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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.

3,025 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,025
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 510
Gots: 720 | FT: 83
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: 3,025 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of happilysurly
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I love the look of this beer. So dark and no chance of seeing through it. No head, very few bubbles. Serious legs.

S: Sweet, chocolate, a bit of fresh roasted coffee.

T: Tons of flavor. I can taste some alcohol in this, but only towards the end. The alcohol is overall very well hidden considering that it is 12% ABV. Dark chocolate and molasses and dark cherries.

M: No part of my mouth can escape this beer. It hits all the areas of the tongue and lingers at the back of my mouth for quite a long time. The flavor that lingers is sweet and very pleasant.

D: Love this as a sipping beer, but more than one in a sitting would be a mistake for me. The high ABV and thick, dark flavor make this a one-a-week type beer for me.

happilysurly, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of AdamMY
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance leaves a lot to be desired, hardly any head, and that which came out was very brown.

The aroma though is like good hot chocolate, which is completely evident in the amazingly chocolate taste. This really tastes like high quality chocolate with hints of espresso.

The mouth feel is very smooth and creamy, almost silky smooth. Combined with its amazing chocolate taste, this is quite drinkable and I honestly do not think I am drinking anything alcoholic.

AdamMY, May 14, 2010
Photo of Sender
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Sender, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of TheMonk41
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

TheMonk41, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of joshfullam
4/5  rDev -7.2%

joshfullam, Oct 22, 2014
Photo of xipho
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

xipho, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of nwu008
3.48/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- Rich dark brown with a very thin head, even after a vigorous pour.

S -- Loads of chocolate, roast nuts

T -- Sweet roasted malt, chocolate finish. Some sour notes on the finish

M -- thick and chewly

D -- a little hot even for a high abv imperial stout, richness limits drinkability.

nwu008, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Jdoggie
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Jdoggie, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of YumYumGumGum
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: ideal slim headed stout. Pretty low carbonation but an amazing opaque black color.

S: i got virtually no scent until it warmed up and i got chocolate and nice coffee but mostly roast and alc.

T: great taste, smooth high gravity, the coffee taste is great. If you like a full bodied stout with subtle coffee. This is your beer.

M: very nice, smooth, in fact, im appreciating the low carbonation strong body now.

O: im thankful for my currently half full barglass of plead the fifth. The great part of this well made stout is it shockingly spectacular delivery of the warming 12%abv. I highly recommend this to coffee afficianados.

YumYumGumGum, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of BrittQ
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

BrittQ, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of lbriones5
4/5  rDev -7.2%

lbriones5, May 17, 2012
Photo of jdobe13
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

jdobe13, May 01, 2013
Photo of KevinMc
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

KevinMc, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of fire34fighter
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

fire34fighter, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of wawarner
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

wawarner, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of sonnmr31
5/5  rDev +16%

sonnmr31, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of Jose2412
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Jose2412, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of Scott1020
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Scott1020, May 17, 2014
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 Dave11899
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Dave11899, Jul 30, 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
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,025 ratings.