Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
darkhorsebrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2010 and pre: white label
2011: white label OR black label with black no logo cap
2012: black label with logo cap
2013: black label with logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner and new government warning
2014 - white label with black logo cap, ABV of 11% in the top right corner, government warning on bottom right side of label

Added by HopHead84 on 09-27-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
922
Ratings:
3,926
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
556
Gots:
1,051
For Trade:
115
User Reviews
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Reviews: 922 | Ratings: 3,926
Photo of YeahRightt
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark, motor oil with a bronze head that laces nicely on the glass.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate are heavy on the nose with the malts in the background. Clean and earthy without too much bitterness.

Taste: Charred coffee notes with chocolate and apparent boozy flavor. A bit too much sweetness in my taste, but there is a decent balance of flavor. Each sip seems to shift from a booze-dominated taste to a charred coffee taste that I couldn't decide how I felt about. Good dessert beer.

Feel: A nice creamy mouthfeel that doesn't make the brew difficult to drink or too much of a sipper.

Overall: A bit underwhelming in terms of my expectation, but still a great RIS. I have a bottle of the BA Pt5th that I am excited to drink now that I have a sense of the brew's flavor profile.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. no bottling date.

Pours a pitch black color with a slight beige head that quickly dissipates.

Smell is very light... faint coffee maybe? not much to go by.

taste is strong. extremely drinkable here. good chocolate and coffee notes. bitter in a good way. this is what an easy to drink RIS is supposed to taste like.

heavy body and low carbonation, but it doesnt taste syrupy like a lot of other RIS'. alcohol is undetectable on the tongue. easy to down a pint...might be dangerous at 11%!

overall an exceptional RIS that i will return to again in the future.

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Photo of tedvr
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thick caramel head with a lot of lacing. Smells of burnt chocolate and coffee. Tastes of burnt chocolate and coffee in the background. Mild carbonation. Overall it was ok, but not worth the price. Needed more depth.

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Photo of Atron67
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, plead the fifth on the side, thanks to asmokingoat for this, poured into my Ommegang chalice.

A- pour an absolute dead black right out of the glass, dark chocolate brown head on top that slowly built up a reasonable head, the head fell relatively quickly, but to be expected, and the lacing was a little sloppy and wet, impressive for a huge RIS.

S- the low carbonation makes it hard to get a strong whiff however the scents seem to be dominated by huge chocolate malts, with solid notes of roasted characters as well. the hops are pretty subdued, but keep it from being sweet.

T- very smooth overall for the RIS, the malts slowly flow heavily over the tongue, sticking to every part of it as it washes to the back of the tongue. the chocolate flavor grows really strong. a dark fruit character arises out of the malt, which is something that occurs with large amounts of chocolate malt. Kind of reminds me of Darkness.

M- very thick, low carbonation, sticky as hell to the tongue

D- an awesome sipper, wish i had more, the 12oz bottle is perfect 750 might want to share.

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Photo of LaurenZ
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very very dark pour and has a slick looking head that doesn't last. the aromas are of chocolate and nutty, slightly roasted notes. The flavor is also complex with nuts, chocolate, with a medium mouthful and slight bitterness and low in carbonation. good beer overall.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from a trade.

Pours black with a dark tan head forming. The head dissipated quickly leaving only a jet black colored beer.

The nose is is pleasent notes of cocoa, cherries, a slight tart roasted nose.

The taste is very nice. The start is sweet and chocolate but the taste of cherry comes in. The finish is roasted and drying. The mouth is smooth and pleasent. The only notice of alcohol is a slight numb on the tongue. very nice.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hard pour (to get as much head as possible while I can -- don't flex your dirty minds now) results in a half-inch deep mocha brown and glowing bronze head...beautiful, although, predictably, it vanishes to a skim in a matters of seconds. The color is pure ebony black, forbidding in its total darkness. Seems to have quite some thickness to it, too, which wouldn't be surprising.

Aroma is quintessential Russian Imperial Stout, ie. big everything. Generous alcohol meshes with big juicy dark fruits, gooey milk chocolate, smoke, cocoa nibs, black licorice, and graham cracker. That 12% alcohol is held in check, but just barely...

Flavor reminds of a brasher version of Expedition Stout (Bell's) but the differences are obvious. Plead The 5th is more bitter, as in burnt-chocolate bitter, and not quite as smooth/round/thick, texturally. A deep, comforting mesh of flavors that includes most everything from the smell (chocolate, cocoa, dark fruit, smoke, licorice and alcohol), with the alcohol underlining everything else and giving a slightly spicy edge.

I wouldn't call the feel "thin," but it's certainly less thick than expected, and probably more carbonated than expected, although still very much performs like a stout, texturally.Slick, yet also has a good bit of stickiness, which keeps the burnt and bitter chocolate/coffee flavor rolling through the tremendously long finish. Interesting, for sure.

This is my fourth Dark Horse beer, and so far my favorite (have also had Tres, Fore and Double Crooked Tree). It does just about everything you want a beer of this style to do, and it's all well-balanced, especially considering its immensity of flavor and alcohol-level. I wonder why it's called Plead The 5th? "Shut up and drink" maybe?

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Photo of recall1242
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a thick black in color that you can barely see anything through. Aggressively poured to a very thin head with little to no lacing.

S- Nice dark roasty aroma, cocoa and a slight smokey character.

T- Plenty of dark roasted grains and some chocolate flavors. Warms up nicely to some caramel and vanilla flavors in the finish.

M- Low carbonation but a well hidden 12%.

O- One of the better Imperial Stouts out there that you can actually find on the shelves. Not really a budget beer but it wont break the bank either.

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Photo of descobar
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage: 2011 - Intense black in color with a reddish tint. very light brownish head. aromas are roasted malts, chocolate, nuts and dark fruits (plum mostly). this is a full bodied beer, with a rich texture and moderate carbonation. astringency insignificant. flavors are all roasted malts, no sweetness, dark chocolate, hints of coffee well balanced by bitterness. some alcohol warmth is present. after 5 years of ageing, I'd have thought it would have mellowed a bit more. it finishes very dry and with lingering alcohol. overall a very good beer that shows no negative off-flavors from cellaring.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours near-black with a very dark, slightly cherry-infused head. The head is a little less than a finger, and has a good amount of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

S: Dark malt and some hop presence, but the overpowering smell here is that of dried red fruits. Also, some mild espresso. Also, some definite alcohol presence.

T: Much like the smell, but add in the tiniest bit of anise.

M: A little bit thin, though still has a good body. Good amount of carbonation. Not too much of an alcohol bite.

D: This one is definitely a sipper. Lighter than most RIS's, which might not be a bad thing considered that it's released just as the weather turns for the better.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The drink pours a shade of deep ebony with a mocha-colored head that retains great an leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is smoky and roasty-toasty with notes of charcoal, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste is roasty, even a bit burnt, with dark coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes rising from the woody ashes.

Full-bodied with nice drinkability.

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Photo of herman77
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a dark tan head that dies down pretty quick. Barley any lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark coffee. A bit of alcohol and a touch of dark fruits and molasses.

T: Again, lots of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee. Some hops punch through a bit near the back end along with a lot of bitter intense malts. Surprisingly short finish that doesn't last too long. There is some booziness in the finish though.

M: Fuller body. Nice carbonation and feel.

O: Average drinkability for an imperial stout. Some booze, but overall its a really nicely done. Seems like it would get a lot better with a year or two on it.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with a thin light brown head. Head has little retention and leaves almost no lacing behind.

S- Smells of chocolate, roated malts, bit of alcohol, coffee and some dark fruits.

T- A great combintion of sweet and bitter. All malt at first. Roasty espresso and chocolate flavors mingle with notes of dark fruit, molasses, and a bit of licorice. The hops are more balanced in the taste than the smell.

M- This is a full beer and low on the carbonation.

D- I like this brew wish it was little thicker in body. Easy to drink alcohol hidden well and tastes great.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is chocolate/dark chocolate, dark malts, coffee and a hint of dry earthiness. The flavor is chocolate/dark chocolate, coffee, dark malts, mild dark fruit/fruit and a mix of big acidity and slight spiciness/alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mystery beer from schwaeh. From notes, sampled 6/25.

Noticed a lot of sediment in the unmarked bottle.

A: Poured into a snifter. An aggressive pour yields a less than exemplary head. The body is motor oil black and the head that forms a nice ring is dark brown. Beer appears well carbonated and has some alcohol feet.

S: Bitter dark chocolate and espresso coffee initially, but as the beer warms the coffee dominates. Nice roasted malt character, maybe a touch of smoke and booze.

T: Coffee and hop bitterness, black licorice and bittersweet bakers chocolate. The dark roasted malts are excellent. On the tongue, it's a simple yet robust coffee stout.

MF: Initially very creamy and robust, a little warmth and booze cuts it a little. Finishes bitter and dry.

O: Pretty darn good coffee stout or RIS with the hops...I would probably go 4.0/4.0/4.0/4.5/4.5.

Dark Horse Plead the 5th!

Thanks Steve!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black pour with almost nothing of a head. When I finish pouring, there are some mocha bubbles, but nothing else. A swirl produces decent legs, but it doesn't look that viscous.

Smell - Hops. Lots of hops for a stout. No real sweetness in the smell. Booze is the second most predominant smell. Chocolate malt in the back, but it's a lot of hops and alcohol.

Taste - Wow, it tastes amazing. Hops temper any sweetness that's there. Behind that is all chocolate and coffee. Maybe even some plum flavor. Delicious. Bitter finish, but it's appropriate and nearly perfect. Boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Not as thick as I'd expect. I enjoy a chewy stout, but this isn't quite that. It makes it easier to drink in regards to the body. The booze is still apparent, but I suppose it's tough to ignore 12% ABV.

Overall - I love this stout. The flavors are nearly perfect. Looks awful and doesn't smell anywhere near as good as it tastes, but damn it's good.

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Photo of ravot
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a Plead the 5th, 2013 vintange, into a Bells Brewery snifter.

Appearance:
Pours of motor oil. Jet black. Minimal lacing on the glass. Head was minimal if any. The pour seems as if it were thick like oil.

Smell:
This bottle immediately smelled of chocolate, dark roasts of coffee. More chocolate.
Some cocoa, coconut.

Taste:
Dark roast malts, chocolate. Some slightly alcohol tasting, very good. Definitely sweet as you drink it. Some hops are hiding in there. Bitter chocolate notes in there. Being that it's ABV of 11%, hard to tell.

Mouthfeel:
Creamy, refreshing like a milk stout. Dessert like feeling.

Overall:
Man this is a great stout. Aged for a year. I feel this might better aged than fresh but now i need to take another test and get some fresh since coincidentally, distribution is right about now.
Get your hands on this, fresh or aged, you won't be disappointed in an overall solid Imperial Sout

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Photo of breakingbland
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle. Opaque brown with a scant brown ring of foam. The aroma is candy sweet and roasty. The taste is like the aroma with the roasty character coming to the forefront. This overall flavor is very rich and savory -- almost smoky. The hops are well-balanced with the sweet/roasty. Even though this is an RIS, the alcohol is hidden. The aftertaste is mainly roasty malt with some hops. This beer feels wonderful in the mouth: full body and smooth carbonation.

Overall, this is another great offering from Dark Horse. It definitely bumps stout up a notch or two. Will look for it again!

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

355mL bottle into a Founders snifter.

A- Pours completely jet black with a 1 finger mocha brown head. Pretty decent retention. The color on this is impressive; easily the blackest stout I've seen in a while.

S- Big whiffs of chocolate and malts come through immediately, followed closely by very subtle coffee notes and a hint of fusel alcohol. Reminds me a lot of Founders Imperial Stout, which is a good thing.

T- Fantastic chocolate and malt immediately, followed by more malt and a hint of hops. Dark fruits also come into play as it warms. Alcohol heat is present after swallowing, leaving a nice burn in the throat that makes me want another sip. A little one dimensional, but it executes in that dimension flawlessly.

M- This is the part that impresses the most. Completely smooth, creamy and thick from start to finish, with the perfect amount of carbonation. Coats the mouth and throat and lingers there long after my last sip with faint alcohol. Incredible.

O- A fantastic Imperial Stout that is a little one dimensional in taste, but completely makes up for its shortcomings with a mouthfeel that is one of the best I've had in a long while.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a dark brown head. In the aroma, roasted malt, coffee and a sweetness that reminds me of oatmeal. In the taste, sweet roasted malt and a dry coffee ending. A small hop bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry coffee and a small alcohol presence in the aftertaste. Nice big flavor, big roast, nice coffee presence and hides the 12% very well.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black as the night, exquisite head. frothy, tons of action on the pour and staying power!

Big chocolate and coffee, roasted malts, marshmallows, and malted milk balls are all in the aroma.

Taste: Very smooth chocolatey taste with lots of coffee beans roasty tastes all around. Somewhat sweet, like fine dark chocolate. Bitter finish topped off with a cocoa butter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice smooth stout aftertaste, lots of chocolate in this one.

Great beer!

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Photo of TK5150
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle sent to me from TimmyP, thanks man.

A- Pours jet black with a small dark brown head into my snifter. The head recedes into a brown ring around the edge of the glass. Excellent lacing on the glass as I swirl. Excellent example of what an Imperial Stout should look like in the glass.

S- Molasses is the most prominent smell, but there is also a lot of chocolate, licorice and dark fruits(raisins, figs, grapes).

T- Dark fruit (raisins, figs, grapes) mixes flawlessly with molasses; also incorporated is sweet chocolate. Not very roasty at all. Very sweet. Dessert beer for sure.

M- Low carbonation, but not quite as full bodied as I would like. Finishes kind of thin, actually. One area holding this beer back.

D- Wow, I'm glad I only have one 12 oz. bottle, or I may end up opening another, but at 12%, that would not be a very good idea.

Overall, a very nice imperial stout that is somewhat different from many of the ones I've had recently. Thin body at times, lack of serious complexity, and overall sweetness hold it back just a bit. Still, the delicious factor, appearance, and smell give this beer a nice leg up. A highly recommended beer that if were available to me, I would definitely pick up often.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a four-pack at my special beer store for $13.99. The date stamped on the bottle is 043-13, or February 12th, 2013. I poured one of the 12 oz. bottles into a tulip.

A: This beer is BLACK with a two finger brown head. Retention is good considering ABV.

S: Strong whiffs of chocolate, coffee, and alcohol.

T: Strong notes of dark chocolate, dried cherries, charred malts, roasted coffee, a trace amount of bittering hops, and a bit of heat. It doesn't taste too sweet; in fact, it ends on a dry note. It's not overly bitter at any point, but there's enough bitterness to add depth. Ash and roasted coffee stick around after the finish.

M: Another strong point of this beer. Obscenely smooth and quite drinkable, even if it is a bit hot. There's some carbonation, but it feels like silk going through my mouth and down my throat. No fuss at all.

O: This is how to do a strong stout right. The alcohol is kept in check by the onslaught of roasted malts, which invoke flavors of cherries, chocolate and coffee. However, these malts are balanced by just enough hops which keep the stout flavors from completely dominating.

This one is right up there with some of the best strong stouts on the market; however, this one is a LOT harder to find than some of the more prevalent ones (Ten Fidy, Founders IS, etc) mostly because Dark Horse is a pretty small brewery and doesn't have quite as wide of a distribution area as other breweries. Add to the fact that this is a seasonal (late winter) brew and most stores only get one case, and you got yourself a tough beer to find.

So, if you can find it, definitely pick it up. If you cannot find it....don't fret! Pick up some Ten Fidy or Founders IS, both of which are much easier to locate and are just as good as this one.

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Photo of weonfire
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this brew at River City Drafthouse on tap in Louisville, KY in a HUGE 16oz tulip glass. Ya, this put me on my ace.

A - Jet Black, excellent mocha color head- finger width. Great Lacing- stays at the high water mark.

S - Roast and Chocolate malt.

T - Very pleasant. Chocolate, roast, small amounts of smoke. initially moderately sweet. goes down moderately bitter. Hop level is very low.

M - froth level is low. viscosity is high. coats mouth well.

O - Really nice stout. Looks amazing. Only thing i was disappointed with was the mouthfeel. Missing that super creamy, velvety feel. But that seems like thats a big deal in the stout game. any rate, not a deal breaker in this brew.

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Photo of Stigs
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a DFH oversized snifter

A - pours with a thin layer of loose khaki colored film, quickly falls away to just a ring around the glass. the beer is pitch black in color, with just the faintest dark brown getting through in front of light.

S - very sweet...dark fruits, very dark and slightly bitter chocolate, oak, vanilla, some lightly roasted coffee beans and toasted nuts. some warming alcohol at the end along with brewers licorice.

T - bitterness comes through here much more predominantly than the nose...full of dark bakers chocolate, roasted espresso beans, smoke...sweetness comes into play the second half with dark fruits coming alive, licorice, alcohol, and dark roasted malt.

M - the body is just a *tad* thin, carbonation though is nice and controlled. a little syrupy going down, coats the mouth and leaves a lingering bitter chocolate flavor.

D - not bad at all...glad i have another bottle of this as i think time will do it well, calming the bitter flavors and bringing everything else up a notch. has a lot of potential.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,926 ratings.
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