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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,102
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 525
Gots: 722 | 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: 3,102 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

first of all, thanks yet again to thebrewo for hooking this up via the best trade of my life, I definitely owe this crew some beers! been aching for this beer, and finally here it is, sort of a hybrid between the west coast hugies and the Midwestern Russian imperials, a real treat. this pours an impossibly dense shade of black, brutal and old oil sludge looking, just not that thick. the head is though, cappuccino color, lasting, frothy. its got an understated nose for the style, come bitter espresso beans, and an oaty, boozy magnitude. the flavor is different than most, not sweet or roasty up front, but ashy, tobacco heavy, like the first puff of a cigarette before the tar gets on your lips and the chemicals really concentrate towards the filter. its got a roast bitterness that comes in for a second, but it doesn't manifest. earthy chocolate and coffee notes round it out, before a subtle residual sugar and alcohol warmth bring it home. also a backing touch of gingerbread, out of nowhere. its deep and rich and complex and close to perfect as far as taste goes, I could not imagine the barrel aged versions of this, just too much to process mentally for me! thick as hell on the body, but not teeth coating and filling and lasting and dental work necessitating. its cleaner than that, although not clean by any stretch. the alcohol is present, but its right in step, not too intrusive, not invisible, this is a very conscious beer, self aware, no identity crisis here. overall this is an exceptional piece of art, by a brewery I need to get more involved with. really truly a brilliant offering. thanks again to thebrewo for hooking it up!

Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black absolutely sucks up all the visible light spectrum in my glass, big tan head after a vigorous pour. Aroma has dark licorice or pitsella (anise notes) with big ripened fruit notes,and an awesome roasted malt dark chocolate strong coffee combo. Big creamy toasted marshmallow experience this beer is extreme and awesome with a touch of soy sauce. Flavor is completely different than the draft sample I had much more rounded dark fruit sweetness in the flavor in the draft. This one is aggressive needing some age yet still a necessary drinking experience for any beer lover. I used to not be able to get any Dark Horse now that it's distributed in Ohio I've seen most of their beers come through, I really like their standards and their limited releases have been outstanding. Extremely sweet creamy sweet it could use a bit more hop balance than this, really it has anise (black licorice) a touch of soy sauce tones, and some dark fruit with soothing alcohol tones...strong espresso and dark chocolate this is one big ass stout. There's nothing here screaming hop bitterness I just wish it had more of that. Body wise this beer borders chewy full bodied stout with strong residual finishing characterisitcs and a strong soothing alcohol burn in the finish. Drinkability overall is a one and done type of affair, I liked it on draft much better. Challenging huge flavors going on but the balance could have been much better.

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep motor oil black in the glass, with a near finger of burnt mocha colored head. This retains with just some thin foamy trimming around the edges that mainly leaves back a cascade of spotty foam and thick gooey brown oils behind. The aroma sits thick in the nose, with heady notes of chocolate, smoky roast, dark sticky fruits, brown sugar, and some soy sauce. I'm getting some rather hefty waft of heat in the nostrils as well. It's not necessarily singeing my nose hairs or anything but it's defininitely got a presence to it.

The taste is a thick mix of chocolate and toffeed sweetness, which then gives way to the tang of those dark fruits. Burnt dark roast, hop bitterness, and coffee flood across the back of the palate where it lingers with a deeply blackened finish that hangs hard in the mouth along with a leftover sticky twang. The taste is full bodied with a thick and chewy carbonation to it that fills the mouth. Much like the aroma, there is some pretty considerable warmth present in the body but it is actually kept in check pretty well considering the overall size of this. Maybe not a maximum drinkibility on this but it's a pretty steady sipper.

Dark Horse brought power and complexity to the table with this Imperial Stout. The only thing really holding it back some is the rather large ABV but this is still one well worth seeking out.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think at this point, I've had so many different really superb beers of this style that my expectations, and the overall standards, are quite high. This ris comes across as fairly one dimensional. Lots of molasses. More of a punch in the mouth than an interesting ride.

Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from czoch75; cheers Clint!. This one comes in a 12oz bottle

Pours ebony with 1 pinky of brown/peach tinged head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Chocolate, vanilla, booze, & carob

T: Dark chcolate, dark fruit, oaky dryness up front. Oak & vanilla as this warms along with with a touch leafy hops, & bit of wet charred grain. Finishes with some chcolate & chicory

MF: Oily, medium bodied, with minimal carbonation, along with some slickness

Drinks easy for the style, but not enough flavor depth to push this to upper echelon RIS status

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2009 bottle poured into a goblet.

The beer pours black as night with just a small ring of cocoa colored head around the edge of the pour. I'm getting a strong sweetness and fairly intense roast in the nose. I'm also getting some dark fruit and warm alcohol. More of the same follows in the taste. Lots of roast, but the age has made sure it isn't abrasive. Dark fruit and bitter dark chocolate along with some smoke. The finish is bitter and warm from the alcohol. I'm glad I didn't drink this fresh, I think it would have been too bitter for my tastes. The smoke/roast flavors stick with you well after your done with each sip. The body is really thick with smooth carbonation and the finish is dry.

Overall: I enjoyed this one but I don't think I'd like it as much fresh. I had it side by side with a fresher barrel aged version, and the barrel really does some magic. I'd definitely have more of this one, but I won't go out of my way to get it.

Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Sheffield's for the Dark Side of Oz event. Served in a half-pint glass.

A - A half finger of dark mocha foam with good retention and lacing. Tar black with no hints of color at the edges (although it was pretty dark in the bar, so I could be wrong).

S - Roasty bitterness, boozy. This brew had a surprisingly small bouquet, even after I let it warm up a bit. It just did not smell all that interesting.

T - The taste is huge - loads of roast malts, dark fruits, and chocolate. Nowhere near as bitter as it smelled, although there is a mounting bitterness in the aftertaste. The half-pint serving kept it from getting to be too much. Not boozy in the slightest.

M - Medium body, lighter than I expected. Low carbonation, with lots of residual stickiness. It needs a little more viscosity to support such an otherwise big beer.

D - Surprisingly drinkable for a 12% brew. I can see the bitterness getting a little overwhelming, but otherwise it's pretty easy going - low carbonation and well-hidden ABV.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by yourefragile recently along side the bourbon barrel plead the fifth, these beers don't especially resemble each other.

Beer is black, with a thin lazy head of small tan bubbles, halos the snifter, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet, mildly bitter, mildly ashy, a little roast.

Beer is medium in body and quite bitter on the finish. Not as sweet as I thought it was going to be on the palate from the nose, the lead off is a little malt syrup, medium body, the beer thins at the back and finishes moderately bitter from the roast. Nice beer overall though.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh off the tap, in a St. Bernardus goblet. Cause that's how I roll, yo.

Dark as sin, black as all the wrongs in the world, huge tanned brown, cocoa head standing firm above. Beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous. Outstanding.

Aroma: Oatmeal? Hmmm? Well, it's creamy, ...there's chocolate. Not too sweet. Roasty, but not too much. Creamy chocolate. Let's stick with that.

Drinking it: Big, fat, fantastic, delcicious. Rounds around the mouth, and sticks with it. Very well rounded, all together. What we seem to have is an RIS that is not outrageous in any degree, not overly out-there with any particular element.
Big, thick mouthfeel, long cocoa and coffee finish. Mmm, just right.

Very tasty, and not really easy to read the 12% abv, until, what, wait a minute, ...there it is...whoa-oh...

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured opaque brown-black with a healthy mocha head that receded to a thin layer of bubbles. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasty malts in the nose. Big tastes of dark chocolate and coffee, also ash and licorice, and some alcohol bite. Full body, bitter, with a bitter aftertaste. Pretty easily drinkable for a high alcohol beer.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Received as an extra from wunderbeer in a trade, big thanks Ron, I've been wanting to try this one!

a - Pours a jet black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. No lacing and the head only lasts for a minute.

s - Smells of cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee, dark fruits, roasted malts, vanilla, and a little alcohol.

m - Full bodied stout with moderate carbonation, this beer is very smooth and creamy; goes down great.

d - A very good RIS. I really liked the smell and mouthfeel. Wish the taste was a little less bitter but still very good. Would definitely like to try it again and would love to try the barrel aged version.

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an inky black color with a brown head. The aroma has a lot of roasted malt, as well as some chocolate. The flavor is a little more complex. There is definitely a good dose of chocolate and roasted malt, but the dark fruit and alcohol also come through and add to the flavor. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice stout, glad I got to try it.

Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Modest starting head--dark, dark tan color. Surprisingly little stability; this dies to only rim bubbles. No lace. Dark brown where no light shines through.

Overly mild aroma, most notable appearance is the alcohol.

Good burnt malt flavor, but it is compromised by the thinner body. This may be because of the very high alcohol. Elements of coffee and nearly no notable hop bitterness.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,102 ratings.