1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,057 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,057
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 1,864
Gots: 485 | FT: 46
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:
Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,057 | Reviews: 317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerpirates
4.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter

A: Opaque dark, deep black with no light getting through this. 2 finger brown head which fades quickly into a thin collar and some wandering, appealing laces.

S: Smell is of dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Huge! A smooth smoky and nutty scent along with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol follow.

T: Massive dark chocolate, sweet and roasted malts. Bourbon, vanilla very well blended to this malty profile. The upcoming booze brings dark fruits aroma. Finishes on nutty and resinous hops notes.

M: Full bodied, sweet, creamy, a bit chewy but not sticky. Not as warming as one could expect given the ABV. Easily drinkable. Just perfect!

O: A beautiful barrel aged stout. Smell and taste profiles are huge, massive. But this is so easy to drink, so good !

beerpirates, May 05, 2013
Photo of cpetrone84
4.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Compared the '11 and '12 next to each other. Pour is jet black with a dark caramel head but not a lot even after a strong pour. Nose is a nice mix of bourbon and light chocolate cake. There are some chalky notes and a bit of booze in back. Taste is more woody, light bourbon. Chocolate notes, faintly chalky but less than the nose. Full bodied and soft, a hint slick with moderate carbonation. Taste gets a little sweet in back and some lingering roasted malts.
The '11 has a richer nose and less sweet in the flavor. More balanced but less bright so you sacrifice a little in flavor expression for balance and tightness. Both are very solid, I would prefer the '11 with the 2 years in it. Rate from the '11.

cpetrone84, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of mistakebythelake
4.22/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a recent BA barrel aged tasting with some Cincy folks. Thanks for providing this gem!

Was impressed with the pitch black color and lacing that this growler pour revealed into my snifter. A beauty on the nose as well with a medium amount of bourbon touched off with some cocoa. The taste with the bourbon, chocolate and some vanilla characteristics from the oak really impressed me with the balance of this stout. The carbonation may have been a bit off due to the growler pour being the last out of the keg when filled, but still was a sludgy, creamy feel. I was surprised that it was around 14% as its drinkability was very high for me without the booziness some ba stouts can get.

mistakebythelake, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.22/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was drinking this from a 2/3s fill growler. Dont know if it affected anything. If someone wants to send me a bottle, i can re-review it :).

A-Dark black with zero head
S-very large bourbon upfront. Can pick up some chocolate and malt through the bourbon
T-Once past the bourbon, can pick up some malts and chocolate. somewhat oaky taste
M-Very smooth and no burning
D-Crazy Drinkable. Would not have guessed 14%. WOW

brew3crew, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep black with almost nothing as a head, kind dark cherry cola looking wisp to it. Aroma, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, all almost equally present, not domineering, nice.

Taste, wow, really smooth, more of the same elements from the nose keep their equitable place on the palate. Overall sweetness is up there, but never diabetes inducing stuff, really, this is a well balanced flavor profile for a huge beer, that doesn't knock you over the head with the alcohol.

This is one of those special beers. Plead the 5th is an already great base beer. Sometimes (Rasputin) you can throw a great base beer into a bourbon barrel, and it becomes less great. Not the case here. It isn't a pretty beer, and the first look and smell won't tip you off to how good this is, but drink it, you'll like it.

Thanks to largadeer for breaking this, and many other gems out at the Solar Eclipse party.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 09, 2012
Photo of Arbitrator
4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a dark, oily black -- the color of motor oil that has been used several thousand miles past spec. A pinky finger of dark mocha head caps the beer; retention is short.

S: Vanilla, caramel / burnt sugar, fudge, bourbon, oak, molasses. The net effect here is reminiscent of early, keg-only Parabola. I shed a tear for the hoppy abomination the bottle form has become, and give praise that Dark Horse seems to have stumbled onto Firestone-Walker's formula.

T: As in the nose, the flavor captures a delicious blend of fudgy vanilla. Bourbon is somehow less prominent than the vanilla bean character, though it is by no means hidden. A touch of roast evokes earthy coffee, but this is a minor element; the beer clearly prefers the chocolate-dessert approach, and I'm not one to complain about that.

M: Chewy and oily, but not lingering or difficult to remove from the palate. In fact, it finishes relatively cleanly for something this big. And it hides the ABV quite well. I'm sure this is beyond 14% (isn't that what the base beer has?). My only complaint is that as it warms, it has a distinct solventy aftertaste, which in several bottles became unbearable at the proper serving temp.

O: I had this a few times out of the bottle and detected noticeable variation. Two bottles were outstanding; very fudgy and rich, with great bourbon integration. Others were a little cardboardy and solventy. I'm tweaking my score so that the overall grade is a rough average of the bottles I've had.

Incidentally, I compared this to early batches of Parabola, but it also reminds me of a chewier Silva Stout. Overall, this is a fantastic beer and needs more love.

Arbitrator, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

BubalooBrewMaster, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of bishopdc0
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

bishopdc0, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Jason, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of LGB362
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

LGB362, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of deuce9259
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

deuce9259, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of kevwcamp
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

kevwcamp, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Schlafly33
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Schlafly33, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

acurtis, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of DerekQXQX
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

DerekQXQX, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Beerontwowheels, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of EricLarcom
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

EricLarcom, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of rightcoast7
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

rightcoast7, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of Schooner12
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Schooner12, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Sammy, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of huskermike12
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

huskermike12, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of jburns301
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

jburns301, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Kegatron, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of emalc
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

emalc, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Kevincredible
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Kevincredible, Mar 23, 2014
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,057 ratings.