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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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,181 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,181
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 1,919
Gots: 538 | FT: 63
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: 2,181 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeonseh
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Dark brown, almost black with a small frothy mocha colored head that settles mostly on the sides. Appears to have a nice thickness to it as I swirl it in the glass

S - Dark chocolate, brandied raisins, caramel sweetness with a hint of bourbon barrel aging. Has a strong and powerful nose that really brings the scents.

T - First there is sweetness as I taste Mexican sugar and caramel. The coffee and more bitter dark chocolate comes next. There is also a strong oak presence where you can definitely see how the bourbon barrel adds complexity. On the finish, wow, that's where you really get the bourbon coming through. It had a strong alcoholic presence along with more typical bourbon flavors of oak, caramel, English Christmas pudding, and brandied dates.

MF - Medium body with light carbonation. The finish is dry and leaves a tingling alcohol feeling. It could improve by being a bit thicker.

O - A solid and quite boozy BA stout from Dark Horse. The barrel aging adds a lot of complexity to the flavor. I would like it to be a bit thicker and to cover its alcohol a little better as right now it's a bit hot. Curious to see how this develops in a few years.

Photo of doughanson78
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Huge thanks to rfraga77 for this want. 400th BA review.

A: Super black. One of the blackest I've seen. Half finger super dark mocha head that actually had decent retention and lacing for an ABV this high. Awesome looking RIS.

S: Big bourbon, but not boozy at all. Very nice oak notes. Lots of vanilla and butterscotch. Dark chocolate, a touch of dark cherries.

T: Wow. Bourbon is amazing. Vanilla and butterscotch is awesome mixed with dark chocolate, oak, and a hint of cherries. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. One of the smoothest RIS's I've had.

M: Super thick. Chewy to the fullest. Medium low carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: One of the, if not the best beer I've had. How is no alcohol detected in a 14% beer?

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Ben, thanks to BigSexy410. Big want of mine.

The beer pours a nice black hue with some decent sized tan head and some sticky lacing.

The beer has great smell but it seems muted out of the
glass somehow. Some round sweet barrel notes round out done roasty and chocolate stout flavors. Maybe a little licorice abd gum drop spice.

The taste is more animated and features the aspects of the smell nicely with some great highlights of cigar sweet tobacco, roasty malts, nice bourbon notes with slight vanilla malt, and a little molasses.

The feel is pretty good and a little hot; not that thick but also not offensive.

Overall a great beer and very tasty.

Photo of claaark13
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Cam. Poured into a Founders snifter after being slightly chilled.

A - Pours black and a light-tan head forms. It soon disappears and leaves minimal lacing. Sticks to the glass alright. It looks extremely appealing.

S - Dark fruits with light amounts of vanilla and oak. Some fudge comes through as well.

T - Fudge quickly turns into into some oak and vanilla, some heat, then a dry vanilla finish. There is also a little bit of burn once the dryness begins to subside. The oak really makes itself present towards the end. The fudge/cocoa/chocolate is there, but really seems to take the back seat to the barrel. There is a little bit of sweetness, which helps create some balance.

M - Medium body with lower carbonation on the tongue. It does the job with the flavors.

O - The flavor seems a little heavy on dryness and virgin oak for me without providing as much caramel/vanilla as I would expect/prefer. I think if they could pull back the barrel just a little bit, it would surpass what I'd call similar beers. Or, if the barrel would be able to present more charred characteristics. I'd drink it again happily and would be interested to open one among similar beers to see how it stacks up.

7/1/12 Update - Dark fruits are showing up in the flavor, oak is still strong and the heat is faded. If you've been holding any of these for a while, you should really think about opening at least one of them soon. 5/4/4.5/4.5/4.25

Photo of mgp2675
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this after a regular Plead the 5th for comparison.

A- black, much thicker than Plead the 5th, minimal tan-colored head on it

S- very, very sweet...some chocolate and coffee at the end. As it warmed up though I got some vanilla out of it, but overall not the most impressive nose on this one

T- some initial bitterness with the first sip and then tons of vanilla, very smooth, aftertaste of dark chocolate. This tastes great, and you cannot sense the 14% ABV

M- honestly pretty perfect, just the right amount of thickness

O- great stout...top 5 for me and I've had a lot of them. One of the most impressive things was how much the barrel aging process changed the base beer. I thought Plead the 5th was way too sweet and not incredibly smooth, and this is the opposite of that. It tastes very similar to Parabola, just with a much different aroma. I've been a bit disappointed with a lot of BA stouts with hype like this one has, but this beer honestly is worth seeking out. Good stuff

Photo of Jeffo
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a recent trade with hotpipes29. This one comes eagerly anticipated, so we made quick work of it. Thanks for the trade!

From a bottle into a mini-snifter
Vintage: 2011
Drunk right after the base beer for comparative purposes

APPEARANCE: Basically the same out of the bottle as the base beer, but perhaps even darker and thicker. A sludgy, thick black pour yields a small, medium looking, slightly bubbly, dark mocha colored head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a bubbly wisp and ring. Thick, opaque black body with no carbonation evident. A swirling wisp and thick ring remain until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Though the head is a little bubbly compared to the base, this is incredibly thick and menacing. Totally evil.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon on the nose with notes of oak and milk chocolate from the barrels. Quite barrel forward, but some roasted malts and dark chocolate notes do make their way through the barrel aging. Medium strength nose.

TASTE: Quite barrel forward on the palate with very little of the base beer left over. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some nice milk chocolate up front. Bourbon barrel dominates through the middle with a touch of roasted and dark chocolate flavors after the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste is barrel heavy with lots of bourbon and plenty of alcohol. Very little base beer sticks around. Flavorful, but not much of the regular Plead the 5th is left to be found.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of slightly prickly carbonation. Thick and creamy enough on the palate, especially after it has sat in the glass for a bit, goes down fine with a bite after the swallow. Finishes sticky on the palate and lots of heat lingers. Not as thick and full as the base, but still pleasant.

OVERALL: This was a really good bourbon barrel aged stout. Despite the slightly milder nose and lighter palate compared to the base beer, the look was outstanding and the barrel flavors were very interesting and enjoyable. Like many barrel aged versions of a base beer, however, the barrel aging on this one has almost completely erased everything that was so enjoyable about the regular Plead the 5th. In that sense, you could say this is a phenomenal bourbon barrel stout, but not a phenomenal bourbon barrel Plead the 5th, if that makes any sense. Anyways, I was stoked to be able to try these together and we really enjoyed the pair. Thanks again for this one hotpipes. This was a lot of fun!

UPDATE: Trying a 2012 and 2011 together tonight. Everything is the same in the 2012, though the palate is a little heavier and creamier. I'd give a solid 4 to the newer vintage in this department.

Photo of ChefHopMeister
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Verecund
4.05/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 batch thanks to StoutFest. February 16, 2012.

Pours black with a quarter-finger mocha head.

Rich and decadent nose: fudge brownie; toasted graham cracker; strong bourbon presence (with some heat); light vanilla; charred oak and roasted grain. Impressive.

Lots of chocolate notes on the palate, half milky, half dark. Bourbon and fudge. Fairly sweet, but there's an earthy bitterness throughout the mid-to-late palate. It's also pretty oak-forward for a -bal stout; the char is almost spicy on the finish. Still fairly hot -- the bourbon seems to be quality, but it's a bit messy, all things considered.

A little thin in body, with medium carbonation. Appropriately sticky.

Happy to have finally had this. An above-average -bal stout, but a bit hot and messy at this stage to be top tier.

Photo of fjl77
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12oz bottle with a gold wax cap (2011 vintage) into a tulip glass. Pours dark chestnut with thin tan lacing head that lasts throughout. Aroma of sweet oak, vanilla, bourbon, some blueberries. Really nice aroma! Taste some alcohol heat from the bourbon, sweet dark fruits, vanilla, oak, cocoa, and some chocolate. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Smooth and mild bitter back finish. Quite enjoyed this one!

Photo of caninedevotion
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of KevSal
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured from 12oz bottle into tulip -2011 release

A: Black as a crows feather, one finger head that descends into a thin frothy lacing, great carbonation, legs for miles.

S: Vanilla , Oak, Bourbon, Roasted Malt, Dark fruits,slight chocolate.

T: Slight bitter hop, dark fruits, warming bourbon, vanilla,semi sweet chocolate and oak notes.

O: Very tasty beer, not overwhelming for 14% , would definitely have again, highly recommended.

Photo of schwaeh
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz from this year, huge thanks to inebriatedjoker for this.

A: Pitch black with a nice half inch brown head. The head fades quick into some light bubbles. Well carbed for sure. I think this permanently coated the glass in brown oil.

S: The most vanilla and oaked whiskey I've smelled in a beer since BCBS rare. Huge fudge cake, bourbon, chocolate covered chocolate with chocolate icing. Dark fruit is making this real complex; I would believe it if you told me this is blended with a bit of quad its so fruity.

T: This is crazy good. Everything from the aroma comes through in waves. The alcohol is hidden really well except for in the stomach, it's warming there. The malt shows well through the bourbon, they do a nice job on the base and it goes fantastic with the barrel influence. Moderately sweet, but not cloying whatsoever.

M: Slick, rich, and full bodied. Sticky as hell. Carbonation is pretty low.

O: Chocolate, fudge, smooth/matured bourbon- this is fantastic. BBPt5th is everything I look for in this style.

Photo of jburchett
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of GehenHerzog
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of harrymel
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011, thanks Jamie!

pours a dark, inky black ale with just a little bit of mocha rim. No lace. Aroma bursts from the bottle with cocoa, cake batter, caramel, oak, bourbon, bourbon...did I mention bourbon?

Taste follows suit with cocoa, cake, vanilla, caramels, hints of tannin, praline and even a little bit of....bourbon! I can't believe this beer is 14%, it is sooo well hidden, insane. Really lovely flavor.

Mouthfeel is liquid oil. Really smooth with full body and low carb. Im really impressed with this beer overall. Wish I had more of theses puppies. Damn fine brew.

Photo of ChugginOil
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to raymo55 for this bomb brew!

Poured from a silver waxed, 2011 vintage bottle into a snifter.

Pours a thick as hell, black as hell, viscous liquid that settles and sits like a tar pit. I'm talkin' zero light transfer. There is less than a fingers worth of orange tinted, tan head. Not much lace but a few spots.

The nose has some complex bourbon notes such as toasted coconut, and vanilla while mixed in the the base brews chocolaty characteristics. Boozy in the end. Wow.

The taste is toasted oak and coconut with a nice amount of bourbon that isn't in-your-face. However, the bourbon shows it's glorious attributes with ease. The base beer still shows through the barrel treatment. There is some chocolate, leather, and tobacco working with the bourbon. There are some firm tannins and oak flavors when aggressively sloshed within my mouth.

Hidden ABV + Drinkability = Awesome

The mouthfeel is what I love about these Plead brews. Velvety smooth with a silk-like feel against my palate. A nice, low amount of carbonation helps this feel become successful.

Overall, totally awesome, great brew that deserves the hype. This is because of a great balance and a nicely hidden ABV. The durability of the base brew was easily withstandable when put into a barrel. Bravo, once again!

Photo of stonermouse
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of TimoP
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of schultzi22
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of funkel81
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

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

Pours a very very black. Darker head than your typical stout.

Aroma is a pleasing mix of dark fruit as well as heavy roast and toasty malt. A little booze and sweetness as well.

Reflects the nose. Roasted barley, toasty malt, sweetness and some estery alcohol sweetness as well. Bourbon is a nice complexity rather than the main event.

Rich and decadent without being overbearing. Not as intense as BCBS, but worlds better than -bal aged Rasputin.

Great beer. Reminds me of the best attributes of all of this years Eclipses put together.

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,181 ratings.