1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

2,340 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 2,340 | Reviews: 732 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sleuthdog
sleuthdog

Illinois

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

2013 vintage from bottle to Kuhnhenn glass

Pour: Oh so black with minimal half finger dark milk chocolate colored head. Falls to a fairly large collar along the edges.

Smell: Dark roasted and bittersweet cocoa. Some black licorice and dark fruit/fig notes. A touch of caramel sweetness and a fairly big hit of booze.

Taste: Intriguing in that there is a push and pull between big roasty notes and sweetness that compete with each other at the front end. I've actually never had a stout that had this initial complexity at the very front. The roasted bitterness wins out taking hold and continuing through the swallow. There are some of the dark fruits mixed in but this is a very big well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy and smooth. Not as viscous as the dark appearance would suggest but yet still somewhat palate coating. A little sticky.

Overall: I have not had anything like this. It is quite complex and a well crafted big complex RIS. The BA version of this is simply outstanding while this is highly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 01:29:42 | More by sleuthdog
Photo of JEdmund
JEdmund

Kansas

4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black color with a rich, dark, tan head that’s made up my minuscule bubbles. Head looks like it was fluffed up with nitrogen. And it has staying power.

Aroma is nothing out of the ordinary for style; typical scents of dark roasted malts, chocolate, and booze. There is a hint of bourbon, making me wonder if this was barrel aged. (Website gives no indication it was.)

Taste is again fairly typical for RIS (I’m clearly getting spoiled)—just a huge roasty malt presence and a good, biting and dry hop finish. Some boozy heat in the finish, too. Fairly well balanced; nothing jumps out that it’s overpowering another component.

Enjoyable and well done, but somewhat forgettable, too. Maybe I’ve just had too many RISs lately, but this just doesn’t strike me as being something that stands out. It’s certainly not a bad example of the style, nor does it seem like brewers skimped on ingredients. Points for high drinkability for sure. I should stop quibbling and just enjoy the rest of it!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 01:26:48 | More by JEdmund
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired in a trade with spambum, thanks man!

A- Pours a jet black, motor oil colored body with a beautiful 2 finger mocha colored head that reduces fairly quickly to a brown ring. Little lacing.

S- Lots of dark roast coffee, milk chocolate, french vanilla, booze, some subtle dark fruit, heavily roasted malt.

T- The taste of this beer changes drastically with temperature change. It's the best at warmer temperatures, the last few sips were the best. Fresh out the fridge it has a lot of coffee and semisweet chocolate characters. As it warms it turns into a chocolate milkshake - milk chocolate, vanilla, coffee, heavily roasted malt. Virtually no booze which is good for the high abv.

M- Thick and creamy. Low carbonation.

Quite an impressive beer. Drink it at cellar temp - my rating for taste went up .5 points at cellar temperature than right out of the fridge. Very drinkable for the high abv. Overall excellent. Recommendable.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 23:36:24 | More by gcamparone
Photo of beerpirates
beerpirates

Belgium

4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter

A: Almost a pitch black body with a half an inch head of dirty brown color. Head disappear very quickly.

S: Very chocolaty. Chocolate malts, sweet molasses, fruitiness and distant vinous notes.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, some vanilla. Starts very sweet and finishes with a prickly leather-like sensation, which lingers for a while. And then turns bittersweet and lasts even longer.

M: Moderate to low carbonation. Very warming, creamy and silky, very silky. Medium to full body, chewy and heavy, but not too thick. Alcohol is hidden extremely well hidden !

O: Extremely pleasant beer, very easy to drink, perhaps dangerously easy. Quite feeling, almost like a meal. Not much more to ask of a Russian Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 16:26:05 | More by beerpirates
Photo of --Dom--
--Dom--

Missouri

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

I don't feel like following a format today so: This beer is awesome. Pours with a short dark brown head. Not quite as thick as a yeti or ten fidy. Mouthfeel is spot on, creamy with medium carbonation. Everything is balanced, none of the flavors are too much. Slight alcohol heat but not a predominate taste. Dark chocolates with just a hint of burnt coffee. Amazing stuff, get some if you can.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 21:07:07 | More by --Dom--
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: None, 2012-2013 edition
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Pours a 1cm head of brown foam atop the body, it being comprised of mostly small bubbles, mixed with an occasional medium and large sized-one for varied effect. Retention is average, lasting about one minute before the foam sinks to a thick ring around the glass and a small island of lacing atop the body. Lacing left along the sides of the glass is minimal, a line or dot occurring haphazardly. Body is very dark brown to black, totally opaque, light showing only the thinnest sliver of garnet-brown hue to slip through. Carbonation is visible only near the top of the beer's surface.

Aroma is of roasted malt, heavy semi-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and ethanol. While good, this isn't as upfront about its ingredients as I would expect such a malt-packed beer to be.

Front of palate picks up semi-sweet chocolate with heavy roasted malt and coffee beans. Mid-palate of roasted malt, very dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, vanilla, and mild ethanol. Lingering aftertaste of acrid roasted malt, very dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted coffee beans, and mild ethanol.

Beer is medium-heavy to heavy bodied with medium-light levels of carbonation. The result is a smooth, slightly foamy mouthfeel that is thick and well-geared towards sipping. Ethanol is only slightly felt on the tongue and in the nostrils, very good for an 11% beer. Closes dry and slightly astringent, with moderate stickiness clinging to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 04:20:28 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark as night with a really impressive 2 inch creamy,foamy head. Lots of lacing. Impressive.

Smell - Not the strongest smelling imp stout, dark roasty malts, chocolate, licorice, rasin, plum, coffee, a little anise.

Taste - First sip is very vanilla forward, with roasty malts, coffee and chocolate, but very smooth being 11%. Some fruits and hops come in with slight bitterness. Theres a cinnamon/blueberry like flavor I pickup at the finish.

Mouthfeel -This is really smooth and not as heavy as most imp stouts. Classic case of tounge getting coated with malts coffee and chocolate. Palate gets vanilla, hops and fruits. The aftertaste is rather light and malty.

Overall - Soild, but not quite world class. A little to smooth and light flavored. Its right up there with balance and flavors but not enough of a blast of them. Worth a drink for sure, id like to cellar this for awhile and see what we end up with. Top ten ris yes, top 5? No way.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 00:33:19 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no apparent bottling information, except for a code on the side. Lucky to have landed this four pack from my local beer store, exciting to have tried it. This is my last bottle, and I probably won't be able to land any more until next year.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a thick rich opaque oily black colored body with a half finger of creamy mocha colored head. Looks very nice. I poured this beer like shit, I know it is capable of producing a beautiful mocha head.

S - Smell is of very full, dark roasted coffee beans. Roasted malt / barley smell. Chocolate cake. Burnt brown sugar. Smells luscious and enticing, although it doesn't deviate too far from what your standard Russian imperial stout would smell like. Smell is good, but is slightly underwhelming for what I was expecting here. Very authentic coffee, for what it's worth.

T - Taste follows the nose, smooth creamy bitter coffee bean / hop presence, paired with a toasty malt profile. Bitter coffee beans. Dark chocolate. Very smooth easy drinking for such a high abv.

M - Feel is of hop resins and bitter chocolate covered coffee bean lingering flavors.

Overall, a nice take on the style by Dark Horse Brewing Co., probably the best I've had from them yet, and a nice example of the style. Masks it's high 11.00% abv extraordinarily well, almost too well. Very nice drinking, very authentic coffee / chocolate taste. Doesn't exactly live up to the hype 100%, but a damn fine beer nonetheless, and definitely one to try if you can get your hands on it.

Dark Horse Plead The 5th Imperial Stout ---4/5.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 03:13:52 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

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

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one with me

A - pitch black with a short, brown head that has good retention

S - licorice, anise, chocolate, roasted malts

T - roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark fruit, mildly bitter, warming alcohol

M - full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a fantastic beer that has an immensely deep, complex flavor. I am really impressed with this one. Each sip offered just a little something more from the great malt character. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, and I look forward to trying it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 01:18:37 | More by tdm168
Photo of vic21234
vic21234

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Refrigerated only briefly. This is the current year vintage.

A- Pours black with a small amount of light brown/ khaki head that quickly fades. Not much carbonation going on, and some lacing is apparent along the sides of the glass.

S- Great smelling beer. Nice aromas of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.

T- The smell carries on into the taste. I get coffee, chocolate, and an overall roastiness. There is also a nice hop presence towards the back of each sip. Very complex with a lot going on.

M- Thick, chewy, low carbonation, the alcohol is noted but not what one would think for 11% ABV. A nice sipper.

This is an enjoyable RIS, especially if you're into hopped stouts. I would love to get my hands on the barrel aged version. A few bottles of this one will be sat down in my cellar to see how it drinks after some hop fading.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 23:09:03 | More by vic21234
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*RE-REVIEW 3/27/14*

Appearance: Pitch black with no light getting through. A finger of dark brown head. Doesn't stick around at all like it did the first time I had it, but still a beautiful looking beer.

Smell: As I remember. Still unbelievable, and one of the best smelling beers ever. My last review nailed it as far as the aroma is concerned with coffee, chocolate, caramel, and the cinnamon/nutmeg sort of aroma. I don't so much get any dark fruits this time around, but it still smells absolutely insane.

Taste/feel: Ah, here we go -- was I out of my fucking mind before? This stuff is great! There's a nice mouthfeel that's quite heavy but extremely so (a bit of a surprise given the ABV, to be honest), and the carbonation is a bit higher than what I'd consider mild, which works very well with a beer as big as this one. The flavor of this one is overloaded with massive coffee, roast, and chocolate with dark fruit undertones. The aftertaste is warming with a slight alcohol flavor and lingering roastiness that gives a very slight ash flavor. It suits the style and ABV very well to say the least. Surprisingly, this is fairly balanced. Naturally you get a bold roasty bitterness, but that dark fruit sort of sweetness is definitely there to help out. I'm not sure where I got the hoppiness last time I had this beer or if I was just incredibly ignorant, but anyway, this is a super nice beer and worth the $3.50 a single.

The smell of this beer has to be the best of any stout I've ever had, most especially when the brew has a head on it. The taste is awesome, but strangely, for some reason I can't explain, I want a bit more out of it. There's a good amount of alcohol presence (warms the belly) and a lot of good dark chocolate, roastiness, and some dark fruits in there, but a bit more of a punch would be welcome. At the same time, as it stands now, it's an enjoyable as all hell ALMOST too drinkable 11% bomb of an Imperial Stout. Not the very best Imperial Stout I've ever had, but boy is it phenomenal.

*ORIGINAL REVIEW*
Appearance: Midnight oil with a spectacular two finger head that stays around longer than I'd ever expect out of an 11% beer.The head is brown and super creamy... looks outstanding. (5/5)

Smell: Unbelievable. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, and even notes of ... cinnamon? There's an interesting note in there that I wasn't at all expecting. Smells fantastic. (5/5)

Taste/feel: Monstrous... what else would be expected. Wow. Major bitterness, dark fruits, a lot of roastiness, and quite a lot of alcohol warmth on the finish. The smell was sweet and inviting, but the taste is just about the polar opposite. A lot of roast flavors with plenty of dark fruits, with an odd bitter, and somewhat sour finish. Alcohol is pretty noticeable in the taste as well. The hops in this one aren't there in the aroma, but come out in the taste with the bitterness on the end of each sip. I'm not sure what to make of this beer. It smells very nice (smelled great when I first poured and there was a large, pillowy head), but the taste is barely average. A lot of bitterness, with tons of warmth, and tastes of alcohol and dark fruits. It's certainly not your average RIS. The feel of this beer is actually somewhat thin for an RIS, in my opinion. The beer doesn't coat the mouth very much, but it does have a nice "slickness" to it. (3.25/5, 3.5/5)

I'll have you know that I'm not the biggest RIS fan, but this one is just odd. I had extremely high hopes after seeing it and, especially, smelling it, but Plead the Fifth just doesn't please my taste buds all that much. If you love a big and (somewhat) unusual beer, Plead the Fifth is a must try... it's quite distinctive. Though, I think, not for the best of reasons. At $3.50 per bottle, I'm certainly glad to have tried it (since I like to appreciate a big stout time-to-time), but I'm not sure when I'd have it again... but if I did, I'd keep it in a cellar to mellow it out... this thing's pretty harsh.

3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 18:39:04 | More by Alextricity
Photo of 4amepiphany
4amepiphany

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Comes close to Expedition Stout for me, which I 'd prefer juuust a little more than Pt5, but I will drink this RIS anyday. Wonderful color. Good balance & mouthfeel, just the right viscosity. Though I felt Expedition offers the complexity that I like.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 05:49:12 | More by 4amepiphany
Photo of Thurgoft
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
Photo of TTAmod
TTAmod

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my special beer store for $13.99. The date stamped on the bottle is 043-13, or February 12th, 2013. I poured one of the 12 oz. bottles into a tulip.

A: This beer is BLACK with a two finger brown head. Retention is good considering ABV.

S: Strong whiffs of chocolate, coffee, and alcohol.

T: Strong notes of dark chocolate, dried cherries, charred malts, roasted coffee, a trace amount of bittering hops, and a bit of heat. It doesn't taste too sweet; in fact, it ends on a dry note. It's not overly bitter at any point, but there's enough bitterness to add depth. Ash and roasted coffee stick around after the finish.

M: Another strong point of this beer. Obscenely smooth and quite drinkable, even if it is a bit hot. There's some carbonation, but it feels like silk going through my mouth and down my throat. No fuss at all.

O: This is how to do a strong stout right. The alcohol is kept in check by the onslaught of roasted malts, which invoke flavors of cherries, chocolate and coffee. However, these malts are balanced by just enough hops which keep the stout flavors from completely dominating.

This one is right up there with some of the best strong stouts on the market; however, this one is a LOT harder to find than some of the more prevalent ones (Ten Fidy, Founders IS, etc) mostly because Dark Horse is a pretty small brewery and doesn't have quite as wide of a distribution area as other breweries. Add to the fact that this is a seasonal (late winter) brew and most stores only get one case, and you got yourself a tough beer to find.

So, if you can find it, definitely pick it up. If you cannot find it....don't fret! Pick up some Ten Fidy or Founders IS, both of which are much easier to locate and are just as good as this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 04:41:09 | More by TTAmod
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 sjones5045
sjones5045

New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours nice and dark with a thin fizzy head. The smell is a nice sweet coco chocolate mix. Thinking dessert drink possibly. The taste is a combo of sweet and bitter chocolate coco. Pretty good actually. Maybe a hint a bitterness lingers around a bit too long to knock this down for me. It also has a kind of fizzy feel at the end of the taste. Overall, I do enjoy this and would buy it more often if it were anywhere around me.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 21:13:46 | More by sjones5045
Photo of watsonmd
watsonmd

Georgia

4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served 55F, poured into snifter.

A: Black, with thick brown head that stays... and brown lacing during the session.

S: Chocolate, malt, maybe a hint of licorice?

T: Wonderful. Coffee, chocolate, with full malty backbone, maybe some cherry, or other fruits hidden in there... Something roasty trying to break through...

M: Heaven, coating the mouth, slippery, silky and full. Stays with you long after the swallow. Thick feel, with dense carbonation.

O: Awesome trade. Would definitely buy if it was available in GA. Will have to settle for Bell's Expedition, and Founder's Imperial....

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 03:40:21 | More by watsonmd
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Could only score one bottle on the latest release. Motor oil thick pour. Large brandy snifter resembles a rare black pearl held neatly in my hands. As I swirl the glass, the lacing clings in sticky fashion after the wake.

Smell of chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Some roastiness and burnt malt.

Tastes like it smells. Charred oak comes first followed by dark cocoa. Some bitterness. As it warms up, more dark fruit complexity.

Thick and oily feel. My glass was stained a sticky mahogany hue.

Was it worth to search out to just obtain one bottle--no. If you missed out on this release just relax. Measures well with Expedition, Founders RIS, Ten-fidy...etc.. Great company but doesn't stand apart. Even the price point was high, $5, which is also part of the store markup I'm sure. For the right price I will buy more, but I refuse to chase down!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 02:42:52 | More by joeseppy
Photo of Wolfpack2005
Wolfpack2005

North Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013

A-Pours heavy and completely black into my snifter glass and leave a half finger head that fades quickly.

S-Dark chocolate with heavy doses bready and roasted malts. Also catching a good wiff of booze on the back end of the nose.

T-Follows the nose but the roasted malts are front and center with notes of dark chocolate and toffee. Then a slight booziness before the dark chocolate comes back and lingers on the palate.

M-Nice thick mouthfeel, which is preferable for the style, IMO. Lower levels of carbonation.

O-An excellent example of the style. Straight forward flavors, not overly complex, but perfectly executed

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 22:53:28 | More by Wolfpack2005
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

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

2011 Vintage opened on 3.13.13

A - Pours a motro oil blakc with a small dark brown head that slowly fades to one side.

S - Teriyaki, chocolate, soy, and sweet.

T - Similar to the nose at this point, but more booze and heet.

D - Low carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Heavy stout with a sweet teriyaki essence. Still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 04:42:34 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amongst the most gorgeous beers I've ever seen this stout poured black, thick and beautiful with an intense creamy head. The creamy foam laced in a sheet along the glass.

The scent is of soft chocolate, touches of espresso and a bit of bready malt. The aroma is nice but subtle.

The taste is of strong chocolate malts, espresso, vanilla, graham cracker and dry roasted coffee. So smooth, so creamy the taste and feel are a single unit. Very light on the stomach and exceptionally easy to drink for 11 percent ABV. My only complaint is the it dries the palate but other than that this is a phenomenal beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 23:07:44 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Smuttynose pint.

Appearance- Pitch black. So black. Really black. 2 finger fluffy mocha head. Big intense lacing.

Smell- Big boozy, cocoa, caramel, licorice, cherry, plumb, mild burnt smell at the end.

Taste- Caramel chocolate coffe, peppermint, not much booze surprisingly. Nice balance or bitter and sweet.

Mouthfeel- Sper smooth and viscous. Clean with that cooling peppermint flavor. Not hot at all which is great for 11%.

Overall- Damn fine RIS. Really want to try the Bourbon barrel version of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 02:58:59 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: Snifter
From: mL in Birmingham, MI
Price: 4.50 a single

Appearance: dark brown almost black, opaque, and a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a lacing. looks solid for a RIS but nothing overly special

Smell: roasted malts and chocolate. not the most fragrant beer

Taste: opens up with some roasted malts that are followed by a stronger chocolate taste and somewhat weaker dark fruits. some hoppy bitterness in the backend

Mouthfeel: pretty heavy, creamy, and ends with a strong and lasting bitterness. warming feeling too

Overall: solid but nothing to go crazy for. my first good/great beer from dark horse. probably not something I would buy again at the price

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 01:14:09 | More by SportsandJorts
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
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,340 ratings.