Vanilla Noir
Prairie Artisan Ales

Vanilla NoirVanilla Noir
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #362
Ranked #1,270
4.25 | pDev: 12.24%
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States
Vanilla NoirVanilla Noir
Notes: Vanilla Noir is Prairie Noir aged on organic, fair trade vanilla beans, and let’s just say it takes a lot of beans! The vanilla flavor compliments the whiskey barrel aging process and adds a delicious layer to the beer.
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Reviews: 192 | Ratings: 1,084 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DvdP
DvdP from Netherlands

4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.14.2019. Most certainly does what it promises. Poors black, with brown foam. Smells soft, sweet vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel, but a tad alcoholic, thick enough. Taste is heavy vanilla, nice amount of bourbon, and smooth oatyness. Damn good, not their best

Sep 21, 2020
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WickedBeer from Alabama

4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 11.13.19.

Vanilla, chocolate, & barrel on the nose. A bit more booze on the palate, with the vanilla coming in nicely to cut through those oaky undertones. Could use a bit more body, but this one’s drinking pretty good.

Sep 14, 2020
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johnInLA from California

4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, poured into snifter.

Black, small light brown head, which quickly diminishes.

Nose is oak and vanilla, with some leather, cherry

Nose carries forward into the taste, with a touch of whiskey.

Med/Full body, creamy feel with some warmth, finish is vanilla, dry, with light bitterness.

Mostly oak and vanilla, with other supporting favors, well balanced,

Aug 21, 2020
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark khaki head that has great retention

S- plenty of barrel on the nose with aromas if wet oak, barrel juice and caramel. Chocolate and molasses intertwine with fruity aromas of dark cherry and raisin. Burnt tobacco and vanilla close it out

T- vanilla is noticed immediately up front, coming through more so than the nose. Mid-palate gives notes of chocolate, molasses, figs, raisins and cherries. The finish brings out the barrel, adding oak, bourbon and enhancing the vanilla, which sticks around at the linger

M- medium-viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- vanilla comes through nicely, complimenting the barrel notes throughout

Jul 02, 2020
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jwp777 from Oklahoma

4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap:

Pours a slightly shiny jet black color with a light tan head. Head retains around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: get ready for this one. Powerful aroma of mainly whisky with just a bit of vanilla. There is perhaps an afterthought of coffee there.

The taste delivers the booze promised in the aroma. Whisky, oak perhaps, and vanilla up front, followed by dark chocolate and coffee. The coffee bitterness is very pronounced, especially in the finish. Finish is long and bitter with remnants of booze and sweetness.

Feel is surprisingly smooth for such a boozy nose and palate. Each sip is a bit like a shot of whisky with some other stuff (makes me think of Scotch and Splenda, if you’re a fan of The Office).

Overall, a good stout. Personally the combination of booze and bitterness was too much, but I appreciate the complexity and the character the organic vanilla beans bring to the table.

Jul 01, 2020
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metter98 from New York

4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short mocha-colored head that quickly settled down, leaving a collar consisting of medium sized beige bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of whiskey are present in the nose along with hints of vanilla.
T: Like the smell, the taste follows the smell and has lots of flavors of whiskey along with notes to hints of vanilla beans.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The whiskey barrel aging lends warmth to the mouthfeel, particularly in its finish.
O: This stout has lots of nice aromas and flavors of whiskey and the addition of vanilla beans adds a bit of complexity to the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

May 28, 2020
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 11/13/19. Pours inky black, but with ruby edges; dark tan head of mixed bubbles; some brief cap retention reduces to an island of micro dots and a fairly heavy ring; small soapy suds and heavy legs on swirl. Vanilla and chocolate on first sniff; boozy whiskey retro nasal on exhale. Taste follows tongue; oaky vanilla, chocolate, two day old fudge, whiskey. Smooth creamy feel, medium body, light carbonation; warmth from 13.7%; dry oaky/cocoa powder finish. Overall, more enjoyable than yesterday’s Pirate Bomb because the barrel/oak/whiskey notes mix well with the vanilla and the underlying chocolate flavors; a pleasant vanilla/cocoa finish makes this an easy drinking higher abv offering from Prairie.

Apr 25, 2020
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

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

A pour that makes motor oil pale by comparison. Chocolate flavor undermined to a degree by a coffee bitterness. The bitterness makes it a bit harsh--a shame since for a 13.7% heavyweight, it's a pretty smooth imperial stout. The vanilla presence is nice, not overdone.

Apr 15, 2020
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NoYouDidnt from Indiana

3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a finger head on aggressive pour. Aroma- chocolate, marshmallow, a little alcohol, cherry, vanilla, Taste- cherry, plum, tootsie roll, a little dark bread yeast, a little alcohol hint. Has a slight mint to it as well. The vanilla is there but certainly not smacking the face. Dark chocolate and a slight coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel- it is a little thin for being such a high octane beer. Overall- this is just a little too meek. I know that some vanilla beers are just absolute vanilla bombs and some barre aged beers are just blasting alcohol. This is just a little too light in those categories.

Apr 01, 2020
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - 2019 vintage - poured into a snifter at 50°F. Purchased locally for $13.

Glugs out of the bottle with a used motor oil appearance sitting black as pitch in the snifter. A fingernail of bubbly dark mocha head forms and quickly disappears, leaving a loose, airy, soapy collar with great retention - slowly deflating one bubble at a time. Zero visible effervescence.

Nose: This is one of those stouts you can smell from several feet away. Diving in, there is definitely a huge vanilla presence. Sticky, sweet vanilla beans lending an almost marshmallow note and vanilla icing. Plenty of roast, but it's not ultra dark or blackened, so there's no cherry, ashen, or acrid aromas to be found. As expected, the roasted malt lends plenty of cocoa, brownie batter a touch of cafe latte, and plenty of caramel which is accentuated by the vanilla. There is a metric TON of bourbon barrel in this. Fresh, wet, bourbon-soaked charred oak. Not only is there a massive barrel presence, but the bourbon itself just leaps out of the glass with potent oak, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and all the wonderful sweet bourbon aromas. There's plenty of heat from the near 14% ABV, which really highlights the bourbon note.

Palate: The beer greets the palate with an immediate sweetness and heavy vanilla presence. There is a healthy amount of roast, but the sweet vanilla really dominates, so there's essentially zero dryness, and instead of bitter roasty coffee and dark chocolate, the roast translates as brownie batter, milk chocolate, hot cocoa, with tons of vanilla bean, vanilla frosting, vanilla cake batter, Italian sweet cream, marshmallow, and some chocolate chip cookie dough. Heavy bourbon barrel presence, delivering both bourbon and barrel. The sweet vanilla aspect comes to a peak, and for a moment, comes across as an almost artificial vanilla flavour with. Slightly metallic artificial sweetness. It's very sweet, but not in a fishy way, but rather a too much sucralose or aspartame in your coffee way. This artificial vanilla/sweetener note lingers into the finish, where once again, there is just zero dry roasty bitterness. It's so vanilla saturated, that rather than finishing with cocoa, coffee, and blackened malt, the beer finishes with white chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, and thankfully, some bourbon-soaked charred oak, which lends some much needed tannic dryness.

Mouthfeel/Body: For what this beer is - a huge bourbon barrel-aged vanilla imperial stout, the body is a touch thin. Now, this thinner body paired with essentially zero cherry bitterness results in this being insanely drinkable for 13.7% ABV. It isn't a thin beer by any stretch - it's sweet, sticky, and full-bodied, but it lacks the viscosity of many other big stouts. Effervescence is naturally on the low side, and very fine in nature. Some ABV heat is evident, particularly in the swallow.

Overall: This is a truly outstanding barrel aged stout with vanilla. Despite my notes on the artificial vanilla/artificial sweetener note, make no mistake, the vanilla beans in this are 100% natural. In fact, they're organic. Often times, but stouts with insane amounts of vanilla will take on that artificial note. It just shows they didn't skimp on the beans. Yes, it's a touch thin, and yes, the vanilla could be a little more floral, but even as it stands, this is an absolute home run. Incredible bourbon barrel presence, no shortage of vanilla, and drinks like an alcoholic dessert. Pricey, but if you like vanills stouts, don't sleep on this one.

Mar 29, 2020
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This beautiful beast pours a
luscious coal black with a rich brown head that settles to a thick ring
with subtle lacing. Nose of vanilla, mild coffee, rich cocoa, spicy whiskey,
and light oak. Flavors hit the note. Whiskey and cocoa to the fore; spicy
and sweet notes overflowing with fudge and brown sugar. Mild coffee
and cream meld nicely with brulee and moderate char and cascade over
warming booze. Excellent mouth feel; full body, smooth, slick, lightly
coating, and finishing warm and vanilla sweet with a hint of dryness.

Overall----another WOW and perhaps the biggest WOW I have had
from the good Prairie folk......excellence....PERIOD!


Mar 22, 2020
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emyers from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a teku glass.

Near black with thin light brown head.

Nose: Very vanilla and bourbon forward with a hint of cocoa powder.

Tase: Follows the nose - vanilla and bourbon with a subtle malt/cocoa base. Not much alcohol heat.

Feel: Medium body, light carbonation, extremely drinkable.

Mar 22, 2020
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12fl. oz. bottle purchased at Fort Point Market, Boston, MA
Bottled 11.13.2019
Served in a snifter

Total pitch black appearance. The viscous, oily looking body was topped by a thin, finely bubbled, terra cotta colored crown that fell to a thick collar. A few drips of lacing trickled down the glass after each sip.

The aroma was fantastic. Powdered cocoa notes came through big time. Loads of fresh vanilla bean too. This was definitely made with high quality stuff. Vanilla spiked brownie batter came to mind. Sweet bit not excessive so. Roasted malts were noticeable as well. There was a moderate booziness too. However, for an almost 14% ABV beer, the alcohol was well buried.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma and nearly as impressive. Roasted malts were noticeable on the front end. Loads of chocolate fudge and raw cocoa in the center. Vanilla was apparent as well but not quite to the extent it was in the nose. Strong brown sugar presence too. The beer finished with more roastiness and a lingering boozy, bourbon/whiskey-like kick.

Nice rich, fuller bodied mouthfeel. Fothy, slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained a finer beaded, moderate effervescence that was perfect for the style.

Prairie’s stouts often have a tendency to be thin in body and excessively boozy, but fortunately this beer was neither. The copious amounts of fresh vanilla beans used in this came through front and center, and the whiskey barrels merely added to an already rich and decadent beer.

Mar 13, 2020
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Sparty1224 from Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brief Review:

O: I was not a huge fan of regular Noir. Found it very boozy and one-dimensional. With Vanilla Noir, I was hoping for an injection of excitement into the base beer, and for the most part it delivers. It's still a bit boozy and thin on the mouthfeel for my liking but the vanilla notes add a bit more depth to the flavor. It's much more drinkable, but still doesn't hold to some of the better variant BA stouts out there today.

Recommendation: Was likely better several years ago, so don't buy too much into the hype today. But overall, still a decent beer worth checking out if you can find it.

Feb 21, 2020
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

November 2019 bottle.

A- Stubby 12oz bottle pours into a snifter with a midnight black body. Thick and creamy cap to one cm tall with an inviting consistency and very good retention. Small sheets of lacing with a few webs, lacing overall kinda rare.

S- The vanilla level is very, very high as you can get hints of it from several feet away after pouring the beer. Right alongside that in terms of overall strength is the whiskey barrel which really gives off that sticky, oaky distillery barrel room vibe. Roasty and on the whole it leans towards the fudgey, brownie, chocolate side of the spectrum without suggesting heavy sweetness and still giving hints of bitter, charred barley. Caramel, dark chocolate, espresso and boozy vibes.

T- This beer is just straight up rich. The sweetness comes out a bit more but the high ABV and whiskey provides plenty of balance but still, a true dessert in a glass beer. Short summary is vanilla bean infused whipped cream topping a dark chocolate chip brownie drizzled with Bourbon salted caramel sauce. Never cloying and truly a dessert stout. Booze level is on the high side but the rich flavors make it work out just fine here. Beyond the above are hints of oak wood, cocoa nibs, espresso, sour mash whiskey, toasted nuts, peppery Bourbon and slight dark fruits like raisin.

MF- Completes the dessert trifecta here with a silky smooth, chewy and creamy body. Comes off as a bit slick from the alcohol and ends rather warm. Moderate level of carbonation.

Hard to say if I have had another brew that brings this level of vanilla between the beans themselves and the synergy with the whiskey oak which naturally has vanilla notes as well. Huge whiskey flavor, absurd amount of vanilla and plenty of the chocolately roast malts to balance things out with a moderate sweetness. Was kind of worried this might be too over the top but in the end the barrel is great and the vanilla is just out of this world.

Feb 16, 2020
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stortore from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 11/2017, had 11/29/18.

A thick looking pour, an opaque dark chocolate color, with a one inch head of darker foam and some foamy lacing. Starts with a great whiskey aroma, then vanilla, roasted malt, oak, chocolate, toffee, cocoa, some char and molasses, a little coconut. The taste is similar- whiskey, vanilla- that really lingers in the aftertaste, roasted malt, oak, cocoa, molasses, a little smoke, light caramel, some raisins. Some alcohol bleeds through. Smooth, a very good full body, well carbonated.

Great barrels, terrific vanilla, and an excellent and diverse crew of aromas and flavors. This one makes me want to move to Oklahoma. Pricey, but worth it, at least one time.

Feb 14, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Very rich dark brown color with thin brown head and excellent lacing.

Comforting vanilla and dark chocolate smell and taste. Hint of booze in both. There is a whiskey warming as you drink. Smooth silky feel. Another excellent stout from this brewery!

Feb 11, 2020
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CHickman from New York

4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/13/2019, this bad boy pours pitch black color with a 2 finger brown foamy head that faded on the fast side, leaving minimal spotty lacing. The vanilla and whiskey are the dominant aromas here with oaky notes, malt, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and rye coming with the second wave of the nose. Earthy tones abound, the whiskey barrels have a major influence on the smell.

There is some heat and bite to this brew as it’s hard to cover up the ABV with such prominent whiskey flavors plus an absurd amount of vanilla infusion. It borders on cloyingly sweet as the oaky notes, whiskey, spices like rye and white pepper can’t surpress the vanilla dominance. The malty base and chocolate backbone only peek through the vanilla and can’t bring much balance, even with some smoky, char aspects and lingering burnt coffee grinds. Lots of peppery spices in the mix, but those hints of spicy accents don’t subdue the vanilla.

Jan 25, 2020
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HotDogBikeRide from Texas

4.98/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A near perfect beer for me. The vanilla flavor is so authentic. Sweet bourbon adds the perfect level of heat to open up and spicen your taste buds. A little bit of marshmallow in both the smell and the flavor, which always goes well to me with the drier feel (which this beer possesses). Lucky to try this one, although it was way expensive at $14 a bottle

Jan 24, 2020
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mkh012 from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 vintage bottled 2 months ago.

Pours near-black with minimal tan head.

The nose is vanilla icing, whiskey, and subtle soy sauce, and the taste follows. Vanilla, chocolate, cherry, whiskey, and a savory undercurrent. Light to medium sweetness and barrel character.

The mouthfeel is medium for the ABV. Leans dry on the finish.

Overall, good. The vanilla icing character is ultimately subtle and tempered by barrel and soy. A nice sipper that holds its own but falls short of "wow" for me.

Jan 20, 2020
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer is black with a small tan head. Tiny bit of lace.
Vanilla aroma jumps out, followed by booze and roasted malt.
Whiskey takes precedence in the taste, followed by vanilla, espresso, and dark chocolate.
A nice sipping beer.

Jan 12, 2020
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pants678 from California

4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Black with some head.


Not sugary, not extract but bakery and tastey. Sorta cookie, sorta sweet but fucking fantastic. Little smoke.


Jan 05, 2020
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a globular pint. Bottled on etching was corrupted, but I'm fairly confident it is a recent release.

Black as black body, but the head disappears almost immediately. No lacing.

Nice strong aroma of vanilla mingled with whiskey.

During a couple of hours of sipping on this one, initially the vanilla was strong and pleasant. As it warmed, some molasses and a little dried fruit came into play. No coffee or chocolate notes. The issue with this beer is that the whiskey dominates throughout. It's not harsh, but it's damn hot, going beyond merely warming the throat and chest. Too much for me.

Mouth full, finish hot and boozy.

Overall, just too much whiskey and too little else consistently.

Jan 02, 2020
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travolta from California

4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: black as hell with a dark tan head. Minimal retention with some spotted lacing.

Nose: espresso, vanilla, some faint whiskey heat, cocoa.

Taste: a quite syrupy mouthfeel with molasses, tight carbonation in the background, slightly bitter chocolate, vanilla extract, whiskey heat in the finish. The heat lingers for a little bit.

Notes: In-laws are up for Charlie's second Christmas. Cabin is almost done :) A nice winter sipper with family around.

Dec 24, 2019
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I’ve been on a BA vanilla stout kick lately and knocking off a bunch of great ones in the process. I haven’t had a vanilla noir in awhile so I’m curious how it’ll stack up. I think this bottle is about a year old, so that will affect the vanilla usually (or any adjunct.) It looks great after the pour. It’s thick and just a bit of lacing sticks. Prairie are always my favorite for mouthfeel and look with their stouts. The smell is great still with plenty of vanilla and whiskey notes. The thing that makes this beer great is the balance. There’s more vanilla here than in a Vanilla Deth or Vanilla Black Note, but not as much as an FOB or ‘18 Vanilla BCS. I love all those beers but prefer the more vanilla forward ones. This also hits the higher bourbon forward flavors that I love. The beer is sweet but also not overly sweet. It’s easy to drink a 12oz bottle. Don’t miss this beer when you see it!

Dec 19, 2019
Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1084 ratings