Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
418 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
418
Ratings:
2,980
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.81%
 
 
Wants:
2,173
Gots:
842
For Trade:
113
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 418 | Ratings: 2,980
Photo of magictacosinus
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to jdhowe for sharing this recently. 2013 vintage. Note that as of this writing I have not tried the regular Plead the 5th yet, but I intend to crack it open eventually. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

As expected, pours a thick syrup of a stout, with a treacle-like consistency that appears to end as sludge into the glass, save for some minor mocha-colored foam that shows yet gently dissipates throughout the course of consumption. Super viscous, oily, and resinous if I ever saw a stout of this caliber before - my favorite part was the tremendous amount of scattered shrapnel lacing that coated all sides of the glass every time that I would give this a good swirl. Normally extremely syrupy looking RIS offerings are not my favorite, but this one contains a bit of prowess and charm overall in its liqueur like properties. Very memorably intimidating.

Wow! That's an extremely sweet bourbon aged stout, but for reasons you'd perhaps least expect. Yes, there's some classic bourbon sweet notes of toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon at the back, but the front is chock filled with the sweetness of caramel soaked dark cherries, blackcurrant, and figs, as well as obvious notes of roasted chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Impressive barrel spices and non-fruit make up the mid flavor, releasing notes of licorice, tobacco, leather, and violets throughout. Very stimulating stuff, with the only major drawback being the high presence of booze throughout, notably stinging the nostrils at every whiff. Sweet, but pretty restrained. Still extremely complex and memorable, as this kinds of beers must be.

I expected a boozy, sweet, barrel laden RIS from the aroma, but instead after my first sip I came across, to my knowledge, the most balanced and perhaps easy-going offering of its kind. It's a big beer, no doubt, but doesn't make that clear throughout. Vivid, rich notes of fudge, chocolate nibs, caramel, and molasses sugar coat dark fruit notes (mainly of dark cherries and prunes) as the beer soon melts with many of the barrel spices mentioned earlier. Vanilla and toffee are obvious, but tobacco, leather, and pepper are also very present. Earthy and roasted, with some sweetness and fruitiness that makes it feel robust in character. Finishes medium-bodied, with a dry, bready flavor awash with spices and sweetness that cleanse the palate overall. Stupidly balanced, as far as the style goes - this provides the drinker with all the best aspects within it without one of them overpowering the other. If it weren't for the high booze, I could certainly have more of this in one evening.

This is an amazing beer, and absolutely worth checking out, but I enjoyed it for many surprisingly different reasons from what I'd initially heard. It's rich, robust, and contains all of the barrel characteristics I enjoy best in these beers, but it doesn't smack you upside the head doing it, which I enjoy. No clue how this would age, but it's pretty extraordinary fresh. Don't go too much out of your way to get some, but all fans of the style should have it at least once.

 3,097 characters

Photo of JohnG190
4.91/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks MichiganderHB! 2013 vintage. Pours jet black with a super thin, mocha head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass. Good lacing. Complex aromas of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, molasses, and dark chocolate. This is one of the best BA stouts I've ever smelled! Smooth dark chocolate hits the front of the palate followed by caramel,vanilla, and dark fruits. The bourbon isn't as pronounced as in other BA stouts and it's extremely smooth and mellow. As it warms the chocolate really comes out with hints of toffee and molasses. Finish is chocolate with a hint of bourbon heat. Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Not much carbonation to speak of. Sweet finish. Overall, this is the best example of a bourbon barrel stout I've yet had. Simply outstanding!

 766 characters

Photo of jdhowe
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage bottle courtesy of JAS45678 (thanks!), split with magictacosinus.

A: Pours a mostly still, oily, opaque black with some evidence of carbonation but little head.

S: Big notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Hints of dark fruit and cherries and leather. A slight buttery oak character is evident and gets stronger as it warms. The base stout isn't too evident in the aroma, but a definite sweetness and roastiness are underlying the stronger aromas.

T/M: This is a delicious and complex beer -- much nicer than the aroma. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla dominate up front, and then the base stout's coffee and chocolate arrive as the bourbon steps back a bit. Sweetness is provided by the malt as both chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is smooth and mostly barrel character with a slight lingering coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick and oily with light carbonation.

O: This is a great bourbon barrel aged stout. The buttery oak character in the aroma is slightly offputting, but the taste of this beer really makes up for it. I can't say that this is objectively better than regular Plead the 5th, which I love, but I definitely like this beer and am stoked that it comes in 12oz bottles.

 1,210 characters

Photo of JohnParadee
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into a small tulip glass. Deep dark black. Thin beige head, dissipates to minimal rim, lots of tiny bubbles. Awesome lacing & retention. Beautiful nose of chocolate & coffee, burnt roasted malt. On the palate, roasted chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. Not as boozy as others. Alcohol is almost unnoticeable, but strong carbonation. Overall, a delightful experience.

 386 characters

Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2013 Vintage
A- Pours near pitch black with a nice cream colored head.

S-Creamy bourbon. Nice vanilla undertones.

T-Bourbon up front, followed closely by oak, vanilla, and finally a slight alcoholic burn.

M-Smooth and creamy. A little high on the carbonation for a barrel aged stout.

O- A well done brew. Easy drinker, but that little alcohol kick at the end lets you know it is an 11% beast.

 411 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage into an old hickory snifter. bottling date dec 5 2013 bottle # 4724 / 4813

Pours a pitch black with a big inch and a half thick beige head. Smell is very big no bourbon...nice! the taste and feel is so creamy and the bourbon is very big up front...bigger than bourbon county even. Alcohol heat is also very pronounced...this is a big beer for sure! very full bodied, on point. the creaminess feel is so amazing, my god.

overall lives up to the hype as a world class beer....sweet!

 495 characters

Photo of maxcoinage
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage (acquired in a trade with @MichiganderHB) poured into snifter.

look - pitch black with a few cm mocha head that settled down quickly

smell - amazing - slight bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate

taste - unbelievable! Follows the aroma. dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, some booze on the finish

mouthfeel - fairly thick, lower carb, finshes smooth

overall - wow. this is amazing - it's actually more drinkable than BCBS fresh . it'd be such a tough choice if I had to pick between the two. Glad I got a 4 pack!!!

 557 characters

Photo of brewtus
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 2012 vintage into a snifter.

A- oil black with a bubbly single finger dark tan head
S- lots of chocolate, bourbon barrel, cinnamon, marshmallow,
T- very smooth, tons of dark chocolate, the bourbon barrel is nice and not overpowering at all, marshmallow, cinnamon, some coffee, dark fruit, no alcohol to be tasted. Finishes with a nice bourbon-y chocolate flavor
M- so smooth, one of the highlights of this beer
O- this is a great, well balanced bba stout. The flavors are in perfect harmony, it's not too sweet, not too boozy, amazing texture, all around great barrel aged stout that I'd love to try fresh.

 615 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
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

 2,756 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 into a CS snifter

A- Half jet black, half dark roasty brown. Little to no carbonation. Thinnest of thin lacing around the glass.

S- Great coffee notes. I am getting malty notes. I feel like I may have a bottle that is not up to par. I have had the two previous years that tasted/smelled better. The lack of carbonation makes me wonder.

T- Pretty coffee forward with mellowed bourbon note for this fresh '13.

M- On the thin side for me for a BA stout, but still pretty good.

O- I have one other bottle of '13. I would like to revisit this if that bottle comes off fresher.

 585 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured 12oz bottle (2013) into snifter.

A - Very dark brown that lightens around the edge of the glass. Thin oak brown head that doesn't stay long. No collar or lacing on my glass.

S - Bitter chocolate and slight char/smoke from the base stout. Nice notes of sweet bourbon, caramel, and vanilla blend nicely with the stout.

T - The base stout is very flavorful and not overtaken by the barrel. Bitter chocolate and a bit of char from the dark roasted malts. Sweet notes of bourbon, caramel, and vanilla liven as the beer warms. Excellent!

M - Medium bodied - a bit slick and smooth. I thought it would be a bit fuller with some chewiness, but this is pretty good for a stout.

O - I have had Pt5 and was intrigued by what barrel aging would bring to it. It really adds an element of sweetness to the bitter stout. I recommend trying this beer. I will age the few I have left and see what it is like in a year or so.

 921 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, half finger of caramel head

Smell is wow, coffee, caramel, oak, toffee, chocolate, bitter cocoa, dark fruit (raison and figs), roasted malt

Taste is... Well here goes nothing! oak, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, caramel, earthy hop, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, bitter back finish

Mouthfeel is full, silky, light carbonation. Not hot at all.

Nice BB Stout, I am happy to have finally have had this.... With that said, I am starting to think that all barrel aged stouts have nothing on BCBS... Not that this is not amazing... I got 2 bottles I am going to age the second for a couple years and see what happens with that hoppy bitterness character!

Thanks Ri0!!!

 699 characters

Photo of MCain04
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was the very first beer I traded for, 1 yr ago, just after the 4 elf party. I told myself I would age it for a year then drink it and compare it to the newest batch fresh. 12 oz bottle poured into a Half Acre snifter, served chilled to 40 and allowed to warm.

Appearance: Pours a deep deep dark brown akin to motor oil. Head is thin and dark tan with varying sizes of bubbles. Fades fairly quickly into rimming around the side of the glass.

Smell: Age has not made the barrel character fade away in the nose. Bourbon is present but a good amount of oaky, toffee, and vanilla. Chocolate and roasty malts similar to the base beer are present as well.

Taste: The bitter roasty chocolate base beer is forefront. Bourbon again is present but not strong. Vanilla and toffee add sweetness. A substantial amount of bitterness throughout. Remarkably not very boozy for 11%. Dark chocolate and cacao linger on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is low-medium, body is heavy and full, finish is sticky and dry. Not the ultimate in chewy mouthfeels but pretty close.

Overall, I really enjoy the base beer of plead the fifth, and while this is fantastic, I had imagined it might be just a little better. I am intrigued now to try this fresh and compare. I don't think this would benefit from further aging as it is very drinkable and far from hot. If anything, the barrel character might just be more subdued than I would appreciate, and thus perhaps it is better fresh. Regardless, a real treat to drink.

 1,507 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a viscous black with a finger of mocha head that slowly recedes to a film. No lacing is left on the glass.

S- Smells of sweet molasses, dark roasted malts, charred oak, vanilla from the bourbon, and figs/dates. There are also hints of coffee and booze. Really smells wonderful!

T- The flavor opens sweet, with molasses, chocolate, and candied figs and dates. This gives way to tons of bitter roast/coffee, bitter baker's chocolate, vanilla, and charred oak. There's also a bit of a dry, vinous bite on the back of the tongue in the finish. It's very impressive how this brew toys with being cloyingly sweet and then excessively bitter, but manages to use this to stay balanced. A bit of the bourbon comes through, but a little more would make this almost perfect.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and viscous, coating the tongue, with just enough carbonation. Only a mild amount of boozy heat comes through, which is impressive considering the 14% abv.

O- Overall I am thoroughly impressed with this beer! I love more roasty/coffee forward stouts, and this delivers, while adding sweet and charred flavors from the barrel!

 1,129 characters

Photo of MichiBrew
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage waxed bottle poured into a small snifter...wanted to revisit this prior to 4Elf 2013 to prepare! Only have a 4pack left from last year and 3 from 2011...

Appearence is opaque black with that signature chocolate milky head...its always a serious affair with this brew...

Nose has a surprisingly noticeable amt of alcohol considering this bottle has almost a year on it...this is followed by smooth notes of roasty dark chocolatish malts that suggest the beer has smoothed out...

Yup...this is indeed the case...taste is tremendously smooth with extremely complex notes of dark flavors I simply cannot begin to describe accurately...that makes this very high abv beer very dangerous so use good judgement and proceed with caution...no question that a lil time on this beer creates a masterpiece however the full flavored nature of the fresh bottles are not to be ignored either...

Mouthfeel is top notch velvety smooth and without a hint of chalkiness as sometimes happens with bottles of this style...

Overall a must try...I personally consider it one of the best RIS available...of course it helps that I live an hour away from the brewery...a perfect stout night for me includes Black Note, BCBS, KBS, and good ol' BBPlead from Dark Horse...

 1,260 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
3/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is ok. Like the fourth dimension I don't get it. If you compare this beer to Kbs, bcbs, cbs, Black Tuesday, it isn't even close in my opinion. But that is why everyone has there own opinion. I have different vintages at different times. I want to really like it, but I just don't care to much for it.

 310 characters

Photo of Damian
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a waxed dipped 12 fl. oz. bottle acquired in a trade with surge1311
Vintage 2012
Served in a snifter

Review #850

Super viscous with a dark brown/black, motor oil-like appearance. There was no head but merely a frothy mass of saddle brown bubbles atop the liquid. The bubbles quickly dissipated to a thin ringlet.

Bourbon notes dominated in the aroma. Super fragrant and boozy. Loads of vanilla. Deep, dark, roasty and smoky malts came through strong. Good amount of wood and ash. Slightly sweet with caramel and brown sugar notes. Touch of coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. As the beer warmed, more sweetness came forth to balance things out.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose. Super rich and robust. Tons of bourbon and fresh vanilla bean. Lots of roasted malt, caramel and barrel character. Notes of charred wood and ash were apparent. Good dose of espresso and bakers chocolate. Hints of dark fruits (prunes and raisins) came through as well. The finish was bitter, ashy and quite hot with a whiskey-like burn. Like the nose, the flavor profile mellowed out with time.

The mouthfeel was really intense. Chewy and almost milk shake-like. Rich and oily with a fine, plush, supple effervescence. Velvety smooth on the palate. After each sip, the liquid left a sticky film on my lips.

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Imperial Stout is an unapologetically bourbon-forward beer that some (myself included) might describe as being a bit rough around the edges. Although the booziness and the charred malts were at times distracting, the many amazing aspects of this beer made up for these relative shortcomings.

 1,651 characters

Photo of anteater
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: black, opaque, thin khaki head

S: bourbon, a fresh woody oakiness, chocolate malt

T: bourbon, more vanilla and less wood than in the nose, chocolate and coffee in the finish

M: pretty darn thick

O: one of the better bourbon barrel stouts, came in second in my bcbs, bbpt5, black note and kbs blind taste test

 315 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

 538 characters

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage received via trade w/ TheCherryMan, thanks!

Pours graciously with no apparent head until I force the last on the bottle straight down. Head is a crown of caramel bubbles which settle along the edges of my snifter. The smell is dark chocolate, coffee, burnt vanilla and a musty bourbon. Despite the variety of flavors, everything seems somewhat muted. I appreciate the aggressive (but well integrated) taste of bourbon in an aged stout, but that isn't the case here. I'm just a bit disappointed, and as it warms I get a bit more bourbon, though not as well integrated and a bit fusel. The taste is something I can appreciate. It's smooth and mellow. No alcohol burn, and a nice roastiness. Mouthfeel is silky but a tad thin. My bottle says its 11% despite the description saying it should be 14%. I attribute the thinness to this. This may have been a thicker beer, but this version is definitely a lot lighter on the tongue. Overall, I'm happy to try this. I am starting to realize rarity can elevate a beers score, but in this case the beer gets the job done and I am more than happy to enjoy it. Cheers.

 1,119 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011

Pours dark black with a 1/4 inch mocha head which fades quickly. Has a very nice sweet aroma with chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon, raisins, figs, coconut, oak, and vanilla. Even though I can clearly smell the bourbon, it does not have a boozy smell to it.

Tastes as great as it smells. Sweet with chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon, raisins, figs, coconut, oak, and vanilla. Just like with the aroma, the taste is not boozy, even though I can taste the bourbon. This aged the perfect amount of time to turn out this nice.

For some reason, the Plead the 5th base beer tastes boozier than this version. I may need to buy some more of the base beer, and age for a couple of years to compare.

Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Has a chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon aftertaste. This is a very well made beer. I'm very glad to have a few more bottles to drink.

 883 characters

Photo of Hamburgers
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Happy Barrel Aged Beer Day! Pours jet black with thin brown head. Still pretty boozy even after a year in the cellar. Aroma of bourbon, dark chocolate, soy sauce, and dried fruit. Flavor is chocolaty up front with the bourbon lingering in the finish. Slight undertone of roasted malts. Nicely balanced. Heavy without being syrupy. Moderate carbonation. Overall an excellent barrel aged stout. Not a ton of depth but very balanced.

 444 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
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...?

 886 characters

Photo of shand
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Here it is, beer 1000. Had to make it something epic. So here goes, an epic BBA stout. And epic is the word to describe this, it's a hell of a BBA stout. Vanilla up front yields to a huge of bourbon flavor, but doesn't choke out the big, complex fruit character that rides with the normal imperial stout roast/coffee/chocolate thing in the back. Very big and smooth mouthfeel, a great BBA stout.

 395 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle, 2012 vintage with silver wax, poured into a Dark Horse Shaker Pint.

The beer pours a deep, thick, black color, great motor oil texture with a thick, dense, khaki head that has very good retention and leaves some nice sticky lace behind. The aroma is beautiful, tons of bourbon and barrel character, rich toffee, boisterous chewy, charred oak, chocolate, pitted stone fruit and a little licorice and molasses creep through at the end. The flavors are right in line, wonderful barrel presence, lots of oak, char, soft bourbon, sweet toffee, bitter dark chocolate, plum, fig and cherry pits, light licorice and a touch of warm alcohol and strap molasses are known at the finish. The body is wonderful, luscious, silky, rich, full bodied, coats the mouth well, carbonation is perfect, low on the spectrum, but it makes the beer so great, the finish is warm, soft and delightful.

Verdict: A darn delicious bourbon barrel stout, the flavor profile is perfect, the amount of fruit and complexity is mind boggling. One of the most impressive bourbon barrel stouts on the market and the showcase of the Dark Horse line up, if not the showcase of the Great Lakes.

 1,168 characters

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.