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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,007 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,007
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 508
Gots: 720 | FT: 82
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: 3,007 | Reviews: 763 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rodosman
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Rodosman, May 18, 2014
Photo of Sumdeus
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Sumdeus, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of WynnDavis
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

WynnDavis, Oct 02, 2014
Photo of blee0891
3.75/5  rDev -13%

blee0891, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of scrizo
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

scrizo, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Gunch43
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Gunch43, May 08, 2013
Photo of optimistictour
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love surprises.

Dark Horse has provided a few for me, with their unassuming no-nonsense packaging and prices often well below average for equivalent beers. This one is by far the best.

Picking up two singles, I figured "can't lose with an imperial stout!" and upon pouring, I was assured that this was the genuine article: impossibly dark, viscous, with a tight, solid head giving way to a hearty brown ring on top. Easily on par with Expedition Stout or Old Rasputin.

*Smell: what I can gather is impressive, hitting the bitter chocolate notes with just a hint of alcohol warmth. Unfortunately I'm a bit stuffed up so I'll return to amend this.

It tastes like I wish more RIS's did: hearty and full of the aforementioned chocolate, carmel finish, embedded with a sharp spike of hop bitterness and the slightest whiff that it's packing more than a welterweight abv.

By mouthfeel I'd guess this bad boy to be under 9% at first blanch, but nearing the end of a glass it's readily apparent there is more under the proverbial hood than what, as it turns out, is a conservative guestimate. The only comparison I could fairly make is with Bells Expedition Stout, in sheer viscosity, density of carbonation, and the warmth riding inside a smooth velvet dessert vessel. It brings the heat but only after I'm well into the bottle, drawn inescapably in.

Like I said, a truly pleasant surprise. The best beer I've had from Dark Horse.

Since they make no mention of abv on the packaging,

optimistictour, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of lloyd83
5/5  rDev +16%

lloyd83, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Dave11899
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Dave11899, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of BigAl723
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Pours dark as night, pitch black. Looks like syrupy motor oil. A real dark head about a quarter inch thick.

S: Hops, bitterness, dark chocolate, alcohol, and smokey like a campfire. There's no secret this is a heavy stout. All you have to do is smell it.

T: A thick syrupy feeling coated my mouth. Bitter, hoppy, smokey, and chocolaty. To be honest, it tastes a lot like it smells. Very complex and very flavorful.

M: Heavy mouthfeel. Heavy and bitter. Medium carbonation. Overall it feels solid.

D: The drink is actually pretty good for being as big of a beer as it is. I ended up drinking five pints it was so drinkable. And no, I definitely wasn't driving.

Overall, I love this Imperial Stout. It has good drinkability and tastes great. Be careful though, it can creep up on you.

BigAl723, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of Mahoning
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Mahoning, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of TheKmac
3.75/5  rDev -13%

TheKmac, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of ranokmai
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

ranokmai, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of fireman1013
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

fireman1013, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Justinmatt21
5/5  rDev +16%

Justinmatt21, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of drpdaddy
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, warbird07 for this one. Poured into snifter. Pours pitch black with very little head and no residual lacing. Smell is spectacular dark malts, chocolate, molasses, raisins very faint ethanol. Taste chocolate, coffee, raisins, sweet malt, tobacco, the ethanol is very well hidden considering the abv. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, almost creamy, faint carbonation. Overall a very solid RIS, underrated if you ask me. This beer is way to easy to drink which is dangerous at this abv. I definitely recommend this one.

drpdaddy, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of timahood32
3.69/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

timahood32, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of LakeridgeLiquor
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

LakeridgeLiquor, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of mwill7287
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle to a similarly sized snifter.

Appearance: Pours motor oil black into my snifter. Pitch black even in the lamplight. Half finger's worth of a mocha-tan creamy head sits atop after a mild pour. Little carbonation bubbles abound in the brew. A little bit of lacing is left behind on the snifter after the liquid vacates. Looks noice. 4.5/5

Smell: Dark roasty notes balanced by a dose of hops Americano. A little creamy, definitely roasty coffee beans and a bit of chocolate. Very rich and enticing. 4.75/5

Taste: Strong presence of bold Russian Imperial stout hops ride alongside dark fruit, raisin and anise notes in the first sips. A little bit juicy and fruity on first bite. Sweet. A bit of bitterness of coffee notes and building hops creep along with repeated sips and a pleasantly present aftertaste. Alcohol doesn't interfere too much. Nice, not 100% my thing, but good. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Not too syrupy or thick. Medium body. Mild stickiness on tongue and lip. Bitterness is pretty light and doesn't hinder on the palate too much. Maybe a tad light for me for a RIS. 3.75/5

Overall: Very solid taste, tasty and complex but not overwhelming. Looks & smells wonderful. Mouthfeel provides for a nice drink. Obviously not sessionable but a relatively easy drink for a RIS. Nice. 4/5

mwill7287, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of bepps
4/5  rDev -7.2%

bepps, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of BuchananStude
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

BuchananStude, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of brasky11
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

brasky11, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of Arcane
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Arcane, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of Asmitty210
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Asmitty210, Mar 08, 2014
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,007 ratings.