, lemon rind and grapefruit rind. Characteristic Cantillon funkiness. Starts a little sweet, ends dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel is flat, as lambics typically are, so it is more about the taste sensation. This is delightfully sour with a dry finish.

Overall, a very refreshing beer and infinitely drinkable. This is the foundation of many Cantillon beers. (518 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Cantillon Brewery and Museum during last week's Belgium trip. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a Cantillon big-bowl wine glass.

Pours a clear bright orange color with just a few bubbles on top. No head or lacing at all. Pretty color though.

The nose brings forward a light funky cheese along with a touch of lemon peel. The flavor goes more toward the cheese with a bit of a blue-cheese character and light acidity. A slight lingering bitterness is present as well.

Light body with no carbonation. Super thin. Light acidity. Very nice sipper.

This was our first beer after getting off the plane and it did not disappoint. Great way to start the trip. (671 characters)

Photo of Queenw19
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

smell is the best part- it smells fruity. a little bitter for my taste though.

appearance- rosy color. over time it turns into a darker amber color. dark at the bottom, light at the top.

smell- cherries, spices, peaches, grapes

taste- hops, cherry- sweet when it first hits your tongue, then it becomes sour as it goes down. It is tangy at the back of your throat.

mouthfeel- small bubbles

overall- a good beer. great if you like tart flavors. great if you like bitter flavors. not so great if you don't like the taste of hops. (533 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had from cask at Moeder Lambic, not far from the Cantillon Brewery itself.

Pours with a frothy head, but definitely uncarbonated. A bright and hazed golden colour forms the body. It's misty, tantalising and very refined. Head froths itself out after a while; it's just a product of the disturbance from the pour. Looks good though.

Nose is sharp and brusque, with a green crisp acidity, and a hint of rubber. Green apple skin with a touch of moldy undergrowth. Not as pungent as the most rip-roaring gueuzes, for example. For some reason I expected an unblended lambic to be sharper and stronger.

Taste is good. So good. Crisp and biting, and almost bitter-sour. Complex green apple skin mixes with melon and grapefruit tartness with a raw green bite on the back that gives an almost tannic character. Smooth and fruity, but missing some complexity that the gueuze blending gives. Feel is slick, light and flat from cask.

Very drinkable, and very enjoyable. A really good experience. This is definitely worth trying when you get the chance. And the temptation is surely great enough that every beer geek will get the chance at some point. (1,142 characters)

Photo of harrymel
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NOTE: this was drawn directly from a barrel at Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium. It is a blend of 2009-2010 batches of their spontaneous lambic. It can only be had at the brewery from what I understand. The description is a bit deceptive in that the beer is blended, but not triple blended as a gueuze would be (thus, flat).

Scene: me at Cantillon, "can I get a glass of the lambic?"
Lady: "yeah...oh, I'm sorry, we have to get some from a barrel, I don't have any. I'm very sorry."
Me: (hardcore grin) "Awesome. Can I take a picture?!"
Then we went to the barrel and she drew me up some lambic, which had bugs in it, which is awesome.

A: Flat copper ale with hint of haze. There are still 3 flies in my glass even after she tried to remove all of them (there were countless). Looks much like dark apple juice. No bubbles, no lacing; anticipated as much.

S: Smells of wood, brett, lemons, grapes (fermenting), eggs, meringue. Tough to really get a full wiff.

T: Initially, this hits the palate and tastes bland. In this phase you can taste mother's nature: soil, dried alfalfa, biscuits, lamb (yes, lamb). Then as I let the beer roll over the tongue, beautiful sour flavors emerge in tones of lemon, grapefruit, apple. Upon the finish, the buttery flavor reminds me vaguely of a short oaked chardonnay in French Oak (very low levels of oak). The finish is long and hard (that's what she said). This is truly the most multi layered beer I've tasted to date, truly outstanding in the flavors and my diction cannot do it justice.

M: Thin and flat, as anticipated. I acutally feel like carbonation on this beer would inhibit the nuances. The beer feels also like it has high surface tension: as though it's beading over my tongue rather than soaking in.

O: This is an experience I will likely have only once, but certainly I will recall it so frequently. My wife will be tired of hearing this story over and over. One of my best experiences. If you ever have the chance, try this, and at 2 euro, it's a bargain in my book. (2,031 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Moeder Lambic in Brussels. From notes.

A - Poured with a great fluffy white head at two fingers. Slight haze on a blonde body. Great retention but not lacing. Retention made up for it as it stayed solid.

S - Hay with a little cobweb. Very grapey as well.

T - Really sour. Horse blankety and pissy. Not sure how to describe alot of the characteristics, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. Like every Cantillon beer, this really attacks every corner of your mouth nicely.

O/D - I'm so jealous that people in Brussels can session this so easily. Quite a nice little sour beer. Lot's of flavour and an ABV considered low these days. It's worth marvelling at. (703 characters)

Photo of drtth
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the Brewery in a flute glass. This beer was from the 09-10 brewing season and was drawn from the cask about an hour before I sampled it. Bottle of spring water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer was faintly hazed orange color with a faint reddish tinge. There was no head on the beer but this is pretty much to be expected with an unblended lambic. There was a little ring of bubbles around the glass and swirling did generate some signs of carbonation, but there was neither head nor lacing.

Smell: The aromas were soft and gentle (or light and faint) but with a definitely grainy component and a hint of citric tartness. (I was reminded in some ways of the grainy bready aroma in maibocks.)

Taste: The flavor is quite mild with some bready character and a touch of grainy sweetness. There are hints of the sour tartness to come but not a lot of anything funky showing yet.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a soft smooth creaminess despite the almost non-existent carbonation. The finish was towards the long side as the beer finally showed a tartness that left a faint astringency and after taste in the back of the mouth and palate.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I thought this was a very interesting beer to sample since it is, or will become, one of the components of Gueuze. Since it has already passed its first birthday, but not by much, it clearly has some maturation in its future before being blended with the other lambics that will one day join it to make up a Gueuze. I’m guessing that this one has to be let age a lot longer so that more of the mustiness and sourness can develop. My overall impression, as I’m learning more about Lambics and Gueuzes, is that this was a great opportunity to taste one of the beers that the blender works with. While it was not an exceptional beer the experience was unique and worth seeking out if possible. (1,933 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had to wait 2 days for Moeder Lambic to tap this, but I made sure to come back and get a glass. This isn't my favorite way to enjoy Cantillon creations, I definitely prefer their gueuze or fruit-conditioned lambics, but I was very excited to try the raw young (medium?) lambic.

The liquid was clear and bright colored, light gold I guess, with a good layer of foam despite the still nature of the product. It smelled like, well, Cantillon. Mild funk and a few hints of lactic activity. This may have been very young, this really wasn't very sour. In fact I'd be hard pressed to get a second glass, particularly with the taps list at my disposal here at Moeder Lambic, but it's very nice to taste the essence of Cantillon. This is the basic unit, as it were, and as I'm an average student of the style its worthwhile to understand it's contribution. It would be nice to try a Cantillon Oude Lambic, not sure if the bottle lambics qualify (they may).

If you see this jump at the chance. Same with raw lambic from any of the majors. (1,033 characters)

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Cantillon Lambic from Brasserie Cantillon
90 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.