Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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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:
914
Ratings:
3,891
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
557
Gots:
1,044
For Trade:
115
User Reviews
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Reviews: 914 | Ratings: 3,891
Photo of WertMaker
4.76/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This bottle, a 2013... Black label, 11% ABV in the upper right, logo crown.

L: Opaque black, it poured like syrup into the tulip glass creating a light brown, thin and somewhat rocky head that dissipated quickly to form a foam ring at contact with the glass.
S: Dark chocolate and black coffee beg you to take a sip.
T: Leading with dark Dutch chocolate with black coffee and leather undertones, hints of currents and raisins along with ripe figs fill out the profile with a finish that lingers long after the sip.
F: Silky slick as syrup, this beer sticks around allowing you to savor the finish.

Dark chocolate, coffee and a pleasant bitterness finish this beer, and; Wow!

There was some sediment in the bottom of this three year old, but it laid up well.

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Photo of Reggie1014
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poor so dark. It is black with no light visible through my glass. It left a one finger head of delicious looking tan colored evenly bubbled foam. The lacing was symmetrical, even carbonated bubbles on glass side. This dissipated quickly leaving a small rim on top of darkness. The smell hits me with burnt chocolate/coffee tones. Smoky and sweet smelling. Slight barrel smokiness. Taste is rich chocolate and coffee flavored. Subtle bourbon barrel tone. Very little alcohol burn. The taste is charred, burnt, smoky and sweet all at once. I would like a bit more alcohol bite, otherwise very pleasing to the palate. The mouthfeel is mild carbonation, slightly tingly. A bit flatter than I prefer. Overall this is an exceptional tasting beer! Bravo!!!

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Photo of q33jeff
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

**
03/22/2016
Oh my, this is tasty. Bottle to tulip glass. Picked up a 4pack today, Southampton, PA. Plan on aging the other 3, but not sure how long I'll actually be able to keep my meat hooks off of this as it is delish.

Dark black pour, oily, solid tan head....fades.
Aroma is roasted malt and Chocolate. Taste: dark chocolate, licorice, plus something lingering, lerking, almost spicy, maybe cinnamon or nutmeg. Smoky.

Feel; Medium carb, thick body.

Nothing terribly complex, but extremely delicious. Dark Horse has a new fan.
**
12/31/16
Bottle (from March 2016) to snifter.
With pizza before new years party.
Still awesome. Like a slightly sweeter and smoother NC Old Rasputin.
**

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 3/20/2016 at Natty Greeneā€™s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, dark fruit, coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and licorice. Then an alcohol sting comes in along with a touch of smokiness. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is very mild but there is not much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and a little smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely better available big stouts than this one.

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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 Phigg1102
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black and opaque. About a half finger of mocha foam that settles into a thin cap. dark chocolate and light cherry hits the nose first, the roasted malt character isn't overpowering and marries nicely with the beer. moderate sweetness in the taste, with the roasted malt again not overpoweringly bitter. a touch of dark fruit with dark chocolate and roasted coffee. medium full mouthfeel and a sweet finish.

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

L: Pours black with a long standing brown head.

S: Dark fruit, currants, mild chocolate, black bread, burnt caramel, gingerbread, Some black coffee, Musty undercurrent.

T: Black coffee, dark chocolate followed by black currant. Musty, smokey, starts out sweet but slowly transforms into a nice dry, bitter finish. Warming alcohol.

F: Full bodied, velvety mouthfeel. Low carbonation. A little acidic, a little astringency, very little. Doesn't detract.

O: A very complex and flavorful brew. The flavor profile transforms many times as you taste and as it warms. A phenomenal Russian imp. stout. Definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of cyguyjg
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a milk chocolate head typical of a CO2 bottle. But the head quickly dissipated to only ring the inner walls of the glass. Color was black as black can be -- no translucence or opaqueness. I really tried but the only smell I noted was a hint of caramel. Rich chocolate was the immediate and welcome taste followed by a hint of coffee. However, it was also followed by the biting, bitter feel of hops along both sides of the tongue. That did not work for me as I prefer my hops further back in the mouth and during the finish. I like Stouts, especially Imperials, and Baltic Porters but I'm sorry to say that, although this is a well made ale, it is not among my favorites.

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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.

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Photo of c014572
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black. No light will ever make it through. Extremely dark 2 finger head that faded quickly. This was an extremely balanced and wonderful stout. It does not have that in-your-face burnt grain flavor (that I like) of some other imperial stouts (like Rasputin). This was just extremely enjoyable to drink. Hides the 11% like no other beer I've drank. Seek it out.

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Photo of AdamAlway
3.69/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Very dark brown; black in low light. Dark dark tan head with little retention leaving the slightest ring around the edge.

S: Sweet coffee and dark chocolate dominates. Smokey malt, raisins and molasses.

T: A quick hit of dark chocolate upfront, but is quickly dominated by bitter roasted coffee. Finishes sweet with milk and chocolate, but doesn't last long.

F: Oily and thick which really causes the flavors, especially the coffee, to linger. Smooth and creamy throughout.

O: In all fairness, I don't usually like Imperial stouts. I enjoyed the coffee and chocolate combination. A little too thick for my palate. I appreciate receiving this as an extra and broadening my horizons.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle purchased 3/19/2014

Dark Horse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout poured out a clean but opaque black that produced a thin reddish tan head that dissipated quickly to a collar of foam. The nose is dominated by roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. At first taste there is a strong flavor of dark roasted malts followed by a moderate flavor of chocolate, coffee, and dark toffee. The Ale has enough hops to keep it balanced with a pleasant warming alcohol finish. The mouth feel is smooth, creamy and high-medium bodied.

Plead the 5th is very drinkable for such a high abv. Well done Dark Horse.

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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.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black hole pour with an awesome one finger tan head. Hoppy chocolate malt bomb smell and taste. The chocolate malt has a little smoke and the bitter hope is definitely there. Wonderful thick , warm mouthfeel. Very good, but I still give ten fidy the nod but in the same ballpark!

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a black hole of a beer; it is completely impervious to light and contains no highlights. The pour shows a slight appearance of viscosity and generates a thin, brief-lived creamy tan head that leaves sparse, fine-grained streaks of lacing. The nose is medium-big: a bitterish blend of coffee, milk chocolate and toffee with very prominent alcohol overtones. The palate is smoother and sweeter than the nose would lead you to expect: a rich range of chocolate notes backed by bitter toffee and booze. A strong roast character provides enough bitterness to largely balance the sweetness of the malt; the net result is just a bit on the sweet side. The finish is chocolate and booze, followed by the onset of a slight chocolate bitterness that lingers for a few minutes. The mouthfeel is biggish for the full body, and the texture is viscous, creamy, and just slightly peppery from the nicely restrained carbonation; all told, just about optimal for a big stout. While boozy, this beer drinks quite smoothly for the ABV. (12 oz bottle, 119 days after pkg)

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Photo of MikeWard
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a half pint glass.

looks superb, jet black body, off white head, looking forward to getting into this.

aroma is a little underwhelming. getting some faint chocolate, and a touch of roasted malt.

well, although its enjoyable, was really expecting a lot more. its a solid imperial stout, but doesnt smack me in the mouth the way the way i thought it would. not overly roasted, faint chocolate. not much else.

mouth is a tad over medium, overall an enjoyable beer, but my expectations were much higher.

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

Inky black with no head.

Aroma: Molasses, Roasted, Burnt/Smoky
Taste: Thick mouthfeel, burnt level roasted, bittersweet chocolate. Oily. Chewy. slight smoky flavor

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - Sits black in the glass. Oily appearance
Smell - Wonderful chocolate on the nose of this beer. Some roasty coffee notes as well.
Taste - Follows the nose. Chocolate and coffee lead the way. Some nutty/caramel notes are thrown in there too.
Feel - Chewy, mouth coating, sticky.....what I've come to expect out of a good stout.

Overall - On the same playing field as FIS and Ten Fidy in the opinion. A damn good stout!! Enjoyed every sip.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark black, dark cocoa colored head with two spots of lacing. Smell is roasted malt sweetness, coffee, and chocolate. The taste is sweet and bitter with mainly bitter dark chocolate and sweet charred malts. The finish has a nice roasty bitterness that lingers. Nice chewy mouthfeel and the slight stinging from some carbonation makes this a pleasant drink. Really nice stout.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours pitch black with a tan head that dissipates quickly and just forms a ring around glass. Does not leave much lacing.

S: Chocolate, burnt notes, cocoa.

T: Follows the nose. A little hot. A bit of coffee too.

F: Full bodied and lightly carbonated. Not chewy. Fairly easy to put down.

O: A great beer that went down well with some Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

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Photo of Dr_Bahmbay13
4.99/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good Gawd DAmn BEER! BOOM!
POured from a beer bottle
looks gawd damn good! Darkness! No light ! Looks like coffee!
Smells gawd damn good! hard to describe god damn good, sorta like cookies made by you or someone you love, those are always god damn good , so there ya go.
Taste? you already know noodle....Gawd. Damn. Good!
overall , shit the bed this is good!

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Photo of CHickman
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours spent motor oil black color with a gorgeous cascading tan head that comes up like a Guinness to a dense creamy 2 finger khaki colored head that was full of tiny bubbles, dissipating very slowly, leaving really good foamy lacing coating the sides, rings as it went down and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of iron or rusted steel up front, followed by cocoa powder, dark chocolate, piney hops, espresso, oats, black licorice, faint vanilla, burnt grains and charcoal/smoldering campfire wood. It almost smells like a metallic s'mores that has fresh ground coffee mixed in and a covering of cocoa powder. Nose is a nice mix of chocolate sweetness, bitterness and earthy notes that stays complex the whole time as it kept me guessing as to what would come next. There are some fruits in the mix, but the charred notes take control and mask the 11% ABV extremely well.

Tastes very similar to the nose with heavy chocolate and metallic notes up front, followed by the char, dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel, burnt grains, charcoal/smoldering campfire wood, piney hops, espresso, fresh coffee grinds, white pepper, peat moss, oats, black licorice, biscotti and a whole bunch of earthy notes that give it some texture. Can't tell is the bitterness comes from the dark chocolate/cocoa, coffee or piney hops, but it's present and a nice addition to the brew. The bitterness adds balance to the sweetness and malt base, letting some muddled dark fruit peek through the burnt chocolate malts which almost seem smoked as they are very rich. Very tasty indeed, masking the ABV completely.

Mouthfeel is thin and smooth for a beer with such high alcohol, it's very easy drinking, very complex and flavorful as it allows the charred malts to blend with the hoppy or coffee bitterness to act like the ying and yang of the RIS experience. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with mild carbonation and a semi-dry finish that trails off with a mild sweetness and fine charred, roasty notes. Glad I was finally able to get my hands on a 4 pack as this was a very tasty beer.

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

Pours pitch black, nice dark khaki head. Chocolate, hint of coffee, malt. Sweet on the tongue, but it burns off, as if is quickly followed by a hit of boozy warmth. Finishes thick and creamy. Nice Stout, gonna give a couple some time to develop and see how it is.

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

Poured from a growler into a snifter
A: Pitch black with a tan one-finger head
S: Rich dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, molasses, brandied cherries. Deep nose
T: All of the aromas carry through to the palate, pretty much in the order described. Adds a bit of hoppy bitterness
M: Full-bodied, a touch sweet, just a touch of alcohol
O: Rich, complex and delicious. A really well made beer that will sneak up on you if you don't sip it slowly, which is hard given how tasty it is. I need to grab a couple bottles and lay them down to age

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a beaut! Looks more devastating than it is - the menace of the deep dark coloring and the prominent tan head almost make you expect a rough go with taking this bad boy down. In real terms though this is an imperial stout with a kick but also a certain softness to it. Like Ozzy Osbourne singing 'Changes' you get the rough with the smooth. Hops seem nicely integrated here - not harsh enough to overwhelm the malty or sweet notes but just enough to balance it out. Body is full and chewy - coats the mouth like a cup of hot cocoa. Bakers chocolate notes are prevalent with a little berry in there with leather and tobacco. Many layers here which make this a fine sipper. Outstanding.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,891 ratings.
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