Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,854 | Reviews: 753 | Display Reviews Only:
3.65/5 rDev -15.3%
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.
07-09-2010 03:23:00 | More by Bendurgin
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
Aroma: Dark cocoa, roasty nose up front. Bready yeast aromatics in the background. Dark fruit esters and some warming alcohol notes flood the nose. Milk chocolate aromatics as the beer warms up.
Appearance: Deep brown pour with a tan sudsy head. Impressive lacing and a bit of legs as the beer is swirled.
Flavor: Dark chocolate and cocoa, espresso with cream, and roasted grain flavors all up front. Just a touch of dark carmel to provide the counterpoint to all the roasted goodness. Balance is firmly toward the bitter roasted flavors. Finish is bone dry.
Mouthfeel: Big, velvety, slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation. Warming alcohol but it's well knit with the flavor. Can definitely feel it coating the tongue.
Overall impression: Wow! Perfect sipper for this cloudy, cool spring day. I'll definitely be enjoying this again as long as we can get it in Ohio. Good stuff.
03-28-2010 18:09:24 | More by mattcrill
4.03/5 rDev -6.5%
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.
07-15-2012 16:38:08 | More by cfrances33
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
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.
10-16-2011 18:53:32 | More by doughanson78
4.58/5 rDev +6.3%
Wow, they really did bottle this again. Huge thanks to Kkulacki for this one. A big surprize. Pours extremely still, with only a small, belated rising of tiny brown bubbles. ring of bubbles holds throughout and lacing makes the whole deal look tremendous. Body is oil slick black. Strong, sweet chocolate truffle odor. really, exactly like a choco truffle. some maple, burnt malts. hint of vanilla, cherry. Flavor is at first quite extreme on the burnt side of the spectrum. like licking a grill. It quickly becomes a decadent prism of flavors though...more of that truffle-like chocolate, burnt malts, vegetal hops, coffee grounds, bitterness. The finish and lingering flavor is of a toasted chocolate marshmallow. Creamy, viscous mouthfeel. Very thick. A tasty, tasty treat, all around. Please Konrad, may i have another?
03-25-2008 23:16:34 | More by aforbes10
4.55/5 rDev +5.6%
2013 bottle, poured into a snifter
A- pours opaque jet black in color with a small foamy dark-tan head that has short retention, eventually leaving a small layer on top, leaving some short lasting lace behind
S- lots of smoky roasted malt aroma up front with notes of charcoal, burnt marshmallow, campfire, smoked & cured meat, bitter dark chocolate and some woodsy notes. Underlying piney hops
T- Big chocolate and dark fig notes up front that are quickly complimented by a roasty malt that gives flavors of charred marshmallow, along with earthy and woodsy notes. Graham cracker sweetness kicks in near the end with more dark chocolate and a herbal hop finish. Some smoky malt with a touch of alcohol on the linger
M- thick and viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a chewy-yet-smooth mouthfeel and a velvety finish, alcohol hidden brilliantly. Perfect
O- finally got a chance to try this one and it didn't disappoint. Smoky, chocolaty and true to the style. A world class example of a RIS
05-16-2014 00:03:23 | More by Treyliff
4.26/5 rDev -1.2%
Finally found a chance to open my sole bottle of this, sent to me by angrybabboon in April 2013. This is the '13 bottle, and I believe it's about a year old at this point. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass - split, as I always do with RISs.
Yeah, that pours like syrup - just black treacle all the way, with a surprisingly high amount of head (mocha colored... Yum!) that rises to the glass about 1-2 fingers high. No light shines through this, suffice to say. The head eventually dies down, and it loses its carbonation slowly over time, but it does leave a terrific amount of lace and foam at the sides and does coat the glass semi-dark with each swirl. While it brings nothing new to the table, it is indeed a benchmark for what I expect with these beers.
Smells really good, however - this isn't a sweet RIS at all, and rather, this contains all of the roasted and hedonistic qualities that I simply adore these beers for. Big roasted chocolate notes, coffee, as well as peanut butter, with molasses, plum, cherry pits, and a sharp earthy bitterness at the back. Caramel, nutmeg, and burnt toffee finish it off. This is one of the nuttiest imperial stouts I've whiffed on in a good long while, and the roasted character is very fresh and lively. Perhaps due to the age, it does lack a complex array of flavors, but the heat is magnificently toned down - invisible, in fact, and no extra sweetness other than the malt profile completely comes through, in the end. Very good stuff.
The flavor is an explosion of chocolate and roasted malt flavors that coat the palate in a ridiculously hedonistic way - it's really the equivalent of eating a coffee filled dark chocolate truffle. After the roasted notes come in, there's a sharp nutty, peanut brittle flavor that becomes overrun with molasses, dark fruit, light leather, and finishes with more caramel and cinnamon, with a baker's chocolate bittered finish. The chocolate becomes more predominant over time, and with the added effect of the beer coating the mouth with a melting sensation, the truffle effect is turned up to 11 on this - honestly, the only other equivalent flavor is from Marshall Zhukov, although not NEARLY as exaggerated. While it does get more syrupy and less lively as it gets flatter, it always tastes really full and thick as an RIS should.
Yeah, this is pretty great stuff, and while it's not as complex or insane as other domestic offerings, it still is notable for its stupidly easy drinkable character, especially with the alcohol being this well hidden, in this case. I definitely was happy with my half portion, but I could have easily had more if I wanted. Definitely worth a try, and a very interesting look on how the base beer changes substantially compared to the bourbon barrel version.
03-14-2014 20:05:31 | More by magictacosinus
4.22/5 rDev -2.1%
Dark Horse has some of the thickest, darkest stouts I have ever encountered, and this may be the thickest, darkest of the bunch. It looks like used motor oil, if you went 10,000 miles past when you were supposed to change it. a tiny head settles to a thin film, but laces with each sip. a one or two-fingered head would make this pour perfect.
lots of dark, bitter, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla balance the considerable roast thats also typical of Dark Horse's brews. charcoal and dark fruits as well as some woody hops round out the aroma.
deep roast and dark chocolate hit first and are followed up by some booziness, molasses, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla extract, a bit of nuttiness.
very thick with just enough carbonation that completely fills the mouth and leaves a bittersweet flavor lingering on the palate, and a bit of a syrupy feel on the back of the throat with just a bit of alcohol heat that is perfect for the style.
another amazing stout from Dark Horse. though crooked tree and double crooked tree are both good beers, their stouts is what I know them for, and rightly so. They all have similar qualities which define Dark Horse's style.
06-21-2011 04:58:14 | More by silentjay
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
Pours an opaque clack/brown with a 1-finger, milk chocolate colored head that falls quickly to a cover and then ring without lacing.
The smell is cocoa, roasted malt and a kind of heavy, moist sweetness.
The taste is cocoa, licorice and woody with just a bit of dark chocolate and coffee. As it warms more flavors seem to escape including only a hint of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and powdery dry. I didn't really taste the alcohol, to it's credit, but I felt it every sip.
Drinkability: It's a sipper that I'd rather wait a week or so for another though it does get tasty. I do like what happens with the taste as it sits & warms.
06-03-2010 03:10:38 | More by meatyard
4/5 rDev -7.2%
Poured into a nonic at 53 degrees.
Appearance: A one finger head that has fair retention. The head is dark brown, like chocolate, and the head is foamy. The head did not leave any lacing on the glass. The clarity of the beer is opaque. The color of the beer is dark brown with slight reddish brown tint. The beer leaves some legs on the glass as it is drank.
Nose: A very deep rich malt complex that is roasted, a burnt character, and kettle caramelization. Other aromas in the beer is coffee, chocolate, wood, citrus, floral, alcohol, raisins, and dark cherries.
Taste: A complex rich dark roasted malt that has a burnt character, kettle cook caramel, and chocolate. Other flavors in the beer is espresso, wood citrus, floral, raisins, dark cherries, molasses, citrus, and floral esters.
Mouth feel of the beer is coating, warm, and chewy.
Overall: The body of the beer is full and the finish is full. Ah a RIS, however it is not what I think is the greatest representation of this beer. When I want a RIS, I want a full body, thick, chewy, aggressive beer that ages like fine wine. This beer nails most of it but lacks just a little for my taste. Solid beer nonetheless, I am very greatful that I got to try it.
12-04-2012 02:11:09 | More by colts9016
3.78/5 rDev -12.3%
Pours an oil sticky thick syrup with a very dark tan head.
Smell of oaky, charred remains of a bourbon barrel. I had to stop and question if this had any barrel aging, which as far as I am aware, it does not. Easily comparable to Ten Fidy in aroma with the sweetness that comes out.
Taste of a slightly boozy , sweet imperial russian stout. There are tons of charred remains in here after the sweetness settles. You can rub your tongue against the top of your mouth and feel the chalky feeling you get from ashes if one were to taste ashes... There is a lot of sweetness, a definite hop presence that brings the ash flavor down a notch, but I can never get over that ashy burnt aftertaste. This is a very tasty beer, but I would remove some of that black patent. Chocolate does it for me, and while this is tasty, I would rather have a RIS that has less char broiled coal characteristics in it.
Very low carbonation with an ashy mouthfeel.
01-07-2011 00:40:19 | More by alpinebryant
4.22/5 rDev -2.1%
Sampled on 6-27-08
Pours a thick black, with just a little red on the outside edge. No head, but short lived rings of lacing.
Smell is very malty, lots of coffee and smoke, with a little anise. Very RIS.
Taste is fantastic. Hugely roasty at first, followed by a fair amount of smoky chocolate. The finish is quite bitter but very smooth.
Mouthfeel is right on for a Russian Imperial.
Drinkability is pretty good, hard to say not knowing the abv.
Overall, a great example of the style, and even better, I'm guessing, with a little time.
06-27-2008 22:52:05 | More by BMoney575
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,854 ratings.