Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
3,963 Ratings
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
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
Ratings:
3,963
Reviews:
929
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
554
Gots:
1,057
For Trade:
114
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,963 |  Reviews: 929
Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind against Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Dark Horse Imperial Stout, Southampton Imperial Russian Stout, Rogue XS Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti, Bell’s Expedition, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Victory Storm King, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, Pizza Port Santa’s Little Helper, Avery The Czar, Hawk’s DM’s Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Dark Lord, Bear Republic Big Bear Black, North Coast Old Rasputin, and two of Scott Jackson’s homebrewed Impys. Dark Horse Imperial Stout impressed be, taking 3rd place for me, among 19 other Imperials. Black. Rich malts in the nose, with hints of chocolate, roast, fruit, tar and tocacco. Flavor is full of charred fruits and chocolate. A very good Imperial Stout.

 738 characters

Photo of kidzord
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of deereless
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown head which drops and leaves a lingering layer of spots, pours with some serious viscosity and moves in the glass with a slight sluggishness, obsidian black in color - 5.00, S: Intense aromas, tons of dark coffee and black licorice, profuse sweetness suggestive of candied prunes or dates, lots of roasted grains as well as some baker's chocolate and fudge - 4.50, T: Thick chocolate and coffee, double fudge brownie without all the excessive sweetness on the palate, alcohol burn is present but not disruptive, some dark raisins and molasses, hops play a lesser role in the profile than the malts but provide a significant citrus bite - 3.75, M: Thick and smooth mouth feel - 4.25, D: All around a very nice RIS, intensely thick and flavorful and made for a cold winter night - 4.00

 796 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, I would like to state that I believe some of the issues I had with this beer were due to the growler filler rather than brewery. I have had this beer before and really enjoyed it, my bottle review is on here as well for comparison.

A: Motor Oil Black, with no head at all, just a coffee brown ring of bubbles.

S: Sweet, dark chocolate, raspberries, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T: Dark and roasty. Coffee and burnt caramel throughout. Sweet, big and tasty.

M: Thick and syrupy, very low carbonation. The carbonation that is there is very fine.

D: Very nice overall, but it just doesn't match the awesomeness that this beer is from a bottle. I would love to try it on tap sometime, and see how it compares. Unfortunately, a bad growler fill done this one in a bit. For shame whole foods..

 802 characters

Photo of T_Hass
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Prost76
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Devman171
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of apasternak
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of curlybird
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$4.00 single from Abe's.

Body is a total black hole. Not a highlight to be seen. Three fingers of dark tan dense foam.

Heavy chocolate aroma. Licorice and alcohol in the background. Some dark fruits.

Taste features chocolate up front. A smoky note. Dark fruits. Alcohol in nose not noticeable in the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium plus, a bit thin for an imperial stout.

There is a lack of depth throughout this beer. There is not anything really wrong, but everything seems to come up just a bit short.

 506 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draft offering at Row 34, damn good!

36 characters

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

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

12oz bottle. Pours a viscous pitch black color with an inch plus of dark brown head. Some lacing. Roasty aroma with lots of espresso and chocolate syrup. Molasses, tobacco and leather. The taste is espresso, molasses and leather with more of the chocolate syrup. Roasty espresso towards the end with some licorice. Moderate alcohol burn. Earthy. Lots of carbonation with a heavy, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, great RIS I'll be buying again.

 438 characters

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.

 651 characters

Photo of Mersh
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of SFC21
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Damian
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank on-tap at Saloon, Somerville, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured completely pitch black. Super oily, shimmery and viscous in the glass. No visible head. Spotty, mocha color bubbles dotted the liquid and eventually formed a lasting halo.

The aroma was fantastic. Rich, sweet and robust. Boatloads of roasted and caramel malts. Strong brown sugar notes. Some vanilla. Lots of dark fruit goodness. Raisins and prunes came through strongest. Hints of molasses. Touch of licorice. Even though this beer was not barrel aged, I swear I picked up some bourbon notes as well.

The flavor profile was similar to the nose but perhaps darker and roastier. Caramel and roasted malts appeared up front. French press coffee and dark fruit notes came through strong in the center. Lots of brown sugar-like sweetness. The finish was roasty and slightly bitter with some alcohol heat. At 11% ABV, however, the alcohol seemed quite restrained.

Super rich, creamy and slick on the palate. The beer was thick and viscous and contained a finely beaded, moderate effervescence.

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout is an extremely well crafted beer that fires on all cylinders. I cannot wait to try the bourbon barrel aged version of this.

 1,222 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours an inky black. A thin brown head dissipates very quickly and leaves behind some wispy, frail rings of lacing.

S: Fudge, chocolate pudding, vanilla bean, faint creamed coffee, and an estery fruitiness that smells of currants.

T: Fudgy chocolate and just a touch of acrid smoke open. Roasted malt tastes flex and morph. Baker's chocolate and black cocoa powder. A touch woody. Estery currant flavors are locked deep within the roastiness. Another dab of smoke. Alcohol presence is felt- spicy and a tad boozy, though not at all off-putting. Light kiss of citric hops and some earthy, grassy notes. Finishes with cocoa powder, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and fudgy/brownie tastes.

M: Reasonably thick and velvety. Low carbonation. Not bad, but it lacks some dimension.

O: A very solid imperial stout, but nothing to gush over. I can't find any fault with it technically, it just stays a bit understated. The flavors shift and change, but never seem to build up to an apex. I realize this all sounds very vague and subjective, and it should. I don't even know why this beer fails to 'wow' me.

Notes: At 12% abv, this one has some serious aging potential. I have a few more bottles, and I'll revisit this vintage in a few years.

Update: I've since had the opportunity to go through a few more bottles of this, and it has really grown on me. Not sure why I was so ambivalent before. Rich, thick, brawny, pleasing, and decidedly old-school and true to style.

 1,516 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into stout glass. Very dark brown and nearly opaque with a few brown slivers at the edges. Half an inch of tan head rises and quickly falls to a thin cap that lingers. A few spots of lace remain. Aroma is of roasted malts, dried dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, touch of soy sauce, and alcohol. Taste starts moderately sweet with chocolate, brown sugar, and date. Some bitterness follows from espresso and woody notes. Alcohol is masked well but not completely hidden. Medium-full body, creamy texture, low carbonation, warming sweet finish.

 563 characters

Photo of wonothesane42
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of FreshHawk
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: into a flute, black motor oil with a dark brown mousse head that slipped away pretty quickly; sparse lace motes

S: typical roasted dark and chocolate malts, with suggestions of espresso

T: big bitter bite right up front, sweeter and warmer chocolate notes soon to follow; rich maltiness and bitterness throughout, with high points of oak/wood; semisweet chocolate and roasted espresso

M: full-bodied, slightly coating, slightly sticky, some shapness from the bitter hops and alcohol

O: rich, rough, and deeply chocolate, with a bit of the abv peeking through - lots of flavors, does justice to the tradition of the Russian Imperial stout. Dark Horse makes very good beers at a decent price, and this is just par for the course.

 734 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,963 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe