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

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5thDark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 424 | Ratings: 3,030
Reviews by kustard:
Photo of kustard
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2014 vintage bottling. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, light smoke/char, light licorice/raisin, and roast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, light smoke/char, light licorice/raisin, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, light smoke/char, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is incredible. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a world class barrel aged imperial stout! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. The barrel integration and balance was absolutely spot on. There was no additional booziness or warming alcohol vs the base beer of similar age; and you still get plenty of the barrel flavor characteristics that aren’t overwhelming to the base stout at all. An insanely amazing offering.

 1,989 characters

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

33 cl bottle, 2014 vintage, sipped early 2016. Pitch black pour, with a small espresso head that gives way to a thin lacing. Smells of maple syrup, vanilla, bourbon, milk chocolate, cocoa, barrel sourness, caramel fudge and roasted malts. The taste is sweet, bitter and a bit sour, with notes of sweet bourbon, dark cherries, vanilla, cocoa and dark chocolate. The alcohol is quite present, but not too annoying. Medium to full bodied, with a sticky sweet aftertaste.

 467 characters

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

Even when drank out of a red solo cup, it rivals Bourbon County, in my opinion.

79 characters

Photo of Jjski
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. Gorgeous nose of dark roast, chocalate and bourbon.

Taste follows perfectly with a profile that echoes BCBS but lighter in mouthfeel, as this is 11% versus 14% for the other. Balanced and punchy.

For its " low " ABV the category of mega- BA RIS : it is fantastic. I bet it was much hotter when fresh, but still has strong BB character at 2 years.

I just had a fresh BA Narwhal that wasn't nearly as good. Over the last week of vacation we tried Black Tuesday and had a few BCBS. This is in good company of those exemplars.


 557 characters

Photo of beersinthebuckystate
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Metallic taste. Non barrel aged version is better in my opinion.

64 characters

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

What a great beer. I was lucky enough to score a 4pk of 2013 from my cousin who attended the release at Dark Horse in the cold of winter.

I am a big fan of stouts/ba stouts and try to have enough regular PT5 to last me from one release to the next, but let me tell you...the barrel-aged version of Plead is just AWESOME! The smell, the lacing of the glass, the mouthfeel...everthing about this beer makes you step back and re-evaluate other BA stouts that you've had in the past. Dark Horse knocked it out of the park with BBPT5, as many already know. I just landed a 2012 vintage and can't wait to try the '12 and '13 side by side.

Overall....although I didn't break everything down by category, if you have the opportunity to try this at a tasting or whether through a trade, be sure you jump on the chance as this is a fantastic brew that you'll be sure to savor!

 870 characters

Photo of Fender_Bender42
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.93/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 poured into a tulip. Dark, thick body without much head. Really chocolate flavored, barrel comes through well. Turns one of my favorite RIS into a fantastic beer that should be sought out.

 193 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Jeff for cracking open one of the last of his stash. BBPt5 pours out even darker than the regular version (which was already darker than a black hole), although it doesn't seem to be quite as syrupy and thick, as this one actually creates some noise and light turbulence as it hits the glass. A dark-ish tan head slowly bubbles up into a thin foam and perches still on top of this black abyss of a beer.

Bringing this one to my nose and taking a big whiff reveals its huge bourbon barrel characteristics - there's no denying that this bad boy spent some considerable time encased in boozy wood. The bourbon in the aroma is very smooth, however, not harsh, pungent, or stinging like many of these BBA beers can tend to be. Other notable aromas include vanilla, light coconut, mild wood, roasted malts. There's also some sweet brown sugar and a huge, creamy coffee undertone that can be found on the back end. This is really a complex beer, just from the aroma alone. Sometimes BBA beers can kind of blend together and get repetitive, but this one smells wonderful and distinct.

BBPt5 slides across my palate as I take the first sip - it's super creamy and smooth, maybe even more so than the original (not surprisingly so). The first tastes to emerge are light syrup and sweet molasses. Before long, the bourbon inches its way into the flavor profile, but just like the aroma, it remains very smooth and easy to handle. Warming, but not "hot", and it's wonderful. Some heavy oak and vanilla tones charge in about halfway through.

As it warms up, I pick up more generous notes of dark, thick fudge and even some lightly sweet, dark fruits. Roasted coffee bounces in and out for pretty much the entire duration - a big component in the base beer that certainly isn't lost through the barrel. Overall, a seriously well developed and complex beer. Even in the finish, there are still a ton of things going on; mostly dark fudge, roasted coffee beans, sweet and warming bourbon, and heavy oak. The body stays creamy throughout - heavy and lightly chewy, low-medium carbonation - more carbonated than the base beer, which as surprising.

Considering the high 14% ABV tag, this beer was insanely drinkable. I've never seen bourbon show up so heavily while remaining so smooth and tame at the same time. This is a barrel-aged beer done correctly - the flavors meld together extremely well. One of the best bourbon barrel beers I've had.

EDIT: 4/29/2013

After having this back-to-back(-to-back?) with KBS, Black Note, and BCBS, I think I can finally and honestly say that this is my favorite of the bunch. They are all extraordinary brews, but the thing that really sets BB Plead the Fifth apart is the incredible smoothness of the bourbon. Not ONCE, not even after warming up for nearly an hour, does the bourbon ever seem any bit stronger than "warm". So incredibly smooth and complex. Fantastic integration of the barrel flavors with the base beer as to not mask or hide any of the substantial flavors, either. Probably my favorite Bourbon Barrel beer. I love this stuff.

 3,080 characters

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of jono0101
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Schlais
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of cjn40277
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Spaten454
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of delaced21
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick ink black with a small amount of bubbly light brown head that very quickly disappeared leaving only a thin ring around the glass.

S - Bourbon, wood, raisin, dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, and hints of cherry.

T - Roasted malt upfront with oak, dark chocolate, caramel, black cherries, raisins, coffee and a bit of vanilla and cream. The bourbon is very noticeable, which might be it's only weakness.

M - Low carbonation with a medium body. A rich and oily mouthfeel that coats the tongue. A warm finish, but the ABV is kept in check pretty well.

O - Great BA stout. If the Bourbon wasn't so noticeable this would be an A+ beer. Nothing a little more time can't fix. Glad I got to try this.

 707 characters

Photo of Anstuart5
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Grinz12
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of sabitu
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +6%

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,030 ratings.
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