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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,373 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2373
Reviews: 735
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: 2,373 | Reviews: 735 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lunarbrew
lunarbrew

Wisconsin

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful beer. Incredibly dark and opaque when held to light. Head is deep brown with about one finger and dies quick. Leaves a fine and appealing lacing surrounding the edge of the glass. Very inviting.

The nose is very robust. I can smell heaping amounts of roast from dark malt, coffee, and medium-dark chocolate. A bit of acidity (red berry) on the front end, but mostly malted notes.

Flavor is rich and delicious. Tons of brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and some alcohol at the finish. Very sweet with a wonderful dry aftertaste from black patent or the like. Want to keep going back for another sip.

Lots of weight, but still not too syrupy. The beer foams up quickly due to a decent amount of carbonation and gives a very creamy texture. It's a very pleasant and oh so drinkable brew.

I was very excited to try this. Amazingly drinkable and addictive for 11%. The texture was superb and there was a great amount of depth. I am anxious to see if the boozy flavor settles out after some time.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 23:31:14 | More by lunarbrew
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to maximum12 for this extra!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a thick motor oil black color with three fingers of thick, creamy brown head. Retention is damned impressive, especially at 11%, and the head leaves nice cream lacing as it recedes.

S - Sweet hot chocolates, cream, subdued roasted malts and toffee undertones. Favors sweet. A touch alcoholic. Dark fruit and fig notes. It's highly lactic, reminiscent of a milk stout. I'm missing any coffee or bitter roasted malts. Inviting.

T - Creamy semi-sweet chocolates perfectly counter the subdued roasted malt body. Vanilla and toffee undertones alongside dark fruit. It's sweet, without ever feeling unbalanced. The alcohol is makes a subtle presence on the way down. Nearly perfectly balanced. Masterful brewing.

M - Full bodied, creamy and silky smooth. Damn near perfect.

D - I'd never guess this is 11%. Wonderfully built and amazingly drinkable. A great success from Dark Horse.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 03:24:21 | More by blakelive784
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass from the bottle, one must note the attractiveness of this beer. Pouring a handsome black color, a mocha colored head tops the beer before fading to lace the sides of the glass. In the aroma, one gets notes of burnt malts, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. I was a little surprised that the aroma is so muted since this is relatively fresh. On the initial taste, one detects dark chocolate, smoke, burnt sugar a sweet backbone. The alcohol is noticeable, but in a good way. I enjoyed this stout near room temperature, which really helps to highlight the nuances of the beer. The smooth mouthfeel allows a sweet dark chocolate note to linger on the back of the tongue until it almost becomes mediciney. It is an that point that the warming sensation of the alcohol bursts through and reminds you that this stout has an 11%ABV. After about three sips of this beer, I am starting to feel it. This beer is an excellent nightcap, and may be best shared with a friend.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 01:03:42 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black color with a tight creamy milk chocolate colored head. The head poured big and fluffy and slowly settled into a solid cap.

The aroma is quite roasty. Big roasted malt with some anise, dark chocolate, and charred wood. Some caramel and milk sugar notes provide some sweetness. Nice earthy aroma.

Taste mirrors that aroma and then some. Big roasted malt flavor, that brings some anise and boozy dark fruit notes. The next wave brings some dark chocolate, coffee grounds and charred wood. Dark caramel provides some sweetness. Slight tea like sourness as well.

The feel is moderate to well bodied with quite soft carbonation. Starts off sweet on the palate but is nicely balanced with roasted bitterness. The finish is bitter and sticky. It is a bit lighter than expected but it is very smooth. Drinks quite nice. The ABV is well hidden for the most part. Perhaps a touch of heat.

A very good earthy RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 23:55:31 | More by Gmann
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very happy that Dark Horse is now available in Kentucky as I've always wanted to try this one. Poured from a bottle into a Founders tulip. The pour is black with no light getting through. It sports a nice big chunky light tan head that has some good retention. The nose is typical of the style. I get notes of burnt fruit, roasted malt, some coffee, and a faint sweet vanilla-like smell.

Full body, lots of flavor, and a surprisingly luscious, creamy feel (given that I didn't think it looked all that viscous when pouring). I get a nicely balanced roasty-sweet taste up front and the roasty bitterness and dark fruit seem confined to the back of the palate, where they pick up a real welcome, warming, boozy kick. The beer is incredibly smooth and drinkable for the style. Flavors are intense, but so well-balanced they all just work well together. A nice flavor of espresso and dark chocolate lingers in the mouth.

This beer did not disappoint. I will likely pick up a few more to enjoy and/or cellar. Not my favorite of all the RISs I've had so far, but certainly in the top 4 or 5.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 09:12:37 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of ChrisKayler
ChrisKayler

Virginia

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Glass: Odell Tulip Stemmed Glass.

Appearance: Dark black, syrupy on the pour. An aggressive pour produces a half finger of tan-chocolate head. Head quickly dissipates into a thin film that remains on top.

Smell: Chocolate forward, with a mixture between dark and milk, slightly favoring sweeter milk chocolate. Slight coffee aroma. Roasted malt, tiny hop bitterness.

Taste: Chocolate forward again, but the overall flavor is more roasted and bitter than the smell would suggest. Smokiness is present as it warms. Alcohol is present in mid-taste, a bit strongly for me.

Mouthfeel: Very syrupy. Thick, and creamy. Light carbonation.

Overall: A very good imperial stout, that suffers from a bit too much alcohol presence as well as the overly decadent and thick mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 03:49:58 | More by ChrisKayler
Photo of templar316
templar316

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A thick creamy mocha head bubbles up bringing cinnamon, dates, cherry tobacco along with it. It fades quickly but works heavily coating the outside of my tulip after a swirl. The color is black as pitch no highlight's to this one. A hint of clover, and gamey undertones in the dark fruit of the nose. The flavor rolls gently, powerfully capturing my full attention as it goes from cocoa roast malts, to frothy coffee, with undertones of leather and roast goose. It all finishes with a dominant mouthfeel and lingering biterness that reminds us not to say too much.

In my 2nd decade with stouts as my favorite style, I was not expecting to be impressed by this. Perhaps the bottle of 1 I had was bad... However, I can't say enough about the creamy roasty mouthfeel, the depth of flavor, or the character of this beer. I'll be buying more tomorrow.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 05:17:22 | More by templar316
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into tulip. no bottled on date, but I assume the most recent bottling.

A: super dark brown, just about as close to black without being black. head is dark brown and tight. reasonable retention, spotted lacing.

S: rich dark chocolate. decadent. smells like dessert in a glass. little wisps of alcohol. some heat with it. big time roast. smells inviting.

T: lots of roast, super meaty. tobacco. cedar. sweet without being too sweet. roasty without being too roasty. this thing is big, yet very balanced. well crafter.

M: a lot of velvet. smooth. super smooth.

D: wow, this is what a stout should be. and similar to another offering of Dark Horse's, bottle conditioning is a plus. not sure how this holds up over time, but really satisfied with drinking it fresh. well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 04:53:10 | More by Jimmys
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: into a flute, black motor oil with a dark brown mousse head that slipped away pretty quickly; sparse lace motes

S: typical roasted dark and chocolate malts, with suggestions of espresso

T: big bitter bite right up front, sweeter and warmer chocolate notes soon to follow; rich maltiness and bitterness throughout, with high points of oak/wood; semisweet chocolate and roasted espresso

M: full-bodied, slightly coating, slightly sticky, some shapness from the bitter hops and alcohol

O: rich, rough, and deeply chocolate, with a bit of the abv peeking through - lots of flavors, does justice to the tradition of the Russian Imperial stout. Dark Horse makes very good beers at a decent price, and this is just par for the course.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 19:15:23 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Almost pitch black with a kahki head of 1/2 finger depth. Not much retention or lacing.

S: Roasty malts, caramel, sweet dark chocolate, a little alcohol, very nice aroma.

T: Roasy malts along with the smell, nice dark chocolate and toffee, just really great. A little bitterness lingers.

M: Moderate carbonation, a little more than necessary, but otherwise a nice full body with good smooth texture and a nice finish.

O: This is equal to, if not better than, FIS. I'm just really, really loving this brew. It's hard to improve upon. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 06:50:14 | More by MCain04
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.98/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One hell of a dark beer. Even darker than Expedition. Forms a creamy DARK brown head with purple accents. Good retention and moderate lacing, with mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is just amazing. Prunes and raisins, figs, sorghum molasses, soy sauce, intensely roasted grains, vanilla, black walnut, and an inkling of the alcohol that is in there. Wow. The mouthfeel is glamourous...silky smooth with an amazing lingering finish and a dense, oily body. Taste starts out with the prune juice, black walnuts, espresso and soy sauce, followed by a expertly balanced herbal/green oily hop bitterness. Cocoa, dark chocolate, and charcoal appear but never with any harshness, astringency or acidity (a tough feat to accomplish!). Chalk, tobacco, prunes, leather and a warming alcohol sensation teases me in the finish. Cleanly fermented. Even though the alcohol is felt, it's never tasted. Sweet throughout with a sweet roasted finish.

Wow. Amazing Imperial Stout here. Probably the best in Michigan, maybe even better than Founders. Completely trouces Expedition. The fact that this thing is so amazingly drinkable speaks volumes for this beer. Highly recommended!

Re-review 3/9/13-Maybe my tastes have changed, but I am not impressed with this years batch. The alcohol is near overpowering at 11%, adding a very astringent finish. The dark fruit is minimal in comparison to the roast and char. The very large percentage of chocolate malt and black patent adds to the astringency and creates an unpleasant tartness. It finishes very dry for the style with too much charcoal and burnt grain.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 02:18:01 | More by Mitchster
Photo of SometimesIfart
SometimesIfart

Michigan

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black. And I mean fucking black with a two finger dark mocha head that sticks around long after the pour. Left no lacing.

S - Lots of coffee and black coffee beans followed by a moderate amount of alcohol.

T - Loads and loads and loads of dark coffee and espresso, followed by some creamy dark chocolate and booze.

M - The body is surprisingly thin with moderate carbonation.

O - Overall, It was a good stout and exactly what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 05:02:21 | More by SometimesIfart
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black with a frothy one inch mocha head that very slowly dissipates, leaving thick sheets of lacing. Thick layer of yeast sediment left in the bottle, which I also noticed in the fore.

Chocolate, soy, roast malt, and malted milk balls form the initial aroma. Hints of dark fruit emerge as it warms, bruised raspberries, along with some nutty toffee notes and tar.

Roast malt leads the flavor, lingering throughout. Slightly sweet dark chocolate is evident initially, becoming nutty mid palate, then finishing with modestly charred breadcrust and coffee. Dark cherries and ripe raspberries underlie the flavor profile, almost becoming overwhelming in strength. Mocha surfaces in the aftertaste. Becomes boozy, which actually is a good complement.

Body is full...thick and syrupy, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Somewhat of a chameleon in flavor. One sip is roast dominant, another dark fruit. Fairly complex, with enough roast to balance the dark fruit overall, and enough chocolate to keep things from being overly bitter. Seems to just lack something that would make it exceptional. Maybe bourbon...

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2013 01:53:49 | More by barczar
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark as fuck and thick as shit - is that an accurate description of the appearance? It looks like molasses as it dribbles out of the bottle, pouring will nearly no sound as it collapses into the glass. No head forms at first, even with a direct pour down the middle, until moments after I'm finished pouring and a dark tan film rises from nowhere and puts a skin on the brew.

Aroma comes through full-force with insanely deep roasted coffee; charred espresso and dark, bitter cocoa beans. This is a heavy hitter, alright, and the nose doesn't hold anything back. There is a creaminess to it, carrying over a very light sweetness. But make no mistake - if the initial aroma is any indication, the sheer roasted bitterness of this brew will tower over all else. Some more dark fudge aromas open up as the beer warms, but it remains a deep, black, and bitter type of fudge, still laying low on the sweetness. Surprisingly low alcohol character for being 11-12% ABV, but there is a noticeable warmth to back everything up.

The taste, shockingly enough, opens up with a very light, licorice-like sweetness before converging into the roasted carnage. Bitter-ass roasted coffee beans, and huge charcoal notes take over like none other. This beefy stout plays off of a heavy hop character as well, something else I really enjoy; leafy, ashy, herbal, and spicy. The bitterness from the hops and the bitterness from the roast combine to form a super bitterness that may even be stronger than all of the sweetness from the malt.

Light chocolates and sinister dark fruits play the counterbalancing sweetness role, although they don't stand a chance again the roasted bomb. There is a heavy fade of char, roast, burnt coffee, and nuttiness going into the aftertaste. Overall, the alcohol warms up a bit and gives this baby a fuckin' huge backbone - very robust; it demands that it be sipped slowly rather than slammed in a few seconds. This beer is big.... no, HUGE, on the palate, and creamy all the way through. Super low carbonation, but it almost works, here.

Seriously a badass stout; orgasmically powerful roast from nearly start to finish with a heavy and hard-hitting bitterness through and through. I love stouts like this. For the high ABV, it drinks pretty well. I'm biased towards bitter stouts, so this one was right in my wheelhouse. Simply delicious.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 04:27:00 | More by tectactoe
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this slightly warm, however it is still so good. Has a modest light brown head that settles after a bit down to a large island with a ring. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is very earthy, with roast, malt, a little hop, leather, cocoa. Flavor's like nose and very well balanced regardless of its commanding designation. And all of the components of the aroma are magnified in flavor - BAM!! In some sort of odd way severe yet warm and welcoming. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, longish, slightly alcoholic, and moderately long. A beer to be reckoned with. And slurped.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 10:08:07 | More by drpimento
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I gave this beer an aggressive pour and i was rewarded with a tall mocha head. I also watched as the Guiness effect unfolded, quite pleasing.
Appearance other then that was rather standard.
Aroma was rich with nice depth. Really lots of roasted goodness. Hints of vinnilla and coffee some chocolate too perhaps.
Taste was good lots of roastedness, chocolate and coffee. There was an earth taste too.
This beer also has a lighty sweeten taste which i think nulls the alcohol profile because at 12 percent it is almost absent from the tasting, which could be dangerous.
The feel on the palette is flat, velvetty flat which I did not like. Restrained alcohol warms and coats the tongue.
I'd say all in all a pretty damn good beer, but be fore warned alcohol wise it drinks small.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 15:08:17 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. no bottling date.

Pours a pitch black color with a slight beige head that quickly dissipates.

Smell is very light... faint coffee maybe? not much to go by.

taste is strong. extremely drinkable here. good chocolate and coffee notes. bitter in a good way. this is what an easy to drink RIS is supposed to taste like.

heavy body and low carbonation, but it doesnt taste syrupy like a lot of other RIS'. alcohol is undetectable on the tongue. easy to down a pint...might be dangerous at 11%!

overall an exceptional RIS that i will return to again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 01:13:27 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of KFBR392
KFBR392

Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Washington

4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In spite of my aggressive pour into my San Francisco Strong Beers Month 2012 tulip, it pours rather lazily into the glass and just sits there. Very dark brown small quickly fading head just enough to let you know there was some carbonation. Brown line of bubbles cling around edge of glass.
Aroma overpowering burnt chocolate. Very nice. Could sit and take it in all day but it's time to taste it.
Tastes again strong burnt chocolate. Some lingering coffee notes. Alcohol burn. 12% ABV not at all well hidden.
Mouthfeel nice. Lingering taste extends the experience. Alcohol taste remains as well. No cloying effect whatsoever. Could sit here and sip it all day.
This is why beer is better than Cognac.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 23:11:45 | More by NWer
Photo of tut2528
tut2528

Illinois

4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours jet black, in very minimal head formation. giving it a couple of swirls it elicits an very dark tan almost brown head. big alcohol legs are noticeable.

S: roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, slight fudge sweetness, big dark fruits (predominately plums and figs), slight tart cherries as well. just a slight touch of coffee grounds

T: pretty similar to the nose. chocolate fudge, plums, figs, and cherries. but in addition, I pick up on a big black licorice, a slight hint of hops, and a vanilla cream finish. i find no alcohol presence and this one is going down

M: full bodied that coats the mouth with a nice bitter chocolate and sweet dark fruit characters

O: extremely smooth beer. and i must say that at the alcohol is almost undetectable. just a freaking fantastic RIS. definitely need to get my hands on the BA version, bc I can't imagine how fantastic that one would be!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 01:26:15 | More by tut2528
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew

Missouri

4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Probably the thickest pour I've experienced. Dense, black, and viscous, this one has allmost no carbonation going into the glass. Very small head that was only slightly thicker than a film on top forms, even with some vigorous pouring. What little head there is retains as a thin film and laces just a bit. Black as night in the glass, with no light able to penetrate the body.

S- Upon opening the bottle and the release of air with a hiss, the big, bold, roasty notes can be detected. Prominent among the strong, dark, roasted malts is a blend of chocolate and coffee. Chocolate is semisweet, while the coffee gives the whole scent some teeth. Underneath the chocolate and coffee flavors, there is a ton of dark malts; some bitter, some sweet in smell.

T- Big, roasted, dark malts off the bat, just like the scent. Slightly more bitter than the smell, and progresses right into the chocolate and coffee blend I described. Coffee is bitter, but not overly so, with the chocolate sweetening things up just a little bit. The blend of coffee and chocolate dominates most of the drink, moving towards a slightly more bitter bite to finish it. Right at the end, some alcohol bitterness makes an appearance, but does not overpower the coffee and chocolate bitterness.

M- Feels just like it looked in the pour; thick. Smooth, with very low carbonation as it slides across the palate. Slight to moderate alcohol heat peaks through at the ends, warming as it goes down.

Overall, I am impressed. This has been somewhat under the radar for me, and when the store tweeted out that it had it, I grabbed the 2 bottle limit. Glad I did that. We'll see what the other one tastes like in a few months to a year, but it drinks great fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 00:22:54 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into Bell's tulip and consumed yesterday, 3/10/13 and going off of notes from previous consumption from approx. 1 month ago.

Aroma: Smells great, got a ton of chocolate malt and coffee notes. Roast character typical of big stouts also jump out here. Very pleasing and pungent nose. (4.25)

Colour: Pours thick jet black, really viscous. Not a ton of light gets through when I illuminate. Poured aggressively with a thick, 2cm brown head that dissipates in less than 30 seconds. Laces are thick but don't stick for long. I can recognize that its definitely a RIS for sure. (4)

Flavour: Really, really, really nice. Perfect winter sipper. Strong chocolate and roasted malt giving me cocoa, caramel, and a hint of espresso. Very much full of flavour. Gives off quite a bit of heat as it warms up which can be nice depending on when it's being quaffed. This time, it's perfect for a wet Wisconsin winter evening. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied, one of the thicker stouts I've had- it feels like pure motor oil. Well done Dark Horse. Also, carbonation is solid for the style and it leaves a smooth, resinous mouthfeel as I swish it around and swallow. I really like the feel of this beer a lot. (5)

Overall: Well done Dark Horse. I love the combination of the flavours and the mouthfeel. It really puts the malts out up front, and its still hoppy enough to balance it out while the entire combination goes down smoothly. The appearance and smell take second fiddle to the flavour and mouthfeel for sure. I'd like to try the BBPt5 just to see how much the mouthfeel improves! But in those departments I don't see much room for improvement- it's that good. I want to call this my RIS for the really dark, cold nights while Founders RIS is more of whenever I feel like a RIS. (4.25)

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 23:29:18 | More by Stevedore
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours incredibly black. As dark as they come. Almost not head. More of a brown film. Impressive alcohol legs.

S- A lighter roast. A big coffee presence, A subtle caramel. A dark brew.

T- A light roastyness up front. Really goes well with the caramel. A smooth creamyness, almost a desert style stout.. Sugary but not too sweet. Some roasted toffee an burnt sugar.A decent hop presence but still very subtle. A touch of chocolate on the back end. A well balanced and rounded RIS.

M- A solid Feel to the beer. A sticky, roasty sweetness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Drinks like a champ.

O- This is a great RIS. Up there with Stone's IRS and ten fidy. I would love the BA version.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 01:35:05 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! This one has over a year of age in the cellar on it. Pitch black pour with a caramel colored head that lasts about 5 seconds with no lacing. The nose is a bit unique with a roasty maltiness and subtle sweet smokiness along with hints of soy sauce, molasses, black coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of licorice. The taste follows suit with the sweet smokiness really showing up early along with black cherries, espresso, dark chocolate, booze, port wine, and licorice. Definitely a complex stout. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, smooth and oily, with a subtle creaminess and a nice warming alcohol burn on the finish. Overall, this is definitely a standout RIS. Big and complex and flavorful, but probably just a tad bit too sweet to put it in the elite category.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 20:33:09 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of brock146
brock146

Minnesota

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark black with nice chocolate hued head

S - Alcohol and dark chocolate

T - Black coffee, sweet and malty, a bit smoky, definite yet subtle kick of alcohol

M - Silky smooth, low carbonation creates a soft of "milk shake" consistency. Keeps your palate warm after it goes down

O = Very tasty and surprisingly [ and dangerously :) ] drinkable for being such a high gravity beer

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 00:10:28 | More by brock146
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,373 ratings.