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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
898 Reviews
THE BROS
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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:
898
Ratings:
3,833
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
556
Gots:
1,040
For Trade:
121
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 898 | Ratings: 3,833
Photo of Dan3279
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been looking forward to this beer for a while now and I really shouldn't have waited as long as I have to drink this great beer. I poured the 12oz bottle into my DFH snifter glass to find a body that was black as night with a light chocolate colored head that left no lacing. The aroma was exactly what I expected it to be, with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and hints of vanilla and alcohol.

The taste was outstanding, with the chocolate hitting you first and them some bitterness, there are also some great hints of malt and vanilla. From start to finish this is a great tasting beer and you don't even notice the alcohol even though you do notice it in the aroma.

This is a full bodied beer that is some what chewy but at the same time has a small bit of creaminess and a nice balance of carbonation.

Overall this is a fantastic RIS, one thing that I love about this beer is that I can walk into the store anytime I want it, pick up a bottle and not have to worry about aging it first. I am defiantly going to be drinking this one on a regular basis.

 1,069 characters

Photo of movingtrain
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a 12 ounce snifter. Drinking at room temperature.

Pours jet black...looks like a shot of espresso. There is a small, caramel colored head floating on top, but not more than half a finger. Carbonation, however, seems to be going fairly strongly.

Aroma up front gives hints of plum, sour apple, chocolate, molasses, heavy cream, cinnamon, dried fruit, brown sugar, burnt wood, and coffee. It's a bit peppery in the nose, layered with good dark chocolate and caramelized sugar notes.

Yeah, this one packs a punch. Super rich in flavor, and the 12 percent alcohol seems to be masked here...until the swallow. Bitter dark chocolate notes start off the flavor here...followed by notes of a balanced, bittersweet shot of espresso. Burnt brown sugar, caramel, oatmeal, honey, and molasses all come to mind when sipping this. This Imperial stout is spot on...just what you want out of the style.

In terms of mouthfeel, the only setback with this beer is that the fizzy carbonation is very apparent on the tongue. It doesn't take away from the flavor at all, but just gives a bit too much fizz in the body.

Overall, this is a fine stout...should be up there with the best of them. I would love to try some of the other treatments they do with this beer. A top-notch ale...delicious and quite a treat.

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Photo of thorkelson
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting into the whole imperial stout thing after 2 years of drinking craft. Enjoyed literally every other style before the imperial stout but wow, was I missing out. Im excited to start this journey. Picked this up in a mix 6 at total wine. Lovely oily thick appearance from the pour and an awesome mocha minimal head. Nice notes of chocolate and malty sweetness. roast is minimal. awesome beer.

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Photo of mavbrew
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky black color that looks kind of like used motor oil when poured into the glass. The head is limited, less than a finger thick with a strong pour and is dark tan in color.

S: The scent is strong, everything in the nose is smelled as you're pouring. There is chocolate, coffee beans, cocoa, some vanilla with roasted malts and a bit of booze, but hardly noticeable.

T: The taste is exactly as you would expect from the smell. The rich dark chocolate is present up front which leads into the sweet dark fruits. The finish is roasted and smokey with a little bit of booze.

M: Full bodied with little carbonation. The feel is that of dark chocolates and roasted malts.

D: Overall this is a solid beer. It had an aroma that can be picked up from across the room and the flavor is just as good. Now I just need to get my hands on the barrel aged version.

 869 characters

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

2011 Vintage

Appearance- Pours out black, with a finger of dark mocha head. A nice layer stays atop the beer, with decent lacing.

Smell- Roasted nuts, chocolate, subtle coffee. Dark fruits (cherry), licorice, a little piney sided hops, and slight alcohol. Sort of fruity, for the style, which I really like!

Taste- More pronounced coffee flavors than the aroma would suggest, the roasted malts don’t completely dominate the brew, but more than the aroma would lead on. Some milk chocolate and licorice again, slight molasses. The dark fruits pop up again towards the finish, chocolate covered cherry, light plum, and actually somewhat vinous. A little pine, and fairly boozy on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and smooth, slightly sticky, not as thick as some imperial stouts, but fairly full bodied. ABV heat is noticed on the linger.

Overall- A very solid imperial stout, with great fruit elements poking through. Going to age the rest of the 4 pack and I am expecting great things, and much less heat (taste and feel scores should go up). A may be kicking myself for not buying more of this when it was around.

 1,126 characters

Photo of haazer
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle picked up at capones about 2 months ago.

A- A very thick cocoa puff milk forms atop the brew. Very bubbly, effervescent. The brew is the darkest brown/partially black in color, and opaque. Evident carbonation.

S- First initial whiff yields dark fruits. Once taken in, this is quite a nose. Deep roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, rich toffee, a touch of syrup, and a little chocolate. You can detect some booze but not overwhelming. The dark fruits are still present in each sniff.

T- The dark fruits are the most present flavor. I wanna say plums and raisins, and some black cherry too. Midway into the flavor I got the slightest bit of vanilla chocolate blend. The aftertaste is a barrage of roasted malts, and the slightest bitterness. The booze is not detected in flavor at all.

M- I've read in other reviews that this is "buttery", and you can pick that up from the mouthfeel. This is very smooth and easy drinking. The carbonation is hardly felt, and the body is light to medium bodied, but right in the middle of that. This is probably the lightest bodied RIS I've had.

O- This is a good RIS. Everything fell short compaired to the nose on this though. The tastes were not as pronounced, and the mouth was too light as a stout for my liking. But the masking of the booze and easy drinking nature make this beer above average.

 1,354 characters

Photo of lnashsig
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to GordianKnot for the chance to taste this one. a 12% imp stout bottle, no bottle date. Poured from bottle into Brooklyn Tulip glass. Pours a pitch black syrupy appearance. Barely any head (what you would expect from a beer this big). Smell- rich roasty maple syrup. Maybe some vanilla bean, some subdued chocolate flavor. From appearance and smell, it appears this one might have some time on it (yay!). Taste- Different flavors from what I would have expected. A roasty sweetness up front, some liquorice, sweet chocolate, not much bitterness at all. There is a creaminess to the mouthfeel, very little carbonation. Overall for the style, I would have expected more of a roasty possibly dark chocolate presence. I got almost too much sweetness from this one, and it kind of bugged me. Overall good though.

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Photo of MUTINY
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a chalice.

A: Pours a very deep, opaque black with hints of mahogany around the edges. 1/4" brown head recedes quickly. Retention is essentially a lingering ring around the glass, lacing is nonexistent.

S: Semi-sweet chocolate, hints of booze, clove & cinnamon. Vanilla & cream are present. Candied berries. Quite nice.

T: Come on with vanilla/chocolate cream note that lingers well into the mid palate, which begins to show more of a spice character - again clove & cinnamon, along with nutmeg & black pepper. The booze note definitely increases toward the end, along with a sharper, more defined nutmeg character. Finishes with an interesting balance between vanilla cream & heavy spice.

M: Lowish carb married to a rich, above-mid-weight malty body. Finishes with a velvety richness.

O: Really quite good, not too assertive in any one way - yet still a big, distinct brew.

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Photo of MIbeer27
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 1.15.15.

Bottle into snifter with deepest black hue and a thin mocha head that quickly recedes to a thin collar.

Aroma is massive. Huge dark fruits like cherry, fig and raisin over top of dark, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, molasses and roasted barley . Hints of alcohol heat are there as well, but hides well.

Taste coats the entire mouth with all of the aforementioned flavors, joined by heavily charred, ashy malt notes. Slight warmth from the alcohol trails all the way down into the stomach. Taste lingers with slight herbal notes and the roasted barley standing out. Burps are rather fruity.

Mouthfeel is chewy thick with modest carbonation.

Overall, Plead the Fifth is one of the most complex beers that I've ever had. Maybe its the age (almost 7 months at time of tasting), but this one was easily the dark-fruitiest RIS that I've ever had. Not quite at the level of Founder's Imperial Stout, but damn close and an instant favorite.

 971 characters

Photo of KillerJigger
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark liquid with a brown head that laces my glass. Sweet with a touch of bitterness still present. Touch of burning alcohol as swallowed. Helps to balance the sweetness actually. Great beer. Great job brewers!

 215 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 ryanhooks81
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from bottle into tulip. pours black with a thin tan head. minimal lacing. roasted malts and chocolate and coffee notes. pretty good. i was expecting it to be a bit thicker. im a little disappointed. but its still pretty good.

 232 characters

Photo of sidetracked
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a medium brown head that lingers and creates nice lacing.

Smell is dark roasted malts, bitter baker's chocolate, sweet molasses, some dark dried fruits, little alcohol heat.

Taste upfront is roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate. Finish is bitter roasted malts mixed with sweet molasses, a little chocolate and sweet dark dried fruits. Lingering bitter chocolate. Overall slightly sweet.

Full bodied and creamy. Light but present carbonation. Seems a little thin at times. Little alcohol heat.

Nice multidimensional flavor that stays interesting. Very enjoyable beer.

5/3/2011

 599 characters

Photo of WankelEngine
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce glass into a pint glass

A: Completely opaque and black. No light coming though the sides at all. There is a dark tan head of about one finger with a reddish tint that disappears over the course of a minute or two.

S: Smells malty and sweet with a powerful bouquet of dark fruits. There is a bit of chocolate and coffee to the nose as well as the scent of alcohol.

T: Though the fruit from the smell is still present, it is less prominent. The focus has shifted to a dry chocolate flavor. The flavor of coffee adds a little bitterness to the brew and complements the chocolate well. I can taste next to no hops, but the malt flavors are intricate and balanced all on their own.

M: Fairly thick with very little carbonation. Slightly syrupy.

O: A malty yet balanced experience. A “big” beer, not an everyday thing.

 844 characters

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

Really excellent imperial stout. Dark, dark pour with nice mocha foam. Smell is of chocolate/fudge with hints of toffee and caramel. Taste is well balanced and complex. Lots of types of grains were used. Predominant taste here is chocolate/fudge. Other malt sweetness comes in the form of caramel. There is a hint of coffee to be found. This beer is not overly sweet and actually has some nice bittering aspects to it. THere is almost a hint of some hops/grassy notes. Very full bodied that coats the mouth and leaves a nice flavor in the mouth.

 554 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this one for awhile. Big thanks to Andrew for the hookup on this one...

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Hangar 24 Barrel Roll snifter...

A - Pours black with a half finger brown head that dissipates very quick. Lacing is minimal...

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, a hint of coffee, and some alcohol...

T - Plums, figs, roasted malts, and a good dose of chocolate. Finishes with roasted malts and some lingering chocolate. Alcohol makes an appearance in the finish, but it comes across very smooth. Not overwhelming at all...

M - Rich and creamy. On the lighter side of being full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation...

O - Was expecting a little more heat, but this one came across super smooth. Definitely a dessert beer, and something i'm looking foward to trying again in the near future...

Cheers...

 847 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Poured a dark black with a thin tan head that quickly died down to a ring around the edge of the glass. The ring around the end stayed around for a while.

S: Deep rich chocolate flavors, molasses, toasted malts. Also a hint of dark cherry or maybe raisin. Lots going on. Perhaps a little spiciness in the background as well.

T: More rich sweet, chocolate dominates the taste with just a touch of roasted coffee in the background. Healthy malt backbone with only a touch of bitterness on the finish. Nice, although maybe a touch on the sweet side.

M: Big, smooth, rich, chewy. But not in a bad way. Very creamy with low carbonation. Perfect for style.

D: Wow, this was good. Could easily enjoy this one again. Very low alcohol presence for a 12% brew. Nice.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: A typical black and thick looking RIS that supported a mediocre mocha colored head at best. The beer was also lacking legs as well.

S: Cherry, dark chocolate, coffee, anise, and slight alcohol burn at the end.

T: All the flavors mentioned above with an additional almond and pepper quality. The black licorice comes out a bit more as well.

M: A full-body Imperial Stout with mild carbonation. Slightly drying though

D: I enjoyed the flavor profile and basically polished off my glass within 20 minutes.

Overall: Kind of reminded of a slightly watered down version of Founders Imperial Stout. A good Impy Stout...and one I would like to have again. Cheers

 723 characters

Photo of Trooper92292
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beautiful black color. Aromas range but are not overdone. Such a satisfying taste. The feel is just so well done. I'm popping a bottle open of this now and had this on tap weeks ago and it's one of my favorite beers out there. I first had this last year, a friend introduced me to it, and I could not believe how good this beer is. This is on my top 5 easily. If you have a chance to drink this beer, do it.

 409 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 levifunk
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to badnewsbeers for this!

appearance - black like oil. almost no carbonation and very thick looking. no head.

smell - soy sauce, caramel, and hints of a fruity smell. surprisingly very little alcohol smell.

taste - malty, creamy, sweet coffee flavor. some subtle hops/bitterness that i didn't pick up in the smell. not very hot at all, although when i open my mouth and breath, the booze hits my lungs.

mouthfeel - pretty thick largely due to very little carbonation. I enjoy low carbonation, so its great for me.

overall - great beer. wish i had more. I think a couple of these is all you'd need on a cold night. the huge ABV is masked very well.

 659 characters

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 Invinciblejets
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Thick deep black with noticeable sediment in the bottle and in the glass when put up to light.

S: Burnt sugar roasty malts some dark fruit. Bit of dark chocolate.

T: Roasted malts up front smooth dark chocolate hints of wood...Some hop bitterness.

F: Oily thick sticky velvety. All that fun stuff.

O: Above average stout id say. Really good stuff. Odd to see so many floaties in a stout tho.

 399 characters

Photo of hu5om
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tremens tulip split with e11a627
a-viscous dark black. syrupy. ring of khaki foam
s-big, dark chocolate, sweet. caramel/toffee, oats
t-dark chocolate, bit of coffee. caramel. a bit of boozy heat and licorice. rum raisen vibe?
m-a bit hot still, but body is big with low carboonation
d-could cellar for a bit longer. stiff. but there's a good profile behind it. thanks to primetime3882 for the excellent extra

 408 characters

Photo of docoman
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time having non-BBA version of pt5 and it's very similar to BBA version, minus the bourbon influence. Almost has a tobacco smell/aftertaste and I'm not a smoker. Hard to love this beer, it's good, just not great compared to others.

 239 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.
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