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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,750 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,750
Reviews: 750
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 472
Gots: 667 | FT: 72
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:
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 added by: HopHead84 on 09-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,750 | Reviews: 750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dlello2
dlello2

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Super dark and viscous. Dark dark brown with just a hint of red head.

S - Roasty. Definitely dark fruit.

T - Very nice. Chocolate, not as much fruit, almost no alcohol for 12%. Some signature dark horse smokiness shows up at the beginning and end.

M - Viscous and smooth. Good amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 01:11:41 | More by dlello2
Photo of 7ways
7ways

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to steelersxl, hand labeled '09, poured violently into a Duvel tulip. It shows with a very minimal and very dark chocolate head on top of a rich Seal brown body. Sticking to the glass is a thick gloopy lace that I've rarely seen. It's almost not even lace, just globs of viscous liquid suspended high in the glass.

The aroma is pretty intoxicating, though I can't smell much of the 12% alcohol, so +1 right there. Pretty intense sweet chocolate/cocoa, and something outdoorsy. Not much else, but very inviting nonetheless.

After drinking half the glass, I've changed my mind to thinking that it tastes a little better than it smells. The reedy/lake/woods chocolate thing is joined by mocha, crazy big roasted malts, a little licorice, and oh yes, there's the yummy booze I'd almost forgotten about. Bittersweet and clean finish.

This body is quite full but is slightly lacking on carbonation. Some creamy little bubbles would do wonders for it; however, it is still cohesive enough to not put a damper on the experience.

Overall, a very impressive RIS.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 04:56:48 | More by 7ways
Photo of stercomm
stercomm

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got a growler of this brew at the local Whole Food, had a small sample when I got home so poured into a small sampler tulip glass from Left Hand.

A - Pours an inky and oily black with a small, tan head that quickly recedes leaving a slight ring around the glass.

S - Lots of roasted malt, some brown sugar and a real deep smokiness

T - Sweet and roasty maltiness, some prune, very smooth, definitely coats the mouth leaving a nice long finish

M - Creamy with mild carbonation

O- Not being a big Imperial Stout drinker have no real comparison. Will say this is a very tasty brew, alcohol is there but not in your face, great balance of flavors

Serving type: growler

04-20-2013 19:14:01 | More by stercomm
Photo of mikeyv35
mikeyv35

New York

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date: 03/28/2011
Type: 11.2oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a deep dark chocolate in color w/ a 1/2 finger tan head that left substantial lacing on the glass. Appears beautifully viscous. Aromas of chocolate malts, molasses, and underlying dark fruits. Taste was about the same, chocolate, molasses, a touch of dark fruits, and a finish of good hop bite and bitterness to keep this from cloying. Full bodied. At 13% ABV you can only drink so much of this despite Dark Horse doing a damn fine job at masking the booze.

Pleasure to sample and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but 11.2oz. really should be split w/ a good BA buddy IMO.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 16:54:37 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with minor head and lace. First thing that hits me in the nose is dark fruits like raisin, figs, and then minor sweet malts like chocolate and something sugary (not going to say candi sugar or caramel...toffee? molasses?) and then balance from some roasted malts and to be honest no alcohol. The lack of alcohol in the nose and also the beer itself is quite a feat considering it's a double digit ABV beer. This beer, for as heavy as it could be and with so much going on, is actually light and easy to drink with a chewy, fuller body that goes down incredibly easy with notes of chocolate and other sweet flavors (again - toffee? molasses?) hints of figs, some roasted malts, good balance and the beer has a good, strong finish without alcohol burn. Just a solid stout.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2014 16:35:00 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split this with my wife tonight during dessert.

A: Absolutely no head whatsoever! Very dark, but almost more of a dark, dark, dark brown color as apposed to a pitch black one.

S: A bit of teryaki sauce, but also a huge dark, bittersweet chocolate bill. As it warmed, it became even more intense, but even more enticing.

T: Dark chocolate milk and then some. Initially, when I tried this one too much on the cold side, I was conflicted about it. However, now this is dark chocolate magic. I've read some reviews on here where others have mentioned a burnt quality. To be honest, I didn't get that at all. Quite the contrary..

M: Heavy, but worth it. Low carbonation (as it should be), not too sweet in the slightest.

O: It's hard to make an impression in a market saturated with great Imperial Stouts, but this one delievered. I would love to try the bourbon-aged version of this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 23:40:55 | More by Chaney
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick, black, and almost flat. A very tiny ring of brown head formed around the edge of the glass, even after a hard pour. Smells of coffee, molasses, fuggles (a type of English hop), and some alcohol. Tastes of coffee, chocolate syrup, and a faint alcohol. This beer is really sweet and the flavors I've described above are really strong. The roast flavors almost have a feeling about them...like tiny roast bits of grains sand-papering my tongue. Also a note about the chocolate, it's a delicate and sofisticated chocolate, not a dry (baker's chocolate) or waxy (Nestle's) chocolate. The sweet hangs around heavy and hot on the back of the tongue. This is definitely a thick-bodied beer, which is appropriate for the style. Not sure the ABV, but I'll bet it's high. I could still pick out the alcohol burn despite the 'in-your-face' potent sweet, roast, and chocolate flavors. I recommend this beer for those interested in the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 04:04:09 | More by mentor
Photo of Greencoat
Greencoat

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle.

Motor-oil pour. 1/2 finger, dark tan head slowly fades into a sheet of foam. 100% opaque - none of that ruby highlight stuff!

This nose is getting me pretty excited. Ultra-sweet nose, like boozy chocolate - maybe even a little tobacco. I can tell there's a lot going on, I'm just not sure how to describe it. I know this, though - I like it.

This beer is simply sublime. A fantastic parade of chocolate, burned coffee and molasses. I really think some more time in the bottle will help this one out, but it's drinking very well right now.

Syrupy sweet feel to this one. Just enough carbonation and bitterness to keep it from being sludge. Extremely full bodied.

Overall, I think this beer is amazing. That said, I think we may be starting that awkward phase between fresh, and aged perfection. If what I've tasted is a sign of things to come, be prepared to have a masterpiece on your hands in a a while. I'll be (not so) patiently awaiting next year's release.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 03:42:01 | More by Greencoat
Photo of mwill7287
mwill7287

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle to a similarly sized snifter.

Appearance: Pours motor oil black into my snifter. Pitch black even in the lamplight. Half finger's worth of a mocha-tan creamy head sits atop after a mild pour. Little carbonation bubbles abound in the brew. A little bit of lacing is left behind on the snifter after the liquid vacates. Looks noice. 4.5/5

Smell: Dark roasty notes balanced by a dose of hops Americano. A little creamy, definitely roasty coffee beans and a bit of chocolate. Very rich and enticing. 4.75/5

Taste: Strong presence of bold Russian Imperial stout hops ride alongside dark fruit, raisin and anise notes in the first sips. A little bit juicy and fruity on first bite. Sweet. A bit of bitterness of coffee notes and building hops creep along with repeated sips and a pleasantly present aftertaste. Alcohol doesn't interfere too much. Nice, not 100% my thing, but good. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Not too syrupy or thick. Medium body. Mild stickiness on tongue and lip. Bitterness is pretty light and doesn't hinder on the palate too much. Maybe a tad light for me for a RIS. 3.75/5

Overall: Very solid taste, tasty and complex but not overwhelming. Looks & smells wonderful. Mouthfeel provides for a nice drink. Obviously not sessionable but a relatively easy drink for a RIS. Nice. 4/5

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 00:02:52 | More by mwill7287
Photo of krisandajt
krisandajt

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another beer courtesy of mymrnngjckt. I raise my glass to you, Kevin!

Appearance: This beer pours like motor oil into my DFH ale glass. The color is midnight black, with a very small amount of coffee colored head. What little head there is quickly fades away, leaving only a thin ring of bubbles where the beer meets the glass. Lacing is good, leaving some soapy rings where the beer settles.

Smell: Mostly bitter chocolate in the nose, but mixed in is some booziness which hints at the high ABV of this brew. Right off the bat I can tell this is going to be a sipping beer.

Taste: An interesting mix of bitter chocolate, some booze, and what reminds me of dark fruit - raisins? It's got the robustness of a big stout, but has some hints of the dark fruitiness you find is a good quad. Very unique, and rather tasty.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth, and creamy - everything you could ask for in an imperial stout.

Drinkability: No doubt about it, this is a big beer. Big flavor, and big ABV. As tasty as this is, there's no way you can have more than one of these in a night. All night drinkability...definitely not. But I'm sure going to enjoy it while it lasts. Definitely recommend - if you see it, grab it!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2010 23:13:13 | More by krisandajt
Photo of pmccallum86
pmccallum86

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge deep dark black color with a big and thick cocoa colored head that dissipates very slowly.

Smell is of big cocoa and licorice. Lots of roasted malts and a little coffee as well.

Big, big, flavor. Tons of roasted malts and bitter chocolates come up front. Followed by slight hop bitterness and some sugary caramel in the finish. Quite a nice beer, possibly my favorite offering from Dark Horse. The 12% ABV is hidden very nicely as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with medium carbonation, very full bodied beer.

Drinkable all things considered, but not this beer's best asset.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 03:37:44 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of RJay
RJay

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pitch black with no light able to penetrate through, during the pour I was reminded of the last time I changed the oil on my car. There was a half finger of head that faded to covering the edge of the glass, this stuck around until the end.

Aroma - Toasty roasty malts with some chocolate notes. There is a fruity aroma but I can't quite make out what it is. There is also a nice warm tingle to the nose from the alcohol.

Taste - Sweet roasted malts with chocolate and toffee with a coffee like bitterness.

Mouth Feel - Silky smooth with light carbonization and has some weight to it, pretty thick beer.

Drinkability - This is my favorite out of the series. Definitely a sipper but a great beer, as the beer warms up in the glass more of the aromas and flavors can be picked up.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 03:09:59 | More by RJay
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Plead the 5th on tap at the Beer Trappe in Lexington

Near black and opaque in the glass, with dark brown showing at the edges.  Durable head but little lacing. 

Great aroma!  Rich and moderately complex, it suggests great flavor.  The flavor doesn't quite keep up but is outstanding. 
ABV well hidden in the nose, in the flavor, and in the feel.

Full body; smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2014 23:59:54 | More by chinchill
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage opened on 3.13.13

A - Pours a motro oil blakc with a small dark brown head that slowly fades to one side.

S - Teriyaki, chocolate, soy, and sweet.

T - Similar to the nose at this point, but more booze and heet.

D - Low carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Heavy stout with a sweet teriyaki essence. Still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 04:42:34 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of brock146
brock146

Minnesota

4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark black with nice chocolate hued head

S - Alcohol and dark chocolate

T - Black coffee, sweet and malty, a bit smoky, definite yet subtle kick of alcohol

M - Silky smooth, low carbonation creates a soft of "milk shake" consistency. Keeps your palate warm after it goes down

O = Very tasty and surprisingly [ and dangerously :) ] drinkable for being such a high gravity beer

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 00:10:28 | More by brock146
Photo of codysjb
codysjb

Florida

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

pours a brown-black with virtually no head. Smells like bourbon. Tastes like a strong stout mixed with bourbon, nothing too flavorful but respectful none the less. Certainly a good beer to sip a savor. Really shines on the mouthful as the flavor fully comes out and tastes really smooth for the whole time. Overall a better stout, certainly stronger and less chocolaty than I usually like but a great stout none the less.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 05:23:37 | More by codysjb
Photo of Stigs
Stigs

Pennsylvania

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

12oz bottle, served in a DFH oversized snifter

A - pours with a thin layer of loose khaki colored film, quickly falls away to just a ring around the glass. the beer is pitch black in color, with just the faintest dark brown getting through in front of light.

S - very sweet...dark fruits, very dark and slightly bitter chocolate, oak, vanilla, some lightly roasted coffee beans and toasted nuts. some warming alcohol at the end along with brewers licorice.

T - bitterness comes through here much more predominantly than the nose...full of dark bakers chocolate, roasted espresso beans, smoke...sweetness comes into play the second half with dark fruits coming alive, licorice, alcohol, and dark roasted malt.

M - the body is just a *tad* thin, carbonation though is nice and controlled. a little syrupy going down, coats the mouth and leaves a lingering bitter chocolate flavor.

D - not bad at all...glad i have another bottle of this as i think time will do it well, calming the bitter flavors and bringing everything else up a notch. has a lot of potential.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 05:09:41 | More by Stigs
Photo of Mavajo
Mavajo

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Straight from the pour, you can tell this one's gonna be a heavy-hitter. Total black with a dark brown head. Mild head at first, but before long it recedes completely and gives the beer a thick, flat appearance. Heavy and intense looking.

Good profile on this one. Dark chocolate, licorice, molasses and roasted malts. Lingers on the aftertaste a bit, but not offensive. Thick and chewy mouthfeel.

This is a pretty solid stout. I enjoyed the pure "heaviness" of this beer, but it seemed to come up just short of epic in my opinion. Damn good beer, though.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 12:57:50 | More by Mavajo
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

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

12oz bottle via trade thanks to translucent on BA. Damn dude, this is a bruiser. Is this the fifth in the "one, too, tres, fore" series? If so, then neener neener, I ticked them all off, and victory is mine!

Pours black and thick with a one-finger dark tan head. Some legs on this one - you can tell it's viscous.

Aroma is intense with dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, and roast. Slight sweetness present.

Flavor is really interesting. It reminds me of Midnight Sun Berserker in a way, except without the -bal aging notes. Rich dark chocolate and roast dominate, with a hint of coffee as well as molasses, anise, and red wine/port. Very full and thick on the palate with low carbonation. Some tannins as well as hop bitterness. Smooth and slick. A great imperial stout overall. Not too drinkable in large quantities, but you have to give it a pass on this because it's damn good. One of the better beers I've had from Dark Horse. Good job rejecting Nickelback's offer too, guys. They suck!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 17:10:05 | More by nickd717
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Thank you Steasy66!! Been wanting this one for a while now, the BB version was fantastic.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a thin brown head.

Smell. Dark chocolate and molasses with some dark malts and brown sugar and a bit of vanilla.

Taste. Sweet bakers chocolate, some lightly smokey dark roasted malts, black licorice and molasses, with some black coffee in the finish. High abv is well hidden. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Full body with low+ carbonation. Thick and viscous with just a little warmth.

Overall. A fantastic ris. Lots of chocolate which is never a bad thing for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2012 02:28:27 | More by Rutager
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

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

Thanks to cruisc for this one

Look: Black and totally opaque with a brown ring at the top of the beer. Beautiful looking 1/2 inch dark tan head with good retention

Smell: Dark chocolate and lots of alcohol and some molasses

Taste: Upfront I get a good amount of burnt malt and ash. The background has a crazy amount of dark chocolate and coffee. The flavors are big and bold and a bit over powering

Mouthfeel: Full body with medium to low carbonation

Overall: It is a beer that is a bit of a sipper. The flavors are bold and in your face so be ready for it. Definitely recommended

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 21:49:37 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of fsvan
fsvan

Tennessee

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

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Incredibly deep copper, brown. Not black, but almost. Completely impenetrable to light. A finger of nice maroonish brown head. Some maroon brown gunked up sediment is clear against the dark background. The gunk is a bit off putting, keeping this a 4 and not 4.5.

S- A unique smelling RIS. Some dark fruit. Some vanilla, almost as if this had been in oak for a very short time. Roasted malts. Some hop bitterness, but with so much going on this is a background aroma. The alcohol is present for sure, but at 12% that isn't shocking.

T- A dark fruitish beginning, followed by a wave of huge roasted malts. Hop bitterness is very present, as is the 12% alcohol. This is a great tasting stout, but as with the smell, the heat from the alcohol keeps the scores down a touch.

M- Not as huge and thick as might be expected, but still thick and very nice.

O- So, I gave this 4s across the board and a 4.5 overall. The reasoning is that for what it is, it is fantastic. And it is a big in your face, take no prisoners, RIS. The heat from the alcohol kept the scores down on smell and taste by a hair, but if you are in the market for a big, hairy stout, this is well worth the try.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 00:05:00 | More by fsvan
Photo of bonemuse07
bonemuse07

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First day of summer means I should celebrate all that is dark, right? Since we had tornado warnings tonight, the skies were certainly dark. However...

A: Poured into a large snifter. This beer was darker than the skies. Midnight black/oily--not sure light would be able to escape it. Only about 1/4 finger of head, cocoa, disappeared quickly.

S: Big dark chocolate smell, followed closely by alcohol. Some coffee, oak, and faint vanilla in there. I was expecting a little more sweetness to it, but the chocolate seems to be overpowering

T: Dark, almost burnt chocolate. The hops add an extra kick to the coffee flavors. Definitely some oak. This beer overwhelms the taste buds. Surprisingly, there's not as much of a boozy taste as I was expecting, but it definitely warms you up after a few sips. Finishes with a faint sweet aftertaste...

M: More carbonation that I was expecting, especially after so little head. Coats everything, but the coffee/bitter doesn't overwhelm. Very well balanced.

Overall: I was expecting a little more sweetness from it, but it surprised me with how full and thorough it was. This is an excellent stout. Dark Horse is rapidly becoming one of my trusted breweries, i.e. I'll try anything from them.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 03:22:38 | More by bonemuse07
Photo of Donerik
Donerik

Michigan

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

A: Black like an RIS should be, 3/8 inch head on a aggressive pour, dissipates quickly, nice lacing, good ring of foam.

S: all roast, not too many other scents.

T: Roasted Malt, Roasted Malt, then it comes in with a subtle chocolate finish, but not like hershey's syrup definitely like bitter dark chocolate.

M: thick, lightly carbonated, heavy

D: I'd drink this back to back, then I'd be buzzed, So I'd drink as many as I could, it's a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 03:03:52 | More by Donerik
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: For all intents and purposes this one pours and looks like very well-used motor oil. Angry dark mocha-brown froth leaves a minimal bit of lacing.

Smell: Roasted dark coffee, malt and very rich chocolate, and dried plums.

Taste: Opens smooth, creamy and slightly sweet and with dark roasted malt but then pours on the dark, rich chocolate and espresso. There is a note of anise and dried dates. Warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Rich and thick but lacks carbonation.

Drinkability: Danger Will Robinson.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2010 16:21:13 | More by JackieTH
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,750 ratings.