Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

822 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 822
Hads: 3,498
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 552
Gots: 919 | FT: 106
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: 3,498
Photo of pwoods
4.66/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. brown bottle of Plead the 5th thanks to SPLITGRIN at DLD.
Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black, no visibility. A very short head after a vigorous pour dies to a thin skim. A couple spots of lacing here and there.

S: Alcohol is very present. Lush dark fruits and light meaty and smoky aromas remind me of good Old Ales.. and make me want one, lol. This dominates most of the smell. There's a good sweetness as well as some charred, sooty malts.

T/M: More of a coffee and chocolate flavor comes out that I couldn't really pick up in the nose. There's still a great alcohol line throughout the entire drink. Whatever the ABV is, I'm sure it's very high but masterfully controlled. It really adds a huge depth. More of the sweetness, leaning towards vanilla but with strong oak and woody notes, as well as a very tasty smoky, sooty character. Body is medium full but very smooth and silky, not heavy, rough, overly dry.

D: Way too easy to drink. I'm sure the ABV is up there but I really want to continue drinking this. I'll actually have to watch myself from wasting this. (1,086 characters)

Photo of jmerloni
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Jet fuel black. Thick as shit. Dark brown head, beyond tan and beyond beige. Impressive. Thick. Would be stickier if I were drinking it slower, I assume.

S - Wild aroma. Deep deep mocha aroma, with mild dark fruit aroma like cherries or raisins or even red grapes.

T - Wow. Dense flavors. Chocolate, coffee, more raisins and black cherries than grapes. Molasses malt. Slight alcoholic aftertaste. Interesting.

M - Thick as shit. Not very dry. The viscosity of this beer is impressive. Definitely chewy. Carbonation is perfectly appropriate and non-interruptive.

D - I'll get this again in a heartbeat. This is a beer everyone should try at least once. This is impressive. It tastes like it should be 500 calories. (722 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours thick like black tar and looks like quite the beast! A very thin head, less than pencil thin, but dark chocolate brown in color.

My nostrils are treated with quaffs of chocolate, roasted coffee, and toasted nuts.

Wow, this is a mouthful! Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a nutty finish are wonderously balanced with the slightest hint of booze, but I definitely feel it warming my stomach!

Thick, chocolate syrup like that is more like a meal than a beverage.

Overall, they definitely got something here! I will be on the prowl for this again! (558 characters)

Photo of sculver91
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A - Didn't get much of a head, but appeared a dark oil black/brown.

S - Strong dark chocolate smell, but really sweet smelling.

T - caramel and coffee, deep rich molasses. For an 11% abv beer, it surely didn't taste like it

M - Not much carbonation during the pour, but lots in the mouth. Great texture

D - Ridiculously smooth. Great flavor, can't put it down.

O - Solid stout. Heavy chocolate and coffee flavors, and had a great appearance. Definitely very good beer.

Bottled. (483 characters)

Photo of danielharper
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Completely opaque black color, very thin dark brown head that dissipates quickly. Considering how high the alcohol is on this one, that's not at all surprising.

S: Malty, hints of an alcohol astringency. Lots of chocolate, coffee, and even a hint of cherries. Lots of dry maltiness.

T: Lots of coffee, chocolate, and general roasted character. Alcohol is completely hidden in the flavor, but there's a pleasant burn in the chest as the beer goes down. Aftertaste is slightly dry but very pleasant.

M: Smooth, smooth, smooth. Thick, with low carbonation and mild hops.

D: This bottle was a gift from a co-worker, so I'm not sure if this is an old bottle or not. I'm guessing it's a year old or so, which would help explain the incredible smoothness and the degree to which the alcohol has faded into the background. Still, an amazing technical accomplishment. It's in the same realm as Founder's Impy Stout and Bell's Expedition, which is incredibly high praise from me. (980 characters)

Photo of Shon4star
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My favorite imperial stout non BA. This is just a great brew. Sad it only comes once a year for a month. If you haven't had this you need too, to appreciate the bourbon barrel version. (184 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass. No bottled date

(A)- Pours thick and black as night. No head ever appeared, but plenty of brown bubbles formed on the top.

(S)- Strong roasted component. Rather bready in aroma. Smells just like a slightly burnt cinnamon/ chocolate chip/ raisin bagel if there was such a combination (there should be!)

(T)- Lots of bready nuances combined with roasted coffee. Plenty of raisins mixed in with cocoa. Bits of molasses. Sweet yet almost neutral brown sugar.

(M)- Thick, thick stuff! Slightly grainy in the texture on the tongue, yet silky at the same time. Just a tad hot in the alcohol department, but I never would have guessed that it was 12%!!!!

(D)- This will stick to your ribs! What I really like about it is that the flavors dont all come out at once, but gradually one after another once you swallow. The complexities are delibrate, strong, and show themselves one after another; an adventure in the mouth so to speak. A definite sipper with no doubt though, that 12% really sneaks up on you! If you aged this for at least 2 years+, it would be absolutely incredible in my opinion. (1,138 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thanks to rschne13 for the trade on this one.

a- Popped open the 12oz bottle and poured it into my oversized snifter. Gorgeous thick sludgey stout goodness. pretty much no head at all. When I swirl the glass I can build up a little bit of a brown head. Snail trail-like lacing. Has a bit of a barrel aged look shine.

s - Dark chocolate alcohol sweetness. Extremely well balanced roasted malt. I swear I'm picking up some sort of bourbon (ev

t - HOLY CRAP. This is fantastic. Deep dark chocolatey roasted malts. The booze is really nice. This is an A double plus beer.

m/d - Tonight is/was an evening for big stouts and this beer...I had some high expectations for and it stepped to the plate and slammed it out of the park on the first pitch. Mouth is crisp and it is smooth, silky and easy to drink. Flavor is strong dark chocolate...a bit on the heavy side, but you'd expect that at 12%. (898 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 beatenbyjacks
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark oil pour, rich caramel head, and great lacing!

Smell - roasted chocolate caramel with a barrel aged smell that is great.

Taste - rich frothy chocolate boozy greatness.

Mouthfeel - frothy smooth delicious feel

Overall - wow I am glad I got this beer in a trade. Such a great beer. Imperial stout done right! (328 characters)

Photo of themind
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is black as night! wow! poured into a goblet this stout has a small head with a faint aroma. PT5th truly hides the ABV with an awesome mouth feel and super high drinkability. This is the first Dark Horse beer I have tried and I am truly impressed. The taste is legendary to me for the style. I would buy this any time I could and will trade for it again. I can only imagine how good the BA version is.

Bottom Line: Incredible stout worth seeking out! (462 characters)

Photo of Cannabinaceae
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on-tap at Darkhorse, served in a snifter.
The appearance was pitch black with a thick motor oil appearance that coated the sides of the glass. It poured with a nice 2 finger head which is pretty rare for imperial stouts in my experience.
This beer had a pretty nice, clean stout smell that is unlike most imperials. The taste was of dark fruit, dark roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.
The mouthfeel was thick, but not too heavy for my taste.
The latest batch claims 14% abv and with that in mind, this beer is very drinkable. Almost dangerous(in a fun way).

I have to say that this is an excellent imperial stout, and it is right up my alley with its simplicity in a world of barrel aged "bells and whistles" type stouts. (740 characters)

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into the center of an Imperial pint glass. Fairly aggressive pour develops only about an inch of reddish brown head, that recedes quickly. Ink black in color.

The nose picks up chocolate, coffee and vanilla along with dark fruits. Just a faint hint of soy sauce.

I take a sip and think wow. Just a fantastic beer.

This beer couldn't feel any better.

Overall I love this beer. Can only imagine what the barrel aged version would be like. (460 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
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! (442 characters)

Photo of Magpie14
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been sitting on this beer for over two years. Hopefully it survived the carbonite freezing process

A: Black ink. Dusted with deep cinnamon colored foam. Looks big and mean. No lace

S: the nose is super malty and fudge-like. Malts are massive! Some alcohol is noted along with coffee. Dig deep and you can catch a waft of light tobacco and dark fruits

T: bursting with malts and cocoa, rich and sweet. I am getting light and dark chocolates swirling with heartily roasted, and at times burnt malts. The tail end of each sip is lightly laced with dark fruits and coffee beans, followed by a smack of vanilla and coated with malt powder (yea, that's right. I said malt powder. That's what it reminds me of for whatever reason). Pretty damn complex overall.

It is possible the aging process pushed the cocoa notes into the forefront with a little bit of tang

M: creamy and dreamy. Slick and smooth

O: elegant and smooth. Big feel and flavors combine for a great and enjoyable beer. Whether aged in a bottle or straight from the tap, this beer is a winner (1,063 characters)

Photo of grub
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 2: Stouts and Belgians. i contributed this bottle, a bonus in a trade with GrandCruDrew. thanks drew!

12oz "plead the 5th" bottle. sampled nov 28/08.

pours inky black and nearly opaque. a small dense brown head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass. the ring seems to last forever and leaves spotty lace the whole way down the glass.

aroma is excellent. anise. dark chocolate and dark roast coffee. some dark fruit too. light alcohol. caramel. toffee. there's some hops in there, a bit of pine and grapefruit. vanilla. i'm in love with it and don't even need to taste it.

taste is great. anise. dark and bittersweet chocolate. coffee. caramel and toffee. big whole wheat bread and biscuit. dark fruit. light alcohol. medium bitterness level. light pine and grapefruit again. also has a nice earthy component.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium-low carbonation level. silky smooth.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. great depth. an excellent stout. (1,010 characters)

Photo of justinp444
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass this beer pours a rich foamy chocolate head with a dark black body. Smell is of chocolate and coffee with a large amount of malt and dried fruit. Taste is chocolate with tons of malt and dried fruit, not overly sweet but more earthy hops bitter & malt sweetness on the back end with a sharp tongue coating entrance. (342 characters)

Photo of MrGaryFish
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1. Brought back from a trade at DLD. 12 oz. bottle poured into Green Man snifter @ 50*

A: Pours opaque black with 1 finger of khaki head that quickly dissapates

S: fair amount of coffee followed by dark chocolate

T: massive amounts of chocolate and coffee, a little astringency from chocolate and other dark malts, excellent flavor that continues long after the finish, well hidden alcohol that is only noticed at the back of the throat

M: thick and viscous, excellent full body

O: Fantastic flavor, great nose and excellent body. Bitterness, astringency, chocolate and coffee flavors all coming through in proportion. 3 more to try with friends down the road, I would definitely trade for again. Wish the BA version was not so limited. (750 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as a gift from beerking721 on a trip to Minneapolis

A--Pours thick as motor oil...a hard pour in my Dogfish Head Signature Glass yields only a sliver of head that left an oily coating behind. Dealing with a monster beer here, that's for sure....

S--Chocolate, prunes, molasses, marshmallows. Extremely potent. I love big beers, but this is starting to intimidate me a little...after all, I just wanted a "nightcap." Should have pulled out something lighter.

T--Very oak-y taste. Dark fruits are there to back it up, along with a coffee-like bitterness (but not much coffee flavor). This is better than I thought it was going to be. HUGE flavor, surpassed only by the absolute top imperial stouts, but still deserving of a 5.

M--Enough body to justify the huge flavor. Full, creamy, and it leaves a nice wood aftertaste

D--This beer being rated an A- is a crime. Rich, complex, flavorful...what is holding people back? (931 characters)

Photo of jdhowe
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into Lost Abbey teku. No evident date on the bottle.

Thanks to Greywulfken for providing me with two bottles of this... like he knew what I was about to experience and wanted me to be able to revisit it.

A: Pours a still black allowing just hints of light through the edges before a light, mocha-colored head of 1 1/2 fingers emerges and dissipates to a ring. Sediment is left in the bottle, reminiscent of a mug of hot cocoa.

S: Sweet, chocolatey, slightly roasty. Creamy. A little bit of astringency from coffee. No alcohol evident. Smells delicious... like a good chocolate.

T/M: A nice, thick, slightly oily feel dominated at first by chocolatey sweetness. Nicely carbonated and a little chewy. A little bit of overly astringent coffee character shows, but not too much. Finish is smooth with very little alcohol showing. Aftertaste swells with roasty coffee bitterness and it's almost as if I have little bits of coffee left behind, but in the best way.

O: Really impressed by this one. It summons up alternately smooth, creamy milk chocolate and coarsely ground roasted coffee. For 11abv it is amazingly easy drinking and doesn't show any of its alcohol. A definite contender for my favorite non-BA stout. The coffee does add just a little astringency to the nose and taste, but otherwise I have very little negative that I can say about this beer. (1,386 characters)

Photo of iconoklaztor
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice black color with virtually no head. I love the smell though. Coffee and chocolate make up the smell of this brew.

The taste is awesome. I really this this brew and for 10 a four pack I cant complain. Its rich and full of coffee and malts. MMM!

Overall, what a great find and very flavorful! I really enjoy this brew! (332 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick oily black with a silky espresso head. Nose has big roasty malts, chocolate, subtle piney hops, molasses, licorice, dried plums and cherries, coffee and vanilla. Taste is a well balanced blend of bitter hops, molasses, dark malts, fugde, and ripe pitted fruits. Thick body is very well carbonated. Great stuff from Dark Horse. (340 characters)

Photo of neophilus
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wicked Dark Beer.

Smells like sweet toffee, caramel, fresh baked coffee rolls with a hint of espresso.

Roasty flavor up front, more of a roasty edge than the aroma suggests. Solid malt body with dark brown bread and raisin-pumpernickel notes. Sticky-sweetness sets in with strong tones of dark chocolate. Eventually settles into a luscious dark-chocolate brownie flavor. Thick creamy body, little to no alcohol heat.

It's like drinking a really indulgent dessert. (467 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a coffee mug (the only way to drink stout in the morning!).

Pours a deep a deep black with 1-2 fingers of dark mocha head, dissipating quickly to a creamy collar and leaving slight lacing. Massive roasted malts, dark chocolate, a bit of coffee in the nose. On the palate the dark roasted malts shine through with lots of dry coffee, fudge, dark chocolate and some nice bitterness. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Overall, this is just a delicious, well balanced stout, one of my new favorites! (570 characters)

Photo of natemort13
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hard jet-black pour gives a minimal dark mocha head that dissipates quickly into a ring.

Deep roasted malts with a bunch of coffee right up front on the nose. Dark chocolate undertones with some smooth vanilla as well. This is an incredible, big, and balanced nose.

Taste is smooth espresso with a hint of milk chocolate. Roasted malts are still dominant but dont even approach astringent. Mid palate is big chocolate malt. Lingering coffee on the finish.

Mouthfeel is full full bodied with enough carbonation to back it up. Slightly oily but not too much.

Overall this beer is fucking big and incredible without overdoing it on anything. Big and balanced. (662 characters)

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