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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,164 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,164
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 1,916
Gots: 525 | FT: 60
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:  Recent | Likes | 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: 2,164 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of gueuzegossage
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of josephwa
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of juliusseizure
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of sweemzander
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. 2012 vintage. **Note that my bottle had the ABV listed as 11%, NOT 14% as it does on this page**

(A)- Pours pitch as black night and fairly thick. A surprising crown of brown froth formed. Even some lacing was left behind as it dissipated.

(S)- A lovely rich combo of a molasses / chocolate / roasted caramel / and bourbon barrel sexiness. A really harmonious aroma.

(T)- Same as the smell, only a distinct higher level of bitter roastedness coming through. Combined with the superb barrel characteristics, I have absolutely zero complaints.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. As great as the sweet and rich barrel notes are in this, the underlying roasted qualities from the base beer still coming through is quite superb. Makes for a very dynamic tasting and feeling beer.

(O)- Overall, world class. I had a sample of this years ago at a beer fest and it has haunted me since. Now finally trying it in bottled form was really rewarding. Fantastic fresh, but for me, it just might benefit with a little more time on it. Looking forward to seeing if I am right. One of the best for the style hands down.

Photo of davey101
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. 12 oz silver waxed bottle into a brandy snifter. Can't thank Steimie enough, this was a huge want of mine!

A - Pours a thick black body with a finger of dark mocha head. After that fizzles away its quite difficult to recreate a head with a swirl. Just some splotchy lacing with some nice retention. Alcohol legs stain the sides of the glass.

S - Bourbon dipped fudge brownie is the description I would use here. Rich and gooey dark chocolate, dry cocoa powder, light espresso and coconut. Finishes with smooth oak and vanilla and warming alcohol which does comes off as a bit too distracting.

T - Starts with dark chocolate and light roasted malts. Then comes a huge wave of vanilla, oak, and butterscotch. Lighter notes of coffee beans, coconut, and dark fruits. The finish is fudge with a bit of leather. Rich and decadent, just fucking perfect!

M - Thick and coating, just a notch below syrupy. Carbonation is spot on.

O - Truly one of the best BA stouts out there. How anyone can trade this stuff after sampling it is beyond me. Compared to its major 12 oz competition, well I think I like BCBS a bit more since its a brash stout that is all about the bourbon. This beer is much more balanced with the bourbon complimenting the base beers notes. God dammit this is good stuff!

Photo of Irishize75
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of lurpy1
3.85/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage (I think, shouldn't have recycled the bottle) picked up in a trade. Split the bottle with my wife.

Beautiful pour that runs out of the bottle like black ketchup. Not much head. Smell is fruit and bourbon, a little bit of chocolate behind. But it's all more faded than I expected, doesn't assert itself with sweet bourbon.

Taste. Hmmmm...again, faded a bit. Except for a surprising hoppy bitterness. Is this an 11 that past it's prime? Or is it not all that? Again, not bad, but not all that.

Mouthfeel - because the bourbon isn't as pronounced as expected, zero burn. Great viscosity. Can't believe it's 14%. Consistency is probably all that keeps me from declaring this a par beer.

Overall, a very good beer, but as with the base BT5, I apparently like this less than the average bear. And in the pantheon of bourbon barrel stouts, stunningly, I would rate this as slightly below average. Worth drinking, and recommended, but I would not pay $7/bottle for it or trade for it at a high premium.

Photo of zac16125
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter
2011 vintage

A big thanks goes out to injuredreserve for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours black as night with less than a 1/2 finger sliver of dark mocha colored head, which quickly dissipates down to just a thin outer ring. Leaves a few patches of lacing.

S: Initially I get tons of dark fruit notes accompanied by an equally large bourbon presence. Also get milk chocolate, roasted malt, cherries. Wonderful.

T: Milk chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malt all explode onto the palate with the first sip. Its rather sweet, and noticeably bitter. Coffee, raw oak, bakers chocolate. Quite complex. Nice combination of sweetness and barrel notes, but I could do without the bitterness, which tends to be the flavor that lingers in the aftertaste at the finish of each sip.

M/D: Very smooth, appropraite carbonation, maybe a touch thin for the style. ABV is exceptionally well masked though, and drinkability is insane. Really cant believe this is 14%.

O: Overall, an excellent beer. Doesnt quite stack up with the best of the style, but certainly an enjoyable drink that I would drink again in a heartbeat. Highly recommend.

Photo of M1A2
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Caterwaul
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Holmgrown
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Friend of mine saved a bottle for me. Poured it in a pint glass.

A: dark...almost looks like oil with a perfect amount of carbonation

S: bourbon

T: fantastic. Really enjoyed the strong bourbon flavor.

O: I'm going out on a limb to say this may be the best beers I have ever tasted. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of bourbon.

Photo of woosterbill
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the first release of that format, courtesy of warnerry, into a NEBCO 668 glass. Enjoyed alongside regular Plead the 5th and BCBS.

A: Looks identical to the regular: pitch black body, thin brown head. Solid.

S: Wow. This is amazing. Huge bourbon, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and major coconut. Big, rich, and complex. BA RIS perfection.

T: Follows the nose initially, with enormous barrel presence providing generous bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Roasty coffee and dark chocolate behind. The only downside is a significantly boozy finish. Wonderful.

M: Thick, creamy, and moderately carbonated. Terrific.

O: This was an absolute winner - a huge step up over the non-BA version, and a clear superior to the overly-syrupy (in comparison) BCBS. The coffee and bourbon worked beautifully together, and I'm simply enjoying the hell out of it. Thanks Ryan!

Cheers!

Photo of KWMiles
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of rjvanston
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of beerhunter1
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Philly82785
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of tourdot
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Pete27lax
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage, big thanks to Cosmicevan for gifting this bottle to me at a tasting!

Pours a straight black with minimal head. The small head that does form is a perfect deep brown, really awesome appearance. Spots of lacing around the glass.

Smell is sweet chocolate! Like you're smelling melted chocolate, really enjoyable. Dark and milk chocolate with bourbon bringing it together perfectly.

Taste is PHENOMENAL , all the characteristics to look for in a stout. Mainly taken over by sweet chocolate, slight roasted notes toward the tail end and the bourbon hitting the palate perfectly. The balance here is really remarkable, the way the traditional stout flavors tie together so well with the barrel aging. Can't say enough about how enjoyable this is.

Mouthfeel is just what I look for in a stout. Just the right amount of viscosity and stickiness. coating the palate and so smooth for a barrel aged beer. I love barrel aged beers but I have never had one that is this easy and smooth to sip on. The fact that this beer is 14% abv is just unbelievable, not a trace of alcohol heat.

So I think I've found my benchmark for barrel aged stouts. Just can't find a flaw in this beer. Such a fantastic balance and everything else is just outstanding. Best stout by a mile and my second perfect 5.

Photo of MikeyMikee
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter at fridge temp..

Thanks to cosmicevan for the bottle

This is an amazing looking beer.. Jet black with a dark, dark brown head.
It literally smells like a combo of milk and dark chocolate.. With a hint of a marshmellow-ly sweetness that is complimented with a subtle ethanol/bourbon combo.

This beer, tastes and feels like you are taking a bite out of a half melted bar of chocolate that has been infused with a little bourbon.. Perfectly balanced, perfectly carbonated.. Viscous and chewy.

And 14%? What a joke, easily the smoothest BA imperial stout I've ever had.

I give this beer a perfect score.. And because of this beer.. I am revisiting my past reviews and downgrading any beer that I have previously given a 5, for no beer deserves a 5 in comparison to this beer.. Regardless of style.

Flawless brew

Photo of equincel
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, joshrosborne!

(Aged for 1 year)

Nearly black in color with a very small whisper of dark brown head that falls away quickly. Leaves the glass somewhat messy with irregular webs of sticky, small bubbles.

Pleasant, complete aroma of oak and bourbon, very mild chocolate, some roast. All the expected players are in the pool.

The flavor follows the aroma, with the bourbon and oak leading the way, along with roast, very mild chocolate, and dark black bread. Low bitterness, and the alcohol is exceptionally well hidden given the known heft.

Full in body with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and rich. Lingering chocolate finish. Incredible.

Excellent, but I actually think the base beer is better--full disclosure, the base beer is one of my all-time favorites.

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,164 ratings.