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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372 Reviews
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Reviews: 372
Hads: 2,700
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 7.8%
Wants: 2,115
Gots: 739 | FT: 98
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: 372 | Hads: 2,700
Photo of tectactoe
4.81/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Jeff for cracking open one of the last of his stash. BBPt5 pours out even darker than the regular version (which was already darker than a black hole), although it doesn't seem to be quite as syrupy and thick, as this one actually creates some noise and light turbulence as it hits the glass. A dark-ish tan head slowly bubbles up into a thin foam and perches still on top of this black abyss of a beer.

Bringing this one to my nose and taking a big whiff reveals its huge bourbon barrel characteristics - there's no denying that this bad boy spent some considerable time encased in boozy wood. The bourbon in the aroma is very smooth, however, not harsh, pungent, or stinging like many of these BBA beers can tend to be. Other notable aromas include vanilla, light coconut, mild wood, roasted malts. There's also some sweet brown sugar and a huge, creamy coffee undertone that can be found on the back end. This is really a complex beer, just from the aroma alone. Sometimes BBA beers can kind of blend together and get repetitive, but this one smells wonderful and distinct.

BBPt5 slides across my palate as I take the first sip - it's super creamy and smooth, maybe even more so than the original (not surprisingly so). The first tastes to emerge are light syrup and sweet molasses. Before long, the bourbon inches its way into the flavor profile, but just like the aroma, it remains very smooth and easy to handle. Warming, but not "hot", and it's wonderful. Some heavy oak and vanilla tones charge in about halfway through.

As it warms up, I pick up more generous notes of dark, thick fudge and even some lightly sweet, dark fruits. Roasted coffee bounces in and out for pretty much the entire duration - a big component in the base beer that certainly isn't lost through the barrel. Overall, a seriously well developed and complex beer. Even in the finish, there are still a ton of things going on; mostly dark fudge, roasted coffee beans, sweet and warming bourbon, and heavy oak. The body stays creamy throughout - heavy and lightly chewy, low-medium carbonation - more carbonated than the base beer, which as surprising.

Considering the high 14% ABV tag, this beer was insanely drinkable. I've never seen bourbon show up so heavily while remaining so smooth and tame at the same time. This is a barrel-aged beer done correctly - the flavors meld together extremely well. One of the best bourbon barrel beers I've had.

EDIT: 4/29/2013

After having this back-to-back(-to-back?) with KBS, Black Note, and BCBS, I think I can finally and honestly say that this is my favorite of the bunch. They are all extraordinary brews, but the thing that really sets BB Plead the Fifth apart is the incredible smoothness of the bourbon. Not ONCE, not even after warming up for nearly an hour, does the bourbon ever seem any bit stronger than "warm". So incredibly smooth and complex. Fantastic integration of the barrel flavors with the base beer as to not mask or hide any of the substantial flavors, either. Probably my favorite Bourbon Barrel beer. I love this stuff.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is jet black with a dark khaki head. The lacing is nonexistent. The aroma is crisp vanilla with a dark licorice complexity and beautiful bourbon notes. The flavor is booming work vanilla and bourbon with a common imperial stout complexity. There is beautiful licorice and roasted malt character and this is just great.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.74/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to northernbrebws for satisfying this long time want. 2014 vintage served in my Funky Buddha snifter. Pours one shade shy of black with a two inch, loose, mocha-colored head that dissipates into a fizzy swirl around the shoulders. Nose expresses cocoa, roast and a slightly vinous quality. Taste follows nose - really not getting much of the barrel here. There are also some oxidized notes towards the back. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a mild carbonation and a light acidity. Overall, not bad but a bit thin and lacking the barrel presence.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. 2012 vintage. **Note that my bottle had the ABV listed as 11%, NOT 14% as it does on this page**

(A)- Pours pitch as black night and fairly thick. A surprising crown of brown froth formed. Even some lacing was left behind as it dissipated.

(S)- A lovely rich combo of a molasses / chocolate / roasted caramel / and bourbon barrel sexiness. A really harmonious aroma.

(T)- Same as the smell, only a distinct higher level of bitter roastedness coming through. Combined with the superb barrel characteristics, I have absolutely zero complaints.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. As great as the sweet and rich barrel notes are in this, the underlying roasted qualities from the base beer still coming through is quite superb. Makes for a very dynamic tasting and feeling beer.

(O)- Overall, world class. I had a sample of this years ago at a beer fest and it has haunted me since. Now finally trying it in bottled form was really rewarding. Fantastic fresh, but for me, it just might benefit with a little more time on it. Looking forward to seeing if I am right. One of the best for the style 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 GreesyFizeek
4.86/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, shared by 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."

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.21/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Compared the '11 and '12 next to each other. Pour is jet black with a dark caramel head but not a lot even after a strong pour. Nose is a nice mix of bourbon and light chocolate cake. There are some chalky notes and a bit of booze in back. Taste is more woody, light bourbon. Chocolate notes, faintly chalky but less than the nose. Full bodied and soft, a hint slick with moderate carbonation. Taste gets a little sweet in back and some lingering roasted malts.
The '11 has a richer nose and less sweet in the flavor. More balanced but less bright so you sacrifice a little in flavor expression for balance and tightness. Both are very solid, I would prefer the '11 with the 2 years in it. Rate from the '11.

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Photo of Brenden
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This big beer is pretty close to black. It looks quite similar to the original (sans the barrel, if you will), with the exception that the sandy head isn't quite as well structured. Still, it rises to about the same height and holds up pretty well, coming only a little short of having the original's staying power and lace.
This beer shows off how tasty it's going to be right off the nose. The bourbon is very nicely integrated, warm but not too hot or abrasive. The stout is already roasty, and good use of a bourbon barrel always seems to smooth it out as well as adding the vanilla and woods that are found in this beer. There was a bit of dark chocolate, plenty of dark fruit that doesn't come off too forcefully but lays under some char, and a certain nuttiness. Hops add just a bit to balance, a light leafy sort of addition. The chocolate notes almost go milky about midway.
This is very nearly as smooth as it gets. A sipper for sure, the brewers took great care to not let alcoholic heat thin it or add too much bite, the body's richness and thickness or its robust fullness to get too sickeningly heavy or slick, and the sweetness to overcome the balancing dry notes that keep it in check. This is one of the silkiest, most smoothly slowing brews I've yet had the pleasure to drink.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to cmrillo for sharing this one after a ticking session at a local restaurant this evening! Thanks brother! Served from bottle into a Ommegang Three Philosophers chalice. Poured pitch black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised roasted malt, sweet malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, wood, sweet alcohol, and vanilla. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark fruit, raisin, vanilla, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very good brew. The aroma on this one was really quite nice and very complex. All of the right components for the style were present in this one. The barrel really did a nice number on this brew as the regular version was quite good, but this turned that up to 11. The flavor was very well balanced and inviting making it quite easy to drink despite the high ABV. This could definitely get you in A LOT of trouble if not careful. An absolute must try if you are a fan of beer. Really glad I finally got the chance to try this one myself! Thanks again Rillo!

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Photo of popery
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014. Thanks, ineedbeer. The beer is wall to wall black with a small light brown head. The bubbles fade to a ring after a couple minutes. The aroma is silky chocolate milk. Big vanilla. Plenty of caramel in the background. Mild oak. Medium bourbon, sweet and rich. Some booze. The taste is sweet with milk chocolate and vanilla. Mild roast. Creamy full flavor. Medium to moderate bitterness in the finish. Smooth mouthfeel. Very easy to drink for a big barrel-aged stout. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

As I jumped onto the train for an hour after work for nothing more than to travel to some unknown bar on the southside of Chicago, only to blow 6 hours out of my day and tick a beer, I remembered the words of NickD: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not go thirsty without a fight! We're going to tick on! That beer is going to survive to be ticked!" And to those own who were suprised at my travel to taste this rarity I replied: A true ticker is not dissuaded by something as trivial as distance, time, or common sense.

Found on tap at Maple Tree Inn, who knew?

A - Not much more you can ask from the beer than this. Forboding in it's blackness, the mocha head slowly bubbled up, and rose to over two fingers in length. Thick and viscous, this beer left some surprisingly fine lacing on the sides as it slide down the glass. Truly a masterpiece in terms of look.

S - Huge chocolate on the nose with some hidden dark fruits as you become acustom to the smell. The barrel aging brings out a lot of sweet vanilla, which melds nicely with the cocoa. Bourbon is present, but nicely muted, doesn't smell hot at all.

T - This is quite chocolaty, it is the first thing you notice about the beer. The bourbon plays a strong role, but the cocoa keeps it from tasting hot at all and allows you to enjoy the bits of oak and very present vanilla in this beer. As you continue the drink there is a nice bittering sense of espresso on the end which helps to balance the flavor out. I was disappointed, as this bittering espresso grew fainter the more of this I drank, and I was left with more and more of the chocolate. It still tasted great, but lost a lot of its complexity as it warmed up somehow.

M - Very chewy, but managed to be quite thin on the end. Obviously a full bodied brew. Soft carbonation.

D - This is a beer that can kill you. At 14% it drinks like about something at 8%. I drank this quite easily and found myself having to concentrate hard on putting one foot in front of the other. A great beer that I would love to have again.

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Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to dlello2 for this bottle, now drained into two small taster cups. Consumed as part of a Friday night lineup that included the '10, '11, & '12 vintages. One of my favorite regularly available stouts, so I've been looking forward to this vertical. 12 oz. wax-capped bottle.

Pour is black & close to flat, but it makes up for it in the smell. Lush bourbon loveliness pours out after the wax is busted, but fades quickly. By the time it warms there's nothing but a hint of malt & figment of bourbon left. Huh.

Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth is a shot of Maker's Mark to the gut; I wouldn't be surprised if this was 25% bourbon. Bourbon suffuses the base beer & overwhelms it with goodness (except I love the base beer). Roast manages to thrash its way out of the bourbon, & it retreats as it warms. Chocolate emerges rapidly; rich. Gorgeous. Deep wood that really adds some depth. Wasn't really digging this initially, but after some time, it grew on my rapidly. Up, up, & away. Heavy. Luscious.

Wow. This one didn't impress me out of the gate, but as it warmed - really warmed, after about 25-30 minutes - it became amazing. This is an excellent beer that really complements the excellent base beer. Worthy. Glad I have one more.

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Photo of dar482
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a pitch black color with a brown head.

The aroma offers thick dark chocolate and almost brownie. Bourbon sweetness, a touch of coconut and almond.

The beer offers a medium plus mouthfeel, smooth and chewy, and really good for the ABV. Up front is bourbon, dark fruit, rich chocolate. Lingering bourbon on the back with some oak drying, along with a coconut aftertaste.

It reminds me of ’14 BCBS.

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Photo of cbutova
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Massive thanks to my cousin Sonny for allowing me to try this beer!

A- Poured to a tulip, snifter and a pint glass with a pitch black body. A small, pretty much tiny head forms to just a sheet on the beer and recedes pretty quickly. Small, frothy ring leaves some nice legs but only a few spots of lace.

S- Deep cocoa and Bourbon pretty much rule the aroma with a decadent fudgey feel. Vanilla comes into play from the oak and melds with a somewhat sweet quality coming out. Chocolate chips.

T- Bourbon vanilla brownie is what comes to mind to me. Decadent fudge and cocoa provide a base for the barrels to come alive. Top quality whiskey feel as far as a beer goes with a fresh toasted oak and some vanilla. Deep semi-burnt roast grains, toast and ash.

MF- Thick bodied with a somewhat creamy and chewy feel. Carbonation is moderate to low but lets those flavors truly shine, especially from the barrels. Fairly warming from the ABV with some dark roast bitters in the finish.

Bourbon fudge brownies with a twist of vanilla from the oak. Deep and decadent with a great base of cocoa and roasted malts. The Bourbon flavor in this beer is quite possibly the best I have found. I feel like I am sipping a great shot of whiskey without the heat and ice/water.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
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!

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Photo of Rutager
4.09/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thank you to yeahnatenelson! 2011, silver wax.

Appearance. Poursalmost thick and black with almost no head, just a fine skim of dark brown bubbles on the surface.

Smell. Bourbon for sure, not very boozy though. Wood and Vanilla are there too, some roasty dark malts and a little caramel and coffee.

Taste. Bourbon, sweet vanilla, sweet caramel and coffee, some booze and a little burnt sugar (more burnt than caramel, anyways), just a little dark roasted malts.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low carbonation. A little warm.

Overall. A nice bba stout, no question. Seemed a little boozy and could probably use another year or two, but really not that bad for a 14% beer. Would love to try it again nicely aged.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the first release of that format, courtesy of warnerry, into a NEBCO 668 glass. Enjoyed alongside regular Plead the 5th and BCBS.

A: Looks identical to the regular: pitch black body, thin brown head. Solid.

S: Wow. This is amazing. Huge bourbon, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and major coconut. Big, rich, and complex. BA RIS perfection.

T: Follows the nose initially, with enormous barrel presence providing generous bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Roasty coffee and dark chocolate behind. The only downside is a significantly boozy finish. Wonderful.

M: Thick, creamy, and moderately carbonated. Terrific.

O: This was an absolute winner - a huge step up over the non-BA version, and a clear superior to the overly-syrupy (in comparison) BCBS. The coffee and bourbon worked beautifully together, and I'm simply enjoying the hell out of it. Thanks Ryan!


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Photo of scottfrie
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2011 vintage. Thanks for this one, Mark. (Compared side-by-side with regular version).

A: Pours black with a very thin dark chocolate head that quickly dispersed into a faint collar leaving wisps of lace.
S: Huge notes of sweet bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel and dark chocolate. I’m getting almost none of the roast and anise that I pick up in the regular version.
T: A huge improvement on the original. Rich and decadent flavors of buttery oak, chocolate fudge, sweet and sticky bourbon, raisins, caramel, and vanilla. The bourbon and oak and integrated very well and have seemed to smooth over all the rough edges of the original. I’m getting some peat in the original that isn’t found in the barrel version. Very smooth and rich.
M: Low but creamy carbonation, slight alcohol warmth, rich and smooth mouthfeel with a full body.
O: Side by side these two beers are like night and day. While the original is good, the flavor profile on the barrel aged one makes it taste like it doesn’t even have the same base beer. Well worth finding a bottle or two. Thanks again, HosP, for sending me a couple.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.98/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another from my trade with deyholla. Pours viscous black with one finger brown mocha head. Aroma of chocolate, sweet molasses, dark fruits, roast, and something off that I am not a fan of (similar characteristics to Tres). Thick viscous mouthfeel with medium low carbonation. Heavy dark fruit up front followed by lots of dark bittersweet chocolate. Slight booze, but don't get much of the bourbon barrel in this. Was expecting a bit more vanilla oak, though my palate might be tainted from the Kuhnhenn BA 4D I had right before this. I tend to prefer non-fruity stouts, but this is generally well done. Relaxing sipper. I find it strange that the regular version was so full of roast and chocolate and this one went more fruity despite the barrel. Oh well, good beer just not as great as I had hoped.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had two 4oz pours of this beer at the Great Taste. The first pour was so good as it warmed up that I had to go back and get more. I should honestly not be reviewing this beer despite having 8oz- but just keep in mind that I intend this to be for my own personal records. YMMV.

The beer is a viscous, very dark black looking beer that came with a small dark brown head that disappeared fairly quickly. Looks to be par for the course for a nice barrel-aged stout. Not much film, not much collar, not much lacing to be found.

The beer smells fairly tame out of the tap. You get a little bit of dark chocolate and roast malts. Starts out nothing special but it really evolves into something amazing when it gets warmed up (which after 5 minutes out in that 80 degree temperature and in the sun at the GTMW was enough), it becomes a full blown roasty malt and chocolate+vanilla bomb. You can smell a bit of oak, but it was dominated by the roast malts and the chocolatey vanilla combination. It was great.

The taste is the same as the nose- it was disappointingly tame when it was cold but after it warmed up, it became something really special. So much vanilla, roasty malts and dark chocolate sweetness with a bit of coffee bitterness to balance everything out. It was great, honestly the best part of the beer.

The feel on this one is full bodied, very thick and resinous. It's so easy drinking for such a big beer. Aftertaste is so much of that sweet roast malt with some sweet bourbon flavour in the back. Not a lot of booze here either, which is fantastic.

Great beer, I would have gone back for more but my friends told me there was other beer at this festival. Oops. I really enjoyed this one, and I would have to say its comparable to Black Note, and beats BCBS by a decent bit because its just not as boozy.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1000th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

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.

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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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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.