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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,759 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,759
Reviews: 750
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 477
Gots: 665 | FT: 71
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: 2,759 | Reviews: 750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of coldmeat23
coldmeat23

Oklahoma

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a dense, dark, black color. A head of a little more than a finger of dark brown foam. Dissipates quickly. Lacing is spotty, but somewhat sticky.

Big, rich malt notes of sweetness. Milk chocolate. Coffee with extra heavy cream. Light hints of dark fruits.

Milk chocolate shake. Yummy. More of the coffee with heavy cream. Dark roasted malt notes. Light hint of smoke and a slightly heavier hint of graininess. Light touches of sweet molasses, dark fruits and carmalized brown sugars.
Nicely balanced and very well done.

High end of medium, almost full bodied. Very smooth with a light touch of creaminess. Carbonation is very low. A touch more would give this one a nice, creamy edge, I believe.

G-D! If that's 12%ABV, I'm a jackass! I guess that answers that lifelong question.
The alcohol is so well-hidden inside this one, I'd probably guess it to be no more than 7 or 8 percent, at most.
Fantastic balance and extremely drinkable. I want more....alot more!
Here's to Dark Horse Brewing!

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 21:19:28 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of FUwolfpacker
FUwolfpacker

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

05-01-2013 02:42:23 | More by FUwolfpacker
Photo of shehateme
shehateme

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

04-21-2014 20:10:44 | More by shehateme
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

03-25-2014 05:03:48 | More by mctizzz
Photo of Soneast
Soneast

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

03-09-2013 05:08:49 | More by Soneast
Photo of doucmehu
doucmehu

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

10-02-2012 04:14:51 | More by doucmehu
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black oil. Very dark sheet of foam after raising the pour high enough to kick in some turbulence -- darker than Breakfast, Shakespeare at al. -- minimal though.
Aromas of bitter chocolate, black coffee and marshmallow. There are also some wild yeasty elements to the bouquet that remind me of certain Belgian Quadrupels -- doughy, with notes of reduced red berries, spices and nut butters. Think Bernardus12/Rochefort10 with piles of coffee and chocolate extract added.
Velvety and not particularly sweet, the flavors are very roasty and intense, yet lacking any sourness or astringency. A long cadence of milk sugar and espresso define the finish.
Herbal burps betray some lost hop component (that's quality to me.)
Quite well balanced. Maybe a little top-heavy. It will be interesting to see what happens to this bottling over time.
This is what I remember Expedition tasting like.
Spectacular.
I'm guessing 10% ABV or more.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2005 00:16:59 | More by putnam
Photo of rydev24
rydev24

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7%

06-17-2013 01:52:59 | More by rydev24
Photo of JohnQVegas
JohnQVegas

Tennessee

3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Bruery tulip, much thanks once again to my friend Jeff (AleWatcher) for more Midwestern goodness!

Pours pitch black, nary a hint of brown to be seen, with a dense one-finger dark brown head on top, that fairly quickly settles down to a thin brown ring on the outside edge of the glass. Nice lacing.

Nose has a clean, fruity quality to it. Somewhere between cherries and blackberries, with a spicy alcohol bite and a bit of burnt sugar underneath. Bit of molasses mixed in. As it warms, roasted malt comes through a bit cleaner, still wrapped in the spicy alcohol, still a big healthy dose of clean, dark fruit. At one point I even picked up pretzels.

Taste starts off with a healthy dose of alcohol bite. Molasses in there, again, with a big bitter burnt sugar bite towards the finish. Lots of dark fruits, again. Finish is long, burnt, bit boozey, bittersweet. Lacks the complexity that I generally look for; lots of flavor, which is to be expected for a beer this size, but this one seems to clash a bit - the burnt flavors, the alcohol, the sugary sweetness. Seems to be a big dose of crystal malts in there that could use just a bit of toning down in my opinion. Not a flaw per se, more a matter of preference.

Mouthfeel is slick, full bodied, light carbonation, long finish and a bit of an alcohol burn in the back of the throat on the swallow.

Drinkability is decent, though the flavor profile is a bit coarse and raw. Alcohol definitely bites back, as well. Again, a decent enough beer, but it doesn't have the beautiful cohesiveness that the best IS seem to have. Doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable, though.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 22:46:12 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of zekeman17
zekeman17

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

04-01-2013 14:12:44 | More by zekeman17
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a short foamy dark tan head.

Scent of roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of alcohol, sugars, and lots of fruit. This one smells much more sweet than typical beers of its style, but it is balanced well and hides the alcohol nicely.

Taste of roasted malts, molasses, dark fruit, sugars, and some earth. Finishes with dark fruit and roasted malts. Alcohol is masked very well, there is some heat to it, but it is far from harsh.

Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth with a small bite of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 01:53:00 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Janeinma
Janeinma

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -30.2%

05-26-2014 15:06:51 | More by Janeinma
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
UWBadgerFan4Life

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

03-07-2014 03:50:11 | More by UWBadgerFan4Life
Photo of vinny21bal
vinny21bal

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -36%

11-29-2013 19:09:18 | More by vinny21bal
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottles into Dogfish Head snifter...

A. Inky black with chocolate brown edges. A half finger of tan head with some mild bubbles sticking to the glass. Leaves a sheen of oily slick on the glass with each swirl.

S. Dark chocolate, fudge, traces of herbal and piney hops, blackstrap molasses, and suggestions of fruit.

T. Chocolate, caramel, some strawberry and cherry, roasted coffee grounds and even some char in a dry finish.

M. Coats the palate with a thick and chewy body. Good flavor integration and nice balance. Sweet, chocolatey, and fruity upfront and a slightly ashy, classic finish.

O. An excellent Imperial Stout. It's full bodied, filling, and flavorful with excellent booze-masking. Hits all of the right notes.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 18:27:23 | More by siege06nd
Photo of TasteTester
TasteTester

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from Younger35. Thanks bud.

A-Dark body, oily consistency. Not a bit of head to speak of. No lacing.

S-Too much alcohol overtones. Other than that, chocolaty.

T-Alcohol will kick your a**. Heavy in the right places. Stick to your ribs good.

M-Thick and sticky. Not much else to it.

D-Be careful with this one. I could probably stomach 3 or 4 then call it a night.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 22:33:49 | More by TasteTester
Photo of Phillyz
Phillyz

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

11-26-2013 13:34:26 | More by Phillyz
Photo of mportnoy
mportnoy

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.3%

04-09-2013 03:13:23 | More by mportnoy
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this at some point

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - pours somewhat heavy - starts off with a minimal head, but this is forgivable - retains a nice, light brown ring, as well as some streaks of lacing

Smell: Roasted malts and chocolate - burnt and roasty, but more roasty than burnt - perhaps more chocolate than anything else - dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, chocolate malts, dark brownie mix - some roasty dryness, but some sweetness, including some molasses - leather, some booze, and some black licorice

Taste: Basically, it's like a dark chocolate bar with some semisweet chocolate chips, sprinkled with molasses and black licorice - burnt and roasty, but the chocolate characteristics make this seem like a badass candy bar - dry chocolate malts, and some cooked, caramel malts - some booze, some dark fruits - not the most complex RIS ever, but very interesting

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, very smooth, very oily and slick, minimal carbonation but it works

Overall: Beyond solid

This is better than some hyped, hard-to-get monsters of this style. Seriously. It's not mind blowing in any way, but it's decidedly "imperial" and very flavorful. So much chocolate! I must age this.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 05:37:06 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
GonzoHomebrewer

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

07-27-2013 03:52:03 | More by GonzoHomebrewer
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Absolutely motor oil black pour out of the bottle and in the glass. A deep brown head is noted briefly after a very vigorous pour. No retention, black as the night.

S: Big hints of molasses on the aroma, mixed with some dark fruits, chocolate, and only very slight roast. Much more sweet and fruity than I was expecting.

T: The taste really mirrors the aroma, with a lot more roastiness on the backend. Molasses and chocolate dominate, dark fruits rest underneath, and some booze and roast finish it off. The taste is pretty nicely balanced, but lends towards the sweet side.

MF: Thick, creamy body with basically no carbonation. The sweetness and roast mix to make this pretty drinkable.

O: This was a pretty good deal. Got it in a trade, but I believe it was less than $5 a bottle. For a 12% RIS this was great. You really can't tell the ABV is so high. Would definitely recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 23:06:12 | More by russwbeck
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. 2013 vintage.

Plead the Fifth pours a full onyx color with a rumbling mocha froth. The head recedes gradually, leaving the dark, viscous liquid with just a small island and a ring of tightly wound bubbles.

The aroma is deep and full, with an emphasis on dark chocolate and espresso notes. The dark chocolate is the strongest and deepest presence in my nose, with espresso, roasted malt, and a bit of oatmeal as well. Not much in the way of dark fruits.

Each sip has a huge burst of flavor. It starts off with a moderate sweetness that comes through with the dark chocolate, with full roasted notes unraveling in my mouth. There are some mostly hidden dark fruits in the middle, with a bitterness that grows along with a creamy espresso flavor. The bitterness seems to linger in the aftertaste and accumulate with each sip.

This beer is thick, although the body is not quite as big as I was expecting. There is a stickiness to it, but it is not overwhelming. I prefer a gentler body than an overly thick and syrupy body, for sure. With the alcohol well-hidden as well, this beer definitely drinks like a 8% imperial stout. The carbonation is creamy and adds a layer of smoothness to the beer.

Dark Horse makes some nice beers in the high ABV range. This is a strong imperial stout by any standard.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 19:41:44 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of Cramerican
Cramerican

North Dakota

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

05-31-2014 04:00:29 | More by Cramerican
Photo of Hugonaut13
Hugonaut13

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

04-12-2013 22:57:39 | More by Hugonaut13
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hard to pour a thick head... Nice brown foamy head eventually shows. Brew is consistency of burnt oil.

S - Huge coffee and chocolate!!! Silky.

T - Some huge milk flavors. Lots of dark-dark chocolate too. Very nice! Awesome vanilla stands out.

M - No heat. Perfect carbonation and wonderful bitterness. Just misses perfect.

O - Awesome brew! Glad I got to try this one! Thank you for sending it awhile back Another6pack!

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 01:06:03 | More by chugalug06
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,759 ratings.