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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

2,340 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2340
Reviews: 732
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: 2,340 | Reviews: 732 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into my Founders Snifter.

A: Pours a jet black, deep as night. Light fights to break through this darkness, but it's an impossible task. Slight brown swirls of film form with a vigorous pour, but absolutely no head.

S: Pretty boozy with some great malt profiles and some light chocolates peak their head in out and out.

T: The heat is back from the nose with a nice burnt and bitter roast from the malts. Slight semi-sweet chocolates with a little hop jump at the end.

M: Heavy bodied, like oil on the tongue. Leaves a creamy roasted dry chocolate on the palate. Little carbonation.

O: A very solid RIS overall. Seems a very true to style brew and I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 14:27:39 | More by Treebs
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from the 2008 release. "Plead the 5th."

Very dark used motor oil brown to black with a small, tight, dark cocoa brown head. Nose is intensely roasty with strong bitter dark chocolate, cocoa powder, dark fruits, and an herbal bitterness. Hints of alcohol.

Intense dark chocolate and roasted barley flavors up front. Very baking chocolatey with strong espresso bitterness. Some sweetish dark fruits underneath and lurking alcohol warmth. Finish is herbal hop bitterness and more intense coffee/baking chocolate bitterness. Not bad, although it seems to be lacking some complexity. A little too baking chocolate-y and coffee bitter. Medium body seems a little light for the style and intense flavors. Maybe a bit undercarbonated too. Still a decent beer, just not as great as I was hoping for!

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 01:57:03 | More by alexgash
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I haven't really looked very hard, but this may actually be the last bottle from the now-legendary post-DLD death march. Here's hoping. This one pours a bleak nothingness, like the background of a later Goya painting, topped by a light head of tan bubbles. The nose comprises chocolate syrupe, maple syrup, molasses, a hint of soy sauce (odd...), roasted dark malts, brown sugar, figs, and some light coffee. Now that's some impy stout goodness, mm-hmm. The taste dives a bit, though: The roasts are all a bit too roasted, the sweetness is a bit too sweet, the strange soy sauce element returns (though not all that much), and a strong bit of leather comes swooping in uninvited. It's just all too much in too many different directions, if that makes any sense. Still, it somehow stays away from going too far in those myriad directions. It's hard to explain, but I think I can sum it up thusly: It's not what it should be (by any measure), but it's still not entirely objectionable. Yeah. Something like that. The body is a light heavy, with a high-light carbonation (deal with that, if your puny mind can, bwa-ha-ha!) and a smooth, fluid feel. Overall, I was not all that happy with this stout. Dark Horse has done some great things, but this one misses pretty far. Add the relatively high ABV, and the drinkability suffers. Still worth a try, though, if you ask me.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 00:30:43 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sludgy pitch black color that is completely opaque with a one finger frothy dark mocha head. Good retention, slowly fading into a thick lasting cap that leaves spots of lacing behind.

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 09:18:01 | More by corby112
Photo of SWMeyer4141
SWMeyer4141

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally planned on reviewing The Abyss for review 200 but didn't know if I could handle the bomber, so it may have to wait for 300....or hell, 201. Anyway, I'm been sitting on this beer for a while and decided lets go for the Plead the Fifth.

Review 200, poured into snifter...2011 Vintage

Appearance-Holy motor oil. Dark as can be, viscous looking. About a one finger dark brown head, you can just tell this is gonna be boozy. No retention or lacing as expected.

Smell-Dark chocolate, lots of it. Along with some booze, almost rum like. Vanilla, light licorice, slightly floral and nutty. Each whiff is different and have no idea what to expect from this one.

Taste-BIG booze. Taste is really refects the aroma with a vodka like taste, and after 2 sips I can feel it. Dark chocolate upfront with some cherries and vanilla. I feel like more flavors are trying to creep through as well, just not fully working with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel-Full bodied, moderate carbonation...and booze.

Overall-If this beer mellows out it could immediately become an A beer. The flavors are amazing, just wasn't fully ready.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:40:24 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from GBVDave from our most recent trade so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Consumed 8/2, poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a motor oil, thick, opaque black, no head and minimal spotty lacing.

S: Nose is licorice, roast malts, and hints of chocolate.

T: Taste is - oh thank god, not much licorice! Dark chocolate at the forefront mingled with charred malts. Those sharp notes lend to a softer milk chocolate. Dark fruits come in - some raisin and date. Deep coffee notes complete the finish of this beer.

M: Medium to fuller bodied, medium carbonation, rich, thick and creamy.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, rather filling, well hidden kick, nice representation of style. This is a nice stout to enjoy a pint of.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 23:42:08 | More by Jayli
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool label and branded pry-off cap acquired in a trade and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given both its current high ratings and the recommendation of blakelive784, a trusted friend who shares my tastes for the most part.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a quarter finger wide head of gorgeous rich tan colour. Good creaminess and thickness. Not too frothy or fluffy; instead it's supple and luscious. Retention is quite good considering the ABV - about 3-4 minutes, though it does gradually reduce to a floater ring, losing presence in the middle at about the 1.5 minute mark. Nice even consistent lacing as the head recedes. Silky smooth complexion. Somewhat soft looking.

Body colour is an opaque solid dark black; not quite a jet black. Might even have dark ruby hues a la Guinness. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's in league with good to great imperial stouts, but it doesn't stand out as unique. It's certainly within conventions, and excels therein. Really looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Sweet chocolate, fudge, cacao, toffee, cream, marshmallow, buried roast, chocolate, chocolate malt, dark malts, and - interestingly - buried dark fruit, including plum. Some fig as well. Surprisingly lactic for an imperial stout. Not getting any oats. I'd love more roast. Definitely on the sweeter end, but it doesn't seem like it'll taste cloying. No yeast or alcohol comes through. No hop character is evident. I imagine the dark fruit will develop as it warms. Hints of vanilla. Caramel. Sticky molasses. Lots of depth here, and it certainly seems complex. The only thing that has me a bit worried is the sweetness.

A pleasant aroma of moderate strength. Definitely amongst the better aromas for the style.

T: Ah yeah. Sweet chocolates mixed with a great creaminess and some light truffle. Toffee complements the aforementioned. Any chocolate malt, caramel, and dark malts are seamlessly integrated, never taking away from the chocolate in the limelight. Marshmallow lends it a nuanced cohesion. Sweet but nicely so; not at all cloying. The aftertaste is a kiss of plum with a hint of fig. Feels naturally constructed; it's well put together and no note stands out as inappropriate. No off flavours. Good depth and intensity of flavour. Pretty good duration of flavour. Nibbles of sweet vanilla. No real sticky molasses comes through; that was aromatic only - and that's a good thing. Cocoa. Some milky/lactic notes more in line with a milk stout.

I look for coffee and roast, but sadly they're missing here. Not getting any oats either. In any case, it's got interesting subtlety and notable complexity. There's a fair amount going on here, but the best examples of the style do provide more.

A case could be made that raisin and licorice are present, but it's hard for me to discern.

I'm not getting any yeast character, alcohol, or pronounced hop character. Any hopping was purely preservative.

Overall, it's tasty and I quite like it.

Mf: Silky smooth, creamy, and wet. Thick. Unrefreshing. Not hot, oily, hushing, harsh, or biting. Carbonation is well done, if a bit high. Complements the flavour profile quite well, but I wouldn't quite say that it feels custom-tailored to it. The texture facilitates delivery of the many notes from the flavour profile. Sticky. Rich. Extravagant, with a decadence I've noticed only in the finest beers of this style; call this characteristic an intangible if you fancy. Overall, it's got good presence on the palate, but it is just a biteen syrupy - and a fair bit sticky as well.

Dr: The sweetness does get more nagging as you get lower in the bottle, leaving me to conclude that I wouldn't want more than one bottle in a night. In any case, it's definitely meant to be savored. But damn if I wouldn't want another the next night! It's damn drinkable for the style, and very impressive overall, but it stops short of great. Hides its ABV well. I'm very excited to try the bourbon barrel aged variant; I've got one in me cellar in Colorado. This is a fine beer that lives up to its reputation and I can't see anyone being disappointed with it. A solid brew from Dark Horse - a brewery that after only two beers has seized my attention. I'll definitely seek this out again, as well as other Dark Horse brews. Wow.

Serve chilled and let warm.

Pair with chocolate covered cherries or dessert fondue. A simple neutral cheese would also be apt.

Drank just grand out of a stem-tulip; I'd recommend either that or a snifter.

Highish B

I got more and more dark fruit as it warmed, including blueberry, date, and even grape. Bravo.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 04:23:41 | More by kojevergas
Photo of timahood32
timahood32

North Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell on this beer as it warms up is some dark chocolate malt beer is dark as night taste follows smell dark roasted chocolate malt the thing that really stands out about this beer is the fact you really don't taste the 11% or at least in my opinion anyway I know a lot of other people say different.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 00:07:27 | More by timahood32
Photo of Adamdc
Adamdc

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into nonic pint glass.

A: Jet black body topped by 1/4 inch head of dark brown foam. Beer seems to 'glug' out of bottle--very thick.

S: Molasses, dark fruit, caramel, malt and some alcohol.

T: Bitter chocolate, coffee, malt, some bitterness and it's pretty hot, possibly a little too hot.

M: Mouthfeel is very full-bodied and heavy just how an RIS should be.

D: Not too high only because of the 'heat'.

This is a pretty solid RIS. It's my first brew by Dark Horse and I'm looking forward to trying some others.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 02:11:25 | More by Adamdc
Photo of biglite351
biglite351

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - black as tar, tall dark thick head.

S - heavy dark roasted malts, raisins, chocolate, not bitter but very inviting.

T - heavy deep roasted malts, raisins and a bit of sweet chocolate.

M - thick but not much tingle in the mouth. Burn in the throat from the alcohol.

D - the heaviness of the flavor and feel, plus the brim from the alcohol make this a short drinker.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 23:01:40 | More by biglite351
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into AVBC snifter. Received from a generous trader many many months ago.

A: Pours motor oil black with about a finger of short lived dark brown head that quickly faded into a thin collar leaving no lace.
S: Rich dark notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of spicy alcohol. I'm also getting a subtle yet strange notes of some kind of mint and maybe a hint of metal.
T: Follows the nose with a rich roasted dark malt taste. Very smooth. I get notes of caramel, dark and milk chocolate, coffee with cream, a hint of molasses and sweet dark fruit. Roasted but fairly sweet all around. Finish is lightly bitter (chocolate bitterness) and the aftertaste has flavors of tobacco.
M: Low yet tingly carbonation with an airy mouthfeel and full body. For 12%, the alcohol is noticeable but not really warm or overpowering. Overall a little sharp around the edges.
O: A fairly solid stout all around. Full mouth, great flavor. Not the greatest though, and perhaps a little rough around the edges, but I would definitely have another one of these again.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 02:37:47 | More by scottfrie
Photo of match1112
match1112

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours thick and black like ink. half finger of mocha colored head doesnt stick around long.

s: alochol, dark fruit, chocolate, roasted malt.

t: alochol, dark fruit, alochol, chocolate, alochol.

m: thick and creamy. decent carbonation. alochol burn.

o: not very well blended, alochol dominates everything about this beer. have had better ris that were better blended and more enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 01:56:34 | More by match1112
Photo of kdahnke123
kdahnke123

Indiana

3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage poured in snifter.
A - Very dark pour with a small amount of dark brown, quickly dissipating head.
S - Dark roast smell. Medium coffee smell with overtones of red wine.
T - Medium-heavy coffee. Rich, full flavor. A little on the heavy roasted side with a light amount of hops.
M - Medium viscosity with a good mouth coating quality.
O - Overall a good stout, especially if you like the coffee variety.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 22:03:28 | More by kdahnke123
Photo of dc55110
dc55110

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, with very little head... but tons of lacing. This stout is pitch black, held up to a light, none makes it through.

The smell is of dark rich dried fruit, figs, prune, raisin. There is also hints of bitter sweet chocolate, molasses, roasted coffee. In the background there is the presence of alcohol.

Rather sweet; the bitter sweet chocolate and dried fruit follow through from the nose. Coffee and alcohol are on the finish.

For as dark as this stout is, it is on the thin side. It doesn't give you that velvety feel as it goes down. Leaves a slightly chalky after taste/feeling in my mouth after the finish.

A nice stout, I'd be very curious to compare to the barrel aged version. I'll continue to pick this up every year upon its release.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 01:42:19 | More by dc55110
Photo of haazer
haazer

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle picked up at capones about 2 months ago.

A- A very thick cocoa puff milk forms atop the brew. Very bubbly, effervescent. The brew is the darkest brown/partially black in color, and opaque. Evident carbonation.

S- First initial whiff yields dark fruits. Once taken in, this is quite a nose. Deep roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, rich toffee, a touch of syrup, and a little chocolate. You can detect some booze but not overwhelming. The dark fruits are still present in each sniff.

T- The dark fruits are the most present flavor. I wanna say plums and raisins, and some black cherry too. Midway into the flavor I got the slightest bit of vanilla chocolate blend. The aftertaste is a barrage of roasted malts, and the slightest bitterness. The booze is not detected in flavor at all.

M- I've read in other reviews that this is "buttery", and you can pick that up from the mouthfeel. This is very smooth and easy drinking. The carbonation is hardly felt, and the body is light to medium bodied, but right in the middle of that. This is probably the lightest bodied RIS I've had.

O- This is a good RIS. Everything fell short compaired to the nose on this though. The tastes were not as pronounced, and the mouth was too light as a stout for my liking. But the masking of the booze and easy drinking nature make this beer above average.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 03:09:31 | More by haazer
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours an inky black with a full finger of dark brown head that quickly dissipates.

S-Smells of banana bread, some dark fruit, and a bit of roasted and chocolate malts.

T-Very sweet and rich chocolate on the front end with dark and bitter chocolate one the finish with a slight, clean bitterness.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a slight bit of warmth in the mouth and throat.

D-This one is almost too easy drinking considering the body and ABV; the alcohol is barely present in the warmth I described in the mouthfeel and I'm used to a heavier feel with bigger beers. I want to like it, but I yearn for a some more complexity in flavors and a richer mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 02:58:45 | More by samie85
Photo of hplascencia1024
hplascencia1024

California

3.74/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a snifter

A: Pitch black with no head whatsoever

S: nice dark chocolate, roasty notes, caramel, nice sweetness

T: dark chocolate, slight coffee, heavy roast, slight alcohol burn

M: very light, nice carbonation, I would like it to be thicker(just my preference for the style)

O:A very good stout, but there are a ton of better stouts out there. not disappointing but not world class IMHO

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2014 04:40:55 | More by hplascencia1024
Photo of abedenbaugh
abedenbaugh

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I happened to get the chance to try this beer in the 12oz bottles.

A: The color is vry dark and there was a little bit of film that was on the top. Practically no head on top.
S: Roasty aroma. A little bit of sweetness. Overall the aroma is a little on the light and mild side.
T: Very neutral flavors in the front of the palate. Then in the mid-palate the flavor really pops out with a full amount of roast, which stays until the end. Also there is a hing of an oaky/woodsy flavor. Some hints of coffee.
MF:Medium mouth fell. medium carbonation.
D: I like how the flavor developes of the course of drinking the beer. It is nice and drinkable, but it isn't anything really great.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 18:58:29 | More by abedenbaugh
Photo of youradhere
youradhere

Arkansas

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-reviewed on 2/17/11. 2009 vintage received in a trade.

Pours black with no head, no lacing. Initially head started to form, but it quickly fell. Smells of oak, booze, char, coffee. Tastes of anise, alcohol, chocolate and toasty char. High carbonation, light-ish mouthfeel for the style. Not as good as I remember, maybe this stuff goes through an ackward stage in it's life.

5/19/2010
The unassuming little bottle pours out a thick black concoction with a brownish tan head that falls rather quickly, leaving moderate lace behind. Copious amounts of yeast sediment remain in the bottle, this could either be good or bad depending upon how the yeast reflects in the glass. Smell is dark coffee and not much else, possibly some slight caramel in the back. First taste has this malt forward brew brining the malt bitterness of black patent roasted malt, followed by a subdued sweetness and an even more subdued smokiness which is a nice surprise. Yeast is barely detectable in this cornucopia of flavors, all jockeying for my attention; this is so much that it takes me a quarter of a glass before I even find the alcohol (12%), and even then it is perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel of this beer is something somewhat of perfection- it keeps the malt char, sweetness and smokiness all in line and playing beautifully with eachother on my palate. The carbonation is perfect, and I can see now why there was so much yeast sediment- as to even reach this modicum of CO2 a damn near entire yeast starter slurry is needed to survive the flavor and alcohol. Very drinkable, I wish I had more of it here in the PNW.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 03:54:41 | More by youradhere
Photo of xpimptastikx
xpimptastikx

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark and viscous with a thick sheet of chocolate head. Cocoa, tobacco, and light alcohol make up the nose.Taste is more of the nose with a long charred tobacco finish and noticeable alcohol. A near perfect thick and creamy body still make this beer enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 01:28:30 | More by xpimptastikx
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I bought a bottle of Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse last month for $3.49 at The Lager Mill. I have been wanting to try this beer for a while since I have tried one through fore of their stout series. But Plead the 5th always seemed to elude me and I was pretty sure I missed out on it this year, till I heard that The Lager Mill got a late shipment in a month ago and had a one bottle limit, I quickly drove over there and got my one bottle, so let's see what this beer is all about. No visible bottling date, but I know it's a 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- I really like the label on this beer, it doesn't stick out that much and it isn't the best looking, but it combines all the labels from the other four stouts and I think that's pretty cool. It poured a thick and dark motor oil black color as I would expect from an RIS of this size. It had a finger and a half of nice looking dark brown head that died down to a very thin ring.

S- The malts dominate the aroma of this beer. The weird thing about the aroma is that I really don't get much roast from the malts, in fact I hardly get any, just a faint mix of coffee and chocolate. The main player here is the dark fruits, and there sure is a lot of them, there is so much of them that it has an aroma similar to a Wee Heavy or an unhoppy Barley Wine. Plums and figs seem to stick out the most but there is also some raisins and prunes. The sweetness smelled like it was on the high side of medium and there was a pretty evident aroma of booze. Very odd aroma for an RIS, I expect the roast to shine, not the dark fruits.

T- Wow this is one sweet RIS, I don't think I have had one this sweet before. It starts off with with a quick glimpse into some dark chocolate and bitter black coffee, but it isn't that bold and it quickly fades. After that I get a real intense blast of sweet dark fruits that seems to be the most dominating flavor and is just too sweet for me. All the dark fruits that I picked up in the aroma are present in the taste with prunes and plums sticking out the most. The finish is a mix of medium bitterness along with a big dose of sweetness and an equally large amount of alcohol that makes for a pretty harsh finish and a slight roasty aftertaste.

M- Creamy, cloying and on the medium side of being full bodied, pretty much how it should be except for it being cloying. It had a light amount of carbonation, as this style should, it was nice.

That was my original review, people have told me since that I must have got a bad bottle since that isn't how this beer normally is, so I made sure to grab a bottle of the 2013 release to give it a second a chance. The appearance is pretty damn nice, it's a little better than the 4 I gave it, the head and lacing were nice. The aroma was much more roasted then the first bottle I had, it had more RIS aromas and light amount of dark fruits, its like the opposite of the first bottle I had, but the biggest problem is the harsh alcohol aromas that remind of of cheap vodka, the aroma is better than the 2.5 i first gave it, but it's not much better. The taste is better and more RIS like it, it had a nice roast to it, the alcohol was hidden ok, it wasn't harsh but it was pretty warming, better than the 3 I first gave it, it taste like a good RIS. The mouthfeel was better than the 3 I first gave it, it was pretty true to style. I must have had a bad bottle because this one is much different and much more RIS like. The drinkability isn't the best I don't think I would want another one. This was a solid RIS, but not a favorite Founders Imperial Stout is still my number one. A good RIS, that I recommend try, but I don't think it worth the trouble of seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 03:57:01 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from dkachur, who got it in a trade - thanks Dan! Poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Thick, black, like motor oil. No head, but very thin and runny bubbly, tan lacing.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malts - coffee and chocolate, of course - and some earthy, woody aromas. Fruity esters, too - not dark, either, but light, like tannins.

Taste: Very interesting. It's like a tart RIS, but it's not tart - it's just balanced. Lots of those light fruity esters balance a heavily roasted malt backbone - perhaps its citrus hops. Either way, it's unique, and surprisingly refreshing for an RIS.

Mouthfeel: Velvety and even, full bodied, with minimal carbonation. What is there is medium-sized, though.

Drinkability: The tartness/fruity esters keep it light and drinkable, which is good, because otherwise this one might knock you on your butt. It's very balanced, though - recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 03:41:24 | More by CrellMoset
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tempest

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Liberty St for $5/pint. Appeared pitch black with a brown cascading head. Damn, this is rich stout. Still, it wasn't cloying or too thick to have more than a few ounces like DFH World Wide Stout. It has a big chocolate cake taste that reminds me of 3F Dark Lord - though smoother and not quite as complex. This beer might benefit from a little more cellaring, it's just not as flavorful as the great imperial stouts. Still, it's fairly drinkable for the style and makes for a good dessert beer. Vanilla ice cream anyone?

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2010 20:49:55 | More by tempest
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alpinebryant

Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an oil sticky thick syrup with a very dark tan head.

Smell of oaky, charred remains of a bourbon barrel. I had to stop and question if this had any barrel aging, which as far as I am aware, it does not. Easily comparable to Ten Fidy in aroma with the sweetness that comes out.

Taste of a slightly boozy , sweet imperial russian stout. There are tons of charred remains in here after the sweetness settles. You can rub your tongue against the top of your mouth and feel the chalky feeling you get from ashes if one were to taste ashes... There is a lot of sweetness, a definite hop presence that brings the ash flavor down a notch, but I can never get over that ashy burnt aftertaste. This is a very tasty beer, but I would remove some of that black patent. Chocolate does it for me, and while this is tasty, I would rather have a RIS that has less char broiled coal characteristics in it.

Very low carbonation with an ashy mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 00:40:19 | More by alpinebryant
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Thurgoft

California

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter into two 6 oz portions. No freshness date to be found.

Pours a very, very dark, opaque brown with a loose mocha head that dissipates pretty quickly. Almost no light penetrates this brew. Nose is pretty hoppy for a stout with a prominent alcohol almost solventy smell up front. After a couple more deep whiffs I get a bit of semi sweet chocolate and a bit of roastiness. Taste is smooth with light roast and chocolate but also some subdued hop flavor in the mix. Loooong bitter finish with a bit of heat from the alcohol. Can taste a bit of the solventy-alcohol that I picked up so much on the nose but not too much. Smooth on the tongue with just a little carbonation but actually sort of light mouth feel for a stout let alone an 11% stout. That being said, it is very easy to drink. Second time having this beer, and I enjoyed the first more than this one. Just had a Founder's Imperial Stout last night and this particular bottle did not even come close (perhaps that's influencing my review?). Gonna try to cellar my other bottle for half a year to see if it mellows out a bit. Pretty good beer, but not in a hurry to pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 07:09:04 | More by Thurgoft
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,340 ratings.