1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,856 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,856
Reviews: 753
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 481
Gots: 688 | FT: 76
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,856 | Reviews: 753 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Dark with little head, very roasty. Thanks to Wohlfs who sent along beer for Radekfest 05. Oily and bitter more than bittersweet in the finish and aftertaste. but quaffable. Full mouthfeel. High alcohol - warming.
Three years later shared a bottle that was great chocolate and incredible aroma.

04-04-2005 04:18:57 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

09-18-2012 22:45:11 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev -8.8%

Thanks to UMNbeerhunter for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits (raisins/plums), dark roasted malt, slight chocolate, and slight soy sauce. Taste is of the dark fruits, dark roasted malt, and slight cocoa powder. Slight roasty bitterness on the palate quickly fades. This beer has low carbonation and is thick in both the pour and the mouth. Overall, this is a good RIS with a more fruit and malt forward flavor. I am glad I got to try this one.

07-07-2011 01:42:16 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

03-08-2012 01:14:32 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -4.2%

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours near-black with a very dark, slightly cherry-infused head. The head is a little less than a finger, and has a good amount of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

S: Dark malt and some hop presence, but the overpowering smell here is that of dried red fruits. Also, some mild espresso. Also, some definite alcohol presence.

T: Much like the smell, but add in the tiniest bit of anise.

M: A little bit thin, though still has a good body. Good amount of carbonation. Not too much of an alcohol bite.

D: This one is definitely a sipper. Lighter than most RIS's, which might not be a bad thing considered that it's released just as the weather turns for the better.

04-23-2009 05:25:00 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-04-2012 02:48:56 | More by nmann08
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev -2.1%

A: The beer is jet black in color (holding it up to the light doesn't even reveal the slightest hint of color near the edge of the glass). There is a thin mocha-colored head.
S: Aromas of dark roasted malts dominate the smell.
T: The taste shares a lot of similarities with the aroma; there is also a significant amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate.
D: The beer has a good level of drinkability as the alcohol is very well masked.

05-09-2010 18:49:22 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a modest tan head that quickly becomes a ringlet and archipelago but leaves behind copious amounts of lace

Smell: A bit boozy, with dark chocolate, licorice and charcoal

Taste: Dark chocolate up front, with developing elements of raisin, prunes, citrus and coffee; after the swallow, the citrusy bitter flavors emerge to balance the big malt profile; fruity chocolate at the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, with low carbonation

Drinkbility: A well-constructed RIS that is balanced and flavorful

10-10-2008 00:08:40 | More by brentk56
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

11-21-2013 06:32:18 | More by zestar
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -7.2%

01-20-2013 19:04:16 | More by acurtis
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -10.7%

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with bitter note and very subtle coffee notes. Taste is also dominated by roasted bitter notes with light dry coffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though it doesn't really stand apart from good imperial stout out there.

09-27-2010 02:05:52 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%

A good Russian Imperial Stout that somehow keeps me wanting more. Maybe it's because Plead has a balanced and mellow take on the style (Similar to Blackout) or becuase the gravities aren't quite insane as I expected. It's kinda like a big Oatmeal Stout with the creamy texture, slickness, and weight. Lightly carbonated, the beer falls still fairly quickly and doesn't lift off of the tongue the way I like. A balanced roastiness never prefers the char or the toffee malts. Milk flavors and sweetness round out the herbal hops, sharp roasted grains, and alcohols. Still, the coffee, chocolate, anise, blackberries, plubs, grapes and dates are bold and varying and have come together very well. Nice disguise of the abv. With all the compliments, I still want more...

06-24-2009 02:08:08 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

I received this lovely 12ounce bottle of Plead the 5th in a great trade for the Dark Horse stout series a couple months back. I have made my way through most of those, but last night I wanted to really give this one a try. Service at cellar temperature I poured it into a UK pint glass.

Appearance - I poured it very forcefully and was able to muster up about a half inch or so of tan and chocolate colored head off of this one, which quickly faded and left behind only a small crown of lace and some decent side glass presentation. The color was very nice, a rich dark brown, nearly black, save for a few glimpses on the corners. Overall though nice look and presentation to this one, albeit a little slim on the head.

Smell - The aroma was rich with dark chocolate, amazingly sweet smelling it really had a nice depth to it. Some hints of vanilla at first, and they really came up towards the end when it started to warm. Some slight touches of woody aromas coming off of it and a touch of caramel and coffee, but this was one sweet smelling stout for sure.

Taste - The flavor was very nice, and absolutely full of chocolate flavored malts. It was a deep, sweet chocolate flavor that was dominating this one. Rich and sweet, like Hershey's syrup, this was coming across very nice. Deep rich molasses like sugar flavors now coming into play, and this was turning out to be one of the sweetest stouts I have had in a good long while. Not sure what the percentage was here, but there was virtually no alcohol present in this one. Really just remarkably well done. Long lingering flavor of rich dark chocolate and the perfect sweet coffee flavor just made me want to rush back in for another sip.

Mouthfeel - Very rich and creamy with a nice amount of carbonation, which to be honest surprised me due to the lack of carbonation of the pour. Nice full bodied feel with a great texture going down, pretty much classic for a big stout.

Drinkability - Outstanding ability to put this one down. Just ridiculously smooth and a great amount of flavor in this one. No detectable amount of alcohol, just a super smooth delivery with a great flavor and good carbonation. Could have sipped it all night.

Overall I thought this one was really great. A solid imperial stout that hid the alcohol very well and leaned heavily toward the side of chocolate with the flavor. Quite solid in both appearance and profile, this is one I would love to go back to and try again. Definitely very good.

05-12-2008 23:22:50 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Thank to a couple different folks for sending these my way.

A: The pour into my snifter is thick and black with a small tan head forming.

S: Lots of dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and roasted malts. A touch of alcohol along with molasses, brown sugar, and some dark fruits.

T: Bitter dark chocolate, molasses, and burnt sugar to open things up on this one. The alcohol is there, but it's well integrated (I think). The roasted malt character is quite powerful as well and leaves a bit of a bitter aftertaste to the beer.

M: The body medium to full and is silky and smooth on the tongue. The carbonation is low to moderate.

D: For a 12% beer, this one is pretty mellow and easy to drink. Definitely one of the better "regular" imperial stouts out there.

11-19-2010 07:40:03 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

5/5  rDev +16%

12-01-2011 19:13:38 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

12-21-2011 12:04:55 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

01-19-2014 04:07:10 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-12-2013 19:21:30 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

09-17-2012 06:06:37 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

This beer pours out as a very dark black color with a really nice creamy brown head on top. The smell is highly roasted and has a slight herbal aroma with some dark chocolate. The taste has a really nice licorice flavor to it with the roasted malts and chocolate all mixed into one. The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and rich. Overall the beer is actually really really good. Really worth a try if you see it!

06-16-2011 00:30:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +3%

Unbelievably this is the first time I have had this beer...crazy.Pours jet black like an oil slich with a thinner beige head atop,like thick crude.Chocolate and black licorice in the nose along roast and sweet alcohol.Heavy roast and earthiness intertwined with alcohol dipped dark druit and deep molasses sweetness with that black licorice coming into play as well,whoo this big and complex.Big and chewey this is a sipper that Iam drinking at 6:00,it could be an early bedtime tonigh because I have three more to drink.

04-16-2014 22:11:29 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -14.6%

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.

07-02-2010 00:30:43 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev -7.2%

11-14-2011 23:34:40 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

Moved from the "750mL" listing
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4
rDev: +4.1%

This is about the 3rd sample of this particular Dark Horse stout that i've had.

Pours jet black, very dark mocha foam. Body is definitely thick and rich. It's unique character of plum, fried plantain, dark chocolate, frozen chocolate covered banana, and roasty char make for a very interesting RIS. Long lingering aftertaste of earthy char and espresso. This is strong stuff, ballsy with a great deal of substance to it. Drinks like a champ, definitely a sipper. Probably my favorite beer from Dark Horse.

Reviewed on: 05-12-2008 01:23:12

12-28-2008 05:45:08 | More by emerge077
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%

A - Poured out a syrupy, black color with ruby highlights. It had a small, foamy, off-white head that left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of molasses and sweet chocolate. There were mild notes of oatmeal and coffee.

T - It tasted very sweet with chocolate and molasses flavors. Some caramel, too. It had a bourbon kick as it warmed up.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full-bodied ale.

D - This is a really great tasting RIS. Another great stout from Dark Horse.

10-06-2009 02:37:03 | More by zeff80
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,856 ratings.