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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

1,578 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1578
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: 1,578 | Reviews: 288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011, thanks Jamie!

pours a dark, inky black ale with just a little bit of mocha rim. No lace. Aroma bursts from the bottle with cocoa, cake batter, caramel, oak, bourbon, bourbon...did I mention bourbon?

Taste follows suit with cocoa, cake, vanilla, caramels, hints of tannin, praline and even a little bit of....bourbon! I can't believe this beer is 14%, it is sooo well hidden, insane. Really lovely flavor.

Mouthfeel is liquid oil. Really smooth with full body and low carb. Im really impressed with this beer overall. Wish I had more of theses puppies. Damn fine brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 15:31:17 | More by harrymel
Photo of ChugginOil
ChugginOil

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 07:32:34 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of MrFootstones
MrFootstones

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 06:22:48 | More by MrFootstones
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 14:42:47 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 03:02:08 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz, silver wax dipped bottle to CBS snifter on 1/23/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to TurdFurgison & normyk for the hook-ups --

Vintage 2011

A: Pure, unadulterated motor oil. One of the thickest, glass coating beers on the planet. A hearty pour straight down the middle of the snifter yields a tightly packed and dense .5 finger head. Killer retention.

S: Hot bourbon and tannic, charry wood. Immensly rich. Good Jesus is this an angry beer.

T: Wow. It's like a sucker punch to the jowels. This is a massive, complex and jaw droppingly big beer. It's charry up front, which coats my mouth. Hints of crispy vanilla and hard, firm tannin on the mid. The finish is big league booze and gallons of over the top bourbon with a healthy kick of hops. As it warms, the alcohol becomes much more pronounced. In my opinion, this needs some serious time in the cellar.

M: In a category that contains BCBS, KtG, BT and more, this pony holds it's own and then some. Extremely silky - it's creamy and smooth with a luxurious vibe to it. This literally envelops my mouth.

O: Hand this over to your cellar. I'll bet that six to eighteen months will settle this bad boy down, and allow it's colossal amount of potential to shine through. With a bit of time, this could be one for the ages, and something so epic, words won't begin to describe it.

Dark Horse has created a near masterpiece with their BB Plead the 5th. Like John Wayne in "The Searchers", I highly recommend getting on your stallion and tracking this beast down.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:15:19 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer and concentrating around the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a little more of the bourbon and barrel character to it. I get some dark chocolate and brown sugar to it with just a bit of roasted malts to it. The bourbon is nice in it, very smooth.

The taste really integrates the bourbon barrel flavors into the beer nicely. It has a very rich, dark chocolate, brownie batter like flavor to it up front with a little more of a bitter, coffee, roasty character in the finish. The bourbon is smooth and adds some great complexity with some notes of brown sugar, oak, vanilla and alcohol. It had some really great flavors to it but what really impressed me is how well they balance the beer and barrel flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a fantastic beer. The flavors came together extremely well in it and the barrel flavors complimented the beer perfectly instead of overpowering it. This one definitely lived up to the hype for me, one of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 02:14:06 | More by billab914
Photo of spdyfire83
spdyfire83

Ireland

4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

131st Review
750mL bottle to Avery snifter

From notes. Thanks Doodler! Your generosity and ability to track down hard-to-get beers is superb. I'm just thankful that I'm around to enjoy such tasty treat and can't wait to return the favor.

A: Deep, dark brown. Barely a quarter (mocha) fingernail head on medium pour.

S: Burnt cocoa nibs, sweet bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted dark malt, and a hint of coffee.

T: Amazing! Deep, complex, dark, and just so smooth. Much like the smell with the addition of raisin, molasses, and toffee.

M: Full bodied and soft carbonation.

O: Truly a wonderful beer! Excellent barrel aging here. I thoroughly enjoyed the complexity and think it is a nice compliment to the regular (base) beer. I could drink this often and think it will age beautifully.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 11:47:10 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Uh whoa. That's the long and short of it. Into 25cl saison glass @ room temp thanks to my main man kzoobrew.

Pours low carbonation with a very dark brown head that's about a 1/2 finger. Considering the ABV, I'd say it looks damn good.

Aroma is intoxicating- I am swooning. Toasted oak, bourbon, vanilla and deep dark malt.

Taste... what can I say? This beer is hot and heavy. Lots of bourbon. The base holds up well, though, and the flavors meld. I think this is an improvement on an already great beer. Bourbon drinkers will appriciate this. The toasted oak and caramel/vanilla bourbon flavors do the base beer well. Already a rich stout, the barrels make it opulent.

This one is pretty hot- I really like it although I like hot beers. I think the bourbon is rather dominant but it's not over-reaching. Assertive without being overbearing.

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good stuff. Thanks, kzoo.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 16:48:06 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of ManVersusBeer
ManVersusBeer

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the the silver waxed 12 oz. 2011 version of this delicious beer.

It is a very dark, though subtle dark tan with a little head.
A nice sweet coffee bean in the nose followed by chocolate bar and caramel, not toffee. Just like a Milky Way.
Vanilla, huge vanilla and then caramel with touches of milky cocoa and chocolate milk. That's the bourbon coming through, although I don't taste too much oak. I get some nice butterscotch dipped vanilla ice cream, too.
The mouthfeel has a bit of roasty bitterness which is nice when paired with the sweetness of this brew. It is creamy, mildly sticky with what I feel is below average carbonation. The Bourbon Barrel version is definitely better, and bolder, than the original.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 19:54:36 | More by ManVersusBeer
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 vintage.

pours the customary used motor oil black; a fairly aggressive pour yields an expected short lived mocha / almost cinnamon tone head.

assertive nose offers a wallop of bourbon right out of the gate, which is followed by chocolate and roasted malt characters; secondary notes of vanilla, molasses, and a subtle dark fruit-like presence.

flavor follows the nose pretty closely. make no mistake, this one is a bourbon bomb (which i live for), but the bourbon doesn't overwhelm the other elements. the chocolate, roastiness, vanilla et al pull through in fine form. delicious. full bodied mouthfeel, velvety more than chewy if that makes sense. some heat but not what you'd expect from a 14% monster.

overall, a stellar imperial stout. almost unfair to lump some of these barrel-aged beers in with the general population, but this one stands out even among other -bals. special thanks to abanton for this gem.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 05:33:16 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Most recent batch

A - One of the darkest beers I've seen. serious brown head. Good.

S - Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, dark fruits, tanned leather. Dang, it's good.

T - Great complexity to this taste. It's sweet (dark fruits and chocolate), dry (earth, wood, meaty), and bourbony. A very nice thing here. Kind of hot.

M - Very smooth. Big mouthfeel. A bit astringent from the alcohol.

O - this is a great beer. It's huge, but works great. Tasty, complex, balanced. Much approval.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 00:51:54 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

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

12oz waxed bottle into a snifter - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours black as night with a decent dark brown head that quickly fades to a ring and leaves the tiniest lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is really amazing. Big aromas of whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, and a slight licorice smell. The whiskey is really apparent and I like it.

T: The taste is wonderful as well. Huge flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, roasted malt, and licorice all assault the tounge with each sip.

M: The feel is damn thick and creamy...about as good as you can get. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen which is incredible for a 14% beer!

O: This is one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had so far. It's huge in all areas. The taste is just a tad bit weak on the barrel notes or else this would be close to perfect. I will say as it warms it vastly improves the taste. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 03:44:45 | More by GregSVT
Photo of travMI13
travMI13

Michigan

4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage. 12 oz. bottle (silver wax) poured into a snifter.

A: This beer pours black as night with slightly reddish edges. Even with an aggressive pour, there is only a very slight tan head to this. The head recedes quickly. Very little lacing.

S: Booze (bourbon), vanilla, and chocolate. All of the things you would expect from a bourbon barrel imperial stout. I must say that the booze definitely dominates, but there is a very sweet quality about it as well.

T: All the flavors from the nose come together beautifully. The chocolate and bourbon dominate the taste, but not in a boozy way. It is very sweet and sticky. A definite liquid dessert. I am very surprised this is not more boozy. The alcohol is well-hidden.

M: Sticky, creamy, and smooth. The lingering flavors are nice on the tongue. I don't get an overly heavy feeling in my mouth, but the sweetness definitely lingers a while. It does not have that full-coating feeling I have gotten from other bourbon barrel imperial stouts.

O: This beer is fantastic. I love sweet imperial stouts, and this is one of the best. Dark Horse takes an already fantastic base beer and hits a grand slam with it. After having it on draft last week at Ashley's in Westland, I decided to crack a bottle to compare. Draft and bottle versions of this are very comparable and equally impressive. I may even stack this alongside KBS and Black Note. One of the true gems of the Michigan craft beer community.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 04:14:40 | More by travMI13
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sent by seeswo in the Blind Beers BIF. The 12-ounce bottle was poured into my fantastic new Three Floyds snifter and reviewed blind.

Inky black, with a dark, fizzy, cinnamon-colored head.

The nose on this one is decidedly swee. Big showing from the underlying stout here, with notes of sugary chocolate, toast and sweet wort immediately noticeable. Below those is more of the fresh oak and smooth bourbon.

Flavor’s great. As the aroma suggested, there’s a big showing from the sweet, chocolatey malt. Cocoa nibs, toffee and a big hit of toasted coconuts play off a nice bourbon character. The liquor here is top-shelf. The flavor continues to improve as it warms, eventually getting to where there’s so much coconut and chocolate, it’s like drinking a liquified Almond Joy. With bourbon.

Carbonation is a notch under medium. The tiny bubbles massage the tongue as I move the thick, medium-full-bodied brew around. There’s even a nice tongue-coating action from the residual sugars. Alcohol seems a little bit bigger than is necessary, though.

A great flavor. Loving the toasted coconut notes, and the bourbon is very well-blended. A tasty, sweet, drinkable stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 03:32:37 | More by Phelps
Photo of MBrausen
MBrausen

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Dougofthefuture for holding this great tasting!

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A. Pours a dark charcoal color with a caramel head about 1mm thick. Settles as a nice foamy ring around the glass

S. Sweet chocolate dominating the smell, noticeable bourbon, caramel and light fruit

T. Sweet and sugary, but not overbearing at all. Very very malty, with dark chocolate and a slight toffee finish.

M. Medium body, coarse and dry finish

O. This is true a top shelf beer. It's sweet but not over done, very malty but not dominating the whole beer, the chocolate is at a good level, and a nice light coffee finish. This is a beer I will be looking to get more and more of. I suggest everyone try this!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 21:46:13 | More by MBrausen
Photo of joshuaseresse
joshuaseresse

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks goes out to erikkoppin for this bottle in a recent trade. 12oz bottle, served into a snifter:

A - Pours a deep black with a nice chocolate mocha head that dies into a nice foam ring around the edges. Murky clouds in the middle with other hints of foam. Lacing is there but doesn't stick around for too long.

S - Smells of fresh bourbon, wood, roast and some chocolate. Little bit of vanilla and tobacco leaf, leather and touches of espresso and mocha. Pretty decent smell, but could use a few years of age to be perfect. I'd rank this one a 4.25 but I'll round up since I have a feeling it will reach perfection in a few years.

T - A decent amount of charred oak, roasted coffee/espresso and smooth bourbon. Notes of chocolate, fudge and again, some tobacco leaf. Even though you can tell the bourbon is there, there is no heat to it. Mostly some bitter coffee notes and more of the above mentioned flavors. Even though I like it, I'm going to also score this a 4.25, and since I upped the smell, this one will be a 4.

M - A little bit of sweetness from the bourbon and chocolate flavors, but toward the end this thing starts to dry out the mouth. Again, no burn from the bourbon or ABV. The carbonation is smooth and creamy.

O - This is a pretty decent BA stout. I really enjoy the smell and taste, but the mouthfeel is slightly off putting. This is the first time I've had this brew, and while I like it now, I know that it'll be the bees knees in a few years. Thanks again Erik for the assist!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 05:14:38 | More by joshuaseresse
Photo of slentz
slentz

Pennsylvania

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

Thanks to Steve for this bottle in a secret Santa box.

Bottle to CBS snifter at about 50 degrees.

A: Easy pour down the center of the glass leads to a half finger worth of tan mocha head that recedes to a very thin ring. Very dark, no light is penetrating this. Looks very good in the glass. The fact that there is head on a 14% stout is impressive in the least. Really nice legs on this. First gave this a 4.5 but after looking at it for a while this deserves a 5.0 or more. 5.0

S: Wow. This smells incredible. Chocolate, bourbon, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, caramel, slight coffee, some molasses and light brown sugar. Hardly a hint of alcohol. 4.5

T: Again truly impressed by this beer. It's super smooth. Very little alcohol bite. Just as in the nose: bourbon, vanilla, a hint of caramel, molasses. As it warms the alcohol becomes more present. Actually prefer this one a little more with slight chill on it. This is one impressive beer. The bourbon and oak is very well integrated into the base beer. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy. Good carbonation here. Quite chewy, leaves a slick feeling. Pretty much perfect mouthfeel. 5.0

O: Overall this is a damn fine beer. Very glad I got to try this. I will be seeking out more of this in the future. Thanks to Dark Horse for making more of this and putting it in 12oz bottles. 5.0

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:25:47 | More by slentz
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to lurchingbeast for this awesome extra!

pours out complete opaque motor oil black with a dark mocha colored head that rather quickly faded to a thin yet retentive ring. off a swirl, a little sticky lace, but more so some nice legs left on the glass.

big boozey bourbon attacks the nostrils, oaky, woody vanilla, burnt roasted malts, a little dark chocolate and dark fruits. more and more bourbon comes out as it warms.

wow, that first taste almost blew me away. awesome bourbon flavors, big vanilla, more so towards the finish, burnt, dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, burnt marshmallows, dark chocolate cake. really some wonderful bourbon flavors in the finish, for me, thats when the magic really happens. there is such a wonderful marriage of flavors here that i dont even have words for.

creamy, low carb which is nice, big chewy mouthfeel. very warming. silky.

really a wonderful bourbon barrel aged stout. the regular plead the fifth was such a well done impy stout, so i had such high hopes for this and i was definatly not let down. ill definatly seek out more of this for the cellar if possible. great beer, loads of bourbon, still i dont think i can say its better than bourbon county, although extremely close.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 23:26:11 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of mattboyer182
mattboyer182

Indiana

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours dark black and a vague tan head.

S - bourbon hits you in the face. Rich malts and apparent alcohol.

T - wow. Sweet intense bourbon. Great wood taste lies underneath.

M - heavy, rich body and light carbonation.

O - for sure the best out of these stouts. So sweet and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 03:23:57 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

12oz bottle from my favorite MI trader.

Pours pitch black, just like the regular 5th with a small mocha head that recedes slowly to a thin collar with a little lacing.

Aroma is very sweet with lots of vanilla and dark chocolate with a solid bourbon presence. There are some roasted malts in the nose but it's definitely sweet with some molasses coming through, maybe hints of smoke and leather. Gorgeous nose.

Taste is thick and chocolaty with heavily roasted black malts and licorice anchoring the backbone. The vanilla is still there but more subtle than the nose and the wood from the barrel is more prominent in the finish.

The mouthfeel is wonderful, fullish and creamy, with the perfect amount of carbonation, just sticking to the palate after each sip.

The nose is more complex than the nose with the sweetness mixing with the barrel perfectly. The taste isn't quite as nice but it's still excellent. This is a nice example of what barrels can add to a beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 05:24:50 | More by gford217
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to bierenutz for hooking this one up.

a - pried open the wax and opened the bottle filling my oversized southampton ris snifter. poured a deep ominous sludgy black with a thin creamy tan head that was gone quick leaving hardly a trace that it was ever there aside from some bubbles. swirling the glass brings things back to life, but again, gone quick. lacing is spotty and slippery, but swirls of the glass definitely leaves traces.

s - as soon as i opened this, i smelled the wonderfulness. deep whaf of the glass is HUGE booziness. dark chocolate and fruits from the original are there...but the sweetness of the boozy wood enhances this one quite a bit. REALLY really nice...exactly what i look for in a bourbon barrel aged RIS...boozy magic!

t - yowza, that's a big beer. really roasty. big malt bill with lots of chocolate and even hints of fresh french roast coffee. the bourbon is there as well but much more integrated in the flavor than the smell. after the initial shock of the fullness of the beer, the flavors settle in and the barrel adds a really nice touch. as it warmed it did become a bit of a chore to drink (which is usually the opposite of these kinds of beers for me). perhaps it was the bourbon element coming out more, but i found that it was a sipper and taking my time with it helped at first and then there was a sweet spot that once passed, it was more meh than great.

m - dangerously easy drinker for such a big beer. silky and rich. coats my mouth and leaves a subtle tingle. finishes a tad bitter.

o - overall i wish i had a regular plead to do the side-by-side as i remembered loving it and remember the flavors rich and bold much like this. i'm a big fan of this and glad i have a few more of these and really glad i got to try it and that dark horse made enough to go around this time. enjoyable beer for sure, but not as earth shattering as i had hoped...i actually prefer the 2011 fresh BCBS that i swapped for this, but again, glad to have a few of these to taste over time.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 04:19:45 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

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

Reviewed blind as part of the Blind Beer BIF 6, thanks to Abraxel

A - Poured from a paper bag wrapped 12 oz. bottle, i'm surprised when an oil black liquid spews forth leaving no foam until after the pour when a 1/2 of rich brown foam forms on top. A quick swirl leaves an oily sheen dripping down the sides of the glass
4
S - Deep rich cocoa, coffee and roasted malts fill the nose, maybe some bourbon in there as well. Very nice smell indeed. No one thing stands out, but meld nicely together.
4
T - Big chocolate taste with hints of coffee with some bourbon I think, very roasty but not detracting. Just a big hit of chocolate that sticks with you the whole way through. Very enjoyable and makes you go back for more again and again.
4.5
M - smooth and silky, very creamy with just a hint of carbonation peeking through. It fits this beer perfectly.
4.5
D - Very easy to drink, I don't know the alcohol, but if its there you can't tell at all.
4.5

the unveiling...

Awesome! Bourbon Barrel Plead The 5th! First time having this beer and it sure lives up the what i've heard about it. Big thanks to Abraxel for another homerun!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 03:56:52 | More by mikereaser
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oline73

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2011 bottle poured into my colossus snifter. I got this in a BIF today and was so excited I decided to open it up.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a half finger layer of cocoa colored head. The head fades to a ring around edge of the glass with just a swirl of carbonation in the middle.

Smell: Sweet roasty malt with some dark fruit and smooth alcohol. I'm picking up some caramel and vanilla from the barrels. There is also cocoa and bourbon in the nose. Very nice.

Taste: This is a really smooth BA Imperial Stout. The slightly burnt roasty malt sweetness hits you first, with some dark fruit just behind. The barrel aging was artfully done. The bourbon and caramel from the barrel are very present in the taste, but not hot at all. The finish is warm and full of bourbon and sweet cocoa notes.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium, but thin compared to what I was expecting. Tingly carbonation with a very slick finish. The beer sticks to you mouth long after you swallow.

Overall: Not disappointed at all. This is a fantastic brew and I plan on having more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 02:56:54 | More by oline73
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this beer is the #7 top Russian Imperial Stout on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - Russian Imperial Stout" list. Another top 10 beer for me. A big thanks to Thorpe for letting me have some of this beer during our impromptu epic New Years Day tasting.

Beer served in a sniffer. Beer is black, oily, this dark brown head of small bubbles, low retention, falls back to halo the glass minimal lacing and low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, chocolate, strong malt presence. The boubon come through strong. Mild oak. Smells like a big bourbon stout.

Beer is medium to big in body, malty sweet with a strong bourbon character. Fudge and chocolate with minimal roast. The sweetness carries through all the way to the end. The bourbon wins in this beer. So sweet, so oaky, vanilla, booze but without heat. I really liked it.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 17:14:27 | More by drabmuh
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,578 ratings.