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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.

837 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 837
Hads: 3,579
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 8.27%
Wants: 553
Gots: 939 | FT: 111
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 837 | Hads: 3,579
Photo of Stolenface1
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black w/ tan head on tap @ the Answer Brewpub. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla & some fruit and nuttiness. Flavor is exactly like the aroma. Slighty hig on the carbonation level for the style, but that could have been due to the keg/CO2 level. Nice and chewy, but not as much as expected for the ABV. Overall really enjoyed this brew. Recommended.

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Photo of MUTINY
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a chalice.

A: Pours a very deep, opaque black with hints of mahogany around the edges. 1/4" brown head recedes quickly. Retention is essentially a lingering ring around the glass, lacing is nonexistent.

S: Semi-sweet chocolate, hints of booze, clove & cinnamon. Vanilla & cream are present. Candied berries. Quite nice.

T: Come on with vanilla/chocolate cream note that lingers well into the mid palate, which begins to show more of a spice character - again clove & cinnamon, along with nutmeg & black pepper. The booze note definitely increases toward the end, along with a sharper, more defined nutmeg character. Finishes with an interesting balance between vanilla cream & heavy spice.

M: Lowish carb married to a rich, above-mid-weight malty body. Finishes with a velvety richness.

O: Really quite good, not too assertive in any one way - yet still a big, distinct brew.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 4/2/2013. Pours a deep, dark brown with absolutely no light shining through. Opaque body with a thin mocha colored head and lots of alcohol legs inching down the sides of the glass. Roasted nutty aroma, with good amount of dark chocolate, bitter coffee grounds, molasses, prunes, dried fig, cherry cordial fruitiness, burnt brown sugar, and an earthy hoppiness. Thick, chewy mouth feel with good carbonation still and slight booze warmth going down. The flavor is very rich, roasty and not too sweet. Dark unsweetened cocoa, umami, smoked ash, brown sugar, charred marshmallow, raisin, and mocha.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very rich, simple chocolaty stout with malted roast on the palate. A bit thin, but the alcohol is well hidden. Overall, a great option in the non-barrel aged stout category.

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Photo of ryanhooks81
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from bottle into tulip. pours black with a thin tan head. minimal lacing. roasted malts and chocolate and coffee notes. pretty good. i was expecting it to be a bit thicker. im a little disappointed. but its still pretty good.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Tulip. 2014 vintage.

A- Pitch black. It pours thick and oily with almost no head. Just one layer of tan effervescence.

S-Tons of roasty chocolate goodness. Some sweet dried dark fruit too.

T- Excellent balance of dark roasted malt smokiness and dark chocolate. SUPER smooth. I seriously can't believe this is 11%.

M- Thick and coating with a low-medium carbonation.

D- A prime example of a great RIS. I wish this was I my distro.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Pours a viscous pitch black color with an inch plus of dark brown head. Some lacing. Roasty aroma with lots of espresso and chocolate syrup. Molasses, tobacco and leather. The taste is espresso, molasses and leather with more of the chocolate syrup. Roasty espresso towards the end with some licorice. Moderate alcohol burn. Earthy. Lots of carbonation with a heavy, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, great RIS I'll be buying again.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick frothy head that dissipates rather quickly. Smell is not very pronounced but chocolate, vanilla, and oats were detected. Taste is chocolaty, nutty and roasty. The mouth feel is a perfect balance; initially creamy with a hop bitterness at the end all while masking the 11% abv very well. I was impressed with this brew, it deserves the ratings it has.

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Photo of Bugs318
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle poured into a teku in August 2015.

A: Black body capped by a scant creamy mocha head of little retention, though a slim ring remains throughout.

S: chocolate forward, with some trace vanilla, some licorice, a bit of coffee, light notes of faded hops.

T: chocolate, then coffee, then a touch too much ethanol.

M: a touch oily, but nicely thick. Moderate carbonation, but muted by the body. A bit hot.

O: pretty solid beer!

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Photo of CO-Bloom
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great pitch black stout. Smells roasty, sweet chocolate and some burnt marshmallows. Taste followed nose with roasty coffee, some smokiness, bittersweet chocolate, toasted marshmallow and a little bit of warming alcohol. Great thick and slick moutfeel. Overall one of the better RIS I've had! Kudos Dark Horse!

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Photo of lastmango
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a sinister black with a one finger chocolate brown head. No legs. Wonderful caramel and chocolate malt nose. Sweet malt with hint of molasses. One of the best imperials
I 've had. Potent. Thick and a bit oily but great.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with no penetration to light. A fingernail of beige surrounds the rim and covers perhaps a quarter of the middle. I smell loads of luscious roasted barley meshing with notes of plum and raisin. The taste is definitely more on the sweeter spectrum. Sweet dark malt, plums, and raisin are very prominent. The mouth is thick, sticky, and viscous.

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Photo of Zach136
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black, small dark head.

Aroma/Flavor: Smokey espresso, nutty, with notes of bakers chocoalte.

Mouthfeel: Medium+, slightly warming alcohol presence.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Jet black with minimal head. Smells of dark chocolate which is the dominate flavor along with some hints of vanilla and smoke. Just sweet enough with a dry finish. Smooth mouthfeel and the abv is well hidden. This is an exceptional stout.

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Photo of TooGood
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with minimal head and slight lacing. Smells slightly boozy with hints of dark fruit. Tastes like a boozy chocolate fruitcake (awesome). Best thing about this beer is the feel, absolutely thick and rich. It was a pleasure to savor every drop.

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Photo of JArt
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, minimal head. Smells of chocolate, vanilla, caramel and wood. Taste is similar to smell, but you can definitely taste the alcohol. There's a good deal of bitterness with a roasted chocolate aftertaste. Big, solid stout, hard to believe it's not BA.

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Photo of mschantz
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an extremely rich deep dark opaque black color with a nice firm mocha brown head. Chocolate, cherry and molasses on the nose. Taste is pretty boozey for a non- BA stout but nice dark rich fruit notes come through on the front. Despite the huge malt bill this stout finishes with nice hoppy bitterness. Very interesting and complex stout.

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Photo of emyers
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a thin medium brown head dissipating quickly into a light lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley, strong molasses, dark chocolate. Strong dark fruit presence. Bold aroma, yet well balanced.

Taste: Similar to the smell. Very strong roasted barley/dark chocolate base complemented by dark fruit, molasses, and a smokey character. Tons of depth but maintains great balance. No alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel; Full-bodied, but not extremely thick as many imperial stouts tend to be. Medium carbonation.

Overall: One of the best non-barrel-aged imperial stouts on the market.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Damn good stout. Pours super super dark like a thick oil. Dark brown head with beautiful lacing thru out. Smells of coffee, malt, and burnt goodness. Taste is even better than anticipated! Smokey dark chocolate, burnt malts with hints of coffee. Superb beer.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2.11.14 into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: pours as thick and dark as hot fudge. Very minimal light brown head.

Smell: cider, pumpkin spice. As it warms, more chocolate, cherries, roast, then fig and raisin even later.

Taste: very smoky, chocolate-covered cherries, some cinnamon and licorice. Fig and raisin appear in the taste as well as it warms.

Feel: starts medium but gets thicker as it warms; never dry, which many stouts with this profile tend to be.

Overall: this is a 20% better beer at room temperature, where it really is great.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: [4.00] Looks jet black in the glass. I get no light penetration. It has a brown head that looks creamy and delicious. The head is much more brown than most stouts. Unfortunately it dissipates quickly. The ABV is on the label (11%). There was a bottled date but it is smudged almost completely off.

S: [3.75] Dark fruits. Plums. Some alcohol. Maybe a hint of smoke and malts.

T: [3.75] Does not follow the nose. Smokey malts. Chocolate. Some booze.

M: [4.50] The body is medium+. It is chewy and nice. There is a bit of alcohol astringency on the finish that makes it feel a little dry and tight.

O: [4.00] I held on to this one for a while - waiting for a good opportunity to try it. I was not blown away (maybe my expectations got too high). It is a solid beer. The flavor is really good. The mouthfeel is great. At 11% the alcohol is only poking in just a bit. I would probably not actively seek this out again. There are lower ABV beers that I prefer.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with light tan head
S: Dark fruit, and roasted malt
T: Follows the nose with dark fruit and roasted malt. Very juicy dark fruit, sweet, not bitter at all, and not trace of the 11% abv.
F: Creamy and smooth, but did not coat my mouth to well, and flavors faded fairly quick.
O: Good beer, glad I got to try it (can't get locally), but not going to seek it out.

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Photo of Pencible
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a pitch black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and cream with some dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like cocoa powder and roasted coffee, with some cream and a little citrus zest. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a solid stout with a simple but enjoyable scent and taste. The body was good, but the finish was a little hot, so it was better to sip. Age may help, but it's still nice enough fresh. I just don't see anything special about this beer - not worth the hype.

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Photo of joberlander
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome appearance, pitch black with rich mocha colored head. Get a lot of dark chocolate on the nose along with roasted malt. The taste follows the nose perfectly, lots of dark chocolate. Full mouth feel and great finish with a hint of alcohol (which I personally love in imperial stouts. Really great example of an imperial stout. Definitely just became a go to when I want a traditional IS. This and Ten Fidy are the benchmark IMO.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Cappy's, arrived in a snifter.

Appearance: Arrived your typical imperial stout solid black, capped with a thick head of almost dark brown foam that lingered for an impressively long time. Lacing was insane.

Smell: Dark stone fruits and chocolate leap out of the glass to smack you across the nostrils and demand your full attention. Beneath them, there's blackened grains and lightly roasted coffee, but it's the fruit and chocolate that demand attention here.

Taste: Did I mention that the fruit and chocolate are attention hogs? Because they're front and center in the taste as well, from first sip all the way through the finish. Plums, dark berries, and a mix of sweetened and super-dark chocolate dominate the flavor profile. Beneath them, swirls of lightly roasted coffee, cream, and scorched malt can be found.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full, yet with an oddly watery finish.

Overall: This is a tasty stout. I'm not sure quite how the chocolate and fruit notes dominate every other aspect, but I am not complaining.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 837 ratings.