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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

2,739 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,739
Reviews: 750
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 471
Gots: 670 | FT: 72
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: 2,739 | Reviews: 750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MaseFace
MaseFace

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

05-09-2013 23:25:29 | More by MaseFace
Photo of jkball01
jkball01

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

03-30-2014 15:31:16 | More by jkball01
Photo of CityofBals
CityofBals

Illinois

3/5  rDev -30.2%

01-31-2013 23:36:18 | More by CityofBals
Photo of oldvines
oldvines

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

04-07-2013 13:40:40 | More by oldvines
Photo of DelicateDelirium
DelicateDelirium

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

03-21-2013 03:41:41 | More by DelicateDelirium
Photo of plumcrazyfx
plumcrazyfx

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -7%

11-23-2011 02:32:13 | More by plumcrazyfx
Photo of CGMLS3
CGMLS3

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

01-02-2013 02:59:42 | More by CGMLS3
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

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

I had no idea Dark Horse distributed to Indiana until a couple of weeks ago, and Double Crooked Tree was rockin. Now on their famous Plead the 5th? Can’t wait.

A: I can’t even see through the beer as it’s flowing thick from the bottle; dark black motor oil body. It looks excessively viscous. The head is rich reddish-brown, oily and just a hair lighter than the body. Smooth and about a half-inch high, the retention stays around for a while. Little lacing, though.

S: Holy hell, that’s a boozy beer. Layers upon layers of pepper, pungent bourbon, roasted malt, and lots of char come up. Excessively fiery. There’s some black cherry, hazelnut, dark chocolate, toffee, and more than enough smoky peat, too – killer smokiness against some rich sweets. Ends piney, though the main body of this robust nose is alcohol and spice.

T: Vanilla, chocolate fondue, fondant, strawberry shortcake, and molasses; starts creamy. Lasting just a quick second, the sugar is overcome by a thorny bitterness: pine, booze, fig, licorice, and spicy alcohol with a moment or two of cough syrup tongue-smacking character. Some smoky flavors are there, as well, but without the big roast tastes of the nose; satisfying, nonetheless. Finishes with that thought, as well as a caramel stickiness, a chalky yeast flavor, and some light hop fruitiness.

M: Hot, though wonderfully creamy. Astringency is dark, lifting the sugary tastes off the tongue to avoid stickiness.

O: A great stout; it’s a showcase for the often-limited smoke tastes of imperial stouts. Glad I had this fresh – some age would just empower the big ol’ booze character. Like I need any more excuses to drink the rest of my four-pack…

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 01:07:58 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of MastaShonuf
MastaShonuf

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

05-28-2013 01:36:00 | More by MastaShonuf
Photo of JohnParadee
JohnParadee

Delaware

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

01-11-2014 10:10:07 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a nice black stout color with a ¼" dark brown head that recedes fairly quickly to a ring of foam and a very thin layer of patchy foam on the surface. Sipping leaves some sparse leggy lacing that turns into speckles of foam on the glass. Later in the beer the ring of foam and speckled patterns of lacing from sipping persist.

Smell: Even from a distance the rich dark chocolate aroma fills the air. The chocolate blends nicely with some lightly sweet vanilla, a trace of licorice and some hints of dark toffee. There isn't a hint of alcohol.

Taste: As expected from the nose the flavors begin with some sweet roasted malt flavors of things like dark chocolate, molasses, dark toffee and vanilla. But about midway through the roasted bitterness puts in an appearance without dominating everything else. There is no real hop bitterness in this so I suspect it has long ago faded away. Any alcohol is well concealed here or shows itself only in the early sweetness and in the effects it produces.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is full bodied and silky smooth with some soft persistent, but very light carbonation, especially at the end of the beer. The finish begins with vanilla and sweetness, changes into to dark chocolate and then roasted bitterness. The bitterness slowly fades leaving a light dryness and soft finish of dark roasted malt bitterness.

Drinkability: Although a one a night beer with its 12% ABV, its definitely a wonderful Imperial stout for sipping before the fire while listening to music and/or reading. One of the things I particularly like about this beer is that the flavors changed nicely so that it is not really the same set of flavors that dominate throughout. I'll definitely have this one again, and again now that its available in PA.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 03:13:13 | More by drtth
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 03:52:27 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of smutty33
smutty33

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -7%

01-28-2012 02:57:10 | More by smutty33
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
ObeMaltKinobee

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

01-20-2013 12:59:30 | More by ObeMaltKinobee
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2010 bottling into Leffe chalice. Thanks for the glass, Ding. Enjoyed at room temperature.

Head fizzes out but beer is a healthy robust brown. Nose is chocolaty and a bit of dark fruit, some serious alcohol too. Taste has big velvet chocolate flavors, some pipe tobacco, pine resin hops and more dark fruit. Mild coffee. Very sweet, pretty hot. Still, it works. Mouthfeel is a bit hot but ultimately satisfying. This beer is stellar- a hefty, bold, no-nonsense RIS. One of Dark Horse's stronger beers. Would like to see this with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 00:14:10 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of kevgod
kevgod

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +16.3%

04-13-2012 22:10:20 | More by kevgod
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk

Vermont

3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Thanks to Carl! No date. Purchased at Julio's.

Pours a thick motor-oil black with some tan head after a thorough agitation. Nose is weird at first but some blows off. Fresh milk is the first thing to mind (uh oh). Creamy milk chocolate and grass. Palate is sharp and biting with alcohol. Creamy creamy creamy carbonation. Mocha (coffee + chocolate)....

stop the presses. Me thinks there's lacto ruining this beer. Banana peel comes out on the nose and things fall apart. Will re-rate if the opportunity presents. Fail. (A: 4, S: 2.5, T: 2.5, M: 2, Overall 1.5 = D+ or 2.33)

Re-Review: Appearance is the same as above but everything else is different. Big milk chocolate and coffee on the nose. Palate is rich and thick with tons of roasted black coffee beans, grounds and brew. Bitter/dark chocolate, earthy moss and top soil, lots of tanned leather and cocoa nibs. Long finish. Delightful. Sucks that I had an infected bottle the first time. The score reflects the good bottle, but the overall score is lowered due to lack of coding and the off-bottl.e

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 04:52:03 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of BeerThursdays
BeerThursdays

Delaware

4/5  rDev -7%

01-20-2013 14:14:27 | More by BeerThursdays
Photo of SPRichard
SPRichard

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

04-26-2013 20:29:33 | More by SPRichard
Photo of FrankHammer
FrankHammer

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

10-21-2013 15:05:52 | More by FrankHammer
Photo of Zimm
Zimm

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -7%

04-19-2014 19:46:24 | More by Zimm
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Raznug for this one. Poured into a tulip. Pours black with about a finger of cocoa colored head. Not much to stick around, but spotty lacing looks pretty good. This has a really big nose. Big earthy smells all around; tobacco and faint whiff of alcohol. Dates and prunes and other dark fruits are present alongside a faint aroma of bitter chocolate. This smells great, at 12 percent, I expect to smell a little alcohol, regardless, I'm having trouble getting my nose out of this one to taste it. To my disappointment, the smell was better than the taste. I love the dark fruits that I'm tasting and hint of rich chocolate. I generally prefer something to be a little more roasty, but the dark fruit flavor is really nice. A little too much alcohol heat for good drinkability, but the mouth feel is good. A little under-carbonated for my taste, but it's still nice. The body is also a little lighter than I expected due to the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2010 03:23:00 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of doughanson78
doughanson78

Washington

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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to thabigmp for this one.

A: Very dark pour. Pitch black in the glass. About a half finger darker mocha colored head that fades quick to a little ring around the edge of the glass. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing.

S: Big dark fruits, cherries, figs, and raisins. Light chocolate and roasted coffee. A bit of alcohol.

T: A bit of dark roasted caramel upfront. Roastiness and dark fruits throughout the middle, cherries and figs, with a hint of raisins and dates. Finishing in sweet chocolate and a light bitter coffee and a touch of alcohol. A very slight metallic taste.

M: Full bodied, but on the lighter side. Medium light carbonation. Very creamy. Very light warming.

O: A very good Imperial Stout. The alcohol is present but not overbearing at all. Gonna be great with a little age. Would love to try the Bourbon Aged version.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 18:53:32 | More by doughanson78
Photo of cfrances33
cfrances33

Illinois

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

2013 vintage bottle, poured into a snifter.

Pour: Pitch black and oily. A finger of mocha head slowly rises and recedes to a rim, leaving a slight amount of lacing along the way. Good lookin stout.

Smell: Lots of bitter roasted malt up front, with some coffee and dark chocolate, and a touch of booze. Some dark fruits crawl out as it warms.

Taste: Nice roasted coffee and dark chocolate. A touch of bitterness. Dark chewy raisins and a light burning alcohol. Finishes with a lingering roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Big, thick, and chewy. A definite sipper. A bit of alcohol heat, but not a ton.

Overall: A solid RIS, but no where near in the league of its big brother from bourbon barrels.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 16:38:08 | More by cfrances33
Photo of skaboom420
skaboom420

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7%

03-09-2013 17:39:36 | More by skaboom420
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,739 ratings.