1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

2,928 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,928
Reviews: 757
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 494
Gots: 706 | FT: 80
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,928 | Reviews: 757 | Display Reviews Only:
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 kbuzz
3.75/5  rDev -13%

kbuzz, Jun 24, 2012
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 sammyg832
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

sammyg832, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of oso
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

oso, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of coz
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

coz, May 11, 2013
Photo of Nunya
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Nunya, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of thereal_adam
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

thereal_adam, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -7.2%

sbricker, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TheBishopco
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

TheBishopco, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours incredibly black. As dark as they come. Almost not head. More of a brown film. Impressive alcohol legs.

S- A lighter roast. A big coffee presence, A subtle caramel. A dark brew.

T- A light roastyness up front. Really goes well with the caramel. A smooth creamyness, almost a desert style stout.. Sugary but not too sweet. Some roasted toffee an burnt sugar.A decent hop presence but still very subtle. A touch of chocolate on the back end. A well balanced and rounded RIS.

M- A solid Feel to the beer. A sticky, roasty sweetness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Drinks like a champ.

O- This is a great RIS. Up there with Stone's IRS and ten fidy. I would love the BA version.

TwelveOunces, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of meatyard
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

meatyard, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of silentjay
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

silentjay, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of brycevolk
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

brycevolk, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

FeDUBBELFIST, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of scotv
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

scotv, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of ortie
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%

ortie, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

colts9016, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of BlissJunkie
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

BlissJunkie, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of zoso1967
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

zoso1967, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of alpinebryant
3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

alpinebryant, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Zuidman
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Zuidman, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of cestlavie
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

cestlavie, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of BMoney575
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BMoney575, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

thampel09, Sep 01, 2014
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,928 ratings.