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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,333 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2333
Reviews: 731
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.37%


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: 2,333 | Reviews: 731 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of vic21234
vic21234

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Refrigerated only briefly. This is the current year vintage.

A- Pours black with a small amount of light brown/ khaki head that quickly fades. Not much carbonation going on, and some lacing is apparent along the sides of the glass.

S- Great smelling beer. Nice aromas of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.

T- The smell carries on into the taste. I get coffee, chocolate, and an overall roastiness. There is also a nice hop presence towards the back of each sip. Very complex with a lot going on.

M- Thick, chewy, low carbonation, the alcohol is noted but not what one would think for 11% ABV. A nice sipper.

This is an enjoyable RIS, especially if you're into hopped stouts. I would love to get my hands on the barrel aged version. A few bottles of this one will be sat down in my cellar to see how it drinks after some hop fading.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 23:09:03 | More by vic21234
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into tulip at south park Dayton. Nice deep brown color with tan creamy lacing. Lots of roasted malt aroma...done. its very one dimensional but nice.
Taste is roasted bitter malts with a hint of chocolate and coffee but again its dominated by the roasted malt. Its a bit bitter...super dry but still pleasant. Its a big beer for sure but not my fav of the style. I had high hopes for this...maybe too high. Its kind of like a triple Guinness...if such a thing exists.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2013 22:23:39 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*RE-REVIEW 3/27/14*

Appearance: Pitch black with no light getting through. A finger of dark brown head. Doesn't stick around at all like it did the first time I had it, but still a beautiful looking beer.

Smell: As I remember. Still unbelievable, and one of the best smelling beers ever. My last review nailed it as far as the aroma is concerned with coffee, chocolate, caramel, and the cinnamon/nutmeg sort of aroma. I don't so much get any dark fruits this time around, but it still smells absolutely insane.

Taste/feel: Ah, here we go -- was I out of my fucking mind before? This stuff is great! There's a nice mouthfeel that's quite heavy but extremely so (a bit of a surprise given the ABV, to be honest), and the carbonation is a bit higher than what I'd consider mild, which works very well with a beer as big as this one. The flavor of this one is overloaded with massive coffee, roast, and chocolate with dark fruit undertones. The aftertaste is warming with a slight alcohol flavor and lingering roastiness that gives a very slight ash flavor. It suits the style and ABV very well to say the least. Surprisingly, this is fairly balanced. Naturally you get a bold roasty bitterness, but that dark fruit sort of sweetness is definitely there to help out. I'm not sure where I got the hoppiness last time I had this beer or if I was just incredibly ignorant, but anyway, this is a super nice beer and worth the $3.50 a single.

The smell of this beer has to be the best of any stout I've ever had, most especially when the brew has a head on it. The taste is awesome, but strangely, for some reason I can't explain, I want a bit more out of it. There's a good amount of alcohol presence (warms the belly) and a lot of good dark chocolate, roastiness, and some dark fruits in there, but a bit more of a punch would be welcome. At the same time, as it stands now, it's an enjoyable as all hell ALMOST too drinkable 11% bomb of an Imperial Stout. Not the very best Imperial Stout I've ever had, but boy is it phenomenal.

*ORIGINAL REVIEW*
Appearance: Midnight oil with a spectacular two finger head that stays around longer than I'd ever expect out of an 11% beer.The head is brown and super creamy... looks outstanding. (5/5)

Smell: Unbelievable. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, and even notes of ... cinnamon? There's an interesting note in there that I wasn't at all expecting. Smells fantastic. (5/5)

Taste/feel: Monstrous... what else would be expected. Wow. Major bitterness, dark fruits, a lot of roastiness, and quite a lot of alcohol warmth on the finish. The smell was sweet and inviting, but the taste is just about the polar opposite. A lot of roast flavors with plenty of dark fruits, with an odd bitter, and somewhat sour finish. Alcohol is pretty noticeable in the taste as well. The hops in this one aren't there in the aroma, but come out in the taste with the bitterness on the end of each sip. I'm not sure what to make of this beer. It smells very nice (smelled great when I first poured and there was a large, pillowy head), but the taste is barely average. A lot of bitterness, with tons of warmth, and tastes of alcohol and dark fruits. It's certainly not your average RIS. The feel of this beer is actually somewhat thin for an RIS, in my opinion. The beer doesn't coat the mouth very much, but it does have a nice "slickness" to it. (3.25/5, 3.5/5)

I'll have you know that I'm not the biggest RIS fan, but this one is just odd. I had extremely high hopes after seeing it and, especially, smelling it, but Plead the Fifth just doesn't please my taste buds all that much. If you love a big and (somewhat) unusual beer, Plead the Fifth is a must try... it's quite distinctive. Though, I think, not for the best of reasons. At $3.50 per bottle, I'm certainly glad to have tried it (since I like to appreciate a big stout time-to-time), but I'm not sure when I'd have it again... but if I did, I'd keep it in a cellar to mellow it out... this thing's pretty harsh.

3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 18:39:04 | More by Alextricity
Photo of 4amepiphany
4amepiphany

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Comes close to Expedition Stout for me, which I 'd prefer juuust a little more than Pt5, but I will drink this RIS anyday. Wonderful color. Good balance & mouthfeel, just the right viscosity. Though I felt Expedition offers the complexity that I like.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 05:49:12 | More by 4amepiphany
Photo of Thurgoft
Thurgoft

California

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter into two 6 oz portions. No freshness date to be found.

Pours a very, very dark, opaque brown with a loose mocha head that dissipates pretty quickly. Almost no light penetrates this brew. Nose is pretty hoppy for a stout with a prominent alcohol almost solventy smell up front. After a couple more deep whiffs I get a bit of semi sweet chocolate and a bit of roastiness. Taste is smooth with light roast and chocolate but also some subdued hop flavor in the mix. Loooong bitter finish with a bit of heat from the alcohol. Can taste a bit of the solventy-alcohol that I picked up so much on the nose but not too much. Smooth on the tongue with just a little carbonation but actually sort of light mouth feel for a stout let alone an 11% stout. That being said, it is very easy to drink. Second time having this beer, and I enjoyed the first more than this one. Just had a Founder's Imperial Stout last night and this particular bottle did not even come close (perhaps that's influencing my review?). Gonna try to cellar my other bottle for half a year to see if it mellows out a bit. Pretty good beer, but not in a hurry to pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 07:09:04 | More by Thurgoft
Photo of TTAmod
TTAmod

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my special beer store for $13.99. The date stamped on the bottle is 043-13, or February 12th, 2013. I poured one of the 12 oz. bottles into a tulip.

A: This beer is BLACK with a two finger brown head. Retention is good considering ABV.

S: Strong whiffs of chocolate, coffee, and alcohol.

T: Strong notes of dark chocolate, dried cherries, charred malts, roasted coffee, a trace amount of bittering hops, and a bit of heat. It doesn't taste too sweet; in fact, it ends on a dry note. It's not overly bitter at any point, but there's enough bitterness to add depth. Ash and roasted coffee stick around after the finish.

M: Another strong point of this beer. Obscenely smooth and quite drinkable, even if it is a bit hot. There's some carbonation, but it feels like silk going through my mouth and down my throat. No fuss at all.

O: This is how to do a strong stout right. The alcohol is kept in check by the onslaught of roasted malts, which invoke flavors of cherries, chocolate and coffee. However, these malts are balanced by just enough hops which keep the stout flavors from completely dominating.

This one is right up there with some of the best strong stouts on the market; however, this one is a LOT harder to find than some of the more prevalent ones (Ten Fidy, Founders IS, etc) mostly because Dark Horse is a pretty small brewery and doesn't have quite as wide of a distribution area as other breweries. Add to the fact that this is a seasonal (late winter) brew and most stores only get one case, and you got yourself a tough beer to find.

So, if you can find it, definitely pick it up. If you cannot find it....don't fret! Pick up some Ten Fidy or Founders IS, both of which are much easier to locate and are just as good as this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 04:41:09 | More by TTAmod
Photo of timahood32
timahood32

North Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell on this beer as it warms up is some dark chocolate malt beer is dark as night taste follows smell dark roasted chocolate malt the thing that really stands out about this beer is the fact you really don't taste the 11% or at least in my opinion anyway I know a lot of other people say different.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 00:07:27 | More by timahood32
Photo of sjones5045
sjones5045

New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours nice and dark with a thin fizzy head. The smell is a nice sweet coco chocolate mix. Thinking dessert drink possibly. The taste is a combo of sweet and bitter chocolate coco. Pretty good actually. Maybe a hint a bitterness lingers around a bit too long to knock this down for me. It also has a kind of fizzy feel at the end of the taste. Overall, I do enjoy this and would buy it more often if it were anywhere around me.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 21:13:46 | More by sjones5045
Photo of watsonmd
watsonmd

Georgia

4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served 55F, poured into snifter.

A: Black, with thick brown head that stays... and brown lacing during the session.

S: Chocolate, malt, maybe a hint of licorice?

T: Wonderful. Coffee, chocolate, with full malty backbone, maybe some cherry, or other fruits hidden in there... Something roasty trying to break through...

M: Heaven, coating the mouth, slippery, silky and full. Stays with you long after the swallow. Thick feel, with dense carbonation.

O: Awesome trade. Would definitely buy if it was available in GA. Will have to settle for Bell's Expedition, and Founder's Imperial....

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 03:40:21 | More by watsonmd
Photo of gopens44
gopens44

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice looking beer, but I can't really describe this in a way that separates it from countless other quality RIS offerings. Opaque black brown with cream colored head. Nothing odd here. Aroma of lightly hopped dark and toasty barley dominates the whiff of the chocolate that comes across far more potently in the taste (the chocolate, that is). The other taste presence is more of a sensation, bitter to be exact, without an overwhelming hop profile. My highest praise is attached to the silky ass mouthfeel. Just dandy as hell the way this ribbon of liquid seduces the tongue. How's that for women's romance novel descriptive? Anyway...to wrap this exercise in verbose babble up, I deem this ale well worthy of super happy time yum drinking. Ciao.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2013 21:55:43 | More by gopens44
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Could only score one bottle on the latest release. Motor oil thick pour. Large brandy snifter resembles a rare black pearl held neatly in my hands. As I swirl the glass, the lacing clings in sticky fashion after the wake.

Smell of chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Some roastiness and burnt malt.

Tastes like it smells. Charred oak comes first followed by dark cocoa. Some bitterness. As it warms up, more dark fruit complexity.

Thick and oily feel. My glass was stained a sticky mahogany hue.

Was it worth to search out to just obtain one bottle--no. If you missed out on this release just relax. Measures well with Expedition, Founders RIS, Ten-fidy...etc.. Great company but doesn't stand apart. Even the price point was high, $5, which is also part of the store markup I'm sure. For the right price I will buy more, but I refuse to chase down!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 02:42:52 | More by joeseppy
Photo of Wolfpack2005
Wolfpack2005

North Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013

A-Pours heavy and completely black into my snifter glass and leave a half finger head that fades quickly.

S-Dark chocolate with heavy doses bready and roasted malts. Also catching a good wiff of booze on the back end of the nose.

T-Follows the nose but the roasted malts are front and center with notes of dark chocolate and toffee. Then a slight booziness before the dark chocolate comes back and lingers on the palate.

M-Nice thick mouthfeel, which is preferable for the style, IMO. Lower levels of carbonation.

O-An excellent example of the style. Straight forward flavors, not overly complex, but perfectly executed

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 22:53:28 | More by Wolfpack2005
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
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 KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amongst the most gorgeous beers I've ever seen this stout poured black, thick and beautiful with an intense creamy head. The creamy foam laced in a sheet along the glass.

The scent is of soft chocolate, touches of espresso and a bit of bready malt. The aroma is nice but subtle.

The taste is of strong chocolate malts, espresso, vanilla, graham cracker and dry roasted coffee. So smooth, so creamy the taste and feel are a single unit. Very light on the stomach and exceptionally easy to drink for 11 percent ABV. My only complaint is the it dries the palate but other than that this is a phenomenal beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 23:07:44 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Smuttynose pint.

Appearance- Pitch black. So black. Really black. 2 finger fluffy mocha head. Big intense lacing.

Smell- Big boozy, cocoa, caramel, licorice, cherry, plumb, mild burnt smell at the end.

Taste- Caramel chocolate coffe, peppermint, not much booze surprisingly. Nice balance or bitter and sweet.

Mouthfeel- Sper smooth and viscous. Clean with that cooling peppermint flavor. Not hot at all which is great for 11%.

Overall- Damn fine RIS. Really want to try the Bourbon barrel version of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 02:58:59 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: Snifter
From: mL in Birmingham, MI
Price: 4.50 a single

Appearance: dark brown almost black, opaque, and a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a lacing. looks solid for a RIS but nothing overly special

Smell: roasted malts and chocolate. not the most fragrant beer

Taste: opens up with some roasted malts that are followed by a stronger chocolate taste and somewhat weaker dark fruits. some hoppy bitterness in the backend

Mouthfeel: pretty heavy, creamy, and ends with a strong and lasting bitterness. warming feeling too

Overall: solid but nothing to go crazy for. my first good/great beer from dark horse. probably not something I would buy again at the price

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 01:14:09 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of lunarbrew
lunarbrew

Wisconsin

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful beer. Incredibly dark and opaque when held to light. Head is deep brown with about one finger and dies quick. Leaves a fine and appealing lacing surrounding the edge of the glass. Very inviting.

The nose is very robust. I can smell heaping amounts of roast from dark malt, coffee, and medium-dark chocolate. A bit of acidity (red berry) on the front end, but mostly malted notes.

Flavor is rich and delicious. Tons of brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and some alcohol at the finish. Very sweet with a wonderful dry aftertaste from black patent or the like. Want to keep going back for another sip.

Lots of weight, but still not too syrupy. The beer foams up quickly due to a decent amount of carbonation and gives a very creamy texture. It's a very pleasant and oh so drinkable brew.

I was very excited to try this. Amazingly drinkable and addictive for 11%. The texture was superb and there was a great amount of depth. I am anxious to see if the boozy flavor settles out after some time.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 23:31:14 | More by lunarbrew
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to maximum12 for this extra!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a thick motor oil black color with three fingers of thick, creamy brown head. Retention is damned impressive, especially at 11%, and the head leaves nice cream lacing as it recedes.

S - Sweet hot chocolates, cream, subdued roasted malts and toffee undertones. Favors sweet. A touch alcoholic. Dark fruit and fig notes. It's highly lactic, reminiscent of a milk stout. I'm missing any coffee or bitter roasted malts. Inviting.

T - Creamy semi-sweet chocolates perfectly counter the subdued roasted malt body. Vanilla and toffee undertones alongside dark fruit. It's sweet, without ever feeling unbalanced. The alcohol is makes a subtle presence on the way down. Nearly perfectly balanced. Masterful brewing.

M - Full bodied, creamy and silky smooth. Damn near perfect.

D - I'd never guess this is 11%. Wonderfully built and amazingly drinkable. A great success from Dark Horse.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 03:24:21 | More by blakelive784
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass from the bottle, one must note the attractiveness of this beer. Pouring a handsome black color, a mocha colored head tops the beer before fading to lace the sides of the glass. In the aroma, one gets notes of burnt malts, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. I was a little surprised that the aroma is so muted since this is relatively fresh. On the initial taste, one detects dark chocolate, smoke, burnt sugar a sweet backbone. The alcohol is noticeable, but in a good way. I enjoyed this stout near room temperature, which really helps to highlight the nuances of the beer. The smooth mouthfeel allows a sweet dark chocolate note to linger on the back of the tongue until it almost becomes mediciney. It is an that point that the warming sensation of the alcohol bursts through and reminds you that this stout has an 11%ABV. After about three sips of this beer, I am starting to feel it. This beer is an excellent nightcap, and may be best shared with a friend.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 01:03:42 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black color with a tight creamy milk chocolate colored head. The head poured big and fluffy and slowly settled into a solid cap.

The aroma is quite roasty. Big roasted malt with some anise, dark chocolate, and charred wood. Some caramel and milk sugar notes provide some sweetness. Nice earthy aroma.

Taste mirrors that aroma and then some. Big roasted malt flavor, that brings some anise and boozy dark fruit notes. The next wave brings some dark chocolate, coffee grounds and charred wood. Dark caramel provides some sweetness. Slight tea like sourness as well.

The feel is moderate to well bodied with quite soft carbonation. Starts off sweet on the palate but is nicely balanced with roasted bitterness. The finish is bitter and sticky. It is a bit lighter than expected but it is very smooth. Drinks quite nice. The ABV is well hidden for the most part. Perhaps a touch of heat.

A very good earthy RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 23:55:31 | More by Gmann
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very happy that Dark Horse is now available in Kentucky as I've always wanted to try this one. Poured from a bottle into a Founders tulip. The pour is black with no light getting through. It sports a nice big chunky light tan head that has some good retention. The nose is typical of the style. I get notes of burnt fruit, roasted malt, some coffee, and a faint sweet vanilla-like smell.

Full body, lots of flavor, and a surprisingly luscious, creamy feel (given that I didn't think it looked all that viscous when pouring). I get a nicely balanced roasty-sweet taste up front and the roasty bitterness and dark fruit seem confined to the back of the palate, where they pick up a real welcome, warming, boozy kick. The beer is incredibly smooth and drinkable for the style. Flavors are intense, but so well-balanced they all just work well together. A nice flavor of espresso and dark chocolate lingers in the mouth.

This beer did not disappoint. I will likely pick up a few more to enjoy and/or cellar. Not my favorite of all the RISs I've had so far, but certainly in the top 4 or 5.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 09:12:37 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of ChrisKayler
ChrisKayler

Virginia

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Glass: Odell Tulip Stemmed Glass.

Appearance: Dark black, syrupy on the pour. An aggressive pour produces a half finger of tan-chocolate head. Head quickly dissipates into a thin film that remains on top.

Smell: Chocolate forward, with a mixture between dark and milk, slightly favoring sweeter milk chocolate. Slight coffee aroma. Roasted malt, tiny hop bitterness.

Taste: Chocolate forward again, but the overall flavor is more roasted and bitter than the smell would suggest. Smokiness is present as it warms. Alcohol is present in mid-taste, a bit strongly for me.

Mouthfeel: Very syrupy. Thick, and creamy. Light carbonation.

Overall: A very good imperial stout, that suffers from a bit too much alcohol presence as well as the overly decadent and thick mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 03:49:58 | More by ChrisKayler
Photo of templar316
templar316

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A thick creamy mocha head bubbles up bringing cinnamon, dates, cherry tobacco along with it. It fades quickly but works heavily coating the outside of my tulip after a swirl. The color is black as pitch no highlight's to this one. A hint of clover, and gamey undertones in the dark fruit of the nose. The flavor rolls gently, powerfully capturing my full attention as it goes from cocoa roast malts, to frothy coffee, with undertones of leather and roast goose. It all finishes with a dominant mouthfeel and lingering biterness that reminds us not to say too much.

In my 2nd decade with stouts as my favorite style, I was not expecting to be impressed by this. Perhaps the bottle of 1 I had was bad... However, I can't say enough about the creamy roasty mouthfeel, the depth of flavor, or the character of this beer. I'll be buying more tomorrow.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 05:17:22 | More by templar316
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into tulip. no bottled on date, but I assume the most recent bottling.

A: super dark brown, just about as close to black without being black. head is dark brown and tight. reasonable retention, spotted lacing.

S: rich dark chocolate. decadent. smells like dessert in a glass. little wisps of alcohol. some heat with it. big time roast. smells inviting.

T: lots of roast, super meaty. tobacco. cedar. sweet without being too sweet. roasty without being too roasty. this thing is big, yet very balanced. well crafter.

M: a lot of velvet. smooth. super smooth.

D: wow, this is what a stout should be. and similar to another offering of Dark Horse's, bottle conditioning is a plus. not sure how this holds up over time, but really satisfied with drinking it fresh. well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 04:53:10 | More by Jimmys
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: into a flute, black motor oil with a dark brown mousse head that slipped away pretty quickly; sparse lace motes

S: typical roasted dark and chocolate malts, with suggestions of espresso

T: big bitter bite right up front, sweeter and warmer chocolate notes soon to follow; rich maltiness and bitterness throughout, with high points of oak/wood; semisweet chocolate and roasted espresso

M: full-bodied, slightly coating, slightly sticky, some shapness from the bitter hops and alcohol

O: rich, rough, and deeply chocolate, with a bit of the abv peeking through - lots of flavors, does justice to the tradition of the Russian Imperial stout. Dark Horse makes very good beers at a decent price, and this is just par for the course.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 19:15:23 | More by Greywulfken
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,333 ratings.