Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,825 | Reviews: 751 | Display Reviews Only:
3.68/5 rDev -14.6%
Pours a sludgy pitch black color that is completely opaque with a one finger frothy dark mocha head. Good retention, slowly fading into a thick lasting cap that leaves spots of lacing behind.
Sweet, roasty malt aroma this bursting with lots of silky chocolate as well as some oatmeal, roasted coffee bean, toast and nut. There's also a slight lactic cream presence but the nose of this beer is all about roasted malt and chocolate.
Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a slightly chewy, viscous consistency. Deep roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee/espresso bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and toffee. This is complimented by a sweet chocolate malt presence and subtle creaminess. There's also some earthy hop bitterness and a prominent alcohol burn in the finish. The ABV isn't well masked with a ton of heat and warmth in the finish. I expect that this will tone down with age but this fresh bottle is too hot for my liking. Dry boozy finish.
05-21-2011 09:18:01 | More by corby112
4.47/5 rDev +3.7%
This one has been aging in my cellar for at least 2-3 years. I can't even remember who I got it from but if memory serves correct, I believe it was trbeer.
Appears a used motor oil, thick syrupy, viscuous, black. A thick, dark tan head slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing and syrupy streaks are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee beans. I'm loving this stuff. I would put this up there with some of the best Imperial Stouts I've had.
Taste echoes the aromas with complexities bouncing off the tastebuds with highlights of dark fruit jam, caramel, molasses, cocoa, coffee, and roasted nuts.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, semi-sweet with chocolate bitterness.
Let this one age a little bit and it'll reward you handsomely.
05-17-2007 19:40:54 | More by weeare138
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
Had on-tap at the Local Taphouse during their Dark Horse AleStars evening in Sydney.
Pours an extremely dark, very close-to-black and very solid. The body, however, is surprisingly light and fluid. Head is a deep, dark chocolate colour. Some dots of lace form, but really patchily. Carbonation is fine, but rushes through the body quite quickly. Not bad all up.
Dark and roasty on the nose, not unexpectedly, but under that are some of the more interesting characters. It has a deep sweetness, mingled with a touch of salt—perhaps Vegemite—and some deep tannic red wine characters. As it warms, the booze becomes a bit more noticeable, along with some hazelnut characters, and even a dank smouldering campfire. Nice stuff.
Taste is slightly lighter than expected. It perhaps matches the hint of lightness seen in the body. Flavour-wise, there's some nice coconut characters, sweetness and a hint of cherry or something fruity and tropical. But then, whack!, the Impy stout comes back, with a big roasted, boozy sharpness on the finish. Again, pretty good.
Feel is clean and smooth.
It's very nice and smooth, and very drinkable. It's very tasty, while maintaining an edge of aggression. It ends up being a very nice, and very respectable package.
12-02-2012 04:09:56 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.81/5 rDev -11.6%
Based on the site's "Notes", this is a 2013 bottle, but I do not know whether it was purchased at The fridge or at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop. Either way, it is part of the great Bottle Purge of 2014 here at Chez Woody and I raise a toast to "Dark Horse Nation", which will debut on History Channel next Tuesday, 29 July 2014. Skoal!
I could see some lees at the bottom of the bottle, so I employed a very gentle pour to get things started. I still got a brief finger of deep-tan head with limited retention, quickly falling to wisps. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled of molasses or medicinal cough syrup from when I was a kid. It had a vegetal, root-like quality that also put me in mind of my grandparents' Geritol. I am not trying to be funny or anything of that nature, either. That is just what comes to mind. Mouthfeel was big, dense, thick, chewy. There was an initial, immediate fusel alcohol burn that slowly died down, allowing for flavors of burnt charcoal, dried dark fruits, anise, and molasses to come forth and be recognized. Whew! This was definitely a no-playing-around beer. Finish was dry, mainly due to the alcohol heat, with a lingering smoky chocolatiness that began to put me in mind of brownies. It was a good beer and I am sure that it is an excellent example of the style, but a) I do not really dig the style and b) it could have aged a while longer to reduce the heat.
07-23-2014 18:33:46 | More by woodychandler
3.78/5 rDev -12.3%
On-tap at Liberty St for $5/pint. Appeared pitch black with a brown cascading head. Damn, this is rich stout. Still, it wasn't cloying or too thick to have more than a few ounces like DFH World Wide Stout. It has a big chocolate cake taste that reminds me of 3F Dark Lord - though smoother and not quite as complex. This beer might benefit from a little more cellaring, it's just not as flavorful as the great imperial stouts. Still, it's fairly drinkable for the style and makes for a good dessert beer. Vanilla ice cream anyone?
03-28-2010 20:49:55 | More by tempest
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
A: Poured a nice jet black with a nice brown cap. Sexy!
S: Deep deep coffee nose, roasted malts, booze and some cocoa
T: Wow. Chocolate, coffee, minimal dark fruits with a sharp booze tinge and big roastiness
M: Big, thick and hearty
10-13-2011 01:25:41 | More by barleywinefiend
4.15/5 rDev -3.7%
I got this one as an extra in a recent trade with spycow. Poured into a dogfish imperial pint.
A - Pours jet black with a big two finger tall tan head leaving small wisps of lacing down the glass.
S - Smells of dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, molasses, vanilla, oak, and some light hop bitterness. This is what you expect when you hear RIS.
T - Starts off with a big dose of dark roast quickly giving way to a mix of sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and the faintest hint of hop bitterness at the very end. The creamy feel really helps to bring it all together. The finish is a mix of chocolaty sweetness and dark roast, lingering for some time.
M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Rich, creamy, feel with plenty of dark roast in the finish. The booze begins to creep in more and more as it warms to room temperature.
O - I really liked this one. It had all the typical flavors you would expect from a RIS but what really made it better was the creamy feel as it really helped to bring it all together. Good stuff.
08-10-2011 23:16:30 | More by orangesol
4.5/5 rDev +4.4%
Received as part of the Black Booty BIF. Pours black with a thin head that settles to a ring. Smells of coffee and bitter chocolate, with a slightly roasty and milk chocolate finish. Impressive taste, a choclate explosion with wonderful bitter chocolate, some berry notes, both long and delicious. Later some cinammon and a big hit of coffee make an appearance. The mouthfeel is long and super smooth. Utterly delicious, this is a great beer.
05-03-2009 17:08:36 | More by Georgiabeer
4.22/5 rDev -2.1%
Part 5 of my Trilogy (apologies to D. Adams), the big boy of the lot. A 12 oz bottle from the Brass Rail.
A: This stout, the biggest of the lot, is an oily black color that absorbs all wavelengths on the spectrum. A reddish red, at least at first, measures up to 1/2 a finger. As it settles, the red colors slip aaway.
S: Roasted, more so than any other in the series, malts are thick and dark. A chocolatey sweetness runs alongside the malts, loosening the nose up.
T: The strength of the stout creates a big body, thick and chewy at time, that can't hide its strength. Coffee and anise, bold and sweet, mix with cocoa powder, toast and heavily-roasted grains. Very sweet, the stout is filling and rarely skimps on flavor. There are a few dead spots where the flavor trails off unexpectedly. The burnt grains linger long on the palate, a morass of anise, coffee and charred bread.
M: The stout is very imperial, robust from first sip to last. I let it sit out for about an hour, allowing it to breath and come to room temperatute (a very good idea).
D: A great way to finish my horizontal run through the Dark Horse seasonal stouts. A warming stout that packs a nice punch.
03-27-2010 23:48:43 | More by akorsak
4.28/5 rDev -0.7%
A: Pours a clear but opaque jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle carbonation and some very faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy dark mocha head that quickly reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts with lighter notes of dark chocolate and a hint of coffee.
T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark roasted malts with light to moderate flavors of dark chocolate and some hints of dark fruit (fig). There are light amounts of sweetness upfront. Slightly stronger than moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers of a moderate amount of time.
M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.
O: Alcohol is well hidden and the beer is quite drinkable. Nice flavor and definitely one I was glad to find. Worth grabbing if you see it.
04-25-2014 01:11:01 | More by dbrauneis
4.03/5 rDev -6.5%
(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a jet black inky body with a thin broken film of bubbly tan.
S- There is a soft creamy roasted black chocolate malt aroma with some dark toffee notes coming through as it opens.
T- The chocolate malt blends with some full dark roasted black malt finish. Some tootsie roll flavors underneath turn more into dark chocolate milk and some dark roasted coffee bean taste come through in in the finish. There is no real bitterness in the finish just a mellow black malt flavor lingers after a slightly sweet finish.
M- The medium mouthfeel has no real alcohol heat noticed.
O- Nice full chocolate malt flavor with more dark roasted black malt character for support with no bitterness and very smooth and creamy.
04-30-2013 18:25:57 | More by rhoadsrage
4.33/5 rDev +0.5%
Thanks goes out to RedHaze for this brew.
Pours a black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, which leaves some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee notes, vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, sweet/vanilla note, lots of chocolate/toffee. Medium body, a nice smooth/slightly creamy brew, ABV hidden very well, but a sipper for sure. Very Drinkable, another very tasty brew from DH.
06-07-2010 23:40:49 | More by Wasatch
4.05/5 rDev -6%
12oz bottle out of a four pack and into a snifter so help me god. Been impressed with this series so far, this is my fourth out of five.
Deep space black with more blackness and some black to go on top of that. Ok, there's some brown towards the edge. A dark brown pillow tight nitro like head up above, after a few minutes, nothing, no lace.
Im not digging the nose on this at all. I mean it's malty as hell with some roasted qualities and chocolate, but there is also this rotted dark fruit scent that turns me away. It reminds me of a certain stout from a Jamacian brewery way down south, but 5th is not that rotted. Some creamy french vanilla.
5th comes back into focus on taste. This Russian delivers without that huge dark fruit thing, it's there but tucked under all this dark chocolate which was not as big in the nose, weird. Chocolate clumped in with vanilla and alot of cream. Saying there is alot of roasted malt is a understatement, it's huge. no alcohol, and this is a 12%er.
This is smooth, perhaps the smoothest 'fresh' rizzz i've had probably to date. Im upset that I missed it on tap by a few hours, damn. This is great out the bottle though. Pretty much full bodied and malty smooth, rich and not that bitter. In fact this is not bitter at all, more sweet. The carb is light, it's real light, but it's keeps number five together.
Excellent drinkability and a straight forward RIS. The nose bother's me but other than that, this is great. I'll try another bottle to see if that odor is still there. The alcohol is nowhere to be found, very impressive. Dark Horse continues to put out good dark beer and others.
04-14-2010 04:14:07 | More by BARFLYB
4.47/5 rDev +3.7%
12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed only the slightest layer of brown bubbles over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Lacing is more or less non-existent, but the viscosity of the brew does leave a nice film when the glass is swirled, which I think should be worth something. Aroma is heavy oatmeal and dark fruits. Taste strikes first with the soft oatmeal, then the fruit chimes in for a moment, eventually giving way softly to more dark malts, and some coffee bitterness at the close. Warmth is evident upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth for such a heavy beer, no doubt the oats' doing, and drinkability is quashed a bit by the heartiness of the malts, but overall for the style this brew is reasonably approachable. Check it out yourself and make sure I've made the right call.
04-01-2005 02:53:03 | More by ppoitras
4.35/5 rDev +0.9%
Dark Horse : Plead the 5th
Pours a dark oily black with a tan mocha head and some foam. Aroma full of roasted malts, vanilla, cocoa nibs and espresso. Well rounded roasted malt flavor, follows the nose with some cocoa and coffee flavors. Hop character is earthy and minimal. Alcohol well hidden. Overall, I really liked this stout, drank very easily for its size. Recommended.
05-27-2011 00:38:35 | More by Stinkypuss
4.58/5 rDev +6.3%
Review 300! 12 ounce bottle into snifter 2011 bottle. Pours opaque black color with an extremely dense 2 finger dark tan head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick lacing cap that lasts. Some nice thick lacing is on the glass as well. Aromas of big espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, with a small amount of vanilla and booze. Huge aromas, very nice balance as well. Taste of big dark chocolate, caramel, espresso, and a bit of vanilla; with some decent bitterness in the back accompanied with a bit of booziness. Lingering notes of light espresso-like bitterness, roasted flavor, and chocolate that linger for a decent amount of time. Insanely creamy and slick body that goes down surprisingly smooth despite being 12%. Alcohol is nicely hidden, not much on the taste and a decent warming on the finish; I was expecting it. Light-medium carbonation and huge full body. Overall, this is just a beautiful Russian Imperial Stout. Extremely well crafted, and I need to go pick up a 4 pack of this to age, I hope there is still some around.
07-03-2011 20:02:05 | More by superspak
District of Columbia
4.1/5 rDev -4.9%
On draft at Capone's in Philadelphia.
The beer is black with a thick, beige head that plasters the glass in lacing. Can't ask for more than that. The aroma is of roast, oak, chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor is extremely roasty, with a slightly burned malt character. The feel is full bodied, with alcohol presence there, but not overwhelming. Good stuff.
04-23-2011 18:52:02 | More by Huhzubendah
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,825 ratings.