1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,919 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,919
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 1,817
Gots: 471 | FT: 46
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
Ratings: 1,919 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Really glad to finally get my hands on this one. Thanks, Tyler!

A: Pours a thick, viscous black with a thin mocha colored head that disappears into the body pretty quickly. Light on the lace, but it seems like the beer is just too heavy for it.

S: This isn't the most potent smelling barrel aged beer out there, but there is a ton going on in here. Upfront, you're met with rich dark chocolate, coconut and espresso. Beyond that, you get some toffee, marzipan, chocolate covered cherry and bourbon. Fantastic.

T: Dark chocolate with a bourbon bite right off the bat. Then settles into some roasted malt, espresso, toffee, light barrel char, and fudge. Finishes with some milk chocolate and a good dash of bourbon. A ton of aggressive flavors in here, but none of them really take charge, which is nice. Instead, they all meld together, held intact by a velvety and just a touch slick mouthfeel. Really well executed.

04-24-2014 01:01:09 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%

A pint on tap at the hulmeville inn. Oh boy this is going to be a trip.

A- comes to me with a small cap of dark brown head that settles almost instantly leaving just the faintest of rings. Black in color with a small hint of dark brown at the edges.

S- dark chocolate and bourbon vanilla with some smokey wood and char. Lots of brown sugar and molasses. Touches of dark fuits.

T- molten chocolate fudge cake and blackstrap molasses. Bourbon soaked vanilla beans with dark roasted malts. Light stone fruit and coffee hit way in the back.

M- sooo smooth and creamy with a full body and a bit of chew to it. Very lite carb but its perfect for the brew. Just the lightest touch of boozy heat.

D- for a 14 abv pile driver of a brew Im blasting through this pint. This is one amazing brew. Up there with the best barrel aged stouts in the world no doubt.

10-10-2010 23:09:10 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Stinger80OH
Stinger80OH

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

07-07-2012 16:19:59 | More by Stinger80OH
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

07-20-2013 02:47:50 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of atone315
atone315

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

10-20-2012 07:55:50 | More by atone315
Photo of CoryR
CoryR

Oregon

4/5  rDev -12.1%

10-22-2012 03:53:01 | More by CoryR
Photo of Fettpopps
Fettpopps

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

03-22-2014 22:54:57 | More by Fettpopps
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

12-10-2012 12:35:33 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of Zbeetleman
Zbeetleman

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

07-07-2013 05:19:06 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Plead The Fifth (2012) from Dark Horse Brewing Company out of Michigan.
Score: 98

2012 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 03/13/12. A big thank you to Nick for sharing this bottle with me; I had been wanting to try it forever.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a super thin, creamy layer of mocha head that settles to a pencil thin ring around the glass. Good lacing too. 4.5/5

Smell: Lots of vanilla and raisin. Smooth bourbon, vanilla cupcakes, molasses, rich chocolate, fudge, tobacco and a hint of cherry. 4.5/5

Taste: Luscious dark chocolate and a little caramel flavor. Incredibly creamy and absolutely no alcohol presence whatsoever. Mellow vanilla too. Fig and prunes. As it layers and warms, molasses and a little bit of toffee and smooth bourbon-without-the-boozy-bite flavor comes out. Fudge, milk chocolate and melted dark chocolate on the midpalate. Super chocolatey backbone here. Finish is cocoa and dark chocolate with a hint of bourbon flavor. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Incredibly creamy mouthfeel. Slightly sweet finish. 5/5

Overall: This is one of the best barrel-aged stouts out there; it is every bit as good as the FiftyFifty Eclipse White Wax (Elijah Craig 18-aged version). The taste is absolutely incredible. I wish I had a bottle of my own! Thanks again for sharing this one with me Nick!

Recommendation: Go get yourself a bottle of this magnificent elixir. Even casual beer drinkers should be able to revel in its chocolatey glory.

Pairings: French vanilla ice cream.

Cost: $8 for a 12 oz bottle.

09-15-2012 18:33:38 | More by jegross2
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-15-2012 00:50:53 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.64/5  rDev +2%

Poured from 12oz bottle with a gold wax cap (2011 vintage) into a tulip glass. Pours dark chestnut with thin tan lacing head that lasts throughout. Aroma of sweet oak, vanilla, bourbon, some blueberries. Really nice aroma! Taste some alcohol heat from the bourbon, sweet dark fruits, vanilla, oak, cocoa, and some chocolate. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Smooth and mild bitter back finish. Quite enjoyed this one!

02-15-2012 23:09:34 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%

A - Slight medium brown colored head quickly fades leaving just a thin collar around the glass... Slightly menacing black color... Minimal carbonation...

S - Lots of roasted malts... Vanilla... Smoke... Some dark chocolate... The scent of the bourbon barrel is present, but far from overpowering... It adds nicely to the overall aroma...

T - Fudgie brownies... Dark fruit... Roasted malts... A touch of smokiness... The bourbon continues to take prominence as this one warms a bit, but never overwhelms...

M - Full bodied... Thick... Slightly viscous... Subtle carbonation... Sleek... Silky smooth...

D - This one isn't for the timid or shy... A full bodied, full flavored, full throttled barrel aged stout... Lots of good things going on here... This one deserves a seat at the table of the best of the big time barrel aged stouts...

06-12-2011 04:05:27 | More by philbe311
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

12-20-2011 02:30:13 | More by jampics2
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -8.8%

Pitch black. Tan head holds for a couple minutes, then fades to a thin ring. Not much lace, but still good looking.

Lots of roasty malt. Oak and bourbon notes abound. Dark chocolate. A good amount of wood, without being overwhelming.

Roasty malt, nice bourbon character with some oaky tannins. Very minimal fruit. A hint of vanilla.

Medium body with a nice creamy feel. Some warming alcohol. Overall, very nice, but a bit hot.

01-23-2011 22:57:09 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of Kmlund
Kmlund

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

01-16-2014 21:14:03 | More by Kmlund
Photo of Zach136
Zach136

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

02-20-2013 04:19:07 | More by Zach136
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

12-31-2012 16:06:36 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

11-21-2013 23:53:40 | More by mltobin
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

4/5  rDev -12.1%

01-22-2013 00:20:33 | More by Adamostella
Photo of GrindFatherBob
GrindFatherBob

New York

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

06-02-2013 13:21:17 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev -2.2%

Bottle shared by Liam, 2012 bottle.

Nearly jet black, ring of tan head with no lace to speak of. Smell an incredible mix of bourbon, oak and roast, lots of vanilla and chocolate, a bit of coconut, coffee grinds and a bit of alcohol, similar to BCBS in the nose. Taste is bourbon and oak, coconut, vanilla, chocolate, fudge and a light sweetness, roasted malt with some dry coffee in the finish. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body. Incerdibly solid, up there with some of the better BA stouts, will actively seek out more of this stuff.

11-07-2013 22:01:52 | More by peensteen
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

12-16-2013 00:38:36 | More by fredmugs
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.66/5  rDev +2.4%

Big thanks to maximumu13 for this particular bottle. 2012 vintage. Reviewed from notes. Poured from wax-sealed 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque, nearly-jet black. Forms a thin brown head with low visible carbonation.

S: Oak, bourbon, chocolate, sweet vanilla and woody with tobacco, rum-soaked raisins and other such dark fruit. Very nice.

T: Follows the nose. Chocolate, coffee malts with big bourbon flavors over the oaky vanilla, rum raisins, roasty bittered malt. This is really tasty.

M: Thick, heavy body, creamy mouthfeel. Low carbonation, and the alcohol presence is fairly heavy as expected.

O: Wow. This one lived up to the hype, and perhaps surpassed it as far as I'm concerned. I'm very impressed. Highly recommended.

02-11-2013 05:19:08 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.13/5  rDev -9.2%

12 oz. bottle courtesy of a recent trade - thanks! Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours an onyx, deep and pool like, viscous but at the same time oily and slick looking. A moderately vigorous pour yields a surprising amount of head for a barrel aged, 14.0% abv brew - about three quarters of a finger of foamy espresso with surprising retention sits atop the body, about as thick as the inky sludge it's sitting on top of. It ultimately fades in to a similarly thick, foamy ring and a few sparse wisps of surface bubbles, with the persistence of the former being somewhat of a mystery, as even direct exposure to light reveals no internal carbonation. Half a point off for the inability of this one to hold any modicum of lacing on the sides of the glass, but half a point only given the aforementioned factors weighing against this one's ability to do so.

Aroma: Rich, but still somewhat subdued. Smoke, roast, hints of fruit, and a very smooth barrel presence belies absolutely no hint of alcohol spice or heat, even as this one warms, which is a definite plus. There's an interesting juxtaposition here between a lot of light fruity notes - cherries, sour apple, almost bordering upon jolly rancher-ish notes at times - and the deep, velvety smokiness of the malts and (I presume) some hint of barrel char. The latter also obviously compliments the bourbon and other barrel notes, which suggest strong vanilla and hints of cinnamon, along with a persistent but very heavy and low-in-the-register woodiness.

Taste: A slightly different tasting -bal RIS than I expected, heavy on the extremes. What I mean is that, typically, -bal RISs are bourbon, chocolate, and coffee bombs; and, while this one has all three of those components, none of them really dominate, or are even that prevalent. This one is more about fruit notes at the top of the register, smoky, charred malts at the bottom, and flashes of intermittent barrel notes filling in the blanks. It's unique, a little different, and still pretty good. Deep espresso roast and fudge brownie notes are definitely still present, mind you, but they're balanced by a slew of raisins, figs, cherries, dates, and even berry notes - way high up in the mouth, in a way that leaves that tinge of acidity.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, but what is here is well-embedded, smooth, creamy, and works perfectly with the flavor components. The end result hits all the right notes.

Drinkability: Fantastic. A really solid beer, with a very interesting flavor profile, despite the 14.0% abv.

03-31-2012 23:49:36 | More by CrellMoset
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,919 ratings.