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 | 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:
900
Ratings:
3,842
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
17.02%
 
 
Wants:
557
Gots:
1,035
For Trade:
119
User Reviews
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Reviews: 900 | Ratings: 3,842
Photo of Derek
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle of "Plead the 5th".

A: Dark black with a dark, tan head, very little retention, slight leg.

S: Big aroma of bittersweet chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, warming alcohol and a hint of fruity esters.

T: Dark chocolate, black strap molasses, sherry, burnt/roasted acidity, salty licorice and a hint of soy sauce. Solid bitterness. Very nice.

M: Moderate to full body is very creamy; well-attenuated, alcohol leaves a dry finish.

D: Bold & Beautiful.

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Photo of MIMicrobrews
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured similar to all the rest (black, thick, choco head), yet seemed to have a bit more girth to it. Could it get any thicker? I beg to differ... A slightly sweet and creamy sensation hits my nose, with a subtle smoky undertone. There is a tinge of hop presence underneath the bold, dark aroma. The taste rolls and changes from sip to as it goes down. Smooth upon first taste, then a robust grittiness to a bitterness all in the same motion. It's well-balanced, but it's also very bold. It is an imperial stout, and you clearly get that from every sip. There's a strength to every sip that you can sense on your tongue and in your nose. With all the boldness, elements of roastiness and molasses come through nicely. The aftertaste is something I hadn't gotten from the previous 4 brews: heat. This is an imperial stout and it is strong. Once this brew goes down, there is a good amount of hot in the end to remind you to enjoy this brew slowly and responsibly :)

Overall, I like this brew very much. I love a big, bold, no frill, knock you on your ass stout. And this one is no exception. The ABV is not available, but I can tell you it's up there. On top of that, there is a good amount of smooth and boldness meshed together. All that said, I would be interested to see how this brew would age. I'd like to see if aging it would bring out more flavor. In addition, I would consider warming this brew slightly before enjoying. I do feel I enjoyed it a bit too cold, as a bit less chill would have enhanced the flavor. This is a bold brew, and a great way to top off this stout series.

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Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this one as an extra in a recent trade with spycow. Poured into a dogfish imperial pint.

A - Pours jet black with a big two finger tall tan head leaving small wisps of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, molasses, vanilla, oak, and some light hop bitterness. This is what you expect when you hear RIS.

T - Starts off with a big dose of dark roast quickly giving way to a mix of sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and the faintest hint of hop bitterness at the very end. The creamy feel really helps to bring it all together. The finish is a mix of chocolaty sweetness and dark roast, lingering for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Rich, creamy, feel with plenty of dark roast in the finish. The booze begins to creep in more and more as it warms to room temperature.

O - I really liked this one. It had all the typical flavors you would expect from a RIS but what really made it better was the creamy feel as it really helped to bring it all together. Good stuff.

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Photo of beergod1
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flat Black pour that has a thin dark brown head, no visible carbonation. Heavy chocolate aroma with accents of coffee, alcohol, and smoke. Flavor is a mix of heavily roasted malt, chocolate and alcohol. A lot of depth and complexity to the flavor. Finish is loads of coffee and burnt malt. Full bodied with an oily texture and minimal carbonation. Everything you could want from an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Dope
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review from the same batch as the below, now a 3 year old bottle (2011 batch)

A: Pitch black pour with the a very small dark brown head. Head fades almost instantly. Minimal bits of lacing here and there and very little head retention.

S: Loaded with dark fruits. Almost wine-like or sherry-like (oxidation?). Mild chocolate but mostly raisins, cherries, generic stone fruit. Even berries.

T: Sweet dark fruits up front. Again with the stonefruit and raisins. Chocolatey, more so than I remember. Starts out like milk chocolate (chocolate-covered raisins and cherries?) and then turns quite bitter. Very baker's chocolate-esque or cocoa-like. Lingering chocolate and dark fruit forever.

M: Heavy, thick, viscous.

O: Well, as mentioned in my older review, this is one of the fruitiest RISes I've ever had. Aged though, it is MUCH less harsh and much better balanced. There's tons of sweet milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate (in the finish) to back up all that fruit. Flavors are still bold but not harsh and over the top. No real sign of alcohol now except for the belly warmth. Three years has greatly improved this one.

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Review from 07-12-2011 (fresh bottle)

A: Super thick black pour. Minimal but very dark brown head. Almost no retention or lacing to speak of. (4)

S: Roasted malt followed by some dark fruit (raisins, cherries and grapes maybe?). Some coffee too. A little alcohol. (4)

T: Roasted malt from the nose takes a back seat. Tons of dark fruit as mentioned. There is some roast, coffee and alcohol in the aftertaste but up front it is surprisingly super fruity. (4)

M: Very thick mouthfeel, feels like it coats your mouth with a viscous oil. Low bitterness except from the coffee flavor. (4.5)

O: I gave it pretty good ratings but have to take away a bit on the Overall ratings for my subjective reasons. I love big stouts but this one is super fruity and a little bit hot. I prefer more roast, more coffee and more chocolate in my stouts than fruit. I'm not saying this is bad, just that it wasn't my style. I'm going to age the rest of my bottles and see how this beer turns out. (3.5)

Overall 3.95

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Photo of marburg
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm going skiing up north this weekend, and I thought it'd be a good idea to change some of the fluids in my car. So I added some power steering fluid (now specially formulated with StopLeak...!!! and !) and some anti-freeze. No big deal.

But then I was surprised and angered to see that my wife had taken some serious automtoive initiative performed an oil change on my car and left the remnants in my Detroit Brewing Co pint glass. Now, what the hell would anyone do that for?

This is serious, viscous, flat, sludge-like beer. Not even a jacuzzi jet stream could churn up a head on this. Chocolate brownie nose with a side of oatmeal and a splash of nail polish remover in the nose. Fairly potent after it opens up a bit.

Starts with a fleeting sweetness that's driven by chocolate. Before getting accustomed to it, there seems to be a bit of a rubbing alcohol astringency in the finish. Hops or alcohol gone awry? Eventually, all I really get is a roasty coffee bitterness with a heaping tablespoon of sugar and a pump of some sort of trendy mocha syrup.

Interesting beer and hard to rate for some reason. Dark Horse has something of a penchant for stouts, and this doesn't really disappoint. A bit intense through the first sip or two, but give it a few minutes -- it really gets quite good.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Received as an extra from wunderbeer in a trade, big thanks Ron, I've been wanting to try this one!

a - Pours a jet black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. No lacing and the head only lasts for a minute.

s - Smells of cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee, dark fruits, roasted malts, vanilla, and a little alcohol.

m - Full bodied stout with moderate carbonation, this beer is very smooth and creamy; goes down great.

d - A very good RIS. I really liked the smell and mouthfeel. Wish the taste was a little less bitter but still very good. Would definitely like to try it again and would love to try the barrel aged version.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by yourefragile recently along side the bourbon barrel plead the fifth, these beers don't especially resemble each other.

Beer is black, with a thin lazy head of small tan bubbles, halos the snifter, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet, mildly bitter, mildly ashy, a little roast.

Beer is medium in body and quite bitter on the finish. Not as sweet as I thought it was going to be on the palate from the nose, the lead off is a little malt syrup, medium body, the beer thins at the back and finishes moderately bitter from the roast. Nice beer overall though.

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Photo of meatyard
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque clack/brown with a 1-finger, milk chocolate colored head that falls quickly to a cover and then ring without lacing.
The smell is cocoa, roasted malt and a kind of heavy, moist sweetness.
The taste is cocoa, licorice and woody with just a bit of dark chocolate and coffee. As it warms more flavors seem to escape including only a hint of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and powdery dry. I didn't really taste the alcohol, to it's credit, but I felt it every sip.
Drinkability: It's a sipper that I'd rather wait a week or so for another though it does get tasty. I do like what happens with the taste as it sits & warms.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into the infamous snifter. Black black black. With a slight layer of tan foam. Wish there was more of a head/lacing... but it's definitely acceptable. Quite leggy, tho.

S - Usual RIS affects. Coffee, roasty, baker's chocolate, burnt. Some soy sauce undertones. Nothing off, nothing remarkable. Good.

T - Quite a big, bold RIS. Bittersweet chocolate, mocha, coffee, fresh roast. Nice flavors, nothing off. Definite hop profile on the back end. Alcohol is noted but hardly present.

M - Not quite as thick and syrupy as I prefer, but it's by no means light. Subtle carbonation, full body.

D - Easy drinking for the ABV and bold flavors. I drink these way too fast.

Notes: I've only got a couple of these left from this years batch, so I figured I'd hurry up and get one reviewed before it was "aged". I really enjoy this beer, and for the price, cannot be beat.

An all around good RIS that stands up relatively well to the big boys.

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Photo of billab914
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip glass. It poured pitch black with one of the darkest chocolate heads I've ever seen on a beer. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it left just a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a big dark chocolate and brown sugar presence to it. Roasted malts with a touch of burntness come through in it as well. Very flavorful and appealing beer overall.

The taste shows more bitterness with bitter chocolate coming through at first. It turns to more of a roasted, burnt bitterness towards the finish. It leaves a nice bitter-sweet, dark chocolate lingering after the finish. Very nice flavor overall.

The mouthfeel is thick and heavy with low carbonation. Pretty much exactly the way I like my big stouts. Drinkability is good, it had some great flavors to it and was a pleasure to sip on this evening. A very enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark brown. Nearly black.
S: Roasty and coffee smells.
T: Pretty smooth a little sharpness but it blends in quite well. A really strong coffee flavor in this one.
M: Certainly an imperial stout that can sit around. The alcohol didn't seem to present itself and it sat very nicely.

Overall a good showing on the style. It didn't have the same appearance as say Founders Imperial but I think this brew controlled the high alcohol significantly better.

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Photo of organicbrewer
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-Jet black. one finger brown head. Nice.

S-ground coffee. Melted chocolate.

T-More chocolate. Nice toasty malt backbone behind the roast. Less coffee in the flavor than in the aroma. Bitter but not hoppy. Could use a bit more bitterness to cut through the sweetness (IMHO).

M-Thick. Medium carbonation. No alcohol burn. Nice for 12%

D-a great impy stout. thick and chewy with lots of dark chocolate and malt. Could use a bit more hop to cut the sweetness, or not.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Description: Dark black appearance with a slight tan/khaki head. The aromas I got were tobacco, smoke, leather and coffee. The taste was similar and I didn't pick up any sweetness or chocolate...maybe some dark, baker's chocolate if anything. Alcohol is apparent which doesn't come as a surprise with the ABV. Mouthfeel was a little thinner than I expected but it was smooth and only lightly carbonated.

Suggested food pairing: BBQ

If you like this beer then you should also try: Ten FIDY

Overall: 4 (This beer is good and I may or may not drink it again) I feel like the brewer went down a checklist of all the things required to make a good stout and did that. But it was only "good" to me and not "great". Drinking this felt like buying a used car: it works, you're glad to have it and it meets your basic requirements but doesn't necessarily light your world on fire. I'd like to try the BB version to see if that would improve things a bit.

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Photo of YeahRightt
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark, motor oil with a bronze head that laces nicely on the glass.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate are heavy on the nose with the malts in the background. Clean and earthy without too much bitterness.

Taste: Charred coffee notes with chocolate and apparent boozy flavor. A bit too much sweetness in my taste, but there is a decent balance of flavor. Each sip seems to shift from a booze-dominated taste to a charred coffee taste that I couldn't decide how I felt about. Good dessert beer.

Feel: A nice creamy mouthfeel that doesn't make the brew difficult to drink or too much of a sipper.

Overall: A bit underwhelming in terms of my expectation, but still a great RIS. I have a bottle of the BA Pt5th that I am excited to drink now that I have a sense of the brew's flavor profile.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. no bottling date.

Pours a pitch black color with a slight beige head that quickly dissipates.

Smell is very light... faint coffee maybe? not much to go by.

taste is strong. extremely drinkable here. good chocolate and coffee notes. bitter in a good way. this is what an easy to drink RIS is supposed to taste like.

heavy body and low carbonation, but it doesnt taste syrupy like a lot of other RIS'. alcohol is undetectable on the tongue. easy to down a pint...might be dangerous at 11%!

overall an exceptional RIS that i will return to again in the future.

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Photo of tedvr
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thick caramel head with a lot of lacing. Smells of burnt chocolate and coffee. Tastes of burnt chocolate and coffee in the background. Mild carbonation. Overall it was ok, but not worth the price. Needed more depth.

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Photo of Atron67
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, plead the fifth on the side, thanks to asmokingoat for this, poured into my Ommegang chalice.

A- pour an absolute dead black right out of the glass, dark chocolate brown head on top that slowly built up a reasonable head, the head fell relatively quickly, but to be expected, and the lacing was a little sloppy and wet, impressive for a huge RIS.

S- the low carbonation makes it hard to get a strong whiff however the scents seem to be dominated by huge chocolate malts, with solid notes of roasted characters as well. the hops are pretty subdued, but keep it from being sweet.

T- very smooth overall for the RIS, the malts slowly flow heavily over the tongue, sticking to every part of it as it washes to the back of the tongue. the chocolate flavor grows really strong. a dark fruit character arises out of the malt, which is something that occurs with large amounts of chocolate malt. Kind of reminds me of Darkness.

M- very thick, low carbonation, sticky as hell to the tongue

D- an awesome sipper, wish i had more, the 12oz bottle is perfect 750 might want to share.

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Photo of LaurenZ
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very very dark pour and has a slick looking head that doesn't last. the aromas are of chocolate and nutty, slightly roasted notes. The flavor is also complex with nuts, chocolate, with a medium mouthful and slight bitterness and low in carbonation. good beer overall.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from a trade.

Pours black with a dark tan head forming. The head dissipated quickly leaving only a jet black colored beer.

The nose is is pleasent notes of cocoa, cherries, a slight tart roasted nose.

The taste is very nice. The start is sweet and chocolate but the taste of cherry comes in. The finish is roasted and drying. The mouth is smooth and pleasent. The only notice of alcohol is a slight numb on the tongue. very nice.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
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?

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Photo of recall1242
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a thick black in color that you can barely see anything through. Aggressively poured to a very thin head with little to no lacing.

S- Nice dark roasty aroma, cocoa and a slight smokey character.

T- Plenty of dark roasted grains and some chocolate flavors. Warms up nicely to some caramel and vanilla flavors in the finish.

M- Low carbonation but a well hidden 12%.

O- One of the better Imperial Stouts out there that you can actually find on the shelves. Not really a budget beer but it wont break the bank either.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours near-black with a very dark, slightly cherry-infused head. The head is a little less than a finger, and has a good amount of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

S: Dark malt and some hop presence, but the overpowering smell here is that of dried red fruits. Also, some mild espresso. Also, some definite alcohol presence.

T: Much like the smell, but add in the tiniest bit of anise.

M: A little bit thin, though still has a good body. Good amount of carbonation. Not too much of an alcohol bite.

D: This one is definitely a sipper. Lighter than most RIS's, which might not be a bad thing considered that it's released just as the weather turns for the better.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The drink pours a shade of deep ebony with a mocha-colored head that retains great an leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is smoky and roasty-toasty with notes of charcoal, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste is roasty, even a bit burnt, with dark coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes rising from the woody ashes.

Full-bodied with nice drinkability.

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Photo of herman77
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a dark tan head that dies down pretty quick. Barley any lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark coffee. A bit of alcohol and a touch of dark fruits and molasses.

T: Again, lots of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee. Some hops punch through a bit near the back end along with a lot of bitter intense malts. Surprisingly short finish that doesn't last too long. There is some booziness in the finish though.

M: Fuller body. Nice carbonation and feel.

O: Average drinkability for an imperial stout. Some booze, but overall its a really nicely done. Seems like it would get a lot better with a year or two on it.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 900 ratings.
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