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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

829 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 829
Hads: 3,525
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 549
Gots: 928 | FT: 109
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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-27-2008

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
2014 - white label with black logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner, government warning on bottom right side of label
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 829 | Hads: 3,525
Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with very little head and no lacing.

Smell: Milk chocolate, coffee, molasses, toffee and dark fruit - smells like a very standard RIS.

Taste: Great mix of more bitter espresso & dark chocolate and sweet molasses & licorice. Simply an everyday RIS done right.

Feel: Thick, rich and luxuriant. Fairly warming, but the finish is not as dry as desired.

Overall: Very well executed RIS. However, there are many similar ones on the market, and despite enjoying this greatly, I feel little need to have it again. (591 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sarcastro for the chance to try this one. From a bottle poured into my brandy snifter and says Plead the 5th on the bottle.

A - A pitch dark black color with very little head that forms on this one. There is however a layer bubbles, about 3 bubbles deep, that sits on the sides of the glass. As I shake the beer around a bit in the glass, it seems to stick a bit to the sides and leave a nice layer of film on the glass.

S - A rather fragrant brew that sends up wafts of caramel, vanilla and also a bit of smoked oak seems to come up forth from this one. The dominant nose really seems to be vanilla sweetness but the more I smell it the more the oaky spice and the alcohol in the nose seems to come forth and there is also a hit of a dark bitter chocolate that comes up from this one.

T - At first, the taste is a bit of a burnt toffee, that is a mix of sweetness and roastiness. As the beer goes on the dark chocolate bitterness really moves in strong and becomes the prevalent. There is also a hint of the vanilla that comes in through some the bitterness and tries to offset it but really can't. In the aftertaste, I get a mix of a really deep cocoa and also a caramel flavor that has a nice sweet, stickiness to it. The more I drink this, there also seems to be a nice oaky, spice that really seems to stand out and makes me surprised that this wasn't barrel aged because it has some of those notes that add just a bit more to this one.

MF - a light carbonated beer that sits on the tongue and has some nice body to. I think that it is a bit sticky which I think goes well with the sweeter flavors and makes me actually want to lick my lips. The beer does have a tendency to just sit in the mouth and leave a thick coating on the tongue since there is not too much carbonation at all.

D - Overall, a good beer and my first from Dark Horse. Have to say it was a good beer but nothing too outstanding especially in the RIS category. It does drink really well for the style and whatever the ABV is I really don't taste any of it. A good beer and look forward to trying some more from this brewery. A tasty and easy, not challenging RIS, that has everything I like in one without being overpowering. (2,215 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Plead The Fifth from Dark Horse Brewing Company.
Score: 90

2011 release vintage bottle (specific date is unknown) served in a snifter glass and enjoyed 12/23/11. This is the first of three reviews I wrote a month ago and forgot to publish.

Appearance: Motor oil colored body with dark brown highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger or so of creamy chocolate brown colored head that settles into a thin lacing. Leaves an oily lacing behind on the side of the glass. 4/5

Smell: Roasted milk chocolate, dark fruit, light coffee and a hint of smokieness. 4/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate, raw dark chocolate and mellow coffee upfront. Subtle hints of wood. Finishes with bitter, dark and unsweetened chocolate. The intensity of the finish seemingly increases as the beer layers. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Dry, slightly bitter finish. 4/5

Overall: If my experience with a year-old bottle of Founders Imperial Stout is any indication, I am going to have to re-review this one fresh. Even with a year of age on it, Plead the Fifth is still a pretty solid and tasty Russian Imperial Stout.

Recommendation: A must seek out brew for all, but wait until the 2012 release to try this one. Casual beer drinkers should be able to enjoy this one thoroughly.

Pairings: Porterhouse steak.

Cost: $11.99 for a four pack. (1,358 characters)

Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly found this in Amsterdam. Phenomenal chocolate and coffee smell - taste is almost as good - it would be near-perfect imperial stout if not for the slightly excessive sweetness. (188 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black with minimal brown spotting in leiu of a head. Smell is of dark roasted malts, faint raisin and brown sugar notes, slightly alcoholic. Taste follows scent with the dark roasted grains, hints of chocolate and espresso, backed by rasin and prune notes, hints of molasses and a slightly boozy finish. Not quite full bodied, very smooth without being silky, could have been bulked up a bit. A nice RIS that doesnt overdo any particular aspect of its build. ABVs hidden suprisingly well. (501 characters)

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer was tasted at the michigan brewers guild winter beer fest.
from my notes i was served a jet black sample with a fluffy brown head.
the aroma was rich with cohoclate and roasted malt.
the flavor was very roasty, chocolate, bit of smoke, hop spice.
the mouthfeel was very full coats your mouth and throut as it goes down. (333 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured opaque brown-black with a healthy mocha head that receded to a thin layer of bubbles. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasty malts in the nose. Big tastes of dark chocolate and coffee, also ash and licorice, and some alcohol bite. Full body, bitter, with a bitter aftertaste. Pretty easily drinkable for a high alcohol beer. (370 characters)

Photo of kels
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bamadog for throwing this in a care package for me! Review is on the bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours the deepest, darkest black and looks very flat and watery. There is a very fast-fading foamy hot-chocolate brown head, which leaves a slight tan ring that floats atop the beer along the walls of the glass. A milky looking swirl sits in the center of the surface. Beer is completely opaque. Very little, thin, watery washes of lacing hang around momentarily before slipping back into the liquid while I drink.

Smell: Smell is a really nice blend of chewy, roasted malts and sweet, milky chocolate. The alcohol hints at itself in the nose, but overall the aroma is strong without being too strong, sweet without being too sweet and roasted without being too roasted.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is full of slightly bitter, slightly sweet chocolate, roasted malts, and a maple syrup-like presence. A little bit of hops show though in the aftertaste kind of like green apples. The taste is moderate to mild for the style, which isn't a bad thing. It's balanced and flavorful. The feel is moderately full, with fairly low carbonation as indicated by the appearance on the pour. It leaves a pleasantly sticky and heavy feeling on the palate.

Drinkability: Pretty high for this style, as it's not too overpowering. (1,335 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter glass. Pours opaque oily black leaving very little brown lacing throughout the session. Sweet, roasty malt aroma this bursting with lots of silky chocolate as well as some oatmeal, roasted coffee bean, toast and nut. There’s also a slight lactic cream presence but the nose of this beer is all about roasted malt and chocolate. Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a slightly chewy, viscous consistency. Deep roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee/espresso bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and toffee. This is complimented by a sweet chocolate malt presence and subtle creaminess. There’s also some earthy hop bitterness and a prominent alcohol burn in the finish. The ABV isn’t well masked with a ton of heat and warmth in the finish. I expect that this will tone down with age but this fresh bottle is too hot for my liking. Dry boozy finish. A little disappointment for me. (919 characters)

Photo of Popkas
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is pitch black and started with no apparent head but towards the end of the pour, a very attractive tan head bubbled up. Nose is of roasted malts and bits of bitter chocolate and a touch of booze. Taste is of roasted malts and grain, chocolate and again some booze. Thick body that coats the mouth. Pretty nice brew overall that seems to be improving as it warms. (368 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed yesterday, from notes. Thanks to FourKicks for sending me this in a recent trade.

Pours as black as the darkest horse ever, tan head becomes a cap and thick ring, good-looking for the ABV.

Smells of intense dark chocolate and roasted malt. Some sweeter notes of dark fruit come through with warmth.

Like the nose, chocolate dominates the taste (mostly dark, some milk). Roasted malt and caramel there too.

Good viscous mouthfeel, carbonation feels a bit high for the style. A bit of alcohol heat but less than expected for 12%.

Reminds me of a slightly bigger Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Tasty but I prefer some more complexity. 12oz went down quickly considering the ABV. (690 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle received in trade from iceicebaby. Served in my DFH snifter. Poured an opaque black with a quarter-inch mocha-colored head with copious ringlets that eventually settled into an inconsistent slick before finally congealing around the perimeter of the bowl. Lots of tiny bubbles lined the walls of the glass below the surface. Some bands of watery lacing, but poor adherence. Scents of dark fruit and chocolate malt. Flavors of roasted coffee, chocolate malt and dark fruit (perhaps cherries). Mouthfeel was very lively with a light carbonation burn across the top of the tongue. Body was a little thin for the style. Good drinkability; somewhere between an RIS and a foreign export stout. I have to say that I continue to be impressed by this brewery. (763 characters)

Photo of confer
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the 2013 version. I let it sit in the basement for a over six months before trying it.
It pours a dark brown with a caramel colored head that was around for only a short time.
The smell changed and got better as it warmed. At different temperatures you can smell coffee, chocolate and also prunes.
Surprisingly light for the style feels like a lot of carbonation. Taste is like a coffee with a touch of flavored cream, not very bitter only a little in the aftertaste.
This is a very nice beer which hides it's alcohol content unbelievably well. (550 characters)

Photo of Labonix
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. This one pours pitch black with a small tan head. The aroma is roasty with chocolate and carmel and molasses. It has a roasty and bitter chocolate taste with some hints of vanilla. This beer is nice, smooth, and hides the high alcohol really well. (260 characters)

Photo of BeerFink
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick opaque black, nearly entirely devoid of head - even after quite the vigorous pour. My nostrils are assailed by oily pungency - coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted grain, and even a hint of dark fruit. Taste is what you would expect based on the aroma, just a little weaker. Starts out with coffee and chocolate, subtle raison is noted. Some roasted grain comes in, and is most noticeable in the aftertaste. Hops are barely discernable, but are there in meek form. Mouthfeel is not as thick/chewy as I would have expected, but it is still pleasantly oily. Decent imperial stout. As cheap as these are, I wouldn't mind grabbing another and putting some age on it. (676 characters)

Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic at 53 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has fair retention. The head is dark brown, like chocolate, and the head is foamy. The head did not leave any lacing on the glass. The clarity of the beer is opaque. The color of the beer is dark brown with slight reddish brown tint. The beer leaves some legs on the glass as it is drank.

Nose: A very deep rich malt complex that is roasted, a burnt character, and kettle caramelization. Other aromas in the beer is coffee, chocolate, wood, citrus, floral, alcohol, raisins, and dark cherries.

Taste: A complex rich dark roasted malt that has a burnt character, kettle cook caramel, and chocolate. Other flavors in the beer is espresso, wood citrus, floral, raisins, dark cherries, molasses, citrus, and floral esters.

Mouth feel of the beer is coating, warm, and chewy.

Overall: The body of the beer is full and the finish is full. Ah a RIS, however it is not what I think is the greatest representation of this beer. When I want a RIS, I want a full body, thick, chewy, aggressive beer that ages like fine wine. This beer nails most of it but lacks just a little for my taste. Solid beer nonetheless, I am very greatful that I got to try it. (1,223 characters)

Photo of johnson27
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stumbled upon this stout at the 'healthy' food store and thought I'd give it a try. I have always been a 'stout' fan, and just now branching out from the normal ones I can find on tap at the local pub.

A: Wonderful full black color, pours thick with just a bit of froth

S: Not overpowering, but had a healthy aroma....nutty, and had a tinge of 'smoke' to it.

T: Tasted smooth and clean, not as I would expect from a 12% ABV

M: Smooth and clean. No bitter aftertaste

O: I will have to stock up on these, but hide the car keys...it sneaks up on you quick. (559 characters)

Photo of semibaked
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours super thick and black with just a bit of dark brown foam on top, looks like it is flat.

S - Big smell of coffee, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits, and booze. Good stuff.

T - A lot of dark roasted malts, coffee, and molasses, but the booze being there but not as strong as the smell was.

M - Great full body, rich and thick mouthfeel, a lot of chewiness and just slight carbonation.

D - This is a good stout for sure, good balance of flavors and probably my favorite beer from Dark Horse so far. (539 characters)

Photo of ne0m00re
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.
A: Jet black with a chocolate head, which died to a good lace.
S: Chocolate mocha, burnt malts, and rum raisin.
T: It is a sweet stout, with raspberries and a brandy/bourbon alcohol. Nothing lingers, oddly. The chocolate and mocha flavors are not overpowering.
M: Creamy, yet clean and frothy. It is an awesome blend of really good textures.
D: Excellent. (434 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from my man ChugginOil (huge thanks as always!).

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

A – Pours black with a half inch of dark chocolate head that quickly dissipates and settles. Spotty lacing.

S – Dark chocolate, mocha, coffee. Nice.

T – Dark fruits and dark chocolate start it off. Deep roasty rich flavors. Get some coffee bitterness as well with the slight taste of smoke. Burnt wood. Just a twinge of sweet to it. Finishes with a nice alcohol burn right down to your stomach.

M – Slick and clean feel though it does coat your palate. Medium bodied and low carbonation.

O – This is a beast of flavors. Has all the great qualities of a good RIS. The ABV is certainly present but it is not overpowering. Still it’s a sipper and a fine one at that. (804 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into stout glass. Very dark brown and nearly opaque with a few brown slivers at the edges. Half an inch of tan head rises and quickly falls to a thin cap that lingers. A few spots of lace remain. Aroma is of roasted malts, dried dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, touch of soy sauce, and alcohol. Taste starts moderately sweet with chocolate, brown sugar, and date. Some bitterness follows from espresso and woody notes. Alcohol is masked well but not completely hidden. Medium-full body, creamy texture, low carbonation, warming sweet finish. (563 characters)

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lukafer, czoch85, and flandersned for all hooking me up with this brew in different trades!

A: Nice and viscous with a dark, but decidely brown body. Very small mocha head fizzles out after around half a minute.

S: Coffee is the predominant scent I get; chocolate and a bit of spicy rye hang around in the background.

T: Starts off with a bit of sweetness, then goes to semi-sweet chocolate. Coffee is there in the middle as well, but less prominent than it was in the nose. Coffee moves forward for a more bitter end, and the aftertaste is a muted coffee flavor.

M: Somewhat silky, a little lighter than I was expecting.

D: Goes down easy for a big fella.

This was a good stout, but not a great stout. There was no delicious flavor or complexity or anything that stood out to me. I was hoping for a more stellar brew, but I enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing how it ages. (895 characters)

Photo of deereless
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown head which drops and leaves a lingering layer of spots, pours with some serious viscosity and moves in the glass with a slight sluggishness, obsidian black in color - 5.00, S: Intense aromas, tons of dark coffee and black licorice, profuse sweetness suggestive of candied prunes or dates, lots of roasted grains as well as some baker's chocolate and fudge - 4.50, T: Thick chocolate and coffee, double fudge brownie without all the excessive sweetness on the palate, alcohol burn is present but not disruptive, some dark raisins and molasses, hops play a lesser role in the profile than the malts but provide a significant citrus bite - 3.75, M: Thick and smooth mouth feel - 4.25, D: All around a very nice RIS, intensely thick and flavorful and made for a cold winter night - 4.00 (796 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh off the tap, in a St. Bernardus goblet. Cause that's how I roll, yo.

Dark as sin, black as all the wrongs in the world, huge tanned brown, cocoa head standing firm above. Beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous. Outstanding.

Aroma: Oatmeal? Hmmm? Well, it's creamy, ...there's chocolate. Not too sweet. Roasty, but not too much. Creamy chocolate. Let's stick with that.

Drinking it: Big, fat, fantastic, delcicious. Rounds around the mouth, and sticks with it. Very well rounded, all together. What we seem to have is an RIS that is not outrageous in any degree, not overly out-there with any particular element.
Big, thick mouthfeel, long cocoa and coffee finish. Mmm, just right.

Very tasty, and not really easy to read the 12% abv, until, what, wait a minute, ...there it is...whoa-oh... (793 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, no bs IV. sticker on neck notes 04/08

appearance: snifter treatment. jet black body with a thin chocolate neck, very little in the way of lacing/retention

smell: rich and chocolatey, heavily roasted, earthy peat, dark fruit

taste: nice - dark and extremely roasty, char and peat, licorice and bitter dark chocolate, cola, espresso

moutfeel: creamy and rich, seems a touch thin

drinkability: good (413 characters)

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 829 ratings.