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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,344 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2344
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.37%


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: 2,344 | Reviews: 733 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had both an 08 and an '10 over the weekend.

Both poured a black as night dark with some lacing. The 08 was still really carbonated and the 10 was not at all.

Both had a mixture of smells chocolate, coffee, booze, with the 10 having some soy sauce smells.

the 10 had tastes of cherry, soy sauce, coffee, chocolate, the 08 was still carbonated with just a chocolate taste

the 10 had a bitter finish with the 08 being smoother with a bigger body.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 05:01:16 | More by Murchmac
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought last year at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago.
355 ML poured into a tulip

A-- Poured ink black. Think the light ran away from this. Evil looking. Very short lived dark brown film that became a thin, dark brown collar. Obvious alcohol legs.

S-- Heavy roasted malts, candied soy sauce, deep, dark bitter chocolate and notes of coffee. Smells slightly oaked and even for a year old a good amount of alcohol is obvious.

T-- Hops have held up well as slightly spicy green pepper taste. Dark, bitter, sweet chocolate, coffee, candied char and candied soy sauce. Alcohol is really obvious.

M-- Slick, oily and sweet. Finishes with a dark bitter chocolate and coffee. Heavy feel and low carbonation are an understatement. A touch too sweet in the front and mid palate.

O-- Loved the BA treatment and this is good but probably a bit too young and slightly too sweet. or my palate is no longer American. Slow as heck sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 14:07:19 | More by mulder1010
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. Not quite one finger of light brown frothy/creamy head. Retention is poor, even for a beer this big. No lacing left.

4.0 S: Supple roastiness. Caramel and lots of molasses. A touch of black cherry. Light chocolate, a bit burnt, and booze that's well hidden.

4.0 T: Roasty with lots of molasses and caramel. Cherry, chocolate, and toastiness underneath. Actually, there's lots of cherry in this. Well hidden booze.

3.5 M: Heavier medium to heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, but it's still good here.

4.0 D: Tasty with well integrated flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 04:47:02 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of JamesShoemaker
JamesShoemaker

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a new snifter. My parents got me this bottle for Christmas, thanks!

A - very good looking beer. Forced pour produces little head, foam starts dark brown like an RIS, but lightens as it settles. Bubbles swirl on the surface, making it look alive.

S - phew, not good. I don't know if it's my glass, but it smells sour, almost like a Belgian dark. Not what I expected and totally unpleasant. I can't even stand taking my customary deep whiff.

T - good, creamier than I expected, though my initial expectations were kind of rocked by the odor. I like the milky flavor working with the malts to cover up the alcohol (which is undetectable even at 12%). Not a great big slap in the face like most specialty double stouts from Michigan breweries.

M - the consistency is really interesting because of the aforementioned milky flavor. It's a smooth drink to be sure, and the alcohol is clandestine in a very dangerous way. If this bottle's smell is a fluke, I could drink more than one of these in a sitting.

O - I'd love to try this on tap, but another bottle may be out of the question, assuming it's not my glass making it smell like this. Dark Horse is a great company regardless, I love the sheer variety of stouts they produce.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 22:02:36 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of KFBR392
KFBR392

Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours medium heavy compared to other RIS. Head is a lighter off white color, a notch lighter then a solid tan color. Carbonation is what you would expect, thin but was present enough for you to acknowledge it.

Smell: The front is a subtle burnt chocolate which really opens up to a hearty barley malt aroma with a heavy dose of hops. The chocolate aroma has plenty of darkness to it but also has a very creamy texture as well. The booze plays its role by adding a little wicked edge.

Taste: Milk chocolate cream hits right away on the front of this brew. The high ABV takes over in the body but is certainly not offensive. Too spicy for an RIS for me but the taste is still pretty good. The hops linger around for a while.

Mouthfeel: A unique mixture of hops and molasses. Heavy feeling with interesting high points on the palette.

Overall: This beer is very good but did not live up to the hype for me. The usual place I buy from sold 4 cases of this in about 6 hours. I had to go out of my way to find some and I'm glad I at least got the opportunity to try it. Its not Founders or Oskar Blues RIS but I enjoyed this one. Would love to try the bourbon barrel version of this, but I'm sure all of you would.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 02:58:04 | More by KFBR392
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark pitch black oil with a slight purpley fade. Rigorous pour revealed no head what so ever, only a few small, looser bubbles break the surface then break down to keep at the edge with a slim collar. No lace either. Very slight oily brown parched residue slips across the surface with very tiny dots of lace dripping down the glass as it is sipped.

Aroma is not complex nor big. Quite empty really, I get slight chocolate and plum with a slight tender sweet alcoholic warmth reminiscent of weak Port or Irish Creme. Tapering burntish molasses vapors underneath.

Taste is nearly as empty, yet perhaps a bit more intensity given off from what the aroma leads off being, but unfortunaly the same avenue is being driven down. Mediochre amounts of tender and brief chocolate take the front. Molasses tang and darker fruits make a favorable twist in the middle areas but don't last all that long as it takes a warmer turn of port-like plumyness and dark raisiny alcoholic warmth towards the finish. A slight chocolate return and small surge of coffeeish bite help encourage a finish worth finishing. Heat fades well. Bits of roasted coffee stay as does a tiny raisin skin tartness and feel.

Feel is smooth and quite quick with a moderate silky medium heftified body. As it finishes it gains a bit more heavier tone and character. Mild and sweetly dark with partial chocolate and dark fruit layers build a bit as it goes. Not quite what I was expecting given the other Dark Horse goodies I've had and liked, but good enough to try. Give me their Black Bier though and I'll be content enough.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 04:22:54 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, somewhat thin brown head.

Smell: Dark chocolate, booze.

Taste: Very nice, dark chocolate, creamy, moderate bitterness, some nice roasted notes.

Drinkability: Never would have thought this was 12%!

Picked up a single of this to try, other than some alcohol in the nose, I never would have thought this was 12%. Alcohol was very well hidden in the taste. I liked the creaminess and only mild bitterness. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 22:27:46 | More by Mdog
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50

Nevada

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer that looks like melted rubber, this one is thick. It pours and practically doesn't move. It produces a two finger brown head that has very fine bubbles. This thing was a bit overcarbonated because when I poured with a medium technique, it foamed like it was a straight down the middle. The head left in the end and all I was left with was this tar that barely resembled beer.

The smell was of dark burnt earth and roasted espresso. Lots of bitterness with some chocolate and light fruit notes.

The taste was pretty dark, in terms of dark fruits and malts go. Some earthy bitter espresso with characters of cherry. Not a lot of coffee, but what there was tasted like espresso.

The mouthfeel was astringent, and the beer felt heavy on the tongue. It was bitter and earthy, and overall enjoyable. Some roast and some burnt flavors that produces an interesting mouthfeel.

This was a good beer to have, and I am glad I got the opportunity. It did not use the usual characteristics that I love in RIS, but went with a darker roasty spin.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 06:09:36 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of Stacy53
Stacy53

Indiana

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Horse- Plead the 5th- Bottled: Feb. 2010
Around 3 months old

A- Black as night with a fast fading brown, tan head. A bit of red in the head as well.

S- Dark chocolate maybe some dark coffee in there also. I definitely smell some sweet notes.

T- Tons of stuff in this one. I taste chocolate, caramel, a woody taste, sweet cherries. Nice mix of sweet and smoky.

M- This one is thick with low carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, you hardly notice the ABV at 12% in this.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 01:10:46 | More by Stacy53
Photo of BierFan
BierFan

Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

An inch of light brown head settles to a thin layer. Almost completely disappears after a minute. Very dark black body. Smells like cocoa powder. Not a lot to the aroma. Roastiness in the flavor that I didn't get in the aroma, quite a bit of bitter cocoa.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 01:05:15 | More by BierFan
Photo of rregan
rregan

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an inky black. It had a thin brown glow near the edges.

S- There are notes of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and coffee, but there is a hot, booze smell that overpowers it all. It shakes your shoulders.

T- It is very very roasty overall, but finishes with a sugary vanilla taste. The taste is marked with some dark boozy flavor but not as much as the smell would imply

M - It has a lot of body, but it is soft and pillowy. It flows smoothly masking most of the alcohol burn and extenuating the roastiness.

This was a really great beer. One of the perfect sipping beers. It would work great on a cold day.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 02:13:51 | More by rregan
Photo of sidetracked
sidetracked

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a medium brown head that lingers and creates nice lacing.

Smell is dark roasted malts, bitter baker's chocolate, sweet molasses, some dark dried fruits, little alcohol heat.

Taste upfront is roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate. Finish is bitter roasted malts mixed with sweet molasses, a little chocolate and sweet dark dried fruits. Lingering bitter chocolate. Overall slightly sweet.

Full bodied and creamy. Light but present carbonation. Seems a little thin at times. Little alcohol heat.

Nice multidimensional flavor that stays interesting. Very enjoyable beer.

5/3/2011

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 23:43:21 | More by sidetracked
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, unknown date but at least a year old. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours thick black with a small brown head that quickly recedes to a wispy cap but does leave lots of spotty lacing in its wake.

Aroma is dark roasted malts, dark fruits, black currant, anise, some coffee and chocolate, quite a bit of alcohol. Some oxidation/cardboard is noticed. Very good strength overall.

Flavor is coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, anise, black currant, dark fruits, a hint of smoke, some sweetness, moderately boozy and warming.

Mouthfeel is thick & sticky, creamy, soft carbonation.

A big, intense Imperial Stout. Very good stuff, had been looking to try this one for some time. Could have used some more time to mellow out the heat, but on the other hand oxidation was setting in so I’m glad I cracked it open when I did.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 00:04:37 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours thick and syrupy with an oil-like opacity and a deep brown/approaching black color. An aggressive pour fails to yield any head...all this can muster is the thinnest of collars and no lacing to speak of.

S - Sweet and molasses driven aroma. Caramel and brown sugar behind that along with some creamy vanilla. Booze is evident and appears in conjunction with the vanilla and also caramel candy. A bit of burnt creme brulee sugar as well. This really smells sweet overall - like a dessert. Some black licorice creeps into the aroma too. Really not getting much roastiness at all, which surprises me. I wouldn't call this necessarily typical for the style, but the sugary candy aspects are pretty appealing.

T - Whoa, boozy up front with a big hit of alcohol slamming the back of my throat on first swallow. Flavor is much different than the aroma. Where the aroma lacked roastiness, this cannot be said for the flavor. Behind the hit of alcohol is burnt toast-like malt, heavy espresso roast coffee and a bit of char. This really takes away from the multi-layered sugary sweet aromas that don't carry into the flavor. Very noticeable alcoholic aspect to the flavor. Licorice is mild but noticeable.

M - Full bodied, lower carbonation just on the above ground side of life. Boozey, warm alcohol throughout hitting the back of the throat initially and eventually filling the entire mouth in sensation. Heavily roasted and burnt flavors overpower other aspects and simplify the flavor profile. Burnt roastiness continues to the aftertaste.

O - This is a good imperial stout, but have to say I don't really understand the hype surrounding this one. The aroma completely doesn't match the flavors - wish they met somewhere in the middle. Balance seems a bit off...alcohol is dominating and heavy handed. It is fairly enjoyable, but when it comes to world-class RIS's this really leaves a lot on the table. Perhaps a bit of aging will smooth this one out a bit...fresh, doesn't live up to the hype/expectations I had coming into this.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 01:40:29 | More by portia99
Photo of xpdrinker
xpdrinker

Florida

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 12oz bottle picked up a few months ago via trade. No noticeable date stamp until after the pour - it's on the underside of the bottle and only visible if looking at it from inside and against the light. Also noticed some light-colored sludge peering through the bottom of the brown bottle. Poured into my Bruery snifter, pitch black with thin, burnt orange head that dissolves into a thinner ring. Zero lacing.

S - Slight burn at first, lots of vanilla, roastiness, chocolate and dark fruit. 

T - Varying styles of chocolate at first, lots of dark fruit and finishes really roasty and deliciously bitter. An overall cola sweetness hangs over the entire taste.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation. Sticky cola sweetness.

O - I've had this one cellared for a few months and it's quite enjoyable. There's a cola-like sweetness throughout that at times is tasty but at other times annoying. Would kill to get my hands on the barrel-aged version.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 23:39:05 | More by xpdrinker
Photo of SouljaSaia17
SouljaSaia17

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured very thick and looked like syrup.

A: Very dark beer with a thin caramel colored head that has some fine bubbles on top.

S: Initial smell is of dark fruit, like plum. I also get some dark chocolate, molasses and a hint of brown sugar.

T: Taste is similar to the aroma, creamy, dark chocolate up front. Middle of the flavor has some roasted malts, molasses, a bit of caramel and coffee. Finishes somewhat dry, with yeast type feel.

M: Very rich, smooth and creamy. No noticeable carbonation, but alcohol is not present.

O: Another very good stout, this is a big beer at 12% so its a slow sipper. I have been saving this for a few weeks now and thought this would be the perfect time to have it. Not too familiar with Dark Horse Brewing, but I like what I have had so far!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 04:18:56 | More by SouljaSaia17
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into tulip at south park Dayton. Nice deep brown color with tan creamy lacing. Lots of roasted malt aroma...done. its very one dimensional but nice.
Taste is roasted bitter malts with a hint of chocolate and coffee but again its dominated by the roasted malt. Its a bit bitter...super dry but still pleasant. Its a big beer for sure but not my fav of the style. I had high hopes for this...maybe too high. Its kind of like a triple Guinness...if such a thing exists.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2013 22:23:39 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of khiasmus
khiasmus

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with almost no head. Leaves no lacing or legs.
Smells of black patent, huge coffee, slight chocolate, alcohol, slight metal, a bit of oxidization.
Flavor begins with dark, sweet malt, continues with roasted grain, then some metal, and an almost hammy note in the finish, reminiscent of a rauchbier.
Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, but dry and very puckering in the finish.
Not super drinkable. The strength of the grain bitterness is too much to make this one to constantly enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 00:43:01 | More by khiasmus
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Beerlando. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma is quite chocolatey, with some roasted and cookie malts. Nougat and toffee notes too. Flavor is sweet with cookie malt and roasted malt. Not SUPER heavy, but the 12% is definitely noted. An interesting impy with some character.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 16:24:10 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of jdklks
jdklks

Nevada

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Tyson for this one.

pours thick and black with a DARK brown head, like a mix between milk and dark chocolate, that swiftly vanishes, bubbling lightly as it goes. very thick, looks good. The smell eminating from the bottle upon opening promised me a truly "aromatic" experience; and when poured, it doesn't disappoint. hints of both chocolate and vanilla, with an undertone of bourbon/alcohol complimented by a trace of wood (oak?).

the flavor borrows all those attributes of the smell, but descends upon the palate with an undesirable sweetness reminiscent of blueberries. That same sweetness gives way to a bitter burnt coffee aftertaste that, though not bad at all, could be more impressive. not as complex as it would have you hope from its smell, which could be attributed to the intensity of the sweetness up front and the burnt bitterness at the end. huge alcohol burn on the way down, and though it isn't all that unpleasant, it doesn't add anything to the beer. let this beer age and cool down a bit.

I might as well be eating this with a spoon; the thickness is ridiculously awesome, and if it wasn't for the fact that it is slightly over-carbonated, the mouthfeel would certainly warrant a 5. a slight burn going down warms up your whole body, which isn't so surprising considering the 12%

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 05:10:06 | More by jdklks
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours pitch black with a 1 finger tan head that left spotted lacing

smells of chocolate roasted malts

taste is biiter sweet chocolate, coffee - some dark fruit and hops that come through

mouthfeel has a little sting to it from the alcohol and carbonation

drinkability takes a hit from the mouthfeel - still a very good RIS

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 04:02:55 | More by jsh420
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade...

A: Pitch black with little to no head that leaves a slight mocha head on the top of the brew. Decent.

S: Roasty oak upfront with dark fruit boozy chocolate in the middle and creamy bourbon type scent on the backend. Good.

T: Watery boozy roastiness upfront with dark fruit and chocolate blended in the middle and bitter hops on the backend. Decent.

M: Very smooth carbonation feel. A bit watery, but good.

D: Goes down super easy. Very good here.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Ok to try at least once, but not great. Ok, for a stout. Many better brews in the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 01:58:21 | More by steve8robin
Photo of PSUDREW
PSUDREW

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a wonderful ink color. Light brown head, that dissipates real quick
S: sweet alcohol, maybe coco and brown sugar, hints of raisins
T: right off the bat, a boozey up front, with thick punch of dark coco, and maybe some plums. maybe. Some caramel to, and it finished thick, but there is a dry chocolate and a roasted flavor. Not hops to really speak of
M: Thick, syrups. this is a once in a while, not on a 96 degree day ( I am speaking from experience)
D: Not exceptionally. but a good brew, prob best in the fall, one or two at a time

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 01:56:59 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with bitter note and very subtle coffee notes. Taste is also dominated by roasted bitter notes with light dry coffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though it doesn't really stand apart from good imperial stout out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 02:05:52 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: motor oil black and viscous as hell. A mild layer of dark brown head sits atop the brew and leaves behind sticky lace.

S: strong roasted malts, baker's chocolate, booze. Dark fruits too?

T: very dark and roasty. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and malts do their thing start to finish. Plenty of boozy warmth arrives midway through and carries you across the finish line.

M: so big & thick, I feel bad about not using this space for innuendo. Think of the children!

D: this beast doesn't hide its strength particularly well. Not a chore to drink, but you certainly know what's coming.

A great RIS overall. Combined with Tres, I'm now 2/2 in really liking the beers from this series.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 03:57:44 | More by brystmar
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,344 ratings.