Plead The 5th Imperial Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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3,970 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
3,970
Reviews:
930
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
8.27%
 
 
Wants:
556
Gots:
1,059
For Trade:
114
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,970 |  Reviews: 930
Photo of stephens101
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 version.

Empties the bottle black with a sheer, tan head. Aroma is spot on with milk chocolate, dark fruits, subtle vinegar and burnt oak floating freely. This is one of the smoothest beers I can recall trying. Just floats its way down (despite its medium to heavy body) with prominent notes of milk chocolate, bubblegum and black licorice, followed by hints of oak, cherry and vanilla. Fusel alcohol is barely noticed in the back. A beautiful, well-crafted stout that pairs well with this cool and rainy spring evening.

 527 characters

Photo of hardy008
3.06/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black with a dark tan one finger head with good retention. Leaves spotty lacing. Smells like raisins, alcohol, anise, dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, and vanilla.

Tastes like dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, alcohol, anise, raisins, and vanilla. Very sweet, with a lot of bitterness provided by the dark roasted malt. I am not a big fan of anise or licorice, and wish I had not detected so much of it.

Full bodied with average carbonation. There is a lot of alcohol heat with this beer, which is the main problem I have with it. The second problem is that this beer is too sweet, and too bitter. The aftertaste mostly is alcohol, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. This isn't a bad beer, but is a bit too hot for me to enjoy properly. Also not as well made as the best Russian Imperial Stouts. I should have let this one age a while before drinking it.

 864 characters

Photo of sourdog
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jayhunter357
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of HeartofMiami
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Agentveba
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of robgage
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of FriedSlug
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
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 FaradayUncaged
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sholland119
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

A-Beautiful. Dark and rich with a thick, dark mocha head. My favorite loon in an RIS. A beer that looks like this rarely disappoints.

S-Nicely complex. Lots of bourbon and alcohol, vanilla, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.

T-Caramel and dark chocolate in the front with lost of vanilla. Then a hint of maple, then some bourony notes in the finish. Quite hot in the finish, but it's fresh and 14% so no huge surprise there.

M-Medium bodied but rich and coating.

D-14% so proceed with caution (duh!). A little hot (again, duh!) but really delicious and enjoyable.

HV

 595 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kuhnhenn tulip glass. Thanks to Scoot1969 for this as an extra.

Pours black with a thick motor oil consistency, reddish tan ring of head. You know when you make chocolate milk with Hershey's syrup, and when you're done drinking the glass there's still some syrup at the bottom? The bottle has this. I thought maybe this was a chocolate stout, but I don't see any indication of that. Smells like sweet malt, chocolate syrup, and a little cream and vanilla. Has a nice fresh smell to it. Really nice, based on the smell I can't wait to take a sip. Taste is sweet Hershey's syrup up front, roasted malt, a little bittersweet cocoa and smoke on the finish. Full bodied and mouth coating, nice medium-light carbonation, warming from the alcohol. Overall, a delicious, big, sweet stout, about as drinkable as you could hope for given the parameters of the beer.

 856 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle
$11.99
Four Seasons Liquors

Plead the 5th glugs from the bottle pouring like 10w30. It's black. No light passes through whatsoever and as a matter of fact, I think it actually swallows light. The foam is easy to conjure and grows to a couple fingers in height. the head is dark beige, so dark in fact that it seems to sport a nearly purple hue. The foam eventually settles to a thin cap while leaving respectable velvety lacing down the sides of the glass.

The nose is packed full of rich stoutiness. Big and bold. The roast is on the heavy side of the spectrum with a touch of char. Walnut pith and black coffee are bold through the middle. Macadamia nuttiness adds both character and brightness. There's a noticeable alcohol presence but it's clean and appetizing in the form of a blackberry brandy. Dark berries play a nice role along with cocoa powder that verges on slightly bitter. This beer is a monster.

As in your face as the nose happened to be, the flavor profile comes along with even more precise, hit you in the mouth, interpretations of each aspect I mentioned above. The roast, again is on the heavier side with the slight char but that whole aspect sort of cradles the rest. Dark berries soaked in a neutral spirit kick it off. It's spicy and rich. Straight cocoa powder adds a touch of bitterness and molten brownies bring along a huge dark chocolate character. Black dark roast adds character and there's a touch of earthiness as well. Whew! This guy is slam packed!

The body is amazingly easy to handle for the immense size. Weighing in at 11% the body somehow manages to sit between moderate and heavy. It doesn't reach that viscous quality like you'd expect which helps and hurts. The drinkability is higher but the luxuriousness falls. The roast leaves behind a dry finish with a good amount of bitterness, and I can get behind that with such a hefty libation. The whole thing works.

This beer has been a favorite of mine for years now. With that said, I haven't drank a bottle in a long time. Revisiting opens my eyes up to its greatness again. This beer is not to be trifled with. It's big, bold, and mean. Old school in nature and it won't take no shit.

 2,197 characters

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of BenBreeg
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ralerwen
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of armock
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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 polloenfuego
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 RobinLee
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Formed about a 1/4" dark brown head on top of an inky black, motor oil body. Lacing was in thin, sticky sheets.

Nose is heavy on coffee and chocolate, with bold roast malts, caramel, and smoky notes.

Taste is bold and forward, but not over the top. Bold roast and burnt malt flavors, accented with a light dark fruit body, and tons of chocolate and coffee.

Body is thick and inky, lingering chocolate and coffee finish.

Overall it's damn delicious stuff, certainly worthy of all the hype. I slow sipped this one for over an hour and enjoyed every minute of it.

 564 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mtbdonn
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of cultclassic89
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,970 ratings.
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