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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,858 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,858
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 483
Gots: 689 | FT: 76
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
2010 and pre: white label
2011: white label OR black label with black no logo cap
2012: black label with logo cap
2013: black label with logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner and new government warning

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,858 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by instinct2:
Photo of instinct2


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

03-02-2014 02:55:09 | More by instinct2
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +3%

Unbelievably this is the first time I have had this beer...crazy.Pours jet black like an oil slich with a thinner beige head atop,like thick crude.Chocolate and black licorice in the nose along roast and sweet alcohol.Heavy roast and earthiness intertwined with alcohol dipped dark druit and deep molasses sweetness with that black licorice coming into play as well,whoo this big and complex.Big and chewey this is a sipper that Iam drinking at 6:00,it could be an early bedtime tonigh because I have three more to drink.

04-16-2014 22:11:29 | More by oberon
Photo of DanGeo


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

04-16-2013 13:46:07 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe


4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours dark as fuck and thick as shit - is that an accurate description of the appearance? It looks like molasses as it dribbles out of the bottle, pouring will nearly no sound as it collapses into the glass. No head forms at first, even with a direct pour down the middle, until moments after I'm finished pouring and a dark tan film rises from nowhere and puts a skin on the brew.

Aroma comes through full-force with insanely deep roasted coffee; charred espresso and dark, bitter cocoa beans. This is a heavy hitter, alright, and the nose doesn't hold anything back. There is a creaminess to it, carrying over a very light sweetness. But make no mistake - if the initial aroma is any indication, the sheer roasted bitterness of this brew will tower over all else. Some more dark fudge aromas open up as the beer warms, but it remains a deep, black, and bitter type of fudge, still laying low on the sweetness. Surprisingly low alcohol character for being 11-12% ABV, but there is a noticeable warmth to back everything up.

The taste, shockingly enough, opens up with a very light, licorice-like sweetness before converging into the roasted carnage. Bitter-ass roasted coffee beans, and huge charcoal notes take over like none other. This beefy stout plays off of a heavy hop character as well, something else I really enjoy; leafy, ashy, herbal, and spicy. The bitterness from the hops and the bitterness from the roast combine to form a super bitterness that may even be stronger than all of the sweetness from the malt.

Light chocolates and sinister dark fruits play the counterbalancing sweetness role, although they don't stand a chance again the roasted bomb. There is a heavy fade of char, roast, burnt coffee, and nuttiness going into the aftertaste. Overall, the alcohol warms up a bit and gives this baby a fuckin' huge backbone - very robust; it demands that it be sipped slowly rather than slammed in a few seconds. This beer is big.... no, HUGE, on the palate, and creamy all the way through. Super low carbonation, but it almost works, here.

Seriously a badass stout; orgasmically powerful roast from nearly start to finish with a heavy and hard-hitting bitterness through and through. I love stouts like this. For the high ABV, it drinks pretty well. I'm biased towards bitter stouts, so this one was right in my wheelhouse. Simply delicious.

03-05-2013 04:27:00 | More by tectactoe
Photo of OhioBobcat


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

05-17-2014 22:25:15 | More by OhioBobcat
Photo of jono0101


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

04-10-2014 21:36:55 | More by jono0101
Photo of Schlais


3.75/5  rDev -13%

08-10-2012 06:09:23 | More by Schlais
Photo of SanFranJake


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

05-25-2013 02:51:47 | More by SanFranJake
Photo of delaced21


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

03-17-2014 14:05:26 | More by delaced21
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

06-24-2013 01:00:20 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of RebeccaMB


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

04-24-2014 04:08:55 | More by RebeccaMB
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

12-21-2013 04:22:51 | More by BubalooBrewMaster
Photo of newk340


4.03/5  rDev -6.5%

A: inky black pour, line of lacing indicating level of first pour, no head otherwise.

S: caramel and bitter chocolate evident, hints of coffee and oats.

T: heavy chocolate forefront, smooth accenting hints of caramel and coffee as the liquid settles in the mouth.

MF/D: light tingling sensations with each sip, increasing boozyness as it warms. could've/should've cellared longer.

09-01-2010 02:02:51 | More by newk340
Photo of sabitu


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

03-10-2014 01:12:30 | More by sabitu
Photo of supa0525


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

01-29-2013 18:48:37 | More by supa0525
Photo of nickadams2

New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%

A_ Pours black with a small burgundy color head that dissipates quickly. Very little lacing.

S_ Lots of dark fruits and dark chocolate. You also pick up on the booze. Very fruity though more so than most other RIPs.

T_Tastes great. Dark fruits and chocolate mix together perfectly to give this a nice rich taste.I can also taste coffee in the after taste that gives it a nice bitter finish.A little alcohol burn too.

M_ Thick and full bodied. Goes down pretty smooth and coats the mouth nicely.

D_ The high ABV limits the drinkability but these go down very easy. Could enjoy a couple in sitting but I think these are best savored. Besides two of these and just about anything will taste good

MaCain likey

01-12-2010 06:38:12 | More by nickadams2
Photo of NWer


4.91/5  rDev +13.9%

In spite of my aggressive pour into my San Francisco Strong Beers Month 2012 tulip, it pours rather lazily into the glass and just sits there. Very dark brown small quickly fading head just enough to let you know there was some carbonation. Brown line of bubbles cling around edge of glass.
Aroma overpowering burnt chocolate. Very nice. Could sit and take it in all day but it's time to taste it.
Tastes again strong burnt chocolate. Some lingering coffee notes. Alcohol burn. 12% ABV not at all well hidden.
Mouthfeel nice. Lingering taste extends the experience. Alcohol taste remains as well. No cloying effect whatsoever. Could sit here and sip it all day.
This is why beer is better than Cognac.

02-26-2013 23:11:45 | More by NWer
Photo of SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.51/5  rDev +4.6%

Center pour from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

What a lovely pour. A deep rich (nearly black) mahogany with a nice brownish-red foam that quickly dissipates to less than half a finger.

The smell is incredible! I get caramel, toffee, chocolate, perhaps prune, roasted coffee and a bit of booziness.

The first taste: A little bite of booze then a hit of sweetness and fruit followed by dark chocolate and raisin. The aftertaste is dark chocolate, slightly bitter and creamy. It lingers on the tongue, awaiting the next sip.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. Full and creamy with a late tingle on the tongue from the carbonation.

Overall, this is a great beer. Full of wonderful smells and flavors. I feel like the next time I have it, I'll be picking up different layers. I can't wait.

03-08-2014 02:27:24 | More by SD-Alefan
Photo of DaftPatrick


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

02-28-2013 05:30:36 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of Sam_Gladieux


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

03-29-2014 12:38:46 | More by Sam_Gladieux
Photo of Afroman


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

08-02-2014 14:27:27 | More by Afroman
Photo of marvin213

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

The darkly tanned, thin layer of fizz looked great, though it dissipated more quickly than I'd have liked. Other than that, it's a dark black, imperial-looking stout. Kudos for what appeared like oatmeal sediment as the last drops fell into my Carolina Brewery pint glass.

Smells good and imperial. I've noticed lately how some dubbed RIS fail to smell like the ones that got me so loving the style. This one has a nose for a king (or queen, as it were): dark fruits (without a sourness), nicely toasted malts (with maybe a hint of chocolate without a disgustingly candy aroma), and a poignant while modest alcohol vibe (alluring like a treat instead of an unabashed alcohol bomb).

It's a bit more plummy and figgy than a great one but, thankfully, not overly sweet. It's solidly an appropriate representation of a Russian Imperial Stout. There ia an oatmealish flavor in there, perhaps affirming my sediment observation. The taste of the chocolate, as in the nose, is basically perfect--hinted at without a sweetness smack. This beer really seems to nicely blend all the right components of an RIS. There's nothing really unique about it, on the plus side being plainly good. When the marketplace seems flooded with over-the-top obnoxiously done stouts, this is a simply good (yet imperial) russian stout.

Oatmeal input allows for a silky input. It conjures images of soothing oatmeal baths on sunburn-singed skin. It really, really sits well. It's silky like soy milk. I cringe at penalizing simplicity, but only a complexity could attain world-class status. With all due respect, it feels like a Russian Imperial Stout is supposed to feel.

The alcohol is perfectly intertwined with the taste of this beverage. The aforementioned plumminess makes it a wee bit tart for multiples, but 12% is subtlely placed. The sediment stain I see on the bottom further represents oatmeal presence, but there's a thickness there discouraging multiple sessions. Still, Dark Horse comes strong with a well-built stout. Thanks to NotCreative for the chance to enjoy.

11-22-2009 20:26:37 | More by marvin213
Photo of barhoc11


4.76/5  rDev +10.4%

A: Darkest of dark, looks like used motor oil but in a good way. little to no head on the beer.

S: Sweet roast smell, one of the best smelling RIS's I have had

T: Just as it smells, very sweet with the roasted malt finish. As with most RIS's, this gets better as it warms

M: Nicely carbonated and thick in your mouth, just as it should for this style

O: This is one of my favorite RIS's, it pushes the limits of the style but in a very good way. It is hard to tell this is 11% abv

04-11-2014 23:26:40 | More by barhoc11
Photo of Shagator


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

03-28-2013 04:45:22 | More by Shagator
Photo of TravisShaneRedden


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

07-31-2014 22:11:54 | More by TravisShaneRedden
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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,858 ratings.