Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,733 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,733
Reviews: 792
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 500
Gots: 218 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thrasher on 07-24-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,733 | Reviews: 792
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like a Dupont with some spices thrown in and the two did not match. Too much carbonation a la Eno effervesent salts. Actually was more tasty when left for a few hours and just get the taste. Significant cinammon sediment at end. Citrus and bitter sour bit lambic. In fact like sour cider. Didn't like the spices all that much.

I had again at Mondial 2005 and it was much better. Big head!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 1/2013.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a 1/2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour and tart fruity aromas like apples, lemons, strawberries, honey, and some mineral/yeast aromas. Taste is sour and tart with a strong strawberry flavor up front with some spice, yeast, and mineral flavors on the finish. There is a slight acidic quality in the mouth with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good saison with a surprisingly refreshing set of flavors.

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is dark golden yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles consistently covering the surface.
S: There are funky earthy and sour aromas in the nose along with hints of aromatic cheeses. The funkiness dies down a little as the beer warms up and the beer smells a little more like Swiss cheese.
T: The taste isn’t as funky as the nose and has flavors of apples
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink and has some refreshing properties but would be more palatable if the nose wasn’t as offensive.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Consumed on New Year's Day - 01.01.2010

A: Pours a hazy, pale apricot with a nice bone white head and plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Some initial horse blanket and funk, with a few citrus notes in the background. There's also a little bit of an apple cider smell. Highly aromatic and quite inviting.

T: A bit more muted than the nose, but all of those flavors come back. The brett is clearly present along with some citrus and cider notes. A bit of lemon and some white peach. Slightly sweet as well.

M: Quite dry, yet keeps me salivating. Nice and acidic, but balanced by a bit of sweetness and the perfect level of sourness.

D: Highly drinkable. Quite complex and always inviting. Definitely one of the best saisons that I've come across.

Photo of brentk56
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a nice head that descends, over time, to a 1/4 inch but leaves a lot of lacing

Smell: Wondrous aroma of mango, peach, some spices and funk

Taste: Starts with a white peach and strawberry flavor that has an underlying tart, herbacious element; after the swallow, the blend moves in a sweeter direction, as if the tart, herbal fruit had suddenly been topped with a bit bit of brown sugar - not enough to make it cloying but just enough to add intrigue

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit prickly on the sides of the tongue

Drinkability: A very intriguing concoction by one of my favorite breweries; top notch

Photo of BEERchitect
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the Godfather of all Saisons, this beer never disappoints. As soon as the bottle is un-corked, a steady flow of carbonated beer flows from the neck of the bottle and seemingly never lets up. As the beer is decanted into the snifter, it releases a dull, rusty, hazy peach color and a film of foam sustains itself atop the beer. Active carbonation puts on quite a show. Good aromas of floral, spicy, and tart. Flavors of oranges, peaches, lemons, and pears. Spiciness of cinnemon, corriander, curraco, and pepper. Vineous and almost wine-like. Remaining tartness that doesn't become astringent or sour. Tartness weaves into out out of the fresh spicy hop bitterness and flavor. Light malt with wheat sweetness and texture give a much needed breadiness and creaminess. Soft texture that is slightly scrubbed. Medium body. Dry finish with mild phenolic alcohols throughout. Well balanced and easy drinking. Generally, I can expect Saisons to show a bit more sweetness but this one is as dry as a bone.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

the classic fantom saison, a bit of an oddity, a downright strange brew, loosely fitting what we in the states consider to be a saison, bur probably far more true to the original style than many of these that are more "conventional". hazy sunny blonde to orange color with some yeast sediment and over an inch and a half of lasting whipped cream textured head. it smells sweet and fruity, almost bier de garde style, with yeast being the main flavor agent, a sweeter malt base, and notes of apricots, oranges, apples, and spices. the flavor is as herbal as it is spicy, the yeast here is just awesome, its what makes fantom famous. the beer is pretty dense, higher gravity, it feels hearty and filling even though its body isn't much past medium and its carbonation if effervescent and tickles the tongue. notes of caramel and fresh baked cobbler on the finish, again a display of a one of a kind yeast strain. white pepper and lemongrass sit on the tongue after the swallow. farmy beer, funky and strange, but incredibly appealing to me. i know people have had issues with fan time and consistency and quality, but i had absolutely no issues with this beer.

Photo of Knapp85
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out as a hazy orange golden color, the head is white and loaded with big bubbles. The retention is very strong, there isn't much lacing at all. The smell is slightly funky with some honey and grain sweetness in the mix, possible corn aroma on the nose and not much spice. The taste is a little on the smokey side at first, the more you drink the more sweet grain comes out with some subtle hints of spice. There is also some hints of fruit in there also. The mouthfeel of the beer is well carbonated and has a heavier body than expected. The beer is also kind of sticky. Overall it's a very unique, totally different than most Saison's out there.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Boboski: Poured d own a slightly hazy beige color ale with a nice foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of funky yeast is dominating with some Belgian malt and some floral/fruity notes. Taste is also dominated by yeast with some sourness and brett like characteristics. There is also some sweet and floral note4s that provide much enjoyment as well as some light spices. Taste is quite complex but easily enjoyable with a full body and great carbonation.

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Hazy blond, a touch more opaque than the average saison. Surprisingly little head, though active carbonation is plainly visible.

Smell - Spicy, herbal and slightly funky; this is an odd one. Overripe bananas, flowers, lemons and herbs. Hard to describe but distinctly fantome.

Taste - Banana and lemon rind, pear, funk, yeast and dough. At 8% this is decidedly stronger than most saisons, though it's quite dry nonetheless. Spicy, zesty hops are present but evenly balanced, contributing more to the overall depth of flavor rather than coming to the forefront. The finish is more herbal than bitter, bringing to mind sage and thyme. Very unusual.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied yet crisp and refreshing. Slightly less carbonated than most saisons, but by no means undercarbonated.

Notes - I've had this beer several times and it always seems a bit different than I remember it. I'm not sure if it's the beer itself constantly changing, or if I'm just experiencing new complexities. In any case, this is an absolute classic of the style, and highly recommended - worth trying at least once.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blurry gold chock full of swirling particulates. The cloud of solids varies from white (yeast?) to black (spices?) with every color gradation in between. The manilla colored cap is so thick, chunky, rocky and sticky that it looks like otherworldly. I don't know that I've seen another head, or lace pattern for that matter, that looks this rustic and this gloriously disheveled. Perfect for a farmhouse ale.

The tantalizing aroma is replete with lemon rind, sweetgrass, flower petals, indeterminate spices and the unmistakable funktang of Belgian yeast. Sorting out all of the individual aromas would take some doing, even if I knew what was actually in there. Are there any more mysterious, more intriguing aromas in all of beerdom than what one finds on well-brewed Belgian ales?

I've only had a few saisons (including one from this brewery), but this is far and away the best of the lot. Keeping in mind my relative inexperience with the style, there's so much going on in terms of flavor that I doubt my ability to adequately describe it. How can a beer be sweet, bitter, sour and dry all at the same time, as this one is? Not all at once, mind you, but each in turn as the flavor arc changes kaleidoscopically from start to finish.

For some reason, the mental image that keeps coming to me is a lush meadow in springtime. Sunshine, birdsong, wildflowers, grasses, a lemon-scented breeze. At the risk of sounding like a fool, that's what this beer tastes like. I have no idea what spices and herbs are present, but I do know that a multitude of them were used and that they were added with a heavy hand. Perfect choice by the brewer on both counts.

It's hard to imagine a more complex, yet a more accessible beer. I'm finding it an absolute joy to drink as I marvel at each mouthful in turn. Which of the swirling, intertwining flavors will I concentrate on this time? What new nuances will I discover? What could the brewers have added to get it to taste like this? Etc, etc, etc. The mouthfeel is airily, ethereally light, yet it has an underlying solidity that one can hold onto as surely as a pebble in one's palm. Another compelling contrast in what is already a fascinating beer narrative.

There couldn't be a greater disparity between what I would describe as my perfect beer and the beer sitting before me. That makes it all the more amazing that I like it as much as I do. It just goes to show what dedication, daring and a considerable amount of skill can accomplish. I love having my horizons expanded, so I couldn't be more thrilled that Fantome Saison has blown them wide open.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a very hazy pale orange, very bright. A small whitish head formed that had a bit of resilience, but faded away leaving a nic bit of gooey lace down the glass.

S - Smell hit you upfront as very sweet with lots of fruity tomes. Apricot and peaches are readily apparent, as are hints of sugar and candied apples. Nice bit of hops trying to sneak in as well.

M & T - First impression was bitter, with a lite frothy sensation in the mouth. The flavor profile was quite robust and full bodied and the tingly nature of the carbonation only increased its appreciation. Lots of hints at dark fruit flavors, but what was suprising was the large amount of bitter hops that are present, really balancing out, and in some cases overpowering the sweetness. There was a slight hint of alcohol in the profile, but overall it was very well hidden.

D - Overall I would have to say awesome. A very unique and hard to verbalize brew. So many different ways this could go. Very enjoyable, not too heavy, but not a lightweight by any means. This is something that I would definatly want to go back and try again!

Photo of emerge077
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage bottle, label reads "biere artisanale sur lie".

The cork is extracted slowly with an audible pop, producing wisps of emerging smoke. Upon pouring, a haze remaining on the glass inside of the bottle becomes visible, indicating where the level of liquid once was. A quick pour produces brief foam, which soon ebbs to a skim over the peach-toned saison. Tiny bubbles & sediment are suspended in a hypnotic floating dance.

Smell is ghostly and fruit charged, with apricot at the forefront. A light and dusty yeast is also present. Dull spicy citrus is mostly what my senses pick up. Very subdued and pleasant overall...

Taste is sublime, with slightly puckering apricot flavors at first, tempered with a mellow and light yeast. This is unlike any other bottle of Fantôme i've ever had. It's fairly dry, but no hops to speak of (or much carbonation), just a mellow fruitiness that becomes addictive after the first sip.

I could drink a bottle of this everyday, and would feel spoiled. It's super easy to drink, but is best savored over time. An outstanding and unique saison...

6-2013:
Over the years, I have rarely had a Fantome Saison that came close to the old label vintages in the mid '00's. Yesterday we shared a "new label" batch, and it tasted like sweet tea, smoke, and "pears rolled in dirt". Probably would rate it a 3.5-3.6. Very disjointed and nothing at all like the "old" Fantome. Around 2010-11 I had one that just tasted very plain and grainy with no fruit esters, spice or anything. It's always hit or miss, and lately it's been more in the "miss" category unfortunately.

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the bottles tasted at our Greensboro tasting Saturday,poured a hazy yellow with some orange tint with a nice fluffy/sticky head.Very lemony aroma it really jumped out up front along with a clovey spiciness,alot of refreshing flavors going on alot of citrus,lemons and orange mainly but I also detected some green apple as well along with some pepper but not nearly as peppery as some others of the style.A top notch saison thanks to the mother in law for bringing it down here for me so I could share it with others.

Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by May 2012 date on the label.

A: The pour is a hazy burnt orange color with a towering white head that finally dies down to a thin layer of foam that clings to the glass.

S: The nose is slightly funky with excellent citrus notes. I pick up some lemons and lots of oranges and tangerines along with a sweet and bready malt base. Various spices add some extra depth.

T: The sweet citrus notes are quite vibrant on the front end. Lots of tangerine, oranges, and a hint of grapefruit. There is a mild spice note quickly behind along with a slight grassy and earthy character. A bit of alcohol comes through on the finish, especially as the beer warms up.

M: The body is medium, but really has a nice feel on the tongue. The carbonation pricks the tongue initially but becomes smooth soon after.

D: Another very nice beer from Fantome. I like some of the others a bit better, but as the "flagship", this one does a fine job.

Photo of zeff80
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a thin, bubbly white head. The head crackled and receded fairly quickly. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled yeasty, fruity and of straw. There was a nice grain aroma.

T - It tasted fruity, yeasty and of grains. There was a sourness and funkinees. Phenomenal tasting saison.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a great tasting saison. The aroma is good but the flavor is fabulous.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dulled, dark orange body with a tall, finely-textured, white head.

Smell: Very indulgent, richly-scented aroma with notes of ground blended spices, a lightly brine-y mustiness, and fresh-plucked Springtime meadow flowers along with tart-smelling, vibrant citrus and tropical fruits.

Taste: Lightly malty and a modestly robust sweetness underneath the bright, juicy burst of tart Meyer lemon, white peaches, and pineapple fruitiness. Splash of Viognier. Also, the flavor is simply brimming with fresh floral tones. Definite yeasty character to it, though with only a finite amount of mustiness. There's just a hint of underlying bitterness. Teeny dash of cracked peppercorns. Some puckering acidity all the while. The finish is dry and airy as well as a tad tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Not one to miss! Abundantly complex, flavorful, and particularly refreshing (especially considering the 8% ABV).

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of white head; good lace, light golden body with slight haze.

S - Peppery and spicy. Notes of clove, banana, pineapple, and some vanilla.

T - Distinct citric acidity. Spicy yeast notes, tropical fruit, and vanilla. Herbal hop bitterness in the middle, followed by lots of clove and fruit in the finish.

M - Medium body with a fairly dry finish. Moderate carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable. The flavor profile favors yeast spice, but there is a nice hop character that is stronger than what I would normally expect from a Fantome beer.

I paired this with spicy, fried catfish and it worked nicely. I would expect it to go well with any seafood dish.

Photo of oline73
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light amber color with an orange tint. There is a finger of off white head that disappears almost immediately.

Smell: Quite crisp with some mildly sweet fruity notes. I'm picking up some mild citrus and pear. Also notice some spices as well.

Taste: All I can say is wow! Super complex. There is a very mild hint of sourness to this beer. I'm also picking up some rather strong fruity notes. The finish is quite bitter and the spice flavors really come out at the end of each sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fairly high carbonation and a super dry finish.

Overall: Just a joy to drink. Complex and very refreshing. I don't know that I can compare this one to anything else I've had. I'll definitely search this one out again in the future.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, tart citrus, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sour but not over-powering with flavors of Belgian yeast, lemon and little spice. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there's a very mild hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice Saison to drink for a whole evening if you're in the mood for the style.

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

can't believe it took me this long to review this one.

Pours a nice fizzy 1 finger head that fades fairly quickly, over hazy golden yellow color.

Nose has nice farmhouse aromas, light funk and Belgian funky yeast, some golden Belgian malt aromas, light spices, hints of bright fruit and citrus, and the faintest hint of booze and Belgian yeast esters as it warms.

Taste comes on with funk, light Brett like funk, then Belgian saison like funky farmhouse yeast, a very light barnyard funk gets stronger as it warms and sits on my tongue. The light Belgian golden malts keep a base going with the nice fruit, hints of bright fruit, citrus, maybe even a touch of banana, as well as some interesting but light spices. Some warming booze licks the tongue and warms me, bringing light esters as well. Fairly dry throughout and especially on the finish, which brings a bit of a bitterness like lemon peel bitterness, hint of citrus, fruit and spices.

Mouth is med bodied, warming and slightly tingly booze, good carb.

Overall awesome saison. Great malts, nice fruits and citrus, hint of funk and just enough booze, esters, and Belgian malts to give it a nice kick.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden brown with a sizeable head. Nose is light with an almost soap sud essence to it, but in an organic way. Somewhat of a bitter edge to it. But overall it is pretty smooth and light. You get a long term feel of yeast in your mouth and a touch of citrus for a whole, though not as long as the yeast. Feel is as it should be expected: frothy and smooth. Pretty drinkable, though it might not be a session brew of course.

Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks very much to idesofmarch89 for this great beer - 750ml shared w/ octopus87.Poured chilled into a a cervoise.

A - Marigold shade of golden w a full 2 fingers of white cap that dissipates completely but carbonation continues and fine beading develops

S - Sweet and sour citrus notes explode out of the glass w/ a mild white grape mixed w/ peaches and honey. The nose is light malt scent w/ tinges of floral hops

M - Crisp w/ gentle acidity and a mild sweet texture, a hint of spice and alcohol w/ moderately low carbonation for the style. The feel is nutty/sour in texture which is very juicy

T - A very taste taste like marmalade w/ lemon spritz w/ a tinge of white grape and lightly sugared lime w/ mild spice at the end w/ nutty malt/yeast complimenting this highly fruity saison. The apricot and lemony flavor w/ mild wheat-like nuttiness is smooth + seamless w/ a juicy sweet and mild sour element that is well suited to the style

D - I would drink this any time of year, not just a summer saison to me. This saison is unique and drinkable like no other. I would choose this over 4 out of 5 saisons most likely. I can't recommend this enough - intense and slightly sour, but refreshing.

Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers to DavoleBomb for this one, cheers Dave! BBD of May 12, no pop when this opens...

Pours a semi-hazed gold with a finger of pearl colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Grassy & lemony

T: Lemons, pink grapefruit & tartness, plus dry apple cider notes up front. More dryness as this warms, a touch of golden delicious apple & then more tartness, along a hint of cidery booze. Finishes very tart indeed, pink grapefruit & apple peels dominate, along some serious tannins

MF: Medium bodied with near zero carbonation & some acidity that I can feel attacking the enamel on my teeth!

Pretty darn drinkable, not as complex as I like my saisons, but still very nice. I would buy another bottle to age if feasible, to see how this ages. I remember drinking Fantome during a weekend in the Ardennes, this one brings back a lot of great memories. Enough of a sour/tart streak to this please sour freaks

Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to the BAer who brought this to the Nov. '12 Philly 'burbs bottle share.
I also have a bottle in the fridge with an alternate label. (Actually, I think the one we tasted had the alternate label compared to the one pictured here.)

Original rating: 2.78

To sum this beer up with one phrase: Oh, you Belgians and your green bottles. This probably is a good beer, I don't know, thanks to Mr. GreenGlass. Hazy golden-yellow pour with a decent foamy white head that receded leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma of grass and hay, a good hit of smoke, stale funk, and fruit skins. Tobacco was the dominant flavor in this beer, from the bottle we had anyway, grassy funk, old perfume and light spice, wheaty malts, bland aftertaste. Light-medium body, fairly dry. I sensed a good beer in there somewhere, but I couldn't tell for sure from the condition that it was in. Hopefully my bottle will yield something more palatable.

*** Revisited this one with the bottle in my fridge. MUCH better. Obviously there will be inconsistencies with a beer like this, but the bottle I had was significantly better, and I easily polished off the entire bomber myself. Aroma was fresher, lacked any smokiness. Taste was also much much better, fresher, grassier, no smoke or tobacco, vegetal notes, with a crisp clean aftertaste.

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Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
95 out of 100 based on 1,733 ratings.