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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

379 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 379
Hads: 2,741
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 21.16%
Wants: 2,129
Gots: 742 | FT: 99
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 379 | Hads: 2,741
Photo of macrosmatic
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

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Photo of standardcherry
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of CruisaC
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark black. There was a small mocca colored head that did not stay or linger at all.

S-Very roasty malts with dark dark chocolate, coffee, and burnt aroma in the beginning. The alcohol and the bourbon cut through the initial aroma to finish off the smell.

T-The bourbon is in the beginning of this beer with the sweet caramel maltiness associated with it. The barley comes through afterward with the deep roast of coffee with very subtle chocolate flavors.

M-It has an average viscosity, which was a little unexpected for such a high alcohol beer. The alcohol is very sharp on the tongue and the carbonation is low.

O-Great beer, worth getting if you can buy it or trade something not too outstanding for it. I would put it on par with a lesser version of KBS.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, creamy black with a half finger of mocha head which dissipates quickly.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate notes.

T: Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and bourbon up front are followed by caramel and vanilla. Slight hop bitterness rounds things out nicely.

M: Nice and thick with an excellent, creamy mouthfeel. This is amazing on the palate.

O: A really, really excellent barrel aged stout. Maybe not quite on Bourbon County's level, but this is up there with the best BA stouts out there. I'll definitely seek out more.

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Photo of Davihaw
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

1st Beer Review Ever! So let's see how this goes.

I had this on tap in a 11.5oz snifter at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange during a Dark Horse Tap Takeover.

A: Arrived to my table with a finger of head on it that was the color of foamy soil. The body of the beer was black like motor oil and I could see the carbonation in it. Light lacing as head went down.

S: I noticed the chocolate malt smell right off the bat mixed with the bourbon smell. It did have a boozy smell the emptier my glass got. A light dried fruit smell accompanied the smell of bourbon and chocolate malt.

T: Roasted malts with chocolate are very noticeable instantly. On the third sip the rest of the flavors began shining through and had hints of dried fruit and toffee. The bourbon flavor is very present throughout. The booze is pretty hidden but at times is present.

M: Thick and creamy. The carbonation was just right.

O: This is a great BA stout that improves greatly upon its base beer. While it is a great beer, it does not quite stack up against others in the upper echelon of BA stouts. Very solid but do not trade away the cellar for it.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter

In a world of ever evolving and growing barrel-aged stouts, let's see how this one ranks.

A - Looks like a stout, pours pretty thick but couldn't get much of a head to develop or stay.

S - Definitely at correct serving temperature and this one doesn't open up much on the nose. Most great BA stouts I can smell once the cap is popped but when I jab my nose in the glass this beer still doesn't have a lot of aromatics. Hints of bourbon, alcohol and roasted malt...not much doing.

T - Thankfully this beer is much different than the aroma. A sweet bourbon flavor at the beginning then transitions to a velvet malted barley flavor with hints of deeply roasted coffee and a hint of toffee. Finishes off pretty boozy/hot but with hardly any age it is to be expected.

M - A little thin for my liking but it works with the low volumes of carbonation in the beer. It's a little astringent on the tongue and the booze tingle is definitely present in the aftertaste, which lasts forever. Definitely a sipper to the definition.

A very well made barrel-aged stout which I'm sure improves with a little age but I wouldn't sit on it for more than a year guessing by the thinner body. Easy to drink, great bourbon flavor and a nice stout overall.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking for this beer for the last couple years now and BA mia4ipa was kind enough to share one with me. Poured from a 12oz wax sealed bottle into mini pint glasses. Served at just below room temperature.

A - Pours out like thick, black motor oil with little to no head. Super-viscous. This has the classic look for a big, barrel aged imperial stout. Looking good...

S - I was expecting a huge bourbon smell, but it's not over powering. Hints of bourbon, oak, dark chocolate and fudge.

T - Upon taking a sip, the initial notes are chocolate, toffee, and bourbon. There's just the right level of sweetness without being cloying, which is balanced by that nice bourbon barrel flavor, and a little bitterness at the end. This is one of the tastiest stouts I've ever had. It was surprisingly drinkable at 14% ABV too.

M - The mouthfeel was perfect for the style. It was slightly thick and chewy, but really enjoyable to sip on.

O - Probably one of my favorite barrel aged stouts. The bourbon wasn't as pronounced as it is in something like BCS, but this seemed much more balanced and enjoyable to drink. I wish I had more...

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 vintage.

Appearance - Very think inky black pour with a small mocha head. Nothing left after a while. Just a thin collar and three measly and miniscule islands of foam.

Smell - The barrel is very nice, but the aroma of the beer is intense. Bourbon, tons of oak, and a nice hint of vanilla from the barrel. Sweet malts, licorice. Coffee and dark chocolate are afterthoughts compared to the barrel, booze, and sugars.

Taste - The base beer shines through the barrel, but it adds a nice layer. Bourbon is immediately apparent. Deep dark chocolate flavors and a sweet fruit layer. Oak is really intense in the back. Lingering oaky finish is too strong and just pegs it back from perfect.

Mouthfeel - It's heavy, boozy, and overly oaked. Low carbonation. A monster of a beer.

Overall - While this beer is spectacular, the barrel hasn't improved it. Intense oak creates an unpleasant aftertaste. That being said, I had this on tap and it was incredible. Batch to batch may vary. I certainly won't mind exploring different vintages of this.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark as night black in color with a dark brown ring sitting at the top with absolutely no head that didn't leave no lacing whatsoever on the glass.

S: plenty of chocolatey oat grains were noticeable upfront in the aroma with brown sugar molasses sweetness, subtle burnt sugar, good bourbon barrel booze present and a little coffee bean coming through as well.

T: molasses with brown sugar sweetness were more prominent on the palate alongside chocolate goodness, nice roastiness, coffee accents, a touch of vanilla, plenty of oat grains, well balanced booze and bourbon barrel notes that added plenty of character to the base beer.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a roasty, boozy, chocolatey, sweet, rich and chewy finish.

O: definitely a must have, plus the bourbon barrel treatment really gave this beer great qualities all around; Delicious

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Photo of sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of davey101
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

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Photo of lurpy1
3.88/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of zac16125
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of Holmgrown
4.85/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
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!


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Photo of Pete27lax
5/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of MikeyMikee
5/5  rDev +11.4%
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

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Photo of ehammond1
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of founder26
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this review is for a fresh bottled 2012 poured into a snifter at around 45 degrees

Apperance: poured thick black oil. head at first was about 2 inches sort of khaki brown, lots of big bubbles. fadded quickly into small head small bubbles, nice lacing.

Smell: big chocolate and vanilla up front with some of that bourbon oak. also got some coffee, tobacco, and leather at the end.

Taste: bourbon and oak up front, followed by the chocolate and coffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: thick and creamy, just the way I like my big stouts. coats your mouth. abv is there but pretty well hidden.

Overall: I honestly think I like this better then kbs/bcbs. reason is because the bourbon is not overpowering and blends with the base beer very well.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch (silver wax) into my founders snifter. just shy of a year old at this point.

a - pours black and clearly has a high viscosity to it. a thin cap of dark brown head creeps up slowly, then settles back to a thin film. leaves some nice long legs of lacing in the glass.

s - bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, raisin, faint char. an absolutely divine nose on this one.

t - all of the nose, really. starts off roasty and chocolatey, then the vanilla and barrel aged goodness comes out. has some faint dark fruity notes in there and a pleasantly smooth bourbon finish. very well put together.

m - full bodied, medium carbonation, finer co2 profile. has some alcohol heat still but very smooth.

o - honestly i'm pretty impressed by this one. i haven't had many bourbon barrel beers, but this definitely gives kbs and bcbs a run for their money. reputation is well deserved here and this is certainly worth seeking out if you're into big stouts.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to erikkoppin

Pours a midnight black color with barely any head. Wisps of retention slink across the top, with a few spots of lacing on the glass.

A rich mix of vanilla and chocolate soaked in bourbon in the nose. A bit sweet with roasted dark malts and some softer tones of dark fruits. Softly charred oak, booze and really faint smoke.

Boozy vanilla bean up front with plenty of syrupy bourbon and softly charred oak. Dark chocolate, nuttiness and layers of roasted dark malts. Syrupy with a prolonging boozy warmth, followed by a light undertone of leather and very subtle smoke. Finishes sweet and boozy with vanilla.

Fuller medium body, milder carbonation, sticky and creamy on the tongue. I've had this one tap before and it was one of my favorite BA stouts ever, although the bottle doesn't quite recapture that moment for me. Definitely still a top notch offering, but the appearance and feel were slightly lacking.

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.