Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
8,045 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Duvel is still seen as the reference among strong golden ales. Its bouquet is lively and tickles the nose with an element of citrus which even tends towards grapefruit thanks to the use of only the highest-quality hop varieties. This is also reflected in the flavour, which is beautifully balanced with a hint of spiciness. Thanks to its high CO2 content, this beer has a wonderful roundness in the mouth. A Duvel is both the perfect thirst quencher and the ideal aperitif.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Ratings: 8,045 |  Reviews: 2,866
Photo of MattyV
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bomber into a Duvel tulip

Pours a hazy, straw yellow colour with a nice and big fluffy white meringue-like head that sticks around forever and even has a big gob left at the bottom of the glass

Aroma is initially quite restrained, probably due to the large head. Eventually some pale malts make an appearance, as well as that unexplainable Belgian character, along with some apple, some alcohol coming through. Pretty muted overall.

Taste is a mix of sweetness and bitterness which meshes together wonderfully. The pale malts are apparent, as is the spice and yeast. Finishes very dry and refreshing.

Highly carbonated and champagne-like... once again, very refreshing.

The 8.5% ABV is quite well hidden. The refreshing aspect of this beer makes it a highly attractive option in the summer months, especially as an apperitif in place of a sparkling wine at a dinner. The only hit against this beer is that its glowing reputation may have inflated my expectations, but I learned to appeciated its slightly muted merits.

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

Pale yellow with a head that looks like shaving creme.
The smell is dominated by alcohol. It reminds me of wine. If I was blindfolded and did not know better, I'm not sure if I could identify it as beer.
The taste follows the nose. Alcohol followed with some bitterness. This is a good drink, just not worthy of $5 out of my pocket for a little bottle.
With respect to it's price, I find this beer highly overrated. With respect to it's flavor, I find it somewhat overrated.
If money is no object, then drink up!

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Photo of BogleHill
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After seeing the video on the Morgaat website, I realized that I had never tried this remarkable brew. Amazing clear golden color with a big white bubbly head. Lots and lots of carbonation. Amazingly clear. Pleasant aroma. Flavor is sweet, malty and very well balanced. Super crisp finish. The alcohol is incfredibly well masked. Superbe!

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Photo of dubinsky
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into a Chimay goblet, they come in the same shape bottle after all.

A- Poured a cloudy, light, gold hue with huge two finger fluffy white head. The head hung around through the entire session and left behind a lovely lacing.

S- My wife and i smelled apples, pears and spices which smelled like cinnamon and cloves. Tartness and fruitiness ring through the smell as well.

T- Fruity, tart, crisp and yet somehow incredibly smooth. Reminds me of a witbier with more spice and more malt flavor and aroma. Extremely dry finish. Kind of like eating a tart green apple.

M- Very dry and smooth with great tight carbonation.

D- Ummm, yeah, this is a dangerous beer. Very drinkable. found myself gulping it, and at 8.5%, i could see myself getting into trouble. The ABV is hidden very well. Perfect for a hot summer day.

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Photo of kirkpjr
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into the Duvel tulip.

A: Now I remember why the Duvel tulip is so big. Four full fingers of chunky billowy head fill the glass to the brim. Carbonation steadily streams from the glass etch to the head long after the beer has been poured. Pale golden color with epic head retention.

S: Yeasty with sweet fruits. Apples, ripe bananas, and a sweet spice. Perfect intensity of smell for the style IMO.

T: Taste like is smells, with the yeast and spice downplaying the sweetness of the fruits.

M: Very crisp. Medium to light body with very high carbonation. This one just feels right on the palette.

D: Awesome beer from top to bottom. Had this one about a year ago and didn't think much. After a year of developing my taste, this one is a true great. Carbonation limits the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of arturorg
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass

Appearance: Very beautiful clean golden color with a very white big head.

Aroma: Hops and a bit metallic.

Taste: Beer bitter (wich is good in my book), for a strong beer doesn't show it in alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing.

You cant go wrong with this one.

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Photo of jonB
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very light golden colored and smooth Belgian ale. Pours a big puffy white head with lacing that remains on the glass. There is steady carbonation without being overbearing. Has a sweet, dry taste with an even finish. Very pleasant and refreshing beer that pairs well with a meal.

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Photo of joeland
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearamce- a golden color with a orange tint. A very bubbly looking head one finger high, that stays awhile, leaving a great amount of lacing.

smell- a very notcable yeast smaell. A hint of spices and malt to go alnong.

taste- I get a mix of corriner seed and malt with a hint of alchol.

mouthfeel- a very foumay mouthfeel. Leaves a bubbly feeling on the lips.

Drinkability- a very drinkable beer that goes down easy and smooth.

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Photo of jmarvin4189
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- has an orange cloudy golden color with 2 fingers of white head

Smell - smells very yeasty with some spice undertones

taste - a very strong coriander tone with some other settle spices in the background i can't put my finger on with a mild alcohol taste

Mouthfeel - a very crisp taste feel that is smooth with moderate carbination

Drinkability - very drinkable but for the price I wouldn't want to drink too many. At the same time i could savor this bee, there wasn't as many spices I've gotten off other Belgian strong ales

I was disappointed by this beer after looking at the strong reviews. so those reviews may have had an impact on my rating

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Photo of jsanford
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a hazy golden color with that unmistakable, huge Duvel head. Fluffy like a cloud, absolutely beautiful.

S - Yeast and light malt, with the slightest whiff of bananas and spices.

T - More light malt and banana, with slight notes of pear and coriander. Slight bitterness toward the end, and a little bit of alcohol.

M - Dangerous, but it ain't called "devil" for nothing. ABV is hidden well, carbonation is high, body is light. Extremely crisp and refreshing!

D - This is a benchmark beer for a reason, it's absolutely delicious and drinkable. Also, it truly is one of the prettiest beers to look at, especially in the correct glass. World-class!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle, drink by date of 11/2012

A: Pours a hazy golden amber with a thick patchy head. There is some thick lacing down the side of the glass.

S: A definite yeast aroma with some spice and a faint lemon aroma and some green apple.

T: Definitely some yeast, and a really nice balance between the hops and malt. There is a floral aspect and also some banana.

M/D: Light bodied and extremely drinkable. A really good beer, something that would be a great with food. The 8.5% is slightly evident as it goes down, but it does not bother me one bit. I look forward to drinking another.

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Photo of GottBier
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clean and golden, a bright, clear yellow. The head was a bit too much for the stripped-down, minimalist style of this brew. It was reminiscent of laundry detergent, but that's NOT a criticism. To fans of thick, rich heads I apologize. But really, something more tight might have been better.

Smell: A little more complex than the taste. In keeping with the beer's general or overall presentation, a crisp, simple aroma might have worked.

Taste: Can it get any better than this? In writing fiction, this would be called "the art of concealing art." It does not try too hard, it does not overload us with complexity, it simply states its case and moves on... and what a sharp, tangy case it states!

Mouthfeel: Appropriate to the taste. Clean, dry, tangy.

Drinkability: It would make a good session beer if it weren't so damned special!!

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Photo of phideltashaggy
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A-Amber in color. The head and lacing was dense and slightly off-white.

S-For lack of a better word, "acidic." Not terribly strong, but kinda weird,but not necessarily in a bad way.

T-Easily the spiciest beer I've ever tasted.

MF-The spice with the carbonation tingled the tongue a little, with a slight alcohol finish that lets you know that this is a high-gravity beer.

D-Fairly drinkable. By no means hard to drink, but I don't see myself drinking multiple in a row.

Overall-An interesting beer that I see myself drinking again. Highly recommended, if for no other reason than to try something different.

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Photo of jzm2500
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy, pale yellow, thick white head.

S/T/M- Smell was uninteresting..yeast and malt. It was not much indicative of the flavor, which is wonderful. Was hit with a sweet and bready malt followed by a mildly tart yeast..alcohol warms things up here. There is a hint of banana or similar. Finish was sweet..caramel or similar is noted here. There is a very faint bitterness in the mix at the end as well. Mouthfeel is moderately thick, carbonation lends a pleasant creaminess to the feel.

D- This beer is made for sipping.

Love this brew. I was surprised by the taste compared to the nose.

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Photo of Meliorist
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review here on BA, so here goes

P- 330 ml bottle best buy date of 12/2012. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- Golden and clear, looks like an American Lager....except for the head! This thing is a monster. Do not aggressively pour this beer. It can get 4+ inches tall and it lingers forever leaving huge chunks on the side of the glass. Carbonation bubbles lasted until the pint was empty.

S- sadly I cannot comment much on smell. My sinuses were destroyed through an infection when I was an infant and I have chronic sinus problems: however, I can definitely smell yeast and alcohol.

T- When it hit the palate I got a lot of malt, faint banana, some pepper, and just a hint of coriander. It hits very crisp. then balances out, and has a slight bitter and medicinal aftertaste. This aftertaste: however, cleanses the palate and makes you want to take another pull off the glass.

M- starts off crisp and light and then seems to me to seamlessly progress to a medium mouth-feel with a crisp but fading ending.

D- Its not called Duvel for nothing. Each sip/drink/slug leaves you wanting more, and at its 8.5% abv will quickly knock you on your arse. A 4 pack of these and I want to go to sleep, but then again, I'm an old fart at 50+.

~notes!~ I'm new to this. I stumbled across BA while surfing. I new nothing about beer other than American macros until I went into the Marines. Back then I thought Kirin and San Miguel were fantastic. The Corona Blitz hit but I didn't like it that much but found I did like Dos XX Amber. Ive been trying the higher rated beers I've found on this site and have been pretty much in agreement; Except for Porters...I just don't like them.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

clear golden, perfectly carbonated with exception looking head.
mountainous head that is holding up quite nicely.

smells like yeasty banana esters. Might be older bottle, because I could use a little hop aroma in the smell.

Deeelicious taste. No abjectable flavors at all. Balanced, suiting bitterness. And it is kind of menacingly delicious, especially considering the decent 8.5 ABV. The alcohol is completely masked by the flavors. I was a bit shocked to read the % .

This was my first Duvel, and I can't believe I ignored it for so long. I think the reason might have been because it was a touch expensive @ 11.2 oz bottle for $4.45. But worth the experience of a good beer. I could sip this all night, (or all day.)

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Photo of geryeb624
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 330 mL bottle into DFH signature glass.

A- Pours a light golden with gigantic fluffy white head. At least 3 fingers worth. One of the nicest pours I've ever seen. Head hangs around forever as well. Leaves behind a ton of lacing.

S- Spicy Belgian yeast with possible cloves and cinnamon. Also a tart fruitiness reminiscent of citrus and green apples.

T- Malty and smooth, almost reminds me of a witbier with less spice and a lot more flavor. Spiciness and fruitiness due come through however. Finished dry and crisp with a taste of green apple.

M- Very smooth with high carbonation.

D- Dangerously drinkable. Hides its 8.5% very well, and goes down as easy as a light beer. Perfect for a hot summer day.

I have had Duvel before, but in a pint glass, and it was good. Now having it in a proper snifter, I can say this may be one of the best beers I have ever tasted. Smooth, refreshing, and absolutely delicious. I may be at the beginning of my quest for beer nirvana, but this was a giant step forward.

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Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and poured into a tulip glass with a three finger high bright white head that has excellent retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The smell isn't that strong, but there are notes of citrusy and floral hops in the nose along with some hints of fruit, spices and yeast.
T: The taste is similar to the aroma but is much stronger and has flavors of apples, bananas, pears, spices and yeast. There's a sight amount of bitterness in the finish. Some alcohol is noticeable, but it doesn't detract from the taste.
M: It feels light-bodied, crisp and very highly carbonated on the palate. There's also a significant amount of dryness.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. The pour produced one of the thickest, fluffiest heads I have ever seen. The snow-white foam lasted throughout the entire drink, receding only slightly and leaving tons of abstract swirls and patterns all over the glass walls. The body is a hazy golden-yellow that grows more deep and intense toward the center of the glass.

The nose has multiple layers of light fruits, spices, yeast and sweet malts.

The taste is just as complex as the nose, if not more so. Pale malts kick things off and quickly fade into middle that finds a great combination of yeast and spices. The finish turns a little sweeter before a (slightly) bitter finish.

The mouth feel is on the thicker side of medium, creamy with a sticky finish; mild carbonation.

The ABV of this is hidden very well making this a very drinkable beer. If you are a fan of the style, this is one of the best beers being produced today.

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Photo of JukeboxEmperor
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Four-finger thick, foamy head that's reluctant to disappear. Very pale straw color, much closer a pislner than the other big names of this style that I've tried.

S: Lightly floral and fruity plus a noticeable amount of alcohol.

T: Much like the smell. Very light and alcohol is very present. It reminds me of a light macro lager, but with the ale's fruityness and less adjunct flavor which ultimately makes it enjoyable.

M: Everything else about this beer is light and subtle, but the mouthful is thick and not nearly as light as the taste and smell. It's quite the contrast.

D: I've never been able to keep Duvel in my glass for very long; unlike the other beers in this style, which I can usually keep around for at least 15 minutes. It's so light and subtle that it goes down like a Miller Lite, though I've had to hold back this time to write a review.

notes: This would be good with food because of its high drinkability and abv. Always welcome in my fridge.

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Photo of vkv822
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a clear, very pale yellow with lightly rising carbonation and a beautiful billowy, rocky white head that has probably the best retention I've seen.
The aroma is of spicy, peppery yeasts upfront, and a light floral and tart fruitiness.
The flavor is of more spicy yeast and a lemony, floral backing. A slight boozy finish comes through as it warms.
The mouthfeel is a very pleasant medium to full body with good carbonation throughout the duration of the beer.
This is a very enjoyable beer, and I can definitely see why this is considered one of the staples of Belgian beers. This is easily something I will look forward to enjoying a few of in the future.

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Photo of bogus564
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalise.

Golden in color, with a beautiful white head that just seems to last forever.

Smell indicates a grassy nose, with a fruitiness right up there with it. Delightful.

And oh, the taste - butter smoothness, I catch clove right away. The yeast is well done as well, as I'm pretty sure I'm getting some coriander in there. This is truly sublime.

The mouthfeel is outstanding - the balance is some of the best I've ever experienced in a beer. I have to hand it to the Belgians - they really know how to do yeast. And the carbonation was beautiful - bubbles from the opening to the last drink.

Great drinking beer; I could make a night of this one, with a nice barbequed chicken sandwich.

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Photo of oatmealjunior
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My 2nd ever BA review on one of my longtime favorite brews. Poured into a tulip from a 330 ml stubby bottle.

A: Sublime, pure-white head, it almost makes you giggle with surprise at the shear size of it, an easy 4 fingers that keeps a pretty solid retention throughout. I don't know if you could call it "lacing", more like "chunking", giant craggy cliffs of meringue-like foam left behind on the sides of the glass and on top of the brew itself which was a beautifully clear pale-gold color until i disturbed the yeast and it became a little more hazy and somehow more gold in color. I've never seen anything like it -5.0

S: The smell is very subtle, strong scent of pastoral hay, light citrus and apple with some distinct peppery belgian yeast. Nice, but nothing mind-blowing -4.0

T: This is one area where Duvel shines in my opinion, it has all the flavors you'd expect from a belgian; the peppery yeast, apple skin, grapefruit, hay, banana phenols, light pilsner-esque hops and bright, sweet toasted wheat, maybe a touch of corriander. The only difference is the extreme balance achieved by duvel, every time you think one flavor is taking a dominant role, you take another sip and the flavor changes leaving you want to explore deeper. Also, alcohol content should be discussed here; with an 8.5% abv, you'd expect to taste some alcohol, and you do, especially as the brew warms. But its as if all the other flavors come in to perfectly support and mask it ever so slightly, the alcohol adds to the taste rather than detracts. One word to describe duvel's flavor? "elegant" 5.0

M: Champagne-like carbonation, airy/cloudy head. It starts out juicy and creamy gets sort of dry towards the middle where you're introduced to some warmth from the alcohol content and it ends sort of tart and sweet, leaving you wanting another sip. Very nice -4.5

D: This is where the "Devil" moniker comes into its own. So light, crisp and refreshing for an 8.5% brew, just the slightest hint of alcohol and each sip leaves you craving another one. Endlessly drinkable, if i could drink only one beer for the rest of my life, it would be duvel, hands-down. i had to struggle to keep some in the glass to finish the review -5.0

Overall, I'll admit i'm slightly bias. The first time i tried this beer i was living in india at the time, and had nothing but terrible terrible beer for months, until a friend of mine offered me an unassuming glass of pale, yellow beer which i assumed to be either carlsberg or tuborg . . . until it hit my tongue. he said that i had the biggest, most over-the-top, cartoonish double-take after my first sip as my mouth filled with the golden nectar. i wasn't expecting it and was absolutely floored by the depth and complexity. I thought i was looking through rose-colored glasses without having anything decent to compare it to for months, so i was cautious when i went to taste it again back in the states, and was pleasantly surprised when i found it just as heavenly as the first sip. I cannot rave enough about this beer.

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Photo of Bravo4
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a Duvel glass.

A- Light golden color with exceptional head. This beer is worth buying just to experience the head. It has about 4 fingers of thick, chunky, white head. The head lasts and lasts. Absolutely amazing. It leaves thick, chunky lacing.

S- It has a decent wheaty-yeast smell to it with hints of fruit.

T- It has a very yeasty taste with strong hints of fruit.

M- Very balanced mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation and smoothness.

D- This beer is very drinkable and I would reccomend it as a good session beer.

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Photo of Mjoepp
3.2/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden but a little "muddy", probably yeast as it smells belgian yeast. The head is enourmous if you pour the liquid clucking through the bottle The head is white and quite creamy when it settles in.

S: Sweet belgian yeast and a little touch of flowers. Light carbonation.

Taste: Sweet belgian yeast which is noticed both while the liquid is in the mouth and and ater swallowing. The aftertaste is a bit hoppy and a bit of sweet candy.

O: Not what I rememberd, but it is easy to drink. Almost to easy.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,045 ratings