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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

3,078 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,078
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 520
Gots: 717 | FT: 79
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: 3,078 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sweffin
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Sweffin, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of TheBishopco
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

TheBishopco, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of ortie
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%

ortie, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of LotsofLupulin
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

LotsofLupulin, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Rand_ale_Thor, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of JVan
4/5  rDev -7.2%

JVan, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Fargrow
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Fargrow, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Maillard
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Maillard, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of SFLpunk
3.45/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Thanks to Carl! No date. Purchased at Julio's.

Pours a thick motor-oil black with some tan head after a thorough agitation. Nose is weird at first but some blows off. Fresh milk is the first thing to mind (uh oh). Creamy milk chocolate and grass. Palate is sharp and biting with alcohol. Creamy creamy creamy carbonation. Mocha (coffee + chocolate)....

stop the presses. Me thinks there's lacto ruining this beer. Banana peel comes out on the nose and things fall apart. Will re-rate if the opportunity presents. Fail. (A: 4, S: 2.5, T: 2.5, M: 2, Overall 1.5 = D+ or 2.33)

Re-Review: Appearance is the same as above but everything else is different. Big milk chocolate and coffee on the nose. Palate is rich and thick with tons of roasted black coffee beans, grounds and brew. Bitter/dark chocolate, earthy moss and top soil, lots of tanned leather and cocoa nibs. Long finish. Delightful. Sucks that I had an infected bottle the first time. The score reflects the good bottle, but the overall score is lowered due to lack of coding and the off-bottl.e

SFLpunk, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of leitmotif
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%

leitmotif, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

SPRichard, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of TheSamKuehn
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

TheSamKuehn, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of freewill35
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

freewill35, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of tdmccarthy
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

tdmccarthy, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of brycevolk
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

brycevolk, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of magictacosinus
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally found a chance to open my sole bottle of this, sent to me by angrybabboon in April 2013. This is the '13 bottle, and I believe it's about a year old at this point. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass - split, as I always do with RISs.

Yeah, that pours like syrup - just black treacle all the way, with a surprisingly high amount of head (mocha colored... Yum!) that rises to the glass about 1-2 fingers high. No light shines through this, suffice to say. The head eventually dies down, and it loses its carbonation slowly over time, but it does leave a terrific amount of lace and foam at the sides and does coat the glass semi-dark with each swirl. While it brings nothing new to the table, it is indeed a benchmark for what I expect with these beers.

Smells really good, however - this isn't a sweet RIS at all, and rather, this contains all of the roasted and hedonistic qualities that I simply adore these beers for. Big roasted chocolate notes, coffee, as well as peanut butter, with molasses, plum, cherry pits, and a sharp earthy bitterness at the back. Caramel, nutmeg, and burnt toffee finish it off. This is one of the nuttiest imperial stouts I've whiffed on in a good long while, and the roasted character is very fresh and lively. Perhaps due to the age, it does lack a complex array of flavors, but the heat is magnificently toned down - invisible, in fact, and no extra sweetness other than the malt profile completely comes through, in the end. Very good stuff.

The flavor is an explosion of chocolate and roasted malt flavors that coat the palate in a ridiculously hedonistic way - it's really the equivalent of eating a coffee filled dark chocolate truffle. After the roasted notes come in, there's a sharp nutty, peanut brittle flavor that becomes overrun with molasses, dark fruit, light leather, and finishes with more caramel and cinnamon, with a baker's chocolate bittered finish. The chocolate becomes more predominant over time, and with the added effect of the beer coating the mouth with a melting sensation, the truffle effect is turned up to 11 on this - honestly, the only other equivalent flavor is from Marshall Zhukov, although not NEARLY as exaggerated. While it does get more syrupy and less lively as it gets flatter, it always tastes really full and thick as an RIS should.

Yeah, this is pretty great stuff, and while it's not as complex or insane as other domestic offerings, it still is notable for its stupidly easy drinkable character, especially with the alcohol being this well hidden, in this case. I definitely was happy with my half portion, but I could have easily had more if I wanted. Definitely worth a try, and a very interesting look on how the base beer changes substantially compared to the bourbon barrel version.

magictacosinus, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of cestlavie
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

cestlavie, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of POTABLE83
4/5  rDev -7.2%

POTABLE83, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Raznug for this one. Poured into a tulip. Pours black with about a finger of cocoa colored head. Not much to stick around, but spotty lacing looks pretty good. This has a really big nose. Big earthy smells all around; tobacco and faint whiff of alcohol. Dates and prunes and other dark fruits are present alongside a faint aroma of bitter chocolate. This smells great, at 12 percent, I expect to smell a little alcohol, regardless, I'm having trouble getting my nose out of this one to taste it. To my disappointment, the smell was better than the taste. I love the dark fruits that I'm tasting and hint of rich chocolate. I generally prefer something to be a little more roasty, but the dark fruit flavor is really nice. A little too much alcohol heat for good drinkability, but the mouth feel is good. A little under-carbonated for my taste, but it's still nice. The body is also a little lighter than I expected due to the style.

Bendurgin, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of blindpiggie
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

blindpiggie, May 20, 2013
Photo of meatyard
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque clack/brown with a 1-finger, milk chocolate colored head that falls quickly to a cover and then ring without lacing.
The smell is cocoa, roasted malt and a kind of heavy, moist sweetness.
The taste is cocoa, licorice and woody with just a bit of dark chocolate and coffee. As it warms more flavors seem to escape including only a hint of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and powdery dry. I didn't really taste the alcohol, to it's credit, but I felt it every sip.
Drinkability: It's a sipper that I'd rather wait a week or so for another though it does get tasty. I do like what happens with the taste as it sits & warms.

meatyard, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of mattreitz49
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

mattreitz49, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of doughanson78
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to thabigmp for this one.

A: Very dark pour. Pitch black in the glass. About a half finger darker mocha colored head that fades quick to a little ring around the edge of the glass. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing.

S: Big dark fruits, cherries, figs, and raisins. Light chocolate and roasted coffee. A bit of alcohol.

T: A bit of dark roasted caramel upfront. Roastiness and dark fruits throughout the middle, cherries and figs, with a hint of raisins and dates. Finishing in sweet chocolate and a light bitter coffee and a touch of alcohol. A very slight metallic taste.

M: Full bodied, but on the lighter side. Medium light carbonation. Very creamy. Very light warming.

O: A very good Imperial Stout. The alcohol is present but not overbearing at all. Gonna be great with a little age. Would love to try the Bourbon Aged version.

doughanson78, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of BB1313
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a shiny jet black, nice brown bubbly head. I love the color of the head, I just wish it was bigger; lacing is decent. Amazing aromas fill up the room, especially as it warms up. I could've given the smell a "5". This is definitely a chocolate bomb. Lots of milk chocolate and vanilla. The flavors definitely don't disappoint. There's a slight roastiness, but this one seems to be all chocolate. Coffee is also present in a minor way. Great bittersweet flavors, just what I look for in a RIS. The mouthfeel is nice, but not super-thick. Carbonation is there, not overdone. Alcohol is extremely well hidden, dangerously drinkable. Overall, this is what it's all about, amazing brew! This is the real deal. Extremely impressive!

This is definitely my favorite from Dark Horse. This is an easy A. Highly recommended.

BB1313, May 16, 2011
Photo of oso
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

oso, Sep 10, 2013
Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 3,078 ratings.