Pozharnik - Whiskey Barrel Aged | Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.

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Pozharnik - Whiskey Barrel AgedPozharnik - Whiskey Barrel Aged
25 Ratings
Pozharnik - Whiskey Barrel AgedPozharnik - Whiskey Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by barleywinebrewer on 08-17-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 22
Reviews by GreatPondBrewer:
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a very very good beer. I was quite lucky to find it. It poured a jet-black with a creamy, bronze-tan head that was silky smooth. The nose was just slightly less exceptional, in comparison to the rest of the beer. There were some sweet buck-strap molasses notes and a sweet whiskey flavor. The taste, however, was overwhelmingly complex and satisfying. There were rich, rolling flavors of brown sugar, a sharp hop twang on the front. As it moved toward the back of the palette there was a deep fruity flavor full of cherry, raisin, and plumb. The finish was a rich, creamy with a bitter espresso presence. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and made this beer a joy to drink. I am not a big fan of the barrel aging, but this one was done to perfection. The woody notes as well as the whiskey were barely audible and just in the finish.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes out to Bill for providing me this one liter swing top bottle to let me do a nice side by side with the regular. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter. This one was consumed on 09/01/2008.

The pour was black as night, literally completely opaque to the point that nothing at all could shine through on this beast. Only a slight head of tan came up over the top, maybe a quarter inch thick and faded down fairly fast leaving behind a slight bit of side glass lacing, but that faded as well. I was looking for a little bit more head on this one to be honest.

The aroma was loaded down with whiskey. Huge notes of alcohol, dark bitter chocolate, vanilla, and wood notes café whiffing off of it. The vanilla was especially pronounced here and really gave it a very sweet overall profile. I was thoroughly impressed with how well the extra aging had taken here, as the coffee notes were most well hidden now. The flavor was also a definite transformation for me. The normal version had this thick, dark coffee like flavor that really just dominated the profile and was nicely accentuated by the vanilla. Here the tables seemed to be turned a bit as the vanilla and whiskey notes were definitely the strongest out front. Some light cocoa notes as it warmed, slightly bitter with an almost licorice like flavor starting to come across as it warmed up. Dark fruit flavor swirling around, especially in the finish, but that was really just blown apart by the vanilla, which lasted long after the last sip and seemed to meld very well with the licorice and overall whiskey notes.

The feel was a bit thin and disappointed me to a little extent. It fell flat with me, as it seemed to lose that nice bit of carbonation that really benefited the original version, helping to beef up the feel a little bit. It was almost full bodied but fell just a hair shy of it. It was however a very smooth sipper, and I really enjoyed breaking this one up over a couple nights, letting it get up to room temperature and then ooze out into the glass. Really top notch here.

Overall I have to admit, it was a more then decent beer, but I think the extra time in the barrel, while being brilliant in the aroma, and a nice touch on the flavor, may have lost me a bit with the dulling down of the espresso notes and the loss of carbonation. Still though I think this is absolutely a great beer, and I really liked what they have done here. Thanks again Bill for letting me try this monster!

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Photo of mikedashg
2.71/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks (or not so much thanks?) to StonePurist for sharing this. Was an extra.

A - Pours black with a light tan head from a swing top growler/bottle.

S - Not too much here, some coffee and chocolate, but there's a sourness here, what's this?

T - What the heck? This beer is sour. This shouldn't be a sour beer. The label on this beer sounds really good. A stout aged in whiskey barrels, good reviews. I'm ready for this one. But then I tasted it. I TOTALLY agree with this PAST review (it says at all):

"The taste is of roasted espresso beans, with sour/tart fruitiness that lingers. The bourbon/oak has left the playing field, oddly enough - well, maybe has a foot in...but not really in play. Sourish, dry finish. The sourness rubs me the wrong way, but, fortunately not enough to wreck it <edit: it totally wrecked it for me>."

M - Moderate carbonation, moderate body.

D - The sourness of this whiskey barrel aged stout TOTALLY ruins this beer.

Maybe we got a bad bottle. Sorry guys, clean your equipment or something. The majority of the reviews are REALLY good. Except a couple that have a few low reviews (that mention the sourness). Looking at the picture of the brewery MIGHT give me an idea why this might have gotten infected. It looks like the unibombers place or something in the back woods.

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Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Turns out they kept some of the 07 release in whiskey barrels for another 8 months. The label on the bottle looks the same but the gold foil on top indicates brewers reserve. So, how's the added time treat the beer?

A - Pitch black with a nice billowy kahki head
S - Strong initial whiskey, vanilla and oak notes with undertones of roasted grain and espresso
T - Served at cellar temp, the taste seems to follow the nose. By mid bottle the whiskey settles down and the roasted malts, vanilla and bakers chocolate round out the beer nicely
M - medium full bodied, creamy carbonation, smooth with a nice lingering whiskey note.
D - very easy to drink. Smooth, the extra time the barrels pays off!

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Photo of cbutova
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours as black as you can get with no real head at all (pretty old by now, carb probably died down) and no sign of carbonation, no lacing left on my glass, looks more like a wine or flat cola, weakest part of this beer. UPDATE:2ND bottle has great carb and head and leaves thick lacing, nice coffee colored head. Floating pieces of matter all throughout the beer, never seen this in a Russian Imperial. Smell and taste go together very well on this beer, can pretty much taste anything you can smell, with the exception of alcohol, there is a tiny alcohol bite in the nose. Smells and tastes of vanilla, espresso surprises, raisins, dark fruit, whiskey kicks in as the beer warms (does not take over the beer like other barrel aged imperials), vanilla and dark fruits take over the aftertaste and roasted malts can be found in here too. The mouthfeel is the only other weaker part of the beer, not as thick as I would like but it doesn't even matter here, tongue is left coated with mostly vanilla and raisins, and there is minimal carbonation in the mouthfeel. This beer is amazing, probably the most COMPLEX beer taste I have experienced, so many subtle flavors, this one makes me change my whole perspective on craft beer as a relatively new beer advocate, awesome. Last time I checked there was 2 more bottles at my local shop, gonna purchase them tomorrow at approximately 11am, amazing. Love how this beer blends fruit with the usual barrel aged imperial stout flavors, it works very well and makes me wish more beer was like this.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 release, poured from a 1-liter swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large light brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted coffee, creamy vanilla, dark malts, some dark chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very malty as you would expect with strong flavors of black coffee and some vanilla up front. There are background flavors of dark chocolate and dark fruit. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that provides a decent balance. There's a hint of smokiness but no hint of the 10.00% ABV. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, it's not quite as good as the 2006 version but it's still a really good beer that is worth drinking for a very long time.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing this 1 litre bottle!

Pours black with a tan/light brown head - nicely retained for abv. A nice amount of lacing sticks.

The smell is of vanilla/oak, bourbon-ish with espresso beans (think the beans rather than the brewed espresso). As it warms, I don't know that I quite like the aroma as much, but it's still very, very nice.

The taste is of roasted espresso beans, with sour/tart fruitiness that lingers. The bourbon/oak has left the playing field, oddly enough - well, maybe has a foot in...but not really in play. Sourish, dry finish. The sourness rubs me the wrong way, but, fortunately not enough to wreck it.

Fully carbonated, especially for the style. Mixed feelings about the feel. I'll defer to the higher of the two scores I have in mind for the mouthfeel, as it does have a smoothness, with less acidity than is typical of the style. However, it also has less of a body and bite. It is certainly drinkable though. Smooth and drinkable. If it weren't for the sour notes I would really love it. As is, I like it much!

Thanks again for bringing this back and sharing, John!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1L swing-top bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a large glass chalice, formed a scant 1/8" tan head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head finds bubbles fading and/or fleeing to the rim, with some lacing, but legs being the more prominent trait on the glass. Aroma is rich dark malts, but not much past that. Taste finds chocolate sweetness and coffee bitterness at the beginning, in the middle, and in the close. Don't seem to notice any barrel character or vanilla as advertised on the label, although maybe some anise is lurking about. Mouthfeel seems a bit thin for the style, with nice drinkability. Not what I was expecting after reading the new notes on the label, and not as good as I remembered overall, but still an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

the bottle says aged in whiskey barrels so here we go!
I am pouring into a snifter at cellar temp. The beer pours an ultra dark brown color with finely packed tan head of .5 cm that fades quickly to an edge layer.
Aroma is vanilla and oak with some brown sugar and hints of roasted malt as well.
First sip reveals a fine tingly carbonation and fairly thick body, leaves a sticky texture on my lips.
Flavor is dark and sweet with hints of oak and molasses, vanilla, and chocolate all make appearances. No real hops or ABV anywhere. Dangerous on a 10% brew. Not a lot of bourbon/whiskey notes but this is still a damn fine beer!

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Photo of flexabull
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of barleywinebrewer, thanks again!

Pours a dark black color, with a chunky tan head.

Aromas are of stewed fruits, light chocolate, cream, brown sugar, and slight bourbon and oak.

Taste is surprisingly light for such a strong beer. Some dark fruits, alcohol warmth, and easy bourbon flavors. Beer settles into some molasses, dark sugars, and light cola flavors. I have to say, there is a bit of disappointment here. This beers just lacks a lot of big flavors, and while it doesn't taste bad, it just tastes kind of pedestrian and bland.

Mouthfeel is fairly week for the style. I expect a thick feel, and this one doesn't deliver. It's kind of like the flavor, it's not bad, but it fails to be up to snuff in my opinion.

Drinkability is pretty good. This one goes down pretty easy considering the ABV. But I expected to really like this one. Especially after tasted the non barrel aged version a few months ago. (which I rated a 4.25) Overall this one came off as bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of brystmar
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex malt aroma that boasts of chocolate and patent malts along with a complimentary vanilla scent and faint whiskey aroma. The coffee aroma is subtle with just a hint of earthiness. The taste is good as well. It's extremely smooth with a big chocolate malt and vanilla flavor. The coffee blends nicely with the vanilla and the barrell aging adds another level of complexity. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer, even at 10% abv. It's loaded with complex flavor and aroma; a real treat.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.9/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle split with oglmcdgl

A- Pours thinner than your average run o the mill IRS, with a dirty brown look. Once in the glass it had a black look with a minimal tan head, sparse lacing.

S- A bunch of burnt coffee with some chocolate but no whiskey and some oak with vanilla. Kinda reminded me of Weyerbacher Heresy Not the best, but inviting.

T- Where's the whiskey? There is a taste here that resembles something similiar to a hard alcohol but doesen't come close. Depending on how long this was in a barrel could be a factor, but as it stands, PWBA only picked up the oak and some vanilla with creme and a big coffee tone. Roasty as balls.

M- Very thin for the style and could use some work, and at that i'm being nice about it. Not thick enough to be considered a russian, but has the taste to be a coffee stout 100%.

D- well, they all cant be winners, can they? This one missed the mark and I was patient with it, it just did not come through. If this was advertised as a coffee stout and a lot cheaper I would be game as coffee rules the roast in this.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Swing Top
2007 Vintage
Gold Wrap

Poured into a chalice a very nice thick black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger brown creamy head, with some nice small islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice notes of whiskey, chocolate, toffee, and vanilla. The taste is malty, sweet, very nice whiskey notes, with some chocolate/toffee, there is also a slight sourness. Medium-Full body, the alcohol is hidden pretty well with this one. Very drinkable, Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely beer from a very cool brewery. I'm really looking forward to this brewery being available soon in Georgia- hope there are no hitches with that. This one was shared by pghlee at the Brick Store. Pours black with a swirly dark head. Smells salty with chocolate and light whiskey, coffee and some oak barrel. Very nice flavor of bitter chocolate, light bourbon, charred barrel. Finishes with a nice melding of bourbon and bitter chocolate and with a deft hand with the oak. Mouthfeel is a touch tannic from the oak, but not enough to distract. A fine beer, and although a touch lighter in bourbon than I like, it is still delcicious and i can see how many would like it this way.

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Photo of schroederm
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter:

Soapy, thick and fluffy light brown head. Good lacing. Very very dark brown body. It's wonderful vanilla aroma is accented by roasty coffee and chocolate. A bit of bourbon comes through as well, but it doesn't smell hot. The taste has a heavy roasted coffee flavor with a strong malt backbone, dark chocolate and whiskey. All are backed by strong dark fruit presence. It has a lean finish, much better than I expected considering the level of bitter. Good thickness (even for the style) and carbonation. Very drinkable considering it's absolutely delicious and not too in your face.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Brandy Snifter at Ginger Man in Norwalk. Very small to non existent head . Some tiny bubbles on the sides

Smell: Toasty malt with some caramel, coffee, chocolate and whiskey oak.

Taste: Sweeter than I would have imagined. I have been looking at a few bottles of this stuff for a few months at a distrubutor but the final straw was seeing it on tap. Fantastic taste. I was even happier with the fact that it was poured out of a brandy snifter - Not many beers will get this type of service when served at a bar - also a compliment to Ginger man in Norwalk. Nice smoaked oak taste - coffee is second , followed by chocolate and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Nice and extremely smooth for a beer of this strength. I dont know how they managed to balance this so well, but I am sold on its greatness.

Drinkability: I had two of these and followed up with a different 12% abv. Man, if only my tolerance could handle me drinking 10, either I or this beer would be a wonder of the world.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with barely translucent mahogany edging when held to light.
A half inch head of dark beige settled slowly, and left some seismic lacework and a placid surface, except for a solid ring around the edges.

Aromatics lead off with espresso, caramel, nougat, dark fruit, vanilla, whiskey, and a hint of red wine. Mildly earthy with a hint of oaky tannins. Very mellow and complex. The whiskey is quite subdued considering this is 100% from a whiskey barrel.

Creamy and chewy mouthfeel, without being tar-like. Somewhat drying and vineous body.
Spilled wine on crushed velvet.

The pallet is a myriad of fruit, coffee, whiskey, and vineousity.
Espresso, chocolate, and caramel quickly give way to cherries and red wine. Mild whisky and vanilla follow through. Alcohol is warming but is a mere shadow in the balance of the brew.

Finishes with lingering vineousity, light boozy notes, and drying red fruits.

At first I was dissapointed by the lack of whiskey, but the fruity vineousity is far more complex than whiskey or bourbon ever gets. Some very nice oxidation at work here, with plenty of sherry qualities.

I try not to compare brews in a review, but this one is somewhere between a barrel aged Posioden RIS and Older Viscosity. Not bad company I suppose.
Just let this one warm up to do her justice.

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Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SeaBass asked if I wanted to try this one during the superbowl and I said bring it...Glad he did.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with a nice creamy tan head. Good retention with wonderful lace exhibited.

S: Nice roasted malt up front with a nice mix of coffee, milk chocolate and vanilla, and a touch of barrel aged goodness.

T: Very Very Complex beer. This one seems to have layers of flavor. Wonderful blast of roast malt up front. Light whiskey comes in with notes of oak and vanilla. Coffee and chocolate come next. Subtle notes of vanilla and bittering hops come thru in the finish.

M: Medium to full in body, smooth and creamy.

D: This one is one that you really want more of when the glass is empty. Wonderful flavors which blend together so nicely. No hint of the ABV, and the taste really is one of the best RIS known to man.

Thanks SeaBass for introducing me to this World Class Brew!

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1 litre swing-top bottle purchased at Barb's Beer Emporium in Concord, 2008 vintage. Pours an opaque dark black body with a shot lived thin film of light brown head. Smells amazing - vanilla, bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, all mixed perfectly balanced. Vanilla, wood, bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, toast, roast... Full-bodied, bordering on viscous, with low carbonation. This beer is most definitely a sipper, as should be expected for the style. But wow. Tastes amazing, smells amazing. I can not come up with a single flaw in this beer... Practically perfect in every way, and well-worth seeking out. And for the price, perhaps the absolute best beer for the price.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours purplish-black with a quickly dissipating cola head. Right off the bat it seems thin for the style -especially in comparison to some of the bigger imperial stouts out there now.

Smells of black currants, medium bodied coffee and light chocolate. Slight hint of vanilla, with a faint note of whiskey.

Taste is creamy cocoa mixed with imitation carmel. An acrid bitterness is found in the finish from the heavily roasted malt. Hops are nigh existent. As it warms becomes slightly buttery.

Mouthfeel is slick and thin. Most closely resembles an English Imperial Stout, ie, Sam Smiths.

Drinkability is good, and if the 2007 is indeed 10 percent, the alcohol is well-hidden.

Overall a decent example of the style, but there are many others out there that I prefer to this.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great big thanks to barleywinebrewer for this one!!!

Pours out black, black, black with a smallish tan head that slowly fades to just a ring....

Aroma is faint whiskey and alcohol, dark chocolate and faint espresso... maybe some dark fruit as well...

Starts out very smooth and malty with the espresso and chocolate kicking in towards the middle and a big espresso finish with a smooth whiskey aftertaste. This started out a bit too cold but as it warms, the character of this brew really shines...

Overall, this started out a bit slow and really came on as it warmed up... I really liked this brew a lot..

Thanks again to barleywinebrewer for throwing this one in. I would never have had the opportunity to try this one and I'm glad I did... The wifey and I shared this huge bottle and both loved the hell out of it..

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Photo of atremains
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a motoroil black with very little head. No carbonation here. Smell is fruity up front with booze in there. Taste is big on this one: raisins, alcohol, chocolate roasty malts, espresso and a big vanilla finish. The mouthfeel is a bit lacking on this for an RIS. Flavors come out as the beer warms. Complex and intresting.

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Pozharnik - Whiskey Barrel Aged from Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 25 ratings