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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

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

1,590 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1590
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,590 | Reviews: 288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of joshuaseresse
joshuaseresse

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks goes out to erikkoppin for this bottle in a recent trade. 12oz bottle, served into a snifter:

A - Pours a deep black with a nice chocolate mocha head that dies into a nice foam ring around the edges. Murky clouds in the middle with other hints of foam. Lacing is there but doesn't stick around for too long.

S - Smells of fresh bourbon, wood, roast and some chocolate. Little bit of vanilla and tobacco leaf, leather and touches of espresso and mocha. Pretty decent smell, but could use a few years of age to be perfect. I'd rank this one a 4.25 but I'll round up since I have a feeling it will reach perfection in a few years.

T - A decent amount of charred oak, roasted coffee/espresso and smooth bourbon. Notes of chocolate, fudge and again, some tobacco leaf. Even though you can tell the bourbon is there, there is no heat to it. Mostly some bitter coffee notes and more of the above mentioned flavors. Even though I like it, I'm going to also score this a 4.25, and since I upped the smell, this one will be a 4.

M - A little bit of sweetness from the bourbon and chocolate flavors, but toward the end this thing starts to dry out the mouth. Again, no burn from the bourbon or ABV. The carbonation is smooth and creamy.

O - This is a pretty decent BA stout. I really enjoy the smell and taste, but the mouthfeel is slightly off putting. This is the first time I've had this brew, and while I like it now, I know that it'll be the bees knees in a few years. Thanks again Erik for the assist!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 05:14:38 | More by joshuaseresse
Photo of slentz
slentz

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Steve for this bottle in a secret Santa box.

Bottle to CBS snifter at about 50 degrees.

A: Easy pour down the center of the glass leads to a half finger worth of tan mocha head that recedes to a very thin ring. Very dark, no light is penetrating this. Looks very good in the glass. The fact that there is head on a 14% stout is impressive in the least. Really nice legs on this. First gave this a 4.5 but after looking at it for a while this deserves a 5.0 or more. 5.0

S: Wow. This smells incredible. Chocolate, bourbon, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, caramel, slight coffee, some molasses and light brown sugar. Hardly a hint of alcohol. 4.5

T: Again truly impressed by this beer. It's super smooth. Very little alcohol bite. Just as in the nose: bourbon, vanilla, a hint of caramel, molasses. As it warms the alcohol becomes more present. Actually prefer this one a little more with slight chill on it. This is one impressive beer. The bourbon and oak is very well integrated into the base beer. 4.5

M: Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy. Good carbonation here. Quite chewy, leaves a slick feeling. Pretty much perfect mouthfeel. 5.0

O: Overall this is a damn fine beer. Very glad I got to try this. I will be seeking out more of this in the future. Thanks to Dark Horse for making more of this and putting it in 12oz bottles. 5.0

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:25:47 | More by slentz
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

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

huge thanks to lurchingbeast for this awesome extra!

pours out complete opaque motor oil black with a dark mocha colored head that rather quickly faded to a thin yet retentive ring. off a swirl, a little sticky lace, but more so some nice legs left on the glass.

big boozey bourbon attacks the nostrils, oaky, woody vanilla, burnt roasted malts, a little dark chocolate and dark fruits. more and more bourbon comes out as it warms.

wow, that first taste almost blew me away. awesome bourbon flavors, big vanilla, more so towards the finish, burnt, dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, burnt marshmallows, dark chocolate cake. really some wonderful bourbon flavors in the finish, for me, thats when the magic really happens. there is such a wonderful marriage of flavors here that i dont even have words for.

creamy, low carb which is nice, big chewy mouthfeel. very warming. silky.

really a wonderful bourbon barrel aged stout. the regular plead the fifth was such a well done impy stout, so i had such high hopes for this and i was definatly not let down. ill definatly seek out more of this for the cellar if possible. great beer, loads of bourbon, still i dont think i can say its better than bourbon county, although extremely close.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 23:26:11 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of mattboyer182
mattboyer182

Indiana

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours dark black and a vague tan head.

S - bourbon hits you in the face. Rich malts and apparent alcohol.

T - wow. Sweet intense bourbon. Great wood taste lies underneath.

M - heavy, rich body and light carbonation.

O - for sure the best out of these stouts. So sweet and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 03:23:57 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

12oz bottle from my favorite MI trader.

Pours pitch black, just like the regular 5th with a small mocha head that recedes slowly to a thin collar with a little lacing.

Aroma is very sweet with lots of vanilla and dark chocolate with a solid bourbon presence. There are some roasted malts in the nose but it's definitely sweet with some molasses coming through, maybe hints of smoke and leather. Gorgeous nose.

Taste is thick and chocolaty with heavily roasted black malts and licorice anchoring the backbone. The vanilla is still there but more subtle than the nose and the wood from the barrel is more prominent in the finish.

The mouthfeel is wonderful, fullish and creamy, with the perfect amount of carbonation, just sticking to the palate after each sip.

The nose is more complex than the nose with the sweetness mixing with the barrel perfectly. The taste isn't quite as nice but it's still excellent. This is a nice example of what barrels can add to a beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 05:24:50 | More by gford217
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to bierenutz for hooking this one up.

a - pried open the wax and opened the bottle filling my oversized southampton ris snifter. poured a deep ominous sludgy black with a thin creamy tan head that was gone quick leaving hardly a trace that it was ever there aside from some bubbles. swirling the glass brings things back to life, but again, gone quick. lacing is spotty and slippery, but swirls of the glass definitely leaves traces.

s - as soon as i opened this, i smelled the wonderfulness. deep whaf of the glass is HUGE booziness. dark chocolate and fruits from the original are there...but the sweetness of the boozy wood enhances this one quite a bit. REALLY really nice...exactly what i look for in a bourbon barrel aged RIS...boozy magic!

t - yowza, that's a big beer. really roasty. big malt bill with lots of chocolate and even hints of fresh french roast coffee. the bourbon is there as well but much more integrated in the flavor than the smell. after the initial shock of the fullness of the beer, the flavors settle in and the barrel adds a really nice touch. as it warmed it did become a bit of a chore to drink (which is usually the opposite of these kinds of beers for me). perhaps it was the bourbon element coming out more, but i found that it was a sipper and taking my time with it helped at first and then there was a sweet spot that once passed, it was more meh than great.

m - dangerously easy drinker for such a big beer. silky and rich. coats my mouth and leaves a subtle tingle. finishes a tad bitter.

o - overall i wish i had a regular plead to do the side-by-side as i remembered loving it and remember the flavors rich and bold much like this. i'm a big fan of this and glad i have a few more of these and really glad i got to try it and that dark horse made enough to go around this time. enjoyable beer for sure, but not as earth shattering as i had hoped...i actually prefer the 2011 fresh BCBS that i swapped for this, but again, glad to have a few of these to taste over time.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 04:19:45 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

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

Reviewed blind as part of the Blind Beer BIF 6, thanks to Abraxel

A - Poured from a paper bag wrapped 12 oz. bottle, i'm surprised when an oil black liquid spews forth leaving no foam until after the pour when a 1/2 of rich brown foam forms on top. A quick swirl leaves an oily sheen dripping down the sides of the glass
4
S - Deep rich cocoa, coffee and roasted malts fill the nose, maybe some bourbon in there as well. Very nice smell indeed. No one thing stands out, but meld nicely together.
4
T - Big chocolate taste with hints of coffee with some bourbon I think, very roasty but not detracting. Just a big hit of chocolate that sticks with you the whole way through. Very enjoyable and makes you go back for more again and again.
4.5
M - smooth and silky, very creamy with just a hint of carbonation peeking through. It fits this beer perfectly.
4.5
D - Very easy to drink, I don't know the alcohol, but if its there you can't tell at all.
4.5

the unveiling...

Awesome! Bourbon Barrel Plead The 5th! First time having this beer and it sure lives up the what i've heard about it. Big thanks to Abraxel for another homerun!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 03:56:52 | More by mikereaser
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2011 bottle poured into my colossus snifter. I got this in a BIF today and was so excited I decided to open it up.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a half finger layer of cocoa colored head. The head fades to a ring around edge of the glass with just a swirl of carbonation in the middle.

Smell: Sweet roasty malt with some dark fruit and smooth alcohol. I'm picking up some caramel and vanilla from the barrels. There is also cocoa and bourbon in the nose. Very nice.

Taste: This is a really smooth BA Imperial Stout. The slightly burnt roasty malt sweetness hits you first, with some dark fruit just behind. The barrel aging was artfully done. The bourbon and caramel from the barrel are very present in the taste, but not hot at all. The finish is warm and full of bourbon and sweet cocoa notes.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium, but thin compared to what I was expecting. Tingly carbonation with a very slick finish. The beer sticks to you mouth long after you swallow.

Overall: Not disappointed at all. This is a fantastic brew and I plan on having more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 02:56:54 | More by oline73
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

At the time of this review, this beer is the #7 top Russian Imperial Stout on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - Russian Imperial Stout" list. Another top 10 beer for me. A big thanks to Thorpe for letting me have some of this beer during our impromptu epic New Years Day tasting.

Beer served in a sniffer. Beer is black, oily, this dark brown head of small bubbles, low retention, falls back to halo the glass minimal lacing and low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, chocolate, strong malt presence. The boubon come through strong. Mild oak. Smells like a big bourbon stout.

Beer is medium to big in body, malty sweet with a strong bourbon character. Fudge and chocolate with minimal roast. The sweetness carries through all the way to the end. The bourbon wins in this beer. So sweet, so oaky, vanilla, booze but without heat. I really liked it.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 17:14:27 | More by drabmuh
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to urbancaver and seeswo for this one. 12oz bottle to tulip glass.

A: Pours a motor oil consistency with about a cap of creamy brown colored head, maybe a slight red tint, which recedes to a ring. Good retention, no lacing.

S: Wonderfully balanced, mild vanilla and bourbon, oak barrel and associated spices, with dark chocolate and malt undertones. The barrel characteristics come to the forefront as it warms.

T: Airy chocolate cake and fudge, vanilla, oak barrel with some spice, and a touch of bourbon. Some alcohol is noticeable towards the end of the sip, a minor ding on an otherwise fantastic beer.

M: Full bodied and medium carbonation. Wow, amazingly smooth.

O: Great balance, smooth, and really drinkable for a bba stout. The mildness of the beer really increases the drinkability.
---
After 1 year, the 2012 has lost much of the barrel character but is still tasty enough. After 2 years, this has lost all barrel character, some of the chocolate notes, and has taken on more fruit and anise (not in a pleasant way); it's really gone downhill. Overall, I would say that it's at peak when fresh, falls off some after a year, and has gone completely downhill after two years. So drink soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 05:17:12 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to immobilisme for sending a few bottles of this my way; thanks Todd! One of my biggest wants…I love the normal Plead the 5th so have been wanting to try this since they started releasing it.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Head only lasts for about 30 seconds and no lacing or retention.

s - Smells of bourbon, rich, sweet chocolate, light bakers chocolate, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, cream, toasted malts, and coffee. While the bourbon is there and up front, it isn't overpowering at all. Very surprised how much sweet chocolate still comes through, but I love it. A really great nose here.

As it warmed up, more bourbon came out in the nose as well.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet chocolate, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, bakers chocolate, coffee, fudge, and alcohol. More bourbon here than the nose. Again, really great, though I slightly prefer the nose.

m - Medium body and very low carbonation. Thinner than I was expecting for the look and 14%, but still good for a stout. Would have liked a tiny bit more carbonation too. Weakest point of the beer in my opinion, but it's still good; the rest is just great.

o - Overall I thought this was a great BBA RIS, and an improvement on an already fantastic base beer. I love the normal version and had high hopes for this one, and it did not disappoint. The nose and taste both had a ton of bourbon and chocolate, with the nose having more chocolate and the taste having more bourbon, though for 14% it isn't overwhelming. I think another thing I love about this is that they sold it in 12 oz. bottles. So many great BBA RIS's come in 22 oz/750ml bottles, and cracking a 12 oz. bottle of this tonight was just perfect. Very happy to have another bottle of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 02:00:22 | More by mdfb79
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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

Notes from 12/30/11. Last review of 2011.
Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Thick ink black with a small amount of bubbly light brown head that very quickly disappeared leaving only a thin ring around the glass.

S - The barrel aging really dominates the nose up front with bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas. A decent sweetness is evident and cuts through the ABV, which is somewhat noticeable but well hidden given the 14% ABV. Some roasted malt and chocolate notes are hidden in the background.

T - Follows the nose - big flavours from the barrel aging dominate. Bourbon, vanilla and oak flavours are meld together in a good balance. The characteristics of the base beer are hidden behind the barrel flavours but some subtle roasted malt and chocolate notes come through along with hints of licorice and smoke. The ABV is somewhat noticeable but is complimented by sweet molasses flavours to subdue it well.

M - Full body, somewhat viscous at times. Light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 01:26:38 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is near black with a thin, beige cap. The aroma offers bourbon and roast, followed by alcohol, vanilla, oak, chocolate. Great flavor, with prominent bourbon throughout. Additional tastes of vanilla and chocolates. Moderately low carbonation, with a smooth, buttery feel. A bit of heat in the finish, but 14% abv feels pretty nice. Overall, very enjoyable. A top notch barrel-aged imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 21:01:15 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.15/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/29/2011

2011 batch. Snifter. Huge thanks to Ed for the bottle.

My pants were extremely tight at work today. It was uncomfortable, to say the least. Though, it's nothing I can't sort out over a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Any lapse in advocacy may lead to depression and torpidity. I have much thinking to do, it may require efforts from a bomber of IPA as well.

A: The beer resembles motor oil as it flows forth from the glass when I gently tilt the bottle. The head strikes me as a mixture of russet and sepia. It lingers for half a minute before receding to a small collar of froth around the edges of the glass.

S: Caramel drizzled dark chocolate cake, brown sugar, and big oak notes. Vanilla is light and bourbon is dominant (in a good way). Roasted grains are evident, blending with milk chocolate and alcohol.

T: Liquid dark chocolate, rich and delicious, with a light molasses presence and an upper low earthy bitterness. There's a lot of booze in the flavor, but the taste manages to still be quite good. I get a shadow of caramel and a fair amount of oak with big fudge notes. Bourbon is well integrated. Roasted grains are restrained. Alcohol takes over in the late midpalate and dominates through the finish. It's a bit rough near the end, knocking this from a 4.5 to a 4 in the flavor.

M: Full in body with lower medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, chewy, and sticky.

Overall: Enjoyable, but this is just a bit too boozy at this point. I'll bet this will be excellent in 6 months if it manages to avoid becoming infected like many other barrel aged strong ales. A pleasure to try.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 04:36:28 | More by HopHead84
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Turdferguson for this one. Poured from a waxed and capped 12oz. bottle into a Darkness Snifter. 2011 vintage. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a thin, fine layer of chocolate colored head with poor retention. Beer is a dark, dense opaque black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent stick. Really oily and slick, thick legs. Decent looking beer.

Nose is booze, fudge brownie, cocoa, chocolate, and molasses. Extremely aromatic and dense. Almost smells like it looks if that makes any sense. Very rich. Really enticing.

Opens chocolate, honey, and cocoa. Fudgey and boozy in the middle with notes of molasses sweetness. End is sweet and sticky with some prune notes. Barrel presence crescendos at the finish. Aftertaste is sweet honey, chocolate, and fudge. Really tasty with a very balanced barrel flavor.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and silky in the mouth and warm and smooth going down. Finishes warm with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Absolute perfection.

Although this beer has had quite some talk behind it, its still under-the-radar in my opinion. Absolutely amazing and pretty much everything you could possibly want out of a barrel aged imperial stout. I'll definitely be seeking out more of this to lay down.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 02:54:49 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Retsinis
Retsinis

California

3.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, thanks Adam! (mrbubbler)

A: Quarter inch cap of creamy cappucino colored head. The beer is a black, no light penetration, with a dark brown hue.

S: Marshmellow, graham cracker, light vanilla, touch of bouurbon. Bakers chocolate

T: Oak, kiss of vanilla, touch of toast, vanills, & light roasted malt blended with bourbon.

M: semi dry, light carbonation, medium roasted sweetness.

O: Large margin improvement from regular plead the 5th. Glad I got the chance to try it. Not my favorite -bal RIS but still quite tasty. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 07:45:01 | More by Retsinis
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at dark horse 12/27/11

A- Dark motor oil black body. No light passes through. Served with maybe a thin collar. The thin collar is a dark tan hue. Fades within 15 min and no lacing is left behind in the glas.

S- When you smell this you know that it is quality and something special. Very complex nose. The bourbon is stronggest, but underneath is an even balance of anise, oak barrel, chocolate, currants.

T- The flavor is very similar to the nose. Upfront is some bourbon sweetness, chocolate, anise, and a big chocolate malt background with some oak balance. Some bourbon heat comes through for the finish but otherwise the finish is consistent with the initial flavor.

M- Low to medium carbonatio and a thick, creamy, yet woody stout body.

O- This is a very special beer. It drinks like a 9-10% when its really 14-15%. The Russian Imperial Stout quality and the Bourbon Quality are equal here. Something that is rare in a BBA stout-and the fruit is perfect not over or underripe.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2011 03:05:50 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

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

Big thanks to Patchmaster for trading me this bottle.

Vintage 2011, poured into my Bruery snifter.

A: Pours a used motor oil looking, completely opaque, pitch black. The only head on this beer is the tiniest ring of a thin mocha coloring along the top of the beer that clings to the glass for dear life.

S: Bourbon, wood, toast, raisin, dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, and just the slightest hint of cherry. Damn, this is exactly how I imagined this beer to smell. It's incredible.

T: Starts off with a nice boozy kick in the face, but all of the flavors of this beer shine through as that first hit begins to mellow. I'm getting dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and wood. The raisin and cherry don't come through in the taste, and I'm fine with that. The finish is milk chocolate, some lingering booze, and a bit of burnt toast. Fantastic.

M: Full bodied beer. It's not over or under carbonated. The flavors are a bit sticky, but nothing overwhelming. It's boozy, but ohh so creamy.

O: This beer is phenomenal. The hype is totally justified. I can't wait to see how this beer ages!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 00:30:53 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of eyeenjoybeer
eyeenjoybeer

Seychelles

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Batch; bottle poured into a Bell's tulip glass

Appearance: looks like old motor oil pouring into the glass and thin tan head forms and quickly dissipates.

Smell: light chocolate, faint toasted coconut, faint vanilla, and fairly pronounced bourbon notes.

Taste: Bourbon on the front end with a transition to chocolate milk then dark roastiness reminiscent of the base beer. Alcohol lingers at the very end....and then pure cocoa notes (interesting). This beer is incredibly smooth and drinkable. That all said, I don't find it to be very complex.

Mouthfeel: This could use just a touch more carbonation, but it is hardly to fault for it. This beer coats and chews like a chocolate milk. I love the velvety-ness.

Overall: I enjoy the hell out of this beer. I think that some time will cool the alcohol noted only at the end.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 01:24:26 | More by eyeenjoybeer
Photo of ms11781
ms11781

Massachusetts

4.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours as thick and as black as can be. Somehow this beer seems a darker shade of black than black, as absurd as that sounds. An aggressive pour yields a decent sized dark brown head that doesn't stick around for long at all. A thick ring of lighter brown foam settles at the edges of the glass and stays for the duration. Once the initial pour settles in the beer looks completely still, like 12oz of spent motor oil sitting in the glass.

Bourbon was detected as soon as the beer was poured from the bottle to the glass. Despite being picked up from a foot or two away the bourbon really isn't overwhelming. The nose is sweet with nice chocolate and roasty aromas. There is a subtle vanilla note and, to even a lesser extent, some wood/oak notes. Kind of surprising that the bourbon is integrated so well with the other characteristics when it was so prominent from a distance. Either way, the nose is exceptional.

As good as the nose was, the flavor is actually a step up. The bourbon is prominent and is present throughout each sip but, like the nose, it's not overwhelming or overpowering. There are excellent chocolate and and vanilla notes that go along with a complimentary roasted character. The oak presents itself as a slightly woody charred character that is tough to pick up, but definitely comes on before a nice, pleasant warming from some alcohol at the finish.

This is a nice big, full bodied stout. Huge, thick mouthfeel with low carbonation. The beer is slick, extremely rich and velvety smooth.

This beer is amazing. The base beer was already an excellent stout and the nicely integrated barrel treatment take it over the top. I'm not sure when this beer was bottled but it was released just weeks before I sampled it and it is already drinking phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 03:56:10 | More by ms11781
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

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

got this beer in a recent trade with Evbowski. Huge thanks for the beer Evan. Really wanted to try this since it was released last year!

vintage 2011.

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: dark motor oil black with a dark brown head that is one finger tall. Nice lacing on the side of the glass; this stout stains the glass because its just that dark of a monster! Head recedes into a little bigger than thin cap.

Smell: This beer smells great! The thing that is really setting it apart from other barrel aged imperial stouts is the huge smoke notes mingled in with the mellow barrel notes of bourbon and oak. The smoke note is really meaty type of smoke. It also smells really roasty almost to the point of charcoal.

Taste: This beer starts off tasting like a fairly intense liquid smoke; it bacony and meaty. The roasty malts are found middle palate along with the start of some really smooth and mellow barrel notes. The beer finishes sweet and smokey with a little whiskey kick and mild warming burn in the back of your throat. Its almost like the flavor of charred marshmellows. Little mild sour note is also found in the aftertaste, but its not off putting. The smoke never really backs down throughout the entire time you drink this beer; but its not overpowering or overdone. The vanilla really becomes more pronounced as the beer get to room temperature and begins to balance out the smoke notes.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low almost moderate carbonation levels. Its just right to deliver a sublime mouthfeel on this barrel aged stout! Super smooth, silky, slick, oily, yet still a bit chewy. Definately a sipper because of the robust smokiness.

Overall: Great effort by dark horse. This is my favorite beer that I have tried from this brewery. I love smokey dark beers and when barrel notes meet the smoke like they do in this beer its makes a really tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 20:43:49 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
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redblacks75

Iowa

4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark black, no lacing, very little head, and what color there is to the head is a mocha, tan.

S: Bourbon, & vanilla.

T: Vanilla, burnt sugar, anise, a slight oak taste which may be due to the dryness.

M: It's thinner than allot of stouts I have had before. A medium-low carbonation, with an extra dry finish.

O: The best Dark Horse offering I have had to date. If you are looking for a bourbon forward stout I recommend this. It is a worthwhile offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 03:19:03 | More by redblacks75
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FosterJM

California

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1000th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

2011
Thanks to the man himself MrHirschybar for sharing one with me at the end of the night.

App- A good bit of a dark coffee pour into my woodshop snifter. A liquid of molten chocolate brown with some dark brown/amber edges. A small 1/2”-1” head forms a bit of dark brown color and falls very quickly to a nice small ring of bubbles. .

Smell- I opened the base version about a month ago and that thing was Hot. This was more mellow with more of the bourbon coming out and layering it all together. A little let vanilla than on the base version and less granular but that was to be expected.

Taste- When I first took a sip of this it was more like a candy bar than most stouts I would have guessed it would be. This had a good caramel sweetness with some fresh poured bourbon. On a second sip, smooth chocolatey goodness comes in waves. On the final sips and it's warmed in my hands a little bit the roast flavors come out. A very well done bourbon treatment.

Mouth- A thick bodied medium and bordering on full bodied for me. This also was aptly carbonated and retained a lot of the bourbon and chocolate from the profile.

Drink- I loved the fact this came in a 12 oz bottle. I am a big guy but sometimes I just want one little beer for the day with immense flavor and appeal. This beer was smooth, bold and well layered. I will come back to this one many times.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 20:39:07 | More by FosterJM
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iadler

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to exitmusic00 for cracking one of these open for the holiday party. Been wanting to try this for some time.

A- Pours a pitch black oil with a thin mocha head. No lacing is left behind.

S- Oak, earthy bourbon, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted and hints of coffee and dark fruits including figs and raisins.

T- Roasted malt upfront with oak, dark chocolate, caramel, black cherries, raisins, coffee and a bit of vanilla and cream. The bourbon is noticeable, but is not as overpowering as I was expecting.

M- Low carbonation with a medium body. A rich and oily mouthfeel that coats the tongue. A warm finish, but the ABV is kept in check pretty well.

O- Despite how fresh this was, this wasn't overly boozy. The mouthfeel was the highlight as it was the perfect level of carbonation and the bourbon was integrated very well with the base beer. Can't wait to crack some more open in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 06:30:36 | More by iadler
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kzoobrew

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black and opaque body. Two finger mocha colored head sits atop. The head recedes slowly. A substantial amount of lacing is left clinging to the walls of the glass.

Bourbon aroma is very prominent. Sweet bourbon aroma, rather soft boozieness. Big chocolate and caramel aromas meld seamlessly with the bourbon. Moderate roast and vanilla noted.

The flavor starts out bourbon heavy before a healthy dose of chocolate floods the palate. A rather assertive roasted malt flavor begins to emerge on the midpalate. The caramel flavor is much more subtle in the bottle version than on tap. Flavors are well integrates though not nearly as much as the tap version. A bit of heat on the back is noted but not obstructive.

Full bodied Imperial Stout. The carbonation levels are low and appropriate. Very silky, soft texture. The finish is long and enjoyable.

Reviewed from a bottle this time to compare the the tapped version. Unfortunately I do not know the age of the keg, the tap version does seem slightly smoother. Very drinkable Imperial Stout. Despite the heat the alcohol is hidden rather well. Impressive beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 00:14:11 | More by kzoobrew
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,590 ratings.