1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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

2,918 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,918
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 493
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,918 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adamant1912
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

adamant1912, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

JeffTheJuice, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of NWer
4.91/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In spite of my aggressive pour into my San Francisco Strong Beers Month 2012 tulip, it pours rather lazily into the glass and just sits there. Very dark brown small quickly fading head just enough to let you know there was some carbonation. Brown line of bubbles cling around edge of glass.
Aroma overpowering burnt chocolate. Very nice. Could sit and take it in all day but it's time to taste it.
Tastes again strong burnt chocolate. Some lingering coffee notes. Alcohol burn. 12% ABV not at all well hidden.
Mouthfeel nice. Lingering taste extends the experience. Alcohol taste remains as well. No cloying effect whatsoever. Could sit here and sip it all day.
This is why beer is better than Cognac.

NWer, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of rtaps
3.75/5  rDev -13%

rtaps, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev -7.2%

CaptainNomihodai, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of Tittles
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Tittles, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of cwxc818
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

cwxc818, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of mvdillman
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

mvdillman, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of lonewolfcry
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

lonewolfcry, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of speedvagen
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

speedvagen, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of ucis
5/5  rDev +16%

ucis, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of jlindsey
4/5  rDev -7.2%

jlindsey, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
3.75/5  rDev -13%

ShanePB, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of fuzzcherry
3.75/5  rDev -13%

fuzzcherry, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of tut2528
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours jet black, in very minimal head formation. giving it a couple of swirls it elicits an very dark tan almost brown head. big alcohol legs are noticeable.

S: roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, slight fudge sweetness, big dark fruits (predominately plums and figs), slight tart cherries as well. just a slight touch of coffee grounds

T: pretty similar to the nose. chocolate fudge, plums, figs, and cherries. but in addition, I pick up on a big black licorice, a slight hint of hops, and a vanilla cream finish. i find no alcohol presence and this one is going down

M: full bodied that coats the mouth with a nice bitter chocolate and sweet dark fruit characters

O: extremely smooth beer. and i must say that at the alcohol is almost undetectable. just a freaking fantastic RIS. definitely need to get my hands on the BA version, bc I can't imagine how fantastic that one would be!

tut2528, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of GRFounder
5/5  rDev +16%

GRFounder, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of Gatch
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pitch black with a short, medium brown head that fizzes up quickly and fades just as quickly. No lace or retention but huge legs.

S: Booze, raisins, molasses, dark chocolate, booze, roasted malt, coffee, booze, olive juice?

T: Big roasted malt, big booze, big chocolate & molasses. Smooth, sweet, and delicious. Although the booze can overwhelm the tongue at times.

M: Can be a bit cloying at the back with all that roasted malt and coffee. But the booze isn't too much and the flavors are great.

O: Everything a huge RIS should be. Finely crafted beer. A nice treat.

EDIT/Re-Review: enjoyed on-tap at Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale on 2/20/13. $8 for a 13oz. tulip. Not bad. This beer was better than I remember. Nothing that will blow your mind but it's a well-crafted, balanced, highly enjoyable RIS. The 12% ABV is barely noticeable and the rich flavors kept me craving a sip every few minutes. A very delicious sipper with all the great qualities of the style such as rich chocolate, dark fruits, woody/earthy flavors, and a hint of bitterness.

Gatch, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Jspriest, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Probably the thickest pour I've experienced. Dense, black, and viscous, this one has allmost no carbonation going into the glass. Very small head that was only slightly thicker than a film on top forms, even with some vigorous pouring. What little head there is retains as a thin film and laces just a bit. Black as night in the glass, with no light able to penetrate the body.

S- Upon opening the bottle and the release of air with a hiss, the big, bold, roasty notes can be detected. Prominent among the strong, dark, roasted malts is a blend of chocolate and coffee. Chocolate is semisweet, while the coffee gives the whole scent some teeth. Underneath the chocolate and coffee flavors, there is a ton of dark malts; some bitter, some sweet in smell.

T- Big, roasted, dark malts off the bat, just like the scent. Slightly more bitter than the smell, and progresses right into the chocolate and coffee blend I described. Coffee is bitter, but not overly so, with the chocolate sweetening things up just a little bit. The blend of coffee and chocolate dominates most of the drink, moving towards a slightly more bitter bite to finish it. Right at the end, some alcohol bitterness makes an appearance, but does not overpower the coffee and chocolate bitterness.

M- Feels just like it looked in the pour; thick. Smooth, with very low carbonation as it slides across the palate. Slight to moderate alcohol heat peaks through at the ends, warming as it goes down.

Overall, I am impressed. This has been somewhat under the radar for me, and when the store tweeted out that it had it, I grabbed the 2 bottle limit. Glad I did that. We'll see what the other one tastes like in a few months to a year, but it drinks great fresh.

boilermakerbrew, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into Bell's tulip and consumed yesterday, 3/10/13 and going off of notes from previous consumption from approx. 1 month ago.

Aroma: Smells great, got a ton of chocolate malt and coffee notes. Roast character typical of big stouts also jump out here. Very pleasing and pungent nose. (4.25)

Colour: Pours thick jet black, really viscous. Not a ton of light gets through when I illuminate. Poured aggressively with a thick, 2cm brown head that dissipates in less than 30 seconds. Laces are thick but don't stick for long. I can recognize that its definitely a RIS for sure. (4)

Flavour: Really, really, really nice. Perfect winter sipper. Strong chocolate and roasted malt giving me cocoa, caramel, and a hint of espresso. Very much full of flavour. Gives off quite a bit of heat as it warms up which can be nice depending on when it's being quaffed. This time, it's perfect for a wet Wisconsin winter evening. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied, one of the thicker stouts I've had- it feels like pure motor oil. Well done Dark Horse. Also, carbonation is solid for the style and it leaves a smooth, resinous mouthfeel as I swish it around and swallow. I really like the feel of this beer a lot. (5)

Overall: Well done Dark Horse. I love the combination of the flavours and the mouthfeel. It really puts the malts out up front, and its still hoppy enough to balance it out while the entire combination goes down smoothly. The appearance and smell take second fiddle to the flavour and mouthfeel for sure. I'd like to try the BBPt5 just to see how much the mouthfeel improves! But in those departments I don't see much room for improvement- it's that good. I want to call this my RIS for the really dark, cold nights while Founders RIS is more of whenever I feel like a RIS. (4.25)

Stevedore, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

theminutemen, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of damngoode
4/5  rDev -7.2%

damngoode, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

DarthGuitarHero, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Sparger
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Sparger, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of ldhughes3
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

ldhughes3, Feb 18, 2013
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,918 ratings.