Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th - Dark Horse Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,845 | Reviews: 306 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with silver wax-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a trade (I forget who with; sorry!) and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. 2011 vintage. Reviewed as an imperial stout because the label identifies it as such. Expectations are sky-high; I loved the regular Plead the 5th.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a half finger wide head of great khaki colour. Fantastic mocha-like creaminess. Great thickness. Sadly, the head retention is quite poor - maybe 25 seconds at best. Uneven spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.
Body colour is a solid opaque dark black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.
Overall, it's looking real good for an imperial stout, but is far from unique or special. I've seen much better in the style, especially inasmuch as the head is concerned.
Sm: Chocolate malts, dark malts, cream, and complementary bourbon notes - some rich vanilla and pleasant guiding oak. It's not as toasty or roasty as would be ideal. The coffee has also faded substantially, but there's some vague cappuccino. Caramel.
It's a pleasant aroma of mild strength. To be honest, I expected more complexity and subtlety from the aroma.
No hop character or yeast character is detectable. It's quite clean.
T: I dig the bourbon; the vanilla and oak are nice, but I do want some toasty character from it. Dark malts and chocolate malts provide the foundation, with some sparse coffee/cappuccino in there too. Cream. Caramel. I'm not finding much (if any) roasted barley. It's a well balanced build, but while cohesive isn't quite gestalt. The barrel notes are well integrated into the base, but it doesn't feel like a perfect marriage. Good complexity and some nice subtlety. Not particularly nuanced or intricate. It's a bit too ashy and burnt on the climax, which is joined unfavorably by an unbecoming coffee-like bitterness.
It's certainly on the sweeter side.
Mf: I love the creaminess. Smooth. Wet. Has an even consistency. Well-carbonated. Good thickness and body. Good presence on the palate.
Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.
Dr: I'm not sure if age has really helped it, but it's a tasty imperial stout. I'm glad I got to try it, but it's not amongst the best in the style. I'd pick it up if I saw it on the shelf, sure, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out. I'd like to try it fresh. Hides its ABV pretty well. Damn good, but not world class. Quite drinkable, though.
Serving type: bottle
01-01-2014 02:25:26 | More by kojevergas
3.78/5 rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
(750ml shared at Dak's Final Four tasting!). Pours oily dark brown with think khaki head. Aroma has sweet bourbon, vanilla and oak. Taste is sweet with some sour notes. Full bodied with oily texture. Good, but I had higher expectations of this one..
Serving type: bottle
04-03-2011 22:05:35 | More by trappistlover
3.8/5 rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Thanks to JBuddle for sharing!
Looks like an imperial stout, leaving good lace. Nice aroma of bourbon-coated roasty malts. Dark, almost burnt. Slight oxidization too.
Roasty up front, though the bourbon takes over quickly and overwhelms the other flavors. The barrel aging is a kinda out of control here; the barrel character shouldn't be this prominent.
Huge body is this brew's savior. Bourbon be damned: the viscous mouthfeel is right where it needs to be.
I prefer the base beer -- especially with age -- but this isn't bad. I hear last year's batch was much better (makes sense; the beer I'm drinking isn't anywhere near deserving of a 4.48 average). Hope I can try a 2010 bottle someday.
Serving type: bottle
06-30-2012 03:54:37 | More by brystmar
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,845 ratings.