Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th - Dark Horse Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,902 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
District of Columbia
4.47/5 rDev -1.8%
Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.
The beer is near black with a thin, beige cap. The aroma offers bourbon and roast, followed by alcohol, vanilla, oak, chocolate. Great flavor, with prominent bourbon throughout. Additional tastes of vanilla and chocolates. Moderately low carbonation, with a smooth, buttery feel. A bit of heat in the finish, but 14% abv feels pretty nice. Overall, very enjoyable. A top notch barrel-aged imperial stout.
01-01-2012 21:01:15 | More by Huhzubendah
4.65/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
06-27-2012 01:31:27 | More by mdaschaf
4.23/5 rDev -7%
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.
07-09-2012 17:41:08 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.68/5 rDev +2.9%
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.
01-29-2012 02:14:06 | More by billab914
4.5/5 rDev -1.1%
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.
04-12-2011 05:41:04 | More by JohnGalt1
4.15/5 rDev -8.8%
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.
12-30-2011 04:36:28 | More by HopHead84
4.68/5 rDev +2.9%
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.
03-24-2012 00:21:19 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.33/5 rDev -4.8%
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.
08-17-2012 01:18:38 | More by johnnnniee
4.58/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
01-02-2011 16:56:11 | More by TurdFurgison
4.25/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
10-14-2012 03:41:40 | More by xnicknj
4.7/5 rDev +3.3%
Served on-tap at Capone's Restaurant for the Black Friday event. Poured into a miniature 5 oz snifter.
A: Deep black body with a bubbly, creamy brown/mahogany head. Moderate amounts of sticky lacing with thick bubbles around the rim. No retention in the center but this is a wonderful looking beer.
S: Loads of matured bourbon, wood, spice, vanilla, maple syrup and hints of pepper. Huge dark rich chocolate malts come through towards the back end. An absolutely incredible display of flavors, exactly what a BA Imperial Stout should smell like. Simply divine.
T: Front of the palate is warming rich bourbon, tobacco, toffee, vanilla and chocolate chip cookie is mid-palate. Finishing are some more wonderful dark malts and a hint of leather. It's not unnaturally sweet but has a some to it; more liquor on the back end. Crazy drinkable, wonderfully complex and seriously delicious.
M: A bit lighter on the body than I'd anticipate but still retains a nice fullness to it. Sticky, rich and a bit of booze going down. Fairly carbonated yet creamy.
Honestly, this has to be one of the absolute best bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stouts I've had to date. The intensity and complexity of the flavors in this beer are missing in so many others in the style. You've got to like, or love, bourbon to enjoy this beer. It's nearly perfect.
11-26-2011 14:37:32 | More by ShanePB
4.1/5 rDev -9.9%
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.
01-02-2013 05:42:30 | More by Alieniloquium
District of Columbia
4.3/5 rDev -5.5%
From 12oz, silver wax dipped bottle to CBS snifter on 1/23/12
-- Thanks to TurdFurgison & normyk for the hook-ups --
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.
01-29-2012 19:15:19 | More by Rhettroactive
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,902 ratings.