Opperman's Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th - Dark Horse Brewing Company
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4.46/5 rDev +0.7%
I picked up a bottle of Oppermann's Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th last month for $4.99 at Cork N Ale. I've never had the regular version of Bourbon Barrel Plead The 5th, but since Cork N Ale is one of my local beer stores I was able to get a couple bottles of this version and I'm excited to give it a try, so lets see how it goes. April 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.
A- The label looks nice, it's the standard Plead The 5th label, but Oppermann's put a sticker on it to differentiate it, it's fairly eye catching. It poured a dark motor oil black color that didn't let any light come through and it had about a fingers worth of creamy light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left lots of spotty lacing and a little bit of patchy lacing behind. This was a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints at all.
S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of higher sweetness and it's followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart some roasty, dark malt, chocolate, chocolate syrup, chocolate cake, and sweet malt like aromas with a nice caramel like aroma showing up in the background. Up next comes the barrel which imparts some nice bourbon and oak aromas, but it's the vanilla that seems to stick out the most and it works well with the heavy chocolate aromas and in the background there's lighter boozy aroma. This beer had a very good aroma, it was heavy on the chocolate, but there was just enough barrel aspects showing up.
T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it start off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and they impart all the aspects that they did in the aroma with the chocolate still sticking out the most. Up next comes the barrel which impart some nice vanilla flavors, but this time it's the oak and bourbon that seem to stick out the most and they are followed by a sharp boozy flavor that's a little warming. On the finish there's a nice smokey flavor followed by hardly any bitterness with a little more booze and it had a chocolate and bourbon barrel like aftertaste. This was a very good tasting beer, the barrel really came through, but there were some great chocolate flavors to back them up and they worked great together.
M- A little smooth, a little warming, a little boozy, sticky, rich, almost cloying, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was very nice, but I think it would be just about perfect if the alcohol was hidden a little better.
Overall I thought this was a very good beer and I thought it was was a very good example of a Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, it had pretty much everything that I look for in the style and it for sure didn't come up short in the Bourbon Barrel department and I thought the base beer still shined through nicely. This beer had ok drinkability, it was a little smooth, a little warming, a little boozy, sticky, rich, almost cloying, a little filling and the taste did a great job of holding my attention, this beer is a sipper and I think one is the perfect amount for me, but if someone offered me another one I'm sure I would drink it and I think it would make for a great beer to enjoy next to the fireplace on a cold night. What I liked the most about this beer was the balance, the barrel really came through, but so did the base beer and I felt satisfied with both aspects. What I like the least about this beer was the boozyness, it wasn't bad, but I think it could have been hidden just a little better. I would for sure buy this beer again and I hope Cork N Ale does something like this again, I think it's a great idea. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Barrel Aged Stouts. All in all i was very happy with this beer and a little impressed, it really delivered what I want out of a strong barrel aged stout and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. So far this is my favorite beer from Dark Horse. I still think I like KBS and Blacknote just a little more, but that doesn't take away from how good of a beer this is. Great job guys, the idea of the stores that sell the beer working with brewerys to release limited batches is pretty awesome and I hope to see more of it, keep up the great and creative work.
05-29-2014 03:43:36 | More by StoutHunter
4.23/5 rDev -4.5%
OBBAPt5 pours a decently thick foam given the amount of time it spent in the barrel, probably a half finger. The head is dark brown, darker in the middle, mixing with the beer before disappearing and quickly drifting to the sides, leaving the center of the pour surrounded by a tan foam. Very little foam follows the top of the beer down the glass as I drink it. The beer pours almost jet black into the glass with very little light penetration and only the suggestion of reflected light at the surface. Carbonation is only evident when the beer is given a good shake, leaving a brownish residue up the side of the glass and some bubbles drifting down.
After trying Kuhnhenn's Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged American Imperial Stout, I expect to be hit with a wallop of barrel after 20 months, but surprisingly, the nose isn't particularly strong. Some of the more subtle characteristics of the barrel are evident at first, the sweeter, woody notes, caramel, chocolate, cream liqueur, coffee, and some alcohol to round it all with a nice acid-like, astringent character. The nose if somewhat acrid, but not to the point of being overpowering. In fact, this is actually quite a nice meld of aromas, but the base is almost completely lost beneath the whiskey and the ingredients seem somewhat enervated by the barrel(s).
That is, until we reach the taste. One of my favorite things about regular BBPt5 is that the base beer marries the best aspects of the barrel and tones down the harshest ones. We have absolutely the same case here. There is throughout the taste a playful balance of typical RIS flavors: sweet, sour, inviting, and abrasive. When OBBPt5 first hits the tongue, it threatens to overwhelm the senses with a tight, desiccating acidity. But this quickly gives way into a very nice sweetness, which hits the back of the mouth like a candy. The best way I can describe it is like barbecue, where the vinegar bite is eased by the sweetness of the brown sugar. This is truly a journey of a taste, bringing one close to the brink of one overwhelming flavor and back to a position of balance. Nothing is overwhelming. The barrel helps the beer and the beer reciprocates. Very nice indeed.
This leads directly into some comments about the mouthfeel. OBBPt5 is very smooth, very drinkable, but this is hardly surprising given its regular barrel-aged counterpart. The carbonation is a little tricky to pin down, since it seems surprisingly amped up against 20 months in barrels. But the carbonation brings the beer no detriment whatsoever, just another mysteriously achieved characteristic. It's not perfect, however, as some of the sweetness doesn't balance out the acidity on the sides of my mouth (only in terms of how the beer tastes).
This is a very good beer. I prefer regular BBPt5, but it's an interesting exercise to age it even longer and in different types of whiskey barrels. Experiments are wonderful. I must say that OBBPt5 strikes an amazing balance in the taste but doesn't follow suit on the nose or on the follow through. The points off are fairly negligible, however, especially since this beer is reasonably affordable, albeit a one-off. It's worth seeking out if you'd like to try it.
04-07-2014 22:42:05 | More by JamesShoemaker
Opperman's Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.