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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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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:
#474
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 AleWatcher
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An unseasonably pleasant mid 70s degree day here in rural IL lead me to finally crack this thing open. I am only having one beer tonight because of the absurdity of the beer tasting I attended last night! This beer just seemed to fit the bill.

Poured into my New Belgium Globe glass after letting it warm for about 20 minutes out of the fridge.

Pour is inky black-- like thick sweet soy sauce (the waiter at my Thai place always calls it "octopus ink" which is quite fitting here). Dark and brooding beer with a nice tan head of about 2 fingers. Good retention and chunky lacing.

The beer itself is thick. Like creamy thick. Very smooth feel though-- not gritty or chewy, smooth and creamy like JIF baby! Just amazing mouthfeel that allows the beer the room it needs to set up its flavor profile. The roasted dry barley (and perhaps oats?) and other malts give a nice dry sweetness that begins this journey into the heart of darkness. Some light coffee notes add to the bitterness brought on by huge amounts of unsweetened cocoa. This tastes like 90% cocoa gourmet chocolates-- bitter and excellent. The nose has the cocoa and malts but not picking up the coffee-- the appearance in the taste was a welcome surprise-- but don't expect a ton of awesome coffee bean flavor. The coffee seems to appear towards the finish in conjunction with the bitterness.

This is an excellent RIS. I'm proud of the Dark Horse boys on this one. This beer has great flavor, finish, and aftertaste with an amazing body and feel. I look forward to this one again!

 1,545 characters

Photo of BMoney575
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 6-27-08

Pours a thick black, with just a little red on the outside edge. No head, but short lived rings of lacing.

Smell is very malty, lots of coffee and smoke, with a little anise. Very RIS.

Taste is fantastic. Hugely roasty at first, followed by a fair amount of smoky chocolate. The finish is quite bitter but very smooth.

Mouthfeel is right on for a Russian Imperial.

Drinkability is pretty good, hard to say not knowing the abv.

Overall, a great example of the style, and even better, I'm guessing, with a little time.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Blind Tiger.

Beer is black with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell contains vanilla. anise and cocoa. Rich and nice, but a bit faint and not interesting.

Taste contains roasted malt, anise, some vanilla. Chocolate. Moderately bitter, earthy hops. Good- nothing unusual but very well done.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Big and thick, as I like stouts to be.

Overall, very good.

 411 characters

Photo of BuchananStude
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of 2xHops
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As expected, the beer is super dark in color. Perhaps I poured the wrong way, but I did not see any "head" forming at all.

The taste is strong with some roasting characteristics. There seems to be some hint of chocolate and coffee flavors to go with the burnt malt notes.

The mouthfeel does feel like it's quite malty and slightly "syrupy." I don't quite feel the carbonation coming through.

Overall, it's a pretty nice example of this style, and I particularly liked the high ABV content. Who doesn't, right?

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Photo of JCaweinstein
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: black w/ a dense one finger, very tan head.

Smell: Carmel and grain, like smelling a bowl of cereal, its really quite pleasant but still had to work for it.

Taste: caramel first followed by more malt sweetness then finishes with a bittering hop taste.

Mouthfeel: This is thick bodied and coats the mouth. It warms from the alcohol which is very present. I leaves a roasty aftertaste which is not unpleasant

Overall: good looking, smelling and tasting, mouthfeel is on the strong side but it is an imp. stout so it's to be expected. Going to sit on my other bottle for awhile to see how it might change. This will be a regular in the winter rotation

 658 characters

Photo of ejquin
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dep black with 2 finger brown head that fades to leave just a little lacing.

S: Chocolate milk and coffee with a hint of raspberry and malts. Smokiness there as well. Smells nicely milky sweet, like vanilla pudding.

T/M: A bit lighter in body than it appears. Creamy smooth. Had a nice milk chocolate taste up front which fades to malt and then spice. Alcohol comes through slightly on finish. Bitter espresso lingers.

D: Fine.

Ovr: Good stout. Nice vanilla/milky notes to it and really smooth. Dark Horse knows what their doing. Every one of thier brews I've had to date have been very solid.

 605 characters

Photo of brureview
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark opaque coffee color on a Moa snifter with a 1/2 finger head.

Aroma: roasted malt, chocolate. I was expecting deeper chocolate as in other beers in the style, but there is a greater emphasis on roasted malt.

Mouth feel: not the usual lightly pungent IS. This beer excels at warmer temps when there is a lot of pungency and a strong biting alcoholic finish.

Taste: two stages. At first strong chocolate and roasted malt. With warming, intense alcoholic finish, less chocolate.

Overall: highly unusual for the style. More roasted malt forward. Intense with warming. This ain't your usual imperial stout. Worth checking for an alternative approach to the usual heavy chocolate, coffee, IS style.

 710 characters

Photo of csbinva
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle came in a trade from commis, what an awesome extra!

A - Nice pour, thin head
S - Roast malts and chocolate
T - Definitely taste the chocolate, call me crazy but I sense something almost like a creme soda taste, a little sweet
M - Smooth and creamy

O - Very nice beer and I'm glad to have had the chance to try it, had no idea it was as potent as it was, the alcohol is definitely hidden

 395 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a short foamy dark tan head.

Scent of roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of alcohol, sugars, and lots of fruit. This one smells much more sweet than typical beers of its style, but it is balanced well and hides the alcohol nicely.

Taste of roasted malts, molasses, dark fruit, sugars, and some earth. Finishes with dark fruit and roasted malts. Alcohol is masked very well, there is some heat to it, but it is far from harsh.

Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth with a small bite of carbonation.

 506 characters

Photo of armock
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to champ103 for hooking this bottle up in a trade.

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malts that give off chocolate scents and a hint of alcohol

T - Follows the nose with the roasted malt giving chocolate flavors and a touch of alcohol

M - This beer has a smooth full body with lighter carbonation to it

O - I'm enjoying this beer quite a bit right now the taste is making it a little too easy to drink this is a beer to look out for to try

 509 characters

Photo of CurtisLoew
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich brown/black color. Small tan head. Nice looking beer.

Smells of dark malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits, slights hops.

Tastes like a really good stout, with some little dark fruit tones. Chocolate flavors, a little roast coffee. Everything blends together very nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium, pretty creamy. Not too thick or too thin.

Overall very good beer. Easy to drink, I wouldn't mind putting down multiple bottles in one sitting. Good stuff.

 468 characters

Photo of jjdc
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jcsull
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a snifter, no bottled-on date.

A: Black, can see through the edges when drinking. Great mocha colored head, little lacing, leaves ring around the edge.

S: Roasty. Chocolate, coffee, little hop note in the back.

T: Follows the nose for the most part, maybe a little sweeter than you'd think.

M: Good, coats the mouth, leaves behind all the tastes you want from the style. Slight stickiness.

O: Really good sipper. Going to be incredible with a couple years on it. Get this one, try it, and if you can resist let it sit.

 547 characters

Photo of thetomG
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sipping on this one as I type - its a LIVE review!

Very thick blackness with only a small amount of head even with a less than gentle pour. Strong aromas of a smokey coffee/chocolate... taste is a bit intense with a multitude of flavors very much like the smell but with an added bonus of some slight booziness as you drink. I'm nibbling on some dark chocolate as I sip and it is a very very nice combination!

IMO this is one to share as its high 12% ABV might be a bit much for one person, but overall I'd definitely recommend trying it if you can find it - particularly if you like BIG flavorful stouts.

Recommended!

:)

 625 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter glass. This bottle was probably in my cellar for close to a year.

A: A jet black thick murky liquid that allows no light to pass through it at all. Still I get a one finger light brown mocha colored head. Almost no glass lacing.

S: Dark smells of espresso, licorice, roasted malts, dark chocolate and some caramel sweetness.

T: Sweetness starts with flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, caramel, dark fruit and some licorice. The chocolate and caramel malty sweetness becomes more pronounced and some slight dark fruits mix in. Very thick and sticky but less alcohol flavor than I would have expected for a 12% beer. Finish stays sweet and sticky with the alcohol kicking in.

M: Full, coating, sweet and of course alcohol is felt.

O: A very nice RIS that is complex and full bodied. A big beer that should be sipped and enjoyed.

Overall this could never be in my regular rotation as it was just a tad too sticky sweet for me especially on the finish. Still, I enjoyed it but it could never be something I would reach for on a regular basis.

 1,093 characters

Photo of fgilbert2
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JamesH
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of DuffDadddy
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind against Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Dark Horse Imperial Stout, Southampton Imperial Russian Stout, Rogue XS Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti, Bell’s Expedition, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Victory Storm King, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, Pizza Port Santa’s Little Helper, Avery The Czar, Hawk’s DM’s Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Dark Lord, Bear Republic Big Bear Black, North Coast Old Rasputin, and two of Scott Jackson’s homebrewed Impys. Dark Horse Imperial Stout impressed be, taking 3rd place for me, among 19 other Imperials. Black. Rich malts in the nose, with hints of chocolate, roast, fruit, tar and tocacco. Flavor is full of charred fruits and chocolate. A very good Imperial Stout.

 738 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 4-pack purchased at local liquor store for $15

A- Pours a pitch dark black with a very thin creamy mocha brown head. A little bit above average carbonation for a stout, can see tiny carbonation bubbles rising along the side of the bottle. Looks pretty thick/a little bit syrupy.

S- Smells delicious- espresso beans, malts, chocolate, and a little bit of booze (not surprising considering the 12% abv).

T- Sweet, but not overly sweet. Taste of milk chocolate, espresso, and a little bit of roasted malts.

M- Creamy, heavy, and a little bit syrupy. Alcohol hard to detect, 12% ABV hard to detect. Well balanced.

O- This was a very good imperial stout. I could have definitely used a more pronounced flavor and a little bit more sweetness, but other then that it was great. For a 12% abv stout the alcohol is very well hidden and balanced with the sweetness of the stout. A lot of imperial stouts sweetness of the stout deosn't really hide the abv well enough to go with the sweetness. While this stout isn't overly sweet, the high abv is very well hidden. Not my favorite imperial stout that I've had, but I would definitely recommend trying it.

I've sampled the Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead at EBF, which is what prompted me to want to try this beer. From what I remember that beer had a little bit more flavor.

 1,332 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a tan head and small amount of lacing

S-coffee and chocolate with slight smoky notes

T-chocolate and espresso with slight charcoal and light bitter hop flavor

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth and silky texture

O-rich and flavorful with good body and balance

 303 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. 2013 vintage.

Plead the Fifth pours a full onyx color with a rumbling mocha froth. The head recedes gradually, leaving the dark, viscous liquid with just a small island and a ring of tightly wound bubbles.

The aroma is deep and full, with an emphasis on dark chocolate and espresso notes. The dark chocolate is the strongest and deepest presence in my nose, with espresso, roasted malt, and a bit of oatmeal as well. Not much in the way of dark fruits.

Each sip has a huge burst of flavor. It starts off with a moderate sweetness that comes through with the dark chocolate, with full roasted notes unraveling in my mouth. There are some mostly hidden dark fruits in the middle, with a bitterness that grows along with a creamy espresso flavor. The bitterness seems to linger in the aftertaste and accumulate with each sip.

This beer is thick, although the body is not quite as big as I was expecting. There is a stickiness to it, but it is not overwhelming. I prefer a gentler body than an overly thick and syrupy body, for sure. With the alcohol well-hidden as well, this beer definitely drinks like a 8% imperial stout. The carbonation is creamy and adds a layer of smoothness to the beer.

Dark Horse makes some nice beers in the high ABV range. This is a strong imperial stout by any standard.

 1,344 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sammy
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark with little head, very roasty. Thanks to Wohlfs who sent along beer for Radekfest 05. Oily and bitter more than bittersweet in the finish and aftertaste. but quaffable. Full mouthfeel. High alcohol - warming.
Three years later shared a bottle that was great chocolate and incredible aroma.

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