Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,474 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,474
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 554
Gots: 907 | FT: 105
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,474 | Reviews: 839
Photo of Jayli
3.63/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of djmichaelk
3.64/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle courtesy of vinyljunkie (thanks Tom!), into a snifter.

A - Midnight black, with a thin ring of head around the edge of the glass. No retention (obviously, nothing to retain) and no lacing. It's not flat, but looks like it.

S - Heavy oat aroma, like a bowl of Cheerios. Some anise and black licorice, along with brown sugar in the background.

T - More oats all up in your face. I feel like I'm drinking cereal. Caramel and a hint of dark fruit. Lots of roast. And I'll say this -- for a 12% RIS, this disguises the alcohol REALLY well. I'm drinking this and having no idea how high the abv is.

M - Thick and chewy. Low carbonation. Not bad but not great, either.

D - Nice beer, but the abv kicks you in the behind before you know it. I couldn't taste it but I got warm pretty quickly. I doubt I could go through more than two of these in a sitting.

O - I want to love this one, but like almost everything I have from Dark Horse, there's always something getting in the way. It just seems heavy-handed to me. Nothing subtle in this one at all. I had a KBS immediately before this one, and while that might be setting the bar a little high, it reminds me what a world class stout tastes like. This isn't it.

Photo of scottfrie
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of vfgccp
3.66/5  rDev -15.1%

A - Coffee body with thin cola highlights. Ok retention and low lace on a light tan head.

S - Roast nose with a light edge of booze. Cocoa, burnt toast, touch of caramel and dark fruits. Fairly light.

T - Caramel, barley, and molasses. Dusty center with just a hint of balsamic vinegar. Astringent burnt toast finish.

M - Smooth, but a little light for an RIS.

O - Not bad, but a little disappointing given the hype.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.66 Plead the 5th
--- -Jay- -Jon- -Anth- -Vin- -Avg- Weight
A - 4.00 4.00 ------- 4.00 4.00 10%
S - 3.50 3.75 ------- 3.25 3.50 20%
T - 3.75 3.50 ------- 3.50 3.58 40%
M - 4.00 3.25 ------- 3.50 3.58 10%
O - 4.00 3.75 ------- 3.75 3.83 20%

Photo of seaoflament
3.66/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big props to my buddy Michael (SPLITGRIN) for this one as an extra on our most recent trade. This is one beer that wasn't in my wants but should have been; 100 wants is just not enough.

Incredibly dark beer, it pours the color of dark chocolate syrup with almost an inch of foam that quickly recedes.

Heavily roasted on the nose with dark roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, a bit of vanilla, roasted barley, chocolate malt, and an underlying earthy aroma. There are also hints of milk, roasted hazelnut, and some dark fruits and dark cherry in the background. Toasted and burnt bread is also in the mix but even with all the heavily roasted and burnt aromas there is a bit of sweetness that keeps this one from being one-dimensional in a way. Past the roasted aroma is a sweet milk or crème, and brown sugar that balance everything quite nicely.

Roasted barley, coffee, and baker's chocolate initially. After that I can taste the toasted and burnt bread followed by more roasted malts and a hoppy bitterness in the finish. Dark fruits like raisins and dried prunes hide near the finish and aftertaste, behind the huge roasted profile. Way in the back, during the long aftertaste, one can taste the black cherry and dark berries. Quite a bit of smoke and some charcoal in the taste too. The alcohol is pretty well hidden for the most part, I can however detect a bit of it in my breath. Near the end I taste some ash and cigarette smoke, not too pleasant.

The carbonation seems a bit aggressive but the beer is meaty and heavy on the palate...just how I like my stouts. A bit of ageing would benefit this one, hopefully cutting down on the bitterness in the finish and smoothing the carbonation.

Dry finish and aftertaste.

Photo of gatornation
3.67/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this imperial stout pours black and thick with very little head and 1/4 inch black cherry ring til the end ....it does have good lacing thru-out the smell is chocolate and molasses followed by coffee and some vanilla notes.the taste is bitter sweet chocolate first followed by a coffee bourbon taste throw in some berry/fruit tastes then finish with molasses ,burnt malt and slight vanilla bean..i do taste the alcohol presence this stout is a little to bitter for my liking and and a tad high on abv for my liking..not as smooth as some of dark horse earlier numbered stouts and not my favorite style of the 5..having said that it is still a good stout and i recommend trying this well made russian imperial and any other beer from this outstanding brewery

Photo of champ103
3.67/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black color. At first a two finger tan head forms, but recedes in a second. Not a lot of lace.
S: Big roasted malt up front. Chocolate, coffee, and sweet toffee. Lots of smoke as well. Very nice.
T: Follows the nose. All the roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and smoke you would expect. Just a bit metallic and astringent though.
M/D: A big full body that is low on the carbonation. Syrupy and sticky. A huge amount of alcohol, with plenty of heat. Though not hard to sip on.

This is very enjoyable, like everything from Dark Horse. Though a bit to astringent, and not as complex as other examples of a RIS. Basically the same thing as the Fore Smoke Stout, but with a ton more alcohol. Something that is still very much worth a try though.

Photo of Treebs
3.67/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of Adamdc
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of mynie
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sold to me as "Plead the Fifth" imperial stout. Also it came in a fourpack, not a bomber. And I should mention that I bought it at Eagle River Liquor in Fulton, Illinois. Because that store doesn't sell enough good beer.

Damn fine pour. Damn fine. I'd pit this bad mofo up against Dark Lord and the Abyss. Black as the total absence of colors and then there's a wonderful chocolate brown head sitting on top of it that is just mouthwatering. Seriously--I've been here for like 4 years and I don't think I've ever used the phrase "mouthwatering" before, since it's so cliche. But that's what this is.

Smells very rich and intense. This is a room temp pour but it's still pretty hard to pick out one flavor from another. There's a little bit of smokiness, but that's overridden by chocolate and roughraw porter malts. You also got some bread and nuts in there, too. Not much of the liquor or alcohol burny yeast that you normally expect from an RIS.

Tastes...wow the taste is solid but still a total letdown. Little dull and watery at first, but that falls into a meaty smoke flavor that runs quickly into a chocolate malt and gives way to some lightly burny yeast. Eh. The blend ain't all the great, the seltzery beginning is nothing short of offputting, and it's not nearly intense enough for the style.

Don't get me wrong: I am by no means the kind of guy who gets down on beers for not being Xtreme enough. But I expect a lot out of an RIS. And this one, while plenty enjoyable, doesn't fully deliver.

Photo of kojevergas
3.69/5  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.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.69/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Raznug for this one. Poured into a tulip. Pours black with about a finger of cocoa colored head. Not much to stick around, but spotty lacing looks pretty good. This has a really big nose. Big earthy smells all around; tobacco and faint whiff of alcohol. Dates and prunes and other dark fruits are present alongside a faint aroma of bitter chocolate. This smells great, at 12 percent, I expect to smell a little alcohol, regardless, I'm having trouble getting my nose out of this one to taste it. To my disappointment, the smell was better than the taste. I love the dark fruits that I'm tasting and hint of rich chocolate. I generally prefer something to be a little more roasty, but the dark fruit flavor is really nice. A little too much alcohol heat for good drinkability, but the mouth feel is good. A little under-carbonated for my taste, but it's still nice. The body is also a little lighter than I expected due to the style.

Photo of timahood32
3.7/5  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.

Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of biglite351
3.71/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of match1112
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of alexgash
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
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!

Photo of StoutHunter
3.73/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Photo of abedenbaugh
3.73/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Photo of kdahnke123
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of hplascencia1024
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
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

Photo of dc55110
3.75/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -13%

12 oz. bottle poured into a mini-tulip (Yorktoberfest sampler)

A: Pitch black with a dark mocha head.
S: Roasted malt with a milky sweetness.
T: Good, decent stout that I don't think stood up the year of aging.
M: Smooth with virtually no carbonation.
O: I wonder what the BA version tastes like. It seems like mediocre base stouts make for great BA stouts.

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,474 ratings.