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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
903 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:
903
Ratings:
3,862
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
17.02%
 
 
Wants:
561
Gots:
1,039
For Trade:
117
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 903 | Ratings: 3,862
Photo of LloydDobler
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into tulip.

Black. Dark brown head subsides into a thin film, but keeps some nice lacing. Lots of chocolate and smokiness. Alcohol is present but not alarmingly so.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with a tan colored head atop.

Smells of roasted malts. Beautiful roasted malts, exactly what I'd want a stout to be.

Flavor is even better. Heavy of roasted malts, perfectly roasted and toasted.

One extremely nice stout that is very true to it's style.

 280 characters

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

A-black in color with a thin dark tan head that disappears to leave a thin layer of lacing around the top

S-dark roasted malt and chocolate

T-taste is of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, bit of char, and light dark fruits in the finish

M-medium to full body, moderate carbonation

Overall a rich, roasted RIS with just the right amount of sweetness, delicious

 365 characters

Photo of TomMorris
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark brown; almost black. Very surprising and pleasing amount of milk-chocolate brown head for such a heavy beer. Plenty of alcohol legs on the glass but little lacing.

The smell brings to mind burnt, roasted malts and coffee. There's definitely some bitter baker's chocolate in there as well and perhaps just a twinge of a sweet darker fruit such as a plum.

The taste is predominantly roasted black coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and tobacco. As the beer sits on my tongue, there's just a twinge of dark fruit sweetness as with the nose, but it's mostly the aforementioned tastes. Finishes with quite a bit of bitterness.

Pretty standard mouthfeel for the style; medium-thick and plenty warming. The aftertaste lasts forever on this one, though.

Plead the 5th certainly doesn't blow me away, but it's a perfectly exemplary Russian Imperial Stout in my eyes. Nothing about it particularly stands out, but it hits everything that's to be expected in an RIS and squares it up the middle. Not a beer that I would label as can't-miss for those familiar with bigger stouts, but definitely a great one that I would suggest to newcomers.

 1,155 characters

Photo of ta_hagen
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

100 rating beer for sure. Just try it and tell me this is not good... Aroma of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla & some fruit, biscuit and nuttiness. The taste of vanilla/chocolate cream note that lingers well into the mid palate, which begins to show more of a spice character - again clove & cinnamon, along with nutmeg & black pepper. Overall this is an awesome stout. Thick, flavorful and fulfilling.

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

Motor oil black pour with two fingers of brown head. The head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The aroma is roast, dark malts, coffee, chocolate. Just a nice deep traditional stout nose. The taste is again, chocolate, coffee, maltiness. A touch of bitterness. The body is full and a light-medium carbonation. A well done RIS.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap into a snifter. Pitch black, foamy head forms but fades really quickly.

Nose is a bit light to me - nice, roasty malts, hint of chocolate but relatively typical for an Imperial Stout.

Flavor is pretty great, a very well made beer, but it doesn't exactly stand out for me.

Feel is nice, great weight but not syrupy. Overall very enjoyable - would definitely have again.

 387 characters

Photo of razorsdescent
4.79/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had from a bottle, poured into tulip glass.

L - oh yeah, dark and dark, with a dark brown head.

S - chocolate, anise and licorice root. Standard stout stuff on steroids.

T - A gulp of malty goodness, dry bakers chocolate, coffee and a hint of dark fruit on the tail.

F- Nailed it, dark, chewy and amazingly thick.

O - a ballin stout, but not perfect. A bit of complexity and some creaminess would make it perfect.I think the dry vibe is fairly unique as imperial stouts tend to skew sweet for better or worse. I can't wait to try the oak aged version.



Very comparable to Stone RIS, at least to my taste buds.

 620 characters

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black in color with a brown head that is almost non existent but stays present the whole drink. Smells of dark chocolate, tobacco, cherries, and malt. Taste is slightly sweet and molasses like. Bitter coffee and chocolate are both present with some dark fruit. Feel is what I hope for in an 11% Imperial stout - thick and rich. Overall this is an awesome stout. Thick, flavorful and fulfilling.

 406 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into a tulip.

Appearance is dark, with a small light tan head that doesn't last very long. The aroma and taste are cocoa, a charred character, a very slight bitterness, and a bit of vanilla. It's very smooth, almost mellow, which is unexpected in a big imperial stout.

I'm impressed, but not blown away. Not in the same league as Ten Fidy, or some other Impy Stouts, but it's very good.

 407 characters

Photo of Stolenface1
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black w/ tan head on tap @ the Answer Brewpub. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla & some fruit, bisquit and nuttiness. Flavor is exactly like the aroma. Slighty high on the carbonation level for the style, but that could have been due to the keg/CO2 level. Nice and chewy, but not as much as expected for the ABV. Overall really enjoyed this brew. Recommended.

 412 characters

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

12oz bottle into a chalice.

A: Pours a very deep, opaque black with hints of mahogany around the edges. 1/4" brown head recedes quickly. Retention is essentially a lingering ring around the glass, lacing is nonexistent.

S: Semi-sweet chocolate, hints of booze, clove & cinnamon. Vanilla & cream are present. Candied berries. Quite nice.

T: Come on with vanilla/chocolate cream note that lingers well into the mid palate, which begins to show more of a spice character - again clove & cinnamon, along with nutmeg & black pepper. The booze note definitely increases toward the end, along with a sharper, more defined nutmeg character. Finishes with an interesting balance between vanilla cream & heavy spice.

M: Lowish carb married to a rich, above-mid-weight malty body. Finishes with a velvety richness.

O: Really quite good, not too assertive in any one way - yet still a big, distinct brew.

 910 characters

Photo of Masonz223
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: pours a pitch black with a nice one finger tan brown head
Smell: dark fruits sweet milk chocolate dark chocolate some booze.
Taste: milk chocolate upfront middle of the mouth black berries dark chocolate finishes with some roasted bitterness dark chocolate and some alchool warmth to balance it all out.
Feel: nice full body a little carbonation slick dry mouth feel.
Overall: this bottle has 6 months of age on it and it's a lot more balanced then when I had it fresh. This short amount of aging is what this beer needed. More balanced booziness is just right evens the beer out. Really really good.

 606 characters

Photo of Czarkazm
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 4/2/2013. Pours a deep, dark brown with absolutely no light shining through. Opaque body with a thin mocha colored head and lots of alcohol legs inching down the sides of the glass. Roasted nutty aroma, with good amount of dark chocolate, bitter coffee grounds, molasses, prunes, dried fig, cherry cordial fruitiness, burnt brown sugar, and an earthy hoppiness. Thick, chewy mouth feel with good carbonation still and slight booze warmth going down. The flavor is very rich, roasty and not too sweet. Dark unsweetened cocoa, umami, smoked ash, brown sugar, charred marshmallow, raisin, and mocha.

 614 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very rich, simple chocolaty stout with malted roast on the palate. A bit thin, but the alcohol is well hidden. Overall, a great option in the non-barrel aged stout category.

 175 characters

Photo of ryanhooks81
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from bottle into tulip. pours black with a thin tan head. minimal lacing. roasted malts and chocolate and coffee notes. pretty good. i was expecting it to be a bit thicker. im a little disappointed. but its still pretty good.

 232 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Tulip. 2014 vintage.

A- Pitch black. It pours thick and oily with almost no head. Just one layer of tan effervescence.

S-Tons of roasty chocolate goodness. Some sweet dried dark fruit too.

T- Excellent balance of dark roasted malt smokiness and dark chocolate. SUPER smooth. I seriously can't believe this is 11%.

M- Thick and coating with a low-medium carbonation.

D- A prime example of a great RIS. I wish this was I my distro.

 460 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Pours a viscous pitch black color with an inch plus of dark brown head. Some lacing. Roasty aroma with lots of espresso and chocolate syrup. Molasses, tobacco and leather. The taste is espresso, molasses and leather with more of the chocolate syrup. Roasty espresso towards the end with some licorice. Moderate alcohol burn. Earthy. Lots of carbonation with a heavy, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, great RIS I'll be buying again.

 438 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick frothy head that dissipates rather quickly. Smell is not very pronounced but chocolate, vanilla, and oats were detected. Taste is chocolaty, nutty and roasty. The mouth feel is a perfect balance; initially creamy with a hop bitterness at the end all while masking the 11% abv very well. I was impressed with this brew, it deserves the ratings it has.

 364 characters

Photo of Bugs318
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle poured into a teku in August 2015.

A: Black body capped by a scant creamy mocha head of little retention, though a slim ring remains throughout.

S: chocolate forward, with some trace vanilla, some licorice, a bit of coffee, light notes of faded hops.

T: chocolate, then coffee, then a touch too much ethanol.

M: a touch oily, but nicely thick. Moderate carbonation, but muted by the body. A bit hot.

O: pretty solid beer!

 444 characters

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

Great pitch black stout. Smells roasty, sweet chocolate and some burnt marshmallows. Taste followed nose with roasty coffee, some smokiness, bittersweet chocolate, toasted marshmallow and a little bit of warming alcohol. Great thick and slick moutfeel. Overall one of the better RIS I've had! Kudos Dark Horse!

 310 characters

Photo of lastmango
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a sinister black with a one finger chocolate brown head. No legs. Wonderful caramel and chocolate malt nose. Sweet malt with hint of molasses. One of the best imperials
I 've had. Potent. Thick and a bit oily but great.

 232 characters

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

Black as night with no penetration to light. A fingernail of beige surrounds the rim and covers perhaps a quarter of the middle. I smell loads of luscious roasted barley meshing with notes of plum and raisin. The taste is definitely more on the sweeter spectrum. Sweet dark malt, plums, and raisin are very prominent. The mouth is thick, sticky, and viscous.

 363 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black, small dark head.

Aroma/Flavor: Smokey espresso, nutty, with notes of bakers chocoalte.

Mouthfeel: Medium+, slightly warming alcohol presence.

 168 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Jet black with minimal head. Smells of dark chocolate which is the dominate flavor along with some hints of vanilla and smoke. Just sweet enough with a dry finish. Smooth mouthfeel and the abv is well hidden. This is an exceptional stout.

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Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,862 ratings.
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