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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,275 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1275
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%


Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 10-17-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,275 | Reviews: 733 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jsteez
Jsteez

China

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a can into a beer mug; a beige 1/2" cream head that faded quickly into an ultra thin tan surface; left some lacing behind on the glass; a straight black color, yet ruby red when held to light.

S: Not a lot going on here, just some slight sweet caramel malt and some grassy undertones.

T: Nice balance between sweet, dry, and bitter. Dry/ and slightly bitter aftertaste, sweet caramel malt in the front end; grassy and slightly herbal hops throughout; bitter-sweet chocolate; roasted malt; tobacco leaves. Nice combination of complex flavors, yet quite subtle overall.

M: Light bodied, fresh, and velvet smooth. Carbonation on the moderate/high side. I could easily drink a few of these. Refreshing!

O: It's just a good all around schwarzbier. Perfect for any time of year, especially the cool evenings of April. It goes with a lot of foods or by itself. Nice complement to brats, pickles, kraut, and mustard. Prost!

Serving type: can

04-11-2014 09:43:22 | More by Jsteez
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark, reddish-brown body with a rich, thich, creamy light tan head. Sweet cocoa and marshmallow aroma; sweet chocolate; lightly roasted grains.Taste follows the scent with a counterbalancing hop bitterness bringing up the end at the finish. Light to medium body; slightly fizzy with carbonation at times, but more so a light, velvety smoothness; clean, semi-sweet finish.

A very tasty malt-forward schwarzbier, relatively light in body compared to many dark ale styles yet packed with great taste, aroma, and mouthfeel. I know the BA style description emphasizes hop bitterness for the style, but this one really brings the rich, dark malt sugars and flavors. Smooth, deep, and intriquing with a lager smoothness combined with a delicious roasted grain charm.

Serving type: can

02-16-2014 23:31:40 | More by beergoot
Photo of brewolero
brewolero

Bolivia

4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oh, so delicious and beautiful. Held up to the light, it yields a lovely red hue in the glass while retaining its head throughout the entire session. The smell yields malt and roast, and the taste is dry and roasted, with malt to follow. Little obvious presence of hops, but this yields a very well-balanced, easy drinking and savor-able dark beer that appeals. I could drink this every day.

Serving type: can

10-21-2013 14:12:31 | More by brewolero
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown/black color with a thin, off-white head. The aroma is a little malty with hints of toasted grains. The taste neither is a decent texture that isn’t too thin nor thin the delivers a bold black lager taste. The taste has a lot of roasted and toasted flavors without being as bold or thick as a stout. Pretty decent brew for its style.

Serving type: can

10-05-2013 02:47:19 | More by Lemke10
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a tall-boy can, purchased for a dollar at my local Trader Joe’s.

This pours a ruddy toasty near black-slash-ruby red (when backlit) with rapidly dissipating foam. It has a rounded toasty aroma, roasty enough for me with some toffee and a touch of caramel to the coffee-bean quality aroma. I found it light and pleasing.

The flavor is smooth with enough sharpness to keep it defined, while not getting bogged down by being cloying or overly sweet. The roast profile gives it enough of an edge to keep its definition. Being what it was I liked this beer. It's approachable, interesting, and I'm looking forward to another.

Serving type: can

05-21-2013 07:21:44 | More by elNopalero
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
BeerAficionadoMCMXC

California

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer appears a dark black with red hues when looking carefully. The head is retained for a moment. This beer smelled of stinky cereal when it was first poured, but once it settled, I get some smoky, nutty, and some spiciness to it. For all my apprehensiveness, this beer hits it out of the park. The malty flavor takes over the palate. The hop character is downplayed, but I enjoyed the malty backbone on top of the unmistakable Germain crispness that their lagers tend to have. The body is light, and very lager-like. Overall, I'd definitely drink it again. I'd say this is a perfect Fall beer for all you porter and stout fans. A great buy.

Serving type: can

05-18-2013 07:04:07 | More by BeerAficionadoMCMXC
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml can for a tasty price of a buck seventynine. the pour is the best part of this beer, dark like a stout but thinner, darker than most schwarzbiers made in the usa, with a gorgeous white head, maybe just off white, rising several inches high before slowly relaxing. the nose is medium roast malts and some spent lager yeast. I don't know why, but the yeast just isn't doing it for me here, adding too much flavor for a lager, and there is enough sweetness from the malts that it just doesn't crisp up, sort of a weird mix. maybe more hops would fix this problem, but things are just out of balance for me. long funny finish. im sure this is far superior on tap at the source, but in the imported can context, it just doesn't stack up. thin medium body and comfortingly brisk carbonation, but this was a miss for me in many ways.

Serving type: can

03-27-2013 01:41:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml can into an imperial pint glass. Pours a very deep brown (almost black), with a nice, but short-lived cappuccino colored head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Has a nice aroma with notes of molasses and coffee. The taste is more coffee and roast notes, with the molasses/malt sweetness in the background and just a hint of hop bitterness on the finish, with more roast notes. It's a little thin with almost no carbonation noted, but given the flavors, I think a thicker beer would be overwhelming after a while. As it is, this is a great dark lager that doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: can

02-17-2013 09:55:12 | More by delta490
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark mahogany but looks black when not held up to the light. Semi-translucent near the bottom and edges as brown shaded light will pour through. One finger sudsy light tan head. Left a bit of lacing.

Aroma: Some sweet caramel and hints of darker malt. Slightly roasty but pretty restrained. A bit of earth as well. Very clean.

Taste: A very pleasant palate. No bells or whistles, just straight forward amber malts with a little roasted malt but not enough to add bitterness. Reminiscent of Guinness Draught in flavor but with a more definite punch to the palate due to carbonation and a bit of grassy hop presence right at the beginning. Finish is smooth and crisp with a cream flavor for a moment. 4.8% ABV sounds about right but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was even lighter than that. Almost a hybrid lager/ale.

Mouthfeel: Thin but not watery. Lots of carbonation and easy drinkability. Probably sessionable.

Final Thoughts: "Germany's No. 1 Black Lager Beer" is pretty good. Light on body and flavor but not light on enjoyability. Would I drink it again? Yes, if I'm in the mood for an import.

Serving type: can

02-03-2013 22:51:24 | More by JamesMN
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black and opaque with edges of brown where the light shines through. grey/off-white head disipates quickly when poured quickly into a pint glass.

S: Slightly sweet aroma, mild spicyness, german lager yeast charector I can only describe as mineraly

T: Crisp, clean and easy drinking. Spicy, earthy hop bitterness is there but so mild an pleasant you might miss it if you weren't looking for it. The smallest bit of roast charector is present, but dominated heavily by the mineral charector of the lager yeast.

M: Moderate body with a crisp dry finish. moderate carbination

O: I've been sort of fatigued with the APA/IPA/Stout beers that dominate the shelves at my local bottle shops and have been exploring german lagers more extensively. This was a breath of fresh air, crisp clean but still full of charecter and flavor. My exploration of german imports is off to a good start!

Serving type: can

01-20-2013 02:34:23 | More by guityler83
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You've probably heard the one about the guy who walks into a bar. No? He says, "Ouch!" Bro. Woody went to Ardmore last Saturday to see what he could see and walked into a bottle shop. He said, "Yay! Look at all of these new CANs in furtherance of The CANQuest (TM)!" It is called The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore Plaza and for those that do not live in PA, you have no idea what a rare bird it is to find a quality bottle shop, especially one that provided me with no less than five (5) new CANned beers on my first visit. This is one of those beers.

From the CAN: "Brewed according to the German purity law (translated)"; "Germany's No. 1 Black Lager Beer"; "Bier, Beer, Biere, Birra, Cerveza, Cerveja" Man, this CAN caters to nearly the whole EU!

The loud Crack was music to mine ears and the Glug was a pleasant accompaniment. I achieved a finger of dense, foamy, mocha-brown head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown with mahogany highlights at the edges. The visual is why one should always deCANt from the CAN into a glass. I had to hold it to the light to get the full effect. Nose was filled with grassy hops, just like in the Bros.' description on this site. I was ready to swoon. I CAN honestly say that I had no appreciation for lagers until I embarked on The CANQuest (TM) and found out that not all lagers are created equal. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching fullness, but not quite achieving it. The taste married the grassiness of the hops with the bitterness of anise and molasses, undoubtedly from the malt. Finish was semi-dry and quite refreshing. The low ABV makes it a good CANdidate for the cooler and I would recommend it to those who say, "I don't like dark beers." Sheesh. Get off of your high Lovibond horse and join the party!

Serving type: can

10-14-2012 16:21:10 | More by woodychandler
Photo of nebula1999
nebula1999

Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a small gathering of friends and offered a variety of beers, including a 5L draught can of this beauty. No one bit, so that left the whole thing for me! I finished the can over a long weekend no problem, and the vessel retained the brew’s carbonation and flavor through 4 days opened in the fridge (provided I laid a piece of duct tape across the vent opening at the top of the can after each use).

Pours nearly pitch black from draught can with a medium rocky tan head, large bubbles. Settles easily in the 0.5L mug with some nice lacing.

Aroma is of malt sweetness with some breadiness and char (not smoke). Hint of cocoa. No hops to speak of. You instantly know it is of Germanic origin.

Taste/mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with some light chocolate flavors and roastiness from the malt. Mild bitterness dries things out nicely. Not heavy. In fact the low abv lends itself for quaffing many in one sitting, and is barely detectable. Flavors are retained from top to bottom, pour after pour, leaving no palate fatigue for such a dark beer.

Highly recommend trying this one in the 5L draught can, if you can find it. I have had this beer in a bottle also, and it is just as good. Something fun about the draught can though. Try it with grilled chicken wings…buffalo, bbq, or otherwise.

Serving type: can

07-24-2012 16:27:48 | More by nebula1999
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 5L mini Keg to a Pint glass, (I put can as serving type)

A- Pours almost pitch black. Some light gets through the sides and produces a ruby blood red. A large tan head with good retention and lacing on the sides.

S- Lots of burnt notes, some chocolate and roasted gran. A pleasant smelling brew.

T- A rather light taste for a dark beer but its full flavored. A good mix of toasted malts and grain, Chocolate notes, and a little caramel, A light refreshing bitterness.

M- This beer is incredibly silky smooth. It has a light flavor but the beer has a smooth feel which helps make up for it. High carbonation at first from the tap but the container will last a while after its opened.

O- A good dark german lager that I enjoyed with a few friends, I definitely recommend getting one of these if you can but make sure to plan on drinking it all because it will go flat and be a waste.

Serving type: can

04-19-2012 23:26:53 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of Matt1516
Matt1516

Quebec (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I once though this was a poor man's Irish Stout but as I get to know the Shwartzbier style I really am starting to appreciate it more by contrast.

Poured from a can into a nonic it reveals inky blackness with a fluffy tan head and surprising carbonation.

Aromas of malt and chocolate.

Tastes of toasted malts, slightly bitter with some nuttiness and coffee subtleties. A bit of hops in the background.

Clean, refreshing finish. A thirst-quencher and ideal session beer.

Serving type: can

05-24-2011 03:08:21 | More by Matt1516
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Can

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with a very large frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is very nice lacing running down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to disappear.

Smell - breads/grains, a skunkiness, malts, roasted/toasted nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels very light and creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of breads/grains and grassy notes. But there are also underlying tones of malts and light coffee flavours. There is also a bit of a metallic flavour to the beer. It finishes with malty and light chocolate aftertaste.

Drink - I was really impressed with this beer, it's almost like it has the best of both worlds; light like a lager but tasty like an ESB. It also had a really great appearance. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: can

01-05-2011 15:17:06 | More by spinrsx
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For those whose German needs a little brushing up, "schwarz" means black and thus "schwarzbier" translates, literally, to 'black beer'. Of course, that's nothing you couldn't have figured out on your own just from looking at the thing! It's body is decidedly black, despite slipping up the occasional highlight, and even its head looks like slate.

The aroma is curiously distinct, offering a particular and enticing bouquet that, although humming a subtle tune of dark fruit, is not noticeably fruity and, although there is an inkling of caramel, could hardly be considered sweet. And while its maltiness is toasty, it lacks even a trace of harsh roast or coffee-like qualities.It smells like the Greek dessert __.

In fact, the smell makes it hard to point the finger at any one particular flavour, or the ingredient responsible for it. The actual taste doesn't make things much easier. While its tremendously grainy, dark maltiness is distinctive and substantial, it doesn't sit at all heavily on the palate and refuses to linger even momentarily in an aftertaste of any kind.

Likewise, while there must be some hops at play considering how virtually all sweetness is restrained, there is no prevalent bitterness and the beer drinks with the clean, complaisant, almost nondescript character of any pale lager. And there is not a drop of roast, astringency or porter-like flavour despite the obvious use of a little dark malt.

Köstritzer, and schwarzbier in general, is a lesson in how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Despite the blackish colour, this beer is every bit as smooth, lightly-flavoured, drying and refreshing as any yellow lager worth drinking. And it's also an obvious testament to the Germans' love and skill for brewing super agreeable, drinkable lagers.

Serving type: can

12-20-2010 19:14:17 | More by biegaman
Photo of decimator
decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured an opaque dark brown with copper hues and a big foamy 4cm tan coloured head. Head slowly dissipated. Plenty of lacing.

S - Malts, a bit of chocolate and some grass. Good but a bit light overall.

T - Light malty sweetness throughout, light roasted flavour, hint of dark chocolate and a mild bitter hop finish. Not as roasted as I'd expect for the colour but the roasted flavour becomes more apparent in the finish as the beer warms up.

M - Average carbonation. Smooth with a wet finish.

D - This is quite drinkable. Not quite what I expected but pretty good.

Serving type: can

12-09-2010 01:53:54 | More by decimator
Photo of jeranbrews
jeranbrews

Oklahoma

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - dark opaque almost black brown with a foamy almost nitro vanilla beige head. Good sandy lacing

S - can smells. Faint roasted malts. Like a bakery but faint like a bakery down the street. Chocolate malts.

T - simple sweet chocolate and lightly roasted specialty malts and faint hops. No aftertaste but slightly sweet

M - not bad but a bit loose and watery. Not a lot of evervescence. Easy to drink.

D - smooth simple to drink. Not overly complex but good enough.

Serving type: can

12-03-2010 14:29:02 | More by jeranbrews
Photo of rodenbach99
rodenbach99

Quebec (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This time from a 500ml can. Bottled in april. Pours a clear dark black beer with a beige lasting head. Hard to beat. Nice light roastiness on the nose. Refreshing taste, more malty than hoppy, light roastiness. Easy drinking beer. A classic in the style.

Serving type: can

11-27-2010 23:14:56 | More by rodenbach99
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a lager glass. Near-black with just a touch of russet around the edges when held to the light. A good inch of head that settles nicely to a thin ringed layer. Patches and sheets of lacing.

Nose is great: roasted malts, a hint of nuts and caramel, and a breadiness that, combined with the roasted character of the nose, almost feels like rye or pumpernickel. How German can you get?

The taste is superb. Similar flavour notes as in the nose, but with an added touch of dark fruit - plum or prune. Finishes dry and slightly watery.

Medium carbonation. Body is a bit on the lighter side, but the whole experience is that of a drinkable, refreshing brew.

Every time I've had Kostritzer I've liked it more and more. For such a dark brew, it's very sessionable. A prime example of the style.

Serving type: can

05-12-2010 02:47:11 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of darkbrewer
darkbrewer

Quebec (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The local supermarket starting stocking this beer recently and i always make it a duty to try new stuff and was pleasantly suprised.

A: When I picked this up at my local supermarket. I had never had a schwarzbier before and from dark lager i was expecting it to be like a heavy double bock but the amber tones impressed me. The head gets quite tall if not poured very slowly on the edge of the glass and has a slight caramel tint. It's quite thick and bitter but dissipates after about a minute and halfway down the glass is non-existent.

S: Upon pouring the beer into a pint glass I instantly smelt faint aromas of smoke, caramel and coffee. As i approached closer the the smoke and coffee took on a stronger presence with a hint of sweetness.

T: It tastes just as impressive as its smell with very little bitterness until the end. the flavors from the malts remain constant throughout which is quite enjoyable. A lingering, and quite pleasant taste of coffee remains after a few minutes.

M: It is quite an easy drink and utterly enjoyable. Like many lagers which get tiresome after a few sips this one keeps it drinkability throughout. It's ABV allows it to not be too strong of a beer to only have 1 or 2 in a night.

D: If you are looking for a beer with subtle aromas of coffee and smoke but do not like the heaviness of irish stouts then this is a perfect beer to try. I will definitely be keeping a stock of this in my beer fridge.

Serving type: can

05-03-2010 01:17:51 | More by darkbrewer
Photo of Otterburn
Otterburn

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black color, with some red/brown reflection throught, 1 finger head, laces

Smell: torrefication, caramel,malt

Taste: light burned malt, very smooth, not aggressive at all, nice malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: thin , low carbonation

Drinkability: easy to drink, this brew is black but clear and thin like a blond

Serving type: can

03-14-2010 22:25:37 | More by Otterburn
Photo of seand
seand

California

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black, nearly opaque, with a big bubbly tan head. A lot of the head dissipates, but patches of it stick around, enough to leave pretty good lacing.

S: Light and kind of woody, primarily malty sweetness.

T: Also fairly light, but nicely balanced. Some roasted malt flavor, but not too sweet. Dry to finish.

M: Light to medium carbonation, medium body, a little chewy.

D: Quite nice to drink - reasonable ABV, tasty enough with no overbearing flavors.

Serving type: can

03-12-2010 03:01:17 | More by seand
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear, very dark brown colour, with red tints throughout, and one finger of soapy beige head, which renders thin bands of lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of mildly sweet fruity malt, and very faint earthy hops. The taste is light roasted malt, some mild indeterminate fruitiness, and more pronounced earthy hops. The carbonation on the low side, the body medium weight, smooth, and tad creamy, and it finishes with a soft, sweet roasted maltiness.

A good lighter bodied dark beer, which retains the roundness of flavour the appearance suggests.

Serving type: can

02-19-2010 20:07:39 | More by biboergosum
Photo of ludachris
ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the last can on the shelf at the LCBO. Since this style is so rare around here, I had to pick it up.

Pours a very deep chestnut brown, almost black in colour with 2 fingers of creamy and thick beige head that leaves sticky and stringy patches of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Roasted malts, dry nutty character, grain, caramel, and light citrus in the nose, all of which is quite subtle.

Roasted malts, and caramel are fused with notes of grain and yeast with the dry, nutty character coming in the end.

Mouthfeel is light, watery, and well balanced with a quick sting of carbonation coming in towards the end. An easy drinker.

Overall, a solid beer. I don't think this will ever be my favourite style of beer, but considering its light body and low ABV, this stuff has a lot of flavour.

Serving type: can

01-22-2010 22:22:04 | More by ludachris
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Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,275 ratings.