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

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th

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1,570 Ratings

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Ratings: 1570
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.13%

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
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Ratings: 1,570 | Reviews: 288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pint on tap at the hulmeville inn. Oh boy this is going to be a trip.

A- comes to me with a small cap of dark brown head that settles almost instantly leaving just the faintest of rings. Black in color with a small hint of dark brown at the edges.

S- dark chocolate and bourbon vanilla with some smokey wood and char. Lots of brown sugar and molasses. Touches of dark fuits.

T- molten chocolate fudge cake and blackstrap molasses. Bourbon soaked vanilla beans with dark roasted malts. Light stone fruit and coffee hit way in the back.

M- sooo smooth and creamy with a full body and a bit of chew to it. Very lite carb but its perfect for the brew. Just the lightest touch of boozy heat.

D- for a 14 abv pile driver of a brew Im blasting through this pint. This is one amazing brew. Up there with the best barrel aged stouts in the world no doubt.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2010 23:09:10 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of nkersten


4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, on tap at local option. Pours black into a snifter, no head and a very small ring of tan foam that sits at the edge of the glass. Smells of sweet dark cherries, vanilla, light bourbon, and milk chocolate. Taste is chocolate covered cherries, bourbon, and oak with a very slightly hot finish - not nearly as boozey as i would expect for 14%. Delicious. Mouthfeel is very thick and coating, light carbonation helps keep it from being too sticky, perfect for the style. For a massive, high abv stout, this one is surprisingly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2010 15:03:37 | More by nkersten
Photo of NorthsideFred


4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this phenomenal beer on tap, in a snifter, at Local Option. A tip of the cap to Jim, probably one of the most knowledgeable bartenders in Chicago.

A - Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head. Decent retention and nice lacing.

S - Smells wonderful. The first thing you smell is the chocolate, wow. Also some roasted malts, vanilla, and of course bourbon, but the bourbon is very subtle.

T - Damn! This is sooo good! The taste is rich chocolatey goodness. It is so damn smooth. Not hot at all, which is amazing for 14% ABV.

M - This is full bodied, with a rich creamy, silky smooth feel. Almost like chocolate milk.

D - This is eminently drinkable. I sucked two down, and would love another if I had the time and money.

This is an incredible beer. I almost question the accuracy of the ABV: 14%? Really? WOW!

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2010 17:10:33 | More by NorthsideFred
Photo of glazeman


4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap at Local Option in Chicago into a snifter. As a precursor, I really enjoyed the standard version of PTF and had high expectations for the BA version.

A: 1.5 finger mocha head with excellent retention and excellent lacing

S: Bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla were than main smells of this beer. I thought all were in excellent harmony and balance. This is truly a remarkable smelling beer.

T: As with the nose, the main tastes I got were bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. Wonderfully balance, wonderful flavors, nothing in excess or out of place. This is hands down one of the top 3 tasting beers I have had to date. Better than Dark Lord, Parabola, BCBCS, BCVCS, Ivan, Hunahpu etc.

M: Again, spot on as far as the viscosity and carbonation goes. Not supper thick, but it sits on the tongue nicely, is smooth, and has a wonderful aftertaste.

D: Sky high drinkability. The only thing that could hinder this is the ABV at 14%. With that being said the alcohol was pretty much undetectable to me as this beer was not hot at all.

Overall: This is my favorite beer to date. I was close to giving it my first all 5's but refrained. If I could choose one thing to drink all fall, winter, and spring, this would be it. This beer in every way exceeded my already high expectations and is proof to me that barrel aging an already great beer, if done correctly, can make it even better. I really hope they bottle this at some point. An absolute must try if you ever make a trip down I-94 to Marshall, are in Chicago anytime soon and can make it to Local Option, or at pre-darkness day at Stub and Herbs!

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2010 15:38:50 | More by glazeman
Photo of djmitche


4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this in a snifter at local option and the strong recommendation of the server.

A: Dark and thick with a decent chocolatey brown head and some reasonable lacing.

S: The other reviews suggest that the nose only emerges as the beer warms, but even at serving temperature this has a nice roasted nose with coffee and a bit of heat. There may be a hint of honey in there, too?

T: I'll admit I worry when I see "bourbon stout" - they tend to be extremely sweet and thick. But this was advertised as overcoming that problem, and delivered. There's roasted malt, bitter chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and enough bitterness to keep you mind off the possibility of cavities.

M: As hinted above, this is less chewy than most beers of this style, although it does thicken up as it warms

D: This is no session beer, but it is not limited to dessert and breakfast purposes.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2010 02:12:05 | More by djmitche
Photo of sidetracked


4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Dark Horse. Served in an 8oz(?) snifter--black with a thin light brown ring of head.

Smell is bourbon, dark roasted malts, and dark chocolate with a light woodiness.

Taste is semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts with the bourbon and wood coming through nicely at the finish. As it warms some molasses-like sweetness begins to come through at the finish.

Full bodied and smooth with a slight chewiness. Becomes slightly syrupy as it warms.

Really great balance of bitterness and sweetness. Just the right amount of bourbon aroma and flavor allows others smells and tastes to come through. One of the best barrel aged stouts I've had.


Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2010 19:51:43 | More by sidetracked
Photo of rudylaw


4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Local Option

Pours quarter to midnight black with a small deep tan head.

Vanilla, chocolate, molasses, candy and bourbon in the sniffer.

Exact same in the taste and it is a sweet concoction of epic proportions! As it warms, it gets that much smoother. Everything is balanced.

Medium to low carbonation with a chewy, slick mouthfeel. A true sipper for an early fall afternoon. It hides the 14% rather well... but it's still 14%!

Dark Horse has it's lynch pin here. While I quite enjoy Plead the 5th, the barrel wasn't just kind to this beer and to me, it gave it up on the first date, cooked me breakfast and paid for my cab home!

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2010 20:35:47 | More by rudylaw
Photo of MasterSki


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

On-tap at Local Option. Served in a snifter. The perfect nightcap for a Thursday night filled with drunkenness and debauchery.

A - Filled to the brim, so it's hard to get a handle on head volume/retention. Thick ring with a bit of film on top, and some spotty lacing as the beverage is consumed. Ominous black body.

S - A lot of dark roasted grain character, with an earthy and fairly mellow bourbon character. I'm not sure what barrels were used, but they certainly seem to be of high quality. This really needs to warm up, and even then it isn't the most aggressive nose.

T - The taste is quite excellent, with a hefty amount of dark roasted grain, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and other sweet things. Again, the bourbon makes its presence known through barrel flavors and depth, rather than in-your-face harsh whiskey.

M - Shockingly little warmth for a 14% beast. Full body, with sufficient carbonation to keep it from getting too syrupy. Stick finish, with only light tannic character.

D - This was quite drinkable for the ridiculous ABV. I'm tempted to trek back to Local Option for another pour under more sober conditions. Also, kudos to Dark Horse for enhancing an already excellent beer with tasteful and well-integrated barrel-aging. They've also done a good job keeping the beer from thinning out too much or getting too astringent.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2010 04:43:03 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Lukafer


4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dark Horse, served in a snifter.

Appearance is black and oily, with a thin tan head that leaves great lacing. Smells are bourbon, oak, some chocolate, smells delicious. Taste is some sweet malts, bourbon, oak and some smoke, very good. Mouthfeel is sticky, chewy and just enough carb or this style. This beer is really boozy, but in a really drinkable way. I only had one, because it was early afternoon and I didn't want to get too plowed, otherwise I could've had a few. This is a very good beer!

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2010 03:20:52 | More by Lukafer
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at DH and at Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Fest

Pours 1 finger of creamy dark tan head that has amazing retention. Color is an oil black.

Aroma: Warming bourbon, thick rich chocolate. Roasted malts. The nose is fairly muted.

Taste: Much better here. Bigger bourbon flavors, oak, sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and warming. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rich, sweet, and malty.

Overall, a solid -bal aged stout. Great flavors and very drinkable. Very impressed with DH on this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2010 15:06:20 | More by mothman
Photo of SuperNova777


4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was great starter @ 11 a.m. for our Michigan brew tour

A:Poured into a snifter with harldy no visability throught it, dark along with hints of ruby with a small heads that quickly resides

S:Lots of complexity going on here, from the vanilla to the chocolate maybe some molases. Very inviting

T:Purly Delicious, Lil vanilla and coffee flavor up front then some bourbon on the backburner. Super smooth going down, hard to believe that this one is 14%, almost no alcohol hitting here. Definitly could drink a few of these but probably shouldn't

M:Very nice, a little thicker but very easy drinkability

D: So So good, I'm glad I opened up with this on it got me ready for the next 10 hours of drinking. Easy to drink, great flavors and complexity, and just delicious. I will be heading back to Dark Horse soon and hopefully i will be able to snag this again before its all gone

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2010 01:25:37 | More by SuperNova777
Photo of alleykatking


4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Dark Horse. Pretty stoked to try this one out. Served in a snifter.

A- Pours a deep dark brown...almost black color. Dark chocolate colored head very little dies to a ring on the glass. Some streaky lacing on the glass. A very nice looking beer.

S- This has big roasted malt in the front of the aroma. Some light vanilla and dark cocoa in the middle. Don't pick up any wood notes but I do pick up hints of bourbon in the back end of beer. Typical coffee notes as well with a slight smokey presence as well. Light alcohol hits the nose and sticks to it.

T- Good roasted malt bites from the front with a light vanilla and cocoa ending. Some toffee and coffee notes toward the middle that adds to the sweetness. This beer isn't all sweet though which is where it turns into a bourbon laced beer. Light bourbon notes through the backing leading to a warming alcohol as you drink this one down. There is also a return to light roasted malts to this that add a finishing character as well. This is what a bourbon barreled beer should taste like to me.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is prefect for the beer although I think a little subdue for the style. Nice heavy roastd malts left on the palate with a touch of chocolate. Bourbon and light roasted malts left on the aftertaste. Flavors were bold and clean tasting. Everything mixed together pretty well but still had strong single flavor qualities to it.

D- This to me was a perfect style of a bourbon barrel beer. The higher ABV (14%) limits this to a couple snifters at best. I do enjoy this beer and hope they do something like making a short bottle run of it. Dark Horse knows how to make their beers very drinkable and I have never had a problem doing just that. Cheers to you Dark Horse!

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2010 19:37:28 | More by alleykatking
Photo of MbpBugeye


4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Obviously the first beer I sampled from Dark Horse's living room at the Brewers Guild Fest in Ann Arbor 2010. I was excited to get to try this one as Plead the 5th is one of my favorite beers.

Quite vinous at times but chocolate and bourbon squash that. There is dark fruits, vanilla, oak, chocolate, bourbon and alcohol.

Taste is fantastic. This beer beat out CBS, KBS, Black Note and lots of other big stouts with major hype that were at the fest. We ended up going back for more of this. Our resounding favorite of the day. Theres nothing too frilly about it. Its just a big ass stout with dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, molasses soaked in oaky and vanillay tasting bourbon barrels.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2010 21:58:51 | More by MbpBugeye
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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,570 ratings.