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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,106
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 526
Gots: 722 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,106 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopley
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Janeinma
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Treebs
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into my Founders Snifter.

A: Pours a jet black, deep as night. Light fights to break through this darkness, but it's an impossible task. Slight brown swirls of film form with a vigorous pour, but absolutely no head.

S: Pretty boozy with some great malt profiles and some light chocolates peak their head in out and out.

T: The heat is back from the nose with a nice burnt and bitter roast from the malts. Slight semi-sweet chocolates with a little hop jump at the end.

M: Heavy bodied, like oil on the tongue. Leaves a creamy roasted dry chocolate on the palate. Little carbonation.

O: A very solid RIS overall. Seems a very true to style brew and I enjoyed it.

Photo of DelicateDelirium
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of sliverX
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Treyliff
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of stephens101
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 version.

Empties the bottle black with a sheer, tan head. Aroma is spot on with milk chocolate, dark fruits, subtle vinegar and burnt oak floating freely. This is one of the smoothest beers I can recall trying. Just floats its way down (despite its medium to heavy body) with prominent notes of milk chocolate, bubblegum and black licorice, followed by hints of oak, cherry and vanilla. Fusel alcohol is barely noticed in the back. A beautiful, well-crafted stout that pairs well with this cool and rainy spring evening.

Photo of newbeeraday
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Zuidman
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Phillyz
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of plumcrazyfx
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of woodchip
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of TonyTalon
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of match1112
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours thick and black like ink. half finger of mocha colored head doesnt stick around long.

s: alochol, dark fruit, chocolate, roasted malt.

t: alochol, dark fruit, alochol, chocolate, alochol.

m: thick and creamy. decent carbonation. alochol burn.

o: not very well blended, alochol dominates everything about this beer. have had better ris that were better blended and more enjoyable.

Photo of Dizzy242
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hope to try the barrel aged version soon...

A: Beautiful black oily pour, with a nice fluffy tan head and great lacing. Very nice start I'd say....

S: Amazing smell of burnt dark fruit and malt, vanilla, fudge, molasses, charred malt. Just an amazingly complex packed aroma without any alcohol burn, great RIS smell in the top 5% I've smell for the style so it gets a 5.

T: Also very good, but lacks the roundness and balance I got in the smell. Beautiful roasted malt and bakers chocolate with some bitters in there as well. Dark fruit and leather tinged or just 'old' tinged molasses. An earthiness prevails too which seems to break up the flavors instead of combining them in some ways, almost like a 'dirt' type flavor. Maybe a touch of tartness from the fruit tastes in it.

M: A little astringent and thin though it had a nice roast and was semi juicy for an RIS.

Overall a nice beer I'd buy again.

Photo of millelacsmark
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of kbuzz
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of coldmeat23
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a dense, dark, black color. A head of a little more than a finger of dark brown foam. Dissipates quickly. Lacing is spotty, but somewhat sticky.

Big, rich malt notes of sweetness. Milk chocolate. Coffee with extra heavy cream. Light hints of dark fruits.

Milk chocolate shake. Yummy. More of the coffee with heavy cream. Dark roasted malt notes. Light hint of smoke and a slightly heavier hint of graininess. Light touches of sweet molasses, dark fruits and carmalized brown sugars.
Nicely balanced and very well done.

High end of medium, almost full bodied. Very smooth with a light touch of creaminess. Carbonation is very low. A touch more would give this one a nice, creamy edge, I believe.

G-D! If that's 12%ABV, I'm a jackass! I guess that answers that lifelong question.
The alcohol is so well-hidden inside this one, I'd probably guess it to be no more than 7 or 8 percent, at most.
Fantastic balance and extremely drinkable. I want more....alot more!
Here's to Dark Horse Brewing!

Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of doucmehu
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,106 ratings.