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
4,035 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:
#500
Reviews:
944
Ratings:
4,035
pDev:
7.89%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
564
Gots:
1,078
Trade:
111
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,035 |  Reviews: 944
Photo of HeartofMiami
3.84/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DavidHume
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of italianstallion
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brittanylicious
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jayhunter357
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of elkinbrown
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle reads "Plead the 5th"

Two fingers of one of the darkest heads Ive seen on a beer. Deep brown with even hints of ruby mixed in. Body is deep dark jet black and thick. Nose is rich with milk chocolate, toasty malt and a hint of candied cherries. Initially super creamy as you take first sip. Then you get waves of dark bitter chocolate, vanilla and lots of rich dark fruit. Very heavy on the mouth as it really paints the mouth. Thick throughout and really shows nice depth and complexity. Mouthfeel is big dry and nicely bitter. Alchol is well hidden. A big dark stout to sip slowly and enjoy.

 600 characters

Photo of tclapper
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of joe1510
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
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 freewill35
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Skellbop
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Cramerican
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DerekMorgan
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of morebeergood
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap a few nights ago at Green St Grill in Cambridge. Served in an 8oz snifter for $7.50. Dark brown color. Thin white head perched atop the glass. Dark chocolate and figs in the aroma. Taste was pretty amazing. Coffee, cocoa, and chocolate covered cherries were all up front on the palate, then the smooth malt coats your throat the end. Very surprised when bartender said it was 12%; very mild alcohol character. This beer was quite good, and it was a perfect dessert beer. Just wish I had a bigger glass.

 509 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of chrishiker1409
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours pitch black with a tan head that dissipates quickly and just forms a ring around glass. Does not leave much lacing.

S: Chocolate, burnt notes, cocoa.

T: Follows the nose. A little hot. A bit of coffee too.

F: Full bodied and lightly carbonated. Not chewy. Fairly easy to put down.

O: A great beer that went down well with some Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

 393 characters

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of robgage
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of JasonR1975
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of portia99
3.87/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours thick and syrupy with an oil-like opacity and a deep brown/approaching black color. An aggressive pour fails to yield any head...all this can muster is the thinnest of collars and no lacing to speak of.

S - Sweet and molasses driven aroma. Caramel and brown sugar behind that along with some creamy vanilla. Booze is evident and appears in conjunction with the vanilla and also caramel candy. A bit of burnt creme brulee sugar as well. This really smells sweet overall - like a dessert. Some black licorice creeps into the aroma too. Really not getting much roastiness at all, which surprises me. I wouldn't call this necessarily typical for the style, but the sugary candy aspects are pretty appealing.

T - Whoa, boozy up front with a big hit of alcohol slamming the back of my throat on first swallow. Flavor is much different than the aroma. Where the aroma lacked roastiness, this cannot be said for the flavor. Behind the hit of alcohol is burnt toast-like malt, heavy espresso roast coffee and a bit of char. This really takes away from the multi-layered sugary sweet aromas that don't carry into the flavor. Very noticeable alcoholic aspect to the flavor. Licorice is mild but noticeable.

M - Full bodied, lower carbonation just on the above ground side of life. Boozey, warm alcohol throughout hitting the back of the throat initially and eventually filling the entire mouth in sensation. Heavily roasted and burnt flavors overpower other aspects and simplify the flavor profile. Burnt roastiness continues to the aftertaste.

O - This is a good imperial stout, but have to say I don't really understand the hype surrounding this one. The aroma completely doesn't match the flavors - wish they met somewhere in the middle. Balance seems a bit off...alcohol is dominating and heavy handed. It is fairly enjoyable, but when it comes to world-class RIS's this really leaves a lot on the table. Perhaps a bit of aging will smooth this one out a bit...fresh, doesn't live up to the hype/expectations I had coming into this.

 2,096 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of NonicPanic
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of frasergrove
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at Abe's in Bethlehem. Uncapped and poured into a standard shaker glass. The 5th appears a nearly opaque brown color with about an inch of dark tan foam. Smells and tastes of molasses, dark and bittersweet chocolate, mocha, licorice, espresso, a hint of soy sauce, dried dark fruits. Approaching full bodied, syrupy and slick, with decent carbonation for the style. Alcohol heat is well hidden. Overall, a great stout at a good price.

 462 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.01/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Chilled 12oz into a glass. Received in a trade from Hexxed. Thanks buddy!

A: Pours a viscous, opaque motor oil black with no light penetration, even at the edges. The head is a quarter-finger of dark mocha-colored foam that retains well, slowly collapsing into a film on the brew with a thick collar. Some lacing down the glass.

S: Burnt figs and dates, roasted coffee, and a bit of booze burn. Decent; it's pretty malty, but nothing too exceptional.

T: Tons of roasted coffee, burnt sugar, burnt chocolate, burnt figs, and burnt plum. Lots of burn. Ashes, smoke. The chocolate emerges occasionally, but it doesn't dominate the beer or define its taste. The burnt / ashy combination gets kind of strong after a while; I prefer something with more anise and dark fruits, and less burn / smoke.

M: Very thick, with low carbonation. It's a tad below velvety; it's not carbonated enough to cleanse the tongue, leaving a thick coat behind. Quite warm, even a tad hot (but for its ABV, impressively restrained).

D: It's enjoyable, but it doesn't distinguish itself from other imperial stouts.

 1,095 characters

Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 4,035 ratings