Bell's Rye Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Rye StoutBell's Rye Stout

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very good

316 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 316
Hads: 418
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 61
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 316 | Hads: 418
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black colour with off-white head. More tangy than roast chicory for a stout. Malty though carbonation was significant. Hint of cherry midsip. Spicy tangy aftertaste. Unpasteurized. Had it 2.5 years later and still excellent stout, chocolate malt, smooth, rye for edge.

Seven and a half years later I had on tap and the colorur was brown witha little head. Big chocolate Sweet-spicey, not as edgy so I am keeping up the bottle review.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black that doesn't appear to be too viscous. A pretty decent-sized medium brown head. Plenty of rye and roasted malt in the nose. Flavor is similar along with a little bit of coffee. Medium to full body with good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty high. Good take on the rye beer category; one of the more unique ones I've had within the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this one to be pretty interesting. This beer pours out like most stouts do with a deep black color and brown head. The lacing was pretty good on this one. The smell of the beer had a deep roasted aroma and had a pretty good amount of rye on the nose. The taste had an impressive amount of spicy rye too. The mouthful was at a good thickness, overall I enjoyed this stout quite a bit.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7235

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights; not the blackest stout I have ever seen; the modest tan head forms nicely but drops quickly leaving little lacing

Smell: Understated, but there is a bit of roast, chocolate and dark fruit

Taste: Opens with a black bread flavor that is joined by chocolate and dark fruit by mid-palate, with a sour tinge that I will put down to the influence of the rye; after the swallow, the flavors mellow out with not much of distinction lingering around

Mouthfeel: Meidum body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I fear I should have consumed this a while ago, but it got buried in my cellar; a decent but unremarkable stout

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's delivers again. Very sweet, smooth, creamy, and characterful. About as black as you get with very little light permiating. A thin, dense head remains to the bottom of the glass. Smooth and sweet in the same Oatmeal Stout sort of way. Sweetness depends on big barley additions, roasted grains, and lactose. Smoothness depends on oats and milk sugars. Rye (pumpernickle rye bread) flavors add a grain, earthy, dusty character. A grain-husk bitterness rides into the finish. Lowly hopped and to offset the sweetness only--contributes little to the finish brew. Quite clean in the finish with a light residual milky flavor and texture.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with light peat notes. Taste is very particular with some good peat notes and deep roasted malt. Body is quite full with a very nice creamy texture and good carbonation. Very singular since I am not used to rye being used in a stout but still very interesting.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt pecan brown with generous reddish gold highlights. In fact, with sunlight behind the glass, it's just possible to determine that Rye Stout isn't opaque. A heavily creamy crown of toasted tan foam sits atop the beer and is beginning to lay down a thick layer of barely broken lace. A quality stout look through and through.

Ditto for the nose. I'm a little disappointed that I can't identify rye in the aroma, but I imagine it would take a huge amount of that grain to overcome the roasted barley, and that the beer wouldn't taste very good as a result. Along with black coffee and bittersweet chocolate, I think I can pick out a little spiciness that I'll happily attribute to rye malt.

Once I get over the fact that this isn't a huge, meaty, mouth-filling stout, I'll be fine (color rarely lies). Actually, I'm having a hard time getting over that initial disappointment because, even though I have no problem with a lighter than average stout, I need more flavor and more flavor linger than has been provided. I blame the body.

The flavor profile is a study in subtlety. Cocoa and weak coffee are still in the lead with very little evidence of spicy rye. I'd like to see more barley malt and much more rye malt. Neutrality reigns in terms of bitter versus sweet, another characteristic that keeps my excitement at a relatively low ebb. This is clearly good beer, but just as clearly, it could be so much better than it is.

The body is along the lines of an American porter. Nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not worthy of a Bell's stout. I know that Larry had the challenge of trying to distinguish the '10 Stouts of November' from one another several years ago, but at least 50% more heft would be welcome here. Although the 6.7% ABV is unnoticed on the palate, it effectively keeps the beer out of sessionable range.

Rye Stout has to be classified at a letdown, in large part because I've come to recognize the brilliance of Bell's beer and have very high expectations whenever I crack one open. If I read the tea leaves correctly, Rye Stout is a one time only re-release to pay homage to an old friend of the brewery. That's fine by me since I'd rather drink the other Bell's stouts, but I'm still glad that I was able to make its aquaintance today.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan. head of thick foam. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of rye, chocolate, toffee and sweet caramel. There was a slightly floral nose, too.

T - This is a sweet and bitter stout. It tasted like a blend of a milk stout and an oatmeal stout. Bitter oat flavor with sweet caramel, toffee and molasses.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied stout with a dry finish.

D - This is a very good stout. The rye added a sweetness to a bitter stout.

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Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a light mocha colored head that is gone pretty quickly,aroma is marshmellow-like and slightly nutty.Taste has a sour note to it with with a roasted malt favor that comes thru in the aftertaste with an almost cola like flavor as well.It was a nice beer to try but not really something I would go out and get again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have passed this one by many times and just decided to get around to trying it this evening. I am always a fan of bell's and being the stout lover that I am figured it would be a nice fit. This one poured out a nice deep dark brown with a good opaqueness to it. A nice small tan colored head rose up above it and lasted for a few moments before settling down to just a thin layer of lace that covered the top and left behind a good amount of side glass presentation in its wake. Some slight reddish tints on the sides and bottom of the glass, but this one was nearly black in its presentation.

The aroma was subtle, not nearly as strong as I thought it would be. Light aromas of coffee and smoked wood were the dominant players here with a touch of a spiced note playing in the back of it. Not the big smoky aroma you would have expected, much more subtle. Good amount of sweetness mixed in as well, hints of caramel and lots of malt. The flavor followed suit pretty much exactly. Nice smooth creamy feel, with a good carbonation gave it a very full body. The flavor of roasted coffee came rolling through first, with a good dose of caramel thrown in on top of it, lightening it up. The middle seemed to have that nice smoked wood flavor that I was looking for, except it was very sweet, with caramel playing a good bit of a roll here. The slight bitterness of some hops presented itself in the finish, really just drying it out and leaving you with a long sweet, wood like flavor that blended well with the coffee. Very sessionable, as it was not thin and very well carbonated, and low on the ABV. I would love to have tried this on tap, and would have no issue throwing down more then one.

Overall, this was not bad; however, it was a little underwhelming for me. I expect everything from bell's to really push through and hammer down styles; I was just not so sure this one was really that big of a winner. Definitely worth a try, no doubt, just not as big as I hoped it would be.

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Photo of oline73
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Eccentric Cafe as a part of a sampler.

Appearance: Pours almost black with very little light coming through at the edges. There if a finger of thick tan head with great retention.

Smell: Mildly sweet and roasty with some dark chocolate notes as well as some burnt malt.

Taste: This one is very smooth. Mild rye spice. Roasty but not very bitter. Dark chocolate notes with a sweet and roasty finigh.

Mouthfeel: Silky with body on the thicker side. Smooth carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: I really liked this stout. The rye was there, but it complimented the other flavors and didn't take over. I would definitely have another.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #9370, acquired from hawks10 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains, roasted rye malts, and touches of chocolate, coffee, spices and hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of chocolate, coffee and some dark fruit and spices. Then the bready and hearty rye malt character comes in. The hops presence is decent for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of the "rye stout" sub-style, this is a good beer to drink when you want something that's a bit different than you're normal stout.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Cobblestone's on 1/6/10. Served chilled in a pint.

A - A very dark brown w/ caramel brown highlights. A practically opaque clarity w/ very thin pale tan head. The bead is pin sized and barely any lace clings

S - A dark roasted coffee and mild cocoa nose w/ spice and subtle caramel scents. The vanilla aroma from the malt is prominent w/ mellow breadiness in the nose

M - A full roasted texture w/ mild nutty and dry toasted feel w/ rye spice accent. There is moderate carbonation and a creaminess w/ mildly sweet finish

T - A very tasty stout - it has a light dry start w/ coffee and caramel creeping in w/ pretty substantial rye flavor. A hint of smoke is noted which accents the dark malts well and has a gentle vanilla taste from caramel malt in the finish

D - This is a seriously tasty stout - Bell's is a master w/ so many great tasting stouts. This is one of the best they make as the rye addition is not overdone, just enough to compliment the caramel and dark malt flavor. The smokiness adds complexity-truly drinkable

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Available at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH...appears a dark caramel brown near black with a nice tan head leaves even thick bands of lacing with each sip from my saturated pint. Aromatics contain creamy doughy chocolate with a hint of Irish cream coffee, evident spicy rye in all it's grainy herbally goodness. Flavor has a slight vinous feel to it quality soft chocolate notes streak across the palate with mellow herbal hop layers and subtle spicy rye finish characteristic unfiltered doughy Bell's touch as well. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied low key gentle carbonation silky smooth going down great brew. Drinkablity...I love all stouts outta Kalamazoo another reason to love Bell's brewing I could definitely enjoy a few of these.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label features a pencil sketch of a sullen old women, casting her eyes downward, perhaps grimly reflecting on a miserable life, soon to end, or sadly summarising the pathetic events she has yet to endure. Haven't these guys learned anything about marketing from the Swedish Bikini Tean????
Perfect ebon color, large fizzy brown head. Aroma is richly roasted and spicy, with hints of graininess. Heavy mouthfeel, but smooth on the palate. Sits sturdily in the mouth, leaving a nice, pleasant finish, and an abiding sweetness, with hints of cherry, coming through in the middle. A very satisfactory stout, and an accomplished experiment from Kalamazoo.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I actually worked a beer fest earlier this year and poured this beer for 4 hours, I must have had a gallon of it but I didn't bother to review it, on tap tonight at Meridian Pint, this particular stout is brown and hazy with almost no head and no lacing, low carbonation.

Beer has a mild aroma, with perhaps a little smoke / peat in it. Mostly just mild roast and malt.

Beer is medium bodied and finishes drier than it probably should. There is a ghost of an aftertaste of smoke, subtle smoke that creeps in from the back of the beer. The forward is mildly rye flavored with a little barley sweetness. The roast character in this supposed stout is completely absent.

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Photo of mothman
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass.

Pours hardly any light tan head at all. Remains a ring for the duration of the beer. Color is a dark bark brown, near black.

Aroma: At first, I get a lot of cocoa, then some sweet malts come in, some toffee and caramel. A nice roasted flavor to it. A hint of rye as well. The aroma is amazing. I simply love it.

Taste: Cocoa, grassy hops, roasted malt profile, caramel and some toffee. Some nice rye notes. I thought that the roasted part of this beer would not suit me, but I this beer is growing on me quickly.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and roasted. It has a decent amount of carbonation, despite the little head. It is also a little dry. Medium to full bodied beer. Ends roasted and dry.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer on top of all the roasted malt characteristics. It is pretty easy drinking. The cocoa in the aroma is awesome. I am glad that they brought this one back.

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

Reviewed during my 9 month on and off again pregnancy agreement.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a freshness code on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip. Received as part of a trade with Jetsbeer.

Appearance- Off black colored pour. Smaller 1/4 inch head with an off brown color. Spotty lace prevails.

Smell- Seems very burnt and well roasted. Extreme dark chocolate and espresso grounds notes.

Taste- Thankfully not as dark as the scent. A touch of malty sweetness followed by some bittersweet chocolate. Didn't really notice the coffee notes I got in the nose.

Mouthfeel- Mild carbonation. Brew is fairly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability- Good example of a sessionable stout. Good flavor and texture. Thanks for the brew Steven!

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Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Paridiso in Georgetown. Dark brown appearance with a small head that disappeared quickly. Almost no lacing as I drank it. Aroma is good with caramel coffee tones and the rye as a nice addition. Very good taste, all the roasty chocolate and coffee flavors go well with the rye flavor. Very drinkable, could have a few of these.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Churchkey into a snifter glass.

An off tan head, fizzy but uniform looking a little foamy but doesn't last. Body color is a dark walnut brown with perhaps some red hues.

Nose is a nice mild drip coffee, with some faint roast, a sense of wetness seems to be noticeable or perceived.

Taste is very soft bodied, real nice. Coffee and mild roast character shines through with some chewy grain. Carbonation seems fairly high for a stout, a little fizzy, but strangely doesn't take away from enjoying the palate. There's some dry finish here a little.

Overall, I wouldn't have guessed there was rye in this, but it's a fairly tasty stout from Bell's.

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

Batch 7235, February 2006; Sampled August 2008
Quite the viscous appearing brew, it definitely pours with a certain thickness to it. I easily rouse a full three fingers of a light brown colored head that fills my 25cl tulip glass to the top. The beer is a deep, almost black, concentrated brown color that shows just a hint of light in its depth when held up directly to the light. The aroma has quite a bit of spicy grain character to it, though this is not the most prominent note. Instead a nice, mellow roasted character is most notable; aromas of dark chocolate, toasted whole grain bread, smooth espresso, an earthy burnt note. A touch of fruitiness (almost a bit of prune juice) and a sweet malt note are just noticed in the nose towards the finish. While the aroma is mellow, smooth and well integrated, I would never have guessed this was two years old from the nose.

A fullness to the body does not keep this beer from having a quaffable character; this definitely has a viscous rye character to it though. A smooth roast character delivers flavors of roasted prunes, blackened raisins and a rich, deep, darkly toasted grain character that comes off with quite a bit of a biscuit / cracker character. Up front, there is a nice cocoa quality to this beer that doesn't quite become lush chocolate flavors before a touch of roasted grain acidity kicks in. This last is quite light and the acidity actually helps to counter-balance the viscous body of this brew. This really has a nice fruitiness to it as it warms up and it definitely reminds me of a dark, sweet dried fruit (like those mentioned previously plus some fig). A significant nutty note (almost toasted hazelnut really) is in the finish and adds quite a bit of another dimension to this brew. This nutty note is likely a touch of oxidation showing through, but it adds a really nice touch here.

This has held up quite well and I am quite enjoying the cocoa notes and the bright, concentrated fruit flavors that are offset by the smooth roast character.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Union Jack's in Glenside twice, I missed this when it was last brewed and glad that I can try it.

A- Dirty brown mud covered ground with some small amounts of debris floating around. I've seen this poured at a few establishments and it always looks the same, as if the keg was shaken up before tapping. I guess this is how it's supposed to look with a floating yeast look. A nice light brown/tan head that faded into a small cap leaving small patches of foam.

S- It's a rye stout and the scents indicate that with the rye coming in underneath the other stout like smells, but I also detect some porter qualities with alot of roasted malt and some chocolate. The rye is at a level where it's almost like lightly smelling some rye bread. Trace amounts of coffee plus some toffee and some spicy yeast like scents. Not very bold but pleasant.

T- They should of called this Bell's Rye Porterish Stout as I get some qualities from both of those styles. The porter from the roasted malt and minimasl coffee, the stout from the chocolate and the small amount of dark fruit in the finish. Along with that fruit the rye component comes in making for a nice mix. No flavor is really over done and are all light within the mix. I liked this a lot better than the double cream that was also on tap.

M- A bold medium body that is not all that heavy in the mouth and going down. The liquid does not coat the mouth like a stout, moreso it glides across leaving it's mark while leaving a very light spicy finish at the end. A nice little prick from the minimal carbonation, not a very crisp beer, more like a smooth sail.

D- I need to find a six pack of this because it opened my eyes being that there are not a lot of rye stout's out there, this moved me. I also want to see if there is any difference in appearence vs. the kegged version. This is easy drinking and probably my favorite of Bell's lower ABV 'dark beer' offerings. Will have again.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the Bell's Cafe. I enjoyed the earthy, roasted character, but overall the stout was just a little too thick and sweet for my liking. This is a pretty big, thick stout, but didn't have the complexity I'd want from a higher-ABV American stout.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Rye Stout, poured ontap into a pint glass. A very dark brownish black with an off white head and just a bit of lace.

Aroma is of chocolate malt, espresso, rye. Very bready and inviting.

Taste consists of alot of stout flavors. Roasted malt, chocolate and a nice helping of peppery rye spiciness. Everything works together quite well.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and fairly smooth.

Rather fair drinkability. Big and flavorful, this beer is worthy of a good session in the winter months.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of rye beers, so I was very pleased to see this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub. It's easy enough to find a rye ipa or lighter beer, much harder to find a rye stout. I really enjoyed this quite a bit. Poured dark brown, approaching black, with a creamy head. Smells of spicy rye balanced beatifully with some firm malt and some roastiness. Tastes similar- and very nice. Lovely gobs of spicy rye supported by lightly roasty malt and a huge creaminess. The rye really shines here and isn't overwhelmed by charred notes. Great beer.

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Bell's Rye Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.