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

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th

Educational use only; do not reuse.

378 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 378
Hads: 2,737
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 21.16%
Wants: 2,127
Gots: 741 | FT: 98
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 378 | Hads: 2,737
Photo of Gosox8787
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Gray waxed 12 oz. bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City snifter glass. 2012 vintage with an ABV listed 11%. With the huge amount of snowfall, a barrel aged imperial stout seemed like the way to go.

Appearance: As close to midnight black as possible. Pours a one finger dark brown head that quickly recedes into a light lacing.

Aroma: Really surprisingly good balance in the nose for 11%. Lots of chocolate fudge, dark fruit, vanilla and bourbon. The alcohol is there and isn't hidden at all, but it works really well.

Taste: Big sweet chocolate fudge tones with really strong bourbon barrel tones. Big caramel, vanilla, oak and bourbon throughout. The barrel is very well integrated with the base. There is a touch of booziness but it works well with this kind of beer. I really like the dark fruit tones that incorporate even more sweetness into the beer. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied overall, but a little light for the style. Goes down very smooth.

Overall, a top tier barrel aged stout. It is a bit big and boozy at times, but I really like the big, sweet characteristics of this beer. The barrel is incredibly well integrated and really enhances the base beer. I remember not really loving this base beer, but the barrel makes this one of the best in this style.

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Photo of Davihaw
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

1st Beer Review Ever! So let's see how this goes.

I had this on tap in a 11.5oz snifter at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange during a Dark Horse Tap Takeover.

A: Arrived to my table with a finger of head on it that was the color of foamy soil. The body of the beer was black like motor oil and I could see the carbonation in it. Light lacing as head went down.

S: I noticed the chocolate malt smell right off the bat mixed with the bourbon smell. It did have a boozy smell the emptier my glass got. A light dried fruit smell accompanied the smell of bourbon and chocolate malt.

T: Roasted malts with chocolate are very noticeable instantly. On the third sip the rest of the flavors began shining through and had hints of dried fruit and toffee. The bourbon flavor is very present throughout. The booze is pretty hidden but at times is present.

M: Thick and creamy. The carbonation was just right.

O: This is a great BA stout that improves greatly upon its base beer. While it is a great beer, it does not quite stack up against others in the upper echelon of BA stouts. Very solid but do not trade away the cellar for it.

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

Served on tap the night before FoBaB at Local Option. Served aside many other interesting beers, which were quickly cast aside for more pours of this beer.

Pours black with a thin ring of brownish head. Smell is an intoxicating light bourbon flavor, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malts. The taste is just fantastic. Like the nose, the bourbon treatment on this beer is unbelievable. It is basically the opposite of Rare's deep, earthy bourbon flavor - this is big vanilla, light and playful. The integration of the base beer and the bourbon is dead on. I could drink tons of this beer all of the time. Special beer. Mouthfeel is creamy and lower carbonation. Overall, one of the best few BA imperial stouts I've ever had. Worth a cab across Chicago just to try.

EDIT: Had this a second time at the Great Taste and it was not nearly as good. Dropped the taste -.5 to reflect this change.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured on tap at the Great taste of the Midwest 2011. 5 oz pour into a tasting glass.

A- Pours a dark black color, with ½ finger to one finger brown head that dissipates quickly. Moderate lacing on the sides of the glass.
S- The aroma is awesome, big bourbon aroma, roasted malts, some chocolate and molasses notes, dark fruits (raisins, plums).
T- Big bourbon flavor but not overpowering, roasted malts, nice chocolate flavor, raisins, molasses, a bit warming as it goes down but not too much. Nice oak from the barrels adds a nice quality to this beer.
M- Big mouth feel, warm as it goes down, smooth and creamy on the finish.
O- Loved it, got to the line early enough to be one of the first to try it, quality Barrel Aged stout that is very drinkable for how high the abv, very happy I was able to drink this.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of jlindros
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

As my birthday arrives in a couple hours, I figured I'd scratch a top beer off the list, one I've been waiting to do for a while. This sits at #21 currently so relevant. 2011 vintage thanks to juliusseizure (Reddit). And this being a smaller bottle I can actually finish and enjoy it without needing a friend. I think the requires a fun review too.

Pours out like a midnight waterfall of black as black beer, light not even getting through the pour, but not thick as I expected, no motor oil in this one. A light fizzy super dark colored head forms like the dew attempting to form on a nice spring day, only to disappear like my paycheck after I visit the liquor store, never to be seen again, but typical for this high abv, a nice slick on the sides of the glass produces legs running from here to Arkansas.

Nose is about what I expected, a glass of disappointme... wait no not that, glass of awesomeness! It has all the characters of a great barrel aged imperial stout with a few years under it's belt. No alcohol at all, not even a whisp, nice dark chocolate but not overly fudgey or cocoa like, a good baker's chocolate perhaps from a good version of Hershey's (cause Dark Horse is also from PA, get it... eh nevermind). It also brings a nice layered soft aged malt like a big aged barleywine or old ale would do, but this time in stout form! Malts, form of Stout! Roast, attempting to roast it up, but just mellows out like it matured nicely. And barrel, that good old vanilla barrel, with a mild bourbon note, just wish the bourbon was abit more for an old bourbon fanatic such as myself.

Taste is loaded with anticipation, wait that's what I have before I sip it. I spit it out, well not me, the glass spit it into my mouth and it was delicious. Again that huge layered soft aged malt kicks ass, that old ale stout hybrid shizzle. Then more dutch chocolate, little fudgey and very thick, cocoa infested for sure, with a nice tongue tickling luscious velour chocolate flavor, not quite Choc Rain level but very nice regardless. Again that roasty and super dark malt character wants to just smash my mouth, but aging to the rescue! The 3 years just smacks the want to be super roasty soy sauce and shows it a thing or two, and now it's delicious, and even hints at roasted coffee. A layer of caramel nudges through, as well as a little fluffy chocolateized nougat, a bit airy too. A hint of bitterness I think, or perception of it. Barrel also comes into play a bit but not as much as I'd like. Probably the one thing that the aging process screwed over, the nice barrel, but I end up with a bit of a nice vanilla and hint of bourbon notes in the background. Finish is drier but a little mouth coating feel, layered fudgey choc, and more cocoa vanilla and pure deliciousness lingering.

Mouth is thick, rich, velvety and creamy, velour! with decent carb for the age and style, and the faintest hint of booze somewhere in teh background just slightly nagging at me like an ant crawling on my leg.

Overall, just one word, YES!

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Photo of jdhowe
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage bottle courtesy of JAS45678 (thanks!), split with magictacosinus.

A: Pours a mostly still, oily, opaque black with some evidence of carbonation but little head.

S: Big notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Hints of dark fruit and cherries and leather. A slight buttery oak character is evident and gets stronger as it warms. The base stout isn't too evident in the aroma, but a definite sweetness and roastiness are underlying the stronger aromas.

T/M: This is a delicious and complex beer -- much nicer than the aroma. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla dominate up front, and then the base stout's coffee and chocolate arrive as the bourbon steps back a bit. Sweetness is provided by the malt as both chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is smooth and mostly barrel character with a slight lingering coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick and oily with light carbonation.

O: This is a great bourbon barrel aged stout. The buttery oak character in the aroma is slightly offputting, but the taste of this beer really makes up for it. I can't say that this is objectively better than regular Plead the 5th, which I love, but I definitely like this beer and am stoked that it comes in 12oz bottles.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The second bottle originally gifted as a trade helper with the trade falling through. Generous BA says, "drink that shit!"

A - this beer is oil slick black with a deep brown haze of a quarter inch head. The carbonation is scant and the lacing, minimal.

S - the bourbon notes hit first and foremost; the are some chocolate cherry hints here as well; I'm getting some toffee and roasted chocolate too

T - wow...surprised with all the coffee flavor considering I missed those coffee notes on the nose; roasted chocolate malt; a bit o that bourbon and toasted oak; man, the coffee notes are heavy; a bit of toasted vanilla and toffee

M - again, I'm a bit shocked with something in this beer, the carbonation. Like, it's flat up front and fizzy on the way down...really hard to describe actually. It's creamy and full bodied for sure; nice swill overall; I had to edit this after realizing its 14%abv...it drinks like it is 7-8%...wow

O - so yeah, I'm surprised on a few elements of this beer. I really didn't think the coffee was going to shine through so much, but this beer is really coffee forward. I kind of wishes for more bourbon notes, but overall, this beer is well-balanced and smooth drinking. Nice!

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Photo of Stevedore
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had two 4oz pours of this beer at the Great Taste. The first pour was so good as it warmed up that I had to go back and get more. I should honestly not be reviewing this beer despite having 8oz- but just keep in mind that I intend this to be for my own personal records. YMMV.

The beer is a viscous, very dark black looking beer that came with a small dark brown head that disappeared fairly quickly. Looks to be par for the course for a nice barrel-aged stout. Not much film, not much collar, not much lacing to be found.

The beer smells fairly tame out of the tap. You get a little bit of dark chocolate and roast malts. Starts out nothing special but it really evolves into something amazing when it gets warmed up (which after 5 minutes out in that 80 degree temperature and in the sun at the GTMW was enough), it becomes a full blown roasty malt and chocolate+vanilla bomb. You can smell a bit of oak, but it was dominated by the roast malts and the chocolatey vanilla combination. It was great.

The taste is the same as the nose- it was disappointingly tame when it was cold but after it warmed up, it became something really special. So much vanilla, roasty malts and dark chocolate sweetness with a bit of coffee bitterness to balance everything out. It was great, honestly the best part of the beer.

The feel on this one is full bodied, very thick and resinous. It's so easy drinking for such a big beer. Aftertaste is so much of that sweet roast malt with some sweet bourbon flavour in the back. Not a lot of booze here either, which is fantastic.

Great beer, I would have gone back for more but my friends told me there was other beer at this festival. Oops. I really enjoyed this one, and I would have to say its comparable to Black Note, and beats BCBS by a decent bit because its just not as boozy.

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Photo of Holland
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark black with a thin brown head. Delicious and thick looking.

S: caramel, bourbon, roasted malt, and done dark fruits?

T: huge bitter dark malt flavor with all of the bourbon, oak, and slight sweetness.

M: this is thick and rich, but has nice carbonation as well.

O: great beer. Worth tracking down. It's darkness and huge roasted and bitter flavors make it stand out from other bourbon barrel stouts. This is still very much a stout.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to raymo55 for this bomb brew!

Poured from a silver waxed, 2011 vintage bottle into a snifter.

Pours a thick as hell, black as hell, viscous liquid that settles and sits like a tar pit. I'm talkin' zero light transfer. There is less than a fingers worth of orange tinted, tan head. Not much lace but a few spots.

The nose has some complex bourbon notes such as toasted coconut, and vanilla while mixed in the the base brews chocolaty characteristics. Boozy in the end. Wow.

The taste is toasted oak and coconut with a nice amount of bourbon that isn't in-your-face. However, the bourbon shows it's glorious attributes with ease. The base beer still shows through the barrel treatment. There is some chocolate, leather, and tobacco working with the bourbon. There are some firm tannins and oak flavors when aggressively sloshed within my mouth.

Hidden ABV + Drinkability = Awesome

The mouthfeel is what I love about these Plead brews. Velvety smooth with a silk-like feel against my palate. A nice, low amount of carbonation helps this feel become successful.

Overall, totally awesome, great brew that deserves the hype. This is because of a great balance and a nicely hidden ABV. The durability of the base brew was easily withstandable when put into a barrel. Bravo, once again!

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Photo of thegoon55
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.

A- thick oil sludge, medium tan head. great appearance!

S- bourbon and oak up front, followed by chocolate roast and sweet hints of vanilla.

T- wonderful. following the nose, hint of bourbon (not overpowering) followed by sweet chocolate and vanilla then booze.

M- perfect. full body, but yet light and very well balanced.

O- one hell of a beer. very well balanced, a real treat too have.

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Photo of brewtus
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 2012 vintage into a snifter.

A- oil black with a bubbly single finger dark tan head
S- lots of chocolate, bourbon barrel, cinnamon, marshmallow,
T- very smooth, tons of dark chocolate, the bourbon barrel is nice and not overpowering at all, marshmallow, cinnamon, some coffee, dark fruit, no alcohol to be tasted. Finishes with a nice bourbon-y chocolate flavor
M- so smooth, one of the highlights of this beer
O- this is a great, well balanced bba stout. The flavors are in perfect harmony, it's not too sweet, not too boozy, amazing texture, all around great barrel aged stout that I'd love to try fresh.

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Photo of anteater
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: black, opaque, thin khaki head

S: bourbon, a fresh woody oakiness, chocolate malt

T: bourbon, more vanilla and less wood than in the nose, chocolate and coffee in the finish

M: pretty darn thick

O: one of the better bourbon barrel stouts, came in second in my bcbs, bbpt5, black note and kbs blind taste test

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Photo of mabermud
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: The beer seems to chug out, versus pouring out of the bottle. Super dark-brown, sultry body. The head is a dark mocha that is ultra fine. At first I thought I could see a reddish hue in the head, but it must be my eyes playing tricks on me. Or maybe the Ghost in the Machine had a positive affect on my mind. The melting curtains this beer leaves on the glass are awesome. Some of the best curtains I have seen. The curtains are so slipper and slick, no lacing is left on the glass. An amazing look.
Smell: First whiff - Sweetened medium roast coffee with quality cream, balanced superbly. Even on the booze. Not too robust, but even, and balanced.
Taste: The smell is similar to the taste, and also precedes it. I wish this tasted as good as the smell. It doesn't, but it's still a top shelf beer. All of the flavors are nicely blended and balanced to create a rich, high-end BBA stout.
Feel: I have no complaints. The feel does not disappoint.

Overall - Definitely a world-class beer, and deserving of the place it has been given on the top 250 roster.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, half finger of caramel head

Smell is wow, coffee, caramel, oak, toffee, chocolate, bitter cocoa, dark fruit (raison and figs), roasted malt

Taste is... Well here goes nothing! oak, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, caramel, earthy hop, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, bitter back finish

Mouthfeel is full, silky, light carbonation. Not hot at all.

Nice BB Stout, I am happy to have finally have had this.... With that said, I am starting to think that all barrel aged stouts have nothing on BCBS... Not that this is not amazing... I got 2 bottles I am going to age the second for a couple years and see what happens with that hoppy bitterness character!

Thanks Ri0!!!

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Photo of larryi86
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bstyle!
12 oz bottle, 2014, poured into a teku

A- Pitch black with a small mocha head.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, oak, dark fruits, roasted coffee.

T- Much more complex than the nose, rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, some dark fruits, very nicely balanced.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- A very well made bourbon barrel stout. Sweet but nicely balanced with a bitter finish that lingers nicely. Truly worth seeking out, nose made me think this was going to be a little one dimensional but it is really complex.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Dark Horse 4elf party. Glad it was on tap as there were very few (VERY few) bottles for sale.

It was served in a plastic cup (boo...), a 10oz pour (sort of boo...), but was delicious (hooray). This was dark, black dark, very opaque with a thin but still existent ring of foam.

It smells like a big beer, which of course it is, without smelling like alcohol. Strong malty aromas, sweet and roasty, with some dark fruits and a well integrated bourbon. Since having this glass I've had many bourbon aged stouts over the holidays, and I can say that the nose on this one is right up there.

Very very tasty, the bourbon is not overbearing, it really complements instead of contrasting the roasty stout base. Cocoa, raisins, vanilla, bourbon, this is just excellent. No burn in the aftertaste, just lingering sweet bourbon flavors. It feels big and heavy, everything about it says this is a major beer, and you have to be careful or you're gonna get buzzed.

This is especially good considering that you can't taste the alcohol in such a strong beer, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch (silver wax) into my founders snifter. just shy of a year old at this point.

a - pours black and clearly has a high viscosity to it. a thin cap of dark brown head creeps up slowly, then settles back to a thin film. leaves some nice long legs of lacing in the glass.

s - bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, raisin, faint char. an absolutely divine nose on this one.

t - all of the nose, really. starts off roasty and chocolatey, then the vanilla and barrel aged goodness comes out. has some faint dark fruity notes in there and a pleasantly smooth bourbon finish. very well put together.

m - full bodied, medium carbonation, finer co2 profile. has some alcohol heat still but very smooth.

o - honestly i'm pretty impressed by this one. i haven't had many bourbon barrel beers, but this definitely gives kbs and bcbs a run for their money. reputation is well deserved here and this is certainly worth seeking out if you're into big stouts.

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Photo of nataku00
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours very dark brown, bordering on black, with a half a finger of thin light brown head. Head dissipates immediately to a thin collar and a few patches of lacing, but plenty of alcohol legs on the glass surface.

Nose is big on bourbon, charred oak, toasted nuts, vanilla combined with fruity dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, roasted malt, burnt sugar. Even straight out of the fridge, the aromas are huge.

Taste started with a touch of bitter hops, burnt sugar, then lightly bitter dark roasted espresso and roasted malt, lightly smoky, before mellowing into sweeter dark chocolate and caramel. Bourbon flavors flourish on the finish, along with the dark chocolate.

Full bodied, thick and creamy with some soft barely there carbonation. Very sticky on the lips so a bit of residual sugar. A very good imperial stout.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage courtesy of waltersrj. 12oz bottle into a Stone IRS snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a tan head that foams up to about half an inch and quickly disappears just as fast it shows up leaving a small island of bubbles in the middle of the glass. No lacing to speak of. Completely opaque. So dark that the glass actually reflects like a mirror.

S: Bourbon, and a lot of it, damn. Neat bourbon, vanilla and oak. Nutty and slightly buttery as well. Lots of chocolate and a little bit of roast. Really reminds me of these chocolate bourbon balls that a lady I used to work with made around the holidays. The bourbon smell makes me think booze, but it isn't really boozy at all.

T: Impressive, chocolatey and vanilla meld together to make a massively sweet beer with undertones of chocolate, oak, and even a slight hop resin profile in there. Huge barrel character in this. Long oaky finish. This is an absolutely massive beer. Massive stout that has a ton of raw bourbon barrel flavor as well. Impressive.

M: Spot on, thick but not cloying, slight amount of warmth but not hot, and just the right amount of carbonation to make this velvety smooth. Excellent.

O: Thoroughly enjoyable, easily one of the best BA stouts that I've had. Tons of massive bourbon, but the stout shines enough to make it really interesting. Definitely a beer for whiskey lovers. Glad to try it!

Thanks Ryan!

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

L- Black, maybe only a slight amount of light on the edges, half a finger of medium brown head that quickly dissipated to a ring.

S- Raisins, dates, molasses, black cherry, vanilla, alcohol comes through, some dark chocolate and marshmallow in there too.

T- Similar to aroma, lots of dried dark fruits, molasses, vanilla, oak, more chocolate than in the aroma, alcohol is a bit more biting than others of the style, lingering note of chocolate and brown sugar on the end.

F- Not on the thick side for an Imperial stout, being a bit thinner adds to the drinkability which can be dangerous. Good amount of carbonation for the style.

O- Very nice and up there with all the other great BBA stouts. Hard to say which BBA stout form Michigan is the best as there are so many great ones you can't lose.

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.