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
93
outstanding

822 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 822
Hads: 3,497
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 551
Gots: 919 | FT: 105
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 822 | Hads: 3,497
Photo of Gear54
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Ale Emporium in Indianapolis

Pitch black pour with 1/2 finger of kaki head and light lace left on the glass.

Aroma is coffee and chocolate predominantly with roasted malts and black licorice present in the back ground. Slight amount of booze as well.

Taste: wow! This beer is like drinking chocolate cake! Dark chocolate and roasted malt with coffee flavor and maybe a touch of carmel at the end. Just a touch of alcohol mixes well enough with the flavor to not cause any ill will toward the flavor.

Feel is good as well. Lasting flavors coat the mouth and the chocolate is rich and smooth. I could drink several of these and be happy! (653 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance : . Like "10,000 miles on conventional oil coming out of the sump" dark. Completely obsidian, opaque, no light escaping this cosmic black hole of beerdom. The three fingered head is rocky, just plain thick, leaves an almost impenetrable looking crown from the top down, and is almond/beige/muddy colored. Just gorgeous. This is what it's about, friends.

Aroma : Obviously the bouquet is loud as I can smell it from here on the side table. Bringing it closer, I curl a smile. Chocolate, fresh brownies, coffee bean, cocoa powder, dark roasted malts. I don't think Starbucks could craft a better roasted smell than this awesome aroma. Just fabulous. Even after the coffee aroma, melted chocolate comes in at the end as well.

Flavor : Oh dear Lord. This might be my favorite stout. Slapping the arm of the recliner, with a grin on my face, I taste waves of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted cocoa bean, chocolate syrup, milk, oatmeal, with just a faint bite of hop if only to create the feeling of sharpness. The alcohol burn comes at the end but you don't taste it - you feel it, and it leaves fire tingling on your tongue as the roasted chocolate just dries like primer.

Mouthfeel : Yes, another homerun here. Medium-to-full bodied, almost a wall there, it borders on chewy, but just fills the mouth with creamy, dark goodness. It ends semi-dry but not too dry - just the right amount of dry.

Overall : Hitting on all cylinders, this stout is now my favorite of ALL TIME. This stout is absolutely groundbreakingly amazing. For $12 a 4 pack, who wouldn't buy this stuff. Just fabulous. Get you some now. (1,624 characters)

Photo of gsmit
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is one full bodied beer.

A little bite at first, but mellows out into a vanilla and malt and caramel?

A little bitterness at the end... Leaving you wanting more. (169 characters)

Photo of YeahRightt
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark, motor oil with a bronze head that laces nicely on the glass.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate are heavy on the nose with the malts in the background. Clean and earthy without too much bitterness.

Taste: Charred coffee notes with chocolate and apparent boozy flavor. A bit too much sweetness in my taste, but there is a decent balance of flavor. Each sip seems to shift from a booze-dominated taste to a charred coffee taste that I couldn't decide how I felt about. Good dessert beer.

Feel: A nice creamy mouthfeel that doesn't make the brew difficult to drink or too much of a sipper.

Overall: A bit underwhelming in terms of my expectation, but still a great RIS. I have a bottle of the BA Pt5th that I am excited to drink now that I have a sense of the brew's flavor profile. (792 characters)

Photo of upton7418
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into tulip snifter- 2015 version

L- Black body with light tan head. leave a nice lacing

S- dark malts and a strong alcohol smell

T- strong alcohol with light malts

M- light carbonation with a thick body

O- not much complexity to this beer average stout there are better variations of this style available. I'm glad I tried this but expected more based on the reviews. (387 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Like many other reviewers, I did not feel this beer lives up to the hype. For the money, Founders RIS is better. Poured from a 12oz bottle chilled into a brandy snifter. Pours a deep black with barely a finger of tan head from an aggressive pour. Head dissipated quickly. No oily residue on top. Smells of dark bitter chocolate, hops, and dark fruits. Little to no coffee smell. Taste is much thinner in the mouth than I would have preferred with hardly any coffee or espresso finish. Dark roasted malts, toffee, bitter dark chocolate and hops. No vanilla. Dark fruits like raisins or plums/prunes. Hoppy and slightly bitter after taste. This is not my preferred RIS. It's very good but not great. (710 characters)

Photo of ryanmextorf
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good offering here. Very reminiscent of a fresh Founders Imperial Stout for me. Gonna put a good year or two of age on this and see what it does. (150 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a pitch black color, opaque, absolutely no light showing through. Half inch head faded pretty quickly but left a thin tan film that laced nicely. The smell is chocolate, raisins, coffee, and some dark roasted malts. The taste is pretty close to the smell, with the dark chocolate and coffee flavors more dominant, and the dark fruit flavors a bit more in the background. I'm also getting a bit of heat from the alcohol. The mouthfeel was kinda thin, but very creamy, with a nice bit of carbonation. Overall, very good beer, not sure it is worth the $4.99 price tag for a 12 oz bottle though. (598 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle - 2014 version

Pours near black, lasting dark mocha head

Black coffee and chocolate all over the nose

More of the same as this crusher flows over the palate. Waves of dark chocolate and coffee. Dense and flavorful. I'd like to dry it with a chocolate dessert. World class night capper (306 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pretty much black with a light brown head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Dark fruits, roasted/chocolate malts, caramelized sugar, alcohol. Not as robust as i had hoped

Taste: Dark fruits upfront, roasted malts and slight chocolate mid palate, with a hoppy finish. My favorite RIS has a rich espresso-like finish, and this doesnt have that.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and very thin for a RIS. Although i get a touch of the alcohol, it goes down too easy. I expect a beer in this style to be viscous and chewy, and this doesnt give me that satisfaction. Also a bit of bitterness on the finish

Overall: I think this beer is overrated to be quite honest with you. It has a decent amount of the roasted malt, chocolate qualities you want in an imperial stout, but its not up there with Founders IS, Expedition, Ten Fidy, or even Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout in my opinion. I found the mouthfeel to be lacking as well as its very thin and not as luscious as a beer in this style should be. Still a solid RIS and should cellar well (1,043 characters)

Photo of KostyaK
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/15/15 dated bottle poured into a teku

A: pitch black, with an attractive, though quickly disappearing dark tan head
S: strong dark coffee dominates, with hints of bitter chocolate & charred wood
T: definitely boozy, in a good way. More strong coffee, charred red meat, with virtually no sweetness to speak of
M: a bit thin, with pleasant carbonation. It coats the tastebuds, lingering there like an old friend
O: definitely a stellar example of the style, but to be fair, it can't really compare to the bigger & bolder BA & adjunct brethren. (544 characters)

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very thin stout with notes of roasted malt flavors combined with some sweetness. Starts off sweet and then finishes with a burnt like dry aftertaste which complements the flavors nicely. Mild amount of carbonation with a mild amount of bitterness. Overall, this is a strong tasting stout with a nice warmth to it. (316 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Body is thick in appearance and black, with a small light-brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Some roasted malt, chocolate malt and dried fruits - predominantly, raisins come to mind.

T: The taste more or less follows the nose, with roasted malt, chocolatey malt, raisins, prunes and black cherries all in the mix. Overall impression of sweetness. Seems vinuous at times too. Some char or charcoal on the aftertaste, along with a hint of burnt wood. Alcohol is also noted - not a surprise given the 11% ABV - both as a drying impression on the back of the mouth and as a warming in the belly.

M: Feels a bit thin in heft for the style. Carbonation is modest.

O: Was expecting a world-class RIS, but got a merely good one. (776 characters)

Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: As black as the night sky. Beautiful tan, caramel-looking head that fades to a nice lacing that is strewn all over the glass.

S: Caramel, molasses, chocolate, roasted coffee and tons of smokey char.

T: Wow this beer is big! Tons of chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy and smokey malts and dark fruits. Some nice vanilla to compliment at the end. Slight alcohol. Not as much as I expected for 11%. Very nice.

M: Big bodied, decent carbonation. Slight bitterness.

O: This is a very solid RIS with no complaints. First time having this beer. Will be heading back to the store to pick up a few to age for years to come. I really hope I get to try the BBA version soon. I can only imagine how aging this beer in BB would increase an already stellar RIS. (789 characters)

Photo of GarMerr
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice coffee, chocolate & licorice flavors on the nose and tongue. A little thin, but pleasant mouth feel. Probably a little too hyped, but still a quality stout. (161 characters)

Photo of JPowell712
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Great beer! It was dark and thick on the pour with a brown creamy head. The first aromas I got were of roasted coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. The taste was very strong as an 11% alc/vol should be. The booziness is definitely detectable followed by a chocolate, coffee, and smoke. This is definitely a fine fine product. The minute you swallow this beer you start to get that warming feeling in your gut. The after taste is a slight bitter, but nothing to take away from the beer overall. This is a great imperial stout. I really enjoy this and Dark Horse Brewing Co.'s Too Cream Stout as well! Try them both! (619 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Speigelau glass

A: pitch black rich chocolate head

S: lots of roasted goodness with some very strong chocolate and licorice

T: very smooth sweet chocolate a little bit of lactate milk taste

M: a touch thin for a stout but it's not bad

O: this is a pretty good stout it's got a lot of nice chocolate and sweetness with a little bit of roast it's a tad thin though (397 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into stout glass. Very dark brown and nearly opaque with a few brown slivers at the edges. Half an inch of tan head rises and quickly falls to a thin cap that lingers. A few spots of lace remain. Aroma is of roasted malts, dried dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, touch of soy sauce, and alcohol. Taste starts moderately sweet with chocolate, brown sugar, and date. Some bitterness follows from espresso and woody notes. Alcohol is masked well but not completely hidden. Medium-full body, creamy texture, low carbonation, warming sweet finish. (563 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.75/5
Pitch black, very little head however, just a very thin layer of medium brown head which almost immediately dissipates down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass

Smell - 3.75/5
Alcohol is the dominant scent, with some dark malts, chocolate/cocoa notes. Dark fruits, perhaps a bourbon-esque alcohol quality.

Taste - 3.75/5
Smoky, sweet, earthy malts. Strong cocoa notes in the aftertaste. Some dark fruit, a little metallic tinge and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium-full body. Medium-light carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

Overall - 4/5
Overall this was a decent beer. I liked the cocoa notes and the smooth feel. I would have liked more foam, for the aroma to be less boozy, and for the taste to be less metallic and earthy. (755 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle

After the disappearance of the fairly dark head into a barely noticeable collar around the glass, everything looks pretty still. The body is pitch brown. Fine, transparent legs. I like the distinct aromas of medium/heavy roasted malts, sweetness, and vanilla. I can also faintly smell some lactose, alcohol and coconut. In the taste, the sweetness comes out as the beer warms. The smell is misleading. I get distinct roast over vanilla. Nice, easy going soft roast, intertwined with delicate sweetness. No alcohol, not even through the exhaust. No complaints about the feel. Low carb, medium-heavy body. Nice soft finish.

Overall - This RIS is solid. No criticisms here. To put things into comparison, I think Ten Fidy is more robust, but this one is more balanced and friendly. (806 characters)

Photo of snoopy5023
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The look was very clean, dark and pleasing on the eye. The smell was tasting as the taste, which was full on the tongue in a very good way and gave it a feel that have you wanting more. (185 characters)

Photo of BuccoFan
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. Pitch black and decently thick in the pour, with a head that sticks to the outer rim. Aroma is an intense sweet roasty malt, and it is the most prominent part of the brew. Taste is robust, with a tiny bit of carbonation detectable. Feel is medium-bodied, a little surprisingly so given other aspects.

Overall, it's a tasty, solid imperial stout. As I said, its body isn't a complete match to its aroma and taste, but after getting a bottle of this as a gift, I made an effort to get more. (533 characters)

Photo of Pineforest42
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Great pour, about an inch of head with nice lacing. Thick and black.
S- Heavy cocoa and coffee, strong and mouth watering.
T- Wonderful balance of flavors dancing together. creamy and filling. Smokey, chocolate, wholesome.
M- I could almost chew it. Perfect texture for a RIS. Taste improved as the temperature dropped.
O- Just what I want from a RIS. I highly recommend this. This beer behaves like a RIS and with a 11% ABV will leave you feeling good. (458 characters)

Photo of HoneyLamb
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally found Plead the 5th at a beer store in Stevensville, Michigan at John Beers and Hollywood for $14. Wow! Absolutely loved this beer. So smooth and full of flavor. This will be one of my all time favorites. RAFH 2/9/15 (228 characters)

Photo of docoman
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time having non-BBA version of pt5 and it's very similar to BBA version, minus the bourbon influence. Almost has a tobacco smell/aftertaste and I'm not a smoker. Hard to love this beer, it's good, just not great compared to others. (239 characters)

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 822 ratings.