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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,745 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,745
Reviews: 750
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 472
Gots: 668 | FT: 72
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: 2,745 | Reviews: 750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ricecracker420
ricecracker420

California

4/5  rDev -7%

05-04-2014 20:47:44 | More by ricecracker420
Photo of Gehrig
Gehrig

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I heard great things about this from the terrific JD, manager of the sterling Neil St. Piccadilly. I passed on grabbing it last week because I had other things in hand. Today, I didn't make that mistake.

A thin patch of amaretto head tops a lush, black body, modest lacing and duration, but still a nice-looking beer. Rich, robust nose rife with chocolate, dried fruit, and coffee. I'm eagerly awaiting the taste after the smell, and it delivers with certainty. Creamy and flavorful with a hint of boldness, Plead the Fifth brings plenty of dried chocolate, date, raisin, coffee, and molasses. The flavor is excellent, nothing short. I'm equally impressed with the mouthfeel which, though lightly carbonated, is creamy and a bit effervescent. This sure doesn't drink like a 12% ABV, no way. It's far smoother and accessible than that.

Tremendous beer, this Plead the Fifth. There's no way I'd plead the fifth in defense of this. It's worthy of a full-throated apologia. Outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 18:39:43 | More by Gehrig
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hope to try the barrel aged version soon...

A: Beautiful black oily pour, with a nice fluffy tan head and great lacing. Very nice start I'd say....

S: Amazing smell of burnt dark fruit and malt, vanilla, fudge, molasses, charred malt. Just an amazingly complex packed aroma without any alcohol burn, great RIS smell in the top 5% I've smell for the style so it gets a 5.

T: Also very good, but lacks the roundness and balance I got in the smell. Beautiful roasted malt and bakers chocolate with some bitters in there as well. Dark fruit and leather tinged or just 'old' tinged molasses. An earthiness prevails too which seems to break up the flavors instead of combining them in some ways, almost like a 'dirt' type flavor. Maybe a touch of tartness from the fruit tastes in it.

M: A little astringent and thin though it had a nice roast and was semi juicy for an RIS.

Overall a nice beer I'd buy again.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 17:51:46 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of SFC21
SFC21

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

05-11-2013 03:23:33 | More by SFC21
Photo of Danielr26
Danielr26

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

03-04-2013 22:57:11 | More by Danielr26
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been waiting a while to try this one. Picked up the four pack in 2010, review is from notes taken on 5/12/2011 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is thick and viscous looking, and if I had to pick a visual comparison, I would go with FBS; body is black like fresh brewed coffee and it starts with a very dark brown head of 1/2 fingers that fades immediately to nothing other than a thin ring and small island in the center of the surface; body is entirely opaque; no lacing is left behind at all.

Smell: Lots of big chocolate malts, smells rich and thick, like Hershey's syrup; some dark cherry scents in there as well, and I'm reminded of the syrup inside a chocolate covered cherry too; just a touch of alcohol in the nose, and for being 12%, I would say it's blended quite well.

Taste: The taste is good, but not quite as good as the nose -- I feel like it loses a bit of the robust nature; like the smell, the big chocolate malts are up front, but they come across with a bit more of a bittersweetness to them, but they're still rich enough; the cherry flavors are there as well, and follow the chocolate nicely; there is a nice smokiness in it, with a touch of vanilla; alcohol is more present in the taste, but I would still say that it's pretty well blended and makes more of an appearance in the belly as it's quite warm.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium to heavy in terms of weight; carbonation is nearly non-existant but I'm OK with that in this style; body is also a little slick and oily, yet still manages to leaves a thick, semi-dry coating all over the roof of the mouth; gums are left a little tingly and the belly is left warm, as mentioned above, from the higher ABV.

Overall: A great offering from Dark Horse, great smell and good flavors and a body that matches the style quite well. Being a bit heavier and clocking in with that big ABV, consumption would be a little limited, but this would be a great dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 01:41:03 | More by bamadog
Photo of scott2269
scott2269

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

05-11-2012 23:12:51 | More by scott2269
Photo of PopnLoads
PopnLoads

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

05-02-2014 15:17:08 | More by PopnLoads
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Horse Plead, bottle bought at Nejaime's in Lenox, Massachusetts, as part of a 4-pack. Who knew you can find Dark Horse in New England??

Appearance: Oily and thick like Gaddafi's reserves before the Allies' strike. Only Marshall Zhukov comes close to being this thick. Whatever head is there comes and goes like a quickie, and only a coffee-colored rim remains around the glass. This is one thicj, black muthafuckin' Imperial Stout!

Smell: Roasty-toasty, lotta coffee, a bit of soil and gasoline. Umami and war!

Taste: Country ham, smoky bacon (rauchbier), coal, raw coffee beans. Complex and beautiful. Molasses, brown sugar. Floral, hoppy finish. Chimney. Small town in the Midwest and/or New England.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, leathery, rich. Chewable! Great carbonation, full body, bitter dry finish that lingers.

Overall: This is probably my favorite Imperial Stout "in a bottle from the shelf" (not counting barrel-aged and specials). First time I had it on tap at Radio Maria in Champaign, I thought I would faint. Gorgeous all around, and drinkable too, despite the ABV and huge body!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 04:12:32 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of rowingbrewer
rowingbrewer

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

01-08-2013 16:29:34 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of mjtiernan
mjtiernan

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

11-15-2011 05:30:42 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a snifter

Pours ink black with a one inch dark tan head forming on top that retains quite well for being in the snifter. The cap retains very well and some moderate lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is chocolaty, a hint of fruit kind of like mixed berries, a very far and away hint of vanilla, some charred wood, vague hops, and a whiff of alcohol fumes. It kind of seems like there is a struggle for them all to blend together and create something wonderful, but they have potential.

Taste has a ton of chocolate character up front with the dark fruit character of mixed berries coming in midway through. A bit of char and coffee burnt flavors come in after the swallow followed by a big burst of warming alcohol which stays on the breath.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, chewy but not exactly viscous. Creamy texture with the right amount of carbonation. Drinkable in the sense that I am gonna enjoy every sip of this beer, but not in the I'm gonna drink a bunch of this way.

A very enjoyable RIS. I can only see this one getting greater over time and I will happily let my other three bottles age a while before cracking another.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 05:22:48 | More by roadhouse
Photo of Thedrizzle
Thedrizzle

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

07-04-2014 23:32:27 | More by Thedrizzle
Photo of jbertsch
jbertsch

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7%

04-17-2014 01:54:10 | More by jbertsch
Photo of jkball01
jkball01

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

03-30-2014 15:31:16 | More by jkball01
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 version.

Empties the bottle black with a sheer, tan head. Aroma is spot on with milk chocolate, dark fruits, subtle vinegar and burnt oak floating freely. This is one of the smoothest beers I can recall trying. Just floats its way down (despite its medium to heavy body) with prominent notes of milk chocolate, bubblegum and black licorice, followed by hints of oak, cherry and vanilla. Fusel alcohol is barely noticed in the back. A beautiful, well-crafted stout that pairs well with this cool and rainy spring evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2014 00:18:53 | More by stephens101
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as oil with a shallow tan head that fades slowly; negligible lacing but leaves behind a thin oily film tha's a big hintof goodness to come. The smell is a very rich roasted coffe over black licorice and a cherry vanilla coating. Lightly carbonated, medium bodied, the mouth feel is tangy from the alcohol, et smooth and oily. Full flavored, surprisingly boozier than anticipated, mokah-licorise is repeated well from the nose. A really nice sipper. The 12% ABV is all there and ALL GOOD in my book. Highly recommended. Many thanks guys!!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 20:51:54 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. brown bottle of Plead the 5th thanks to SPLITGRIN at DLD.
Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black, no visibility. A very short head after a vigorous pour dies to a thin skim. A couple spots of lacing here and there.

S: Alcohol is very present. Lush dark fruits and light meaty and smoky aromas remind me of good Old Ales.. and make me want one, lol. This dominates most of the smell. There's a good sweetness as well as some charred, sooty malts.

T/M: More of a coffee and chocolate flavor comes out that I couldn't really pick up in the nose. There's still a great alcohol line throughout the entire drink. Whatever the ABV is, I'm sure it's very high but masterfully controlled. It really adds a huge depth. More of the sweetness, leaning towards vanilla but with strong oak and woody notes, as well as a very tasty smoky, sooty character. Body is medium full but very smooth and silky, not heavy, rough, overly dry.

D: Way too easy to drink. I'm sure the ABV is up there but I really want to continue drinking this. I'll actually have to watch myself from wasting this.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 02:10:45 | More by pwoods
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of Ryan011235, poured into an oversized snifter.

Looks pretty much like a big stout should, black and intimidating with a dense 1-finger cap of dark tan head. Retention is pretty good. The lacing is a bit spotty, but it stains the glass impressively.

At 12%, the alcohol is shockingly well hidden in the nose. Smells quite good. Nice combo of chocolate, dark roasted and burnt malts. A touch of molasses, a bit of dark fruit and a gentle coffee presence. Definitely looking forward to this.

The booze is more noticeable in the mouth, but provides a modest warming presence that's not at all out of place. A bitter undercurrent previously undetected helps keep the sweetness under control, although there's a substantial tanginess that's a bit sticky at the finish. Nice robust roasted character. Carbonation is appropriately low, accentuating the slippery character of the medium-thick body. Finishes perhaps a bit too cleanly, but that's nitpicking.

Overall impression: A nice RIS that seems to have excellent aging potential. I think I will throw my other one in the cellar and revisit in a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 00:58:18 | More by PDXHops
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
Pours an opaque black with a hint of very dark brown. The lacing is a dark tan.

Smell:
I get hints of dark chocolate, toffee, and some coffee notes. The smell of the beer tends to be a little dull and not very distinct. Additionally, the smell does not mix well and feels as if they are there because the beer has to have a smell.

Taste:
I get hints of dark chocolate and coffee and slight hints of roasted malts.

Mouthfeel:
Very smooth for an imperial stout and heavy bodied.

Overall:
I think that this an okay imperial stout. My main beef with this beer is that it tends to fall up short in terms of flavor. Kinda of like that little engine that almost but didn't quite make it.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 20:31:08 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of rawfish
rawfish

California

4/5  rDev -7%

02-01-2014 02:21:52 | More by rawfish
Photo of derkfromwi
derkfromwi

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

03-25-2013 02:25:39 | More by derkfromwi
Photo of Jason1337
Jason1337

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

06-14-2013 22:46:54 | More by Jason1337
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome extra from stxSS07! 12oz bottle into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Inky black beer with about a finger worth of frothy tan head that recedes to practically nothing. Completely opaque. No lacing to speak of. This is a damn dark beer. Some mung on the bottom of the glass.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, roasted barley, and a fair amount of booze. Roasted barley and a bit of coffee as well. Dark fruits, plums, and just a hint of earth in there as well.

T: Chocolate and a fair amount of coffee and burnt malts, some caramel, decent amount of hops in here which pair nicely with the bitter burnt malts. Finish is bitter and resinous hops dominate the long finish. Brown sugar and molasses are mixed in with a lot of chocolate. Not bad at all.

M: Very heavy, viscous body, with light creamy carbonation. Sticky on the lips, and fairly warming on the finish. Warms the whole way down, without really being hot. Very nice here.

O: A nice stout that I would love to have on hand regularly in the winter time. Tons of great flavors and a nice amount of complexity without ever being overwhelming. Nicely done!

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 01:36:04 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of calcnerd
calcnerd

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

03-26-2012 19:02:53 | More by calcnerd
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,745 ratings.