Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout
12,658 Ratings
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by DrewBeechum on 06-26-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,658 |  Reviews: 3,039
Photo of JoeMayo
3.77/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage

A- Pours pitch black with almost no head. Very viscous

S- Tons of vanilla and bourbon. Dark malt and a little alcohol on the nose as well.

T- After taking each sip, I was immediately impressed and then just as quickly, thoroughly disappointed. It was a weird sensation with every sip. Vanilla, bourbon, dark malt, caramel, and a slight smokiness hit my palate very quickly, but these flavors were immediately followed by very hot alcohol, resembling gin more than bourbon. It completely ruined the complexity of the beer. This beer was one year old, but I think needs at least another year or two.

M- Thick and syrupy, although hot with alcohol.

D- Smooth, but the hotness makes it a little harder to drink

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Photo of adamparker05
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours ultra thick, motor oil brown with an ultra concentrated burnt mahogany core.

Aroma is rich caramel and dark chocolate, burnt candied walnuts, and a slight hint of E. L. Weller's bourbon reserve... mmm....

Taste is chocolate covered raisins, liquid smoke, like 80% dark chocolate cocoa mass... delicious.

Mouthfeel is robust, rich and complex.

Well... let's be honest- this an ultra-concentrated beer. Not extremely drinkable, but what you can handle is A-mazing.


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Photo of daledeee
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Something new and it's winter. Stouts have been tasting good lately.

I have called beers completely opaque before but this one is truly black. Especially after the dark brown one finger head goes away to a thin ring of bubbles around the glass. I can see reflections of items nearby on top of the beer!

The nose is as the name states. Oak, charred at that, alcohol and some vanilla. No coffee or chocolate as with other stouts.

The taste is sweet, thick, warming, caramel and the bourbon barrels leave their own signature. Very little carbonation and pretty drinkable. This is definitely a distinctive stout that is quite acceptable.

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Photo of xhcadamx
2.24/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Very Black and oily poured with absolutely no head. I think I saw one carbonation bubble.

S - bourbon, char, bourbon, molasses, tobacco, and bourbon

T - Tastes exactly like it smells.

M - This beer was very slick and creamy. No carbonation whatsoever.

D - I had to choke this one down. There is no way I could have more than one of these

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer at all. I love RIS and enjoy bourbon. This just missed the mark.

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Photo of shivtim
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out like motor oil. Deep black, with brown edges and a small mocha colored head which fades quickly but leaves lacing. Some small chunkies hang near the bottom. Nose is thick vanilla bourbon, with heavy malts and oak alcohol. First sip is burnt charred oak chips, with molasses and dense caramel. More alcohol on warming, and some brown sugar sweetness. Very nice. Mouthfeel is dense and thick, fitting the taste of the beer. Drinkability may be hurt by the ABV, but it's a damn fine beer.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007 poured into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a thin, dark brown head that fades quickly. Huge bourbon nose, with oak, vanilla, and cocoa. Serious bourbon on the palate. Nearly overwhelms the vanilla & chocolate in the back. A bit woody. More vanilla & oak as it warms. Slick & full bodied, with very low carbonation. A bit of alcohol burn. Incredibly long finish. Too much bourbon & booze for more than one, but the one is quite tasty.

Great if you like bourbon, but might be a bit much for those who don't. Fortunately, I do.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Held this mother up to a mag light and nothing came out the other side! Head retention was very brief, with a small hazel nut colored ring around the side of the glass, and amoeba bubble clusters in the middle of the glass *three, about the size of thumb finger nails*.

S- LIQUOR! This is the closest a beer has come to smelling like strait up bourbon *in my experience*. packed with loads of complex intricate layers that include rum-cherry, licorice, vanilla bean, and a DANK alcoholic rise.

T- A meaty and filling alcoholic depth on all sensories of the palate, followed by rich velvety rum/bourbon, oaxican cocoa, coffee rinds and tar. BITCHIN!!!

M- Huge, a cloak of ever changing nuances and mosh pits of alcohol.

D- I got 3 cases of this in at the store, probably going to pick another 4 pack up. jesus this is worth your money!

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Photo of LordofTime25
2.89/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 Brew

Pour to a pitch black with no head, but a little foam around edge of glass.

First off very heavy odor of Bourbon which masks all other smells.

Tastes like Bourbon with a after taste of Bourbon, Coffee and Chocolate.

A thick, slickness in mouth with low carbonation.

My opinion is if I wanted to have a bourbon I would have a bourbon not a beer that tastes like bourbon. To each his own though.

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Photo of yeroc40
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK I have the 06 an 07 in the cellar and was tempted to pull them out for direct back to back tasting until I realized I'm a little too tipsy for a vertical. Will plan for this in the near future.


Quite possibly the best beer I've had to date.

2008 vintage From bottle to Sam Adams glass

Aroma is bourbon, warm alcohol with the roast taking backseat to booze.

No head, no lace, black, black, black coat the glass. I'm almost expecting wine-like legs but pure thick coating when swirled.

Taste is so complex. Obviously I need to touch on the warming alcohol at 13% is expected but all of the subtleties that you don't get in other big beer are here. It's like all my favorate flavors from BW's, DB's, and IS's are all present with none of the "hot,turn me off" nastiness. I've had big strong beers that start good and finish just hot and unsatisfying, but this beer leaves you wanting another sip, every time.

Had this one w/my wifes homemade raspberry swirl cheesecake and IMHO a rich sweet treat to balance this beer is heaven.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, poured from the 12oz bottle into a snifter. Body is a deep murky brown, with just the faintest wisp of a dark tan head that immediately fades into obscurity. Highly complex aroma yields notes of sweet raisin, bourbon, chocolate, and molasses - a wonderful combination. Palate is sweet up front, with hints of light lactose sugar and raisin. After the swallow the sweetness is overtaken by the strong bourbon character. Rich dark fruit comes through on the finish, with notes of prune along with the sweet molasses and vanilla bean.
Body is full and robust, but not overly heavy or oily like some imperial stouts. A light stickiness coats the tongue and helps to move the warming alcohol down the back of the throat. This is a true pleasure to drink, although the strength and heaviness make it a special occasion brew. Still, this is an excellent addition to the local beer selection, and I look forward to seeing more Goose Island beers here in the near future.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.64/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up out of curiosity at the grocery store, then was surprised to see it was in the upper half of the BA top 100! Drank very fresh, bottled date of 10/21/08.

Plain label belies the complex, huge beast of a beer inside. Very viscous pour into my wine glass. Color is the darkest brown possible, with almost zero head, the few bubbles fade almost immediately.

Immediately upon opening the bottle, strong aromas escape. (one of the very few beers I've had smell that strong before even pouring it) Once poured, intense bourbon, coconut, dark chocolate and charred malts mix with hints of smoke, oak, and caramel/raw sugar sweetness. One of the biggest smelling beers I've come across yet.

Flavors are equally intense. Huge bourbon, coconut, charred malt, chocolate, caramel sweetness and alcohol. Delicious! A previous reviewer hit the nail on the head, describing it as a "chocolate coconut cake dripping with bourbon."

Feel is very smooth despite the 13% ABV. Surprisingly not very hot, but the alcohol is still very present and warming on the back of my throat. Very long, complex finish and decent bittering that sneaks in at the end.

Definitely a sipping beer. This reminds me of eating a decadent chocolate cake that's almost too rich, yet at the same time I wouldn't trade it for anything less. A fabulous, inventive beer. I will be buying more, and am excited to see what happens with some age.

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Photo of charlzm
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aggregate review from two bottles: one consumed on 11/23/08 and another on 04/22/09, both from bottles marked "bottled on 10/08/08".

Pours a deep, dark brown. A tiny little mocha-colored head forms, then disappears rapidly. Deep garnet highlights around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is mainly bourbon, with some dark roasted malts in the background. Faint chocolate smell. Some sweet, dark pitted fruits.

The beer is smooth and thick. The first bottle was even a little dry. Some alcohol heat.

Flavor is primarily bourbon. Sweet, with dark grape overtones. Roasted nuts, a touch of smoke. Some dates. Malt profile is forward, but not obnoxious. Some chocolate can be discerned. Alcohol warming on swallow. I'm going to have to say this is damned near a perfect tasting beer.

Only halfway into a 12 ounce bottle, I was feeling this one! Whoo! Delicious but huge at 13% ABV, there's a damn good reason this comes in only a four pack of twelve ouncers! This one is not a session closer, it is the ENTIRE session for me when I can get it.

Drinking the same beer five months apart didn't reveal any appreciable differences, save for a slight reduction in alcohol (from burning to warming) and the pitted fruit flavors coming forward. Worth aging, but hard to resist!

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Photo of ahking
4.19/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

If you buy this beer, you probably know what you are getting into, but if not, watch out! Intense and enjoyable brew from a decent brewery.

Pours dark as midnight and coats the glass like motor oil. Didn't notice a head on my pour but a sickly tan ring parades around the circumference.

Aroma is out of this world. Hot bourbon mixed with honey, roasted black malts, caramel, and a trace of noble hops.

Flavor is quite nice. Very hot, dark dried cherries, cola, licorice, vanilla, and cocoa bite your tongue like a viper. Mild bitterness from a hop addition.

This baby is thick as syrup, burns your mouth and very smooth going down. I like it quite a bit, but I don't see drinking more than one in a sitting. Maybe one before a meal then one an hour afterwards for dessert.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.99/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- black with no head. A dark brown ring of foam is transiently generated as you swirl.

S- dark chocolate dominates here, alcohol is present as well. some vanilla.

T- Chocolate, booze, a hint of roasted coffee at the finish.

M- quite slick, oily, but there is some carbonation hiding behind all that, appearing real fine in size... almost prickly.

Very rich, one of the better imperial stouts I've had lately even though this style has become hard for me to embrace after liking it quite a bit in the past.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.83/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has an opaque color that strongly resembles dirty motor oil. The head is tricolor it is brown, tan and off white. It has really tight lace. It smells like chocolate rum balls. Roasty and alcohol aroma is predominant. It also has a chocolate and alcohol taste. It is a warming beer. Full mouthfeel. This is a good sipper.

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Photo of jakon
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, case dated 10-21-08.

This beer pours a very thick pitch black with a smallish head.

The aroma is gigantic. This is probably the strongest overall aroma I've encountered in a beer. Big time coconut chocolate cake liberally soaked in bourbon.

The taste is very sweet. That coconut aroma comes through big in the flavor, as does the huge malt bill. Maple syrup, vanilla, sweetened chocolate, rum, and star anise are very perceptible. Can't taste a hint of hops through all this. This beer must contain at least 4000 calories per serving. Damn near cloying sweetness, as though the yeast died early in a futile battle trying to eat up all that sugar. The bourbon is needed here, and almost resembles rum more so than itself.

Very low carbonation. Thick and syrupy.

If I had to choose a single word to describe this beer, it'd surely be DECADENT. Just ridiculously over the top with the flavors and aromas. This beer is dessert and breakfast in one.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hooray! This beer has made itself out to Southern California! Freshly bought with a bottled on date of 10/21/08. On to the beer:

Major bourbon aroma escapes from this bottle as I open it, but lemme pour it into a snifter. There's no head to this super dark, rich bodied beer. Aroma...very complex here. Bourbon, vanilla, nuts, maple, pine, molasses, raw sugarcane. Unless you're a newbie to alcoholic drinks, how can you not like the aroma? I hesitate to taste.


Before I go on, let me warn you it's very boozy. With that in mind, this is downright fun to taste. Big bourbon barrel flavor upfront. It comes oak. Vanilla, raw sugarcane, chocolate covered cherries. The alcohol is charred and very warming down my throat. Needless to say, this beer is thick in the mouth with just a small fiz of carbonation. was good, but some loose ends were green, otherwise the taste would get a perfect 5.0. I'll lay down the rest of my bottles in my 4-pack and compare in the future, but for now, this is a beer worthy of the hype.

(Revisited 3/4/09) - Snap, crackle, and POP! Can beer get more exciting than this? Not as much heat here, but damn, that barrel aging effect really shines. Perfect "5" for the taste.

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Photo of katan
3.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, 2008 batch - poured into a goblet

A - This thing pours as dark as night. No light is getting through this one. The head is a very light film that had the trademark light mocha/chocolate color. Carbonation is not obvious.

S - Has an edgy sweetness to the nose. A combination of harsh dark chocolate and molasses. Very sweet. Sugary on the nose. There is some bourbon bite hiding in the background.

T - Starts off super sweet with lots of malt flavors. Mid-stream brings in some coffee edge. Finishes with a large swath of chocolate and bourbon flavors. Aftertaste has a combination of bitterness, chocolate, and molasses.

M - Thick as syrup. Coats the tongue like you would not believe. Not much for carbonation here, but that fits the style. Leaves a heavy aftertaste which I have to say is not all that pleasant.

D - This is a "head remover" beer for me - as its taste doesn't necessarily reflect the 13% of alcohol in here. Beyond the fact that you have to be pacing yourself, its very warming and filling, which would also make this beer a sipper. One a night is enough.

This beer can certainly do with some aging. I think the flavors from the bourbon need to mellow more. Going to put some back for a few years and see what happens. Which begs one question: if the twist off caps have inferior oxidation problems, why did they use it on such a cellarable beer?

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Photo of Goliath
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black and completely opaque through the center, but with some thin amber hued edges in the light. A thin chocolate colored head sits on top and quickly dissipates leaving nothing behind.

The aroma is awesome. Huge notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak, and a touch of smoke. Really enticing. A bit boozy at times though.

The taste on this beer is phenomenal. Again, big notes of bourbon really set the beer off. Huge notes of chocolate, coffee, toasted coconut, oak, vanilla, and even a touch of smoke. I'm so happy this finally hit shelves here because I forgot how much I love this beer! It finishes off with a nice alcohol warmth in the chest, but the booziness is really relaxed as you sip.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, thick, and slightly creamy. Carbonation is very low, producing more of a still mouthfeel and it's really appropriate.

Drinkability is remarkably high for a beer of this stature. The alcohol us mellowed enough to easily be enjoyed. Although, good luck taking more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11/19/08- Purcahsed at Total Wine in Lincoln, CA.
$18.99 4-pack price tag.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2008 annual release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- About the thickest pour I have seen from a beer. Pitch black in color. About a 1/2 inch head on first pour...quickly evaporates soon after. Leaves behind some spotty watery lace markings.

Smell- Huge nose of bittersweet chocolate, mild fresh coffee, lots of bourbon, a bit of woody barrel notes and even some dark fruits...all paired nicely with super roasted malt which almost has a light salty nose to it.

Taste- Again, lots of stuff going on. It's mostly nice sweet highly roasted chocolate malt with a shot of bourbon on the side. Almost...key word is "almost" too much bourbon. Really pushes the limit, but just barely doesn't cross the line. Light coffee notes and some dates and figs mingling about. Hops are here, and mildly bitter. Intense.

Mouthfeel- Very thick, very viscous. Not quite the motor oil everone talks about...but still probably the thickest beer I have tried. Considerably creamy and smmoth with a lower end carbonation. Aftertaste of candied bourbon-chocolate and a very light bitter hops bite. Definite full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Still haven't found my perfect 5 beer. I've seen about a handful of really strong stouts that have looked a bit better. But this is about as close as it gets. I'm glad I have a few 4-packs...I may even try to grab another couple....definitely worth $5 a bottle. A must try if seen...or be regretful the rest of your life.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing nose, complexity and an endless finish. Would be syrup if the alc wasn't 13%. 2008 Bottle. Not sure why you'd want to age this brew as it drank so nicely right now. Though I have a couple vintages back from a trade so I'll see what all the hooplah is when I sample those. Dark and milk chocolate with rasberries and blue fruit. Silky texture. Vanilla and oak with some faint spice. Only a tiny bit is needed as so much flavor unfolds on the palate. $20 for a 4 pack of 12oz seems expensive but after this I say this is cheap for how high the quality is. Amazing!

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have received this from several people in trades. So, thanks to all of you! Thankfully, this is my last beer tonight.

This is the 2007 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pitch black with a motor oil consistency. No carbonation and very little head. Slightly disappointing in that regard. Although, with the high abv, this is better than nothing.

Aroma is bourbon filled and oaky. Plenty of vanilla extract as well. Not a whole lot of roastiness as the bourbon seems to be the most predominant aroma. I got what I was expecting, and I loved it.

More bourbon and vanilla in the flavor. A good dose of toffee nuttiness as well, almost like hazelnut. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden: it is very warming but doesnt add any heat or raw alcohol to the flavor, which is always nice. Very full bodied. Thick and chewy and robust.

A solid bourbon barrel beer. Probaly not my favorite, but top notch nevertheless.

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Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good Goobily Woo this is one hell of a good beer! Thanks to Route66pubs for hooking me up on this one. I have never been a bourbon drinker because I am not a big fan of that much alcohol warmth. This is a great way to experience all the wonderful flavors of bourbon without the bite. There is no mistaking that this is one Mother of a complex beer. Bourbon on the nose with layers of vanilla, caramel, toasted almond and chocolate exposing themselves with each delicious sip. Started out just south of room temperature and only got better the longer it warmed. At thirteen percent, definitely a sipper, which is good because you will want to make it last!

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Photo of Douglas14
4.08/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark color with brown and ruby hues glinting through the edges. The aroma is nice. It is of coffee and very much of dark chocolate. The taste is the best aspect of this beer, as it should be. The roasted coffee and chocolate flavors really come out and it is great. Great beer.

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Photo of deereless
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep chocolate with a hint of light seeping by at the edges, spotty and erratic patches of head, thick lacing due to what I can only assume is the serious viscosity - 5.0, S: Fragrant aromas, bourbon and oak as you'd expect, very pleasing and subdued wood with traces of chocolate malt and some ash - 5.0, T: Absolutely amazing flavor, mildly molasses, extremely sweet, bourbon, espresso - 5.0, M: An extremely creamy beer that lingers on your tongue for some time after the taste - 5.0, D: After 100's of samplings, I've found my first 10 (aka 5 star beer), this beers intensity and flavor is amazing, though high in alcohol it is an extremely drinkable beer - 5.0

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 12,658 ratings