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

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

354 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 354
Hads: 2,646
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 3.36%
Wants: 2,077
Gots: 723 | FT: 92
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
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Reviews: 354 | Hads: 2,646
Photo of xICooRsYIx
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

Pours out very dark/deep brown with a nice mocha brown head that dissipates quite fast. Smells follows right into the taste with strong notes of chocolate and bourbon. Some coffee and a hint of tobacco in there as well. Roasted malts finish it off. (262 characters)

Photo of beardown2489
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the better beers in the style once it cools down. Like many fresh imperial stouts that spent time in bourbon barrels it was hot at first but it hits it's sweet spot somewhere 6 months and 2 years.

Hot barrel characteristics went away and left a nice vanilla character from the barrel along with some coconut. Really nice mouthfeel just under what I'd call world class. Well balanced with roasted and chocalate character. Some nice dark fruit notes can be found as well.

Great beer. Well worth seeking out if you are a fan of the style. (548 characters)

Photo of Bferber
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

My impression of this was much different than many reviews, so here goes. 2014 vintage

L- not at all the motor oil many described, not even black. More of a deep brown, with a nice mocha head, pleasant appearance but no standout.

S- had a slightly metallic tinge at first when cold, but went away after warmed slightly. Bourbon present but very muted. Roasty, malty, dark fruits - maybe some raisin, and slightly vinous.

T- very similar to smell. Bourbon pretty muted, dark fruit is strongest secondary flavor to the malts.

F- mouthfeel is excellent. Low carb, pretty full mouthfeel. Creamy and smooth.

O - solid beer, really enjoyed mouthfeel. Was hoping for more of a bourbon barrel presence, but enjoyed the straightforward flavors without having much "adjunct" qualities of chocolate, coffee or vanilla that seems to be all the rage lately. (849 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.74/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to northernbrebws for satisfying this long time want. 2014 vintage served in my Funky Buddha snifter. Pours one shade shy of black with a two inch, loose, mocha-colored head that dissipates into a fizzy swirl around the shoulders. Nose expresses cocoa, roast and a slightly vinous quality. Taste follows nose - really not getting much of the barrel here. There are also some oxidized notes towards the back. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a mild carbonation and a light acidity. Overall, not bad but a bit thin and lacking the barrel presence. (565 characters)

Photo of neurobot01
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: so thick and dark, with a great light brown head.

Smell: bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, pecan pie.

Taste: bourbon, alcohol heat, vanilla, tobacco. Little roast or bitterness, some chocolate. No dark fruits, cherry, etc. Some bacon-like savory flavors.

Feel: medium, maybe a bit overcarbonated, a bit dry on the end.

Overall: not sure if it's the difference in vintage, age, or the barreling, but I liked the 2014 non-BA bottle I had a few nights ago a bit better than this. The barrel influence overwhelms some of the nuance I got from that. Still, good. (602 characters)

Photo of Raziel313
2.57/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Did a vertical 2012-2014. The best was when we combined all three. That one was better than the rest. Barrel taste was of cheap bourbon. The best thing about this beer was the appearance. Straight motor oil. Followed by a huge let down of what I expected. (255 characters)

Photo of MissSmisje
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Motor oil black, tan head with some lacing
S: some bourbon barrel, but not overwhelming, bitter chocolate, dark fruit, grape gum.
T: same as the nose, with a little vanilla and oak, and a hint of leather and menthol in the finish.
F: light side of heavy
O: very tasty. The fruit flavored lighten it nicely. Very much a fruity BA RIS as opposed to a chocolatey/roasty BA RIS (377 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: The beer seems to chug out, versus pouring out of the bottle. Super dark-brown, sultry body. The head is a dark mocha that is ultra fine. At first I thought I could see a reddish hue in the head, but it must be my eyes playing tricks on me. Or maybe the Ghost in the Machine had a positive affect on my mind. The melting curtains this beer leaves on the glass are awesome. Some of the best curtains I have seen. The curtains are so slipper and slick, no lacing is left on the glass. An amazing look.
Smell: First whiff - Sweetened medium roast coffee with quality cream, balanced superbly. Even on the booze. Not too robust, but even, and balanced.
Taste: The smell is similar to the taste, and also precedes it. I wish this tasted as good as the smell. It doesn't, but it's still a top shelf beer. All of the flavors are nicely blended and balanced to create a rich, high-end BBA stout.
Feel: I have no complaints. The feel does not disappoint.

Overall - Definitely a world-class beer, and deserving of the place it has been given on the top 250 roster. (1,086 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally tried this on tap thanks to Barley and Rye in Moline Il. Just a wonderful beer that finished off a great night with my beautiful wife and good people at B &R. (167 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.01/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head that settles into a ring around the edge. Aroma is mostly roasted malts and oak. Bourbon is actually rather subdued for the most part. Fair amount of chocolate and earthy tones. Flavor is pretty sweet, and a healthy dose of the bourbon I was missing in the nose. I am digging the dark fruits and they only add to the depth. The body is creamy, rich and full. Runs a little hot, but obviously a BA stout that will only get better with time. (485 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage

L - Has that motor oil pour and deep, black body with a minimal medium tan head.

S - Rich aroma of caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon and roasted malts.

T - Roasted malts that develop into a sweet bourbon through the middle and a coffee as well as light charred oak ending.

F - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a smooth mouthfeel. The body could be a bit thicker &/or chewier.

O - A legit BBA RIS. Glad I got to try it and wouldn't turn down another. (474 characters)

Photo of aleigator
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ba plead the 5th '12 vintage, huge thanks to Ron for the bottle!

Has a viscous black color, with a dark brown, fizzy head, revealing a small film of lacing at the edge of the glass.

Smells of cocoa nibs, toffee and lots of warm oak, exhibiting distinct vanilla notes. A hint of cinnamon settles among toasted malts and tobacco, while the aromas lead into a rich chocolate direction. Well pronounced barrel reveals quite a bit of Bourbon, which gets gently balanced by melted chocolate.

Drinks expectedly smooth, letting the complex character evolve.

Tastes of bakers chocolate and fudge, accompanied by whipped cream, while scorched malts, hot oak, cinnamon and mint reveal the beers fantastic flavors. The brews smooth mouthfeel sets new standards, which gets especially well accentuated by carbonized malts, earth and bitter coffee, providing a tremendous range of flavors. Has a hot, oak supported finish, with toffee, fudge and vanilla on top, while coffee creates a long lasting, slightly dry ending, with tobacco and earth.

Awesome beer, incredibly rich in flavors - very focused on creamy chocolate, and roasted coffee with burned malts as its counterpart, while staying focused and in perfect balance. This intriguing melange gets enriched by the hot boubon barrel, adding vanilla and wooden oak to the taste, as well as a hot glow. Chocolate developes on the palate, beginning as creamy milk chocolate, while ending as slick bitter chocolate. (1,457 characters)

Photo of OneEye78
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mini-vertical, thanks @theperk.
2014: poured a dark black with a small deep brown head. Smell was sweet chocolate and vanilla. Taste led by vanilla and some milk chocolate, followed by a toffee finish. Mouth was pretty light with little carb. Overall this is a solid BA stout, the toffee taste was unique.

2013:
Similar look, with a bit less head. Smell added some additional brown sugar notes. Milk chocolate, vanilla, and some dark fruit, with a bit of butterscotch on the finish. Overall, I think I liked the '13 a bit more. It was a bit more integrated and smoother than the '14. (587 characters)

Photo of dboon
3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, 750ml, 2010 vintage. Black pour with a small tan head. Bourbon and chocolate nose. Vinous with big cabernet, deep roasted malt, and bourbon notes. Good, but maybe not what the brewer intended (199 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very thick, oily looking dark brown and settles into the glass with a very dark brown body and a frothy, mocha colored head. Aroma is of rich caramel, sweet bourbon, oaky wood and big roasted malts. Flavor is big bitter roastiness up front with a dash of coffee, then it hits with a wave of sugary sweet bourbon, toasted oak and finished with some roastiness and caramel flavors. Definite waves of flavor with this one. This one is full bodied with medium-light carbonation and a slick oily feel. Up there with the great class of BB stouts, very nicely done. (566 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle wax dipped

Appearance is pitch black and resembles motor oil, two fingers of medium brown head, decent lacing and retention

Smell is oatmeal, booze, bourbon, vanilla, both milk and dark cocoa, along with fresh brewed java

Taste starts off with dark chocolate and big coffee notes, fades into oak, vanilla, and Christmas spices, as it warms the whiskey notes come out more, by the end the notes from the barrel are very pronounced and do a great job of rounding out the roastiness

Mouthfeel is full bodied, perfect level of carbonation, a little sweet once it warmed fully through, liked the chewiness from the roasted malts

Overall this is a big tasty beer, alcohol is pretty hidden for 11% but the bourbon makes itself known with all the wonderful barrel characteristics, I prefer the barrel aged version over the standard Plead the 5th, glad I got to try this (882 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: oil black body under a dark brown mocha foam that slipped down quickly and left an oily sheen behind

S: rich sweet molasses, chocolate, and bourbon - high notes of wood and vanilla

T: lush bittersweet dark chocolate and boozy wet bourbon nestled amid vanilla and molasses-sweetened espresso

M: full bodied and creamy smooth, heavy bourbon vapors and molasses-feel wrapped around the tongue

O: unbelievable - and I'm not a huge fan of the non-BBA version, so this was totally unexpected - blew me away - if you dig that full-bodied, rich, lush bourbon barrel stout experience, then this is for you. One of the better BBA stouts. Highly recommended. (654 characters)

Photo of Misfit2209
4.99/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally cracked this one open after holding on to it for a few months. Wow is this a surprise. I tend to not be a huge fan of the bourbon barrel brews but Dark Horse did this one right. The aromas and flavors are never overpowered by the bourbon, they're complimented by it. The mouth feel is a thick syrupy brew that coats the tongue and warms the face. The start is a heavy maltiness which fades quickly into a slightly bitter coffee and finishes with an ever so slight bourbon punch. The fingers on glass tell me this one is going to kick my ass! Really outstanding brew from dark horse (589 characters)

Photo of MaybeSoMaybeNot
3.29/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Overrated. I was definitely dissapointed. I thought that it literally smelled like nothing. I couldnt even detect bourbon on the nose and 2.5 may actually be a bit of a generous rating. As far as feel goes, it is thin. As far as taste goes, its all bourbon. i really can't taste much of the stout-ish qualities to it. It was like a completely different beer compared to the non BA version. (389 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

L- Black, maybe only a slight amount of light on the edges, half a finger of medium brown head that quickly dissipated to a ring.

S- Raisins, dates, molasses, black cherry, vanilla, alcohol comes through, some dark chocolate and marshmallow in there too.

T- Similar to aroma, lots of dried dark fruits, molasses, vanilla, oak, more chocolate than in the aroma, alcohol is a bit more biting than others of the style, lingering note of chocolate and brown sugar on the end.

F- Not on the thick side for an Imperial stout, being a bit thinner adds to the drinkability which can be dangerous. Good amount of carbonation for the style.

O- Very nice and up there with all the other great BBA stouts. Hard to say which BBA stout form Michigan is the best as there are so many great ones you can't lose. (841 characters)

Photo of schris
4.66/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capsule review: this beer has more barrel character than any stout I've had not named Bourbon County. The aroma Is overwhelmingly bourbony. Stages of flavor: nonspecific heat, roasty malt, chocolate, and a lingering bourbon finish. Everything is executed to a tee. Wish it were easier to get hold of, I only managed to secure two bottles of the 2014. (350 characters)

Photo of Jjski
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. Gorgeous nose of dark roast, chocalate and bourbon.

Taste follows perfectly with a profile that echoes BCBS but lighter in mouthfeel, as this is 11% versus 14% for the other. Balanced and punchy.

For its " low " ABV the category of mega- BA RIS : it is fantastic. I bet it was much hotter when fresh, but still has strong BB character at 2 years.

I just had a fresh BA Narwhal that wasn't nearly as good. Over the last week of vacation we tried Black Tuesday and had a few BCBS. This is in good company of those exemplars.

Outstanding. (557 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bstyle!
12 oz bottle, 2014, poured into a teku

A- Pitch black with a small mocha head.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, oak, dark fruits, roasted coffee.

T- Much more complex than the nose, rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, some dark fruits, very nicely balanced.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- A very well made bourbon barrel stout. Sweet but nicely balanced with a bitter finish that lingers nicely. Truly worth seeking out, nose made me think this was going to be a little one dimensional but it is really complex. (580 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours black as night, as expected, with a small and chocolate brown head forming. The head is just a whisp of foam on the top of the beer, but it does leave a pretty good lace pattern.

S- Big and dark roasted malts hit the nose first, just like a good Russian imperial should. Next comes a bit of bourbon barrel spiciness. Oak and vanilla are the prominent barrel scents, with just a touch of the bourbon sneaking in. Towards the back end of the smell, it turns sweeter than most stouts, but then the dark malts return and leave you with traditional stout flavors on the nose.

T- Just like the smell, this beer starts with a bang of deep, dark malts. Slightly bitter dark chocolate and just a touch of coffee hit the tongue and lead you into the middle of the drink. The barrel spice moves in during the middle of the drink with a touch of vanilla and a bit of boozy bourbon. The barrel flavors mix in with the dark malts and form a fairly complex overall flavor. The beer leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste on the tongue after the drink is finished.

M- The alcohol is evident a little bit while sipping this beer, but it really shines in how smooth it is. Low carbonation levels and a thick and heavy flavor profile make this somewhat of a slow drink. On the whole, this is a silky smooth, thick, and heavy beer that goes down smooth for its weight.

Overall, this beer is very, very good. The great dark malts with chocolate and coffee interact with the bourbon barrel very well without overpowering the malts or becoming to aggressive to be enjoyed. I like this beer. (1,577 characters)

Photo of floridadrift
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

L: Even after a couple minutes, the mocha-colored head sticks to the sides
S: Chocolatey
T: great Imperial stout, no actual bourbon taste. Just the heat from it with chocolates and coffee on the first taste.
F: Milk-stoutish, very nice
O: A pretty great stout but falls very short of any live bourbon character. Tastes like it's all had some age. (360 characters)

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.