Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
896 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
896
Ratings:
3,824
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
555
Gots:
1,040
For Trade:
116
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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
2014 - white label with black logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner, government warning on bottom right side of label

Added by HopHead84 on 09-27-2008

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 896 | Ratings: 3,824
Photo of JLeege
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage

Appearance- Pours out black, with a finger of dark mocha head. A nice layer stays atop the beer, with decent lacing.

Smell- Roasted nuts, chocolate, subtle coffee. Dark fruits (cherry), licorice, a little piney sided hops, and slight alcohol. Sort of fruity, for the style, which I really like!

Taste- More pronounced coffee flavors than the aroma would suggest, the roasted malts don’t completely dominate the brew, but more than the aroma would lead on. Some milk chocolate and licorice again, slight molasses. The dark fruits pop up again towards the finish, chocolate covered cherry, light plum, and actually somewhat vinous. A little pine, and fairly boozy on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and smooth, slightly sticky, not as thick as some imperial stouts, but fairly full bodied. ABV heat is noticed on the linger.

Overall- A very solid imperial stout, with great fruit elements poking through. Going to age the rest of the 4 pack and I am expecting great things, and much less heat (taste and feel scores should go up). A may be kicking myself for not buying more of this when it was around.

 1,126 characters

Photo of haazer
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle picked up at capones about 2 months ago.

A- A very thick cocoa puff milk forms atop the brew. Very bubbly, effervescent. The brew is the darkest brown/partially black in color, and opaque. Evident carbonation.

S- First initial whiff yields dark fruits. Once taken in, this is quite a nose. Deep roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, rich toffee, a touch of syrup, and a little chocolate. You can detect some booze but not overwhelming. The dark fruits are still present in each sniff.

T- The dark fruits are the most present flavor. I wanna say plums and raisins, and some black cherry too. Midway into the flavor I got the slightest bit of vanilla chocolate blend. The aftertaste is a barrage of roasted malts, and the slightest bitterness. The booze is not detected in flavor at all.

M- I've read in other reviews that this is "buttery", and you can pick that up from the mouthfeel. This is very smooth and easy drinking. The carbonation is hardly felt, and the body is light to medium bodied, but right in the middle of that. This is probably the lightest bodied RIS I've had.

O- This is a good RIS. Everything fell short compaired to the nose on this though. The tastes were not as pronounced, and the mouth was too light as a stout for my liking. But the masking of the booze and easy drinking nature make this beer above average.

 1,354 characters

Photo of lnashsig
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to GordianKnot for the chance to taste this one. a 12% imp stout bottle, no bottle date. Poured from bottle into Brooklyn Tulip glass. Pours a pitch black syrupy appearance. Barely any head (what you would expect from a beer this big). Smell- rich roasty maple syrup. Maybe some vanilla bean, some subdued chocolate flavor. From appearance and smell, it appears this one might have some time on it (yay!). Taste- Different flavors from what I would have expected. A roasty sweetness up front, some liquorice, sweet chocolate, not much bitterness at all. There is a creaminess to the mouthfeel, very little carbonation. Overall for the style, I would have expected more of a roasty possibly dark chocolate presence. I got almost too much sweetness from this one, and it kind of bugged me. Overall good though.

 820 characters

Photo of thorkelson
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting into the whole imperial stout thing after 2 years of drinking craft. Enjoyed literally every other style before the imperial stout but wow, was I missing out. Im excited to start this journey. Picked this up in a mix 6 at total wine. Lovely oily thick appearance from the pour and an awesome mocha minimal head. Nice notes of chocolate and malty sweetness. roast is minimal. awesome beer.

 404 characters

Photo of KillerJigger
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark liquid with a brown head that laces my glass. Sweet with a touch of bitterness still present. Touch of burning alcohol as swallowed. Helps to balance the sweetness actually. Great beer. Great job brewers!

 215 characters

Photo of mschantz
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an extremely rich deep dark opaque black color with a nice firm mocha brown head. Chocolate, cherry and molasses on the nose. Taste is pretty boozey for a non- BA stout but nice dark rich fruit notes come through on the front. Despite the huge malt bill this stout finishes with nice hoppy bitterness. Very interesting and complex stout.

 347 characters

Photo of ryanhooks81
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from bottle into tulip. pours black with a thin tan head. minimal lacing. roasted malts and chocolate and coffee notes. pretty good. i was expecting it to be a bit thicker. im a little disappointed. but its still pretty good.

 232 characters

Photo of sidetracked
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a medium brown head that lingers and creates nice lacing.

Smell is dark roasted malts, bitter baker's chocolate, sweet molasses, some dark dried fruits, little alcohol heat.

Taste upfront is roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate. Finish is bitter roasted malts mixed with sweet molasses, a little chocolate and sweet dark dried fruits. Lingering bitter chocolate. Overall slightly sweet.

Full bodied and creamy. Light but present carbonation. Seems a little thin at times. Little alcohol heat.

Nice multidimensional flavor that stays interesting. Very enjoyable beer.

5/3/2011

 599 characters

Photo of WankelEngine
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce glass into a pint glass

A: Completely opaque and black. No light coming though the sides at all. There is a dark tan head of about one finger with a reddish tint that disappears over the course of a minute or two.

S: Smells malty and sweet with a powerful bouquet of dark fruits. There is a bit of chocolate and coffee to the nose as well as the scent of alcohol.

T: Though the fruit from the smell is still present, it is less prominent. The focus has shifted to a dry chocolate flavor. The flavor of coffee adds a little bitterness to the brew and complements the chocolate well. I can taste next to no hops, but the malt flavors are intricate and balanced all on their own.

M: Fairly thick with very little carbonation. Slightly syrupy.

O: A malty yet balanced experience. A “big” beer, not an everyday thing.

 844 characters

Photo of joberlander
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome appearance, pitch black with rich mocha colored head. Get a lot of dark chocolate on the nose along with roasted malt. The taste follows the nose perfectly, lots of dark chocolate. Full mouth feel and great finish with a hint of alcohol (which I personally love in imperial stouts. Really great example of an imperial stout. Definitely just became a go to when I want a traditional IS. This and Ten Fidy are the benchmark IMO.

 440 characters

Photo of hardysf
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really excellent imperial stout. Dark, dark pour with nice mocha foam. Smell is of chocolate/fudge with hints of toffee and caramel. Taste is well balanced and complex. Lots of types of grains were used. Predominant taste here is chocolate/fudge. Other malt sweetness comes in the form of caramel. There is a hint of coffee to be found. This beer is not overly sweet and actually has some nice bittering aspects to it. THere is almost a hint of some hops/grassy notes. Very full bodied that coats the mouth and leaves a nice flavor in the mouth.

 554 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this one for awhile. Big thanks to Andrew for the hookup on this one...

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Hangar 24 Barrel Roll snifter...

A - Pours black with a half finger brown head that dissipates very quick. Lacing is minimal...

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, a hint of coffee, and some alcohol...

T - Plums, figs, roasted malts, and a good dose of chocolate. Finishes with roasted malts and some lingering chocolate. Alcohol makes an appearance in the finish, but it comes across very smooth. Not overwhelming at all...

M - Rich and creamy. On the lighter side of being full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation...

O - Was expecting a little more heat, but this one came across super smooth. Definitely a dessert beer, and something i'm looking foward to trying again in the near future...

Cheers...

 847 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Poured a dark black with a thin tan head that quickly died down to a ring around the edge of the glass. The ring around the end stayed around for a while.

S: Deep rich chocolate flavors, molasses, toasted malts. Also a hint of dark cherry or maybe raisin. Lots going on. Perhaps a little spiciness in the background as well.

T: More rich sweet, chocolate dominates the taste with just a touch of roasted coffee in the background. Healthy malt backbone with only a touch of bitterness on the finish. Nice, although maybe a touch on the sweet side.

M: Big, smooth, rich, chewy. But not in a bad way. Very creamy with low carbonation. Perfect for style.

D: Wow, this was good. Could easily enjoy this one again. Very low alcohol presence for a 12% brew. Nice.

 810 characters

Photo of MIbeer27
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 1.15.15.

Bottle into snifter with deepest black hue and a thin mocha head that quickly recedes to a thin collar.

Aroma is massive. Huge dark fruits like cherry, fig and raisin over top of dark, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, molasses and roasted barley . Hints of alcohol heat are there as well, but hides well.

Taste coats the entire mouth with all of the aforementioned flavors, joined by heavily charred, ashy malt notes. Slight warmth from the alcohol trails all the way down into the stomach. Taste lingers with slight herbal notes and the roasted barley standing out. Burps are rather fruity.

Mouthfeel is chewy thick with modest carbonation.

Overall, Plead the Fifth is one of the most complex beers that I've ever had. Maybe its the age (almost 7 months at time of tasting), but this one was easily the dark-fruitiest RIS that I've ever had. Not quite at the level of Founder's Imperial Stout, but damn close and an instant favorite.

 971 characters

Photo of OlieIPA
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: A typical black and thick looking RIS that supported a mediocre mocha colored head at best. The beer was also lacking legs as well.

S: Cherry, dark chocolate, coffee, anise, and slight alcohol burn at the end.

T: All the flavors mentioned above with an additional almond and pepper quality. The black licorice comes out a bit more as well.

M: A full-body Imperial Stout with mild carbonation. Slightly drying though

D: I enjoyed the flavor profile and basically polished off my glass within 20 minutes.

Overall: Kind of reminded of a slightly watered down version of Founders Imperial Stout. A good Impy Stout...and one I would like to have again. Cheers

 723 characters

Photo of MUTINY
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a chalice.

A: Pours a very deep, opaque black with hints of mahogany around the edges. 1/4" brown head recedes quickly. Retention is essentially a lingering ring around the glass, lacing is nonexistent.

S: Semi-sweet chocolate, hints of booze, clove & cinnamon. Vanilla & cream are present. Candied berries. Quite nice.

T: Come on with vanilla/chocolate cream note that lingers well into the mid palate, which begins to show more of a spice character - again clove & cinnamon, along with nutmeg & black pepper. The booze note definitely increases toward the end, along with a sharper, more defined nutmeg character. Finishes with an interesting balance between vanilla cream & heavy spice.

M: Lowish carb married to a rich, above-mid-weight malty body. Finishes with a velvety richness.

O: Really quite good, not too assertive in any one way - yet still a big, distinct brew.

 910 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Cappy's, arrived in a snifter.

Appearance: Arrived your typical imperial stout solid black, capped with a thick head of almost dark brown foam that lingered for an impressively long time. Lacing was insane.

Smell: Dark stone fruits and chocolate leap out of the glass to smack you across the nostrils and demand your full attention. Beneath them, there's blackened grains and lightly roasted coffee, but it's the fruit and chocolate that demand attention here.

Taste: Did I mention that the fruit and chocolate are attention hogs? Because they're front and center in the taste as well, from first sip all the way through the finish. Plums, dark berries, and a mix of sweetened and super-dark chocolate dominate the flavor profile. Beneath them, swirls of lightly roasted coffee, cream, and scorched malt can be found.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full, yet with an oddly watery finish.

Overall: This is a tasty stout. I'm not sure quite how the chocolate and fruit notes dominate every other aspect, but I am not complaining.

 1,033 characters

Photo of levifunk
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to badnewsbeers for this!

appearance - black like oil. almost no carbonation and very thick looking. no head.

smell - soy sauce, caramel, and hints of a fruity smell. surprisingly very little alcohol smell.

taste - malty, creamy, sweet coffee flavor. some subtle hops/bitterness that i didn't pick up in the smell. not very hot at all, although when i open my mouth and breath, the booze hits my lungs.

mouthfeel - pretty thick largely due to very little carbonation. I enjoy low carbonation, so its great for me.

overall - great beer. wish i had more. I think a couple of these is all you'd need on a cold night. the huge ABV is masked very well.

 659 characters

Photo of Trooper92292
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beautiful black color. Aromas range but are not overdone. Such a satisfying taste. The feel is just so well done. I'm popping a bottle open of this now and had this on tap weeks ago and it's one of my favorite beers out there. I first had this last year, a friend introduced me to it, and I could not believe how good this beer is. This is on my top 5 easily. If you have a chance to drink this beer, do it.

 409 characters

Photo of hu5om
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tremens tulip split with e11a627
a-viscous dark black. syrupy. ring of khaki foam
s-big, dark chocolate, sweet. caramel/toffee, oats
t-dark chocolate, bit of coffee. caramel. a bit of boozy heat and licorice. rum raisen vibe?
m-a bit hot still, but body is big with low carboonation
d-could cellar for a bit longer. stiff. but there's a good profile behind it. thanks to primetime3882 for the excellent extra

 408 characters

Photo of JArt
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, minimal head. Smells of chocolate, vanilla, caramel and wood. Taste is similar to smell, but you can definitely taste the alcohol. There's a good deal of bitterness with a roasted chocolate aftertaste. Big, solid stout, hard to believe it's not BA.

 262 characters

Photo of docoman
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time having non-BBA version of pt5 and it's very similar to BBA version, minus the bourbon influence. Almost has a tobacco smell/aftertaste and I'm not a smoker. Hard to love this beer, it's good, just not great compared to others.

 239 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with light tan head
S: Dark fruit, and roasted malt
T: Follows the nose with dark fruit and roasted malt. Very juicy dark fruit, sweet, not bitter at all, and not trace of the 11% abv.
F: Creamy and smooth, but did not coat my mouth to well, and flavors faded fairly quick.
O: Good beer, glad I got to try it (can't get locally), but not going to seek it out.

 372 characters

Photo of jethrodium
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a dark black with a small tan chocolate head that settles to a ring and leaves a decent lacing on the glass. The aroma has big roastiness, light coffee, dark bitter chocolate, and a bit of alcochol. The taste has some sweetness with dark roasty chocolate and some light coffee. The finish is bitter and roasty with a bit of alcohol. Very roasty overall. Medium body. Low carbonation.

 440 characters

Photo of Mavigo
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this off tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing. Was served in a snifter.

A: is a deep brooding, opaque black color with burgundy tinges with a short milk chocolate colored head with good amounts of lacing.

S: Voluptuous aroma, rich milk chocolate, barley, malts, coffee, brown sugars, dark fruits

T: Incredible taste, very sweet, a bit heavy, rich chocolate, toffee, coffee, malts, yeast, had a sort of tang to it, oh but it was smooth and rich, ABV is well masked

M: heavy full body along with medium amounts of carbonation, very rich and robust, viscous flavor

O: Overall, I bought this on a limb, it just sounded good and it was damn good. I recommend it for sure.

 673 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.