1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,811 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,811
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 1,768
Gots: 461 | FT: 41
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:  Latest | 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: 1,811 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

04-20-2012 04:59:10 | More by superspak
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

12-16-2013 05:28:31 | More by drewone
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to funhog for this one, been a top want for a while!

A: Pours a deep black with a very small tan head that reduces quickly leaving a very thin ring on top. Minimal lacing forms and dissolves quickly.

S: Lots of bourbon and roasted malt up front, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and a little bit of dark fruit. As it warms the wood comes forward a bit as well. There is a little bit of alcohol, just to let you know its there.

T: Fantastic flavor profile. A great blend of bourbon flavors, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, mixed with a little bit of chocolate and light roasted malt. The bourbon really shines nicely in this beer, not too in your face. Faint dark fruit flavors add a bit of sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry, but sweet finish. No sign of the alcohol in the taste.

O: Really great beer. The flavors blend nicely with the level of bourbon presence being spot on. I can see why it is so sought after.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 01:31:27 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.9%

12-31-2012 22:50:40 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep black with almost nothing as a head, kind dark cherry cola looking wisp to it. Aroma, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, all almost equally present, not domineering, nice.

Taste, wow, really smooth, more of the same elements from the nose keep their equitable place on the palate. Overall sweetness is up there, but never diabetes inducing stuff, really, this is a well balanced flavor profile for a huge beer, that doesn't knock you over the head with the alcohol.

This is one of those special beers. Plead the 5th is an already great base beer. Sometimes (Rasputin) you can throw a great base beer into a bourbon barrel, and it becomes less great. Not the case here. It isn't a pretty beer, and the first look and smell won't tip you off to how good this is, but drink it, you'll like it.

Thanks to largadeer for breaking this, and many other gems out at the Solar Eclipse party.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 17:41:08 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

05-12-2013 07:34:40 | More by zestar
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-03-2013 04:00:02 | More by Kelp
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starter of the night at an EPIC tasting at RB's Footbalm's house... Eric set the bar high.. Thanks buddy... I hope your travels treat you well, and our paths always cross.

Not much of a head... oily.. thick staining the glass deep brown brew...

I had a surprising number of proper pours of this brew over the evening and was increasingly impressed on each one.

Deep dark chocolate with dark malts punctuating the nose.. good oak and bourbon without ever becoming overdone...

Flavor is brownie batter spiked with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and good bourbon.. vanilla and oaky bourbon... something that I wrote down as toasted marshmallow.. everything is amazingly well integrated ... especially when warmer.

Thick and inviting.. wonderful.. lite carbonation but nobody complained.. I could have easily sat content with this bottle the entire night.

all 4.5's

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 05:41:04 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +9.9%

03-16-2013 19:09:10 | More by PEIhop
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer and concentrating around the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a little more of the bourbon and barrel character to it. I get some dark chocolate and brown sugar to it with just a bit of roasted malts to it. The bourbon is nice in it, very smooth.

The taste really integrates the bourbon barrel flavors into the beer nicely. It has a very rich, dark chocolate, brownie batter like flavor to it up front with a little more of a bitter, coffee, roasty character in the finish. The bourbon is smooth and adds some great complexity with some notes of brown sugar, oak, vanilla and alcohol. It had some really great flavors to it but what really impressed me is how well they balance the beer and barrel flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a fantastic beer. The flavors came together extremely well in it and the barrel flavors complimented the beer perfectly instead of overpowering it. This one definitely lived up to the hype for me, one of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 02:14:06 | More by billab914
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

01-05-2012 19:05:02 | More by THECPJ
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.15/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/29/2011

2011 batch. Snifter. Huge thanks to Ed for the bottle.

My pants were extremely tight at work today. It was uncomfortable, to say the least. Though, it's nothing I can't sort out over a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Any lapse in advocacy may lead to depression and torpidity. I have much thinking to do, it may require efforts from a bomber of IPA as well.

A: The beer resembles motor oil as it flows forth from the glass when I gently tilt the bottle. The head strikes me as a mixture of russet and sepia. It lingers for half a minute before receding to a small collar of froth around the edges of the glass.

S: Caramel drizzled dark chocolate cake, brown sugar, and big oak notes. Vanilla is light and bourbon is dominant (in a good way). Roasted grains are evident, blending with milk chocolate and alcohol.

T: Liquid dark chocolate, rich and delicious, with a light molasses presence and an upper low earthy bitterness. There's a lot of booze in the flavor, but the taste manages to still be quite good. I get a shadow of caramel and a fair amount of oak with big fudge notes. Bourbon is well integrated. Roasted grains are restrained. Alcohol takes over in the late midpalate and dominates through the finish. It's a bit rough near the end, knocking this from a 4.5 to a 4 in the flavor.

M: Full in body with lower medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, chewy, and sticky.

Overall: Enjoyable, but this is just a bit too boozy at this point. I'll bet this will be excellent in 6 months if it manages to avoid becoming infected like many other barrel aged strong ales. A pleasure to try.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 04:36:28 | More by HopHead84
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

08-16-2013 03:20:53 | More by chinchill
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Dark Horse 4elf party. Glad it was on tap as there were very few (VERY few) bottles for sale.

It was served in a plastic cup (boo...), a 10oz pour (sort of boo...), but was delicious (hooray). This was dark, black dark, very opaque with a thin but still existent ring of foam.

It smells like a big beer, which of course it is, without smelling like alcohol. Strong malty aromas, sweet and roasty, with some dark fruits and a well integrated bourbon. Since having this glass I've had many bourbon aged stouts over the holidays, and I can say that the nose on this one is right up there.

Very very tasty, the bourbon is not overbearing, it really complements instead of contrasting the roasty stout base. Cocoa, raisins, vanilla, bourbon, this is just excellent. No burn in the aftertaste, just lingering sweet bourbon flavors. It feels big and heavy, everything about it says this is a major beer, and you have to be careful or you're gonna get buzzed.

This is especially good considering that you can't taste the alcohol in such a strong beer, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2011 16:56:11 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to erikkoppin

Pours a midnight black color with barely any head. Wisps of retention slink across the top, with a few spots of lacing on the glass.

A rich mix of vanilla and chocolate soaked in bourbon in the nose. A bit sweet with roasted dark malts and some softer tones of dark fruits. Softly charred oak, booze and really faint smoke.

Boozy vanilla bean up front with plenty of syrupy bourbon and softly charred oak. Dark chocolate, nuttiness and layers of roasted dark malts. Syrupy with a prolonging boozy warmth, followed by a light undertone of leather and very subtle smoke. Finishes sweet and boozy with vanilla.

Fuller medium body, milder carbonation, sticky and creamy on the tongue. I've had this one tap before and it was one of my favorite BA stouts ever, although the bottle doesn't quite recapture that moment for me. Definitely still a top notch offering, but the appearance and feel were slightly lacking.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 03:41:40 | More by xnicknj
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

12-09-2011 20:21:56 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-26-2012 23:02:07 | More by Zaphog
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

07-29-2013 16:39:43 | More by liamt07
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

02-04-2013 03:49:32 | More by tobelerone
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Eric who brought this to our tasting, poured into my Narke glass. Normally, I don't review a beer twice, but the difference of on tap vs bottle justifies it as if its an almost entirely different beer...Black pour with a light tan head, not there for long, ok lacing, but low on carbonation overall...The aroma is totally different, slightly weird. Its all creamy peanut butter with chocolate, actually its really awesome, but has me perplexed as on tap it was tons of vanilla and bourbon. A tad too rich for me, but its good...The taste gets us back on track, more oak, chocolate and bourbon come through, still missing the vanilla though. Finish is bitter, adds to keep the experience interesting. The alcohol is hidden well, creamy from start to finish.

This was good, but not as good as tap where I was blown away. Worth trying for sure, but get it on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 00:09:40 | More by jrallen34
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 01:18:38 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:15:19 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to alampear for sending me a 2011 bottle.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a dark tan head that quickly fades to the edges.

S - Mostly bourbon and some dark fruit.

T - Lovely chocolate, toffee, and bourbon.

D - Mild carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Complex, layered, and pleasant. Boozy, but very, very nice. I really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 00:21:19 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 02:08:03 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 vintage.

Appearance - Very think inky black pour with a small mocha head. Nothing left after a while. Just a thin collar and three measly and miniscule islands of foam.

Smell - The barrel is very nice, but the aroma of the beer is intense. Bourbon, tons of oak, and a nice hint of vanilla from the barrel. Sweet malts, licorice. Coffee and dark chocolate are afterthoughts compared to the barrel, booze, and sugars.

Taste - The base beer shines through the barrel, but it adds a nice layer. Bourbon is immediately apparent. Deep dark chocolate flavors and a sweet fruit layer. Oak is really intense in the back. Lingering oaky finish is too strong and just pegs it back from perfect.

Mouthfeel - It's heavy, boozy, and overly oaked. Low carbonation. A monster of a beer.

Overall - While this beer is spectacular, the barrel hasn't improved it. Intense oak creates an unpleasant aftertaste. That being said, I had this on tap and it was incredible. Batch to batch may vary. I certainly won't mind exploring different vintages of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 05:42:30 | More by Alieniloquium
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,811 ratings.