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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

3,207 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,207
Reviews: 785
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 539
Gots: 780 | FT: 78
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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,207 | Reviews: 785 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schnarr84
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of pwoods
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of Corriecrafts
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of STBbrewing
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LehighValleyEats
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Plead the 5th Imperial Stout is heavy, heavy, heavy. What else could be expected from an Imperial Stout. The guys over at Dark Horse Brewing Co. describe this one as..."big & full bodied with lots of roasted malts & balanced with heavy hops..."

The 5th pours out with the sight of midnight with a fading brown head with little retention. The aroma is extremely complex, with rich maltiness at first whiff, then the coffee, chocolate, & a hint of sweetness dominate the senses. The flavor is bold, big, complex. Hard to describe the symphonic array of tastes bouncing around my mouth. Maltiness & traces of maybe maple syrup come through, with the chocolate & coffee resonating in the front. The heat is apparent as well. The mouthfeel is very heavy, as i expected, & i must say that this beverage is a "1 & done."

Overall Impression: I loved it! Can't praise this wonderful concoction with anymore praise then has already been said. Go out & try it immediately.

Photo of backer80
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ru12xu
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of Sheepdog2169
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of Tobes181
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of office888
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours dark black, almost syrup, with a thick brown head. Carbonation dissipates down pretty fast to a light, frothy layer.

S: Coffee, maybe dark cherries, dark chocolate.

T: Impressive taste that fairly reflects the smell, almost no taste of alcohol whatsoever. Sweet, almost a cherry note to it.

M: A little bit of carbonation, and absolutely thick. I'd be hard pressed to find a food pairing for this beer, it's a meal on its own!

D: Solid imperial stout, if not the best imperial stout I've ever tasted. I would definitely buy it and drink one again. It's a perfect stout for someone who appreciates the darker beers.

Photo of watsonmd
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served 55F, poured into snifter.

A: Black, with thick brown head that stays... and brown lacing during the session.

S: Chocolate, malt, maybe a hint of licorice?

T: Wonderful. Coffee, chocolate, with full malty backbone, maybe some cherry, or other fruits hidden in there... Something roasty trying to break through...

M: Heaven, coating the mouth, slippery, silky and full. Stays with you long after the swallow. Thick feel, with dense carbonation.

O: Awesome trade. Would definitely buy if it was available in GA. Will have to settle for Bell's Expedition, and Founder's Imperial....

Photo of sirhc3034
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Probably the thickest pour I've experienced. Dense, black, and viscous, this one has allmost no carbonation going into the glass. Very small head that was only slightly thicker than a film on top forms, even with some vigorous pouring. What little head there is retains as a thin film and laces just a bit. Black as night in the glass, with no light able to penetrate the body.

S- Upon opening the bottle and the release of air with a hiss, the big, bold, roasty notes can be detected. Prominent among the strong, dark, roasted malts is a blend of chocolate and coffee. Chocolate is semisweet, while the coffee gives the whole scent some teeth. Underneath the chocolate and coffee flavors, there is a ton of dark malts; some bitter, some sweet in smell.

T- Big, roasted, dark malts off the bat, just like the scent. Slightly more bitter than the smell, and progresses right into the chocolate and coffee blend I described. Coffee is bitter, but not overly so, with the chocolate sweetening things up just a little bit. The blend of coffee and chocolate dominates most of the drink, moving towards a slightly more bitter bite to finish it. Right at the end, some alcohol bitterness makes an appearance, but does not overpower the coffee and chocolate bitterness.

M- Feels just like it looked in the pour; thick. Smooth, with very low carbonation as it slides across the palate. Slight to moderate alcohol heat peaks through at the ends, warming as it goes down.

Overall, I am impressed. This has been somewhat under the radar for me, and when the store tweeted out that it had it, I grabbed the 2 bottle limit. Glad I did that. We'll see what the other one tastes like in a few months to a year, but it drinks great fresh.

Photo of BruceBruce
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Solid look and nice 1/4 inch tan head

S. Amazing, I cant convince myself that this isn't BA, it must be the strong alcohol presence. Booze at first and then some coffee and then alcohol then a bit of roasted malts and then way more booze, LOVE IT!!!

T. Alcohol up front and very present, then coffee and maybe a hint of chocolate, the presence of booze is amazing hits you first and last. I love this beer!!!

M. A bit thin for me but not bad 3.5

O. I love it, great taste, a smell that I seriously put my nose to the glass until the last sip. I love this beer so glad I got one in, ISO: again for sure.

Photo of Cresant
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass. The body was dark brown and the very creamy head was dark tan. The head was smaller than expected even after a hard pour.

The smell was of sweet cocoa. Hints of vanilla and big fresh grain aroma.

The taste was sweet and creamy with significant roasty bitterness. Chocolate and vanilla. Very well hidden alcohol. So smooth and tasty, just a well constructed big stout.

The mouthfeel was medium to full and it was oh so creamy. This one exceeded my expectations.

Photo of glazeman
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Split with airohead2001. I looked all over southern Michigan and could not find this beer, even though it's from Michigan. Then, when I head up to Milwaukee, there it was. Glad, to have finally found this one.

A: Opaque black with a half finger tan head. Not too much head retention, but it does have a nice crown. Some lacing, but not as much as I would have liked.

S: The first thing I thought of when I smelled this is smores by the campfire...superb. Upon further inspection I get coffee, vanilla, and some sweet fruits.

T: Not as rich as other RISs, but oh so wonderfully complex. It's sweet to start, sour in the middle, and has a wonderful coffee, toast, and chocolate finish. The sweet/sour notes I get in the beginning/middle are of cherries and raspberries. As good as it gets, taste wise.

M: The antithesis of darklord as far as mouthfeel goes. This one is thin and light. At first I thought this was a bad thing, but for some reason it works well with the taste. Also, the thinness adds to the drinkability and makes it feel even better in the summer heat.

D: Out of this world. Probably the most drinkable RIS I have ever had. Alcohol is 100% hidden the flavors are robust and delicious, and the feel is light and makes for easy drinking. If you haven't tried this one you defiantly should.

Photo of drwatson32
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MaxSpang
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter...

APPEARANCE

Obviously, VERY dark. This guy poured very slowly into the glass. It had a lovely brown head, probably one of the darker heads I've seen. The head was about 2 fingers. There was minimal bubbles.

SMELL

Very malty in the nose. There was a big amount of chocolate and roasty aromas. It had a little bit of alcohol, but not NEARLY as much as you would expect! There was also a slight graininess in the smell, as well as some tropical fruits and banana which was quite surprising.

TASTE

In my notes from this beer (which I had a few nights ago), the first thing I wrote for the taste was "Sooo good". And it definitely is! Very sweet with a big amount of yummy chocolate and bittersweet cocoa. It had a burnt-sweet-fruit taste, and I mean that in the best way possible. There was a fairly strong banana flavor which was extremely pleasant. There was NO alcohol taste to be found in this beer. I swear there was a good amount of oak flavors in it, yet I don't think it was aged in oak barrels (but I'm not 100% sure that it wasn't.) I have to say that this beer was very similar to Founders KBS, without the coffee flavors.

MOUTHFEEL

Very thick and very smooth. This is one of those beers I put into my "Big-Ol'-Stankin-Beer" category. It was very warming from the alcohol.

OVERALL

This is by far one of my favorite Imperial Stouts, and relatively inexpensive (compared to other IS). It's also a bit easier to get a hold of, although the store I bought my 4-pack from was limiting 1 per customer. This beer is pretty dangerous though, because it's very drinkable (considering the thickness), and you definitely cannot taste the 12-14% ABV - so be careful with this guy!

Photo of WesMantooth
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Photo of The_fevre
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of PJHOY
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a SA pint glass

A- Pours midnight black with 1/2 inch thick brown head. Great color contrast between the head and body.

S- Smells of dark roasted malts with heavy amounts of cocoa. Some coffee is also present. Smells very similar to a freshly baked batch of chocolate chip cookies.

T- Tastes of sweet roasted malts with plenty of chocolate and coffee to back it up. Not only does it smell like a cookie, but it tastes like one too! Has a nice subtle bitterness at the finish which brings it all together. This is tasty beyond words.

M- Creamy and chewy as it should be for the bold imperial stout that it is. Sits much like a desert on the palate.

D- Fantastic. One of the more tasty imperial stouts I've had the delight to drink. The alcohol is hardly noticeable. This could have a 20% abv and still be delicious.

Photo of cradke
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark dark and pours quite thin and viscous. Finger thick dark head. Reflective, see-your-face-in-the-beer, dark.

Smell: Delicious. Dark chocolate and malt. Perfect level of sweetness (dry). Touch of smoke to it. Wonderful.

Taste: First thing that hits me is biter chocolate and then some smokey notes and peat. GREAT roasted malts and dark chocolates spread across the palate. Great amounts of flavor. Nicely earthy with some bitter coffee. Fantastic level of dry-ness.

Mouthfell: Spot on. Thick and substancial. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall: Wow. This beer is fantastic.

Photo of Moshulu
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Photo of GarrettFM
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,207 ratings.