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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,303 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,303
Reviews: 800
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 548
Gots: 841 | FT: 90
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: 3,303 | Reviews: 800
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4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

We crack the top and pour a brew of dark black into our Founders snifters It holds a two finger head of espresso colored bubbles, which show tight uniformity and nice retention. This is easily reproducible, leaving islands of lacing around the glasses, and a crescent moon of bubbles crowing the top of the liquid. No haze or sediment is appreciated, and carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma is amazingly deep, with richly roasted and char-burned black, coffee, and chocolate malts. Milky vanillas, red cherries, plum, and the alcohol all add sweetness. Otherwise the nose is taken up in a whirlwind of complexity, with campfire ash, buttery diacetyls, faint pseudo-woodiness, cornmeal, vegetal metallics, chocolate wafers, light grassy hops, heavy vinyl plastics, and light apricot fruitiness. With warmth comes anise and black pepper spiciness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is wildly roasty and just as smoky as the nose would suggest, with big chalky dryness and surprising sweetness on the back. As we sip, the taste opens with deeply charred and roasted malts, smooth vanillas, sweet toffees, marmalade sugars, gingerbread cookie breadiness, dark chocolates, fruity cherry booziness, and green bark. The peak hits with continued dark pit fruitiness and booze, with that bitter char base, grass and bark, mineral, bittered muskiness, and chalky yeast. The ending wash comes with ash, tobacco leafiness, chalkboard, insanely roasted cereal grain, macerated strawberry fruitiness, brandy syrups, unsweetened dark chocolate nibs, banana esters, fiery booze, and fusel chemical medicinals. The aftertaste breathes of graphite and pencil eraser, burnt wood ash, roasted coconuts, chalk, bitterly roasted coffee and chocolate malts, lightly fusel booziness, mustiness, pear fruitiness, crumbling tree bark, and plastics. The body is full and syrupy, and the carbonation is medium, but with stark initial prickle. Each sip gives thick slurp, smack, cream, and froth, with pleasant finishing pop. The mouth is left heavily coated, but with quickly drying chalky astringency across the tongue and hard palate, with sugary stickiness to the corners of the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer is a slow sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its aroma. This aspect was just so over the top robust, with woodiness from out of nowhere, char and ash, fruity sweets to match, and general complexity. The blend really comes through and each individual component finds its mate, striking harmony. The flavoring follows nicely, with just as much punch through the taste. Here, however, things did not strike as beautiful a balance, but rather just swam together in the same pool. The booze was way forward, even for the style, but it did offer some nice sweetness towards the front of the sip, contributing to the flavoring itself in a way that many beers lack. The sip was slurpy, creamy, and coating, helping to offset some of that brutal chalky astringency. This is a huge, impressive offering from Dark Horse, and we can’t wait to try the barrel aged version.

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Pours black. One finger mocha head.

Aromas of dark fruit, bitter chocolate and hops, roasted coffee.

Taste is bitter chocolate and hops at the forefront. Followed by caramel, black licorice.

Full coating mouthfeel. Lower carbonation.

Fantastic stout.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,303 ratings.