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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

3,076 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,076
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 520
Gots: 717 | FT: 79
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: 3,076 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TasteTester
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from Younger35. Thanks bud.

A-Dark body, oily consistency. Not a bit of head to speak of. No lacing.

S-Too much alcohol overtones. Other than that, chocolaty.

T-Alcohol will kick your a**. Heavy in the right places. Stick to your ribs good.

M-Thick and sticky. Not much else to it.

D-Be careful with this one. I could probably stomach 3 or 4 then call it a night.

TasteTester, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of stabzmcgee
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.Pours an opaque black with little lacing of tan head. Aroma is bittersweet with roasted malts and somewhat unsweetened chocolate and some plum. Tastes sweet and chocolaty with a hint of fig. Palate is slick and bitter. Overall this beer is quite drinkable for a 12% RIS.

stabzmcgee, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of cfrances33
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bottle, poured into a snifter.

Pour: Pitch black and oily. A finger of mocha head slowly rises and recedes to a rim, leaving a slight amount of lacing along the way. Good lookin stout.

Smell: Lots of bitter roasted malt up front, with some coffee and dark chocolate, and a touch of booze. Some dark fruits crawl out as it warms.

Taste: Nice roasted coffee and dark chocolate. A touch of bitterness. Dark chewy raisins and a light burning alcohol. Finishes with a lingering roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Big, thick, and chewy. A definite sipper. A bit of alcohol heat, but not a ton.

Overall: A solid RIS, but no where near in the league of its big brother from bourbon barrels.

cfrances33, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle with a slow pour gave little head. Near black in color. Somewhat of a char-coal smell, hints of chocolate. Silky smooth, not heavy mouth feel. Plenty of coco, roasted flavors to cover the high alcohol. I left over smokey flavor in the end. Overall a very tastey easy to drink brew.

mtnbikerpa, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of warmstorage
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, acquired in a great trade with jw347. Thanks!

Appearance: Deep opaque black, with moderate to solid medium brown, moderately dense head that leaves significant lacing. Beautiful.

Aroma: roasty boozy deep stonefruit tangy.

Taste: cherries coffee roasty toasty grain, some nuttiness, with a distinct bitterness, almost a sourness, on the finish. Hints at cherries.

Mouth: Very smooth, almost slick, full, moderately warm.

Overall: Very tasty and very drinkable, and something I'd like to have again.

warmstorage, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a modest tan head that quickly becomes a ringlet and archipelago but leaves behind copious amounts of lace

Smell: A bit boozy, with dark chocolate, licorice and charcoal

Taste: Dark chocolate up front, with developing elements of raisin, prunes, citrus and coffee; after the swallow, the citrusy bitter flavors emerge to balance the big malt profile; fruity chocolate at the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, with low carbonation

Drinkbility: A well-constructed RIS that is balanced and flavorful

brentk56, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of Mistofminn
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another bottle made possible by iconoklaztor. Don I cannot thank you enough.

Poured into a tulip glass, this is deep opaque black color with about a one finger dark brown head that has decent retention. Eventually, all that is left is a small ring, which surprisingly leaves nice lacing here and there.

The nose on this is dark dried fruits and licorice. Strange, I was expecting more of a maltier character, but the dominant smell here is definitely dried dark fruit and licorice. I also get a lightly toasted malt and sweet malt character, along with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee.

Much like the nose, the taste is also dominated by dark dried fruits and licorice. Not exactly what I was expecting, but tasty none the less. In the background, there is a subtle toasted malt and earthy hop character. All the typical imperial stout characteristics are there, but they are subtle and hidden by other flavours. Very complex and tasty if I do say so myself.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, full bodied with a low carbonation. Slides down my throat, and coats my mouth. Drinkability is good, I can see myself finishing multiple of these in a night.

Overall, not my favorite Dark Horse brew, but it's definitely a good one. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Minnesota get's this brew, so next time I see it I'm going to buy a whole bunch, as I bet time only makes this brew better.

Mistofminn, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of ckeegan04
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, near black. Head is a solid finger of dark brown foam that slowly fades to leave a thin brown cap behind. Minimal carbonation leaves the beer rather still looking.

S - Dark chocolate, dark bread and roasted malts. A bit of burnt sugar as well. Alcohol is certainly present but it lies well masked beneath the other aromas.

T - Roasted malts provide a touch of astringent bitterness up front. Some dark fruits come through quickly along with a bit of molasses and burnt sugar. Surprisingly sweet in the finish. The roasted malts are the dominant taste, but the other flavors all mix in nicely.

M - Medium to full bodied with a rather creamy feel. Just a touch of lively carobnation in each sip.

O - Another excellent stout from the folks at Dark Horse. I was a touch dissapointed by their IPA offerings that I have had, but the few stouts I have had have all been top notch.

ckeegan04, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of Bighuge
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Inky black body. Tight crown of dark brown foam. Lacing is spotty.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, anise oil, dark currant, black licorice and heavily roasted coffee bean.

Flavor: All the aromas translate nicely to the palate in this beer. The chocolate and coffee and licorice. Yeah, there's a nice combination of flavors here.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Greasy and oily to an extent, which is good. But where's the body? The girth? This beer needs more heft. Carbonation is appropriately low. Alcohol accents nicely and doesn't become toxic at all in this high octane beer. Nicely done beer overall.

Bighuge, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of drxandy
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to snifter, pours a deep dark opaque black, deep brown head fades to lacing

smells of roasty malts, bitter chocolate, alcohol

tastes of bakers chocolate, bitter, roasty peaty earth, sweet lactose? maybe flaked grains?, heavy and sweet, hop resins linger, malts are blended well, reminds me more of an american double with the amount of hops, but could be a young bottle - mmm

mouthfeel is heavy roasty lingering bitterness, rich and thick, yum

drxandy, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of WankelEngine
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce glass into a pint glass

A: Completely opaque and black. No light coming though the sides at all. There is a dark tan head of about one finger with a reddish tint that disappears over the course of a minute or two.

S: Smells malty and sweet with a powerful bouquet of dark fruits. There is a bit of chocolate and coffee to the nose as well as the scent of alcohol.

T: Though the fruit from the smell is still present, it is less prominent. The focus has shifted to a dry chocolate flavor. The flavor of coffee adds a little bitterness to the brew and complements the chocolate well. I can taste next to no hops, but the malt flavors are intricate and balanced all on their own.

M: Fairly thick with very little carbonation. Slightly syrupy.

O: A malty yet balanced experience. A “big” beer, not an everyday thing.

WankelEngine, Jun 12, 2011
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.

brstls4drmrs, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of micromaniac129
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I gave this beer an aggressive pour and i was rewarded with a tall mocha head. I also watched as the Guiness effect unfolded, quite pleasing.
Appearance other then that was rather standard.
Aroma was rich with nice depth. Really lots of roasted goodness. Hints of vinnilla and coffee some chocolate too perhaps.
Taste was good lots of roastedness, chocolate and coffee. There was an earth taste too.
This beer also has a lighty sweeten taste which i think nulls the alcohol profile because at 12 percent it is almost absent from the tasting, which could be dangerous.
The feel on the palette is flat, velvetty flat which I did not like. Restrained alcohol warms and coats the tongue.
I'd say all in all a pretty damn good beer, but be fore warned alcohol wise it drinks small.

micromaniac129, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of Kruja5
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%

Kruja5, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of 1Adam12
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice color when pouring it from the bottle to my mug. Small carmel colored head. The nose wasn't as strong as I was epecting, but coffee was out front. Nice taste, can really taste chocolate and coffee, but was lighter than i expected, but may be due to drinking many bourbon barrel aged stouts the last few nights. This had a little more carbonation than the stouts that i am used to from a strong stout. I can really catch the hops on the finish and the aftertaste lingers nicely of coffee. This was my only bottle and i do look forward to getting more of it.

1Adam12, May 12, 2011
Photo of cokes
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours like ink into the glass- this is as black as it gets- as a moderate brown froth emerges and then sticks around a while.
The nose brings gobs of vanilla, cedar, and milk chocolate. The booze quotient is here, but it's subdued. Same with the roastedness.
It's slinks through the mouth, coating it in a caramel-milk chocolate-vanilla nougat bath. Mild roasted coffee bean follow in its wake. Fruitiness is minimal, with just a trace of blueberry and chocolate covered bourbon cherries. As such woody traits are large, emphasizing the illusory oak and cedar. Tasted blind, I'd have sworn this spent time in a barrel. Hops are mostly there for balancing bitterness, but peppery bits of grass and wintergreen appear late. It has a good deal of bourbon suggestions, but not necessarily due to a forward alcohol presence. It here, no doubt, but it is far from uncouth.
Full, fatly sleek, glossy bodied, with a minor trickle of CO2.
It seems to push toward that epic, gigantic mouth paint type Imperial Stout, that a person can still taste 12 hours later. This lacks the over-pronounciation of flavor (specifically roast/char and dark fruit) in order to achieve it. Though, the forces the focus to shift towards the secondary, more nuanced flavors, that would normally be obscured, and probably wins because of it.

cokes, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A: Gentle pour creates a .5 finger dark clay head the dissipates with the slightest movement. Beer is opaque and dark as night, though doesn't seem as viscous as most. Lacing sticks closely to the top of the brew. Spotty and stringy at parts but with little cling.

S: Sweet milk chocolate and cocoa nibs. Slight soy sauciness, prunes, and raisins. Boozy all the way but not overly so, just enough to glaze over the other aromas.

T: Toasted malts and cocoa beans. This one actually kinda tastes like sweet soy sauce too... which is a first. Prunes and raisins hide themselves in the background but peak out just a bit towards the middle. Heat becomes more apparent as this beer warms in my mouth. Licquorice and sweet milk chocolate at the end with an accented, spicy finish. Aftertaste is an oily prune juice and hot chocolate.

M: Medium to full bodied, lightly carbonated, and viscous and oily in the mouth, just the way its meant to be. Very smooth and not hot at all considering the 12% abv. Finish is quick but aftertaste leaves a nice, sticky residue on the palate that builds with each sip.

D: A very solid RIS to say the least. Complex flavor, great body, and a huge alcohol kick with an appropriate presence. Dangerously drinkable. Seek this one out. Its a little under the radar but definitely worth the effort!!

SpeedwayJim, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of mdvatab
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in local trade from Barfwin.
Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Rich, dark, molasses maltiness up front. This maltiness floods the nostrils with each whiff. Some fruity grape jam notes with some cocoa.

Appearance: Pitch black opaque body. Forms dark brown 1/2 finger head, which depletes to almost nothing very quickly.

Flavor: Rich, dark chocolate brownie, light sweetness balanced w/ cocoa bitterness. Dark fruity notes similar to aroma. Some grape soda. Slight earthiness noted on finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Thick, syrupy viscosity. Medium CO2 w/ more bite than normal for this style.

Overall: Definitely worthy of the praise this one receives. Chewy, malty, rich, imperial stout. Alcohol is well hidden. Thick, rich viscosity is one of my favorite aspects of this brew!

mdvatab, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra twice in one week from SpdKilz and LusciousJackson so thanks to both of them! Can't find a bottle on date. Enjoyed on 07/16/11.

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. This thing is seriously motor oil. Pitch black and thick with no head at all. Only a small ring of brown bubbles around the edge of the glass. Great legs with no lacing.

S - Alcohol, chocolate syrup, robust coffee, roasted malts. This thing is going to be quite rich.

T - Dark chocolate, alcohol, coffee, some dark fruits, roasted malts. Thick and rich. Finishes with a nice bitter coffee flavor balanced by some sweet chocolate syrup. This thing is quite hot at the moment though.

M - Mouthfeel is quite good. Very very thick with hardly any carbonation. This is a sipper for sure.

O - Overall, this is an excellent imperial stout. However, it's a little hot at the moment, but I'm sure after about a year or so, it will be sublime. Good job, Dark Horse.

Janderson91, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of Xul
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kstrickler for the extra!

A: Pours almost pitch black with hints of light on the edges, revealing trails of carbonation making their way up through the beer. Head is approximately one finger of fizzy, mocha colored foam that quickly settles down to a thin layer capping the beer.

S: Strong semisweet chocolate up front, followed by moderate roasted notes with some coffee lurking therein, vanilla, and some dark fruits - cherries mostly. The chocolate is dominant, but not quite overpowering.

T: Boozy notes up front, but dark chocolate overtakes fairly quickly. Dark fruits - cherries, raisins, and plums - come in on the mid-palate along with roasted malts and coffee, before giving way to a finish of vanilla and cocoa.

M: Thick and chewy with low carbonation, it coats the mouth on the way down and leaves a long finish.

D: The ABV and long finish keep it to sipping, but it's by no means a tough drinker.

Xul, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of johnson27
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stumbled upon this stout at the 'healthy' food store and thought I'd give it a try. I have always been a 'stout' fan, and just now branching out from the normal ones I can find on tap at the local pub.

A: Wonderful full black color, pours thick with just a bit of froth

S: Not overpowering, but had a healthy aroma....nutty, and had a tinge of 'smoke' to it.

T: Tasted smooth and clean, not as I would expect from a 12% ABV

M: Smooth and clean. No bitter aftertaste

O: I will have to stock up on these, but hide the car keys...it sneaks up on you quick.

johnson27, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Etan
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz extra sent to me by Zaphog. Thanks!

A: Pours an imposing black with a nice dark tan head.

S: Coffee, roasted grain, dark chocolate, some nice cherry notes from the alcohol.

T: Bitter roast, mild coffee bean, subtle smokiness, heavy dark cocoa, ever-so-slight hint of booze. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

M: Silky smooth, fine carbonation, thick.

O: The beer excels in the mouthfeel department, and tastes good, but there's a bit too much roasted malt going on.

Etan, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had no idea Dark Horse distributed to Indiana until a couple of weeks ago, and Double Crooked Tree was rockin. Now on their famous Plead the 5th? Can’t wait.

A: I can’t even see through the beer as it’s flowing thick from the bottle; dark black motor oil body. It looks excessively viscous. The head is rich reddish-brown, oily and just a hair lighter than the body. Smooth and about a half-inch high, the retention stays around for a while. Little lacing, though.

S: Holy hell, that’s a boozy beer. Layers upon layers of pepper, pungent bourbon, roasted malt, and lots of char come up. Excessively fiery. There’s some black cherry, hazelnut, dark chocolate, toffee, and more than enough smoky peat, too – killer smokiness against some rich sweets. Ends piney, though the main body of this robust nose is alcohol and spice.

T: Vanilla, chocolate fondue, fondant, strawberry shortcake, and molasses; starts creamy. Lasting just a quick second, the sugar is overcome by a thorny bitterness: pine, booze, fig, licorice, and spicy alcohol with a moment or two of cough syrup tongue-smacking character. Some smoky flavors are there, as well, but without the big roast tastes of the nose; satisfying, nonetheless. Finishes with that thought, as well as a caramel stickiness, a chalky yeast flavor, and some light hop fruitiness.

M: Hot, though wonderfully creamy. Astringency is dark, lifting the sugary tastes off the tongue to avoid stickiness.

O: A great stout; it’s a showcase for the often-limited smoke tastes of imperial stouts. Glad I had this fresh – some age would just empower the big ol’ booze character. Like I need any more excuses to drink the rest of my four-pack…

BarryMFBurton, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of JeffBrenner
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft in 10oz goblet. Pours a jet black with next to no carbonation. Minimal dark ring of head. Has a nice smell of chocolate and coffee. Surprisingly smooth for coming in at 11%. The coffee stout taste really hides the boozyness well. Has a nice smooth feel to it, not too creamy like a lot of stouts. Love the name. Would definitely be a repeat buyer and I'm not usually a fan of stouts.

JeffBrenner, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

921st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12oz

2011 Bottle

Thanks to Kzoobrew for this one!

Happy Stout Day! 11/3/11

App- A good dark chocolate pour with a one finger semi brown fast receding head. Maybe 4 dots of cling on the whole glass. A very liquid lush pour

Smell- Smells like a small abyss with a good bit of luscious chocolate, malt, cream and a little boozy. Okay I lied. ALOT boozy. I like it.

Taste- I have had this profile before but this one just tastes good. A good bit of heavy cream with roasty espresso and a bit of dark chocolate with some vanilla.

Mouth- This was a low medium body with a good bit of a low/medium creamy carbonation. A bit of a bubbly heavy cream.

Drink- I like this one alot. For 12% this was smooth rich and creamy. A bit boozy but I like that in my high ABV stouts. Has a nice balance between the roast, chocolate and creaminess. I would love to see the BBA version. I bet its amazing. Kevin, again thank you for this one! Super tasty.

FosterJM, Nov 04, 2011
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,076 ratings.