Samuel Adams Black Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,659 Ratings
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheJudge on 12-27-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,659 |  Reviews: 1,465
Photo of villainchiwwin
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into beer mug.
deep brown color (not black, but darkly shaded); gray-tan head with underwhelming retention.
roasty chocolate sugary smell.
taste starts middle of the road malt, roasted hazelnut w/some sweetness, and then bittering toward from milk chocolate notes toward darker chocolate w/a burnt quality. sufficient hoppiness - strong with continuing graininess from malt in long finish.
light-medium body (thin, syrupy) with an astringent character to the feel.

light for such a dark, malty beer (it is a lager...). I could have a few without complaint.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a brownish black, with pretty good long lasting off-white head, and thin lacing. Aroma isn't that strong, chocolate and roasted malt, some caramel in there, pretty pleasant, just a little weak. Taste is really nice, one of my more favorite lagers i've had. A nice chocolate malt and molasses is matched with a almost thickish, creamy smooth body, and a slightly ever-so-present floral hop that balances it out perfectly. Very nice to have before, after, or with a steak, btw.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish black with ruby highlights, a little lighter than expected, and a thin tan head.
The smell was on the thin side, but had hints of roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel.
The taste was of malty chocolate, caramel, and a touch of dark coffee with a hop presence in the background.
The mouthfeel was a bit thin, but refreshing while holding most of the flavors. It did have a sweet kick to it, especially in the aftertaste.
Not a bad example of this style, though I've had several better. It's certainly not one to turn down, and worth buying if better ones are not available (which is often the case with this style, unfortunately.)

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This nice little black beer pours out a deep brown with only the lightest hints of red at the edges... The light, one finger head died off in no time leaving no ring and no lacing on the glass.

The smell is quite nice with an aroma of molasses and caramel - no burnt notes at all. The flavor is pretty similar with a clean malty base with no residual sweetness to make things cloying. Only a hint of coffee-like roasted flavors at the finish with no perceptable hop flavors or bitterness. The biggest complaint is the beer tastes a bit watered-down - as if all the flavors are only half the strength they ought to be. It does make a light refreshing drink but there's not much personality there.

Mouthfeel is good - it's a light bodied beer with no sweetness or sticky malt residues on the palate. The carbonation is a bit light but fine for the amount of sugars in the beer. No real hop bittering at the end but a bit of burnt malt to dry it out a bit.

Overall drinkable and pleasant enough but there's not much personality here. It's almost as if Sam Adams brewed a 9% beer and then cut it in half with water. It's quite light and refreshing for a malty brew but probably not a great 'lawnmower' beer.

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Photo of Budlum
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a little thick with a creamy, deep tan head. The head diminishes after about a minute or so. The color is notably black (as expected) but not quite as black as I would expect. There were plenty of hints of red.

Immediately malty on the nose with hints of chocolate and a small wiff of black licorice.

Texture is somewhat creamy with plenty of roasted malt flavors. Lots of chocolate, modest to no alcohol presence and an inkling of hops that increases as the brew warms.

A smooth-drinking, solid black lager. The only downfall is a lack of depth. There isn't much else to say. Another solid beer from Sam Adams.

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Photo of jettjon
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Appearance, flavor, mouthfeel
Lows: None

Into the pilsner, pours a dark brown, almost opaque, capped by a one-finger dark tan head that fades slowly and leaves good lacing behind. A good looking beer. Nose is somewhat disappointing, being vaguely of malt. It might improve with warming, but at fridge temperature, there’s not much there. Flavor, however, is solid, starting off with elements of caramelized hops, chocolate, and coffee with moderate bitterness—everything I’d expected in a “dark lager.” Mouth is similarly pleasing, semi-creamy and substantial. Finishes lightly bitter. Drinkability is good; it goes down easy and it tasty, thought it’s still a heavier and somewhat bitter beer.

Overall: A good dark lager, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black? check!
S - Roasty, slight chocolate-sweet aroma
T - oh baby, definitly taste the chocolate on the palate with a delicious roasted coffee aftertaste
M - smooth, just the right amount of carbonation
D - wish I had more

Not much of a lager fan but this one was recommended to me by a friend. I enjoy roasted flavors so this one hits the spot. It gets an A in my book.

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Photo of Mechphisto
2.03/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First and foremost, not impressed.
The color is kind of a dark brown tinted black, but not entirely opaque.
It looks VERY much like a cola.
The head even looked like a Pepsi head and lasts about as long.

No aroma that I could detect.

At a pretty cold temperature, it was nearly undrinkable. It taste like a cold, carbonated coffee. Or, a very weak coffee flavored cola. It's very carbonated, sharp in the mouth, bitter yet weak, with no interesting notes.

I let it warm up a bit, and that improved it slightly. It no longer tasted like a sharply carbonated coffee cola; and more like a slightly carbonated, oily feeling weak coffee.

Cold the feel was watery. Completely. Warmed up a little, it seemed a little creamier, but actually is more oily than creamy. Lasts in the mouth a little, but not in a great way.

For someone with a little experience as I have, I find myself very surprised that I prefer a strong Guinness over this black lager. I certainly wouldn't choose this beer again.

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Photo of MistaC
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass beeradvocate style

The color is a black, with dark amber tones when held to light. Pour results in a healthily textured, tan head.

The smell pervades with roasted malt. Caramel aromas prevail over chocholate ones.

The roasted malt and chocolate tastes are tied together by caramel. There are hints of coffee flavors in the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium thickness feel very consistent with what I expected from the appearance, taste and smell

It lives up to the smoothness of a traditional lager.

This beer is one of the more consistent ones I have tried. Appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel all flow smoothly across the board. There are no strange aftertastes.

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Photo of Ego
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep ruby color, some light does penetrate, half finger of loose off white to tan head that dissapates rapidly into an oring. pretty good looking schwarzbier.

sweet, almost like a dopplebock except with a nice subtle smokiness that balances it out beautifully, some coffee and some toffee

taste etc...
medium to full in the mouth as the carbonation is spot on (the actual body is kind of light, not detrimental though), just a hair of prickly nature to it which makes it refreshing for a "darker" beer, like the nose the flavor is very balanced..with the same elements. maybe it won't titilate of the hardcore hophead but this isn't about that.. it is a nice malty sweet beer with a tinge of bitterness and smoke to carry it out.

damn testy and sessionable, a really good one from a macro company, worth checking out.

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Photo of mghotbi
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark maroon-brown, almost black with just a hint of a short-lived head and not very much lacing.

Smell is strong of caramel, chocolate and toffee. I could keep my nose in this stuff all day.

Smooth but surprisingly thin on the palate. Like many Schwarzbiers, much lighter than one would expect by color alone. Carbonation seems just right.

Taste reflects aroma. Strong caramel and chocolate tones with a light sweetness and fruity middle (figs). Surprisingly clean finish with very little in the way of hop bitterness.

A very drinkable beer - and surprisingly light. An excellent Schwarzbier.

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Photo of lpayette
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours pretty dark, but definitely not black. Has dark mohogany highlights and a healthy head.

Smells- A bit weak on this front. Requires some heavy sniffing to reveal a very slightly fruity alcohol, caramel, and chocolate malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel- A light/medium to medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. Malt dominates the flavor with chocolate being the top dog while caramel malt plays a back-up role. A slight nuttiness comes in play at the end of the sip. Very very subtle hints of fruityness. Quite drinkable as the flavors are delicious and many.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass this beer is looking good, very dark and a creamy head. Nice, Some red hues shine through the glass.

Smell is of pure dark roasted malt goodness. Nothing extra, nothing less. Thats a good thing!

Taist is very well defined. This is a black beer the way it is ment to be, very nice deep roasty taste. Dark roasted malt, hints of carmel and toffee. Well done gentlemen. The hops top it off to perfection. Dry, not sweet and not too bitter. Would go well will full meal, steak, chicken, pasta.

Mouthfeel is a little too light and carbonated.

Drinkability it right there folks. Open up and pour it down. You could drink this all day. Enjoy MK

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Photo of frosty
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stuff. Very dark dark brown when poured this stuff is nice. The smell of coffee and chocolate fill my nose. As it goes down the same flavors are there with maltiness making this beer great. Very easy to drink and pleasing. I got to give it to the Boston Beer Co. on this one.

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Photo of bort11
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at HyVee as part of a make your own six pack, great way to get some variety on a budget.

A- poured into an Imperial Pint glass. It is dark coffee brown to black in color. When held to the light only a ruby red point of light comes through. Head was a finger high and left a tight lace.

S- Bitter roasted malts and hops. Almost smells like a stout.

T- It's all malt, which is not a bad thing. It's bitter like black coffee and a bit of cereal flavor.

M- Pretty creamy mouthfeel with a crisp bitterness.

D- I liked the SA Black Lager quite a bit more than the Brown Ale I had in the same session. They were pretty similar, but I thought the Black Lager had more to offer.

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Photo of Gaben
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer last night in fact, and Ive always been a fan of the darker beers. To tell the true this isnt the best one/ or not even the least , a good standerd milk stout if anything.

Appearance is great the good olde coffee like look, with an good smell as well. The Taste is of corse the same thing as Mackelson's milk/english stout. Mouthfeel great though thats one thing the did better then Mack's Stout, but yeah its a Sam adams for a reason to get the good feel of beer.

Yeah I could drink this stuff even often but I usualy wait for my buddy to buy it in a mixed sam adams pack.

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Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown hue with a creamy three finger caramel head. Good retention and lacing.

The smell was a nice mix of sweet malt and toasted malt. Additionally, hints of hop do sneak through.

The taste was a nice warming toasted and sweet maltiness, with a secondary coffee flavor. A nice dry hop finish.

The mouthfeel was suprisingly clean and dry.

Very drinkable scharzbier. A nice alternative to a brown ale or imperial stout.

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Photo of mcallister
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amberish brown that is somewhat transparent. A cream colored head nearly an inch high fell to the nethers of the liquid rather quickly with little to no lacing apparent.

Sweet malt aromas, very little hop, lavender, caramel, and choclate.

Chunky caramel hits the tatebuds with smooth choclate malt and subdued hops. Very creamy mouthfeel yet the beer lacks complexity. Signigicantly high in RS. I tend to like a brew like this too have more weight and depth. Bold would be the word.

Brew is very smooth making is have decent drinkability but can't say much else.

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Photo of nicksta
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: It pours a cola black, with a moderate sized tan pancake on top. Not a whole lot of action going on here. It sits perfectly still only a few moments after pouring.

S: The smell is very similar to other dark brews I have had lately. If you look at my reviews you will know that isn't a good thing. On the plus side their is a sweeter chocolate smell wringing through than what I have found lately.

T: Unfortunately it starts out like most shitty Euro Darks, slightly bitterly chocolate. Thank god it doesn't finish like one. It finishes with a slight, low-fat, weak caramel taste that at the very least makes the beer tolerable (for a couple of them, anyway).

M&D: The mouthfeel is average and the drinkability is no better.

I am about to say screw dark brews until I get my hands on some more Guinness, or until I try Murphy's of Beamish.

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Photo of Folderol
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up with the hope that it would be a sweeter/smoother version of SA Cream Stout. I'm not impressed really, this beer lacks the richness I was expecting from such a dark brew. I think I overestimated the Schwarzbier style.

Appearance was cola-like dark brown with a large bubbled head that faded to a thin, fizzy film and eventually disappeared. Typical lager head really. Smell is sweet dark malts, quite inviting. Taste is mildly sweet, mainly caramel with a little dark bread and very little hops. The dark brown color had me expecting a cocoa flavor but alas, caramel is all I got. Pretty easy to drink overall but not enough flavor or spice to keep me interested.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice dark dark brown, mostly black and clear. Tan head rises.

Smell. Nice roasted malts, like toasted malts. Is slightly chocolatety. nice.

Taste. Lots of dark roasted malts, almost stout-ish on the malt character. But it seems to be a bit raw on the flavor, i wish it was a bit more mellow. Small sweet dark chocolate flavor as well. aftertaste is sweet.

Mouthfeel. Lot more carbonation than i was expecting. Bottle says it is medium body, but i think it is a little fuller than that. Good balance.

Overall, i just think this could be a much better beer. It's good, but there are better out there. This one just seems so close to being a great beer, just wish it was a bit more mellow.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brownish blackberry black with a cafe au lait-colored head that retains well. Bubbles are big and soft and crawl upward in long lines along the sides of the glass. Delicate lacing frosts the glass thinly.

Smell: As the bottle says, caramel and chocolate malts, with a touch of diacetyl, dates, and DMS. Noble hops poke through with a little leafy spice.

Taste: Mmm, that great, schwarzy, s'mores-like toasted sweetness, along with a nice toffee flavor from the malts. The bottle accurately describes the hops as lending a "soft spiciness" that's especially noticeable on the roof of the mouth. Finish is clean and burnt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk, really quite creamy with a little tingliness.

Drinkability: Good stuff! I could drink many of these.

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Photo of kgreen2k1
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

In the style of Ebert & Roper this is a two-man review. The idea being that two people’s opinions playing off one another might give you a good idea of where your own thoughts would end up.

Me: This is a Schwarz bier! German for black beer. The black only refers to color though, it's not going to be super heavy. Also unlike porters and stouts the bitterness comes from hops instead of roasting the malts.
Me: It's also got a freshness date, which I wish more beers did.
Me: Mine's best by august.
Him: Mine says best purchased before may.
Him: I’m glad I made the cut!
Me: You make no cuts. You are picked last for the kickball team.
Me: Interesting that mine says "enjoy by" and not "purchase by" like yours.
Him: I’m reading the label and it looks like we should expect caramel and chocolate malts.
Him: It also says it is lightly hopped.
Me: That goes somewhat against the Schwarz bier description.
Him: People this is why we do these find out who is lying and actually get down to what this beer is like.
Me: I’m so editing that out.
Me: OK pour! I’m using a pint glass.
Him: Same.
Him: There’s a smell, but I’m not sure I like it.
Me: I quite enjoy. Kind of a smoky chocolate.
Him: I smell some caramel too.
Me: I get a bit of a bark smell also.
Him: The head was small and is now gone after sitting for a couple minutes.
Him: It’s very dark, pretty much the color of cola.
Him: This is definitely a beer we could trick our non-drinking friends into drinking.
Me: Except I don't see any signs of carbonation.
Me: It looks good though. I ended up with more head than you did.
Him: Look on the top, there are a lot of bubbles rising to the surface.
Me: I can't see the top because of the head actually.
Me: I was holding it up to the light though, got a bit of a ruby highlight and no bubbles.
Him: So! If you get a lot of head like he does you wont see bubbles, but if you get no head like I do, you will see bubbles.
Me: (laughs) Stop talking to the audience. I’m editing you all out!
Me: Ready to drink?
Him: When am I not?
Him: I definitely taste chocolate and caramel.
Me: That's actually way better than I remember it being. Maybe I had killed my taste buds with something else the first time I drank this.
Him: Yeah this beer tastes great!
Me: It's a little sweet, yum.
Him: The taste doesn’t linger though... Yeah I think the sugars make my mouth water.
Him: I’d say this is a relaxing beer, no bitterness at all.
Me: Agreed. As the flavor fades there's a little something I don't like.. Don't know what I’d call it. Not a huge deal though
Him: Cover it up with more beer.
Me: Just for fun I had a bit of cheese with it. It brought out the fattiness of the cheese. Not recommended with cheese.
Me: Now I’m talking to the audience.
Him: Stop it!

Me: Appearance!
Him: My head was lacking, I do like the dark beer color, but it is like every other dark beer... 3.
Me: 4 for me.
Me: I got a pretty good head as mentioned and I liked the smooth darkness.
Me: Smell!
Him: I smelled caramel, which I don’t normally smell in beer.
Him: But it was a light smell, so I’ll say 4.
Me: Agree. Liked the scent a lot, every bit as thick as the color. 4.
Me: Taste!
Him: There is a lot going on with this beer. You definitely taste the chocolate and caramel, and it has a smooth finish after a funky taste....4...a tip would be to wash away the funkiness with some more beer!
Me: Yeah the taste was really good. That aftertaste is still bugging me and it's getting worse the more I have. But initially delicious. 4.
Him: Yeah definitely don’t go kiss anyone after this beer, unless they are drunk.
Me: I only kiss drunks as a rule.
Him: I can’t imagine a girl saying "Ooh I just love your smoky musky breath!"
Me: I like the “musky” descriptor.
Me: Mouth feel!
Me: A light feel to it. Not too watery, just very smooth. Very nice pairing with a pretty rich beer otherwise. 4 again.
Him: Yeah I agree with everything you said. 4.
Me: And finally drinkablility.
Him: I think I could only have a couple of these, that muskiness is growing... 2.
Me: Yeah it's like a metallic heaviness. I wouldn't want more than 1. 2 for me too.
Me: Any final comments?
Me: You know, for the audience.
Him: Oh wait I finally get to say something to them?
Me: Sure!
Him: This beer is good and worth a try... but I’m not gonna buy a case of it.
Him: Try it in a variety pack like I did and see which Sam Adams you like best.
Me: (laughs) Sound advice.
Him: Ugh that last bit of it was gross....
Him: NOTE! Gets less pleasant as it gets warmer.
Me: It did the opposite of grow on me. At the end of the glass I realize why I liked it so much more at first sip than I remembered.

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Photo of stacey14
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having mixed reviews of different Sam Adam's beers, I was happy after trying this one. It poured out to a nice brown color with an average amount of head. The smell was that of roasted nuts and barley and the taste is the same. My favorite part of this beer was the taste when compared to the texture and mouthfeel. I enjoy stouts and other dark beers, but having a good dark lager is like a less-filling stout. I could definitely drink this beer all night and still enjoy it.

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Photo of nitemarebrewer
2.49/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

appearance- black, slight tan head
Nose-dry, slightly roasted, neutral
taste-neutral, malt and hop flavor balanced, almost cancelling each other out, little toasty, smooth, like a guinness without the creaminess, but with significantly less hop bitterness
Mouth feel- thin, not too carbonated
Drinkability- i didnt enjoy drinking it alone, I would prefer to pair it with food

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,659 ratings