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Zywiec Porter - Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Not Rated.
Zywiec PorterZywiec Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

392 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 392
Hads: 715
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.81%
Wants: 33
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
Poland | website

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter | 9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 392 | Hads: 715
Photo of Jeffsta1
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Pretty good beer.
Very dark. Tall, bubbly head.
Quite bitter for a porter
Also a fair amount of sweetness on the attack: I'd prefer less.
Nice malt, hints of cocoa.
Rich mouthfeel, commensurate with the high alcohol.
Smoke on the finish - nice.

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Photo of GentleKnight1
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Nice dark. Very dark in the glass with small head. Bitter taste hits on the first sip but seems to recede as you drink. Slightly less pleasant than the Brand Dobbelbock.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is what happens when you fall in love with stouts, it leads you to try darker and darker beers, recklessly seeking that next roasted thrill until your bank account is a mere husk of binary code and you’ve become addicted to priceless Faberge eggs... at least that specific example has happened to someone, somewhere. Anyway the point I was getting at is that Plonk! (BBITU: Best Bottleshop In The Universe) is out of FBS (Founders Breakfast Stout) and I’ve been recommended the two closest things to FBS in the meanwhile: Zywiec and Rasputin - yes, that’s right - we’ve got a full blown Stout-off on our hands!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deep, deep, dark, cavernous, cola brown body that says “I will own you mere mortal!” with a foamy inch tall khaki head that slowly dissipates to a spiders lace. The whole thing is ominous. I like my Porters ominous. 9/10.

S: A roasted coffee/chicory combo that screams “I will own you mere mortal!”... again it is an ominous brew here. There are notes of dark fruit as well, hints of black cherry and prune. 7/10.

T: The flavour is a real surprise - sets you up for a huge challenging Stout/Porter (whatever, they’re the same thing) and delivers a mild mannered reporter, like if Clark Kent was the alter-ego to Lex Luthor. Flavours are roast coffee with brown sugar and prune. Finishes with an espresso bitterness and an unwanted metallic twang (loses 1 point for this, sorry unpronounceable brewer from Poland). 7/10.

M: Hits the register well here with a medium, rich body and a dense, creamy carbonation. 9/10.

D: It’s no FBS. That is certain. However at $4 a 330ml bottle it is FBS’s cheaper, slightly weird Polish cousin that likes to tip cows, farm potatoes whilst making bootleg vodka, and is “New to this country you call A-Merica”. The fact that it tastes half decent at that price (and kicks its own Lager in the soft-fleshy-dangly-male-bits between the legs) is enough for me to rate it decently. Decently indeed. I have spoken! 8/10. Total: 7.5/10.

Food match: Chocolate roasted rib eye steaks with au gratin potato and roasted pumpkin, with a rich dark gravy simmering away all over that shit.

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Photo of cratez
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Zywiec Porter – 9.5% ABV Baltic Porter – Bottle shared with hopsolutely and NRMan.

A: Jet black in colour with a thick ring of tan foam and strands of lacing on the sample glass. Stellar appearance.

S: Rich pruney-plummy notes, slight nuttiness, black cherry (almost medicinal in character), roasted malt, dark chocolate, and mocha. A truly outstanding nose.

T: Roasted malt, chocolate, vinous dark fruit sweetness (pruney-plummy), mocha coffee, and black cherry. Balanced bitterness precedes a dry, roasty finish. Excellent flavours.

M: Medium-full body, creamy carbonation, sweet middle transitions to a mild bitterness and roasted, drying finish. A great palate.

O: An exemplary Baltic Porter with big aromatics, bold flavours, and a very smooth palate. Definitely lives up to its first-class reputation.

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Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Deep, practically black color. Fruity and sweet aroma, like prunes and molasses. Similar taste; fruity and roasted. Smokey coffee and cocoa. Bittersweet finish. Full bodied and heavy with a fairly low carbonation. You can't really taste the high alcohol content, but you'll certainly know it's there by the time you finish this great porter.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Appearance - Pours two quick fingers of creamy lite brown head, color is an almost opaque deep reddish brown, with garnet edges when held up to a light. Nice rings of thick lace left after each sip.

Smell - Dark roasted malt, dark fruits and fig, hints of rich sweet smoke and molasses, and a little bit of well done fruit cake.

Taste - Whoa... there is an initial explosion of dark roastiness and light smoke, molasses, and black licorice, dark roasted malt and unsweetened coffee gently enter the ppicture, with a nice slightly dry bite of toasty pumpernickel and lite caraway longer into the finish. Occasionally I get hints of burnt molasses and little bits of sour plumskin. No alcohol presence whatsoever at 9.5%!

Mouthfeel - Dangerously smooth, medium mouthfeel, carb is spot on and foams smoothly across the tongue, and surprises with a few nice edges at the back of the tongue.

Overall - A shockingly good porter. Full mouth flavors, great balance and complexity as this is more of a symphony vs. a few hard punches. What makes this really nice is the price of $1.99 a bottle at my local Garden Fresh. I will pick up a few of these every time I shop - pick up a few for yourself if you come across them, highly recommend! *Please note, I've updated this review, as my first bottle of this was 9 months past the best by date - it was pretty good, but was overwhelmed with astringent dark fruit flavors, and a slight balsamic-like vinegariness. A fresh bottle is a real treat, and an excellent representative of the style. I would even call it "imperial", as the flavors are bold and mouth filling.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 8/11/14. Comes in a nice 500ml (16.9 ounce) bottle for $3.99. Good until: '3.14.2015'. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 12 ounce handled glass stein.

Pours a very deep brown, almost a pitch black actually with about a good 1/2 finger of a beige head that settles down to a thin layering on top and sides of the glass. A decent amount of lacing is seen when sipped. Nice and frothy. Lots of roasted malt with some dark fruits for the aroma. The taste is pretty much the same with a hint of brown sugar as well as a touch of black coffee. Pretty smooth finish for this high alcohol porter (though you don't taste the alcohol at all). Over a great tasting Baltic Porter! Prosit!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Mostly opaque deep brown. Just shy of black. Medium khaki head. Nice lacing slides down the inside of the glass as I drink it. Island of foam persists on the surface with a medium collar.

Smell - Dark fruits. A bit of banana. Roasted malt. A little bit of deep caramel.

Taste - Banana right up front. Moves toward dark fruits. Sweet in the middle, like a very dark brown sugar. The back end is less sweet, much more flavored with roasted malts. Coffee like bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Drinkable for 9.5%. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very tasty. I have to admit I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this so much.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, best before 9/28/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, raisin, prune, brown sugar, molasses, light herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, dark bread, raisin, prune, brown sugar, molasses, herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, raisin, prune, brown sugar, molasses, herbal, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and earthy hop flavors; with a a great malt/yeast balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, smooth, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Baltic porter. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Gear54
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A: Dark black with 1/2 inch of thick head. It failed down the glass without and lace.

S: Faint licorice aroma

T: Wonderful full coffee and chocolate noted. Long lasting and no bitterness

M: Does well to coat the mouth

O: This is a good porter. I was surprised for the price how well it performed.

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Photo of ADZA
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark kola hue with a luscious two finger chocolate laced head and lacing here and there quite a looker,the smell is roasted malts,red berries and booze,the mouthfeel is full bodied and moderately carbonated with tastes of roasted malts,milk chocolate and finished with a soft bittersweetness and overall quite the suprise package would drink again cheers.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, back label says best before 09.13.2014. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stayed around a while. There's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, anise, and some brown sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like roasted/charred malt, dark fruit (plums, prunes, raisins), molasses, dark chocolate, brown sugar, anise, and an earthy/mineral flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and smooth with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this, and at just $1.79 a bottle it's definitely worth picking up!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a very dark black, with a foamy, creamy one inch head, and lots of lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits, and lager yeast.

The taste is fairly similar. Pretty sweet and caramelly, with lots of dark fruit flavors. It does stop short of being cloying, thankfully. Some roasted malt and chocolate, lots of dark fruit flavor, almost tastes Belgian. Pretty sweet, not really bitter at all.

Medium bodied, incredibly creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Low carbonation.

A pretty bang on Baltic Porter. Cut down a little bit of the sweetness and dial up a little bit more of roasty malt, and it would be near perfect.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty much black. Lots of head formed. Laced as it fell.

Chocolatey malts, metallic notes, herbal notes, caramel malt, roasty dose, a bitbof lactose, and slight minerality. Solid.

Big chocolate malt opening with follow-ups of booze, metallic notes, malt bitterness, mineral tongue-pinch, and anise. Caramelized sugars and mint tea notes. Has an impy stout magnitude. A knockout punch of a Baltic Porter.

A little hot, but brewed to big strength. Swishy body with a sizzling carbonation. Good weight.

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Photo of ZagZagg
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle into goblet glass

A: One finger mocha head floating atop midnight blackness. Pour and glass play are indicative of a big body with solid viscosity. Retention is shy of medium and carries a light flakey silver color. No light can brave the depths of this brew – carbonation cannot be assessed.

S: Big milk chocolate and roasty chocolate malts fill the nose immediately. Sugary sweetness in the background accompanied by bitter cooking chocolate and notes of dried fig. Smokey character is present, but in a caramel light.

T: Chocolate malt, which is big and sweet, debuts quickly; dark chocolate and bitter hops are later on the scene. Some nutty notes play up a distant warm roast, tenuously boozy. Caramelized – burnt brown sugar, licorice-anise (without the tang) and powderized cocao nibs. In the finish the bitterness of the hops and dark chocolate balance the rich malt coco-profile. Overall the experience pushes a tantalizing interplay between savory and sweet.

M: Yes, finally a porter that has the body I’m looking for, thick and slick. Carbonation is very present and fine, but not overwhelming. Fills the mouth and leaves a pleasant lacquer on the tongue – sweet and a bit smoky.

O: This is the best porter I’ve had yet. It’s very reminiscent of an imperial stout, probably contributing to why I like it so much. Big body, sweet and malty, and at the same time easy drinking. I think the Baltic variant reigns supreme when it comes to porters. I’ve been looking for one like this I’m glad I picked it up.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a white head that leaves behind a lot of lacing. Aroma is malty, with a chocolate and coffee like essence. In the taste, coffee and cocoa, with a mineral, hard water aspect. Minimal hops but a small coarse bitterness. Medium bodied and lightly creamy. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown body; lasting, relatively decent head. Soft aroma of roasted grains and sweet chocolate. Bitter chocolate and moderately sweet roasted grain flavors. Medium bodied; semi-sweet finish.

A nice, basic porter that delivers flavor and body without overpowering alcohol or other relatively extreme flavor profiles. This has the depth, the sweetness, the body, and the flavors of a classic styled dark ale.

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Photo of FLima
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black color with a three finger light caramel head with good retention.
Aroma of chocolate, earthy hops, minerals, nuts, figs and a bit of Kahlua liquor.
Predominant flavor of mocha coffee, roasted grains, licorice, booze and herbal and earthy hops. Hints of molasses and ashes. Maybe I got some banana as well. Dry aftertaste with its lingering taste.
Medium body with medium carbonation. The 9.5% abv is definitely felt, but it is not necessarily a defect once it is somewhat expected by the style.
Good traditional Baltic Porter, it is an old recipe going back almost 150 years, so bear that on mind when comparing to today’s kick-ass American imperial Porters. I had to raise its grade after warming up.

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Photo of Copernicandream
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500mL bottle (piecewise) into a 12 oz snifter.

A: Deep dark, nearly opaque brown. Initially one finger of thin foamy head, giving way to a trace ring enhanced by the moderate rising carbonation.

S: Several dark malts that oscillate quickly, reminds me of earthy moss, very subtle smoke.

T: Initially a little sweet, this is a heavy malted porter - almost stout (I like it, I'm sick of American porters that barely qualify as a brown ale). The complexity of the malts is intense, I get at least 3 or 4 different earthy flavors. The smoke on the nose shows back up on the rear end - one of these malts had to have been lightly smoked. Hops present but unidentifiable. There is some definite warmth throughout from the 9.5% alcohol.

M: LOVE. This is as previously described a little thick for your traditional porter, stout-like. It has a moderate carbonation with fine bubbles rising from the depths. The high alcohol content helps thin what would otherwise be a thick brew.

O: This was hyped by my local bottle shop, at $2/0.5L so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I didn't. This is in my opinion an excellent "Smoked Imperial Porter" with complex varieties of malt that after only one bottle I can't entirely place. The smokiness is omnipresent but not overpowering (be warned). I would buy it again and at 9.5% I think some age might mellow that smoke and bring out the earthy malts.

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Photo of ipa2014
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown, nearly black colour with quite impressive head. Chocolate and coffee aromas with a hint of roasted notes. Slightly metallic. As the beer warms up prune aroma starts to appear and a bit of alcohol can be noted. Medium sweet, but can be considered as dry in comparison to other baltic porters. Creamy, full bodied. Medium carbonation. Very good and complex beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
9.5% ABV, Best Before 03.29.2014

A - Dark, impenetrable black in color, Zywiec Porter mirrors it's molasses aroma in appearance, caked with a creamy mocha head while wispy lace sticks to the snifter with ease as the tight foam drops.

S - Distant notes of cold metallic cocoa underscore the mellow aroma of bitter molasses and heavy, sticky dark malt-derived raisins. Alcohol, nearing the double digits in percentage, remains fairly absent and the beer, due to it's lagered character remains clean and smooth.

T - Molasses and dark malt raisin make it into the flavor but are quickly washed away by cold metal and very dry cocoa, exponentially elevated from the aroma's suggestion. The first few sips are displeasing to drink to say the least but the molasses flavor that lingers on the tongue begs for another sip with the bothersome metallic taste mellowing out a bit.

M - This porter's rich and smooth entry is tarnished by brash dry metallic taste and feel on the finish of the beer with molasses bitterness leveling it out slightly, though not enough to keep it afloat.

O - Zywiec Porter starts nice with a dark pour that leads right into the subtle but forward aroma of molasses and raisins but it's hint at dry metallic cocoa in the nose explodes in flavor and feel, tarnishing the good thing this beer had going for it. It's high alcohol is surprisingly hidden well though. It's not awful and the "metallic" essence in beer seems to strike at my tongue more ruthlessly than most others so it could come down to more personal preference, but I'd pick most other Baltic Porters over this.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

this porter is world class, no bones about it. surprised and not surprised at all that this is now a Heineken brand, but whatever, that's business and this beer is outstanding regardless of corporate ties. matte black in color, thick and sturdy, not a pure white head, but light for a dark beer, and lasting with ring lacing as it sips. nose of cocoa powder, roasted barley, char, and lager yeast of all things. its dusty and European in origin, that classic old world malt vibe, and the chocolate is rich in the taste. drinkable, cold fermented (I have to imagine), and really heavy roast character, pushing burnt. its bitter and well hopped for the style too. the alcohol is invisible, which is maybe most impressive. super drinkable and it feels right at holiday time in cold weather. it also pairs wonderfully with a range of eastern European food, and can theoretically age fairly well. one of the better porters ive ever had really, distinct from the pack, and clean and simple. high quality brew right here.

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Photo of DrinkNewport
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Having never heard of Zywiec before, I snatched up this bottle pretty much based on its 9.5% ABV.

It's got a great black pour with a thick khaki head that dissipates relatively quickly, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given the ABV.

It's got a pretty mild aroma of roast malts.

The flavor is pretty smooth and not quite as strong as one might expect. The carbonation is pretty light.

Overall, this is a rather inoffensive Baltic Porter. I'm not sure if the high ABV moderates the flavor, but this is a very smooth, drinkable beer that I just wish had a bit more character.

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Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 16.9 ounce bottle into a British ninick pint.

a: Clear black ruby, finger thick tan head receded slowly to dense even surface foam and heavy lacing.

s: Dark malt.

t: Creamy dark malt with some hop balance. Sweet and pleasing. Eventually a smoky aftertaste.

m: Light to moderate, silky smooth with good carbonation tingle on the tongue.

o; Deservedly well-ragarded porter. Perhaps the smoothest and sweetest I have ever had.

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Photo of droomyster
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an impenetrable black body with a small tan head with decent retention. Aromas are very malty, super sweet and chocolatey with a good amount of roastiness. Flavor is amazing. Sweet up front as the chocolate notes go from milky and sweet to darker, nuttier (I get pecans and vanilla beans) and more austere on the mid-palate before finishing with a with a lot of roastiness and warming oak barrel-like notes that linger long and luxuriously. What a great beer. Could use a fuller body to better accompany such intense flavors, but overall I love this beer.

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Zywiec Porter from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
88 out of 100 based on 392 ratings.