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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:
3,826
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
555
Gots:
1,039
For Trade:
118
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: 3,826
Photo of upton7418
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into tulip snifter- 2015 version

L- Black body with light tan head. leave a nice lacing

S- dark malts and a strong alcohol smell

T- strong alcohol with light malts

M- light carbonation with a thick body

O- not much complexity to this beer average stout there are better variations of this style available. I'm glad I tried this but expected more based on the reviews.

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Photo of uvachief
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Like many other reviewers, I did not feel this beer lives up to the hype. For the money, Founders RIS is better. Poured from a 12oz bottle chilled into a brandy snifter. Pours a deep black with barely a finger of tan head from an aggressive pour. Head dissipated quickly. No oily residue on top. Smells of dark bitter chocolate, hops, and dark fruits. Little to no coffee smell. Taste is much thinner in the mouth than I would have preferred with hardly any coffee or espresso finish. Dark roasted malts, toffee, bitter dark chocolate and hops. No vanilla. Dark fruits like raisins or plums/prunes. Hoppy and slightly bitter after taste. This is not my preferred RIS. It's very good but not great.

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Photo of ryanmextorf
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good offering here. Very reminiscent of a fresh Founders Imperial Stout for me. Gonna put a good year or two of age on this and see what it does.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a pitch black color, opaque, absolutely no light showing through. Half inch head faded pretty quickly but left a thin tan film that laced nicely. The smell is chocolate, raisins, coffee, and some dark roasted malts. The taste is pretty close to the smell, with the dark chocolate and coffee flavors more dominant, and the dark fruit flavors a bit more in the background. I'm also getting a bit of heat from the alcohol. The mouthfeel was kinda thin, but very creamy, with a nice bit of carbonation. Overall, very good beer, not sure it is worth the $4.99 price tag for a 12 oz bottle though.

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Photo of Billolick
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle - 2014 version

Pours near black, lasting dark mocha head

Black coffee and chocolate all over the nose

More of the same as this crusher flows over the palate. Waves of dark chocolate and coffee. Dense and flavorful. I'd like to dry it with a chocolate dessert. World class night capper

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Photo of Bone53
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pretty much black with a light brown head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Dark fruits, roasted/chocolate malts, caramelized sugar, alcohol. Not as robust as i had hoped

Taste: Dark fruits upfront, roasted malts and slight chocolate mid palate, with a hoppy finish. My favorite RIS has a rich espresso-like finish, and this doesnt have that.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and very thin for a RIS. Although i get a touch of the alcohol, it goes down too easy. I expect a beer in this style to be viscous and chewy, and this doesnt give me that satisfaction. Also a bit of bitterness on the finish

Overall: I think this beer is overrated to be quite honest with you. It has a decent amount of the roasted malt, chocolate qualities you want in an imperial stout, but its not up there with Founders IS, Expedition, Ten Fidy, or even Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout in my opinion. I found the mouthfeel to be lacking as well as its very thin and not as luscious as a beer in this style should be. Still a solid RIS and should cellar well

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Photo of KostyaK
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/15/15 dated bottle poured into a teku

A: pitch black, with an attractive, though quickly disappearing dark tan head
S: strong dark coffee dominates, with hints of bitter chocolate & charred wood
T: definitely boozy, in a good way. More strong coffee, charred red meat, with virtually no sweetness to speak of
M: a bit thin, with pleasant carbonation. It coats the tastebuds, lingering there like an old friend
O: definitely a stellar example of the style, but to be fair, it can't really compare to the bigger & bolder BA & adjunct brethren.

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Photo of CoffeePorter
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very thin stout with notes of roasted malt flavors combined with some sweetness. Starts off sweet and then finishes with a burnt like dry aftertaste which complements the flavors nicely. Mild amount of carbonation with a mild amount of bitterness. Overall, this is a strong tasting stout with a nice warmth to it.

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Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Body is thick in appearance and black, with a small light-brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Some roasted malt, chocolate malt and dried fruits - predominantly, raisins come to mind.

T: The taste more or less follows the nose, with roasted malt, chocolatey malt, raisins, prunes and black cherries all in the mix. Overall impression of sweetness. Seems vinuous at times too. Some char or charcoal on the aftertaste, along with a hint of burnt wood. Alcohol is also noted - not a surprise given the 11% ABV - both as a drying impression on the back of the mouth and as a warming in the belly.

M: Feels a bit thin in heft for the style. Carbonation is modest.

O: Was expecting a world-class RIS, but got a merely good one.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: As black as the night sky. Beautiful tan, caramel-looking head that fades to a nice lacing that is strewn all over the glass.

S: Caramel, molasses, chocolate, roasted coffee and tons of smokey char.

T: Wow this beer is big! Tons of chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy and smokey malts and dark fruits. Some nice vanilla to compliment at the end. Slight alcohol. Not as much as I expected for 11%. Very nice.

M: Big bodied, decent carbonation. Slight bitterness.

O: This is a very solid RIS with no complaints. First time having this beer. Will be heading back to the store to pick up a few to age for years to come. I really hope I get to try the BBA version soon. I can only imagine how aging this beer in BB would increase an already stellar RIS.

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Photo of GarMerr
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice coffee, chocolate & licorice flavors on the nose and tongue. A little thin, but pleasant mouth feel. Probably a little too hyped, but still a quality stout.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Great beer! It was dark and thick on the pour with a brown creamy head. The first aromas I got were of roasted coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. The taste was very strong as an 11% alc/vol should be. The booziness is definitely detectable followed by a chocolate, coffee, and smoke. This is definitely a fine fine product. The minute you swallow this beer you start to get that warming feeling in your gut. The after taste is a slight bitter, but nothing to take away from the beer overall. This is a great imperial stout. I really enjoy this and Dark Horse Brewing Co.'s Too Cream Stout as well! Try them both!

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Speigelau glass

A: pitch black rich chocolate head

S: lots of roasted goodness with some very strong chocolate and licorice

T: very smooth sweet chocolate a little bit of lactate milk taste

M: a touch thin for a stout but it's not bad

O: this is a pretty good stout it's got a lot of nice chocolate and sweetness with a little bit of roast it's a tad thin though

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into stout glass. Very dark brown and nearly opaque with a few brown slivers at the edges. Half an inch of tan head rises and quickly falls to a thin cap that lingers. A few spots of lace remain. Aroma is of roasted malts, dried dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, touch of soy sauce, and alcohol. Taste starts moderately sweet with chocolate, brown sugar, and date. Some bitterness follows from espresso and woody notes. Alcohol is masked well but not completely hidden. Medium-full body, creamy texture, low carbonation, warming sweet finish.

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Photo of mchegash
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.75/5
Pitch black, very little head however, just a very thin layer of medium brown head which almost immediately dissipates down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass

Smell - 3.75/5
Alcohol is the dominant scent, with some dark malts, chocolate/cocoa notes. Dark fruits, perhaps a bourbon-esque alcohol quality.

Taste - 3.75/5
Smoky, sweet, earthy malts. Strong cocoa notes in the aftertaste. Some dark fruit, a little metallic tinge and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium-full body. Medium-light carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

Overall - 4/5
Overall this was a decent beer. I liked the cocoa notes and the smooth feel. I would have liked more foam, for the aroma to be less boozy, and for the taste to be less metallic and earthy.

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Photo of mabermud
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle

After the disappearance of the fairly dark head into a barely noticeable collar around the glass, everything looks pretty still. The body is pitch brown. Fine, transparent legs. I like the distinct aromas of medium/heavy roasted malts, sweetness, and vanilla. I can also faintly smell some lactose, alcohol and coconut. In the taste, the sweetness comes out as the beer warms. The smell is misleading. I get distinct roast over vanilla. Nice, easy going soft roast, intertwined with delicate sweetness. No alcohol, not even through the exhaust. No complaints about the feel. Low carb, medium-heavy body. Nice soft finish.

Overall - This RIS is solid. No criticisms here. To put things into comparison, I think Ten Fidy is more robust, but this one is more balanced and friendly.

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Photo of snoopy5023
4.91/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The look was very clean, dark and pleasing on the eye. The smell was tasting as the taste, which was full on the tongue in a very good way and gave it a feel that have you wanting more.

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Photo of BuccoFan
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. Pitch black and decently thick in the pour, with a head that sticks to the outer rim. Aroma is an intense sweet roasty malt, and it is the most prominent part of the brew. Taste is robust, with a tiny bit of carbonation detectable. Feel is medium-bodied, a little surprisingly so given other aspects.

Overall, it's a tasty, solid imperial stout. As I said, its body isn't a complete match to its aroma and taste, but after getting a bottle of this as a gift, I made an effort to get more.

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Photo of Pineforest42
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Great pour, about an inch of head with nice lacing. Thick and black.
S- Heavy cocoa and coffee, strong and mouth watering.
T- Wonderful balance of flavors dancing together. creamy and filling. Smokey, chocolate, wholesome.
M- I could almost chew it. Perfect texture for a RIS. Taste improved as the temperature dropped.
O- Just what I want from a RIS. I highly recommend this. This beer behaves like a RIS and with a 11% ABV will leave you feeling good.

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Photo of HoneyLamb
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally found Plead the 5th at a beer store in Stevensville, Michigan at John Beers and Hollywood for $14. Wow! Absolutely loved this beer. So smooth and full of flavor. This will be one of my all time favorites. RAFH 2/9/15

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Photo of docoman
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time having non-BBA version of pt5 and it's very similar to BBA version, minus the bourbon influence. Almost has a tobacco smell/aftertaste and I'm not a smoker. Hard to love this beer, it's good, just not great compared to others.

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

A - Jet black body. Hardly any head. The little bit of head is dark tan/brown.
S - Roasted malts, bittersweet cocoa, light coffee. No detectable booze.
T - Very powerful cocoa/chocolate, roasted malts. Some dark fruits.
M - My favorite attribute of this beer. Extremely thick. Swirling causes very thick coating on the side my snifter. The turbulence is wonderful. Coats the palate and lingers.
O - An excellent imperial stout. Reminds me of a lot of ten fidy, which is saying a lot.

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Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly found this in Amsterdam. Phenomenal chocolate and coffee smell - taste is almost as good - it would be near-perfect imperial stout if not for the slightly excessive sweetness.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +4%

Pitch black, dark mocha head, small and brief, but there's nice lacing afterwards.
Big chocolate aroma, sweet and dark at the same time, plus vanilla and rich roasted malts. Lots of caramel, coffee too, but light and sweetened, faint woody notes. Not overly complex, but quite intense.
Tho i couldn't get any alcohol on the nose, the 11% shows up in the taste right from the start. This amplifies a nice dark fruity flavor, with sweet dry fig, raisin and some faint blueberry. Dark chocolate, with the sweetness mostly provided by caramel and molasses, some licorice, a bit of vanilla. Gets more bitter with some heavily roasted grains, some espresso and a leafy hop undertone, finishing quite nice, quite dry from the booze and the bitterness.
Medium to light body, oily, low carbonated, smooth. Rich aftertaste with roast, dark chocolate, alcohol, faint charred wood and some leafy American hop.
Easy to drink although the alcohol is a bit present, tasty, felt somewhere between the Russian and the American Imp Stout varieties for me. Doesn't really matter, really good stuff.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a mini-tulip (Yorktoberfest sampler)

A: Pitch black with a dark mocha head.
S: Roasted malt with a milky sweetness.
T: Good, decent stout that I don't think stood up the year of aging.
M: Smooth with virtually no carbonation.
O: I wonder what the BA version tastes like. It seems like mediocre base stouts make for great BA stouts.

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