Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
901 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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:
901
Ratings:
3,848
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
17.02%
 
 
Wants:
560
Gots:
1,033
For Trade:
119
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 901 | Ratings: 3,848
Photo of JArt
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, minimal head. Smells of chocolate, vanilla, caramel and wood. Taste is similar to smell, but you can definitely taste the alcohol. There's a good deal of bitterness with a roasted chocolate aftertaste. Big, solid stout, hard to believe it's not BA.

 262 characters

Photo of mschantz
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an extremely rich deep dark opaque black color with a nice firm mocha brown head. Chocolate, cherry and molasses on the nose. Taste is pretty boozey for a non- BA stout but nice dark rich fruit notes come through on the front. Despite the huge malt bill this stout finishes with nice hoppy bitterness. Very interesting and complex stout.

 347 characters

Photo of emyers
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a thin medium brown head dissipating quickly into a light lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley, strong molasses, dark chocolate. Strong dark fruit presence. Bold aroma, yet well balanced.

Taste: Similar to the smell. Very strong roasted barley/dark chocolate base complemented by dark fruit, molasses, and a smokey character. Tons of depth but maintains great balance. No alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel; Full-bodied, but not extremely thick as many imperial stouts tend to be. Medium carbonation.

Overall: One of the best non-barrel-aged imperial stouts on the market.

 637 characters

Photo of drunkenmess
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Damn good stout. Pours super super dark like a thick oil. Dark brown head with beautiful lacing thru out. Smells of coffee, malt, and burnt goodness. Taste is even better than anticipated! Smokey dark chocolate, burnt malts with hints of coffee. Superb beer.

 258 characters

Photo of neurobot01
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2.11.14 into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: pours as thick and dark as hot fudge. Very minimal light brown head.

Smell: cider, pumpkin spice. As it warms, more chocolate, cherries, roast, then fig and raisin even later.

Taste: very smoky, chocolate-covered cherries, some cinnamon and licorice. Fig and raisin appear in the taste as well as it warms.

Feel: starts medium but gets thicker as it warms; never dry, which many stouts with this profile tend to be.

Overall: this is a 20% better beer at room temperature, where it really is great.

 548 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: [4.00] Looks jet black in the glass. I get no light penetration. It has a brown head that looks creamy and delicious. The head is much more brown than most stouts. Unfortunately it dissipates quickly. The ABV is on the label (11%). There was a bottled date but it is smudged almost completely off.

S: [3.75] Dark fruits. Plums. Some alcohol. Maybe a hint of smoke and malts.

T: [3.75] Does not follow the nose. Smokey malts. Chocolate. Some booze.

M: [4.50] The body is medium+. It is chewy and nice. There is a bit of alcohol astringency on the finish that makes it feel a little dry and tight.

O: [4.00] I held on to this one for a while - waiting for a good opportunity to try it. I was not blown away (maybe my expectations got too high). It is a solid beer. The flavor is really good. The mouthfeel is great. At 11% the alcohol is only poking in just a bit. I would probably not actively seek this out again. There are lower ABV beers that I prefer.

 984 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with light tan head
S: Dark fruit, and roasted malt
T: Follows the nose with dark fruit and roasted malt. Very juicy dark fruit, sweet, not bitter at all, and not trace of the 11% abv.
F: Creamy and smooth, but did not coat my mouth to well, and flavors faded fairly quick.
O: Good beer, glad I got to try it (can't get locally), but not going to seek it out.

 372 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a pitch black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and cream with some dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like cocoa powder and roasted coffee, with some cream and a little citrus zest. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a solid stout with a simple but enjoyable scent and taste. The body was good, but the finish was a little hot, so it was better to sip. Age may help, but it's still nice enough fresh. I just don't see anything special about this beer - not worth the hype.

 608 characters

Photo of joberlander
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome appearance, pitch black with rich mocha colored head. Get a lot of dark chocolate on the nose along with roasted malt. The taste follows the nose perfectly, lots of dark chocolate. Full mouth feel and great finish with a hint of alcohol (which I personally love in imperial stouts. Really great example of an imperial stout. Definitely just became a go to when I want a traditional IS. This and Ten Fidy are the benchmark IMO.

 440 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Cappy's, arrived in a snifter.

Appearance: Arrived your typical imperial stout solid black, capped with a thick head of almost dark brown foam that lingered for an impressively long time. Lacing was insane.

Smell: Dark stone fruits and chocolate leap out of the glass to smack you across the nostrils and demand your full attention. Beneath them, there's blackened grains and lightly roasted coffee, but it's the fruit and chocolate that demand attention here.

Taste: Did I mention that the fruit and chocolate are attention hogs? Because they're front and center in the taste as well, from first sip all the way through the finish. Plums, dark berries, and a mix of sweetened and super-dark chocolate dominate the flavor profile. Beneath them, swirls of lightly roasted coffee, cream, and scorched malt can be found.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full, yet with an oddly watery finish.

Overall: This is a tasty stout. I'm not sure quite how the chocolate and fruit notes dominate every other aspect, but I am not complaining.

 1,033 characters

Photo of BrewUSA
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plead the 5th

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 91/100

 186 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.
A - Pours black (surprise) with a small tan head.
S - The aroma is not very strong but I am getting some smoke and some coffee.
T - Like the nose, the flavor has some dark coffee as well as some dark chocolate. It has a bitter bite. Very nice.
M - It's not the thickest of stouts but I would not call it thin. Low carbonation.
O - This is a very good stout. Great aroma and flavor. Go drink some.

 422 characters

Photo of rdipper
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant surprise! Got this as an extra in a trade. Jet black pour with a nice brown, reddish foamy head. Excellent example of a non BA stout. I'll be seeking this out in the future!

 190 characters

Photo of MaximalC
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours the color of motor oil with a modest head of mocha suds. Aroma smells of peat, molasses, caramel, and nuts, with perhaps a hint of earthy hops and alcohol.

The taste features a full, intriguing malt profile including molasses, char, ash, and brown sugar. Earthy hops lend a healthy dose of bitterness that stands up to the sticky malt, while warming alcohol affords a fervent underpinning that bolsters the other flavors. Warming reveals shades of dates and figs as well. The body is nearly leaden, though the moderate carbonation and hops lend ample texture.

Overall, this is a unique and full flavored imperial stout. The burnt, ashen flavor and heavy body set it apart for sure, though the sweetness can be a little coarse down the stretch. Dark Horse makes some nice stouts, but this is justifiably their best.

 828 characters

Photo of Shon4star
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My favorite imperial stout non BA. This is just a great brew. Sad it only comes once a year for a month. If you haven't had this you need too, to appreciate the bourbon barrel version.

 184 characters

Photo of CNoj012
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

 474 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at coopers Tavern for Mad Craft Beer Week.

Renewed(my faith in double stouts, and that's no exaggeration. My tastebuds have changed vastly in the past couple of years -- I'm all about the IIPA's, now. I've been moving away from my beloved imperial stouts...

Pretty sure it's me. I've completely lost my affinity for other styles, too: tripels, BSDA's, other sweet styles. English barleywines were my drug of choice for four years, and now I don't think I can drink the 25 bottles I have in my cellar.

But I should be writing about how much I love this PT5. I don't know how to expl#it. It's very sweet, but despite my previous paragraph , I love it. More later...

 678 characters

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!

 599 characters

Photo of justinp444
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass this beer pours a rich foamy chocolate head with a dark black body. Smell is of chocolate and coffee with a large amount of malt and dried fruit. Taste is chocolate with tons of malt and dried fruit, not overly sweet but more earthy hops bitter & malt sweetness on the back end with a sharp tongue coating entrance.

 342 characters

Photo of jewski
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dark Horse in snifter.

Massive roasty malt flavor. More chocolate than coffee. Dark fruit. A bit of an alcohol bite to remind you of the ABV. A bit of sweetness and enough hops to let you know they are arround. A great thick mouth feel.

 252 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a teku glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: Black with amber hues. A tan half finger head, mainly bubbles, that left in a hurry. Ample lacing.

S: Chocolate leather, toasty, malts and vanilla.

T: This one blew me away. Vanilla and fudge tango with rich, robust, toasty malts. Just divine. Didn't even share with the wife.

M: Medium with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: One of my favorite RIS's. Highly recommended.

 429 characters

Photo of brureview
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark opaque coffee color on a Moa snifter with a 1/2 finger head.

Aroma: roasted malt, chocolate. I was expecting deeper chocolate as in other beers in the style, but there is a greater emphasis on roasted malt.

Mouth feel: not the usual lightly pungent IS. This beer excels at warmer temps when there is a lot of pungency and a strong biting alcoholic finish.

Taste: two stages. At first strong chocolate and roasted malt. With warming, intense alcoholic finish, less chocolate.

Overall: highly unusual for the style. More roasted malt forward. Intense with warming. This ain't your usual imperial stout. Worth checking for an alternative approach to the usual heavy chocolate, coffee, IS style.

 710 characters

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in April 2015.

Appearance: Dark black with nice tan head.

Smell: Pleasant, and can definitely smell the roasted malt and coffee. There is some hops aroma, but it is dominated by the roasted aromas.

Taste: Interesting combination of flavors. There is a strong coffee and roasted malt flavor, but with a nice contrast of hops. But the flavor is definitely dominated by the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, and very smooth.

I really like this. This is an interesting imperial stout. It have a variety of flavors with a kick from the alcohol, but the flavor is not overpowered by the alcohol.

 638 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black with an inch and a half brown head which receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Cold black coffee and chocolate.

t: Primarily ripe dark fruit, followed by a blast of smoke and moderate bitterness, which lingers on the otherwise dry finish. Later black coffee and chocolate mixed with some smokiness come to dominate.

m: Full, great body, some carbonation tingle.

o: A well-done imperial stout, everything a good one should be. Aroma and initial taste did not match, but this mattered little after the first sip or two.

 618 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black appearance with a thin, tan head. Smells rich, sweet and fruity for an impy stout - dark chocolate, vanilla and bubblegum come to mind. Taste follows the nose with more chocolate, vanilla and tutti frutti sweetness. Both alcohol and hops are well hidden though the former is good but the latter is not in my book. Rich and creamy mouthfeel with almost no carbonation. This beer is rich and tasty but its sweetness and lack of any detectable hops to clean up the finish makes it a bit tiring to finish a 12 oz. bottle in one sitting.

 542 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,848 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!