1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,218 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,218
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 542
Gots: 790 | FT: 82
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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-27-2008

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
2014 - white label with black logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner, government warning on bottom right side of label
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,218 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illinikap
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Dhamma73
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Psychmusic
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of PEIhop
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of beerdrifter
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! This one has over a year of age in the cellar on it. Pitch black pour with a caramel colored head that lasts about 5 seconds with no lacing. The nose is a bit unique with a roasty maltiness and subtle sweet smokiness along with hints of soy sauce, molasses, black coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of licorice. The taste follows suit with the sweet smokiness really showing up early along with black cherries, espresso, dark chocolate, booze, port wine, and licorice. Definitely a complex stout. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, smooth and oily, with a subtle creaminess and a nice warming alcohol burn on the finish. Overall, this is definitely a standout RIS. Big and complex and flavorful, but probably just a tad bit too sweet to put it in the elite category.

Photo of bigorange
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of brock146
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark black with nice chocolate hued head

S - Alcohol and dark chocolate

T - Black coffee, sweet and malty, a bit smoky, definite yet subtle kick of alcohol

M - Silky smooth, low carbonation creates a soft of "milk shake" consistency. Keeps your palate warm after it goes down

O = Very tasty and surprisingly [ and dangerously :) ] drinkable for being such a high gravity beer

3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rjl910953
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of CanisMajor
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mikediesel124
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Docrock
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap at Dark Horse in a snifter:

A - Almost a pitch black body with a half an inch head of dirty brown color. Head disappear very quickly, minimal lacing but nice legs

S - Chocolate and roasted malt, a bit of molasses.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, some vanilla. Starts very sweet and finishes with a dry chocolate finish

M - Moderate to low carbonation. Very warming, creamy and silky. Medium to full body, chewy and heavy, but not too thick. Alcohol is hidden extremely well. You don't notice it until you near the bottom of the glass. minimal aftertaste.

O = Extremely pleasant beer, very drinkable, much smoother as it warmed in the glass.

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of griffiam03
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of birdsellam
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Zachtheporter
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served at room temperature and poured form a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- This baby comes sliding out of the bottle like slick oil and has the pitch black color to boot! All thoughts of the light are abandoned upon realizing that not even a single sliver of pinhole light is capable of penetrating the deep dark cavernous blackness that envelops this ale. The tan head comes out for a bit being a bit bubbly before dissipating leaving a thin collar and a touch of lace dancing upon the surface.

S- The nose of this beer is not incredibly overpowering, yet very prominent and enjoyable. There are strong notes of sweet and bitter dark chocolate mixed along with lighter notes of cola, nuts, black licorice and metal. The smell vaguely reminds me of brownies and rich chocolate pudding.

T- The flavor of this beer is spearheaded with Intense notes of dark chocolate and caramel leading into lighter notes of coffee, lightly roasted espresso, sugary cola and brown sugar. The finish is somewhat reminiscent of chocolate candies and for some reason strongly reminds me of cookies. The alcohol is extremely well hidden in the flavor.

M- The mouthfeel is really what makes this beer! It has an incredibly smooth mouthfeel and is even smoother going down. The soft, slick, velvety creaminess compliments the heavy body and light carbonation incredibly well.

O- Plead the 5th is absolutely delicious and definitely a beer I would recommend to anyone who claims to love imperial stouts. I really really wish I could get my hands on more of this because I would LOVE to see what happens with a little bit of aging. An absolute home run beer.

Photo of Ri0
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of LaChupacabra
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle: Date unknown. Big thanks to Marti403.

Appearance: Black as death with a creamy, tan 1/2 finger head that has some staying power.

Smell: Delicious, deep, rich chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, brown sugar. WOW!

Taste: Matches the nose so well and tastes just as I hoped it would! Pretty much has everything from the nose with a little booze in the back, which is expected of a 12% beer, but it's not harsh. This is one of the best stouts I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: So creamy, so smooth. Not quite in BCBS territory of viscosity, but it's thick, yet so drinkable. Velvety, for sure.

Overall: What can I say, got this as an extra and it's blown me away. Can't find much wrong with this aside from the booziness at the end, but I'll bet that can be fixed with a year in the cellar. So damn good, and my first Dark Horse brew. Look forward to many more after this!

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Horse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout. Special thanks to Ncketchum for helping me acquire this beer.

Poured out of a 12 ounce bottle into a CBS snifter. This was served at cellar temperature.

A) Slid out from the bottle like motor oil . This brew is coal black. There was a nice finger of the tan head. This settled to a thin collar with some spotty lacing.

S) Not a powerful aroma by any means, but pleasant. Dark roasted malt. It really has a little lactose. It seems a bit milky to me.

T) Plenty of wonderful dark roasted malt notes on the flavor. It never comes across as burnt or charred, which is very nice. There is some mild hop bitterness. The fact that this is 11% ABV never even occurred to me during consumption, that is how well the alcohol is hidden in this Imperial Stout. Nice aftertaste too.

M) Absolutely world-class in my opinion. Full bodied and lightly carbonated. This is remarkably soft and smooth.

O) This is a fantastic Imperial Stout. The only thing I find myself upset about is the fact I only have three more bottles. If you are a lover of this style, you owe it to yourself to seek out this beer. Glad to recommend.

Photo of ScottP
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of waiting4lunch
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Mahoning
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of averagejake872
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,218 ratings.