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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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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,570 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
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
Ratings: 1,570 | Reviews: 288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jbwimer
jbwimer

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from a trade with Alex. This is the first of my five bottles. So excited. Regular Pt5 is one of my favorite imperial stouts. Can only imagine how well it does in a barrel. Here we go!

A- Love the look of this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Great Lakes snifter/tulip and got a finger of a rich mocha head. Fades to a centimeter of foam. Pretty good retention, especially for a BA stout of this magnitude. Absolutely no light getting through. As black as Taye Diggs. Love it.

S- This has a really complex nose. So many scents to discern. Of course, there is bourbon. Tannins and vanillins. Bakers chocolate. Dark chocolate. Some caramel. Definitely retained some roast, which is awesome. Oatmeal. Great nose. Could only ask for a little more bourbon, though it does come out more as it warms.

T- Oh my stars, this is rich. I'm enamored. Such great balance between the bourbon, chocolate, and roast. This is what I love in a BA stout. Sweet and roasty with a hint of booze. Such well integrated flavors. Chocolate and bourbon hit you first, and the roast comes mid-palate and lingers with the warmth of the alcohol. This is fantastic. The 11% isn't overwhelmingly obvious, but you know it's there.

M- Not the most viscous BA stout I've had (that honor goes to BA D.O.R.I.S.), but this is a smooth, thick beer. More carbonation than most BA stouts, but it's not offensive. Well done.

O- I've become, instantly, a fan of this beer. There is a great deal of balance, and all of it's flavors are so well integrated. The only thing I could ask for is a tad more influence from the barrel. Just a TAD. Other than that, this beer is spot on. Good thing I have four left. Gonna see what time does to this beast. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 01:52:53 | More by jbwimer
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IrishHockey

Indiana

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Split a 12oz 2013 vintage bottle with a buddy and poured into a tulip. Reviewing while intoxicated

Lots of bourbon up front. The pour on this was almost like motor oil. Fantastic!
Very little mocha head on it. The taste was much like the smell... Bourbon goodness. Quite possibly one of the best bourbon imperial stouts I've tasted. Thanks a lot to Weaksauce for this as an extra!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 04:37:54 | More by IrishHockey
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GJ40

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 21:56:44 | More by GJ40
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facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.81/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A dark black pour with a red hue on the brown lacing. Finger of head with instant dissipation.
Smells fantastic. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, licorice.
The flavor is even better, an amazing blend of bourbon, dark roasted grains, sweet and dark chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, vanilla. Fan tastic.
Full body with low carbonation. Thick, creamy, and a pleasure to drink.
This was well worth the patient wait to acquire. An amazing bba stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 01:55:31 | More by facundoCNB
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AdamF625

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- thick and black with a thin mocha head. It leaves a nice brown lacing on the glass.
S-bourbon, sweet chocolate, toffee, booze, oak, and spiced rum.
T- bourbon and cocoa forward then some nice roasted, chocolate, and black malts take over. Licorice, vanilla, caramel, and espresso are also lingering. As the beer warms up you get a lot of marshmallow and fudge.
M- thick and oily with low to medium carbonation. It leaves you with coat of sweet fudge and bourbon on your palate.
O- There is a lot going on here and it mends so well. Take your time and really accept all the wonderful nuances this beer has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 19:34:14 | More by AdamF625
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Vonerichs

Illinois

4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Inky black, obviously viscous, with a surprisingly active carbonation that forms a coffee colored 1/4" of head. The surface coating sticks for a while.

Layers upon layers of scents... Coffee, dark roasted. Vanilla, oak, blackstrap molasses, cola.

One of the best tasting bb stouts I can recall. The bourbon barrel pulls great bourbon qualities without being too boozy. Vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and even a light nutty quality. Coffee, anise, molasses. Incredibly complex and intermingled. Long finish of heavily roasted malt.

Phenomenal mouthfeel. Hefty, creamy, smooth. There's no mistaking it for a bb stout but it's surprisingly drinkable.

It's my first time trying this out and it instantly moves into the discussion of all time favorites. A superb beer that's found the right integration of the barrel.

2013 vintage

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 01:52:03 | More by Vonerichs
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hooliganlife

Missouri

4.06/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage, thanks bevoduz !!

pours jet black, pretty decent viscosity. little to no head. appears pretty still.

very bourbon forward, alcohol infused stout paired with bitter dark chocolate

similar to nose, very alcohol forward. has a lot of Jack Daniels flavors popping out up front. the base is a bit subdued but deep in there is a sweet roasted body.

very moderate carbonation mixed with the alcohol, you get some bite. this has some bite.

good BA stout, maybe needs some time? this is a tad rough on the edges. i am grateful for finally being able to try this thanks to a generous BA.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 21:15:58 | More by hooliganlife
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GeorgiaBeerGuy

Georgia

4.96/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle, 2013 vintage, copper wax, @ 48° F into a snifter.

Special thanks to biniek13 for this opportunity!

A: Dark, thick, with an open, tan-brown head that quickly dissipates.

S: Bourbon, coffee, fig, chocolate.... some booze, but not overpowering.

T: Heaven in a glass. This is a perfectly balanced Bourbon barreled RIS. Sweet, bourbon and dark fruit, bitter chocolate... not noticing a coffee flavor like I did in the nose.

M: Thick enough, and sticks to the palate. Slight burn in the throat after the swallow to let you know the booze is there.

O: If this was available in GA (or easily available anywhere!) I would definitely stock up on these. Fantastic. Saving the other bottle for a while to see how it changes....

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 23:18:34 | More by GeorgiaBeerGuy
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MarcWP

Arizona

4.48/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Copper wax Van Winkle. Joke.


Pours typical, black with no light coming through, small toasted almond colored head that leaves a tiny ring around the edge of the snifter.


Aroma is heavy bourbon, molasses, bitter dark bakers chocolate, fudge, brown sugar, and a definite date and fig fruitiness.


The taste brings heavy roast, bourbon, molasses, fudge, brown sugar, burnt fig, oak, vanilla extract, and bitter coffee. The flavor is pretty balanced between the roast, sweetness, fruitiness, and booziness of the bourbon. The finish lacks the complexity of the mid palate though.


Mouthfeel suffers a bit compared to the rest of the beer but is still good. More fullness would be awesome but the carbonation is spot on for the style. A medium mouthfeel when it should be at least a heavy side of medium.


Overall an excellent bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Not at the level of some of the best I've had, but definitely on their heels. Will be interesting to see how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 03:07:30 | More by MarcWP
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GreesyFizeek

New York

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, shared with stillmatic2232. Thanks a lot, man!

Pours a beautiful velvety black into matching snifters. Nice mocha-colored head lasts for about 15 minutes.

Smells great- dark malt, cocoa, oak, and well-integrated bourbon.

Tastes even better. All of the above smells are amplified. This is one of the best barrel-aged stouts I've ever had. Dark Horse really knew what they were doing here. The roasty bitterness of the dark malt intermingles so well with the sweet, leathery, oaky bourbon flavors. Awesome!

Pretty sticky and viscous mouthfeel. Goes down so easy. Well carbonated.

Awesome BA stout. Don't let the slightly amateur label job fool you- this stout is great. More and more people know about this winner of a beer- so it's no longer a "dark horse."

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 04:10:36 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to jdhowe for sharing this recently. 2013 vintage. Note that as of this writing I have not tried the regular Plead the 5th yet, but I intend to crack it open eventually. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

As expected, pours a thick syrup of a stout, with a treacle-like consistency that appears to end as sludge into the glass, save for some minor mocha-colored foam that shows yet gently dissipates throughout the course of consumption. Super viscous, oily, and resinous if I ever saw a stout of this caliber before - my favorite part was the tremendous amount of scattered shrapnel lacing that coated all sides of the glass every time that I would give this a good swirl. Normally extremely syrupy looking RIS offerings are not my favorite, but this one contains a bit of prowess and charm overall in its liqueur like properties. Very memorably intimidating.

Wow! That's an extremely sweet bourbon aged stout, but for reasons you'd perhaps least expect. Yes, there's some classic bourbon sweet notes of toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon at the back, but the front is chock filled with the sweetness of caramel soaked dark cherries, blackcurrant, and figs, as well as obvious notes of roasted chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Impressive barrel spices and non-fruit make up the mid flavor, releasing notes of licorice, tobacco, leather, and violets throughout. Very stimulating stuff, with the only major drawback being the high presence of booze throughout, notably stinging the nostrils at every whiff. Sweet, but pretty restrained. Still extremely complex and memorable, as this kinds of beers must be.

I expected a boozy, sweet, barrel laden RIS from the aroma, but instead after my first sip I came across, to my knowledge, the most balanced and perhaps easy-going offering of its kind. It's a big beer, no doubt, but doesn't make that clear throughout. Vivid, rich notes of fudge, chocolate nibs, caramel, and molasses sugar coat dark fruit notes (mainly of dark cherries and prunes) as the beer soon melts with many of the barrel spices mentioned earlier. Vanilla and toffee are obvious, but tobacco, leather, and pepper are also very present. Earthy and roasted, with some sweetness and fruitiness that makes it feel robust in character. Finishes medium-bodied, with a dry, bready flavor awash with spices and sweetness that cleanse the palate overall. Stupidly balanced, as far as the style goes - this provides the drinker with all the best aspects within it without one of them overpowering the other. If it weren't for the high booze, I could certainly have more of this in one evening.

This is an amazing beer, and absolutely worth checking out, but I enjoyed it for many surprisingly different reasons from what I'd initially heard. It's rich, robust, and contains all of the barrel characteristics I enjoy best in these beers, but it doesn't smack you upside the head doing it, which I enjoy. No clue how this would age, but it's pretty extraordinary fresh. Don't go too much out of your way to get some, but all fans of the style should have it at least once.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 02:14:07 | More by magictacosinus
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JohnG190

New York

4.91/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks MichiganderHB! 2013 vintage. Pours jet black with a super thin, mocha head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass. Good lacing. Complex aromas of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, molasses, and dark chocolate. This is one of the best BA stouts I've ever smelled! Smooth dark chocolate hits the front of the palate followed by caramel,vanilla, and dark fruits. The bourbon isn't as pronounced as in other BA stouts and it's extremely smooth and mellow. As it warms the chocolate really comes out with hints of toffee and molasses. Finish is chocolate with a hint of bourbon heat. Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Not much carbonation to speak of. Sweet finish. Overall, this is the best example of a bourbon barrel stout I've yet had. Simply outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 23:17:31 | More by JohnG190
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jdhowe

California

4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage bottle courtesy of JAS45678 (thanks!), split with magictacosinus.

A: Pours a mostly still, oily, opaque black with some evidence of carbonation but little head.

S: Big notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Hints of dark fruit and cherries and leather. A slight buttery oak character is evident and gets stronger as it warms. The base stout isn't too evident in the aroma, but a definite sweetness and roastiness are underlying the stronger aromas.

T/M: This is a delicious and complex beer -- much nicer than the aroma. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla dominate up front, and then the base stout's coffee and chocolate arrive as the bourbon steps back a bit. Sweetness is provided by the malt as both chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is smooth and mostly barrel character with a slight lingering coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick and oily with light carbonation.

O: This is a great bourbon barrel aged stout. The buttery oak character in the aroma is slightly offputting, but the taste of this beer really makes up for it. I can't say that this is objectively better than regular Plead the 5th, which I love, but I definitely like this beer and am stoked that it comes in 12oz bottles.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:03:56 | More by jdhowe
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HoppyKilaMonster

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2013 Vintage
A- Pours near pitch black with a nice cream colored head.

S-Creamy bourbon. Nice vanilla undertones.

T-Bourbon up front, followed closely by oak, vanilla, and finally a slight alcoholic burn.

M-Smooth and creamy. A little high on the carbonation for a barrel aged stout.

O- A well done brew. Easy drinker, but that little alcohol kick at the end lets you know it is an 11% beast.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 01:31:41 | More by HoppyKilaMonster
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Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage into an old hickory snifter. bottling date dec 5 2013 bottle # 4724 / 4813

Pours a pitch black with a big inch and a half thick beige head. Smell is very big no bourbon...nice! the taste and feel is so creamy and the bourbon is very big up front...bigger than bourbon county even. Alcohol heat is also very pronounced...this is a big beer for sure! very full bodied, on point. the creaminess feel is so amazing, my god.

overall lives up to the hype as a world class beer....sweet!

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 01:47:35 | More by Axnjxn
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maxcoinage

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage (acquired in a trade with @MichiganderHB) poured into snifter.

look - pitch black with a few cm mocha head that settled down quickly

smell - amazing - slight bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate

taste - unbelievable! Follows the aroma. dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, some booze on the finish

mouthfeel - fairly thick, lower carb, finshes smooth

overall - wow. this is amazing - it's actually more drinkable than BCBS fresh . it'd be such a tough choice if I had to pick between the two. Glad I got a 4 pack!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 02:12:18 | More by maxcoinage
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brewtus

Ohio

4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 2012 vintage into a snifter.

A- oil black with a bubbly single finger dark tan head
S- lots of chocolate, bourbon barrel, cinnamon, marshmallow,
T- very smooth, tons of dark chocolate, the bourbon barrel is nice and not overpowering at all, marshmallow, cinnamon, some coffee, dark fruit, no alcohol to be tasted. Finishes with a nice bourbon-y chocolate flavor
M- so smooth, one of the highlights of this beer
O- this is a great, well balanced bba stout. The flavors are in perfect harmony, it's not too sweet, not too boozy, amazing texture, all around great barrel aged stout that I'd love to try fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 01:45:07 | More by brewtus
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with silver wax-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a trade (I forget who with; sorry!) and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. 2011 vintage. Reviewed as an imperial stout because the label identifies it as such. Expectations are sky-high; I loved the regular Plead the 5th.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of great khaki colour. Fantastic mocha-like creaminess. Great thickness. Sadly, the head retention is quite poor - maybe 25 seconds at best. Uneven spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a solid opaque dark black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's looking real good for an imperial stout, but is far from unique or special. I've seen much better in the style, especially inasmuch as the head is concerned.

Sm: Chocolate malts, dark malts, cream, and complementary bourbon notes - some rich vanilla and pleasant guiding oak. It's not as toasty or roasty as would be ideal. The coffee has also faded substantially, but there's some vague cappuccino. Caramel.

It's a pleasant aroma of mild strength. To be honest, I expected more complexity and subtlety from the aroma.

No hop character or yeast character is detectable. It's quite clean.

T: I dig the bourbon; the vanilla and oak are nice, but I do want some toasty character from it. Dark malts and chocolate malts provide the foundation, with some sparse coffee/cappuccino in there too. Cream. Caramel. I'm not finding much (if any) roasted barley. It's a well balanced build, but while cohesive isn't quite gestalt. The barrel notes are well integrated into the base, but it doesn't feel like a perfect marriage. Good complexity and some nice subtlety. Not particularly nuanced or intricate. It's a bit too ashy and burnt on the climax, which is joined unfavorably by an unbecoming coffee-like bitterness.

It's certainly on the sweeter side.

Mf: I love the creaminess. Smooth. Wet. Has an even consistency. Well-carbonated. Good thickness and body. Good presence on the palate.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: I'm not sure if age has really helped it, but it's a tasty imperial stout. I'm glad I got to try it, but it's not amongst the best in the style. I'd pick it up if I saw it on the shelf, sure, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out. I'd like to try it fresh. Hides its ABV pretty well. Damn good, but not world class. Quite drinkable, though.

High B

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 02:25:26 | More by kojevergas
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gueuzedreg

Colorado

4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 into a CS snifter

A- Half jet black, half dark roasty brown. Little to no carbonation. Thinnest of thin lacing around the glass.

S- Great coffee notes. I am getting malty notes. I feel like I may have a bottle that is not up to par. I have had the two previous years that tasted/smelled better. The lack of carbonation makes me wonder.

T- Pretty coffee forward with mellowed bourbon note for this fresh '13.

M- On the thin side for me for a BA stout, but still pretty good.

O- I have one other bottle of '13. I would like to revisit this if that bottle comes off fresher.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 00:45:24 | More by gueuzedreg
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Ri0

Wisconsin

4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured 12oz bottle (2013) into snifter.

A - Very dark brown that lightens around the edge of the glass. Thin oak brown head that doesn't stay long. No collar or lacing on my glass.

S - Bitter chocolate and slight char/smoke from the base stout. Nice notes of sweet bourbon, caramel, and vanilla blend nicely with the stout.

T - The base stout is very flavorful and not overtaken by the barrel. Bitter chocolate and a bit of char from the dark roasted malts. Sweet notes of bourbon, caramel, and vanilla liven as the beer warms. Excellent!

M - Medium bodied - a bit slick and smooth. I thought it would be a bit fuller with some chewiness, but this is pretty good for a stout.

O - I have had Pt5 and was intrigued by what barrel aging would bring to it. It really adds an element of sweetness to the bitter stout. I recommend trying this beer. I will age the few I have left and see what it is like in a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 15:08:25 | More by Ri0
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nickapalooza86

Wisconsin

4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, half finger of caramel head

Smell is wow, coffee, caramel, oak, toffee, chocolate, bitter cocoa, dark fruit (raison and figs), roasted malt

Taste is... Well here goes nothing! oak, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, caramel, earthy hop, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, bitter back finish

Mouthfeel is full, silky, light carbonation. Not hot at all.

Nice BB Stout, I am happy to have finally have had this.... With that said, I am starting to think that all barrel aged stouts have nothing on BCBS... Not that this is not amazing... I got 2 bottles I am going to age the second for a couple years and see what happens with that hoppy bitterness character!

Thanks Ri0!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 02:13:16 | More by nickapalooza86
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MCain04

Illinois

4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was the very first beer I traded for, 1 yr ago, just after the 4 elf party. I told myself I would age it for a year then drink it and compare it to the newest batch fresh. 12 oz bottle poured into a Half Acre snifter, served chilled to 40 and allowed to warm.

Appearance: Pours a deep deep dark brown akin to motor oil. Head is thin and dark tan with varying sizes of bubbles. Fades fairly quickly into rimming around the side of the glass.

Smell: Age has not made the barrel character fade away in the nose. Bourbon is present but a good amount of oaky, toffee, and vanilla. Chocolate and roasty malts similar to the base beer are present as well.

Taste: The bitter roasty chocolate base beer is forefront. Bourbon again is present but not strong. Vanilla and toffee add sweetness. A substantial amount of bitterness throughout. Remarkably not very boozy for 11%. Dark chocolate and cacao linger on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is low-medium, body is heavy and full, finish is sticky and dry. Not the ultimate in chewy mouthfeels but pretty close.

Overall, I really enjoy the base beer of plead the fifth, and while this is fantastic, I had imagined it might be just a little better. I am intrigued now to try this fresh and compare. I don't think this would benefit from further aging as it is very drinkable and far from hot. If anything, the barrel character might just be more subdued than I would appreciate, and thus perhaps it is better fresh. Regardless, a real treat to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 18:34:39 | More by MCain04
Photo of SadMachine
SadMachine

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a viscous black with a finger of mocha head that slowly recedes to a film. No lacing is left on the glass.

S- Smells of sweet molasses, dark roasted malts, charred oak, vanilla from the bourbon, and figs/dates. There are also hints of coffee and booze. Really smells wonderful!

T- The flavor opens sweet, with molasses, chocolate, and candied figs and dates. This gives way to tons of bitter roast/coffee, bitter baker's chocolate, vanilla, and charred oak. There's also a bit of a dry, vinous bite on the back of the tongue in the finish. It's very impressive how this brew toys with being cloyingly sweet and then excessively bitter, but manages to use this to stay balanced. A bit of the bourbon comes through, but a little more would make this almost perfect.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and viscous, coating the tongue, with just enough carbonation. Only a mild amount of boozy heat comes through, which is impressive considering the 14% abv.

O- Overall I am thoroughly impressed with this beer! I love more roasty/coffee forward stouts, and this delivers, while adding sweet and charred flavors from the barrel!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 05:47:35 | More by SadMachine
Photo of MichiBrew
MichiBrew

Michigan

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage waxed bottle poured into a small snifter...wanted to revisit this prior to 4Elf 2013 to prepare! Only have a 4pack left from last year and 3 from 2011...

Appearence is opaque black with that signature chocolate milky head...its always a serious affair with this brew...

Nose has a surprisingly noticeable amt of alcohol considering this bottle has almost a year on it...this is followed by smooth notes of roasty dark chocolatish malts that suggest the beer has smoothed out...

Yup...this is indeed the case...taste is tremendously smooth with extremely complex notes of dark flavors I simply cannot begin to describe accurately...that makes this very high abv beer very dangerous so use good judgement and proceed with caution...no question that a lil time on this beer creates a masterpiece however the full flavored nature of the fresh bottles are not to be ignored either...

Mouthfeel is top notch velvety smooth and without a hint of chalkiness as sometimes happens with bottles of this style...

Overall a must try...I personally consider it one of the best RIS available...of course it helps that I live an hour away from the brewery...a perfect stout night for me includes Black Note, BCBS, KBS, and good ol' BBPlead from Dark Horse...

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 03:51:41 | More by MichiBrew
Photo of vinny21bal
vinny21bal

Illinois

3/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is ok. Like the fourth dimension I don't get it. If you compare this beer to Kbs, bcbs, cbs, Black Tuesday, it isn't even close in my opinion. But that is why everyone has there own opinion. I have different vintages at different times. I want to really like it, but I just don't care to much for it.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 05:06:34 | More by vinny21bal
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,570 ratings.