1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

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

1,590 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1590
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.13%


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
Ratings: 1,590 | Reviews: 288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is jet black with a dark khaki head. The lacing is nonexistent. The aroma is crisp vanilla with a dark licorice complexity and beautiful bourbon notes. The flavor is booming work vanilla and bourbon with a common imperial stout complexity. There is beautiful licorice and roasted malt character and this is just great.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2014 12:26:16 | More by jbaker67
Photo of Kramerbarthomer
Kramerbarthomer

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage, 12 oz bottle

A - Pitch black, no lights getting through this bad boy

S - light bourbon notes on top of a roasted toffee aroma

T - The bourbon is there, but it's mild, but pleasant. Compiiments the other flavors well

M - Quite sticky, near perfect for this style

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, but not quite the best barrel aged stout I've had. Definitely a worthy addition to the BA top 250, but not quite a top 25 beer in my opinion. But in the end, this beer is still excellent. Seek it out!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 02:50:42 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of drmcleod10
drmcleod10

Missouri

4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing from two different tastings, both from the 2013 batch

A - Dark and viscous with minimal head as with most BA beers. Solid lacing

S - Dark chocolate hints with vanilla smells, the barrel comes through on this with the always vanilla, oaky, earthy, roast balance coming through

T - Thick chocolate feel with amazing barrel character that is not overpowering. Dark fruits come through this towards the end on the back of the tongue with the vanilla, oak, and bourbon tastes shining through to create an amazing balance

M - Medium to full-bodied, a little thinner than most other stouts but with the high ABV i guess that can happen

O - I was definitely excited and hyped this beer up, it certainly was not a let down

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 23:00:04 | More by drmcleod10
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 02:33:28 | More by jlindros
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks so much man!). The Julian dating on the neck has partially rubbed off but appears to be 3363, or 12/2/13. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours oil black with a tiny eighth finger cap of tan head. Very little retention and no lace.

Sweet, inviting aromas of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa and caramel. Nice.

Taste follows the nose but so much better. Flavors of soft, sweet bourbon throughout with layers of dark chocolate, vanilla, roasty malts, oak, molasses, caramel and espresso. Terrific balance of bourbon and classic imperial stout. A slight tingle of alcohol but this goes down easily.

Creamy, medium full feel with low carbonation. Perhaps not quite as thick as I'd prefer but it settles on the tongue nicely. Aftertaste of soft bourbon and bittersweet dark chocolate.

I've enjoyed Plead the 5th before but nothing like this. The barrel aging really makes this beer come alive. An excellent treat that is worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2014 04:39:32 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Utopia glass. Thanks Keith for this baby!

A- Pours an oily black, opaque body with a modest mocha colored head that reduces slowly and leaves blotchy lacing.

S- Very inviting and upfront on the nose.. creamy vanilla and milk chocolate, soft bourbon, caramel, burnt marshmallows.

T- Wow.. this is amazing.. sweet vanilla and molasses, whiskey and milk chocolate upfront. The follow through is burnt coffee and dark chocolate. The finish leaves a delectable charred, nearly burn malt taste on the tongue. Very complex, very balanced.

M- Creamy and easy to drink. Rich, full of flavor. Low carbonation.

One of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I've ever had, this one has the upper hand most others due to it's smooth, creamy, balanced character and rich, bold flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 02:44:49 | More by gcamparone
Photo of mechamifune
mechamifune

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a whispy mocha head. Decent lacing. Looks the part.

Smell is bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, and sweet vanilla.

Taste is bourbon upfront followed by roasted and chocolate notes. Ends with a bit of sweetness. Not cloying or anything. Bourbon is well integrated and is prominent without being overwhelming. Reminds me a good deal of BCBS.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and well done for the style. Not quite as good as, say, BCBS or FIS but it is at least in the same ballpark. Full and velvety without feeling hard to drink.

Overall this is a really well done example of the style. If I could get it with some degree of ease I would do so regularly.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2014 18:37:57 | More by mechamifune
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with wisps of cocoa brown cream, this barrel aged stout kept a lace of thick foam for a head.

The aroma is absolutely decadent with strong milk chocolate and creamy vanilla but I catch some dried fruit. Touches of raisin and prune mix with the barrel and bourbon to finish a delightful nose.

The flavor is creamy, milky, with lactose-sweetness and vanilla. The bourbon is very present on the tongue as some of the oak and woodsy properties finish it off.

The feel is warm and creamy, a little thinner than anticipated, with a bit of bourbon tang.

This is strangely different than the regular Plead the Fifth as the barrel has truly transformed the flavors to a creamy, vanilla dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 14:12:32 | More by KYGunner
Photo of chanokokoro
chanokokoro

Illinois

4.76/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. into an unbranded snifter

Pours a dark used motor oil brown capped by a creamy one finger beige head. Excellent retention especially for a barrel-aged stout; light, splotchy lacing. Dark chocolate, dried dark fruit, oak, and bourbon on the nose. An explosion of flavor: dense dark chocolate, scorched malt, dried black cherries, hints of prune and raisin, mild vanilla, charred oak, all capped off by charred oak and pleasant, warming bourbon booziness. Full bodied, low carbonation. Ridiculously smooth, creamy and velvety mouthfeel; as close to perfect as possible. One of the most balanced barrel aged imperial stouts I've ever enjoyed. This brew is a true marvel year in and year out.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 05:42:37 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of jbwimer
jbwimer

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 01:52:53 | More by jbwimer
Photo of IrishHockey
IrishHockey

Indiana

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Split a 12oz 2013 vintage bottle with a buddy and poured into a tulip. Reviewing while intoxicated

Lots of bourbon up front. The pour on this was almost like motor oil. Fantastic!
Very little mocha head on it. The taste was much like the smell... Bourbon goodness. Quite possibly one of the best bourbon imperial stouts I've tasted. Thanks a lot to Weaksauce for this as an extra!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 04:37:54 | More by IrishHockey
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 12oz bottle from 2013. Thanks surge1311!

A - Deep black with no light coming through and very little head. Looks like a glass of motor oil.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak and a hint of molasses. Gets better and better as it warms.

T - Lots of bourbon! It hits hard on the first sip but the palate adjusts quickly. It's got great depth and richness with a moderate bitterness in the finish. The alcohol is pretty apparent. This is a big bold beer.

M - Thick and creamy. The carbonation is there but very much in the background.

O - The bourbon might be a bit too dominant but it was still a special beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 21:56:44 | More by GJ40
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.81/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A dark black pour with a red hue on the brown lacing. Finger of head with instant dissipation.
Smells fantastic. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, licorice.
The flavor is even better, an amazing blend of bourbon, dark roasted grains, sweet and dark chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, vanilla. Fan tastic.
Full body with low carbonation. Thick, creamy, and a pleasure to drink.
This was well worth the patient wait to acquire. An amazing bba stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 01:55:31 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of AdamF625
AdamF625

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- thick and black with a thin mocha head. It leaves a nice brown lacing on the glass.
S-bourbon, sweet chocolate, toffee, booze, oak, and spiced rum.
T- bourbon and cocoa forward then some nice roasted, chocolate, and black malts take over. Licorice, vanilla, caramel, and espresso are also lingering. As the beer warms up you get a lot of marshmallow and fudge.
M- thick and oily with low to medium carbonation. It leaves you with coat of sweet fudge and bourbon on your palate.
O- There is a lot going on here and it mends so well. Take your time and really accept all the wonderful nuances this beer has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 19:34:14 | More by AdamF625
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Inky black, obviously viscous, with a surprisingly active carbonation that forms a coffee colored 1/4" of head. The surface coating sticks for a while.

Layers upon layers of scents... Coffee, dark roasted. Vanilla, oak, blackstrap molasses, cola.

One of the best tasting bb stouts I can recall. The bourbon barrel pulls great bourbon qualities without being too boozy. Vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and even a light nutty quality. Coffee, anise, molasses. Incredibly complex and intermingled. Long finish of heavily roasted malt.

Phenomenal mouthfeel. Hefty, creamy, smooth. There's no mistaking it for a bb stout but it's surprisingly drinkable.

It's my first time trying this out and it instantly moves into the discussion of all time favorites. A superb beer that's found the right integration of the barrel.

2013 vintage

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 01:52:03 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.06/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage, thanks bevoduz !!

pours jet black, pretty decent viscosity. little to no head. appears pretty still.

very bourbon forward, alcohol infused stout paired with bitter dark chocolate

similar to nose, very alcohol forward. has a lot of Jack Daniels flavors popping out up front. the base is a bit subdued but deep in there is a sweet roasted body.

very moderate carbonation mixed with the alcohol, you get some bite. this has some bite.

good BA stout, maybe needs some time? this is a tad rough on the edges. i am grateful for finally being able to try this thanks to a generous BA.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 21:15:58 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
GeorgiaBeerGuy

Georgia

4.96/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle, 2013 vintage, copper wax, @ 48° F into a snifter.

Special thanks to biniek13 for this opportunity!

A: Dark, thick, with an open, tan-brown head that quickly dissipates.

S: Bourbon, coffee, fig, chocolate.... some booze, but not overpowering.

T: Heaven in a glass. This is a perfectly balanced Bourbon barreled RIS. Sweet, bourbon and dark fruit, bitter chocolate... not noticing a coffee flavor like I did in the nose.

M: Thick enough, and sticks to the palate. Slight burn in the throat after the swallow to let you know the booze is there.

O: If this was available in GA (or easily available anywhere!) I would definitely stock up on these. Fantastic. Saving the other bottle for a while to see how it changes....

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 23:18:34 | More by GeorgiaBeerGuy
Photo of MarcWP
MarcWP

Arizona

4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Copper wax Van Winkle. Joke.


Pours typical, black with no light coming through, small toasted almond colored head that leaves a tiny ring around the edge of the snifter.


Aroma is heavy bourbon, molasses, bitter dark bakers chocolate, fudge, brown sugar, and a definite date and fig fruitiness.


The taste brings heavy roast, bourbon, molasses, fudge, brown sugar, burnt fig, oak, vanilla extract, and bitter coffee. The flavor is pretty balanced between the roast, sweetness, fruitiness, and booziness of the bourbon. The finish lacks the complexity of the mid palate though.


Mouthfeel suffers a bit compared to the rest of the beer but is still good. More fullness would be awesome but the carbonation is spot on for the style. A medium mouthfeel when it should be at least a heavy side of medium.


Overall an excellent bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Not at the level of some of the best I've had, but definitely on their heels. Will be interesting to see how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 03:07:30 | More by MarcWP
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, shared with stillmatic2232. Thanks a lot, man!

Pours a beautiful velvety black into matching snifters. Nice mocha-colored head lasts for about 15 minutes.

Smells great- dark malt, cocoa, oak, and well-integrated bourbon.

Tastes even better. All of the above smells are amplified. This is one of the best barrel-aged stouts I've ever had. Dark Horse really knew what they were doing here. The roasty bitterness of the dark malt intermingles so well with the sweet, leathery, oaky bourbon flavors. Awesome!

Pretty sticky and viscous mouthfeel. Goes down so easy. Well carbonated.

Awesome BA stout. Don't let the slightly amateur label job fool you- this stout is great. More and more people know about this winner of a beer- so it's no longer a "dark horse."

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 04:10:36 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to jdhowe for sharing this recently. 2013 vintage. Note that as of this writing I have not tried the regular Plead the 5th yet, but I intend to crack it open eventually. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

As expected, pours a thick syrup of a stout, with a treacle-like consistency that appears to end as sludge into the glass, save for some minor mocha-colored foam that shows yet gently dissipates throughout the course of consumption. Super viscous, oily, and resinous if I ever saw a stout of this caliber before - my favorite part was the tremendous amount of scattered shrapnel lacing that coated all sides of the glass every time that I would give this a good swirl. Normally extremely syrupy looking RIS offerings are not my favorite, but this one contains a bit of prowess and charm overall in its liqueur like properties. Very memorably intimidating.

Wow! That's an extremely sweet bourbon aged stout, but for reasons you'd perhaps least expect. Yes, there's some classic bourbon sweet notes of toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon at the back, but the front is chock filled with the sweetness of caramel soaked dark cherries, blackcurrant, and figs, as well as obvious notes of roasted chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Impressive barrel spices and non-fruit make up the mid flavor, releasing notes of licorice, tobacco, leather, and violets throughout. Very stimulating stuff, with the only major drawback being the high presence of booze throughout, notably stinging the nostrils at every whiff. Sweet, but pretty restrained. Still extremely complex and memorable, as this kinds of beers must be.

I expected a boozy, sweet, barrel laden RIS from the aroma, but instead after my first sip I came across, to my knowledge, the most balanced and perhaps easy-going offering of its kind. It's a big beer, no doubt, but doesn't make that clear throughout. Vivid, rich notes of fudge, chocolate nibs, caramel, and molasses sugar coat dark fruit notes (mainly of dark cherries and prunes) as the beer soon melts with many of the barrel spices mentioned earlier. Vanilla and toffee are obvious, but tobacco, leather, and pepper are also very present. Earthy and roasted, with some sweetness and fruitiness that makes it feel robust in character. Finishes medium-bodied, with a dry, bready flavor awash with spices and sweetness that cleanse the palate overall. Stupidly balanced, as far as the style goes - this provides the drinker with all the best aspects within it without one of them overpowering the other. If it weren't for the high booze, I could certainly have more of this in one evening.

This is an amazing beer, and absolutely worth checking out, but I enjoyed it for many surprisingly different reasons from what I'd initially heard. It's rich, robust, and contains all of the barrel characteristics I enjoy best in these beers, but it doesn't smack you upside the head doing it, which I enjoy. No clue how this would age, but it's pretty extraordinary fresh. Don't go too much out of your way to get some, but all fans of the style should have it at least once.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 02:14:07 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of JohnG190
JohnG190

New York

4.91/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks MichiganderHB! 2013 vintage. Pours jet black with a super thin, mocha head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass. Good lacing. Complex aromas of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, molasses, and dark chocolate. This is one of the best BA stouts I've ever smelled! Smooth dark chocolate hits the front of the palate followed by caramel,vanilla, and dark fruits. The bourbon isn't as pronounced as in other BA stouts and it's extremely smooth and mellow. As it warms the chocolate really comes out with hints of toffee and molasses. Finish is chocolate with a hint of bourbon heat. Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Not much carbonation to speak of. Sweet finish. Overall, this is the best example of a bourbon barrel stout I've yet had. Simply outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 23:17:31 | More by JohnG190
Photo of jdhowe
jdhowe

California

4.55/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:03:56 | More by jdhowe
Photo of JohnParadee
JohnParadee

Delaware

4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into a small tulip glass. Deep dark black. Thin beige head, dissipates to minimal rim, lots of tiny bubbles. Awesome lacing & retention. Beautiful nose of chocolate & coffee, burnt roasted malt. On the palate, roasted chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. Not as boozy as others. Alcohol is almost unnoticeable, but strong carbonation. Overall, a delightful experience.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2014 13:47:00 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
HoppyKilaMonster

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2013 Vintage
A- Pours near pitch black with a nice cream colored head.

S-Creamy bourbon. Nice vanilla undertones.

T-Bourbon up front, followed closely by oak, vanilla, and finally a slight alcoholic burn.

M-Smooth and creamy. A little high on the carbonation for a barrel aged stout.

O- A well done brew. Easy drinker, but that little alcohol kick at the end lets you know it is an 11% beast.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 01:31:41 | More by HoppyKilaMonster
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage into an old hickory snifter. bottling date dec 5 2013 bottle # 4724 / 4813

Pours a pitch black with a big inch and a half thick beige head. Smell is very big no bourbon...nice! the taste and feel is so creamy and the bourbon is very big up front...bigger than bourbon county even. Alcohol heat is also very pronounced...this is a big beer for sure! very full bodied, on point. the creaminess feel is so amazing, my god.

overall lives up to the hype as a world class beer....sweet!

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 01:47:35 | More by Axnjxn
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,590 ratings.