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
96
world-class

3,477 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 3,477
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 553
Gots: 909 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,477 | Reviews: 839
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 5th and final installment of what should be called an epic series of stouts. And what a beer to end on.

A- Super black, Ive seen thicker and darker but this is close to the darkest. You can pour this baby as rough as you like and still will only get a small tan head that doesnt last very long. Im getting no lacing.

S- Nice smell. Very sweet and chocolatey. Behind the chocolate and roasted malts is a rubbing alcohol smell. There is a lot of dark fruits, brown sugar and vanilla.

T- Very smooth and creamy. This beer seems like it is more than just a simple RIS. You would think it has chocolate or vanilla or milk sugars added. I was shocked to see that the ABV was 12%. There is lots of vanilla, chocolate and dark fruits along with brown sugar and a milky sweetness.

M- Full bodied but not insanely thick. The carbonation is very low, especially towards the end of the glass. This is one creamy smooth beer.

D- The ABV is insanely hidden. This makes for a dangerous stout. It drinks like a cream stout and packs a punch like the big RIS that it is. I have not yet had all of this series but this is my favorite so far.

Photo of CarbonIS
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As with most beers from Dark Horse, this imperial stout is a step above the others. Pouring a dark, creamy black, almost to the consistancy or oil, the Plead the 5th bottles that I have had recently have had the perfect amount of carbonation (or lack there of). Creamy and malty in feel, the aromas of this imperial stout smell of intense coffee and chocolate, but thankfully lack the intense bitterness of other imperial stouts that smell so strongly of coffee. Drinkability is fantastic, rich, almost chewy, and smooth. My basis for comparison, while it may be a high standard, for all other imperial stouts.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle split with onix1agr and the old lady. Thanks for the chance bud.

A- super thick murky black liquid with dark brown edges. Small coffee colored skin of foam that vanishes to a ring around the top.

S- deep dark roasted malts giving off tons of chocolate and coffee. Lots of brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Some bright hits of hops but very mild. A underlying rose like floral quality with warming.

T- chocolate cover rasberries and a cup of espresso. Brown sugar over grapefruit and a bit of toasted wood.

M- chewy and thick with a good amount of carb that lift the syrup and keeps thing lively.

D- its a huge beer with a lot of complexity for sure but easy on ya. Great for enjoying with some friends.

Photo of krisandajt
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!

Photo of semibaked
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours super thick and black with just a bit of dark brown foam on top, looks like it is flat.

S - Big smell of coffee, roasted malts, molasses, dark fruits, and booze. Good stuff.

T - A lot of dark roasted malts, coffee, and molasses, but the booze being there but not as strong as the smell was.

M - Great full body, rich and thick mouthfeel, a lot of chewiness and just slight carbonation.

D - This is a good stout for sure, good balance of flavors and probably my favorite beer from Dark Horse so far.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet, inky black. Thin tan head holds for a couple minutes then fades to a thin ring, leaving a few spots of lace.

Nice roasty aroma. A bit of dark fruit, and some vinous notes. Some dark chocolate near the end. A whiff of alcohol.

A bit of sweetness up front. Roasty, maybe some espresso and bittersweet chocolate. Darker fruit is restrained. Alcohol shows some warmth at the end.

Full body. Lower carbonation. Nice and chewy. A very solid beer.

Photo of oregonskibum
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Poured a dark black with a thin tan head that quickly died down to a ring around the edge of the glass. The ring around the end stayed around for a while.

S: Deep rich chocolate flavors, molasses, toasted malts. Also a hint of dark cherry or maybe raisin. Lots going on. Perhaps a little spiciness in the background as well.

T: More rich sweet, chocolate dominates the taste with just a touch of roasted coffee in the background. Healthy malt backbone with only a touch of bitterness on the finish. Nice, although maybe a touch on the sweet side.

M: Big, smooth, rich, chewy. But not in a bad way. Very creamy with low carbonation. Perfect for style.

D: Wow, this was good. Could easily enjoy this one again. Very low alcohol presence for a 12% brew. Nice.

Photo of RJay
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.

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

I was excited to see this new entry to Dark Horse's stout series. I picked up a 4-pack at the Liquor Stop in Highland, IN.

Poured thick and black. The smell had my mouth watering for the first taste; which was outstanding. I'm looking forward to picking up a few more 4-packs...

One of the best stouts I've ever had! Well done, Dark Horse!

Photo of Lunch
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle acquired in a trade into my DFH snifter at the appropriate temperature (03/21/10).

A: Pours nearly black and extremely thick and viscous. Little head and no retention to speak of, but some nice thick and syrupy legs are left behind. An extremely thick and sticky sediment clump is left at the bottom of the glass.

S: Rich aroma of chocolate, molasses, sweet booze, roasted malt, and cocoa.

T: The flavor profile is an exact mirror of the bouquet chocolate and some sweet booze hitting the palate first (reminiscent of DFH WWS, but toned down). Layers of molasses, roasted malt, and cocoa are left behind along with a tinge of alcohol in the finish.

M: Very full-bodied and extremely thick. Creamy and low carbonation.

D: We will just say that it took me some time to finish this 12oz. bottle, but it was a nice experience.

Overall this was one of the thickest beers I can remember and certainly one that is big on flavor. Recommended.

Photo of number1bum
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to mymrnngjckt for a bottle of this.

Pours pitch black and quite thick looking. Completely opaque. Generates about one finger of dark tan head which settles to only a thin, patchy lace. No real stick on the sides.

Smell at first is big on the fruit, with some nice berry aromas in particular; black currants come to mind, plus maybe some strawberries and dark cherry. Lots of roasted malt as well, and some dark, fudgy chocolate. .Quite a lot going on in this nose; it's complex and really nice.

Taste is also complex and just bursting with flavor. I get the berry flavors that the nose revealed; tastes like some blackberry with a bit of blueberry and strawberry too. Big chocolaty and roasty flavors, with a good amount of fudgy sweetness that is cut by some roasty bitterness. Goes together nicely.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and viciously thick and chewy. Very creamy, with soft carbonation. Just a hint of alcohol heat creeps in at times.

I've not been a big fan of a lot of Dark Horse beers I've tried but this one is excellent. Tons of flavor and really smooth and drinkable for such a huge imperial stout. I think I will be looking out for this one again. thanks Kevin!

Photo of alleykatking
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from 12oz bottle. Had during the Dark Horse tasting. Part five of the stout series.

A- Pours motor oil black. One finger mocha color frothy head dies down to nothing rather quickly. Sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts in the front of this in a big way. Big burntness to this with some light chocolate notes in the back end that mixes very well with the roasted malts in this beer in the aroma.

T- Big roasted malts in the front end of this beer. This is a chewy beer and it makes itself known. Some light chocolate notes come into play along with some light almost anise notes as well. Mostly big in flavor with roasted malts though.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is lacking a little but makes for the beer to be just a little more heavy. Roasted malts come through the aftertaste and all over the palate. Still a little hot but very good still. Alcohol in here dries out the tongue with every sip.

D- This was my favorite out of the five stouts. Dark Horse really knocked this one out of the park. Aaron and the boys did a fine job with all the stouts and well...I will be buying them all up before I have to wait until next year.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark black with a decent amount of caramal brown foam forming the duvel glass. The taste is of very subtle dark chocolate with a hint of espresso like coffee. Very damn smooth and no indication of the 12% at all. Very nice beer and easy to drink. Glad I have another bottle of these left. Dark Horse is impressing me a lot so far.

Photo of Popkas
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is pitch black and started with no apparent head but towards the end of the pour, a very attractive tan head bubbled up. Nose is of roasted malts and bits of bitter chocolate and a touch of booze. Taste is of roasted malts and grain, chocolate and again some booze. Thick body that coats the mouth. Pretty nice brew overall that seems to be improving as it warms.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a large chalice. This is a dark black color with a silky, creamy head. Smell is sweet, dark cocoa powder.

Taste is a complex mix of dark chocolate, raisin, and molasses. Alcohol is present, but blends in well enough to not be overbearing. Finishes slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth.

Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Liberty St for $5/pint. Appeared pitch black with a brown cascading head. Damn, this is rich stout. Still, it wasn't cloying or too thick to have more than a few ounces like DFH World Wide Stout. It has a big chocolate cake taste that reminds me of 3F Dark Lord - though smoother and not quite as complex. This beer might benefit from a little more cellaring, it's just not as flavorful as the great imperial stouts. Still, it's fairly drinkable for the style and makes for a good dessert beer. Vanilla ice cream anyone?

Photo of mattcrill
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark cocoa, roasty nose up front. Bready yeast aromatics in the background. Dark fruit esters and some warming alcohol notes flood the nose. Milk chocolate aromatics as the beer warms up.

Appearance: Deep brown pour with a tan sudsy head. Impressive lacing and a bit of legs as the beer is swirled.

Flavor: Dark chocolate and cocoa, espresso with cream, and roasted grain flavors all up front. Just a touch of dark carmel to provide the counterpoint to all the roasted goodness. Balance is firmly toward the bitter roasted flavors. Finish is bone dry.

Mouthfeel: Big, velvety, slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation. Warming alcohol but it's well knit with the flavor. Can definitely feel it coating the tongue.

Overall impression: Wow! Perfect sipper for this cloudy, cool spring day. I'll definitely be enjoying this again as long as we can get it in Ohio. Good stuff.

Photo of SrMonkey
3.15/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an inky black, with minimal brown head despite pouring straight down the glass. Aroma of roasted malts and a hint of baker's chocolate. Flavor starts thin and acidic, like burnt coffee, progressing to herbal hop bitterness and finally a nice smoky malt finish that lingers. For 12% it was pretty watery, maybe had to do with it being undercarbonatef as well.

Expectations given the ABV were that this would be thick, sweet brew. Instead it was acidic, dry, flat and thin. The only aspect that distinguished it for me was the pleasant smoky finish.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a compeletely opaque black liquid that resembles a thick viscous motor oil. The head is a dark brown color, almost mocha like and very thick and creamy looking. The retention is ok and lingers for about a half a minute with a thick creamy lace covering the glass and falling a bit slower than the head itself

S-the nose is fair in strength and seems very sweet and slightly boozy. A hint of dark bitter chocolate and molasses tickles the nose lightly. Dark fruits of prunes and some lightly rum soaked raisins comes in at the back and is really the foundation for this aroma.

T-the taste is big and more balanced than the nose. The sweetness of prunes and raisin set in first. Lots of dark, slightly bitter chocolate has a good hold in the middle as the molasses adds a bit of complexity to the taste. The finish brings more of the same dark fruits with a hint of booze and a small hop balance with a light hop bitterness.

M-this has a nice full body and is extremely smooth and brings a nice creamy texture. Just enough carbonation to hold the body and give it a nice clean finish.

D-I love a big creamy stout and this lives up to that. It has hints of booze but nothing that really detracts from the overall great drink that this proves to be. The nose was a little sweet but the beer brought a great balance and complexity.

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part 5 of my Trilogy (apologies to D. Adams), the big boy of the lot. A 12 oz bottle from the Brass Rail.

A: This stout, the biggest of the lot, is an oily black color that absorbs all wavelengths on the spectrum. A reddish red, at least at first, measures up to 1/2 a finger. As it settles, the red colors slip aaway.

S: Roasted, more so than any other in the series, malts are thick and dark. A chocolatey sweetness runs alongside the malts, loosening the nose up.

T: The strength of the stout creates a big body, thick and chewy at time, that can't hide its strength. Coffee and anise, bold and sweet, mix with cocoa powder, toast and heavily-roasted grains. Very sweet, the stout is filling and rarely skimps on flavor. There are a few dead spots where the flavor trails off unexpectedly. The burnt grains linger long on the palate, a morass of anise, coffee and charred bread.

M: The stout is very imperial, robust from first sip to last. I let it sit out for about an hour, allowing it to breath and come to room temperatute (a very good idea).

D: A great way to finish my horizontal run through the Dark Horse seasonal stouts. A warming stout that packs a nice punch.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.
A: Jet black with a chocolate head, which died to a good lace.
S: Chocolate mocha, burnt malts, and rum raisin.
T: It is a sweet stout, with raspberries and a brandy/bourbon alcohol. Nothing lingers, oddly. The chocolate and mocha flavors are not overpowering.
M: Creamy, yet clean and frothy. It is an awesome blend of really good textures.
D: Excellent.

Photo of Wildman
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured almost black and created a huge dark chocolate foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it slowly subsided. An aroma of malt, coffee, chocolate and anise. The flavor was of malt, anise, chocolate and a hint of coffee. The body is medium light and the finish a bit sweet with the alcohol present in the background. Another nice beer from them and hopefully on tap sometime when I visit again.

Photo of organicbrewer
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-Jet black. one finger brown head. Nice.

S-ground coffee. Melted chocolate.

T-More chocolate. Nice toasty malt backbone behind the roast. Less coffee in the flavor than in the aroma. Bitter but not hoppy. Could use a bit more bitterness to cut through the sweetness (IMHO).

M-Thick. Medium carbonation. No alcohol burn. Nice for 12%

D-a great impy stout. thick and chewy with lots of dark chocolate and malt. Could use a bit more hop to cut the sweetness, or not.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Corsedonk snifter. Pours a thick black color, wow...a lot thicker than I expected. This is definitely a RIS! Small light brown head, dissipates pretty quick. Fizzy quick sliding lacing lines the glass after each sip.

Aroma is huge with booze, burnt coffee, and chocolate. A slight overripe fruit resemblance as well. Smells great! The warmer it gets, the stronger the fruit smell gets.

Wow! Great taste. Huge chewy/thick mouthfeel. Full bodied, warm booze, low carbonation, THICK chocolate taste! Lot's of chocolate, burnt coffee, dark fruit sweetness, and a heck of a lot of booze! This is indeed a very good RIS!

Photo of westweasel
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out a super thick, motor oil like liquid with a faint ring of tan bubbles on the edge of the surface and a small spiral like rorschach figure of bubbles in the middle of the surface.
The beer has great "legs" as you move it around in the glass.

The aroma is filled with thick, rich dark chocolate, and dark bing cherries. There is a slight bit of coffee-like roastiness that becomes much more prominent as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel is full and thick with very little carbonation.

The flavors are a mixture of sweet dark roasted grains and coffee, dark chocolate, and dark bing cherries. There is just enough bitterness and roastiness to keep the beer from being cloying. It's kinda of close though.

This is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer. As it warms, it becomes sweeter and more coffee-like.

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,477 ratings.