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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,379 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2379
Reviews: 736
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.37%


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: 2,379 | Reviews: 736 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of --Dom--
--Dom--

Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I don't feel like following a format today so: This beer is awesome. Pours with a short dark brown head. Not quite as thick as a yeti or ten fidy. Mouthfeel is spot on, creamy with medium carbonation. Everything is balanced, none of the flavors are too much. Slight alcohol heat but not a predominate taste. Dark chocolates with just a hint of burnt coffee. Amazing stuff, get some if you can.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 21:07:07 | More by --Dom--
Photo of Jparkanzky
Jparkanzky

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A) Pour into a pint glass from bottle, at near room-temp. Poured jet-black, didn't see really any red or brown within while pouring it. A few dancing bubbles on top, and no head.... the 1/16th inch head that was there for about 2 seconds was dark brown.... this beer is DARK!

S) Don't really pull a lot from the smell... it's actually quite neutral, perhaps vanilla hints to it, but I really don't know. It certainly wasn't unpleasant, but more "neutral"

T) GREAT. A little caramel perhaps, and hints of a bourbon flavor. The after-taste is pure smooth-velvety goodness.

M) A little alcohol bite at first, but overall it tastes like heavy black-creme, devoid of any carbonation whatsoever, so in a word "GREAT!"

Very enjoyable from start to finish... I took this out of the cellar at 50 deg. and waiting 15 minutes at room temp, and it still didn't really "peak" until halfway through the glass... Flavors and texture really opened up, and any negative alcohol characteristics that were clearly pronounced, disappeared when the temperature warmed up.

Highly recommend this one!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 22:39:18 | More by Jparkanzky
Photo of MammothBrew
MammothBrew

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass on 6/22/11.

A: Pours a burned oil color with tints of ruby(only while pouring). Holding it up, there's no light coming through this beauty. Very thin frothy layer. No head, no lacing.

S: Smokey chocolate malt with a strong coffee/espresso smell. Very faint boozy smell and no hop presence.

T: It's a chocolate attack to the face. Deep chocolate/cocoa flavor with some smooth smokey, roasted malt. Hints of coffee with a very light boozy finish.

M: Full body with little carbonation. Coats the mouth in a really, really chocolaty milk kind of way.

O: It's like a chocolate dessert drink for adults. This has become my favorite Imperial Stout, hands down. It's not very complex but it's straight to the point. Also, the high ABV is hidden pretty well. Nice job Dark Horse!

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 05:45:37 | More by MammothBrew
Photo of JeffBrenner
JeffBrenner

Pennsylvania

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

Had on draft in 10oz goblet. Pours a jet black with next to no carbonation. Minimal dark ring of head. Has a nice smell of chocolate and coffee. Surprisingly smooth for coming in at 11%. The coffee stout taste really hides the boozyness well. Has a nice smooth feel to it, not too creamy like a lot of stouts. Love the name. Would definitely be a repeat buyer and I'm not usually a fan of stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2013 17:46:37 | More by JeffBrenner
Photo of smooth_aleing
smooth_aleing

New York

4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into over-sized wine glass.

Pours coal black with a thin head the dissipates to a fine mocha ring. Lacing dissolves quickly.

The nose is a bit lacking. Expected big chocolate malts and espresso, but they were faint to the nose. Suggestions of smoke and dark cherry liquor. Alcohol is certainly detectible at 11% ABV.

Taste - immediately roasted chocolate and bitter coffee (in a good way). Smokiness and light bitterness throughout the tongue. Dark, roasted malts, and cherry/brandy-type liquor.

Mouthfeel is good, decent carbonation. Well balanced throughout the tongue.

Was excited to try this beer, since it's so highly rated on B.A. A great stout, but not the best. But, maybe the expectation let me down slightly. Would still drink it again, tough.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 01:03:42 | More by smooth_aleing
Photo of Copernicandream
Copernicandream

Michigan

4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a 12oz snifter. Fresh.

A: Impenetrable dark black, very minimal frothy head on a moderately aggressive pour that faded to nothing almost immediately <30 sec.

S: Chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, difficult to place - dark berries, red wine???

T: The taste is much more subdued than the smell. Essentially just heavy rich roasted malt. A little alcohol in the aftertaste. I get some dark chocolate bitterness, im sure hops are also involved but they're mild. The same ?blackberry, black raspberry, and what chilhood memories tell me are elderberries? come out with warmth - this is very subtle and I clearly am having a hard time nailing it down. Lets just say "dark fruit ester."

M: Full bodied, rich and creamy. Big bad beer. This is perfect, what you expect when you hear Imperial Stout. Moderate warmth from the 11%. Carbonation is mild and extremely fine.

O: Perhaps the, if not one of the best imperial stouts I have ever tasted. This blows the socks of Founders booze bomb, which I very much respect. Very complex and full bodied providing a filling feeling along with a complex palate. I can see why people wait in line for the BA version, it would likely be amazing.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 01:32:22 | More by Copernicandream
Photo of 4balance
4balance


4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of top notch BA - Yamar68, thanks man.

Poured into St. Bernardus Chalice. Dark opaque black with tan colored 1/2" head that disappears into a little ring around the edge that disappears about halfway through. Minimal tight lacing that doesn't last.

Smells like deep rich roasted malts, cocoa nibs, dark roasted Colombian coffee, dark raisins, figs with a slight alcohol scent.

Tastes is similar to the smell, dark malt, rich roasted bitter coffee beans, high percentage of dark chocolate along with milk chocolate, vanilla bean, dark fruits, slight amount of hops, smokey aspects with a warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, full bodied with a little dry bitter finish, so balanced out.

Overall this is a meal in a glass. So rich yet easy to drink. Highly recommended if you like this style and even if you don't!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 03:18:51 | More by 4balance
Photo of phishisphunk
phishisphunk

Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter after being chilled in the fridge for about an hour (an unseasonably warm April is leaving my basement warmer than hoped for this time of the year!). This beer pours a very inky black with the slightest formation of a tan head. My initial impression of the nose was that it smelled similar to a DFH World Wide Stout or Bell's Batch 9000. Initially very sweet, sugary, and syrupy smell. However, after a moment a robust and roasty smell dominates. The taste of this beer is superbly solid. Well balanced, beautiful roasted malt flavor dominates, without the slightest hint of alcohol. A perfect example of what a Russian Imperial Stout should taste like. Reminds me a bit of Old Rasputin. Carbonation in the beer is moderate. with a slight watery feel as the beer passes through to the end of the palate, but finished dry. Very enjoyable brew and by far my most favorite Dark Horse to date. Strongly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 04:30:38 | More by phishisphunk
Photo of MIMicrobrews
MIMicrobrews

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured similar to all the rest (black, thick, choco head), yet seemed to have a bit more girth to it. Could it get any thicker? I beg to differ... A slightly sweet and creamy sensation hits my nose, with a subtle smoky undertone. There is a tinge of hop presence underneath the bold, dark aroma. The taste rolls and changes from sip to as it goes down. Smooth upon first taste, then a robust grittiness to a bitterness all in the same motion. It's well-balanced, but it's also very bold. It is an imperial stout, and you clearly get that from every sip. There's a strength to every sip that you can sense on your tongue and in your nose. With all the boldness, elements of roastiness and molasses come through nicely. The aftertaste is something I hadn't gotten from the previous 4 brews: heat. This is an imperial stout and it is strong. Once this brew goes down, there is a good amount of hot in the end to remind you to enjoy this brew slowly and responsibly :)

Overall, I like this brew very much. I love a big, bold, no frill, knock you on your ass stout. And this one is no exception. The ABV is not available, but I can tell you it's up there. On top of that, there is a good amount of smooth and boldness meshed together. All that said, I would be interested to see how this brew would age. I'd like to see if aging it would bring out more flavor. In addition, I would consider warming this brew slightly before enjoying. I do feel I enjoyed it a bit too cold, as a bit less chill would have enhanced the flavor. This is a bold brew, and a great way to top off this stout series.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 21:12:27 | More by MIMicrobrews
Photo of paxtonthegreat
paxtonthegreat

Michigan

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Weighing in at more like 14% abv, this incredible imperial stout packs in flavors such as tobacco, dark and milk chocolate, roast, smoke and more. With a nose that is reminiscent of dark chocolate smoke and tobacco this is sure to please any russian imperial stout enthusiast for sure. Some molasses in the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2011 19:05:03 | More by paxtonthegreat
Photo of Ehrnstrom
Ehrnstrom

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours very dark with virtually no head.

smell: definite chocolate and malt notes. toffee/sweet flavors come through as well as the relatively strong scent of alcohol

taste: deep, rich flavor of dark chocolate. creamy molasses taste comes through as well.

mouthfeel: aftertaste lingers a bit much, but really not too much of a flaw.

overall: an excellent accomplishment by Dark Horse. Definitely recommend trying this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 01:24:25 | More by Ehrnstrom
Photo of chadmoe1
chadmoe1

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at D's SixPax and Dogz in Regent Square, PA. Served in a Goblet at about 40-45 F.

Appearance -- Dark reddish-brown, opaque, with 1/4 inch dark tan head that dissipated rather quickly. Amused that it was darker than the Diet Pepsi sitting on the table.

Smell -- Notes of dark chocolate and deep roasted coffee; not much in terms of hop smell. No smell of alcohol.

Taste -- Impressive for the alcohol content. The initial chocolate/roasted coffee taste was a bit bitter but enjoyable. Flavor lasted well after a sip. Limited discernible hop flavor. Some boozy flavors (12% ABV!) but not overwhelming or overpowering. Rather smooth for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel -- This was the thickest beer I've had so far, and I think part of the long lasting flavor was due to the beer still sticking to my tongue and cheeks. Carbonation was medium to low and spot on for style.

Overall -- For such a big beer in the middle of a hot summer, I really enjoyed all aspects of it. I've had higher ABV beers you could gulp through, but this was a definite sipper -- and I enjoyed this. I would get it again, though I'd really like to try a version BA as vanilla notes would really open the taste up further.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2011 14:10:34 | More by chadmoe1
Photo of 4amepiphany
4amepiphany

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Comes close to Expedition Stout for me, which I 'd prefer juuust a little more than Pt5, but I will drink this RIS anyday. Wonderful color. Good balance & mouthfeel, just the right viscosity. Though I felt Expedition offers the complexity that I like.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 05:49:12 | More by 4amepiphany
Photo of BJRHOMEBREW
BJRHOMEBREW

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pour a deep rich black with a thin tan head that fades by the last sip.

S: Roasted malt with hints of cocoa and dark fruits.

T: Sweet dark malt, again dark fruits with a nice chocolate finish.

M: Rich and smooth with just a hint of alcohol on the finish.

O: A GREAT example of a true RIS. In this day when so many breweries are adding adjuncts to their RIS its nice to drink a wonderful example of the true style.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 03:13:21 | More by BJRHOMEBREW
Photo of psychotia
psychotia

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle to tulip after 20 minutes out of fridge

A - black with the slightest tan head quickly settling to a thin ring around the glass.

S - initial smell is of licorice, molasses, and slight toffee.

T - jumping all over - first caramel, then chocolate, some licorice as i breathe out, then the caramel brings a huge toffee sensation. this is one of the better experiences I've had tasting an RIS.

M - viscous, yet not thick and syrupy. a slight dry/hot feeling after the swallow, perhaps (likely) from the alcohol.

O - wonderful RIS - did not have this fresh to compare, but I am grateful for my local store, their cellar, and their random impulsivity when it comes to pulling things from the cellar.

it's a great feeling when a style that once confused and alluded my taste buds is now discernible. this ranks among my favorite RISs, although I will have to now revisit my other memorable RISs to better appreciate them again (or so i hope!).

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 02:19:13 | More by psychotia
Photo of Jho3325
Jho3325

Indiana

4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night. It gave a thin mocha colored head that dissipated relatively quickly. The beer sticks to the glas as you drink it.

Smell is of coffee and chocolate with definite roasted qualities.

Taste has a hint of coffee and chocolate. As it warms the dark berry flavor takes over. Very sweet with almost a bubblegum type taste to it. However the sweetness is cubed by the roasted elements.

It has a thick mouthfeel with a slight burn on the way down. Even still the 11% alcohol is not overpowering.

This is a great RIS. I look forward to trying this with some age on it. Well done and I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 03:58:42 | More by Jho3325
Photo of Bombers4Benedict
Bombers4Benedict

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, dark, dark with a thick finger and a half light brown head. Very appetizing.

S - Sweet is the only thing that can encompass what my nose experienced. One moment is caramel, the next is creme brulee/brown sugar, the next is subtle spiciness.

T - At first this one comes on heavy. I was worried the sweet smell was an attempt to hide the large ABV (12%) but rest assured my friends, this one was smooth and very pleasing. I would describe it as a hard creme brulee. There was a little bit of noticable alcohol but that quickly vanished into a nice sweet, malty aftertaste. The warmer this beer gets the more the alcohol stands out, though so my suggestion is to sip quickly. Obviously, this left my tongue just wanting more and more. At a tasting a week ago this one stood out in a line up of 20 or so stouts as the desert like characters gave this one independence. I was happy to revisit, no doubt.

D - Although I loved it I had to keep it at 1 and would be suprised if others could do more. The sweetness sweetness is very desirable however can become overwhelming.

Serving type: on-tap

11-01-2010 02:15:13 | More by Bombers4Benedict
Photo of SD-Alefan
SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Center pour from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

What a lovely pour. A deep rich (nearly black) mahogany with a nice brownish-red foam that quickly dissipates to less than half a finger.

The smell is incredible! I get caramel, toffee, chocolate, perhaps prune, roasted coffee and a bit of booziness.

The first taste: A little bite of booze then a hit of sweetness and fruit followed by dark chocolate and raisin. The aftertaste is dark chocolate, slightly bitter and creamy. It lingers on the tongue, awaiting the next sip.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. Full and creamy with a late tingle on the tongue from the carbonation.

Overall, this is a great beer. Full of wonderful smells and flavors. I feel like the next time I have it, I'll be picking up different layers. I can't wait.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 02:27:24 | More by SD-Alefan
Photo of imperialbigswig
imperialbigswig

Wisconsin

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ok this is in my top 5 favorite RISs, probably my number 2, maybe even one if I could get my hands on more of them!!!
A- Jet black motor oil, head leaves in a hurry.
S- Dark chocolates and notes of coffee.
T- GTFOOH!!! Just so rich and bitterly chocolate.
M- thick, heavy dry and chewy, now that's what I want in an Imperial Stout!!
D- Hard drink more than one, just cuz they're so hard to find and such a heavy stout. But low drinkability is a hallmark of a great RIS!!
SIP on this one long and steady, if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 21:05:21 | More by imperialbigswig
Photo of BradenMK
BradenMK

Ohio

3.21/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a weird beer for me. I don't know if my palate is wrecked by something... it shouldn't be... but I was feeling under the weather today. EDIT: Hmm... my palate is indeed wrecked. I am currently drinking a Founders Imperial Stout and I taste nothing but chocolate covered raisins...

I will have to return to this one at a later date. Unfortunately for me, this is the first 5th I've ever seen and was the only one on the shelf. Hopefully I can find another.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 03:12:10 | More by BradenMK
Photo of Labonix
Labonix

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. This one pours pitch black with a small tan head. The aroma is roasty with chocolate and carmel and molasses. It has a roasty and bitter chocolate taste with some hints of vanilla. This beer is nice, smooth, and hides the high alcohol really well.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 21:58:00 | More by Labonix
Photo of BruceBruce
BruceBruce

Texas

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Solid look and nice 1/4 inch tan head

S. Amazing, I cant convince myself that this isn't BA, it must be the strong alcohol presence. Booze at first and then some coffee and then alcohol then a bit of roasted malts and then way more booze, LOVE IT!!!

T. Alcohol up front and very present, then coffee and maybe a hint of chocolate, the presence of booze is amazing hits you first and last. I love this beer!!!

M. A bit thin for me but not bad 3.5

O. I love it, great taste, a smell that I seriously put my nose to the glass until the last sip. I love this beer so glad I got one in, ISO: again for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 03:26:08 | More by BruceBruce
Photo of tbdkev
tbdkev

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to grab this brew in celebration of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory!

A: Pours a dark, motor oil brown with a tan head that fades quickly. Thick, as expected.

A: The nose is divided between sweet and dark chocolate malts and coffee.

T: The sweeter milk chocolate notes (lactose) surface immediately and gradually fade to a wonderful dark chocolate/coffee finish. There is an underlying fruit character as well--perhaps raisins. The combination of flavors yields some char character, and oak qualities as well.

M: Milky and somewhat chewy, with mild, fine carbonation that fits the profile well.

O: IPt5 fulfills the criteria for a stout experience, but it provides a complex enough experience to separate from most of the pack. Definitely worth the purchase.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 07:37:12 | More by tbdkev
Photo of RJay
RJay

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pitch black with no light able to penetrate through, during the pour I was reminded of the last time I changed the oil on my car. There was a half finger of head that faded to covering the edge of the glass, this stuck around until the end.

Aroma - Toasty roasty malts with some chocolate notes. There is a fruity aroma but I can't quite make out what it is. There is also a nice warm tingle to the nose from the alcohol.

Taste - Sweet roasted malts with chocolate and toffee with a coffee like bitterness.

Mouth Feel - Silky smooth with light carbonization and has some weight to it, pretty thick beer.

Drinkability - This is my favorite out of the series. Definitely a sipper but a great beer, as the beer warms up in the glass more of the aromas and flavors can be picked up.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 03:09:59 | More by RJay
Photo of Stacy53
Stacy53

Indiana

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Horse- Plead the 5th- Bottled: Feb. 2010
Around 3 months old

A- Black as night with a fast fading brown, tan head. A bit of red in the head as well.

S- Dark chocolate maybe some dark coffee in there also. I definitely smell some sweet notes.

T- Tons of stuff in this one. I taste chocolate, caramel, a woody taste, sweet cherries. Nice mix of sweet and smoky.

M- This one is thick with low carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, you hardly notice the ABV at 12% in this.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 01:10:46 | More by Stacy53
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,379 ratings.