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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,612 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,612
Reviews: 1,427
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 176
Gots: 530 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,612 | Reviews: 1,427
Photo of BDLbrewster
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a striking ruby hue with a fluffy strawberry cream colored head that dissipates leaving some spotty lacing.

The first smell that I pick up on this brew is a thick but somewhat mild cherry infused funk. Sniff after sniff I get more cherry, apple and a touch of vinous alcohol. All I can think is merlot, this beer smells like wine... I love the smell this brew throws off.

My first sip provides a kick in the teeth of cherry. Sweetness followed by a mildly abrasive tartness combined with a very worked over tasting oak barrel flavor. I also get an earthy yeasty light gymsock funk as well. There is a strange resonating taste in the back of my mouth that honestly reminds me of the pink sweet and sour sauce at my corner Chinese restaurant. There is definitely a lot going on in this brew and It's taking a lot of sipping to grasp everything.

The mouthfeel starts out feeling quite light and airy, but as I swallow I get a strange coating effect that leaves a fairly extreme dryness. Carbonation is mild and almost unnoticeable after several sips.

Overall this is a good brew to enjoy a meal with, but a 750 will probably need to be shared. This brew is a bit sweet and cloying to enjoy a large amount of.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured in a Chimay chalice.

A: Amber color with a huge fluffy head. Good retention and some nice lacings left

S: Very fruity, grapes mainly. Malts and oak. Metallic. Smell of Lambic yeasts all around. Very Flamish Red Ale

T: Sweet and sour. Fruity. Malt, oak and Belgium yeasts. Reminds a Lambic

M: Light body. Very carbonated. Nice sour aftertaste

D: Delicious beer. Duchesse is something between a Faro Lambic and a Barley Wine. Quite easy drinking. Interesting experience. After the first glass I though: "too sweet and perhaps too 'winy'"... After the second glass I felt in love :p... Very drinkable, 750ml gone like water...

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - nice sustaining head atop this burgundy colored beauty.

S - lots of cherries, also some red wine and vinegar. is tart a smell??

T - much sweeter than the nose leads on. I get a mouthful of cherries that initialy begin sweet, but then turn towards the tart side, but not overly so. This is a very complex brew. I also taste oak and wine with that a nutty flavor comes through and displays an earth-like quality. Excellent balance is acheived. never cloyingly sweet or overly sour.

MF - full and chewy with buttloads of spritzer like carbonation. makes my mouth tingle with joy.

D - exceptional. I easily finished the 750.

Photo of RuinationPress
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. Recently a friend from San Diego had occasion to try this one and fell in love. As i had a couple of them in the fridge, I decided there was no better time to have and review one.

This one is labeled a a reddish-brown ale, although the overall style is known as a Flanders Red Ale. They are typically brews that range from red to brown in color. The style often uses a Lactobacillus yeast strain producing a high lactic acid and giving a sour taste, also sometimes a Tannic acid producing that lip puckering feeling. Often aged for long periods in oak barrels, aged batches are sometimes mixed with younger ones to balance them out. The often have distinct and sharp fruit flavors that that set them apart from other Belgians.

Produced by the Brouwerij Verhaeghe Brewery in Vichte, Belgium.

This one has quite an appearance. Similar in some ways to new Belgiums La Folie, poured into a tulip glass, it has a deep brown, almost molasses, color with a faint hint hint of red when held up to the sunlight. Very cloudy and with a modest amount of carbonation, it produced a small, but sustainable thin head. The lacing left behind was nice and lite, perfect for this style.

Take a whiff of this one and you are immediately overpowered with the scent of caramel, banana, bread and a faint hint our sour apple. The caramel malt mixed with the banana is what served to really balance out the apple and bread.

As I took my first sip, I immediately tasted the sour apple I smelled earlier with the banana not far behind. Another sip brought the bead and caramel malt and this time a hint of a as yet to be determined spice. Works well with the bread, banana and apple. I felt like I was being treated to dessert! The Lactobacillus yeast really works well on this one, as it was sour, but not too tart and not overpowering.

I really liked this one overall. Not only does it do what the style intends, it just down right pleases! Don't get me wrong, this one is all beer, but may also be one that can pull those who usually shun beer over to the dark side! I had some cheesecake cake around, and really enjoyed the Duchesse as it complimented the cheesecake perfectly. Since it weighs in at around 6% ABV, if you want another you can.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into my la chouffe tulip..

a-dirty ruby color..almost but not quite copper...nice one and a half finger off white head that lingered for quite some time...excellent lacing

s-oak..musty...fruits..slight tartness and vinegar...clean yeast aroma

t-woody and fruity up front...followed by slight vinegar and tartness...finishes dry and fluffy...

m-slick..nicely carbonated...medium bodied and soft...

d-a couple a night would be all...the acidity would kill my stomach the next day if i tempted it with more...but i would want to drink this all night

one of the most unique brews ive tried...the wood and tartness really make this one shine...recommended to all

Photo of BARFLYB
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a oversized DFH snifter+ a small wine glass. Thanks Birradr14

Duchesse De Bourgogne graces a dark brown look from afar. Up towards brightness, a red mixture with orange patches and a mahogany screen. A lucious creamy bright vanilla head rose about a inch or so creating snowflake lace.

Her scent comprises of a dose of dark fruit with apple slices and minimal pear. Being a flanders red ale, Duchesse brings vinegar and it is the most forward out of any flanders red i've had. Hops are not a factor here. A sweet shot of vanilla and some oak from the barrel.

Holy sweet vinegar birdman, it is the main contender. Vinegar forward with dark fruits following (apples upfront) with a vanilla or light cream finish. Some pear and cherry. The oak is really prominent in the bottle. On tap, Duchesse is very sweet and the vinegar comes out a bit more, I like this version better. Not really tart or sour.

This has a light to medium body. The carbonation is present and expected from the pop of the cork. It works well. The liquid goes down kind of smooth. I dont find this to be tart or sour in the least bit, although there is some slight acidity on the tounge. This is quite smooth and easy going. The sweetness sticks around for a while (vanilla) but not as much than the on tap version IMO.

This is great beer. Not high in alcohol and the ladies sem to love it. I prefer the bottle version and would prefer the smaller version, I couldent take to much more than that. Big bottles are great for sharing. This would go well with some dark meats. With all this said Out of all the flanders red's I've had it's low in ranking because of the over the top vinegar taste, I've had better.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Light tan head, dark brown body with reddish tints. Head is loose with good retention and leaves great lacing as it fades.

S: Fruity sourness with light malt in the background. Smells like some krieks I've had. A slight roastyness, maybe just oak from the barrel. A little more acidic as it warms.

T: Sweet, smooth, fruity. Not intensely sour. Vanilla jumps on board later sometimes. Complex and delicious.

M: Medium carbonation, with a thick viscosity to match the sweetness.

D: Highly drinkable and rather refreshing if not a little sweet.

Flavors of this beer were mind bending. I will say it was a little sweet, but balanced fairly well with the sour.

Photo of spointon
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 750ml brown bottle into a DFH stemmed glass.

A= This ale poured a deep red/brown color with modest clarity and a 1/2" creme colored head. The head quickly dropped to a thin cap that was retained all the way down my glass. No lace to speak of...

S= The aroma was a muted combination of malt sweetness, acidic tartness, and wood.

T= Started off as a battle between malty sweetness and tart sourness and kept that going all through each sip. The sweetness reminded me of caramel and treacle while the sourness was reminiscent of dark cherries, plums, and wine. No hop presence to speak of, but an oakey flavor was noticable that helped to dry things further. The finish was fairly dry, but with a lingering hint of the sweetness remaining.

MF= Medium bodied with a very active carbonation level and a crisp mouthfeel.

D= This beer achieved the nearly impossible feat of being tartly acidic AND silky sweet. A very complex ale and one I will rush to buy more of...simply incredible!

Photo of weazal
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Alcohol and sourness blends perfectly. Although, a little medicinal. Some notes of sweet caramel snuck in there.

T: Shockingly sweet, puckeringly sour cherry with a rounding our creaminess. Vanilla cherry cheese cake! Perfectly balanced, unique, exciting, and tasty!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip

A: Poured a vigorous 2 finger light brown fine head with great retention. Brew itself is deep amber and semi-cloudy. Lacing is thick and chunky.

S: Nose is sour cherries and oak plus sweet alcohol with earthy overtones.

T: Beginning is sweet red fruit with a building sourness that peaks towards the middle/end but is slightly masked by the malty backbone. The finish is malty and increasingly sweet with a barely noticeable sour note. No hint of hops anywhere.

M: Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and course and finishes very crisp and clean.

D: Highly drinkable and would make a great session beer if it was a little lower in ABV. However, a little too sweet in my opinion. Fantastic if one is into fruit lambics.

Photo of PartyBear
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep orangey red, in colour, minimal carbonation, with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Razor sharp aromas, lots of lemon and sour apples, with a bit of a port-like smell.

Taste: Again, very sharp like the aroma, flavours of very sour apples up front, with a slight vinegar (in a good way), citric fruits like lemon, and sherbet. Towards the middle there is a taste of fresh orange, which leads to a sweeter progression of sugary candy, and a hint of kola nut, supported by a subtle bready maltiness.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, and quite smooth, with a sharp feel.

Drinkability: Not usually a big fan of Flemish Red beers but this is a huge exception. The flavours are so complex that by the time you finish it you will have changed your mind about the flavours more time than you can count. Even if you hate the style, you need to try this, you will be surprised.

Photo of robertjbell
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer is a burnt amber color with a touch of haze from the chill and the yeast, exhibits a pillowy foam head with decent lacing and retention

Nose: Wow, this is something different! There is an immediate presence of vinegary tartness, most like an aged balsamic and apple cider vinegars, this is followed by big notes of oak and hazelnut as well as very subtle hints of dark candied fruits, underlying sweetness

Taste: This is one of the most acidic beers I have had the opportunity to taste, the most pungent feature of the Duchesse is her big vinegary sweet taste, however this is not the only feature of the beer. There is an underlying vegetal sweetness to the beer, complimented by a tasted of tart cherries. The finish is slightly drying and chalky with a woody, oaky complextion bringing up the end

Mouthfeel: Sour, sour and sour! Yet the beer is still creaming, with just enough carbonation to keep the beer feeling alive on the palate

Photo of deapokid
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Liquid is blood red with a one finger head that sticks to the glass like glue. Visage is beautiful and imposing; both dangerous and thoroughly inviting. I am absolutely dying to take a taste.

Scent is all sour grapes... in a good way. This smells usually remind me of homemade wine at family holiday parties and the tart aromas wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a fresh sangria.

Wow! Sour fruit and the aforementioned sangria are all over this brew. Cherry and passion fruit are also ever present with a nice, tart wine conclusion to leaven some of the sweetness. What stops this fruit flavor explosion from being one-dimension is the boozy Belgian ale taste that coalesces with the fruity aspects. This beer is like the perfect mix of a dark ale and a red wine.

This enters the mouth like one smooth coating with a perfect blend of flavors. It is soft on the palate, but still striking and instantly memorable.

Despite all the tartness and the bold flavor profile, this is surprisingly drinkable. Yet, I can only imagine that two or three of these could do a number on the stomach.

This beer is an absolute classic in my book and it's the first that showed me the unlimited options and characteristics a beer could have when I first started getting into craft brew.

Photo of astout
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, very cool beer, definitely unique and very delicious.

Pours a deep burnished red colour very dark with a small amount of head.

Smells of balsamic, cherries, soy and a bit of chocolate in the background. Wine like aromatics from the barrel aging are all over this and I love it.

On the palate the initial sour balsamic thing I was expecting was there but quickly gets overtaken by a rich cherry fruit and cocoa nib interplay. Surprisingly smooth rich finish.

Low carbonation and smooth is the best way to describe this delicious red ale, I would definitely recommend this, and could do very well as a dessert beer.

Photo of Wutz
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken 6-28:

My first sour. It was too much for me. I'm not comfortable with the style but for the style guidelines, it was pretty spot-on.

Appearance: Dark brownish-red with a luxurious off-white head

Aroma: "Sour as hell" is all I got off of it.

Taste: Sweet maltiness with stinging cherry and tart/sour apple. There's a lot more going on under that but I can't pick it out with all that sourness running rampant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and thick somehow leaving you dry and puckered reaching for another sip

Drinkability: I couldn't hang with it. I drank the whole bottle but it was too sour for me. Fortunately for this beer's rating (yeah, I'm sure Verhaeghe cares what I think), that's right in line with the style guidelines.

Overall: Too much sourness for me. I couldn't give this beer a fair enough shake. It was wonderfully complex but all I could pick out enough to name were the sour characteristics which a lot of people seem to love lately. Give this beer a shot - it's a masterfully crafted beer that was just too much sourness for me.

Photo of Lolli1315
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice reddish brown color with about a finger of head and pretty decent lacing.

S- Fruits are coming out the strongest, in most particular I would have to say apple. Faint smell of alcohol as well, but the smell makes me want to dive in.

T- This is my first sour so maybe this will change later, but this taste is fantastic. Get that fruit taste up front and then bam, the fruity tartness seems to hit you all at once. Seeing as this is my first sour beer as well, this is something entirely new to me.

M- Thin to medium mouthfeel, more on the thin side. I think I would prefer this to be a little bolder, but still don't know how that would mold with the beer.

D- The only thing holding back this beer from being highly drinkable is the sweetness of the beer. Not hard to put done a glass, but some might be turned off from how sweet it is.

Notes: I think there is going to be a long love between myself and sours.

Photo of infestaxion
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best by 27-07-10

A - Ruby reddish brown with a fluffy off white head that doesn't hang around very long but leaves a nice lacing.

S - Dark cherries and alcohol. Almost a port smell. A bit sweet at the end.

T - Oh wow. That is really good. Why have I waited so long to try this beer? Cherry and grape with a malty sweetness. Amazing flavor. The tartness and sour is there but I wish it were more. If it was more sour it would get a 5 easy.

M - Great tingly carbonation and good body.

D - Very, very drinkable.

Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark reddish/brown color. Brilliantly clear. Semi-thick head that slowly dissipates.

S - Definitely a complex fruitiness. Cherry ester presence; maybe apples or plums? Few spicy phenols.

T - Intense fruitiness from cherries with intense sour acidic character. Few spicy phenols. No hop presence. Vanilla flavor is present. Sour and bitterness gives balance slightly towards finish.

M - Medium body with high carbonation. Prickly acidity and very little warming from ABV.

D - Superb palate of various fruit and spice notes. Sweet and sour notes accentuate the few spicey phenols.

----

What a stupendous beer! Complex palate and very well executed. Drinkability makes this a sipping beer, however.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Chouffe tulip

Pours a muddy red amber with a bubbly, tan-infused cap that rose to fill the tulip and fell quickly. Very delicate lace left in its wake.

Sweet fruits work hard to mask the sour notes/vinegar, but lose out in the end. Vinous dark fruit (cherries, grapes), almost wine-like, green apples and balsamic vinegar waft out of the glass very easily and blend to make an overall sweet and tart aroma.

The flavor profile is just like the aroma. Very tolerable vinegar in the finish with the fruit qualities up front. The vinegar does not linger for very long and actually leaves a slight apple cider vinegar flavor behind. Sweet and sour in an almost perfect marriage.

The body is medium with the finish lingering for just the right amount of time. The prickly carbonation is tuned up a bit, but it fits the style perfectly.

This is a tough style to drink a few of anyway. However, this guy was pretty easy to get down and has a manageable abv. This really challenges the palate and nose, I wouldn't want more than one of these anyway.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before date of 08-14-09. Poured into a westmalle glass very dark brown with a one finger off white head.

This is my first attempt at a Flemish Red. And whoa, is it different. First off the smell is something totally unexpected. Rich in carmalized raisins. Followed by a wooded smell. I would almost compare it to wood rot.

The taste is very interesting. There is a sweetness to it that counters to a very strong and overpowering sourness. The raisin flavor is there along with an almost lichorice flavor.

I've got to say, for my first experience with a Flemish, I don't like it one bit. I'm sure this is a very good example of the style, which is why I'm going to rate it high because it's got all the characteristics. It just seems this style isn't my cup of tea.

Photo of BacklitAvenger
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will preface this review by saying I didn't like this beer one bit. I enjoy the pure lactic sourness of a Berliner Weisse but the acetic character was a deal-breaker here. That said I will review to style, not to prejudice.

Appearance - An orange color with slight amber and brown tinges to it rests beneath a prodigious three and a half finger head of pure snow white. Obviously high carbonation keeps the head cap there, but the lacing isn't really that spectacular.

Smell - Whoo. Acetic city man. I smell a cidery acetic character almost to the exclusion of all else. I can detect a lactic lemony sour flavor I recognize from berliners.

Taste - The cider vinegar again takes a dominant position, squeezing out the lactic acid from the first sip. Once I take a few more I can tell there's more here than the acetic acid, but I'm not sure I like it because of the harsh vinegar character. There's the aforementioned lactic sourness and an accompanying lemon flavor over a lightly bread and biscuity malt. Sour fruit, especially cherries comes in midway. There's a sweetness and a metallic taste that enter during the finish with a lime-like sour note, some red wine vinegar, a vinous twang, and a hint of alcohol and spice.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel would probably be rather thick and unpleasant if not for the enormously carbonated nature of the beer. I take a sip and rather than getting liquid, i is mostly bubbles and foam by the time I swallow it.

Drinkability - For me not high at all. For the style this beer is right on, so medium I suppose.

I will continue to try different sours since flanders reds are supposedly very acetic compared to the rest. This one is not very appealing to me however. Time will tell whether or not I like brett character any more than acetic acid.

Photo of fropones
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Report from notes and memory. Had this one in a bar last night, had to take a couple notes on a napkin.
The pour was beautiful; it was kind of dark in the bar, but to me it looked like a nice red wine with a thin off-white head that left a whole ton of lacing.
The smell was sort of a tannic vinegary smell you get from a red wine or even a sherry. Some cherries and tart apple cider. Taste was similar; a balance of sweet and sour, some tart cherries. I also noted a hint of a sort of coppery taste in there as well.
Mouthfeel was effervescent; crisp and dry. Like a nice champagne.
Overall, very drinkable; couldn't even taste the alcohol and probably would have had a few more if I could have afforded to.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one into a flute glass. The color on the body is simply amazing. It's a cider color towards the bottom of the glass and gets a deep amber towards the top. It's clear as can be. The head is light and off white. It leaves a great lacing.

The first scent to hit my nose is vinegar. It smells like tart apple cider.

There are a lot of tastes to pick up. The apple cider takes the main stage. There's a funky bret taste with a spice. The finish is lightly sour and tart.

The body is light and sparkling with heavy carbonation. It leaves a sweet coating.

This drinks light. It's heavily carbonated with light sweet finish.

Photo of bsp77
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into small 10oz wine-like glass.

Appearance: Dark ruby-brown with thin head and slight lacing.

Smell: Apples, cider and vinegar. Mix of sweet and tart.

Taste: Really reminds me a mixture of cider, ruby port and malt vinegar. Definite notes of apple, autumn spice and tart sweetness. Not nearly as sour as Rodenbach Grand Cru (which I enjoy quite a bit), with more of a vinegary sweetness.

Feel: Not really sure how to review this. Reminds me of a smooth cider. Carbonation is certainly noticeable, but not beer-like.

Drinkability: Gets better with each sip and as it warms. I feel I could have just kept sipping all night - damn 10oz glass!

Photo of drumrboy22
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellared for 18 months. Poured from 750mL bottle into Duchesse de Bourgogne glass. Beer was a muddy brown color, with a very small, light brown head. Little carbonation and moderate lacing.

Aroma was tart cherries, vinegar and cider.

Taste was lightly tart fruit, sweet malt, butterscotch and wood. Not nearly as much vinegar or tartness that is present in a fresh bottle. Still very nice and a bit more drinkable.

Great beer and a good gateway into sour beers.

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Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,612 ratings.