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
4,037 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:
#511
Reviews:
946
Ratings:
4,037
pDev:
7.89%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
564
Gots:
1,078
Trade:
110
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,037 |  Reviews: 946
Photo of Bilco
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of TomMorris
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark brown; almost black. Very surprising and pleasing amount of milk-chocolate brown head for such a heavy beer. Plenty of alcohol legs on the glass but little lacing.

The smell brings to mind burnt, roasted malts and coffee. There's definitely some bitter baker's chocolate in there as well and perhaps just a twinge of a sweet darker fruit such as a plum.

The taste is predominantly roasted black coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and tobacco. As the beer sits on my tongue, there's just a twinge of dark fruit sweetness as with the nose, but it's mostly the aforementioned tastes. Finishes with quite a bit of bitterness.

Pretty standard mouthfeel for the style; medium-thick and plenty warming. The aftertaste lasts forever on this one, though.

Plead the 5th certainly doesn't blow me away, but it's a perfectly exemplary Russian Imperial Stout in my eyes. Nothing about it particularly stands out, but it hits everything that's to be expected in an RIS and squares it up the middle. Not a beer that I would label as can't-miss for those familiar with bigger stouts, but definitely a great one that I would suggest to newcomers.

 1,155 characters

Photo of dheldman
3.25/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of Danielr26
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cruisc for this one

Look: Black and totally opaque with a brown ring at the top of the beer. Beautiful looking 1/2 inch dark tan head with good retention

Smell: Dark chocolate and lots of alcohol and some molasses

Taste: Upfront I get a good amount of burnt malt and ash. The background has a crazy amount of dark chocolate and coffee. The flavors are big and bold and a bit over powering

Mouthfeel: Full body with medium to low carbonation

Overall: It is a beer that is a bit of a sipper. The flavors are bold and in your face so be ready for it. Definitely recommended

 585 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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?

 1,754 characters

Photo of rydev24
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Hendrick24
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Jas45678
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Beervana
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter at Map Room 4/27/08.

A: Pure, black evil. Dark khaki/espresso crema colored head that didn't leave too much lace.

S: Huge aromas of blackened malt, raisins/plums, dark & milk chocolate, burnt toast, and a molassas reduction drizzled over cherry.

T: Slightly boozy rum-soaked raisin, dark chocolate covered cherry, espresso, cocoa, toasted oats, burnt white bread, plum bread pudding with a coconut glaze.

M: Silky smooth. A great mixture of sweet, boozy, and spicy.

D: What an awesome RIS. Hopefully this becomes easier to find in IL.

 580 characters

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of micromaniac129
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I gave this beer an aggressive pour and i was rewarded with a tall mocha head. I also watched as the Guiness effect unfolded, quite pleasing.
Appearance other then that was rather standard.
Aroma was rich with nice depth. Really lots of roasted goodness. Hints of vinnilla and coffee some chocolate too perhaps.
Taste was good lots of roastedness, chocolate and coffee. There was an earth taste too.
This beer also has a lighty sweeten taste which i think nulls the alcohol profile because at 12 percent it is almost absent from the tasting, which could be dangerous.
The feel on the palette is flat, velvetty flat which I did not like. Restrained alcohol warms and coats the tongue.
I'd say all in all a pretty damn good beer, but be fore warned alcohol wise it drinks small.

 776 characters

Photo of Fargrow
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BPMeyer27
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MacStinson
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

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

Dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasty, light bitterness, smoke, burnt coffee, toffee, caramel, hidden alcohol, balanced

116 characters

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of BcOneSeven
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Wizzle32
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CRJMellor
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours syrupy black and brown with no head or lace at all. Carbonation is there just well concealed.
Aroma of chocolates, roasted nuts, some raisins and some seriously resiny bitterings.
Flavors of dark chocolate, caramel with a hint of coffee was noted early. Upon further review some dark fruits and atouch of heavy, oily resins also comes through on the palate.
Mouthfeel is palate coating sweetness with some gritty coffee notes and a hot "spicy" finish. Unique finish on this one.
Drinkability is good. True to style, strong, thick, filling and syrupy. Broad, round complex flavors, nice transitions.

 608 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm able to try this thanks to the generous trader, enelson, for hooking me up with 3 bottles of this. Huge thanks!

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No freshness info. Pours a very thick, dirty motor oil-black. Glugs out very slowly. The pour yields the thinnest of lacy sheets. Dark mocha colored. No lace left behind after each sip. Nice robust nose here. Tones of chocolate, coffee, vinous grapes, a bit of alcohol that singes my sinuses just a smidge.

I expected this to be full bodied because of the pour, but it actually thins out some. The mouth has low carbonation, which I appreciate for the style, but it's not heavy or thick. Could stand a tweaking here. With a big beer like this, the body needs to match the heavy color and ABV. The flavors meld together well and make up for what's lacking in the body. Lots of bitter dark chocolate, cold coffee, almond, and the finish is hintingly tart. I like this. It's an easy sipper, dare I say gulper, since the body is more on the thin side. But, beware, the ABV is on the high side. Not bad at all.

 1,062 characters

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 4,037 ratings