Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

503 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 503
Hads: 2,391
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 4.47%
Wants: 1,165
Gots: 775 | FT: 70
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008

This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of backstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with Mushroom Solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia.

We brew and release Zhukov's in the summer knowing that a beer of this heft reaches its full potential a few months after release. So save a bottle for the cold winter!

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 503 | Hads: 2,391
Photo of BrownNut
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, aged 16 months from 8/2012 bottling, sampled on NYE 2013 after having reviewed it in 9/2012 and 1/2013 below. Served cool in a snifter. Scores reflect 1/2013 tasting.

A - 4.5 - Thickest, most used-motor-oil pour I've seen. Possibly the darkest head I've seen - chocolate milk brown initially, which lightens.

S - 4.0 - Nice bitter chocolate. Some ash and fresh baked dark bread.

T - 4.5 - Still pretty stiff despite the year plus of aging. Substantial char. Edges even a bit into ashtray territory. Dark/bitter chocolate leaning towards baker's chocolate. Only in the sides of my mouth during and after swallowing is there a hint of sweet, a suggestion of fruit. That's when the char/ash takes over, while a bit of tart sweetness lingers on the lips and tongue tip. Over the course of the bottle, a grown-up chocolate syrup note comes more forward.

M - 5.0 - Viscous like pudding. Very thick, heavy, and smooth. So nice. Thicker than BCBS or tied for thickness.

O - 4.5 - This is a huge imperial stout and not for the faint of heart. Very well done. I think the main effect of aging it over a year has been make it creamier.

JANUARY 2013 REVIEW OF 2012 VINTAGE

2012 vintage, drunk Jan 2013, made without looking back at the previous one until after re-reviewing. Bottle to tulip, served starting at 55 degrees F.

When they released this in Sep 2012 they recommended letting it age for several months to fully come together.

A - 4.75 - Opaque black with a thick, enduring mocha-colored head. Serious lacing.

S - 4.0 - Somewhat reserved. Chocolate. Hint of coffee. Hint of wood. For a flash I got something boozy, for a couple of flashes I got something vinous.

T - 4.5 - Months of aging have taken some of the bitter edge off. It was difficult to get through a 750 of this when I had it fresh - not in a bad way, just in a big, bold, challenging way that made you take it slow. Now it has mellowed some. I'm still left with a bitter chocolate aftertaste, but not a strong one. It's not so full of char in the main body as before. It's more balanced, with the dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, cocoa, and chocolate syrup notes coming forward, although not overly sweetly. A touch vinous. The taste and mouthfeel still make you go slower than you would with another beer, which I love.

M - 5.0 - Superb. Thick, heavy body approaching pudding feel. Creamy, velvety, viscous from lips to throat.

O - 4.5 - A fine, fine imperial stout. This is a serious beer.

SEPTEMBER 2012 REVIEW OF 2012 VINTAGE

Here's my original review from Sep '12. The official scores for this review reflect this tasting.

2012 vintage, drunk late September 2012. Bottle to tulip, served cool.

A - 4.5 - Pours like motor oil, thick, viscous, and black, with one of the darkest heads I've seen. Like dense chocolate milk color. Gets a bit lighter as it sits. A thick, enduring head.

S - 4.5 - A comforting graham cracker malty aroma intersecting with a delicate roasty char. A few times, just for a flash, I got a whiff of hops.

T - 4.5 - Perfect balance. There's a maturity to this combination of flavors. Yes, there's chocolate, but it doesn't go too far in any one chocolate direction such as chocolate syrup or brownies or cocoa or semisweet or milk chocolate or baking chocolate like many do, but rather occupies the nexus of them all while tastefully restraining all of the chocolate and sweetness against the other elements such as some char, woodiness, and coffee. None step forward to be dominant. As it gets closer to room temp, the char becomes easier to parse out.

That same refined, mature, chocolatey, charry, dry quality persists in the exhale after swallowing.

There's some kind of fruit flavor left on the lips afterwards, like maybe cherry, which wasn't apparent in the main tasting. Think of a dark chocolate covered cherry and pull back on the candy cherry intensity and sweetness.

The winey combination of fruit and chocolate veers briefly into hop territory sometimes and then disappears. It overlaps so nicely with those other flavors. The aftertaste is the best kind of tease, threatening to cross the threshold into real bitterness but holds just shy. Threatens to be too chocolatey but holds just shy. Threatens to be too much char and holds just shy. It's so well balanced.

M - 5 - Medium-heavy bodied, viscous, and ultra smooth. Either a moderate dryness or the very beginning of hop abrasion does its mild work on the tongue. Leaves a nice warm burn at the back of the throat for a little while. Only HotD Fred has a better mouthfeel due to pure sexiness.

O - 4.5 - Here's a hyped beer that delivers. One of the best. Everything comes together so nicely. This is grown up stout, yet still so rich. I tend to fly through beers more quickly than I'd like, but this one insists on being savored. (4,836 characters)

Photo of vic21234
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a pitch black with two finger's worth of a dark brown head. The head tones down to a about a half fingers worth quickly. This beer is dark as night.

S- Lots of chocolate and coffee. Hints of dark fruits as well.

T- Starts off sweet and chocolately, which then makes way to the coffee-espresso notes. The alcohol seems to be masked well for a RIS.

M- Thick and chewy, almost creamy. A great sipper, well balanced. Maybe a bit too sweet?

This is only the second beer I've tried from Cigar City, and I've enjoyed both. This is a very complex stout. (605 characters)

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.59/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Was hooked up with this from a trade with Afksports. Thank you sir.

Poured straight from the bottle to tulip bulb glass.

Beer was inky jet black,and semi consistency of old motor oil. Very little head. A scant amount of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

Smell. A hint of molasses. A more pungent smell of teriyaki and soy sauce gave me a full on punch in the nose.

Coats the tongue quite well. The lack of carbonation was a downfall in my opinion. I felt like I was left wanting a little more bite.

Taste. A touch of chocolate and tons of malt. Very rich,but unbalanced.

Overall,I was very unimpressed. Thick,malty,non carbonated liquid mess. Certainly glad I tried it,but I really can't recommend it. There are so many better options out there worth your dollar. (767 characters)

Photo of kagent777
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from the sample room, purchased in November of 2010 and cellared until now. Poured into a CCB snifter for my 100th review.

Appearance: Seriously, I would have thought this was dirty motor oil if I had not poured it myself. This is utterly black, pours with no head at all, no lacing. I thought at first that it had gone flat, but no.

Smell: Molasses, sweet chocolate, a little coffee, and some smokey notes along with some char. Definate herbal hops as well. As it warms I get a sense of cherries as.

Taste: This is probably the most intense beer I have had in a long time. The flavors meld so nicely. They really mirror the nose. Semi sweet chocolate, molasses and coffe flavors. The finish is long but not because of any bitterness, this one is semi sweet. The sweetness is not cloying at all.

Mouthfeel: It pours like motor oil, the mouthfeel is just as thick and sticky. The carbonation is right where it should be, just enough to lift the beer a little. This beer is soft and velvety.

Overall: A heavyweight of a beer. I really like it, but I can only recommend it to experienced beer drinkers because it is so intense. I had a sample fresh, but that was so small and so long ago that I am not sure what my aging had done. (1,246 characters)

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beergod1 for the trade!

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottle date 7/11/13

A) Dark used Motor oil, thick melted chocolate ice cream, no head expected for almost a 12%.

S) Smoked malt, espresso, and baker's chocolate, Cavendish pipe tobacco

T) Not what i expected at all. Soy sauce, beef jerky, vanilla, cavendish pipe tobacco; aftertaste dark chocolate, dark fruit, and figs.

M) Thick medium amount of carbonation.

O) I was disappointed to say the least. Too much up front, too little in the back. I do want to trade for another and cellar for a while. Even as it warmed nothing changed. (603 characters)

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

750ml into an Ommegang Chalice.

Pours a flat pitch black syrup. A short dark head rises from the void briefly, then falls away, leaving slight lacing in its wake.

Aroma is dark chocolate and sweet molasses. Smells warm and inviting.

Taste is rich. The sweetness hits immediately. Chocolate stands out above all, followed by a slight hop bitterness. Not much roasted character, this is a very rich, sweet beer.

Mouth is thick as it can be. Wonderfully heavy mouthfeel.

This is an enjoyable sipper from Cigar City. This one 750ml will keep me busy for most of tonight. Would be a great brew to split among friends. (622 characters)

Photo of Phoenix2443
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from randombattle, poured into a new Belgium globe glass.

Pours a dark black with a short brown head. Nice foam color I'm excited now.

Well I smell the alcohol there but hey it is 11%. Lots of dark roast smells too.

Taste is lots of milk chocolate and dark roasting as. Hop bitterness is a good balance at the end. One of the best tasting stouts I can recall.

Mouthfeel is where this really shines, nice and heavy. Syrupy without the soy sauce awfulness.

Overall this has to be the best stout I've had to date. I am really impressed. Lives up to the hype. (567 characters)

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

Pours muddy black with dark tan/brown head. Thick lacing is left behind and forms a moving crust to the glass. Smell is cocoa, chocolate, sweet malt, berries, and what I can only describe as licorice-like. Taste is chocolate, bitter coffee, roast malt, truffle. Carbonation is medium, mouthfeel is creamy without being thick, if that is possible- almost a too thin of a body here, sort of light and airy. No alcohol presence, and drinks smooth. There is some flavor that keeps popping up here, that I can't quite put my finger on, and it is driving me nuts. Very good beer overall, and I would seek this one out to try again some day. (634 characters)

Photo of Finatic
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle shared with friends and poured into a miniature Cigar City sifter.

A: Awesome black like motor oil appearance. A nice light brown fluffy head with some lacing and decent retention.

S: The chocolate and coffee undertones just strike your nose as soon as the bottle is uncapped.

T: A lovely chocolate, coffee taste overwhelms the palate. Nice hidden taste of burnt malts comes out as the beer warms.

M: Perfect carbonation and the alcohol is well hidden, a very easy beer to drink given the high ABV.

O: Cigar City has nailed this one right on the nose, my favorite Russian Stout so far in my limited array into the RIS arena. (643 characters)

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

from the whole foods bowery growler room.

i honestly laughed at how dark the head was on this beer. poured into a tulip, looked fantastic. great head retention, great lacing.

nose is leathery, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley.

taste is big and roasty. huge roasted barley flavor, chocolate, coffee. not very sweet. dry, roasty, slight warming alcohol note.

super thick without being sweet. really a nice beer. (420 characters)

Photo of AgingWarrior
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Pours thick and black, almost like motor oil. About a finger of reddish brown head that dissipated quickly in a nice layer. Lots of thin lace that covered the glass throughout the drink.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate and faint hint of raisins.

T- Very chocolaty taste. The malts hit hard on the first sip, but the hops provide nice balance on the back. For a 11.5% ABV there is no alcohol burn. Very smooth.

M- Full bodied, smooth as silk.... the beer slides down the throat.

D- About as drinkable as an 11.5% abv RIS can get. This another excellent brew from Cigar City.

Highly recommend! (638 characters)

Photo of klikger
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour served in a Bruery tulip

A - Black, huge dark brown head & great lacing

S - Rich chocolate, coffee, molasses, dried cayenne peppers, and some cinnamon. It doesn't get much better.

T - Cinnamon, dried chilis, dark chocolate --> more chili pepper and sweet, roasted malts plus earthy and piny hops --> Bitter, yet sweet finish. There's a lot going on here - exhilarating stout!

M - Very creamy and pretty thick; rich, but not syrupy

D - Definitely a sipper; half of a 750 was perfect. (505 characters)

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a 750 into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer is pitch black with a slight dark brown head.

Aroma: I'm picking up some coffee, dark chocolate and a roasted almond smell.

Taste: It starts off with some sweet chocolate before giving way to coffee. Its a big beer whose flavors balance the alcohol. It reminds me of ten-fidy which is a good thing.

Feel. Its thick creamy and smooth.

It is a well balanced delicious beer. (440 characters)

Photo of dudecandle
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body, small and very dark head.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, a hefty dose of coffee.

T: This is delicious, but very straightforward in its profile. Chocolate, coffee, and smoke. The smoke is actually a little stronger than I'd prefer, and is really a downer for me.

M: Big with some alcohol burn, but the smoke is a bit bothersome.

D: I actually got a bit bored through only 8 ounces of this. I know it's great, but frankly, the smoke overtook it for me. Chocolate and coffee are good, but I would have preferred a stronger third pop there. (554 characters)

Photo of raznug
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Marshal Z pours thick and black and is topped with 1" of brown colored head
Smell: The aroma is a blend of roasted malt, alcohol, toffee and chocolate. The aroma is rather intense good but intense.
Taste: The flavors that erupt from the pint glass is just simply amazing; chocolate, roasted flavors, coffee and a nice amount of alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel: Thick and oily is a great way to describe the way that this beer feels going down. (447 characters)

Photo of urwithdave
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes taken on 03/20/10. Poured into a CCB snifter at the tasting room at the brewery.

A- Pours black as coal. Two fingers of a dark brown head. Excellent retention and a crazy amount of lacing left behind.

S- Big roasted malts, chocolate, and molasses.

T- Follows the nose. Lots of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and sweet molasses. This beer is heavenly. Some dark fruits are also present, however, I get more of the chocolate with every pull.

M- Nice and creamy. I really want another sip.

D- I was at the brewery at 1050 AM waiting for them to open the doors. I had 3 snifters full for breakfast. I could have kept going well into dinner!!!! I may have needed help walking, but I seriously could have polished off another 3 snifters! (757 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fresh 2013 vintage.

Pours the darkest black I have ever seen from a beer, even more the Hunahpu's - actually looks like motor oil. The head is very dense and creamy - burnt heavy roast mocha. It leaves a dark mocha stain on the glass with dense lacing. Astoundingly beautiful beer. The aroma is phenomenally - can already tell this is in a whole new league . Sticky molasses, tons of dark fruits - raisins, plums - decadent chocolate; followed by heavily roasted oily espresso beans, cherry, and some vanilla and very slight graham cracker sweetness. It tastes just as big as it smells with the most viscous mouthfeel possible without it being a shake. Very bitter and aggressive - the cherry, vanilla, and dark fruits become more pronounced with warmth.

This is truly an outstanding beer - hands down the most impressive imperial stout that has not been barrel aged or aged with extra ingredients. It has less espresso and more dark fruits than anticipated - kind of like a baltic porter/imperial stout blend. When comparing it to hunahpu it is very difficult because they are two completely different beasts - there are great aspects of this beer that did not shine through Huna. If I could, I would have both of these beers in the cellar at all times. (1,256 characters)

Photo of mechamifune
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black with the slightest bit of a brown head. Only a whisp remains after a few seconds. Super sticky leg in the lacing. Carbonation minimal. After Dark Lord, about the thickest looking beer i've seen.

Smell is chocolate and dark fruits. Not overpowering but very good for the style.

Taste is chocolate, bitter roastiness, sugary sweetness, dark fruit, and a slightly bitter, dry finish. A nice complex taste with all notes integrated well.

Mouthfeel is full and super smooth. Reminds me a lot of Founders IS in that regard. The highpoint of the beer.

Overall, this joins Founders IS as my favorite "normal" IS. Of course founders is significantly cheaper and easier to find, so this loses out in that regard. Cigar City continues to impress me with their stouts and I look forward to trying more and more of their stuff. (843 characters)

Photo of rtaps
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010

pours pitch black and looks like soy sauce, with no head at all. and very viscous looking

smell is also like a soy sauce with dark fruits

very sweet, a lot of dark fruits and molasses

medium bodied, no carbonation to it at all and very viscous

overall it was interesting, enjoyable in moderation. would like to try one with less age to it (350 characters)

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to worthy sniffer

A:dark dark mocha brown with a dark red leather like mini foam that leaves a really thick lacing. This thing is totally opaque as no light went through

S: wow chocolate city so much so it's almost overwhelming there is some mocha in there maybe a hint of alcohol but mostly chocolatey goodness

T:the staring flavor is coffee and dark chocolate the coffee bitterness with a little bit of dark fruit in there. The chocolate carries through with a little bit of the mocha flavor and the dark fruit coming out more like figs or raisins this taste also could be coming from the molasses as there hints of sweetness as well

M: it is pretty oily and very thick and chewy toffee like for sure as you can almost feel the sugar sticking to your teeth. The expresso and fruit flavors add a crisp taste that seems like it could be smoothed out with more time though still very good.

O: I am very impressed with this beer but in mad at myself for not being able to wait longer to open as I know this would taste better with at least two years on it but alas I wi have to come back. That being said the chocolate and expresso flavor is some of the best I've ever had in a beer and is well balanced with the sweetness the dark fruit power should fade with age and that will make the better flavors come out more. So looking forward to coming back as enjoyed the hell out of this get it if you can (1,415 characters)

Photo of codysjb
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 2011 vintage in a tulip earlier this year. This review will be updated asap once I grab another bottle. Poured a black, thick, viscous beer. Smells sweet, lots of chocolate in this once some caramel as well. Really sweet… almost too sweet for me (and I usually love sweet chocolate bombs), this would be good barrel aged (hence the reason hunahpu is so popular). I need to try this again, but this was very chocolaty and sweet. (435 characters)

Photo of Bobheed
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an extremely vicious black, super thick like syrup had about a finger of darkest reddish brown head I've ever seen. This is without a doubt the darkest beer I've ever seen

S: Has a pretty big bourbon characteristic despite it not being BBA. I also got quite a bit of espresso and wet wood type scents.

T: Right upfront, it tastes almost just like pure molasses, then that goes into some espresso qualities and nice bourbon soaked dark fruits. Tons of dates, tons of dark chocolate. Finishes strong with alcohol.

M: Super thick and with a slight alcohol burn. With the super aggressive appearance and flavors of this beer, I was really happy about the mouthfeel being so crazy and intense.

Overall this was excellent, one of the best stouts, let alone beers I've ever had. I managed to stockpile a few as Cigar City is not sold in my state. Look forward to future bottles with more age on 'em. (906 characters)

Photo of paulozanello
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color, with a minimal brown head. Very thick and oily aspect to it. Not much lacing nor retention.

Aroma is of dark roasted malts, olives (?)/ herbal hops and wood.

Taste is sort of unusual with a malt/mollasses start and kind of a malt adstringency that resembles sourness. In the middle I can definitely taste some herbal/earthy hop charachter. It progresses with dark fruits, smoke malt and ends with lots of roast+hop bitterness with a lingering aftertaste.

Body is medium to heavy, smooth carbonation. Great silky mouthfeel.

Nice beer but it tastes a little too smoky to me. I realize it is just a personal preference but I like my imperial stouts leaning more towards vanilla/chocolate/coffee. Definitely worth a try though. (756 characters)

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

750mL Bomber into a Snifter.

Yet another stout from the mystery stout box from 7ways. Amazing generosity.

A: Pours jet black and thick as tar (quite literally). Head materializes from beneath, half-finger, a few seconds after I finish pouring.

S: Crisp, bitter-sweet in the front, roasted malts and caramel, back fades into booze.

T: Bitter into sweet, then fading into booze. Back is far sweeter than it smells.

F: Mouth-coatingly thick. Clings to your lips on the way in. I imagine this is what drinking motor oil is like.

D: Damn good, something implacable in the mouth and nose here, but really really good. (617 characters)

Photo of bigaltemple
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours like motor oil. Jet black color doesn't allow any light to pass through. Very dark brown two-finger head leaves thick lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet toffee. Roasted dark maltiness really dominates along with some big notes of coffee.

T/M - Overly sweet, chocolatey coffee up front. The roasted malts really come through in the taste as well. Has quite a bitter finish that hangs around for awhile. Full-bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation. That really helps balance out the feel.

O - No complaints with this one. Really glad I got my hands on a bottle, and would definitely try another one. (634 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.