Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
4,035 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#500
Reviews:
944
Ratings:
4,035
pDev:
7.89%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
565
Gots:
1,078
Trade:
111
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,035 |  Reviews: 944
Photo of jroberts8811
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thecheapies
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Horse Plead the 5th -- snifter glass. Not entirely sure of the vintage (based on where I picked it up, and the lack of bottle dating info), but assumed to be from this past January.

Pitch black pour looked gluggy and thick coming out of the bottle. Rich, but humble, mocha brown-colored head and ring-and-spotty-bubble to follow. Darkest head on a beer that I've seen to-date. Even the shadows of the big bubbles on the top of the foam looked black. Tried to look up through the bottom of the empty bottle and couldn't see through thanks to a pancaked layer of sediment. As for the beer? Precisely the look of an RIS to make me smile and eagerly await nosing and sipping. 5.0

Mega roast notes with dark cocoa powder, malted milk powder, earthy coffee, peatiness, burnt sugars, tree bark, vanilla bean, and a light smokiness. Unreal potency in both aromatics and strength, but the alcohol gets overshadowed here. That's how f***ing remarkable this beer smells. 5.0

Black malt roastiness with chocolate specialty malts driving the train into a whole smokestack of peaty, leathery, and charred flavors. Espresso, bitter chocolate bar, campfire, booze bite, scorched earth, vanilla, light lactose, tart blackberry/cherry, kiss of spruce hop, and woodiness. Freakin' incredible. 4.5

Medium-thick body with light buzzing of bubbles. Mouth-filling and milky. The alcohol is right where it should be for 12%, if not a little hidden. 4.0

**Before I do the overall, I must say (and, since I've had this fresh before) that there is a strong possibility that this is an early '11 vintage sitting on the shelf for the duration. The dark fruits have fallen off and given way to rich malt smoke intensity and implied coffee and chocolate.

Elite class RIS. Among your commons (and considering I haven't reviewed anything too super-rare in the style), it's the best there is. Better than Founders Impy. Better than Yeti. Better than Ten FIDY. Better than Old Raspy. A perfect overall rating if I may say so myself. 5.0

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Photo of readbaron
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out thick & black with a lovely deep mocha head with decent lacing and excellent retention.

Smells delightful - biscuty malts, sweet dark fruit, anise, and a bit of hops.

Tastes like it smells. A really well balanced beer. Lots of malt, a bit of dark chocolate sweetness, then finishes with some licorice and bitter hops. Alcohol is not noticeable at all. Smooth, yet complex.

Nothfeelnis great. Thick and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation.

An excellent, excellent beer.

 496 characters

Photo of JeffSK
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mjw1200
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Very dark color pour, not much on top, caramel color.

S= Not overpowering, had to get real close to get a good smell. Smell vanilla/bourbon. Also smell some of the coffee.

T = Exceptional. Layers, of chocolate coffee some caramel and vanilla. Alcohol is very present, but I wouldnt have it any other way. It is going to be hard to let this beer age, but I think it will be worthwhile.

M= Thicker than most beers with this much alcohol. Some stronger stouts seem to be to thin, but this one holds up. It lingers in my mouth leaving the great taste to stay around.

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Photo of Wolvmar
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Jan 2017. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: dark brown/black with a one to two finger golden tan head. Dissipates fairly quickly onto some clouds and a ring on top. Attractive.

Nose: coffee upfront, cocoa, yeasty bread or Belgium waffle sweetness. Caramel. Really nice, not subtle but not over the top.

Taste: dark roast coffee with bitter chocolate. Burnt toast, molasses, hops bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Clean finish with no aftertaste despite the strong, well balanced flavors.

Mouthfeel: oily, milkshake, whipped cream. This is reallly nice to drink. Substantial without feeling “filling”. Or maybe I just didn’t overeat while drinking!

Overall: this is one of my favorite stouts. You do have to like coffee and bitter chocolate or it might be a bit to much. And it’s readily available.

 826 characters

Photo of Chuk1
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of chrismattlin
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is delicious! So delicious it would satisfy someone unfamiliar with stouts or a seasoned veteran.

I've yet to have a beer from Dark Horse that wasn't exceptional, and this one keeps the streak going!

The 11% abv is masked well in this deep, dark beer. The epitome of what an American Imperial Stout aspires to be, this beer gets better as you drink it and it warms.

This is a brew to keep on hand.

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Photo of HosP
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a couple bottle from kstrickler. Poured into snifter.

A- Pours thick black. Very little head to this, but still looks very nice!

S- Very nice nose. Bold aromas starting with chocolate and coffee. Some vanilla hints at the end with a nice roasted aroma. Just a bit of booze detected but pretty subtle.

T- Starts with a nice bit chocolate burst, a little bitterness to it as well. Mild coffee flavors supports the beer well. Some sweet vanilla flavors and a bit of dark fruit flavors round out the drink.

M- Full body and little carbonation.

O- Very solid and tasty beer. Nothing I can say bad about it, very much enjoyed it. Would LOVE to try the BA version of this. If not, would drink this anytime. Thanks Kyle!

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Photo of zeledonia
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage.

Pours black, one of the darkest stouts I've seen. Half-finger of dark chocolate brown head, also among the darkest I've seen. Retention and lacing are fine.

Smell is lovely milk/dark chocolate, backed by some other deep roasty aromas. No char, very clean, with a lot of sweetness. I really like the sides of the dark malts that come out in this beer's smell.

This is delicious. It's like sweet chocolate zested with tingly, lightly bitter hops. Big up-front flavors, but also a lot of sublety behind that. Among the best non-bal imperial stouts I've had.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and creamy, with just enough carbonation. Lasting, sludgy finish. Heavy stuff!

This is simply a fantastic imperial stout. I love the chocolate and sweetness, which comes close to stepping over the line, but backs off just a hair. Very happy I have several more of these, and I will most definitely be buying more.

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Photo of 2013JKUR
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of drpimento
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this slightly warm, however it is still so good. Has a modest light brown head that settles after a bit down to a large island with a ring. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is very earthy, with roast, malt, a little hop, leather, cocoa. Flavor's like nose and very well balanced regardless of its commanding designation. And all of the components of the aroma are magnified in flavor - BAM!! In some sort of odd way severe yet warm and welcoming. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, longish, slightly alcoholic, and moderately long. A beer to be reckoned with. And slurped.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well done stout, roasty flavor a bit boozy but it is 11% after all. Smell is amazing with notes of Marshmallow and melted chocolate.

132 characters

Photo of anhigdon
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of stephens101
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 version.

Empties the bottle black with a sheer, tan head. Aroma is spot on with milk chocolate, dark fruits, subtle vinegar and burnt oak floating freely. This is one of the smoothest beers I can recall trying. Just floats its way down (despite its medium to heavy body) with prominent notes of milk chocolate, bubblegum and black licorice, followed by hints of oak, cherry and vanilla. Fusel alcohol is barely noticed in the back. A beautiful, well-crafted stout that pairs well with this cool and rainy spring evening.

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Photo of Benesi88
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of molasses
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Matthew607
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nwhittin
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CNoj012
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque motor oil black with a two finger beautiful mocha colored head. It eventually settles to a nice thin cap that lasts the duration and leaves many hanging sheets of lacing. The smell is heavy on roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste is the same with a bit of bitterness on the back end and a slight smoked flavor in the after taste. Feel is full bodied, rich and viscous without much alcohol presence. Overall an amazing RIS. One of my favorites.

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Photo of ThaJokerWild
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of deebo
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the BB version on tap and loved it so had to pick up a 4 pack of the non barrel aged version. Looks like this was bottled in Feb. 2013 (052-13) and a bottle has been in my fridge ever since. Taking advantage of this unseasonably chilly July day to crack this warmer.

A-Poured into an oversized snifter this brew gives up a thin finger of mocha colored head. Doesn't stick to the glass much but a film sticks to the top of the brew while enjoying. Black and opaque as motor oil. This looks intimidating.

S-Smells delcious. This is a big time stout. Aroma is heavy malt-rich dark chocolate just jumps out. Sweet syrupy chocolate with the alcohol character reminds me a bit of Bailey's liquer.

T-Very much like the aroma. Chocolately malt with a nice warming finish. Pretty light on the bitterness for such a dark roasted beer. A slight burnt grain note. Alcohol is present but not hot given the high ABV. As it warms some fruity rum raisin notes come out.

M-Big bodied but not oily like some others in this class. Finishes quite quick. Moderate to high carbonation for a RIS.

O-A fantastic big stout. Perfect for a cold day or dessert. Best value in the category. Dark Horse-you guys are all right.

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Photo of beardown
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of schellsbeer
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lately I have been on a Dark Horse kick and for good reason....their stouts are fricking incredible. I also love their Strong Dark Bier. So, as soon as I saw that they had an Imperial Stout hit the shelves, I picked up a few 4 packs. This review is for the first bottle. I plan on aging the rest.

A - Black. Not as thick as their Blueberrry Tres Stout but very black. Poured with a thin layer of small dark brown bubbles on the top that quickly eroded away leaving a ring of lacing on the outer edge of my glass. Very nice.

S - Big! Bold! Some alcohol present on the nost but not overpowering. Burnt carmel, marshmallows, chocolate. Quality ingredients were put into this Stout.

T - The taste is amazing! Strong. Thick. Alcohol but just the right amount. The drinker wouldn't have a clue that this is 12% ABV if BA or their website didn't tell you this. This beer will be absolutely fantastic with a few years of aging on it. Therefore, I can only give it a 4.5. I will have to come back and edit my review in a few years after the second one is allowed to wake up. I just apologize to this beer for drinking it a little to early. Aging is my new hobby. WOW - An amazing Imperial Stout from one of the BEST breweries in the upper midwest. Everything I was hoping for plus more. Dare I say....this might give Bell's Expedition a run for it's money. I think I may have just broke one of the beer sins in saying this...Oh well.

M - Creamy texture. Coats the mouth. Thick. Excellent. I have to give this a perfect 5.

D - Yeah...at 12% ABV, I don't think so but I really want more of you. Man this is an exceptional stout. I am glad that it is so high on the alcohol side and that Dark Horse uses bottle opener bottles and caps instead of those stupid twist off tops. This means that this should age quite well. Thanks Dark Horse. I am a HUGE fan.

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Photo of pharmboi89
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 4,035 ratings