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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.

2,858 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,858
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 483
Gots: 689 | FT: 76
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: 2,858 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of amcmaho1

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%

Bottle thanks to always-generous Injuredreserve. Thanks so much Shane, this is an excellent beer to have in celebration of my birthday.

Bottled 4/10
poured into Cigar City snifter (Thanks again Shane!)

Appearance: Incredibly dark...There is no translucency here to speak of. Only on the absolute edges of the glass is there a slight color change from obsidian black to tobacco brown. There is a very shortly lived khaki colored head which dies down immediately, though there are some alcohol legs and some slight carbonation blotches. For the darkness of this beer alone, it deserves accolades.

Smell: There's lovely notes of raisins, smoke, char, coffee, and sweet chocolate. Everything has really come together nicely over time, and some of the more prominent aromas are somewhat subdued. It seems a bit tame cool, but once it begins warming up, it really comes alive. I don't necessarily remember such a noticeable smokiness in fresher bottles, but it's adding a nice complexity and counterbalance to the sweeter aromas.

Taste: Lots of dark fruits again, alongside some chocolate and coffee notes, but there's some big smoke and char definitely making itself known. There's some really nice extremes of sweetness, roasty bitterness, decadent chocolate, and some nice subtle alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel: Very light carbonation, but still lively enough to fight it from being too syrupy. This is a viscous beer, it's chewy, and it's intense...I love it.

Overall: This has always been I beer that I've really enjoyed. This vintage bottle was great, fresher vintages are great, and I can't even imagine how the BA version is. I highly recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys bigger and more formidable stouts.

02-15-2012 02:09:48 | More by amcmaho1
Photo of jhb138


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

02-14-2012 22:52:35 | More by jhb138
Photo of Tyrawlings


4/5  rDev -7.2%

02-11-2012 14:55:37 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of xpdrinker


3.88/5  rDev -10%

A - 12oz bottle picked up a few months ago via trade. No noticeable date stamp until after the pour - it's on the underside of the bottle and only visible if looking at it from inside and against the light. Also noticed some light-colored sludge peering through the bottom of the brown bottle. Poured into my Bruery snifter, pitch black with thin, burnt orange head that dissolves into a thinner ring. Zero lacing.

S - Slight burn at first, lots of vanilla, roastiness, chocolate and dark fruit. 

T - Varying styles of chocolate at first, lots of dark fruit and finishes really roasty and deliciously bitter. An overall cola sweetness hangs over the entire taste.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation. Sticky cola sweetness.

O - I've had this one cellared for a few months and it's quite enjoyable. There's a cola-like sweetness throughout that at times is tasty but at other times annoying. Would kill to get my hands on the barrel-aged version.

02-08-2012 23:39:05 | More by xpdrinker
Photo of harrymel


3.23/5  rDev -25.1%

Recent batch, reviewed 07FEB12
Pours a dark, near black stout with opacity throughout. A finger of light mocha foam falls to nada except a ring of the same. (3)
Figs, licorice, roasted malts, nougat and a hint of mint. Some notes of coffee and a little cocoa. There's also a hint of diacytal on the nose. (3)
Roasted, sweet, some raisin, prune and smoke. There's a weird hot dog flavor on this beer I didn't previously note. I can only relate this to poor fermentation technique as I've only ever tasted this in poorly conducted homebrews otherwise. Luckliy, the overall flavor isn't too impacted by this. (3.5)
Medium on full bodied with a moderate carb and semi dry mouthfeel . Middle of the road. (3)
Man, this beer really was much better the time I had it before, and IIRC, that beer had a year on it. I believe this one is fresh. Too bad, if that is the beer they want to call "ready" then I will grade accordingly, not that great, pretty average. (3)

Reviewed 26FEB11
Thanks to UMNBeerhunter for this extra, cheers joe!
A: pours an exceptionally dark black stout. So nice. No head formation, and in fact difficult for me to even agitate a head here. When it does show, it's transient and dark brown. No laces. Looks sticky.
S: Graham, licorice, anise, cocoa, malts. Thick, appreciate this nose a ton. Dark, long roasted figs. Brown sugar.
T: Dark, roasted oats, raisins, charcoal laden cocoa. Molasses, plum, figs still in here. Outstanding.
M: thick, heavy with low-medium carbonation. Sticky and coats my mouth. Resonant.
D: Excellent beer here folks. I think the beer is superb.
3.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5 - 4.4

02-08-2012 12:33:43 | More by harrymel
Photo of coreymcafee


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

02-08-2012 04:03:11 | More by coreymcafee
Photo of Stouttyme


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

02-08-2012 01:14:53 | More by Stouttyme
Photo of brstls4drmrs

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%

Big thanks to pest for this one.

A - Pours a thick dark coffee/black color with a thin tan head. The head disappears quickly leaving some good lacing.

S - Molasses, nougat, hints of caramel and dark chocolate. Also some fig and raisin in there with a very small hint of licorice.

T - Just like the aroma with molasses and some bitter flavors in there too. Some dark chocolate (very small) and dark fruits in there too.

M - Mildly carbonated with some bitterness.

O - A very good stout. Would definitely recommend this one.

02-05-2012 06:27:54 | More by brstls4drmrs
Photo of will1256


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

02-04-2012 05:56:12 | More by will1256
Photo of russwbeck


4.05/5  rDev -6%

A: Absolutely motor oil black pour out of the bottle and in the glass. A deep brown head is noted briefly after a very vigorous pour. No retention, black as the night.

S: Big hints of molasses on the aroma, mixed with some dark fruits, chocolate, and only very slight roast. Much more sweet and fruity than I was expecting.

T: The taste really mirrors the aroma, with a lot more roastiness on the backend. Molasses and chocolate dominate, dark fruits rest underneath, and some booze and roast finish it off. The taste is pretty nicely balanced, but lends towards the sweet side.

MF: Thick, creamy body with basically no carbonation. The sweetness and roast mix to make this pretty drinkable.

O: This was a pretty good deal. Got it in a trade, but I believe it was less than $5 a bottle. For a 12% RIS this was great. You really can't tell the ABV is so high. Would definitely recommend this.

02-03-2012 23:06:12 | More by russwbeck
Photo of beersis81


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

02-02-2012 17:21:38 | More by beersis81
Photo of tjkinate


4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

Thanks to millerbuffoon for this one.

A: Very subtle head with only little retention settling to a thin ring. Just one shade below black dark brown bodied brew. No lacing to speak of.

S: Molasses, dark fruits, hint of caramel, milk chocolate, quite robust vanilla notes.

T: Like the smell, but drier than expected. Strong molasses and bitter flavors, dark fruits, nice vanilla backbone. Really mellows out and improves as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied for the style, slightly under carbonated.

O: Great beer that I have been wanting to try for sometime now. Now I just the BA version!

01-31-2012 22:08:46 | More by tjkinate
Photo of Jefe73


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-29-2012 13:36:11 | More by Jefe73
Photo of smutty33


4/5  rDev -7.2%

01-28-2012 02:57:10 | More by smutty33
Photo of atoulouk


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-27-2012 20:50:11 | More by atoulouk
Photo of PhineasGage


5/5  rDev +16%

01-27-2012 19:15:51 | More by PhineasGage
Photo of danielp215


5/5  rDev +16%

01-25-2012 18:46:03 | More by danielp215
Photo of drabmuh


4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Shared by yourefragile recently along side the bourbon barrel plead the fifth, these beers don't especially resemble each other.

Beer is black, with a thin lazy head of small tan bubbles, halos the snifter, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet, mildly bitter, mildly ashy, a little roast.

Beer is medium in body and quite bitter on the finish. Not as sweet as I thought it was going to be on the palate from the nose, the lead off is a little malt syrup, medium body, the beer thins at the back and finishes moderately bitter from the roast. Nice beer overall though.

01-24-2012 16:44:31 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jegross2


4/5  rDev -7.2%

Reviewing the Plead The Fifth from Dark Horse Brewing Company.
Score: 90

2011 release vintage bottle (specific date is unknown) served in a snifter glass and enjoyed 12/23/11. This is the first of three reviews I wrote a month ago and forgot to publish.

Appearance: Motor oil colored body with dark brown highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger or so of creamy chocolate brown colored head that settles into a thin lacing. Leaves an oily lacing behind on the side of the glass. 4/5

Smell: Roasted milk chocolate, dark fruit, light coffee and a hint of smokieness. 4/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate, raw dark chocolate and mellow coffee upfront. Subtle hints of wood. Finishes with bitter, dark and unsweetened chocolate. The intensity of the finish seemingly increases as the beer layers. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Dry, slightly bitter finish. 4/5

Overall: If my experience with a year-old bottle of Founders Imperial Stout is any indication, I am going to have to re-review this one fresh. Even with a year of age on it, Plead the Fifth is still a pretty solid and tasty Russian Imperial Stout.

Recommendation: A must seek out brew for all, but wait until the 2012 release to try this one. Casual beer drinkers should be able to enjoy this one thoroughly.

Pairings: Porterhouse steak.

Cost: $11.99 for a four pack.

01-22-2012 18:05:46 | More by jegross2
Photo of bconsidine


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-22-2012 02:16:53 | More by bconsidine
Photo of csbinva


4.22/5  rDev -2.1%

Bottle came in a trade from commis, what an awesome extra!

A - Nice pour, thin head
S - Roast malts and chocolate
T - Definitely taste the chocolate, call me crazy but I sense something almost like a creme soda taste, a little sweet
M - Smooth and creamy

O - Very nice beer and I'm glad to have had the chance to try it, had no idea it was as potent as it was, the alcohol is definitely hidden

01-21-2012 02:04:05 | More by csbinva
Photo of 2dogbrew


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

01-20-2012 00:37:48 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of FirstBrewsoon


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-19-2012 05:28:11 | More by FirstBrewsoon
Photo of Moose34


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

01-18-2012 13:10:05 | More by Moose34
Photo of gafferjohn


4/5  rDev -7.2%

01-17-2012 19:08:59 | More by gafferjohn
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,858 ratings.