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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

3,078 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,078
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 520
Gots: 717 | 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: 3,078 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mc4z
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

mc4z, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Norseman
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Norseman, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of ralerwen
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

ralerwen, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.33/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Won't wear my Sunday suit to walk that street
That would feel Byzantine

12 oz bottle...Ultra dark inky pour into my snifter with a nice thin mocha head that swells and then heads rapidly to lurk around the edges like some two-bit hoodlum.

Dark fruit, sherry, soy, and that scent that I have often described as grape bubblegum that I sometimes find in big stouts, along with some dark chocolate on the back end.

The taste and mouthfeel on this beer are slightly perplexing. For all the complexity, or at least diversity, in the nose, the taste does not quite follow. Upon warming, there is an onslaught of that grape flavor which I attribute to the heavy malt presence. The other scents promised from the smell seem minimally present, with only a slight coffee presence poking through, which I did not detect on the nose.

What is particularly odd is the slightly oily, but very light, almost watery mouthfeel. For the make and model of this diesel motored fiend, I expected a bigger, more rounded feel. Not particularly the experience I was hoping for.

BarrytheBear, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of kell50
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

kell50, Mar 30, 2014
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 tykechandler
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

tykechandler, Jun 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 ldhughes3
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

ldhughes3, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Drucifer
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Drucifer, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of vinny21bal
2.75/5  rDev -36.2%

vinny21bal, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of HoppySeb
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing beer - I wish I had access to it more often. Poured from a refrigerated 12oz bottle into a KBS snifter - poured vertically, producing a great looking two inch thick foam that is light brown in color. The head quickly dissipates and forms a ring around the glass which stays there as you drink it.

Its nose if mostly chocolate, vanilla, ripened plums, coffee and light spices - sweet. Taste is bittersweet. Definite hop presence with bold dark chocolate and vanilla bean flavors.

Mouthfeel is amazing - thick and chewy, allows you to extract every ounce of flavor from this beer. Carbonation is very light, as expected.

Overall - I'm very impressed with this beer as I was not expecting it to be this great. I will definitely seek it out more often! Highly recommended!

HoppySeb, May 16, 2014
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 thebouch01
5/5  rDev +16%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of kmanjohnson
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

kmanjohnson, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of lucasj82
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

lucasj82, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +16%

CEDAMA, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

AdamP, May 17, 2012
Photo of Danielr26
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Danielr26, Mar 04, 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 scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

scott2269, May 12, 2012
Photo of Cramerican
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Cramerican, May 31, 2014
Photo of smutty33
4/5  rDev -7.2%

smutty33, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of angrybabboon
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

angrybabboon, Aug 05, 2012
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
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,078 ratings.