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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

3,217 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,217
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 542
Gots: 788 | FT: 81
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: 3,217 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yamar68
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, murky black sludge with an edge of copper clarity. A quickly dissipating finger of tan froth sits on top. Nice, subtle lacing. What I first notice on the nose are sweeter malts - caramel, toffee, brown and candied sugars, sweet booze, simple syrups, a bit of cocoa as it warms. The booze is very well placed on the tongue. Taste starts with burnt oak, then black cherries and caramel. Just a hint of black licorice if you really look for it. Really a unique flavor. The feel is nearly perfect and showcases the best of the beers base flavors. Overall, I would highly recommend this. This is one of the best ’non-specialty’ imperial stouts I’ve ever tried. Fantastic.

Photo of travMI13
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

A: Pours thick and black as night. A finger of mocha head dissipates very slowly, leaving great lacing and nice retention. Outstanding.

S: Roasted malts, a lot of coffee, and hints of dark chocolate. Maybe a touch of toffee.

T: Toffee, chocolate, maybe some licorice on the finish. There is a nice dark chocolate bitterness on the finish, yet the beer stays creamy throughout. There might be a touch of coffee flavor, but it is largely absent for me. This is wonderfully balanced. By the way, where is the alcohol?

M: Thick, creamy, and a touch of dryness on the finish. Really tough to beat for an imperial stout.

O: This is a fantastic imperial stout. The Bourbon Barrel version is great because this is the base beer. A smooth, rich, and complex imperial stout. A truly great offering from Dark Horse.

Photo of IlPostino
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Jeffo
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received bottles of this one from smakawhat and thetomG. Thanks for this gem of a beer gents! Finally getting around to reviewing this one along side the bourbon barrel version with Doopie. Good times!

From a bottle into a mini-snifter
Vintage: 2011
Drank right before the BA version

APPEARANCE: A thick, black pour yields a small, thicker looking, tight, dark mocha colored head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and a nice ring. Thick, opaque black body with no carbonation evident. A swirling wisp and thick ring remain until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. A big, menacing look to this one. Evil.

SMELL: Roasted, smoky and charred malts on the nose, with some nice coffee, dark chocolate and licorice notes there as well. Heavy dose of booze, mostly red port, provide a base for it all. Big and enticing.

TASTE: Some roasted and smoky malts up front with sweet caramel and molasses. Flavor is a little lacking up front, but then comes in waves after the swallow. Lots of bitter coffee and dark chocolate, smoky charred malts and port wine linger on the palate. Notes of licorice and sweet molasses, but piles of bitter chocolate and charred malts linger on the palate after the swallow. Wave after wave of big flavors. Just needed a little more up front for top marks.

PALATE: Fuller body and higher levels of carbonation. Creamy, thick and full on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a bite at the swallow and finishes relatively sticky on the palate. A well measured amount of heat lingers.

OVERALL: This was absolutely phenomenal. I’ve had a few other Dark Horse brews, all of which were mediocre compared to this monster of a delicious treat. Evil looking with a huge nose and flavor profile filled with everything I love about this style. Thick creamy palate gives the show a solid foundation as well. Perhaps a little weak up front and the booze might be slightly too forward, but this was awesome and I enjoyed it more than the 2011 bourbon barrel version we drank right after it. One I’d take anytime it was offered to me, no question. Thanks again for sharing Doops. Kick ass beer!

Photo of ChefHopMeister
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Steimie
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of redfacedshooter
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of syu3003
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of WolvAlerine
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ninner00
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of amcmaho1
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jhb138
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of xpdrinker
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of harrymel
3.2/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of coreymcafee
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Stouttyme
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of brstls4drmrs
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of will1256
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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

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.

Photo of beersis81
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of tjkinate
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Jefe73
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of smutty33
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of atoulouk
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,217 ratings.