Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
99
world-class
424 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by MbpBugeye on 07-25-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
424
Ratings:
3,020
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.81%
 
 
Wants:
2,165
Gots:
854
For Trade:
116
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 424 | Ratings: 3,020
Photo of RUWatching
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014. Holds bourbon aromas well. Smooth and balanced on average. Thinner than I remember but sits nicely on the tongue.

Poured still. No head. Black.

 155 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: pours black with a film of dark brown head. Looks pitch black on the glass
S: holy sweet bourbon! Also chocolate and some dark fruit sweetness. Good aroma, I could go without the fruity notes
T: well the dang fruity notes pop out first, and true bourbon and chocolate are 2nd. It's good, but not my preference.
F: no alcohol, super smooth. Not near as thick as I imagined.
O: slightly underwhelmed. But still a good beer.

 425 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black color with thin mocha head. Aroma is lightly sweet roasted malts. Flavor is candied dark fruit and semi sweet.has notes of roasted chocolate malts and the bourbon is really mellow. Has a rich body and overall really delicious.

 250 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into snifter. Black color with modest carbonation leading to caramel color head. Bourbon is heavy to the nose but the first sip is well balanced. Bourbon, coffee, vanilla and chocolate are delicate on the palate. I must disagree with one rating that said it "poured like motor oil." Obviously he hasn't had Ole Dubh 12 or 18. This is an enjoyable beer!

 366 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma and flavor of dark baker's chocolate, booze, smoke, coffee, and oak. Distinct taste of black licorice too, which is really nice. A fairly rich stout, in the vein of Parabola and BCBS, but with a unique smokiness and more relaxed booziness, and boasting some of that licorice flavor you get from Expedition. Quite enjoyable.

But I should say that I'm a bit torn on how to rate it. First time I had it, I loved the unique smoke and licorice aspects. Subsequent tastings have left me non-plussed. Having had the 2013, 2014, and 2015 batches I've found the 2014 especially has an off-putting tuna fish aroma, related I would guess to perhaps the oxidization of smoked malts? All batches could use a bit more body, and maybe a bit more bourbon character. Still quite enjoyable, and so I suppose I enjoy it more than Parabola, but less than BCBS.

 847 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours jet black, thin creamy tan head fades slowly to a ring, spotty lace. Deep chocolate aroma, mild bourbon and vanilla. Big chocolate flavor, vanilla notes, coffee. The bourbon notes are very soft, no heat. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, semi-soft and silky, oily. Very good bourbon barrel stout, glad I have another bottle.

 347 characters

Photo of nawpnawp
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick black with brownish head that subsides with a sticky lacing. The smell is heavy chocolate and coffee with notes of bourbon. There is a nice balance between the sweetness and bitterness. The chocolate and coffee are both present, and the bourbon comes in on the aftertaste.

I haven't had non-BA Plead the Fifth, but the bourbon isn't very strong on this. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but regular Pt5 might be just as good.

 447 characters

Photo of eifster82
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2015 bottle into mini snifter.

Dark, black appearance with a slight amber ring on the edge of glass. Smell was basically same as regular Pt5th. Taste had some bourbon presence but not nearly as much as you would expect out of a double digit abv stout. Some raisin and black licorice taste. The sad highlight of this beer is how fast it must have fallen off. I don't know if it wasn't cellared properly or what, but back end was all cardboard and nothing resembling an imperial stout. I got nothing resembling what people are describing in reviews below mine. Very disappointing.

 586 characters

Photo of Masonz223
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Note: 2015 bottle
Smell: cinamon vanilla coconut sugary rasin sweet chocolate
Taste: upfront vanilla charcoal middle of the mouth sugared coverd rasin malt sweetness a faint cinamon sticky sugary milk chocolate. Finished with a real sharp dark roasted coffee dark chocolate a little bit of smokiness and some alchool heat present.
Feel: medium body a nice coffee biterness lingers in the finish.
Overall: it has all the flavores you look for in a barrel aged stout. Though I wished the flavores were more in your face especially that cinamon I got in the nose. Still a little boozy to could age longer which isn't a big surprise still pretty young. Saying all that this beer is still pretty damn good!

 704 characters

Photo of Amguerra305
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black like motor oil with almost not head. Smelled of barrel, bourbon, chocolate, and hints of vanilla and coffee. Taste did not follow suit. There was a bit of chocolate up front but something was lacking in the middle. The taste of the barrel connoted more green wood than barrel wood. At the end there is a flavor that merges and connotes a very woody expression. The mouth feel was stupendous. Thick and coating. Overall this is a very good beer with a great nose that needs to work a bit on the taste.

 520 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a jet black color with a small foamy dark tan head that sticks around for a while before settling into a ring around the edge of the glass

S- aroma opens with a mixture of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, black cherries & light espresso. There's a nice oaky bourbon note that flows throughout the aroma, adding light touches of vanilla, coconut & spicy wood

T- opens up with smoky charred roasted malt flavors that brings out a coffee-like bitterness, followed by a big hit of bourbon barrel that brings notes of spicy wet oak, caramel, vanilla and bourbon. The finish brings a sweetness of dark fruits, along with a linger of caramel and more bourbon

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a viscous mouthfeel that turns creamy into the finish

O- an already awesome RIS receives a barrel treatment very well, creating a sipper that gets better as it warms

 933 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous opaque shiny black with pretty much no head. There was a hint of foam along the outside of the beer, but nothing beyond that. Beer appeared to be still with next to no carbonation.

Smell had aromas of cocoa, milk chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts. All of this was encompassed by a bourbon aroma that was present but not at all overwhelming. The base beer still shined through while the barrel character also came through. Mild aromas of sweet bourbon are also noted.

Taste follows the nose with notes of cocoa, milk chocolate, espresso and a slight almond-like nuttiness come through. Barrel characteristics are noted throughout with notes of bourbon, oak, and hints of vanilla coming through. Wonderful balance between the barrel and the base stout - its really one of the best BA stouts out there.

Feel was thick, smooth, and velvety. Drinks like a decadent stout. However, its still very drinkable and hides the high ABV very very well.

Overall this was one of the best BA Russian Imperial Stouts I've ever had - like top 5. If you like barrel aged beers, this is a must try.

 1,107 characters

Photo of pants678
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with thin khaki head.

Sweet and sorta sharp bourbon.

Dark chocolate and bourbon. Not as potent and sweet as Chocolate Rain. Robust, though, more intense than expected. Alcohol's not exactly covered but isn't a detractor.

Fairly sharp as opposed to smooth.

 264 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a nice big tan colored head on top. Aroma is boozy and sweet. Notes of bourbon, toffee, sweet caramel, roasted malts, and dark chocolate make up this whale's smell.

It's flavor truly has a lot going on. Dark chocolate, walnuts, roasted malts, bourbon, coffee, more roasted malts. A significant alcohol warmth is noticed.

This is one tasty stout, I'm glad I got my hands on one of these.

 414 characters

Photo of MichaelCoyne
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer all around. Just a notch below Founders KBS and Bells Black Note in my opinion. Regardless, another great Michigan BBA Stout worth trading for/trying!

 161 characters

Photo of DblDiamond
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sweet baby Jesus! Looks like motor oil, smells like bourbon and sweetness. Beautiful smooth bourbon that just lingers on the palate. This is an outstanding stout that I'm so happy to have had.

 192 characters

Photo of Eiwatts9
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best BBA stouts around. Would happily trade for more again. This was provided as an extra in a trade and I got the better end of the stick in my opinion. If you like BBA stouts this is hands down a "need to try".

 223 characters

Photo of iliketurtlesthx
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle poured into a snifter

I love normal Plead the 5th. Of course when they barrel age it, it takes it to another level. Pours thick and super dark. Not too much head on it. Taste is absolutely wonderful, with chocolate and bourbon. A fair amount of heat, but I love the heat.

Please get this into distro in 2016 =)

 331 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance.
Body : Dark. Dark dark dark. Obsidian, cascadian, just...dark. Nothing escaping from this pit of black.
Head : Angry reddish brown with 2 fingers fading to a ring in my snifter.

Aroma.
Initial : Dark fruits, namely plum and black cherry; some burnt malts, a hit of coffee, and a sappy bourbon aroma chasing everything.
With Agitation : adds a shade of brightness over everything - tart cherries, melon, and chocolate fountain.

Taste.
Front end : Explosion of dark malts, burnt cocoa, tobacco.
Back end : Theres the Plead The Fifth we all love. A sweet, syrupy chocolate rush with plums, raisins, and dark cherry
Finish : The bourbon hits and the heat rises up from the throat to dry out the tongue. A sweet, sappy, syrupy chocolate/dark fruit/bourbon/ground coffee note persists and tantalizes for another sip.

Feel.
I mean, how do I explain a feel that I don't particularly pay attention to because it's so right on the money? The flavor and aromas are overwhelming enough, but the feel fits it just like it should with buzzing carbonation, dryness, and succulent sweetness. Lick the lips and you want more.

Overall : Who was even surprised here? Dark Horse makes some of the best stouts around and there's no doubt they know what they're doing. They've taken a perfect stout to another level by barrel aging it. If you lke the original Plead The 5th, this is one to check out when you're feeling like you want just a bit more heaviness and warmth to coddle you.

 1,487 characters

Photo of turfy
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 2015 bottle.

A - A deep brownish-black, with a thin tan head after pouring that disapates to a light film with a heavier ring.
S - Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt
T - Silky bourbon with chocolate notes and coffee. Maybe a hint of leather.
M - Just about perfect. Substantial mouthfeel without being too heavy. Very smooth with the right amount of oiliness.
O - If I had to choose any BBA stout, it would be this one. Well done, Dark Horse.

 444 characters

Photo of Slack
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to black in color with zero head and no lacing.

Oak, Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, and a roasted note.

Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, oak, and a warming booze finish.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and super smooth. Carbonation is very low. Finish lingers.

An extremely well balanced beer. Very drinkable with hidden alcohol only present on the finish and as it warms. Mouthful is nice, not too heavy but not light. The minor negatives and I mean minor might be the oak being so strong on the nose. Seek this out and try it against the regular Pt5th.

 559 characters

Photo of earljones199
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle.

All chocolate.

It pours a jet black with not much head. Very thick and oily looking.

The smell is roasty, chocolatey goodness.

The taste follows the nose with a huge hit of chocolate and the dark rich roasted flavor I like in a big BB stout. This still had a good amount of the bourbon barrel flavors in it.

 324 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a midnight black with a very thin tan head.

S - Aroma is bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla.

T - The flavor is bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. The finish has some lingering heat from the alcohol.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with dry finish.

O - An incredibly solid BBA Russian Imperial Stout. Can only imagine this will be amazing with a year on it.

 408 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with a tan colored head, no head retention, slight lacing, not much carbonation, looks like motor oil, looks really nice.

A: Bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, touch of coffee, no alcohol on the nose, has a lot of aroma, I could smell the bourbon and vanilla as I poured, very nice.

T: First impression is that this is very balanced and full of flavor, bourbon up front, vanilla, hint of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruits, touch of moderate coffee-like bitterness, finish is dry with notes of bourbon and dark fruits, the alcohol is noticeable and some heat lingers in the finish, but this drinks incredibly smooth for the high ABV.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, dry finish, smooth, creamy mouthfeel, some heat but the other characteristics impress enough that the heat does not affect the pleasure of drinking this beer.

O: Very impressed, incredible amounts of aroma and tastes, big full bodied creamy smooth mouthfeel. I really wish I could this in southern California.

 1,072 characters

Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An underrated bba stout from an under-appreciated brewery. The Tres Blueberries is outstanding but Plead the Fifth is on another whole level. I opened up a 2013 vintage on 2/17/16 and despite the 2+ years of aging, the bourbon barrel still comes through tremendously. There is very little head and not much aromatics either besides the wood of the barrel. I picked up a lot more dark chocolate in the initial notes and bourbon at the end with not much coffee given the age. Complexity remains and their is tremendous balance that lends drinkability regardless of its strong abv.

 578 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,020 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!