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

Not Rated.
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

2,170 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,170
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 1,915
Gots: 530 | FT: 61
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,170 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notchucknorris
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really glad to finally get my hands on this one. Thanks, Tyler!

A: Pours a thick, viscous black with a thin mocha colored head that disappears into the body pretty quickly. Light on the lace, but it seems like the beer is just too heavy for it.

S: This isn't the most potent smelling barrel aged beer out there, but there is a ton going on in here. Upfront, you're met with rich dark chocolate, coconut and espresso. Beyond that, you get some toffee, marzipan, chocolate covered cherry and bourbon. Fantastic.

T: Dark chocolate with a bourbon bite right off the bat. Then settles into some roasted malt, espresso, toffee, light barrel char, and fudge. Finishes with some milk chocolate and a good dash of bourbon. A ton of aggressive flavors in here, but none of them really take charge, which is nice. Instead, they all meld together, held intact by a velvety and just a touch slick mouthfeel. Really well executed.

Photo of Jeffo
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a recent trade with hotpipes29. This one comes eagerly anticipated, so we made quick work of it. Thanks for the trade!

From a bottle into a mini-snifter
Vintage: 2011
Drunk right after the base beer for comparative purposes

APPEARANCE: Basically the same out of the bottle as the base beer, but perhaps even darker and thicker. A sludgy, thick black pour yields a small, medium looking, slightly bubbly, dark mocha colored head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a bubbly wisp and ring. Thick, opaque black body with no carbonation evident. A swirling wisp and thick ring remain until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Though the head is a little bubbly compared to the base, this is incredibly thick and menacing. Totally evil.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon on the nose with notes of oak and milk chocolate from the barrels. Quite barrel forward, but some roasted malts and dark chocolate notes do make their way through the barrel aging. Medium strength nose.

TASTE: Quite barrel forward on the palate with very little of the base beer left over. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some nice milk chocolate up front. Bourbon barrel dominates through the middle with a touch of roasted and dark chocolate flavors after the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste is barrel heavy with lots of bourbon and plenty of alcohol. Very little base beer sticks around. Flavorful, but not much of the regular Plead the 5th is left to be found.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of slightly prickly carbonation. Thick and creamy enough on the palate, especially after it has sat in the glass for a bit, goes down fine with a bite after the swallow. Finishes sticky on the palate and lots of heat lingers. Not as thick and full as the base, but still pleasant.

OVERALL: This was a really good bourbon barrel aged stout. Despite the slightly milder nose and lighter palate compared to the base beer, the look was outstanding and the barrel flavors were very interesting and enjoyable. Like many barrel aged versions of a base beer, however, the barrel aging on this one has almost completely erased everything that was so enjoyable about the regular Plead the 5th. In that sense, you could say this is a phenomenal bourbon barrel stout, but not a phenomenal bourbon barrel Plead the 5th, if that makes any sense. Anyways, I was stoked to be able to try these together and we really enjoyed the pair. Thanks again for this one hotpipes. This was a lot of fun!

UPDATE: Trying a 2012 and 2011 together tonight. Everything is the same in the 2012, though the palate is a little heavier and creamier. I'd give a solid 4 to the newer vintage in this department.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, creamy black with a half finger of mocha head which dissipates quickly.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate notes.

T: Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and bourbon up front are followed by caramel and vanilla. Slight hop bitterness rounds things out nicely.

M: Nice and thick with an excellent, creamy mouthfeel. This is amazing on the palate.

O: A really, really excellent barrel aged stout. Maybe not quite on Bourbon County's level, but this is up there with the best BA stouts out there. I'll definitely seek out more.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of beergorrilla
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of dfhhead25
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mrebeka
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of mcallister
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep shade of brown with a tan head that fades into a toffee topper with slight lacing.

Chocolate, roasted malts, hints of bourbon, musty wood, vanilla, black fruits, earthy esters with a bit of leather and tar.

The easiest drinking 14% beer ever maybe. Very balanced, neutral , and creamy. The bourbon barrel aging is very light and not aggressive, I would of liked it a bit more aggressive honestly. Light vanilla, oak, hint of bourbon, chocolate, roasty malts, dark fruits, leather and tar. Very nice.

Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at stub and herbs pre-darkness party, oct 22/2010.

pours inky black and opaque with a small layer of fine dark brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. bit of raw oak. coffee and espresso. whole wheat bread and biscuit. dark chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. earthy and woody.

taste is great. similar to the aroma, with more bittersweet and dark chocolate. just under medium bitterness level. espresso. hint of oxidaiton. the barrel is actually farily mellow, allowing the stout beneath to show through.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nie balance. barrel is not all that assertive and works well.

Photo of nickd717
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nanoslug for this one.

Pours black and relatively viscous with a one-finger tan head and thick lacing.

Great aroma, similar to the regular version with a decent bourbon and -bal hints. Dark chocolate, roast, molasses, and anise.

The flavor is rich and huge on the molasses, not unlike the regular version. Rich dark chocolate notes and a good bourbon-soaked wood presence.

Really thick and a little syrupy with very low carbonation.

Great beer. Glad I got to tick this. I love me some -bal aged RISes, and this is a great example.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

the beer pours a jet black with a thin tan halo of tan head...rather ominous looking. the nose is slightly boozy, with intensely earthy chocolate/coffee, and bourbon vanilla. the taste is also intense with caramel upfront, burning booze, lingering milk chocolate and a touch of bitterness. the mouhfeel is definitely thick, full bodied and flavorful. The roasty lingering chocolate aftertaste has a subtle hint of bourbon, but blends well. This is a world class BBA stout that drinks super smooth...tasty

Round 2 updates - 2012 vintage consumed 07/2014
minimal head, masked booze when cold - but still big bourbon notes, silky smooth mouthfeel, a little more coconut than before. This beer has aged very well.

Round 3 - 2013 vintage consumed 07/2014
really similar experience -- went in it with higher expectations and feel as though the 2012 was a bit smoother. Surprisingly I get more oxidation from this beer than the 2012

Photo of greenspointexas
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Fettpopps
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of seeswo
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap the night before FoBaB at Local Option. Served aside many other interesting beers, which were quickly cast aside for more pours of this beer.

Pours black with a thin ring of brownish head. Smell is an intoxicating light bourbon flavor, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malts. The taste is just fantastic. Like the nose, the bourbon treatment on this beer is unbelievable. It is basically the opposite of Rare's deep, earthy bourbon flavor - this is big vanilla, light and playful. The integration of the base beer and the bourbon is dead on. I could drink tons of this beer all of the time. Special beer. Mouthfeel is creamy and lower carbonation. Overall, one of the best few BA imperial stouts I've ever had. Worth a cab across Chicago just to try.

EDIT: Had this a second time at the Great Taste and it was not nearly as good. Dropped the taste -.5 to reflect this change.

Photo of twenty5
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of MacQ32
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Brew33
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nrbw23
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,170 ratings.