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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

2,918 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,918
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 492
Gots: 705 | 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: 2,918 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Treyliff, May 16, 2014
Photo of lucasj82
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

lucasj82, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of antoines15
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

antoines15, May 01, 2012
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

ShogoKawada, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Nolen12
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Nolen12, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of ChrisL24481
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

ChrisL24481, Tuesday at 12:18 AM
Photo of Poupae
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Poupae, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of SFLpunk
3.45/5  rDev -20%
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

SFLpunk, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of BeerThursdays
4/5  rDev -7.2%

BeerThursdays, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of Chingringo
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Chingringo, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

SPRichard, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of mattcrill
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

mattcrill, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Rand_ale_Thor, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Massbmx
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Massbmx, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of magictacosinus
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

magictacosinus, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of PHBoiler
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

PHBoiler, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Bendurgin, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of cfrances33
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

cfrances33, Jul 15, 2012
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 doughanson78
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

doughanson78, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of stumac
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this delectable brew pours up pitch black with a brown head... the nose is composed of wonderful dark chocolate malts... the taste is some alcohol, slight chocolate malts.... delicious!!!If only I could have it my way like at Burger King and order up one of these beers at my local convienence store... that would be quite convienient...

stumac, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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?

aforbes10, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of stortore
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

stortore, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of Norseman
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Norseman, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Lucnifter, Apr 26, 2014
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,918 ratings.