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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

2,993 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,993
Reviews: 761
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 505
Gots: 717 | FT: 82
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: 2,993 | Reviews: 761 | Display Reviews Only:
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 rydev24
4/5  rDev -7.2%

rydev24, Jun 17, 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 rawfish
4/5  rDev -7.2%

rawfish, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of starrdogg
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

starrdogg, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +16%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of fossage78
4/5  rDev -7.2%

fossage78, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of SFC21
3.75/5  rDev -13%

SFC21, May 11, 2013
Photo of vinny21bal
2.75/5  rDev -36.2%

vinny21bal, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +16%

CEDAMA, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black. Straight black. Head is a deep tan with a reddish tint. Head is slightly bubbly and creamy. Dwindles to a small cap after a few minutes. A swirl produces a decent sized head, but retention is minimal. Pours thick and syrupy.

Smell: Booze, cherries, char, burnt malts, smoke, cocoa, you name it. it's in there. It's decadent. Sweet, dark fruits (plum and fig). Licorice. Very sweet and very burnt. Some toasted malts, but they're buried. Highly aggressive on the malts and booze.

Taste: Cherry and cocoa. Toasted malts are quickly covered over by burnt malts. Loads of chocolate flavor. Runs the gamut from baker's chocolate to milk chocolate. Harsh kick of booze on the back, but it works with the overt sweetness. Char lingers in the back as well. Nicely complex with serious depth. Fig and plum come out as the beer warms. Alcohol heat builds with each sip.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but not as full as I would have expected. It pushes for full, but falls short. The carbonation is a touch high for the style, but it works with the flavor profile. Booze dries the tongue out something fierce.

Overall: A little off-kilter this fresh. Loads of flavor and tons of complexity, but it fails to meld completely. With a year or two on this, it might just be that good.

Goblinmunkey7, Oct 16, 2011
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 Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Lucnifter, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of Drucifer
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Drucifer, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of derkfromwi
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

derkfromwi, Mar 25, 2013
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 MastaShonuf
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

MastaShonuf, May 28, 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 DoubleSimcoe
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Horse Plead, bottle bought at Nejaime's in Lenox, Massachusetts, as part of a 4-pack. Who knew you can find Dark Horse in New England??

Appearance: Oily and thick like Gaddafi's reserves before the Allies' strike. Only Marshall Zhukov comes close to being this thick. Whatever head is there comes and goes like a quickie, and only a coffee-colored rim remains around the glass. This is one thicj, black muthafuckin' Imperial Stout!

Smell: Roasty-toasty, lotta coffee, a bit of soil and gasoline. Umami and war!

Taste: Country ham, smoky bacon (rauchbier), coal, raw coffee beans. Complex and beautiful. Molasses, brown sugar. Floral, hoppy finish. Chimney. Small town in the Midwest and/or New England.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, leathery, rich. Chewable! Great carbonation, full body, bitter dry finish that lingers.

Overall: This is probably my favorite Imperial Stout "in a bottle from the shelf" (not counting barrel-aged and specials). First time I had it on tap at Radio Maria in Champaign, I thought I would faint. Gorgeous all around, and drinkable too, despite the ABV and huge body!

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Zimm
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Zimm, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of HattedClassic
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
Pours an opaque black with a hint of very dark brown. The lacing is a dark tan.

Smell:
I get hints of dark chocolate, toffee, and some coffee notes. The smell of the beer tends to be a little dull and not very distinct. Additionally, the smell does not mix well and feels as if they are there because the beer has to have a smell.

Taste:
I get hints of dark chocolate and coffee and slight hints of roasted malts.

Mouthfeel:
Very smooth for an imperial stout and heavy bodied.

Overall:
I think that this an okay imperial stout. My main beef with this beer is that it tends to fall up short in terms of flavor. Kinda of like that little engine that almost but didn't quite make it.

HattedClassic, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of Blakaeris
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours absolute midnight black with a tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring.

Aroma is charred dark grain, licorice, molasses, and dark fruit.

Taste is sweeter than I had anticipated from the nose. Dark roasted malts hit first, but then it changes to a layered burnt character. Some nice chocolate, licorice, and coffee notes. The finish is dry and woody with leafy green hop flavors in the mix as well as black currant and subdued alcohol.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, and sticky.

A very nice, balanced stout. Alcohol is amazingly well hidden. Is this really 12%? Smooth, drinkable, and complex with an interesting play between the malt, hops and dark fruitiness. Recommended.

Blakaeris, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of skaboom420
4/5  rDev -7.2%

skaboom420, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.95/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a near black in color with almost no head to be found.

Smell is some dark cocoa and some hops coming through as well. The hops are throwing off the smell a bit though. Taste is roasted black malt and some slight coffee as well. Mouthfeel is tad thin too. This is my least favorite beer from an outstanding brewery. I've liked everything else from them, so this beer definitely won't deter me from seeking out more Dark Horse offerings.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of FrankHammer
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

FrankHammer, Oct 21, 2013
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,993 ratings.