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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,923 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,923
Reviews: 757
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 494
Gots: 707 | 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
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Ratings: 2,923 | Reviews: 757 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 1noa
5/5  rDev +16%

1noa, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of trixdout
4/5  rDev -7.2%

trixdout, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of DocDownUnder
5/5  rDev +16%

DocDownUnder, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cruisc for this one

Look: Black and totally opaque with a brown ring at the top of the beer. Beautiful looking 1/2 inch dark tan head with good retention

Smell: Dark chocolate and lots of alcohol and some molasses

Taste: Upfront I get a good amount of burnt malt and ash. The background has a crazy amount of dark chocolate and coffee. The flavors are big and bold and a bit over powering

Mouthfeel: Full body with medium to low carbonation

Overall: It is a beer that is a bit of a sipper. The flavors are bold and in your face so be ready for it. Definitely recommended

DarthKostrizer, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of AshleyMiller
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to stx00lax for this extra in an awesome trade. poured into my old guardian snifter.

a-jet black. like a black hole i guess. thin mocha head that dissipates quickly.

s-awesome. lots of chocolatey, coffee, mocha-y goodness

t-rich thick stout, lots of malt, boozy backbone that lingers, but it's a malty booziness that's quite enjoyable, but the initial taste hides the 12% alcohol pretty well. there's a very subtle hoppy bitterness in it too.

m-very full and delightful, not a lot of carbonation, but enough for a stout.

o-quite good. one of the better non-barrel-aged stouts that i have had. i am really enjoying drinking and am excited for the second bottle surlytwinsfan sent me. thanks guys!

AshleyMiller, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to my boy aasher for this one! Fifth in the series and fifth on the day! Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured pitch black with a minimal fizzy brown head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and subtle alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, subtle sweet alcohol, and subtle caramel. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The aroma and flavors on this one were quite nice for a RIS. While they were not overly complex, they made this one quite enjoyable. The key thing for a RIS for me is if they can cover up the alcohol while still keeping it around as a more subtle flavor. This one did this quite well. A definite must try for any beer drinker out there.

thagr81us, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of paxtonthegreat
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Weighing in at more like 14% abv, this incredible imperial stout packs in flavors such as tobacco, dark and milk chocolate, roast, smoke and more. With a nose that is reminiscent of dark chocolate smoke and tobacco this is sure to please any russian imperial stout enthusiast for sure. Some molasses in the finish.

paxtonthegreat, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Horse Plead, bottle bought at Nejaime's in Lenox, Massachusetts, as part of a 4-pack. Who knew you can find Dark Horse in New England??

Appearance: Oily and thick like Gaddafi's reserves before the Allies' strike. Only Marshall Zhukov comes close to being this thick. Whatever head is there comes and goes like a quickie, and only a coffee-colored rim remains around the glass. This is one thicj, black muthafuckin' Imperial Stout!

Smell: Roasty-toasty, lotta coffee, a bit of soil and gasoline. Umami and war!

Taste: Country ham, smoky bacon (rauchbier), coal, raw coffee beans. Complex and beautiful. Molasses, brown sugar. Floral, hoppy finish. Chimney. Small town in the Midwest and/or New England.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, leathery, rich. Chewable! Great carbonation, full body, bitter dry finish that lingers.

Overall: This is probably my favorite Imperial Stout "in a bottle from the shelf" (not counting barrel-aged and specials). First time I had it on tap at Radio Maria in Champaign, I thought I would faint. Gorgeous all around, and drinkable too, despite the ABV and huge body!

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

921st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12oz

2011 Bottle

Thanks to Kzoobrew for this one!

Happy Stout Day! 11/3/11

App- A good dark chocolate pour with a one finger semi brown fast receding head. Maybe 4 dots of cling on the whole glass. A very liquid lush pour

Smell- Smells like a small abyss with a good bit of luscious chocolate, malt, cream and a little boozy. Okay I lied. ALOT boozy. I like it.

Taste- I have had this profile before but this one just tastes good. A good bit of heavy cream with roasty espresso and a bit of dark chocolate with some vanilla.

Mouth- This was a low medium body with a good bit of a low/medium creamy carbonation. A bit of a bubbly heavy cream.

Drink- I like this one alot. For 12% this was smooth rich and creamy. A bit boozy but I like that in my high ABV stouts. Has a nice balance between the roast, chocolate and creaminess. I would love to see the BBA version. I bet its amazing. Kevin, again thank you for this one! Super tasty.

FosterJM, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of stabzmcgee
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.Pours an opaque black with little lacing of tan head. Aroma is bittersweet with roasted malts and somewhat unsweetened chocolate and some plum. Tastes sweet and chocolaty with a hint of fig. Palate is slick and bitter. Overall this beer is quite drinkable for a 12% RIS.

stabzmcgee, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of Greencoat
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle.

Motor-oil pour. 1/2 finger, dark tan head slowly fades into a sheet of foam. 100% opaque - none of that ruby highlight stuff!

This nose is getting me pretty excited. Ultra-sweet nose, like boozy chocolate - maybe even a little tobacco. I can tell there's a lot going on, I'm just not sure how to describe it. I know this, though - I like it.

This beer is simply sublime. A fantastic parade of chocolate, burned coffee and molasses. I really think some more time in the bottle will help this one out, but it's drinking very well right now.

Syrupy sweet feel to this one. Just enough carbonation and bitterness to keep it from being sludge. Extremely full bodied.

Overall, I think this beer is amazing. That said, I think we may be starting that awkward phase between fresh, and aged perfection. If what I've tasted is a sign of things to come, be prepared to have a masterpiece on your hands in a a while. I'll be (not so) patiently awaiting next year's release.

Greencoat, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Dark black thick in color. Sometimes people make the "motor oil" comment, this would be fitting. Only slight lighter brown on the edges. Dark brown colored head, but it goes away asap.

Smell is good, sweeter than I expected. Sweet chocolate malts, and some darker coffee. Not much of a hoppy presence, but a woody smell with a hint of vanilla.

Taste is really really good though. One of the sweeter Russian Imperial Stouts I've had in quite some time. Big hints of rich chocolate and sweetened coffee. Caramel and vanilla are heavy hitters in the flavor profile as well. Doesn't taste hoppy, but does have the slightest bitter aftertaste, really good.

Mouthfeel is really good. Really smooth, and even though the head goes away I think the carbonation level is ok, I think the 12% just mellows it out. Also has sort of a clean minty mouthfeel, not a minty flavor, but sort of after how you bite a York Peppermint Pattie, just not as strong. Not much of a bite from the 12%, well hidden. This is a really good beer, another grand slam from Dark Horse, a great brewery!

AndyAvalanche, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of bwiechmann
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter/tulip hybrid. Sold in four packs for about 12 bucks.

Appearance- Black. Absolutely black. A hard pour produces a minimal head which is a light leather color and fades quickly to a dark tan ring. Nothing special but par for the style.

Smell- Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and woody tones make for an inviting aroma.

Taste- Wonderful. Super chocolaty- deep and sweet. Molasses, caramel, and some French roast coffee notes play a supportive role.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and rich. Mild carbonation leads to a silky texture.

Overall- One of my favorite imperial stouts. If this were a limited, brewery-only release, it would be rated on par with Darkness, Dark lord, and Hunahpu's. As it is, I'll gladly let this one glide relatively under the radar which allows me to drink this readily. Absolutely delicious and a total treat whenever it's cracked open. Highly recommended.

bwiechmann, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, but no date on the label, or any indication of the 12% abv strength.

pours black as used motor oil, with very dark tan head. but the head fades fast to a thin collar. aroma expands and intensifies as it warms - roasted coffee, cocoa power, booze.

taste is rich and bold. bitter dark chocolate, caramel, a little alcohol. lingering charcoal smokiness. definitely a sipper. thick, full body. coats the mouth, but enough carbonation.

overall - I really like, very good RIS.

jmdrpi, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

no clue on the age.

thanks doodler. all your extras ive opened have been amazing

appearance - black, viscous. dark mocha head dissipates slowling into thick lacing. i see a butt where my lips once were.

smell - is light...im surprised once i take a sip. alcohol warmth, brown sugar, dark malts and coffee. maple syrup comes as it warms up. nice

taste - beautiful rich coffee, lovely dark malts, caramel, bitter roasted malts, minor maple syrup as it warms. beautiful

mouthfeel/overall - smooth, medium to thick bodied (could use a bit of thickening) and good carbonation. i cannot ask for more out of an imperial stout (besides being thicker). a great body. i wish so bad i knew the age on this one, cause this is damn near perfect for an imp stout.

claytong, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of Marty30
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz Bottle dated 5-11. Poured into a Jackie O's' snifter at 55 degrees.Have been waiting to try for a long time.

A. Black as black get's. No head, just a dark brown cap appear's and then disappears. No head.

S. Dark fruits hit first and shortly after comes the chocolate and cocoa,along with a touch of coffee.

T. Nice! I get a good bit of roasted malts,then a hefty amount of chocolate. I get some sweet figs,grahm crackers,vanilla,with a little bit of booze in the end.

M. Great heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect for the style. Coats the palate and leaves a chocolate roasty aftertaste.

Overall I did not expect this beer to this damn good. It definately exceded my expectations! Very complex. I will be getting a case of this no doubt. A must try. This could be one of my favorite beers.

Marty30, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of morebeergood
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap a few nights ago at Green St Grill in Cambridge. Served in an 8oz snifter for $7.50. Dark brown color. Thin white head perched atop the glass. Dark chocolate and figs in the aroma. Taste was pretty amazing. Coffee, cocoa, and chocolate covered cherries were all up front on the palate, then the smooth malt coats your throat the end. Very surprised when bartender said it was 12%; very mild alcohol character. This beer was quite good, and it was a perfect dessert beer. Just wish I had a bigger glass.

morebeergood, Oct 18, 2011
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 Goblinmunkey7
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black. Straight black. Head is a deep tan with a reddish tint. Head is slightly bubbly and creamy. Dwindles to a small cap after a few minutes. A swirl produces a decent sized head, but retention is minimal. Pours thick and syrupy.

Smell: Booze, cherries, char, burnt malts, smoke, cocoa, you name it. it's in there. It's decadent. Sweet, dark fruits (plum and fig). Licorice. Very sweet and very burnt. Some toasted malts, but they're buried. Highly aggressive on the malts and booze.

Taste: Cherry and cocoa. Toasted malts are quickly covered over by burnt malts. Loads of chocolate flavor. Runs the gamut from baker's chocolate to milk chocolate. Harsh kick of booze on the back, but it works with the overt sweetness. Char lingers in the back as well. Nicely complex with serious depth. Fig and plum come out as the beer warms. Alcohol heat builds with each sip.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but not as full as I would have expected. It pushes for full, but falls short. The carbonation is a touch high for the style, but it works with the flavor profile. Booze dries the tongue out something fierce.

Overall: A little off-kilter this fresh. Loads of flavor and tons of complexity, but it fails to meld completely. With a year or two on this, it might just be that good.

Goblinmunkey7, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hard to pour a thick head... Nice brown foamy head eventually shows. Brew is consistency of burnt oil.

S - Huge coffee and chocolate!!! Silky.

T - Some huge milk flavors. Lots of dark-dark chocolate too. Very nice! Awesome vanilla stands out.

M - No heat. Perfect carbonation and wonderful bitterness. Just misses perfect.

O - Awesome brew! Glad I got to try this one! Thank you for sending it awhile back Another6pack!

chugalug06, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice jet black with a nice brown cap. Sexy!

S: Deep deep coffee nose, roasted malts, booze and some cocoa

T: Wow. Chocolate, coffee, minimal dark fruits with a sharp booze tinge and big roastiness

M: Big, thick and hearty

O: Outstanding!

barleywinefiend, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2010 bottling into Leffe chalice. Thanks for the glass, Ding. Enjoyed at room temperature.

Head fizzes out but beer is a healthy robust brown. Nose is chocolaty and a bit of dark fruit, some serious alcohol too. Taste has big velvet chocolate flavors, some pipe tobacco, pine resin hops and more dark fruit. Mild coffee. Very sweet, pretty hot. Still, it works. Mouthfeel is a bit hot but ultimately satisfying. This beer is stellar- a hefty, bold, no-nonsense RIS. One of Dark Horse's stronger beers. Would like to see this with some age on it.

ShogoKawada, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage

A- Thin but there *very* dark mocha head on a black beer. Leaves some lacing, not much head retention.

S- Big coffee and chocolate whiffs, mmm.

T- More chocolate, not as much coffee. Above average hop presence per style. Almost a minty aftertaste thing going on from the boozy sweetness. Doesn't drink its 12%abv.

M- Thick mouthfeel but good carbonation.

D/O- Woo! A sure-fire winner here. No wonder why the BA faithful regard this as one of the best (relatively) mass-produced Russian imperial stouts. First Dark Horse beer I've had that's been well above average. Thanks MammothBrew!

Duff27, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of MarkIntihar
3.2/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Bell's snifter. Thanks to Dave for tossing me a couple of these in our most recent trade!

A - Pours a completely opaque dark brown color with a finger's worth of mocha colored head. Very nice and rich looking.

S - Smells of milk chocolate, molasses, dark roasted malts, and perhaps a bit of soy sauce. Fairly sweet on the nose, reminding me of the '09 Dark Lord in the nose. Not much of a hop presence in this one, which is fine, seeing as it's a stout with a few months on it.

T - Taste follows pretty closely to the nose, though there is a hollowness to it that leaves me wanting more. Also, there is a very present alcohol bite in the taste, so much so that it almost overpowers the rest of the flavors. This seems like a good candidate to let sit in the cellar a few more years. Seriously though, almost a rubbing alcohol type of taste in this one. Not pleasant...

M - For as much alcohol as is present in the taste, there is not too much heat in the mouthfeel on this one. Coats the entire mouth nicely as well. Very pleasant going down.

O - Overall I'm disappointed. I have had this one before and do not remember it being nearly this alcoholic, but this one was a booze bomb. I generally don't mind high ABV beers, but this one did not hide the alcohol well at all. I will revisit it after it has sat in the cellar for a couple years.

MarkIntihar, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of ottovon
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ejyoung for this.

A: dark brown with a dark brown head.

S: dark brown sugar, toffee, dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits like raisins. nice amounts of roasted malt.

T: there is a bit of alcohol. lots of chocolate, molasses, burnt sugar, toffee. there is a slight sweetness at first, and then it finishes with a roasted malt bitterness.

M: smooth, creamy, thick with low carb.

O: this is a very good beer. wish I had more of this.

ottovon, Oct 09, 2011
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,923 ratings.