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
100
world-class

2,612 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,612
Reviews: 373
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.69%
Wants: 2,077
Gots: 702 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,612 | Reviews: 373
Photo of beerpirates
4.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter

A: Opaque dark, deep black with no light getting through this. 2 finger brown head which fades quickly into a thin collar and some wandering, appealing laces.

S: Smell is of dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Huge! A smooth smoky and nutty scent along with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol follow.

T: Massive dark chocolate, sweet and roasted malts. Bourbon, vanilla very well blended to this malty profile. The upcoming booze brings dark fruits aroma. Finishes on nutty and resinous hops notes.

M: Full bodied, sweet, creamy, a bit chewy but not sticky. Not as warming as one could expect given the ABV. Easily drinkable. Just perfect!

O: A beautiful barrel aged stout. Smell and taste profiles are huge, massive. But this is so easy to drink, so good !

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.99/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty pint glass. Dark brown to black color. Tastes of caramel and chocolate. The strong taste left me wanting more and more. The smell of Chocolate always means and wonderful tasting beer. Dark Horse has out done themselves with this one. One of the best this company has.

Photo of Cvescalante
4.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Bottle poured into a tulip, black, opaque, tall brown head leaves nice lacing.

S- Oak, vanilla, dark fruits, dark chocolate, some licorice

T- Follows the nose, very roasty, lots of dark chocolate, dark fruit, licorice, and a warm bourbon finish

M- Thick and smooth, warm, always left wanting more

O- This is a fantastic beer. Definitely among my favorite barrel aged imperial stouts, and one of my favorite beers in general. I hope to try this again sometime. The beer I've tried from Dark Horse never ceases to impress me.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with thin finger of frothy chocolate head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, molasses, black licorice, some booze.

T - Sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, earthy hops, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Smooth and fairly thick with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Great barrel aged imperial stout. Super smooth and rich.

Photo of chalsk
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle in celebration of Radiohead. A great gift from Damico. Pours a black color with a soapy caramel colored head. Heavy alcohol, vanilla, and oak. Some chocolate and caramel notes. Sweet vanilla taste with that oak bite and creamy chocolate finish. Wow. What a beer.

Photo of zipper8650
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the 1st "Good Beer Sunday" review drinking down the cellar, special thank you to woodchopper for throwing this one in as an extra, 2012 in snifter
A - pours a jet black, little bit of a mocha colored head that faded quickly
S - very smooth smell, well balanced mocha/coffee/hot boozy smell but the booze balances well
T - intial flavor is a smooth well made creamed coffee taste, I find too many BA Stouts have a more bitter burnt coffee taste, not this one, very smooth. The end note is a little hot, to be expected but again balanced well
M - great mouthfeel, nice and heavy
O - overall this is a really well made, well balanced smooth drinking BA RIS, I prefer this over a new KBS. If I have not said it enough, smooth and balanced!
Skol

Photo of rlee1390
4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head.

S-Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate coffee and roasted malt.

T-Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, molasses.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation though.

O-Really improves as it warms, was expecting a little more but still a wonderful beer.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

the beer pours a jet black with a thin tan halo of tan head...rather ominous looking. the nose is slightly boozy, with intensely earthy chocolate/coffee, and bourbon vanilla. the taste is also intense with caramel upfront, burning booze, lingering milk chocolate and a touch of bitterness. the mouhfeel is definitely thick, full bodied and flavorful. The roasty lingering chocolate aftertaste has a subtle hint of bourbon, but blends well. This is a world class BBA stout that drinks super smooth...tasty

Round 2 updates - 2012 vintage consumed 07/2014
minimal head, masked booze when cold - but still big bourbon notes, silky smooth mouthfeel, a little more coconut than before. This beer has aged very well.

Round 3 - 2013 vintage consumed 07/2014
really similar experience -- went in it with higher expectations and feel as though the 2012 was a bit smoother. Surprisingly I get more oxidation from this beer than the 2012

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle, big thanks to Loweball 727!

Appearance: Black as Eddie Murphy with a small tan head that quickly recedes to the perimeter.

Smell: Oh yea! Barrel notes galore with vanilla, caramel, bourbon, dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malt sweetness. I'm even getting a bit of red wine character in there, nice.

Taste: Everything I like about normal Pt5, with barrel character to boot. I was almost afraid to drink this because I thought it would ruin the normal Pt5 for me. I don't even think I would say that this is better, it just adds another dimension with the barrel notes. I like both versions. What I like about this is that the bourbon character isn't overwhelming at all. Rather, it is evident but not overbearingly so and helps the other components to blend together with more unity.

Mouthfeel: This is a bit more viscous than the standard version of this brew. A little more stickiness is evident.

Overall: I love the non bb aged version of this so much, and this is a nice variation. Some of the malt sweetness I love in the fresh version of this beer is muted here, or it is perhaps this way because this is an '11 bottle. Either way, I like this, but until I try a fresh version of this, Fresh Pt5 wins out for me.

Photo of Beerandboards
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass

A - black black black. Aggressive pour produces only a small amount of light brown head, which dissipates very quickly into some whisps on top. No lacing.

S - smells mainly of bourbon and oak, some chocolate, booze, vanilla.

T - big blast of smooth vanilla, bourbon, oak up front. Some chocolate notes on the edge, vanilla and hop bittering at the end. Leaves an after taste of vanilla and bourbon. A damn tasty barrel aged stout!

M - it's a bit thinner than I would like. Starts out a little high on the carb, but as it warms the carb settles down. Last third of the pour was very nice.

O - an absolutely fantastic beer. Maybe the best BA stout I've ever tried. If it were a little thicker, it would be perfect. A+, no question.

Photo of thegoon55
4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.

A- thick oil sludge, medium tan head. great appearance!

S- bourbon and oak up front, followed by chocolate roast and sweet hints of vanilla.

T- wonderful. following the nose, hint of bourbon (not overpowering) followed by sweet chocolate and vanilla then booze.

M- perfect. full body, but yet light and very well balanced.

O- one hell of a beer. very well balanced, a real treat too have.

Photo of nataku00
4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours very dark brown, bordering on black, with a half a finger of thin light brown head. Head dissipates immediately to a thin collar and a few patches of lacing, but plenty of alcohol legs on the glass surface.

Nose is big on bourbon, charred oak, toasted nuts, vanilla combined with fruity dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, roasted malt, burnt sugar. Even straight out of the fridge, the aromas are huge.

Taste started with a touch of bitter hops, burnt sugar, then lightly bitter dark roasted espresso and roasted malt, lightly smoky, before mellowing into sweeter dark chocolate and caramel. Bourbon flavors flourish on the finish, along with the dark chocolate.

Full bodied, thick and creamy with some soft barely there carbonation. Very sticky on the lips so a bit of residual sugar. A very good imperial stout.

Photo of MDDMD
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown black color with a tan head and some lacing

S-chocolate, dark roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, hints of dark fruit

T-dark chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, vanilla, dark fruit, bourbon, slightly bitter finish

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-great BA stout, super flavors and a great balance, bourbon is very well integrated into the beer

Photo of tectactoe
4.81/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Jeff for cracking open one of the last of his stash. BBPt5 pours out even darker than the regular version (which was already darker than a black hole), although it doesn't seem to be quite as syrupy and thick, as this one actually creates some noise and light turbulence as it hits the glass. A dark-ish tan head slowly bubbles up into a thin foam and perches still on top of this black abyss of a beer.

Bringing this one to my nose and taking a big whiff reveals its huge bourbon barrel characteristics - there's no denying that this bad boy spent some considerable time encased in boozy wood. The bourbon in the aroma is very smooth, however, not harsh, pungent, or stinging like many of these BBA beers can tend to be. Other notable aromas include vanilla, light coconut, mild wood, roasted malts. There's also some sweet brown sugar and a huge, creamy coffee undertone that can be found on the back end. This is really a complex beer, just from the aroma alone. Sometimes BBA beers can kind of blend together and get repetitive, but this one smells wonderful and distinct.

BBPt5 slides across my palate as I take the first sip - it's super creamy and smooth, maybe even more so than the original (not surprisingly so). The first tastes to emerge are light syrup and sweet molasses. Before long, the bourbon inches its way into the flavor profile, but just like the aroma, it remains very smooth and easy to handle. Warming, but not "hot", and it's wonderful. Some heavy oak and vanilla tones charge in about halfway through.

As it warms up, I pick up more generous notes of dark, thick fudge and even some lightly sweet, dark fruits. Roasted coffee bounces in and out for pretty much the entire duration - a big component in the base beer that certainly isn't lost through the barrel. Overall, a seriously well developed and complex beer. Even in the finish, there are still a ton of things going on; mostly dark fudge, roasted coffee beans, sweet and warming bourbon, and heavy oak. The body stays creamy throughout - heavy and lightly chewy, low-medium carbonation - more carbonated than the base beer, which as surprising.

Considering the high 14% ABV tag, this beer was insanely drinkable. I've never seen bourbon show up so heavily while remaining so smooth and tame at the same time. This is a barrel-aged beer done correctly - the flavors meld together extremely well. One of the best bourbon barrel beers I've had.

EDIT: 4/29/2013

After having this back-to-back(-to-back?) with KBS, Black Note, and BCBS, I think I can finally and honestly say that this is my favorite of the bunch. They are all extraordinary brews, but the thing that really sets BB Plead the Fifth apart is the incredible smoothness of the bourbon. Not ONCE, not even after warming up for nearly an hour, does the bourbon ever seem any bit stronger than "warm". So incredibly smooth and complex. Fantastic integration of the barrel flavors with the base beer as to not mask or hide any of the substantial flavors, either. Probably my favorite Bourbon Barrel beer. I love this stuff.

Photo of mattsander
4.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage

A: Dense black with chestnut edges. Tenacious ring of brown clings to the edge of the glass. Very syrupy.

S: Fudge, dark fruits, booze, sweet vanilla oakiness.The booze element is a little distracting, nonetheless this is delicious.

T: Big dark chocolately malt, tons of toasty nutty oak, drier than I expected from such a huge beer. Complex and delicious.

M: Lighter bodied than BCBS, a bit boozier, but highly drinkable for a beer of this girth.

Photo of Knapp85
4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of azdback
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a small snifter. Ultra black color with not a hint of highlights. Head is almost non existent but does have a nice collar that is light brown colored and leaves just a bit of lace.

Smell is quite bourbon forward. Lots of vanilla, burnt wood, tart dark fruit. Definitely some alcohol. Very very nice!!

Taste is lots of roast, char, chocolate, vanilla, some mild tart cherries. Tons of booze but not unwelcome.

Body is viscous and rich, mouth is full with medium to mild carbonation. Finish is very long and wet.

Overall I was very impressed with this. I have had the base beer and enjoyed it but the barrel did an amazing job to this. Very smooth and rich barrel characters reminded me a lot of Parabola or Old Raspy XI. Possibly a bit better and more drinkable.

Photo of sleuthdog
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

How do I thank Steimie enough for this bottle? Thank you so much man!

2012 vintage 12oz bottle with silver wax poured into Kuhnhenn tulip

Pour: The pour on this was very thick and very dark black with not a hint of light coming through. There was a half finger of dark brown head that did not last. Lacing is spotty to non existent but the alcohol legs are all over the sides of the glass.

Smell: Chocolate fudge brownie or cake drizzled with bourbon! There is a touch of coffee, vanilla and a pleasant oak character.

Taste: Huge rich chocolate up front with some roasted notes mixed in. There is the vanilla, coconut and definite oak. Some coffee, though mild comes through without creating much bitterness and considering the abv it is very well hidden. An absolutely phenomenally well balanced beer!

Mouthfeel: Oh so thick and creamy coating the palate very well creating a definite full beer. Carbonation seems just right here.

Overall: Without Steimie's great generosity I would not have had the opportunity to try this sensational beer. I never would have thought I would say this but I have found a BA stout that gives my all time favorite BCBS a run for it's money! Like I said before this is just so well balanced it is an absolute enjoy to sip on. BCBS is an in your face bourbon bomb that I too enjoy but wow this is just a perfect balance with the bourbon complementing everything else.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.98/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another from my trade with deyholla. Pours viscous black with one finger brown mocha head. Aroma of chocolate, sweet molasses, dark fruits, roast, and something off that I am not a fan of (similar characteristics to Tres). Thick viscous mouthfeel with medium low carbonation. Heavy dark fruit up front followed by lots of dark bittersweet chocolate. Slight booze, but don't get much of the bourbon barrel in this. Was expecting a bit more vanilla oak, though my palate might be tainted from the Kuhnhenn BA 4D I had right before this. I tend to prefer non-fruity stouts, but this is generally well done. Relaxing sipper. I find it strange that the regular version was so full of roast and chocolate and this one went more fruity despite the barrel. Oh well, good beer just not as great as I had hoped.

Photo of macrosmatic
4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Gray waxed 12 oz. bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City snifter glass. 2012 vintage with an ABV listed 11%. With the huge amount of snowfall, a barrel aged imperial stout seemed like the way to go.

Appearance: As close to midnight black as possible. Pours a one finger dark brown head that quickly recedes into a light lacing.

Aroma: Really surprisingly good balance in the nose for 11%. Lots of chocolate fudge, dark fruit, vanilla and bourbon. The alcohol is there and isn't hidden at all, but it works really well.

Taste: Big sweet chocolate fudge tones with really strong bourbon barrel tones. Big caramel, vanilla, oak and bourbon throughout. The barrel is very well integrated with the base. There is a touch of booziness but it works well with this kind of beer. I really like the dark fruit tones that incorporate even more sweetness into the beer. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied overall, but a little light for the style. Goes down very smooth.

Overall, a top tier barrel aged stout. It is a bit big and boozy at times, but I really like the big, sweet characteristics of this beer. The barrel is incredibly well integrated and really enhances the base beer. I remember not really loving this base beer, but the barrel makes this one of the best in this style.

Photo of rudzud
4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade. Cracked this on the eve of the blizzard of 2013 in honor of surviving a day of work and a strenuous car ride home. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a wonderful dark, rich brown with a very nice quarter inch dark chocolate head that fades to leave a thin blanket and a fluffier halo.

S - Woah. Alright, so yeah. The alcohol is super faint. Nice gentle bourbon (dont get me wrong, its there but not in a burning, boozy sense), rich, deep bakers chocolate. Some nice roasted malt notes, and almost like a cookie batter type aroma. That combination of malts, vanilla, chocolate lends a very cookie like aroma. Loving it.

T - Oh, hi there coffee. how are you today? Nice coffee notes along with some more bourbon. The alcohol continues to be light, with good chocolate notes, faint barrel notes as well. Nice vanilla too.

M - Chewy, lowly carbonated, with that 14% hidden nicely. Nice and creamy.

O - Overall, this was a very, very tasty bourbon barrel stout. Its hard to believe that regular Plead the 5th becomes this. Unreal.

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The second bottle originally gifted as a trade helper with the trade falling through. Generous BA says, "drink that shit!"

A - this beer is oil slick black with a deep brown haze of a quarter inch head. The carbonation is scant and the lacing, minimal.

S - the bourbon notes hit first and foremost; the are some chocolate cherry hints here as well; I'm getting some toffee and roasted chocolate too

T - wow...surprised with all the coffee flavor considering I missed those coffee notes on the nose; roasted chocolate malt; a bit o that bourbon and toasted oak; man, the coffee notes are heavy; a bit of toasted vanilla and toffee

M - again, I'm a bit shocked with something in this beer, the carbonation. Like, it's flat up front and fizzy on the way down...really hard to describe actually. It's creamy and full bodied for sure; nice swill overall; I had to edit this after realizing its 14%abv...it drinks like it is 7-8%...wow

O - so yeah, I'm surprised on a few elements of this beer. I really didn't think the coffee was going to shine through so much, but this beer is really coffee forward. I kind of wishes for more bourbon notes, but overall, this beer is well-balanced and smooth drinking. Nice!

Photo of standardcherry
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into my snifter.

A: Jet black with a mocha colored head that did not stay for long.
S: Roasty malts, chocolate, bourbon. Slight scent of coffee.
T: Chocolate, oak, bourbon, caramel, vanilla. Surprisingly drinkable for a 14% stout. Nice dark chocolate aftertaste lingers in the mouth.
M: Medium to full body, thick and creamy. Great medium carbonation and absolutely no alcohol burn. Excellent for the style.
O: Excellent beer. One of my favorite barrel aged stouts to date.

Photo of CruisaC
4.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally able to track this one down, thanks dblab33! Split two ways with my brother. 2012 vintage

Pours pretty standard but solid for the style, slight bump for nice head given the ABV

Smell is very inviting, nice blend of chocolate, bourbon, oak, some coffee and dark fruit in there as well.

Wow. I've had Pt5 many times and don't remember having anywhere near this reaction. Clearly a base beer that takes to a barrel very well. Nice warm milk chocolate, bourbon oak, toasted coconut, and some subtle smoke or charred oak. Incredibly balanced and nuanced. Not at all one dimensional.

Almost no alcohol burn. Really nice chewy mouthfeel. Like drinking cold hot chocolate if that makes sense.

One of the better beers I've ever had; really, really good stuff. Would love to snag several more bottles. And not that it matters, but stouts tend to be my 3rd or 4th favorite style, so I'm even more impressed.

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,612 ratings.