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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
3,985 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:
#476
Reviews:
935
Ratings:
3,985
pDev:
7.89%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
556
Gots:
1,064
Trade:
112
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,985 |  Reviews: 935
Photo of Overlord
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the great extra!

Pours a viscous, slimy black with a big dark brown head. Mmmmm. The head is surprisingly long lasting, and leaves gobs all over the glass. *CHUCKLE*

Smells ... whoa, like plums/raisins/dates dark fruits with a tinge of malt and dark chocolate. This is one of the dark fruitiest smelling RIS's I can recall.

And the smell carries through to the flavor. Wow. Robust dark fruit base, mixed with an acrid, roasted malt that's very subtle, some espresso, and dark chocolate. The sweets you're getting here are from a fruit flavoring. Interesting.

I like. I like much. Mouthfeel is slick and oily, but not overly thick, and it's pretty drinkable for the ABV.

 685 characters

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Cylinsier
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tap

Pours jet black, tan lacing for a head.

Smells of oak, cocoa and salted caramel. Maybe some coffee too.

Flavor is of caramel, oak, a bit of bourbon, toasted biscuit malts, a hint of vanilla, and non-acidic coffee. Rich but not cloying.

Full, creamy body with a light tingle of carbonation on the tongue.

Fantastic stout, one of the best I've had in a while and easily up there with Old Rasputin and Founder's Breakfast. I could have this again and again, and highly recommend it.

 492 characters

Photo of grub
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 2: Stouts and Belgians. i contributed this bottle, a bonus in a trade with GrandCruDrew. thanks drew!

12oz "plead the 5th" bottle. sampled nov 28/08.

pours inky black and nearly opaque. a small dense brown head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass. the ring seems to last forever and leaves spotty lace the whole way down the glass.

aroma is excellent. anise. dark chocolate and dark roast coffee. some dark fruit too. light alcohol. caramel. toffee. there's some hops in there, a bit of pine and grapefruit. vanilla. i'm in love with it and don't even need to taste it.

taste is great. anise. dark and bittersweet chocolate. coffee. caramel and toffee. big whole wheat bread and biscuit. dark fruit. light alcohol. medium bitterness level. light pine and grapefruit again. also has a nice earthy component.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium-low carbonation level. silky smooth.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. great depth. an excellent stout.

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Photo of funkel81
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of EB1
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of GilGarp
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up when I was in Ohio a few years ago. Likely a 2010 bottle.

Seved slightly chilled in a goblet. Plead the 5th is nearly black in color and only the slightest bit of light passes through the edges. Viscous appearance with basically no head.

Aroma is richand roasty with wonderful chocolate notes.

Flavor is rich and robust with dark roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and low in carbonation. Alcohol is present but subdued probably because of the age.

Overall an excellent imperial stout but hard to get in these parts. Maybe worth bringing home again in the future.

 609 characters

Photo of T_Hass
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a light brown head. Smells like boozy dark fruits, dark caramel, and bitter dark chocolate. Tastes like dark baker's chocolate, dark chocolate milk, roast and ash, some complex dark fruits, maybe cherry, light herbal hops, with a caramely, roasty, coffee dark cocoa finish. Feels medium-bodied with little carbonation. Overall a really great imperial stout.

 374 characters

Photo of taospowder
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Bieniek30
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of herman77
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 651 characters

Photo of jpd7374
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of needMIbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of nickd717
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle via trade thanks to translucent on BA. Damn dude, this is a bruiser. Is this the fifth in the "one, too, tres, fore" series? If so, then neener neener, I ticked them all off, and victory is mine!

Pours black and thick with a one-finger dark tan head. Some legs on this one - you can tell it's viscous.

Aroma is intense with dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, and roast. Slight sweetness present.

Flavor is really interesting. It reminds me of Midnight Sun Berserker in a way, except without the -bal aging notes. Rich dark chocolate and roast dominate, with a hint of coffee as well as molasses, anise, and red wine/port. Very full and thick on the palate with low carbonation. Some tannins as well as hop bitterness. Smooth and slick. A great imperial stout overall. Not too drinkable in large quantities, but you have to give it a pass on this because it's damn good. One of the better beers I've had from Dark Horse. Good job rejecting Nickelback's offer too, guys. They suck!

 993 characters

Photo of YvesB
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours an inky black. A thin brown head dissipates very quickly and leaves behind some wispy, frail rings of lacing.

S: Fudge, chocolate pudding, vanilla bean, faint creamed coffee, and an estery fruitiness that smells of currants.

T: Fudgy chocolate and just a touch of acrid smoke open. Roasted malt tastes flex and morph. Baker's chocolate and black cocoa powder. A touch woody. Estery currant flavors are locked deep within the roastiness. Another dab of smoke. Alcohol presence is felt- spicy and a tad boozy, though not at all off-putting. Light kiss of citric hops and some earthy, grassy notes. Finishes with cocoa powder, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and fudgy/brownie tastes.

M: Reasonably thick and velvety. Low carbonation. Not bad, but it lacks some dimension.

O: A very solid imperial stout, but nothing to gush over. I can't find any fault with it technically, it just stays a bit understated. The flavors shift and change, but never seem to build up to an apex. I realize this all sounds very vague and subjective, and it should. I don't even know why this beer fails to 'wow' me.

Notes: At 12% abv, this one has some serious aging potential. I have a few more bottles, and I'll revisit this vintage in a few years.

Update: I've since had the opportunity to go through a few more bottles of this, and it has really grown on me. Not sure why I was so ambivalent before. Rich, thick, brawny, pleasing, and decidedly old-school and true to style.

 1,516 characters

Photo of Hallertau
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%

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 FriedSlug
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 375 characters

Photo of TomMorris
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
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 rarbring
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black black beer, a high brown head, but little lacing - but, but very heavy drapes.

Peas, sausages, coffee, dark chocolate, bread crust, ashes and some oak.

Starting sweet, so sweet, brown sugar and syrup, chocolate galore, toast, dark fruits. Yummy.

Little carbonation, soft and sticky, a knock-out body and smooth finish.

A real candy beer!

 349 characters

Photo of MacStinson
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

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

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 3,985 ratings
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