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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,906 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,906
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 490
Gots: 704 | FT: 79
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: 2,906 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mattco
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Mattco, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of blakelive784
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%

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.

blakelive784, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

JohnnyHopps, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Gmann
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

Gmann, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of BColton1
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

BColton1, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of JoninVT
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

JoninVT, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of tzolandz
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

tzolandz, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of BlakeAM
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

BlakeAM, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of bepps
4/5  rDev -7.2%

bepps, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Cyclone8
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Cyclone8, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of JohnSnowNW
4/5  rDev -7.2%

JohnSnowNW, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

innuendobrewskiman63, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of jplopez21
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

jplopez21, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of jrwquattro
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

jrwquattro, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

deadonhisfeet, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Lurkerson
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Lurkerson, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Dave_Treat
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Dave_Treat, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Beerdudenumberone, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of TheConnMan
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

TheConnMan, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of ChrisKayler
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

ChrisKayler, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of Boilerfood
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Boilerfood, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of aaronblain22
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

aaronblain22, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of HumphreyLee
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

HumphreyLee, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of templar316
5/5  rDev +16%

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.

templar316, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Lukass, Mar 13, 2013
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,906 ratings.