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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

379 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 379
Hads: 2,740
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 7.8%
Wants: 2,127
Gots: 742 | FT: 99
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:
Beer added by: MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 379 | Hads: 2,740
Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
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...?

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Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.39/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage
Poured jet-black, inky into tulip with a one finger tan head. Big bourbon nose with hints of chocolate. Taste follows nose rich, well-balanced bourbony sipper with traces of chocolate and maybe cherries...very smooth. Surprisingly full-bodied for its fluidity. Very enjoyable

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Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

High B

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Photo of Rifugium
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Hawthorne's, Philly, PA

This guy eluded me for a while, but I finally caught it at Hawthorne's. Served in a Chimay chalice, I can't imagine a better looking beer: thick, dark black like motor oil, capped with a creamy dark chocolate head that quickly sank to a ringlet of bubbles. Maybe a little more retention would've been nice, but I didn't expect much from such a high octane beer. Aroma of dark malts, moderately roasty, dark chocolate, heavy bourbon. Dark sweet malts in the taste, chocolate chips, toasted marshmallow, heavy yet smooth bourbon with notes of vanilla and oak. Full body, creamy and delicious, a great sipper. Not quite as smooth as a nicely aged BCBS, but a great brew nonetheless.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to immobilisme for sending a few bottles of this my way; thanks Todd! One of my biggest wants…I love the normal Plead the 5th so have been wanting to try this since they started releasing it.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Head only lasts for about 30 seconds and no lacing or retention.

s - Smells of bourbon, rich, sweet chocolate, light bakers chocolate, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, cream, toasted malts, and coffee. While the bourbon is there and up front, it isn't overpowering at all. Very surprised how much sweet chocolate still comes through, but I love it. A really great nose here.

As it warmed up, more bourbon came out in the nose as well.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet chocolate, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, bakers chocolate, coffee, fudge, and alcohol. More bourbon here than the nose. Again, really great, though I slightly prefer the nose.

m - Medium body and very low carbonation. Thinner than I was expecting for the look and 14%, but still good for a stout. Would have liked a tiny bit more carbonation too. Weakest point of the beer in my opinion, but it's still good; the rest is just great.

o - Overall I thought this was a great BBA RIS, and an improvement on an already fantastic base beer. I love the normal version and had high hopes for this one, and it did not disappoint. The nose and taste both had a ton of bourbon and chocolate, with the nose having more chocolate and the taste having more bourbon, though for 14% it isn't overwhelming. I think another thing I love about this is that they sold it in 12 oz. bottles. So many great BBA RIS's come in 22 oz/750ml bottles, and cracking a 12 oz. bottle of this tonight was just perfect. Very happy to have another bottle of this.

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Photo of orangesol
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's on Black Friday. First beer of the day...

A - Pours dark as night black with a small, creamy, one finger tall tan head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, charred wood, and the ever present dark roasted malt. The booze is big up front but the other flavors grow stronger as it warms.

T - Fairly similar to the nose. Hints of vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar, dry oak tannins, and a big dose of booze at the end of each sip. Pretty sweet initially but it gets better as it warms up. It has a ton of flavor but it remains easy to drink.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, boozy, feel that clings to the pallet long after each sip. It developed a little bit of a chalky feel toward the end of the glass..

O - Overall a very good barrel aged stout. It was a little bit out of balance but I had no problem finishing my glass. Glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Local Option. Served in a snifter. The perfect nightcap for a Thursday night filled with drunkenness and debauchery.

A - Filled to the brim, so it's hard to get a handle on head volume/retention. Thick ring with a bit of film on top, and some spotty lacing as the beverage is consumed. Ominous black body.

S - A lot of dark roasted grain character, with an earthy and fairly mellow bourbon character. I'm not sure what barrels were used, but they certainly seem to be of high quality. This really needs to warm up, and even then it isn't the most aggressive nose.

T - The taste is quite excellent, with a hefty amount of dark roasted grain, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and other sweet things. Again, the bourbon makes its presence known through barrel flavors and depth, rather than in-your-face harsh whiskey.

M - Shockingly little warmth for a 14% beast. Full body, with sufficient carbonation to keep it from getting too syrupy. Stick finish, with only light tannic character.

D - This was quite drinkable for the ridiculous ABV. I'm tempted to trek back to Local Option for another pour under more sober conditions. Also, kudos to Dark Horse for enhancing an already excellent beer with tasteful and well-integrated barrel-aging. They've also done a good job keeping the beer from thinning out too much or getting too astringent.

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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at DH and at Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Fest

Pours 1 finger of creamy dark tan head that has amazing retention. Color is an oil black.

Aroma: Warming bourbon, thick rich chocolate. Roasted malts. The nose is fairly muted.

Taste: Much better here. Bigger bourbon flavors, oak, sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and warming. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rich, sweet, and malty.

Overall, a solid -bal aged stout. Great flavors and very drinkable. Very impressed with DH on this one.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to funhog for this one, been a top want for a while!

A: Pours a deep black with a very small tan head that reduces quickly leaving a very thin ring on top. Minimal lacing forms and dissolves quickly.

S: Lots of bourbon and roasted malt up front, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and a little bit of dark fruit. As it warms the wood comes forward a bit as well. There is a little bit of alcohol, just to let you know its there.

T: Fantastic flavor profile. A great blend of bourbon flavors, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, mixed with a little bit of chocolate and light roasted malt. The bourbon really shines nicely in this beer, not too in your face. Faint dark fruit flavors add a bit of sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry, but sweet finish. No sign of the alcohol in the taste.

O: Really great beer. The flavors blend nicely with the level of bourbon presence being spot on. I can see why it is so sought after.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on-tap at Capone's Restaurant for the Black Friday event. Poured into a miniature 5 oz snifter.

A: Deep black body with a bubbly, creamy brown/mahogany head. Moderate amounts of sticky lacing with thick bubbles around the rim. No retention in the center but this is a wonderful looking beer.

S: Loads of matured bourbon, wood, spice, vanilla, maple syrup and hints of pepper. Huge dark rich chocolate malts come through towards the back end. An absolutely incredible display of flavors, exactly what a BA Imperial Stout should smell like. Simply divine.

T: Front of the palate is warming rich bourbon, tobacco, toffee, vanilla and chocolate chip cookie is mid-palate. Finishing are some more wonderful dark malts and a hint of leather. It's not unnaturally sweet but has a some to it; more liquor on the back end. Crazy drinkable, wonderfully complex and seriously delicious.

M: A bit lighter on the body than I'd anticipate but still retains a nice fullness to it. Sticky, rich and a bit of booze going down. Fairly carbonated yet creamy.

Honestly, this has to be one of the absolute best bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stouts I've had to date. The intensity and complexity of the flavors in this beer are missing in so many others in the style. You've got to like, or love, bourbon to enjoy this beer. It's nearly perfect.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is near black with a thin, beige cap. The aroma offers bourbon and roast, followed by alcohol, vanilla, oak, chocolate. Great flavor, with prominent bourbon throughout. Additional tastes of vanilla and chocolates. Moderately low carbonation, with a smooth, buttery feel. A bit of heat in the finish, but 14% abv feels pretty nice. Overall, very enjoyable. A top notch barrel-aged imperial stout.

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Photo of billab914
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn in a fricken pint glass, are you guys trying to kill me!?!???!?

A- Bourbon 5th is a big ol black stout, it looks dark as night. Really thick looking to, not on the thin side at all. The liquid kinda coats the glass. A very minimal dark brown cap on top not leaving any traces on the glass.

S- While not the most explosive nose on this, 5th remains a big ol roasted malt masterpiece with malts(duh), getting a nice chocolate base with cocco and some underlining vanilla. Dark fruits play a big part in this and bourbon is there but muted. Smells delicious:)

T- Regular 5th is smooth as silk and this bourbon aged one is just as smoooth, if not smoother. The bourbon does not overpower and sort of takes a backseat to the base beer. Chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla and some bourbon. This is not hot at all.

M- For the supposed 14% this is not hot at all, no heat whatsoever. Creamy, thick, coating, inviting. Thick bodied, almost barely carbed up. This just glides down. An excellent feel on this bad boy.

D- Ok, 14% is very high and all, nowhere near a session beer. I drank my pint with ease. I would drink more but I have to stay alive, if I was at home drinking this, bourbon 5th would be a all dayer. Im not a big stout guy lately but this one is worth the damage that the alcohol will do over time. This one is a winner and possibly the best bourbon aged stout that I ever had. I drank this along with older vis and bourbon black and this one took the cake.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 vintage.

Appearance - Very think inky black pour with a small mocha head. Nothing left after a while. Just a thin collar and three measly and miniscule islands of foam.

Smell - The barrel is very nice, but the aroma of the beer is intense. Bourbon, tons of oak, and a nice hint of vanilla from the barrel. Sweet malts, licorice. Coffee and dark chocolate are afterthoughts compared to the barrel, booze, and sugars.

Taste - The base beer shines through the barrel, but it adds a nice layer. Bourbon is immediately apparent. Deep dark chocolate flavors and a sweet fruit layer. Oak is really intense in the back. Lingering oaky finish is too strong and just pegs it back from perfect.

Mouthfeel - It's heavy, boozy, and overly oaked. Low carbonation. A monster of a beer.

Overall - While this beer is spectacular, the barrel hasn't improved it. Intense oak creates an unpleasant aftertaste. That being said, I had this on tap and it was incredible. Batch to batch may vary. I certainly won't mind exploring different vintages of this.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at EBF on Saturday afternoon. Pours a solid black with a decent tan head with some retention. Smell is heavy on the bourbon with lots of chocolate and roast, and some vanilla and wood. Taste is chocolate bourbon and roast. Thick body with a creamy smooth mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. A big thick stout, one of my favorites of the day.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark as night black in color with a dark brown ring sitting at the top with absolutely no head that didn't leave no lacing whatsoever on the glass.

S: plenty of chocolatey oat grains were noticeable upfront in the aroma with brown sugar molasses sweetness, subtle burnt sugar, good bourbon barrel booze present and a little coffee bean coming through as well.

T: molasses with brown sugar sweetness were more prominent on the palate alongside chocolate goodness, nice roastiness, coffee accents, a touch of vanilla, plenty of oat grains, well balanced booze and bourbon barrel notes that added plenty of character to the base beer.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a roasty, boozy, chocolatey, sweet, rich and chewy finish.

O: definitely a must have, plus the bourbon barrel treatment really gave this beer great qualities all around; Delicious

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


2011 batch. Snifter. Huge thanks to Ed for the bottle.

My pants were extremely tight at work today. It was uncomfortable, to say the least. Though, it's nothing I can't sort out over a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Any lapse in advocacy may lead to depression and torpidity. I have much thinking to do, it may require efforts from a bomber of IPA as well.

A: The beer resembles motor oil as it flows forth from the glass when I gently tilt the bottle. The head strikes me as a mixture of russet and sepia. It lingers for half a minute before receding to a small collar of froth around the edges of the glass.

S: Caramel drizzled dark chocolate cake, brown sugar, and big oak notes. Vanilla is light and bourbon is dominant (in a good way). Roasted grains are evident, blending with milk chocolate and alcohol.

T: Liquid dark chocolate, rich and delicious, with a light molasses presence and an upper low earthy bitterness. There's a lot of booze in the flavor, but the taste manages to still be quite good. I get a shadow of caramel and a fair amount of oak with big fudge notes. Bourbon is well integrated. Roasted grains are restrained. Alcohol takes over in the late midpalate and dominates through the finish. It's a bit rough near the end, knocking this from a 4.5 to a 4 in the flavor.

M: Full in body with lower medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, chewy, and sticky.

Overall: Enjoyable, but this is just a bit too boozy at this point. I'll bet this will be excellent in 6 months if it manages to avoid becoming infected like many other barrel aged strong ales. A pleasure to try.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 12/30/11. Last review of 2011.
Poured in to CBS Snifter.

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 - The barrel aging really dominates the nose up front with bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas. A decent sweetness is evident and cuts through the ABV, which is somewhat noticeable but well hidden given the 14% ABV. Some roasted malt and chocolate notes are hidden in the background.

T - Follows the nose - big flavours from the barrel aging dominate. Bourbon, vanilla and oak flavours are meld together in a good balance. The characteristics of the base beer are hidden behind the barrel flavours but some subtle roasted malt and chocolate notes come through along with hints of licorice and smoke. The ABV is somewhat noticeable but is complimented by sweet molasses flavours to subdue it well.

M - Full body, somewhat viscous at times. Light carbonation.

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Photo of weeare138
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dense, dark midnight toned onyx. A small tan head slowly fades into a gentle cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of campfire s'mores with black grapes and sugary syrup.
Taste is of the aromas with a sugary sweetness up front followed by an oaky, vanilla, caramel blast.
Mouthfeel is sticky, full bodied, sugary, intensely insane, and smooth in the finish.
Jeez! This is one sick beer!

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Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a ton to 4DAloveofSTOUT for this one, thanks Brian!

A- pours a thin dark mocha head that recedes fairly quickly into a collar around the glass.

Aroma is of sweet, faint booziness.

Roastiness blends well with the -bal qualities. As alcoholic as this seems I would not guess it at 14%abv

Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Low but fitting carbonation.

Reminded me a lot of BCBS and while this was a very good example of melding an imperial stout with bourbon barrel aging I'd have to give my preference to BCBS. That said, this is definitely worth seeking out if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starter of the night at an EPIC tasting at RB's Footbalm's house... Eric set the bar high.. Thanks buddy... I hope your travels treat you well, and our paths always cross.

Not much of a head... oily.. thick staining the glass deep brown brew...

I had a surprising number of proper pours of this brew over the evening and was increasingly impressed on each one.

Deep dark chocolate with dark malts punctuating the nose.. good oak and bourbon without ever becoming overdone...

Flavor is brownie batter spiked with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and good bourbon.. vanilla and oaky bourbon... something that I wrote down as toasted marshmallow.. everything is amazingly well integrated ... especially when warmer.

Thick and inviting.. wonderful.. lite carbonation but nobody complained.. I could have easily sat content with this bottle the entire night.

all 4.5's

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Photo of aasher
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was courtesy of Lukafer, who gave it to me just to spread the love. Thanks Luke!

This beer pours a full bodied, black chocolate black with no head but a dark khaki lacing around the rim. The nose is very rich and roasty. T has some fudge brownie to it, LOADS of chocolate. That said, there isn't much bourbon at all. The flavors are really smooth and chocolaty. Again, loads of chocolate fudge and brownie. There is barely any bourbon at all and moderate roast. Great flavor on the chocolate standpoint, but disappointing in terms of barrel aged imperial stouts. This is the most palatable chocolate I've ever experienced in a beer. It is pretty light in body, compared to others of the style. I would describe it as a light medium. It does however increase drinkability. Overall this is a very nice beer, but doesn't show the bourbon you would expect. If I had to guess, I would say that this is oak aged or just aged regular Plead the 5th. All of that said, this beer was delicious.

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.