1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,136
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 529
Gots: 730 | FT: 76
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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-27-2008

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,136 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of dunix
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black. Straight black. Head is a deep tan with a reddish tint. Head is slightly bubbly and creamy. Dwindles to a small cap after a few minutes. A swirl produces a decent sized head, but retention is minimal. Pours thick and syrupy.

Smell: Booze, cherries, char, burnt malts, smoke, cocoa, you name it. it's in there. It's decadent. Sweet, dark fruits (plum and fig). Licorice. Very sweet and very burnt. Some toasted malts, but they're buried. Highly aggressive on the malts and booze.

Taste: Cherry and cocoa. Toasted malts are quickly covered over by burnt malts. Loads of chocolate flavor. Runs the gamut from baker's chocolate to milk chocolate. Harsh kick of booze on the back, but it works with the overt sweetness. Char lingers in the back as well. Nicely complex with serious depth. Fig and plum come out as the beer warms. Alcohol heat builds with each sip.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but not as full as I would have expected. It pushes for full, but falls short. The carbonation is a touch high for the style, but it works with the flavor profile. Booze dries the tongue out something fierce.

Overall: A little off-kilter this fresh. Loads of flavor and tons of complexity, but it fails to meld completely. With a year or two on this, it might just be that good.

Photo of 57md
3.56/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dark brown to black with a thin layer of beige head. The nose was troublesomely reminiscent of wet cardboard. There roasted malt blends well with the creamy consistency. This is certainly a full-bodied RIS. The finish has both sweet and roasted notes along with a very subtle alcohol presence.

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of cvstrickland
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The drink pours a shade of deep ebony with a mocha-colored head that retains great an leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is smoky and roasty-toasty with notes of charcoal, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste is roasty, even a bit burnt, with dark coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes rising from the woody ashes.

Full-bodied with nice drinkability.

Photo of woodchip
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Etan
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz extra sent to me by Zaphog. Thanks!

A: Pours an imposing black with a nice dark tan head.

S: Coffee, roasted grain, dark chocolate, some nice cherry notes from the alcohol.

T: Bitter roast, mild coffee bean, subtle smokiness, heavy dark cocoa, ever-so-slight hint of booze. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

M: Silky smooth, fine carbonation, thick.

O: The beer excels in the mouthfeel department, and tastes good, but there's a bit too much roasted malt going on.

Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of CGMLS3
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of thain709
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer is pitch black as soon as I started pouring...a dark brown, 1.5 finger head formed and settled into a ring around the glass...not much lacing

S - Dark fruits (figs, dates, raisin)...chocolate...roasted malts...smoke...and alcohol

T - The flavors from the nose all come together in the taste...sweet, dark fruits present a sweet caramel flavor with more sweetness...the roasted malts are deep and presnt themselves with chocolate, coffee, and caramel notes...there are underlying notes of roastiness and smoke lingering around...the alcohol is very present

M - Full bodied...this one is thick...good points - roasted flavors and smoke notes that last long...bad note (big kicker) - alcohol is big

D - This RIS started off good with the appearance and smell but it fell off with the big alcohol kicker...I enjoyed the other stouts (blueberry and smoked) from Dark Horse over this one

Photo of callmemickey
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of lucasj82
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of hopley
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of claytong
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

no clue on the age.

thanks doodler. all your extras ive opened have been amazing

appearance - black, viscous. dark mocha head dissipates slowling into thick lacing. i see a butt where my lips once were.

smell - is light...im surprised once i take a sip. alcohol warmth, brown sugar, dark malts and coffee. maple syrup comes as it warms up. nice

taste - beautiful rich coffee, lovely dark malts, caramel, bitter roasted malts, minor maple syrup as it warms. beautiful

mouthfeel/overall - smooth, medium to thick bodied (could use a bit of thickening) and good carbonation. i cannot ask for more out of an imperial stout (besides being thicker). a great body. i wish so bad i knew the age on this one, cause this is damn near perfect for an imp stout.

Photo of Beejay
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, I would like to state that I believe some of the issues I had with this beer were due to the growler filler rather than brewery. I have had this beer before and really enjoyed it, my bottle review is on here as well for comparison.

A: Motor Oil Black, with no head at all, just a coffee brown ring of bubbles.

S: Sweet, dark chocolate, raspberries, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T: Dark and roasty. Coffee and burnt caramel throughout. Sweet, big and tasty.

M: Thick and syrupy, very low carbonation. The carbonation that is there is very fine.

D: Very nice overall, but it just doesn't match the awesomeness that this beer is from a bottle. I would love to try it on tap sometime, and see how it compares. Unfortunately, a bad growler fill done this one in a bit. For shame whole foods..

Photo of Eric908
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing beer - I wish I had access to it more often. Poured from a refrigerated 12oz bottle into a KBS snifter - poured vertically, producing a great looking two inch thick foam that is light brown in color. The head quickly dissipates and forms a ring around the glass which stays there as you drink it.

Its nose if mostly chocolate, vanilla, ripened plums, coffee and light spices - sweet. Taste is bittersweet. Definite hop presence with bold dark chocolate and vanilla bean flavors.

Mouthfeel is amazing - thick and chewy, allows you to extract every ounce of flavor from this beer. Carbonation is very light, as expected.

Overall - I'm very impressed with this beer as I was not expecting it to be this great. I will definitely seek it out more often! Highly recommended!

Photo of Danielr26
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of leitmotif
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of angrybabboon
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this at some point

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - pours somewhat heavy - starts off with a minimal head, but this is forgivable - retains a nice, light brown ring, as well as some streaks of lacing

Smell: Roasted malts and chocolate - burnt and roasty, but more roasty than burnt - perhaps more chocolate than anything else - dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, chocolate malts, dark brownie mix - some roasty dryness, but some sweetness, including some molasses - leather, some booze, and some black licorice

Taste: Basically, it's like a dark chocolate bar with some semisweet chocolate chips, sprinkled with molasses and black licorice - burnt and roasty, but the chocolate characteristics make this seem like a badass candy bar - dry chocolate malts, and some cooked, caramel malts - some booze, some dark fruits - not the most complex RIS ever, but very interesting

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, very smooth, very oily and slick, minimal carbonation but it works

Overall: Beyond solid

This is better than some hyped, hard-to-get monsters of this style. Seriously. It's not mind blowing in any way, but it's decidedly "imperial" and very flavorful. So much chocolate! I must age this.

Photo of mc4z
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,136 ratings.