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

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

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

357 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 357
Hads: 2,651
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 3.36%
Wants: 2,082
Gots: 723 | FT: 91
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:
Beer added by: MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 357 | Hads: 2,651
Photo of floridadrift
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (360 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- Pitch black, not much of a head but some small brown carbonation and lacing. Looks thick.

S- Wonderful aromas of bourbon, cask, vanilla, coffee, and dark tannins. Some maple syrup sweetness going on as well. Charred malts and barley present too. A bit of alcohol present on the nose.

T- Great balance between the bourbon and beer itself. Not too much heat on this one and as the nose predicted, lots of dark grains, chocolate, syrup, vanilla and some dry oak. The flavors blend quite well and make this a smooth drinker.

M- Full bodied. A little sticky in a good way. Rolls off the tongue pretty silky. Not much carbonation present.

O- Dam fine BA stout. Not much room for improvement here. Could maybe use a hint more bourbon if anything, but this is for sure a top BA stout. Look forward to each year's batch. (868 characters)

Photo of waitwhatamidrinking
4.82/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

01/19/2015: Poured into the usual GoT Ommegang tulip. Many thanks to @funhog for making this happen.

L - Good ol' pitch black that appeared to have an event horizon once poured into the glass. Little to no lacing. Head is pleasantly more coffee than I've seen in other BA stouts.
S - Do I have a cold? I hope I don't have a cold. Definitely some cocoa and roastiness but not as intense as I would've hoped.
T - Now there it is. Huge notes of oak, whiskey, birch, dutch cocoa, and jaggery.
F - Unexpectedly creamy based on the appearance. Finishes clean with no oily aftertaste.
O - This, my friends, is a lovely beer that I will be happily standing in the Michigan cold to procure at the next release. More balanced of a flavor than BCBS, but just short of the mark in the other spaces. That's not to say I wouldn't hunt for another bottle... (856 characters)

Photo of dlino11
3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Like others have said I feel the 2014 needs to age some. Pours dark and had a nice thick constancy. Just felt the barrel aged flavor was weak and tasted like breakfast stout. (174 characters)

Photo of Billquirk
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow. Blown away. What an amazing beer. The base beer is really amazing, and the bourbon barrel aging just takes it over the top. A bit thin on the mouthfeel, but other than that, absolutely perfect. I accidentally spilled a few drops on my sweatshirt, and for the rest of the night, I smelled chocolate brownies. It was unbelievable. (339 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Midnight black body topped with a one finger dark mocha head after a vigorous pour. The head recedes quickly to a small ring around the edge of the glass. Small spots of lacing and slight legs remain after a swirl.

S: Rich cocoa, marshmallow, and caramel upfront, followed by a hint of bourbon/vanilla that becomes more pronounced as it warms. Purely decadent, smells like an effing candy bar.

T: Milk chocolate, and vanilla and caramel notes from the bourbon are most prominent, and are layered with roasty malt and a slight tinge of alcohol. Delicious.

M: Medium/thick bodied and viscous with a moderate carbonation and a long lingering finish.

O: Damn this was on point. My first Dark Horse offering and Im impressed. Need more immediately. (755 characters)

Photo of MOVERTON1284
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 Vintage, consumed fresh and with up to 6 months of age. Beer is super smooth, not boozy at all, perfectly balanced. One of the best BA stouts available, a great example of the style (186 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
3.84/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage.

Pours completely pitch black with no head. Very faint spots of lace appear during the drink down.

The smell is of dark chocolate, vanilla, pipe tobacco, dark fruit and faint coffee.

The taste is dominated by dark chocolate and roasted malt. There is an strong Earthy oak aftertaste.

The texture is heavy bodied with no carbonation.

All of the characteristics of a bourbon barrel stout are here but, there is an out of place and unpleasant herbal aftertaste. I'm not sure if the age of this bottle is an issue but, I am underwhelmed with this offering. (574 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black pour. Coffee colored head settles quickly. Minimal spotty lacing.

S: Fudge sauce, bitter dark chocolate, mocha. The barrel blends into this, creating scent profiles of chocolate/marshmallow candy and caramel chews. Whiffs of toasty oak and bourbon too. Some berry fruitiness rests underneath everything.

T: Rich mocha flavors and fudge sauce at the outset. Woody roast turns into more acrid flavors of French roast coffee. The barrel brings decadence as it melds with malt. Bourbon balls, walnut brownies, caramel chews and chocolate covered nougat come to the forefront. Quick flashes of figs and dates. Oak and some assertive bourbon toward the back. Bitter dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon on the finish.

M: Big and thick in body. Coating in the mouth, though not sticky or syrupy. It glides over the tongue with a satiny but chewy texture. Light carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O: Almost perfect. It's everything you could ever want in a bourbon barrel aged Imperial stout. It's such a delicious sipper in its own right that I fear any attempt at a pairing would only bring it down. Truly a stellar brew. (1,161 characters)

Photo of Johnd8
3.59/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Averaged from a 2012 and 2013, both drank near Christmas 2014.

2012 was horrible. some stout flavor with rotten fruit and an ash finish.
2013 was better, but the hints of bad fruit and ash are there to be tasted. (214 characters)

Photo of docoman
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is now one of my favorites, glad was able to get some this year... great BBA smell, taste, just overall really, really good... a must try if you like BBA stouts. (166 characters)

Photo of Suds_Suds
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
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! (156 characters)

Photo of Flight317
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%

Had this one a bit later in the night which is unfortunate. It was scary drinkable at 11abv and likely my favorite beer of the night. Not as much bourbon as some other barrel aged stouts but the flavor goes amazing that you get from it. Smooth nearly oatmeal stout mouthfeel. Would love to try this fresh and as my first beer. (326 characters)

Photo of absoluthamm
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Was a lot thinner than I was expecting. Not much to the aroma. Taste was good, but lacking what I'm looking for in a BBA stout. Was really excited for this, but let down. Could be partial palate fatigue from the Black Tuesday before it though. (243 characters)

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Almost pitch black color with dark mocha head. Aroma is dominated by bourbon and dark malts. Taste is very well balanced, with great barrel character, some sweetness in the beginning but finishing roasty and bitter. Body is not as heavy as other imperial stouts, making it easy to drink. Overall a very nice barrel aged stout, up there with the other big hitters. Reminded me a lot of Bell’s Black Note. (405 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

355ml 2013 silver waxed bottle poured into tulip 21/10/14, can't thank alfie enough for this one

A she pours dark alright, thumbnail's edge, a fast falling finger of foam leaves no lace, wide legs and some color left behind on the glass, dark liquid

S charred wood, bourbon, burnt marshmallow, vanilla, heaps of fudge and chocolate syrup, sweetened coffee, more barrel, a hint of smoke, the barrel's done wonders for this one

T this has picked up a shitload of flavor from the barrel, strange really how different this is from the base, faint nutmeg, heaps of burnt barrel and the bourbon has a little sweet smoke to it, just a hint of dark fruit and roasted coconut, holy barrel batman

M full is an understatement, the bubbles thicken it up even more, very faint heat, my lips are beyond stuck together there might be some super glue in there, massive amounts of char and bourbon with a hint of spice on the finish

O a massive improvement over the base beer, strangely so really, one of the better BB stouts I can recall, very intense at every turn

I have little to complain about as this one sinks into my gut, a big beer that explodes at every turn, I can't recall a barrel transforming a beer like this before, seek and destroy (1,249 characters)

Photo of Sparty1224
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Serving: Draft pour into a 10 oz. snifter. At this point, I believe this beer is close to 9 or 10 months out from its release.

A: Barely a trace of light brown head/lacing. Pitch black, but not motor oil black.

S: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee, faint cinnamon, dark cherry.

T: Bourbon, chocolate. Some smokiness to the flavor. Lots of oak/charred oak. Some creamy sweetness/marshmallow flavors coming through as well.

M: Full, smooth, creamy. Not super chewy or thick.

O: This is a legendary beer, obviously. This is my 3rd time having it, and each time I like it more. I've never been hugely impressed by it, and I normally rank it last among the popular BA Imp Stouts. But that doesn't mean it's not a great beer, it's just I like KBS, Parabola, BCBS, KBS, etc. a lot more. This one reminds me most of Black Note because of the creamy sweetness I pick up. The barrel character isn't huge, unlike BCBS, and I like that here. It's also 9-10 months old, but I wouldn't say it's "aged". I don't get any oxidation or off flavors. Surely not fresh, but not old either. Drinking great right now. It's very drinkable and smooth. Well-balanced. Not my #1 BA Imp Stout, but still one hell of a fantastic beer from DH that I will try to drink every chance I get.

Recommendation: A must-try for any beer lover. (1,305 characters)

Photo of nilesschmidt
1.25/5  rDev -72%

Caps leaked, damaged plastic seal inside cap, sent email to Dark Horse and called twice with no resolution, i like the base beer and i like barrel aged beer, but i dont like poor quality control that leads to flat beer with no attempt to remedy the problem (256 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

truly delicious, and enormously better than the base beer. this is perhaps the greatest improvement from base beer to barrel aged edition i have ever seen, not that there is anything wrong with the base beer, but that its not so outstanding and one of a kind as this variant. beautiful stuff, high luster dark brown, with a milky thick mocha head. the nose isnt all barrel, but that vanilla sweetness is robust. it pulls the bitter out of the base beer and balances it brilliantly, all united in oak. i get some coconut and some dark chocolate in here in the taste, even some dark fruits, maybe dried cherries for a minute, before the bourbon slowly starts to take over the palate. amazing how mellow the alcohol is on this, especially considering its not all that viscous compared to others in the same style. the finish is long but only a little sweet, i could have another glass no problem. toffee and espresso to finish with the bourbon, its like dessert and an after dinner drink in one package. the best ive had from dark horse, one of the best bourbon barrel beers period. wow. (1,084 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours just shy of black as can be with just a touch of mahogany around the very edges. small, very dark brown head with weak retention. no lacing but does leave brown viscous legs as it swirls around the glass. completely opaque.

Smell: strong sweet chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, bourbon and booze. notes of vanilla, oak and dark fruits are lighter.

Taste: opens up with huge amounts of sweetness coming in the form of brown sugar and chocolate. the middle is full of barrel and dark malt character, with bourbon and a strong espresso taste. strong alcohol in the back end along with some dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: heavy, slick and chewy. large amounts of sweetness but the bitter black malts win out leaving behind some bitterness. warming alcohol

Overall: easily the best beer I have had from dark horse, but with all the great barrel aged stouts out there, this one falls at the lower end of the upper tier. (934 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%

From notes on 3/25/14

4 once sample on the brewery tour. I've had regular Plead the 5th, so I was excited to try this one. I was not let down. You can tell it is Plead the 5th, just barrel aged. You get all the great chocolate flavors and roasted tastes with a nice addition of boozy bourbon. I really enjoyed this one. (320 characters)

Photo of Hesscabob
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Acquired via inebriated Dark Lord Day Trade.. Totally awesome finding a bottle of this in my backpack the morning after.

A - Dark as night, tan head quickly sunk into the abyss.
S - Chocolately, slight bourbon, fudge, vanilla oakiness. Almost identical smell to BCBS, definitely notice a difference in ABV just by the smell.
T - Perfection for a BA IRS, great lingering chocolateyness mixed with subtle barrel aging characteristics. Like the smell, a less boozy BCBS and thats the only .25 off because I happen to like the alarming 14% ABV and im partial to Chi-town's Goose Island... GO BEARS!
M - Coats the palate with a melted brownie, roasted malt liquid. Subtle carbonation does not over/under power the aspects of this brew.
O - Love it, glad I had it, going to try and get some more dressing like an Elf at the party in December. (837 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Looks like engine oil with a very chocolatey head. Aroma is chocolatey, oaky, and bourbon laden. Flavor is rich, roasty but not bitter, dark chocolate, with toasted notes, oak, and a smooth bourbon weaving throughout. A real treat of a beer. (241 characters)

Photo of Jared14
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to markgugs for this one. 2013 bottle.

Pours dark chocolate brown to black. Very little head generated. Fades to the sides quickly.

Smell is of cocoa nibs and bourbon. Not bad, not great.

Taste is amazing chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon booze notes. Mingle together very well.

Mouth feel was good when I poured it near 40 but as it warmed up the feel got thicker.

Overall beats KBS, BCBS, and scores a tad under Black Note for the past year vintages. Well done bottle. First of many from this brewery. (517 characters)

Photo of M_chav
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Perfect pitch black with copper head lacing, silk in a glass. Smell is dominated with typical RIS raisen-chocolate-sweetness. Taste is so good, super smooth feel goes down way too easy. Overall this is a really well done BB-RIS. Virtually no heat, but somehow I want more from it, still left hanging for that "special" quality. (330 characters)

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 357 ratings.