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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,212 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,212
Reviews: 785
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 539
Gots: 784 | 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:
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
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Ratings: 3,212 | Reviews: 785 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gueuzegossage
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Mealhouse
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of BrandonDZ
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mulder1010
3.89/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought last year at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago.
355 ML poured into a tulip

A-- Poured ink black. Think the light ran away from this. Evil looking. Very short lived dark brown film that became a thin, dark brown collar. Obvious alcohol legs.

S-- Heavy roasted malts, candied soy sauce, deep, dark bitter chocolate and notes of coffee. Smells slightly oaked and even for a year old a good amount of alcohol is obvious.

T-- Hops have held up well as slightly spicy green pepper taste. Dark, bitter, sweet chocolate, coffee, candied char and candied soy sauce. Alcohol is really obvious.

M-- Slick, oily and sweet. Finishes with a dark bitter chocolate and coffee. Heavy feel and low carbonation are an understatement. A touch too sweet in the front and mid palate.

O-- Loved the BA treatment and this is good but probably a bit too young and slightly too sweet. or my palate is no longer American. Slow as heck sipper.

Photo of meanmutt
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a beauty of a stout. Looks like pitch. No carbonation and no head.

Smell is a lot sweeter than I expected. Thick roasted malts, a bit of cream, Balanced and thick. somewhat spicy and a hint of leather. all odd combination i know. I cant really figure out why it smells like kind of spicy. Maybe vanilla.

Exceptionally roasty and robust, Burnt espresso, black bitter chocolate, and barrel pitch. I know its not BA, but I get that burnt wood kind of charcoal character. Thick creamy milk chocolate comes in somewhere in the middle. Finishes very bitter, with the heavily roasted malt dominating late. Theres this kind of spicy thing going on that I cant figure out. Its like a hint of cinnamon, or some kind of pepper spice. it goes very well with all the chocolate flavors. Hints of vanilla as well.

Feels so thick. Dark Horse had to use lactose somewhere in this. While it still feels overly bitter, th e underlying caramel sweetness is really good.

If it wasnt for Siberian Night, this would be my favorite RIS.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours an inky black. A thin brown head dissipates very quickly and leaves behind some wispy, frail rings of lacing.

S: Fudge, chocolate pudding, vanilla bean, faint creamed coffee, and an estery fruitiness that smells of currants.

T: Fudgy chocolate and just a touch of acrid smoke open. Roasted malt tastes flex and morph. Baker's chocolate and black cocoa powder. A touch woody. Estery currant flavors are locked deep within the roastiness. Another dab of smoke. Alcohol presence is felt- spicy and a tad boozy, though not at all off-putting. Light kiss of citric hops and some earthy, grassy notes. Finishes with cocoa powder, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and fudgy/brownie tastes.

M: Reasonably thick and velvety. Low carbonation. Not bad, but it lacks some dimension.

O: A very solid imperial stout, but nothing to gush over. I can't find any fault with it technically, it just stays a bit understated. The flavors shift and change, but never seem to build up to an apex. I realize this all sounds very vague and subjective, and it should. I don't even know why this beer fails to 'wow' me.

Notes: At 12% abv, this one has some serious aging potential. I have a few more bottles, and I'll revisit this vintage in a few years.

Update: I've since had the opportunity to go through a few more bottles of this, and it has really grown on me. Not sure why I was so ambivalent before. Rich, thick, brawny, pleasing, and decidedly old-school and true to style.

Photo of jrpapajcik
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Microbrewtaster
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of antoines15
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of HungarianCount
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of WanderingFool
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Plead the Fifth pours black into the glass with a small, fizzy brown head on top. The foam disappears quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is full of rich roasted malt, cocoa, toffee and an earthy nuttiness. Pine and grassy hop notes are also present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and chewy with moderate carbonation. The flavor is rich. Chocolate, roasted malt, toffee and dark fruit are balanced with some grassy and pine hops at the end. Finishes bitter with some medicinal alcohol. Once gone the chocolate and pine notes linger on the palate.

Lots of flavor in this beer! It's fairly easy to drink considering it's 12% abv. I have to put one in the cellar and see what happens in a year.

Photo of Auracom
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally. Been waiting for this one for close to two years. 6-7 oz. poured straight from cellar temp into a Hunahpu's snifter on April 17th, 2012.

A - A good cross between the visuals of Founders RIS and CC Marshal Zhukov's. Very deep, opaque black with a dark khaki head. Quick dissipation and very little retention. Good lacing and plentiful alcohol legs.

S - Well-blended mix of milk chocolate, dark cocoa, toasted marshmallow, graham cracker, and light coffee. Very small trace of heat.

T- It's more balanced than I expected. Front palate is chocolate cake sweetness. Mid shows a mix of espresso and mocha bitterness. Rear picks up roasted malts, touch of caramel, and then melds back into a dark chocolate finish and aftertaste. Very pleasant and with virtually no heat despite the freshness of this bottle. It's a bit bitter on the back-end, so that may impact taste preferences.

M- Heavy, thick body with some stickiness. Great carbonation, lightly sweet effervescent finish.

D - This is flat-out one of the better base RIS I've had, and it's set up fucking perfectly for the bourbon barrel. I'm that much more jazzed to get my hands on that version now.

Edit - 2 years later, and this is unequivocally my favorite non barrel-aged stout.

Photo of Calculat0r
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Kenai4
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of DangerDawg
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had no idea Dark Horse distributed to Indiana until a couple of weeks ago, and Double Crooked Tree was rockin. Now on their famous Plead the 5th? Can’t wait.

A: I can’t even see through the beer as it’s flowing thick from the bottle; dark black motor oil body. It looks excessively viscous. The head is rich reddish-brown, oily and just a hair lighter than the body. Smooth and about a half-inch high, the retention stays around for a while. Little lacing, though.

S: Holy hell, that’s a boozy beer. Layers upon layers of pepper, pungent bourbon, roasted malt, and lots of char come up. Excessively fiery. There’s some black cherry, hazelnut, dark chocolate, toffee, and more than enough smoky peat, too – killer smokiness against some rich sweets. Ends piney, though the main body of this robust nose is alcohol and spice.

T: Vanilla, chocolate fondue, fondant, strawberry shortcake, and molasses; starts creamy. Lasting just a quick second, the sugar is overcome by a thorny bitterness: pine, booze, fig, licorice, and spicy alcohol with a moment or two of cough syrup tongue-smacking character. Some smoky flavors are there, as well, but without the big roast tastes of the nose; satisfying, nonetheless. Finishes with that thought, as well as a caramel stickiness, a chalky yeast flavor, and some light hop fruitiness.

M: Hot, though wonderfully creamy. Astringency is dark, lifting the sugary tastes off the tongue to avoid stickiness.

O: A great stout; it’s a showcase for the often-limited smoke tastes of imperial stouts. Glad I had this fresh – some age would just empower the big ol’ booze character. Like I need any more excuses to drink the rest of my four-pack…

Photo of SawDog505
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20 oz tulip glass. Pours pitch black, with a 3 inch mocha head, that leaves no lacing, and a thin layer of foam. Smell is very roasty dark chocolate and coffee, tobacco, leather, and molasses. Taste is all about the roasted dark chocolate and coffee, and I love that so much. Body is large, nice amount of life, not very dry for its style, and for 12% extremely drinkable. I am in love, this is my kind of stout, BIG and Roasty!

Photo of Pat316
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Sesmu
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost a pitch black body with a half an inch head of dirty brown color. Head disappear very quickly.

S: Very chocolaty. Chocolate malts, sweet molasses, fruitiness and distant vinous notes.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, some vanilla. Starts very sweet and finishes with a prickly leather-like sensation, which lingers for a while. And then turns bittersweet and lasts even longer.

M: Moderate to low carbonation. Very warming, creamy and silky, very 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 end of the bottle (12 oz) when it comes with the warm, enveloping feeling.

O: Extremely pleasant beer, very easy to drink, perhaps dangerously easy. Quite filling, almost like a meal. Not much more to ask of a Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of LostTraveler
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: dark black oily bodied beer without any head. Maybe a really thin ring of white. Poured the beer really hard, it might have no head because its right out of the fridge with no time to warm up.

Smell: deep roast and chocolate malts. Earthy and mild smoke. It smells assertive, but not overdone.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate or maybe bakers cocoa with a mild bitterness / roastiness upfront. Smoke and coffee notes blend nicely together midpalate. Just a hint of black licorice, leather, oak/woodiness, and molassess in the finish. The leathery note remains into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This beer is at the high end of a moderate bodied beer with low carbonation levels. The beer has a wonderful mouthfeel thats really chewy and creamy. Its also silky and smooth. No booze to this beer at all, it seriously drinks like is 7 to 8% ABV stout, but its 12%! Alcohol is very well hidden and thats an understatement.

Overall: I see why BB Plead the Fifth is such a great beer. This base stout is a really wonderful and enjoyable beer! Dark Horse really brews a nice RIS here!

Photo of bootdown21
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of PowDay
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,212 ratings.