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.

2,921 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,921
Reviews: 757
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 493
Gots: 706 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,921 | Reviews: 757 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of masterofsparks
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

masterofsparks, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of Thedrizzle
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Thedrizzle, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of Jamison85
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Jamison85, May 18, 2013
Photo of Jimmys
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into tulip. no bottled on date, but I assume the most recent bottling.

A: super dark brown, just about as close to black without being black. head is dark brown and tight. reasonable retention, spotted lacing.

S: rich dark chocolate. decadent. smells like dessert in a glass. little wisps of alcohol. some heat with it. big time roast. smells inviting.

T: lots of roast, super meaty. tobacco. cedar. sweet without being too sweet. roasty without being too roasty. this thing is big, yet very balanced. well crafter.

M: a lot of velvet. smooth. super smooth.

D: wow, this is what a stout should be. and similar to another offering of Dark Horse's, bottle conditioning is a plus. not sure how this holds up over time, but really satisfied with drinking it fresh. well done.

Jimmys, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of pisano
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

pisano, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of shehateme
3.75/5  rDev -13%

shehateme, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

monitorpop, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of Vonerichs
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with a short-lived head that, at it's peak, was just small tan bubbles gathering around the edge with spotting in the middle.

Smell is deeply roasted malts, a little soy, and black licorice.

In the taste, the deep roasted malts are complimented by heavy hops, giving it a dark berry flavor. Hints of chocolate throughout.

Mouthfeel is creamy with low carbonation. Good for the style.

This weighs in at 12%, and is slightly hot. Aside from that, a very good stout.

Vonerichs, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +16%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of starrdogg
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

starrdogg, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

DaftPatrick, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Jas45678
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Jas45678, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +16%

CEDAMA, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of MattXT
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

MattXT, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of Beejay
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, I would like to state that I believe some of the issues I had with this beer were due to the growler filler rather than brewery. I have had this beer before and really enjoyed it, my bottle review is on here as well for comparison.

A: Motor Oil Black, with no head at all, just a coffee brown ring of bubbles.

S: Sweet, dark chocolate, raspberries, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T: Dark and roasty. Coffee and burnt caramel throughout. Sweet, big and tasty.

M: Thick and syrupy, very low carbonation. The carbonation that is there is very fine.

D: Very nice overall, but it just doesn't match the awesomeness that this beer is from a bottle. I would love to try it on tap sometime, and see how it compares. Unfortunately, a bad growler fill done this one in a bit. For shame whole foods..

Beejay, May 09, 2010
Photo of Hugonaut13
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Hugonaut13, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of rydev24
4/5  rDev -7.2%

rydev24, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of Soneast
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Soneast, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of oldvines
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

oldvines, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of TasteTester
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

TasteTester, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of Drucifer
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Drucifer, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.8/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tytoanderso for the "Plead the 5th imperial stout," 12 oz bottle.

This beer pours a deep dark black with hints of purple and a dark tan collar.

Smells of dark fruits, baking cocoa, sour wheat, older coffee and dehydrated apricots.

Tastes of prunes, Wheaties, maple syrup, chocolate pudding and sour coffee for balance.

Felt big, thick and sticky with a light carbonation.

the sweet and sour dryness was an odd take on the style, but nice nonetheless.

DarkerTheBetter, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of robwestcott
3.45/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a bottle from 2009

poured cold and black as night from the bottle to a surly darkness 10oz goblet with a wisp of a dark, super short lasting mocha head.

big aroma of dark raisiny fruits and roasty malts.

dark fruits and char, smoke. this is a thick black smoky stout. not particularly up my alley.

big bodied, medium carbonation, smooth, smoky bitters.

drinkable - nah, not really.

robwestcott, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Soto
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Soto, Sep 07, 2013
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,921 ratings.