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
4,033 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:
#503
Reviews:
943
Ratings:
4,033
pDev:
7.89%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
566
Gots:
1,078
Trade:
111
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,033 |  Reviews: 943
Photo of Auracom
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally. Been waiting for this one for close to two years. 6-7 oz. poured straight from cellar temp into a Hunahpu's snifter on April 17th, 2012.

A - A good cross between the visuals of Founders RIS and CC Marshal Zhukov's. Very deep, opaque black with a dark khaki head. Quick dissipation and very little retention. Good lacing and plentiful alcohol legs.

S - Well-blended mix of milk chocolate, dark cocoa, toasted marshmallow, graham cracker, and light coffee. Very small trace of heat.

T- It's more balanced than I expected. Front palate is chocolate cake sweetness. Mid shows a mix of espresso and mocha bitterness. Rear picks up roasted malts, touch of caramel, and then melds back into a dark chocolate finish and aftertaste. Very pleasant and with virtually no heat despite the freshness of this bottle. It's a bit bitter on the back-end, so that may impact taste preferences.

M- Heavy, thick body with some stickiness. Great carbonation, lightly sweet effervescent finish.

D - This is flat-out one of the better base RIS I've had, and it's set up fucking perfectly for the bourbon barrel. I'm that much more jazzed to get my hands on that version now.

Edit - 2 years later, and this is unequivocally my favorite non barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark black with a one finger thick brown head. The foam sticks around for the entire drink, leaving a nice webbing of lace behind.

Smell; rich chocolate malts, spent coffee grounds, dark fruits and a hint of molasses.

Taste; dark chocolate and coffee come through right away, but without being bitter, followed by some dark fruits. A little molasses and a hint of some sweet cream are present, with just a touch of some hops in the finish that keep it from being too sweet.

Mouthfeel is is full with a just a perfect amount of carbonation for me, and the drinkability is dangerously high. Wish I had been able to pick up more than the one bottle while in Michigan, but glad that I was able to try this amazing stout.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - Black, no Head

S - Chocolate and coffee, somewhat acidity (oat?)

T - very complex, chocolate, plum, roasted, light oat acidity, a bit of brown sugar, earthy hops

M - The alcohol makes it heavy but not boozy, quite light mouthfeel, a bit astringent

O - A deep RIS. Actually more of an imperial oatmeal stout but with a good earthy hop RIS profil. It's balanced and complex. Great stuff

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Photo of backfat
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this one continues to be one of my top 10 favorite imperial stouts. i love dark horse. they never cease to amaze me. like extascy in a glass. this brew will stain your glass. motor oil, just the way i love it. smoky molasses and clean as cream. thick and rich with a sort of silky, milky feel. and affordable! this is one of the few stouts i do enjoy a little colder. it's either because of the highly roasted smell or just because it works with the milky, creamy character. at 12% be careful. This beer is my happy place. if i ever get raped, this is where im going to go. cheers!

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Photo of OldDirty
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RichThatchr
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I was standing around with friends at The Black Sheep of Mineola, NY, I was handed a glass of this majestic blur of dark brown to black ale, which was overflowing with soft foam. The stunning aromas of chocolate and coffee were readily apparent, but there were so many other things to notice, I took my time with it.

The nose on it told me it was a very full bodied ale, but I don't think I was ready for the strength of it. The initial taste was light for .5 second and then it exploded with a full- on licorice, deep coffee, and a dark mess of an ale.

The mouth-feel was luxurious, though the abv really shined with its hotness there as I tasted it as if it was a fine selection from Pommerol.

This RIS went very well with a pulled bbq pork sandwich as it comfortable overtook the food elements.

Clearly, this was one of the better ales I have tasted in a long time and my only regret was that it is listed as a seasonal coming out in February.

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Photo of Pineforest42
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of KlayWey
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of vic21234
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Refrigerated only briefly. This is the current year vintage.

A- Pours black with a small amount of light brown/ khaki head that quickly fades. Not much carbonation going on, and some lacing is apparent along the sides of the glass.

S- Great smelling beer. Nice aromas of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.

T- The smell carries on into the taste. I get coffee, chocolate, and an overall roastiness. There is also a nice hop presence towards the back of each sip. Very complex with a lot going on.

M- Thick, chewy, low carbonation, the alcohol is noted but not what one would think for 11% ABV. A nice sipper.

This is an enjoyable RIS, especially if you're into hopped stouts. I would love to get my hands on the barrel aged version. A few bottles of this one will be sat down in my cellar to see how it drinks after some hop fading.

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Photo of Can_has_beer
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mkh895
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Slatetank
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RobertColianni
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BcOneSeven
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bigpoppa67
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MJSFS
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DomD1121
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Very thick, black, syrupy pour. Very little head that disappears fast.

Smell: Very rich, malty, lots of coffee, with a very slight chocolate sweetness tones.

Taste: This is a VERY tasty beer. Very smooth, rich malt flavor with coffee and a little sweetness at the beginning. Finishes off with a slightly boozy bite, but not at all overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Very pleasant. Creamy, smooth, and full-bodied.

Overall: This beer is fantastic. If you can get your hands on it, DO IT. I am not a huge stout drinker, but this one has really made an impression on me. I will be picking up more very soon!

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Photo of Tim725
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pulito001
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stephenlee
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HoppySeb
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing beer - I wish I had access to it more often. Poured from a refrigerated 12oz bottle into a KBS snifter - poured vertically, producing a great looking two inch thick foam that is light brown in color. The head quickly dissipates and forms a ring around the glass which stays there as you drink it.

Its nose if mostly chocolate, vanilla, ripened plums, coffee and light spices - sweet. Taste is bittersweet. Definite hop presence with bold dark chocolate and vanilla bean flavors.

Mouthfeel is amazing - thick and chewy, allows you to extract every ounce of flavor from this beer. Carbonation is very light, as expected.

Overall - I'm very impressed with this beer as I was not expecting it to be this great. I will definitely seek it out more often! Highly recommended!

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Photo of Jparkanzky
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A) Pour into a pint glass from bottle, at near room-temp. Poured jet-black, didn't see really any red or brown within while pouring it. A few dancing bubbles on top, and no head.... the 1/16th inch head that was there for about 2 seconds was dark brown.... this beer is DARK!

S) Don't really pull a lot from the smell... it's actually quite neutral, perhaps vanilla hints to it, but I really don't know. It certainly wasn't unpleasant, but more "neutral"

T) GREAT. A little caramel perhaps, and hints of a bourbon flavor. The after-taste is pure smooth-velvety goodness.

M) A little alcohol bite at first, but overall it tastes like heavy black-creme, devoid of any carbonation whatsoever, so in a word "GREAT!"

Very enjoyable from start to finish... I took this out of the cellar at 50 deg. and waiting 15 minutes at room temp, and it still didn't really "peak" until halfway through the glass... Flavors and texture really opened up, and any negative alcohol characteristics that were clearly pronounced, disappeared when the temperature warmed up.

Highly recommend this one!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Traded dtx00 for this one. Thank you so much Sam! Poured into a tulip glass for sniffin!

A - Deepest darkest black thick beer liquid is best to describe. Even though the ABV is high I get the minimal of dark mocha colored head that sticks with some great lacing.

S - Deep dark chocolates, bitter chocolates, bakers chocolates, heavy roast with splashes of espresso and coffee. Has a very slight cherry tone which is minimal but slightly tart.

T - Ow man I am so excited! mmm wow almost as good as ST Chocolat! Dark chocolates slightly bitter which is pretty awesome and roast is balanced with slightly bitter coffee. Creamy and thick but tasty. I love how the chocolate tones in this is like a Hershey suryp sweet and thick!

M - Alcohol is so masked the only feeling of the ABV is the burn as it hits the stomach. So warming no wonder is a winter brew!

Overall Wow just wow! So big! So smooth! Such a great brew! A real treat of a beer that hopefully I can find around town next year as craft beer continues to grow.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Re-review 4/7/17 :

Now that I've had dozens (maybe hundreds?) more stouts under my belt, many the imperial kind, I've come back to revisit this one to see how I feel about it.

Look : The thickness is definitely apparent, but not the thickest I've seen. It pours black with shades of brown from the bottle and forms a deep, rich pool of obsidian. A beige half-finger of head rests on top that recedes to a sliver in a couple minutes' time. 4.5

Aroma : Classy. Rich, dark malts accompany a base of molasses, smoke, and peat. Crispy brownies. Some dark chocolate lies somewhere in there as well. Slight metallic notes bounce here and there but that's the only flaw. 4.5

Flavor : Tasty as hell. Huge roast malt character with smoke and molasses cover up a background of plum, coffee, anise, and bitter dark chocolates. The metallic element comes out in the profile as well, but only mildly. As it warms that metallic element comes out more loudly so drink it cold. 4.5

Feel : Thick but not too thick; just right. Buzzing carbonation underneath with smoothness of oats. Dry coffee and dry alcohol finish. 4.25

Overall : It's still one of my top stouts and I'll continue to travel north to buy it in season (January-March). It's an outstanding example of a Russian Imperial Stout and doesn't overhop or overmalt either way. Ultimate bath tub beer. Definitely worthy of at least a 95 world-class rating. 4.5

Pro Tip : Aging either works one of two ways on this beer - drink it fresh or age it at least 2 years.

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Appearance : . Like "10,000 miles on conventional oil coming out of the sump" dark. Completely obsidian, opaque, no light escaping this cosmic black hole of beerdom. The three fingered head is rocky, just plain thick, leaves an almost impenetrable looking crown from the top down, and is almond/beige/muddy colored. Just gorgeous. This is what it's about, friends. 5

Aroma : Obviously the bouquet is loud as I can smell it from here on the side table. Bringing it closer, I curl a smile. Chocolate, fresh brownies, coffee bean, cocoa powder, dark roasted malts. I don't think Starbucks could craft a better roasted smell than this awesome aroma. Just fabulous. Even after the coffee aroma, melted chocolate comes in at the end as well. 4.75

Flavor : Oh dear Lord. This might be my favorite stout. Slapping the arm of the recliner, with a grin on my face, I taste waves of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted cocoa bean, chocolate syrup, milk, oatmeal, with just a faint bite of hop if only to create the feeling of sharpness. The alcohol burn comes at the end but you don't taste it - you feel it, and it leaves fire tingling on your tongue as the roasted chocolate just dries like primer.

Mouthfeel : Yes, another homerun here. Medium-to-full bodied, almost a wall there, it borders on chewy, but just fills the mouth with creamy, dark goodness. It ends semi-dry but not too dry - just the right amount of dry.

Overall : Hitting on all cylinders, this stout is now my favorite of ALL TIME. This stout is absolutely groundbreakingly amazing. For $12 a 4 pack, who wouldn't buy this stuff. Just fabulous. Get you some now.

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Photo of JayQue
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A really outstanding RIS. Obtained in a trade with either TMoney2591 or Woodchopper. I let this one sit for a while....wouldn't keep another one this long....tastes too good.

Pours a dark brown, dense with absolutely no light getting through. Small brown head...dark as Ten Fidy with limited retention and little lacing. To be expected in this strong a beer.

Aroma is fabulous....Noticeable as soon as you manage to get the cap off underneath the grey waxy stuff that coats the bottle. Malts, dark chocolate, molasses type sweetness and vanilla. A potent concoction with all aromas just right.

Taste dos not disappoint either. Rich toasted malt background, molasses like sweetness, chocolate taste is restrained and just right and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is luxuriously rich and very smooth except for a mild alcohol presence, warming effect...keeps you from quickly slurping up this goodness.

One of the better RIS I have ever had. Great experience!!!! Thanks to my Illinois connection!!!

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 4,033 ratings