Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Plead The 5th Imperial StoutPlead The 5th Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
3,993 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:
#469
Reviews:
936
Ratings:
3,993
pDev:
7.89%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
558
Gots:
1,064
Trade:
111
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,993 |  Reviews: 936
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter glass. Pours opaque oily black leaving very little brown lacing throughout the session. Sweet, roasty malt aroma this bursting with lots of silky chocolate as well as some oatmeal, roasted coffee bean, toast and nut. There’s also a slight lactic cream presence but the nose of this beer is all about roasted malt and chocolate. Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a slightly chewy, viscous consistency. Deep roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee/espresso bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and toffee. This is complimented by a sweet chocolate malt presence and subtle creaminess. There’s also some earthy hop bitterness and a prominent alcohol burn in the finish. The ABV isn’t well masked with a ton of heat and warmth in the finish. I expect that this will tone down with age but this fresh bottle is too hot for my liking. Dry boozy finish. A little disappointment for me.

 919 characters

Photo of einman
3.83/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Soneast
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of cryptichead
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of emmasdad
3.15/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this one a few times now, and waited to review it as I figured maybe something in my perception of this beer was off. After further consideration, I realize that maybe I just don't care for it all that much.

Pours a very dark brown, black color, with a small but firm dark brown head. Aromas of black licorice, molasses and a bit of vanilla. Somewhat bitter on the palate, with more licorice, chocolate and alcohol. I can't place my finger on it, but I just don't like it.

 482 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with brown highlights and a thin mocha ring. Aromas of dark chocolate, bitter roasted malt, and a touch of caramel. Nice, but fairly typical of the RIS style. Taste is similarly middle-of-the-road, with more roasted malt, dry cocoa powder, espresso beans, and a long bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately creamy, with a medium-full body and low carbonation. Overall a tasty RIS, but nothing new.

 419 characters

Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had no idea Dark Horse distributed to Indiana until a couple of weeks ago, and Double Crooked Tree was rockin. Now on their famous Plead the 5th? Can’t wait.

A: I can’t even see through the beer as it’s flowing thick from the bottle; dark black motor oil body. It looks excessively viscous. The head is rich reddish-brown, oily and just a hair lighter than the body. Smooth and about a half-inch high, the retention stays around for a while. Little lacing, though.

S: Holy hell, that’s a boozy beer. Layers upon layers of pepper, pungent bourbon, roasted malt, and lots of char come up. Excessively fiery. There’s some black cherry, hazelnut, dark chocolate, toffee, and more than enough smoky peat, too – killer smokiness against some rich sweets. Ends piney, though the main body of this robust nose is alcohol and spice.

T: Vanilla, chocolate fondue, fondant, strawberry shortcake, and molasses; starts creamy. Lasting just a quick second, the sugar is overcome by a thorny bitterness: pine, booze, fig, licorice, and spicy alcohol with a moment or two of cough syrup tongue-smacking character. Some smoky flavors are there, as well, but without the big roast tastes of the nose; satisfying, nonetheless. Finishes with that thought, as well as a caramel stickiness, a chalky yeast flavor, and some light hop fruitiness.

M: Hot, though wonderfully creamy. Astringency is dark, lifting the sugary tastes off the tongue to avoid stickiness.

O: A great stout; it’s a showcase for the often-limited smoke tastes of imperial stouts. Glad I had this fresh – some age would just empower the big ol’ booze character. Like I need any more excuses to drink the rest of my four-pack…

 1,701 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a light brown head. Smells like boozy dark fruits, dark caramel, and bitter dark chocolate. Tastes like dark baker's chocolate, dark chocolate milk, roast and ash, some complex dark fruits, maybe cherry, light herbal hops, with a caramely, roasty, coffee dark cocoa finish. Feels medium-bodied with little carbonation. Overall a really great imperial stout.

 374 characters

Photo of SFC21
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of JohnK17
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ruizjoeseph for this as an extra!

Appearance:
Holy darkness, this is a thick, black imperial stout with a razor thin tan head. There is very little carbonation and the lacing came and went as fast as the head did.

Smell:
Intense, rich chocolate and a biting alcohol. What a big beer!

Taste:
This beer rivals a FBS with it's richness and chocolatiness. The alcohol blends perfectly with an incredibly potent stout. I can't believe how this would be barrel aged.

Mouthfeel:
Thick as it appears and tastes, the amount of carbonation is perfect and the alcohol is almost completely hidden. It's an absolutely phenomenal imperial stout and I have no complaints.

Overall:
What else can I say, this beer was outstanding and highly recommended.

 751 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of alcohline_trip
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PHBoiler
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Damian
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
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 kristougher
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of oldp0rt
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of AndyEdgar
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with very little head and no lacing.

Smell: Milk chocolate, coffee, molasses, toffee and dark fruit - smells like a very standard RIS.

Taste: Great mix of more bitter espresso & dark chocolate and sweet molasses & licorice. Simply an everyday RIS done right.

Feel: Thick, rich and luxuriant. Fairly warming, but the finish is not as dry as desired.

Overall: Very well executed RIS. However, there are many similar ones on the market, and despite enjoying this greatly, I feel little need to have it again.

 591 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 3,993 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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