Pliny The Younger - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,326 | Reviews: 841 | Display Reviews Only:
4.6/5 rDev -1.9%
Thanks to Grant for sharing this lovely growler treat.
Pours a beautiful gold color with a large frothy white head that reluctantly receded. Smells only of sweet, tangy c-hops that are the signature of west coast hop bombs. First sip is all puckering hops that are citrusy down to the bone. The hops overwhelmingly overpower the malts. There is no mistaking this Imperial IPA for an American Barley Wine...No sir! The 11% ABV is incredibly well hidden as I guessed on tasting it was around 8%. Tasty and unique. World Class
02-21-2009 05:51:10 | More by ATLbeerDog
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
Poured out of a growler, shared by an extremely generous California BA, poured into a tulip.
I've been waiting to try this one for quite a while and was pretty certain that it couldn't live up to my expectations. The growler was full to the brim and opened with only the slightest hiss.
The pour was very good, extremely clear amber with a hefty cream-colored head that hung around on top for a while and left a bit of lacing. A good start.
It didn't take me long to get a whiff of this beauty, with a huge hoppy kick up front, juicy citrus, grapefruit, mangos and even some pine as well. There is plenty of malts in the nose to keep the hops for becoming overpowering, great balance overall.
The taste is exceptional with lots of the aforementioned pine hops but with even more grapefruit and other citrus sweetness thrown in. The malts provide a nice balance underneath but the finish is definitely bitter and sticky with hops.
The mouthfeel is well carbonated with lots of hop juice and a bitterness that builds up after each sip.
This beer is certainly the most drinkable 11% beer I've ever tasted and probably one of the top few beers I've had in recent memory. Exceptional.
02-21-2009 02:55:37 | More by gford217
4.97/5 rDev +6%
I got to enjoy this monster of a beer, thanks to beachbum1975!
A: Pours dark yellow to amber, with ¼ inch of frothy tan head. Layers of white sudsy lacing on initial pour.
S: The smell is amazing! Strong hop, citrus and pine notes on the nose. Very fragrant
M/T: Medium, syrupy body. A sting of alcohol with a clean but hoppy finish. This beer is HOT! Full flavored, with a strong alcohol presence on the tongue, that proceeds to the back of the throat. After initial hit, I get an explosion of bitterness, with a citrus finish.
D: For such a large beer, it drinks very well. The hops dissipates in the aftertaste, leaving you wanting more.
Monster beer through and through and the best double IPA I have ever had.
02-21-2009 01:42:21 | More by DrewOSU
District of Columbia
4.2/5 rDev -10.4%
Appearance: Pours an enormous sea-foam head that takes quite a while to subside, I quickly gave up the wait and fought my way through. Nice lacing all the way down the glass. I prefer a dirtier IPA with spots and flecks, this one was a clear peach-orange-lemon-amber. I love the sound of a RRBC growler opening.
Smell: Best and sweetest smelling hoppy beer ever. 5.0 without a doubt. Pure sweet hops, citrus, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, and pine/evergreen. Incredibly juicy, but I would like to be able to smell at least some of the malt. I buried my nose in the growler for a solid five minutes every time I returned for a pour.
Taste: Pure wet hop. Still, there is a sweet maltiness to it, lots of grapefruit, tangerine, orange, pineapple, citrus, and a floral element. Did I mention the hops? There is some malt, but it is understated and provides some balance.
Mouthfeel: Near perfect, if not perfect. It is like liquid, creamy candy. Very creamy and full with a nice hop stickiness; you can feel this one on the teeth. Near perfect carbonation; I might want a tad more but it could be the growler.
Drinkability: Despite the 11% ABV, this beer is highly drinkable - like a creamy, hop candy.
-- Updated for 2010 release; a bit of a step down from 2009 IMHO. More bitter, less sweet. Still smells like hop heaven but other scores adjusted accordingly.
02-20-2009 19:12:32 | More by craytonic
4.33/5 rDev -7.7%
Sampled from a growler.
S = Huge hops, fresh pine, and numerous citrus aromas (orange and lemons mainly).
T = Amazing mixture of bitter and sweet. Pine flavors upfront and then a strong malt backbone washes the bitterness away and leaves a semi-sweet pine finish.
MF = Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.
Overall, this was incredibly balanced and very easy to drink. I've never been a "Hop Head", but, both Younger and Elder have converted me.
02-20-2009 12:14:13 | More by Riverwarrior
5/5 rDev +6.6%
I don't give up all 5's very often but this one deserves it.
Pours out really clean and clear with two fingers of white suds. Pine tree in a bottle here. I mean the oily pine shit you get on your hands after cutting down a pine tree. Very strong pine smell in other words.
Tastewise, the bitterness hits first with a blackness from hades. You get used to it really quickly. Then the pine smell is twice as strong.And the malt and mellowness take over.
Really a complicated drink here.
Mouthfeel is perfect and you never know you have had an 11% beer in your hands. This is the perfect mouthfeel for an IPA.
Drinkability should be lower since you can't get this all the time. In fact, this year it only lasted 12 days. This is a travesty!
This is the perfect IPA for now. I can't wait for the beer to beat this one!
02-20-2009 01:25:59 | More by peabody
4.7/5 rDev +0.2%
Poured from a growler into a big wine glass at 50 F/ 10 C.
Brilliant orange color with some fine haze. Minimal off-white head; a nice dense little head does materialize with a swirl, fleetingly. Finely patterned lace.
Hops dominate the aroma, mainly loads and loads of fresh pine, along with some milder tangerine and lemon. There's also a clean, straightforward sweet malty aroma something along the lines of cookie dough. Vibrant and alluring.
The flavor starts light, with a fresh fruity piny hop flavor floating on the palate, then everything builds and builds. Intense pine, citrus zest, sweet light clean malt, and very intense bitterness. The sweetness and bitterness grow together, but in the end the bitterness digs in deep and the sweetness is overcome. Some noticable alcohol, but it fits in seamlessly. Great cohesion and balance. Very very long finish of fresh citrus rind and pine bitterness, somehow achieving almost total dryness.
Cushy luxurious carbonation. A pleasure to drink.
Great beer, and a big thanks to my broski Alex for sending me this.
02-19-2009 08:09:29 | More by Beerzebub
4.83/5 rDev +3%
I had this on-tap at Toronado today so run and get some while they still have it!
What a beer! It's everything I would want in a DIPA. A hazy gold, with almost no head. Smelled like a hop bomb but not so much to turn you off. The taste was SO balanced it really isn't even funny. Just as it starts to get too bitter the honey like sweetness coats your tongue!
Well deserving of the hype!
02-19-2009 06:06:49 | More by madtowndmb1
4.97/5 rDev +6%
Huge fan of Vinnie and Russain River. I went to the TION night at O'briens and the line to get a tast was out the door, to the street, then down to the back of O'briens, and almost to the restroom. No joke!
It doesn't get any better than this.
Looks good, smells great, taste like heaven, smooth with a punch!
02-19-2009 04:56:45 | More by Radiodred
4.45/5 rDev -5.1%
BIG, Huge Thanks to Abecall98 for providing this in a recent trade. AWESOME trader... Growler sent from CA
Well, here goes... I get a little excited reviewing some of these special beers.
Pours with a nice foamy white head that fades fairly quickly. Clear Orange/Amber color with the slightest amount of visible carbonation. Nice rings of lacing left behind in the glass . Nice looking beer.
Aroma is fantastic. Big, fresh, pine, pine, pine. Have I mentioned pine? Almost a touch of lemon... very light though. There is the slightest sense of some light malt.... But I mean real light.
Very interesting. You can easily detect the higher ABV. Some light mint. Pine resin..
Moment of sweetness in the middle, but it then is slammed away from the hops. If you are not a hop head... just stay away. Good thing I'm a lifetime member of that club.
Some citrus, but this is really about the pine to me. Lingering hop bitterness does not begin to describe the finish. Touch of honey.
Mouth feel is medium bodied, just under sticky and definitely a lot of hop resin/oil....
My God, this beer packs a punch. Drink multiple at your own risk...
A very, very good beer. Bordering on classic. I think I liked Pliny the Elder better.
Am I a heretic?
02-18-2009 22:30:12 | More by Reagan1984
4.18/5 rDev -10.9%
Poured from a growler courtesy of tzanio. HUGE thanks!! This guy went out of his way to send me a growler, because he felt he shafted me on our last trade, which he did not. Mega-karma his way!!
Poured this into my brand new snifter (what better way to break it in). Pours a beautiful orange/gold with a sticky, frothy white head on top. Decent amount of carbonation rising up. The webbing on this clings to the glass edge for dear life. Perfect sip rings follow.
This is the best smelling beer I have ever dipped my nose into! Wonderful mixture of flowers, grapefruit, pine forest, and alcohol. Other beers attempt this scent, but fall way short. I wanted to bathe myself in this it smelled so good.
Mouthfeel was creamy, yet still held a nice mellow crispness that I like in my DIPAs. This beer had a high warming quality as I sipped and sipped. Flavor was strong citrus smack smothered in booziness. I could sense the alcohol very much so in this beer. This hindered my drinkability, as I could only drink one glass of this. Curse my feeble palate!!
Besides the high boozy quality in this one, this is near perfect. I'm glad I saved some for the next couple of nights. And I'm glad I had an opportunity to try this. Thanks again, Tzanio!
02-18-2009 17:18:00 | More by Onenote81
4.5/5 rDev -4.1%
Huge thanks to Jasonm for sharing this!
A- Body is a minimally translucent bright amber/orange color. Pours with about a 1/2 finger white foamy head that eventually subsides to a nice thick collar.
S- Absolutely heavenly. Bright juicy grapefruit and citrus are the main character and it has a balance of a slightly sharp piny character.
T- Wonderful. A big bright kick of juicy citrus and sharp pine flavors come through first with equal strength. A sweet malt provides the backbone for this and is completely overshadowed-but still detectable. The pine intensifies for the finish keeping the intensity of this brew up. What lingers is a slight alcohol heat and a medium strength residual rind bitterness.
M- Well carbonated. Medium weight oily body. The oiliness is wonderful but a bit of alcohol astringency can be detected also.
D- This is an absolutely wonderful DIPA that I thought I would never get the opportunity to try. Its an intense experience that goes right to the top without going over the top (as many Hop-bombs due). Its just barely kept in check.
02-18-2009 13:19:14 | More by PittBeerGirl
4.22/5 rDev -10%
On tap at Horsebrass
A - Apricot in color, and very transparent.
S - incredible and my favorite part of this beer. pine, spruce, and lots of vitamin c.
T - The balance of this beer is quite an achievement. delicious hop goodness. I can for sure taste the elder in there. slight alcohol burn on the very back of the throat but very well hidden...actually amazingly well hidden...it was very hard to notice.
M - light and well carbonated.
D - Very drinkable, you can get through one fast. But after two, I'd much rather move onto a pale ale. If it was availabe all the time, not sure I would seek it out.
Perhaps a over hyped, but this is due to its rarity and it's unique Triple IPA status. I prefer other Big IPAs but this is an amazingly well crafted beer. I can now say I tried it, and very much enjoyed it, but I will go for something else at any bar with rotating taps...actually, I would order it again.
02-18-2009 07:14:55 | More by mykie73
4.9/5 rDev +4.5%
On tap at the brewpub. Served in a 10 oz glass.
Consumed on 2/2/09 (opening day for PTY at the brewpub).
A-Beautiful orangish yellow color. The beer looks as if it is glowing in the glass. Not a ton of head. Some lacing is left in the glass.
S-Resinous pine smell wallops the nose. Lots of citrus in here also. Smells incredible.
T-All of that pine hits up front with the citrus tones. Definite sweetness is found. Some alcohol ca be detected but is still well balanced.
M-Tongue gets coated with oily hop resin. Stickiness lingers. You know this thing is thick.
D-So good yet so dangerous. If you are drinking this save it for last or stick to it. 30 ounces in a session has been my limit.
This stuff keeps getting better. The 09 batch was insane. After drinking it at the pub and going through 2 growler fills, I would say I got my share this year. Would be perfect if it was released once every 3 or 4 months. It's always nice to have a special beer to look forward to drinking.
02-17-2009 23:53:48 | More by mjl21
4.65/5 rDev -0.9%
On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.
A - light orange, with a thin, wispy head. Sticky lacing left all the way down.
S - Holy hop explosion! A potent menagerie of pine, grass, grapefruit, and tangerine. The perfect blend of all things hoppy.
T - In the words of my cousin, "it kicks your mouth's ass!" Major juicy hoppiness assaults the palate, overwhelming everything you've tasted in the last year. A bit of toasty breadyness and caramel sweetness prevent total imbalance.
M - Surprisingly light bodied, with fine, smooth carbonation.
D - Incredibly high for an 11% DIPA. I'd drink the whole keg myself if it wouldn't kill me.
Unbelievable. Worth any and all hype that surrounds it. Pray it gets into bottles next year.
02-17-2009 23:21:19 | More by 0110x011
4.95/5 rDev +5.5%
Sampled from a growler in my Double Mountain tulip pint glass.
A - RR has a pretty outstanding growler. I really thought a genie was going to come out. The beer itself is golden and quite clear with a thick white head and nice lacing.
S - Wonderful floral and citrusy hops. It was everything I expected from RR.
T - Loads of hop presence. It starts with a strong attack of hops oils and rich hop flavor but a citrusy bitterness increases over time. The alcohol is always lurking in the background but the hops keep it at bay (until the next morning). I had high expectations for this one and it certainly lived up to them.
M - Good consistency with an almost oily quality that makes it slide right down. Nice carbonation with a moderate level of very fine bubbles.
D - A powerful and compelling beer. I found it comparable to Hop Slam yet very unique. And all of this from a growler shipped across the country. I can only imagine how good it is straight out of the tap.
02-17-2009 11:21:11 | More by GJ40
3.43/5 rDev -26.9%
Thanks to a hot tip, I got to enjoy a couple of the first glasses poured at the Horse Brass Pub. Served in a small nonic glass.
Pours bright and light golden orange with an almost pure white head. The head is ~3/4 of a finger, and with some gentle swirling lingers pretty well considering the ABV. A little bit of lacing is teased, but drips back in.
Loads of pine and grapefruit aromas, plenty of sweeter tangerine, peach(?) and floral notes, with quite a bit of alcohol weaving through it all. I can only imagine how great this would smell in a big snifter. Served in a nonic glass is no way to show it off, though. Really had to dig in there to enjoy the bouquet, literally getting my nose wet a couple of times.
There's not much of the sweet fruitiness I was excpecting based on the smell, but there's a ton of pine and grapefruit. The balancing sweetness tastes not of caramel or even light malt, but rather like simple syrup. Odd- it doesn't complement the bitterness very well. As it warms, the alcohol becomes increasingly pronounced and distracting. Pronounced alcohol burn as it warms up. Booziness aside, it's not as big and aggressive as I expected (I definitely prefer the Elder).
Mouthfeel is decent. There's a slick/oily quality that, in combo with gentle carbonation, smooths out the substantial ABV. However, it doesn't disguise a distracting sugary stickiness left on the palate in the finish (sticky hops= good, sticky sugar= bad). Not nearly as raw and angry as expected from a beer with this much hops.
Drinkability is OK, but not great for me based on the sugary stickiness, weird sweetness(tasted at times like straight simple syrup instead of light malt) and, to a lesser degree, the alcohol burn.
Overall impression: Glad I got a chance to give it a try without promising my firstborn for a growler trade. Intense and pretty enjoyable, but doesn't live up to mystique (and isn't even the best DIPA from Russian River).
02-17-2009 05:03:21 | More by PDXHops
5/5 rDev +6.6%
Wonderful. It's chock full of hop flavor. I've had a number of DIPAs, and this beer expresses hop flavor better than any beer that I've ever tasted.
I'm currently tasting this beer against Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig. It's an interesting comparison, but the flavor profiles are quite similar. Pliny the Younger tastes a lot like Pliny the Elder, just as Blind Pig tastes like Pliny the Elder. Each beer steps up the strength and intensity of hop flavor. Blind Pig to Pliny the Elder is a smaller step than Elder to Younger but not substantially so.
Hops are the star in the flavor department. They are citric, piny and very floral. The citrus is grapefruit, orange and tangerine mixed with pineapple. The pine is dark and resiny, like sap. I don't know flowers well enough to identify the floral aspect beyond wonderful wildflowers.
There is a strong malt backbone that allows this much hop flavor to come through. Is this beer balanced? I would say so, but the malt does not express the same complexity and assertiveness of the hops. That is not to say the malt isn't strong or is bad. The malt is actually wonderful. It's like a caramel cookie swirled into a fine hop tea.
The alcohol is in this beer is exceptionally well-hidden. I'm giving this beer a perfect score, in part, because I can't imagine a way that this beer could be differ and be better for it. I say that because I can't imagine this beer without the same strength. I guess the alcohol is present, but it's not unpleasant in any way.
The color is very close to Elder and Blind Pig, which is to say golden-amber and wonderful. The aroma is very hoppy, with the flavors as previously described. The feel is also exceptional, almost oily with hop essence. Sorry, just trying to get through the other categories.
I should probably end this as I just finished my second glass out of the growler (not to mention some Blind Pig and Elder), and I can certainly feel it. It's a great beer. Try it if you can. I hope that they start bottling it. I can't imagine that they couldn't turn a profit on bottles. I know it's expensive to produce, but you can charge a pretty penny nowadays for a bottle of beer. Anyway, great beer.
02-17-2009 02:19:25 | More by popery
4.78/5 rDev +1.9%
I finally got to try the elusive Younger of the Plineys.
I walked into a jam packed Toronado on Friday the 13th, and found about 10 Russian River beers on tap... YES! I started with this one, and it turned out that it was a hell of a way to start the night.
Pours a bright gold color, quite clear, with a nice off white head.
Aromas are off the charts. There is a huge blast of pineapple, maybe the most I have ever noticed in a beer. Also some really sticky resins and pine. This smells like a glass full of smashed fresh hops.
Taste follows along the with the aromas, and is big. Lots of pineapple, fresh resins, pine, and other giant hop flavors. The malts are there, and they provide a nice thick slightly sweet creamy backdrop. This is easily the biggest hop bomb I have ever had. But it's not just a bomb, it's an expertly balanced and put together beer. It's just really BIG.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Big, thick, and full... just like the smell and taste.
Drinkability is quite good. But is still this beer only "fault". (I say that rather loosely) After this one, it was hard to drink anything else, or much more. I had a couple of other beers, but not only did they pale it comparison, but they were about all I could handle. I am partly to blame by starting with this one. But I didn't want to wait when I saw this on the Toronado's beer board.
Really... an unbelievably hoppy beer. And I am so glad I got to try it, and I'll be excited to get this on a more constant basis next year. But all in all? I think I like the older Pliney a tad bit better than this. And that's only because the Elder get's a 5 on drinkability, and this one is pretty much a one and done. But, a hell of a "one" this is.
02-16-2009 06:12:50 | More by flexabull
4.72/5 rDev +0.6%
On tap at at Downtown Johnny Browns on 02/15/09
Appearance: Very clear/transparent yellow. A little on the golden orange side. With a mildly sized fluffy white head.
Smell: HUGE amounts of citris/grapefruit and hops.
Taste: Similar to nose. The grapefruit and hops in this one are outstanding and very present. Very bitter as a double IPA should be. But it doesn't totally dominate like some Double IPAs. It has a good balance with a sweet malt taste, and little pine flavor as well. Alcohol is well hidden and not boozy by any means.
Mouthfeel: Nice and crisp. Perfect balance of carbonation and overall mouthfeel. Not thin by any means, but also not too heavy. It's just right. Medium all around.
Drinkability: I wanted more of this one, but at 11% and having to drive, one is plenty. It's very smooth and tasty though. Wish I had a designated driver.
Overall: Fine example of a double IPA. Maybe a little more malt and I would say it was perfectly balanced. But I don't think a double IPA should be. Fantastic one that deserves all the hype.
02-16-2009 01:51:38 | More by mikedashg
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
All Hail RR
Enjoyed at the Brewery on the opening day 09.
Poured unfortunately in a 10oz glass..I need More
Drinkability...I could live on a Pliny I.V.
Golden amber in color it falls in a very in between stage that I don't think is my favorite. Those at the bar are questioning wether or not it has been drunk already.
Good constant flow of carbonation without disturbing the head. It flows up directly from the bootom of the glass and sits just below the head.
Smell...well, HOPS!!!! The Elder on crack.
T- stands for "Takes my breath away". Woody, lots of earthen flavor, slightly fruity and of course citrus.
Mouthfeel is good and the carbonation builds the after kick of hops very well. Fakes some spice then bobs and weaves into a barrel of hops.
I love this beer but deffinately not for the Young beer drinker, regardless of the name.
Young IPA'ers stay away for a while. You will regret how much you'll love it.
02-15-2009 22:20:31 | More by macktbone
4.97/5 rDev +6%
Oh my!! This beer was hands down the most amazing beer i have ever had. This beer sent me to beer heaven. I feel really bad for the beers that i haven't tried yet because they don't stand a chance!
Appearance: I wonderful golden color, with a very night tight white head that was about an inch thick. It laced all the way down.
Smell: This beer was so pungent! It smelled of those wonderful little hop flowers and lots of them! First comes the malty sweetness, like caramel and the hops come in, which smelled like if you blended a grapefruit and a pine tree together.
Taste: Tasted just how it smelled, tasted as if you blended grapefruit and pine needles together. It had a wonderful sweet caramel malty taste and the hops come running in, it was so wonderfully bitter! Following this wonderful parade was a nice alcohol hotness. The aftertaste was my favorite part of this beer, the hops just got stuck all over my mouth and it was such a great experience.
Mouthfeel: This beer sat on my palette just so amazing. It was so thick and sticky with hops! You could chew this beer!
Drinkability: Even though this beer was very high in alcohol and was so thick and sticky, this beer was very drinkable, it was scary easy to drink. What an amazing beer!
I thought that i total lost my chance to try this beer, but i got so lucky and was a the right place at the right time and got the the first pour off the freshly tapped keg. I thought that this beer was all hype, but i was so wrong! This beer was AMAZING!
02-15-2009 20:52:55 | More by walows
4.93/5 rDev +5.1%
Wow! That is all I can say about this beer. I think I said it about 14 times while sampling it. HUGE thanks to Swnicholson for the growler!!!!
A sloppy pour from the funky growler produced a crystal clear, dark yellow body with a huge , pillowy, snow-white head.
There are not any IIPA's with an aroma this strong. Noticeable right after popping the growler. Resiny, piney and citrusy. Tons of tangerine, orange, pineapple on the nose. I could seriously just smell this beer all day long. Flavor is enormous. TOns of hops! Not too much in the malt department to mellow it out, but it remains extremely well balanced. This beer punishes your tongue, but my tongue begs for more! Slick, oily mouthfeel that completely coats your mouth. At 11% this beer is dangerously drinkable. Had a glass friday nite and a few more saturday. Damn sad to see this one go. :(
02-15-2009 14:12:43 | More by DrDogbeer
4.9/5 rDev +4.5%
ok.... i have waited almost 2 years to try this. HUGE thanks to my homie for sending me this in his own growler!
pours straight up copper with thick white head and leaves an INCREDIBLE lacing pattern behind.
scent is actually more muted than i expected, VERY citrus with grapefruit being dominant.
taste is so balanced for what this is. smooth hop flavor that is bitter like a red grapefruit concentrate. the carbonation quickly releases the flavors. starts out smooth and ends with a sharp bitterness that quickly fades into red grapefruit. i even caught what appeared to be white pepper for a few seconds.
very full bodied, thick, oily, with a medium to moderate carbonation
this is VERY drinkable however at 11%, be wary!
i am VERY happy that i get a 4 day weekend to enjoy this, then bask in all its glory!
02-15-2009 01:34:34 | More by hooliganlife
4.65/5 rDev -0.9%
Dont know what else can be said about this one.
Clear golden rust like color. Thick white 2 finger deep head. Leaves plenty of sticky lacing & webbing on glass.
Intense pine & citrus hoppiness. Tree, grass, earth, spruce. Faint maltiness & booziness.
First off. Amazingly balanced between the huge hop presence and sweet malt. Estery, sticky, oily, sweet, bitter. 11% makes itself known. Just go try it for yourself.
Thick, syrupy, medium full, coating, moderate carbonation.
For an 11% monster...it's highly drinkable. Probably because it's DELICIOUS. Although after 2, you may second guess ordering another.
Try this one. Duh.
02-15-2009 00:17:44 | More by bbothen
Pliny The Younger from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,326 ratings.