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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
904 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
904
Ratings:
3,863
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
561
Gots:
1,039
For Trade:
117
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 904 | Ratings: 3,863
Photo of Pineforest42
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Great pour, about an inch of head with nice lacing. Thick and black.
S- Heavy cocoa and coffee, strong and mouth watering.
T- Wonderful balance of flavors dancing together. creamy and filling. Smokey, chocolate, wholesome.
M- I could almost chew it. Perfect texture for a RIS. Taste improved as the temperature dropped.
O- Just what I want from a RIS. I highly recommend this. This beer behaves like a RIS and with a 11% ABV will leave you feeling good.

 458 characters

Photo of HoneyLamb
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally found Plead the 5th at a beer store in Stevensville, Michigan at John Beers and Hollywood for $14. Wow! Absolutely loved this beer. So smooth and full of flavor. This will be one of my all time favorites. RAFH 2/9/15

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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.

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

A - Jet black body. Hardly any head. The little bit of head is dark tan/brown.
S - Roasted malts, bittersweet cocoa, light coffee. No detectable booze.
T - Very powerful cocoa/chocolate, roasted malts. Some dark fruits.
M - My favorite attribute of this beer. Extremely thick. Swirling causes very thick coating on the side my snifter. The turbulence is wonderful. Coats the palate and lingers.
O - An excellent imperial stout. Reminds me of a lot of ten fidy, which is saying a lot.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled and sadly missing bottle conditioning but good gift from sadly missed here BA'er Zimbo
Pours a jet black body with splattered tan head
Aroma is coffee and flavour is Spanish liquorice, dark & tasty

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

Surprisingly found this in Amsterdam. Phenomenal chocolate and coffee smell - taste is almost as good - it would be near-perfect imperial stout if not for the slightly excessive sweetness.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +4%

Pitch black, dark mocha head, small and brief, but there's nice lacing afterwards.
Big chocolate aroma, sweet and dark at the same time, plus vanilla and rich roasted malts. Lots of caramel, coffee too, but light and sweetened, faint woody notes. Not overly complex, but quite intense.
Tho i couldn't get any alcohol on the nose, the 11% shows up in the taste right from the start. This amplifies a nice dark fruity flavor, with sweet dry fig, raisin and some faint blueberry. Dark chocolate, with the sweetness mostly provided by caramel and molasses, some licorice, a bit of vanilla. Gets more bitter with some heavily roasted grains, some espresso and a leafy hop undertone, finishing quite nice, quite dry from the booze and the bitterness.
Medium to light body, oily, low carbonated, smooth. Rich aftertaste with roast, dark chocolate, alcohol, faint charred wood and some leafy American hop.
Easy to drink although the alcohol is a bit present, tasty, felt somewhere between the Russian and the American Imp Stout varieties for me. Doesn't really matter, really good stuff.

 1,080 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a mini-tulip (Yorktoberfest sampler)

A: Pitch black with a dark mocha head.
S: Roasted malt with a milky sweetness.
T: Good, decent stout that I don't think stood up the year of aging.
M: Smooth with virtually no carbonation.
O: I wonder what the BA version tastes like. It seems like mediocre base stouts make for great BA stouts.

 364 characters

Photo of Bills453
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance - poured from a bottle. dark black in color. dark brown head.

Smell - This beer smell likes something was roasted inside my class. I smell cocoa and a hint of anise or something like that as well.

Taste - very good. What you would expect from a RIS. Cannot tell at all that this bad boy is 11%.

Mouthfeel - smooth and silky

Overall - an amazing stout. Not my top ever, but very very good.

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Photo of Rizalini
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my tulip. The smell of chocolate fills the air as soon as I pop it open. It pours rather flat, but the smell is very inviting. The taste is exactly what I look for in a impy stout. Thick, rich, roasty, viscous, smooth to drink but lingers on the tongue. Hands down one of the best stouts I've had, period.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a one finger brown head that fades slowly leaving traces of lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is roasted chocolate, some sugar decent IS. High (label 11%) ABV is hidden. $4.49 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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

2012 bottle

Pours pitch black with a slight skim coat of head. Does leave a nice ring around the glass. This beer is nice and thick.

The smell is some roasted malts, dark chocolate and fruits. Not overpowering very mellow.

Taste is so smooth. Sometimes the RIS taste can be very overpowering to me. This is very smooth and almost creamy. I get some chocolate and roast flavor. At 11% ABV the alcohol is hidden very well in this one.

Mouthfeel is thick, smooth and just what you would expect from a RIS.

Overall a very solid beer. A go to for the non barrel aged RIS.

 571 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into tulip 20/10/14, thanks alfie for the bottle

A motor oil black right out of the bottle, I'm talking black, not much for an edge and a dark mocha foam falls rather quickly but manages to leave plenty of lace, one of the darker beers I've seen recently

S lots of coco, bakers chocolate, fudge, dark roast, a hint of booze, a little char and smoke

T more of the same but with a little more intensity, some dark fruit, more char and a little burnt coffee

M silky on the way in, thick and chewy as they come, bubbles cream it up, the booze is well hidden, just a little sticky on the lips, fruity char lingers, feels like a monster

O lots of dark roast and well concealed booze but could use a little more complexity but its big, rich, and drinkable for the strength

Not a bad beer but I'm looking forward to the BB version as I could see it doing wonders for this one

 903 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #700

2011 Vintage
12oz bottle received in trade from brooklynbrews
Notes taken on 09/20/14 - Stone IRS snifter

A: The pour is fairly thick and black as tar with no light seeping through whatsoever. A thin lip of turbinado sugar forms over top for a few shortened moments. Very mild with the stick and more so just a few alcohol legs running down the sides of the glass.

S: Rich dark chocolate with molasses, soy, leather, and a wet tobacco likeness. Real intense dark roast grains here. I get some dark berry fruit midway and a simple char sugar on the finish that evokes vanilla and marshmallow. Has a similarity to crème brulee which is quite nice.

T: Tastes super rich yet smooth and easy drinking. Sweet and dessert like but not cloying. Deep roasted grains with lightly scorched sugars bring notes of dark chocolate covered raisin, blackstrap, dark bread, and blackberries. There is a moderate to low amount of bitterness and some light alcohol warmth to this. I get a touch of vanilla crème and some earthy root stems mixed in as well. There is a slight oxidized metallic note but otherwise time has been great on this one. What a real treat.

M: Full bodied and thick with a silky smooth mouth feel. Frothy and lush it stays lighter on the palate with some light drying at the finish. Alcohol warmth upon exhalation.

D: With some age this is one silky rich delight and this has got to be one of the best Non Barreled stouts around. Have not had fresh to compare but I imagine the hop bitterness has faded off some and the alcohol has mellowed a bit. I don’t think I would let this one go much longer as some signs of oxidization are starting to show. Would love to get my hands on the BA version now.

Another huge thanks to brooklynbrews for nailing another top want of mine.

 1,822 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.41/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Rediscovered notes from Sept 2012, on tap at Fermentoren in Copenhagen)

A: Very dark black. 1/4" mocha head, recedes leaving a ring

S: rich roast, soy sauce, molasses

T: Chocolate, red plum, coffee. Woody.

M: Low carb. Thick. Tannic.

O: Okay, but vastly inferior to the BB version.

 288 characters

Photo of keithmurray
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%

Appearance - dark brown almost black body with dark tan head

Smell - dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge, roasted malt, black licorice

Taste - dark chocolate, fudge, roasted malts, roasted barley, milk chocolate, hint of black licorice

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, roassted flavors upfront, dark chocolate on the back end, long finish

Overall- fine Russian Imperial Stout that has some nice flavors, exhibits great balance would be a good beer to introduce a beer drinker to the style. Reccommended

Price Point - $11.99/4 pack 12 oz bottles

 567 characters

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

A - Black opaque, slight tan head, which fades to a ring at the glass edge.

S - Booze is front, suggestive of a barrel even though this one has not been placed in one, with dark fruits, roasted malts, and hints of dark chocolate.

T - Roasted malts form up with strong dark chocolate flavors, a hint of tobacco and leather, toasted bread and plums and prunes. Close is slightly bitter.

M - Slick and full. Dries a touch in the end. Mild carbonation and strong alcohol, a solid warmth as it goes

O - A very fine imperial stout, with a nice balance of chocolate and other roasted malt flavors. A solid sipper.

 615 characters

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, slight hop, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is a noticeable dryness. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight caramel malt, alcohol, hint of hop, and a hint of oatmeal. Overall, decent appearance, good aroma, decent feel, good body, and decent overall.

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Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

The abv is well hidden and smooth mouthfeel for such a big beer. Yet nice big roasty chocolate imp flavor. Touch of toffee but not all that sweet. Can see why this gets great reviews. Happy to have tried it and would buy again.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/22/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, light char, light dark fruits, and roasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of big dark, roasted, and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, light char, light dark fruits, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, light char, light dark fruits, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of big dark, roasted, and bready malt flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible imperial stout! All around fantastic complexity and balance of big dark, roasted, and bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An absolutely amazing offering.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

From notes on 2/27/14

Jet black. Minimal dark tan had. Very strong stout smell. Really sweet smelling. Taste like eating a dark chocolate candy. Mildly roasty. Minimal coffee flavor. Mostly chocolaty. Very good. Would love to try the bourbon barrel version.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Bshaw22
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

This is one of my favorite imperial stouts. It's too bad it's so hard to get. I've had 3 bottles in my life. The one I am reviewing was a year and a 1/2 old.
Nose was intense with dark fruits and dark chocolate.
Taste was smooth across the board with nothing overpowering. One of the finest mouthfeel ever for this style.

I'll be searching these out again!

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Photo of vfgccp
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%

A - Coffee body with thin cola highlights. Ok retention and low lace on a light tan head.

S - Roast nose with a light edge of booze. Cocoa, burnt toast, touch of caramel and dark fruits. Fairly light.

T - Caramel, barley, and molasses. Dusty center with just a hint of balsamic vinegar. Astringent burnt toast finish.

M - Smooth, but a little light for an RIS.

O - Not bad, but a little disappointing given the hype.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.66 Plead the 5th
--- -Jay- -Jon- -Anth- -Vin- -Avg- Weight
A - 4.00 4.00 ------- 4.00 4.00 10%
S - 3.50 3.75 ------- 3.25 3.50 20%
T - 3.75 3.50 ------- 3.50 3.58 40%
M - 4.00 3.25 ------- 3.50 3.58 10%
O - 4.00 3.75 ------- 3.75 3.83 20%

 765 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,863 ratings.
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