1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

3,002 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,002
Reviews: 762
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 507
Gots: 719 | FT: 80
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,002 | Reviews: 762 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lswilma
3.75/5  rDev -13%

lswilma, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of rodlavers
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

rodlavers, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of trevorpost
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

trevorpost, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of dejones
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

dejones, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of barhoc11
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Darkest of dark, looks like used motor oil but in a good way. little to no head on the beer.

S: Sweet roast smell, one of the best smelling RIS's I have had

T: Just as it smells, very sweet with the roasted malt finish. As with most RIS's, this gets better as it warms

M: Nicely carbonated and thick in your mouth, just as it should for this style

O: This is one of my favorite RIS's, it pushes the limits of the style but in a very good way. It is hard to tell this is 11% abv

barhoc11, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of drbenderdo
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

drbenderdo, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of BG24
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

BG24, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of ryand14
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

ryand14, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of core42
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

core42, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of Claytonbrewsby
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Claytonbrewsby, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

jono0101, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of JohnnyK
4/5  rDev -7.2%

JohnnyK, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of SkinniePost
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

SkinniePost, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Baab200
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Baab200, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Immortale25
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Bottleneck says 3.20.14

A- Pours an intensely opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains well before diminishing to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind on the glass.

S- Heavy dark roast brings notes of molasses, raisin, vanilla and...overripe banana? Wow, I've never smelled banana in a stout before but this isn't like banana notes you get from Belgians and Hefeweizens where it's fresh and sweet. This is banana that's been sitting a while and, since the malt also brings notes of chocolate it's like a chocolate-covered banana! Remarkable.

T- The dark roast sets in but is smooth at first bringing notes of dark chocolate, caramel and more molasses but then it progresses toward a heavy, bitter, charry finish. There's that banana again. I swear, this is uncanny. Booze is there and plays off the heavy flavors well resulting in a great drinkability for the ABV. Slightly sweet.

M- Creamy, thick and chewy. Medium-low carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- A powerhouse of a stout with intense flavors but a great delivery.

Immortale25, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of fleurdelou
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

fleurdelou, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of GetTheYayo
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

GetTheYayo, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of JimmyAloysius
5/5  rDev +16%

JimmyAloysius, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of lochef81
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having tried the other four stouts in Dark Horse's vertical, I was very excited to sample the fifth and final offering. It did not dissappoint. This ale pours black with a very small and short lived tan head that leaves a slight film and lacing. The aroma has an over abundance of dark chocolate followed by a lesser amount of coffee, burnt caramel, and vanilla. The nose is the best thing about this beer. The flavor follows the nose but is more subdued. All the notes are there as in the nose but they just are not as dynamic. The coffee is more pronounced particularly in the bitter finish of the ale. Other than the finish it is a rather sweet stout. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected but smooth and satisfying none the less. This is damn good but maybe not as rich and complex as some of the other offerings in this category. Can't wait to see how it ages.

lochef81, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of leftstagebrew
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

leftstagebrew, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of StevenK708
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

StevenK708, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of masterofsparks
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

masterofsparks, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of hplascencia1024
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a snifter

A: Pitch black with no head whatsoever

S: nice dark chocolate, roasty notes, caramel, nice sweetness

T: dark chocolate, slight coffee, heavy roast, slight alcohol burn

M: very light, nice carbonation, I would like it to be thicker(just my preference for the style)

O:A very good stout, but there are a ton of better stouts out there. not disappointing but not world class IMHO

hplascencia1024, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of Apatschinn
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

App. - Pitch black pour. Nearly opaque in the glass. Virtually no head at all with little lacing.

Smell - All things chocolate. Light amount of coffee mixed as well. Very impressive.

Taste - Fails to keep up with the smell. Heavier coffee aftertaste that quickly dissipates. Great initial flavor though!

Mouth. - Light and smooth, very impressed.

Over. - Great beer I got from a friend in a trade, Would definitely love to see this on tap nearby!

Apatschinn, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of UcDru
4/5  rDev -7.2%

UcDru, Apr 08, 2014
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,002 ratings.