Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,608 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,608
Reviews: 373
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.69%
Wants: 2,077
Gots: 702 | FT: 93
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,608 | Reviews: 373
Photo of vonnegut21
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, creamy black with a half finger of mocha head which dissipates quickly.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate notes.

T: Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and bourbon up front are followed by caramel and vanilla. Slight hop bitterness rounds things out nicely.

M: Nice and thick with an excellent, creamy mouthfeel. This is amazing on the palate.

O: A really, really excellent barrel aged stout. Maybe not quite on Bourbon County's level, but this is up there with the best BA stouts out there. I'll definitely seek out more.

Photo of JamesJSmallIII
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review. I didn't really think I'd ever actually review beers on this site as I just use it as a tool. I just felt compelled to make this one my first review, as it was both a surprise and a delicious treat. I had it on tap at a place called The Station Taphouse right near the Downingtown R5 station outside of Philly. 5 bucks for 10 oz. Pretty damn good for Philly prices. I'm doing this the next day from memory, I'll keep it general, don't hate.

A: Dark, Impenetrable. From what I remember not the most amazing head but this is a heavy brew. A little brown foam on black.

S: Heavy malty scent. Slight ovaltine smell in a good way. Vanilla goodness with coffee/oatmeal-ish balance.

T: Awesome. More coffee/choco/oatmeal creamy goodness, with a beautifully strong bourbon flavor, all rounded out by some woody creamy vanilla. Super barley flavor hiding in the back, burnin' your throat.

M: This is the strongest part of this brew. So thick and foamy to start, and then it dissolves on your tongue and throat and leaves you with that whiskey burn. Some may psh-ah the not-to-well masked alcohol, but I don't think it was their intention to be an easy drinker, and I effing loved it.

D: Overall I thought this was too easy to finish. So good, I could have drank two somehow if I wasn't driving. At 14% you're gonna get some burn, but I still think its deceptively drinkable. An unexpected and memorable stout from Dark Horse, gotta give them more credit from now on.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, big thanks to Slentz for this one.

A: Pours out super thick and a fizzy, tan head develops and simmers down to a ring around the glass. Pitch black, what were you expecting? Pissy yellow? You can just tell this beer is huge by looking at it.

S: Hell of a bourbon hit, but I can still manage to smell the Plead the 5th under it all. Something I find quite impressive in barrel aged beers. Huge toffee/caramel notes on top of a gigantic roasty stout. Notes of wood and tobacco as well.

T: Wow, bourbon plays so well with this beer. Had this on tap before, but I certainly notice a difference. Sweet bourbon mingles with an already near perfect stout. Sticky caramel and toffee cling to the lips and it ends with a bittersweet chocolate flavor. I find nothing wrong here. Easily one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had.

M: Not even smacked with booze up front, sweet with bourbon notes. Heavy for sure, but the carbonation crisps things up a bit.

O: Want more, give me more. One of the better barrel contributions to a beer. Works out very well and you aren't hit with a bourbon booze monster or just a meager stout.

Photo of jbwimer
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a trade with Alex. This is the first of my five bottles. So excited. Regular Pt5 is one of my favorite imperial stouts. Can only imagine how well it does in a barrel. Here we go!

A- Love the look of this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Great Lakes snifter/tulip and got a finger of a rich mocha head. Fades to a centimeter of foam. Pretty good retention, especially for a BA stout of this magnitude. Absolutely no light getting through. As black as Taye Diggs. Love it.

S- This has a really complex nose. So many scents to discern. Of course, there is bourbon. Tannins and vanillins. Bakers chocolate. Dark chocolate. Some caramel. Definitely retained some roast, which is awesome. Oatmeal. Great nose. Could only ask for a little more bourbon, though it does come out more as it warms.

T- Oh my stars, this is rich. I'm enamored. Such great balance between the bourbon, chocolate, and roast. This is what I love in a BA stout. Sweet and roasty with a hint of booze. Such well integrated flavors. Chocolate and bourbon hit you first, and the roast comes mid-palate and lingers with the warmth of the alcohol. This is fantastic. The 11% isn't overwhelmingly obvious, but you know it's there.

M- Not the most viscous BA stout I've had (that honor goes to BA D.O.R.I.S.), but this is a smooth, thick beer. More carbonation than most BA stouts, but it's not offensive. Well done.

O- I've become, instantly, a fan of this beer. There is a great deal of balance, and all of it's flavors are so well integrated. The only thing I could ask for is a tad more influence from the barrel. Just a TAD. Other than that, this beer is spot on. Good thing I have four left. Gonna see what time does to this beast. Cheers!

Photo of zipper8650
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the 1st "Good Beer Sunday" review drinking down the cellar, special thank you to woodchopper for throwing this one in as an extra, 2012 in snifter
A - pours a jet black, little bit of a mocha colored head that faded quickly
S - very smooth smell, well balanced mocha/coffee/hot boozy smell but the booze balances well
T - intial flavor is a smooth well made creamed coffee taste, I find too many BA Stouts have a more bitter burnt coffee taste, not this one, very smooth. The end note is a little hot, to be expected but again balanced well
M - great mouthfeel, nice and heavy
O - overall this is a really well made, well balanced smooth drinking BA RIS, I prefer this over a new KBS. If I have not said it enough, smooth and balanced!
Skol

Photo of TMoney2591
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler.

When I first had this beer many moons ago, even in the midst of other harder-than-usual-to-come-by barrel-aged stouts and such, I felt lucky as hell to have had the privilege of its acquaintanceship. Then I was given a second chance. Pinch me. Anyway, this stuff pours a bedevilingly dark and murky black-brown topped by a short finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises bourbon, roasted malts, dark chocolate powder, light wood, a touch of booze, and the faintest hint of vanilla bean. The taste brings in more of the same, everything colluding to effect a luscious melange of bourbon-y, chocolate-y, and roast-y tastiness. The body is a light hefty, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a fairly chewy feel. Overall, this is still one of the best barrel-aged stouts I've ever come across. Perhaps the beer gods will smile on me again in the future...?

Photo of Damian
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a waxed dipped 12 fl. oz. bottle acquired in a trade with surge1311
Vintage 2012
Served in a snifter

Review #850

Super viscous with a dark brown/black, motor oil-like appearance. There was no head but merely a frothy mass of saddle brown bubbles atop the liquid. The bubbles quickly dissipated to a thin ringlet.

Bourbon notes dominated in the aroma. Super fragrant and boozy. Loads of vanilla. Deep, dark, roasty and smoky malts came through strong. Good amount of wood and ash. Slightly sweet with caramel and brown sugar notes. Touch of coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. As the beer warmed, more sweetness came forth to balance things out.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose. Super rich and robust. Tons of bourbon and fresh vanilla bean. Lots of roasted malt, caramel and barrel character. Notes of charred wood and ash were apparent. Good dose of espresso and bakers chocolate. Hints of dark fruits (prunes and raisins) came through as well. The finish was bitter, ashy and quite hot with a whiskey-like burn. Like the nose, the flavor profile mellowed out with time.

The mouthfeel was really intense. Chewy and almost milk shake-like. Rich and oily with a fine, plush, supple effervescence. Velvety smooth on the palate. After each sip, the liquid left a sticky film on my lips.

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Imperial Stout is an unapologetically bourbon-forward beer that some (myself included) might describe as being a bit rough around the edges. Although the booziness and the charred malts were at times distracting, the many amazing aspects of this beer made up for these relative shortcomings.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick ink black with a small amount of bubbly light brown head that very quickly disappeared leaving only a thin ring around the glass.

S - Bourbon, wood, raisin, dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, and hints of cherry.

T - Roasted malt upfront with oak, dark chocolate, caramel, black cherries, raisins, coffee and a bit of vanilla and cream. The bourbon is very noticeable, which might be it's only weakness.

M - Low carbonation with a medium body. A rich and oily mouthfeel that coats the tongue. A warm finish, but the ABV is kept in check pretty well.

O - Great BA stout. If the Bourbon wasn't so noticeable this would be an A+ beer. Nothing a little more time can't fix. Glad I got to try this.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Turdferguson for this one. Poured from a waxed and capped 12oz. bottle into a Darkness Snifter. 2011 vintage. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a thin, fine layer of chocolate colored head with poor retention. Beer is a dark, dense opaque black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent stick. Really oily and slick, thick legs. Decent looking beer.

Nose is booze, fudge brownie, cocoa, chocolate, and molasses. Extremely aromatic and dense. Almost smells like it looks if that makes any sense. Very rich. Really enticing.

Opens chocolate, honey, and cocoa. Fudgey and boozy in the middle with notes of molasses sweetness. End is sweet and sticky with some prune notes. Barrel presence crescendos at the finish. Aftertaste is sweet honey, chocolate, and fudge. Really tasty with a very balanced barrel flavor.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and silky in the mouth and warm and smooth going down. Finishes warm with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Absolute perfection.

Although this beer has had quite some talk behind it, its still under-the-radar in my opinion. Absolutely amazing and pretty much everything you could possibly want out of a barrel aged imperial stout. I'll definitely be seeking out more of this to lay down.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 12/30/11. Last review of 2011.
Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Thick ink black with a small amount of bubbly light brown head that very quickly disappeared leaving only a thin ring around the glass.

S - The barrel aging really dominates the nose up front with bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas. A decent sweetness is evident and cuts through the ABV, which is somewhat noticeable but well hidden given the 14% ABV. Some roasted malt and chocolate notes are hidden in the background.

T - Follows the nose - big flavours from the barrel aging dominate. Bourbon, vanilla and oak flavours are meld together in a good balance. The characteristics of the base beer are hidden behind the barrel flavours but some subtle roasted malt and chocolate notes come through along with hints of licorice and smoke. The ABV is somewhat noticeable but is complimented by sweet molasses flavours to subdue it well.

M - Full body, somewhat viscous at times. Light carbonation.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starter of the night at an EPIC tasting at RB's Footbalm's house... Eric set the bar high.. Thanks buddy... I hope your travels treat you well, and our paths always cross.

Not much of a head... oily.. thick staining the glass deep brown brew...

I had a surprising number of proper pours of this brew over the evening and was increasingly impressed on each one.

Deep dark chocolate with dark malts punctuating the nose.. good oak and bourbon without ever becoming overdone...

Flavor is brownie batter spiked with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and good bourbon.. vanilla and oaky bourbon... something that I wrote down as toasted marshmallow.. everything is amazingly well integrated ... especially when warmer.

Thick and inviting.. wonderful.. lite carbonation but nobody complained.. I could have easily sat content with this bottle the entire night.

all 4.5's

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this beer in a recent trade with Evbowski. Huge thanks for the beer Evan. Really wanted to try this since it was released last year!

vintage 2011.

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: dark motor oil black with a dark brown head that is one finger tall. Nice lacing on the side of the glass; this stout stains the glass because its just that dark of a monster! Head recedes into a little bigger than thin cap.

Smell: This beer smells great! The thing that is really setting it apart from other barrel aged imperial stouts is the huge smoke notes mingled in with the mellow barrel notes of bourbon and oak. The smoke note is really meaty type of smoke. It also smells really roasty almost to the point of charcoal.

Taste: This beer starts off tasting like a fairly intense liquid smoke; it bacony and meaty. The roasty malts are found middle palate along with the start of some really smooth and mellow barrel notes. The beer finishes sweet and smokey with a little whiskey kick and mild warming burn in the back of your throat. Its almost like the flavor of charred marshmellows. Little mild sour note is also found in the aftertaste, but its not off putting. The smoke never really backs down throughout the entire time you drink this beer; but its not overpowering or overdone. The vanilla really becomes more pronounced as the beer get to room temperature and begins to balance out the smoke notes.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low almost moderate carbonation levels. Its just right to deliver a sublime mouthfeel on this barrel aged stout! Super smooth, silky, slick, oily, yet still a bit chewy. Definately a sipper because of the robust smokiness.

Overall: Great effort by dark horse. This is my favorite beer that I have tried from this brewery. I love smokey dark beers and when barrel notes meet the smoke like they do in this beer its makes a really tasty beer.

Photo of MrFootstones
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very very black. Darker head than your typical stout.

Aroma is a pleasing mix of dark fruit as well as heavy roast and toasty malt. A little booze and sweetness as well.

Reflects the nose. Roasted barley, toasty malt, sweetness and some estery alcohol sweetness as well. Bourbon is a nice complexity rather than the main event.

Rich and decadent without being overbearing. Not as intense as BCBS, but worlds better than -bal aged Rasputin.

Great beer. Reminds me of the best attributes of all of this years Eclipses put together.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really glad to finally get my hands on this one. Thanks, Tyler!

A: Pours a thick, viscous black with a thin mocha colored head that disappears into the body pretty quickly. Light on the lace, but it seems like the beer is just too heavy for it.

S: This isn't the most potent smelling barrel aged beer out there, but there is a ton going on in here. Upfront, you're met with rich dark chocolate, coconut and espresso. Beyond that, you get some toffee, marzipan, chocolate covered cherry and bourbon. Fantastic.

T: Dark chocolate with a bourbon bite right off the bat. Then settles into some roasted malt, espresso, toffee, light barrel char, and fudge. Finishes with some milk chocolate and a good dash of bourbon. A ton of aggressive flavors in here, but none of them really take charge, which is nice. Instead, they all meld together, held intact by a velvety and just a touch slick mouthfeel. Really well executed.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz silver waxed bottle into my Darkness snifter. Thanks go to RuckerDu's Chicago connection for helping me track this down. Much appreciated!

Pours inky black with a medium bubbled cinnamon mocha cover, half an inch thick, that settles to a few islands.

Smells rich and decadent: huge cake batter and dark chocolate, swirl of caramel drizzle, and a spike of alcohol heat that hints at the bourbon.

Where the nose plays coy with the barrel, the taste does not. Tidal wave of bourbon from the get-go. Heat weaves a tight spiral throughout. Abundance of cake batter and baker's chocolate, firm tannins, hops, and a dry finish of fudgey vanilla bourbon.

Body is coating and thick. Carbonation helps lift this to a nice luxurious feel. Hops leaves a lingering bitterness that melds with the bourbon heat.

Overall, this is a really impressive offering by Dark Horse. I enjoyed this significantly more than my previous experience on tap at the Great Taste. A solid ba stout that is impressive as is and stands to potentially age quite gracefully. Well done!

Photo of Lukafer
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dark Horse, served in a snifter.

Appearance is black and oily, with a thin tan head that leaves great lacing. Smells are bourbon, oak, some chocolate, smells delicious. Taste is some sweet malts, bourbon, oak and some smoke, very good. Mouthfeel is sticky, chewy and just enough carb or this style. This beer is really boozy, but in a really drinkable way. I only had one, because it was early afternoon and I didn't want to get too plowed, otherwise I could've had a few. This is a very good beer!

Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

355ml 2013 silver waxed bottle poured into tulip 21/10/14, can't thank alfie enough for this one

A she pours dark alright, thumbnail's edge, a fast falling finger of foam leaves no lace, wide legs and some color left behind on the glass, dark liquid

S charred wood, bourbon, burnt marshmallow, vanilla, heaps of fudge and chocolate syrup, sweetened coffee, more barrel, a hint of smoke, the barrel's done wonders for this one

T this has picked up a shitload of flavor from the barrel, strange really how different this is from the base, faint nutmeg, heaps of burnt barrel and the bourbon has a little sweet smoke to it, just a hint of dark fruit and roasted coconut, holy barrel batman

M full is an understatement, the bubbles thicken it up even more, very faint heat, my lips are beyond stuck together there might be some super glue in there, massive amounts of char and bourbon with a hint of spice on the finish

O a massive improvement over the base beer, strangely so really, one of the better BB stouts I can recall, very intense at every turn

I have little to complain about as this one sinks into my gut, a big beer that explodes at every turn, I can't recall a barrel transforming a beer like this before, seek and destroy

Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at DH and at Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Fest

Pours 1 finger of creamy dark tan head that has amazing retention. Color is an oil black.

Aroma: Warming bourbon, thick rich chocolate. Roasted malts. The nose is fairly muted.

Taste: Much better here. Bigger bourbon flavors, oak, sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and warming. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rich, sweet, and malty.

Overall, a solid -bal aged stout. Great flavors and very drinkable. Very impressed with DH on this one.

Photo of barczar
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Looks like engine oil with a very chocolatey head. Aroma is chocolatey, oaky, and bourbon laden. Flavor is rich, roasty but not bitter, dark chocolate, with toasted notes, oak, and a smooth bourbon weaving throughout. A real treat of a beer.

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Better than KBS, not as good as Black Note or BCBS.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured from 12oz bottle into tulip -2011 release

A: Black as a crows feather, one finger head that descends into a thin frothy lacing, great carbonation, legs for miles.

S: Vanilla , Oak, Bourbon, Roasted Malt, Dark fruits,slight chocolate.

T: Slight bitter hop, dark fruits, warming bourbon, vanilla,semi sweet chocolate and oak notes.

O: Very tasty beer, not overwhelming for 14% , would definitely have again, highly recommended.

Photo of BrewerB
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage with a gray wax seal. Cheers to aasher for sending it. Been on my Wants for quite some time. Thanks again, Al!

Pours a jet black color with a dense dark tan foam that stood just under a couple fingers tall before collapsing down thin. The foam is mostly retained atop the beer though a small section has erased completely. Complex aroma includes molasses and toffee along with a prominent bourbon barrel component that takes shape as maple, vanilla, and a bit of charred oak. As the beer continues to warm, I'm picking up a candied fruit note reminiscent of chocolate covered blueberries. Diving into the first sip, it's the molasses and char/smokiness that stand out to me first. Dark, bitter chocolate comes up next and there's a bit of raisin on the back end. Lots of bitterness here to make sure this keeps the massive malt bill in check and this lingers on a bit in the finish. Hefty on the palette while carbonation is taking a back seat.

This is a malt heavy, complex beast of a beer and the bourbon barrel components blend right in. I'll be savoring this slowly over the rest of the evening. Thanks again, Al!

Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a black color with an average creamy brown head that mostly lasted and produced excellent lacing. Heavy toasted malt, bourbon and chocolate aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy complex toasted sweet bourbon flavor with a heavy toasted sweet finish of long duration. Best of fest complex standout brew.

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was every bit of a sought after barrel aged impy stout.

Photo of Hamburgers
4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Happy Barrel Aged Beer Day! Pours jet black with thin brown head. Still pretty boozy even after a year in the cellar. Aroma of bourbon, dark chocolate, soy sauce, and dried fruit. Flavor is chocolaty up front with the bourbon lingering in the finish. Slight undertone of roasted malts. Nicely balanced. Heavy without being syrupy. Moderate carbonation. Overall an excellent barrel aged stout. Not a ton of depth but very balanced.

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,608 ratings.