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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine - The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine
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very good

268 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 268
Hads: 564
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 18.64%
Wants: 42
Gots: 105 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 11-22-2002

Our Oak Aged Barleywine has a deep copper color and an intense malt flavor balanced by assertive hops. Fermentation with American ale yeast allows the caramel malt to shine. We age the beer on new, medium toast Missouri Oak to enhance its complexity and to develop its smooth, luscious character.

Barleywine is a classic English-style hearty ale. The term refers to a beer with the potency of wine and is often vintage-dated.

This beer will continue to age well in a cool dark place for several years, but it is ready to enjoy now.

40 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine Alström Bros
Reviews: 268 | Hads: 564
Photo of mntlover
2.92/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish brown with a nice two finger tan head, it falls to a ring. Some light lace left behind not as much as the head would suggest.

Aroma is nice, dark fruits that are over ripe good barrel notes nice vanilla alcohol notes mingled underneath it all. Smells lightly boozy which is fine but not as huge in the malt department as you would expect.

Taste is little hot alcohol notes upfront dark fruits and plenty of barrel notes. Seems little simple and not in a good way. No great big malt flavors that are even present in American Barleywine might less English ones. Just little one sided.

Mouthfeel alcohol makes it seem lighter then it probably is, carbonation is good though.

Overall blah wouldn't even recommend trying this one. Sad it smelled alright not great but alright.

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Photo of rudzud
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2009 Vintage, recieved as an extra in a trade.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a dark coppery red hue with a one finger earthy head that faded to a thin halo and light wisps.

S - Strong sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, SUPER light oak.

T - Taste is pretty solid for what it is. Nice caramel and toffee with some light soft vanilla and sweet malts rounding everything out. Light bourbon, brown sugar. Its quite tasty for what it is.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for the style. Not nearly as boozy as I thought it would be.

O - Not a bad barleywine. Think its a good "starter" for ones cellar, as its somewhat easily attainable. For those with a deep cellar though its really not worth the space. I have a bottle of 07 down there as well. Wonder how that is.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)
A- This beer pours a dense deep caramel body that glows a bit garnet at the base and a sticky beige film is supported by a few slow strands of microbubbles trailing up the sides of the glass

S- The caramel malt has a toasted oak note in the finish with some fresh sawn oak qualities growing as it opens.

T- The rich slightly dry caramel malt blends with some green wood notes and a slight tartness in the finish. There is a nice woody oak flavor and some pine hops nip in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight little fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is luscious but a bit dry and tart in the finish. It has a nice full support of oak and hops which add good depth to the beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep ruby two finger head, not much carbonation.

S-Caramel, coconut oak and molasses.

T-Similar to the nose, oak, molasses, caramel, tad bit of coconut and slight bitterness.

M-Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O-A good barleywine, nothing stood out as amazing though. Very enjoyable and no glaring flaws, just not great.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 750mL kept at in box and at cellar conditions since 2010. poured into taster.

A: pours pretty clear. light, more of an amber than a copper hue. looks flat.

S: smooth, more oak than bourbon, maybe no bourbon at all. caramel and toffee. sweet, smells more like a doppel or scotch than a barleywine. mild fruit.

T: no heat, super smooth. a bit of toffee, slight diacetyl. a little bit of smoke. slight scotch flavor. complex, all over the place.

M: mellow, carb is a little low. full bodied.

D: definitely smooth, time has helped mellow any heat this body has once had. may have picked up a little diacetyl over time as well. anyone still hanging on to this puppy should go ahead and drink it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a 2007 bottle vintage.

A - Pours dark copper red hue with active, moderate carbonation and a frothy off white colored head that doesn't subside and just hangs out on top. The foam clings to the side of the tulip glass like cotton candy.

S - Caramel, toffee, light toasted oak, very light alcohol, brown sugar, and candied dark fruit. The alcohol presence that many speak of with the newer vintages is completely gone and presents a mellow, candied malt presence that's very inviting.

T - Toasted oak is prevalent up front and then throughout where it morphs into a dry oak and light alcohol, and a roasted caramel toffee finish. Bourbon, vanilla, candied dark fruit, and brown sugar are also present.

M - Heavy medium to full body, slick, sticky, and coats the mouth with oak, toffee, and candied dark fruit. Leaves a dark fruit and somewhat syrupy coating.

O - A gracefully aged bottle that was opened at the right time. I think 5-6 years on this bottle was good and would like to acquire 4-5 more from the latest vintage and crack one/year to track how it ages.

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Photo of Steamer
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an over-sized wine glass. Nice dark amber color with a light tan head that dissipates quickly. The smell of alcohol hits the nose rather strong overpowering other aromas somewhat. Tart and dry plum is the first flavor that comes through, the alcohol taste follows then subsides and the plum comes back through. Carbonation comes on a little strong in the middle. Overall, a pretty good barley-wine. I will purchase another and try aging it a year or so to see if it improves the balance.

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Photo of Odysseyalien
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage opened New Year’s Eve 2012. I opened this bottle with an open mind thinking I might actually like it. It was fine except for the bitter finish. That killed it for me and turned me off to it. I poured the balance of the bottle down the sink. I have the new 2012 vintage now in the cellar aging. Hopefully it will be an improvement from the 2009.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from my brother as a Christmas gift. Pours a cloudy amber color without much head at all, little carbonation is present. Nose is complex, has hints of cranberries in it. Taste is strong of alcohol, it is a very dominate feature of this beer, but at 10% its to be expected. Once you get past the sting you have an aftertaste that is hard to describe, i cannot put my finger on it. Mouthfeel is rich and thick. Overall this is a good beer, but i do not think Barleywine's are a style that i can appreciate.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottle. Wow - almost 5 years old.

Pours medium brown with a slight head that disappears. Some slight lace and some alcohol tears.

Rich dark fruit, dates and figs, some brown bread in the nose, hint of alcohol.

Dark fruit, brown breadcrust bitterness balanced with sweet malt with some slight nutty notes in the aftertaste. Vanilla, some alcohol, a bit of toffee round this one out. This drinks like a fruity candy bar. Alcohol clears the palate but does not get in the way.

Full bodied and mouth coating. A real winner and aged just right. Not hot at all. Found in on the shelf this age, and I was lucky.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release poured from a 750ml bottle into snifter glass.

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

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, bourbon, caramelized malts, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in. There’s a complementary creamy oak essence in the background. The hops presence is decent and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to sip on for a long time and it seems to have held up well for over 5 years.

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Photo of Chaney
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Reserve served in a Schlafly tulip.

A: Poured almost a beet red color, very cloudy, and with a nice finger or so head that still managed to stay a miniature toxic waste dump on top of the liquid below it.

S: Lots of candi sugar, along with some apple, oak, and plums. So far, this is not a hop bomb, nor is it a dank, dark beer. Really nice!

T: Smooth in terms of bitterness (not much hop left, after all is said and done) sugary, oaky, and almost complete devoid of a fruit component whatsoever. Also, this was really missing that "Ahhh" factor on the finish. On the great BWs, even though they are heavy and meant to be sipped, there is a certain refreshing bookend to the finish. That was sorely lacking here.

M: Thick, sugary, syrupy, but not boozy. I got a minor prickle from the carbonation, which was totally appropriate, but I got quite a bit of solvent on the tail end which I didn't find desirable.

O: This beer was off to a great start, but to my mind, it wasn't worth the 5-year wait.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in St Louis, reviews from notes.

A: half finger head without lacing on a clear, deep amber body.

S: smokey, lots of caramel malt, burnt toast, resin and toffee.

T: oak, caramel and toasted malts, brown sugar, light candied fruit.

M:medium body an moderate carbonation .

Overall: nice aroma, full flavored and complex and easier to drink than many barleywines, even for an English barleywine.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not sure if this is the right one, the list said vintage barleywine from 2010, aged in oak barrels, not on oak chips, but i dont see the other, this is reserve series too, and how many damn barleywines can one place make at 10.2% abv right. it must be this one. pours a real redish color, hazy and ruby glowing, brown just a tad, and a smallish but sturdy and lasting off white head. the nose is oaky as hell, dark dried fruity, and real alcoholic. some dates and figs or something come in to rock the flavor and round it out. some spice too on the back end, and a brown sugar sweetness that is quite memorable. the oak is the lasting flavor for me, fresh and strong, like the white oak from the bruery, really, its that good. a big barleywine too, lots of body, lots of bubbles, and lots of booze. the three b's right? overall a beer you should share, the dried fruit and date thing gives it an almost indian feel or something. the nose is the best part, but the whole thing will delight any discerning palate. get it.

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Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

A - Pours a deep copper that's somewhat clear and a very light brown head.

S - Toffee, bready malts, vanilla and oak.

T - Good helping of malt, leather, vanilla, tangy oak and also with some light hops on the finish.

M - Thinner body than expected, good amount of carbonation.

O - It's good, but not top tier good. Would easily grab this over some other barley wines.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. Orange/amber, active, modest tan head with some retention and more than patchy lacing. Very dense looking, but I don't detect floating yeasties, but it just kinda looks thick and dense.

This smells really nice. malty sweet, mildly boozy (wonder how much that dissipated in 4 years?), lightly fruity, and accented nicely by the oak staves. There is some very, very faint sort of sour like element as well, intended or not. If there is any hop presence, I'm not finding it. Again, really nice. It all works well together.

The oak is stronger in the taste than the nose, and it has some slight bitterness. Of course the malty sweetness is solid, but it tastes much less sweet and malty than it smells. The fruitiness of the nose is faint in the flavor. Impressive taste, but not quite as unique and special and the aroma. Very oaky, and not as balanced as the nose.

Plenty carbonated, thick full body, very gentle warming, highly viscous, with a lightly bitter finish. Whicked smooth after 4 years.

Well done, Schlafly! Damn, I wish I had more of these in the cellar, but I don't. If I see any more on the shelves I will certainly be grabbing some to lay down for a few years!

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into snifted at the taproom in stl. Pours a deep ruby brown with slight tan head. The board says "vintage barleywine" im not sure if its the same but the abv matches. This is a 2010 vintage age over a year in new oak barrels.

Great sweet toffee dried fruit aromas. Some earthy wood.
Taste is just fantastic. Amazing toffee and a lot of dried fruit and grape vine and oak. Marshmallow and chocolate notes. Wow. Super easy to drink and just amazing flavor. Such a good brew!

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Photo of Chico1985
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 vintage.

Pours a light amber with purple tones and a haze. A thick bubbly off-white head retains pretty well leaving good lace, impressive for the age/alcohol content.

Smell is straight up grapes, with bread, sweet malts and more fruit coming out with warmth. Reminds me of fermented fruit juice.

Taste brings out more flavor. Red grapes first and foremost, toffee, light+dark fruits, toasted oak, bread+butter malt, apple?, notes of white and red wine. Very sweet and fruity.

Slick mouthfeel with medium carbonation, a bit thin for a barleywine. Feels big not too bad as far as booziness goes.

This is quite an odd barleywine, not sure if the age has come into play here, but the big ol grape presence threw me off. It'd probably be best to split this 4-5 ways.

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Photo of cbutova
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2008 vintage thanks to Chico1985.

A- Orange-red body to a beer poured into a pint glass. Big creamy white head has good retention and a nice texture. Good webs of lace around the glass.

S- A sweet raisin and grape fruit feel is the main thing in the aroma for me, wine-like. Vanilla, toffee and oak provide a nice backing to the fruits.

T- Grapes and that wine profile make up the main flavor for me, it was dominant to begin with but seems to mellow after a few sips. The addition of oak provides a nice vanilla and toasty wood presence which only gets better with each sip. Bread, yeast spice and sweets as well.

MF- Very thinned out for a Barleywine, doesn't provide that thick oily body. Carbonation is moderate and there is a spicy bitterness. A bit watery.

Definitely unique for a Barleywine, thinner and more fruity than most. The oak is the best thing about this one.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at DC bottle share at Smoke & Barrel. Vintage 2011, from notes.

A nice mild creamy top, thin bubbles make up the puck produced. Clear red amber body with a hint of chestnut like brown. Solid.

Nose doesn't bring much going on. Very subtle slight stickiness with some mild caramel. Not much else going on here, but pleasant.

Palate seems to match the nose with the mild malt caramel sense, nothing syrupy or thick. There's a faint liquor sense of cinnamon toast going on but also there's some strange sour astringency going on by just a "hair" too. Palate feel is slightly wet without much to cary flavor forward for what little there is.

Overall it's ok, but it's not really impressive at all and doesn't bring much to remember. It almost feels like it's past its prime for something only one year old.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 10/02/12 notes. Had a 2008 vintage of this last night at Rattle n Hum in NYC at their Rare Beer event. Sampled after a bottle of BA Old Ruffian.

a - Pours a hazy dark amber-orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel, toffee, bourbon, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, oak, and some vanilla. Rerally amazing nose; tons of toffee, bourbon, and vanilla, with no real alcohol heat to it at all. Fantastic nose.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, sweet molasses, bourbon, vanilla, oak, bready malts, and alcohol. A little sweeter and a little more alcohol to it, though still quite nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, body is very very smooth and creamy. Easy to drink considering the ABV; doesn't feel like 10.2% ABV.

o - Overall a really nice BA barleywine; this one has aged quite nicely. While the BA Old Ruffian was superior to this one, the nose and mouthfeel were both fantastic. Considering this isn't that expensive off the shelves and is easy to find, I will definitely be grabbing a few of these and their BA stout this winter to stash away for a few years.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011 edition from the bottle. Served in my 20oz imperial pint glass from Schlafly.

Pours a gorgeous amber-copper color, a little cloudy with tons of very fine rising bubbles, a good one finger head that lasted forever and left nice lacing.

Smell is excellent on this bottle, great fruitiness, gobs of malt, leather and tobacco, no alcohol on this batch, just plain wonderful, I can't stop sniffing the glass.

Taste is very, very good. I think the 2011 batch is the best I've had yet. There's a lot of the same characteristics from the smell, especially the fruity flavors, the pungent maltiness, and some great bitter hop balance.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the dry side for a barleywine, but the carbonation is silky and smooth, and it's pretty drinkable. There's a notable alcohol warming that finishes you off as you put this one away. Definitely a stay-at-home bottle of barleywine. You might not even get out of your chair after this one. Although it's august right now, this is definitely more of a winter sipper.

Even though this bottle is less than two years old, it's excellent. I suspect it could age forever and still remain excellent, but I was in a barleywine mood and this was what was on hand, so I drank it. Once again, I am not disappointed. Schlafly's premium bottles have never disappointed me, and they certainly make an excellent barleywine too.

I think that either Schlafly's barleywine is getting better every year, or I'm liking barleywine more and more every year, or possibly both. Why ask why? Just enjoy it. This ain't no punk beer, so barleywine fans look out, and everyone else beware.

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Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage.

Colour is somewhere between a dark ruby red and a chestnut brown. Relatively large off-white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell is fairly sweet. Brown sugar, oak, dark fruit (plum, raisin, grape), toffee.

Taste is a bit of a surprise after the nose. The oak is stronger, and by far the dominant flavour is butterscotch. Brown sugar is still there, fruit flavours are toned way down. Vanilla is present. This one is all about the malt, huge butterscotch/toffee flavour. Some bittering hops.

Full bodied, but thinner than expected. Moderate carbonation, on the higher end. Sticky. Booze is not that present, despite the strength and the fact that this bottle is less than a year old.

Overall, good. Not a killer, and the butterscotch flavour is a little intense to drink too much of, but good.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber color with a white head. Nose of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, and mild fruit. There is a fair amount of oak and vanilla, too. The taste is very sweet. Tons of sugar notes, caramel, and toffee. A nice note of vanilla with some light oak, too. There’s a light citrus hop character on the finish, but I wouldn’t mind more.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into founders snifter.
2008 vintage. (reviewed July 4th , 2012)

So no oxidation notes, which is nice to notice right off the bat.
Very clear body-- seems like this must have been aged on oak spirals instead of a barrel. Reddish plum-colored body sits with a one-finger crown of light tan foam perched atop it.
Surprisingly nice retention... Even good lacing.

Smells a little nutty-- like "tawny port" nutty. Some decent sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel and a nice English toffee note up front before a dry toffee-laden bitterness rules the finish. The oak really dries it out-- it almost works for me but it's still a bit too sharp.

Feels a little thin. Syrupy at the same time.

Overall-- this is not bad. It's holding up very well. I could see this beer hanging on another 2 or 3 years if cellared properly. I honestly wish this beer had been barrel aged. I think that the notes of bourbon, vanilla, and charred oak would REALLY add a tremendous amount here. As it is, everything is in good proportion flavorwise, but all aspects are just a touch muted.
It is solid. Especially for the availability and price.
I'm glad I have a few more bottles.

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.