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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

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

2,116 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,116
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 1,891
Gots: 497 | FT: 47
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
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Ratings: 2,116 | Reviews: 317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Sammy, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -12.1%

t0rin0, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +9.9%

spycow, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour shared by DarthKostrizer at his place.

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, cocoa, cinnamon, wood, and bourbon. Taste is pretty much the same with an alcohol kick in the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it’s a bit hot in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

djrn2, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

zestar, May 12, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

acurtis, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Eric for bringing this bottle to the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago.  Really glad to be able to try this.  Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pour yields a beer that is near black with a thin whisper of a mocha head without any real retention, just a few bubbles here and there.  The nose brings forward all sorts of delight with nice bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and roast.  Also, there was a bit of a creamy peanut butter note that I really enjoyed.  The taste wasn't quite as nice and explosive but the bourbon did quite a few great things for the base beer.  Good oak and bourbon throughout, creating a really nice feel.  No hint of the huge alcohol presence. Drinks quite well and my pour was gone well before I had gotten enough of this to satisfy my thirst.  Thanks again, Eric!

Thorpe429, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

nmann08, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Texasfan549, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

GRG1313, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

kjkinsey, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.14/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with some brownish highlights on the edge; the head lays a film on top of the liquid and then fades to a ringlet while leaving a nice pattern of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Dark fruit, licorice, dark chocolate, citrus and some oak; not picking up much in the way of Bourbon

Taste: The dark fruit (prune, primarily), licorice and dark chocolate flavors dominate the front end with some citrusy hops appearing, in the middle; the Bourbon appears, after the swallow, adding oak and vanilla; chops more wood into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: For what is currently #19 on the Top 250 list, I was expecting something a bit more than what I got; still, this beer is a solid Bourbon barrel RIS, just not an earth shatterer

Thanks, Tenchi221, for the opportunity

brentk56, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing what a barrel can do, Dark Horse's Plead the 5th goes into the barrel as an slightly unrefined catterpiller but emerges from its oaken cocoon as ominous and succulent butterfly. Upon its revival, utter decadence is realized!

You don't so much as pour the beer, rather you pop the cap and let it crawl out on its own. As it settles in the snifter, its lavish pitch-black body creeps to the bottom while a mocha-laden lather billows above. Its fledgling head character eventually succumbs to the beer's weight and renders it lacing as unimportant. What transpires instead in a shaddowy port or brandy appearance.

Its decadent dessert-like and boozy sweetness soothes the soul with a mere sip. Dark chocolate, espresso, creamy toffee-wrapped malt, walnut brownies and molasses round out the stouts surly scent. But a rise of bourbon happens as the beer warms, unlocking its sweet booziness with a soft pillow of caramel, vanilla, coconut and vinous cherry aroma.

Sipping as a cordial, the most subtle draw seeps into taste buds with sheer dominant roasty-sweet flavor. Coffeehouse espresso is softened with bittersweet chocolate, black-strap molasses and a creamy fudge flavor. As the stout slowly treks over the middle, its hearty sweetness slowly fades into a bitter coffee trail that's once again greeted with drunken oak. Its boozy char brings about a host of elegant power- its thin caramel is slightly of honey as the unmistakable coconut and vanilla offer the whimsy that only fine bourbon can. Even a savory vinous tone offers up sherry, port, merlot and even soy sauce.

Its full body simply laughs at any attempt for drinkability- this is a sipper as its enormous viscosity coats the mouth its oily chewiness. As its warm and toasted finish transpires, the stout retains much of its body, refusing to be dissected by its strong alcohols or its vinous tannin spiciness.

This special Plead the 5th doesn't pair with any after dinner dessert or snack. It is the after dinner dessert. Just sit back, relax and let this decadent ale steal your soul!

BEERchitect, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of light dry roasted malt notes with some black chocolate notes with medium bourbon notes with some vanilla undertones. Taste is also dominated by creamy black chocolate notes with some light dry roasted malt. Body is full with creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Not as complex as I was expecting but very well balance overall with chocolate and bourbon creating an efficient mix.

Phyl21ca, May 06, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -12.1%

ygtbsm94, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Derek. Thanks!

Black in color with a nice viscosity and a finger of dense brown head. Heavy on the bourbon and vanilla, as expected. Great chocolate character with hints of roasted malt, caramel, and molasses. Pleasantly sweet, but not cloying. Great milk chocolate and vanilla flavors all the way through with tons of bourbon as well. Not too heavy on the oak, but a little bit is present. Mild roasted malt and caramel flavors.

womencantsail, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011: The grand finale to the night spent with jzeilinger. Poured this between the two of us. This beer was black it had a brown head that was faded quickly but left a ring around the edge of the glass. The look of the beer is pretty typical for the style. The smell of the beer is surprising to me, I expected the barrel aging to stand out a lot more on this. There is some vanilla on the nose along with some other sweet aromas. The taste of the beer is also really subtle. I was surprised by this, Really thought you'd be able to get much more intense flavors of the barrel and the bourbon. It's a great tasting beer regardless. The mouthfeel is thick and gently carbonated, it's a very smooth beer. Overall it's much more balanced than I expected, it's a solid beer from start to finish. I would have enjoyed a little more bourbon on it though. It's good but I don't feel it's worth the 100% rating on here.

Knapp85, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

SocalKicks, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Adam and Anna. Thanks!

Oily, viscous black with a small dark brown cap.

The aroma is great - rich dark malts backed by strong but well integrated bourbon barrel. Milk chocolate, fudge, caramel, slight mustiness from the barrel and a hint of tar from the dark malt. Some noticeable alcohol, but no harshness.

Flavors of dark chocolate fudge and scorched malt frolic alongside caramel and vanilla. The body is huge and oily with a low level of carbonation. Tarry, burnt malt lends some balance to an otherwise sweet finish. The lingering sweetness reminds me of Jack Daniels. Alcohol is surprisingly reigned-in, I'd never guess this was 14%.

Plead the 5th is already a great beer, and this is even better. Impressive stuff.

largadeer, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second time trying this, too bad it's served in such a tiny glass. I can only imagine the pure devastation that a growler would bring.

Jet black with a sticky cap of mocha foam. It sticks around for the duration, and adheres to the sides. Did I mention sticky? Doesn't look all that different from Plead the 5th, it seems to have definitely retained carbonation after time in the barrel.

Deep fudgy chocolate and blackened, fried plantains dripping in brown sugar syrup. Not overly sweet, but with a vanilla barrage from the barrel. Dark roast and bittersweet chocolate figure large in the equation. Rich flavor, blackened roasted barley, toasted marshmallow, vanilla and chocolate intermingling, with a light sweetness peeking through in the middle. Even carbonation, and with a bigger swig the alcohol is evident, but creeps by unnoticed when sipped. It has an unwavering intensity that is impressive. A solid A+ RIS from Dark Horse.

emerge077, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler.

When I first had this beer many moons ago, even in the midst of other harder-than-usual-to-come-by barrel-aged stouts and such, I felt lucky as hell to have had the privilege of its acquaintanceship. Then I was given a second chance. Pinch me. Anyway, this stuff pours a bedevilingly dark and murky black-brown topped by a short finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises bourbon, roasted malts, dark chocolate powder, light wood, a touch of booze, and the faintest hint of vanilla bean. The taste brings in more of the same, everything colluding to effect a luscious melange of bourbon-y, chocolate-y, and roast-y tastiness. The body is a light hefty, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a fairly chewy feel. Overall, this is still one of the best barrel-aged stouts I've ever come across. Perhaps the beer gods will smile on me again in the future...?

TMoney2591, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

truly delicious, and enormously better than the base beer. this is perhaps the greatest improvement from base beer to barrel aged edition i have ever seen, not that there is anything wrong with the base beer, but that its not so outstanding and one of a kind as this variant. beautiful stuff, high luster dark brown, with a milky thick mocha head. the nose isnt all barrel, but that vanilla sweetness is robust. it pulls the bitter out of the base beer and balances it brilliantly, all united in oak. i get some coconut and some dark chocolate in here in the taste, even some dark fruits, maybe dried cherries for a minute, before the bourbon slowly starts to take over the palate. amazing how mellow the alcohol is on this, especially considering its not all that viscous compared to others in the same style. the finish is long but only a little sweet, i could have another glass no problem. toffee and espresso to finish with the bourbon, its like dessert and an after dinner drink in one package. the best ive had from dark horse, one of the best bourbon barrel beers period. wow.

StonedTrippin, Oct 05, 2014
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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,116 ratings.