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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

3,073 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,073
Reviews: 767
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 518
Gots: 717 | 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
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Ratings: 3,073 | Reviews: 767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrebeka
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

mrebeka, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of adamdd
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

adamdd, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of ncketchum
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at Stubbys, 2nd to last glass I'm told...

A - pours jet black, no head

S - chocolate malt, maybe a bit of hops

T - black licorice up front, then chocolate milk, followed by a bit of bitter hops

M - thinner than expected, little alcohol burn, well hidden for this ABV

O - extremely solid Impy Stout. I could drink this all night, if there were more glasses available and I had a ride home. Very glad I was able to sample this one.

ncketchum, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of mfavoino
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a a New Glarus taster glass and enjoyed side by side with the BB version.

Appearance: Black pour with a nice mocha rim to it that bubbles. Bits of lacing.

Smell: Burnt malts, rich brown sugar, and chocolate are all very distinguishable. Smells rich.

Taste: Lots of chocolate which makes for a sweet flavor on the palate. The sweetness is paired with dark roasted malts and some booze heat to not make it overly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, alcohol doesn't burn too much, and little carbonation.

Overall: Maybe a tad on the sweet side for some palates. Lives up to the reputation and great to have alongside the BB version to see what that did to the base beer.

mfavoino, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of jethrodium
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a dark black with a small tan chocolate head that settles to a ring and leaves a decent lacing on the glass. The aroma has big roastiness, light coffee, dark bitter chocolate, and a bit of alcochol. The taste has some sweetness with dark roasty chocolate and some light coffee. The finish is bitter and roasty with a bit of alcohol. Very roasty overall. Medium body. Low carbonation.

jethrodium, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of Sender
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Sender, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of zeledonia
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage.

Pours black, one of the darkest stouts I've seen. Half-finger of dark chocolate brown head, also among the darkest I've seen. Retention and lacing are fine.

Smell is lovely milk/dark chocolate, backed by some other deep roasty aromas. No char, very clean, with a lot of sweetness. I really like the sides of the dark malts that come out in this beer's smell.

This is delicious. It's like sweet chocolate zested with tingly, lightly bitter hops. Big up-front flavors, but also a lot of sublety behind that. Among the best non-bal imperial stouts I've had.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and creamy, with just enough carbonation. Lasting, sludgy finish. Heavy stuff!

This is simply a fantastic imperial stout. I love the chocolate and sweetness, which comes close to stepping over the line, but backs off just a hair. Very happy I have several more of these, and I will most definitely be buying more.

zeledonia, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this about 14 months ago.

Poured into a shaker: Black, opaque body with a half-finger of mocha head that drops to a thin coating & collar. Comes out of the bottle thick, leaves a layer of viscous sediment in the bottle's bottom.

Getting a lot of dark fruits from the smell: fig, raisin, date. Some milk chocolate, a slight dried leafiness (tobacco?), coffee beans, molasses. Yeaaahhh.

Initially pretty sharp taste, with strong roast, a tart tang like dark fruit skins, & some pretty strong booze given the age. Midway some softer cocoa & nutty coffee comes in, then moves into a dry, rum-like alcohol character into the finish, again packing a bit of a punch. The aftertaste is dry, with some more creaminess & developing into a long, dark coffee roast. Mm-mmm, this is complex & goes through a lot, some challenging, some pleasing. Still warms long into the aftertaste.

Full, thick mouthfeel, chewy, some heat that keeps me from calling it 'smooth', but really got a lot of body.

Damn, this is a fine brew. I thought putting it away for a little bit would mellow it out some, & while I haven't it fresh for comparison, I would definitely not call this 'mellow'. This is a big, serious, complex brew, both tasty & provocative. Again: yeeeaaaahhh.

OneDropSoup, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of divineaudio
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vs 2012 comparison, 12oz bottles. notes from april 2012 or so, right after the 2012 release. both bottles poured into snifters. ratings above reflect the current batch.

a - '12 pours a viscous, oily black. gave me a thin cap of dark brown head that is only about two shades lighter than the beer. spotty lacing in the glass. 4.5

'11 same color/look, though no head whatsoever and no lacing. 3.5


s - '12 chocolate, slightly nutty, raisin. 3.5

'11 wow! port, faint tobacco, faint licorice, lots of roasted malt and a slight booziness. 4.5

t - '12 chocolate, molasses, noticeable alcohol twang in the finish. bitterness like black coffee more so than hops. a little rough around the edges i think. 4.0

'11 espresso, rich dark chocolate, raisin, dark cherry, tobacco. very smooth with no alcohol taste at all. maybe showing some slight oxidation. 4.0

m - '12 full bodied and chewy. adequate carbonation, fin co2 profile. slight alcohol warming. 3.5

'11 full bodied with lighter carbonation and a fine co2 profile. very rich and smooth. 4.0

o - fresh is pretty damn good, but with a year or more on it this beer becomes something very different. very drinkable for the high abv %, though i think 2 in a night is all most people could handle. enjoyable fresh or aged and highly recommended. 4.0

divineaudio, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of NateMac13
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

NateMac13, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of Magpie14
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been sitting on this beer for over two years. Hopefully it survived the carbonite freezing process

A: Black ink. Dusted with deep cinnamon colored foam. Looks big and mean. No lace

S: the nose is super malty and fudge-like. Malts are massive! Some alcohol is noted along with coffee. Dig deep and you can catch a waft of light tobacco and dark fruits

T: bursting with malts and cocoa, rich and sweet. I am getting light and dark chocolates swirling with heartily roasted, and at times burnt malts. The tail end of each sip is lightly laced with dark fruits and coffee beans, followed by a smack of vanilla and coated with malt powder (yea, that's right. I said malt powder. That's what it reminds me of for whatever reason). Pretty damn complex overall.

It is possible the aging process pushed the cocoa notes into the forefront with a little bit of tang

M: creamy and dreamy. Slick and smooth

O: elegant and smooth. Big feel and flavors combine for a great and enjoyable beer. Whether aged in a bottle or straight from the tap, this beer is a winner

Magpie14, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Schlais, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of aztraz
4/5  rDev -7.2%

aztraz, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think at this point, I've had so many different really superb beers of this style that my expectations, and the overall standards, are quite high. This ris comes across as fairly one dimensional. Lots of molasses. More of a punch in the mouth than an interesting ride.

RblWthACoz, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of skunk242
3.75/5  rDev -13%

skunk242, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of angrybabboon
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this at some point

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - pours somewhat heavy - starts off with a minimal head, but this is forgivable - retains a nice, light brown ring, as well as some streaks of lacing

Smell: Roasted malts and chocolate - burnt and roasty, but more roasty than burnt - perhaps more chocolate than anything else - dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, chocolate malts, dark brownie mix - some roasty dryness, but some sweetness, including some molasses - leather, some booze, and some black licorice

Taste: Basically, it's like a dark chocolate bar with some semisweet chocolate chips, sprinkled with molasses and black licorice - burnt and roasty, but the chocolate characteristics make this seem like a badass candy bar - dry chocolate malts, and some cooked, caramel malts - some booze, some dark fruits - not the most complex RIS ever, but very interesting

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, very smooth, very oily and slick, minimal carbonation but it works

Overall: Beyond solid

This is better than some hyped, hard-to-get monsters of this style. Seriously. It's not mind blowing in any way, but it's decidedly "imperial" and very flavorful. So much chocolate! I must age this.

angrybabboon, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of xxcarpxx
5/5  rDev +16%

xxcarpxx, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of BeerHunter76
4/5  rDev -7.2%

BeerHunter76, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of beergorrilla
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

beergorrilla, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of danoble1
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

danoble1, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of Brutesling57
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Brutesling57, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Luckily stumbled upon these while grocery shopping!

Pours pitch black with a small dark brown head that fades into just a ring along the edge of the glass. Excellent lacing down the glass.

Big rich aroma of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt with a little bit of a booze presence.

More chocolate on the flavor along with a subtle undertone of bitter roasted malt. A tad too sweet at times.

Thick and viscous. Great mouthfeel with lowish carbonation.

Prefer the bourbon aged version, but that's apples to oranges. This one is a tad on the sweet side, but still damn tasty with an excellent thick mouthfeel.

jmarsh123, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of ncaudle
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

ncaudle, Jul 17, 2012
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 Holland
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Holland, Jul 13, 2012
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,073 ratings.