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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
412 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
412
Ratings:
2,954
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
20.71%
 
 
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Gots:
838
For Trade:
108
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 2,954
Photo of cbeer88
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted blindly courtesy of Blind BIF #8. 12oz bottle poured into Delirium Tremens snifter…

Appearance: Inky black with a wispy tan head. Small amount of tan lacing.

Smell: Bourbon and roasted malts, a bit of coffee.

Taste: Bourbon bomb. Coffee, nutty, sweet, vanilla, chocolate, oak all there. Lot of heat coming off this guy from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied. Adequate carb.

Drinkability: A real sipper. Alcohol and heat are high.

Overall: Excellent bourbon stout, but could stand to get a bit of age for the heat to die down.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with wisps of cocoa brown cream, this barrel aged stout kept a lace of thick foam for a head.

The aroma is absolutely decadent with strong milk chocolate and creamy vanilla but I catch some dried fruit. Touches of raisin and prune mix with the barrel and bourbon to finish a delightful nose.

The flavor is creamy, milky, with lactose-sweetness and vanilla. The bourbon is very present on the tongue as some of the oak and woodsy properties finish it off.

The feel is warm and creamy, a little thinner than anticipated, with a bit of bourbon tang.

This is strangely different than the regular Plead the Fifth as the barrel has truly transformed the flavors to a creamy, vanilla dessert beer.

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Photo of JoeyStats707
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 12 oz bottle in the latest de garde 3rd quarter party glass
Nice and dark, almost opaque, very little head
smell is rich sweet bourbon
tastes of milk chocolate and a dash of bourbon
Nice mouthfeel, could use a little more though.

Overall pretty dam good

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Photo of floridadrift
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

L: Even after a couple minutes, the mocha-colored head sticks to the sides
S: Chocolatey
T: great Imperial stout, no actual bourbon taste. Just the heat from it with chocolates and coffee on the first taste.
F: Milk-stoutish, very nice
O: A pretty great stout but falls very short of any live bourbon character. Tastes like it's all had some age.

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Photo of GJ40
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 12oz bottle from 2013. Thanks surge1311!

A - Deep black with no light coming through and very little head. Looks like a glass of motor oil.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak and a hint of molasses. Gets better and better as it warms.

T - Lots of bourbon! It hits hard on the first sip but the palate adjusts quickly. It's got great depth and richness with a moderate bitterness in the finish. The alcohol is pretty apparent. This is a big bold beer.

M - Thick and creamy. The carbonation is there but very much in the background.

O - The bourbon might be a bit too dominant but it was still a special beer.

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Photo of Suds_Suds
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Notes of dry fruit and cherry. Tastes sweet and smooth with a nice balance of molasses and chocolate with some bready character. Glad I got a few this year!

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Photo of jeonseh
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of papat444
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***2011 Vintage***

Big thanks to Masterski for this one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: 1.5 fingers of dark brown foam with a dense brown body. After every sip, a trace of lacing is on the side of the glass.

Smell: Bourbon soaked chocolate, oatmeal-raisin cookies and coffee beans. Very powerful.

Taste: Dates, a bit of black licorice, and nuts mixed with grinded coffee. Bourbon mixes with roastedness but is rather tame.

Mouthfeel: Thick yet smooth with a slick feel and a bit of carbonation (not much). A bit thin in the finish but otherwise great.

Overall: Really liked this one and it doesn't pack too much heat. Grab one if you can.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at EBF on Saturday afternoon. Pours a solid black with a decent tan head with some retention. Smell is heavy on the bourbon with lots of chocolate and roast, and some vanilla and wood. Taste is chocolate bourbon and roast. Thick body with a creamy smooth mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. A big thick stout, one of my favorites of the day.

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Photo of MissSmisje
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Motor oil black, tan head with some lacing
S: some bourbon barrel, but not overwhelming, bitter chocolate, dark fruit, grape gum.
T: same as the nose, with a little vanilla and oak, and a hint of leather and menthol in the finish.
F: light side of heavy
O: very tasty. The fruit flavored lighten it nicely. Very much a fruity BA RIS as opposed to a chocolatey/roasty BA RIS

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Photo of orangesol
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's on Black Friday. First beer of the day...

A - Pours dark as night black with a small, creamy, one finger tall tan head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, charred wood, and the ever present dark roasted malt. The booze is big up front but the other flavors grow stronger as it warms.

T - Fairly similar to the nose. Hints of vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar, dry oak tannins, and a big dose of booze at the end of each sip. Pretty sweet initially but it gets better as it warms up. It has a ton of flavor but it remains easy to drink.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, boozy, feel that clings to the pallet long after each sip. It developed a little bit of a chalky feel toward the end of the glass..

O - Overall a very good barrel aged stout. It was a little bit out of balance but I had no problem finishing my glass. Glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's Black Friday 2011:

A: Black body. Moderate khaki cap. Spotty lacing.

S: Profound bourbon up front with all of the accompanying aromas of wood and vanilla. Dark chocolate and hints of burnt sugar.

T: Like the nose, this has a strong bourbon component. It isn't overbearing, however. Roasted malts, chocolate and brown sugar round out the profile.

M" Medium bodied, perhaps a little thin in the back end. Moderate carbonation.

O: A very good bourbon barrel stout, but not my favorite option.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by TurdFurgison, thanks Eric! Poured into 3F wine glass.

A - Pours black, a fingers-worth of tan/mocha head, some good lacing and a thin cap on top which hangs around.

S - Peanut butter, tons of it. Like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Sweet milk chocolate, light on the bourbon, oak, caramels, expresso. All very rich and decadent on the nose.

T - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chocolate, some dark fruit notes, oak, smooth bourbon character, coffee beans. I was really impressed how smooth and rich this was for 14%, very well-done. Bitter chocolate finish.

M - Full body, rich, thick, and creamy finish.

D - I never did get to try this on-tap, but I was very impressed with this out of the bottle. Def a top-notch -bal, no doubt about it. Still can't get over how easy this was to drink for 14%. Recommend.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz, silver wax dipped bottle to CBS snifter on 1/23/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to TurdFurgison & normyk for the hook-ups --

Vintage 2011

A: Pure, unadulterated motor oil. One of the thickest, glass coating beers on the planet. A hearty pour straight down the middle of the snifter yields a tightly packed and dense .5 finger head. Killer retention.

S: Hot bourbon and tannic, charry wood. Immensly rich. Good Jesus is this an angry beer.

T: Wow. It's like a sucker punch to the jowels. This is a massive, complex and jaw droppingly big beer. It's charry up front, which coats my mouth. Hints of crispy vanilla and hard, firm tannin on the mid. The finish is big league booze and gallons of over the top bourbon with a healthy kick of hops. As it warms, the alcohol becomes much more pronounced. In my opinion, this needs some serious time in the cellar.

M: In a category that contains BCBS, KtG, BT and more, this pony holds it's own and then some. Extremely silky - it's creamy and smooth with a luxurious vibe to it. This literally envelops my mouth.

O: Hand this over to your cellar. I'll bet that six to eighteen months will settle this bad boy down, and allow it's colossal amount of potential to shine through. With a bit of time, this could be one for the ages, and something so epic, words won't begin to describe it.

Dark Horse has created a near masterpiece with their BB Plead the 5th. Like John Wayne in "The Searchers", I highly recommend getting on your stallion and tracking this beast down.

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage, 12 oz bottle

A - Pitch black, no lights getting through this bad boy

S - light bourbon notes on top of a roasted toffee aroma

T - The bourbon is there, but it's mild, but pleasant. Compiiments the other flavors well

M - Quite sticky, near perfect for this style

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, but not quite the best barrel aged stout I've had. Definitely a worthy addition to the BA top 250, but not quite a top 25 beer in my opinion. But in the end, this beer is still excellent. Seek it out!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A-EBF sample pour. Pours pitch black with a bubbly, brown head.

S-The smell of bourbon is quite potent. Sweet chocolate and coffee with more woodiness and some vanilla. A high quality, textbook bourbon barreled stout. Really excited to try this one.

T-Rich, dark and milk chocolate. Smooth, potent coffee and a pronounced bourbon character. Vanilla, oak and straight up bourbon whiskey.

M-Full and creamy. Sneaky heat. Lower carbonation. Really agreeable feel. It sits and melts on your tongue.

O/D-A tasty, decadent barrel aged Imperial Stout. I understand why this has such a high rating and why it is so sought-after. It didn't blow my mind but I can't say I didn't enjoy it.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of mattsander
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage

A: Dense black with chestnut edges. Tenacious ring of brown clings to the edge of the glass. Very syrupy.

S: Fudge, dark fruits, booze, sweet vanilla oakiness.The booze element is a little distracting, nonetheless this is delicious.

T: Big dark chocolately malt, tons of toasty nutty oak, drier than I expected from such a huge beer. Complex and delicious.

M: Lighter bodied than BCBS, a bit boozier, but highly drinkable for a beer of this girth.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to WesMantooth for this bottle.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, light char.

T - Nice bitter chocolate from start to finish and the chocolate ends somewhat sweeter on the back end along with vanilla, bourbon, lots of complimentary oak tannin with a lingering bourbon oak/chocolate lingering finish.

M - Thick medium body, smooth velvet body, no carbonation on the tongue. ABV well hidden.

O - Awesome beer, hands down.

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Photo of JohnParadee
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into a small tulip glass. Deep dark black. Thin beige head, dissipates to minimal rim, lots of tiny bubbles. Awesome lacing & retention. Beautiful nose of chocolate & coffee, burnt roasted malt. On the palate, roasted chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. Not as boozy as others. Alcohol is almost unnoticeable, but strong carbonation. Overall, a delightful experience.

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Photo of pants678
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with thin khaki head.

Sweet and sorta sharp bourbon.

Dark chocolate and bourbon. Not as potent and sweet as Chocolate Rain. Robust, though, more intense than expected. Alcohol's not exactly covered but isn't a detractor.

Fairly sharp as opposed to smooth.

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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 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 mikereaser
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.