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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
896 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
896
Ratings:
3,824
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
17.02%
 
 
Wants:
555
Gots:
1,040
For Trade:
116
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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
2014 - white label with black logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner, government warning on bottom right side of label

Added by HopHead84 on 09-27-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 896 | Ratings: 3,824
Photo of fscottkey
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: [4.00] Looks jet black in the glass. I get no light penetration. It has a brown head that looks creamy and delicious. The head is much more brown than most stouts. Unfortunately it dissipates quickly. The ABV is on the label (11%). There was a bottled date but it is smudged almost completely off.

S: [3.75] Dark fruits. Plums. Some alcohol. Maybe a hint of smoke and malts.

T: [3.75] Does not follow the nose. Smokey malts. Chocolate. Some booze.

M: [4.50] The body is medium+. It is chewy and nice. There is a bit of alcohol astringency on the finish that makes it feel a little dry and tight.

O: [4.00] I held on to this one for a while - waiting for a good opportunity to try it. I was not blown away (maybe my expectations got too high). It is a solid beer. The flavor is really good. The mouthfeel is great. At 11% the alcohol is only poking in just a bit. I would probably not actively seek this out again. There are lower ABV beers that I prefer.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with light tan head
S: Dark fruit, and roasted malt
T: Follows the nose with dark fruit and roasted malt. Very juicy dark fruit, sweet, not bitter at all, and not trace of the 11% abv.
F: Creamy and smooth, but did not coat my mouth to well, and flavors faded fairly quick.
O: Good beer, glad I got to try it (can't get locally), but not going to seek it out.

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Photo of Pencible
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a pitch black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and cream with some dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like cocoa powder and roasted coffee, with some cream and a little citrus zest. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a solid stout with a simple but enjoyable scent and taste. The body was good, but the finish was a little hot, so it was better to sip. Age may help, but it's still nice enough fresh. I just don't see anything special about this beer - not worth the hype.

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Photo of joberlander
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome appearance, pitch black with rich mocha colored head. Get a lot of dark chocolate on the nose along with roasted malt. The taste follows the nose perfectly, lots of dark chocolate. Full mouth feel and great finish with a hint of alcohol (which I personally love in imperial stouts. Really great example of an imperial stout. Definitely just became a go to when I want a traditional IS. This and Ten Fidy are the benchmark IMO.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Cappy's, arrived in a snifter.

Appearance: Arrived your typical imperial stout solid black, capped with a thick head of almost dark brown foam that lingered for an impressively long time. Lacing was insane.

Smell: Dark stone fruits and chocolate leap out of the glass to smack you across the nostrils and demand your full attention. Beneath them, there's blackened grains and lightly roasted coffee, but it's the fruit and chocolate that demand attention here.

Taste: Did I mention that the fruit and chocolate are attention hogs? Because they're front and center in the taste as well, from first sip all the way through the finish. Plums, dark berries, and a mix of sweetened and super-dark chocolate dominate the flavor profile. Beneath them, swirls of lightly roasted coffee, cream, and scorched malt can be found.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full, yet with an oddly watery finish.

Overall: This is a tasty stout. I'm not sure quite how the chocolate and fruit notes dominate every other aspect, but I am not complaining.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plead the 5th

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 91/100

 186 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.
A - Pours black (surprise) with a small tan head.
S - The aroma is not very strong but I am getting some smoke and some coffee.
T - Like the nose, the flavor has some dark coffee as well as some dark chocolate. It has a bitter bite. Very nice.
M - It's not the thickest of stouts but I would not call it thin. Low carbonation.
O - This is a very good stout. Great aroma and flavor. Go drink some.

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Photo of rdipper
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant surprise! Got this as an extra in a trade. Jet black pour with a nice brown, reddish foamy head. Excellent example of a non BA stout. I'll be seeking this out in the future!

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Photo of MaximalC
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours the color of motor oil with a modest head of mocha suds. Aroma smells of peat, molasses, caramel, and nuts, with perhaps a hint of earthy hops and alcohol.

The taste features a full, intriguing malt profile including molasses, char, ash, and brown sugar. Earthy hops lend a healthy dose of bitterness that stands up to the sticky malt, while warming alcohol affords a fervent underpinning that bolsters the other flavors. Warming reveals shades of dates and figs as well. The body is nearly leaden, though the moderate carbonation and hops lend ample texture.

Overall, this is a unique and full flavored imperial stout. The burnt, ashen flavor and heavy body set it apart for sure, though the sweetness can be a little coarse down the stretch. Dark Horse makes some nice stouts, but this is justifiably their best.

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Photo of Shon4star
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque motor oil black with a two finger beautiful mocha colored head. It eventually settles to a nice thin cap that lasts the duration and leaves many hanging sheets of lacing. The smell is heavy on roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste is the same with a bit of bitterness on the back end and a slight smoked flavor in the after taste. Feel is full bodied, rich and viscous without much alcohol presence. Overall an amazing RIS. One of my favorites.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at coopers Tavern for Mad Craft Beer Week.

Renewed(my faith in double stouts, and that's no exaggeration. My tastebuds have changed vastly in the past couple of years -- I'm all about the IIPA's, now. I've been moving away from my beloved imperial stouts...

Pretty sure it's me. I've completely lost my affinity for other styles, too: tripels, BSDA's, other sweet styles. English barleywines were my drug of choice for four years, and now I don't think I can drink the 25 bottles I have in my cellar.

But I should be writing about how much I love this PT5. I don't know how to expl#it. It's very sweet, but despite my previous paragraph , I love it. More later...

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Photo of breakingbland
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle. Opaque brown with a scant brown ring of foam. The aroma is candy sweet and roasty. The taste is like the aroma with the roasty character coming to the forefront. This overall flavor is very rich and savory -- almost smoky. The hops are well-balanced with the sweet/roasty. Even though this is an RIS, the alcohol is hidden. The aftertaste is mainly roasty malt with some hops. This beer feels wonderful in the mouth: full body and smooth carbonation.

Overall, this is another great offering from Dark Horse. It definitely bumps stout up a notch or two. Will look for it again!

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Photo of justinp444
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of jewski
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Horse in snifter.

Massive roasty malt flavor. More chocolate than coffee. Dark fruit. A bit of an alcohol bite to remind you of the ABV. A bit of sweetness and enough hops to let you know they are arround. A great thick mouth feel.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a teku glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: Black with amber hues. A tan half finger head, mainly bubbles, that left in a hurry. Ample lacing.

S: Chocolate leather, toasty, malts and vanilla.

T: This one blew me away. Vanilla and fudge tango with rich, robust, toasty malts. Just divine. Didn't even share with the wife.

M: Medium with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: One of my favorite RIS's. Highly recommended.

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Photo of brureview
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark opaque coffee color on a Moa snifter with a 1/2 finger head.

Aroma: roasted malt, chocolate. I was expecting deeper chocolate as in other beers in the style, but there is a greater emphasis on roasted malt.

Mouth feel: not the usual lightly pungent IS. This beer excels at warmer temps when there is a lot of pungency and a strong biting alcoholic finish.

Taste: two stages. At first strong chocolate and roasted malt. With warming, intense alcoholic finish, less chocolate.

Overall: highly unusual for the style. More roasted malt forward. Intense with warming. This ain't your usual imperial stout. Worth checking for an alternative approach to the usual heavy chocolate, coffee, IS style.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in April 2015.

Appearance: Dark black with nice tan head.

Smell: Pleasant, and can definitely smell the roasted malt and coffee. There is some hops aroma, but it is dominated by the roasted aromas.

Taste: Interesting combination of flavors. There is a strong coffee and roasted malt flavor, but with a nice contrast of hops. But the flavor is definitely dominated by the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, and very smooth.

I really like this. This is an interesting imperial stout. It have a variety of flavors with a kick from the alcohol, but the flavor is not overpowered by the alcohol.

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Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black with an inch and a half brown head which receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Cold black coffee and chocolate.

t: Primarily ripe dark fruit, followed by a blast of smoke and moderate bitterness, which lingers on the otherwise dry finish. Later black coffee and chocolate mixed with some smokiness come to dominate.

m: Full, great body, some carbonation tingle.

o: A well-done imperial stout, everything a good one should be. Aroma and initial taste did not match, but this mattered little after the first sip or two.

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Photo of bound4er
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black appearance with a thin, tan head. Smells rich, sweet and fruity for an impy stout - dark chocolate, vanilla and bubblegum come to mind. Taste follows the nose with more chocolate, vanilla and tutti frutti sweetness. Both alcohol and hops are well hidden though the former is good but the latter is not in my book. Rich and creamy mouthfeel with almost no carbonation. This beer is rich and tasty but its sweetness and lack of any detectable hops to clean up the finish makes it a bit tiring to finish a 12 oz. bottle in one sitting.

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Photo of RickS95
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark and thick. Not even brown around the edges. The beer was on tap, so the head was non-descript.

Smelled like dark chocolate cake. You can almost smell the sweetness. Faint coffee, but the chocolate is the star.

Tastes like it smells with lots of roasted malts, including chocolate. No real hop presence. Again, chocolate cake comes to mind.

Thick, creamy and smooth. An almost complete lack of bitterness makes this beer attractive with a chocolate dessert. The sweetness is very prevalent, but never crosses the line due to the high ABV.

An amazingly easy beer to get down. A perfect dessert or after dinner beer. Alcohol is fairly well hidden so it works any time of the year.

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Photo of Gear54
4.84/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Ale Emporium in Indianapolis

Pitch black pour with 1/2 finger of kaki head and light lace left on the glass.

Aroma is coffee and chocolate predominantly with roasted malts and black licorice present in the back ground. Slight amount of booze as well.

Taste: wow! This beer is like drinking chocolate cake! Dark chocolate and roasted malt with coffee flavor and maybe a touch of carmel at the end. Just a touch of alcohol mixes well enough with the flavor to not cause any ill will toward the flavor.

Feel is good as well. Lasting flavors coat the mouth and the chocolate is rich and smooth. I could drink several of these and be happy!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.94/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance : . Like "10,000 miles on conventional oil coming out of the sump" dark. Completely obsidian, opaque, no light escaping this cosmic black hole of beerdom. The three fingered head is rocky, just plain thick, leaves an almost impenetrable looking crown from the top down, and is almond/beige/muddy colored. Just gorgeous. This is what it's about, friends.

Aroma : Obviously the bouquet is loud as I can smell it from here on the side table. Bringing it closer, I curl a smile. Chocolate, fresh brownies, coffee bean, cocoa powder, dark roasted malts. I don't think Starbucks could craft a better roasted smell than this awesome aroma. Just fabulous. Even after the coffee aroma, melted chocolate comes in at the end as well.

Flavor : Oh dear Lord. This might be my favorite stout. Slapping the arm of the recliner, with a grin on my face, I taste waves of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted cocoa bean, chocolate syrup, milk, oatmeal, with just a faint bite of hop if only to create the feeling of sharpness. The alcohol burn comes at the end but you don't taste it - you feel it, and it leaves fire tingling on your tongue as the roasted chocolate just dries like primer.

Mouthfeel : Yes, another homerun here. Medium-to-full bodied, almost a wall there, it borders on chewy, but just fills the mouth with creamy, dark goodness. It ends semi-dry but not too dry - just the right amount of dry.

Overall : Hitting on all cylinders, this stout is now my favorite of ALL TIME. This stout is absolutely groundbreakingly amazing. For $12 a 4 pack, who wouldn't buy this stuff. Just fabulous. Get you some now.

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Photo of gsmit
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is one full bodied beer.

A little bite at first, but mellows out into a vanilla and malt and caramel?

A little bitterness at the end... Leaving you wanting more.

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Photo of YeahRightt
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark, motor oil with a bronze head that laces nicely on the glass.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate are heavy on the nose with the malts in the background. Clean and earthy without too much bitterness.

Taste: Charred coffee notes with chocolate and apparent boozy flavor. A bit too much sweetness in my taste, but there is a decent balance of flavor. Each sip seems to shift from a booze-dominated taste to a charred coffee taste that I couldn't decide how I felt about. Good dessert beer.

Feel: A nice creamy mouthfeel that doesn't make the brew difficult to drink or too much of a sipper.

Overall: A bit underwhelming in terms of my expectation, but still a great RIS. I have a bottle of the BA Pt5th that I am excited to drink now that I have a sense of the brew's flavor profile.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.