Pale Ale | Mountaineer Brewing Co.

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Pale AlePale Ale
51 Ratings
Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Mountaineer Brewing Co.
West Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.59%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American style pale ale, brewed with pale and crystal malts and a touch of oats.

Added by WVbeergeek on 03-13-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of shivtim
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this at the Gov't conference center in Shepherdstown. Looked ok. A translucent, pale gold. Small orangy/white head.
The nose is off-putting. It has some hops that I can only describe as laced with cigarette smoke. Just a very thick wet tobacco smell. Very odd.
Taste is some gentle green hops. Very mild.
Average mouthfeel and drinkability.
Not recommended.

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Photo of Fezfreak
4.6/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Here goes folks, my first beer review for BA. Quite honestly, I never pictured myself doing this. But I am a native of West "by God" Virginia, and since this beer comes from the only bottling-brewery in the state, I thought I'd take a whack at it...even though it was 3:12am Eastern when I started writing.

Mountaineer Pale Ale reminds me of Lamar Street Pale Ale, a house brand of Whole Foods, produced by Goose Island that I used to enjoy.

Personally, I don't think they should call this a Pale Ale. To my eyes, shnozz, and palate - this falls somewhere between a Pale Ale and a Pilsner. So I'm not going to review it based on a stringent criteria of how it compares with other Pale Ales. To do that would mean a lower than average review. Instead, let's look at it based on the principle of: "is it any damn good?"

Yes sir, it is.

It pours to a good thick head that gets a little thin, but hangs in there and leaves a nice lace all the way down the glass. The appearance is on the orange side of copper with a slight and desirable haze (again...falling between a Pale Ale and a Pilsner)

Fans of Pale Ale should prepare to have a lighter, more refreshing version of the style. In some ways better suited for summer, but generally good all year round. Both the smell and taste have sweet, lingering notes of tea, which I kind of like.

This is balanced by what I like to call the "Cereal Factor": that wonderful (some say biscuit) characteristic that connects you to the past, reminding you of the origins of beer itself. The very basic essence of what beer is.

I burned myself out on Pale Ale a long time ago when I became a hophead. Couldn't hardly drink the stuff anymore. Got to the point where I was almost exclusively drinking either IPA or Pilsner - one extreme to another (Stouts and Porters being the ones thrown in for good measure).

During the last year, I have come back to Pale Ales and am actually enjoying them more. Even so, I do not buy and enjoy Mountaineer Pale Ale based on that, nor for the Pale Ale profile.

I do it because it's a damn good beer...

...and it's made in my home state!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head that even leaves some lacing patterns on the sides of my glass. The beer is a nice copper hue that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper color when held up to the light. The aroma has a nice touch of grapefruit and citrus hops as well as a touch of crystal malt aromatics to tie things together. This is lightly sweet smelling, with fruity hop notes that can't hide a biscuit-like, toasty malt character in the finish that at times can be a bit more noticeable than the hop character. The aroma is soft overall, but is nicely balanced.

A bit non-descript as it hits the front of my tongue, it then picks up a mix of hop flavors that remind me of orange zest, tangerine, cooked broccoli, and biting pine. This last is wrapped up in a solid hop bitterness that finishes this beer off on almost a dry note. This is certainly not a sweet beer, but there is enough caramelized crystal malt character to be noticed, as well as a touch of sweet tea flavors and a brown sugar and biscuit like flavor. This is a hop focused beer though, but somehow the hop flavors can be a bit harsh, even too vegetal at times; luckily this is a secondary flavor effect, but I find it a bit distracting at times. Nice and light as a Pale ale should be, there is some body here from the residual malt character that helps to keep this from being too light.

Not a bad beer, and after smelling this I was beginning to get my hopes up. If they could fix that vegetal hop note in the flavor this would be a really nice example of a Pale Ale. As it is though, the beer is still quite drinkable, and even enjoyable.

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Photo of Nickls
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Poured with a half-finger of white head that didn't hang around; Clear light yellow-gold color

S - Citrus and floral aromas dominate that indicates a decent bitterness to me; touch of malt sweetness; a little grassy as well

T - Definitely on the hoppier side, but nothing outrageous. Citrus hops show up and some candy like sweetness from the malt

M - Thinner MF with decent carbonation to keep it lively on the palate

D - Solid drinking even though it's not terribly interesting; not bad stuff and did the job

Overall, certainly not the best APA ever, but not bad at all. Worth a look if you need to tick a beer from WV.

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Photo of edchicma
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy dark yellow wit ha small initial head, but with great lacing. Smell is slightly faint citrus hops with a definite malt undertone. Taste is a mix of lighthops and understated malt..slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is light, refreshing, probably a very good summer choice. Very easy on the drinkability. I'm guessing this is not on the high end of abv range.

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Photo of nick76
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is fairly hoppy with both citrus and pine. There is also malt to balance. The appearance is hazy gold with a head that falls fast. The taste is like the aroma with a strong hop presence and enough malt to balance. The palate is smooth from carbonation. Overall a solid APA.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one reminds me of "SNPA light" haha. totally good, but not in your face at all. A nice light amber/copper with a nice head of foam. Aromas are biscuity malts and raw citrusy/piney/resiny hops. Hops win it out but this is oh-so-well-balanced. Taste is hoppy and biscuity with a nice fresh bread character as well. Hops hit again in the back of the throat and are leafy green in the smooth/dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability is great. It's nice to see a beer this good come out of WV

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Photo of chiefydawg
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a grocery store the night before the Parkersburg Half Marathon. Love finding local brews...

Clear, light honey-colored liquid with thin white head. Gentle fizz activity, and some strands of lace lay back and hold on to the (not so) bitter end.

Sweet and bready smelling. Actually smells just like a warm Bob Evans biscuit slathered in honey! Slight orange marmalade hops in the background vying for some attention.

The biscuit and honey thing flows right into the first sip, but the hops step up some at the swallow. Sweetness still lingers on the tongue, but the fruity and floral hops are felt in the nose and throat.

Medium bodied and drinkable. The sweetness, to me, reminds me more of an English Pale Ale. I prefer my American Pale Ales more dry and bitter, but this is a tasty little drink with no real conflict from the mountains of West By God Virginia .

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery kumquat with crystalline clarity. The tight-bubbled crown is dirty eggshell white, almost ecru, and is sticky enough to deposit fine sheets of sea foam lace. Not a bad look for an APA.

Even without knowing that crystal malt was present, it was easy to guess given the color and the aroma. Pale Ale smells lightly toasted and a little earthy. It's also not as bright and grapefruit zesty as a Cascade-only APA ought to be.

How one feels about Mountaineer Pale Ale will depend on one's preferences for beer of this style. The flavor is the nose in liquid form. This offering is toasted, earthy, balanced and not classically Cascade-like. I much prefer pale malt-dominant APAs that feature the bright, pure goodness of humulus lupulus.

An early sweetness (modest) turns into (an also modest) bitterness at the midway point of each mouthful. The finish is almost crisp and drying. Maybe there are a few more hop cones in here than originally thought. This is definitely easy drinking beer, I'll give it that.

The mouthfeel, like all the rest, is a blip better than average. It's medium in heft, with a generous amount of enlivening carbonation that stops well short of too much.

Mountaineer Pale Ale is pretty good beer that would have earned a better score if it lined up more closely with my style preferences. Not a bad effort. Not a bad effort at all. Thanks to ahatcher78 for the bottle.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a slightly hazed copper hue with a large foamy off white head leaves behind ueven thick bands of lacing with each sip. Even though the corporate office is located in Maryland I'm proud to see a microbrewed beer produced and bottled in the state. The only production brewery made a nice pale ale with floral and citrus qualities in the nose. A nice caramel malt balance but the citrus hop notes shine. Flavor is balanced with a sugar coated hop quality flowing, between brash vinous green hops and floral spring notes. Biscuit and caramel malts collide with the herbal citrus hop bitterness to make a refreshing and flavorful brew. Mouthfeel wise we're looking at a medium to light bodied offering perfect for quenching thirst and the hophead craving for a West Virginian with limited options. Drinkability is this brews highlights, snapping hop bite with enough mellow malts to make it flow perfectly. No the most in your face but definitely well crafted and has American Pale Ale down to the T.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very clear body with just a hint of gold to it. Tiny white head dissipates quickly.

Smell: So light! Just a hint of steeped grains and a mild citrus character.

Taste: Again, so light! Slight taste of grain with a subtle toffee sweetness. Mild citrusy hops. Medium bitterness. Lightly bitter, watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's pretty embarrassing. Poor West Virginia.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz brown bottle served in a nonic glass. Just recently got a couple of these beer from my distributor in WV to give a try.

Light coppery colored with a golden hue. 1"creamy white head with decent retention leaving several lace curtian down the glass.
Few staggered tiny bubbles constiantly rising.

Very clean fresh aroma,mostly floral with some citrus in the background. Light carmelled maltiness with toasty/nutty aromas.

Very well rounded taste has a nice full taste,tangy with a nutty,toasty lighly carmell malt taste as the aroma would indicate. Clean pleasing lighly bittered finish with a crisp,tart citrusy finish.

Has a light mouthfeel with some cloyingness.
Very refreshing,goes down extremely easy. No doubt a great session beer. A pleasing suprize,it's great to see a very good beer to come from the state of WV.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing like a cold beer brewed in my home state of West Virginia. 12 oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours an attractive copper-golden hue, capped by a half-inch of white head. Retention & lacing are both excellent for the style. Aroma is stronger in the chalice than the pint I had two nights ago; pineapple juice, mandarin orange, mango, and lots of citrusy hops are present. There isn't a huge malt presence, but the hops are enough to provide an excellent nose.

Crystal malts bring a light biscuitiness to the taste, and spiced, citrusy hops provide a decent balance. As with most pale ales, I'd like to see this one get a bit hoppier. Mouthfeel is crisp & refreshing, with a good carbonation level and a decent hoppy finish. In sum, Mountaineer BC's Pale is a very enjoyable, very refreshing, easily sessionable ale. I recommend you give it a try, as it's a beer I'll be purchasing again.

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Photo of therica
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm rather surprised and happy to find yet another decent beer by our new local Mountaineer Brewing Co. In fact, this one is a rather decent surprise. The nice part is that I got this at our new Super-Walmart! $6.99 there (March 2007).

A= light-amber near-yellow depending on the lighting. Little head, doesn't stay long at all but leaves some lacing for quite a while.

S= a pleasant happy whiff of a floraly slightly-sweet fresh and creative APA hops scent. Some grapefruit but not huge like many West-Coast Pale's.

T= about like the nose- very nice, very smooth, modest carbonation, light sweetness yet more subtle; balanced and not heavy hops-bitters and florals but definitely not a whimp on the bitters. A very creative use of hops blends, some grapefruit but also other contributing hops that remind me of some Noble's. Very surprisingly good. Slightly oily. Nice sweet malts.

M= nice bitters and a slight honey smoothness in the aftertaste and mouth. Plus a smile.

D= go for it. I hope to find this on-tap here, soon, and try out as many Mountaineer's on tap as I can find.

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Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwatts for this one he received from decaturstevo:

Pours slightly hazed golden amber with a thin off-white head.

The smell is bready, grainy, slightly carmelized, some citric notes.

The taste is grainy/biscuity with a touch of carame and a hint of butterscotch. Mild citrus - could be heftier and still balanced - peeks through. Finishes sweetish.

Smooth in a light side of medium bodied (at most - though not watery).

An easy-drinking, milder interpretation of an APA.

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Photo of rabsten
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pint glass. Orange-tinted golder with good head that didn't stick around for long. Not much lacing either. Nice hop aroma, more on the floral side than citrus or pine - wouldn't have thought Cascasdes at first, but that's what I'm told are in there. Pleasant, though.

Tastes like a fine, middle-of-the-road APA. Nice hop twang at first with mild malt finish. Decently balanced overall. No aftertaste of note. Slightly astringent mouthfeel, yet solidly drinkable.

One of the better options for WV drinkers. I've had this on tap a few times and it's a better beer that way (but I didn't take notes and don't want to review from memory). Glad to see it's available in the southern part of the state now. Bottom line, it's worth a shot.

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Photo of bditty187
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dull gold in hue, vaguely hazy; the color is unimpressive and not overly rich. Bright white head, at the apex the foam was a solid one finger tall. Head retention was respectable. Subsequent lacing was a smattering of organized rings. Overall, the appearance is decent and fitting of expectations for an APA.

Modestly hoppy nose; citrus zest and grapefruit mainly with a kiss of pine… very APA-like. Caramelized maltiness further develops the nose and matches what is expected of the style. Hints of ale fruitiness finish the bouquet. While the hops are not thunderous they do provide the aromas desired for the style. Moderate potency; I find the nose to be simple, stylistically sound and inviting.

The first sip was weird… kind of soapy, unbalanced maltiness with a smattering of vegetable. The second sip shows more hoppiness (grapefruit and citrus zest… cheese too), ale fruitiness (apples, berries… grapes?) and lingering nutty/cheesy bitterness. Caramel malts are noticeable throughout; sort of sweet until the finish. The palate has good qualities and it does taste like an APA but there is a certain messiness about it that is distracting. I need cleaner bitterness and/or more vibrate hop flavors to counteract the sweetness. The aftertaste is similar the palate, oddly pleasant. This is a respectable APA but the cheesy-bitter-fruity-sweet vibe is somewhat odd. Odd is okay though…

Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is not unusual but it fits this beer well enough.

Easy to drink and more likeable the less I think about it. The beer geek in me is not going to get Mountaineer Pale Ale confused with the best of the style but it is a pleasant quaff. I’d have no problem knocking back a few bottles while grilling some cheeseburgers. WV should be happy to have such a solid APA. Thanks ahatcher78 for my first three WV beers!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from ahatcher78, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramelized malt and floral hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with sweet flavors of citrus fruits and caramel to start out. Then a nice burst of floral hops quickly comes in. There’s a heart malt character but it’s not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's nothing fancy but this is a nice beer to drink for the duration of an evening. I could see myself drinking several of these.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time ever drinking on tap so I had to review...
Rather small head, slightly off white with a good lacing going on.
Smelled of slight raw hops and malt. A bit citrusy with bready malts also noticed.
Taste was good. Nie balance between the hops and malt. Good slick mouthfeel.
Had along side a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and this beer held its own.
I actually preferred it.

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Photo of JamesS
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a very pale yellow, almost like a macro lager. It did have a nice head and good lacing, though. Very nice smell, a nice hit of hops in it. All right taste, a nice bit of hops an all right bitter after taste, but nothing special. Goes down fine. I would drink it again, but it would not be my first choice for a pale ale.

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from 12 oz bottle. Blurb on back of bottle describing beer. Brewed with Ahtanum and Tomahawk hops.

Appearance: Pours a clear and dark golden in color with a minamal white head that dissipates very quickly to a sheer lacing topping the beer. Streams of bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell: Faintly fruity with just a hint of grapefruit rind in the aroma. Very clean.

Taste: Starts with a nice, light caramel maltiness with again, a slight fruitiness before the hops come into play. Has a slight lemon like quality, which I attribute to the Ahtanum hops, with a nice hoppy bitterness showing up in the finish. Not your typical 3 C hops, as there is only a slight citrusy quality. Finishes fairly clean with hints of more caramel and a subtle hoppiness lingering on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin but not watery, plenty of carbonation makes it lively in the mouth.

Drinkability/Notes: Picked this up in Shepherdstown, WV while in town for a wedding and enjoying this right before kickoff of the WVU v. Western Michigan game. Moutaineer Pale Ale is very drinkable. A little unique for a pale ale since it uses two different hops that most don't attribute to the style. Has a light caramel sweetness followed by lemony, slightly grapefruity like hop bitterness. Very easy to drink. Not outstanding but a solid Pale Ale and one I wouldn't hesistate buying again. Would make for a good session beer. Recommended. Seek and Enjoy.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle to a copper color with thin off-white head that lingers well and leaves good lacing on the glass. Aroma is a mixture of grassy-floral hops, and the flavor follows suit. Mouthfeel is non-exciting, probably due to the low carbonation. This leads to a finish that is at first satisfying, but that quickly fades to stale grass. Not a bad beer, but not nearly as good as a couple others I’ve had from this little start-up brewery.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber in color with a sizeable head on top. Low aroma-some citrusy and spicy notes but not much in general. Good bitter flavor-grapefruit and citrus flavors. Good body. Has a fairly dry finish. Overall a good pale ale for a brewery I have never heard of. I'd buy this locally for sure.

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Photo of Daehpoh
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured golden blond with slight amber hues. Fluffy two-finger head with decent retention. Smell of light citrus hops, apple juice and perhaps apricot. Caramel malt flavors prevalent. Biscuity and slighty nutty in the finish. Well balanced with herbal hop flavors. Medium body with a very smooth, velvety feel. This one has enough flavor to keep it interesting while remaining very sessionable. Overall a tasty pale ale with some interesting malt flavors and just enough hop presence for my kind.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper with a good, healthy head and good lacing. The smell is balanced malt and light citrusy hops. Clean with a slightly metallic aroma on the finish. The taste is pleasant and echoesthe aromas. Fairly light, but with some sustained bitterness. The mouthfeel is crisp and very slightly slick, but not bad. This one hits the spot. I found this in a fairly small grocery store while vacationing in central West Virginia (Ansted), so it must be fairly well distributed. Worth looking for if you want a local brew.

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Pale Ale from Mountaineer Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 51 ratings